I decided I wanted to start a new thread just for tips on how to play Heroes of the Storm for those that are trying to get Graves. A lot of people seem interested and some are posting that they are bad at it. Some of this will be pulled from other posts and some of it will be really frigging basic. If you have any other tips to add please chime in.
1) The minions (your and theirs) are dumb by design. They will attack each other and ignore you AEing them down and healing your side. The will march straight into the enemies cannons to die. They are there to die and let you farm exp.
2) The Cannons hurt but they target minions over heroes. Use #1 to kill off their minions so yours march in to die. When they do you can get some shots off on the enemy cannons but be prepared to run when they finish off your minions. If you do this enough they will run out of ammo (you'll see a bomb with a circle and a slash through it when this is the case) and you can safely and usually fairly easily kill them off at this point.
3) Once you get through the cannon/wall you can usually kill of their healing well while being safely out of range of cannons. This is usually a good idea as those cannons should have a pretty fresh load of ammo and full health. Takes away their quick option for healing for their heroes and makes them retreat further to heal. Repeat the same process as above and you can slowly work your way forward toward your ultimate goal which is as dumb as the cannons you've been playing with but it doesn't run out of ammo.
4) AI heroes aren't much smarter than their minions. They are pretty predicable and will almost always run when they get low health or when faced with a large group of your minions. Use this to push them back so you can get your minions to their cannons. A well timed stun or snare or big attack can let you finish a hero off but don't chase one of them into their cannons because it will hurt. You can use that strategy yourself to kill your opponents. For example diablo can pick up an opponent, flip them over his head stunning them with one move and then charge them and knock them back with another. If you are good you can use that to knock an enemy into your cannons which can kill them off. Stiches can eat an enemy and run them back into cannon range before spitting them out to die to cannons. I'm sure other heroes have other combos those are just some I know of off hand.
5) Levels. It's kinda confusing but there are 3 different "levels" that come into play in the game. There is your heroes level in the match which makes them more powerful and lets you choose talents at specific levels. Then there is the heroes level outside of the match which unlocks more talents/abilities for you to pick as you level up in a match. Finally there is your level which is what you need to get to level 20 to get graves.
6) Killing minions gives EXP. Killing heroes gives more EXP. EXP gets your hero levels for the match which makes you stronger and gets you talents. That is true for your opponents too. Don't leave a path (2 or 3 per map) empty as if no one is around minions killing each other doesn't get you exp. Worse there are probably AI Heroes helping kill off your minions and starting to do steps 1-3 to you. Don't die silly deaths, especially early. Chasing your opponent into their cannons and dying gives them a bunch of exp. If that happens too much they can get a level advantage on your team which can snowball. They are stronger and have earlier access to big talents meaning they are more likely to kill you off leading to more exp. If you can get ahead on EXP it can snowball your way too.
7) Try to keep the battles balanced. The enemy hero AI might be dumb but three on one is still and easy win for them. If they are attacking one lane heavily then your team needs to respond the same way. A group of 4 or 5 AI heroes can be a pretty tough thing as they will fight their way through your defenses and will kill single heroes off pretty easily. This can lead to the snowballing mentioned above. You need to have a sizable group go together to deal with this.
8) Using your mount and hearthstone. Don't be afraid to use z and b to mount up or hearth back to the nexus. Moving around quicker on your mount is a good thing so use it. Using your hearthstone will automatically heal up to around half and will quickly regen your health and mana. You are much better off hearthing back and then mounting up to run back to the battle than standing around not able to do much because you are out of mana or afraid of dying because you are low health.
9) Bosses, Bruisers, Bandits, etc. These are bigger versions of the minions but they are just as dumb. Make sure you are prepared for the camp. Once you've got some levels you may well be able to solo them but having a friend or two early on is a good idea. Even once you can solo them friends may still be a good idea as you can do it much quicker. Because they are just as dumb as other minions supporting them is a good idea. They'll happily attack the cannon with no ammo while the enemy heroes take them out. Protect them and help them and they'll be much more effective. The converse is true. The ones released by your opponents will do a lot less damage to your defenses if you show up to stop them. They can be an effective tool for a big push, especially when you get multiple camps at the same time or a camp and a map mechanic like Spiders or Garden Terror.
10) Map Mechanics. You know the silly extra stuff that is different on every map. Collecting coins, gems, skulls, etc. Don't ignore these. They all give different but pretty substantial bonuses to the side that gets them. No reason to let your opponents have them, especially the ai. For the coins/gems that you have to turn in keep that in mind. Don't run off and die without turning them in but at the same time don't stop and turn them in every time you get one of them as it does take some time to do the turn in. For the Garden of Terror and the Haunted Mines be careful about engaging the larger NPCs. They hit hard enough to be dangerous, have decent hps and can stun. They are perfectly setup to let you be easily killed off by an opponent while you are fighting them so make sure you've got friends and use that against the AI when you can.
11) Your hero. Everyone needs to find what will work for them but if you are just learning and just want to get through games to get graves I recommend a healer. There is always at least one in the free hero rotation. Try to pair up with someone else and just follow them around and heal. Try to stay behind them so you won't attract as much attention. This can be very simple and very effective if you've got someone good to heal. A ranged assassin can be played similarly. The melee classes can be powerful and fun but IMO they are the hardest and you are most likely to end up dying because you charge ahead into too much danger.
12) I recommend favoring passive talents over active ones. Active ones should be more powerful if nothing else because you can choose when the effect occurs but a slightly weaker passive ability is still much better than an active ability you never remember to use. Same goes for things like healing totems or other things that require proximity to be effective. That is hard to manage so I'd rather have a potentially slightly less effective passive bonus than a totem I forget to drop or ends up being near no one so doesn't heal for anything.
13) Game mode- Vs AI is going to be easier so you should win most of your games and you are much less likely to run into people who will behave poorly but it does give less EXP and has a cap on how much EXP you can get in a short time. If you've capped your AI exp or you've been playing someone and you feel fairly comfortable with them you can jump into a quick match to play verses other players which is better exp but you are more likely to lose and run into people who will be upset by that.
14) EXP bonuses- these apply to leveling up the hero and your character not leveling the hero during the match.
a) 50% bonus for grouping with someone on your friend list. Lots of people here are posting looking for friends. You can also check the looking for group and then friend someone in the group you end up with.
b) Stimpack- 100% bonus. Can be bought by itself or as part of a pack and you get one free when you hit level 10. Also gives extra gold.
c) Launch event. 25% extra bonus right now. Will be 50% next week and 100% the week after that. These all stack and can help speed things up quite a bit.
15) You earn gold while doing stuff. Can be used to permanently unlock heroes if you like a particular one or for certain cosmetic things (skins/mounts/etc). You get 500 gold for each hero when you get that hero's level up to level 5. Not a bad idea to try out the different heroes in the free rotation and get the 500g from each of them.
This got pretty dang long but I hope it helps.
builds and other infohttp://blizzardwatch.com/
videos of heroes being played etc