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Hero Control is very important and can often determine who wins battles and ultimately the game.

Spend your Hero Skill Points
Each newly created Hero comes with a skill point. The first thing you should do after you have created your Hero is spend that skill point, and you should never have more than 1 unspent Hero skill point and you should never have unspent skill points for very long. Good players generally spend their skill points instantly and have their path all figured out before the skill point arrives.

Keep your Hero alive!
It's very important to keep your Hero alive at all costs. While you can revive your Hero at an Altar, this costs a lot of Gold and precious time. While your Hero is dead, you are not gaining experience and friendly troops aren't provided with beneficial Auras or other special abilities of your Hero. A force without a Hero is also almost always a lot less effective.

It's also important to understand that Heroes are very weak at low levels and very powerful at high levels. It's smart to level Heroes up and give them items to make them last longer.

Learn to Run Away
The most effective way of keeping your Hero alive is running them away when they are being attacked. Heroes are very fast and can almost always get away unless stopped by a Hero killing spell.

Run circles around your troops while your other troops work to take care of the units chasing your Hero. If the enemy continues to chase you, you can even start running all the way across the map, maybe back to your town. Generally, the enemy will stop chasing, so you simply go right back to the battle again.

A control trick that you might find useful is to hold down Shift followed by right-click to the location you want your Hero to run to. Then hit H and release Shift. This will cause your Hero to run away, then Hold Position so the Hero won't run back into battle.

Shift focus from your Hero to other units
Since you want to keep your Hero alive, you always want the enemy to be attacking other units instead of your Hero. There are a few exceptions, however, such as your Hero being invincible. If the enemy is attacking your Hero, back the Hero off and try to insert one of your other units in the way so that the enemy will attack it instead. Often the enemy units will stop attacking your Hero and will shift to your other troops. If the enemy does go after your Hero, you can start running away.

When using melee Heroes, it's still important to shift damage away from them.

Hero Survival Tricks
Use your Town Portal Scroll to run away.

Player-built shops sell Healing Potions. When your Hero is damaged, run to a Player-built shop and buy some Healing Potions to heal your Hero. You can even fight next to the Merchant buying Healing Potions while your Hero is engaged in combat. There is a limited supply of Healing Potions, however.

The Mercenary Camp sells Troll Shadow Priests with healing. Buy one of these and use it to Heal your Hero.

Use Unit sharing and use allied healing spells or your own healing spells to heal your Hero.

The Fountain of Health can restore health. Take control of a Fountain of Health and return back to it to heal when you are damaged.

There are many other Hero Items that can allow you to survive longer:

*Purchase an Invisibility Potion and use it right before your Hero is about to die, then run away.
*Use Invincibility Potions right before your Hero is about to die to escape and run away.
*The Cloak of Shadows can allow you to Hide at night.
*The Scroll of Healing can be used to Heal your Hero, which is sold at a Player-built shop
*Collect Healing or Restoration Potions and save them until your Hero is about to die.
Always control your Hero during Battle
You should always control your Hero during all battles. There are some exceptions such as toward the end of the game or facing a few Creeps with a significantly large force, but it is generally a good rule to follow.

Learn to use Function Keys
F1 jumps the screen to your first Hero, F2 second, and F3 to your third Hero. When you need to quickly reach your Hero (which is often in a game), hit that key to jump to your Hero. You can also use Control Groups, but the Function keys directly select your Hero.

Watch the Hero Portrait!
The Hero Portrait in the top left of the screen flashes red when your Hero is taking damage. The Hero Portrait also shows when there are points to spend. Whenever the Hero Icon starts flashing, immediately go to your Hero and get the Hero out of combat or better yet, direct your Hero in battle. Your scanning of the Hero Portrait for damage and skill points should be a part of your game playing.

Pay attention to Experience
If your Hero is about to level up, find a way to level them up. You can attack Creeps or even enemy workers to gain additional experience. Be sure to immediately use any Experience Tomes you find.

While Heroes are great at killing buildings, it's best to have them working on killing enemy units to gain experience or to head elsewhere to gain experience from killing Creeps rather than using them to finish off an enemy town.

When All Your Heroes Die, Run Away
Once all your Heroes have died, run your army away. If you continue to fight you will no longer gain experience for your Hero (since you don't have any). There are rare situations where you might want to continue to fight without a Hero (in team games or close games) but generally the best rule to follow is to run. This can also be a good way to force an enemy to leave you alone. Kill their Hero and it will cause them to retreat.

[ Click to Enlarge - 182 KB ]
Night Elf army runs away after their Hero has died.




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