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PTR Patch Notes: July 5, 2016

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A new patch just hit PTR and is available for playtesting until July 11, so it's likely we will see it go live after next week's maintenance. If you find any bugs, feel free to report them in the PTR Bug Report forum.

PTR Patch Notes - July 5, 2016

Blizzard LogoBlizzard Entertainment

PUBLIC TEST REALM

Free-to-Play Hero Roster

  • The free-to-play Hero Roster during PTR playtesting has been expanded to include all but the five most recent additions to the Nexus.

GENERAL

Auto-Select Bonus XP

  • Playing as Auto-Select in Quick Match will now award 100% bonus XP when the matchmaking system detects lengthy queue times for one or more Heroes.
    • A new icon will display over the Auto-Select portrait during Hero Select when bonus XP is available.

New portrait rewards have been added!

  • Terran Front-Line Portrait – Awarded for reaching level 10 with Nova, Lt. Morales, and Sgt. Hammer.
  • Legacy of the Void Portrait – Awarded for owning a copy of StarCraft II: Legacy of the Void.

NEW HERO: GUL'DAN

Gul’dan, Darkness Incarnate, has been added to Heroes of the Storm and is now available for play! Read on for a brief overview of his Abilities.

Trait

  • Life Tap (D)
    • Gul’dan does not regenerate Mana.
    • Activate to sacrifice a portion of your Health, restoring 25% of your maximum Mana.

Basic Abilities

  • Fel Flame (Q)
    • Release a wave of flame that damages each enemy it passes through.
  • Drain Life (W)
    • Drain the life from an enemy over 3 seconds, dealing damage to the target and healing Gul’dan each second while channeling.
  • Corruption (E)
    • Call forth three bursts of shadow energy in a line, which deal damage to each enemy they strike over 6 seconds. Stacks up to 3 times.

Heroic Abilities

  • Horrify (R)
    • After a short delay, deal damage and Fear all enemy Heroes in the area for 2 seconds.
  • Rain of Destruction (R)
    • Summon a rain of meteors in a large area for 7 seconds. Each meteor deals a damage in a small area.

PERFORMANCE AND GRAPHICS

General

  • Various performance improvements have been made which should positively affect overall framerates.
  • Heroes of the Storm now supports DirectX 11
    • This should help to reduce memory usage, increase performance while the game is not the primary focus window, and allows for further optimization improvements in the future.

Battlegrounds

  • Cursed Hollow
    • Various environmental objects have been optimized to use less processor time. These changes will benefit processor constrained systems.
  • Towers of Doom
    • Fixed an issue in which environmental sounds could be over-created, causing drops in processor performance.

Processor Performance Notification

  • A new performance icon (pictured below) has been added that will display in the upper-left corner of the screen when Heroes of the Storm detects that the computer’s processor is not performing optimally.

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Click here to learn more.

ART

General

  • Visual effects for Movement Speed buffs have received additional polish, and will better indicate whether a Movement Speed buff is greater or less than 25%.
  • Visual effects for Movement Speed Slows have received additional polish, and will better indicate whether a Slow is greater or less than 40%.

Heroes, Abilities, and Talents

  • Murky has received a delicious new Hearthstone (B) animation!
  • New button art has been added for the Bribe Talent.
  • Many Basic Attacks and skillshot Abilities will now display impact effects on Shields when striking Shielded targets.
  • The indicator that displays at Falstad’s landing location while using Flight has received additional visual polish.
  • The following Hero Abilities and Talents have received additional visual polish
    • Chromie – Temporal Loop (R)
    • Stitches – Vile Gas (Trait)

SHOP

Bundles

  • New Bundles 
    • Balespider Gul’dan Bundle – Available until July 26, 2016.

New Hero

  • Gul’dan has been added to the in-game Shop.

Skins

  • Master Gul’dan
  • Balespider Gul’dan

USER INTERFACE

General

  • A Breaking News icon has been added to the top navigation bar in the game menus, and will activate whenever important announcements about Heroes of the Storm are posted, including details about scheduled maintenance, game updates, and more.
    • Hover the cursor over the Breaking News icon to display details about these announcements.
  • A notification will also be displayed on the Home Screen whenever a Breaking News post is active.

In-Game UI

  • General
    • Left-clicks can now be issued through all in-game UI elements while the cursor is in targeting mode.
  • Minimap
    • Healing Wells will now display on the minimap in the form of plus “+” icons, until they are destroyed.

Loading Screens

  • Gameplay tips will now display on loading screens when entering a match.

Rejoin

  • Rejoin is now optional for Training, Single Player Versus AI, and Custom Games. Simply hit the “Nope!” button when prompted to Rejoin.

Social

  • Thai language chat messages received from other players will now display appropriately in Heroes of the Storm.

DESIGN AND GAMEPLAY

AFK Detection

  • The in-game AFK detection system has received adjustments that will help prevent cases in which Medivh in Raven Form, as well as Nova and Zeratul in Stealth, could receive AFK notifications despite actively participating in the game.

A.I. Improvements

  • Elite A.I. players will now attempt to seek out and take down lone enemy Heroes who venture too far from safety.

Core

  • Victory determination is now much more precise in situations where both Cores are destroyed within fractions of a second. As a result, Victory will no longer be decided at random in cases where it appears that both Cores are destroyed at the same moment.

Regeneration Globes

  • Health Regeneration
    • Previously: Restore 6.24% of maximum Health over 4 seconds
    • Now: Restore 12% of maximum Health over 5 seconds
  • Mana Regeneration
    • Previously: Restore 32 Mana over 4 seconds.
    • Now: Restore 8% of maximum Mana over 5 seconds
Developer Comments: Thank you for all your discussion and feedback on our recent Health sustain post! We are still heavily evaluating a lot of it but wanted to get the first round of changes in. Internally, we enjoyed the increased importance on Regeneration Globes and have cleaned up the system a bit. With a larger importance, denying enemies their Globes in lane has a much larger impact.

Healing Wells

  • Cooldown increased from 100 to 120 seconds
  • Health Regeneration
    • Previously: Restore 41% of maximum Health over 20 seconds.
    • Now: Restore 40% of maximum Health over 20 seconds.
  • Mana Regeneration
    • Previously: Restore 20% of maximum Mana over 20 seconds.
    • Now: Restore 30% of maximum Mana over 20 seconds.
Developer Comments: Much like the changes to Regeneration Globes, we wanted to add a larger impact to the moment you click a Healing Well. Again, we cleaned up the system a fair bit (hence the ~41% to 40% Health change) and added a larger impact for heavy Mana users. The increased cooldown should make the decision of when to tap the Healing Well slightly more interesting.

Minions

  • Ranged, Melee, and Wizard Minions
    • Now deal double damage to Structures.
Developer Comments: Our goal with this change is to make escorting Minions to Towns to be more impactful, such that they can really start to do some damage if left unattended. Before this change, Minions were primarily XP carriers that absorbed some Ammo shots from Towers. Now the armies of the Nexus are a bit scarier when they march down a lane.
  • Catapult Minions
    • Attack range increased by 20%.
    • Sight range increased by 17%.
    • Will now fixate on Structures. Catapults will not acquire a new target after fixating until the target is destroyed or the Catapult is killed.
Developer Comments: Catapults would often reach the Core, but have a Minion wave spawn on them, distract them, and allow them to be killed off before doing any significant damage. With increased range and fixation on a Structure once they’ve started attacking, even one Catapult will more consistently punch through a Core’s Shield and do actual damage.

BATTLEGROUNDS

Garden of Terror

  • Increased Overgrowth's damage bonus against Structures from 100% to 200%.
Developer Comments: In an effort to reduce the game length on Garden of Terror, we’re increasing the bonus damage that Garden Terrors deal to Structures. We’re not quite happy with the way that Garden of Terror is playing at the moment, and will likely be making larger changes if the current tuning adjustments don’t make it more enjoyable.

TALENTS

Bribe

  • New Functionality:
    • Nearby Minion kills grant 1 stack of Bribe. Spend 20 charges to instantly defeat a non-Boss Mercenary. 100 Charges maximum.
      • Raynor’s Raiders' Recruitment Talent also increased to 100 maximum charges.
      • Viking Bribery Talent increased to 200 charges maximum, but each use costs 40 charges.
    • If a Mercenary Camp is completely captured using Bribe, the camp respawns 50% faster.

Executioner

  • The Executioner Talent effect will now only trigger after attacking disabled Heroes. The bonus damage gained through this talent will still apply to anything attacked after the effect is triggered.

Relentless

  • Relentless and similar Hero-specific Talents will now only reduce the duration of Slows, Stuns and Roots. Silence effects will no longer be reduced by this talent.
Developer Comments: With an increasing number of CC effects entering the Nexus we found ourselves constantly asking ourselves “Should Relentless work against this?” which quickly turned into a rabbit hole of ‘what-ifs’ and ‘how comes’. We agreed that the talent was going to continue to become stronger as we moved forward and decided to limit the number of effects that it can reduce.

HEROES

Developer Comments: As part of our ongoing process to improve our talent system, we are doing a pass on all heroes in the game to increase the health of their talent trees. We know that there are a fair number of talents that feel like they are either mandatory or insignificant, and this is our first pass on putting in fixes. These fixes take many forms, and can range from simply buffing or nerfing numbers to changing functionality. We’re excited to keep our heroes feeling fresh, and you can look forward to additional changes to more of our heroes in upcoming patches.
ASSASSIN SPECIALIST SUPPORT WARRIOR
Gall Abathur Brightwing Arthas
Greymane Azmodan Kharazim Chen
Jaina Gazlowe Uther Cho
Kael'thas Sylvanas   Dehaka
Kerrigan The Lost Vikings   Leoric
Lunara Xul   Muradin
Tracer Zagara   Sonya
      Stitches
      Tyrael

ASSASSIN

GALL

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Abilities

  • Twisting Nether (R)
    • Reduced cooldown from 100 to 80 seconds

Talents

  • Level 1
    • Shove (Active)
      • Reduced cooldown from 40 to 30 seconds.
  • Level 13
    • Speed of Twilight (W)
      • Increased Movement Speed bonus from 20% to 30%

GREYMANE

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Stats

  • Human form Basic Attack damage reduced from 145 to 140.

Abilities

  • Curse of the Worgen (Trait)
    • Increased Worgen form’s damage bonus from 40% to 50%
  • Gilnean Cocktail (Q)
    • Secondary explosion damage increased from 177 to 236
    • Cooldown increased from 8 to 10 seconds
  • Go for the Throat (R)
    • Increased cooldown from 60 to 80 seconds
    • Increased damage from 125 to 140
  • Marked for the Kill (R)
    • New Functionality
      • When Greymane deals damage to the Marked target, the duration of the Vulnerable effect is refreshed.  This can happen indefinitely
      • No longer allows you to reactivate to leap to the opponent
    • Reduced cooldown from 60 to 50 seconds
    • Range reduced by 40%

Talents

  • Level 4
    • Insatiable (W)
      • Mana return increased from 5 to 10 per Basic Attack
  • Level 7
    • Incendiary Elixir (Q)
      • Increased cooldown reduction from quest completion from 2 to 4 seconds
      • Removed the impact damage increase from the Talent
      • Increased the explosion damage gained per Hero hit from 6 to 10
      • Reduced the cap of Incendiary Elixir from 160 to 150
  • Level 16
    • Concentrated Blast (Q)
      • Removed
    • New Talent: Eager Wolf (W)
      • Increases the Attack Speed bonus of Inner Beast by an additional 40% after it has been active for 4 seconds.
  • Level 20
    • Unleashed (R)
      • In addition to its current effect, killing an enemy with Go for the Throat increases the damage of Go for the Throat by 25% for 10 seconds, up to 100%.
    • Gilnean Roulette (R)
      • New Functionality:
        • All allied Hero damage done to the target will refresh the Vulnerable effect duration.
Developer Comments: Greymane is doing really well right now at all levels of play. That said, we do feel that Gilnean Cocktail should be more satisfying when used correctly. We’re increasing the cooldown in order to justify also increasing the damage of the explosion so that it is very noticeable when you chunk enemies with the Ability. We’ve also tuned up Incendiary Elixir, while simplifying its design. We’ve increased the damage bonus of Worgen form so that closing into melee range is more often worth the risk as well.

JAINA

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Abilities

  • Blizzard (W)
    • Increased the number of waves from 2 to 3
    • Reduced damage from 167 to 142
    • Increased Mana cost from 75 to 90
  • Cone of Cold (E)
    • Increased damage from 200 to 230
    • Reduced Mana cost from 50 to 40

Talents

  • Level 4
    • Snowstorm (W)
      • Moved to level 16
    • Arcane Intellect (Passive)
      • Reduced the Mana returned from Abilities from 25 to 20
    • Envenom (Active)
      • Removed
  • Level 7
    • Ice Lance (Q)
      • Now also restores 10 Mana when a Chilled target is hit by Frostbolt in addition to its current functionality
    • Frost Armor (Passive)
      • Moved to level 4
      • Reduced Block amount from 75% to 50%
      • Increased Block cooldown from 8 to 10 seconds
    • Ice Floes (E)
      • Increased cooldown reduction from .5 to 1 second, up to a maximum of 5 seconds per cast
  • Level 13
    • Ice Barrier (Trait)
      • Shield duration increased from 3 to 4 seconds
  • Level 16
    • Snow Crash (W)
      • Removed
Developer Comments: A lot of these changes are designed to further emphasize what we see as Jaina’s unique role: battlefield control. We want to play up her ability to deny areas of the battlefield with Blizzard, and really punish enemies who get stuck inside it. The biggest change in that regard is that she now spawns 3 waves of Blizzard baseline. To go along with these core kit changes, we’ve also changed or moved around a few of her Talents. One of the biggest changes was Snowstorm, which increased the radius of Blizzard, as we found that it lowered the difficulty of landing consecutive Blizzard waves on enemies too much for a Talent in such an early tier.

KAEL'THAS

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Abilities

  • Gravity Lapse (E)
    • Cooldown increased from 12 to 14 seconds
    • Mana cost increased from 80 to 90

Talents

  • Level 1
    • Convection (Q)
      • Damage bonus on Quest completion increased from 75 to 100
  • Level 4
    • Energy Roil (E)
      • Cooldown reduction increased from 7 to 9 seconds
  • Level 7
    • Sunfire Enchantment (Trait)
      • Damage reduced from 183 to 165
    • Gravity Crush (E)
      • Bonus damage reduced from 30% to 25%
  • Level 20
    • Rebirth (R)
      • The Rebirth casting range will now center on the Phoenix itself instead of on Kael'thas
      • This can now be re-positioned globally

KERRIGAN

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Stats

  • Base Health increased from 1680 to 1848
  • Health Regen increased from 3.5 to 3.8 per second
  • Base Attack damage increased from 109 to 120

Abilities

  • Ravage (Q)
    • Mana cost reduced from 50 to 40

Talents

  • Level 1
    • Siphoning Impact (Q)
      • Now only applies if the target is killed by Ravage
    • Sharpened Blades (W)
      • Damage increased from 20% to 30%
  • Level 4
    • Clean Kill (Q)
      • Mana refund reduced from 100% to 75%
      • Damage bonus increased from 20% to 25%
    • Fury of the Swarm (Passive)
      • Splash damage increased from 50% to 60%
    • Psionic Pulse (E)
      • Damage increased from 17 to 24
  • Level 7
    • Impaling Swarm (W)
      • Removed
    • Adaptation (Q)
      • Mana refund increased from 50% to 100%
    • Assimilation Mastery (Trait)
      • Now increases the duration of Assimilation Shields by 100% in addition to its current functionality
  • Level 13
    • Queen’s Rush (Active)
      • Movement Speed increased from 25% to 30%
      • Cooldown reduced from 75 to 50 seconds
    • Lingering Essence (Trait)
      • Removed
  • Level 16
    • Blade Torrent (W)
      • Moved to Level 7
Developer Comments: Kerrigan definitely has her place as a niche pick on a few Battlegrounds. While her win-rate is fairly healthy, she has become a bit of a one-trick-pony. We feel this is okay for some Heroes and makes for interesting draft implications, but we knew we wanted to make some tweaks to help even her out. We increased her base stats in order to offset the added restrictions we applied to her Ravage, and overall did a large number of tweaks to help level out her whole Talent Tree.

LUNARA

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Abilities

  • Leaping Strike (R)
    • Damage increased from 246 to 271

Talents

  • Level 1
    • Photosynthesis (W)
      • Mana restoration increased from 8 to 10 Mana per target
  • Level 4
    • Skybound Wisp (E)
      • Revealed area size increased by 10%
    • Timelost Wisp (E)
      • Cooldown recharge increased from 100% to 125%
  • Level 7
    • Splintered Spear (Q)
      • Number of attack targets increased from 3 to 4
    • Nature’s Culling (Passive)
      • Damage to non-Heroes decreased from 200% to 150%
  • Level 13
    • Pestering Blossom (Q)
      • Range increase increased from 40% to 50%
  • Level 16
    • Choking Pollen (Q)
      • Bonus damage increased from 100% to 125%
  • Level 20
    • Abolish Magic (Active)
      • Cooldown reduced from 45 from 35 seconds

TRACER

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  • Abilities
    • Pulse Bomb (R)
      • The size of the “Stuck!” text that displays on-screen when Stuck by Pulse Bomb has been reduced in order to increase visibility during gameplay

SPECIALIST

ABATHUR

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Abilities

  • Symbiote (Q)
    • Symbiote will now be paused if the allied target enters a Stasis effect or if Tracer uses her Recall ability
    • Symbiote can still be cancelled in these situations, but no Symbiote Abilities can be used

Talents

  • Level 1
    • Regenerative Microbes (E)
      • Heal changed to “over 4 seconds” instead of the full duration of Carapace
      • Heal amount changed from 31 to 68 Health per Second
  • Level 4
    • Ballistospores (W)
      • Toxic Nest duration increased from 20% to 25%
    • Sustained Carapace (E)
      • Now increases the Carapace Shield amount by 40% instead of increasing the duration by 50%
  • Level 7
    • Networked Carapace (E)
      • Now also applies an untalented Carapace Shield to all nearby allied Heroes
    • Vile Nest (W)
      • Decreased the slow duration from 3 to 2.5 seconds
  • Level 13
    • Assault Strain (Trait)
      • Increased explosion damage from 68 to 102
    • Spatial Efficiency (Q)
      • Now also lowers the cooldown of Stab from 3 to 2.5 seconds in addition to its current functionality
  • Level 16
    • Adrenaline Boost (E)
      • Movement Speed boost duration increased from 3 to 3.5 seconds
    • Volatile Mutation (R)
      • Increased pulse damage from 114 to 137
  • Level 20
    • Evolution Complete (R)
      • Monstrosity Deep Tunnel cooldown reduced to 25 seconds from 30
    • Evolutionary Link (R)
      • Ultimate Evolution Shield increased from 20% of maximum Health to 25%

AZMODAN

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Abilities

  • Demonic Invasion (R)
    • No longer deals half damage to Heroes

Talents

  • Level 1
    • Sieging Wrath (Q)
      • New Functionality:
        • Quest: Gain 4 damage per enemy hero hit, up to a maximum of 100 damage
        • Reward: Gain an additional 100 damage and increases maximum range by 33%
    • Taste for Blood (Q)
      • Time window where Minion deaths grant additional damage reduced from 1.5 second to 1 second
    • Master of Destruction (E)
      • New Functionality:
        • No longer grants bonus damage to Structures
        • Now grants 10% range after each level of damage ramp up
  • Level 4
    • Gluttony (E)
      • Healing increased from 15% to 20%
    • Sin’s Grasp (Active)
      • Damage increased from 224 to 248
      • Total duration increased from 6 to 8 seconds
  • Level 7
    • Infernal Globe (Q)
      • No longer applies a damage over time effect to enemies hit
    • Infused Power (E)
      • Damage bonus increased from 25% to 40%
      • Moved to level 13
    • Gluttonous Ward (Active)
      • Restoration per tick increased from 2.457% to 3%
  • Level 13
    • March of Sin (E)
      • Moved to level 7
  • Level 16
    • Blood for Blood (Active)
      • Talent renamed to Sin for Sin
      • Sin for Sin works identically to Blood for Blood, but can be cast while channeling All Shall Burn
Developer Comments: Many of these changes focus on allowing Azmodan to use different Talent builds successfully. We have improved the All Shall Burn build quite a bit. The redesign of Sieging Wrath provides an alternate build for those situations where you want to focus on Globe of Annihilation but find yourself without an ideal team composition or battleground.

GAZLOWE

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Abilities

  • Salvage (Trait)
    • Will no longer dismount Gazlowe if used while mounted
  • Robo-Goblin (R)
    • Damage increased from 150% to 200%

Talents

  • Level 7
    • Rock-It! Turret XL (Q)
      • Damage increased from 50% to 60%
  • Level 13
    • Xtra Large Bombs (E)
      • Radius increased from 25% to 30%
  • Level 20
    • Mecha-Lord (R)
      • Damage increased from 150% to 200%

SYLVANAS

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Talents

  • Level 13
    • Windrunner (E)
      • A 0.5 second cooldown time has been added to prevent accidental casting of the second Haunting Wave

THE LOST VIKINGS

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  • Each of The Lost Vikings will now display individual messages in chat when using Hearthstone.

XUL

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Talents

  • Level 20
    • Mortal Wound (Active)
      • This Talent's effect will now only reduce Healing received by the target while the Mortal Wound effect is active. Healing effects that continue after the Mortal Wounds effect ends will no longer be reduced
      • Will no longer reduce Healing received by Healing Wells or reduce the duration of Heal over Time effects

ZAGARA

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Zagara has undergone significant changes.

Stats

  • Attack Damage Decreased from 95 to 86

Abilities

  • Creep Tumor (Trait)
    • New functionality
      • Now grants Zagara 20% bonus attack range while on Creep
    • Health increased from 111 to 150
    • No longer costs Mana
    • Increased cast range from 0 to 2.5
    • No longer grants additional Health regeneration while on Creep
    • Charge cooldown increased from 15 to 20 seconds
    • Base Creep spread distance increased by 33%
  • Baneling Barrage (Q)
    • Now fires a single Baneling at a time (4 charges) at a cost of 10 Mana per Baneling. Banelings have a 3 second charge cooldown
    • Damage per Baneling increased from 75 to 91
    • Banelings no longer have Health, and can no longer be targeted
  • Hunter Killer (W)
    • Damage decreased from 89 to 68
  • Devouring Maw (R)
    • No longer deals damage on impact
    • Damage per second increased from 43 to 80
    • Cooldown reduced from 120 to 100 seconds
  • Nydus Network (R)
    • New functionality:
      • Passively increases your Creep spread by 25%
      • Passively causes all Basic Attacks to lower cooldowns by 1 second while on Creep
    • Nydus Canals can now only be placed on Creep
    • Entering Nydus Canals is now cancelled by taking damage
    • The channel time to enter Nydus Canal decreased from 2 to 1.5 seconds
    • Health regeneration while in the Network increased from 8 to 10%
    • Mana regeneration while in the Network increased from 8 to 10%
    • Max amount of Nydus Canal’s on the map increased from 4 to 10

Talents

  • Level 1
    • Centrifugal Hooks (Q)
      • Removed
    • Corpse Feeders (E)
      • Damage reduction from non-Heroes increased from 30% to 40%
      • Now reduces the cooldown of Infested Drop by 3 seconds in addition to its current functionality
    • Reconstitution (Trait)
      • Removed
    • Demolitionist (Passive)
      • Removed
  • Level 4
    • Envenomed Spines (Active)
      • No longer adds Basic Attack range
      • Activate to have your next Basic Attack deal 230 damage over 5 seconds. 30 second cooldown
    • Medusa Blades (Passive)
      • Damage increased from 25 to 33%
    • Tumor Clutch (Trait)
      • Removed
    • Envenom (Active)
      • Removed
    • Infest (Passive)
      • Moved to Level 1
      • New functionality added:
        • Nearby ranged minions passively deal 200% more damage.
        • Quest: For every 1000 siege damage dealt, increase the damage bonus by 1%
    • New Talent – Serrated Spines (Passive)
      • Quest: Every Basic Attack against enemy Heroes increases Basic Attack damage by 0.3
  • Level 7
    • Swarm Momentum (Passive)
      • Removed
    • Volatile Acid (Q)
      • Moved to Level 1
      • New functionality added:
        • Also increases the range of Banelings by 50%
    • Ventral Sacs (Q)
      • Removed
    • Endless Creep (Trait)
      • Removed
    • Rapid Incubation (Active)
      • Removed
    • New Talent – Viscous Acid (Q)
      • Banelings also slow targets by 25% for 1.5 seconds
  • Level 13
    • Mutalisk (W)
      • Moved to level 16
      • No longer has a timed life. Mutalisks will now last until killed
    • Grooved Spines (W)
      • Removed
    • Bile Drop (E)
      • Moved to Level 7
      • Bonus damage decreased from 100% to 50%
      • Quest: Every Hero hit by Infested Drop increases this bonus by 10%
      • Reward: Upon reaching 150% bonus damage, increase the impact radius of Infested Drop by 20%
    • Giant Killer (Passive)
      • Removed
    • New Talent – Hydralisk Transfusion (W)
      • Zagara is Healed for 75% of the primary damage dealt by Hunter Killers
    • New Talent – Protective Coating (Passive)
      • While on Creep, Zagara takes 20% reduced damage from all sources
  • Level 16
    • Baneling Massacre (Q)
      • Moved to Level 7
      • New functionality
      • Zagara gains 2 more charges of Banelings
    • Brood Expansion (W)
      • New functionality
      • Now reduces the cooldown of Hunter Killer by 6 seconds
    • Metabolic Boost (Trait)
      • Removed
    • Stoneskin (Active)
      • Removed
    • New Talent – Corrosive Saliva (W)
      • Attacks from Hunter Killers deal an additional 2% of the targets max Health
  • Level 20
    • Broodling Nest (R)
      • Removed
    • New Talent– Endless Creep (Trait)
      • Increases Creep Tumor cast range by 2000%
      • Creep Tumor duration increased from 240 to 600 seconds
      • While on Creep Zagara gains an additional 20% move speed
Developer Comments: We are excited to bring you a fresh take on our Brood Queen. She had, by far, the unhealthiest Talent Tree in Heroes and we spent months going through multiple iterations of her Design. We knew exactly what we wanted to keep in her play-style: Lane Bully, Summoner, and Scout, and we aimed all of our decisions at those three characteristics. We also decided to upgrade her talent tree to better embrace our new design philosophies. Overall, we hope you enjoy her new tools while continuing to feel like you’re playing the old Zagara that we know and love.

Zagara Talents

LEVEL (TIER)        
1 (1) Volatile Acide (Q) Corpse Feeders (E) Infest
4 (2) Envenomed Spines Medusa Blades New: (!) Serrated Spines
7 (3) Baneling Massacre (Q) New: Viscous Acid (Q) (!) Bile Drop (E)
10 (4) Devouring Maw (R) Nydus Network (R)
13 (5) New: Hydralisk Transfusion (W) Protective Coating (Trait) Spell Shield
16 (6) Brood Expansion (W) New: Corrosive Saliva (W) Mutalisk (W)
20 (7) Tyrant Maw (R) New: Endless Creep (R) Fury of the Storm
  • (!) indicates a Questing Talent.
  • Italic text indicates a NEW Talent.
  • Bold text indicates a MOVED Talent.

SUPPORT

BRIGHTWING

PI2CATL8H1IZ1417483333975.png

Abilities

  • Soothing Mist (Trait)
    • Heal amount increased from 96 to 120
  • Blink Heal (R)
    • Range reduced by approximately 15%

Talents

  • Level 1
    • Hyper Shift (Trait)
      • Will no longer reduce the cooldown of Phase Shift when Brightwing heals herself
  • Level 7
    • Dream Shot (Q)
      • Moved to Level 1
    • Phase Shield (Z)
      • Reduced Shield duration from 20 to 10 seconds
      • Reduced Shield amount from 548 to 400
    • Mistified (Passive)
      • Cooldown Reduction reduced from 1 to .75 seconds
  • Level 20
    • Continuous Winds (R)
      • Also increases the bonus healing of Soothing Mist (granted by Emerald Wind) from 8 to 15%
    • Rewind (Active)
      • Removed
Developer Comments: Phase Shift builds have been a lot of fun and we enjoy the gameplay behind them but we really want to open up other potential playstyles for Brightwing. Her burst healing output is locked behind Blink Heal and although we realize that having a two-charge Blink is an incredible asset, we want to continue incentivize using disengage tools like Emerald Wind.

KHARAZIM

ZNF0FO7V6W8J1439221492354.png

Talents

  • Level 1
    • Insight (Trait)
      • New Functionality:
        • Quest: Every 3rd Basic Attack restores 14 Mana. After this effect triggers 100 times, every 3rd attack will also reduce the cooldown of all Basic Abilities by 1 second
Developer Comments: Insight was seeing very little play, mainly because it wasn’t distinct enough. In order to both buff it and make it different, we’re making it a Quest Talent/Trait. We felt the cooldown reduction fits well with the increased Mana, as Insight is about using all your Abilities (both offensive and defensive) more frequently.

UTHER

5W8VDU5725O81417483335719.png

Abilities

  • Divine Shield (R)
    • Mana cost reduced from 100 to 80
  • Divine Storm (R)
    • Mana cost reduced from 100 to 80

Talents

  • Level 1
    • Block (Passive)
      • Removed
    • Reach (Q)
      • Removed
  • Level 4
    • Hammer of the Lightbringer (Passive)
      • Moved to Level 1
    • Amplified Healing (Passive)
      • Removed
    • New Talent: Beacon of Light (Passive)
      • Uther Heals himself for 30% of all Healing done to allied Heroes
  • Level 7
    • Wave of Light (W)
      • Moved to Level 1
      • Mana returned reduced from 10 to 8 per target hit
      • Maximum Mana returned reduced from 50 to 40
    • Holy Fire (Passive)
      • New functionality:
        • Deal 18 damage per second to nearby enemies.  Auto-attacking an enemy Hero increases this damage by 20% for 3 seconds.  This effect stacks up to 3 times
    • Clairvoyance (Active)
      • Removed  
  • Level 13
    • Holy Shock (Q)
      • Cooldown reduction when using Holy Light against enemies increased from 4 to 6 seconds.
      • New functionality:
        • After hitting an enemy, the next Holy Light Heals for an additional 50%
    • Blessed Champion (Q)
      • New functionality:
        • After casting Holy Light, all Basic Attacks for 5 seconds will Heal Uther and all nearby allies for 20% of the amount Healed by Holy Light.
  • Level 16
    • Gathering Radiance (W)
      • Each Hero that Holy Radiance passes through increases the Healing and damage of your next Holy Radiance by 8%, up to a maximum increase of 80%.
    • Imposing Presence (Passive)
      • Removed
    • New Talent: Righteous Defense (Q)
      • Heroes healed by Holy Light take 50% less damage for 2 seconds
Developer Comments: The famous “Piano Uther” build (Uther with all Activated talents) has dominated his talent choices for a long time. While we understand that many players love this kind of a Support, we also want to give him more viable options for people who don’t like so many activated abilities. We didn’t touch the old build, but we have given him more options to choose from on various talent tiers.

WARRIOR

ARTHAS

Q00N5QG4L4441417483333667.png

Talents

  • Level 4
    • Frozen Wastes (E)
      • Mana cost reduction increased from 3 to 4 Mana Per Second
  • Level 7
    • Rune Tap (Passive)
      • Heal amount increased from 3% to 4% of Maximum Health
    • Icebound Fortitude (Active)
      • Cooldown reduced from 50 to 40 seconds

CHEN

0WB1N574QT991417483333970.png

Abilities

  • Fortifying Brew (Trait)
    • Can no longer be cancelled by reactivating the hotkey (default D)

CHO

6SJU0GPK7SNW1452704274380.png

Abilities

  • Upheaval (R)
    • Increased damage from 50 to 100

Talents

  • Level 1
    • Surging Dash (Q)
      • Increased speed and range bonuses from 25% to 50%

DEHAKA

S5T04ROESNVH1466787135735.png

Abilities

  • Adaptation (R)
    • Time before Heal activates reduced from 5 to 4 seconds

Talents

  • Level 1
    • Enduring Swarm (W)
      • Increased Spell Resistance from 25 to 50%
    • Primal Aggression (W)
      • Also increases the duration of Dark Swarm by 0.5 seconds
  • Level 7
    • Essence Devourer (Trait)
      • Added Quest:
        • Quest: Every Regen Globe collected increases maximum Essence by 1
        • Reward: Upon collecting 10 Regen Globes, increase the amount of Essence gained from Regen Globes from 10 to 15
  • Level 16
    • Rapid Regeneration (E)
      • Increased Heal amount from 76 to 90
  • Level 20
    • Change is Survival (R)
      • Also lowers the cooldown of Adaptation by 30 seconds in addition to its current functionality
    • Apex Predator (Z)
      • Decreased cooldown reduction from 30 to 25 seconds
Developer Comments: It took a lot of pressure to get the balance team to make some adjustments to Dehaka. With absolutely no changes since launch, we finally have a few tweaks to help bring up some struggling talents.

LEORIC

10VUJ6C6M9DG1439221492653.png

Talents

  • Level 1
    • Mana Thirst (Q)
      • Removed the cap to Mana earned from targets hit by Skeletal Swing
  • Level 7
    • Lingering Apparition (E)
      • Increases Wraith Walk duration from 60% to 80%
  • Level 13
    • Drain Momentum (W)
      • Now increases Leoric’s Movement Speed by 10% while Drain Hope is active
  • Level 20
    • Buried Alive (R)
      • Increased damage from 34 to 45

MURADIN

TM8DLIER5QEH1417483334689.png

Abilities

  • Second Wind (Trait)
    • Base Heal effect increased from 1.5% to 2% maximum Health per second.
    • Critical Health effect increased from 3% to 4% maximum Health per second.
  • Dwarf Toss (E)
    • No longer grants Unstoppable while leaping.
    • Now grants Muradin Resistant (25% reduced damage taken) for 2 seconds.
    • Cooldown reduced from 12 to 10 seconds.
    • Mana cost reduced from 70 to 55.

Talents

  • Level 4
    • Third Wind (Trait)
      • Base Heal effect increased from 2% to 3% maximum Health per second
      • Critical Heal effect increased from 4% to 6% maximum Health per second
Developer Comments: The Dwarf Toss changes are very likely going to spur a lot of conversation, Uther knows it did in our bullpen! The logic behind this change is as follows – We want to buff Muradin for all ranges of play EXCEPT our pro-scene. Of course this is where the Unstoppable leap is abused the most, and even though there is some great skill-cap behind knowing when and how to use it, it gives him an incredible amount of power and definitely hurts the pick-rates of our other Warriors. By replacing this with a 2 second Resistant buff, it should help the vast majority of players feel more tanky when they use Dwarf Toss, which has always been the intention.

SONYA

3276TQ7WFVM51417483335193.png

Talents

  • Level 1
    • Endless Fury (Passive)
      • Removed.
    • Shot of Fury (Trait)
      • Now also passively increases maximum Fury from 100 to 150 in addition to its current functionality
  • Level 4
    • Hurricane (E)
      • Now also reduces the cooldown of Whirlwind by 1 seconds in addition to its current functionality
  • Level 7
    • Composite Spear (Q)
      • Now also increases the Fury gained from Ancient Spear from 40 to 60 in addition to its current functionality
    • Poisoned Spear (Q)
      • Damage increased from 75% to 100% of Ancient Spear’s damage
  • Level 13
    • Mystical Spear (Q)
      • Reduced the cooldown reduction from 4 to 3 seconds
    • Life Funnel (E)
      • Whirlwind Healing bonus increased from 5% to 10%
      • The tooltip has been clarified to state that this bonus is also tripled against Heroes
  • Level 16
    • Nerves of Steel (Active)
      • Cooldown increased from 60 to 70 seconds
    • Furious Blow (W)
      • Seismic Slam damage bonus increased from 40% to 50%
      • Fury cost increased from 35 to 40
  • Level 20
    • Arreat Crater (R)
      • Now also reduces the cooldown of Leap by 20 seconds in addition to its current functionality
    • Anger Management (R)
      • The increase to Stun, Slow, Root, and Polymorph duration reduction has been removed
      • Increased Fury gain bonus from 50% to 100%

STITCHES

PEX1HU1XRW0G1417483335311.png

Abilities

  • Vile Gas (Trait)
    • New Functionality:
      • When damaged, Stitches emits a gas cloud that poisons nearby enemies over 3 seconds (no longer leaves Vile Gas on the ground)
    • Cooldown reduced from 4 to 3 seconds
  • Hook (Q)
    • Hook can now target allied Heroes by default. This functionality can be toggled on and off through a new “Helping Hand” button. (Default hotkey: 1)

Talents

  • Level 4
    • New Talent: Restorative Fumes (Trait)
      • Each time an enemy Hero takes damage from Vile Gas, Stitches heals for 27 Health
    • Vile Cleaver (W)
      • Removed
    • Mercenary Lord (Passive)
      • Removed
  • Level 7
    • Toxic Gas (Trait)
      • Radius increase reduced from 50% to 25%
      • No longer increases the duration of Vile Gas
      • Now increases the damage of Vile Gas by 50%
  • Level 13
    • Helping Hand (Q)
      • Removed
Developer Comments: We decided to do a quick clean-up for Stitches. This consisted of getting rid of the lingering gas-cloud which hurt our visual playfield more than the enemy team. Oh, and we made Helping Hand baseline; nothing to see here, move along.

TYRAEL

MUSK7R1KG1O11417483335506.png

Abilities

  • Archangel’s Wrath (Trait)
    • Increased damage from 456 to 550

Talents

  • Level 1
    • Protection in Death (Trait)
      • Increased the Shield duration from 5 to 10 seconds
    • Horadric Reforging (Q)
      • Moved to level 4
    • Purge Evil (E)
      • Damage increased from 25% to 30%
  • Level 4
    • Even in Death (Trait)
      • Now also increases the damage of Archangel’s Wrath by 25% in addition to its current functionality
      • Moved to level 1
    • Retribution (E)
      • New functionality
        • Increases the Movement Speed bonus of Smite from 25% to 35%, and increase the duration from 2 to 3 seconds
      • Name changed to: Swift Retribution

 

  • Level 7
    • Angelic Momentum (Passive)
      • Removed
    • Angel’s Grace (Q)
      • Increased Movement Speed bonus from 25% to 30%.
    • Reciprocate (W)
      • Increased damage from 151 to 200
    • Zealotry (W)
      • Also reduces Righteousness’ cooldown by 2 seconds in addition to its current functionality
      • Bonus duration reduced from 100% to 50%
  • Level 13
    • Angelic Might (E)
      • This bonus now only applies when hitting Heroes with Smite
      • Increased damage bonus from 25% to 75%
    • Angelic Absorption (W)
      • Increased heal amount from 46 to 52
  • Level 16
    • Blade of Justice (Q)
      • Instead of increasing Basic Attack damage, now increases Attack Speed by 50% for 5 seconds
    • Salvation (W)
      • Increased Shield value from 25% to 35% for each ally Hero shielded
  • Level 20
    • Angel of Justice (R)
      • Increased cooldown reduction from 30 to 40 seconds
Developer Comments: Tyrael’s Talents have been stagnant for some time, and we saw an opportunity to spruce them up. We’ve added some power to his lesser-used Talents, and given him some new ways to bring more utility to his team. While we understand that many players will miss Angelic Momentum, we felt that it was best to remove it from Tyrael in order to have more design space to add other Talents that manipulate the cooldowns and durations of his abilities.

BUG FIXES

General

  • Corrected a number of typos and tooltip errors across several aspects of the game. 

Art

  • Artanis: Purifier Artanis’ blades have been slightly scaled down to better fit within his armor.
  • Cho’gall: Fixed an issue causing the Corruptor Cho’gall skin and variations to appear at a lower resolution than intended while using High graphic settings.
  • Chromie: Cancelling Chromie’s dance animation and then restarting it will no longer cause one of her clones to dissipate too early.
  • Nova: The Novazon skin will now properly throw a Javelin when casting Snipe.
  • Rexxar: Will now animate properly while riding Mounts that hover. 

Battlegrounds

  • Battlefield of Eternity: AI Heroes can now halt their attacks on Immortals at the center of the Battleground in order to gank an enemy Sgt. Hammer that is attacking inner-Towers and Keeps.
  • Infernal Shrines: Punishers will no longer prefer to attack non-Heroic enemies that are affected by Abathur’s Symbiote over enemy Heroes.
  • Dragon Shire: The Dragon Knight’s Savage Charge can no longer be cast on neutral Siege and Bruiser Mercenaries.
  • Tomb of the Spider Queen: The Top-lane Keep on the left side of the Battleground can no longer attack enemies who are standing next to the Gate.
  • Tomb of the Spider Queen: The number of Spider Gems held by each team will now always display, even if zero Gems are currently being carried.
  • Try Mode: The Mana bonus applied by Arthas’ Eternal Hunger Talent will no longer persist after clicking Reset Talents.
  • Try Mode: The effects of Li’Ming’s Aether Walker Talent will now be properly reset after clicking Reset Talents.
  • Try Mode: Brightwing’s Phase Shift cooldown is now properly reset after clicking Toggle Cooldowns. 

Heroes and Talents

  • Anub'arak: Bed of Barbs will now properly apply damage over time effects to enemy Immortals on Battlefield of Eternity.
  • Artanis: Fixed a rare issue in which an enemy who is killed in the same moment as they are struck by Phase Prism could cause Artanis to fly to the target’s death location.
  • Cho’gall: Runic Blast’s traveling and end-point area of effect indicators will now display appropriately for Gall, and will no longer display for Cho.
  • Dehaka: Drag will now properly interrupt Tychus if he is struck while attempting to cast Grenade.
  • Executioner: This Talent will no longer deal bonus damage to Structures affected by Sylvanas’ Black Arrow.
  • Falstad: Will no longer be struck by ground-level objects, such as Abathur’s Toxic Nests, while using Flight.
  • Illidan: Issuing an attack command on an enemy while using Sweeping Strike in the opposite direction will now always cause Illidan to travel the full Sweeping Strike distance, both before and after learning the Unbound Talent.
  • Jaina: Casting Blizzard while hidden within a Shrub will no longer prevent players who are outside that shrub from seeing its visual effects.
  • Kael’thas: Fixed an issue which prevented Phoenix from being self-cast using ALT + R.
    Kael’thas: AI Kael'thas will now properly receive a reduced cooldown timer after cancelling Pyroblast.
  • Kharazim: Fixed a rare issue in which movement commands could persist after casting Radiant Dash.
  • Leoric: Fixed a visual issue in which the Reanimation Talent’s Quest could appear incomplete despite satisfying all requirements for completion.
  • Lunara: Leaping Strike can now properly damage enemy Structures after learning the Boundless Stride Talent.
  • Lunara: Landing against the terrain after casting Leaping Strike will no longer occasionally cause Lunara to run back to her original location.
  • Lunara: Forts and Keeps will now properly fire on a Wisp that it is just inside attack range.
  • Medivh: Fixed an issue which caused allies to see Portal’s range indicator after learning the Portal Mastery Talent.
  • Nova: The buff icon for the Snipe Master Talent will now properly display in the buff bar.
  • Nova: Holo Decoys can now use Basic Attacks against enemy Monsters and Mercenaries. After taking the Lethal Decoy Talent, Holo Decoys will also be able to use Basic Attacks against enemy Minions.
  • Nova: Will no longer receive an Invulnerability overlay on-screen if a Holo Decoy is affected by Tyrael’s Sanctification, but Nova herself is outside its area of effect.
  • Nova: Triple Tap’s visual effects will no longer persist during an enemy Hero’s post-death effect, such as Tyrael’s Archangel’s Wrath.
  • Rehgar: Ancestral Healing will now properly restore Health to Artanis and Johanna if the target takes lethal damage in the same moment that Shield Overload or Indestructible is triggered. 
  • Sgt. Hammer: The targeting reticule for Blunt Force Gun will no longer highlight targets that are outside its area of effect.
  • Sgt. Hammer: Enemy AI players will no longer immediately dive Sgt. Hammer if she enters Siege Mode while hidden in a Shrub or Vent.
  • Stitches: Hook will now properly pull its target over unpathable areas of terrain, even if the enemy it strikes had been launched by another Ability.
  • Tracer: Fixed an issue that could cause Pulse Bomb to launch in an unintended direction when casting Blink while Pulse Bomb is firing.
  • Tracer: The Reload bar will now be properly displayed during Recall after learning the Locked and Loaded Talent.
  • Tracer: Will no longer continually face her Basic Attack target while Polymorphed.
  • Tracer: The Composition B Talent can no longer be triggered by sticking non-Heroic targets.
  • Tracer: The “Lock On” icon next to Tracer’s status bar will now appear to the left of icons for Battleground Mechanics that can be held, such as Spider Gems and Doubloons.
  • Tychus: After learning the Sizzlin’ Attacks Talent, Basic Attacks will now properly deal 3% of the target’s maximum Health as damage while Minigun is active.
  • Tyrael: Casting Judgement on an enemy just as the target is killed will no longer teleport Tyrael to the enemy safe zone.
  • Tyrael:  The duration bar for El’Druin’s Might can no longer display during Archangel’s Wrath.
  • Tyrande: Picking the Celestial Wrath Talent will no longer prevent Starfall’s cooldown timer from displaying appropriately on the in-game Score Screen’s Talent pane.
  • Uther: Can no longer use Healing Wells while in Eternal Devotion form.
  • Valla: Using Rain of Vengeance to score a killing blow on Tyrael or Uther will no longer cause an extraordinarily long respawn timer to appear while in Eternal Devotion or Archangel’s Wrath form.
  • Zagara: Enemy Heroes who are not caught by Devouring Maw can no longer walk through the Maw while it is emerging from the terrain.
  • Zagara: Fixed an issue that could allow Creep Tumors to be placed in unintended areas with Quick Cast or On Release settings enabled.
  • Zeratul: Casting Blink and Rewind in rapid succession will no longer place Blink on a 2 second cooldown while Wormhole is active.
  • Zeratul: Void Prison will now properly interrupt Flying Kick if the target moves too far out of range while Chen is in Stasis. 

Sound

  • Fixed an issue which prevented Heroes from playing their “Pissed” voiceover lines after being repeatedly clicked.
  • Anub’arak: Voiceover will now play properly while idling on Anub’arak’s Hero page in the Shop.
  • Azmodan/Kharazim: Fixed an issue that prevented Azmodan and Kharazim from playing certain voiceover lines after killing an enemy Hero.
  • Gazlowe: The music associated with Big Top Gazlowe’s dance animation will play appropriately while in Robo-Goblin form.
  • Tracer: The Blink recharge sound effect will now only play for the Tracer player. 

User Interface

  • Selecting unowned Heroes, Skins, or Mounts during Hero Select will no longer disable the ready button for other players in the party, nor remove those players from the queue.
  • Rebinding a Hotkey to the Left Mouse Button will no longer cause a Primary Hotkey Unbound message to display.
  • The time displayed by the clock on the Home Screen will now properly match the operating system’s clock when using the RTZ 4 timezone. 
(Source)

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      Warrior Assassin Support Specialist Artanis Alarak Brightwing Abathur Chen Cassia↑ Kharazim Azmodan D.Va↓ Chromie Li Li Zagara+ Johanna↓ Jaina Lt. Morales Probius Leoric Kael'thas Lúcio   Muradin Lunara Malfurion↓   Tyrael Ragnaros Tyrande   Zarya↓ Samuro       Thrall↓       Tracer↑       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 Cho'gall - Gazlowe↓ Rexxar↓ Illidan   Medivh   Kerrigan↓   Murky   Nova   Sgt. Hammer   Raynor       Valeera↓       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
      Greetings. Regulars may have noticed that the changes featured in this month's list have been more aggressive than usual. In essence, I feel like a clear metagame is finally begin to emerge after a slew of important changes, making it easier for me to pinpoint notable trends. And so, the result is a volatile tier list that should be extremely stable next month. Shall we begin?
      I like Garrosh quite a bit, and I can't help but feel that the combined novelty and high skill cap skew his win rates towards the bottom of the roster. Case in point: his Master level win rates are nearly 12% higher than his Bronze level win rates. This is a case of Medivh all over again; however, whereas both Garrosh and Medivh did start at 30-something-percent win rates, Garrosh has been steadily climbing over the week. Both Diablo and Stitches are currently very popular picks, and Garrosh provides similar utility through his Groundbreaker + Wrecking Ball combo. Talents to watch out for are undoubtedly Warbreaker (reduced cooldown on Groundbreaker, level 1) and Intimidation (40% reduced attack speed on targets hit by Groundbreaker, level 7), which allow Garrosh to neuter basic attack reliant heroes much earlier than other heroes can. Into the Fray (can use Wrecking Ball on allies once every 30 seconds, level 7) is also an interesting one as it gives Garrosh his own version of Cleanse and  the ability to say 'hey, you're mispositioned, stop it', which should come in handy whenever an ally is, well, not standing where they should be. It also breaks Lamb to the Slaughter on top of a few other nasty heroic abilities, which is great.
      Stitches has finally ascended to godhood, and although I was slow to give him a seat in the core tier, repeated high level hero league bans and a high amount of tournament play speak for themselves. As stated last month, the Slam build remains an easy way of topping the damage charts all while being difficult to kill. Gorge has also seen an upsurge in popularity, and particularly on maps where combat tends to happen close by fortifications, such as Dragon Shire, Tomb of the Spider Queen, Towers of Doom, et cetera. Couple this with Falstad's Mighty Gust, and you have a game winning combo that isn't all that difficult to pull off.
      I don't have much to say about Greymane that isn't self-obvious; Cursed Bullet is a great choice in a meta where healthy tanks are popular, though Go for the Throat is also re-emerging for blowup team compositions, thanks to its reliable damage and gap closing feature, on top of its ability to reset.
      To shoehorn last month's tier list again, I made a snarky comment about Tassadar always being either too strong or too weak. Right now, he enables two borderline heroes–Illidan and Tracer–on top of providing flexible heroic ability choices for both more defensive and blowout team compositions. His versatility just makes him never feel like a bad pick, and Oracle keeps the Zeratuls at bay as a bonus.
      E.T.C. is this month's surprise as players sift through forgotten heroes to solo tank, provide potential mapwide mobility through Stage Dive, and just generally provide reliable crowd control. You'll note a sore lack of interruption from a lot of high tier picks as well, making Mosh Pit about as good as it'll get.
      We haven't seen The Butcher be more than a one trick for nearly two years now, but the brute is back in force, thanks for buffs several players have misinterpreted as nerfs. I suspect, however, that some of his newfound success may be due to players having some difficulty adapting to his new gank-heavy playstyle and generally counterpicking him. Shall the Brightwings, Cassias, and Li Lis of the world rise up to the challenge?
      Xul has continued to perform well, and although he is the second least popular core tier hero (right behind Zeratul), he will keep on being effective on Blackheart's Bay, Dragon Shire, Gardens of Terror, Infernal Shrines, and Towers of Doom simply due to the importance of having a strong split pusher on these maps. Just make sure you go for Skeletal Mages, which tend to block a lot of those abilities strong tanks currently rely upon to get picks, on top of being generally disruptive.
    • By Stan

      The free Hero rotation has been updated for the week of August 15.
      Free-to-Play Hero Rotation: August 15, 2017
      The following Heroes are on rotation this week:
      Raynor Muradin Sonya Nazeebo Uther Jaina Xul Tychus Li-Ming Rehgar Tyrande (Slot unlocked at Player Level 5) Rexxar (Slot unlocked at Player Level 10) Varian (Slot unlocked at Player Level 15) Stukov (Slot unlocked at Player Level 20) (Source)