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
Holy Paladins are a bit of a hot topic right now. While moment-captured statistics will certainly indicate they have a measure of power in Season 5, this isn't the first time that's happened. Back in Season 1, Holy Paladins were the class-to-have. But as soon as Resilience and mobility became popular in Arena compositions, Holy Paladins became a thing of the past. Even the so-called "lolret" seemed to fare better in the Arena that the plate-wearing healers.
With all the uproar about Holy Paladins right now, it's fair to take a second look at the class and tactics in the weekend Arena column. Meetsi of Auchindoun was kind enough to share his thought on the Arena with us, especially from the perspective of an Arena healer. You might also recognize him as partner to Infractus, from last week.
WoW Insider: What are the strongest points of operating as a Paladin in the Arena?
Meetsi: Paladins have a few advantages in Arena which make them desirable healers, as 49/0/22 they become virtually Stun-immune with Blessing of Freedom greatly increasing survivability against Double-DPS.
Also, Blessing of Sacrifice and BoP lend great survivability to your partners enabling you to save your own bubble. Sacred cleansing ( along with the regular cleanse ) is great for keeping team mates out of CC and reducing damage. It's great for keeping wound off as well.
WoW Insider: What's your opening strategy? What do you like to do as soon as the gate opens?
Meetsi: Our opening strategy generally consists of Infractus rushing in to catch someone out of stealth or get a quick upper hand on someone. Meanwhile, I buff Sacred Shield and judge his target 40 yards away.
WoW Insider: One of the claims about Arena balance is that it will get better as Resilience improves. Have you seen any of that happening? Or do you think that your survivability is reliant on your class choice?
Meetsi: Surviving is about using cooldowns correctly, and going offensive when your CC is up. It's less based on class than it was before in my opinion.
WoW Insider: How do you work out target designation? (Does someone call it out, or is everyone on their own to figure it out?)
Meetsi: I Call strats from the gates, everyone starts on what I call. Then, we argue what's best afterward. There are a few pre-determined things to do based on composition, of course.
WoW Insider: What do you think about the new hidden, personal rating? Does it seem to make the game better or worse to you? Do you consider the hidden rating an unfair penalty to experienced players?
Meetsi: There are advantages and disadvantages to this hidden rating for experienced players. One advantage is that levelling a new team is quick and easy ... like 50 or so games.
But what if I want to play Retributio instead of Holy? First, my gear is nowhere near on par with my Holy gear. And I'm simply not practised. Why should I have to fight 2300 players?
WoW Insider: Did you play in previous seasons? What do you see the differences in the new season being?
Meetsi: I played a Druid in all the other seasons. The main difference I noticed is games are decided a lot quicker and more often by cooldowns.
WoW Insider: What's the key for your composition's strategy? Are there multiple tactics you can use?
Meetsi: We use multiple strats to keep the enemy unaware of what is happening next. If something doesn't work, we try something else in quick succession. We try to limit their time to react. Like, HoJ-ing a DPS and swapping to them quick with a Blood Elf Silence, and then dropping a Hungering Cold on their healer.
WoW Insider: What are you trying to improve?
Meetsi: Personally, I'm trying to improve my timing with Blessing of sacrifice, now that it is like a shield wall for the target, CC break for me, and now on a Two Minute cooldown.
WoW Insider: A lot has been made of healers not having a strong role in Season 5. What do you think about that commentary?
Meetsi: I think its overexaggerated. A lot of healers are still trying to play the complete defensive role they were playing in S2 and S3 and that's the reason they are unsuccessful. You won't last like that. Kill or Be Killed.
WoW Insider: What are you hoping to see improved in 3.1? We've seen some changes, obviously, but there's more to come.
Meetsi: In 3.1, I would like to see the survivability of Rogues go up, Survival Hunter damage go down, and a few tweaks for Warriors.
WoW Insider: What do you think is the significant difference between an "amateur" and a "pro" Arena fighter?
Meetsi: The biggest difference between a mediocre player and a good player is someone who can anticipate exactly the next move of the other arena team. Generally, I can tell you what they are going to do before they do it, meaning I can be ready to react. Instead of waiting for it to happen.