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.
- Hero portraits in Draft Lobbies use 2D Base Hero art rather than animated 3D Hero Skin models in order to help make Hero picks easier to differentiate from one another at a glance.
- Allied Hero names are visible to teammates before they lock in their picks.
- The opposing team’s Hero names will not appear until those players lock in their picks.
- Spectators cannot see Hero names for either team until each player locks in their pick.
- The opposing team’s player names are not visible during a draft.
- Spectators cannot see player names for either team until all players in the draft lobby have locked in their Hero picks.
- (Patch April 24, 2018) Note: Hero portraits in Draft Lobbies will now use 2D Base Hero art rather than animated 3D Hero Skin models.
- (Patch March 27, 2018) Note: Hero names will now appear in the upper nameplate, and player names will appear in the lower nameplate.; Changed visibility of names and heroes.
- (Patch March 6, 2018) Note: Using the voice volume control in a draft lobby will no longer prevent players from viewing teammates’ profiles using the right-click context menu.
- (Patch November 22, 2017) Note: Fixed an issue that made enemy player profiles accessible while in draft.
- (Patch November 1, 2017) Note: Fixed an issue that prevented players from selecting the Garden Shambler Murky Skin in draft lobbies.
- (Patch September 5, 2017) Note: Fixed an issue preventing players from selecting the Lunar Rooster Mount in Draft Lobbies.
- (Patch August 8, 2017) Note: Fixed an issue that occasionally caused Heroes to play a previously selected Heroes’ voice line when locking in during Draft Mode.
- (Patch July 11, 2017) Note: Fixed an issue causing Hero selection voiceover lines to occasionally echo.
- (Patch April 28, 2017) Note: The Collection screen is no longer accessible to players in draft lobbies.
- (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.
- 2014-11-07, Heroes of the Storm Panel - Live Update. Heroes Nexus, accessed on 2014-11-08