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Our thirteenth Heroes of the Storm Meta Tier list for the Alexstrasza patch of November is here!
We present our thirteenth Heroes of the Storm Meta Tier List for the Alexstrasza patch of November 2017.
Welcome to Icy Veins's Meta Tier List for the Alexstrasza 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 low-to-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.
A ↑ next to a hero's name means its tier list position has increased since the previous month whereas a ↓ means just the opposite. Additionally, a + or - sign 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.
If you're newer to the game, also consider visiting our glossary for a comprehensive list of discrete Heroes of the Storm terms.
Current map rotation
Warrior Assassin Support Specialist Arthas Genji - - E.T.C. Greymane Garrosh 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.
Warrior Assassin Support Specialist Anub'arak↓ Falstad Brightwing Azmodan Dehaka Kerrigan↑ Lúcio+ Nazeebo↓ Diablo Li-Ming Rehgar↑ Sylvanas- Sonya+ Valla Tassadar↓- Stitches Zeratul Varian (Tank) Zul'jin↑ 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.
Warrior Assassin Support Specialist Artanis Alarak Ana Abathur D.Va Cassia Auriel Murky Johanna Chromie Kharazim Probius Leoric Gul'dan Li Li Zagara Muradin+ Illidan Lt. Morales↓ Xul↓- Zarya Kael'thas Malfurion↓ Kel'Thuzad Stukov↓ Jaina↓ Tyrande Lunara Uther↓ Ragnaros Samuro↑ The Butcher Tracer 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.
Warrior Assassin Support Specialist Chen Cho'gall Alexstrasza (new)- Gazlowe Cho'gall Junkrat Medivh Rexxar Nova Sgt. Hammer Tyrael Raynor Thrall Tychus Valeera Varian (Damage) 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.
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.
Alexstrasza. She didn't feel great at all back at BlizzCon, and the following PTR saw no changes to her. I expected poor performance, but nothing quite as low as 41%. Where do I even begin? Dragonqueen is obviously powerful, but is gated behind a ridiculously long cooldown. Outside of Dragonqueen, she's just... really weak. I don't quite understand the concept behind Gift of Life, but it screams double healer to me, which is unfortunate for multiple reasons I won't elaborate on. Abundance heals for too little for how difficult it is to use, on top of putting a big obvious marks on where to shoot. I'm putting her as Niche(-) for now because I suspect most players don't play her all too well, but she's in dire need of buffs, and that was quite obvious 2 weeks ago.
Anub'arak is losing some of his former popularity, though no nerfs were had for a few months. Although I can't explain exactly why, I suspect that tanks with more raw survivability and a bit more sustained damage potential are currently being prioritized. He's still not bad at all, especially with Cocoon to counter Genji's Dragonblade and Malthael's Tormented Souls. Give Locust Swarm a try if there are no valuable heroic abilities for you to lock down.
Kerrigan has emerged as this month (and last month's) sleeper for ripping hero league wins away, and I suspect my shedding some light over her success may frustrate those whom have been exploiting her relative unpopularity to . Why is she doing so well, though? Assimilation's design makes it particularly difficult for double support teams to take her out. In essence, this trait gains more value the longer Kerrigan survives, which then translates into more damage, which then translates into more survivability... and so on.
Zul'jin's most recent rework was certainly one of the most successful reworks to date. Although he wasn't bad to begin with, most of the changes ended up being buffs, contrary to what some players were claiming. To add to this, the meta is quite favourable to him; stacking up on Berserker (and keeping its effect active for the damage bonus) is pretty safe with more than one healer around. His trait also tends to favour longer fights, due to the stacking mechanic, allowing him to snowball. Guillotine is even starting to see more play, with Taz'dingo! feeling less and less necessary to deal with burst.
Rehgar's changes, which I had mistakenly labeled as nerfs, ended up being positive. Turns out, area of effect healing is trendy. Now, why might Rehgar be doing so well? Simply put, versatility. With healers becoming more and more (over)specialized, this is certainly a respectable thing to have. He brings bits of waveclear, mercenary clearing, dueling, and of course, healing to the table. Lightning Bond is great for single-target damage as well, making Rehgar particularly strong on Battlefield of Eternity, and just as a general single-target damage dealer.
Tassadar is also falling off quite dramatically. I think I may have overestimated just how unpopular he was in last month's list, but today's values are quite clear. As with Anub'arak, I'm not quite sure what happened, but most of the common Tassadar tag teams (besides Tracer, but she's a strange case) are below 50% winrate. Since the viability of such edge support heroes depend on the strength of what they support, I suppose we shouldn't be all that surprised for this. Force Wall could probably surprise quite a few opponents, as it is strangely unpopular nowadays.
Nazeebo's October nerfs have struck home, although the current metagame state isn't helping either; chip damage isn't all that effective when it simply gets healed off. He still remains strong if you plan on taking it to the late game, but is nowhere near to being first-pick worthy.
Samuro has always been in a strange place. Though the upcoming stealth changes are going to be extremely positive for him (BlizzCon spoilers!), I feel like his ability to split push, deal with mercenary camps extremely quickly, and single-out healers (or, anyone isolated, really) make him a sleeper. He's at his worse when Mirror Image get taken out quickly, but none of the top tier contenders are particularly heavy on area of effect damage. His winrate is currently the highest of the entire cast, yet his popularity is in the bottom 20. I suppose he requires quite a bit of decision making skills to make good use of. He's not all that flashy either, which may be contributing to his lack of popularity. Give him a try.
Jaina is doing well, though feels a bit out of meta right now, as with most other casters. I suspect that nerfs to any of the Prime tier heroes will see her surge right back up. Generally seen as a 4th or 5th pick.
Lt. Morales, Malfurion, Stukov, and Uther all feel extremely balanced right now, each hovering between healthy 49 and 50% winrates. They all have their niches (Morales on Braxis, for instance), and are generally picked as second healers when the Core tier contenders have been distributed.
Xul, whom I may have overhyped recently, lost Blackheart's Bay and Garden of Terror, some of his favourite maps. To add to this, the tanks who tend to punish him the most are right at the top of the food chain. This is on top of August's pretty heavy-handed nerfs. Just to add insult to injury, he's just not all that great against double support either. Xul is now part of the bottom 10 and will probably stay there for a while.
Black Friday is hitting the Nexus next week and while we do not have any specific details yet, the usual collection update will not happen.
While we do not have any specific information regarding this year's Black Friday promotion, the usual collection update will not happen next week. In the meantime, you can check out this week's sale and we'll keep you updated as the Black Friday promotion draws closer.
Black Friday 2016 (Source)
Last year, Blizzard placed two Heroes and Legendary skins on sale during Black Friday, along with two Bundles and let's not forget the 360 day Stimpack that can now be purchased all year round for 9,000 Gems.
Black Friday 2015 (Source)
Two years ago, the promotion had epic proportions and got extended until December 8. All Heroes, mounts and skins were available at a 50% discount. A "Second Chance" Bundle was added to the Shop and featured retired items, such as mounts (Reigndeer, Nazeebra, Lunar Tiger, Magic Carpet) and skins (Winter Veil Jaina, Greatfather Winter Rehgar).
What would you like to see this year? Everything purchasable with Gems or a flat % discount? Let us know in the comments!
Weekly Collection Update: Nov 21 – 28, 2017
Due to the upcoming Black Friday promotion, our usual collection update will not happen for the week of November 21. Stay tuned for more info on our special sales during that period!
Even though Black Friday's over, the sales in the Nexus still continue in all regions, lasting two whole weeks, so if you didn't buy your favourite Hero or Skin yet, now's the perfect time!
Until December 8, you can purchase:
All Heroes, Mounts and Skins with a 50% discount A new 360 Day Stimpack that will boost your gold and experience gained. This item is exclusively available during the Black Friday Sale and will be removed once the sale ends. The Second Chance Budle which includes the following retired items: Mounts Reigndeer Mount Nazeebra Mount Lunar Tiger Mount Magic Carpet Mount Skins Winter Veil Jaina Skin Greatfather Winter Rehgar Skin Stimpacks
While the 360 Day Stimpack is deeply discounted, the 7 Day / 30 Day Stimpacks remain at the same price.
With Alexstrasza out, it's time to look at Hanzo. Kendric got a chance to play the Hero at this year's BlizzCon!
Oxy also played Hanzo and you can find his hands-on impressions here. In the following video, Kendric sat down with Heroes of the Storm 3D Animator Lana Bachynski and played Hanzo on Volskaya Foundry.