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  1. 8 likes
    Finally Batman comes to the Nexus.
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    We present our eighth Heroes of the Storm Meta Tier List for the Stukov patch of July 2017. Our eighth Heroes of the Storm Meta Tier List for the month of July 2017 is here! Welcome to Icy Veins's Meta Tier List for the Stukov patch. The goal if of this list is to try and detail game's current metagame state. The prime goal of such lists is to inform players regarding popular and trending team composition drafting strategies (i.e. the drafting metagame). Although tier listings are generally the product of balance, many factors come into play when discussing the relative perceived strengths of heroes, including player regions, maps, play style, skill level, and, of course, personal perception. As such, any tier list—including this very one—should never be interpreted as gospel, but rather, as a guide to better grasp what to expect with regards to typical drafting experiences. One useful application of such lists is to allow you know which heroes to look out for in terms of practice and counterplay, ultimately improving your knowledge of the game. Using the list As stated above, tier lists are easy to mistake for gospel. As new strategies are discovered and experimented with, so changes the perception of the relative strengths of each hero. Tier lists still prove to be useful as a snapshot of player expectations in terms of drafting. Although it is generally considered preferable to focus on high tier heroes (Prime and Core tiers), it is important to note that Heroes of the Storm's wild character and map designs make it so that any given hero's tier position is prone to fluctuate depending on the situation at hand. One classic example of such is that of Kerrigan on the Infernal Shrines map. Although we currently judge her to be a mid-tier hero, her drafting priority shoots up to first-pick or first-ban material on this specific map due to the nature of its objective. Certain heroes also synergise so well with each other that the sole fact of having the opportunity of drafting them together is generally enough to increase their potential. Tassadar and Tracer, for instance, are generally nightmarish to deal with for many. There are too many examples of these interactions to reasonably produce here, but we invite you to consult our guides to know exactly where and when each hero shines. The guides have been linked in the lists below for your convenience - just click any of the hero names to access them. If you're newer to the game, also consider visiting our glossary for a comprehensive list of discrete Heroes of the Storm terms. Additionally, a + or - sign (or several of them) indicates short-to-medium term predictions (which is to say, about a month) for tier increase(s) or decrease(s), respectively. These are often updated after significant balance patches and/or when clear trends are emerging. Prime Tier Warrior Assassin Support Specialist Anub'arak Genji Uther - Malthael Prime tier heroes are considered to be extremely strong in all situations, and show no obvious weakness. They are very often banned or picked right away, as they generally dictate the pace of most matches. Core Tier Warrior Assassin Support Specialist Arthas Falstad Auriel Nazeebo- Dehaka Gul'dan Malfurion Sylvanas Diablo Greymane+ Rehgar D.Va Li-Ming Stukov (new!) Johanna- Thrall Tassadar+ Stitches↑+ Valla Sonya Zeratul Varian (Tank) Zarya Core tier heroes are strong in a wide variety of situations and have few counter-picking possibility. They should form the core of your team, and be picked after Prime Tier heroes have been distributed. Viable Tier Warrior Assassin Support Specialist Artanis Alarak Brightwing Abathur Chen Chromie Kharazim Azmodan E.T.C. Jaina Li Li Gazlowe Leoric Kael'thas Lt. Morales Zagara Muradin↓ Kerrigan Lúcio Probius↓ Rexxar Lunara Tyrande↑ Xul↑+ Tyrael Ragnaros Samuro The Butcher Valeera Varian (Damage) Zul'jin Viable tier heroes are generally well-rounded that have either fallen out of favour, or, inversely, are on the rise in popularity, due to the current Prime tier contenders. Niche Tier Warrior Assassin Support Specialist Cho'gall Cassia - Medivh Cho'gall Murky Illidan Sgt. Hammer Nova Raynor Tracer Tychus Niche tier heroes have niche application on certain maps or for certain team compositions. They are generally picked to "round out" your team composition when your team composition is missing out on key components, such as a "jungler" (mercenary camps), a solo laner, or solid waveclear. Bottom Tier The Lost Vikings Bottom tier Heroes are deemed to be either considerably weaker than the majority of other Heroes, or much more challenging to play properly. Although they may situationally shine, these Heroes are generally avoided by most players. Metagame assessment I'd like to preface this month's assessment with a small apology; an editing mistake on my part caused last month's assessment to be lost, bar the part on Malthael. Speak of the devil, recent nerfs targeting Reaper's Mark and Tormented Souls appear to have reduced the Angel of Death's win rates quite significantly (some 3.6% less, down to a fair 53.7% as we speak), though were not enough to impact his popularity as first-pick/ban material. Whether the playerbase is simply too slow at adjusting or if he remains too powerful has yet to be determined, but I still judge him strong enough to keep his place as a prime tier hero. This is particularly true during map rotations including Dragon Shire and Gardens of Terror, thanks to his %-based damage shredding map objective-based vehicles. A similar comment could be made about our 3 other prime tier contenders, Anub'arak, Genji, and Uther. Although Blizzard has been uniquely smart about the way they have been handling balancing changes, which is to say, conservative, there may now be an argument for seeking to buff potential counters as opposed to going too far. But I digress; Cocoon remains amazingly useful, as do Guardian of Ancient Kings and Swift Strike, the main points of balance contention. Despite unimpressive release win rates, Stukov has found his niche right into our current double healer meta, and as an Auriel/Medic replacement on Braxis Holdout. He does deal more damage than most pure support heroes as well, which further cements this niche. Since he is rather high skill-capped (probably the most difficult support to play properly), I expect his performance to improve over time, especially if some of our HGC friends can teach players how to draft him. If he ends up not being popular, it'll be due to his lack of utility; though Lurking Arm is interesting, it just isn't Malfurion's Entangling Roots or Uther's Hammer of Justice. His lack of a Cleanse alternative may also be an issue, though this is, and will be, a recurring for all supports to ever come to the nexus. In the end, he's probably one of the most balanced release to date, has enough depth for to not be offensively boring to play (sorry, Morales...), and that's great. His existence also makes it harder for players to lock their opponents out of high tier healers, solving partly one of my own long-term gripes. Stitches is the surprise of the month with massively increasing popularity, thanks to the appropriately named and emerging Slam build. This build involves nothing less than being creative and picking every single Slam-related talent to allow Stitches to deal assassin-like area of effect damage with little effort from the player's part. Add this to the utility of Hook, to Stitches' general toughness, and to flexible heroic ability choices, and you have a recipe for up and coming prime tier material. The common denominator between currently popular tanks is the ability to either output significant area of effect damage, or provide targeted or otherwise very reliable crowd control. Muradin does neither of these things, and while he was king of metagames where assassins were more popular, this is not what we're dealing with currently. You could say his popularity is dwarfed by niche tanks who tend to synergize better together or with currently popular healers. The Probius hype has finally died down, potentially due to players understanding how to better counter our probe (kill the pylons!), and potentially due to him not fitting the current double healer/double tank meta. Tyrande's rework was initially overhyped only for players to find out that she provided less healing than before. The recent buffs to her attack speed have put Darnassian Archery back into player's sights, and after playing quite a bit of her myself, I can safely say that she is going to be a rising star in the next few months. The real sleeper talent is Harsh Moonlight however, which currently sits at some 6% win rate above its counterparts, and I can certainly see why; debuffing two or more players with a good hit is absolutely devastating. But hey, you didn't hear that from me... While we're on the subject of reworks, Xul also had his own very deserved one. In essence, he was buffed across the board, both for team fighting purposes and doing his own double lane clearing things. With Blackheart's Bay back into the rotation, expect to see him as a core tier hero before soon. Just make sure you pick Echoes of Death; that talent alone more than doubles his short term damage output, on top of being excellent for waveclearing and sieging and everything in between. Comboes well with Bone Prison. Last but not least, on the topic of Tassadar: he seems to always oscillate between being too weak or too strong. I suppose it would make sense for him to thrive in a meta that promotes heavy supporting. Between his waveclear and very respectable damage, I'm starting to hit him with more and more bans nowadays. And so should you, probably; he enables a lot of heroes you don't want to see enabled, and most particularly Illidan, who's seeing a small surge of popularity. Stay tuned...
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    Sure, World of Warcraft is a MMORPG, but Blizzard wants to reach out to as many players as possible and you can't blame them for that You like single-player content? There's Chromie's Scenario, Withered Army Training, World Events, Mage Tower Challenge, Pet Battles and maybe the 7.3 Rifts... You like playing with other players (PvE)? There are dungeons, Mythic+, raids, etc... You like playing against other players (PvP)? There are Arenas, Battlegrounds, World PvP Quests... If you don't like "X", you can do "Y" or "Z". The choice is yours to make and nobody's forcing you do do "X". There's something for everyone, even special snowflakes.
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    Another Orc and not a single Draenei. Talk about diversity, eh, Blizzard? Regardless, I'm curious to see how he will play.
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    Data mining by Hearthpwn has revealed that three strings associated with appearing offline have been added to the game. In their article on the new patch, Hearthpwn mention that the three strings are as follows: Appearing offline is an option that many players have asked for across Blizzard games for a long time. Each individual has their own reasons for not wanting to be seen. In my case, it is so that my boss at Icy Veins doesn't know I am playing instead of writing.
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    Interesting, as I think she's underrated myself. The main issue is how ridiculously high her skill and decision making caps are. My personal experience is that I have changed games by threading the needle and landing Snipes on targets that wouldn't have been remotely threatened by anything else. In the end, however, bad Novas are something you should fear on your team... and good ones, on the opposing team. She's that bittersweet hero that attract the very type of players she shouldn't; people treat her as an assassin when she's more like a mage. Her role is to make things afraid of stepping forward; that doesn't happen if you can't miracle Snipe. But she has potential, and when I do run her on good maps and against the proper heroes, matches are very one-sided. Did I mention you need to land Snipes with something like 95% accuracy? Do it!
  7. 5 likes
    I like money too, Blizzard.
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    You have to add up about a year's worth of comments from Heroes dev to get as much as this. Lucky OW players you!
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    Started to get hyped when I saw the word Support pop up, and then decided to buy him the moment I saw the ults. Motherfucking pimp hand slap!
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    congrats on saving the universe from the legion and clearing mythic argus, your reward champions, is nightmare fuel and never sleeping properly again.
  11. 4 likes
    I think you all fail at being civil.
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    Well, after the failed interview with Ben Brode and his dreams of being a Hearthstone developer squashed, the Lord of the Scourge decided to prove himself an accomplished entrepreneur and take what he's naturally good at - making ice - and adding cream. And so, behold the new ICC, Arthas' latest wondrous edifice: the Ice Cream Citadel. Of course, true to form, Blizzard took this little in-joke all the way and will have the Ice Cream Citadel, an actual ice cream shop, at the Petco Park Interactive Zone in San Diego near San Diego Comic-Con®, featuring two flavors: Villain-illa and Scourgeberry Sorbet. Blizzard (source) Greetings, mortal whelps! As part of my efforts to prove to the accursed Brode that I possess the necessary experience to command the Hearthstone development team, I have decided to expand my efforts to all aspects of mortal enterprise. At first I considered peddling power and vengeance, but according to my focus testing, the foremost human craving seems to be for cold, creamy, sweetened sludge. I have decided to create a frozen-cream sugar-ooze unlike any you have ever tasted. You will desire it. Prepare yourselves for the grand opening of Ice Cream Citadel, a fortress of refreshment in the scorching heat that afflicts this place. I will be on hand to personally help you conquer the heat with free ice cream. You need spend no money for your first taste of my power. Choose from an endless selection of TWO flavors: Behold my tasteful brochure: Attend the Petco Park Interactive Zone in San Diego near San Diego Comic-Con® and be guided to your just desserts by this map: You may also take photographs of me with no immediate fear of retribution. Share proof of your delicious ice cream conquests on social media using the #icecreamcitadel “hashtag,” whatever that means. Begin preparations for your journey now. Ice Cream Citadel will receive supplicants between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 9:00 p.m. PDT July 20 through July 22, and 9:00 am to 5:00 pm PDT on July 23.
  13. 4 likes
    So Hearthstone can have Vanilla, but WoW cannot? Smh Blizzard. Nice video/ad though.
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    "Paint me like one of your Old Gods" - Queen Azshara
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    The thing people seem to be missing here is arbitrary difficulty. Aka there's a huge difference between a genuinely hard boss that requires every sinlge member to play perfectly has tons of mechanics to avoid and a steep dps requirement and a simply bugged or overtuned boss that you literally CAN NOT kill until a) Blizzard nerf it b) Blizzard fix the bugs and/or c) you get AT LEAST x amount of item level. I've actually played in a World First guild and let me tell you, smashing your head against Kael'thas before Black Temple was released wasn't fun. It wasn't challenging. It wasn't any sort of race or competition or "who's best" either. Blizzard simply did not have BT ready and so they made Kael literally impossible (funny story, it turns out a guild actually could get passed the bugged out phase using basically cheats - a spammed macro that had no reason to do anything - but even they couldn't kill the guy even with that) so they wouldn't have to explain why we can't go to BT. Someone mentioned half a year to kill a boss? I like that ideas too, but the reality was ridiculous - Ragnaros stayed alive for one reason and one reason only: he was literally impossible. He only died after one or two huge nerfs that basically flipped a switch from "no, this is not killable" to "yes". Now I don't know if Kil'jaeden is any of these things, but I'll go ahead and trust the two guilds that are actually on him, as they really didn't complain as much in Nighthold (obv they didn't in EN and ToV either, but for very different reasons :D ). If KJ truly is impossible in order for Blizzard to deflate the "lol raids are so ez now Blizz!" people, that's not ok and it's not a way to tune your raids. If he isn't and it's simply a matter of skill then fair enough. Oh and one more thing, just a pet peeve I have - encounters that require a ridiculous amount of a specific class to even be possible are bullshit. That is all.
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    Whoa I was like "Starym... I know that name" and then it hit me. Thanks man, really appreciate your response. You guys are legends! edit: I set up an acc here just to write this post. Worth.
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    The issue is that you're coming to the forums asking "How do I make this game fun", and the honest truth is that no class in this game is going to be fun just on it's own. The APM requirements for World of Warcraft are very low, and the complexity of many specs boils down to "If this, then use this"and pressing the button that just became shiny. If you aren't having fun spamming frostbolts wishing for procs, haste isn't going to solve that, about 40% of your uptime on any boss fight will generally be used casting frostbolts while longingly glancing at that Ice Lance keybind wishing for some of those sweet mil and a half to 2mil crits for free.
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    Out of the over 7 billion people that lives on this planet? No, you are never alone in whatever thought you have but there may be those that do care and are interested and a comment like that is extremely pointless and slightly condecending. Not to mention pretty damn rude towards the author of an article that have taken quite a bit of time to research and create so please, if you're really not interested, don't read and move on.
  19. 4 likes
    I guess the glass is never half full with you guys.
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    So I'm curious at everyone's thoughts on what cards they feel should go to the Hall of Fame (HoF) and why. Oh and "Because It's Cancer" isn't a valid explanation for wanting the card rotated out. :P
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    Always a nice feeling to see normal changes to a hero that you don't play, rather than them being buffed uncontrollably and being forced to play them :p
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    It's mighty hot out to be wearing a tinfoil hat.
  23. 3 likes
    Repeating something wrong doesn't make it right. You get the entry-fee: 150 gold You get an additional quest (play 3 arena games) which rewards you with a pack. That is NOT the pack you get from completing the arena-run. That are two different things you get. The reward you get after finishing arena has absolutly nothing to do with it.
  24. 3 likes
    Well... they do win on famous. A villain in 2.5 expansions kind of has the name. I'm not overly excited for him though. Curious if he's a warrior or assassin (probably a bruiser either way...) and how different he is from Smash Varian. I feel like most of his unique mechanics might already be in the game... Breserker (Zul'Jin), Smash (Varian), Whirlwind (Samuro/Sonya), hamstring (butcher)... Maybe they find a way to really make it work, but I don't know how they make another unique character from such a traditional source.
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    More famous than Stukov eh? Many fill that bill. Though I don't think Lady Vasj does (if so, very slightly). I don't think it will be Ner'zul- Arthas is in as the Lich King, united with Ner'zul, yet he emerged as the dominating personality or Grom(mash) since Samuro is in already (maybe he'll come as a skin for him?) and he was a Blademaster in WC3. Unless they bring him as corrupted due to Mannoroth's blood. That leaves us with Maiev though I'm not sure how dark portal, shadowy figure with green eyes fit to this. Kel'thuzad also utilized portals so this brings him up as a candidate imho-like to speak with Archimonde. Speaking of the Defiler, I'm surprised nobody brought him up. It could very well be him imho.
  26. 3 likes
    And on top of that, Eater of Secrets is a horrible card if the opponent doesn't run secrets. Most anti-weapon cards are decent even if they don't destroy a weapon.
  27. 3 likes
    Clearly it's Millhouse Manastorm
  28. 3 likes
    Someone's making an argument about whether or not a spec needs to be buffed... ... using 99th percentile parses. Uh-huh. A small example of why Blizzard is better at balancing the game than the playerbase will ever be, despite how much some of us may insist otherwise. Thank you for pointing this out - disappointed no one did it earlier. Trying to judge class balance based on the 99th percentile is moronic, especially if a class involves RNG (which is every class, to varying extents).
  29. 3 likes
    The HS team is just a group of people sitting around shouting out ideas and Ben going: "I LOVE IT."
  30. 3 likes
    We're not #1 DPS on every fight ever. Game is literally unplayable.
  31. 3 likes
    It's a wonder we made it this far against such diabolical entities when basic survival instincts such as not standing in the fire appear to be suppressed.
  32. 3 likes
    Warlock isn't really viable anymore. Even the updated version of ZooLock is subpar compared to what it has been in the past.
  33. 3 likes
    A lot of times I've opened and didn't get anything, not even a spray. Also, it should be guaranteed to drop when you re-roll, which is not the case.
  34. 3 likes
    So are some of you people actually going to SAY what's different about the way they get loot? I know their sub model is different, have known it for a long time, that has LITERALLY nothing to do with anything and it was NEVER a reason for them not to be counted in the race. Can you please just say HOW their loot system is different and how it is easier/they get instant best loot/ they have an unfair advantage over US/EU? Unless of course you're referring to the outdated instance of them getting double resets or double warforged upgrades from back in WoD and MoP, but AFAIK they have 0 advantages over EU and US servers since Legion. Please correct me if I'm wrong with actual facts and not just random statements with "easy to search for" behind it. Both of you keep bringing up the hourly sub model, yet neither has been able to explain wtf that has to do with this perceived advantage? And easy to get loot?
  35. 3 likes
    Oh shit, lol. MY BAD. That's what you get when you check Icy Veins as soon as you wake up, you don't read stuff correctly!
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    lol those boss names, its cool to see that argus will have its own world bosses, to blizzes credit they've pushed out quite a few world bosses this expac, however, the naming is amusing to me. It almost seems like they smashed their face on the keyboard and then added vowels to whatever they got. imma try, next world boss is awofenk- destroyer of worlds
  39. 3 likes
    Even though standard decks use pretty much the same neutral cards, such as Patches the Pirate, the decks are overall more expensive, and building the first few decks is much harder than doing the same in Wild. However, once you have three or four decks, building standard decks is easier than building wild decks because of the small diversity in standard. So, wild is the game mode for new players.
  40. 3 likes
    Let me preface this with, I hate quest rogue, however, it isn't a brainless no skill deck. It is actually one of the most difficult and intricate decks to pilot on ladder right now. Also, increasing the number of minions from 4 to 5 is a BIG deal. Best case scenario it is one less bounce effect to use on a charger. On top of that, it means the chance that the deck gets the nuts is almost non existent now, and average draws will probably take at least 2 extra turns to complete, if not 3. Several extra turns to complete the quest on the expected outcome makes the match up against aggro even worse, on top of not auto beating every control deck (which is good), which means that the usefulness of the deck is far far lower. This will most likely kill the deck off, it is still viable as a "fun" archetype, but it will probably be unsuited to climbing.
  41. 3 likes
    Nice, but I don't see much benefit to this if Blizzard isn't going to push Wild as a format. I think this might be because the official Wild tournament and it trying to hype wild up, but I personally just consider Wild a big clown fiesta and can't see it becoming a real competitive playing field if Blizzard still keeps their policy to not change cards once they rotate out of Standard.
  42. 3 likes
    All-Star Squad returns this week in the Tavern. This week's Tavern Brawl requires you to choose a class and then pick a single card. You will get 22 copies of that card, as well as 8 random class cards. This is the 107th Tavern Brawl. Some ideas that worked the previous time: Mind Blast Murlocs (especially Murloc Tidecaller) and their counter, Hungry Crab Ice Block New "decks": Patches the Pirate Jade Idol If you want to try some more fun and random decks, all classes have a card that generates or discovers other random cards. For example, you can use Unstable Portal or Babbling Book, Swashburglar, Forbidden Shaping, Raven Idol and Renounce Darkness etc. Feel free to share any other ideas in the comments!
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    That would be a very difficult combo to pull of since Ravenous Pterrordax is a Warlock card. :P
  44. 3 likes
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2RNtPcvCf8Q&feature=em-uploademail WHOA!
  45. 3 likes
    The deck literally cost nothing to make so what exactly are you wanting to see changed? It's hard to get your point across with sarcasm.
  46. 2 likes
    Method has done it! After tweaks to Kil'jaeden they were finally able to defeat him and are now 9/9 (M). Congratulations! Update: Method just uploaded their nerd screams video. You can browse their raid composition here. It took 19 days of solid Mythic progress! Sco wrote on Twitter recently that Kil'jaeden is finally down! Placeholder for tweet 886556529167618048 Another Method member said it took 654 wipes to down the big red guy and claims that he's one of the hardest boss ever introduced to the game. Placeholder for tweet 886560937397899264
  47. 2 likes
    Downloading a patch right now in EU. Stukov's live!
  48. 2 likes
    I agree, I would also suggest League of Explorers.
  49. 2 likes
    Well, no.... Your thread title clearly says "How much Haste does it take to not make my Frost Mage suck?" and not "How much haste do I need to have fun?". If you want to favour fun over performance, stack haste with no regard for anything else - what a dumb conversation. It's like asking "what talents should I take to have more fun?". Who the hell knows... He gave you a completely reasonable reply to an otherwise vague and subjective question.
  50. 2 likes
    I am at the moment but I'm trying to push through and have my fingers crossed that the next set will be good. This year should be interesting once all the sets are out and active but again, fingers crossed.