Pet Battles were somewhat controversial when they were announced as one of the new features of Mists of Pandaria, but now a lot of people (Blizzard included) have been blown away by how popular they have become. The problem now is that every new patch also needs something new for pet battlers to do, and while the additions of dueling and elite pets were nice in previous patches, they felt like they probably should have been there from the start. In patch 5.4, pet battlers will be able to access the Celestial Tournament, which is one of the many new features accessible on the Timeless Isle.
However, not just any tamer will be eligible to enter. The tournament has the steep entry condition of 15 max level pets (originally it required 25), but you will probably want more than 15. Why? Because this isn’t just a typical pet battle. Once you decide to enter the tournament, you’ll be whisked away into a scenario instance where you will not be allowed to heal or revive your pets outside of battle. Oh, and the difficulty will chew you up and spit you out. In it’s current form it’s nigh impossible to simply walk in with a hodge-podge team of your three favorite pets and have success, and already “shopping lists” of must-have pets are appearing, especially for the latter stages.
Some experienced tamers are recommending choosing as many hard-hitting pets as possible and going straight for the win. Other tips include levelling up in excess of 50 pets, so that you can have more chances at a) learning an encounter and b) getting a few lucky misses.
There is a plus-side to this great difficulty: great rewards. Completing the tournament will award you with one Celestial Coin per week, which you can put towards the following:
- Chi-Chi, Hatchling of Chi-ji (3 coins) – Flying Pet
- Zao, Calfling of Niuzao (3 coins) – Beast Pet
- Xu-Fu, Cub of Xuen (3 coins) – Beast Pet
- Yu’la, Broodling of Yu’lon (3 coins) – Dragonkin Pet
- Marked Flawless Battle-Stone (3 coins)
- 25 Battle Pet Bandages (1 coin)
- Pet Treat (1 coin)
For your first completion you’ll also be awarded an extra two coins as a quest reward, meaning you can pick up your first Celestial pet in the first week.
Good luck, tamers!