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Cleave is a term used to describe an arena composition where a majority of the players or damage dealers are melee classes. The term became popular in season three of the arena PvP system, when multiple 3v3 "double melee" compositions began to climb arena ladders. The original "Cleave" setup (Warrior/Rogue/Restoration Druid) became prominent in high tier arena and LAN tournaments. Cleave compositions including Warriors, Rogues, Retribution Paladins, and Enhancement Shamans were commonly high ranking and live tournament arena teams. The term expanded to include 5v5 arena teams, where three or more of the players were melee classes. Recently, cleave teams have become prominent in high level arena and LAN tournaments in season six of the arena PvP system in both 3v3 and 5v5 brackets.
Cleave compositons are heavily criticized for its simplistic style of play in both 3v3 and 5v5. Players are critical of both the individual level of talent required to play a melee class and the strategy involved, which is commonly perceived as simply "training" one player on the opposing team.
African Turtle Cleave
African Turtle Cleave (ATC) or simply African Turtle is a common 3vs3 (cleave) arena composition, which usually means consist of Marksman Hunter, Protection Warrior and Holy Paladin. The name African Turtle may refer to African helmeted turtle or generally open-ended to some of the African turtles.
Beast Cleave or beastcleave is a common 3vs3 (cleave) arena composition, which usually means consist of Beast Mastery Hunter, Enhancement Shaman and Holy Paladin. The name beastcleave comes from the fact that the setup has lots of pet assistance.
Why this potentially offensive team is called Hitler Cleave is due to the fact that it contains two Unholy Death Knights and the spread of Desecration is guaranteed. Desecration is commonly called gas/disease clouds.
Kung Fu Cleave
Rob Reiner Cleave
A "Rob Reiner Cleave is simply a triple rogue DPS team. It consists of running a train on the weakest target and eliminating the other two targets through ninja tactics. It is named for the South Park episode "Butt Out" where Rob Reiner rogued into the Tobacco Plant dressed as Rita Poon.
Why this potentially offensive team is called Stalin Cleave is due to the fact that it contains two Frost Death Knights and due to the chilly nature of the composition with spells such as Hungering Cold and Howling Blast.
TSG is a common 3vs3 (cleave) arena composition, which usually means consist of Arms Warrior, Unholy Death Knight and Holy Paladin. The name TSG comes from successful 3s arena team which is consisted from the previous three classes and which is named as TSG.
The term wizard cleave has been used to describe a team of caster classes.