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Malthael Patch Meta Tier List (June 2017)

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We present our seventh Heroes of the Storm Meta Tier List for the Malthael patch of June 2017.

Our seventh Heroes of the Storm Meta Tier List for the month of June 2017 is here!

Welcome to Icy Veins's Meta Tier List for the Malthael 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 are often updated after significant balance patches and/or when clear trends are emerging.

 

Prime Tier

Warrior Assassin Support Specialist
Anub'arak  Genji  Uther  -
  Malthael (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
Arthas Falstad Auriel Nazeebo
Dehaka Gul'dan Malfurion Probius
Diablo Greymane Rehgar Sylvanas
D.Va Li-Ming Tassadar↑↑  
Johanna Thrall    
Muradin Valla    
Sonya Zeratul    
Varian (Tank)      
Zarya      

Core tier heroes are strong in a wide variety of situations and have few counter-picking possibility. They should form the core of your team, and be picked after Prime Tier heroes have been distributed.

 

Viable Tier

Warrior Assassin Support Specialist
Artanis Alarak Brightwing Abathur
Chen Chromie Kharazim Azmodan
E.T.C. Jaina Li Li Gazlowe
Leoric Kael'thas Lt. Morales Zagara
Stitches Kerrigan Lúcio  
Rexxar Lunara    
Tyrael Ragnaros    
  Samuro    
  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 Tyrande Medivh
  Cho'gall   Murky
  Illidan   Sgt. Hammer
  Nova   Xul
  Raynor    
  Tracer    
  Tychus    

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

Malthael's initial PTR feelings were mitigated, with most players claiming he was meh-to-balanced, and myself generally praising his power, only to be met with general anti-oxy snark (I'm used to, it whatever). Still, I opted to be conservative for this list. Wrongly so. The Aspect of Death is currently dominating overall win rates by a fair margin, though we are in a meta that is generally dominated by tanks, his prey of choice. I feel that Malthael's initially weak appraisal stemmed from a misjudged ability to actually threaten things that aren't tank. Still, is Malthael's success a result of the current metagame, or is instead due to the general playerbase's inability to dodge a slow-moving wave of death? Probably both. I'm looking forward to the Lunaras and Vallas of this world to put a figurative stake into our kite-sensitive friend's win rates, or, at least, avoid drafting two tanks and then some more melee into him. Until then, we'll see him a lot. And then some; his laning is great, and he's pretty useful for mercenaries, bosses, and a couple of map objectives. And read the guide!

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Is Tyreal still so low just due to the really high skill cap needed to execute him properly? He still has some of the most game changing late game impact of any tank.

Also, Brightwing in core?! Bribe on 1 map does not make it back to being a real healer...

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5 minutes ago, Laragon said:

Is Tyreal still so low just due to the really high skill cap needed to execute him properly? He still has some of the most game changing late game impact of any tank.

Also, Brightwing in core?! Bribe on 1 map does not make it back to being a real healer...

Tyrael is really coordination dependent even if you have individual skill, especially if you are the solo tank of your team. As you mentioned he also has really high skillcap himself to squeeze the maximum value of his kit. Considering that the Tyrael player and his team need to adjust their playstyles compared to when playing with regular stuntank, its rare to see a good Tyrael value in average hero league game.

Brightwing is imo weaker than Rehgar Auriel and Malf, but she still is still probably better in solo queue than Morales, Lucio, Tyrande or Li Li. Kharazim is skill capped especially when playing with palm, so its rare to see Kharazims get the value they could get in average hero league. Would still put Brightwing into Viable tier myself too, but thats arguable.

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Nice list, as usual. I was expecting a summary of the reasons for the ranking below the Tier List, as you usually do. But by interpretation I think I can imagine the reasons.

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Surreal reading this tier list, looking at BW in a core spot on the list, and then watching her being picked two games in a row in the GRANDFINALS, what is going onnnnnnnn 

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32 minutes ago, Plergoth said:

Surreal reading this tier list, looking at BW in a core spot on the list, and then watching her being picked two games in a row in the GRANDFINALS, what is going onnnnnnnn 

Brightwing is fantastic. She has decent heals and a lot of utility. In the right comp she is insanely good.

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Assessment will be coming up shortly.

I knew the Brightwing bumb would be controversial, but I'd rather overshoot than undershoot.

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Very excited to see those Tassadar buffs paying off in spades.

Seconding the Bringwing call though. I may be garbage at this game but Bringwing has some extremely unique utility and her ability to shift lane presence is nothing to trifle with.

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2 hours ago, Valhalen said:

Brightwing is fantastic. She has decent heals and a lot of utility. In the right comp she is insanely good.

Yep and yep, but also extremely vulnerable to being dived w/o Emerald Winds and being isolated from her team so they don't get Mist heals. Saw it happen on the Cursed Hollow game vs Ming and Illidan! She has a niche, but picking her twice in a row was an incredibly ballsy thing to do that paid off. 

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3 hours ago, Plergoth said:

Yep and yep, but also extremely vulnerable to being dived w/o Emerald Winds and being isolated from her team so they don't get Mist heals. Saw it happen on the Cursed Hollow game vs Ming and Illidan! She has a niche, but picking her twice in a row was an incredibly ballsy thing to do that paid off. 

Funny thing, I usually take Blink Heal, for both on demand healing burst and the teleport (which is awesome for escapes).  Emerald Wind is great for disengages, but is hard to select if you're playing solo-heal BW in my mind.

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11 hours ago, Plergoth said:

(...) but also extremely vulnerable to being dived (...) and being isolated from her team

I guess this is pretty much every healer ever, hahaha (maybe except for Kharazim). It all depends on the matchup. If she has a strong frontline with anti-dive to peel her, she can shine.

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7 hours ago, Valhalen said:

I guess this is pretty much every healer ever, hahaha (maybe except for Kharazim). It all depends on the matchup. If she has a strong frontline with anti-dive to peel her, she can shine.

To an extent, definitely, but Brightwing has to be even more careful than most other Supports with positioning requirements. Her global literally puts her on top of the target ally, which can result in some... interesting... scenarios!

Edited by Plergoth
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I'm surprised to see Anub as a god tier while Johanna is better imo. 

Johanna have so much disabled + stun and shorter cooldowns, i don't think Anub is better than Johanna.

Zarya and D.va shouldn't be core tier, they should be viable tier, not much they give to there respective teams.

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20 hours ago, Cupif said:

I'm surprised to see Anub as a god tier while Johanna is better imo. 

Johanna have so much disabled + stun and shorter cooldowns, i don't think Anub is better than Johanna.

Zarya and D.va shouldn't be core tier, they should be viable tier, not much they give to there respective teams.

We're currently in a meta that focuses on high burst spell damage (namely Ability Damage), so this is where Anub truly shines, as he has the right "anti-mage tools"; his dive potential is absurd, and he can stun players from miles away. With the talents that improve Burrow and Impale, he is really annoying and deals surprisingly high damage for a tank.

Meanwhile, Johanna is more oriented on fighting melee Heroes that deal physical damage (namely Basic Attack Damage), which is not the current meta: you see less and less Butchers, Raynors and Illidans lately. Don't get me wrong, Johanna is still very strong, but her lack of mobility makes her subpar when dealing with "mages", where Anub can effectively pick on those characters, as well Healers. Not to mention she simply can't deal reliable damage, where Anub can.

Lastly, I think both Zarya and D.Va are well placed in this Tier List; they belong to the Core Tier. Both are surprisingly resilient (D.Va even more so, annoyingly, with her two healthbars) and great on double Warrior compositions. Put Zarya with Anub together in the same comp and you're gonna have a bad  great time.

Edited by Valhalen
Great time, you're right Voltorocks
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8 hours ago, Valhalen said:

Put Zarya with Anub together in the same comp and you're gonna have a bad time.

I mean, you're going to have a great time. your opponents will probably feel like shit tho :P

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imo Lost Vikings better than aba, but I can see why they're in different tiers. I don't get why Cho'Gall and Medivh aren't in the bottom tier though. CG is only useful when a whole team comp is built around him and Medivh only works if he's playing in a premade team, since his core abilities require lightning fast team co-operation. I don't see how they are any better than the vikings.

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9 hours ago, Ilonpilaaja said:

imo Lost Vikings better than aba, but I can see why they're in different tiers. I don't get why Cho'Gall and Medivh aren't in the bottom tier though. CG is only useful when a whole team comp is built around him and Medivh only works if he's playing in a premade team, since his core abilities require lightning fast team co-operation. I don't see how they are any better than the vikings.

I think The Lost Vikings lost a lot of their value in the meta since everything can gank and kill them so easily. I hope Blizz revisit them; I remember them saying they had ideas for new talents that made the Vikings stronger when they're together to allow different builds other than the typical split push.

As for Cho'Gall and Medivh, they're in the Niche Tier, which describes "have niche application on certain maps or for certain team compositions.", so they are where they belong.

In my opinion Medivh still is the best Hero in the game, but he requires very specific composition and set of skills to be truly effective; but when he is, shit gets real.

Edited by Valhalen
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I absolutely love Murky and it is really sad to see him in Niche every time because of how many people see him only as that when he can actually be much more in m opinion. Leo is meh when I see him because I have seen so many people build him with the strict drain hope build with no slack in any of the talents even in some high level play when he can easily be played MUCH more aggressively with a considerable more amount of sustainability along with a higher dmg output. Gaz in high lvl play, I have really only seen very few people go with a build around the turrets because many people think that because of the low health pool, it does matter to increase the duration of them or not, so people go with the stun (much more then second option) or the lazer build. Greymane is the one hero that I usually play that I agree with the choice to see him in the core tier, but Kerrigan as I have played her with the results against all the different match ups that I have had, do not agree in the slightest that she is anything less that core tier. This is just from my experiences I am basing this off of along with some of my good friends and where we do not agree with. But other than that, everything seems to be about right.

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On 6/22/2017 at 6:42 AM, Ilonpilaaja said:

imo Lost Vikings better than aba, but I can see why they're in different tiers. I don't get why Cho'Gall and Medivh aren't in the bottom tier though. CG is only useful when a whole team comp is built around him and Medivh only works if he's playing in a premade team, since his core abilities require lightning fast team co-operation. I don't see how they are any better than the vikings.

I believe it is because the results from high level play say differently and they are going solely based off of that rather than grabbing from all levels of play because the lower you go, the more likely you are to see things happen when they should not. Vikings can most certainly be extremely powerful if used in the right hands, but when not having spent massive amounts of time in it, you will lack the ability to be able to contribute to the team as you would with another hero that you play.

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Been a long time site guest and only recently have been checking these tier lists and despite all the other games and years of playing this is the one that pushes me to make an account on here just to ask you nicely...GIVE US REASONS ON EACH TIER PLACEMENT!!!! thats all. thanks!

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I haven't been here since the first tier list, but this is the first time I've seen heroes in Prime and Bottom tier. I can see discussion above on The Lost Vikings in bottom tier, but can someone please elaborate a bit on why the heroes in Prime tier are where they're at?

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1 hour ago, TwixTrix said:

can someone please elaborate a bit on why the heroes in Prime tier are where they're at?

we had a brief period where the pool of strong heroes was large enough and even enough that there were no real "must pick" heroes; this is really what prime tier means, that they are powerful enough to demand a pick, ban, or counter in almost every game, map, and comp.

i.e., if the top 4 tanks are roughly equal, it's not "mandatory" that you pick or counter any particular one. right now, it's mandatory that you either pick or have a plan to beat Anub'arak, because if you allow him to pick into even a neutral matchup he will stomp.

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On 22.6.2017 at 10:58 PM, Valhalen said:

In my opinion Medivh still is the best Hero in the game, but he requires very specific composition and set of skills to be truly effective; but when he is, shit gets real.

I agree, but he's a very team oriented hero, so if his team can't work with his teleports and if Medivh doesn't use his invincibility buffs on time, he's the worst hero in the game. But if he does have a quickly reacting team and a smart game sense, his the most useful hero in the game.

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48 minutes ago, Ilonpilaaja said:

I agree, but he's a very team oriented hero, so if his team can't work with his teleports and if Medivh doesn't use his invincibility buffs on time, he's the worst hero in the game. But if he does have a quickly reacting team and a smart game sense, his the most useful hero in the game.

Ah yes. Playing as Medivh should only be done in pre-mades and with voice communication. I got into this Quick Match the other where a PUG Medivh would FUCK UP our Heroics every single time by using Ley Line SealLey Line Seal at the wrong time. He wasn't even trolling, he was just bad.

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On 3.7.2017 at 2:06 PM, Valhalen said:

Ah yes. Playing as Medivh should only be done in pre-mades and with voice communication. I got into this Quick Match the other where a PUG Medivh would FUCK UP our Heroics every single time by using Ley Line SealLey Line Seal at the wrong time. He wasn't even trolling, he was just bad.

The king is the most important piece, but also the weakest. Quite fitting, actually.

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      When you’ve won a fight, do whatever you can to bolster your odds of winning the next fight. If that means taking an enemy Well near a future objective spawn or stealing a camp to deny your opponents a way back into the game, remember that the last fight is inevitably the only one that truly matters.
      It’s best to not get overly ambitious with shot calling in these situations. “If their death timers are around 40 seconds and you still must go through a Fort and a Keep, then it's better to play around the map and try to get a level advantage for the next fight instead. If you're close to their Keep and you have most of your team alive then it's probably best to push,” said Goku.
      How do you know if it’s safe to push or not? “Ask yourself: Who on the enemy team is still alive? For example, if a mage is still up and they still have a Support—that is still a solid defense," said Goku. "But if it's a Warrior or an off-laner, then that's easily your best chance to try and push or end the game.”
      Snowstorm
      “The best Hero for 'snowballing' would be Jaina in my opinion,” said Goku. “The burst she provides demands a constant response from the enemy team. if she gets a level lead it's even more devastating what she’s capable of. Being a talent tier down on Jaina doesn't feel quite as good but you can comeback—one good Ring of Frost or one decent flank can turn the game around.”
      Now that you understand the basics and some of the common mistakes players make when attempting to retain their lead, hopefully you’ll find yourself prepped and ready for the next team fight after winning the last one. Midgame Moves Week continues tomorrow with a guide to scaling featuring Fnatic’s Warrior player Pontus "Breez" Sjögren.
    • By Stan
      In the third installment of Midgame Moves, Team Dignitas' Vilhelm “POILK” Flennmark details how to recover from a lost battle and get back into the game.
      Midgame Moves
      Part One: Map Pressure & Camp Timings Part Two: Boss Control Blizzard (Source)
      How to Recover from a Lost Team Fight
      It’s Midgame Moves week for Heroes of the Storm! It’s time to continue theeducational content series that kicked off 2018 featuring some of the smartest personalities in the scene, now focusing on the meaty middle portion of a competitive game. On day one we explored map pressure and mercenary camp timings, while yesterday we emphasized boss control. Today, we learn about safe rotations and trade pushing!
      You’ve just lost a team fight and things are looking bleak; something needs to change to turn the tides. Team Dignitas’ Vilhelm “POILK” Flennmark is on hand to help you navigate to victory from the backfoot.
      Attitude is Everything
      “You should focus on what you can do, instead of what has happened,” said POILK. “You can’t change what has happened and what set you back, but you can look for things to do that will help you get back into the game.”
      Do your best to be a part of the solution when it comes to mounting a comeback. “Instead of having that little argument in chat, talk about what you can do instead,” he added.
      Playing Safe is the Only Option
      Soaking experience is of paramount importance—it’s the only way you’ll return to even footing. To ensure that you aren’t staggering more deaths in the process, watch your pathing between lanes. “If you know where the enemy is then there is no problem taking the aggressive path between lanes,” POILK said. “It's when you don't know where they are that you should fear doing aggressive rotations because they could very likely be hiding in that bush between the lanes.”
      It’s common for teams to set up with the intention of pouncing on any enemy Hero that walks by. “If you're leading on Cursed Hollow, you can take the aggressive rotation from middle to bottom where you pass the bush. I would recommend checking bushes with spells. If you’re behind, you can dodge the bush completely by taking a less direct route.”
      Stop the Bleeding, Start the Trade Push
      Before course-correcting a game gone sideways, you must stop the bleeding. “If something goes wrong and the fight starts badly, you just want to back off and avoid losing more people,” POILK said. “You always want to gain something in exchange for losing the objective, even if it's just catching some soak from waves.”
      Enter ‘trade pushing’. A trade push is essentially giving up the objective on purpose in exchange for making progress elsewhere on the map. “Trade pushing during an objective you can't contest is a key part of returning to even footing,” POILK said.
      To understand trade push, you must first comprehend the cardinal rule. “Soaking experience is the most important part of Heroes of the Storm, especially in the early and midgame,” POILK said. “If your opponent commits five people to do the middle Shrine but you get soak and structures on both top and bottom, that is a lot of experience gained. After level 20, soak is not that important.”
      Structures are not Everything
      Only one team is destined to destroy the Core, but there will be several small windows in which your team can safely soak and siege without fear. “The objectives don't really get super-strong until the late game,” POILK said. “The second Punisher on Infernal Shrines usually just gets a fort. With a coordinated team you could easily get a fort on your own with the amount of time the enemy team spends doing the objective.”
      The 'Rage Push' Play
      We covered the Hail Mary Boss play yesterday, but there is a dire play to be made in every situation. “A desperation play you'll see on Dragon Shire is where the team that is hopelessly behind will take the Siege Giants and bottom Knights to mount one last rage push. That’s what Team Dignitas calls it. You're hoping for a lucky pick and some structure damage to get back into the game that way. Sometimes just brute forcing is the best chance you'll have to get back in the game. Those circumstances are rare though.”
      Fighting for the objective is often the most straightforward path to victory, but when you’re trying to come from behind you want to minimize your exposure to the enemy team. "On Infernal Shrines, it is very common for the experience levels to be 13-12 when the second Shrine spawns,” POILK said. “For whatever reason the losing team always makes the mistake of forcing a fight during this. If the second Shrine spawns top, you want to hide from the map before pushing bottom lane with your minion wave. This forces the enemy team to choose between pushing with the Punisher and defending, which usually gives you enough time to catch up in levels.”
      Never Give Up; Never Surrender!
      Team Dignitas mounted a comeback of their own against Gen.G Esports in the grand finals of the Mid-Season Brawl. POILK recently played a pretty major role in a great example of running back a game that looked all but over. “Our shot calling is very good—we are always looking for a way back into any game we might be losing,” he said.
      In their match against Gen.G Esports on Towers of Doom, Team Dignitas did just that—patiently waiting for their Storm Tier Talents to even the playing field before wiping their Korean rivals. “I don't really remember what the coms were, but I know we weren't totally sure we could end. I said I could take bottom Fort, Wubby said he could do the Sappers, Zaelia said he could take mid Fort and Snitch was already on his way to top lane. It was like, everyone saw a thing they could do on their own. Everyone just knew exactly what they needed to do.”
      While you shouldn’t expect to have the same coordination as one of the best teams in the world, that’s inspiring nonetheless—and acts as a great segue into tomorrow’s Midgame Moves article on pushing your advantage to the max, featuring Francisco "Goku" Avalos from North America’s Team Octalysis!