Holy crap discipline priests are ridiculous now. I also cannot step 3 feet without tripping over an AR/Prep rogue. Frost mages will soon be even more powerful than they currently are with icy veins. Seeing a pattern here? Our 3v3 team that we've been finishing up the season with has had more problems with Rogue/Mage/Priest (RMP) teams lately than anything. It was also by far the most common class matrix we fought against around the 22-2300 rating range. We came just shy of qualifying for gladiator last night by about 30 rating. Nuts. The competition for gladiator for 3v3, and other brackets I'd imagine, is absolutely fierce on BG9. Every fight seemed very intense, with the exception of the rare encounter with teams sold to scrubs who are losing their 10 games before the night is over.
It's my firm belief that discipline priests are the new "warlocks" of healers. They have nearly all the mobility that druids do, with more offensive tools in the way of dispel and mass dispel. In addition, power infusion is pretty nuts to slap on a mage or warlock, and the new pain suppression is basically an 85% undispelable (as most priests take silent resolve) divine shield to anyone on their team or themselves. It also appears that in catering to the whines about how absolutely critical blessed resilience was to any healing priest build, that Blizzard caved into giving them a very similar talent with Focused Will. The downside to all this tremendous power? I guess their healing efficiency is down maybe 10% from the old 28/33 disc/holy build, but their overall utility has skyrocketed. Oh, and any other warlock will tell you how much BS prayer of mending is as well. That crap needs to at least heal for less after each jump. It's pretty sad that one single heal on a relatively short cooldown, can effectively protect 3 people from being completely dotted up. No opportunities for spell locking a big heal like you can on a paladin (which is their biggest weakness). Nope. Priests will always be the thorn in my warlocks side.
It's pretty telling when you almost never run into another group that uses a paladin unless it's paired with another healer + warrior. Their ability to be shut down and chain CCd is a pretty big problem, more so than any other class imo. Other than their craptastic holy shock which is on a 15s cooldown, Paladins really have NO way to save a teammate without winding up a cast-time heal at all. They are, by far, the easiest healer to shut down pretty much on command. The 10s bubble trick might work against scrubs that can't push past the 1500 mark, but that one tricky pony is a sitting duck for CC anytime outside of that window (which is a very, very small window at that). I think paladins need some help in this department. On the scale of difficulty from 1-10, 10 being difficult: Keeping a paladin from healing people reliably as a warlock is about a -2. It's that ridiculously easy. Unless they stack 250+ shadow resist, of course (but I'll get to that).
Mages are a class that takes a lot of great twitch skill to be good at, and I have a lot of respect for good mages. They are essentially the key to many good 3v3 makeups. The skill of the mage will make or break the teams ability to progress more than any other member of the team imo. They have the job of shutting down healers at the right time, or shutting down CC'ers while they make the final burst and don't want to be interrupted. They have a big job of controlling enemy melee as much as they can, or slowing down mounted targets/runners so their melee can get to the target. They have the job of protecting their healer with poly/nova against those pesky warriors, and they have the job of knowing when to use their many "outs" such as ice block to keep themselves from getting CCd or outright killed at the right times. The icy veins and trainable ice block, in addition to multiple charge mana-gems is going to go a long way at making this class even more appealing for many teams.
I firmly believe that with the rise of rogue prominent teams, excellent hunters will become more and more sought after to counter them. Hunters have a plethora of excellent anti-rogue abilities that can make any rogue cry with frustration. Their dozen ways of snaring a target, be it through wing clips, concussive shots, or frost traps, in addition to being able to flare both defensively and offensively makes rogues really blow a ton of cooldowns just to get to their target. I would also like to point out that while Cloak of Shadows does indeed remove hunters mark and serpent sting, I've found that it will NOT prevent serpent sting from being reapplied with a 90% resist rate, yet rogue poisons do suffer from the resist check during cloak. Keep that in mind. In addition, I think once hunter pets become more survivable via pet resilience (and possibly other changes if deemed necessary), that hunter pets will become an invaluable tool to keep pushback pressure on some key targets such as warlocks and priests. Also, priests have no way to get rid of viper sting. The new arcane shot and lack of deadzone are definitely the nicest changes hunters got recently. This jury is still out on aimed shot providing an MS effect being that great in the arena or not. From what I've heard (and predicted), it hasn't made a difference for many hunter 2v2s at all. I'm guessing that it will be at least helpful and more viable in 5s. Not sure about 3s, though.
Rogues received countless nice buffs recently: The improvements to dirty deeds and hemo probably being the most notable. They have some pretty amazing survivability these days, and the amount of damage an AR/Prep rogue can dish out is quite noticeable. Double AR with a nasty new hemo and new dirty deeds means targets feel substantially squishier. That's the good news. The bad news is, even after the shadow step love, it's still missing something to make it a competitive spec. The main problem with shadow step is, if you're trying to use it on a fleeing target, the target can often still slip away from you. It's still not as good as intercept, but Blizzard doesn't want to homogenize the class skills to make them all the same. Shadow step is never going to automatically stun the target. My recommendation for a solution for this issue was simple: Make shadow step award a combo point, thus at the very least giving the rogue the option to deadly throw and snare the fleeing target. This idea was extremely well received, and I believe it should be making its way onto PTR very soon before 2.3.2 goes live. The other issue shadow step didn't solve, was that a nova'd or snared rogue is still nova'd or snared after using the ability. However, Blizzard believes (and I tend to agree) that if SS removed snares and/or roots basically every 30 seconds, it might be OP.
I don't have too many complaints about this class, really. The main issue I was having lately were SR gear stacking opponents. There were a few days that we ran into SEVERAL of these teams, and it really felt pretty shitty to be "outplayed" by craftable BT gear. I finally had to drop most of my gems in my gear, and went with FIVE 10 spell pen gems to bring me up to 80 spell pen, and I was STILL getting resisted quite a bit by these teams. Warlocks and Shadow Priests suffer greatly from this cheesy strat, more so than anyone really. I realize that lots of spell pen gear is coming in s3, but we may require more than what's currently planned, or think about adding spell pen to the spriest and warlock sets. It really can be that bad. I'm also noticing a huge drop in effectiveness with drain mana since the soul siphon nerf. It just seemed like by the time I could get anyone drained, the battle had already been decided in many of the games last night. I once thought that drain mana was too OP for many of the classes that it worked so well on, but now I'm thinking that since other classes got buffed, they can do much more with the same amount of mana in less time, that the mana drain nerf probably hurt more than what was intended. I realize that drain mana's effectiveness stems from the fact that it can be chain cast from a class with (relatively) never ending mana, but it's not going to do you any good if the throughput is too slow to be of any real use when facing the massive amounts of burst some teams now possess.
Druids are definitely a solid small format healer, no doubt about it. They also bring an extensive amount of anti-melee CC (and especially anti-rogue, as abolish poison is fantastic), and have superb mobility. Still, we seemed to have little trouble blowing up druids with the combination of mortal strike + stacks of dots + spell lock and deathcoil. They really require the rest of their team to do an excellent job at keeping would-be attackers off of them. If they are able to outlast your initial barrage of cooldowns, you can be in a world of hurt. They seem to be a very balanced healer in 3s.
Warriors are still a pretty solid class. With the correct support (and gear), they can be absolutely devastating. I definitely feel the slight nerf to mace spec, as it isn't quite as annoying as it was before. I've seen a lot of situations where warriors are CC'd into oblivion by mages and druids and basically kept out of the fight until the match is over, and I've also seen times when the lone warrior that was left managed to take out the remaining weakened 3 people on the opposing team. I think warriors are actually a pretty well-balanced class at the moment, and not the complete destroyer of rogues that they once were due to the many rogue improvements with gear/talents/itemization since TBC came out.
I don't really have a lot to say about Shamans, other than they need some help. I think the only ones we ever ran into over the past week or two were enhancement or maybe elemental shamans. Resto shamans are a rare breed. I honestly can't remember the last time we fought against one. Enhancement shamans just seemed like a joke and felt out of place on every team they were on, and elemental shaman DPS is so easily shut down by just focusing them, or slapping a tongues + pet on them. I think their lack of spell push-back protection is whats hurting elemental more than anything. I just find it much too easy to shut them down as is.
Edit: A friend of mine (Escabar) just made a suggestion to me that possibly adding some sort of lightning bolt push-back protection on lightning shield might be a good way to go for ele shamans. It's dispelable, but could prove to be a valuable tool in certain situations. This wouldn't do much with tongues + felhunter on you as it would probably just get autodevoured, but it would help in situatios beyond that for sure.