What carries a team to victory in a Battleground? Most veteran PvPers (most honest ones, anyway!) will tell you that it’s the team itself. As clutch as one or two players can be, the ground work is generally done by the entire group. It might be a bunch of randoms, or it could be your handpicked group of hardcore bad to the bone killers; what never changes is that if a team doesn’t work together, it will lose. Even a small segment of players working together can turn the tide of a battle.
The Brawling returns this week, calling itself Deep Six. It brings with it three variations on our favorite Battlegrounds, making them smaller, tighter, or reducing the number of objectives that need to be controlled (Silvershard being the exception to all of these). But here’s the catch: Your team size for these normally 10v10 maps is reduced to only 6v6. This places a much greater emphasis on teamwork and tactics, as you have far fewer people to cover the map.
Removing over a third of the players in any map is going to make it feel a whole lot bigger. Chosen randomly are the maps Temple of Kotmogu, Warsong Gulch, and Silvershard Mines. These three maps were chosen, I believe, due to their lack of control points (a. la. Arathi Basin or Eye of the Storm) that naturally require a team to split up for defense. Thus, your team of six should stay together as much as humanly possible; you would think that lone wolves would suffer more from a bigger enemy team, but in fact they hurt even more here!
Avoiding the lone wolf syndrome is critical. With only 6 people to a team, you get a much bigger share of the responsibility, and you can’t dodge it in the hopes that somebody will cover for you. This team size is the same as Overwatch, and if you’ve played that game, you already know how important working together is. This isn’t too much different than that.
Because Deep Six spans three maps instead of the usual one, we’ve divided our tips into sections. The first is general tips that fit all three, and then we’ll break it down map by map.
As with every Brawl, entering one will instantly begin a quest to win one Brawl for the week. The reward consists of a RBG level Artifact Power token, a random piece of Gladiator gear, and Marks of Honor.
As stated above, do not ditch your team under (almost) any circumstances. You’re more likely to get picked off by an enemy team that’s sticking together, and your absence greatly reduces the power of your own team.
Fights tend to be less intense due to fewer people, but winning a battle has more positive effect than it would with a larger team. Taking out the enemy team will give you a big chunk of time to go for the objectives while they regroup.
If your team gets wiped out, regroup before going back at it. It’s worth the couple extra seconds to get most of your team back on their feet if you can hit harder. Going in alone will just get you sent back to the graveyard.
Matchmaking will try to place one and only one healer per side (or occasionally, no healers at all). Teams are much more vulnerable due to the lack of cross-healing. The healer itself will be at risk of getting burned, but so will any member of the team if they are focused hard enough.
Watch for enemy players blowing cooldowns on you and try to either escape or use your defensives. If you can weather the storm, that’s a whole lot of damage lost by the enemy. Likewise, if you see your teammates going ham on someone, help them to finish that target off!
The smaller teams give rise to Arena style tactics (after all, it’s only 1 person bigger than the defunct 5v5 bracket). Do everything you can to stay alive while disrupting or destroying the enemy team.
If you’ve ever done any RBGs, this Brawl is a very similar feeling to going into a 15v15 map with only 10 people. The map feels a whole lot bigger.
The smaller team size and greater emphasis on individual success means that tempers tend to flare up a lot more than in normal matches. Try to limit your aggression to the enemy team; raging against your own team isn’t going to win you many favors, and wastes time besides.
The old classic returns with another twist, and one you must absolutely be aware of. In normal Warsong, the flags are safely tucked inside the bases. Not so in this one. For Deep Six, the flags are at the entrance to the base tunnels. The cuts roughly 40% of the map out of the equation!
Author’s note: My first game here, no one knew where the flags were and we all waltzed right past them and went to the enemy base like a normal game. The enemy scored two caps before we got our heads out of our behinds. We managed a heroic turn around and won in the end, but don’t let this embarrassing situation happen to you!
It’s actually worth spelling out where the flags are to your team while waiting for the match to start to head off potential screw-ups.
Captures happen much faster on this map, even faster than the Warsong Scramble Brawl. A class with good mobility can cover midfield in the blink of an eye.
Note that, while the distance to travel is much less, standard flag capture rules still apply. That is, you cannot capture the enemy flag while yours is not at base.
After leaving your base at start, there’s little reason to return there afterward. The forts are mostly window dressing in this mode.
Terminate with extreme prejudice the notion of carrying the enemy flag deep into your base for safekeeping while you wait for the return. You’ll be too far away to capture it, and your team won’t be able to spare many people to defend you.
If you need cover, use the tunnel entrance. The framework to either side is a great line of sight breaker.
Currently, indicators do not show up for players who pick up the flags (all you will get is the herald announcement in chat). Whether this is intended or not, you will have to rely on your own eyes to hunt down the enemy carrier.
Temple of Kotmogu:
Deep Six Brawl Twist: There are only two Orbs of Power instead of the usual four. They are located where the berserker power-ups normally are on the sides of the center pit. The berserker power-ups are removed.
Controlling the center is more important than ever. You won’t be able to control the outer rim nearly as easily with this team size.
There is literally no reason not to control the center here. If, by some miracle, you have both Orbs somewhere other than the center, you will earn fewer points and have the entire enemy team after you anyway. You might as well get the best points possible in the center.
Because there are two less Orbs, focus on protecting them both and getting them back again when the carriers are inevitably killed. Unlike the normal map where you can afford to let one Orb hang, that is not nearly an option here.
If you control the center and they don’t, you’ll get more points. But it’s a risky tactic considering how quickly things can change hands.
Exterminate the enemy team when and where possible. Your goal is to stagger their reinforcements so their team never fights you at their best.
Because random matches only try for one healer per side (and sometimes none at all), keeping the Orb carriers alive through healing alone is nearly impossible. Try to intercept attackers before they reach your carriers, and CC or snare them to give every extra second possible.
Conversely, go for the enemy carriers when on the attack. They won’t stand up to a focused assault, even by one person.
Move with your team. If you have an Orb and the other is available, then go with them as they move. Don’t stick your butt out because somebody will be sure to kick it.
Having both Orbs is the way to win, but be aware of the risk. The extra damage taken ensures that two of your teammates are going to die pretty quick, and taking on a full six of the enemy team with only four of you is a situation not stacked in your favor.
Unlike the other two maps, Silvershard has received no noticeable changes in the layout, rules, or objectives. The carts, however, do arrive a lot slower, making it so there’s usually only two active at once instead of three.
The lack of people alone presents the real twist here. Controlling more than one cart becomes a real challenge. When your team takes a cart, it’s very likely the regrouping enemy will simply go to a different cart. If it took most or all of your team to take a cart away, the other carts will have little to no defense.
To be successful here, your team needs to dominate the capture points, not the tracks. That is, you need to be the team that successfully captures the payload for the big cash-in. If you can build a steady rhythm of taking the carts just before they capture, you will win handily.
If you’re caught away from your team for any reason (such as you were a lone defender on a finished cart), turn that into your advantage by slowing any enemies heading toward wherever the rest of your team is. This gives them more time to mop up the enemy already there, and hopefully still be strong enough to take out the rest. This is a strategy that works very well in normal Silvershard, and doubly so here. Make the sacrifice if you have to, but always try to live through it!
If you actually get people to stop and fight you, even better. Dig in with some defensives and make them waste as much time as possible.
Getting ahead of either the north or lava carts presents a unique opportunity to swap the tracks and delay the enemy team further, if you know for a fact you can’t take the cart back at that time. Your team might even arrive down the line later to take it at the end!
For a more complex strategy, switch both cart tracks to get the lava and north carts going toward the northeastern capture point. This requires you to cover a lot of ground, and takes longer for the carts to get there, but the upshot is you can easily cover two carts instead of only one.
Smaller teams always make for great stories. Share them with us in the comments section!