I couldn't find any posts dedicated to 2v2 arena play, so I've decided to start one.
I have a question to start things off:
Is kiting a viable strategy in 2v2? I have a 42/19/0 lock and I'd like to team with my 0/30/31 mage friend. If it's a question of specs, I'd be willing to consider a felguard spec, but the general question still applies.
I've PvPed with a Priest, Warrior, Shaman, and Rogue; my best ratings in each were 1850, 1350 (!), 1550, and 1550 respectively. The warrior wasn't spectacular, but the rogue and priest were fairly equal (priest perhaps slightly better), so a magnitude of 300 arena rating could be attributed almost entirely to group composition. The shaman was very brief so I can't say that much there.
What I've learned from this is simple: 5v5 is about adaptation. 2v2 is about execution. 2v2 is also much more a case of rock-paper-scissors, although that analogy might suggest that all teams are equal (they are not).
2v2 was fun when it boiled down to who executed their strategy best, but unless you have a class that compliments you well, prepare to be extremely frustrated as you are helplessly cut down by class composition that works against you. With my Rogue buddy, once we had execution of our strategy down to a Tee, winning or losing was simply a matter of seeing what other classes/specs the enemy team has.
In my opinion, if you're new, hedge your bets by getting a healer that compliments your class.
As a warlock, I team up with a Doomkin for 2v2s. Our ratings have varied wildly (1600-1800). I'm deep Affliction (41/9/11), respecced from 40/0/21 just for PVP (I have yet to see what effect it has on my raid DPS). We're both reasonably well-geared - I'm a shade under +1000 shadow damage in what I jokingly call my "stamina" gear, with 8.5k health with the druid buff (I don't take it seriously enough to invest in uberstamina gear or farm for arena armour). We found getting from 1500 to 1700 really, really easy - despite me being (basically) not very good at PVP. This was the time where melees other than rogues were a bit of a joke, mages didn't have enough burst damage, etc. Even if they were in similar gear to us, the melee/other caster gear just wasn't that great. 1700 to 1800 is a bit tougher. On our battlegroup there appear to be a lot of rogue/rogue teams in 2v2, and whilst they didn't do much damage at the lower ratings, when they start to get arena weapons/Karazhan bits and pieces/Blacksmithed maces, they're really nasty. We only win against 2 rogues if they're dumb and run in whilst Perception is up so I can pop at least one (preferrably two) out of stealth. Even then, with Blind and Preparation/Cloak of Shadows, it can be a lost cause. Improved Sprint is popular, and combined with Preparation and Cloak of Shadows and Crippling Poison means that kiting simply is not an option.
However, where we are having real trouble - in fact our glass ceiling for progression - is that we're starting to come into contact with really well-geared warriors, with the 2handed mace (mostly) or axe (occasionally) from Blacksmithing, or arena 2handers. Death Wish and Berserker Rage means they're essentially immune to my crowd control, and at the higher gear levels they have the health to survive the 12 seconds that Cycloning their healer would give us to DPS them (what with interrupts, Intimidating Shout, etc - our burst damage isn't great, with me being Affliction). This leads us to one of two tactics - Cycloning the warrior and hoping we can kill his partner quickly (depends entirely on class) or trying to kite the warrior with CoEx. This can be viable, especially in Blade's Edge - CoEx can stop a warrior getting to you if he's on a platform unless he's mounted, in which case you can fear him - but has certain problems. Mages and druids can dispel the Curse. A warrior with runspeed enchant/metagem can almost certainly get an Intercept off on you at some point as you loop around kiting. Paladins are the worst though - because they can Blessing of Freedom the warrior. Paladins with bubble can survive the warrior being Cycloned, the ubergeared warrior with Kings can survive the paladin being Cycloned (if he doesn't preemptively pop bubble to ensure the warrior can get an easy kill). The warrior can't be kited because of Blessing of Freedom.
We have yet to beat the combination of well-geared warrior and healadin. We can occasionally beat two rogues if we're fast. Kiting, along with mana draining in long fights, is definitely a viable strategy - but a situational one.
My rogue/rogue 2v2 team is unstoppable against certain class balances and gets absolutely destroyed by others. Any cloth team dies without fail, but any team with a druid or shaman tends to kill us. Double heal teams are rough, as are really well-geared warriors.
EDIT: One thing that makes it incredibly easy for us to kill even teams we usually lose against is when they split up. For God's sake, if you're fighting a stealth team, stay together.
"Existence has no pattern save what we imagine after staring at it for too long."
There are a few major types of teams to be worried about in an arena.
1. The double stealth team. Rogue and Rogue or Rogue and Feral Druid. I've never seen a 2x Feral Druid team. These guys will wait until they see you and decide who to kill first. Here's what you face when you go for them:
If you have a succubus out, they will realize you are not soul link and hit you first, and hard. Fel Dom in a Felhunter right away. My 2v2 team is a rogue/feral druid (me), and when we see a lock with no pet, I ravage first, rogue immediately cheapshots, you're targetted on me from the damage spamming your seduce button, but I'm not humanoid so it's not working. You will die fast. Kiting is possible against this team, but the general objective of a double stealth team is to make it a 2v1 game.
2. Warlock with Shadow Priest. Impossible to kite. You will probably lose, as they will DoT someone up bad then LoS all your casts. You HAVE to get a UA on both of them. Infact, you want to fight them in close quarters. They will more than likely try to burn your friendly mage first. Mass Dispel can hit his ice block, but if the priest accidentally hits himself with it and blows off a UA, it'll hurt them.
3. Double frost mage. Two frost mages, one 21 points for ice block and 40 arcane for burst, the other 41 frost for water elemental. They have a lot of survivability, and can eff you up with bad counterspells. They're somewhat retarded OP against an affliction warlock, as they have two ice blocks each.
4. Warrior Pally. Felhunter out immediately. Tongues the pally, make sure the warriors gets in combat before he can charge. Chill him, devour or spellsteal the Blessing of Freedom (Spellsteal is hella awesome if the mage is being targetted, no hamstring for j00). Pally will have to blow his bubble to get the Tongues off if you're doing enough DPS to the warrior. Keep a UA on the warrior so the pally can't dispel the snares.
I do 2v2 with a shaman, and the last 2 weeks we hover around 1950-2050. We started it three or four weeks ago now. I have yet to see another warrior that was not using the BS mace, I dont use it, and they are the only team we have issues with.
The sad part is that if they dont get a proc from that mace while im working on the paladin... we almost always win. Another annoyance is teams that dont have a "stun" and both use tidal charm to stun the same person and in our case, dps the healer.
I really enjoy it although it makes me somewhat sad that we have losses to crappy teams, say under 1750, who win because of the paper to our rock.
I play as an affliction warlock (44/0/17) with my resto druid (27/0/34) friend. We usualy don't have to much trouble against anything that as a healer. against paladin/priest, UA is really powerful. If I have time to put dot on both enemies (with UA first OC) and CoT on the healer, he is usualy overloaded, and one of them dies quickly.
But we almost never win against team with high burst damage. mage/mage, usualy goes like this : CS on my druid, (trinket/pom/pyro,fireblast,ae)x2 on me. Even with my healthstone and using my death coil as an emercy "heal", I usualy don't survive. As they use only instant spell, my Felhound can't CS them.
The other hard combo is rogue/rogue or rogue/druid (easier : less stun, druid can be slept). They just sap (+blind is needed) one of us and stunlock the other to death.
We sometime win against such combo, thanks to instant hot. But if they are undead (and the majority of horde mage/rogue are), there is basicaly nothing we can do.
Currently i've been avoiding 5v5 on my priest and sticking to 2v2. Primarily because I feel priests get burned down way too quickly in 5v5.
In 2v2 I play with a combat maces rogue with the first version of the 1h mace, currently working on the 2nd. We've got a 2000+ rating which is nice for our unusual combination. We generally take out most teams w/o a warrior fairly easily. But we literally hit a brick wall when it comes to warrior/pally combos (with crafted or equivalent weps of course. Our strat against a pally/warrior team is for the rogue to lock down the warrior as best he can while I get as many mana burns off on the pally.
Unfortunately the strategy is a lot harder to execute than it sounds, between los hamstring piercing howl and BoF, but we can generally pull it off against a team whose warrior doesnt have a mooncleaver/deep thunder and even sometimes against teams that do.
From my own personal experience I feel that the crafted weps are a little out of line with the rest of the gear available, but hopefully this'll even out as the guilds that progress far into pve thin out a little and get better gear than the average populace ^_^ .
I run as shadow with a rogue -- vs pallies we typically just burn them down first, and I anticipate when they will bubble and have a mass dispel in the air already. It's an easy kill at that point.
What kills me is of course warriors with Deep Thunder when they get a few various stun procs. Actually with about 10K HP buffed and some resilience it won't kill me right away but the stun eliminates my chance to do much. If we're against a team with a druid or shaman healer though, it's almost a gaurenteed win as my dots are just eating away at them.
We've pushed the rating up to 2k but typically bounce around in the 1900s. Dual warlock teams just annihilate us. Warrior/warlock is pretty nasty too. As others alluded to, there's a bit more of scissors>paper>rock going on for most 2v2 teams.