Maimage, a Warrior on Korgath, is one of the many high-ranked players competing in the Arena Junkie's Olympic contest. He's sitting right now on the team AJOlympics at 2321. Maimage is one of few, the proud -- the Vengeful Gladiators. Like many such players, however, he also has a fairly high alt priest named Maimgler, hovering around the 2K rating mark.
We caught up with him, as we tend to do, and Maim was helpful in supplying some insight about the way the Arena works. Check out what he had to say after the cut. Since he's more experienced with his Warrior, his answers are mostly focused on that class. That makes him the first Warrior for the Colosseum, and his answers contrast interestingly with previous week's speakers.
WoW Insider: Who are your teammates right now? Are you participating in the AJ Olympics?
On my warrior, Maimage, my teammate is Footwerk, a Druid. We are participating in AJ Olympics in both the 2v2 and 3v3 bracket. I have a team in the 2v2 bracket named AJOlympics (Warrior/Druid) and 3v3 bracket with my Priest whose team name is AJOlympics II. That team is a Warrior, Druid, and a Priest.
WoW Insider: What challenges does your team have? How do you prefer to run your comp?
On my 2s team, as Warrior/Druid, any Double-DPS team will give us a challenge. Any Mage/Rogue or Shadow Priest/Rogue team will always have a chance of beating us.
However, we've been skirmishing a lot against S.Priest/Rogue teams, I think we've got the perfect strategy to have flawless games against SPriest/Rogues -- unless major RNG comes into play to benefit them.
(Ed.: RNG refers to 'random number generator', and suggests the idea that the random rolls might just make any number of tactics irrelevent due to lucky crits.)
WoW Insider: What's your opening strategy? What do you like to do as soon as the gate opens?
We rush into the middle of any map. We do this mainly because we've played together for a while now and know exactly what to do against any composition. We rush right as the gates open so we don't give the opposing team any time to think.
WoW Insider: Which mods do you use -- how have you customized your screen?
I use the default UI along with a focus frame and Proximo. I do this so if I plan to attend any major tournaments in the future, I can adapt to the mod-less play required by tournaments.
WoW Insider: How do you work out target designation? (Does someone call it out, or is everyone on their own to figure it out?)
I'm a very vocal player. I pride myself on being very coordinated and not overlapping crowd control. I'd like to say I'm more of a strategic player rather than brute force player. Let's just say it's a little of both.
In the top level of play, you cannot play on your own and just let things come together. When two teams who are both high level and experienced together face each other in the Arena, it's the team who worked better together and coordinated their crowd control together who will come out as the victor. Unless, of course, it's a major counter-comp like Rogue/Druid against some poor caster team.
WoW Insider: How do you schedule your playtime? Do you try and work during "good times to queue?"
I do a lot of Arena. Almost every day, I play whenever I can -- whether it's on my priest, Maimgler, or my warrior, Maimage. I also have a warlock, Maimer, but I don't Arena as much on him as I do on my other characters.
As long as there is another team online within my team's rating, I will try and get my teammates on to queue as soon as possible. Being at top of the arena ladder gets boring when there's no worthy teams to queue against. To counter the long queues, we'll just remake our teams and start over from 1500.
WoW Insider: What signals to you that you need to radically change strategy midmatch? (And how do you accomplish that change?)
Blowing all of our cooldowns just to survive is our biggest notion of a strategy change in the middle of a match. If the odds are extremely in favor of the other team, and we're going out-of-mana or are just getting CC'd hard, we know we're doing something wrong.
Typically, a lot of coordinated yelling (yeah coordinated yelling) is put into effect, I will start to lay down the law and tell everyone to get it together, start doing a certain strategy, or it's gonna be a win for the other team. If we lose to a certain team, we'll queue up again as fast as possible in an attempt to get the team again. The goal is to get more experience against the comp.
WoW Insider: What's the key for your composition's strategy?
As Warrior/Druid, it's about working together and always being in range of each other. Sure, a Warrior/Druid can win if the druid just sits back and heals from range all game. But what makes the Warrior/Druid composition so special is the interrupts the two classes can put together. Pummeling followed by Feral Charge, then Cyclone until Pummel's back up. Cyclone is a major advantage. It will stop all heals and damage, so typically I'll have my druid Cyclone targets at low health to uphold maximum pressure for the healer on the other team.
Wow Insider: You hear a lot about clicking versus binding. Which skills do you still click, which do you tend to bind?
I click zero skills. People, if you want to be competent in the Arena, you need to have everything bound. Sure, it's a lot of buttons, but once you become accustomed to those binds, Arena life will be so much easier. If you play a warrior class as I do, you will notice yourself getting focused a lot. When you notice you're about to get bursted, clicking isn't going to be fast enough to Spell Reflect the incoming damage. Plus, what happens if your mouse lags and you mis-click and waste a major cooldown? The more buttons you bind, the better off you will be.
WoW Insider: What are you trying to improve?
Positioning. High level Arena is all about positioning. Having your healers in perfect position so they can't get switched to or interrupted. I try to keep a dead center between myself and my healers. If I see the opposition start to invade that area, I'll get on them and let my partner(s) reposition.
For instance, say I'm playing my warrior as Warrior/Druid versus a Shadow Priest/Rogue composition. I'll never let the shadow priest get close to my druid unless I can't help it. (Say the rogue kidney shots my druid, I can't help the priest from slowly making its way toward my druid during that kidney shot, unless I get some crazy mace stun RNG). Once a shadow priest gets in range of the druid and stays in that area for a while, you can consider the Arena match over.
Positioning is so vital in high level arena I can't stress it any more than that, and it's the biggest challenge that I've been working on.