Saturday, June 21, 2008

PvP as a fresh 70 SPriest

As much as it drives me crazy to be on a PvP server and dealing with all of the ganking Huntards, I do loves me some Battlegrounds PvP action. I absolutely suck at it, but I still enjoy it.

I die. Often. I have cackling-laughter levels of fun, but I really do die quite often.

Of course, my low survivability may have something to do with the fact that I have pretty much no Resilience to speak of. I have a little bit from the Vindicator's Pendant of Subjugation that I picked up the other day, but a grand total of +18 Resilience is laughably low.

And yet ... the times I laugh the loudest are when I have 2 or 3 people nuking me down, bubble and Fear on cooldown with no mana, and I am CCed and have absolutely no escape ... and yet it takes a good 10 seconds to drag me to the ground. I cheer as I hit the Release button. Come on guys, I'm a clothie! I can only assume that those people doing such a horrible job of nuking me down are even worse geared than I am. (Or maybe they have so much Resilience gear on that they've nerfed their damage output?)

For whatever reason, anecdotally, this seems to happen most often in Eye of the Storm. I have no explanation for this.

I know that I'm not quite ready yet for Arena play. Neither in terms of skill, nor in gear. I honestly doubt I'll set foot in one before S4 starts.

Mass Dispel is your friend.

Yeah, it chews through mana. See that glowing bubble around that Paladin? Mass Dispel. (You are the only class in the game that can get rid of it.) Warlock tab-DOTting your assault force? Mass Dispel. Druid at the far back of the opposing force throwing out ethereal green Renew HoTs? Mass Dispel. Mage in an Iceblock? Mass Dispel.

Tab. VT. SWP. VE. CoW. MF.

Try to hit the VT first. You're not looking for mana back (although it is helpful), you're just adding another DoT. The SWP is your big gun, and since it is instant you can probably get it off before the target is out of range. VE is just icing on the cake to get you and your group a little HP back. If you can do CoW, great -- the attack reduction isn't much, but their healers will have to spend more mana to get them healed back up again. If the target is still in range, MF.

Mounted targets almost never stop.

Passing ships in the night? I don't think so. As the target is coming into view, spam SWD. As soon as it hits, turn and run after them and spam VE then CoW (or the other way around if you prefer). You should be able to get all 3 instants off before they are out of range again. I've been able to take out plenty of Warlocks and Mages this way.

If you are in a really vindictive mood, mount up ASAP and follow them. The VE tagging will help you track them. When they think they are safely out of range, they may dismount to Dispel or Bandage. They will almost never look behind them, so you safely run into MB range, tag them, and start Flaying.

Learn to recognize PvP Warrior armor. They are probably immune to your Fear and will most likely turn you into paste. You may want to let them pass.

Take the high ground.

Sun Tzu had it right. You want the high ground for two reasons: the view and the view.

Out of combat, Mind Vision is your friend and has a place in every single BG. Find the highest point you can then start body-hopping with MV. Call out enemy force movements to the BG chat. I have an outstanding Arathi Basin win record because I stand at the top of the Lumber Mill and do exactly that.

In-combat your range is your friend, and melee is your enemy. As a SPriest, you want to be a sniper, not cannon fodder. Climb up into a tower or onto a roof and nuke from above. If your target has to negotiate some stairs or a tricky jump to get to you, that's a few more seconds you have to live. Plus, in the heat of a pitched battle, many (most?) people will focus on what is right in front of them and won't look up.

Let your freak Fiend out.

If you are used to PvE, it can be hard to remember to use your Shadowfiend. You can get conditioned to think of your Fiend as an emergency-only measure. But in PvP, your Fiend is more DPS, more mana back, and helps to interrupt casters trying to nuke you down. In PvP, your Fiend should never come off of cooldown without going right back on.

Fear dispersal.

One of the first tricks I learned was to run into the soup and spam my Fear button. This works well in most BGs, but notsomuch in Alterac Valley. It seems that in AV most people are right there on their trinkets, or are specced to be Fear-immune. In the other BGs, though, this almost always works.

Shut up, shut up, shut up!

We don't use Silence very much in PvE, but it is awesome in PvP. Again, it should almost never come off of cooldown.

Keep your shields up.

This includes Inner Fire, PWS, and Shadowguard if you have it. Shadowguard + Blackout = several more seconds for you to live when that tank starts beating on you.

But don't take my word for it ...

SPriests are great fun in BGs. You'll die, often, but you'll also be amazed at how much damage you can do, and how long it takes some of the enemies to take you down. Even if all you do is run around and tab-DoT everything in sight, you're still making a valuable contribution to the BG. The gear you get from it is very much worth the time you put into it.

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