I thought it was a great idea for a topic to explain some of the naming conventions and to throw open the floor for other contributions from our readers. I'll also go some way into starting a kind of PvP glossary. I've been scouring the official forums and the like for threads where people ask questions of this nature to come up with a compendium of terminology to help you all out.
Now, a caveat -- and it's a big one. Particularly with the Arena composition names, there are some really bizarre ones out there. Some like the African Turtle Cleave have become pretty ubiquitous, but some are still very obscure. Others are really rather unsavory, and those aren't going to be up here.
If you add new ones in the comments and you can put in some links to prove their validity, I'll edit them into the piece, so get involved. And if there are terms I miss, ask; they can be edited in as well. I'm not even going to try to explain where some of the stranger ones come from; if you want to, then go for it!
Arena composition names
Many compositions crop up more than once under different names. Don't worry -- it's normal that people can't make their minds up! And some may relate to older comps that were played more regularly in earlier seasons.
Acronym composition names
These are some of the more prolific, the more obvious to work out, and the more freely invented comp names. Why? Because it's a hell of a lot easier to say "RMP" than it is to say "Rogue Mage Priest"! The initial list excludes ones I don't hear mentioned regularly. Most are very obvious, some more obscure.
RMP rogue, mage, priest
RLS rogue, (war)lock, shaman (restoration)
MLS mage, lock, shaman (restoration)
MLP mage, lock, priest
WLS warrior, lock, shaman (restoration)
PHD or PHDK paladin (holy), hunter, DK
FMP feral druid, mage, priest
LSD lock, elemental shaman, restoration druid
LSD2 lock, restoration shaman, balance druid
RRP retribution paladin, rogue, priest (usually healing, could equally be a paladin)
KFC Kung-Fu Cleave -- warrior, hunter, healer
TSG DK, warrior, healer
Cleave composition names
Firstly, it's good to note that a "cleave" was generally considered to be two melee players and a healer; however, it seems that cleave compositions can now be just about anything right now. Comp names like Wizard Cleave or Harry Potter Cleave particularly fly in the face of the melee roots of the term, and I'd say it now means a team with 2 DPSers and a healer.
African Turtle Cleave warrior (protection), hunter, healer
Beast Cleave hunter, enhancement shaman, paladin (holy)
Jungle Cleave hunter, druid (feral), healer
Kung Fu Cleave warrior, hunter, healer
Lumberjack Cleave warrior, warrior, paladin (holy)
Thug Cleave rogue, hunter, healer
Shadow Cleave 'lock, DK (unholy), healer
Kitty Cleave druid (feral), warrior, paladin (holy)
Spicy Chicken Cleave mage (fire), druid (balance), healer
Man Cleave warrior (arms), warrior (protection), paladin (holy)
Wizard Cleave 'lock, mage, priest or other healer
Harry Potter Cleave 'lock, mage, priest, or mage, mage, priest
Ebola Cleave DK (unholy), druid (feral), healer
Turbo Cleave shaman (enhancement), DK or warrior, druid (restoration)
Mongolian Earthworm Cleave shaman (enhancement), druid (balance), priest
Kanye West Cleave rogue, rogue/DK, shaman, or any composition with a lot of interrupts! This name made me laugh; it's not very common, but I liked it!
Play composition names
These usually relate to caster teams, and unlike the cleave composition names, this has remained mostly the case. I haven't come across any of these in my time that don't include shadow priests; if you have, let me know.
Shadowplay 'lock, priest (shadow), shaman (restoration)
Shatterplay mage (frost), priest (shadow), shaman (restoration)
Fireplay mage (fire), priest (shadow), shaman (restoration)
Owlplay druid (balance), priest (shadow), shaman (restoration)
Other composition names
These fall into none of the above categories and are few and far between. They're among the sillier but more creative comp names. If you know of any, drop me a comment with a link or two to prove their validity.
Dancing with the stars rogue, druid (balance), healer
Spicy Chicken mage (fire), druid (balance), healer
General PvP glossary
This was inspired by someone asking me what a "peel" was on Twitter when I told them to get their melee to peel for them more when they were being trained as a healer. A lot of it will be things more experienced players know already. If you have things to add or things you'd like to know the meaning of, tell me in the comments.
blanket/silence A silence debuff, something that prevents an opponent from casting. "Blanketing Priest!"
block, blocked use of a mage ice block
burst High damage applied over a short period of time.
BoP Short for Blessing of Protection, the old name for Hand of Protection. "BoP-ing you."
cap Short for capture. If your team have just killed the EFC, they may be shouting "Cap!" a lot in chat.
chain (CC) A chain of CC; using different CC abilities to keep a player's character out of their control for as long as possible.
cleave team A team with two DPSers and a healer.
cloned Short for Cycloned.
comp The class makeup or composition of an Arena team, such as we've discussed at length above.
CC or crowd control Spells and abilities that limit an opponent's ability to control their character.
CS Short for Counterspell. "I'm CS-ed."
deep Short for Deep Freeze. "I'm deeped!"
dispel removal of a buff or debuff, can be used to refer to enemies or friendly targets
DR Short for diminishing returns; CC is subject to diminishing returns, so as you cast it repeatedly the CC time is progressively shorter until the opponent is temporarily immune to your CC. After that, it is reset.
fake casting, faked, faking Stopping a spellcast before it completes to trick an opponent into wasting their interrupt.
farming Repeatedly beating the same team and gaining points or rating. "We farmed that RMP."
FC/EFC Flag carrier or enemy flag carrier in a Battleground.
full Refers to CC. "I'm sheeped, full" or "Full sheep on priest" means that the sheep in question is not subject to DR and is a full-length sheep.
ganking Killing someone in world PvP, normally from stealth or somehow unexpectedly. Suggests an advantage on the attacker's side.
global/nuke To kill an opponent extremely quickly.
griefing Using world PvP to your (usually unfair) advantage to make another player's game time unpleasant.
interrupt Any ability which forces a school lockout. Pummel, Kick, Counterspell.
juking, juke, juked Stopping a spellcast before it completes to trick an opponent into wasting their interrupt. "He juked my kick."
kick Interrupt "Kicking shaman!" "I'm kicked!"
kite To limit an opponent's damage by keeping out of his range of offensive abilities, usually employing snares, roots and slows.
LoS, LoSing Using line of sight to avoid damage or other abilities being used on you. "LoS that hunter, I can't keep you up."
opener The abilities or spells with which you start or open a game.
MD Mass Dispel
NS Short for Nature's Swiftness, an ability that allows druids and shaman to cast their next cast-time cast instantly. "I'm NS-ing you." Usually used for an instant heal.
peeling Using crowd control to keep opponents from attacking your teammates. "I need a peel."
pillar humping A defensive strategy that involves avoiding the opponent by moving around or behind pillars.
reset Trying to regain health and mana so that a game is essentially returned to how it was at the start.
switch Change targets to take advantage of poor positioning. Usually needs to happen at great speed. "Switching shaman, hard!"
train All members of the same team attacking the same target.
trinket Use a trinket that frees your character from CC, roots, silences, etc. "I can't believe he trinketed my Sap."
tunnel All members of the same team attacking the same target.
turtle Playing defensively. Games where both teams turtle are incredibly boring!
UA Unstable Affliction -- a warlock DoT which does damage and causes a short silence when dispelled.
win trading Two or more teams working together to gain an advantage through the Arena or Rated Battleground queue system. Win trading is against WoW's Terms of Service.
zerg Playing on the extreme aggressive as a group. A tactic used necessarily by triple DPS arena comps.
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Filed under: Blood Sport (Arena PvP)