Rogues were certainly a dominant force in Season 4. However, while it's easy to say Rogues were powerful, that does mean that any rogue struggling for the highest tiers of achievements had to fight other, equally powered opponents. In that highly competitive atmostphere, Lamures from Twisting Nether graduated to the Gladiator title.
Now firmly rooted in Season 5, however, rogues are struggling. Death Knights dominate the season, highlighting the weakpoints of Rogue class. Undaunted, Lamures continues to achieve a 2454 team rating. With that in mind, the Gladiator spared time to talk to the Colosseum about his experience in the Arena.
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?
Lamures: My only real serious team would be my 2v2. (My 3v3 is with an alcoholic hunter, Snolas who breaks CC). My 2v2 is Discipline Priest/Rogue. My teamate is Eragoan, a Priest and myself, Lamures, A rogue.
As priest/rogue we usually CC/Mana Burn a target and focus something else.
Hunter/healers are extreme pains in the ass to fight as Priest/Rogue. They just place Viper Sting on the priest and CC myself, then kill the priest (if they're smart). Otherwise, if they're dumb, they let me get a Sap and opener, run around with the Diablo 2 Barbarian's Jawbone helmet and Wing Clip me, we'll win.
I'd like to believe that we run a Priest/Rogue comp fairly aggressively.
WoW Insider: What's your opening strategy? What do you like to do as soon as the gate opens?
Lamures: Aside from being horribly ADD on listing the class comp and naming the wrong one 3 times in a row, I usually find a target to set as my focus for CC, sap it and open on the other enemy. (Also, I make sure I get a bubble from a priest so I can run through Concescration and Death & decay.)
WoW Insider: Which mods do you use -- how have you customized your screen?
Lamures: I use quite a lot. X-perl, Dominoes, Omnicc, Afflicted, Gladius, and Recount are the most prominent in Arena. (I check back in Arena to see what went wrong.)
WoW Insider: How do you work out target designation? (Does someone call it out, or is everyone on their own to figure it out?)
Lamures: The both of us generally know what we're going to do, but I call out alot of focus targets. However, if we see something crucial that involves a target switch, either of us will call it out depending on who noticed it first.
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?
Lamures: Whenever the two of us are online, feel like doing arenas, and not raiding. We don't try to do them at specific times. Some people we know like to wait until 6 am on Monday to do arenas, which is pretty much cheating to get your rating since you fight stupidly easy teams... over... and over again... and farm them.
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?
Lamures: At the higher brackets, you need to be alot more aggresive. My priest can be a lot more defensive and just sit back and heal in the lower brackets. But as you progress in the brackets, both the priest and myself have to be coordinated and offensive to get a win against teams.
WoW Insider: What signals to you that you need to radically change strategy midmatch? (And how do you accomplish that change?)
Lamures: Well, if our burst fails and what we're doing isn't working, or my priest needs mana, I need to be defensive/aggresive at the same time. (I know that sounds retarded but I'll explain.)
What I tend to do is play defensive to avoid taking as much damage as I can, but play aggresive enough where the opponent will feel like he needs to stick on me to survive. I only need to do this for 10 seconds or so for a good drink in on the priest. As a rogue, this generally means using stunlock, gouging every time it's up, and a small bit of kiting when you're out of energy.
WoW Insider: What's the key for your composition's strategy? Are there multiple tactics you can use?
Lamures: For the most part, there's 3 ways we win a match that went in our favor.
Mana Burn the healer and kill the dps.
Chain CC one of the targets and wear down the second one eventually killing it in a good CC.
And my favorite, get a really good opening Sap and Fear (generally both targets eating the fear), then popping Tricks of the Trade on my priest and nuking a target right away before it gets time to do anything. If they live through this burst, it usually means both of them blew their trinkets and quite a few large cooldowns to survive, and we're definetly getting ready to claim victory.
WoW Insider: You hear a lot about clicking versus binding. Which skills do you still click, which do you tend to bind?
Lamures: I don't think anyone should be clicking anything you use in PvP combat in arenas. I have everything bound from bandages to Preparation, even my weapon swap macro! There's two moves I click in Arena, and that's Mount and my "/tar a-z" macro, which is only pressed once right as the gate opens. As a rogue, I don't even mount up.
WoW Insider: What are you trying to improve?
Lamures: A lot of losses are due to just class mechanics and such. Death Knight gets Freedom, pops Icebound Fortitude, Anti-Magic Shell, and sits on my priest. I go to Disarm him for 10 seconds and he's still able to spam Icy Touch and Death Coil on my priest to burn him down. Not much I can improve on for that.
But in terms of what we can do to improve, I'd say getting better survivability for our priest against DK teams and making sure I get a Sap and Opener on the other team.
WoW Insider: A lot has been made of healers not having a strong role in Season 5. What do you think about that commentary?
Lamures: World of Burstcraft is definitely what they'll call this season. But healers are still good. Not going to lie, Shamans and Paladins definitely have it significantly easier than Druids and Priests do.
WoW Insider: What are you hoping to see improved in 3.1? We've seen some changes, obviously, but there's more to come.
Lamures: The only change I'm looking forward to is poisons on a Proc Per Minute basis and glyph changes for rogues. Nothing much in our ability list getting changed.
Though the changes to Priests are pretty significant, I'm going to imagine the shadowfiend changes will be the biggest since they won't be kited as much. (Almost every time it's used, the shadowfiend is kited or sits there swapping between targets. Even when told otherwise, which gives no mana back to the priest.)