The Commandments of Heroes

Once again, I haven’t managed to get through my placement games, so there won’t be a report on that this week (I’m 5/10, with a terrible 2-3 record).  Instead, I will be handing down the Commandments of Heroes.  Presumptuous I know, since I’ve never gotten past Platinum 1.  But, coming off a game in which my teammates broke all the rules and cost us a game we should have easily won (in spite of our first-pick Gazlowe), I’m still convinced I’m right.  So without further ado, and in no particular order:

Commandment the First: Mute Cancer.

Any time something goes wrong, there’s a temptation for someone to mentally check out of the game and start blaming everyone else.  “Whatever else happens, this wasn’t my fault,” they must be thinking.  And how many times have you seen a team come back from two, three, or even four levels down?

There’s almost always a way back.  Five minutes into a game yesterday, our Kael’thas starts blaming me for everything in a Towers of Doom game, including picking a second mage.  Never mind that I started the draft chat by saying “I want Li Ming but I’ll play anything.”  I forget who he was showing, but it wasn’t Kael.  Then he picks him at the last second, and later blames me for picking who I said I would all along.

Moral of the story: just mute the cancer and get on with it.  You might actually come back.

Second Commandment: Beware the Boss.

Now that I’ve been relegated to the lower levels of qualifiers thanks to people like the above Kael, catastrophic attempts on the boss are happening more.  In my last game on Cursed Hollow I even said it.  Butcher says we should get the boss.  I said we’re even levels and they have nobody dead.  Don’t do it man.  You have so much to live for.  So much meat to gather.  So obviously he and Anub go for it by themselves, and as Brightwing I feel obliged to tag along.

A few minutes later we’re down 19-16 after we’d been 15-15 and up three forts a few minutes before, and everyone’s blaming stupid shit for the loss, like the Butcher charging in when maybe he shouldn’t have, or Dehaka dying alone trying to take a watch tower.  Even if both of those are true, this ignores the rule I posted before: don’t do the boss unless they have at least two dead for 20 seconds.  The only possible exception is if you know they’re tied up for a while, e.g. taking the other boss on Cursed Hollow (which they weren’t)  If we’d followed that, none of that would’ve happened.  This leads to the next commandment:

Third Commandment: Don’t Wipe.

The later this happens, the more likely you are to just outright lose.  Even if you stave off defeat, you’ll probably lose a fort, a keep, the initiative, allow the other team to reach a higher talent tier before you do…there’s almost nothing worth wiping for.  At best, you risk making the cancer on your team think someone wants to hear his opinion, and that might make the rest of the team want to lose just to get away from him (but not you though, since you follow the first commandment).

Fourth Commandment: Treat Enemy Merc Camps Like The Boss.

From where I’m sitting right now, I can see dictionaries in English, Chinese, Japanese, and Spanish, as well as works by Da Vinci, famous chess players, and even Chuck Norris.  I’m going to open one up right now.  Then I’m going to look in the index, under “high risk low reward.”  And you know what’ll be there?  A picture of an enemy merc camp.  Don’t risk a cancer-triggering wipe just for a couple of mercs that probably won’t achieve anything anyway.  God will cry if you do.

Fifth Commandment: If You Don’t See Them, They’re Coming For You.

You’d better be getting something good if you’re risking death by soloing on the enemy side of the map.  If there’s a fight, they might mop up the rest of your team because they were outnumbered.  Then, you might get cancer.  You don’t want cancer do you?

Sixth Commandment: Make It Count.

Ever seen a team that had dozens more kills lose the game anyway?  At least twice, I’ve gotten 10 killing blows with Zeratul in the first eight minutes, only to lose.  You have to make an advantage count, and that means destroying forts.

Seventh Commandment: Don’t Take Bad Fights.

This, as well as what constitutes a bad fight, seems obvious.

  • You’re outnumbered.
  • The enemy is at a higher talent level than you.
  • You’re out of position.
  • You’re attacking the enemy base without minion support.

And yet, people do this all the time.

Eighth Commandment: Team Fights Are The Most Important Thing.

Sometimes it’s just hard to tear yourself away from finishing off that fort or getting those mercs.  But after at level 10 and up, being with your team for a fight is vital.  Think about what happens if your team follows it and theirs doesn’t: maybe you pick off a couple guys.  Maybe a somebody on their team starts raging.  Or even better, you wipe them.

This has been the sermon for this week.  May it lift me out of the doldrums of gold league qualifiers and back into a mid to high plat placement, where I was last season.  Amen and Kek’s blessings.

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