About a month ago Mr and Mrs WoW commented on a post of mine asking whether I have a strategy when it comes to pet battles. Then this week I got asked a similar question by Trolling Azeroth:
So, I've decided to put my strategy down in writing. It most definately isn't the most efficient method but it may be useful for someone.
I'd like to point out that there's a whole sub-community of WoW blogs out there that deal specifically with pets, battles, strategy etc. I like to read the work of Liopleurodon, Quintessence, Kaitz, Ross and Ratshag amongst others. Ross has even got leveling from 1-25 down to four fights but it does require you to have some specific items and pets.
My strategy is fairly simplistic. It doesnt require any certain pets or classes to work. I wasn't very tactical in picking the pets that I leveled initially (I'm still not) so guides that require a level 25 pet with specific abilities or of a specific family don't really work for me. Similarly it doesn't require the Safari Hat or Pet Treats to work - but these will help. It does however assume that you have atleast done the starter quests and have opened up all three 'active pet' slots within the pet battle journal (shift+p).
Basically I tend to level by battling the daily tamers. They reward awesome xp and some even reward Sack of Pet Supplies so you may get some Battle Pet Bandages possibly even some battle stones along the way. To help keep track of which tamers you've battled and which you're yet to I'd recommend the addon Daily Tamer Check but it isn't essential.
Now as you can only battle these daily tamers once a day it does limit how much you can achieve in a single day. But you can speed things up with random battles in the wild and if you have some higher level pets to help boost your little'ens.
I tend to level three pets from level 1 to around level 10-15 at the same time. It requires a little bit of wild battling and a fair few tamers; Julia Stevens, Old MacDonald, Lindsay, Eric Davidson, Steven Lisbane and Bill Buckler and/or their Horde equivalents.
Most times you can get to a pet to level 10 without battling Steven Lisbane & Bill Buckler. If you want to speed things up you could bring in a higher level pet to offer a boost. This can also be helpful if you're struggling with a particular mechanic or team - after all we're not specifically picking pets that will do extra damage versus specific opponents.
You can continue to level three pets together if that's what you want to do - like you would the first time you're leveling through. Personally once I've got some pets to around levels 12-15 I pick one to level to 25.
Lydia Accoste and Stone Cold Trixxy both have teams of level 19 pets. I find them to be especially good for boosting a pet from the early teens to high teens - aslong as said pet doesn't die. I'd pair the 12-15ish pet with two higher level ones, say around level 22-23 or even 25 if you wish. Here some minor strategy can be useful - whether it's having a pet with a heal or picking a specific class - but not 100% necessary.
Ofcourse there's other tamers you can battle - such as those in Outlands and Northrend (see Battle Pet Tamers: Outland and Battle Pet Tamers: Northrend).
The Final Part
A level 15+ pet paired with two level 25s can often survive and win battles in Pandaria. This earns big xp and can really speed up leveling. Hence, this is what I tend to do. But if you've only got one level 25 and then a bunch of level 15s it probably won't work.
If anything I'd say level a pet as much as you can up to Lydia & Trixxy before moving on to Pandaria.
The Vale of Eternal Blossoms has a lot of pets around and within close proximity to the faction cities (where you'll find Stables for pet revivals). This is why it's my favourite place to caarry out the final stage of leveling a pet.
For a real xp boost you can take a leveling pet and battle the Battle Pet Tamers: Pandaria but I find this normally results in a lot of frustration and death... unless you have the right classes to hand (by this I mean ones that will do extra damage against the opponents team).
i.e. Courageous Yon has Beast, Critter and Flying pets. The best pet families to take these on are Mechanical, Beast and Magic respectively. If you have two level 25s from these family and are leveling a pet of the third family then why not give Yon a go.
Rinse and repeat.
There it is. My strategy for leveling pets. It's not the most efficient way but it works for me. And hopefully for people who only want to dedicate a small amount of time each day to battling and/or don't care much forward planning.