WoW: Alterac Valley Strategy

Alterac Valley (AV) is the largest of the PvP battlegrounds player capacity-wise (except for Wintersgrasp).  It consists of a 40v40 battle over a large playing field, with the ultimate objective to destroy the other team’s commander.  Alterac Valley is currently the only battleground with NPCs that you can interact with, and they play a very important part in the battleground. Unlike the other two battlegrounds, you cannot join AV as a group, and the player matching system tries to keep the teams balanced in terms of numbers, so it may take a while for you to be given a spot in the battleground.

Goal

While there are a number of sub-quests for AV, the main goal is to defeat the opposition’s commander, who resides in the Frostwolf/Stormpike bunker, depending on your faction.  When this is completed, the game ends, and you receive your tokens.


Strategies

Originally, AV would consist of a huge battle, mainly occurring in the Field of Strife, in the middle of the map.  These games could last hours, with no team gaining any kind of significant advantage, meaning AV was a terrible place to gain honour and quite good for reputation gains.  However, that has changed.

The dominant strategy employed in virtually all games is simply the rush to Stormpike/Frostwolf graveyards strategy. This maximises honour and faction gain by ensuring the games finish quickly, often within 20 minutes to . hour of the start.

If you are playing Horde, you should initially rush to the Stonehearth Graveyard.  Leave a few players there to hold off any Alliance players that may rush through.  The first rush point for the Alliance, conversely, is the Iceblood Graveyard. Don’t ever bother with Snowfall, if you are looking to make maximum honour, as it will just slow your team down.

From Iceblood/Stonehearth, you should then proceed to Stormpike graveyard for the Horde and Frostwolf for the Alliance.  This is where you will meet some resistance (and where your defense should begin, if you are on the defense team.  When the match begins, you should assign no more than 10 players out of 40 to play defense, to hopefully slow your opponents enough to prevent them from killing the commander before you do).


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The key to offense in Alterac Valley really rests on one class: warriors.  A well equipped warrior, with a healer or two to back them up (preferably a priest and a paladin/druid), can cause significant damage and disrupt defense forces. Charge/Intercept are the key, because it breaches the distance, and pushes the rest of your team forward.  Another effective tactic is to have a priest or two run in (or less preferably, a warlock), and cast Psychic Scream. This will cause confusion and allow your team to advance.


When playing defense, you should always defend just in front of your flag.  Make sure someone is back next to the flag, preferably someone with AoE, to interrupt cappers.  The offense has a lot further to travel after they res, so that means a good defense can hold a team back, even if significantly outnumbered.  If you can split up the offense so they do not push all at once, you can delay them quite well.  Hunter’s Frost Traps are excellent in AV because they can’t be dispelled out of (except Blessing of Freedom) as they constantly reapply.


Taking the next graveyard (Relief Hut/Aid Station) can be quite difficult as there are bottlenecks present which force your attack into a small area.  Make sure you kill off the archers in the towers, as they do lots of damage.  They are very easy to kill but are quite a nuisance if you let them live.  Once you have them down, keep pushing to the final Graveyard.  It will now be a race to the finish, to see which defense can hold off the longest.


For both offense and defense, and easy way to turn the tide in your favor, is to take the opposite mine. Doing so, will begin to lessen the amount of forces and strength of the commander and lieutenants. A feral druid, is the best choice to take and to defend the mines, because of the tracking ability, blended with stealth ability. Should you see someone coming, let them take the mine and leave, then retake it. If attacking, sneak in, watching the radar for defenders.


Pull each of the lieutenants individually, and don’t let the commander run outside the room as he will reset. Make sure you have a tank, and anyone that can heal should be doing so. If you die here, and fail to kill the commander on your first try, you are likely going to be beaten, because of the close nature of the games.


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