PvP to improve raiding

I fairly much suck at PvP, but I think what little I have done improved my raiding skill.

Being a tank, before dual-spec, battlegrounds were about me either flag running or being a time-sink. I think I killed a rogue a few times on my previous maintankadin.

With dual-spec, I can actually enjoy it a bit more. I might even zone into an arena on my DK one day.

Key point: you can improve your raiding skill by doing some PvP and trying to improve.

Key benefits of PvP, for a raider, when you exclude epics:

  • keybinds
  • improved muscle-memory of keybinds
  • situational awareness
  • dps or healing whilst moving (including jump shots).

Plus, guild leaders, you can have some fun as a team. Getting your guild into a 10-man battleground on a free night is a good idea for team spirit and learning. (Sure you’ll probably lose if you aren’t into it normally, so take a good attitude with you).


Top raiders have highly optimsed keybinds. Spell interrupts, stopcasting, taunts, pw:shield, and so on are within reach of the movement keys. Gamer mouse with binds is common too. This reduces the time of a players OODA loop, which is a success criteria for PvP and a huge benefit to raiding.

PvP should force you to re-evaluate what you have keybound, and where. If you click too much, battlegrounds are an ideal place to train yourself out of that habit. (Note, clicker for your regular actions is the bad clicking. Clicking to target is fine. Using keyboard to turn is bad too, use the mouse.)

Most class-specific websites will have threads on how people have keybound. Guild members can just read posts for ideas.


You shouldn’t have to think “where is my intercept button”. It needs to just happen. Battlegrounds are a great place to refine your keybinds, then commit them to memory. (Arenas take it to the next level, but if you suck a PvP in the first place, you’ll die a lot faster and possibly won’t learn as quickly).

Situational awareness

Knowing what is going on. Knowing where the fire is and where it will be (eg. Razorscale, you see the flame coming down). Awareness of a tree being up on Freya. Noticing your polarity on Thaddius :P , heh, the list goes on!

Situational awareness is one of the most important skills in raiding success. Ulduar and onward require you have more skill than it took to kill Patchwerk. Leaders should feel comfortable about judging their guildies on the basis of their awareness; dying in fires, for example, should not happen.

PvP can teach you to hold a broader view than just your immediate target.

DPS or healing whilst moving

A simple but important skill. Melee gain a lot from knowing how to maintain strong dps whilst their target is moving around (helps on Hodir). Ranged dps learns the jump shot (helps on Heigan). This can be refined in PvP and translates directly into increased dps in raids.

Healers can also practice using range-sensitive unitframes for highly mobile fights and focus frame healing with accompanying keybinds or modifier keys.

Update June 23: found a thread on tankspot which goes into some remarkable detail and wall-of-text around muscle-memory and keybinding; a good place to read more on this topic. Look for proprioception by Satorri.

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4 comments to PvP to improve raiding

  • The healing while moving thing is a good point. Seen many fights where high mobility is needed even for the healers. Heigen is the most obvious and well known, but recently saw Hodir for the first time which is a right bugger.

    Thank god they buffed holy shock is all i can say.

  • Gravity
    Twitter: gravitydk

    I hadn’t thought of Heigan, of course. Never healed in there, myself. Must be horrible.

  • Its not that bad really unless ya got a group who dont get the dance. Normally only 1 or 2 fail at it which doesnt kill them so a single holy shock keeps em alive. Long as they learn.

    Hodir was a right arse the other day tho, even with instant/short cast times the palas have. I feel sorry for priests and shammy healers in that fight.

  • ryansee

    This is a treasure of experience. When i leveled a new character of a new class pvp was a distant thing for me so I tried to test it out. To my shock it was extremly fun. I also noticed TONS of spells that i need to keybind into easy places… heh alot of stuff I should have done when i started my dk …..

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