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Heroes of the Storm Lunara

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This thread is for comments about our Lunara build guide for Heroes of the Storm.

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I ran a few tests on Blossom Swell, and the increase radius is barely noticeable, couldn't possibly the stated 20% increase in the tooltip. I suspect it is a miscalculation in the game that instead of increasing the radius it increase the area of effect by 20%, which translate to about 9.54% radius increase, hence the hideous effect.

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hello guys,

 

i have a question about the tier 1 talent natures perspectiv. it says it reveals enemys for its duration, BUT if you're able to apply the toxic , it triggers every 3 sec. , which means the toxic alone prevents restealth, because he gets dmg .. ? or am i technically wrong about the toxic technice?

 

thanks for your answers!

 

greetings m3hs

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I ran a few tests on Blossom Swell, and the increase radius is barely noticeable, couldn't possibly the stated 20% increase in the tooltip. I suspect it is a miscalculation in the game that instead of increasing the radius it increase the area of effect by 20%, which translate to about 9.54% radius increase, hence the hideous effect.

Interesting! Due to the lack of alternatives, it still remains an ok talent for poison heavy builds imo.

 

 

hello guys,

 

i have a question about the tier 1 talent natures perspectiv. it says it reveals enemys for its duration, BUT if you're able to apply the toxic , it triggers every 3 sec. , which means the toxic alone prevents restealth, because he gets dmg .. ? or am i technically wrong about the toxic technice?

 

thanks for your answers!

 

greetings m3hs

You're right. Poison prevents heroes like Zeratul and Nova from cloaking. But, and this is a big but, the vision is very useful to track their movements. 

 

Vision on multiple enemies is incredibly useful - it prevents them from starting surprise attacks, it allows you and your allies to aim skillshots more easily, etc.

 

Natural Perspective is a strong talent and definitely recommended, even for poison builds. 

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I ran a few tests on Blossom Swell, and the increase radius is barely noticeable, couldn't possibly the stated 20% increase in the tooltip. I suspect it is a miscalculation in the game that instead of increasing the radius it increase the area of effect by 20%, which translate to about 9.54% radius increase, hence the hideous effect.

Interesting! Due to the lack of alternatives, it still remains an ok talent for poison heavy builds imo.

 

 

hello guys,

 

i have a question about the tier 1 talent natures perspectiv. it says it reveals enemys for its duration, BUT if you're able to apply the toxic , it triggers every 3 sec. , which means the toxic alone prevents restealth, because he gets dmg .. ? or am i technically wrong about the toxic technice?

 

thanks for your answers!

 

greetings m3hs

You're right. Poison prevents heroes like Zeratul and Nova from cloaking. But, and this is a big but, the vision is very useful to track their movements. 

 

Vision on multiple enemies is incredibly useful - it prevents them from starting surprise attacks, it allows you and your allies to aim skillshots more easily, etc.

 

Natural Perspective is a strong talent and definitely recommended, even for poison builds. 

 

Thank you, didn't noticed that i can keep it also on not stealth targets ... missunderstood that smile.png

 

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I've been playing around with her basic attack build since day one. The Icy build is almost the same as I built for her. The only real difference is her level 16 Talent, I'm running Invigorating Spores. I could be wrong but I find it more effective than Star Wood Spear. Pros and Cons I guess. 

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She's countered by the butcher? Not even in lane she can run all over him and as soon as she hits ten her jump over skill actually allows you to dodge butcher stuns.

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She's countered by the butcher? Not even in lane she can run all over him and as soon as she hits ten her jump over skill actually allows you to dodge butcher stuns.

Early game he can be a problem. For me I have a hard time with Falstad 1v1. His burst damage is too much for her. 

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She's countered by the butcher? Not even in lane she can run all over him and as soon as she hits ten her jump over skill actually allows you to dodge butcher stuns.

Counters do not only count for 1v1 lane phases. In a mid-late game team fight where Lunara gets initiated, stunned and slowed by Butcher can pretty much cause her to die instantly (especially if the enemy team follows up nicely).

 

 

I've been playing around with her basic attack build since day one. The Icy build is almost the same as I built for her. The only real difference is her level 16 Talent, I'm running Invigorating Spores. I could be wrong but I find it more effective than Star Wood Spear. Pros and Cons I guess. 

I've played with Invigorating Spores, too. But Star Wood Spead is just incredible. Allows you to play more safely, to get kills you would not have been able to get without it... It's beautiful. 

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 Lunara is countered pretty hard by Nova in my experiences.

well lets be honest, if tyrande early game can pretty much fill a huge amount of your life with her q, then yes you're damn squishy

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So I've been playing with Star Wood Spear the last few days as you said and I would have to agree with you. Though I do love the damage that she puts out with the increase of attack speed, I like the ability to safely hunt you down even more. Thanks for clearing that up. 

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So I've been playing with Star Wood Spear the last few days as you said and I would have to agree with you. Though I do love the damage that she puts out with the increase of attack speed, I like the ability to safely hunt you down even more. Thanks for clearing that up. 

 

Cool, happy to hear you like it! 

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My honest opinion on my favourite build is such:

LVL1:

-I find myself using natural Perspective if I want to play with a dedicated team, which means snowballing, seeing enemies and where they run away is a good thing, especially after you trigger Crippling Spores, which extends the toxin duration and adds a stack if not full. very useful when you have a stalker hero in team (nova/zeratul).

-I use Blossom Swell on maps with a lot of merc camps (Dragon Shire/garden of Terror/Infernal Shrines/Towers of Doom)

very useful, even though the tooltip is generous with +20% as it's been proven it's at best 10% radius, which even at 20% isn't a very good buff, the size buff is just pointless.

-I noticed Cruel Spores is actually really good if you plan on using this talent to your advantage when it comes to abusing minions and mercs, and taking advantage of the Crippling Spores other talents that make Lunara excel at camp raiding and gathering minion xp, she can be very efficient at clearing out lanes fast.

 

LVL4:

-My personal Favourite is Skybound Wisp, which I can place at close vicinity to camps of high importance, or keep an eye on the only boss on the map. I haven't tested this on Haunted Mines, but I think for that particular map Dividing Wisp would be best to keep an eye on the mines entrances.

-Timelost Wisp should be replaced with Stealth Wisp, with higher vision, longer active timer and permanent cloak.

 

LVL7:

Natural Vision usage build:

-Splintered Spear, this is a very good idea for matches when you have stalkers, and enemy is actually snowballing you. You can hit more enemies, and keep an eye on them for a while, allowing stalkers to take em out effectively, especially when you use Crippling Spores to slow them down and extend the duration of spying smile.png This is great if you're teamed up with competent Nova player.

 

LVL10: Thornwood Vines, self explanatory.

 

LVL13: Unfair Advantage, why ? With Natural Perspective you see enemies, using spores you slow them down, the toxin will deal more damage than your basic attacks anyway, deal some more. And let stalkers take them out easier.

 

LVL16: Here I always find myself in a pinch, depending on the enemies, I use different talent, fore example, Lili often has sprint, taking her out is a pain, and she's not the only escapist. If like me, you often check enemy talent builds during gameplay, you can use:

-Starwood Spear, if you don't have enemies that escape too fast, Crippling Spores will slow them down for you for just long enough to maintain high toxin damage (which with the previous talent will deal 70% more damage than your basic attacks) but now they won't be escaping you that easily because of your extended range, combined with your +20% constant movement speed this is bullying.

-Let Them Wither, if you are taking out a single leftover, like Lili or Malfurion. This is like seriously bullying, your toxin already deals 170% of your attack damage, the enemy is seriously slowed down, even if it's more than one enemy, this seriously lets your team pick them off, they just can't escape in time.

 

LVL20: If you are not playing against debuffers i strongly suggest using Galloping Gait, spending talent on Forest's Wrath is pointless, this doesn't increase the damage, just effective range and speed of vines which make sense due to increased range, otherwise casting would be 1.2 sec instead of 1 sec. Sight radius while casting isn't important because anything you put toxin on is revealing enemy anyway.

 

Noxious Blossom/Cruel Spores abuse build:

-Nature's Culling, very useful when you raid camps, keeps, and soak xp from minions, you spend less time on clearing those lanes allowing your minions to attack, very useful against mercs as well, and bosses also take more damage. If enemy sends a boss down your lane, this helps take it out easily.

-Wild vigor, while clearing lanes you will eventually encounter enemy heroes, better to deal a few crits to them and either run off and make them retreat due to toxin or let them die, they will hardly chase you with toxin on, and you dealing them 3 crit hits which should leave them with around 30% health by the time they get to the healing well, they will not resume chasing you as well. healers will not chase you because by the time they regain enough hp to chase after you, your Crippling Spores are ready to deal slow on them the moment you hit them back wit ha spear and you can deal 3 more crits at them. At this point they should die. The only drawback with Cruel Spores is that they are affected by buildings, and that sets the cooldown normally instead of -80% timer. I'm expecting this to get nerfed though.

 

LVL10: vines, cuz, jumping around while soaking xp is not a smart idea.

 

LVL13: If you are playing against a team with ability abusers, you might want:

-Greater Spell Shield, it's better than extending your blossom range, if you choose to soak xp for the team, clear merc camps and destroy keeps, it's better than dying from heavy spell damage, if you don't fear ability abusers though,

-Pestering Blossom is the better talent for lanes, merc camps and soaking xp. This also is great to aid your team against tanks, your basic operation range is expanded, if you used Wild Vigor then even more so, due to increased range you can stack the toxin faster than your attack range allows, and deal a few crit hits to aid your team from range, in my case I'm usually paired with melee heroes, so this is just perfect for me.

 

LVL16: If you used Nature's Culling for soaking, then follow up with

-Choking pollen, very effective against buildings, mercs and bosses. very useful if you go against small groups eof enemy heroes and want to help your team deal more damage.

-Star Wood Spear is very good when paired with Wild Vigor.

 

LVL20: as before, if you are not up against debuffing heroes, using up talent for bigger range at this point is not logical, better take

-Galloping Gait

But if you are against debuffers, Abolish Magic is a better choice, you'll be able to effectively escape the debuffers AND safely.

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pretty nice so far, you might add cd time on Galloping Gait (I think it's 30 sec?) and that you can use your wisp to block skillshots (that'll happen once in a blue moon, but if you happen to have wisp on cd you can try it...blocking Stormbolt or Snipe with a wisp feels so damn good laugh.png )

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I'd like to go back and discuss Nature's Culling a bit. You write it off as a useless talent, but I've found it's very nice to have for a number of reasons.

 

1) It lets you deal superb siege damage - Alternating between 3 different structures lets you get them down very quickly, even compared to actual siege characters. Together with the increased range in late game you can even stay outside the turret range. Of course, Lunara isn't a siege character per se, but there's often an opportunity to attack a fort or keep for a bit in many maps. Very valuable at Towers of Doom in particular. 

 

2) It lets you kill objective monsters very quickly. Maps that have you PvEing for objectives (Infernal Shrines, Battlefield, Flower wossname), or defending against the same (again Infernal Shrines and Battlefield) benefit a lot from this talent.

 

3) It lets you solo cap mercenary camps quickly, although you take a bit of damage in the process.

 

4) Minor, but still: While an enemy minion group is walking (not engaged), you can hit every single minion in a wave with a single Thornwood Vine, and the hit plus increased poison damage is enough to kill them all before you get out of xp range. Since one minion wave = one hero kill worth of XP, that's a pretty nice XP burst from someone who'd otherwise have to attack the minions individually.

 

Thoughts?

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Hey there, 

 

I have never seen Nature's Culling being used in the pro scene. And in general I think that the synergy between Wild Vigor and Star Wood Spear is just too good to be ignored. Even if you go Splintered Spear, which some pros do, you'll have much more of a team fight impact than with Nature's Culling. 

 

Although I see your point - waveclear is important after all - team fight presence and damage against Heroes is even more important. smile.png

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Siphoning Toxin is very underwhelming I don't feel like it's a legit choice. The fact that it has to compete with the most important talents she has (Wild Vigor and Splintered Spear) make it even worse.

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I agree, it is not better than any of the other talents.

 

However, I specifically added "if you don't have a support in your team" in the guide, which will likely be the case if you play solo Quick Match. In these cases, where you fully have to rely on yourself 100%, it can become a necessary talent. 

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On March 11, 2016 at 9:15 PM, Guest Thanh Nguye said:

Siphoning Toxin is very underwhelming I don't feel like it's a legit choice. The fact that it has to compete with the most important talents she has (Wild Vigor and Splintered Spear) make it even worse.

Quite honestly, I agree with this statement. The healing per second seems more like a passive regeneration bonus more than anything, and given that it doesn't stack, like, say Tempered by DisciplineTempered by Discipline will as you continue to attack more and more targets. In quick match, you're better off trying to kill enemies faster than have a little bit of regen this talent has to offer, in my opinion.

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On 12/14/2016 at 2:27 AM, Niteshadow said:

In quick match, you're better off trying to kill enemies faster than have a little bit of regen this talent has to offer, in my opinion.

Super late, but a fair point. It will also be a decision you have to make based on who you are fighting. The regen is probably pretty useful against very kite-able enemies. 

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Is an update on this guide likely to be sooner or later (as in after quite a few others)..... quite a while since this one was done!

Keep up the good work though.

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3 hours ago, Kiarbitrager said:

Is an update on this guide likely to be sooner or later (as in after quite a few others)..... quite a while since this one was done!

Keep up the good work though.

This guide is our to-do list, but sadly Kendric has been very busy lately. There are a few guides with higher priority as far as I know, so getting this guide updated might take some time. If you feel like this guide needs an update ASAP, let me know and I will see what can be done about it. Sorry for the inconvenience and thank you for your patience.

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I'm curious. There is a talent build recommended in the "preface" but it includes talents which contradict the talent suggestions (and the builds on the talent page). Should the talent builds in the preface be disregarded? I appreciate the hard work and the guide!

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      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
      Maiev: Where do I even begin? Despite heavy-handed nerfs delivered less than a week after her release, Maiev continues to dominate popularity (read: is banned about 5 times more than she is played at all levels) and top win rates. The fact that I'm not sure what exactly contributes to her success is probably a good indicator of what actually contributes to her success: everything. High survivability, high mobility, high damage potential through Fan of Knives's ability to reset, the ability to both set up and follow up for and on crowd control through Spirit of Vengeance + Umbral Bind, serviceable waveclear, and Vault of the Wardens on a ridiculously short cooldown for good measure to make her an unviable target for heroic ability chains. Warden's Cage ended up the favoured heroic ability choice for Maiev, and it's rather easy to see why; it just works well with the rest of her kit on top of being quite easy for anyone to use, though Containment Disc is not to be underestimated either. She's at the top of the food chain, so Prime tier it is. Expect further nerfs.
      Jaina: Jaina was last month's surprise for me, which is why I had her marked for promotion. I slightly feared Genji players, but after witnessing some more competent Jaina play (including my own not-so-competent experimentation), it's safe to say that Summon Water Elemental is absolutely key to dealing with him (along pretty much every other assassin in the game). For games with little melee assassin pressure, Ring of Frost remains a powerful win condition. Jaina also sports what is arguably the game's best waveclear potential, and can deal with mercenary camps extremely well with Frost Shards and Ice Lance. 
      Malthael: I can certainly see how Malthael's rework may have seemed rather grim to anyone underestimating the power of cleaving attacks. This change, though accompanied by slight nerfs to his damage and survivability, allowed his already powerful laning  to improve, just as with his ability to deal with mercenary camps. One should never underestimate the power of PvE, particularly in less organised play. Furthermore, his reliance upon Tormented Souls was reduced, allowing for Last Rites to actually get some playtime. I've been impressed with it, and I'm probably going to update his builds to reflect this newfound power.
      Abathur: Abathur is the kind of hero that comes and goes with the metagame state and who generally thrives in assassin-oriented states. As with Genji, I wouldn't be fooled by his limited winrates; he just simply tends to do better at higher level, more organised play, and particularly in longer matches. To avoid on Haunted Mines and Braxis Holdout. Please pick your Ultimate Evolution target responsibly, and go for an assassin, with Maiev, Genji, Hanzo, and Jaina making incredible targets. Incidentally, avoid Evolve Monstrosity; it has been tested and rejected a long time ago.
      Tychus: Not a big leap in tier, but a leap nonetheless. He went from seeing pretty much no play for quite a while to seeing some, including tournament play. As expected, he does well against Blaze and a few other bruisers, on top of being on the more resilient side of ranged assassins. Commandeer Odin is excellent, but the real sleeper here is Neosteel Coating, which can do funny things with Relentless Soldier.
      Probius: Nearly as unpopular as The Lost Vikings. Though I don't think he's bad, I certainly think he does not have a place in the current meta. All of the top picks do extremely well against him, as does diving in general. I really wish I had more insights here, but the very few times I did see him in the last month, it was rather sad to witness. 
      Sgt. Hammer: I initially had her as viable, but upon reading user comments, I had to agree: she does extremely well against team compositions that cannot deal with her, and poorly otherwise. This is basically what the Niche tier should be defined by. We could discuss at length why this design is rather unhealthy for the game, but I think Blizzard has recognized this by not releasing a single specialist in over a year.
    • By Stan

      After Lunar Rocket Racing, it's time for Lost Cavern! Lay waste to the enemy Core on the single-lane map with no talent or level restriction. Complete three matches to get a Lunar Loot Chest.
      Blizzard (Source)
      This week’s brawl is Lost Cavern! It’s all-out mayhem on our single-lane battleground – Lost Cavern. Queue up, choose your Hero, and try to best to bring down the enemy Core!

      Rules:
      Shuffle pick - Choose from one of three Heroes before entering the battle. Standard play - no talent or level restrictions. The first team to destroy the enemy Core wins! Rewards:
      Complete three matches of Lost Cavern 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.
    • By Stan

      Blizzard just rolled out a patch with various bug fixes. Check out the full patch notes! 
      Blizzard (Source)
      Bug Fixes
      Heroes, Talents, & Abilities
      Genji: Fixed an issue preventing certain cleave attacks, such as Malthael’s Basic Attacks and Xul’s Cursed Strikes, from removing stacks of Genji’s Dodge. Ice Block: Fixed an issue allowing certain Abilities to be cast during Ice Block, including Jaina’s Ice Blink, Brightwing’s Storm Shield, and Malfurion’s Astral Communion. Jaina: The Wintermute Talent now correctly causes Jaina’s Water Elemental to mimic her Basic Abilities. Lunara: The Galloping Gait Talent no longer permanently grants a permanent Movement Speed bonus. Tyrael: The Stalwart Angel Talent’s tooltip now displays the correct values for its duration and Armor bonus. Maiev: Casting Spirit of Vengeance just as a Core is destroyed will no longer cause the Spirit to cease animating. Maiev: Activating Naisha’s Memento will now correctly display an icon indicating its duration in the buff bar. Nova: Fixed an issue causing Holo Decoys to deal slightly more damage than intended after learning Lethal Decoy. Rehgar: The Rising Storm Talent will no longer increase Lightning Shield’s damage versus non-Heroic enemies.
    • By Oxygen
         
      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
       
      Prime Tier
      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.
       
      Core Tier
      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.
       
      Viable Tier
      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.
       
      Niche Tier
      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.
       
      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
      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.