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Blood Sport: Beginner's Guide to Arena, Part VI


Want to crush your enemies, see them driven before you, and hear the lamentation of their women? Blood Sport investigates the entirety of all-things arena for gladiators and challengers alike. C. Christian Moore, multiple rank 1 gladiator, examines the latest arena strategy, trends, compositions and more in's arena column.

Listening Music: The Knife with "Heartbeats." My wife has been recommending this song for maybe a month or two now. Even though she doesn't play WoW, she loves reading Valentine's Day is coming up, so I figure I should start laying down the sweet. Hello, love. Your favorite song is featured today. I like it too. Hopefully our readers do as well.

Last Week: We finished up our two part series on resource mechanics in arena. It's been a bit of a hiatus since we last looked at some advice for arena novices. With the new arena season starting tomorrow, there's no better time to define some terms.

This Week: I've been getting comments asking to describe some terms in these arena articles. Arena terms can be quite confusing, even to a hardcore raider! Tanking, for instance, means completely different things. Read on to see what they are!

Arena PvP glossary:

  • Balanced Composition: A 3v3 consisting of a melee dps, spell dps, and healer.
  • Blanket, Silence, or Blanket Silence: Any ability which places a silencing debuff on an opponent. Silence, Strangulate, Spell Lock.
  • Burst: A damage spike, or a team that specializes in killing things very quickly.
  • Cleave Team: A predominantly physical-damage or melee-heavy 3v3 / 5v5.
  • Composition: The class makeup of an arena team. Rogue-mage-priest is the composition of a popular 3v3 team.
  • Crowd Control: Spells and abilities which limit an opponent's ability to fight.
  • Drain: Any ability that removes mana from an opponent. Mana Burn, Drain Mana, Viper Sting, etc.
  • Faceroll: A class, spec, or composition said to be very easy to play. Ex: "I could faceroll my keyboard and get gladiator with that composition."
  • Farming: Gaining a large amount points off a single opposing team. "We farmed Xyz's team for 100 points yesterday."
  • Gib/Global/WotLK: To kill an opponent extremely quickly.
  • Interrupt: Any ability which forces a school lockout. Pummel, Kick, Counterspell.
  • Juking: Stopping a spellcast to avoid an opponent's interrupt.
  • Kite: To limit an opponent's damage by keeping out of his range of offensive abilities.
  • Mana War: A type of arena battle that is won when an opposing healer goes oom.
  • Metagame: What other people are currently playing and how it affects the tournament ladder.
  • MS: Originates with Mortal Strike; any healing debuff. Mortal Strike, Wound Poison, Aimed Shot, etc.
  • Opener: The initial spells and abilities which start an arena game. Especially important with rogues.
  • Peeling: Using crowd control to keep opponents from damaging your teammates.
  • Pillar Humping: A defensive strategy which involves avoiding the opponent by running behind pillars.
  • Pressure: High constant damage.
  • Queue Dodging: Trying to purposefully avoid other arena teams that are also queueing. Queue dodging is legal, but often frowned upon.
  • Reset: Both teams purposefully remove themselves from combat and healers are mutually permitted to regen to full mana.
  • Spy: A level one character created on another realm to 'spy' on the whereabouts of an opposing team. Spying is legal and often an aspect of queue dodging.
  • Tanked/Tanking: Losing a large amount of points in a short period of time. "We tanked from 2400 to 2100 tonight."
  • Train: All members of the same team attacking the same target.
  • Tunnel Vision: Ignoring powerful opportunities to benefit your team by being too focused on one aspect of the game.
  • Turtle: A slow and boring game. Usually created by opponents who play defensively with the goal of outlasting their opponents.
  • Win Trading: Two or more teams engaging in collusion to gain an uncompetitive advantage or benefit through the arena queue system. This usually includes a team purposefully losing to benefit another. Win Trading is against WoW's Terms of Service, is cheating, and can get you suspended or banned.
  • Zerg: An aggressive opening strategy. The term originates in Starcraft.
Teams are usually classified by letters. For instance, RMP would be rogue-mage-priest. RLS is rogue-warlock-shaman. Warlocks are L (warLock). Priests, paladins, druids, and death knights share a first letter with another class. D is for druid. DK is for death knight. Priests are P while paladins are referred to normally by spec, or some other abbreviation. For instance: Hpal, ret, protpal, etc.

Potentially confusing team names:
  • 234: The popular core of many 5v5 teams. Discipline priest, holy paladin, arms warrior (or hunter), elemental shaman.
  • 2345: The above composition with a frost mage.
  • 2346: The above composition with a warlock substituted for the frost mage.
  • Euro Comp: Rogue, warlock, mage, discipline priest, resto druid.
  • RMPLS: Rogue, warlock, mage, discipline priest, resto shaman.
  • JAC: Rogue, warlock, mage, shadow priest, resto shaman.
  • Drain Team: A 3v3 or 5v5 team with the primary strategy to oom opponent healers.
  • Team Asia: A drain team popular in The Burning Crusade. Warlock, hunter, discipline priest, resto druid, holy paladin.
  • Beast Cleave: Beast mastery hunter, enhancement shaman, healer (usually holy paladin).
  • Shadowcleave: Death knight, affliction warlock, healer (usually holy paladin or resto druid).
  • TSG: 3v3 team consisting of holy paladin, death knight, arms warrior.
  • Wizard Cleave: 3v3 team consisting of two spell dps casters and a healer.
Potentially confusing abbreviations:
  • DR: Diminishing Returns.
  • LOS: Line Of Sight. When an opponent runs behind a pillar to avoid your spell, he is said to have 'LOS'd' you.
  • Mp5: Mana (regen) Per 5 seconds.
  • OOM: Out Of Mana.
  • RNG: Random Number Generator.
Next week:

We'll probably be going over positioning and some arena specifics. The positioning article might need to be split up into several because of all the different arenas and possibilities. Expect to see some terrible MS Paint skills. If I missed any terms, please let me know in the comments below and I'll edit them in. Thanks!

Want to ascend the arena ladders faster than a fireman playing Donkey Kong? Check out's articles on arena, successful arena PvPers, PvP, and our arena column, Blood Sport.

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