A Lock on PvP, and Arcane Shatter Revisited

January 27, 2011

It’s a fair statement to say that for the most part, Cataclysm so far has been about PvP for me. Yes, I’ve done a fair amount of questing, and I’m very impressed with the new areas. Yes, I’ve run some instances, and what I’ve seen has been great. But until our guild has the class distribution to regularly run a full guild-manned 5-man, I’m not really that concerned with the PvE side.

I dabbled a bit in Frost, but with all I’m trying to take in with the game in general, there’s a lot going on with Frost, so I’ve so far pretty much stuck with Arcane. This week has been a challenge, since my main computer decided on Monday to fry after a power outage. For the balance of the week, I’ve been on a laptop, and dealing with framerates sometimes in single digits. Not good for PvP, but finally by lowering all the settings, I’ve gotten it at least playable.

Lately I’ve been splitting time between my leveling warlock, Lirys,  and Layjos. Layjos got his PvP robe last night, and pushed his resilience up significantly, so he’s a bit less fragile. Despite fighting framerates, and trying to stay alive, I’ve actually noticed a couple clear times when the shatter aspect of my arcane spec has proven itself out. Last night in Tol Barad, I froze an opponent (and it happened so fast that I didn’t even notice the class. I believe it was a blood elf) and hit a PoM+Arcane Blast that one shotted them. To put that in context, I don’t know how much health they had, what class they were, etcetera, so that’s not particularly impressive. It was just more a proof of concept.

The biggest problem of my new Arcane Shatter spec is that it lacks the mobility of the earlier spec, and I’m not sure where I got the “triple damage crit” idea in my head. In the old days, so to speak, you could use Rank 1 Frost Bolt, which is no longer an option. The slowing effect of Nether Vortex is nice, but you still have to get Arcane Blast off, which with a 2+ second cast time, can be problematic.

Part of the issue, of course, is that I need to get better at fake casting. Last night, in particular, I was being interrupted constantly, often by a mage I barely saw in the melee. Annoying, but a necessary lesson. Frost Bolt is still an option, but unless I seriously stack haste, foregoing mastery, I don’t think it’s a significant difference.

PoM + Arcane Blast is still an option, but the cooldown on PoM prohibits relying on it. Frankly, I think I’m better served using it with Polymorph to set up opponents.

My ‘lock, on the other hand, has been a blast. Last weekend, during the Warsong Gulch Call to Arms, I went from level 23, to level 34, with 90% of it being in the battlegrounds. She’s taken a beating at the lower levels of the brackets, of course, but there was till the consolation, after being war-stomped and then two-shotted by some Tauren, of seing “Killing Blow ” and some opponents name float up my screen. Once the honor started flowing in, and I was able to start stacking some stamina, things improved. And let’s face it, I’ve just gotten better, getting back into the swing of things after a long layoff. There are still some similar challenges – Fear’s long cast time, for one, and relative squishiness, for another – but I’ve also not been utilizing a lot of mechanics as much as I should. Soulburn, for instance.

Time to revisit my macros, revisit my mechanics, and revisit my tactics. But that’s part of the fun.



  1. There is so much going on with frost, that I am (gasp) using it for raiding. After swearing up and down that I would never use it, even for PvP. Doh.

    I haven’t done any PvP yet whatsoever .. much to Fiak’s disappointment. He’s been busy in the lower level brackets himself, leveling a(nother) mage and a(nother) priest.

    • Yeah, and that’s another reason I’ve been dragging my feet. It looks like they’re already nerfing frost (halving damage on Deep Freeze?) in the next patch. Arcane Brilliance was commenting on it, why would they nerf something that had no bearing on PvP?

      That, and I’m just really, really enjoying the hell out of leveling my lock through battlegrounds.

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