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Sometimes I end up solo in a lane with some character, and there is another one facing me from the other team... Sometimes, this situation may come in any point on the map.

However, I don't have the experience to know in advance if the duel will be in my advantage or not. Let's say I play Diablo, and I face Valla, and we're both LVL1. Do I have to back ? Do I have a chance ? Is it a tie (in which case any additional friend coming in either side will make the battle balance on his side) ?

I know there are many, many possible situations, depending on the levels, maybe the map... But is there some rule of the thumb (maybe based on roles : DPS beats Warriors, and so on...)

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    At level 1 all you need to do is spend 5-10 seconds in the lane to get an idea of how the match-up is going to go. There's too many hero and talent combinations to answer this properly. – jw013 Mar 31 '15 at 20:23
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The biggest hurdle with games of this nature are balance heroes against each other. There isn't a clear guide with how each 1v1 should break down since some heroes are generally stronger than others. Similarly, there isn't a clean concept that one role always has an advantage over another.

A very loose concept could be something along these lines... loosely:

Specialist > Assassin > Support > Warrior > Specialist...

However, there are FAR too many cases where this logic doesn't stick. Diablo, as a warrior, probably can't do too much to a Gazlowe who lives on his turrets. Whereas Sonya probably has a good chance because of whirlwind healing... but only if the Gazlowe places turrets in such a way to support this.

Your largest improvements will take place once you get accustomed to what each hero excels at. They all have their perks they bring to the game and the role itself doesn't do anything but generalize~.

(Also, Diablo is generally considered low tier due to his skill/talent options).

  • A lot of these things are situational; for example, even though Diablo is lower-tier, and probably can't duel Valla straight up, if that Valla steps too close to your towers, you can throw her over your shoulder, and charge her into your towers for a fair bit of damage and probably a kill. – Landric Apr 7 '15 at 12:49
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Very situational scenarios, but I could give some things you can look for:

The heroes involved

I believe it is a scenario where solo laners are skirmishing in lane most of the time, which means some decent self sustain abilities as much as decent waveclear.

Solo laners can either survive their lane or be extremely good harassers.

So if it's two solo laners fighting each other, I would say it's some kind of mana war, except if one of them is overextending or overstaying in lane in order to maintain the other's push.

If your hero is more of a harasser (Zagara/Kerrigan/Sonya/Thrall) and the enemy hero is also a harasser, balance between poking the enemy and avoiding their skillshots.

If your hero is more of a survivor (Dehaka/Leoric/Artanis/Murky), make the enemy confident enough to spend all their mana and you can engage without severe retaliation. Try to deny their regen globes as well.

Example

Leoric and Dehaka on the solo lane - Both use mana and both are about survivability - Dehaka having waveclear

Leo's survivability is about landing his creepy hand on the enemy hero, and the higher max hp the enemy has, the better, so Dehaka is a good target if he wants to stay in lane and probably kill him if he's stubborn enough to stay there at low HP

Dehaka's survivability depends on essence, he won't be able to outheal Leo's damage, he has to rely on avoiding his hand and waveclearing, and occasionaly drag Leo to his towers

The one who uses up all his mana to keep on this dance will be forced back to the fountain or to the hall or else will die, this is mostly a draw

Sonya is a case that we will consider next as a solo hero

Her survivability depends on enemy numbers available to spin on. It won't be very effective if the enemy has anything to interrupt her spin.

However, if the enemy has stuns, Sonya can force them to use it, depleting their mana overtime, as Sonya doesn't really have ressource issues.

The only problem may be the lack of enemy minions to replenish her HP. If you are Sonya, you want to be aggressive when there are enemy minions to back you up (I know, kinda contraversial) and if you're against Sonya, you want to be aggressive when you have no allied minion around, if you have enough damage to make her run away

Talent tier

Here, I am assuming the game carried on and you're all post level 10, and you would have checked all your enemies' talent choices. And here, it is more a skirmish outside of the lanes, like contesting a merc camp for example.

  • At what level are you? At what level is the opponent?
  • Do you have a talent advantage/disadvantage?
  • What is the most important tier of your hero/the opposing hero (power spike)?

So, you want to have more single target damage than your opponent, could it be burst or sustain, or some way to survive through anything.

Let's see another example here based on a game I played two days ago

I play Pally build Kerrigan, and my damage output goes online at level 13

I tend to solo a lot, looking for stray squishies going for merc camps

I was able to combo a grav-o-bomb Gazlowe (less tanky than if he took Robo) - Combo + crit + Ultralisk + crit + Q + crit and he fell like a fly, and I had his turrets to Q on to regain my HP over the few shots I took in the process

However, if I was against a Robo Gazlowe, I'm sure I wouldn't have dealt all that damage, making me wait for reinforcements instead of engaging, and if no reinforcements at all, I just prepare my defenses against the mercs

And this kill wouldn't have happened pre level 13 because I wouldn't have the critical damage yet

Now let's assess the same situation with another perspective

If I were a tank, I would have walked in to delay his capture. I know I wouldn't be able to kill him, but I am sure I can survive this as I have a self sustain or an escape, I'm just delaying him at the best of my capacities and see if reinforcements are coming or if I have to back off.

But if the enemy was a Tychus or any sustain damage with any form of percentage damage (Giant Killer at level 13, Valla's Manticore at level 16), I wouldn't even go in, I would walk away as I'm sure I'll be dead meat in there.

Heroic cooldowns

You want to know if your opponent's heroic has been used lately (unless it's a passive heroic) and how long would be the cooldown.

If their heroic is available, you have to assess the consequences of getting hit by it: Can you survive through it? Will it affect how you deal and get damage? Can it be a follow up for the enemies if you survive your trade?

For most of the heroes, the heroic is what can change the output of a fight. A defensive heroic won't kill you, but will allow the enemy to leave. An offensive heroic may lead you to your death, but if it misses, it will be a big retaliation opportunity.

Your goal when taking on a 1v1 fight

I know getting kills is a lot of fun in the game, when you want to show off your dodging skills or show off that displacement comp wombo combo that you trained for four days with your teammates, but why would you like to pick 1v1 fights?

Those would be the only available reasons you want to pick a fight:

  • You are in early game solo lane and you want to shoo away your counterpart before your minions arrive at their gate which may allow you to take down a tower or to deny experience

  • You have a teammate taking a knight camp by himself (he's able to but will take a lot of damage in the process), you want to intercept those who may roam to that camp and would be able to finish him in one hit or one spell

  • You want to divert attention from your enemies on keeping them busy on one important place while your team is doing something more important somewhere else (like you contest the bottom sappers on Towers of Doom while your team caps Boss)

  • You want to defend a pushed lane, shooing away the pusher first so you can clear that wave properly

You do not want to take on a 1v1 fight:

  • When you and your opponent are catching each other in rotations, it won't end up well, just back off or run to your teammates

  • When you are the only one alive in your team and the enemy team has more than one man alive, they're coming for you, run to safety

  • When you have talent tier disadvantage, especially a 9 - 10 or 19 - 20

So, consider those options, and if the enemy is willing to engage 1v1 on you, make your team know that maybe something else is happening somewhere else

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This kinda of Scenerio fully depends on the skill of the driver of said hero.

Since your asking about a blank lvl 1 on both ends, Valla would end up dying before Diablo. That being said, this would most likely occur if you use the practice or even coop mode on normal difficulty.

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