Sup there cupcakes, are you ready to grab your friends and smash faces in a game mode that makes full use of all of your AoE spells? Halls of the Bloodsword (HotB) is the PvP battleground you’ve always been looking for. It’s essentially king of the hill x3, a 10v10 battleground to the death to see who can attack the fastest. This guide gives you a pretty good rundown of what to do, but to really be an expert, you're going to need to practice! Practice a ton, which lets you understand how the "metagame" is moving and what strategies most players are using and how to counter them.


There are two phases. At the start, two teams are formed - “attackers” and “defenders.” The attackers goal is to secure the checkpoints (which there are three) before the 15 minutes are up. The defenders goal is to hold off the attackers for long as possible, up to the 15 minute point.

The second phase starts when either the assault was successful and three checkpoints were taken OR 15 minutes run out. The teams switch places and it all starts over again. The total time used by the first phase assault is now the amount of time that the defenders have to do the same, while the the original assault team must now defend.

The map has three sections. Each one has a control point in the center and two secondary control points. The first map, The Crucible of Blood, has jump gates from the center to the sides, whereas the other sections are just two secondary control points, and a control point in the middle.

Basic Tactics

  • The secondary control points must be activated through a short cast time. This means that they can be defended by other side with a small enough force to keep interrupting the control point. The defenders should always fight on top of the control point to stay alive.
  • Secondary control points count as about 5 players sitting in the circle. Having both counts as about ten. I’m not sure of the specifics, but that’s what most players estimate.
  • Graveyard camping is a great way to clean up. Keep the enemy team locked down coming from their graveyard, if you got the gear and skill, and you’ll be able to keep them at the first objective the entire time during defense.
  • Keep players locked down in previous engagements. Some people will sit at a control point that’s been lost defending it without pressing CTRL-F1 (default) to rally at the next one. A group of two can hold 5 or 6 players back for a few valuable minutes without a hitch.
  • CTRL-F1 (default) will allow you to rally when a control point has been taken, sending you to the next zone if you are defending.
  • The right side (default) has a counter showing you the tick rate, the percentage, and status of the control points.
  • You can move from certain sections to the other using class abilities that let you leap or teleport forward.

Attacking Strategy

The following strategies assume a pre-made group. Sadly, if you queue solo, your best bet is just to help take the control points and do what you can to interrupt people and use your knowledge of the BG to help push a win through.

Just go straight to the middle and everyone sit in the circle. Having the entire team sitting within the circle is ten people sitting in the circle. Doing this, you can cap everything within 4 minutes. The entire opposite team will first split off to the control points and will come at you with about 5 to 8 players, which you will wipe in number superiority. At this point, they will flow to you in waves of 3 to 5 players at a time, which gives you the ability to take the secondary control points and defend center.

If your group isn’t on-board with this idea, then you can send a strong force to the center and have a group take a secondary control point. Rinse and repeat three times.

Defending Strategy

The following strategies assume a pre-made group. Sadly, if you queue solo, your best bet is just to help defend the control points as best as you can.

Keep everyone out of middle. Try to keep the secondary control points from flipping, but they only become a super priority if both get taken (which is the same as 10 players sitting in middle). Every player you put in the middle takes one away from them.

You can not just stack in middle on defense, since if they take both secondary objectives you're going to have a bad time, so you’ll want to keep a bit of mobility in knocking down the secondary control points and making sure the center is clean. Whatever you do, you can't let them have two of the three objectives.

A big mistake a lot of groups make is forgetting about the center. The enemy team will sit 4 or 5 people there and fight over only a single control point while your team is split 2 on one side, 5 on the other, and only 3 in the middle which are at a disadvantage.

While the strategy is short, it’s pretty concise. If you’re attacking, get as many people as you can in center and fight for the control points as a secondary objective. If defending, defend the control points and just keep them out of the center. That’s it! Happy ganking cupcakes.

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Last Updated: Mar 13, 2016

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Get in the bush with David "Xerin" Piner as he leverages his spectacular insanity to ask the serious questions such as is Master Yi and Illidan the same person? What's for dinner? What are ways to elevate your gaming experience? David's column, Respawn, is updated near daily with some of the coolest things you'll read online, while David tackles ways to improve the game experience across the board with various hype guides to cool games.


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