Arena prot pvp - strategies and stuff
I know there are a few threads floating around about prot pvp and there is even a stickied one. The reason I think this new thread is justified is because I want to talk specifically about 2v2, not BGS and not duels. Over on MMO-champ there was a thread about prot pvp and the moderator said something about how he hoped someone would actually have something constructive to say about prot pvp instead of the same crap that people post in every single thread. So I typed all of the following up and put it there but I figured the tankspot community may find more value from it so I figured I would cut and paste it.
I play with a healing prot pally and here is our approach to some of the most common comps.
A lot of this comes down to how the other team plays it and how good the rogue is. The skill of the priest is pretty irrelevant. Their team is going to try to control the warrior as much as possible which leaves the priest free to mana burn. They will usually open on the warrior and try for a quick gib and if that doesn't work out, the rogue will just sit on the warrior and do everything in his power to not take damage so the priest can use his GCDs aggressively instead of on healing.
Once the first cheap -> kidney is done, you are going to want to get on the priest. The rogue will probably stick with you for a while so sticking to the priest can be a challenge. The rogue is going to have crippling on you and will have you stunned quite a bit so you won't be able to keep hamstring up on the priest. The only time you will be able to put consistent damage into the priest will be when you can chain some stuns together - so don't even bother going into battle for hamstring, just stick to def stance.
Eventually the other team will figure out that the rogue isn't making any progress by sitting on you and they will think "its just a prot warrior, he won't kill the priest" and the rogue will switch off to your pally. All through the beginning of the match, the pally is going to be very carefully going in and out of LOS to heal you and dodge mana burns. Once the rogue switches off you, you CANNOT allow a mana burn to get off. Depending on your positioning, you CAN reflect it with imp spell reflect. If the rogue is really good, he can and will put your pally into difficulty, be ready to intervene and disarm and maybe throw some stuns at him. One thing I have found to be effective is to switch targets to the rogue relatively often. The moment the priest starts to cast mana burn though, you MUST switch back to him. If you are switching targets, the priest will be casting shields and renews and PoMs at the rogue which means he is spending more mana. When the shadowfiend comes out, stun it and fear it and taunt it and use shield block, and do everything you possibly can to keep it from doing damage - if it does no damage, the priest gets no mana back.
Once the priest starts to get low on mana, he will start looking for opportunities to get a drink and this is when you will win or lose. You have to decide which target you will have a better chance to score a kill on - remember even an OOM priest can stay alive for a stupid amount of time - and that might mean letting the priest go drink and nuking the rogue.
At the end of the day, if the priest is able to cast mana burns - you lose. If you don't switch targets and help your pally by peeling the rogue from time to time - you lose. If the priest is able to drink to full - you lose. These matches come down to mana because neither you nor the rogue are going to be able to score a quick kill.
Its a very winnable game but its not easy.
This comp is a nail-biter for us everytime. Their team is going to try to have the DK sit on the pally while the druid kites you with a LOT of peels from the DK. If I am in LOS of the DK, I am using spell reflect every time it is off CD. The DK is going to use Chains of Ice on me every time he can to try and keep me off of his druid. If I am spell reflecting it, it means he isn't getting his job done AND it means my paladin can kite him.
If I don't have rage to reflect or if it gets wasted on a moonfire, I can still charge/intercept/intervene to clear the snare. Most of the time the druid is going to be pillar humping so I can't charge him, but I may be able to charge the DK or intervene my partner and then intercept the druid from that new angle. If not, then I can take a moment to disarm the DK, refresh demo shout and maybe put some damage into him. When I am on the DK, the druid will usually pop into LOS to put a HoT or two on the DK and maybe try to cyclone/root me or my pally and I can use that opening to get back on target. That little bit of target switching also helps burn through the druid's mana because hotting two targets costs more mana than if he only had to hot himself.
What you are waiting for is an opportunity to get the druid out in the open with any hots on himself and then lining up a burst. You can try to set that up to happen by switching onto the DK, if you sit on him for 15 seconds or so, your stuns will have their CDs reset and any hots the druid had on himself will be wearing off. Your pally will want to kite the DK to a position so that the druid has to come out into the open to put hots onto him. Really good druids will put hots on themselves before coming into the open, but most druids are not really good. When you make the switch, expect the death grip and be ready to reflect it. You probably aren't going to get a kill unless you get lucky, but you probably will force the druid to use nature swiftness and maybe some other CDs in which case, you just do that same setup repeatedly until it yields a kill.
Even if you can't get a kill that way, you are forcing the druid to heal two targets which means he will run out of mana way before your paladin... then he will innervate back up to full mana. If you get lucky, you might be able to dispel innervate with shield slam, but its not likely, a better way to handle the innervate is to watch the druid's habits and try to figure out when he likes to use cyclone and as soon as he innervates, try to bait a cyclone which you then reflect. You might get lucky and dispel the innervate or get a cyclone during it, but most likely you just have to deal with the fact that druids have a reset button on their mana bar.
This comp is a major pain in the ass. Matches are usually pretty long unless you get lucky and set up a gib on the druid.
Ret/druid and warrior/druid
These both play very similar to DK/Druid except easier. The dps will start on you until they figure out that you are prot and then will switch to your pally and try to peel you off the druid whenever they get a chance (which is not NEARLY as often or as effective as the DK).
Whether or not these matches are hard comes down to the skill of the druid. If you just cannot keep up with him, you are going to want to do a lot of target swapping to force him to heal two people and wear down his mana (and yell at your partner to keep judgement of justice up). If you aren't having much trouble sticking to the druid, then it is very possible to just plain kill him without having to work too hard for it. Your partner, as always, is going to need to be aggressive and add some damage/burst when it comes time to push for a kill.
All the strategies that work for dk/druid work for these teams as well except you don't have to work nearly as hard.
This will be the most boring match you ever play. I usually just tunnel vision the other team's pally while their warrior tunnel visions mine. There is really no finesse at all to this match. On the rare occasion that my pally gets in trouble, I intervene and disarm and the crisis is over.
The only thing worth noting is that if my pally gets in trouble and I come running to save him, the other warrior will bladestorm - either to go immune to disarm or stop my stuns or just to do more damage. When bladestorm starts, my pally bubbles, when bladestorm stops, the warrior starts to cast shattering throw - that is your chance to save the day. Stun him or fear him and then disarm him. No weapon = no shattering throw. I honestly don't know what happens if you disarm while shattering throw is being cast.
If you want to get fancy, try to split the map - have your pally put up ret aura and kite their warrior to the opposite side of the map as his healer. It is not uncommon for the other team's healer to not realize what is about to happen - his dpser is chasing a healing paladin after all.
Once your pally and the other warrior are good and far away, have your pally start to put some damage into the warrior - not a lot at first, just whittle his health down so that his healer doesn't get concerned. If you do it right, your pally might be able to take the warrior down to 50-60% before his healer realizes what is about to happen - that is, you drop a big long stun on him and haul ass to the warrior, pop trinkets, shield block and recklessness and hope for a gib.
A lot of things have to go right to get a warrior gib like that, the much more common strat is just to slowly wear down the other team's pally. You are going to need a lot of help from your partner with damage, but once you get a feel for it, this is a very easy comp.
Just like ret/druid is the easy version of dk/druid, ret/priest is the easy version of rogue/priest. The other team is going to start on you and try for a quick gib and after that, the ret is going to switch over to your pally.
Your #1 priority is stopping mana burns, just like rogue/priest except you are going to have a much easier time sticking on the priest and your pally doesn't have to worry about poisons or interrupts so he isn't going to be put into difficulty by the paladin.
This match will run in waves - it will start with them trying to burst you. Then you are going to set up a burst on the priest to get him to use pain suppression - it doesn't take a lot to get this done, a big stun while he doesn't have a power word shield up is usually enough to do the trick. When PS goes up, you switch over to the pally and put a little damage into him, but more importantly, you make sure my partner has commanding and the pally has demo shout and then switch back over to the priest once PS is down. Now you set up another burst in order to get the pally to BoP the priest. At this point, if the pally waited a long time with the BoP and the priest is under 50%, I switch to battle and shattering throw to keep the momentum going. If the pally saw what was coming and used it early, then I will just ride it out and keep my full rage bar.
Once the bubble goes down, then its time for the last big burst. Make sure your partner is quick to cleanse HoJ and/or repentance off you if the ret is trying to peel you. You can clear repentance yourself with berserker rage, but if you do, then you can't clear the psychic scream and depending on positioning, your partner might also get feared and be unable to help you out of it.
If you are able to get a kill by bursting the priest, thats great, but it doesn't always work out that way. Sometimes priests just don't die. When you are fighting one of those immortal priests, you can turn it into an outlast match. Just sit on him until he runs out of mana.
One thing I have seen from teams that play this comp well, is that the ret will start throwing heals at the priest while the priest just puts up shield and renew and that is usually enough to keep the priest just barely alive long enough for shadowfiend or hymn of hope to come off CD. To counter that, you simply switch targets but the key is that your pally now has to chase the priest around and stop him from drinking.
Double DPS teams are very very very easy to beat. When you are fighting a double DPS team, they are going to blow their offensive CDs early to try and score a quick kill. That means you and your partner have to use your defensive CDs early. Most double DPS teams will toy with you a bit until they can set up a sequence of events that makes someone dead - linking CC together: blind->sap on your healer, or linking offensive spells together: shatter combo or CoE->immolate->conflag->chaos bolt or hammer of justice in LoS of the hunter.
Your job against double dps teams is to make sure that those sequences never come together. To do that, you are going to want to sit on the caster for most of the game. With all the stuns and interrupts and silences at your disposal, you can make life hell for a caster.
There isn't a lot to be said in terms of strategy against double DPS. Don't save your defensive CDs for 'later' because the match will be over in under 2 minutes. Play safe, don't get far from your healer, don't let the other team play to their strengths and turn the match into 2v1 by controlling you or your healer. Spell reflect early and often and do it within 20 yards of your partner whenever possible so he gets it too.
My partner and I don't do well against resto shaman. The problem is that they have enough healing output that I can't reasonably burst them down and with water shield, they never ever ever ever run out of mana. We played a warrior/rsham just last week and lost but when I thought about how it went down, I think we won't lose to that comp in the future.
One of the big problems was that I didn't do a lot of peeling for my pally early on in the match and that meant that later on, I was nervous about peeling and target switching because I didn't want to give the warrior rage because my pally was already under pressure. Basically, by not peeling the warrior early on, the other team had all the momentum and my team just never got it turned around.
Not only did I do a bad job of peeling the warrior, but I wasn't able to pressure the shaman's mana at all because I never stayed on the warrior long enough to put in damage beyond earth shield. I basically was switching off and putting a stun and/or disarm on the warrior and maybe hitting him a few times and then switching back to the shaman. So the shaman never had to do anything to heal the warrior except press earth shield.
The few times we got close to killing the shaman all came along the same way - spell reflect on hex. The shaman was using his trinket pretty aggressively on my stuns and HoJ and that meant he almost never had it up for hex which means my team had 6 seconds of free CC that didn't share DR with any of our CC.
As soon as I saw him start casting it, I called it out on vent and we tried hard to burst the shaman. I think with some more coordination and with better control of the momentum, we ought to be able to beat warrior/shaman.
Ret/rsham is a little different though. We have fought that comp a few times and haven't done particularly well. I do make the earth shield mistake pretty often - switching to the ret just long enough to go through earth shield and then switching off right before I put in some real damage.
We try to set up kills the same way - wait for hex then chain it together with our own CC and burst but what often happens is that the ret will start healing the shaman and it is usually just enough healing to outlast our CC and then the shaman can heal himself.
I can't think of much else to do except try to burst harder and try to do more to keep momentum on our side - maybe switching to the ret more often after the bursts on the shaman. Maybe if I spend more time on the ret and have my partner intentionally let himself get low, we can bait a hex more often and get more opportunities to burst.
Resto shaman are just hard for my team.
We can't beat this comp. I have tried sitting on the pally, sitting on the DK, slow target switching, fast target switching, /dancing... nothing works.
The paladins balance each other out but we lose because the DK has just as much survivability as I do but he does a lot more damage and brings more utility. We almost beat a healing prot/frost DK team last week and that would have been our first win EVER against a pally/DK team.