Welcome to Hanamura a large two lane battleground set inside the sprawling grounds of Shimada Castle. Much like Towers of Doom, Heroes will not be able to directly assault the core of opposing team but must find victory through use of the map’s unique mercenaries and central objective. Woven across the centerline of the battleground are payload pathways for both teams that cover the top and bottom of the map. These payloads are the key to victory on Hanamura. Escort a payload to its final destination and damage will be dealt to the opposing team’s core. A payload will only move if a friendly player is standing inside its proximity circle with its movement speed dictated by the total number of friendly players standing inside the circle. The payload will hit max speed at three or more players.

If even a single enemy player enters the region around the payload the vehicle will stop. If no friendly players stand inside the proximity circle for a brief duration the payload will begin to slowly move backwards. Each core has a total of 7 health with a normal payload securing a single point of damage once its escort is completed. If a team manages to destroy a fort or a keep their payload becomes empowered and will deal an additional point of damage once captured every fortification you destroy adds a new point of damage. Push deep into the enemy’s territory to make your payload volleys all the more devastating. The mercenaries on Hanamura offer unique mechanics and implications for gameplay yet to be seen in Heroes of the Storm.

Across the board, capturing a merc camp, no matter the type will generate a high value of experience for your team. A Fortification Camp is situated at the top and bottom of the battleground. If you can secure this camp a turret will drop that can be added to your inventory. This turret can be placed anywhere on the battleground including atop the payload and will block pathing wherever you place it. Recon Camp sits on each side of the map just inside the top and bottom lane. Upon defeating the Henchmen a Dragon Token is made available for pickup. When used, this item will send out three dragon spirits to seek the nearest three enemies to your location. Upon reaching their destination the dragons will reveal their targets for eight seconds. Just outside the blue and red base, sits a Support Camp. This hard hitting Sentinel will cast a heal on himself once damaged but if you can secure a take-down down you will be rewarded with Healing Pulse token.

Upon activation, this item will release a pulse of restorative power that will apply a moderate heal to all nearby allies over a short duration. Lastly, in the center of the map sits a large Mega Enforcer. This formidable boss will require allies to take it down down as it will gorge a nearby hero while issuing a large ring of continuous pulsing damage to the area around it. Securing a take down on the boss will deal a point of damage to the enemy’s core. As a battleground, Hanamura will constantly challenge your team’s ability to defend and attack at the same time. A payload respawn timer will trigger as soon as a payload has been successfully delivered to its destination so teams are naturally rewarded for pushing their payloads faster than the enemy team.

Capitalize on this with an aggressive pushing strategy or by working to stall the enemy on theirs. The core only has 7 health, so capturing the center boss could have a major impact on the fate of the game. Don’t underestimate the effectiveness of empowering your payloads by destroying enemy forts and keeps. this is a great way to get back into a game if your team is falling behind. Lastly, destroying enemy Keeps will cause sappers to spawn with your minion waves. Take advantage of the extra pressure these powerful minions can provide as you continue to push for the win. Hanamura, home to the Shimada clan has entered the Nexus bringing new game mechanics to Heroes of the Storm.

Harness the power of the Dragon and empower your team to victory..

As found on Youtube