by Sascha “Yiska” Heinisch
Once again, with the introduction of season 8 gear on the upcoming Blizzard TR, the WoW meta game is changing and teams will have to adapt. As season 8 gear is also the gear currently used on live servers, the live teams of the top competitors are a good source to determine how well their comp still does or if their comps were even changed at all. Let’s analyze some SK100 data and put it in perspective:
At the top of the 3 vs 3 comps we see Paladin/Shaman/Hunter, a comp that we are quite familiar with here at compLexity as coL.Black plays it. Since Paladins and Shamans are hybrids, we various possible comps coming out of this trinity.
Holy Pala/Hunter/Elemental Shaman
Double Heal Hunter
The fact of the matter is, even though this class combination is at 11%, very few play Beast Cleave as far as the 3v3 bracket goes. The highest rated Beast Cleave in the world at the moment is led by Twixz and they are sitting 4th in the strongest battle group in North America,– BG9. In conclusion, the comp really doesn’t look too bad and with the possibilities that only this class combination offers, things are looking decent come new TR.
At an 8% representation, we see both Rogue/Mage/Priest and Rogue/Lock/Shaman, the comps that have been around for a while now and as Cebit proved, are both capable of winning tournaments. In season 8 gear, both comps look strong while RLS probably got more out of the gear change than RMP did. The damage a Warlock and a Rogue can dish out with the current season gear is scary, especially for Melee Cleave. This is especially important as RLS had a tendency to lose against these Melee Cleave comps such as TSG, as it was hard for them to apply hard pressure with the low amount of spell damage. Looking over at coL.Red’s live team in which they play pretty much every composition that could remotely work with the classes they have despite RMP, there is definitely a trend of quitting RMP and a switch to other strong comps such as RLS. Some people believe that Priests are currently too weak on live servers as their ability to survive even a single Warrior is just not there at the moment. Blizzard seemed to realize the strength of the Warrior class and we have read that they allow Bladestorm to be disarmed. This would not only be a nerf to Warriors, but also a buff to RMP or any comp with a Rogue/Hunter, as disarming will be a huge advantage.
While the significance of SK100 data is arguable, there are some Arena experts who expect a couple of comps to do very well on tournament realms. One of them is WLD, a comp that already dominated the tournament scene in “The Burning Crusade”. Currently, a guy that has been around for just as long is Hoodrych. Before they left the team, they were the #1 rated team in the world while also being on BG9. Over in Europe, the quality Warlocks, namely Draintrain and Inflame acknowledge the strength of the comp and are looking for new team mates to be able to play this comp competitively. For Inflame especially, it should feel like a home coming, as this comp gave him so much fame and cash back in TBC.
Wizard Cleaves are of course also a lot better on live than they are in season 5 gear. The only current sponsored team with that composition is of course EG, but they currently don’t have a team on live servers. Moreover, their comp isn’t doing too well on the SK100 and it remains to be seen if this team will stick to their comp after the huge success of Cebit without Pookz. All of these players now know how to win and the chances of going all the way with their comp without learning from other classes look slim.
Now, on to Double Heal, the strongest probably being Warrior/Priest/Paladin could be back, bringing us the unbearably long mirror matches. There is an easy explanation why these comps are relatively popular: The margin of error you can allow while still being successful is higher than most other comps and on top of that, it’s a lot less frustrating as with two healers, the chances of seeing someone dying within a blanket silence are close to zero. Looking back at the last TR, Holyplay did qualify but Rgostic didn’t show up in Germany, leaving his team mates high and dry. Luckily, the Shaman of the team later got picked up by a sponsored team and he goes by the name of Tenderloin.
In my books, the biggest losers of the gear upgrade are melee cleaves. While they can dish out stupid amount of damage, they are always very vulnerable to CC and damaging themselves and the SK100 data supports this argument. While I’m sure there will be some quality TSG teams on the TRs and some might even make it into the top 8, they won’t become a flavor of the month comp again.
Speaking of the TR– If you are a WoW fan, spending the $20 on the TR sign ups are really worth it. Not only will your favorite players be on there, but it’s generally a fun experience. You get to play every character at max level with decent gear and Blizzard will most likely even throw you a bone with the in-game pets they hand out to the top 1000. Even though you might not like Arena, it’s probably still worth investing these few dollars just for the experience. It isn’t around all year, so update your account once it’s up.