WoW Pet Battle Guide: How To Beat Xufu and Zao in the Celestial Tournament (2024)

This entry was posted in WoW Pet Battles and tagged World of Warcraft on November 14, 2013 by Josh

The Celestial Tournament has made every pet battler rage-quit at least once. That’s why when one of our longtime listeners, Skruffy Zookeeper, wrote in asking for help beating two of its bosses–Xufu the tiger spirit and Zao the ox spirit–I knew we had to stick together and solve this puzzle.

I put together a quick guide that should help you figure out the core concepts behind taking these legendary spirit-beasts down. Even better, I used pets that we’ve already leveled for some of our other teams wherever possible. There’s definitely more than one way to beat these teams, though. Toss your own strategies in the comments to help out your fellow pet battlers!

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The Celestial Tournament

As a quick reminder, the Celestial Tournament is the instanced pet battle arena on Timeless Isle, where you have to beat a series of pet teams. You can use your entire pet stable, but you can’t ever revive your pets while in the scenario.

You have to fight people-tamers in the first stage, but in the second stage you fight the cubs of the four big spirits of Pandaria (who apparently have time to hang out and stomp on our pets while their continent falls apart).

The two pets we’re talking about today are in that second stage, and can be pretty tough — especially since you won’t have access to any pets that got injured in earlier fights. So choose carefully.

WoW Pet Battle Guide: How To Beat Xufu and Zao in the Celestial Tournament (2)

How To Beat Xu-Fu

The Strategy

Xu-Fu is that giant, white spirit tiger cub that’s the embodiment of ferocity or hairballs or something. The important thing is that he’s in the Beast family. Pop quiz! What breeds does that make him weak and strong against? That’s right: he takes extra damage from Mechanical Pets, but less from Humanoid.

Most of his attacks are Beast, and that means your Flying pets take less damage, and your critter pets take more.

So the ideal combination would be a Flying pet that deals Mechanical damage, because that would reduce the damage taken from Xu-Fu, and increase the damage you deal to it.

But does such a mythical Flying Mechanical monster even exist? Yes, but only one outside of the Trading Card Game loot. The Skywisp Moth, which has the coveted Call Lightning ability, which deals Mechanical damage and adds Mechanical damage to every attack. Unfortunately, it spawns only on high mountain areas of the Timeless Isle and can be hard to reach.

Try to get one if you can, but if you can’t our faithful friend the Tranquil Mechanical Yeti will do just fine. And I know you all have one because he’s been on a bunch of our pet teams so far! (The All-Stars Team, The Beasts of Fable Teams, The Mechanical Monsters Team.)

For the other two pets, you have options. Ideally, you want Flying pets that deal damage in small chunks, very often. Even more ideal, you also want that Flying pet to apply a debuff that increases damage taken, to get more out of that Call Lightning proc.

So the second key of this puzzle is Flock, which is the Flying-pet version of Stampede or Swarm. Basically a whole flock of the pets run over the enemy pet, dealing damage 2 times a turn, and applying a debuff that doubles all damage that source takes for two turns.

A lot of pets have Flock, but the one I prefer is Darkmoon Hatchling. We’ve used it as a third-wheel pet in the past, and it was instrumental in our teams designed to kill the Beasts of Fable.

It’s so valuable against these big-health pets because it has Predatory Strike and Trample, two hits that deal bonus damage on high-health targets like these spirit beasts.

So grab the Darkmoon Hatchling or any other pet with Flock, most of the Turkey and chicken pets have it.

The Team

1. Skywisp Moth / Tranquil Mechanical Yeti
2. Darkmoon Hatchling / Any pet with Flock
3. Any other pet with Flock


Xufu has 3 abilities:
Moonfire: Big beam of Magic damage that changes the weather to Moonlight. Moonlight increases all healing by 25% and increases magic damage by 10%.
Spirit Claws: A big Beast punch that always hits when the weather is Moonlight. 20% miss chance normally.
Feed: A big Beast punch that heals Xu-Fu for the damage delt.

  • 1. Start with your Call Lightning pet. (Ideally the slowest breed of Skywisp Moth (Balanced), but the Tranquil Mechanical Yeti will work too).
  • 2. Xu-fu will use Moonfire, its Weather ability first, so don’t use Call Lightning if you’re the faster pet, or else it’ll just get overwritten. Do a simple punch if you’re fast, then do Call Lightning next.
  • 3. It will then use Spirit Claws for a couple turns. Bring out Darkmoon Hatchling or your other Flock pet.
  • 4. Start Flocking, and don’t stop til your pet is dead!
  • 5. After it dies, bring the Call Lightning pet out again and re-apply the weather spell and blast it until that dies.
  • 6. Then bring out your third pet and Flock, Flock, Flock til Xu-Fu dies.


1. Replace the second Flock pet with Darkmoon Zeppelin and use its Decoy to block Xu-Fu’s heals near the end, and use Explode to kill it. You just need to make sure another one of your pets is alive before you self-destruct. Or else you’ll lose too.

2. Replace the second Flock pet with Darkmoon Tonk or another mechanical pet with Ion Cannon. It’s a big burst of damage that might be all you need near the end.

WoW Pet Battle Guide: How To Beat Xufu and Zao in the Celestial Tournament (3)

How to Beat Zao

The Strategy

Zao is the ghostly ox with luscious glowy white hair and a sullen attitude that the lady-oxes no doubt love.

Like Xu-Fu, he’so a Beast pet with mostly Beast attacks that doesn’t hit us often and likes to heal himself, which means that most of our strategy here will be the same as it was vs XuFu. We want to get Call lightning on the table asap, and then use pets that will apply a damage debuff and attack often.

You could probably use the exact same team for this, but I’ll build an alternative team here to give you options — and also because you can’t reuse pets in the Celestial Tournament, remember? This team will focus on dealing maximum damage as quickly as possible, Flying damage reduction be damned!

We’ll take the Tranquil Mechanical Yeti or Skywisp Moth again here, so they can apply Call Lightning. If you have the Sunreaver Mico-Sentry, though — bring that instead. You can do call Lightning and apply a DoT to proc it for bonus damage.

Instead of Flyers in the backup, we’ll bring along our trusty Zandalari Raptors (The Dinosaur Team, The Beasts of Fable Team). We’ve used the Kneebiter a bunch already, and the Anklerender will also work this time. We should be able to guess why he’ll be great here. Black Claw is a debuff attack that adds 144 damage to all hits the enemy takes. That work great with Call Lightning.

(If you’re looking for alternatives, Wild Magic, Corrosion, and Exposed Wounds do something similar, but are weaker and don’t come attached to any great pets for this fight.)

Because what makes these Zandalari raptors so amazing is their ability to follow up their Black Claw debuff with a double-damage-taken debuff and then proc it a ton, thanks to Hunting Party.

The Team

Sunreaver Micro-Sentry / Tranquil Mechanical Yeti
Zandalari Kneebiter
Zandalari Anklerender


Zao has 3 abilities:
Niuzao’s Charge: A huge punch that takes one turn to power up before attacking
Trample: A punch that also deals damage based on your pet’s maximum health
Wish: A one-turn-delayed heal that heals for 50% of his maximum health

  • 1. Start with your Call Lightning pet.
  • 2. Zao spends his first turn charging up a big attack. Do a regular punch or apply a DoT.
  • 3. Zao’s next attack will take a HUGE chunk of your HP bar out, and may even kill you.
  • 4. Cast Call Lightning, then immediately swap to your follow-up pet.
  • 5. Zao will heal itself this turn, so use the opportunity to apply a debuff, Black Claw if you’re using the raptors.
  • 6. It’ll start punching again, but so will you. Use Hunting Party, and it should be dead before your second pet drops.
  • 7. If it does drop, swap to your Call Lightning pet again, re-apply the weather effect, and bring in the third wheel to finish it off clean.


1. If you’re having trouble, try bringing in the Tainted Waveling for your third wheel. It’ll only be good while Call Lightning is in effect, but it applies 3 DoTs that all tick separately, and one of them even adds damage to all other hits taken by the enemy. That’ll add up quickly.

2. And of course, you could always go for the Cogblade Raptor — sort of the poor-man’s Zandalari Kneebiter. It can apply a similar damage debuff and has a Mechanical attack that’ll proc multiple times per turn (and all of its breeds are faster than Zao), which is always good with Call Lightning up.


The Question

There’s no community question this week, because, well, no one sent in any! Send your pet battle questions to me on Twitter, or via email, and I’ll answer it on the show!

The Review

Zero: “As an avid WoW Podcast listener and Pet Battler, I am loving this podcast. Josh does a wonderful job of giving detailed information about pet battles, as well as making it easy for both a novice pet battler and expert battlers. I plan to keep subscribed to this podcast and email any help I can offer to keep the content fresh.”

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WoW Pet Battle Guide: How To Beat Xufu and Zao in the Celestial Tournament (2024)
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