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D.Va Patch Notes: May 16

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The latest update brings D.Va and a host of balance changes to the Nexus!

NOTE: Orange text indicates a change between the PTR and live patch notes.

You can find our D.Va Build Guide here.

Blizzard LogoBlizzard (Source)

General

Battleground Rotation Update

  • The pool of Battlegrounds available in matchmaking game modes has increased from 6 to 9, and now includes the following:
    • Cursed Hollow
    • Sky Temple
    • Braxis Holdout
    • Hanamura
    • Battlefield of Eternity
    • Warhead Junction
    • Haunted Mines
    • Tomb of the Spider Queen
    • Infernal Shrines
  • Initially, we are planning to update the Battleground Rotation 3 times per Ranked Season, and can adjust this frequency, as well as the number of Battlegrounds per rotation, as needed.
  • Read our recent blog post to learn more about our reasoning behind bringing Battleground Rotations to Heroes of the Storm.

New Hero: D.Va

Hana Song, also known as “D.Va,” is both a world champion professional gamer and a burgeoning global icon. As a member of South Korea’s elite MEKA unit, she fights to protect her homeland from the colossal omnic threat lurking within the East China Sea.

Trait

  • Mech Mode
    • When D.Va’s Mech is destroyed, she is ejected after 0.75 seconds and can continue to fight in Pilot Mode. Destroying D.Va’s Mech only awards 50% of a normal Hero’s XP.
  • Pilot Mode
    • Each Basic Attack reduces the cooldown of Call Mech by 0.5 seconds. As a Pilot, D.Va only awards 50% of a normal Hero’s XP upon death.

Mount

  • While in Mech Mode, D.Va can shoot while moving, but her Movement Speed is reduced by 15%.
  • D.Va can only use Mounts while in Pilot Mode.

Basic Abilities

  • Boosters (Q)
    • Increases D.Va’s Movement Speed by 125% for 2 seconds. Enemies that are hit take damage and are knocked away.
    • D.Va cannot be Slowed while Boosters are active.
  • Defense Matrix (W)
    • Channel a defensive field in the target direction for 3 seconds, reducing damage dealt by enemy Heroes inside it by 75%. The Mech can move while channeling, but cannot turn.
    • Damage dealt to the Mech by enemies within Defense Matrix still grants the same amount of Self-Destruct Charge.
  • Self-Destruct (E)
    • Requires Mech Mode.
    • Eject from the Mech, setting it to self-destruct after 4 seconds. Deals medium to massive damage in a large area, depending on distance from the center of the blast. Deals 50% damage against Structures.
    • Gain 1% Charge for every 2 seconds spent using Basic Attacks, and 30% Charge per 100% of Mech Health lost.
  • Call Mech (E)
    • Requires Pilot Mode.
    • Call a new Mech and enter Mech Mode. 45 second cooldown. While in Pilot Mode, each Basic Attack lowers this cooldown by 0.5 seconds.

Heroic Abilities

  • Bunny Hop (R)
    • Requires Mech Mode.
    • D.Va’s Mech becomes Unstoppable and stomps every 0.5 seconds, dealing damage and Slowing enemies by 40%. Lasts 4 seconds.
  • Big Shot (R)
    • Requires Pilot Mode.
    • Deal damage to all enemies in a line. Call Mech’s cooldown is reduced by 8 seconds for each enemy Hero hit.

Art

Heroes, Abilities, and Talents

  • Questing Talents: Visual effects that appear upon completing a Talent Quest have received updates and should now be much more apparent.
  • The following Heroes have received updated visual effects to coincide with Talent updates:
    • Alarak
    • Tyrande

Collection

New Bundles

  • Welcome Bundle (Available May 22)
    • Jumpstart your Collection with the Welcome Bundle, which contains a large amount of Gems, a Stimpack, a new Mount, and several Loot Chests —one of which guarantees a random Hero!
    • The Welcome Bundle will become available during the week of May 22. It can be only be purchased once, and only using real money.
      • 800 Gems
      • Welcome Loot Chest – A special Loot Chest that guarantees at least one random Hero
      • Rare Loot Chest
      • Epic Loot Chest
      • 7 Day Stimpack
      • Zebra Mount
  • D.Va Heroic Bundle
    • Contains D.Va and all three Goliath D.Va skins. Available for a limited time.

New Skins

  • D.Va
    • Goliath D.Va
    • Hazard Goliath D.Va
    • Sharkmouth Goliath D.Va
    • Major D.Va
    • Fiery D.Va
    • Pro D.Va
    • Competitive Pro D.Va
    • Elite Pro D.Va
  • Kerrigan
    • Dorm Cheerleader Kerrigan has been added in honor of UTA HOTS, the 2017 Heroes of the Dorm champions!

New Mounts

  • The Dorm 2017 Championship Banner has been added in honor of UTA HOTS, the 2017 Heroes of the Dorm champions!
  • Zebra – Available exclusively by purchasing the Welcome Bundle.

New Announcers

  • D.Va
  • Genji

New Banners

  • D.Va Banner
  • Iconic D.Va Banner
  • D.Va Warbanner
  • Iconic D.Va Warbanner

New Emojis

  • D.Va Pack 1
  • D.Va Pack 2

User Interface

In-Game

  • Emojis
    • In-game chat messages are now limited to 10 Emojis per message.
    • A notification will display on-screen when attempting to enter more than 10 Emojis in a single message.
  • Score Screen
    • The “Role” column in the Stats tab on the in-game score screen has been split into “Healing/Shielding” and "Damage Taken" columns.
    • Certain Heroes, such as Tyrael, Uther, and Zarya, as well as E.T.C. with the Prog Rock Talent, or Chen with the Enough to Share Talent, will display values in both columns.

Portrait

  • Player levels displayed in portraits have received visual updates, and should be easier to distinguish while using the progression portrait border.

Rejoin

  • The Rejoin screen has been updated to provide a smoother experience when reconnecting to an ongoing match.

Design and Gameplay

Hearthstone

  • Using Hearthstone (Default: B) will no longer automatically snap the camera back to the allied Hall of Storms unless Camera Lock is enabled (Default: L).

Heroes

Assassin

Alarak

Divider_Hero_Alarak_crop.png

Abilities

  • Sadism (Trait)
    • New Functionality:
      • Alarak now gains 3% Sadism per enemy Takedown, up to 30%.  This bonus is lost on Death.
      • Now also affects self-healing vs. enemy Heroes.
  • Discord Strike (Q)
    • Now has Double Cross functionality baseline.
    • Mana cost reduced from 55 to 45
  • Lightning Surge (E)
    • Mana cost reduced from 30 to 25
    • Damage reduced from 100 to 62
    • Adjusted Functionality:
      • Enemies hit by the center of the beam now take 100% bonus damage
      • Healing is no longer based on the amount of damage done to enemy Heroes
        • Enemy Heroes hit now heal Alarak for 70 Health

Talents

  • Level 1
    • Power Conduit (E)
      • Removed
    • Without Effort (W)
      • Removed
    • Sustaining Power (E)
      • Moved from Level 16
      • Bonus Healing increased from 25 to 40%
    • Extended Lightning (E)
      • Moved from Level 4
      • Adjusted functionality:
        • Reduce the damage bonus of Sadism by 10%. 
        • !Quest: Hit 5 enemy Heroes with the center portion of Lightning Surge. 
          • Reward: Increase the range of Lightning Surge by 20%. 
        • !Quest: Hit 15 Heroes with the center portion of Lightning Surge. 
          • Reward: Enemy Heroes hit with the center portion of Lightning Surge are slowed by 40% for 2 seconds. 
        • !Quest: Hit 3 enemy Heroes with the center portion of Lightning Surge in a single cast. 
          • Reward: Gain 10 Sadism and complete all quests on this talent.
    • New Talent: Ruthless Momentum (Passive)
      • While above 80% Health, your Basic Abilities cooldown 20% faster.
  • Level 4
    • Double Cross (Q)
      • Removed
    • Reckless Strike (Q)
      • Removed
    • Cycle of Discord (Q)
      • Removed
    • Negatively Charged (E)
      • Moved from level 16
      • New functionality:
        • Increases the bonus damage from hitting the center portion of Lightning Surge to 150%
        • Quest: Each time you hit an enemy Hero with the center portion of Lightning Surge, increase the center damage bonus by an additional 3%
    • Chaos Reigns (Q)
      • Moved from Level 7
      • New Functionality:
        • !Quest: Hit 15 enemy Heroes with Discord Strike. 
          • Reward: Increase Discord Strike's damage by 60. 
        • !Quest:  Hit 2 enemy Heroes with Discord Strike in a single cast. 
          • Reward: Increase Discord Strike's damage by 60. 
        • !Quest: Hit 3 enemy Heroes with Discord Strike in a single cast. 
          • Reward: Increase Discord Strike's damage by 60 and complete all quests on this talent.
    • New Talent: Show of Force (Passive)
      • Hitting an enemy Hero with 3 abilities within 2 seconds causes them to take an additional 70 damage.
  • Level 7
    • Endless Energy (E)
      • Removed
    • Thunderstruck (E)
      • Removed
    • Dissonance (Q)
      • Moved from Level 13
      • No longer reduces Sadism by 10%.
    • Hindered Motion (W)
      • Moved from Level 13
      • No longer reduces Sadism by 10%
      • Slow amount reduced from 40% to 25%
    • Applied Force (W)
      • Moved from Level 1
      • Added functionality:
        • Reduce the damage of Sadism by 10% but Telekinesis’s range is increased by 20% and it pushes 20% further.
  • Level 13
    • Psychokinesis (W)
      • Removed
    • Pure Malice (Passive)
      • Sadism bonus reduced from 8% stacking up to 40% max to 6% stacking up to 30% max.
      • Hasty Bargain can now reduce this Sadism bonus
    • New Talent: Blade of the Highlord (Passive)
      • Your Basic Attacks against enemy Heroes grant you 6% Sadism for 4 seconds, stacking up to 30%.
    • New Talent: Rite of Rak’Shir (Active)
      • Activate to mark an enemy Hero.
        • Using Discord Strike on your marked target increases your Sadism by 3%
        • Killing the enemy Hero gives you 6% bonus Sadism and sets the cooldown of Rite of Rak’Shir to 10 seconds
        • Dying removes all bonuses from this talent
        • 300-second cooldown and duration
  • Level 16
    • Projected Force (W)
      • Removed
    • Quick Mind (W)
      • Removed
    • New Talent: Lethal Onslaught (Q)
      • For 4 seconds after hitting an enemy hero with Discord Strike, your Basic Attacks gain 50% of Sadism’s benefit.  Attacking enemy Heroes refreshes the duration of this buff.
    • New Talent: Lightning Barrage (E)
      • If Lightning Surge hits an enemy Hero with its center portion, then it can be cast again with no Mana cost or cooldown within 2 seconds of being cast.  This second cast cannot target the same enemy.
    • New Talent: Mocking Strikes (Passive)
      • Your Basic Attacks against enemy Heroes who are Stunned, Slowed, Rooted, or Silenced reduces your Basic Ability cooldowns by 2.5 seconds
  • Level 20
    • Last Laugh (Active)
      • Cooldown increased from 20 to 30 seconds
      • Range decreased by 15%
      • Adjusted functionality:
        • Activate to remove all roots, slows, and damage over time effects and teleport to the chosen location
        • After 4 seconds, reduce Alarak’s Health to 1
        • If Alarak damages 3 enemy Heroes with Basic Abilities within 4 seconds after teleporting, his Health is not reduced

 

Developer Comment:  Your Highlord has returned! Alarak has received a large update that he has deemed “acceptable”, targeted at making him more rewarding for players who take the time to master him.  Baseline changes include reworking his Sadism to be increased upon getting Takedowns and putting bonus damage into his Lightning Surge baseline for hitting enemies in its center beam.  We’re also experimenting with some new talent ideas with Extended Lightning and Chaos Reigns, where players can gain huge benefits for the rarely accomplished feat of hitting 3 enemy Heroes with a single ability.
LEVEL (TIER)   ALARAK TALENTS    
1 (1) Sustaining Power (E) (!) Extended Lightning (E) Ruthless Momentum (Passive)  
4 (2) (!) Chaos Reigns (Q) (!) Negatively Charged (E) Show of Force (Passive)  
7 (3) Dissonance (W) Hindered Motion (W) Applied Force (W)  
10 (4) Deadly Charge Counter-Strike
13 (5) Blade of the Highlord (Passive) Pure Malice (Passive) Rite of Rak-Shire (Active)  
16 (6) Lethal Onslaught (Q) Lightning Barrage (E) Mocking Strikes (Passive)  
20 (7) Counter-Strike (R) Deadly Charge (R) Last Laugh (Active) Hasty Bargain (Active)
  • (!) indicates a Questing Talent.
  • Italic text indicates a NEW Talent.
  • Bold text indicates a MOVED Talent.

Nova

Divider_Hero_Nova_Crop.png

Talents

  • Level 7
    • Anti-Armor Shells (Passive)
      • Custom UI has been added to show the cooldown before your next attack

Support

Tyrande

Divider_Hero_Tyrande_Crop.png

Stats

  • Basic Attack damage reduced from 87 to 82

Abilities

  • Light of Elune (Q)
    • Adjusted functionality:
      • No longer heals yourself while healing allies
      • The cooldown is now lowered by 2 seconds every time you land a Basic Attack
    • Heal amount reduced from 320 to 270
    • Cooldown increased from 8 to 12 seconds
    • Mana cost reduced from 45 to 25
  • Sentinel (W)
    • Added functionality:
      • !Quest: Hit heroes with Sentinel
        • Reward: Every 8 Heroes hit with Sentinel allows it to pierce one target and lowers the Mana cost by 10 
  • Shadowstalk (R)
    • New functionality:
      • Tyrande gains stealth and 30% Movement Speed. When stealth is lost, she keeps her Movement Speed and gains 50% Attack Speed for 5 seconds
    • Cooldown reduced from 60 to 30 seconds
  • Starfall (R)
    • Radius reduced from 6 to 5

Talents

  • Level 1
    • Ranger’s Mark (D)
      • New functionality:
        • !Quest: Basic Attacks lower the cooldown of Hunter’s Mark by 1 second
          • Reward: For every 60 Basic Attacks against Heroes, increase the duration of Hunter’s Mark by 1 second
    • Lunar Blaze (E)
      • Moved from Level 7
      • New functionality:
        • !Quest: Every Hero hit by Lunar Flare increases its damage by 3%
          • Reward: After hitting 10 Heroes, remove the Mana Cost
          • Reward: After hitting 20 Heroes, increase the range by 40%
    • Ranger (W)
      • Moved from Level 16
      • Adjusted functionality:
        • Sentinel deals up to 75% more damage based on distance traveled
        • !Quest: Hit Heroes with Sentinel
          • Reward: Every enemy hit with Sentinel increases the damage at maximum range by 3%
    • Seasoned Marksman (Passive)
      • Removed
  • Level 4
    • Pierce (W)
      • Removed
    • Focused Attack (Passive)
      • Removed
    • Protective Shield (Active)
      • Removed
    • Healing Ward (Active)
      • Removed
    • Searing Arrows (Active)
      • Removed
    • Celestial Attunement (Q)
      • Moved from Level 1
      • New functionality:
        • Light of Elune removes stuns. If a stun is removed this way, Light of Elune can be recast for free within 3 seconds.
    • New Talent: Moonlit Arrows (Q)
      • Basic Attacks reduce the Cooldown of your Light of Elune by an additional .75 seconds
    • New Talent: Kaldorei Resistance (Q)
      • Light of Elune grants 15 Spell Armor for 6 seconds. This can stack up to 4 times
  • Level 7
    • Trueshot Aura (Active)
      • Moved from Level 16
      • Adjusted functionality:
        • Nearby allies have 10% increased Basic Attack damage
        • Activate: Double this bonus for 5 seconds
    • Huntress’ Fury (Trait)
      • Moved from Level 13
      • Reduced the splash radius by ~33%
      • New functionality:
        • Basic Attack’s against targets with Hunter’s Mark will damage all nearby enemy Heroes and Mercenaries
    • Lunar Momentum (Passive)
      • Removed
    • Calldown: MULE (Active)
      • Removed
    • New Talent: Darnassian Archery (Passive)
      • Each consecutive attack against an enemy Hero deals 5% more damage. This lasts for 4 seconds or until you target a non-Heroic unit
  • Level 13
    • Empower (W)
      • Moved from Level 1
      • New functionality:
        • Every Hero hit by Sentinel lowers its Cooldown by 4 seconds
    • Quickening Blessing (Q)
      • Moved from Level 7
    • Sprint (Active)
      • Removed
    • Shrink Ray (Active)
      • Removed
    • New Talent: Harsh Moonlight (W)
      • Enemies hit by Sentinel are slowed by 30% and have their damage reduced by 30% for 4 seconds
  • Level 16
    • Mark of Mending (Trait)
      • New functionality:
        • Tyrande’s Basic Attacks heal her for 2% of her maximum Health
        • Allied Heroes Basic Attacks against targets with Hunter’s Mark will heal for 3% of their maximum Health
    • Overflowing Light (Q)
      • Moved from Level 13
      • New functionality:
        • While above 60% life, Light of Elune heals for 30% more
    • New Talent: Elune’s Chosen (Active)
      • Target an allied Hero. For the next 5 seconds, you will heal them for 200% of the Basic Attack damage you deal
  • Level 20
    • Celestial Wrath (R)
      • New functionality:
        • Enemy Heroes within Starfall have Hunter’s Mark applied to them
    • Shooting Star (E)
      • Moved from Level 16
      • New functionality:
        • Increases Basic Attack range by 20%
        • After every 10th Basic Attack against enemies, a Lunar Flare will fire at a nearby enemy Hero
    • Hunter’s Swiftness (R)
      • Removed
    • Nexus Frenzy (Passive)
      • Removed
    • Storm Shield (Active)
      • Removed
    • Rewind (Active)
      • Removed
    • New Talent: Eyes of the Huntress (R)
      • Casting Shadowstalk also reveals the enemy team for 2 seconds.
    • New Talent: Iceblade Arrows (Passive)
      • Gain 25% Attack Speed. Basic Attacks against enemy Heroes reduces all damage they deal by 5% for 3 seconds. This can stack up to 10 times
Developer Comment:  During one of our design meetings many months ago, we came to the consensus that we wanted to swap the heal functionality between Tyrande and Uther. It felt like the self-heal mechanic was better suited on a front-line melee Healer, so we gave it to our favorite paladin in his latest rework. Instead of simply removing functionality from Light of Elune, we decided to add a large amount of cooldown reduction with every Basic Attack. This will reward players that can stay in combat and has allowed us to shift some of her power from healing output into more utility and offensive-based areas. Overall, we are extremely excited to see what our players can do with her new kit and look forward to hearing any feedback you have!
LEVEL (TIER)   TYRANDE TALENTS    
1 (1) (!) Ranger's Mark (D) (!) Lunar Blaze (E) (!) Ranger (W)  
4 (2) Moonlit Arrows (Q) Celestial Attunement (Q) Kaldorei Resistance (Q)  
7 (3) Huntress' Fury (D) Darnassian Archery (Passive) Trueshot Aura (Active)  
10 (4) Shadowstalk Starfall
13 (5) Quickening Blessing (Q) Empower (W) Harsh Moonlight (W)  
16 (6) Overflowing Light (Q) Mark of Mending (D) Elune's Chosen (Active)  
20 (7) Eyes of the Huntress (R) Celestrial Wrath  Shooting Star (E) Iceblade Arrows (Passive)
  • (!) indicates a Questing Talent.
  • Italic text indicates a NEW Talent.
  • Bold text indicates a MOVED Talent.

Warrior

Dehaka

Divider_Hero_Dehaka_crop.png

Abilities

  • Dark Swarm (W)
    • Damage increased from 30 to 50
    • Damage is now universal to all units (no bonus damage to Heroes)
    • Cooldown increased from 9 to 10 seconds

Talents

  • Level 1
    • Primal Aggression (W)
      • Removed
    • Enhanced Agility (Trait)
      • Movement Speed bonus per 50 Essence increased from 1.5 to 2%
      • Added functionality:
        • The duration of Brushstalker’s Movement Speed bonus after leaving brush increased from 1 to 3 seconds
    • Tissue Regeneration (Trait)
      • Added functionality:
        • Regeneration Globes grant 10 Essence
  • Level 7
    • Feeding Frenzy (Q)
      • Cooldown reduction per attack increased from 1.5 to 2 seconds
    • Essence Devourer (W)
      • Removed
  • Level 13
    • Swift Pursuit (Trait)
      • Removed
    • Ferocious Stalker (Trait)
      • New functionality:
        • Your abilities deal 25% more damage while you have the Brushstalker Movement Speed buff
    • New Talent: Primal Rage (Passive)
      • Gain 1% Basic Attack damage for every Essence you currently have
Developer Comment:  These changes are based primarily on win and pick rates of some of Dehaka's talent tiers. We removed some unpopular talents and combined a few others to make them more attractive. Dehaka's talent tree should now be a little bit sharper and hopefully open a few new build paths for players.

Bug Fixes

Art

  • Ghost Tracer: Recall visual effects will now correctly display on Ghost Tracer’s model when using Recall.
  • Lúcio: Will no longer appear elevated on the Ranked screen.
  • Prime Evil Diablo: Apocalypse visual effects will no longer persist on Prime Evil Diablo’s model when casting Apocalypse immediately after Hellgate.

Battlegrounds

  • Braxis Holdout: Fixed an issue that could cause players to receive an AFK warning while contesting a Beacon.
  • Braxis Holdout: Beacon UI that appears below the minimap will now correctly appear neutral if they are not controlled by either team.
  • Towers of Doom: Heroes can no longer clip into the edges of the terrain when moving near the edges of the allied Hall of Storms.
  • Try Mode: The Refresh Forts button will no longer cause Malfurion to spawn when Allied Hero is set to None.

Heroes, Abilities, and Talents

  • Abathur: Fixed an issue in which Networked Carapace provided a lower than intended Shield amount.
  • Abathur: Secondary Shields granted by Networked Carapace will no longer benefit from Sustained Carapace.
  • Azmodan: When Demonic Invasion is cast on an area of terrain that is not pathable, the Demonic Grunts will now be placed as close as possible to the casting location, rather than failing to spawn.
  • Azmodan: Issuing a Move Command during All Shall Burn’s wind-up time will no longer cancel the Ability cast.
  • Cassia: Inner Light’s tooltip now consistently states that range is increased by 25% before and after taking the Talent.
  • Cassia: Martial Law will no longer apply bonus damage to slowed or stunned Minions and Mercenaries.
  • Cassia: Fixed an issue that could cause Valkyrie to pull its target farther than intended if Cassia was Stopped.
  • Dehaka: Basic Attacks will now correctly reduce Drag’s cooldown after learning Feeding Frenzy.
  • Gall: Can now properly cast Shove while channeling Shadow Bolt volley.
  • Gazlowe: Fixed an issue preventing Rock It! Turrets from being self-cast or placed beneath unit and Hero models.
  • Kerrigan: Bladed Momentum will no longer grant cooldown reduction for secondary targets hit by Basic Attacks after learning Fury of the Storm.
  • Tracer: Can now correctly attack Minions who are affected by Sylvanas’ Possession.

Sound

  • Announcers: Will now play their “Prepare for Battle” voiceover lines during the opening moments of a match.
  • Hero Select: Fixed an issue that could cause some heroes’ voiceover to echo after clicking Ready during Hero Select.
  • Hero Select: Lúcio will now correctly play voiceover upon searching for a match in the Portuguese and Chinese game clients.

User Interface

  • Collection: The Collection screen will no longer appear cut off when screen resolution is set to 1280x1024 or 1152x864.
  • Collection: Hovering the cursor over a truncated item name in the Collection will now correctly display a tooltip that states the item’s full name.
  • Emojis: Emojis whispered between Heroes of the Storm players will now display their shortcodes when the whisper is viewed in the Blizzard Launcher’s chat window.
  • Quick Cast: Fixed an issue causing abilities to fail when quick-casted over the minimap with the "Right Click through Minimap" option enabled.

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Genji and D.Va got announcers... Meanwhile I'm still waiting for The Lost Vikings and Lil Ragnaros announcers. 😟

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Are you guys going to buy the Welcome Bundle? I probably will, but I'm not sure yet

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17 minutes ago, positiv2 said:

Are you guys going to buy the Welcome Bundle? I probably will, but I'm not sure yet

I'm really tempted to. 800 gems, plus 3 types of crates, stimpack and a mount is a lot. I'm curious about the price, though.

By the way, is this Zebra Mount the same as the Nazeebra Mount? Or is it a different mount?

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16 minutes ago, Valhalen said:

By the way, is this Zebra Mount the same as the Nazeebra Mount? Or is it a different mount?

It should be a new mount. It is "Available exclusively by purchasing the Welcome Bundle.", which should mean that it has not obtainable before, unlike Nazeebra

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15 hours ago, Valhalen said:

Genji and D.Va got announcers... Meanwhile I'm still waiting for The Lost Vikings and Lil Ragnaros announcers. 😟

Same for Jaina waifu :3 And I wanted "My magic will tear you apart!" as a voice line hope they bring it- I know she has a similar taunt but it's 1/3 chance to say it..:/

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15 hours ago, positiv2 said:

Are you guys going to buy the Welcome Bundle? I probably will, but I'm not sure yet

Do they still have the promo going where you get that celestial horse for the first time you buy gems? Getting double mounts sounds really good.

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Removing Primal Agression from Dehaka opened up the usage of other talents. I've tried the new Tissue Regen and gotta say that I really enjoyed it. It has such a good synergy from other before never-taken talents. Essence flows...

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7 hours ago, SteveFrost said:

Same for Jaina waifu :3 And I wanted "My magic will tear you apart!" as a voice line hope they bring it- I know she has a similar taunt but it's 1/3 chance to say it..:/

I reeeaaally want a Li-Ming announcer. Or Nova.

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4 hours ago, Sawzorthn said:

Do they still have the promo going where you get that celestial horse for the first time you buy gems? Getting double mounts sounds really good.

Yeah, the promotion is still available, though I don't know whether it will stay this way the next week, but I don't see why it wouldn't

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      Welcome to Icy Veins's Meta Tier List for the Maiev 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.
      A ↑ next to a hero's name means its tier list position has increased since the previous month whereas a ↓ means just the opposite. Additionally, a + or - sign indicates short-to-medium term predictions (which is to say, about a month) for tier increase(s) or decrease(s), respectively. These are often updated after significant balance patches and/or when clear trends are emerging.
      If you're newer to the game, also consider visiting our glossary for a comprehensive list of discrete Heroes of the Storm terms.
      Current ranked mode map rotation
       
      Prime Tier
      Warrior Assassin Support Specialist Arthas Genji - - E.T.C. Greymane     Sonya Hanzo       Maiev (new)     Prime tier heroes are considered to be extremely strong in all situations, and show no obvious weakness. They are very often banned or picked right away, as they generally dictate the pace of most matches.
       
      Core Tier
      Warrior Assassin Support Specialist Anub'arak Falstad Alexstrasza Abathur↑ Dehaka Jaina↑ Brightwing Azmodan Diablo+ Junkrat Lúcio+ Nazeebo Muradin Li-Ming Malfurion↑ Sylvanas Stitches Malthael (reworked)+ Stukov  Zagara Varian (Taunt) Valla Uther   Core tier heroes are strong in a wide variety of situations and have few counter-picking possibility. They should form the core of your team, and be picked after Prime Tier heroes have been distributed.
       
      Viable Tier
      Warrior Assassin Support Specialist Artanis Alarak Ana Murky Blaze+ Cassia Auriel Xul D.Va Chromie Kharazim   Garrosh Gul'dan+ Li Li+   Johanna Illidan Lt. Morales   Leoric Kael'thas+ Rehgar   Tyrael  Kel'Thuzad Tyrande    Zarya Kerrigan↓       Lunara       Nova↓       Ragnaros+       Samuro       The Butcher       Thrall       Tracer+       Tychus↑       Varian (Colossus Smash)       Zeratul       Zul'jin↓     Viable tier heroes are generally well-rounded that have either fallen out of favour, or, inversely, are on the rise in popularity, due to the current Prime tier contenders.
       
      Niche Tier
      Warrior Assassin Support Specialist Chen Cho'gall Tassadar Gazlowe Cho'gall Raynor   Medivh Rexxar Valeera↓   Probius↓   Varian (Twin Blades of Fury)   Sgt. Hammer↓ Niche tier heroes have niche application on certain maps or for certain team compositions. They may also picked to "round out" your team composition when your team composition is missing out on key components, such as a "jungler" (mercenary camps), a solo laner, or solid waveclear.
       
      Lost Vikings Tier
      The Lost Vikings 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.
       
      Metagame assessment
      Maiev: Where do I even begin? Despite heavy-handed nerfs delivered less than a week after her release, Maiev continues to dominate popularity (read: is banned about 5 times more than she is played at all levels) and top win rates. The fact that I'm not sure what exactly contributes to her success is probably a good indicator of what actually contributes to her success: everything. High survivability, high mobility, high damage potential through Fan of Knives's ability to reset, the ability to both set up and follow up for and on crowd control through Spirit of Vengeance + Umbral Bind, serviceable waveclear, and Vault of the Wardens on a ridiculously short cooldown for good measure to make her an unviable target for heroic ability chains. Warden's Cage ended up the favoured heroic ability choice for Maiev, and it's rather easy to see why; it just works well with the rest of her kit on top of being quite easy for anyone to use, though Containment Disc is not to be underestimated either. She's at the top of the food chain, so Prime tier it is. Expect further nerfs.
      Jaina: Jaina was last month's surprise for me, which is why I had her marked for promotion. I slightly feared Genji players, but after witnessing some more competent Jaina play (including my own not-so-competent experimentation), it's safe to say that Summon Water Elemental is absolutely key to dealing with him (along pretty much every other assassin in the game). For games with little melee assassin pressure, Ring of Frost remains a powerful win condition. Jaina also sports what is arguably the game's best waveclear potential, and can deal with mercenary camps extremely well with Frost Shards and Ice Lance. 
      Malthael: I can certainly see how Malthael's rework may have seemed rather grim to anyone underestimating the power of cleaving attacks. This change, though accompanied by slight nerfs to his damage and survivability, allowed his already powerful laning  to improve, just as with his ability to deal with mercenary camps. One should never underestimate the power of PvE, particularly in less organised play. Furthermore, his reliance upon Tormented Souls was reduced, allowing for Last Rites to actually get some playtime. I've been impressed with it, and I'm probably going to update his builds to reflect this newfound power.
      Abathur: Abathur is the kind of hero that comes and goes with the metagame state and who generally thrives in assassin-oriented states. As with Genji, I wouldn't be fooled by his limited winrates; he just simply tends to do better at higher level, more organised play, and particularly in longer matches. To avoid on Haunted Mines and Braxis Holdout. Please pick your Ultimate Evolution target responsibly, and go for an assassin, with Maiev, Genji, Hanzo, and Jaina making incredible targets. Incidentally, avoid Evolve Monstrosity; it has been tested and rejected a long time ago.
      Tychus: Not a big leap in tier, but a leap nonetheless. He went from seeing pretty much no play for quite a while to seeing some, including tournament play. As expected, he does well against Blaze and a few other bruisers, on top of being on the more resilient side of ranged assassins. Commandeer Odin is excellent, but the real sleeper here is Neosteel Coating, which can do funny things with Relentless Soldier.
      Probius: Nearly as unpopular as The Lost Vikings. Though I don't think he's bad, I certainly think he does not have a place in the current meta. All of the top picks do extremely well against him, as does diving in general. I really wish I had more insights here, but the very few times I did see him in the last month, it was rather sad to witness. 
      Sgt. Hammer: I initially had her as viable, but upon reading user comments, I had to agree: she does extremely well against team compositions that cannot deal with her, and poorly otherwise. This is basically what the Niche tier should be defined by. We could discuss at length why this design is rather unhealthy for the game, but I think Blizzard has recognized this by not releasing a single specialist in over a year.
    • By Oxygen
      Oxygen discusses Heroes of the Storm's newly announced performance-based matchmaking system and why it may prove to be problematic.

       
      One of the biggest changes announced at BlizzCon 2017 was the introduction of the performance-based matchmaking system for ranked game modes in Heroes of the Storm.
      In a nutshell, this new system seeks to quickly adjust individual player matchmaking rating (MMR) by using data from past performance, other players, and a number of other unspecified systems. Unfortunately, players quickly found out how flawed the system was upon receiving seemingly unjustified penalties to their MMR despite perceived strong performance, and ultimately figured out how to game the system to maximise their gains by exhibiting counterintuitive in-game behaviour.
      And unfortunately for Blizzard, the release of the system coincided with other “bugs” that affected placements and general matchmaking, which exacerbated the problem. Not one but two placement match history resets have now been performed. Blizzard claimed that the issues were not related to the new performance-based matchmaking system, but the system in question has been disabled for three days at the time of writing. I can’t help but to wonder why the system was disabled if it in fact wasn’t part of the issues, but I’ll offer Blizzard a highly skeptical benefit of the doubt for now. They need all the help they can get.
      However, I’m not here to criticise Blizzard’s course of action, which I believed to be reasonable and timely enough, if not a bit opaque. I’d much rather look into the very existence of the performance-based matchmaking system. I’ll start by going over some of the comments made in the official system announcement linked above.
      Blizzard (Source)
      The team-focused nature of Heroes presents challenges when using this system to determine an individual player’s matchmaking rating, since any single player is only 1 part of the 5-man team that won or lost the match. The system works since, all things being equal, a player will win more games than they lose over the long run if their skill is higher than other players at the same rank.
      I must admit I was not ready to respond to a “we know it works, but we’re changing it anyway” approach. Leaving aside the obvious flaw in basic argumentation theory, I know how frustrating it is to have a strong performance and still lose; I’ve certainly been there before. But, in general, players need to be groomed into being able to look at the larger, statistically-significant picture. If you consistently perform well and are never the cause for losses, you will rise. After all, the opposing team would have 5 chances of “messing up” whereas yours would only have 4. This means that if you can maintain an approximate 55.5% win rate, you know you’re good. (That approximate 55.5% value comes from 100 - 4 / 9 * 100; this calculation essentially compares each team’s chance at a liability if you’re never a negative factor, hence why it only take 9 players into account and giving each player an approximate 11.11…% of the responsibility for losing.). If your win rate is actually higher than that, you may even be good enough to even make up for negative factors on your team. That’s powerful, and certainly doesn’t require any fancy system to work, even in a team environment, unlike what Blizzard seems to be claiming. Even if your impact is small, you still have an impact.
      However, I don’t want people to get me wrong here; in theory, I think that the idea of a performance-based matchmaking system is great, though just not for the purpose of long-term MMR adjustment. If Heroes of the Storm did have a way to accurately identify high- and low-level players, the matchmaking experience would be vastly improved for both groups: high-level players would no longer have to endure low-level players with high MMR uncertainty, whereas low-level players would no longer be thrown into victimizing and soul-crushing matches. Higher match quality promotes player retention; player retention is profitable for everyone.
      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?
      Claiming multiple pieces without trading your own?
      or…
      Focusing on claiming key pieces during key moments?
      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.
    • By Stan

      After Lunar Rocket Racing, it's time for Lost Cavern! Lay waste to the enemy Core on the single-lane map with no talent or level restriction. Complete three matches to get a Lunar Loot Chest.
      Blizzard (Source)
      This week’s brawl is Lost Cavern! It’s all-out mayhem on our single-lane battleground – Lost Cavern. Queue up, choose your Hero, and try to best to bring down the enemy Core!

      Rules:
      Shuffle pick - Choose from one of three Heroes before entering the battle. Standard play - no talent or level restrictions. The first team to destroy the enemy Core wins! Rewards:
      Complete three matches of Lost Cavern to earn a Loot Chest! Find out more about the Heroes Brawl game mode on our Heroes Brawl site; and as always, you can find more information on this week’s Brawl by clicking the Brawl Info button at the bottom of the play screen when preparing to queue for the Brawl game mode.
    • By Stan

      Blizzard just rolled out a patch with various bug fixes. Check out the full patch notes! 
      Blizzard (Source)
      Bug Fixes
      Heroes, Talents, & Abilities
      Genji: Fixed an issue preventing certain cleave attacks, such as Malthael’s Basic Attacks and Xul’s Cursed Strikes, from removing stacks of Genji’s Dodge. Ice Block: Fixed an issue allowing certain Abilities to be cast during Ice Block, including Jaina’s Ice Blink, Brightwing’s Storm Shield, and Malfurion’s Astral Communion. Jaina: The Wintermute Talent now correctly causes Jaina’s Water Elemental to mimic her Basic Abilities. Lunara: The Galloping Gait Talent no longer permanently grants a permanent Movement Speed bonus. Tyrael: The Stalwart Angel Talent’s tooltip now displays the correct values for its duration and Armor bonus. Maiev: Casting Spirit of Vengeance just as a Core is destroyed will no longer cause the Spirit to cease animating. Maiev: Activating Naisha’s Memento will now correctly display an icon indicating its duration in the buff bar. Nova: Fixed an issue causing Holo Decoys to deal slightly more damage than intended after learning Lethal Decoy. Rehgar: The Rising Storm Talent will no longer increase Lightning Shield’s damage versus non-Heroic enemies.
    • By Oxygen
         
      Our fifteenth Heroes of the Storm Meta Tier list for the Blaze patch of January is here!
      We present our fifteenth Heroes of the Storm Meta Tier List for the Blaze patch of January 2018.
      Note: This list also takes the January 16 balance patch into account.
      Welcome to Icy Veins's Meta Tier List for the Blaze 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
       
      Prime Tier
      Warrior Assassin Support Specialist Arthas Genji - - E.T.C. Greymane     Sonya↑ Hanzo↑↑↑     Prime tier heroes are considered to be extremely strong in all situations, and show no obvious weakness. They are very often banned or picked right away, as they generally dictate the pace of most matches.
       
      Core Tier
      Warrior Assassin Support Specialist Anub'arak Falstad Alexstrasza↑ Azmodan Dehaka Junkrat↑↑ Brightwing Nazeebo Diablo Kerrigan Lúcio Zagara Muradin Li-Ming Stukov↑ Sylvanas↑  Stitches Malthael↓ Uther   Varian (Tank) Nova↓-       Valla       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.
       
      Viable Tier
      Warrior Assassin Support Specialist Artanis Alarak Ana Abathur D.Va Cassia Auriel Murky Garrosh Chromie Kharazim Probius Johanna Gul'dan Li Li+ Sgt. Hammer↑ Leoric Illidan Lt. Morales Xul Zarya Jaina Malfurion (reworked)+   Blaze (new) Kael'thas Rehgar   Tyrael (reworked)↑ Kel'Thuzad Tyrande     Lunara       Ragnaros       Samuro       The Butcher       Thrall↑       Tracer       Valeera↓↓-       Zeratul+     Viable tier heroes are generally well-rounded that have either fallen out of favour, or, inversely, are on the rise in popularity, due to the current Prime tier contenders.
       
      Niche Tier
      Warrior Assassin Support Specialist Chen Cho'gall Tassadar Gazlowe Cho'gall Raynor   Medivh Rexxar Tychus       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.
       
      Bottom Tier
      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.
       
      Metagame assessment
      Happy new year to everyone. This list is a tad late, as was the last one, but I was, once again, waiting for one of those odd rework patches that come out a week after featured hero releases and go untested on the PTR for some reason. HGC matches also began just yesterday, meaning that new trends  are likely to emerge shortly; today saw unexpected Cassia, Tychus, and Leoric make an appearance, which was certainly exciting. As per usual, I'll be updating the list as I see fit throughout the next few weeks. The last few lists have generated quite a bit of discussion, which is great to see. Although I cannot reasonably respond to every comment, I do read everything posted. Keep it up!
      Blaze. My initial PTR assessment of the hero, which was quite positive, was followed by a sudden realization: he does a lot of things well, but nothing exceptionally well. Blaze is the quintessential jack of all trades, master of none type hero. Generally, that's not a particularly desirable trait, because heroes are generally picked for their niches to either counter opponents or synergise with allies. For a warrior, he can't really solo tank, meaning he often ends up in that strange spot where you need a pretty well fleshed out team composition to make him work. But when he works, he does work well. He can hold his own in a solo lane, but his waveclear isn't quite good enough to deal with mercenary camps pushing before Grill and Kill, which can be frustrating. Certain heroes, such as Leoric and Malthael, completely shut him down as well. This leads me to believe that he won't see much tournament play if at all, unless teams are messing around. Viable as a late pick when you don't really know what else to pick because your team composition is already fine.
      Sonya. She's currently the most popular pick in the game. You can't go wrong with a bulky solo laner that can duel nearly anyone, output as much damage as an assassin, and clear mercenary camps with ease. Leap lets her setup really well if your team composition lends itself to that. Still, I don't think she deserves bans.
      Hanzo. This important Overwatch figurehead could just not be allowed to remain seen as underpowered for over a month. After unsuccessfully giving him a blanket 10% damage buff across the board following poor PTR feedback, Blizzard adopted the bolder strategy of making his basic attacks deal ability levels of damage thanks to the Sharpened Arrowheads changes. What was initially supposed to be a difficult to master skillshot-based hero now  has access to what is arguably the most powerful basic attack in the game, though the Serrated Arrows + Never Outmatched combo I discussed last patch remains useful for trivializing map objectives on Battlefield of Eternity and Infernal Shrines while allowing Hanzo to solo any mercenary camp from level 7 and on. With the help of another hero, bosses also become possible at this level. Losing map control or suffering one or two early deaths against Hanzo is devastating. Explosive Arrows lets him waveclear relatively well too, though particularly with Piercing Arrows for double hits on minions. The Natural Agility range increase made it much more usable, to where Hanzo can now reliably escape most if not all heroes with proper positioning. It is interesting to note that these buffs coincided with Hanzo's first free week.
      Junkrat. The proverbial death of the double healer meta means it's time for sustained poke to shine. Junkrat's popularity exploded recently as players discovered that a mix of reliable ranged waveclear, playmaking (through Concussion Mine) and potentially fight winning RIP-Tire hits made the hero a force to be reckoned with. Just be sure to pick up Endless Nades; that's your late-game damage.
      Malthael. Hanzo does really well against him, so I'm not surprised by the dip in popularity. Malthael is still very powerful, though unlikely to draw bans before second round, if at all. Always a solid pick against double tank as well as a solo laner.
      Nova. She (along with Valeera) were allowed to remain oppressive for quite a while, benefiting from the turmoil generated by the stealth rework and Blizzard employees taking a couple weeks off for the holidays. Nova is now in a good spot, with clear counters and niches, though I'm still disliking how easy Lethal Decoy makes her to play. I feel like she'll keep a potential caster meta in check for quite some time now that she's back on the radar.
      Alexstrasza. She's doing rather well. Dragonqueen is now being appropriately treated (though not quite respected by opponents) as a heroic ability by players to fight over objectives and while sieging.
      Stukov. His high healing output makes him rather strong in a poke-heavy meta. I think players are going to experiment with the Growing Infestation + Virulent Reaction (+ Bio-Explosion Switch) combo to make Stukov a lot more aggressive than we're used to seeing him be. Flailing Swipe continues to be great as a pseudo-Mighty Gust in terms of disengaging. Stukov is probably one of the best solo "all purpose" hero leaguing healer at the moment.
      Sylvanas. Any change to minion or structure damage end up being indirect buffs or nerfs to Sylvanas. Since structures were recently buffed again and Sylvanas's direct counters were nerfed quite heavily, I think she's back to being relatively high priority. Possession is really strong now, as is Mercenary Queen, though only if there's nothing for Barbed Shot to work on.
      Tyrael. Though he's not notably more powerful than he was before, I think his rework opened up a viable bruiser build for him, increasing his versatility. He's sitting at a healthy 50% win rate at the time of writing. HGC already saw him picked rather often - though, that's pre-Tyrael patch, where he is arguably weaker - , and I'm certainly looking forward to see what kind of builds players are going to gravitate towards. Holy Ground is still great, and comes online 3 levels earlier than it did before.
      Valeera. She suffered the same fate as Nova, though her overly simplistic ability set makes small nerfs very impactful. At the end of the day, she's probably going to require a broad rework, because as of right now, she either bursts her target down and feels "unfair", or doesn't and feel "worthless". Right now, she's erring on the side of the latter.
      Malfurion. Possibly one of the best rework ever done, though his vastly increased skill cap may make him less popular. His sustained healing output is excellent, but his lack of burst management still makes him difficult to play.