Okay, so maybe it isn't exactly new, but its threat has increased tenfold with the last patch.
We peaked at 2500~ running a cookie cutter Warrior/Warlock/Druid line-up. I don't like to call it cookie cutter due to the limitations that a Warrior has when selecting his teammates, but that is due for another topic. Last week, we decided to try and knock out the last 40 points to Merciless Gladiator. We ended up being paired against Ming's PMR setup that we could go 1:1 with before the patch if we were playing at our normal. It wasn't that their line-up was spectacularly original or difficult, but Ming's more unique playstyle of going all out at the beginning threw us out of our outlast 'norm.
We went 0-7 against them in a series that ended our night's games. I can say with confidence that it wasn't them going up in general skill by 300%, or us playing drastically under our 'norm. It is simply three times more difficult to get anywhere in the matchup with our line-up.
The games went along these lines. It didn't really fluctuate that much, because, well, you have to almost try to make a mistake with the new PMR. I would naturally have the Mage glued to me, doing a typical polymorphx3/frost nova/water elemental lock down combo. The rogue would stick to my Warlock with an AR maces/preperation build. The priest would attack my druid with constant dispelling and PW:S to prevent me from gaining rage during my 8 seconds of damage time.
It boiled down to me being the only real damage going out, but we couldn't realisticly keep the Mage from locking me down without risking a counterspell on my druid or kick on my Warlock. I am placed in a situation where my damage is erratic and my rage generation is obsolete because of PW:S, evasion, and Ice Barrier. My only targets become the Priest and Rogue, both of which are difficult enough to drag down inbetween the Mage's harassment.
Our Warlock can't do anything with the Rogue glued to him, and I can't get him off. Our Druid can't risk casting a cyclone for fear of being CS'd or Chastised (what a lovely, balanced racial to replace fear ward with) and even if he manages to land one the Rogue can always use his PvP trinket or CoS. The entire time their priest is timing his PI's for 6k shatter combos, pain suppression if I manage to get someone low, and dispels our Druid's HoTs to the point where he is reliant solely upon lifebloom. There isn't enough damage from either me or my Warlock to force the priest into a heal-spamming situation.
So, my question. How does a Warrior/Warlock/Druid stand any chance against the much more difficult PMR line-up? Have any similar line-ups found any glaring flaws in PMR's offensive playstyle? We've tried everything; from having me focus on the priest to having our Warlock hang back for half a minute while we 2v3'd.
For what it worth as i've never reached more thant 2270 in 3v3 (running a war in war war priest back end of season1).
Wouldn't the key be the felhunter ? I know this will sound a lot like theorycrafting and might not be realistic, but what seems to frighten you the most is getting your druid csed, when the mages is casting 3 times polymorph. I understand this would prolly lead to a sudden death of your warlock, but let's try to theorise it.
Mage cast poly 1, dog eats it
Mage cast poly 2, trinket
Mage cast poly 3, by this time poly will last 4 seconds.
Root 1, dog eats it, timer is up by now
Root 2, ok you're stuck this time.
But can't we do better ?
Mage cast poly 1, dog eats it
Mage cast poly 2, dog counter spell it
Druid cast cyclone on mage who can't cs as he's silenced
Then you should be free to intercept the rogue and give time to your warlock to escape pressure for a while.
I'm sure with an AR/prep rogue is the pain in the ass, especially at your ranking where the rogues out there know how to maximise their cds, and this might be the paper for your stone. I just hope this input could help a bit.
You need to play an outlast game. Not sure what your Warlock's spec is, but stick Felguard to Mage for pushback and jump him when you can because a pressured Mage shouldn't be able to output the necessary damage to kill. I much prefer Felguard locks most of the time. Attacking the Rogue or Priest more than you need to is going to open you up to Shatter combos which are the most devastating part of PMR. Abuse the Rogue with Cyclone/Roots and Fear while Kidney Shot is on cooldown on the Rogue, otherwise Fear the Priest. Not casting Cyclone is a big mistake, you have to use it when the Rogue is on your Warlock with Adrenaline Rush up to break up the damage. Also, never underestimate the value of a well-timed Intimidating Shout. If you outlast the Rogue's cooldowns and your Druid has mana, you'll win. Easier said than done, though, and yeah, PMR is really strong.
Kill Water Elementals too and you need to be clutch with Spell Reflect to keep you out of Polymorph as much as you can.
Typically, me and the Warlock try to stand close to each other to counter Frost Nova's and time a good disarm/hamstring. If the Rogue blade flurrys then I will seperate for a moment.
Our Druid plays wide. It isn't reasonable for him to be out in the open, which is where we usually try to pull the Rogue to.
Stick your Warlock around a pole, and have your Druid be next to him (following him around the pole). Abolish/cyclone combo the Rogue when your Druid is out of LoS of the mage. This will consume Mings trinket. Remember, where your Warlock goes, Ming goes. Let the mage Sheep you. Druid should babysit your Warlock around that pole, i'd go with soley using abolish and LB, nothing else. Mage will come to the pole, this is where the hard execution part comes. Mage will be using his CD's to help DPS your Lock. This will leave you an opening for the CC to cease.
The mage will have to reposition everytime he wants to re-cc you, this is why the pole is going to help you. The priest will be left quite vulnerable if they persue this, maybe an opening for you to go on him but of course there are way too many variables from this point, and without me having to attempt to write out 100 000 possible scenario's, the main point would be to use the poles. A lot.
Remember, there running a CD dependent combo. Once the WE's are out, prep is used, its instant victory. Don't try to kill them, just live.
*Edit - Bad illustration
Both felhunter and felguard have their benefits, if you go Felguard, let him intercept the rogue than stick him on the mage. If its a felhunter, time a silence on that mage as soon as he comes in LoS.
Their team is a countercomp to yours. Rogue can dictate the matchup versus the warlock, which is favorable to them. The mage can control the warrior due to your lack of a spammable defensive dispel. The priest, a very offensive healer, can pressure the druid with fears and mana burns and can remove your team's one advantage, abolish.
RMP is weak (relatively) against drain teams, as they have no poison removal, and their mage is extremely mana limited. They also suffer a lot versus dispels, both offensive and defensive, which your team has virtually none of.
You absolutely have to prevent the mage from CCing your warrior whenever possible. Feral charge/bash, spell reflect, spell lock, whatever. You're going to win by outlasting, so when you get free it's important that you disrupt them as much as possible. The CC established here is a house of cards, when you disrupt CCs on the warrior you disrupt damage on the warlock. That frees up your druid to abolish crippling poison so your warlock gets free (if only for a moment) and allows your druid to cyclone. Also organizing something along the lines of calling your intercept so that your warlock can fear during the stun, then disarming the rogue to reduce incoming damage is very powerful.
As Paladin/FelguardLock/warrior we're beating this matrix by putting warrior on priest, felguard on mage, and then bleeding them dry. This won't likely work for you because of no cleanse/freedom for your warrior, but I think it's a good indicator of how you win against this matrix. Also make sure your warlock is using every devour magic on you even if you aren't sheeped to try and clean up those dummy buffs. Your warlock may also find greater success using his globals for curses to try and slow down the mage's damage output as opposed to dots that are just going to get dispelled.
I think we'll just play the outlast game a little harder. I'm generally pretty solid about reflecting, so hopefully rage will be on my side for the match. If shit hits the fan we'll just get our Paladin in; I don't expect to face anything but PMR for this last week anyways.
I'm still itching to see if any accomplished Warrior/Warlock/Druid teams have worked out a trump card that we can use to ease up this lineup.
We're not really farming PMR teams, although we've been getting the best of them, for what it's worth. The team is still incredibly troublesome, considering 2 mana burns is generally enough to cause a loss for us and it's extremely easy for them to switch targets and drop one of us.
I'm nowhere near the level of anyone that has posted so far (1750 3v3), so forgive me if I'm overlooking something, but is a felguard on the mage really an option? On my mage, I have no trouble dropping felguards, since they don't have near the resistances of a felhunter. The warlock is then left without soul-link and an absolute joke for a rogue.
I'd feel bad offering advice to such a highly rated team, but I'm guessing you're not making this thread to get advice from the zero teams ranked higher than you. At my level most teams are going for me, but I've been improving moreso and realising why they go for me (hint: skill deficiency!).
I don't think your druid "cannot cyclone", or so to speak. The priest is going to be chasing him around, not actually landing mana burns but effectively controlling him. Counterspell has a 30 yard range and the mage shouldn't be moving too much. He can also attempt to fake a cast. Max range cyclones on either the priest or the mage should alleviate a lot of pressure, especially if you can work it to occur when sheep is about to come off DR (my team doesn't have this level of coordination yet, of/c). However, above all else the most static player is going to be the rogue, if the druid can free the rogue, you can "break the cycle" or so to speak and hopefully fear the mage and return control of the match. Feral charged counterspells and/or bashed rogues may not be out of the question either. The priest's control on the druid is naturally imperfect, and your druid utilising this, I feel, is the key. Have him pick up the 36-yd range talent if he doesn't have it presently.
Hope that helps a little. We're finding equally-ranked teams of this makeup difficult too, especially given there's so many ways they can choose to play against us.
It may not be enough to win the match for you, but I'd think that feral charging poly -> cyclone while arcane is locked out could be good (it does lock out CS right?), effectively killing two birds with one stone; or two stones depending on how you look at it. :P
Possibly even bash -> cyclone, since hes got bash gcd (1.5s) + cyclone cast time (1.5s) = 3 sec to get out of stun and CS you, and 1.5 of that is consumed by the blink GCD to get out of the stun unless he trinkets. Factor in latency and he's got about 1.3s to react, blink, and start mashing CS with you targeted (and if you know the mage you're playing is quick enough to do that you can always try to fake it out and waste the CS).
Maybe not match-defining, but a nice tool for the toolbox nonetheless.