Guntir is a Baws & PTR Build (13812)

Reader Fade asked the following question in the comments on the last post:

rey can guntir recommend any good priest blogs? I run 3s with a priest and both he and i are struggling to find anything and our post on the eu board has been quiet.

I asked Guntir and he said "I don't follow any pvp blogs, priest or otherwise." This is technically a lie, as I know for a fact that he goes to Hydramist to read and subsequently rage at the moronic posts from Ming and the like; however, I asked Guntir if he would not mind too terribly answering any questions raised here. He agreed!

SO, just go ahead and leave comments in this post for questions you would like to throw Guntir's way about either Disc or Resto Shammy healing, starts, etc, and I will compose a list and get his responses. Try and keep them concise - things like "How do you handle a Warrior training you against War+Druid teams" are perfect; questions like "how can I play better" are too vague.


There was a new PTR push today, and while changes are limited in scope and Blizzard will likely not post an updated patch-notes page, we have to go on the data-mined information from MMO-Champion.

First and foremost:

* Cleansing Waters now has a 6 sec cooldown, up from 0.5 sec.

Lmao, RShammies get kicked in the teeth finally. However, the BIG TICKET change so far has to be the following:

* Savage Defense now absorbs damage equal to 35% of your attack power for 10 sec instead of reducing the damage taken from the next physical attack.

If the tooltip is to be believed, this is a HUGE buff to Feral PvP in turtle-ability. Previously, readers will recall that Savage Defense only blocked the next incoming attack rather than simply giving a shield which lasts 10 seconds. The other aspect of this change (again, if the updated tooltip is to be believed) is that it seems that Savage Defense will finally absorb ALL damage, not just physical damage.

I absolutely love this change. 35% of our attack power is something like a 3-4k absorb, but we also have to factor in mastery. I can check for sure when I get home as to just how much this value will be, but I am hazarding a guess that it will be something around a 6-8k absorb. Again, we get this absorb currently, but if we absorb a 2k attack, the rest of that shield is entirely wasted and disappears. In 4.1, we will actually be able to turtle a bit in Bear Form simply due to our ability to shield while landing Mangles/Mauls/White Swings/etc. Other aspects of these changes need to be explored, obviously, and I definitely have some questions remaining about the implementation:

Does this mean SD has an internal cooldown to keep it from being OP?

Does SD's shield persist through shapeshifting, or will it go away if I leave Bear Form (with the implications being that I could get that 6-8k shield, swap to Cat Form and get offensive)?

As always, I will post updates here as I find them.

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New PTR Build (13793)

No significant changes OFFICIALLY posted yet, but data-mining has unearthed a new tooltip for Cyclone:

"Cyclone now lasts 6 sec, up from 5 sec."

Weird; though thoroughly appreciated. I had been wondering if Blizzard simply made changes just to see how much they could make Druids rage. I have no idea if this was a mistake or intended, but when the PTR comes back up, I will make sure and get confirmation (or if a Blue confirms it sooner you'll hear about it here).

Other than that, there are no changes announced yet that matter to Ferals. If we can make 4.1 go to live with a 6s Cyclone and Dash/StR breaking roots, we will be in a VERY nice position.

----------EDIT March 29----------

So, it is now Monday and the various quirks have been weeded out of the data-mined patch notes, though there is still no update to the official Blizzard notes so whether Cyclone is intended to return to form as a six-second duration is still yet to be known for sure. There are a few actual changes which require additional speculation (as pointed out in a comment to this very post). For instance, Enraged Regeneration is now considered an Enrage effect (according to the updated tooltip), meaning that it can be dispelled via Soothe (and the like). Furthermore, it has the updated text of "and new Enrage effects cannot be gained while [Enraged Regen is] active", which leads me to believe that Wrecking Crew and Deathwish cannot be proc'd/used which would effectively make Enraged Regeneration into the defensive/grinding cooldown it is supposed to be.

As I mentioned before, the majority of the "changes" in this push are actually tooltip corrections. There were a LOT of hot-fixes and whatnot after 4.0.6 which never had a patch to fix tooltips and it looks like the bulk of this push is going to do just that. However, there were some changes like Enraged Regeneration worth noting here:

* Cheat Death now absorbs up to 80% damage (down from 90%) and has an internal cooldown of 90 seconds (up from 60s). This means that Subtlety will be most easily killed since Cheat Death becomes a "cooldown" that might not be "up" next time you need it.

* Glyph of Soul Swap gives Soul Swap a 15s cooldown (up from 10s). This was something that was originally in the 4.0.6 notes, but then was taken out. Guntir tells me that it is still a 10s cooldown glyphed on live (his warlock is seventy-something) so this is actually a nerf to Warlocks... I'm shocked.

* Seasoned Winds was supposed to be (at least, according to a blue post) a defensive talent for Elemental Shammies, but it has shown up in tier-4 for Enhance, which is a bit odd. Additionally, the numbers have now shown up and it will be something like 174 resist to the school which got locked out, and the last time I heard anything about it, it would stack with resistance buffs and auras; that's right, Enhancement shammies can effectively get 50% damage reduction to a school of magic by glyphing Healing Stream Totem and shearing something... whoa... DK2.0 incoming.

* Gag Order can now be proc'd by Pummel. I think that this is going to be a dark-horse talent that ends up playing interestingly at the top-tier of PvP'ers. For instance, Arms can (by forgoing the Fury tree entirely) get Gag Order. This is probably never going to be an issue, but a Warrior could conceivably give up some damage from the low-tier Fury tree for a 3s silence on Pummel guaranteed as well as lowering the cooldown on Shield Wall by 3min.

* Frostbolt base damage increased 10% (non-scaling, not a big deal).

* Ice Barrier scaling increased to 87% from 80.7%. This is a decent change, but ultimately a small one; you can still eat up an Ice Barrier with basically a Mangle.

* Fingers of Frost now increases Ice Lance's damage by 25%, up from 15%.

I really want to touch on that last one. I pulled up the old 4.0.6 patch notes because I thought I read something about this last patch...

* Fingers of Frost can no longer be dispelled and now also increases Ice Lance damage by 15%.
* Frost Specialization now only grants 2 base points of mastery (instead of 8), reducing all Frost damage to frozen targets by 15% from previous values. However, Frost Specialization now increases base Frostbolt damage by 15%.

Okay, so if I'm following this correctly, then they nerfed all Frost damage by 15% except Frostbolt from the Frost Spec perk. Additionally, they made it so that when you have Fingers of Frost proc'd, your Ice Lances will do the same damage as they did before the patch. Okay, so 4.0.6 was a nerf to Ice Lances outside of FoF procs, but a wash when FoF was up. NOW, they buffed Ice Lance another 10% damage when FoF is up.

Maybe I just do not understand Blizzard, but did they not just have a developer Q&A session in which they suggested that casters probably were too reliant on instant-cast abilities? Why, then, would they continually buff instant-cast abilities over and over again? It simply boggles my mind... I am boggling right now.

Anyway, with Frost Mages getting a "much needed" damage buff to Ice Lance and the chance of Cyclone being unnerfed (though it will have never got to live), my guess is that Monster's team (currently #1 on Rampage-US running Frost+Feral+Disc) will continue dominating; that will be interesting to see.

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No Video This Week

Guntir and I started doing our weekly 2s matches yesterday. First and foremost, we have been a bit on edge of late because of a SPriest+FMage team on our server who farmed the sweet love of god out of us a few weeks ago, so we have been queue dodging them when they are online. We ended up in a queue for three minutes when they signed on, apparently queued, and instantly popped against us on Lordaeron. BAH... Guntir and I played extremely well against them and had luck against us (as it simply has been of late), but we edged out a victory... then proceeded to queue-dodge them.

I do not know how much longer we will be playing 2v2s; Blizzard has been negligent of the bracket for entirely too long now, and it is starting to show. We faced a 2400 Hunter+Warrior team the other day a couple times in a row which went like this "opened on the warrior, popped all my defensive CDs, died in 2 globals". I like to try and keep these posts civil, but I think that the following needs to be said: "It's shit like this, Blizz... you make me want to kill myself and everyone around me". Then yesterday, as if I needed the proverbial cherry on this sundae of disappointment and agony, we faced the legend:

Blood DK + Blood DK

Fan-mother-fucking-tastic. The match went 38 minutes (I have the screenshot at home, but I was too angry to put it up; I'll try tonight if my rage doesn't overwhelm me and cause me to go on a shooting rampage) and they eventually won because they OOM'd Guntir's Shammy and had more healing done than him. Again, "Blizzard, it's shit like this that makes me want to kill people brutally..." This has been played out via bleating in the forums pretty regularly, and until yesterday I thought to myself "how much healing could they possibly do"? Until you go up against a solid one of these comps (they were 2400mmr btw) you simply have no idea how frustratingly dickish they can be. Their damage output is not strong by any sense, but neither is it weak. They do roughly twice the damage of a Feral-spec'd Bear Form, for instance, and obviously when you are attacking one he is stacking Vengeance and ends up dropping trucks on people. Combine that with the unpeelability of a DK and you have one seriously screwed up scenario: AMS every 45 seconds, IBF every 3 minutes, 2x Death Grips to peel me off a kill-target whenever needed, 2x Silences, 2x Mind Freezes... the whole thing is utter bullshit... in fact - DKs are pretty bullshit at the moment any this is just indicative of that fact.

Back to the point...

I really do not think that 2v2s will survive much longer. Blizzard's obvious lack of awareness (or perhaps it's just general apathy) keeps the 2v2 bracket rather gimmicky. We often run into comps which should not exist and should have their various gimmicks pruned, but because they have little-to-no baring on 3s or rBGs, they simply will not be touched. Blizzard's latest Q&A suggests that Glyph of Dark Succor (which currently is either a 15% total hp heal or a 22% total hp heal depending on how it works with the glyph, with no cooldown save for Frost+UH runes on Death Strike... which does pretty decent damage itself) will be nerfed to keep it "from being abusive", but I think that that ship has sailed, personally. Meanwhile, other niche comps continue growing in strength with basically nothing being done to reel them in at all (KFC comes to mind rather readily).

Warriors are getting a DPS buff and a burst nerf next patch; it is extremely hard to tell exactly whether this is going to play as a PvP nerf or not in the big picture. Ultimately, having less burst is going to make them less potent in PvP, but their sustained damage is still extremely strong, and their mobility and control are going up-up-up next patch via the changes to Intercept and Charge (though all PvP Warriors will be Arms next patch anyway).

I think that I am going to start looking for a third member for our 3v3s team (sitting around 2250 at the moment) with 2300 experience and try to push that a bit more. I think that an Affliction Warlock would fit nicely into the comp with Guntir's RShammy, but I do not think he enjoys playing him much. I have heard extremely good things about Marks+Feral+Disc, but finding an above-average-skilled Hunter who is willing to run with a Feral is always difficult. Ultimately, we will probably be able to find a decent 2200-experienced Warrior most easily... but these are usually bad players on the whole who simply can not play without being baby-sat by a Paladin. We shall see...

I do not know when my next video will be; I am, as I have pointed out, become rather disenfranchised with 2s of late and have not even been recording them. We were so annoyed and demoralized by the loss to the double-dk team that we ended up losing to a Ret+RSham team and I immediately rage-quit... the stress simply is not worth it to me right now.

Additionally, I have been selling Maelstrom Crystals on the AH (buying the cheapest PvP epics and DE'ing them) for basically 1400-and-change a pop; I have made something like 12k gold in 2 weeks and I am hoping to knock out a few more weeks before 4.1 drops and have a rather large cache of cash (hur hur) before the new BoE trinkets come out (of which I expect plenty to be borderline OP). Oh, I picked up the Unheeded Warning and it is indeed overpowered for Ferals. You get a proc, and if you use TF at the same time (and macro it to Synapse Springs, as I do) you get something ridiculous like 15% bonus damage from TF, 20% more damage from the proc on Shreds, and ~500 more agility from the Synapse Springs; I landed two Shreds on a Priest with 3900 resilience yesterday which crit for 23k and 24k... it is simply ridiculous.

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Ballocks... Video Dilemma

Oh look, a video!

SOOOOOOOOOOO, yeah. I have a video that is a little unorthodox today; it is Guntir and I beating a 2500-rated FrostMage+Rogue team. The only difference with the usual getup is that it is actually from Guntir's perspective for once. Oh yeah... and it's not up yet. Yeah, jees, Guntir sent me the video at work so I could check it out, but then I forgot to send it to myself at home and therefore it was not there yet.

I started writing this post yesterday, just for a frame of reference, but I got super-busy at work and could not end up finishing it. As you can rather plainly see, the text is somewhat sloppy, the flow feels jerky and unedited, and it has the "rough outline" look and feel that goes along with first draft material. All that withstanding, I did intend to get a video up last night, but then the craziest thing happened: I actually got Skype-recording to work.

Yes, recording our skype conversations to publish with the videos has been a longstanding hurdle that seemed insurmountable to me, but yesterday I found an extension, of all things, for Skype on the Mac which would automatically record both input and output of skype and compress the sound to a file anywhere you want. As I was telling Guntir, I think that the crux of the problem stemmed from my originally trying to record our conversations on Vent, and that leading to my searching for ways to do the deed generically. Ultimately, I think that it is an issue that I have largely ignored for a few months now, but when I searched yesterday I found my solution almost instantly. Installing it at home and testing it out proved simple, straight-forward, and exactly what I wanted, though the first video or two may have me trying to adjust the levels; I'm rather quiet while Guntir is somewhat loud. I expect the difference in volumes is one of defaults as recording a phone conversation, for example, would be heavily leaning on the ability to hear the person on the other end more so than yourself; I know what I said, I am the one who said it.

About that dilemma... RIGHT! Well, here is the thing: I did have a video that I thought was pretty good; the 2500 Rogue+Mage we defeated while Guntir was recording. This video shows how frantic playing a Priest is when you are getting trained unmercifully and your partner is peeled for days. It also has some absolutely amazing footage of Guntir going from 1-100 inside a beautiful peel from myself which is entirely unseen because Guntir ducks around a pillar. On the other hand, I have a few matches from last night with Skype recordings. The choices are... hard.

We usually eat dinner with my GF's family on Wednesday, but tomorrow is Saint Patrick's Day and with them being Irish, we plan on doing dinner tomorrow instead. Therefore, I should have the ability to get the video up tonight without much hassle (providing no other curve-balls come down the chute).

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Well, it's Thursday

----------UPDATE 3-------------

* The root effect from Shattered Barrier now shares diminishing returns with the root from Improved Cone of Cold.


Blizzard has officially ended the reign of Mages. This is beautiful... I actually might start crying from joy.

----------UPDATE 2-------------

* Glyph of Rake is now Glyph of Pounce, which increases the range of Pounce by 3 yards.

Well now... this is interesting. This takes the range from 5y (melee range) to 8y which is reasonably close to the range on Sap (10y). This might actually be a major glyph worth taking. However, unless Blizzard has some plan to make Pounce usable more than once per arena match, I don't see this being SUPER necessary; again, we will have Pounce and a few other glyphs to choose between, but none of them are very good.

I'll probably take this one just because sometimes I can't get openers on people without using FCC... and that's bogus.

----------UPDATE------------- (of all places) listed some interesting spell changes in the latest post; this one most notably.

Feral Swiftness

EDIT: Bah, it doesn't seem to link to the correct text, I'll quote here for rank2 -

Feral Swiftness Rank 2
Requires Cat Form
Increases your movement speed by 30% in Cat Form and increases your chance to dodge while in Cat Form or Bear Form by 4%.

In addition, your Dash and Stampeding Roar have a 100% chance to remove all movement impairing effects from affected targets when used.

... yeah ... okay. Now, I am definitely thinking about training Stampeding Roar.


Thursday is usually a day when Blizzard feels like pushing a patch to the PTR. They do not do it every Thursday when the PTRs are up, and they only do it when there are changes to be made. I have no idea if there will be a push today, but I can certainly hope that there will be one and it will have some Feral quality of life changes. Do I expect there to be a push? My answer is "...yes...?" Do I expect there to be any quality of life changes for Ferals? No, not in the slightest.

I know, I know. It is somewhat depressing to think that Feral is where the devs think it should be. However, there are a fair few Ferals doing somewhat well in the arenas. Datah and Miirkat are both rocking 3v3s teams with ratings above 2700, so there must be something of note happening there, and as long as there are at least a couple of gladiator-contending Ferals, I think that Blizzard will be fine with them. Sure, there are a number of things that should probably be changed with Feral, and yes, I have listed them here a number of times, but I think that Blizzard has made their view rather clear, regardless of whether the community agrees with it or not.

1) Feral has 149% movement speed in Cat Form; no other melee moves nearly as fast as Feral does. We move so fast that when afflicted with a 50% snare, we move roughly the same speed as DKs with Death's Advance. DKs are the only other melee who can claim this level of mobility.

2) Feral is one of two melee classes in the game who can break snares at will with one GCD with no cooldown or true cost (the other is Ret). While shapeshifting to break snares is useless against a number of classes, there are definitely situations where it is extremely useful to break out of a snare and start making ground at our improved speed. Rets can do this as well, and even have an extremely short-CD Sprint-esque ability to boot, but they have no snare and so until such a time as a snare shows for Rets, Feral stands alone.

3) Feral is the only melee in the game with a CC that is undispellable.

4) Feral is the only melee in the game with a CC that does not have a cooldown; in fact we have TWO CCs which do not have cooldowns (Cyclone and Roots). In fact, against other Ferals we have THREE CCs which do not have cooldowns (Hibernate).

5) Feral is the only melee in the game which is not susceptible to disarm effects.

The point I am trying to make here, in case it is not painfully obvious, is that while Feral does suffer from a lot of quality of life issues (and even some play-style facets which are simply clunky), we have advantages over other melees in some ways. On the other hand, a lot of our issues stem from these quasi-advantages:

1) We are one of two melees in the game who has to gem for spell penetration (Enhance is the other) because our CC is a spell rather than a physical attack (interestingly, Repentance is on the physical hit table as well as HoJ).

2) We are the only melee in the game who has to spend half (and next patch - more than half) our CC duration burning GCDs because we used our CC. Instant Cyclones cause us to have wasted Cyclone-time because of shapeshifting GCDs.


As you can see, for the past few days I have been mulling over suggestions to make on the PTR in the context of Feral quality of life improvements. I have actually found a group of non-Ferals who understand the game pretty well and can make counterarguments which actually hold up to rational thought. For instance, I had never fully appreciated that Feral was the only melee in the game with a CC effect that does not have a cooldown; this absolutely blew my mind when I thought about it. In fact, one of the key reasons that these people were suggesting the nerf to Cyclone (6s to 5s) in 4.1 is a fair change is because Cyclone is overpowered regardless of who is casting it. Resto is definitely overpowered, but Feral is arguably in the same boat when played well because it can be used nearly as often and nearly as effectively.

It was this type of argument that made me think about the shapeshifting global cooldown. The reason this has likely never been changed is two-fold: first, it keeps Restos from having on-demand control via Skull Bash and Bash; second, it keeps Ferals from being super-powerful as the only melee with a zero-cd CC effect. I made the suggestion the other day about allowing Predator's Swiftness to allow a zero-cost nature spell to be used instantly in Cat Form. Now that I think about it some more, this would be a powerful change because of the up-time it would provide Ferals directly. For instance, it would change Cyclone from, 4.0.6 versus 4.1, a 6sec duration which we spend 3sec of GCD-locked before being able to attack again, to a 5sec duration which we spend 1.5sec of GCD-locked from simply having used an ability. That would make a 6/3s into a 5/3.5 (duration:uptime). This change would seem rather weak to most people, but it would play rather strong, in my opinion as it would allow Ferals additional dps-time (not much, but a little) even in the light of Cyclone being nerfed.

Anyway, I will continue making suggestions like these as I come up with them and the patch is rolling along on the PTR.

As a last little bit of love, I finally did it: the video is up. I must warn you all, this is not my finest work and in fact I threw it together somewhat quickly because we had to go to my girlfriend's parents' house for dinner ~45m later, so the editing is rather "meh". Additionally, on a sad note, I was IM'd by Lev (our Pally) last night saying that he was transferring servers, so we will be done with our 3s team for a while (we got our 2200 weapons, so it is not as if we need to do 3v3s; probably just sit on the team for titles). I have a few more videos of our 3v3s in action which I might put up over the coming weeks just for fun, but we will likely be focusing on 2v2s again soon.

I would like to conclude this post with a tribute to Lev. He was a great Holy Paladin to play with; potentially one of the best with which I have had the pleasure of entering the arena. We may have gotten into some arguments once or twice, but more often than not we were having lots of fun farming bad and good teams alike. He knew how to use his utility, he knew how to heal, and only once did I have to tell him "don't sit there eating mana burns!" We are going to miss you, Lev; good luck in your future en devours wherever they may lead you.

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Let's Talk About 4.1

Here are some of the Druid changes being made in 4.1 (so far):

* Lifebloom now costs 11% of base mana, up from 7%. Base healing reduced by 20%, from 2306 to 1847.
* Cyclone now lasts 5 sec, down from 6 sec.
* Stampeding Roar (Cat) now increases movement speed by 60% for 8 sec, up from 40% for 6 sec.

Before we go any further, there was a post from Nethaera suggesting that they decided to revert the mana cost change on Lifebloom, but leave the bloom effect in nerfedville. Personally, I do not see a nerf to base healing hurting anyone but Feral, but since we do not really use Lifebloom at all in the arenas except in extremely rare circumstances, I do not really care. If nothing else, this will reduce Resto's healing a little bit, and I am always up for that.

Cyclone getting nerfed hurts; I will not deny it. It hurts particularly for Ferals because we end up spending half of our 6s Cyclones locked to GCDs, so in practice they only play like a 3s CC effect as-is. Reducing the duration to 5s means that Feral will spend 3/5 of that time locked out of dealing damage, which is just too much in most cases to land a kill. To me, this means that Feral either needs some special treatment in this context or I will need to start using Regrowths on my Predator's Swiftness procs and hard-casting Cyclones on healers when trying to land a kill. The main problem with this is that under normal circumstances, I will end up chasing healers to try and throw out the instant-Cyclones as they round a pillar; good healers are hard to insta-Cyclone. The other problem with this is one that we have suffered with for a long time: Feral has no knockback protection, so hard-casting a Cyclone with a dps on us (let alone two) is extremely difficult and prone to getting kicked.

Personally, I would favor a revamped Predator's Swiftness by way of reimplementing it to allow us to use one instant-cast free nature spell in Cat Form. This would free up a GCD from shifting and make our 5s Cyclone play like 3.5s, which would actually be a buff for us (sort of). Another option would be Feral having a perk that took shapeshifting off the GCD (or made it an extremely short GCD like 0.5s or something).

Lastly, I wanted to talk about Stampeding Roar. This change is a buff, to be sure, but it is still an ability which I will not be training... yet. The cooldown is longer than Dash's, it costs 1/3 of our resources, and will never be useful on a teammate in practice simply because it requires melee range and our teammates are going to be at max-distance from us more times than not. This is definitely something that will be loved by the dragonfighters (PvE'rs), but in terms of utility in PvP, it is still severely lacking. It ends up being an 11% stronger movement speed than our normal and only lasts 8 seconds while leaving us energy starved... it has no place on an arena-Feral's action bar. Blizzard simply is not listening to Feral PvP'ers at the moment, or they disagree with the belief that they should be viable dps.

Switching gears for a moment, we usually do 3v3s on Tuesdays, but our Holy Pally friend was strangely absent last night. He logged onto Skype, but would not respond to my private messages and never logged into WoW (that we could tell), so we ended up running 2v2s instead. A comp we faced (and beat every time) a lot last night was ShadowPriest+RetPally, and this team's burst was kind of scary. I think Guntir summarized them best with "they can reset 2-3 times and keep each other up through CD defenses, then they pop all their offense and kill something." This is definitely the strategy they tried against us, but being the 2s gods that we are, we managed to pressure the Ret enough (while CC'ing the Priest) to keep them from ever lining up good CC and damage at the same time. Another reason this comp is powerful is because of the double-dispel that Shadow has until 4.1. Being able to dispel-train his Ret Pally against teams with Mages (or any magic CC'er, really) is pretty powerful, and is largely the reason that Shadow Priests are on a lot of the top teams at the moment (heroic Shadowcleave is a mean one - DK brings insane pressure and damage while the SPriest brings strong damage and dispels for the healer).

We also played against two different variants of DK+Healer: DK+Pally and DK+Priest. After watching a video that Miirkat put up, I was curious about his tactic of "train the healer till he dead." In truth, I have never had much luck with this because of Feral's lack of offensive pressure against Plate-wearers. So, the first team we got was DK+Pally on Blade's Edge, and I sat the Pally while CC'ing the DK. Essentially, we would put out tons of pressure, make the Pally use a cooldown to survive, he would top himself off, and we would reset the fight. At the end of the match, the Pally was basically at 10% mana while Guntir was at 35% or so, and we ended up killing the Pally inside a Berserk+Maim combo (I know... and me complaining about Maim all the time). The second time we played them it was even easier. It was on Sewers (and I still have no idea why people hate this map; I actually really enjoy it and it has some really neat positioning facets to take advantage of) and we employed the same strategy of "sit the pally". Again, after he would come close to death and use a defensive cooldown, we would reset and continue CC'ing the DK. It was actually easier to CC the DK this time because he decided that his Pally was eating too much pressure from me, so he needed to sit me.

The problem with sitting a Feral, as a DK, when you are running with a healer who is scared to death of said Feral is that the Pally is trying to get away from the Feral and by proxy - you. So, we would catch up to the Pally at the boxes, lay some damage into him, and he would make the mistake of dropping down and start gunning for the stairs, presumably to break line of sight on Guntir for a moment so he could not land damage abilities (but almost certainly the Pally thought Guntir would be mana burning). This is a problem because, as I said, the DK was training me now to keep me off his pally, so the Pally and I would get to the stairs, the DK would grip me back to the corner, and I would be mashing Nature's Grasp while in the Deathgrip. So, the DK and his pet would hit me and get rooted while I shifted out of the single Desecration laying there and got back on his Pally. Once, Guntir (who stayed up top) followed my Entangling Roots with a Mind Control of all things and just left the DK sitting down there in the corner, then brought him over and hit him with Psychic Scream to follow. All told, the DK must have eaten something like 20 seconds of CC while I was beating on his Pally.

So, we ended up going 5-0 running Feral+Disc and our Pally friend was still no one to be seen. So, we figured "meh... let's keep it rolling" and Guntir hopped onto his Shammy. We basically got the same comps: Shadow+Ret, DK+Healer, and two double-dps comps. The DK+Disc team was on Lordaeron, and we said "let's try the same tactic and see how it goes". Aside from one or two scary moments, we basically were winning that fight from beginning to end. The Priest could not keep me off of him and his DK could not pressure anyone, and because it was Lordaeron, the Priest never got more than a second or two to himself without me keeping him using mana, so eventually he went OOM and we killed him.

We fought a FrostMage+Ret team that gave us some trouble (more than the Shadow team, interestingly) because our defacto disposition against Frost Mages is usually "train them till they dead", but the Ret was extremely good about using Word of Glory on him whenever trouble was brewing. Additionally, their CC is more effective against a Shammy than a ShadowPriest (Tremor does nothing to Poly, and Shammy does not have SW:D to break first Poly). We got into a very tight position where I hit something like 2k HP in Bear Form with Survival Instincts only having about 3-4 seconds remaining, so I hit my Frenzied Regeneration (which I have glyphed because... why not, right?) and Guntir landed about a 60k heal on me to shift all the pressure in the fight to our advantage. 30% bonus healing received with Earth Shield and a Frost Shock primer for extra healing just means TONS of burst healing.

The last comp we played against was a Feral+Arms double-dps comp. I have no idea what these guys were doing at 2100 MMR, because they were absolutely atrocious. I obviously sat the Warrior the entire match long because the Feral is so god-awfully-cc'able. So, I landed a 5pt Rip on the Warrior and the Druid hits me with Cyclone, which I trinket and follow up by going Bear Form. I hit the Druid with Bash and both him and Warrior with Demoralizing Shout before the Druid trinkets, but I still have 2-3 seconds left on my Predator's Swiftness proc. Had I been thinking clearly, I would have hit him with Hibernate, but I was a little distracted by the damage the Warrior was pumping into Guntir's shammy, so I hit him with a full DR Cyclone. I had every intention of following that with a Hibernate, but he left form, and once again I looked back saying "why did I not simply use Entangling Roots for the guaranteed CC?" So, I hit the Warrior with Rake, he hits Retaliation, so I back off and start casting Entangling Roots on the Feral. He breaks line because Guntir's Shammy broke line... doh. The Feral comes back into line and I start hard-casting Entangling Roots again and he Skull Bashes me (lawl). Fine... I will just get back on the Warrior. The warrior, at this point, was at 5% hp from Rake/Rip and he just now decided to use Shield Wall. So, I hit Berserk and just DPS through Shield Wall and he dies. It was the easiest match I have had in a long while, and I played it pretty badly.

Guntir is going out of town for a few days on Thursday, so I might have some bonus time to actually get the video up. Booyah. I will keep posting as 4.1 changes keep emerging.

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