With the recent epic bug updates that came out a few months ago, the meta has had time to adjust. Player behavior has reached a comfortable norm, so that most epic chess games almost always go the same way. In this post I will describe the meta for each epic bg, and counter strategies for your team. I’ve led groups with these counter strategies, and they’ve worked phenomenally well to make the opponent follow the meta. I must remind you that meta does not mean best and optimal option. It simply means what players are naturally drawn to and the most popular strategy.
What you need to know about epic bugs:
- Players usually have a rudimentary or vague understanding of epic bugs in general, and focus mostly on massive battles.
- Players usually don’t know why they should go to certain destinations or at what time, so clear spoken instructions are needed in case of an emergency.
- Teams are usually not coordinated enough to create a contingency plan in case their usual strategy doesn’t work (unless it’s a team assembled in advance). If one team deviates from the meta, the other almost never has an answer. If an uninvited guest can react, it’s usually not fast enough. Deviant behavior significantly increases the chances of winning.
- Some of the most spectacular moves in the game are made by lone wolves who target targets outside of combat.
The Horde stops in the Dark Forest to retrieve the Singing Flowers and loot the fragments of the artifact. They continue to claim the space of Cor’loc and settle in the main street.
The Alliance immediately grabs the Ring of Conquest. If an old artifact (which differs from artifact fragments) is multiplied early, that’s a bonus. Once the RoC is cleared, run to the base and unfold the fragments to summon Fangraal the Elder. Then they push onto the main road.
This meta is in favor of the alliance because Fangreal is much stronger than the Ogre Champion. The Horde is usually pushed towards the Alliance mage tower when Fangraal comes out, so the Alliance can easily sweep the Horde out from under the tower and push them back. Rebuilding the Horde is not impossible, but losing the fragments of the towel artifact puts them at a disadvantage.
Find the Alliance at the conquest ring and take control of the area once they have fought their first group of monsters. The Alliance does not expect to fight the Horde here and is overwhelmed. Once you’ve taken them out, go straight to Cor’loc and claim the Ogre. Go back to the base and put them in shards. The Horde now has the benefit of the artifact fragments from the first battle and can summon Kronos before the Alliance can summon Fangraal. They have an ogre and possibly an ancient artifact. Allianz never recovered.
Since the current meta situation favors the alliance, a counter strategy is unnecessary. The Ring of Conquest has by far the largest number of artifacts of any zone in Ashran. If you take control of the area and fend off an ambush by the Horde, you’re guaranteed a solid victory. The realm of early catches is very difficult to recover from the horde. But if you need to get away from the meta, countering in the dark forest is also a viable strategy. Lead your team from the east side of the map through the jungle area and jump into the dark forest behind Cor’loca’s headquarters. You can get rid of the Horde artifact fragment by destroying it and stealing their Song Flowers in the process. Killing an early mage is also possible from this position. The next safe move would be to claim the Kor’locs after he eliminates them.
The recipe for success in this winter attack is high vehicle coverage and a workshop close to the site of the attack. Owning a workshop increases the reach of your team, so never lose sight of it when you have something to say. In general : The more cars a team has, the more likely they are to win. Most of the two teams fought in the sunken ring to claim him. When the attack catches them, they build vehicles and attack the eastern fortress wall. When the defense captures it, they run to the east bridge and try to take East Park, defecting to the neighboring towers. If it’s an absolute steamroller, the defense will chase the offense clockwise across the map.
The divergent behaviors and the key to victory for both teams can be found in the western half of the map. Let the team fights take place in the east. There is no reason to stop the crowd from going to SD and you can’t. They need murders to get high positions and drive cars. Your job is to deliver them vehicles. Remember that a workshop increases the number of vehicles in your team by 4. This gives a total difference of 8, where 4 is subtracted from the other team’s total and 4 is added to yours. It’s incredibly impressive. Send about 3 players to the Broken Temple workshop at the beginning of the turn to make sure you keep it (offensive) or conquer it (defensive). Battles on the west side of the map are similar to arena-style skirmishes, where groups are never larger than 5 people in the first fight on the battlefield. So you have to hope that whoever you send to the BT is confident in a high pressure 1v1 situation. If you lose the fight at the Sunken Ring but stay strong at the Broken Temple, you can activate a Clockwork Strike to save the ceiling of your team’s machines. Taking a less populated workshop seems small, but then it has a big impact on the whole game.
The island of conquest
The Horde is, frankly, at a geographical disadvantage on this map. Both teams arrive at the workshop and hangar about the same time, but the Alliance definitely arrives at the dock flag before the Horde. The Horde strategy is based entirely on winning the Hangar with 100% certainty. Therefore, the Horde sends most, if not all of the team, to the hangar and a small portion to the workshop. The hangar serves as a permanent and secure location for the Alliance’s east gate. The demolition material is used to lower the door or to protect the western wall of the horde base from the glass.
The Alliance has prioritized docks and workshops. Doc’s glaze drops are incredibly strong if not processed immediately. The workshop breakers are preferably used to protect the glazes. All players who are not in a vehicle, working with bombs (lol), or performing any other task are usually on the ground as defenders of the sword ship. Glaven. Glaven. Glaven.
The Horde’s victory on this map depends entirely on their ability to play defensively and get rid of the Alliance’s ice. This is because the damage from the Glavers siege is greater than the damage from the Hangar siege (if you take both the Refinery and the Quarry, your team’s siege total increases by 30%, so the siege can be significant at this point). Demolishers make it much easier to protect, because you can damage the glaze from a distance. This also forces the Alliance defenders to leave the Glavers and deal with the wreckers. The jars are then open to attack by ground forces of the Horde. When the horde has no place to work, they literally plunge into the sword and try to stop them. Sometimes it works if you have enough suicides, but mostly it’s useless. The Horde can’t do much about deviant behavior, as they are forced to respond to the inherent flaws of the docks. It is recommended to kill the Glaives *******.
The hordes often leave the docks for nothing because they know they will probably lose the battle. You can send a small number of players to the docks and most of the team to the workshop or hangar. Having the docks and one of the other two siege areas gives you a serious advantage. This strategy is based on the assumption that the Horde will make no attempt to infiltrate the docks.
Theoretically, you can stop the game by going to the end boss room. In the event that your objective falls and there is no feasible way to destroy your opponent’s objective and get your team there in time to win the boss rush, you can have your entire team defend your boss. Stay as a team in the final boss’s room and continue to destroy the attacking team until the countdown for reinforcements is over. It’s easier for the horde because there’s only one entrance to the final boss room. I’ve seen this strategy used maybe twice, and both times it worked.
There are two types of games in the Alterac Valley that are not honorary games.
- Turtle – This happens when both teams only have graveyards on their side. This means that most teams are neck and neck on the main roads, trying to squeeze each other in. It’s called a turtle because it slows down the game and the Alterac Valley can take almost an hour.
- Team Split – This happens when a team has a graveyard behind the opposing team’s main/front line. The game will be a war on two fronts, with both teams on the offensive and defensive side of the ball. Games finish faster this way, but are much more unstable. It’s hard to switch from defense to offense because the recall game is one-sided.
The Alterac Valley has many features that I will not go into. But the main thing I need to talk about is. If you manipulate the graveyards, you also manipulate the flow of players. Or simpler: If you have control of the brood, you can control the whole game.
A single rogue can change the outcome of a game with a single graveyard cap. In Alterac Valley, it’s much easier to defend a graveyard you already own, since it’s guarded by powerful NPCs. This makes defending the flag solo a viable strategy. The players decided they didn’t want any more PvP, so the two teams usually cross paths on the first rush. The game quickly turns into a team effort. Both teams leave a few strong or brave players to slow down the opponent and gain an advantage in the race for the final boss. Memory is an important tool that is underused. There is a toy that you can buy from an NPC before the game starts. Allows you to teleport to your team’s base on a 2 minute reset.
The Horde currently has a better chance of winning a turtle fight than a team split, so they should try to force a turtle fight. You can force a turtle by securing all graveyards and repelling the first wave of Alliance attacks. The first 5 minutes of the game are the most important to defend against the first wave of the alliance. The Alliance likes to send people directly to Frostwolf to try and get him under control quickly. Every death counts in those first five minutes. The graveyard is 4 minutes away, so every kill you make sends the alliance back to Stoneheart Graveyard (or maybe even Storm Peak). That makes the person you just killed the defensive side of his team. When their first wave of attacks subsides, you can stand up and take back the graveyards they attacked. You’ll end up clearing your entire side of the alliance map and forcing them all back into a turtle collision that must exist somewhere above the stone bunker. The Horde will almost certainly win if the Turtles’ battle goes all the way to the Stone Land graveyard or further north from there. If you hold a turtle over the stone graveyard, you can both kill Balinda and eventually summon Lokholar (yes, this happens, I do it all the time).
In the event of a split, Allianz usually wins. Dun Baldar is much easier to defend than Frostwolf Keep. Having a group of defenders at home while Frostwolf Keep’s attack wave rolls in is a very viable strategy, as the attack wave can outflank Frostwolf Keep on a fairly regular basis. The Horde usually has trouble getting past even the Stormpeak graveyard. The road to the Alliance base is usually a narrow one, meaning that the Alliance can travel to their bridge, significantly delaying the Horde’s invasion. The Horde does not have that luxury, the roads leading to their base are open fields. The Alliance can easily sneak into an enemy base, with the only choke points being the Ice Blood Graveyard Gully and the Ice Wolf Tank Gate. Your best chance at victory is to keep the graveyard as far into Horde territory as possible. This means you have to catch it and let it sit for 4 minutes. With a graveyard upstream, your attack wave can continue the attack by spawning closer without having to sneak around the Horde front line.
The snowfall cemetery
There’s a big misunderstanding about Graveyard Snowfall that I need to clear up. For the Horde, it serves as a way to react quickly if the Stone Land Graveyard is lost and is objectively better than the positive Ice Blood Graveyard. For the alliance, it can serve as a front graveyard when trying to get away from a turtle or even flanking a turtle. The handle provides a firm grip on the battlefield and allows you to summon Ivus or Locholar. It’s a spawn that’s a bit off, which makes it difficult to attack. It’s an option you have to take when the opportunity arises, and those opportunities arise very often. Many hordes believe that leaving Snowfall will magically remove the Northern Alliance and seal victory. But time after time, I’ve seen the Horde leave the southern graveyard and lose to the Alliance attack wave because Frostwolf is hard to defend. You should hold Snowfall more often. It can stretch the game a bit, but it can also win it. That’s what really matters, right?
Thanks for reading! I hope you were able to get some useful information out of it. I moved away from arenas a bit and more towards epic bugs because PvP feels more organic and less sweaty. To me, Epic Bugs is a 30 minute or so puzzle game where you have to figure out where you, as a person, have the most influence on 80 people in the game. I hope Blizzard keeps developing them! I considered doing a guide on how a Rogue can win games, but I decided to do a general analysis that is easy to read.
2020 will satisfy both classic and modern players. To be on the list, the game must be confirmed for 2020, or there must be a compelling reason for it to be released that year. Upcoming games that are only announced and do not have a major release date are therefore not eligible.
By 2020, there will be a ton of… in the world of video games. Here are fifteen games to look forward to in the first half of 2020.
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