Hi there community of mmowned/ownedcore.
I have decided to get my lazy ass into gear once more since I havn't really contributed anything to this website since cataclysm.
This is going to be a full guide on how to be succesfull in rated battlegrounds.
First off: Credentials, I have been 2650 in season 9 in RBG and 2310 current, all of this has been obtained running my own groups and for a big part, pugging.
I like to think of myself as an experienced player who knows what to do in RBG.
Before I start, a warning, leading RBG isn't easy, you need to have the ability to network, be patient and above all have the ability to make harsh calls, you can't go and bring people because you feel sorry for them and sometimes you will have to be a dick.
Also, as a leader of bad pugs, you can easily get a bad reputation on a server because you just wasted somebody's rating.
This thread will be devided into 4 sections.
The first one will be why you would want to do RBG, the second one will be how to get a good group together and the third one will be how to lead your RBG's succesfully and some general tips.
1. Reasons to do RBG
1. It is fun, this is the biggest and most important part of doing RBG's, you have to think its fun, there are very few things in wow close to the rush you get from pulling a last-minute victory against an equally skilled team and knowing you contributed to that win (or even better, are the cause of that win).
2. It is a great opportunity to play with friends, I have met over 100 really nice people trough RBG, with which I still hang out and play from time to time
3. You get a SICK conquest cap from it, which is much higher then arena rating (on average the RBG conq cap is arena cap+300) and it is very easy to hold that cap (one win/loss a week is enough)
4. You get a nice mount if thats what your into (Vicious War Steed - Spell - World of Warcraft alliance or Vicious War Wolf - Spell - World of Warcraft horde)
5. You can obtain very nice and prestigous titles, such as Hero of the Horde (or Alliance) and High Warlord/Grand Marshal.
Hero of the Horde is obtained by being within the top 0.5% of your Battleground in RBG at the end of each season, this is the RBG equivalent of gladiator. Last season, the cutoff in my RBG was around 2250, which is very easily obtainable. Every 100 rating, starting from 1100 RBG, will get you a title. The highest title you can get is High Warlod/Grand Marshal, which is the equivalent of obtaining 2400 rating.
If that isn't enough for you to start leading your own RBG groups I personally don't know what is.
2. Getting a group together
All classes (accept for hunter) have a place in an RBG group depending on their spec, so make sure you spec yourself accordingly.
2.1 The Setup
The current most popular RBG setup is the following.
You will need a spine of atleast these players, try to make friends with players of the following classes so you can easily call on them
Protection Warrior (Flag Carrier)
Holy Paladin (Healer)
Disc Priest (Healer)
Resto Shaman or Holy paladin (Healer)
This is the core of any good RBG group, for the 3 remaining spots, you can pick a mix of the following classes/specs.
Frost Deathknight (Max 1)
Fire Mage (Max 1)
Elemental Shaman (Max 1)
Shadow Priest (Max 1)
Affliction Warlock (Max 1)
Balance Druid (Max 2)
You will also need, next to a leader (which is yourself) a target caller.
If you are a DPS, you can do this perfectly yourself, however if you are, like me, a healer, you will need to make sure you also have somebody who can call kill targets.
The best class to do this is a deathknight, they can grip in a target and then call for a switch on it so it dies very quickly.
You need to make sure that your target caller is a vocal person and isn't afraid to speak on skype.
If you donot have a target caller, everything will go wrong and people will be dpsing all over the place, which frankly, only locks/boomkins should be doing.
Before people start jumping on my back saying ''I got 2.9 with xx setup where we did yy completely different, I understand, good players can get high no matter what setup, I am just saying that this setup is the most commonly used, and in my oppinion, the best
2.3 Recruiting the right people
I use 3 general ways to find people for my RBG groups
I am personally in an RBG guild with 300+ people including alts, of those 300 people there are about 40 that I would want to join my group.
If you take guildies, be carefull and only take the ones you actually know (or have good references from), your guild policys might not be as strict as your groups policys.
Make a macro and spam your heart out.
A macro should have the following components
1. Your doing RBG
2. Which classes you need
3. What communication system you will use
4. What the requirements are
5. What the expected MMR will be
A macro for my groups usually looks like this
/2 LFM <Insert needed class/needed other class> for RBG, requires 2400 arena or 2400 RBG or 2200 Current RBG, be around ~2200 MMR, using skype
This should be enough to tell people what you need and deter people who donot fit your requirements.
A good rule of the thumb is that if your looking to start a group with a certain aproximate MMR, you should ask experience in arena or RBG 200 above that or require somebody's current RBG rating to be at that level.
You can also use armory to gouge a low-current rated persons MMR, mostly by judging his W-L ratio, the higher that is, the higher his MMR will most likely be.
For the rest your pretty much at the mercy of your experience with people and of the rating they tell you they have.
Another hidden requirement to join should be gear, every player that you donot know should be armory checked to see if he has proper gear (atleast 4/5 cata or equiv by now) and has germmed/enchanted it, this shows he is atleast dedicated and knows what hes doing.
3. Skype conversations
I always use skype as my communication tool during RBG, so I have a huge record of skype calls with alot of people in it which I know are decent (I have played with them before)
So if I am trying to make a new group, I always copy-paste my trade macro into the different skype convos to see if I can recruit people there, this is how I get most of my participants.
2.4 Preparing to queue
Alright, you have your full group of people ready to go and are good to queue, there are a few things you need to do first.
1. Assign roles
2. Give tanks/Healers a mark
3. Make sure everyone is on skype with you
4. Do one more final check of people your not sure off
5. Perform a ready check to see if all here
The biggest thing about strategy is making sure you know where the opposing team is and where your team are.
You need players who can listen and understand what you are saying and know how to follow orders.
Having a vocal team is great, they can help you in making strats and observing little things that you didn't notice, however at the end of the day, your making the executive calls, so you need to be able to tell people to shut it and listen if they are trying to lead themselves.
For the individual battlegrounds I am going to assume you already know the basics and im not going to explain how the work, im only going to explain what is different in RBG.
3.1 Warsong Gulch
This battleground is the bread and butter of each team and has been around the longest in the wow history.
It is a simple capture the flag battleground and lasts 25 or untill someone has captured 3 flags.
Most competitive games will last the full 25 minutes, unless someone manages to capture 2 flags, in which case its GG 90% of the time.
In the start of the game you want 9 out of 10 people to leave the gates trough your graveyard.
The 10th will go trough the tunnel and pickup the speed buff, so that the enemy FC can't get it if he manages to push trough you (which will happen 90% of the time)
Have one of your highest DPS who isn't melee (a warlock/boomkin most of the time) pickup berserking in your hut and gather in the middle.
You should have 9 people stacked close to eachother and your FC on the right side of the map, so he can slip trough as soon as the fighting starts.
DONOT have your FC try and get the flag before the midfield fight has started because otherwise they might turn around and try to kill him, if they succeed they have a huge advantage and even if they fail they force you into a bad position (fighting close to their base, near their GY).
If you see the enemy FC slip trough and you know you can catch him, try and do it to get a gib, you will force them into a bad position and have an advantage because their tank is slowed down and he might have to use 1-2 cooldowns.
90% of the time the fight will start when a DK gets a decent grip going and people connect on that target, if you donot have a DK, make sure you engage them first because if they grip you you are in a bad shape
Now you will usually wait 1-2 minutes with everyone hopping around abit untill someone gets a solid engage/grip on the other team.
If they have a feral FC (about 1 in 20 games) you need to also engage asap, because most likely he is trying to stealth past your group and you get a disadvantage because their FC is further then yours.
When the fighting starts, have one of your paladins near the edge of the fight and as close to your FC incase their rogue (or mage) goes for your FC, this will happen sometimes.
In this case the FC should keep going on his mount and ask for a HoF from the paladin allowing him to escape his assailants.
This paladin should only go to the FC incase he is needed though, he should be with the group otherwise.
While struggling in the mid try and wipe them one by one, follow your targetcallers orders and very important
ANNOUNCE YOUR CC'S AND GET OTHER PEOPLE TO DO THAT ASWELL
That way, people know the DR's on targets and nothing gets cc'd uselessly.
Try killing them and pushing them back to their graveyard.
Use combat resses on the first of your team to die, unlike pve you donot have a maximum of CR you can use, so if you have a team with a druid 2 locks and a DK, make sure you abuse that advantage.
Ofcourse, if you know the opposing team has CR's aswell, make sure you loot corpses for victory (and money).
Always call out when your combat ressing someone as non-druid so healers can top that person quickly.
If you get close to their graveyard, stop advancing and just keep them boxed in, make sure nobody escapes, that way, when their FC enters midfield, you can easily swap onto him and kill him.
By now, both FC's should have the flag and should be running back, if you are wiping them your FC should take the tunnel, if they are wiping you you should all disengage and meet up with your FC at the ramp to get him across the map safely.
If you see their FC come out of your tunnel and you are on their side call for a disengage, have everybody sprint across the map and try to kill their FC.
This will usually force 1-2 major cooldowns (last stand/shieldwall) out of their tank or even kill him allowing you to get an easy cap.
If this doesn't happen, have your FC stay behind the group, and have an Hpaladin keep an eye on him, if they want to swap onto your FC they should either use a grip (which can be countered by life-grip) or charge trough your full group, which leaves them and their healers exposed allowing for a quick wipe.
Once you start pushing them towards their graveyard, send your FC together with 1 hpaladin back to your base and start pushing for their FC.
Keep an eye on their spawntimers and try to kill some of them while the rest just spawned for an easy second wipe.
A good way to do this is have a stopwatch set to 45 seconds and push it every time they ress (if one of you addon people read this WTB ADDON FOR THIS NAO)
With 3 stacks up a Deathgrip-Stun-Smokebomb should force major cooldowns/get you a kill.
If you donot have the group to wipe them and they are pushing you back, the only way to win is to have a stealth team kill their FC.
If you are near your GY you should be able to kill 1-2 of them and just keep protecting your FC by having him near the graveyard or even life-gripping him up the graveyard.
Then ask a team of 2 stealthers to disengage (usually rogue+ mage/boomkin) and go for their flag, if their flag is behind their team you have a very narrow time window before they back up and kill your stealthers, if they have already pulled their FC back to their base.
Your rogue+Boomkin/mage have to do a 2v2 against a healer+ tank with 3+ stacks, which they should win easily. While they are doing this, you need to make sure your tank survives above all.
If you are ahead 1 flag and its almost time, you can consider camping your roof, this is a pretty risky strategy but it can pay off very well.
Donot consider camping unless there is less then 10 minutes left when the flags are first picked up.
The way to camping is having your melee stand below the ramp, ranged stand up the ramp and FC stand near the edge of the roof, that way, if they want to reach your FC, they will have to go trough your entire team before reaching him.
Also make sure to utilize knockbacks on roof to the fullest extend, knocking 3 dps off while their rogue is bombing is priceless
This is basically the strategy for WSG, for further flag caps just rince and repeat what I just written before and you should be fine strategy wise.
3.2 Twin Peaks
My guide for twin peaks is essentially the same as warsong gulch, but I will give a few more pointers which are unique to TP but that is it.
In the start always try to get across the water asap or else donot fight near the water, not being able to run away because of the bridge LOS or because water slows you down sucks major balls, so just avoid the water alltogether.
If you are getting pushed back run to your graveyard in the middle, it is very close to the opponants base.
If you really cannot hold it anymore consider going back into your base and up the ramp, especially with knock-back classes and good path blocking it is pretty easy to defend a tank there while your rogue+mage/boomkin try and kill the enemy flag carrier.
If you have an elemental shaman and your alliance, try to knock the enemy flag carrier off the map while hes crossing the water near the alliance berserker buff hut, this is really a great strategy, as it gives you a huge chance to get a cap (considering the flag stays in limbo for quite some time before returning itself, which gives you alot of time to get on the flag spot).
Catching flag carriers in the water is a great strategy as horde, you can easily have your casters rip into him from up the ramp and he isn't going anywhere because damage removes his water walking. Water+Slow=not going anywhere.
For the strategy again its the same as WSG
3.3 Arathi Basin
Arathi basin is a bitch, there I said it.
Its the worst cluster**** of a map you can possibly use, closely followed by EOTS.
It is incredibly luck based and knockback classes are reigning supreme here.
For this game you need to split up your group in 5 subgroups
G1=Warlock=Defending Stables/Farm in the start
G2=Rogue=Going mine in the start and rest of the game trying to ninjacap any opponent base (even if you already controll 3 bases)
G3=Priest/Paladin Healer+3 ranged DPS=LM
G5=Mage=LM+ stays there to defend
In the start all groups will go to their assigned base, the BS group is just stalling the opposing group for as long as possible, if the enemy is mirroring your strat send the resto shaman to LM instead and keep the Hpal+Prot war at BS.
Rogue will most likely duel rogue vs rogue at GM, may the best rogue (your rogue if you recruited properly) win
Warlock caps stables and stays there for the start.
The team of 4 dps+healer goes LM and tries to clear it
If your G3+5 succeed in doing this (mine do 90% of the time), have the mage stay LM, give everybody slowfall and have them jump down to BS to cap that aswell.
As soon as your dps land on BS, your tank will go to the Farm/Stables and your warlock goes BS, make sure your tank reaches farm/stables before the warlock starts moving though.
G3+4 should then be able to cap BS, since all their DPS are still ressing at farm/stables, or even their starting place if the LM group was quick.
If your rogue also manages to cap mine, you should now have 4 bases.
Keep mage at LM, prot war at Stables/Farm warlock+Holy paladin at BS and rogue at GM have G3+Rsham go to wherever help is needed.
They key to winning this map is the opener and communication, people need to be constantly on the lookout for enemy movement patterns to see where they are going asap, keep an eye on the enemy team rogue and their other stealthers, every person assigned to solo defend a base should be able to keep that base alone for atleast 30 seconds if they use full cooldowns.
If you are doing a mass fight you should always be on the lookout for people who are trying to ninjacap, this is mainly the job of the person assigned to defend that base, so if he sees someone trying to ninja while hes cc'd, he should ofcourse call it out.
This BG is where the good people distinguish themselves from the average ones, keeping a base against a rogue-mage helbend on either ripping you apart in a global or ninjaing that base from you is really an art.
If you have incommings here, make sure you say it, even if it is only one and you think you can handle it, as soon as its needed people should be comming over to wipe them.
Keep killing them constantly here, because if they get a full assault going while your on 3/4 bases, your going to be outnumbered and forced to either leave bases alone or get wiped.
Thats about it for AB, the key to winning this shithole is great internal communication combined with excelent strat knowledge and solo performance.
Good luck, this is the hardest BG there is.
3.4 Eye of the Storm
This is the second pretty shitty BG there is, it is a BG that is essentially decided in the first ~4 minutes of the game and from then on you have the choice to either play fun or turtle for the win.
Send a rogue to one base and a mage to the other one (it doesn't really matter which one goes where), the mage will probably stay on his base for the entire game picking his nose (fun gameplay, I know) while the rogue should try to find out what class is on the tower opposite to him and occasionally try and ninjacap it (have him ask you for permission first though).
Classes that rogues cannnot cap against are: mages, good hunters, prot warriors.
Every other class is either vurnerable to sap-smokebomb-cap and blind the trinket or can be easily soloed by decent rogues.
In the start of the game have 8/10 of your team (including your prot warrior) charge the middle.
Make sure your mage gives everyone accept for the rogue/himself slowfall.
If you fail to do this this can have potentially horrible consequences.
Once all are in the middle, start pushing them back with bloodlust/knockbacks/pressure.
If they are pushed back far enough your ele shams/boomkins/locks (instasummon succubus-knockbacks are really mean here) knock them off to create even more pressure.
Try and wipe them asap as this fight is the most important one in the game.
Your FC should focus on stunning their healers and spamming Thunder Clap around the flag.
Once you start wiping them push them back and tell your FC to try and ninja the flag, NOBODY BUT THE FC SHOULD DO THIS.
Once you get the flag, send the FC back to the tower the rogue is on and have the rogue focus more on ninjaing other towers.
Just keep wiping them if they try and push one of your towers or your FC.
your flag carrier is basically unkillable due to not getting debuffs for carrying the flag.
If you play it really gay you can just have 2 people on 1 base and the other 8 on the base they are currently attaking.
If you have a semi-decent team, you should never ever ever lose a base because of the graveyard being so close to each base (accept maybe MT).
Then when the score hits 1550 (this will take a long time) have your FC cap the flag, good game, you just won in the most lamest way ever.
If the opponent gets the first flag and doesn't cap it, this strategy is really hard to counter, the best advice I can give you is to push one base hard, kill 1-2 of them so they get spawntimers, then have everyone but your mage (whose place on the tower should be taken by the prot warrior) disengage the **** away.
Your mage should make suire they are slowed as much as they possibly can.
You should then charge to the other base and with alot of cc's and luck you might get a ninjacap there.
Again, this is really hard, so thats why this game is essentially won in the first 3 minutes.
3.5 Battle of Gilneas
Battle of Gilneas is after TP/WSG my favorite battleground, before blizzard changed the spawnpoints it was really impossible to win after you were 1 base down because people could just spawn-rush you pretty hard making it impossible to take a base off the opponents.
In this battleground it is the best to have a mage defend GM/LH and the rest of your group will go WW.
If you are horde, send 2 people with waterwalking around the back of WW incase they manage to slow your maingroup down and are trying to smokebomb-cap WW, these people should preferably be a dk-healer or atleast have waterwalking.
When you reach WW you need to start wiping them asap, pop BL and give everything you got, this first fight is really important.
Make sure you wipe them before they wipe you, against your FC should be on the flag thunderclapping to avoid enemies ninjaing it and when they are starting to fall try to take the flag.
This fight can last for quite long, but even if you notice your getting wiped, keep going, you can still recover if you all die, because you can pop BL again.
Once you controll WW, send your rsham to the mines/LH with the mage and have your prot war/hpal stay at WW, everybody else should mount up and stand in between both bases ready to jump whenever they are committing somewhere.
If they decide to take the fight inbetween the bases, fight them there and send both healers from LH/Mines and WW over aswell, you have shown you can wipe them before so this time should be no difference, especially with a closer graveyard then them.
Always make sure your defenders are communicating with you wether or not their bases are under attack this is again of key importance.
Once you have wiped them you can consider sending your rogue to LH/Mines to see if he can ninjacap it, but he shouldn't try unless its a non-pet/prot warrior.
Keep camping those 2 bases for the rest of the game and you should win without to much difficulty.
1. Buy battlestandarts, in mass fight that extra HP boost can be great, especially if you can always keep one up (which is prettymuch the case if you have 10), make sure you place them strategically, in houses, behind your group or atleast as far out of reach of the enemy as possible.
On the other side, always be on the lookout for badly placed battlestandarts, even healers can 1-shot these things.
2. Use your combat resses, these things are really invaluable and can help a huge lot, especially during the first fight in TP/WSG.
3. Loot enemy corpses, this prevents SS/combat resses, especially early in the game
4. Get DBM for the unrelenting assault timers
5. Get battlegroundtargets, set it to show health pools and range of enemy players, like this it is easy to see how many they got attacking a certain base.
6. Always keep an eye on their rogues, if they are disengaging on a node battleground they will most likely try and ninja something, if they are disengaging on a capture the flag BG have a healer move close to your tank for when he opens with smokebomb
7. Look enemy players up on the armory before the game starts, if they have sub-par pvp gear they are most likely carried alts who make for easy targets
8. Always stick together unless your called to do otherwise, ramboing really doesn't help.
9. Call out your cc's and the targets your using them on
10. During queue times, donot go afk or use loading screens, this might cause the queue to bug
11. When queue times are long, my rule of the thumb is wait till 15 minutes, then requeue and wait till 10 minutes and then call it a day, yours may vary though.
12. If accepting a certain player in your group doesn't feel good, don't do it, trust your gutfeelings.
13. If you run alot of good pugs, you may become famous and people will constantly spam you asking if your making a group again, always be polite when responding to them because you might need me later.
Well thats about it for this guide guys, I hope you enjoyed it and learned something usefull from it.
Please donot copy-paste this without giving me credit.
If anyone wants to do something to help me, I really really really am in need of an addon which tracks enemy teams ress timer, preferably on all BG's but mostly for WSG/TP, if you know how to make this or can find one for me, please contact me and I will be very gratefull
If you disagree with anything written here please say so and maybe you can help me refine my strategys
Any errors I might have made, please point them out aswell