Thursday, September 24, 2009

K in arenas!

A while back I had listed a couple of things in game that I still wanted to do. One thing on this list was trying the whole tanking business, which I started a couple weeks ago. Another item on the list that I can now cross off was arena-ing. Hmmm is that the proper verb? Or is it just referred to as "doing arenas"? Anyways, I digress.

Last week was the first full week where I did a bunch of 2v2 and 3v3 arena matches. I did 2v2 with two set ups. I did a couple of matches with Terrondris a rogue, then a bunch of matches with Wutan, a ret pally. Now I didn't end up doing that many 2v2 matches with T, but we went 3-3 which I thought was decent for the first week. With Wut, we ended up going 9-7 and won a bunch of matches that we should have lost (as surmised by the match rating and the other team losing points). I think Wut and I definitely had the advantage that a resto druid-ret pally is a very strong 2v2 team.

In Wut and I's 2v2 teams, there seemed to be a recurring theme in the matches that we did lose. I don't recall us ever beating a team that had a rogue on their side. F'in rogues! They'd search me out as I was prowled and just mow me down. Another interesting point of the 2v2 matches was that some of them were long. I mean damn long. I remember one 2v2 that T and I did against a priest and a lock. They just kept fearing us. We finally got one of them down, but the other one kept fearing us as well. I was like "Damn it! Accept defeat already!"

We also did a number of 3v3 matches with different team setups: 2 different combos of druid, pally, rogue (2 different rogues, same druid and pally - me and Wut) and druid, pally, shammy. I think the #1 rule we learned in the 3v3 teams was the whole focus issue. You have to make sure you're going for the same target.

So I am still pretty new to this whole arena business, but two quick tips:

1. You have to be prepared. And by this I mean resilience gear. Yes, definitely the entire team needs to have resilience, but as the healer for your team, I would say it may be even more critical for you because the other team often comes for you first. I am currently at 818 resilience, which is pretty good and gives me a bit of a cushion. Now you can grind the honor to buy the gear, but don't forget that the wintergrasp vendor has a good deal of stuff you can buy with WG marks.

2. Get one of those trinkets that removes movement impairing effects from the wintergrasp vendor. Its critical. You're going to be using it every single match.

Here's what I did in my 2v2 matches (remember, I'm still a scrub at this). I started out prowled with T or used Wut as my meatshield. With Wut, I'd wait until one of them made a move on Wut first. If I couldn't see their second member, I'd try to wait for them to become visible before I would unprowl and turn into tree. I would then look at my team mate's health and/or whether they had some CC on them and decide whether I would throw a hot on them before or after CCing whichever opposing team member my team mate was not going after.

Now in 3v3 matches, I found that I did not have enough time to put out my CC as a first move. As soon as I made the decision to pop out of prowl, I had to heal Wut and or T. Then I would gauge what was going on before CCing someone. Cyclone is my CC of choice, but I definitely used entangling roots a bit more in the 3v3 matches to avoid the whole diminishing returns thing.

We're still pretty new to this whole arena thing, but I am looking forward to the future weeks and getting better at this!

Now those of you who are arena veterans, I have some questions. Does your team attack or react? And by this I mean is it better to make the first move or wait until the other side makes their first move? Secondly, on 3v3 teams, do you always go for a dps or healer first on the opposing side? Sometimes we went for their healer first, sometimes we went for a dps first, both with different results. Does all of this just depend on the teams you face and your team makeup?


  1. I can only speak of my experiences back at level 70, and only as a feral druid, but to answer your questions: Yes, most of it depends on the makeup of both teams.
    I mostly played double feral druid (for teh lol's) or feral/feral/resto (for even more lol's) and we mostly prowled around looking what the other team consisted of.
    If you have a fully stealthed team on your own, you should get the first hit on the enemies, mostly by either burning down the enemy that dies the fastest (like holy priests, unstealthed rogues/druids, non-resto-shamans). That way you either kill that one (big advantage) or put serious pressure on their team to get defensive, which is always what you should aim for.

    When you know that you won't be able to put serious pressure during a short amount of time from the first contact, you should probably stay defensive and let them make the first move, and try to wear them out.

    As for yourself, K, why don't you pounce one of your enemies at the beginning while you're still stealthing around? It's a free stun, and you can probably use the combo points to later maim that enemy, stunning him again :D

  2. I'm also rather new in this Arena thingy but it´s really fun =)

    My 2vs2 setup is either a d.warlock and me as a r.druid or a ele.shammy and me.
    I have around 1200 rating now I have meet a brickwall that i can´t pass. As you say those F´ing rouges is a pain in the butt and it´s really hard for the lock to get them down. Same goes for the warriors. The ele.shammy/r.druid is a big fail. It´s even harder to put out that much damage to get something down.

    In my 3vs3 we go as r.druid / d.warlock and ele.shammy. This is a rather intresting setup and it work rather good tbh. The first thing we do is often to blow all cooldowns to get their healer down. IF it isnt a h.pala that is. Those damn bubbles... :P If that happens we thy to nuke a high dps class down. Either a rouge or a warrior. The rating isn´t that high yet (around 1200) but i think we can get abit higher. We never do defensive cuz we are taking alot of damage. We just rush in =)

    As Eglador says try get a free stun in on someone. Sometimes (or rather often in my setup) it forces the player to use thier trinket. If the figth is long you can also try the bearform/bash. A druid have many forms. =)


  3. @Eglador: so I tried the whole pouncing thing... uh I totally suck at it. :) But I'll keep trying to get better.

    @Drakeboy: We went up against a resto druid last night that also turned into bear to bash me. I totally forgot about that! Thx!

  4. I play a disc and a RDruid with 2 different teams. I actually dont reccommend prowling off the start, if we feel the hidden partner is a druid we will immediatly swap to him when he pops as a tree with no hots is an easy target.

    I start out in full tree and keep hots going from the start. With thorns, hots and abolish poison one rogue will have a hard time getting you low on hp.

    With a ret pally you will have trouble with fearing teams but your strength is against 2x dps. Just remember that there are counter classes and have your pally fast with dispelling fear.

    Cyclone kills, you can prevent mana gains like innervate/fiend/manatide/plea just by cycloning. Also you can cyclone a target to let hots fall off or to prevent a heal (sometimes I will cyclone someone at 30% if i see their partner lining up a big heal and i cant prevent him from casting (dimishing returns or bubbles/totems).

  5. for the desicions on who to attack it really comes down to your comp.

    I play with a war (were about 2k atm)

    Pressure is the goal, if you are putting out more pressure you will almost always win against a healer/dps team.

    against most teams you need to swap targets. Abusing cyclone/repentance and hoj will give you a lot of time to bring someone down. If there is a priest you need to avoid him like the plauge. if he gets a fear and his partner blinds or w/e your ret will be forced to bubble. If they dont kill your ret they will mana burn you so using really good positioning (pillars and etc) try to be able to heal your partner and have a safe place to hide from them. shift to bear or travel and run if he mana burns.

    The other healers anrt as scary but can be troubling, a shammys purge can ruin your heals just as well as a disc's dispell. Keep the totems killed and pressure their dps, a shammy will go oom if you kill his totems and cyclone often.

    Druids, you need to cyclone him to drop his hots, have your ret stun right after and get him low. if he tries to cyclone you your ret can repentance him, he needs to be fast.

    Pallies are hard...we usually try to kill their dps and make them late for heals (cycloning and etc).
    The hard part is you cant root their partner easily, though I will los the pally and root their partner when i can to force the pally to run after.

    Keep in mind i play with a war and the MS is a big factor in us winning the pressure race. Swapping targets and cycloning is how we do it.

    the best thing to have is good communication. call every time you cyclone or root, call when you are cc'd or need help. Use addons like Gladius to show more info.