While playing Heroes of the Storm there is a lot to know, starting with how your character plays, how your enemy plays, and how the map plays. This guide will provide some tips that will help you win games played on the Dragon Shire map.
Dragon Shire – Basics
The Dragon Shire is one of the larger Heroes of the Storm map, and is made up of three lanes. The top and bottom lane each have a Shrine that will become available to activate throughout the match. The middle lane has a statue of a Dragon Knight, that becomes available for players to control, if they can maintain control of both shrines long enough to activate it.
While controlled the Dragon Knight has two powerful abilities. He can kick enemy heroes away, and he can breath fire which deals damage to everyone in the area and leaves damaging fire on the ground.
Dragon Shire – Map
Dragon Shire – Tactics
- As you can see from the map above, it is asymmetrical, meaning it is not the same top to bottom. The top lane does not have a mercenary camp by the shrine, while the bottom lane does. In addition the bottom lane has easier access to two mercenary camps than the top lane does. Therefore, it is best to try and overpower the bottom lane, splitting your heroes up to go 1 top, 1 middle, and 3 bottom. This is obviously not always possible based on your teams composition but is a very normal strategy.
- When the shrines announce that they will be activating, make sure you do not die. This may sound obvious, but it is also the best time to initiate a team fight to ensure an advantage so that you can grab the two shrines and secure the Dragon Knights service. Therefore engage cautiously and only when the fights are to your advantage, if they are not, back out and try to lure opponents into situations that are to your advantage.
- Once the shrines do activate, your goal is to over power one quickly and then move to capture the other one, leaving a strong defensive player in position. As long as you have one shrine controlled, you should be looking to initiate any team fight that is to your advantage. If the fight is clearly not to your advantage, just harass, do not directly engage. Once you have both shrines under your control, keep at least one defended, and both if possible, and move to the center to take control of the Dragon Knight. Once again do not enter fights that are not to your advantage, it is better to fall back and wait for an advantage than to engage and lose team members. While you are short handed your opponent will quickly take advantage and capture the shrines.
- If you fall behind in the shrine phase and lose a few heroes, then your best strategy is to focus on taking a single shrine and holding it until all of your team mates are alive again. If at any point in time the enemy team has both shrines and there is not time to capture a shrine, then your best option is to simply harass the heroes at the center that are trying to gain control of the Dragon Knight. It is not even required to kill that hero or to engage them directly, in fact it is often best not to. All you need to do is hit them any time they move in to try and channel to gain control. Hitting them stops the channel timer and forces them to start again. Repeat this until your allies are there to help, or they are able to capture a shrine back.
- Once your team gains control of the Dragon Knight, don’t rush in. The Dragon Knight does a lot of damage against structures and has a lot of health, but can still be killed fairly quickly when focused down. Your team needs to regroup and find the weakest lane to attack in. Once there, the Dragon Knight should focus on the structures as much as possible and not chase enemy heroes. Use your kick attack on the enemy tanks and healers to remove them from the fight briefly, allowing your team to focus down enemy assassins. Use your flame to apply damage to anything convenient. However, any auto attack that is not against a structure is generally a wasted attack. Your team is there to help protect the Dragon Knight and allow him to take down structures. They should focus down damage dealers and healers as priority targets, and only deal with tanks if that is all that is left.
- If your team loses the battle for the shines and your enemy gets the Dragon Knight, as above, do not rush in. Group up to engage, and do so to your advantage. The Dragon Knight can be focused down quickly, but if you leave the entire enemy team alive while attacking him, they will quickly tear your team apart. This means, looking for their weakest members and focusing them down, to gain an advantage, before directly engaging the Dragon Knight. This may see counter intuitive, since the Dragon Knight can deal so much damage, but if you focus him, you will not be alive for long, and the enemy team will end up dealing far more damage to your structures as you sit waiting for a resurrection timer.
- As mentioned repeatedly above, play this map cautiously. Any time a team gains control of a Dragon Knight they can gain a huge advantage over their opponents. Therefore, it is often better to delay any big engagement until such point as you have a big advantage in it. It is far better to play defensively and to not lose, than to play all out to win. Waiting on a mistake by your opponents on this map and being cautious wins more games than not. There have been many games played where control of both shrines and the gaining control of a Dragon Knight does not happen until well after the 10 minute mark. It is far better to play to make sure you get control, even if it take 8-12 minutes than play to potentially get it quickly only to lose it.
- While holding a shrine, but not both, it is a great time to have a strong jungle hero capture any mercenary camps that are available. The best mercenary camps to capture are the bottom 3 since they are closest to a shrine, so it is easy to come back to help defend. By doing this, you force your opponents to either come back from shrines to defend their towers and forts or to ignore the damage they are suffering. Either option is to your advantage. If they come back to defend, it gives your team a chance to capture both shrines and gain control of the Dragon Knight. If they ignore the mercenaries (and you support the mercenaries) then you can easily destroy towers and keeps and gain an advantage.
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