With Method up 2-0 over Zealots in HGC week seven league play, the decision was made for Lawrence “Athero” Harper to break out a strategy seldom scene within the competitive community. When asked about his teams draft choice and his strategic thoughts about Samuro, Athero broke down the details:
“We could have taken Illidan or Samuro in this game and we would have been fine but the reason we wanted to take Samuro was purely because of his strength in split-pushing. He’s pretty much unmatched in terms of split-push pressure. He splits quicker than any other hero in the game and because they had Dehaka it would mean that I would win the matchup."
On a large map such as Sky Temple, which is where Samuro was chosen in this match, the focus on macro-play opposed to team fighting allows split-push pressure to thrive even more so.
“Before we even went into the game we knew what we were going to do. We wanted to give them a really strong skirmish comp which would lack in macro-play but we would take the Abathur solo support purely to play the map and play the macro."
As for the build that Athero went in that series-clinching victory, below are the talents selected and details are provided as to why he took each.
Way of the Wind (E ) -- Gain 40% Movement Speed for 3 seconds after entering or exiting Wind Walk.
“It’s mainly mobility and survivability. There are two pretty good reasons why you’d take this talent which is to escape ganks and also if you ever do want to team fight and the enemy team has a lot of CC or lockdown, it means you get more mobility in the team fights and you can outplay them.”
Mirage (Q) -- Mirror Image grants Samuro and his Images 40 Spell Armor against the next 2 sources of Spell damage, reducing their damage by 40%
“This is the go-to in nine-out-of-ten games. I think there are very niche situations to where you can take the armor talent but it’s very rare in comparison to the spell armor. It’s all around the better talent.”
Burning Blade (W)-- Critical Strikes from Samuro and Mirror Images deal an additional 50% of their Basic Attack damage to the target and nearby enemies.
“It’s mainly just more split-push. I think Phantom Pain is similar in damage output but requires you to have all three of your clones which is less safe where Burning Blades is safer output.”
Illusion Master (R2) -- (Cooldown: 25 seconds) Mirror Images can be controlled individually or as a group and their damage is increased by 100%
Passive: Samuro’s Basic Attack damage is increased by 10% and Image Transmission’s cooldown is reduced to 8 seconds.
“It passively increases the damage of your clones which is huge as his damage output pretty much doubles in terms of how you play him. Also, it allows you to macro clones on their own which means you can always be safe, never get ganked and always be able to join team fights if you need to.”
Mirrored Steel (Q) -- Samuro’s Basic Attacks against Heroes reduce the cooldown of Mirror Image by 1 second
“For what I wanted to do there aren’t really any other better options within the tier. Maybe the teleport talent on 13 but it’s nowhere near as good as the other.”
Press the Attack -- While Advancing Strikes is active, Samuro and his Mirror Images gain 10% Attack Speed every time they Basic Attack, up to 40%.
“I think both 13 and 16 tiers aren’t really important for what I wanted to do in this specific game. The situation where I took this is that you have decent synergy with your 13 and also it means you have a stronger team fight with the specific build I went.”
Three Blade Style (R2) -- Samuro’s Mirror Images no longer take additional damage, effectively increasing their health by 50% and their duration is increased to 36 seconds.
“You always go the ultimate upgrade because it’s OP and makes the kit super strong. The clone duration nearly doubles and the HP of them doubles so you don’t always need to use your Q off cooldown to have mobility. You can just use your Q, have it off cooldown if you want to reposition, then press Q again or R again. It depends on what you want to do depending on how you want to play.”
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