Arathi Basin Battleground Guide

Updated Tue, Dec 14, 2010 by Mem

Arathi Basin hosts a 15 vs. 15 player battle over resources which either side desperately needs to fuel the warfront.

You can join the battle starting at level 20 (brackets of 20-29,  30-39, 40-49, 50-59, 60-69, 70-79, and 80) to assist either the League of Arathor  (Alliance) or the Forsaken Defilers (Horde). Constant fast paced battles are the  main draw to this excellent and quick game. The one thing to note is that it’s best you wait until the higher level range of each bracket before joining most battlegrounds, as you will be a liability to your team if you, for example, are a level 40 in the 40-49 bracket. You really should be at least at the mid-point for your current tier as you will survive longer and contribute more to your team as a result.

Until reaching the level cap (or choosing to opt out) players can earn experience in the battlegrounds, so if you’re looking for a nice change of pace from the usual PvE level grind, Arathi Basin is an excellent alternative. Players will receive roughly 0.8% of a level for completing a match, 0.8% for every 260 resources and an extra 0.8% for a victory. These percents are only estimates and the percentage of experience gained will vary per level.

All entrances to Arathi Basin are located in the Arathi Highlands. The Alliance entrance is located inside Refuge Pointe, while the Horde Entrance is located just outside of Hammerfall. Prior to Patch 3.1 players were forced to either use these entrances, or queue up using one of the Battlemasters located in each capital city. As of Patch 3.1 players may enter the queue from anywhere using the battlegrounds tab in the Player vs. Player window.

Arathi Basin - Basics

Each team begins with zero resources and work towards gaining  1,600 (prior to Patch 3.2 2,000 resources were needed) before the other team to win. To gain these resources your team will need to capture the resource nodes located in Arathi Basin. There are five resource nodes (Lumber Mill, Stables, Mine, Blacksmith, and Farm), and when captured these nodes each provide resources every few seconds. The more nodes you control, the faster your team will gain resources, leading to quicker wins. To capture these nodes, simply activate  the flag located at one of the above five locations. The flags have activation times of eight seconds (down from 10 seconds as of Patch 3.2), but beware as any damage done to the person activating the flag will interrupt the cast, and you will have to click the flag again and start the timer over. Any player standing at a node that they control will gain the Honorable Defender buff, which will grant them +50% honor from each kill.

All nodes start out in a neutral state, with no owners. After the flag at a node has been capped it will officially belong to the team that managed to successfully cap the flag. Anyone who seeks to assault the location will have to activate the  flag which will throw the node into a conflict status (much like the neutral state the nodes start in). The team that originally held the node has exactly one minute to reclaim the node before it’s ownership is transferred to the other team. If a node is reclaimed by the originall team while it’s in conflict,  that team will instantly gain back control of the node. A node in conflict will provide no resources to either team, and players will no longer be able to rez at that node’s graveyard.

If any players die during the game then they have the option of releasing to the nearest graveyard. Each side has a permanent graveyard at their starting location, just outside of the exit portal. When nodes are successfully captured,  players from each team will be able to rez from the closest node controlled by their team. Each graveyard has a Spirit Healer that will resurrect any players within their radius once every thirty seconds, but be careful not to walk outside of this range or you will not be resurrected.

Single groups of five, and premade raids of 15 may enter Arathi Basin allowing players to team up with their friends for more coordinated battles. Check out our Communication  is Key section for more information on groups.

Honor, Reputation, and Marks of Honor

During the course of the match you will notice that you and your team will be gaining honor, reputation, and at the end of the match Marks of Honor. Most players strive to increase these gains, so here are some ways to do just that:

You can gain extra honor by meeting these goals:

Collecting multiples of 260 resources

Winning the match

Honor gained will scale depending on your level, at higher levels you will gain noticeably less honor.. Some scored events do not grant honor such as: killing blows, capturing a node, assaulting a node, or defending a node, however honor is awarded for honorable kills. For even more honor goodness keep an eye out for the Arathi Basin Holiday weekend.

Players’ reputation will increase with either The Defilers (Horde) or The League of Arathor (Alliance) by completing the following goals:

Collecting multiples of 160 resources

Completeing Quests in Arathi Basin

Marks of Honor
Unlike reputation and honor there is only one way to make sure you gain the max amount of Marks possible; win the match. Winning a match will grant your team three Marks of Honor, while losing will only gain you one.

Resource Nodes

The Farm
The Farm is located in the south-east part of the map, right outside of the Defilers Den which is the Horde spawning point. The Farm, being so close to the location of the Horde’s entrance, is generally captured first by  the Horde and is typically well defended. Inside of the small house near the farm’s flag players will be able to find a buff that will spawn from time to time that anyone can take advantage of. The graveyard is located on the west side of the Farm and can be a long walk if someone is assaulting the flag. If you wish to attack the Farm, it's best to come up from the Mine. While you have to cover more distance to reach the flag, you will be able to hide your assault due to the buildings which help break line of sight and will have plenty of space to flee if required.

The Stable
The Stable is located in the north-central part of the map, right outside of Trollbane Hall (the Alliance Spawn point). Like the Farm, the Stables are generally well defended by the Alliance and are captured by soon after the start of the battle. The hidden buff here will spawn inside of the stable building. The graveyard here is located very close to the flag, making it a difficult location to assault, unless left undefended, or a certain level of teamwork is involved.

The Lumber Mill
Located on a hill on the west side of the map, the Lumber Mill is one of the easiest nodes to capture and defend for either team. It’s location gives players good scouting positions, that will allow them to spot attackers from a distance. This also gives the Lumber Mill a great tactical advantage, as it gives your side a bird’s eye view of the Blacksmith, Farm, and Stables.  Defenders can call out which of the other nodes are most vulnerable to attack, or about to be overrun by a large group from the opposing team. As such this is a good node to capture early on in the match.

 The Lumber Mill encompasses a very small amount of actual land, meaning attackers have little option but to charge straight in if they wish to assault the flag. Caution should be taken here, as one wrong step (or a well timed mind control), could send a player crashing over the edge of the steep cliff (no durability loss will be taken). To assault the Lumber Mill simply go up the cliff and fight! As mentioned previously the location of the Lumber Mill leaves little options for attackers, so give your best battle cry and charge in.

The Mine
The Mine can be found on the eastern side of the map, and is a location that is generally assaulted early in the game, but rarely defended. However there are a few easy ways to defend the Mine without using a ton of manpower, or strategy. Simply hide one of your team inside the Mine, or use a player that can stealth. Once the flag at the Mine is assaulted the player (or players) will usually leave, assuming that no one is there to defend it. Once the players have departed the hidden or stealthed player can quickly recapture the flag and then hide once again.

The Mine is surrounded by relatively wide open space, and has a sheer cliff that can be used by ranged classes to effectively snipe from, which can be effective in either defending or assaulting the node. This cliff also provides easy and quick access to the node as you can head east from the Blacksmith and simply jump over the cliff. However it should be noted that you will take falling damage, so it may not be the best idea to plummet into the midst of your enemies unless you have a friendly Mage or Priest around to give you Levitate or Free Fall. The free bonus here can be found near the Mine in a small cart.

The Mine is one of the least tactically beneficial nodes to defend due to being cut off from the other nodes in terms of line of sight. While it can be easy to spot incoming attackers, most teams will opt to control the Lumber Mill instead, only assaulting the Mine if other nearby nodes are already held and the bulk of the opposing team’s forces are on the far side of the map.

The Blacksmith
Kind of like Tic-Tac-Toe, those who hold the Blacksmith have a good chance of controlling the map. Located in the very center of the map, the Blacksmith is hard to defend, and easy to attack. Attackers can come from almost any angle, which is sure to keep players defending the Blacksmith on their toes. The ability to quickly access all other resource nodes makes this location where the bulk of the fighting happens. A free buff can be found inside the Blacksmith building.

Resource Points

As you gain control of the resource nodes you start earning points towards winning. The more nodes that you control the more points you earn and the faster you earn them as shown in the chart below.
Nodes Controlled Resources per Tick Tick Time Resources per Second
1 10 12 0.8
2 10 9 1.1
3 10 6 1.7
4 10 3 3.3
5 10 1 30

Communication is Key

Working together as a team is a key factor to winning Arathi Basin.  While the battleground is quite simple in nature, those without the ability to  communicate efficiently will be a great disadvantage against those who can. Using some form of voice communication can greatly assist in this task.

Be sure to do some planning before the match starts, divide players into teams and then decide which teams will be doing what. Some teams will be stationed at nodes to defend them, while others will be moving around the map assaulting nodes, or simply helping to defend nodes that are under attack. Doing some pre-match planning will greatly decrease confusion during the battle and will help aid in your victory.

Winning in Arathi Basin

There is no definite way to win Arathi Basin, and each team will need to make use of it’s individual strengths and weaknesses, however there are some simple suggestions and common strategies that may help you obtain that victory:

Defend Your Nodes - Having everyone on offense is a very bad idea, be sure to defend the nodes you have already won. If you don’t defend the nodes you capture, you may discover that nodes that were once yours are now in the hands of the other team. Leave at least one player at each node to defend the flag and at the very least notify everyone when an assault is incoming.

Kill the Healers  - While a DPS classes may seem like the better choice of a target, be sure to take out the healers first, trust me leaving healers alive is never a good idea. That healer is inevitably going to be keeping up the very DPS you are trying to kill, and if they have a healer behind them, you are probably going to lose.

To Zerg or not to Zerg - If a large group of enemy players assault the node you are defending, or rush past, make the best of it by realizing that those players have probably left another node undefended. On the other hand if you notice that more than half of your team is in a single place, it would be wise to leave, and find a node that is undefended or could use your help against an incoming assault.

Battle on the Flag - Anyone who has done any number of Arathi Basins has probably seen this statement shouted in chat. A common mistake people make is to engage the enemy anyplace they find them, or running out to meet them as they make an assault on a node. This is a bad choice, instead continue on your way until you find a node you are needed at, or if you are defending a node be sure to keep close to the flag, otherwise you may find an enemy has capped it while you were out sating your bloodlust.

Cap That Flag - In the frenzy of battle it’s sometimes easy to forget what your goal is, and as such epic battles can be waged, and no flag ever gets capped. Never wait for someone else to do it for you, click on that flag and try to cap it!

Hit Everything - There is a good chance that more than one person will try to cap a flag. So attempt to use abilities that damage more than one enemy at once to prevent the cap from happening.

Three Cap
As the name implies this strategy basically requires your team to hold and defend three separate resource nodes. The easiest nodes to complete this with are the Stables, or Farm, Blacksmith, and the Lumber Mill. Your team will need to split into three separate teams of five. Once the match begins the teams will rush to these nodes and attempt to claim them as their own. Once all three are captured, the only time players will move is when another node comes under attack. In this situation reinforcements from the closest node should intercept, leaving at least two players behind to defend.

Example of team positioning for a three cap:

Team A (Home Defense) (Farm/Stables) -  This team should defend the Farm or Stables and should be prepared to assist any other node that comes under assault.

Team B (Blacksmith) - This is the most important node to keep captured and as such the team’s best players should be placed here. This team should expect to see the most action.

Team C ( Lumber Mill) - This team should defend the Lumber Mill (or Mine, however the Lumber Mill is probably a better choice due to it’s tactical advantages as described above) and assist the Blacksmith if it comes under attack.

Four Cap
More experienced teams can attempt to assault and defend four different resource nodes at the same time. The most common way to accomplish this is to split your group up into three teams of five, and a team of just a single person. The three teams of five will head out to assault the Lumber Mill, Blacksmith, and the Mine, while the single team member will remain behind to cap and defend the Stables or Farm. The teams need to be vigilant for any attacks aimed at the Stables or Farm, if no action to aid the Stables or Farm is taken it will be easily overrun and lost.

Five Cap
Holding five nodes is difficult, and does not happen often. Holding five nodes at a time causes the timer to move extremely fast, which can easily make the game last only a few minutes. Holding all five nodes will require excellent timing, strategy and communication throughout the battle. In order to make this tactic work your team will need to keep the enemy team spawning at their starting area. To do this assign one person to cap the Stables or Farm, while two others head off to the Lumber Mill and Mine. The bulk of your force should rush to the Stables or Farm and quickly cap the flag there. Keep the enemy bottled up in their starting zone, and watch the resources flow in. Five capping is very difficult to achieve, but is very rewarding.

Defense Tactics

While defending a node it is your job to be sure that the flag at that node is never capped. In order to do this defending players must always be on the look out for enemy players attempting to cap the flag. Defending players must be sure to damage these players before they reach the end of the eight second channel. To make this job easier, defenders should always do battle on or near the flag. If you happen to die while defending a node, be hasty in your return, and don’t hesitate to jump back into the battle.

As a defender you also have the responsibility of making the rest of your team aware of impending attacks, and calling for support when needed. A simple shout out in chat such as “Inc at LM” will do to give you team the heads up that an enemy attack is pending, however also including the number of attackers can prove very useful.

Offense Tactics

While on offense players are required to not only go out and assault nodes, but also to be ready to give support to any nodes that are being attacked. This means that players need to keep a constant eye on the map and chat to be aware of what nodes are controlled by their team, where their team members are, and what nodes might be vulnerable to attack.

If a team member calls out for support at a node the offensive team members should rush to it’s defense. If not defending a node offensive players should be looking for ways to cap additional nodes. Here are some common ways that nodes are capped:

Zerging - This method requires a large number of your team’s players to attack the same node and essentially overrun the defense by sheer numbers. This tactic can be very effective, but you run the risk of leaving nodes undefended.

Ninja - To accomplish this method you must become one with the ninja and sneak cap a node while no enemy players are watching. This is more easily accomplished by players who can stealth.

Keep Away - With this tactic you will attempt to pull the enemy team away from a node by a false initial assault. You will then fall back, and if all goes well the other team will give chase. This allows another assault team, or even a single player to come in from behind and capture the flag.


There are many achievements related to Arathi Basin, including a Meta achievement, which are listed below:

Achievement Description Reward
Arathi Basin All-Star Assault and Defend 2 bases in a single Arathi Basin match 20 Achievement Points
We Had It All Along *Cough* Win Arathi Basin by 10 points 20 Achievement Points
To the Rescue! Come to the defense of a base in Arathi Basin 50 times by recapping the flag 20 Achievement Points
Arathi Basin Assassin Get give honorable kills at each of the bases in a single Arathi Basin battle 10 Achievement Points
Territorial Dominance Win 10 Arathi Basin matches while controlling all 5 flags 10 Achievement Points
Arathi Basin Perfection Win Arathi Basin with a score of 1600 to 0 10 Achievement Points
Arathi Basin Victory Win an Arathi Basin match 10 Achievement Points
Arathi Basin Veteran Complete 100 victories 10 Achievement Points
Resilient Victory Overcome a 500 resource disadvantage and claim victory 10 Achievement Points
Overly Defended Defeat 3 bases in a single battle 10 Achievement Points
Me and the Cappin’ Makin’ it Happen Take 50 flags 10 Achievement Points
Let’s Get This Done Win Arathi Basin in 6 minutes 10 Achievement Points
Disgracin’ The Basin Assault 3 bases in a single Arathi Basin 10 Achievement Points
Knight of Arathor (Alliance Only) Gain exalted status with the League of Arathor 10 Achievement Points
The Defiler (Horde Only) Gain exalted status with The Forsaken Defilers 10 Achievement Points
Master of Arathi Basin Complete all the above listed achievements 10 Achievement Points

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