1-25 Veteran Pet Leveling Guide: 9 fights

8.30.16 - Legion Update - this guide has not been updated since MoP, and I have not kept up with the pet battle side of things in Warlords of Draenor. That said, this guide will still work, as it doesn't take advantage of Howl Bomb, but at the same time there may be more efficient methods to level pets in Draenor that I am unaware of.


Be sure to check out my latest guide for the super hardcore pet battler "1-25 in FOUR fights!" Not for the foolhardy, that guide requires the player use one Lesser Pet Treat and one Pet Treat for huge XP bonuses.

However! If you're not yet ready to tackle that guide, but you've been around the block, this one's for you. I have to assume a few things which I think are perfectly reasonable:

- you have at least one pet from every family at 25.
- you have access to the Pandaren Spirit Tamer dailies.
- I lean regularly on the Clockwork Gnome, Celestial Dragon, Pandaren Monk and Anubisath Idol. It should  still theoretically be possible to follow this guide without any of these. If you're truly struggling on a fight with  your given team, I recommend looking up your opponent on WoWHead.

The drawback here, of course, is that this path can be followed only ONCE per day since it utilized daily tamer battles to level. Know that it is also helpful to have a mage as it I will save you significant travel time. Once again, the Alliance run involves more traveling a greater distance. Sorry. Instead of breaking this up into Horde and Alliance, I've crudely lumped them together since fights 4-9 will be the same for both factions.

Let's do this
Note: start with your leveling pet each fight unless it says otherwise. Don't forget your Safari Hat!

Fight 1

Opponent: Cassandra Kaboom
Zone: Southern Barrens (40,80) near the small cave between Razorfen Kraul and Desolation Hold 
Notes: Easy fight; use a high-level elemental for an even quicker fight; Alliance visit Bill Buckler in the Cape of Stranglethorn. For quick passage, use the Blasted Lands portal found in IF or SW, then fly there. This fight can be tricky if Buckler's pet Eyegouge gets all Cyclone happy. If this is happening to you, I've left some tips in reply to a reader comment below.
Level reached: 7.0

Fight 2

Opponent: Zoltan
Zone: Felwood (40,57) slightly northeast of the "R" in "Jadenar" 
Notes: Easy fight; Alliance should visit Everessa at 77,42 in the Swamp of Sorrows. For quick passage, use the Blasted Lands portal found in IF or SW, then fly there.
Level reached: 10.0

Fight 3

Opponent: Stone Cold Trixxy
Zone: Winterspring (66,65) east of where the road from Mazthoril joins the long N to S road
Notes: Easy fight with strong max-level pets; Alliance can fight Trixxy, though Lydia Accoste in Deadwind Pass is much closer.
Level reached: 12.5  

Fight 4
Opponent: Nicki Tinytech
Zone: Hellfire Peninsula (64,50) where the roads leading from Thrallmar & Honor Hold join
Notes: Use an elemental pet to absolutely devastate this group.
Level reached: 14.7

Fight 5

Opponent: Morulu the Elder
Zone: Shattrath City (59,69) in the southermost part of Lower City
Notes: Use a flying pet to absolutely devastate this group
Level reached: 16.9

Fight 6

Opponent: Courageous Yon
Zone: Kun-Lai Summit (36,74) inside a small cave
Notes: Use a Magic pet and a strong Mechanical like the Clockwork Gnome if you don't have a Celestial Dragon. You want to lead with the Magic pet since Yon leads with his Flying pet, Piqua. Flying pets will do weak damage against a Dragonkin if you do have one. Couple that with the Celestial's healing ability, Ancient Blessing, and magic damage spells (strong against Flying), you should be able to get through Piqua with most of the Celestial's health in tact.
  Courageous Yon should then send in his rabbit, a Critter pet. Use your opening pet til it does; switch your leveling pet in for one round or two; at this point your leveler should be able to take a couple of hits. Bring out your Mechanical pet and finish the Critter, if needed, and Yon's last pet, a ram from the Beast family.

Level reached: 20.1   

Fight 7

Opponent: Grand Master Aki
Zone: Vale of Eternal Blossoms (68,41) on the western side of the lake surrounding MV
Notes: This one may be tricky if you don't have access to an Anubisath Idol. If that's the case, I try to choose a pet with either a weather effect or multiple attacks to counter Stormlash's weather effect. Without the Idol I'll use the Clockwork Gnome and place turrets and heal so that I'm almost full health when the first pet, a Critter dies, and Stormlash comes out. Seriously though: Anubisath Idol can nearly solo Aki.

Level reached: 22.4

Fight 8

Opponent: Farmer Nishi
Zone: Valley of the Four Winds (46,44) just a bit west of Halfhill in the fields
Notes: Start a strong Aquatic pet with decent aquatic damage spells; she will send her Elementals in first and your Aquatic will destroy them. Bring your leveling pet in for a couple of rounds once your Aquatic dies. Then, finish off Nishi's last pet, a Beast, using a pet with Mechanical abilities (Clockwork Gnome works well).
Level reached: 24.2

Fight 9

Opponent: Whispering Pandaren Spirit
Zone: Jade Forest (29,36) on the peak nearly due north of Grookin Hill
Notes: Easy fight with the right pets, especially from the Dragonkin OR Humanoid family. 

My thanks to @SpaceBard, @kristin, @liopleurodonic and those who commented for helping me improve this guide and ensure its accuracy.


  1. Nice guide. A couple of things to consider:

    1) the whispering pandaren fight only does flying damage and doesn't have the cyclone hitting your backline. So two dragonkin are slower, but should work as well as the monk.

    2) the other jade forest fight is much easier than yon or aki. If you have an onyxian whelpling or anything with the same healing flame/ cauterize ability, the last turtle pet is easy to kill and only has one damage ability.

  2. Hey Nik-

    Thank you for your feedback. I'll incorporate the Jade Forest fight into the guide. What would you personally suggest: replacing Yon or Aki?

  3. I can defeat Aki with Anubisath Idol and Guardian Cub (but another flier might work just as well)

    The Idol has a slow grind against the Cricket, but he tears through the lightning serpent easily. Sandstorm changes the weather back from Lightning. He can *almost* solo all three pets.

    1. Thank for the tip! I've REALLY been struggling to find a satisfying method to faceroll Aki.

    2. Update: commenter above was 100% correct---Anubisath Ido is the way to faceroll Aki. I utilize it in my latest guide, 1-25 in FOUR fights (with a catch or two): http://fecklessleader.blogspot.com/2013/07/battle-pets-level-1-to-25-in-four-fights.html

  4. Brilliant guide! Thanks :)

    1. Thank you, glad you've found it useful! 5.3 brought some interesting changes to pet battles and I will be updating at least this guide and the Intermediate, as well as adding several more guides for some interesting power-leveling tricks.

  5. Two pets that make most fights pretty faceroll are the Emerald Proto-Whelp and the Emperor Crab in P/P version (upgraded ro rare, this gives them 341 and 357 attack power, respectively). They both have a shield, a heal, and a strong attack. Emerald Proto-Whelp solos Yon easily, and Emperor Crab typically does the same to Aki.

    I sometimes swap one or the other out for a particular fight if leveling a lowbie pet, but I can't think of any fights for which I don't use at least one of these.

    1. Great advice---thanks for the tips! I'm in the process of overhauling these guys once again to incorporate the awesome feedback I've been getting.

  6. I've been having some trouble with Bill Buckler, as his second pet manages to cast Cyclone before I can kill it and then Cyclone kills my level 1 - I've found that Kortas Darkhammer works just as well, a humanoid can burn through him easily. I did have to reset the fight a couple times until his first pet healed as the first attack, so that my level 1 could survive.

    1. Hmm. I will look into this today and see if I can't recommend something else that doesn't involve resetting fights.

    2. Hey Rainer-

      I've found a couple of potential workarounds using different pets, if you are able. I must first say I was unable to replicate the Cyclone issue. Whenever the 2nd pet (Eyegouge) came out, it first used Slicing Winds. My 25 was able to kill Eyegouge on the next hit (which came first since my 25 is faster) before it could cast Cyclone.

      That said, to completely avoid Cyclone issues (always lead with your leveler and swap out after one round):

      1) Use a pet that can 1-shot Eyegouge---it has only 628 health, and chances are you have a pet that has an ability that will hit for over 700, like Chrominius from Blackwing Lair and its Surge of Power.

      2) Use a pet with a team-wide heal---when your leveler takes a hit from Cyclone, heal it back up.

      3) Use a "force swap" pet like Giant Bone Spider and its Death Grip to swap Eyegouge out of the fight as soon as it enters; go slow on the next pet kill until your swap ability is off cooldown and use it once Eyegouge is back in. This should finish it off.

      Hope that helps.

  7. Hello Ross:

    First off, I've been relying on your guides pretty extensively. Thanks for putting them together. I'm in the process of trying to build up to be able to follow this advanced guide. You've also mentioned elsewhere that you've leaned heavily on the C. Dragon. I just got my Celestial Dragon up to 25 and I've been a little underwhelmed by his abilities. There's no real hard hitting magic damage ability and the other abilities seem to be pretty average heals or weather effects. Did he get nerfed? What's a good strategy for this pet?

    1. I believe the Celestial Dragon was nerfed a while back. While it work well for me leveling up my first team, you make a good point---once you start acquiring other pets, its attractiveness diminishes significantly.

  8. With 5.4, the pet battle circuit changed a lot. Are you looking at making a guide for the Celestial Tournament? If not, what of incorporating some of the newer pets, or those that have recently gotten stronger? Emperor Crab was a favorite of mine from the time I got it, and he can help level a lowbie very well. Things may go slowly, but he won't ever die, really. Pandaren Water Spirit can also nearly solo Farmer for leveling. Water Jet, Whirlpool, Dive is the best setup for this, I've found. Use Whirlpool then Jet until the first pet dies, then go Water Jet, Whirlpool, Dive, Water Jet to likely kill the Toothbreaker as well. Also, if you have a good rabbit, you can kill the Thundering Pandaren Spirit even easier than the Whispering one, via dodging every single spell the spirit itself can put out. Side-note: Used your guide to level to 25, and have used it since to get a whole lot of pets to the same level. Currently working on tackling the tournament, thanks to you.

    1. Hey Kuro-

      You're right---there are definitely better pets beyond the ones I suggested, especially when it comes to the Veteran guide. At the time, I was working mostly with what I had and was comfortable with. I haven't been battling much as of late, which has caused my attention to turn from updating these guides further. I don't think I'll mess with the Beginner guide much, but the Int and Veteran guides could most definitely benefit from some better pet suggestions. I have yet to utilize the spirit or the crab in my regular lineup, but continue to hear great things about them. I think I'll level them next!

      As for a Celestial Tourney guide, I don't plan on writing one simply because there's already an excellent one out there. Lio over at battlepetroundup.com has you covered and then some.

      Thanks for your comments and suggestions. I always appreciate hearing from players who've found my guide(s) helpful.

  9. My option for this type of leveling (tested multiple times, hat required):

    - Anubisath Idol
    - Emerald Proto-Whelp
    - Rapana Whelk
    - Any moth (I use Oasis Moth)

    1. Level 1 to 10: Valley of the Four Winds
    - Setup: Leveled pet, Anubisath Idol (1,1,1), anything
    - Attack any Marsh Fiddler (abundant in the centre of the zone). They usually do a very low damage hit first, which your level 1 pet can survive. If not (and it dies), you'll have to heal and try again. This will give your leveled pet level 5 or 6 immediately.
    - Complete 3 other fights with this setup on any other wild pets around. Anubisath Idol skills enable it to require next to no healing after the fights (I've been able to grind an hour or more on wild pets in VotFW using Anubisath Idol, leveling various pets from 1 to 10, with no post-fight healing at all).

    2. Courageous Yon (10-15)
    - Setup: Leveled pet, Anubisath Idol (1,1,1), anything
    - Open with your leveled pet.
    - Kill all 3 pets with Anubisath Idol. The Idol can always solo all three, although due to its Crush being week against beasts, the last one takes a bit longer than usual. You can use Demolish instead, but due to its higher miss chance, it doesn't make it much faster.

    3. Seeker Zusshi (15-18)
    - Setup: Rapana Whelk (2,1,1), Anubisath Idol (1,1,1), Leveled pet
    - Open with Rapana Whelk, since Diamond who goes first can prevent swaps, and can kill your leveled pet.
    - Kill Diamond with Rapana Whelk.
    - Kill Mollus with Anubisath Idol.
    - Swap in your leveled pet on Skimmer just for one shot.
    - Finish off Skimmer with Anubisath Idol. Careful with Deflection timing.

    3. Wastewalker Shu (18-20)
    - Setup: Leveled pet, Anubisath Idol (2,1,1), Rapana Whelk (2,1,1)
    - Open with your leveled pet, Crusher usually first casts Renewing Mists, then Whirlpool.
    - Switch to Anubisath Idol and finish Crusher (use Deflection to prevent Whirlpool damage).
    - Finish Pounder with Rapana Whelk.
    - Finish Mutilator with Anubisath/Rapana.
    This fight can sometimes go a bit awry, but luckily, there's a stable master very close to the tamer.

    (continued in next comment)

    1. 4. Aki the Chosen (20-23)
      - Setup: Leveled pet, Anubisath Idol (1,1,1), Emerald Proto-Whelp (1,1,1)
      - Open with your leveled pet for one hit.
      - Finish Chirrup easily with Anubisath Idol.
      - When Stormlash comes in, immdiately do Deflection, then Sandstorm (to counteract weather which Stormlash always changes first).
      - Finish Stormlash, he hits hard. Depending on RNG you might end up next to dead.
      - Try to use Sandstorm on Whiskers, if your Anubisath Idol is still alive. If not, you'll be able to finish him with Emerald Proto-Whelp.

      5. Hyuna of the Shrines (23-25)
      - Setup: Leveled pet, Emerald Proto-Whelp (1,1,1), Any moth (1,1,2)
      - Open with your leveled pet for one hit.
      - Finish Skyshaper easily with Emerald Proto. Heal if possible around the end of the fight. Save your Proto-Strike for next pet.
      - Fangor usually starts by burrowing (but you may need to practice a bit to get your timing right), so open with Proto-Strike. He goes first, so you need to anticipate. This way you should be able to avoid damage and hit him hard when he's out.
      - When Fangor is dead, switch to a moth for Dor the Wall. Rotation might be tricky, since you need to use your avoidance spell when he is about to cast Headbutt, and if his Headbutt and Healing Wave are both off CD, he might use Healing Wave first (or not...). Anyhow he should be easy to finish off with a moth taking minimal damage (Headbutt is his only damaging spell and it has a 4 round CD!).

      As mentioned, I have tried this method multiple times, I sometimes failed on my timing or pet choice at a given fight. This requires some practice, but after a couple of days you should be able to do it with no problems at all. Two of the required pets are easy to catch wilds in Pandaria, Emerald Proto-Whelp might be a bit more difficult to get rare (northwestern Scholazar), and Anubisath Idol is often available on the AH, and if you don't want to grind AQ, it is a VERY good investment. It's probably the best all-around pet I have found so far, especially for power leveling purposes. Do not underestimate it, do not be afraid to spend money on it, it is definitely worth it!

  10. On the first battle, You suggested a high level mech but I think u meant a high level elemental being as you're up against all mech pets.

  11. For what it's worth if you use the safari hat and the lesser pet treat (25%) you can do it in seven fights. Add the Zangamarsh pet master between Hellfire and Shatarath and you'll ding 25 on your 2nd Pandara pet master, skipping the farmer and the Pandarean Spirit.

    Great Guide

  12. as of 6.1 cassandra and zoltan are not giving exp or a small amount. zoltan only gave about 400 and cassandra gave nothing

    1. Thanks for the head's up. I'm not sure this isn't a bug---there have been some really wonky things happening with pet battles since 6.1. Will be curious to see if it remains this way.