It’s been quite a while since I first met Pounce. Back in my early days, I was kind of a fanboy of every high-rated player, as a new PVPer (my sweet Shadow priest days). He was already ruling in high spheres, as a rogue, on what we, TBC veterans, used to call “the old AT” (Arena Tournament server).
Pounce ended the BC Classic Season 1 at 2973 rating (rank # 1 in NA 2v2 ladder), as disc-rogue along Seldomis’ sides, another renowned AT player, formerly playing SP, who switched to disc during the season.

Sbk: Hello man, how are you? Congrats on your R1! I didn’t know you were pushing for it!

Pounce: Hey doing good. I didn’t know we were either 😅.
Well, I didn’t know we were going for the #1 ladder. But I knew we were going for the R1 title.

Sbk: …And you did it in the best way possible actually haha! Did you prepare BCC together with Seldomis? (on Endless TR for example)

Pounce: We met again on Endless (hadn’t talked to him since old AT days). We played some and decided to play on TBCC together, but the plan was to play SPR. I eventually convinced him to try the disc spec since it’s better for the ladder, and we did better than we thought. I think the SP dream is still alive for him and we may play it in later seasons.

Sbk:  Yeah, Shadowpriest is actually something that I miss so much myself. Even if I think that SPR is definitely harder nowadays than it was during the AT days… because dynamic DRs, dynamic off-combat timer, meaning no KS-sap, etc.
Nonetheless Evolve and Teddys did great (they also got the R1 in EU), so Shadow/Rogue is far from being dead! 👌
That’s a great thing that Seld was able to swap to disc and be this great to actually be the rank 1 of rank ones! Was he used to playing disc or?

Pounce: Yeah and shadow priests should be able to be more successful in season 2 / season 3 due to the high armor.
About Seldomis, he had only played disc a little bit as far as I know. We played a bit on endless TR as disc/rogue but it was a little bit scuffed. He’s definitely improved a lot since then, but there’s still a lot we can both do to keep improving, both as a team and individually.

Sbk: Yeah I feel you! May I ask you what were your first impressions of the overall level of the NA ladder since you know pretty well the EU community from your previous experience on EU private servers?

Pounce: The NA ladder was a little easier than expected. There are definitely good players, but since pservers were hosted in EU, the meta is a lot more evolved among the top of the EU bracket compared to the NA bracket. So what you’ll find is 2k players are probably similarly skilled in both ladders, but among the top levels EU players have a lot more competitive people than NA does. If you took the top 100 teams worldwide, I imagine 75%-80% of them would be from the EU.

Sbk: Okay, I see! I was recently saying somewhere on Reddit that besides that fact, I felt like the NA ladder and meta were way more authentic because players were generally less experienced with BC in comparison to EU top players. 
Would you agree with that? Do you think that it was more “authentic” in terms of experience on NA servers? 
In the EU, it was like, everyone knew what it was about, in 2s at least. let’s go RM or any double DPS and grind the ladder.
On NA servers, at the beginning of the season, it was way more open, there was more diversity in the comps… And it’s fun, but actually, at the end of the season, this “trend” completely got reversed, and we ended with a bunch of RM/PR in the NA top 10, when we had a lot more comps in EU

Pounce: Yeah there were definitely more variety of teams playing decently high rated initially. I faced Soda and Ziqo as feral + mage for example. Which actually in some ways is scarier than RM because I don’t commonly face it so I wasn’t sure how to play against it. I’ve had a lot of experience playing against the “meta” comps so I know those strats, but against more unique comps it can be challenging the first time.
I think one of the symptoms of similar comps on NA is due to the fact that a lot of experienced NA players play similar classes. Another thing I find is that certain classes have higher skill gaps when comparing NA to EU. The top player in EU playing a certain class might really outshine the top player of the same class in NA. Things like that

Sbk: Yes that makes sense to me indeed.
And now if we were to talk about brilliant NA players, who were kind of not expected to be that great in BC, would you have any name in mind to share ?
Like, for me, I really got impressed by Xaryu, mechanically. I never really followed him before, and BC looked really smooth in his hands. Of course, he started with less knowledge and experience than BC veterans, but when I watch him playin nowadays in BC, I really think that he is a very special mage. but I’m quite sure that there are some players ‘’under the radar’’ (because not streaming) that deserve some recognition.

Pounce: I think the player I was most impressed with transitioning into TBC was probably Chanimal. It seemed like he picked up the TBC meta extremely quickly. Bean is another one who did extremely well for his class and something I didn’t expect as much (a top hunter on the NA ladder). I would definitely agree that Xaryu is mechanically amazing – Seldomis and I may actually play with him in the future :).

Sbk: That’s a nice scoop we’ve got right here 😀 

Pounce: Lastly I would say I was very impressed with Pikaboo’s mechanical skills. He just needs a bit more TBC knowledge. He was by far the best rogue I faced mechanically but he did things that aren’t the best in TBC. Once he spends more time on this xpac he’ll be a force to be reckoned with for sure! He’s essentially a Lamborghini with a retail engine instead of a TBC one 🙂

Sbk: Yeah, I recall seeing him playing with Xar during his first session on BC (I think it was during beta) and I loved how easy he made it look. of course, there was no MMR, and a lot of “new to tbc players” as well, but it was almost feeling like rogue is naturally OP in his hands

Sbk: I have another hot question for you.
It’s about the belt meta… and pretty much all these items that were non-existent in arenas before BC Classic (filet, chicken, etc) 
Was it as cancerous as it is in the EU? Did it come with some delay in NA? Was it as popular? And finally, did you end up using these items too? And what are your projections with those for season 2. (from what I see, the belt is still very popular in the EU at the beginning of S2.)

Pounce: Ye I think it was pretty bad in NA as well. Once people realized the backfire rate on the belt was busted, tons of people went engi for the belt. Basically, every RM we faced had it, every druid, every priest, etc. Seldomis and I did not use the belt. I was BS + JC for s1 (still am currently until I get a wep and I can drop BS for engi) and Seldomis isn’t engi either. He did start using chicken, but he forgot to put it on a lot it and we really only kept it on vs. RM’s.
I think the chicken is here to stay forever. Especially for healers/casters where there’s not as much to lose by starting with it. I actually used it myself on my Warmane druid and it was just too OP to not use. As a rogue, I’ll never use it.
However, if I was in charge of Blizzard, I would remove all the meme items from being usable in arena. No belt, no chicken, no MQG, etc. I would also not allow glaives or Skull of Gul’dan either though 🙂

Sbk: Okay I was pretty convinced you would not be in favor of these items, like the majority of top players anyway. That’s quite game-breaking.
I don’t understand why we cannot get any information from Blizzard game designers about the belt meta and the fact that it’s only because it kind of never backfires. 
And for the S2. Do you think that the Belt will be mandatory, just like it was during S1? I feel like this might be popular until the endgame.

Pounce: I don’t think it will be mandatory for Healer/DPS comps. If they don’t change the backfire rate I think it will continue to be amazing for double DPS potentially for the entire expansion. But I’m more okay with double DPS using it in S4 because they’re losing so many stats. Season 1 stats aren’t as good so it’s too strong for the season

Sbk: Yes I completely agree with you about this.

Sbk: Before finishing this interview, I have one or two more questions regarding your video with Seldomis. I really liked seeing your POV.
Was it the first time you recorded a video? I don’t remember watching any streams of yourself back then. Did you like this experience of recording yourself? 

Pounce: Haha I streamed a bit during S1, but there was a high rated RM that would watch my stream and snipe my position with perception so I stopped. Me and Seldomis were recording our games just to review them ourselves and almost every game in the video was recorded on the last night of our push. By the time Seldomis decided he wanted to make a video and use some of my clips, everything was recorded. That’s actually why my PoV is all in 30 FPS because I didn’t realize my recordings were saved that way 😄

Sbk: Oh! okay! Does that mean that we can expect a 60fps version of “Pounce in arena” during S2?

Pounce: I think so. I’m not experienced at video editing at all – that’s all Seldomis. But if he’s down, I’d definitely throw him some of my clips and we can make an S2 version of some of our games. And yes, recorded in 60 fps this time 😄

Sbk: Okay! You may have eventually heard about the Silent Shadows Youtube channel and series of videos named “5 minutes with” in which I’ve highlighted multiple rogues before the TBC release (including R1 players such as Reklez, Petraxs, etc). And I started a similar series on Classic BC with Nahj & Reklez, so far Is there any chance that we get some cool clips from your perspective to share on the channel in the coming months ? 👀

Pounce: Ye for sure! I’ll work on getting some PR clips as well as SPR clips 🙂 As Seldomis has leveled a 2nd priest and will be playing both pov’s this season 😉 stay tuned!

Sbk: Well, that’s enough to get me excited for the future! Big thanks Pounce for offering your time to reply to my questions! I hope the community will enjoy reading your answers and for those who haven’t watched the video yet, make sure to check Seldomis’ double POV movie as disc rogue with Pounce! 

Pounce: My pleasure, happy to chat!

If you liked this interview, please, click on the little heart icon at the bottom right corner of this page, and make sure to check our other interview in Rogue Life!
If, like Pounce, aka Synergist, you want to climb the ladder and play Disc/Rogue make sure to read our guide written by another R1 rogue (from EU): Deadlycoward: Disc/Rogue arena guide by Deadlycoward

Watch Seldomis & Pounce Season 1 movie

Watch more videos from Pounce
(released after this interview) :