Theo's Battleground Guide for Heroes of the Storm: Garden of Terror
1. Map Analysis
Garden of Terror is a 3-lane battleground featuring a day and night sequence. When night falls, the night horrors will come out in the garden area of the Battleground and all normal mercenary camps will disappear. The minimap displays the location of all night horrors with purple indicators, similar to the Haunted Mines display of skulls.
During the night, brightness of hero's vision is turned down hence the map becomes darker and night is the perfect time for enemies to strike and take advantage of reduced visibility. The night phase does not end until all night horrors are killed. Since the nature of the map changes and the daynight cycle is controlled by players, it becomes part of the strategy whether to try and keep the map on the night cycle or try and shift it back to daytime.
After collecting 100 seeds, any player on the team can right click on the Fertile Soil inside their base to summon the almighty Garden Terror. That player will become the Terror and will be free to use the Garden Terror’s power to their advantage. However, use your time wisely, as the summoned Terror has a time limit that will expire.
The Garden Terror has two abilities. Plant Horror Overgrowth disables and damages all enemy buildings around the casted area. Be careful, as the Overgrowth can be destroyed by the opposing team. This creates a good risk-reward scenario and opens up gameplay choices. Players can use the ability as bait, place it in areas away from heroes, or just go for the all-in play. Plant Horror Overgrowth will be on top of the priority list for enemies, so players will have to think on their feet with how, where, and when to use such a powerful ability.
2. General Strategy
Similar to Haunted Mines, there is a need to sidetrack from the usual pushing and merc-gathering to farm for seeds. These seeds are important as, once again, the benefits of getting the Garden Terror outweights all the effort put into pushing. To put into context, the Garden Terror is able to disable structures. Effectively, it can push by itself.
During the day, play as per normal. The most important part is not to die when night is approaching. Ensure the team is relatively healthy before night falls.
When night falls, you can do one of the few things
1. Gather seeds.
This is a no brainer. There are 100 seeds available (14 minions which drop seeds, including 2 bosses) to fight for. You could engage in some seed rushing during the night.
Do so only when you have heroes which can kill neutrals effectively, such as Zagara.
Try not to touch the bosses as they can create opportunities for the opponent to gank you. Only attack them together with your team.
When night falls, visability is low. Some players like to use this chance to camp near the minions and gank the heroes farming for seeds. This is effective for teams with a lot of assassin heroes. Take note, however, that ganking needs to be fast and efficient, or else you lose out the seed war. In the end, getting the Garden Terror is the main aim.
The only ideal way to gank the enemy is to ensure that the team is at least half-wiped. This gives a lot of leeway to farm for the seeds, since 2-3 heroes won't be able to hold off the attack of 4-5 heroes of your own team.
3. Boss Rush
A team with a relatively high DPS and a good tank can rush the bosses. The bosses drop the highest number of seeds, and securing these seeds can easily win you the seed war. In order to rush the boss, the team needs to have a very strong dps to take it down in seconds, a good tank to soak up the damage, and prefably 3-4 heroes with an escape mechanism should things turn sour. This is probably the riskiest of all the methods you can possible use when night falls.
The Game continues
The next most obvious question would be this: When should I activate the Garden Terror?
Contrary to what most players do, the Garden Terror should not be activated immediately once it is available. There is a need to wait for the perfect opportunity to do so. Some opportunities include this:
1. Opposing Team Wipe
This is the most obvious indicator that it is a good time to activate the Terror. A team wipe on the opposing side means that there is little that can defend your Terror. Activate it and wreck havoc on the opponent's base!
DO NOT activate it when your team is wiped. It wastes the Terror and 5 heroes can easily pummel it into oblivion. Unless defending the core, the Terror should remain untouched, and leave the defending to the heroes for now.
Another common technique used is to activate the Terror when night falls and do 1 of 2 things: push the base or to farm for more seeds.
If the Terror is used to push, the enemy team is forced to defend while your team can farm for seeds. This should only be done when your team has a distinct advantage in the number of seeds collected, as the Terror would probably not get far in terms of pushing.
If the Terror is used to farm, it can serve as an effective crowd controller with Spore Queen's Curse.This gives a lot of leeway to acquire the seeds.
3. Double Lane Push
I personally like this method, especially for the Dragon Shire map. By pulling off a double laned push, you can secure at least one keep. However, this is a risky method and if the enemy team defends successfully, you risk a team wipe.
To end off, here is what Developer Meng personally recommends:
"We believe some of the choices below fit well on this unique battleground:
- Heroes that have summons and/or can jungle well such as Gazlowe and Zagara
- Heroes that have good AoE and/or are difficult to ambush like Stitches, Brightwing, and Falstad
- Heroes or talents that allow you to scout, such as Tassadar and Clairvoyance"
Good luck have fun!