Pandaren Spirit Tamer #1: Earth

Eh, who needs a map anyways? It's sort of on a shelf between the Horde shrine and the Palace. Yeah, right there!

Eh, who needs a map anyways?
It’s sort of on a shelf between the Horde shrine and the Palace.
Yeah, right there!

The first Spirit Tamer may be conveniently located, but it’s not the easiest to start off with. It took me awhile to unravel this fight, but once you understand how it works, it’s not so bad.

Meet the Tamer

Thundering Earth Spirit? You guys all look the same to me...

Thundering Earth Spirit?
You guys all look the same to me…

Again with the research! Only instead of Mad Scientist Laboratory, I’m going with Alien Invasion? Still these guys look pretty cool, as does the pet they give you. This one is probably the most boring of the four, but it’s still not bad!

Meet Pandaren Earth Spirit. Watch out, he stuns!

Meet Pandaren Earth Spirit.
Watch out, he stuns!

Pandaren Earth Spirit is usually the opening pet. And he’s very annoying. First he stuns you with Crystal Prison, then his next attack (Rupture) hits very hard and has a chance to stun. Finally, he just lobs rocks at you until his other attacks are off cooldown. Before the last patch, he actually had a chance of stunning your pet twice in a row. So annoying.

The counter to both the stun and the massive amounts of Elemental damage he does, is to use a Critter. One that does Aquatic damage (which would be a Snail) is very good, arguably the best option as its Absorb will let you have a fair amount of health at the end of it. If you haven’t leveled a snail yet, you can do well with a Critter that has a speed > 300 or some kind of speed up ability. This keeps you from losing even one turn to the stun.

I originally started out with a speed breed Brown Marmot with Burrow and Crouch. You can also get by with a Rabbit or a Prairie Dog type that has a slower speed and Adrenaline Rush. It can even be an advantage if you time your Burrow so that your speed buff wears off while you are underground as the Elemental will miss both attacks.

Another pet I had great success with was an Armadillo Pup with Thrash, Roar and (especially) Powerball. The speed increase + the Beast attack allowed me to dispatch the first pet and get in a few good hits on his second pet, which made things much easier.

Meet Sludgy. He's a bit of a pain.

Meet Sludgy.
He’s a bit of a pain.

Sludgy is a Critter that does Magic and Aquatic damage (just like an Ooze). I see what they mean about “reasearch purposes.” as you can’t really find a pet like that in the rest of the game. Sludgy starts out with Expunge which hits like a truck, but has a moderate chance to miss. If you’re using anything other than the Snail as your first pet, this often kills it. Way to take one for the team little guy!

The best counter for this is a Mechanical Pet that does Beast damage. A Mechanical Squirrel with Thrash, Overtune and Wind-Up is my usual choice. While you can do well with the other Mechanical pets that do Beast damage (like Fluxfire Feline) having a Wind-Up in your pocket to open with on the next pet makes things that much easier.

Meet Darnak the Tunneler. One last gimmick they throw at you.

Meet Darnak the Tunneler.
Gimmick Rating: High +

Darnak the Tunneler or as I prefer to think of him, Gimmick the Wonderpet is a Beast pet that does Elemental damage. So that means he hits for a ton, and hits extra hard below 50% health. He’ll beat up Mechanical pets with his Elemental attacks, and he also does enough Beast damage with Burrow that you have to be careful using a Critter pet.

A Mechanical pet on a suicide mission can finish him off, but you need to make sure and have another pet left over or else the fight ends as a “draw” which really means you lose. That’s where having your previous pet get a few good hits in can make all the difference.

You can also use a Critter as long as you make sure and time any avoidance abilities, like Dodge or Crouch, to avoid his Burrow so that it doesn’t kill you. His Stone Skin also makes it bad to use small attacks like Flurry or Swarm, so you’re stuck with mostly basic Critter attacks.

The only good news is his Stone Rush does a fair amount of damage to himself, so you can get by just outlasting him with a “Tanky” pet like a Crab or a Spawn of Onyxia as long as you have avoidance abilities and time them right.

In summary, this guy has three annoying pets that have an unusual mix of abilities. You need to have an answer for each pet if you want to win. Even the right strategy can sometimes get derailed by RNG. The fight is doable, but you need to come prepared!

Well, that wasn't so bad. Was it? Okay maybe it was.

Well, that wasn’t so bad. Was it?
Okay maybe it was.

Take Two

I bet you thought I wouldn’t do one of these! Well it really is possible to do this for leveling purposes without too much frustration. I wouldn’t recommend bringing a leveling pet in the single digits, as it needs to take at least one good hit, but Level 10 and up is okay.

First, you will need any of the three Critter pets to make this work. I’m sure someone with Uber-Leet skillz could break out a special pet and do this, but they’re teh awesome-sauce already and aren’t likely to be reading this anyways!

Second, you likely need a leveled up Mechanical Squirrel. I haven’t tried it with a Fluxfire or one of those others, so it might work for you, but the combination of Overtune and Wind-Up work very well in finishing off the last two pets.

You likely need to open with your Critter. If it’s a Snail, take the first stun, send out your Acidic Goo and then Dive. If your Dive hits, the Elemental will have just lost ~40% of its health. Suddenly, things seem like EZ-mode! If it doesn’t hit, just keep going with your normal rotation as your Absorb should keep you in the fight long enough to get another Dive going.

If you’re using an Armadillo, you likely want to Powerball twice so that you’re faster than both the first and second pets, then break out your Roar and Thrash the Elemental to death. Depending on RNG, your pet may have very low health, but it should get the first Thrash off on the second pet before it gets killed.

The strategy for a Marmot or Prairie Dog is similar to the Armadillo. Depending on whether you decide to use Crouch or not, you may have more health or less, but you’re not likely to get even one hit on the second pet unless its Expunge misses. Don’t worry about it as your Squirrel can take that pet.

Your Squirrel is Uber-Leet!

Your Squirrel is Uber-Leet!

Here’s where things get interesting, because you need to decide exactly when to swap in your leveling pet. If your pet can survive Creeping Ooze, you can go ahead and swap it right in after your Critter pet. Otherwise, you’ll want to swap it in after the Tamer uses Creeping Ooze but before Expunge comes off of cooldown.

Now it’s time for your Mechanical Squirrel to do its thing! You want to start with Wind-Up then you’ll go with Overtune. After that, you should use Thrash and kill that weird Critter pet!

Important: at no time when fighting the Critter pet should you let your speed buff fall off! Always renew it at 1 Turn left. This way when the third pet comes up, you are able to drop a Wind-Up on it before it has the chance to put its shield up!

Open with a Wind-up on that third pet. You should then immediately charge your Wind-Up again. Gimmick the Wonderpet will burrow at the same time. Your speed buff will fall off when it is underground, which is great because, when it comes up, you’ll have a Wind-Up to the face to greet it! Sure the Burrow may kill your pet first, but that’s what the Mechanical Fail-Safe is for!

spirit tamer 1 - failsafe

Gimmick will likely hit you in the face with a ton of Elemental damage on its next attack, but its health will be so low that it kills itself in the process! Screenshot your level 10 pet standing over three dead “Legendary” pets and collect your goodie bag!

Go Frosty! It's yer birthday! Go Frosty!

Go Frosty! It’s yer birthday! Go Frosty!

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