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Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Heroes of the Storm - Intermediate Tips and Decision Making to Win by Kakisho

New players can read this but should focus on guidelines given in many beginner guides out there. I wanted to give some advice I've never seen posted before, reiterate some of the lesser known advice intermediate players should know, as well as talk a little bit about proper decision making for winning the game.

Intermediate Tips
  • While you may often check the scoreboard to consider how players are performing, there is a lot of information that isn't available to you just through damage/healing numbers such as their accuracy with their stuns, or how well they tank and body block. In Dota or LoL you could see which heroes had died more and were weaker but in HotS every hero is the team level. Furthermore there is extremely valuable information if you flip the scoreboard around to the talent board side. This shows all the talents all players are taking, including enemies. While it's too lengthy to go in-depth about how to use this information, at least recognize that you can know that E.T.C. has Mosh Pit or Nova went Precision Strike. I personally look at this screen to help decide which talents I pick myself.
  • When the enemy team is headed your way and you're trying to finish it, note that some boss units (but not all) such as garden terror's can have their aoe slam attack cancelled with stuns like Storm Bolt or skills that have ministuns like Tychus's grenade toss.
  • A few tips for invisibility: Many players vastly underestimate their own invisibility when the hero is standing still. When you don't move, there is no glimmer, only a very slight distortion that is extremely difficult to see in team fights, and very easy to miss in general.
  • When you're invisible, mount when you're rotating, but dismount before walking through lanes, if it's easy to see an invisible Zeratul sneaking behind you, it's not even funny trying to see a giant invisible horse try to sneak around.
  • One last tip for invis, if you're playing against players who are very good at finding you and killing you when you're running away as Nova, consider standing still directly above large 3D objects. Standing above a Keep or a boss mercenary nearby will partially cover your model with the object in the foreground, making it damn close to impossible to see you if cloaked, and savvy opponents looking through grass will run right past you.
  • Even if you're virtually full hp/mana, if you're defending a push, sip the Healing Fountain right before it dies, you'll still have the regeneration for some time once you take more damage or use more mana.
  • The Garden Terror is extremely efficient at killing heroes compared to the Dragon Knight. It should not be used only to run around dropping spores on each keep but in fights sprint down enemy heroes. 4-5 hits can easily kill most supports/assassins, and few heroes can actually outrun it.
  • The boss mercenary camp in Sky Temple is in an amazing spot compared to Booty Bay Blackheart's Bay or Garden Terror. It's one of the most accessible boss camps and directly beside two siege camps. It's extremely easy to stay aggressive on this map and take mercenary camps instead of retreating to a far end of the map to take the boss. The Boss will push bottom lane as well, giving a hefty advantage if you're capping the middle and top temples.
  • When the Garden Terror or Dragon Knight explodes, often times the defending team will immediately jump on the guy inside and press their sudden advantage. There is no sudden advantage. Sometimes they're even at a bigger disadvantage if the guy inside the Dragon Knight happened to be a core player of enemy's team such as the main DPS or Tank that the team actually requires if they want to force kills. As such, unless they sustained too much damage, kills or ran out of mana, the attacking team should have no reason to stop fighting after the DK or GT ends.
Some players beginning to get the flow of the game will start to learn that if they keep accomplishing things they'll keep accomplishing things. As with a recent popular guide on reddit.com/r/dota doing shit when you have map control is imperative to turning that advantage to a win, but going around the map taking every merc camp is not always all that useful.

Mercenary camps accomplish three things:
1. Push lanes alone. 2. Add additional damage/tankiness to your push. 3. Buy time.
Some people reading may be thinking "well yeah duh" but they fail to put this knowledge to use. Cursed Hallow is great example of a map to understand how and when to use mercenary camps. I love this map because tributes are an either-or objective, team's can't get partial tributes or split it, if you want to get any of the objective, you have to win the entire objective, which generally means 5 on 5's. If it's a 4 v 5, it's going to be particularly difficult if not impossible if both teams are on even footing. This means that grabbing a Merc camp directly before a tribute will generally push lanes alone since all heroes will need to participate if they want it. At this point, with siege giants chucking rocks in bottom lane, it's not even imperative you take the tribute near top lane. You can just keep fighting and the advantage of the siege giants will add up overtime.

One of my largest pet peeves come from another mistake people use mercenary's for. Late game when a team starts to get map control, maybe the levels are 22-21 or something, they might make the stupid idea of hey, let's go around and cap these 3 mercenary camps in rather disparate locations (unless it's on Sky Temple, definitely go ahead and cap the Siege, Boss, Siege camps if you have time). Siege giants accomplish literally nothing if intercepted, but can accomplish a ton if escorted. No, you twit, do not take the enemy bruiser, then your allied siege, take one of the camps and push as 5 with it. If you take a boss mercenary, you have no reason to go as 5 to take a siege camp on the other side of the map instead of pushing with it. You're wasting one of the strongest pushers in the game that's going to get focused down in 15 seconds, when you could've made it last two minutes, gotten a keep and kill the enemy nova with minimal losses if you just pushed with it. The only exception is if you can use the boss to buy time for a critical objective.

Another thing, sometimes in long games you may have map control with no camps left, but maybe you don't want to charge right for whatever reason. As five, group up near one lane directly outside the enemy base. When they move out they'll start as 5 heroes that will come together as they get closer to their destination because the person defending top lane will take a different route than the person defending mid lane. It's extremely easy to get a 5 v 1 or 5 v 2, then immediately proceed to team fight at core and win the game.
I don't want to spend too much time talking about rushing core when you're behind, but when teams are post level 20 and there are at least 2 keeps down, it's totally viable. My only tip is to move as five and stay out of vision for as long as possible. You should be able to stay out of vision for essentially the entire time if you take a side path or pushed lane. The only enemy heroes you should be attacking should be major damage dealers that are fragile, otherwise just kite tanks and warriors and destroy that core. If it's less than 10% and has weak shields, most heroes can solo it if they have their heroic.

Finally, if you're at odds with your team. "Raynor wants to take the Boss Camp!" keeps yelling when you clearly should be taking the objective or whatever. If you and whoever agrees with you is the minority, you'll have more success giving up and following the twits who don't know how to play. Because otherwise your team is going to be operate as a group of 2 and group of 3, both of which will get stomped by the enemy. If your ally's stubborn, help him, and make sure everyone does.

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