The Colosseum takes us inside the world of the Gladiator (Relentless, Furious, Deadly, Brutal, Vengeful, Merciless, and otherwise), to interview some of the top Arena fighters on 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. If you'd like to be interviewed for The Colosseum, please feel free to contact us -- be sure to include your armory as a link!
Today's Colosseum offers a rare sight into the mind of an arena player who has multiple high-ranking teams...on multiple battlegroups. Patz, a discipline priest from Mugthol
, has recently achieved top-five rank on not only his main character, but also an alt of the same class stationed on Kel'Thuzad (Patzqt
On his main character, Patz plays a 5v5 composition commonly referred to as 2345. 2345 stands for discipline priest, holy paladin, warrior, elemental shaman, mage
. However, our interviewee decided to go a different route on his alt Patzqt to utilize a completely different 5v5 composition of three healers, a warlock, and a hunter
WoW.com: Why do you play priest? What is it about the class's toolbox that appeals to you for competitive arena?
I play a priest because it has potential to be defensive or offensive at will. The amount of damage and defensive cooldowns that priests have appeals to me. Sometimes a priest can just spam damage into a target for the duration of a game and win. Mana Burn
is skill as well, and I love double defensive/offensive dispels. Dispel Magic
is one of the best abilities that priests have. The instant casts (Power Word: Shield
, Prayer of Mending
) make priests unique and keeps playing a priest fun as well.
WoW.com: What spec do you play for 5v5? What advantages does that spec provide you that others do not?
When I play with the triple healer, I spec into haste talents like Enlightenment
, and defensive talents as well like Spell Warding
as well. This is because, I tend to get trained in 5v5 and still need to tank damage while being offensive as well with Mana Burns.
While playing 2345, I spec into a lot of the same talents, but also get some offensive talents like Divine Fury
for faster casts on damage spells to help burst on swaps.
WoW.com: How do you gem/enchant your character? Why not gem or enchant for different stats?
I gem really defensively (or I plan to when I get the newest season gear) on my triple team. This includes resil and stam gems mixes so I can tank heavy damage.
While playing 2345, I gem a lot of spell power and haste to keep my global cds fast, as this composition is really fast paced.
WoW.com: As a priest, what are your responsibilities in an arena game?
In the 5v5 bracket, a priest's responsibilities (coupled with a pally healer) is backup heals (instant heals/Penance
) assist bursts, and TONS OF DISPELS. Oh, Mana Burn is also bound to a lot of keys as well. Priests in arena can help initiate pressure as a healer, while keeping teammates up as well.
WoW.com: Why did you choose to play your 5v5 team makeups over other possible compositions?
My composition on Kel'thuzad was inspired by most of my teammates that played it last season to a high rating with an amazing ratio (98% win). The damage output by a hunter and a competent affliction warlock is still as high as any triple dps team, but with the three healers, you also have the potential to outlast teams as well.
My 2345 team on Mug'thol (mage, elemental shaman, warrior, discipline priest, holy pally) was always a composition that I admired since season 2. This comp has amazing burst potential while having some of the best crowd control a 5v5 team can have. A lot of people would think that the warlock variant (2346) is a better comp, but with the excellent synergy that our dps have after playing multiple seasons together, I would say that those people are wrong.
WoW.com: What are the strengths and weaknesses of your teams?
With three healers, the strengths include massive heals, spammable crowd control with the warlock, and insane damage from the marks hunter. The weaknesses of this comp would probably be against heavy cleave teams. Since we do have 2 cloth wearers, we tend to take a ton of damage if teams have high amounts of physical dps. Still with this in mind, a lot of cleave 5s teams aren't seen as much in the higher bracket and those that are still have a hard time against hunter lock damage as well.
2345 doesnt really have too many weaknesses. The only argument some would have would be against hunter teams that can do insane amounts of damage to mages. Lipstickx is probably the best mage I've seen in terms of getting burst off/staying alive in the process which makes our healers jobs 100 times easier.
WoW.com: How do you work out target designation and swaps?
Patz: 2345 relies on heavy swaps to win most games. Depending on the team, we line up burst on potential targets that get out of position or are "Ramboing" towards us. Also opposing priests are good targets if I am lined up to get some burns off.
With my triple heals 5v5, cloth wearers are our main targets and we try and switch depending on line of sight issues.
WoW.com: Does your team have favorite classes to kill?
On both teams, mages are probably our favorite class to kill. Priests are up there too, and with 2345 warriors and dks (the few we see) tend to die pretty fast as well.
WoW.com: What challenges does your team have?
Like before, with triple healer heavy cleave teams are rough at points. If our main healer(pally) gets cc'd enough without cooldowns, a good team could take me down pretty fast with purges. 2345 does not seem to have any main challenges. Hunters could potentially be a problem with their heavy damage on cloth.
WoW.com: Are there any opposing types of team compositions you love to face?
I love playing against any composition to be honest. I find that the 5v5 bracket isn't one where I have gone into a game, see the other team, and immediately think that we have no chance. I still like playing against destruction warlock/elemental shaman based teams though, as a lot of people play those and find think that it is the best comp out there.
WoW.com: How have your teams changed since you've started playing together?
I like both my teams this season. Both have a relaxing environment, and I am pretty lucky to be on them since I haven't played these comps but my teammates have pretty much gotten all the strategies worked out already. I'm still in the learning process for them, but I am pretty confident.
WoW.com: What do you think about the resilience and healing changes for season eight? Are the changes noticeable?
I really have not noticed a difference in the resilience and healing changes this season. Gear is scaled higher, burst teams still win with burst, drain teams still win with drains
, and the 2s bracket is still unbalanced. I really do not think that this change did anything to be honest but then some people should wonder what it would be like if it was not implemented as well.
WoW.com: In YOUR opinion, which classes are lagging behind right now?
I think that most classes are fine at the moment. There are many small aspects of a lot of classes that might need a few adjustments. Rogues tend to take massive damage from just about every class at the moment, priests need a few more adjustments on mana constraints (a shadowpriest
can out mana a disc priest at the moment), and hunter damage might be a little too high as well. Everyone can find something wrong with every class, but it is probably impossible to balance every class perfectly, that is why there are different classes in the first place.
WoW.com: What do you think is the best 5v5 composition out there today?
Before this season, I would have said that WKWBM (white kids with black moms) composition was the best (death knight, elemental shaman, hunter, holy paladin, discipline priest), but with dk nerfs to damage, and no spammable cc, teams found a lot of ways to beat us.
Today, I would say that the best compositions right now are triple healer + affliction warlock + hunter and 2345/2346. RMPLS (rogue-mage-discipline priest-warlock-restoration shaman) is arguably up there as well. Spammable cc's win games in 5v5 (although sometime you can wotlk burst to get wins as well).
WoW.com: We all know the expression "everyone's gotta start somewhere." What was your starting point when you decided to pick up arena?
I started playing arena as shadow in season 2. I eventually found more potential in the discipline tree season 3, and never looked back. I started playing with some real life friends but we never could find a good mix of classes to make a high rating potential squad, so I branched out and used tools like arenajunkies
to find new teammates.
WoW.com: What helped you to be a better arena player?
Playing a ton of games, playing against people that are better than you, and watching videos for strategies helped me become a better arena player. Also, finding the right teammates as well, because most of the time, how you work with others helps win games as well, with individual skill being a plus factor.
WoW.com: What's the biggest thing that differentiates a good player from a great player?
I would say that communication and leadership differentiates a good player from a great player. Situational awareness, and class knowledge are very arguable for this category as well. Great players can find ways to win, no matter what, but coming up with strategies, communicating them during game, and keeping teammates moral up.
WoW.com: What motivates you to keep playing?
Playing with friends, both real life friends and wow friends, and the fact that this game is still fun to me keeps me motivated to play. When that day comes where arena isn't fun anymore, I'll quit playing.
WoW.com: What are you trying to improve?
I make a ton of mistakes, and I know exactly when I do them. I just like to try and reduce the amount of them and win more games. I would also like to improve my awareness of the classes that I do not play as well so I can anticipate what is happening when it happens.
WoW.com: What's your advice to players who might be wanting to pick up arenas for the first time?
Just get into the arena, find some chill people to play with and just queue up. Also, do heroics and battlegrounds to get better gear (obviously).
WoW.com: Anything else you'd like to say?
Patz: I was wondering if I could give shoutouts, if you have room:
Blackrock/Bg9 :Jhazy Aloraan Trance/Vicious Cycle Talbadar Cirranis
Kel'Thuzad: Filovirus, CP, Monzingo, Cory, Magemx, Tommy, Hype, Willymac, NEVERSHOCK (UGLY DRAENEI)
Mug'thol: Five Fx, Emonerd
Dragonmaw (my home): Honorless, Zachariah, No DICE
The Colosseum is WoW.com's interview series spotlighting strategies, compositions, and tactics from the Arena fighters who use them. For more PvP information, be sure to hit up Blood Sport and the Art of War(craft). If you'd like to be interviewed for The Colosseum, please feel free to contact us -- be sure to include your armory as a link!