From Liquipedia Warcraft Wiki

This page contains a list of terms and definitions that are commonly found when discussing Warcraft III.

General Game-play terms[edit]


To attack in a simple fashion, as opposed to using complex micro to attack in a sophisticated way. "I just 1A'ed my units to his main and crushed his army." Derived from the act of pressing "1" to select the first control group and then pressing "A" to attack with it, the implication being that those are the only actions the attack required.


A-Move = Attack move
Anti-Air - Units or attacks that target air units (e.g. Troll Bersekers are anti-air defense structures)
An abbreviation for Ancient Isles, a common multiplayer map.
An attack where the player commits everything in an offensive attack to win the game, often even including some or all of this player's workers. If this all-in attack fails, the game is almost certainly lost, as the player has sacrificed so much to attempt it.
All-Kill Format
A mode of teamplay where the winner stays on until he gets defeated by the opposing team.
Area of effect - A spell or ability that hits an area on the map rather than a specific target (e.g. EMP, Fungal Growth).
Actions per minute - The number of clicks and key presses performed in one minute according to Blizzard time.
Amazonia, a common multiplayer map.


Base Race or Base Trade
Players attacking each other's bases with the intent of destroying all enemy buildings before the opponent.
  1. After the opponent moves out of his base with an army, run around the opponent's army and attack the lightly defended base. Also see run-by. Not necessarily an allied player.
  2. Attacking an ally (in FFA)
A group of units that travels the map in a pack. Also see death ball.
Undead buildings, can create a sludge known as 'Creep'. This is useful for map control. Blight increases health regeneration and movement speed of Undead units.
Bad Manner - Acting toward another person with disrespect. Also see Manner.
Big Push, The
A technique used heavily by players such as Flash and Life. Using an timing push, based on upgrades, with a mass-producing units pushing heavily for territory, forcing a defensive response, and breaking the enemy's army Supply Line or simply their bases (and Economy) to pieces.
Build Order - The creation order of buildings and units in the early game to achieve a specific strategy. Also see opening.
Best of (Number) - The winner between two players is determined by winning the majority of a set number of games. For example, Bo5 ("Best of 5") means a player must win the majority of 5 games to win the series. Common BoX's are Bo1, Bo3, Bo5, and Bo7.


An extravagant celebration of a victory in an offline tournament. May involve jabs at the opponent.
Custom Game. Usually a non-ladder game.
A strategy that is intended to take the enemy by surprise. Cheese is difficult to defend if it's not scouted. Cheese may come even in later stages of the game.
Chokepoint - A narrow area in between two or more open areas.
Used to describe the surface area of an attacking army. Pre-engagement, generally it is recommended to spread your army before attacking to ensure optimal damage output and prevent units cluttering amongst each other trying to reach the front line in order to attack.
The act of placing units outside of the enemy's base to prevent the enemy from expanding and to reduce the enemy's map control.
Neutral mobs that give gold, experience and items when killed. The act of killing these mobs is known as "Creeping".
The act of attacking a player while they are creeping in order to put them at a disadvantage.


Death Ball
A ball of a given unit combination that is very difficult for the enemy to deal with and has the potential to destroy the enemy in one decisive attack. Common death balls are Colossus/Void Ray/Stalker, Tank/Viking/Raven, and Infestor/Brood Lord.
DM = "Distance Mining" or "Decision Making"
The act of workers gathering resources from an area which does not have a Town Hall/Great Hall owned by the player. "Decision Making" describes Scouting and reacting to it. E.g. a Night Elf scouts Zeppelins and reacts with a Hippogryphs
The act of unloading combat units from an aerial transportation unit (Zeppelin) inside the enemy's base. Also see Doom Drop.
DPS = Damage Per Second
The amount of damage dealt by a unit in one second. DPS is also used loosely to mean "Rate of Damage".


Early game
The start of the game where a player decides which build order and strategy to open with, which is sometimes decided upon based on scouting information. Depending on the skill of the player(s) involved, this phase of the game can last from the beginning of the match to anywhere around the 7-11 minute mark.
The state of a player's rate of income and number of mining units compared to the enemy's rate of income and number of mining units.
An abbreviation for Echo Isles a popular multiplayer melee map.
Expansion - Building a Town Hall/Great Hall/Haunted Gold Mine/Tree of Life in a place where it can gather resources. Also see Natural.
Effective Actions Per Minute - The number that represents how many clicks and buttons are being pressed in one minute according to Blizzard time. However repeat clicks (such as the constant repetitive pressing of hotkeys) have been removed from the total.


Fabian tactics
A tactic where one avoids direct/tactical battles and instead aims to wear the enemy down via small skirmishes, disruption of economy, and drop tactics. Usually used when one side is at a disadvantage and is trying to gain a foothold. Name is a historical reference to Roman dictator Quintus Fabius Maximus Verrucosus.
Fast expansion - Creating a Town Hall/Great Hall/Haunted Gold Mine/Tree of Life quickly in order to gain an economic advantage.
The act of attacking from an additional angle to create a better concave, increase surface area, and block off retreat. Flanking increases the odds that the aggressor will win the engagement.
Fog of War
The gray area of the map which can only be revealed by scouting.
Generic term for Supply.
Food Block
The state of being unable to create additional units due to a player's current food being equal to or greater than the maximum food allowed. Build additional Farms, Burrows, Ziggurats or Moonwells to stop a food block.


Game Mechanics
The construct of rules that govern the limitations and possibilities within the game.
Good Game - Usually said by the losing player just before surrender as a show of good sportsmanship.
Good Luck, Have Fun - Usually said at the beginning of games as a show of good sportsmanship.
  1. (adjective) Good Manner - Acting toward another person in a respectful way. Also see Manner.
A player who takes a great risk for a large economic gain. For example, a Human player who techs before creating enough towers to defend its expansion would be greedy.
Two terms refer to grid: "placement grid" or "Grid" the hotkey layout. "Standard" uses different Hotkeys per Race, while "Grid" uses the same for all races. General information about hotkeys and benefits of using them is part of the large area Mechanics.
Game Time Seconds - The number of seconds that pass in the game compared to the real world. One GTS in the "Fastest" game speed is approximately .75 real world seconds. All time durations in the game, including the APM meter in replays, are expressed in GTS.


Harass or Harassment is the act of using a small number of units, usually with superior mobility, to cause damage to the enemy without a large engagement. Harassment is usually targeted at damaging or disrupting the enemy's economy, sometimes even the production. Typical harass units are Reapers, Banshees and Mutalisks.
Hard Counter
A unit or strategy that overwhelmingly dominates another unit or strategy (e.g. "Playing Scissors is a hard counter to Paper").


Imbalanced - A claim that a race, unit, or strategy is so overpowering that it destroys the balance which keeps all four races equally strong. Also see OP.



Using micro to take advantage of one unit having higher range than another so one unit can harm the other without taking damage. The unit with the higher range attacks the other unit, moves slightly away, attacks again, and so on, maintaining the proper range.


Phase of the match where the map's resources are nearing depletion, control over the remaining expansions becomes vital, players are typically maxed out, and High tech units are in play. For examples, follow this link for first-person videos where matches go into the late game, here.
Lag refers to the game not running smoothly in almost any way. Lag can occur when any party connected to your game has a slow computer or a slow or unreliable connection to the game. In the presence of lag, units will take noticeably longer to respond to commands.
An abbreviation for Last Refuge a popular multiplayer melee map.


Macromanagement - The creation of units, buildings, upgrades, and expansions. Also see micro. Can also be used describe a long, or 'macro'-orientated game.
Magic Box
  1. (noun) A small, invisible box where moving a group of units within the box makes them move into a ball but moving them outside of the box allows the units to move in formation.
  2. (verb) The act of preventing units from clumping in order to reduce enemy splash damage. Magic Boxing is most often performed with Mutalisks against Thors and Archons. See Magic Box or a video demonstration.
The general area around the player's starting base, see Terrain Features for more information.
The general way one person treats another person which is either "good manner" (GM) or "bad manner" (BM).
  1. Infinitive - Telling someone "To manner (up)" means "to behave" or "To act with respect" (ex. "Manner!", "Manner up or leave").
  2. (Adjective with OBJECT/ACTION) - A "Manner ((Building Name))" (ex. "Manner Nexus", "Manner Hatchery") is a building created in an obvious fashion at the loser's base to show the winner's dominance in the match. This tells the losing player how much money the winning player had when the losing player lost. Usually expensive or redundant buildings are used such as creating a massive amount of Dark Shrines or Fleet Beacons. "Manner" can also be used with actions such as "Manner dancing" (using the dance command in the losing player's base) or "Manner MULEing" (dropping a MULE during a battle to humiliate the opponent). Also see Manner Pylon.
  3. (Adjective with PERSON) - Calling someone manner (ex. "ThorZaIN is so mannered") means that he acts respectfully in all showmatches, doesn't badmouth his opponents, and never shows rage or foul-mouthed behaviors.
Map Control
The amount of vision and mobility a player has on the map.
Maxed Out
When a player reaches the food cap, 200/200.
MCL = Mental Checklist
The Mental Checklist is some kind of mental loop to train your Macro and your Unit Control. To a small amount your Micro is trained as well.
The execution of micro and macro through the use of multitasking.
  1. Using information and strategies from outside of the game's ruleset to affect your opponent's in-game decisions.
Micromanagement - The control of units to maximize their effectiveness. Also see macro.
Phase of the match where a player is expanding, creating Mid tech units, making tech choices, and attacking the enemy. Also see late game.
Mineral Line
The area where workers gather resources next to a Hatchery/Command Center/Nexus. This area is a prime target for harassment.


Natural or Nat
Natural Expansion - The closest expansion to the main.
Ninja Expansion
Creating a hidden, resource gathering expansion where the enemy is unlikely to scout.
Terms used to refer to experienced players that still play bad. These words can sometimes be derogatory. Also see Hasu.
Terms used to refer to inexperienced players. It's much more neutral than Noob.


Overpowered - A claim that a race, unit, or strategy is too strong. Also see imba.
The build order of the first few buildings and units.
Occurs when a projectile lands on the target but deals no damage because the enemy unit is already dead. This reduces DPS which is highly undesirable. Overkill can only occur when an attack has a visible projectile (ex. Stalker, Mutalisk, Marauder). Also see Smart Firing.


Creation of a unit producing or tech structure anywhere that is not part of a player's base. A proxy unit producing structure reduces travelling time from the structure and the enemy's base leading to a strategic advantage. A proxy tech structure is used to hide the player's tech path and intention from the enemy.
Slowly forcing the enemy to retreat by inching forward with an attack force. Attacking the enemy in this slow fashion makes it much more difficult for the enemy to break. A common example of a push is leap-frogging Siege Tanks toward your opponent by moving the siege tanks from the back to the front of the push.


The act of telling a unit producing structure to build more units than it can create immediately. This is considered bad macro because it locks away resources that could be spent elsewhere.


Reverse All Kill
Seen in team play winner goes-on format, when a team is down to a final player with a score of zero, and that player is able to win the match with multiple consecutive wins.
Optimizing production to reach a specific number of units with the intent of early pressure on the enemy. A rush is not as risky as an all-in, so recovery is still possible if the rush fails.


Sacrifice - Allowing a unit or structure to die for a positional, tactical, or strategic gain.
A resources which is being gathered by an optimal number of workers. Also see Mining Rates.
Revealing remote areas of the map to gain information about your opponent by using units or Scanner Sweep
The act of placing non-attacking buildings in a defensive way to dramatically decrease the effectiveness of run-bys, rushes, and attacks. Also see wall-in.
Smart Firing
A unit which does not fire a visible projectile and, therefore, cannot Overkill enemy units.
Destroying a high-priority target before the other player can save it.
Soft Counter
A unit or strategy that has some advantage over another unit or strategy but not enough to totally dominate it. A soft counter can be negated by a reasonable numerical advantage or superior micromanagement. Also see hard counter.
Draw. The term is probably borrowed from chess. See Stalemate Detection.
Starving out
Using harrassment or a contain to prevent the enemy from taking new bases or critical resources. Eventually, the enemy will run out of resources and will no longer be able to defend.
Static defense
A building with combat capabilities, often used to fortify a location. Examples include Guard Tower, Cannon Tower and Watch Tower
Stream cheating
Looking at the live stream of your opponent in order to see what he does and beat him with an unfair advantage.
Stream sniping
Looking at a stream and begin searching for a match at the same time as the streamer in order to get the streamer as your opponent. Sometimes done repetitively.
Stutter Step
A micro technique where a unit is ordered to attack, move just as its attack animation begins, attack again as soon as the weapon cooldown is over, and so on. This maximizes the amount of damage a unit can do while pursuing enemy units or fleeing to a more favorable position. Also see Kiting.
An abbreviation for Secret Valley a popular multiplayer melee map.


T1, T2, T3
Evolution level of each race's main building (1, 2, or 3). Used to describe a player's progress in the tech tree.
A high hit-point unit that takes damage so other weaker units can survive and deal optimal damage, also called "meat shield". (i.e. Mountain Giants, Abomination)
Refers to how much structures is needed to unlock a given unit on a race's tech tree.
  • Three categories: Low tech, Middle tech and High tech
  • It is also referred as Early game tech, Mid game tech and Late game tech
  • Orcs:
    • Low tech - Grunt (Barracks), Troll Headhunter (Barracks + War Mill)
    • Middle tech - Raiders (Beastiary); Kodo Beast, Windriders (Beastiary + War Mill),
    • High tech - Tauren (Tauren Totem)

Stargate + Fleet Beacon + Mothership Core)

When a player's emotions harm decision making abilities. Also see (Wikipedia:Tilt (poker)).
Timing Attack
An attack which takes place in a timing window.
Timing Window
A time period in which an attack will have greater efficiency than an attack outside of that time period. Timing windows are often created by tech choices and expansion timings.
The main building of any given race.
An abbreviation for Turtle Rock a popular multiplayer melee map.
An abbreviation for Terenas Stand a popular multiplayer melee map.
Spending most or all of the game defending instead of attacking. Turtling can be seen as BM if it unreasonably drags out the game.
An abbreviation for Twisted Meadows a popular multiplayer melee map.


Use Map Settings - A map which depends on scripted events to play. This is a term carried over from Brood War.



Abbreviation for "Won-Lost", used when cramped for space in table headings.
The placement of buildings to narrow choke points and reduce the effectiveness of incoming early rushes. Also see SimCity.
Fighting game term - An attack that does no damage.
Worker Rush
Sending all workers to attack the opponent in the early game.
Short for walk-over. Sometimes a zero (w0) is used instead of the letter o, emphasizing the forfeiting party receiving zero points.
Well Played - Stated by the losing player or team just before surrendering to express admiration of the opponent's play or strategy.





Non Game-play terms[edit]

Artificial intelligence, see Wikipedia's article "Artificial intelligence" for more information.
Bring Your Own Computer - A live event where computers are not supplied for the player.
A sign that is shown by fans between matches in a tournament to hype or show appreciation for a team or player in a witty way. (Example cheerfuls from MLG Anaheim)
Any person not originally from South Korea. This term is carried over from Brood War.
World Editor
World Editor
Intel = Intelligence (assessment)
A term often used by military personnel for "gathering information". Intel is conducted on three levels: strategic, tactical and counterintelligence (e.g. deny scouting). See Intelligence assessment on Wikipedia for more information.
  1. An experienced player posing as a newbie under an alternate name
  2. An experienced player hiding his real identity to not let any planned strategies get out by people uploading replays.
  3. A player who wishes to test out new strategies without losing his public placement in the ranking.
To be announced - Information not yet disclosed by the person or organization in question.
To be determined - Something yet to be determined such as tournament participants, map pool, or release date.