Hi all, I dinged 80 about 2 weeks ago, geared up, and have started arena. Got the usual gear, furious with wrathful offpieces. I was lucky enough to pick up a solace from ToC. I rolled a priest because I had played dps for 5 years, and was tired of it. Before starting arena last week, I had never played a priest in any kind of pvp, and never healed in any kind of pvp. My mmr in 2's is 1720, which I am somewhat pleased with considering my inexperience.
Partner selection on my server is somewhat slim. It's not really that there are a lot of bad people, the server population as a whole just isn't very interested in arena. Another reason I rolled a priest was because I was tired of trying to find one on my rogue. I found a ret paladin in trade chat, he has the byrntoll axe, pretty good gear. He does a good bit of damage.
However, I am not used to this playstle at all. Anytime I have ever done arena on my rogue/mage I had a mortal strike and a good sized slow, or someone I was playing with had it. My ret seems to have a good idea of what he's doing, but I often find myself confused at his target choices and why he switches so much. I have gotten much better at anticipating his actions, but there are several occasions just last night where I'm casting holy fire on his target and he switches half way through. We don't really use vent, we just started and haven't been communicating very well. Sometimes I am convinced he makes a mistake, (last night I burned a priest to zero mana and feared his fiend, the mage peels and priest gets behind a pillar, drinks, my ret just switches to the mage, who promptly kites us around). I've also sat through full sheeps/repentances/various other magical effects on several occasions which kind of frustrates me. He says switches are more effective than training a target down, and I can definently see that in situations like druid/warrior where I'm dragging the warrior behind a pillar and we can dispel hots and CC chain the druid. But, other teams, especially teams with very defensive classes (frost mages, holy paladins) I just don't understand it. We've had games where he did 400,000 damage and a warrior did 100,000 damage to me...but that warrior had MS up and a lot of that 400,000 was on a holy paladin spamming himself (who I will not out mana for sure), and I am just not good enough/geared enough or too inexperienced to hold off a warrior longer than the holy holds my ret off.
I realize our communication and generally working together will get better as we play more. But I'm just hoping to verify that this fequent switching is the way to go. I'm also not too worried about 1800 in the next week because I don't have the points for the MH, much less wand/OH .
I appreciate any tips you have with this, thanks for putting up with my "noob"ness and thank you for reading
p.s. Just a priest arena question, should I be burning holy paladins? I rarely get them off because I am almost always tanking a DK/Warrior, but when I do I feel like I am going oom faster than he is. Also...I dispel a lot. Like, a lot. As in if I'm not healing him or myself, I may be casting holy-fire/death, but other than that I am dispelling everything. Resto druids/other priests are my prime targets for this, but I am confused on what/when to dispel (I've never played a class that could dispel before). Last night I accidentally dispelled a UA that crit me for 14,323 (how is that even posssible??!!!), so I won't be doing that again.
My gear is 5/5 furious mooncloth, socketed 1/3 haste, 1/3 resil, 1/3 SP. I used the wrathful hit ring/neck, and wrathful haste offpiece for everything else. My weapons/wand won't change from PvE to PvP. Overall I think i'm at 2750 SP with inner fire, 1170 resilience, 300ish haste rating 23k hp without fort.
You'd be much better off with just a rogue or mage partner. If you insist on playing ret/disc, then you can still make it work.
I'd say the most important part of your comp is timing when to burst for effective damage. It sounds to me like your pally does a whole lot of ineffective damage. A lot of your kills should be centered around wings/stun and your holy fire/smite/death/pet/dots.(he should probably wings at the first good repent/fear combo)
Also, make sure your ret is actually using the utility he brings to the comp, cleansing/freedom/ss/sac/bop. I've actually played ret/shadowpriest well into the 1800s, and if your ret isn't everything he can be you won't get much farther.
As for dispelling, dispel what you need to obviously. I could list off a whole bunch of situations, but I'll try to keep it short.
Dispel all CC
only dispel hots if you're training a guy and you feel its worth it
ALWAYS dispel shield/ss on a target you're training
mass dispel goes without saying
ALWAYS dispel innervate/pally mana thing
dispelling chains is only worth it if you're not in the middle of 100 yard of desecration
if freedom is down, dispelling to keep your pally on a target=good