How to cap/DEFEND a flag

A battleground is NOT a dungeon fight where you methodically kill off all the adds before tackling the boss.

When you kill enemy players near a flag that you are trying to cap, they immediately begin to rez. If you do not cap the flag fast enough, all the ones you killed will suddenly reappear and make you start all over again. So your team needs to be trying to cap the flag all the time. Someone needs to be at the flag, while others need to kite away and/or cc the enemies that cannot be quickly killed.

If you're defending the flag, the opposite is true. It doesn't matter how much damage you take, or even if you die, as long as you keep the flag up. If they cannot cap it, you will rez and go right back at them. The trick is to keep one eye on the flag and hit any enemies who get near it.

So ... in either case ... FOCUS ON THE FLAG.

Capping a Flag

There are three basic ways to cap a flag. Each of these assumes that you are in a TEAM situation where a group of you is doing the capping. But the basic idea applies even if there are two of you on one defender ... one of you tries to cap, the other peels the enemy off the capper.


Your focus on capping the flag means that you will set yourselves up in the best arrangement possible. It also means that every player will pay attention to the whole fight and switch targets as needed.capping flag

This arrangement gives the enemy defenders a problem. If they go out to get the healers, the tanks will cap the flag. If they stay into hit the tanks, the ranged will kill them.

That is the basic plan. There are a number of other things to do, however.

The enemy will be AOEing the flag. You want to do the same. Lots of AOE makes lots of noise, and in the confusing you may get the flag. AOE will also weaken the enemy players. Not all AOE causes a "hit" and interrupts flag capping ... a lot of enemy players won't know this. So keep trying to cap even if a few of them are doing AOE ... because they may stop or be killed at any time.

The more noise the better. Totems, pets, whatever ... if you have it, throw it at the flag.

When healers get attacked, they should kite their attackers away from the flag. Ditto for ranged.

Rogues and feral cats can be especially effective in this. Focus first on the enemy healers, secondly on their ranged. But keep an eye on the flag. If you see an opening, cc your target and go for the cap. The enemies who are attacking the tanks can get so focused on their task that they don't notice someone slipping in from the outside.

This method will quickly break down a team that is weaker than you. And it will also work well if the teams are evenly balanced ... because your cappers will stay up longer than their dps. If the enemy team is stronger than you, than you may just bang away at each other for a long time without success. But so it goes in PvP.

This is an example. You don't have to set up exactly like this. What you do have to do is have someone trying to cap the flag, someone healing them and others peeling and killing the enemy. If no one is trying to cap, you're going to fail most of the time.


Heavily stealthed, the clever rogue slips into the enemy camp. Patiently he waits until all the defender, bored and tired, fall asleep. Then he slides up to the flag, reaches out and clicks. A moment later it caps! Vanishing in a cloud of dust, the clever rogue speeds away ... as always, the Hero of the Day!

It's a nice fantasy, but a stupid tactic. Rogues and feral druids have important skills that can contribute to the success of the team. While you were sneaking and waiting and waiting and waiting ... your team was defending and attacking ... and you weren't there to help.

And for what? As soon as you cap the flag, the defenders are going to wake up and take it right back.

On the other hand, flag defense is a bonanza for stealthed players. The enemy must come up to the flag to cap it ... and then they must click on it. While this is going on, you have a free shot from behind. If a rogue can't stun lock and kill an enemy at a flag cap, they never will.


The way inexperienced players go at a flag cap is to try to kill every single enemy who is near the flag, and then all rush in to cap it.

There are two problems with this:

  1. The clock is running. While you are hacking and slashing and healing and killing, the other team is running up points. You need to cap the flag quickly.
  2. Rezzing. The flag controls a grave yard, and the people you are killing will rez soon. How often have you killed everyone at a flag and started to cap it, only to be interrupted by rezzers?

You CAN sometimes get your cap this way, but in the long run it's a losing play.


How to Defend a Flag

You don't actually need to kill the flag cappers. You just need to keep interrupting them. So in a word: AOE.

Here's what should happen: their cappers will fail, your ranged will kill their healers, then your ranged will kill their ranged, then their cappers will be defenseless.

Here's what will actually happen. Their ranged will attack your healers, who will run around a lot. Your ranged will attack their healers, who will run around a lot. Everyone will AOE the flag, which will become a very bright, noisy place. If you're stronger than them, they will die before they can cap. If not, with all the running and noise, you will eventually miss something and they'll get the flag.

So always be ready to recap ... that moment when THEY get the flag is often the best chance YOU have to get it back.