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HotS Competitive Play Strategy – Part 1 (Micro)

  • 2
  • 28/07/2015

Arthas HotS guide

This is an in-depth HotS guide on competitive play. Players of any skill level will likely make use of this, the creator of this guide is a 4.1K MMR player that impressed even our HotS boost employees. This HotS guide is split in three major parts, Micro, Macro and Drafting.


Micro in Heroes relates to using your hero most efficiently according to your role. Successfully micromanaging a game means:

● Minimizing deaths

● Maximizing output

● Recognising the costs involved with maximizing output, and avoiding these

Example: A support’s primary costs involves mana drain, positioning and targeting. A great support will have good mana usage, will position according to the needs of
the game (risk vs reward: If I, on Malf want to heal everyone, can I find a relatively safe position to do so?) and recognise which targets he needs to peel for/cc/heal/dmg. What is your role supposed to do in your team comp? Who should you be focusing? Who should you be avoiding? Who should you be protecting? Micromanagement is obviously also about mechanical skill, which requires you to know your hero’s skills, cooldowns, output potential etc. These are best learnt through practice or hiring one of our HotS coaching employees to assist you.


Universal Micromanagement is the required skills involved with being successful at any role in heroes, and getting a chance to work as a HotS booster.:

○ XP soak

○ Positioning

○ Targeting

○ Mechanics

○ Body-Blocking

○ Stutter-Stepping

Mastery of these 6 micro skills is a great starting point to being a successful player. Our HotS boost employees are tested before being hired and these are the things we look for.


XP soaking is using your hero to give your team experience. Experience in Heroes is gained through different means:
Minions (Worth more in the early game, you get minion xp by standing close to them in your hero’s vision radius as they die (2/3rds of the screen-ish) or by last hitting them with a skillshot)

Hero Kills (These are worth less than minion waves in the early game, but killing a hero and denying the enemy team minions is worth a lot. You gain more xp from killing heroes from a level disadvantage)

Objectives (Every map has objectives that give different xp, the general guide is the harder the enemy, the more xp it gives). Our HotS boost employees suggest that not all objectives have the same value and not every single objective should be pursued.

Mercenaries (You get full merc xp by first hitting them and being in the area when they die. Neutral, untaken mercs are worth more than enemy mercs)

Structures (These are static, they give the same xp throughout the game, meaning their relative worth* is higher in the early game). So as you can see, XP soak and denial of XP soak introduces ways to benefit over your opponent.

*Relative Worth relates to the importance of experience gain in relation to your team’s level. Getting a 800xp fort early game is far more
beneficial to your lower level than it is late.


Positioning is a fundamental skill and serves as a foundation to be successful at other skills in Heroes. You want to position your hero in a place where you won’t die, but you are still benefiting the team. Dead assasin deals 0 damage. Just like a dead HotS booster doesn’t finish the boost.

Tanks should position themselves at the front of the team so they can absorb the most damage and protect their allies. In teamfights, a good tank needs to determine whether he should be peeling for his carries or pressuring the enemy squishies.

Supports should position themselves behind the tanks. As cleanse is now a common talent, supports in theory can be more aggressive with their positioning, if they are able to precleanse
cc. You have to determine whether this is worth the loss of cleanse on your carry. Supports are usually the focus of out-of-action cc (coccoon/maw/VP). In team fights, a support’s position
should be where they can best protect their team, be it through ccing the enemy; healing up a low ally or fully peeling for your squishiest man.

Burst assassins’ positioning differs from that of sustain dps in the sense that their role is to delete an enemy or deal massive damage to a team. Great burst assassins will deal massive damage and still be safe position wise (especially with bolt at 20). Sustain dps will do more damage over time but have to be more mindful of their positioning and play less upfront


Targeting involves choosing the right target for your abilities. Lili aside, this means effectively healing/damaging and protecting targets that will most likely result in a won teamfight. You can usually work out who you should be targeting before the game begins, but you should react to how the game is going. Try and deny the enemy team’s ‘effective output’ whilst maximizing your own. Obviously targeting does involve some mechanical skill, so it’s best to discourage too much stacking, so the healer can target the correct person.


Mechanics is skill-based and so you need to continuously practice to improve this.

Lane Mechanics is knowing how to set-up a lane to deny your opponent xp and guarantee you more xp. Although less important in Heroes (due to no last-hitting and large xp soak range), this doesn’t mean you should always just blindly push out a lane (Like a lot of players do currently), our HotS boost employees suggest.
Look at:
● Your lane matchup

● Your opponent’s ganking/roaming potential

● Your team’s opponent’s ganking/roaming potential

● Whether you can deny your opponent or soak secretly (without them realising)

There’s no set way on how to play a lane, so it’ll differ each game. But you should try and work out how to play your lane to best benefit your team whilst denying the enemy.


Body-blocking is the act of using your heroes’ body to prevent an enemy hero from escaping.
Heroes have different body sizes. Effective body-blocking usually comes from practice.You should try and guess which direction your opponent will run, and use right click, attack move (a click) and stop position (s keyboard button) all in unison to actively deny them from escaping. Some heroes like ETC & Diablo are great and body-blocking and denying movement due to their disruptive kit. This definitely isn’t easy while also stutter-stepping, every HotS boost employee has spent years practising this in various MOBA games.


Stutter-stepping is moving in between every attack. It involves lots of right clicking or a-left clicking depending on what you prefer. Some prefer a-left for accuracy, others prefer right clicking for time efficiency. Mastery of stutter-stepping takes lots of practice, but it is extremely worth-while.
A lot of tanks/supports don’t realise they should stutter-step too, as there will be fights where every bit of damage is needed. You should get into the habit of constantly moving your hero and rarely ever staying still (except Sgt. Hammer maybe).
Keep asking yourself (‘can I be in a better position than I was a second ago?’ And it will become routine in time. Also, vary your movement! If you always move in the same direction, the opponent will read this and punish you, like we mentioned before, this is one of the things we look for when testing potential HotS boost employees.
Finally, consider whether your opponents has abilities to slow your attack speed (Muradin), this will deny your orb-walking potential and often knock players off-balance.

As I have already spoken briefly on the requirements of support. I’ll leave that and focus on the other roles:
Tanks – To be an effective tank you will usually be the one to be engaging. Micro comes in with hitting an engage on the correct target and then actively watching the fight. Is your team winning or do you need to peel for your squishies? With cleanse being super common, you rarely ever want to all in (think Anub burrow charge). An effective tank will soak up a lot of damage whilst zoning squishies, only to use their escape to deny the enemy a kill. Also, tanks in heroes can still do damage (Muradin, Johanna, Anub, Diablo, Arthas) so it’s not always easy to just ignore them.

Assassins – To be an effective assassin stutter-stepping is super important; skillshots; timing and positioning all add in to form a great assassin. This just comes from practice. As assassins are squishy, you cannot be permanently front-line without associated risks. Our HotS boost employees mostly enjoy playing assasins for quick boosts.

Specialists – On vikings you can set key-bindings to look at various places on the map. Pure specialists split push a lot and have great siege and unique skillsets. It’s difficult to be specific with specialist micro as they differ massively with each hero.

Credits to: LanaDelCray

Make sure to check out our HotS boost service if you’re still stuck in the rank you believe you do not belong to, we offer duoQ boost aswell where you will play your own account, so it’s sort of like boosting + coaching at the same time. If you prefer only hiring a coach to assist you, check our HotS coaching page.

We also have a HotS guide called How To Get Better At HotS that you should check out, another one is Top Mistakes New Players Make.

See you tomorrow for Part 2, Macro!


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