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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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      Winter Veil will be very similar to Hallow's End in terms of functionality. During the event, Winter Veil Loot Chests will drop and they have a chance to contain new and old Winter Veil skins. This year, Blizzard added new skins for Kharazim, Malfurion, Malthael and Valla and the Gingerboard mount!
      It seems that all skins have 5 different tints. A special thanks goes to the Heroes of the Storm reddit community and especially redditor iolixir for most of the screenshots.
      Redditor Davesendave posted all new skins on reddit. Some Heroes are getting new tints for their old skins.
      Kharazim Skins (Credit to redditor Davesendave)
      Coal Winter Veil Kharazim Evergreen Winter Veil Kharazim Frozen Winter Veil Kharazim Rosy Winter Veil Kharazim Winter Veil Kharazim
      Lunara Skins (Credit to redditor iolixir)
      Cold Winter Veil Lunara Mistletoe Winter Veil Lunara Snowfall Winter Veil Lunara Starry Winter Veil Lunara Winter Veil Lunara
      Malfurion Skins (Credit to redditor iolixir)
      Coal Greatfather WInter Malfurion Greatfather WInter Malfurion Icy Greatfather Winter Malfurion Naughty Greatfather Winter Malfurion Rosy Greatfather Winter Malfurion
      Malthael Skins (Credit to redditor iolixir)
      Chilling Season's Reapings Malthael Coal Season's Reapings Malthael Hallowed Season's Reapings Malthael Plum Season's Reapings Malthael Season's Reapings Malthael
      Nazeebo Skins (Credit to redditor Davesendave)
      Fruitcake Gingerdread Nazeebo Moldy Gingerdread Nazeebo
      Stitches Skins (Credit to redditor iolixir)
      Ivory Greatfather WInter Stitches
      Sylvanas Skins (Credit to redditor Davesendave)
      Sweet Plum Sylvanas
      Valla Skins (Credit to redditors iolixir & Davesendave)
      Coal Winter's Helper Valla Icewind Winter's Helper Valla Ivy Winter's Helper Valla Plum Winter's Helper Valla Winter's Helper Valla
      Gingerboard Mount (Credit to redditor Davesendave for the Moldy Gingerboard)
      Blueberry Gingerboard Frosted Gingerboard Gingerboard Moldy Gingerboard Strawberry Gingerboard
      Reign-Deer Mount (Credit to redditor Davesendave for the Arctic Reign-Deer)
      Arctic Reign-Deer Iceforged Reign-Deer
    • By Stan

      The Black Friday promotion is coming to the Nexus tomorrow. For a limited time, you can save big with discounted prices on a number of bundles, skins, heroes, mounts and the 360 Day Stimpack. The Black Friday sale will last until November 27.
      Blizzard (Source)
      360 Day Stimpack
      Our 360 Day Stimpack discount is back during this year's Black Friday Sale! The 360 Day Stimpack will give your Heroes a boost and fill your coffers to the brim with 100% XP and 150% Gold bonuses per game for nearly a year. Starting November 21, you'll be able to pick up a 360 Day Stimpack at a discounted price of 6,000 Gems (33% off)-but move quickly! Stimpack timers begin immediately upon purchasing, and this discount will only be available until our Black Friday Sale comes to an end on November 27.
      Red and Black Friday Bundle
      During this year’s Black Friday Sale, you can pick up a number of Legendary Skins with the limited-time Red and Black Friday Bundle for 3,500 Gems (33% off!).
      Heroes
      Jaina D.va Li-Ming Muradin Diablo Legendary Skins
      Abyssal Dreadlord Jaina D.Va the Destroyer First Ascendant Templar Li-Ming Maraudin' Muradin Nightmare Prime Evil Diablo Mount
      Angry Cloud Back in Black Friday Bundle
      You can also add a variety of skins to your Collection at a 29% discount with the Back in Black Friday Bundle, available for 900 Gems.
      Skins
      Oni Genji Ashen Hellflame Nazeebo Black Grand Marshall Uther Blackrock Garrosh Dark Auriel Skeletal Raven Sylvanas Dark Seraphim Tyrael Deadwalker Warmatron Cassia Dominion Elite Agent Nova Shadow Priestess Tyrande Hero, Skin, and Mount Sales
      Until our Black Friday Sale ends on November 27, we’re also offering 50% off a wide variety of Heroes, Skins, and Mounts!
      Heroes
      Gul'dan Tracer Butcher Greymane Morales Legendary & Epic Skins
      Enraged Butcherlisk Raider Rexxar Sharkmouth Goliath D.Va Neon Spectre Tracer Sakura Auriel Tangerine Mad Martian Gazlowe Rare Skins
      Apothecary Morales Emberlord Zul'jin Gold StormPunk Kael'thas Jasper Frostlord Rexxar Mounts
      Neutron Space Lord's Starbreaker Nimbus Cloud Felsaber
    • By Stan

      Improvements are planned for matchmaking in Heroes of the Storm later this year. Blizzard teased performance-based matchmaking at BlizzCon 2017 and the patch is now live on PTR. Learn more about how the new system fares with the old one!
      Last week, Lead Systems Designer Travis McGeathy answered some questions about the upcoming matchmaking system and now Blizzard posted a new announcement with more details and FAQ. Performance-based matchmaking as part of the 2018 gameplay update should go live during the week of December 12.
      Blizzard (Source)
      As mentioned in the BlizzCon 2017 opening ceremony, and during our “What’s Next” panel, we will soon be introducing performance-based matchmaking to Heroes of the Storm. With this change, your matchmaking rating (MMR) adjustments will be influenced based on your individual performance in the match instead of being purely based on whether you won or lost. We’ve broken down some details of the new system below, along with a short FAQ. Read on for details:
      What’s Changing and Why:
      In our current system, an individual player’s Matchmaking Rating (MMR) is primarily determined by the amount of games that player wins versus how many the player loses. When you win a game, your MMR goes up, while the opposite is true for when you lose. In addition to that basic rule, your MMR will go up more, or less, based on the comparative skill of both yours and the opposite team. If the enemy team has a higher MMR than your team, you’ll gain more points for defeating them and lose less if they win. The opposite applies to enemy teams that have a lower MMR.  However, 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. However, unless the difference is significant, it can take a significant number of games before the difference in wins vs losses adjusts the player’s MMR enough to match their true skill level.
      With performance-based matchmaking, we’re looking to change that. Let’s take a look at how we’re planning to make matchmaking more accurate and better able to recognize individual skill in a team-based game:
      How it Works:
      Once we introduce performance-based matchmaking in the near future, our system will look at how well the individuals in a match are performing and use this to aid in calculating their MMR adjustments for the match. The system will apply context to these stats by looking at the Hero you’re playing, the Battleground you’re on, the game mode, and what region you’re playing in so it can make fair comparisons against other similarly skilled players under the same conditions. Our goal with this system is not to define a specific playstyle for each hero, since we are never manually setting which stats are considered important, but rather to let our machine-learning driven system define importance and weighting for stats based on millions of games of data. By looking at these stats across the entire player base, the system can see which stats are most important for effective play and create a data-driven model of what the most highly-skilled players are doing in any given situation.
      What differentiates a highly skilled player on a given Hero isn’t always obvious, though. For example:
      When looking at a Hero like Illidan, it’s pretty straight forward. A good Illidan does a fair amount of damage, soaks a lot of experience, doesn’t die very often, and captures a lot of Mercenary camps. Illidan has a fairly high skill ceiling, though, so we expect there to be a sizeable difference in all of those stats between a highly-skilled Illidan and an average one. However, for a hero like Kerrigan, the difference in raw stats like damage and experience between a high skill and average skill player isn’t quite as dramatic. Instead, the biggest thing that sets apart a highly skilled Kerrigan is how effective they are in landing crowd control effects, so the system would put a larger emphasis on this stat for Kerrigan players. She’s still being evaluated on all the same stats as every other hero, though, so a Kerrigan who spends the game only attempting to land stuns would not necessarily gain the same amount of MMR, as they would need to also contribute to the game in a meaningful way on top of landing lots of CC.  The system can then use an individual player’s performance to adjust how much MMR the player gains, or loses, for a game. If they’re performing beyond expectations for their current MMR, the system will grant more MMR when they win, subtract less when they lose, and they’ll more quickly arrive at the proper MMR for their skill. The opposite is also true if they’re not performing up to expectations.
      FAQ
      What is MMR? MMR stands for Matchmaking Rating. In order for the matchmaker to place similarly skilled players together, it assigns everyone a matchmaking rating that indicates how skilled the system thinks the player is. MMR is a behind-the-scenes stat that is only used for matchmaking. What if a Hero is updated and the “right” way to play them changes? The system is fully dynamic and continually updating itself, so it automatically adjusts as balance changes, the meta shifts, and players find creative, new ways to use a hero. If I perform really well, can I gain MMR while losing the game with this new system? No. Winning or losing is still the primary factor in whether you gain or lose MMR so you still only gain MMR on a win and lose it on a loss. The performance-based adjustments just affect how much MMR you gain or lose. Couldn’t you abuse the system by ignoring everything except those few crucial weighted stats? While some stats are weighted higher than others to reflect their importance in that situation, every stat is evaluated as part of the performance calculation. If you’re focusing entirely on a few stats at the expense of others, your overall performance metric is likely to be lower. Also, you still need to win the game to gain MMR. If you’re maintaining all stats at their normal levels for your level of play, excelling at a few key stats, and winning the game, that means you’re actually doing what’s required to be the most efficient, effective version of your current hero. Good job! If I’m losing a game, my stats are usually lower already. How does the system avoid double penalizing me for both losing and having lower stats? The comparisons to determine how well you performed are different for winning games versus losing games. Will this cause players to intentionally make games take longer so they can pad their stats? All stat comparisons take game time into account so there’s no advantage for a game that goes long and no disadvantage for one that wraps up quickly. Who determines which stats are important for any particular situation? The community does by playing the game. The system doesn’t have any preconceptions about which stats are important. Instead, it is measuring how players are playing in particular situations in order to determine which stats are most important to highly skilled play. How does the system work for a new hero or after a hero is reworked? The performance-based aspect of the system will be disabled initially when a new hero launches or after a hero receives a major rework to allow the system to gather the data it needs to make performance comparisons. During this period, the system will effectively work like it used to with MMR adjustment based on win or loss. This system is affecting my MMR, but how will this translate into my rank in Hero League or Team League? We’ll be introducing a Performance Adjustment to the amount of rank points you win or lose after a game which mirrors the performance adjustment that was applied to your MMR. This will eventually replace the current Personal Rank Adjustment. Will this help with smurfing? We believe this system will go a long way to curbing the issues associated with smurfing since a player who creates a new account to intentionally best players of a lower skill will more quickly find themselves facing players of similar skill. When is this coming to the game? Our current plan is to implement performance-based matchmaking in December alongside our next season roll, but we will be sure to update you if anything changes. Awesome. Anything else I should know? The system has also shown promising potential to help detect griefing in games since it can more easily determine when someone is intentionally playing poorly. We’ve already used it to confirm reports of players who are doing things like intentionally feeding and hope to be able to automate that detection in the future so problematic players can be dealt with more quickly. We hope you enjoy all of the changes we have planned for our 2018 Gameplay Updates, and we’ll see you in the Nexus!
    • By Stan

      The 2018 gameplay update is now live on PTR along with Hanzo, balance changes, a new map rotation for Ranked Play and various bug fixes.
      The latest Heroes of the Storm patch will be available for playtesting until December 11. The 2018 update was revealed at this year's BlizzCon. Stealth shader has been updated and many Heroes with Stealth received reworks, Artanis is down to 7,000 Gold and more.
      Blizzard (Source)
      Our next Heroes of the Storm patch has just hit the Public Test Realm and will be available for playtesting until December 11. During this time, we kindly request your assistance in trying out the new content before we officially release the patch. As always, if you encounter any bugs or other issues during your PTR play sessions, please stop by the PTR Bug Report forum to let us know about your experiences.
      General
      Performance-Based Matchmaking
      The matchmaking system has been updated to include a performance-based data-driven system, which takes individual player performance into account when determining MMR gains and losses. Under this new system, players will now reach their intended Matchmaking Rating quicker and more accurately. Read our recent blog about Performance-Based Matchmaking to learn more. Game Camera Height
      In-game Camera height has been significantly increased in order to provide more visibility of the battlefield. New Hero: Hanzo
      Once heir to the Shimada clan's criminal empire, Hanzo abandoned his birthright after he almost killed his younger brother. He now strives to perfect his skills as a warrior, and sees the Nexus and its endless conflict as the ideal training ground.
      PTR Note: In order to focus playtesting and feedback on the 2018 Gameplay Update and Stealth changes found in this patch, Hanzo will not be available for play on the Public Test Realm until the week of November 27.  Trait 
      Natural Agility (D) Target unpathable terrain or a Structure to jump to the other side of it. Basic Abilities
      Storm Bow (Q) Activate to charge an arrow that deals 270 damage to the first enemy hit. Storm Bow's range increases the longer it is Channeled. Reactivate to fire. Scatter Arrow (W) Fire an arrow that deals 85 to the first enemy Hero hit. Scatter Arrow can collide with terrain and Structures, splitting into 5 arrows that travel extra distance, ricochet up to 4 additional times, and deal 85 damage each to the first enemy hit. Sonic Arrow (E) Fire an arrow that grants vision in a large area 8 seconds. Enemies inside are revealed for 1 second. If Sonic Arrow lands directly on an enemy, it deals 150 damage to them and follows them as they move. Heroic Abilities
      Dragonstrike (R) After 1.5 seconds, summon a pair of Spirit Dragons which travel forward, dealing 52 damage every 0.25 seconds to enemy Heroes in its area. Enemies in the center take 150% damage. Dragon’s Arrow (R) Fire a missile that travels across the battleground. Explodes upon hitting an enemy Hero, dealing 100 damage to all nearby enemies and Stunning them for 0.5 seconds. After traveling a medium distance, the damage is increased to 200 and the Stun duration to 1.25 seconds. After traveling a long distance, the damage is increased to 350 and the Stun duration to 2 seconds. 2018 Gameplay Update
      Battleground Objectives
      The first Battleground objective event will now activate 90 seconds into the match, following a 30-second warning, for the following Battlegrounds: Blackheart’s Bay Doubloon Chests will now consistently spawn 3 minutes after the final Chest during a the previous event has been captured. Braxis Holdout Beacon events after the first will now consistently spawn 2 minutes and 10 seconds after a previous Zerg wave has been defeated. Dragon Shire Shrines will now consistently spawn 2 minutes after a Dragon Knight has been killed. The first Battleground objective event will now activate 3 minutes into the match, following a 30-second warning, for the following Battlegrounds: Battlefield of Eternity Cursed Hollow Garden of Terror Haunted Mines Infernal Shrines Sky Temple Towers of Doom Warhead Junction The following Battleground objective timers are unchanged: Tomb of the Spider Queen Volskaya Foundry The Minimap will now indicate the next objective spawn location for the following Battlegrounds: Cursed Hollow The first Shrine indicator will appear on the Minimap 30 seconds after the game begins, and subsequent indicators will appear 15 seconds after the previous Tribute has been captured. Infernal Shrines The first Tribute indicator will appear on the Minimap 30 seconds after the game begins, and subsequent indicators will appear 30 seconds after a Punisher is defeated. Hover the cursor over a Shrine indicator on the Minimap to display whether it will be a Mortar, Frost, or Arcane Shrine. Sky Temple The first Temple indicators will appear on the Minimap 30 seconds after the game begins, as well as 30 seconds after all Temples in the same event have been depleted. Towers of Doom The first Altar indicators will appear on the Minimap 30 seconds after the game begins, as well as 30 seconds after the final Altars in an event has been captured. Warhead Junction The first Warhead indicators will appear on the Minimap 30 seconds after the game begins, as well as 30 seconds after the final Warhead in an event has been collected. Regeneration Globes
      Regeneration Globes will now become neutral (claimable by both teams) if not claimed within 3 seconds. Time before Regeneration Globes expire has been reduced to 6 seconds. Structures
      All attacking structures no longer have ammunition. Walls will now be destroyed if their connected Towers and Gate are also destroyed. Walls can still be attacked normally. Tower vision range has been increased by 25% Tower damage to minions has been reduced by 25% Structures now have a warmup period of .5 seconds before firing and must face their targets completely Structure attack warning responsiveness has been significantly improved Standalone Towers (found next to Forts and Keeps) have been removed. The Health, granted Experience, and Damage of Standalone Towers has been redistributed into their surrounding gate Towers, Forts, and Keeps. Forts and Keeps now have True Sight, meaning they will reveal and attack Stealthed Heroes. True Sight is disabled while the Structure is disabled by effects such as the Raven Lord’s Curse or Sylvanas’ Black Arrow Trait. Minions
      Minion base damage has been increased by roughly 10% The 5 second delay before Minions spawn after the game begins has been removed. Mercenaries 
      Respawn Timers Mercenary Camps will now spawn 60 seconds after the game begins Siege Giant Camp Siege Defenders Defending Siege Giant attacks are now telegraphed on the terrain and can be dodged. Siege Laners Attack telegraphing and missile trajectory has been significantly improved. Hellbat Camp Respawn times have been doubled Hellbats will now prioritize structures Defender Hellbat Stats Base health increased by 125%, Health scaling increased by 200% Damage increased by 125% Damage scaling reduced by 50% Laner Hellbat Stats Base health increased by roughly 25% Health scaling increased by 43% Base damage increased by 50% Damage scaling decreased by 66% Damage taken from structures reduced by 50% Attacks now apply a 3-second stacking -5 Armor debuff to all targets, stacking up to 20 times (structures included) Knight Camp Wizard Knight Laner Wizard Knight Laner has a Spell Armor Aura Grants all nearby Allies (Minions, Mercenaries, and Heroes) 30 Spell Armor Spell Armor is immediately removed upon leaving the aura area. This Aura is destroyed when the Wizard is killed Wizard Knight Defender Grants nearby Knight Defenders a 15 Spell Armor aura This Aura is destroyed when the Wizard is killed Sapper Camp Sapper Defenders Now fire their attacks at target areas, instead of directly at Heroes. This behaves like the laning Sappers Sapper Explosion damage now scales over time Health scaling increased by 33% Respawn timer across all maps increased from 105 to 120 seconds Laning Sappers now have 100 Armor vs Structures while charging and Towers will ignore charging Sappers Art
      Heroes, Abilities, and Talents
      Zeratul has received updated art to coincide with Talent changes. Minimap
      Minimap art has been updated across all Battlegrounds. Stealth
      Added an overlay to indicate when a Stealthed character goes Invisible Added a new Stealth visual effect. Enemy Stealthed Heroes should now be easier to spot. Battlegrounds
      Sandbox Custom Game Improvements
      The following new cheats have been added to Sandbox Custom Games: Spawn Camps Respawn all Mercenary Camps. Spawn Dummy Creates a dialog allowing players to choose a type of dummy to spawn. Player can then click in the game world to create a dummy of the selected dummy type at mouse cursor position. One player cannot spawn more than 20 dummies. When a player deals damage or heals a target dummy the Target Dummy Panel will pop up displaying the damage or healing dealt. If player deals damage to multiple dummies with an AOE ability, the number will be the combination of damage done to all dummies. If the team hasn't dealt damage or healing to any of the dummies for 8 seconds, the Target Dummy Panel will disappear for that team. If a player hasn't dealt damage or healing to any of the dummies for 8 seconds, their damage and DPS will be reset to 0. Clear Dummies If the "Share Cheat" checkbox is unchecked, remove all the dummies created by all players. If the "Share Cheat" checkbox is checked, remove all the dummies created by that player. Toggle Fog of War Disabling Fog of War for a team will remove Fog of War, revealing the whole map for that team. Reset HP/MP If the "Share Cheat" checkbox is unchecked, reset all players' Health and Mana to full. If the "Share Cheat" checkbox is checked, reset the player's Health and Mana to full. Complete Quests If the "Share Cheat" checkbox is unchecked, complete all talent quests for all player. If the "Share Cheat" checkbox is checked, complete all talent quests for that player. Instant Respawn If the "Share Cheat" checkbox is unchecked, instantly respawn all dead Heroes. If the "Share Cheat" checkbox is checked, instantly respawn the player's Hero. Haunted Mines
      Issuing a Move command within the Mines while on the Battleground’s upper level, or vice versa, will now cause the Hero to use the Mine Entrance or Exit that is the shortest distance from the issued order. Summoned Grave Golem Fort and Keep attacks no longer reduce attack speed Will no longer interrupt its attacks mid-swing to use an Ability Now passes through player-created walls rather than stopping to destroy them Ranked Battleground Rotation Update
      Added to Rotation Warhead Junction Removed from Rotation Volskaya Foundry Garden of TerrorThe full Ranked Battleground Rotation is now as follows: Battlefield of Eternity Braxis Holdout Cursed Hollow Dragon Shire Infernal Shrines Sky Temple Tomb of the Spider Queen Towers of Doom Warhead Junction Design
      Stealth
      Stealth players will now become “Invisible” after remaining still for 1.5 seconds. Invisible Heroes will not display the Stealth visual effect and can still be removed from Stealth by taking damage. This includes Heroes under the effects of temporary Stealth effects such as Samuro’s Windwalk or Tyrande’s Shadowstalk. Additionally, Heroes cannot become Invisible while occupying a capture point, such as Braxis Holdout or Mercenary Camp Beacons. Instead, they will retain normal Stealth visual effects. User Interface
      In-Game UI
      General Hero portraits will now be displayed when heroes are inside the following Vehicles, Battleground objectives, or Hero Abilities: Dragon Knight Garden Terror Triglav Protector Anub'arak - Cocoon Lt. Morales – Medivac Dropship Stitches - Gorge Zagara - Devouring Maw Manual Talent Tier and Hero Status Callouts Players can now press ALT + left-click Hero portraits and the Team Level UI at the top of the screen to generate notifications for the following situations: Press ALT + left-click an ally’s Hero portrait to inform teammates when that ally needs assistance. ALT + left-clicking a dead Hero’s portrait will generate a chat message indicating that Hero’s remaining respawn time. ALT + left-clicking an enemy Hero portrait will ping that Hero’s location on the Minimap if they are within allied vision. If that enemy is outside of allied vision, a chat message will inform allies that the Hero is missing. Press ALT + right-click the Team Level UI to indicate when both teams are on even Talent tiers, or when one team has a Talent tier advantage over the other.  
      Heroes
      Assassin

      Nova

      Abilities
      Snipe (Q) Damage reduced from 310 to 255. Baseline quest added: Hitting an enemy Hero increases the damage of Snipe by 5% stacking 5 times. When at max stacks (5) it gains an additional 25% damage. If Snipe fails to hit a target, all stacks are lost. Pinning Shot (W) Damage from 110 to 105 Holo Decoy (E) Added functionality: Decoys now deal 10% of Nova’s damage Permanent Cloak (Trait) Added functionality: Gain 15% movement speed while Stealthed Triple Tap (R) Damage per shot from 338 to 372 (New) Ghost Protocol (1) Activate to instantly cloak, leave a Holo Decoy at your feet, and become unrevealable for .5 seconds. Talents
      Level 1 Advanced Cloaking (Trait) New functionality: Increase your Stealth movement speed by 5%. While Stealthed, gain 2 additional mana regeneration per second. Level 7 Snipe Master (Q) Removed Perfect Shot (Q) Moved from Level 16 Cooldown reduction on Hero hit reduced from 3 to 2 seconds Level 13 Psionic Efficiency (Q) Bonus range increased from 10 to 15% (New Talent) Ionic Force Field (Trait) Gain 25 Armor for 2 seconds after losing stealth Level 16 Lethal Decoy (E) Damage bonus from clones increased from 40 to 50% Level 20 (New Talent) Apollo Suit (Trait) Reduce the cooldown of Permanent Cloak from 3 to 1 second
      Samuro

      Stats
      Basic Attack damage increased from 88 to 110 Abilities
      Mirror Image (Q) Samuro will now appear in the direction of the player’s Mouse Cursor when Mirror Image is cast. Mirror Image damage is no longer a fraction of Samuro’s Attack Damage. Mirror Image base damage has been greatly reduced to 9. Mirror Images are no longer instantly destroyed by Structures Critical Strike (W) Cooldown increased from 8 to 10 seconds Illusion Master (R) New functionality: Reduce the cooldown of Advancing Strikes to 8 seconds Now increases the attack damage of Mirror Images by 100% Now also increases Samuro’s Basic Attack damage by 10% Image Transmission (Trait) Additional functionality: Activate to switch places with the target Mirror Image, removing most negative effects from Samuro and the target Mirror Image. 25-second cooldown. Talents
      Tooltips for various talents have been updated to reflect whether Samuro or his Mirror Images benefit from their effects Level 1 Way of the Wind (E) New Functionality: Gain 40% Movement Speed for 3 seconds upon entering or exiting Stealth by using Wind Walk Way of the Blade (W) No longer grants bonus Critical Strike damage Way of Illusion (Q) Mirror Images no longer benefit from this talent Level 4 One with the Wind (E) Armor gain now also lasts for 3 seconds after being revealed Mirror Images now also gain Armor Armor amount reduced from 60 to 30 Level 7 Phantom Pain (W) Mirror Images no longer benefit from this talent Crushing Blows (W) Mirror Images no longer benefit from this talent Bonus Critical Strike damage has been removed Additional functionality: Samuro’s Basic Attacks against enemy Heroes reduce the cooldown of Critical Strike by 1.5 seconds Level 13 Kawarimi (E) Reduced the time between Samuro issuing a new order after using Wind Walk and the image following it. It should now be harder for the new Image to follow Samuro’s new movements after using Wind Walk. Level 16 Press the Attack (Trait) Attack Speed bonus reduced from 15% to 10% per stack. Maximum bonus decreased from 60% to 40% Harsh Winds (E) Mirror Images no longer benefit from this talent Merciless Strikes (W) Mirror Images no longer benefit from this talent
      Valeera

      Abilities
      Vanish (D) Movement Speed increased from 10% to 20% Ambush (Q) If Valeera is Vanished for 3 seconds, this ability has 5 range and teleports Valeera behind her target. Damage reduced from 180 to 130 Now also reduces enemy Armor by 10 for 4 seconds Cheap Shot (W) Stun duration reduced from 1.25 to .75 seconds Now Blinds the target for 2 seconds after the stun effect ends If Valeera is Vanished for 3 seconds, this ability has 5 range and teleports Valeera behind her target Garrote (E) Silence duration increased from 2.25 to 2.75 seconds If Valeera is Vanished for 3 seconds, this ability has 5 range and teleports Valeera behind her target Talents
      Level 1 Subtlety (D) Adjusted functionality: Now triggers when Valeera teleports to her target with Ambush, Cheap Shot, and Garrote. Energy return reduced from 10 to 8 per second. Crippling Poison (Active) Slow duration reduced from 5 to 4 seconds. Valeera’s poison is no longer removed after the first damaging Ability, but instead is applied by all Valeera's Abilities for 4 seconds. This duration does not start until Valeera damages her first enemy. Level 4 Wound Poison (Active) Healing reduction duration decreased from 5 to 4 seconds Valeera’s poison is no longer removed after the first damaging Ability, but instead is applied by all Valeera's Abilities for 4 seconds. This duration does not start until Valeera damages her first enemy Level 7 Slice and Dice (E) Valeera's Basic Attacks now restore 2 Energy. Level 13 Death from Above (Q) New functionality: Ambush reduces the cooldown of Vanish by 4 seconds. Blind (W) Now increases the duration of Cheap Shot’s Blind from 2 to 4 seconds. Strangle (E) Spell Power reduction increased from 25% to 40% Duration reduced from 7 to 6 seconds Level 16 Assassinate (Q) Bonus damage reduced from 100% to 50% Now also increases the Armor reduction of Ambush by 10 when the target is isolated. Moved from level 7 Expose Armor (E) Removed. Level 20 Nightslayer (D) Removed. Rupture (D) Damage bonus now stacks immediately to 100%, instead of stacking up to 30%. Moved from level 16 Elusiveness (D) Moved from Level 13 Movement Speed bonus increased from 10% to 20% LEVEL (TIER) VALEERA TALENTS 1 (1) (!) Vigor (Passive) Subtlety (D) Combat Readiness (Passive) Crippling Poison (Active) 4 (2) Relentless Strikes (Q) Hemorrhage (E) Initiative (D) Wound Poison (Active) 7 (3) Mutilate (Q) (!) Fatal Finesse (W) Slice and Dice (E)   10 (4) Smoke Bomb (R) Cloak of Shadows (R) — — 13 (5) Death from Above (Q) Blind (W) Strangle (E)   16 (6) Seal Fate (Q) Assassinate (Q) Thistle Tea (Active)   20 (7) Adrenaline Rush (R) Enveloping Shadows (R) Rupture (E) Elusiveness (D) (!) indicates a Questing Talent. Italic text indicates a NEW Talent. Underlined text indicates a MOVED Talent.
      Valla

      Abilities
      Level 1 Monster Hunter (Q) Now tracks stacks instead of damage on the quest tracker
      Zeratul

      Abilities
      Shadow Assault (R) Removed (New Talent) Might of the Nerazim (R) Passive: After using an Ability, Zeratul’s next Basic Attack within 6 seconds deals 40% more damage Activate to duplicate the last ability cast. Damaging abilities deal 50% less damage. This ability does not benefit from talents. 20-Second Cooldown  Talents
      Level 1 Vorpal Blade (1) Added as a baseline ability. Default Hotkey: 1 (New Talent) Move Unseen (Passive) Gain 25% bonus Movement Speed while Stealthed Shadow Hunter (E) Regen Globe required for quest completion reduced from 20 to 15 Mana cost reduction of Blink increased from 2 to 3 Level 4 Combo Slash (Passive) Removed Grim Task (Passive) Removed (New Talent) Psionic Strength (Passive) Damaging an enemy Hero with Basic Attacks or Abilities increases Zeratul's damage by 6% for 3 seconds, stacking up to 5 times. (New Talent) Darkness Descends (Active) Passive: Increase Zeratul’s attack speed by 10%. Activated ability – Zeratul gains 40% bonus attack speed for 5 seconds. 30-second cooldown Level 7 Wormhole (E) Duration increased from 2 to 3 seconds Slip into Shadow (E) Removed (New Talent) Warp Skirmisher (1) Vorpal Blade now has 2 charges. Casting Vorpal Blade also causes Zeratul's next Basic Attack within 6 seconds to deal 30% bonus damage Level 16 Sentenced to Death (W) Bonus damage reduced from 40 to 30% Level 20 Rewind (Active) Removed Nerazim Fury (R) Removed (New Talent) Twilight Falls (R) Activating Might of the Nerazim resets the cooldown of all of Zeratul’s Basic Abilities (New Talent) Shadow Mending (Passive) Zeratul heals himself for 75% of Ability Damage Dealt to enemy Heroes LEVEL (TIER) ZERATUL TALENTS 1 (1) PH PH PH PH 4 (2) PH PH PH PH 7 (3) PH PH PH PH 10 (4) PH PH — — 13 (5) PH PH PH PH 16 (6) PH PH PH PH 20 (7) PH PH PH PH (!) indicates a Questing Talent. Italic text indicates a NEW Talent. Underlined text indicates a MOVED Talent. Specialist

      Abathur

      Abilities
      Spawn Locust (Trait) Health increased from 288 to 316  Talents
      Level 1 Survival Instincts (Trait) Bonus Health decreased from 50% to 40% Level 7 Calldown: MULE (Active) No longer refills Structure ammo
      The Lost Vikings

      Talents
      Level 4 It’s a Sabotage! (Passive) No longer removes Structure ammo Damage increased from 27 to 35 Warrior

      Muradin

      Talents
      Level 4 Sledgehammer (Q) No longer removes Ammo from structures Collection
      Hero Price Reduction
      Artanis’ prices have been reduced to 7,000 Gold and 625 Gems. New Bundles – The following new Bundles and Skin Packs are available for a limited time!
      Hanzo Heroic Bundle Winter Veil 2017 Bundle Winter Veil Classic Bundle New Announcers
      Hanzo New Skins
      Hanzo Kinoko Honzo Sora Hanzo Dragon Hanzo Demon Hanzo Farstrider Hanzo Icebound Farstrider Hanzo Iron Farstrider Hanzo Holy Farstrider Hanzo Scarlet Farstrider Hanzo Genji Storm Oni Genji Golden Genji Nihon Genji Leoric Immortal Space Lord Leoric Lúcio Azure Soundblast Lúcio Lunara Harvest Champion Lunara Zarya Citrine Thunderguard Zarya Industrial Zarya New Mounts
      The following Mounts have been awarded to players who reached Platinum in Hero League or Bronze in Team League during 2017 Ranked Season 3: Titanium Cybersteed Carbon Cybersteed Master Cybersteed The following Mounts have been awarded to players who reached Master or higher in Hero League or Team League during 2017 Ranked Season 3: Epic Titanium Cybersteed Epic Carbon Cybersteed Epic Master Cybersteed Bug Fixes
      General
      Fixed a number of typo and tooltip errors across several aspects of the game. Art
      Kharazim: Kharazim's arms and upper body now animated correctly during his dizzy animation. Leoric: The Shroud of the Dead King Talent will now correctly play an animation and a sound when activated. Samuro: Monkey King Samuro’s model will no longer exhibit flickering during Hero Select while running Medium or High graphic settings. The Lost Vikings: Fixed an issue causing Baelog to cast superfluous shadows on the terrain. Battlegrounds
      Sky Temple: Fixed an issue that could prevent Temple lasers from appearing correctly on the Minimap. Structures: Auriel's Blinding Flash and Artanis' Suppression Pulse can no longer Blind Structures. Towers of Doom: The Headless Horseman Boss is no longer incorrectly categorized as a Monster. Volskaya Foundry: Fixed an issue in which Heroes on the outer edge of the Hall of Storms would not receive Healing or protection. Heroes, Abilities, and Talents
      Alexstrasza: Life-Binder is no longer interrupted when entering or exiting Dragonqueen. Diablo: Fixed an issue that could cause Shadow Charge to deal its collision damage multiple times under certain circumstances. Garrosh: Casting Wrecking Ball on Mercenaries will no longer cause them to leash while in combat. Gul'dan: Movement caused by a conveyor belt will no longer cancel Rain of Destruction channeling. Kel'thuzad: The Power of Icecrown Talent will now correctly grant bonus Spell Power for enemy Heroes Slowed by Chains of Kel’Thuzad with the Chains of Ice Talent. Li-Ming: Zei's Vengeance and Arcane Orb tooltips have been updated to clarify bonus damage functionality. Damage amounts have not been changed. Lt. Morales: The Second Opinion Talent will now correctly grant cooldown reduction when one of the Heroes struck by Displacement Grenade is piloting a Vehicle, like the Garden Terror. Lunara: Fixed an inconsistency that allowed Lunara to cast Leaping Strike over some, but not all, allied units after learning Boundless Stride. Medivh: Creating a Portal entrance after learning Portal Mastery and then entering the Triglav Protector will no longer prevent him from using the Protector’s abilities. Muradin: Learning Reverberation no longer incorrectly updates the Attack Speed Slow amount in Thunder Clap’s tooltip. Murky: Spawn Egg with the Egg Hunt Talent can now be cast correctly on Volskaya Foundry’s conveyor belts. User Interface
      Death Recap: Fortification Camp Turret attacks now display a Turret icon in the Death Recap screen.