On Revisiting the 19 Bracket & Clutch Plays


I’ve been playing Cynderblock again, in PvP. I gave up on trying to be a decent DPS and instead have focused entirely upon being the FC; this has worked out pretty well. I have been squeezing in a game or two a night with her, which is a fair chunk of my evening in WoW.

I don’t know how this happened, to be honest. I went in… to fish? To clean out her bank? I think it was to clean out her bank. And … I kinda signed up for a WSG game out of habit, and when it popped, I tried it and had a lot of fun. Different fun than with Ashwalker, but my skills as a FC have improved a lot in the last year or so. I still die sometimes to stupid things – usually getting caught out in midfield, or trying to be a damn hero – but not as often as I do as DPS, because my job is to be absurdly hard to kill.

The 19 bracket is different now. It’s strange to see the influence of the F2P movement, but it’s there. Health pools are a little lower. Damage is lower. People aren’t using as many absurd things. It’s no longer a unified strata of ubertwinks; different gear and skill levels are evident.

I think one reason I’m enjoying ‘block again is that I’m being asked to make clutch plays as the FC, and I’m making them. Damn, it’s fun when everything comes down to you making the right move at the right time.

Tonight I queued up and found I had a partial premade from <Five For Fishing> on my team – 5 in a group on Skype. That’s a good sign, especially since one was a hearler. On the other side was mostly members of <Cereal Killers>, which got a little confusing since so many of them were “Mini-” names. It was a good game – not a blowout by any stretch of the imagination. We went up 1-0, they returned the favor and brought it up to 1-1 with about 10 minutes to go. That’s not a lot of time for the return cap, but I was able to get back to our base with about 5 minutes left. Unfortunately, they grabbed ours, and we needed a cap to win.

The priest and I had clicked, so we sent everyone but us two to to corner the EFC, who was going ramp. We then proceeded to play cat and mouse with 4 of the Horde through the keep – up, down, up to the roof again – for a few frantic minutes when I got a whisper from the healer:

Get ready to cap – EFC cornered by zerk hut.

I looked down at the FR floor – the Horde was moving towards the flag. They knew the EFC was going down. Fuuuuuck, they have voice comms too. Works both ways. If they got the flag and get away, they could go GY and avoid our entire team. We would lose, there wasn’t enough time to get them. My priest friend had already jumped down into the middle of them. I took off from the safety of the roof, running for the edge.

EFC has dropped the Alliance Flag!

Priest: Psychic Scream!

Hunter and Rouge are affected. Warlock is not.

Someone has returned the Alliance Flag!

Warlock is still moving. Crap. Warlock is still moving.

Jump Cyn jump jump jump

Warlock is almost to the flag.

jump jump jump fuuuuck

Flag respawns.

5 5 5 5 5 5 5 

In the span of a GCD, Cynderblock Charged from midair into the Warlock, leapt over her stunned body, and landed on top of the respawned flag.

Cynderblock has captured the Horde Flag!

Your reputation with Silverwing Sentinels has increased by 45.

I look up from the fracas in the FR at the display: 2-1 Alliance, 3 minutes to go.

We’ve won.

We’d gone from losing to winning with a clutch Charge.

Holy crap, cynder. GG.

Yeah. I could get used to this.


Filed under Cynwise's Field Notes

8 responses to “On Revisiting the 19 Bracket & Clutch Plays

  1. Kierbuu

    I’m having a lot of fun on a F2P account. It is nice starting to see a few more F2P twinks emerge without the heirlooms and highend enchants. Now if Blizzard would just start properly segregating the pre-mades into their own bracket it would be real pleasure.

  2. Cynwise of Stormwind

    I really don’t mind premades in the XP-off brackets; beating them with a pug feels really, really good. 🙂

  3. Psynister

    @Kierbuu I have to agree with Cyn on that one. I’ve been destroyed by my fair share of premades, but I actually enjoy facing them a lot in pugs. I like seeing a pug group come together against a premade, where we go from complete chaos on our end to a coordinated effort and beat the odds. It doesn’t always happen, of course. There’s nothing I hate more than watching my whole team give up before the gates go down because they see a premade.Maybe my BG pugs are like my LFG pugs, and I just have more luck finding the good ones, but I generally have more fun against premades that regular pugs. It seems more than just a chaotic mess that many pug v pug matches do these days.

  4. Psynister

    Oh, and how could I forget my reply to the man himself? I’m glad you’re starting to find your groove with ‘Block again. When my twinks start to sit idle for a few weeks I get that serious urge to delete them, so she never would have survived on my watch. Those clutch plays are fantastic, no matter who you are. Those are the BG’s that I love the most though. When it all comes down to the wire and you know that it’s a honest competition between the two teams, and your actions really matter. My last WSG on my Rogue was like that too. Made a stealthed sprint into the EFR, killed the EFC inches away from a 2-0 cap, grabbed theirs and turned back towards the tunnel. I got the speed boost just before two of their Druids closed in on me, got out of the tunnel with half of my health, jumped up and used my rocket boost to fly over a Fire Mage (of all things) and hit a speed potion in our tunnel to cap the winning flag with 2 seconds on the clock. Most victories make me smile with a comment like, “Niiiice.” But that one make me want to jump out of my chair and shout. Those are the matches that make PvP such a fantastic piece of this game.

  5. Tonk

    Well done. Your account gave me goosebumps.I find warriors a really difficult class to play in that bracket. Against all the hunters and mages and priests, I really miss the gap closers and interrupts you get later.

  6. Kierbuu

    I guess this just goes to our different attitudes towards play. I don’t mind organization in raids or arena, but in a battleground I want the chaos. That is why I am there. The hyper organized pre-mades (whether on my side or on the other) destroys a big part of my enjoyment. It was really one of the big reasons I opted out of the lvl 85 PvP endgame. Once Blizzard announced that rated battlegrounds with all organized, pre-made teams would be at the center of the experience, I couldn’t care less about playing in them.Too each their own… and I still want pre-mades kept out of my PuGs.

  7. Psynister

    I’m right there with you on the rated BG thing. While I like the premades in my pug BG’s, I’m not at all interested in rBG’s. That completely changes the feel of the whole game. It’s one thing to face a team that has a portion of their members in a premade, but another entirely to have the entire team connected and completely destroying you. Do I want full premades in my pugs? Not if they’re all from an organized PvP guild.I’m all about the partial premades, though. As long as there’s at least a few pugs mixed in there, I’m good.I haven’t seen a full blown premade in a random BG in…I honestly couldn’t tell you how long it’s been. At least a year. I’ve had several WSG matches with groups of 4-5 from the same guild, and one where half the group was from one guild and the other half from another (different server), but that’s about as much premade as I see these days. I had a WSG with 7 people from the same server not too long ago, but they were from 3-4 different guilds so that one could have been coincidence instead of a literal premade.

  8. Cynwise of Stormwind

    @tonk: I find warriors tough to play in PvP when I’m not the FC. I realized that I am far less self-sufficient as a warrior than I am as a warlock or mage – I need a healer to be really effective. It was humbling, but also helped me realize that all I need to do in WSG is carry the flag – not an easy job, I have to do it as best I can – but that I didn’t need to be some sort of colossal titan striding across midfield. No, I’d be better off getting my sorry butt OFF midfield and into the base to get ready for a cap. :-)@kierbuu: I actually have not been a fan of Rated Battlegrounds. I’ve gone on their problems at some length on CBM, but it basically comes down to horrible matching algorithms that pair up lambs with lions. It’s not good. I prefer having some organization in the twink brackets, and total chaos in the leveling brackets, just because of the little bit of additional challenge it provides to my pugging lifestyle.@psynister: Now THAT is a nice cap. 🙂