General Information and YOUR role
The best talent builds for WSG is either a Preparation build or Combat build in my opinion, but any build works as long as you know how to play it. My current build is 17/13/21 with 3/3 Improved Sprint, 5/5 Elusiveness and Preparation to max my cooldown usage, I’ve also played with the generic SF ambush build and AR combat builds in the past and while both definitely have their uses, neither are as versatile as a Prep build for WSG.
A brief note of the most important skills to use and save to use at the right times (which will mostly be covered in the actual gameplay sections): Vanish, Sprint, Blind, Sap.
I have and highly recommend engineering as a profession as it allows for more crowd control options and AEs, something rogues… don’t get naturally.
The rogue’s role in WSG is much, much more than simply killing cloth. In fact, in any given game I’m pretty sure I end up using cc more than I kill any cloth wearers or just end up ignoring them completely in favor of the flag carrier. That isn’t to say that killing isn’t my job at all, it’s just by far not the only thing I do during a game. My group runs by basically the rule that all DPS classes are to be on offense while all healers are to be with our flag carrier – there are some minor alterations to this from time to time, but that’s usually how we run.
The two most common openings include either sending full offense, or sending three or four people to the flag room while the rest either intercept at the ramp or simply stay in the base for defense. The latter is usually done with a druid carrier, but it will also work if our team is heavy with warlocks, mages and hunters, i.e. built to kill. We use the full offense opening more often than not and when we don’t, we usually stay inside the base, not intercept on our ramp.
The two basic things in WSG is that one, I use the map often to check where my team is and where our flag is headed. I use the M key for the big map, but the minimap would also suffice. The second thing is that I generally do not fight where there is no important character – for example, I don’t fight midfield unless there’s a carrier midfield I’m killing or supporting.
Carrying the Flag
Whether a rogue should carry the flag is determined by the class makeup of the group inside and also if he’s the closest to the flag. If we don’t have the opposing flag and I’m close to it, my first priority is to go pick it up and get out. With 5.1k HP setup and Preparation for double cooldowns I’m more or less the best backup carrier in my group besides a druid if there’s not enough support for a warrior; other rogues that have far less hitpoints will pick up the flag, but not run it themselves unless they have to. One important note is that if I don’t have any cooldowns available, I don’t bother trying to carry over someone else unless there just isn’t a choice, or I’m picking it up to relay to someone.
Now – how to actually carry the flag. I take the tunnel route unless I know it’s filled with horde, if I know the boots are down, or if I’m going ramp to relay it to a druid. The boots help a lot unless I’m being escorted, so it’s usually negligent at the beginning of the game, but help tremendously later on. If everyone is behind you, I wait for them before I leave the tunnel. If everyone is already midfield or playing defense, I just go.
I usually run the flag with the support I have up to the point where my healing support will no longer suffice to keep up with their damage. At that point mages can either drop a nova, priest fear bomb or whatever, and I use both evasion and sprint to run it towards the base. Blind the most dangerous player(s) that get into your way – warlocks, mages, priests and hunters are probably the most dangerous, followed by shamans and warriors. This kind of run I’ve done many times, either with or without support, and with Prep can usually get it back into my base, where I pass it to a bear druid or warrior to hold.
A fun alternative is just to pop a Free Action Potion after I’m midfield and use both of my sprints. It gets dispelled and purged, but usually by the time they do that to me, my sprint has taken me far enough for them to take any further action. Against lesser skilled opponents it’s pretty much a free cap.
The “vanish trick” is something I’ve used since the beginning of WSG. Basically when I’m snared or rooted while carrying the flag, I use Vanish to get out of it. Yes, the flag drops, that’s why I pick it right back up and move on. There are other reasons I end up using vanish though, even when I’m not snared or rooted. It resets targeting, so anyone who has me targeted for any reason loses the target – including mages and warlocks that are casting spells. Also, some spells from those same two classes do not immediately do damage. For example, there is a delay between the casting of Death Coil and when the spell actually hits (and fears) me. Vanishing to avoid such spells requires pretty precise timing especially if the caster is not at maximum range. As hard as it could be to pull off, it’s easily worth it to avoid a death coil, or to avoid a 4k damage frostbolt.
Killing their flag carrier
This is my main job as a DPS class. After the initial offensive, we have a druid or warrior carry. When we get midfield everyone mounts except healers, if any, that are going to support the carrier, and pay attention to where the opposing carrier comes out (ramp, tunnel, or gy.) The offense then swarms the carrier while ours runs the flag back to base.
The first thing midfield is that if there’s an option to sap a healer at any point during the fight, I try to do it. The longer a healer can be taken out of the fight, the better the chance of the carrier dying is. Killing the healer is not always the best option!
There are usually three classes that main carry – druid, warrior and shaman. There are also three main types of escorts – with 0-2 healers, with 3+ healers, or full escort.
Shamans are the easiest carriers and usually one of the last resorts for Horde – they die just as easily as druid carriers, but without the versatility of shifting.
A druid carrier is annoying, but only if the druid is good. Most outrun their healers, which make them a fairly easy target to kill – if they’re already in cheetah form and running away, I use blind to stop them temporarily while everyone catches up and my energy and stealth refreshes. I usually start an opening after that with sprint and ambush, since I know the druid is immediately shifting to run. Since time is usually limited as healers will eventually catch up to the druid I try and frontload as much damage as possible, not just keep them stunlocked unless they’re in bear form.
While warriors without support are probably the easiest for anyone to kill – I just frontload damage onto him – warriors with ample support are likely the most difficult to take down for a rogue. The simple truth is, we need mages and warlocks to take them down if they are both well equipped and well supported. At that point it’s situational whether I keep trying to take down the warrior or I try and take down at least a healer or two – this usually depends on how much mana the healers still have and how many of them there are. With two healers, it could be possible that a sheep (or a sap) and rocket helm will last long enough for the warrior to die – with more, I want some healers dead.
Another side use for vanish is to get the added damage of an Ambush rather than Backstab with the same amount of energy. While this may be looked at as a waste of vanish in some cases, sometimes that extra 300-400 damage is the difference between 2 shotting and 3 shotting a casher (which takes another 4 seconds for energy regen without consumables and in many cases can be interrupted) or the difference between the flag carrier dying or living with 5% hp.
Supporting the Flag
I don’t usually do this as my main job is to kill their flag carrier, but there are times when I do have to support our carrier. Usually this is after our flag is already returned and the only thing left to do is escort our carrier into the base – this is only if people are still attacking them.
Rogues have basically three choices to support – sap, blind, gouge, and crippling poison. Sap is usually not an option, but when it is, use it. I usually reserve blind to especially dangerous players – trinket mages with berserker, people that are running ahead to try and grab the flag before we can cap it, etc. Gouge serves a similar purpose and is simply a shorter duration cc – but will usually suffice.
Tab-cripple is the best general support if the majority of the players trying to kill the carrier are melee. I just attack one until he’s crippled, then tab to the next target and do the same. Even if it’s a druid or shaman with the ability to cure poisons, the time between the poison hitting and their cure is usually long enough for our carrier to make a bit more distance.
Offense & Defense
Sometimes we fail to kill the flag carrier midfield, whether it’s because of a full escort or just a lucky druid. With DPS heavy group setups, this is a case that we want to try and avoid as then we rely solely on the speed of our offense, and when the opposing team has healers it’s difficult to down their carrier before ours gets found and killed. Standoffs are easier to deal with when we have at least two, three optimal, healers with the carrier in our base.
The most optimal setup is to have our healers with the flag carrier while all DPS classes go on offense. If this means 9 on offense and 1 on defense, then that’s still the optimal case – a DPS class is generally not going to save the flag carrier from two or three people trying to kill them, after all. A variation of this strategy is to have a single DPS class with the flag carrier, to allow the defense to kill the opposing offense easier.
And thus, my job when playing a rogue in these situations is to go on offense. There are two places we form up at – tier two of the base is the normal place, while forming up and going from the berserker hut also works to get everyone together. No one is to go jump in alone, not even stealthed for the most part as the rogue will often be caught by stray AEs.
Depending on their defense, there are two ways to kill the flag carrier. The first is to cc healers and focus solely on the flag carrier – this works if the amount of cc we can do is almost equal to their number of healers they have. If this is the case I usually sap a healer and rocket helm a priest, which gives enough time to then focus the flag carrier to death.
If there is, as often the case when the flag carrier makes it to their base, more than three healers, some of us focus on the healers while others focus on the carrier.
If our offense dies, I go on defense to take care of their offense before going back. If we send 7-8 on offense and somehow do not return the flag, often times they sent at least 4 or 5 on offense and our carrier would die without everyone helping.
If/when defense has to be played, remember that the faster you can pick off their offense, the more their DPS declines and the less chance the carrier has of dying. Due to their ability to chain and AE fear, I try and kill warlocks first, followed by mages. Trinket mages are still the top priority, but they can also be cc’d until the trinket and AP wear off. The harder the class is to kill, i.e. warriors, the less I try and kill them first.
Contributed by Haunted
The best talent builds for Arathi Basin, just like Warsong Gulch are either a Preparation or Combat build. I find Combat to be the best overall, and have respecced back to it, but maxing cooldowns is also extremely useful. Preparation allows for all abilities to be reset. While the most common usage is to reset the 5 minute cooldowns, remember that this can also reset kidney shot.
The most important skills I probably use in this particular battleground are Blind and Sap.
I highly recommend using engineering. I wasn’t convinced enough to drop one of my professions for it during the Warsong Gulch days, but it adds far more utility for the rogue in Basin than it does in Gulch, and that’s quite a bit. The uses for engineering are during assaulting and defending nodes and will be covered in those sections.
Remember the most important objective of this battleground: take and hold nodes. This means that my job isn’t to kill, it’s to take nodes, and keep people off the nodes. This obviously includes attacking and killing people on the nodes, but I switch targets often. Combo points are negligent, and so is finishing off any given player if your node is assaulted as a result of that tunnel vision.
Two of likely the most important things that I do in any given game: Use the map, and call out incomings to nodes. I tend to use the large map by pressing m, but the minimap if you shift and leftclick in the battleground works as well, so long as you pay attention to it. Calling incomings makes sure that others know of your situation and can use the map to decide whether they need to reinforce that node or not. These will be covered in a later section.
The first two minutes are typically the most crucial part of Arathi Basin for my team.
Openings depend on knowing what the opposing team is going to do; otherwise if you don’t know your opponent, it’s a guessing game. I personally believe in simply taking three nodes, period. Too many players worry about taking a specific node, such as the mill because “it’s the most strategic!” and try and attack it when we already have three, resulting in the loss of another node.
Any opening would work as long as you send the appropriate amount to the three nodes.
If I use a blacksmith opening, I send two to the stable and three to the mine or mill and the rest to the blacksmith. Usually the ones sent to the stable and mine/mill are feral druids and rogues, as they shine quite well in small fight situations yet their utility tends to decrease as the number of players fighting increase. Players that can AE and heal are sent to the blacksmith.
If I use a mine/mill opening, I typically send four or five to the mine, two the stables and the rest to the mill. This is because the Horde’s optimal node combination, the easiest for them to access and defend, are the farm, mill, and blacksmith, so assume that they will typically send a fair number to the mill. Again, rogues including myself typically stay at the stable or go to the mine. As it’s not guaranteed that they will attack mill instead of mine, having equal numbers at both sometimes is a safer strategy. Again, guessing game.
The stables usually do not see much action. There are a few times where I see Horde send three or four straight to stables, but if you call the incoming fast enough this will usually result in the stables being defended as it’s too far away for Horde to reinforce if a few of their attackers die.
The blacksmith usually sees the most action, but this action is more or less straightforward as it’s either just a huge fight, or a steamroll. If it’s a huge fight, your strategy is to kill the players that can use area effect abilities, and then try to cap.
The mine or mill is usually the place where I have to actually make decisions that can easily affect the outcome of the next several minutes of the game.
If there aren’t any enemies there is no reason for three people to stay and defend (ONLY AT THE BEGINNING!) I typically check the farm first. If there are one or two players defending it, assuming no warlocks, I can usually assault it, causing the horde to stop and defend it instead of reinforcing the blacksmith, resulting in us taking the blacksmith and sometimes even the farm as well. If there are too many defending farm, the best action is to reinforce the blacksmith to help take it.
If there are just as many horde as there are us, I call out the number we have there but typically kill them and cap.
If there are more of them than us, it’s time to survive and keep them from capping the node as long as possible until reinforcements can arrive. This means using sap, blind, gouge, sprint, vanish, and using and repeating every crowd control ability that I have as long as it keeps them from taking the node, and keeps me alive longer so they have to focus some attention on me. Two or three players can easily hold off four or five until reinforcements arrive, if played correctly.
General Attacking Strategy
This is done only when we do not have three nodes. We only tend to 4 or 5 cap if the opportunity arises, or we outmatch or outnumber our opponents. Some people say that attacking keeps them on the defensive and off-balance, I disagree; attacking is far more difficult than defending, and if we continue to attack after holding three nodes, we either leave one or more of our nodes weak, or we cannot send reinforcements in a reasonable amount of time to a node being hit.
I usually have three or four ways to attack, depending on the defense that the other side has put up. I also have several different jobs that I do depending on the situation.
A full zerg on a node, leaving two at each node for defense and sending everyone else to the node I call to attack, is usually called when we notice the defense tends to be cautious about leaving three or even four at some nodes for defense. My job during full zergs is to get rid of players that can use area effect abilities, usually mages and priests, and then try to cap.
A double attack leaves two at each node for defense and sending about five or six people to two different nodes, usually with a five or ten second lag between the two attacks. This is usually done when we notice that the defense tends to overreact to any node being attacked. We have one group attack first, and then the other group attacks a few seconds after when the enemy reinforcements go to the first node. The job for those players then is to survive while we take the node that has fewer defenders. My job here is pretty much the same as if it were a full zerg attack.
The last main type of attack is a nearly-full zerg on one node while two or three people crowd control assault a second. We usually do this when the defense tends to overzerg defensively, leaving one or two players to defend a node. Crowd control assaults are also doable with three defenders, although more difficult and more likely to fail depending on class setups. Rogues, especially ones with engineering (hint) are usually one of the players doing the crowd control assaults.
Assaulting During an Attack
During a full zerg, I usually try and kill players that can AoE and then try to cap. Since I’m often one of the first targets I try and leave the capping for others to do, but anyone that’s attacking a node should try to cap at some point if they aren’t being actively attacked. The same holds for a double-attack.
If the node we are attacking have less players than we send, I sometimes also ride past the actual node to crowd control their reinforcements. While a mage or hunter is typically better for this, if I can Sap, blind, and/or rocket helm or gouge reinforcements, that’s two or three people that fail to reinforce in time before we assault the node. Because the attacks typically initially outnumber the defense, stopping reinforcements from arriving usually leads to the node being contested. This is actually an extremely important strategy if it can be executed correctly. Being able to use the skills and CC up to 4-5 people, even for just a few seconds, can be the difference between an assault or not.
Crowd Control Capping
CC caps are fun. This is also where the rocket helm and mind control cap from engineering help tremendously.
This is highly dependent on the opposing race and class. Since I play Alliance I will focus on the Horde race/classes.
First of all, I’ve pretty much memorized what every class and race can be immune to in different forms. Rogues, warlocks and druids can break charm by their PvP insignias, and Undead as a whole can break it as well, so I don’t use mind control cap on them. Shamans in ghost wolf forms and druids in feral forms cannot be sapped. Warriors can break sap and rocket helm if they are in berserker stance. Mages with iceblock can break anything.
After knowing all of that, I look at the scoreboard to see if they have any potential stealth classes lurking around. If they do, I check out the node quickly with catseye goggles before trying to cc cap. Whether I attempt the cc cap depends on the classes at the node and how many are there. Two is easily doable unless one of them is a warlock. Three is a lot more difficult and usually I have someone that’s just as knowledgeable there as well with me.
Capping takes ten seconds. Even in the best case of sap, which it doesn’t always last the full fifteen seconds, you have five seconds after the initial sap to get your other cc(s) done and to cap. This also means blind lasts JUST long enough for you to cap, and any delay, even a split second will allow blind to break right before your capping is finished.
One important and also amusing thing to note is that a hunter’s trap, if the hunter is mind controlled, will hit his own faction. This means if you see a hunter defending, and you notice he has a trap up right beside another defender, you can use the mind control cap on the hunter and the trap will hit the other defender.
I typically sap mages, priests, rogues, shamans in caster form, druids in caster form, and warriors in battle or defensive stance. The same classes are also rocket helmed, although it can be used on feral forms and ghost wolf forms, so I usually save it for those.
I typically blind anyone else if neither my mc cap or rocket helm is up, but blind is typically more used as a backup or last resort.
I mind control cap anyone that cannot break it. Many times this means hunters because of the freezing trap, other times this means warriors. I’ll take the risk if we absolutely need to take a node and mc cap warlocks as well – they can control their pet under any other cc, but not when mind controlled.
General Defensive Strategy
For three nodes we typically have a minimum of three people at each node. This can vary depending on the situation and also our class setups, but three is a good starting point. Defending equals keeping the other team from capping the node. Period. That is my main job on defense. Not killing, not chasing after someone. Stopping them from taking the node. This also means I either stay at a node (static defense) or are in the range of one within a reasonable amount of time (mobile defense) I do not attack players in the middle of nowhere (stupidity).
Static defense means you stay at the node to defend it, and not stray from the node. I always stealth on static defense, it’s a given. If the number of attackers is equal or less than the number we have defending then I simply kill them off. If there are more attackers than there are defenders, my job is to delay them from capping as long as possible until reinforcements can arrive. Usually I do not pop out of stealth immediately; the more time I can buy our group, the better. Thus, often times I will wait until they are a few seconds into capping the node before attacking and forcing their attention onto me instead.
This is, again, where cc abilities come into play. Being able to keep several people off the flag for several seconds, even without AE abilities is extremely important. Evasion, Sprint and Vanish give me extra survivability.
Mobile defense are the players that aren’t at a node, but are between and in the range of two or three nodes, and can reinforce either or any of them in a reasonable amount of time if incoming is called. Mobile defense should always be players with epic mounts and should always be mounted unless they are currently defending a node.
I pay attention to enemy movements and to chat to find out where they are going to attack. I then look at the map to see if the number of incoming called is greater than or less than the number of defenders we have there. If it’s less, it’s likely a distraction so I stay put unless actual help is called for (i.e. there were also stealthed players there that were not visible when the initial incoming was called.) If it’s more, I ride over and defend.
Once we start outnumbering the enemy, I and the other mobile defense get out of combat, re-mount and ride back between the nodes. There is no need for me to stay when the remaining fight is 6v3, for example. Also, because their attackers are dead and are ressing, they are most likely going to attack a different node, and the faster I can reinforce a node that requires it, the better.
Getting out of combat and re-mounting is extremely important when the nodes you have are spread out and two are far from each other; for example, having a mine, stable, and mill combination usually means that the mine will be attacked after an attack on the mill fails.
The “2 to Win” Condition
This has nothing to do with class-specific but I thought I’d include it for fun anyways. I know, there might be mods that help with it, but blah I hate mods and addons.
Resource gain can be calculated depending on how many nodes both sides have. For example if we have 3 nodes and the horde has 2, we get 30 resources for every 20 they get. If we have 4 nodes and the horde has 1, we get 40 resources for every 10 they get.
This means we can calculate when we no longer “have” to hold three nodes to win and can mess around some, or be able to estimate what the ending score will be if the current node setup holds. Some of the more common “2-to-win” situations are 1200-800 and 1400-1100. Remember also that there’s also a minute lag between assaulting a node and when the node is actually taken, and during the assault, if it was originally a 3-cap, both sides gain resources at the same rate (20:20).