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The Colosseum: Helpless in the Twisting Nether


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 Netherdrakes.

Season 5 is winding down to a close, even if we don't know the official start date for Season 6. Patch 3.1 is somewhere around the corner, with Ulduar and class changes both lurking in the shadows like devilish rogues. If there's one thing we can expect to be different between seasons, however, it's that Holy Paladins are going to perform radically different from how they do now.

In recognition of the Season of the Holy Pally (for better or for worse), we have one last interview with a wielder of light, a barista of bubble, a Shonuff of Shock! Helpless, from Twisting Nether, is rated highly in all three team formats. Check out what Helpless had to say about her tactics 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?

Helpless: In 2v2, I run with a Survival hunter (Naam) and in 3v3 I run with Naam and a DK named Insist.

In 2v2, our general strategy is to pressure healer teams early and consistently. Against Double DPS teams, we take the turtle route and try to survive their Cooldowns.

Our biggest challenges right now in 2v2 are the rise of all the Lock/Healer teams. They have a large advantage over us, since they have the freedom to freely cast Crowd Control during most of the match. We run our comp extremely aggressive in most situations, to help mitigate their ability to do that.

WoW Insider: What's your opening strategy? What do you like to do as soon as the gate opens?

Helpless: Our goal right out of the gate is to get in combat as soon as possible and pull the fight away from obstructions.

WoW Insider: Which mods do you use -- how have you customized your screen?

Helpless: I use mostly vanity mods, but Afflicted and Gladius are my main Arena mods.

WoW Insider: How do you work out target designation? (Does someone call it out, or is everyone on their own to figure it out?)

Helpless: Right now, we are to the point where we have an aggro list for each comp we encounter. But, yeah, we always call out players caught in bad spots and take advantage.

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?

Helpless: Our peak times when we're available are usually in the late afternoon. That seems like it's a peak time in general, based on the variety of teams we usually face.

Lately, with all of the teams rerolling, we have been playing too many risky games against high rated teams. They are starting over at ~1500 which usually cuts our playtime short if we can't consistantly beat them. Hidden ratings are lame!

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?

Helpless: Toward the end of the grind up, we definitely had to adapt with the competition and begin doing alot more switches. I have found myself playing a lot more offensively to help with pressure.

WoW Insider: What signals to you that you need to radically change strategy midmatch? (And how do you accomplish that change?)

Helpless: If my hunter starts to tunnel on a strat and it seems to be going nowhere. Or if an opponent puts themselves in a bad spot, we will always change the plan.

WoW Insider: What's the key for your composition's strategy? Are there multiple tactics you can use?

Helpless: The key for our comp is pressure. We take pride in allowing no resets. Yes, there are multiple but they're still rather limited.

WoW Insider: You hear a lot about clicking versus binding. Which skills do you still click, which do you tend to bind?

Helpless: The only skills I click are my buffs before each match. Other than those, everything is bound.

WoW Insider: What are you trying to improve?

Helpless: Personally, I am working mostly on my kiting skills, which have gotten a little rusty. I'm spending a lot of time as Holy/Prot to get a feel come 3.1.

WoW Insider: A lot has been made of healers not having a strong role in Season 5. What do you think about that commentary?

Helpless: Earlier in the season, I would definitely agree with that statement. But right now, I think it's starting to even out.

It's still a rough life trying to counter burst but not impossible like it was early on. I think our role is getting stronger by the week.

WoW Insider: What are you hoping to see improved in 3.1? We've seen some changes, obviously, but there's more to come.

Helpless: Right now my only gripe is the rating system. It's just way too easy to reroll a team and catch back up to the pack with the hidden rating deal. Just seems unfair to me and I'd like to see some tweaks to it.

The Colosseum is an interview series by WoW Insider, meant to reveal 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).

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