I realize here that I might be giving away trade secrets and impeding my own success, but so be it. A well-played fight is much more enjoyable for me, and if people learn to counter the career effectively then perhaps we won’t have as many whine posts and ensuing nerfs from Mythic’s attempts to appease the ever-outraged forum crowd.
1. Notice the Opener. You just got jumped! Read your scrolling combat text, scan the debuff icon, create an Aura or other mod, or look at your character. Swirly barbs will encircle you in three pretty colors: red (anti-melee), blue (anti-spell), and green (anti-movement). Decide whether the sacrifice of action is worthwhile and act accordingly. If jumped with green swirlies and you think you can run to help or safety, that might be best but otherwise stand still and pivot to deny the WH your flank and keep him in your frontal parry/block cone. If jumped with red, play defensively unless you know the WH is particularly squishy and you feel confident about soaking the damage whilst eliminating the threat. If jumped with blue and you need to cast to defend yourself, use a morale ability if possible and make your decisions carefully e.g. as a DoK, try to heal via melee instead of spells.
2. Communicate! Stealth classes have always preyed on disorganization and lack of intelligence among their opponents. If you get jumped, make a macro to alert your teammates (not that anyone ever reads chat while fighting; I blame Mythic for making the spell animations too pretty) or speak up in Ventrilo. If you were ambushed on your way out of a warcamp or at a choke point, announce it in region chat; chances are a Witch Elf won’t be able to resist the opportunity to duel, or there might be a zerg passing by that could steamroll your aggressor. Conversely, keep an eye on your own rear lines in battle and be proactive if your teammates are uncommunicative.
3. Location, Location, Location. Don’t be alone if you can avoid it, don’t overextend yourself (I love punishing greedy tanks that outrange their healers), and as mentioned before don’t let a WH take potshots at your rear. Stay close to your tanks if you have a Guard, but also keep them between yourself and where you anticipate a WH’s entry. Use terrain to your advantage – stand with your back to the wall or in a difficult-to-reach spot. If knockback is one of your primary defenses, take a moment to plan where you’re going to send the hapless WH flying so you don’t simply send him 2 feet backward into an incline or obstacle.
Choose wisely, young grasshopper.
4. Know Your Class, Know Theirs. It’s amazing how many people will never detaunt or seem unaware that they can cleanse/remove a WH’s debuffs. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure; if you’re hit with a healing debuff like Punish the False (and can’t cure it), removing DOTs might end up being more damage prevention than trying to spam heal yourself. If I use Repel Blasphemy (and perhaps augment it with Riposte), don’t waste a Rend Soul or other melee ability with a long cooldown; DO turtle behind your shield, use attacks that are undefendable, and expect me to follow up with a Confess! If you are a caster and I just jumped you with Fanatical Zeal, popped Shroud of Magnus, and am slotting Vindication, spamming spells at me is tantamount to suicide. Read your combat log after a death to figure out what you could have done better.
5. CC is Your Friend. A WH has three goals: DPS, harass, and/or get out alive. He must accomplish all of these quickly; prolonged fights are his nightmare. A disarm shuts him down almost completely; snares and movement barbs too. And if you can counter his (very limited) escape options, remember that the WH is a cloth wearing class with typically low resists and will die very fast to focus fire. Unless I’ve been skirmishing for a while and acquired an Unstoppable buff, it generally only takes one form of (well-applied) CC to deny me a kill and lay me out for a beating. Look for a window of opportunity and abuse it.
(For the Order folks reading, a lot of that applies against Witch Elves as well, although they do have very different tactics and abilities despite being our mirror; do your research and don’t say I didn’t warn you!)
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