Full Speed Ahead

In order to be on track for my goal of Diamond this season, I needed to be most of the way toward Platinum 3.  Instead, I’ve already made Platinum 3 and was within one game of a promotion into Platinum 2.  So, so far so good.  On the other hand there are always things I can improve.  So this week’s post will be a series of observations on where I (or my team) messed up.

Bans: We all know who the first two bans are these days: Samuro and Malfurion.  Even after his desperately-needed nerfs, Samuro wins 63.5% of his games, and Malfurion languishes in a distant fourth place at 54.3%.  (Vikings and Hammer are second and third, though judging by their popularity they are very niche).  But who else to ban?

I’ve been seeing a lot of Gul’dan bans lately, which doesn’t make sense to me on any level except teammates’ personal bad experiences.  He doesn’t get banned that much, and he doesn’t counter anyone that’s particularly popular.

In the past I’ve tried to ban obvious counters to teammates, e.g. banning Chromie when someone wants Hammer, but it’s rarely that obvious.  So instead I’m going to write down the top 10 bans and then target the other team’s needs, e.g. banning a support when my team has one and theirs doesn’t.

In other news the top 10 bans on hotslogs are (in order):

  1. Samuro
  2. Malfurion
  3. E.T.C.
  4. Morales
  5. Zarya
  6. Li Ming
  7. Brightwing
  8. Kael’thas
  9. Johanna
  10. Sylvanas

On second thought, I’ll make the list longer so I can ensure I get the right bans.  What if we have Malfurion, and Brightwing and Morales were banned first? (bizarre, but bear with me).  In that case it’s time to ban Auriel.

The Death of Dive Comps: Since people like Greymane and Illidan have fallen out of favor, and Samuro is still seen as too powerful ever to get picked in a ranked game, it seems like there are no options when you need a diver.

Braxis Holdout.  A few hours ago.  The enemy team is facing Raynor, Alarak, Muradin, Tychus (me), and Morales.  You’d think they’d really need someone who could get to Morales, especially when their lineup at that time consisted of Rexxar, Azmodan, Auriel, and Chromie.  None of those people are ever going to come close to taking down Morales.  So what do they do?  Johanna.  That’s right, their answer to a team with Minigun and Giant Killer was another warrior.

In my opinion they needed someone like Thrall, the Butcher, or even Illidan to get at Morales, but at 15th-24th in the popularity rankings, people have lost confidence in them generally.  And so that team limited itself to mostly futile ultra-long distance pokes, and lost in under 15 minutes.  Greymane and Zeratul?  44th and 45th.  Sad to see.

Not All Mages Are Created Equal: I made the mistake of picking Li Ming early on Infernal Shrines and really regretted it.  Those neutral units got in the way of all my pokes and the other team won every single Punisher.  Even though I led the team in damage (or nearly, I can’t exactly recall), I would have been better off with Jaina, or the slightly-inferior-these-days Kael’thas.  Even against a team with two bruisers tanking, we just couldn’t kill anyone when it mattered.

That said, the goal of Diamond is still well within sight.  Two games a day until season’s end should get me there.

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