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How to play on Warhead Junction

Heroes Jason “Renofox” Renau


Join us as we look at the top strategies and heroes for the newest battlefield, Warhead Junction.

It’s a massive world out there with lots to know

In Blizzard’s own words, Warhead Junction is Heroes of the Storm’s largest three-lane battleground.  Here are a few important things to keep in mind when drafting and playing on Warhead Junction.

Adjutant Proclivities

Warhead Junction is run by our good ol’ Adjutant made famous from StarCraft.  The theme of this map is that she has a thing for nuke testing so here’s what you need to know about our dear friend the Adjutant’s favorite pastime.

 

  1. There are three lanes and each of the three lanes has three possible warhead spawning points near it.
     
  2. Unlike Garden and Cursed Hollow, the jungle in Warhead Junction has lots of open space for fighting and vents for hiding.
     
  3. At 1:40, the adjutant announces the arrival of two warheads to spawn in 20 seconds, marking their location on the map.  This first phase always has two warheads, spawning in two of the three central spawning points on the map.
     
  4. While warheads are available an indicator shows how many are left to be picked up in the lower right.  

  5. Once the last warhead is picked up, an invisible timer starts.  The next round of warheads will be announced 2:40 after the last warhead is picked up and will spawn at the 3-minute mark.  The second round will spawn 4 warheads, two lanes with neutrally placed warheads, and one lane with two symmetrically placed warheads.
     
  6. This pattern of two, then four, then two, continues until one team wins, each with the same 3-minute timing and random weighting of warhead placement.  If two warheads are to spawn, they are always neutrally placed.  If four warheads are to spawn, two will be neutrally placed, and one random lane will have two warheads on the right and left spawn points.

 

Factions of Malcontent

A StarCraft battleground just wouldn’t be complete without some StarCraft themed camps to take.  For full flavor and fun, Warhead Junction has two siege, two bruiser, and two boss camps, and remember, opposing teams DO NOT get experience for cleaning up any camps you take.  We’ll get back to this.

 

  1. The two siege camps sit between mid and bottom lane, comprised of two Terran Hellbats ready to flame things up.  These guys are tanky and will push down a fort if left unattended.  A single nuke will completely clear this camp, maybe even some unsuspecting low-health opponents trying to take the camp as well.
     
  2. The two bruiser camps sit between mid and top lane, comprising three Terran Goliaths and a Raven.  A nuke will bring every unit close to death for a quick cleanup, if you're so inclined.
     
  3. The two boss camps consist of Zerg Swarm Hosts that spawn little exploding Zerg units and some slowing slime.  One boss is found all the way at the very top of the map, and the other is found between mid and bot lane, much like on Sky Temple.  A nuke will only put a quarter chip in this big guy’s health bar.  But again, if there’s an opposing team taking the boss, it might just be worth it.

 

Heroes far afield

Because of the vastness and uniqueness of Warhead Junction, some heroes simply make more sense than others.  Here is a top list of heroes from each class that make the most sense for Warhead Junction:

Warriors

Chen – Chen is ridiculous right now. He has wave-clear for free, he has no mana and shields that let him mitigate most damage if played right. If left alone he can soak tower ammo, killing enemy fortifications.  Chen can also solo clear siege and bruiser camps without a scratch.  As far as roles, he can chase, slow, and act as a ward. If you haven’t tried Chen you owe it to yourself to try him out. Check out our recent piece on Chen here.

ETCrecently got some changes that make him better at lane clear, escape, and supporting his team. His stuns, isolation, and warding make him tier one in the tank position.  What’s really good about ETC now is he can use Stage dive on a 75 second cooldown, letting him crash down anywhere to bring the metal.  Global Metal!

Muradin – Muradin can jump over walls, letting him get in (or out) of most situations. He can also heal when rotating to other lanes.  He has okay lane clear and fills the roles of a good tank; warding and crowd control.

Dehaka – Dehaka is a tricky lil Zerg.  This may be the map that was made for him since he has excellent wave-clear and global presence with his Bushstalker Trait on a 40 second cooldown.  I really hope we see someone pull out a Dehaka secret-strat at BlizzCon.

Assassins

Falstad – He’s global on a 45-second cooldown with his Flight Trait, he has great damage, wave-clear, and escape.  Nothing has changed about this tier-one hero, other than that he’s more valuable on such a huge map.

Illidan – Illidan loves space to do his work, has no mana, and can self-heal. He can chase and kill with ease.  He can clear camps solo without a scratch. He also pairs well with Abathur who we’ll get to soon enough.

Tychus – Tychus has great lane clear, and at level 13 with That’s the Stuff, he can 1v1 anyone silly enough to stand against him. Tychus is great past level 10 with Drakken Laser Drill anytime he needs to even up the playing field for picking up a warhead or putting down an alternative source of damage in a team-fight.

Valla – Valla just got some pretty significant buffs to her kit, making her a fast and dangerous assassin.  She has good AOE, poke, and auto-attack abilities. At 10 she gets Rain of Vengeance which means she can stun and murder entire teams, and she can chase or escape if not simply walk way if her Hatred stacks are up, giving her ridiculous movement speed.  Take advantage of this silliness before they nerf her.

Thrall – Thrall is the sustain king, with decent lane-clear and excellent team fighting ability.  He may not have a global movement or speed but he can sunder an enemy who’s channeling a warhead pickup, if not just chase them down and murder them.

Lunara – As an honorable mention, Lunara can talent into excellent sustain, wave-clear and vision, and her trait lets her kite or escape with relative ease.  With Thornwood Vines at 10, Lunara can poke anyone to death who might be trying to channel a warhead pickup.

Supports

Brightwing – Great trait healing, global movement on a 45-second cooldown, excellent wave-clear, and amazing team-fight support tools.  She can poke channels and keep her people healed up as well as soak lanes and teleport during skirmishes for that extra experience advantage.

Medic – At 10, Medic can fly her ENTIRE TEAM on a 50-second cooldown.  It’s almost impossible for team-mates to die if she’s alive.

Auriel – Excellent wave-clear with Sacred Sweep, no mana issues, excellent team healing when grouped up.  Maybe her Resurrect ultimate will get used now.

Rehgar – Great healing, good wave-clear, and his Ghost Wolf Trait (puppy-mode) lets him mount instantly as well as restore mana while rotating. 

Specialists

The Lost Vikings – These guys are so broken right now.  The challenge with the design of Warhead Junction is you can’t be in all places at all times, forcing you to make plays by making tough choices… That is unless you’re The Lost Vikings.  TLV can soak all lanes freeing up your team to rotate as four and make plays.  They can steal nukes before anyone gets to them, they can solo camps, sometimes giving your team a three level experience lead.  At level 10 they get Play Again, making Vikings mostly unstoppable.  Mark my words, Vikings will be first pick, first ban on this map at BlizzCon.

Abathur & Zagara – Global Presence, global vision, can soak multiple lanes.  Both at 10 have options to either provide split-soak or team-fight help.

Xul, Sylvanas, and Sgt. Hammer – All three heroes bring plenty to a team-fight and if left alone will destroy lanes, each with their own unique escapes in case of trouble.

Medivh – Great wave-clear and portals.  Oh, the portal plays.  Keep your eye on the Korean scene because it’s almost guaranteed that Medivh’s portals will let roaming gank-squads reach critical points with surprise and speed.

Embrace the Junction

I’ve heard plenty of complaints from the players who try to play Warhead Junction the same way they play other big maps. Don’t make this mistake.  Warhead Junction is a map with more objectives than players can capitalize on. Play smart, use heroes that can sustain in lane, have global presence, and/or who can stand toe to toe in a fight.

Follow us on Twitter @GosuGamersHotS and on Facebook for more competitive Heroes of the Storm news and coverage from around the world.

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Jason “Renofox” Renau
"In games, we are shown who we are. Through eSports, we explore who we can become." Heroes of the Storm advocate, wellness coach, and armchair sociologist. You can follow me on twitter @renothefox.

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