One of the joys of getting into a new expansion is seeing a huge, lovely, empty map in front of you, containing a wealth of new experiences and items. One of the annoyances of getting into a new expansion is seeing a huge, horrible, empty map in front of you, containing a wealth of new experiences and items that you have absolutely no idea how to find. If you're me, you will eventually find yourself on a ledge somewhere in the Jade Forest, looking in silence over a cliff with a 2,000-foot drop with the knowledge that you can't fly off of it and that your hearthstone is down. This is bad.
I put this article together for that reason, because when I got into the Mists of Pandaria beta, I was desperate to find the new cloud serpent mounts but didn't actually know how to find them. (I did, however, "find" the bottom of the cliff. Good for me.) Hopefully, this will help you speed up the process a bit on your end, although we're still not 100% sure where all of these mounts will eventually be found.
This is what we know of the cloud serpent mounts as of the most recent beta build. Final information will, as always, be subject to anything Blizzard decides to do before the content goes live.
Order of the Cloud Serpent
You'll find the Order of the Cloud Serpent at the Arboretum in the Jade Forest (the east central portion of the zone), which will be your first quest area in Mists of Pandaria. While you'll glimpse these guys during ordinary quests around level 85 and 86, you won't be able to start the quest line to get your own cloud serpent until level 90.
While they are the source of only some of the cloud serpent mounts in Pandaria, you'll need to reach exalted with them no matter what, as they train Cloud Serpent Riding. This is necessary if you want to ride any of the serpent mounts from Pandaria.
- Where can you find them? On the chance that you don't run into them at all in the Jade Forest (which is highly unlikely), you'll find a representative of the Order in your faction's capital city in the Vale of Eternal Blossoms. (You won't be able to reach the Vale until level 88 after a quest at the Temple of the White Tiger in Kun-Lai Summit. However, the quest line will eventually take you to your faction's city.) The representative will give you a breadcrumb quest to go back to the Jade Forest and talk to the Order.
- Subject of the achievement Order of the Cloud Serpent
- How do you get their serpent mounts? At 90, you'll be offered the chance to start a quest line similar to that of the old Netherwing grind. At exalted, they will train you to ride all of the continent's cloud serpents, and the quest line itself will reward you with the Azure Cloud Serpent, Jade Cloud Serpent, or Golden Cloud Serpent, depending on which of the drakes you decided to raise along the way.
The Sha of Anger, a new world boss in the Kun-Lai Summit, drops the Reins of the Heavenly Onyx Cloud Serpent. As of the most recent beta build, he has 261 million HP, nasty burst damage, and the unfortunate habit of turning all nearby hostile mobs into much stronger and angrier versions of themselves. Have fun with that!
- Where can you find him? Finding him is hideously easy. Killing him is, for the moment, another matter. The Sha is an enormous, angry, bellowing world boss with a chance to spawn in one of four locations in Kun-Lai. Whenever someone attacks him and dies, he teleports to another location. He's designed for a full raid of 25 players.
- Subject of the achievement Settle Down, Bro
- Drops Reins of the Heavenly Onyx Cloud Serpent
Not surprisingly, new dungeon and raid meta-achievements in Mists of Pandaria will reward new mounts:
- Glory of the Pandaria Hero will reward the Reins of the Crimson Cloud Serpent.
- Glory of the Pandaria Raider will reward the Reins of the Heavenly Crimson Cloud Serpent.
The August Celestials
Like the Order of the Cloud Serpent, the August Celestials are a new reputation faction in MoP. Unfortunately, I've been at work on Lorewalker and Order of the Cloud Serpent reputation on the beta, so I don't know very much about the Celestial reputation grind as yet.
- Where can you find them? You'll run into some of the Celestials themselves on your way up the quest ladder in Pandaria, but your first encounter with the faction itself probably won't be until level 88 at the earliest. Like all of the other reputation factions in Pandaria, they'll have a representative at your faction's capital city in the Vale of Eternal Blossoms.
- Subject of the achievement The August Celestials
- How do you get their serpent mounts? At exalted, they'll sell you the Reins of the Thundering August Cloud Serpent and the Reins of the Thundering Ruby Cloud Serpent, but they won't come cheap. Expect to shell out 8,000 gold for the privilege of riding one, and double it if you want both.
The Elegon encounter in Mogu'shan Vaults will have a chance to drop the Reins of the Astral Cloud Serpent. Unknown is whether the drop is a possibility on all encounters or simply on heroic. Historically, such mounts tend to be reserved to heroic mode, but in Cataclysm we saw a more interesting iteration wherein the Smoldering Egg of Millagazor was a rare drop off normal Ragnaros but a guaranteed drop off the heroic version. That might be the case here too.
The Shado-Pan provide an indirect route to another cloud serpent mount. It's not quite as easy as reaching exalted with them and forking over some gold.
- Where can I find the Shado-Pan? You'll run into members of the Shado-Pan as early as the Valley of the Four Winds, but you probably won't start building reputation with them until level 90. As with the other factions, they'll have a representative in the Vale of Eternal Blossoms, but most of their related quests are in the Townlong Steppes.
- Subject of the achievement There are two related achievements. You'll need to be exalted with the Shado-Pan to access the quest related to the cloud serpent, and you'll get Defender of the Gods for doing the quest itself.
- How do you get the mount? You'll have to be level 90 and exalted with the Shado-Pan in order to access this quest at all, but Surprise Attack! in the Townlong Steppes awards the Reins of the Onyx Cloud Serpent. (This is not the same as the Heavenly Onyx, which drops from the Sha of Anger.)
The Heavenly Jade Cloud Serpent (also known as the Thundering Jade Cloud Serpent; there's some disagreement as to how Blizzard has actually named the more elaborate cloud serpent mounts) will be available from guild vendors for 3,000 gold as a reward for clearing the first tier of raid content in MoP.
I can't find where the Heavenly/Thundering Golden Cloud Serpent or Heavenly/Thundering Azure Cloud Serpents are obtained. Because they seem to be the more epic versions of the mounts awarded by the Order of the Cloud Serpent, they might be related to something you do for the Order -- or not (seeing as to how the Heavenly/Thundering Jade is a guild achievement and in no way connected to the Order). Anyone know what's going on with these two mounts?
Enjoy working on achievements? The Overachiever is here to help! Count on us for advice on patch 4.3 achievements, our guide to Mountain O' Mounts, and a good, hard look at what's wrong with archaeology and how Blizzard could fix it.