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Kel'Thuzad Meta Tier List (September 2017)

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We present our tenth Heroes of the Storm Meta Tier List for the Kel'Thuzad patch of September 2017.

Our tenth Heroes of the Storm Meta Tier List for the month of September 2017 is here!

Welcome to Icy Veins's Meta Tier List for the Kel'Thuzad 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.

 

Prime Tier

Warrior Assassin Support Specialist
Anub'arak- Genji Uther -
Arthas Greymane Tassadar  
Dehaka Malthael    
Stitches-      
       

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
Diablo Falstad Auriel Nazeebo
E.T.C. Jaina Rehgar Sylvanas
Garrosh Li-Ming Stukov Xul
Leoric- Valla Malfurion  
Sonya Zeratul    
Varian (Tank)-      

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 Cassia Kharazim Azmodan
D.Va Chromie+? Li Li Murky
Johanna Gul'dan Lt. Morales+? Probius
Muradin+ Illidan Lúcio Zagara
Tyrael Kael'thas Tyrande+  
Zarya Lunara    
  Ragnaros    
  The Butcher    
  Tracer    
  Varian (Damage)    
  Zul'jin    
  Kel'Thuzad (new!)    

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

 

Niche Tier

Warrior Assassin Support Specialist
Cho'gall Cho'gall - Gazlowe
Rexxar Kerrigan   Medivh
  Nova   Sgt. Hammer
  Raynor    
  Samuro    
  Valeera    
  Thrall    
  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

Kel'Thuzad is excessively powerful under perfect conditions, but is kept in check by the numerous top tier heroes that are either too mobile to reliably hit with Chains of Kel'ThuzadChains of Kel'Thuzad or too resilient to burst down. In this regard, he fits well within Blizzard's recent obsession with making heroes have their own little niche and whatnot. He's doing really fine, sitting at a very reasonable 48%-something w/l ratio, but try to late- or last-pick him when Genji and Tracer and the likes aren't around to make your existence a living hell. I expect him to become better over time as players themselves become  better at picking him appropriately and when the typical hype finally dies down. And don't end up having to solo lane if you like completing Master of the Cold Dark.

Self-sustain bruiser-like tanks are the hot thing nowadays. With a metagame that either tries to outsustain the other with two supports, or empower Genji-Greymane-Illidan-Malthael-Tracer-Valla-or-so, surviving a lot while outputting a reasonable amount of sustained damage is great. That's Arthas and Dehaka, right now. A bit ago, Anub'arak and Stitches had their turn, but I expect them to go down in popularity.

Both Jaina and Leoric got significant buffs through their reworks. Jaina is just objectively better, with FrostbiteFrostbite providing Ice Block by level 8-12 rather than 20, and Summon Water ElementalSummon Water Elemental getting its cooldown shaved by a massive 20 seconds. Leoric is more of a sidegrade, but he's exceptional at dealing with popular tanks, has neat waveclear, and can mess with combos with Omnious WraithOmnious Wraith. And, of course, March of the Black KingMarch of the Black King was buffed nicely as well to give him some more burst survivability and combo potential.

I'm holding judgement about Chromie, but I expect she might be better than she was, and I already considered her borderline Core tier material. Of course, her new Sand BlastSand Blast design will make it so that better players will do better than before with her, and worse players will do worse, so we're likely to see more fringe cases.

The Butcher got a pretty big nerf. The hype train was short lived, but, in the end, this is probably for the best.

Gul'dan, Samuro, and Thrall are simply falling out of meta; being a caster without baseline crowd control or an immobile melee assassin is pretty hard nowadays. I still think Gul'dan is in a great place on Braxis Holdout, though the resurgence of Jaina and the... uh, more of Chromie might push him off a bit.

I wish I had a bit more to say, but besides the latest reworks, not that much has changed. I will underline, however, that these reworks have been solid. I didn't mention anything about Lt. Morales, but I do think she's better off than before; we'll need a bit more data to assess whether I'll give her a tier.

Thanks for reading!

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There's an empty slot in the Niche tier specialists.

With the rise of CC heavy tanks like Dehaka and Arthas, I think the heroes capable of Unstoppable should rise higher (for example, Garrosh and support heroes capable of CleanseCleanse.) Also, I wouldn't say Varian will ever not be good, and I think he should stay in the Core tier.

And regarding Chromie and Morales, I think Chromie's high learning curve definitely lands her in the viable tier, where as Morales has become so powerful she should without a doubt be in the core tier, at least.

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Morales' rework seems interesting, but I still find her boring to play compared to the other Supports and even more reliant on her team. She wasn't an ideal Support pick before the patch, and I'd recommend against it now unless you were confident in your front line and the team. A lot of her good talents rely too much on picking up Clear! at level 1, and long distance knockback that you can't control if you get hit with mez is a double edged sword, and occasionally has unintended consequences, but without the magic ambulance or a beam anchor, she has no other defensive besides self casting Safeguard, as the stacking shields on E at 4 feels the most superior talent on the tier, lasting indefinitely until the damage is absorbed and working in conjunction with the quest talent and I don't really go for anything else. I used to pick her up once in a blue moon if there was a Support choke and I needed Cleanse, and to me, she was the babysitter of the supports, taking her because otherwise, the kids on the map would be sticking their fingers into plug sockets and facechecking bushes.

There seems to be an emphasis on making the Medivac plays more of a reality with the level 20 tier with two talents for the same ult, but all in all, I think I preferred the old Morales better. Until level 16 at least with the extra range, healing beam cannot always be on someone  during a fight as well as managing your own positioning so you don't suddenly get caught out; it's like they wanted to create some kind of battle medic, but failed to account for her complete lack of mobility and a near total dependence on her team winning the fight quickly before someone decides to harass her and start locking out her healing beam with crowd control. E spam is fun I guess, I can see her being part of a double support comp with that on a map that encourages frequent full team brawls such as BoE where you can get Clear stacked up fairly quickly on the 3 or 4 man rotations and then pocket someone with Stim Drone during the race or the team fight, but again, she seems more like a team pick rather than something you want to approach your solo queues with. 

It also makes no sense for the level 20 upgrade to Stim to remove the self buff effects it used to give to Morales. It's bad enough trying to keep up with the likes of the popular damage dealers and bruisers right now while they're running all over the bloody place like they've ate too many blue Smarties, but hey, if you can keep Q on someone who went Super Saiyan and is moving at warp speed, then power to you o_O 

Regarding the other Supports, I am holding Brightwing and Rehgar in extremely high regard right now. I've always said if you can master playing the fairy, you will be able to play any Support. Currently she's the only Support in the game who can offer a global, a significant reveal and wide vision, hard cc, Ice Block and Storm Shield. While other Supports are more undeniably more powerful within their optimal drafts, Brightwing is far more consistent despite an arguably weak early game, and is capable of not only surviving most dives and the dreaded Kel combos later on, but saving other people from them without necessarily blowing an ult, and completely denying the opportunistic finishes from Genji and Illidan altogether. 

Edited by Plergoth
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1 hour ago, Plergoth said:

Morales' rework seems interesting, but I still find her boring to play compared to the other Supports and even more reliant on her team. She wasn't an ideal Support pick before the patch, and I'd recommend against it now unless you were confident in your front line and the team. A lot of her good talents rely too much on picking up Clear! at level 1, and long distance knockback that you can't control if you get hit with mez is a double edged sword, and occasionally has unintended consequences, but without the magic ambulance or a beam anchor, she has no other defensive besides self casting Safeguard, as the stacking shields on E at 4 feels the most superior talent on the tier, lasting indefinitely until the damage is absorbed and working in conjunction with the quest talent and I don't really go for anything else.

(...) it's like they wanted to create some kind of battle medic, but failed to account for her complete lack of mobility and a near total dependence on her team winning the fight quickly before someone decides to harass her and start locking out her healing beam with crowd control. E spam is fun I guess, I can see her being part of a double support comp with that on a map that encourages frequent full team brawls such as BoE where you can get Clear stacked up fairly quickly on the 3 or 4 man rotations and then pocket someone with Stim Drone during the race or the team fight, but again, she seems more like a team pick rather than something you want to approach your solo queues with. 

Regarding the other Supports, I am holding Brightwing and Rehgar in extremely high regard right now. I've always said if you can master playing the fairy, you will be able to play any Support. Currently she's the only Support in the game who can offer a global, a significant reveal and wide vision, hard cc, Ice Block and Storm Shield. While other Supports are more undeniably more powerful within their optimal drafts, Brightwing is far more consistent despite an arguably weak early game, and is capable of not only surviving most dives and the dreaded Kel combos later on, but saving other people from them without necessarily blowing an ult, and completely denying the opportunistic finishes from Genji and Illidan altogether. 

I think Morales is a bit more fun now, as you pointed. Plus not having to Hearth back every 30 seconds for mana is a bless. And having talents that increase her Energy generation makes her more engaging to play. She still is a bland character, but I think that is part of her design and fantasy; a dedicated medic that is commited to the duty of healing and healing.

However, the rework let you play more offensively with the Displacement GrenadeDisplacement Grenade talents, such as debuffing (System ShockSystem Shock) or shield damage (EMP GrenadeEMP Grenade). If anything, I'm pretty sure Blizzard made this rework to add more versatility to her kit; not a true combat medic, but something between (plus if she had more mobility, she would be too strong). The complexity behind the Grenade adds an extra layer of depth to the Hero, I'd say, as you actually have to think before you fire the damn thing, instead of just sitting there with the Healing BeamHealing Beam. So I'd say that Morales is very well balanced now.

Brightwing has always been the most flexible and versatile Support in the game. She can do a bit of everything, but master at none. I really like her in Double Support compositions, as she can heal chip damage while focusing on a more offensive build (plus she can't deal with the current burst-oriented meta). Same for Rehgar, who, in a Double Support composition, can go full damage and still heal a lot.

Edited by Valhalen
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I expected the.. lich with as many nicknames as Apollo Creed in Rocky, to be higher. That thing seems ridiculously OP imho (too much aoe damage and cc baseline, and when quest is done, +75% spell power...free). I agree though, still early. Something tells me he's gonna be spammed in HGC 

As well as Morales. Of the most efficient healings (if not THE most), disengage and of course, the new Medivac + talents can make for some really deep team strategy Core rushes.

Didn't also expect Jaina that high, she's surely much better than before but the meta still reeks of counters for her. Think she'll get lower.

Gul'dansgame sure but... when exactly were Thrall and especially Samuro considered meta? Thrall was/is seldom picked, was pretty good all-around pre and post rework, ok, maybe I can get behind that. But Samuro? I guess it must have been very early during his release (and ceased after the nerfs); otherwise, I must have missed episodes. Still, wouldn't call him meta with the narrow meaning of the term.

Good job on the post as always, thumbs up (tho I noticed some sortage on puns :> ).

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Dehaka, Arthas and Anub have always been the top tanks. No mention on Uther? he was harshly nerfed, Rehgar should climb up to Prime Tier.

Genji should step down from Prime Tier, I feel like he's not pick or ban material anymore. I'd rather secure a Greymane or Malt who are easier to play and more reliable. He has the 3rd lowest winrate :'(

Edited by Fransoa

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17 hours ago, SteveFrost said:

I expected the.. lich with as many nicknames as Apollo Creed in Rocky, to be higher. That thing seems ridiculously OP imho (too much aoe damage and cc baseline, and when quest is done, +75% spell power...free). I agree though, still early. Something tells me he's gonna be spammed in HGC 

Keep in mind that it is so easy to shut down KT if you can avoid the CC. Anything with gap closers or some kind of stun/pull that displaces KT can absolutely destroy him. His HP pool is tiny and he has absolutely nothing defensive bar offense. Greymane, as long as he can avoid the freeze will roll or leap, can destroy KT.

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1 hour ago, Blainie said:

Keep in mind that it is so easy to shut down KT if you can avoid the CC. Anything with gap closers or some kind of stun/pull that displaces KT can absolutely destroy him. His HP pool is tiny and he has absolutely nothing defensive bar offense. Greymane, as long as he can avoid the freeze will roll or leap, can destroy KT.

Not to mention that Stealth Heroes (mostly Valeera and Zeratul) can shit all over Kel'Thuzad. Anub'Arak is also a hard counter to Kel'Thuzad, and his presence in the meta is strong.

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4 minutes ago, Valhalen said:

Anub'Arak is also a hard counter to Kel'Thuzad, and his presence in the meta is strong.

Ironic, isn't it?

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2 hours ago, Blainie said:

Keep in mind that it is so easy to shut down KT if you can avoid the CC. Anything with gap closers or some kind of stun/pull that displaces KT can absolutely destroy him. His HP pool is tiny and he has absolutely nothing defensive bar offense. Greymane, as long as he can avoid the freeze will roll or leap, can destroy KT.

Alone/overextended perhaps. But given some proper peel and protection from his team, he'll be like, Li-Ming 2.0; all the same poke from safe distance with the redonkulous damage plus the added cc, minus the mobility (Li Ming can go Wave of Force ofc but still, nowhere near that thing imho). Just the way I have it in my mind.

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10 hours ago, Fransoa said:

No mention on Uther? he was harshly nerfed, Rehgar should climb up to Prime Tier.

Uther enables prime damage picks Greymane and Genji with Divine Shield like no other Support can, the armour he gives on top of his usual heals helps the front line IMMENSELY during the course of a game, on top of being a surprisingly resilient support as he has a lot of tanky characteristics (self sustain, stun, killing him doesn't mean you win the fight as his trait sustains the rest of his team for a short while, and so on). He's also easy to play and his quests are relatively quick to complete too. 

Rehgar is an unquestionably strong support, and I personally prefer him over Uther, but not only is his cd 10 seconds longer than Uther's, there is a far greater chance of it failing that holds him down slightly and gives him a skill cap that Divine Shield simply doesn't require ("Dragonblade is ready, give me DS pls" - "Okay."), not to mention that if it fails to land on someone, it goes on a 10 second cooldown even if you didn't get interrupted while casting it. On top of this, Rehgar lacks hard cc, unlike BW or Uther with a silence and stun baseline respectively. After level 16, the totem becomes a powerful snare, but arrives at a late stage of the game. 

 

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2 hours ago, Fliits said:

Ironic, isn't it?

Couldn't have written it better if they had tried :p

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1 hour ago, SteveFrost said:

Alone/overextended perhaps. But given some proper peel and protection from his team, he'll be like, Li-Ming 2.0; all the same poke from safe distance with the redonkulous damage plus the added cc, minus the mobility (Li Ming can go Wave of Force ofc but still, nowhere near that thing imho). Just the way I have it in my mind.

I think the blink Li is worth more than you think in terms of playing with the team. It sounds silly, but that tiny blink isn't just a range-breaker, but also the ability to move from body blocking. With no mobility ability, he can just be body blocked so easily, especially when you throw in someone like Anub as was suggested above. Illidan also is a huge issue on this. 

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3 hours ago, Blainie said:

I think the blink Li is worth more than you think in terms of playing with the team. It sounds silly, but that tiny blink isn't just a range-breaker, but also the ability to move from body blocking. With no mobility ability, he can just be body blocked so easily, especially when you throw in someone like Anub as was suggested above. Illidan also is a huge issue on this. 

Truth. I feel as though he suffers from a bit of Kerriganitis, being extremely powerful on certain maps that allow him to stack Blight up quickly and create huge problems for his opponents to deal with, then dropping off the scale a little bit on other maps that are more spread out. 

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2 hours ago, Plergoth said:

Truth. I feel as though he suffers from a bit of Kerriganitis, being extremely powerful on certain maps that allow him to stack Blight up quickly and create huge problems for his opponents to deal with, then dropping off the scale a little bit on other maps that are more spread out. 

Another problem with both Li-Ming and Kerrigan is that they require very specific team compositions to really shine (Li-Ming not so much). They are more flexible than The Butcher in this regard, though.

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5 hours ago, Plergoth said:

Truth. I feel as though he suffers from a bit of Kerriganitis, being extremely powerful on certain maps that allow him to stack Blight up quickly and create huge problems for his opponents to deal with, then dropping off the scale a little bit on other maps that are more spread out. 

Mewn made the same comparison on stream yesterday. There's definitely some truth to it, but I don't think it's as obvious - CC is always useful, no matter how you cut it. KT definitely isn't as bad from behind.

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On 14/9/2017 at 4:42 PM, Blainie said:

I think the blink Li is worth more than you think in terms of playing with the team. It sounds silly, but that tiny blink isn't just a range-breaker, but also the ability to move from body blocking. With no mobility ability, he can just be body blocked so easily, especially when you throw in someone like Anub as was suggested above. Illidan also is a huge issue on this. 

Yeah, mobility is often overlooked in favor of other things; that's why I mentioned it above. If the team is built around KT, the opposing team will need to run a really hard engage comp; and they may not allow them that via the draft.

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Quote

Kel'Thuzad is excessively powerful under perfect conditions, but is kept in check by the numerous top tier heroes that are either too mobile to reliably hit with Chains of Kel'ThuzadChains of Kel'Thuzad or too resilient to burst down.

Agree with this 100%. Got him today, promptly went 0-15 in QM with him.  He's got a nice kit, but doesn't have the necessary burst to do anything alone in space.  Outside of a two-Warrior comp to set a frontline, and at least one hero with a more reliable stun to set up KTs combo, I can't see him doing much.

 

Keep in mind I have like a 25% win percent with non-Melee assassins, but my going with KT was significantly bad.  Never had better then a 1-3 KDR, and was often behind even Warriors in Hero damage.  As he is currently constructed, I'll never play him or consider playing him again.

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18 hours ago, Plergoth said:

Did he actually use the word Kerriganitis though? I'm calling first dibs on it. 

It's all yours.

 

4 hours ago, gamerk2 said:

Agree with this 100%. Got him today, promptly went 0-15 in QM with him.  He's got a nice kit, but doesn't have the necessary burst to do anything alone in space.  Outside of a two-Warrior comp to set a frontline, and at least one hero with a more reliable stun to set up KTs combo, I can't see him doing much.

 

Keep in mind I have like a 25% win percent with non-Melee assassins, but my going with KT was significantly bad.  Never had better then a 1-3 KDR, and was often behind even Warriors in Hero damage.  As he is currently constructed, I'll never play him or consider playing him again.

His win/loss rates are already showing a large variation between both ends of the skill spectrum. I can't tell if it's drafting-related or if he's just really hard to play. I suppose a double skillshot into... er, more skillshots, might be difficult to perform under pressure.

I'd say don't give up on him. Playing a hard hero sets you up for playing easier heroes thereafter.

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Do note that a proper Kel'Thuzad would always remain with the team and postition well. I'm not saying that prevents genji and tracer and anub and the likes from screwing him up however.

In response to all the comments about heroes being able to escape frost nova after being pulled, I found out that if you can predict the area that your two heroes that you want to chain will meet after being pulled, with extremely skilled timing and in quick succession, you can place your frost nova in that area and then pull the enemies together. By the time they are pulled, they'll be frozen in place. It takes extremely good timing but if you get it right, it can make it almost impossible for enemies to escape after getting pulled, and ultimately makes them very unfortunate victims of Kel'Thuzad's extremely devastating combo. Practice that, and you shall be ever closer to mastering the lich lord of Naxxramas.

Edited by Maxkitty

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10 hours ago, Oxygen said:

It's all yours.

We can share! :) 

Wonder how long it'll be before Leoric receives some changes, he seems to be completely dominating the HGC series this weekend, provided someone can actually play him. March of the Black King is very good at the moment but still has a large margin for error, as witnessed when all of Team Liquid sidestepped him when he used it late. 

Burning Despair seems to be the most contentious talent at the late game. After doubts about it after seeing the PTR notes, I tried it in game a few times and it's how he is winning fights for his team. Drain Hope - an uninterruptible channel - on anybody, keep them within range, and you just start facemelting. It's insane on top of everything else he can do right now. 

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KT belongs in niche from what I've seen so far, at least in low level play. The CC he provides can be nice, but it's not overly reliable thanks to the delay on pretty much all of his abilities. I find that people either constantly miss the combo or just get jumped up by whoever he didn't hit immediately after. In a good team he could take out two key players and turn an entire fight, but I'd rather have pure damage from other assassins or more meat to go with the CC from a warrior.

Also, a bit of a side-note but I find him super eye-catching, I find myself focusing him just because he looks more THERE than other heroes.

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On 9/16/2017 at 9:03 AM, gamerk2 said:

Agree with this 100%. Got him today, promptly went 0-15 in QM with him.  He's got a nice kit, but doesn't have the necessary burst to do anything alone in space.  Outside of a two-Warrior comp to set a frontline, and at least one hero with a more reliable stun to set up KTs combo, I can't see him doing much.

I'd say it's exactly the same as playing Chromie - you'll never get it right on the first match and, given how badly you might do, people will just give up and think he's a weak hero. I absolutely sucked in my first games. At level 21 with him now and things have changed drastically. I'm more familiar with where I need to place it catch a Valla using Vault, Genji using Dash etc. 

Free kills on Abathur is always nice too.

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      Kerrigan

      Abilities
      Ravage (Q) Charges increased from 1 to 2 Range reduced from 8 to 6 Mana cost reduced from 40 to 20 Damage reduced from 210 to 130 Added functionality: Now also refunds 20 Mana when used on an enemy that dies within 1.5 seconds Impaling Blades (W) Damage reduced from 261 to 180 Primal Grasp (E) Pull damage reduced from 114 to 25 Added functionality: 2.5 seconds after using Primal Grasp, Kerrigan damages all nearby enemies for 180 damage Summon Ultralisk (R) Splash radius increased from 1.5 to 2 The initial cast of Ultralisk is now directional skill shot that causes the Ultralisk to charge in the targeted direction until impacting an enemy Hero. It deals 250 damage and stuns for .5 seconds to the first Hero it hits. Assimilation (Trait) Shield amount increased from 10 to 15% of damage dealt Talents
      Level 1 Siphoning Impact (Q) New functionality: Using Ravage on an enemy Hero grants an additional 90 Assimilation Shield Assimilation Mastery (Trait) Moved from level 7 No longer increases the duration of Assimilation Shield In addition to increasing Kerrigan’s Health and Mana Regeneration by 100% while Assimilation is active, now also causes Regeneration Globes to grant 40 Assimilation Shield per second while active Fury of the Swarm (Passive) Moved from level 4 New functionality: Kerrigan gains 10% more Assimilation Shields from Basic Attacks. Casting Ravage causes Kerrigan’s next 2 Basic Attacks within 3 seconds to splash for 100% damage around the target Sharpened Blades (W) Removed Block (Passive) Removed Level 4 New Talent - Sharpened Blades (Q) !Quest: Every time an enemy Minion or Hero dies within 1.5 seconds of being damaged by Ravage, increase Ravage's damage by .5 (5 for Heroes), up to 50 !Reward: After reaching 50 damage, gain an additional 50 damage New Talent - Kinetic Fulmination (W) Damaging an enemy increases the damage of Kerrigan's next Impaling Blades by 15%. Stacks up to 150%. Lasts 10 seconds. Psionic Pulse (E) New functionality: Primal Grasp deals damage a second time 2.5 seconds after the initial burst Clean Kill (Q) Removed Envenom (Active) Removed Level 7 New Talent - Queen of Blades (Q) Every time Primal Grasp's pull or explosion hits an enemy Hero, reduce the cooldown of Ravage by 4 seconds New Talent - Boundless Fury (Q) Casting Ravage on an enemy Hero grants a charge of Ravage. Can only occur on each Hero once every 10 seconds Bladed Momentum (Passive) Now only triggers when attacking enemy Heroes Now works with splash damage from Fury of the Swarm Blade Torrent (W) Removed Level 13 New Talent - Psionic Barrier (E) Kerrigan gains 15 Spell Armor for 4 seconds for every enemy Hero she hits with Primal Grasp's pull or explosion New Talent - Volatile Power (Trait) Increase the base Shield amount gained from Assimilation by 15%, but reduce the duration of Assimilation Shields from 6 to 3 seconds New Talent - Chrysalis (Active) Activate to place Kerrigan in a chrysalis with 550 Health for 5 seconds. Kerrigan regenerates 5% Health per second while inside the chrysalis. 90 second cooldown. Eviscerate (Q) Removed Double Strike (Q) Removed Queen's Rush (Active) Removed Level 16 New Talent - Mounting Potency (Q) Casting Ravage on an enemy increases Kerrigan's Spell Power by 5% for 4 seconds, stacking up to 40% New Talent - Painful Spikes (W) After stunning an enemy with Impale, Kerrigan deals an additional 75 damage the next 6 times she damages them within the next 5 seconds New Talent - Unbridled Energy (R) When Kerrigan damages a Hero with a Heroic Ability she gains 30% Spell Power for 4 seconds Aggressive Defense (Trait) Removed Essence for Essence (Active) Removed Overdrive (Active) Removed Level 20 Omegastorm (R) New Functionality: Maelstrom's duration is increased by .125 seconds every time it damages an enemy Hero New Talent - Assimilation Blades (Trait) Damaging an enemy increases Kerrigan's Basic Attack damage by 4%, up to 40%, for 5 seconds Psionic Shift (Active) Shield amount is now doubled when damaging enemy Heroes Nexus Blades (Passive) Removed Support

      Brightwing

      Abilities
      Arcane Flare (Q) Outer damage from 87 to 75 Inner damage from 260 to 180 Missile speed increased ~30% Added functionality: If an enemy Hero is hit by the center of Arcane Flare, instantly pulse a free Soothing Mist Polymorph (W) Duration from 1.25 to 1.5 seconds Cooldown from 10 to 12 seconds Pixie Dust (E) Range from 8 to 7 Phase Shift (Z) Cooldown from 55 to 60 seconds Added functionality: Heals the target for 20% of their maximum health Soothing Mist (D) Heal amount reduced from 115 to 105 Added functionality: Activate to instantly pulse a calming wave, clearing all Stun, Root, Slow, and Silence effects from nearby allies 120 second cooldown Emerald Wind (R) No longer grants passive healing to Soothing Mist Damage reduced from 303 to 225 Cooldown reduced from 60 to 50 seconds Talents
      Level 1 Greater Polymorph (W) Moved from Level 16 New functionality: Increase the cast range of Polymorph by 30%. Anytime a nearby enemy Hero is killed, reset the Cooldown of Polymorph Hyper Shift (Z) New functionality: Increase the heal amount of Phase Shift to 30% of targets max Health Every Minion killed near you lowers the cooldown of Phase Shift by 2 seconds Pixie Charm (1) New functionality: Every Minion killed near you grants you a Bribe Stack. Hitting an enemy with the center portion of Arcane Flare grants you 5 Bribe Stacks Level 4 Manic Pixie (E) Removed Unstable Anomaly (W) New functionality: Increase the slow amount of Polymorph to 40%. When it expires, it explodes dealing 2% of all nearby enemy Heroes max Health in damage Dream Shot (Q) Moved from Level 1 New functionality: Increase the range of Arcane Flare by 50%. If it hits an enemy Hero, lower the cooldown to 2 seconds. New Talent – Magic Spit (D) Increase your Basic Attack range by 20%. Attacks against Heroes reduce the cooldown of Soothing Mist’s active by 5 seconds Level 7 Mistified (D) Removed Cleanse (Active) Removed Phase Shield (Z) Removed Sticky Flare (Q) Moved from Level 13 New functionality: Arcane Flare slows Heroes by 20% for 3 seconds, or 40% if hit by the center of Arcane Flare Peekaboo! (Z) Moved from Level 4 Added functionality: Also grants the you and your target a temporary health Shield New Talent – Critical Mist (D) If Calming Mist removes a status effect from an ally, instantly heal them for 200 Level 13 Ice Block (Active) Removed Shield Dust (E) Removed Pixie Boost (E) Movement Speed decay duration increased from 1.5 to 3 seconds Movement Speed bonus reduced to 40% New Talent – Safety Dust (E) Increase the duration of Pixie Dust by 1 second. Healing dealt by Brightwing is increased by 25% on targets with Pixie Dust New Talent – Pixie Power (E) Lower the cooldown of Pixie Dust by 3 seconds and increase the Spell Armor it grants to 50 Level 16 Bouncy Dust (E) Removed Hardened Focus (Passive) Removed New Talent – Phase Out (Active) Activate to phase out and become invulnerable for .5 seconds 20 second cooldown New Talent – Hush (Q) Enemy Heroes hit with the center of Arcane Flare are Silenced for 1 second and deal 25% less damage for 3 seconds. Level 20 Double Wyrmhole (R) Removed Continuous Winds (R) Removed Revitalizing Mist (D) Removed Storm Shield (Active) Removed New Talent – Invisible Friends (R) Blink Heal grants you and the target stealth. They are unrevealable for .5 seconds. While under this effect, they regenerate 20 Health Per Second New Talent – Intensive Winds (R) Lower the cooldown of Emerald Wind to 3 seconds. It now costs 200 Mana New Talent – Faerie Protector (Active) Activate to instantly cast Pixie Dust on all nearby allied Heroes 60 second cooldown New Talent – Speedy Dragon (Passive) Gain 20% permanent movement speed Collection
      New Bundles
      The following new bundles are available for a limited time: Fall of King’s Crest Bundle Spectral Wyrm Alextrasza Skin Pack Spider Warden Maiev Skin Pack Cursed Witch Whitemane Skin Pack Phantom Knight Zarya Skin Pack New Announcers
      Queen Nightshade Blackheart Lady of Thorns New Skins
      Alexstrasza Spectral Wyrm Alexstrasza Infernal Wyrm Alexstrasza Phantom Wyrm Alexstrasza Brightwing Spectral Bewitching Brightwing Kerrigan Spectral Countess Kerrigan Maiev Spider Warden Maiev Forgotten Spider Warden Maiev Night Spider Warden Maiev Whitemane Cursed Witch Whitemane Forgotten Witch Whitemane Court Witch Whitemane Zarya Phantom Knight Zarya Infernal Knight Zarya Geist Knight Zarya New Mounts
      Redeemed Tombstone Corrupted Tombstone Copper Money Pig Pumpkin Eye Pad Sunny Side Eye Pad New Portraits, Sprays, and Emojis
      Several new emoji packs and portraits have also been added to the Heroes of the Storm Collection tab. Bug Fixes
      General
      Fixed several confusing or incorrect tooltips across all parts of the game. Drag Scroll: Fixed an issue that could occasionally cause the camera to jump in the direction of the cursor when using the drag scroll feature. Reconnect: Fixed an issue that could cause players to lose control of their Hero if they reconnect while piloting a vehicle. AI: A number of improvements have been made to AI Hero behavior. Art
      Chromie: Fixed an issue that caused Chromie’s hourglass to go missing during her Hearthstone animation. Heroes, Abilities, and Talents
      Abathur: Fixed an issue preventing Monstrosity from gaining damage when nearby enemy minions die. Alarak & Gazlowe: Fixed an issue that allowed Gazlowe and Alarak to cast charged abilities while time stopped. Ana: Fixed an issue that allowed Ana to used Eye of Horus shots between mine levels on Haunted Mines. Lúcio: Fixed an issue preventing Lúcio from issuing attack commands while silenced. Mephisto: Fixed an issue preventing the Static Barrier talent from granting Mephisto shields if damage was dealt to Shields or Protected Heroes. Raynor: Raynor's Raider will now clear attack or move order when entering or exiting the mines on Haunted Mines. Stealth: Fixed an issue that prevented Ping markers from being visible on clones if the clones were created after the ping was initiated. User Interface
      Fixed an issue that caused Garrosh’s Groundbreaker splat to appear under the wrong team color in observer mode. Fixed an issue that could cause Heroes to fail to play stun animations and effects if stunned twice in quick succession. Lúcio: Fixed an issue causing the UI displaying the number of allies in range of crossfade to stop working after Lúcio exits a vehicle. Brightwing and Kerrigan have been reworked along with Garden of Terror and Fall of the King's Crest event starts today!
    • By Stan
      Blizzard released the third Heroes of the Storm comic titled Fall of King's Crest.
      Issue #3 revolves around the conflict between the Lady of Thorns and the Raven Lord. The Horde unknowingly fought against Lady of Thorns in his name. Lady of Thorns awakens the Dragon Knight to help her defend her realm, but the Raven Lord controls him, forcing the Lady to kill the Dragon Knight. Ultimately, the Raven Lord claims the realm's singularity. Orphea did not participate in the battle. Later on, she blames herself for not doing anything.
      Fall of the King's Crest is an event that will go live in Heroes of the Storm this week. If you missed the previous two comics, you can find them below.
      Rise of the Raven Lord Comic (Issue #1) Secrets of the Storm Comic (Issue #2)
    • By Stan
      Free Hero rotation has been updated for the week of September 25.
      Free-to-Play Hero Rotation: September 25, 2018
      Malfurion Valla Gazlowe Johanna Thrall Dehaka Malthael Kharazim Zul'jin Fenix Illidan (Slot unlocked at Player Level 5) Rexxar (Slot unlocked at Player Level 10) Garrosh (Slot unlocked at Player Level 15) Sgt. Hammer (Slot unlocked at Player Level 20) (Source)
    • By Stan
      Heroes of the Storm's third Ranked Play Season will go live next week along with the latest Brightwing/Kerrigan content update. Check out new rewards and changes to Team League coming this Season!
      Ranked Play Updates
      Team League now supports all party sizes, including solo players. All solo players will need to choose which League to play for the first time after the patch. Heroes devs also discussed other changes that they planned to implement this Season in the Ranked Play & Matchmaking AMA from August 9, but because they are not covered in this preview, we're not sure if they make it live.
      Ranked Play & Matchmaking AMA Changes
      Preventing returning ranked players from placing higher than Diamond 3 each season-roll after placement matches. Reduce the number of placement games required for returning ranked players. Separate out regional GM ladders to allow players to rank up within their local player base and matchmaking rulesets. Add draft swaps for Hero League. Extend the Rank Point Decay to affect more leagues. Blizzard (Source)
      Heroes of the Storm’s third 2018 ranked season is ending soon, and we’ve got a host of new rewards that you can earn just by playing ranked games in the coming months. Read on for details!
      Season Roll Dates
      2018 Season 4 will begin as soon as our next patch becomes available for download in each region. Check the season start and end dates below to make sure you’re able to dive into the rankings as soon as the season rolls:
      Event Date 2018 Season 4 Start Week of September 25* 2018 Season 4 End Week of December 14* *Exact date may vary slightly by region.
      Ranked Play Updates
      Team League Team League now supports all party sizes, including solo players. All solo players will need to choose which League to play for the first time after the patch. 2018 Season 4 Rewards
      Players who manage to brawl their way up through the leagues during the upcoming season can claim new portraits, mounts, and gold rewards for their achievements in Hero and Team League. Take a look at everything that’s up for grabs this season!
      Hero League Portraits
      Team League Portraits
      Mount Rewards

      Hero League Rank Rewards Bronze 500 Gold Bronze Hero League Portrait Silver 750 Gold Silver Hero League Portrait Gold 1000 Gold Gold Hero League Portrait Platinum 1250 Gold Season 4 Mount Platinum Hero League Portrait Diamond 1500 Gold Season 4 Mount Diamond Hero League Portrait Master 1750 Gold Season 4 Mount Epic Season 4 Mount Master Hero League Portrait Grand Master 2000 Gold Season 4 Mount Epic Season 4 Mount Grand Master Hero League Portrait Team League Rank Rewards Bronze 500 Gold Season 4 Mount Bronze Team League Portrait Silver 750 Gold Season 4 Mount Silver Team League Portrait Gold 1000 Gold Season 4 Mount Gold Team League Portrait Platinum 1250 Gold Season 4 Mount Platinum Team League Portrait Diamond 1500 Gold Season 4 Mount Diamond Team League Portrait Master 1750 Gold Season 4 Mount Epic Season 4 Mount Master Team League Portrait Grand Master 2000 Gold Season 4 Mount Epic Season 4 Mount Grand Master Team League Portrait If you’re ready to begin your Ranked Play journey in Heroes of the Storm but are unsure how, head over to our Ranked Play Guide to get started on the right foot. 
      Good luck and have fun during the upcoming ranked season!
    • By Stan
      Abathur and Sylvanas can be purchased at a reduced Gem price next week along with various skins and mounts.
      Blizzard (Source)
      Every Tuesday, we place a number of Heroes on sale, and swap a fresh set of cosmetics into the featured item rotation. Check out this week’s items and then head in-game to pick up anything that catches your eye.
      Heroic Deals: September 25 – October 2, 2018 
      Our next set of Heroic Deals will begin on Tuesday, September 25! Check out the list of upcoming featured items and Hero discounts below. Upcoming Hero Sales
      Sylvanas— Sale Price: 312 gems Abathur — Sale Price: 375 Gems The following skins and mounts will be added to the featured item rotation and will become purchasable with gems until this round of Heroic Deals comes to an end:
      Upcoming Featured Skins
      Skeletal Raven Sylvanas Ironclaw Rehgar Eternal Star Lich Kel’Thuzad Hellish Fallen Junkrat Upcoming Featured Mounts
      Horde Road Boar Penance Judgment Charger