Draft Mode is a game mode for Heroes of the Storm. It is a form of ranked play, and will be allowed as an option in custom games.
In this mode, teams alternately pick heroes. A coin flip decides which team goes first. It is intended that no game in this mode go longer than 20 minutes. Heroes may also be banned; when a hero is banned it is no longer allowed to be chosen. Teams can only ban two heroes each, without any duplicates allowed.
The Battleground on which players will be brawling will appear at the top center of the screen.
The team that wins the coin toss will be prompted to pick one hero on the first turn, and then the opposing team will select two heroes. Teams will then alternate picking two heroes at a time until just one player remains on the team that lost the coin toss. Only the heroes that you own will be available to you during Draft Mode, and no purchases are allowed after a match has been found. 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, your most recently highlighted hero will be automatically locked in, or one will be selected for you at random if you did not already have a hero highlighted.
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 10 heroes in order to compete in ranked play. With nine or fewer, it’s entirely possible that other players could snap up all of the heroes you own before you’ve even had a chance to pick!
Enemies won’t be able to see your chat messages in Draft Mode, so you’ll want to communicate closely with your allies in order to build an effective team composition. If any player quits during Draft Mode, the game will be cancelled, and all players will be sent back to the Hero League Play Screen.
- (Patch January 27, 2017) Note: Fixed an issue that prevented players from selecting the Lunar Rooster and Festive Treasure Goblin Mounts in Draft Lobbies.
- (Patch October 18, 2016) Note: Sound effects and voiceover will now play when entering Lost Cavern Draft Mode via Custom Games.
- (Patch September 13, 2016) Note: Fixed an issue that could cause the draft interface to become unresponsive if the player’s game client was minimized while entering draft mode.
- (Patch August 9, 2016) Note: The Browse All Heroes button will no longer fly in diagonally from the upper-left.; The blue team’s background glow will no longer change to gray after locking in a Hero.
- (Patch July 20, 2016) Note: Heroes who are banned during Draft Mode will now properly display their models on the draft screen.
- (Patch May 17, 2016) Note: The first round Ban timer has been increased from 45 to 60 seconds.