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Our fifteenth Heroes of the Storm Meta Tier list for the Blaze patch of January is here!
We present our fifteenth Heroes of the Storm Meta Tier List for the Blaze patch of January 2018.
Note: This list also takes the January 16 balance patch into account.
Welcome to Icy Veins's Meta Tier List for the Blaze 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 Sonya↑ Hanzo↑↑↑ 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 Alexstrasza↑ Azmodan Dehaka Junkrat↑↑ Brightwing Nazeebo Diablo Kerrigan Lúcio Zagara Muradin Li-Ming Stukov↑ Sylvanas↑ Stitches Malthael↓ Uther Varian (Tank) Nova↓- Valla 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 Garrosh Chromie Kharazim Probius Johanna Gul'dan Li Li+ Sgt. Hammer↑ Leoric Illidan Lt. Morales Xul Zarya Jaina Malfurion (reworked)+ Blaze (new) Kael'thas Rehgar Tyrael (reworked)↑ Kel'Thuzad Tyrande Lunara Ragnaros Samuro The Butcher Thrall↑ Tracer Valeera↓↓- Zeratul+ 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 Tassadar Gazlowe Cho'gall Raynor Medivh Rexxar Tychus 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.
Happy new year to everyone. This list is a tad late, as was the last one, but I was, once again, waiting for one of those odd rework patches that come out a week after featured hero releases and go untested on the PTR for some reason. HGC matches also began just yesterday, meaning that new trends are likely to emerge shortly; today saw unexpected Cassia, Tychus, and Leoric make an appearance, which was certainly exciting. As per usual, I'll be updating the list as I see fit throughout the next few weeks. The last few lists have generated quite a bit of discussion, which is great to see. Although I cannot reasonably respond to every comment, I do read everything posted. Keep it up!
Blaze. My initial PTR assessment of the hero, which was quite positive, was followed by a sudden realization: he does a lot of things well, but nothing exceptionally well. Blaze is the quintessential jack of all trades, master of none type hero. Generally, that's not a particularly desirable trait, because heroes are generally picked for their niches to either counter opponents or synergise with allies. For a warrior, he can't really solo tank, meaning he often ends up in that strange spot where you need a pretty well fleshed out team composition to make him work. But when he works, he does work well. He can hold his own in a solo lane, but his waveclear isn't quite good enough to deal with mercenary camps pushing before Grill and Kill, which can be frustrating. Certain heroes, such as Leoric and Malthael, completely shut him down as well. This leads me to believe that he won't see much tournament play if at all, unless teams are messing around. Viable as a late pick when you don't really know what else to pick because your team composition is already fine.
Sonya. She's currently the most popular pick in the game. You can't go wrong with a bulky solo laner that can duel nearly anyone, output as much damage as an assassin, and clear mercenary camps with ease. Leap lets her setup really well if your team composition lends itself to that. Still, I don't think she deserves bans.
Hanzo. This important Overwatch figurehead could just not be allowed to remain seen as underpowered for over a month. After unsuccessfully giving him a blanket 10% damage buff across the board following poor PTR feedback, Blizzard adopted the bolder strategy of making his basic attacks deal ability levels of damage thanks to the Sharpened Arrowheads changes. What was initially supposed to be a difficult to master skillshot-based hero now has access to what is arguably the most powerful basic attack in the game, though the Serrated Arrows + Never Outmatched combo I discussed last patch remains useful for trivializing map objectives on Battlefield of Eternity and Infernal Shrines while allowing Hanzo to solo any mercenary camp from level 7 and on. With the help of another hero, bosses also become possible at this level. Losing map control or suffering one or two early deaths against Hanzo is devastating. Explosive Arrows lets him waveclear relatively well too, though particularly with Piercing Arrows for double hits on minions. The Natural Agility range increase made it much more usable, to where Hanzo can now reliably escape most if not all heroes with proper positioning. It is interesting to note that these buffs coincided with Hanzo's first free week.
Junkrat. The proverbial death of the double healer meta means it's time for sustained poke to shine. Junkrat's popularity exploded recently as players discovered that a mix of reliable ranged waveclear, playmaking (through Concussion Mine) and potentially fight winning RIP-Tire hits made the hero a force to be reckoned with. Just be sure to pick up Endless Nades; that's your late-game damage.
Malthael. Hanzo does really well against him, so I'm not surprised by the dip in popularity. Malthael is still very powerful, though unlikely to draw bans before second round, if at all. Always a solid pick against double tank as well as a solo laner.
Nova. She (along with Valeera) were allowed to remain oppressive for quite a while, benefiting from the turmoil generated by the stealth rework and Blizzard employees taking a couple weeks off for the holidays. Nova is now in a good spot, with clear counters and niches, though I'm still disliking how easy Lethal Decoy makes her to play. I feel like she'll keep a potential caster meta in check for quite some time now that she's back on the radar.
Alexstrasza. She's doing rather well. Dragonqueen is now being appropriately treated (though not quite respected by opponents) as a heroic ability by players to fight over objectives and while sieging.
Stukov. His high healing output makes him rather strong in a poke-heavy meta. I think players are going to experiment with the Growing Infestation + Virulent Reaction (+ Bio-Explosion Switch) combo to make Stukov a lot more aggressive than we're used to seeing him be. Flailing Swipe continues to be great as a pseudo-Mighty Gust in terms of disengaging. Stukov is probably one of the best solo "all purpose" hero leaguing healer at the moment.
Sylvanas. Any change to minion or structure damage end up being indirect buffs or nerfs to Sylvanas. Since structures were recently buffed again and Sylvanas's direct counters were nerfed quite heavily, I think she's back to being relatively high priority. Possession is really strong now, as is Mercenary Queen, though only if there's nothing for Barbed Shot to work on.
Tyrael. Though he's not notably more powerful than he was before, I think his rework opened up a viable bruiser build for him, increasing his versatility. He's sitting at a healthy 50% win rate at the time of writing. HGC already saw him picked rather often - though, that's pre-Tyrael patch, where he is arguably weaker - , and I'm certainly looking forward to see what kind of builds players are going to gravitate towards. Holy Ground is still great, and comes online 3 levels earlier than it did before.
Valeera. She suffered the same fate as Nova, though her overly simplistic ability set makes small nerfs very impactful. At the end of the day, she's probably going to require a broad rework, because as of right now, she either bursts her target down and feels "unfair", or doesn't and feel "worthless". Right now, she's erring on the side of the latter.
Malfurion. Possibly one of the best rework ever done, though his vastly increased skill cap may make him less popular. His sustained healing output is excellent, but his lack of burst management still makes him difficult to play.
This week's brawl is the Temple Arena. Harness the power of the temples to destroy the enemy Core. Choose one from three randomly selected Heroes and pick your Heroic ability. No other talents are available. Complete three matches to earn a Loot Chest.
This week’s brawl is the Temple Arena! Harness the power of the Alligator, Cobra, and Jackal Temples to destroy the enemy Core!
Choose from one of three randomly selected Heroes before entering the Arena. Be quick about it though, you only have 30 seconds to choose! Everyone will begin the round at level 10 and will be asked to choose a Heroic Ability. No other talents will be available. During each round, slay the enemy team’s Heroes and capture the Temple Shrines to take shots at their Core! The Core for each team will have set amounts of health based on the number of active Shrines. Each round can have 1-3 active Shrines. The first team whose Core reaches 0 health will lose the round. Be the first team to win 2 rounds and claim victory! Rewards:
Complete three matches of the Temple Arena to earn a Loot Chest! Find out more about the Heroes Brawl game mode on our Heroes Brawl site; and as always, you can find more information on this week’s Brawl by clicking the Brawl Info button at the bottom of the play screen when preparing to queue for the Brawl game mode.
Kel'Thuzad & Tassadar are on sale next week along with a fresh set of cosmetics that can be purchased with Gems until January 30.
Weekly Collection Update: Jan 23 – 30, 2018
Our next Collection Update will begin on Tuesday, January 23! Check out the list of featured items and Hero discounts below. Upcoming Hero Sales
Kel’Thuzad — Sale Price: 375 Gems Tassadar — Sale Price: 250 Gems The following Skins and Mounts will enter the Featured Item Rotation, and will be unlockable using Gems until next week's Collection Update:
Upcoming Featured Skins
Frost Star Lich Kel’Thuzad Emerald Tassadar Beastmaster Rexxar Hunter First Lt. Morales Betrayer Illidan Luminescent Lurkablo Pearl Shadowpaw Li Li Prototype Mecha Dehaka Upcoming Featured Mounts
Ringmaster’s Pride Orange Rainbow Unicorn
Learn more about new Mecha skins and bundles that went live with today's patch in the official preview!
Now onto things that were not mentioned in the latest patch notes:
In addition to Mecha skins, a new legendary Mecha Tyrael announcer has been added to the game, together with sprays and emojis! Blizzard also released a new video titled MechaStorm. Check it out below!
Arm your Heroes with the latest and greatest technological advancements the Nexus has to offer by picking up new Mecha Skins for Tyrael, Rehgar, and Abathur! These Mechas are built tough, with durability ratings so high they’re guaranteed to be combat-ready whenever you enter the queue, and come back swinging every time you put them through the ringer on the battlefield.
If it’s style you’re after, our Mechas are crafted using only the finest, artisanal techniques and the rarest materials. With upgraded visual effects on their abilities and altered voiceover kits, you’ll be so sleek, sophisticated, and intimidating during hostile engagements that even D.Va will be jealous—Hell, we’ve even installed custom Hearthstone animations for Tyrael and Rehgar so you can show off even more flair when you need to make an exit.
Now, why don’t we step over to the show floor so you can check out what we’ve got in stock.
We just received a shipment containing 10 top-of-the-line models that will be sure to keep up with your every move on the battlefield! The new legendary skins listed below can be forged using shards, or opened in Loot Chests.
Xenotech Abathur Saboteur Xenotech Abathur Sinister Xenotech Abathur Dehaka
Mecha Rehgar Custom Mecha Rehgar Death's Head Mecha Rehgar Tyrael
Mecha Tyrael Deathreaper Mecha Tyrael Strike Mecha Tyrael New Bundles
We’ve put together several Heroic Mecha Bundles so discerning pilots can acquire a range of models for their Hero of choice. If you’d rather amass a stockpile of firepower in one fell swoop, then you might prefer the MechaStorm Bundle, instead. Each of our Mecha Bundles below can be purchased using gems, but they’ll only be available until January 29, so be sure to build your arsenal before they blast off!
Abathur Rehgar Tyrael Legendary Skins
Xenotech Abathur Saboteur Xenotech Abathur Sinister Xenotech Abathur Mecha Rehgar Custom Mecha Rehgar Death's Head Mecha Rehgar Mecha Tyrael Deathreaper Mecha Tyrael Strike Mecha Tyrael Heroic Mecha Bundles
Xenotech Abathur Saboteur Xenotech Abathur Sinister Xenotech Abathur Rehgar Bundle
Mecha Rehgar Custom Mecha Rehgar Death's Head Mecha Rehgar Tyrael Bundle
Mecha Tyrael Deathreaper Mecha Tyrael Strike Mecha Tyrael Don't forget to customize! We've added a legendary Mecha Tyrael announcer, as well as a barrage of Mecha-themed sprays and emojis to the collection that you can use to make your loadouts really sing.
Now that you’ve had a look around, how about a test drive? Head to the featured tab in the collection to give these skins a spin in Try Mode, and we’ll see you in the Nexus.
A new patch just hit live servers and Tyrael received a rework. The previously teased Mecha skins are now available for purchase separately, or as a bundle.
Tyrael will now face the target of his Basic Attack after attacking. This is a visual change, and does not directly affect gameplay Passive Spell Armor has been removed Stats
Base Maximum Health increased from 2296 to 2468 Health Regeneration increased from 4.78 to 5.14 Abilities
El’druin’s Might (Q) Mana cost reduced from 50 to 45 Righteousness (W) Mana cost reduced from 60 to 50 Allied Shield amount changed from a flat value to 40% of the Tyrael-only Shield value. This is the same amount of Shields, but it makes it easier to understand new Talent interactions Smite (E) Can now be cast while moving Damage increased from 144 to 150 Talents
Level 1 Salvation (W) Moved from level 16 New functionality: Increase Righteousness’ Tyrael-only Shield amount by 25%. If the Shield is destroyed, heal Tyrael for 125 Health. (New) Justice for All (W) Increases Righteousness’ allied shield value to 100% of the Tyrael-only Shield amount. (New) Ardent Restoration (Passive) Damaging an enemy Hero grants 2.5 Health per Second to Tyrael for 5 seconds. Stacks up to 10 times. Protection in Death (Trait) Removed Even in Death (Trait) Removed Regeneration Master (Passive) Removed Level 4 (New) Stalwart Angel (Q) Tyrael gains 25 Armor while El'druin's Might is out, and for 3 seconds after teleporting. (New) Bound by Law (Q) Increases El’druin’s Might’s slow amount from 25 to 35%. Tyrael’s Basic Attacks increase the duration of the slow by 1 second, up to 4 seconds. (New) Divine Vigor (Passive) Damaging an enemy with Smite causes Tyrael's Basic Attacks to heal him for 50% of their damage for 4 seconds. Vigorous Strike (Passive) Removed Level 7 Purge Evil (E) Moved from level 1 New functionality: Every enemy Hero hit by Smite increases Tyrael's Basic Attack damage by 30% for 4 seconds Swift Retribution (E) Movement Speed bonus increased from 10 to 20% No longer increases the duration of Smite’s Movement Speed bonus Added functionality: Now also causes Smite’s friendly effect to increase Attack Speed by 25% Angel’s Grace (Q) Removed Zealotry (W) Removed Follow Through (Passive) Removed Level 13 Sword of Justice (Q) Moved from level 16 New functionality: Can teleport with El'druin's Might twice, returning to Tyrael’s original position. Holy Ground (Q) Moved from level 16 Duration reduced from 4 to 3 seconds (New) Law and Order (W) Reduce the cooldown of Righteousness by 1 second for each enemy Hero hit by Smite. Righteousness increases the damage of your next Smite by 25% for each ally affected. Burning Rage (Passive) Removed Angelic Absorption (W) Removed Angelic Might (E) Removed Level 16 (New) Burning Halo (Q) El'druin and Tyrael deal 15 damage per second to nearby enemies. This damage is increased by 100% for Tyrael for 3 seconds after teleporting to El’Druin. Horadric Reforging (Q) Moved from level 4 New functionality: Basic Attacks reduce the cooldown of El'druin's Might by 1.5 seconds (New) Smite the Wicked (E) Smite’s cooldown recharges 100% faster while El'druin is out and for 3 seconds after teleporting to El’Druin Blood for Blood (Active) Removed Level 20 (New) Defense of the Angels (Active) Activate to reduce all incoming damage by 40% for 5 seconds. Any time Tyrael or an ally shielded by Righteousness take damage, reduce the cooldown by 3 seconds. 120 second cooldown (New) Seal of El’druin (Passive) Every time Tyrael casts a Basic Ability, increase his Attack Speed by 50% for 3 seconds Nullification Shield (Active) Removed Nexus Blades (Passive) Removed Bug Fixes
Heroes, Abilities, and Talents
Blaze: Fixed an issue allowing players to cast Flame Stream while dead if they entered a Bunker while dying. Blaze: Fixed an issue that could cause Heroes to enter permanent Stasis if they were killed just as they entered a Bunker. Hanzo & Leoric: Fixed an issue causing Towers to spawn if Leoric was directly impacted by Sonic Arrow. Malfurion & Stitches: Fixed an issue that could cause Heroes to become unplayable if Nature’s Cure was cast while they were affected by Stitches’ Gorge. Malfurion & Zagara: Nature’s Cure can no longer cleanse Heroes of the Devouring Maw effect. Uther: The Well Met talent will no longer affect non-Heroic units. Valeera: The Strangle talent will no longer affect non-Heroic units.