Heroes of the Storm Blackheart’s Bay Strategy



Heroes of the Storm Blackheart’s Bay Strategy by Melisandur

Hi guys.

I got my invite about two weeks ago, and one of my biggest issues right now is I don’t always have a clear idea of what I should be doing, and what general strategies are available for each map. While some points, like contest and control objectives are obvious, strategies with more depth than the basics are currently beyond me.

I’m going to include basic information for each map, as well as some of my own thoughts on general strategies, openers, etc. I’ll also have a few questions peppered throughout to hopefully stimulate discussion.


Basic Map Facts

Map image

Important Timers

Time Event
0:40 Camps spawn
0:50 Chests spawn
1:10 Blackheart spawns
Camp Respawn Timer
Skeletons 2:30 (2 min. 30 sec.)
Giants 3:30 (3 min. 30 sec.)
Knights 4:30 (4 min. 30 sec.)
Golem 5:00 (5 min. 0 sec.)

Chest Respawn Timers

On the matter of chest respawns, there are a few things to note. First, the chests will not start their respawn timer until both chests have been broken. Second, the actual respawn timer for the chests is semi-random. Third, chests take 18 hits to break, with coins dropping at 6 and 12 hits.

To try and determine the possible spawn times, I broke the both chests 11 times across two games. Comparing the time of the last hit on the 2nd chest, and the time of new spawns, a few facts emerged.

First, the possible respawn times for chests, as observed by the admittedly small sample size, were between 2:28 and 3:14. Across the samples, the average respawn time was 166.6363 seconds, or 2:46. The median time was 2:47. I predict from these facts that the chests can spawn roughly between 2:30 and 3:15 after both chests have been broken. Only twice did the time break three minutes, and both times were at the upper end. If I were to propose a general rule, I would propose that players should be aware of chests spawns 2:30 after breaks, and should definitely be in place to take the new chests 2:45 after breaks.

TL;DR: Be ready for chests spawns 2:45 after the 2nd one is broken, with chests guaranteed to spawn in the next 30 seconds.

Map Movement Times

This image image shows the approximate time, in seconds, it takes a mounted hero to move between various points on the map. Times were taken using the stopwatch on my phone, and movements were given as a one click move command at the arrival spot. Due to this, expect a margin of error around one second.

From this chart, basic addition can allow for approximations of how long it takes your hero, or your team to move across the map. The usefulness of this is mostly for teams who want to plan strategies around specific timings and rotations.

I used Gazlowe to time the movements, under the assumption that the base move speed for all heroes is the same before the traits or passives are accounted for.

Questions

Is base move speed the same for all heroes?

Is there an acceleration time to consider for heroes not moving? What about time to turn?


Opening Strategies

Exp/Coin Rush

This is a strategy I have seem in some of the professional games that have been played so far. It consists of a 4-1 split, with four heroes starting at the top/mid gate, and one at the bottom gate. This opener tends to follow this order:

4 Man Squad

  1. Attempt to secure watchtower
  2. Shove first top wave asap
  3. Rush mid for top chest spawn and xp
  4. Converge on Blackheart or return to lanes

Solo Bot

  1. Push wave
  2. Contest bottom chest
  3. Converge on Blackheart or return to lanes

As I see it, this strategy has a few dangers. First, if a team cannot secure the watchtower, they risk being ambushed on the rush back down to the top chest, or must play it safe and take the watchtower on the way slowing them down.

Control of both chests is also going to force an early teamfight/skirmish, causing the early game strength of a team composition and the team fight ability of the players to have a strong effect on the outcome of this opener.

Questions

Is it possible for a team to get level 2 off of the first three waves? And if so what would the trade off of coins for the level up be worth it, if followed by a contest at Blackheart?

Merc Opener

This strategy would also employ a 4-1 split. However, the action order would be the following:

4 Man Squad

  1. Attempt to secure watchtower
  2. Be ready at Knight camp at 40 seconds and take it asap
  3. Contest turn in or return to lanes, with majority in mid to apply pressure to all three lanes.

Solo Bot

  1. Take giants asap
  2. Contest turn in or return to lanes

The appeal of this strategy is based on a few factors. First, the first cannon barrage can be expected to destroy at most three structures. Second, the early merc camps will be able to do significant damage, and if appropriate heroes are chosen, there should be more than enough time to contest the coins. I make this assumption on the personally tested fact that Gazlowe can solo the giants at level 1, losing no health, capping it at 1:12. Also, if you have a bad early game comp this may be the safer option in the long run.

Questions

Can the four man squad clear the Knights fast enough, with enough health to contest the first turn in?

If not, would the early mercs, plus 10 easy coins from the three exposed skeleton camps (two top, and one near giants) and mercs be able to equalize the other teams advantage from getting the first barrage?

Would a combination of these two strategies maybe be the most effective?


Stitches Cage Spots

Just a random tidbit, there are certain points in the map where Stitches can pull an enemy hero, and body block them from escape by himsef. I call these cages because a successful pull effectively locks most heroes in a cage. White spots are strong cages, only requiring Stitches to trap an enemy, red spots are weak cages, requiring one allied hero for a successful cage. These spots are also excellent for hiding as the line of sight into these areas is VERY slim, and some have bends which allow you to hide completely. I haven’t had the chance to test the arc in which Stitches can do this successfully from these spots, and would love it if someone would volunteer to help me do so.

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