Everything you ever wanted to know about Cursed Hollow, this in-depth HotS guide contains all the information you need to increase your Cursed Hollow win ratio today.
Note: Strong picks are always open for discussion, and you can argue over heroes not mentioned here that should be. These are the ones that HotS boost employees personally think are strong picks. This does not mean that every hero not mentioned here is a weak pick, on the contrary, many of our HotS rank boosts were performed with heroes not listed here.
Kael’thas – As Cursed Hollow games tend to last longer than on some maps, Kael’thas makes a safe
first pick as it’s likely to reach his 16 power spike. He also is strong because of the narrow pathways in the forest, allowing him to catch people out. His phoenix ultimate in the forest is a great zoning tool.
Abathur – The map being large makes it great for Abathur to give his team an experience advantage. The enemy team has to choose between soaking or going for the tribute. Abathur meanwhile can split push all day and be relatively safe doing so.
The Lost Vikings – Similar to Abathur, the vikings are able to soak effectively whilst everyone else fights over tributes.
Jaina/Zeratul – Generally strong on every map (except Haunted Mines for Zeratul).
Nazeebo – Good interrupt abilities for the tributes. Lots of thin areas in the forest to catch people out with ‘Zombie Wall’. There are occasions where ‘Ravenous Spirit’ can be taken because of all the walls.
Johanna – Her ‘Shield Glare’ is a great disrupt, she is good at taking the tribute as her trait can deny being caught out. Solid safe mid-laner.
Zagara – Solid laner. Creep can help fights over tribute. Good poke/interrupting mechanics small areas in the forest can help to land a great Maw.
Falstad – Good soaker, good delay abilities, lots of walls for him to barrel roll over. He’s a good counter to Abathur & Vikings with his flight mechanic + his good kill potential.
Malfurion – Good interrupt ability with ‘Moonfire’, his healing-over-time (HoT) is good vs. poke damage occurred whilst fighting over the tribute. His root ability makes a great zoning tool in the forest and at tribute fights.
Tyrande (with roaming partner) – with 3 laners who can hold their lane, Tyrande and e.g. Muradin can then roam & pressure the enemy laners (preferably the enemy solo lanes). Tyrande also has 2 safe mechanics to interrupt the tribute (‘Sentinel’ & ‘Lunar Flare’) or engage on the enemy capturing the tribute. But ‘Sentinel’ also makes a great scouting tool.
Typical laning setup in Cursed Hollow is 1-1-3 where you have durable solo laners in the top and the middle lane and a triple lane bot to push the enemy fort or deny an enemy push. To determine your laning setup, you need to ask yourself “Which team has the stronger push?” Whichever team that has the better push can dictate which lane they want to be their ‘push lane’. This is usually top or bot lane since mid lane is susceptible to more ganking opportunities. The opposing team would then either mirror that push in a different lane or match it, depending on the matchup.
Bot Lane – ‘Push Lane’:
This lane consists of 3 heroes, often including a healer, 2 assassins/specialists which are capable of pushing the wave whilst being safe, as well as being able to trade with the opponents. It often allows up to 2 heroes to roam in-between minion waves. Any support; Zagara; Tassadar; Nazeebo; Sylvanas; Jaina; KT; Valla.
Mid Lane – ‘Survivability Lane’:
This lane consists of 1 hero that usually has good wave clear and survivability in case of enemy roam. Johanna; Reghar; Valla; Muradin; Falstad; Tyrael; TLV; Zeratul.
Top Lane – ‘Matchup Lane’:
A 1v1 lane in which a lot of trading occurs with the aim to force the opponent out of lane and hence allowing you to push down the enemy structures, if the situation and the enemy composition makes it possible. Illidan; Zagara; Kael’thas; Jaina; Falstad; Valla; TLV.
WHAT TO DO WHEN A TRIBUTE SPAWNS
Early game, if the first tribute is on the opposite side to your push lane, & you are successfully sieging down the enemy structures, it’s often more efficient to remain sieging. The experience gain from getting a fort is more valuable than the first tribute. You may send a few heroes to harass and stall the enemy, but that depends on whether your heroes (like Malf) have a spammable ability to stop them.
The trade-off between xp soak and objective control is an important thing to understand. The ideal scenario for any team would be to not forgo any experience whilst also taking the tribute. This is what makes Abathur & TLV strong picks as they can soak whilst the team gets the tribute. But what should a team do when they don’t have these heroes?
IDEAL SCENARIO FOR EARLY GAME COMP
1st Tribute – As the first tribute can either be top centre or bottom center, ideally you’d want the first tribute to spawn bottom centre next to your push lane. This means you’ve already got pressure in the bottom lane from having a stronger push, and that likely means you have the stronger early game to bully the opponent off the first tribute without necessarily losing soak. The only potential trade-off would be xp lost from top & middle lanes, but as you have the stronger early, you can just match your opponents actions to move or stay in lane so both sides are equal.
However, If the tribute spawns top centre, you should more than likely keep pushing and pressure the fort (forts give you 800 xp) as this will get you closer to level 4 & the important additional talent.
2nd Tribute – This tribute is relatively random (it can be any of the 4 corner spawns). Assuming you have pushed the fort down at this point, a possible strategy is to then rotate to the mid lane in preparation for the next tribute. Ideally, the mid lane will be pushed out & you having the stronger lane can then pressure the next tribute by having a positional advantage (they have to push out mid etc.). Since you have the early game comp, all things played correctly should guarantee you the tribute. Ideally with the fort down in bot, you should also have a small experience advantage to bully the enemy.
3rd Tribute – This tribute can be predicted better than the other two (the video in the quick facts section explains this) & it is at this stage where teams are either at or close to reaching level 10. Played correctly, the team with the experience advantage (which should be the stronger early game comp) should be able to get this tribute for free. If you are both level 10, a teamfight may occur, so position carefully! Tributes can usually bait squishies into being sitting ducks, so use that to your advantage.
Boosting Factory’s HotS boost employees prefer the early game comps when performing boosts, especially HotS duoQ boost because the enemy team is often more demoralised after they’re losing the game early and might start arguing and playing even worse, carrying a client in your team is obviously easier that way.
HOW DO YOU STOP AN EARLY GAME COMP?
Early game, assuming the enemy is pushing down your bottom lane, they are likely attacking your turrets (usually the bottom one as it’s safer from ganks). This means they are deep in the lane. The risk of being deep in the lane is that you are more susceptible to ganks, and whilst having two other laners reduces this risk, it doesn’t totally remove it.
The way our HotS boost employees look at it, if the enemy is actively pushing down my bottom lane turrets, we as a team have to make a value judgement:
Do we send 3 guys to defend the lane?
Do we send someone to gank bot lane and kill one of their squishies?
Do we mirror the enemy and 3-man push an alternative lane?
Do we do a merc-camp in preparation for the tribute?
A good team will look at their comp and almost instantly know which one of these is the most appropriate action.
WHEN TO KILL THE BOSS
Deciding to do the boss depends on a few factors:
Is the 1:09 second curse up?
If so do you really want to allow the enemy a free defense & free xp whilst you lose it?
Is the enemy team doing their boss?
If so you can either mirror them or go and stop them. Both can work. Mirroring them is safer but stopping them can be more rewarding, particularly as there is a chance their squishy targets can get rooted, allowing for an easy kill.
Do we have strong early/mid heroes to sneak a boss?
These heroes include Illidan, Butcher, Gazlowe & Sonya.
Can we see the enemy heroes on the map or are they dead?
It’s far safer to do the boss with full knowledge of where the enemy team is.
IS MY TEAM LIKELY TO GET TRIPLE ROOTED?!
RAVEN CURSE STRATEGY
So you successfully managed to collect 3 tributes and now your enemy team is cursed, forcing them to defend from every lane. Some teams will elect to do the bruiser or knights camp to defend against a curse as their health is not reduced to 0.
You have 69 seconds of push in every lane, but this also likely means the enemy gets 69 seconds of experience soak, so you need to capitalise on other advantages. One of the advantages you get is map control. With the enemy forced to defend every lane, you can choose to either do mercs; do a boss; split push; all push a single lane or dive.
Mercs/Boss– Allows you to steal enemy camps/their boss, but at the cost of time. Denying their boss is worth more than doing your own.
Split push– Allows you to soak the 1hp minions and adds additional pressure. This does make you susceptible to ganks as you’re split, but heroes like vikings/abathur deny this.
All push – Amazing siege at the cost of other lane xp. Generally forces the enemy 5 to have to defend, meaning they also suffer in the two other lanes. This is the tactic our HotS boost employees prefer the most as they are well coordinated and can secure kills easily even when enemies have turrets up.
Dive – Far less riskier dive than usual. The enemy structures being down allows for some weird dive strats where you go behind the enemy to guarantee a kill.
As you can see there are several options, but the most important thing is: DO NOT ALLOW THE ENEMY TO DEFEND FOR FREE. Different teams will have different preferred strategies, but all good teams will make use of the full benefits of the curse.
If you already haven’t, check our discounted HotS boost prices, we also offer HotS duoQ boost service so check that out too. If you prefer only to be mentored by a professional player, our HotS Coaching service is for you.