Coaches Corner: Understanding Siren's Strand
This map is the newest of the three maps released and sits comfortably in the middle of the two in many ways. It's a medium size, it has one less capture point than Sanctum an one more than Reef, and it has a less drastic clash transition than Sanctum while still having one unlike Reef. However beyond that the map has a host of differences that drastically change the feel and flow of the map comared to the other two.
While the map is smaller than Snactum it optimizes how it uses the space that it has with more small passages, more platforms, and more drastic use of verticallity. However because of all this useage the map feels even more cramped than Ghost Reef at times, and the many passageways heavily favor high mobility heroes.
Points and Geography
This map is a crazy mess compared to the other two and can be best described as two bases with two points each, two forward points on one edge of the map, and one neutral point on the other. The "center" of the map is dominated by the beached ship which has a passageway underneath. On the seaside of the map there is a small path leading between the two forward points, and on the highlands edge of the map there as a path that goes between the two edge-side base points through the neutral point situated in the ballroom of the beached ship.
Each team controls two base points: Narwhal/Anchor and Falls/Sub, and one forward point: Sirens/Barge. In addition there is one neutral point: Ship
Narwhal/Anchor is set at the feet of your guardian, right outside of it's pit. This point overlooks the main side entrance to the guardian pit, and can control the secret tunnel leading directly to your guardian. This secret is incredibly useful for going for the wound as it is relatively hidden and leads directly into the guardian pit. Beyond the control it has over secret this point really isn't important until clash where it transitions the outer edge of the map by a cliff opposite of the new ship gazebo. I recommend always summoning a cyclops on this point pre-clash so you can wall off the secret passage, and upgrade it to a cyclops or drake shortly before or right after clash for maximum self-defense and utility.
Falls/Sub point is situated inside of a crevice surrounded by high platforms and it guards the secondary side entrance into the guardian pit. After clash this point moves to the open area in front of the ledge entrance to the center passage. This point can be rather easily defended by good usage of the the platforms inside the point and proper positioning and rotations from your team. However because of position away from the main side of the map this point can be easily forgotten and after clash becomes incredibly venerable. I recommend placing a cyclops here pre-clash and upgrading to either a cerberus, cyclops, or drake. Cyclops after clash will block off the ledge entrance to the center passage and there fore is my preferred choice, but realistically any of these three options will provide great utility for your team.
Sirens/Barge is the forward point closest to the sea and sits at the center of a raised platform next to a large open area. It guards the main side entrance to the guardian pit and also contains a series of platforms that lead to the Narwhal/Anchor point. This point stays in the same place in clash and is generally the resting area for team. Many of the rotations happen from here as it has access to most of the major pathways around the map. Due to its positional significance, and how easy it is to defend it I recommend placing and later upgrading a bloomer on this point.
Ship Step one: don't summon ship. Step two: really, don't do it. Step three: kill enemy summons on ship. Step four: ??? Step five: Profit. It really is that simple. Siren's Strand is unique in that it has only one neutral point to fight over, and the problem with it is that the point is too difficult to defend. It's wide open from both ends and susceptible to being poked down. On top of all this, because of it's placement on the map, it is so far away from the Sirens/Barge point that any smart player is going to rush your front point as soon as you try to summon it. If you do end up summoning here summon a young bloomer and as soon as you can get a Storm Drake or Yeti Cyclops on that point. At that point no team in their right mind would even think about assaulting that point without wiping your team first.
Movement and Positioning
This map's movement is blisteringly fast compared to the other two's, and barely offers the player any time to breath. The major fights will tend to happen in the center passage, on the front points, and at/underneath Ship, and since all three of these area's are quickly accessible from your base, rotations happen quickly. Major positioning areas are in the ledge entrance of the underside passage, in front of Falls/Sub, in Ship, and at Sirens/Barge. Use assassin's to your advantage, pulling the team off of one point allowing you to quickly rotate to it and take it. When going for the wound, utilize all four entrances to the pit: Main side, Secondary side, front platforms, and secret. Splitting up your team causes the enemy team to split their damage and their resources, ultimately minimizing all damage taken until you are on the guardian. When playing in clash, look to poke out points and pick out of position heroes before going all in on a creature.
Pre- clash most of the rotations are open ended on the fronts points and Ship. If no one owns ship the Falls/Sub point is open to attack as well. Look to either win a fight in the central passage or to use your assassins to attack the back points so you can free up the front points for attack. You biggest advantage will be being one step ahead of the enemy team, and above all: Fight together. Fighting as a team will win you fights. Even if you are using your assassin to back cap 4v4s are easier that 3v4s, and is one person is out of position your rotation can be ruined.
Siren's is a fun map and offers a different style of gameplay that the other two maps. Master your movement and positioning on this map and you will be able to dominate almost any game you are in.