Warhead Junction is the newest battleground in Heroes of the Storm. While there isn’t yet a definitive strategy for how to play this map, there are quite a few little knowledge bombs available that you can use against your opponents.
Lock and load, it’s time to roll out.
Warhead Junction is a three lane map set in the Starcraft universe. The Objective of the map involves securing Warheads which spawn at various locations around the battleground. The first Warheads spawn at the two minute mark, with additional Warheads spawning 2:45 after the last Warhead from the previous wave was picked up. Once a player acquires a Warhead they will gain a new ability, Nuke (F), which as the name implies, can be used to call down a Nuke at a location of their choosing. If a player is killed while holding a Warhead it can be picked up by players from either team.
Enough of the stuff you already know, let’s get to the good stuff.
Generally speaking, Nukes are best used on enemy Structures. In the early game they can be used to give your team an important experience lead. In the late game they serve as a win condition. There are two important facts to consider when using a Nuke.
First, anything within the center ring of the targeting circle will take double damage. (Note: this damage bonus has recently been changed to 50%) While it is tempting to try and hit as many targets as possible with your Nuke, be sure to position your strike in a way that takes advantage of the bonus damage.
Secondly, and this may be the most important piece of information in this article, Nukes do an additional 50% damage after the 14:00 minute mark of the game. (Note: the time at which Nukes receive a damage upgrade has recently been changed to the 18 minute mark). This is a huge power spike that many players are unaware of since there is nothing in-game to indicate it. Keep this in mind when you or your team acquire Nukes in the mid game and don’t be that guy who fires one off for no reason at 13:50. While it is often advantageous to hold onto a Nuke for the extra damage, you may have to adjust your play. If your team is sitting on a Nuke or two, you probably don’t want to engage in a needless team fight unless your team has a clear advantage. Conversely, if the enemy team is the one holding the hardware then you should look to try and force a team fight if possible.
I mentioned earlier that late game Nukes present a win condition. The backdoor potential on this map is huge. Three Nukes will completely destroy even a fully shielded Core, and it only takes minimal pressure to finish off a Core after just two Nukes. As a result, it takes a much smaller opening on this map to end the game. Teams are no longer dependent on winning a team fight before pushing Core. Now all it takes is poor map awareness on the part of their opponent and it can be game over. Failure to take into account how much faster a Core can be destroyed on this map will result in missed opportunities for victories and unexpected defeats.
Warhead Junction features six total merc camps. Two siege camps (Terran Hellbats), two bruiser camps (Three Terran Goliaths and a Raven), and two bosses (Zerg Swarm Hosts).
The two Hellbat camps, located between the mid and bot lane, are ridiculously easy to capture. These camps spawn just after the first Warheads, right around the two minute mark. Despite the fact that you might not even be level 4 yet, virtually any Hero in the game is capable of soloing these camps in a matter of seconds. The trick is to pull the Hellbats to one corner of the structure and then alternate damage between the two. If your Hero has AOE abilities this will be even easier, but even without AOE most Heroes can solo this camp in between minion waves. Despite how easy they are to capture, these little guys are quite effective at pushing a lane so take advantage of them.
Because of the size of this map, Heroes with global presence, such as Falstad, Dehaka, or Brightwing, can be quite useful. Talents such as Stage Dive, The Hunt, and Nydus Network can be good choices on this map for the same reason. Heroes like Xul or Azmodan, who are capable of split pushing, are also highly effective on this map since it takes so much longer for teams to rotate from lane to lane.
This map is often compared to Sky Temple or Blackheart’s Bay, but it has a much more PVP focus. The size of the map, combined with the importance of the Objective, leads to a lot of 1v1 fights and small skirmishes. Heroes with good self sustain, like Thrall, Raynor or Nazeebo, are great in these situations.
As it stands now, Warhead Junction is a very fast map. Games are often decided before level 20, which means Heroes such as Abathur or Murky, who’s power spikes in the late game, often don’t get a chance to shine. Similarly, you might also want to avoid some of the more slow to complete Questing Talents.
If you haven’t already seen it, there is an easter egg on the Zarya splash screen. Clicking the two Heroes of the Storm logos on the structure behind her causes a Garden Terror to appear in the background.
There is a related easter egg on the Warhead Junction map. There is slimy pool of liquid located just under the top right Fort on what is traditionally the red side of the map. If you look carefully in that green goo a blinking eye can occasionally be seen.
I won’t ruin it for you, but hover over that section of the map and click on the eye the next time you end up on Warhead Junction and see what happens.
GLHF and I’ll see you in the Nexus!