Heroes of the Storm Beginner’s Guide

Heroes of the Storm Beginner’s Guide by IronPirate

With the release of the “founder pack” I’ve had a few friends join the battle over the past few days. They seemed to run (both literally and figuratively) into the same issues, so I thought I would create a guide for them that shared some of my learnings from the game.

This was the result and thought that between what I wrote and what you will critique, we might have something useful for new players.

Definition of Terms

  • Creeps: AI controlled minions that spawn from the opposing teams base.
  • Laneing (or Laning): Each map is divided into “lanes”. There should be at lease one hero in each ‘lane’ to soak up the xp that is generated from the killing of the opposing teams Creeps.
  • Pings: A non-verbal communication between team mates. Pressing “G” and clicking will create a ping. Pings are ‘smart’, creating a ping on an enemy hero creates a “killinsert hero“, clicking on one of your structures creates a “defend insert structure“, etc.
  • Mercenary Camps: AI Controlled minions that will fight for the team that captures them. They appear as Yellow flags (or White if you play in color blind mode) on your mini map and the color will change depending on which team captures them. Mercenary camps vary in difficulty (they used to have a level associated with them, but it has been taken away.) Once defeated, the camp will display a timer indicating when the mercs will respawn. Rule of thumb: If you don’t know, don’t attack it alone.

General Game Play

  • At least one hero needs to be in the “lane” where the creeps are getting killed to get the xp for the defeated minions. You do not have to actually kill them, you just have to be in the area when they die. This includes if/when creeps kill each other. XP gain is the same regardless of how many heroes are in present. If you see “+xp” over the head of fallen creeps, you are close enough.
  • Do not chase enemy heroes as they retreat, especially if you are the only one in your lane. Enemy Cannons/Towers will wreck you in the early game (levels 1-10) Getting them to retreat is just as good as killing them. If you can, get them to chase you.
  • The game is pretty balanced for 1:1 fights. If you are out numbered, fall back and ask for help. If you are out numbered, then they are out numbered somewhere.
  • Know what your hero’s weakness. If you’re squishy, stay on the move and hit your targets when you can. If you’re a big warrior, use your body to try and block the opposing team.
  • Map awareness/follow the pings. 90% of the game is played on the mini-map. You can see where your team is and what objectives are up, and which camps need to be taken. You can also use the mini-map as a navigation tool. Clicking on the map will set a way point for your hero.
  • When in a team fight, kill order is TYPICALLY: Assassins, Support, Warrior. You’ll eventually learn by seeing them which heroes are which. Try to avoid hitting the Warriors as they just soak up dmg and don’t really dish it out.

Level based “Strategies”
Based on what level your team currently is, this is what you should be trying to accomplish.

Beginning of game – Levels 0-9

  • Laneing (or Laning) – Go to a lane, and try and kill as many small minions as possible. Early hero kills are not that big of a deal since respawn is so fast. Focus on not dying, killing minions, and getting XP. If you manage to destroy some towers, great, but this is not a priority.
  • Objectives – Within the first couple of minutes the first objective will pop on the map, help your team capture/accomplish it. Objectives are very important in this game and require teamwork.
  • After Objectives – Immediately after objectives you should look to capture any free merc camps. Merc camps are the yellow marks on the map. Kill the mercs, stand in the circle afterwards, and they are yours. Once done with this, go back to laneing (point 1).

Mid-Game – Levels 10-15

  • Objectives – Keep focusing on objectives. They either increase your lead over the other team, or help you come back. they are essential. However, if the current objective is a lost cause, don’t run into 5 enemy team members as an act of bravery to try and capture the objective, you will die. Instead just go back to a lane and soak some XP from the minions.
  • Map Pings – Keep an eye on the mini-map. Your teammates may be requesting you come help them or go capture something. The importance of the mini-map cannot be overstated. Are enemy mercs pushing into your base? Go kill them. Is one of your teammates trying to capture a merc camp? Go help them. Etc.
  • Don’t go it alone – You may be used to playing against the computer and going on massive killing sprees in other games. This is not possible in Heroes. You have to work together. If you are about to roll into a fight where you are outnumbered, it’s probably a good idea to run away. Do not give them the XP for killing you, and when you are dead/resurrecting, you are not helping your team or soaking XP. DON’T DIE.

Late Game – Levels 15 and up

  • Objectives – Objectives snowball as the game goes on, so once you get around L20, they are very important. Focus on them more than ever. A good “Golem” late game can just win you the game at this point, for example.
  • Boss Mercs – Almost every map has a “Golem/Boss” merc camp. The Boss is very powerful late game and can either end the game for you, or help buy you some time for a comeback. This is not something that can be captured by 2 people, but rather requires your whole team to burn him down quickly. You will want to wait until the enemy team has a few people dead, or you know exactly where they are to get this, because otherwise they can flank you while capturing this, kill your whole team, and steal the boss. Game over. If 2-3 members of the enemy team are dead late in the game and there is a boss available to capture, do it.
  • Stay Together – Laneing is meaningless late game, stay with your team.
  • Winning – At some point you need to make a decision to try and end the game. This usually happens immediately after you have killed a few enemy heroes. Coordinate with your team and push the enemy’s core!

Map Strategies
Each map has its own mechanics. These can very easily win you games without having to make any kind of push on your own. Teams that win the mechanics typically win the matches.

Sky Temple
Every few minutes shrine(s) will activate. Standing in the circle gives your team control, which will cause the laser to fire at enemy structures. As you stand there, The statues come to life and will attack you. This can serve as a good ganking opportunity.

Garden of Terror
When night falls, plants spawn on the map. You want to kill the plants to collect seeds. Once a team collects 100 seeds, a “Garden Terror” spawns in their base. Clicking on the terror ‘transforms’ you into it and you can then proceed to attack enemy structures. There are 2 kinds of plants on the map at a time. Seedlings and Boss. Do not engage in the boss battle unless you have other team mates with you. Seeds which are dropped can be picked up by either team regardless of who killed them.

Blackhearts Bay
Collect/turn coins to Blackheart and he will have his ship fire cannons at enemy structures. The amount of coins required increase with each successful turn in.
Coins are acquired by: Destroying chests that spawn (each chest contains 5 coins, 2 chests spawn at a time. This is announced in game and will appear on your mini-map) AND by taking mercenary camps. Each camp yields 2 coins. A hero holding coins that dies drops all their coins and can be picked up by either team.

Every few minutes two shrines appear, one at the North and one at the South. Teams that control both shrines at the same time can activate the Dragon Shrine (in the middle), which will transform the player who activates it into a dragon warrior that excels at destroying enemy structures.

Haunted Mines
Every few minutes the mines open up which contains minions which when killed, drop skulls. There is a total of 100 skulls to collect. 70 from the minions, 30 from the boss.
The minions are easily killed (even at level 1), while the boss takes a team effort. The boss will periodically drop skulls. At the end (when time runs out or all skulls have been collected) BOTH teams spawn a Golem (AI Controlled) that will attack enemy structures. The golems power is based on how many skulls were collected. The golems move clockwise around the map, so they will not engage each other. When defeated, the golems next spawn will be at the next structure that is furthest from the core until it will eventually spawn at the core.

Cursed Hollow
Every few minutes a tribute will spawn on the map. Every time a team collects 3 tributes, the opposing team becomes cursed. Cursed teams structures will not fire and their creeps are all reduced to 1 hp. Curse lasts for 90 seconds. Collecting tributes is VERY important.

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