With the advent of the Beta and the new influx of players coming in, I’ve thought back to some guidelines I made for myself while climbing from my starting Elo. Think of them as a tips & tricks type thing, or a general guide for each map. Please note that the best players learn the rules, then learn how to break them; these guidelines can help, but you still need to use your own judgement to know when they are wrong.
- In general, mercs are weak on this map. They don’t go to the same lane as golems, and they don’t push as fast as your golem will (generally), so they end up largely being a waste of time- especially knights. The best way to use for mercs (generally) is to cap them as the golem is about to start attacking your base, so that they help DPS it down.
- One of the best ways to start snowballing on this map is to have level 4 (a talent level) when going into the first mines. The best way to achieve this is to put 4 men in your golem lane, with 1 person in the enemy’s golem lane, and try to push down their wall before the first mines, or group gank the other lane. The 1 person you put to soak in your weak lane should be someone who can soak without much danger, and clear relatively well. Tassadar is best since he can do this and also shield buildings.
- When Golems happen, it’s often the case that you can split your team up into 2 groups- 1 per golem. When this is the case, it’s best to leave DPS(s) to work through the enemy golem, with supports and tanks helping your own golem. The number of players at each golem? Roughly 1 person per 20 skulls, although this is going to vary a LOT on comps, who is ahead, and whether or not you got fatties, or whether its good to split up at all.
Garden of Terror:
- The neutral terrors really don’t do much damage at all, especially with the regen globes they drop counteracting their damage. Under the right circumstances (the other 8 players are dead, or on the other side of the map), you really only need 2 people to work on a terror. Or, if you have a 5v4, 4v3, etc. it’s not that dangerous to work on it, just be mindful of its abilities, and which cooldowns you use on it while dancing with the enemy team.
- When both teams have terrors, fighting at the border of the enemy’s buildings is advantageous, as opposed to fighting at your own buildings, due to plant damage + building CC.
- When deciding whether to place a plant over the wall (to hit both the gate towers and the keep), only do so if the plant will be safe there for awhile. Otherwise place it as far back as you can while still having it hit the wall, so you can protect it for the full duration. If the enemy team is willing to teamfight against your terror, lure them into a choke where the Q will wreck them.
- Plants make backdooring really rewarding, and since you can get more exp + catapults from taking a keep, this should be one of the first options you consider with your terror. If they try to base trade with terrors, this is one way to come out ahead (killing a keep rather than a fort). Also, if you’re ahead on base, but behind on experience, doing this can help catch you up in that area before you start losing teamfights.
- Due to the fact that plants wreck mercs, you should really not do mercs right before the enemy spawns a terror. The best time to do them is right as night is falling so you can get ahead in the seed count.
- DK is great at pushing waves with flame breath, and the damage he does to buildings makes saving his hp very worthwhile. Clear the wave, and enter with your own wave to tank damage, especially if you’re going directly onto a fort/keep which will slows your autos.
- For most levels of SoloQ, I think its best to have the tank drive DK if possible. Then your comp and positioning are largely unchanged and you minimize unforced errors.
- Most people mess up on Shire by focusing too much on getting Dragon Knight fast. The reality is, you mostly have to control all areas of the map to get DK. If you’re ahead early, focus on controlling one area at a time, and then gradually branching out. Conversely, if you’re behind and your enemy reaches for too much, focusing on one lane will keep them from getting DK, and likely get you some kills to come back.
- Concentrating coins on 1-2 people is best, so that you can turn in easily, control your risks better in teamfights, and when need be sacrifice one life to save another with coins, and keep 6 instead of losing 3. You’ll want these coins to be on people that are easy to keep alive: Rehgar, Tychus, Tass, etc.
- If you clear a wave and have even just a few seconds, getting coin camps is very rewarding, especially if you can get the coins on your carriers.
- As the game wears on a bit, and your damage values go up, it can be rewarding to push a little bit more, and lower the number of shots a structure needs to take to die. For example, getting an ability or two off on a tower can save you a cannon ball, which is worth about 1.25 coins. If you spread your damage right, you can easily get 2.5 coins worth of efficiency instead of 2 coins which you may or may not be able cash in.
- Soak and Poke is the name of the game (early on). Tributes, at least in their current form, are the weakest objective by far, and it’s more worthwhile to soak experience from all lanes, and poke the enemy off the tribute a little bit, wasting as much of their time as possible. Basically, you need to get 3 tributes before you get anything from that investment at all, and once you do, curse is pretty weak. If the enemy team curses you, and you have a higher level from soaking experience, they aren’t going to win a teamfight, and therefore can’t push on you as 5. If they don’t push as 5, you can match their numbers across lanes, and they will miss out some experience from your minions dying instantly.
- Play the chokes! When fighting over tributes, sit in open areas, and attack your enemies as they come through narrow ones. Either you or someone else on your team will have abilities that benefit from this, and it allows you to face your enemies one at a time instead of all at once.
- When you do get curses, you might want to push a little bit, but you should definitely plan things so that you can take a boss before it ends, and if you still have hp/mana bars, go get the second boss as well- your enemies will have to either let you get both, or let the first one tear up their base unopposed.
- Temples do a LOT of damage. Usually there’s a little bit of tradeoff between soaking experience and going for objectives, but temples just do too much to sacrifice any of their damage for soak.
- It’s best to have a 3 man lane (and 2 1-man lanes) that you rotate with the temples: first top, then bot, then mid, changing after each temple is used up.
- If a temple is being contested, let you enemies have the initial shots from it, while they tank the damage from the guardians, and split their damage between you and the guardians. If you’re harassing them during this time it should be relatively easy to wipe them and take more than 50% of the temple’s damage.
- Try to take mercs shortly before the next temple spawns on the opposite side of the map from that temple. For example, take your knights at about 4 minutes, so that they push top while you go bot for the temple.
AND THE MOST IMPORTANT SOLOQ TIP OF ALL!
If you know the right thing to do, and everyone else on your team is doing something different, go with them and do their thing. Sometimes you can bring them around, and when that is and isn’t doable is something I’ll address another time. For the most part you should go with the flow, even when you hate it. Having a single bad plan is better than having three good ones.