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Midgame Moves: Camp Timings & Map Pressure

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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?

Midgame Moves is a continuation of the series and the second installment about boss control will be available tomorrow!

Blizzard LogoBlizzard (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?

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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?

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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?

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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.

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I always put a high priority on camps, but at the same time understand they aren't worth overextending to fight over.  It still amazes me then even in high Gold/Platinum people either ignore camps or overextend (usually down heroes) to force a fight at one.

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The exceptions to the camp rule are stealth heroes and coins. Characters like Murky are easily expendable and have little risk going for opposing camps even without coins, while someone like Nova can stealth capture with coins.

Other heroes like Abathur can mine around an enemy camp to weaken enemies before they go to capture, or they can be planted inside a camp in largte quantities to make a much quicker capture from a teammate.

You can also use Monstrosity to interrupt camps captures from a position of safety. And most people don't expect a Monstrosity clearing camps so Abathur can tunnel in to capture either before hearthing out. Also can work with objectives.

Typically mines are used to scout camps and let teammates know when they're being taken. But if you lose some mines then you know and can create a Monstrosity nearby to then go hunt for the weakened hero, possibly finish off the camp and take it with Abathur. The Monstrosity tunneling can also work well since it can be at full 40 stacks and shred both the hero and the camp in record time.

Edited by Morcalivan
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20 hours ago, Morcalivan said:

You can also use Monstrosity to interrupt camps captures from a position of safety. And most people don't expect a Monstrosity clearing camps so Abathur can tunnel in to capture either before hearthing out. Also can work with objectives.

Typically mines are used to scout camps and let teammates know when they're being taken. But if you lose some mines then you know and can create a Monstrosity nearby to then go hunt for the weakened hero, possibly finish off the camp and take it with Abathur. The Monstrosity tunneling can also work well since it can be at full 40 stacks and shred both the hero and the camp in record time.

Excellent suggestion, I will try it next time I pick Monstrosity.

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Also works well with Dragon Shrine, Braxis Holdout, and other objectives. The last game I played on the Dragon Shrine map with Abathur got me 8 shrine captures. My team was able to just constantly contest mid and bottom because they didn't have to worry about 'not having a 5th body' up top, whatever the hell that's suppose to mean. Never understood it when people complain about that. Although in that case, mines alone are enough to cap those then hearth back after getting near middle capture so that when you hearth you just finish capping the shrine. Monstrosity is more of a distraction to keep them at bay while your primary body caps the shrine, then once engaged you can un-symbiote to hearth back while Monstrosity is in auto-combat. And unlike Dehaka and Falstad, you'll know if it's safe or not to global in.

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      Bug Fixes
      Fixed an issue where the healing nameplate UI would be hidden when the total equals 0. Fixed an issue where broadcasts would sometimes appear twice when sent Revamped Hero roles, further reworks, and a merged Hero & Team League are coming soon!
    • By Stan
      Chromie and Lucio were revamped in the latest patch and here's a look at their updated abilities and talents.
      Chromie
      Trait
      Timewalker
      Chromie has traveled to the future, and as such, will learn her Talents 2 levels earlier than her teammates! Detonate Time Trap Detonates active Time Traps. Basic Abilities
      Sand Blast [Q] (Mana: 20, Cooldown: 3 seconds)
      After 0.5 seconds, fire a missile that deals 280 damage to the first enemy hit. Deals 50% damage to Structures. Casting Sand Blast leaves an Echo behind that mimics Chromie's Sand Blast and Basic Attack, dealing 50% damage. Maximum of 1 Echo active at a time. Dragon's Breath [W] (Mana: 75, Cooldown: 15 seconds)
      Vector Targeting Launch 3 blasts into the air that land every 0.75 seconds towards the targeted direction, dealing 195 damage each. Time Trap [E] (Mana: 30, Cooldown: 15 seconds)
      Place a Time Trap that arms and Stealths after 2 seconds. Chromie's Trait can be activated to detonate the trap, placing all nearby allied or enemy Heroes in Time Stop for 2 seconds. Maximum of 1 trap active at a time. Heroic Abilities
      Slowing Sands [R1] (Mana: 4 per second, Cooldown: 5 seconds)
      Summon a sand vortex that Slows enemies by 5% every 0.25 seconds, up to 70%. Temporal Loop [R2] (Mana: 60, Cooldown: 50 seconds)
      Choose an enemy Hero. After 3 seconds, they are telported back to the location where Temporal Loop was cast on them. Basic Abilities recharge 500% faster for 3 seconds after casting Temporal Loop. Talents
      Level 1
      Once Again the First Time [Q]
      Quest: Hit 40 Heroes with Sand Blast. Reward: Increase the maximum number of active Echoes to 2. Deep Breathing [W]
      Quest: Every time Dragon's Breath hits a Hero increase its damage by 2, up to 50. Reward: After hitting 25 Heroes, increase its damage by an additional 50 and also increase Chromie's vision radius by 100%. Timewalker's Pursuit [Active, Cooldown: 25 seconds]
      Quest: Gather 15 Regeneration Globes. Reward: After gathering 15 Globes, Chromie gains 5% Spell Power and her Mana Regeneration is increased by 1. Level 2
      Chronic Conditions [E]
      After its Time Stop ends, enemies affected by Time Trap are Slowed by 25% or 3 seconds and allies gain 25% Movement Speed for 3 seconds. Time Troubles [E]
      After its Time Stop ends, enemies affected by Time Trap lose 20 Armor for 3 seconds and allies gain 20 Armor for 3 seconds. Andorhal Anomaly [E]
      Increases the charges and maximum active Time Traps to 3, and reduce its cooldown by 5 seconds. Level 5
      Bronze Talons [Q]
      Hitting a Hero with Sand Blast grants 30% additional Basic Attack damage for 5 seconds. Mobius Loop [W]
      Hitting a Hero with Dragon's Breath reduces its cooldown by 1.5 seconds and restores 40 Mana. A Proper Greeting [Passive]
      Damaging a Stunned, Rooted or Slowed enemy Hero grants 25% additional damage for 5 seconds. Level 8
      Slowing Sands [R1] (Mana: 4 per second, Cooldown: 5 seconds)
      Summon a sand vortex that Slows enemies by 5% every 0.25 seconds, up to 70%. Temporal Loop [R2] (Mana: 60, Cooldown: 50 seconds)
      Choose an enemy Hero. After 3 seconds, they are telported back to the location where Temporal Loop was cast on them. Basic Abilities recharge 500% faster for 3 seconds after casting Temporal Loop. Level 11
      Gnome Speed Ahead! [Q]
      After casting Sand Blast, Chromie gains 20% Movement Speed and 200% inreased Health and Mana Regeneration for 3 seconds. Here and There [Active, Cooldown: 30 seconds]
      Activate to teleport to an area near an Echo, swapping it with Chromie's previous location. Time Out [Active]
      Activate to place Chromie in Stasis and gain Invulnerability for up to 5 seconds. Can be reactivated to end the effect early. Level 14
      Shifting Sands [Q]
      Hitting an enemy Hero with Sand Blast grants 8% Spell Power for 10 seconds, up to a maximum of 40%. The duration is refreshed whenever an enemy is damaged by the primary Sand Blast. Fast Forward [Q]
      If Sand Blast travels at least 70% of its base distance and hits a Hero, its cooldown is reduced to 0.75 seconds. Quantum Overdrive [Active, Cooldown: 30 seconds]
      Activate to increase Spell Power by 25% for 10 seconds. Level 18
      Unraveling [R1]
      Every 0.25 seconds, enemy Heroes Slowed by Slowing Sands have their Spell Armor reduced by 2 up to 30. Stuck in a Loop [R2]
      Temporal Loop teleports the target a second time after the first, and Basic Abilities continue recharging for an additional 3 seconds Piercing Sands [Q]
      Sand Blast now pierces all enemies hit. Blessing of the Bronze [Passive]
      While Chromie is alive, her all allied Heroes gain 10% Movement Speed and their Basic Abilities recharge 30% faster. Lucio
      Trait
      Push Off [D]
      While moving alongside terrain, activate to slide towards a targeted location. Enemies hit take 100 damage and are Slowed by 75% for 1 second. Basic Abilities
      Soundwave [Q] (Mana: 30, Cooldown: 7 seconds)
      Deal 105 damage to enemies in an area and knock them back. Crossfade [W]
      Play one of two music tracks for Lucio and his allies. Crossfade - Healing Boost: Passively heal Lucio and nearby allied Heroes for 15 health per second. Crossfade - Speed Boost: Increase the Movement Speed of Lucio and nearby allied Heroes by 10%. Amp It Up [E] (Mana: 90, Cooldown: 13 seconds)
      Raise Lucios Crossfade track volume for 3 seconds, amping Healing Boost to 112 health per second and Speed Boost to 30% increased Movement Speed. Heroic Abilities
      Sound Barrier [R1] (Mana: 100, Cooldown: 80 seconds)
      After 1 secnd, Lucio and nearby Allied Heroes gain a 1296 point Shield that rapidly decays over 6 seconds. High Five [R2] (Mana 50, Cooldown: 15 seconds per ally)
      Quickly skate to an allied Hero. Upon arrival, the ally is granted Unstoppable for 1 second and is healed for 250. Talents
      Level 1
      Party Mix [W]
      Quest: Play Lucio's Crossfade tracks to nearby allies for a total of 8 minutes. Multiple allies provide additional time. Reward: Permanently increase Crossfade's range by 20%. Accelerando [Z]
      Wall Ride's Movement Speed bonus gradually increases to 40% over 4 seconds while Lucio maintains its effect. Smooth Moves [Z]
      While Wall Ride is active, Basic Attacks heal for 30% of the damage dealt and restore 0.5 Mana. Passive: Increase Wall Ride duration by 1 second. Level 4
      Subwoofer [Q]
      Enemies within the first half of Soundwave's range are knocked back 75% further. Quest: Hit 3 enemy Heroes with a single Soundwave. Reward: Increase Soundwave's arc by 50% and its range by 20%. Off the Wall [Q]
      Hitting an enemy with Soundwave while Wall Ride is active reduces its cooldown by 3 seconds. Supersonic [D]
      While Wall Ride is active, Push Off's cooldown recharges 100% faster. Level 7
      Good Vibrations [Q]
      Hitting an enemy with Soundwave grants Lucio a 35 Shield for 7 seconds. Hitting enemy Heroes grants 3 times this amount. Reverse Amp [W]
      Blast Lucio's active Crossfade track at enemy Heroes. While Amp It Up is active, Healing Boost deals 50 damage per second and Speed Boost Slows by 20%. This ability is unaffected by Crossfade talents Boombox [Active, Cooldown: 20 seconds)
      Place a boombox that plays Lucio's active Crossfade track for 30 seconds. Its volume adjusts with Amp It Up. Crossfade tracks do not stack. Level 10
      Sound Barrier [R1] (Mana: 100, Cooldown: 80 seconds)
      After 1 secnd, Lucio and nearby Allied Heroes gain a 1296 point Shield that rapidly decays over 6 seconds. High Five [R2] (Mana 50, Cooldown: 15 seconds per ally)
      Quickly skate to an allied Hero. Upon arrival, the ally is granted Unstoppable for 1 second and is healed for 250. Level 13
      All Together [W]
      For each ally affected by Crossfade, Lucio gains 5% Movement Speed that stacks with other bonuses. Heavy Casters [D]
      Push Off no longer Slows enemies, and instead Stuns them for 0.5 seconds. Slip [Z]
      While Wall Ride is active, passing near an enemy Hero increases its Movement Speed bonus to 40% for 1 second. Passive: Wall Ride grants 20 Armor. Level 16
      Rejuvenescencia [E]
      While Amp It Up is active, Crossfade's Healing Boost heals for an additional 2.5% of the target's maximum Health each second.
      Up the Frequency [E]
      Hitting enemy Heroes with Basic Attacks reduces the cooldown of Amp It Up by 0.45 seconds. Passive: Wall Ride increases Basic Attack range by 2.2. Up To Eleven [Active, Cooldown: 60 seconds]
      Activate to extend the duration of Amp It Up by 2 seconds. Level 20
      Boss Nova [R1]
      Reduce the cooldown of Sound Barrier to 30 seconds, but the Shield now decays over 4 seconds. Mixing Fire [R2]
      High Five can now be cast on enemy Heroes, dealing 225 damage and reducing all healing received by 50% for 3 seconds. Passive: Increase the duration of Amp It Up by 1 second. House Party [W]
      For each ally affected by Crossfade, Lucio gains 10% increased healing. Summer Anthem [Active, Cooldown: 75 seconds]
      Activate for all other allies affected by Crossfade to become Unkillable for 1.5 seconds.