The Lost Vikings, or TLV for short are one of those unique and high skill cap heroes you can pick in Heroes of the Storm. How do you play with three mini-heroes at once?
In this article I'll introduce The Lost Vikings as Heroes of the Storm heroes and showcase my Vikings playstyle, which may be good on it's own or a way to learning 3-lane micro-management playstyle.
We get three Vikings and each one has unique abilities:
- Olaf: tanky Viking that has very strong HP regeneration when not taking damage for some time.
- Baleog: his attack does a cone shaped splash damage from the point where he hit. Very good at cleaning minion waves.
- Erik: fastest and weakest from the Vikings. Has a long range attack and can be use to chase and snipe dying heroes.
So we have a tank, a specialist and a sniper. They can work together but the
meta way to play them is to actually split them and operate in multiple places at once. That requires a lot of micromanagement and game awareness. This is why many people see TLV as the hardest, most demanding heroes to play.
At the moment Vikings aren't very strong. Their high win ratio is mostly due to low amount of new players versus old and experienced playing them. TLV are
high risk - high reward type of heroes and the skill cap is very hight for a reason.
You can control single Viking by selecting him or by picking 1, 2 or 3 on the keyboard 4 is for all. You can also select two of them. Vikings don't have a mount but their Z ability makes them move faster for a short period of time. The bigger the Viking, the slower he will be.
If you have a Viking on every lane within dying minions range you collect all the minion experience that can be collected. That's the main advantage of having Vikings on the team - provide high level advantage that will crush the enemies. But that doesn't always work as the enemy may start finding and killing Vikings - which may be easy if you are not paying attention ;)
As an Abathur player I had at least few games against TLV that were aggressive on the passive and hidden soaking. Even with bush shooting to find them they collected so much experience that I couldn't match. But in the end - one good late team fight and the advantage may be gone. TLV win if they don't allow late game.
There are however other ways you can play Vikings. Instead of somewhat passive gameplay you can use them as a group. This doesn't require splitting your attention on multiple lanes, and as a group (still micro managed a bit) you can and have to do much more than casual lane pushing and soaking. One Viking isn't strong, but as a group they can win a lane against many heroes when one vs TLV. With some talents they can be good at offence in team fights. They won't be Illidan, but still with good management they can stun, hit and snipe heroes, tank some damage with Olaf, rush with Longboat and more.
Vikings can be on multiple lanes and can easily take camps
TLV can pretty much turn off Murky early game. In mid and late game Murky can still keep dying where as TLV can't and that's make them harder to play.
As a disclaimer - I'll show my idea on playing Vikings. I do that on Quick Matches so with random teams and often against a bazylion of assassins like Li Ming, KaelTas, Nova or Zeratul. And it still works ;) 58 games with 55,2% win rate isn't bad. Experienced TLV players with experienced team mates may achieve more by using established best strategies, that they mastered with their godly micromanagement.
So if you play as a group what should and can you do? Lets start with general gameplay options:
- Pick a lane and solo it (unless someone wants to help you). Avoid early game aggression on Sky Temple or Blackheart's Bay, focus on minions and securing a lane.
- Send Olaf as a scout, he has regeneration so he can take some damage. When minions come onto the lane and you know against who your are fighting bring up the rest of the Vikings (if there is Azmodan or Li Ming don't park Vikings by the towers)
- The key point is to kill minions and not die yourself. If you have a strong opponent you will have to move constantly making attacking Vikings very hard. What I do is go into Baleog range, splash few shots on all minions, move back and then forward again. Enemy hero would either have to chase you through your minions up to your towers or will pull back - when you again do some damage with Baleog.
- If there is Li Ming or similar hero always use minions as your shield and move like crazy, even faster if there is Tyrande or Diablo with stun. Raynor and alike may be very annoying as you can't use minions as shield. In such cases you must use Ofal a lot.
- Vikings lane grinding may take some HP of the enemy hero and at some point it can be killed by focused attack. It's more obvious later one with Olaf stun and
Spin to wintalents.
- When enemies are cleaning your lane push or have to retreat take some camps. If you can take all of them, but be careful with going for enemy camps. Make sure enemy heroes are busy with something else.
- If you fight with a team mate (assassin or high DPS specialist) you can do a lot of damage - either to objective like a
bushor when engaging enemy team for objective (like Dragon Shire where your DPS hero is aided by three annoying Vikings). This allows efficient team splits - like collecting seeds from both terrors, or split-taking bosses.
- When you are taking a boss or terror seeds Baleog and Erik have range greater than their AoE stun effect - move only with Olaf and let those two attack without breaks.
- Pick Regeneration Globes to increase TLV regeneration rate.
Vikings can solo a temple with ease
TLV can control a lane against some if not many heroes, even Azmodan. The key is to be very mobile, do a back and forth attacks so that Baleog splash damage does it job and tank with Olaf
And camp taking:
- TLV can take easiest camps solo nearly at the moment they became available (will require rotating Olaf with Baleog).
- As levels increase taking camps will become easier and pretty fast or with less than 3 Vikings
- Olaf can be used as a tank for a ranged assassin or specialist wanting to take a camp
- I take harder camps starting mid game around 10+ levels. If you have aid you can do it much earlier.
- Vikings aren't Murky - if an enemy hero want to steal a camp you may try to counter him. It works best later on when you have the stun, spin and longboat. If there are multiple heroes and you are solo - run!
Vikings can allow efficient splits when taking seeds, dragon shrines or even to some extent - bosses. TLV + one DPS seems quite efficient
Longboat is an escape and offensive ability at the same time. You buy some time and do damage.
Team fights, securing map objectives is something TLV should participate if they can. You can't rush on the first line, but you must be there to help when needed. With proper talents and dodging Vikings can actually be useful.
- Keep Vikings somewhere between first and second line. If there will be a diver or an enemy out of position then try to attack.
- You can also tank and protect your ranged assassins and they can kill what you stun/slow/block, but don't overcommit when you are on cooldowns
- You may use Z to chase and kill fleeing dying hero.
- You may use
Jump!talent to cancel effects targeted at you or flee from AoE effects. Butcher charge, Kaelthas bombs, and much more. It's a life saver and makes enemies hit countdowns on their important abilities.
- If you use Longboat heroic ability then use it as a
rescueor initialisation ability. Players usually either scatter or try to take the ship down. If they spread pick the best target and chase, if they target you - try to lure them closer to your team.
The Sequel!some kill-trading is
ok. If you are low on HP with cooldowns with no healer - leave TF and go to lanes/camps.
Large and In Charge makes Olaf jump and stun an enemy. That's a superb gank and surprise attack
Vikings look like easy target. This can be used to bring fresh meat to your friends.
Vikings with Longboat and stun can spread havoc quite nicely
Here is my talent pick:
- Level 1: Explosive Attacks
- Level 4: It's a Sabotage! - questionable, but may be used to burn ammo quickly by splitting single attacks between two towers and gate. Pain Don't Hurt and Mercenary Lord can be as alternatives
- Level 7: Spin To Win! (but if you find it not that useful Norse Force! is good too)
- Level 10: Longboat Raid!
- Level 13: Jump!
- Level 16: Large and In Charge
- Level 20: The Sequel! (Ragnarok 'n' Roll! - if you don't die, Fury of the Storm if you need minion cleaning)
It's risky but making hero overextend for an
easy Viking kill may end up badly for them
Zeratul, Nova, Li Ming, KaelThas and others aren't that bad for Vikings. Yes, they can annihilate them, but it's your responsibility to keep them safe ;) And it's actually doable. Check some of my end game results. Playing QM usually ends up in assassins teams so you will have a lot of games to practice...
- Tutorial on how to play Abathur in Heroes of the Storm - Strategies and possible builds for Abathur in HoTS