Fighting opponents Edit
Fear is not an effective method for CC'ing to do damage, instead I use it to interrupt a cast or buy me a second to shield/renew.
For casters, I'll out heal their damage while they expend their mana. Greater heal is especially handy for efficiency here, and I keep a supply of health potions to use if I get counterspelled while casting the longer heal. Also, I always dispel buffs and trinkets. I'll fear a mage if I get counterspelled during a heal while my health is dangerously low. If I get sheeped and see a mage hit his trinkets, I'll trinket out of sheep and shield myself as they cast their nuke. I always kill a succubus, it usually takes two nukes, or one and a dot. I make sure and dispel all warlock dots off of myself. Warlocks with a felhunter out are an exception to everything, and have proven to be the bane of my existence.
Other healers have a larger mana pool or better regen rate than I do, so I don't like these fights. I'm geared up to survive big initial assaults, with high stamina and absorption instead of mana. I'll mana burn to try and even the odds. I'll fear when they try to heal themselves. I dispel their buffs, and won't apply dots that do nothing but waste my own mana. When I had blackout, I'd apply a rank 1 dot instead, to both waste their mana as they dispelled it, and possibly proc a stun. Out healing their damage is a viable tactic, especially against shadow priests.
Melee classes are a challenge since I gave up mind flay, which kept me faced toward my target for its duration. Most will just run through me while I cast a spell. I can mouse turn to try and keep them in view and have a few damage spells land. I keep them dotted, and myself healed. If I can last until my second fear timer is up, I can win. I don't turn my back on a rogue, I trinket out of a stun to heal or fear, and never let the dot expire. I use flash heals when a rogue is hitting me, they stun before I can finish a greater heal. I try to time my fears on warriors carefully, since they just zerk right out of the fear and intercept me. I don't let my heath fall below 50% if possible, so they can't execute. Melee in poor gear are easy to beat.
With a hunter, I just try to kill him faster than he can burn my mana off with viper sting. I avoid traps, and move away if he hits fake death. I'll shield before attempting long casts, to keep the pet from interrupting. I've found it best to put both SW:P & Holy Fire dot on them, that way I can move close enough to spend some time in their dead zone without them dropping a trap at my feet between tics of SW:P. When a hunter does move toward me, I'll fear.
Warsong Gulch Edit
Carrying the Flag Edit
Priests shouldn't carry a flag unless the opposition is too tied up to attack. If I carry and they attack me, they basically take out the carrier and support in one step. If I have to carry, I'll try and sneak it across staying out of view, and have a speed or free action potion to make an escape if caught. I stay shielded at all times, and renew if hit. I keep moving, and depend on my team to remove attackers. I'll drop the flag for a teammate to carry if the opportunity arises.
Supporting the Flag Edit
My main focus in WSG is keeping a flag carrier alive. I make sure everyone is buffed, and stay with the pack as we initially move out across the field. I scan the enemy to see if any are breaking off to intercept, and adjust my movement accordingly to avoid them. I use terrain and objects to screen myself from their view, I'll pause and let a hardier or larger target precede me to get their attention, or I'll change direction suddenly and approach their base from another angle. Basically I need to get in there with the carrier to insure he leaves their base alive. If our carrier gets the flag before I can make it into the enemy base, I watch what direction he takes on the mini map and move to meet him.
Once in the base, I let others move in to get the flag, and dispel any traps that go off. If there are defenders, I shield/heal the carrier, and wait until they naturally clump together at the door. This is where I fear. If I'm ahead of the carrier, I'll mouse look behind me until I see them clump, then hit my mouse movement button immediately turning me around and putting me in range for the fear. If the carrier has an animal form, I'll shield him when he switches forms so he can begin moving while I mount. I follow the carrier just within heal range. If we have heavy pursuit, I'll always move ahead of the carrier, so I can stay out of range of spells while dispelling and healing him.
If I see the enemy coming to intercept, I'll move ahead to the approximate point they'll meet, dismount, and shield him from there. When the enemy arrives, I fear when they clump up to attack, then heal. I dispel movement impairing effects on the carrier, and dots if time and range permit. I try and keep a shield and renew on the carrier anytime the enemy is in range. I don't stand in near allies, to lessen the chances of being feared. If we're attempting to return our flag on the field, I'll keep my eye on our carrier and stay in heal range, and use fear to disrupt the support on their carrier. This is where Mind Flay is such a key priest ability in WSG, I loved to slow a fleeing carrier and give my own team a chance to catch him. I dispel their carrier, and any enemy I see getting attacked, renew our melee classes, and shield our casters. I use instants so I can stay on the move to stay in range of our carrier. I will stop to cast a heal on him if needed, but normally don't pause for non-instants on other teammates. I can't risk having the carrier get out of range of heals.
When I'm low on mana, or the pursuit is obviously overwhelming, I'll try to lag behind and draw attention off of the flag carrier. I'll shield him and then fall back to fear and disrupt their movement. I attempt to get them to stop chasing the carrier and try to kill me instead, and this works quite well. The lower my health is when I fall behind, the more apt the enemy is to stop in attempt to get an easy kill. Of course, once they've stopped, I heal myself and delay them as much as possible while my carrier escapes. I have no problem sacrificing my character to further my objective of winning the match. Once I'm dead and rezzed, I'm at full mana and in a much better position to support.
If we can't return our flag on the field, we move into the standoff position. I stay on defense for the majority if flag standoffs. Support priests are valuable assets for keeping flag carriers up, whereas shadow priests lend a lot to flag returns with their special pool of abilities. If I see the opposing team is stacked with casters and ranged opponents, I suggest roof defense. If they're stacked with stealthers, I suggest defending from the cap point. Either way, I let the carrier pick a defense position he's most comfortable with. While defending, I constantly pan my camera to watch for incoming enemies, and occasionally try to target certain enemies by name so I can mind vision and see where they are and who all is there. If I think engineering items might disable me for an attack, or there are multiple trinket mages, I'll keep the carrier shielded at all times.
I'm usually attacked first. I shield and renew myself, then move to try to draw my enemies into a clump. I'll renew then shield the carrier, and fear the enemy once I feel I have as many of them in range as possible. Unless I have a rogue directly on top of me, I'll use greater heal on our flag carrier. If I'm being sheeped, I'll wait to trinket out until the mage's attention is elsewhere, or my fear is ready, or the carrier is in dire need of healing and can be shielded again. I usually only have 3 seconds to cast before I'm resheeped after I trinket, so I need to get as much out as possible. I dispel as cast time permits, renew defenders, casting heals on them if they are near death. If I'm focus fired, I'll shield, renew, hit troll berserking, and heal myself as fast as possible and depend on my teammates to use that time to kill our attackers. If I get kicked or counterspelled while self healing, I'll use a heal potion. If I'm healing the carrier and get my holy tree locked down, I judge how long the fight will continue, and use shadow offensively if it's near the end. Otherwise I wait and conserve mana, to heal as soon as I can cast holy spells again. Where I stand, and how I move, is totally dependent on who is attacking me.
Returning the Flag Edit
When I do go on the offense to return a flag, I make sure all my allies are buffed, and we approach our opponents in a group. I shield our casters, renew our melee characters, dispel their carrier and priests, then dps their carrier as well. I'll heal any allies close to death. I fear enemy healers when I can either separate them from the carrier by sending them feared in the other direction, or the carrier is low on health and I see his support beginning to cast the slower more powerful heals. I'll dispel their carrier again anytime I see him shielded, given Blessing of Freedom, or any sort of heal over time.
Arathi Basin Edit
Capturing Nodes Edit
The most important thing I do in this battleground is watch my map and adjust my tactics based upon where I see other teammates moving.
When we enter the match, I check the enemy scoreboard to see who we're fighting. Certain teams place emphasis on certain nodes, so I know what to fortify based on who we're playing. Otherwise, I tend to head for the lumbermill first. This is my favorite spot due to the additional cover found there, and the fact that priests have an advantage in high places when mind controlling enemies. However, if too many or two few allies move with me, I'll head to another node.
I help take and secure a node as quickly as possible. If the outcome is sure to come out in our favor, but there's still some minor fighting, I'll go ahead and move out to another node that's still in contention. Getting forces to a node faster than your enemy can is a key factor to successfully capturing objectives in AB.
The trick to five capping the map in AB is to quickly push through at least two of the middle nodes; lumbermill, blacksmith, mine; and hit the stables before the alliance can rez in sufficient numbers to defend it. Then we clean up the last middle node of contention, and keep a skeleton defense on everything but stables. Hold the stables while trying to prevent too many enemies from passing. If a group gets by, we call out their direction so we can reinforce it quickly. The resources rack up so quickly once we've five capped, that a team normally doesn't have time to take a node back from us before the match ends.
Once we lose a node, I'll see where my allies are moving. It's best to hit something as quickly as possible, before the enemy can regroup and reinforce their defense elsewhere. I'll also watch enemy movement. If they already have players moving to assist the node we're moving toward, I'll find an ally or two move in on the node they left under defended.
If I'm already committed to a battle at a heavily defended node under enemy control , I just try to stall them there. It's much easier to defend than capture in AB, so even a smaller defending force can hold off attackers. I know once they're in place and watching the flag, it's a lost cause. However, by keeping their attention there, my teammates can take advantage of defense weaknesses elsewhere.
Defending Nodes Edit
The important part of AB defense is watching the flag. It doesn't matter how many people we have there fighting and defending if no one notices that the flag is being capped. A lot of times I'll stand right on it, that way I don't have to worry about missing the druid that stealthed in to lean against the pole where he's difficult to spot. Plus, I'll use Holy Nova to instantly knock an attacker off the flag, and its range is short. Holy Nova is wonderful for defending the flag, it's probably the #1 spell to have for AB. When a player, or group of enemies, tries to cap our flag, I just cast rank 1 of the spell every few seconds to disrupt their cap.
With another visible defender on defense with me, I'll let him stand on the flag while I move away and stay out of sight. If the node is attacked, the enemy will focus on him first, and I can move in slowly to support until the enemy realizes I'm there. Since we're normally outnumbered by our attackers when defending a flag, buying time is all we're trying to do. We call for reinforcements at the first sign of an attack, so we just have to keep them from capping the flag until the rest of the defense arrives.
If we have plenty of defenders watching each node. I'll position myself between nodes so I can scan them all at once. That cuts down on travel time if I need to go assist. Also, I can update the raid on the situation during a battle, since the defenders can't always stop fighting long enough to type out more than the most basic warnings.
I'm always checking my map to insure that there are defenders at each node, and will move to a node to defend if they have less than two defenders, or are under heavy attack. Finally, I've played AB enough to get a feel for the flow of the opposing team, and will usually know what they're going to hit next before they've grouped up to hit it. Unless I'm feeling more or less apathetic about their next move, many times I'll preemptively be able to reinforce their next target.
I keep an eye on health bars of everyone in the raid, even if they aren't in range. If I see someone get sapped, mind controlled, stunned, sheeped, or take heavy damage; I'll locate that player on the map and relay the info if they're guarding a node.
Distracting Measures Edit
My distractions usually involve setting myself up as bait. Many times I'll ride up to a node, show myself, and then retreat a bit to see if I can lure any defenders away. What they don't realize is I've been watching my teammates move around on the map, and some are heading to that node from the other direction. If I can lure just a few away, it makes capping much faster. Speed is essential, once we're spotted we know they'll be sending reinforcements and we don't have much time left to cap it.
Sometimes we'll move in a small group that includes a stealther. We'll head straight for the flag, and when the defense starts fighting us, we'll drift back away from the flag as if we're trying to slowly retreat from their superior strength. Meanwhile, our stealther buddy lines up putting the flag between their defenders and his character, to help screen him from view when he destealths to start capping. We drag the fight out as long as possible as we slowly pull the defenders away. Killing them isn't even the point, staying alive and keeping their attention is.
Since defenders watch where members of the other team move around the battleground, I find it's important to draw their defense away before trying to cap a node. So we have a basic strategy, attack two things at once. Timing is important here, we don't want to move too quickly and have the secondary attack seen before their defense is engaged, and we don't want to wait too long so our primary attack is wiped out leaving their defense is free to stop us from taking the second node we attacked.
Alterac Valley Edit
I treat AV like a pve encounter. I locate the group attempting to take an objective, and support them in a normal fashion. I find myself the target of guards far more often than other players in AV. I know the terrain, and the names and location of each structure and graveyard, so I can follow directions and be where I'm needed most. I generally heal by sight since I never have a full raid in range, but I keep all the raid bars on screen as well so I can monitor how defenders in certain areas are faring. I also make use of the CTRaid emergency monitor in this BG. The number of people to scan makes it easy to miss someone, it's my situational safety net when large groups are involved.