While is may seem a small map on its surface, the Haunted Mines have some depth to them. Its two lanes and a meager center area leave little room for an objective – players will have to descend into the Mines if they want to claim skulls for their Grave Golem.
Haunted Mines is a narrow map with two long lanes and a sliver of land between them. With only three mercenary camps and a pair of watchtowers, the middle of the map is open for roaming and skirmishes, though the narrow profile of the map makes the horizontal space far larger.
Located in each lane is an entrance to the mines that, when clicked, will teleport a hero down to the mines. The Mines are a roundish area interspersed with rock walls, making it a bit of labyrinth.
Layout of the mines and location of the objective minions:
On this map, heroes must delve into the Mines to kill camps of enemies and claim their skulls. The amount of skulls collected determines the relative strength of each team’s Grave Golem, a boss that marches down the lane towards the enemy’s core. At 2:00 the Mines open, allowing players to teleport down to the mines and collect skulls.
There are 100 skulls total in the Mines, collected by killing skeletons. – the more your team can collect, the fewer will be around for your opponents. When the objective activates, eight skeleton camps and a small Grave Golem will spawn in the mines. Each minion in the camp yields 2 skulls, while the Golem yields 30. Collecting the camps of minions, which include 4-5 skeletons, is quicker and less risky than attempting the Golem, and is usually handled first. Teamfights often determine who gets more the more skulls, but many can be gathered without engaging.
The objective on Haunted Mines is periodic, beginning its cycle two minutes into the game and renewing two minutes after the last Grave Golem has died. The first Grave Golem will spawn in its friendly team’s base – from then on, it will resurrect at its corpse, pushing deeper and deeper into the enemy base with each round of the Mines. While the Grave Golems are considered one of the weaker map objectives, they are still potent pushers. Having a 70+ skull golem spawn at the core in the lategame is a scary thing.
Mercenaries and Bosses
There are two Siege Giant camps and a Knight camp on this map, both of which spawn at 2:00. The Mercenaries on this map are odd in that they don’t push the same lane as your Golem, making them worthwhile distractions and defenders. A well-timed Siege Giant camp can help defend against the enemy Golem the first few times around.
- It’s good to capture the Knight camp when you are unable to win a fight in the mines. Collecting a few bones while putting pressure on the enemy’s lanes can be more effective than going into a disadvantageous fight.
- Friendly Siege Giants help kill early Golems very quickly
- Stealing the enemy’s Siege Giants just while the Mines are still underway will prevent the enemies from using them as defenders
- The Watchtowers are not initially important, and are certainly not worth dying early for. These come in handy once mercenaries spawn, as the corners of the Watchtower vision catches the edge of the nearby camps. Grab your team’s during an early rotation.
- When it comes to lanes, teams often send four players to the lane where their Golem will spawn and leave one to the other lane. By doing this they hope to destroy / put substantial damage onto the first line of defenses before the Golem gets there.
- Calldown: MULE is a strong talent on this map. It goes a long way towards delaying a Golem’s warpath to the core.
- The Mines camps in the middle and middle-left have five skeletons instead of four. These camps yield ten skulls instead of eight and should be taken first.
- When the first Golems spawn, capturing the Siege Giant camp near your base after the enemy Golem has passed the mines will allow the Giants to pummel the enemy Golem with impunity. This can be done with later Golems as well, until it passes too far into the base to be seen by the mercenaries.