Warsong Gulch PvP Battleground Guide
Warsong Gulch is one of WoW's most iconic battlegrounds, featuring a 10v10 capture the flag match. While the battleground itself is simple, the simplicity and smaller group size leads to a deep and complex meta that really lets the PvP and individual play-making shine. A great player can be a huge influence in Warsong, which can be appealing for the players looking to engage in competitive PvP.
Warsong Gulch Overview
Warsong Gulch is perhaps the most iconic battleground in World of Warcraft. It is a 10 player battleground, where you can either queue up alone or with a group to join to help defeat the opposing faction. This is the truest form of competitive PvP in WoW Classic, and is easily the most organized and tactical as opposed to the chaos of open world PvP. To queue for Warsong, you need to visit a battlemaster, which are NPCs found in the major cities that are there to queue you for battlegrounds.
Warsong Gulch is a 10v10 capture the flag match that awards the win to the first team to capture the enemy flag three times. To capture a flag, you must retrieve the enemy flag from their base and return it to your own while your flag is still in your base.
The flags in Warsong are the most important aspect of the battleground as they are the main, defining objective. You can kill the enemy players dozens of times, but you will not win without capturing the flag. Each team starts with their respective flags in their respective bases, which can be taken by the enemy team. To take the enemy's flag, you just need to run up and click on it from within melee range. While holding the flag, you cannot mount, Stealth, or use immunities. If you are holding the enemy's flag, you need to run it back to your own team's base to "capture" it by running it on top of your team's flag spawn. The "flag spawn" refers to the starting location of the flag where it initially starts and will reset to. To stop someone who is holding a flag, they must be killed. If the carrier dies, the flag will drop on their corpse, and either their teammate can click the flag to pick it up and carry it or an enemy can click it to return it to their base at the spawn point.
Layout of Warsong Gulch
The map is split with the A Alliance base to the North and the H Horde base to the South. Both bases are essentially identical, with a graveyard where players of that faction always re-spawn, a tunnel going into the base in the center, and a ramp leading up to the base on the right. In front of the bases are two huts, with the "Zerker" buff on the left and the "Leaf" buff on the right inside the huts. "Zerker" gives you 30% increased damage for 1 minute while the Leaf gives you a buff that massively increases your health and Mana regeneration for a few seconds, topping you off. In the center of the map is the mid-field, often referred to as "Mid".
The map itself is not very complex by WoW standards, but is still important to know well. Communication is critical in battlegrounds; being able to accurately and concisely call where people are is incredibly important.
Class Roles in Warsong Gulch
Warsong is a simple concept, but its simple nature has led to a deep meta with many different strategies that teams can employ to try and win. One of the most appealing things about Warsong as a battleground is that every class serves a well-defined and needed purpose, meaning everyone has a place. The game itself is generally broken down into having offense and defense. The delicate balance between offense and defense is what makes the battleground so interesting and is one of the defining aspects of the meta. Every class has its place however, and part of being successful both in groups and while solo queuing is playing to your class's strengths.
Druids are the best flag carriers. A good restoration Druid that is geared defensively with lots of Stamina is a force to be reckoned with, and will be incredibly hard to pin down and kill. The combination of HoTs, Travel Form, Dire Bear Form, and the ability to remove roots and slows by shape-shifting is second to none when it comes to getting away cleanly from a bad situation.
Hunters are best when they can abuse their long range. This means specifically they are best at peeling and defending while either in Mid or your own base. Hunters should almost never be sent on offense since a good flag carrier will be running around inside their base constantly, meaning your Hunter will never be able to get shots off due to line of sight and dead-zoning. When placed defensively in Mid however, Hunters can abuse their long range combined with Concussive Shot to peel or rain down destruction on enemies from afar.
Mages are control experts while also being able to dish out excellent damage. This makes them perfect for peeling your flag carrier, since a single Mage using Cone of Cold, Frost Nova, and Frostbolt can be more effective than a healer in keeping your flag carrier alive, especially against multiple enemies at once. Mages are also almost required for team fights, and should always have a target Polymorphed to keep them out of the fight.
Paladins are excellent supports, and can either play with the offense or defense, depending on where they are needed the most. Either way, they can use their powerful cooldowns and heals to keep themselves and others alive. Blessing of Freedom is incredibly powerful for Warriors especially, and is often the difference between your Warrior being an unstoppable force of destruction or just a slowed melee that cannot reach its target.
Priests are one of the most versatile classes in Warsong and can always go where needed. Shadow Priests are excellent at team fighting, able to help burst targets down while keeping Shadow Word: Pain up to spread damage as well. Disc and Holy Priests have one of the best healing toolkits in the game, making them one of the best healers for team fighting, offense, and defense. Dispel Magic is an especially important spell that allows your Priest to keep everyone going by removing roots and other crowd control spells.
Rogues are assassins, meaning they are best suited for assassination. A great Rogue will not engage haphazardly, but will instead stalk their target, waiting for the right moment to take out a flag carrier or to get a clean kill when someone is alone. Having at least one Rogue stealthing around the map forces the enemy team to take extra precautions, and can easily force them to hold back two or more members on defense just to ensure the flag carrier does not get killed.
Like Paladins, Shamans are excellent supports in PvP. While Enhancement and Elemental can be useful for burst damage, a Restoration Shaman is much more useful when combined with a class like a Warrior where you can buff and heal them. Shamans are also especially useful in team fights due to their powerful totems and Chain Heal.
Warlocks bring powerful DoTs, some of the strongest single-target control, and powerful defensive abilities that allow them to self sustain better than most DPS. Because of this, Warlocks are perfect for controlling mid and for offense. A Warlock and Rogue combo has the power to keep multiple people controlled at once while killing a flag carrier, making them a deadly adversary. In team fights, Warlocks deal the best spread damage in the game with Corruption and Siphon Life, allowing them to help keep healers busy, while setting up for kills with Fear and Death Coil.
Warriors are juggernauts, the powerhouses of battlegrounds. Fights will often live and die with Warriors, since they possess the highest potential burst in the game on most targets. While Warriors are quite tanky and deal insane damage, they do not have much self healing and are severely lacking in mobility. This is made up for by always keeping a healer with your Warriors; a healer and Warrior paired together is one of the most dangerous combos in WoW Classic, prone to killing a team quickly if left unchecked. Warriors are best suited to bringing destruction as the core of your offense.
General Strategy for Warsong Gulch
As stated above, the basis of your general strategy in Warsong comes from separating your offense and defense. Most premade groups will assign people to each, and will either start the game by engaging in an all-out brawl mid to hopefully wipe the enemy team or will avoid fighting initially to grab the flag and start making their way back to their base. Once you have the enemy flag secured, then comes splitting your offense and defense.
For offense, your goal is to kill the enemy flag carrier. Depending on how you initially split up at the start, this sometimes means waiting in your own flag room from the start of the game to catch them when they come initially, or maybe waiting outside your base for once they have the flag.
It is usually easier to stop the enemy flag carrier before he enters his own base, where he has the home advantage. The main advantage of being in your own base is the graveyard, meaning dead teammates will revive right next to you every 30 seconds, putting any attackers on a clock to kill the enemy carrier before they get overrun.
It is still possible to kill the enemy flag carrier while inside his own base, but requires better setup and coordination. The key is to work together to strike at once, lining up CCs and cooldowns to either keep healers and other players out of the fight or to kill them and the carrier before anyone respawns.
Generally, the best classes for offense are Rogues, Warlocks, Warriors, and some sort of Healer to support them.
While offense is important, defense is also important, since a better defense means a better offense. If a team has a very skilled flag carrier, they might trust them to survive on their own while they send 8-9 players on offense for a quick kill.
There are three main options when you are holding the flag on defense: fight, run, or control. If you have Mages and Hunters on defense, you can use traps and other control spells to your advantage to make it incredibly hard for any enemy players to reach you. The best flag carriers use the map to their advantage, running around corners, up ramps, and basically kiting the enemy team in circles to avoid combat as much as possible. You will not die if they never attack you.
Lastly, you can choose to fight if you think you have the numbers. The down side of running is that it gives the enemy more time to get more people on offense. Some times it is simply better to just fight if you have the numbers advantage, hopefully wiping them and recovering before reinforcements arrive.
A wipe on defense can be huge since it allows more of your team to switch offense, putting pressure on the other team while knowing your carrier will be safe for at least a few minutes.
There is no single answer for what the best split between offense and defense is. Every team will need to make their own decision based on their various players and skill levels. A team with a great flag carrier might elect to leave less people on defense, since they are confident in his abilities, but a team with excellent Rogues might choose to trust in their ability to assassinate while fortifying their own carrier. To really get a feel for what works best, you just need to play games. The more you play, the more you will begin to develop the strategy that works best for you.
For premade teams specifically, the best option is to try and play with the same people consistently. As people become more used to each other, calls will get better, play will improve, and the group will start to know how everyone is thinking. Familiar groups that consistently play together can beat out better groups of people who have never played together. In short, macro play is incredibly important, sometimes even more so than individual skill.
Warsong Gulch Reputation
There are several reasons to do Warsong Gulch. While most people like to do it for the relatively efficient honor gain, There is a repution associated with Warsong called the Warsong Outrider for the Horde and the Silverwing Sentinels for the Alliance. Both factions offer the same competitive gear options at revered and honored, which are listed below.
|Item||Required Reputation||Item Type|
|Rune of Perfection||Friendly||Trinket|
|Rune of Duty||Friendly||Trinket|
|Protector's Sword||Revered||1H Sword|
|Dryad's Wrist Bindings||Exalted||Bracers|
|Forest Stalker's Bracers||Exalted||Bracers|
|Outrider's Silk Leggings||Exalted||Leggings|
|Outrider's Leather Pants||Exalted||Leggings|
|Outrider's Lizardhide Pants||Exalted||Leggings|
|Outrider's Chain Leggings||Exalted||Leggings|
|Outrider's Mail Leggings||Exalted||Leggings|
|Outrider's Plate Legguards||Exalted||Leggings|
In addition to the gear options above, there are several consumables availble that include potions, bandages, and food that are all only usable inside inside Warsong Gulch or battlegrounds in general. There is also the Warsong Battle Tabard which is available at exalted.
- 07 Dec. 2019: Guide added.
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