WotLK PvP Arena Preparation Guide - 5 Things You Should Know Before Starting WotLK Arena

10/28/2022 4:51:31 PM

In this guide, we list the 5 things every player needs to know before starting Wrath of the Lich King Arena PvP.

WotLK PvP Arena Preparation Guide - 5 Things You Should Know Before Starting WotLK Arena

Even though Wrath Classic is technically over 10 years old, it still feels like a new experience. So that’s why Skill Caped Mystic went to the arena to figure everything out. Even though he had been playing WoW competitively for years, there were a few mistakes he made during his first few days of playing and after hitting 2.2K rating in the first week of the season, he made a list of all the important lessons he had learned. Here are 5 things to know before WotLK arena.

1. WotLK Arena Damage is High

Damage especially in 3v3 is incredibly high, why this matters and what you can do about it? 

First off, unlike modern expansions, damage is meant to outpace healing, sometimes even through defensive CDs. If we go back from shadowlands all the way to cataclysm, one thing has been consistently true that healing is meant to outpace damage in Arena. Shadowlands had its own forms of damaged cheese, but this isn't what we're talking about, we're referring to consistent damage and healing wherein more modern expansions sustained healing is higher overall compared to sustained damage. In Wrath season 5, this is definitely not the case in 3v3 arenas where sustained damage will outpace sustained healing. There are a few reasons for this. 

how to prepare for arena in Wrath of the Lich King 2022

The most obvious is strong healing reduction effects combined with higher overall base damage. Rogues. Warriors and Hunters come equipped with Baseline 50% healing reduction effects and when that is combined with hard-hitting globals like Ambush, Lava Burst or casbolt, people seem to die out of thin air. What this means for your gameplay is that you cannot wait around to make perfect one-to-one cooldown trades but instead need to mitigate damage in other ways. In shadowlands, you might be used to staring at your weak auras waiting for it to light up so you can press your defensive cooldown every 30 seconds or every minute. In Wrath, pressure is so consistently high that you will consistently find yourself blowing defensives outside of enemy CDs and some classes like Qarlocks don't really even have offensive cooldowns to begin with, and their damage can be lethal at any point in the game. So instead of finding the perfect puzzle piece of defensive CDs to fit into the current game State, your goal is to keep damage mitigation rolling all game. This sometimes means paying attention to positioning kiting more frequently or when needed using a major defensive the moment you're in any sort of trouble. In other expansions, you might wait to use a major defensive only in those tiny Windows where your healer is cc'd and the enemy team is popping damage. But in Wrath, since damage is so high throughout the game, you cannot rely on precise cooldown trades. At first, this can make the game seem a bit messy and disorganized but the goal is to rotate cooldowns as a team to try and power through the repeated damage spikes that are occurring multiple times a minute. This also means that resilience is insanely valuable in the early seasons. Remember that unlike modern expansions, crit damage actually hurts, from wad to BFA, the crit multiplier was 1.5. In Wrath, crits equal double damage and most DPS classes don't have enough passive mitigation or self-healing to offset massive damage spikes. This means that early on resilience will be far and above your most valuable stat and if you're finding yourself losing over and over, you might need to simply drop some of your main stat, gems in favor of full resilience. 

2. WotLK Arena Mana Matters

In shadowlands, it takes healers a very long time to oom, passive Mana regen is high enough that most healers don't even think about Mana until later stages of the game. And when it does become an issue, a simple cooldown trade is all it might take sit down for a few sips. In Wrath, healers can burn through an entire Mana bar in under 30 seconds without realizing. Healing through 50% Ms and massive burst damage is no easy task, this means that Mana is a super common win condition. In most cases, your team will lose if your healer becomes tapped on resources quicker than your opponents. This means that more active damage mitigation is needed to have any chance at entering into the middle and late stages of the game. But perhaps more importantly and something that is super counterintuitive is that retreating all game is not the winning strategy. In fact, the opposite is true, while you might need to occasionally avoid damage you cannot do it forever. If you kite behind a pillar to avoid an elemental shaman, they will just hop in ghost Wolf, run on top of your team and thunderstorm everyone into the open and that is not a fun position to be in. Instead, you need to use every moment you can to apply counter pressure. Aside from mitigating damage through your own defensives, you should be actively looking for moments to reverse pressure. Wrath is all about momentum and has a lot of short and effective tools to swing momentum in your favor. Even something as simple as an interrupt is enough to stop or reverse pressure, very few specs have more than one meaningful spell school and with melee kicks being so short, being disruptive with interrupts can net you an advantage state especially on enemy healers. Healers aren't the only specs that need to worry about Mana though, literally every DPS spec in the game that has a Mana bar can also have Mana issues. Despite having really high passive Mana regeneration, rep paladins can oom if they use judgment into shields since the absorbed damage won't proc judgments of the wise. Mages can also own quite easily if they are overzealous with spell steel or even if they try and use fire blast too often since both of these spells have relatively high Mana costs and are instant cast.

Luckily, like other casters, Mages do have some forms of active Mana regeneration. But if evacade is interrupted or if Mana gem is used too late, then the chances of losing on Mana become infinitely higher. So Mana matters a lot, but what can you do about it? For one, do not neglect your Mana regen abilities, if you're a red Paladin, use judgment on CD, but be careful not to judge into shield if you're a mage get full value out of managem by using it early and try to get full evocations. If you're a priest, don't wait until you are oomed to press Shadow fiend, use it to regen Mana early while also applying pressure.

3. WotLK Arena Mobility is Scorece

Mana isn't the only thing that is scarce however, as Mobility is also a limited resource. In shadowlands, we are used to everyone zooming around the map like a Ferrari at a million miles per hour. Ever since demon Hunters were introduced to WoW, the gradual mobility creep has skyrocketed across the entire cast of characters, Monks Druids, Mages, Fury Warriors, even Ret Paladins feel like they can instantly connect on any target at any time. That means cooldowns like demonic teleport have significantly less value than they probably should. If a warlock ports away in shadowlands, just chase them down with one of your millions of gap closers. In Wrath, mobility is incredibly limited. While most melee have some form of Gap closer, they usually just have one of them, DKs are limited to death grip trip and don't have abomination limb or wraith walk to stick onto targets. This puts more value into abilities like chains of ice we're simply applying a powerful slow is enough to stay on target or even act as a strong peel in some cases. 

On the flip side because Mobility is so limited and damage is so high, caster DPS can actually use positioning as a more accessible win condition. If someone is out in the open and in a bad position, a few globals is all it might take to kill them. You don't need to cross Cc or TI-84 to calculate damage modifiers in order to kill someone in the open. You simply press your damage and it's instantly scary. This also means that map selection can play a more vital role in how matchups play out.

4. WotLK Arena Dispelling is Weird

One thing that is a bit weird in Wrath is the act of dispelling. Ever since cataclysm, every healer has had access to a magic dispel and in Mr Pandaria these dispels gain a short cooldown but removed all magic debuffs when pressed. This was done in an effort to combat the more RNG dispelling mechanics of the early game including Wrath, where instead of dispelling a polymorph a trash buff like Winter's chill might have been dispelled instead. In Wrath, only a handful of glasses can dispel Magic debuffs including priests and paladins who can do it on demand and Warlocks who have it tied to their pet on a short cooldown. Priests technically have the strongest dispel in the game since it removes two magic debuffs at the same time, but regardless any dispel still suffers from a bit of RNG. We all know how annoying it can be to get polymorphed in shadowlands, then get dispelled only to be polymorphed again. At the same time, it can feel a bit aggravating as the priest are Paladin to go for a dispel on your partner only to remove the wrong debuff, sometimes multiple times in a row. 

Resto Shamas and Reseto Druids don't even have a magic dispel, meaning their partners are incredibly susceptible to Long CC chains. You might be wondering how to avoid this problem. If you play priest or Paladin, you should preemptively dispel debuffs on your party members. Don't wait until you see a polymorph to start dispelling, keep your teammates free of trash debuffs to make your important dispels more guaranteed. It can be a coin flip no matter what but you can skew the odds in your favor. There are arguments on both sides as to what the spelling system is better between classic and Retail, but if you play priest or Paladin, it might take a while to adapt to Wrath Classic if you're coming from a retail background.

5. WotLK Arena Pets Matter

Having your Raptor die to a cleave as a hunter can be frustrating and seeing your fell guard get chopped down might be a bit annoying as a demo warlock. But for the most part, getting your pet back is no problem. As a hunter, you can turtle as a last resort to sneak in a pet res since the cast time is shorter than total immunity. But if your pet dies in Wrath, you are in for some trouble. Unfortunately, deterrence won't protect you from being able to Res your pet which has an absurdly long cast time. So if your pet dies, it means you're out of a lot of utility for the rest of the game. It means no Roar of sacrifice, no Master's Call, no intervene. If anything it is a massive blow to your mood.

Fel Domination in Wrath of the Lich King Works similar to its shadowlands version, making it nearly instant. But the buff itself cannot be dispelled. But Warlocks have a lot more to lose when their pets die seeing as it means removing Soul link which is accessible to both Destro and affliction, not just demonology. This means the Warlock will be taking 20% extra damage which is huge in an expansion where damage is king.

So what does this mean for your day-to-day gameplay? For one, it's more worth it to deal damage into pets. If you want to kill a Warlock, consider killing their pet first to make them a more vulnerable target. While it might not be the best idea to Tunnel them from start to finish, you should at least make some effort to cleave pets and then finish them off when they are low. This can even apply to feral spirits from enhancement shamans. Once they're dead, the shaman loses heaps of damage and utility. So having your pets die sucks a lot in Wrath since you have a lot to lose once they're gone and getting them back can feel like an uphill Journey.