Friday, December 21, 2007

Arena makeups

So my experience as a feral druid in arenas has not been good. You can see it; 1432 3v3 rating as of this posting - and that's after the 8-3 run we had last night (which I'm going to talk about).

As a feral, if you're doing dps, you lose 2 very powerful CC spells (cyclone & roots). If you're casting those spells, you're not doing dps and therefore, not really behaving according to your strengths. That's pretty much why (in my opinion), you don't see many feral druids in arenas.

We've tried me (feral druid), Stalwart (holy Pally) and Shleepee (BM hunter). Didn't work; other teams would go after Shleepee and nuke him down quick (typically cc'ing Stalwart).

We've tried me, Lanmalkeri (resto druid) and Kneegasher (arms warrior). Didn't really work. It should work in theory, but in practice - other teams would see Lan and kill him in short order, or they'd nuke KG down before Lan got in place. Personally, I think we may have done better if Lan casted more HoTs than Healing Touches, but whatever.

We've tried me, Lan's mage and Stalwart. No go; Lan's mage would typically get nuked down in short order.

We brings us to last night; we sign up with me, Napsac (Shleepee's rogue) and Stalwart. Except Stalwart says in the first match "oh crap, I need to respec after we lose this match". He'd been screwing around with a protection build (he has gear for it), but meant to spec back to holy for the arena matches. Well, we play the game and win. So we try again, and win. And again, win. So why mess with what seems to be working? We end up 8-3 for the night, much to everyone's surprise.

So why did a prot pally, mutilate rogue and feral druid do so well? I think there's a number of reasons:

1) Teams in our lowly bracket aren't that good.
2) Better gear. My feral gear has improved a fair bit lately (S3 pants!) and so has Napsac's.
3) Reaction of the other team:

Let's examine this 3rd one; you see a pally and nothing else. You have to assume rogue(s) and druid(s). In all likely hood, the pally is the healer. Many teams go straight for the healer, generally a reasonable strategy. Either kill the healer, or disable him.

So without any other targets, the opposing teams went for our healer. Except our healer was protection specced and could take a nice beating and still survive. Meantime, Napsac went to town on their healer, and I went to town on one of their dps.

Typically what would happen is they'd do a fair bit of damage on Stalwart while both Napsac and I did a fair bit of damage to our targets. Then Stalwart would bubble, and they'd go looking for new targets. Most times, it would be me. I'd shift out to bear, and since I was wearing a mix of bear and cat gear - I'd still have 18-20K armor and 35+% dodge, so I could take one hell of a beating. By this time, Napsac had killed the healer and the game was for all intents and purposes, over.

Surprising results for an unconventional team makeup. I'm curious to see if we can keep this up.

Note to self: the decision to wear a mix of bear and cat gear was an excellent one. I sacrificed some crit and AP, but picked up a metric ton of survivability. A very good trade-off.

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