Target calling in RBGs

Basics of target calling

  • Approach varies based on the type of map
    • On base control maps you probably can’t reach their healers without getting destroyed
      • Look for out of position and over-extended players
      • If they’re going after your healers, which should be in the back, blow them up
    • On flag-capture maps, your primary goal is to peel off their trailing healer and kill them. Then kill the flag carrier.
  • If you have a choice, pick:
    1. Out of position players, if you can pull them around a corner or other obstacle, even better
    2. Healers that just used a major defensive cooldown (e.g., mistweaver bubble)
    3. Top healer OR top damage dealer
      1. Often best to just crowd control the healers and drain their mana by attacking their highest DPSers when attacking or defending bases
        1. Killing a mana-drained healer is generally a bad idea, they get to resurrect with full mana
    4. Of course, kill the low health target
    5. If you’re not sure, pick someone close by
  • If your teammates don’t use assist macros or other ways to automatically switch targets you will need to call ” going to switch to the [class & spec] in 3 . . . 2 . . 1.”



Basic rated battleground (RBG) guide


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How to RBG

Addons to consider


Read More »

RBG comp

This Skill-Capped article, Ideal Comp for RBGs, recommends the following composition:

1-2 Balance Druids
1-2 Affliction Warlocks
1-2 Havoc Demon Hunters
1-2 Frost DKs
1 Assassination Rogue
2-3 Mistweaver Monks
Remaining slots filled with Core/Good specs

  • Marksmanship hunter
  • Restoration druid
  • Elemental shaman

The article highlights reasons for these choices.

Know your role

Crowd Control

#1: Understand that chaining crowd control (CC) effects onto healers has far more benefit than dealing damage.


  1. Like crowd control, using dispels has more benefit than dealing damage and often healing.
  2. High pressure enemy DOT class damage (e.g., unstable affliction) can be reduced dramatically with dispels.
  3. Dispel heals and other defensive cool downs from the kill target.


VERY IMPORTANT! Everyone needs to hit the same target; otherwise, you’re wasting your time. Check this link for ideas on how to make that easier.


  1. One person, usually a tank, is the “anchor” for your team. Don’t push ahead of them. They will often be on the flag at a base.
  2. DPS casters should pair up with a healer and stay near them for a few reasons:
    1. If they attack the healer, then the DPS can crowd control the attacker.
    2. If they attack the DPS, then the healer can easily heal their caster and CC the attacker.
    3. In both cases, this attacker will likely become your team’s kill target.
    4. Many damage spells spread to nearby targets. Healers can have this spread damage break them out of crowd control effects.
  3. Casters should set up near obstacles that can be used to line of sight (LOS) the enemy casters. Stay just in range of your “anchor”. Run inside of buildings and behind walls when you’re taking lots of damage. This also might drag enemy melee out of sight of their healers making them easier to kill


  1. If you die, make sure to group up with your teammates before getting back into battle.
  2. A healer with low mana can intentionally die in order resurrect with full mana. An “oom” healer is nearly useless.


Target calling doesn’t have to be as hard as it seems

  1. Pick a target, any target. If everyone hits the same target it won’t matter much.
  2. Choosing the “best” target can help a bit. High output specs like mistweaver monks and destruction warlocks make good choices.
  3. The best target is probably the one that has overextended into your group. For example, a melee that goes past your “anchor” player (e.g., the player on the flag) and goes for your healers or casters makes a good target.
  4. If you have a choice, go after the squishiest targets first; such as Havoc demon hunters, shamans, shadow priest, druids and rogues.
  5. Here’s the hard part. You’ll need to decide whom to swap to if your current target is going to die, used major defensive cool downs or managed to escape.
    1. In particular, keep an eye out for 1) overextended or 2) low health enemy. But again, just pick someone.
    2. Ideally, you’ll say something like “swapping to (enemy player) in 3, 2, 1”.

Run, Forrest, Run: Flag carrying

  1. Be able to cover the map quickly. Demon hunters, monks, druids and protection warriors can do this.
  2. If the enemy is defending their flag, then call for help, group up, then go in and get the flag. The enemy will be short-handed trying to get your flag.
  3. Tell your team where you are at all times. See individual battleground strategies for additional details.
  4. If you’re in trouble and they’re wiping your team then consider going to your graveyard. That way, you don’t have to wait for them to run back to you.
  5. Don’t stand in the open. Make sure you can use obstacles to avoid damage from casters.
  6. If you’re running with a group, make sure you position yourself behind your team and opposite the main group of attackers. This means you might not be running to your base. You might actually be going backwards a bit.

Long periods of boredom, interspersed with moments of pure adrenaline: base defense

  1. #1 rule: Don’t stand near the flag. Otherwise, a rogue will chain CCs on you and cap the flag. Stand ~20 yards away and they will need to run back to the flag after the CC. This gives you time to get out of the CC and stop them from capping the flag.
  2. Classes with pets make the best base defenders, their pets can stop the cap. The next best classes would be stealthies.
  3. DO NOT trinket a rogue’s sap.
  4. Call out how many are attacking to allow your team to send the correct number to help. You can also use the REPorter addon to call numbers. In the meantime, you can use your crowd controls to slow down their attempt until help arrives.


Basic RBG strategies

  • Targeting: If you don’t target the same thing, might as well just give up.
  • Do what the strategy caller says, even if it’s a bad idea.
  • Positioning:
    1. Group up, don’t run in by yourself
    2. Do not push past your team’s “anchor”. For example, a tank that is spinning flag. Basic position is anchor with DPS behind them and then healers slightly behind the DPS casters. Our target caller will focus on enemy that overextend past our anchor.
  • Base maps (Arathi Basin, Battle for Gilneas, even Eye of the Storm)
    1. DO NOT take more bases than you need to win (AB: 3, BfG: 2, EoTS: 3)
    2. Once you get your bases, leave a DPS and a healer to defend each, everyone else finds a spot to “float” equidistant from each base. You then respond to each attack from there. Offer to stay and defend, don’t make your strategy caller do it.
    3. If your stealth teammate is going to a base, DO NOT go along with them. That defeats the entire purpose of surprise.
    4. Eye of the Storm
      1. Two choices: 1) take 3 bases and ignore mid and flag or 2) take 2 bases and run flag
      2. If you have 3 bases, DO NOT go to mid or go for flag.
  • Flag capture maps (Warsong Gulch, Twin Peaks)
    1. DO NOT fight in mid unless you’re escorting a slow flag carrier or attacking their healers.
      1. Once our FC gets to base and their healers are away from the EFC then get in position to defend at our base or attack their EFC (if you’re part of the kill team).
    2. Attack the EFC in our base or their base, not in the middle.
      1. If the EFC has not yet reached their base your first goal is to attack their healers in order to separate them from the EFC
      2. If the EFC has reached their base and has healers with them your goal is to wait for a minimum of 6, preferably 8, stacks and then attack the EFC directly. Start your attack, as a group, once the enemy is about to engage our FC.
        • Use 3 high burst DPS to attack the EFC, everyone else defends (unless you happen to be closer to attack).
  • Our initial FC will be someone fast to get back to our base quickly (e.g., DH, windwalker, druid). Once they get back to base, they pass flag to a tankier class (healer, warlock, etc.).

RBG specification distribution

Based on players with 2400+ rating in RBGs as of 10/18/16. You can check their talent choices, but not their PvP talent choices. Blizzard has promised changes soon to allow that.

Specification % of top player Sample top rated player
Mistweaver monk 19.0% Blakexo
Druid, balance 14.3%
Demon hunter, havoc 11.9% LEGIONSUCKS
Druid, restoration 9.5% VESPERS 
Druid, feral 7.1% Ilovepokemon
Warlock, affliction 4.8% AURELSEKS
Hunter, beast mastery 4.8% CHERNOVAX
Rogue, assassination 4.8% Abn
Warlock, demonology 4.8% SLIPNSLIDE
Warrior, arms 4.8% OMNIVORE
Death knight, frost 2.4% ATLASXD 
Death knight, unholy 2.4% VESQUIATO
Rogue, subtlety 2.4% ROSSMANSWOLE 
Mage, fire 2.4% ASTRANNA
Shaman, elemental 2.4% OZZXD

View code: RBGspecs

Battleground mini-map

I am now using the REPorter battleground map addon to replace the combination of the following four addons to create a functional battleground mini-map.

BG Defender

Battleground Minimap: not even on Curse anymore but it still works

Enhanced BG Zone Map: allows you to change your zone map size,adds class colors and player count in each area.

Zone Map Class Colors: adds class colors and a black mark inside the player dot whenever they’re taking damage

I leave mine open in the bottom right of my screen and can easily see my team locations and who is in combat. It includes icons to call incoming enemy players.


View code: MAP