Finally Got Placed

So I finally got placed for this season: Platinum 4.  Of course, that’s lower than last season’s Platinum 1, but since I wound up getting demoted pretty quick, I guess that’s fair.  The results could have been better except for game 2’s cancerous Kael’thas (as I already mentioned).  In game 10, there was yet more cancer.  I made a mistake as Li Ming and ended up dying to Thrall (my only death of the game) on my side of the map with Falstad hitting him at the same time, or so I thought.  It started right away.

wtf ming

Oh great, here we go again.  I should have immediately muted the cancer, but I couldn’t resist.

i’m secretly working for them

That was enough trolling for me and afterwards I stuck to my own rules, muting Falstad.  I finished with only one killing blow, but led the game in damage, and we won.  I was awarded the coveted MVP trophy, which I hope rustled some jimmies.

Side note: it’s really nice having a GTX960M in my laptop now.  It makes it much easier to execute a Missiles/Orb/Disintegrate combo when you don’t experience video lag once the Orb leaves your hands.  And if you get a kill, of course, you can do it all over again.

With ~48 days left in the season, I should be able to get roughly 100 games in, of which I need to win 56% to reach my goal of Diamond League.  Game on.

For the rest of the post I’m going to switch gears and do a Lunara guide, who I’ve started playing more since she was elevated to S Tier by TenTonHammer.

It’s a shame there’s no money in Hero guides, because there’s a lot of opportunity out there for anyone who can do a good one.  For example, take the top Lunara guide on right now, which has 268,000+ views, despite being nearly a year old.  It’s two paragraphs!

The best guide I’ve ever seen on that site was for Sylvanas in the pre mind-control era.  The author went in depth calculating damage for barbed shot vs improved shadow dagger, accounting not only for raw damage but the spawn rate of minions, team fights, and so on.  He even did several different builds for different maps and pointed out common errors in Sylvanas play (e.g., trying to be an assassin).  I think there’s much more of a consensus on Lunara builds, so the talent portion will be shorter, but without further ado…my Lunara guide.

Level 1 Talent: Natural Perspective (Nature’s Toxin Reveals Enemies) (chosen 75.8% of the time in Diamond/Master League on hotslogs)

Ever been chasing someone, but lost sight of them because they entered some shrubbery?  With Natural Perspective, say goodbye to all that.  That said, the other talents don’t offer much competition.  You could get mana back from crippling spores, reduce crippling spores cooldown on minions and mercs, or increase crippling spores’ radius.  You’re not a specialist; don’t pick talents as though you were.

Level 4 Talent: Nimble Wisp (82%)

By far the best use of the wisp in my opinion is to scout an area you’re entering rather than park it on a spot you expect the enemy to go to.  For example, what’s better: leaving it at the boss to get destroyed, or sending it into a fight already in progress?  In both cases the wisp is probably dead, but at least the latter strategy gives you more information.  And you can probably figure out when they’re taking the boss without the wisp anyway.  The key is to know where they all are, what the health situation is like, and so on.

Besides, there just aren’t that many good spots to put a wisp.

Level 7 Talent: Wild Vigor (50.7%)

Nature’s Culling (28.2%), which does extra Nature’s Toxin damage to non-heroes, also gets chosen frequently, but I want to play an assassin, not a specialist.

Level 10 Talent: Leaping Strike (41.7%)

Here’s where I part company with most players.  I think Leaping Strike is superior in almost every way to Thornwood Vine.  Vine is better when you’re sending lashes into their whole team, but guess what?  You’re going to be at the back anyway.  You might hit three guys at best, and probably fewer.  And the worst part: they’ll probably survive it.  Someone will heal them, or they’ll run.

Leaping Strike, on the other hand, is a great finishing move.  It can also get you out of a jam.  Illidan going for you?  Wait until he goes behind and then Leaping Strike him to escape.  Coming up on some enemy minions?  Leap over them to secure your escape.

You can also use Leaping Strike to initiate–especially against people with skill shots–hit them with all your abilities, and then leap back.

Level 13: Unfair Advantage (39%)

The other contenders here are Giant Killer (30%) and Greater Spell Shield (27.9%).  Personally I’d take Giant Killer against any team with two or more tanks (or someone with a huge health pool like Azmodan).  The others are a judgment call.  Is it quick match?  Then you don’t have a healer.  Don’t question it, Blizzard has decreed nobody will play support in quick match.  So you might consider Spell Shield there.  If you don’t need it, then take Unfair Advantage and watch the increased Nature’s Toxin damage roll in.  Feels good man.

Level 16: Star Wood Spear (44.9%)

Star Wood Spear increases your basic attack range when you use Crippling Spores, and range is always worth considering in any game.  If you think you can get away with pure damage though, you might increase your attack speed with Invigorating Spores instead.  I personally take Invigorating Spores more and more these days, because of Crippling Spores’ limited range.  I’m not going to use Spores to get the range bonus and then run back and let fly.  Too many variables.  Especially if they are heavy divers, it’s often better just to hit faster.

Level 20: Galloping Gait (50.4%)

This is basically a sprint, which will save your life many a time.  And because the next most popular talent is an improvement on Thornwood Vine, I take this one every time.

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