I think that I, at the very least, should give an explanation for a few things. First, I have been grinding my brains out in the 3v3 bracket and hating nearly every second of it... until this last week. Secondly, I haven't been posting because I haven't had anything good to say for a good while concerning the sorry state of PvP. Lastly, I still miss 2v2 quite a bit...

Okay, so we were running Survival+Disc+Feral at least meeting... this is an amazing comp that will do extremely well against a number of comps. The offensive output of Survival hunters is insane, they bring MS, and they bring tons of control in the form of Freezing Trap, Wyvern Sting, Scatter Shot, and pet stuns/knockdowns/etc. We played with a pretty well-geared Survival hunter, he knew how to play the game, but unfortunately he transferred to Blackrock to continue playing with friends from his real life, and I will NEVER talk trash about that. We miss Bowjobss every day, he was a pleasure to PvP with and a lot of fun to strategize with.

We then moved on and tried some games (meaning 50-100 games) of Disc+Feral+Rogue, and while this playstyle puts out a TON of damage and control... the rogue wasn't very good. He hit 1800 in twos, bought his weapons, but was a reroll from a Resto druid (hitting a little too close to home for my tastes >_<). When we first started playing with him, he would call out blinds and off-targets and switches all well and good, but he let it start to slip as time went on, and we would have bad communication which lead to the same target being both blinded and cycloned at the same time... this had to end.

We then picked up an 1800 2v2 warrior who had the Relentless T1 weapon; Seere. We have been running Feral+Disc+Warrior ever since... and while we are not yet at 2k, we're rather close (and we're gaining points every week now that we are ironing out the playstyles). This team has a LOT of strengths that the other two don't. First of all, Rogues are extremely squishy from behind while controlled... and while this is difficult to do against good rogues, bad ones explode to melees because they don't fully understand how Evasion works. Secondly, warriors can use Charge and Intercept as interrupts and defensive moves... as well as offensive moves. The only real downside to warrior+priest+feral is that using Poly on Guntir and training the Feral is still as viable a strategy as ever... and it has cost us plenty of matches.

PMR and Wizardcleave obviously give us the most difficulties... but we also have had some trouble figuring out how to handle teams like plate-cleave (warrior+dk+pally/healer) where they simply get MS and Hamstring up on Guntir, pop IBF+AMS and Bladestorm and laugh as Guntir is killed with no peels available. We finally figured out a tactic that works against this comp pretty reliably in that Seere charges the DK to start out in the middle so he isn't on Guntir, I let the warrior charge to Guntir, then Pounce him before he can get Hamstring up, and we split dps until one of them gets low, then CC the higher of the two and full-switch to the other. This USUALLY puts out enough pressure that one of them will blow defensive cooldowns to stay alive AND it means that when they finally set up on Guntir (if they live that long), they are missing some cooldowns... the warrior is usually the highest HP so I keep him out of the healer's LoS and I Cyclone him (to make him trinket), then Root him... there's at least 5-10 seconds of 3v2 coming down on the DK... and the healer could certainly dispel the warrior, but the DK might die, so they usually just spam heals instead which gets us VERY far ahead in the match.

I have really grown to liking 3v3 a bit more... I still hate it, but it's grown on me to the point where I can see the appeal. It's ten times as fast-paced as the 2v2 bracket, and ANY mistakes are QUICKLY and SEVERELY punished, but there is something good in that. When you make a mistake... you SHOULD be punished. Also, coming up with strategies for teams is a little more dynamic since there are more options than "switch to the OTHER target, or keep dps on this one?"

We FINALLY came up with a strategy that works OKAY against PMRs (not good ones... but more PMRs at 2k aren't good). It goes like this: STAY IN STEALTH. Essentially, warrior+priest versus mage+disc is going to be VERY one-sided without starting diminishing returns on one of them... the warrior is going to STAY on that priest as best he can (getting dispelled by Guntir almost exlusively so he can stay on the priest) and put up pressure. This works best when he has Hamstring and MS up, and gets a lucky Overpower to land during Penance... then we're in a good place because we're dealing more damage than they are AND we're costing them more mana. Okay, the rogue (if he hasn't found me) HAS to commit to the warrior now or this match will go slowly towards a loss for the PMR. Once the rogue opens on the warrior, he will usually hit Evasion to try and keep me from opening on him... but Pounce can't be dodged/parried/blocked, and I'm PvP hit-capped, so I'm GOING to land Pounce. I usually start with Berserk during Prowl and open on him hard so I can guarantee getting a 5pt Maim up BEFORE Pounce ends (so he can't dodge that either) and let my warrior just lay into him (if you can't tell... we've hard-switched to the rogue).

We're usually doing so much damage here that I can try and play offensively with CC, so I use an instant-cast Cyclone on the mage to keep him from Polymorphing guntir/seere so we can keep up 3v2 pressure. By the time I'm back in Cat form, the rogue has ~2 seconds left on Maim, so I just make sure to spend my energy on Mangle/Rake/Shreds and right as the stun ends I hit him with Faerie Fire to force him to think CloS (guntir usually has SW:P up and may even have thrown a Holy Fire+Death out on him at this point... doing TONS of damage to the rogue during the stuns is key to getting them off their game). Okay... I use my combo points to put Rip up and immediately start watching for Penances, when I see the first tick of Penance, I can toss my instant-cyclone on the priest to interrupt his best heal (and start the cooldown and keep him from picking his rogue up). From this point on... it's basically "play hard on the rogue and live through double evasion."

It's important to remember a few things:

1) Rogues while stealthed will NOT break stealth if they ABSORB damage... so a lot of times you'll have Rip+Rake+DW up on the rogue as he gets a PW:S and Vanishes to drop some pressure... this is when you should CC the Priest hard... Cyclone+Fear, to keep him from topping off the rogue... the bleeds will eventually break PW:S and knock him out of stealth.

2) Have your warrior keeping Hammy up on the rogue and saving 15 rage for Piercing Howl AS the rogue vanishes wins matches. You find yourself saying this a lot "Okay, he's gunna vanish soon, don't execute... save it for Piercing Howl." This usually is something warrior's are angry about, but after the last couple victories from it... I think I have Seere seeing things from my perspective.

3) Every time you Cyclone, throw an Abolish Poison up on Seere (or Guntir if they're dumb enough to target him). I have seen MORE matches lately where I've thrown an Abolish up, it knocks off Wound on the first tick while I have the rogue stunned/cycloned, and Guntir gets a 3x Penance that heals for full. This will win games. If nothing else, it can give him a chance to knock off Crippling Poison and be faster than the rogue for a moment and get behind him (rogue is snared after all).

All things considered, this comp is fun to run... but Wizardcleave is bullshit. Warlocks can drop 15k damage at once without any counters for it PRETTY reliably... HOWEVER, the 3.3 patch notes were updated today with this little gem:

Conflagrate now deal damage equal to 9 sec of your Immolate or 8 sec of your Shadowflame, and causes an additional damage equal to 3 sec of your Immolate or 2 sec of your Shadowflame over 3 sec.

This means that Conflagrate has taken, in essence, a 25% burst damage nerf but hasn't lost any damage in the long-run... and you're unlikely to be able to dispel that 1-tick-DoT it applies at the end (although... this DoT tick PROBABLY can't crit... so it might end up being a damage nerf after all). So, hopefully this will reel back Warlocks a bit in PvP... no more "shit, I dipped to 80%... better requeue."