Part 2 - Drafting and Laning
The drafting phase is something both overrated and underrated. It is not possible to win a game in the draft, but it still goes without saying that it is a very important aspect of the game. Drafting is a mixture of mind games and on-the-fly-sometimes formulation of compositions and tactics. Going into a game with a specific draft and a specific strategy in mind is not healthy for anyone, and it is best to keep many backups and alternatives in mind.
The main things to keep in mind during the drafting phase:
- To analyse both yours and the enemy's bans/picks and to have an idea of where both are going.
- Freely ban heroes who would lead to uncomfortable situations for your team, don't ban a hero just because you dislike it.
- Consider the crucial elements of damage, control and pushing power. Having too little or too much of one thing at the cost of others is generally a bad thing. It doesn't matter if you can deal a ridiculous amount of damage if you don't have the disables to lock enemies down. Try not to be the team that is capable of destroying its enemies but incapable of pushing towers.
- Consider the purpose and direction of the draft. Don't try to draft with tunnel vision. Don't pick an almighty AOE-combo-to-destroy-everything lineup because it works only on paper. Try to never throw all your eggs in one basket.
- Never rely on pocket strategies. If an enemy decides to adapt to your strategy and eliminate your element of surprise you will generally find yourself in a creek with no paddle.
- Never be afraid to try new things.
- Always ensure you balance your supports. Having Earthshaker and Ancient Apparition together is good only on paper
When deciding your lanes you have to ask yourself the questions 'Where' and 'Why'. Remember, that it is in your favour if you play to your strengths and sending an aggressive trilane to the safe lane is generally a waste of early game potential. Similarly, don't send a passive trilane against an aggressive trilane unless you are ready to make some crucial trades.
Always try to balance your lanes. If your side solo is the only hero with a hard disable, and if he is shut down early game you will be in for a very rough game. Disables are king early game, and remain powerful through the entire game. Each player but play his/her lane to its fullest potential, don't have a Dark Seer farming in lane against another Side Solo when he can easily backlane and push a tower down early on.
In many cases using dual lanes mid and in the side lane(s) can be very powerful. There are many powerful dual combinations that are capable of destroying most lanes, but they must be played to their maximum potential. Kunkka and Shadow Demon is an example of a very potent dual mid combination. The idyllic situation for most teams is to win two lanes and lose one. Losing all three lanes early game is an easy way to lose the game.
Simply put, ensure that each lane is potent and capable of doing its task.
Prev : Part 1 - Teams and Roles
Next : Part 3 - Ganking and Pushing
Author - VolatileSeraph, member of Team FoE
Feedback and suggestions are welcome.