What is the best thing to do at the beginning of the game when all of the other players on your team group up in the same lane? Should I follow the herd or should I go solo? I usually go solo a different lane in order to maximize xp, but that often puts me is a 1v2 or 1v3 situation and it feels a bit as if I ignoring the team concept.
Great question! First off, I don’t think it’s ignoring the team concept at all (unless you don’t join group fights to defend your base) and soloing can be a very powerful strategy if implemented well. Though there is no one right answer, let’s go over some options based on hero and map as each hero has different capabilities when soloing and each map offers its own strategy.
Determining Lane by Hero
What type of hero do you play/are you playing? If your answer is a hero that can inflict serious damage on their own (i.e. Witch Doctor, Nova, Demon Hunter), head toward whatever lane you feel is the most strategic because you, my friend, are blessed by the Blizzard Pantheon with the damage output to kill all things with much speed. You still won’t be able to take down two or three heroes by yourself, but you’ll at least be able to do enough damage to keep them from pushing your towers early on (very important if there is a Sgt. Hammer, Murky, or Gazlowe). If you do want to stay with the team, go for it, but keep close watch of the minimap. If any one hero is ignored *cough*murky*cough*, they will deal some serious damage that could cost you the game.
This is not to say the other heroes need to group together at all or can’t defend. They are, however, far better suited to fight in a team dynamic, and there is everything right with this. Without them, team fights are painful, frustrating ordeals (and I’ve been in many).
Determining Lane by Map
Cursed Hollow: I always start mid. This lessens the time it takes for me to join the group fights around the spawned tributes. The faster you can turn a 1v1 into a 2v1, the better chance you’ll have of securing the objective.
Blackheart’s Bay: Unless you are on a team of your friends trying out new strategies, 99% of the time, everyone will rush to get that silly tower in the beginning. Knowing that, it’s pretty important to have everyone there since it will more than likely turn into the first team fight of the game. After that, feel free to go to where the opportunities are.
Dragonshire: The best choice for a mid-defender is a ranged hero because they can interrupt anyone trying to grab the dragon from a safe distance (if the opponents have both shrines). Everyone else should head either top or bottom.
The Haunted Mines: With only two lanes, this one is a free choice and the best for following the team since a lot of damage can be done early on by ambitious merc camp takers. This map is, by far, the most group oriented map (if only for its small size).
Like so many things, the situations will really determine where you should and need to go and getting as much XP as quickly as you can is super important. Don’t be afraid to try out new things since that is how you learn. Stay with the group for a few games and see what happens. Go off on your own to test out your hero’s true potential. After the games, think a bit about what you did and why you did it. Determine if it worked and why or why not. By doing that, you’ll be able to figure out the best ways to build and play your hero. After all, it may be up to you to keep the opponents busy bottom while your team takes advantage of their absence up top.
I’m always targeted in team fights and die quickly. How do I avoid this?
We’ve all been there. Just this past weekend I had a game where Illidan could not get enough of me, and I died more times than I care to admit (being a proponent of never dying and all).
I realized my mistake was running away. Whenever I found that I was targeted by an opponent or many opponents, I started fleeing in the opposite direction of my team, often leaving myself cornered and ripe for the killing. Now, I will say it can be beneficial to your team to draw off some of the heavy hitters. Buying them time to take down other opponents while one or more are chasing you can give the team the advantage it needs to eradicate the competition and make a strong push.
However, I’m finding the best thing to do is stay in the group, running away only when the fight is clearly lost. Your team can and will protect you. They will buff you. They will deal area effect damage. They will heal you. Combined, the force is unstoppable. Plus, when grouped up, you are harder to target and harder to keep track of. I know how tempting it is as a ranged assassin to always stay on the outskirts, but if you stay too far back, there is a clear flag on your head marking you as an easy target.
Never be the victim.
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