Table of Contents Top
Gazlowe was the first hero I fell in love with. I used to love him in solo queues. I'd play more of him but most good players have figured out to not let him jungle solo and know how to avoid a devastating wombo-combo with
. Against good teams, you almost have to have another hero help get your combo to hit more than one person, something like
. At higher levels of play Gazlowe will seldom get to push or even merc (his biggest strength) solo. And most of those matches boil down to a few late game team fights, where the team that wins a big team fight either pushes for the win or gets a full minute to grab every map objective risk-free.
This build gets him as much team fighting presence as I think he can get. Meanwhile he sacrifices very little jungling power. He can still take out giants and bruisers taking almost no damage. And he can still down bosses very quickly with 1-2 people helping (don't solo bosses beyond really low level of play, please. Your enemies are very bad if they don't notice you missing, check, and kill you for trying).
Sadly I think that's still not quite enough against teams who have good organization and team fighting skills. He's really close to balanced, but just a little lacking in most maps. Blizz was probably right to reduce his
to make him less of a 1-trick pony, but now that
no longer sets up nice split pushes, he just needs a tad of loving of most maps where the game boils down to 1 or 2 good team fights at 15 minutes +.
On a couple of maps where there are static objectives, he is good if he can get set up early enough.
is pretty good for him.
is also pretty good with its static objectives and tight walkways.
Gazlowe also has a lot of siege talents that could allow him to tear down a lane quickly if ignored. However an enemy team would be really bad to let you do that for very long. Pushing or even just pressuring a lane did get a lot more viable since October patch. Minions take longer to kill each other and give more XP, making your damage and presence in lane more important. And ammunition takes longer to regenerate, making each minion or turret that makes it to the wall more important. But taking those talents makes you a lot less effective in team fights if (when) the game moves towards team fights.
Ironically, while Gazlowe is one of the best soloists, his true power isn't realized unless he is playing with a team who knows how to take advantage of his skills. Luckily, Gazlowe has a good set of talents that make a solid contribution to a team fight, while still a monster against mercs and minions.
I put together a similar guide for Zagara
, a build that gives her the most team power she can have that happens to also be good at mercs. In Zagara's case, though, she needs less coordination from her team.
Pros and Cons Top
- Able to solo any merc camp (golems included) while taking very little damage
- "Wombo combos" which, with some coordination, can just win team fights
- Empowers knight and giant camps if you push with them
- Great at controlling space
- Sets up heavy defenses around static objectives or for defense
- Even without siege talents, if left alone he can quickly tear down a lane (seldom happens in better games.)
- Squishy, dies quickly if caught
- Very little in the way of escape moves
- Much of his power comes from his team knowing how to take advantage of him
Gazlowe is listed as a melee specialist. And while slow, his melee is one of the strongest hitting in the game. It does a lot of damage to minions, mercs and buildings. But against most heroes, you won't be doing a lot of melee. It's good at finishing off a hero, but you will usually be away from other heroes in a team fight and usually have something better to do with your time than smack people in the face.
Turrets serve multiple purposes. They are your biggest source of damage in most fights. They control space, giving you and your team a safer place to fight. They tank damage for you against mercs. And they drop scrap, making them less expensive than most of your other moves. Also useful for hiding behind when a
Don't stack these on top of each other. That allows AE / Cleave to kill several at once. Spread them out so that they still have some overlap.
Your only long range damage. Remember that it's an option, but it shouldn't be used as part of every fight. I see a lot of Gazlowes wasting a lot of time, mana and damage using these on every merc camp and even minion waves. Remember that its damage is only strong when you let it charge for a long time. During that time you cannot place turrets, throw bombs, do melee attacks, or even move
. Against buildings, mercs, etc. it's actually less damage than just using your melee attacks.
There are some situations where I will use this move, though:
- To do damage from a safe distance and the safety of my turrets, especially when my bombs and turrets are all on cooldown (happens less as you get later talents.)
- To interrupt someone channeling a turn in or capture
- To finish off a runner
- If I'm trying to grab a knight camp at very low levels, it can soften up all four of them between dropping two turrets and waiting for a third.
Beware of the minimap. It's natural to follow the beam as it gets longer, but that often puts it over the minimap, which can turn you the wrong way.
Damage plus a stun. The stun is important for later team fights. It also reduces the damage you take from mercs. Easy for heroes to avoid, but sometimes even getting the enemy heroes to keep moving is enough to get a fight advantage. More on this move's uses later.
Scrap drops off the ground from buildings, turrets and even some summoned things like creep tumors. Grab them to keep your mana up and make your other abilities available quicker. Before leaving an area, use D on all of your turrets to turn them into scrap, reducing your trips back to a well or home. Almost no Gazlowe players seem to know this, but you can use this move while mounted without getting dismounted. You really have no excuse for not using this after mounting and grabbing them on your way out. Remember that this reduces the cooldown of your
A really good talent. With good aim it's +70% damage on minions, +40% on knights, +20% on giants. Adds crucial damage in a team fight when your combo goes off. Synergy with
Kwik Release Charge
. Late game I've seen a bunch of 1,000+ numbers when a couple of minion packs get stalled and clumped all against a wall.
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
Not that great, but it helps with mana, which helps my team. Also slightly reduced time on
when you happen to be running by minions later in the game.
If you use your turrets to tank, this shouldn't matter much for mercs. Nice for soloing golems or solo pushing. Later in the game you can clear mercs faster than they can kill a single turret. Zero value in a team fight or duel.
Decent at putting pressure on a lane, especially if you drop them just before everyone leaves lanes for an objective. Sucks up a huge
amount of ammo. Very useful on catapults late game. 0 benefit in a team fight unless it already got you an XP lead.
This tier was a lot more complicated when Gazlowe could empower mercs without pushing with them. Now it's usually better to take extra turret damage or slowing turrets. The slow is usually better unless you end up soloing jungle camps, since slows in team fights can make a big difference. If the enemy team is all ranged except their tank, the slows lose a lot of value.
A nightmare for certain melee characters. Makes escaping difficult for almost everyone. Helps you escape a gank or even kite a melee around your turrets and bombs until they die. Makes it more likely that you'll grab a few people in your combo or just hit people with your bombs in general. Not any better than your regular turrets for minions, mercs or buildings, but a lot of time hero fights are all that matters. Even more useful in team fights if you end up with Long-Range Turrets.
Rock-It! Turret XL
Really effective on minions, knights and giants. Only useful on golems if an enemy hero shows up too. Can be useful on some team fights, but probably worse than
if your team doesn't have enough disruption or the other team has a lot of melee.
See heroic abilities section
This now gives a 3rd turret, not 4. Extra turrets are good. They can tank for you vs. mercs or bosses. They control space better for your team, especially with
makes the turret cheap and the extra scrap can drastically reduce your cooldowns, including your
A nice talent on almost any character. Can help you escape if the other team is constantly going for you, but may not be necessary if you took
. Triple slowing turrets can do a pretty good job at keeping you alive while helping your team more. Still, if the enemy team has your number and you can't live long enough to get your bombs off, this is good. Getting a wombo-combo doesn't matter much if you die as much or more than the enemy heroes.
This was buffed to 40% range. I haven't been able to play with this much yet, but I think the May patch makes this the new best choice for a team-friendly build. 40% range is a lot, especially if you took
. You can contribute to a team fight from the safety of your turret nest. Without
Kwik Release Charge
and only 3 turrets, there might even be time to try to get in a Lazor or two, though I suspect Lazor is still pretty bad, even in a team fight.
Kwik Release Charge
So good. Works well with
to provide a lot of damage and stuns. Once you get this, you can clear knight camps without taking any damage with just a single turret drop. Also useful in helping you escape. Even if you don't land a bomb in a team fight, sometimes just throwing down constant bombs and getting the opponents to move out of position is enough to swing fights, especially if they are melee or dive heavy.
With good timing and bad team positioning on the opponents' part, you can pull a chain
, decimating anyone caught. Still, it's hard to get off, and I want to try the 40% turret range for a while.
Miniature Black Hole
They thought your combo was bad before? Now it's even easier to grab their whole team and watch them explode. This messes with the timing of your first bomb slightly, as it takes a fraction of a second longer to suck everyone into your bomb. Usually my first choice in this tier.
Heroic Abilities Top
If you want to be the most value in a team fight,
is the clear winner. It makes the enemy team worried about all rushing together or clumping. When they do, if you get the combo off, it straight up kills them.
is fun. It lets you do nasty things to merc camps, golems, and buildings. But the way the game is played now, that often doesn't mean much because losing a team fight will cost more than all of that. The September patch made
a lot less likely to just kill your opponents, but I still think it's the clear winner given the importance of hero deaths in deciding games.
Without this move, I don't think teams would ever bring Gazlowe. When it works, it's amazing. It combos with
to lock down the enemy team long enough to kill them. It clumps up the enemy team making your teammates' heroics even better.
To use this to the best of its ability, wait until there are 3 or more heroes nearby. Try to have already placed turrets nearby, though don't wait if you get a good time and turrets aren't up yet. Drop an
first, following immediately by
. The enemies will get sucked in, hurt, and then stunned. If you have
Kwik Release Charge
drop another bomb immediately, disabling the enemy team for more than 4 seconds!
Some moves can make this a lot easier to land, so team composition matters. Moves like
, etc. all make this much more likely to land on multiple heroes.
Hopefully your team is saving other abilities that work well with a clumped group of heroes, just after this lands, either for damage or for extended crowd control.
Beware the anti-combo. Especially be aware if you're playing with
. With either of them, you should have a good idea who will use their ultimate first. Otherwise you may end up using your combo while the enemy team is shielded from your damage. Luckily, both of those heroes can actually make your heroic easier to land if you work together and your timing after their ability lands is solid.
The beta patch made a pretty big change here. Having permanent non-hero bonus damage is pretty huge. The changes to tower XP make pushing more rewarding for your team, too. It will be interesting to see how this pans out. Still, it's not my choice for a few reasons:
- Losing even one big team fight can lose the game, especially now that Resurgeance is gone.
- This talent gets better at 20, but that's pretty late in the game.
- It's pretty dangerous for Gazlowe to be in melee range while pushing, especially if he doesn't have
- Gazlowe is so good at jungling that it's usually better for him to be killing mercs than pushing towers. While this lets him do that faster, he can clear any jungle camp taking very little damage even without this.
You will probably be swapping to mercs relatively early. So avoid using all of your mana early. Remember that you get experience whether you hit the minions or not. Use
to make sure you can safely stay in exp range. Remember to get the scrap when they die or expire.
is good if you can center it on the caster minion, especially with
. Remember that you have almost no escape moves, so don't overextend. You will die to a
Later in the game your explodium charge will clear a whole minion wave in a single cast. It's still worth knocking them out as you drive by. The hardest part is slowing down the 2 seconds to soak up the exp.
The hardest part of playing Gazlowe is learning when to merc and when it's safe to merc alone. Never merc when there's an impending team fight (tributes, doubloon turn ins, etc.) Early in the game (before level 10, maybe not even until 13ish), never leave a lane empty to merc. If your team has lanes covered, go for it. If your team is more of a roaming style and you're the one covering your lane, you will lose way too much XP leaving your lane for a merc camp.
Don't try to solo forward merc camps alone. You'll just be feeding the team your XP and a softened up merc camp. Even on your own merc camps, try not to go alone when there's a good chance the enemy heroes are near or you've seen them aggressively counter-mercing.
When you do get to merc, this is where you shine. The goal is to kill the mercs quickly, using as little mana as possible, and taking as little damage as possible. It's OK to take a small amount of damage, as you will get a regeneration globe. When you are done capping (not before!), start recycling your
s to regain some of that mana.
Low level clears
- Turrets soak a good amount of damage. Let them.
- If the mercs are already attacking, it's never worth using
- Mercs will target your turrets if they are closer than you. If you spawn one later, you may have to adjust to get them to retarget the turret.
- If one of your turrets is almost dead, placing another turret closer to the mercs can save the low one so it does more damage.
- Kill the caster on the knight camp first.
- Make sure your explodium charge hits all of the targets to get maximum damage from
- If you get ganked, you're probably not getting away anyway. If it's just 1v1, ping for help, drop more turrets and bombs. Try to stay alive. If it's melee, kite them around, but stay in the circle when the mercs die!
- Against golems, put 1 turret close and the rest (1 early, 3 later) away. That way the stomp won't take out all of your turrets. Go ahead and take a hit or 2 so he doesn't go for the far turrets and then spawn another turret right under him to keep him off of you and the far turrets.
If you're low level for the camp you're trying to kill, start it out a little different. For example, if you're level 5ish for knights or level 10ish (without
for a golem, drop 2 turrets and start charging
. This will add a little damage and give your 3rd turret time to be ready. Let the lazor go to full duration, then drop a turret and a charge. Other than this situation, I would never use
on mercs, though.
Against golems, try not to stack all of your turrets right at the same radius from the golem. You want one farther than the closest so that they don't both get hit by the stomp. That will give them more time to tank for you.
High level clears
Don't go overboard killing mercs at later levels. If you took
Kwik Release Charge
, you should be able to clear knights and giants with no damage with a single turret tanking.
If you feel like you might get ganked, drop your extra turrets out of range of the mercs. Remember that turrets will not prioritize heroes over mercs they are already attacking. So dropping turrets nearby but too far to be in the fight can give you a safe place to run.
Give your team a defensive position with turrets. Use bombs to force the opponents to scatter: moving away from your team, move into turret fire, or get stunned. Melee to kill low health people, but don't chase. Stay close to your turrets. If you have no bombs or turrets to place (happens a lot less once you have quad turrets and double bombs), charge a lazor. Try to get max power, but use it if people are going to run out of range or to finish off people.
Practice the timing of your Grav-o-bomb. Try to use it when you know you'll get at least a couple of people. It's particularly good after a stun, root or AE slow. Make sure you cast it immediately after
a regular bomb to set up a longer stun. If you used all of your bombs already, you probably want to wait for a refresh.
Try to coordinate with other ultimates like
. Make sure that you don't end up wasting your combo if your team is using
Gazlowe doesn't have a lot in the way of escapes, but it's not impossible. First ask yourself if you need to run. If you have 3-4 turrets set up, and it's a melee, often you can kite them and stun them with bombs long enough for your turrets to kill them.
If you have to run:
- Drop turrets constantly in front of you (you definitely don't want to turn around.) This does not slow you down. And if you had
Engine Gunk, you have a very good chance of getting away.
- Learn to throw your Explodium Charge ahead of you, so that they stun the enemy by the time they get there. This does not slow you down.
Kwik Release Charge increases your chance of escaping.
- If you absolutely have to, consider a
Grav-O-Bomb 3000, targeted on yourself. If they follow, they'll get sucked back in.
While you're running, ask yourself why you had to run. Was it truly an unexpected gank from the bushes? Were you too far forward in a team fight? Were you trying to solo merc even though you knew the enemy heroes are also going for all the mercs or even setting up a Gazlowe hunting party (it happens a lot!)
Map Tips Top
Get your giants after the first mines. Don't cap them until the enemy golem is to the enemy fort so they can pressure safely from behind your wall.
This is now the map with the least merc camps on it. This map was too merc-focused when there were 5 camps really close. But I think Blizzard could have just spread out the mercs and kept 3 of the camps from spawning until after the first mines. Regardless, only having 3 merc camps, and the fact that they always push in the opposite lane as your golem (which is the lane you'll probably use to win the game given the golem's strength), means team talents are even more important on this map than merc talents. Merc talents like
are all worse on this map.
And while it's true that you can solo the golem in the mines, especially with some of these talents, don't do that. The small camps drop the majority of the skulls. If you team gets killed while you're soloing the golem, you'll be behind even if you beat the golem. And if even 1 or 2 people know what you're doing, they can kill you or at least scare you off, since your turrets will happily continue to target the golem.
Try to time merc camps so that they're pushing just before tributes. But be careful to never show up late. With your turrets, it's especially important that you get to the tribute and set up early. Never merc when a tribute is up. Instead get near there and set up a turret nest to give your team a defensible spot.
can be used to delay the cap from afar.
After each tribute, grab one (and just one) merc camp. Even with Gazlowe's killing speed, the tribute will be up before you clear a second. The time between a curse and the first tribute, though, is much longer.
I prefer working on the lower shrine for 2 reasons. The bushes work well with turrets. And there are 3 merc camps nearby to quickly cap.
For the bushes, drop 1 turret in the bush, both to give you vision and to start damage early. But don't stack all of your turrets there, or they'll get AEd down.
For giants, only go if you're sure your team is going to hold at least one of the shrines. Holding just 1 shrine and getting mercs is a strong move. Getting mercs and giving your opponent a dragon knight is horrible. And don't leave a lane empty to merc before level 10 or 13ish even if you know you'll hold the shrine.
This map is amazing for Gazlowe. I've had runs where I got 60 coins without grabbing many from dead heroes. You can quickly kill knights, giants, and pirate skeletons for 2 coins each.
Don't go for the golem solo while the enemy team is alive. But if your team is up even 2-3 people, urge your team to go for it. With your talents and turrets, it should be easy to quickly and safely kill a golem and get a nice push going. Maybe sure you don't run through minions, the vision circle, creep tumors or
mines on the way.
Make sure you are available for your team any time someone wants to turn in! The steam vents are great for turrets. People regularly over-commit a turn in counter and find themselves getting shot by 4 turrets they didn't know were already there, especially if you weren't visible either.
Garden of Terror
Make sure you pick up seeds quickly as they are trivial to get and add up quickly. A turret left at that position can be an early warning system when your team goes for the big plant's seeds.
I don't think Gazlowe is a good choice for being the plant horror when it spawns. Other heroes are better for it, especially people with good escape for when the horror dies, tanks (who will still be tanking for you). Meanwhile you can set up a turret defense around your horror. You are key to a lot of your team's combos with your utimates and stuns.
Playing with Gazlowe Top
As I said in the intro, even though Gazlowe is a bit of a soloist, a lot of his power depends on his team knowing how to play with him. Things to remember when a Gazlowe is on your team:
- Fight near the turrets. He can't move them. Chase less than you normally would. If you're constantly pushing away from turrets, you're wasting a lot of the damage he can do. On top of that, if he happened to be charging a
Deth Lazor, pushing away is exactly what the other team wants to do.
- Gazlowe is squishy. Help peel for him.
- Abilities that pull / knock back enemies can be a lot more dangerous with turrets around.
Face Melt, etc. are really good.
- Save stuns and roots for the first person dumb enough to charge into turrets:
Hammer of Justice,
Pressure Point, etc.
- Save your AE ultimates for the big stun combo. If you have
Void Prison or
Devouring Maw, make sure you know who is going to grab the enemies first.
- It's a good idea for your team (often without Gazlowe) to push with the mercs Gazlowe can easily clear. You get a lot more advantage from them by pushing with them. It also keeps the pressure off Gaz so that he can farm you up some more mercs.
- If the enemy team seems to be countering Gazlowe, consider helping him. While he can solo any camp, sometimes it's better just to have a backup. Don't leave lanes empty early game to do so, but if you have time between waves or your other lanes have soakers, it's good to make sure he doesn't die.
Garden of Terror, if Gazlowe (or anyone) is heading towards a merc camp when you're about to spawn a horror, try to let them engage the mercs before you click, unless the horror's new one minute timer was going to expire. This lets your team get those mercs going along with the horror, making for a much more effective push.
And finally, if you see a Gazlowe who is solo sieging after map objectives and mercs are available, or ignoring his team on team fights and team objectives, please send them to this guide so that they understand Gazlowe can be a strong team player.
Playing Against Gazlowe Top
- Obviously don't fight near turrets. Ranged can kill them. If you're 1v1 early and you're melee, ask a ranged for help or to swap with you.
- Watch and listen for the Xplodium and move out of the circle.
- Clear your own mercs aggressively so he doesn't grab them later.
- If you believe their Gazlowe is soloing merc camps, get a hit squad to kill him while he does it.
- During team fights, avoid clumping up to avoid wombo-combos.
- During team fights, if it's not a static objective like a shrine or tribute, try to get the opponents to chase. If you can move away from turrets, Gazlowe is a lot less valuable.
- If Gazlowe gets in melee range, kill him. He dies quite easily and has no real escapes.