PvP for Noobs: Strand of the Ancients

Originally posted 3/24/13 on powerwordheal.blogspot.com


The posts in this series are to serve as a overall starting point for new players beginning their PvP journey in Battlegrounds in World of Warcraft. Most players will be in PuGs (Pick Up Groups), or with one or 2 friends. These are by no means intended as “expert” commentary for Rated Battleground strategies.

Strand of the Ancients

The Map:

Objective and basic strategy:

This is a 15v15 player map.  Each team will be given 10 minutes to try to break through fortress walls and capture the “Titan Relic”.  Your team may start the game on offense or defense.  At the end of 10 minutes, or when the relic is captures, the round ends and the sides are switched.  The winning team is determined by who can capture the relic in the shortest time possible.


SoTA– Strand of the Ancients

Fall Back- Move to a deeper gate, usually Yellow

Beach– Usually someone saying “get of the beach”.  Location where the boats land and the first demos spawn

Demo-The rideable vehicle that breaks down the fortress walls

All go green/blue-Your team is trying to get everyone to break down the same starting gate, either green or blue

Green, Blue, Red, Purple, Yellow- Each gate is color coded.  Your team will refer to enemy position and where they need help by gate color

Run bombs- Pick up, carry, and plant a bomb against a wall.

Group Up- Have all of the demos go together as a group.  It is more difficult to kill 4 demos entering together than it is to kill them one at a time

What should I be doing?

Choose a spec that has lots of stuns and burst damage.  You aren’t trying to kill other players, but you will need to slow and burn down the vehicles quickly.  A couple of healers are needed to keep their team alive, and are REALLY helpful in dispelling the demos.  Healers CANNOT HEAL THE DEMOS. This is one of the few battlegrounds that I will actually go in as dps if we have more than 3 healers.


Your team is controlling the demos and breaking down walls (Offense):


When you are on offense, you start on a boat.  Your team will be split in half. Half of you will land on the beach near the Green Gate, and the other half will land on the beach near the Blue Gate.



Protect the demos.  Stun/crowd control enemy players.



Jump in a demo and knock down a wall.  Once you click on a demo, you load into it and your toolbar changes.  You have 2 attacks.  One is a ranged attack and the other is a close attack.  Holding down your right mouse button will allow you to change the angle of your demo attack.  Drive that puppy up to a gate and use both attacks on cooldown.  If you are driving, you cannot use any of your normal spells. Here is a picture of what it will look like when you are in a demo! (Don’t mind all my addons and my UI)



When demos are killed, they respawn at specific locations.  Unitl you capture a graveyard, the only location demos will spawn in on the beach.  Once the blue or green walls are knocked down, your team must capture a graveyard to unlock the workshop closest to it.  Similar to Arathi Basin and other capturable “nodes” in battlegrounds, the Graveyards have a flag that you have to click on.  There is an 8 second channeling time and then the graveyard belongs to your team.  The other team cannot take it back.  East and West Graveyards are crucial to having demos spawn in a location where they are accessible.



Running Bombs:  Bombs spawn at demo workshop locations and inside the yellow courtyard.  Click on a bomb to pick it up.  It will go into your inventory.  I then drag the bomb onto my toolbar.  To plant the bomb, you click on it near a wall.


We broke through the relic door, why isn’t this over?  Well you still have to capture the Titan Relic.  Run into the Relic Room and above your head there is a gold glowing orb.  Click on it.  Victory! (see picture below)





Your team is trying to kill the demos and protect the relic (Defense):

When you are on defense, your entire team starts at the southern graveyard.  Buff everyone up and head down to the beach!  Your team should split about 50% on the green side, 50% on the blue side.  If you see the entire enemy team heading to ONE gate at the beginning, go there.  They need you!


Slow, stun and kill the demos


Slow, stun and kill the demos.

I kid, I kid.  But seriously, that is the goal here.  Use every slow/stun/snare possible. Mages, warriors, druids, shaman, hunters and every other class that can root, frost nova, snare, frost shock, hamstring, frost trap and slow these demos down needs to be on them! Fears and other spells that cause loss of control of a character will not work on a demo.  Load dots up on the demos.  Don’t let them get to the gate! COMPLETELY IGNORE ENEMY PLAYERS!  Do not let them distract you.  Your only goal is to take down the vehicles.

Once either the blue or green gates are down, fall back to protect the next level. You may choose to try to defend a graveyard.  The longer it takes the enemy team to take the graveyard, the farther back they have to run to get new demos. If they are breaking through the gates too fast get all the way back to yellow.  There is only one gate to get to the relic chamber, so it is a great choke point.  Stop/slow any demos before they get into the courtyard and destroy them.

Once the yellow gate is down, the enemy team may try to run bombs from inside the yellow courtyard to break down the relic door.  Some people (usually stealthers) choose to stand near the relic door and disarm bombs.  When an enemy plants a bomb, it becomes clickable for a few seconds before it explodes.  You can disarm the bomb and prevent it from doing any damage.

What should I NOT be doing?

Fighting on the beach once gates are down.  You are wasting time and energy and not helping your team.  Fall back to the needed location.

NEVER AT ANY TIME FOR ANY REASON CAPTURE THE SOUTHERN GRAVEYARD! EVER. HEY YOU, DON’T DO THAT… YOUR TEAM WILL LYNCH YOU! Seriously. Taking the southern graveyard forces the entire opposing team to spawn inside the yellow courtyard which gives them a distinct defending advantage and it gives your team zero advantage. Don’t be a noob. Let the opposing team keep the southern graveyard.

While there are acheivements for killing players and vehicles with the turrets at the gates, they really don’t scale well and don’t much damage.  You are better off being on the ground level and killing the demos with your spell arsenal.


AFKing. Please do not queue for BG’s and then walk away from your desk for 10 minutes when it starts. You will be reported AFK, removed from the BG and given a deserter debuff. It’s crappy to make your team be at a disadvantage because you want free honor. Even if you are undergeared, being behind the keyboard and TRYING to do something is better than nothing. No one will care if you are at the bottom of leaderboard numbers.

Padding the meters. We all like to see our names at the top of the leaderboard, but if all you are doing is standing at the fight on the road and doing burst damage, you aren’t helping your team. Play the objective.


Hey, I’m a noob, so I don’t have PvP gear, what should I wear?

I get it. We all started somewhere. If you are in leveling battlegrounds, most other people won’t have gear either. Don’t panic.


In this battleground, grab a vehicle.  Your gear won’t matter so much and you can still help your team a lot!


If you are a fresh max level character, looking to get into PvP for the first time, please invest in the crafted PvP gear. You will still feel like you are wearing wet newspaper instead of chainmail, but at least it is something. With the new PVP Power stat, you really want to have PvP gear and not just your raid items. The good news is that honor accrues quickly and that soon you will be rocking high item level epics and not be as squishy. Remember, Honor caps at 4000! Be sure to spend it! Pandaria Honor Quartermasters are located along “The Wall”.

Must have addons:

Deadly Boss Mods

Did you know that DBM is for more than just raids and dungeons? There is an entire PvP section that provides timers for all the battlegrounds. Very helpful!


Any last advice?

DISPEL THE DEMOS!!  Healers, use your dispells to get dots off the demos.  You can’t heal them, but you can stop them from going down!

Don’t listen to losers that say “just stop trying, we are going to lose anyway.” There are acheivements from coming back from the brink of defeat. It can happen. Regroup and keep trying.

Keep communicating. Telling your team what is happening at all the nodes is important. So is fast reaction. If someone says they need help, and you are not actively engaged in a fight, GO.

You are going to die. A LOT. It happens. When you get better gear, you are going to live longer, do more damage/healing, and enjoy PvP a lot more. Keep working at it!

(As a side note, this is one of my LEAST favorite battlegrounds.  My experience is that it is usually a blow out on one side or the other. I think a lot of that has to do with the fact that many people don’t understand the strategy.  Hopefully, people will read this guide and the games will become more challenging overall!)

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