Hey guys, Tiraffe here with another guide. Wrote this back in September/October, but school got in the way. For credentials, I hit 2400+ once in BFA season 2 and got the gladiator mount/title for that season, for those that care about that sort of thing.

Since I noticed more than a couple folks were looking to either get Combatant or get the rank 2/3 of the Conflict and Strife Essence at the time of writing, I figured I’d put together a ‘short’ guide to go over some basics. Arenas can be hard to get into, since pugs are usually looking for specific team comps, even if they’re looking to just get the conquest cap; pugs are are usually looking for someone that has similar or greater experience, similar to Raider.io scores for mythic+ dungeons. In addition, arenas have much smaller team comps consisting of either 2 or 3 players per team, so individual performance is just as important as knowing class matchups. This guide can help give some names to things you may have already seen in rated PVP.

Disclaimer: Reading a single guide won’t instantly guarantee success. Once you think you’ve got a handle on the concepts, go out and give them a try in a match.

If you’re new to rated pvp, make sure to get familiar with some of the pvp terms beforehand: https://www.wowhead.com/glossary-to-wow-pvp-terms

The requirements for the goals are listed above are list as follows:

  • Combatant: Requires reaching 1400 in a rated bracket (2’s, 3’s or RBGs)
    • This is also the minimum rating needed to start progress towards the season’s pvp mount, which shows as a progress bar on the rated PVP tab in group finder
    • Hitting 1400 also means you can start getting gear around the same ilvl as normal raids from the weekly PVP chest. Increasing your rating beyond that will increase the ilvl when you hit the next bracket of rated pvp
  • Rank 2 Conflict & Strife : Requires reaching 1000 in a rated bracket and then looting the essence from the weekly PVP chest. This also means you can skip getting the Rank 1 if you have been ignoring the weekly conquest cap.
  • Rank 3 Conflict & Strife: Requires collecting 15 Battlefield Furor. More info about how long it takes to get rank 3 can be found at: https://www.wowhead.com/item=169590/burgeoning-battlefield-furor#comments
  • In addition, those seeking the Elite PVP tmogs can get specific parts of the tmog at different rating brackets that can be found at:
    https://www.wowhead.com/guides/notorious-gladiator-bfa-season-3-pvp-armor-weapons-models

Table of Contents

  1. 3 P’s of PVP
    • Pressure (Crowd Control and Damage)
    • Prevention (Crowd Control and Healing)
    • Positioning (Damage and Healing)
  2. Class Knowledge and Racial Abilities
  3. Team Composition
  4. Crowd Control, Diminishing Returns and the PVP Trinket
  5. Gearing (Stats, Traits, Trinkets, Essences)
  6. Talents and PVP Talents

1. The 3 P’s of PVP:


All PVP revolves around the concept that I call the 3 P’s: Pressure, Prevention and Positioning. Simply put, each part of PVP revolves around putting oneself in a position to not only have enough pressure to kill their opponent, but also prevent their own death as well as their teams in the process. Each aspect is comprised of two components, the two nearest sides of the triangle, and an appropriate response from the opposing team on the far side.

Pressure:

Pressure is your team’s possible damage output and crowd control combinations and is countered by healing, absorbs and defensives from the other team. Teams with a very high damage output will require an equal or greater amount of healing from the opposing team to offset the damage taken. Pressure can also come in the form of healing reductions and healing absorbs, that increase the amount of healing needed on the target. Teams with a variety of crowd control options can also coordinate their crowd control to reduce the amount of sustained damage needed to secure a kill.

Prevention:

Prevention is your team’s possible healing and damage mitigation tools. These range from heals to shields to mobility to well-timed crowd control when the other team is using their offensive cooldowns. Teams with a lot of off-healing require less throughput from their healer and teams with reliable crowd control can heavily reduce the amount of pressure they face when used right after their opponents activate their damage cooldowns or to force their defensive cooldowns early.

Positioning:

Positioning is most likely the hardest concept to master for getting into PVP and arenas. Where you’re standing in relation to both your team and the enemy team heavily influences how the match will play out. Part of this also includes the concept of Line-of-Sight, which I’ll go over in part 8. Simply put, it’s often not a good idea to stand on the enemy team when you’re ranged and it’s not a good idea to stand out in the open when you’re melee. There are exceptions to this of course, certain crowd control spells and abilities require being within 5 yards of the target or in melee range to hit. This also makes those specific abilities really predictable if the target is far away from you.

2. Class Knowledge and Racial Abilities

Class Knowledge:

Class knowledge is the 2nd hardest thing to pick up, since it relies entirely on how well the individual knows every single class’ abilities, including their common talent choices, azerite essences and azerite traits. At the minimum, it’s important to know how to handle the most popular specializations used in arenas.. This also extends to your teammate’s classes as well.

Here’s a couple examples:

  1. Pet classes (BM Hunters and  Unholy DKs) suffer heavily if the pet is crowd controlled and/or killed.
  2. Any class that relies heavily on DoTs (mainly Aff Locks and Spriests) may struggle if the opposing team has multiple ways to remove the DoTs outside of the healer’s own dispel or if the healer can dispel two or more people with a single spell.
  3. Fury Warriors and Shamans have abilities that can both break Fears and Charms, as well as give a brief immunity to those crowd control types.
  4.  Shamans in Ghost Wolf and shapeshifted Druids are immune to Polymorph and Hex while transformed.
  5. Priests can use Mass Dispel to remove Ice Block, Divine Shield, and Cyclone.
  6. Druids and Arms Warriors have access to Bear Form and Defensive Stance respectively. If your team is able to put out enough pressure, these players may be forced to use these spells for extended periods of time and reduce their dps/hps output as a result.
  7. Rogues have Subterfuge, which lets them use their stealth abilities for 3 seconds after losing stealth, whereas feral druids and druids with feral affinity as a talent don’t have this luxury.

The list goes on. What matters is that there are certain class-to-class interactions that can put either side at an advantage or disadvantage. The more the individual player knows about these interactions, the better than can prepare and play in the arena.

Racial Abilities:

Compared to PVE, racial abilities in PVP are much more impactful due to the nature of the game. Simply put, certain races are much more desirable in PVP due to the following reasons, not listed in order of importance:

  1. Synergies with a class or team composition. Ex. The Orc racial Command gives their pets 1% increased damage, which synergizes slightly with DKs, Warlocks and Hunters. The Troll racial Berserking provides a significant burst potential to a variety of classes. Night Elf Rogues can use Shadowmeld as a 2nd vanish.
  2. Extra button that removes or reduces one or more types of crowd control or debuffs. Ex. Human, Gnome, Orc, Undead, Dwarf, Dark Iron Dwarf, and Troll.
  3. The racial abilities, usually active, that provide either extra mobility or extra crowd control.
    1. Mobility: Rocket Jump for Goblins, Darkflight for Worgen, Spatial Rift for Void Elves
    2. CC: Warstomp for Tauren, Quaking Palm for Pandaren, Haymaker for Kul’tirans
    3. Both: Bull Rush for Highmountain Tauren.
    4. Other: Arcane Torrent for Blood Elves as an aoe offensive dispel. Light’s Reckoning/Light’s Judgment for Lightforged Draenei to deal a burst of damage after death/before death.

Note that for the crowd control removal abilities, most of them share cooldowns with the activated Gladiator’s Medallion PVP Talent mentioned later in the guide. In addition, the Orc racial Hardiness does not stack with the Relentless PVP Talent.

As a general note, if you plan on making a fresh character to do PVP, the racial abilities is something to keep in mind. However, they aren’t as crucial as they may sound until the higher ratings of arenas. Think 1800 rating or higher, where the enemy team might start playing around an extra cc, stun, burst of damage or burst of healing.

When it comes to what races to go for, you also need to keep in mind of what your class is weak against, what it is lacking in its general toolkit or what it can combo with.

  1. Zandalari Paladins or Priests can use Regeneratin’ when their Divine Shield or Greater Fade is active to fully heal themselves.
  2. Worgen, Goblins, Gnomes and Trolls can use their racial abilities to make up for the Deathknight’s subpar mobility.
  3. Tauren and Highmountain Tauren can use their Warstomp and Bull Rush as stuns to more easily follow-up with crowd control.
  4. Melee classes that are also Blood Elves give those classes a chance to counter dispellable buffs that shut down physical attacks.

In terms of generally popular races for PVP, it usually falls to the following races at the time of writing:

  1. Horde
    1. Orc
    2. Undead
    3. Troll
    4. Goblin
    5. Blood Elf (Melee Classes)
  2. Alliance
    1. Human
    2. Night Elf
    3. Dark Iron Dwarf
    4. Gnome
    5. Void Elf

Most of the other races aren’t too far behind. If you want to race change or minmax for specific race/class combinations, I’d recommend checking out the pvp guides on Wowhead, Icyveins or the pvp channels in the  class discords. Links are available at:
https://www.icy-veins.com/wow/pvp-class-guides and https://www.wowhead.com/pvp-guides
Otherwise, feel free to keep playing whatever race your character currently is, it usually isn’t worth the cost unless you have a bunch of gold lying around to race change.

3. Team Composition

Team composition is another important concept when it comes to arena. In short, your team composition will determine how your team will play, in terms of pressure, prevention and positioning. Note: team composition is much more important in 3’s. In 2’s, most any combination of either double dps or dps/healer can be used. Tank specs are a bit of an exception, as only prot warrior and prot paladin regularly see play, typically played with a dps that has either high cc or high self-sustain.

3’s teams are generally divided into several different categories based on that team’s win condition:

Melee Cleaves:

Any two melee classes, plus a healer. Melee cleaves generally have a high amount of aoe and single target damage and work best when they can convince at least two of the three enemy players to stand next to each other. Melee Cleaves aim to play very aggressively to force the enemy team on the defensive. Most new healers in arena will struggle against melee cleave due to the sheer pressure as a result of their damage, with Resto Shamans struggling heavily in particular.

They usually have limited cc options, so Melee Cleaves can be stalled with enough peeling compared to other team compositions and certain variations are weak to certain damage types, as well as what healer is used for that team. Melee cleaves that have hunters, paladins, and/or feral druids also bleed over into Set-up Comp territory. Healers that can be aggressive, such as Mistweaver Monks, Holy Paladins, and Disc Priests, work well with Melee Cleaves.

Due to the sheer variety between Melee Cleaves, examples include:
Ret/Hunter/Healer (commonly known as Cupid Cleave, )
Feral/Hunter/Healer (commonly known as Jungle Cleave)
Windwalker/DK/Healer (commonly known as TWD, ‘The Walking Dead’)
Enhancement/Warrior/Healer (commonly known as Turbo Cleave, usually with a mistweaver)

Rot Comps:

Rot Comps aren’t solely limited to being either melee or ranged comps. These comps are defensively focused, aiming to stall the game out until either the enemy team falls over due to Dampening or until they can force out a burst of damage and crowd control finish off low health targets. Above all else, they usually have high sustained damage across two to three targets.

These comps are usually played with any of the following specs:
Warlocks, Shadow Priests, Druids (including Feral), Shamans (including Enhancement), Rogues and Hunters (mainly Marks and Survival). In addition, defensive healers such as Resto Shamans, Holy Paladins and Resto Druids usually pair best with Rot Comps.

Depending on the specific comp, these comps will also overlap with either Set-up Comps or Wizard Comps. You can mix and match a lot of these comps, but it’s important to be aware if your comp’s crowd control can be broken, in which case you need to only rot two of the three players of the enemy team and crowd control the third.

Examples include:
Feral/Shadow Priest/Holy Paladin
Warlock/Shadow Priest/Healer
Rogue/Warlock/Healer  (typically played with a Resto Shaman or Holy Paladin)
Warlock/Shaman/Resto Druid

Set-up Comps:

Boasting a bunch of hard crowd control, Set-up comps usually have decent sustained damage, but rely on getting an extended crowd control chain on either a healer or a dps to force a 3v2 or 3v1 scenario. Doing this correctly allow these comps to effectively push the game in their favor, but doing this poorly can make going for another cc chain more difficult if the players can’t find room to breath.

Historically, these comps usually include either a Rogue, Mage or Warlock, coupled with a healer that can reliably land ranged crowd control such as a Resto Druid, Resto Shaman or Holy Paladin. Certain Melee Cleaves, mainly those involving Hunters and Paladins also qualify as a Set-up Comp, mainly due to the Hunter’s CC. A Warrior/DH or Priest/Boomkin can also be swapped in place of a Rogue or Mage respectively.

Examples include:

Rogue/Mage/Healer (commonly known as RMP/RMD, played with a Disc or Resto Druid)
Rogue/Warlock/Healer  (typically played with a Resto Shaman or Holy Paladin)
Rogue/Shadow Priest/Resto Shaman
Mage/Warlock/Healer
Warrior/Mage/Holy Paladin
Feral/Mage/Holy Paladin
DH/Boomkin/Resto Shaman

Wizard Cleaves:

Also known as double caster comps, Wizard Cleaves are the ranged version of Melee Cleaves and they generally boast a much greater ability to peel for their teammates. Due to all 3 members of the team being ranged, they can also assemble a triangle formation that makes it very difficult for Melee Cleaves to, well, cleave. And again, some Wizard Cleaves also operate as Rot Comps.

Wizard Cleaves also work quite well when they can fight out in the open, and prevent their opponents from escaping due to their positioning. Against other Wizard Cleaves, the team that can better position themselves will have an easier time dealing damage as well as crowd controlling key targets. Should their positioning fail however, and it’s quite likely for Wizard Cleaves to fall if they can’t reset the game to a neutral position.

Examples include:

Elemental/Boomkin/Resto Shaman or Holy Paladin
Mage/Warlock/Healer
Shadow Priest/Warlock/Healer
Mage/Boomkin/Healer

In a way, it’s like rock-paper-scissors: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vX1dPTAQ5_U

For more info on how certain team comps operate, check out: https://www.wowhead.com/popular-compositions-for-wow-3v3-arena

Most of the team compositions listed here are here because they were popular at some point in WoW’s history, and that you’ll probably have more success by default if know how to play these comp. Certain team compositions are also much more difficult in terms of risk and reward. However, it’s also important to remember that while certain team compositions have advantages or disadvantages when facing certain team compositions, there is almost always room to outplay your opponents, which brings us to the next part of the guide.

4. Crowd Control, Diminishing Returns and the PVP Trinket

Crowd control is the defining factor that separates PVP and PVE. Preventing someone from acting in PVP is essential, in that not only drops their damage and healing outside of DoTs, HoTs and placed spells, but it also prevents them from using crowd control of their own. A well timed Mind Control can absolutely devastate an opposing team’s chances of winning. However, it’s just as important to not waste any crowd control. Outside of slows and the occasional root/snare, crowd control shouldn’t be spammed for two reasons. Those reasons are Crowd Control Overlap and Diminishing Returns

Crowd Control Overlap

When used defensively, crowd control is often referred to as ‘peeling’ or ‘peels’. At a minimum, it involves throwing a slow, snare or root on a target to allow another character to simply walk away from a fight. Against melee classes, this is particularly useful and can make the melee class feel as though they can’t do anything, leaving only brief periods where melee can act when the crowd control isn’t overlapped. This is demonstrated quite visibly in the following video:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qrs7LnmdNy8 – Warrior vs Frost Mage

The overlap is a simple concept. It mainly means to avoid applying hard crowd control to a target right after one has already been applied. Hard crowd control refers to any crowd control ability that prevents the target from doing most anything. This includes stuns, roots, disorients, incapacitates, and silences as well as knockbacks to an extent. Slows and snares are unaffected by overlap.

Overlapping crowd control not only wastes the cooldown, if the crowd control has a cooldown, but also means that the target can use their pvp trinket to remove the effects of both crowd control abilities instead of just one. As such it’s important to communicate and coordinate crowd control so that it isn’t wasted. This even more important for crowd control of the same ‘type’, as a result of Diminishing Returns or DR.

Diminishing Returns

Diminishing returns is a game mechanic that affects the duration of crowd control on a target, if that target had previously been afflicted with that ‘type’ of crowd control within a certain time frame. That time frame is 18 seconds, starting from when the most recent crowd control of that ‘type’ ends. Each subsequent crowd control of the same type will last either 50% of 25% of its base duration depending on if it was the 2nd of 3rd cast of its ‘type’.

For example, Polymorph doesn’t have a cooldown, so a Mage can Poly a target for 8 seconds from the first cast, then for 4 seconds if cast again on the same target within 18 seconds, and finally 2 seconds if cast a 3rd time after a 2nd cast within the time frame. After a 3rd cast of the same ‘type’, the target will be immune to crowd control of that ‘type’ until the 18 second time frame is over.

This is why it’s important to do 2 things:

  1. Always cast the longest duration of a crowd control type first, to get the maximum duration from it. For example, it’s almost always better to stun with a 5-Point Kidney Shot / Between the Eyes from a Rogue or a HoJ from a Paladin before using any other stuns since these three have a 6-second duration compared to the average of 4 seconds.
  2. If you’re going for a cc chain, you’ll want to max out the cast of a specific ‘type’, before crowd controlling with a different type, so that the first ‘type’ can be used sooner while the target is still cc’d from the 2nd ‘type’. This is illustrated below using a cc chain commonly used by Rogue/Mage teams.

For what crowd control abilities share Diminishing Returns, the most up-to-date list can be found at: https://www.wowhead.com/crowd-control-diminishing-returns-wow-pvp . This is list is missing a couple things though, mainly talents such as Shadow Priest’s Psychic Horror, which is a stun and not a horror, even though it used to be, Shadow Priest’s Mind Bomb, which was previously a stun before changing to a disorient in BFA, and Holy Priest’s Holy Word: Chastise, which can be talented into a stun.

Knockbacks also follow a different pattern for Diminishing Returns such that they immediately go to a 0% effectiveness after the first knockback until the 18 second time frame has passed. This can make it more difficult to keep enemies away if your team relies on knockbacks for peeling. Having multiple knockbacks (and also Mind Control, which is a disorient) can still be very crucial for keeping healers out of range of their dps or taking advantage of the map’s terrain.

Finally, it is important to note that certain abilities will end up ignoring Diminishing Returns. These abilities are:

  1. The stun from casting Summon Infernal for Destro Locks
  2. Death Grip from Deathknights
  3. Ring of Peace from Monks

The PVP Trinket

In the past, the PVP trinket was an actual trinket that would take up one of your trinket slots. In short, it would allow you to remove all or most instances of crowd control on you on a 2 minute cooldown. This has since been expanded in Legion to offer a choice of 3 different styles of PVP trinkets, available as a PVP Talent.

Which PVP Trinket should be used depends on three things:

  1. If you’re playing as an Orc, it’s not advised to ever pick Relentless, since a good chunk of common crowd control options are stuns. Your racial passive already provides a 20% reduction in incoming stun durations, and does not stack with Relentless.
  2. If at some point you need to come out of crowd control at exactly the right moment for a crucial spell such as Void Shift for Shadow Priests or Life Cocoon for Mistweaver Monks, take Gladiator’s Medallion. Also highly recommended to take the medallion against rogues.
  3. Take Relentless against teams that spam cc such as a Warlock’s Fear or a Druid’s Cyclone. Take Adaptation against teams with cc with large cooldowns such as Paladin’s HoJ or Hunter’s Freezing Trap.

Certain classes and races have also specific abilities that can allow them to either ignore or break certain types of crowd control by causing damage to themselves or causing a friendly target to become immune. When used well, this saves the healer from having to dispel or a friendly teammate from having to use their PVP trinket. This includes:

  1. Disc Priests can use Premonition.
  2. Holy Paladins can use Blessing of Sacrifice/Ultimate Sacrifice/Blessing of Protection to take damage and break cc without using a trinket if timed correctly.
  3. Spell Reflect, Netherward, Grounding Totem and Tremor Totem can be used to stop incoming cc.
  4. Ret Paladin’s Blessing of Sanctuary can be used to both cleanse and grant immunity to a variety of crowd control abilities.

Looping back to the Class Knowledge section, make sure to know what your class can do and what your opponents can do, so you can play around and counter the enemy team.

5. Gear (Stats, Traits, Trinkets, Essences)

To make this section short: Yes, gear does matter in arena. How much it matters or scales, no one really knows. However, it is better to have better gear in arenas, that much is certain. For healers, it is important to be as geared as possible, as undergeared healers will certainly struggle, where as damage is partially normalized between item level differences.

Stats

For the most part, players will want to follow their single target stat distributions. However, it is important to note that Crits in arena deal 150% of their normal damage in arenas rather than the 200% increased damage that they would normally do outside of arenas. Elemental shamans still do a little bit more due to one of their passives, 275% outside arenas and roughly 187% inside. If your class does not rely on crit for their spells or does not gain as much benefit from critting during a huge burst, you should probably swap any crit gear for other stats if you can for more reliable output.

As an aside, Haste and Versatility are reliable stats to go for in arenas. Versatility in particular is extremely useful since it automatically doubles as a defensive stat and can be especially useful if you think you’re going to get focused by the enemy team. More haste will also make it easier to juke enemy interrupts by intentionally stopping you own cast to avoid getting locked out of your casting school. Inversely, having super low haste makes it difficult to capitalize on crowd control or healing/damage cooldowns as losing a single cast during those times can result in the target living or dying.

Traits

Azerite Traits are an interesting case. Similarly to Stats, certain traits will want to be avoided in arenas unless you can for sure get a benefit out of using them in specific matchups. For casters, this would mean that you’re getting ignored and can cast freely, which rarely happens. Certain traits that are best-in-slot for PVE end up falling behind in PVP due to the reality of arenas.

For example, the bis trait for shadow priests in PVE is Chorus of Insanity.

This azerite trait excels in PVE because a well-played Shadow Priest can regularly attain a Voidform that lasts for 30 stacks or more if they play well. But due to crowd control, interrupts and the general consensus of beating up Shadow Priests means that getting a meaningful Voidform is infrequent at best, and since you only get the crit bonus at the end means that it doesn’t help Shadow Priest’s burst. That coupled with the reduced crit damage means that it’s better to go for more reliable traits that almost always provide the maximum benefit like Death Throes.

Other examples include not using Furious Gaze as a Havoc DH or In the Rhythm as a Marks Hunter in arenas. Getting interrupted when you’re casting Eye Beam or Rapid Fire respectively prevents the player from getting any haste that they would have gotten from the trait when they completed their cast.

Trinkets

Trinkets are situational. In practice, it’s best to try out different trinkets both for different situations. Please note that certain trinkets from PVE sources, such as the trinkets from raid are nerfed in PVP scenarios. These included the Leviathan’s Lure from Blackwater Behemoth, which was recently nerfed (at the time of writing) to deal 50% of its normal damage in PVP, and Dribbling Inkpod from Orgozoa, which maxes out at 20 stacks in PVP and stacks applied can be dispelled before the target even reaches the 30% max health threshold to activate them.

On the plus side, those using two on-use trinkets can rotate their usage of their trinkets for two separate ‘goes’, where you pop an offensive cooldown to either force a defensive cooldown from the opposing team. Defensive trinkets and Tank trinkets can also be used in arenas if you think you’re going to get focused and are trying to prolong the game in order to secure a kill before you die.

Essences

Essences are another tricky one. With the major essence slot plus the addition of the 3rd minor essence slot, you can have up to 3,146 combinations to choose from once you have the 4th slot open in 8.3. You’ll most likely have to research what azerite essences your spec in particular is using for arenas, and if the specific matchup warrants using one or more essences over others.

For example, the Conflict & Strife major essence is certainly powerful for more than a handful of specs in rated arenas, providing them with spec specific PVP talent for free and the minor gives versatility, which is always good in arenas. However, for dps Druids and Frost Deathknights, it’s a bit more situational since C & S provides Thorns and Chill Streak respectively. Thorns is only really good against melee teams and can get purged. In a similar vein, Chill Streak does outstanding damage against teams that are stacked, which means that it struggles to effective against Wizard Cleaves that stay spread the entire team.

Other essences such as the stacks from Crucible of Flame can be purged and dispelled, and the Essence of the Focusing Iris can be interrupted, which are considerable downsides to their potential damage output. This also means that pulling off a 3-stack Crucible or full cast of Focusing Iris is worth it, and it can force your opponent to adapt to an additional type of damage.

In short, experiment and research what essences you should be using, and if you want to try for more burst damage or more sustained damage. Same goes for healing.

6. Talents and PVP Talents

Similarly to essences, you’ll want to do your research and be aware of any potential matchups. For a lot of specs, they’ll usually have 1-2 PVP talents that they’ll almost always have, which means you’re guaranteed to have to play with or around them. Necrotic Strike and/or Necrotic Aura for DKs, Void Shift/Greater Fade for Shadow Priests, Cyclone and/or Thorns for Druids, etc.

On that same note, they’ll also likely have 1-2 PVP talents and/or regular talents they’ll swap to depending on the matchup. A Shaman may very likely switch from Grounding Totem to either Skyfury Totem or Counterstrike Totem if they’re playing against a team with very few spells, such as Arms/Windwalker/Mistweaver.

The same goes for the regular talents as well. Resto Druids may opt for Feral, Guardian or Balance Affinity depending on if they think they can either add in some extra dps, are going to get focused or need the extra range without compromising their position. DKs may opt in for Wraith Walk if they’re up against teams with a lot of roots (think Mage/Druid/ Resto Druid), but since Wraith Walk is a channeled spell, it can get cancelled with hard CC.

The natural loss of uptime and interrupts also lends players to pick talents that give instant casts, free casts or stacking damage increases that can activate even while cc’d. These include Shadowy Insight for Shadow Priests, Inexorable Assault for Frost DKs, Pyromaniac for Fire Mages, Viper’s Venom for Survival Hunters, and Sudden Death for both Arms and Fury Warriors.

Conclusion:

To summarize this guide, it’s that a lot of the information needed to succeed in rated arenas is situational. There’s no guarantee that you’ll fight the same team composition or even the same players, so your own team needs to be able to adapt accordingly. It’s important to have as many advantages on your side before the arena begins. Since this was a general guide, I’d highly recommend checking out multiple, specific class guides available on either Wowhead or Icyveins, or in the pvp channels in the class discords. If you can find a youtube channel that features a specific spec, even better. In addition, freel free to check out the advanced concepts on the following page:

And remember, if you do end up losing, try to remember how both teams played that match and identify opportunities for improvement.

Obligatory
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l1Rk2OFddZs – It’s ok to be yourself

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KxGRhd_iWuE – Inspirational Video

 

Sources:

“World of roguecraft – Balance” Youtube, uploaded by Knight Demons on 12 Sep, 2012, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vX1dPTAQ5_U

“Warrior vs Frostmage” Youtube, uploaded by MikeMirs on 28 Feb, 2008, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qrs7LnmdNy8

“Matsuoka Shuzo [松岡修造 ] – あきらめかけているあなた (NEVER GIVE UP!!) [English]” Youtube,

uploaded by Ryuujin131 on 25 Jun, 2010, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KxGRhd_iWuE

“It’s ok to be yourself” Youtube, uploaded by Tofupupper on 22 Oct, 2018, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RahYj4xs_dU