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Your PvP questions answered


This week on Blood Sport, we're taking a slightly different approach to recent columns. It's been rather heavy of late, lengthy pieces explaining my concerns about the current state of PvP, mixed in with some guides relevant to the current season. But, today, it's my birthday, and I'm feeling rather more light-hearted than usual. I've had quite the flurry of requests for PvP guidance and tactics lately, so I thought I'd throw them to the floor, provide some answers, and let WoW Insider's PvP community provide their input as well.

In the interest of brevity, I've edited the questions down to size!

Estrellita asked:

What do you think the changes to PvP gearing will be? Ghostcrawler and Daxxarri have been talking a lot about them and not really saying anything much useful.

That is a good question, and one I'm a little concerned about. Let's pull together the information we have on this already, and then we can have a good look at it!

The most Daxxarri has really said on the matter is contained in this post:


Why not add in a reduction in conquest points required to purchase gear as the season progresses? Like a 25 point deduction per week. That way casuals/people re rolling aren't left in the dust mid way through the season.

Stay strong! This is a subject that we've been giving a lot of thought to lately. We'll have more to report in the near future.

And in this one:


Changing the PvP Honor gear from 483 to 476 next season is a HUGE mistake. You are making it impossible to enter PvP Arena/RBG on a near level playing field when people with full 2/2 Malevolent are starting the season with 491 gear and 498 T2 weapons.

This is the biggest gear disparity EVER in PvP. Usually Honor Gear > Last season PvP gear so players can have a fresh start and compete on semi-even playing field.

You guys are making a huge mistake and you have time to fix it. Please listen to you community and don't go through with these changes.

Not to worry, there's already stuff in the works, and the item level change on that gear is just a smaller part of the larger picture.

We'll be posting a blog that explains the upcoming changes later this week.

Changes are definitely incoming, and Ghostcrawler has discussed them briefly himself, via twitter.

What we do know is that we don't know much at all. It definitely seems like there are big changes coming, and I for one suspect that they will relate to how easy it currently is for PvPers to gear up for raiding.

I do also hope that whatever solution they have in mind will alleviate the current problems of gear escalation, where it's nigh on impossible for players starting late season to catch up to those who have been gearing for months and capping every week. The gap in item level between conquest gear an honor gear is a big issue here, not to mention the item upgrade system.

Because it's fun to speculate, and it's my birthday, I'm going to throw my tin-foil hat on and say that they're turning PvP gearing into a completely new, revamped system. I reckon they're going to remove T2 weapons altogether, and make the glorious gear purely vanity-based. They're also going to increase the cap for lower level players and keep it consistent for higher level ones, rather than the current ramp-up as rating increases. That's my two cents anyway! What do you reckon?

Runatical asks:

I have a Blood DK as a main, and love tanking, but I have been told that you can't tank any more in pvp because of the changes to tanking vengeance in Mists. Is that true? And can I still tank anyways? If not, what should I play?

The changes to Vengeance that your friends are talking about actually came in part-way through Cataclysm, not during Mists, in patch 4.3.2. All it means is that your attack power doesn't ramp up when you're hitting other players, so tank damage took a big hit in PvP. What your friends could be thinking of, though, is the changes to Death Strike in 5.1 -- it no longer heals you when you use it on other players.

However, those changes definitely don't mean you should discount your DK. Sure, they aren't great in arena, as they just can't put out the damage, despite being hard to kill for melee. But they can be reasonable flag carriers, though not quite so unstoppable since the aforementioned changes to Death Strike. And what's more, PvP is about playing what you like! There's something very entertaining about being an annoying unkillable person keeping the enemy busy in random battlegrounds -- I do it sometimes on my paladin tank!

As for what you should play apart from your DK, if it's melee that you like then arms warriors are very strong at the moment.

Thelsian asks:

I read your article on CC being out of control and I think it is. I get cced for entire arena matches and its really not fun, I hate it, and I wish blizzard would fix it, they have totally wrecked arena with CC. Its far to much. Do you have any ideas for what to do? Ret paladin.

I hear you, Thelsian. CC in arenas, particularly if you're facing up against good teams, is very powerful at the minute. Paladins, particularly, have very few ways to deal with CC, apart from their trinket, Hand of Freedom for roots and snares, and their bubble, which is also their major defensive cooldown.

Your PvP questions answeredBut there are always things you can do. In my experience of retribution in arena, the way to deal with a CC chain can be to bubble, then cast CC of your own. Ret paladins, with the stuns and the AoE blind, actually have quite some CC at their disposal. Once you've done this, you'll be pretty vulnerable, so that would be the time to blow cooldowns and try to get the upper hand damage-wise. This is rather a gambling approach, though, as by using your bubble to grant you immunity to CC, you've left yourself a little defenseless.

The other option is to use line of sight to your advantage. This feels a lot more passive, but if it's cast time CC that's coming after you, the caster will get frustrated before too long if they can't hit you! Roots and slows are the usual solution to this, but for that you've got Hand of Freedom.

Do bind Hand of Freedom to a decent, easily accessible button, if you haven't already. That should be your default, immediate response to any kind of CC on your character. Cleansing yourself, too, particularly against rogues, can be very useful indeed. Once you're close enough to do so, stick a Hammer of Justice on the CC-er, and blow them up. Once they're under high pressure, they may have to think of things other than CC.

You'll be pleased to hear, though, that nerfs to instant-cast CCs, particularly AoE ones, are planned.

Ramalala asked:

Hi Olivia, I know you play a shaman healer in PvP, what do you do about heavy burst at the moment particularly from warriors? I just seem to get killed immediately and its depressing...

I've cropped your email there, Ramalala, for space constraints! Shaman do have a tricky old time with heavy burst from melee classes, definitely, and from your email your main experience was in 2v2 with a DPS monk. Firstly, remember that 2v2 is not balanced. That's why it doesn't award titles any more, it's too easy to take flavor of the month classes and faceroll your way to the top. 2v2 is really just a way to get points!

Now, I don't know a great deal about the monk class, so perhaps our commenters can help out, but what you need is crowd control. While you can blow all your cooldowns and survive temporarily, you've blown all your cooldowns, and that's no good! If I find myself in a situation where two melee are coming after me, I will do my very best to hex one from the out. If they instantly trinket that, there's one trinket gone, at least.

Then you've got your earthgrab totem, your capacitor totem, frost shock, ghost wolf, and whatever your partner can bring to the table. Pillars are your friends! And if you've got a warlock on your team, make them put their demonic gateway over a long run so you can use it to escape. To survive melee burst as a shaman, you need a cool head and good team-mates.

Do you want to capture flags, invade cities, attack towers, and dominate the enemy for your faction? Do you dream of riding your War Bear with pride? We'll steer you to victory with secrets of Battlegrounds and Arena, prepping you with proven addons and keybindings that win! Send questions or comments to

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