Friday, August 5, 2011

[Paladin] KFC in Season 10 - Back to 3v3

I can't take 2v2 anymore, the half hour matches because neither side can generate enough dps to kill the other. Last night my partner and I were about to strangle ourselves after fighting our third arms warrior/resto druid combo.

(The problem with that match up is that my partner can't get range as a hunter and the warrior can't do enough damage to outdps my heals.)

I'm hoping that will end this season. We only played 2s this week because our newest teammate was out on vacation, but it looks like he's going to be a regular for Season 10. I can't say I'm going to miss those season 9 2v2 matches that took so long we even timed out at the 45 minute mark three times.

My new 3v3 team is a KFC comp, which does not stand for Kentucky Fried Chicken. (It stands for Kung-Fu Cleave, which honestly doesn't make much better sense, but there you go.) KFC consists of an arms warrior, a marksman hunter, and a healer. It's not as strong in 4.2 as it was earlier in Cata, but since my 2s partner is a hunter, we wanted a third player who would be able fill in the gaps in our playstyle.

We wanted either a DK to match our previous success in WotLK as a PHD team, or a warrior to try out KFC. Nothing else we knew of would be viable for a hunter (holy paladins can fortunately be shoved into many more comps). Fortunately, one of our priest guildies also has a warrior alt he likes to PvP on, so we found a new teammate.

We've played two weeks as a 3v3 team prior to this week's vacation, and we're starting to get the hang of playing with each other. There are better calls being made, more communication about cooldowns people need to know. My hunter partner isn't used to letting people know when he has dps cooldowns ready for some burst, because in 2s it hadn't mattered, but KFC kills with focus fire and when our hunter and warrior get their cooldowns lined up together, they can put out some pretty solid damage, particularly if it's middle of the fight when the healer's no longer expecting it.

There are still weaknesses though. We had some line of sight accidents, where someone didn't get healed, and I'm still getting used to figuring out just when the warrior is in danger of being pancaked. There were a couple matches where he died early, but the hunter and I managed to hold out for a frightfully long time 3v2, almost bringing the match down to a 2v2 multiple times before the other team finally ran me out of mana. I'm sure that's because we've been playing together so long I know exactly what the hunter's damage threshold is and can calibrate my heals accordingly. The knowledge of how to do the same with the warrior will come with time.

Personally, I know I have to get better about juking my heals. Sometimes when I'm feeling particularly canny I do this, and I admit it's really satisfying getting the other team to waste a cooldown on a fake-out, but it's not a regular habit. I think part of the reason I forget is that many times when I'm silenced it has nothing to do with casting a heal at all. It's far more common for a mage to preemptively counterspell me than for a warrior to interrupt me, largely because if a warrior is on me, I try to cast only instants or use measures such as Aura Mastery to make sure I don't get interrupted. If I'm doing an unprotected cast near a melee it probably means that I think someone's gonna die before my next Holy Shock/Word of Glory if I don't, which of course is why I should juke so I don't lose such a critical cast.

My other "I want to get better at" item is pillar dancing to avoid being CCed. It's easier in 2s because there are only two opponents to watch and one of them is usually trying to hide behind a pillar as well. But in 3s, there are more people to watch and generally at least two of them are happy to CC a healer. In extreme circumstances I've ended up hexed, then trapped, then feared for good measure, because everyone on the opposite team, including the healer, had a CC.

KFC is not a CC bonanza. For us, it seems the best tactic is to pick a dps kill target and then focus fire it while keeping the healer CCed/busy. I try to Rebuke, Arcane Torrent, or Hammer of Justice the healer if I'm free. If I'm the focus target of a melee I generally run in circles casting instants to stay alive while my teammates do their thing. But if I can't take the output then the warrior peels (love the whole charge and root thing) so I can get a breather. And if the hunter is left unhindered... woe to the other team.

Right now, I think the point we can most improve on as a team is target switching faster (when needed) and going on the offensive more. We have a tendency, particularly because we have a hunter who wants to hide in camo, to wait for the enemy to come to us. But when we think about it, it's very obvious to the other team that we have a hunter and he's near the entrance even if they can't target him, which just gives them time to execute their plan of attack, particuarly if they have a stealther.

On the bright side, we felt quite good about ourselves when we ran into another KFC team of the exact same composition (pally healer) and beat them not only once, but twice, and the second kill was solidly in our favor.


John Leavitt said...

Thanks for the fun blog. I am a casual pvper (~1700 arena and rbg), and its great to hear about other peoples experiences stepping in to the arena.

For what its worth, the Kung-Fu name comes from the monkey pet's aweseome emotes.

Hana said...

That makes some sense. My hunter partner used a monkey for a while, but thankfully he's using a spider now. Less poo-flinging, more snaring!

I wish there were more paladin PvP blogs. There were a couple I used to follow, but they've stopped writing.

John Leavitt said...

I would strongly recommend the AJ Pally guides if you haven't checked them out already.

With World of Ming gone, the AJ forums seem to be the best place to keep up with the scene and all its associated drama ;) .