Transitions are a vital aspect of Battlegrounds that we don’t talk about enough. To make the concept of transitioning simple, it means going from one build to the next. That could be by upgrading your Warband or switching direction based on a specific minion you find. Why transitioning in Battlegrounds is so important for every player is simple: Your first team of seven units simply won’t make it to first-place.
Why your first Warband isn’t capable of winning the lobby.
There are several reasons why your first set of units won’t be enough to win in the end-game. For example, your Warband may not have enough scaling to compete with the scaling of your opponents. Other teams may rely on a finite amount of tempo advantage, like Soul Juggler Demons or Deathrattle Mechano-Tank Build.
In other situations, our opponents may have Warbands we can’t beat through our primary strategy. A great example would be Mechs when one or more of your opponents have strong Elemental teams. At some point, the attack of the Mechs cannot compete with the infinite scaling health of Elementals. While we can’t win with our main strategy, we can transition, or “pivot,” to a Warband with Poison and Divine Shields, which naturally counter the Elemental Tribe.
And last, there are situations where we are the build with a clear weakness, such as most Elemental Builds. We want to get around our poison weakness by using effects such as Poison, Divine Shield, Deathrattle, or Cleaves.
How to transition in a game of Battlegrounds
Now that we know why we want to transition, what do you need to know to pull off a successful transition yourself? You have to consider a few factors:
- Your current health total.
You can’t transition without a sufficient amount of health. Judge your situation and figure out if you can take the risk of transitioning. The safest turns to transition are when you face players you perceive as being “weaker” in your lobby. These players may not have many triples, may have low health, or may have already lost. Another great situation to look out for is when you face an opponent who you know has a “low damage” Warband. You can consider two popular Warbands as “low damage” teams: Wrath Weaver Demons and the Leapfrogger Beast builds. Due to their last surviving minion being of a low tier, these teams don’t do much damage even if they win the fight.
- Consider the current strength of your Warband relative to your next opponent.
You have some leeway to pick the right turn to transition when you have a build with a very high early-game tempo, like Soul Juggler Demons or Mechano-Tank Mechs. That luxury of extra time is extremely beneficial when you find cards to build a Warband with immediate strength like Dread Admiral Eliza, Mama Bear, or Omega Buster. During these turns, try and pick up units to go alongside your new Warband to get your new team going even faster and even stronger.
- How easy is it to transition from your current team to an improved Warband?
One of the toughest things to consider when you first start experimenting with transitioning your Warband in Battlegrounds is how long it takes to switch from team A to team B. An example of that may be when you play Jandice Barov and pick up a Brann Bronzebeard and some Primalfins to get a Murloc Warband going. The transition is likely quite easy, as you get to pick up up to six Murlocs immediately, with a decent chance at finding a triple or something to get your Poison going.
Alternatively, someone like Illidan may have a tougher time transitioning to a new Warband since his Hero Power doesn’t assist in building a new Warband nearly as well. You have to make sure you got a mixture of workable amounts of health, a build where you can survive a turn or two against a weaker opponent, and finally, the key cards that can start your transition.
Remember, you need the strength and tempo to be able to spend gold on cards freely. Buying a key card without any support is minus three gold. Three golds that you could use to make your build stronger. But if your build is already strong, then it’s a worthwhile investment.
Meanwhile, you also need to find ways to use the key cards you buy. You cannot just buy a Brann Bronzebeard and hope for the best. You need to preemptively buy cards that work well with him to have more gold for your transition turns. Cards such as Primalfin, Murozand, and Tavern Tempest are great examples of tools you can pick up to “Store” gold for later rounds, which immensely improves your chances of successfully transitioning to your next Warband. Note, if your keycard gives you immediate tempo (Eliza, Omega Buster, Mama Bear) and only needs a few cards to make you strong quickly, then you already have the proper amount of value and tempo to start transitioning.
What compositions can you transition into in Battlegrounds?
There are many options of Warbands into which you can transition in Battlegrounds. However, certain styles simply don’t work if you start them later in the match. A great example is Soul Jugglers, which performs best during the initial rounds of a Battlegrounds match. Transitioning into the Warband, when the composition starts to lose its strength, doesn’t make any sense.
In a similar situation is the Wrath Weaver composition, which performs best in the first rounds of a Battlegrounds game since you have much more flexibility to play with your health total. Since your scaling requires health, starting the strategy at less than 40 health isn’t advisable in most cases.
Other Warbands, like Quilboar, are incredibly potent if you manage to reach the end-game with those compositions. However, these compositions require a long time and a set of very specific units that other players also look to pick up.
|Composition||Required Units||Key Units||Transition Difficulty||End-game Strength|
|Charlga Quilboar||Charlga||Dynamic Duo, Agamaggem||High||Medium|
|Aggem Flat Tusk Quilboars||Aggem Thorncurse, Captain Flat Tusk||Other Tribes (4x)||Extreme||High|
|Murloc||Brann Bronzebeard||Primalfin, Fishy Flingers, Battlecry units||Easy||High|
|APM Pirates||Cap’n Hoggarr||Tony-Two Tusk(Situational), Salty Looter, Peggy Bristlebone||Easy||High|
|Omega Buster Mech||Omega Buster||Baron Rivendare, Kongor’s Apprentice||Easy||High|
|Poison Scam||Poison||Selfless Hero, Maexxna, Reanimating Rattler, SI:Sefin, Baron Rivendare||Medium||High|
|Amalgadon Warband||Amalgadon, Brann Bronzebeard||Fishy Flingers, Primalfin, Nadina the Red||Medium||High|
|Elementals||Recycling Wraith or Nomi, Kitchen Nightmare||Elementals. Preferably Sellemental, Tavern Tempest, and Stasis Elemental||Medium||High|
|Beasts||Mama Bear, or Goldrinn the Great Wolf||Monstrous Macaw, Leapfrogger||Medium||Medium|
|Dragons||Kalecgos, Dragons||Brann Bronzebeard, Murozond, Primalfin, Tavern Tempest||Medium||High|
|Eliza Pirates||Dread Admiral Eliza, Scallywag||Pirates, Khadgar, Baron Rivendare||Medium||High|
|Demons||Famished Felbat||Insatiable Ur’zul, Wrath weaver, Kathra’natir||High||Low|
Closing thoughts for transitioning in Battlegrounds
Try and remember that transitioning to a different composition isn’t always required. In some games, you might just find yourself with a composition that you can continue to improve. Assess your situation, how your opponents are doing, and what end-game compositions you may be up against with the minions available in the lobby. In addition, one of the tougher aspects of transitioning is understanding whether you can pull off a transition from your current situation.
You need a combination of time, tempo, foresight, and the right cards to succeed. Let’s assume you are in a lobby with five players remaining, and your current build loses to someone in your lobby who is making at least the top three. If you have the health to take a loss or two, you have a good shot at transitioning to a Warband capable of taking first place.
Keep your build strong, and look for cards that could help you transition, such as Brann Bronzebeard, Murozond, or any of the aforementioned key cards for certain builds.
I hope this helps you all understand transitions more clearly. Thank you all for reading, and I hope you all learn something from this article. For more, be sure to follow on Twitch, Twitter, or visit my new Youtube channel!