How to Not Completely Fail Your CE Guild Trial

“Matticus! Help! I’m in a 5/12 Mythic guild and they broke apart and I applied for a Cutting Edge guild! What can I do to not sh** the bed?”

Congratulations! Your application process went through. You successfully passed your interview. Now the real work starts as you have to actually go in and play! Can you keep up with the other raiders in there without looking like a moron?

Yes you can, and here’s how you do it.

Don’t die

Above all else, this. If you’re dead, you’re useless. Do everything you can to stay alive even if it means sacrificing part of your DPS. At the CE level, things like enrages or DPS checks are actually relevant because if not met, then the raid can’t advance to the next phase (or eliminate the raid boss). You can continually optimize your DPS rotation or whatever on subsequent pulls but you can’t do that if you’re dead. As a healer, I gauge new players on their ability to survive. If they die early and often, you can absolutely bet that I will bring that to the attention of our leadership and for trial feedback. Avoidable deaths will almost always force a reset, especially on a progression boss. Pulls have the highest chance of succeeding when players are alive.

I call that the healer eye test — Someone who does a good job avoiding damage and surviving. That said, a player could still pass the eye test and do terrible damage but that’s not up to me to evaluate.

Anyway, the best outcome is to not stand out and to be invisible to a healer. Use those health stones, use your defensives, and trust your healers can do what they can to sustain you. But don’t expect them to bail out anyone that stands in a cleave or doesn’t get out of the way of any incoming abilities.

If you are going to die, better ensure your healthstone or health potions are used! There’s nothing that irks me more then when I’m looking at logs and I see things like Greater Invisibility or Enraged Regeneration not being used in the abilities list.

Do your job

Need to CC something? Set up a macro. Assigned to an interrupt? Don’t miss it, but if you do, speak up and ask for coverage. If you’re on egg duty, know exactly which one you’re going to on Broodkeeper. Prove that you are dependable. That means clicking the extra action button at the right time or doing a variety of other thankless tasks. The players who can consistently do that will be the ones that will get more active raid time in the group instead of on the bench outside looking in.

The DPS will come later if you stay alive and do your job. It might be demoralizing to see yourself closer to the bottom of the rankings, but don’t worry about that because you’re competing against others who’ve farmed these bosses for a while and have a gear advantage over you (or a Corruption advantage).

As my conductor says, practice not for perfection, but for consistency!


I don’t need to go into too much detail here, but performance also includes your damage (or healing) throughput. Being able to dish out damage when it matters is also important. If you’re popping up grey or green parses consistently, you might not be ready for CE level raiding yet. The performance issues could stem from gameplay, gearing, spec, rotation, or any number of things and it’s up to you as a player to diagnose not only why but how to resolve those. Review your combat logs and compare yourselves to other classes and specs of a similar gear level as you.

Ask questions

I will always respect someone who takes up an extra 30 seconds pre-pull to ask a question about an assignment as opposed to wiping 6 minutes later because they were unclear as what their position was. Things like interrupt orders, CC assignments, when Heroism is used, and so forth are all excellent questions and a new player to the raid might’ve been used to their old guild’s method of doing things so it shouldn’t be assumed that they know what the new guild’s playbook is. DPS players might want to check with others to find out when their cooldowns are lined up and used. Same thing with healing assignments. Some encounters have them planned out in advance and others are more reactive.

However, if you happen to ask my guild when Revival should be used, the answer will always be, “Whenever Matticus casts Divine Hymn.”



Did you screw up somehow? Own it. With the transparency of Warcraft Logs and how there’s always someone in raid streaming these days, chances are your mistake will get caught and dissected. No point in lying about it if you knew you were the root cause. It’s a different story though if you’re unsure, and this is one of those things where you go back up to the previous point about asking questions. Applying to a CE guild means you’re trying to advance upwards which means you’ll be exposed to some encounters and abilities that you might not necessarily have seen before. If you’re asked what got you and you’re able to identify both what it was and what you can do about it, then you’ll impress.

Don’t go too far though. Don’t need to regale the raid with a life story of how time seems to have slowed and you were unable to run away from your Thing From Beyond. Keep it short and succinct.

Don’t Argue

Seriously, c’mon. You’re a guest in the guild until you’re really accepted. Even if you’re right and they’re wrong a billion times over, arguing about something during raid is almost never a good idea. If it’s worth bringing up, delay it until after raid is over in private. I’ve seen too many people try to pull, “Back in my old guild, we used to do X.” First of all, that’s nice, but the method being used is the current approach that’s been decided. Overhauling a strategy is one of those things that can wait until later. Proving that someone else killed you instead of you failing a mechanic can wait until later. Respect the raid’s time.

Be Sociable

You don’t need to hang out with your guild all the time. For real, my guild’s sick of me but I try to keep them alive more than myself (and have succeeded). If you get an opportunity to get to know other players in the guild, jump in on it. Hang out on Discord if you see people online. Jump in and help out with a dungeon key. This is as much a way to gauge whether or not this guild is right for you as you are for them. Maybe you find out one of their tanks has a cat. Or perhaps all the Warlocks really love pineapple pizza and that might just be a dealbreaker for you.

At the end of the day, try to leave a positive impression. You might discover that even though the guild decided that you weren’t a fit right now, a roster player might leave later opening up a position for you. In my guilds, we have failed trials only to accept them later (and some because they wanted to try again in a different class or role). Sometimes the answer isn’t necessarily a no.

It’s a not yet.

Disclaimer: There is a possibility that you could have followed all of the previous steps listed above and still fail your trial. That is okay. Captain Picard once said, “It is possible to commit no mistakes and still lose. That is not a weakness. That is life.” There will always be another guild you can try again with until you find a new home.

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