Start of S4 on the 5v5
As I expected there were some sick teams. We got rolled by a few with full S3 gear who must have just started their season as well. There was one 4 dps / 1 healer team that decided to FF me down first. They charged across the bridge in the BEM map and I started dropping totems. By the time they got to me I hit Heroism and as my health was dropping I popped Shamanistic Rage and I was toasted before that GCD was up. It took two GCD--three seconds total--for them to rip me to shreds. ouch.
And then there were some teams trying to make their way like us. As the gates opened on our 2nd battle there was no one to be found. We speculated the possibilities: all rogue, all druid, druid/rogue, or stealthers + Shadowmeld. The priest got sapped so we started beating on that rogue who popped up behind enemy lines, and then our Proximo's lit up: five rogue team. It's both my dream come true and my worst nightmare all rolled into one. If our team was a 4 dps team or if the rogues had their stunlocks down better they probably could have stunned the pally, killed the priest and then made trouble for us. But being rogues they are not required to have skill or strategy so they didn't have their act together and we picked them apart one by one. Mmmmm DELICIOUS. With rogue blood on my blades we looked for the next challenges.
I made two tactical errors that at worst cost us matches or at best made the loss go down faster. The first was on a two healer team I had us going after a dps first. It was a Pally, Disc Priest, SL/SL Lock, Frost Mage, MS Warr team. A pretty vanilla combo for 5v5 and one that makes choosing a target tough. I picked the Lock and chose wrong. Mental note and 5v5 Arena Rule Number 1 for our setup: On two healer teams, take a healer first. We could have very easily attacked the pally, forced the bubble, have the priest dispel it right away and finish him off. Then we are free to dps through the Priest's heals.
The other tactical error I made was choosing a 2nd target on a very unusual team combo: Disc Priest, 2x MS Warr, Resto Druid, Feral Druid. We got the priest down first and fast. Then I called out to go for the Resto Druid because I recognized the Kodohide Spaulders and thought he would be very weak. But he did an amazing job of kiting using Cyclone, roots, cheetah, and pillars to save himself. At that point the three physical DPS had taken down the priest, even after a bubble, and then the hunter. Props to the druid in crappy gear, goes to show skill+spec > gear. Of course it helped the rest of the team had full S3 gear including shoulders and weapons. That resto druid was the natural choice, but he sure had some great people carrying him.
On the whole it was a tough start to the season, but in the end we fared... well, mediocre. Maybe we'll get a crack at it again today or tomorrow.