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Tea with Tang

On Arena Season 12

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When I first called you here, I promised to keep you entertained at the very least. However, I never said I would stick to one topic in particular (although after awhile I’m sure you will begin to notice a trend). Today is one of those days were I feel the need to go off topic (at least with regard to our current…surroundings) but only to quash some doom that appears to be popping up in other areas in which I have interest. I may surprise you to know that making gold is NOT my one true love. No, it is support my dear alliance and the interests of the Cenarion Circle on the field of battle.

First, here is an interesting and useful spreadsheet for those of you who are not familiar with the Nicknames of the gladiator fire teams that call the arena their home.

Second, it is my guess that we will see a lot of high level, rank one comps make a comeback in 5.1, though in slightly different format. I’d like to touch on a few key players in these comps.
NOTE: It is important to remember that EVERYONE is OP on beta atm. I'm simply focusing on the classes that will avoid the banhammer initially or at least have the utility to weather the nerfstorm.

I expect to see a LOT less shaman comps then we see today, for a few reasons. Shamans now bring more utility than ever to a team however they are having mana and throughput problems. They are also bad at healing through split DPS, since we will be seeing plenty of warlock comps, this makes them less viable as warlocks are the kings of spread damage.

People are also very “Doomy” about rogues recently. Rogues have seen better days yes, but do not count them out. They still have the legendary rogue control, just at the cost of legendary rogue damage it seems. Something has to give. But since Rogues are usually paired with strong dps anyway (Mage, Hunter, Lock) it should be a big deal. Just more of a “I’ll hold and you punch” type of playstyle.

EDIT: Combat is the goto spec for rogues atm. People who are saying damage is low are mostly playing sub, rogues are doing fine as combat.

RDruids are the new RShams. Expect to see druids replacing shaman and other healers in popular comps such as RLS, Thugcleave, RMP, and to a lesser extent Melee cleaves. (Pallys will still be needed for freedom, but I can see druids with ursal’s vortex being a solid second choice.)
Druids are OP. Take advantage of this now because this will not last long, it never does (remember 4.1? :P). Druids of any spec are looking VERY powerful, feral is solid and in some cases better then rogues. Balance puts out gross damage and gained some very useful new talents. The lifebloom change (can swap full lifebloom stacks in one global) is VERY good for resto and symbiosis gives them a survival ability across the board. Kittycleave, Junglecleave, LSD2.0, LSD etc. etc.

Warlocks, Mages, Hunters all have insane damage. As with most expacs, ranged will be king for the first few patches. Melee will catch up quickly after a patch or two because they typically scale much better with gear.

Obviously no one knows for sure what will come until the Mists fully clear from this new Isle and we are able to walk upon it ourselves. But the next few weeks will certainly tell part of the tale.

::Tangster grins wickedly::
See you on the battlefield.

Updated August 27th, 2012 at 10:35 AM by Tangster

Tags: mop, pvp
World of Warcraft , Mists of Pandaria


  1. Kathroman's Avatar
    2 Words - stealth cleave.

    Queue us up, Tangster...
  2. Tangster's Avatar
    Aye aye sir!
    But srsly i promised Stede and his brother i'd run RLD with em. But i'll 2s or 5s!
  3. Aestophas's Avatar
    I'm so giddy about S12! After the hardship of Cata, it's finally time to dust off my druids again Resto 4 lyfe!

    Have fun playing RLD, it's an awesome comp (very demanding but also very fun).
  4. Riggins's Avatar
    I'm really looking forward to S12 as well. What do you think about Lock,Spriest & Rdruid?
  5. Aestophas's Avatar
    Shadowplay has been very strong in S11 and there's no reason why the druid version wouldn't work in MoP (as a matter of fact, it's been one of the few comps that worked for Druids in Cata too). The last time I played it was in S8 though - and in my opinion it's not as fun as RLD, WLD, RMD, HLD, RSpD, etc. because it's more about hanging back and letting the Lock and Spriest do their thing, rather than being aggressive with Cyclones, but it's most likely still going to be a very strong comp.
    I can imagine Ursol's Vortex being very strong for this setup because it allows you to trap an opponent in the middle of the map with no LoS, so your Spriest can melt his face...
  6. Tangster's Avatar
    @Riggins Shadowplay is going to be a top tier comp in S12 easily. Spriests and locks are both putting out STUPID damage right now. Locks got a major buff for this season and spriests are riding on some solid Quality of Life changes as well as more burst then ever and damage buffs across the board. Truly face melters.
    Not only that but with the dispell changes, whenever the healer needs to dispell his teammates he's going to either eat a 3 second fear or a 4 second silence. Or in some cases both.
    I disagree with @Aestophas however, you will need to be aggressive with cyclones (within reason) for this comp thanks to the DR on fear. And IMO Ursol's Vortex won't be as good as Mighty Bash. A 5 sec stun in the middle of the arena > a 50% slow and crappy rubber band effect. But that's part of the fun of the new talents. A lot of different choices will be viable

    Here's an easy guide to success in S12:
    Choose one of: RDruid, MistMonk
    Choose two of: Hunter, Lock, Spriest, Mage, Rogue
    Gratz on Rival. :P
  7. Riggins's Avatar
    Some nice symbiosis for shadowplay too. Symbiosis on Spriest grants another life grip and tranq. On lock you grant teleport and rejuv.
  8. Tangster's Avatar
    Symbio-ing a lock is practically useless imo. No lock is actually going to pop rejuv. It's nice to have teleport to escape melee cleaves and the like, but imo Life Grip will have much more use. Spriests will (in theory) get more outta tranq then lock gets outta rejuv.
    Maybe i'm biased cuz i'm coming off playing a disc priest in S9-11, dear god do i love me some life grip
  9. Aestophas's Avatar
    @Tangster Shadowplay is not about CC. It's about doing an overwhelming amount of DoT damage on multiple targets. At some point, once the other team's defensive cooldowns are gone, the Spriest bursts something down. Cyclone only interferes with that because it stops the dots from ticking. The only time you want to Cyclone something is the enemy healer when you're about to get a kill.
    Ursol's Vortex is great for two reasons: First, it allows you to keep multiple targets in LoS of your damage dealers. Second, it's better than Bash for peeling against more than one enemy. This is important because Shadowplay is bad at peeling, especially against melee cleave (one team member getting zerged by a melee cleave and not able to cast is the worst that can happen to Shadowplay). Drop a Vortex and you can run around a pillar while the enemy team is stuck.

    Oh, and in my opinion nothing beats the Symbiosis effect you get from Warlocks. Portal is the strongest defensive ability in the game. On a healer, it will be totally OP.
  10. Tangster's Avatar
    Hmmm can you portal out of stuns still? If so i'm going to agree. It just always makes me feel pro when i life grip someone right before a bomb xD

    I see your point about the vortex and if it ends up actually WORKING by the time S12 rolls around i'll certainly give it a go. But on live right now sometimes the SLOW doesn't even work correctly, much less the rubber band effect.

    I've never played Shadowplay myself but i do understand it is chiefly about spreading as much dot damage as humanly possible. That being said with the dispel changes, the healer is going to get locked down in some way whenever he dispells ANYTHING vs this comp. So 4 sec silence on healer + cyclone on whoever he dispelled = time to get bursty in here. Thats what i meant by being offensive with cyclones
  11. Aestophas's Avatar
    Many Warlocks underestimate Portal and never really learn to make use of it to the full extent. The higher rated you get, the more important good positioning becomes. At lower ratings, survival mostly depends on cooldowns. Once you start to 2-2.2k however, pretty much any team is good enough to nuke a target down in five seconds if they catch it in a bad spot. That's when positioning becomes much more crucial. Portal is obviously the best tool for positioning in the game and that's what makes it so great.
    Among healers, good positioning is especially important for Druids because we are bad at responding to switches. I often notice this when I see people who used to play Priest or Shaman try out Resto Druid. They don't nearly pay as much attention to positioning which causes them to get killed easily.

    However, the #1 reason for why Portal is so good are z-Axis maps. Warlocks are nearly unkillable on Blade's Edge (except against triple DPS of course ) because they can jump down and then port back up once the other team follows. We will be able to do that too. Add Typhoon to the mix (perhaps also Wild Charge, though I don't know if it works?) and Blade's Edge and Sewers will simply be free wins for any Druid/Warlock/X team.

    I could probably write a few pages on the uses of portal, but this is going to have to suffice for now
  12. Tangster's Avatar
    With all the knockbacks and things of that nature z-axis maps are going to be an even bigger PITA. Good thing i spec'd typhoon :P. I'm noticing already rdruids weakness to switches. It's much easier with the Lifebloom glyph that lets you swap stacks, but not nearly as simple as a lifegrip/shield/painsup single global. And since i havent played rdruid competitively since you could multi-hot with LB this is going to be a learning experience for sure

    Wild Charge currently will not work on the z-axis in caster form, you need a path. Can't speak for cat form.
  13. Coriaz's Avatar
    tangster, ive never played much pvp mostly because the only class/spec i really love to play is elemental shaman and this spec has always been a victim in pvp for the time i play wow. can you give a prediction how elementals in particular will perform in mop pvp in general and compared to now?
  14. Aestophas's Avatar
    I'm not Tangster, but... Elemental Shamans were pretty strong in S3 and S4, especially in a comp called "2345" (named after the buttons the Shaman supposedly needed). In S8 they were, again, extremely overpowered and part of the strongest comp in the game (LSD).

    Currently it looks like they've gone back to the amount of burst they had back then so there is no reason why at least that comp wouldn't be extremely strong (I could imagine Elemental Shama/Destruction Warlock/Paladin being pretty strong too since it also has been in the past).

    But of course you never know when and how Blizzard is going to nerf something.
    Updated September 3rd, 2012 at 05:06 PM by Aestophas
  15. Tangster's Avatar
    @Coriaz Elemental shamans will always have a large role in RBGs simply because it's so easy to guard places like mid in EOTS and Lumber Mill in AB with Thunderstorm. Now that flame shock can effect more then one target they will be viable in dot cleaves to a certain extent and the burst they put out is crazier then ever (so are most classes atm tho, elemental shamans are one of the few specs i expect to keep their burst at 90.).

    It will very much depend on the situation at 90 in arena and no one knows what that's going to look like. If it's as bursty as beta is ele shams will be very viable in comps with lots of burst that don't rely much on CC. Otherwise i feel ele shams are going to see very little representation in anything besides 5s and RBGs