A common problem that struggling players have is figuring out for what cards they should be looking. One of my tips on how to improve in Battlegrounds is knowing what minions you should be searching for so you know how to spend your gold. But before you can do that, you have to know the optimal builds that can win you the game. Here are the optimal end game builds as of Battlegrounds patch 20.8.0. The article you are reading now is part of our Compositions series for Battlegrounds. Find our guides to all other compositions here.
There are two ways to scale your Elemental board in Battlegrounds. The first Warband focuses on creating supersized Elementals with Nomi, Kitchen Nightmare, with the second utilizing Lil’Rag instead.
Note: Amalgadon is the best minion in the game because it can scale high, get divine shield, and poison. But do be careful with it’s battlecry, if you fail, it can set you back really hard. It’s only consistent if Mechs and Murlocs are in the lobby.
Editor note: Since the release of this guide, the cards “Refreshing Anomaly and Lieutenant Garr” received a buff. The overall strategies are unaffected, but it is possible Elementals becomes better positioned in the meta going forward from patch 20.8.0.
When to commit to Nomi, Kitchen Nightmare in patch 20.8.0
Nomi Elementals is one of the biggest feast or famine builds in the game. If you get Nomi at turn six or seven, you are in a great position. Any time later, he might not cut it any longer. Unlike Kalecgos, Nomi does not scale himself. You also have to buy and recycle each new elemental unit, one at a time, to make the build work. If you are at turn nine, I would not suggest doing the Nomi Elementals build unless you are both incredibly strong despite him or if Bob offers you multiple elementals or Sellementals to go alongside your Nomi, Kitchen Nightmare.
The Nomi Elemental builds main strength is how well it scales with all of the available Elementals in Battlegrounds. The lower-tier Elementals are just as useful as the higher-tier ones, giving you a much easier time finding them as you scale. Something else people underutilize is the ability to stay on Tavern four when you find Nomi, Kitchen Nightmare from your triple.
One of the main downsides of Elementals as a whole, however, is the importance of finding Crackling Cyclone or Selfless Hero to stand any chance against Poison builds in the late-game. The other downside is how weak your initial turns are after finding Nomi, as it takes several turns to get going.
Understanding the units for Nomi Elementals
Three units are immensely important for Nomi Elementals in the current meta. Besides the obvious need to find a Nomi, Kitchen Nightmare, the two elementals you most want to find are Sellemental and Stasis Elemental. Both of these give you additional elementals to speed up your scaling with Nomi. Another unit that fills a similar role is Tavern Tempest, which is much harder to come around due to it being a tavern five unit.
Other important units for our build include Wildfire Elemental, Crackling Cyclone, and Molten Rock, as they are the most common units you’ll cycle through throughout the game. Units like Lil’Rag, Amalgadon, and Gentle Djinni are fantastic if you happen to find them, but they are often not strong enough to justify raising your tavern.
Lastly, when you reach closer to the end of your game, you need to replace Nomi, Kitchen Nightmare with any extra elemental. That point is either when you have scaled enough to close out the game or if you are at risk of losing and need the extra stats.
A simple starting build for Nomi Elementals:
Any Elementals x 6 | Nomi the Chef
The common late-game build:
Crackling Cyclone | Elementals x 5 | Nomi the Chef
The ideal build for Nomi Elementals to take on Poison opponents:
Selfless Hero | Crackling Cyclone | Wildfire Elemental | Lil’ Rag | Amalgadon | Amalgadon | Gentle Djinni (All elementals buffed by Nomi)
When to play for Lil’ Rag Elementals
I would only pursue a Lil’ Rag Elemental build if the game is absolutely right for it. The ideal situation to play a Lil’ Rag composition is when you can triple into multiple tavern six minions like Gentle Djinni and Lil’ Rag, or if you find a Brann Bronzebeard alongside your Lil’ Rag to get additional value from your Stasis Elementals, Tavern Tempests, and Arcane Assistants.
When setting this situation up, I would still need to consider whether I can actually survive multiple losses while creating this composition. If, however, I do feel comfortable playing with this, I generally feel confident in winning the lobby. The Lil’ Rag Elemental build is far more difficult and situational to pull off, but it also has much more potential in the game’s later stages. This composition was quite popular before the removal of Khadgar builds from Battlegrounds but is still possible today.
Understanding the important units for Lil’ Rag elementals
Since Lil’ Rag requires units of a higher tavern to succeed, you need more specific units compared to the Nomi Elementals build. Because of this, the most important units to find, alongside Lil’ Rag, are Tavern Tempest and Gentle Djinni. The high tavern minions, alongside the additional elementals they generate, synergize well with our star, Lil’ Rag.
However, other units such as Crackling Cyclone, Lieutenant Garr, and Amalgadon, are ones you should watch out for. These units can put in the work with the stat buffs Lil’ Rag provides and are just as important to win out your games. Replacing them is often possible if your buffs happen to land elsewhere, but they are a part of your Warband in an ideal situation.
Starting out your Lil’ Rag Build with Lil’ Rag and some Elementals:
Lil’ Rag | Tavern Tempest | Statis Elemental | Arcane Assistant | Wildfire Elemental | Crackling Cyclone | Gentle Djinni
A common late-game build for this Elemental Warband:
Late game build: Lil’ Rag x 2 | Gentle Gentle Djinni x2 | Lieutenant Garr x 2 | Any Elemental filler
The Ideal Lil’ Rag Elemental Warband:
Crackling Cyclone | Selfless Hero | Golden Lil’ Rag | Golden Gentle Djinni | Golden Lieutenant Garr | Amalgadon | Amalgadon