The Firelord fast expo build is HoT’s latest special. It’s probably the fastest expo build in the game, at least from a build start perspective. HoT has used Firelord in many different strategies and in every race matchup for a while now, but this latest strategy really takes advantage of being able to sustain early pressure with lava spawns. With good unit control, a Firelord and archers (and some wisps) can hold off many early game pushes which allows the chance to be able to get this expo up without being punished. But it does require some conscious effort to do a different build order and mix up what you may be naturally used to as a Night Elf at the beginning of the game.
Difficulty of build: Advanced
- Can be used against most strategies and races.
- Very strong if opponent lets you successfully get to Tier 3.
- Has the potential to also pressure between Tier 1 and Tier 2 with Firelord + Naga, mass archer composition, as well as being able to defend.
- Firelord is a good early game hero and a great orb carrier in the late game.
- Some maps leave your expansion very vulnerable while you’re trying to get it up. More experienced players may scout your very early expansion attempt and can pressure it immediately instead of creeping on their end. Most of the time, a single hero won’t be able to pressure your expansion attempt enough but it can still cause enough damage where a second push from your opponent could be scary.
- Small mistakes in your build (like not putting enough wisps on wood in the early game) can delay a lot of your build. This build has a lot of nuances in the timing and buildings must be built at the right time to at the beginning to ensure the proper timing for things like creeping or defending your expo.
Race Match Ups:
- vs. UD: Good strategy, but probably has the most potential to pressure your early expo with a 2 crypt ghoul push. Otherwise, once your expo is up, you can play this as you normally would as a Night Elf player depending on their strategy.
- vs. HU: Might be the best matchup for this strategy because Firelord does a great job pressuring HU expos, especially paired with a Naga.
- vs. NE: Tough matchup because both DH and POTM hunts with early aggression is pretty strong against this strategy, but it can work.
- vs. Orc: Okay strategy depending on execution. Mass tier 1, specifically archers, can usually be very strong versus Orc, but you have to make sure to take care of your squishy Firelord in battles versus things like Blademaster, Hex, Stomp.
Mid and Late Game Transitions
In the majority of scenarios, you will start to build Dryads and Master Bears around the 50 food mark (maybe earlier if you feel like you have enough cushion). Faerie dragons are a great addition versus HU. With POTM, mass archers with Marksmanship may also be enough to win a game. The best late game situation is having 3 heroes with Orb of Venom and a mix of archers and Lore units.