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World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King This article concerns content exclusive to Wrath of the Lich King.

Wintergrasp is a large zone located between the Sholazar Basin, Borean Tundra, Dragonblight, and Icecrown.

Wintergrasp appears in the second World of Warcraft expansion as the first non-battleground zone fully dedicated to world PvP, even on PvE servers. It focuses on siege weapon warfare. You can purchase Wintergrasp honor rewards from vendors that appear when your faction controls the zone.


Wintergrasp was once the location of a vast lake known as Lake Wintergrasp; the lake has shrunk since then, leaving the basin open to exploration. Wintergrasp contains a valuable mine, ownership of which is contested by the Horde and Alliance in order to reap its riches.[1]


The Wintergrasp zone in World of Warcraft is about the size of Westfall.[2] Wintergrasp can be reached via portals from Dalaran, one portal for each faction. It can also be reached on foot, details of which can be found in getting to Wintergrasp through Icecrown (you generally have to die at least once, this way, though). The most convenient method is simply to fly into the zone. Entering the zone on a taxi (flying mount from a flight master NPC) lets you stay in WG even if it is full; you will NOT be ported out.

Players can fly in to or out of Wintergrasp via the flight master near the attackers' rally point. The Horde rally point is on the west side beyond the western goblin workshop (also known as the Broken Temple), and the Alliance rally point is north-east of the eastern goblin workshop (also known as the Sunken Ring). There are several other methods to leave Wintergrasp, as well. A player can right-click the PvP icon on the minimap (that looks as if you are queued up for a battleground) and clicking Leave Wintergrasp (using your hearthstone), or flying out at one of the edges of the zone's borders. Also, there is a portal inside the Relic Chamber that can be used by anyone who can get to it, which teleports you to the Violet Citadel.

Maps and subregions

Wintergrasp map

Adjacent regions

Zone Name Faction Level Range Direction Access
Borean Tundra AllianceHorde 68-72 SouthWest By flying mount
Dragonblight AllianceHorde 71-75 East By flying mount
Sholazar Basin AllianceHorde 75-78 Northwest By flying mount
Icecrown AllianceHorde 78-80 NorthEast By flying mount

Notable characters

Main article: Wintergrasp NPCs

Wintergrasp is home to several characters of status. Many of the commanding officers from both sides hail from the early days of Alterac Valley, including Lieutenant Murp and Primalist Mulfort. Senior Demolitionist Legoso and Tactical Officer Kilrath also make a reappearance from their first trials in the Burning Crusade, hailing from Bloodmyst Isle and Terokkar Forest, respectively.



Main article: Wintergrasp quests

The PvP quests in Wintergrasp yield money and honor for completing them.

NPCs and monsters

Level 80 elementals of all known kinds (earth, fire, water, air, shadow, life) wander in various areas. The side that controls Wintergrasp Keep will be able to see elemental Revenants, with roughly twice as much health as the regular elementals and a guaranteed droprate for crystallized elements. Each side also has level 76 NPC guards, which can be found near the vehicle shops, attacker's towers, inside the Keep, and at various points along the roadways. Killing the guards will reward credit for your faction's 'Kill Players' quest, as well as up your count for the rank.

Wintergrasp as a PvP zone

Approximately every 2 hours 30 minutes, Wintergrasp becomes a unique type of PvP battleground, and anyone in the zone will be prompted to join the battle. The faction that won the last Wintergrasp battle must defend Wintergrasp Keep for 30 minutes, while the opposing faction attacks the keep.

Both factions can take control of Goblin workshops scattered around the zone. To take the keep, the attacking faction must break down walls by causing siege damage with siege engines and items that cause siege damage, ultimately entering the Relic Chamber in the keep's innermost area to claim victory.

Three towers in the southern part of the zone provide an additional objective: Destroying a tower grants a damage buff, and destruction of all three towers shortens the battle's time by 10 minutes.

After Wintergrasp Keep has been captured, or successfully defended, it will be controlled by that faction for approximately 2 hours 30 minutes. The status of Wintergrasp and whether or not it is contested can be seen on the Northrend map by the appearance or absence of a faction symbol (or a PvP symbol indicating control of the keep is being contested) over the zone.

To find out when the next battle is starting you can go to the Portal Mage in Dalaran, visit the Zone itself, or view the World Map, which (as of patch 3.1) now displays a countdown timer for the next battle when viewing the Wintergrasp zone. As of patch 3.3.3, this timer is always accessible, whether your character is in one of the Northrend zones or not. Formerly, it would not display if you hadn't been to Northrend since logging in and would display the last known time if you traveled to an area outside of Northrend.


After killing five enemy players, defensive cannons or NPC guards during a Wintergrasp match, you are given the rank of Corporal.[3] This allows you to create Wintergrasp Catapults at Goblin Workshops. Ten enemy kills after your field promotion, you are given the rank of First Lieutenant, which allows you to create Wintergrasp Demolishers and Wintergrasp Siege Engines.

Receiving Wintergrasp Marks of Honor at the end of a match is dependent on reaching the rank of First Lieutenant or higher. This is intended to encourage players to participate in PvP combat and not merely idle in the zone during a match in order to receive "free" Marks of Honor.

As of patch 3.0.8, players will receive the rank of Recruit upon entering the zone during a match. At the end of a match that results in a win for your side, players will be awarded 1 Mark for being a Recruit, 2 Marks for being a Corporal, and 3 Marks for being a First Lieutenant.[4] Players of all ranks will earn just 1 Mark if their side loses the battle.


Since patch 3.2.0 you have to queue to join the battle of Wintergrasp. To join the queue, you can either talk to Wintergrasp battlemaster in any of the major cities or just simply enter the zone. You also need to be at least Level 75 to join. The queue will accept 120 players from each faction, so a total of 240 players can join the battle. Level 80 players have a higher probability to join the queue than lower level players.

If you want to join the Wintergrasp battle and are queued but are not called to join, there is a bypass to this. Simply take a taxi from Dalaran or some other Flightpath in Northrend to your faction's landing camp in Wintergrasp. You won't earn any rank or honor from PVP kills unless you inflict at least some damage to the target.

If you are in the zone, but not in queue when the battle starts, you will be teleported away to a "safe" area of Icecrown just north of Wintergrasp. But be warned, all players ported out will be sent to the same location, Horde and Alliance alike. Since you will still be flagged as PvP, be prepared to fight.

Player-held weapons

Players are able to inflict damage to vehicles and turrets with spells and weapons; players cannot damage a wall, tower, or Goblin Workshops without a vehicle or weapon that deals siege damage.

Goblin Workshops inside the keep and on the southern half of the map spawn multiple copies of The RP-GG, which can be fired at enemy vehicles.

Engineers have access to two schematics for explosives that deal siege damage to vehicles, walls, and towers. Goblin Engineers and Gnome Engineers can both learn to make and use Saronite Bomb at 405 Engineering, and Goblin Engineers can learn to make and use Global Thermal Sapper Charge at 425 Engineering.


The defining feature of Wintergrasp is the use of vehicles to assail buildings and towers.

In order to create vehicles in Wintergrasp, you must attain a rank of Corporal or better during a Wintergrasp match by killing enemy players or NPC guards. Once a vehicle has been created, any player can pilot or operate a turret on one. Vehicles are created at Goblin Workshops under your faction's control. These factories can be captured by the opposing team.

As of patch 3.2, factories can no longer be destroyed.

Name Seats Rank Req.
Wintergrasp Catapult One Corporal
Wintergrasp Siege Engine Driver, turret gunner, 2 passengers First Lieutenant
Wintergrasp Demolisher Driver/gunner, 2 passengers First Lieutenant

Catapults are capable of throwing plague barrels along ballistic trajectories which cause small amounts of AoE damage to players, vehicles, and structures. They also can create a flame jet which does a cone damage in the front of the catapult to enemy players and enemy vehicles, but not buildings.

Demolishers are capable of throwing burning boulders along a ballistic trajectory which cause medium amounts of damage to players, vehicles, and structures. They also can ram which does cone damage in front of them, and is particularly damaging to structures. Passengers are vulnerable to attack in the Demolisher but can cast offensive and defensive spells.

Siege Engines are capable of ramming which also does cone damage in front of them and is the highest damage to structures available. They also have a cannon that can shoot boulders which do high damage along a ballistic path; the cannon requires a second player to operate. Passengers are protected from harm but cannot attack or cast spells.

A Beta version of Wrath of the lich king included a shredder, a fighter (one seat flying vehicle), and a bomber (two seat flier), but these were apparently dropped before release.


Note: Meta achievements are located in a separate table at the bottom of this section.


Wintergrasp is a classic "assault"-style gameplay. The objective of the attackers is to capture the keep before time runs out. The objective of the defenders is to keep them from doing so. Should the attackers capture the keep, the battle ends immediately and they gain control.

The Titan Relic

The objective in Wintergrasp is a large orange sphere located inside the keep itself. The Orb is instantly clickable (as of Patch 3.0.8). If this is done successfully, the attackers win.

To reach the relic, three levels of walls must be breached. First, the outer perimeter of the keep must be breached. This can be done in any of three different courtyards. The front courtyard is empty, other than NPCs, and the east and west courtyard contain Goblin Workshops for the defenders. The inner keep walls then must be breached which leads to a courtyard with higher level NPC defenders. The final barrier is the door to the keep itself. Once that is down, the attackers have access to the relic inside.

Goblin Workshops

The defenders have two Goblin workshops that cannot be captured, located in the keep itself; portals nearby teleport vehicles right outside the wall directly in front of the workshop they spawned at.

Currently (3.2), all attacker Goblin Workshops can be captured. The southern workshops are vulnerable to assault leading to attackers having zero allowed vehicles with defense access to 24. Obviously, this scenario leads to almost certain victory for the defending side. It does not appear that the workshops inside the keep are vulnerable to capture by the attackers.

Two other Goblin Workshops are located nearer to the keep. They start out under the control of the defenders, but the attackers can capture them. Capturing is done in a manner similar to the towers in Hellfire Peninsula or Eye of the Storm; the side with more players near the workshop will eventually capture it. Holding these factories has the dual advantage of allowing vehicles to be built closer to the keep and increasing the total number of vehicles a side is allowed to control. Factories cannot be destroyed.


The keep has four towers as part of its design, at the corners of walls. The attackers have three towers at the southern end of the map. For each of the attacking team's towers that the defenders manage to destroy, the defenders will be rewarded with bonus honor.[5]

Towers feature defensive turrets which players can use to fire at enemy players and vehicles. These turrets do high AoE damage (up to 5000 for a well-aimed shot) and fire quite quickly, thus are quite useful in defense. Turrets can be destroyed with vehicles or by being directly attacked by players; they respawn after some time.

As of patch 3.0.8, each of the attacking team's towers provide a Tower Control buff, which is a 5% bonus to damage; this buff can stack up to 3 times for a maximum 15% bonus. If the defenders destroy a tower, that tower's bonus will be transferred to the defending team. This is intended to assist the attacking team in taking the keep, and provide a reason for defenders to leave the protection of the keep during a siege.[6]

If all three towers are destroyed, the duration of the battle is shortened by 10 minutes. As the game starts with a 30 minute countdown, this could mean the difference between defeat or victory.


The primary purpose of vehicles is to attack structures such as walls and towers; they can also be used to attack other vehicles. Vehicles have a large amount of health, but are not particularly armored and thus are vulnerable to basic infantry attack. A player doing a concerted attack on a vehicle can often destroy it quicker than the same player attacking from another vehicle.

Attacker basic strategy

If you are on offense, your first goal is to take the factories near to the keep. If you have to buy vehicles from the factories in the south, it will take a very long time to reach the keep (vehicles move around regular character running speed). Once you have one or both factories, you want to concentrate on breaching the outer wall. You also may wish to fire at the cannons on the wall, as they will do a lot of damage to your vehicle if well aimed. Once you begin to have higher rank players, you should split forces between attacking the keep and attacking players. Siege Engines are the most useful against the keep, and demolishers as well. If you are using a catapult, focus on enemy players and NPCs to try and keep them off your heavier vehicles. Also you can ride along on the vehicles and if they fall under attack, hop off and kill the attacker.

Once the inner keep is breached, all focus needs to go to the relic. Get in there and take it. AoE fears and such to get rid of defenders are useful in here. It is just like a base capture situation in Arathi Basin.

Defender basic strategy

As defenders you need to divide your forces. It is tempting to simply sit in the keep and repel attackers from behind the walls but this is almost certainly doomed to failure. The keep walls aren't that sturdy so even with a heavy defense, you are likely to get breached. Part of the force should stay in the keep and defend it, in particular by manning cannons, the others should go out and assault. If you can keep the attackers from capturing and holding the nearby vehicle factories, you gain a huge strategic advantage. They either need to spend a lot of forces capturing them, or drive vehicles up from the south which is slow.

When you get rank 1 or 2 it can be useful to get a vehicle and try to strike at the defender's towers. As of patch 4.0.1 when the towers are destroyed not only does it transfer their buff to the defending team, but when all 3 towers fall the attackers lose 10 minutes off the time they have to take the keep.

If the attackers have breached the inner courtyard, shift forces to keep them off the keep's door while still attempting to take down the south towers if not already done. While generally running around attacking anything that can be targeted in this relatively small area is easy, grouping everyone at the courtyard entrance with healers surrounding the group away from the attackers can not only keep them out of the courtyard, but can potentially push them back out, depending on how many vehicles they're utilizing. As of patch 3.0.8, the Titan Relic is instantly clickable, so once the keep's door is breached, your loss is imminent.

Quickly changing graveyards

An important tactic for both Defenders and Attackers is to quickly get to the key battle point (southern towers, inner keep). Dead players who are waiting for the Spirit Healer to bring them back can ask the spirit healer to have their ghost transferred to any other graveyard currently in control of their own team. Efficient use of Graveyard teleporting can help save areas in danger of being overrun.

Team balance and tenacity

Being a world PvP zone, it is possible to have grossly unbalanced teams in a Wintergrasp match. This is addressed by granting the smaller team a buff called Tenacity. The greater the difference in the number of players, the more stacks of Tenacity the smaller team gets. Tenacity also applies to vehicles the team controls. However, vehicles only get a health increase with tenacity not a damage bonus.

If you have Tenacity, use it to your advantage; you and your vehicles are more powerful than normal. Acting as basic infantry and attacking enemy vehicles will lead to it being destroyed very quickly. Deploying siege engines while your team has Tenacity will allow you to batter walls down quickly.

If you are facing a team with Tenacity, you want to avoid direct conflict with enemy players when possible. Use your numbers to your advantage and focus fire; it will take multiple people to take enemy players and vehicles out.

Tenacity also affects the number of kills needed to advance rank. In extreme situations a single kill can advance a player from Recruit to First Lieutenant allowing the side to begin building siege vehicles from the very beginning of the battle.

Tenacity does not appear to have any effect on the capturing Goblin Workshops. A team that is significantly outnumbered may be able to survive longer and damage harder, but will still lose a workshop due to overwhelming numbers of the opposition.

As of March 14, 2009, "Only players level 70 or higher can count towards the tenacity tally or obtain the tenacity buff and get credit for victory or defeat. In addition, only players level 50 or higher will be able to use the portal to Wintergrasp."[7]

Wintergrasp and PvE

Control of Wintergrasp affects non-PvP play as well.

Instances and raids

When a faction controls Wintergrasp, bosses in Northrend will drop a Inv misc platnumdisks.png [Stone Keeper's Shard] for that faction only. These are used to buy certain PvP gear and Jewelcrafting recipes. The controlling faction will also have access to a raid instance, the Vault of Archavon, within the fortress of Wintergrasp. Like other raid instances, the vault is available in both twenty-five player and ten player versions on separate raid lockouts.

Crafting resources

Wintergrasp has the regular mineral nodes and herbs found in Northrend, but is also a prime source of crystallized elements. Elementals of all types can be found in Wintergrasp, which have a chance of dropping their respective crystallized element. More powerful elemental revenants exist that have a guaranteed droprate of 1 element and as many as 3 elements per mob. Revenants are visible only to the side that is currently in control of Wintergrasp. Mature Lashers are the life element's revenant equivalent.

Mob name Element
Combat IconSmall Earth.gif Chilled Earth Elemental Inv elemental crystal earth.png [Crystallized Earth]
Combat IconSmall RevenantEarth.gif Earthbound Revenant Inv elemental crystal earth.png [Crystallized Earth]
Combat IconSmall RevenantFire.gif Flame Revenant Inv elemental crystal fire.png [Crystallized Fire]
Combat IconSmall Fire.gif Raging Flame Inv elemental crystal fire.png [Crystallized Fire]
Combat IconSmall Water.gif Glacial Spirit Inv elemental crystal water.png [Crystallized Water]
Combat IconSmall RevenantWater.gif Water Revenant Inv elemental crystal water.png [Crystallized Water]
Combat IconSmall RevenantDeath.gif Shadow Revenant Inv elemental crystal shadow.png [Crystallized Shadow]
Combat IconSmall Shade.gif Wandering Shadow Inv elemental crystal shadow.png [Crystallized Shadow]
Combat IconSmall RevenantAir.gif Tempest Revenant Inv elemental crystal air.png [Crystallized Air]
Combat IconSmall Air.gif Whispering Wind Inv elemental crystal air.png [Crystallized Air]
Combat IconSmall Orchid.gif Living Lasher Inv elemental crystal life.png [Crystallized Life]
Combat IconSmall Orchid.gif Mature Lasher Inv elemental crystal life.png [Crystallized Life]

Although Inv misc herb frostlotus.png [Frost Lotus] can be collected from other Herbalism nodes such as Icethorn, Wintergrasp is the only zone that has Frost Lotus nodes.

Cinder Clouds can be found in the Cauldron of Flames.




  • Before patch 3.2.0 and the Queuing system, players had to make their own raid group.
  • One of the fastest (Or the fastest?) Wintergrasp captures was by Goon Squad, with amazingly short 62 seconds. This was possible due a large amount of Engineers armed with Global Thermal Sapper Charges and Saronite Bombs. The video can be seen Here
  • Despite the fact that aerial combat was featured on the package for the retail game ("Engage in aerial dogfights with flying mounts and new, gnome-engineered planes."), and in the Wrath of the Lich King beta, it was not available at release and hasn't been since. It was later explained by Tom Chilton that "... ultimately it was a little goofy that you could crash your airplane into the ground and nothing bad would really happen. Then also the kinda of sense of flying really wasn’t there enough."[8]

Patches changes

  • World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King/ World of Warcraft: Cataclysm Patch 4.0.1 (12-Oct-2010):
    • Stone Keeper Shards and Wintergrasp Mark of Honor have been converted into Honor Points.[9]
  • World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King Patch 3.3.3 (2010-03-23):
    • The amount of Honor awarded for an Honorable Kill has been increased by 100% for characters of all levels. Since all Honor is awarded based on a conversion rate from Honorable Kills, this change will effectively double the amount of Honor received from Honorable Kills, or for completing Battleground and Wintergrasp objectives; however, the amount of experience gained from completing Battleground objectives and the amount of Honor rewarded for completing each Wintergrasp quest remain unchanged.
    • Wintergrasp
      • The internal balance system now only changes when a faction achieves 2 consecutive defenses after an initial capture of Wintergrasp, up from 1. More details can be found on our PvP Discussion forum.
  • World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King Patch 3.3.0 (08-Dec-2009):
  • World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King Patch 3.2.2a (2009-09-25): This is a minor patch to address specific issues relating to patch 3.2.2.
    • Fixed the Wintergrasp zone map so it now correctly shows the status of all keep walls.
  • World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King Patch 3.2.0 (04-Aug-2009):
    • To provide players with a more transparent notification of when Wintergrasp battles occur, as well as better control zone population and stability, several changes have been made:
      • Players now have the option to queue for Wintergrasp from a Wintergrasp Battlemaster in any capital city or by simply entering the Wintergrasp zone.
      • Queuing will begin 15 minutes before each battle. If chosen, you will automatically be teleported to the zone. Any players in the zone who have not been chosen from the queue will be teleported out when the battle begins.
      • The queue system remains active for the entire battle. As soon as a player leaves, a new one will be chosen from the queue.
      • Trying to enter Wintergrasp during an active battle for which you have not been chosen will teleport you out. Please note that, as you are now able to fly over Wintergrasp, you will only be teleported out if you try to land and join the battle.
      • Level 80 players get higher priority in the queue than lower level players. In addition, a random selection of queued players will be taken from both the Battlemasters and the zone itself.
      • Level 75 is required to queue
      • The queue will accept up to 120 players from each faction, resulting in a maximum battle of 240 players at a time.
    • Wintergrasp factories can no longer be damaged or destroyed.
  • World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King Patch 3.1.2 (2009-05-19): The Wintergrasp daily quests are now weekly, but has an increased gain of honor and [Stone Keeper's Shards].
  • World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King Patch 3.1.2 (2009-05-19): Honor gains in Wintergrasp has been slightly nerfed:
  • World of Warcraft Hotfix (2009-04-21): "The buff players receive from Tenacity in Wintergrasp is now stronger."
  • World of Warcraft Hotfix (2009-03-14): "Level restrictions have been applied to Lake Wintergrasp. Only players level 70 or higher can count towards the tenacity tally or obtain the tenacity buff and get credit for victory or defeat. In addition, only players level 75 or higher will be able to use the portal to Wintergrasp."
  • World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King Patch 3.0.8 (2009-01-20):
  • Wintergrasp PvP vehicles have had their health increased.
  • Wintergrasp Tower cannons have had their health increased.
  • The Wintergrasp Fortress Exterior walls have had their health increased.
  • The Fortress Keep door now has had its health decreased.
  • The Orb is now instantly clickable.
  • Elementals should now always despawn when the battle begins.
  • Wintergrasp now extends farther south so that more revenants can be reached.
  • There are now three ranks in Wintergrasp: Recruit, Corporal, and First Lieutenant.
  • Players will be eligible for participation rewards after two honorable kills.
  • Players will receive increased honor with increased rank.
  • Players will receive additional Marks of Honor at Corporal or higher rank.
  • Players will receive corporal rank at 5 honorable kills instead of two.


External links