HoTs and DoTs: A Restoration Druid and Shadow Priest

Faction Champions like to PvP (Update)

Update: Went back again this week and video captured the fight and vent conversation for you. We organise CC and determine so much of the fight “strategy” during combat, it seems incomplete to watch it without Vent. The rest of this article describes our first kill (not video captured).

Last night we killed the Horde Faction Champions in Trial of the Crusader (third boss). I loved it. I loved it so much that not only did I forget to hit record, I completely forgot to take a screen capture.

The Faction Champions fight is chaos. It’s a simulated Arena/BG fight where you face off against 10 of the opposite faction (since I play Alliance I get to kill Tauren and Trolls and stuff). 25v10. In 10 man it’s 10v6.

Their Team

The enemy team of 10 is randomly selected from a pool of 15 champions and has a bit of everything and includes  healers (Resto Shaman, Disc Priest, Holy Pally and Resto Druid), armored melee-ers (DK and Ret Pally) and some extra casters and dps.


The general strategy is to keep a couple of their healers under CC constantly, kill off at least 1 healer and then take out the most damaging/dangerous dudes. We found it necessary to kill 2 healers up front, CCing the last one for the rest of the fight. Our kill order was something like:

  1. Resto Shaman
  2. Discipline Priest (CCed)
  3. Rogue
  4. the rest of the damage dealers
  5. Resto Druid (CCed)
  6. Warrior (CCed by 1 DK with Chains of Ice)

Leaving the Discipline Priest or Resto Druid up and about will get you nowhere fast – these guys are a problem and will easily keep your kill target alive so keep them under control.

We didn’t wear Resilience gear or PVP gear and I’m not completely sure if those defensive stats do make a difference in this fight.

In general be aware of your class/spec abilities that you may not use in PVE all that much and be ready to adapt. Keep away from the Rogue/DK/Warrior as much as possible and use your Kick, Silence, Earth Shock, Hex, Polymorph, Cyclone, Fear etc all the time.

A Word of Caution

No strategy I read gave this piece of advice:

Before someone begins the fight (by talking to the NPC on the Arena floor), move your entire raid to stand underneath where your Faction Leaders are above you. So, if you to play Alliance, move and stand underneath Tirion and Jaina. When the fight begins your enemy jumps down from where they are on the bleachers and if a player is nearby they’re going to get slammed. We learnt this the hard way and I was the victim. If you’re on the other side of the room you have time to quickly mark up some targets.

Raid Symbols Please!

On our first attempt (described above) we had no targets raid marked with {skull} etc.  With the second attempt we marked up some on the fly which is better than nothing. With our third, and successful attempt, our Raid Leader had a macro that threw up our kill order and priority CC targets and this made a HUGE difference.

Our macro was something like:

/tar Thrakgar
/script SetRaidTarget("target", 8);

/tar Caiphus
/script SetRaidTarget("target", 7);
/tar Erin
/script SetRaidTarget("target", 4);
/tar Liandra
/script SetRaidTarget("target", 1);

This selects and marks the first two kill targets (Resto Shaman = skull and Disc Priest = cross) and the other two healers (Druid = triangle and Pally = star) to be permanently CCed. The rest were marked on the fly.

Why I Loved It So Much

It’s random, it’s about adaptability. But most importantly, the  reason I loved this fight is because it’s a bit like a crazy BG but it’s actually a team sport. I was playing with a team of people who are genuinely trying to keep the whole team alive, playing smartly, in order to succeed.

I also thought it was amusing that so many of the current class/spec strengths and weaknesses come across in this fight. At one point our GM was convinced we had to kill the Shadow Priest because a guide he read said to. Which made all us Shadow Priests pipe up and sarcastically reply “what’s he going to do? Mind Flay us? Fear us every 30 seconds?”. We had hunters yelling “kill the hunter’s pets!” with glee – for once exploiting their own class’s weaknesses.

Just like it often is in a battleground the Resto Druid is way too hard to kill, the Discipline Priest is hard to wear down and the Pally and DK are true forces to be reckoned with. The Shamans are easy kills (sorry guys but it’s true), as is the Shadow Priest, and the Warrior, once deadly, isn’t your biggest concern.

I played this fight in my Shadow PVE spec and it was really strange. I had no idea what to do! I tried to keep Mind Blast (now it has the reduced healing debuff) on cooldown and used Psychic Scream and Mass Dispel to help. I did try Mind Control on one of our targets at one point but it was immune. You can also Fade and some classes were taunting with some success so it’s not exactly like a BG.

I wonder if next time I can try it as Discipline? I think it’s a sign that the encounter really does feel like a PvP encounter because I was so uncomfortable as Shadow (I never PvP as Shadow spec) and kept hovering over my Raid Frames to start healing!

5 Responses to “Faction Champions like to PvP (Update)”

  1. NinielNo Gravatar says

    It’s a great fight! I did it last night on 10 man and in that version you face off against 6 opponents instead of 15.
    .-= Niniel’s last blog … 10 man Trial of the Crusader =-.

  2. CassandriNo Gravatar says

    Thanks Niniel! Sounds much more reasonable now that I think about it. A group of 10 wouldn’t have the constant CC to deal with 15 opponents.

  3. TaraNo Gravatar says

    You don’t actually face off against all 15 of them at once. You get a random selection of 10 of them in 25man.
    .-= Tara’s last blog … Downed Yogg-Saron! =-.

  4. CassandriNo Gravatar says

    Thanks Tara – I was there, I promise! It just sounds like it from the misakes in my article :) I’ve fixed them up now.

  5. NatarumahNo Gravatar says

    Well, it was fun…but I’d like it more if I could actually PvP, of course. Because it glaringly pushed on me the weaknesses of my class in PvP and the fact that I don’t have resilience gear yet.

    Good news is that I will have a trial for my PvP shadow specs and a reason to get the gear for it ^_^.

    Even so, we managed to get the faction champions down on the 3rd try, which is not too bad in my opinion.

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