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heroes Lucio Patch Notes: February 14

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A new Hero is entering the Nexus and the patch also contains balance updates and several bugfixes. Don't forget the "For Azeroth" promotion goes live with Lucio's patch!

Blizzard LogoBlizzard Entertainment (Source)

General

“For Azeroth!” – Play Warcraft Heroes, Get Rewards!

  • Quest
    • Complete 15 Heroes of the Storm matches with a friend, while playing as Warcraft Heroes, before the event concludes.
    • Players who select Warcraft Heroes will still earn quest credit if their friends play using Heroes from other Blizzard universes. However, only the players who select Warcraft Heroes will earn quest credit.
    • Players do not need to complete all 15 matches with the same friend in order to complete the quest.
  • Rewards
    • World of Warcraft: Primal Flamesaber Mount
    • Heroes of the Storm: 10 day Stimpack
    • Heroes of the Storm: Flames of Judgement Charger Mount

Heroes Brawl

  • The reward requirements for the following Brawls have been reduced from 3 to 2 games:
    • Heroes of the Stars
    • Bloodlust Brawl
    • Mage Wars

New Hero: Lúcio

From the streets of Rio to the clubs on King’s Row, Lúcio’s beats bring the party to life, and drive the people to action. Now he’s on tour in the Nexus, ready to Break it down, and to continue fighting for what’s right.

Trait

  • Wall Ride (D)
    • When moving alongside impassable battleground terrain and Structures, Lúcio can walk through other units, and his Movement Speed is increased by 20%. This effect stacks with other Movement Speed bonuses.

Basic Abilities

  • Soundwave (Q)
    • Deal damage to enemies in a cone-shaped area and knock them back.
  • Crossfade (W)
    • Play one of two tracks that passively provide allied Heroes with either a Speed Boost or a Healing Boost in a large radius around you. Activate Crossfade to swap tracks.
      • Healing Boost: Restore a small amount of Health every second to Lúcio and nearby allied Heroes.
      • Speed Boost: Increase the Movement Speed of Lúcio and nearby allied Heroes by 15%.
  • Amp It Up (E)
    • Raise Lúcio’s Crossfade track volume for 3 seconds, amping Speed Boost to 45% increased Movement Speed, and significantly increasing the Healing rate of Healing Boost.

Heroic Abilities

  • Sound Barrier (R)
    • After 1 second, Lúcio and nearby allied Heroes gain a massive Shield that rapidly decays over the next 6 seconds.
  • Reverse Amp (R)
    • Blast Lúcio’s Crossfade track at enemy Heroes for 4 seconds, causing Healing Boost to inflict damage every second, and Speed Boost to Slow Movement Speed by 45%.
    • Passive: Increase Amp It Up’s duration to 4 seconds.

Art

Heroes, Abilities, and Talents

  • Murky has received updated icon art and visual effects that coincide with his rework.
  • The following Heroes, Abilities, and Talents have received updated visual effects:
    • Dream Genie Chromie: Time Trap (E) – The lamp spout on Time Trap’s model will now always spawn facing West.
    • Grunty Murky: Pufferfish (W) – Visual effects tweaks have been made in order to better distinguish between Pufferfishes and Tufferfishes.
    • Thrall: Earthquake (R) – The outer edge of Earthquake’s area of effect has been made more visually apparent. 

Shop

Bundles

  • New Bundles
    • Ribbit Lúcio Bundle – Available until February 28, 2017
    • 2017 Love is in the Air Bundle – Available until February 28, 2017
  • Returning Bundles
    • Classic Love is in the Air Bundle – Available until February 28, 2017
  • Removed Bundles
    • 2017 Lunar Festival Bundle
    • 2016 Lunar Festival Bundle

New Hero

  • Lúcio has been added to the in-game Shop

Mounts

  • New Mounts
    • Heart Stone – Available by purchasing the 2017 Love is in the Air Bundle
    • Flames of Judgement Charger – Awarded for completing the “For Azeroth!” event quest.
  • Returning Mounts
    • Amani War Bear
    • Cyber Ram
  • Removed Mounts
    • Magic Carpet
    • Marshal’s Outrider

New Skins

  • Ribbit Lúcio
  • Master Lúcio
  • Love Goddess Tyrande

Price Reduction

  • Kharazim's prices will be reduced to 7,000 Gold and $8.49 USD.

Design

Minions

  • Minion leash range decreased from 10 to 9.

Heroes

Assassin

The Butcher

Divider_Hero_Butcher_crop.png

Abilities

  • Butcher's Brand (W)
    • Casting animation has been sped up by roughly 33%. This should reduce instances of canceling this ability by rapidly issuing other commands.

Falstad

Divider_Hero_Lunara_crop.png

Abilities

  • Hinterland Blast (R)
    • Added functionality:
      • Cooldown is reduced by 25 seconds for every enemy Hero hit

Greymane

Divider_Hero_Lunara_crop.png

Abilities

  • Marked for the Kill (R)
    • Renamed to Cursed Bullet
      • New Functionality:
        • Fires a bullet that hits the first Hero in its path, dealing 35% of their current Health as damage. Cannot hit Vehicles.
        • 30 second cooldown, costs 50 Mana.

Talents

  • Level 20
    • Gilnean Roulette (R)
      • New Functionality:
        • Causes Cursed Bullet to hit all enemies in its path, and reduces its cooldown by 5 seconds per Hero hit

Ragnaros

Divider_Hero_Lunara_crop.png

Talents

  • Level 13
    • Resilient Flame (Passive)
      • Now has a 10 second cooldown between activations
      • A button has been added to the hotbar so the cooldown can be tracked

Thrall

Divider_Hero_Lunara_crop.png

Abilities

  • Earthquake (R)
    • Earthquake will go off even if Thrall is interrupted during his cast animation
  • Sunder (R)
    • Sunder will go off even if Thrall is interrupted during his cast animation
Developer Comment:  Thrall’s two Heroics are overly sensitive to being interrupted, something that has been on our radar to fix for quite some time.

Valeera

Divider_Hero_Valeera_crop.png

Stats

  • Basic Attack damage increased from 75 to 79
  • Health increased from 1950 to 2047
  • Health Regeneration reduced from 4.54 to 4.26

Abilities

  • Ambush (Q)
    • Energy cost reduced from 20 to 10
  • Cheap Shot (W)
    • Stun duration reduced from 1.5 to 1.25 seconds
  • Garrote (E)
    • Silence duration increased from 2 to 2.25 seconds
    • Impact damage reduced from 75 to 20
    • Damage over time reduced from 175 to 140
  • Cloak of Shadows (R)
    • Cooldown reduced from 18 to 15
    • Duration increased from 1 to 1.5 seconds

Talents

  • Level 1
    • Crippling Poison (Active)
      • Duration increased from 3 to 5 seconds
  • Level 4
    • Wound Poison (Active)
      • Duration increased from 4 to 5 seconds
  • Level 7
    • Assassinate (Q)
      • Distance between enemy Heroes reduced from 5 to 4 range
  • Level 13
    • Death From Above (Q)
      • Teleport range increased from 5 to 7
  • Level 16
    • Rupture (E)
      • Added functionality: Basic Attacks against Garroted enemies also increases the damage over time effect by 5%, stacking up to 30%
Developer Comments:   We feel that Valeera needs a small increase in power to help her overall win rate, but are hoping to do so without adding much more burst damage or disabling effects. The changes to her Health and Basic Attack damage should give her a boost, while the changes to Talents, Ambush, and Garrote should create harder decision making for the Rogue. While we were looking at her Health Regeneration, we noticed that it was actually higher than intended (most Heroes take 480 seconds to regenerate their entire Health pool), which is why we reduced it slightly. We’ve increased the duration on Cloak of Shadows so that predicting Abilities is easier to accomplish. We want it to be a rewarding, high skill-cap ability, but with the old tuning it struggled to compete with Smoke Bomb.

Zul'jin

Divider_Hero_Lunara_crop.png

Talents

  • Level 4
    • Headhunter (Active)
      • Will no longer dismount Zul'jin when it is activated while mounted

Multi-class

Varian

Divider_Hero_Varian_crop.png

Talents

  • Level 13
    • Banner of Stormwind (Active)
      • Moved to level 16
    • Banner of Ironforge (Active)
      • Moved to level 16
    • Banner of Dalaran (Active)
      • Moved to level 16
  • Level 16
    • Juggernaut (E)
      • Moved to level 13
    • Mortal Strike (Trait)
      • Moved to level 13
    • Shattering Throw (Active)
      • Moved to level 13
Developer Comments:  We like that Mortal Strike and Shattering Throw are great counter options for certain team compositions, but thought they came just a little too late to draft Varian specifically for them.

Specialist

Abathur

Divider_Hero_Varian_crop.png

Abilities

  • Stab (Q)
    • Damage increased from 113 to 119
  • Spike Burst (W)
    • Damage increased from 111 to 116
  • Carapace (E)
    • Shield amount increased from 150 to 157

Murky

Divider_Hero_Tassadar_Crop.png

Stats

  • Base Maximum Health increased from 635 to 761

Abilities

  • Spawn Egg (D)
    • Resurrect time while Murky's Egg is active increased from 5 to 8 seconds
  • Slime (Q)
    • Slow amount increased from 20 to 25%
  • Pufferfish (W)
    • Now deals 50% damage to Structures
    • Pufferfish can now be targeted by Structures
    • Pufferfish now has 225 Health and takes damage from Abilities
    • Explosion radius increased by 50%
    • Now scales at 5.5% additional health per level, instead of the standard 4%
  • March of the Murlocs (R)
    • Cooldown reduced from 100 to 80 seconds
    • Increased the Movement Speed of the tiny murlocs by 30%

Talents

  • Level 1
    • Fish Tank (Passive)
      • Moved to level 13
      • Redesigned: Basic Attacks against enemy Heroes grant Murky 75 Basic Attack Armor for 2 seconds
    • Bubble Breeze (E)
      • Renamed to Slippery When Wet
      • Moved to level 7
      • Increased the Movement Speed bonus from 20% to 35%
      • Now also allows Murky to pass through enemies while Safety Bubble is active
    • Assault Egg (D)
      • Renamed to Fish Eye
      • Bonus Health reduced from 150% to 100%
      • Sight Radius bonus increased from 150% to 200%
      • Now reveals Stealthed enemies
      • Now increases Murky's Mounted Movement Speed to 45% for 5 seconds after spawning
    • Bribe (Active)
      • Removed
    • New Talent: Egg Hunt (Active)
      • Activate to place a fake Egg.  If the fake Egg dies, it casts Slime.  Maximum 3 fake Eggs.  6 second cooldown
      • Upon spawning from an Egg, Murky is Stealthed for 5 seconds
    • New Talent: A Fishy Deal (Active)
      • Killing an enemy Minion with Pufferfish grants 1 stack of Bribe.  Use 5 Bribe stacks to capture a single Mercenary. Maximum of 20 stacks
        • Stacks required to gain a charge of Bribe increased from 5 to 7
        • Maximum charge count increased from 20 to 30
  • Level 4
    • Bigger Slime (Q)
      • Moved to level 7
      • Renamed to Black Lagoon
    • Tufferfish (W)
      • Redesigned:  Now causes Pufferfish to deal 35% more damage to Slimed targets, and it gains 50 Spell Armor
    • Envenom (Active)
      • Removed
    • Living The Dream (Passive)
      • No longer passively grants Ability Power
      • Instead of granting 1% Ability Power every 5 seconds, now grants 5% Ability Power every 15 seconds. Max 15% bonus Ability Power.
    • New Talent: Slime Time (Q)
      • Quest: Slime enemy Heroes that are already Slimed
      • Reward: After Sliming 15 Slimed Heroes, increase Slime's bonus damage by 125. This damage does not scale with level.
      • Reward: After Sliming 30 Slimed Heroes, increase Slime's slow amount to 35%
  • Level 7
    • Slime Advantage (Q)
      • Removed
    • Hindering Slime (Q)
      • Removed
    • Compressed Air (W)
      • Removed
    • Clairvoyance (Active)
      • Removed
    • New Talent: Time to Krill (Passive)
      • Basic Attacks against Heroes deal an additional 8 damage per second and Slow the target’s Movement Speed by 10% for 5 seconds. This effect can stack up to 5 times
        • Damage per second reduced from 8 to 7
        • Duration reduced from 5 to 4 seconds
        • Slow amount reduced from 10% to 8% per stack
  • Level 13
    • Continuous Slime (Q)
      • Renamed to Making Inky
      • Moved to level 20
      • Cooldown reduction increased from 1 to 2 seconds
    • Wrath of Cod (W)
      • Moved to level 16
      • New Functionality:
        • Pufferfish deals bonus damage to Heroes equal to 10% of their maximum Health over 5 seconds
    • Bubble Machine (E)
      • Removed
    • Hidden Assault (D)
      • Removed
    • New Talent: Egg Shell (D)
      • Respawning from an Egg grants Murky a Shield equal to 100% of his maximum Health. This Shield lasts indefinitely
  • Level 16
    • Slimy End (Q)
      • Removed
    • Rejuvenating Bubble (E)
      • Moved to level 13
    • Blood for Blood (Active)
      • Removed
    • New Talent: Toxic Buildup (Q)
      • Attacking an enemy Hero 3 times causes a Slime to cast from their position
    • Slimy Pufferfish (W)
      • Renamed to Fish Oil
  • Level 20
    • Rewind (Active)
      • Removed
    • Bolt of the Storm (Active)
      • Removed
    • Never-Ending Murlocs (R)
      • Redesigned:  March of the Murlocs can now be channeled indefinitely
    • New Talent: Big Tuna Kahuna (Trait)
      • Murky's maximum Health and Egg respawn times are doubled.
Developer Comment:  : Mrrgrgrlgrl! Rise my brother murlocs! Mrrrgrgrlrlgrl! Vengeance will be ours! In examining Murky, his original health and egg timers are vestiges of a different time, created before even Jaina entered the Nexus. We wanted to give him more base health to make him a little harder to burst down, but traded it for a little longer time to respawn from his Egg. This has the added bonus of allowing a bit more counter-play to hunting our fishy friend. We also wanted to adjust Pufferfish, as an increasingly high amount of the roster could immediately explode it. Finally, his talent tree has been updated to come in line with our new philosophies. We’ve not only found this Murky much more fun to play as, with some exciting talents in each tier, but also more fair to fight against! Mrrgrgrlgrl!
LEVEL (TIER)   MURKY TALENTS    
1 (1) Fish Eye (Trait) Egg Hunt (Active) A Fishy Deal (Active)  
4 (2) (!)Slime Time (Q) Tufferfish (W) (!)Living the Dream (Passive)  
7 (3) Black Lagoon (Q) Slippery When Wet (E) Time to Krill (Passive)  
10 (4) March of the Murlocs (R) Octo-Grab (R)
13 (5) Rejuvenating Bubble (E) Fish Tank (Passive) Egg Shell (Trait)  
16 (6) Toxic Buildup (Q) Fish Oil (W) Wrath of Cod (W)  
20 (7) Never-Ending Murlocs (R) ...And a Shark Too! (R) Big Tuna Kahuna (Trait) Making Inky (Q))
  • (!) indicates a Questing Talent.
  • Italic text indicates a NEW Talent.
  • Bold text indicates a MOVED Talent.

Nazeebo

Divider_Hero_Varian_crop.png

Abilities

  • Plague of Toads (E)
    • The targeting indicator now more accurately reflects the Toads’ travel path

Talents

  • Level 7
    • Dead Rush (W)
      • Cancelling Zombie Wall will now also provide up to 5 uprooted Zombies

Support

Lúcio

Divider_Hero_Lucio.png

Stats
  • Basic Attack damage increased from 23 to 24

Abilities

  • Sound Barrier (R)
    • Cooldown increased from 70 to 80 seconds
  • Reverse Amp (R)
    • Cooldown reduced from 50 to 40 seconds
    • Damage increased from 12.5 to 14

Lt. Morales

Divider_Hero_LiLi_Crop.png

Abilities

  • Displacement Grenade (E)
    • Will now reveal a small area around the grenade as it travels

Tassadar

Divider_Hero_Tassadar_Crop.png

Stats
  • Basic Attack range increased from 5.5 to 6.5

Abilities

  • Psionic Storm (W)
    • Ramp to maximum damage reduced from 8 to 5 stacks
  • Archon (R)
    • Basic Attack slow reduced from 40 to 30%
  • Force Wall (R)
    • Cooldown reduced from 12 to 10 seconds
    • Mana cost reduced from 35 to 30
    • Duration of Force Wall reduced from 2.5 to 2 seconds

Talents

  • Level 1
    • Templar’s Will (Passive)
      • Mana returned from attacking Heroes increased from 4 to 8 per second
      • New Functionality:
        • Reward for first quest unlock changed from +1 Basic Attack range to +150% Distortion Beam damage.
  • Level 4
    • Khala’s Light (Q)
      • Armor on expiration reduced from 25 to 15
  • Level 7
    • Resonation (W)
      • Slow amount increased from 40 to 50%
  • Level 13
    • Nullification (Active)
      • Duration increased from 3 to 4 seconds
  • Level 16
    • Psionic Echo (W)
      • Window between casts increased from 1.5 to 2 seconds
  • Level 20
    • Twilight Archon (R)
      • The cooldown for Archon will no longer tick down while the Archon effect is active
    • Force Barrier (R)
      • Cooldown reduction on Force Wall reduced from 6 to 5 seconds

Warrior

Muradin

Divider_Hero_Rexxar_Cropped.png

Talents

  • Level 4
    • Crowd Control (W)
      • Now has a 7 second cooldown reduction maximum
  • Level 13
    • Thunder Strike (W)
      • Icon color swapped to blue
    • Healing Static (W)
      • Icon color swapped to green

Rexxar

Divider_Hero_Rexxar_Cropped.png

Talents

  • Level 1
    • Flare (Active)
      • Cooldown reduced from 30 to 25 seconds
  • Level 4
    • Hungry Bear (Passive)
      • Heal amount increased from 4 to 4.5% of Misha’s Maximum Health
  • Level 7
    • Aspect of the Beast (W)
      • Cooldown reduction decreased from 1.5 to 1.25 seconds
  • Level 13
    • Aspect of the Hawk (Q)
      • Duration is now refreshed if Rexxar hits an enemy Hero with Spirit Swoop while the Aspect of the Hawk effect is active
      • Rexxar attack speed bonus increased from 100 to 125%
      • Misha Bonus attack duration increased from .5 to .75 seconds

Zarya

1VUWFBVGUHBY1475167033295.png

Talents

  • Level 1
    • Feel the Heat (Passive)
      • Basic Attacks that deal bonus damage in Melee range will now show a Crit indicator

Bug Fixes

General

  • Mac: Launching the Heroes client on a Mac will no longer automatically increase mouse acceleration.
  • Corrected the scaling damage caps for several Talents that deal damage based on a percentage of the target’s maximum Health, including:
    • Gall: Giant Scorcher
    • Rehgar: Hunger of the Wolf
    • Ragnaros: Giant Scorcher
    • Tracer: Quantum Spike
    • Xul: Backlash, Giant’s Curse
  • A number of typos and tooltip errors have been corrected across several aspects of the game.

Art

  • Nova: Nova’s status bar will no longer pop above her head while running.
  • Samuro: Monkey King Samuro will now correctly play his victory animation after destroying the enemy Core.
  • Tracer: Hologram visual effects will now correctly display on Master Tracer’s model while using Recall.
  • Sky Temple: Fixed an issue in which Temple attacks could briefly appear to fire beyond the Core.

Battlegrounds

  • Braxis Holdout: Fixed an issue that could cause Zerg units to become stuck in the walls of their pens.

Heroes, Abilities, and Talents

  • Anub'arak: Chitinous Plating will now correctly reduce the cooldown for Harden Carapace.
  • Chromie: After completing Deep Breathing’s quest, its buff bar tooltip will now display the correct number of Heroes hit.
  • E.T.C.: If Stage Dive’s landing location is blocked, E.T.C. will now land as close as possible to the intended area rather than returning to his original casting location.
  • Medivh: Will now properly benefit from Regeneration Globes while transforming into Raven Form.
  • Ragnaros: Will now properly benefit from Hand of Sulfuras when Empower Sulfuras scores a killing blow after striking multiple enemy Heroes.
  • Ragnaros: Lava Wave's cooldown will now be paused during Zeratul’s Void Prison.
  • Rehgar: Will no longer be pulled out of Ghost Wolf form upon dealing damage via an allied Ragnaros’s Blast Wave.
  • Rexxar: Spirit Swoop will now correctly deal damage to Monsters.
  • Samuro: Fixed an issue that could refresh the duration of Advancing Strikes after landing a critical strike.
  • Samuro: Shift-queueing Hearthstone will no longer break Stealth until Hearthstone begins casting.
  • Samuro: Burning Blade area of effect damage will now properly benefit from bonus damage granted by Way of Illusion.
  • Samuro: Bladestorm will no longer occasionally fail to activate after casting Mirror Images and Bladestorm in rapid succession.
  • Samuro: Fixed an issue in which the Score Screen could display an incorrect number of Gems for Samuro if he collected them while Mirror Images were active on Tomb of the Spider Queen.
  • Thrall: Fixed an issue in which Feral Spirit could fail to trigger Follow Through after earning Seasoned Marksman stacks.
  • Valeera:  Rupture and Hemorrhage no longer benefit from another Valeera’s Garrote.
  • Valla: Killing enemy Heroes who have post-death states, like Tyrael and Leoric, after learning Death Dealer will now correctly refresh Vault’s cooldown.
  • Zul'jin: Fixed an issue causing Zul’jin to have a slightly higher Health Regeneration rate than intended.

Sound

  • Illidan: The Hunt voiceover will no longer play slightly early.
  • Zarya: Graviton Surge and Expulsion Zone voiceover will no longer play slightly early.

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I have my doubts about the Valeera buffs to her damage and the extension of the silence component on Garrote. After being around in WoW for the many... many... many stun lock / mez chain seasons, I feel my disappointment of so many buffs aimed at a hero that is very close to the point of balance - with a very high skill cap mind you - is justified. They threaten to turn her into the next hero that suffers from Illidan syndrome, where they are either a) incredibly painful to deal with if the player can play them well or b) a mascot liability, incapable of doing anything useful except for the rare opportunities they get to draft into a comp built around them. 

On the upside, the Murky rework looks interesting!

Edited by Plergoth

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I'm curious to see the Lucio Guide.

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On 17. 2. 2017 at 5:25 PM, Valhalen said:

I'm curious to see the Lucio Guide.

And here we go, the guide has just been published! We hope you'll find the guide useful, and as always, if you have any questions or remarks, you can share them with us in the guide thread.

1 person likes this

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      On day one at the Western Clash we saw Team Liquid — the only undefeated team in the HGC at the time — go up against Nomia from the Australia & New Zealand region. Nomia shocked everyone by taking the first game and setting the tone for the event. Nomia spends a great amount of time watching Korean VODs and learning from their playstyle, adopting it as their own. It’s safe to say no team will let their guard down against Nomia at the Mid-Season Brawl thanks to their past performances.
      Deadlykittens - Southeast Asia
      Deadlykittens have only made one roster change since attending the Fall Championship under the name Imperium Pro Team. Two members, Michael ‘Mirr’ Luo and Bjorn ‘Zeys’ Ong, played with Relics at 2015’s Americas Championship. While they may not be the most well-known players, members of Deadlykitten have appeared at every international Heroes of the Storm competition in the past year except for the Eastern Clash. Even though they usually appear a few steps behind the rest of the world’s best, Deadlykittens absolutely have the experience necessary to force an upset in Sweden.
      Group B
      Group B will likely belong to L5, but you can’t count out Team Dignitas, who bolstered a miracle run at the Western Clash to take home the trophy. eStar did not have a chance to play against L5 at the Eastern Clash, but they did manage to take MVP Black to a fifth map, so it will be interesting to see if the Chinese powerhouse can manage better results against Korea’s number one seed in Sweden.
      L5 - #1 Seed Korea
      Trumped only by MVP Black at the Eastern Clash, L5 have been on a tear since winning the Fall Championship in November. Back on the worlds stage as Korea’s top seed, all eyes will be on L5 as they embark on yet another rally to the finals of an international competition. Look for L5 to draft Li-Ming for flex player Jin Su ‘NaCHoJin’ Park, who currently boasts an 80% win rate with the Wizard.
      Team Dignitas - #2 Seed Europe
      The Western Clash champions come into the Mid-Season brawl as Europe’s second seed. While they haven’t had great results against opponents in global events of the past, the addition of Zaelia to the roster places higher expectations on Team Dignitas now more than ever. They have been to every single international event in Heroes esports history — with that amount of experience in the bag, they are and will always be a threat on the main stage.
      eStar - #2 Seed China
      Another incredibly aggressive Chinese team, eStar as a brand has been around since the early days of Heroes esports. eStar has represented China in some form at nearly every international event since then, generally posting somewhat successful results. In recent history, however, they’ve fared poorly at international events. They bombed out at the Fall Championship and the Gold Club World Championship (GCWC), and only lately have returned to form by placing fourth at the Eastern Clash. eStar has a lot to prove here at the Mid-Season Brawl as they are tasked with not only taking down the Korean teams, but the new threat out of Europe.
      Tempo Storm #1 Seed North America
      North America’s top seed went 7-0 after returning from the Western Clash with disappointing results. The team seems in form now and ready to give the rest of the world a run for their money. Tempo Storm have not changed their roster since last summer, when they won back to back regional events to qualify for the Fall Championship. Their showing against the Eastern teams has been dismal, however, taking last place at GCWC. When it to comes to their prospects in Group B, Tempo Storm has struggled against Team Dignitas in the past, falling to them at both GCWC and the 2016 Fall Championship. This year is an entirely different animal, however. Tempo Storm will be out for revenge against Europe at the Mid-Season Brawl. 
      Soul Torturers - Taiwan
      Soul Torturers consists of three members formerly of Please Buff Arthas (PBA), the Taiwanese team that eliminated Gale Force eSports at 2016’s Summer Championship. At the Fall Championship, PBA took it to the next level by defeating both eStar and the team we now know as Tempo Storm. While the new iteration of their roster is unproven against international opponents, they certainly have a legacy to live up to when it comes to Taiwan.
      RED Canids – Latin America
      RED Canids won through the upper bracket of the Copa America Season Finals to qualify for the Mid-Season Brawl. Juan ‘Jschritte’ Passos has led yet another team to an international event, this time featuring former members of Burning Rage (who competed with Jschritte at the Fall Championship). While Latin America has struggled to post results against the rest of the world before, there is now a lot more available data to draw on when it comes to analysing the top teams. We will see if the RED Canids have done their homework.  
      Each of the teams at the Mid-Season Brawl has their work cut out for them in the initial group stage. With quick two game matches, there won’t be much time to learn and adjust, so each team will likely spend the next couple of weeks plotting strategies and tactics that will lead to successful tournament runs, rather than settling for solid play.
      For now, all eyes will be on the Crucible, kicking off this weekend for Europe, North America, and Korea. More detailed information on the Crucible, and the unveiling of the official matchups for each region will be live on May 23. 
      Our coverage of the HGC Postseason is just beginning. Keep it tuned to playheroes.com/esports as we dive into the first round matchups and explore the storylines that have unfolded over the three months leading up to this monumental event.  
    • By Stan

      The second installment of Core Concepts revolves around the importance of map awareness, laning, roaming and using the map to your advantage.
      The first part of Core Concepts served as an introduction to the game. In the second part, we're looking at battleground basics, including Mercenary camps. Core Concepts are a great source of information for new players!
      Blizzard (Source)
      The Nexus. A trans-dimensional arena where epic heroes from across Blizzard’s game universes do battle! In our second issue of Core Concepts we cover some battleground basics, and will touch on the following topics:
      The Importance of Map Awareness Laning and Roaming Using the map to your advantage If you haven’t already done so, we encourage you to download the game and check the tutorial out. The experience you earn there, coupled with the information we’ll provide in this series will help to offer you the confidence necessary for achieving victory in battle!

      THE IMPORTANCE OF MAP AWARENESS 
      Simply put, map awareness in Heroes of the Storm refers to the degree to which a player is aware of what’s going on throughout the battlefield through information gleaned from the minimap, which you can find in the lower-right corner of the screen. In addition to providing you the location of your own teammates, the minimap will reveal opponents’ positions while they are visible to your team. It will also indicate when objectives and Mercenary Camps are available, and the status of all fortifications.
      By regularly keeping an eye on your minimap, you are in a much better position to make informed decisions about where you should be focusing your efforts. Are there three enemy Heroes visible on the other side of the map? Maybe it’s time to team up and take down that half-health enemy fort.

      Being armed with the information from the map is one significant component to congealing the efforts of your team, but it’s just as important to communicate that information back to your team. In addition to team chatting via text (Enter key), you can press ALT or G + left-click to issue ping notifications to your team. If no direction is pulled, then the ping command will respond contextually to what is selected. For example, if you ping a teammate, a message will be generated for your team that you wish to lend that hero assistance.
      If you hold the ping button and left-click, then pull with the mouse – you will be provided a radial menu that allows for ‘defend’, ‘danger’, ‘on my way’, and ‘assist me’ notifications. Additionally, pressing V + left-click will issue a retreat ping to the point selected. These pings are simple and easy ways to help let your team know what your focus is, or where they should steer clear from.

      As you are communicating, try to always stay aware of where your team is and where you might be most effective. At a moment’s notice, you may see an opportunity to turn the odds in your favor, or spot a teammate in dire need of your immediate assistance. As ever, having a strong map awareness is the difference between fighting alone and working with your team as a cohesive unit.
      LANING AND ROAMING 
      From levels 1-10, it is crucial to harvest as much experience (XP) as possible from the incoming waves of minions who advance from the enemy Core across the battlefield’s lanes. This early portion of the game is an extremely critical time, as the first team to reach level 10 will unlock their Heroic Ability.

      It should also be noted that XP from downed minions is acquired so long as a Hero is within the general vicinity (approximately within vision range) of the defeated unit. This should prove helpful, especially for heroes who are soloing a lane that need to temporarily retreat to the safety of their own fort during an ambush. Heroes that have more survivability (ex: Sonya, Dehaka), or those who can apply global pressure through abilities that will let them quickly traverse the battleground (ex: Brightwing, Falstad), are great considerations for lanes that may need to be soloed.
      In addition to slain minions, Heroes will also accrue XP by destroying opposing structures, acquiring mercenaries, and killing enemy Heroes.
      Roaming refers to another strategy where instead of a focusing on a particular lane, one or more allies actively scout for easy enemy Hero kills and siege opportunities. While roaming, Heroes can hide in vision blockers, such as bushes or vents, to obscure their presence from other players until they strike. This is an especially effective strategy for capable assassins with great burst damage, who are hoping to surprise players who have wandered too far into enemy lane territory.

      Tip #1
      Towers, Forts, and Keeps give large amounts of XP when destroyed. Look for opportunities to safely bring these down. Tip #2
      There’s no need to worry about kill stealing. Killing Heroes, capturing Mercs, and destroying Structures will always grant XP to your team, no matter who landed the final blow. However, do keep in mind that your team will miss out on minion XP if no ally Heroes are in range when they die. Tip #3
      Look for opportunities in lane to deny your opponent Regen Globes (dropped by caster minions in the center of a minion wave) when they’re low on health and mana, or punish your opponent if they extend too far to grab one. USING THE MAP TO YOUR ADVANTAGE: OBJECTIVES & MERCENARIES 

      In each Battleground, you’ll capture objectives to help assail enemy fortifications and turn their Core into a smoldering pile of ash. In addition to objectives, which are specific to each Battleground, you’ll find various mercenaries that can lend aid to your team.
      Objectives
      Battleground objectives are central points of conflict, where teams create advantage and opportunity for themselves. Whether it’s the Raven Lord’s Curse, which greatly weakens your opponents’ minions and structures, or cannon fire from Captain Blackheart’s ship, objectives shouldn’t be disregarded.
      The objectives are powerful assets that can help a winning team to bolster its lead, or offer a team that’s trailing an opportunity to catch up. As they are so important to the course of battle in the Nexus, objective locations are typically where you’ll find team fights happening. Make sure to listen for objective callouts from Battleground announcers, and keep an eye on your minimap to spot their locations.
      For a brief overview of all the different Battlegrounds and their objectives, we encourage you to check the following guide.
      Tip #1
      Sometimes, it makes more sense to give up an objective if your team would be at a talent or player disadvantage during the fight. Instead, consider using this opportunity to gain some experience or capture camps uncontested. Tip #2
      In certain Battlegrounds like Hanamura and Towers of Doom, the objectives are essential for teams to bring down the enemy core, which cannot be assaulted otherwise. Mercenaries
      Most Battlegrounds feature powerful, neutral creatures, known as Mercenaries. These Mercenaries can aid your team by advancing down the lanes and attacking minions and fortresses, and there are yet other kinds of helpful Mercenary Camps which offer different bonuses.
      Mercenaries, such as Siege mercs, Bruisers, and Bosses can help sow confusion for the opponent when objectives become available. Timing a Mercenary assault in this way will give pause to enemies who will then need to choose between clearing the incoming Mercenaries, or contesting the objective. Additionally, splitting the opponents’ defenses can help in a big push against opposing fortifications, as well as give your team more vision, and more control over the map.
      Tip #1
      Mercenaries are not won by simply defeating the camp. You must stand uncontested for a few seconds on the beacon that spawns after clearing the neutral mercs. If you don’t, a keen opponent can steal the camp away from your team. Tip #2
      When capturing a Bruiser Camp, kill the Wizard first. He deals the most damage and has the lowest health. Tip #3
      Defeating a Mercenary camp in the Hanamura battleground can yield dragon spirits which seek out enemy heroes, turrets for gunning down the enemy, or healing pulses which can restore the health and mana of your team. MAY YOU BE EVER VICTORIOUS

      Thanks for checking out this second installment of Core Concepts! In case you didn't get a chance to check the first installment, you can find our Core Concepts introduction here! As we continue to publish more in the series we hope you’ll continue to provide feedback about what you found helpful, and what you’d like to see more, or less of. As ever, we wish you glory in battle – and more importantly, that you have a blast while achieving it. Until next time, we’ll see you in the Nexus!
    • By Stan

      Our spoiler-free overview of HGC Playoffs NA/EU/KR by VODs.
      You can toggle match results and current standings by clicking on "Reveal Hidden Content".
      BRAWL - teams advancing to the Mid-Season Brawl CRU - teams playing in HGC Crucible North America
      Friday, May 19
      11:00 PM B-Step ?:? Team Freedom VOD Saturday, May 20
      1:30 AM Superstars ?:? Team Freedom VOD 11:00 PM Team 8 ?:? Team Freedom VOD Sunday, May 21
      11:00 PM Gale Force eSports ?:? Team 8 VOD Match Results & Current Standings - North America (HGC Playoffs)
      Europe
      Friday, May 19
      6:00 PM Playing Ducks ?:? Tricked esport VOD 8:30 PM Team expert ?:? Team esport VOD Saturday, May 20
      8:30 PM Team Dignitas ?:? Team expert VOD Sunday, May 21
      8:30 PM Team Liquid ?:? Team Dignitas VOD Match Results & Current Standings - Europe (HGC Playoffs)
      Korea
      Friday, May 19
      11:00 AM MVP Miracle ?:? GG VOD 1:30 PM
      Tempest ?:? MVP Miracle VOD Saturday, May 20
      11:00 AM Mighty ?:? MVP Miracle VOD Monday, May 21
      11:00 AM MVP Black ?:? MVP Miracle VOD Match Results & Current Standings - Korea (HGC Playoffs)
    • By Stan

      Another week in the Nexus just started and with it, the Free-to-Play Hero rotation has been updated with 14 new Heroes.
      Weekly Sales can be found here.
      Free-to-Play Hero Rotation: May 23, 2017
      Raynor Muradin Sonya Nazeebo Uther Jaina Li-Ming Tychus Lt. Morales Lunara Illidan (Slot unlocked at Player Level 5) Stitches (Slot unlocked at Player Level 10) Rexxar (Slot unlocked at Player Level 15) Murky (Slot unlocked at Player Level 20) (Source)
    • By Stan

      Dyrus earned $52,000 for the Make-A-Wish® Foundation and as a thank you, Blizzard gave away a Genji Bundle to all of his Twitch subscribers.
      If you're a Dyrus subscriber, don't forget to check your mail. The key can be redeemed at battle.net/code.
      Redditor Daylater posted more information about the bundle here.