Cursed Hollow: How I learned to Love the Raven
In the Nexus, worlds collide as the Korprulu Sector meets Azeroth and Sanctuary. While heroes create legendary teams which sometimes turn Blizzard lore on its head, there has emerged a new realm where eager citizens watch the battles rage on.
Ravens Court is an impoverished area where farmers and miners struggle to make ends meet. What is a lonely farm hand in the Cursed Hollow to do for entertainment in this dreary life? Well watching famous heroes duke it out over a cold pint isn’t a bad way to spend an afternoon (even if the Raven Lord’s tributes continuously harass the fertile ground).
With origins in early alpha, Cursed Hollow is one of the largest maps in Heroes of the Storm. The objective is simple: Every two minutes a tribute to the Raven Lord will spawn and once a team has collected three, he will curse their enemies. The curse makes all enemy buildings unable to attack and reduces their minions to one health point. With such a powerful objective comes an extreme importance of team fighting over curses and some interesting counter strategies. Fortunately there are a few basic rules to follow in order to secure the Raven Lord’s favor.
First you must remember that tributes will spawn on either the top or bottom half of the map. Out of the six spawning locations (as shown in orange), they will always generate in sets of three. During this set they will alternate from top to bottom, thus never producing a set where all three tributes spawn on the same side of the map. Next, if you note where tributes spawn they will always be right, center and left. This allows you to predict the next tribute due to the restrictions that you will not receive two tributes on the same left to right scale, and only two of them will be on the same side going top to bottom.
So now that we know how to accurately predict where tributes will spawn, how should we capitalize on them? This is where team composition can be the deciding factor between a skirmish and a victory. Specialists are insanely good on this map due to the size and the rotating objective. Skipping the first tribute to take a couple of towers can often produce a level lead which can be enough to start an early snowball.
Heroes such as Zagara, Gazlow, SGT Hammer, Murky and Abathur are great picks for Cursed Hollow (Not to mention The Lost Vikings). Also heroes with global abilities such as Falstad and Brightwing can capitalize on the large map size to give an effect of being everywhere at once. Being able to control mercenaries and split push lanes is just as important as the objective on this map, unlike others such as Black Hearts Bay which can be won with the Objective alone. This means that some under used talents such as bribe or mercenary lord can actually be really good. Heroes such as Arthas who you wouldn’t think of as being a split pusher can also do some major damage when they talent into it.
This leads us to the most important mercenary of them all: the boss. Controlling the bosses are how you win this map. A few things to remember are not to waste your curse by staying on your side of the map and fighting this monstrosity. If you are going to boss during the curse, make sure that it is at least in enemy territory. Instead capturing your own boss before an important tribute spawn, will allow you to passively split push, and can force the enemy to team fight down a player. Also as is the case in every game, never try to take boss without some kind of advantage. The enemy knows what you’re doing, and they will counter you.
So great, now that we are ahead in levels what should we do? You are obviously doing something right, so keep forcing team fights on contesting tributes. Try to gank the enemy at their boss or roam as a team to pick off those pesky specialists who keep trying to take your outer forts. Just remember, that the underdog bonus will count against you and that the enemy will catch up soon if they are properly soaking.
When you are behind, try not to fight team vs team. Don’t give up on the objective completely, but realize that the enemy needs to get three tributes before you are cursed. There’s no sense in throwing yourselves at a tribute if it is only their first or second in a set. Take the boss on the other side on the map, or split push and force the enemy to try to gank you. Overextending will get you killed, but not if you are being the bait. Pay attention to your map even more, and know when the enemy is coming to get you. If you can successfully force the team into one lane, then they won’t be soaking the other two. Most importantly though, is keep a level head. Morale is a big part of this game, and just remember that numbers alone confer no advantage.
Finally there are a few nuances to Cursed Hollow which are hero specific. Ganking is always an important part of Heroes of the Storm, and there are a lot of places to strike from while on the Raven’s territory. Stiches and Hammer have some great places to set up camp by using the environment as a shield. Look for the narrow pathways near the knight camps, and around the middle lane. These can also be great places to hide an egg or a locust nest.
So go forth, and claim victory in the name of the Raven Lord. Earning his favor will win you games, and precious ranked points. Fear not an over leveled team, because there are always ways to take forts as long as you are thinking on your feet both during and after the draft selection.
Article written by: Adam Felcyn
Have you learned to love the Raven yet? Tell us your experience in the comments below!