Thursday, July 23, 2009

Q n A

8thDragon, a reader, recently asked me this:

My situation is this: I have a fairly well geared priest, but my 2v2 partner is a ret pally that has trouble tracking debuffs and using freedom / cleanse on me. This results in lots of CC chains that leave one of us dead. I tried 3's with him and an enhance shaman, only to get frustrated by how
easy it is to get tunneled to death by 2 melee on the other team.

So I started leveling a druid myself. She's up to 72, and I'm starting to question my decision. It seems to me that a druid is better able to self-sustain in 2's and 3's, but giving up on my 5/5 deadly priest (with all the furious off pieces) makes me want to start breaking keyboards.

What do you think? Find a rogue (or a mage, or both) and profit?


8thDragon, my initial gut response here is that the problem is two fold, as these kinds of issues are often unable to exist with some mistakes on both sides. Let's address each of the scenarios and point out some things that you and your partner(s) can adjust to make playing your Priest more enjoyable.

2v2: Ret/Priest. Before going into what your Ret buddy is doing, ensure that if you're playing a comp that's trying to kill your Paladin before you, utilize LOS as much as possible while trying to get your Psychic Screams off whenever you can.

Ret Paladins are quite mana sensitive if they spam Cleanse and so they need to pick and choose when to use their GCD's to cleanse you to stop a cc chain or when to play defensive. Recognize, first, that Cleanses weakness is that it can affect three different types of debuffs: Magic, Poison, and Disease, and that it only removes one application per Cleanse. That acknowledged, there are two scenarios in which Cleanse could benefit: If the CC effect is protected by alot of magic/poison/disease debuffs or if the cc is not protected by many debuffs.

The first situation comes when you are playing against Warlocks, Ret Paladins, good Frost Mages, Unholy Deathknights, or Mutilate Rogues who like to sit on you. As these classes can easily and quickly apply debuffs, it may not be worth the GCD's, mana, and time for your Ret Pally teammate to cleanse as their likelihood of hitting that cc debuff is quite low. In such cases, if it looks like your partner is going to die while your trinket is down and you're getting chain cc'd, your partner needs to play defensively to try to interrupt the cc chain with Hammer/Repent and/or your partner needs to learn how to get out of LOS of the opponents so that he can pick up a heal once you get out of the cc chain. It's cruicial for DPS to avoid the tunnel vision syndrome in order to recognize when they need to gtfo.

The other situation comes about when you're playing against Priests, Survival Hunters, Frost DK's, who are not paired with one of the classes from the first group. In this case, the likelihood of snagging the CC on the first or second Cleanse is very high and as such, should be a priority for your Ret Pally buddy to remove. I highly advocate creating separate macros that auto-target teammates for both yourself and your buddy for dispel purposes. A simple /cast [mod:shift,target=partnernamehere]Cleanse;Cleanse macro is a great way to quickly dispel your partner without having to manually target them.

Additionally, I would recommend practicing calling out every cc that you get hit with or specifically asking for a Cleanse. Optimally, your partner should be dispelling the moment he sees the cc land on you, but that can be difficult to see unless he a) uses a mod to tell him when you're cc'd or b) is expecting it. It seems as though he isn't expecting it, so I would recommend having him configure a mod or two to help him keep track of things. This is especially cruicial for Hand of Freedom as it can save you from many a Kidney Shot or Hammer of Justice.

In 3's, tunnelvisioning melee cleave teams are currently plaguing many battlegroups. The weakness of 2 hybrid melee teammates is that you have neither a Mortal Strike effect or multiple chainable cc's. However, you should have superior mobility with both Earthbind Totem and Hand of Freedom to help you remove snares so that you can escape. Your Shaman should Frostshock to help peel stuff off you and your Paladin should force defensive play through swaps. Force your teammates to save their Freedom effects for you as you will need them for every Rogue, Warrior, or DK that likes to sit on your face and take a big steaming ... yeah you get the picture.

With respect to your DPS teammates, since their damage is healable, they need to prePurge their swap targets and swap quickly and often. Repentence, Hex, and Psychic Scream can be and should be chained as much as possible, and depending on opposing healer, can be either used offensively or defensively (Tree's can't be Repented or Hexed). If your swap target is a healer, dump your cc's into their main peeler. If your swap target is a DPS, dump your cc's into the healer and try to pull out a Trinket. If you can get that healer to pop his trinket, either immediately swap to him and cc the DPS or play super defensively and wait until the cc chains comes back up and do it all over again.

What about the Druid? Well, if you have spare time, level her up. Druids have a very, very, very different game play from Priests and with the right classes can be a super easy faceroll to whatever rating. However, some people prefer the offensive power of a Priest and the safety of defensive dispels. Go with what feels right to you. I will say that both classes are incredibly fun when played correctly, so either way, you can't go wrong there.


8thdragon said...

We finished our 10 games for the week last night (the days of doing 30 or 50 at a stretch have left me. I know it's supposed to help us, but the opposite is usually true). Long story short, we started the evening at 1554, went 4-6, ending at 1536. We got pooped on. Same story as always, I get CC'd or stunned, the dispel / freedom doesn't come (or comes really late, which in the case of a UA lock is really bad).
There's a decently geared enhance shaman that seems experienced that's looking for a disc priest on my server. Have you ever seen or heard of how enhance/disc would work? Seems like PR, but without the stuns and wound poison, plus more kiting.

Chu said...

At your rating, gear doesnt equate to skill or success. If you're dying to burst damage, then gear is a serious consideration. Force your ret pally buddy to make a dispel partner macro and tell him to mash it when you tell him to.

At the same time, you have to improve your own skill so that youre not constantly getting cc'd. Hump that pillar and LOS as much as possible. At the same time, recognize that many comps such as Warlock/Healer or Mage/Rogue do have a favorable matchup against you. Some you're going to win, some you're going to lose. Don't get frustrated on the near auto-losses, but capitalize on the ones you should be winning, or ones you have a good chance to win.