5 Ways to Survive Alterac Valley

Before I played my Priest, I had a 60 Paladin. My first guild was Micro, a PvP group based in Twisting Nether. My time on WoW was spent running organized Arathi Basin and Warsong Gulch for hours on end. This was before the battlegroups concept was introduced into WoW. You may consider me a hardcore raider, but I’m no slouch in PvP tactics either. The mechanics of AV has changed. What’s the general premise? Beat the crap out of the other team before they do it to you.

Two Methods to Victory

Killing the opposing team’s General
-OR-
Running their reinforcement counter to 0

As healers, we will often be one of the most sought after targets. Not all of us have full Season 2 gear with 400 resilience. If we want to give our team even a remote chance of winning, we need to survive. If we can survive, we can heal our own knuckledraggers pew-pewers. Remember, every death sustained is one point taken off of our reinforcement counter. With that said, here are 5 easy ways to live and support your side.

1) Use terrain to your advantage

When a player goes out of your line of sight, your spells automatically cancel. No other battleground or arena has much junk to hide behind. If you’re on the frontlines and you know you’re being targeted by range, duck behind a tree. You can move behind a tower. Don’t just stand in the open and give their mages easy Frostbolting action. Line of sight THEIR spellcasters. If I’m healing a Warrior, I will dismount behind a tree. All that crap you learned in Grade 10 math pays off here. Set up a triangle. You can see the warrior. Enemy mage sees the warrior. You can’t see enemy mage, therefore enemy mage cannot see you. Mage blasts warrior, sees heals, tab targets to you, realizes you’re not in line of sight, gets crushed by Skillherald. And all you had to do was park yourself next to a tree.

2) Do not mindlessly charge into the enemy

If I had a copper for everytime I’ve seen this happen, I’d be able to quit school and sell WoW gold for a living. In a game where every player’s life is precious, people who randomly charge into the horde with no support behind them are pissing away reinforcement points. Please do not do this. Do not stay mounted and numlock your way into Frostwolf Graveyard while realizing that there are 4 players of the opposing faction guarding that flag. If you’re going to go in on the offense, tag along with a few other players. Odds of survivability greatly increase with your proximity to other players.

3) Cut your losses

If your offense is stalling and you’re not able to sustain the health of players around you, do not hesitate to cut your losses and fall back. Being able to think on a macro scale and on a micro scale is an asset. If six players are rushing up the ramp into Tower Point and you just capture it, there’s no way you can hold out that long for four minutes. Forty seconds maybe, but not four minutes. Better to drop a psychic scream, jump off the tower and fallback to the IB graveyard. Because if you think about it, you can either lose the tower and two reinforcement points or lose the tower anyway and come back later with some fire power.

4) Maximize your range

What’s the difference between healing at point blank range and healing at maximum range? Whatever your health is. If your at max, you’re not likely going to be targeted because the opposing team is busy with groundpounders that are smashing their face up front. That leaves you free to drop your renews, healing waves, shields, etc. Use the players your side as a barrier. Keep them alive and they will in turn protect you.

5) Stalling tactics

We have defensive measures at our disposal that we can use to evade enemy attacks or make us stronger. When you’re falling back, slow down the other side. Keep using your global cooldowns. Shamans should be dropping earthbind totems and grounding totems as much as possible. Priests should be tossing up shields, screams, and stoneforms (Dwarves only). Tie up the enemy as long as possible. Delay them. Do whatever it takes. If you see a mounted Tauren ride by, frost shock him. This especially holds true when you’re assaulting a graveyard. Don’t fight ON the flag. Fight between the graveyard and the flag so you can tie up and stall the players that are ressing. Think about it for a moment. What is your first inclination when you see an opposing player that is trying to tag your graveyard? You are going to do whatever it takes to get that player off the flag, right? Exactly. The reverse holds true.

Follow these simple concepts and you will help your side see success in AV. At the very least, even if you don’t win, you won’t die as much.

About Matticus

Matticus is the founder of World of Matticus and Plus Heal. Read more of his columns at WoW Insider. League of Legends player. Caffeine enthusiast.