You’re in Hero League now. What’s it like?
The time finally came this past week. With the purchasing of Thrall, I officially entered into Hero League. Why did it take this long? Because I am a firm believer in buying and practicing the ten Heroes you have so that you're good at all of them, not just because you really wanted in. Really wanting in will only hamper your score. Why do that to yourself?
It's all Personalities
My first experiences were games where personalities were so obsessed with how "good" they were that they completely abandoned all gaming sense and nubbed up the experience.
- Raynor soloing bot during a team fight for a tribute.
- Sylvanas playing as an assassin instead of a specialist.
- Someone choosing a second support instead of a desperately needed assassin.
The losses were about as bad as some of the worst QM experiences I've had. However, this only happened during the first few games I had at the lowest level. Once you breach 40 and get to the lower 30s, the "personalities" seem to disappear in favor of people that understand the dire importance of teamwork. While you’ll come across the occasional death threat, by and large the majority of games are very cohesive.
Death & Leveling are Rare
Because players on each side are typically skilled with their chosen Heroes, the number of deaths is startlingly low. This then translates to some of the slowest level ups I've ever experienced. That being said, the games are extremely intense. By the time one is over, it feels like you've done nothing but concentrate super hard for an unbroken period of however long the game is. Due to this, I can only every play about 2 games before I'm mentally exhausted.
Opposing the Meta is Smarter
Since the meta is the go-to for the majority of players, it's easy to predict how a team will play as soon as you see their lineup. Even if the enemy Heroes are incredible at playing their choice, you'll know exactly how to counter it. In opposition, if you go with a non-meta, there will be few counters and even fewer people that know how to stop your rampage.
Group Comps are Still a Crapshoot
I don’t want to hear anyone brag about how so much better HL group comps are compared to QM ever again. They’re not.
How do I spot real Nova?
Nova is the most beloved and hated Hero depending on whose team she's on. Because of her decoy, it can waste your abilities, maybe even heroic if you're dead set on killing her. This means being able to tell the real from the fake is a trick worth learning.
Save the Abilities
Step one is to make sure you don't pop an ability just because a Nova appears. Good Novas don't just show up and start shooting. They always put their decoy down first and snipe second.
Now that the Decoy is out, you know she's lurking somewhere nearby. Go into a soft focus and act on the second one to show up. This will likely be your real Nova, especially if she runs from you. As soon as you pick her out from the crowd, immediately jump into a hard focus to either chase her down or scare her off.
Anyone that’s played Nova can tell you the decoy moves very differently. They take a shot, move a few steps to the side then fire again at regular intervals. Also, they don’t run when you come after them. They’ll stand there in the middle of your team and continue stepping and shooting.
As to the shimmer that invisibility grants, it takes some practice, but once you know what the distortion looks like, it’s pretty easy to spot. If you want to practice, set up a match against a bot Nova and do nothing but work on spotting her. Because you don’t have to worry about flubbing anything up, you can take your time riding around the map until you find that tell-tale, moving, visual warp.
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