1. The Ultimate BG Tactic Guide

    THE ULTIMATE BATTLEGROUND
    TACTIC GUIDE





    = BEFORE YOU START READING =

    Hi! I'm VOKER (Neline in game) a multiclass AT/Molten/Warmane player that has been playing battlegrounds and arenas at high level for years on the WotLK expansion.
    I'm well aware that most people on Warmane don't know what the hell are doing when they join a battleground, especially if its a 40 vs 40 one. That situation is for sure frustrating for everybody involved and I want to help with that.

    The objective of this guide is making sure that everybody knows where to go and what to do every time and provide some advanced tactics to follow with your premade groups. The guide is aimed to both, total beginners and the most advanced battleground players.

    If you take the time to read the guide, I guarantee that you will learn something you didn't know regardless of your actual knowledge level.



    = FOR NEW PLAYERS =

    These are some important terms you should be familiar with in order to understand the guide, if you know them you can skip this part.
    Spoiler: Show
    AoE = Area of Effect:
    Using spells which do damage or effects over an area. There are ground AoEs and target centered AoEs, ground being Death and Decay or Blizzard and target centered being either off you (Frost nova) or off your target (Howling Blast).

    CC = Crowd Control:
    This is using spells that aren't exactly killing that specific enemy, but are used to remove his ability to aid his team. This can be done by the conventional CC specific spells such as Polymorph, Repentance, Fear spells, or it can be done through other spells, like Death Gripping a melee off your healer to give them time to heal up.

    EFC = Enemy Flag Carrier:
    The dude on the other team that has your flag. Kill him.

    FC = Flag Carrier:
    This is seen in Warsong Gulch and Eye of the Storm. When a player clicks on the enemy flag, they are given a buff and a flag on their characters back, they will score points when it is returned to their flag stand. They will drop the flag from death, casting an immunity effect on themselves (Ice Block, Paladin Bubble), attempting to stealth, mounting, or using rocket boots.

    Flag = Carriable Flag or Flag Node:
    There are two types, the kind that is carried, and the kind that is used to capture a node. The carried kind is held by a FC and will be dropped when they are killed, at which time it can be returned or taken by one of your team. The node capture flags are in Arathi Basin, Alterac Valley, and Isle of Conquest. These are captured by clicking, and after a short cast, will become "contested", and after a set amount of time will become controlled by your team.

    Hard Casting = Sitting in place spam casting spells:
    This may not seem like such a big deal while questing or in dungeons, but in PvP it gives the enemy a chance to lock you out of that spell type for a substantial amount of time. Take a frost mage, if you get interrupted by an enemy mage during a Frostbolt cast, that is 8 seconds where you cannot renew Ice Barrier, Ice Block to save yourself, or even Deep Freeze to stun them for a getaway. This is not to say to never hard cast, but it can leave you in a bad place if the wrong spell gets interrupted.

    Node = Map control points:
    These are areas that are either captured by clicking on flags or by a tug-of-war system which moves towards your team based on the number of players in the area. These generate points to move your team towards victory. (The tug-of-war system won’t fill if you are in stealth!)

    Peeling = Protect an ally with CC
    Sometimes you will want to use your hard CC and slows to help an important team mate stay alive, such as healers, flag carriers, etc.

    Turtling = Playing very defensive:
    This is a tactic involving pulling off all player on the offense and playing very defensively. This should only be used when your victory is guaranteed by timer if the enemy does not score anymore and there is not much time left. Turtling should be used in situations like in WSG when you just barely get in another flag capture, bringing the score to 1-1 with 4 minutes to go. Not in situations where you have it 1-1 with 15 minutes on the clock, where they can take the time to set up a full attack plan.

    Zerging = All the members of the group going for an objective:
    Made popular by the Starcraft race, zerging is to pick up all your dudes and bum rush whatever resource is chosen as being the most important, this is usually seen more in node defense maps such as Arathi Basin. This tactic is very popular with teams that have little to no communication, as people will generally just follow the pack, leading to a large portion of your team rolling around in a giant death ball. If used properly, can be a very strong tactic.





    = BATTLEGROUND ADDONS =

    These addons are very valuable for battlegrounds, consider installing them:
    Spoiler: Show
    Deadly Boss Mods <PvP>:
    Adds timers for captured nodes, flags, and other valuable info. You can shift+click the timers to send the info to /bg.
    download

    Plate Buffs:
    Shows important buffs/debuffs over the name plates, customizable.
    download

    Preform AV Enabler:
    Makes you able to queue a raid to BG.
    download

    Sound Alerter:
    Gives auditive alerts about CC and important cooldowns.
    download




    = BATTLEGROUND BASICS =
    Is your action going to help with offense or defense of your bases/flag?
    If not, you may want to rethink what you are doing.

    Objectives should always be on your mind in everything you do.



    = TEAM FIGHTING IN BG =
    Most of the time your interactions with the enemy team will be limited to removing them from a fight, however possible. This is either done through CCs or death. It depends on your class's CCs, the targets gear levels compared to yours, and what they are doing.


    When to KILL
    If the target is much weaker geared than you, I wouldn't waste the time to CC them, but when they are a heavy CC class, they will need to be removed to give your team the advantage. Even a mage with no gear can prove problematic with well timed Polymorphs, Counterspells, or Deep Freezes. It also depends on their health, if you can snipe a quick kill, do it.

    Lastly, healers are generally good kill targets since that will limit their ability to hard cast heals, since a good healer will have ways to break out of CCs.


    When to CC
    If you see a caster sitting on the edges of a fight, not being hit by any AoEs that would break them out of CCs, and hardcasting on one of your teammates, that would be a good time to plant a poly/fear onto them to remove them from the fight instantly, without the hassle of chasing them down.

    CCs are not a permanent solution to the problem of an annoying enemy, but it will buy you time to take out another while the first one sits there as a sheep, silenced, or runs far away due to fear pathing. Unlike killing someone, where they can continue to do damage, even if it is diminished by you being on them, CCs will take them out of the battle for ~8 seconds, which can feel like an eternity in a fast-paced team fight.



    = YOUR ROLE IN BG =

    The class and spec you choose will determine your role in BG. These roles can be divided in 4 categories:
    Spoiler: Show

    PURE DAMAGE DEALER:
    Death Knight (Unholy), Hunter, Mage, Rogue, Warlock

    They have very little to no heals for others, usually their heals are limited to just themselves. Most of them have much higher damage outputs when compared to the hybrids, and in my opinion have the strongest CCs in the game (mages and locks).

    Generally, these classes want to stick to a healer, and their help to them is usually by peeling for said healer and killing the most dangerous targets as quickly as possible.



    HYBRID:
    Paladin (Retribution), Priest (Shadow), Shaman (Elemental/Enhance), Druid (Balance/Feral)

    These classes have a lot of healing output, usually boosted by using certain damaging spells or attacking to proc better heals. These classes are all too often played as a pure, healing only themselves and forgetting that sometimes it's better to save another person instead of doing more damage to your target. Another person alive longer is always helpful.



    HEALER:
    Druid (Restoration), Paladin (Holy), Priest (Discipline/Holy), Shaman (Restoration)

    Your main focus is to keep the green bars full, especially yours. Every class has many different spells to accomplish this seemingly basic task, and it really comes down to experience to determine which is the best for which situation. You should also be dispelling Hard CC and Slows from your allies when nobody is about to die.

    There is a secondary task for healers, and that is to be a backup Damage/CC dealer. Sometimes you can find a break in damage to help snipe down a target, or poke out of your cover to toss a CC or some offensive dispels on an enemy target.



    TANK:
    Death Knight (Blood/Frost), Druid (Feral), Paladin (Protection), Warrior (Protection).

    This role is usually unwanted in BGs that have no flags to carry or NPC bosses to tank, as they are usually played as a gimped damage dealer and contribute little to the team when played poorly. However, this role does have its place in many team fights or as a node defender.

    The real power of a tank is in their ability to soak up damage that would kill a damage dealer/healer. Many players in a battleground fall into the trap of focusing their target, no matter how much they are actually accomplishing against that target.

    A tank can also be used as an enemy griefer, protection warriors can charge around stunning and interrupting mostly unharrassed. Protection paladins can toss Avengers Shields for interrupts while using their hands of freedom, sacrifice and protection to aid allies. Death knights can sacrifice some of their damage for utility and survival, that way they can help catching or peeling important targets.





    = THE BATTLEGROUNDS =
    Most of the time people will just zerg, attack whatever is in the way and spread mindlessly. Even when you queue alone it's always worth a shot to try to communicate with your team; the team with better coordination is usually the winner.

    Make calls about incoming enemies, use the DBM timers for base timers and maybe suggest a tactic in the beginning. If you are premading you can try more advanced tactics.

    Sometimes you will be defending an important objective/teammate with not much action happening. Don't fall into the temptation of leaving the spot and refer to what I just said earlier: calls, timers, tactics.






    WARSONG GULCH (10 vs 10)


    = BASIC OVERVIEW =

    This is a game of capture the flag, grab the flag on enemy base and bring it to your base flag stand. Win goes to the first team to get 3 points, the team to have the higher score at time up (25 min) or the last team to capture in the event of a tie.


    = BASIC STRATEGY =
    At the start of the BG you should evaluate your team potential.

    If your team is WEAK:
    Avoid the mid fight, you will lose it. Everyone should go all the way right and grab the enemy flag. The team must follow your FC and peel for him.
    Hopefully you can sneak some caps and win the game. Kill the EFC as a group and don't split.
    A fast capper such as a rogue or druid with sprint/dash can be used to sneak flags too.

    If the teams are BALANCED (sadly never happens)
    You can try to fight and win on mid. After that you will need to coordinate a DEFENSE and an OFFENSE group.
    The number of people on the groups is situational to the team needs.

    If your team is STRONG:
    You can play aggressive and kill the enemy team on the middle, then proceed to capture 2 flags and farm them on their graveyard until they stop spawning or you start to feel ashamed.



    = ORGANIZED STRATEGIES =
    Communication is VITAL to the success of your team. Be aware that you can switch from one strategy to another if the situation calls for it.

    Zerging:
    This strategy involves most of the team charging the enemy flag in a random way and largely as individuals or groups of two. Against any of the organized strats zerging is unlikely to produce a victory, however, it is the strat most commonly used by PUGS as it requires no communication or planning at all.

    All Escort the Flag Carrier:
    Everyone stays in a group, charges across the field, and takes the enemy's flag. Everyone escorts the FC back to a safe spot and then some protect your FC while others go look for the enemy FC as they will almost certainly have taken your flag by now as well. This is the most common opening tactic currently.

    Middle Control:
    The team attempts to establish control of the middle of the field by sending most, if not all, of the team there and attacking the enemy as they can. The goal is to prevent any enemy from reaching your fort, or to prevent any enemy flag carriers from returning to their fort. While the middle is held, class appropriate flag carriers are sent into the enemy fort to get their flag. The difficulty with this strategy is that many flag carriers circumvent the middle by heading to the edges of the map, where trees, buildings, and other objects partially obstruct them, making them hard to find.

    Split into OFFENSE and DEFENSE:
    A part of the team protects your flag while another part goes to get the enemy flag. Remember, the point of defense is not to keep the enemy team from getting your flag, it's making sure they don't make it back to their flag room with it. In the case that the enemy gets your flag D will try to chase the enemy flag carrier down and retrieve it while O may or may not assist depending on the situation.

    It is very important that O sticks together to make this strategy work. Generally, all stealthers (rogues, druids) go to the enemy base, while the rest of the team stays back to stop any intruders. However, a skilled rogue or druid can make a very effective defensive force, especially if they have good burst damage to take out a flag carrier before he gets help.


    = EXTRA STRATEGIES & INFO =

    How to DEFEND your FC:

    The defense will take place close to your flag carrier. It's important to CC as many of the attackers as you can while killing them before they take down your carrier.
    Many attacks will start uncoordinated, one or two people running in to try and be the hero of the BG and get the flag back, but as they realize there are defenders able to beat them off, they will usually attempt to rally a small force to rush in at once and pop cooldowns to try and kill the carrier before they get killed off.


    If you are on your base being the FC but the EFC is alive you have three options:
    - Wait on the flag room while your team kills EFC.
    - Hide on the roof/balcony and jump down when the EFC dies.
    - Turtling back to your graveyard and wait there with the flag. Dead allies will respawn next to you and can protect or grab the flag. (Good strategy if your team is weak or people is not protecting you)


    Killing the EFC:
    The best time to kill a flag carrier is before he even leaves the base.

    A lot of times a carrier will run in alone and his team will gather around him as he crosses the middle field. If you can jump him in your base, and keep him from leaving while others get to you to help finish him, that will force the other team to use a potentially weaker carrier until the original gets back up.

    If a carrier does make it across the field into their own base, it will usually become harder, as they will have the advantage of laying down traps and positioning themselves before you can engage.

    Popular positions are up on the roof, on the middle level balcony, or in the flag room, either in the small room off to the side, or in the alcove housing the flag. Each position has advantages, the roof and balcony having the advantage of a single choke point that can be trapped/AoEd to stop stealthers from entering and engaging, and the edge allows for classes with knockbacks to remove a few enemies from the fight if used well.






    ARATHI BASIN (15 vs 15)


    = BASIC OVERVIEW =

    The only criterion to win is to accumulate 1600 resources before the other side does. Kills do not count in any way towards victory, except of course in slowing your enemy's capture of nodes.


    = ORGANIZED STRATEGIES =
    Communication is VITAL to the success of your team. Accurate information on incomings and locations of enemy forces can turn the tide.
    Be aware that you can switch from one strategy to another if the situation calls for it.

    Pro Zerging
    To zerg, you simply gather your entire team and move from node to node, utterly destroying anything in your path. Unless the enemy is also zerging, you are almost guaranteed to capture any node you come across.

    At the same time, however, the nodes you leave behind are unprotected and can be ninjaed easily. To prevent that make the person who capped the node remain behind and alert the rest of the raid of incoming enemies. The "zerg" effectively becomes a large mobile defense force.
    This is not the usual uncoordinated random zerg, you need to check the map and act according to the enemy reaction.


    Zerg - Three x Base
    Keep 3 defenders at each node you own, and the remaining players either zerg additional bases, or back up any owned base that come under attack.
    If you capture all the nodes you will have 3 players on each base (15/5=3).

    Five - Five - Five (4 node option)
    The "5-5-5" refers to the arrangement of the raid group into three groups of five players.
    5 Gold Mine - 5 Lumber Mill - 5 Blacksmith (1 person picks Farm or Stables at start and joins his group). Call for backup in case of an enemy zerg or mini-zerg. It is important have a strong raid leader to help keep the troops in line.

    Five - Five - Five (3 node option)
    Almost the same as the 4 node option, except that it concentrates on three nodes instead of four. The strategy works like this:
    5 Farm/Stables, cap and hold - 5 Blacksmith, cap and hold, 5 GM/LM, cap and hold.
    A possible blend of the two options could be successful. Start with the 4-node assault, hold it as long as you can and then fall back to a 3-node defense.

    Seven - Seven - The Fat Kid
    Your team makes 2 mini-zerg groups of 7 players and captures BS and GM/LM
    The Fat Kid captures Farm/Stables, after that he can become a ninja capper or join one of the groups

    Six - Six - Floating Three
    This strategy is a variant of 7-7-1 and counters 5-5-5.
    The groups of 6 zerg the enemy bases with a group of 5 and cap the node.
    The group of 3 floats around capturing uncontested/weaker nodes.

    Playing DEFENSE:
    Your main priority is to keep the other team out off your node flag. This comes above killing anyone in your area.
    Don't let them sneak a capture, contested nodes don't generate points so you will lose points for your team even if you wipe them out and recap it. As long as there are multiple enemies near the node flag, you should keep an eye on them, using any attacks you have to interrupt the capture, or just walking over and pressuring them to run away or die.

    If you find yourself alone at a node your ability to defend it will be much harder than with a partner, or maybe 2. A single rogue can just sap/blind and cap if you are alone, or a single player better geared than you could just kill you and take it before backup shows up...

    A small group can call the incoming and hold it against a couple enemies while help makes it.
    When you are defending a base, you get the buff: "Honorable Defender" - Honor gained from kills increased by 50%. So even when you may get less HK's than another teammate you may be getting more honor.


    Playing Floater Defense:
    Your job is to stay near as many of the nodes your team owns and responding to the movements of the other team to help the static defenders at each node. Responses must be quick so you can return to the middle ground so you can respond to the next attack quickly. A floater group should be at least 3, with one being a healer, so you can stall a zerg on a base while others try to take a weak enemy base in response.

    Playing OFFENSE:
    Your job is to work with others to try and take nodes from the other team, or if you notice an undefended node, to run over and grab it.
    This job requires more judgement calls on where to attack, or even IF to attack. If your team holds 3 nodes and the enemy seems content turtling up their own nodes, you can just back off and prevent them from pushing out and end up winning that way.

    The big thing here is to never, EVER, fight on the roads.

    If you are on offense, you must always be near a node, either helping bolster one of your own numbers to ward off attackers, or grabbing another from the other team. Killing a small pack on the road does nothing to further your teams efforts. When attacking a base, you should always look for an opening to ninja cap if the defenders are drawn away chasing one of your casters, or you feel they are not paying attention to the flag, but you should NOT sit there trying over and over to capture it. They will notice your intents and will keep a closer eye on you, and while attempting to capture you are essentially CCing yourself by no longer doing damage or healing allies.


    = EXTRA STRATEGIES & INFO =

    How to counter Zerg:

    Go where your enemy isn't, avoid them and pick bases. They can only be in one place at a time.
    A good counter strategy would be going 3-3-3-3-3, you will cover all the bases and they will be forced to split or lose.

    Defend the contested node:
    Always defend the node until it's capped (1 minute) and warn your team if the enemy is approaching. One person may not be enough but it's better than none. A stealthed rogue can Sap/Blind a lone defender and capture the node.

    Lumber Mill:
    Is one of the most valuable bases since you can jump to other bases from it with Levitate, Parachute or similar spells and it's easy to defend once you capture the node. You can knockback the enemy down the cliff with a Shaman Thunderstorm, a Druid Typhoon, or a Priest Mind Control.

    Blacksmith:
    Arguably the best base, as it gives the best respawn point for map control but it's more vulnerable to attacks.

    Farm and Stables:
    Closest node to your faction respawns, if you don't hold this base and loose the other nodes you will get a bad respawn making you susceptible to getting farmed on graveyard, you don't want that.

    Gold Mine:
    Lowest priority base, but you still want to capture this node if you are able.






    EYE OF THE STORM (15 vs 15)


    = BASIC OVERVIEW =

    A combination of node defense and neutral capture the flag, this map has 4 nodes, which are almost identical except for the distance between the vertical and horizontal nodes from one another and minor terrain changes between each.
    The flag in the middle can be grabbed and returned to any base controlled by your team, earning more points depending on how many bases your team controls at time of capture. (The tug-of-war system won’t fill if you are in stealth!)

    = BASIC STRATEGY =
    Like Arathi Basin, Eye of The Storm has 5 capturable objectives. If you have full control of 3 or more objectives you win. Most of the tactics used in AB can be used here as well.

    = ORGANIZED STRATEGIES =
    Communication is VITAL to the success of your team. Accurate information on incomings and locations of enemy forces can turn the tide.
    Be aware that you can switch from one strategy to another if the situation calls for it.

    Six - Three - Six
    This tactic consists on sending a DPS, a Healer and a DPS/Tank mid to get flags while 2 groups of six go and capture bases. It's very effective as a first move when the BG starts because you will have 2 bases and an almost guaranteed free flag.
    After that first move you can keep with the tactic or move to another one.

    Seven - The Ninja - Seven
    Similar to 6-3-6, it's a good option when you are short on healers.
    Two groups of 7 to each base, when it's captured you move to the next one. Ater that the groups move reacting to the enemy actions.
    The Ninja should be a Rogue or a Druid and try to sneak flags every time he is able making use of sprint/dash.

    Pro Zerging
    To zerg, you simply gather your entire team and move from node to node, utterly destroying anything in your path. Unless the enemy is also zerging, you are almost guaranteed to capture any node you come across.
    At the same time, however, the nodes you leave behind are unprotected and can be ninjaed easily. To prevent that make the person who capped the node remain behind and alert the rest of the raid of incoming enemies. The "zerg" effectively becomes a large mobile defense force.
    This is not the usual uncoordinated random zerg, you need to check the map and act according to the enemy reaction.

    Zerg - Three x Base
    Keep 3 defenders at each node you own, and the remaining players either zerg additional bases, or back up any owned base that come under attack.
    If you capture all the nodes you will have 3 players on each base (15/5=3).

    Five - Five - Five (Three Tower Strategy)
    If one side has three towers, and the other side only has one tower, it is most likely that the side with three towers will win, even if the other side captures all the flags from start to finish. The reason for this style of play is that flag capping gives points depending on the number of towers the same side controls.
    No number of flag runs can win the game for the side which only controls one tower from start to finish. This strategy works better if you have at least one heal for every group of 5.

    OFFENSE and DEFENSE Team (Two Towers and Flag)
    Team divides in 3 groups, two holding 2 nodes and the rest fighting for flags.
    The number of people in offense and defense can be 5-5-5, 3-3-9 or whatever the situation calls. The defense team should call incoming enemies so they can have backup if needed.


    = EXTRA STRATEGIES & INFO =

    Objective Priority
    - Capture 1 base > Capture 2 bases > Capture 3 bases or Mid flag > Capture 4 bases or Mid flag -

    Playing Offense:
    As always, finding the weaker node is the key, and capturing a node which is easier to hold is a must. If your team is going for 2 bases and flag, holding nodes which are diagonal from one another is not nearly as viable as holding a vertical or horizontal position.
    Attempting to hold 3 and flag is difficult if the game is balanced, but taking a third node and holding it as long as you can to draw their forces away from your own bases or the flag is a totally viable strategy, though it can lead to nasty situations if your team flocks after you looking for a fight.
    And remember, don't fight on the roads.

    Playing Defense:
    Unlike in Arathi Basin, the nodes here are capture by a tug-of-war depending on how many players from each team are in range, becoming captured slowly by whoever has more.
    This leaves defense with only two ways to stop a capture, call for help and hope to kill them off while you get more people there than they have, or use a knockback class to remove them from the node.
    When you are defending a base, you get the buff: "Honorable Defender" - Honor gained from kills increased by 50%. So even when you may get less HK's than another teammate you may be getting more honor.






    STRAND OF THE ANCIENTS (15 vs 15)



    = BASIC OVERVIEW =

    A two round multi wall siege battleground. The offending team of the first round has 10 minutes to capture the relic at the end, while the second team has 10 or less depending on when the first team capturing and when the capture occurred.


    = BASIC STRATEGY =
    Kill or defend Demolishers, do NOT capture South graveyard, AoE slows/traps in choke points and remember to use/defuse the bombs when not driving.
    Most of the times it's a good idea to tell your team to make all the demolishers go to the same door in the beginning. Once you get to the beach you can call for the other door if one is way more defended than the other.

    On Offense:
    Use Demolishers AND BOMBS to destroy walls. Protecting the Demolishers is top priority, either through killing or CC the enemy players that are trying to kill them. Pay particular attention to players wearing PvE gear to maximize dps on the Demolishers, this is the only BG where DPS is important.

    Demolishers do not count as players, so they take full damage, unmitigated and unbuffed by resilience, so PvE gear will kill them faster, but leave the player vulnerable to easy kills. Demolishers are best if travelling in a pack, but spread enough to not be killed by AoE damage.

    Also, if a Demolisher is behind another demo, you are not close to a door, and that demo is being attacked, shoot at the attackers while driving towards the door.

    Capturing East and West graveyards is vital to your success if your first wave dies, as it doubles the number of Demolishers your team has available (though you will generally not see the beach Demolishers driven again) and spawns your team closer to your final goal.

    You should NEVER capture South Graveyard. It will only move your team farther from the Demolisher spawns, and due to lack of attention spans, will cut the number of Demolishers driven and increase run time of those going for them, and this is a race against time. If your team is having difficulty getting Demolishers through the yellow moon door, bomb running may be the only way to break it. Otherwise bombs are merely a booster to damage if you aren't busy peeling players from your Demolishers.

    Important note: The Demolisher's health is based on the ilvl of the driver. If a low GS player drives the demo he will only gimp the assault with a weaker Demolisher. Don't ask low GS players to drive (yes, that's a stupid game mechanic).


    On Defense:
    Demolishers must die.
    If there is no Demolisher in range keep an eye on the doors to prevent bomb runners from sneaking in extra damage. Slows are a must on Demolishers, as they move much faster than a player on foot, and the only way to catch one if it gets away is to break combat and remount. (You can't CC Demolishers on Warmane, bug?)

    Teleporters at each wall can be used to cut off runaways, but unless you have some high dps, you will have a hard time killing a Demolisher that is already at a wall by yourself before it breaks through, you can try and use the door cannons though.

    Gate of the Yellow Moon is the best choke point on the map, it is the last wall before the relic chamber, and the only entrance to the final courtyard. All Demolishers that want to break the final door must pass through this choke, ground effects to slow and damage the passing Demolishers should be spammed at this choke, giving your team time to get on them and deal as much damage to them before they can spread back out.

    Anything you can do to stall for time, spamming slows on Demolishers as they travel between gates even if you can't kill it, or disarming any bombs you see, will give your team more time to assault, or will push you ever so slightly closer to a win.






    ALTERAC VALLEY (40 vs 40)


    = BASIC OVERVIEW =

    The goal in AV is to reduce the opposing faction's reinforcement count to 0. The most direct way to do this is to kill the enemy general, which will immediately drain all reinforcement points from the enemy and end the round.
    Other activities which reduce reinforcement points include killing enemy players, capturing towers/bunkers, and killing the enemy General.


    = BASIC STRATEGY =
    Do NOT be the guy who runs all the way in front of Drek/Vann and then proceeds to sit there being useless. You should always be defending/capturing a flag or a building.

    The most efficient tactic is to just rush the enemy buildings and burn them ASAP, and then kill the enemy general.
    It would go like this:
    - Rush enemy base
    - Kill miniboss
    - Leave a small group defending each of the 4 captured enemy buildings
    - Kill Boss when the towers are down


    = ORGANIZED STRATEGIES =
    Communication is VITAL to the success of your team. Accurate information on incomings and locations of enemy forces can turn the tide.

    Rush Game
    A "Rush" game is the most effective way of battling in Alterac Valley, because of the swiftness of the fight, but it is however also one of the hardest to master.
    One of the main focus points in a rush game, is not to have any defense, but to push as many people possible to the last two graveyards, and thereby preparing for the vital takedown of Drek/Vann, while bunkers/towers are being captured simultaneously.



    The key to succeeding a “rush” game, is to spare as many people for the rush itself, which means there should be a minimum of players guarding flags (example: a group of 2-3) and fighting Balinda/Galvangar (example: a group of 5-10)

    Offensive Game
    In offensive games, a strong emphasis is put on offense. Usually at least 30 people will take part in the attack, and at most 10 will try to delay the enemy. The defense needs to be aware that they do fight a losing battle, nevertheless it's usually the quality of the defense which decides the final outcome of the battle.

    Turtling
    A "turtle" can happen either because the team planned it, or because all of their forward graveyards were lost and their entire team resurrects on defense.
    The Horde strategy is to send defenders to Iceblood Tower and the small one-way chokepoint that provides access to Iceblood Graveyard which prevents any Alliance players from racing to the Frostwolf Relief Hut.
    The Alliance have effective chokepoints at Stonepike Graveyard and the bridge to Dun Baldar.
    The key to the defensive game is keeping your casualties to a minimum, allowing you to win the game by reinforcements. Defensive games take a long time and give minimal bonus honor in the event of a loss, making them an unpopular and usually last resort strategy.


    = EXTRA STRATEGIES & INFO =
    Generals are guarded by several Marshals/Warmasters, and they can not be pulled separately. Each general starts with four, but each one is linked to one of the four towers and dies when the tower is destroyed.
    Each Warmasters and Marshalls add a stackable buff that increases damage and health by 25%, so the general begins with +144% health and +144% damage, which makes him very difficult to kill without any tower destroyed.
    The Captains, Balinda Stonehearth and Galvangar, stay inside the more central bunkers of Stonehearth Outpost and Iceblood Garrison. As long as these captains are alive, they will periodically grant a 20% health buff and a size increase to all members of their faction. They are fairly tough bosses that can be taken down by a skilled 5-man group.

    Playing Offense
    In a perfect game, kill Galv/Balinda, a couple people will capture the 4 opposing towers during the kill, after the kill your team will hold those towers while a small force back caps, when the towers you were defending burn you all rush into Drek/Vann, everyone on your team goes about their day happy and about 500 honor happier.
    In a normal game, kill Galv/Balinda, 2-3 people stay in a tower, 20-30 people sit in front of Drek/Vanns room and complain when towers are retaken and how there needs to be more people defending them, despite being less than 100 in game yards from a tower yet they AREN'T INSIDE IT HELPING. Sorry, caps.
    This battleground gets a bit under my skin. Basically, the key to victory is learning how to not be that guy, and how to get it to your team to not be that guy. If you are just standing in front of the Boss's room, and not in a tower, you are wrong.

    Playing defense:
    There are two places for defenders, there's those braves few who attempt to defend Balinda/Galvanar, and back cappers.

    For the boss defenders, this strategy only works if you have enough people to kill off as many of the other team before the brute force of 40 people running you over kills you. Good strategy if it works, and if it fails it will put a few of your teammates near towers to back cap.

    As for being a back capper, it is best to not immediately go back cap, but to first help kill the initial boss, then turn around and run back to the closest tower to the middle and return that to your control.

    When capturing a tower back, the key is to remove people from the top of the tower, either through killing, Mind Control or knockbacks. Remember that you don't need to kill their whole party up top, if they have healers that prove to be problematic to kill and you can get the capture off, just remove yourself from the fight and get another tower back, towers take a long time to burn.

    Mines:
    The map has 2 uncontested mines in the beginning of the match, you can claim them if you go inside and kill the "captain".
    The mine is filled with NPCs, they are not dangerous alone but if you rush inside pulling everything and ignoring them they can kill you.

    A single player can claim the mine but you should only try if you are a stealth class, can outheal/shield the damage or have good AoE damage.
    When you are defending a base, you get the buff: "Honorable Defender" - Honor gained from kills increased by 50%. So even when you may get less HK's than another teammate you may be getting more honor.






    ISLE OF CONQUEST (40 vs 40)


    = BASIC OVERVIEW =

    IoC is a 40 vs 40 base seige with neutral nodes which produce siege equipment. There're also two nodes, one by either base, which increase siege damage and reinforcements of whichever team holds them.
    Once a door of the other keep is down, the door to the Boss room is opened and your team may enter to kill him. The team that gets the enemy to 0 reinforcements or kills Boss wins.


    = BASIC STRATEGY =
    The more players in a BG the higher the chance they will randomly zerg. Regardless of the team listening or not you need to follow these simple rules:
    - Kill enemy siege equipment and defend your own.
    - Hold the additional nodes for more damage reinforcements and a small honor gain.
    - Kill the leader without letting him out of the command room (or you will wipe).
    - Capture Quarry/Refinery for extra benefits (stealth classes are good at it).

    If you are ALLIANCE
    GG, the map is unfairly designed in your favor; congrats Blizzard, 10/10 map design.
    Docks is by far the most valuable node in IoC and is geographically closer to the alliance spawn. If that wasn't enough, the node is literally over high ground with a small cliff around it, which makes contesting very hard for Horde.

    The tactic is simple:
    - Rush Docks
    - Defend Docks
    - Protect Glaives at all cost
    - Attack with Glaives from the spot shown below
    - Use Catapults to help finish off the door with the bombs spawning inside the enemy base and remember, everyone should focus on attacking West Door.


    If you get Docks and protect the siege equipment you will break the door first.
    Send some people to get Quarry and Refinery for extra damage.

    If you are HORDE
    When Alliance does this, you need to play smart, try to counter this tactic sending a group of stealth classes to full focus the Glaives. The Glaives weakness is that they are pretty low on health making them easy to kill.
    Another option is do a full zerg and try to contest Docks yourselves. Find the spot on the beach where you can shoot at the doors at max range and try to defend your node and Glaives.

    Why Docks over Hangar/Workshop
    Docks: strongest siege equipment DPS, 2 high range Glaives, fast stealth catapults for aerial invasion.

    Hangar: unreliable DPS with 6 gunship cannons, aerial invasion with parachutes.

    Workshop: good map spawn, 4 decent DPS mid-range Demolishers, after 3min spawns a high DPS Siege engine.


    The Quarry/Refinery
    These nodes are secondary objectives, they don't provide siege equipment but grant a 15% "Siege Damage Bonus" and a continuous flow of reinforcements and honor. Don't underestimate the power of controlling both nodes.


    = EXTRA STRATEGIES & INFO =

    On the attack:

    Once the walls are down the game is nearly over, but there are a few things to consider. Taking the graveyard inside the keep is the first, even if it's not being used to respawn allies lost in battle, having it contested will stop enemies from spawning.
    The other thing is the Boss himself, while a fairly easy fight, his numbers can scare some people, same as his tendency to attack random people. If you take aggro, do NOT run out of the room.

    His Crushing Leap does a good chunk of damage to everyone in a large cone, if you are close to him and see which way he is pointing before he jumps (2 sec cast) try to move behind him, but if you cannot try to help healers top the team off if you can.

    The biggest thing is to keep the Boss in the command room, if he leaves the keep, he gains the buff Rage, increasing his damage caused by 300%, movement speed by 100% and -95% damage taken.

    He will literally run around one-shoting your whole team unless you can get him back inside. If he makes it into the courtyard all the lackwits will continuously attack him, preventing him from resetting back inside, and probably losing the battleground.


    Defending your keep:
    Usually done by a very small group, this entails killing siege equipment, turtling the Boss, and hoping that during the former they do not get the Hangar and shell your defense team into oblivion.

    Glaives are the top priority to kill, especially as a stealth class, since these must die or they will breach the wall very quickly.

    Second are Demolishers, they do not have too much health, but they are rather bulky and can take some work to kill, especially if they have defenders peeling properly.

    Lastly is the Siege Engine, if the driver seems unable to watch the ground or his debuff bar, hopping in the keep turrets and laying fire patches under it is a great way to quickly tear down its health, otherwise you'll have to rush it, probably a few times as the flame turrets will kill players quickly.

    Pro Tip: If the enemy is killing your Boss tell DK's to Death Grip the Tank out of the room. That will be for sure something fun to watch (Rage buff).
    When you are defending a base, you get the buff: "Honorable Defender" - Honor gained from kills increased by 50%. So even when you may get less HK's than another teammate you may be getting more honor.






    AFTERNOTES

    = HOW TO PLAY BASED ON GEAR =
    Gear is a major factor in battlegrounds, make no mistake. But even at lower gear levels you can make an impact on a team fight if played correctly. Here's a few pointers on how to make the most of your current gear levels.

    Low gear:
    This is when you are fresh 80, maybe some Furious pieces, mostly crafted PvP stuff, and a few quest greens/blues. You will not be a damage or healing powerhouse, and a geared player will kill you very quickly if you go charging in without regard for your lack of survivability. In this scenario you must focus on CCs, helping your team in this way is not affected by how much power or resilience you have.
    In Strand of the Ancients you should NOT be driving Demolishers, as they have health based on the ilvl of the driver, and you will only gimp the assault with a weaker Demolisher, in this battleground you are better off peeling since many of the other team will not even be looking at your gear, they will be too focused on Demolishers.

    Medium gear:
    Play as a team, you are not strong enough to be a one-man army, wading through a pack of enemies and killing them all. You are part of the backbone of the team, you must be there to support everyone else with a similar gear level. Your focus should be an even split of CCs and brute damage, playing like you would in an arena setting.

    High gear:
    If you are this geared you probably don't need a guide, but a quick overview. Yes, you can go Juggernaut style and rip through the weaker portions of the other team. Yes, you will probably be the top damage or healing or KBs for your team. But don't forget to turn off the autopilot, play with your team, do objectives and make good calls.
    Hopefully you can keep calm and lead your team to victory instead of crying about how f***ing *****ded/low geared are your teammates.


    = GEARING =

    If you just got 80 and want to queue BGs (don't you monster) you should first follow these steps:
    Spoiler: Show
    Go to the Auction House
    Replace all your super low ilvl stuff with some cheap green/blue.


    Buy some cheap ICC epic BoE
    If it's too expensive for you, skip this. This are the available BoE:
    Belt of the Lonely Noble, Harbinger's Bone Band, Stiffened Corpse Shoulderpads, Leggings of Dubious Charms, Ring of Rotting Sinew, Rowan's Rifle of Silver Bullets, Wodin's Lucky Necklace.


    Buy a crafted PvP set
    If it's too expensive for you, skip this. Check AH, ask someone to craft it or craft it yourself.

    Eviscerator's Battlegear: Druid (Feral), Rogue
    Frostsavage Battlegear: Mage, Priest, Warlock
    Ornate Saronite Battlegear: Paladin (Holy)
    Overcaster Battlegear: Druid (Restoration)
    Savage Saronite Battlegear: Death Knight, Paladin (Retribution), Warrior
    Stormhide Battlegear: Shaman (Restoration)
    Swiftarrow Battlegear: Hunter, Shaman (Enhance)

    (for some reason, a resilience cloth set with spirit doesn't exist in game)


    Farm reputation with The Ashen Verdict
    Look for an ICC rep farm group and farm some rep, for every rep rank you will be rewarded with a ring. The exalted ring is a BiS, so you will need to do this eventually. If the leader is nice you will be able to roll for the green items the mobs drop and the epic BoE.


    Get a PvP Trinket asap
    This means you want to get a trinket which is able to remove CC as soon as possible.
    After that, you can start farming the Furious Main Set (chest, gloves, leggings, shoulders and helm), then the offset.
    Your weapons will be PvE unless you have enough votepoints to buy the furious ones in the web, you will be able to replace that later when you get enough arena rating.
    The first piece of the main set should be the gloves, as it gives a small on equip effect which is usually very useful.


    If your race is not human you need to get a trinket that gives you this use:
    Removes all movement impairing effects and all effects which cause loss of control of your character.

    Available options are:

    Inherited Insignia of the Alliance/Horde
    (lvl 1 to 80, 5min CD, Binds to account) - 250 Stone Keeper's Shard

    Insignia of the Alliance/Horde
    (lvl 60, 5min CD) - 2805 Honor Points

    Medallion of the Alliance/Horde
    (lvl 70, 2min CD) - 8000 Honor Points

    Medallion of the Alliance/Horde
    (lvl 80, 2min CD) - 68200 Honor Points


    Warmane Votepoint/Coin System
    You can use the votepoint system to buy items on the WEB STORE, one of the best purchase options are the Furious Gladiator's Weapons, the only PvP weapons available to buy in game are the Wrathful ones so consider this.
    You can buy some BiS Items with coins if you don't mind donating for them.
    If you actually wanna play you should do a minimum donation to skip the long server queue.



    = SPECIAL THANKS =

    - To anyone reading this guide: If everyone that reads this guide learns something and shares some of the knowledge with the world, we will make battlegrounds way more fun and enjoyable. Feel free to comment on this guide if you have good suggestions, I will update the guide accordingly.

    - hirumaredx: I stole a screenshot from his video and used the tactics for the IoC part. Source here.

    - Tihrel: creator of the great guide "Battlegrounds 101: Honor made easy" which I used as a base to create this one. Source here.

    - WoW Wiki: used some of the information available as well. Source here.


    \o/ ^o^ (o_ /o\
    Thanks for reading!
    Edited: April 12, 2019 Reason: minor fixes

  2. but Sargon already retired...


  3. very nice guide man
    Indeed, can we get this guide pinned? :D

  4. I would add a small detail to the AB section. Whenever a node is contested (in addition to not generating resources), the defending team no longer respawns at this particular base's graveyard.

  5. u just omitted warms and ******ins for some reason : D and definitely seems fishy u do not mention Arenas to gear up ?? yeah also where is Wintergrasp ? :S
    boring shet

  6. These are the worst strategies Ive ever read, most of them will result you in getting massacred. WSG in particular is very simple, stay in a blob of 10 killing everything along the way then grab the flag or kill the flag carrier. Anything else will fail unless the enemy team doesn't care about winning. Arathi Basin you should camp as a group around LM, BM and Farm/Stable. They are easily contestable with parachute or path of frost and LM and BM give you vision over most the BG. Splitting up in general is silly, you'll get slaughtered then farmed in a GY or by a PvE rogue
    Edited: June 24, 2019

  7. Agree, those 2 strats makes sense only when the teams are balanced and well organized tho.
    In a random AB you probably have more chance of winning by going around an try to ninja bases that to try to make everyone go for a good strategy.

    Anyway as golden rules in Arathi Basin and similar BG:

    1 - When defending always fight near the flag, and always check if the flag is being capped. As long as you do this, even if you die you are still winning the bg. Do not get pulled away from the flag like MOBS. Remember that your objective is not to kill attackers but just to prevent them from capping. The longer the attackers stay there killing you without capping the better, even if the defenders keep dying. Basically, as defenders, just try not to die all at the same time and prevent capping.

    2 - As attackers your objective is to cap the flag, not kill the defenders. If the attacking group is a lot stronger, then you can try to nuke the defenders and cap. If this is not the case you should probably attack something else.
    Anyway your best bet in pug bgs if you are not in good gear/number advantage is to "pull" the defenders. Have one ranged, e.g. an hunter, attack the defenders and run away. If they are clueless they will chase the attacker, obviously all together. Have someone else cap the flag which was probably left undefended. If you are lucky someone else will come to help defend it.

    If you are a tauren and you see someone friendly trying to cap try to cover them with your body. Defenders will most likely attack you instead of the capper.

    Noggenfogger Elixir is priceless in bgs, use it every time you die until you become a small skeleton. In AB is very useful since you can basically hide behind the flags or under someone while capping. It can also be used to get slow fall which is useful both in ab and wsg.
    Edited: August 6, 2019

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