The Colosseum takes us inside the world of the Gladiator (Brutal, Vengeful, Merciless, and otherwise), to interview some of the top arena fighters in the battlegroups. Our goal is to bring a better understanding of the strategy, makeup, and work that goes into dueling it out for fame, fortune, and Frostwyrms. We're especially focused on the people who play these games, to further shed light on the world of the PvP player.
There haven't been many warlocks interviewed in the history of the Colosseum. We were very excited to sit down with Trendz of Hyjal today to discuss a myriad of arena related topics and personal history.
Vanquisher Trendz is currently holding down the #1 spots in both 3v3 and 5v5 on the US-Whirlwind battlegroup. His 3v3, Rival Thilaume, a wizard cleave (two spell dps casters + healer) and his 5v5, Last Game Moms Calling makes Trendz the highest ranking warlock on US-Whirlwind, even though he has no 2v2.
Take a look at what Trendz had to say after the break!
WoW.com: Hi Trendz, good to have you with us. Let's start out by asking some basic questions. What arena teams are you on, and what compositions do you play?
Trendz: Thanks for having me. I am running 3v3 playing as destruction with an elemental shaman and resto druid (wizard cleave). In 5v5, I am running destruction warlock, elemental shaman, holy pally, restoration druid, and survival hunter.
WoW.com: What are your wizard cleave's strengths and weaknesses?
Trendz: The only weakness we have come across is a major one. Double healer, double defensive-dispel teams (such as discipline priest, holy paladin, random third opponent) are game breakers for my team considering we rely on Immolate and Flame Shock to stick on our targets.
There are are definitely more strengths than weaknesses for sure. The burst that an elemental shaman and destruction warlock can put out on any given target is amazing. Also, we have three major forms of crowd control in Fear, Cyclone, and Hex.
Totems are also very nice to have on the team. Totem of Wrath allows me to stay in Demon Armor more than I normally would due to gaining back lost spell power. I get to stay in Demon Armor for the extra heals and and armor without sacrificing my spell power.
WoW.com: What are the strengths and weaknesses of your 5v5 comp?
Trendz: Strengths: Very similar to running wizard cleave in 3v3. The added bonus in 5v5 is our hunter, who is our Mortal Strike class, and druid who has additional crowd control for us. The comps definitely has the ability to switch to any opponent in a bad position and kill him instantly.
The only real weakness I have seen with this 5v5 comp is if we fight a very melee heavy team. A 5v5 cleave team can split dps between our destruction warlock and elemental shaman to lock us down pretty good. If that happens we're not able to put enough pressure out to get a kill.
WoW.com: Your 5v5 is a somewhat rare composition. Most teams use a discipline priest instead of a restoration druid, how does that affect your strategy?
Trendz: Our 5v5 is definitely uncommon. We use a druid over a priest, but they both have benefits as I see it. With a priest, it's nice to have Pain Suppression and Mana Burn. Not having the priest's dispel hurts but as long as our shaman keeps his tremor down, my devour hits the right debuffs, and we're able to land a kill quickly, we win.
What we love about using our druid is the very reliable extra form of crowd control with Cyclone. The druid also can single handedly win us a match with his mana conservation over what a priest would normally have. A druid is a great replacement for people who can't seem to find a priest for this comp.
WoW.com: How long have you been playing arena competitively?
Trendz: I started doing competitive arena in season 3. It was very competitive and brought out a whole new aspect of the game I never realized was there.
WoW.com: Did you play the game before season three? If so, what interested you about arena when you started to play it competitively?
Trendz: I actually started playing the game right when The Burning Crusade was launched. The real thing that got me interested in arena was I always felt doing raids was entertaining but doing the same thing week and after week just got old. Once I stepped into an arena and actually played other people who throw new things at you every single game, it just got me hooked. Arena made me really interested in trying to become a competitive player.
WoW.com: How did you become successful in arena?
Trendz: I actually have a cool story about that. I saw a priest in trade channel spamming that he would help players get higher ratings cause he was bored. I took him up on the offer and we went like 30-1 or something crazy that day. He told me he played with a really good warlock and I should pick his brain, that it would "help me learn the class more." After that, I just studied the way the warlock played and picked his brain on everything related to arena.
WoW.com: How does it feel being #1 in two different brackets?
Trendz: It's actually kind of boring. I'm the type of player who loves to get as many games in as possible, but being up at the top dramatically cuts down how many games I can play due to no other high teams in queue, or just getting 1 or 2 points a win which isn't worth it. So I guess it's okay, I enjoy seeing my name at the top, I just wish it didn't cut the number of arenas I do in a week down so much.
The good in it would be everyone is gunning for the #1 guys. They want to try and queue against us and take those big points away which is fun. It makes us want to stay at the top that much more.
WoW.com: How are warlocks doing right now in arena? Are you satisfied with what you bring to the table?
Trendz: In my opinion, warlocks are doing very well in arena right now. Im definitely satisified with destruction. But on the other hand, I would like to see affliction bring a bit more to the table. It's a dying spec. Affliction is the reason a lot of warlocks play the class in the first place -- for the dots and watching that target die over time instead of blowing people up.
WoW.com: How do you feel about the patch 3.3. change to Conflagrate?
Trendz: I was actually happy to see the nerf to be honest. Don't get me wrong, I loved seeing those big instant 12k crits when Immolate was on a target. I think with Conflagrate only consuming 9 seconds of Immolate instead of 12 and adding the dot afterwards will even up the playing field and allow others to not get globaled from a destro warlock.
WoW.com: Pet resilience is slated to scale to 100% up from 40% very shortly. How you feel about this change?
Trendz: I'm so happy the developers finally decided to make this a 100 percent change. I always tell my arena partners "a dead warlock pet is usually a dead warlock." Increasing pet resilience for all pets is just a good thing. Even with the 100 percent, if you really want a pet dead -- it will die. However, with this change, it probably won't be two shot, it will actually give healers a chance to keep a pet alive instead of "Oh no, they're on your pet, I'm gonna cast regrow...oh, it's dead."
WoW.com: How do you communicate mid-battle? Who calls out what to kill, and when?
Trendz: Well for 3v3, my shaman actually calls the kill target more than I do. Once he gets a target fully dispelled via Purge, he will call a switch to the buffless opponent. At that point, he and I will set the burst up and go for the kill while our druid tries to get his cyclone up on a healer.
For 5v5 it's a bit different, my team consists of all ranged dps between the hunter, shaman, and myself. We all call kill targets. For example -- if my shaman is being focused he doesn't have the best view of the playing field. So I would call a switch to a target. At that point, we all switch to that target. If the switch doesn't work and someone else on my team sees a good opportunity, they will call the switch. It's all about who has the best view of the playing field. We go with whoever makes that call.
WoW.com: What are your favorite targets to kill in 3v3 and 5v5?
Trendz: For the most part, our comps in both 3v3 and 5v5 have targets we love to see. If we focus frost mages, they can't get many Polymorphs against us. We also love to see hunters and elemental shamans, both are very good targets for us to get kills on.
WoW.com: Do you have any responsibilities specific to your role?
Trendz: In both of my teams, we lack dispels which makes my role as dispeller very important. My main thing besides putting out damage is making sure to devour any important crowd control, i.e. Fear if tremor totem isn't down. Dispelling polymorph off my shaman or myself in 3v3 is a common use, as well as keeping my pally free from crowd control in 5v5 so he can dispel the rest of the team as needed.
WoW.com: What is the most important single attribute a successful team possesses?
Trendz: The one thing I have always told my team is if you lack communication, it's game breaking. Calling everything out in your game is the difference between a win and a loss.
WoW.com: How can new arena players improve their play?
Trendz: The best way for new arena players to improve their play is definitely to find those players that are more experienced in arena then you are, and go pick their brains. Ask them what you could work on to improve your own skills in the class that you play. Go on PvP websites and see what some of the top players say about the class they play. Read as much as you can. Most of all, just get in arena and play as much as you can. Work on the mistakes you make and try to improve on your the things you do wrong. Everyone started somewhere, just remember that and have fun!
WoW.com: Alright, that brings us to the end of the interview. Thanks so much for letting us pick your brain, Trendz. Is there anything else you'd like to say to the readers?
Trendz: Enjoy the class you play. Have fun with the arena scene. Go with the flow of changes your class might receive, and learn to not let them drive you crazy. Have fun with them!
Also, I just want to send a shout out to my teammates: Qtpielol, Thilaume, Stinglol, and Mynangerun! Without your teammates you're nowhere.
Patch 3.3 is the last major patch of Wrath of the Lich King. With the new Icecrown Citadel 5-man dungeons and 10/25-man raid arriving soon, patch 3.3 will deal the final blow to the Arthas. WoW.com's Guide to Patch 3.3 will keep you updated with all the latest patch news. If that's not enough to wet your PvP whistle, check out WoW.com's articles on arena, successful arena PvPers, PvP, and our arena column, Blood Sport.