1. Arena guide for Ret/Hunter by Homerjay

    Hello :)

    Since there sadly is no specific Arena subforum i figured to just post it here since it technically is a Gameplay Guide that shall help the community.

    This is a guide for the comb Ret/MM, majorly focused on the meta of 284 gear. I created the original version of this guide back in 2012 and released it in the old Arena-Tournament forum. Since in comparison to nowadays I was a pretty dog **** player at the time I decided to make a new version of it with a similar choice of combs yet a way better overall approach on how to defeat them. In 99% of the cases we don't use Bauble of True Blood but the standard Dps trinkets.

    As of now we majorly just try to tunnel the Warrior. Doing so we are using Seal of Vengeance (SoV). This allows an overall higher damage output by the Ret and an almost guaranteed 100% uptime of our vital buffs Hunter's Mark (7% more damage for the hunter (5% via talent Marked for death and around 2% from the extra 500 AP) and Judgement of Light (Great healing for the Hunter, the Ret and the Hunter's pet). As a pet you surely wanna use the Crab due to its tanky nature (never let your pet die vs. War/Hpala!) and the provided root for peels. In theory you could also start with Seal of Righteousness (SoR) and double cc them at the start (Repentance on the Hpala and Scatter on the Warr) and then open on the Hpala with Hoj and a followed up Silencing Shot. If that plan succeeds you will surely be able to force bubble or trinket + big sac by the Hpala. Yet sadly the Warr can easily **** up your plan by trinketing the scatter and disarming the hunter before he can get Aimed at the Hpala. So overall it's in most situations best to just sit on the warrior with SoV and the Ret being in 1H + shield for maximised number of proccs. Use BoP on the Hunter's pet if needed and try to freedom the Intercept. Often it's also fine to freedom a Hoj by the opposite Hpala, it vastly depends on the situation. Lining up cc is standard procedure. Often it's enough to let a trap follow a Repentance to force some cd. As the Hunter you should make sure to try to kite towards your Ret to avoid him not being able to connect which is vital to keep SoV-stacks and Judgement of Light buff up.
    In 284 you can also start on Hpala every time and force bubble 100%. Hunter just does an instant Aimed Shot and the Ret uses Hoj + wings. With Shadowmourne and proccs he is easily able to bruteforce bubble alone even if the Hunter gets disarmed. Crit immunity should be used to counter pressure intense phases, preferably Retal and Bladestorm or a Hoj that the Ret can't freedom or trinket. As strange as it sounds as a double dps comb but you often win with time if you can get some breathing room for the Ret to heal everyone fully up.
    As a Hunter I highly advise to keep Mend Pet up on your pet at all times unless it has 100% and no dots. It often takes damage from a Rend by the Warr or Sweeping Strikes or Bladestorm or because the Warr hit it since it was the only thing in range to hit or simply because of ROS.

    Similar strategy to War/Hpala. Judgement of Light is a big one in this matchup since a DK doesn't have a MS-effect. So it generates sublime passive healing. Keep Mend Pet up at all times as a Hunter due to the DK's dots. If you are able to put pressure on them when the DK uses Gargoyle and the Hpala can't dispel it, you have excellent chances of winning them. It can be aids when they pillar a lot since the DK just puts AOE slows everywhere around the pillar and in most cases you wanna save your Freezing Trap for cc and not use Frost Trap. It's also kinda bad since you can't constantly hit the DK, thus aren't able to receive healing from Judgement of Light while the dots still tick. Here you can start on the Hpala with SoR and force bubble. Unless the Dk trinkets instantaniously and puts an AMZ on top of the Hpala. But even then you can still force big sac from the pala.

    Can be a challenging yet not impossible comb to beat. You can't really tunnel the Protpala since he has ES + Sacred and simply does unhealable damage on your Ret. And you can't just bruteforce a kill on Rsham either since they have 2 sacs, Heroism, BoP and NS/bauble. So the basic gameplan is to simply kite the Protpala all day long and wait for cc to be available on him. Then you go on the Rsham and can easily force a major cd with Hoj (the Prot can't freedom stuns!) and a Silencing Shot. Just make sure to never overextend too much and keep the Hunter's pet alive since it provides a freedom for the ret while he is silenced or has too many debuffs to dispel the slow and is able to quickly kill off Grounding Totems with Growl. In rare occasions when the Rsham is 60m away you can also go on the prot with just a Silencing Shot and posssibly force something when he doesn't have ES or Sacred or neither of it. You surely do wanna play with a Crab here since the Protpala doesn't have a MS-effect and the Ret can do up to 10k Flash of Light crits on it (12k in 284 meta lol). Oh and kill Cleansing Totems as much as you can. Yet only if it doesn't put your team in any danger.

    It depends on the specc of the mage. If he is Frost you should go for him since you won't be able to roflstomp a disc when the Frost Mage has all cds and can easily peel you off his mate and unleash hell upon you (endless slow debuffs and damage from pets n ****). When going for the Mage you can often force Block right in the opener when using Master's Call on your Ret, silencing the Mage on first Poly, having some crit rng and just some Repentance or Hoj followed by trap on the priest. I highly adivse to retreat immediately afterwards since the Priest will quite soonish try to fear the Ret and can quite easily do so when the Ret is slowed. Using the Ravager as a pet here is a big plus since it has Bullheaded to get out of some fear and can stun a second Poly at start to surely force block. Try to avoid using Sacred Shield if possible unless you are pushed into defensive and have to use it to survive. If the Mage steals it he has Sacred Shield, Frost Barrier and shield of the Priest which makes it fairly hard for the Ret to ever get Mana back via Judgement. If the opportunity arises you can also swap on the disc if he doesn't have a shield on himself and you have a HOJ for him. He will have to trinket or PS or will just flop in that. As a Hunter make sure you have some Spell Penetration gear on you since the Mage has 80 base resistance by a talent and possibly even 40 extra with Magic Armour and the last thing you wanna see is your Chimera getting resisted.
    If the Mage is Fire you surely just wanna rush on his Disc and use every CD within the first 20 seconds of the game. If it sounds stupid but it works, it ain't stupid! Since the Fire Mage has far less opportunities to peel for his Disc (not so many novas, no aids Blizzard, no water ele pet, no R1 Frostbolt) he can't really ever get you off him. The Ret can easily trinket fear and the hunter only has the task to stop the polies while he is under the effect of Dragon's Breath. Going Fire Mage is really hard since the random disarms often let your Aimed Shot effect drop and he runs god damn fast and doesnt ever have to cast to just kill your whole team. Living Bomb on Ret, Hunter, pet ain't any good news.

    Rush on them and essentially hit the first thing that crosses your path. Ravager pet is highly advised here since you can easily kick the VT on the Hunter when the SP uses psychic Horror. Freedom Deep Freeze and aim for the SP. If he is low and doesnt have fear just give Master's Call to the ret, he uses wings and simply kills him through Dispersion. If the Mage rushes at the start you can also start with a freedom on ret and just force Block instantly. After that just retreat and wait for your cds. As a Hunter make sure when rushing for the SP to dismount fairly early and send your pet ahead so it can actually reach the SP before he lands Psychic Horror on you and silence on the ret.

    Hit w/e is close to you. Spam cds as they spam theirs. Try to Silence Feral early to avoid instant Clones/Barkskin. Preferably wait for their opener with your backs to the wall and next to the soonish spawning eyes that allow you to see stealthed enemies.

    A Feral could also play with a Rsham yet I won't cover this here since it is a way easier matchup as they cant dispel anything.
    As for the Priest matchup it can be tough vs good players since Feral peels are not to joke with. Besides the obvious roots, snares and Clones he buffs his Priest with Abolish Poison when you wanna go for the Priest which negates a lot of Hunter damage. You can still go for the Priest at start though yet make sure to actually kill him within the first 20 seconds. You probably won't be able to kill him without wings since the Hunter has to stop the cast of Clones by the Feral on the Ret since the Ret has to trinket the first fear on him. Ravager pet is good when aiming to kill the Priest. You can also sit on the Feral with SoV to just build up enough constant pressure to slowly kill him. If you follow the latter strategy the Crab pet is probably best since a good Feral will always try to kill the Hunter's pet. Make sure to use Spell Penetration to avoid getting your Chimera resisted.

    Is an absolute no-brainer if you play perfect and don't do any mistakes. Essentially your main goal is to stop every VT the SP is casting. As long as you don't let him cast VT your Ret can just spam dispel all his dots and heal up the Hunter. You can achieve that with two methods. CC the SP and just kite the Rogue till he runs out of cds or rush on the SP with wings and sac and the Ret trinkets the first fear. In general the Ret should freedom the first Cheap Shot on the Hunter since he is likely to be silenced during Kidney. The Kidney is trinketed by the Hunter or BoPed by the Ret if he can. When hitting the SP make sure not to use the stun of the Ravager before he has casted Psychic Horror on the Hunter. When aiming to hit the Rogue you can just chill in the back and wait for them. Can just use Slow Trap and let time win the game for you. Only way to lose really is when overlapping trinket by the Hunter and freedom by the ret on a stun or not using a CD properly thus letting VT land on you.

    Similar to Feral/Rogue you can just hit w/e is in range to win. Only way for them to win is by forcing all of your cds at once and managing to get a good reset. Make sure to have Spell Penetration gear on as a Hunter and spam some buttons ftw :)

    Play it as gay as possible and just kite their cds to win the game. Main target is the Rogue. Don't overlap cds and play with Frost Trap at the start to kite the Rogue when he has damage and Evasion up. The Ret should make sure not to come too close to the Priest at all costs. One fear on the Ret and the Rogue can most likely just step the Hunter and force the Ret's trinket since he has to support his Hunter instantaniously when Priest and Rogue are nuking him. Time is running in your favour. You can essentially oneshot the Rogue in one Scatter and silence on the Priest. Little trick you can do as a Hunter when your Ret is feared: Feign Death to make the Rogue lose you as a target and due to spamming the button he will automatically step another target next to him which is either the Hunter's pet or the Ret.

    Can be a close match due to the massive amount of dots on everyone and the DK just putting out aids. Actually getting to the priest to attack him is a chore on its own. If they stay back you should yet still try to connect together on the priest to avoid him going offensive. If the DK rushes midfield at the start to intercept you and wanting to prevent you from going priest you can also go on the DK. Just silence him shortly after your first damage global on him and he can easily drop to 50%. Once he uses AMS/IBF you can just retreat and force him to follow you while the Priest is still too far to do anything really. Once you connect on him again you can just do unhealable (atleast for the SP) damage on the DK and kill him. Optimum case is to just quickly kill the SP though.

    Against all WL/healer teams you wanna make sure as a Hunter to have Spell Penetration gear equiped. If you are a tryhard you can even go so far to enchant and gem to up to 160 Spell Penetration! Why? Well your main goal in any scenario is to kill the WL's pets! And with a healer he will often play with a Felhunter. And these little buggers have 160 Nature Resistance! Yet I don't really suggest you going that far since many WLs these days play with a Succubus instead of a Felhunter and a Succubus doesn't have any resistances at all (if I ain't mistaken that is).
    In theory I could go into depth on how to defeat every WL/healer comb with the WL being Destro or Affli. But the differences are often of minor nature and I cba so this and the following three passages will be rather generalised. Against all WL/healer teams i suggest using Ravager since especially vs teams with a Succubus you can just kick the seduction in case of actually being stuck in a double cc.
    WL/Rdruid is overall probably the easiest matchup from all the WL/healer combs. They only have the purge and the dispell from the WL's pet and no interrupt except the CS by the WL. Thus you can theoretically pillar for ever and ever with slow trap. Only thing that can kill you is if you overextend and eat too many dots. If you want you can just pillar with slow trap, then trap the WL while fearing his pet and waddle with your ret into the direction of the Rdruid. Silence the incoming clone, hoj him and force atleast Barkskin if not trinket on top (when using wings). When the Rdruid runs too far while trapping the lock you can also just come back to the lock and hit him in hoj since his hots ran out while the Rdruid was running away. Just play it safe, don't eat double cc (when getting double Shadowfury the Ret should freedom the Hunter so he can stop the incoming Howl). Main target should be the pet though since Rets do ridiculous damage on them and you put immense pressure on them by aiming to kill it. Once both pets are dead it is a win in 95% of the cases. Sometimes the WL can get a resummon if you have nothing to interrupt his cast or he gets a good port off and gets the resummon but then you can just kill the pet quickly again.

    As so often against Priests this is a match against the clock. If you dont kill something quickly and force major cds within the first 30 seconds it is really hard to get a comeback. Atleast as long as it's affli. As destro you can yet again just pillar for ever but if you are facing an affli with a disc you have a tripple purge against you and too many dots to outheal. Even if the WL rushes into your face as the gates open you wanna try to pass him and reach his Priest as quickly as possible. Scatter the WL's Fear at start and then just try to nail the Priest at his pillar with a slow trap. Killing pets is an option but hard to pull off since you can't just cc the lock as much as you want. So when you are pushed into defensive, the WL fully hotted at your pillar, pet and Priest at max range, throwing in some Mass Dispels here and there, you will die sooner or later if you cant get some double cc going on disc and WL.

    In my opinion the hardest comb to face as Ret/Hunter. This is due to two lockouts, Heroism, Purge, strong heals, Earthshield, undispellable cc in form of Hex and that bloody Cleansing Totem that is often positioned behind a pillar. Rushing down the Rsham won't work vs. good teams since the WL will just spam fear and trinket the first full cc on him while you are trying to reach the Rsham. Also the Rsham will most likely be able to escape/live due to Heroism heals. On the other side when not focusing the WL and he has trinket proccs + Heroism his dots are just gonna murder your whole team within 20 seconds even if its just the 2 instant dots, 1 UA maybe and a death coil. As destro you will run into a similar problem when not focusing either pet or WL; he will just get an immolate sooner or later. Not even talking about the Grounding totem by the Shaman behind the pillar, preventing CC. Just plainly killing the WL won't work either due to the absurd damage he puts out and the healing capabilities of the Rsham. Rushing down the pet is in any case probably the best option. While Priests have SW:D, Palas have Sacs, Druids have treeform, the Shaman class has nothing to avoid Repentance on him when you look out for the Grounding.
    Hence an optimal start is mostly characterised by a full trap on WL and the damaging of his pet. If he plays with Felhunter and the CC gets dispeled or if he trinkets the CC, retreat immediately and try not to take too much damage. If the CC is full at the WL and you can CC the Shaman, the first pet should die at start. If the WL trinkets you can just silence him to prevent cc or Health Tunnel.
    After that there is no scheme that you can follow that will grant you the win. It's a lot about communication and waiting for opportunities, never overextending too much and going aggressive at the right moments. If you lose the Hunter's pet it's often a lose since you cant easily take Groundings anymore with Growl. If you wait too long in general the Shamans Purges will just ruin your Ret's capabilities of keeping the team alive and in good shape with buffs.
    It CAN work rushing down the shaman at start but you need to avoid getting fears landed on your ret at all costs, use all CDs and properly execute your interrupts (silence, Readiness silence, Ravager stun). Especially vs Affli actually trying to kill that guy is a nightmare since he has a nearly unavoidable AOE fear when ever your ret comes close to him (think it's 30 seconds CD).

    By many considered to be the #1 counter comb for Ret/Hunter I personally don't think so. Hpala/Destro is fairly easy to beat anyway since Ret/Hunter is prime to avoid any Immolates when playing carefully and you can just pillar for ever vs Destro and slowly leech their CDs. Going for the WL's pet should always be your first priority. Especially vs. Destro/Hpala which often play with Succubus you have many opportunities to cross cc the Destro and the Hpala and killing the pet. The crux lies within Affli/Hpala which can indeed be a pain in the *** since the WL can be way more offensive since he has a wonderfully working heal- and dispelbot in his back. So you can't bruteforce the kill vs. them due to BoP, two sacs, Aura Mastery but you can easily play more defensive in comparison to for example WL/Rsham or WL/Disc which both just spam purge while they are in LOS. Similarely to WL/Rsham you will often find yourself at a pillar, running away from the WL and just peaking here and there to keep MS or Judgement up.
    To be fair I fancy going for the pillar right away at start and not even trying to force anything in the opener since the Affli can just AOE fear at start, can't be CCd while the Hpala is free and you can't CC the Hpala since he most likely will pop a sac right at the start. The good news are you can build up pressure fairly easily by landing a HOJ on the WL and a silence on the Hpala.
    You certainly have to watch out for the WL rushing with freedom through your slow trap so be quick on your feet. There is nothing to be afraid of when running into the LOS of the Hpala. He won't come close to you for a HOJ since he is afraid of switches.
    Keep a cool head and try to avoid dots at all times. Opportunities will arise when they get bored and start making mistakes like the WL running behind pillar with freedom.

    Both enemies are viable kill options. Killing the pet is optional and not suggested since you will probably eat a CC in the process and the Hunter can just rezz it in a Deterrence since the only kick you have that goes through that is your Ravager stun.
    When going for the Priest as always you gotta kill him quickly, elsewise you will die while trying it.
    Scatter on the Hunter so you can actually reach that bastard. Make sure he doesn't intervene it. It can be really hard actually reaching the Priest vs a good Disc/Hunter since Hunter has excellent peel opportunities, thus it's highly dependant on the map and their positioning whether you wanna go for it. On Nagrand Arena for example, when the enemy Hunter rushes towards the middle, it is probably not a good idea trying to bypass him since he will slow you, CC the Ret and do massive damage. On Dalaran Sewers though, where you can easily intercept them before the Priest reaches the pillar, you can force trinket and PS if done right within the first ten seconds. If you recognise early that you won't be able to kill him because of the Hunter's peels just switch on the hunter immediately. ROS and big sac of your Ret will prevent a major part of his initial burst so you can stay offensive for a while. Look out for Aimed Shots and try to avoid them.
    Going on the enemy Hunter is often the saver option. You hit him like a truck outside of ROS and can avoid his damage fairly easily by dispelling Serpent Sting and avoiding Aimed Shot. Land cc on the Priest as early as possible and push hardly on their pillar. Most Hunter's will straight up meld the first global of the Hunter of a Hunter/Ret team since he expects Aimed Shot! Since Arcane Shot has a similar animation of Aimed Shot you can just open with an Arcane Shot and follow it up with Serpent Sting or w/e to easily force Shadowmeld at the start. Ret/Hunter is a strong comb vs Disc/Hunter.

    I don't like facing mirror. It's often just down to rng who wins and that is just stupid. Try starting on the Ret with HOJ and silence at the same time to avoid freedom. I personally as a hunter just instantaniously swap on the other Hunter since ROS will most likely be used during that opener combo. Try to avoid CC and damage overall and may the players with better crit rng win. There is no textbook plan to win this.

    In most cases going for the lock is the way to go. If you are able to have a proper setup on shaman (Scatter into roots for example) you can do that also but be quick with CC on the WL to prevent peels by his side.
    Be aware that this teams only chance to kill you is by unloading so much burst that you have to use all your CDs not to die and then blow you up the next time they get the chance. There actually is some sorta prime opener against this. silence the lock as soon as you can to prevent him from throwing out some early CC and to get his pet out due to the 20% tranferation to his stealthed Succubus. Follow this up by a fear on the pet and a burst on the WL. They are basically useless as long the pet is in a fear and you can end the match within 30 seconds. The Shaman can't outheal the damage in the long run, make sure to kill Cleansing and Grounding Totems asap. If you somehow spot the Succubus beforehand you can also just go on it. Everything you do that lets you get the upper hand and pushes them into defensive is good for you. So use your CDs early in the game and do as much pressure as possible to prevent them from going offensive themselves. The lower the WL drops the more likely he will use coil, so be ready to meld that ****.

    Easiest comb to beat really. Just rush on the Priest with all CDs and murder him. The only crucial thing you have to do is using BOP on the Disarm the Warrior lands on the Hunter to peel for his Priest. If you do that and use Scatter, slow trap, big sac and freedom properly you won't lose.

    Quite similar matchup to Rsham/Prot. You basically run away from the Ret all the time, use SoV and tunnel the Ret. Don't go for the disc, he is really hard to kill and just fears your Ret every time. It's a somewhat odd strategy but works by simply not letting them gain any momentum. With the SoV stacks you secure yourself full HOJes on the Ret (silence him same time!) and with that high pressure since the Ret has pretty low Resilience and a Priest is not the healer of choice when aiming to outheal Ret/Hunter damage.

    If you have any suggestions or questions, feel free to post them in here. I'll look into it from time to time.
    Edited: October 27, 2019

  2. Hey man, is a shame no one replyed to this thread since it is very well written and is clear that you put a lot of work into it. I don't play hunter but i would love to see a retri perspective, or a videoguide by you, since it have been 10 months from your last video :|

  3. This comp looks like a god comp

  4. First of all, thank you for this guide and the time/work you obviously put into it, and graz on winning the last 3v3 tournmanet (evven if its a bit late).

    Would it be possible to expand a bit more on war/pal and shadow/rogue? Do you countergear vs war/pal, and if no how does your ret (or you) survive a warrior above 2.5k?

    Lastly some way on how to survive ret/disc would also be appreciated, especially vs the ones running pregspec (reckoning).

    (ps: pretty sure the only reason you get so few replies here is because no one ever visits this forum subsection)
    Edited: November 8, 2019

  5. Hello :)

    I honestly don't know what more to say regarding war pala. Freedom intercepts, have your ret pay extra attention to the pet. Play with Preg spec to have extra support. Always face your front to the warrior. What i see 99% of the people do wrong vs warriors during retal is that they start facing their back to the warrior to not auto hit into his retal. What you should do instead is lose the warrior as a target and then target him again, this stops your auto attack from going off. This way you keep all your dodge/block/parry without hitting into retal and can sit it out more efficiently. Use pet freedom and intervene to get your pet out of the warrior's reach. I don't really countergear, I wear my standard 1232 resil double dps gear. Can probably go with DV instead of STS since the arp base stat is **** vs plate and the agility procc scales with the kings buff from your pala. The ret should have 1100 resil I guess, not sure :D We start the fight mostly with just slow trapping + explosive trap at a pillar to weather the storm (in the literal sense of bladestorm at start, the general double trinket procc start and the sacrifices of the paladin which make the warrior invincible at start). After their first go you can start cc'ing the paladin. If you can cc him as early as possibly with a rep into the match. That will bring their entire go to a halt unless paladin trinkets. Just really really care about an early sac from the paladin!

    Dunno what to say to Sp/Rog really. It's all been said. Nothing more can be done. Dont be afraid to use all your cds early in the game to avoid VT from landing.

    Ya well with the ret disc its difficult. Since Capsizer has basically been inactive since the tournament and Preg has been gone for like a year now basically, I haven't really had the chance to face some preg spec disc rets who are a rather new phenomena. It obv depends on which specc your ret is running. With preg specc yourself just follow the tactic showcased in the guide. If your ret plays with SM instead you should probably go on the disc and kite the ret for the most part. You should really be on voice for that matchup and align double cc as often as possible and circling your cds. You have to play it really smartly to not get caught be the ret. You have basically chances when ever you can either scatter trap priest with silence and hoj on ret or scatter trap pala with silence and hoj on disc. Since they fixed the resistance chance of traps the other day (beforehand it was 40% resist chance on 130 frost resistance, now it is 24% as it should be) you have greater success actually landing a trap.

    Hope that helped :3

  6. Good ol' wintrader Homerjay sharing his supa skillz =)

  7. Thanks for the answer, just one follow up on rogue/shadow, even if we manage to stop every VT the rogue basicely soloes the hunter (with just pain/dp) from the SP and the ret cannot keep up with the healing/dispelling. We do fine vs the worse ones but if we meet a team where the rogue has very low resi the hunter just dies in the opener every single time or if we meet a good one like turaxy/kamiky we just get ran over in the start.

    Does the ret just insta bubble silence to get the disarm on the hunter (or the cheap/kidney, depending on when they silence)? And how do you manage to heal up through the damage/cc preassure they put out, do you just cross CC and spam flash when the ret dispels wound poison if you have both of them slowed enough?

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