The Art of Drafting

Heroes of the Storm is all about teamplay, team compositions and the right strategy. But where does the strategy part begin? Most people think it begins when the game starts but that’s not exactly true, a very important part of the game is the draft, here you and your team decide whether you start with an advantage or not.

What is the Draft?

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The drafting

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phase is simply the part where the teams pick their champions. It also includes 2 bans on for each side. These bans are also very important to winning the drafting phase. In competitive play, the drafting phase is even more important as it can often decide games.

 

The Meta

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Meta is used to describe popular and strong heroes as well as efficient compositions. Generally speaking, it’s always smart and safe to pick meta heroes. But keep in mind that they are only superior if you can understand how to play them. If you are far better with an uncommon hero which fits your team composition, take it. You should always study what the current meta looks like, which heroes are tier 1 and 2 and what you should ban if you can’t pick it.

 

What to consider when picking Heroes

 

It is important to focus on taking a hero you are comfortable with and that fits your team composition. Nevertheless, you should think about hero ability synergies (a Mosh Pit into a devouring maw can be very devastating for the enemy team). Please don’t be “that guy” who thinks last picking a Murky is okay, because you got 60% win rate when your team has no support, IT’S NOT OKAY. Generally, you should aim to be good with one hero in 2 different roles. If the drafting starts, you should also tell your team that you can’t play a specific role.

 

The First and Second Pick

 

First and second picks are a bit tricky but definitely important. There are a few things you should keep in mind if you are the first or second pick for your team. A good idea is to take a strong and solid hero you are comfortable with but isn’t countered too easy. For example, Zerathul is (in most cases) a bad first pick as he is easily countered by heroes which provide a good vision like Tassadar, Kharazim (if talented) or Brightwing (if talented). A good first pick is a hero that fits into most team compositions and doesn’t have many counters like strong DPS Heroes like Kael’thas, Jaina, Raynor, and tanky Warriors like Muradin, even Support Healers like Malfurion, Rehgar or Uther. Also extremely strong Meta Picks like Li Ming and Tracer are viable and strong first picks.

 

How to Outdraft your Enemy

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First things first, you need to know what team composition you want to build. Common these days are double Tank, double Support or the standard Composition (Tank, Heal, 3 Damage Dealer). After this you should decide which heroes you want to play and have at least 1 backup hero for each position. The next step will be to think about your enemy, especially which heroes are the biggest threat for your composition, are these heroes part of your composition? Pick them, if not, ban them.

This would be the ideal case. In most cases the enemy will try to pick heroes you “need” or Ban them, you have to react to this. That’s where your backup heroes will come into play. Also you can decide to swap one of your wanted heroes out to counter pick your enemy. For example: if the enemy team picks up a heavy auto attack hero, you can pick a Johanna or LiLi for the blind just to counter their heavy auto attacks.

Another word to the banning phase. Generally speaking it’s always a good choice to ban heroes which are superior on the specific map if you can’t pick them. For example, you got first pick on Tomb of the Spiderqueeen, so you want either Zagara on your team or Xul. Now you can try to Ban Xul and Pick Zagara if your opponent does’t ban her. If she gets banned you can still pick Sylvanas as a strong pusher. But all in all you denied your opponent a very strong pick and saved yourself a useful pick. If you don’t get first pick then check out what they are banning and decide what strong pick to deny them. In this scenario it could be a Zagara ban if they don’t ban it as she is very strong on this map and the opponent will most likely pick her if not banned.

 

TL;DR

  • Consider Hero synergies when drafting
  • Choose heroes you are comfortable with
  • Choose a hero which fits into your team composition
  • Counterpick if needed
  • Be sure to have at least 1 Tank, 1 Heal and 1 DPS in your team
  • Meta Heroes should be preferred
  • Ban what is most dangerous to your team comp

All in all, the drafting is no wizardry but a very strategical part of the game which no one should ever underestimate. Whether in competitive, hero or team league.


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