This is my standard flag carrying strategy in WSG.
It’s the one that proves 2 things.
- Mages (make that any clothy) can flag carry
- Horde Graveyard is a good way to come.
I have probably returned 8-9 out of 10 flags this way. You are usually in your flag room before the Horde knows you took the flag, so with the Horde flag in your base, the only other thing required is the return of your flag.
I often find that after running this once in a BG (assuming the EFC is taken down fast for a quick cap), that all opposition evaporates. I guess when there is a flag cap within the first few minutes, and they didn’t see the flag carrier, they just figure they wont see them again and it is already game over.
This is also a good strategy for grabbing their flag just before they cap your flag. They tend to mill about in disbelief that they couldn’t cap, and then split their forces in several directions trying to catch you.
This is a guide written about me, a Mage, A Gnome Mage, and my flag running strategy from my perspective. That said, my non-Mage buddies do the same thing if I am ever too slow, or choose to cover them instead.. Warlocks, Disc Priests, Resto Shaman they all do fine.
This strategy is augmented if you have done a little preparation before entering WSG and before the gates open. Note you can’t use the pots in RBGs, but you can chew on them in normals.
- Source some Swiftness Potions – Requires level 15 (You will use 6 per battle if you do the 3 caps… I keep 40 on me all the time, last thing you want is to run out when you need a burst of speed)
- Source some Elixir of Camouflage Requires level 50 (This is optional, but I’d rather not have Hunters and Druids tracking my approach to the EFR)
- Buy 1-2 healer friends, an annoying DPS never hurts either (These are optional… who needs friends when you are about to fly like the wind)
- Re-roll Mage (Also optional, but well and truly advised by me)
- Mage food (If you are a Mage… you are a Mage aren’t you… otherwise get some)
- Lock Rocks/Candy (You may be on your own at times, this may save your bacon… mmmm bacon)
- Proudly announce you will be flag carrying.
- Tell Healers to stay mounted and wait for you out the front (as is about to be described).
- Tell everyone you are coming via graveyard, that you are fast, but you need the EFC down ASAP.
- Pop your Elixir of Camouflage
- With 15 seconds before the gates open, Slow Fall everyone (just common courtesy as a Mage)
You will use this flag running path each time, from the moment that the gate opens until the game ends. It assumes that you are starting in the flag room, or on your way to the EFR. Even if your GY is being camped, just slip over the edge, mount up and ride. It’s the fastest way, mounted the whole time. If you are somewhere else, then work it out.
Face up to the gate just before the timer expires, start auto-run and as soon as the gate moves, BLINK!
At this point you can mount and thanks to Slow Fall, launch yourself off the cliff. Left or right of the hut is irrelevant unless there are Horde in one of those locations. If there aren’t, but there is a friendly pally at your side, stick with them until they deviate from the path.
You can if you so desire jump a couple of stumps.. I usually do, but the main reason to do so is to avoid melee that are close by. If you don’t know of any, just ride like the wind to the right of the wagon and hut.
Meanwhile, hopefully at least one healer and one support player is with you… if not, whatever, they wont see you coming… or going…
The rest of your team can do what they want. I prefer if they harry midfield, waiting for the EFC to come to it’s death.
As a general rule Horde exit their base over their graveyard (1), a couple will come out the tunnel (2) and maybe 1 o two will come down/to their ramp (3) to slow you down. Their EFC will most likely try the ramp on the initial push, Allies are too close to the ramp… after that they are opportunists.
As a flag runner, they are none of your concern, hopefully on the initial push no one dismounts, they just rush the EFR. If someone has to stop, let it be the support… that’s what they are there for. If you as the flag runner get pulled down, then your support player, or healer just got a new role – Flag Carrier. You just don’t stop, keep the momentum going.
Things take a different path once your get to the top of the ramp outside the Horde base. Heals and Support don’t enter the flag room, they wait mounted out the front.
You then run through level 2, practicing a little caution as you are about to enter the room. Now is the time to put on your shields. If you can see Horde name tags, pop invisibility (you can’t use it when carrying the flag, so whatever, it’s about cooldowns after that).
From now on be prepared to pop your Trinket and/or Escape Artist You’re a Gnome right?), you are about to blink to leave the room, so reserve that for that purpose.
Drop down into the room, grab the flag, double check you have grabbed the flag, make sure you are just out of the flag alcove (uneven floor screws your blink), line up the doors to the ramp and…
Another few steps and you are reunited with your support crew. 9 out of 10 times it will be a clean exit… it’s not expected, not the 1st time, not the 2nd time, maybe the 3rd time, but you will still get away with it the 4th+ time.
If you have improved Blink, you will now be enjoying 3 seconds of 70% speed boost, which will get you out past the wagon on your right.
Speaking of right, this is where you make a sharp right, while drinking your Swiftness Potion. You support crew will now either block those trying to leave the building, or follow you on their mounts – so you wont out pace them.
Run deep across that right side of the “ramp” and as you go, throw slow falls over your shoulder to your support team, of course remembering yourself now too. You can also refresh your shields now.
Once you get to the end of their “ramp”, drop down between the logs and the machinery. Generally any Horde that have just rezzed and have the foresight to look around before charging into Mid, will get caught by the logs, hut or wagons, so worry less about them.
Your Blink cooldown will be up by the time you get to the end of those logs – Blink
(OK, just taking a moment out.. the Blinks and their cooldowns can be managed to get you across the field fast, but they are also a-get-out-of-snares-free-card, so just before it comes of cooldown have a look about… is there a Mage about to Nova you, and DK about to pull you, a friendly Priest about to pull you – if so, wait – you will get the same result – distance – but you will also remove the snare.)
By now the horde should have picked up your flag.
They normally come Tunnel ((1) or Ramp (2) – at which point they seem to go more mid field leaving you alone normally). They might come Graveyard.. I see that in about 1 out of 50 games.
Work out who the EFC is and set them as your focus target.. their health levels just became more important than yours.
Run… don’t tell me you stopped… run!
Your next blink will come up just as you get in range of the big tree, line it up, BLINK!
Your objective on this path is to limit visual (if not casting) line of sight. So blinking between objects, or behind objects is the idea. The wagons, the trees, the hut and the fence all provide visual if not spell issues for the Horde.
Your Support team meanwhile… Your Healer should be in front of you, especially if they are a priest. Your other support nearby. Best if they aren’t “on top of you” as a Horde scanning the edges is more likely to see your support team than you the FC, so if you have a little distance between you, it makes it harder for them to pin-point you.
Attacks either come at the end of the logs, or as you are preparing to blink to the tree, they need to be aware of that to keep the Horde out of range of you. You need to be aware for the same reason. If your healer is a Priest, then they need to be ahead of you, because they may need to pull your out while your Blink is on cooldown.
Remember, as the flag running crew, your job isn’t to stop and fight… keep your eye on your flag room, CC & slow the Horde chasers.
Your Blockers and Chasers have (hopefully) now engaged the EFC and are doing their best to peel off him, slow him and of course kill him to return the flag.
The main difficulty you might have now is as you head behind the hut. The difficulty is usually less from chasers and more from a head on collision with the EFC’s party. Usually however, your Blockers and Chasers are moving to intercept the EFC, whereas the Horde have no idea where you are.
Behind the hut, your Blink will come off cooldown. You have a choice… no chasers, blink immediately. A few chasers, Blink is now snare removal.
Hopefully your Priest will be riding up the ramp at this point (you did make friends with a Priest right?) to cover you in case of emergency… if not, meh whatever.
You are now heading up the right side of the ramp fence. Smart Horde will head up the ramp, less so will follow you to the right.
About 90% of the way along the fence is a small break, duck through it and you are now on the ramp. If you haven’t used your blink yet, line it up and go.
Now you are on top of the ramp, your blink is on cooldown, but the Swiftness Potion isn’t – run, run, run.
By the time you get to the 2nd level entrance, your blink is off cooldown. Choices again, blink now or later… now is usually good.
Assuming that the EFC has gone down, run in 2nd level, drop down and cap. if you are concerned, throw down a ring of frost as you come in. Don’t slow fall, it slows you down, you don’t want them having the extra second to pick up the flag.
If the EFC hasn’t yet gone down, but is close (you know this because you are watching his health on your focus target) drop down into the flag alcove so it is an auto cap.
If the EFC still has plenty of health, then you have 3 options. Stay 2nd level, in the corner of the wall out of sight from above, below and behind, or drop down to the flag alcove or little room. I tend to stay on 2nd level, as that gives me the other two options if required.
Preferably you have (at least) one healer and a support with you, but one or none is fine. It’s not about you at this point, it’s about him. Strong Horde O will probably rip you to shreds, what you really wanted was for the EFC to be dead before, or as your entered the FR. Still, maintain line of sight with your healer (no running you big chicken!) and look after them and you will survive most initial assaults.
OK so you capped, well maybe you died, but let’s assume initially you capped.
If your Blink is available, then blink and start again from GO!, otherwise just get out of your flag room… your job is to carry, not to tarry!
If you have rezzed at the graveyard, then keep working it… it will work… just don’t stop the circuit.
3 Minute, One Man Turtle
If the scores are tied (and you capped last) and there are only a few minutes left on the clock, AND the EFC has your flag, then it may not be wise to risk the gauntlet.. may not be, depends on the battle.
If it isn’t then you might want to turtle, and if possible do it solo, so the others have a chance to stop the EFC (and if you have the time, you can continue on your journey)
You start it like any other flag run, but you don’t drop off the edge of the “ramp”.
For the Horde to get to you, they will either have to go to their ramp and across, or up the tunnel, through the flag room and out.
Either way, you have plenty of time to see them coming… but meanwhile the clock is ticking while they navigate the circuit, knowing you can still escape.
If as I say, the EFC is taken down and the path appears clear (or the heat is too great up top), drop down and continue for a flag cap.
So that’s it, the strategy that turned us into a WSG machine.
Some bits need a little practice: getting through the fence, timing your blinks etc. but otherwise, it’s a simple circuit.
Gnomer and Out!
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