Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Arena Update

Arena Season 8 has been out for 3 weeks now. I have been involved in a 2v2, 3v3, and 5v5 team this season, which is interesting because I have to definitely alter not only my strategy, but my choice of trinkets based on the team. With 3 teams it sometimes gets crazy and I don't end up getting matches in for each team every week, but its been pretty fun so far. The fact that I entered this season having a decent chunk of last season's gear, plus a previous season of experience has been very valuable.

We've gotten in somewhat of a regular schedule by doing 2s and 3s on weekend mornings when we can, then getting in our 5s on Monday nights. Though I wonder if we should tweak this at all due to our biological clocks:

Apparently we should be getting in our arena matches between 2:30 and 3:30 pm! Hmmmm... Anyways, we probably had the most experience from last season on our 2s and 3s teams. We haven't done a ton of matches on either teams, but I am hopeful we can get more in (especially on our 3s team!). Though Wut, Muriel (Jess' disc priest), and I had an epic 3v3 match two weeks ago:

Yep, 23 freakin minutes... only to lose. Grrrr. I know their matchmaking value was higher than ours, but we should have won! Especially since their pally ended up rezing their priest after Wut already took the priest down. Double grrrrr!!!

Now I think our 5s team is just starting to get the hang of things this season. I remember the few matches we did last season... and they were just a painful bloody blur. But this season we are much more experienced and better geared. Last night we put our 5v5 team over the 1000 rating, so its been a great start.

I find that I get a good number of folks who land on this blog after searching for something like "resto druid arena" in Google. For those just starting out with arena, frustrated at your performance, it sucks, but the best advice I can give is to be patient. It really does take about a season of painful losses (and gearing up with arena level gear) to understand your abilities and how they mesh with your partners, how to communicate within your team, using line of sight, and how to quickly react to your opponents. I think a lot of teams give up too quickly in their first season, thinking they suck.

I've thought about trying to talk a bit about what I do in arena matches, and how my strategy may change in 2s vs 3s vs 5s. But there is so much of arena that is variable. A lot does depend on your partners. Are they melee? Casters? What kind of CC do they have? Then of course your tactics also are going to change based on the class composition of your opponents, then reacting to what they do.

But I can try to summarize a bit of what we do. In terms of our first choice targets, it seems to go priests, locks, rogues, then perhaps elemental shammys or hunters. I am so conscious of not leaving priests unattended. The ping sound of mana burns landing on me gives me nightmares.

Now in terms of what I do. In 2s (I play with Wut a ret pally), I am almost always the first target. So I typically throw up hots on myself, then get ready to trinket out of their first CC. If things get bad I cry out for Wut's bubble, but then work on cycloning the opposing healer so Wut can take their dps down. If we are against two dps, I try to root whatever melee dps there may be so they aren't beating on me. In 2s I tend to use trinkets with armor, stam, and resilience because its pretty likely they will be beating on me.

In our 3v3 team, we typically always run with a priest. And the priest is the first target almost all of the time. So I tend to switch out to pvp trinkets that max spell power here, but my first moves are a combination of keeping our priest healed up along with rooting and cycloning their healers.

And 5s? Well 5s are really a whirling dervish of craziness. But I tend to keep my spellpower pvp trinkets for our 5s team as well, and my first moves are typically focused on cycloning the opposing healer. Since we run our 5s team with at least two healers, its nice that I can spend a couple seconds getting the CC off knowing that the other healer will be healing as well.

How about you guys? How's Season 8 going for you so far?

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