Strategic Breakdown of AV

Most posts complaining about how bad AV is for Alliance never really go into WHY it is so bad. So, let us take a look at why AV is so miserable for alliance. This is going to just break down the first big problem, Galv vs Balinda. If this goes well I may break down more parts of the map.

When the match starts both Horde and Alliance have a big first objective to go for, Galv and Bal. Both teams rush for the center as fast as they can, and this is where the first significant problem appears. As Alliance reaches Balinda so does the Horde at almost exactly the same time. Huh, that is strange… they get to their first objective long before we could get to ours? This may not seem like a big deal to some, but, it gives a MASSIVE advantage in how Horde get to dictate the flow of the game right from the start.

Ok, Horde get to Balinda first. What are the consequences of that? Well, it means that automatically the Alliance are the ones who have to decide how to counter this disadvantage. Without a premade you are now expecting 40 random people to decide on a singular strategy. This is not a big deal for Horde because they are NATURALLY getting to dictate the flow of the match. When AV first dropped Alliance would try to just run by, knowing that Horde racial abilities give a significant advantage in fights. This was the rush Galv meta. This meta did not last long as Horde figured out, “Oh… just kill them as they run by.” And very quickly that strategy died. After rush Galv strategy became an unusable option it only left Alliance with a few strategic options.

  1. Continue to try the run by and watch the raid die.
  2. Meet Horde before they go after Balinda and accept the disparity of the fight that racials cause.
  3. Wait for Horde to enter Balinda and then try to wipe them during the fight.
  4. Wait for them to enter Balinda, run by, accept that Galv is a pipe dream and move on to LTS and towers.

No matter which of these options Alliance choose, the strategy for the Horde remains COMPLETELY unchanged. Stay grouped, go to Balinda, and kill anything red. Therefore, no real coordination is needed. The first option is obviously bad and has not worked since week one of AV. Option 2 is pretty bad, but can be winnable. But, again, you have to get EVERYONE on board to try and overcome the disparity created by racials… and the fact Shamans can literally melt someone before a single heal can get to them. Option 3 is slightly better than option 2 because you are splitting the Horde’s attention between Balinda and the raid. If done right this MAY be the little bump needed to offset the racial disparity. Again, the problem lies in getting everyone to do the strat. Finally, option 4, this may be the BEST option for Alliance to actually win. It does not feel good accepting that Galv is simply a pie in the sky option, but, the map is not fair. Again though, regardless of which option Alliance take, it does not change the Horde’s first move.

This is just the first big reason as to why Alliance, even with premades, still lost FAR more than Horde does now without them. Breaking the map down further shows how it actually gets worse.

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I haven’t noticed that Horde go for Balinda first. They lock down the area and then, when Alliance is pinned between SP and the SH area, they send just a small contingent to take down Bal.

Alliance shouldn’t even waste time with Galv unless they miraculously gain control of the field.


You are correct. I am talking very generally about what the map itself dictates, not what Horde EXACTLY are doing at this moment. But, it still holds my point the same, they all group at Balinda.


Horde wants marks. Alliance wants rep. It’s the mindset.

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Both want marks as it is the best way to get rep for Alliance.


premades were also stacking every mounted movement speed increase there is to counter the initial disadvantage.

just open gates 5-10 seconds early for alliance. It’s not a big deal and would give Alliance more opportunity to change the meta (even though most matches would probably go the same).

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Actually, if you want to get even more meta strategy and map layout as to why AV can be really disadvantageous to ally, its all about the GY and choke-point placements.

A bit of history lesson - the majority of us came from WoW Retail (and some even played WoW retail from Vanilla through to BfA), so those of use remember AV in all its evolutions. And we remember the most pivotal change was when Blizzard added reinforcements, which allowed AV to be won without actually killing Vann/Drek.

This consequence of that change highlighted the immense importance (and unbalance) between the GY placements and chokepoints - specifically at the SH GY/IW Tower Chokepoint vs. the IB GY Chokepoint. Location wise - SH GY was always easier to cap for Horde because the SH GY Flag is out in the open and in front of the ally choke-point of Icewing Tower. In contrast, the Horde’s IB GY is behind a curved road which acts as a choke-point. In summary - Ally SH GY in front of chokepoint, Horde IB GY behind chokepoint.

What this caused was once the reinforcements patch was implemented into AV was that Horde, who traditionally always lost the zerg game, had TWO natural choke-points on the map. The Horde’s original IB GY acts as a choke to stem ally push forwards, and once Horde cap SH GY, the Horde turns the ally choke-point at IW Tower against the Alliance. And so the Horde just farm Ally for kills, and wins the reinforcement game. In many games, Horde don’t even run north to try to kill Vann, instead Horde just wait at the IW Tower choke-point and farm ally down.

In Classic, we don’t have reinforcements. But the strategy and map imbalance still stands, which is why Horde has a much easier time capping SH GY, and controlling the map from SH GY down (which means Balinda dies, and SH Tower and IW Tower gets capped with ease).

So how does Ally win AV in the old days? I’m talking about the really, really old days - with AV matches that went on for hours? There is no easy answer - the hard truth is if Ally wanted to win (and not rely on Horde making an error), there really was only one “okay’ish” strategy: You defend SH GY, and you take SF GY, and you beat Horde on the field, and SLOWLY push Horde back.

Is it a sh1t strategy compared to Horde’s, who naturally has an easier time because the GY and Map favored them? Absolutely. But them’s the breaks.

TLDR: If Ally wants to have even a decent chance at winning AV, Ally need to defend SH GY, and then push SF GY. Yes, its slower and requires more effort to win AV. Tough cookies.


Irrelevant. Alliance has been done with AV for months now. Full on boycott. Not sure why we are bothering to talk about this.


It’s been extensively gone into why AV is bad…

IB GY is much easier to defend than SH GY and once SH GY is taken horde basically have a free win.

Try to have SF, IB, SH goin
That’s the way for you guys

they just need to change cave respawn timer/quantity of rezzes per cycle to aid this.

this change and the gate change would completely change AV

Thank you. We really needed another lengthy explanation of what’s wrong with AV. This is fresh and useful.


Hahahahaha try to hold 3 points Meanwhile for Horde “zug zug push SH”

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Galv periodically buffs the Horde with a 20% health buff that lasts 2 minute.

Everyone will incessantly whine and cry about racial buffs, but by not killing Galv, we are giving the Horde this one for the duration of the battleground. As a ret paladin, it’s a lot harder to global a mage or wear down a prot warrior when they have 20% more health…

Seriously, this mindset of “Galv is a waste of time” is pure stupidity.


And another huge imbalance in favor of the horde is that Galv is not a push over like balinda is.

It’s not remotely ‘pure stupidity’.

You know what happens when we focus on Galv instead of going for a graveyard? Horde see where we’re going and trap us in this location. If we can go back for Galv later, fine, but again, it’s not a priority. There can be NO delays in capping IBGY when in that area. Can’t waste time on towers nor Galv.

Oh okay. Let’s just whine and not do anything, then!

Nope we should do something, stop queuing for AV.

Let horde have their massive queue times since they insist on abusing their map advantage.

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We don’t need 40 people to kill him. And of we did have 40 people in there, he’d be dead in seconds.

Yes, he’d be dead and we’d still have to fight through horde to get to the graveyard. You are seriously underestimating the value of that time. And to get to Galv’s location means going through the horde; not around them. This isn’t the zerg days where we rush past one another.