Hammer Time! by Alighieri00

Hammer Time!

By: Alighieri00
Last Updated: Sep 26, 2014
27 Votes
Build 1 of 1

Sgt. Hammer

Build: Basic Build

Level 1
Level 4
Level 7
Level 10
Level 13
Level 16
Level 20

Why Play Sargent Hammer? Top

Sargent Hammer is a siege specialist who can dish out absolutely absurd sustained DPS at the cost of mobility. If she has a solid team who can protect her, there are very few (if any) enemy champs that can match Hammer's DPS output over a long period of time. This, coupled with her ability to pressure towers and forts, makes her a formidable foe. If blasting the ever loving hell out of anything that comes in range of you sounds like your idea of fun, then Sargent Hammer is for you.

Table of Contents Top

Updates Top

9/26/14: Have added info about Hammer's basic kit and explained her options for talents. Added some Overall strategy for her and spruced up the look of the guide a little bit. Started the map specific guides and added a table of contents for easier browsing. Will add spoiler tags to condense some of my walls of text.

-Alighieri

Pros and Cons Top

+++Pros
    Incredible range
    Great sustained DPS
    Useful ult on a low CD
    Decent at mercing
    One of the best escapes in the game
    Great for pressuring enemy bases

---Cons
    Very little burst potential
    If caught with Thrusters on CD, you're screwed
    Has a few "hard counter" characters in the game, e.g., Stitches, Nazeebo
    Reliant on your team to allow you do damage

The Kit Top



Thrusters

Z


Cooldown: 30 seconds
Increase your Movement Speed by 60% for 4 seconds. 30 second cooldown.


Thrusters are absolutely essential to Hammer's kit. Without them, you would be a nothing more that a turret with a huge target on your back. Push Z, and off you go - zipping around the map instantly. They can get you out of a tight situation or get you into a fight quicker if needed. The cooldown is lengthy, however, until you get Hyper-Cooling Engines, so use them sparingly.

How to:



-Do: Pop your thrusters before you think you're going to get jumped. If you suspect the enemy is upon you, don't be afraid to get the hell out in advance. The reason why is because your Thrusters only increase your speed. There is no blinking or teleporting involved. If you wait too long and pop your Thrusters after the enemy is already there, well... A hammer from Muradin will stop you. A Murky ult will stop you. An Arthas freeze will root. A Malf root will... uh, root you. An E.T.C. will stun you, then knock you back into his buddies. A Valla ult will root you. Sonya, Diablo, Kerrigan, and Tyrande will all stun you. You get the idea. And if there's a Stitches or a Nazeebo coming your way, you are royally screwed if you waited too long to pop your Z. Learn to read the enemy the team and GTFO before they show up.


-Don't: Use your Thrusters to get to a fight quicker. That is, don't do it before you get your Hyper-Cooling Engines. A 30 second CD is just too long to risk using the Thrusters for anything more than escape. There are few things more embarassing than zipping across the map to help your allies, getting ambushed halfway there by an Illidan ult, and then immediately dying because your Z is on CD. Save it! Once you drop it to a 15 second cooldown, then you can consider using them offensively. On a side note, pushing Z will break you out of siege mode and give you the full speed boost.



Spider Mines

Q


Area of Effect
Cooldown: 14 seconds
Create 3 mines that last for 35 seconds. Mines deal 50 (+8 per level) damage and slow enemies by 25% Movement Speed for 1.5 seconds.


Spider Mines are used largely for deterrence, though in certain builds they can be employed aggressively to cause a messload of damage. Personally, I don't talent my mines very much, though I have witnessed some exteremely viable builds with Hammer that talent the hell out of them. It all really depends on your playstyle. If you enjoy the notion of a Zeratul chasing you into a bush only to realize it looks like the North Korean DMZ in there, then go for a Mines build. It can be fun.

How to:



-Do: Place your mines in bushes. The enemy can see your mines. If they have a decent Nova or Valla, they can safely pick your mines off from a distance before they can detonate. By placing your mines in bushes or around corners, they won't be able to react to them before they go off.

-Do: Drop your mines when being chased. I know I just told you to put your mines in bushes, but if you're trying to avoid murder, all rules go out the window. Hammer will not stop moving to drop the mines - you can keep running, which means that your opponent will either eat three or more mines to the face or give up the chase. Additionally, if you got the Slowing Mines talent, you are pretty much guaranteed an escape from a single pursuer.

-Do: Stack your mines if you think there is a reasonable chance that the enemy will detonate them. By this I mean for you to put multiple layers of mines down around objectives that you know the enemy will walk over. One of my favorites is to go into the Haunted Mines and immediately lay down a mine field. Kill a few undead, then return to the entrance and drop another minefield on top of the first. Any enemy that decides to pop down to the mines after you will eat six mines to face, more if you grabbed the Mine Field talent. Other good places are:
    The bushes around any Tributes that spawn.
    The bushes near the Dragon Shrines.
    The bushes near the Knights in the center of The Haunted Mines.
    The smoke vents in Blackheart's Bay.
    Anywhere else you think you can lead a chasing enemy to.

-Don't: I've already mentioned it, but don't place your mines in broad daylight. They just aren't as effective. Also, keep an eye on your mana. Hammer doesn't use much, but it really sucks when you can't Concussive Blast an Illidan off you because you are OOM. Manage your resources.


Concussive Blast

W


Cone
Cooldown: 12 seconds
Deals 50 (+13 per level) damage and pushes enemies away.


Concussive Blast works in conjunction with your Spider Mines to get pesky assassins and overly zealous warriors off your grill. (Get it? Grill? Because you're a tank? And... you have... a...nevermind). This skill is fairly self-explanatory - use it when you feel pressured or anytime you want some AoE damage. Do be aware, however, the range is surprisingly short.

How to:



-Do: Use this to clear waves of minions if you feel safe and are trying to split push a lane in a hurry. If you get the Lethal Blast talent at level one, you can clear entire waves with a single shot of Concussive. This will allow your minions to move forward much more quickly and allow you to get down to business doing what you do best: blowing up structures.


-Do: Feel free to get creative. Remember, the skill knocks players and minions around. Set up a minefield and then blast the enemy into it if they're not chasing. You can also use this to help kill enemy mercs faster. I use this all the time to clear out the Siege Ogres who stand just out of range of towers and forts. Drive up behind them and blast them into the range of the towers and you have effectively tripled your killing speed. Likewise, if you're feeling uppity, you can do this to enemy players. You can knock them into towers or, a personal favorite, blast them into a Zeratul Void Prison Ult, a Nova Precision Strike, an E.T.C. Mosh Pit - anything that the enemy would rather avoid, really.


-Don't: Go crazy with the fun setups. Sure, it's amusing to knock a Raynor into a Precision Strike, but be aware that you just used one of your Get-Out-of-Jail-Free cards offensively. Meaning that if a Zeratul jumps you, all you have left are your Thrusters and Mines to get you out of trouble. Be judicious in your use.


-Don't: Likewise, don't use Concussive Blast to clear minion waves unless you know for sure that you are safe. If their team is dead or otherwise distracted, sure, blast away. But if there are three unaccounted-for enemies roaming the map, it is best to play it safe. You can take those towers down much faster if you are actually alive.

-Don't: Overestimate the range. Concussive Blast has a surprisingly small range. Don't fire it until you know for sure it will hit, i.e., they are literally pounding you in the face. The more you play Hammer, the better you will get at judging the size of the cone, but if you're just learning her, don't fire until you see the whites of their eyes. It will crush your soul the first time you misjudge the range and Pow! whiff completely. I mean, think about it - you missed with a tank shotgun. That makes you look pretty noobalicious. Until you're comfortable with Concussive, just wait and shoot when you're certain it will hit. Do be aware, also, that you can fire it off while moving, so don't stop to blast someone away. You'll be wasting some of its potential.


Siege Mode

E


Cooldown: 5 seconds
Become immobile to increase Basic Attack range by 90% , deal 25% splash damage, and deal 30% bonus damage to Minions and Structures.


Chances are, if you're playing Hammer, it is because of this talent. This is what makes her the DPS beast that she is, and is what makes her wholly unique among HotS Champions. In a perfect world, your team will recognize that you are their single most valuable damage asset and will protect your ***. If allowed to do your thing, you will evaporate enemy teams, demolish structures, and clear enemy minions and mercs without breaking a sweat. This is Hammer's bread and butter, but it can also lead to her undoing.

How to:



-Do: Find a sniper's perch during teamfights. Look, it's no big secret: Hammer does a metric ****ton of damage. If you enter siege mode in the middle of the battlefield, every enemy in a ten mile radius will make a beeline for you and try to commit much murder upon your well-being. So stay out of sight. Find a bush or one of the many hidden nooks and crannies Blizzard has built around the maps. Do note, however, that this principle applies only if you are teamfighting over a fixed objective, e.g., a Tribute, a gold chest in Blackheart's Bay, a merc camp - things that don't require you to move around. If your team is pushing, however, just get in line behind them and follow through.

-Do: Siege up to take enemy lanes down quickly. One of Hammer's best tools is that of fear. If left alone in a lane she can and will take out towers and forts without even taking any damage. And she can do it quickly, too. Aggressively split pushing will require a response by the enemy team, which means you have effectively accomplished several things:
    You will have done a decent amount of siege damage (hopefully).
    You will have disrupted the enemy's plans. If they were planning to merc, but had to stop because you were taking down a fort, that's a small victory.
    Because of the time spent chasing your *** around the map, they will sometimes lose experience.
    You will know where they are. At least one or two of their champions will drop what they are doing and run to you. If your team is prepared, this can set up a nice ambush.

The best part is, you are never really in any danger when split pushing if you are paying attention. Watch the map. You will see the enemy break away from whatever they are doing and head your direction. Count to three in your head, then calmly walk away. Damage dealt, experience gained, experience lost for them, and no one got hurt.

-Don't: I wish to immediately follow up the idea of split pushing with this huge *** warning. Do not, do not, do not, DO NOT ignore your team because you are "doing leet dps up top takin down mad towerz!" I have seen far, far too many Hammers that will sit in a lane and push endlessly because they can drop structures faster than almost anyone besides Gaz and Nazeebo. That's great. You can drop towers fast. But you know what kills towers even faster? When your team dies to a 4v5 because you weren't there. Now they have five people kicking down your towers, probably backed up by mercs. Know when it's appropriate to split push and when to help your team. In general, it's a bad time to split push if:
    You know a teamfight will break out soon, e.g., a Tribute is spawning soon.
    You know a teamfight will break out soon, e.g., your team has spotted that the enemy is going for the golem.
    You know a teamfight will break out soon, e.g., one of your allies is being chased down by a Zeratul.
    You know a teamfight will break out soon, e.g., they are aggressively attacking one of your lanes.
    You know a teamfight will break out soon, e.g., the knights are about to pop on Haunted Mines.

I think you have the idea. If your team needs you, get your *** there. There is a really good chance that you are the highest DPS on your side, and if you are not there to help, you are crippling your team. To reiterate, DO NOT TUNNEL VISION. If you stay in lane and split push, your team will hate you and you will lose.


-Don't: Siege up too early. You really should never be in siege mode unless you intend to sit in one spot for awhile. In the early game there is zero reason to siege up when you are first starting to farm. If you park in the bushes and siege up, you are basically just begging the enemy to come whoop your ***. Stay mobile in the early game. The only legitimate time I can think to go siege before level 4-ish is if you need juuust a bit more range to kill a fleeing enemy champ. Otherwise, just stay on your wheels.

-Don't: For the love of God, don't just sit immobile in siege mode just outside of a teamfight waiting for someone to wander into your range. If you have to leave your bushes to get into the fight, do it. Contributing zero damage to your team while you wait for the sweet ambush is a surefire way to get front row tickets to the *** beating your team will be taking. If you're sieged in the wrong spot, push E, move forward, and siege up again in the correct spot.


Artillery

Combat Trait


Basic Attacks deal 20% more damage to distant enemies.


This requires little explanation. You deal more damage the further away you are. Try to stay at maximum range at all times to get maximum damage. This combines with Hammer's splash damage while in siege mode, which is largely the reason why she does the highest amount of sustained DPS in the game.

Heroic Ablities Top

Certain champs in the game have one ult that is clearly better than the other, e.g., Nazeebo. Sargent Hammer is not one of those. Both of her ults have merit and value, and which you choose to use is ultimately dependent on your playstyle. I prefer Napalm Strike, and I'll explain why below, but that does not mean that I am correct or that it is better than Blunt Force Gun. Choose your ult based on your playstyle, the match, and even the team compositions.


Blunt Force Gun


Heroic Ability
Cooldown: 70 seconds
Deal 220 (+29 per level) damage to enemies in path. Reveals as it travels.


Blunt Force Gun (hereafter BFG) is a fun skill. Not gonna lie, it's much more entertaining and satisfying to use than Napalm Strike, especially when you nail three fleeing enemies who thought they were safe. You fire a bigass bullet in a straight line that flies to the edge of the map. This skill can be devastating in the right circumstances, particularly once you get the Orbital talent. Late game you can set up your Orbital to repeatedly hit forts and towers, taking them out without you ever needing to be there. Additionally, there is literally nothing the enemy can do to stop the damage. Even a MULE will be unable to heal the damage and is often just killed by the bullet on the next pass anyways. This basically sets up a time bomb on your enemy. They have to win in X time or your bullet will destroy everything in their base.


That said, I feel the BFG is the weaker of the two ults (slightly) for a couple reasons:
    Before level 20 it is a hell of a lot less useful than Napalm Strike. You get one big bullet every 70 seconds that does... ok damage.
    In order to maximize the effectiveness of Orbital, you need to have pushed decently far into the enemy's base already. In the future I'll add some pictures showing how to angle the perfect Orbital shot, but the long and short is that you need to be pretty far into their gates to get the proper setup. Which means you likely already have an advantage. It seems like Orbital is overkill.
    It does nothing to save your *** in a duel.
    It does little to contribute to teamfights most of the time.

Despite these drawbacks, BFG is absolutely a viable ult and certainly can win you a game. If the match is close, the time bomb on Orbital can make all the difference.



Napalm Strike


Heroic Ability
Cooldown: 6 seconds

Deals 40 (+16 per level) damage on impact. Additionally deals 30 (+4 per level) damage per second. Lasts for 4 seconds.


The obvious difference between Napalm Strike and BFG lies in the cooldown. Napalm has a six second cooldown and lasts for four seconds, meaning that it is only down for two seconds at a time. This means that the potential damage output of Napalm is massively higher than that of BFG. At 20, the range becomes massive and the damage is increased marginally. Here's why I prefer this talent to BFG:
    As said above, the damage potential is higher.
    It is great for taking down structures.
    It is great for teamfights.
    It is great for merc-ing.
    It can snipe down runners.
    It is a solid deterrent.
    It will pull people who are chasing you off their mounts, allowing you to escape.

That said, the skill is not nearly as fun to use as BFG. Additionally, it's worth pointing out that the BFG is still a very solid skill, it's just that Napalm, in my opinion, is drastically more versatile. So while I want to pick BFG, I usually value the team's ability to win over my own morbid gratification at mowing down five helpless refugees in one shot.


Again, these are only my opinions. Your mileage may vary. Play how you want and pick the skill you honestly think will best help you and your team secure a win.

Talents Top





Useful: Advanced Artillery.
This talent just boosts your passive, making you do even more damage from a distance. I believe it tacks an additional 10% onto your already sizeable 20% increased damage from afar. If I'm correct, then this talent provides a massive damage boost and is absolutely worth consideration. It is possible that it increases the 20% by 10%, meaning that it only gives you a net increase of 2% total damage, in which case the talent is garbage. If anyone can confirm or deny this, let me know. Based upon my current beliefs, the talent is great.

Not useful: Lethal Blast.
This talent boosts your ability to clear enemy waves and do more damage to the face when being assaulted by enemies. I think it's not so useful because 1) Hammer is already amazing at clearing waves. It's overkill. and 2) You really shouldn't be relying on your Concussive Blast to save you in a 1v1 - you should really just retreat if at all possible.

Not useful: Resistant.
This talent could be worthwhile, if it were not a tier 1 talent. By looking at the enemy comp, you can get a good idea if they have a lot of CC, but you don't know what their Heroics will be or even how competent they are. Picking this talent this early is kind of like gambling. If it came later in the game you could choose it reactively to a team with lots of disables/competencies. But I think at tier 1 it's not viable.

Situational: Ambush.
I've seen some good use made of this talent, particularly when combined with the hover talent. It's great for, well, an ambush attack and can get you kills you otherwise would not have. Additionally, it allows you to have a little bit of safety. Overall I think it's a meh talent, particularly when compared to the damage increase afforded by Advanced Artillery.

Not useful: Regeneration Master.
A great talent on other champs, e.g., Stitches, but not so much for Hammer. It's designed to make you tanky. If you're playing Hammer right, you shouldn't be hit too much, and even if you are, it is highly doubtful this talent will save your *** considering her small health pool. I usually pass.

Tier 2





Situational: Focused Attack.
Hammer spends a lot of time sieged up auto attacking, so this talent is actually perfectly viable for her. The only reason why I call this talent situational is because I absolutely would not pass up Vampiric Assault unless I had some good *** healers on my team that I knew would keep me standing. If, however, you got a Malf/Brightwing/Lili that is willing to babysit you, I can absolutely understand grabbing this talent.

Useful: Vampiric Assault.
Since I pass on Regeneration Master, I take this talent to allow me to stay in lane. Hammer does a ****ton of damage and it doesn't take long for her to regen her health back to full using this talent. I often take this even if I have a trusted healer because they can't always be watching my back. Additionally, this talent will allow you to win duels/tradeoffs early game.

Situational: Maelstrom Shells.
I can understand the logic of wanting to pick this talent. You can do more damage from further away. This means you are safer and are taking less damage, so you don't have to worry about health regen. But my reasoning is that no matter how safely you play, you can't stop an Illidan from ulting you or a Zeratul from being sneaky, sneaky. You will take damage. I don't like going back to base if I can help it, so I prefer the stability afforded by Vampiric.

Not useful: Excessive Force.
Again, the theory makes sense. Get *****es off you. If you're playing your Hammer correctly, however, you should have mines down, Concussive up, and Thrusters ready. That should be more than enough to get you out of a sticky situation. If you still can't get away, you were in the wrong position or weren't paying attention. This talent strikes me as insurance for someone who has messed up. Play correctly and you don't need it. Pass.

Tier 3




Situational: Slowing Mines.
This talent will allow you to get away from pretty much any chaser, making it very handy against melee assassins. The problem, though, is that it allows you to get away from only one chaser, maybe two if you're lucky. Thus, I think this talent loses out to the versatility of Hyper Cooling Engines. Still, it's a fairly decent pick up and were it on any other tier I'd probably recommend it.

Useful: Hyper Cooling Engines.
In my opinion, the absolute best talent for Hammer at any tier. This allows you to be safe in nearly any situation, allows you to engage more quickly (when you return to your base your Thrusters automatically turn on) and basically allows you to make plays and be a bit bolder. If you've never tried this talent, do it. You will never go back to anything else.

Not useful: First Aid.
No. Just no. Healing is great and all, but Hyper Cooling Engines is massively better. I don't even know why this is an option at this tier, to be honest.

Heroic Ability





I talked about the choice between these two talents in the Heroic Ability section above. Both are useful and have their place. Choose the one you like best. Once again, and for the record, I believe Napalm Strike is the better choice, but it's your call.

Tier 5



Useful: Giant Killer.
A great talent for Hammer. It will allow her to soften up tanks and other fat Champions. Highly recommended if they have a fat team with two tanks or are just generally juicy.

Useful: First Strike.
Another great talent for Hammer. If you have a solid team that you can get behind, this will massively increase your damage. If the enemy team has assassins that can get to you, however, it becomes less useful. Still, it's my talent of choice most of the time. It also allows you to split push more effectively.

Useful: Bullhead Mines.
As you can see, the talents at this tier are all very solid. You must adapt to how the game is going and choose what's needed at the time. If you're constantly being harassed by assassins, then this talent will help relieve some of the pressure. Get it if you're being targeted.

Not useful: Barricade.
Cool in theory, as you block off escape paths and get enemies off you. The problem is that in practice it fails miserably. Who are you going to Concuss off you? Illidan, Muradin, Zeratul, etc. And can they leap over the wall you made? Absolutely. This talent is supposed to keep you safe from melee, but nearly all the melee champs have a leap of some kind. If you need safety, stick with the Bullhead Mines. They are more effective, will allow you to keep your Concussive ready for when they leap at you, and also work against ranged attackers.


Situational: Executioner.
This talent is absolutely devastating.... if you have the right team composition. If you have an Arthas or a Stitches with Putrid Bile or really anyone that can consistently slow then you effectively increase your DPS by 40%. That's... crazy. If you don't, however, the talent because considerably less useful. 100% choose if you got a consistent slow/CC team.

Situational: Mine Field.
If, for some reason, you've decided to go with a mine build, this talent is critical. I'm not a big fan, but I have seen some decent players rock it, so I won't knock it till I've tried it.

Useful: Hover Siege Mode.
This is my go-to talent whenever there is no one on my team to reliably activate executioner. It allows you to move in siege mode, meaning you can push teams all the better. It's a very solid talent and always worth consideration. Get behind your team and slowly push in for the win.

Not useful: Graduating Range.
I want to like this talent, but I can't; the opportunities for when you'll be able to use that extra range are few and far between. It requires you to be stationary and the moment you try and move, the range resets. This talent was amazing when it wasn't on the same tier as Hover Siege Mode, but now it just pales in comparison. Pass.

Not useful: Stoneskin.
I get the impression the developers were like, "What the hell? Let's throw in Stoneskin." A bad choice. Hammer doesn't have the health pool to make it useful and you really shouldn't be getting yourself into situations where you need Stoneskin to survive anyways.

Tier 7




Not useful: Fury of the Storm.
I can understand the theory behind this one. Hammer does a lot of auto attacking, and Fury will just make it that much more effective. I shy away from this one personally, because it seems a bit overkill and also because it adds nothing to her kit to make her more versatile. If you picked this one, I wouldn't hate you for it, but I would disagree.

Useful: Resurgence of the Storm.
This is the talent of choice at the professional level. With a one minute death timer at level 20, this talent can be the difference between a win and a loss. In PUG games I usually skip this unless it's a super close match, but if you're playing in a fixed five man team, this talent is almost a must. The only instance in which I would pass on it in a fixed five man is if it's clear that my team is already beating the hell out of the enemy. And even then I would still consider it.

Useful: Orbital BFG.
If you chose BFG as your Heroic Ability, this talent is a must-get, otherwise you have completely wasted your heroic. BFG is practically garbage before Orbital, but with this talent it suddenly changes the game. This allows you to put your opponents on a clock. They must kill you before your bullet wrecks everything in their base. Incidentally, because this talent is so necessary if you pick BFG, it's another reason I choose Napalm Strike. With Napalm I can pick Resurgence of the Storm when needed. BFG doesn't really let me do that without a serious downside.

Situational: Advanced Lava Strike.
This talent extends the range of your Napalm Strike significantly. It allows you to poke more and generally be more annoying. It's fun to use and very helpful, but only choose it if you're 100% confident that you will not need Resurgence of the Storm. I usually choose this talent in PUGs, and I rarely choose it with a premade team.

Overall Strategy Top

Early Game (Levels 1-6)


Ok, so Hammer's early game sucks a big one. She does **** for damage, has no ult, lacks mobility, and is awful at trading. Basically in the early game you need to play safe. Stay on your wheels! I cannot emphasize this enough - stay mobile. There is almost no reason whatsoever to be sieging up early game with Hammer. There are dozens of Champs out there who are very mean even at level one (Stitches, Nazeebo, Nova, etc.) who will eat your *** for breakfast if you become immobile. Keep dancing, poke where you can, lay mines in bushes, and basically play it safe. Your day will come as a DPS beast, but early game is not it. Once you hit level four and get Vampiric (assuming you take Vamipiric) you can be a little more bold because you at least have some sustain. Even then, I highly recommend playing it safe until your services are called upon.


Mid Game (Levels 7-15)


By mid game you should start heating up. There are basically two things you need to watch for:
-Is your team doing anything that immediately needs your DPS?
-Is the enemy team accounted for and is there nothing overly exciting going on?

Your first priority is to your team. If you're one of those Hammers who thinks they're just gonna split push the whole game and drop towers, GTFO. Your team will lose the inevitable 4v5 and then it's GG. Five people can push towers faster than you can by yourself. Always keep your eyes on the minimap and see if your allies need you. Now here's the thing you're gonna hate to hear: EVEN IF YOU DISAGREE WITH YOUR TEAM'S ACTIONS, HELP THEM!! If they do something completely stupid and you know it's stupid, help them. If they decide to go Golem when you know absolutely you should not, doesn't matter. Go help. If you're there, you will probably all die. If you're not there, your team will definitely die and then the enemy will just hunt you down and kill you solo. You are the DPS. Your job is to cause as much damage as possible. Follow your initiator (presumably your tank) and don't back off just because you disagree.

That said, you are the DPS. Get into position and lay the heat down. It's your team's responsibility to keep your *** safe. In a smooth-like-butter scenario, everyone knows their role. Tanks initiate and protect their DPS. Healers heal. DPS DPSes. Specialists.... uh... specialize. Bascially my point is don't be a little girl. Get into position and do some damage. You might die, sure. But if you've softened up the other team so your teammates can mop up, you have done your job. That said, hopefully you'll be in position where dying isn't a problem. Hopefully you'll be able to Thruster away and then come back to the fight once a threat has been neutralized. Hopefully your tank will protect you and your healer will heal you. But you know what? It doesn't always happen. Man up and get your *** into the fight. If you are not leading the Damage charts at the end of the game you have failed. By mid game you have all the tools needed to devastate the enemy and also escape from tight spots.

If you notice that there is a lull on the field, e.g., your team is mercing and no one's in danger, feel free to split push. You are a siege tank, after all. Get in some damage, draw the enemy's ire. Just keep an eye on that minimap. The moment you see someone headed your way, get your *** out. Don't fall into the "I've almoooost got this fort" mentality. If that fort's almost dead, walk away and your minions will eventually take it down. It's not going to matter whether it falls in the present or in the long run. But it will matter if you are absent from the next team fight because you waited too long and got murdered by someone thanks to your greed. If all is well and your team doesn't need you, split push only as long as it's safe to do so.

Late Game (Level 16+)


Now's the time to shine. At this point it should be apparent that you are the one the enemy team needs to kill. It's cool. Play safe, trust your tank and team, and lay down the heat. If you went BFG Orbital, set that **** up to wreck their base. Just stay back and rain hate down on the enemy. You should also know at this point how capable the enemy is at getting to you. Do they have a Zeratul that always seems to be on you? Sacrifice some damage and pick up Bull Headed Mines. If the enemy is definitely focusing you, just remember that you are much more useful to your team alive than dead. I know I just wrote about how you should man up, etc., etc. But that was midgame. Late game an assassin can straight blow your *** up. Always stay near your tank and play safe. But keep the damage coming. It's a fine line to tread, being cautious and also being aggressive. You'll learn your limits as you play enough games.

Blackheart's Bay Top


General

This map focuses around the notion of collecting coins and turning them in for siege damage. Overall Blackheart's Bay is... ok? for Hammer. There are not very many places for her to hide and set up, and the few that do exist, like the smoke vents, offer very little in the way of protection. On the plus side, there tend to be considerably fewer large team fights on the map, which allows Hammer to do some serious split pushing. As always, be careful when split pushing and abandon the push if your team needs you. One thing that's somewhat unique about Blackheart's Bay is that it is possible for a team to win without directly engaging the enemy, thanks to the ubiquity of the coins on the map.

For some unknown reason, most teams rush the sight tower in the top mid of the map at the start. Remember, Hammer is less than good in the early game. Volunteer to be the guy who goes bot to soak up the experience. This is good because 1)You don't have to teamfight early when you lack your tools and damage 2)You are still helping your team by getting them to level 10 faster 3)If no one on the enemy side comes bot, Hammer can get a little siege damage in early by parking it in the southernmost vent. When the chest pops you can move into position to take the coins more quickly this way as well.

If your team insists you be present for the *****torm that inevitably unfolds at the sight tower (remember, even if you disagree with your team, you still gotta be there to back them up), then your best bet is to park it in the bushes next to the tower and siege up. If you're feeling bold, there is a set of bushes underneath the tower that are protected by a wall. You can set up underneath the skirmish and rain death over the trees. Be warned, however. These bushes, though protected by the wall, will make you more vulnerable because your team won't be there to help you if a Nova or someone else spots you. Also, it's a longer walk back to the Moonwell from there. Use your judgement. Do the most damage you can as safely as you can.

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