Draft Roles, Section 1

My name is HenshinM and I am currently ranked Platinum in HL with a 61% winrate as of Season 3. As always, a mild disclaimer: If you’re looking for advice at the highest level of play I suggest checking out content from CavalierGuest, MFPallytime, Grubby, Srey, and McIntyre. But as promised, and long overdue, here is my short guide on hero draft roles and why you might not be playing the role that suits you best.

Warrior:
Perhaps one of the most misunderstood roles. (The award for most misunderstood goes to Specialist by a wide margin.) If you’re currently a Ranged Assassin, Melee Assassin or Support main and you find yourself constantly frustrated by your inability to control the flow of a fight you’re probably a Warrior main at heart. As of the current meta, (which will likely see a shakeup in January) the strongest hero’s for this role are Diablo, ETC, Johanna and arguably Muradin to a lesser extent. It seems like this role is generally avoided due to the stigma surrounding it from MMORPGs and like games where a lot of pressure is put on the tank with little glory. However, my experience has shown the role of Warrior boils down to three main concepts: Knowing when to engage and disengage, body blocking and protecting the back line. The most common mistake I see from a Warrior is chasing a low health enemy out of a fight while his backline suffers. Do not make the mistake of being the Warrior who is always looking forward and never looking back! Securing a kill is important and situationally acceptable but if your backline suffers you’ve failed your job.

Play Warrior if:
• You have good map awareness
• Good engagement instincts
• Good retreat instincts
• Big picture view of fight

Melee Assassin:
Warrior actually leads me into Melee Assassin because while as a general rule you should avoid chasing as a Warrior, you’re actually rewarded for doing so as a Melee Assassin. Some pros have said this is the most difficult role in the game to play simply because of the sheer amount of mechanical skill that is awarded for playing a Melee Assassin such as Thrall, Alarak, Illidan or Kerrigan to their utmost potential. This is difficult because the expectation is that you have mastered stutter stepping, positioning, knowing when to chase or let the target go, and you have a strong sense of who you can 1v1. As a Melee Assassin you will find you’re often the only answer to a strong split pusher such as Gazlowe, Zagara or Sylvanas. They will retreat when they see you because of your sustain, poke, and gank potential. However, the mistake you often see from a Melee Assassin is confusing themselves as a Warrior (Bruiser) and staying in a fight for too long. They don’t utilize their poke or sustain, they go all in and die. Best case scenario they get a 1 for 1 (which is situationally a benefit, but often a wasted opportunity. In general if you didn’t secure a kill on their healer your team is probably at a disadvantage because you no longer have a “kill secure” hero.) Ultimately that’s what your job boils down to. Applying team fight pressure and securing a kill. You often see this mistake made by a Ranged Assassin who overextends for a kill. They don’t have the tools to escape, they force the tank to drop everything to save them, and the fight tilts in the enemy team’s favor. Always look for opportunities as a Melee Assassin to secure a kill, chip the enemy team’s hp, and support the Warrior by off tanking if necessary.

Play Melee Assassin if:
• You have strong micro play
• You have good 1v1 instincts
• You have strong map awareness
• You have good positioning

 
Ranged Assassin:
On to a massive favorite, but widely misunderstood role. The reason being the Ranged Assassin could actually be separated into multiple sub roles. For the sake of simplicity, you have either “Chip Damage” dealers who are most comfortable from range and are not intended as kill securers (Kael’thas, Jaina (to a lesser extent) Chromie and Gul’dan) and “Chasers” (Lunara, Valla, Tychus (to a lesser extent) and Tracer) who are better suited towards securing a kill. In general, as the Ranged Assassin, you have to focus the most on your positioning because you will likely have the largest target on your back if you’re doing your job right. If you overextend for a kill and you get dived and you die, don’t blame the Warrior. It’s because you were too greedy. Unless you can safely kill your target, allow the Melee Assassin to chase down the kill and continue to put pressure on the enemy team by doing damage from range. This will often win you a fight because the enemy team is down an ally anyway since they had to back. Also, if you get in trouble, the mistake I often see made by Ranged Assassins is forcing their tank from the fight as they try to catch up to you to protect you from the Illidan you won’t escape. If you have no more options for CCing Illidan, as our example, run towards your team and hope they have the instinct to save you unless you can safely get behind your gate.

Play Ranged Assassin if:
• You can keep a cool head. (You will be focused)
• You have good positioning
• You can punish bad positioning

Alright guys, that’s it for now! My next guide Section 2 will focus on Support and Specialist and should be uploaded soon. As always, thanks for reading and I hope this guide proves helpful to you. Good luck in your Hero League climb. I’ll see you in the Nexus!

Josh Bothwell

I am a Heroes of the Storm article writer at Blizzplanet.com

I was the guy who asked about Zul’jin during the BlizzCon 2016 Heroes of the Storm Deep Dive panel Q&A.

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