Guild Banners have been around for a few expansions now. Introduced along with Guild Perks back in Cataclysm. These handy little tools are worth carrying on your characters. In the past these items were a tad on the expensive side. However, with the re-introduction of Gold as a primary end game resource in Warlord of Draenor, the cost is easily obtainable with today’s end game content.
You can buy these from your friendly neighbourhood Guild Vendors, their cost depends on the quality of the item as well as your reputation level with the guild. Players exalted with their guilds get the best prices. Your guild must have also completed the achievement associated with each banner, in order to unlock access to it. This should not be an issue for any guilds that have been around for a while. New guilds might need to work together to finish up the achievements before gaining access to these items. Below is a list of the items both Horde and Alliance versions as well as their base cost (without reputation discounts) and achievements associated with them. The banners are also all soulbound items and not account-bound so you’ll have to buy them on all characters you want to use them on. However, they are worth the cost in my opinion and I’ll outline why below.
- Horde :: Guild Vendor List or Guild Page/Guild Herald
- Alliance :: Guild Vendor List or Guild Page/Guild Herald
These are great tools for aiding both yourself and your guild mates with leveling as well as reputation/honor farming. I’m not too keen on using them in battlegrounds because they expire upon your death or when moving out of range of your own banner (very annoyed by this one). This seems a bit short sited to me, but it is what it is. The thing that people don’t realize about these banners is they all have independent cool downs, with a shared internal cooldown of 2 minutes. This means you can drop a different banner as often as every two minutes. If you have all three of them, this greatly increases the up-time of these buffs when soloing or helping guild mates. I use a cast sequence macro that will automatically reset itself when the first banner is ready to go again. Below is the macro I use written since, the items share the same name on both faction, calling the items by name instead of ID makes the same macro work for both factions. I prioritize them in order of rarity as the more expensive banners yield bigger bonuses. This will also work with any two banners as well, If you missing one of them, just remove it from the macro, just make sure to separate them by a semicolon(;).
/castsequence reset=900 Battle Standard of Coordination; Standard of Unity; Banner of Cooperation[/codebox]
When is a good time to use banners?
- Battlegrounds :: I would recommend holding off on using these in battlegrounds until you have a group of players with you to setup a choke point. Since your death will despawn the banner, nobody will benefit from it if you get taken out by yourself. Save them for when you and a few others are defending an objective point or have setup a graveyard farm because your team is dominating.
- Instances :: Since the banners have a 15 minute duration and a 100 yard range, it’s usually best to save these for boss fights. Bosses award the most experience/reputation depending on what you are doing. It’s often beneficial to use the banners on the last pull or two before the boss if they are close to the boss room.
- Questing to Level :: I save these for kill quests. Since the banners do not affect Quest turn-ins at all, it’s better to drop them in an area where your quests require you to farm kill mobs.
- Rare Spawns :: Rare spawn mobs generally give a large amount of experience upon kill. It’s often as much as a single quest turn in. This makes dropping a banner before killing the rare spawn a very effective use of the banner.
- Reputation Farming :: There are several factions in the game that require you to grind killing certain mobs in a specific area for at-least a portion of their leveling. This is also one of the best uses for the banners once you’ve reached level cap since experience no longer matters and PvP is generally ridden with deaths. Try to determine a good position for the banner, right in the middle of the area where you’ll be working. This assures that it won’t despawn on you if you have to move too far to get the attention of a rep mob.
- World PvP :: The same tactic as Battlegrounds. When you find yourself thrust into the throws of World PvP, you are quite often setting up choke points to kill your enemies. These banners are perfect in these situations to eek out just a little more honor from your kills.
As you can see there are several situations both while leveling and at max level where you can utilize Guild Banners for a little extra out of your efforts.