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8.5

In-depth Valla guide - part 4, Battleground tips

Author: Dmytro Voloshyn
13-Sep-2015

Category: Guide

This is final part of In-depth Valla guide. This part will provide Battleground tips, which will be followed by the conclusions to the whole guide. If you are unfamiliar with previous parts, you can check them by the links that are situated after the contents and in the end of the article.

Image titleimage source: http://eu.battle.net/d3/en/media/artwork/?view=artwork-class-demonhunter05

Contents


Part 1

Introduction
Abilities and Talents Overview
General Pros and Cons
Hero role and aim in fight
Hungering Arrow Build


Part 2

Multishot Build


Part 3

Auto-Attack Build

Part 4
(Battleground tips and Conclusions)

General tips for any map

Dragon Shrine
Infernal Shrines

Cursed Hollow
Blackheart’s Bay
Haunted Mines
Garden of Terror
Sky Temple
Battlefields of Eternity
Tomb of the Spider Queen

General build tips
Conclusion(s)


Note:

This is fourth part of the guide. If you wish to read previous parts, follow these links:

Part 1 (General hero overview, Hungering Arrow Build)
http://www.keengamer.com/article/12013_in-depth-valla-guide 

Part 2 (Multishot Build)
http://www.keengamer.com/article/12026_in-depth-valla-guide-part-2-multishot-build1


Part 3, about Auto-Attack Build :
http://www.keengamer.com/article/12029_in-depth-valla-guide-part-3-auto-attack-build



General tips for any map

Image titleimage source: http://blizzard.gamespress.com/Diablo-III#?tab=artwork


Learn the objectives starting time. Start a mercenary camp just before the objective. The idea is to capture mercs 10-15 seconds, depending on the map size, before start of the objective. This way, enemy will be forced to choose between objective rotation and merc rotation. In both cases you will have some advantage. In first case, mercs will do some amount of siege damage. They can even destroy structure and bring XP advantage, if fight for the objective will be prolonged. In second case, you will have number advantage at the objective capture.

Same trick can be done with rotations. If you are able to secure a kill, or more, right before the objective start, the result will be a number advantage in fights for the objective. Setting up a trap, on the potential enemy path to the tribute, will definitely help in achieving that number advantage.

On big maps, with objectives that take time to capture ( “Cursed Hollow”, “Sky Temple”, “Garden of Terror”, “Blackheart’s Bay”, “Infernal Shrines”), heroes that can provide split-pushing or split XP soaking will be very efficient, for example, Abathur or Azmodan. They will allow you to build up XP advantage in race to level 10. Also, heroes with “global presence” can help in achieving same effect, for example Brightwing and Falstad.

In general, on maps with stationary objective capture heroes with zoning, or poking, abilities and Heroics will be very good.

Don’t overestimate the value of objective and underestimate the power of level 10 advantage. This is the mistake i see very often. Sometimes, when people with low morale are playing, it can cost a game. What I’m talking about is don’t go fight for objective when you are level 9 and your enemy is level 10, and there is no way you will get level 10 in next 5-10 seconds. Doing so will not only allow enemy to do full team wipe, but also will create huge XP gap between your team and the enemy team.

Lastly, don’t forget to destroy enemy well after the gates are destroyed. The absence of well will force enemy hero to use Hearthstone, or rotate to other lane, when he needs regeneration. Also, if you will have enough time, destroy walls, as they provide vision for the enemy.

Dragon Shire
(“You fools shall be ash!”)

Image titleimage source: http://blizzard.gamespress.com/Heroes-of-the-Storm#?tab=artwork


General map description

Strong rotations and heroes with good laning potential are two key factors for winning this map. Ideally, you want to have heroes that are good at both. But this won’t be the case in every game. So, you have to compensate the weak spots of your pick. If you have heroes that are good at ganking, but are weak at solo laning, than rotations will be the name of the game. On the other hand, if you lack heroes that are good for rotations, but have good laners, your main goal will be to win lanes and anticipate enemy rotations.

Tips

Ideally, you want to have one of your Assassins in the DK, if you are playing single tank comp, or Warrior with least amount of disables, if you have more than one Warrior. Unless no one else is available, don't capture Dragon with Support or Warrior hero.

Another map tip is based around actual usage of the Dragon. When attacking the towers, you want to position your Dragon in such way that it would be hit by only 1 tower. To do so, you need to be either in the top part of the lane, in front of upper wall, or in the bottom part of the lane, in front of bottom wall. Don’t stand in front of the gates! This way you will be hit by 2 towers, and will receive unnecessary damage.

Next tip comes from the previous one. In general, you want to receive as less unnecessary damage as you can. The more HP your Dragon has the more damage you can do. Same advice is implemented when you destroyed the wall and are sieging the Fort. Position yourself in such way that you won’t be hit by the tower that is standing next to the Fort. Also, it is best to have a situation when keep attacks someone else but the Dragon. The keep attacks slow the movement and attack speed, resulting in less damage done by the Knight.

Also, avoid pushing Keep at the top lane, unless you have number advantage. The bridge space there is very narrow, and it is very easy for enemy to hit your team with multiple spells and Heroics.

Map control is vital part of Hots gameplay. On smaller maps like Dragon Shire it is even more important. You need to know, or understand, where enemy is. Rotations have very strong effect on this map. You don’t want to be ganked, especially on the solo lane, as it will result in number advantage, and potential Shrine capture.

Poking and zoning heroes will be very good at denying enemy from taking the DK, and in general at mid fights over the Knight. Same can be said about the situation when you are capturing the Dragon. Good map awareness and proper positioning is very important in those fights. The central area, near Dragon Knight, is exposed to 3 bushes, which are very good for aggressive rotations and kills against unaware enemies.

Infernal Shrines
(“Is this map even balanced?”)

Image titleimage source: http://blizzard.gamespress.com/Heroes-of-the-Storm#?tab=artwork


General map description

Heroes with good AOE spells, or aggressive playstyle, are very good in this map. The AOE spells will allow to clear objective creeps much easier. On the other hand, aggressive heroes will be good at rotations, and especially good at pushing with Punisher. The Punishers are aimed at hero killing. So, landing a lockdown on the enemy that happened to be in boss AOE, or following the boss initiations, will likely result in kills and destroyed fort.

Tips

It is very useful to have Kerrigan in your team. Starting with 2nd Shrine, she is able to do Shrines at her own, because of the “Clean Kill” talent. Also, Kerrigan fits very well into aggressive playstyle of this map, as she will be able to turn heroes, locked down by the boss, in easy kills.

Usually, it is very efficient to have tri-lane at bottom, or rotate to bottom. The camps on this map are mirrored, except the one that is near bottom lane. So, you would want to secure that bottom camp for your team.

Apart from Kerrigan, heroes that can provide additional XP soaking will be very efficient. The battles for the Shrine take some time and the map is big. So, having Abathur soak XP on the other part of the map, or Azmodan pushing with his trait, will result in additional XP and advantage in race to level 10.

Lastly, Sylvanas will be very good at this map, as she will allow squeezing the maximum out of pushing potential from your Punisher.

Cursed Hollow
(“No comeback mechanics, 6.5\10”)

Image titleimage source: http://blizzard.gamespress.com/Heroes-of-the-Storm#?tab=artwork


General map description

“Cursed Hollow” is considered to be the most balanced map of the game. The map has mirrored mercenary camps and bosses. This and the way the objective works on this map, creates huge comeback potential. And it is very important to keep it in mind, as it means not only that you can comeback from bad spot, but also your enemy can do. There are many strategies that can be executed on this map. The map is good for split-pushing, rotations, good laning heroes and etc.

Tips

Heroes that have long-ranged spells, or low cooldown AOE spells, are very good at fights for tributes. They will be able to cancel enemy channeling frequently and with ease, for example, Malfurion(“Moonfire”[W]), Tassadar(“Psionic Storm”[W]), Uther(“Holy Radiance”[W]) and so on.

The fights at Tributes take some time, as well as rotations to the Tributes. This makes heroes that can provide split XP soaking, or split pushing, very strong. With their help you will be able to secure XP lead in the race to level 10. Apart from already mentioned Abathur and Azmodan, you can also have in your team Vikings or Brightwing. These two heroes will be good at split soaking, and come to tribute fight when needed.

Taking boss can be tricky. It is best to do it when you know where enemy is, and also have number advantage, so boss capturing won’t turn into a “throw pit”. Otherwise, doing boss is very risky, as your positioning will be exposed to the enemy, and you might get few “unlucky roots”.

Heroes with poking abilities, or zoning abilities, or position based ultimates will be very strong on tribute fights, and in general. Same can be said about AOE ultimates and wombo-combos. This map is very good for wombo-combos due to insane amount of narrow spaces. Also, they are very effective at boss fights.

Blackheart’s Bay
(“Good, for a bunch of jelly land-lovers!”)

Image titleimage source: http://blizzard.gamespress.com/Heroes-of-the-Storm#?tab=artwork


General map description

This map is kind of PVE (player versus environment) based. If you are good at killing camps, you will have more coins. Next step to victory will be covering the turn in point, or having really good team fight potential. So, heroes that can provide either good fights or are good at taking camps will be very efficient on this map. Also, size of the map is huge. This means that split-pushing heroes will be good too.

Tips

Having one god solo laner at bottom, and 4 decent fight-oriented heroes at top\mid, is one of the best strategies on this map. Solo laner will be able to secure bottom chest, while four heroes will be securing top chest.

Keep in mind enemy rotations and positioning. The ganks towards enemy heroes, which are doing camps, is very strong strategy on this map. Same can be said about your team rotations to make coins. It is very vital to be able to assist your allies if they are ganked while doing camps.

Heroes with “global presence” can do wonders on this map. Outnumbered enemy heroes will be not only the source of additional XP, but also the source of additional coins and potentially turn-ins.

Lastly, it is better to take boss when you have number advantage, or enemy is at the bottom part of the map and won’t have enough time to intervene.

Haunted Mines
(“Snowbally Mines”)


Image titleimage source: http://blizzard.gamespress.com/Heroes-of-the-Storm#?tab=artwork


General map description

“Mines” is one of the first maps made by the developers. It has “special” design, and despite some reworks during Alpha is still very snowbally map. The map is played in 4-1 format, where 4 heroes go on the lane that will be pushed by your golem. Usually, setups with good team fighting potential, in narrow spaces, or pushing setups are very strong.

Tips

Tassadar and Sylvanas are godlike tier on this map. With talents such as “Mule” and “Reinforce Structure”, Tass can negate enemy golem completely, while Sylvanas will drastically reduce damage taken by your golem, as all the enemy structures will be offline. All this is true if you have decent teammates.

If enemy team has Sylvanas, you have to send additional heroes versus her, or you risk losing your wall, or even Fort, before first Mines will open.

40-60 is optimal number of skulls. There is no need to suicide for more. Especially when Mines are open for the first time, as skulls above 60 won’t add any damage or HP to your Golem.
Cap “easy” mercenaries when enemy Golem has crossed his gates. This way, your Siege camp will stay behind the gates, out of reach of enemy heroes, while still attacking the Golem.

Don’t overestimate “Hard camp” potential. It is relatively weak, first 5 mins of the game, and won’t do much. So, if you have the ability to secure XP lead in race to 10, by pushing lane and killing towers, better do it than waste time for Bruiser camp.

Garden of Terror
(“You telling me average game in Heroes lasts for 15-20 minutes, eh?”)

Image titleimage source: http://blizzard.gamespress.com/Heroes-of-the-Storm#?tab=artwork


General map description

This map is very special not only in a way that usually games are very prolonged here, but also in way the objective works. It takes some time and effort to actually collect enough seeds to be able to create a Terror. But obtaining the Terror doesn’t automatically grant you advantage or positive result. You have to properly use it, to get ahead. Also, fighting enemy Terror is tricky task.

Tips

While playing this map, it is very important to keep the balance between fighting for the objective and XP soaking, doing rotations and taking camps. Often times i see players being greedy, or overestimating value of the objective, which leads to loss of huge amount of XP and puts team behind, in race to level 10.

Generally speaking, this map doesn’t have hero preferences. But one thing you need to have for sure is heroes with good AOE. They will easily clear seed monsters, and will be good at wave clearing, and in fights versus Terror.

In Garden Terror fights, the main goal is to do as much damage as you can, to enemy Terror, while keeping you Terror as healthy as possible. This way you will be able to either kill enemy objective earlier and\or force more siege damage on his structures.

Usually, it is best to use take Terror with Assassin or Specialist hero. Unless there is no one else available, don’t take it with Support or Tank. However, if you have double tank, or more, line-up, then take Terror with Warrior that has least amount of disables.

Consider the positioning of your “W” ability, as a Garden Terror. Don’t use it behind the gates, if enemy team is there. It will be quickly destroyed, and will do almost zero siege damage. Try to position your plant in such way that it would be hard for enemy to reach it. If enemy is behind the gates, the classical move would be to throw plant near the gates and seed in the gates. This way, the enemy won’t be able to attack the plant, until the seed is expired.

Sky Temple
(“What do i do when three Temples are shooting my Core?”)


Image titleimage source: http://blizzard.gamespress.com/Heroes-of-the-Storm#?tab=artwork


General map description

This map is somewhat like cursed Hollow. It takes some time to "capture" objective(s), the map is also big, and camps are mirrored. However, here is where differences begin to appear. There is only one boss, and the objective mechanic is different. The result is that the map has less comeback potential, but is still interesting to play. Also, this map has lesser number of narrow spaces and is more oriented at positional fights.

Tips

Heroes with good zoning and poking abilities, as well as heroes that are good at killing minions, will be valuable here. The objective capture is long and stationary process, so harassment of enemy heroes, which are trying to stay in the Shrine area, will have great effect.

Boss area, on this map, is considered a throw pit. And it is very reasonable statement. Often time’s teams lose all their advantage, when they try to capture boss in the wrong time. The best time to capture boss is when you have number advantage, or enemy is unaware of your actions and you will be able to cap boss before enemy will arrive.

Usually, the map is played by 3-1-1 pattern, where 3 heroes are at the top lane. This way you are able to fight for vision tower, which will be useful when top and mid Shrines will appear. The vision tower has its value, but there is no need to sacrifice yourself for it. The tower is good to anticipate enemy ganks, but is more valuable to see enemy numbers during Shrine phase, as well as rotations around the map.

Battlefields of Eternity
(“Finally, decent two lane map! Oh, wait...”)

Image titleimage source: http://blizzard.gamespress.com/Heroes-of-the-Storm#?tab=artwork

General map description

This is the second two lane map in the game. This map is not as snowbally as "Haunted Mines" is, but a lot stuff that works well on Mines can be used here. Standard laning on Battlefields is 4-1. Because fights with Immortals are stationary, zoning and poking heroes will be effective here.

Tips

Again, Sylvanas and Tass are godlike tier. Reasons are the same - Tassadar with proper talents is able to negate the damage of Immortal, and is very good at positional fights. Sylvanas allows obtaining critical amount of XP advantage, by easily destroying Fort with help of first Immortal.

Overall, this map is very team fight oriented, so having strong team fight potential is a must. It will allow you to win fights during the Immortals, as well as keep a good pressure on the enemy during the siege with objective.

To put additional pressure, and create potential XP advantage, you want to start camp of mercenaries either before the Immortal fight, or right after the victorious Immortal is being summoned. If you lost Immortal fight, the camp will put pressure on the lane that is not pushed by the enemy Immortal, and will create comeback mechanism. On the other hand, if you won the fight, taking camps will put additional pressure on the enemy, as well as create additional advantage for you and will add snowball effect to the game flow.

In general, Immortals have high damage, but very low survivability. This is less true at later stages of the game, when their HP and shields are greatly increased. But during mid-game, and especially at the beginning of the game, Immortals are very easy to kill. Main concern will be to bring down their shields, so they won’t have ranged attack. As soon as they lose their shields, they start attacking in melee range and receive tons of damage from structures, and it is much easier for heroes to kill them.

Tomb of the Spider Queen
(“Who is Harrison Jones?”)


Image titleimage source: http://blizzard.gamespress.com/Heroes-of-the-Storm#?tab=artwork


General map description

Despite being a tri-lane map, the map is very small and has almost no space between the lanes. Moreover, you can freely walk between them. “Tomb” favors aggressive playstyle. With aggressive line-up you are able to make good rotations and control the turn-in points. This will create situation for your enemy when he has to always be in “catching up” state. Also, good rotations will increase the amount of Gems you will have and decrease the amount of Gems available for the enemy.

Tips

Map control and rotations are top priority for this map. You want to have as much Gems as you can, but at the same time you want to reduce the amount of Gems your enemy has, or at least don’t allow him to turn in.

And this brings next critical topic. Always keep an eye on turn in points. It is also very critical to rotate to your team and help them in fights for the ability to turn in the Gems.

Ideally, you want not only to start Webweavers, but also start a merc camp with them. This will put additional pressure and has a potential to give you an XP lead. Keep in mind that camps disappear once the Webweavers are out. This means that you have to start mercs either when your team is almost done handing in the Gems, or during the summoning process.

As it is with every single boss camp, boss on this map can be a throw. Map is very small and rotating to boss area will take almost no time. So, boss capture should be done with critical number advantage, or when you are 100% sure that enemy won’t be able to hijack the boss.

Lastly, laning on this map is tricky in a way that you want to gather as much Gems as you can, but at the same time you don’t want to fall victim to enemy rotations, or your team fighting 4x5 without you.


General build tips

Hungering Arrow build

As solo laner, Valla has good sustain and is able to trade her HP efficiently, resulting in lane dominance and potential objective advantage. Best time to force a duel will be when enemy hero is not near creep wave, or the creeps are already dead. This way, you will be able to use hungering Arrow to its full potential.

Starting from level 7, you are very effective at ganking, especially on small maps. As I’ve mentioned before, at level 7, you are able to do damage equal to more than half HP of most Assassins in the game. If you are staying at solo lane, ask one of your teammates to rotate to it, while you will be busy killing enemy heroes. This way you won't lose lane XP, and will build up an advantage over the enemy, in the race to level 10.

At level 7 combined damage from 2x”Hungering Arrow” will be 858((171+86*3)x2), while Multishot will provide additional 165 points of damage. Total damage provided by spells will be 1023. Average HP of Assassin hero, at level 7, is between 1300 and 1400 Hit Points.

When ganking, you want to catch enemy hero as far from the gates as you can. Ideal situation would be to catch him after the creep wave, which he was pushing with, is dead. This way, you will have the ability to unleash your full damage potential, and some time to body-block and land few right-clicks.

In fights, you would like to use terrain to your advantage. Ideally, you want to channel your ultimate from the bushes, or over the terrain, so it would be hard for enemy to reach you and interrupt the channeling. But at the same time, you want to be in the reach of your support, or in the “Vault” reach, so he can assist you if situation gets out of hand.

High range of “Hungering Arrow” spell will be very handy in fights for the objectives that require channeling. (“Blackheart’s Bay”, “Tomb”, “Cursed Hollow”, “Dragon”)

Multishot build

Laning with build will be a bit different. You will have less dueling power, but more pushing power and AOE damage. The ideal variant would be to stay in the tri-lane. Such lane spread will allow you to maximize the efficiency of the build.

Generally, you are not the part of rotations squad, unless it is a smaller map and there are 4 man rotations.

In fights you would like to land your “W” on as many targets as you can. This build is very efficient for massive 5x5 fights. Also, “Rain of Vengeance” has great team fight potential and is a huge threat, especially on maps with narrow spaces.

The range of Multishot ability will be very useful at objective fights. You are able to poke from a safe distance on stationary objectives, or provide channeling interruption on corresponding maps.

Auto-Attack build

This build is also strong at solo laning, especially if you take "Vampiric Assault" talent. With its help you will be able to trade HP effectively with enemy hero.

Usually, you are not a part of rotations, unless you are playing 3 Warrior setup.

In fights, you want to position yourself behind the front line and watch out for bushes, if fights are happening on the lane corridors. If you happen to be fighting in tight spaces, between the lanes, right positioning will be a tricky task. It's best to enter such action mid-fight, when most of enemy disables are on cooldowns. This way, you will able to assist your team, without fear of being locked down, or hit by enemy ultimates.

In general, right-click build will be better than others at taking camps. Same we can tell about sieging, with mercs or objectives.

Conclusion(s)

Image titleimage source: http://eu.battle.net/d3/en/media/artwork/?view=hatred-and-discipline


Valla is one of the most diversified heroes in the game. She has 3 different builds, which are very unique and suit different gameplay styles. Her talent kit is very polished, as she has almost no “filler” talents. Both her Heroics are very strong and viable for many situations. Overall, Valla is very strong hero, but at the same time is fairly easy to play in terms of mechanics of the spells and abilities.

Over last year, during Technical Alpha, Closed/Opened Beta, and finally the release, Valla has been in a pool of heroes that were always played. She survived tens of meta-game changes and has always been in top tier pool of heroes, wandering between tier 1 and tier 2. Heck! There were times when she was first picked, or first banned, hero!

All this credit and value she received from professional gamers, and casual players, comes from her versatility and ease of play. This and polished talent tree combined with the ability to fit, literally, any hero composition, I think, are main reasons why she has been so popular in the past and will be popular in the future.

Personally, i think that she is very fun to play. I consider Valla to be one of my favorite heroes and i dream about the future, for Heroes of the Storm, where there will be much more heroes designed like she is - with unique and diversified talent tree, able to be very flexible and suit different play styles.

This is the end of the guide, and last part of it. If you wish to read previous parts, follow the links provided below.

Part 1 (General hero overview, Hungering Arrow Build)
http://www.keengamer.com/article/12013_in-depth-valla-guide 

Part 2 (Multishot Build)
http://www.keengamer.com/article/12026_in-depth-valla-guide-part-2-multishot-build1

Part 3, about Auto-Attack Build :
http://www.keengamer.com/article/12029_in-depth-valla-guide-part-3-auto-attack-build




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