Photoset

I always considered Warsong Gulch my weakest battleground map on Cynwise. When I started PvPing - 4 years ago, wow - the bracket was dominated by Horde in WSG and Alliance in AV. I wasn’t very good, so I died a lot. I struggled with Death Knights. I got chewed up and spit out on a regular basis. I didn’t give up, but I didn’t enjoy the 45 minute long matches.

I thought I hated Warsong Gulch. 

My antidote was my first serious alt, my Death Knight Cynwulf. As a level 59 twink at the height of Wrath, he dominated WSG. Instead of getting chewed up by the melee, I was the chewer. Cynwulf was faster, stronger, and sturdier than Cynwise. I could run into a pack, Howling Blast and Pestilence and Frost Strike my way through it, and come out the other side untouched. I could tank Drek in AV and turn around and dominate WSG as I leveled my warlock, slowly, through the higher brackets. 

Cynwulf was a drunkard, a wasted shell of a man, but there are times that I miss him - and that bracket - a lot. 

Cynwulf taught me that WSG could be fun, and the long series of toons I’ve rolled since him has taught me to love the place. I think it’s a great battleground, one of the most pure and zen-like of all the places. I became a FC in the 19 bracket and learned the shortest routes and how to carry on any toon. I played it on mages and druids and warriors and priests and hunters and it became a comfortable, familiar place. I’ve called it “The Office” on many occasions. 

Of my existing toons - and I’ve deleted a lot - I have played 563 Warsong Gulch matches. Some of them were routine, others were slaughters. Some were epic fights down to the wire; others were snoozefests. I won 274 of them.

When I buckled down on Battlemaster, I knew I would need to do it on Cynwise. I’ve gotten better since my first few months of getting slaughtered as a level 52 warlock in the 50-59 bracket, but there was always a hangup about not being as good in it as I was in other places. A mental block. This is the place I lose, I’d think, and that wasn’t right.

But I kept going. WSG would come up, and I’d win or lose but I’d play better. Every flag run I did on Cynli or Cynderblock taught me the best routes around melees. I learned to hang back, to use the confined space of the map to my advantage, to burst and run, to throw myself into packs to distract away from the FC, to camp the GY when it needed camping and break the camps when they needed breaking.

I still died a lot. Don’t get me wrong, I have a high mortality rate on my warlock, and I don’t see that changing anytime soon. But I got over my hangups, and learned to love Warsong Gulch with Cynwise.

And now she is a [Master of Warsong Gulch]. 

Battlemaster status: 3 down, 2 to go. It’s all wins from here on out.

Photoset

For Arathi Basin, my last achievement was [To The Rescue!], recapture 50 bases. This involves:

  1. Having a base you control 
  2. get attacked by the enemy
  3. and you recapture it in the 53 seconds before it flips to their control.

I started off with a paltry 13/50, having spent my career in Arathi Basin defending bases to prevent them from flipping in the first place, and never, ever leaving my post once I was defending the flag. I had to change my mindset from doing things “right” to becoming as aggressive as possible with the flags. 

This wasn’t a bad shift, actually. By constantly running to the attacked base, even my late recaps (and there were a lot) usually helped retake bases before they could be reinforced by the Horde. (And if the base I just left got assaulted, that gave me another base to chase after. I don’t have a lot of shame.)

This took weeks to finish. At first it was slow going; I had trouble getting into the right rhythm, I wasn’t aggressive enough, I didn’t focus on clearing bases really quickly. 

But after 20 or so, I found a groove. Most games saw a recap, some 3-4. The games were infrequent but productive. I watched my AB rep climb (worth noting for the eventual Justicar grind) and remembered how this BG is one of the best. I love Arathi Basin; it’s a great mix of strategy and PvP and it lets me use all my engineering toys.

Oh yes. Engineering toys; the Goblin Glider is incredible for covering distances quickly. If you are approaching the Mine from the ST/FM, ride a little along the upper road and then hit your glider. You’ll get all the way down to the flag much faster than when mounted. (Plus you sail over any defensive perimeters they may have set up.)

Water walking on the Felsteed also helped tremendously. Not even going to think about lying there.

So: 2/5ths of the way to Battlemaster. All that remains:

  • 10 WSG wins
  • 5 WSG flag returns
  • 25 Strand wins
  • 39 Eye of the Storm wins

WSG will be next, I think.