Ranked Placement Results: Just Enough Hope

So I just finished the placement games and the result was Platinum division one.  In case you’re unfamiliar with the ranking system, one is the highest in any given division.  And after Platinum comes Diamond, Master, and then the promised land, Grand Master.

I’m not sure how to feel about this.  I would’ve liked to get Diamond, which would have been as high as I’ve been in any Blizzard game, and in striking distance of Master, but considering that I had a grand total of 32 draft games before the ten placement games, I guess it’s a decent result.  If I can get Diamond by the end of the season (which I believe is about three weeks away), then it’ll be a reasonable success.

So how did the games go?  Out of ten, I went 7-3, losing games one, five, and nine.

  • Falstad: 3-1
  • Muradin: 2-0
  • Zeratul: 2-0
  • Brightwing: 0-1
  • Uther: 0-1

The all-important first game was a crazy disaster.  I first-picked Falstad on Blackheart’s Bay, went 5-5, did 20% more damage than anyone else, and according to both our team and the other team’s Raynor (who I played with in the next game), it was our insanely aggressive Illidan’s fault.  If you’ve ever heard the phrase “games are lost, not won,” this was the epitome, as both sides threw back and forth until our last wipe, in which we went all-in against the first guy we saw and ended up surrounded.  It was so bad that as they were tearing down our core, we had two guys soloing the bruiser camp, totally oblivious.  Maybe it’s just me, but I feel like losing the first game in a Blizzard placement series puts a serious dent in your ceiling.

In the other two losses, I played Brightwing on Garden of Terror against a two tank team, where I now think Morales would have been best, and Uther on Sky Temple.  That one’s gonna haunt me, because it reveals my biggest weakness: playing support.

So I’m picking fourth, and since they have ETC and nobody to stop his mosh, I’m gearing up to pick Brightwing…until she gets banned.  Damn.  In the 30 practice drafts, I played support only five times never ran into this situation.  And not knowing the Morales’s grenade would stop mosh (as any displacement effect will, I just read), I picked…Uther.

I’m at least level 5 with every hero in the game except Gul’dan and Auriel, and in my opinion Uther is the hardest in the game by a wide margin.  This is because of the so-called piano build that has become a strong consensus in the higher leagues, according to hotslogs.  Following that build, in addition to your usual three abilities you’ll have another four abilities mapped to the numbers 1-4, hence the name piano build.  The worst part of all is that the cooldowns are so long that a misjudgment very likely means death for someone on your team.

Going into a fight you have to decide: which of my two heals do I use first, and on whom?  Do I use shield early, or wait until the fight develops and the other team’s target becomes clear?  Do I hammer, and when?  Do I shrink ray, and when?  What about divine shield?

If I had to do it all over again, I would use protective shield sooner rather than later, because most teams’ coordination is greatest at the beginning of a fight.  Then, I’d use my stronger direct heal on the enemy’s target, followed by shrinking and then hammering their melee assassin if they have one (and they had Kerrigan), and go from there.

Or, I could just get a Sonya on my team that dives right into their entire team and spends the rest of the game complaining about Johanna not tanking well enough.

That said, I’m now 2-5 with supports in ranked and unranked drafts and the problem clearly goes beyond idiotic Sonyas.  This might be the biggest problem in using Heroescounters.com: when your team needs a support, none of them really ‘counter’ anyone…aside from Brightwing.  And Uther countering Kerrigan, they said.  Maybe the better Uthers, I don’t know.

Improving that a bit will get me into Diamond easily, I think.  I just wish I hadn’t picked a support I hadn’t played in several months in the only chance I got to take on Diamond players.

In conclusion, Falstad won almost every game for me and led in damage when he didnt, while Zeratul continued to kill it.  Only 973 points to Diamond.

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