PvP for Noobs: Warsong Gulch

Orginally posted 3/10/2013 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.


Warsong Gulch

The Map:







Objective and basic strategy:

This is a “capture the flag” map designed for 10 player teams.


You will zone into your own faction’s flagroom.  When the gates open, the majority of your team will run across the map to the other faction’s flagroom.  A clickable flag will spawn in the base of each team.  The goal is to pick up the enemy’s flag and run it back to your base and capture on the pad where your flag spawns. You are only able to capture the enemy’s flag if they are not holding yours.


Typically 2 groups form in the battleground.  The first is a group that picks up the flag (usually a tank type/flag runner, a healer and a damage dealer that can slow anyone that is trying to chase the flag carrier.  The second group goes after the enemy flag carrier. Usually this second group is mostly damage dealers and 1 healer. Oftentimes, this larger second group will do an “intercept” in midfield at the beginning of the match, trying to prevent the enemy team from even making it across the map to your flag.

The first team to capture 3 flags wins the match.  There is a 25 minute timer.  If no team captures all 3 flags withing 25 minutes, the team that has the most caps wins.  In the event of a tie (ie, both teams have captured 2 flags) the win goes to the last team to capture a flag.





EFC- Enemy flag carrier

FR/EFR- Flag room, Enemy flag room (where you zone in and start)

Roof- the top level of the flag room

Going tunnel (or ramp side, or graveyard side)- Your flag carrier, or the enemy flag carrier is running up the tunnel (or the ramp or the graveyard)

Peel off- Pulling an enemy off of a teammate.  Usually you are asked to “peel off” of your healers.



What should I be doing?

Before the match begins, decide what role you would like to do and switch into the correct spec and gear.  This map uses tanks as flag carriers because they are much harder to kill and have lots of cooldowns to help mitgate damage.  Healers are needed to keep flag carriers and damage dealers alive. Strong damage dealers are needed to kill the enemy flag carrier.  Decide what you want to do.  Once the match begins, you CANNOT CHANGE YOUR ROLE.  If you start as a healer, you are stuck healing the entire match.


FLAG CARRIER: Typically, a tank or person with great gear (lots of hitpoints and resilience) will act as the flag carrier. Mages, shaman and druids like to grab the flag because of their ability to run fast.  If you are carrying the flag, KEEP RUNNING toward your own base, use your defensive cooldowns and heal yourself if needed. PLEASE DO NOT STOP AND FIGHT!


Flag carriers should always be in position to capture the flag.  Some flag carriers like to go to the roof because they feel more protected.  I do NOT recommend going to the roof.  Stand on the spawn point. If you become incapciated or are fighting enemies when the flag is returned, you do not have to worry about running to the right location and the flag will cap automatically.


HEALER:  As a healer, I always try to stay with the flag carrier. The FC on your own team will be the biggest kill target in the battleground.  You will be the second.  Stay together. Even if the FC loses his mind and starts running in circles, follow. Do your best to keep both of you alive.  Hopefully, you won’t be the only healer in the battleground and the healers can work together to keep the FC alive.  If you are getting attacked, use your stuns and CC’s to prevent them from damaging the FC.  If your flag carrier is going down, position yourself close to him and try to pick up the flag when it drops. When the flag is dropped, it becomes clickable.  Try to pick it up before the enemy team returns it.


DAMAGE: If you are protecting your own flag carrier, using CC abilities that root enemies in place and allow the FC to run away are helpful (frost nova, hunter traps, etc).  However, most damage dealers in Warsong Gulch are trying to to recover the flag.  Use your fears/stuns and other CC on enemy healers. If the healers are unable to heal, it is much easier to kill the flag carrier.  In the same vein of advice, try to protect your own healers. The less time your healers are healing themselves, the more they can heal YOU.

Use your burst damage directly on the Enemy Flag Carrier.  When the EFC dies, they will drop the flag.  When the flag is dropped, it becomes clickable.  Click on the flag to return it to your base.


What should I NOT be doing?

Do not fight in the middle of the field.  You should ALWAYS be playing an objective.  You are either carrying the flag/defending your own team’s flag carrier, or you are trying to kill the enemy flag carrier.  Do not get sucked into the “fun” that appears to be happening in mid field.  You will be called a noob.


If you are carrying the flag, certain things will cause you to drop it!  Do not try to mount.  Pally immunity bubbles drop the flag.  Priest dispersion drops the flag. Nitro boosts drop the flag.


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 in mid and doing burst damage, you aren’t helping your team.  Play the objective.

OK great, so I picked up the flag and now my team is telling me to drop it and give it to someone else.  How do I do that?

When you are the flag carrier, you get a red buff icon that will be located near your mini map (or near the upper right hand corner of your screen). Simply right clicking the buff will cause you to drop the flag.  If you have an addon that is preventing you from clicking off your buffs, you can use other abilities that would naturally cause you to drop the flag (shadowmelding, stealth, feign death, ice block, mounting, etc…)

According to sources on the forums, creating a macro that says

/cancelaura Alliance flag


/cancelaura Horde flag

might do the trick also. I have not tested the /cancelaura myself, so please let me know if those do not work.

Be sure if you are dropping the flag to give it to a teammate, that the other team is not around.  It is possible there is a stealthed enemy around, so be quick and make sure the other person is ready to pick it up.

So.. people are talking about “stacks”.  WTF does that mean?

When the enemy’s flag is picked up, the flag begins to cause a “stacking debuff”.  At 1 stack, the person holding the flag takes 10% increased damage.  At 2 stacks, 20%, etc…  Healers begin to get really nervous between 4 and 5 “stacks” because the damage caused by the opposing team because absurdly difficult to heal through.

SO.. why don’t we just hand the flag off to someone else?  Well, the debuff is on the FLAG.  Passing the flag simply passes the debuff to the new holder at the same number of “stacks”.  Stacks are reset to zero when the flag is returned to the base.

My team is saying that the enemy flag carrier is on the roof.  How the hell do I get up there?

The only way to access the roof is through the tunnel.  If you are traveling from midfield and running up the tunnel, there is a quick right hand turn right before you enter the flag room.  There is an outside ramp that runs up and to the left.  Some flag carriers like to hide up there.

Hey Baybdoll, 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.

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.


Must have addons:

Seriously. Click the link and install Battleground Targets. It allows you to see all of the enemy players names. You can even click on their name to target them. It also shows helpful information like who is carrying the flag, and the role of everyone in the battleground (healer, damage, tank). This is valuable because often times you have someone on your team saying things like “kill that druid healer”. I always found myself lost trying to figure which person in the madness/mob was the “druid healer”. With this addon, the names are all right there!

Once it is installed (I install through the Curse Client), log into Wow. Type /bgt in your chat box and it will pull up the configuration screen. Many options are already turned on for you, but be sure to select “Health Bar”. You will thank me later!



Any last advice?

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!

Learn where to stand.  Positioning can help out a lot.  My favorite BG’s are when I can stand and free cast heals because no one can see me!


Always be ready to click a flag when it is dropped, or pick up a flag from the enemy flag room to prevent them from scoring.  You may not be an ideal flag carrier, but if you are trying to kill the EFC and are the only person close enough to get the flag after it’s been returned, you may save the day.



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