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Esports Halo

The Playbook: Truth Capture the Flag

Capture the Flag has long been a staple for competitive Halo. While in the past, CTF on Midship / Heretic were up to five flags, Truth CTF sits at only three. Let’s take a look at what works and what doesn’t.

The map layout is the same as Truth Slayer. To catch up on which weapons and power-ups are where, be sure to read the Truth Slayer guide here!


Running Flags in Halo: Location, Location, Location!

The Blue Bubble, viewed from Car 2.

Let’s first take a look at how to properly run flags in general. At the start of a game, play it similarly to how you would a Slayer; Push out of your base to get control of the weapons and power-ups available. Next, set up on a map’s power positions to get another round of slaying in. It is usually best to run flags with at least two enemies down. Always call out how many of the enemy team are dead as you see them in the kill feed.

Once you are in a position to pull the flag, take note of what area your teammates are in. If they are in appropriate positions, they’ll block spawns on that side of the map. For example, if your teammates are around the Car tower and in the enemy Bubble, pull the flag to the Car side of the map. This way, no enemies will spawn on top of you. If you are killed, a member of your team can also assist in relaying the flag back to your base.


CTF Defense: Overextending

Eventually, you’re going to be in a situation where the game is tied 2-2, most of your team is dead, and one of your enemies is starting to run the flag. You should immediately run as fast as you can to the enemy base to pull their flag. Keep in mind, you can only capture a flag in Halo 5 if your flag is still at home. Pull your enemy’s flag before they get there with yours to buy some time or force a standoff. In the competitive community, this is referred to as “Overextending,” or “OE’ing.” Here’s an example:

The game is tied 2-2. Your team has been killed in a small time frame and your flag is being pulled through Pink 1. Assuming no enemy is there, you will most likely spawn in your Bubble. From there get to the enemy base as fast as you can and try to either run it back through Car 1 or toss it out to Bottom Mid to buy your team more time.


CTF Defense: Flag Standoffs

Standoffs occur when both flags are out of their respective bases, meaning that neither can be captured. In most cases, this will result in the flags sitting in opposite bases until one carrier makes a bad move.

To get past these sorts of situations, try splitting your team. Have two players aggressively push into the enemy base, constantly trying to get their flag returned. The flag carrier should find a safe place to hide in their base. On Truth, I would suggest the Basement or the Pink Attic. The fourth player should stay on the friendly side of the map, but be in a position to assist both of these groups. In a last ditch effort, sometimes having the flag carrier leave the flag at the base and using all four players to push for a flag return has worked, but is also extremely risky.


Strategy: “The Fastest Man Alive”

The most successful flag run is typically through Pink 1. This allows you to go through the Pink Attic in your base and to ground-pound the flag in, almost guaranteeing your safety.

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A similar run can also be done through the Car side of the map. It is nearly identical, with the exception of no ground pound.

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Usually you want to go for one of these routes. They allow for the most protection and cover from your teammates and will keep you the farthest away from enemy spawns. It is extremely rare for it to be a good idea to take a flag through the top of the Pink or Car towers. While these will protect you from gunfire, they are easy to get grenades into. These routes also slow you down significantly.

Occasionally the flag needs to be ran through Bottom Mid, usually due to having to overextend. In these cases, you can toss the flag from the front of your base up to the window, allowing one of your teammates to finish the capture.

The Sword is also far more important in CTF than it is in Slayer due to the speed-boost it provides to its holder. Have the Sword player run flags when possible to save time.

These strategies are very general and will not apply to every case. Be sure that you as a player are conscious of what is happening around the map at all times and that you prepare according to the context of the game at hand. Good luck with your flag runs!

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