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Balance Update: Dec 6

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Patch week has hit the Nexus. Test servers received a new patch that will go live on December 13 and live servers are getting a balance update tomorrow.

In addition to this week's PTR Patch, a balance update will be released on December 6. The last balance update was included in Varian's patch.

Blizzard LogoBlizzard Entertainment

HEROES

ASSASSIN MULTI-CLASS SUPPORT SPECIALIST WARRIOR
Falstad Varian Brightwing Nazeebo Anub'arak
Gul'dan   Kharazim   Diablo
Li-Ming       Stitches
Samuro       Tyrael
Zeratul        

ASSASSIN

FALSTAD

Divider_Hero_Falstad_Crop.png

Abilities

  • Flight (Z)
    • Cooldown increased from 45 to 55 seconds

Talents

  • Level 20
    • Epic Mount (Z)
      • Now reduces Flight cooldown to 30 seconds 
Developer Comments:  We are looking at bringing down the power of global talents. We like what they bring to the game and their draft implications per map but feel that they are currently available a bit too often.

GUL'DAN

Divider_Hero_Guldan_crop.png

Abilities

  • Rain of Destruction (R)
    • Cast range increased by roughly 10%

LI-MING

Divider_Hero_LiMing_Crop.png

Talents

  • Level 7
    • Calamity (E)
      • Now only deals damage to Heroic targets
Developer Comments:  Li-Ming’s Calamity is being used just as much as a minion-clearing tool as a Hero-killing tool, which was never the intention in her original design. By limiting this to Heroes only, it helps highlight one of her intended weaknesses which was low wave-clear potential.

SAMURO

Divider_Hero_Samuro_crop.png

Abilities

  • Wind Walk (E)
    • Cooldown increased from 12 to 13 seconds
  • Bladestorm (R)
    • Damage per second reduced from 250 to 235

Talents

  • Level 1
    • Way of the Blade (W)
      • Critical Strike bonus damage reduced from 25 to 20%
  • Level 4
    • Mirage (Q)
      • Spell Block mitigation amount reduced from 50 to 40% per charge
Developer Comments:  Samuro has fallen into a much better spot since our last changes but still has a handful of over-performing talents. We feel that these changes are much lighter than the last round of nerfs and should bring Samuro even closer to the coveted 50% win-rate. 

ZERATUL

Divider_Hero_Zeratul_Crop.png

Talents

  • Level 1
    • Shadow Hunter (E)
      • Cooldown reduction upon quest completion increased from .75 to 1 second
  • Level 4
    • Grim Task (Passive)
      • Ability Power stack bonus increased from 4 to 5%
      • Maximum Ability Power bonus increased from 40 to 50%
  • Level 13
    • Mending Strikes (Passive)
      • Healing reduced from 40 to 35%
  • Level 16
    • Void Slash (Q)
      • Damage bonus increased from 40 to 50%
Developer Comments:  We’re happy overall with how Zeratul came out with his talent revamp, and are making some adjustments to make his talent pick and win rates more competitive.

MULTI-CLASS

VARIAN

Divider_Hero_Varian_crop.png

Abilities

  • Lion's Fang (Q)
    • Mana cost reduced from 60 to 50
    • Slow amount increased from 30 to 35%
  • Parry (W)
    • Cooldown reduced from 10 to 8 seconds
  • Heroic Strike (Trait)
    • Bonus damage changed from Physical to Spell
    • No longer heals from Second Wind, and now benefits from Ability Power
  • Taunt (R)
    • Health bonus increased from 50 to 60%
    • Mana cost reduced from 40 to 20

Talents

  • Level 1
    • Lion's Maw (Q)
      • Slow increased from 40 to 50%
  • Level 4
    • Warbringer (E)
      • Cooldown reduction decreased from 10 to 8 seconds
  • Level 7
    • Live by the Sword (W)
      • Duration bonus increased from 20 to 40%
      • Cooldown reduction decreased from 3 to 2 seconds
  • Level 20
    • Vigilance (R)
      • Cooldown reduction increased from .75 to 1 second per Heroic Basic Attack
Developer Comments:  Varian has had a solid release into the Nexus. We think one of the most important things about our first multi-class character is that all 6 "builds" are close in power level, and right now Twin Blades and Warbringer are a little higher than the rest. These changes are designed to nerf Warbringer's point and click stun frequency, increase the power of Shield Wall by reducing the cooldown of Parry, greatly increase the statistical bonuses of Taunt, and reduce some of the synergy between Second Wind and Twin Blades of Fury that was creating so many problems for teams without a good counter to Basic Attacks. We've done a mix of baseline buffs and Talent nerfs to hopefully keep Varian's overall balance close to where we intended.

SPECIALIST

NAZEEBO

Divider_Hero_Nazeebo_Crop.png

Abilities

  • Corpse Spiders (Q)
    • Missile speed increased by roughly 20%

Talents

  • Level 7
    • Toads of Hugeness (E)
      • Bonus per hop increased from 15 to 20%
      • Maximum bonus increased from 60 to 80%
  • Level 16
    • Soul Harvest (Active)
      • Ability Power and Health bonus increased from 4 to 5% for each enemy hit
      • Maximum bonus increased from 20 to 25%
    Developer Comments:  These changes are designed to increase the accuracy of Corpse Spiders, since landing it precisely on isolated targets is so important. We’re also increasing the effectiveness of Toads of Hugeness and Soul Harvest, as the Talents weren’t competitive enough against the other options. Together, these changes should make the Spider and Toad builds more enticing.

    SUPPORT

    BRIGHTWING

    Divider_Hero_Brightwing_Crop.png

    Abilities

    • Phase Shift (Z)
      • Cooldown from 45 to 55 seconds
    Developer Comments:  We are looking at bringing down the power of global talents. We like what they bring to the game and their draft implications per map but feel that they are currently available a bit too often. 

    KHARAZIM

    Divider_Heroes_Kharazim_Cropped.png

    Abilities

    • Breath of Heaven (W)
      • Increased the Movement Speed bonus from 10 to 15%

    Talents

    • Level 1
      • Iron Fists (Trait)
        • Damage bonus reduced from 125 to 110%
    • Level 4
      • Earth Ally (Active)
        • Cooldown increased from 30 to 45 seconds
    • Level 7
      • Heavenly Zeal (W)
        • Movement Speed bonus increased from 25 to 30%
      Developer Comments:  We're glad to see that Iron Fists Kharazim is a very viable melee Assassin/Support hybrid! We think that we can reduce the damage slightly on it, since Kharazim was able to throughput strong damage and healing with the Talent. While the damage potential of that build is stronger than we want, overall Kharazim is close to balanced, so we've provided a small Movement Speed increase to Breath of Heaven to offset the loss.

      WARRIOR

      ANUB'ARAK

      Divider_Hero_AnubArak_Crop.png

      Stats

      • Base Health increased from 2120 to 2226
      • Health Regeneration increased from 4.4 to 4.6 per second
      Developer Comments:  Anub’arak has taken a bit of a hit since we removed his Invulnerability from Burrow Charge. This additional Health buff is to help compensate him so that he can be a better front-line Warrior. 

      DIABLO

      Divider_Hero_Diablo_Crop.png

      Stats

      • Diablo's Basic Attack has received responsiveness improvements

      STITCHES

      Divider_Hero_Stitches_Crop.png

      Talents

      Level 13

      • Flea Bag (Passive)
        • Cooldown reduction increased from 3 to 6 seconds

      TYRAEL

      Divider_Hero_Tyrael_Crop.png

      Abilities

      • Sanctification (R)
        • Cooldown increased from 80 to 100 seconds
        Developer Comments:  Tyrael’s Sanctification has been a dominating force in professional play for a long time. While we like the huge playmaking aspect that it provides, it currently has a shorter cooldown than many other Heroics that it can negate. This cooldown increase puts it on par with other Heroics that have a similar impact on the outcome of a teamfight.

        BUG FIXES

        Heroes and Talents

        • Kharazim: Fixed an issue that caused Kharazim's final hit during Way of the Hundred Fists to deal more damage than intended.

        (Source)

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            Heroes, Abilities, and Talents
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            Sandbox Custom Game Improvements
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            Stealth
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            In-Game UI
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            Heroes
            Assassin

            Nova

            Abilities
            Snipe (Q) Damage reduced from 310 to 255. Baseline quest added: Hitting an enemy Hero increases the damage of Snipe by 5% stacking 5 times. When at max stacks (5) it gains an additional 25% damage. If Snipe fails to hit a target, all stacks are lost. Pinning Shot (W) Damage from 110 to 105 Holo Decoy (E) Added functionality: Decoys now deal 10% of Nova’s damage Permanent Cloak (Trait) Added functionality: Gain 15% movement speed while Stealthed Triple Tap (R) Damage per shot from 338 to 372 (New) Ghost Protocol (1) Activate to instantly cloak, leave a Holo Decoy at your feet, and become unrevealable for .5 seconds. Talents
            Level 1 Advanced Cloaking (Trait) New functionality: Increase your Stealth movement speed by 5%. While Stealthed, gain 2 additional mana regeneration per second. Level 7 Snipe Master (Q) Removed Perfect Shot (Q) Moved from Level 16 Cooldown reduction on Hero hit reduced from 3 to 2 seconds Level 13 Psionic Efficiency (Q) Bonus range increased from 10 to 15% (New Talent) Ionic Force Field (Trait) Gain 25 Armor for 2 seconds after losing stealth Level 16 Lethal Decoy (E) Damage bonus from clones increased from 40 to 50% Level 20 (New Talent) Apollo Suit (Trait) Reduce the cooldown of Permanent Cloak from 3 to 1 second
            Samuro

            Stats
            Basic Attack damage increased from 88 to 110 Abilities
            Mirror Image (Q) Samuro will now appear in the direction of the player’s Mouse Cursor when Mirror Image is cast. Mirror Image damage is no longer a fraction of Samuro’s Attack Damage. Mirror Image base damage has been greatly reduced to 9. Mirror Images are no longer instantly destroyed by Structures Critical Strike (W) Cooldown increased from 8 to 10 seconds Illusion Master (R) New functionality: Reduce the cooldown of Advancing Strikes to 8 seconds Now increases the attack damage of Mirror Images by 100% Now also increases Samuro’s Basic Attack damage by 10% Image Transmission (Trait) Additional functionality: Activate to switch places with the target Mirror Image, removing most negative effects from Samuro and the target Mirror Image. 25-second cooldown. Talents
            Tooltips for various talents have been updated to reflect whether Samuro or his Mirror Images benefit from their effects Level 1 Way of the Wind (E) New Functionality: Gain 40% Movement Speed for 3 seconds upon entering or exiting Stealth by using Wind Walk Way of the Blade (W) No longer grants bonus Critical Strike damage Way of Illusion (Q) Mirror Images no longer benefit from this talent Level 4 One with the Wind (E) Armor gain now also lasts for 3 seconds after being revealed Mirror Images now also gain Armor Armor amount reduced from 60 to 30 Level 7 Phantom Pain (W) Mirror Images no longer benefit from this talent Crushing Blows (W) Mirror Images no longer benefit from this talent Bonus Critical Strike damage has been removed Additional functionality: Samuro’s Basic Attacks against enemy Heroes reduce the cooldown of Critical Strike by 1.5 seconds Level 13 Kawarimi (E) Reduced the time between Samuro issuing a new order after using Wind Walk and the image following it. It should now be harder for the new Image to follow Samuro’s new movements after using Wind Walk. Level 16 Press the Attack (Trait) Attack Speed bonus reduced from 15% to 10% per stack. Maximum bonus decreased from 60% to 40% Harsh Winds (E) Mirror Images no longer benefit from this talent Merciless Strikes (W) Mirror Images no longer benefit from this talent
            Valeera

            Abilities
            Vanish (D) Movement Speed increased from 10% to 20% Ambush (Q) If Valeera is Vanished for 3 seconds, this ability has 5 range and teleports Valeera behind her target. Damage reduced from 180 to 130 Now also reduces enemy Armor by 10 for 4 seconds Cheap Shot (W) Stun duration reduced from 1.25 to .75 seconds Now Blinds the target for 2 seconds after the stun effect ends If Valeera is Vanished for 3 seconds, this ability has 5 range and teleports Valeera behind her target Garrote (E) Silence duration increased from 2.25 to 2.75 seconds If Valeera is Vanished for 3 seconds, this ability has 5 range and teleports Valeera behind her target Talents
            Level 1 Subtlety (D) Adjusted functionality: Now triggers when Valeera teleports to her target with Ambush, Cheap Shot, and Garrote. Energy return reduced from 10 to 8 per second. Crippling Poison (Active) Slow duration reduced from 5 to 4 seconds. Valeera’s poison is no longer removed after the first damaging Ability, but instead is applied by all Valeera's Abilities for 4 seconds. This duration does not start until Valeera damages her first enemy. Level 4 Wound Poison (Active) Healing reduction duration decreased from 5 to 4 seconds Valeera’s poison is no longer removed after the first damaging Ability, but instead is applied by all Valeera's Abilities for 4 seconds. This duration does not start until Valeera damages her first enemy Level 7 Slice and Dice (E) Valeera's Basic Attacks now restore 2 Energy. Level 13 Death from Above (Q) New functionality: Ambush reduces the cooldown of Vanish by 4 seconds. Blind (W) Now increases the duration of Cheap Shot’s Blind from 2 to 4 seconds. Strangle (E) Spell Power reduction increased from 25% to 40% Duration reduced from 7 to 6 seconds Level 16 Assassinate (Q) Bonus damage reduced from 100% to 50% Now also increases the Armor reduction of Ambush by 10 when the target is isolated. Moved from level 7 Expose Armor (E) Removed. Level 20 Nightslayer (D) Removed. Rupture (D) Damage bonus now stacks immediately to 100%, instead of stacking up to 30%. Moved from level 16 Elusiveness (D) Moved from Level 13 Movement Speed bonus increased from 10% to 20% LEVEL (TIER) VALEERA TALENTS 1 (1) (!) Vigor (Passive) Subtlety (D) Combat Readiness (Passive) Crippling Poison (Active) 4 (2) Relentless Strikes (Q) Hemorrhage (E) Initiative (D) Wound Poison (Active) 7 (3) Mutilate (Q) (!) Fatal Finesse (W) Slice and Dice (E)   10 (4) Smoke Bomb (R) Cloak of Shadows (R) — — 13 (5) Death from Above (Q) Blind (W) Strangle (E)   16 (6) Seal Fate (Q) Assassinate (Q) Thistle Tea (Active)   20 (7) Adrenaline Rush (R) Enveloping Shadows (R) Rupture (E) Elusiveness (D) (!) indicates a Questing Talent. Italic text indicates a NEW Talent. Underlined text indicates a MOVED Talent.
            Valla

            Abilities
            Level 1 Monster Hunter (Q) Now tracks stacks instead of damage on the quest tracker
            Zeratul

            Abilities
            Shadow Assault (R) Removed (New Talent) Might of the Nerazim (R) Passive: After using an Ability, Zeratul’s next Basic Attack within 6 seconds deals 40% more damage Activate to duplicate the last ability cast. Damaging abilities deal 50% less damage. This ability does not benefit from talents. 20-Second Cooldown  Talents
            Level 1 Vorpal Blade (1) Added as a baseline ability. Default Hotkey: 1 (New Talent) Move Unseen (Passive) Gain 25% bonus Movement Speed while Stealthed Shadow Hunter (E) Regen Globe required for quest completion reduced from 20 to 15 Mana cost reduction of Blink increased from 2 to 3 Level 4 Combo Slash (Passive) Removed Grim Task (Passive) Removed (New Talent) Psionic Strength (Passive) Damaging an enemy Hero with Basic Attacks or Abilities increases Zeratul's damage by 6% for 3 seconds, stacking up to 5 times. (New Talent) Darkness Descends (Active) Passive: Increase Zeratul’s attack speed by 10%. Activated ability – Zeratul gains 40% bonus attack speed for 5 seconds. 30-second cooldown Level 7 Wormhole (E) Duration increased from 2 to 3 seconds Slip into Shadow (E) Removed (New Talent) Warp Skirmisher (1) Vorpal Blade now has 2 charges. Casting Vorpal Blade also causes Zeratul's next Basic Attack within 6 seconds to deal 30% bonus damage Level 16 Sentenced to Death (W) Bonus damage reduced from 40 to 30% Level 20 Rewind (Active) Removed Nerazim Fury (R) Removed (New Talent) Twilight Falls (R) Activating Might of the Nerazim resets the cooldown of all of Zeratul’s Basic Abilities (New Talent) Shadow Mending (Passive) Zeratul heals himself for 75% of Ability Damage Dealt to enemy Heroes LEVEL (TIER) ZERATUL TALENTS 1 (1) PH PH PH PH 4 (2) PH PH PH PH 7 (3) PH PH PH PH 10 (4) PH PH — — 13 (5) PH PH PH PH 16 (6) PH PH PH PH 20 (7) PH PH PH PH (!) indicates a Questing Talent. Italic text indicates a NEW Talent. Underlined text indicates a MOVED Talent. Specialist

            Abathur

            Abilities
            Spawn Locust (Trait) Health increased from 288 to 316  Talents
            Level 1 Survival Instincts (Trait) Bonus Health decreased from 50% to 40% Level 7 Calldown: MULE (Active) No longer refills Structure ammo
            The Lost Vikings

            Talents
            Level 4 It’s a Sabotage! (Passive) No longer removes Structure ammo Damage increased from 27 to 35 Warrior

            Muradin

            Talents
            Level 4 Sledgehammer (Q) No longer removes Ammo from structures Collection
            Hero Price Reduction
            Artanis’ prices have been reduced to 7,000 Gold and 625 Gems. New Bundles – The following new Bundles and Skin Packs are available for a limited time!
            Hanzo Heroic Bundle Winter Veil 2017 Bundle Winter Veil Classic Bundle New Announcers
            Hanzo New Skins
            Hanzo Kinoko Honzo Sora Hanzo Dragon Hanzo Demon Hanzo Farstrider Hanzo Icebound Farstrider Hanzo Iron Farstrider Hanzo Holy Farstrider Hanzo Scarlet Farstrider Hanzo Genji Storm Oni Genji Golden Genji Nihon Genji Leoric Immortal Space Lord Leoric Lúcio Azure Soundblast Lúcio Lunara Harvest Champion Lunara Zarya Citrine Thunderguard Zarya Industrial Zarya New Mounts
            The following Mounts have been awarded to players who reached Platinum in Hero League or Bronze in Team League during 2017 Ranked Season 3: Titanium Cybersteed Carbon Cybersteed Master Cybersteed The following Mounts have been awarded to players who reached Master or higher in Hero League or Team League during 2017 Ranked Season 3: Epic Titanium Cybersteed Epic Carbon Cybersteed Epic Master Cybersteed Bug Fixes
            General
            Fixed a number of typo and tooltip errors across several aspects of the game. Art
            Kharazim: Kharazim's arms and upper body now animated correctly during his dizzy animation. Leoric: The Shroud of the Dead King Talent will now correctly play an animation and a sound when activated. Samuro: Monkey King Samuro’s model will no longer exhibit flickering during Hero Select while running Medium or High graphic settings. The Lost Vikings: Fixed an issue causing Baelog to cast superfluous shadows on the terrain. Battlegrounds
            Sky Temple: Fixed an issue that could prevent Temple lasers from appearing correctly on the Minimap. Structures: Auriel's Blinding Flash and Artanis' Suppression Pulse can no longer Blind Structures. Towers of Doom: The Headless Horseman Boss is no longer incorrectly categorized as a Monster. Volskaya Foundry: Fixed an issue in which Heroes on the outer edge of the Hall of Storms would not receive Healing or protection. Heroes, Abilities, and Talents
            Alexstrasza: Life-Binder is no longer interrupted when entering or exiting Dragonqueen. Diablo: Fixed an issue that could cause Shadow Charge to deal its collision damage multiple times under certain circumstances. Garrosh: Casting Wrecking Ball on Mercenaries will no longer cause them to leash while in combat. Gul'dan: Movement caused by a conveyor belt will no longer cancel Rain of Destruction channeling. Kel'thuzad: The Power of Icecrown Talent will now correctly grant bonus Spell Power for enemy Heroes Slowed by Chains of Kel’Thuzad with the Chains of Ice Talent. Li-Ming: Zei's Vengeance and Arcane Orb tooltips have been updated to clarify bonus damage functionality. Damage amounts have not been changed. Lt. Morales: The Second Opinion Talent will now correctly grant cooldown reduction when one of the Heroes struck by Displacement Grenade is piloting a Vehicle, like the Garden Terror. Lunara: Fixed an inconsistency that allowed Lunara to cast Leaping Strike over some, but not all, allied units after learning Boundless Stride. Medivh: Creating a Portal entrance after learning Portal Mastery and then entering the Triglav Protector will no longer prevent him from using the Protector’s abilities. Muradin: Learning Reverberation no longer incorrectly updates the Attack Speed Slow amount in Thunder Clap’s tooltip. Murky: Spawn Egg with the Egg Hunt Talent can now be cast correctly on Volskaya Foundry’s conveyor belts. User Interface
            Death Recap: Fortification Camp Turret attacks now display a Turret icon in the Death Recap screen.
          • By Stan

            The free Hero rotation has been updated for the week of November 21 and Junkrat's available for the first time!
            Free-to-Play Hero Rotation: November 21, 2017
            Li Li ETC Zagara Butcher Kael'thas Artanis Rehgar Tyrael Azmodan Garrosh Alarak (Slot unlocked at Player Level 5) Tracer (Slot unlocked at Player Level 10) Valeera (Slot unlocked at Player Level 15) Junkrat (Slot unlocked at Player Level 20) (Source)
          • By Oxygen

            Our thirteenth Heroes of the Storm Meta Tier list for the Alexstrasza patch of November is here!
            We present our thirteenth Heroes of the Storm Meta Tier List for the Alexstrasza patch of November 2017.
            Welcome to Icy Veins's Meta Tier List for the Alexstrasza patch. The goal if of this list is to try and detail game's current metagame state. The prime goal of such lists is to inform players regarding popular and trending team composition drafting strategies (i.e. the drafting metagame). Although tier listings are generally the product of balance, many factors come into play when discussing the relative perceived strengths of heroes, including player regions, maps, play style, skill level, and, of course, personal perception. As such, any tier list—including this very one—should never be interpreted as gospel, but rather, as a guide to better grasp what to expect with regards to typical drafting experiences. One useful application of such lists is to allow you know which heroes to look out for in terms of practice and counterplay, ultimately improving your knowledge of the game.
            Using the list
            As stated above, tier lists are easy to mistake for gospel. As new strategies are discovered and experimented with, so changes the perception of the relative strengths of each hero. Tier lists still prove to be useful as a snapshot of player expectations in terms of drafting. Although it is generally considered preferable to focus on high tier heroes (Prime and Core tiers), it is important to note that Heroes of the Storm's wild character and map designs make it so that any given hero's tier position is prone to fluctuate depending on the situation at hand.
            One classic example of such is that of Kerrigan on the Infernal Shrines map. Although we currently judge her to be a low-to-mid-tier hero, her drafting priority shoots up to first-pick or first-ban material on this specific map due to the nature of its objective. Certain heroes also synergise so well with each other that the sole fact of having the opportunity of drafting them together is generally enough to increase their potential. Tassadar and Tracer, for instance, are generally nightmarish to deal with for many. There are too many examples of these interactions to reasonably produce here, but we invite you to consult our guides to know exactly where and when each hero shines. The guides have been linked in the lists below for your convenience - just click any of the hero names to access them.
            A ↑ next to a hero's name means its tier list position has increased since the previous month whereas a ↓ means just the opposite. Additionally, a + or - sign indicates short-to-medium term predictions (which is to say, about a month) for tier increase(s) or decrease(s), respectively. These are often updated after significant balance patches and/or when clear trends are emerging.
            If you're newer to the game, also consider visiting our glossary for a comprehensive list of discrete Heroes of the Storm terms.
            Current map rotation
             
            Prime Tier
            Warrior Assassin Support Specialist Arthas Genji - - E.T.C. Greymane     Garrosh Malthael     Prime tier heroes are considered to be extremely strong in all situations, and show no obvious weakness. They are very often banned or picked right away, as they generally dictate the pace of most matches.
             
             
            Core Tier
            Warrior Assassin Support Specialist Anub'arak↓ Falstad Brightwing Azmodan Dehaka Kerrigan↑ Lúcio+ Nazeebo↓ Diablo Li-Ming Rehgar↑ Sylvanas- Sonya+ Valla Tassadar↓-   Stitches Zeratul     Varian (Tank) Zul'jin↑     Core tier heroes are strong in a wide variety of situations and have few counter-picking possibility. They should form the core of your team, and be picked after Prime Tier heroes have been distributed.
             
            Viable Tier
            Warrior Assassin Support Specialist Artanis Alarak Ana Abathur D.Va Cassia Auriel Murky Johanna Chromie Kharazim Probius Leoric Gul'dan Li Li Zagara Muradin+ Illidan Lt. Morales↓ Xul↓- Zarya Kael'thas Malfurion↓     Kel'Thuzad Stukov↓     Jaina↓ Tyrande     Lunara Uther↓     Ragnaros       Samuro↑       The Butcher       Tracer     Viable tier heroes are generally well-rounded that have either fallen out of favour, or, inversely, are on the rise in popularity, due to the current Prime tier contenders.
             
            Niche Tier
            Warrior Assassin Support Specialist Chen Cho'gall Alexstrasza (new)- Gazlowe Cho'gall Junkrat   Medivh Rexxar Nova   Sgt. Hammer Tyrael Raynor       Thrall       Tychus       Valeera       Varian (Damage)     Niche tier heroes have niche application on certain maps or for certain team compositions. They are generally picked to "round out" your team composition when your team composition is missing out on key components, such as a "jungler" (mercenary camps), a solo laner, or solid waveclear.
             
            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
            Alexstrasza. She didn't feel great at all back at BlizzCon, and the following PTR saw no changes to her. I expected poor performance, but nothing quite as low as 41%. Where do I even begin? Dragonqueen is obviously powerful, but is gated behind a ridiculously long cooldown. Outside of Dragonqueen, she's just... really weak. I don't quite understand the concept behind Gift of Life, but it screams double healer to me, which is unfortunate for multiple reasons I won't elaborate on. Abundance heals for too little for how difficult it is to use, on top of putting a big obvious marks on where to shoot. I'm putting her as Niche(-) for now because I suspect most players don't play her all too well, but she's in dire need of buffs, and that was quite obvious 2 weeks ago.
            Anub'arak is losing some of his former popularity, though no nerfs were had for a few months. Although I can't explain exactly why, I suspect that tanks with more raw survivability and a bit more sustained damage potential are currently being prioritized. He's still not bad at all, especially with Cocoon to counter Genji's Dragonblade and Malthael's Tormented Souls. Give Locust Swarm a try if there are no valuable heroic abilities for you to lock down.
            Kerrigan has emerged as this month (and last month's) sleeper for ripping hero league wins away, and I suspect my shedding some light over her success may frustrate those whom have been exploiting her relative unpopularity to . Why is she doing so well, though? Assimilation's design makes it particularly difficult for double support teams to take her out. In essence, this trait gains more value the longer Kerrigan survives, which then translates into more damage, which then translates into more survivability... and so on.
            Zul'jin's most recent rework was certainly one of the most successful reworks to date. Although he wasn't bad to begin with, most of the changes ended up being buffs, contrary to what some players were claiming. To add to this, the meta is quite favourable to him; stacking up on Berserker (and keeping its effect active for the damage bonus) is pretty safe with more than one healer around. His trait also tends to favour longer fights, due to the stacking mechanic, allowing him to snowball. Guillotine is even starting to see more play, with Taz'dingo! feeling less and less necessary to deal with burst.
            Rehgar's changes, which I had mistakenly labeled as nerfs, ended up being positive. Turns out, area of effect healing is trendy. Now, why might Rehgar be doing so well? Simply put, versatility. With healers becoming more and more (over)specialized, this is certainly a respectable thing to have. He brings bits of waveclear, mercenary clearing, dueling, and of course, healing to the table. Lightning Bond is great for single-target damage as well, making Rehgar particularly strong on Battlefield of Eternity, and just as a general single-target damage dealer.
            Tassadar is also falling off quite dramatically. I think I may have overestimated just how unpopular he was in last month's list, but today's values are quite clear. As with Anub'arak, I'm not quite sure what happened, but most of the common Tassadar tag teams (besides Tracer, but she's a strange case) are below 50% winrate. Since the viability of such edge support heroes depend on the strength of what they support, I suppose we shouldn't be all that surprised for this. Force Wall could probably surprise quite a few opponents, as it is strangely unpopular nowadays.
            Nazeebo's October nerfs have struck home, although the current metagame state isn't helping either; chip damage isn't all that effective when it simply gets healed off. He still remains strong if you plan on taking it to the late game, but is nowhere near to being first-pick worthy.
            Samuro has always been in a strange place. Though the upcoming stealth changes are going to be extremely positive for him (BlizzCon spoilers!), I feel like his ability to split push, deal with mercenary camps extremely quickly, and single-out healers (or, anyone isolated, really) make him a sleeper. He's at his worse when Mirror Image get taken out quickly, but none of the top tier contenders are particularly heavy on area of effect damage. His winrate is currently the highest of the entire cast, yet his popularity is in the bottom 20. I suppose he requires quite a bit of decision making skills to make good use of. He's not all that flashy either, which may be contributing to his lack of popularity. Give him a try.
            Jaina is doing well, though feels a bit out of meta right now, as with most other casters. I suspect that nerfs to any of the Prime tier heroes will see her surge right back up. Generally seen as a 4th or 5th pick.
            Lt. Morales, Malfurion, Stukov, and Uther all feel extremely balanced right now, each hovering between healthy 49 and 50% winrates. They all have their niches (Morales on Braxis, for instance), and are generally picked as second healers when the Core tier contenders have been distributed.
            Xul, whom I may have overhyped recently, lost Blackheart's Bay and Garden of Terror, some of his favourite maps. To add to this, the tanks who tend to punish him the most are right at the top of the food chain. This is on top of August's pretty heavy-handed nerfs. Just to add insult to injury, he's just not all that great against double support either. Xul is now part of the bottom 10 and will probably stay there for a while.