Hello everyone, my name is Mayng#1104 (If you wanna add me) and I was an alpha player. Seeing as how a bunch of new players just joined the game I am just making a guide to every single HotS map that is currently available, including opening strategies as well as some personal experience.
These tips pertain to pretty much every map but there are a ton of exceptions depending on team comp and the differences inherent to each map.
- At the start of the game XP is key. Always attempt to have one person in a lane at all times early on since the fights are generally won by the team with the higher level. Always keep level in mind and especially focus on the talent levels (4,7,10, etc.). NEVER fight when the enemy team has their ultimates and your team does not. The game is sort of a rush to level 10, where the first team that gets there controls a huge advantage. This is where getting early towers (which give huge amounts of XP) come into play.
- Vision is important but not worth dying over. Most maps ( BH, SK, HM, CH) have watch towers that give vision over a key area and can give the team that controls them a huge advantage. It is very common that level 1 brawls occur over the vision towers and can lead to huge tempo swings early in the game. As a rule of thumb, don’t attempt to control the towers unless you have your entire team there and have strong level 1 duelers.
- Objectives are key. Let me say it again to emphasize the point, OBJECTIVES ARE KEY. Every map in the game has some sort of “gimmick” that swings the game hugely in favor of one team and on every map, you should be going for the objective as soon as it pops up. The amount of damage you put on the tower really isn’t worth losing a Dragon Knight or giving your opponent a 70 skull golem.
- Be wary of heroes with global presence (Abathar, Falstad, Brightwing). These heroes can more or less throw these tips out the window since they can be in multiple lanes at once. Getting XP and contributing to team objective taking.
One of the more time consuming maps with very annoying objective. At regular intervals chests will spawn with coins and the mercenary camps on the map also drop coins after you clear them. A pirate ship at the middle of the map will spawn and request 10 + 2x coins (where x is the amount of times you have already bombarded your enemies) to call in the equivalent of an airstrike on your enemies forts.
- At level one most teams will group up mid and rush the watchtower, 9 out of 10 games a fight will break out and it sets the tone of the game very early. Try to get kills but don’t overcommit to the tower since the vision it grants is unimportant until after the mercenary camps spawn. It’s generally only good to commit 4 members of you team to mid, since bot lane is very far away from the rest of the map and a player should be getting the XP from bot lane. Make sure the bot lane player is a strong duelist or has amazing zoning capabilities (Zagara, Gazlowe, Tassadar, etc.).
- 2 chests will spawn near the 1 minute mark (one mid and one bot) that will drop coins when they are attacked (Tychus is amazing at busting chests).
- Always be careful when you are carrying a ton of coins since it paints a very big target on your head. I usually let my tanks pick up the coins since they are less prone to dying.
- The vision tower is a huge asset in the mid and late game since it reveals 2 of the coin camps on either side of the map and it shows people attempting to enter the Boss area. Controlling the vision it gives if very key as the game progresses.
- Be very careful when attempting the Boss since it is a dead end and can cause your team to get wiped due to the lack of escapes and the annoying roots and stuns the Boss uses.
The newest map where players contest shrines that open at regular intervals and fire lasers at your opponents towers. Guardians will attack players trying to take the shrines and are very hard to deal with early game but become a non-threat later on.
- Send 2 players mid and top and 1 player bot since the first 2 shrines that open will be the top and mid shrine. The top and mid players should try to control the watch tower in between the lanes since it helps reveal the enemy team as they rotate between the lanes.
- As soon as the first 2 shrines open the bottom player should rotate mid and help capture the objective. It is important to control 1 shrine, do not be greedy and try to get both but if you are in a position to capture both it is obviously good to do so.
- After the 2 shrines use up all their ammo the next shrine that opens will be bot, this time it will only be 1 and will be a huge brawl between the teams for control.
- The Boss on this map is fairly easy to take and is easy to escape from if things go bad. The Boss fits well into your team’s rotations between the shrines and more than likely you will have a situation where your entire team will walk past it and can take it without the need for too many pings.
- When contesting shrines, it is generally in favor of the team that is attacking rather than defending. The guardians will damage the team that is currently controlling the shrine and adds a considerable amount of DPS in the early game.
Generally the fastest map in the game with games ending with levels just a bit higher than 10. A tiny map with an underground area that contains neutral camps that must be killed to collect skulls. Each team fights for 100 skulls and summons a golem that moves down a lane and destroys buildings. The more skulls the stronger the golem. This map is probably the most team oriented map and other than the initial laning phase, will probably be a series of team fights.
- Do a 4 – 1 split. The map is all push and the lane with 4 should push very hard into the enemy towers so that you can secure an early XP lead before the mines open. If your team can get a tower or 2 before the mines start, they will be in a very strong position early in the game. The lane that has one should be a character that has good wave clear or some form of pushing power (Tassadar, Tychus, Zagara, Azmodan, etc.).
- Most teams start by capturing their own watch tower and trying to contest the enemy watch tower, usually forcing a fight. The watch towers are fairly useful on this map since it prevents loop around ganks and help secure vision of you siege camp.
- Heal up before the mines, make sure you are at a good health and have enough mana before you even attempt to go down. The moment the mines open, all the players on a team should group up and enter the mines from the same entrance. The mines are very team oriented and getting picked off sets your team very far behind in skull collection. Splitting up is very dangerous and I highly advise to stay together unless you are certain of the enemy locations.
- The two most important camps are in the middle of the map and to the left of the middle. These 2 camps give the most skulls other than the golem boss and should be where your team rushes first.
- Remember you only “need” 40 or so skulls, everything else is extra. If your team has 40 skulls and people are dying, GET OUT. It’s perfectly fine for the enemy to have a slightly bigger golem if it means feeding less deaths.
- Push if you golem is bigger than the enemies, defend if its smaller.
- Get your siege camps immediately after you leave the mines but don’t capture the camp until the golem spawns. Wait and then capture them since the siege camp will always defend the lane where the enemy golem comes and adds a ton of DPS to the golem. You wait to capture the camp so the 2 ogres arrive behind the wall and are safe from the splash attacks from the golem.
- The knight camp is another very good camp to capture, especially if your team is forced to exit the mines early since it adds some pushing power to your lanes but it is a highly contested area that leads to a lot of swing team fights.
- MOST IMPORTANT TIP FOR HM: NEVER TRY TO DO THINGS ALONE. Always just to have your team nearby, if you want to go into the mines try to wait for a group. Going in alone is suicide if the enemy team is down there and I’ve seen many a games where people go in 1 at a time and feed the enemy team very hard.