Playing Around Patches

by Alebeard on

Heroes of the Storm is an ever evolving game due to the introduction of new Heroes and regular balance updates. While this can sometimes make it hard to keep up with the Meta, it also provides a valuable information that you can use to your advantage. Even if you don’t play draft modes you can still use your knowledge of how the game is evolving to improve your chances for success. In this case, success refers not only to your chances of winning, but also your chances of having an enjoyable experience. There is an element of randomness to Quick Match which can at times lead to some… interesting… compositions. Taking a few moments to consider recent changes and how they affect which Heroes people choose to play can go a long way to improving your odds of avoiding a less than ideal comp. Most people intuitively understand that Heroes who have


Lessons From The HGC Week 4

by Alebeard on

What a weekend of HGC action! We found out which six teams will be representing Europe and North America at the Western Clash and we got our first look at professional play on the Valeera patch. Although Valeera herself only made a brief cameo (3 games), there was a noticeable change in the Meta as a result of the patch change. For starters, Tassadar was played or banned in 77% of the games played over the weekend. While this may sound high, he had been at 94% on the old patch. Malfurion continued to be a fixture in every game. Literally every game! Of the 75 games played over the weekend Malfurion was either picked or banned in every single one. Although his win rate was only 47% it still goes to show how much value the top players feel he has. Of Heroes who were played in at least


Ten Thousand Kicks

by Alebeard on

I was fortunate enough to be a guest recently on the Nexus Trolls podcast. I had a great time doing it and one of the topics we discussed really stuck with me. The show features a weekly strategy segment entitled Mystic’s Shakedown. In this particular episode the topic of discussion was One-Trick Ponies, or players who specialize in one particular Hero. It was inspired by the following quote from Bruce Lee. The point is clear. It is better to be a master of one thing than to be mediocre at many. While this makes perfect sense in the real world, does it hold true in the Nexus? Is it better to be great at one Hero or to be average at many Heroes? I don’t think the answer is quite as obvious. On the show, Mystic gave his thoughts which you can hear in the video below (there is also an awesome


Lessons From The HGC Week 3

by Alebeard on

Another weekend of intense HGC action means another opportunity to look to the pros for ways that we can improve our own games. One of the greatest parts of the HGC is that each region has its own distinct style of play and Hero prioritization. In addition to games from NA and EU, this weekend also brought us our first look at the Korean HGC. Considering that every Global HGC event with the exception of Blizzcon 2015 has been won by a Korean team, there is a lot to be learned from watching how our Korean Overlords play. Long Live the King! Varian saw a notable uptick in play this last weekend. North America had already been featuring a fair amount of Varian, but several Korean teams also drafted comps featuring the Alliance King. EU even got in on the action by picking Varian four times over the weekend after


Lessons from the HGC Week 2

by Alebeard on

Welcome back to Lessons from the HGC, where we study the competitive scene to look for ways that we can improve our own games. It is important to note that HGC games are currently being played on the Zul’jin patch, which means none of the reworks, buffs, or nerfs that were a part of the Valeera patch are in the build they are playing on. This is relevant because Tassadar continues to be a highly valued Hero, with an incredibly high ban and win rate. It also explains why no one is riding around on the sweet Golden Rooster mount. His Time Has Come Artanis has long had a loyal following of devoted players patiently waiting for him to rise to the top of the Meta. That day has finally arrived, at least in North America. What makes Artanis such a threat is the playmaking potential of Phase Prism, especially


Lessons From HGC Week 1

by Alebeard on

The first week of the new and improved Heroes Global Championship is in the books. Not only did it provide great matches and interesting games, but it also gave us our first real look at the competitive Meta since Blizzcon. While not everything about the pro game translates to Hero League or Team League, there were still several great takeaways from last weekend’s games that we can apply to our own games. Ragnaros is still the Boss Just when Hero League players were starting to think they didn’t need to ban Ragnaros every game, the pros went and showed us what a devastating force he still is. He was picked first more than any other Hero and he finished the weekend with a win rate of over 60%. While Lava Wave sees a lot of play in HL and TL, the Heroic of choice for the pros was Sulfuras Smash.

Taaaaz’Dingo! A battle cry that strikes fear into enemies and teammates alike. Used properly, this mighty exclamation heralds a potential mega kill. Used improperly, it is the opening note in a Zul’jin funeral dirge. What determines which type of Taz’Dingo you get? Commitment and timing. Here is what the great Troll warrior Ale’jin had to say about how to Taz’Dingo. “Proper Taz’Dingo requires courage. To truly be one with Taz’Dingo you must embrace death. If you wish to live you must be willing to die. It is only thru conquering your fear of death that you can cause your enemies to fear theirs. To show fear in the face of Taz’Dingo is to invite death. Once Taz’Dingo has been declared you must stand your ground and bravely strike down your enemies. Running away after proclaiming Taz’Dingo will not only earn the scorn of your Troll ancestors, but it will also


Srey’s Pop Quiz

by Alebeard on

Srey made an interesting post on Reddit yesterday entitled, The definitive guide to why you probably shouldn’t split-push as Azmodan (and why Hotslogs stats can be misleading). For those not familiar with Srey, he is currently the Warrior player for Dumpster Tier Superstars, and formerly of Tempo Storm and Vox Nihili. While he has played with several major North American teams, he may be best known for his Solo Queue Tier List. His post centers around the premise that the average Heroes player lacks a fundamental strategic understanding of the game, or what he calls the meta basics. In order to illustrate his point he provides a brief pop quiz for players to take. Let’s see how well you do. What is the meta for each map? I.E. Does the map have a solo lane, which lane is the solo, should you rotate between lanes, how important is wave clear,


Varian Wrynn or Varian Win?

by Alebeard on

Varian Wrynn is coming to the Nexus whether you are ready or not. While it remains to be seen how good of a main tank he will be, early indications are that Assassin Varian is quite strong. Regardless of what his initial win rate ends up being, you can expect to see Varian in every game you play for at least the next week so you better know how to play against him. Let’s take a look at some of what makes Varian so strong and how to counter it. Cleanse is Your Friend A big part of what makes Varian so powerful is Warbringer at Level 4. This Talent reduces the cooldown of Charge and adds a stun to it, which means Varian players will have a targetable stun with a one second duration available every six seconds. The chain stun potential that Charge can set up is going


Heroes Brawl is designed to be a fun, fast paced, and wacky game mode and it certainly delivers on all of those things. It could also be described at pure chaos, and I mean that in the best way possible. Heroes Brawl is Heroes of the Storm, but with the action and fun factor dialed way up. However, just because this game mode is meant to be fun doesn’t mean there aren’t lessons to be learned while playing it. While there are many types of Brawls, if you boil the concept down to it’s basic form it is essentially one continuous team fight. This doesn’t mean there aren’t Objectives and there won’t be strategies that develop, but everything revolves around team fighting. The fight starts as soon as the gates open and it doesn’t end until the Core falls. Sometimes these fights are 5v5, other times they are 2v2 or

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