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How To (Not) Play DotA2 (again)

27 Feb

Here are some more things you should be aware of if you want to win as a team in DotA2:

1) Try to avoid sending the player who has bought wards/a courier mid. He’ll be at a 150g disadvantage.

2) If your lane partner has creep pulled, avoid tanking the enemy creeps next to your tower. The tower will kill/hurt the enemy creeps, undoing what your partner was trying to achieve. Also it’s hard to compete for last hits against a  tower of death,

3) If an ally has D/C, don’t get them killed. It’s still feeding. It’s also harder to control two heroes at once.

4) Try to pick a support. They are helpful. Too many carries means too much competition for farm.

5) If lanes can be (safely) pushed, don’t jungle for farm. Pushing will give you more gold and experience and benefit your team more.

6) During the lane phase, be aware of your positioning especially against enemies with stuns or snares. One bad position will result in death, and a harder lane from then on.

7) If your in-game score is not great, don’t accuse others of feeding. It’s just hypocritical.

8) Don’t be a hypocrite in general.

9) Don’t pick a hard carry against a pushing enemy line up. The enemy will make it harder for you to succeed as with each tower felled, the enemy will be more farmed, and the jungle will be harder to farm.

10) Don’t queue for English speaking servers if you’re unable to read/type/speak/understand English. It’s for the sake of communication. DotA2 isn’t a single player game.

Pokemon Trick Room-Hailish Team. V1

14 Dec

The team I have built with 6 Pokemon I really like is:

Trick Room Team (with added Hail).

The Hail isn’t exploited. It’s just an added bonus and used to hurt walls.

I will list each Pokemon on the team and describe why they’re on the team.

Reuniclus

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Magic Guard Ability

Life Orb

Relaxed/Sassy Nature

Max SPA EV. ~190 HP EVs. ~60 Def Evs.

Trick Room. Psychic. Focus Blast. Shadow Ball.

Reuniclus sets up my Trick Room. It is a tankish Pokemon that is slow. It will benefit from the Trick Room. Magic Guard protects it from indirect damage (status affects, weather, Life Orb). It can carry a Life Orb and not be punished for it. It has offensive moves to help its team sweep. If I start with Abomasnow, I will need that extra bit of damage to hurt the enemy. Abomasnow (as you’ll see) will not invest in any offensive EVs, so Reuniclus offers that extra bit of damage. The move types are there to cover all bases. Focus blast is very useful. But it is inaccurate.

Taunt cripples this guy. He is slow. A faster Pokemon can taunt Reuniclus at the start of the match and essentially cause me a loss. What’s worse is that taunt users are generally Dark types; they get 2x damage bonus with Dark moves. I was told ‘Magic Bounce’ ability would prevent the taunt lock down: but I would need to find a Pokemon I like who has it, who can learn Trick Room and is slowish.

Magcargo

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Leftovers.

Quiet.

Max SPAttck EV

Max HP Rv

Rest in Defence.

Earth Power. Lavaplume/Flameburst. Ancient Power. Protect.

A slow Pokemon I like the look of. It has awful base HP and its base defence stats are equal, which means it can’t really specialise as a quirky tank/wall. It’s base SpAttack is decent, which means it has the potential to be a great Trick Room sweeper. Leftovers are used because he has Protect, but also he still has some defence. I don’t really know a better item to give him at the moment.

I have rarely had an effective use of Earth Power. I have mostly been using Lava Plume (whilst his partner Protects) and Ancient Power. Lava Plume brings the damage. However, Ancient Power (with a Base Power of 60) is “not bad”. I’m on the fence at whether I should investigate replacing him.

Seviper

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Choice Specs

Quiet

Max Sp. Attack and HP EVs. Put the rest in either Sp Def or Def.

Dark Pulse. Sludge Bomb. Protect. Giga Drain/Flamethrower/Dragon Tail.

Seviper is a strange Pokemon. It’s slowish and has average defence. It also has equal Attack and Sp Attack, which means you can build it anyway you want. This Seviper ended up being Special Attack due Crawdaunt and Marowak being on my team. I haven’t used Dragon Tail yet, so you could do very well without it. I read somewhere in a Trick Room environment, it has the highest priority instead of lowest (like in normal conditions). Since this team is about raw sweeping (it seems), I have never needed to force the opponent to switch. With Choice Speccs as well, it would lock you into Dragon Tailing in till you switch Seviper out. Choice Speccs does make Sludge Bomb painful. Since XY added Fairies, you might appreciate the 2x (in less you’re facing Mawile or Klefki; Steel is Immune to Poison Type).

Marowak

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Rock Head (Electric Types aren’t that common. Therefore you can’t really justify Lightning Rod at the moment)

Brave

Thick Club

Max HP and Attack EVs. Put rest in Spec Def.

Earthquake. Double-Edge. Aerial Ace. Stone edge/Sword Dance.

You have a choice between an inaccurate Rock type move that is 4x effective vs Talonflame and Charizard(Y), or Sword Dance that drastically increases your Attack but uses up 1 turn of Trick Room. If you had a second Trick Room user, Sword Dance would be less risky option. Earthquake is nice because 3/6 of the Pokemon on the team have Protect. Aerial Ace is there to help Marowak deal with Grass type threats better (in Gen V he had access to Fire Punch).

Crawdaunt

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Adaptability (is prefered, but it is a Hidden Ability. You can use the normal abilities, but it means Waterfall and Crunch does 25% less damage. It depends on how badly you want to use Crawdaunt. If you don’t have access to an Adaptability Crawdaunt and you’re indifferent, there are probably better slower Water Types out there. This team is personal to me. I like the aesthetics of all 6 Pokemon listed)

Brave

Max HP and Attack. Rest in either Def or Sp Def.

Superpower. Waterfall (Crabhammer). Crunch.Toxic

Crabhammer does more damage than Waterfall, even if you take into account averages. But Waterfall is a 100% hit. I prefer reliability. I don’t like relying too much on RNG. Night Slash is an alternative to Crunch, but Crunch is better over-all. Crunch does more reliable damage, and the proc of Crunch is more useful than a freak crit. Toxic is there to murder any walls (Tank Pokemon). Toxic does more damage overtime. In some cases, you can put Toxic (and Abomasnow Leach Seed) on a tank, and just ignore them. My Crawdaunt doesn’t have Adaptability, so i am indecisive if I should replace him. I need a Water type to counter any fire threats to Abomasnow, but Crawdaunt still does good damage without his Hidden Ability. The move I use the most on him is Superpower because there seems to be a lot of threats that need a fighting move used on them.

Abomasnow

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He is essentially my main sweeper.

Abomasnowite

Relaxed

Max HP and Sp Def. Rest in Def.

Leach Seed. Blizzard. Wood Hammer/Grass Knot. Protect.

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I prefer Wood Hammer over Grass Knot because it lets Abomasnow act as either an Attack Sweeper or a Special Attack Sweeper. I have had no problems with KO’ing victims that would take 2x from Wood Hammer. It lets you be flexible with who gets sent out. It lets you navigate around Barriers put up by the enemy. Leach Seed is used to drain Tanks and other durable Pokemon. If you feel confident you won’t take heavy damage, put a Leach Seed up on the most tanky enemy Pokemon. Blizzard gets 100% Accuracy in Hail. Hits both enemy Pokemon. Has a small chance to Freeze. I don’t rely on the Freeze, but it helps. Hitting two targets increases the chance of a Freeze happening, if the enemy doesn’t faint.

I often start with Reuniclus and Abomasnow. Reuniclus immediately uses Trick Room. Abomasnow always uses Protect. I have tried opening with aggression with Abomasnow, but it’s always ended badly. Abomasnow either gets a status condition or takes heavy damage (or even KO’d). Always worth using Protect.

I also don’ start with a Mega Evolution. Why? Because if Abomasnow is using Protect, he doesn’t need to Mega Evolve. Also, the enemy might use a Weather move first turn. Therefore, next turn when you start the aggression you Mega Evolve. You Mega Evolve then to reapply Hail/Snow Warning, to beef up your Damage and also your Defences. From then on, you are a wrecking ball. Be smart about when you use Protect. The combo of just Reuniclus and Abomasnow brings so much early damage. I’ve realised the job of those two is to sweep as much as possible at the start, to ensure the rest of the Pokemon can finish. It’s helpful if Reuniclus stays alive, so you can reapply Trick Room. It’s rare when it’s wise to switch Reuniclus out.

Pokemon

7 Dec

I bought Pokemon Y when it got released and I loved it. I have enjoyed playing the main-series Pokemon games since I was given Pokemon Blue for Christmas in 1999. The side ‘distraction’ games were fine, but it was Pokemon Main Series that I stuck to.

The Pokemon Colosseum and XD games were fun. But were crippled by the console format. It’s tough having to share a TV with the family. It was a game that was difficult to pick up and put down.

Pinball was pinball.

And Conquest was… interesting. Fun gameplay, but at the end of the campaign, everything reset. The only thing that changed were Pokemon who evolved. It meant within a campaign you wanted to evolve an amount of Pokemon to feel like you hadn’t wasted your time. What made Pokemon Main Game series good was that anything you did felt productive. Even getting 1 exp.

Mystery Dungeon was fun, but I can’t remember it. I also recall being annoyed that I couldn’t evolve any of my team in till finishing the main story.

But lets talk about the main series of games.

Pokemon Y (and X) have been the first Pokemon game I have really-really enjoyed since Emerald/Ruby/Sapphire. Why? Aesthetics and general good gameplay. Diamond/Pearl/Platinum had a weird aesthetic. Sprites on a 2.5D world. It looked weird. It looked fuzzy. You went from the crisp Emerald to the murky Diamond. B/W/B2/W2 didn’t improve it much. It felt like they used the same engine, but they tried to cram in more detail that looked fuzzy. ERS pushed 2D sprites as far as it could go, and it looked vibrant and pretty. At the end of the day, Pokemon to me is a fantasy I yearn for, so anything that reminds me that it’s just a game ruins my enjoyment. The reminder is moving about in the DPPlBWB2W2 world and seeing the 2.5D view shift.

In Pokemon XY, they have gone through the darkness of 2.5D and emerged in the world of crisper 3D. It’s not perfect. The characters’ heads are stuck onto their bodies by a cylinder, but I don’t spend all the time staring at their necks.

What I also love about Pokemon YX is how assessable battling is with other trainers. Before you relied on a link cable (and people wanting to interact with you) and living in a city/town. And then, you relied on poaching player trainer numbers. Now you can queue up for a battle with [b]anyone[/b] who also queued up (like with a lot of matchmaking in other multiplayer competitive games). Because I am now older, I find the contained Pokemon game as lonely experience. I want to share it with others. Therefore I enjoy battling others because I get to bring the pain. As a result I have taken an interest in ‘Competitive Battling’.

I don’t aim to compete in any tournaments, but I like to do my hobbies to the best of my ability. I enjoy knowing fully what I am doing. If I just battled randomers with 6 Pokemon built however I wanted (without any knowledge of competitive battling), I would probably lose and not know why. I would get angry at “cheap” Pokemon tactics or get angry at people “who take it seriously”. The best way to avoid those problems is to take it more seriously myself.

Armed with the not entirely reliable knowledge from http://www.smogon.com and the [b]very[/b] reliable (if sometimes very optimistic) Verlisify (http://www.youtube.com/user/Verlisify/videos) I have been training some Pokemon or half-teams that function efficiently. I think optimism with regard to Pokemon’s competitive power is good. It encourages a more diverse Pokemon use amongst all players. It would be boring if everyone used the “Uber” tier Pokemon. It’s encouraging that the vast majority of final-evolution Pokemon have potential power (be it a sweeper who needs support, or a good support Pokemon in doubles).

I’ve been using their information to train great Pokemon which I can use in the future, but also to understand the thinking and theory behind Competitive Strategies. After two months of reading and listening, I have composed a team of 6 Pokemon (I sincerely like the aesthetics of) that I believe will be viable. I plan to post the team in a future post, and then do a blogpost whenever I tweak it/any interesting developments. I’m doing it for myself (as a reference of the evolution of this team), but also to share it if the team ends up working very well. I do have some doubts with my initial draft, but I need to construct the team first before I know if my worries are justified or not. I am currently trying a Wonder Trade Playthrough of Pokemon X, but I will start to build the team after a X break (I don’t need to finish X in till Pokebank).

How to: Not Play #1

27 Oct

This is going to be a series of small articles that will basically tell you how not to play HoN/DotA (and usually LoL).

These are based of observations of things that have happened in games I’ve played.

  1. Do not avoid having a hero in your team that can initiate. You don’t need one to actually win. But it will certainly make things easier if you reach late-game and mid-game ganks.
  2. Do not creep pull with a camp that hasn’t been stacked. It will cause more harm than good. Chances are, that the creep wave will push right up into your tower’s range. The tower will push the lane back. You will also have 1.5 of your wave fighting a 1 wave from the enemy. Your creeps will continue the push. Also, towers make it very hard to carries to last hit.
  3. Do not let yourself get cut off by the enemy. This happens all throughout the game. But the time where it can catch you out is during the lane phase. You might be harassing the enemy, and then your creeps get wiped-out and the enemy creeps charge forwards. You hide in the jungle, but the lane pushes past your lane’s entrance to the jungle. This results in you emerging behind the enemy creeps in a vulnerable position. You will probably die if the enemy has a control-ability.
  4. Do not compete for last hits with an allied carry. If you’re a carry, go somewhere else to farm. If you’re not a carry, stop last hitting or go somewhere else.
  5. Don’t auto attack the creeps during the lane phase. It pushes the lane more than it needs to. If you’re babysitting it makes it very hard for your carry to actually last it. Stop it.
  6. Do not beg for wards in less you have been warding yourself. It’s just ironic and it annoys people.
  7. Never rage at your team. Try to find a constructive and clear way of saying what you mean to say. Being angry achieves nothing and might even be damaging to your chances to win the game.
  8. Do not try to carry as a Support Hero. Carrying as a none-carry happens by accident, not by purpose. If you’re solo laning mid/side lane, you will still need to support after the lane phase ends. Just because you’re mid/side lane doesn’t make you a carry. Likewise how mid Pebbles/Pudge aren’t carries. They just snowball from ganks if they ever end up carrying.
  9. Do not use the word “noob”. You’ll just look like a noob.
  10. Do not buy two couriers. Check the text log at the start of the game to make sure it doesn’t happen. It’s just a waste of gold. A team can survive with one flying courier happily.
  11. Do not ignore the minimap. Just because you do not have wards, it doesn’t mean you’re entirely blind. You still have some (limited) vision of what’s going on. Use deduction and psychology to calculate where the enemy might be. The more games you play, the better understanding of what enemy movements might be.

I hope you find these points useful.

And yes, this is me venting. But at least I have turned my anger into something constructive (see point #7).

Try to not do something that will end up on this list in the future.

How to: Support on the lane.

19 Oct

I have stopped playing Heroes of Newerth. I stopped playing because of a combination of things; my friends stopped playing and decided to play DotA2 instead (even though it had “lame delay and turning” – people are funny), S2 Game released a skin (purchased only through currency bought with real money) that very closely resembled a World of Warcraft’s Sea Giant, and the general attitude of the playerbase on the forums.

As a result I now play DotA2 (after a long hiatus away from DotA-clones playing League of Legends).

I have decided to start talking about MOBAs again. Before it was HoN-specific, now it’s going to be general MOBA philosophy.

About Me

I have played MOBAs for a while. I am not in a team. I am not the best player in X category. I am a decent/average player. What I am is someone who enjoys reading forums. I like researching other people’s guides. I like observing and reflecting. As a result the knowledge I do have comes from careful consideration of everything that’s been told to me and my own personal experiences. I know my weaknesses and shortcomings, and I will be honest about them. I will not give false information. As a result, my first guide will be about something I am very comfortable with. How to Lane as a Support during The Early Game of a MOBA (DotA2/DotA/HoN). My guides will be based off DotA and HoN knowledge. I will be writing with consideration of random-public-matchmaking setups.

What hero to pick to support?

There is a common misconception that if a hero is an Intellect hero, they are instantly a support. That isn’t necessarily true. As the statement goes “Any hero can (potentially) carry”, same can be said for supporting. Just some heroes are more effective at supporting than others.

The best summary of a support hero is “The hero on the team that requires the least amount of farm to be effective”. A hero that has a lot of passives and very little “activated” damage (damage spells) is never really a support. As that hero needs +damage items to become more useful.

Lets do a list of attributes that make a hero less suitable to support. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t support. Just the more of these your hero has, the less suitable you are to support. Some points have bigger weights than others

1) As stated above, a hero that is more auto-attack reliant compared to others. Often with passives or none/low damaging abilities Examples (Furion, Moonqueen, Phantom Assassin, Sandwraith etc. (Having an auto-attack effect doesn’t excuse you from supporting. Venomancer/Slither, Pyromancer, Jakiro etc…’s on-attack affect makes them excellent harassers on the lane)

2) Casted abilities with a low cooldown/channeled damage pulses. Heroes like Torturer, Queen of Pain/Wretched Hag, Soul Reaper/Necrolyte are examples. The longer they stay alive, the more damage they deal. The fact they deal damage frequently means that they’ll cast more times in a team fight than say a hero with a 12 second cooldown ability.

3) Good prime stat gain. Every time your hero levels up, their stats increase. Some heroes have a higher stat increase per level than others. Your prime stat (the stat type of your hero) will increase your auto attack damage. High auto-attack damage = Higher auto-attack carrying (auto attack damage scales much better than activated abilities).

4) Good “attack animation”. This basically makes it easier to last hit and get farm on the lane. The hero with the “best” animation has an advantage with last hitting for gold or for denying.

Now this is a list of factors that have little affect on if you’re suitable to support:

1) Being melee or ranged. The range of your auto attacks is balanced based off the range of your abilities or end-game auto attack strength. If you’re melee, either you have a lot of ranged abilities/a single powerful ranged ability (Abaddon/Accursed, Ogre Magi/Blacksmith, Behemoth/Earthshaker etc…) or have very high end-game carry presence (Sandwraith/Spectre, Antimage/Magebane etc…)

2) Having the ability to heal an amount. Healing is a supportive aspect to a hero. But so is slowing, stunning, buffing, debuffing etc… Look at the hero as a whole before putting them in a box. Compare Necrolyte/Soul Reaper with Demented Shaman/Dazzle. Both have AoE Heals which also damage. The difference is that Dazzle has an ability that snares a single target with an occasional stun, with an ability to prevent a death on an ally and an AoE Armour buff for allies and debuff for enemies. Necrolyte has a passive that gives him regen when he kills something, an AoE ticking damage aura, and an Ultimate that deals more damage the fewer hp the target has (a killing finisher). Dazzle is designed to be a pusher who is equally offensive and defensive with his supportive move set. Necrolyte is a pusher that is designed to kill and stay alive. Necrolyte’s healing aspect is more suited for healing his creep wave or to supply a bit of team-support in fights.

3) Hero stat type. Supports can be Strength, Agility or Intellect. The only thing that this affects is possibly the type of items built to support, skill set and playstyle. Int supports often are casting focused, Agility debuff/buff offensive focused, and strength is durability focused. Likewise you have Strength, Agility and Int supports, you have Strength, Agility and Int carries and gankers.

Starting Items

Courier, Mana Pot, Health Pot (for rapid healing) and Tangos/Runs of Blight. Fill the rest of your slots with Minor Totems/Twigs for the stats.

If you want to play a more auto-attacky harassment playstyle, focus more on stat items and less on consumables.

I prefer the first choice because it gives me better sustain on the lane. It lets me cast more and survive skirmishes (running out of sight/range and chugging a health pot is a life-saver). If you have healing spells, you don’t want to rely too much on them for sustain. Their effective healing is not good at low ranks. Also, they tend to be more effective mid-fight. They either have an offensive aspect to them, or they bait your enemy to be more reckless.

Which lane?

Supports often go in two lanes (rarely do they go on the mid lane. They can win mid, but you have to choose the right support hero to capitalise on the gold and exp advantage).

The two lanes are: Short and Long.

Long lane is your lane that goes along your jungle. It is the safest lane to be on due to access points.

Short lane is the lane on the otherside. It passes your ancients. It is a dangerous lane because it is very exposed to your enemy’s jungle, and the river.

Usually the long lane is the defensive farm lane. The Short lane is the aggressive ganking lane or much more defensive lane.

How to Short Lane

Keep a ward giving sight of the rune. If you can, get the ward to show more information by choosing a ledge carefully.

Use a ward to block the enemy’s “pull camp”. It’s the enemy jungle’s creep camp closest to their tower which can be aggroed onto the lane. The jungle creeps will kill off the enemy’s creepwave giving you less potential exp and gold. It also gives them the chance to attack a jungle camp without worrying about aggro. It also pulls the creepwave tug-of-war closer to their tower. Therefore it is important that you keep the camp from spawning with a ward. The camp first spawns at 0:30 and then at every x:00. If you miss the first spawning still ward it. It will prevent them from stacking (I will cover this later on the Long Lane). It’s best if you place that ward so it gives you more vision (vision of the enemy’s jungle entrance or of the enemy’s lane behind their tower).

Your aim on this lane is to kill the enemy or severely affect their ability to get farm. You will often be against the enemy’s carry. Do your best to ‘lock the carry down’. Also don’t die. Through out any MOBA avoid dying. Gives the enemy gold and exp and sends you out of action for a period of time. Time that could be spent helping allies, getting exp, getting gold, stuff etc.

Be aware of the enemy mid trying to gank you. They can come from the enemy jungle or river. Be aware of enemies from your long lane coming to gank you. If you annoy enemies enough on your short lane, you may cause enemy heroes to come as reinforcements. This is good as it means your team mates on the other lanes are now having an easier time/able to push.

How to Long Lane

Ward the rune spot, whilst giving your good defensive vision.

Before 0:30, check that they enemy aren’t themselves trying to ward-block your camp.

Now for talking about the pull camp. As mentioned for the Short Lane, pulling a jungle camp into your lane to aggro your creep is a good thing. It denies the enemy exp, gold and pull the lane towards your tower (where it’s more defensive and safer). For the best effect of this trick, you need to stack the camp at least once. Stacking is when you cause the camp to respawn whilst the original camp is still alive. This “doubles” the creeps in the camp. Double jungle creeps mean more effective creep-pulling. A double or triple stack camp can kill and entire wave.

So how do you stack?

Aggro the jungle camp at 0:55 and run away, kiting them. As long as nothing blocks the camp (a creep of any faction, corpse, device, ward), the camp will spawn again. Let the original aggrod mobs run back to the camp, and you now have a “double stack”. You can do this again in till you have a “triple stack”. Even if you don’t use this camp to pull, it’s still a good practise to do. If a carry has an ability to kill many targets at once, they’ll be able to generate a lot more gold and exp by killing a triple stack as opposed to a single stack in effectively the same time. Some heroes like Axe/Legionnaire benefit by being attack by more targets, so will clear a camp much faster.

So how do you pull?

This relies on judgement. When you creep wave is effectively diagonal from the camp, you aggro the jungle camp into your lane. Being ranged is more forgiving as you can aggro the camp at ranged (a melee must waddle up to it and then run. Any slight delay as a melee could mess it up). Your creep wave will start attacking the jungle creeps. The Jungle creeps will “reset their leash” and return back to their camp, taking your creep wave with you. Enjoy free last hits/denying.

There are draw backs. Your lane is now missing a creep wave. This does pull back the lane, to your favour. But this does risk the enemy creeps fighting too close to the tower [this happens when you creep pull with a single (not) stack.] The tower has undone your work and pushes the lane away from it. Or one has to take the enemy creeps back towards your base in till it meets your next creep wave. This potentially leaves the tower vulnerable from another enemy wave. The enemy could also respond to what’s happened and sneak round to attempt a gank behind your tower. This is possible if one of the enemy heroes has a stun ability. So use your judgement.

Judge when to pull (comes with practise. If you still don’t get it, try asking your team)

Judge if you should pull

Judge if you should pull with 2 stacked camp.

I generally pull if the lane’s creeps are fighting a distance away from the tower.

A hidden advantage of doing this is that you spend time off the lane. This is initially bad as it means you’ll fall behind on exp… but…

a) The enemy doesn’t truly know where you are (in less they’ve warded), so don’t know if you’re going to initiate an attack or if you’re roaming elsewhere on the map.

b) Your partner gets the exp you would have got. Effectively giving your partner a level advantage at the expense of your own. Supports are quite self-sacrificing for their carries (DON’T DIE THOUGH).

Now, that’s the differences between the two lanes done, lets discuss about what you need to do on either lane.

DON’T LAST HIT THE ENEMY CREEPS - Let your lane partner get them instead. Your job is to keep your lane partner alive and in a position to score last hits on enemy creep. Last hitting gives the player gold. You’re the least item dependant hero on your team, it’s counter intuitive to “steal” them. You can last hit if you’re the only one on your lane, or if you know your partner won’t be able to get it.

Deny your own creeps - By holding “a” on your keyboard and attacking an allied unit that is below 50%, you’ll start attacking it. Why is this good? Because by you denying-last-hitting it, you prevent the enemy from last hitting it themselves. Also, any enemy heroes nearby get a reduced exp gain from a deny [ranged heroes get a bigger reduction than melee (balance reasons)]. Also, you’re subtly pulling the lane back to your tower.

Keep your partner alive - Don’t give your enemy free exp/gold from a hero kill. If your partner is able to stay on the lane for longer, they’ll get more exp and potentially more gold. It also builds trust which is very important for pub-play. It’s comforting knowing that a player you’ve just met, has your back. It lets you play with more confidence.

Harass - There are two methods of harassing on a lane. Auto-attack or casting. Auto-attacking is harassment by right clicking the enemy hero and attacking them. Casting harassment is using spell casts to harass. Sometimes the two come together if one of your casts has a stun/snare/slow to it. Melee supports often are heavily reliant on casting to harass since they can be up against enemy ranged heroes. Walking up to a ranged hero to melee-harass them is risky as it leaves you vulnerable and allows the ranged heroes a chance to harass you back. Be careful when auto-attack harassing because you will aggro the enemy’s creeps. When you attack an enemy hero with auto-attacking you will cause any nearby enemy creeps to attack you instead. This can be used as an advantage. When you aggro enemy creeps, you can ‘pull them’ towards your tower, subtly pulling the lane back.

Cast-Harassing (in depth)

I’ve decided to talk about this in its own sub-heading because it’s a broad topic. It’s more than “I cast to harass”. There are many variables and factors to consider.

1) Rank 2 is often the rank most heroes start to cast-harass. This is when your spell becomes more mana-efficient. Leaving it till rank 3 means you’re level 5 and it’s going to be too late. Rank 1 and you won’t do as much damage. The other advantage of waiting till rank 2, is that you will also have another ability (to follow up with if needed) or +2 stats (for a few supports). If using a specific hero guide, refer to that about when to start harassing with casts. Some heroes can cast harass at level 1 (Zeus/Thunderbringer as an example. Though they are generally mid heroes. All heroes have to consider their harassment ability. It’s not just supports who can and should harass).

2) Some cast-harassment heroes have awful attack ranged, and expensive casts. Therefore these heroes (Andromeda/Vengeful Spirit, Earthshaker/Behemoth etc.) are either played in a tri-lane (I have little experience of this playstyle), play with an aggressive lane partner (where they can have an easy time scoring kills) or roam. I have no experience of roaming during the laning phase, but it’s basically you’re the lane partner for all three lanes. It’s your job to cause ganks to happen and to kill.

3) A hero like Abaddon/Accursed can cast a damage shield on an ally creep. The shield will detonate when it absorbs all its damage and cause AoE damage. Dark Seer’s Ion has the same idea.

4) Exploit enemies with bad positioning. If an enemy is too close to a tower, out of the way in a vulnerable place, or about to aggro your own creeps then take this chance to leap. If your partner joins you, you will certainly get a kill or wound the enemy severely. If the enemy is trying to tower dive you, disabling them near the tower would give you an advantage. Dazzle/Demented  can heal their creeps when the enemy is next to them. Dem/Daz’s chain heal does damage in a small aoe around the target that gets heal. Given the chain heals up to 5 targets, that’s a lot of damage. This can really hurt a player who made a mistake.

5) If using AoE spells, hit as many enemy heroes as possible. You’ll get more for your mana if you can hit all the enemy heroes on your lane. Failing that, hit your key target.

6) Try to not push the lane through cast harassing. If you have AoE spells, try to hit as fewer enemy creeps as possible. This will cause the lane to be pushed.

7) If you have to hit enemy creeps to cast harras, try to last hit. Harassment on the lane phase is about making your harassment worthwhile. If you’re going to have to spend mana and push the lane, at least getting gold for your cast makes it worth it.

8) Use the shadows as much as you can. Hide out of line of sight and cast from the shadows. Enemy players are more likely to react to skill-shot abilities being cast if they see you. By casting from the shadows they have less of a warning. You may catch them by surprise. Very useful for target-area AoEs. For target direction it is also useful, but you can also exploit the direction enemy players are running in. Use the shadows for auto-attack harassment. This helps reduce the likelihood the enemy will be able to ‘”return” your harassment. Make sure you don’t get blocked off from your lane. Also keep an eye out for being flanked.

If the enemy lane is too dangerous to harass then don’t try. Play super defensively. No use feeding the enemies on the lane. You’ll just make the lane harder. Request help from your team. Double stun combos are often painful.

And then…

You hopefully have a carry with a decent farm. The best thing you can do is ensure that your partner has the best start in the game.

What you do next is… for a different guide. Either a guide I have yet written or someone else’s. You keep warding (at the appropriate place at the appropriate time), you keep your team alive, you keep your carry farming effectively, you do things. I hope my guide is helpful. I didn’t expect it to be so long, but apparently there’s a lot to know when playing a support early game. To play a support well, you need to understand all the factors that causes a win or a lose. I’m starting to waffle. I’ll stop typing :D

A tangent

12 Aug

You may have noticed that despite pledging months ago that this blog would be about mock guides about supporting, I haven’t actually posted any yet. Maybe the reason that I haven’t was because it was a lot of work. Thing is with mock guides, for the best effect they need to be true. They have to have a sort of distorted truth for maximum effect. I can’t just pull up a guide for Sandwraith and have it say “buy wards and an Astrolabe” and leave it like that. I have to think carefully. The guides have to function.

As a result I will write guides for Mid Wars. I’ve been playing a lot of Mid Wars since it was released so I am very experienced with heroes and builds. I won’t lie to you and guess for heroes I am not experienced with.

Bear in mind that the vast majority of heroes will build differently from their proper game builds because the primary form of farm is from hero kills. Also a lot of hard supports will be able to gain a lot of gold. This gives them to opportunity to push themselves into one of their lesser roles much harder. Reversely, some heroes who existed in the limbo of Support and Carry via nukes will find themselves sliding closer to support.

To get things started, I will produce a list of items that I strongly would not recommend, and then if I remember, list a set of items that might have been overlooked.

Items to try to avoid

Alchemist’s Bones. Mid Wars games end more swiftly than normal games. As a result the item won’t repay themselves back as quickly. You will rarely ever get any quiet farming time, so the niche of these gloves are virtually none-existent. I would only build them for heroes that have literally no way of gaining farm; Warbeast. Then again, why even play Warbeast in Midwars? You will also want to put your gold into an item that makes you: Tankier/Damagier/Usefulier.

Codex Level 2/3/4/5.Codex level 1 is fine for heroes that want a bit of extra burst, like Thunderbringer, Parasite, Fayde etc. Like normal games it’s not advised to level it up further. This would be at the cost of building for survivability, more consistent damage or more utility. Basically the more you rank up the codex, the less value for money it is.

Mock of Brilliance*. This has an * as it’s  not entirely un-advised. It’s a great pick up early game if you happen can afford it. It provides a scary amount of early game auto attack damage and a painful AOE magic aura for squishy enemies. Bear in mind if the enemy is stacking magic armour. Mock in some regards helps Sandwraith establish himself as not being useless. It is useful to interrupt Portal Keys. Build it under the same circumstances as a normal game, but be aware that you’re in mid wars now. The pace of game is different. It shouldn’t be made for the sake of pushing and farming.

Doombringer. If it’s a stalemate, and your team can’t be bothered to itemise to adapt, don’t make a Doombringer to make you think you can win. You’ll just die and give the enemy the Doombringer. Doombringers ruin Midwars. Doombringers are made by pricks who then throw the game because they were reckless and arrogant. Don’t be a prick. Don’t throw the game. Don’t build a Doombringer.

Nome’s Wisdom. In less you’re building it as part of a certain build, don’t build it. Its effect will be unnoticeable.

Puzzle Box. Great for revealing and does a lot of damage. Very long cool down though and given max ress timer is 15 seconds, 3/4 end game team fights you won’t have the item. There are better options.

Restoration Stone. Same argument as above, but it has a much much longer CD. If you believe that chaining two Vortexes as Tempest can let you win then make it. Otherwise it’s just another button to use.

Shrunken Head. This is the big one. All your life you have been taught to build a Shrunken head most occasions in normal games. Then suddenly in the context of Mid Wars I am telling you to not make it. Reason being, the effect is very nice. Supper nice. Unfortunately, it has a cooldown. A long cooldown. In normal games, you use it and genocide the enemy/get genocided. Then there’s a wait for 65 before the next major engagement begins. In the time it comes off CD (like the previous abilities that I disrespected due to cool downs). Sadly in Midwars, the ress timer means that fights happen more often especially in the late game. Meaning it’ll be on CD when you need it. Another problem is that generally the enemy team will have a superior magic/physical stun of some form. Even if they have heroes without them, eventually one of them will build a Savage Mace or Brutaliser. So if you were going to use it to pull off your ult without worry, you’d still have to worry. It’s best practise to have perfect positioning.

Now for the list of items to Consider

Barbed Armour. If you’re not a carry, you will be building tanky. You will be very likely against enemy carries with low health. Pop Barbed Armour when they attack you and you will punish them. Either they will hurt themselves a lot or refuse to attack you so much.

Void Talisman. Is a mid game option. Late game you’re better off going pure damage sponge for the tank-style as there will be some sort of magic damage flinging around.

Anti-Stealth Items. There will be some enemy trying to be smart and Build a Shroud or Genjuro.

Gravelocket/Sacrificial Stone. The charge stays permanently even if you die.

Brutaliser. You will be against someone trying to carry. Make their job harder by building this. I’d build it when there’s a 0.75 attack speed delay (including the Attack Speed form the Agility bit) and you’re melee. This means you will definitely stun them for 1 second every 3 seconds. There’s a cooldown of 2 seconds.

Tablet of Command/Windspirit. Utility items that scale. A disable or positioning manipulation will always be effective regardless of damage and defence. Barrier Idol and Astrolabe do go obsolete quickly for example as it’s a static damage absorb and heal.

Insanitarius. Since a lot of traditionally none-Carry heroes, especially Strength have to option to push for a more carry build (after a few of their traditional items), Insaniterious becomes an option. For an example. Take Behemoth. Insanitarius+Runed Axe+Rift Shards+Enrage = A horrific amount of damage. I’m not saying that’s the build you should go as Behemoth. But it is potentially painful.

Stay tuned for guides and my philosophies.

Stay Merry!

Support Wars

27 May

As of over a fortnight ago, S2 unleashed an official Mid Wars map to the world. All the joys of constant suicides and snarky Flint Beastwood players in a format that awards pitiful amount of silver coins if you win and not much less if you lose. From a Silver coin collection point of view, you may as well throw the game to make your team lose quicker. You can do this as these games are unmonitored so… have fun being a dick.

Hopefully this will be my most sincere guide to date. But feel free to bet how long it takes me to lie. I mean, be sarcastic.

Midwars supporting is different from normal supporting. Here, all heroes have the potential to have epic farm. There is no point in baby sitting. No creep camps to stack, and generally not being anyone’s bitch. It’s one giant team-fight with a lot of ‘Playing Chicken’ in the start. It’s all about teamwork and shizzle. Use your abilities to prevent your team from dying (denying the enemies gold and exp). The majority of exp and gold comes from the constant massacre of heroes, so if you can kill the enemy, and keep your team alive, you have a great chance at winning. This might sound obvious, but tell that to my team mates.

 

There are some use of wards in this mode.

  • Common ward site is giving vision of the only rune spot. This lets you see immediately what rune it is and warns you if the enemy is going for the rune as well.
  • If the enemy has traditional jungling hero that can take the Orange camps at level 1, then use a ward to keep this camp perma-blocked. The jungling hero will gain exp and gold advantage if they’re able to kill this camp every x:00 on the clock. Also it means there are only 4 heroes mid to share the creep experience. This means your team will have a 20% experience advantage over the enemy. Action in the start is small, often trading spammy AoE spells soyou can afford leaving your team a man down. Often the jungling hero is useless at low levels anyway, hence why they’re often jungling in proper games.
  • Ward the enemy TP exit area thing. Lets you gank freshly spawned enemies. Useful for sitting down on a dangerous enemy (like Flint). Also provides defensive vision for pushing and usual ward yadderness.
  • Ward around the Transmutenstein area. This might not be worth it. Only advantage is defence against sneaky enemies trying to flank you whilst you pay attention to mid. It lets you see if the enemy is doing it, the enemy would gain Tokens of Sight (true sight AoE on the carrier) and all runes  for 1 person (DD, Haste,Illution, Regen, Invis(?)). You can ‘deny’ yourself here if you are low healthed and it’s quicker to die to a neutral than run back. It means the enemy won’t gain gold/exp for your death. Sight will let you see a low hp enemy go here and perhaps you can murder them.

 

Damage in Midwars is often higher than normal games due to people’s builds and the intensity of gold generation. Defensive support items like Astrolabe/Barrier Idol are situational for being built. They are very strong early game and may even let you tip the balance to win, but chances are you will replace them near the end. 400 magic absorption is great at low level and farm. It’s not great when you have a MQ chain bouncing for 1k first target. Magic damage is the least of your worries then.

This is why Active Support items like:

  • Windspirit
  • Tablet of Command
  • Hellflower/Sheepstick

are awesome. They are support items whose effects scale. Windspirit is immunity to all damage and a disable. Tablet is useful for control of positioning. Hellflower/Sheepstick controls. Hellflower increases damage taken whilst Sheepstick disarms.

 

 

Not everyone in Mid Wars will get farm. Melee heroes instantly have the disadvantage as they have a smaller early game presence than ranged heroes. If they risk grabbing the last hit on a creep they may find themselves dead due to being ‘out of place’ and the enemy took the opportunity. Likewise with fights. You can risk engaging to get the killing blow on a hero, but chances are you’ll be instantly focused on. Melee heroes must rely on the efficiency of their ranged allies or the stupidity of their enemies. Once they do get farm, they will rip heroes apart. But will they ever get there? My thoughts are with you Sandwraith.

In a strange sense the Ranged capable heroes are the baby sitters of the melee exclusive heroes.

If a melee hero can never get the farm to be useful (Sandwraith), they can build supporty-items to be of some use. Ironically, the guides I do plan to create at some point which were meant to be sarcastic, can be applicable to Mid Wars. Quite ironic ey?

PS Make an Energizer.

Ward of Wardcraft

25 Mar

Before I start inventing these incredibly informative and factually correct hard core support guides, I need to first explain a few mechanics of supporting. There is no use being a support if you don’t know what exactly you’re doing. One thing which some supports choose to do sometimes, is ward.

Warding is a strange activity which some players seem to want to happen. There something to do with seeing at which end of the map a ‘rune’ appears. Apparently instantly knowing where it is (you only seem to need sight of one spot and use deduction to know shockingly) saves a lot of time usually for the Mid hero. Maintaining ‘control’ (blatant stealing) of the runes is a good way to stop dying. A lot of mess happens when a hero has access to double auto attack damage, maximum movement speed (which cannot be reduced), full heal  and mana restore and some annoying illusions. Illusions are the worst rune. They give you illusions of your character which can be used to scout with, be temporary wards offering sigh or be used to help harass/deny/last hit/kill. See? Utter wank. So yes, make sure your team have the runes, otherwise you’ll be complaining at mid for no ganks or at your support for not warding.

Supports shouldn’t on any account ward. It’s 100g for an item that offers little advantage. Further more, it can be destroyed if you’re able to reveal its location by various means (Wards of rev. Bound eye. Scout’s Eye ability). So that’s 100g you could invest towards more supportive items that helps keep your team alive or that Codex to ensure the enemy team doesn’t stay alive.

If you’re stupid enough to buy wards, bare in mind that the place ‘you should place them’ changes through out the game. What towers are standing dictates where to place your non-wards. Towers like wards offer useless vision of the surrounding area on the mini map. And unlike normal wards which you shouldn’t buy, they are very angry. The enemy tends to avoid these psychotic ‘wards’ in till time has passed that they creed they must be obliterated. Wards give stupid vision of behind the tower as a safety precaution so you get early warning of the enemy coming to defend. Conversely, they can be used defensively based on your towers to see if someone’s coming to reap your soul as your  team farms all game in the jungle.

Sometimes general vision of the enemy’s ancient creeps or jungle isn’t useful. It means you can get some easy gold and experience as there are often stubborn players who enjoy farming in the murky darkness of lack-of-map-vision. On the flip side, defensive wards for your team in similar places are nice, though they tend to give vision of passage ways rather than actual creep camps (having more vision of your jungle’s entrances is significantly more useful than instantly knowing if a big tasty Alchemist’s Bones target has spawned.) Kongor wards are useful in the late game. Don’t for God’s sake plonk a ward on the river’s floor. There’s a ledge to the right which you can use for rune warding which offers sight of Kongor’s cave entrance and the ancient’s shelf. Basically, the more visual information you can obtain with a ward, the better the position. That’s if you’re gullible enough to ward.

If you are unsure if you’re meant to ward or not depends on your hero: I won’t get good in till late game:- Ward. The game will end by then anyway.

I can kill steal from people easily/The longer I survive, the more I can support my team:- Don’t ward. A squishy support will only feed the enemy’s support.

Sandwraith wards. Witchslayer doesn’t.

Easy.

If you are warding, it’s a good idea to buy all the wards physically available to you. You don’t want some random twit buying a ward and placing it in a stupid place. You want all the wards. ALL THE WARDS. It also helps you get silver coins which you otherwise wouldn’t have gotten playing Sandwraith in a 20min game.

(I have deliberately contradicted myself in this article many times)

The Blame Game

19 Mar

I’m having trouble deciding how to start my mock-guides so they won’t start for a while. However, today I got the inspiration of another preliminary post. It takes some of the ideas from my general guide and expands on them.

The topic this time, is The Blame Game.

It is well established that Heroes of Newerth is a team game. Each player has their own role to perform based on their hero choice. Each player must do their duties to the best of their ability to maximise their chances of winning. Sadly you have been mislead. This is just a clever rouse. Heroes of Newerth is infact a single player game. Just like a single player game it is never your fault when you lose.

To help you play Heroes of Newerth better, you need to learn who to blame. The sooner as a team you can pin the blame of an individual for your loss, the sooner you can be redeemed. You never did any mistakes didn’t you? I will give you a series of factors to consider when blaming someone by lane and then by game stage. Factors that are common I won’t repeat, much.

 

SIDE LANE (2 players)

It is mid’s fault for not ganking

It is mid’s fault for not getting runes

It is mid’s fault for not farming

It is S2′s fault for creating OP heroes

It is S2′s fault for not balancing OP/UP heroes.

It’s other lane’s fault for not calling SS (fast enough)

It is my lane partner’s fault for:

dying

not creep pulling

not harassing

not being aggressive enough with spells

being too aggressive with spells

pushing the lane

auto attacking creeps (this is applicable to the above)

not farming

not denying

 

Lane (Tri)

Not iniating/harrasing enough

Carry not farming enough

 

Lane (Solo side)

OP combo

Jungler not creep pulling

Jungler not counter warding the warded creep pull spot potatoes

Mid not ganking

Jungler not ganking

 

Mid

Side lanes feeding

No one wards the creep spots

Side lanes push too hard

Side lanes permanently OOM

Side lanes not ganking mid

Side lanes not denying rune control

Side lanes denying you rune control

 

Team Fight/Roamy Stage

Blame the player who is too busy farming to help in team fights

Blame the player who was taking part in team fights and not farming

Blame lack of wards

Blame the player who goes to ward when you’re team fighting

Blame the player who dies when warding

Blame the player who doesn’t initiate

Blame the player who keeps dying due to being focused. They’re such a noob!

Blame the player who keeps kill stealing off you. As a Pyromancer, you’re a harder carry than The Dark Lady.

Blame the lack of upgraded courier

Blame the players who didn’t help you solo push

Blame the players who didn’t help you kill Kongor

What are counter wards?

 

 

I hope you appreciated my conditions for blame. Knowing who to blame is the first step to being a proper Heroes of Newerth player.

As mid when ganking,  gank the hero with least carry potential. They tend to die quickly. As long as you get kills, it doesn’t matter if the enemy carry gets farm.

 

How to Play Heroes of Newerth

7 Feb

Before I start my series of support guides (traditional supports will get something different, don’t worry), I thought it might be a good idea  to introduce people to how to play Heroes of Newerth. I could write a few paragraphs describing it but I fear I might bore you. You’re here to learn how to get started playing, not be read the blurb at the back of the digital box or read a very boring game review. I’m sure your typical game review site will have a very bare description of the game and some uninformed opinions to match. Enjoy Googling.

Now, onto the guide:

You always want to play Match Making. Don’t bother with the Tutorial, it teaches you nothing except how easy it is to play as Pyromancer. Don’t bother playing No Stats to learn, the only thing you’ll learn is that players will leave a game if they can. Think of it as an easy way to realise that the human race are cowardly or are too self-righteous.

When you get into a game, always pick what hero you want to play first. Yes it’s a team game and ideally you’ll want a team composition that works, but you also have queued as solo and most likely everyone else is playing for themselves. Besides, players will cry if you play certain heroes with a bad Kill-Death ratio. So play lone wolf, don’t die. Take lots of kills. Everyone else is doing it. Just go with the flow. Once you’ve picked your hero, you’ll assume one of the following roles.

1) Carry – You are item dependant. You have very little activating damage abilities. You often have a passive that makes stat increases more effective, or you have a really good stat gain when leveling up. Your aim is to get as much farm as possible. The easiest way is to auto attack creeps in the lane phase. Most players will argue this is bad practise, I would disagree. You see, auto attacking increases the likely hood of landing a killing blow. If you keep hitting the enemy creep, it will eventually die. Remember, stay in enemy hero harassment range. This is the distance which the enemy can auto attack/cast on you. The more time they spend attacking you, the less time they’re getting last hits/denying. This means you’ll get a farm advantage. If you die at any point in the game, complain about lack of wards/support/team play.

2) Support/Babysitter - You’re not item dependant but you still need farm. For a start there’s a lot of support items that will make you a more effective support. AoE heal, AoE speed boost with unit walking, temporary invulnerability, crowd control etc… these are all support items that will make you a very good support. Ignore the cries of protests from your carry, he’s just being selfish. What he doesn’t realise is that longer his support survives, the longer the support can support for!

3) Ganker – You’re in between Support and carry for item dependencies. Some gankers are more item dependant and evolve into the semi-carry role. Semi-carries are heroes with more activating damage abilities than the carry and no-scaling passive. Gankers have abilities that can stun/slow/silence some sort of crowd control that will make a group gank be executed flawlessly. Gankers can overlap with support. Hard carries can even gank themselves when farmed enough. Gankers tend to go mid for the level advantage. The majority of gankers become early-mid game killing machines when they get their ultimate. If you’re mid don’t forget to complain about the lack of wards. If you’re roaming ganking, also don’t forget to complain about lack of wards if you see no victims or are too scared. You can lane as a ganker but this means you forsake the level advantage. You may devolve into simply support or ‘nukey thing’. Your main role as a ganker is to gank the enemy to halt their rate of farm and give your carry and advantage, and to complain about lack of wards, when it should be you warding most likely.

 

Don’t forget, when you kill someone, insult their skill in /all chat. They’ll appreciate the constructive feedback. If they kill you, blame your horrible lag or their amazing luck. If you win the game, claim victory was down all to you. You carried your team to victory and without you they would be rolling on the floor drowning in their own dribble singing “Oh Danny Boy”. If you lose however, it’s because your team fed/the enemy had OP heroes/the stars aligned and executed your World Tree.

 

Have fun playing HoN.

:)

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