Well, I took yesterday off because of this horrible dizzy sensation I have been experiencing for the last week off and on. So, I went to the doctor and he gave me some anti-vertigo medication and said that it is probably nothing, but if it persists for another month, I should check back in with him and we will run a bunch of tests.

Anywace, so spec'd back to resto for arena last night, and spec'd over to my crazy rapeguard+spellcrit spec on my warlock. I have to say, resto+warrior truly is about 1000 times easier than feral+warrior... but that should be no surprise. We beat priest+warrior (easy because the warrior was lagging amazingly... well we all were, but he was worse off than us), lost to warrior+paladin (because it was Lord... there just isn't much I can do against a warrior on lord... not enough obstacles to run around while avoiding JoJ), then beat mage+rogue. Beating mage rogue was interesting because they were terrible, but we won 18 points from them. They didn't even bother sapping my warrior, and instead let him get the charge off on the mage, who just blinked, summoned his pet, and started spamming fbolts while the rogue showed up. So, I busted ns-ht on my warrior, hot'd him up, and got into a position to run like mad when I got chased. I also locked down the rogue with roots and feral charge to let my warrior get him low, then as they chased me across the diagonal (an interesting new trick I'm trying in Nagrand against mage+rogue and spriest+rogue because it hinders LoS long enough for me to get out of range THEN behind the opposing pillar), I saw the rogue get to a point where CloS seemed likely.

Here's the thing about WoW: it's an action-queue-based game mechanic. What do I mean by that? Well, to compensate for the lag that will be inherent in any MMO, they implement a queue of actions that hit the server. However, they are timestamped and therefore reorganized on the fly. For complicated game mechanics like CloS, the initial call to casting CloS gets made to the server, and when it fires, it really does two things: it removes all magical effects from the rogue, THEN makes them resist 90% of magics used on them. How do I exploit this? Simply by casting Faerie Fire right as CloS is cast. If you time it correctly, my understsanding of what actually happens is this: CloS is popped from the actions queue, so a thread removes all magical effects from the rogue. My "faerie fire that rogue" action is added to the queue. Upon removing all magics from the rogue, another action is added to the queue: "give rogue buff 90% resist". From here it becomes pretty simple to see what happens, the Faerie Fire is applied to the rogue, then the 90% resists is applied. Essentially, if you guess when the rogue is going to use CloS correctly, you can always drop Faerie Fire in between immunity and removal of magics. The only hitch I have seen to this strategy is that the rogue HAS to have some magic on him for CloS to take time to remove, otherwise the Faerie Fire will get resisted because "remove all magics" will finish too quickly.

Okay, so I Faerie Fired the rogue, my warrior is at full and immune to Polymorph... we win because he just intercepts the rogue (who should have vanished but couldn't) and completes killing him. Uninteresting, if you ask me. So we get on our warlock+spriest team to see what's up. After respecing to the rapeguard+crit build, I have about 18% paperdoll crit, 422 resilience, and 955 spell damage. Also, I have an additional 4% spell crit with destruction spells, so with 22% spell crit, I can actually land some sbolt crits on warriors and rogues. To top it all off, I also have a random 80 spell penetration for those pesky felhunters we face all the time. I have basically decided that we cannot let them live any longer. Yeah, I could banish them... but the diminishing returns on banish were screwing us against a priest+lock combo last night. We lost 2 matches to that same team... very sad. ANWAY, we went against shamang+warrior, priest+warrior, priest+lock, druid+lock, mage+rogue, druid+warrior, and that same priest+lock team. We beat every team with a warrior in it, and the reason is because warriors are rocking less than 400 resilience in full pvp purps, and therefore have about 10% reduced crit chance. So what? Sew buttons, my friends. I have 22% chance to crit with sbolt on a warrior, after his resilience I have 12-15% chance to crit a warrior with an sbolt. I don't need to do it often because warriors essentially ignore me when they see a shadow priest to beat on. So, I get to sick back, put all my dots out, CoT the healer, and just unload sbolts into the warrior. 15% means about 1 in 7 sbolts will crit a warrior. Luckily, I can usually get off between 10-15 sbolts on a warrior in any given battle, so I am likely to have one crit.

Long story short, the spec seemed to work out fine, and though I'm not spell hit capped anymore (because I didn't take suppression in the affliction tree) I am still not seeing TOO many resists since I have my 80 spell penetration. Even against warrior+priest, where the warrior has shadow resist for 80 shadow resist, I just ignore it down to zero and continue my unholy bombardment of destruction mixed with dots. My spriest, on the other hand, is not so spec'd for spell criticals, and therefore relies more on his slow dot damage and great utility to get the job done. This is okay with me, his dots provide a ton of dispel buffering and while he dispels stuff, himself, we also get bubble and another fear to help out (though we need to work on our fear communication because we tend to fear at the same time which causes DR to hit quicker).

Conclusion: the new rapeguard spec seems to work wonders against the cookie-cutters out there currently (usually healer+dps), but has some major trouble with outlast teams, such as priest+warlock (although, it just rips through druid+warlock because the warlock can be ignored a little easier when teamed with someone who won't be bursting through our dots AND mana draining me). That's how we lost both matches, the lock would mana drain me and dot my pet, so I had to do damage quickly THROUGH heals and mana burns. Essentially, unless we figure a better way of draining the priest, we're not likely to win that match.

OH, for some reason, last night the 2s queue times were non-existant. Every match had a queue that lasted less than 15 seconds. It was amazing, I hope it's here to stay.