You might have seen this beautiful mount, the Onyx Cloud Serpent. But how do you get it?
Well, in fact, it is ridiculously easy, and became even easier after patch 5.3.
Before you can get this mount, you have to be exalted with the Shado Pan. You will find the quest giver of the faction in Townlong Steppes, in Shado Pan Garrison (right between the two entrances to Isle of Thunder)
Originally, you needed to be Revered with the Golden Lotus before the dailies of Shado Pan unlocked. This prerequisite has been removed as of patch 5.3. It is not needed anymore. Everyone can just fly to the Shado Pan Garrison and find the dailies.
There are only five dailies which give 275 reputation each (but can be boosted to at least 550 and even more depending on racial, guild perk and the commendation).
It is a good idea if you have done as many quests in Townlong Steppes as possible while leveling, it will give a boost to your reputation, so you have a good start. I started at honored, so it really didn’t take a long time.
Do the dailies, the five of them. Then when you arrive to revered, buy the commendation, which gives you a 100% reputation boost. If you have a garden at the ranch and you are exalted with the Tillers, do the quest to remove Yoon from the ranch, so you get the ranch. He will be replaced by a post on which you can choose different reputation quests. It is about planting and collection vegetables (different kind depending on faction). It will take eight slot of your ranch but, when you harvest and fulfill the quest, it will give you 880 reputation (if you have the commendation, I don’t do this quests before I have it).
Getting exalted is pretty quick when you do it this way.
When exalted, you can buy the nice Shado Pan mounts (there are three of them) and they do have some pretty interesting trinkets and helmets, ilevel 483 that can be interesting.
But that is not all.
If you look around you, you will see that there is a new yellow exclamation point around. A new, nonrepeatable quest (Mogu Incursion) which is the first of a short quest chain which will bring you to the quest Surprise Attack which reward is a nice ceremony, the reins of the Onyx Cloud Serpent and an achievement: Defender of Gods.
Note that before you can ride any Cloud Serpent, the Onyx Cloud Serpent included, you need to have the ability Cloud Serpent Riding which can be obtained, together with a free mount, by becoming exalted with Order of the Cloud Serpent. I have managed to do that in a couple of hours, so it is not very difficult. You can read more about how to do that here (How to Get the Cloud Serpent Mount) and here (Speed Exalted with Order of the Cloud Serpent).
Enjoy your new mount