Some games my build is awesome but then other games it sucks. What’s going on?
Setting aside poor team composition, new players, or just downright bad luck, builds can make or break your character during team fights merely based on what you spec for. As your character must remain ever moving and fluid in fight style, so should your build.
Have you ever wondered why you don’t get to simply choose your entire build at the beginning so it auto fills as the game progresses? This is not just because the creator’s want you to have an even more challenging time. The entire idea of talent points allows you to give a little more style to your play but, more importantly, allows you to adapt as the game changes. This continual evolution, as Abathur would concur, is a vital component often overlooked in strategy. Instead, single builds are passed around rather than how to spec based on the progress of the game.
The first talent is completely your own to choose, but it is really? I would argue that it should be chosen only after you’ve taken a look at the opponent’s line up. Hit the ‘tab’ key and check them out. You have more than enough time to make a quick assessment of their potential. Once you’ve done that, choose your first talent based on countering them at their best. For example, Falstad comes with either an increase to damage, buffs for his Barrel Roll (his escape/chase mechanism), or Bribe for grabbing mercs. If the opposition is full of healers, as much damage as possible is great. If there are snipers or a lot of assassins, it is guaranteed you will need to get out of more than one sticky situation. If everything is pretty even and you’re on a map with a lot of mercs, Bribe would be super effective for keeping the opposing busy with incoming pushes without sacrificing a lot of time and mana.
Another great example of this need to adapt comes with Level 7 ability choices. Every single hero’s talent pick at Level 7 is one of the most diverse spreads imaginable. Nova, for instance, can choose between Battle Momentum (ability cooldown decrease), Digital Shrapnel (area damage for the hologram), Explosive Round (area damage combined with a snipe), and Follow Through (subsequent basic attacks deal more damage). Let’s say throughout the game you’ve found your mana to drain way too quickly. Assuming this will not get better late game, choosing Follow Through will allow you to still be effective in team fights while waiting for your mana to regen. If you have a lot of mana but are waiting for cooldowns to finish, spec in Battle Momentum so that you can use them more often during team fights.
No matter your hero, be flexible. Always try out new builds to see what the best combos for different situations are. This will keep your hero on top of the game and fighting as efficiently as possible. Choosing one build and stubbornly sticking to it can only serve to hinder your leet skillz in the long run (especially when all the pros have released exactly how to counter your abilities).
Stitches is free-to-play this week! How do you play him?
I am excited as well! Stitches is the most damage heavy tank in the lineup. Complete with noxious odors and a disgusting design, he lives up to his legendary counterpart from Dota 2. Also similar to his counterpart, he carries the either beloved or dreaded task of the hook shot. This one attack can make or break his usefulness.
Playing him, in theory, is a very simple task. You emit Vile Gas that poisons all close enough to smell it when you are damaged. This means you want to get in everyone’s faces and make them smack you. You also come complete with a hook, so if the enemies decide they don’t want to face you like men, you can force their hand. Slam is your basic multi-minion damage shot, and Devour is your heal. Once you hit level 10, you can either continue emitting more than just gas with Putrid Bile or simply eat a hero and carry them around inside you like some twisted pregnancy.
As mentioned earlier, Stitches is the only tank I’ve come across as an assassin that could beat me down fast and hard (…gentlemen). Use this to your advantage, and tank the hell out of the game. I personally believe a big reason Stitches was built to be so sturdy is his Hook. Because you continually need to be isolating opponents by yanking them toward your terrible stench, you need to have a high survivability.
One of my favorite ways to die to this festering pile of human pieces is when Stitches is hiding and, seemingly out of nowhere, gives me a surprise yank. One game in Blackheart’s Bay, I was defending my bottom tower (the second set) and got yanked over to where Stitches and his team were waiting – right by our bottom merc camp. It was surprising and an incredible feat of creativity.
If you are going to play Stitches, and I hope everyone does, be as creative as his creator was with piecing him together.
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