Midgame Moves: How to Push Your Advantage to the Max
It’s Midgame Moves week for Heroes of the Storm! It’s time to continue the educational content series that kicked off 2018 featuring some of the smartest personalities in the scene. Midgame Moves is focused on the meaty middle portion of a competitive game! We’ve touched on map pressure, boss control, and recovering from a lost team fight. Today, we will learn about how best to press your advantage.
You’ve successfully navigated a team fight and there are multiple Heroes dead on the enemy team now. What is the best use of your time while those enemy death timers tick down? Team Octalysis’ flex player Francisco "Goku" Avalos is on hand to help you understand how best to further your lead.
Take Everything in Close Proximity
Pushing your advantage is entirely dependent on the situation you find yourself in. Usually, the best call is to push a nearby structure, but if the fight ended on top of a camp it will only take a few moments of your time to capture that as well. Perhaps splitting the team up and clearing waves to get ahead in soak is the best call. There are multiple considerations, and time is of the essence.
“The amount of travel time is very important,” Goku said. “If you're top and you win a fight, it's not worth it to travel all the way down to take camps on bottom. [The other team will] be back up soon, and they might be able to defend against you. You usually want to take whatever you're close to after you've won the fight—it’s best to press your advantage wherever you're at.”
Experience leads come and go, lanes get pushed back and forth, and dead players respawn—remember that structure damage is permanent (unless you’re playing against an Abathur with M.U.L.E). Taking a structure after winning a fight typically yields far more value than doing a Mercenary camp.
“I think a lot of people make the mistake of doing camps just for the sake of doing camps,” said Goku. “Ask yourself what you can do with a camp when you take it. Try and play in the mindset of a 6v5, your Mercenary camp is another player slowly pushing in.”
Avoid Wasting Time
There are a few common traps that players fall into once they feel like it’s time to capitalize on their winning position in the game. The first would be assuming that an early game objective is going to set you up for success.
“If you complete the objective very early, most of the time it's not going to get much done,” said Goku. “The first set of Web Weavers on Tomb of the Spider Queen are very easy to clear, and an early Curse on Cursed Hollow isn’t that impactful. A good rule of thumb is to just try to obtain as much soak as possible after you've taken an early objective. Then you're setting yourself up for the next team fight, and it becomes more difficult for the enemy team to bounce back.”
The second mistake Goku points to is the immediate call to do a Boss after a fight has been won. This commonly happens on Sky Temple after the level 10 fight on bottom Temple. “I think it's like a 7- to 8-minute Boss at that point, which doesn't do much,” said Goku. “It's just way better to push bottom or middle lane. You can also take their Siege camp instead.”
Set Yourself Up for The Next Fight
When you’ve won a fight, do whatever you can to bolster your odds of winning the next fight. If that means taking an enemy Well near a future objective spawn or stealing a camp to deny your opponents a way back into the game, remember that the last fight is inevitably the only one that truly matters.
It’s best to not get overly ambitious with shot calling in these situations. “If their death timers are around 40 seconds and you still must go through a Fort and a Keep, then it's better to play around the map and try to get a level advantage for the next fight instead. If you're close to their Keep and you have most of your team alive then it's probably best to push,” said Goku.
How do you know if it’s safe to push or not? “Ask yourself: Who on the enemy team is still alive? For example, if a mage is still up and they still have a Support—that is still a solid defense," said Goku. "But if it's a Warrior or an off-laner, then that's easily your best chance to try and push or end the game.”
“The best Hero for 'snowballing' would be Jaina in my opinion,” said Goku. “The burst she provides demands a constant response from the enemy team. if she gets a level lead it's even more devastating what she’s capable of. Being a talent tier down on Jaina doesn't feel quite as good but you can comeback—one good Ring of Frost or one decent flank can turn the game around.”
Now that you understand the basics and some of the common mistakes players make when attempting to retain their lead, hopefully you’ll find yourself prepped and ready for the next team fight after winning the last one. Midgame Moves Week continues tomorrow with a guide to scaling featuring Fnatic’s Warrior player Pontus "Breez" Sjögren.