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Filed under: The Colosseum

The Colosseum: Ickmon of Executus

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.

Ickmon from Executus is a 2200+ ranked Priest, working in both the 2v2 and 3v3 brackets. The changes to Arena rating requirements, Resilience, and balance in patch 3.2, however, could mean a lot of big changes for Arena players like Ickmon. Despite the uncertainty of change, though, this Priest isn't particularly worried about the changes -- he thinks that things will be fine, and the new Resilience benefit might be a good thing.

We were able to spend some time talking with Ickmon about his team, playstyle, and those 3.2 changes. Check out what he had to say behind the cut.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, PvP, The Colosseum

The Colosseum: Two Fighters, One Column


Sometimes, during the summer, it can be especially difficult to find time to enjoy the game. Arena fighters are no different, which is why the following two interviews are a little shorter. We were only able to grab a little bit of their time, but we wanted to get their unique perspective on some aspects of the Arena.

Soballinlol is a Warrior on the Mug'thol server, who is 3rd rated in the Vengeance battlegroup on his 2v2 team. Even more spectacularly, Soballinlol's 5v5 team has achieved the number one place on the battlegroup. Nailpolish is also on the Mug'thol server, but is in the 7th ranked 2v2 team on her battlegroup, and the 8th ranked 3v3 team.

Both come from wildly different perspectives. Nailpolish operates in a 3v3 RMP team, who uses precise Crowd Control to dominate their opponents. By comparison, Soballinlol is a Warrior, a class that's reknowned for its juggernaut-like ability to smash through defenses, use unparalleled survivability, and still offer incredibly effective offense.

Check out what each had to say behind the cut.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, The Colosseum

The Colosseum: Retrospective, Spring 2009



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.

It's been six months since the last time we summarized our collection of Colosseum interviews. With at least a season and a half of Wrath of the Lich King now behind us, now's a great time to look over the gladiators who've shared their experiences. We've had Paladins, Hunters, Death Knights, Paladins, a Shaman, Paladins, and even a Warlock. There are certainly common themes among these discussions. By comparing them, we can hope to get a better idea of what's going on this season.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, The Colosseum

The Colosseum: Ninchuu the Hunter

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.

Gladiator Ninchuu is one of the new breed of Hunters doing battle with success in the last two seasons. While Burning Crusades could be considered a dark time for the class, confining the masters of ranged weapons to the slow, highly technical "drain team," Wrath of the Lich King has introduced several different interesting possibilities for the Hunter.

Ninchuu took the time to talk with us about the Hunter class, how they relate to other classes, and how he conducts his time in the Arena. He's got some especially great tips about how Arena hopefuls should be aware of their mindset when stepping foot in the virtual squared circle.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, The Colosseum

The Colosseum: Ogc the Warlock



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.

And now for something completely different. Ogc is a Warlock. Specifically, he's the team captain for one of the highest rated 5v5 teams in the world. We've been hoping for a Warlock for the Colosseum for a little while, so we were thrilled with this opportunity.

Check out what Ogc had to say after the cut.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, The Colosseum

The Colosseum: Caylie the Priest

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.

Caylie is the Priest in a Priest/Warlock or Priest/Rogue team, "Esport Ballers." Currently sitting at 12th place for their battlegroup, the team has traditionally done well in previous seasons.

The player prefers to go by Cayley, due to his character names back in previous seasons. Despite having other options, he says he prefers the Warlock/Priest team for the sake of a challenge.

Check out what else Caylie had to say behind the cut.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, The Colosseum

The Colosseum: a Grave matter



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.

I know that more than a few of us have no interest in hearing from another Death Knight. While the class dominated Season 5, and still seems strong in Season 6, we should remember that few successful Death Knights started the Arena with the opening of Wrath of the Lich King. It's with that thought in mind that I found what Gladiator Grave had to say interesting.

He could have been focused on things like "Death Grip's awesome, and I use it against casters." Instead, Grave echoed many of the most important sentiments we here from many successful fighters. Synergy, coordination, and communication are the hallmarks that Grave recommends.

Check out the full interview after the cut.



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Filed under: Arena, The Colosseum

The Colosseum: Merlizzel

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.

This is not Merlizzel's first season in the Arena. In fact, during Season 5, this Discipline Priest was frustrated with his inability to achieve Gladiator.

Now, however, he's placed 11th place in his battlegroup for 2v2, 38th in his battlegroup for 3v3, and 3rd place in his battlegroup for 5v5. Clearly, the changes of 3.1 have had an astounding difference for Merlizzel.

Since Merlizzel's enjoying a graduation this weekend, he was only able to answer similar questions to the basic package we ask all Arena fighters. However, Merlizzel definitely spent a lot of time expounding about specific tactics he and his partner use in the Arena. Check out what he had to say after the cut.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Interviews, Arena, The Colosseum

The Colosseum: You Otter know better

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.

So, check out Otterpoop from Gorefiend. At the time of this writing, Otter's the 13th rated team in his battlegroup, even though many folks expected the dominance of Death Knights to be over in Season 6. He obviously did pretty well last season. If you consider that he's trucking through two seasons with strong performance, one could easily argue Otter's got a decent finger on what's going on with the Arena.

We were fortunate enough to catch up with Otter, and he spent some time talking to us about how he came to settle on a Death Knight for his Arena character, how he met his Arena partners, and what he thinks will happen with Death Knights in Season 6. Check out what he had to say after the cut.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, The Colosseum

The Colosseum: Butteslol of Gorefiend

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.

A new season is on us, and new breeds of compositions are rising to the top. The first Colosseum interview of Season 6 is with Butteslol, the Discipline Priest in the team "idk im just so furious." Along with Retribution Paladin Carboncopy, Butteslol has blazed a trail to high ratings very early in the season.

Retribution/Discipline has been a technical player's favorite for a little while, thanks to the vast toolbox the composition can bring to bear in several situations. Affected by the recent Replenishment nerf, however, it's going to be interesting to see what happens for Butteslol in the future.

Check out what he had to say behind the cut.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, The Colosseum

The Colosseum: Mute of Terenas

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 over. The dawning of Season 6 is peaking over the distant horizon, the bright traces of new challenges and adventures casting long shadows over the victors of Season 5. Reflecting over the first season of Wrath of the Lich King, one 2v2 composition has clearly dominated the ladder. The Death Knight / Paladin synergy had definite control of the season.

For all the power of the composition itself, however, two identical teams have the same advantage to one another. The determining factors in a mirror match are a little bit of RNG luck, but mostly the skill and tactics of the competing teams. Since the top teams are all swimming in the same composition types, only their relative abilities determine who rises.

And so we come to the last interview of season 5, by visiting with Mute of Terenas. While we're still waiting to see what the final ratings return for titles, Mute and his partner Unicornz have both executed wonderfully in Season 5. Check out what Mute has to say behind the cut.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, The Colosseum

The Colosseum: Webin of Terenas

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 nearly over. It's been an odd season, and one predictably dominated by our new friends in the PvP world -- the Death Knights. As Zach predicted many moons ago, the rise of the Death Knight and their associated Disease heralded the fall of the Druid. It's not that Death Knights are necessarily an intended direct counter. It's just that the dominant team (Death Knight/Paladin) has many great tools against the Druid's traditional allies.

In the face of this new dynamic, the druid Webin has still managed to achieve success. His 2v2 team is 20th on his battlegroup, even while maintaining his four-season partnership with the Rogue Bobblehead. Webin took the time to talk to us about his feelings on Season 5 and the role of druids. Check out what he had to say behind the cut.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, The Colosseum

The Colosseum: Abusive of 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.

One of the challenges in analyzing classes and specs for the Colosseum is that characters can respec. Since it's relatively cheap to switch your specs and glyphs around -- and it's about to get cheaper! -- a snapshot of a character's gear and talents doesn't necessarily reflect what they're doing right now. Our Arena fighter for today is an example of that. While Abusive of Twisting Nether shows up (Saturday morning) as Enhancement, he usually heals in the Arena.

He and his partner Kvok are doing pretty well for themselves, while eschewing the more dominant Holy Paladin or Death Knight compositions. As a Restoration Shaman and Retribution Paladin, they've blazed a trail in the 2v2 ratings. Abusive took the time to answer the Colosseum. Check out what he had to say behind the cut.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Interviews, The Colosseum

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.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, The Colosseum

The Colosseum: Gladiator Lamures

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.

Rogues were certainly a dominant force in Season 4. However, while it's easy to say Rogues were powerful, that does mean that any rogue struggling for the highest tiers of achievements had to fight other, equally powered opponents. In that highly competitive atmostphere, Lamures from Twisting Nether graduated to the Gladiator title.

Now firmly rooted in Season 5, however, rogues are struggling. Death Knights dominate the season, highlighting the weakpoints of Rogue class. Undaunted, Lamures continues to achieve a 2454 team rating. With that in mind, the Gladiator spared time to talk to the Colosseum about his experience in the Arena.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Interviews, The Colosseum

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