Odinn

Interview With 2ARC Gaming Heroes of the Storm Team

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To help players of all skill levels learn more about some of the ins and outs of playing Heroes of the Storm effectively as a team, Kevin 'Odinn' Hovdestad of Icy Veins sat down with 2ARC Gaming, a top tier competitive Heroes team. In the interview, they share their insights on designing team compositions, map strategy development, talent build planning, target priorities, and more.

 

2ARC finished second in the late 2014 Heroes Premier League NA Season 1, and recently placed third in the ESL Heroes Major League - Americas Season 1.

 

 

The team, players, and team members in this interview are as follows:

 

2ARC Gaming (Facebook, Twitter)

 

Management:

Alexi "MrNyxis" Barth (Twitter)

JT "Phakz" Rogers (Twitter)

 

Players:

Brendan "FuriousD" Oakley (Twitter)
Jacob "QuibsY" Martisek (Twitter)
Kevin "ChubbsZ" Yepez (Twitter)
Stuart "Traitorr" Dameri  (Twitter)
Stone "Pannucci" May (Twitter)

 

 

 

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Designing Team Compositions

 

Odinn – When you’re picking Heroes to build a team composition, whether it’s draft format or not, how do you design your team compositions? Do you tailor them based on the individual strengths of players? Do you worry about the requirements of the maps? Do you give any thought to the selections your opponents are making, or are there other variables that go in to designing a team composition?

 

FuriousD – Usually, in a casual setting, most of the time you’re going to want at least one tank and one healer. That doesn’t necessarily mean Warriors and Support – Tassadar usually doesn’t cut it on his own, neither does Tyrande as a healer. Certain Warriors don’t really cut it as a tank – Sonya doesn’t, Anub’arak is questionable. Most of the time, when you’re playing with a group, you want one tank and one healer. You can have more than that – you can have two healers or two tanks, but the baseline should be one tank and one healer most of the time.

 

QuibsY – I would agree with that. Blizzard even agreed with that – they released stats saying if your team doesn’t have a healer and the other team does, your win rate goes down from 50% to 42%*. I would say healer is more important than tank – you can get away with not having a tank more so than not having a designated healer.

 

* Per Blizzard, these numbers were 48.7%/52.62% for 1v2 or 1v3 supports, respectively, vs. 44.86%/43.43% for 0v1 or 0v2 supports.

 

Pannucci – Another thing is when you build a team composition, you want to have a general idea of, “Okay, we want to aim for this goal, and then we’ll expand from this goal to other, smaller goals, but this is our main focus.” Then you pick characters because they do something well. You create a central goal, and then build from that.

 

Odinn – When you say ‘goal’, what does that entail in the Heroes setting? In other Blizzard games, you’ll go into a StarCraft game with a ‘build order’, planning on working towards something, and adjust based on what counter-composition your opponent brings. You’ll go into a Hearthstone match with an explicit ‘win condition’ built into your deck. What does that look like in Heroes?

 

QuibsY – When you’re drafting your team, especially in a competitive setting, your first two to three picks are power picks, and then after that, you look at what you’re doing, what your opponents are doing, and the map. By that, I mean on certain maps you want two healers, or on certain maps you want two tanks, and if your opponents haven’t picked a tank and you want two of them, you want to put a higher priority on it, so you can get the higher priority tanks.

 

I also think that when Pannucci said ‘with a goal in mind’, he meant: Are we catering to the early game? Are we picking Heroes like Kerrigan that excel in the early game? Are we picking Heroes that excel once they hit 10, and we get our level 10 ultimates? Are we looking to team fight? Are we looking to split up and push? Are we looking for global presence? These are all things that you’re answering when you’re looking at the map, when you’re looking at what the enemy has and what you’re trying to put together. As an example, if we picked Zeratul here, Void Prison is awesome, but you probably need something to go with it – a Diablo Apocalypse, or something to couple with it, otherwise it’s kind of underwhelming.

 

FuriousD – Most games of Heroes come down to who has the better team fight. There are occasionally going to be games where you can win through other means, but that’s pretty rare. Usually the better team fight is going to win the game. You need to think about that when you’re picking your team – how is every team fight going to go? How do the fights start? Are we going to engage a certain way? Are we going to combo our ultimates in a certain way? If you’re in a draft, and it looks like your opponents have a better team fight, or they can blow one of you up really quick, are you going to try and kite and run away? Do you have an escape plan? That’s a very important part of picking a team – what does your team fight look like, and what is the ideal fight going to be with the Heroes you have?

 

A second thing is map objectives. A perfect example is Sky Temple – you just need to stand on the temples, and you will win the game that way. You don’t ever need to push into the base, which means Heroes that are good in team fights but don’t do lots of damage are perfectly fine. That would be a map where double support is good, because they’re not great at pushing bases, but they can stand on a temple just like anyone else. Team fighting is the main goal, and if you can build around map objectives, that’s good too.

 

Pannucci – Where you want to fight and what the map caters to – where are you going to fight on that map – and what’s the objective of the map, that’s how you win the game. You’re going to win the game off of the map objective, more likely than not. You probably win 9 out of 10 games off of map objectives. Team fights set up the map objective, but you need the objective to win.

 

 

 

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Map Specific Strategies

 

Odinn – How do strategies vary by map? There aren’t a huge number of maps yet, but on the existing map pool, do you plan on specific timings or styles of play – whether it’s playing to objectives, laning, or skipping objectives to go all in – specifically by map?

 

Pannucci – Yes, I’ll give a good example. On Sky Temple, the first spawn is middle and top. Generally speaking, every professional team tries to grab their Knights top around a minute and a half until the next spawn, because it’s a two minute timer, and the next spawn is always bottom. The Knights going top put a lot of extra pressure on the map. There’s downtime and uptime for these map objectives. We do the map objective, and then in the in-between time, we do merc camps, rotate to prevent pressure, etc. – you play for the map objective, and then when the map objective is down, you play the map. It’s a balancing act of playing two different styles, and figuring out what’s the most optimal way to deal with both of them. Winning one thing doesn’t win the game.

 

QuibsY – As the shot caller, I make a lot of those calls where an objective isn’t worth it anymore, and here’s why. I usually don’t give the why until after the fact with my team, because I don’t have time, but an example is when the curse spawns on Cursed Hollow, generally you want all five people there, because they’re valuable. However, there are many instances – they’re about to hit 10 and we’re not, our team fight is awful until we hit 10, etc. – so give up the first two team fights on the tribute, let them have it, just stall it as much as you can. Delay them so we can get to level 10 as fast as humanly possible. That way, when the third tribute comes around, we should be 10, and we should be able to force and win a fight, take the tribute, and possibly a boss or a fort.

 

The key to Heroes that a lot of newer players won’t understand is that it’s very similar to StarCraft, in that it’s a game of trades. Just because you’re not trading one to one doesn’t mean it’s not a good trade. An example of that is if you’re behind, a one to one trade is always good, but if you’re ahead, you need to keep grabbing ground on them, otherwise you’re going to let them catch up due to how Blizzard has experience set up. One kill if you’re two levels behind is worth almost triple, if not triple, what it is for the team that is ahead.

 

When you’re doing this give and take, e.g. if their team is doing the Grave Golem on Cursed Hollow, that means the entire bottom side of the map is completely exposed. We can take an experience lead if we take a fort and then transition. You have to make these trades based on the game state, which changes drastically based on the map and compositions. There are certain Heroes that are very good at making trades, such as Lost Vikings, or Abathur – you’ll never lose lane soak with them on your team. You can make more condensed plays and have more people show up to the same play with those characters on your team, because you’re not giving up as much. If you can get the objective without sacrificing that much, it’s always better to get the objective.

 

Traitorr – There are certain objectives that are very specific. Pannucci mentioned Sky Temple shrines, which spawn two minutes after the previous final shots of the prior shrines. There are other map objectives like the curse on Cursed Hollow, where it’s not an exact time and the locations can be variable. You want to be able to get mercs pressuring a certain part of the map where you know the enemy team won’t be at because of the map objective, but at the same time, you can’t just take 20 seconds to run from the top side of the map to the bottom side of the map to get a siege camp if people aren’t in the general area. If you can get the stuff at the right time, perfect – other times, you just can’t, because it’s a game where people need to be together doing things together.

 

 

 

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Talent Builds & Game Progression

 

Odinn – Do you go in as each Hero with a planned build order, based on individual preference, the team comp, or otherwise? Or do you make those choices based on the progression of the individual matchup?

 

Pannucci – This game is kind-of a hybrid between League, where you always go the same build, and DotA, where you almost always go with something different. You have a set tree that you’re going to go at 1, 4, 7, 10, 13, 16, 20 – but, generally speaking, there are multiple talents you can take at every tier that are good. There is no character that you can’t deviate and have it be good. Here’s a good example – ETC has a talent on 13 that makes Debut slow enemies by 80% for 2s. The ‘standard’ talent is whenever you use the ability, he gains 20% movement speed. In certain comps, where you’re trying to keep people spread out, you’re going to take that ability instead of the movement speed one, instead of a game plan where you’re going to chase after a Hero and blow them up where you’d take the movement speed.

 

FuriousD – It’s never 100% you’re always going to go the same thing. There are certain Heroes where you will, at the beginning of the game – or at least at the end of the draft – know what you’re going to do. Valla is one of those Heroes where there’s different things you can do, but you’re probably going to know which one you’re going to do at level 1. You can either go auto-attack Valla, you can go Q-build Valla, or you can go W-build Valla. You don’t want talents from the three different builds all at the same time, because you’re just not going to be effective.

 

Something else is, if you’re a tank – Imposing Presence, which is a level 16 talent and it means that attackers that hit you get slowed by 50% – at level 1 you’ll know how many of their Heroes are good at auto-attacking and whether or not you want Imposing Presence or a different defensive talent, or maybe an offensive talent.

 

Also, the team that you’re playing with and which Heroes you have can also be a factor in choosing your talents. Slows in this game don’t stack – it’s always the highest percentage slow that will be on them. If someone hits with a 20% slow and then Valla comes with her Frost Shot, which is a 40% slow, they do not get slowed by 60%, they only get slowed by 40%. I wouldn’t say it’s a hard and fast rule that you should never have two slows, but if you’re choosing between two talents, that might hedge you one way or the other.

 

QuibsY – I know exactly what I’m going to build during the game, because I figure out when we’re drafting. I feel like it’s the same way for most high-end players, because there are certain builds that you want to go, and certain builds that are more viable given what team you’re against and what team you’re with. Imposing Presence is probably the best example of a swing talent, where it’s really good when it’s good, but it’s awful if it’s not what you need.

 

I feel like the only thing that you might have to discuss with your team, depending on how the game’s going, is some of the swing ultimates, like Brightwing, Diablo, or Valla – Strafe is pretty typical, and you almost never go Rain, but there are certain situations where the Valla player makes the judgement call and says, “I’m not going to get a Strafe off – I need to take Rain of Vengeance, otherwise I’m not going to have an ultimate.” That’s a Valla player, and he’ll probably figure it out before 10, because he’s going to feel it out before then. For the most part, unless they have a swing ultimate, you’ll know which ultimate you’re going before the game, and you’ll know which build you want to go if the game goes well.

 

The last thing I’ll touch upon about talents is that there have been times and there will always be times when you ding a level that’s a talent and it can either save your life, or kill somebody. Let’s say you ding 4, and you don’t want to take Envenom, but it’ll get the kill – generally, that’s bad to do, because you don’t want it and that’s an early talent, but a talent like that will solidify a kill and maybe you get a map objective because of that, and then it’s good to take. Maybe you’re playing Brightwing and you want Phase Shield, but you can take Sprint or Ice Block and it’ll save your life right then and there, and it’s key to save your life. Sometimes you knee-jerk to those things, and I don’t think that’s necessarily wrong, because those talents are still strong talents. You don’t pigeon-hole yourself into a build prior to the game, unless you absolutely know it is the absolute talent that you need to make the comp work.

 

Odinn – That makes a lot of sense. Is that something that you decide individually, and then announce to your team after the fact so they know?

 

QuibsY – Yes. Generally, it’s like, “I had to take Sprint because of this.” It almost never should be an ultimate. If there’s an ultimate and you’re going to gimp your entire team because you needed to save yourself or kill somebody, that’s almost always wrong. The talents that are really knee-jerk that can swing a fight instantly, those are the talents that after the fight’s over, after the shot’s been called and you’re doing what you’re doing, then you just say, “Oh, by the way, I took this talent.” You don’t even have to justify why, because you should trust your teammates. Most of the time, people are like, “I took this talent, and it got this kill.” If it’s an ultimate, you’re probably wrong, unless it’s an acceptable ultimate like Strafe or Rain. It’s okay to instantly pick Rain of Vengeance and land a four man Rain of Vengeance, I’ll never be mad at you for that.

 

Pannucci – Also Lightning Breath on Diablo.

 

QuibsY – Yeah, the swing ultimates.

 

FuriousD – The last thing, which I remembered, is sometimes you can choose talents in reaction to what your opponents choose. A good example is if you’re playing Nazeebo, and there’s a Diablo on the enemy team. If he picks Apocalypse, he’s going to stun your Ravenous Spirit every single time you cast it, so you don’t want to take Ravenous Spirit – it’s not even an option for you any more, you just go Gargantuan. If he gets level 10 first and you see he takes Lightning Breath, and they don’t have a lot of good ways to stun you, now Ravenous Spirit is an option. There are certain situations where you’ll see your enemy team’s talents, and that will open up builds to you later in the game.

 

 

 

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Target Prioritization & Objective Assignments

 

Odinn – Once you actually know what map you’re playing on – for sake of argument, let’s say Sky Temple – how do you choose prioritization of targets on the fly on those maps? How do you handle making those decisions and assignments happen in real time?

 

QuibsY – That’s a good question. *laughs*

 

FuriousD – I have some input on this, but QuibsY is probably the best to answer, because he’s the shot caller.

 

QuibsY – I know the initial game plan. Literally every game, before the draft, I’m trying to analyze how the team fights are going down, because as FuriousD said in the prior question, it’s probably one of the biggest things about this game, so I’m trying to figure out the team fights. Once the game loads, I realize it’s time to tell people where they’re going in lane, so I hit tab and think, “Where is the enemy going with their lanes? Where can I subject the enemy to a loss in a lane?” If I know they’re going to put ETC in the top lane, and I know Nazeebo beats ETC 90% of the time, I’m going to put my Nazeebo in that lane with him.

 

With the specific example of Sky Temple – and I’m willing to reveal this strategy, because we do it time and time again, and it’s in replays – I like to stack three in the middle lane, and one and one on top and bottom. It’s pretty much universally accepted. The reason why is that the middle temple shoots four more times, and kills a tower instead of a moon well on the first shots if you get them all, so it’s actually more experience if you get the middle one than the top one. You’ll find more teams competing over that one and then competing over the top one. The alternative to that is if I hit tab and their lane phase is way better than ours – we’re probably going to lose the lane phase – I’ll put three in top lane and try to get away from them as far as possible.

 

The section of, “Where do I put the people and why?” is really game to game, but generally I’ll go into it with at least one strategy of how I want to go in. As far as taking mercenary camps – Pannucci brought up the point that Knights push top, and second temple is bottom, so a lot of teams will go with the knight camp. That’s one of the calls I’ll make. I’ll also make the call to get Siege Giants early so that maybe we can contest theirs if I know they’re at Knights.

 

I would say in general, it’s just exposure to the map – where were we when we team fought, who won the team fight, and what are they taking? If we’re in top lane and we kill everybody and we can do the boss, the travel time between us going top lane to the boss is very high, so that becomes less of a great play, because we’re wasting the 10 seconds to get down there. However, if we fought in the bottom lane, and we won in the bottom lane, then we can get the boss, the Siege Giants, and a fort, because we’re there already and we’re ready to do it, and the boss is going to push a lane we’re already in. It’s by proximity and by priority. I will always take a keep over taking a fort. I will always take a core over taking a second keep. Things that end the game are what I am interested in taking.

 

Odinn – So how do you handle giving out those assignments? You said you’re going to send three people mid on Sky Temple. Are you sending your tank, healer, and a specialist? How are you making sure that the right people get the right jobs when you make those calls?

 

QuibsY – When you tri-lane, you want three people, one of them being a healer – it doesn’t really matter what the other two are, as long as they can do some sort of damage. You either tri-lane to defend their tri-line, or you can tri-lane to actually aggress. If you’re trying to aggress and put structure damage on, you want as many ranged as you can get, while still having a healer. For the solo lane people, it’s just people who aren’t susceptible to being ganked – a good example being a tank player like ETC, or a support like Rehgar, but not necessarily all supports or all tanks. If they have an escape, they become a better person to put in a solo lane. It also matters if they’re good at dueling in their solo lane – examples being Valla, Sylvanas, or Tychus are exceptional duelists. They’ll win the lane just based on doing more damage than the other person and out-trading them.

 

As far as who I put where, I tell them specifically – you’re going to this lane, you’re leaving that lane when this happens. If I don’t tell them, it’s generally already known – an example being on Cursed Hollow, my general rule of thumb is everyone is coming to the tribute unless I tell you not to. That way there’s no hesitation – when that happens, as a team, everyone knows what they’re doing unless I say otherwise. It’s also true for Sky Temple – the people in the top and bottom lane, I’ll tell them specifically when to come if we’re going to fight on the mid temple, or whatever the case may be. I’m looking at the mini-map constantly. That’s how I make those calls.

 

FuriousD – Everything he said is spot on. The only thing I would say is generally each map you know how the beginning of the game is going to go, and based on how the beginning goes is how you have to play the rest of it. Either you press your advantage, or you play from behind, especially when you’re a talent tier above or below the enemy. Besides that, each map, as Pannucci said, a lot of the times you’re going to win with the objective, and on certain maps you’ll often win through a certain lane.

 

Dragon Shire, for example, you used to always win through bottom, because there were so many Giants there – now it’s bottom or mid, but you still pretty much never win through top. I would say 98 or 99 games out of 100 on Dragon Shire, the top keep is still alive when you win. That’s the kind of thing you want to have in mind all game – later on, when we need to win, where are we going to go through? Let’s set that up now, so that when we want to team fight late, we’ll have that option when we need it.

 

QuibsY – Yeah, that’s a good point. That’s one thing I didn’t bring up – pressing the same lane is really strong. Having catapults in lane will definitely give you a push.

 

FuriousD – …and Haunted Mines, everyone understands your golem lane is where you should push, because your golem’s going to help you hit the core eventually. That’s true to a lesser degree on every map.

 

 

 

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Self-Improvement In Heroes

 

Odinn – As an individual player, what are the best things that someone can do to improve at playing Heroes? How do you get better at the game on your own time?

 

ChubbsZ – As a support player, my main thing that I have to focus on is always keeping a good eye on your position. If you’re out of position, you could get caught and damaged, and if you get damaged your heal will have to go to yourself instead of your allies. What I do to practice and become better as an individual player is I watch my team’s position – for example, QuibsY is a very aggressive player, so I’m always near him, making sure he has the heals when he needs them. The team is very aggressive, so with their aggressive playstyle, I always have to be as aggressive with them. I’m like a shadow – you have to shadow your teammates and always have to be near them.

 

To improve myself I always watch my allies positioning and their playstyles, and I also improve my timing. As a support player, that split second that you have to walk to your ally is the split second he’s dead, and you could have saved him. Timing, for me, is everything.

 

FuriousD – Things that I’ve done, and what’s helped me make the biggest jumps in getting better the fastest, are noticing certain interactions and memorizing them. I remember one time – this must have been nine months ago – I was playing Valla, and Stitches hooks me, gorges me, and walks into the team, and this was post level 20. I was like, “Man, I’m screwed, I’m just going to die and we’re going to lose the team fight and the game.” As I pop out, I’m mashing all my buttons, trying to get away, and what I did was even though I was almost dead, I Blood For Blood-ed the Stitches, got a big chunk of my life back, and vaulted away. Back then I wasn’t so good, and I was like, “Wow, that worked perfectly.” From then on, I know any time I get gorged I have Blood For Blood ready.

 

If Sylvanas throws out her Banshees and you try to stun where she is, and she teleports to her Banshees and you miss, memorize that. Every time you make a mistake or make a good play, memorize it and do it again – or, just as importantly, if someone does it to you.

 

Pannucci – The thing I would say help me improve the most is learning to position. There are three things I have to keep in mind in every team fight – how do I get out if I get collapsed on and a team fight goes badly? Where is my support in relation to me so that if I need heals, I can get heals? And how do I cause the most disruption between their team and prevent people from getting away or getting to where they want to go?

 

Every team fight, I go in with that mentality of, “Okay, I need to think of these three things.” Those are the most important things. There are other things, like when am I going to ult, but that’s more from experience. I think to actually improve, though, the most important thing is just knowing where to position and how to be in relation to your team and their team.

 

QuibsY – I would like to add for me personally, the biggest way I got better, by far, is when I’m playing by myself and I’m not playing with a team, and I’m just practicing and trying to get better at the game, I try to make these really greedy, really garbage plays. The reason I say they’re garbage is because they’re so greedy that they shouldn’t work. Depending on how close it was to working, or whether it did or did not work, I know later that I can make that play again and again and again, because I’m pushing the limit in a place that I’m not caring whether or not it actually succeeds.

 

A lot of players get stuck in this mindset where they purely just need to rank up. Well, if you get better, you’ll probably rank up by proxy. I just make these really greedy, really aggressive plays, and hope it works, and if it works, I’ll do it again time and time again. If it doesn’t work, I know I can’t do that anymore – like FuriousD said, remember what you did and what did and didn’t work, that’s really key.

 

The second thing that I really just want to stress is there are replays. StarCraft players know this, it’s one of the best ways to get better quickly – just watch the replay. If you get crushed in a team fight, and you think you should have won, you should probably watch the replay and figure out exactly what happened. Sometimes it’s unpreventable – maybe they just landed a really good Falstad laser, and you just lost the fight because of that. If you don’t know why you lost, you’re not going to get better.

 

Traitorr – Generally, really simple – play the game as much as possible. If you know the ins and outs of the game, you’ll be amazingly better a month after playing than the first couple of days. Know your cooldowns, know your matchups in lane, and know the timings of map mechanics so you can go push your lane and you’re going to be there before your opponent. Small little things really add up a lot.

 

QuibsY – Yeah, it’s a game of inches.

 

FuriousD – The last thing I would say, and it goes in perfectly with what Traitorr was saying, is if you want to get good at a Hero that takes a little bit more skill – Kerrigan is a good example, because she’s fantastic when she can land all of her skills, and so sub-par if you miss everything, so if you want to be good at Kerrigan you have to play a lot of Kerrigan. You have to be good at landing your combo, and then you have to be good at reading your opponents and when they’re going to try to dodge your combo. On certain high-skill Heroes you just have to play it over and over again.

 

 

 

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Favourite Heroes

 

Odinn – What is everybody’s current favourite Hero in the game?

 

Pannucci – I think it’s pretty well known, but I love Tyrael. I’m currently writing a guide on him as well. He’s my favourite because of his versatility. He can engage well, he’s tanky, he’s mobile. His laning is his downside, but I still enjoy his laning, because if you actually do well in lane with him, he just snowballs that much harder. Going into most matchups expecting to try to hit even, it’s more rewarding when you do really well with him. I think his kit’s really well designed. The only flaw I really see to his kit is his Q can be unresponsive, but I think he’s one of the better designed characters in Heroes at the moment.

 

QuibsY – My favourite, by far, is Jaina. I’m pretty not soft-spoken about that, either. She fits my playstyle, she can be hyper-aggressive, and the reason I find her enjoyable is that positionally, she can be punished easily, but if you play her right, she’s just devastating.

 

Traitorr – My favourite Hero is Abathur, with Lost Vikings taking a very close second, mostly because I like the uniqueness to them. There’s no other Heroes in the game anywhere close to their mechanics and playstyle. That’s why I like them.

 

FuriousD – I actually also have the most fun playing Tyrael. I think the way he moves around, it’s just a lot of fun to play him. He does everything you want him to do, and there’s always a play to make with him – you always have options, and I love that. Also lately I’ve really been liking Kerrigan a lot – she just feels really strong, and when you land that combo on a bunch of people at once, it just feels so good.

 

ChubbsZ – My favourite Hero is Lili, mainly because I can play her to her max potential. She’s not a very easy Hero to play – her and Rehgar are probably the hardest supports to play – but I can play her to her max potential, so that’s why I really enjoy her.

 

 

 

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Final Thoughts

 

Pannucci – I know this is more geared towards newer players, but the biggest thing I’ve noticed between a good player improving and not is how they respond to when stuff goes badly. If you’re down three levels or something, this game allows you to come back from that. It’s not like League of Legends or DotA where if you’re just that far behind you can’t come back. I think it’s really rewarding to come back, and being able to bounce back when you’re in the deep end and being able to weather through the storm is something to not take lightly and strive to be able to do so.

 

MrNyxis – As a member of the team that is not in the higher MMR ranks, one of the biggest obstacles as a casual player of the game is the toxicity and just the general approach that some of the players have to the game, which is if in the first five minutes we’re losing by a level and we’re four kills down, or whatever, a lot of people are very quick to give up. It can really negatively affect your overall experience with the game. This game is infamous for the fact that the very last team fight 20 minutes into the game can decide which direction it takes, even if you’re three levels apart. Don’t give up – the comebacks are real all across Heroes eSports. Encouraging people to realize that matches don’t last 45 minutes to an hour and it’s worth putting in 20 minutes of constant encouragement with teammates and working hard rather than just giving up 5 minutes in and just being negative overall.

 

Pannucci – I just want to add to that, there can be that toxicity, especially in things like quick match where things aren’t going well or someone’s mad at another person, and they may refuse to play or still play but spend more of their time complaining about said player than actually playing. It can be helpful if you just take it upon yourself to maybe mediate. Half the time, you can win the next team fight if they just stop being toxic, and then you win the game with just one quick switch. Be helpful with your teammates, and don’t give up.

 

QuibsY – You mean, “Get good, scrub!” isn’t good advice?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thank you for reading the interview! We wish 2ARC continued success in their competitive endeavours.

 

Let us know what you thought of the interview, and what kinds of additional content you would like to see in this vein in the future.

 

Pro Heroes of the Storm team 2ARC Gaming chats with Odinn about how to, in their words, "Get good, scrub!" ;)

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    • By Stan
      The latest Heroes of the Storm patch includes Diablo/Lunara Hero reworks and Nexomania. Check out the full patch notes!
      Blizzard (Source)
      Nexomania has begun, bringing new quests and rewards, as well as many new skins and mounts to Heroes of the Storm! Read on for details, as well as more info about gameplay updates for Lunara and Diablo.
      NOTE: Orange text indicates a difference between the PTR and Live patch notes.
      Nexomania!
      Learn even more about Nexomania by visiting the official Heroes website!
      La Parca Lunara and La Pantera Sonya are looking to recruit new tag-team partners for Nexomania, a contest where Heroes battle it out to become the Champions of the Nexus! Choose your partner, train up, and conquer the competition to claim the spoils of victory before Monday, June 11. Each of the four-part quest chains below grant different rewards based on who you side with, and the quests must be completed in order. Choose your partner wisely, because once you’ve picked Lunara or Sonya, your decision cannot be undone!   La Parca Lunara Quest Chain and Rewards  Train Up, La Parca Style: Play 3 Games. Reward: Máscara de la Parca Portrait. Show Match, La Parca Style: Achieve 70 Takedowns in winning games. Reward: The Underworld Grip Spray. Climb the Ladder, La Parca Style: Win 6 games. Reward: Ojos de la Parca Animated Spray. Cage Match, La Parca Style: Achieve 100 Takedowns in winning games. Rewards: El Guapo Announcer and La Parca Lunara Portrait. La Pantera Sonya Quest Chain and Rewards Train Up, La Pantera Style: Play 3 Games. Reward: Máscara de la Pantera Portrait. Show Match, La Pantera Style: Achieve 70 Takedowns in winning games. Reward: The Panther Forearm Spray. Climb the Ladder, La Pantera Style: Win 6 games. Reward: Furia de la Pantera Animated Spray. Cage Match, La Pantera Style: Achieve 100 Takedowns in winning games. Rewards: El Guapo Announcer and La Pantera Sonya Portrait. Nexomania Loot Chests
      Starting the week of May 22, Loot Chests earned through progression (except Hero-specific Chests), Heroes Brawl, or by spending Gems will be Nexomania Loot Chests. These Loot Chests guarantee at least one item from the Nexomania or Sun’s Out, Guns Out events. Step into the ring and start leveling-up to pin down some loot before the competition concludes on June 11!
      Please Note: Loot Chests earned prior to the start of this event will not become Nexomania Loot Chests.
      Art
      Heroes, Abilities, and Talents Diablo: Diablo and Archangel Diablo’s Abilities have received updated visual effects to coincide with Ability and Talent changes. Garrosh: Garrosh’s Abilities have received updated visual effects. Malfurion: A new leaf icon and timer will now appear above Regrowth targets’ nameplates to indicate remaining Heal duration. The icon and timer will change color based on Regrowth’s remaining Heal duration: from green to yellow at 10 seconds remaining, and then to red during the last 5 seconds. User Inteface
      MVP Screen Players can no longer vote for themselves on the end of match awards screen. This should help encourage players to spread the love by commending others for their epic plays! The number of votes required to achieve epic and legendary commendations on the end of match awards screen have each been reduced by one vote. This has been done to account for the removal of self-voting. Previously, a self-vote could often make the difference for a player who was one vote shy of reaching epic or legendary status. Loot Chests The Loot Chest carousel on the Loot screen now automatically switches to a Loot Chest type the player already owns, rather than always defaulting to Rare Loot Chests. Design
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      Lunara
      Catch additional details in our recent Lunara and Diablo Gameplay Updates Blog.
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      Diablo
      Catch additional details in our recent Lunara and Diablo Gameplay Updates Blog.
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      Head to the official Heroes of the Storm forums to discuss this post with other players.
    • By Stan
      The free Hero rotation has been updated for the week of May 22.
      Free-to-Play Hero Rotation: May 22, 2018
      Malfurion Valla Gazlowe Johanna Thrall Dehaka Blaze Lt. Morales Li-Ming Gul'dan Tyrande (Slot unlocked at Player Level 5) Sylvanas (Slot unlocked at Player Level 10) Junkrat (Slot unlocked at Player Level 15) Chen (Slot unlocked at Player Level 20) (Source)
    • By Oxygen
      Our nineteenth Heroes of the Storm Meta Tier list for the month of May is here!
      We present our nineteenth Heroes of the Storm Meta Tier List for the month of May 2018.
      Welcome to Icy Veins's Meta Tier List for the May 9 patch. The goal of this list is to try and detail game's current metagame state. The prime goal of such lists is to inform players regarding popular and trending team composition drafting strategies (i.e. the drafting metagame). Although tier listings are generally the product of balance, many factors come into play when discussing the relative perceived strengths of heroes, including player regions, maps, play style, skill level, and, of course, personal perception. As such, any tier list—including this very one—should never be interpreted as gospel, but rather, as a guide to better grasp what to expect with regards to typical drafting experiences. One useful application of such lists is to allow you know which heroes to look out for in terms of practice and counterplay, ultimately improving your knowledge of the game.
      Using the list
      As stated above, tier lists are easy to mistake for gospel. As new strategies are discovered and experimented with, so changes the perception of the relative strengths of each hero. Tier lists still prove to be useful as a snapshot of player expectations in terms of drafting. Although it is generally considered preferable to focus on high tier heroes (Prime and Core tiers), it is important to note that Heroes of the Storm's wild character and map designs make it so that any given hero's tier position is prone to fluctuate depending on the situation at hand.
      One classic example of such is that of Kerrigan on the Infernal Shrines map. Although we currently judge her to be a mid-tier hero, her drafting priority shoots up to first-pick or first-ban material on this specific map due to the nature of its objective. Certain heroes also synergise so well with each other that the sole fact of having the opportunity of drafting them together is generally enough to increase their potential. Tassadar and Tracer, for instance, are generally nightmarish to deal with for many. There are too many examples of these interactions to reasonably produce here, but we invite you to consult our guides to know exactly where and when each hero shines. The guides have been linked in the lists below for your convenience - just click any of the hero names to access them.
      A ↑ next to a hero's name means its tier list position has increased since the previous month whereas a ↓ means just the opposite. Additionally, a + or - sign indicates short-to-medium term predictions (which is to say, about a month) for tier increase(s) or decrease(s), respectively. These are often updated after significant balance patches and/or when clear trends are emerging.
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      Current ranked mode map rotation
       
      Prime Tier
      Warrior Assassin Support Specialist Diablo Genji Malfurion - E.T.C. Fenix  Stukov   Garrosh↑ Maiev-     Sonya Thrall     Prime tier heroes are considered to be extremely strong in all situations, and show no obvious weakness. They are very often banned or picked right away, as they generally dictate the pace of most matches.
       
      Core Tier
      Warrior Assassin Support Specialist Arthas Falstad Alexstrasza Abathur Blaze   Greymane Deckard (new) Azmodan Dehaka Hanzo↓ Li Li Nazeebo Johanna Jaina Lt. Morales Sylvanas- Muradin Junkrat Lúcio  Zagara Stitches Li-Ming Uther   Varian (Taunt) Malthael       Tracer     Core tier heroes are strong in a wide variety of situations and have few counter-picking possibility. They should form the core of your team, and be picked after Prime Tier heroes have been distributed.
       
      Viable Tier
      Warrior Assassin Support Specialist Anub'arak Alarak Auriel Gazlowe↑ Artanis Cassia Brightwing- Medivh+ D.Va Chromie Kharazim Murky Leoric Gul'dan Rehgar Xul Tyrael  Kael'thas Tyrande-   Zarya Kel'Thuzad+       Kerrigan       Lunara       Nova       Ragnaros       Samuro       The Butcher       Tychus+       Varian (Colossus Smash)↑       Valla       Zeratul       Zul'jin     Viable tier heroes are generally well-rounded that have either fallen out of favour, or, inversely, are on the rise in popularity, due to the current Prime tier contenders.
       
      Niche Tier
      Warrior Assassin Support Specialist Chen Cho'gall Ana Probius Cho'gall Illidan↓ Tassadar Sgt. Hammer Rexxar Raynor       Valeera       Varian (Twin Blades of Fury)     Niche tier heroes have niche application on certain maps or for certain team compositions. They may also picked to "round out" your team composition when your team composition is missing out on key components, such as a "jungler" (mercenary camps), a solo laner, or solid waveclear.
       
      Lost Vikings Tier
      The Lost Vikings The Lost Viking are deemed to be either considerably weaker than the majority of other Heroes, or much more challenging to play properly. Although they may situationally shine, this notoriously poorly designed trio is generally avoided by most players.
       
      Metagame assessment
      Tanky meta featuring a tonne of crowd control. Most fights come down to who gets caught out of position first. The natural counters to a tanky meta is typically a double support meta, but Blizzard's recent crusade against support heroes and general design trend embracing overspecialization (i.e. healers can't deal damage or have waveclear, with Deckard being the pinnacle of such) makes this unlikely to happen unless there are more radical changes inbound. In other words, I feel like we may be stuck with what we see.
      Deckard: Fits right in the current metagame with outstanding follow up to any initiation in the form of Scroll Of Sealing, high healing (though weak against displacement effects), great adaptive talents (notably, Emerald against any burst target and Kanai's Cube as a counter to burst) and armor to make him surprisingly difficult to kill. His biggest weakness might be lacking a Cleanse equivalent, though this is becoming more and more common.
      Garrosh: Doesn't do well against Diablo, but wreaks havoc against many other tanks. Particularly strong right now due to being more or less unburstable on top of bringing his super reliable cleansing effect in Indomitable. High high armor works well with sustain healers who basically populate the two highest tiers of healers, bar Uther.
      Hanzo: Excessive basic attack range allowed him to overshadow every other attack-based assassin bar Fenix. Reducing his range by about 15% puts him in right in range of a number of several movement abilities on top of giving him less breathing room against casters. This results in either reduced survivability or damage dealing potential, and in the inability to attack turrets without retaliation. His waveclear and evasiveness were also hit for good measure (through Explosive Arrows damage and Natural Agility range nerfs, respectively). He remains a fine hero, though nowhere near as oppressive, and nowhere near as safe for newer players. I don't expect him to do well in lower leagues.
      Illidan: A feast-or-famine design that feels outdated in terms of depth, overshadowed in the face of rampant mobility creep, and out of meta versus so much crowd control. This will remain the case as long as he is balanced so tightly around using Betrayer's Thirst.
    • By Stan
      Heroes of the Storm Highlights are back with episode 109 of WTF Moments.
      The latest episode starts off with a Hook & Wrecking Ball combo, executed six times in the same match. Poor Alexstrasza and Blaze! Next, we have an unlucky Fenix that gets tossed by the Dragon Knight straight into Gazlowe's Deth Lazor. Definitely check out the insane Genji gameplay at the end of the video (08:50)!
      Let us know your favorite moments in the comments below and don't forget to submit your replays here for a chance to be featured in an upcoming episode of the series.
      Previous Episodes
      WTF Moments Episode 108 WTF Moments Episode 106 & 107 WTF Moments Episode 105
    • By Stan
      The Combat Medic and the Dark Prelate will be on sale next week for 375 Gems and Abyssal Deathbringer Sonya joins the fray for the first time!
      Blizzard (Source)
      Heroic Deals: May 22 – 28, 2018 
      Our next set of Heroic Deals will begin on Tuesday, May 22! Check out the list of upcoming featured items and Hero discounts below.  Upcoming Hero Sales
      Zeratul — Sale Price: 375 Gems Lt. Morales— Sale Price: 375 Gems The following skins and mounts will be added to the featured item rotation and will become purchasable with gems until this round of Heroic Deals comes to an end:
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      Night Ronin Zeratul  Prototype Love Doctor Morales  Abyssal Deathbringer Sonya*  Dreambreaker Thrall  Cruel Queen of Ghosts Kerrigan  Kandy King Muradin  Overqueen Zagara  Elite Agent Nova  * First time featured item!
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      Hunter Felsaber Demon  Hellboar