Geeklies of the Storm – Is There a Draft In Here?

By Mike Bachmann on



Kyle Fergusson is back to give me another slice of learnin’ cake….learnin’….pie? If you missed my last session with Kyle, the host of Into the Nexus and Solo Q&A, we talked a lot about Li-Ming who was my bread and butter at the time. Unfortunately, since that time bans have been introduced into the game so I haven’t been able to play much Li-Ming in Hero League (ranked play). In fact, I haven’t been able to play any. But despite how salty I feel, that’s not why we’re here.

It’s been super effective. Last time, I expressed how stuck I felt in my own MMR. I was hanging out around rank 34 and had been unable to move. Since then, I’ve been climbing steadily, currently at rank 27. I attribute this to a combination of the knowledge I gained from Kyle and a conscious effort that I’ve been putting forth to stay positive during my games. (I posted more about the latter part on Reddit, which you can find here.)

This time we spent most of our time talking about the draft process. Specifically, how do you synergize what you’re good at playing with what your team is picking, while at the same time leveraging that against the enemy team and their own picks? This is becoming a much larger issue recently, as bans seem to be forcing teams in hero league to actually discuss their picks. That means more thought needs to go into how heroes work together. I feel like this session was invaluable in helping me sort through that mess. You can watch in it’s entirety here, with Kyle’s notes below. (Apologies in advance for my absolutely terrible audio quality. You’d think by now I would remember to select the proper microphone.) Even further down, see how you can find his content and book a session for yourself.

Kyle’s Notes:

  1. Banning First: Force the enemy team to perform the obvious ban. Ban something that goes against your strategy.
  2. Banning Second: Do not reveal your strategy with your ban. Your second ban phase comes after only two hero picks.
  3. 1st, 2nd, and 3rd pick: Pick your best or OP heroes.
  4. 3rd and 4th pick: Pick your best or OP heroes.
  5. Mid Ban Phase –
    1. Narrow down the role they haven’t filled yet. Burst and sustain are very easy to cut down.
    2. If team is already solid, remove their XP gain or objective control.

Picking last and making use of information:

  1. Basic Positioning – Too many melee heroes will clog the fight. Too many range heroes will put too much pressure on the tank. There will always be an off tank. Three melee is usually the max.
  2. Count Crowd Control – Stuns help initiate and finish fights. Make sure your team has at least one. Slows, Roots and Blinds are good too, but you will need at least two stuns.
  3. Counter Pick – The first three heroes selections should make up the core team (Tank, DPS and Healer). The last two picks should be specific to counter the enemy’s core team.
  4. XP contribution – The team is extremely solid. Now its time to reinforce it with a global hero (Dahaka, Falstad, Lost Vikings, Abathur or Murk)

Draft is Over. Game Starts:

  1. Change your spec to fill roles that may have been missed.
  2. Stay Alive – As the game starts, identify who and what ability you are most afraid of. Might be getting grabbed by Diablo, a Nova gank, or getting caught in Jaina’s Blizzard. Keep mental tally on their movements and cooldowns.
  3. Check Important Talents – Check your enemy’s talent picks. Be aware of the builds they are creating. For example, if you are a burst mage, be aware that most heroes get their spell sheilds at level 13. Level 10 spells are also very important to identify before a fight breaks out.

We refer multiple times in the video to Hots Logs, which is a third party statistics tracking site for Heroes of the Storm. You can view my personal profile here.

You can find the Into the Nexus Podcast at\ITN and you can find Kyle Fergusson’s Solo Q&A show as well as info on getting one of these lessons for yourself at

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *