Hi – my name is dimmu and I’ve been playing Battlegrounds since beta. I just recently hit top ~#50 on NA leaderboard (13502 peak), and I’ve decided to write a quick guide on how you can improve your game in this meta. I’ll break the guide up into two parts: “general concepts (economy and tempo vs. value)” & “one tip per hero”
I have also started streaming so feel free to stop by and say hello/ask any questions you might have (www.twitch.tv/dimmucs)! Hope you enjoy this guide and let me know if you have any questions/feedback.
Part I: General Concepts
This to me is the most important macro concept to understand, and was definitely one of the key determinants in my improvement in the game. One could write an entire guide on the economy of BGs, but here are three cornerstones that I try to implement in my game:
i) One gold early >>> one gold late
ii) Rolling sucks
iii) Plan your economy ahead of time
Gold in BGs is no different that mana in constructed/Arena. You gain +1 gold turn and have the option to utilize it in different ways (buying minions/taverning up). Given the scarcity of gold early (you start with 3 gold — 3 turns into the game you normally have had a total of 12 gold) plus applying the basic concept of ‘time value of money’ (PV = FV/(1+r)) one can understand how we arrive at cornerstone (i). One gold on turn 2 is much more valuable than 1 gold on turn 10.With that in mind, there are a few key decisions early that I still see +8K MMR players doing that I find rather questionable:
– Turn 3/4 (5/6gold): buying two bad minions (tavern 1) instead of taverning up to tavern 3
– Turn 3/4 (5/6gold): rolling twice and buying one minion, instead of taverning up to tavern 3
Given rule (i), we can understand how we arrive at (ii) — rolling sucks! One should try and avoid rolling as much as possible in this game as you are just wasting gold, that is especially true early for the above reasons. When buying two minions doesnt feel good (whether its on 5 or 6 gold), just tavern up. Give yourself a better chance and spending your hard earned early gold on better value minions.
And by doing this always think of your economy ahead of time – if you tavern up to 3 on 5 gold (sell token or have an empty board), you know that you’ll have to likely buy two minions on 6 gold, and then another 2 minions on 7 gold (and you have one roll). Planning your economy ahead of time is a key concept. When in doubt, tavern up.
B) TEMPO VS. VALUE
Another key skill in this game is determining when to gain tempo vs. value. Different players will have different styles, but it’s important to understand what lines you’re taking while playing and always ask yourself “Am I being to greedy? Will I take too much damage early if I take this line? If I take this line I know I’ll get stronger immediately, but how will I win the game?”
i) Your health is a resource (so feel free to be a bit greedy)
ii) Play stats/improve your minions midgame for tempo (e.g. juggs, highmanes etc) — sell those tavern 1-2 minions for a better unit, this might save you 5-8hp midgame and allow you to go for greedier plays later
iii) What is your win condition — how do I win this lobby/the next few fights? Sometimes you can’t win the lobby (you low rolled your discoveries etc), so it’s ok to try and stabilize/improve your board by gaining tempo
Part II: One tip per Hero (ranked best to worst – through Tier 3)
I know some of these tips are rather basic but one could write an entire guide on each hero 🙂
- Galakrond: while OK to use the hero power for tempo (e.g. egg/bolvar), you really should find a unit that allows you to scales early (e.g. lightfang, or something that gives you so much tempo that you can tavern up, e.g. Imp Mama/Boat)
- Elise: aggressively tavern up (6, 8,9,10 gold) – especially good if you have a token, as you can still maintain a full board whilst doing this
- Maiev: plan your turns ahead, know what pairs you’ll be chasing with the HP and what tier/minions you’ll be trying to discover. If you find two tokens early its OK to tavern up to 2 on 5-6 gold and not follow rafam curve
- George: play tempo, shields are broken – use them on units that will give you early tempo but also might be around for mid/late game comp.
- Jandice: highest skill cap hero — finding a token early allows you to find a 3 drop on 6 gold, and sometimes a 5-drop on 8 gold. If you have Nomi, heropowering your ellies back to the shop will grant them Nomi buffed stats (e.g. Garr, cyclone etc).
- Millhouse: rolling is prohibited. If you can’t use your gold efficiently, tavern up.
- Ragnaros: play for early tempo and then find divine shield/cleaves to buff. If you have multiple DS, make sure to spread the buffs a bit so you have a balanced board.
- Omu: token/swabbie starts are nuts, if you find swabbie after turn 1, OK to hold it for when you tavern to tavern 4 (8 gold?) so you can also buy a minion (helps smoothen your curve).
- Deryl: collect those tokens early and pop off when you’re ready to dance, ideally on DS minions – make sure to plan your turn ahead of time, usually best to dance until you have 7 gold as it allows you to buy the minion you danced on + roll + buy another minion from the new shop
- Lich King: HP is quite straight forward, but don’t forget that HP’ing a random mech (e.g. sensei) will work as a reset for deflecto
- Al’Akir: Macaw is the nuts early if you have DR for value, but wildfire elemental/glyph guardian and poisons are great late game
- Tess: plan your turn before clicking that HP
- Reno: tempo vs. value.. make sure you use that HP before you die!
- Noz: be extra mindful of freezing a shop with Noz as you get the extra free refresh each turn. And if you plan on taverning up, don’t forget to do it before rolling!
- Deathwing: mechs & beasts are ideal but if you’re strong early don’t be shy and tavern up, tier 6 minions are especially good with DW
- KT: plan your turn before buying stuff, sequence really matters. I still buff the wrong minion..
- Sindragosa: very strong early game, buy the ‘worse’ minions early so that you can convert that early game tempo into value (by buffing the unit you will likely keep around the longest)
- Yogg: (almost) always hero power early – if there is a “50/50”, definitely hero power. If you dont like the unit you can sell it back for -1 gold, but the +1/+1 tempo gain early is very strong.
- Rakanishu: tavern 4 mechs seems viable, go to 4 and buff your divine shields
- Millificent: don’t force mechs, play your curve and gain tempo early.
- Barov: especially good if you have tempo heroes early (e.g. Yogg/Maiev/Lich king etc) as it makes it easier to bet.