Jan 02 2013


Note: This spell was removed from the game in patch 6.0.2 for being too complex/convoluted.  Considering that I was able to make an entire blog post just out of explaining what one single spell did, I think this is a reasonable claim.


Symbiosis is a new ability granted to the Druid class in Mists of Pandaria.  When cast on another player by a Druid, both players are given access to one of each other’s spells for an hour, depending on both the druid’s spec and the recipient’s role.  The spells exchanged are not exactly like their original forms, but are similar (read the tooltips for details).  Both players still retain their granted abilities, as well (eg, you don’t lose spell reflect just because the druid gained it).

Because I often see people who aren’t sure what class or spec grants what (both the giver and recipient’s specs influence what abilities are exchanged) — including many druids — I thought I would offer a summary for people to use as a reference.  I have sorted by class for convenience:


Gives to Druid
Redirect to cat
Feint to bear
Evasion to tree
Cloak of Shadows to moonkin

Receives from Druid

Death Knight

Gives to Druid
Death Coil to cat
Bone Shield to bear
Icebound Fortitude to tree
Anti-Magic Shell to moonkin

Receives from Druid
Wild Mushroom: Plague as Frost & Unholy
Might of Ursoc as Blood


Gives to Druid
Shattering Blow to cat
Spell Reflect to bear
Intimidating Roar to tree
Intervene to moonkin

Receives from Druid
Stampeding Shout as Arms & Fury
Savage Defense as Protection


Gives to Druid
Divine Shield to cat
Consecration to bear
Cleanse to tree
Hammer of Justice to moonkin

Receives From Druid
Wrath as Retribution
Barkskin as Protection
Rebirth as Holy


Gives To Druid
Clash to cat
Elusive Brew to bear
Fortifying Brew to tree
Grapple Weapon to moonkin

Receives From Druid
Bear Hug as Windwalker
Entangling Roots as Mistweaver
Survival Instincts as Brewmaster


Gives to Druid
Feral Spirit to cat
Lightning Shield to bears
Spiritwalker’s Grace to tree
Purge to moonkin

Receives From Druid
Solar Beam as Elemental & Enhancement
Prowl as Restoration


Gives to Druid
Frost Nova to cat
Frost Armor to bear
Iceblock to tree
Mirror Image to moonkin

Receives from Druid
Healing Touch


Gives to Druid
Soul Swap to cat
Life Tap to bear
Demonic Circle: Teleport to tree
Unending Resolve to moonkin

Receives From Druid


Gives To Druid
Dispersion to cat
Fear Ward to bear
Leap of Faith to tree
Mass Dispel to moonkin

Receives From Druid
Tranquility as Shadow
Cyclone as Holy & Discipline


Gives to Druid
Play Dead to cat
Ice Trap to bear
Deterrence to tree
Misdirection to moonkin

Receives from Druid


As a tip:  The new abilities will appear in their owner’s spellbooks under the name of the ability itself, not under “Symbiosis.”  If you put the gained ability on your action bar, it will stay there even when you do not have the buff for future (when you do not have the buff, it will say Symbiosis instead of the ability name on your bars), which can be helpful if you receive it regularly in your raid or because your spec grants a particularly appealing ability to druids in return.
Aug 12 2010

Shared Bloodlust & Shaman Impact

In Cataclysm, the mage class will be receiving an ability that duplicates Blood Lust called Time Warp. Blood Lust (for confusion’s sake, also known as “Heroism”) is such a strong ability that very few raids today are without a shaman, and many raid leaders consider the ability a necessity. Currently, no other class – except maybe a paladin – finds itself in the same position of being mandatory in a raid

As a raid leader (and also as a person who loves shaman enough to have three of them), I am very excited with this change. It is a royal pain to feel obligated to scrounge up an obligation shaman for just so you can have the edge on DPS race fights. Sometimes that means taking someone I don’t like or who doesn’t know the fights or who is undergeared, or it can mean excluding someone I really like and who is a good player but doesn’t bring what we “need.” I would love the additional level of flexibility to know that I could choose people based on more criteria than a single unique buff and not feel I was willfully gimping my raid if I choose another class for another reason.

However, this change is highly controversial among shaman, as many of them very much enjoy their status as the sole provider of a very critical buff. Shaman everywhere are concerned that in Cataclysm they will lose their raid spots to mages who put out higher personal DPS once raid leaders are no longer forced to chose them.

Although I can understand why this makes shaman players apprehensive, to me this is an obvious case of “Chicken Little syndrome.” Looking at the current scenario with other duplicated buffs, we have yet to see classes excluded from raiding rosters simply for being redundant (even if the other class does more personal damage). No raid dropped all their warriors because rogues can duplicate the buff or abandoned shadow priests because moonkins also provide the same spell hit. In reality, even if Blood Lust really was the only reason shaman were getting raid spots, you’d find raids taking one obligatory shaman healer and leaving the hybrid-taxed DPS shaman at the door – something which doesn’t happen now. Amusingly, if raid leaders excluded every class that didn’t have a unique buff to offer, then every roster would consist of one shaman and 24 empty spots, because every single raid buff and debuff in the game except bloodlust is already provided by more than one class.

Raid leaders have to fill the roster with people. With only 10 classes to fill 25 raid spots, even after every buff is covered there will still be extra spaces. What’s more, duplicate buff coverage is actually good because it provides a safety net for absences, deaths, phasing and range checks. The point of this change is to give raid leaders flexibility to choose good players or their friends and not get stuck with that atrocious mage just because the raid really need scorch and he’s the only option. If a shaman (or other class) is a good player and a nice person, there’s always going to be a spot in raids, even if every utility they provide can be (or is) covered by someone else, even if some other class does more damage than you. (If you’re a jerk and people are itching to replace you with another class and only haven’t because they need your buff, well, then, that’s a problem with the player, not the buff)

It’s also not insignificant to point out that shaman bring a lot of other abilities and buffs to the table besides ‘lust. The sheer quantity is overwhelming: We offer spell critical strike chance bonus for the raid, a spell damage buff for the raid, spell haste for the raid, melee haste for the raid, an attack power buff for the raid, a strength & agility buffs for the raid, an armor buff for the raid, a clone of Blessing of Wisdom to provide mana-per-five for the raid, a healing stream totem for continuous raid-wide healing, a tremor totem for breaking fears (unique, no less), a grounding totem for absorbing dangerous spells (also unique), magic resistances of all varieties, a ranged interrupt that is off the GCD and on a short cooldown, the ability to remove debuffs from our raidmates and the ability to purge buffs from our enemies. While some of these abilities are spec-specific, most of these can actually be offered by any shaman in some form or another. Additionally, shaman have the flexibility to provide ranged DPS, melee DPS, or healing, a flexibility that can also make shaman highly desirable in competitive raids that like to fine-tune their roster on a per-encounter basis. It is worth noting, as well, that shaman share their armor class with only hunters, and if you’re elemental or resto, your loot is exclusive to you; this makes shaman a good pick for raids wanting balanced loot distribution to help the raid gear up faster.

That’s a lot of very good reasons to bring a shaman before Bloodlust or personal DPS is even considered.

Shaman are not Bloodlust-bots. We are not one-trick ponies. We’re a great class that offers a lot of buffs, abilities and utility to our raids, and we will continue to do so in Cataclysm.

Jul 13 2010

Nostalgia Gives People Rose-Tinted Glasses

I see a lot of requests on the official Suggestion forums asking for Blizzard to make special servers with the time rolled back to Classic or Burning Crusade. These requests often come with sharp critiques of the current expansion(s), going as far as to accuse them of “ruining WoW.” I see this even more with Cataclysm looming, where some of the quests and zones responsible for our fondest WoW memories will be going away.  And while I will miss those reminders of early WoW, largely I think nostalgia gives people rose-tinted glasses.

I remember classic WoW.

I remember because there was not much to do at 60, Blizzard drew out the leveling process by filling it full of tedious “busy work” that was designed to be time consuming but without the advantage of being more fun or interesting or even having better rewards.  They did this by doing things like sending you running (literally) all the way across the world to talk to someone, only to have them send you back again.  To further this goal, travel was intentionally made slower than hell.  You didn’t get your first mount until level 40 and even then it was the slow one.  People think it’s “too easy” that we get our mounts earlier and cheaper now?  Well, I’ll counter that my gaming experience was not enhanced, nor did I become a better player, from the “challenge” of running the full length of Azeroth on foot.

I remember having to sit at the computer through long taxi trips because you had to reboard the bat at every flight stop, which was aggravated by long, inefficient travel paths that often circled back on themselves or took long detours.

I remember if you talked a friend into joining the game to play with you, well, you better make a new toon to play with him because it’s going to be months and months before he catches up with your main… if he doesn’t get burnt out trying to do so and quit before then.  And boy, you better hope you like that class you’re leveling as much as you did when you made it, because if you have any semblance of a life, it’s unlikely you’ll have the time or energy to reroll after you’ve hit the level cap.

I remember doing long quest chains or completing arduous journeys only to be rewarded with a [white] item or something absurd like a +spirit 2h axe.  Some slots, like trinkets and necklaces, were just very hard to find in general.  I began raiding, as a rogue, with the +dodge Alterac Valley pvp trinket and the damage absorption one from Araj the Summoner because little out there was better.

I remember the amount of crap you had to carry back then.  Everyone’s bag space was filled up by reagents, specialty tools and class-unique items, not to mention materials needed for professions.  Of course, many common items only stacked in tiny quantities, if at all.  Many of your bag slots were also permanent inhabited by other crucial items like keys. Forget even carrying fun items like pets or more than one mount, which originally occupied bag slots unlike today.  And professions?  I remember items that gave you bonus to +skinning but were not skinning knives so you had to carry both, and mining picks that you could not mine with.  I remember when you had to keep every level of enchanting rod.  Of course, you probably never used those low-level enchants anyway because the profession UI didn’t used to have a search feature to find them even if you wanted to.

I remember missing entire dungeons leveling up, or else having to wait until everything was grey or green so three of us could underman the place, because it was next to impossible to find groups with the laughable LFG chat. Additionally, if you weren’t part of the first pack of people to hit 60, it was really hard to even find people to do “end game” dungeons as well; after so many 45 minute Baron runs, attunement chains, fire resist farming, or just from running them a million times because there wasn’t much else to do, everyone would rather eat glass than visit those places again to help you.

And I remember when running a single dungeon a full evening’s commitment, and even then you often didn’t finish.  I remember that it took a significant portion of time to traverse the map to get to their locations because summoning stones didn’t exist, and once there you could expect to spend four or five hours inside, much of that time spent being lost or mindlessly killing (or rekilling after they respawned) packs of trash.  Worse yet, we had to run some of them (like BRD) many, many times to get the gear and attunements and keys we needed before we could even think about doing cooler things.

I remember the ungodly long run back to Blackrock Mountain after a wipe.  Ask yourself, is it challenging to waste a quarter of your raid time because the run back after a wipe takes ten minutes, or is maybe just frustrating for no good reason?  Blackrock wasn’t the only offender; I remember dozens of other places where the nearest graveyard, flightpath, inn or mailbox was obnoxiously far away for no apparent reason.  You spent more time being inconvenienced by little things than actually playing the parts of the game that were fun.

I remember raiding was the only way to better yourself at 60, and unless you found a (large!) guild to do that with, it was farming twilight’s hammer in Silithus or grinding undead in Eastern Plaguelands to do, and that was pretty much it.  Practically every epic in the game was only available through devoted raiding.  There were no crafted or reputation based ones that a dedicated person could work towards on their own with effort.  If you didn’t have time to raid or know enough people, you might as well just cancel your subscription once you hit 60.  There were few solo activities, no dailies, no achievements, no titles, no cool rewards to unlock.

And for every person I hear pine for classic raiding, I remember a dozen people who swore if they ever saw lava again it would be too soon.  People frequently described Molten Core with the same adjectives they might use to talk about a kick to the groin.  I remember raids being a logistical nightmare to wrangle 40 people, although this was partly made easier by the fact that half of them only had to be “warm bodies” and there wasn’t really any need to contribute more than that.  Difficulty was often related to abhorrent resistance gear checks, aggro problems from white damage, or the aforementioned logistic struggles, rather than impressive and challenging strategies requiring teamwork and skilled execution.

I remember armor pieces, including class sets, being itemised as if they let a monkey pull random stats out of a hat.  Holy paladin wearing agility or a warrior with spirit?  Of course.  You wore armor with stats that were useless to you, because that’s all there was.  Dungeon sets had +armor bonuses, whether you were a tank or a healer or a mage, and nothing was oriented towards a particular spec or playstyle or role.

I remember most classes only had one spec they could play on for PvE and many of those being just one trick ponies.  If you were a shaman, you were resto and it was just because your raid needed you to drop mana tide for the real healers.  Rogues were combat, warriors were tanks, and druids could do a wide variety of things poorly.  Shadow priest?  Ret paladin?  In PvE?  You’re joking, right?  Of course, the revelation that the class you picked may be laughably bad would often only be discovered after you’ve already invested months of work into getting it to the level cap.  Surprise!

I remember when talent trees were littered with stupid talents like rogue’s (original) throwing specialization or parry for hunters, or were totally schizophrenic like shaman’s enhancement tree where you would take absurd talents to improve your shield block because it was, ironically, a prerequisite to the tier that taught you to use two handed weapons.  Even if a particular talent tree had avoided containing useless talents, there was no guarantee it would be a balanced and playable spec choice.

I remember when there were no mage tables, soulwells, or summoning portals, and we brought those classes so they could spend the first thirty minutes of our raid just making water and cookies or summoning people one by one.  Mages were glorified venting machines, warlocks summonbots.

I remember when HoTs didn’t stack and only one healer in the raid could use them.  I remember when they increased the boss debuff limit from 8 to 16, but people had to be careful what they put on the boss lest it push off something more important.  I remember being a rogue who used sharpening stones instead of poisons for that reason.  I remember five minute paladin blessings.  I remember when hunters couldn’t trap in combat and feign death killed them if they did it for too long.  I remember when group buffs and max rank spells could only be learned from raid-drop books.

I remember before Guild banks and linked auction houses.  I remember nicknames like “Lagrimmar” and being nearly incapable of playing in those cities on even the newest machine due to the horrible crowding and resulting server latency.

I remember being so poor at 60 because there were no dailies to balance out my gold loss from raiding repair bills.  I had no epic horse because the only way to get one was to spend my precious little time in-game grinding mob after mob after mob for coins or playing ebay on the auction house just to get enough money to buy it.  My epic PvP mount sat in my bank until Burning Crusade, when I could finally afford to learn it.

I remember waiting hours and hours to get a single battleground match – if I was lucky enough to get one at all; I also remember sometimes logging off after hours of playing and never seeing the match pop.

I remember each faction arguing – justifiably — that the other had an edge in PvE and/or PvP because they didn’t even have access to the same classes, buffs and abilities, including staple buffs like Kings, Might and Wisdom.

I remember when you had to install addons to get many things that are base functionality now, like more than one action bar, auto-loot, scrolling combat text, and all the other great addon features that WoW took and made standard, including snazzier things like boss warnings, voice chat, threat management, instance maps, and gear-set management.  I remember the original chat window and auction house interface. I remember before you could shift-click links of quests and items into chat and before you could track quests on the side of your screen.  I remember the time before target-of-target.  I remember when they added the “dressing room” and the ability to buyback things you’d accidentally sold.

That’s not to say classic WoW wasn’t fun.  It very much was and we wouldn’t have stuck around if it wasn’t.  By pointing out the negatives, I’m not denying all the positives, too: The communities were smaller and more tight-knit. End game wasn’t so much of a gear-grind.  Getting a level felt like an achievement, and not just one minus on the “needed until 80” race, and hitting the cap was something to be really proud of.  Epics really were epic.

But the point is that as time passes, we remember these nice things we may have lost, but often overlooked how much really, really positive stuff we have gained, and all the great refinement on gameplay and the many additional features that have really enhanced our gaming experience.  I’m not saying I hate classic WoW, I’m saying – Wow!  Look at how far we’ve come!

Overall, the main problem with vanilla WoW was that it was stagnant.  It took a lot of time to reach the end, but once you did, there were only so many things you could do until you finished all there was to do, which wasn’t hard to do before long.  After that point, it was boring and it caused a lot of disinterest from people who had up until that point invested a lot into the game.  The only solution to this was to add more stuff, which Blizzard did and continues to do every time the content gets tired.  Do we miss the old content and some of the great things that were a part of it?   Sure.  But, at the end of the day, it seems fairly obvious to me that we’re where we are because of necessity to keep this game alive and compelling.  Demands for classic servers and critiques of the concept of expansions are shortsighted because they ignore this very critical fact.  Even if you’re one of those people who pines for the original game, you have to acknowledge all the positive changes and additions that Blizzard has made over the years.

Jul 09 2010

Tziva’s “Not Quite Right” Guide To Battlegrounds

In World of Warcraft, player verses player (PvP) can be defined in many complicated layers.  In the simplest terms it just means killing the other player, but in the realms of Azeroth, the venues where it occurs can mean that PvPing often involves a lot more than just mowing down a lot of enemies.

You should know that venturing into battlegrounds the first time is super intimidating if you have no PvP experience.  You can negate this by reading some strategy guides and replacing your nervousness with confusion.  Or, you can just go in, copy other players until you kinda figure it out, and have a good time doing it.

But if you do want a guide, there are hundreds out there on how to PvP in WoW: how to kill the other guy as swiftly as possible, how to maximise your class abilities, how to win battlegrounds the most efficiently, overviews of PvP etiquette, and discussions of strategy.  This is not one of those guides.  Or maybe this is all of those guides.  Mostly this is my own guide: one part fun, one part silly, one part useful.

Basic Tips For Everyone

•  PvP is not always about killing your enemy.  It is also about crowd controlling, stunning, incapacitating, distracting, kiting and disorienting them.  Be smart and know when it’s better to stun someone and move on to something more important rather than always staying for the killing blow.

•  Communicating in /bg is paramount.  Call out when enemies are about to attack an objective (resource node or flag), where the flag carrier is headed or hiding, or where you are heading with the flag.  Be brief and clear; avoid chatspeak but do familiarise yourself with battleground-relevant acronyms.

•  Become familiar with your “get Away” abilities, like Blink, Sprint, Vanish, Disengage, Earthbind, etc.  Always have a plan of action for escaping a fight you know you will lose.  Some of these abilities will clear debuffs or movement impairing effects and others you will need to pair with another ability.

•  Kill healers first.  Kill healers first.  Kill healers first.  If you can’t do that: crowd control, stun, fear, incapacitate, interrupt, knockback, relocate or distract the healer and keep them away from their target.  By the way, kill the healer first.  They should always be your primary focus target as long as they are nearby.

•  Know when to use your keyboard and when to use your mouse.  The usefulness of keybinds in PvP can’t be emphasised enough.  PvP is largely about quick thinking and fast reaction times, and keybinds are pretty much the only way to do this.  On the same token, get used to mouse movement because keyboard turners are at a huge disadvantage.  You can also do things with your mouse like jump while running, turn around and instant-cast something, land facing forward and keep running without missing a beat.

•  In PvP, instants are awesome because battlegrounds are often high movement and you don’t have time to stop long enough to cast a big nuke or giant heal.  Next best is things with a quick cast time.  Not only do they make it so you don’t need to be a sitting duck for as long, but they a lot harder to catch with an interrupt or silence.

•  Heals, dispels and cleanses are a big deal in battlegrounds.  They can often make or break a game.  If you really love DPS and hate playing as support, then go ahead and stick to that, but a truly good PvPer will know when to use any heals or dispel in their arsenal, either on yourself or on your teammates.  It is often better to heal, even in DPS gear and spec, if there are no other healers around to help your teammates, or if you think it might be more advantageous to just heal yourself while you wait for reinforcements to arrive.

•  One really important thing in pvp is to know when to walk away and how to pick your fights.  Your teammates (and your enemies) will often be prone to stopping to fight anyone they see, even if killing that person won’t aid the objectives or there is no way they will be able to kill that person in a timely fashion.  Don’t get in heated one-on-one battles while your team is off doing something else, don’t stop to fight people in the middle of the map for no reason, and don’t engage in a fight you know you can’t win unless there is some legitimate strategy to it (ie, distracting the enemy).  If you avoid this, you’ll not only be a better player but you’ll also find yourself actually winning more games.

•  Using PvP gear in PvP makes a larger difference than a newcomer might expect.  Health and resilience impact your survival just as much as smart gameplay.  If you have nothing else, fly over to Wintergrasp and buy the heirloom PvP trinket until you play enough games to buy youself a whole set.  Even if you have a really good PvE piece, it is often still better to use a lower quality PvP piece in that slot.

•  Learn how to use terrain, range and line of sight to increase your survivability.  This takes practice and a different mindset than you may have from PvE, but it will help you a lot if you master it.

•  Nameplates are very useful in battlegrounds, both for watching your teammate’s health and for monitoring enemies.  It will let you know which guys are close to dead and also make it easier to target them and see them coming.

Learn Your Class Again, Because Everything You Know Is Wrong

Before you ever enter a battleground, the first thing to know is that many of the spells you like in your dungeons and raids are stupid and lame in battlegrounds.  That rotation you’ve got down perfect is useless.  And those weird abilities you got and never even put on your bar because “when the hell will I ever use that?” may end up being your favourite spells.

Look through your spellbook and consider something’s application against another player and the spells they may be using.  If you’re not sure if something is good or not, ask yourself: how much will this piss of the guy I use it on? If the answer is somewhere in the realm of “a lot,” then it is probably an awesome PvP ability.  Here is the secret to fun PvP: it’s not about killing the other guy, it’s about frustrating him endlessly.  Sometimes that involves killing him, but it also can involve things like a well-timed sheep.

At the risk of becoming a class guide, here are some spells each class should learn to love:


•  Sheep people often.  The best times to do this are: when they are casting their big nuke spell, when they are about to heal someone, when they are running a flag or guarding a node, or just because they’re the only person around and you have the mana.  You don’t even need to fight them afterwards; if they’re just some random guy on the road, it’s better to sheep him and then run off to do something more important.  Protip: you can sheep people off their mounts.

•  Counterspell casters on cooldown.  Especially healers.  Nothing is more satisfying than that beautiful noise signifying that someone is probably going to die soon.

•  Frost Nova melee in places where they will be useless.  Actually, if it’s off of cooldown, go ahead and frost nova them no matter where they are.

•  Frostbolt and Cone of Cold are both awesome, even if you’re a fire mage.  Why?  Because it slows people, and slow people are almost as useless as dead people in battlegrounds.

•  Blastwave, if you have it, is good for relocating your enemies and interrupting their abilities.

•  Iceblock not just makes you immune to incoming damage but it will clear your debuffs so you can get back in the game.


•  Fear is your new favourite ability.  Your should use it as often as possible, and at the times when it will anger your opponent the most.

•  Put Curse of Tongues on all the casters.  Even if they can remove it, that’s still one more GCD when they’re not casting that heal or fireball.

•  Fall in love with your Succubus and Felhound.  Your succubus can seduce people, like healers who are healin’ a bit more than you’d like or that really buff warrior who is beating on you, and your demon puppy can spell lock anyone who you’d prefer not be able to cast.

•  DoT everyone (okay, that’s not one ability).  Seriously, put your debuffs and Damage-over-Time spells on anything that moves.  Just tab around and make sure everyone is feelin’ the hurt.  You have a good chance of killing people this way, and at the very least, the healer is going to be spending a lot of time dispelling his teammates instead of casting heals.

•  Use your Drains.  Lifedrain and manadrain benefit you at your enemy’s detriment.  Awesome.


•  Psychic Scream every time you can.  It’s best used by running into a crowd of people before dropping it, but go ahead and use it on that one guy beating on you, too.

•  Mana Burn is great on healers, especially ones that are already low from slamming big ones on their teammates.

•  Silence, if you have it.  Of course.

•  Bubble your teammates that are getting beat on.  It doesn’t matter if you’re a healer; the rogue beating on your buddy will hate you for it, and that’s what counts.

•  Mass Dispell not only will remove magic debuffs from your teammates but also buffs from your enemies.  Best of all, it removes things like a paladin’s invulnerability bubble: the only thing in the game that will.  Use it on large groups of people fighting and also on paladin bubbles.

•  Mind Flay slows people, and because it’s channeled, will automatically turn you to help you follow runners.  Also it damages people, which never hurts.


•  Stock plenty of Crippling Poison, Wound Poison, and Mind-Numbing Poison.  Ideally, you want to have spare weapons to swap around for each in the appropriate situation.  Slowing player movement, delaying their casts, and making their heals weak are both extremely useful and very enjoyable.

•  Stuns are the thing you’re most loathed for.  Stun as often as you can.  Open with cheapshot and use kidney shot as your finisher.  If necessary, vanish so you can cheapshot a second time.

•  Cloak of Shadows will surely piss off that warlock who just spent a bunch of time DoTing you up.  Bonus points if you use it when he has like .2 seconds left on his big nuke, so that way he still wastes the time and mana.

•  Sap any people you cross out of combat, whether they are defending something or just merrily prancing around.

•  Dismantle will disarm your melee foes and Blind will disorient them.


•  Shapeshift can be used to your advantage in a lot of ways.  Use it liberally to break snares.  Also know when is the right time to be in the right form; sometimes it’s better for a moonkin to bear up and wait for help than to try to fight it out.  Lastly, remember, you’re immune to polymorph when in form.

•  Hibernate works on hunter pets, shaman in ghost wolf, and other druids in cat, bear and cheetah form.  Don’t be shy about using it.  The awesome factor goes up if you use it on a wolf or cat running a flag.

•  Cyclone not only crowd controls your opponent, but it won’t be broken by your teammates incidental AoE, and the guy stuck in it won’t be healed from it.  When one guy is immune, just use it on another.

•  Typhoon, if you have the ability, is great for knocking around enemies (including off of nearby cliffs) and interrupting their spellcasts.

•  Use Roots on anything that’s going somewhere you don’t want it to.


•  Wing Clip is a good way to slow down your opponents, whether they’re running the flag or chasing down your healer, or just because you need to get range.  In all circumstances, it will annoy them, which alone makes it valuable.

•  Know your Shots, because depending on your spec, you can use different ones to silence, slow, sleep, and disorient.

•  Traps are awesome and you should make heavy use of both freezing and frost trap, depending on the context.

•  Disengage is a very handy way to get away from a melee attacking you, to get range on someone, or even to bounce out of someone’s cast range.


•  No matter your spec, Frost Shock is great for slowing people.  Pair it with an Earthbind totem and you can do fairly decent kiting of melee.

•  Grounding Totem is your best friend against casters.  Drop it on cooldown anytime one is nearby.  And don’t forget Tremor Totem to break pesky fears.

•  Purge removes buffs from your enemies.  This works on more than just things like Intellect and Fortitude: it will also remove things like speed boosts and heal-over-time spells.  Happiness is purging the HoTs off a tree.

•  Thunderstorm is a great knockback if you have it.  It is good as both an interrupt and a fun way to abuse your enemies.  Shaman are especially fond of using it to toss people off of cliffs when they get to close to the edge.

•  Wind Shear is your bread-and-butter interrupt, and it’s off the GCD.  It’s on a very short cooldown, so use it on those casters over and over and over again.  Picking a healer and waiting until their big heals are about finished to cast is both practical and extremely delightful.  Or, pair it with purge to destroy an oft-invulnerable restoration druid.

•  Hex is on a long cooldown, but it’s still great to use to crowd control people, interrupt their casting and make them an adorable frog.


•  Your Self Bubble is the thing everyone loathes you for.  Use it regularly to grant yourself immunity when running away or healing yourself to full.  Remember it will make your drop the flag if you’re carrying it.

•  If it says “Hand of” on the title, it’s probably great for PvP.  Freedom will break slows and snares and should be used liberally on yourself and your teammates.  Hand of Protection is splendid to use on your spellcasting and healing teammates to protect them from melee attacks (just don’t use it on physical DPS).  Sacrifice can be used to overcome abilities like sheep which will break on damage.

•  Hammer of Justice is on a longish cooldown, but it’s a great stun so don’t be shy about smacking people with it.  It comes with a highly satisfying BLAM! noise to remind you of how great it is.

•  Repentance is Retibution’s crowd control and can be used in combat.  Use it on that healer in the back or the guy playing defense.

•  Judgment of Justice will prevent your opponents from moving any faster than runspeed, whether they’re mounted or in travel form, or popping sprint.


•  Berserker Rage is a great ability that breaks fears and incapacitates and should be used off of cooldown.  Use it in conjunction with your trinket and you’ll find these abilities effecting you half as often as anyone else.

•  Hamstring will slow your opponents and can be used on as many people or as many times as you have rage for.  If you can, tab around and hamstring anyone who is melee DPS.

•  Disarm will cripple any melee opponent.  It’s on a decent cooldown, but don’t forget to use it when a rogue is beating on your healer or you’re locked into combat with a Death Knight.

•  Stuns should be used liberally if you have them.  All warriors have Charge, but if you’re Protection, you’ll also have Shockwave and Concussion Blow, which are both very powerful.

•  Pummel is great for interrupting spellcasting; every warrior should be prepared to Stance Dance to use it, or toss on a shield quickly for Shield Bash.

•  Few things will bring you as much joy as Spell Reflect, especially when you use it on a shaman about to Hex you or a mage coming at you with pyroblast.  You should carry a shield for this ability alone.

Death Knight:

•  Deathgrip has a lot of utility in PvP, on top of being very fun to use.  You can suck in players to interrupt their spellcasting, prevent them from hurting a teammate or capturing an objective, or getting them into range for you to kill them.  Use it with a smile and use it often.

•  Strangle is your silence to deal with those pesky casters.

•  Use Chains of Ice to slow opponents running away from you or towards a friendly.  It’s also fun just to toss on random people who are running by.  They want to be somewhere else, so appreciate how fun it is to deny them that.

•  If you’re Unholy, your Ghoul provides interrupts and stuns, so stick it on a caster target while you beat on someone else.

Approaches to Battleground

Although killin’ your foes is always superduper, what’s most important for success is different in every battleground.

Warsong Gulch

Warsong Gulch is a game of capture the flag.  The most important things that you can do in this battleground is protect your team’s flag carrier – by healing him or killing the people attacking him – or by returning our flag from the enemy – by killing him, or healing your teammates who are.  In this battleground, slowing or stopping the enemies is almost as valuable as killing then, moreso if you can slow multiple people.  Don’t get distracted fighting people mid-field.  Lastly, play to Offense if you can as you really only need a person or two on Defense in this game.

Arathi Basin

Arathi Basin is about earning more resources than your enemy.  You do this by capping and holding three resource nodes and defending them.  Playing defense is just as important as taking nodes.  Always watch on your zone map to make sure every node you own is adequately protected.  Offense may be more fun, but if no one is guarding, be the responsible player who does, or it could mean the game.  Final tip: never fight on the road, always near a flag.  Not only will you spawn closer to your graveyard, but you will be able to keep an eye on the flag at all times.  Roadfights are very common but don’t get sucked in.  You can, however, use them to your advantage if the enemy team is not watching their flag, allowing you to sneak in from behind and cap it.

Strand of the Ancients

In the Strand, the goal is to get the relic at the end of the battlegrounds, and to prevent your opponents from doing the same.  On offense, you need to use demolishers to break through a series of gates.  It is best to let melee players drive and use ranged, crowd controllers and healers as passengers to help defeat the enemies attacking your vehicle.  In defense, your top priority is always killing demolishers, either directly or by healing your DPS teammates.  Do not get distracted by players running around: always go for the demos.

Isle of Conquest and Alterac Valley

Both battlegrounds are different maps for the same objectives.  The goal is to either defeat the enemy’s general in their keep, or by depleting their reinforcements.  Capturing and holding the various objectives on the map will help your team and also grant you honour points.  Always try to find near and for these objectives rather than get caught in some random fight off on the road.