Thursday, September 25, 2008

Flaskin up! A PVP tale

Well, this could be seen as a PVP tactic, idea or strategy as much as it can be looked at as a tale. Ok, I am rambling now. Regardless, I would like to share a story of something I like to do to enhance my battleground experience! As we all know, Warcraft PVP is quite the revolving door. Same stuff, different day, right? well, time to spice it up!

I decided a few days agao to go all out for some battleground domination. Basically, I wanted a "I can take on 1v2 fights and win" type of day. So, off to the auction house I went! Purchased:

- 1 fel Lotus - for my "Flask of Chromatic Wonder"
- 30 Super healing Potions (on this day, it was cheaper to buy them, instead of craft them)
- 10 Major Mana Potions (major = 65s each!!)
- 1 Super Mana Oil
- 1 Stack of Spicy Crawdad

So, I have the goods and such to feed me during my epic battle. Now, I had to decide on a spec for this adventure. I decided on BM and I will tell you why..."World of MeleeCraft" was NOT going to ruin my expensive day of fun! As a hunter, the last thing I want is to buff myself up only to get owned by under geared melee classes. So, BM was the choice.

The build is one I like to use as bm, it was 42/11/8. I go 42 for maximum pet dps output from the beast mastery tree. The 11 in Marksman is for aimed shot. I accompany this with 5% crit and 20% chance for concussive shot to stun. I no longer need to mana reduction points, as Viper is more than enough with the mana oil and flask. The final 8 points is for entrapment. Nothing is more pleasing watch people try to chase you through entrapment laden traps (as you pummel their soul).

Just a side note, a lot of people may wonder, "Why not get the +crit damage talent points??". Well, with my current gear, my damage output is not suffering by skipping them. That being said, my survivability is vital to killing multiple opponents consecutively. This build allows greater survivability with still very solid damage.

Got the consumables, got the build, now what? Trinket choice! I figured, one offensive and one defensive trinket would be best. This way I don't get too far to being a defensive bunny rabbit who can't kill or an offensive cheetah who can't run the full race. So, I picked the Blood lust Broach (+72 ranged attack power) and my Alchemist stone. Since I am using potions, the Alchemist stone is almost a must. The 40% additional healing on my potions is just crazy. As I have 30 potions, it definitely made sense.

So, I played for the 2 straight hours of the flask. I mixed all the battlegrounds, focusing mainly on AB because it presents the most opportunities to shine without help (especially in my battle group where calling for help is about as helpful as motor oil is for cooking. My shining moments of the night:

- Defending the Lumber Mill in AB alone for an entire AB match. I was able to muster 15 kills and 13 killing blows to 2 deaths (a pretty nice ratio). After each death, I went back and luckily the group had left a guy to be sacrificed! :)

- Fighting a mage, rogue and Ret pally (attacking our tower) in eye of the storm and killing all three. It is amazing how much can be accomplished with bestial wrath. Just an FYI, to solo this group your kill order is: Mage, Rogue and then paladin. Save the pally for last because they are the easiest to solo once you have endured so much damage. if that pally tries to heal, let him. he is ret and his heals are lame and you can save yourself his hurtful hits while you pump the damage out.

- In a particular AB, two warriors led the horde in damage done. They were always together and hit the same target. At one point they rushed me defending the mine and during my big red I was able to kill on and drop the other to 20% hp. if it wasn't for his 4k mortal strike (409 resilience my butt!) I would have had him as well.

- Destroying every rogue I saw. Not really an accomplishment, but it made me feel better. When BM, find and kill rogues!

- In an AV I multi shot a group and got these three hits: '2306' '2210' '2175'.

- In two separate AV's I was able to hold Stonehearth bunker so long (alone) that the alliance had a 300 point lead.

A lot of you may be wondering why I did this for solo accomplishments. Well, as you may have noticed, my goals were not for top damage and top killing blows, but for objectives to win. The reason these have to be done solo is not because I am a nomadic rogue, but because my battle group really doesn't answer calls for help. So much for being part of the "Alliance". So, after a while, you start to think of creative ways to still do big things that help to win. I can;t remember my exact win to loss ratio, but i know I won 3 AB's. If you ask any alliance in my battle group, that pretty incredible!

So, flask up and spend some gold and try it out! See what you can do!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008


Ever wonder the best way to beat those pesky Warriors and rogues? How about a nice little combination of annoyance combined with shock.

If you have ever went 11 or so points into the Survival tree, then you likely have utilized the skill called "Deterrence" at some point. This is a skill that...well...provides you with all kinds of good times! In a nut shell, Deterrence is a skill that for 10 seconds grants you 25% dodge and 25% parry. If you are full survival, this should get you to at least 50% dodge and 30% parry or more!

If you see THIS, it is an excellent time to use deterrence!
In PVE deterrence is an excellent tool to have at your disposal. When grinding solo, wouldn't it be nice to have an escape when you "accidentally" draw too many mobs and would prefer to not kill your loving pet? Simply take agro! Throw down the deterrence machine and continue to fight your pets target at range while avoiding almost every attack from the extra enemies. Bring your buddy back to take the targets back and then proceed to kill them knowing the 10 seconds you absorbed from your pet likely saved you down time and your pets frustration with your carelessness.

If you are trying an extra difficult elite mob or rare spawn, this is also a great way to save your pet and your chance of killing the mob. Let your pet start in, but dps down the mob hard and ignore the agro table, keep mend pet rolling during this burst. When you draw agro, drop a damaging trap (ice likely not possible) and start up the deterrence. Hold the mob while keeping mend pet rolling. This will provide a nice 10s recovery period where you continue to damage the target and they aren't demolishing your poor little buddy. Feign death and drop back and then tell all your friends what you can solo!This technique is especially geared towards a mob that cannot be crowd controlled and/or slowed; if they can be, simply use it in an emergency situation.

What about in raids, instances or heroics?! Well, I will tell you a nice story about a time I went and saw The Dragon killer. Well, we have him at 3% and the second tank died is the premise. Luckily (debatable) I was next on the agro list after both tanks. I decide to not feign and see if 2 dps and 4 healers can finish him with a hunter tank. I switch to monkey and let him come. I release deterrence and for 10s I take 1 hit for 8k but with 4 healers it is quickly absorbed and I live!! Gruul is at 1% when deterrence ends so I just stay in monkey and wait for a huge blow to pop my super healing potion. In the end, we killed the final 3% of Gruul with a hunter tank, mage and 4 healers.

Lets all be happy Atreyu had Deterrence popped at the most important moment!
So, know that as a hunter you can save groups on boss fights. Especially, if you have a resto druid! In 10s the druid can res the tank and full heal him and you can stand strong and prevent a whipe and possible long walk back (Coilfang anyone?). Just be smart and remember you have the skill. What do you do if a trap is resisted in instances? "Trap resist, need help!" or the more dreaded: "Trap resist, I had to feign" The latter being what is usually said after a whipe.

I will be honest...sometimes Deterrence won't help . . .
In this case, it will! If you have deterrence, you simply use it, and for 10s you can recover from a trap resist. Either you get your trap cooldown to finish or the tank has good time to react and you can hold until then. Basically you become a very reliable source of safe and what the group will see as near flawless crowd control. If your group doesn't compliment or say anything at all about your trapping, then you did it right! :)

In PVP - Battlegrounds
Every non-bm hunter has been there. "God, I hate rogues and warriors! How can they get so many ways to catch me!" I have been there many times. It is this fact that sometimes can make deterrence worth it if you are a pvp'r. In battlegrounds Deterrence is sometimes a real way to beat strong rogues and warriors. If you have any doubts, let me share a story with you...again.

One pleasant day I was taking a stroll in WSG as the flag carrier due to no stronger alternative. I get jumped mid-field by a pair of rogues. Now, this usually spells doom for a hunter, but I stayed patient and dropped a frost trap. Faced the rogues and fought. Deterrence and I am at 80% hp; pop Readiness, drop explosive trap and keep fighting. Second deterrence and I am now at 50% hp and the 1st rogue dead. Second rogue is alive at 30% hp. It is at this point that I see 2 more horde mounted coming my way. So, I sleep the rogue in a haste and make for my tunnel. I am met by a resto shaman and we proceed to score.

Imagine if Neo didn't learn Deterrence...we would all be batteries!

In that situation, it was the difference between a point or another dragging effort to score without a decent carrier. Try to watch for the right moments. It is not in your best interest to waste deterrence if you are fighting say, a warrior and he has 2 healers. Be selective and it will pull you out of tight situations. Focus, keep the target in front of you and watch the hp bar hold!

In Arena
Many battleground strategies are the same as the arena strategies. The glaring exception being you can easily plan when to use deterrence. In my opinion, you should save it for the moment of truth. The moment where you have used all cooldowns and all possible escapes and now you must stand and face that warrior. Drop that frost trap and raptor stike his head in. It is far more valuable to stand and fight (even if the damage is minimal) while your team can recover. Also, you may have a cooldown refresh in those 10 vital seconds!

If Gandalf had kept his enemy in front of him, he could have dodged that last attack and won that match . . .

Luckily he learned from this and used Deterrence properly in his final battle with the Big Red Demon.

In conclusion, try to practice using deterrence and keeping folks in front of you. Many warriors and rogues stuck in slowing traps will be blown away by you surviving and dodging like a mad man!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

The purple Hunter

So, as the last few week have gone by I have sometimes come to overlook my current gear. To be honest, I probably shouldn't. I mean, it felt so easy because of how lazily I acquired it all. I tend to like doing bg's a lot (especially when I make 25 Super Healing Potions and flask!). All though, I am sure Warhammer pvp will be more fun...given the focus it has on it. Regardless, I would say I am doing pretty well!

3/5 Brutal Gear
1/5 Vengeful (Head)
1/5 Merciless (shoulders)

4/5 Guardian (Need = Boots)
1/5 Vindicator's (Ring, which is the max anyway. I have the Guardian ring)

Medallion of the alliance (epic = 45 resilience)
Talisman of the Alliance (900 hp heal + 34 Resilience)
Bloodlust Broach (+72 Ranged attack power)
Alchemist Stone (+15 Stats) - For BG's when I plan on using Potions

Vengeful Waraxe
Playschool Badge crossbow

So, all in all I am doing quite nicely. I have 375-409 resilience and 35-41% crit rating. Not bad at all me thinks!

In addition, my Holy Pally (who is a down right PVP-whore) has started to look half decent!

2/5 Brutal
1/5 Vengeful (Head)
1/5 Merciless (shoulder)

2/5 Guardian
1/5 Vindicator

Merciless Weapon and Shield

So, considering two weeks ago he had 120 resilience and now he has 265, we are doing pretty well. I have truly stuck to my shockadin plan, taking dmg/heal armor, but using +heal gems. So, essentially I have a Holy Paladin with +750 dmg and +1400 healing. I know my healing has been gimped, but alliance in my battle group is awful. So, I need to eb able to kill folks. It nice in battlegrounds where I can demolish non-warlocks pretty quickly and heal to kind of "cheat" as being both good dps and good healing.

The next step: Await my teammate Delos to get active in arena again...I am pretty confident our success is going to be very high this go round! It will be the return of Moonkin-Hunter and Paldadin-Rogue!! :) Wish us luck!
Picture credit goes to yours truly! :D Think I have got the eye for it?

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Arena newbie - Hunter Guide

So, it's time for arena on your hunter, aye? I bet you think since you lead in killing blows all the time in WSG, you will totally own in arena too! Well, sadly, you couldn't be more wrong! Regardless, do not be deterred. With practice and spec manipulation, in time you will likely find some success in arena! Here are my tips for success when you take your first steps into arenahood.

1. Get the blue pvp set! I know sometimes grinding the reputation needed for items is tedious, but this set is cake. it only takes honored reputation and it is vastly superior to the blues and greens from most dungeons. Resilience is the key. if you have -0- then expect to drop like a rock. if it is 150+ then expect to last and be able to fight. get to 300 and you are able to truly compete (400 and you now have only skill to work on).

2.. Gem for your build. In the beginning, you will likely not know which build will succeed in arena. So, gem the blue set and then play with the three tree's to see what works. Early on, you may want to make sure all of your gems have stamina. 10k hp is a great early goal. When I first began, I used gem's that were x + stamina (x being agility, critical strike chance, etc.). Arena is not about how much damage you can do as much as it is about how long you can be in the fight. Doing huge burst is great, but if the other team survives it and you die, then what good is your +attack power gems and only 8k hp?

3. Aspect of the Viper! I see a lot of hunters using Aspect of the Hawk in arena. Ugh...that's all I ever say. Please remember that Viper is how you survive a DPS+Healer team. Stay in hawk and you are doomed. Remember, a hunter can only do as much as his or her mana pool allows. Why risk losing your fuel source!? I personally have given up Hawk and reserved it for 2v2 arena teams with a second DPS class as my teammate. Having mana is more important to me than 150 attack power.

You may say you switch to Viper when you need it and it is a waste early, but after doing hundreds of arena matches, that tactic is not for me. I really...REALLY want mana when it comes time to close a match. Nothing worse than getting down to a 1v1 scenario and you have no mana (especially if you know you could win with mana). Also, how many times have you forgot to switch your aspect to viper until it was too late?

4. Do not be afraid to experiment. if you are truly a beast master and nothing will ever change that, then more power to you (with practice, you can be great with any build). I encourage you to go out, farm 500g and start playing with your class. I have learned all 3 hunter tree's well and feel comfortable in arena as any build. I would never have discovered the fun of the 0/27/34 build without arena! Also, maybe you don't like to crowd control, maybe you aren't good at kiting (these are traits of a someone who should really try out BM).

5. Expect things to be hard. I have 400 resilience and 12.8k hp and I still have trouble in arena. Hunter are severely handicapped in arena. The hunter problem is really only in 2v2 arena. So, if you want a better chance at instant success, you may want to try 3v3 or 5v5 right off the bat. Especially 5v5 arena! You get more points faster and hunters are excellent dps for a 5v5 team.

6. Find a solid and reliable teammate who you can work well with. If you decide to do 2v2 as a focus (easiest to focus on and organize) then find a teammate you can work with. Personally I like to run with Retribution paladins, amazing rogues and Sl/SL warlocks. Moonkin and elemental shaman are my preference, but I can never find them!!

To be honest though, any strong teammate is best to practice with when you first start and see what you can do. A lot of people will say "hunters are definitely best with X", but I implore you to find this out for yourself. Trust me, 2v2 is hard enough without having the daunting task of finding a very specific teammate who may be some stranger that you may or may not work well with.

7. Do not be afraid to spend arena points on the "lower" arena items. Right now that would mean buying vengeful instead of Brutal gear. By all means grab the gloves when you can, but do not feel defeated to buy vengeful if your not getting the ratings for brutal. vengeful is amazing gear and it will help you get the ratings. Trust me, the vengeful will help so much and you will get higher ratings, more points and the brutal will come in time.

8. Practice is my final piece of information. The more you play arena, the better you will be. I assure you that if you find a teammate that you work well with and the two of you practice, then you will eventually become awesome!

As always, if you have any questions, please ask!