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Game phases are the natural stages that occur as matches progress towards their finality. The major game phases are the early, mid, and late game phases. They dictate both individual Player and team-wide behaviors as Map Objectives scale in importance and as relative Hero power levels increase.
Game Phases[edit | edit source]
Early Game[edit | edit source]
The early game begins at the start of the match, and lasts until the Team reaches Level 10. Upon reaching that point heroes will unlock their Heroic Abilities, which are the most powerful abilities in the game.
The early game in Heroes of the Storm typically breaks down into two parts: the laning phase and initial battleground objectives. The laning phase offers opportunities for players to have small skirmishes in each lane, show off individual skill by outplaying opponents, and get in some early structure damage.
During this early part of the game, it is essential that your team makes maximum benefit of the XP sources available. The easiest and most accessible way to acquire XP during this time is to clear the waves of minions which advance across the lanes. In most cases, you'll want at least one ally covering each lane to soak up the most XP for the team as they can in the race to reach level 10 before your opponents. A lane should generally only be abandoned if a more beneficial opportunity to acquire XP presents itself.
Tips[edit | edit source]
- Some Heroes with excellent wave clear, such as Xul, can quickly take down a minion wave in one lane and travel to another to "double soak" XP alone. This is most effective on battlegrounds with minimal distance between lanes, such as Blackheart's Bay and Tomb of the Spider Queen.
- If the allied minions in your lane are pushing up to the enemy gate, consider briefly “rotating” to another lane to help allies set up a gank or assault a tower. Remember to rotate back to your lane as soon as you’ve finished assissting your teammates - you wouldn't want to miss out on too much XP!
- A missing enemy hero in a lane can be a double-edged sword. The longer that hero is absent, the more XP his team will miss out on, which can give your team a slight lead. On the other hand, that player may be helping to set up an ambush should you or an ally over-extend in lane. Play cautiously until the missing hero reappears on your minimap.
Mid-Game[edit | edit source]
As soon as level 10 has been achieved, the next phase of the game begins. This period is where you'll get one of the biggest power spikes during the match, objectives become much more effective, and team compositions can shine as heroic ability synergies are utilized.
After level 10, acquiring XP continues to be integral for unlocking new talents. In addition to killing minions, your team will gain XP along the way as you work together to expediently raze fortifications, capture Mercenary camps, take down opposing Heroes, and complete the Battleground Objectives. Acquiring XP in the mid-game is still important, but soaking in lanes can be neglected to some extent for big power plays. Depending upon which Battleground you're fighting on, different opportunities will present themselves as the battle progresses. Be attentive to which Battleground you’re fighting on, and be aware of Mercenary Camp and Objective timings.
Tips[edit | edit source]
- Take advantage of Heroes with global movement abilities, such as Dehaka, Brightwing, and Falstad, to soak lane XP while the enemies are gathering for an objective. These Heroes can show up just as a fight starts without needing to waste time traveling across the map.
- As the match progresses, look for opportunities to group up with your allies and pick off solo enemy Heroes. Doing so can give your team a player advantage heading into the next objective, or more freedom to roam the map and gain an XP lead.
Late Game[edit | edit source]
Upon reaching level 20, your team is provided with options for upgrading their Heroic abilities to make them even more impactful during team fights. Since level 20 brings your final power spike, the acquisition of XP will continue to be of less priority. Careful team fighting, acquiring objectives, and keeping lanes pushed will be the primary foci.
After level 20, it's time to start looking for ways to end the game. At this stage, many Battleground Objectives become quite powerful, and capitalizing on them can bring you victory. Your team should also be on the lookout for opportunities to take down individual heroes. Oftentimes, gaining a player advantage at this stage of the game will result in doom for your enemies.
Tips[edit | edit source]
- If your opponents reach level 20 first, it's critical to catch up before engaging in the next fight. Find ways to quickly earn XP in pursuit of that final talent, but do your best not to die in the process.
- If you reach level 20 first, try to capitalize on your talent advantage by grouping up and starting a fight before the other team can catch up.