Season 5 is over. The dawning of Season 6 is peaking over the distant horizon, the bright traces of new challenges and adventures casting long shadows over the victors of Season 5. Reflecting over the first season of Wrath of the Lich King, one 2v2 composition has clearly dominated the ladder. The Death Knight / Paladin synergy had definite control of the season.
For all the power of the composition itself, however, two identical teams have the same advantage to one another. The determining factors in a mirror match are a little bit of RNG luck, but mostly the skill and tactics of the competing teams. Since the top teams are all swimming in the same composition types, only their relative abilities determine who rises.
And so we come to the last interview of season 5, by visiting with Mute of Terenas. While we're still waiting to see what the final ratings return for titles, Mute and his partner Unicornz have both executed wonderfully in Season 5. Check out what Mute has to say behind the cut.
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?
Mute: For this season, I'm only competing in 2v2 games. As a Holy Paladin, I have a Death Knight partner. We use different strategies against each different teams, but mostly we try to kill the other team's healer.
At this point, our only problem is teams with hunters; it's difficult to heal through the damage the hunter's putting on my partner. It's also difficult for the Death Knight to attack our opponent's healer.
WoW Insider: What's your opening strategy? What do you like to do as soon as the gate opens?
Mute: We usually charge in as soon as the gate opens, and my partner throws a Death and Decay to find stealth players. But I usually just try to stay out of line of sight.
WoW Insider: Which mods do you use -- how have you customized your screen?
Mute: The only mod I use is Gladius, just to see the other team's players. But until a few weeks ago, I wasn't even using Gladius and just playing default.
WoW Insider: How do you work out target designation? (Does someone call it out, or is everyone on their own to figure it out?)
Mute: Well, there are only so many combos in game, and after playing more than 300 arena games the odds are that you've faced them all. Although, each combo consists of different players with different game plays, therefore we start off as the usual plan, but might change it mid-way through the fight.
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?
Mute: Me and my partner live in different countries and we really can't make a schedule for weekdays to Arena. However, we both play this game for a couple of hours a day and we usually get to play at least 100 games a week.
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?
Muse: I don't think we had any problems in the 1500s until 1900s, but after that you need to be prepared for anything!
WoW Insider: What signals to you that you need to radically change strategy midmatch? (And how do you accomplish that change?)
Mute: We're always talking throughout the game, and if one of us did something that totally changes the game plan we call it out. For instance, even if we're trying to bring down the healer, sometimes the other player is going down first.
WoW Insider: What's the key for your composition's strategy? Are there multiple tactics you can use?
Mute: Our combo has enough DPS and CC to bring down a player in a few seconds, but that's the whole point of these arenas, to be able to live through all of them.
Still, if we can use them properly and at the best times we can have 2 minute wins.
WoW Insider: You hear a lot about clicking versus binding. Which skills do you still click, which do you tend to bind?
Mute: I used to play WarCraft TFT a while ago and back then I started to use the key binds the game itself had for each thing. So that basically made me realize how much easier a game can be! Right now almost everything I use in game has a bind.
WoW Insider: What are you trying to improve?
Mute: Right now, we're just trying to see what are the fastest and easiest ways for our combo to beat other combos. But almost every day we learn new things and we try new thing, so it's pretty fun.
WoW Insider: A lot has been made of healers not having a strong role in Season 5. What do you think about that commentary?
Mute: Yeah, ever since this season came everyone was talking about how druids can't heal anymore and things like that.
But the truth is,there are healing druids in high ratings so I don't think it's impossible.
I played a Warlock prior to Wrath of the Lich King, and after the patch everyone said the same about locks and how "nerfed" they got. But even then it was pretty obvious that locks are still pretty awesome!