I’ve seen a lot of losing strategies, but one of the most blatant is a strong desire to kill Leoric over and over again. Why? Because it’s pointless. Focusing on Leoric is a sucker’s game. Here’s why.
Clueless or Cunning?
Since coming up with the Heroes of the Storm Brawl Rules, I’ve been amazed at how many people completely ignore the most important rule. The Butcher will charge with Ruthless Onslaught into a crowd of 5 enemies with only 7 meat to his name. Three strikes in and he’s dead.
Or someone will see an enemy down to 10% health, chase them down, and die in the process. As their teammates are suddenly a player down, 2 more fall. They got the kill, at the expense of 3.
But the one that always annoyed me was the player who chose Leoric and simply would never retreat. You’d hear the ding of the death over and over again thinking, “damn… this player doesn’t have a clue.”
Sadly, with Leoric, you never know. That player could be completely clueless or very cunning. They just may know that focusing on Leoric is a sucker’s game.
Why Focusing on Leoric Is a Sucker’s Game
The thing is that Leoric is not like any other character. His trait makes him a formidable foe in brawl, because there are several reasons his death, particularly in early game doesn’t really matter.
- Near Non-Existent Downtime. Of all the hero downtime, Leoric’s is the lowest. By far. Early game, he’s out in just a few seconds. Nearly any other Hero must take about 15 seconds travel time in addition to their death. Taking out Leoric 10 times vs. taking out Kel’Thas 5 means tons more damage you can be removing from the game.
- Soaking Damage for Little Cost. Smart Leorics (and let’s face it: dumb ones who stumble on it out of sheer cluelessness) understand the truth of point 1. They take all the damage and barely add a tick to the other team’s level because of low early game XP. Also the other team focusing on Leoric gives their team a chance to do damage to the right heroes that will actually make a difference.
- Scaling XP. There have been a lot of changes to Heroes since it began and one of the biggest is the change in XP leveling. The fact is you want to avoid dying first and foremost (Rule #1), but an early death is but a scratch compared to late game deaths. I’ve seen games with single digit deaths on one team to 30 on the other with equal levels. Getting a ton of hits on Leoric only matters in the follow up.
How To Fight Against Leoric
Although focusing on Leoric is a sucker’s game, there are ways to not only neutralize him, but also to combat him. If you want to have a successful game against Leoric in Heroes of the Storm Brawls, follow these rules.
- Keep Your Distance as DPS. One of the best ways to deal with Leoric is simply to hit him from a distance. Move erratically to avoid getting hit with Drain Hope. If you can damage him without getting near him, you have the advantage.
- CC. Leoric is Melee. Drain Hope is the only ability he can use with some distance. If you can use crowd control on him and keep your distance, you can neutralize him. Then you can decide if you want to focus on him or use the opportunity to harass and kill the backline.
- Match His Fear. if Leoric is skittish, then he doesn’t know point 1. Take advantage of that. When you do take Leoric down, take the back line down fast, before he comes back. Then you can take him down again unencumbered. This is a perfect example that highlights a truth: too many people think the game is about talents or stats; it’s about skill. Reading other players is part of the game.
- Be Ready for March of the Black King. There was a recent game I played against Leoric that was brutal. Not only were my teammates focusing on Leoric, but they would kill him, fight other players, and then swarm him as he reappeared. Bad move. He would come to life with his heroic cooldown over, they would swarm, and he would take out the lot of them with March of the Black King. I watched this happen time and time again. I thought for sure they would learn, but they never did. Finally, after the 4th time I saw him kill them all, I told them to not swarm him after he reappeared as he would fire up his heroic and toast them all.
A Final Note
I worry as I write this because I think clueless people will use this as an excuse to avoid rule 1. Bad move. Even though focusing on Leoric is a sucker’s game, and dying early game has little penalty, it’s still best to to avoid death all together. Just because you can go out, soak all the damage, die, and comeback quickly, that doesn’t mean that’s the smartest move.
For instance, if you could take the hit of Li Ming’s Arcane Orb or miss it, wouldn’t it be better to avoid the damage and stay alive that much longer? It’s like when people see a healer, they no longer worry about avoiding damage. Then they wonder why they’re losing.
Always avoid damage; it’s less the healer has to heal. Always try to stay alive. That’s rule number 1. Focusing on Leoric may be a sucker’s game, but dying when you don’t have to – that just plain sucks.