A variety of changes have meant that I put off doing my placement matches yet again. This is a trend with everything I do, but there’s still going to be a new post this week, about my new draft strategy. One thing I noticed that I do is vacillate on my picks, especially in the early rounds. In the early rounds: “They made Malfurion good again for some reason. Do I take him? Nah, someone else wants Brightwing, and besides playing support is basically hoping your teammates will win it for you.” Or in the later rounds: “I guess I’ll take Zeratul, even though there are a lot more anti-melee heroes like Auriel and Alarak nowadays. Oh crap we need a tank, I just noticed! Uhh…Johanna!”
For quick reference, below is the structure of the draft: when the bans happen, which team picks and when, and how many picks they get. There are basically six selection brackets.
1: One selection
2: Two selections
1: Two selections
2: Two selections
1: Two selections
2: One selection
One: Two bans have been chosen, and you’re picking first overall. I think an assassin is best here, because at number one you should be trying to take control of the game. It should also be someone that’s hard to counter, in my opinion someone like Li Ming. If they go with a diver to counter her like the Butcher, there are plenty of anti-melee heroes these days that will counter them. And besides, her mobility and shielding with diamond skin means she is one of the hardest heroes to counter. Same with Jaina.
My personal picks: Li-Ming, Jaina, Zarya (since she is top-tier according to Tentonhammer, who if nothing else is good at keeping his tier lists up to date).
Two: I’m not thinking about countering enemy heroes with this pick, because I’m still too vulnerable to a counter-pick in my opinion. And I’ll put Malfurion here as well because I don’t think he’ll drop that much farther.
My personal picks: Li-Ming, Jaina, Zarya, Malfurion, Lunara (who I now prefer to Butcher because melee is more easily countered).
Three: Still not thinking about counter-picks at this point; they still have three picks with which to stop me. I don’t want to take the Butcher and then wind up facing Zarya, Auriel, and Alarak, for example.
My personal picks: Li-Ming, Jaina, Zarya, Malfurion, Lunara, Brightwing (because there are no top-tier ranged assassins left), Hammer.
Four: Two more heroes have been banned, and the enemy has three picks, which only means two left. It’s extremely rare that a team will go without a tank or healer, so you can start thinking about counter-picks now.
My personal picks: Li-Ming, Jaina, Zarya, Malfurion, Lunara, Brightwing, Hammer, The Butcher, Kerrigan (if the map is difficult to get meat on), Johanna, Sylvanas.
Five: The enemy team has only one pick left, so you can guess what class of hero they’ll pick next. Pick any counter you want.
My personal picks: Li-Ming, Jaina, Zarya, Malfurion, Lunara, Brightwing, Hammer, The Butcher, Kerrigan, Johanna, Sylvanas, Tyrael, Falstad (now in a tier below the others but I still love him).
Six: You’ve got the last pick. Counter them or pick a tank/healer if that’s what your team needs.
My personal picks: Li-Ming, Jaina, Zarya, Malfurion, Lunara, Brightwing, Hammer, The Butcher, Kerrigan, Johanna, Sylvanas, Tyrael, Falstad, Kael’thas.
Emergency tanks: Muradin, ETC, Leoric.
Emergency supports: Rehgar, Tassadar.
Emergency assassins/counter picks: Zeratul, Tychus, Thrall.
Personally, this means I’d better learn Zarya (I can probably get to 90% of her potential by level 5), and do a few Lunara, Tychus, or Thrall games. And finally do placement matches. Yes, a month into the season.