Corpse Running in Battlegrounds

Base running – knowing how to get from base to base, knowing how to reach, steal, how to tag up on a fly ball – is a baseball skill that is essential for winning games. If you’re on second and the ball pops up, you need to know if it’s going right or left to make a decision about stealing third (or home). (goes right, steal and evaluate home, goes left, third is probably all you can do.)

Knowing the situation with the bases isn’t rocket science – it’s a set of decisions based on a set number of variables – but it can be very challenging. Making cool decisions under fire is the mark of a good player, both on offense and defense.

Corpse running in PvP is similar to base running.

You die. You’re at the Spirit Healer. The resurrection timer is ticking, and you have to make a decision.

  • Do you stay and rez where you’re at?
  • Do you run back to your corpse?
  • Do you run to a different graveyard?

Most players will just resurrect at the spirit healer they wind up at. I know I do, most times. The GY is a good chance to catch one’s breath and evaluate the battleground as a whole – how are we doing? What did I lose track of when I was busy getting killed?

But it’s important to remember that you always have a choice about how you resurrect.

I use the term resurrection vector to describe how forces move en masse across a BG when killed. You killed someone; where does the game say they will resurrect? Now, how do you use that to your advantage?

In terms of strategy, it’s safe to assume that people will pop where their resurrection vector sends them. Most people don’t think about running to their corpse in PvP. (Many don’t think about it in PvE, either, lazy folks.)

Corpse running screws up resurrection vectors. It’s unpredictable, risky, and can lead to huge payoffs when done right. It can be used to bypass choke points and launch surprise attacks. It can be used to recap nodes, steal flags, and move across the map unhindered.


I was in Arathi Basin on my Horde Hunter tonight when we got overrun at the Farm. I started calling out the rez timer when I realized that my insignia hadn’t been taken yet. My corpse was right next to the flag.

Then the flag got capped, and I was sent back to the Defiler’s Den.

It’s easy to just go ahead and rez where you are. But as I checked to be sure that my insignia was still there (it was, this was a lowbie bracket) I realized I had a chance to get back into the battle very quickly.

Furthermore, the Alliance was already riding away.

So I ran back to my corpse, rezzed, and defended the Farm. Lok’tar Ogar!

Arathi Basin has two places where running back makes a lot of sense when your nearest base is assaulted – the spawn points. Battle For Gilneas has two, as well. But even when you’re not in a good position, take a moment to think about where your corpse is and what you’d gain by running back to it.

There are some risks.

Your insignia could be taken, leaving you stuck far away from the Graveyard with no body for your spirit to inhabit. While legend has it that this is how ghosts enter our world, in Warcraft all you’re risking is time away from the battle. This used to be a highly risky option, but the addition of the Return to Graveyard button negates the chance that you spend 2 minutes getting to your corpse, only to find there’s no way to rez.

Now, at worst, you can get back in the game 30 seconds after your insignia is taken.

You could hit a resurrection timer when you get to your body. I think this depends upon the number of times killed in the BG, but I don’t know the specific algorithm – but I do know that sometimes, I’ll show up at the corpse and be told I have to wait.

I hate waiting to resurrect.

There are a lot of situations where it’s smarter to run back to your corpse and rez than to accept the Spirit Healer’s guidance. Keep in mind that this is an option, and you’ll start to see them open up.


In multi-graveyard battlegrounds (everything but WSG), you can go run to another Spirit Healer and let them raise you from the dead instead of the one your resurrection vector sends you to.

Why would you do it? Consider the following situations:

  • You’re at Trollbane hall and the Horde is strongly holding Stables, pushing up the hill to hold you in place. (You’re getting farmed.) Step out, go to a base you still control before it slips away.
  • You’re encountering stiff resistance moving past Icewing Bunker… but you were able to cap Dun Baldar Aid Station. Instead of going back to Stonehearth, start having people race north to get in position to pull Van.

There are judgement calls you’ll need to make – let’s say you’re in EotS, and the base directly across from yours is getting attacked, or will be attacked soon from opponents spilling off the flag bridge. Corpse running allows undetectable movement between the two nodes… but it is going to be slower. Should you do it? *shrug*

Getting around choke points is important. Sometimes (like in AV), you just can’t get around a point, and you need to – they’re waiting on tank and heals down at Drek! – run to the Relief Hut. Wintergasp allowed you to choose your Spirit Healer, which is a feature I’d love to see in more battlegrounds.

The biggest drawback of running to another node is the time it takes to get there. You might head out for a graveyard, only to have it captured before you arrive. Even if it’s still there, you are out of the battle for longer than following your default resurrection vectors.


Stopping your opponent from corpse running is impossible, but you can frustrate and stymie them. If you make them waste their time being unproductive in the BG, you win. The best way to do this is to not immediately collect their insignia, but let them get a little ways out before yanking it. (Shaman and Warlocks are the exception – take their insignias as quickly as possible to prevent self-rezzes.)

Generally speaking, you don’t have to worry so much about corpse running or graveyard switching in PvP. Most people don’t do it. I don’t do it often enough; I kick myself every time I spent an entire AV cursing out how I couldn’t get around Tower Point when we held the Relief Hut.

But, when done well, corpse running can be highly disruptive.


Filed under Cynwise's Battlefield Manual

7 responses to “Corpse Running in Battlegrounds

  1. scotth

    The other thing I do is wait to release in my own flag room in wsg. A lot of the time my insignia will not get pulled until the efc leaves, so I can better call out direction.

    • Yeah. Waiting to release is a whole separate topic, that’s a good idea for another day. 🙂 I had an auto-release mod for about … a day? before I was like, are you kidding me? I need to see what happens!

      Generally I try to call out EFC location and escorts before I release. I should get better about checking the GY timers in AV – there are times waiting 15 seconds would have sent me somewhere else. 😦

  2. Hmm… I think that the rez timer (the one if you run back to your corpse) is predicated on how quickly you bite it. If you die within a set time of starting or rezzing, you have to ‘pay the piper’ so to speak. Not sure about that, so don’t quote me on it.

  3. Interesting you speak about that because I just corpse run (intentionnally) in battlegrounds for the first time this week end.
    The moments I find it most useful was when defending a point in Arathi Bassin, if I die and have to wait more than a few seconds at the spirit healer then I ran to my corpse to bring support asap to my partners or so that I can hopefully prevent a cap from the ennemy until my partners are rezzed by the spirit healer.

    In the world the rez timers depends on how much time you were rezzed recently, I suppose it just works the same in battlegrounds.

  4. I did a lot of corpse running in BG’s. I do it in AB more than any other BG, with EotS or SotA coming in second.

    One other thing to be aware of, in AB at least, is if you corpse run from the node you spawn at to your corpse and then have the node you rezzed at taken as well as your insignia, hitting the Return to GY button sends you back to the same node but you can no longer rez because you don’t control it. Your only option at that point is to run your unlucky butt to another GY which can be a huge waste of time.

    I tried to run from the LM GY to corpse-cap the flag, and lost LM and my insignia before I got into position. We had GM, so I figured I’d run over there and Return to GY when I was in the area to cut out some travel time only to return to LM. With no other nodes and no access to a dead mount, the run back to our starting point was a long, slow lesson in the risk of assumptions.

    In WSG I often take advantage of death and the Return to GY button by scouting ahead while keeping track of the timer in my head. It’s an effective way of scouting over half of the field without worry (on a full timer).

    The rez timer is tied to how many times you die within a certain span of time. If you die a lot at the start of a match, you’ll have a rez timer early on, but it will be cleared later on in the match. I never bothered to test what the time limit is for resetting the counter and releasing the timer.

  5. I freely admit that I’m a complete newbie at PvP, butI didn’t even know you could run back to your corpse in a BG. Thanks for the tips and I’ll definitely be trying this out in my next BGs!

  6. Caliea, Sadly, I hadn’t totally realized that myself either and I’ve been playing for some time. 🙂 “Why do I care if they stole my insignia, when I am just going to sit here at the spirit healer? No one rezs the dead in PVP?” Just recently did I even think about running back (when the fighting and my death were right beneath the spirit healer in Twin Peaks), but as Psynister pointed out, sometimes that’s a risky situation.