War College - Arathi Basin

General Discussion
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This week, the topic of discussion is:

Arathi Basin - Which strategies are most effective in this battleground for both rated and un-rated play? What tips, tricks and tactics have you discovered? What common mistakes have you witnessed?

The battlefields of World of Warcraft are littered with the bones of those who have become casualties in the ongoing conflict between the Horde and the Alliance. You do not need to become one of them. One of the keys to victory is knowledge, and that is where the World of Warcraft War College enters the picture. In these discussions between players, you can learn and share strategies with other players to improve your tactics and improve your odds of emerging victorious from the field of battle.

Are you a veteran Gladiator with countless victories tallied? Are you new to World of Warcraft and striving to improve your PvP skills? In this weekly feature, we invite players of all skill levels to ask questions, share tips and tactics, and join a conversation dedicated to surviving and thriving in World of Warcraft PvP.

Don’t forget to up-vote forum posts that are on-topic and helpful!

War College Rules:

  • Stick to the rules. All posts should abide by the forum code of conduct and these War College forum thread guidelines. Feel free to disagree with each other, but please do so respectfully. When you express opposing opinions, focus on the idea, not its author, their rating, or perceived skill level.
  • Be constructive. The purpose of this thread is to share effective tactics and strategies; to adapt, overcome and become a better player based on current conditions. Claiming that a class, comp or strategy is overpowered isn’t conducive to learning better play and tends to just derail the discussion.
  • No soapboxes, please. This thread is for the community to discuss strategies and tactics amongst themselves, not to push individual opinions about game balance or design.
  • Please limit conjecture. Theorycrafting definitely has its place, but it’s best to keep the discussion focused, on-topic and practical.
  • Important: Please provide explanations and be prepared to provide evidence. These threads exist to elevate the level of strategic discussion on the forums. When appropriate, please provide examples illustrating tactics or techniques you believe to be effective. When using videos please post time stamps to help direct people to the specific points in the action to which you’re referring.
  • Ask questions! These threads aren’t just for experienced players, but also players who are learning the ropes or want to improve their skills. On the same token, don’t attack other players for asking questions.
Basics: The objective here is to hold as many bases as possible (out of five total), for as long as possible. There are 15 people on each side. That said, you only need to hold three bases to win, so it's generally safer to grab the first three you can and just defend them. However, as other posters have pointed out, you should be aware that you can lose bases, and be prepared to react to that. If you lose one, don't spend the rest of the game trying to take that one back if there are other, less defended options.

All interactions with the flags are channeled, and get interrupted by any "active" damage(dots/passive AoEs like DnD don't). When you tag a flag, you have to wait a minute before you start gaining resources. Also, a flag that's in conflict has no active graveyard. If you die there, you'll be set elsewhere to rez.

As Always: COMMUNICATE! It doesn't matter if you're trying to take a flag or defend one, make sure you keep your team in the loop. If you need help, let them know. If you see a base empty, yell it out. And come up with a plan to start with. It doesn't have to last long, but you don't want to lose a match because no-one tagged your closest base (trust me on this one).

Defense: You always want at least 2 people at a node you're defending. This protects against one person ninjaing a node by CCing you and grabbing it while you watch (for example, a rogue sapping you, or a ele shaman knocking you off LM). It's also generally advisable to try to keep one healer at each node if you can, since it'll allow you to hold out for reinforcements longer. That said, offense will generally attack one node in strength at a time, so healers should be ready to move if need be, especially if there aren't many on your side.

For defending the flag, remember that killing people is secondary to protecting the flag. It's important to kill them off (since that means they're no longer a threat), but it's more important to stop a cap. If you see someone trying to take a flag you're defending switch to them immediately and hit them with something direct. It doesn't have to be powerful. For example, holy nova. Furthermore, if you do get killed, you can move your ghost a few steps closer to the flag. Don't go too far (since you'll leave the rez area), but a couple extra steps can mean the difference between barely stopping a tag in time, and losing the base. Also, don't give up if they do manage to tag your flag. You still have a chance to kill them and take it back, or to ninja it back while they're distracted.

Finally, if you see the other team leave a base empty to attack one of yours, it can be worth it to go tag that flag. It can work as a great distraction to force them to quit the attack, or it can serve as a replacement if you end up losing the one they attacked. This is a bit risky, so I wouldn't recommend it to people who aren't that experienced at AB.

Offense: First off, never fully abandon a base. If your team is going after a third base, and you're the last one left, don't leave. If you lose a base you already have in order to gain another one, then it's not that much of a gain. Secondly, remember that the objective is the flag, not the defenders. You always want to look for the least defended node, and attack there. If there aren't many by the time you get there, kill them asap and tag the flag. If it'll take time, try to kite/CC the defenders and tag the flag. Even if you can't get them all CCed or out of range, you can sometimes grab a flag in the middle of a fight. You don't want to just sit there spamming it while you're being attacked, but if you notice you're not being attacked and are close to the flag, it's often worth it to try once. After you tag a flag, you can then work on killing off the defenders. The longer the fight goes on without the flag being tagged, the harder it is to take a base, since the defenders have more time to react to the attack, and have a graveyard that's close by. Once the flag is successfully assulted, then you can focus on killing the remaining defenders. Be aware that you should keep an eye on the flag, since they'll likely try to ninja it out from under you.

Another thing, if you notice that a base is empty, it can often be worth it to try to take with one or two people. That'll allow you a chance to take it without draining the rest of your defense/offense, and will be less likely to be noticed by the other team. This is especially true for rogues and druids, since you can stealth into a base, and CC the defender if there's only a few there.

Faction Note: Horde will generally get to the BS flag faster than alliance due to the map design. If you're an Alliance DK or a Shaman, be sure to throw up your appropriate water walking ability. If possible, get a paladin with crusader aura to come with you (especially shamans). This can get you enough of a movement advantage to get to the BS flag in time to prevent the first tag by Horde. You can then leverage this into a simple delaying tactic (if you're not in force) or a full take over (if you are). While delaying them a little may seem pointless, remember that bases can go back and forth. If it's a close game, then an extra 30 seconds longer for them to take BS could be all it takes for you to eke out a victory.
Call out incoming attacks. This, quite simply, CANNOT be stressed enough.

Beware of enemy rogues. If there are any in the match, you must stay away from the flags.

This is because if you stand near the flag, a rogue can sap you and assault your flag before it breaks. If you trinket/zerker-rage sap, he'll simply blind you and cap it or run away and try again when the diminishing returns on sap expires, so stay away from the flag to prevent him from sap-assaulting (if he has to move a good distance from the flag, then he won't be able to assault it in time). Letting him assault it is BAD, a single rogue can stall a single person, or even up to three people long enough for that node to cap or his allies to arrive and kill you.
Do not leave a node undefended.
Do not fight on the roads. Fight at the nodes. Fight on the flag at the nodes.
Call incoming if defending.
Do not trickle in 1 or 2 at a time to nodes with 3 or more defenders.
If stables or farms is taken by the other faction, skip them and ride to gold mine unless only 1 or maybe 2 defenders at stables or farm.
If you're defending, don't day dream or get caught up watching other nodes, keep alert. Stealth caps suck.
let the alliance zerg lm.. and lose the game while we take 3 bases and defend farm from BS.

My old strat in the early days of honor teams went as follows. Take farm, lm and bs, leave four at each node.. 3 sit at the little xrs between farm, bs and the hill to lm.. call incs where needed.. and you win.
Always call out incoming attacks and how many! Take the time to type it all out even if you are getting your butt kicked!
Most Important Rule: Never invade anything alone.
03/23/2012 08:25 PMPosted by Mekhasingh
Most Important Rule: Never invade anything alone.
That is my total pet peeve! ><
03/23/2012 08:16 PMPosted by Daxxarri
What common mistakes have you witnessed?

Thinking that AB is going to be fun is a mistake. :P

Well it was for me! Grinding for these shoulders back in the day was so torturous that it turned me off PvP very early on in my WoW life.

But for an actual mistake: Don't go off alone! You will die in vain!
03/23/2012 08:25 PMPosted by Mekhasingh
Most Important Rule: Never invade anything alone.

Unless you're a stealth class unless you're actually really good to do it alone.

but nevertheless

03/23/2012 08:25 PMPosted by Mekhasingh
Most Important Rule: Never invade anything alone.

Work as a team and communicate.

Communicate is the key of all battlegrounds.

Defending might be boring but you still get more honor points just by defending.
If you're defending alone going against a zerg. You can run away until reinforcement shows and try to recap it.
if you are running a premade, then you can mount a solid defense, and it might make sense just to take and hold three. but for those of us less adept at PvP, the 'take and hold 3' strategy is flawed...you gotta spread out to three points, and the enemy can simply choose which base they want to zerg, since they dont have to worry about losing anything else if you are just going to sit on three bases.
it might sound backwards, but the less geared/talented a player is, the more aggressive they should be. the trick is to take three but don't stop there; try to take four. you don't have to actually take four, you just have to try...keep the other side mindful of their own defense to prevent them from committing fully to taking one of your three. if they do take one of your three, but lose a base in the process, they still behind. if you just sitting and holding three, they choose where the fighting will be. make them fight on their flags, not yours.

so, yeah, for you players out there (like me) who are not the cream of the crop at PvP, be more aggressive.
Jump off the Lumber Mill with slowfall on.
03/23/2012 08:25 PMPosted by Mekhasingh
Most Important Rule: Never invade anything alone.

No, the most important rule is don't let them cap your nodes.* This usually involves defending said nodes.

*This is invalid if the opposing team is zerging. Zerging teams must be dealth with by capping everything else, as they're not defending, forcing them out of the zerg.
Players need to go into each and every Battleground with a positive mind-set and have an understanding of teamwork. It may just be a place for players to grind honor but you will accumulate honor points so much quicker if you win. For Arathi Basin especially, the team is heavily reliant on calling out incomings to make quick decisions on the next move.

Eg. If you and 2 other players are at Stables and 3 enemies are heading towards Stables from the Mine, just a quick "3 ST from GM" would be sufficient to let the others know where opposing teams members are heading.
Something else that players always stress about is fighting on the roads. Players should always fight near the flags at all times. Whether you are defending a node or attacking.

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