Warsong Gulch strategy
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This strategy is specifically designed to break a turtle defense. The strategy is based around pulling the defense away from the spawn point with one flag carrier followed by another carriers's true capture attempt. If executed correctly as few as two people may break even a ten man turtle. You need two people for this job, but the more the merrier. The first one will enter the Flag Room (FR), usually from balcony, and immediately snatch the flag, and then exit the FR as quickly as possible through one exit. This Flag Carrier (FC) should expect to die due to the large defense, but try to get as far as possible beforehand. If all goes well most or all of the defense will follow that FC, leaving the second player free to enter and camp the flag spawn. When the flag is returned he/she will instantly snatch the flag and exit from the other exit which should now be free of defenders. This will probably take a few tries, but keep pulling back and forth - sooner or later the turtle will break enough to run home with the flag. There are many variations of this strategy, but this is the basic concept which can be carried out by all classes.
- You need very few people to get the flag.
- It is a very effective way to counter a "strong" defense without sacrificing all of your team in the process.
- Can be hard to carry out
- Needs good FCs
- Could fail if the defense doesn't fall for the pulls
- Hit and Run Relay: You need a large force for this one. One player will enter through ramp and get ready at balcony, while the rest of the group come up through tunnel and wait just outside FR. The player on balcony jumps in, get flag and run to the big group, the big group picks up on healing/support/cc/dps/etc. as soon as possible. Chances are that the first FC will die, but if it is carried out well he/she will die within your group where your real FC can pick up the flag fast and exit as fast as possible while your group cc/slow any defenders trying to get to the flag. This can work very well against large turtles.
- You need a mage for this: A mage drops in, freeze people, grabs flag and blink out to ramp. Once out there you could have a different FC waiting to grab flag or keep running or wait for them to follow you kill you leaving the flag open to a different entering FC. Can work very well
- You need either a priest or a warrior for this (preferably both). Drop in, release the fear bomb, grab flag and both leave through same exit. Can also work very well
How to counter
Simply not let them get away with tricking your team away from your flag, instead of sending all of your team to return it, just send enough to return it and leave the rest to deal with the next one coming.
Since only one can carry the flag at a time, you also only need one to enter the base. The best way to enter is via ramp as it is usually less guarded than tunnel, although tunnel does have advantages as well. What you want to do when carrying out this strategy is to dodge all opposing players, in other words not engage in fighting at all on your way to pick up the flag. Often the easiest place to stay out of sight while approaching the base is to hug the right wall (west for Alliance and east for Horde) and then enter through the hole in the fence by the ramp. Once inside the base it will often be smarter to enter from balcony as you are then better able to handle any potential defense. Grab the flag and exit in a way where the chance of getting detected/intercepted is the least. Remember you can only exit by ramp (go left), tunnel (middle) or graveyard (go right), where tunnel is usually the riskiest of them, but provides the shortest run. Remember that all classes can do this, but rogues and druids can stealth in for an even easier entry, and then use sprint/dash to outrun potential defenders. Once you're out you should either run home or to support, depending on the situation and your team.
- You hardly use anyone to grab flag
- Very easy to carry out several times
- The majority of the group can be spent doing other tasks
- Although it might demand a bit from the flag carrier, it is fairly easy to carry out
- It can be hard to manage alone if there is a defense
- It is very hard to hold your own against a zerg should you run into one
- Support tends to be up to a minute away very often.
How to counter
Put a defender or two on defense whose main job it is to slow/cc/kill anyone coming solo to get flag. If they manage to exit make sure your team know where to intercept the flag to return it. While they are running do your best to slow/cc/kill that flag carrier while you wait for your team to show up.
This a relatively common strategy and it's based around the idea that as long as we are more then them we will kill them, and thus succeed. The basic concept on how to carry this strategy out is to keep all of your team together and alive, moving in the same direction and doing the same thing. Where you enter using this strategy is irrelevant as you'll probably have more people than they have defending anyway, thus you are able to both kill them and grab flag without problems. On the other hand it is important to remember that you don't actually have to kill anyone to grab a flag, and you don't need everyone killing either. What is possible is to start general chaos by attacking defenders and have someone exit with the flag in the confusion that arise, then have your team follow the flag while peeling of attacking defenders/returners.
- As you have all of your team there you also have all of it strength.
- You have a huge support potential
- Can very often overpower most opposition.
- You are unable to do anything else, thus no defending your flag and no midfield control
- A zerg is very easy to dodge
How to counter
Simply let them have your flag (loosing a flag is not the end of the world), you can get it back later when it is easier to deal with them, instead go get their flag which will prevent them from scoring and do your best to prevent the zerg intercepting your flag carrier as he/she will most likely die fast should he/she run into them.
This strategy is very similar to soloing the flag, but you bring along a support to help with the job. Usually there will be a tank like character and a class with healing capabilities in such a group, however there is nothing wrong with other combinations if that's the intention. The attack itself is fairly similar to the solo attack, but the supporter (you should decide up front which character will carry the flag) should be ready to heal/dispell/cc/dps at all times. It is possible to do more attacking when two, if there are opposition chances are they are alone and can then be worth taking out. However remember that you don't have to kill anyone to get the flag, thus you should only start with killing opposition if it seems smarter than simply CCing them and running back home.
- Provides a fairly easy entry to the flag
- Leaves most of your team doing other things
- Provides you with more power and support than soloing
- Can very easily be turned into a small turtle breaker
- Can still be hard against a large defense, but could then be turned into a turtle breaker
- Midfield support can be far away
How to counter
If the supporter is a healer you need to remember that any good healer left alone will be able to heal through most damage done in pvp, thus you cannot leave him/her alone. On the other hand he/she will then most likely start healing him-/herself leaving the FC free to dps you. The best way is usually to stun/sheep/fear/etc. the healer and take out the FC when it's without it's support. If the supporter isn't a healer, you can simply focus fire on the FC for a quick kill.
Attack from high ground
Since both bases have different levels, but defense tends to all stay in flag room you can use this to your advantage. The entrance to either roof or balcony is very often poorly defended, if defended at all. By attacking from high ground you choose when the fight is initiated, and you also have the advantage with them being unable to run directly to you. Keep in mind though that all range can be used from the flag room and up to you if they have you as target, but if you then simply back out of line of sight you cancel their attack possibilities. AoE attacks are often very good for this attack. If you appear to be solo you can very often pull rogues/warriors/paladins out of the flag room if you attack them like this, leaving you open to jump and get flag with no defense. Another possibility is having a mage jump in from roof with 2-3 healers spam healing him/her while the mage AoE kill everyone in sight.
- You choose when to initiate the fight
- Very easy to get close to the flag
- You gain a defensive advantage to your offense
- Does only work very well when defense haven't put defenders at different levels
- Can take a lot of time to get flag
- Melee classes are unable to do this well (paladins completely unable)
How to counter
- Staying in stealth/shadowmeld can help.
- If you get targeted by such an attack you should run to a place out of their line of sight. These might include underneath the balcony, the flag pocket, or the ramp room. Keep in mind that you then loose out on some defensive capabilities towards the flag.
5 men defense
Using this strategy you will be using 5 people inside your flag room. The aim is to prevent anyone of the opposing force to get to your flag and you will be killing everyone. There should be at least one hunter who frost/ice trap the flag, and other people in stealth doesn't hurt either, leaving defense with the advantage of surprise.
It is a relatively strong defense against narrow minded attackers. You have potentially a lot of damage dealing capabilities and possibly even some support.
- It is fairly easy to counter.
- You remove most of your control capabilities
- Loose to a large attacking zerg
- Generally leaves you on the weak side of any confrontation as you can't choose when the battle is.
How to counter it
- The easiest one is simply to overpower it with more attackers than they have defenders, this will however leave yourself wide open in return, but it might be worth it.
- Use a turtle breaker: Since this is basically a small turtle you can use the standard turtle breaker to counter it
7-9 men defense
Very similar to a 5 man defense, but using more people to do it. Your goals will be the same as when using 5, but now you have more people to do it which might make you able to cover more of your base and/or use scouting. You should still have a hunter (or several) trap the flag and people in stealth can help you as well. (if you decide that 10 people on defense is the way to go remember that you are no longer in any position of getting their flag, thus you are doing nothing but waiting to loose)
- Will very often beat a large zerg of attackers who simply attack
- You have large damage capabilities and possibly good support capabilities.
- It is fairly easy to counter
- You have little to no map control
- Leaves you wide open to all attacks
How to counter
This is a large turtle and the best way is to use a turtle breaker, but you could possibly overpower them if your team is good enough/well enough geared. Keep in mind though that if you try to overpower them you leave yourself open for retaliation.
1-2 men defense
Using this strategy you will have one or two people on FR defense (and the rest elsewhere on the map) who's main job is to prevent anyone ninjaing your flag. Whereas they will never stand up to an attacking zerg, they will be able to provide information about the status of your flag and/or deal (up to) considerable damage to their flag carrier and/or hopefully kill/cc FC supporters. When/if a flag leaves your base with this strategy it is the defense's responsibility to tell the rest of the team where your flag is heading. In theory you could have any class on defense here as everyone can tell where the flag exit, but classes with high damage burst potential and/or slowing abilities are arguably better at this job. Stealth also works wonders here, meaning that classes like rogue and hunter are very well suited for this job (one very viable choice for alliance is a NE hunter with a cat in stealth). Remember that this strategy base itself around the assumption that someone will get your flag at some point.
- Leaves your flag with all the defense it needs
- Leaves most of your team free to do more important tasks
- Provides you with a strong possible map control
- Lets you easily intercept the flag if it does leave your FR
- Leaves you vulnerable to large attacks on your flag
How to counter
Simplest is to use more people than they have and just take the flag, but considering that their team does probably have a strong midfield it might be hard to get a large force inside their FR making it harder to overpower them.
You can use a variation of the turtle breaker, since this strategy more or less assume that the flag will be caught, they will most likely follow whoever gets the (first) flag to return it, leaving you open for a quick repick, OR you can cc/kill them on your way out while your FC take a beating.
By opting for this strategy you free up all your team to be able to do other tasks, but you will also at the same time leave yourself wide open to even the lowest level and poorly geared beginner. However if your midfield is good, there are no reason why it shouldn't work. As most people simply aren't good enough and/or motivated enough to enter the opposing base solo, chances are you don't have to worry about your defense at all. Keep in mind though that having no defense you cannot provide any information about whether it is safe for your FC to enter your FR on his/her return. Also keep in mind that there are little to no point in defending your FR if you have already lost your flag, though if you know that the flag will be returned shortly it might be worth defending an empty FR.
- You free up all your team to be able to do other tasks.
- You're able to maintain a stronger midfield and/or attack group.
- You have no control over your flag
- It is hard to predict where the flag might be going, though if you know the FC from before you might be able to predict where he/she might intend to go
How to counter
Simply sneak in 1-2 people to snatch flag, if their midfield is too strong for simply dodging them you can stealth past them.