In this series of blog posts, we’ll look at some of the content in World of Warcraft where you might need a helpful nudge in the right direction—maybe you’re stuck, maybe you got sidetracked, or maybe you don’t even know how to begin! Join us as we travel all over Azeroth and Draenor to uncover and thoroughly tackle the many different little adventures available to any player.
To start, let’s look at that Pet Menagerie taunting you in your Garrison. Beginning here and now, you can point at it and say “I’m coming for you, Menagerie! Your days of just sitting there waiting to be used are numbered!” Say that in your best Cro Threadstrong voice, by the way—soon, the Menagerie will mock you no more.
What follows is intended for players who haven’t already overcome the content, though keep in mind it will contain minor spoilers. If this particular information isn’t for you because you’re already a Managerie pro, then well done! In the comments below, let us know what you’d like to learn how to master in a future blog post.
WE’LL DO IT LIVE, MAYBE
Even if it were as easy as just saying a magic word to unlock and begin interacting with the Menagerie, that wouldn’t make it useful. In the context of pet battling, consider the Menagerie endgame content—and while there’s no specific definition of what qualifies a player for the pet-battle endgame, it’s safe to say that if you don’t currently have some level 25 rare-quality pets in hand, you’ve not yet reached the endgame.
That number varies based on a lot of things. For example, an endgame goal like defeating the seven master tamers in Pandaria (which rewards the Taming Pandaria achievement) requires at least 6 to 10 very specific pets. Some players consider the endgame reached when they’ve got a solid trio of pets they can use to do pet-battle PvP. If you want to complete the Celestial Tournament, your endgame is going to require dozens of max-level pets, but that’s a subject for another day.
Players who have 5 to 10 randomly selected pets at max level and rare quality can proceed to the next step, as it should be possible to overcome your initial obstacles with some careful planning and a bit of luck. If you don’t have several (or any) max-level pets, don’t worry! Bringing together teams of companions is a fun and rewarding experience.
If you’re starting from scratch, you’ll want to read about the basics:
- Pet Battles and You – A Trainer’s Manual by Kristopher on WoWhead
- Guide to WoW Pet Breeds and Breed IDs by Breanni on WarcraftPets
- Pet Battle: Type effectiveness, abilities, trainers, and general information by Vlad on WoWhead
If you’re looking for a plan to level up your pets:
- Battle Pet Leveling Guide 1-25 (for Alliance) by Pine89 on WoWhead
- Leveling Your Battle Pets (for Horde) on WoW Pet Battle
If you’d like some help building your collection:
Use the guides above, and you’ll return to your Garrison with a small army—but most of all, have fun out there.
PETS VERSUS PESTS
To unlock the Menagerie, you’ll need to take out three difficult enemies that you’ll find in your Garrison: Carrotus Maximum, Gorefu, and Gnawface. You’ll also need to be at level 100, and your Garrison has to have been upgraded to level 3. Let’s look at each of the three gatekeepers in detail.
This totally sane root vegetable comes at you with 1603 health, 276 attack, and a speed of 252. He’s an elemental pet, so your aquatic abilities hit him for extra damage, and you shouldn’t try to use mechanical abilities. Carrotus uses three abilities:
- Ironbark (deals damage to you and reduces damage Carrotus takes from you for one round), which is strong against mechanical pets and weak against critters.
- Aged Yolk (removes all buffs and debuffs from Carrotus), which has a two-turn cooldown.
- Leech Seed (deals damage to you, heals Carrotus, and places a damage-over-time on you for one round), which is strong against mechanical pets and weak against critters, and has a four-turn cooldown.
So as you can see, it’s suicide to try to defeat him with mechanical pets. Critters are the way to go, and in particular, critters that use aquatic abilities are best. Leech Seed is the hit you want to avoid, so choose battle pets that have an avoidance skill, such as crickets with their Cocoon Strike, and then time your avoidance to sidestep it.
This cute little guy has all of 1583 health, 276 attack, and 256 speed. He’s a pet of the aquatic variety, which means that your pets with flying abilities will hit him extra hard, and your pets with undead abilities are at a disadvantage. He brings the following to the table:
- Deep Bite (damages you more and more each time he uses it), which is strong against elemental pets and weak versus magic pets.
- Mudslide (deals some damage and changes the weather, preventing you from being able to switch your pet out), which is strong versus undead and weak against humanoid pets.
- Feed (deals damage to you and heals Gorefu for the same amount), which hits critters extra hard, but is weak against flyers, and has a four-turn cooldown.
Put it all together and you want to avoid using undead pets and instead concentrate on your flying pets. In particular, flying pets that can avoid being hit by Feed would be best. Moths and flies are excellent picks for this fight.
Gnawface is a fast little rodent with 1400 health, 276 attack, and a respectable speed of 293. He’s a critter, which means that he takes extra damage from beast abilities, and is extra tough if you hit him with elemental abilities. His abilities arsenal includes:
- Sneak Attack (damages you, and gets a bonus if you’re currently blinded), which is strong versus undead and weak against humanoid pets.
- Comeback (a hit that does bonus damage if Gnawface has less health than you), which is also increased against undead and diminished versus humanoids.
- Call Darkness (deals some damage and changes the weather, blinding all pets), which hits dragonkin extra hard, but is weak against beasts.
The plan here is to use humanoids or beasts, and use their beast abilities. Yes, Virginia, there are humanoid battle pets with beast abilities. An excellent example is the Curious Wolvar Pup you can obtain from the Children’s Week holiday (coming up April 27 – May 4), which can use both Bite and Maul to make quick work of Gnawface.
THE FUN BEGINS
Overcoming the three opponents above is a great step, but it’s only a first step into the wonders of the Menagerie. Now you have access to daily challenges and the rewards they offer. Learn how to defeat each of the different daily enemies the Menagerie provides, and you’ll quickly accumulate Battle-Stones that you can use to upgrade your pets to rare quality.
Here’s a basic strategy for beating the Menagerie dailies (and any tamer or legendary pet you encounter):
- Note the opposing pets’ families and the types of the skills they’re using.
- Identify pets in your collection that counter those types and skills.
- Look for pairs or even trios of pets who have strong compatibilities.
- If necessary, go capture new pets that can do the job.
- Level up your pets to 25 and make them rare quality.
- Order your team in such a way that your damage-over-time skills or team buffs will be played earlier in the contest and your big hits will be available later, when the enemy is weak.
- Play through your opponent’s routine more than once to learn when they cast their most impactful spells.
- Fine tune your team and the order you use your skills, returning all the way to step #3 if necessary.
Are you stuck staring at that empty plot where your Menagerie should be? Tell us about it in this forum thread in our Pet Battles discussion forum. Master pet battlers are standing by!