HGC 2017 Highlights Episode 5

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The fifth episode of HGC Highlights is here covering the most interesting moments of Week #5.

We also posted spoiler-free recaps with VODs yesterday, links can be found below.

Enjoying the series? Don't forget to check out Kendric's YouTube channel.

Missed an Episode? Don't Worry!

Links to previous episodes of HGC Highlights

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    • By Oxygen
      Our seventeenth Heroes of the Storm Meta Tier list for the Medivh & Sonya rework patch of March is here!
      We present our seventeenth Heroes of the Storm Meta Tier List for the Medivh & Sonya rework patch of March 2018.
      Note: This list also takes the March 9 hotfix patch into account, though not the surprise March 21 balance patch, as this was produced a day prior. This patch which will instead be covered in April 3's list, along with the introduction of Fenix and potential future balance changes. It is worth mentioning that none of the most recent balance changes have had a significant impact on hero tiering.
      Welcome to Icy Veins's Meta Tier List for the Sonya & Medivh rework. 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 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 ranked mode map rotation
      Prime Tier
      Warrior Assassin Support Specialist Diablo↑ Genji Malfurion↑ - E.T.C. Greymane     Sonya (reworked) Hanzo       Maiev       Thrall↑↑     Prime tier heroes are considered to be extremely strong in all situations, and show no obvious weakness. They are very often banned or picked right away, as they generally dictate the pace of most matches.
      Core Tier
      Warrior Assassin Support Specialist Anub'arak Falstad Alexstrasza Abathur Arthas↓   Jaina Lt. Morales↑ Azmodan Blaze+ Junkrat Lúcio Nazeebo Dehaka Li-Ming Stukov Sylvanas Muradin Malthael Uther  Zagara Stitches Tracer↑     Varian (Taunt) Valla     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 Brightwing↓ Murky D.Va Cassia Kharazim Xul Garrosh Chromie Li Li   Johanna Gul'dan Rehgar   Leoric Illidan Tyrande   Tyrael  Kael'thas     Zarya Kel'Thuzad       Kerrigan       Lunara       Nova       Ragnaros       Samuro       The Butcher       Tychus+       Varian (Colossus Smash)       Zeratul       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 Chen Cho'gall Ana↓ Gazlowe Cho'gall Raynor Auriel Medivh+ (reworked) Rexxar Valeera Tassadar Probius   Varian (Twin Blades of Fury)   Sgt. Hammer Niche tier heroes have niche application on certain maps or for certain team compositions. They may also 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.
      Lost Vikings Tier
      The Lost Vikings The Lost Viking 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, this notoriously poorly designed trio is generally avoided by most players.
      Metagame assessment
      With significant balance changes being so few and far between and hero releases being pushed to a 4-week cycle, I feel like we may actually get to see a stable metagame form for the first time in Heroes's history. I also believe most of this month's changes were expected by many players, thought he list is a bit belated (though that's becoming the norm now, is it not?) To make up for this, I'll be publishing the next tier list in two weeks instead of four to account for the strangely delayed release of Fenix.
      Thrall: Whereas Crash Lightning was considered laughing stock not long ago, it now proves to be one of the most oppressive talent in the game, thanks to a recent 20% buff to Chain Lightning's bouncing range. Since Chain Lightning requires no brain power besides being able to hover one's cursor over a large target while simultaneously pressing a key, this buff has made Thrall a new favourite among players across all skill levels looking to win games with relative ease.
      Malfurion: What's not to love about a healer with a high healing output, ranged crowd control, pseudo-cleanse, a game-winning heroic ability, access to Ice Block, et cetera? Though his recent rework scared many, I think it was just a matter of time before players got used to him. I also feel like we're in an era where burst damage is a bit less prevalent than it once was, which really allows him to shine. The same can be said about Lt. Morales, Lùcio, and Stukov, though they all lack strong defensive options and crowd control, putting the druid ahead.
      Diablo: Overdue to climb. He currently feels unkillable, and sports the kind of skillset that becomes better as players also become better at following up on him, which occurs as his popularity grows. Otherwise, I don't really know what to add; his popularity and win rates are impressive.
      Sonya: Blizzard did a good job with her rework in terms of power level if their goal wasn't to nerf her. She feels pretty much the same here, if not a bit better, meaning she gets to keep her spot at the top. Composite Spear is insane.
      Medivh: His rework made him more accessible to low- and mid-level players while making him less excessively annoying in the hands of Medivh one tricks. Arcane Explosion may be busted, however, and probably single-handedly carries his win rate its currently reasonable level by providing him with huge potential burst damage and helping with waveclearing.
      Ana: Better luck next rework. Shortest analysis I'll ever make.
      Blaze: Special mention to the hero for completely befuddling me with how powerful Bunker Drop ended up being. This thing more or less carries Blaze into highly viable territories.
    • By Stan

      A surprise balance update has hit the Nexus with changes to Blaze's Bunker Drop, Thrall's Chain Lightning, Greymane's Razor Swipe, and much more.
      The cooldown of Greymane's Razor Swipe has been increased. His playstyle is great, which makes him a safe pick most of the time. The removal of some PvE-oriented power from his kit should fix the problem. A new round of Maiev nerfs is here. The damage of Fan of Knives & Blade Dance has been decreased and the cooldowns of her Vault of the Wardens trait and Warden's Cage increased. At the same time they reduced the armor gain from Shadow Armor. Thrall's Crash Lightning quest talent was too powerful and moved back to 30 stacks. Blizzard increased Auriel's self-Hope generation and play-making potential. Her Basic Attack damage was increased and the cooldown of Detainment Strike decreased. Blaze's Bunker Drop was too effective in higher levels of play and Exit Bunker now has a 1 second cooldown before it can be used again. Blizzard (Source)
      Our most recent Heroes of the Storm patch is now live containing a number of balance changes and bug fixes.
      Quick Navigation:
      Battlegrounds Heroes Bug Fixes Battlegrounds 
      Towers of Doom
      Increased the respawn timer of Sapper Camps by 30 seconds. Heroes 


      Razor Swipe (Q) Cooldown increased from 3 to 4 seconds Talents
      Level 13 Visceral Attacks (Q) Cooldown reduction increased from 1 to 1.5 seconds per Basic Attack

      Vault of the Wardens (D) Cooldown increased from 9 to 12 seconds Fan of Knives (Q) Damage reduced from 162 to 152 Containment Disc (R) Cooldown reduced from 65 to 50 seconds Warden's Cage (R) Cooldown increased from 80 to 100 seconds Talents
      Level 7 Blade Dance (Q) Damage reduced from 54 to 50 Level 13 Shadow Armor (E) Armor reduced from 25 to 20

      Level 1 Crash Lightning (Q) Maximum damage bonus reduced from 480 to 360 Quest completion reward requirement increased from 20 to 30 stacks

      Multishot (W) Damage increased from 165 to 172

      Basic Attack damage increased from 90 to 94 Talents
      Level 13 Ensnare (Active) Cooldown reduced from 60 to 45 seconds Specialist


      Level 7 Arcane Explosion (W) Additional damage from enemy damage absorbed reduced from 365 to 350 Force of Magic (W) Bonus Spell Power duration increased from 12 to 15 seconds Level 13 Reabsorption (W) Healing amount increased from 50 to 60%


      Basic Attack damage increased from 57 to 68 Abilities
      Detainment Strike (E) Cooldown reduced from 14 to 12 seconds Resurrect (R) Range increased from 5 to 7 Cooldown reduced from 100 to 80 seconds Talents
      Level 7 Energized Cord (Passive) Energy stored from Basic Attacks against non-Heroic targets reduced from 50 to 40% Level 13 Blinding Flash (Q) Blind duration reduced from 2.25 to 2 seconds Level 20 Diamond Resolve (R) Armor increased from 50 to 60 Angelic Flightt (Active) Cooldown reduced from 45 to 30 seconds

      Level 1 Nature's Swiftness (Q) Movement Speed reduced from 5 to 4% per Hero affected by Regrowth Level 16 Nature's Balance (Q/W) Bonus Regrowth duration reduced from 5 to 3 seconds Warrior


      Blade Dash (Q) Mana cost reduced from 65 to 55 Twin Blades (W) Mana cost reduced from 25 to 20 Talents
      Level 13 Templar's Zeal (Q) Faster cooldown rate increased from 200 to 300%

      Bunker Drop (R) Cooldown increased from 40 to 50 seconds Exit Bunker now has a 1 Second cooldown before it can be used

      Level 1 Furious Blow (W) Damage bonus increased from 40 to 50% Level 4 Battle Rage (Active) Max charges reduced from 3 to 2 Charge use cooldown increased from 5 to 8 seconds Level 13 Mystical Spear (Q) Cooldown reduction reduced from 3 to 2 seconds Level 16 Rampage (Passive) Ancient Spear cooldown reduction decreased from .75 to .5 seconds

      Level 1 Justice for All (W) Allied Shield bonus reduced from 100 to 75% Bug Fixes 
      Tyrael: Fixed an issue causing some Mecha Tyrael skins to appear untextured. Johanna: Fixed an issue causing a placeholder sphere to appear when using Johanna’s Shield Glare ability with an Enforcer skin equipped. Heroes, Abilities, and Talents
      Heroes can no longer cast Area-of-Effect abilities globally before the gates open. Malthael: Fixed an issue with the size of Death Shroud’s area of effect. Samuro: Fixed an issue with the Three Blade Style talent that prevented Mirror Images from gaining bonus health. Samuro: Fixed an issue causing the Quest Complete fanfare to play every time Mirror Images was cast after choosing the Way of Illusion talent. Valla: Fixed an issue causing the Punishment talent to deal less bonus damage than intended.