Beginning to battle the Celestial Tournament
Pandaria may be in the rear view mirror, but there’s one place that still shifts through time and space, unaffected by the events of Warlords of Draenor. Beyond the mists, on Timeless Isle, lies what remains to this day the ultimate challenge a tamer wishing to test their mettle can face: The Celestial Tournament.
The Tournament has both challenging battles and an unlock mechanism to contend with before a tamer can even begin. In order to be able to join in the scenario, you must have 15 pets leveled 25–you can’t just buy some pre-leveled off the auction house and go. This is to ensure that you know what you’re doing and aren’t about to tilt at windmills. A big part of the challenge is a restriction on healing or reviving your pets once you begin, to prevent you from wasting your own time if you’re trying to battle with a group of level nines. Also, this means that it’s virtually impossible to just Howl Bomb your way past all the battles you’ll be facing.
To enter the Tournament, queue up by talking to Master Li, in a little hut on the South West side of the Celestial Court on the Timeless Isle. It’s a scenario, which is how the healing restriction is enforced. If you have to heal your pets, you need to leave the scenario. Like other instances, leaving means you have to start from scratch. You also have to start over if you rage log mid-scenario, so take deep breaths. Luckily, The Celestial Tournament is a weekly quest which limits the number of times you have to suffer through it. Well, hopefully.
The Tournament’s structure is the same every week, though the players and battles will change. You’ll face a tough round of three challengers, commonly referred to as either Triads or the Undercard. If you can defeat all three, you’ll open up the four Celestial mini-bosses as separate battles for you to beat. After beating all seven in one week, you’ll get the reward from that weekly quest. That quest grants currency to buy, among other things, the four Celestial pets. They can’t be obtained any other way, so not only are they must-haves for that Monk alt, they’re extremely prestigious pets to have.
Week 1 – Chen, Wrathion and Taran Zhu
After all the accuracy changes in 6.0, Chen is one of the most confounding opponents in the Tournament because he has a pet with an accuracy debuff. Also annoying, this pet comes last in the lineup, so you have a steep climb before him, too. Most mechanicals with a bit of DPS will work to counter the first pet Tonsa pretty well, and the second, Chirps, just needs a high-DPS Beast and a tamer aware of that sleep to put it down. Brewly is the problem pet in this scenario. Sometimes I can defeat the whole thing with the high-DPS Beast from Chirps, and sometimes I can’t do much even with a pet tailored to destroy Brewly, like a frog with some healing. I have found that pets with the newer ability Rain Dance help this out quite a bit. Funnily enough, the new Left Shark pet is excellent in this battle.
Wrathion has an Undead pet and two dragons, all named after dragons from lore. Against Sindy, the Undead pet, I still have the best luck with Cricket-type pets, because of the heals and cocoon to avoid big damage. I also still opt for the Anubisath Idol against the two other dragons Alex and Dah’da, which still usually awards me a carry for Trunks and his Extremely Terrible Achievement if all the stars align properly. Alex, the first of the two has a lot of sustain from heals, while Dah’da pumps out ludicrous amounts of damage. In both situations, the Idol shines. Other Humanoid choices, like the Qiraji Guardling or the Kun-Lai Runt can work really well in the third slot if you don’t care about doing that achievement.
Taran Zhu was always the toughest of all the undercards for me. Between all the dodges and spins and healing and whatever else, this fight is always a huge pain. I’ve seen a team completely packed with Moths be extremely successful, oddly enough. The best team for me involves using a few of my high DPS Undead pets later in the fight, and a relatively low dps but high survivability, like grubs or maggots. I also just recently started using my Fel Pup here, from Tanaan Jungle, and it really cleans up. Because there are so many dodges, I tend to like a DOT-heavy moveset here, which isn’t uncommon at all among the undead pets. If you’re using Curse of Doom, however, time your attack carefully.
Week 2 – Wise Mari, Blingtron 4000 and Kiryn
Mari‘s pets have a few moves which are scary, until you know how to deal with them. His Carpe Diem has a high-DPS move, contingent on the weather. If it’s rainy, it will explode your entire team. If you change the weather from rain, it tickles. I use a Gilnean Raven with Darkness because the high Flying DPS will destroy that overgrown fish, but as long as your weather isn’t rain, you’ll be good. I swap out that Raven immediately though, because the next pet deals tons of magic DPS. Like nearly every other magic DPS with magic pet situation, the answer to defeating Spirus in short order is a Mechanical Pandaren Dragonling. Mari’s last pet River is also short work for the Dragonling. Though it’s an Elemental, it uses chiefly Aquatic attacks, so the Dragonling isn’t vulnerable. River also bundles a lot of DPS into a single turn with Whirlpool and Dive, which you can see coming relatively easily and use Decoy to avoid. No fuss, no muss. I keep a frog on the team just in case something goes awry, but this is also an okay setup for that Awfully Big Adventure.
The moves Blingtron‘s pets use are all about timing. Au uses Goldskin, a damage shield, so I like to use those turns to buff my pets, prime up a Pump, etc. Then, when Goldskin wears off, I can unleash with whatever big damage move I’ve selected. Alternate your heals or buffs and use those damage moves when Goldskin is down. Banks uses a mechanical DOT but is a Critter, so pick a non-Beast pet with some Beast moves (though Beast pets with very high throughput work well too). The last pet on the team is Lil B, and with a big damage shield, the same idea from Au works well here. You want a pet that can blitz Lil B down, but pets with a bit of setup (like those with Conflagrate) work out well. They can’t be complete glass cannons though, because Lil B is a Mechanical, which means he may be coming back for more. These burst pets make for a counter almost as flashy as Bling himself.
Kiryn’s Game of Thrones-themed team begins with winter coming. The Humanoid Nairn changes the weather to a Blizzard, then uses big damage in Nairn!, which is apparently the only word it knows. Because Nairn! uses Critter damage, I used a Magic pet with some Undead attacks to dispatch him quickly. Stormoen is countered very easily just by using a damage shield, though additional elemental DPS helps too. Summer can one-shot just about anything with Prowl to boost her damage dealt, and Dodge to make it difficult to avoid that incoming damage. The best tool for this job is the Darkmoon Zeppelin with Decoy. No fuss avoid, plus big Mechanical DPS. Done and done.
Week 3 – Sully, Ion Goldbloom and Lorewalker Cho
This battle is a bit difficult just because all of Sully‘s pets have off-family abilities, making it that much harder to find decent counters. Against Undead Socks, Critter damage is the way to go but you have to choose a non-Critter because of Infected Bite. I opted for a firefly-style pet, because Cocoon avoids are pretty nice, too. Monte is a Critter with entirely Beast offense, which is easier to counter because you can just use a high-DPS Beast pet. Rikki is Aquatic with all Beast offense, so just about any Flying pet really shines here.
Dr. Goldbloom’s pets are all references to Jurassic Park, which I can really get behind. Screamer has Feign Death, so it’ll be entering in and out of the fight occasionally. Because it’s a Flying pet with Flying attacks, those magic damage dealing Dragonkin we’ve seen so much in Draenor come in handy. When Trike inevitably enters, you’ll want to swap pets. Most Mechanicals do well here, but I like one with just a little healing to seal the deal. Screamer will re-enter, then exit again, leaving you with Chaos. All Chaos’s moves have very low accuracy but very high damage, making this another frustratingly RNG-heavy battle in a game which is increasingly built around decreasing RNG. If Chaos misses a lot, I can usually finish out this fight with just the two pets listed above, but having a non-Dragonkin to deal Dragonkin damage as an anchor is a big asset.
Cho‘s first pet is Flying, so Magic damage is the way to go here too. It combines Rip with Wild Magic, making this another great spot for that Emerald Whelpling. The second pet Patience requires a pet which isn’t a Dragonkin dealing Dragonkin damage, and since there are relatively few options for that, this triad may really stretch your stable to the limit. Lastly is Knowledge the Dragonkin. Solar Beam is the toughest bit of this fight. It’s quite difficult to catch first off, but after it’s used the first time, you can use a humanoid heavy hitter like the Anubisath Idol with Deflection every fifth round in order to head it off.
Some weeks will challenge you more than others, depending on your stable. The Wrathion week is quite hard on tamers who don’t have a lot of Humanoids at their disposal, for example, because they won’t be able to use those same Humanoids to take down Yu’la, so it may take some quick thinking on your part to successfully complete every week. Bring your best pets and get them in shape, if you think they might be up for the challenge.
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