Flag running

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Flag running is the task of running a flag to a specified location (usually the flag stand) in a PvP situation.

In GvG, this is done to help secure morale boosts for your team, while preventing the opposing team from gaining morale boosts in the process. Typically one player is dedicated to that role. Most flag runners carry speed boosts, which are used to both escape from enemies as well as running the flag faster as flags cause a 33% reduction in movement speed.

Typical flag runner components[edit]

Typical Flag Runner Duties[edit]

  • The most obvious duty of a flag runner is to go back and forth from your Flag to the Tower Flag Stand.
  • While at the flag stand, flag runners are expected to inform the team of your presence, participate in spikes or other offensive endeavors, and help defend your backline (e.g. weapon spells, prot, healing).
  • Flaggers must safely pass off the flag to an ally for double running in situations where either the flag runner may not be able to safely run it in himself (e.g. if the runner has accumulated death penalty) or the team is behind on flags.
  • Counter the enemy's gank squad while making sure to inform your team of their progress. It is important to know the progress of enemy splits at all times. If NPCs die unnecessarily, it is considered to be the flag runner's fault.
  • Capture other map-related points (Health Shrines, Catapults and Repair Kits, and Additional Flag Stands).
  • Provide long-range support with whatever skills are on their bar. Using Protective Was Kaolai is particularly important against pressure builds since this skill is very good at reducing pressure.
  • Co-ordinating counter splits and offensive splits while providing the necessary healing and support for successful splitting. A good flag runner should know where the enemy team is and what is required to beat their split or defend against it.

Typical flag runners[edit]

In the current metagame two kinds of flag runners dominate in balanced teams:

  1. Ritualist runners
    Ritualist runners are characterised by their ability to still operate effectively with an elite unrelated to healing and base defense. This allows them to take extra utility or energy management over a monk runner. Secondary ritualist runners such as E/Rt runners also fall into this category. Irremovable weapon spells add a huge amount of defense at the stand and Protective Was Kaolai provides party healing. Spirits can also be used to provide benefits to the main team even while the runner is away from the stand. As both prot and healing can be found within one attribute, ritualist runners typically have more spare points to spend in other attributes for added utility than monk runners.
  2. Monk runners
    Monk runners typically require a monk elite to be effective defenders and to effectively support a split, but using a monk elite usually gives them superior defensive capabilities in comparison to a ritualist runner. Favoured in teams with little defense or teams that intend to split heavily and aggressively, monk runners are very difficult to kill and usually better at keeping everyone else alive. It is usually difficult to fit everything required on a monk runner bar as Heal Party is probably the only viable party healing, but expensive, often requiring energy management and there is often no room for other utility such as a snare.

Flag runner tips[edit]

  • Pick up the flag.
  • Run.
  • Don't drop the flag "by accident."
  • Call out when you're approaching the stand with the flag. Your monks should cast Protection type skills on you so you don't get spiked. If the Tower Flag Stand is away from the center team, you might need to call for a teammate to escort you.
  • When calling out for help, being specific is usually the most efficient way to communicate things. Asking specific players to come to your aid ensures there is no confusion and keeps you moving faster.
  • Flag runners are commonly the victims of a body block to force a morale boost. Flag runners should always be mindful of the positioning of opponents and terrain obstacles before moving toward the flagstand. Be careful of running against or too close to walls.
  • Flag runners should be keenly aware of how pathing and character movement work so they do not regularly waste time or get body blocked. Knowing when to use the mouse and when to use the keyboard is important.
  • Remember to type /stuck to prevent desynch and rubberbanding.
  • Item spells can and should still be used while carrying a flag. It is important to make sure you are not somewhere where the enemy team can return the flag before you can pick it back up, but not using skills such as Protective Was Kaolai can cause teams to fold under pressure early in the game.
  • There is very little reason to cap immediately at the start of the match. Unless the enemy flag runner is not there they will just overcap immediately and you will start the flag running game one flag behind. Try and wait until the enemy flagger captures the stand or until there is a strategic or tactical advantage to holding the flag stand.
  • Even if your team is already holding the flag stand it can sometimes be wise to pick up a secondary back up flag and keep it at the flag stand to keep flag advantage depending on the situation at the stand.
  • Use terrain and your NPCs to your advantage when defending the base. Good positioning can significantly reduce the pressure caused by a split.
  • The utility skills on a flag runners bar can be game changing. Intelligent use of snares can force boosts and kills to give a team the advantage they need to win.
  • Try to be in a defensive or low energy set when picking up the flag so that if you die with the flag in your hands you can be resurrected with the highest possible energy.
  • Never ever get soloed by another character. If someone can kill you, never let them get anywhere near you.

See also[edit]

Team roles (edit)
Type General team roles Specific team roles Hero team roles
Damage SpikerNuker BomberDagger spammerTouch rangerStarbursterTrapper
Pressure Lineback BarragerBeast masterCripshot RangerPressure Ranger
Support HealerProtection BatteryBonderFlag runnerHybrid monkImbagonInfuserOrders
Control ShutdownTank Minion masterPermaSpirit spammer Mesmer Midline
Utility CallerToolbox Gimmick