I haven’t gotten placed for this season’s Hero League yet, but that’s because I’m learning new heroes and re-learning old ones in light of the updated tier list. Placements are absolutely massive. Even if you win 60% of your games, getting placed in Platinum 3 instead of Platinum 2 means you will need to play 25 more games to reach Diamond than you otherwise would. So I’m not in any rush to get placed. That’ll probably happen when I get 9 with Gul’dan, Ragnaros, and Kharazim.
Speaking of Kharazim, I played him in a game on Cursed Hollow recently which convinced me that things are going to go great this season. Everything I suggested the team do worked out swimmingly. If I suggested something that we didn’t do, the replay convinced me that I was right anyway. So without further ado, the play-by-play and what can be learned from this one.
The Good Guys: Varian, Kharazim (me), Diablo, Falstad, Nova
The Scum: Dehaka, Tracer, Butcher, Kharazim, Hammer
The first thing I noticed was that their Kharazim took Iron Fists, while I as the sole healer took Transcendence. I don’t even remember the stats, but given that we won and my choice just made more sense, I think I was right.
The game started with everyone going mid, except for Falstad and Hammer who both went top. Oh, and Tracer who was probably thinking about lesbians or something. These days, my opinion is that the team should always group and go hard in one lane. At worst, you lose one more guy than the enemy does, which at level 1 doesn’t matter too much. But the potential payoff is taking down a tower, a bigger and bigger deal as the game goes on.
Falstad had a really tough time soloing vs Hammer. He probably shouldn’t have taken Marksman if that’s the role he was going to fill. Sieged Hammer is like free Gathering Storm stacks. At worst he should’ve just asked to switch.
His inability to deal with Hammer might have cost us the first tribute, as he hearthed only a few seconds before it appeared and we lost a 4v5. No big deal though. I saw Grubby lose the first six on a stream and still win before. I’m sure even greater comebacks are possible.
Second tribute is top; Falstad doesn’t even contest it and keeps split-pushing bot, but Dehaka gets to him immediately after the enemy gets the tribute once again. Nova starts getting salty. I can’t say I blame him, aside from his decision to play Nova that is.
Third tribute is bot. Their Hammer keeps split-pushing top, creating a short 5v3 as their Butcher is late getting there from his bottom position. Somehow, we lose anyway and they get 10 (to our 9) during the fight, at which point we should have backed off. I manage to die twice in contesting the same tribute. Hey, mistakes were made.
We are cursed at this point, and Hammer’s split-push has knocked down the top fort. Following the curse we are behind 13-11 on levels and have lost three forts to their zero. All part of the plan. I don’t even get worried until we lose seven tributes in a row, for reasons explained above.
Since we are now sans forts, it gets dangerous to push any lanes. Fortunately I realize this while karate-chopping away in the middle, and start running before Meat Man and the enemy Kharazim try to take me out. If I’d died, they would have had free rein on the map for another 30 seconds at least, and salt could have reached critical levels. A team fight might even have ended it.
After this, we wound up fighting near our boss, though I don’t know what we were doing there as even QM players aren’t crazy enough to think that taking him is feasible down 13-11. We lose three heroes to their one, but get the tribute as it spawns on the other side of the map and we have Falstad. I don’t recall what their Dehaka was doing; maybe he was dead or couldn’t stalk.
Now here’s where I think they made the mistake that cost them the game. Hopefully I’ve written in the past (because this is how I play) that when the enemy has more heroes dead than you do, it’s time to push. That’s even more true when you’re already on that side of the map. However, they took the boss. Then, even though they were up 16-13 and had just picked off Diablo, they let up and took their own boss.
This is exactly what you shouldn’t do. Neither boss wound up doing any keep damage, as we simply killed one and then the other. This also allowed us to close the level gap to within striking distance.
At this point, they decide to go at us hard, but that was the right decision a couple of minutes ago, not now. They did get a keep and kill two heroes, but they lost their entire team, the tribute that spawned during the fight, and their level advantage dwindled to 16-18, which meant we had reached the same talent tier as them. From this point it was one beatdown after another.
Since they’re all dead, we destroy a fort, our first. Levels are 18-19. Then the tribute spawns bot, but Butcher is still top for some reason. I forget whether there were mercs up there, but even if that’s true that’s the last place he should’ve been. That fort had already been destroyed and the minion wave was in the middle of the map.
Noticing this, I saw “Butcher top, get there fast.” With even talents and a 5-4 advantage, we kill four heroes, get the tribute, and lose nobody. Nova, while killing a fleeing Tracer, is eliminated by Meat Man, but that’s another wipe for them. Now cursed, they lose their bottom keep.
With a few seconds left on the curse, I want to get their middle fort, but the team takes the boss instead. The enemy takes their boss, which winds up doing 50% damage to our top keep. Our boss fails at life, but to be fair it was a tall order for him to achieve anything, since he was bot and that was the keep we destroyed.
Soon afterwards, their Tracer gets killed chasing our Nova. I want to go hard at the enemy since it’s now 5-4, especially because we can see Hammer is split-pushing bot yet again, while the remainder of their team was last seen mid. The replay showed that we would have had a 5v3 if we had followed my plan. At least I know my instincts were good. Instead we decided to chase Hammer and came up empty-handed due to her thrusting away.
We then take the merc camp closest to the enemy base. As I’ve said before, this can easily lead to disaster, but we get away with it due to their bad positioning: two of them were up top, presumably trying to stop mercs.
This led to Butcher being picked off, then Tracer 18 seconds later, then Dehaka and Monk perished while fleeing the Apocalypse. Then we just won the game.
So to sum up, I got everything right this game, except for that time they got 10 during the tribute fight and I kept fighting for it. Except for that tribute fight, the numerically superior force won every time. They took bosses when they should have pushed, and achieved nothing; they pushed when they should have backed off, and lost their entire team and the tribute. They split one or two off at least three times, and at least twice we recognized it and punished them, the last of which won the game.
Things made a lot of sense this game. Try not to fight when you know you can’t win. When you know the enemy can’t win, don’t let up. Just remind me to run when down 10-9