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The 2018 gameplay update is now live on PTR along with Hanzo, balance changes, a new map rotation for Ranked Play and various bug fixes.
The latest Heroes of the Storm patch will be available for playtesting until December 11. The 2018 update was revealed at this year's BlizzCon. Stealth shader has been updated and many Heroes with Stealth received reworks, Artanis is down to 7,000 Gold and more.
Our next Heroes of the Storm patch has just hit the Public Test Realm and will be available for playtesting until December 11. During this time, we kindly request your assistance in trying out the new content before we officially release the patch. As always, if you encounter any bugs or other issues during your PTR play sessions, please stop by the PTR Bug Report forum to let us know about your experiences.
The matchmaking system has been updated to include a performance-based data-driven system, which takes individual player performance into account when determining MMR gains and losses. Under this new system, players will now reach their intended Matchmaking Rating quicker and more accurately. Read our recent blog about Performance-Based Matchmaking to learn more. Game Camera Height
In-game Camera height has been significantly increased in order to provide more visibility of the battlefield. New Hero: Hanzo
Once heir to the Shimada clan's criminal empire, Hanzo abandoned his birthright after he almost killed his younger brother. He now strives to perfect his skills as a warrior, and sees the Nexus and its endless conflict as the ideal training ground.
PTR Note: In order to focus playtesting and feedback on the 2018 Gameplay Update and Stealth changes found in this patch, Hanzo will not be available for play on the Public Test Realm until the week of November 27. Trait
Natural Agility (D) Target unpathable terrain or a Structure to jump to the other side of it. Basic Abilities
Storm Bow (Q) Activate to charge an arrow that deals 270 damage to the first enemy hit. Storm Bow's range increases the longer it is Channeled. Reactivate to fire. Scatter Arrow (W) Fire an arrow that deals 85 to the first enemy Hero hit. Scatter Arrow can collide with terrain and Structures, splitting into 5 arrows that travel extra distance, ricochet up to 4 additional times, and deal 85 damage each to the first enemy hit. Sonic Arrow (E) Fire an arrow that grants vision in a large area 8 seconds. Enemies inside are revealed for 1 second. If Sonic Arrow lands directly on an enemy, it deals 150 damage to them and follows them as they move. Heroic Abilities
Dragonstrike (R) After 1.5 seconds, summon a pair of Spirit Dragons which travel forward, dealing 52 damage every 0.25 seconds to enemy Heroes in its area. Enemies in the center take 150% damage. Dragon’s Arrow (R) Fire a missile that travels across the battleground. Explodes upon hitting an enemy Hero, dealing 100 damage to all nearby enemies and Stunning them for 0.5 seconds. After traveling a medium distance, the damage is increased to 200 and the Stun duration to 1.25 seconds. After traveling a long distance, the damage is increased to 350 and the Stun duration to 2 seconds. 2018 Gameplay Update
The first Battleground objective event will now activate 90 seconds into the match, following a 30-second warning, for the following Battlegrounds: Blackheart’s Bay Doubloon Chests will now consistently spawn 3 minutes after the final Chest during a the previous event has been captured. Braxis Holdout Beacon events after the first will now consistently spawn 2 minutes and 10 seconds after a previous Zerg wave has been defeated. Dragon Shire Shrines will now consistently spawn 2 minutes after a Dragon Knight has been killed. The first Battleground objective event will now activate 3 minutes into the match, following a 30-second warning, for the following Battlegrounds: Battlefield of Eternity Cursed Hollow Garden of Terror Haunted Mines Infernal Shrines Sky Temple Towers of Doom Warhead Junction The following Battleground objective timers are unchanged: Tomb of the Spider Queen Volskaya Foundry The Minimap will now indicate the next objective spawn location for the following Battlegrounds: Cursed Hollow The first Shrine indicator will appear on the Minimap 30 seconds after the game begins, and subsequent indicators will appear 15 seconds after the previous Tribute has been captured. Infernal Shrines The first Tribute indicator will appear on the Minimap 30 seconds after the game begins, and subsequent indicators will appear 30 seconds after a Punisher is defeated. Hover the cursor over a Shrine indicator on the Minimap to display whether it will be a Mortar, Frost, or Arcane Shrine. Sky Temple The first Temple indicators will appear on the Minimap 30 seconds after the game begins, as well as 30 seconds after all Temples in the same event have been depleted. Towers of Doom The first Altar indicators will appear on the Minimap 30 seconds after the game begins, as well as 30 seconds after the final Altars in an event has been captured. Warhead Junction The first Warhead indicators will appear on the Minimap 30 seconds after the game begins, as well as 30 seconds after the final Warhead in an event has been collected. Regeneration Globes
Regeneration Globes will now become neutral (claimable by both teams) if not claimed within 3 seconds. Time before Regeneration Globes expire has been reduced to 6 seconds. Structures
All attacking structures no longer have ammunition. Walls will now be destroyed if their connected Towers and Gate are also destroyed. Walls can still be attacked normally. Tower vision range has been increased by 25% Tower damage to minions has been reduced by 25% Structures now have a warmup period of .5 seconds before firing and must face their targets completely Structure attack warning responsiveness has been significantly improved Standalone Towers (found next to Forts and Keeps) have been removed. The Health, granted Experience, and Damage of Standalone Towers has been redistributed into their surrounding gate Towers, Forts, and Keeps. Forts and Keeps now have True Sight, meaning they will reveal and attack Stealthed Heroes. True Sight is disabled while the Structure is disabled by effects such as the Raven Lord’s Curse or Sylvanas’ Black Arrow Trait. Minions
Minion base damage has been increased by roughly 10% The 5 second delay before Minions spawn after the game begins has been removed. Mercenaries
Respawn Timers Mercenary Camps will now spawn 60 seconds after the game begins Siege Giant Camp Siege Defenders Defending Siege Giant attacks are now telegraphed on the terrain and can be dodged. Siege Laners Attack telegraphing and missile trajectory has been significantly improved. Hellbat Camp Respawn times have been doubled Hellbats will now prioritize structures Defender Hellbat Stats Base health increased by 125%, Health scaling increased by 200% Damage increased by 125% Damage scaling reduced by 50% Laner Hellbat Stats Base health increased by roughly 25% Health scaling increased by 43% Base damage increased by 50% Damage scaling decreased by 66% Damage taken from structures reduced by 50% Attacks now apply a 3-second stacking -5 Armor debuff to all targets, stacking up to 20 times (structures included) Knight Camp Wizard Knight Laner Wizard Knight Laner has a Spell Armor Aura Grants all nearby Allies (Minions, Mercenaries, and Heroes) 30 Spell Armor Spell Armor is immediately removed upon leaving the aura area. This Aura is destroyed when the Wizard is killed Wizard Knight Defender Grants nearby Knight Defenders a 15 Spell Armor aura This Aura is destroyed when the Wizard is killed Sapper Camp Sapper Defenders Now fire their attacks at target areas, instead of directly at Heroes. This behaves like the laning Sappers Sapper Explosion damage now scales over time Health scaling increased by 33% Respawn timer across all maps increased from 105 to 120 seconds Laning Sappers now have 100 Armor vs Structures while charging and Towers will ignore charging Sappers Art
Heroes, Abilities, and Talents
Zeratul has received updated art to coincide with Talent changes. Minimap
Minimap art has been updated across all Battlegrounds. Stealth
Added an overlay to indicate when a Stealthed character goes Invisible Added a new Stealth visual effect. Enemy Stealthed Heroes should now be easier to spot. Battlegrounds
Sandbox Custom Game Improvements
The following new cheats have been added to Sandbox Custom Games: Spawn Camps Respawn all Mercenary Camps. Spawn Dummy Creates a dialog allowing players to choose a type of dummy to spawn. Player can then click in the game world to create a dummy of the selected dummy type at mouse cursor position. One player cannot spawn more than 20 dummies. When a player deals damage or heals a target dummy the Target Dummy Panel will pop up displaying the damage or healing dealt. If player deals damage to multiple dummies with an AOE ability, the number will be the combination of damage done to all dummies. If the team hasn't dealt damage or healing to any of the dummies for 8 seconds, the Target Dummy Panel will disappear for that team. If a player hasn't dealt damage or healing to any of the dummies for 8 seconds, their damage and DPS will be reset to 0. Clear Dummies If the "Share Cheat" checkbox is unchecked, remove all the dummies created by all players. If the "Share Cheat" checkbox is checked, remove all the dummies created by that player. Toggle Fog of War Disabling Fog of War for a team will remove Fog of War, revealing the whole map for that team. Reset HP/MP If the "Share Cheat" checkbox is unchecked, reset all players' Health and Mana to full. If the "Share Cheat" checkbox is checked, reset the player's Health and Mana to full. Complete Quests If the "Share Cheat" checkbox is unchecked, complete all talent quests for all player. If the "Share Cheat" checkbox is checked, complete all talent quests for that player. Instant Respawn If the "Share Cheat" checkbox is unchecked, instantly respawn all dead Heroes. If the "Share Cheat" checkbox is checked, instantly respawn the player's Hero. Haunted Mines
Issuing a Move command within the Mines while on the Battleground’s upper level, or vice versa, will now cause the Hero to use the Mine Entrance or Exit that is the shortest distance from the issued order. Summoned Grave Golem Fort and Keep attacks no longer reduce attack speed Will no longer interrupt its attacks mid-swing to use an Ability Now passes through player-created walls rather than stopping to destroy them Ranked Battleground Rotation Update
Added to Rotation Warhead Junction Removed from Rotation Volskaya Foundry Garden of TerrorThe full Ranked Battleground Rotation is now as follows: Battlefield of Eternity Braxis Holdout Cursed Hollow Dragon Shire Infernal Shrines Sky Temple Tomb of the Spider Queen Towers of Doom Warhead Junction Design
Stealth players will now become “Invisible” after remaining still for 1.5 seconds. Invisible Heroes will not display the Stealth visual effect and can still be removed from Stealth by taking damage. This includes Heroes under the effects of temporary Stealth effects such as Samuro’s Windwalk or Tyrande’s Shadowstalk. Additionally, Heroes cannot become Invisible while occupying a capture point, such as Braxis Holdout or Mercenary Camp Beacons. Instead, they will retain normal Stealth visual effects. User Interface
General Hero portraits will now be displayed when heroes are inside the following Vehicles, Battleground objectives, or Hero Abilities: Dragon Knight Garden Terror Triglav Protector Anub'arak - Cocoon Lt. Morales – Medivac Dropship Stitches - Gorge Zagara - Devouring Maw Manual Talent Tier and Hero Status Callouts Players can now press ALT + left-click Hero portraits and the Team Level UI at the top of the screen to generate notifications for the following situations: Press ALT + left-click an ally’s Hero portrait to inform teammates when that ally needs assistance. ALT + left-clicking a dead Hero’s portrait will generate a chat message indicating that Hero’s remaining respawn time. ALT + left-clicking an enemy Hero portrait will ping that Hero’s location on the Minimap if they are within allied vision. If that enemy is outside of allied vision, a chat message will inform allies that the Hero is missing. Press ALT + right-click the Team Level UI to indicate when both teams are on even Talent tiers, or when one team has a Talent tier advantage over the other.
Snipe (Q) Damage reduced from 310 to 255. Baseline quest added: Hitting an enemy Hero increases the damage of Snipe by 5% stacking 5 times. When at max stacks (5) it gains an additional 25% damage. If Snipe fails to hit a target, all stacks are lost. Pinning Shot (W) Damage from 110 to 105 Holo Decoy (E) Added functionality: Decoys now deal 10% of Nova’s damage Permanent Cloak (Trait) Added functionality: Gain 15% movement speed while Stealthed Triple Tap (R) Damage per shot from 338 to 372 (New) Ghost Protocol (1) Activate to instantly cloak, leave a Holo Decoy at your feet, and become unrevealable for .5 seconds. Talents
Level 1 Advanced Cloaking (Trait) New functionality: Increase your Stealth movement speed by 5%. While Stealthed, gain 2 additional mana regeneration per second. Level 7 Snipe Master (Q) Removed Perfect Shot (Q) Moved from Level 16 Cooldown reduction on Hero hit reduced from 3 to 2 seconds Level 13 Psionic Efficiency (Q) Bonus range increased from 10 to 15% (New Talent) Ionic Force Field (Trait) Gain 25 Armor for 2 seconds after losing stealth Level 16 Lethal Decoy (E) Damage bonus from clones increased from 40 to 50% Level 20 (New Talent) Apollo Suit (Trait) Reduce the cooldown of Permanent Cloak from 3 to 1 second
Basic Attack damage increased from 88 to 110 Abilities
Mirror Image (Q) Samuro will now appear in the direction of the player’s Mouse Cursor when Mirror Image is cast. Mirror Image damage is no longer a fraction of Samuro’s Attack Damage. Mirror Image base damage has been greatly reduced to 9. Mirror Images are no longer instantly destroyed by Structures Critical Strike (W) Cooldown increased from 8 to 10 seconds Illusion Master (R) New functionality: Reduce the cooldown of Advancing Strikes to 8 seconds Now increases the attack damage of Mirror Images by 100% Now also increases Samuro’s Basic Attack damage by 10% Image Transmission (Trait) Additional functionality: Activate to switch places with the target Mirror Image, removing most negative effects from Samuro and the target Mirror Image. 25-second cooldown. Talents
Tooltips for various talents have been updated to reflect whether Samuro or his Mirror Images benefit from their effects Level 1 Way of the Wind (E) New Functionality: Gain 40% Movement Speed for 3 seconds upon entering or exiting Stealth by using Wind Walk Way of the Blade (W) No longer grants bonus Critical Strike damage Way of Illusion (Q) Mirror Images no longer benefit from this talent Level 4 One with the Wind (E) Armor gain now also lasts for 3 seconds after being revealed Mirror Images now also gain Armor Armor amount reduced from 60 to 30 Level 7 Phantom Pain (W) Mirror Images no longer benefit from this talent Crushing Blows (W) Mirror Images no longer benefit from this talent Bonus Critical Strike damage has been removed Additional functionality: Samuro’s Basic Attacks against enemy Heroes reduce the cooldown of Critical Strike by 1.5 seconds Level 13 Kawarimi (E) Reduced the time between Samuro issuing a new order after using Wind Walk and the image following it. It should now be harder for the new Image to follow Samuro’s new movements after using Wind Walk. Level 16 Press the Attack (Trait) Attack Speed bonus reduced from 15% to 10% per stack. Maximum bonus decreased from 60% to 40% Harsh Winds (E) Mirror Images no longer benefit from this talent Merciless Strikes (W) Mirror Images no longer benefit from this talent
Vanish (D) Movement Speed increased from 10% to 20% Ambush (Q) If Valeera is Vanished for 3 seconds, this ability has 5 range and teleports Valeera behind her target. Damage reduced from 180 to 130 Now also reduces enemy Armor by 10 for 4 seconds Cheap Shot (W) Stun duration reduced from 1.25 to .75 seconds Now Blinds the target for 2 seconds after the stun effect ends If Valeera is Vanished for 3 seconds, this ability has 5 range and teleports Valeera behind her target Garrote (E) Silence duration increased from 2.25 to 2.75 seconds If Valeera is Vanished for 3 seconds, this ability has 5 range and teleports Valeera behind her target Talents
Level 1 Subtlety (D) Adjusted functionality: Now triggers when Valeera teleports to her target with Ambush, Cheap Shot, and Garrote. Energy return reduced from 10 to 8 per second. Crippling Poison (Active) Slow duration reduced from 5 to 4 seconds. Valeera’s poison is no longer removed after the first damaging Ability, but instead is applied by all Valeera's Abilities for 4 seconds. This duration does not start until Valeera damages her first enemy. Level 4 Wound Poison (Active) Healing reduction duration decreased from 5 to 4 seconds Valeera’s poison is no longer removed after the first damaging Ability, but instead is applied by all Valeera's Abilities for 4 seconds. This duration does not start until Valeera damages her first enemy Level 7 Slice and Dice (E) Valeera's Basic Attacks now restore 2 Energy. Level 13 Death from Above (Q) New functionality: Ambush reduces the cooldown of Vanish by 4 seconds. Blind (W) Now increases the duration of Cheap Shot’s Blind from 2 to 4 seconds. Strangle (E) Spell Power reduction increased from 25% to 40% Duration reduced from 7 to 6 seconds Level 16 Assassinate (Q) Bonus damage reduced from 100% to 50% Now also increases the Armor reduction of Ambush by 10 when the target is isolated. Moved from level 7 Expose Armor (E) Removed. Level 20 Nightslayer (D) Removed. Rupture (D) Damage bonus now stacks immediately to 100%, instead of stacking up to 30%. Moved from level 16 Elusiveness (D) Moved from Level 13 Movement Speed bonus increased from 10% to 20% LEVEL (TIER) VALEERA TALENTS 1 (1) (!) Vigor (Passive) Subtlety (D) Combat Readiness (Passive) Crippling Poison (Active) 4 (2) Relentless Strikes (Q) Hemorrhage (E) Initiative (D) Wound Poison (Active) 7 (3) Mutilate (Q) (!) Fatal Finesse (W) Slice and Dice (E) 10 (4) Smoke Bomb (R) Cloak of Shadows (R) — — 13 (5) Death from Above (Q) Blind (W) Strangle (E) 16 (6) Seal Fate (Q) Assassinate (Q) Thistle Tea (Active) 20 (7) Adrenaline Rush (R) Enveloping Shadows (R) Rupture (E) Elusiveness (D) (!) indicates a Questing Talent. Italic text indicates a NEW Talent. Underlined text indicates a MOVED Talent.
Level 1 Monster Hunter (Q) Now tracks stacks instead of damage on the quest tracker
Shadow Assault (R) Removed (New Talent) Might of the Nerazim (R) Passive: After using an Ability, Zeratul’s next Basic Attack within 6 seconds deals 40% more damage Activate to duplicate the last ability cast. Damaging abilities deal 50% less damage. This ability does not benefit from talents. 20-Second Cooldown Talents
Level 1 Vorpal Blade (1) Added as a baseline ability. Default Hotkey: 1 (New Talent) Move Unseen (Passive) Gain 25% bonus Movement Speed while Stealthed Shadow Hunter (E) Regen Globe required for quest completion reduced from 20 to 15 Mana cost reduction of Blink increased from 2 to 3 Level 4 Combo Slash (Passive) Removed Grim Task (Passive) Removed (New Talent) Psionic Strength (Passive) Damaging an enemy Hero with Basic Attacks or Abilities increases Zeratul's damage by 6% for 3 seconds, stacking up to 5 times. (New Talent) Darkness Descends (Active) Passive: Increase Zeratul’s attack speed by 10%. Activated ability – Zeratul gains 40% bonus attack speed for 5 seconds. 30-second cooldown Level 7 Wormhole (E) Duration increased from 2 to 3 seconds Slip into Shadow (E) Removed (New Talent) Warp Skirmisher (1) Vorpal Blade now has 2 charges. Casting Vorpal Blade also causes Zeratul's next Basic Attack within 6 seconds to deal 30% bonus damage Level 16 Sentenced to Death (W) Bonus damage reduced from 40 to 30% Level 20 Rewind (Active) Removed Nerazim Fury (R) Removed (New Talent) Twilight Falls (R) Activating Might of the Nerazim resets the cooldown of all of Zeratul’s Basic Abilities (New Talent) Shadow Mending (Passive) Zeratul heals himself for 75% of Ability Damage Dealt to enemy Heroes LEVEL (TIER) ZERATUL TALENTS 1 (1) PH PH PH PH 4 (2) PH PH PH PH 7 (3) PH PH PH PH 10 (4) PH PH — — 13 (5) PH PH PH PH 16 (6) PH PH PH PH 20 (7) PH PH PH PH (!) indicates a Questing Talent. Italic text indicates a NEW Talent. Underlined text indicates a MOVED Talent. Specialist
Spawn Locust (Trait) Health increased from 288 to 316 Talents
Level 1 Survival Instincts (Trait) Bonus Health decreased from 50% to 40% Level 7 Calldown: MULE (Active) No longer refills Structure ammo
The Lost Vikings
Level 4 It’s a Sabotage! (Passive) No longer removes Structure ammo Damage increased from 27 to 35 Warrior
Level 4 Sledgehammer (Q) No longer removes Ammo from structures Collection
Hero Price Reduction
Artanis’ prices have been reduced to 7,000 Gold and 625 Gems. New Bundles – The following new Bundles and Skin Packs are available for a limited time!
Hanzo Heroic Bundle Winter Veil 2017 Bundle Winter Veil Classic Bundle New Announcers
Hanzo New Skins
Hanzo Kinoko Honzo Sora Hanzo Dragon Hanzo Demon Hanzo Farstrider Hanzo Icebound Farstrider Hanzo Iron Farstrider Hanzo Holy Farstrider Hanzo Scarlet Farstrider Hanzo Genji Storm Oni Genji Golden Genji Nihon Genji Leoric Immortal Space Lord Leoric Lúcio Azure Soundblast Lúcio Lunara Harvest Champion Lunara Zarya Citrine Thunderguard Zarya Industrial Zarya New Mounts
The following Mounts have been awarded to players who reached Platinum in Hero League or Bronze in Team League during 2017 Ranked Season 3: Titanium Cybersteed Carbon Cybersteed Master Cybersteed The following Mounts have been awarded to players who reached Master or higher in Hero League or Team League during 2017 Ranked Season 3: Epic Titanium Cybersteed Epic Carbon Cybersteed Epic Master Cybersteed Bug Fixes
Fixed a number of typo and tooltip errors across several aspects of the game. Art
Kharazim: Kharazim's arms and upper body now animated correctly during his dizzy animation. Leoric: The Shroud of the Dead King Talent will now correctly play an animation and a sound when activated. Samuro: Monkey King Samuro’s model will no longer exhibit flickering during Hero Select while running Medium or High graphic settings. The Lost Vikings: Fixed an issue causing Baelog to cast superfluous shadows on the terrain. Battlegrounds
Sky Temple: Fixed an issue that could prevent Temple lasers from appearing correctly on the Minimap. Structures: Auriel's Blinding Flash and Artanis' Suppression Pulse can no longer Blind Structures. Towers of Doom: The Headless Horseman Boss is no longer incorrectly categorized as a Monster. Volskaya Foundry: Fixed an issue in which Heroes on the outer edge of the Hall of Storms would not receive Healing or protection. Heroes, Abilities, and Talents
Alexstrasza: Life-Binder is no longer interrupted when entering or exiting Dragonqueen. Diablo: Fixed an issue that could cause Shadow Charge to deal its collision damage multiple times under certain circumstances. Garrosh: Casting Wrecking Ball on Mercenaries will no longer cause them to leash while in combat. Gul'dan: Movement caused by a conveyor belt will no longer cancel Rain of Destruction channeling. Kel'thuzad: The Power of Icecrown Talent will now correctly grant bonus Spell Power for enemy Heroes Slowed by Chains of Kel’Thuzad with the Chains of Ice Talent. Li-Ming: Zei's Vengeance and Arcane Orb tooltips have been updated to clarify bonus damage functionality. Damage amounts have not been changed. Lt. Morales: The Second Opinion Talent will now correctly grant cooldown reduction when one of the Heroes struck by Displacement Grenade is piloting a Vehicle, like the Garden Terror. Lunara: Fixed an inconsistency that allowed Lunara to cast Leaping Strike over some, but not all, allied units after learning Boundless Stride. Medivh: Creating a Portal entrance after learning Portal Mastery and then entering the Triglav Protector will no longer prevent him from using the Protector’s abilities. Muradin: Learning Reverberation no longer incorrectly updates the Attack Speed Slow amount in Thunder Clap’s tooltip. Murky: Spawn Egg with the Egg Hunt Talent can now be cast correctly on Volskaya Foundry’s conveyor belts. User Interface
Death Recap: Fortification Camp Turret attacks now display a Turret icon in the Death Recap screen.
The free Hero rotation has been updated for the week of November 21 and Junkrat's available for the first time!
Free-to-Play Hero Rotation: November 21, 2017
Li Li ETC Zagara Butcher Kael'thas Artanis Rehgar Tyrael Azmodan Garrosh Alarak (Slot unlocked at Player Level 5) Tracer (Slot unlocked at Player Level 10) Valeera (Slot unlocked at Player Level 15) Junkrat (Slot unlocked at Player Level 20) (Source)
Our thirteenth Heroes of the Storm Meta Tier list for the Alexstrasza patch of November is here!
We present our thirteenth Heroes of the Storm Meta Tier List for the Alexstrasza patch of November 2017.
Welcome to Icy Veins's Meta Tier List for the Alexstrasza patch. The goal if of this list is to try and detail game's current metagame state. The prime goal of such lists is to inform players regarding popular and trending team composition drafting strategies (i.e. the drafting metagame). Although tier listings are generally the product of balance, many factors come into play when discussing the relative perceived strengths of heroes, including player regions, maps, play style, skill level, and, of course, personal perception. As such, any tier list—including this very one—should never be interpreted as gospel, but rather, as a guide to better grasp what to expect with regards to typical drafting experiences. One useful application of such lists is to allow you know which heroes to look out for in terms of practice and counterplay, ultimately improving your knowledge of the game.
Using the list
As stated above, tier lists are easy to mistake for gospel. As new strategies are discovered and experimented with, so changes the perception of the relative strengths of each hero. Tier lists still prove to be useful as a snapshot of player expectations in terms of drafting. Although it is generally considered preferable to focus on high tier heroes (Prime and Core tiers), it is important to note that Heroes of the Storm's wild character and map designs make it so that any given hero's tier position is prone to fluctuate depending on the situation at hand.
One classic example of such is that of Kerrigan on the Infernal Shrines map. Although we currently judge her to be a low-to-mid-tier hero, her drafting priority shoots up to first-pick or first-ban material on this specific map due to the nature of its objective. Certain heroes also synergise so well with each other that the sole fact of having the opportunity of drafting them together is generally enough to increase their potential. Tassadar and Tracer, for instance, are generally nightmarish to deal with for many. There are too many examples of these interactions to reasonably produce here, but we invite you to consult our guides to know exactly where and when each hero shines. The guides have been linked in the lists below for your convenience - just click any of the hero names to access them.
A ↑ next to a hero's name means its tier list position has increased since the previous month whereas a ↓ means just the opposite. Additionally, a + or - sign indicates short-to-medium term predictions (which is to say, about a month) for tier increase(s) or decrease(s), respectively. These are often updated after significant balance patches and/or when clear trends are emerging.
If you're newer to the game, also consider visiting our glossary for a comprehensive list of discrete Heroes of the Storm terms.
Current map rotation
Warrior Assassin Support Specialist Arthas Genji - - E.T.C. Greymane Garrosh Malthael Prime tier heroes are considered to be extremely strong in all situations, and show no obvious weakness. They are very often banned or picked right away, as they generally dictate the pace of most matches.
Warrior Assassin Support Specialist Anub'arak↓ Falstad Brightwing Azmodan Dehaka Kerrigan↑ Lúcio+ Nazeebo↓ Diablo Li-Ming Rehgar↑ Sylvanas- Sonya+ Valla Tassadar↓- Stitches Zeratul Varian (Tank) Zul'jin↑ Core tier heroes are strong in a wide variety of situations and have few counter-picking possibility. They should form the core of your team, and be picked after Prime Tier heroes have been distributed.
Warrior Assassin Support Specialist Artanis Alarak Ana Abathur D.Va Cassia Auriel Murky Johanna Chromie Kharazim Probius Leoric Gul'dan Li Li Zagara Muradin+ Illidan Lt. Morales↓ Xul↓- Zarya Kael'thas Malfurion↓ Kel'Thuzad Stukov↓ Jaina↓ Tyrande Lunara Uther↓ Ragnaros Samuro↑ The Butcher Tracer Viable tier heroes are generally well-rounded that have either fallen out of favour, or, inversely, are on the rise in popularity, due to the current Prime tier contenders.
Warrior Assassin Support Specialist Chen Cho'gall Alexstrasza (new)- Gazlowe Cho'gall Junkrat Medivh Rexxar Nova Sgt. Hammer Tyrael Raynor Thrall Tychus Valeera Varian (Damage) Niche tier heroes have niche application on certain maps or for certain team compositions. They are generally picked to "round out" your team composition when your team composition is missing out on key components, such as a "jungler" (mercenary camps), a solo laner, or solid waveclear.
The Lost Vikings Bottom tier Heroes are deemed to be either considerably weaker than the majority of other Heroes, or much more challenging to play properly. Although they may situationally shine, these Heroes are generally avoided by most players.
Alexstrasza. She didn't feel great at all back at BlizzCon, and the following PTR saw no changes to her. I expected poor performance, but nothing quite as low as 41%. Where do I even begin? Dragonqueen is obviously powerful, but is gated behind a ridiculously long cooldown. Outside of Dragonqueen, she's just... really weak. I don't quite understand the concept behind Gift of Life, but it screams double healer to me, which is unfortunate for multiple reasons I won't elaborate on. Abundance heals for too little for how difficult it is to use, on top of putting a big obvious marks on where to shoot. I'm putting her as Niche(-) for now because I suspect most players don't play her all too well, but she's in dire need of buffs, and that was quite obvious 2 weeks ago.
Anub'arak is losing some of his former popularity, though no nerfs were had for a few months. Although I can't explain exactly why, I suspect that tanks with more raw survivability and a bit more sustained damage potential are currently being prioritized. He's still not bad at all, especially with Cocoon to counter Genji's Dragonblade and Malthael's Tormented Souls. Give Locust Swarm a try if there are no valuable heroic abilities for you to lock down.
Kerrigan has emerged as this month (and last month's) sleeper for ripping hero league wins away, and I suspect my shedding some light over her success may frustrate those whom have been exploiting her relative unpopularity to . Why is she doing so well, though? Assimilation's design makes it particularly difficult for double support teams to take her out. In essence, this trait gains more value the longer Kerrigan survives, which then translates into more damage, which then translates into more survivability... and so on.
Zul'jin's most recent rework was certainly one of the most successful reworks to date. Although he wasn't bad to begin with, most of the changes ended up being buffs, contrary to what some players were claiming. To add to this, the meta is quite favourable to him; stacking up on Berserker (and keeping its effect active for the damage bonus) is pretty safe with more than one healer around. His trait also tends to favour longer fights, due to the stacking mechanic, allowing him to snowball. Guillotine is even starting to see more play, with Taz'dingo! feeling less and less necessary to deal with burst.
Rehgar's changes, which I had mistakenly labeled as nerfs, ended up being positive. Turns out, area of effect healing is trendy. Now, why might Rehgar be doing so well? Simply put, versatility. With healers becoming more and more (over)specialized, this is certainly a respectable thing to have. He brings bits of waveclear, mercenary clearing, dueling, and of course, healing to the table. Lightning Bond is great for single-target damage as well, making Rehgar particularly strong on Battlefield of Eternity, and just as a general single-target damage dealer.
Tassadar is also falling off quite dramatically. I think I may have overestimated just how unpopular he was in last month's list, but today's values are quite clear. As with Anub'arak, I'm not quite sure what happened, but most of the common Tassadar tag teams (besides Tracer, but she's a strange case) are below 50% winrate. Since the viability of such edge support heroes depend on the strength of what they support, I suppose we shouldn't be all that surprised for this. Force Wall could probably surprise quite a few opponents, as it is strangely unpopular nowadays.
Nazeebo's October nerfs have struck home, although the current metagame state isn't helping either; chip damage isn't all that effective when it simply gets healed off. He still remains strong if you plan on taking it to the late game, but is nowhere near to being first-pick worthy.
Samuro has always been in a strange place. Though the upcoming stealth changes are going to be extremely positive for him (BlizzCon spoilers!), I feel like his ability to split push, deal with mercenary camps extremely quickly, and single-out healers (or, anyone isolated, really) make him a sleeper. He's at his worse when Mirror Image get taken out quickly, but none of the top tier contenders are particularly heavy on area of effect damage. His winrate is currently the highest of the entire cast, yet his popularity is in the bottom 20. I suppose he requires quite a bit of decision making skills to make good use of. He's not all that flashy either, which may be contributing to his lack of popularity. Give him a try.
Jaina is doing well, though feels a bit out of meta right now, as with most other casters. I suspect that nerfs to any of the Prime tier heroes will see her surge right back up. Generally seen as a 4th or 5th pick.
Lt. Morales, Malfurion, Stukov, and Uther all feel extremely balanced right now, each hovering between healthy 49 and 50% winrates. They all have their niches (Morales on Braxis, for instance), and are generally picked as second healers when the Core tier contenders have been distributed.
Xul, whom I may have overhyped recently, lost Blackheart's Bay and Garden of Terror, some of his favourite maps. To add to this, the tanks who tend to punish him the most are right at the top of the food chain. This is on top of August's pretty heavy-handed nerfs. Just to add insult to injury, he's just not all that great against double support either. Xul is now part of the bottom 10 and will probably stay there for a while.
Black Friday is hitting the Nexus next week and while we do not have any specific details yet, the usual collection update will not happen.
While we do not have any specific information regarding this year's Black Friday promotion, the usual collection update will not happen next week. In the meantime, you can check out this week's sale and we'll keep you updated as the Black Friday promotion draws closer.
Black Friday 2016 (Source)
Last year, Blizzard placed two Heroes and Legendary skins on sale during Black Friday, along with two Bundles and let's not forget the 360 day Stimpack that can now be purchased all year round for 9,000 Gems.
Black Friday 2015 (Source)
Two years ago, the promotion had epic proportions and got extended until December 8. All Heroes, mounts and skins were available at a 50% discount. A "Second Chance" Bundle was added to the Shop and featured retired items, such as mounts (Reigndeer, Nazeebra, Lunar Tiger, Magic Carpet) and skins (Winter Veil Jaina, Greatfather Winter Rehgar).
What would you like to see this year? Everything purchasable with Gems or a flat % discount? Let us know in the comments!
Weekly Collection Update: Nov 21 – 28, 2017
Due to the upcoming Black Friday promotion, our usual collection update will not happen for the week of November 21. Stay tuned for more info on our special sales during that period!