Sky Temple brings Heroes of the Storm back to more traditional MOBA action, with a more typical layout and map objective than
Blackheart’s Bay. Teams fight NPC guardians and each other for control of temples which, when controlled, attack enemy structures.
A large three lane map, with five mercenary camps scattered between lanes, Sky Temple is one of the maps with no single dominant strategy. Instead, the best way to go about winning this map is knowing when to pick fights and what opportunities you have to get a lead on your opponents. It’s nigh-impossible to sneak the objective, or take it without the enemy contesting it. Knowing when to take it—as it will almost always result in a tussle—is crucial.
Picking your hero
There aren’t any specific heroes or team compositions that excel more than others on Sky Temple. The only true requirement is to have a strong solo laner who can sit towards the bottom of the map as the game starts, pushing the enemy back. These would be the same as your typical choices for a solo laner: Zagara, Chen, Xul, and so on. Other than that, your team composition will simply dictate how your team plays. A support that can sustain teammates slowly but for a long time will favour extended fights. If you’ve got strong initiation, you’ll want to bait enemies towards fights at temples or catch them out when they try to capture a temple themselves.
As I briefly mentioned, you’ll want to send one hero who is strong on their own to the bottom lane, as the first two temples that activate will be above the middle and top lanes, meaning a team that is grouped towards the bottom will often arrive late. Having one teammate soak experience and apply some pressure is, therefore, a bit more efficient.
The four others will, firstly, contest that watchtower that’s between top and mid. If you’re confident your team can win a fight at level one, fight over it. Some heroes lend themselves to this—Xul or Thrall can single an enemy out with a snare, or Stitches can hook a hero, but it’s mostly about knowing the relative damage output of heroes at level one.
The top temple is the Crocodile Temple, the middle is the Snake Temple, and the bottom is the Jackal Temple, indicated below the map by their symbols.
Being able to successfully capture the watchtower will give your team an advantage when temples spawn, but not one that’s worth dying over. Don’t be afraid to back away from it, but know where the enemy can then attack you from, as not having that vision control makes your backline vulnerable to flanks if you contest the Snake Temple.
The typical formation for laning before temples spawn is with one hero waiting in the top lane while three teammates roam between the middle and top lanes to catch minion waves. This is flexible, however: if it’s impossible to roam because the enemy has constant control of the watchtower, and you have no way to check where enemies are in the fog of war, don’t risk it. Splitting with either two heroes top and two mid or one top and one mid—if you have another hero who can survive on their own— is safer in this case. Know when to play it safe.
No golden monkey in this temple
The Crocodile and Snake Temples will activate 90 seconds into the game. When the temples are activated they will spawn guardians, one large guardian at the start, two weaker ranged guardians once it has had a third of its power used up, and another two ranged guardians after another third. At the end, whoever controls it receives another five shots on enemy structures that fire rapidly.
Teams will typically gravitate towards the Snake temple first, and whether you contest the Snake Temple depends on whether your team is ahead or if you have control of the watchtower. The former provides superior damage over the enemy, while the latter creates opportunities to flank. If you’ve got neither of these, it’s often best to look towards either taking the Crocodile Temple safely or contesting the Snake Temple once the guardians have weakened the enemy team.
If you’re ahead, however, and take the Snake Temple first, don’t forget that it’s fine to back off and let the enemy take the last of its power. If your team uses half of the Snake Temple’s power, and then all of the Crocodile Temple’s power after, you’ll be much better off, and prepared for the next temple. Don’t worry about losing part of one temple as long as you get more shots off overall.
When fighting at the temples, the best way to take one is often with a warrior hero and a ranged assassin or specialist, while as the game progresses, warriors can typically take it on their own without taking too much damage.
Two minutes after the last of the two temples are spent, the Jackal Temple will activate towards the bottom of the map. Typically, this will also be around the time one team hits level 10, giving them access to heroic abilities. This temple will be decided by who reaches level 10 first, and if you’re that team, congratulations! You’re on your way to victory. If not, focus on soaking experience from all three lanes to catch up on levels.
The next temples will spawn randomly, and it’s impossible to know which ones will spawn next. Therefore, it’s best to stick to the same tactics as the early laning phase, with the team moving up and down the map to contest temples where appropriate.
If you’re ahead, keep pressure on the temples, using them to keep your lead up. If you’re behind, try to use the fog of war and mercenaries when enemies are moving towards temples. Ambushes are easy to pull off if you have control of the watchtower, and, because of how long temples take to fire, losing a temple only to have your mercenaries siege enemy structures is worthwhile.
That said: the boss is fool’s gold. Unless the enemy team has multiple heroes dead for a long time, don’t bother with it. While it’s a great siege weapon, it’s also a good way to lose the game quickly if the enemy realises what you’re doing. Don’t even try to sneakily take it.
Temples will spawn indefinitely until a team wins, and the safest way to ensure a win if you’re ahead is to just keep capturing them. Although the boss is a good way to finish, it’s too risky to do unless you’re in the perfect position. Focus on making sure you move to each temple as a team, not getting caught out by enemies waiting in bushes.
Heroes of the Storm punishes teams that make mistakes with long death timers, so playing it safe, as Sky Temple allows you to, is simply a better way to make sure you don’t let a victory slip away. Stay safe out in Luxoria, folks.
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