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 match. We’ve touched on map pressure, boss control, recovering from a lost team fight, and pushing your advantage. Today we will learn about scaling!

What is scaling? The basic concept is that, as a game of Heroes of the Storm progresses, Heroes on both sides of the Battlefield grow stronger. It may sound simple, but it is actually quite complicated. Thankfully, Fnatic’s Warrior player Pontus "Breez" Sjögren will be your guide to scaling (with style).

Understand Your Power Spike

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“The midgame starts at Level 10,” Breez says. “It ends at Level 16 because that is when you have all your basic talents and you can play your Hero to its full potential.”

Knowing when your Hero has come online is of paramount importance, especially for a Warrior player like Breez who spends most of his time on the Battlefield in the thick of things. “Try and learn at least the basic ability of every Hero,” he says. “When you want to take it to the next level, you really must know the talents—at least the important ones. You should do your best to know what talents could come into the game and change things.” 

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“On the old Fnatic we had a cheese strategy where we played Stitches, Brightwing, and Falstad. You have Gorge, Gust, and Emerald Wind. Those abilities all have a 60-second cooldown. Whenever you use the Gorge and follow up with a Gust and Emerald Wind, you're always going to get a kill. In the late game, you can use those 60-second cooldowns, and as soon as the victim respawns you'll have your Heroics back up again. You can just do this combo repeatedly and there will always be at least one enemy dead!”

At Level 16, you must be aware of which Heroes excel in the late game. “I only really know stuff about my role,” said Breez. “I do know you will get punished for only picking Heroes that are weak in the early game but strong in the later stages. That being said, good late-game Heroes would be like Diablo, Muradin, Tracer, Jaina, and Tychus. They are all very strong beyond Level 16.”

Which Battlegrounds would these Heroes with late-game power spikes be considered the strongest on? “Thanks to the Tower experience changes that came after the HGC Finals, most maps do not snowball anymore,” said Breez. “Anyway, it's the maps that are least likely to snowball where you will want to pick these late-game scaling Heroes. Good Battlegrounds for these Heroes would be like Towers of Doom, Cursed Hollow, and Dragon Shire.”

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“In the professional meta, getting the first Protector Mech on Volskaya Foundry is fairly important. Usually if you get the first robot, you just can get the fort or multiple towers easily. It is a little easier to get an early lead on Volskaya if you know what you are doing!”

It’s not just about knowing what your power spike is, or when the enemy team picks up talents like Icy Veins and Get Stuffed. Passively keeping track of player quests also will give you a competitive edge. “You have to be aware of when Gul'dan is landing his Corruption and when he finishes his Level 1 quest. It happens often that instantly when he finishes his quest people aren't aware of it and he just melts people.”

Regeneration Globe quests have been buffed across the board thanks to the same gameplay update that Breez referenced above. As such, Breez says, "If you have a stronger early game and you can get two globes from every wave, you can be done with the globe quest incredibly fast now. That is a good example of something that people don't really think about in pro play—if you can just get 30 Globes on Stitches or whoever super early, then that Hero is going to be very hard to kill for the rest of the game.”

Keep Tabs with Tab

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Make a habit of checking everyone's Talents and Quest progression on the Leader Panel throughout the game.

How is someone to supposed to keep track of all this information?! “Click tab,” says Breez. “Click tab more! Keep track of the talents that are being picked, see what is working and what is not working for other Heroes other than yourself. Check to see what Heroics the enemy team takes as soon as they hit Level 10.” 

Hopefully you’ll heed Breez’s advice next time you hit that Ready button! Be sure to check out the Heroes of the Storm website for more information on Hero roles and Battlegrounds and scope the new Hero page right here at playheroes.com/esports for an inside look at the professional meta. We will return with Endgame Moves later this year!