Introductory Guide to Pet Battles in Mists of Pandaria

Learn everything you need to know to begin your journey in the world of Pet Battles.

Introduced with the release of Mists of Pandaria, the Pet Battle System is one of the most successful “mini-games” ever seen in World of Warcraft. Finally those delightful vanity pets have a purpose other than standing around looking cute. Instead players can pit one (or an entire team) of pets against other pets for glory and in some cases, the chance to gain new pets. Want to know more about the Pet Battle System? Look no further! Below you will find all the basics to getting started in the world of Pet Battles.

Pet Battles: Getting Started

Beginning your journey in the world of Pet Battles is not a difficult process. To get started simply visit your local Pet Battle Trainer in any major city of your choosing. Not sure of where to go? Simply speak to a city guard to be pointed in the right direction. Besides giving your character the ability to participate in Pet Battles, this trainer also will offer your character a starting pet based on race for a insubstantial fee. This is especially helpful for new players or players who have been putting off collecting pets over the years.

Race-Specific Starter Pets

  • Blue Moth – Draenei
  • Snowshoe Rabbit – Dwarf/Gnome
  • Orange Tabby Cat – Human
  • Great Horned Owl – Night Elf
  • Gilnean Raven – Worgen
  • Gold Dragonhawk Hatchling – Blood Elf
  • Shore Crawler – Goblin
  • Black Kingsnake – Orc/Troll
  • Brown Prairie Dog – Tauren
  • Undercity Cockroach – Undead
  • Jade Crane Chick – Pandaren

After training the Pet Battle ability, quests will open up via the Pet Battle Trainer. This short quest chain will teach you the ability to Revive Battle Pets. This spell is essential for making your way in the Pet Battle world as it allows you to revive and heal your wounded and fallen pets. These quests will also allow to you experience your first real (albeit simple) Pet Battles and will serve as a starting guide for you.

Pet Battle System Menu

Before you take on the first quest in line, or challenge another player it would be prudent for you to take a quick look at the Pet Battle UI. View this menu by clicking the “Pets and Mounts” button (or using SHIFT+P) and then choosing the Pet Journal tab. Neatly laid out into two distinct columns, future masters of Pet Battles can learn much from this screen.

In the left column players will find a listing of all the pets that can be used in battle, as well as which they personally own. can view all the pets available for battle, as well as which they personally own. These pets can be filtered in various ways depending on the players personal preferences. The right side of the Pet Battle UI contains a ton of information and may seem a bit intimidating. Divided up into two sections, this column is truly crucial to being successful at battling. In the top section players will find the health, power, speed, abilities, and other important statistics of any pet they click on from the column on the left. Less information is shown for those pets that you have not yet collected.

In the bottom section of the same column you will find your Battle Pet Slots. Here you will be able to place the pets you wish to take into battle with you and choose the skills those pets will use once in combat. As mentioned above, more slots become open as you complete various quests and achievements. Allowing you to choose up to three individual pets as well as a variety of skills. Outside of the two columns this tab also includes a summon pet button, your total pet achievements score, and also a button to revive all of your pets after battle.

Basic Combat and Pet Tracking

Upon training Pet Battles, you will notice that you are automatically granted the ability to tack pets on your mini-map. When this tracking ability is turned on (the same way you would turn on herb or mineral tracking), it will allow you to track the wild pets that are near you and ready for battle. Pets ready for battle will appear as a small green paw print on the mini-map. Wild pets will also display this same paw print above their heads, making them easy to find.

To challenge one of these wild pets, simply right click on any critter with a green paw print above its head. Occasionally when trying to battle a wild pet you will get an error stating that there is an obstruction preventing the battle from taking place. Don’t panic, simply move to a more open location and try again.

Once you have engaged a wild pet in combat your screen will be transformed. At the top you will be able to see your pets health as well as the health of the wild pet. At the bottom a large bar holds all your pet attacks. Hovering over any of these attacks will provide you with which type of pet the attack is most and least effective against. Keep in mind that while you may not see other players or creatures on your screen, you can still be attacked by both mobs and players alike.

Also found on this bar is the “Trap” ability which will allow you to capture the pet you are battling. Capturing a pet cannot take place until you have a level 3 pet of your very own, and only then after the wild pet is below 35% health. If you fail on your first attempt, try again, each attempt grants you a better chance at actually capturing the pet.

Pet Battle combat is turn-based with no actual time limit on rounds during a PVE style battle. Some abilities have multiple round cooldowns while others do extra damage if you meet certain requirements. Test out your abilities and learn which combinations work best.

If your pet seems to be doing poorly against an opponent or gets low on health, you can switch it out with another pet on your team. Only pets that are selected on your three Battle Pet Slots can be switched in and out of battle. Once the match is over you can change your active pet team.

Every battle you win will earn you experience for each pet that participated. Keep in mind that only pets that are alive can earn experience, so it is especially important that you try to avoid pet deaths. Experience gains are based on your pets level compared to the wild pet you are battling.

As you progress through each zone you will find yourself faced off against more than one wild pet. When this happens you will be unaware of the second and/or third pet on the opposing team until you actually engage in battle. Once in the Pet Battle screen you will be able to view the stats and family type of the other pets. You will only be allowed to attempt to capture one of the pets on the team.

Curious about which wild pet spawns in each of the zones? Head back to the Pet Battle Menu where you will find that each pet will list its source in the Pet Journal. Simply hover over the image of the pet and you will be able to see where you can find that particular pet.

Healing Your Pets

After a hard battle you may find that your pets are injured. While they will automatically regan 50% of the damage taken during the battle after it is over, it may not be enough. Don't panic, you have a few options to heal (and revive) your pets.

The Revive Battle Pets spell, learned while doing quests from the Pet Battle Trainer, will likely be the primary source of healing for your pets. Clicking this spell heals and resurrects all of the pets in your Pet Journal. This ability has an 8 minute cooldown and can only be used while you are out of combat.

If one of your pets has the misfortune of dying during battle it will need to be brought back to life before it can take part in another battle. If your Revive Battle Pets spell is on cooldown, this can be rather inconvenient. Thankfully, you have another option. Stable Master NPCs can heal and revive your pets...for a small fee. Unlike your Revive spell, there is no cooldown on the Stable Master's heal.

Stable Master

If your heal is on cooldown and you are no where near a Stable Master you have one final option; Battle Pet Bandages. This item is a random drop from the Sack of Pet Supplies that is obtained by defeating NPC Pet Tamers. Like the Revive spell, it will heal and resurrect all pets in your journal. The Battle Pet Bandage has no cooldown.

Player vs. Player Pet Battles

Players who wish to challenge other player’s pets in battle can do so in two different ways. The first of which is to take advantage of the “Find Pet Battle” button found by opening the Pet Journal. Once clicked this will match your pet (or combination of pets) up quickly with an opponent. Players can also choose to enter battle with nearby players by right clicking on their portraits and choosing the “Pet-battle Duel” option. Player owned pets cannot be captured, however, they may eventually be able to be traded.

Wild Pet Qualities

Pets that can be captured in the wild are not created equal, they come in varying qualities. These quality types are: Poor, Common, Uncommon, and Rare. At the present time there seems to be no way to determine what quality a wild pet will be. However, a good guess can be made by checking the wild pet’s health and stats. The higher the numbers the more likely that the wild pet is of a higher quality.

Upgrading Pet Quality

In Patch 5.1 Battle-Stones were introduced to the game. These items can be used to upgrade your pets directly to uncommon quality. There are currently two versions of each type of stone:

  • General – Can be used to upgrade any pet to the quality designated by that particular stone. These stones are bind-on-use and may be traded to other players.

  • Family Specific – These stones may only be used to upgrade a pet of the family corresponding to the stone. These stones are bind-on-pickup.

Battle-Stones can be obtained from the Tamer daily reward bag, or they can also be randomly awarded after defeating a wild pet. Defeating a player in a queued PvP match will also offer you a small chance to earn one of these stones. If you want a sure thing, Battle-Stones can be purchased for 1,000 Justice Points.

Pet Families

Every pet in the game is categorized into a distinct and unique family. The family that your particular pet belongs to will determine its abilities and bonuses. Each family type is strong against one type of damage and weak against another type. It is suggested that you have a variety of pets from various families in your Pet Battle arsenal to be able to combat these strengths and weaknesses with ease. During each battle players may choose three of six pet-based abilities, these abilities may deal a type of damage totally different than the pet’s family type. 

Below you will find a listing of the ten family types, examples of each, and their strengths and weaknesses.

Family Strength/Weakness Examples
Aquatic Undead/Flying Sea Horse, Turtle
Beast Humanoid/Mechanical Wolves, Bears
Critter Elemental/Beast Snakes, Rats
Dragonkin Flying/Humanoid Whelps
Elemental Mechanical/Aquatic Fire, Earth, Air
Flying Beast/Magic Owls, Moths
Humanoid Critter/Undead Murlocs, Rock Flayers
Magic Aquatic/Dragonkin Treants, Ooze
Mechanical Magic/Elemental Mechanical Chicken, Mechanical Squirrel
Undead Dragonkin/Critters Ghostly Skull

Pet Abilities

Each pet, has six abilities total. These abilities are placed in three separate tiers. Abilities may only be changed when not engaged in a Pet Battle, and only three abilities can actually be used once in combat. Pet abilities are not exclusive to their family type, for example it wouldn’t be unheard of for an Aquatic type pet to cast a Magic based ability.

Besides the six abilities they can use in battle, pets also come equipped with a passive ability specific to their family type. These passive abilities are listed below:

  • Aquatic - [Purity] -Duration of harmful damage over time effects if reduced.
  • Beast - [Enrage] - Deals 25% extra damage below half health.
  • Critter - [Elusive] - Breaks out of crowd control more quickly.
  • Dragonkin - [Execute] - Deals 50% additional damage to targets with less than 25% health.
  • Elemental - [Weather Immune] - Ignores all weather effects.
  • Flying - [Swiftness] - Gains 50% extra speed while above 50% health.
  • Humanoid - [Recovery] - Recovers 2% of their maximum health every time they attack.
  • Magical - [Spellshield] - Cannot be dealt more than 50% of their maximum health in one hit.
  • Mechanical - [Failsafe] - Comes back to life with 25% of their health once per battle.
  • Undead - [Damned] - Returns to life for one round after being killed.

Unusable Pets

While you will find that most pets in World of Warcraft are able to be used in the Pet Battle System, this is not always the case. While far and few between, there are a few pets out in the world that players will not be able to use in combat. While these pets are classified into one of the families mentioned above, they simply will not fight. The unusable pets in game are:

  • Argent Gruntling
  • Argent Squire
  • Guild Page
  • Guild Herald
  • Alliance Balloon
  • Horde Balloon
  • Darkmoon Balloon
  • Green Balloon
  • Yellow Balloon
  • Chi-Ji Kite
  • Dragon Kite
  • Tuskarr Kite
  • Yu-Lon Kite

Cleaning Out the Barn

Let's face it, with so many battle pets to capture, eventually you may find yourself overwhelmed with pets. Not to mention that your collection has a few restrictions set upon it:

  • You may only own a total of 650 pets (including duplicate pets).
  • You may only have 3 of any one pet (and only one of certain pets).

So in order to reign in the chaos you may need to do a little house cleaning. There are two ways you can rid yourself of extra pets; releasing and caging.

The first method, releasing, requires you to right click on a pets name in your journal. Here you can select the “Release” option. This will remove the pet from your collection. Hard to obtain or promotional companions will not have a release option unless you have reached the cap of three.

Pet Battle Cage

You may also choose to cage your pets if the option is available. Right click on the pets name and select the “Put in Cage” option. The pet will then appear in your inventory and will retain its stats and current level. Caged versions of pets can be traded and sold.

Pet Battle Tips and Tricks

  • The pet with higher Speed will use their attack first each round. Which pet will attack first is indicated by a golden box surrounding the pet’s portrait.
  • There is no timer between each turn, so take your time and contemplate your next move. There is no rush.
  • Some pets have buffs and debuffs that will continue on even if you change to another pet.
  • Switching to a different pet on your active pet team is possible during a fight, but it will consume a turn leaving you vulnerable.

Do you have any additional tips, tricks, or other important information pertaining to the Pet Battle System in Mists of Pandaria? Share them with us in the comment section below!

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