Heroes of the Storm Wiki

Draft UI in 2014.

Picking your Hero in the Unranked Draft and Storm League game modes follows a different set of rules from Quick Match. Instead of just selecting your favorite Hero and clicking "Ready", both teams go through a selection process called a draft. In draft modes teams take turns in picking and banning Heroes, each trying to build a solid composition of their own that can beat the enemy - all while the enemy is trying to do the same!

Picking Heroes[]

During draft, only the Heroes that you own or that you have access to through the Free Rotation will be available to you. No purchases are allowed once the draft begins, and any purchases made during queue will not be available unless the queue is restarted afterward. Once a player on either team locks in a Hero, no one else can select or play as that Hero during that game. This is also why you must own at least 16 Heroes (not including Cho'gall in order to play draft modes, as with 15 or fewer, it would in combination with the six bans be possible for others to snap up all of the Heroes you have access to before you’ve even had a chance to pick.

When it's your turn to pick, you’ll have 30 seconds to lock in your Hero selection. If the timer runs out before you’ve made a decision, the game will automatically lock in the required amount of Heroes chosen at random from the Heroes highlighted by your team's players. However, if enough Heroes to progress the draft have not been highlighted or the highlighted Heroes are unselectable, the draft will end and all players without a valid pick in your team will be penalized and marked as "leavers", so make sure to lock your Hero in time! Similarly, if any player leaves during the draft, the game will be canceled and they will be penalized.

Banning Heroes[]

Before any Heroes have been picked, both teams' captains have a chance to ban two Heroes, making it unselectable by both teams in that match. Midway through the draft, teams can ban an additional Hero each, without any duplicates allowed. The player with the highest Rank in the team (ties broken randomly) is chosen as the team's captain (if all players on a given team are unplaced, the player with the highest Matchmaking Rating will be the captain).

You will have 60 seconds to make your first ban, and 30 seconds each for the remaining bans. Missing a ban will not result in any penalties, but it is a missed opportunity to gain an edge over your opponent.

Draft order[]

At the beginning of the draft the Battleground on which players will be brawling will appear at the top center of the screen. A coin flip then decides which team goes first in the draft.

  1. Starting from first team, teams alternate to ban 2 Heroes each.
  2. First team picks 1 Hero
  3. Second team picks 2 Heroes
  4. First team picks 2 Heroes
  5. Second team bans 1 Hero
  6. First team bans 1 Hero
  7. Second team picks 2 Heroes
  8. First team picks their last 2 Heroes
  9. Second team picks their last Hero

After the draft completes the match begins.

Tips to drafting[]

Learning how to draft effectively is a big part of winning matches. Here are some general tips to get you started with drafting:

  • The meta: One of the most important elements in drafting is knowing which Heroes and team compositions are currently popular and strong. Watching competitive play and/or looking at competitive tier lists should give you a decent grasp on which Heroes are currently meta. This should be a good enough base to start with for improving your drafts.
  • Drafting for the map: All maps play differently, making certain Heroes stronger than others. Heroes with globals or waveclear, for example, are incredibly effective on specific maps.
  • Communication: Enemies won't be able to see your chat messages in the draft lobby, so you'll want to communicate closely with your allies in order to build an effective team composition. Teams that communicate well during the drafting phase and successfully balance team composition against what Heroes each player is comfortable with generally do better than teams that have no coordination whatsoever. Talk to your teammates, tell them which Heroes you're familiar with, and watch what the other team is doing.
  • Bans: Your goal with bans is to prevent the enemy team from getting Heroes that are generally strong or good against your team. Be mindful of your allies' preferences to avoid choking them of Heroes and roles they can play. In the latter ban phase, it is generally a good idea to ban Heroes in a role your team has already filled, but the enemy hasn't.
  • First picks: Your first picks should be Heroes that are generally strong in the current meta and/or Heroes that are versatile and hard to counter-pick, as the opponent still has many opportunities left to do so.
  • Middle picks: If you’re in the middle picks of the draft, that means your main job should be to figure out what role you will need to play for your team. Understanding what your team needs is another aspect that comes from consistent play and observation. You should take note if your team is missing out on a Tank, or a Healer, and try to fill that void to the best of your ability.
  • Last picks: Certain Heroes, like Illidan, often give very polarizing results. They may be an unstoppable menace if the enemy has no one who can deal with you, but when they do, they can very easily make you feel useless. The last few picks are good for picking such Heroes, as there are fewer opportunities for your opponents to counter them.
  • Synergies: You want your Heroes to work well with each other. Ana, for example, can provide a strong damage boost to allied mages, but if you see your teammates have already drafted Tracer, it might be better for you to pick Brightwing or Stukov, with point and click heals, rather than the skillshot dependent Ana.
  • Counter picking: There is an aspect to drafts that is known as counter picking. This is when a player decides to play as a Hero whose skills specifically work against a strategy or advantage that the enemy team is trying to develop. A good example of a counter pick is to choose Chromie when the enemy team picks up a Sgt. Hammer. Chromie's Abilities are easy to hit on a stationary Sgt. Hammer in Siege Mode and outrange Sgt. Hammer's Attack Range. Counter picks vary in effectiveness. Sometimes a counter pick in a draft absolutely destroys the enemy team, but other times it only serves to make your team a little less effective in the synergy department.

External Links[]

Coming Soon: Hero League and Draft Mode