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Sgt. Hammer Talents

Last updated on Sep 13, 2016 at 05:30 by Oxygen 14 comments

Table of Contents

Sgt. Hammer Image

General Information

On this page, we present the viable talent choices for playing Sgt. Hammer in a competitive environment in Heroes of the Storm. For each talent, we explain what they do and why they should or should not be taken.

The other pages of our Sgt. Hammer guide can be accessed from the table of contents on the right.

About the Author

Oxygen is a veteran of the MOBA genre, which he has been playing for nearly 15 years. He has coached some of Heroes of the Storm's most prominent North American players and teams alike, including Team Liquid. As a Rank 1 Flex player, he enjoys playing all Heroes and roles.

1. Talent Build

Level Choices
1 Advanced Artillery Resistant Ambush Regeneration Master
4 Vigorous Assault Focused Attack Excessive Force
7 Mine Field Hyper-Cooling Engines First Aid
10 Blunt Force Gun Napalm Strike
13 Giant Killer First Strike Bullhead Mines Barricade
16 Executioner Hover Siege Mode Graduating Range Stoneskin ?
20 Orbital BFG Advanced Lava Strike Fury of the Storm Nexus Frenzy

2. Common Talent Paths

Hover Siege Artillery: Focuses on dealing long-range sustained damage

3. Level 1 Talents

Advanced Artillery Resistant Ambush Regeneration Master

3.1. Description

Advanced Artillery Icon Advanced Artillery increases the damage bonus provided by Artillery Icon Artillery to 40%, up from 30%.

Resistant Icon Resistant causes you to take 50% less damage from all sources for 3 seconds whenever you are Stunned or Rooted while in Siege Mode Icon Siege Mode.

Ambush Icon Ambush causes Sgt. Hammer to Stealth when she enters Siege Mode Icon Siege Mode. Her next Basic Attack then deals 100% more damage. The Stealthing effect is broken by attacking, channeling, taking damage, or leaving Siege Mode.

Regeneration Master Icon Regeneration Master permanently increases your Health Regeneration by 1 per second for every Regeneration Globe you collect, up to 30. After gathering 30 Regeneration Globes, your maximum Health is also increased by 500. Purple Regeneration Globes dropped from neutral Boss monsters count as well.

3.2. Recommended

Advanced Artillery Icon Advanced Artillery offers a reasonable damage increase under an easily met condition. The other talents on this tier are also lackluster, easily making this choice the best.

3.3. Not Recommended

Resistant Icon Resistant is counter-intuitive, in that if you find yourself sieged up in a situation where you may be hit by relevant crowd control, you are probably sieged up at the wrong time and place in the first place.

Ambush Icon Ambush provides less overall damage than Advanced Artillery Icon Advanced Artillery, and its defensive properties are unreliable at best. Sgt. Hammer's large size makes her very easy to detect in Stealth, and being immobile despite the invisibility is undesirable.

Sgt. Hammer's long-ranged playstyle makes it so that it is burst damage that is dangerous to her. Regeneration Master Icon Regeneration Master does very little to support her in that regard.

4. Level 4 Talents

Vigorous Assault Focused Attack Excessive Force

4.1. Description

Vigorous Assault Icon Vigorous Assault causes your Basic Attacks to heal you for 15% of the total damage they deal.

Focused Attack Icon Focused Attack increases the damage of your next Basic Attack used against a Hero by 75%. This effect has a 10-second cooldown that is reduced by 1 second whenever you hit with a Basic Attack.

Excessive Force Icon Excessive Force doubles the knock back distance of Concussive Blast Icon Concussive Blast.

4.2. Recommended

Focused Attack Icon Focused Attack has some very interesting synergy with Artillery Icon Artillery and Siege Mode Icon Siege Mode, as it allows you to deal impressive amounts of damage from a long range.

4.3. Not Recommended

As mentioned earlier, Sgt. Hammer tends to be vulnerable to burst damage, whereas she can deal more sustained damage than most other Heroes. Vigorous Assault Icon Vigorous Assault requires very good uptime to make a significant difference in terms of survivability. Even if it does not change our assessment of the talent's strength, it is worth noting that the splash damage from Siege Mode Icon Siege Mode triggers Vigorous Assault.

If Concussive Blast Icon Concussive Blast does not save you from an attacker, Excessive Force Icon Excessive Force probably will not. It also has the unfortunate downside of sometimes moving your opponents to safety. Such a long knockback is generally unwieldy.

5. Level 7 Talents

Mine Field Hyper-Cooling Engines First Aid

5.1. Description

Mine Field Icon Mine Field increases the total number of Mines spawned by Spider Mines to 5, up from 3.

Hyper-Cooling Engines Icon Hyper-Cooling Engines reduce the cooldown of Thrusters to 15 seconds, down from 30.

First Aid Icon First Aid is an activatable talent that restores 35% of your maximum Health over a 6-second duration upon activation. First Aid has a 60-second cooldown.

5.2. Recommended

First Aid Icon First Aid is one of the strongest defensive talents available to any Hero. Such a strong on-demand heal on a Hero with otherwise limited defensive options is simply too good to pass up on.

5.3. Not Recommended

Mine Field Icon Mine Field is not necessarily a bad talent. Its issue merely stems from competing with extremely important defensive talents.

Hyper-Cooling Engines Icon Hyper-Cooling Engines, although more versatile than First Aid Icon First Aid, fails to help Sgt. Hammer against burst damage, her main weakness. First Aid also offers a form of weak lane sustain, something Hyper-Cooling Engines does not.

6. Level 10 Talents

Blunt Force Gun Napalm Strike

6.1. Description

At this level, Heroic abilities become available. Both Heroic abilities have already been described in the abilities section.

6.2. Recommended

Though Napalm Strike Icon Napalm Strike deals about half as much damage as Blunt Force Gun Icon Blunt Force Gun, its cooldown is about 10 times shorter than the latter Heroic ability choice. It is also useful for scouting bushes, knocking Heroes off their mounts, and bringing cloaked Heroes out of Stealth from a long range.

6.3. Not Recommended

Blunt Force Gun Icon Blunt Force Gun is undertuned. Though it has a very long range, it deals very little damage when compared to other Heroic Abilities. It can also be relatively easily be avoided by keen players. Avoid this talent choice.

7. Level 13 Talents

Giant Killer First Strike Bullhead Mines Barricade

7.1. Description

Giant Killer Icon Giant Killer causes your Basic Attacks to deal additional damage to Heroes equal to 1.5% of their maximum Health.

First Strike Icon First Strike increases the damage of your Basic Attacks by 25%. This bonus is inactive for 5 seconds upon taking damage.

Bullhead Mines Icon Bullhead Mines causes the center Spider Mine to also knock back struck foes.

Barricade Icon Barricade causes Concussive Blast Icon Concussive Blast to also create a short wall at the end of its cone. The wall prevents both friendly and enemy units from passing through, and lasts for 4 seconds.

7.2. Recommended

Giant Killer Icon Giant Killer is especially strong on Sgt. Hammer due to her above-average attack range that allows her to get a significant amount of Basic Attacks off. She also has the added benefit, over other Heroes that have access to Giant Killer, of being able to splash the effect due to Siege Mode Icon Siege Mode.

7.3. Not Recommended

Though First Strike Icon First Strike provides more damage than Giant Killer Icon Giant Killer, and against more target types, it suffers from the steep condition of not taking damage for an unrealistic amount of time. It is simply less reliable than the other choice.

Bullhead Mines Icon Bullhead Mines provide too little to be seriously considered as a talent choice. The talent was changed to only affect one Mine, essentially killing its viability.

Though interesting on paper, Barricade Icon Barricade has the unfortunate side-effect of also blocking your own teammates. This adds an uncontrollable element to an ability that is generally used very reactively.

8. Level 16 Talents

Executioner Hover Siege Mode Graduating Range Stoneskin ?

8.1. Description

Executioner Icon Executioner passively increases your Basic Attack damage by 40% against targets that are currently affected by movement speed reductions, roots, or stuns.

Hover Siege Mode Icon Hover Siege Mode allows Sgt. Hammer to move at half her normal speed while sieged up.

Graduating Range Icon Graduating Range causes you to generate one stack of Graduating Range for every 3 seconds spent in Siege Mode Icon Siege Mode, to a maximum of 5 stacks. Each Stack of Graduating Range increases your sieged Basic Attack range by approximately 10%. The stacks are lost upon leaving Siege Mode.

Stoneskin Icon Stoneskin is an activatable talent that grants you a damage-absorbing Shield equal to 30% of your maximum Health for 5 seconds. Stoneskin has a 60-second cooldown.

8.2. Recommended

Hover Siege Mode Icon Hover Siege Mode essentially allows Siege Mode Icon Siege Mode to be usable in team fight situations. This tier is a pivotal one for Sgt. Hammer exclusively due to this talent.

8.3. Situational

Stoneskin Icon Stoneskin offers a powerful shielding effect that may save you against extremely aggressive team compositions that may be able to capitalise on Hover Siege Mode Icon Hover Siege Mode's relatively limited mobility. If you find yourself dying too often, pick this talent.

8.4. Not Recommended

Long-lasting slowing, rooting, and stunning effects are rare in Heroes of the Storm. Executioner Icon Executioner, while granting a sizeable damage increase, has too little useful uptime to justify it as a talent choice.

Graduating Range Icon Graduating Range is a controversial talent that deserves a bit of discussion. One misleading aspect of the talent's tooltip lies in the 100% increased range value that it indicates; this value is based on Sgt. Hammer's Basic, non-Siege Mode attack range. In reality, the talent can provide a range increase of about 50% while in Siege Mode. This increase, however, must be built up over a 15-second period. In a team fight situation, standing still for even a third of this duration could be extremely detrimental. The benefits of the additional range are also lost as soon as anything approaches. It is reasonable to say that opponents will almost always want to capitalize on a fragile Hero that is rooting itself. As for sieging situations, the talent is unwieldy; using Siege Mode while the structure is out of your range ends up costing potential damage, whereas using Siege Mode while in range voids the usefulness of the talent. Graduating Range does very little that Hover Siege Mode can not do better.

9. Level 20 Talents

Orbital BFG Advanced Lava Strike Fury of the Storm Nexus Frenzy

9.1. Description

Orbital BFG Icon Orbital BFG causes Blunt Force Gun Icon Blunt Force Gun's projectile to infinitely recast itself through the same angle as its initial firing angle, as if it were orbiting around the battlefield. This effect occurs 5 seconds after the projectile has reached an outer bound of the battlefield. Only one projectile may be active in such a way at any point in time. Using Blunt Force Gun while the Orbital BFG effect is active will cause the older projectile to stop rotating. The projectile's path is indicated by a missile icon and a dotted line on the Minimap.

Advanced Lava Strike Icon Advanced Lava Strike increases the range of Napalm Strike Icon Napalm Strike by 75%, and causes its initial impact to deal 50% more damage.

Fury of the Storm Icon Fury of the Storm causes your next Basic Attack to deal an additional amount of damage to the target and to any Minions or Mercenaries near that target. This effect has a 5-second cooldown.

Nexus Frenzy Icon Nexus Frenzy increases the range of your Basic Attacks by 20% and your attack speed by 20%.

9.2. Recommended

Advanced Lava Strike Icon Advanced Lava Strike turns a strong ability into something that is extremely hard to deal with. The range increase allows you to ceaselessly poke without any possible retaliation, forcing your opponents to take unnecessary damage, abandon objectives, or hard engage. Advanced Lava Strike should be favoured over Nexus Frenzy Icon Nexus Frenzy against team compositions that prevent you from steadily using Basic Attacks.

Nexus Frenzy Icon Nexus Frenzy, especially when combined with Hover Siege Mode Icon Hover Siege Mode, give Sgt. Hammer some of the game's highest sustained damage from more range than any other damage dealer.

9.3. Not Recommended

Though Orbital BFG Icon Orbital BFG is an outstanding talent that can be used to unconditionally destroy Keeps, the talent comes at the cost of using the sub-par Blunt Force Gun Icon Blunt Force Gun over Napalm Strike Icon Napalm Strike.

Fury of the Storm Icon Fury of the Storm is never a recommendable talent, and Sgt. Hammer is no exception to this. She is, by default, very good at waveclearing and sieging, such that the talent adds nothing to the Hero's arsenal.

10. ChangeLog

  • 13 Sep. 2016: Removed Slowing Mines and moved Mine Field to account for the September 13 balance update. No changes in recommendations.
  • 24 Aug. 2016: Updated description for several talents to account for the August 24th balance patch. Several recommendations changed.
  • 17 May 2016: Updated Regeneration Master's description following Chromie's patch changes. Talent recommendations remain unchanged.
  • 06 Apr. 2016: Vampiric Assault was renamed to Vigorous Assault.
  • 22 Aug. 2015: Update talent description for Focused Attacks to account for the changes in Kharazim's patch. No changes in talent recommendations.
  • 31 Jul. 2015: Added recommendations for Graduating Range
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