Admittedly, the first thing I noticed when I looked at Dcane's Armory profile wasn't anything about gear, class, or spec. Nope, what I noticed right away was that the character is a female Dwarf priest. They do exist! I almost never see those in the Arena!
That being said, Dcane actually has a pretty solid Arena record. Not only has this dwarf's experience spanned multiple seasons, but Dcane has earned the title "Gladiator." Additionally, Dcane's 5-man team "gwen stefani spell check" is ranked 9th in their battle group. Still, Dcane's first love is 2v2, and that's what we talked about in this week's interview.
Check out what Dcane had to say after the cut. As a note, however, this interview originally took place before the hidden Arena rating was implemented. WoW Insider: Who are your teammates right now? What's the general plan behind your composition? What challenges does your team have? How do you prefer to run your comp?
Dcane: I've currently been running Discipline Priest and Rogue in 2v2, achieveing a 2k+ rating. I'm going to talk about the 2v2 bracket today since that's where, to me, I see the most player skill. And it seems to be one of the more popular brackets at the moment.
My rogue partner's name is Fattylol and he is a very good rogue, and a very good friend. Our comp is very strong still, just like during TBC if you ask me. It's all about the peels. As long as I'm alive, we can usually win our match. We just have to outlast the other team, burn the other healer's mana, and avoid the CC train. Our hardest teams right now are Mage/Rogue, DK/H. Pally, and Hunter/Healer. When we play these teams, or most teams in general, we like to sit on the melee DPS class.
Against Mage/Rogue, we avoid the CC train, control the mage as much as possible, and nuke the rogue as fast as we can. Against a DK/Holy Pally, we kill the pets as fast as we can. Fattylol locks down the Death Knight while I get burns off on the paladin. Just an outlast game really.
When we're up against a Hunter and a healer, we Crowd Control the healer while we both nuke the pet down. We then sit on the hunter to prevent rezes and pretty much just LoS viper sting, burn the Pally, and drink as much as I can. Also an outlast game.
These are just how we run our 2v2 matches. Both my own and Fatty's gear is pretty good for Arenas at the moment and this is what works for us.
WoW Insider: What's your opening strategy? What do you like to do as soon as the gate opens?
Dcane: Fatty usually saps and I get in combat. If it's a Rogue and we can't find it, we try to open on the non-stealth opponent, then CC and switch to the rogue when he appears. Nothing special really.
WoW Insider: Which mods do you use -- how have you customized your screen?
Dcane: I currently use Grid, Proximo, Ecasting Bars, FocusFrame, Afflicted2, and the default UI.
WoW Insider: How do you work out target designation? (Does someone call it out, or is everyone on their own to figure it out?)
Dcane: Usually, I'm the one that calls out our target in 2v2. Fatty has a broken mic and is in a wheelchair for 2 months because he broke both his ankles. So, no mic shopping for him. For the most part though, we know each other's playstyle pretty good and can get CC and target changes down without saying much. Our target, like I said before, is usually the melee class.
WoW Insider: How do you schedule your playtime? Do you try and work during "good times to queue?" Is this different now than in previous seasons?
Dcane: You know, to be honest, we've always just played whenever we feel up to it this season and in past seasons. If the queue times are long, or we play low rated teams over and over, we just stop for a few hours and try again later.
WoW Insider: What's been the biggest change in your strategy between each bracket of ratings? (1500s, 1600s) Is there a big change for this season?
Dcane: To be honest, I haven't seen much change in player skill until almost the 2k ratings. I think alot of that has to do to the fact that people can just stack PVE gear and end a match in 10 seconds by blowing someone up. Any keyturner that sucks at PvP can do that.
Even with a high amount of Resilience, it's hard to survive the double-DPS nukes. In some cases, the amout of damage a single dps class can do (Rogues/Feral Druids/Arcane Mage) is very difficult to survive. We just adapt to the Arena map. That's our strategy for most matches.
WoW Insider: What signals to you that you need to radically change strategy midmatch? (And how do you accomplish that change?)
Dcane: Low mana on a healer, Trinket being used, someone is just sitting at half health. If the target you're currently on is playing too defensivly to get anything done, and if whatever were doing isn't working. If we change targets, we usually like to make sure the person we're sitting on has his trinket down, drop a quick CC on him and switch fast and hard.
WoW Insider: You hear a lot about clicking versus binding. Which skills do you still click, which do you tend to bind?
Dcane: Fatty still gives me hell about clicking Fear back from S2/S3, but it's whatever worked for me. I clicked Fear to gladiator, haters be haters. Nowadays, I have most skills bound. Just about the only thing I click is trinkets. (Still getting used to bindings and it's hard to break a habit).
WoW Insider: What are you trying to improve?
Dcane: To be honest the thing I'm trying to improve on most is cutting down on mods and going "raw". Always looking to improve player skill.
WoW Insider: A lot has been made of healers not having a strong role in Season 5. What do you think about that commentary?
Dcane: I don't think that statement can be directed at ALL healers. There are alot of high rated healers in Arena if someone took the time to actually look. There are so many Holy Paladins in the top 5 in every bracket and in every BG. Their heals are huge, survivablity is pretty high, and mana pools just never seem to go down.
Resto druids, on the other hand, I think could use some survivablity buffs. I think their mana regen is pretty good, but like I said, they just get nuked so fast it seems. That's why you don't see many high rated druids anymore. Same problem with resto shamans. I've actually seen some shamans be able to stay alive pretty well, but more often than not, they just get blown up before they have a chance to do anything. To be honest, I'm not really sure how shaman mana conservation is in Arenas anymore. We haven't played enough of them for me to give my opinion on it.
To my class, the disc priest. I think disc priests have high survivablity with a good amout of resilience and with Rapture my mana in Arenas is decent. Aside from paladins, I feel disc priests are the best healer class for arenas. But these are just my opinions and how "strong" a healer is in the Arena is alot about the skill of the player and how they use their rotations.
WoW Insider: What are you hoping to see improved in 3.1?
Dcane: I read that Priests are going to be getting some changes. Not sure what they are, but I'd like to see some mana regen buffs. Also, burst damage being reduced in arenas would be nice. Although, I hope that comes before 3.1.
In my opinion, revert the Arena Rating system back to the Burning Crusades style. This hidden rating stuff seems pretty broken.