What is up HeroesHearth, McIntyre here. Today, I want to talk about building a basic compositions. With the new season starting up here, it's very important to increase your odds of winning the game by following a few basic steps in the draft screen. While I can't do the draft for you and while the draft always tends to change, if you follow these basic guidelines you can have a solid chance to win every game you play in Hero League.
The ideal team composition currently consist of: Tank, Support, Ranged Assassin, Offlane, Flex.
Within this composition and outside of the offlane one of the four other members needs to have waveclear within the what we call "4-Man" to control rotations and to not get ran over when the enemy team also rotates. If the enemy clears a wave before you and moves to the next lane, that means in order for you to get to the next lane you must collide directly with them if they choose to stand in your way, so waveclear is important for this reason. I'll talk more about waveclear options further on but for now let's focus on each role.
The tank is the head of the squad and the person who leads the way and controls the rotations. The reason for this being that not only is the tank usually your engage, but they also have the largest health pool. So, while rotating, if the tank runs into the entire enemy team, it's important for them to be able to tank and survive the incoming damage from your opponent’s 4-Man. It's much more likely for your tank to survive this type of all-in then it'd be for someone like Jaina or Kael’thas, so you really want to clear a path for the DPS as a tank for this reason. If, for whatever reason, you want to evade/check an objective and you are not the first one on the scene -- in most cases -- you are tanking incorrectly. This means things like not showing, soaking in the bushes, and holding rotations are all a part of your job description as the tank.
A key note for tanks: You often create more pressure not showing then you do showing. If the enemy doesn't know where you are, then they must play as if you are everywhere.
Priority Tanks and When to Draft Them
CC Tanks: ETC/Muradin/Anub/Garrosh
These tanks all hold aggressive rotation spots and want to fight and find kills when the other team needs to move around the map. When playing any of these tanks, you need to be patient and look for windows of opportunity to get kills and picks, rather than just throwing yourself at the enemy team and taking tons of damage. It's important to note that, if you draft one of these tanks, you must have damage behind you -- ideally the likes of Li ming, Genji, Zeratul or CC supports like Malfurion, Uther, or Stukov.
These are the burly tanks that often times can create pressure by simply being unkillable and are generally used to take the blunt of the enemy teams damage when they try to engage on your team. These tanks pair really well with late-game scaling compositions with Heroes like Junkrat or Chromie and with compositions that want to posture and poke. Most times, they need an additional follow-up as their engage isn't always reliable, so drafting an offtank/melee that is able to setup fights or follow-up is important.
My teammate, ishb00, has several quality Guides on tanking, find them here.
A role that isn't ever given enough credit and is -- in my opinion -- one of the most important roles on the team. Without a support trading damage, making aggressive plays would not be possible. It's important to remember as a support you are waiting for your team to make plays and, in turn, play around them. I see, too often, players trying to do everything as a support and it never works out. As long as you play around your team and do what they need you to do, then you'll have no problem at all. Stay behind the frontline and protect backline. Understand how a fight will play out and prepare for what will happen, then execute your plan when it finally does. Is Diablo going to charge into apoc combo? Be ready for it and react
Key note for Support: Play around your biggest strength as a team, if your carry is greymane and he’s popping off in teamfights but your Nazeebo keeps getting caught and getting killed in teamfights forcing you to blow cooldowns, it’s important to support the heroes in teamfights that will win the fight for you rather than the heroes that just exist within the fight. This is for all levels of play and should be considering in HL and TL.
Priority Supports and When to Draft Them
Anti-CC Supports: Rehgar/Monk/Uther
Just like their tank counterpart, CC supports are designed to answer the hard CC brought by the enemy team. If the enemy looks like they want to one-shot and burst down your team, then you need to find an answer within the support role. Let's say the enemy is Tyrande/ETC/Kael’thas, without a proper CC chain it'll be very difficult for them to pick up a kill. Heroes like Uther and Rehgar provide cleanse and the ability to keep your team alive through this threat. You can also counter this sort of all-in strategy with a Hero like Kharazim and Divine Palm. Hitting Palm as the enemy attempts their all-in can be back-breaking. If the Palm lands, the enemy likely burned their big cooldowns for the unsuccessful kill and your team can turn the fight to your advantage.
Sustain Support: Lucio/Stukov/Lt. Morales
If the other team lacks hard engage and wants to poke and bleed your team out of health, then it's ok to go into these type of supports. These supports also compliment standby compositions and allow you to trade damage very effectively. Furthermore, these heroes allow you to get out of tight situations usually in a team fight with some escape or defensive cooldown or ability. Having an issue with the other team’s Chromie poking your team down with long-range Qs? Draft one of these support and most everyone will still be full health regardless of all the poke.
My teammate, BBJ, has several quality Guides on support play, find them here.
The base of all compositions revolves around the tank and support. Every composition needs one of each and from here the direction of the composition comes together. Next week, I will continue my deep dive into the world of basic draft compositions. I will discuss the assassin role and the sub-roles that exist there and what responsibilities should be fulfilled.
To read Part 2: Assassins, click here.