Three Things I’ve Learned As An Arena Newbie

There comes a time in every shaman’s life when battlegrounds may not be enough to sate your blood lust and you find yourself in awkward situations like creating a character on the Arena Tournament server to help hinder Luxy and Disconcur in their quest for the title. In my short time attempting not to suck, I have picked up some pretty important (and probably obvious, but whatever) points that would have gone a long way to being more than just a carry.

1. Pick A Class You Love

When Disconcur first asked me to join the team, he encouraged me to roll a Warlock. It’s been his dream to play Shadowcleave and finally he was presented with a chance to do just that. But here’s the thing: I am rubbish at Warlock. I haven’t played one since Cataclysm where I was holding up the bottom of the DPS charts in the alt raid group. I tried my best, but trying to learn a new class on top of trying to adjust to an entirely new way of playing the game was just too much for this noob and I decided to shelve the Warlock entirely in favour of a Shaman. Actually knowing how to play my toon has taken a massive weight off my shoulders, so I can focus purely on mastering the other points mentioned below instead of wasting time placing portals in dumb spots and failing at Soul Swap.

Cute AND lethal. What's not to love?
Cute AND lethal. What’s not to love?

2. Perfect The Art of Living

As a Panda, people love to kill me. As an Elemental Shaman, they doubly love to kill me. If left unchecked, we can absolutely wreck the opposition, and seasoned arena players will know this and will look to splatter you ASAP. I wish I could give some advice on how exactly to perfect the art of living, but it’s something that I myself am working on. Currently my plan involves Thunderstorm, Earthgrab Totem, defensive cooldowns and running the hell away so I can heal myself. If I stand still too long, I will die. Macroing your cooldowns into an epic “I’m too cute do die!” macro can also be a massive help. For example,  PvP Live suggests these macros to help a Shaman survive an onslaught (Assuming you’re a Dwarf Shaman with a Warlock on your team):

Now the 2 macro’s you essentially need are :

1 :

/cast shamanistic rage
/cast stoneform
/cast healthstone
/cast astral shift

2 :

/cast Earth Elemental Totem
/cast reinforce

Every class will have some form of survival cooldown at it’s disposal, and no doubt class specific macros are just a Google search away.

"I am ready to die!"
Yaylava is ready and waiting to fail at putting any of this into practice…

3. Use Focus Macros To Master Crowd Control

Now that I am not instantly being smeared across the floor like some kind of cockroach, it’s time to get nice and cozy with crowd control. Arena is incredibly fast paced and quite chaotic, especially in 3’s and the more time you spend fiddling around with targeting someone and getting off your crowd control, the less damage you are doing/the more damage (or healing) the other team is pumping out. I finally got off my butt and went and got some focus macros. I…don’t know why it took me so long to get some when they really are so freakin’ simple! One macro for each enemy arena player and a master macro to make their lives hell:

/tar [nomod, @arena1]
/focus [mod:shift, @arena1]
/tar [nomod, @arena2]
/focus [mod:shift, @arena2]
/tar [nomod, @arena3]
/focus [mod:shift, @arena3]

And once you have a victim set in your focus, you can use something like this to CC them without even needing to target them!

#showtooltip Hex
/Cast [nomod] Hex
/Cast [mod:ctrl, target=focus] Hex

The macro works by either hexing the person you have targeted, or by hexing the focus target should you hold down the modifier key (in this case, it’s set to ctrl). I will be doing up one for my interrupt spell as well and will most likely have my focus set to the enemy healer. Once again, I don’t see why there wouldn’t be class specific variations floating out there that you can use. Just, don’t use them against me, okay? That would just be rude! 😛


So, there you have it. My probably flawed and definitely obvious tips for getting started in arena. Now all that I need to do is to master these things myself and I’ll become an unstoppable force of lava and death I was born to be! Mwhahahahaha!

Do you have any tips or tricks for players getting started in arena? Share your pearls of wisdom in the comments below!

5 thoughts on “Three Things I’ve Learned As An Arena Newbie

  1. I don’t have any pearls, but gratitude. One of my many projects has been to get some Conquest gear, and these macros should come in very handy. Your shamans are beautiful, my dear! Cause, you know, looking good and all…

    Thanks again!

    1. Looking good is utterly required when it comes to smushing other players. You have no idea how much it pained me to choose a Dwarf over a Draenei or Panda, but now that I have one I actually really like her. I mean, she’s no Chenchella, but she is pretty cool.

      Good luck with your Conquest mission!

  2. Using focus and arena target macros are a good habit to get into. They not only enable you to keep your opponents guessing at who is getting CC’d but also helps save you time manually targeting someone and then casting. This can be particularly important with interrupts.

    The main bit of advice I’d give is to be observant.
    Take note of where you are on the map in relation to your team mates and opponents. Think of things like ‘could your positioning be better?’, ‘am I exposed?’ etc.

    Take the time to figure out what someone is going to do when certain buffs go up or certain CDs are used. Being able to predict incoming damage will save you quite often and allow you to better prepare defences and your counter “statement”.

    And always look at ways to improve. 🙂

  3. Always makes sure you have some sort of strategy for any given comp you come up against with your current team. It may not always work out the way intended (These are people you’re versing after all), but it beats winging it.

    Understand diminishing returns. The last thing you want to be doing is overlapping all of your CCs making them worthless. In Mists CC (And interupting CCs) is a massive part of Arena due to the staggering amount of stuns, silences, polymorphs and whatnot classes have now.

    Communicate! Communication is something you *must* have if you want to win. This s calling out what is happening to you (A single dispel could be the win or loss of a game), calling out what you’re doing (‘Silencing X’), and calling out what the enemy team is doing (Sheeping, popping burst, etc)

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