Or perhaps some combination of the above? Historically we were stuck at 1900 rating with Warr, Warr, Feral Druid, Resto Sham, Holy Priest. 3 melee DPS with zero team CC and no Freedom (quite painful). Swapping out the Priest for my Paladin quickly bumped us to 2100, but the fact remains that we're still a 100% melee team with no team CC (the Druid rarely has time to shift out and cyclone). Neither of our warriors has ever been Mace-spec, so we didn't even have mace stuns.
Thoughts? Ideas? Just seeing what some veteran 2100+ players might think of these lineups.
We run composition one and it works well. Being melee only is a weakness against certain lineups (a team that gave us the choice of moonkin or soul link warlock for squishiest target destroyed us). You have to play it very offensively even though you're a three healer team. Generally most teams feel very beatable
I have no idea how well composition two would work. The hunter changes might help it be pretty successful.
Composition three would work but you'd likely be better off using a rogue instead of a warrior.
My 5's team runs comp 2 with a frost mage instead of a shaman. Mage gives you a bit more control over the fight (bit less burst for me with no windfury, but I am controlled with a degree of certainty at the ~2100 level), however it also offers a focus target to any team with a disc priest for mass dispell. Our hunter has been doing a fair bit better with the changes this patch and we also do well splitting targets because now he mortal strikes as well.
To reiterate what Hodan said, the more defensive the team the easier it is to fall into a reactive play-style as opposed to proactive and influencing the flow of the game.
Is this really the case? Are reactive playstyles really worse than proactive ones? If your reactions can negate your opponent's efforts, doesn't that work as well?
I would not go so far to say it doesn't work, it is just more difficult to execute. You are essentially hoping (and since you queued knowing you could lose points, betting) that your healers simply out-play the other team's damage dealers. While I personally have all the confidence in my team mate's ability to play their classes at a high level, letting the opponent execute their strategy and hoping you can make the requisite adjustments in time is a heavy gamble. A "surprise" in the opponent's strategy can throw off even the best of teams, be it some kind of burst damage ace in the hole or something far more creative than my midterm-exhausted brain can conjure currently. But as Beef said, the team can and does work, less the team's proverbial scissors run into that pesky rock group, as he noted.
From past experience, we reached 2100+ but not much more with a warrior, warrior, shaman elem, paladin, disc/holy priest.
We faced a team with 3 healers that had 82/0 on season 2 start (before they migrate because they wanted more challenge on a more competitive battlegroup), they were running warrior, frost mage, resto shaman, paladin, priest.
This is no big news, just a reminder that the paladin, priest, shaman trio has a synergy like no other. Getting heroism/bloodlust on the priest, allowing him a mana burn frenzy is a key to 3 healers team from what i've seen so far. Running 3 healers usually end up in a mana fight and you will have trouble killing anyone before their healer runs out of mana, especially if you rely on physical dps. Mass dispel is also another very good thing to have in a team.
The other problem i see on comp 1, is the single defensive dispel. Your paladin can get sheeped again and again. Cyclone should buy you time and the druid has more survivability than the priest, but our paladin when we tried playing with a single defensive dispel, had the hell of a time doing all he had to in a timely manner.
I really would like to see people who actually tried it and succed, but i still don't see how to run a 3 healer team without mana burn, blessing of freedom/protection. May be the shaman could be cut, at the expense of windfury totem, heroism/bloodlust, etc... May be not the best choice.
Playing offensively can be at least as skill intensive as playing defensively, and either strategy can be great in the end. The biggest difference is that the defensive players have to have a more diverse set of skills and knowledge to be able to counter every other strategy, while the offensive team puts higher emphasis on coordination to execute their one strategy to perfection.
Whatever your setup is, you need a plan. I see a lot of teams that are just "3dps+2healer" without much thought behind the synergies involved, and those are the teams that really don't go anywhere. The standard 2345 setup has multiple plans - it can wear you down with mana burn and constant DPS pressure, or it can get a heroism burst off and just kill someone with a fast target swap. That is the true strength of that composition - versatility. A setup like mine - Hunter/Warlock/Paladin/Priest/Druid - really only has a single plan, but it's very strong at executing that plan - outlast. Three classes capable of mana burn along with three healers and lots of defensive crowd control and two pets to prevent drinking wears opposing teams down until eventually they can't win. Similarly, double warrior/three healer teams are ultimately outlast teams, but they outlast via warrior pressure rather than mana burns. It's important to understand what your plan is going in and recognize what each player brings to the table when you're assembling a team, as well as to understand what opposing teams' plans are and how your composition ought to play against them.
The first and third compositions I'd consider reasonably viable. The second simply doesn't have sufficient synergies - hunter basically fits into outlast teams and nothing else, realistically, because you're not going to burst anyone down against a typical setup with two physical DPS and you're not going to outlast anyone with a single defensive dispel. You have no real recourse to pressure on your druid and no way to play a long game via mana burn other than viper sting. In short, it's "3 dps 2 healers" rather than a team with a coherent plan.
As someone with both a Hunter and Resto Druid that I PvP with regularly, I can say without a doubt in my mind that line-up #2 will not work. Druids require one of two things to be successful: a CC heavy team, or a healer heavy team. 4 DPS also works because invariably you will end up with 3 CCers, which makes it fall under the first category. Hunters really only work under circumstances where they will not be focus fired, which is why the mana drain lineup is so popular for them (people will almost always go for the priest first because he poses a bigger threat).
Hunter/Druid only really works in a Duo where they can use each other to kite enemies. If the Hunter gets Focus Fired, the druid can root a target off of him and cyclone the other. If the Druid gets focus fired, the hunter can scatter or wyvern sting and allow the druid to kite through his frost trap. On a larger scale, it doesn't work because neither has enough CC to deal with a real Focus Fire in 5v5. Nor do any of the other people on their team, and on a 3 dps/2 healer setup the druid does not pack enough of a punch when it comes to healing to keep someone alive through 3-4 DPSers, especially if they are on top of locking down your paladin. So you end up with 2 classes that are fairly squishy, fairly weak healing power, and very little CC. All in all, it just is not going to be a good combination no matter how much buffing they give to Hunters.
This is also why Hunters and Shamans don't work very well together - they both require a lot of aid from other members of the team with CC when they come under fire. Their abilities are similar in nature (earth bind/frost trap, weak CC, lack of a snare/CC break, etc), and since they cannot even provide themselves with what they need to escape, they certainly cannot provide each other with it.
I agree with the other poster that said Synergy is probably the most over-looked aspect of Arenas there is. And I would argue that it is quite possibly the most important aspect for success - more so than skill, gear, or team play. You can have the above 3 things, but without good synergy you are really not going to get very far. It is only when Synergy and gear are equal that skill and teamwork really come into play unless there is just a massive skill gap (and fortunately there really isn't a huge gap amongst the majority of players as the law of averages plays out).
Initially I thought of comparing the original question to the old beatdown vs control scenario from MTG, but I realised offensive tactics in WoW have an element MTG didn't have to the same extent: Timing (and coordinated timing). This makes "beatdown" more skill intensive in this environment. Tactically, it's similar to MTG though. Being forced to react forces you into different tactical choices more often than when you are the beatdown.
Triple healer teams need both a druid and a priest in my book. You need a priest because they have the best dispel and because mana burn is godly for an outlast team. You need a druid because they have CC and because you will otherwise likely have no decourse. No decourse gets you killed when the other team has a warlock.
We play druid/priest/shaman healing by virtue of what we have available to us, and after the initial shock (omg no bop how are we going to manage) I think it is actually a really good tri healer setup. And our healers just got buffed out the wazoo while holy pallies got nothing. 500 games later I honestly would not want to trade any of our healers for a pally. Maybe the shaman could be replaced, but I think we would lose more than we gain. Grounding totem has saved us more lives than BoP.
Overall, in S2 the strongest lineup was probably 2345 with either a mage or a warlock. But with the recent changes I am not sure that will remain the case. When we lose to a 2345 it is because they were able to overwhelm us and get a gib off before their shaman runs dry. But now we have the new Pain Suppression. I have essentially 15% damage reduction when focus fired. These changes will make it very hard for 3 DPS to finish us off quickly. So I think S3 will be dominated by CC/burn teams.
I think season 2 was the rise of 4 DPS as a more serious competition, and S3 will almost certainly be burn teams. Burn teams are probably the most annoying things in the world to play against personally, so I am wary of how many of these teams might emerge.
My 5v5 spent the majority of season 2 gearing up and preparing for season 3. With the limited pressure on us, we've had the opportunity to try various configurations, one of which might be the inevitable line-up come Nov. 27. This team is as follows:
Granted, we haven't faced many teams well outside of the 1700-1800 bracket with this composition, but it still seems to have good potential. Generally the other team focuses the enhancement shaman or priest who can survive the onslaught with the pally and resto shaman healing.
The enhancement shaman/warrior synergy is powerful and usually allows us to remain on the offensive through the combination of MS, Bloodlust, three available offensive dispels, and WF. In addition, the availability of two bloodlusts allows us to output significant DPS and healing that can outstrip our opponents’. The priest, if left moderately unchecked, will usually win mana burning battles because of bloodlust, mana tide, mana fiend, and beserking (troll racial).
Thus most fights turn into a duration/mana race that we can win. Bearing in mind the changes to Pain Suppression and Shamanistic Rage, this combination seems to have all the more potential in season 3 as the enhancement shaman will take 30% less damage and the priest can toss a PS to a friend in need.
So, in terms of offense, defense, or balance, I posit that while there are surely many viable 5v5s, the right combination of a balance 2 DPS, 2 Healer, 1 Utility build will be formidable if you have the requisite class synergy.
Last edited by Phace : 11/19/07 at 3:14 AM.