Struggling with the monstrous plant from Heroes of the Storm's Garden of Terror battleground? Check out Rob's detailed guide on how to be awesome with your Garden Terror.

Rob’s Garden Terror Guide: Overrun Your Enemies in the Garden of Terror Map

Struggling with the monstrous plant from Heroes of the Storm's Garden of Terror battleground? Check out Rob's detailed guide on how to be awesome with your Garden Terror.
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Even though some people have accused Heroes of the Storm of being a “me-too!” attempt to grab a piece of the MOBA pie, it’s hardly another DOTA clone – there are a lot of areas where HotS innovates and changes the formula, and one of the biggest of these are the map objectives, like the Garden Terror.

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While some players have adapted to this new wrinkle in the team brawler formula, a lot of MOBA veterans have had trouble adapting – you still see a lot of people flailing helplessly when they hop into the Garden Terror, using skills haphazardly or failing to achieve much of anything and putting their team behind.

Don’t worry though! I’ve put together a guide to help you understand the Garden Terror, use its skills effectively, and help outline the ways in which it can best help your team win. So don’t spend another game on the Garden of Terror afraid to hop in that big leafy monster – here’s how to take control and lead your team to victory!

How to Activate the Terror (and When)

garden of terror strategy

Getting your Garden Terror to spawn is a simple matter of gathering 100 seeds from the shamblers that spawn around the map once night falls – or rather, it would be simple if there weren’t another team to contend with!

Generally, you should pick up the small camps as quickly as possible and then gather your team to take down one of the big boss terrors – you can try to disrupt the other team at theirs, but that adds a risky element that you might not want to chance unless you’re ahead. As long as your enemy doesn’t get two terrors in a single night, you’re probably doing just fine.

Once you’ve got enough seeds, the Garden Terror will start to grow in your base, appearing after fifteen seconds, but it won’t uproot on its own – a hero needs to right click it to take control of it. You don’t need to grab it right away – it will stay in place for a minute before despawning, so you can (and should) wait until you have the advantage to activate it.

how to use garden terror

When the Garden Terror dies, the player inside gets dropped wherever it is, which is very likely to be in the middle of the enemy team and inside their base, so let warriors and heroes with reliable escapes grab it.

TIP: The number of seeds is shown at the bottom of your screen, and next to your number is a plant icon. If the icon is open (as in the screenshot above), there are enough seeds left on the map for you to spawn a terror.

How to Use Garden Terror Skills

One of the biggest mistakes that new players (and plenty of experienced ones) make is using the Garden Terror’s skills incorrectly. It can be a little intimidating to try to learn these on the fly, so here’s a quick guide to what the Terror’s skills do and how to use them.

Spore Queen’s Curse (Q)

After a short time, all enemies in the target area will turn into plant zombies for 3 seconds. They won’t be able to use any abilities, and their Movement Speed is slowed by 30%.

This can be tricky to use, because there is a big delay, but it can also devastate certain heroes and change the course of a team fight. If you’re having trouble landing the Q, try to use it to zone enemy heroes:


  • Put it near your assassins to stop them from being dived
  • Place it in the path of heroes who are arriving at the fight
  • Or drop it near structures you are attacking


If you are on the run from a lost teamfight or trying to draw the enemy team away, putting this behind the Garden Terror as you escape can do a lot to slow and disrupt the enemy team. This ability does nothing to structures, so save it to use on heroes.

Garden Terror Overgrowth (W)

Spawn a Plant Overgrowth that disables all Structures in a large area as long as it is alive. Deals 70 (+7 damage per minute) damage per second to Structures and rapidly kills Minions. Does not disable the Core.

This is what makes the Garden Terror so dangerous and powerful. If left alone, this skill can take down an entire fort without it even having a chance to fire back. Even if the enemy team manages to take it out quickly, Overgrowth can deal serious damage to enemy structures and put your team way ahead. Since the growth can be attacked and killed, try to place this far away from enemy heroes, or put it somewhere where your team can defend it. It does nothing to enemy heroes, so don’t spam it in teamfights unless you’re near the enemy base.

Overgrowth also damages and incapacitates minions, so if you come across a particularly big minion wave or have mercenaries pushing, it can be worthwhile to drop it in the lane, especially if you’re a long way from the enemy base. The cooldown is fairly long though, so don’t waste it.

Sprint (E)

Increase Movement Speed by 30% for 3 seconds.

Exactly what it says on the tin – the Garden Terror gets a big boost to speed for a few seconds. You should use this immediately after hopping in the Garden Terror since you’ll be a long way from the enemy base, but don’t spam it. Save this escape if you get surrounded or use E if you see an attack opportunity to take advantage of.

This is also a great tool for chasing down assassins or low-health heroes who underestimate the melee potential of the Garden Terror. Use it to surprise them with a couple whacks to the face.

Garden Terror Strategy: Don’t Waste it!

What you do with your Garden Terror depends on your team, but there are two primary strategies for getting the most out of your Garden Terror. Coordinate with your team and pursue the strategy that works best with your team composition.

Option 1: Team Push

All other things being equal, this is the ideal strategy for getting the most out of your Garden Terror. The plant monster is a beast in teamfights, and if your team is there to protect your Overgrowths, you can easily push down two or more forts. The Garden Terror has a lot of HP, but it can be burned down quickly if it doesn’t have backup. Tell your team which lane you’re pushing and wait for backup before going in – don’t charge headfirst into the enemy team, especially late-game.

If none of your lanes are pushed, don’t just charge ahead. Drop some Overgrowths to start your minions pushing and work with your team to get some momentum – if they can capture some mercenaries right before you take control of the Garden Terror, that’s a big advantage for your team.

If and when a teamfight happens, make sure to drop your Q where it will do the most damage. If you have an ally who can slow or disable the enemy team, like Jaina, Malfurion, or Zagara, combo your Curse with their CC. If your fragile allies are being dived by an Illidan or a Zeratul, go ahead and plop it right on top of them so they’re forced to back off or get polymorphed. The Garden Terror also hits like a truck, so make the enemy respect your damage. Hit enemies who get too close and don’t be afraid to Sprint for a kill, but if you’re getting kited, focus on taking down forts and towers.

Option 2: Roaming Terror

If your team is capable of split pushing or if you’re not capable of winning a teamfight even with the Garden Terror, then you’ll want to pursue a different strategy. Even without support, the Garden Terror can wreak havoc, you just need to be smart about it. Going solo is an option, and is especially effective in the early game.

Look at where your enemy isn’t and head for that lane – if your team can push another lane, even better. Drop an Overgrowth (W) as far away from enemy heroes as possible. If there is no one there, you can easily place the pot in a spot where it will damage all towers, walls, and the fort – this works especially well if the enemy tries to pin you down by approaching from behind.

If the enemy team is doing a good job of protecting its structures though, it can be smarter to drop it outside the walls where you can protect it.

Make sure to place your W effectively. Use your Q to zone heroes or punish those who come too close. Check out the diagrams below (credit to /u/Zer0Gravity1 on Reddit) for examples of bad positioning (as in the first picture, where the pot will be burned down immediately) and good positioning (as in the second picture, where you can protect your W from the enemy team).


Diagram 1: Max coverage, but easy for enemy team to take it out. 

Diagram 2: (Preferred) hit two outer towers and get max damage on both.

If resistance is too heavy or you aren’t making progress, just pop your Sprint (E) and hit another lane. Just dropping pots and running isn’t as effective as protecting them while they do damage, but it’s better than wasting the Garden Terror, so don’t be afraid to run and gun, especially if your team is on its back foot.

Final Thoughts

Good use of your Terror is the most important factor contributing to your success on The Garden of Terror. It doesn’t matter if your team has map control for twenty minutes and spawns a Terror four times if you fail to use it effectively.

One good push when the enemy is down a hero or two can bring your team right to the core or crush all three outer forts, making smart use of this tool a crucial element of victory. Time your pushes intelligently, work with your team, and maximize your Garden Terror to ensure success.

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Robert Guthrie
Writer, freelancer, historian.