Even during 5.1 when rogues were the weakest class in the game, we could still get spots in Rated Battlegrounds thanks to our stealthy ninja caps on Domination maps. If you can reliably ninja bases you can single-handedly win RBGs.
There are several classes that will be put on defensive duty in Domination RBGs – all of them can cause problems if you’re trying to solo a base. It’s easier to sweet-talk a druid or mage into assisting you, but this takes valuable DPS or healing away from the main fight. Being able to solo a base instead of relying on backup will make you a very valuable player. The classes you’ll run into the most are DKs, warriors, pet classes and rogues. You need to be aware of all their anti-cap tools to take a base from their control.
Death Knights make great base defenders so are often used in RBGs. They have several talents that can successfully keep you from capping long enough for another defender to peel off from the main fight to assist.
Desecrated Ground is a CC breaker that makes the DK immune to all other CC for 10 seconds. I have a DK alt – it’s depressing how many rogues throw blinds into it.
Frost Presence is sometimes used by DKs regardless of their spec. Having 20% reduction on CC time makes your sap and blind duration shorter than the 7 seconds needed to cap a base. If you see Frost Presence, you either need to kill, run off, or get help.
Unless you can score a quick kill, you are not likely to take a base from a Hunter, Mage, Unholy DK or Warlock. Pets can be controlled while their owner is CC’d, so if you don’t have the damage to get a kill before reinforcements arrive you should either walk away or just try and cap right under their nose. If they’re not very experienced they may expect attackers to try and kill them rather than capping and not give the flag their full attention – be ballsy, when it works you’ll be the hero of the team and when it doesn’t work… well a respawn is probably quicker than sneaking across the map to another base.
Warlocks may or may not have pets. If you can’t see one, they either have an invisible succubus/shivarra next to them or have sacrificed their pet for a stats buff. Luckily you can tell which it is by looking at their buffs. Unless they have the Grimoire of Sacrifice icon showing they will have a hidden pet waiting to screw up your attempt at capping.
Stealth defenders are tricky, but easier to cap against than pet defenders. Think where a defender could position themselves to get a good vantage point that lets them see incoming players as well as the flag. Spamming sap is risky as it can give your position away when you’re a distance from the flag – unless you can start your cap within 1 second the sap will break early.
One talent that can help vs rogue defenders is swapping Glyph of Blind for the talent Dirty Tricks. It’s not a bad talent to take in RBGs (free gouges are great for sitting on healers and warlocks) and it lets you keep your bleeds rolling on your target while they are blinded. If you know the defender has a trinket you can use a short rupture then immediately blind – even at high ratings I’ve seen people trinket+vanish so they can cheap shot. If you can get a clean vanish at the same time you can wait for the bleed to drop off for your game-breaking sap’n’cap. Remember that it won’t work against Dwarf rogues, not that you see too many of them.
EFCs often end up being left on defense duty, especially prot warriors who lack a useful DPS spec. The biggest issue when facing a warrior is his Berserker Rage. You will need to sap and start capping since no decent warrior will BR unless he really has to – once he rages out of his sap you can either vanish and sap 18 seconds later, or keep him near the flag by stunlocking and acting like you’re trying to kill him. The danger there is you may end up with a bleed on you that will break your vanish, but it can be easier than attempting a second sap against a paranoid warrior. Alternatively, immediately force his trinket with blind then run off. You won’t be able to ninja the base without blind, but without a trinket he is very vulnerable to another attacker who has CC off cooldown (a second rogue would be perfect but you don’t see many RBG teams running two). A good team will rush a second defender to assist the warrior but this takes support away from another area – try and capitalize on this.
All good defenders that don’t rely on pets will position themselves more than 25 yards away from the flag. This is a problem since you won’t have time to sap and cap, even if you sprint/BoS. You can often bait them closer with a smokebomb as long as they don’t have pets or channeled AoE that ignores the smoke (Blizzard etc). Smokebomb only lasts 5 seconds by default, but it can be glyphed for 7 which lets you cap if you’re quick about it. The beauty is, you don’t actually have to glyph it – no defender will sit outside a smokebomb on the off-chance that you’re bluffing. Smoke and start capping then wait for them to get into range of your blind.
Capping Horde Bases
Enemy names appear in red. Horde flags are red. See where this is going? Turn off your character title to keep your name short, then jump up onto the side of the flag. If the defender is sitting away from the flag there’s a chance they won’t immediately notice you as your nameplate shouldn’t show up in the class colour. As far fetched as it sounds, I had a lot of success doing this on my human rogue.
Mage Tower Abuse
It’s possible to cap from the side of the ramp at Mage Tower in Eye of the Storm – not only can this hide your position from defenders, it also lets you avoid AoE. The screenshot to the left is from a random EotS BG (hence the paint-job on the flag) but you get the idea.
I’ve not ever done this and have never seen another rogue try, but something I’ve had at the back of my mind for a while is the idea of using a combat rogue to solo bases. Once you’ve blown sap and blind, the defender won’t be too worried about fighting near the flag. If you remember not to cheap shot before hand you can drop a Revealing Strike onto him followed by a 8.1 second Kidney Shot – more than enough time to cap. As soon as I buy tyrannical swords I’ll give this a try, it could be pretty crazy against warrior defenders.
Unrated Battleground Fun
You will have many more opportunities for capping bases in random battlegrounds. Don’t be put off by three defenders standing next to a flag, the chances are none of them are actually paying attention. Defending can be boring and from the number of caps I’ve made I think it’s safe to say they often alt-tab and wait for the sounds of battle to alert them to any action/fun.
Even if the base has defender who’s awake, you can still get caps by hiding inside other peoples’ mounts. Obviously this works better on some mounts than on mechanostriders, but it was great in WotLK when everybody wanted to show off their mammoths.
You often see non-optimal classes as base defenders in random BGs – this opens up a whole range of tactics that can be used (far too many to list to be honest). My favorite is when a defender is standing far from the base but has left totems or a Jade Serpent Statue near the flag. Sapping then using shadowstep/cloak and dagger to teleport to the flag always makes me smile.
I hope this article is of some help, if anyone has any other tips for soloing bases in either RBGs or randoms then please post a comment below.