November 9, 2009

The Colosseum: Crinox of Burning Legion

Crinox is a hunter on the Burning Legion server. His 2v2 team is rated 2199, while his 3v3 team is rated 2212. Crinox took the time to hook up with us, and answer some basic questions about what it's like in the Season 7 arena.

Before we get into the interview all the way, though, I wanted to take a moment and mention that we're always interested in interviewing new, highly ranked Arena players. Just drop a line to gray AT I'll follow-up with an in game mail to verify that the character is actually the interviewee, and we'll get things under way.

Without further ado, let's jump behind the cut and talk to Crinox. Who are your teammates right now? What's the general plan behind your composition? What challenges does your team have? How do you prefer to run your comp?

Crinox: In 2v2, my partner is Hydroheals, a discipline priest. I play as survival in 2s. Our core strategy is to chain Scatter Shot our enemy into Freezing Trap with Psychic Scream. We force our enemies to use cooldowns or we score kills within the initial period of crowd control. Our main problems are caster teams, double DPS, and Melee/Healer who know how to go defensive.

In 3v3, my partners are Dioval (unholy death knight) and Justic (holy paladin). I currently play as a Beast Master in 3s. Our strategy is pretty much to cleave down a soft target. Hand of Protection is our biggest problem Why is Hand of Protection your biggest problem? Does that mean Holy Paladins are specifically your kryptonite?

Crinox: Well, any kind of paladin on the opposing team poses a serious threat to us. Our strategy for dealing with paladin teams is either to hit the paladin hard to force a bubble early or hitting a DPS hard then switching to the another target during the Hand of Protection.

Depending on the target's health, we're also able to occasionally score a kill through HoP with diseases, Hammer of Wrath and Arcane Shot. Attempting to dispel HoP is really a hopeless gesture due to the layers of buffs on any target.

All in all, although paladins do stand as a counter to us, we've been able to work around it most of the time. Why do you think the 5 man teams tend to be so zergy? That seems to be a fairly unanimous position. What's your opinion about that situation?

Crinox: Well, usually the deciding factor of a 5v5 game is who can score the first kill. Although not necessarily a winning kill, any kill is incredibly demoralizing, even if the players are not consciously aware of it.

Therefore, 5s is basically a process by which each team picks a target and unloads everything into that target to bring it down. There are factors that separate better teams and worse teams, such as target switching and CCs, but the essence of 5s is to kill a target and kill it fast. What's your opening strategy? What do you like to do as soon as the gate opens?

Crinox: In 2v2? Right when the gates open, we usually go immediately to the LOS landmark of the map. (Nagrand pillars, Lordaeron tomb, Ring of Valor starting pillar, or Blade's Edge pillar at top of nearest ramp). The exception is when we play a Melee/Healer composition, we set up in the open and wait for them to come to us.

In 3v3, our typical strategy is to rush out the gate straight at the other team. We pick a target to kill at the start and choose secondary target to DPS during Hand of Protection. Which mods do you use -- how have you customized your screen?

Crinox: The mods I use for PvP are Gladius, OmniCC, GhostPulse and Clique. My action bars are default due to the fact that I play on two different computers. Each has different resolution screens, which make a fully customized UI feel difficult to maintain for both screens. How do you work out target designation? (Does someone call it out, or is everyone on their own to figure it out?)

Crinox: Our target designation in 2v2 is pretty much set for every comp we play. If a change needs to be made during the game, one of us just calls out when were changing it up.

In 3v3, I tend to be the one picking targets as we rush in. If for whatever reason, the death knight cannot stick on the target, he calls it out and I switch to what he is getting on. How do you schedule your playtime? Do you try and work during "good times to queue?" Is this different now than in previous seasons?

Crinox: Our 2v2 playtime tends to be around afternoon or night time whenever we're both free. In 3v3, our playtime is a bit more erratic due to a lot of time conflicts with our paladin. We usually just squeeze in games when he can play. What's been the biggest change in your strategy between each bracket of ratings? (1500s, 1600s) Is there a big change for this season?

Crinox: The only big change we've had in strategy as we played up was that we now train melee instead of their healers.

In 3v3, our strategy hasn't really changed at all for this comp. It's just about picking the right target and bringing them down. What signals to you that you need to radically change strategy midmatch? (And how do you accomplish that change?)

Crinox: In 2v2, when we're unable to do anything during a perfect CC chain, we know something is wrong. One of us will call out if we think the strategy isn't working, and we'll call out a change of plans.

Our 3v3 matches tend to be VERY fast paced, centering around my Bestial Wrath CD. If a change of strat needs to be made, it needs to be called out instantly due to the nature of the comp. We don't have the luxury of beating on something for a little bit before making up our mind. The signal of a problem with our strategy is if we cannot either score a kill or force a lot of CDs within my Bestial Wrath. What are you trying to improve?

Crinox: The main thing I am trying to work on in arena is consistency in play. There are always games that you cannot win due to class countering but losing games you can win is always irritating. So, I mainly try and work on not making mistakes in my game play and capitalizing on any little mistake made by the opposing team.

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