Yes this is a super simplified version. It changes based on comp and situation. But it’s a general rule. Teams and comps will of course have their own individualized strategies. In addition to being general guidelines this is my opinion from my experience. Your opinion may vary on specific heroes.
Who to Focus in a team fight:
1. Anyone way too far fowards. Including tanks.
Explanation: Way too far forwards means “Can I attack this guy without being attacked by his friends? Yes? He’s way too far forwards.” If at any time his friends get close enough to attack again he is not way too far forwards.
- A. If this character is a tank, slowly move backwards as you deal damage to them. This keeps them out of range for longer and keeps you out of range from their allies for longer. If they go back towards their team follow and continue dealing damage until they are no longer way too far forwards, at which point re-evaluate your target.
If you have long cooldown abilities do not use them on the tank unless certain of the kill.
- B. If this is a DPS, RUIN THEIR DAY ASAP. HOWEVER only do this if you can safely. For example a ranged DPS may be able to step forwards a few steps and ruin their day without being in range of their allies. But Kerrigan might get instantly destroyed in trying to do so as she would have to be much closer and in range of their allies.
2. Bruisers, DPS, and Supports with less than 50% hp, pure tanks with less than 30% hp.
Seriously folks I see this every game. Finish off injured people first. If you have the choice between a full HP DPS and a 50% hp DPS, kill the 50% hp DPS. At this point escapes mean much less because you can potentially burst them down before they can escape. Pure tanks have to be even lower because they are still deceptively tough in many cases.
Yes it sounds like common sense but I see this mistake every single game. Injured characters still do 100% of their support, DPS, and CC.
3. DPS and Supports without escapes.
They do high damage and they have a hard time avoiding more damage. This makes them much easier to kill and if eliminated quickly the loss of their DPS will be heavily felt in the team fight. This does not mean clump to kill them. Respect the AOE damage they deal and do not let them AOE your entire team with a full rotation to kill them as this could still lose you the fight.
- Examples of DPS and Supports without escapes: Jaina, Kael, Kerrigan, Malf, Gazlowe, Thrall, Tyrande, Nova, Raynor, Brightwing, Nazeebo, Zagra, Lili (if she is far fowards), Sonya, etc fall into this category.
4. DPS and Supports with escapes.
They do high damage but are easily able to avoid damage or get out of bad situations. This makes them much harder to kill than DPS and Supports without escapes. Nonetheless if eliminated quickly the loss of their DPS will be heavily felt in the team fight and they are still easier to kill and more dangerous by far than both bruisers and pure tanks. This does not mean clump to kill them. Respect the AOE damage they deal and do not let them AOE your entire team with a full rotation to kill them as this could still lose you the fight.
- Examples of DPS and Supports with escapes: Valla, Tychus, Sylvannas, Zeratul, Rhegar, Falstadd, Sgt. Hammer, etc.
Bruisiers do alot of damage over time and while they may have escapes they are typically squishy enough to be bursted and unlikely to be able to survive burst like your true tanks. As such they are prime targets over pure tanks if no DPS/supports are in safe DPS range.
- Examples of bruisers are: Anub’arak, Diablo, Sonya, Tyreal.
6. Pure Tanks.
Pure tanks in this classification will stand for any tank meant to mix it up in the front line without escapes that either has high sustainability or high ability to eat burst damage. Focusing them down before any other target unless they are way out of position will lose you team fights. Only DPS them if they are way out of position.
- Examples of pure tanks include Arthas, Azmodan (he has so much HP he can achieve the same effect), Chen, ETC, Muradin, Stitches, etc.
- Abathur: If you can kill Abathur safely and quickly, do so every single time you see him. But only if it can be done both safely and quickly.
- Chen: If your team has a good amount of stuns you can take down a Chen super quick. In this case consider him a bruiser instead of a pure tank.
- illidan: illidan should be baited and blown up by your team. By this I mean when he dives in peform a fighting backpedal after he dives in to separate him from his team for a few precious moments if possible. Force him out of position. His job is literally to dive in and even the best illidan’s do so recklessly sometimes, so if you can pull him back and separate him from his team even for a moment you can pull illidan’s out of position and CC > burst them down. If you do not CC > burst and illidan down he can legitimately kill the surviving members of the team fight, in many cases rather easily. Even if you cannot get illidan out of range of all his team by pulling him back, you can many times get him out of range of some of his team at least. He really does have to dive in. Any abilities like Brightwing’s Emerald Wind’s or Stitches Putrid Bile that can be used to more easily split the teams can easily be a death sentence to an illidan. They are not JUST for escapes, but use those skills wisely. This is key though: stick with your team. A good illidan can 1 vs 1 most people rather easily, especially running people.
- Murky: Try to make sure all your AOE tags him along with everyone else and you may be able to handle him with that alone. Otherwise just smash him whenever he comes back up and gets too close. He’s easy to kill but if left alone will do high sustained damage. Fortunately he has to be in melee range to do most of it.
- Tassadar: True him with pure tank priority. He’s a support but a well played Tassadar is one of the most survivable things in this game.
- Lost Vikings: If you have heavy AOE that’s hard to dodge (example: Multi-shot) try and make sure to tag the vikings as much as possible while hitting everyone else. Otherwise treat them as a bruiser for priority thanks to their ability to boat up and dodge damage.
- Uther: And Uther walks away. Unless Uther is way too far forwards do not kill him. For one he is between the toughness of a bruiser and pure tank and another reason is because he heals for stupid amounts once he’s dead. So only focus him if it’s way too far forwards and if he dies don’t go ham unless you have the overwhelming advantage because it’s still 5 vs 5 until that ghost is gone.