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Probius PTR Patch Notes: Mar 6

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Probius is now live on PTR and the patch contains overall UI improvements and Hero changes we reported about earlier.

PTR content is always tested one week before going live, so we can expect the patch to hit the Nexus soon! Below are full patch notes.

Blizzard LogoBlizzard Entertainment (Source)

General

Special Event Quest: Two Heads are Better than One

  • Players who don’t own Cho’gall can permanently unlock the two-headed ogre by completing a brand new Special Event Quest!
    • Win 2 Games as Cho or Gall while partied with a player who owns Cho’gall to permanently unlock the Hero.
    • Those who do not own Cho’gall may only complete this Quest once. However, they can still help as many other players unlock the hero as they wish.
  • PTR Note: While elements of this quest may appear on the Test Realm, quest progress will not count toward the reward until this patch arrives to the live version of Heroes of the Storm next week.  

New Hero: Probius

Since his activation, Probius has always wanted to prove himself. He may be small, but he made a big difference by warping in a critical pylon during the retaking of Aiur. As the bravest of probes, Probius is eager to fulfill his purpose in the Nexus. 

Mount

  • Worker Rush (Z)
    • Activate to gain an additional 50% Movement Speed for 5 seconds. Taking damage ends this effect early.
    • Passive: Probius moves 10% faster by hovering over the ground.

Trait

  • Warp In Pylon (D)
    • Warp in a Pylon that generates a Power Field and grants vision of the surrounding area. Probius regenerates Mana rapidly while inside the Power Field.
    • Up to 2 Pylons can exist at once.

Basic Abilities

  • Disruption Pulse (Q)
    • Fire a burst of energy forward, dealing damage to all enemies it passes through.
    • Firing through the center of a Warp Rift will cause it to explode, dealing additional damage to enemies in an area.
  • Warp Rift (W)
    • Open an unstable Warp Rift at the target location that takes 1.25 seconds to arm and then slows enemies within its area of effect by 20%. Lasts 9 seconds.
    • Armed Warp Rifts explode when hit by a Disruption Pulse, dealing damage to nearby enemies.
  • Photon Cannon (E)
    • Warp in a Photon Cannon that attacks enemies within its radius once per second. Lasts 11 seconds.
    • Must be placed within a Pylon’s Power Field. Existing Photon Cannons will deactivate if they are no longer powered by a Pylon.

Heroic Abilities

  • Pylon Overcharge (R)
    • For the next 10 seconds, Pylon Power Fields increase in size and Pylons will attack enemies within them.
    • Passive: Pylons gain a permanent Shields equal to 50% of their maximum Health.
  • Null Gate (R)
    • Project a barrier of negative energy in the target direction that lasts 4 seconds. Enemies who touch the barrier take damage and are slowed by 80% for as long as they remain in contact with it. 

Art

General

  • Ability Power debuff effects will now display an effect on Hero health bars. 

Heroes, Abilities, and Talents

  • The following Heroes have received updated icon art to coincide with their reworks:
    • Cho’gall
  • The following Heroes, Abilities, and Talents have received updated visual effects:
    • Talent: Cleanse has received updated visual effects
    • Artanis: Basic Attack has received animation adjustments to coincide with his new Basic Attack timing

Shop

PTR Note: Many of the following changes will not take place in the Shop until the Public Test Realm is brought offline and the patch is officially released to the live version of Heroes of the Storm next week.

Bundles

  • New Bundles
    • Terran Probius Bundle – Available until March 28, 2017
    • Stars of War Bundle – Available until April 4, 2017
    • Ultimate Stars of War Bundle – Available until April 4, 2017
  • Removed Bundles
    • Blades of Destruction Bundle
    • Ultimate Blades of Destruction Bundle

New Hero

  • Probius has been added to the in-game Shop

Mounts

  • New Mounts
    • Elemental Stag – Awarded for reaching Platinum or above in Hero League or Bronze or above in Team League during Ranked Season 3.
    • Epic Elemental Stag – Awarded for reaching Master League or above in Hero or Team League during Ranked Season 3.
  • Returning Mounts
    • Felsaber
    • Spectre Phantom
  • Removed Mounts
    • Eye Pad
    • Hellboar

New Skins

  • Terran Probius
  • Master Probius

User Interface

General

  • If a matchmaking queue is interrupted while the Heroes client is minimized, or not the focus window, the player will now be notified in the task bar.
  • The color of the ring that appears under the player’s Hero has been changed from yellow to green. 

In-Game User Interface

  • General
    • The following stats have been added to the Character Sheet (C):
      • Physical Armor
      • Spell Armor
  • Keep an Eye on Allies and Enemies with Party Frames
    • Today’s patch introduces the Party Frames panel to the in-game user interface, which makes a ton of information about your allies and enemies more readily available than ever before.
    • Information displayed to all players:
      • Hero Portrait
      • Respawn Timer
      • Heroic Ability
      • On Fire visual effects
    • Party Frames will display even more information about teammates:
      • Current Health and Mana
      • Heroic Ability Cooldowns
      • Visual effects during Hearthstone channeling
    • The center area of the panel that contains Team Levels, XP, and the game timer, is now more compact and has received additional polish.
      • A Talent tier indicator has been added to each team’s XP bar that blinks on levels that precede the next Talent tier (3, 6, 9, etc.).
      • If one team gains a Talent tier over the other, that team’s level will be engulfed in flames to signify their Talent advantage.
  • On Fire Effects Have Returned!
    • The top performing players at any given time during a match will now be considered On Fire, and may be highlighted with fiery visual effects in the in-game user interface:
      • Party Frames: Players who are On Fire will have their Hero Portraits in the Party Frames panel engulfed in fiery visual effects for all to see.
      • Stats Screen: Embers will highlight the individual stats that contribute to a player’s On Fire status in the Stats tab on the in-game Score Screen.
      • Hero Portrait: Players who are On Fire will see their Hero Portrait in the bottom-left catch fire.
    • There are 2 different levels of On Fire effects. The better a player performs compared to all other 9 players in a match, the more intense their flames will become.
    • While only 3 players can be On Fire at any one time, the game is constantly re-evaluating all players in the match.
      • On Fire effects can swap among players regularly based on their current performance.
      • This status will be lost on death, following a period of inactivity, or if another player’s performance surpasses those who are currently On Fire.
  • Introducing: The Kill Feed
    • When players score kills a notification will now appear on the left side of the screen along with your team’s kill streak timer.
      • When a player scores additional kills, the Kill Feed notification will stack the portraits of slain enemies and reset the timer.
  • Overall In-Game UI Polish
    • Nearly every aspect of the in-game user interface has received an additional level of polish with today’s patch. Some of the most notable changes include:
      • The Hero Portrait in the lower-left corner, as well as Health, Mana, and buff bars, and even Ability hotbars have all received new art.
      • The Stats, Talents, and Death Recap tabs on the in-game Score Screen have received significant visual updates.
      • On-screen Killstreak callouts have received updated visual effects, and will increase in intensity as a player’s takedown count rises.
  • You can find more information on the new User Interface changes in our blog.

Design & Gameplay

Body Blocking Improvements

  • Improvements have been made to allied body blocking. 

Time-based Scaling

  • We now have the ability to scale damage based on game time elapsed, which should help the performance of the game, but also more accurately adjust damage values of certain abilities.
    • We have implemented this on Li Ming’s Arcane Orb & Tyrande's Sentinel and will continue to look for other use-cases.

Hero Descriptions

  • Several Heroes have received new descriptions in the Hero Select screen.

Battlegrounds

Heroes Brawl

  • Bloodlust Brawl
    • The hero selection pool has been curated to favor non-spell caster heroes since they benefit less from the Bloodlust Buff
  • Mage Wars
    • Weekly Brawl quest completion criteria reduced from Play 3 Games to Play 2 Games
  • Silver City
    • Now uses Shuffle Pick for hero selection instead of All Random
    Developer Comment:  : With the release of Single Lane Brawls, we've always wanted to try various forms of Hero selection to create interesting gameplay. We know there are avid fans of the completely Random Hero selection (aka ARAM), so that's how we initially released these Brawls. However, over time, we've also received feedback that a truly Random Hero selection can lead to widely imbalanced team comps, which can contribute towards a frustrating play experience. For example, we've seen some matches where one team has 4 Warriors and is unable to effectively fight against a heavy Assassin comp. Combined with the potential of longer games, we think Shuffle Pick may offer your team a better play experience by applying some balance options through Role and Hero Selection. As always, our endeavor is to create the best gameplay experiences for our players so please continue to provide feedback to us whether this change improved your Brawl experience or not.
    • Waygate Usage Consistency
      • The use of Waygates across all relevant maps (Towers of Doom, Haunted Mines, Blackheart's Revenge) has been unified with a common ruleset:
        • Channels will not be interrupted by taking "normal" damage
        • Channels will be interrupted by Abilities such as stuns and knockbacks
        • Waygates can now be channeled while mounted

    Heroes

    Assassin

    Gall

    Divider_Hero_Gall_crop.png

    • Abilities
      • Shadowflame (Q)
        • Damage reduced from 147 to 118
      • Dread Orb (W)
        • Radius reduced from 2 to 1.6
        • Damage reduced from 148 to 119
      • Runic Blast (E)
        • No longer destroys Cho’s Rune Bomb on activation
        • Damage reduced from 274 to 221
      • Twisting Nether (R)
        • Damage reduced from 415 to 353
      • Shadowbolt Volley (R)
        • Damage reduced from 103 to 82
      • Hurry Up Oaf! (Z)
        • Removed
      • New Trait: Ogre Rage (D)
        • While active Gall deals 25% more damage.
        • 5 Second cooldown.
        • Effect is removed if Cho activates Ogre Hide.
    • Talents
      • Level 1
        • Spurred Onward (Z)
          • Removed
        • Shove (Active)
          • Moved to (Z)
            • Cooldown increased from 20 to 30 seconds
            • Now also grants Cho 25% move speed for 2 seconds after using
        • Eye of Kilrogg (Active)
          • Moved to Level 1
            • Charges reduced from 4 to 2
            • Cast range reduced from 16 to 12
        • New Talent: Keep Moving! (Z)
          • Increase the Move Speed duration of Shove by .5 seconds.
          • While active, Basic Attacks from Cho increase the duration of the Movement Speed bonus by an additional 1 second.
        • New Talent: Taskmaster (Z)
          • Reduces the cooldown of Shove by 10 seconds
          • Basic Attacks by Cho reduce the cooldown of Shove by 1 second.
        • New Talent: We See You! (1)
          • Reduces the cooldown of Eye of Kilrogg by 15 seconds
          • Increases the cast range of Eye of Kilrogg by 33%
      • Level 4
        • Bomb’s Away (E)
          • New functionality:
            • Quest: Damaging an enemy Hero with Runic Blast permanently increases its damage by 5.
            • Reward: After damaging 20 enemy Heroes, increase the range and speed of Rune Bomb by 20%.
        • Runic Persistence (E)
          • New functionality:
            • Detonating Runic Blast leaves a damaging field on the ground, dealing 180 damage over 3 seconds.
        • Double Back (W)
          • New functionality:
            • The third bounce of Dread Bomb deals 100% bonus damage to non-Heroic units. You can activate Dread Bomb again to reverse the last bounce.
      • Level 7
        • Edge of Madness (Q)
          • New functionality:
            • Every subsequent hit of Shadowflame on an enemy Hero deals 8% more damage, up to a 40% bonus. These bonuses are lost after 4 seconds.
        • Double Trouble (Q)
          • New functionality:
            • Quest: Hitting enemy Heroes affected by Consuming Blaze with Shadowflame lowers the cooldown of Shadowflame by 1 second.
            • Reward: After doing this 20 times, permanently lower the cooldown of Shadowflame by 1 second.
        • Dark Descent (E)
          • Removed
        • New Talent: Ogre Rampage (Trait)
          • Gall’s Basic Abilities cooldown 75% faster for 5 seconds after Cho activates Ogre Hide.
      • Level 13
        • Rising Dread (W)
          • New functionality:
            • Increase the size and damage of each Dread Orb bounce by 25%.
        • Speed of Twilight (W)
          • Removed
        • Dread Shield (W)
          • Removed
        • New Talent: Searing Shadows (Q)
          • Shadowflame deals additional damage equal to 2% of a Heroes’ Maximum Health.
      • Level 16
        • Twilight Nova (W)
          • Moved to Level 13
        • Giant Scorcher (Q)
          • Removed
        • Shadowflare (Q)
          • Removed
        • New Talent: Shadowsnare (Q)
          • Shadowflame slows enemy Heroes by 10% for 4 seconds. This effect can stack up to 3 times.
        • New Talent: Leaden Orb (W)
          • Enemies hit by Dread Orb are stunned for .5 seconds.
        • New Talent: Deafening Blast (E)
          • Enemy Heroes hit by Runic Blast are silenced for 1.25 seconds.
      • Level 20
        • The Nether Calls (R)
          • Removed
        • Psychotic Break (Passive)
          • New functionality:
            • When Cho dies, you gain the effects of Ogre Rage and can continue casting abilities for 10 seconds.
        • New Talent: Shifting Nether (R)
          • Twisting Nether can now teleport Cho a short distance before it begins casting.
        • New Talent: The Will of Gall (Trait)
          • Takedowns permanently increase the damage bonus of Ogre Rage by 2%.  
    Developer Comment: When we were first told about the new event “Two Heads are Better Than One”, we immediately set to work on giving Cho’gall’s talent trees a much needed face-lift. A lot of our Warriors were getting Armor updates in this patch and originally Cho’gall was no exception. After playing with a generic form of it internally, we realized we had a once-in-a-Nexus opportunity to do something very different and seized the moment. The foundation of the Cho’gall rework revolves around their new Traits, Ogre Hide and Ogre Rage, which are the keys to success with the Hero. The potential of Cho’gall should be greater than ever, but you will have to make sure both heads are working together in order to maximize your damage output while keeping yourself alive long enough to keep doing it.
    LEVEL (TIER)   GALL TALENTS    
    1 (1) Keep Moving! (Z) Taskmaster (Z) We See You! (1)  
    4 (2) (!) Bomb’s Away (E) Runic Persistence (E) Double Back (W)  
    7 (3) Edge of Madness (Q) (!) Double Trouble (Q) Ogre Rampage (Trait)  
    10 (4) Shadow Bolt Volley (R) Twisting Nether (R)
    13 (5) Rising Dread (W) Searing Shadows (Q) Twilight Nova (W)  
    16 (6) Shadowsnare (Q) Leaden Orb (W) Deafening Blast (E)  
    20 (7) Shadowfury (R) Shifting Nether (R) The Will of Gall (Trait) Psychotic Break (Passive)
    • (!) indicates a Questing Talent.
    • Italic text indicates a NEW Talent.
    • Bold text indicates a MOVED Talent.

    Illidan

    Divider_Hero_Illidan_Crop.png

    Abilities

    • Metamorphosis (R)
      • Will now clamp the cast to the maximum range of the Ability

    Kerrigan

    Divider_Hero_Kerrigan_Crop.png

    Abilities

    • Summon Ultralisk (R)
      • Cooldown increased from 70 to 80 seconds
      • Cooldown now also counts down while the Ultralisk is alive

    Raynor

    Divider_Hero_Raynor_Crop.png

    Abilities

    • Raynor's Raiders (R)
      • Health increased from 639 to 766
      • Damage increased from 27 to 31

    Zul'jin

    Divider_Hero_Zuljin_crop.png

    Talents

    • Level 1
      • You Want Axe? (Q)
        • The buff tracker (located next to the portrait) now shows a specific number for Heroes hit, and how many hits are required to complete the Quest reward

    Multi-class

    Varian

    Divider_Hero_Varian_crop.png

    Abilities

    • Taunt (R)
      • Health gain reduced from +60% to +40%
      • Now also grants 15 Armor

    Talents

    • Level 13
      • Banner of Ironforge (Active)
        • Armor granted reduced from 25 to 20 

    Specialist

    Azmodan

    Divider_Hero_Azmodan_Crop.png

    Abilities

    • Demonic Invasion (R)
      • Casting Demonic Invasion will now remove/clear minions lingering from the previous cast

    Talents

    • Level 1
      • Taste for Blood (Q)
        • Killing a Hero with Globe of Annihilation will now increase its damage by 10

    Gazlowe

    Divider_Hero_Gazlowe_Crop.png

    Abilities

    • New Ability: Focus Turrets! (1)
      • Activate Focus Turrets! to order nearby Turrets to focus a specific enemy. 1 second cooldown.
    • Rock-it! Turret (Q)
      • Vision range increased by 1
      • Damage decreased from 68 to 62
    • Deth Lazor (W)
      • Can now be channeled indefinitely.
      • Can now be cancelled with a full refund by right-clicking.
    •  Xplodium Charge (E)
      • Increase cast range from 6.5 to 10
    • Robo-Goblin (R)
      • Removed functionality:
        • No longer grants Focus Turrets!
        • No longer grants PvE bonus damage
      • New functionality:
        • Now grants 100% Basic Attack damage.
        • New active:
          • Activate to gain 30 Armor and 30 Movement Speed for 4 seconds. 60 second cooldown.

    Talents

    • Level 1
      • Regeneration Master (Passive)
        • Removed
      • New talent: Goblin Repairs (Passive)
        • Quest: Gather regeneration globe to permanently gain +1 health per second, up to a maximum of 25
        • Reward: Gain an additional 15 health per second
    • Level 4
      • Mercenary Lord (Passive)
        • Removed
      • New talent: Hired Goons (Passive)
        • Non-boss mercenaries near you do 50% more damage. Your turrets gain 50 Armor from Mercs and Minions, taking 50% reduced damage from them.
      • Clockwerk Steamfists (Q)
        • Duration bonus per attack decreased from 2 to 1.5 seconds
    • Level 7
      • Engine Gunk (Q)
        • Slow amount from 25 to 20%
      • Rock-it Turret XL (Q)
        • Search arc increased from 65° to 80°
      • Hyperfocus Coils (W)
        • Added functionality:
          • Also lowers the Mana cost of Deth Lazor by 50%
    • Level 13
      • Turret Storage (Q)
        • Moved to Level 16
      • EZ PZ Dimensional Ripper (W)
        • Slow increased from 40 to 50%
      • X-Tra Large Bombs (E)
        • No longer increases cast range
        • Added functionality:
          • Whenever Gazlowe is stunned or rooted, he drops a Xplodium charge at his feet.
    • Level 16
      • Goblin Fusion (W)
        • Moved to Level 13
      • Superior Schematics (Q)
        • New functionality:
          • Nearby Turrets gain 25% additional range
            • These stay that way until you leave the new longer range             
    • Level 20
      • Mecha-lord (R)
        • Grants 25 Armor
        • Increases Basic Attack damage by an additional 100%
      • Firin’ Mah Lazors (W)
        • Lazor centerpoints now track mouse cursor (Like Li Ming’s Magic Missiles)
    Developer Comment: I’m not exactly sure where this Goblin keeps getting the hoards of gold he needs to bribe the Design team, but sure enough he has done it again. The changes to him started off as quality-of-life fixes but eventually evolved into something of a minor rework. Overall, we tried to even out the power level of a couple talent tiers (including his Heroics), while bringing in a swash of baseline changes in order to make him feel a bit more user-friendly. We realize his win rate is above average in certain MMR brackets (and game modes) and that this may be viewed as a substantial buff to him. However, we felt it was important to bring these changes to our players and are prepared to act quickly if any tweaks are needed.
    LEVEL (TIER)   GAZLOWE TALENTS    
    1 (1) Extra TNT (E) Scrap-o-Matic Smelter (D) Break it Down! (D) Goblin Repairs (Passive)
    4 (2) (!) Clockwerk Steam Fists (Q) ARK Reactor (E) Reduce, Reuse, Recycle (D) Hired Goons (Passive)
    7 (3) Engine Gunk (Q) Rock-It! Turret XL (Q) Hyperfocus Coils (W)  
    10 (4) Robo-Goblin (R) Grav-O-Bomb 3000 (R)
    13 (5) EZ-PZ Dimensional Ripper (W) Goblin Fusion (W) X-Tra Large Bombs (E)  
    16 (6) Turret Storage (Q) Superior Schematics (Q) Kwik Release Charge (E)  
    20 (7) Mecha-Lord (R) Miniature Black Hole (R) Firin' Mah Lazors (W) It's Raining Scrap (Active)
    • (!) indicates a Questing Talent.
    • Italic text indicates a NEW Talent.
    • Bold text indicates a MOVED Talent.

    Warrior

    Developer Comment:  We’re currently doing a pass on our Warriors, and want to better separate those that are intended to be able to solo-tank for their team, and those who are better identified as bruisers. With Armor coming into the game, we also saw an opportunity to make our Warriors have unique roles for their team so that the strongest or most survivable few weren’t identified and always favored regardless of the enemy team composition. In this patch, we’ve taken a pass at both Arthas and Anub’arak to better embrace their roles as solo-Warriors for their team. They have both received significant changes, largely with the theme of adding control and/or survivability to their kits at the cost of damage. While we know that players enjoy putting out that DPS, we think this is a healthier direction for the game, and should make the decision of which Warrior to bring to a team more meaningful. We’re also hoping that this direction helps push against the trend of it being the correct choice to bring multiple Warriors to a team because some can bring both CC and survivability while also doing as much damage as our Assassins.

    Anub'arak

    Divider_Hero_AnubArak_Crop.png

    Stats

    • Spell Armor reduced from 25 to 20
    • Basic Attack damage reduced from 99 to 95

    Abilities

    • Harden Carapace (W)
      • Shield amount increased from 300 to 315
    • Burrow Charge (E)
      • Cooldown reduced from 16 to 12 seconds. 
      • Added functionality:
        • Targets hit by Burrow Charge have their Movement Speed slowed by 25% for 2.5 seconds.
      • Damage reduced from 107 to 96
    • Locust Swarm (R)
      • Damage reduced from 66 to 60
      • Healing reduced from 18 to 17

    Talents

    • Level 1
      • Extended Spikes (Q)
        • Removed
      • Dampen Magic (Passive)
        • Removed
      • Assault Scarab (Passive)
        • Removed
      • New Talent: Resilient Scarabs (Trait)
        • Your Beetles have 50 Spell Armor
      • New Talent: Nerubian Armor (Passive)
        • Every 8 seconds, gain 30 Spell Armor against the next Ability and subsequent Abilities cast against you for 1.5 seconds.
    • Level 4
      • Locust Needles (Passive)
        • Removed
    • Level 7
      • Shed Exoskeleton (W)
        • Moved to Level 4
      • New Talent: Subterranean Shield (E)
        • When you cast Burrow Charge, gain a shield for 5 seconds.
      • Leeching Scarabs (Passive)
        • Added functionality:
          • Also increases the damage of your Beetles by 20%
    • Level 13
      • Bed of Barbs (Q)
        • Moved to Level 4
        • Damage decreased from 46 to 23
      • New Talent: Acid Drenched Mandibles (Passive)
        • Attacking a Hero that is slowed, rooted, or stunned increases your Basic Attack damage by 70% for 3 seconds.
    • Level 16
      • Blood for Blood (Active)
        • Removed
      • Epicenter (E)
        • Decrease cooldown reduction from 4 to 2 seconds
      • New Talent: Debilitation (E)
        • Enemy Heroes hit by Burrow Charge have their Spell Power reduced by 50% for 4 seconds.
    • Level 20
      • Hardened Shield (Active)
        • Removed
      • New Talent: Nullification Shield (Active)
        • Activate to gain 60 Spell Armor for 5 seconds.
    Developer Comment:  Anub’arak has received some baseline changes and talent tweaks to embrace his role as an anti-caster Warrior. New additions to his kit include a lower cooldown and slowing Burrow Charge, a buff to his Harden Carapace shield amount, and some buffs to his Beetle build. Understandably some players may be wondering why we lowered his Spell Armor when we want him to be an anti-caster, but we felt that 25 base Spell Armor was a little too pointed in countering casters as they have no real options to deal with it when it is on a hero baseline. By giving him these changes, we’re hoping to make him a more well-rounded Warrior while still filling a niche that previously did not exist in our game.
    LEVEL (TIER)   ANUB'ARAK TALENTS    
    1 (1) Resilient Scarabs (Passive) Nerubian Armor (Passive) (!) Regeneration Master (Passive)  
    4 (2) Bed of Barbs (Q) Shed Exoskeleton (W) Underking (E) Legion of Beetles (Active)
    7 (3) Chitonous Plating (W) Subterranean Shield (E) Leeching Scarabs (Passive)  
    10 (4) Locust Swarm (R) Cocoon (R)
    13 (5) Burning Rage (Passive) Urticating Spines (W) Acid Drenched Mandibles (Passive)  
    16 (6) Epicenter (E) Debilitation (E) Beetle, Juiced (Passive)  
    20 (7) Hive Master (R) Cryptweave (R) Nullification Shield (Active) Rewind (Active)
    • (!) indicates a Questing Talent.
    • Italic text indicates a NEW Talent.
    • Bold text indicates a MOVED Talent.

    Artanis

    Divider_Hero_Artanis_crop.png

    Abilities

    • Basic Attack
      • Reduced the period during which Artanis is locked in place during his Basic Attacks to be consistent with other Heroes with similar attack timings

    Arthas

    Divider_Hero_Arthas_Crop.png

    Stats

    • Health increased from 2404 to 2524
    • Health Regeneration increased from 5.0117 to 5.2578
    • Basic Attack damage reduced from 99 to 95

    Abilities

    • Frostmourne Hungers (Trait)
      • Now deals a bonus 99 damage when hitting enemies (is no longer based on his normal Basic Attack damage)
    • Death Coil (Q)
      • Heal increased from 238 to 262
    • Frozen Tempest (E)
      • Damage lowered from 26 to 20.  Now slows enemy movement speed and attack speed by 10% per second, up to 40%.  This now stacks over 4 seconds instead of 5.
      • Now functions as an aura (same as Lucio's Crossfade) when concerning Stuns and Silences
        • If Arthas is Stunned or Silenced, he will not be able to toggle Frozen Tempest on or off, but if it is active it will persist for the duration of the Stun or Silence.
    • Army of the Dead (R1)
      • Cooldown lowered from 100 to 80 seconds
      • Mana cost lowered from 100 to 80
      • Ghoul attack damage increased from 18 to 20
      • Ghoul Health increased from 960 to 1060

    Talents

    • Level 1
      • Block (Passive)
        • Removed
      • Eternal Hunger (Trait)
        • New functionality:
          • !Quest: Using Frostmourne Hungers on an enemy Hero permanently increases the Mana it restores by 4, up to 40
          • !Quest: Using Frostmourne Hungers on an enemy Hero permanently increases its damage bonus by 4
      • Frost Presence (W)
        • New functionality:
          • !Quest: Root 5 heroes to reduce the cooldown of Howling Blast by 2 seconds. 
          • !Quest: After rooting 10 heroes, increase Howling Blast's range by 30%.  Quest: After rooting 20 heroes, Howling Blast roots enemies on its path.
      • New Talent: Rime (Passive)
        • Every 5 seconds, reduce the next Hero Basic Attack by 60%.  Stores up to 3 charges.
    • Level 4
      • Biting Cold (E)
        • Moved to Level 13
      • Frozen Wastes (E)
        • New functionality:
          • !Quest: After hitting enemy Heroes 150 times with Frozen Tempest, the Movement and Attack Speed slows of Frozen Tempest last for an additional 1.5 seconds against enemy Heroes.
      • New Talent: Icy Talons (E)
        • Increase Arthas’ attack speed by 3% each time an enemy Hero is hit by Frozen Tempest for 1.5 seconds, stacking up to 60%.
      • Deathlord (Q)
        • Increase the range bonus on Death Coil from 25 to 30%.
        • Increase the cooldown reduction from 2 to 3 seconds.
    • Level 7
      • Immortal Coil (Q)
        • New functionality:
          • Bonus healing now applies to self-casting Death Coil.
          • Bonus healing reduced from 100 to 50%.
      • Icebound Fortitude (Active)
        • Reduced the cooldown from 40 to 35 seconds
    • Level 13
      • Trail of Frost (W)
        • Removed
      • Frigid Winds (E)
        • Removed
      • New Talent: Shattered Armor (W) 
        • Enemy heroes rooted by Howling Blast have their Armor reduced by 15 for 4 seconds.
      • Frost Strike (Trait)
        • Slow increased from 40 to 50%.
      • Biting Cold (E)
        • New functionality:
          • Frozen Tempest does 12.5% increased damage per second to enemies, up to 50% bonus damage (over 4 seconds).
    • Level 16
      • Embrace Death (Q)
        • Added Functionality:
          • Now also affects the healing of Death Coil.
    • Level 20
      • Anti-Magic Shell (Active)
        • New functionality:
          • No longer provides 100 Spell Armor. Arthas now takes 0 damage from Spells instead and heals for 25% of the damage prevented.
    Developer Comment:  For a long time Arthas has walked the line between being a Bruiser and a tank, though it was always intended that he be more of a tank as opposed to a bruiser. With Armor in the game, we saw the opportunity to really embrace him being that slow approach of Death that he encapsulated so well in Wrath of the Lich King. Arthas’s crowd control capability and survivability have been significantly increased, and now he should really shine as the Warrior to bring if the enemy team has multiple Melee heroes or those who strongly rely on their auto-attacks. In return for his extra control in teamfights, his damage has been reduced. While he will not put out damage as quickly as before, his ability to kill enemies will now rely much more on how long he can keep them in his Frozen Tempest, as once they’re in it will be very difficult for them to escape without using some kind of mobility.

    Cho

    Divider_Hero_Cho_crop.png

    Stats

    • Maximum Base Health reduced from 3528 to 2950
    • Health Regen reduced from 7.35 to 6.15

    Abilities

    • Surging Dash (Q)
      • Cooldown reduced from 13 to 12 seconds.
        • Lowered maximum dash range from 12 to 10
        • Reduced full charge up duration from 8 to 4 seconds.
        • Times out after 5 seconds.
    • Consuming Blaze (W)
      • New functionality:
        • Ignite all nearby enemies for 5 seconds, dealing 30 damage per second and instantly healing Cho for 30 Health per target hit.
        • Attacks against ignited Heroes reapply the debuff (instant heal + refresh dot duration).
    • Rune Bomb (E)
      • Rune Bomb now continues its full path regardless of when or if Gall decides to detonate it.
    • Two-Headed Ogre (D)
      • Removed
    • New Trait: Ogre Hide (D)
      • While active Cho gains 25 Armor.
      • 5 Second cooldown.
      • Effect is removed if Gall activates Ogre Rage.
    • Twilight Hammer (R)
      • Damage reduced from 156.25 to 150

    Talents

    • Level 1
      • Surging Dash (Q)
        • Removed
      • Blazing Bulwark (W)
        • Removed
      • Fuel for the Flame (W)
        • New functionality:
          • !Quest: Kills empower Consuming Blaze’s Heal
          • !Reward: Every 5 Minions killed near Cho increases the heal of Consuming Blaze by 1%
          • !Reward: Every Hero killed near Cho increases the heal of Consuming Blaze by 2%
      • New Talent: Consuming Fire (W)
        • Consuming Blaze’s heal is increased by 150% against Heroic targets.
      • New talent: Absorbent Hide (D)
        • Increase all healing received by Cho by 15% while Ogre Hide is active.
    • Level 4
      • Runed Gauntlet (E)
        • Moved to Level 13
        • New functionality:
          • Basic Attacks against Heroes decrease the Cooldown of both your and Gall’s Heroic Abilities by .5 seconds.
      • Seared Flesh (Passive)
        • New functionality:
          • Each consecutive Basic Attack against an enemy Hero deals 20% more damage. Up to a 60% bonus.
          • This bonus lasts 5 seconds or until a different unit is attacked.
      • New Talent: Uppercut (Q)
        • If Surging Dash hits an enemy Hero, it also deals 7% of their max health in damage.
    • Level 7
      • Fire Eater (W)
        • Removed
      • I AM Hurrying! (Passive)
        • Removed
      • Power Surge (Q)
        • New functionality:
          • Each enemy Hero hit reduces the cooldown of Surging Fist by 4 seconds.
      • New Talent: Firestarter (W)
        • Reduce the cooldown of Consuming Blaze by 3 seconds.
        • Basic Attacks against Heroes reduce the cooldown of Consuming Blaze by an additional 1 second.
      • New Talent: Enraged Regeneration (D)
        • Cho’s Health Regeneration is increased by 200% while Ogre Rage is active.
    • Level 13
      • Surge of Stamina (Q)
        • Removed
      • Molten Block (Active)
        • Moved to Level 16
      • Runic Feedback (E)
        • New functionality:
          • Gall’s Runic Blast reduces the cooldown of Rune Bomb by 1 second for every enemy hit. This bonus is doubled against Heroes.
    • Level 16
      • Crippling Blow (Q)
        • Removed
      • Frenzied Fists (Q)
        • Moved to Level 13
        • New functionality:
          • Gain 75% attack speed for 5 seconds after using Surging Fist.
      • Twilight Veil (W)
        • New functionality:
          • Activate to triple the effect of Ogre Hide for 2 seconds (25 to 75 Armor). 30 second cooldown
          • If cast while Ogre Rage is active, instantly swap to Ogre Hide.
      • Surging Dash (Q)
        • New functionality:
          • Cho gains 150 Health per second and is unstoppable while Surging Dash is channeled.
    • Level 20
      • Favor of the Old Gods (R)
        • New functionality:
          • Upheaval roots all Heroes hit for 1.5 seconds
      • The Will of Gall (Passive)
        • Removed (from Cho)
      • New Talent: The Will of Cho (Trait)
        • Every takedown permanently increases the Armor of Ogre Hide by 2.
      • New Talent: Hour of Twilight (Passive)
        • Cho’gall’s death timer is reduced by 50% 
    Developer Comment: See comments for Gall.
    LEVEL (TIER)   CHO TALENTS    
    1 (1) Consuming Fire (W) (!) Fuel for the Flame (W) Calloused Hide (D)  
    4 (2) Uppercut (Q) Rollback (E) Seared Flesh (Passive)  
    7 (3) Power Surge (Q) Firestarter (W) Enraged Regeneration (D)  
    10 (4) Hammer of Twilight (R) Upheaval (R)
    13 (5) Frenzied Fists (Q) Runic Feedback (E) Runed Gauntlet (Passive)  
    16 (6) Surging Dash (Q) Twilight Veil (Active) Molten Block (Active)  
    20 (7) C'Thun's Gift (R) Favor of the Old Gods (R) The Will of Cho (Passive) Hour of Twilight (Passive)
    • (!) indicates a Questing Talent.
    • Italic text indicates a NEW Talent.
    • Bold text indicates a MOVED Talent.

    Johanna

    Divider_Hero_Johanna_Crop.png

    Stats

    • +25 Physical Armor
    • Health reduced from 2451 to 2179
    • Health Regen reduced from 5.11 to 4.54

    Talents

    • Level 1
      • Reinforce (Q)
        • Physical Armor reduced from 75 to 50
    • Level 4
      • Amplified Healing (Passive)
        • Removed
    • Level 13
      • Spell Shield (Passive)
        • Removed

    Tyrael

    Divider_Hero_Tyrael_Crop.png

    Stats

    • +15 Spell Armor
    • Base Maximum Health reduced from 2468 to 2296
    • Health Regen reduced from 5.14 to 4.78

    Abilities

    • El'Druin's Might (Q)
      • Will now clamp the cast to the maximum range of the Ability

    Talents

    • Level 4
      • Amplified Healing (Passive)
        • Removed
    • Level 13
      • Imposing Will (W)
        • Removed
      • Angelic Absorption (W)
        • Heal amount increased from 52 to 60
    • Level 20
      • Hardened Shield (Active)
        • Removed
      • New Talent: Nullification Shield (Active)
        • Activate to gain 60 Spell Armor for 5 seconds.

    General

    • A number of typos and tooltip errors have been corrected across several aspects of the game. 

    A.I.

    • Diablo: Fixed an issue that could cause the Unstoppable effect from A.I. Diablo’s Lightning Breath to persist for its full duration even if channeling was immediately cancelled after casting.

    Art

    • Kerrigan: The Countess Kerrigan skin now plays animations while Maelstrom is active. 
    • Kharazim: There is no longer a pop in the Air Ally’s animations. 
    • Nazeebo: Zombie Wall zombies will no longer create holes in the terrain when they die after choosing the Dead Rush talent. 
    • Observer Mode: Excess Regeneration Globe visual effects will no longer appear for Observers and other neutral players while watching replays or custom games.

    Battlegrounds

    • Braxis Holdout: Fixed an issue causing Zerg melee units to crowd around enemy objects that were in the process of arming, such as Toxic Nests or Time Traps, rather than ignore them.
    • Cursed Hollow: Fixed a rare issue that could fail to provide players with vision of an active Raven Lord Tribute.
    • Haunted Mines: Pinging allied or enemy Goblin Sappers will now properly create “assist” or “kill” notifications in chat. 
    • Try Mode: Destroying the opposing Fort will now correctly despawn Misha when Rexxar is set as the enemy Hero.
    • Try Mode: Toggle Cooldowns will now correctly reset Diablo’s Lightning Breath cooldown.

    Heroes, Abilities, and Talents

    • Azmodan: Damage dealt by the Sin's Grasp Talent will now correctly benefit from Ability Power gains.
    • Brightwing: Fixed an issue causing Emerald Wind to push enemies away from Brightwing’s current location rather than the original casting location.
    • Chen: Silence effects will no longer cause Purifying Brew to go on cooldown while Chen is Unstoppable during Wandering Keg.
    • Dehaka: Becoming targeted by Kharazim’s Divine Palm while affected by Dehaka's Contagion Talent will no longer cause Isolation’s model to persist indefinitely above the target.
    • E.T.C: Echo Pedal will now correctly deal damage to Doubloon Chests on Blackheart's Bay.
    • Kharazim: Fixed an issue that prevented shift-queuing Radiant Dash casts to allied Heroes.
    • Gul'dan: Drain Life can now be properly cast when Gul’dan has 0 mana.
    • Gul'dan: Fixed an issue that could cause Ruinous Affliction’s damage bonus to be applied on Echoed Corruption’s fourth consecutive strike against a target, rather than the third.
    • Malfurion: Learning Lunar Shower will no longer cause portions of Druid of the Flame Malfurion’s Moonfire visual effects to fail to generate.
    • Medivh: Entering Raven Form should no longer clear shift-queued Movement commands.
    • Nazeebo: The targeting indicator for Plague of Toads will now visually increase in size after learning Thing of the Deep. 
    • Ragnaros: Vehicles piloted by Ragnaros will no longer benefit from Resilient Flame.
    • Ragnaros: Fixed an issue in which Empower Sulfuras would not benefit from Hand of Ragnaros when killing a secondary Heroic target.
    • Ragnaros: Casting a displacement Ability that pushes Ragnaros out of channeling range for Molten Core will no longer cause Ragnaros to become unresponsive. 
    • Rexxar: Misha will no longer ignore orders to use a Healing Fountain when Rexxar is only missing Mana.
    • Rexxar: Fixed an issue causing Spirit Swoop to deal bonus damage to Mercenaries after learning Bird of Prey.
    • Samuro: Critical Strike's cooldown will no longer be paused while Samuro is dead.
    • Samuro: After learning Illusion Master, selecting a Mirror Image just as it dies will now correctly reselect the real Samuro. 
    • Stitches: Casting Devour will no longer cause floating Talent Quest progress icons to appear before Stitches learns Savor the Flavor.
    • Tassadar: Fixed an issue that could prevent Archon from refreshing Dimensional Shift’s cooldown.
    • The Lost Vikings: Olaf will no longer Charge destroyed Structures. 
    • Tyrande: Fixed an issue that prevented enemies from seeing Starfall’s area of effect indicator when it was cast inside of Brush or Vents.
    • Valeera: Shift queuing movement commands followed by a Hearthstone or Mount command will no longer break Stealth before channeling begins.
    • Valeera: Stitches’ Putrid Bile will no longer cause a red “revealed” icon to appear over Valeera’s nameplate while she is inside Smoke Bomb’s area of effect.
    • Varian: The cooldown for Victory Rush will no longer be reduced when nearby enemy Structures are destroyed.
    • Zarya: Damage that occurs just before Zarya’s Barrier breaks will now correctly grant her energy. 

    Sound

    • Artanis: Allies will no longer hear Artanis’s death voiceover globally.
    • Voiceover: Fixed an issue in which an excessive number of left-clicks were required in order to play certain Hero voiceover lines.
    • Medivh: Will now play his Ready voiceover when locked in during draft selection. 

    User Interface

    • Kerrigan: Fixed an issue in which Essence for Essence would always follow the player’s global Quick Cast settings. 
    • Lunara: Changing Lunara's Skin selection during draft mode will now correctly update her draft portrait.
    • Hero Select: Tyrande will now appear in the list of available Heroes when “Hearthstone” is used as a search term during Hero Select.
    • Observer Mode: The Follow Player Camera hotkey (C) will now correctly follow the selected player while observing a match or watching a replay.
    • Observer Mode: The Quick View Player hotkey (V) will now limit the Observer’s vision to the selected player as long as it is held down.
    • Score Screen: Echoed Corruption’s Talent Quest will now correctly appear complete on the Talents tab at 40 stacks rather than 35. 

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    So many reworks.  It's making it hard for me to actually keep up with the game when I have to spend an hour reading and digesting patch notes every week.  Honestly, while the Cho'gall rework was needed, I wish the devs would mostly just let the meta sit for a while.  I wouldn't mind having a whole month pass without new heroes or new balance tweaks.

    EDIT:

    Also I'm really irritated by the change to Johanna.  She's my main, and the maps where I love using her are maps where she ends up taking a lot of poke or aoe damage (infernal shrines, spider queen).

    Edited by FirstBlood

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    52 minutes ago, FirstBlood said:

    So many reworks.  It's making it hard for me to actually keep up with the game when I have to spend an hour reading and digesting patch notes every week.  Honestly, while the Cho'gall rework was needed, I wish the devs would mostly just let the meta sit for a while.  I wouldn't mind having a whole month pass without new heroes or new balance tweaks.

    EDIT:

    Also I'm really irritated by the change to Johanna.  She's my main, and the maps where I love using her are maps where she ends up taking a lot of poke or aoe damage (infernal shrines, spider queen).

    I know what you mean, like I keep up to date on this thing at any rate but the patch notes on reworks are really difficult to read o.O I find it easier just to see who changed and read the bits in the actual game. And the way they refer the to meta is annoying. Like, I never know if its the pro meta (which is generally the same lately) or Hero/Team league meta (I've always felt personally that meta refers to characters that anyone can play, not the skill behind the person playing the character; not just in hots but most games. Though I feel this is certainly true in HL)

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    "Cho'gall will be getting minor reworks, buffs"
    Seems like Blizz devs were a bit too modest. There are so many changes I just don't have the determination to read through them. Those patch notes are quite hardcore indeed.

    Any changes you are really looking forward to? I can't wait to see how the Cho'gall changes work out, and of course I'm hyped to try Probius out, though from my experience turret-building heroes tend to end up being incredibly annoying (luckily, hero with Techies/Teemo-like anger-inducing abilities is yet to be added). 

    • Like 1

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    Those Warrior changes kinda feel like they are trying to address comps running with three tanks, but I'm left wondering where the Tyrael changes leave him; Imposing Will and Amplified Healing were really handy talents. 

    I'm also left wondering if they have changed the healing received from a talented Death Coil on an enemy to be instant, rather than being cast when the missile returns to Arthas.

    And calling it now; all hail our new overlord and master, Gazlowe. 

    Edited by Plergoth
    • Like 1

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    1 hour ago, FirstBlood said:

    So many reworks.  It's making it hard for me to actually keep up with the game when I have to spend an hour reading and digesting patch notes every week. Honestly, while the Cho'gall rework was needed, I wish the devs would mostly just let the meta sit for a while.  I wouldn't mind having a whole month pass without new heroes or new balance tweaks.

    I agree with you, but I think Blizz is hitting with so many reworks to actually build a solid meta and let it breath for some time. There are a lot of characters that currently sit in the niche, with very old kits and talents in need of that neat revamp, so they can to keep up with the new characters, that often have so much to offer.

    Taking a brief look at the current roster, the characters that I think might get some changes (either big or small) in the next patches will probably be:

    • Sonya: the buff she got to Whirlwind was pretty helpful, but she still is a bit lackluster when it comes to talent diversity. You can't go full damage otherwise you'll be stomped by everything else, so you can only rely on going full sustain, which prevents her from unleashing her true potential. She needs some major changes.

    • Stitches: he currently just sits as a damage sponge, nothing else. He relies too much on his hook, which is unreliable. I don't think Blizzard will mess too much with him since it could easily making him overpowered, specially due his sustain. But he definitely could use a rework to get rid of useless talents.

    • Lunara: with the current sustained-healing meta and burst damage focus, her damage-over-time is often out-healed. She still is great at poking and punishing characters with low mobility, but I feel that Blizz could tweak her a bit so she brings a bit more of utility to the team.

    • Li Li: her kit and talents are some of the oldest in the game, and a lot of the stuff she can do, the other healers do better. She still performs pretty well as a secondary healer, specially given the decent amount of utility she brings (slow, blind, mana efficiency). I wish they bought back the Mending Serpent + Lightning Serpent synergy, it was so much fun.

    • Tyrande: pretty much the same problems as Li Li; she is at a better spot, though. I think they should give higher emphasis to her damage output and overall utility, but she still is one of my favorite supports in the game.

    • Uther: his rework was already announced, not the date, though. I can't wait to see him becoming a Tanky Support. It will be awesome. I hope they also become a bit more generous to his Mana usage. His spells costs too much and underperform compared to other healers.

    • Abathur: poor little thing. Second lowest win-rate in the game. I feel that he needs an overall rework, and Blizz should really give him a third skill. His backdoor build still is good, but not good enough.

    31 minutes ago, positiv2 said:

    "Cho'gall will be getting minor reworks, buffs"
    Seems like Blizz devs were a bit too modest. There are so many changes I just don't have the determination to read through them. Those patch notes are quite hardcore indeed.

    Any changes you are really looking forward to? I can't wait to see how the Cho'gall changes work out, and of course I'm hyped to try Probius out, though from my experience turret-building heroes tend to end up being incredibly annoying (luckily, hero with Techies/Teemo-like anger-inducing abilities is yet to be added). 

    I'm so happy they actually did a rework; when they said "minor reworks" I wasn't expecting much... They actually have talent diversity now! And much better damage and sustain! I love the new mechanics on their Trait, it will be very fun to tamper with. I honestly cannot wait to try them on Live. This got me more hyped than Probius.

    Edited by Valhalen

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    3 hours ago, Valhalen said:

    I agree with you, but I think Blizz is hitting with so many reworks to actually build a solid meta and let it breath for some time. There are a lot of characters that currently sit in the niche, with very old kits and talents in need of that neat revamp, so they can to keep up with the new characters, that often have so much to offer.

    There are some mechanics that are a bit outdated since they're basically the same since the game was in alpha.  All the same, it's fine for there to be diversity, and for new heroes to work and operate differently than the older characters.  It makes me worry about them trying to balance some of the characters that have long been staples of the game.

    Imagine if ETC was a brand new character announced today.  "Mosh Pit does WHAT?  An aoe stun that lasts HOW long?"  Or Zeratul with Void Prism.  If Blizzard gets it in their heads to go back and tweak those, they might actually remove the diversity that they really want.

    Additionally, it's a real pain for someone in the position I'm in.  I'm still relatively new to the game (been playing for about 4 months).  I play mostly warriors.  I had characters like Anub'arak, Varian, and Johanna mastered to the extent that I had all their talent tiers memorized, knew the optimal builds and knew which choices to tweak based on maps or opponent comps.  I'm attempting to gain the same sort of mastery with characters like Dehaka, Leoric, and Arthas, but I've had to go back and relearn how to play Anub, and it looks like I'll need to re-master Johanna and Tyrael as well.  Basically, I'm trying to climb up the learning curve, but they keep making it steeper.

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    I was wondering this morning if the reworks would stir up more discussion than the newly developed hero. Here's the answer.

    Edited by Jonar
    • Like 2

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    5 hours ago, Jonar said:

    I was wondering this morning if the reworks would stir up more discussion than the newly developed hero. Here's the answer.

    It's not that surprising either.  If you're tweaking a few staple characters, you're affecting a lot of players.  The percentage of players who are going to play Probius at launch is much lower than the percentage of players who regularly use Tychus, Tyrael or Johanna.

    It's a bit different when you tweak characters who aren't often played, like Cho'Gall or even Murky.  At that point it takes people using the reworked characters for the discussion to happen.

    Edited by FirstBlood

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    Has anyone tried Cho'gall in the PTR? I'm curious to hear the feedback. I don't play on PTR, so I don't know.

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        Team Dignitas mounted a comeback of their own against Gen.G Esports in the grand finals of the Mid-Season Brawl. POILK recently played a pretty major role in a great example of running back a game that looked all but over. “Our shot calling is very good—we are always looking for a way back into any game we might be losing,” he said.
        In their match against Gen.G Esports on Towers of Doom, Team Dignitas did just that—patiently waiting for their Storm Tier Talents to even the playing field before wiping their Korean rivals. “I don't really remember what the coms were, but I know we weren't totally sure we could end. I said I could take bottom Fort, Wubby said he could do the Sappers, Zaelia said he could take mid Fort and Snitch was already on his way to top lane. It was like, everyone saw a thing they could do on their own. Everyone just knew exactly what they needed to do.”
        While you shouldn’t expect to have the same coordination as one of the best teams in the world, that’s inspiring nonetheless—and acts as a great segue into tomorrow’s Midgame Moves article on pushing your advantage to the max, featuring Francisco "Goku" Avalos from North America’s Team Octalysis!
      • By Stan
        It's Midgame Moves week in Heroes and in the second installment, HeroesHearth coach CauthonLuck talks about boss control. Is it worth soloing the boss?
        In the first installment, Dreadnaught covered map pressure and camp timings.
        Blizzard (Source)
        It’s Midgame Moves week for Heroes of the Storm! It’s time to continue theeducational content series that kicked off 2018 featuring some of the smartest personalities in the scene. Midgame Moves will be focusing on the meaty middle portion of a competitive match! Yesterday we touched on Map Pressure and Mercenary camp timings. Today we will learn about Boss control.
        We’ve all unintentionally thrown a game on a Boss before. Bosses in Heroes of the Storm are some of the most unforgiving points of contention, and often leave disaster in the wake of their attempted capture. However, capturing the Boss doesn’t have to be unnerving, so long as your team is on the same page and you know what information you’re looking for.
        Have a Reason and Follow Through
        “Bosses aren't typically used for building leads, they're used for finishing games or getting meaningful structure advantages that help you finish the game later,” said HeroesHearth Esports’s Coach Rori "CauthonLuck" Bryant-Raible, who spent the entirety of 2017 competing professionally with the Tempo Storm roster. “Have a reason for taking the Boss and try to get your team on the same page with that reason.”
        Taking a Boss in the early game is generally considered an extremely risky move with very little payoff. The Boss will demand a soft defense but won’t get much done unless your teammates are pushing with it. If you’ve already committed multiple members to taking the Boss and there is no going back now—what do you do next? “A big mistake teams make on Sky Temple is taking the Boss in the midgame and letting it push alone on its own. The best utilization of the Boss is when there is a specific plan you can get your team behind: ‘Take this Boss and push with it’, or ‘take this Boss and go kill top Keep while they defend the Boss on bot Keep’, or ‘take this Boss and then go to the other side of Cursed Hollow and take that Boss and push with it while they defend the first one’. If you take a Boss and let it wander on its own, it's a mistake.”
        Baiting a Fight on Boss
        Yes, the Boss does an excellent job of pushing the lane, creating map pressure, and demanding a response. However, it can be an amazing tool for starting a fight as well. “If you're up—say level 16 to 14—that is usually a good time to start a Boss. If the other team tries to contest you, you're fine taking that fight, so long as everyone on your team gets off the Boss and fights. If they don't contest you, take the Boss and push their Keep with a talent tier advantage. You turn your level lead into getting a Keep down, or if you get a pick while they're defending you might just win the game.”
        Communication is key! When you’re not trying to bait a fight, you should make that as clear as possible to your teammates. “If there are times when you know you're just sneaking the Boss and you can't win a fight if they enemy team finds you, you should try and let your team know that like, 'Hey, we're trying to sneak this, if someone scouts us just back up and give it up unless it's almost dead'.”
        Sneaky, Sneaky, Dead.
        Sneaking Bosses can be good when you have Heroes that have high damage output such as Greymane, Sonya, or Jaina. “A common Boss sneak happens on Tomb of the Spider Queen,” said Cauthonluck. “If you can force the enemy team to clear the bottom Web Weaver last, your team can start Boss on top as soon as the Web Weavers die. It's very easy to kill and capture that Boss before the enemy team can rotate top from the bottom Web Weaver.”
        The Hail Mary Play
        When a game looks all but over, sometimes the only option is to pull a Boss and pray for the best. This fight usually determines the outcome of the game, so make sure your lanes are pushed out enough that catapults or a devious backdoor won’t spell your unfortunate demise before you engage. “The point of this desperation play isn't necessarily to get the Boss. If they don't fight you, you get it for free and it's a little bit of an advantage, but the entire point of that move is to get the enemy team to fight you while they're not quite 20. It's a valid strategy.”
        Should I Try and Solo the Boss? ave a Reason and Follow Through
        Short Answer? No.
        Long Answer: “I would almost never recommend soloing a Boss. Maybe with an Illidan and Abathur combo, it could be worth it—but in general, it takes so long that even if you're capable of doing it, it's far too risky and the map control you give up just isn't worth it. Anytime you have someone capable of soloing a Boss it's generally way more effective to just bring one extra DPS with them and kill the Boss much quicker and make yourself less vulnerable to being invaded. You can still have the same benefit, you're doing the Boss without the enemy team knowing and you can still do that while having three of your Heroes visible on the map instead of four. It's something that really shouldn't be attempted.”
        Thieves in the Night
        It is possible, albeit difficult, for Medivh to steal the Boss with Ley Line Seal. So, you’re casually strolling between mid and bot lane with some of your teammates minding your own business when you catch a glimpse of the enemy Varian wailing away on the Boss. Prepare to invade!
        “Tyrael's Holy Ground is your best friend when it comes to stealing a Boss," said Cauthonluck. "Although, Zarya's Expulsion Zone is also very good. Chen's Wandering Keg can achieve kind of the same thing, although it can be difficult to get all their members off the point long enough to capture it. Falstad's Mighty Gust is another tool, but it can be tricky to setup because it requires hitting the Gust into Barrel Roll from a very specific angle where it sweeps the entire enemy team off and leaves you on the point. Any time you do that you're basically resigning yourself to death. I would be very careful with that one.”
        To Defend or Not to Defend
        What is the best way to go about deciding who needs to defend against a pushing Boss? "Most of the time you're going to want to defend with everybody," said Cauthonluck. "However, if the enemy team isn't pushing with their Boss, it's usually best not to defend with all five but to have your highest DPS Heroes defending while your Warriors and Supports are doing useful things on the map such as soaking, defending other lanes, or doing Mercenary camps."
        As always, do your best to be constantly aware of the variables in play. "If you're one or two creep waves away from getting to 16 or 20, then it can be good to have four people defend and one person on your team go to soak that talent tier before you defend hard."
        Armed with this information, hopefully your next attempt at Boss will be a little more thought out. Check back with us tomorrow for more of Midgame Moves Week when Team Dignitas' Vilhelm "POILK" Flennmark explains how to recover from a lost team fight.  
      • By Stan
        It's time for Midgame Moves week in Heroes of the Storm! In the first installment, Wade "Dreadnaught" Penfold covers map pressure and mercenary camp timings.
        Dou you remember Opening Moves that covered a wide range of subjects, aimed to educate players on the variety of different ways to start a competitive match?
        #1: The 4-1 Split #2: How to Know If You'll Win the Level 1 Fight #3: Pushing Towers Early #4: The 5v5 Mid Strategy #5: The Chinese Bush Meta Midgame Moves is a continuation of the series and the second installment about boss control will be available tomorrow!
        Blizzard (Source)
        It’s Midgame Moves Week for Heroes of the Storm—and we’re continuing the educational content series that kicked off 2018 featuring some of the smartest personalities in the scene. Midgame Moves will be focusing on the meaty middle portion of a competitive game! Today we will focus on Map Pressure and Mercenary camp timings.
        What is Map Pressure?
        Every game of Heroes of the Storm is a race between two teams. The team winning the race is the team with more map pressure at any given time, demanding a response from their opponents. That team is in the driver’s seat. That is the team with the freedom to make decisions.
        The team that doesn’t have map pressure is that team responding to it, trying to defuse it. That team is on the back foot—defending their structures against minion waves, Impalers, Punishers, Hellbats, Armored Gnolls, Grave Golems, Immortals, Calvary… you get the picture.
        “Map pressure is probably one of the most important aspects of Heroes of the Storm,” said Wade “Dreadnaught” Penfold, former professional player for Tempo Storm and current HGC caster. “When you apply pressure at multiple points of the map at once you are buying yourself more time to rotate and more time to make decisions before your opponent. Map pressure is the tool used to increase the chance of obtaining and maintaining an experience advantage.”
        When Should I Be Doing Camps?
        You should never take any camp without having a reason for doing so. Obviously, it’s less risky to take camps on your side of the map (safe camps) than it is on your opponent’s side (not-safe camps). Sneaking enemy camps almost always ends in tragedy, so it’s in your best interest to refrain unless your team is on the same page.
        Ask yourself this series of questions every time you consider taking a camp:
        Does my team need me elsewhere? Are we going to be able to push with this camp? If I start this camp, am I in danger ob eing invaded by the enemy? Do I need help to do this camp quickly? Which enemy Hero am I anticipating will come to clear this camp? “Before level 10 you should not be doing camps if you do not have a member of the team soaking in every lane,” Dreadnaught adds. “I am not saying that you must have a person in each lane for every waking moment of the laning phase, but it is very important to capture as much experience as possible on the battleground as fast as possible.”
        Know Your Mercenary Camp
        Siege Giants – “Siege Giants have a long-range, high-damage auto attack. Try to focus on keeping them alive by zoning out your opponents. Late game pressure is where the Siege giants are a step above the rest of the mercenaries—but no matter the point of the game, if they are left unchecked, you are going to regret not clearing them.” Found on: Dragon Shire, Cursed Hollow, Garden of Terror, Haunted Mines, Blackheart’s Bay, Sky Temple, and Tomb of the Spider Queen. Sappers – “The Sappers do a large amount of damage and they are one of the more reliable camps to get structural damage from, but they need to reach a certain range from the Towers before they cast their charge. You will need to escort them into Tower range.” Found on Towers of Doom and Haunted Mines. Impalers – “Impalers act much like Siege Giants, in that they auto attack from outside of Tower range, but their overall effectiveness is a notch down. They can be stacked on certain maps like Infernal Shrines, and that can make them more threatening.” Found on Battlefield of Eternity and Infernal Shrines. Hellbats – “Hellbats are tougher in terms of health than the other siege camps, but their limited range makes them less impactful in sieging. Their splash damage helps to clear, and their large health pools allow them to tank Tower shots. Their auto attacks reduce Armor on Heroes, which makes them a pain to clear on your own.” Found on Braxis Holdout and Warhead Junction. Assault Troopers – “Assault troopers can out-range enemy towers and will help push a wave, but this camp struggles to pack the same punch compared to Siege Giants or Sappers.” Found on Volskaya Foundry. Armored Gnolls – “Alterac Pass is brand new and we are still learning how to play the map in the most effective way possible, but [Armored Gnolls] function much like the Hellbats. I think it’s safe to say that the Armored Gnolls should be treated as Hellbats both in effectiveness and how to approach them.” Found on Alterac Pass. Knights – “Knights are the best camp in the game to push with because the Wizard minion provides a Spell Armor aura. This aura helps increase everyone’s ability to push and makes your minion wave difficult to clear. When the Wizard falls, the camp is far less impactful, so try to protect that little guy at all costs.” Found on Dragon Shire, Cursed Hollow, Garden of Terror, Blackheart’s Bay, Sky Temple, and Tomb of the Spider Queen. Fallen Shaman – “The Fallen Shaman spawns dogs that will fight on his behalf and when they die he will bring in a new set of puppers. The Shaman will stay out of range of Towers and Forts the entire time, so unless you respond to him and kill him, you are relying on the minions to clear him and his dogs. This takes a very long time to make happen and because of this, the camp is the best at split pushing.” Found on Battlefield of Eternity and Infernal Shrines. Goliaths and Raven – “Goliaths can’t out-range the Towers which makes the camp not ideal for sieging. It does provide a solid amount of threat to heroes because the Raven has a long-range seeker missile that can do a decent amount of damage. You can out-range the ability and avoid the damage, but it will force you away from the camp a significant distance. The Raven also has AoE damage to try to help the Goliaths push and the Goliaths are pretty tanky.” Found on Braxis Holdout and Warhead Junction. Why Wait to Capture the Camp?
        So, you’ve done the camp and it’s time to stand on the circle to capture it and get those Mercs pushing. WAIT! You could get so much more out of this if you put a little thought into what you’re doing!
        “You should be stalling the cap whenever you know that there is going to be an objective spawning on the map and that there is no way that anyone on the opponent’s team can contest you," Dreadnaught said. "There are hundreds of different situations where stalling will help your team out, but in all of these cases you are stalling to ensure that you are capping your camp with a purpose and timing it in order to give your team the greatest advantage possible.”
        Stalling the cap of a camp is small change you can make to your game that can have a potentially major impact. “A good example of this would be on the first Shrine Phase of Sky temple," Dreadnaught said. "Your opponents are likely going to start their Knight camp at some point during this time frame and if they do, you may consider stalling the cap of yours to ensure that the Knights meet up under the cover of your top Fort Towers. This gives you the easiest defense position to clear and will allow your Knights to push without interruption while your team fights on the Temple.”
        Common Camp Capture Timings
        Battlefield of Eternity:
        “Capture Impalers before first Immortal.” “Capture Shaman camp as the Immortal spawns.” Braxis Holdout:
        “Either Camp during the Beacon Phase to create pressure and help enable the control.” Cursed Hollow:
        “Capture Giants as the first tribute spawns.” “Capture Knights in between the first and second tribute spawns.” Dragonshire:
        “Roughly 45 seconds after a Dragonknight dies, capture any camp available. This better sets up the map for the next shrine phase.” Garden of Terror:
        “Whenever you have one of the two Garden Terrors cleared, pick up a close camp to demand a response and then get free seeds from the opposite terror. “ “Capture Giants as you are channeling to pilot your own Garden Terror and then pressure mid and bottom with the terror.” Haunted Mines:
        “Capture Sappers and Giants during mine phase to get free damage while everyone is getting skulls.” “Capture Giants when the Grave Golem is sieging to help defend and get counter pressure.” Infernal Shrines:
        “Capture Impalers during the laning phase between rotations of middle and bot lane.” “Capture bottom Impalers once you have control over mid with first Impaler set.” “Capture the Shaman Camp anytime the Shrine spawns middle or bottom, especially bottom.” Sky Temple:
        “Capture Giants and Knights before first Temple phase.” Tomb of the Spider Queen:
        “Capture Knights before or during first turn-in phase.” Towers of Doom:
        “Capture Sappers as soon as they spawn and as often as you can on bottom half of the map.” Volskaya Foundry:
        “Capture bottom Turret Camp as soon as it spawns and as often as possible” “Capture the Support Camp as soon as the Turret camp is picked up, try to take this camp as frequently as possible.” With a little practice and patience, split-pushing and pressuring your opponents can become second nature. Be sure to check back in with us tomorrow for more of Midgame Moves week when we cover everything you need to know about Boss control with HeroesHearth Esports’s Coach Rori "CauthonLuck" Bryant-Raible.
      • By Stan
        Free Hero rotation has been updated for the week of July 17 and features Yrel!
        Free-to-Play Hero Rotation: July 17, 2018
        Raynor Muradin Sonya Nazeebo Uther Jaina Falstad Cassia Ana Lt. Morales Hanzo (Slot unlocked at Player Level 5) Alarak (Slot unlocked at Player Level 10) Chen (Slot unlocked at Player Level 15) Yrel (Slot unlocked at Player Level 20) (Source)
      • By Stan
        Blizzard today fixed a bug from July 10 that affected team compositions in Quick Match games.
        Placeholder for tweet 1017845167808659456 The latest Heroes of the Storm content patch went live earlier this week and with it a bug that lead to erroneous matchmaking in Quick Matches.
        Blizzard (Source)
        Hi everyone,

        We've just rolled out a fix in order to address this issue. Please let us know if you continue to encounter very unusual team compositions during your Quick Match games.

        Thank you!