Oxygen

Genji Patch Meta Tier List (April 2017)

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We present our fifth Heroes of the Storm Meta Tier List for the Genji patch of April 2017.

Welcome to Icy Veins's Meta Tier List for the Genji 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

-

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 Lúcio Nazeebo
Arthas+ Gul'dan Malfurion Sylvanas
Dehaka Li-Ming Rehgar Probius↑↑
Diablo Ragnaros Uther↑↑  
Artanis Samuro    
Johanna Thrall    
Sonya Valla    
Varian (Tank) Zeratul    
Zarya      
Muradin      

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 Azmodan
E.T.C. Chromie Brightwing Gazlowe
Leoric Genji (new) Kharazim  
Rexxar Greymane+ Li Li  
   Jaina Lt. Morales  
  Kael'thas Tassadar  
  Kerrigan    
  Lunara    
  Raynor    
  The Butcher    
  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 Cassia (new) Tyrande+ Abathur
Stitches Cho'gall   Medivh
Tyrael Illidan   Murky
  Nova   Sgt. Hammer
  Tracer   The Lost Vikings
  Tychus   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

It seems I'll have to remove two tiers for our next tier list because the game is probably in the most balanced state it's ever been. Here's to hoping it'll last because such states are great for experimenting with team compositions without feeling like you're missing out on picking or banning that one overpowered guy. What might be the cause of such a state, though? On one hand Blizzard has been (relatively) steady with the nerfs. On the other hand - and I feel this is the most important reason here - there has been an overload of e-sports, notably with HGC, to teach players how to draft.

There isn't all that much to say today, so I'll go over the new heroes and some of the more notable bounces. Cassia's a good pick against melee-assassin-heavy team compositions, especially if your team is running their own blinding effects for that extra synergy, but she doesn't really fit in a meta that's looking to be defined by warriors and supports. This is mostly due to her limited sustained damage and keen vulnerability to crowd control. Niche tier.

Genji's looking balanced to me, though he is very difficult to play well, and tends to be quite counterable. On top of this, since he's an Overwatch fanboy favourite, I think his win rates are going to start out really low until we have braved the initial wave of juvenile excitement that drowns him. It should be noted that two of the heroes he does really well against - Tracer and Tychus - are both out of meta themselves, meaning he might not find a place until they do. With abysmal waveclear and mercenary camp claiming, I can't really justify picking him over some of the other melee assassins. Still a good Genji is a good Genji, and the hero's surprisingly fun. Viable tier, barely.

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Really interesting to see everything seem to be falling in line. I would say the game is really well balanced right now with picks only being truly "trash" depending on comp and situation. (looking at you Nova...)

I would argue Arthas is prime tier, since you always need a tank and he is amazing for solo lane, team fight, securing picks, engage, sustain..... really just everything right now.

I would also argue Tassadar fell too far, he is still amazing if your team is willing to run that style comp. Vision, brutal choke point damage, and negation for high priority targets is so good. Just treat him more like a specialist than a support and he really excels.

Fantastic work as always, hope we can have some good discussion about the meta... Wish more of my teams would look at this and stop running triple back line comps. :(

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Game's not balanced.blizzard should think about lost viks because they are still dead n nobody picks them on hl or even qm not because every hero can kill them even with basic attacks! Blizzard should improve them specially their healtha because I saw Valeera who takes 2seconds for her to kill them : stun+one of levels

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I hope Sgt. Hammer gets a buff or a rework soon. It was my first hero I bought, and I used to play her a lot, before I started playing a bit more competitively, which forced me not to pick her because of her low power-level. 
Nice tier list, Oxy!

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3 hours ago, MZLICH said:

Game's not balanced.blizzard should think about lost viks because they are still dead n nobody picks them on hl or even qm not because every hero can kill them even with basic attacks! Blizzard should improve them specially their healtha because I saw Valeera who takes 2seconds for her to kill them : stun+one of levels

Game isn't balanced because of one hero? 

Anyway, Vikings were always like that and it's good that they are; 3 heroes with 3 different things about them plus the way they can apply lane pressure to all lanes during an objective? Yeah you might lose objective but then you have one hell of an exp boost. Many heroes burst them down anyway; Jaina, Zeratul, Valeera, Nova; which is why they are called counter-picks. 

 

Nice tier list as usual. Surprised Arthas isn't Prime tier but I guess he wouldn't be totally all-rounded perfect for it yet ;3

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I'm surprised Genji is not on Prime Tier; he is one slippery motherfucker that is hard to hit due his mobility and deflect, and deals a lot of damage. Sure, during Team Fights he is easy to kill if focused, but can still disrupt the backline. Maybe this comment comes from someone who mainly plays Support, so I tend to be everyone's favorite target.

Anyway, the Tier List looks really good. Like many commented, I'm surprised Arthas is not on Prime Tier; he has finally become the true bruiser he was always meant to be. I'm also surprised Artanis dropped from Prime Tier as well. I'm very happy with Uther and Probius placement.

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I have to agree that the game feels quite balanced overall, I think most people know that Arthas is strong, but there are plenty of maps where I will take another tanky warrior (or even bruiser) and more people are becoming wiser as to how to beat him (kite him and mobility buffs making his icy umbrella less useful). 

I'm banning globals more often than anything else atm though, and while I love playing Dehaka, avoid picking him as people still think he is a good solo tank >.<

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Actually, can I ask why Probius is in core tier? I get that he's got excellent zoning and siege skills but I feel he's still falling short somewhat whenever I play or see others play him (unless its the other team, case of yours vs ours meme xD) . Perhaps I'm being an absolute nub with him and failing to understand his role but if someone could explain, great ;3

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31 minutes ago, MurkyFelix said:

Actually, can I ask why Probius is in core tier? I get that he's got excellent zoning and siege skills but I feel he's still falling short somewhat whenever I play or see others play him.

He is probably borderline core. At worst he's viable.

I would argue he is core just because his zoning is so incredibly strong and consistent. It has the zoning of most heroics (phoenix and Hyperion come to mind), but without the cool down. Every map has areas where that just makes the game so much easier (boss fight, collection objective, retreating). Combine that with consistent vision through pylons and an ultimate that is amazing for both fighting and disengage. He does take playing properly, which is what I think knocks him close to viable, but his late game is just so good it doesn't matter.

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8 minutes ago, Laragon said:

He is probably borderline core. At worst he's viable.

I would argue he is core just because his zoning is so incredibly strong and consistent. It has the zoning of most heroics (phoenix and Hyperion come to mind), but without the cool down. Every map has areas where that just makes the game so much easier (boss fight, collection objective, retreating). Combine that with consistent vision through pylons and an ultimate that is amazing for both fighting and disengage. He does take playing properly, which is what I think knocks him close to viable, but his late game is just so good it doesn't matter.

Indeed. In the right hands, Probius is extremely powerful. He just need the proper team to protect him while he makes his setups. Zarya and/or Tassadar have great synergy with him, for instance.

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On 4/27/2017 at 8:15 PM, MZLICH said:

Game's not balanced.blizzard should think about lost viks because they are still dead n nobody picks them on hl or even qm not because every hero can kill them even with basic attacks! Blizzard should improve them specially their healtha because I saw Valeera who takes 2seconds for her to kill them : stun+one of levels

@MZLICH I totally agree with you. Lost Viks used to be viable until more heroes started to appear in the game and honestly the most recent patch makes the vikings even weaker because so many characters can pick off each Viking so quick and it's pretty frustrating. Leaving the Vikings out of the picture, then yes, this meta is definitely the most balanced I have seen in a while. But, again I totally agree with you when you said the Viks need a buff. BLIZZARD PLEASE!

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Vikings (along with many champs in niche tier) are certainly on the weaker side, but to use that to say the game isn't balanced is a joke. Chess has nearly identical sides and has been getting rules updates for about 1500 years, and one side still has a measureable advantage. The idea that to call a game balanced every hero must be viable for competetive play is a joke.

/rant

@Oxygen continuing to be a strong list. While I agree that no one is in the "needs immediate nerfs" or the "unplayable until buffs" groups, I think you should keep posting them; the possibility of someone slipping into them will always be there and without them people may get the idea that niche heros are "bottom tier" or that core heroes are "must pick"

 

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1 hour ago, OrangeCase said:

But, again I totally agree with you when you said the Viks need a buff. BLIZZARD PLEASE!

If I'm not wrong Blizzard once said they were pondering tampering with new possibilities for TLV in the future. Like giving them a rework and allow for builds where they are stronger together as opposed to split-pushing. But they won't mess with TLV so soon.

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Added predictions for Arthas and Greymane. In a nutshell: +.


Thanks to everyone for the comments and feedback, as per usual.

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23 hours ago, Valhalen said:

builds where they are stronger together as opposed to split-pushing.

I really hope this becomes a reality - I had high hopes for TLV but the split pushing game isn't my taste at all. I like the idea of using multiple mini-heroes in unison - setting up baits and ganks for yourself, for example, or taking advantage of certain teammate synergies like aoe heal effects.

 

Even as is though, they may be near the bottom of the niche category but they are far from unplayable. Against a good TLV players it can feel like the enemy is everywhere at once and it can be hard to get out from under that.

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1 hour ago, Voltorocks said:

I really hope this becomes a reality - I had high hopes for TLV but the split pushing game isn't my taste at all. I like the idea of using multiple mini-heroes in unison - setting up baits and ganks for yourself, for example, or taking advantage of certain teammate synergies like aoe heal effects.

Oh yes, I want this so much. TLV were the very first hero I bought, but I didn't play them much because of how hard it is to use them; I couldn't get used to it at all.

Sadly, they are one of the many Heroes that are hard to balance, because it is so easy to make them overpowered. I hope Blizzard revisit them soon.

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On 4/28/2017 at 6:54 AM, Valhalen said:

I'm surprised Genji is not on Prime Tier; he is one slippery motherfucker that is hard to hit due his mobility and deflect, and deals a lot of damage. Sure, during Team Fights he is easy to kill if focused, but can still disrupt the backline. Maybe this comment comes from someone who mainly plays Support, so I tend to be everyone's favorite target.

Anyway, the Tier List looks really good. Like many commented, I'm surprised Arthas is not on Prime Tier; he has finally become the true bruiser he was always meant to be. I'm also surprised Artanis dropped from Prime Tier as well. I'm very happy with Uther and Probius placement.

He's a pain for a tank to deal with.  I was playing with ETC one of the few times I've used him since his nerfs, and there was a Genji on the other team.  He keeps diving directly onto the backline and he jukes almost every powerslide I throw at him.  I was typing in frustration at that point, "How the heck do you peel this guy?"  But hopefully that's just the frustration of learning how to counter a new hero.

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I'm surprised at where you have Uther.  I have played around with him and I'm having a tough time making him work as a solo support.  The biggest issue I have with him is that the cooldowns on his heals feel unforgiving.  You hit the W, wait two seconds, hit the Q, and then you have no heals for 9-10 seconds.  It gets better once you reach level 13 with Blessed Champion, but most enemies are happy to jump on a support that enters melee range and shut you down with crowd control, so you don't get much value from those 5 seconds after holy light.

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41 minutes ago, FirstBlood said:

He's a pain for a tank to deal with.  I was playing with ETC one of the few times I've used him since his nerfs, and there was a Genji on the other team.  He keeps diving directly onto the backline and he jukes almost every powerslide I throw at him.  I was typing in frustration at that point, "How the heck do you peel this guy?"  But hopefully that's just the frustration of learning how to counter a new hero.

As a healer, or rather, as an Auriel main, it is extremely hard to deal with. But what I've learned so far is that the idea to combat Genji is to bait him to use his Reflect so you can bombard him. It just takes one stun to kill Genji; the problem is stunning him in the first place.

29 minutes ago, FirstBlood said:

I'm surprised at where you have Uther.  I have played around with him and I'm having a tough time making him work as a solo support.  The biggest issue I have with him is that the cooldowns on his heals feel unforgiving.  You hit the W, wait two seconds, hit the Q, and then you have no heals for 9-10 seconds.  It gets better once you reach level 13 with Blessed Champion, but most enemies are happy to jump on a support that enters melee range and shut you down with crowd control, so you don't get much value from those 5 seconds after holy light.

I've been fighting with and against Uther and he is awesome now. Sure, his cooldowns are very high, but he also heals a ton, and the extra armor from his revised Trait add an extra layer of survivability that kinda compensates the long cooldown. All in all, I think Uther is best suited in matches where you have another healer that can heal in more regular basis where Uther deals with the burst healing. Li Li works wonders with him, but I think Auriel is a better pairing since she can AoE heal.

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2 hours ago, FirstBlood said:

I'm surprised at where you have Uther.  I have played around with him and I'm having a tough time making him work as a solo support.  The biggest issue I have with him is that the cooldowns on his heals feel unforgiving.  You hit the W, wait two seconds, hit the Q, and then you have no heals for 9-10 seconds.  It gets better once you reach level 13 with Blessed Champion, but most enemies are happy to jump on a support that enters melee range and shut you down with crowd control, so you don't get much value from those 5 seconds after holy light.

Uther is about ending fight quickly, or making sure they don't end quickly for your team. Handing out armor like candy is deceptively strong, and also why the guide recommends whatever build I recommended there. I'd say he's a lot better in coordinated play, however, because people know better how to hard engage and avoid poke, two things that really help him.

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On 5/3/2017 at 6:31 PM, Oxygen said:

 I'd say he's a lot better in coordinated play, however, because people know better how to hard engage and avoid poke, two things that really help him.

this, very much. definitely one of those heroes that suffers a lot when you say "I'm gonna try him out in QM and see how strong he is now" - the answer is that generally is he's really bad in QM. in the flex bruiser/support spot that Zarya alone has been filling recently in a lot of strong drafts, he really shines.

Edited by Voltorocks
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On 4/30/2017 at 6:38 PM, Valhalen said:

Oh yes, I want this so much. TLV were the very first hero I bought, but I didn't play them much because of how hard it is to use them; I couldn't get used to it at all.

Sadly, they are one of the many Heroes that are hard to balance, because it is so easy to make them overpowered. I hope Blizzard revisit them soon.

I actually just leveled them to 5.  They are certainly had to play and VERY map specific (pretty much limited to just Cursed Hollow,  Warhead Junction, and the new OW based map), but they pretty much ensure no matter how badly the early game goes, you won't be behind in XP.

TLVs main problem is the same as Aba: You're basically committing to 5v4 teamfights until late in the game, where they actually have some decent damage potential (enough to take out a lone assassin who gets careless).  This makes maps with contestable objectives hard for TLV to play well, as any XP gain they gain is offset by the map objective.  Outside of the three aforementioned maps, I'd never recommend them.

The root problem is if you make them any better then a niche map pick, they'll quickly be overpowered.  Maybe if Blizz creates more passive maps you could justify them more.  The OW map is actually an EXCELLENT map for them, as they count as three escorting heroes for the payload, allowing easier contests of the other teams.  More maps like that, and they could shine.

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6 hours ago, gamerk2 said:

I actually just leveled them to 5.  They are certainly had to play and VERY map specific (pretty much limited to just Cursed Hollow,  Warhead Junction, and the new OW based map), but they pretty much ensure no matter how badly the early game goes, you won't be behind in XP.

TLVs main problem is the same as Aba: You're basically committing to 5v4 teamfights until late in the game, where they actually have some decent damage potential (enough to take out a lone assassin who gets careless).  This makes maps with contestable objectives hard for TLV to play well, as any XP gain they gain is offset by the map objective.  Outside of the three aforementioned maps, I'd never recommend them.

The root problem is if you make them any better then a niche map pick, they'll quickly be overpowered.  Maybe if Blizz creates more passive maps you could justify them more.  The OW map is actually an EXCELLENT map for them, as they count as three escorting heroes for the payload, allowing easier contests of the other teams.  More maps like that, and they could shine.

Very well said. I thin Blizz did make mention of a small upcoming rework for them. Their last rework felt very rushed, though I did like some aspects of it. Their talents certainly need to be revisited.

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On 4/29/2017 at 10:46 AM, MurkyFelix said:

Actually, can I ask why Probius is in core tier? I get that he's got excellent zoning and siege skills but I feel he's still falling short somewhat whenever I play or see others play him (unless its the other team, case of yours vs ours meme xD) . Perhaps I'm being an absolute nub with him and failing to understand his role but if someone could explain, great ;3

 

A lot of people play either just Bots or QM, and don't really see the power of Proby with teammates who keep him alive. Think of him like Dr. Doom,  given enough prep time, every tower will be obliterated. Plus he gets an earlier wave clear than Sylvannas. He racks up exp faster than every other specialist except Hammer.

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14 hours ago, gamerk2 said:

This makes maps with contestable objectives hard for TLV to play well, as any XP gain they gain is offset by the map objective.  Outside of the three aforementioned maps, I'd never recommend them.

The root problem is if you make them any better then a niche map pick, they'll quickly be overpowered.

This post nailed TLV right on the head. personally I think right now they could use a *slight* tune-up without becoming overpowered, but I think it's inherent to their design that they should forever be relegated to niche map pick.

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