faction champions
  • Author: lettara
  • Date: June 27, 2023
  • Updated: June 27, 2023
  • Expansion: WotLK Classic

Hatred trumps tradition in this tournament. The Alliance and Horde clash in a PvP battle to the death. Triumph over the opposing group to prove that your faction is deserving to lead the fight versus the Lich King.

Role Summaries

  • AoE damage is reduced by 75% so do not use spells such as Seed of Corruption or Mind Sear.
  • Make sure that you are always attacking the proper kill target.
  • Make sure to appropriately use your defensive CDs and CC abilities.
  • Keep and eye on your health and react quickly when focused.
  • All crowd control operates how it would in PvP. For example, Polymorph lasts 10 seconds instead of 50.
  • All Crowd control is effected by diminishing returns. For example, the first time Polymorph is cast on an enemy it will last 10 seconds, but subsequent applications will only last 5 seconds, 2.5 seconds, and then the mob will become immune.
  • Maintain as much distance from melee DPS Champions as possible.
  • When being focused by a melee DPS use everything at your disposal to kite and live.
  • Know that using crowd control abilities may trigger the enemy AI to attack you.
  • Be ready to react quickly if a melee DPS Champion is focusing you. It is okay to stop DPS on the kill target if it means mitigating your damage taken. Hit anything you can in the meantime.
  • Know that using crowd control abilities may trigger the enemy AI to attack you.
  • Enemy casters will be interrupting you very frequently. Prioritize instant casts such as Holy Shock and Swiftmend if someone is in imminent danger.
  • If you must cast, try to be as far away from enemies as possible. If that is not possible, call for an Aura Mastery + Concentration Aura.
  • While a tank is not conventionally used at all here, there are strategies that can benefit from the presence of a tank. If you are employing the ‘death ball’ strategy (explained below), the tank should be the one that engages the enemy Champions. If you are the only target close to the Champions, most of them will attack you exclusively.
  • Rotate defensive cooldowns and crowd control abilities to survive and hold aggro.
  • On normal mode you are able to (briefly) taunt enemy Champions. On Heroic they are immune to taunt.
  • Have some sort of addon or weakaura that can put an aggro glow around your raid frame when a player has aggro. Announce to that player that they’ve pulled aggro so they can react as quickly as possible.
  • Call for Divine Sacrifice or an Aura Mastery + Concentration Aura when player(s) are at risk of death.
  • Announce when dangerous Champions are free of CC. Assign a player to CC them if it was not done pre-pull.
  • Plan out your kill order as far in advance as possible, but be open to spontaneously changing the kill order if a dangerous Champion is free of CC and wreaking havoc on your raid.

Champions

wow classic alliance leveling guideVelanaa
wow classic horde leveling guideLiandra Suncaller

This Champion is capable of pumping out the most raw healing if left unchecked. He will cast a combination of Flash of Light and Holy Light when a Champion is low, and mash Cleanse otherwise. Failing to CC or kill the Holy Paladin will cause a cascading effect where all of your magic CC is quickly Cleansed and the fight will become quite hectic.

A melee DPS player will be able stop most of the Holy Paladins healing, but will not be able to prevent his instant cast Cleanse spam. For this reason it is best to either hard CC this Champion or kill him early.

wow classic alliance leveling guideAnthar Forgemender
wow classic horde leveling guideCaiphus the Stern

The Discipline Priest will be using mostly instant cast spells such as Renew, Power Word: Shield and Dispel Magic. For this reason it is necessary to either kill the Discipline Priest early, or assign a CC rotation to him.

wow classic alliance leveling guideSaamul
wow classic horde leveling guideThrakgar

This Champion has very effective instant cast and castable heals. He can cast Healing Wave and Lesser Healing Wave, which are easily interruptible. He also uses instant cast abilities such as Earth Shield and Healing Stream Totem which are harder to counter.

If you do not wish to hard CC or kill this Champion early, it is possible to more or less lock him down completely. A Rogue or Enhancement shaman should be able to interrupt every Healing Wave and Lesser Healing Wave. That same Rogue or Shaman needs to react quickly and kill all of the Restoration Shaman’s totems, especially Healing Stream Totem. It is possible to kill Healing Stream Totem before a single tick of healing goes off.

If a Shaman or Priest in your raid is spamming Purge or Dispel Magic on your kill target this will mitigate most of the healing done from Earth Shield.

While it is possible to mitigate the vast majority of the Restoration Shaman’s healing, it will still be a faster encounter if you kill him early on. Some healing will inevitably go out, and even if it doesn’t, you will free up 1-2 of your DPS that would otherwise spend a majority of their time locking him down.

wow classic alliance leveling guideMelador Valestrider
wow classic horde leveling guideErin Misthoof

Restoration Druid is likely the least threatening healer Champion. He cannot Dispel Magic, so failing to CC or kill this Champion will not cause a cascading effect like it would the Holy Priest or Holy Paladin.

If you do not wish to kill the Restoration Druid early, you can assign a single Warlock to CC him. The warlock should cast Fear three times until it reaches the maximum diminishing returns, then Banish three times. Rinse & repeat.

It should be noted that a Fear -> Banish rotation will not result in 100% CC uptime. Some heals will still go off while Fear and Banish are on diminished returns. If you are concerned about this, you can have a Druid cast back to back Cyclones to bridge the gap on DRs.

wow classic alliance leveling guideTyrius Duskblade
wow classic horde leveling guideGorgrim Shadowcleave

The Death Knight will use Death Grip on vulnerable raid members and always follow-up with a Chains of Ice to root them in place.

This combination requires an immediate response from your raid. The player who was Death Gripped needs to use defensive or mobility cooldowns to get away. If that is not possible, a different player in your raid must CC the Death Knight quickly, or you will likely lose the player he is focusing.

wow classic alliance leveling guideBaelnor Lightbearer
wow classic horde leveling guideMalithas Brightblade

The Ret Pally does nothing special. Keep your distance from him and ensure that he is always CC’d or slowed when you are not killing him. He may cast Divine Shield when at low health which can be Mass Dispelled.

wow classic alliance leveling guideShocuul
wow classic horde leveling guideNarrhok Steelbreaker

Warrior is a very dangerous Champion. He can charge players and use Bladestorm, which cannot be disarmed.

Keep your distance from the Warrior if he is not CC’d or slowed.

wow classic alliance leveling guideShaabad
wow classic horde leveling guideBroln Stouthorn

This Champion is capable of doing massive damage if he reaches you, but has no movement abilities or gap closers. Simply keep him slowed or CC’d and keep your distance.

He will cast Wind Shear on healers.

He will drop totems such as Windfury Totem. It may be worth it to have a melee player dedicated to killing his totems whenever he drops them.

wow classic alliance leveling guideIrieth Shadowstep
wow classic horde leveling guideMaz’dinah

Every 30 seconds or so the Rogue Champion will Shadowstep a vulnerable caster. That caster should immediately react and use movement and defensive cooldowns to get away.

It is unrealistic to try and prevent every Shadowstep with a CC chain, so it is best to kill the rogue early.

wow classic alliance leveling guideAlyssia Moonstalker
wow classic horde leveling guideGorgrim Shadowcleave

The hunter is particularly dangerous as he casts very hard hitting Aim Shots. Since he cannot be kited, it is best to CC this or kill it early.

wow classic alliance leveling guideNoozle Whizzlestick
wow classic horde leveling guideGinselle Blightslinger
The mage will nova when in close proximity to multiple players.

Like the Warlock, the Mage will consistently interrupt healers, particularly on long casts such as Holy Light or Greater Heal.

wow classic alliance leveling guideSerissa Grimdabbler
wow classic horde leveling guideHarkzog

The warlock spends most of his time spamming Corruption and Unstable Affliction.

When multiple players are in a close proximity to the Warlock, he will cast Hellfire which should be quickly interrupted.

Like the Mage, the Warlocks will consistently interrupt healers, particularly on long casts such as Holy Light or Greater Heal.

wow classic alliance leveling guideBrienna Nightfell
wow classic horde leveling guideVivienne Blackwhisper

The Shadow Priest spends most of his time spamming Shadow Word: Pain and Vampiric Touch. He will also occasionally cast Mind Flay on low health raid members.

When multiple players are in a close proximity to the Shadow Priest, he will cast Psychic Scream. A disc priest should be ready to quickly Mass Dispel on your raid to free them from the AoE fear. A hunter can also drop Snake Trap on the Shadow Priest which will eat some fears, since Psychic Scream has a 10 target cap.

wow classic alliance leveling guideKavina Grovesong
wow classic horde leveling guideBirana Stormhoof

The least threatening caster, the Balance Druid will cast Wrath, Starfire and Moonfire. A single Rogue or Enhancement Shaman could lock the Boomkin down with ease.

Raid Composition & Preparation

It is recommended to bring 3-5 healers to this encounter, but it can be done with any amount. Effective CC will prevent the vast majority of damage dealt on Faction Champs.

A Discipline Priest is essential for this fight, as Mass Dispel has many uses here. It can dispel enemy Divine Shields, free your raid from a Priests Psychic Scream, and dispel Bloodlust / Heroism from the enemy team quickly.

Restoration Druids may not be the most adept at countering the heavy, single-target burst damage style of Faction Champions, but a druid of any spec is extremely valuable here. A Restoration Druid should spend most of his time rotating Entangling Roots and Cyclones on the enemy team.

One Holy Paladin is essential if you are doing the Death Ball strategy (explained below). They can put a Beacon of Light on whoever is assigned to draw the Champions attention and stand extremely far away from the action. If you are doing a typical Faction Champs strategy, however, Holy Paladins are not very strong. The enemy casters really enjoy interrupting Holy Light.

Unholy Death Knights are extremely powerful if your raid is executing the Death Ball strategy. Death and Decay and Pestilence are not effected by the 75% damage reduction unlike most other AoE spells. They can also Death Grip Champions that are escaping the Death Ball.

Affliction Warlocks and Fire Mages are also powerful on this encounter, as their ability to multi-dot is a sort of loophole around the 75% AoE damage reduction. They also have spammable CC via Fear and Polymorph.

Any spec of Druid is also valuable as their ability to CC is unmatched. Druids should spend a large amount of time rotating Entangling Roots and Cyclones on the enemy team.

Doing the conventional strategy a tank plays very little purpose on this encounter. However, if you are doing the Death Ball strategy (explained below), it is common to have 1-2 tanks distract the enemy team for a while. This can be done with any tank class, but Protection Warriors and Death Knights are best for their ability to CC the enemy team.

Heroic Mode

Like every Trial of The Crusader boss, the Faction Champions health has been increased by 30% in the Heroic version. Aside from this the fight is very similar to normal mode, except that the Champions cannot be taunted.

The Pull

Regardless of strategy, there are two things you’re going to want to do to initiate the fight:

  1. Death Grip your kill target as far away from the rest of the Champions as possible. Use a chain of two, or even three Death Grips if possible.
  2. Have a player run in and use an AoE CC ability such as Psychic Scream, Shockwave or Hungering Cold to force the enemy team to use their PvP trinkets.
  3. Use Bloodlust / Heroism & all DPS cooldowns immediately. The faster you kill a Champion the easier fight gets.

Positioning

Standard Positioning:
The stereotypical positioning for Faction Champs is more or a less free for all, where every player attempts to kite melee Champions and range caster Champions. Occupying a large portion of the arena means that melee Champions need to move further away to reach a raid member, so try and stay spread out.

Death Ball Strategy:
The fastest kills of Faction Champions will implement a ‘death ball’ strategy in which very little CC is used and most Champions are cleaved and multi-dotted down simultaneously. To pull off this strategy, follow this order of operations:

  1. Have all DPS start on the opposite side of the room of the Faction Champions.
  2. Death Grip a healer as far away from the other Faction Champions as possible right as the fight starts.
  3. Have a tank run in and draw the attention of the Champions. If everyone in the raid is extremely far away (>40yards), the Champions will opt to attack the nearest target instead of pursuing a distant raid member. This effect will be even greater if the Champions are slowed via Frost Trap or Chilblains.
  4. Death Grip a second healer as far away from the other Faction Champions as possible when the first healer hits ~20% health.
  5. Once two healers are dead, have the raid advance on the clump of enemy Faction Champions. Melee should run in and start attacking/cleaving the 3rd healer. This creates the “death ball”, where there is a large group of enemy Faction Champions and friendly melee DPS. The ranged should continue to stand as far as possible while still being able to attack comfortably.
  6. If any targets escape the death ball they should be CC’d until they are able to be Death Gripped back into the clump.

The Fight

Put raid markers on every target and assign both a kill order and crowd control assignments.

Kill Order

When it comes to kill order, there are two schools of thought:
You can either kill healers first which will shorten the length of the fight, or you can take out the most dangerous DPS Champions first.

Most Dangerous DPS Champions:

Champion
Danger Level
Rogue
S
Warrior
S
Hunter
A
Enhancement
B
Death Knight
B
Retribution
B
Warlock
C
Shadow Priest
C
Mage
C
Boomkin
D

The DPS higher on the above list should be killed early and CC’d as much as possible.

 

About the Author

lettara

World of Warcraft veteran of 18 years. Ex world first raider and rank 1 healer. Slayer of dragons. Lover of cats.
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