It's a new week and that means new free-to-play rotation! Here's who you should look into based on your skill level:
Li Li - She was my first and remains my favorite healer. Spam Q for heals, grant Heroes a pet dragon and cause enemies to miss with your whirlwind farts. If you play her expertly, every enemy team will hate you more than you can hate yourself.
ETC - Sure, the power slide is a bit of a skill shot, but it's also a nifty escape mechanism. He buffs, he heals, he rocks. There's no way around ETC being an overall great tank no matter your proficiency. Through Mosh Pit, he’ll teach you that perfect timing is everything.
Nazeebo - Nazeebo is very easy to do a lot of damage with so long as you have a pretty solid grasp of what the game asks of you. If you’ve never played a specialist, Zeebster is the perfect bridge between the assassin and specialist worlds.
Sonya - Get ready to take a lot of slack. She's one of those pseudo-tanks that can get a lot of crap for not being able to tank as much damage as a Muradin or Johanna. Don't listen to them. She's a gateway Hero for Illidan and a damn scary presence once you've figured out her skill shot.
The Butcher - One of only two hard hitting assassins in the game, The Butcher has the capability of ruining an entire team's combined ego with only one charge. The best part is how he teaches patience, placement and timing. Only bad Butchers Onslaught into a fray that can't be won.
Arthas - A great Arthas is a rare find and not because the Hero sucks. This Hero is amazing, it's the players that suck. The reason I put him under expert is because this guy is a balancing act. You've got your trait to manage. You've got a heal/damage spell to manage. You've got a root to manage. You've got a slow to manage. You've even got either a dragon or undead army to pull together. And this doesn't even account for his talents.
Tychus - Don't be fooled by his big, bad appearance. He is nothing more than a Trekkie red shirt with the power to die faster. This means positioning is your number one concern. Once you know how to move while staying out of the clutches of your enemy, you can then start mastering the grenade throw and his all too fun mini-gun.
Haunted Mines is my worst map. Any tips?
We all have those maps, don't we? I love Dragon Shire, but it’s my worst.
As far as Haunted Mines goes, it's a tiny map with an even more claustrophobic objective space. Interestingly enough, this is the map where everyone has the highest variance in regards to what needs to be done to win the game. Because of this, all too often you'll end up with 3-4 Heroes in the mines while the others fart around top grabbing mercs or pushing lanes. Though that may seem like a good idea because of other maps, let me stress that the mercs are nowhere near as important as the golem.
The best Mines I’ve played involved one Hero that we all listened to. There weren't three people trying to call the shots. There was one leader that we all rallied behind and win with. The two most notable I played with were a Muradin and Skeleton King. Here's what they taught me:
Go back to base before the mines open.
It doesn't matter if they get the first few skulls. What matters is that your team heads down there together, wipes the enemies and then collect the rest of the skulls. It's not hard to see that the team with the most mana and health is going to be able to outlast a team fight. Force it when you have the upper hand and win.
Defend first, kill the enemy golem second.
I don't know how many times I've been left on defensive duty with one other person. Even if our golem was bigger, their golem caused a lot more damage because two Heroes can’t take down a 50 skull as quickly as five.
Stay together as a team.
The map is so small that the team that stays together, wins. This is because there's a good chance the other team won't be running around as a full team, leading to great ganks that keep your opponents at a disadvantage. Worried about mercs? Clean up the enemy team first, then clean up your own lanes. If you're with a great shot caller, they'll make sure everything is taken care of. Often times, one enemy kill is worth enemy mercs going just a few seconds longer.
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