Oxygen

Probius Patch Meta Tier List (March 2017)

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Our fourth Heroes of the Storm Meta Tier List for the month of March 2017 is here!

Welcome to Icy Veins's Meta Tier List for the Probius patch. The goal if of this list is to try and detail game's current metagame state. The prime goal of such lists is to inform players regarding popular and trending team composition drafting strategies (i.e. the drafting metagame). Although tier listings are generally the product of balance, many factors come into play when discussing the relative perceived strengths of heroes, including player regions, maps, play style, skill level, and, of course, personal perception. As such, any tier list - including this very one - should never be interpreted as gospel, but rather, as a guide to better grasp what to expect with regards to typical drafting experiences. One useful application of such lists is to allow you know which heroes to look out for in terms of practice and counterplay, ultimately improving your knowledge of the game.

Using the list

As stated above, tier lists are easy to mistake for gospel. As new strategies are discovered and experimented with, so changes the perception of the relative strengths of each hero. Tier lists still prove to be useful as a snapshot of player expectations in terms of drafting. Although it is generally considered preferable to focus on high tier heroes (Prime and Core tiers), it is important to note that Heroes of the Storm's wild character and map designs make it so that any given hero's tier position is prone to fluctuate depending on the situation at hand.

One classic example of such is that of Kerrigan on the Infernal Shrines map. Although we currently judge her to be a 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.

If you're newer to the game, also consider visiting our glossary for a comprehensive list of discrete Heroes of the Storm terms.

Additionally, a + or - sign (or several of them) indicates short-to-medium term predictions (which is to say, about a month) for tier increase(s) or decrease(s), respectively. These may be updated after significant balance patches and/or when clear trends are emerging.

 

Prime Tier

Warrior Assassin Support Specialist
Artanis Ragnaros Lúcio  -
    Malfurion  

Prime tier heroes are considered to be extremely strong in all situations, and show no obvious weakness. They are very often banned or picked right away, as they generally dictate the pace of most matches.

 

Core Tier

Warrior Assassin Support Specialist
Anub'arak Falstad Brightwing Nazeebo
Arthas↑+ Gul'dan Rehgar Sylvanas
Dehaka Jaina Tassadar  
Diablo Li-Ming-    
E.T.C.+ Samuro    
Johanna Thrall    
Sonya- Valla    
Varian (Tank) Zeratul    
Zarya      

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
Chen- Alarak Auriel Gazlowe
Leoric Chromie Kharazim  
Muradin+ Greymane Lt. Morales  
Rexxar Kael'thas    
  Kerrigan    
  Lunara    
  Raynor    
  Valeera    
  Varian (Damage)    
  Zul'jin    

Viable tier heroes are generally well-rounded that have either fallen out of favour, or, inversely, are on the rise in popularity, due to the current Prime tier contenders.

 

Niche tier

Warrior Assassin Support Specialist
Cho'gall Cho'gall Li Li Abathur
Stitches Illidan Tyrande Azmodan+
Tyrael Nova Uther Medivh
  The Butcher+   Murky↓↓
  Tracer   Probius (new)
  Tychus   Sgt. Hammer
      The Lost Vikings
      Xul
      Zagara

Niche tier heroes have niche application on certain maps or for certain team compositions. They are generally picked to "round out" your team composition when your team composition is missing out on key components, such as a "jungler" (mercenary camps), a solo laner, or solid waveclear.

 

Bottom Tier

-

Bottom tier Heroes are deemed to be either considerably weaker than the majority of other Heroes, or much more challenging to play properly. Although they may situationally shine, these Heroes are generally avoided by most players.

 

Monthly metagame assessment

The reworks that have had me rewriting guides all week have been hit or miss; although Anub'arak and Arthas have come out as clear winners for these reworks (which also included hefty buffs, not so coincidentally), Tyrael (who wasn't buffed) remains as unpopular as ever, and probably won't be seen for a long time thanks to the removal of one of the game's strongest talents, Imposing Will. But hey, at least, he gets some spell armor and Judgment does more damage.

Speak of nerfs, it seems that last month's wave have had their intended effects: Murky, Tychus, and Protection Varian have been hit hard. The removal rework of Tychus's basic attack range and of the That's the Stuff! talent has opened the door to plenty of tanks to rise. Murky and Protection Varian, two crowd control beasts, being weaker means that strong support heroes without cleanse (read: Lucio) can now be played without actually feeling like picking them has downsides, and being 15 places ahead in winrates ahead of the second highest winrate healer, Rehgar, shows this.

Since we're dealing with a tank-centric metagame, I wouldn't be surprised to see double healer compositions becoming popular again. In this vein, Tassadar has been seeing more and more play, potentially because of his ability to do everything.

Probius probably needs buffs. His design is relatively simple when compared to some of the sub-40%'ers, which generally have their winrates justified by how difficult they are to play. But Probius isn't one of those, leading me to believe he's just undertuned.

Last but not least, Gazlowe's rework, which also came with significant buffs, has made him a lot stronger, if not only for the fact that Robo Goblin can now contribute to team fights. If Gazlowe games are somehow allowed to reach level 20, he becomes quite oppressive with Butcher-level basic attack damage and some 55 armor (!) to play around with. Speak of The Butcher, he's been on a steady rise over the last few patches, despite a meta that wasn't all too favourable to melee assassins. I'd keep an eye out for him.

I suppose I should add that I'm also expecting E.T.C. to become first tier material unless something dramatic happens.

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What do you think of the new Hero descriptions on the selection screen? They seem to be aimed at separating the main four roles of the game into subclasses, but I'm not sure about the brief style of them all, nor do I like the vagueness of most of them, and some of them are just weird; Sylvanas - Ranged Specialist - is a building Assassin! Okay, so that's a typo most likely, but you get the picture. I was hoping they would expand of the details and possible functions of each Hero, as to me, all the current descriptions don't seem all that helpful for any new player or MOBA novice. 

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Ayy new list xD

I feel like you've got all the points correct Oxygen. Azmodan and Butcher are looking really good right now.

Probius is quite fun to play but I feel like he's only effective against players who don't know anything about him or are very very unaware of where they walk. He seems to built around placing Warp Rifts and detonating them when heroes are in it and has little support for much else. The problem is it's very easy to walk out them so I feel like the slow needs a bit of a buff or the placement time reduced to make it a bit more reliable and plus the range is a bit meh. Plus his level 16 talents feel somewhat underwhelming for level 16. He's very easy to counter (instant Valeera kill) and has no reliable escape too (because if he takes any damage during his speed boost he loses it) plus the surefire way to stop him is kill the pylon he just spawned and he's mostly out of commission for 14 seconds. He really does feel like more of a PVE hero though, anytime I'm left alone in lane for a minute or 2, I can get gates and damage/destroy forts. He needs a few tweaks I think

Edited by MurkyFelix

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2 hours ago, Plergoth said:

What do you think of the new Hero descriptions on the selection screen? They seem to be aimed at separating the main four roles of the game into subclasses, but I'm not sure about the brief style of them all, nor do I like the vagueness of most of them, and some of them are just weird; Sylvanas - Ranged Specialist - is a building Assassin! Okay, so that's a typo most likely, but you get the picture. I was hoping they would expand of the details and possible functions of each Hero, as to me, all the current descriptions don't seem all that helpful for any new player or MOBA novice. 

Blizzard recently announced that they had worked the QM queue system to account for those, so they're definitely aware that there's an issue. Personally, I'd just do away with roles as a whole and let people build whatever they like and without game-enforced bias.

2 hours ago, MurkyFelix said:

Ayy new list xD

I feel like you've got all the points correct Oxygen. Azmodan and Butcher are looking really good right now.

Probius is quite fun to play but I feel like he's only effective against players who don't know anything about him or are very very unaware of where they walk. He seems to built around placing Warp Rifts and detonating them when heroes are in it and has little support for much else. The problem is it's very easy to walk out them so I feel like the slow needs a bit of a buff or the placement time reduced to make it a bit more reliable and plus the range is a bit meh. Plus his level 16 talents feel somewhat underwhelming for level 16. He's very easy to counter (instant Valeera kill) and has no reliable escape too (because if he takes any damage during his speed boost he loses it) plus the surefire way to stop him is kill the pylon he just spawned and he's mostly out of commission for 14 seconds. He really does feel like more of a PVE hero though, anytime I'm left alone in lane for a minute or 2, I can get gates and damage/destroy forts. He needs a few tweaks I think

A lot of people are saying Probius is just difficult to play, and won't have a high winrate like Medivh, etc. I think he's nowhere near as difficult to play, and doesn't have nowhere near the potential for outplays/high skill cap either. I feel like he's just undertuned.

18 minutes ago, Dicebar said:

Sgt. Hammer is missing from the tier list. She's not the best, but leaving her out completely?! :-)

Woops! I knew I'd forgotten something. I see her as Niche. I'll add her up soon.

 

As usual, thanks everyone for the comments.

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Probius is indeed undertuned, but he really excels at PvE when it comes to defending objectives (such as in Dragon Shire and Sky Temple). I hope Blizzard buffs him so he can contribute a bit more in team fights.

I hope Cho'gall also gets more buffs; even with the rework they're still underperforming. To be fair I think they're worse than before now, which is really sad because I was very hyped about their rework.

Edited by Valhalen

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Nice tier list, glad you create theese pretty quickly after patches come out. Still a couple of heroes whose positions in the list i would argue about:

1. Samuro. How is he that high? He saw barely any play outside certain maps (Blackhearts and Garden) in mid to high level of play and is easly countered by most heroes with AoE potential and even more so now as Arthas has risen up in popularity as Arthas farms his lv1 and lv4 quests easly from the clones and frozen tempest in general deals with them with ease. Should be niche tier imo.

2. Chen. In my honest opinion he sits at even worse spot than Rexxar or Samuro as his niche (solo lane bullying) is so rare and other heroes who have better teamfight potential do his job just as well. In general just undertuned compared to new warriors and reworked Sonya. Should be niche tier imo.

3. Medivh. Although he sits at dreadful winrate and is very rarely played under about Master level in Hero League, he has indefinite potential and in hands of a good player definitely is a worthwhile pick for most team compositions and maps as long as the composition already has enough damage (Medivh has dreadful damage for a ranged specialist before he gets his stacks, as most people know already). Should be viable/core tier (depending on which level of players this guide is meant for) imo.

 

This isnt meant to be a rage rant or "this site sucks"-reply just some food for thought.

Counter arguments are appreciated if you disagree.

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22 hours ago, Plergoth said:

Sylvanas - Ranged Specialist - is a building Assassin! Okay, so that's a typo most likely, but you get the picture. 

I don't think that's a typo. Building is used here as an adjective rather than a verb. Such as an assassin of buildings. Which she is quite good at. 

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2 hours ago, BrightwingMain said:

Samuro.  farms his lv1 and lv4 quests easly from the clones and frozen tempest in general deals with them with ease. Should be niche tier imo.

This is his most under-rated flaw. Him and Vikings suffer from it, because I don't see blizzard moving away from the "hit X number of heroes" quest talents. I love playing KT, and LOVE playing against those two because quest farm is assured. Until they make his mirror images not count for those quests, he will always have a struggle.

Can I get clarification? Are the green + signs meaning improvement but not tier changing improvement?

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29 minutes ago, Laragon said:

Can I get clarification? Are the green + signs meaning improvement but not tier changing improvement?

The original post states "Additionally, a + or - sign (or several of them) indicates short-to-medium term predictions (which is to say, about a month) for tier increase(s) or decrease(s), respectively." - it's a prediction to the future. The hero with + is likely to be stronger soon (most likely due to meta shifts). 

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4 hours ago, BrightwingMain said:

Counter arguments are appreciated if you disagree.

I agree with you on the first two: samuros is really just a pubstomper right now (as is the nature of any stealth hero) and chen is pretty undertuned for how high his skill-ceiling is (or maybe it just seems high because he's undertuned? either way).

You're also partly right about Medivh - power-level-wise he is easily top tier, and is very comp/map friendly as well. However, I'd say that even if this list were meant just for players skilled enough to get value from him (which tbh is a lot higher skill level than most medivh players seem to think it is...), medivh isn't *just* about being hard to play well.  He also requires good team communication and coordination to get full value from his pretty much every ability but his Q - which is not something you often find even at very high levels of Hero League. This means things like offensive portal engages, FoW enabled deep dives, and even effective raven scouting are very difficult to do right simply because voice chat is not default and everyone cues up alone.

TLDR: Medivh is good but lack of communication in hero league should keep him out of the HL meta.

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On 18.3.2017 at 10:55 PM, Plergoth said:

What do you think of the new Hero descriptions on the selection screen? They seem to be aimed at separating the main four roles of the game into subclasses, but I'm not sure about the brief style of them all, nor do I like the vagueness of most of them, and some of them are just weird; Sylvanas - Ranged Specialist - is a building Assassin! Okay, so that's a typo most likely, but you get the picture. I was hoping they would expand of the details and possible functions of each Hero, as to me, all the current descriptions don't seem all that helpful for any new player or MOBA novice. 

I would like that, mostly to change Hero League player mentalities (people think Tass can solo support or Artanis or Zarya can solo tank). Quick solution that could work both short and long term would be introducing fifth role "Bruiser", and change "Warrior" to "Tank" and move Tyrande and Tassadar from Support to Specialist. Bruiser would include all non-solotank Warriors as well as handful of assassins like Ragnaros and Varian to clarify the roles of those heroes to the general audience and make Hero League drafting better. Moving Tass and Tyrande, or at least Tass, to specialist would make people realize that those heroes are unable to single handedly sustain an entire team.

 

With more consideration id probably leave Tyrande as support as she is capable of solo healing "pick comps". But Tass is not a support especially after Archon buffs, but never was and will be assassin either so i'd consider him to be best suited in the specialist roster.

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I'm surprised to see Sonya in the Core Tier. The minor buffs to Whirlwind sure helped her survivability, but I don't see that solving all her major issues. Though when putting a bit more of thought, I think she does perform well in the current "Double Warrior Meta", however she only shines in the endgame (Nerves of Steel + Ignore Pain), and by having a proper team with decent crowd control and heals to support her. However, I'm not really fond of Heroes that depend on really long cooldowns to be effective, which is a shame, because Sonya is one of my favorite characters.

Edited by Valhalen

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Liking the list.  I'm happy having something to talk about while I'm unable to play (RIP my PC :().

I think you're being a bit too conservative with ETC right now.  He's the most banned warrior and second most picked, most popular by far.  His winrate hangs around 50%, but he's hotly contested at all levels.  It's been said elsewhere, but could you imagine if Blizzard tried to release him today as a new hero and the uproar we'd get?  AOE stun, push-back interrupt, and a channeled 5 second stun.

Additionally, you can drop Chen down to the niche tier at this point.  No sense in waiting.  He's useless if he can't use his trait to tank, but there's so many interrupts for his drinking right now that he's not able to just soak up damage the way he's supposed to.  Even if you're tempted to take him, he lacks hard CC, so he can only be a second warrior, and there are much better options.

A couple of others to look at are Falstad and Li Ming.  They're both quite popular, but based on winrate they (Li Ming especially) are drastically underperforming.  Li Ming has basically the worst winrate of any assassin the game....except Gall.  And it's probably safe to warm up a spot for Cho'gall on that bottom tier now.  It's reached old Murky territory.

Edited by FirstBlood
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On 3/21/2017 at 3:37 PM, Valhalen said:

I'm surprised to see Sonya in the Core Tier. The minor buffs to Whirlwind sure helped her survivability, but I don't see that solving all her major issues. Though when putting a bit more of thought, I think she does perform well in the current "Double Warrior Meta", however she only shines in the endgame (Nerves of Steel + Ignore Pain), and by having a proper team with decent crowd control and heals to support her. However, I'm not really fond of Heroes that depend on really long cooldowns to be effective, which is a shame, because Sonya is one of my favorite characters.

High sustain duelists tend to thrive in a low burst damage meta such as this one. Sonya and Butcher. I wouldn't be surprised to see Illidan make a bit of a comeback, but I feel he's been artificially kept weak due to how difficult his ability set is to balance.

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26 minutes ago, Oxygen said:

High sustain duelists tend to thrive in a low burst damage meta such as this one. Sonya and Butcher. I wouldn't be surprised to see Illidan make a bit of a comeback, but I feel he's been artificially kept weak due to how difficult his ability set is to balance.

But if that is the case, why is The Butcher in the Niche Tier? Is it because of him relying on the team to be built around him, whereas Sonya doesn't?

Also, I'd say Illidan is more a nuisance than a real threat, mainly for the reason you stated: he is weak because his kit is hard to balance. I don't feel threatened by him at all (and I mainly play Auriel). And I honestly don't think there is a single reason to have a Illidan in the team other than helping to capture Mercenary Camps and occasionally secure a kill with The Hunt.

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6 minutes ago, Valhalen said:

But if that is the case, why is The Butcher in the Niche Tier? Is it because of him relying on the team to be built around him, whereas Sonya doesn't?

Also, I'd say Illidan is more a nuisance than a real threat, mainly for the reason you stated: he is weak because his kit is hard to balance. I don't feel threatened by him at all (and I mainly play Auriel). And I honestly don't think there is a single reason to have a Illidan in the team other than helping to capture Mercenary Camps and occasionally secure a kill with The Hunt.

Regarding Butcher, that's correct. He's also much more late-game oriented, making him more difficult to play with (or less versatile, in other words). He also happens to be much easier to counterpick, whereas Sonya cares much less about being blinded. Still, I gave Butcher a + for this patch, simply because he is ridiculously strong under the right circumstances. Popularity also comes into play, since our lists aren't -only- tied to hero power level. Sonya's involvement rate is 8% higher (in absolute terms - she's basically picked 33% more often in relative terms), which has an impact on the assessment.

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On 23.3.2017 at 3:32 AM, FirstBlood said:

Liking the list.  I'm happy having something to talk about while I'm unable to play (RIP my PC :().

I think you're being a bit too conservative with ETC right now.  He's the most banned warrior and second most picked, most popular by far.  His winrate hangs around 50%, but he's hotly contested at all levels.  It's been said elsewhere, but could you imagine if Blizzard tried to release him today as a new hero and the uproar we'd get?  AOE stun, push-back interrupt, and a channeled 5 second stun.

Additionally, you can drop Chen down to the niche tier at this point.  No sense in waiting.  He's useless if he can't use his trait to tank, but there's so many interrupts for his drinking right now that he's not able to just soak up damage the way he's supposed to.  Even if you're tempted to take him, he lacks hard CC, so he can only be a second warrior, and there are much better options.

A couple of others to look at are Falstad and Li Ming.  They're both quite popular, but based on winrate they (Li Ming especially) are drastically underperforming.  Li Ming has basically the worst winrate of any assassin the game....except Gall.  And it's probably safe to warm up a spot for Cho'gall on that bottom tier now.  It's reached old Murky territory.

ETC has (+) meaning he was expected to rise to Prime tier. I agree on Chen, he needs a rework asap. Falstad is about macro and proper split pushing and rotations, flaws in execution not in power level. Ming attracts bad players with her flashy nature, she is not even hard nor underpowered, just happens to be the classic HL retards' weapon of choice. Cho'gall seems to basically just as bad as he used to be, but time will show if he will actually be that terrible.  Should have a (-) icon next to him.

Good improvement ideas in general, hope you get your PC fixed asap.

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10 hours ago, BrightwingMain said:

ETC has (+) meaning he was expected to rise to Prime tier. I agree on Chen, he needs a rework asap. Falstad is about macro and proper split pushing and rotations, flaws in execution not in power level. Ming attracts bad players with her flashy nature, she is not even hard nor underpowered, just happens to be the classic HL retards' weapon of choice. Cho'gall seems to basically just as bad as he used to be, but time will show if he will actually be that terrible.  Should have a (-) icon next to him.

Good improvement ideas in general, hope you get your PC fixed asap.

Thanks.  My PC has just been having serious heat issues (it was never initially meant as a gaming pc so I run games on the lowest graphic settings).  I'm making some upgrades to the cooling system and adding a case fan which I think will make a big difference.

I would tend to agree about Li Ming, except that she's got bad winrates regardless of build and level.  She's the worst performing assassin at Master League.  The only level where her winrate matches her popularity is in the pro game, but I assumed this tier list took more than just the pro level meta into consideration. 

My own winrate with Ming is just over 50%, but she's not in a good spot in the meta right now.  She's got lots of counters (Anub'arak is obviously a very hard counter right now) but she's is not a counter for anything.  There's no draft where you're seeing the opponent take Li Ming and your reaction is "We're in trouble," because the other mages all do something better than she does.  Jaina is better for burst, KT is better for punishing clumped heroes, Gul'dan is better for sustain and waveclear, and Chromie is better for long ranged sniping.   I'm actually at a loss to describe a draft situation where Li Ming is definitely the answer.  The best I can come up with is that the map is BOE, the other team is tank heavy but doesn't have Anub'arak, and you need someone to poke the immortal while they're defensively positioned.

One other hero I'm watching is TLV, actually.  I guess "niche" is the definition of what they are, but with good APM, they're basically an auto-win on Gardens of Terror.  A good TLV gets tons of value on any map where the objective will keep teams off the lanes for extended periods-they can get surprising value on Haunted Mines and Infernal Shrines as well.  I have a feeling they might get played more if they didn't feel like a joke character.

Edited by FirstBlood

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11 hours ago, FirstBlood said:

My own winrate with Ming is just over 50%, but she's not in a good spot in the meta right now.  She's got lots of counters (Anub'arak is obviously a very hard counter right now) but she's is not a counter for anything.  There's no draft where you're seeing the opponent take Li Ming and your reaction is "We're in trouble," because the other mages all do something better than she does.  Jaina is better for burst, KT is better for punishing clumped heroes, Gul'dan is better for sustain and waveclear, and Chromie is better for long ranged sniping.   I'm actually at a loss to describe a draft situation where Li Ming is definitely the answer.  The best I can come up with is that the map is BOE, the other team is tank heavy but doesn't have Anub'arak, and you need someone to poke the immortal while they're defensively positioned.

One other hero I'm watching is TLV, actually.  I guess "niche" is the definition of what they are, but with good APM, they're basically an auto-win on Gardens of Terror.  A good TLV gets tons of value on any map where the objective will keep teams off the lanes for extended periods-they can get surprising value on Haunted Mines and Infernal Shrines as well.  I have a feeling they might get played more if they didn't feel like a joke character.

Ming's whole power level is based around the fact that you need to get resets with your trait, in a vacuum where there's no resets for you she is very sub par.

TLV is ridiculous on Garden of Terror, especially in mid to high tier level of play, playing it on other maps requires good individual skill and coordination of your team. Mostly just realizing to group up and get picks with a 4 man deathball comp. Certain maps make vikings function very differently; on Garden vikings' strength lies in the late game pushing and constant siege threat with talents like bribe and fury of the storm. Vikings' job is to accelerate the map pressure, which innately with normal comps is very very slow. On the other hand on maps like Towers of Doom or Sky Temple vikings needs to get early lead with manipulating the map objective, to be successful with vikings on those maps you need to get both xp advantage and either core shot or structure advantage depending which map are you playing on. On those maps teamfights are more important than on Garden and thus the innately low teamfight potential of viking comps requires you to be very precise and get very big lead early on. On Warhead Junction Vikings is more a constant backdoor source as they are able to get huge amounts of warheads for free and accelerate the map with them and very quickly threaten even keep level structures. Vikings also provides vision on the boss points which is crucial as viking comps are bad at contesting bosses usually. On Warhead you need to be able to get medium amount of xp lead but a huge nuke lead to be successful. Also vikings are very gankable on that map and the large size of the map makes you very quickly lose soak as soon as a viking bites the dust which results in significant xp loss as you are often not able to rotate fast enough without global presence heroes (Dehaka, BW or Falstad) and falling behind on xp as viking comp results in almost certain loss.

 

TL:DR

Vikings is more versatile than people think and functions in unique fashion on each map.

You need to have a strong 4 man to either delay objectives or gank and the 4 man to know what they are doing, as well as you.

A bad viking player wins on Garden most of the time but loses on all other maps every time.

 

Also, on certain maps you should literally never take vikings (Two lane maps and very small maps). Just believe that without further explanation and you will be saved from a lot of pain and frustration. Just don't take vikings on those ever. Please. I beg you.

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We'll see if the Ragnaros nerfs (again!) will have any effect on his popularity. 20 seconds on Sulfuras Smash is a pretty big deal, but I feel it'll remain a strong pick. What's a cooldown if you just end up killing everyone?!

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Cassia is very strong. Expected core tier material. Hard counters quite a few heroes as well, making her a strong reactive pick.

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What do you think of the new patch? P.S. All Shall Suffer.

Edited by Ilonpilaaja

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On 3/31/2017 at 8:09 AM, Ilonpilaaja said:

What do you think of the new patch? P.S. All Shall Suffer.

Leoric is a really strong pick right now. He does well against the immobile tanks we're seeing a lot, and any game you reach level 20 is essentially a win due to how ridiculously strong spectral leech is. I don't think the patch changed much of anything, however, though it was still welcome. I'll go more indepth for the next one, with Cassia and potentially Genji.

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It feels like ETC got a bit of a nerf, but it could be that players are taking a while to react to the changes to his trait.  He went from automatic on Battlefield of Eternity to more situation.

This is just after I was advocating putting him in the prime tier, also.  Seems like Blizzard agreed with me, I just hate the way they changed him.

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    • By Oxygen
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      Blizzard (Source)
      What differentiates a highly skilled player on a given Hero isn’t always obvious, though.
      In a complex game such as Heroes of the storm, is it ever? The system is claimed to be “dynamic”, which means that, over time, it reevaluates how it defines skilled play for a given hero as it is fed new data. However, in practice, I just don’t think "skill" is something that can be reliably measured by in-game performance data alone. Nor should it be. Let us draw comparisons between Heroes of the Storm and chess, which has used a similar matchmaking system known as ELO for some decades now. In chess, what would you say matters most between the two following statements?
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      The answer is “it depends”. Although both tactics may lead to victory, the first style is opportunistic whereas the second is analytical. Unfortunately for the second player, their strategy would be much harder for a performance-based system to evaluate; how would it know what defines a key piece, let alone a key moment? The first approach is mathematical; one is better than zero and, generally, “free” trades correlate with winning, which is more or less why they are inexistant at a high level chess unless intentional.
      In chess, you aren’t rewarded for losing less, and the reason for this is that the underlying ELO system is robust and self-correcting; rating resets don’t occur every couple months, let alone twice in a week, and rating gains and losses are small. Of course, the ELO system isn’t beyond reproach, but I think it’s fair to say that players understand that long-term results are what matter, not individual game results. And, it doesn’t run the risk of overvaluing Queen taking Rook because of insufficient or misinterpreted data.

      Queen literally takes Rook during a Tribute fight. Siege damage is important to Zagara, says data.
      As you can tell probably tell by now, I’m very skeptical about how such a system is supposed to evaluate what differentiates a highly skilled player, period, regardless of what hero it is they’re playing. Here’s a concrete example of what I mean by that: Although I don’t consider myself to be a particularly strong mechanical player, I have always managed to maintain a rather high win/loss ratios, for a team game, back in my active days anyway. Why? I’d be lying if I didn’t say that many of these victories weren’t simply due to outdrafting opponents, clear non-confrontational shotcalling, encouraging teammates, defusing infighting, taking every match seriously, knowing when and why to engage, going over mistakes, and generally making powerful macro decisions. On top of being that one weird guy that says “can play anything*, prefer assassin or specialist, let’s try to ban x and pick y.” Doesn’t reading that first thing in any given lobby instill confidence in the rest of your teammates? I bet this translates into wins every once in a while, so why not do it?
      I tend to thrive on waveclear tanks with strong engaging power because they let me decide exactly when a minion wave needs to push or when an enemy hero needs to die despite low mechanical ceilings.

      And now you know how to ban me out.
      *…whereas I couldn’t outplay most of my opponents to save my life. I accept my fate as one of the worst Illidan players in existence, and I’m fine with it.

      I have nothing to add, your honor.
      The great irony here is that none of the aforementioned elements that I feel make me, and probably many other players, reasonably strong are – nor can be – taken into account by any automated system because they’re simply too subjective. Why exactly am I being punished for not mindlessly using my abilities on-cooldown and padding my numbers? We get it; dealing damage is important. But what about useful damage? How can that ever be taken into account by a machine? This might sound like an argument from incredulity but, as I see it, we have plenty of evidence to conclude that the system isn’t quite working as intended.
      Of course, within this system, winning is still what matters most, and by far. Fortunately for me, my skillset does tend to translate into wins. But obfuscating one’s point gains and losses behind questionable variables is going to, at best, confuse players, and at worst, breed harmful behaviour. These two consequences have already been observed.
      TL;DR:
      A solid performance-based matchmaking system can have positive effects on matchmaking by allowing players to find their appropriate MMR faster. However, what defines a good player in a complex, team-oriented game goes well beyond what any data collection system can collect, interpret, and use. In its current state, the performance-based matchmaking system is at best unnecessary and at worst obfuscating, and ultimately risks breeding harmful player behaviour.
      I’ll allow myself to end on a bit of wisdom: If you play to improve, you’ll never lose a game in your life. And the sooner you quit worrying about your rank, the sooner you’ll be able to focus on what really matters.