Macro Primer - Volskaya Foundry
Welcome to Macro Monday
! Here, we'll review a new map every week, breaking down the ins and outs of rotations, merc timings, and objectives! This week, pack your parkas - we're heading to the frozen poles! That's right, it's Volskaya Foundry!If you enjoy my content and would like to see more of it, you can support me by dropping a follow or sub on Twitch!
Volskaya is a three lane map featuring a unique 'conveyor' mechanic, two turret camps, and one health pack camp. The conveyor enables faster rotations from bot to mid than from mid to bot - and, as always, the mid wave is the first to clash. Let's take a quick look at how to rotate!
The basic rotation on Volskaya is as follows:
A Clear Mid
B Clear Top
C Clear Mid
D Clear Top
E Take Turret Camp
Typically, your 4man (consisting of your Tank, Support, Primary DPS, and Flex DPS) will rotate between middle and top; after the second mid wave is cleared, you'll send your best single-target damage and your support to capture your turret camp.
Capturing your turret camp early has two benefits - firstly, it grants you experience, as well as the aforementioned deployable turret (which you'll use to capture the first objective). Secondly, it ensures your next turret camp will be available as soon as possible.
Why does this matter? Because Volskaya is won off the second turret camp. If you have two turrets to your opponents one, the combined DPS is almost assuredly enough to win the point. As long as you drop both turrets at the same time, your opponent will be forced to either focus them - or immediately cede the point! In that sense, the skirmish before the second turret camp is primarily posturing - what matters is how many resources (HP, MP, Tap, CDs, Obj %) you have after you've completed the second turret.
There are a couple questions unanswered, so let's address them! Firstly, the support camp; is it correct to completely ignore it?
Not exactly; the basic macro on Volskaya assumes that neither team has a large enough advantage to take the support camp. After all, the majority of each team is usually nearby. However, there are a few exceptions:
- Junkrat, specifically due to his W, enables his team to 'force' the support camp - throw a W on the camp at the start of the game, wait for the cooldown to naturally return, and you have two displacements available when you actually do the camp.
- Alexstrasza is effectively up a heroic when the enemy team is level 4 thanks to her trait - allowing you to brute-force the camp.
- Double Support comps are able to out-sustain and out-trade all other compositions, and excel at early, pre 10 teamfights.
The counterplay to your opponent being able to force the support camp is stealing their turret right at minute 1:00! Be on the lookout for opportunities to deny your opponents this powerful resource, this tilts the entire early game in your favour.
Another powerful option available to you is the Counter-Rotation.
Counter-Rotations subvert expectations; instead of rotating your 4man mid and top, you instead send them bot, and take advantage of the conveyor to quickly rotate back. There are a few upsides to this; firstly, you're better poised to potentially invade or harass the enemy rotation to the turret camp; heroes like ETC or Zeratul can use this rotational space to create picks, or at the very least, good damage trades.
Secondly, this style of rotation allows you to group mid as five heroes every mid wave. Since your offlaner top is relatively unhindered, they can quickly clear their wave and join you mid. This allows you to potentially force a fight; with a tank like Anub'arak or Garrosh, stepping up to do damage becomes a low risk, high reward play, enabled by your 5v4 numbers advantage.
The downsides to this style are mitigated heavily by your offlaners scouting - if the enemy team starts the Support camp, simply invade and steal their turret. Two turrets are far more powerful than one heal, and picking up the third turret (which will spawn in three-quarters of the way through the objective) all but guarantees the first objective for your team.
Finally, executed correctly, you'll be able to out-rotate your opponents by gaining a few seconds of advantage every wave. You can 'cash in' this time advantage to look for a pick, steal a camp, or prepare for a an invade. After all, if you're done your turret camp before your opponent has even started theirs, aren't you poised fantastically for an invade?
So, we've covered taking the support camp (having a sizable teamfight advantage early) and we've covered the importance of taking your turret camp right away; what about the third, lesser-noticed camp?
The Assault Trooper Camp (more affectionately known as the Siege-y Boys) is a fantastic push tool; they have enormous range, much larger than that of towers, and will easily take a front wall or fort - on the condition that they're left alone. Assault Troopers are effectively reskinned Khazra camps, with slightly better scaling. These camps get the most value when they're ignored - or forgotten - by the enemy team. Similar to Alterac Pass's Gnolls, if you can capture these mercenaries as late as possible (ideally after your opponents capture theirs) you'll gain better value from their pushing powers. This is because, when both teams capture a camp, the first camp captured will get cleared faster by the enemy wave.
Why? Simple; your camp will clear the enemy wave and get stuck by the enemy towers. Those towers (and the enemy wave + Siege Camp) will work together to clear out your wave, then your camp. Bam, your camp is dead, the enemy camp is still pushing. This is why it's crucial to cap your lane-pushing camps later than your opponents on mirrored maps! This applies to the center lane bruisers on Cursed and Tomb as well!
Turrets add 100 DPS at minute 3:00 in teamfights, and Healing Camps offer 40% of your maximum HP and MP in a 6.5 unit radius around them. A team with enough items effectively has a 6v5 or even 7v5 advantage in teamfights. Use items wisely!
So, what are your priorities on Volskaya? And at what time should you look for them?
Your biggest priority is always waves! Mercenaries, ganks, and invades follow waves, never the other way around! Waves provide vision, rotational knowledge, and EXP; you need to deny the first two and get the third before you look for anything else!
During objectives, your team should split to soak waves while a small number skirmish over the objective itself. Don't commit without an advantage, whether that's a talent tier or item, until 99%!
At minute 1:00, look for your turret! Keep tabs on your opponents, and be ready to invade if they're looking for a cheeky Support camp steal!
Clear your Siege Camp before 3:00, when the objective spawns, but don't capture it! Wait to cap it 10 seconds after your opponents capture theirs, or cap it to coincide with a wave if they don't take theirs.
Ensure someone is soaking during the objective; until 99%, everything is posturing. You want to achieve a talent tier advantage or item advantage before you fight. Any hero with wave clear or camp clear can macro, don't feel limited by your role selection!
Pushing with the Protector has gone through a huge number of iterations; the current Protector is awful at teamfighting, and will often result in your team getting killed. Instead, clear waves so you have minions to tank structure damage, and stay at range so your gunner can whittle down buildings!
Be wary of your opponents simply running past you to engage on your hapless teammates - in particular, Maiev's Containment Disc, Medivh's Ley Line Seal, and Zeratul's Void Prison get 2-for-1 value whenever they target your Protector. Be wary of these heroes - or exploit them yourself for easy wins!
It's important to put your squishiest and least valuable push heroes inside the Protector, in that order; this protects them from a possible dive past, and ensures you've got the most damage available on your push. The big value of the Protector is that it instakills waves with the Flying Fist, and can disable buildings; exploit this to stack large minion waves! As an aside, minions do triple damage to structures - a wave of minions is worth an extra Greymane of DPS!
For lane prioritisations, the third objective will generally decide the game, making bottom fort the most valuable real estate on the map. To that end, I'd actually recommend you take the first objective bot and look for the wall; the second objective can be used solely to achieve the fountain in top, then mid, then bot. If you've got a strong global splitpusher, taking top keep to open core can be viable also!
That'll do it for this week's Macro Monday - if you have additional questions, you can find answers at my Discord!
Take care! o/