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We present our tenth Heroes of the Storm Meta Tier List for the Kel'Thuzad patch of September 2017.
Our tenth Heroes of the Storm Meta Tier List for the month of September 2017 is here!
Welcome to Icy Veins's Meta Tier List for the Kel'Thuzad 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.
Warrior Assassin Support Specialist Anub'arak- Genji Uther - Arthas↑ Greymane Tassadar Dehaka↑ Malthael Stitches- 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 Diablo Falstad Auriel Nazeebo E.T.C. Jaina↑ Rehgar Sylvanas Garrosh Li-Ming Stukov Xul Leoric↑- Valla Malfurion↑ Sonya Zeratul Varian (Tank)- 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 Brightwing Abathur Chen Cassia Kharazim Azmodan D.Va Chromie+? Li Li Murky↑ Johanna Gul'dan↓ Lt. Morales+? Probius Muradin+ Illidan↑ Lúcio Zagara Tyrael Kael'thas Tyrande+ Zarya Lunara Ragnaros The Butcher↓ Tracer Varian (Damage) Zul'jin Kel'Thuzad (new!) 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 Cho'gall Cho'gall - Gazlowe Rexxar Kerrigan Medivh Nova Sgt. Hammer Raynor Samuro↓ Valeera Thrall↓ 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.
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.
Kel'Thuzad is excessively powerful under perfect conditions, but is kept in check by the numerous top tier heroes that are either too mobile to reliably hit with Chains of Kel'Thuzad or too resilient to burst down. In this regard, he fits well within Blizzard's recent obsession with making heroes have their own little niche and whatnot. He's doing really fine, sitting at a very reasonable 48%-something w/l ratio, but try to late- or last-pick him when Genji and Tracer and the likes aren't around to make your existence a living hell. I expect him to become better over time as players themselves become better at picking him appropriately and when the typical hype finally dies down. And don't end up having to solo lane if you like completing Master of the Cold Dark.
Self-sustain bruiser-like tanks are the hot thing nowadays. With a metagame that either tries to outsustain the other with two supports, or empower Genji-Greymane-Illidan-Malthael-Tracer-Valla-or-so, surviving a lot while outputting a reasonable amount of sustained damage is great. That's Arthas and Dehaka, right now. A bit ago, Anub'arak and Stitches had their turn, but I expect them to go down in popularity.
Both Jaina and Leoric got significant buffs through their reworks. Jaina is just objectively better, with Frostbite providing Ice Block by level 8-12 rather than 20, and Summon Water Elemental getting its cooldown shaved by a massive 20 seconds. Leoric is more of a sidegrade, but he's exceptional at dealing with popular tanks, has neat waveclear, and can mess with combos with Omnious Wraith. And, of course, March of the Black King was buffed nicely as well to give him some more burst survivability and combo potential.
I'm holding judgement about Chromie, but I expect she might be better than she was, and I already considered her borderline Core tier material. Of course, her new Sand Blast design will make it so that better players will do better than before with her, and worse players will do worse, so we're likely to see more fringe cases.
The Butcher got a pretty big nerf. The hype train was short lived, but, in the end, this is probably for the best.
Gul'dan, Samuro, and Thrall are simply falling out of meta; being a caster without baseline crowd control or an immobile melee assassin is pretty hard nowadays. I still think Gul'dan is in a great place on Braxis Holdout, though the resurgence of Jaina and the... uh, more of Chromie might push him off a bit.
I wish I had a bit more to say, but besides the latest reworks, not that much has changed. I will underline, however, that these reworks have been solid. I didn't mention anything about Lt. Morales, but I do think she's better off than before; we'll need a bit more data to assess whether I'll give her a tier.
Thanks for reading!
Gale Force Esports and Team Freedom will be battling it out tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. PDT in the newest battleground, Volskaya Foundry. SolidJake and JHow will be casting the event and Ana will be eligible for play.
Learn more about Volskaya Foundry here. The battleground will be added to the Ranked map rotation next week.
Join us at 10:00 a.m. PDT / 7:00 p.m. CEST September 21 as Gale Force Esports and Team Freedom break in the newest Battleground to enter the Nexus, Volskaya Foundry.
Jake ‘SolidJake’ Kulinski and Josh ‘JHow’ Howard will be casting as these top North American HGC teams battle over the course of five games. Be sure to tune into twitch.tv/blizzheroes for all the action, and yes, the newest hero Ana Amari will be eligible for play.
Court of the Archlich bundle has been removed from the game and Kel'Thuzad now costs 10,000 Gold.
Ana will be released next week and Blizzard has reduced Kel'Thuzad's price to 10,000 Gold (down from 15,000). He still costs 750 Gems.
You can no longer buy Court of the Archlich skins as a bundle, but they can be forged individually with Shards.
Dreadlord Jaina skins now cost 1,600 Shards. Kel'Thuzad's epic skins cost 400 Shards. Death Knight Sonya skins cost 400 Shards. Crypt Queen Zagara skins cost 400 Shards. For more information about Kel'Thuzad, feel free to read our Kel'Thuzad build guide.
Redditor Spazzo965 datamined a bunch of changes coming to the game in the latest patch, ranging from Junkrat's release date to new voice chat icons.
Ana and the patch should go live on September 26. D.Va the Destroyer skin should be available on October 3 (Splash Screen). You can try out the skin on PTR, just type battlenet://heroes/skin/98/DVatheDestroyer into chat and click the link. Junkrat is due for release on October 27. Voice chat is coming soon. New icons have been found in the latest version of the client. (Source, Credits: r/ahli). You can view Spazzo's screenshot of game files here. Undocumented Changes
Auriel's Energized Cord increases the amount of energy she gains from attacking enemy Heroes by 115% (up from 110%). Mana cost of Malfurion's Regrowth has been reduced to 40 (down from 45). Many abilities now reveal the area where they hit, for example Kel'Thuzad's Shadow Fissure. Stacking effect markers have been added to many abilities, e.g. Valla's Manticore (Image), Murky's Slime. They are only visible to the Hero causing them, so enemies or teammates won't be able to see that Kharazim's next hit will cause his trait to proc. A list of all Heroes can be found here. (Source, Credits: Spazzo965, ahli)