Oxygen

Junkrat Meta Tier List (October 2017)

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We present our twelfth Heroes of the Storm Meta Tier List for the Junkrat patch of October 2017.

Our twelfth Heroes of the Storm Meta Tier List for the month of October 2017 is here!

Welcome to Icy Veins's Meta Tier List for the Junkrat patch. The goal if 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 low-to-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.

If you're newer to the game, also consider visiting our glossary for a comprehensive list of discrete Heroes of the Storm terms.

Current map rotation

 
  • Cursed Hollow
  • Dragon Shire
  • Haunted Mines
  • Tomb of the Spider Queen
  • Towers of Doom
  • Volskaya Foundry
  • Sky Temple
  • Garden of Terror
  • Braxis Holdout

 

Prime Tier

Warrior Assassin Support Specialist
Anub'arak- Genji Tassadar- Nazeebo
Arthas Greymane    
E.T.C. Malthael    
Garrosh      
       

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
Dehaka Falstad Brightwing Azmodan
Diablo Jaina Lúcio+ Sylvanas
Sonya+ Li-Ming Malfurion Xul
Stitches Valla Stukov-  
Varian (Tank) Zeratul Uther-  
    Lt. Morales  

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
Artanis Alarak Ana Abathur
Chen Cassia Auriel Murky
D.Va Chromie Kharazim Probius-
Johanna Gul'dan Li Li Zagara+
Leoric Illidan Rehgar  
Muradin Kael'thas Tyrande  
Tyrael Kerrigan    
Zarya Lunara    
  Ragnaros    
  The Butcher    
  Tracer    
  Zul'jin    
  Kel'Thuzad    

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
Cho'gall Cho'gall - Gazlowe
Rexxar Nova   Medivh
  Raynor   Junkrat (new!)-
  Samuro   Sgt. Hammer
  Valeera    
  Thrall    
  Tychus    
  Varian (Damage)    

Niche tier heroes have niche application on certain maps or for certain team compositions. They are generally 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.

 

Bottom Tier

The Lost Vikings

Bottom tier Heroes 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, these Heroes are generally avoided by most players.

 

Metagame assessment

Junkrat felt quite undertuned on the PTR, yet suffered little more but nerfs to what was arguably his best heroic ability option, Rocket Ride. You  may have noticed that I labeled him as a specialist, and that's because he feels like one. I can't stop drawing parallels between Gazlowe and him, which are limited sustained area of effect damage and zone control. Heck, Grav-O-Bomb 3000Grav-O-Bomb 3000 is just a RIP-Tire that pulls instead of knocking back, is it not? Junkrat's winrates are hovering around some 42% as it stands, making him one of the worst heroes in the game. On one hand, my PTR gut feeling seemed accurate. On the other hand, I think he's excessively difficult to play, but has potential, meaning that I think he will get a bit better over time, winrates-wise. Still, buffs are needed, and we're talking ~15-20% cooldown reductions and damage increases across the board. I would usually never dare suggest something as drastic, but Junkrat feels way off. Niche, probably bottom.

E.T.C. has finally ascended to metal godhood, potentially as a response to Garrosh's popularity, or possibly because healers can't really shred him off due to Guitar SoloGuitar Solo's near-infinite self-sustain and just enough basic attack damage to be threatening.

Garrosh is now the most popular (and banned) hero in the game. The way armor works in conjunction with healing makes him ridiculously hard to kill in this healer-heavy metagame, while one good Wrecking BallWrecking Ball is often enough to secure a kill, granted you're not throwing E.T.C. Warlord's ChallengeWarlord's Challenge also happens to be a pseudo Mosh PitMosh Pit that can't be interrupted and on a much shorter cooldown, which is really good for ripping kills away while healers can't... well, heal.

Nazeebo's late game power was recently redefined (read: improved), and GargantuanGargantuan is a nightmare to deal with when disengaging or killing it is impossible. As it turns out, healers tend to lack the damage to quickly focus the thing down. In general, I feel that specialists begin to shine in such metagames, where proper waveclear and sieging tend to be rarer. This also means slightly longer games, which translates into more Voodoo RitualVoodoo Ritual stacks.

Stitches is falling out of favour as blowup comps are. His lack of CC and single target damage are just what you don't want your tank to lack right now. Still, he's not bad by any means; simply falling out of favour.

Uther no longer prime? What's going on! As stated for Stitches, blowout team compositions are a thing of the past. Uther's niche is just that: countering such blowouts with his burst healing and armor buffs, and setting up or following up with Hammer of JusticeHammer of Justice. These things aren't particularly useful in a sustain-oriented metagame. If Tyr's DeliveranceTyr's Deliverance wasn't such a late game talent, Uther may work, but it isn't.

Lt. Morales is pretty much the polar opposite of Uther; high sustained healing, little burst, zero follow up potential, thrives in extended fights, and so on. Although she was slightly nerfed recently, it wasn't really enough to seriously affect her performance.

Azmodan is rising for the same reasons Nazeebo is: waveclearing and sieging are in high demand right now, and massive health pools can become a problem, especially for teams that might run two low damage and waveclear support heroes such as Ana and Lúcio.

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is it intended that Junkrat is listed as a Specialist or just a copy/ paste mistake?

Edited by benOwar

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20 minutes ago, benOwar said:

is it intended that Junkrat is listed as a Specialist or just a copy/ paste mistake?

My attempt at humour.

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Any specific reason why Zagara is in Viable and not Core tier? She is really annoying to play against in laning phase and on maps like Garden of Terror where split pushing is viable, she is rather obnoxious.

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ETC does indeed answer Garrosh a lot. Just make sure you use his Powerslide wisely to bait Garrosh's longer cds on his throw, and the increased range and knockback on Face Melt at level 4 really helps out on ensuring Gary can't body anyone or get close enough to throw someone from your backline reliably, or, if he does, hinders any follow up from his team. I have been avoiding using Mosh Pit as ETC though however against Garrosh, as the latter does have a talent to dip into to become Unstoppable and can Cleanse team mates caught on the outer circle and so on and so forth; too many variables to make the hefty 2 minute cd investment worth it in solo queue. 

I'd expect Muradin to come back into the core tier sooner or later as well. Almost Anub levels of peel and isolation with Haymaker and the E builds that may be worth exploring if you're adventurous as I prefer more standard tank builds on him, and arguably one of the meatier and sturdy  Warriors in the game, Muradin isn't easy to burst down in most cases, and the anti hp heroes that exist have had their power turned down somewhat. 

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4 hours ago, Oxygen said:

Still, buffs are needed, and we're talking ~15-20% cooldown reductions and damage increases across the board

I kinda disagree in there... Junkrat'w poke potential makes him a nightmare to deal with, especially against heroes with poor mobility and self-sustain. Plus, both his Heroic abilties can change the course of teamfights.

I don't think he needs damage buffs since he brings a lot of utility and displacement to the match. Pair him with Garrosh and unleash havoc, playing ping-pong with your enemies.

Edited by Valhalen

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16 hours ago, Oxygen said:

My attempt at humour.

I was seriously hoping Junkrat would have been a sort of ranged Gazlowe, that could control fights through area denial in this CC focused meta. Instead we got a dps that underperforms in every aspect. He doesn't do enough damage to have area denial, he can't hit people with enough consistency to be a major damage dealer for his team, and he can't solo lanes enough to be a serious threat by solo laning, like Gul'dan or Kael'Thas.

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14 minutes ago, Brauchief said:

whoa if junkrat is 6'5 how tall is roadhog?!!!

He is 7'3", if I'm not wrong.

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3 minutes ago, Valhalen said:

He is 7'3", if I'm not wrong.

Yep, 7'3 and 250 KG. He's a big boy!

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Funny, my friend and I were saying that Junkrat feels like a specialist. I didn't agree with him at first... but then I played a few matches. Now your list says the same!xp

Just noticed no more duck! Now Oxygen looks like some sort of badass!

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5 hours ago, Warper said:

Funny, my friend and I were saying that Junkrat feels like a specialist. I didn't agree with him at first... but then I played a few matches. Now your list says the same!xp

Just noticed no more duck! Now Oxygen looks like some sort of badass!

Don't mess with Ethereals.

3 hours ago, clepsydriska said:

Any comments on the Zul'jin and Muradin reworks that debuted at the same time as Junkrat? I was curious what you thought of them.

I like both reworks, and both feel quite balanced. I think Muradin's a bit better now, perhaps a candidate for core tier, but we'll need a bit more time. His talents definitely feel broader; same can be said about ZJ. I'm still surprised they chose to rework these heroes when Raynor and Sgt. Hammer are really... yeah.

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15 hours ago, Warper said:

Just noticed no more duck! Now Oxygen looks like some sort of badass!

A duck would take down an ethereal in seconds. No chance of survival.

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Just now, Blainie said:

A duck would take down an ethereal in seconds. No chance of survival.

I miss that duck. Ducks are way more badasses than Ethereals.

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7 minutes ago, Valhalen said:

I miss that duck. Ducks are way more badasses than Ethereals.

New expansion-end boss for WoW: a duck.

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1 minute ago, Blainie said:

New expansion-end boss for WoW: a duck.

This reminds me. There are no ducks in WoW, are there? I don't think I've ever saw a duck critter.

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13 minutes ago, Valhalen said:

This reminds me. There are no ducks in WoW, are there? I don't think I've ever saw a duck critter.

The only duck we need - Rubber DuckRubber Duck

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Re: Reworks -  Interesting, thanks! Zul'jin definitely felt a ton smoother to me just because of Amani Rage letting him have access to his attack speed steroids in situations where he'd otherwise be sitting there with full health going "Gee I wish something would damage me...." Muradin I couldn't really judge because I've always been a truly terrible Muradin player XD

 

Re: Ducks - Would you rather fight one hundred duck-sized ethereals or one ethereal-sized duck?

Edited by clepsydriska
i accidentally a word
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3 hours ago, clepsydriska said:

Re: Reworks -  Interesting, thanks! Zul'jin definitely felt a ton smoother to me just because of Amani Rage letting him have access to his attack speed steroids in situations where he'd otherwise be sitting there with full health going "Gee I wish something would damage me...." Muradin I couldn't really judge because I've always been a truly terrible Muradin player XD

Yeah, it also let people just avoid you with their focus and ensure you spend the fight doing barely anything, rather than touching you and adding to your DPS.

3 hours ago, clepsydriska said:

Re: Ducks - Would you rather fight one hundred duck-sized ethereals or one ethereal-sized duck?

100 duck-sized Ethereals. 1 duck can end the world.

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35 minutes ago, Blainie said:

100 duck-sized Ethereals. 1 duck can end the world.

What about a Ethereal Duck?

 

61NdUW1HMTL._SL1204_.jpg

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2 minutes ago, Valhalen said:

What about a Ethereal Duck?

The universe is at threat.

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I agree with most of the list, but some heroes' placements is quite questionable IMO. My opinions below are from watching tournaments (HGC) and high level players' stream (mainly Kendric, Grubby and Mewn), so it might not be the most accurate.

 

Warriors

Anub'arak: I feel like he's been fallen out of favour since his nerf a couple patches ago. He's a solid tank, but nowhere near Prime Tier IMO. Being relatively fragile (especially against AA damage) and low sustain mean that he can struggle against Double support hyper-carry comp.

Sonya: Probably the best solo laner/bruiser currently, she's definitely a strong contender for Prime Tier.

 

Assassins

Mages: I want to talk about mages specifically in the current meta. With the meta being highly focused on sustain and supports, mages have very little place right now. Most mages tends to have mana and cooldown issues to prevent them from dealing sustain damage. Since Double support comps only run 1 range assassin, you want a hero that can deal both sustain and burst damage. That's why most mages don't fit in these comps, except Gul'dan. Gul'dan is probably the only mage that doesn't have mana issue, and with his Q being on 1s CD, he's able to deal a large amount of sustain damage. Therefore, he should be in Core tier, and other mages should be in, at most, Viable tier.

Malthael: He just receive a direct damage nerf. He's still strong (especially in BOE), but isn't a priority anymore. I'd put him in Core tier.

Valla: Probably the most versatile range AA assassin right now, she's able to deal both sustain and burst damage.(assuming the player doesn't go for AA build) Definitely a strong contender for Prime tier.

Zeratul: I really don't understand why he sit in Core tier for that long. Not many people pick him, and even if someone pick him, he doesn't look strong enough to be considered a good pick. Stealth heroes just aren't good enough in high level plays.

Nova: With Hanamura being removed and Support camp not bribable, her niche use is completely gone. She's definitely Bottom tier IMO.

Raynor: He definitely need some love from Blizzard. Why would you pick him over Valla or even Sgt Hammer? He's outclassed by almost all range AA assassins right now. Definitely Bottom tier.

 

Supports

Tassader: This guy. He is, in my opinion, higher than Prime tier. He is the best 2nd support you can get in a Double support comp: strong waveclear, assassin-like damage output, burst protection with AA lifesteal. He has all the things that make Double support comps so strong. Oh, did I mention that he has a better Ice Block in his base kit?

Reghar: Despite the recent nerf to his Chain Heal, I think he's still really strong. Strong waveclear, insane merc camp claiming power (probably the only support that can solo camp), strong AOE heal, and of course, Ancestral Healing. Definitely Core tier IMO.

 

Specialists

Sylvanas: She's a weird specialist. In terms of solo laning and pushing, she's not as good as other specialists like Azmodan and Zagara; in terms of team fight presence, she's not as good as assassins. This put her in a very awkward place IMO, that's why she should not be in Core tier.

Xul: He's completely fallen out of favour after people realised that how bad his team fight presence and late game are. He's viable, but not strong.

Zagara: One of the best solo laner and split pusher currently, she can be a nuisance against team that lack waveclear and global to answer. A strong contender for Core tier.

Medivh: I really think he should be a support.

The Lost Vikings: This is the part I disagree the most. Yes, he's very special to play and play with, but he's nowhere near Bottom tier. Being the best split-soaker and one of the best split-pusher in the game, his global map presence is so strong that the opponents will need to make very difficult decisions through out the game. And his pick rate isn't that bad either. According to Hotslog, his pick rate is higher than Chen and Probius, which you place in Viable tier. He deserves at least Viable tier IMO, because he's neither 'weaker than majority of other heroes', nor 'avoided by most players'.

 

Sorry for the wall of text that is higher than Trump's wall. I just want to express my opinion on the tierlist and have some good discussions. Feel free to correct me if I said something wrong. Thanks for the good works though.

 

Edited by ShadowerDerek
fixed some typo
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43 minutes ago, ShadowerDerek said:

Anub'arak: I feel like he's been fallen put of favour since his nerf a couple patches ago. He's a solid tank, but nowhere near Prime Tier IMO. Being relatively fragile (especially against AA damage) and low sustain mean that he can struggle against Double support hyper-carry comp.

Even though the meta is shifting from Spell Damage to Basic Attack damage plus Double Support focus, Anub is still very strong due his mobility, two stuns and CocoonCocoon.

44 minutes ago, ShadowerDerek said:

Reghar: Despite the recent nerf to his Chain Heal, I think he's still really strong. Strong waveclear, insane merc camp claiming power (probably the only support that can solo camp), strong AOE heal, and of course, Ancestral Healing. Definitely Core tier IMO

Stukov is can solo camps too. Maybe not as fast as Rehgar, though.

45 minutes ago, ShadowerDerek said:

Sylvanas: She's a weird specialist. In terms of solo laning and pushing, she's not as good as other specialists like Azmodan and Zagara; in terms of team fight presence, she's not as good as assassins. This put her in a very awkward place IMO, that's why she should not be in Core tier.

Sylvanas will always remain at Core Tier because her kit is too good. No other Hero in the game can disable structures (except for Arthas' Summon SindragosaSummon Sindragosa) and she waveclear is really strong. She also has a very strong engage/disengage gameplay that makes her very slippery. And both her Heroics can win teamfights.

51 minutes ago, ShadowerDerek said:

Xul: He's completely fallen out of favour after people realised that how bad his team fight presence and late game are. He's viable, but not strong.

It depends. He can completely destroy Melee oriented comps with the Cursed Strikes build. He also surprisingly resilient. But I agree that he should be on viable.

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43 minutes ago, Valhalen said:

Even though the meta is shifting from Spell Damage to Basic Attack damage plus Double Support focus, Anub is still very strong due his mobility, two stuns and CocoonCocoon.

 

Anub'arak is still a strong Utility tank, but currently ETC does his job better IMO. And Cocoon can be easily destroyed by Fast Auto Attackers like Valla, Tassader, etc.

Edited by ShadowerDerek
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      Have a Reason and Follow Through
      “Bosses aren't typically used for building leads, they're used for finishing games or getting meaningful structure advantages that help you finish the game later,” said HeroesHearth Esports’s Coach Rori "CauthonLuck" Bryant-Raible, who spent the entirety of 2017 competing professionally with the Tempo Storm roster. “Have a reason for taking the Boss and try to get your team on the same page with that reason.”
      Taking a Boss in the early game is generally considered an extremely risky move with very little payoff. The Boss will demand a soft defense but won’t get much done unless your teammates are pushing with it. If you’ve already committed multiple members to taking the Boss and there is no going back now—what do you do next? “A big mistake teams make on Sky Temple is taking the Boss in the midgame and letting it push alone on its own. The best utilization of the Boss is when there is a specific plan you can get your team behind: ‘Take this Boss and push with it’, or ‘take this Boss and go kill top Keep while they defend the Boss on bot Keep’, or ‘take this Boss and then go to the other side of Cursed Hollow and take that Boss and push with it while they defend the first one’. If you take a Boss and let it wander on its own, it's a mistake.”
      Baiting a Fight on Boss
      Yes, the Boss does an excellent job of pushing the lane, creating map pressure, and demanding a response. However, it can be an amazing tool for starting a fight as well. “If you're up—say level 16 to 14—that is usually a good time to start a Boss. If the other team tries to contest you, you're fine taking that fight, so long as everyone on your team gets off the Boss and fights. If they don't contest you, take the Boss and push their Keep with a talent tier advantage. You turn your level lead into getting a Keep down, or if you get a pick while they're defending you might just win the game.”
      Communication is key! When you’re not trying to bait a fight, you should make that as clear as possible to your teammates. “If there are times when you know you're just sneaking the Boss and you can't win a fight if they enemy team finds you, you should try and let your team know that like, 'Hey, we're trying to sneak this, if someone scouts us just back up and give it up unless it's almost dead'.”
      Sneaky, Sneaky, Dead.
      Sneaking Bosses can be good when you have Heroes that have high damage output such as Greymane, Sonya, or Jaina. “A common Boss sneak happens on Tomb of the Spider Queen,” said Cauthonluck. “If you can force the enemy team to clear the bottom Web Weaver last, your team can start Boss on top as soon as the Web Weavers die. It's very easy to kill and capture that Boss before the enemy team can rotate top from the bottom Web Weaver.”
      The Hail Mary Play
      When a game looks all but over, sometimes the only option is to pull a Boss and pray for the best. This fight usually determines the outcome of the game, so make sure your lanes are pushed out enough that catapults or a devious backdoor won’t spell your unfortunate demise before you engage. “The point of this desperation play isn't necessarily to get the Boss. If they don't fight you, you get it for free and it's a little bit of an advantage, but the entire point of that move is to get the enemy team to fight you while they're not quite 20. It's a valid strategy.”
      Should I Try and Solo the Boss? ave a Reason and Follow Through
      Short Answer? No.
      Long Answer: “I would almost never recommend soloing a Boss. Maybe with an Illidan and Abathur combo, it could be worth it—but in general, it takes so long that even if you're capable of doing it, it's far too risky and the map control you give up just isn't worth it. Anytime you have someone capable of soloing a Boss it's generally way more effective to just bring one extra DPS with them and kill the Boss much quicker and make yourself less vulnerable to being invaded. You can still have the same benefit, you're doing the Boss without the enemy team knowing and you can still do that while having three of your Heroes visible on the map instead of four. It's something that really shouldn't be attempted.”
      Thieves in the Night
      It is possible, albeit difficult, for Medivh to steal the Boss with Ley Line Seal. So, you’re casually strolling between mid and bot lane with some of your teammates minding your own business when you catch a glimpse of the enemy Varian wailing away on the Boss. Prepare to invade!
      “Tyrael's Holy Ground is your best friend when it comes to stealing a Boss," said Cauthonluck. "Although, Zarya's Expulsion Zone is also very good. Chen's Wandering Keg can achieve kind of the same thing, although it can be difficult to get all their members off the point long enough to capture it. Falstad's Mighty Gust is another tool, but it can be tricky to setup because it requires hitting the Gust into Barrel Roll from a very specific angle where it sweeps the entire enemy team off and leaves you on the point. Any time you do that you're basically resigning yourself to death. I would be very careful with that one.”
      To Defend or Not to Defend
      What is the best way to go about deciding who needs to defend against a pushing Boss? "Most of the time you're going to want to defend with everybody," said Cauthonluck. "However, if the enemy team isn't pushing with their Boss, it's usually best not to defend with all five but to have your highest DPS Heroes defending while your Warriors and Supports are doing useful things on the map such as soaking, defending other lanes, or doing Mercenary camps."
      As always, do your best to be constantly aware of the variables in play. "If you're one or two creep waves away from getting to 16 or 20, then it can be good to have four people defend and one person on your team go to soak that talent tier before you defend hard."
      Armed with this information, hopefully your next attempt at Boss will be a little more thought out. Check back with us tomorrow for more of Midgame Moves Week when Team Dignitas' Vilhelm "POILK" Flennmark explains how to recover from a lost team fight.  
    • By Stan
      It's time for Midgame Moves week in Heroes of the Storm! In the first installment, Wade "Dreadnaught" Penfold covers map pressure and mercenary camp timings.
      Dou you remember Opening Moves that covered a wide range of subjects, aimed to educate players on the variety of different ways to start a competitive match?
      #1: The 4-1 Split #2: How to Know If You'll Win the Level 1 Fight #3: Pushing Towers Early #4: The 5v5 Mid Strategy #5: The Chinese Bush Meta Midgame Moves is a continuation of the series and the second installment about boss control will be available tomorrow!
      Blizzard (Source)
      It’s Midgame Moves Week for Heroes of the Storm—and we’re continuing the educational content series that kicked off 2018 featuring some of the smartest personalities in the scene. Midgame Moves will be focusing on the meaty middle portion of a competitive game! Today we will focus on Map Pressure and Mercenary camp timings.
      What is Map Pressure?
      Every game of Heroes of the Storm is a race between two teams. The team winning the race is the team with more map pressure at any given time, demanding a response from their opponents. That team is in the driver’s seat. That is the team with the freedom to make decisions.
      The team that doesn’t have map pressure is that team responding to it, trying to defuse it. That team is on the back foot—defending their structures against minion waves, Impalers, Punishers, Hellbats, Armored Gnolls, Grave Golems, Immortals, Calvary… you get the picture.
      “Map pressure is probably one of the most important aspects of Heroes of the Storm,” said Wade “Dreadnaught” Penfold, former professional player for Tempo Storm and current HGC caster. “When you apply pressure at multiple points of the map at once you are buying yourself more time to rotate and more time to make decisions before your opponent. Map pressure is the tool used to increase the chance of obtaining and maintaining an experience advantage.”
      When Should I Be Doing Camps?
      You should never take any camp without having a reason for doing so. Obviously, it’s less risky to take camps on your side of the map (safe camps) than it is on your opponent’s side (not-safe camps). Sneaking enemy camps almost always ends in tragedy, so it’s in your best interest to refrain unless your team is on the same page.
      Ask yourself this series of questions every time you consider taking a camp:
      Does my team need me elsewhere? Are we going to be able to push with this camp? If I start this camp, am I in danger ob eing invaded by the enemy? Do I need help to do this camp quickly? Which enemy Hero am I anticipating will come to clear this camp? “Before level 10 you should not be doing camps if you do not have a member of the team soaking in every lane,” Dreadnaught adds. “I am not saying that you must have a person in each lane for every waking moment of the laning phase, but it is very important to capture as much experience as possible on the battleground as fast as possible.”
      Know Your Mercenary Camp
      Siege Giants – “Siege Giants have a long-range, high-damage auto attack. Try to focus on keeping them alive by zoning out your opponents. Late game pressure is where the Siege giants are a step above the rest of the mercenaries—but no matter the point of the game, if they are left unchecked, you are going to regret not clearing them.” Found on: Dragon Shire, Cursed Hollow, Garden of Terror, Haunted Mines, Blackheart’s Bay, Sky Temple, and Tomb of the Spider Queen. Sappers – “The Sappers do a large amount of damage and they are one of the more reliable camps to get structural damage from, but they need to reach a certain range from the Towers before they cast their charge. You will need to escort them into Tower range.” Found on Towers of Doom and Haunted Mines. Impalers – “Impalers act much like Siege Giants, in that they auto attack from outside of Tower range, but their overall effectiveness is a notch down. They can be stacked on certain maps like Infernal Shrines, and that can make them more threatening.” Found on Battlefield of Eternity and Infernal Shrines. Hellbats – “Hellbats are tougher in terms of health than the other siege camps, but their limited range makes them less impactful in sieging. Their splash damage helps to clear, and their large health pools allow them to tank Tower shots. Their auto attacks reduce Armor on Heroes, which makes them a pain to clear on your own.” Found on Braxis Holdout and Warhead Junction. Assault Troopers – “Assault troopers can out-range enemy towers and will help push a wave, but this camp struggles to pack the same punch compared to Siege Giants or Sappers.” Found on Volskaya Foundry. Armored Gnolls – “Alterac Pass is brand new and we are still learning how to play the map in the most effective way possible, but [Armored Gnolls] function much like the Hellbats. I think it’s safe to say that the Armored Gnolls should be treated as Hellbats both in effectiveness and how to approach them.” Found on Alterac Pass. Knights – “Knights are the best camp in the game to push with because the Wizard minion provides a Spell Armor aura. This aura helps increase everyone’s ability to push and makes your minion wave difficult to clear. When the Wizard falls, the camp is far less impactful, so try to protect that little guy at all costs.” Found on Dragon Shire, Cursed Hollow, Garden of Terror, Blackheart’s Bay, Sky Temple, and Tomb of the Spider Queen. Fallen Shaman – “The Fallen Shaman spawns dogs that will fight on his behalf and when they die he will bring in a new set of puppers. The Shaman will stay out of range of Towers and Forts the entire time, so unless you respond to him and kill him, you are relying on the minions to clear him and his dogs. This takes a very long time to make happen and because of this, the camp is the best at split pushing.” Found on Battlefield of Eternity and Infernal Shrines. Goliaths and Raven – “Goliaths can’t out-range the Towers which makes the camp not ideal for sieging. It does provide a solid amount of threat to heroes because the Raven has a long-range seeker missile that can do a decent amount of damage. You can out-range the ability and avoid the damage, but it will force you away from the camp a significant distance. The Raven also has AoE damage to try to help the Goliaths push and the Goliaths are pretty tanky.” Found on Braxis Holdout and Warhead Junction. Why Wait to Capture the Camp?
      So, you’ve done the camp and it’s time to stand on the circle to capture it and get those Mercs pushing. WAIT! You could get so much more out of this if you put a little thought into what you’re doing!
      “You should be stalling the cap whenever you know that there is going to be an objective spawning on the map and that there is no way that anyone on the opponent’s team can contest you," Dreadnaught said. "There are hundreds of different situations where stalling will help your team out, but in all of these cases you are stalling to ensure that you are capping your camp with a purpose and timing it in order to give your team the greatest advantage possible.”
      Stalling the cap of a camp is small change you can make to your game that can have a potentially major impact. “A good example of this would be on the first Shrine Phase of Sky temple," Dreadnaught said. "Your opponents are likely going to start their Knight camp at some point during this time frame and if they do, you may consider stalling the cap of yours to ensure that the Knights meet up under the cover of your top Fort Towers. This gives you the easiest defense position to clear and will allow your Knights to push without interruption while your team fights on the Temple.”
      Common Camp Capture Timings
      Battlefield of Eternity:
      “Capture Impalers before first Immortal.” “Capture Shaman camp as the Immortal spawns.” Braxis Holdout:
      “Either Camp during the Beacon Phase to create pressure and help enable the control.” Cursed Hollow:
      “Capture Giants as the first tribute spawns.” “Capture Knights in between the first and second tribute spawns.” Dragonshire:
      “Roughly 45 seconds after a Dragonknight dies, capture any camp available. This better sets up the map for the next shrine phase.” Garden of Terror:
      “Whenever you have one of the two Garden Terrors cleared, pick up a close camp to demand a response and then get free seeds from the opposite terror. “ “Capture Giants as you are channeling to pilot your own Garden Terror and then pressure mid and bottom with the terror.” Haunted Mines:
      “Capture Sappers and Giants during mine phase to get free damage while everyone is getting skulls.” “Capture Giants when the Grave Golem is sieging to help defend and get counter pressure.” Infernal Shrines:
      “Capture Impalers during the laning phase between rotations of middle and bot lane.” “Capture bottom Impalers once you have control over mid with first Impaler set.” “Capture the Shaman Camp anytime the Shrine spawns middle or bottom, especially bottom.” Sky Temple:
      “Capture Giants and Knights before first Temple phase.” Tomb of the Spider Queen:
      “Capture Knights before or during first turn-in phase.” Towers of Doom:
      “Capture Sappers as soon as they spawn and as often as you can on bottom half of the map.” Volskaya Foundry:
      “Capture bottom Turret Camp as soon as it spawns and as often as possible” “Capture the Support Camp as soon as the Turret camp is picked up, try to take this camp as frequently as possible.” With a little practice and patience, split-pushing and pressuring your opponents can become second nature. Be sure to check back in with us tomorrow for more of Midgame Moves week when we cover everything you need to know about Boss control with HeroesHearth Esports’s Coach Rori "CauthonLuck" Bryant-Raible.
    • By Stan
      Free Hero rotation has been updated for the week of July 17 and features Yrel!
      Free-to-Play Hero Rotation: July 17, 2018
      Raynor Muradin Sonya Nazeebo Uther Jaina Falstad Cassia Ana Lt. Morales Hanzo (Slot unlocked at Player Level 5) Alarak (Slot unlocked at Player Level 10) Chen (Slot unlocked at Player Level 15) Yrel (Slot unlocked at Player Level 20) (Source)
    • By Stan
      Blizzard today fixed a bug from July 10 that affected team compositions in Quick Match games.
      Placeholder for tweet 1017845167808659456 The latest Heroes of the Storm content patch went live earlier this week and with it a bug that lead to erroneous matchmaking in Quick Matches.
      Blizzard (Source)
      Hi everyone,

      We've just rolled out a fix in order to address this issue. Please let us know if you continue to encounter very unusual team compositions during your Quick Match games.

      Thank you!