The timer rings 15 seconds remaining until the doors open. The warrior looks over to his partner and sees him doing his usual pre-battle routine of casting regrowth to that the long-last heal-over-time portion has the best chance at getting some ticks after they take a bit of damage. The warrior realizes that there are no more bells, just the anticipation for when the doors open. He grips his trusty Vengeful Gladiator's Bonegrinder ever tighter, but stows it on his back for now and gives one last battle shout to let his enemies know he comes for them. He begins mounting up as his partner gets into a prowling position to hide himself from his enemies' eyes. A tickle runs down the warrior's back, but he does not acknowledge it with a shake or a shiver; he's been down this road many times and come out victorious -- in higher rankings as well. The start of a new season meant fresh blood, the warrior knows that in order to get back to the top, he must distinguish himself amongst the unworthy opponents of the lower brackets and move on. He grips his reins ever tighter and can feel the doors are about to open.

Blinding light hits his eyes and he hears the cheering of the crowd. The warrior likes the Blade's Edge Arena, it has always felt more spread out in a very compact way. He digs his might heel into the side of his mount and it gives charge to the top of the bridge, where he stares across to see two lowly undead men. One appears to be an unholy priest and the warrior can tell from his dark and recessed eyes that this priest gave up on the faith a long time ago. The other is a warlock, what a pair, these two evil souls bound together in the arena. At first the warrior is a bit on edge, as spell-casters can often inflict slow and antagonizing amounts of pain upon him. It isn't the pain he is concerned about though, he has dealt with pain before and, as always, his ever merciful healer has always been there to repair wounds and soothe the pain. Rather, he is on edge because he cannot decide which one of the two poses the more immediate threat, be it the warlock who will obviously be able to take a hard beating, or the shadow priest who will spend the majority of the battle keeping his evil abilities on him and reducing his druid's healing energy.

It is all in the eyes. There are no misunderstandings here, everyone in the arena knows there is a druid, knows that he will be a great healer, knows that the warrior has the most elite and glorified gear from being one of the best. Their eyes give them away even more than their gear does: tattered and old from seasons past. The warrior gives a mocking snort as he thinks "they plan to fight in heirlooms! That's it," and charges at the shadow priest as the two dark casters scatter from the incoming assault. The warrior swings wildly at the priest's legs and hinders his movement, "this is too easy" he thinks as he feels dark magic corrupting his body. However, this evil presence only fuels his rage further and he lands a resounding blow on dark priest who had just managed to create a protective shield for himself.

The warrior looks over his shoulder and sees the warlock chanting an incantation and waving his hands in the air. He never understood how these sorts of magical abilities came to be infused with these feeble types of beings. All he believed in was the mace, swing it and watch the blood splatter against his armor. Though his armor burned now, scalding and smoldering. Aside from feeling mildly sick and having what could only be described as a near-blinding pain shooting through his body, he was now burning alive inside his armor. "Good," he thinks, "bring on the pain, it gives me focus, gives me power!" He swings again with all his might, inflicting a mortal blow into the side of the priest which rang a loud crack along with it signaling broken ribs and a deep wound which continued to bleed.

Out of desperation, it seemed, the priest gave a loud cry that pierced the warrior's mind for a split second. It filled him with fear from head to foot, but as his eyes widened, he furrowed his brow and shook off the feeling with a resolute wanting to destroy the priest in front of him. He heard an odd noise and saw his druid fleeing from the immediate battle. Now he was really angry; this priest was going to die very soon. Then it happened.

They sky turned dark and crushing evil presence forced itself down upon the warrior and he felt his bones crack a bit. It was done in an instant, but it left him stunned and dazed and hurting all over. A blast of pure flame hit him square between his broad shoulder blades, and he felt himself burst open as if the fire were exploding from within his chest. As he made to turn his efforts upon the warlock he realized he may have chosen the wrong target as a skull emblazoned in green fire hit him square in the chest and he was filled with resounding horror: he was going to die. The priest made a gesture at the coming druid who had gained his Nature's Swiftness, but too late, he could not speak, and then he turned and ran in fear again. Immediately, the warrior felt a burning cold sensation as flames black as the deepest cavern engulfed his body and were immediately put out. Then a figure appeared above him and struck like a dagger, straight through the warrior, and he fell dead. With the priest at about a third of his strength, and the warlock at full, the druid was no match for their onslaught of pain and destruction, he climbed the wall of the arena, trying to escape in complete terror.

The evil pair smiled.

So that was my attempt at a dramatic telling of one of our matches from last night. We have given up all hope of ever hitting anything about 1725 on the shadow priest warlock team. We got up to 1549 a couple times in our initial ten matches and never could get over that 1550 plateau to get the brutal gladiator's pants as felguard and shadow spec. So, we gave up, went and did the sunwell dailies, and over vent I said it: "I'm through caring about this team, it's time to have fun again... I'm going destro." No complaints from my brother, so we finished up our dailies and I went and spec'd destro. I am now more squishable than ever. For fun, I wanted to do a few arena matches just to see what it would be like. We faced a resto-shamang and warrior team, which we beat rather well, not super well, but decently. "So, let's do another," I said. We faced elemental shamang and rogue, which defeated us, but only barely. I was upset, so I queued again, because I knew we could do better than that, and my macros and spell rotations were finally coming together to play how I remembered. Then we had this match-up against druid+warrior, both of which were wearing full s3 gear.

I think I'm going to enjoy destruction. Essentially, I have to bait my spriest a bit at the beginning of the match, so I can get off some spells without being targeted and burst down, but aside from that, I drop more burst damage than anything I have ever seen before. Additionally, next patch they will be improving my curses so that curse of shadow and curse of elements will be one spell, so my spriest's shadow spells will be doing 10% more damage and my fire spells will too on the same cast. Definitely a sneak-attack buff by Blizzard. Also, they are making Fel Armor undispellable, which will definitely be a boon to our play as it gives me additional healing received from the spriest's vampiric embrace and from my health stones.

I want to find a good elemental shamang and just laugh about doing gibs in the 3s arena... all in good time.