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Lichborne: PVPing as a blood death knight

Battle for Gilneas
Every week, WoW Insider brings you Lichborne for blood, frost, and unholy death knights. In the post-Cataclysm era, death knights are no longer the new kids on the block. Let's show the other classes how a hero class gets things done.

Last week, we talked about the basics of PVP, focusing mostly on frost and unholy PVP methods. This is primarily because frost and unholy have the type of tools that one needs to not only survive but to lock down your enemies and control the field of battle in a PVP environment. That said, playing WoW is about fun, and if you have more fun playing blood, well, why not give it a try?

While blood probably won't get you quite as high of a rating as unholy or frost will, it's still a relatively viable thing to use in the Battlegrounds. This week, we'll take a quick look at some the ins and outs of blood PVP.

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Filed under: PvP, Death Knight, (Death Knight) Lichborne

Lichborne: Cataclysm PVP basics for death knights

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Lichborne for blood, frost, and unholy death knights. In the post-Cataclysm era, death knights are no longer the new kids on the block. Let's show the other classes how a hero class gets things done.

This is about the time in an expansion's life cycle when PVE content is just getting a little too repetitive, to be frank. With only one instance at the top raid tier and only two dungeons at the top LFD tier, it's pretty tempting to try out a few battlegrounds or an arena or two just to spice things up. Personally, the RBG reward mount is one of my favorite-looking ones out of the whole bunch, so that's even more reason to try this PVP stuff out. This week, we're going to look at some of the most basic stuff you'll need to know if you plan to do some PVP as a death knight.

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Filed under: PvP, Death Knight, (Death Knight) Lichborne

Eye of the Storm rated battlegrounds video with commentary


Work warning: NSFW language in video commentary.

I originally wrote an article to go with this video. If you have some time, check out my Eye of the Storm rated battleground strategy article.

After our last video, I got a special request for Eye of the Storm, as it seems there are many different kinds of strategies going around with this particular battleground. So for our second episode of rated battleground videos, I'm bringing you an Eye of the Storm, complete with Ventrilo audio (NSFW language). The audio is quite humorous at times (16:10, I'm looking at you) -- just make sure you're not around small children or your boss.

This is one of the first rated battlegrounds I've done as a human;- I recently realm transferred to Kel'Thuzad and faction-changed to Alliance. In this video, I only have 1,200 resilience and 240 battleground rating. I apologize for my somewhat robotic-sounding voice; I'm going to look at investing in a higher quality microphone some time in the near future.

Hopefully you'll enjoy the video; we were all very surprised with how it ended (as you can tell from the audio).

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Filed under: PvP

The Art of War(craft): Eye of the Storm rated battleground strategy

Every week, WoW Insider brings you The Art of War(craft), covering battlegrounds and world PvP, and Blood Sport, with the inside line for arena enthusiasts. C. Christian Moore is filling in for Battlemaster Zach Yonzon this week, and does he have a treat for you -- rated battleground strategy!

Rated battlegrounds are a very fun subject to theorycraft strategies for; they're new and interesting. I recorded a rated Eye of the Storm that I originally intended to go with this article, but instead, I'll be bringing you the written strategy now and video later, complete with Ventrilo recording!

If you need a refresher on Eye of the Storm or you're new to battlegrounds in general, Zach wrote a great Eye of the Storm primer.

I've only played Eye of the Storm three times now in rated battlegrounds, although I've been a part of many different strategies from premades in The Burning Crusade and Wrath of the Lich King. As far as I know, there are six seven different ways to play the battleground, although they're lumped into three camps. The three camps are 2v2, 3v1, and 4v0. The numbers are how many towers your team intends on capturing. Each camp (save 4v0) has differing sub-strategies within it.

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Filed under: PvP, The Art of War(craft) (PvP)

Battle for Gilneas video with strategy commentary


I mentioned in this week's Blood Sport that I'd soon have a video up for you guys. Well, it came sooner than I expected, as everything worked out splendidly. All together, it only took me a few hours to record video, record audio, patch both together, convert files, and upload to YouTube.

For our first PvP video together, we'll be discussing adventures in the Battle for Gilneas with my favorite affliction warlock. This is actually my third rated battleground ever -- in the first two, I was demonology in back-to-back Twin Peaks. The games weren't particularly exciting (we 3-0 capped both games), and there were some recording errors in each.

I don't have any listening music for this one; you can pick your own! If Windows Movie Maker allowed me to throw down an audio track, you'd probably be hearing Deadmau5. However, as a consolation, there is commentary from yours truly for 14 minutes and some change!

In this episode, I talk about:
  • disparity
  • 10v10 team compositions
  • Battle for Gilneas strategy
  • a helpful tactic not many teams are using right now
  • myself (unfortunately for you, bwahaha)
If you have any constructive criticism, questions, or just things you'd like me to discuss next time, please leave a comment below!

Note: I talk a lot about 15v15 early on in the video to quickly explain even distribution. I understand Battle for Gilneas is a 10v10 and am just making points about distribution and disparity.

Find out how the Cataclysm talent tree redesign affects PvP, how sub-speccing will work at higher levels in the expansion, and how the new Azeroth will affect world PvP. Visit Blood Sport for the inside line on arena PvP.

The Art of War(craft): Winning Tol Barad


Every week, WoW Insider brings you The Art of War(craft), covering battlegrounds and world PvP, and Blood Sport, with the inside line for arena enthusiasts. Want to crush your enemies, see them driven before you and hear the lamentation of their women? Battlemaster Zach Yonzon, old-world PvP grinder and casual battleground habitué, rambles on about anything and everything PvP.

Just like Wrath's introduction of Wintergrasp, Cataclysm implemented an outdoor (non-instanced) PvP zone where the Horde and Alliance fight for control. This place is called Tol Barad, and most of what I'd written from the beta still applies. What I didn't write about then (and what wasn't quite apparent from beta testing) was how imbalanced the zone could be in favor of the defenders. If you're level 85 and play a few battles of Tol Barad, you'll understand what I mean. While I've won more assaults than I've lost, this anecdotal experience belies the fact that the defenders have a distinct advantage -- they only need to keep one point from being captured, while the attackers need to hold all three at once. Because of how the flag is captured, through proximity and numbers (similar to the towers in Eye of the Storm), it is ridiculously easy to ruin an assault by simply zerging one capture point.

Mat McCurley's post going through the problems of Tol Barad is a pretty good read and should give you an idea of the problems with the zone and some suggestions on how to fix them. For today, we'll take a look at how we can win in the zone despite the overwhelming odds. A fix is probably due, but until then, we'll all have to do battle under unfavorable conditions. This happens often in war -- so soldier up.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, PvP, The Art of War(craft) (PvP)

The Art of War(craft): Must-have PvP talents for warlocks in Cataclysm


Every week, WoW Insider brings you The Art of War(craft), covering battlegrounds and world PvP, and Blood Sport, with the inside line for arena enthusiasts. Want to crush your enemies, see them driven before you and hear the lamentation of their women? Battlemaster Zach Yonzon, old-world PvP grinder and casual battleground habitué, rambles on about anything and everything PvP.

Whoop! Two weeks into the expansion, and I just have to ask ... are you guys having fun? Because I am. PvP is amazing, even being undergeared. Stamina is up at this point, so even lacking the right gear, combat will last more than a few global cooldowns. Today we'll conclude our talent review series with a look at warlocks and some really cool talents they can pick up to help in PvP. We still have lots to talk about in The Art of War(craft), from Tol Barad to The Battle for Gilneas to Twin Peaks to rated battlegrounds ... oh, Cataclysm is loaded with PvP goodness. Hit the jump to get started.

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Filed under: Warlock, PvP, The Art of War(craft) (PvP)

The Art of War(craft): Must-have PvP talents for warriors in Cataclysm


Every week, WoW Insider brings you The Art of War(craft), covering battlegrounds and world PvP, and Blood Sport, with the inside line for arena enthusiasts. Want to crush your enemies, see them driven before you and hear the lamentation of their women? Battlemaster Zach Yonzon, old-world PvP grinder and casual battleground habitué, rambles on about anything and everything PvP.

I tried to get this whole guide done before the Cataclysm broke out. I failed. Now that the expansion's out, we're running a bit behind, so we'll hop right to it. Today we'll look at warriors, those bruisers in plate, who get a wonderful boost in PvP with some basic abilities being usable in multiple stances. In Cataclysm, each warrior spec plays differently from one another -- even fury from arms -- which is a great change for flavor and playstyle. Arms warriors play like disciplined martialists who conserve rage and use it at strategic times while fury warriors are like berserkers who thrive on generating loads of fury and getting enraged; protection has always had a different feel.

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Filed under: Warrior, Analysis / Opinion, PvP, The Art of War(craft) (PvP)

The Art of War(craft): Must-have PvP talents for shaman in 4.0.3


Every week, WoW Insider brings you The Art of War(craft), covering battlegrounds and world PvP, and Blood Sport, with the inside line for arena enthusiasts. Want to crush your enemies, see them driven before you and hear the lamentation of their women? Battlemaster Zach Yonzon, old-world PvP grinder and casual battleground habitué, rambles on about anything and everything PvP.

Gah. A few more days left, and we're only on shaman. This can't be good. Let's get right to it, then. Shaman are incredibly fun to play, especially with the changes that came with 4.0.1. The improvements on the totem interface in the past have made it much easier for shaman to manage their totems. The best shaman utilize their totems in the heat of battle, and one interesting skill to master is knowing not just which totem to put down for a situation but which sets of totems, now that shaman can drop it down all at once. It's a convenience that changes a few things. There is also higher survivability, better mobility, and clearly defined playstyles for all three specs.

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Filed under: Shaman, Analysis / Opinion, PvP, The Art of War(craft) (PvP)

The Art of War(craft): Must-have PvP talents for rogues in 4.0.3


Every week, WoW Insider brings you The Art of War(craft), covering battlegrounds and world PvP, and Blood Sport, with the inside line for arena enthusiasts. Want to crush your enemies, see them driven before you and hear the lamentation of their women? Battlemaster Zach Yonzon, old-world PvP grinder and casual battleground habitué, rambles on about anything and everything PvP.

Rogues are a class that lends itself extremely well to PvP, and even six years in, rogues pouncing on unsuspecting prey is one of the enduring visions (and fears) of the game. Rogues play entirely differently from most other classes because of their ability -- and need -- to utilize stealth. The only other spec that has a similar playstyle are feral cat druids.

Rogues always get a lot of goodies for PvP, and the new world isn't any different. It's a new game, though, and the stunlock as we know it is gone. It's been comatose for a long time, but shared diminishing returns put a final nail stunlock's coffin. There are abilities that steer the rogue to do more fanciful things, though. I mentioned before how Recuperate is such a game-changer, allowing rogues to keep up with other classes in a higher-stamina world. Longer combat also means more opportunities to use all those cooldowns rogues are known for -- but it also means they'll need to time it even better now, because blowing all available cooldowns for one big burst does not necessarily translate to killing an opponent.

Anyway, with about a week left to go before Cataclysm goes live, we'd better get this whole thing sorted out, so let's get right into what rogues should pick up for PvP.

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Filed under: Rogue, Analysis / Opinion, PvP, The Art of War(craft) (PvP)

The Art of War(craft): Must-have PvP talents for priests in 4.0.1


Every week, WoW Insider brings you The Art of War(craft), covering battlegrounds and world PvP, and Blood Sport, with the inside line for arena enthusiasts. Want to crush your enemies, see them driven before you and hear the lamentation of their women? Battlemaster Zach Yonzon, old-world PvP grinder and casual battleground habitué, rambles on about anything and everything PvP.

Never mind that it's actually going to be 4.0.3 pretty soon, we'll wrap up this series as quick as we can before the whole world crashes down all around us. Today we'll take a look at another hybrid class, the only one with two healing specs. It's going to be interesting to discuss the priest because even though many players consider healing in PvP to be less demanding as far as PvP-specific talents are concerned, it's the selection of key PvP talents that set great healers from the pack. In the battlegrounds, where healers have an easier time screening themselves from focus fire, there isn't a great need to dedicate to a PvP spec or even gear. Still, a good understanding of key abilities will help you perform better on the field, especially under the new paradigm.

One great improvement for Patch 4.0.1 geared towards leveling in Cataclysm is the ability of each healing spec to hold their own offensively. While obviously not as powerful as DPS specs, there are clear offensive abilities in each healing tree that's intended to make the leveling experience easier. Consequently, this gives healers better ways to strike back at opponents in PvP. For some players, this can make healing specs more fun and inviting, giving healers an even more active role and opening up some options between healing.

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Filed under: Priest, Analysis / Opinion, PvP, The Art of War(craft) (PvP)

The Art of War(craft): Must-have PvP talents for paladins in 4.0.1

Every week, WoW Insider brings you The Art of War(craft), covering battlegrounds and world PvP, and Blood Sport, with the inside line for arena enthusiasts. Want to crush your enemies, see them driven before you and hear the lamentation of their women? Battlemaster Zach Yonzon, old-world PvP grinder and casual battleground habitué, rambles on about anything and everything PvP.

I have to confess that I couldn't wait to write this part of the series, if for nothing other than I just love the paladin class. Paladins get a brand new resource on top of mana in 4.0.1, the exciting holy power that is bound to see a little more tweaking throughout Cataclysm. A few changes are going to happen from here until the expansion, such as a critical change to Divine Storm that will no longer require its dependence on holy power. Little tweaks like these will find their way to the game, which will make gameplay better for players everywhere (and we can finally use Divine Storm again, yay!). It should be clear that things are slightly different now than how they'll be in the expansion.

For now, we'll take a look at all the talents that should prepare us for Cataclysm PvP. I might sound like a broken record every time I say this, but paladin PvP really gets more interesting this time around. The new mechanic brings in a new flavor to the game experience, and the new talents are just a lot of fun. Let's dive right into it.

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Filed under: Paladin, Analysis / Opinion, PvP, The Art of War(craft) (PvP)

The Art of War(craft): Must-have PvP talents for mages in 4.0.1

Every week, WoW Insider brings you The Art of War(craft), covering battlegrounds and world PvP, and Blood Sport, with the inside line for arena enthusiasts. Want to crush your enemies, see them driven before you and hear the lamentation of their women? Battlemaster Zach Yonzon, old-world PvP grinder and casual battleground habitué, rambles on about anything and everything PvP.

The Cataclysm is getting close, so we've only got a few weeks of this transitional stage, but it's important to pick out our PvP talents heading into the expansion. Today, we're going to take a look at mages, who have the usual set of tools and a couple of new ones. Nothing drastic has changed, despite the overhaul in 4.0.1, so mages are still casters who do best at range. Nothing has made them capable of wading into melee and standing toe-to-toe with rogues or anything silly like that. Instead, what we've got are three interesting trees with slightly different ways to crush their opponents -- all of them fun.

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Filed under: Mage, Analysis / Opinion, PvP, The Art of War(craft) (PvP)

The Art of War(craft): Must-have PvP talents for hunters in 4.0.1

Every week, WoW Insider brings you The Art of War(craft), covering battlegrounds and world PvP, and Blood Sport, with the inside line for arena enthusiasts. Want to crush your enemies, see them driven before you and hear the lamentation of their women? Battlemaster Zach Yonzon, old-world PvP grinder and casual battleground habitué, rambles on about anything and everything PvP.

We don't have much time before Cataclysm hits, so let's get down to business. We've talked about some optimal talents for death knights and druids for PvP, so now we turn our attention to hunters. Hunters have always had a tough time in arenas, not necessarily because the class was broken but because the format simply wasn't conducive to the hunter playstyle. It got so bad, in fact, that Blizzard designed an arena -- the Ring of Valor -- specifically to benefit hunters. On the other hand, hunters have always lorded it over in the open expanse of the battlegrounds.

The good news is that battlegrounds will be cool again. Well, they've always been cool in my book, but soon they'll be rewarding cool gear, too. That means hunters will once again feel like PvP gods (without needing the help of an enhancement shaman). There's one big change to hunters in Patch 4.0.1 and that's the change in resource from mana to focus. The difference with the way focus behaves is that rather than a resource well that pays for spells and abilities (mana), hunters have abilities that generate focus in combat such as Steady Shot and Cobra Shot, and then a whole load of focus dumps. In a way it's like death knight runic power or warrior rage without the decay. This means you'll always want to have nearly full focus but never gain focus that will simply slough off because you're over your maximum. It's a careful balance of gaining and spending, although focus regenerates at a steady rate.

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Filed under: Hunter, The Art of War(craft) (PvP)

The Art of War(craft): Must-have PvP talents for druids in 4.0.1

Every week, WoW Insider brings you The Art of War(craft), covering battlegrounds and world PvP, and Blood Sport, with the inside line for arena enthusiasts. Want to crush your enemies, see them driven before you and hear the lamentation of their women? Battlemaster Zach Yonzon, old-world PvP grinder and casual battleground habitué, rambles on about anything and everything PvP.

Let's try to get you prepared for Cataclysm, shall we? In the new (banged-up, broken and burnt) world of the expansion, battlegrounds play will stand toe to toe with arenas as far as gear acquisition and quite possibly have even better participation. You don't want to miss out on that. Today we'll discuss the best PvP talents you can pick up as a druid, and you can decide for yourself what other talents to round out your PvP spec.

Perhaps the biggest change for druids in patch 4.0.1 is a new mechanic for balance druids called Eclipse, which relies on the buildup of lunar or solar energy conferred by casting either nature or arcane damage spells, respectively. This means that balance druids will be constantly trying to achieve an Eclipse by casting spells from one school, then shifting to another school once they've gotten the bonus. Out of all specs, balance plays the most differently compared to before the patch, but everyone gets fun tools to use in PvP. Let's check out all these toys across all specs.

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Filed under: Druid, Analysis / Opinion, PvP, The Art of War(craft) (PvP)

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