Season 5 is about to start. After Blizzard’s smart decision to remove a lot of the bad maps from the ladder pool, expectations were high. This season, Abyssal Caverns and Nerazim Crypt have been removed and two new maps are taking their slots. Both maps are available right now on Battle.net, and you can find them by creating a custom game and browsing Blizzard maps, or simply by searching for their names. Read more for pictures and a little bit of analysis of the new maps.
Arid Plateau (2 players)
There’s a backdoor entrance to your natural expansion making it somewhat hard to take, but clever wall-offs will probably negate the issues. A third base close to your main facing the center of the map similar to Shakuras Plateau means you can turtle on three base pretty easily. Alternatively, there’s a base horizontal to your natural that can be attacked by taking out some destructible rocks, but can also be reinforced very easily – zergs may want to take this as their third base. The gold mineral base seems extremely hard to defend. Line of sight blockers in the middle of the map are something we haven’t seen much of yet, and will make for interesting tactical play early on (before air units negate the vision disadvantages).
Entombed Valley (4 players)
At last, a 4 player map without rotational symmetry. 1-base openers seem strong here as the ramp to your natural is very wide, but your third is very easy to take. Center expansions may make it seem possible to do more mech or turtle based play, but the center area is very open, so maybe not. Not a very interesting map in my opinion.