Hello and welcome to my second gameplay guide, this time I will be focusing on one of the hardest aspect of the game: roaming.
If you don't know me yet, I am an average 1800MMR/PSR player, with decent knowledge of the game, and if I'm writing on roaming, it's simply because one of my favorite role is initiation, thus playing magmus and behemoth quite a bit, two of the strongest roamers of the game.
This guide is written for forests of valdavar, in a 5 versus 5 situation. I am also considering you know the basics of Heroes of Newerth, such as farming, warding, map awareness, communication as you will need all these to roam successfully.
So, without further small-talk, let's jump into that lil' guide I got for you guys.O - Table of content
I - Introduction
I - Introduction
II - Basics of roaming
II - a) Why roam ?III - Roamers
II - b) How to ?
II - c) What do you need ?
II - d) When to ?
III - a) Designed roamersIV - Conclusion
III - b) Potential roamers
III - c) You can, but you shouldn't
V - Replays
VI - Changelog
VII - Credits
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II - Basics of roaming
So what is roaming ?
Basically, one of the most annoying aspect of the game, as facing strong roamers who knows their sh*t will keep you constantly on your toes, forcing you to chose all the time between playing passive and missing farm and experience, or death. This aspect is mostly psychological, playing with your opponents mindsets, making them fear the fog of war like kids afraid of the dark.
Now, keep in mind that there is a few heroes that can successfully roam, and that you will spend most of your time in the danger zones, travelling in the enemy's jungle, behind their lines, to surprise them. You will DIE. You won't get kills (or at least you should try leaving them for others). You will be behind in farm and experience. Learning how to roam will be painful, will take practice, and communication.
Still with me ? Good
Let's get down to business then !
In this section, I will cover the basics of roaming, when to, how to, why, and what it brings to your team.II - a) Why roam ?
Roaming, as aforementionned, will be crippling you as an individual. So why roam ?
The goal of a game, is to win, if I'm not mistaking. And one of these ways is roaming. A successful roamer will win all lanes for his team. He will set up kills for his teammates, giving the farm and the level advantage to his team.
Setting up two kills on the enemy's middle lane will nearly ensure a won mid lane for your team, allowing your mid to take over the mid game. Killing the enemy's carry, drawing the attention to you, and not to your farming carry. Forcing the enemy's support to ward and counterward constantly, and giving your team the upper hand by making people FEAR to move into the fog. A carry that's not feeling safe to farm anywhere, is a useless carry. II - b) How to ?
Obviously, you'll be picking a hero that is ABLE to roam. What does a hero need to be a good roamer ?
He needs to be farm independant, because your gpm will be closer to 100gpm than 200 in most cases. He needs a good stun, or good slows in order to set the kills, even though being low level. In most cases you will be a trilane support, so you'll be aiming at getting the gold AND the experience to the trilane farmer, staying in the jungle, in position to catch the enemy's if they happen to push up a bit too far.
Your job will be to move constantly, forcing the enemy's to guess where you are. I cannot stress enough the importance of warding, counter-warding and your ability to dodge wards in roaming. The enemy's must GUESS and not KNOW where you are. This is usually the difference between a successful gank, and a missed opportunity, and even death on you, or even worse, on the lane you were ganking.
Because of your movement, don't hesitate to camp runes when they are going to spawn, guarding them for your mid lane, or even picking them up if need be.
I'm giving you the key to roaming: MOVE. Not only between the lane you're supposed to be and the mid lane, but all around the map. You feel you're losing time ? you're not. Make yourself unpredictable. Half of roaming is psychology, so keep it in mind. Of course you have to net kills in order to be feared, but you don't need to kill AT ALL COSTS. Sometimes just showing yourself during a split second is enough for the supposedly ganked lane to play passive for 30s. This means 30s of free farm in this lane, and 30s that can be used to move to another lane. II - c) What do you need ?
Basically, most of the roamers of this guide will need level 1 to roam.
However, the important things to keep in mind are:
You need to move around, so everything that helps you moving needs to be picked up as soon as possible. And regeneration of course, so that you don't waste your precious time running back to base.
So these are the items you should (and that's pretty much the only things you'll be able to afford!!) get:
: Your best friend. You should always have one in your inventory as soon as the game hits the 6 or 7th minute mark. Period. It allows you to countergank, move quickly to the opposite side of the map, dodge wards, and play mindgames, as people seeing you bottom, will play passive, thinking you're there, but you just ported top (unseen by creeps) and gank it.
: The first thing you should pick up after your starting items are these. Will allow you to move around the map faster, position yourself better, and mess up the different calculations your opponents are doing, trying to know where you are. Striders aren't necessary, grab them if you want, but think of them as 300g you cannot use to get regen items, or your core item.
: This is the regeneration you should get. Consumables for the early game. Then comes the other 3. Mana battery is a MUST. You'll be constantly ganking, so people will cast spells around you. Best regeneration a roamer can get for the price. Feel free to upgrade it to power supply, but again, think of it as (53+53+240)=346g that will delay anything else. Chalice is very useful, as you'll get kills (hopefully), so it's 100 free mana every 35s. Bottle is very situationnal. I personally don't like it. It costs 600g, has a poor build-up (read "no"), provides small and unreliable regeneration, and your mid cannot get it if he goes for bottle. The only reason for a roamer to get bottle IMHO is if your mid hero doesn't need runes, but stays in lane to farm (
are examples), so having a bottle will give you regen, and will prevent their mid hero to get the rune.
: Your next best friends. Wards of sight will allow you to know where people are, so that you don't waste time running to empty lanes. Wards of reveal are here to make sure that you can move freely to catch the enemy heroes by surprise.
That's pretty much everything you'll need to be effective, along with a few levels, and you're going to have to make do with it, because that's all you'll be able to get in most cases.II - d) When to ?
As I said before, you'll be moving pretty much all the time. In order to win the lanes, and not lose them miserably because you're not there, you need to pick teams carefully. The laning heroes should be able to stand in the lane when you are not here. As simple as that.
What do you want to see ?
What don't you want to see ?
A hero with no escape mechanism, that needs farm, and a priority target to enemy heroes. Don't see what I mean ?
in the long lane. If he pushes, he'll get killed because of his squishyness, crappy movement speed. If he tower hugs while you are ganking, this tells the enemy team you're ganking, and he misses important farm.
Once you picked your team, your main goal is to set dominance in one lane, so that you can leave it and roam around to the other lanes. Lv 1 kill on the mid lane, couple of kills on their trilane, a kill on their solo are ways to achieve that. However, if you see the lane you're in is lost, move around as soon as possible, in order to try to win the other two. Staying in a trilane with a 2 level disadvantage will set you back even more, so go away, wait for your solos to get the levels and farm, and go back to gank the trilane.III - Roamers
As mentionned before, some heroes are designed to roam, some can, some can but shouldn't and some can't.
III - a) Designed roamers
In this section I will try to cover the heroes that have the build-in spells required to be good roamers, as well as overall gameplay.
: A ranged stun, - armor that gives sight, decent base damage, and totally farm and level independant. When playing a roaming andromeda, level up comet first, then max aurora first, as leveling comet increases the mana cost a lot, so it will save you mana, and increase you and your teammates dps on a target. You will (in most cases) be the main support, so upgrading the courier, warding/counterwarding is your main focus. Assist gold should allow you to do this easily.
III - b) Potential roamers
: two of the strongest roamers in the game. Both have a strong AoE stun, allowing you to get kills pretty easily. Be careful when playing magmus, as your stun puts you in the danger zone, but you have steambath, and both surge and steambath disjoints spells. Behemoth is amazing, as he virtually has a 8s stun, cutting someone from his team, giving 8s to kill the target, while his teammates cannot help him. However, from time to time you'll block yourself or your teammate in the enemies, or you'll just block the target on the wrong side. Hard to master, needs a lot of practice, but these two are perfect. You shouldn't ward though, as the sooner you get your :Portalkey:, the better. However, if your main support struggle, help him out.
In this section we'll see heroes that can roam effectively, but won't in most cases, as they will be staying in the lane to sit the farming carry, or in the jungle to stack/pull creepcamps.
: Strong disables, slows, level and farm independant, decent base damage, and short CD's makes these guys good gankers, weaker than the previous three, but shouldn't be disregarded. Here again, the warding job falls to you, so do it properly, will make your life much easier. They are usually staying in the lane to babysit your farming carry, especially if he's a melee carry.
: This dude is special. He's an amazing roamer, but he needs levels. The level 1 stun lasts 0.75s, which is nothing, so expect to be able to roam from level 3. Apart from this, he got 2 very strong CC abilities which makes him excellent at ganking, and his silver bullet is the cherry on the cake. Wards will be part of your job.
III - c) You can, but you shouldn't
: long range AoE stun, movespeed buff, beefy, hits like a truck, can't ask much more for a roamer. Can roam, but benefits from expensive items like:Steamboots: ,:Portalkey: and :ShrunkenHead:, so he will spend less time roaming than magmus or behemoth for example, but he's as good as them.
: crazy ganker with all his AoE stun and nukes, but he needs levels to be effective (1.25s stun is usually not enough). His impalement, his pushing and farming potential are just too strong to be used as a roamer. Get farm on this guy, he will take over the mid game for you.
: strong nuker, decent stun at level 1, but you benefit a lot of levels, and a :Portalkey: makes you a force to be reckoned with mid game. He can farm pretty fast as well, so he'll be better of farming :Hellflower::Stormspirit::KuldrasSheepstick: or any items that counters the enemy team.
: decent stun, but weak early game, good slow, and RnG procs can land unexpected kills, but he's too unreliable to roam effectively. Let him support or farm CC items like pyro, or simply don't pick him if you don't have a good idea behind it (Frenzy'ed
: Good nuke, 2 powerful CC's, but you need levels for them to be effective. And his ultimate is too good to be delayed. This guy should farm, not move around (or move around with your :PostHaste:, gank a lane, push the tower, wait 70s and repeat).
: good nuke, strong CC, but again, need levels to be used at its full potential. Farm your core, and win teamfights.
: excellent CC if not interrupted, even at level 1, but you need farm to use the other spells at their full potential, get tanky and spread your AoE electricity.
: excellent slow, extremely annoying debuff, but the recent nerfs to his wards, poison spray range, and the last change to toxicity makes him way better in a solo lane farming and getting levels. Period.
With all the other heroes, forget the roaming.