Arena Season 9: Everything you need to know


Mages: Frost +++ / Fire +– / Arcane ++-

Comments: Mages are extremely powerful as frost , Ring of frost was just icing on the cake.

Warrior: Arms +++ / Fury +– / Prot++-

Comments: You could go either prot or arms it really depends in your play style.

Druid: Feral +++ / Boomkin ++- / Resto +–

Comments: RIP Resto 12/7/10

Rogue: Assassination +++ / Subtly +++ / Combat +–

Comments: Smoke bomb needs an updated animation I was very disappointed in how that turned out.

Paladin: Holy +++ / Ret ++- / Prot +–

Comments: Ret was nerfed big time , don’t expect seeing alot of them in higher 2300’s.

Priest: Shadow +++ / Disc +++ / Holy +–

Comments: Shadow is fun play style if you have not tried it out yet, but if you wish to heal stay disc. lifegrip lol.

Warlock: Afflic +++ / Destro ++- / Demo ++-

Comments:Warlocks are not as good as they used to be , but when skillfully played they are still a top notch class.

Deathknight: Unholy +++ / Blood ++- / Frost ++-

Comments: Again not as strong as they used to be. They have some sweet new abilities though.

Shaman: Resto +++ / Ele +++ / Enhance ++-

Comments: Great all around class shamans are still an excellent choice for skilled players.

Guest post : World of Ming

posted by Zilea ( Source ) ( World of Ming )

Has Blizzard Hit the Sweet Spot?

Has Blizzard done it? We’re in a new expansion, new expectations, increased health pools,etc. I did some arenas today (mostly with random comps) to see if Blizzard is headed towards the right direction. First with the good news: Blizzard’s intentions are much better this time around than in WotLK; they were aware of the globaling that was going on and made calculations aimed at preventing that from happening in the future. Some of the obvious changes that went along with that philosophy included greater health pools (to reduce the chance of globaling) and reduction of the strength of healing spells (so that people do not get topped off with one crit heal) to the point that you’ll still think classes still have a 50% healing reduction.

The bad news: people are still dying in globals. I have 1750 resilience and one counterspell lockout is enough to kill me or a teammate. A few times tonight I got counterspelled at 100% health and while waiting for the lockout to end I was spamming Divine Shield, only to die before I came out of the lockout. On other instances I would be counterspelled by a mage on my very first cast (before the other team’s rogue even opened) and my teammate would die before the lockout ended.

The good news about all of this is that in theory, this should be the peak of damage in Cataclysm. As the expansion continues to go forward, more and more people will be getting resilience capped.

The bottom line is Blizzard is definitely getting closer to hitting that sweet spot than ever before, but the game still has a ways to go before it’s worthy of being a respectable tournament game again (MLG, take notes).

Smoke Bomb: Most Unbalanced Skill in Cataclysm

Right now, as I see it, there is no way to fix Smoke Bomb. It is just extremely broken in so many ways. For a lot of cleave-oriented teams, for example, it is close to a guaranteed kill if used properly. I ran into a few priest/DK/rogue teams and a properly timed Smoke Bomb -> Kidney Shot with a DK’s Chains of Ice was enough to drop a player from 100-0 with no recovery time. The real trick to this is using this combo on a player that cannot escape even if they use a trinket to move out of Smoke Bomb (ie: a Mage can blink out while a DK cannot). I was playing some PHD today and the dumbest thing was watching me run into the Smoke Bomb (while my partner instantly dropped to 20% hp) to give Hand of Protection only to have the rogue prep Smoke Bomb 20 seconds later. There are other stupid examples I could easily come up with but the point is Smoke Bomb is just a terrible skill idea with terrible mechanics and with little to no redeeming factors in terms of balance. For those that aren’t aware of how Smoke Bomb actually works, it is a 10 second duration ability on a 3 minute cooldown that rogues have that prevents any enemy on the outside from using spells on the inside.

The inherent problem with Smoke Bomb in any sort of cleave variation (especially with a DK) is that it makes the game come down to a very zergy, tunnel vision-esque game (much like the good ‘ol days of beastcleave, TSG, PHD, etc) where there is little that can be done to keep somebody alive through it.

Some other obnoxious things about Smoke Bomb include a very bad, buggy visual graphic that often times seems to bug out. A few times in arena I did not see the cloud at all yet was unable to use my spells on my dying teammate who was inside of it. It really needs a much more obvious graphic so that there is no confusion at all to whether or not there is even a Smoke Bomb.

New BG/Arena System Explained

For those that don’t understand the new system, I’ll try my best to explain it briefly. Honor points are still honor points; they are used to buy honor gear. However, to purchase the epic gear, you need “Conquest Points”. Conquest points can be obtained from either arena or rated battlegrounds. As far as I know, everyone started off with a weekly cap of 1343 conquest points. So, currently, you can only earn 1343 conquest points per week.

In addition, this “cap” can be raised depending on what your rating was the previous week. From what I’ve been told, this cap is identical to what your arena rating was in the previous week (I’m not sure if this holds true for rated battlegrounds). In other words, if your arena team hits 2500 team rating this week, next week your conquest point cap will be 2500 (this applies only to your highest rated team). On a side note, that may be the reason why Blizzard did not clear everyone’s matchmaking rating (MMR) for this expansion; they wanted people to quickly accumulate gear this time around.

When it comes to actually earning these conquest points, you are awarded around 268 conquest points per win, on the spot! There is no “delay” like in WotLK/TBC where you had to wait for the week’s maintenance to be awarded points. Now, if you win an arena match/rated battleground, you immediately get some conquest points.

Keep in mind, because both rated battlegrounds and arenas give conquest points, the conquest point cap is shared between the two. In other words, you can’t get 1343 conquest points for arena and 1343 for rated battlegrounds; once you hit the cap (currently 1343), you are done collecting points for the week.

I have a few major concerns regarding this new system. The main one has to do with inactivity that will occur in both arena and rated battlegrounds. Let me explain. In this new system, you can effectively hit 3000 rating in 3v3 and never touch that bracket again for the rest of the season while still gearing out. How you may ask? Well, rating is shared across all brackets in the sense that if you hit 3000 rating in 3v3, your “conquest points” cap is set at 3000. Now, because your highest rating determines your conquest point cap, you can simply play 2v2 every week after that to collect your 3000 conquest points. That will lead to high teams being inactive and just collecting their conquest points on their lower rated brackets while still maxing out on conquest points.

Wizard Cleave Still Reigns Supreme

Whether or not wizard cleaves are going to be as stupid as they were at the end of WotLK or not is something we won’t know for sure for a few more weeks, but from what I can tell right now, I still see little reason for teams to not be running wizard cleave variants.

After running a variety of bizarre comps today, it wasn’t long until I ran into Talbadar. Yes, Talbadar, the man known for running nothing but wizard cleaves, was back at it again running restodruid/UA warlock/shadow priest. After losing an enormous amount of games against his new wizard cleave I got completely fed up and got two players to run wizard cleave too. Immediately I noticed how much easier it was, and I was able to beat some pretty big names, which allowed me to reminisce the last few weeks of WotLK where I was beating high caliber teams with paladin/destruction warlock/elemental shamans consisting of tons of random elemental shamans. In other words, it was like smashing my face on the keyboard. He pretty much forced my hand into running wizard cleave. Although damage isn’t as high as in WotLK, damage is still high. High enough to the point that wizard cleaves can easily thrive in this environment.

It’s obviously still early in the season and people aren’t fully geared with resilience yet, but I honestly still see wizard cleave as being as cheesy as ever. If I was a Blizzard or MLG tournament admin the first rule I would make is to outright outlaw any form of wizard cleave from ever being allowed at a tournament.

Other thoughts

  • I miss the old, default party frames. When you get into arena you are forced into using these raid frames. I really wish an option was given to enable/disable it. Anyone know an addon for what I’m asking?
  • Divine Plea’s 50% healing reduction portion needs to be eliminated, especially after the recent paladin nerfs.
  • Priest’s Masochism: When you take a damaging attack equal to or greater than 10% of your total health or damage yourself with your Shadow Word: Death, you instnatly gain 10% of your total mana. Overboard?


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