We might be jumping into Meg’s blogging area, but so be it! Lunchmoneyy and I jumped into the Arena last night to see how Holy Paladin/Hunter would fare against the field. Given that it was the first night there was a wide range of class compositions to be had. Some good, some bad. Some with good players, some with bad players. I am fairly confident that at least some of the good players thought we were the bad players.
We didn’t do nearly as well as some of our guildies, like these guys. But by the end up the night we pulled out 1550. Now at face value that is a pretty awful rating. But provided it’s the first time we have ever played together I can be OK with that. But it was quick to see what kind of compositions we were going to repeatedly run into through out the season.
I find that sometimes I am far too aggressive for my own good. As was Lunchmoneyy. Too frequently we found ourselves in a pile of dirt after deciding we wanted to go toe-to-toe with our opposition with undesirable results. Our focus, as games went on, was to consciously make the defensive effort. Apply Viper Sings and Chimera Shots, trapping melee, repeated use of Hammer of Justice. Things like that. There were some trends last night in these teams, which merits discussion.
Teams with Mages proved to be exceptionally challenging. Their burst is so high and Iceblock, as with previous seasons, puts a damper on bursting them down. Teamed up with a Death Knight proves to be fairly devastating due to their high number of snares and immobilizing effects as well as both classes being able to interrupt or Silence a caster/healer. And for Hunters, having no magic defense really really hurts us in this category. Making sweet love to the pillars was a game I should have played better.
If the Mage wasn’t paired up with a second DPS class I usually felt better about the match-up. While the games went longer, it was easier to manage the damage. Or even Ret Paladins with the Mage, unless they were very geared, was do-able. Unless we hopelessly out-geared them, going blow for blow against a Mage was very detrimental.
These are showing up in two very distinct flavors obviously. Retribution and Holy. And their dangerousness varys greatly. A Retribution Paladin’s mana pool makes our mana pool look like . . . well a Holy Paladin. Here we have Modeezy, our guildie I linked to further up the post. His mana pool is a whopping 5764 according the Armory. One Viper Sting and Chimera Shot will obliterate the mana pool. Of course a good paladin will cleanse that right away, but even if they do . . . less mana.
There are a number of reasons Paladins are dangerous. Blessing of Freedom and Pursuit of Justice make them difficult to kite inside an Arena. The ever-present bubble is always a pain as well. Last night, when I saw a Ret Paladin, I went straight for the mana pool. Sure, they aren’t actively trying to heal anybody, but zero mana is still zero mana. And if it reduces their DPS output, that reduces the healing output my healer had to do.
But Ret Paladins have great DPS, as evident by my above example of our guildies wrecking face. Stay out of range the best you can. Remember, they aren’t Death Knights. Feel free to Disengage. Unless they are paired with one. So be careful
The weakness of a Ret Paladin is gone completely against a Holy Paladin. Rocking mana pools of 20,000 or so it can seem like an impossible task to drain their mana. In one match up we had, it was Warrior/Holy Paladin and the match was turning into who’s Paladin has more mana.
We ended up losing due to bad timing on our opponent’s Hammer of Justice (good timing for them) and had to chalk that up to a learning experience. Facing a Holy Paladin you have to worry about the DPS that they are healing all the while attacking their mana.
There were a few Warlocks we tackled last night, all seemed to be Soul Link while a few went all the way down to Metamorphosis. One key adaptation we made was bursting down Warlock pets. We wouldn’t do it immediately from the start, but rather after we started the drain/defense game. Lunch would call out on Vent when he had the demon positioned and we would quickly turn to nuke it down. We would do this twice since all the Warlocks had Fel Domination. After we removed Soul Link, it made the Warlock that much more vulnerable.
Warlocks danger level was directly proportionate to how dangerous their partner was as well (I suppose that’s obvious). But some Warlock teams were easy while others were a struggle. One particular nasty team that was unexpected was Feral Druid/Warlock, which really put a hurting on me. In hindsight I am sure we could have beaten the team. A quicker BoP, catching the Druid in a Flare, etc.
These things don’t die. Unless they are under-geared or terrible. Well-timed Strangulates killed us more than once last night. As I mentioned in a previous post, keeping an eye out for Mark of Blood is important. Our best efforts involved locking down a DK the best we could while attacking/harassing their teammate. You run in to the same problem with Death Knights as you do Mages. No magic defense. And they can get all their diseases rolling from range. I wish I had more tricks to handle Death Knights. I just don’t know enough about them yet to know how to deal with things.
I know there are other classes I didn’t cover. These were just the ones most prevalent in our matches last night. There was one game where I died in less than half a second, literally. The combat log recorded all attacks in half a second. Shadowstepped Ambush times 2. It was stupid ridiculous. Both of us were like “WTF….” Only a few Shaman, most were Resto. It’s going to take some work, but I think we’ll manage somehow. Vault or Archavon needs to start dropping some Hunter gear for me to start building up the Resilience.
Did you do Arena last night? On what character, and how did you do? Thoughts, comments, leave ‘em here.