These are things I’ve learned as I just play the game and look back on matches to see what I could have done in situations, I apologize in advance if some of these are generic and always said
Blackheart’s Bay – Use Gold for map advantage! if you have enough gold to turn in for Blackheart, or just a lot of gold on you in general, chances are the enemy will be looking for you to turn in. If you see a lot of enemies are missing chances are they are waiting to prevent and kill you when you turn in, instead grab more camps and build map pressure. This will force your enemies to reveal them self, after that go with a few teammate to turn in, or just yourself if all enemies are accounted for
Cursed Hollows – The first tribute isn’t always worth it. I’m not saying just ignore it but a lot of the time I see people run in 1 by 1 trying to stop the first tribute being captured and it just leads to more deaths and losses for your team. Tributes spawn(semi) randomly, if you see your team is out of position for some early tributes or just that the enemy positioned for it first, let your have it then refocus and try for the next tribute spawn. Remember you need 3 for the curse, not 1
Dragon Shire – Focus 1 shire! Its takes 2 shires to get the Dragon Knight why focus 1? Because it stops your enemies from having it, if you split the strength of your team and the enemies don’t chances are your enemy is going to over power you at a shire and either push or kill your allies of a shire giving them control of it, and then they can send people to the other shire to outnumber whoever is there.
Garden of Terror – I don’t really have anything special for this map. Try to control of your lane early, it allows you a head start to get the seeds but force your enemies into a decision of “do I go for the seeds or stay in lane for the exp?”. Also the neutral terrors are not that strong. at least 3 people maybe less can easily kill the neutral terrors but also keep an eye on the map to see how many enemies are missing OR if their seed count is going up and use that to the best of your knowledge.
Haunted Mines – Most know now that you want to try and go 4 1 in lane send 4 people in your golem lane and 1 to defend against the enemies, but what people might not get is that this is to jump start your golems push. On the flip side preventing the enemy jump start can be just as effective. If the enemies have a better pushing team or maybe a bad start happened to the game and your enemies are just out pushing you DEFEND IT! preventing a lead for their golem can be just as good as gaining one for yours. Also try not to enter the mines on the same side as the enemy team, you are just asking for bad things at that point. Also a reminder EARLY GAME SPAWN TIMES ARE SHORT! if you just aced the enemy team in the mines during the first spawn and your team is low health, maybe a full team recall is best. If you are trying to juggle the boss aggro at low health, all it takes is one enemy to stall for their team at that point.
Sky Temple – Focus 1 tower if you don’t have an advantage! this is most important for the first temple spawns. If your mid is getting forces in by 3 or more enemies, chances are they are getting that mid temple. Fight where the enemy is spread thin. If 3 are mid, head top and control that temple.
Tomb of the Spider Queen – I have not played much on this map so I haven’t gotten much for this, but their are two things I picked up on. 1) deny the enemies gems. while you can’t take the enemy gems you can try and prevent the enemy from collecting them. If you just killed an enemy hero and another is still around, stay there until their gems fades. 2) Push a lane with the spiders. If you just turned in your gems choose a lane to push, right now the spider are pretty weak and if left alone can be killed easily by the enemy, however if you focus 1 lane with a spider it forces your enemy into a decision of whether to defend a big push or defend 2 smaller pushes. Honestly the spiders seem kinda weak on this map and merc camps may be a better option, I need more time to play on this map before I can give a better tip for it.
Blackhearts Bay – The enemy will wait for you if you have gold to turn in, let them
Cursed Hallow – It takes 3 for the curse, not 1
Dragon Shire – If you control 1 shire the enemy can’t get DK
Garden of Terror – Lane pressure early, watch mini map, neutral terrors are weak
Haunted Mines – Defending can be as good as pushing, early ace != Mine golem skulls
Sky Temple Focus 1 temple at a time
Tomb of the Spider Queen Spiders are weak, gems do disappear
More Strategies by crackleberrysky
This is just a continuation of general things and strategies that are specific to maps and also things I just wanted to point out because I notice them quite frequently.
As a general rule of thumb, you want to prioritize pushing and siege damage to the enemy buildings on the lane your golem spawns. I really can’t stress this enough. Unless you know what you are doing, do not push the other lane in lieu of your primary golem lane.
This map is small, prioritize your time effectively. Particularly in the early game, if you take a team fight in the mines and win, quickly spread out and collect the skulls. Do not waste your time chasing stragglers – you can’t afford the time. Since this map is so small, losing a team fight in the late game is potentially the end of the game even if your team is ahead. Be careful and mind your positioning.
Get the fat camps in the mines first and always expect your enemy team and a fight to be there.
In general, Merc camps are very weak on this map. Merc camps don’t push your primary lane (they don’t directly help you push with your golem)
Remember to cap the siege camp so that it can help DPS the enemy golem (while it’s attacking your structures). Taking the siege camp too early just sends it out to die for no reason. The general rule of thumb is to capture your siege camp around the same time the enemy golem passes its (your enemy’s) fort.
Knights are generally a waste of time on this map. I’m also really tired of hearing this one – if your golems are at around similar strength and both siege units are at play, whoever gets the knight camp wins.
Contrary to what most people believe, the general split on this map is 1 and 4 not 2 and 3. One person on your enemy’s golem lane and four people on your golem’s lane. This is because you want that group of four to inflict as much damage and if possible break the enemy gate so the first golem can directly attack the fort.
How many people do you send into the mines and how many people do you leave on the surface to soak? Plan this out ahead of time. Splitting properly on this map is one of the hardest things to do. Weigh the pros and cons, look at the state of your structures, decide on what trades are acceptable before you plan your split.
If your golem is significantly stronger than the enemy’s golem – you should be pushing with it. It hurts so much to see a situation where a team has squandered an overwhelming golem (70/80-30/20 skulls) by overly committing to defending a weak golem. It’s unnecessary and just stupid. That being said if you find yourself in this situation, an enemy team with a weak golem may sometimes catch you off-guard with an aggressive hail-mary push to even the odds – especially at the beginning of the game.
Remember that golems do have diminishing returns up to a certain point. If you play smartly, you do not always need to come out on top of the mine/skull race. Also remember that certain specialist heroes, if left unchecked, can inflict significant damage to your structures.
Personally, I think the best split on this map is a 1-1-1 with 2 roamers.
For the sake of your team, please keep your cool. This is a battle of attrition and players need to be patient on this map.
In order to take the dragon knight, you need to control all 3 parts of the map concurrently. Focusing on attempting to quickly control all three points is a very common mistake on this map. It’s very easy to lose control one point quickly if your team is too hasty. Divide and conquer is the name of the game on this map. Generally it’s important to focus on controlling one capture point, fortifying that position and then carefully and strategically expanding. Pushing, taking camps, forcing rotations are great ways to loosen the enemy’s foothold. Knowing how to split, how to react and how to work picks is very important and crucial to capturing the dragon knight in tight matches.
More often than not, this map will be played like a big extended around the rosie. If both teams know what they are doing you won’t be seeing the first dragon knight for a long time.
When you have the DK, clear the enemy wave with fire breath and push with your wave. Let your wave tank tower damage. People always just tell the DK to ignore the wave and simply push. I don’t know where this one came from, but you have plenty of time to work with and it’s important to keep your DK’s hp as high as you can and avoid unnecessary damage. Also remember that good teams will focus the DK and easily marginalize the siege damage you do by pushing without a wave.
Garden of Terror:
Get mercs before nightfall.
Mercs are practically mitigated by the enemy terror and therefore not a useful defense against an enemy terror.
Remember that you need 100 seeds to spawn a terror. Obtaining a reasonable amount and denying the enemy from reaching 100 is good enough. It’s not that conducive to contest seeds when you know the enemy won’t reach 100 and spawn a terror anyways. Remember exp in the early game is worth much more sometimes.
The one nice thing about shamblers is that they don’t hurt too much and provide some regen to offset your damage taken.
Don’t focus too heavily on one side of the map. If you can’t contest on one side, try going to the other side of the map to pick up seeds.
If you’re contesting one of the two giant Shamblers for seeds and you are at a numbers disadvantage remember that your team can stall by being annoying poking and prodding. Of course don’t fully commit with less numbers. When team fighting near this location, watch out for the attack and don’t get entangled.
When using the Garden Terror, remember to either plant so that the enemy building is on the edge or plant aggressively so that the most amount of buildings are affected. Weigh the pros and cons situationally but generally planting on the edge is recommended against an actively defending team.
Garden Terrors are also great at back dooring and splitting the enemy team. Use your Q’s effectively – at choke points, to defend your W plant and etc.
At later stages of the game, be careful when moving out of your base during night time to collect seeds. Some teams may hide and attempt an aggressive play or last ditch effort to push your keep and core. They can also group together, hide and pick you off if you aren’t careful.
Cursed Hollow: Positioning is key when vying for objectives. Abuse choke points. Be careful not to funnel in 1 by 1 or bunch up.
In the early stage of the game, commit as few resources as you can to picking up the tributes. If the enemy commits larger numbers to securing an objective, you want to poke and prode as much as you can and waste their time.
If you can have both the experience and the tributes, then make it so. If you have to pick between experience and the tributes, then prioritize experience. Remember, you can always leverage your higher level but you can’t always use a curse effectively.
Especially at the beginning of the game, if you are cursed but at a higher level, the enemy will not win the team fight. If the enemy split pushes you instead, during the curse, you can react accordingly and easily make the defense with your higher level. This does require your team to have a bit of common sense and strong reactionary play.
Personally, I feel like tributes and curses are overall one of the weakest objectives in this entire game. Their impact on the ebb and flow of this game is rather insignificant sometimes. That being said, if you do curse the enemy try to make it count and milk it.
Remember that you can still push and then secure a spawning tribute. You don’t have to break away immediately just because the tribute is spawning and you want to immediately be in position and secure it.
Don’t overextend, I say that I feel that tributes and curses are overall weak, but if you die at the late stage and then get cursed you’re an unlucky but stupid bastard. You also just threw the game.
Make the boss count. Take it before an objective spawns to maximize the impact. It’s not a bad idea to quickly take the boss during the curse and you can time it so that you can take the boss before cursing the enemy team – even better. Remember that when one team takes a boss, the other team is either doing in the middle of doing it or quickly scrambling to capture their boss. Sky Temple:
Lasers are pretty good actually. You generally always want to for them.
The ideal split of this map is one 3-1-1. If you’re doing QM or something like that, split 2-2-1. Keep the 2 man lanes on the top and middle for the initial temples.
Try to maximize the damage onto forts and keeps as opposed to towers, gates and fountains. This is pretty nitpicky though and it’s better that you have the laser instead of your opponent.
Make the best of a bad situation, if you can’t hold a temple then try to drain as many shots as you can before backing away. If you’re trading lasers but have more structures, then you’re still coming out on top.
Assess the situation, don’t commit too heavily to one temple with significant enemy resistance at the expense of another one you can easily take. When contesting temples in a bad situation, poke and prode, let the enemy bear the brunt of the damage from guardians before engaging.
If you suddenly have control of the laser temples and you’re wondering why you aren’t encountering any resistance, it’s because the enemy team is either going for your core or doing the boss and then going for your core.
Efficiency is key on this map. You need to be able to soak exp effectively while contesting coins.
You want to maximize cannons towards high value targets like forts and keeps. If at all possible, you want to avoid wasting cannons on towers, gates and fountains. These structures are easier to push and turning in coins too early is almost pointless because of this. It’s also worth finishing off weak or almost dead buildings to maximize your cannon volley.
Designate coins to people that can keep themselves alive. Certain heroes simply should not be holding the purse (barring coins gained from kills of course) and carrying large amounts of coins. Especially ganking heroes like fricken Zeratul and Nova in QM. This ticks me off to no end.
Minimize risk. Let the guy with more coins turn in first. Consider turning in coins before committing to an aggressive, deep push that takes you behind enemy lines. Of course avoid these stupid situations (throws) to begin with by not overextending.
Coins should not be used recklessly. Volleys are generally more useful towards the end of the game. Saving coins, not turning in and keeping the turn in amount low is a good strategy. This can also backfire on you though.
Keep your cool on this map, things are spread out and it’s really east to lose sight of the larger perspective and develop trigger vision. Don’t be an idiot and try to sneak in the coins only to die.
Remember that time you take collecting coins is time you are not soaking. You’ll often find that teams that spend too much time doing coins are at a significant level disadvantage.
Tomb of the Spider Queen:
Webweavers spawn in all 3 lanes on this map and slowly die out as they advance throughout their respective lanes. This means that ideally you want to have your lanes pushed in as much as you can before you complete your turn in.
Remember to allocate your defense appropriately against enemy webweavers and always play to minimize your losses.
Webweavers scale as the game progresses. It’s worth considering when you actually want to complete the turn in. A good strategy is to turn in the majority of your gems, leave a few short and complete the turn in after a successful pick or gank.
It’s worth considering when you actually want to complete your turn in. Webweavers scale with the late game meaning that completing the turn in later in the game potentially gives you more value. If you die and drop a chunk of gems, don’t ping excessively for your team mates to recover them. If they’re not moving to immediately recover them it’s likely because they have better game sense than you and know they will be picked off.
Just like driving, it helps to have good awareness. Always check the mini map vigilantly like you would your blind spots and mirrors. Remember that your team is in this together, don’t be an asshole and try to stay positive against all odds. Like many people, I can’t attest to how often a team that actually communicates and is positive during the HL drafting phase tends to perform better and win games. White lies are also fine. If you really are frustrated and exploding in anger, do it after the match. The drama and blame game helps nobody during the actual game.
Thanks for reading.