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The Colosseum: Zanso, warrior of Crushridge


The Colosseum takes us inside the world of the gladiator 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!

The Colosseum had the pleasure of interviewing gladiator Zanso, warrior of Crushridge. Zanso's 3v3 team, CAN WE BE IN THE TIE, is 2700+ rated, and currently the #3 warrior-priest-druid composition worldwide. Read on to find out what he has to say about warriors, arena strategy, and Cataclysm.

The Colosseum: Why do you play a warrior? What is it about the class's toolbox that appeals to you for competitive arena?
Zanso: When you think of a warrior, you think of a two-hander, and Mortal Strike, but when I play it, it's more than that. Warriors have so much utility, more than any class in PvP I believe -- to do so much more (Defensive Stance, etc) and thats why it's still appealing to me.

What's the coolest thing you've ever done in arena? Don't be modest.
Probably the coolest would be when I Intervened my priest partner then cast Spell Reflection. I killed an elemental shaman with his own EMCL (Elemental Mastery + Chain Lightning).

That's very cool. Have you ever played any other games competitively? If so, what skills did you learn from them that helped you to be a better arena player?
I was always a Counter-Strike player (1.3-Source) -- I have learned to never give up or lose hope if I'm facing skilled, well-known opponents. If you think you're going to lose, you probably are.

Why did you choose to play your 3v3 team makeup over other possible compositions?
Because we rarely play mirrors (the exact same team composition). I hate mirrors. Haha.

What are the strengths and weaknesses of your team?
The biggest strength is the amount of healing we obviously have, and the amount of different dispels are also very nice.
The biggest weakness would probably be the low amount of damage. If I were to get focus-fired hard, we'd have little to no damage.

What are some other challenges your team faces?
All in all, we don't find many challenges when we play -- we feel like we have so much control over the other team. If my damage is not putting enough pressure on them, our priest's Mana Burns will. We really dislike outlast drain teams though, like druid-warlock-hunter.

What's your general game plan? Do you try to play offensively or defensively? Why?
We play a bit of both. We'll start out defensive, and feel out the other team. Once they've used a lot of their offensive cooldowns, we'll go offensive and just try to blow one guy up. We'll also Mana Burn at the same time to create even more pressure.

How do you work out target designation and swaps? Do your healers help you switch targets at all?
Of course, they help me the most. I usually call out who does what, but the druid ultimately helps me make burst switches with Cyclones.

Do you have favorite classes to kill on the opposing team? If so, what are they and why?
Other warriors. Haha. A close second would be warlocks, I just love stacking five Sunder Armors on them and going off.

How did your team start playing games together? How long have you been playing as a team?
We've been playing since the last season of The Burning Crusade (season 4) so we've got a good sync going on now.

How did you meet up? Did you meet up through trade, AJ, guilds, etc?
Just in general jumping around Stormwind. Inspecting people and having conversations like...
"Hey, nice team -- wanna do arena?"

You're currently 3rd on your battlegroup in 3v3 -- are you shooting for rank 1? If so, what obstacles will you have to conquer to get there?
The biggest one would be to get my team to start playing again, they're so busy with in-real-life stuff that they have no more time to play.

What do you think about warriors in arena right now? Are they overpowered, underpowered, or balanced? Why?
When you compare them to any other class, I'd say they are balanced, leaning towards overpowered. Warriors do have good damage output, but compare a warrior to a hunter. The hunter has the same debuff we have, but it's ranged. Hunters have much more utility and sometimes even higher damage, so you can't call the warrior overpowered.

A lot of gladiators "PvE to PvP" -- they raid in order to get best-in-slot gear for arena. What do you think about this? Do you think some the best PvP gear should come from raiding?
Yes and no. I dont feel that we should have to raid to get the best in slot gear, but it makes the game a bit more challenging if you need to do both aspects of the game to have the best gear. For example, there is no way you can get something as good as Deathbringer's Will in PvP.

What do you think about Cataclysm's planned changes for warriors?
I don't like the MS (Mortal Strike) debuff nerf; I fear that it will make warriors obsolete in PvP. As for the Heroic Strike change, I think it's pretty cool that we can use all this excess rage we have sometimes on something hard-hitting.

Ghostcrawler recently explained that Cataclysm's PvP focus will be on rated battlegrounds. What do you think about PvP being balanced around rated battlegrounds?
I think it's interesting on paper. It's going to be hard to gather people for an AB or EotS team, but a very interesting concept indeed. It's something new.

What's helped you to be a better arena player?
I think just theory crafting in general, reading the ArenaJunkies forums and just practice, practice, practice.

What are you trying to improve?
Trying to be not so offensive when I know I should be defensive. Haha.

What motivates you to keep playing?
To be the best, I'm an Aries so it's naturally in me. Haha.

What's the biggest thing that differentiates a good player from a great player?
Someone that is a Gladiator and someone that is not. Just kidding. Someone who knows every aspect of their class, and is skilled at performing them all. Not someone that just grabs a beast two-hander from raiding and only knows how to use Mortal Strike.

What's your advice to players who want to start playing arenas for the first time?
Read about your class. It's very important. Knowledge is power so anything you can use against your enemy is good.

The Colosseum is'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!

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