How to Not Take a Fight - a Heroes of the Storm Guide
Sun 25th Nov 2018 - 4:34pm
In Heroes of the Storm, there are times you want to take a fight, times you don't have to do it, and even times you want to avoid fighting at all costs. This guide will help you understand when you should not take a fight, how to avoid them, and what to do instead to comeback from behind or not lose your advantage.
When to Not Take a Fight
Some of those points might seem obvious, but I will clarify the ideas behind these with examples. When the enemy has a Talent Tier advantage, you probably don't want to take a fight, unless you have some other advantage yourself. Winning an objective while the enemy is soaking to get their advantage can still put the fight in your favor, or if you see someone on the mini-map you could engage in a 5v4 fight. You absolutely don't want to fight 4v5 yourself, so being down a member means that you should not engage. However, this is not the same as engaging 4v5 right after the enemy struggled to kill your teammate. In these situations, they may have wasted enough resources for you to beat them, if you punish them instantly! You also want to avoid taking fights when you don't have resources at the ready, whether that be Mana, Health, Heroics, or Assist Camps (like the Turret or Healing Pulse).
If you do have the lead, there are still times you do not want to fight the enemy team. These cases are mostly when they catch up to you and are on the same Talent Tier. You could win a fight and keep winning or lose the fight and stop winning. However, not taking the fight means you can maintain your lead, and thus keep winning the game in general. Another thing to consider is the global state of the map. Maybe you should simply take a boss instead of brawling, or if your lanes are currently getting pushed. It is possible for you to win the fight but lose much more in return.
Simply Not Taking a Fight
Keeping track of the enemy team's moves, trying to avoid them as much as possible, and staying behind your structures will not give your enemies opportunities to engage, and no fight can happen if neither team engages in battle. This is what you would call "playing safe" and being patient is something you need to make it happen. If there is an objective, don't go. If there is a camp and the enemy is nearby, don't go. If there is... you get my point. Don't go where the enemy might be and be sure to check bushes and blind spots.
Taking a Quick Fight
While you are at a disadvantage, you can still look for an engage, but it needs to be quick since you do not actually want to fight. Since you want to engage, you still need to get an advantageous position, or you will be punished and take the big fight you don't want. What you are looking for here is to maximize the slight advantage the enemy can give you. You must capitalize on their errors! An isolated target, a tank going in too deep for his team to help, bad positioning from a healer or an assassin. Punish the mistakes of your enemy, get a quick pick, and then either keep fighting if you gained enough of an advantage or disengage quickly to not get punished yourselves!
Delaying the Fight:
"Dignitas shows the perfect moment in time to go for the fight" - Thomas 'Khaldor' Killian; MSB 2018, Team Gen.G vs. Dignitas.
When you need to take this fight, but you cannot take it because the enemy team has the upper hand in some way, you have to delay it. This is not really possible on "Stand on Point" objectives, but the "Channeling" types can be delayed by poking the player who is attempting to channel. Your team needs mid- to long-range abilities to be able to do so. You want to delay to get to the same Talent Tier or for an ally to get there (maybe he was clearing a camp, clearing catapults on your Core, taking a camp a little late, or if he was dead and just respawned). It is really important to be extremely patient and mindful of your positioning. You should not try to look for a pick or anything. Just poke until both teams are on even terms.
Here is an extract from the Grand Finals of 2018 Mid Season Brawl illustrating several points we discussed, and mainly the delaying of a fight:
We can see how Dignitas has to wait and soak for their Storm Talents until they can fight. Blaze and Li-Ming are the ones interrupting the objective most of the time. The first part of the fight erupts, the members of Gen.G have the advantage but Dignitas are able to disengage. After this, Gen.G have the advantage of space over their opponents, but Dignitas keeps delaying and waits until they can capitalize on an error, which is how they win this crucial fight. Garrosh stepping up at the same time the camp is taken on the other side gives the information that he is isolated, and that was Gen.G's most notable mistake.
The last things you can do when you are at a disadvantage are distracting the enemy and getting value somewhere else on the map. In the first case, distracting your enemy can be used for both delaying a fight and forcing a reaction which could give your team an opportunity. The heroes I recommend for this are high-mobility heroes who can harass the enemy and escape at any moment, such as Genji, Samuro, Zeratul, or Tracer. Whether you use distractions or not, you should try to get value elsewhere to trade what your opponent is going to gain. You can take a camp, a boss, or even some structures while the enemy gets their own advantage. This is also a strategy you can apply on certain maps. Ignore the objective and get much more value somewhere else on the map, forcing the enemy team to react to you instead of you reacting to the objective; nevertheless, ignoring objectives is dangerous and must be a team decision with some sort plan in mind.
To sum it up, you will not always want to take fights, but you should still do something and make a few decisions so you do not give your opponent a massive lead you could not recover from. Ask yourselves if you can delay the objective and then step up to take the fight, or if you simply want to give it up and get something else during this time. I hope this will help you in the future, and always remember that taking an even fight is okay but taking a fight with an advantage is way better, and fighting when you're behind is not a good option.
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