Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Arena Segment: Hunter vs Rogue - Part 2

Rogue Skills:

Shadow Step
I am mentioning this skill simply because of the current latency issue it takes advantage of. Shadowstep ignores the flare, this is another excellent reason to use frost trap. They will likely see you drop a trap and then use cloak of shadows + shadow step. If you planned right, they will shadow step into a nice frosty mess to try and get out of!

Cheap Shot and Kidney Shot
The key to fighting a rogue is patience, not panic. Rogues need to hit a hunter many times to kill them. So, you must limit how much they get to hit you. If you get cheap shot, relax! Wait for the kidney shot and trinket at that point. Immediately flare and frost trap and start following your rogue killing rotation. Do not, I mean absolutely do not trinket out of cheap shots unless you will die within a few hits. Kidney shot is usually five seconds which can equate to a ton of damage.

Blade fury and Adrenaline rush
Make sure if you notice the rogue using these skills...RUN. Do not let the rogue pummel you. Escape at all costs and when the rush is over you should have the non-subtlety rogue wrapped up.

Some racial tips:
Dwarves: If you are a beast master dwarf, you should never ever lose to a rogue, even if he has all of his cooldowns. Your escapes are amazing and all rogues should fear the dwarf hunter. Stoneform, simply save it for after your wrath or after your trinket, it is another free crippling escape!

Tauren: War stomp -> Feign Death -> wing clip. Enough said. Watch the crippling poison timer if you are in monkey and standing in your flare toughing it out in melee! ;) When it's low, simply use the combo I listed and watch the rogue fade into the distance.

Orc: Enjoy all the cheap shot/kidney shot resists!

Night Elf: Try this some time. When trying to find a rogue flare first and stand in the middle. Shoot a volley out and then shadowmeld. With five seconds left on the flare, un-stealth and get ready to move a bit to the next flare spot. Then shadowmeld again. Rogues cannot shadowstep when you are melded. If you time this right you can leave rogues with very small windows of opportunity to shadowstep to you. Most times it will create enough time for the stealth eyes to pop up for you!

Draenei: Try using scatter shot, intimidate, entrapment, or even feign death to use your heal. Also, try using it early and not late. use it when things are not desperate to widen the damage gap between you and the rogue.

Trolls try to use berserk when forced to fight in melee to up your chances. Blood elves...I got nothin' (casters you can mess up their day....rogues...use all of the above!)

If you want to try to be good at fighting rogues but know you won't remember everything I is the top 5 items I recommend starting with.

1) When you cannot get away after doing everything you can...FIGHT!! You have weapons and a few melee skills. Pop in monkey and do you best to do as much damage while awaiting your next possible escape! I have hit a rogue for 2k before with my axe!

2) Use Frost trap

3) FLARE! FLARE! FLARE! When? During the ENTIRE fight!! Eliminate vanish from the rogues arsenal!

4) Feign death before the rogue reaches you. Wing clip and run. This is an epic way to get an aimed shot onto the rogue and then not get hit after the long cast! Also, it helps if your ability to kite the rogues are limited (another hunterology post coming soon!).

5) Be patient and confident. I used to fear and loathe rogues! now, only the truly elite and fortunate ones beat me. I am happy to see most rogues and I make them say "God I hate hunters" =D Take things slow, once you start feeling like rogues aren't so bad you can take your time and slowly and patiently kill rogues. (stop trinket wasting out of cheap shots!)

As always, ask any question you have! I always like to hear other ideas too!!
Check out Part 1 here

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Arena Segment: Hunter vs. Rogue - Part 1

Ok, if you have ever played a hunter in arena then you know the pain of fighting rogues. I figure non-bm hunters nearly every BG experience think to themselves "I hate rogues" on multiple occasions. So, since rogues are not the thorn in my side they used to be (actually i don't mind them at all now) I figured it was time to share my hax...I mean strategies! :) Beast masters likely don't hate rogues, so you all can keep the wrath burning through every rogue you see! Some of the tips may help when the wrath is cooling down though!

The truth first. Rogues are far superior built for 2v2 arena, so if you are going to beat one, you must be better. No ifs, ands or buts! Unfortunately, when the rogue has a healer, you will have to be near flawless to beat them. You damage source is limited by mana and the rogue has infinite damage. That's just the reality.

Flare! Flare! Flare!
I cannot stress how important a flare is these days. You may say to me "I always use a flare, it the vanish that gets me!!" if you say this, then it is time for you to realize that when fighting a rogue, flare is your most important asset. During the engagement you should be renewing flare. Ever seen a rogue Vanish in a flare? neither. They throw smoke and then stand right next to you for a couple seconds pondering their life.

The flare is not just to prevent and opener, it is to save you from multiple cheap shots and vanishes. In an arena where a rogue can possible Vanish twice in a a short period you must combat them with good consistent flare placement for your entire engagement! No Exceptions!

Stop Ice trapping them!
Ice trap is not what it used to be, especially in arena. Everyone has the trinket and the rogue can likely kill you with 1 trinket use especially if he knows to shiv a hunter with crippling poison. Also, most rogues have a healer who can dispel your trap, which even lessens the effect it has! So, that leaves you with 4 more choices: Fire, Explosive, Frost and Snake.

Fire and explosive may as well be removed from the lost because of cloak of shadows (read below for explosive trap possible use). Frost and snake are your best traps to use. This one is personal. Snakes is nice because of crippling poison and a small amount of damage via dots...also nice. Considering that when fighting rogues you are now keeping a flare down...and you have serpent sting, that may not be as advantageous as frost.

Frost trap is amazing for the sheer use of the trap. You can use a frost trap for its entire duration and keep making the rogue slow while you circle the trap area (with a flare in it!). Occasionally you may have to worry about a paladin giving freedom, but remember that arcane shot removes it and you likely have already removed all other buffs with an arcane shot or two prior to getting in the trap. Regardless, the trap will still be there, if the rogue trinkets out, he will immediately get caught again.

If you have entrapment....then you will truly know what it's like to be a "mace-stun-esque" hunter. Watching a rogue struggle in a frost trap is a thing of beauty and it will help you forget the pain of crippling poison.

Side note: Explosive trap does have 1 great use. In this day and age, rogues own hunters in cool downs at their disposal. So, in longer fights where it is just you and the rogue and you are out of escapes and you have to take the rogues damage, simply use explosive trap. Hopefully by this point the rogue is near dead and the initial hit will likely catch him off-guard and hopefully help you win the melee fight!

Speaking of melee . . .

Aspect of the Monkey
The most under-utilized tool in arena. If you are fighting a rogue, eventually he will get crippling poison on you and you will be out of escapes. it is at this moment where instead of walking away slowly dying, that it is time to own the moment. Switch to Aspect of the Monkey and be the melee hunter you always dreamed of being! Consider that whatever you are waiting on as far as cooldowns go, is more likely to come to pass if you live longer. Face front, drop a frost trap to keep the rogue in front of you and melee your hunter heart out.

I don't know about you, but I have 26% dodge in monkey and 0% dodge when walking away from a slicing rogue! You survive during you melee battle; now scatter shot cooldown ends or you finally have some other escape! You switch back to viper and own the rogues face! (my post tomorrow will reflect on why I use Viper over Hawk in arena).

Serpent Sting
Not much to be said here, keep it on to make the vanish tactics to a minimum. The damage is not as important as the stealth prevention (remember....flare while fighting!).

Hunter's Mark
This skill is definitely still useful, but remember that serpent sting is more important in most cases. Hunters mark has less effect when you consider shadow step. The serpent sting will break stealth and hopefully it happens before the shadow step.

Feign Death
We all know the beauty of Feign death in PVE, but my-my-my have you used it in pvp? Hopefully the answer is yes! There is nothing better than a nicely timed FD that leaves the rogue way behind you. An excellent time to use it is when the rogue is approaching you at range. Just as he gets in striking range do a feign death immediately followed by a wing clip. This also works if the rogue shadowsteps to you. Feign right away and wing clip him and gain a ton of ground. if you planned ahead you will also have a frost trap and flare to run through! :)

In every arena with a stealth class I always pop my flare and stand in it. The next step is to volley in some random location to find someone in stealth. I would say 15% of the time i snag someone. Just think, 15% of the time you find the rogue first! Most times the rogue will panic and burn a vanish right away helping your cause even further! I use rank 1 to conserve mana, so look at it as your second flare every minute.

Check out Part 2 here! Inspiration for this entry came from Mirshalak!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Marksman PVP

Recently I have been trying the Marksman build for pvp. I was marksman for a year before switching to survival a year ago. I have started to try it out be honest, the inability to excel in arena is why. Survival hunter's in arena are gimped by their CC sharing the same depreciating returns. I have elaborated on this before, but it is the dumbest class design I have ever seen. To have a trap and a sleep share the same diminishing returns and then give a 41st point that refreshes their cooldowns? Wow...just wow.

Here are some keys I have noticed:

- Silence Shot is epic. I can really mess up a resto-druid or priest who has grown over-confident. I am always in a good mood when I get an aimed shot off; I know that person is likely doomed from that point on because of my ability to stop any decent heals. Another excellent use of Silence shot is right after a viper sting on anyone who can cleanse it. Usually the sting lasts it's full duration because after the 2s silence the stung target has to deal with...

- Improved Stings! These points are mandatory for pvp. 30% resistance to removal...yes please! Also, the 30% more damage and mana drained is just gravy.

- Attack power is crazy. In my Survival build I have 1515 RAP and 41% crit. In my Marksman Build I have 1840 RAP and 34% crit. Which is better? Hard to say, but my sustained Marksman damage is quite nice. These numbers are all in Viper by the way. It is debatable whether a Marksman or Survival hunter has better burst though.

Marksman vs Survival in PVP - two major differences

1) Silence Shot trumps Wyvern sting. Both hunters can trap effectively, but Wyvern sting is almost always a waste as it is broken by a teammate or your traps diminishing returns makes it a 4 second crowd control. Silence shot is repeatable every 20 seconds and you can use it with great results all the time. The shot is both reliable and an excellent utility. If you consider your burst as a Hunter, it is vital to be able to stop heals and Marksman can time the interrupt to be right where it causes the most pain.

2) Survival has better sustained burst. It is probably a great unknown that Survival can outburst a Marksman Hunter in arena. It is quite simply the 5-7% higher crit rating and getting to roll 2 rapid fires into every arena exchange or have an extra rapid fire every 5 minutes in battlegrounds. I would say that 65k damage in 30 seconds of battle is not out of the question for a survival hunter.

My 5v5 team last night features me as survival and another hunter as Marksman. When neither of us was under attack, I consistently out damaged him by 15-20k damage. Now, his silence shot may have been more vital, but you have to consider that 20k damage is nearly 2 kills worth of damage. Rapid fire when not under duress is amazing for destroying someone and makes getting the aimed shot debuff on a target so easy.

My current verdict is that I prefer Survival in 5v5 arena and battlegrounds. I can CC at my own discretion while still pumping out heavy damage. In 2v2 and 3v3 arena I prefer Marksman because I really need silence shot in those exchanges (and improved stings in many cases). Less important, but just as good to note, Survival is more fun! It is always an amazing moment to be standing in the field of strife with 4 or 5 people trying so hard to kill you as you are truly making their day feel like forever. Sleep, entrapment and deterrence, oh my!

Monday, August 11, 2008

The Great return!

So, I took a long (impromptu) vacation to escape from my life for a bit! Now I am back and ready to blog, craft and anything else enjoyable for the time being!

Short Non-Warcraft notes:
I went on Vacation at a beach and I can tell you, seeing storms coming over the beach is an amazing experience! The photographer in me cried out for me to at least TRY a photography side job. It's a dream that hopefully I can pursue one day soon!

Being with kids makes me not want them. I mean, I am sure one day I will want them, but that day is NOT soon. I love my nieces and nephew, but I am happily waiting for my turn!

I really want to find a new thing to do in WoW. I have found myself doing some PVP and such, but lately I haven't found any motivation to do much. Grinding is definitely not my idea of a good time. I wish I had the Alt-itus, thats for sure! Either way, I am sure I will find something fun to do soon. Maybe an odd pvp spec based on 1 goal (like WSG flag Carrying or Solo AV tower defense). Also, that 49 druid is looking quit tempting these days (twinkage fun is fading quickly). Idea?! Please share them!!

More to come guys, thanks to all of you who continue to visit! I promise to post more now that life will return to normality!