Building a Composition

One of the most intimidating things for new players to Heroes of the Storm is understanding compositions and roles within compositions. Who is good against whom, what do you pick when, who should be doing what. This will be the first in a series of weekly articles here at GFE specifically targeted at players who have these questions. Every week we will build a composition from the free rotation heroes, so everyone will have access to them, complete with talent builds for each hero, and play tips.

If you would like to discuss this article or have suggestions/comments regarding the format of this new series, please let us know here on Reddit.

Free Rotation June 6 to June 13th


The most critical role in Heroes of the Storm is Healer. Not the in-game classification support, but Healer. Those heroes who can sustain a team on a map and turn team fights with their heroics, so we’ll start most of our compositions by picking a Healer. In this case we are going to go with Auriel, because she will strongly highlight how important team play is in Heroes of the Storm with her special requirement of needing someone on her team to do high damage and always be with her.

Because we picked Auriel, our second pick will be Gul’dan. Of the available heroes in the free rotation, he is by far the best Hope generator, also known as a “battery,” for Auriel. This automatically leads us into a poke style of composition that focuses heavily on wave clear with protecting Gul’dan being critical. Of the available tanks, the one with the best zoning to keep Gul’dan and Auriel alive is Arthas. This gives us a very strong 3-man that can rotate on any close rotation map (maps where it is possible to rotate between two lanes while clearing both and not missing experience), or hold down a lane on any two lane map.

We need a reliable solo laner for the far lane from our 3-man and we could do with some burst damage to follow up the heavy poke from Gul’dan, so we’re going to pick up Ragnaros. Ragnaros doesn’t necessarily win any of his lane match ups, but because of his wave clear he ties most of them safely and his trait gives him a strong defensive option when needed; Blast Wave gives a movement speed increase to anyone on the team when needed which is notably lacking right now; he can solo camps efficiently once his level 1 quest is finished; and Sulfuras Smash will give us that burst we were looking for.

The last spot is very flexible, but because this composition is not map specific and we could end up on Cursed Hollow, Sky Temple, or Warhead where having another hero to hold down a lane would be very important, we’re going to pick up Zeratul. Void Prison and Sulfuras Smash is a very strong combination, his mobility and stealth allows him to scout and interfere with enemy rotations which is something Arthas struggles with, and later in the game he can delete basically any fragile hero.

So we have our composition: Arthas, Auriel, Gul’dan, Ragnaros, and Zeratul

Auriel: Talent Build

Always be with your Gul’dan, focus staying on the same relative line but above or below him, so Detainment Strike will work as effective peel for any divers that get past Arthas. Use Aegis when people are high health but getting focused, not as a “save” mechanic when someone is already low.

Pro Advice: “Make sure to swap your crown based on who's doing the most damage.” - GFE akaface

Gul’dan: Talent Build

Your primary job is poke and waveclear. Fighting is something that happens when there aren’t waves to clear. Because you are the battery for Auriel, any time you are not doing damage, Auriel is not healing. This means you need to constantly be doing damage without being too far forward. Pay attention to Arthas’s positioning and always back up if he does while throwing out Qs behind you.

Pro Advice: “The most important thing to focus on for Gul’dan is positioning. Gul’dan is very immobile and easy to kill if he steps out of position, make sure enemy tanks can never get behind you to body block you.” - GFE k1pro

Arthas: Talent Build

Be mounted as often as possible, always try and be with your Auriel and Gul’dan combo, zoning for them and preventing anyone from collapsing or flanking them. Your lack of mobility makes it relatively dangerous to over extend unless you have your cooldowns, particularly Army of the Dead, available.

Pro Advice: “Arthas is a very strong tank at initiating fights and controlling space. The most important thing to focus on is getting the most out of Army of the Dead, using the extra sustain to push in and control deeper enemy zones.” - GFE KingCaffeine

Ragnaros: Talent Build

As a melee assassin with only a small movement speed boost and no other gap closers or escapes, Ragnaros is always looking to play safely. Focus on keeping your lane soaked and not over extending in the solo, and think about when you can go solo camps to time them to push with objectives. If your team loses a big pushing objective, like on Battlefield, Tomb, or Infernal Shrines, be ready to use Molten Core to defend.

Pro Advice: “The most important thing to focus on is having properly timed Molten Cores. You should be pinging your team to fight around a fort or keep that you can Molten Core at baiting the enemy team into a bad engagement.” - GFE MichaelUdall

Zeratul: Talent Build

Because Arthas lacks an escape he can’t be the mobile ward we normally expect from a tank, hanging out in forward bushes to monitor and disrupt rotations. Zeratul can do this for his team, and stealth is a very strong “Schrödinger’s Global.” You don’t know where he is until he shows himself, so always consider if showing yourself is worthwhile.

Pro Advice: “The most important thing to focus on for Zeratul is engaging, executing, and escaping. As Zeratul, you want to engage by either flanking or finding an angle on your enemy’s backliners. Starting the fight with a W onto the target of your choice is critical. Execution depends on the situation, but it involves dropping your damage onto your target as quickly as possible while taking as little damage as possible. Once you hit level 10, execution involves finding the right VP and taking the opportunity the second it presents itself. Escaping is the third important point. Zeratul has a ton of defensive options, and should not die often if at all. Saving Blink or VP for escape is generally very important. It is very easy to get a kill without dying with Zeratul’s kit as long as you keep your escape options open when you engage, so you should almost always be aiming for that.” - GFE Fan

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