Monday, January 3, 2011

My First (Real) Arena Experience

This past week, I finally started an arena team as part of the requirements to be on the rated battleground team in Conquest. (Yes, we are recruiting for Legion, our PvE section, and Vanguard, our PvP section.  See site on sidebar for details.)  My 3 vs. 3 team, Poker in the Front, consist of a Holy Pally, Rogue, and myself as moonkin.  We did pretty good the first week going 7 - 6 and when I actually get some noticable resilience gear instead of going off a pseudo-glass cannon principle, I'm sure that will improve even more.  If you are a moonkin looking to get into some arenas, here is some of the things I have learned that will hopefully help you out.

1) Don't Forget You Can Stealth - Some classes don't have this luxury in arenas, but druids can start off a match stealthed.  In fact, two members of my 3 vs. 3 team can stealth, and most teams aren't insane enough to rush a holy pally with two members not showing.  This gives you time to map out your strategy, especially if you know who you are up against.

2) Check Their Buffs - One of the things that I had to pick up pretty quickly is to tell if we had a druid or a rogue we were against since both can stealth.  The easy way to do it besides waiting for them to show is to check their buffs.  If they have Mark of the Wild and no druid showing, it is a druid.  If they don't have Mark of the Wild, it is a rogue.  If everybody starts off a match stealthed, assume it is a 2 rogue, 1 druid comp.

3) Healer First - Our team's first goal in any match was to find out who the healer was.  Not all comps have a healer. (Three feral cat druid team, I hate you with a passion.)  From there, we would either start off sapping the healer or entangling roots and Solar Beam the healer.  If the healer can't heal himself, he is as good as dead.  Once the healer is dead, you have probably about 80% chance of winning the match from there.

4) Protect Your Healer - If I saw people grouping up on my healer, I would do what I could to help out.  That typically means the first thing I would do is Typhoon the other team to get them away.  From there, I can Entangling Roots, Cyclone, etc. to give my healer some time to recover.  Sometimes he can, sometimes he can't, especially if he has DoTs on him.

5) License to Starfall - Starfall is incredible in arenas.  It can damage their entire team at once.  Plus, since it is automatically multiple mobs, you get the 20 star upper limit.  I wouldn't use it to start until you have controlled the healer, but then, bust it out.

6) Heal - Remember as a caster druid, you don't have all the heals that resto druids do, but your heals you do have still hit pretty hard due to your intellect.  Don't be afraid to throw some HoTs on you or your teammates.  Tranquility is also awesome to keep up the team if you are not the focus.

7) Try to Proc an Eclipse - Eclipsed nukes can take anything down relatively quickly.  You are talking upwards of 30k Starfires and 20k Wraths in people with resilience and much more if they don't have any.

8) More Resilience, The Better (To a Point) - Many blog post ago, I mentioned that when choosing between PvE and PvP gear, you will always want to go with PvE gear for PvE content and PvP gear for PvP content.  This holds true 95% of the time.  However, there is a point where you have high resilience, but you have sacrificed damage.  You have to find a balance.  This means that it may be okay to have your resilience set with maybe a weapon that is PvE that is more powerful.  In Wrath, I was using Neiblung as my PvP staff due to the valkyr proc.  I haven't found anything like that in Cataclysm yet, but I'm sure I will find something like it.

9) Have Fun - When first starting arenas,  you are going to lose.  Just count on it.  You will get better over time.  Just like PvE, it takes practice to get your rotation and dynamics down.  The difference is PvP tends to be more jerk reaction.  The quicker you can react, the better.  But it takes time to learn this.

10) Communication Is Key - If you can't be in a Vent or Mumble server with your teammates, down join their team.  The key to arena is constant communication.  The more you communicate, the faster you can react, the more successful you will be.

As I said, these are things that I'm still learning.  I'm not great in arenas by any stretch of the imagination.  But I had fun and I look forward to doing this weekly with my team members.

Just a reminder, please vote for the winner of the Header contest.  We have had 31 voters so far and all of them have gotten votes as the favorite.  If you want to choose what the Header for the blog will be for the rest of Cataclysm, please go and vote.


HettyA said...

Do you have experience with Mumble servers? Just wondering if there are ways around having to have a dedicated IP or what not.

Redhawks said...


I will be honest, I am not certain on this one. Matticus just recently got this for the guild so I'm not certain as to what the logistics of it working are. In terms of just using it, I'm loving it. Easy to get on and sound quality is amazing. My personal opinion is that it is better than Ventrilo.

Natrii said...

I'm hurt! You did not find our Disc/restokin as real arena. /sadpanda

Redhawks said...


I'm am so sorry. I did forget our brief stent as a restokin/shadow priest team in 2 vs. 2. That was the first real arena experience I had. All the other teams since then have been for points only until this newest group. I apologize for forgetting about that one.