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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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      The latest patch comes with a lot of exciting new content available for testing, ranging from Hero reworks up to the new Caldeum Complex event, and revamped Hero roles.
      Patch Highlights
      The latest content patch will go live next week. You can now convert 10,000 Gold into 500 Shards (PTR values are subject to change at any time throughout testing). Hero Roles have been reworked. You can find more details in this post. Hero and Team League have been merged into a single Ranked queue called Storm League. Loot Chests can no longer be purchased with Gems. Rare Loot Chests can be purchased for 3,000 Gold each. A new Caldeum Complex Event comes with new skins and rewards. Caldeum Complex Loot Chests will have a chance to contain items from previous Lunar New Year Spring Events. Chromie and Lucio have been reworked. Click here for a full list of updated abilities and talents. Chromie's Sand Blast (Q) now deals 50% damage to Structures, Dragon's Breath's (W) ground warning is no longer visible to enemies, and the spell fires 3 blasts with a 0.75 delay towards a vector targeted direction, Time Trap (E) must now be detonated and affects friendly targets. Lucio's Wall Ride has been moved to (Z). He received a new trait called "Push Off". While Wall Ride is active, you can jump off the wall, dealing 100 damage and slowing all enemies hit by 75% for 1 second. Lucio has a new Heroic ability High Five (R1) that can be activated to quickly skate towards a target allied Hero, healing them for 250 and granting Unstoppable for 1 second, with a 15 second cooldown per allied Hero. Blizzard (Source)
      Our next Heroes of the Storm patch has just hit the Public Test Realm and will be available for playtesting until the week of March 25. As always, if you encounter any bugs during your PTR play sessions, please stop by the PTR Bug Report forum to let us know about your experiences.
      General
      The cap on maximum negative Armor has been increased from -25 to -75, now that different Armor effects no longer stack Developer Comment: The negative Armor cap was originally instituted as a safety precaution so that stacking long term negative Armor effects wouldn’t lead to degenerate gameplay. We don’t anticipate many effects to go beyond -25, but there are a few cases where this can happen (including the new Unraveling Talent on Chromie and Sgt. Hammer’s Shrapnel Mines). Hero Roles Update Updated roles include: Tank, Bruiser, Support, Healer, Melee Assassin, and Ranged Assassin For more information, please review our blog here Loot chests are no longer available for Gem purchase Rare loot chests are now available for Gold purchase (3000 each) New Event: Caldeum Complex
      Welcome to the Caldeum Arcopolis, 2103 AD. A city bought and sold a hundred times over, now giant Mega Corporations hold more sway in the ever-shifting politics of the world than governments. Down on the rain slicked streets, humans, mutants, machines and synthetics all struggle to find their place in the light of the neon glow beneath the towering monuments to capitalism lording over them.
      With such oppression, the common people often turn to a life of crime. The leader of one of the largest gangs, the Azure Dragons, goes by the nickname, Chromie. Both a hacker and an anti-corporate street artist, many have said her work has an almost prophetic quality, as if she sees through time itself. The corporate media would have you believe she uses her gang of hackers to illegally ensure her prophecies become true, but lately her work has turned dark, as if she’s seen a cataclysmic force on the horizon…
      Recently, the Dragons have found an ally in the Onyx Turtles. While it’s rare to see the gangs working together, as the noose of systemic oppression has grown tighter, those in the underbelly of the mega-city have had to find new ways to survive. Kharazim and his Turtles are a harder sort of stock than most, with many known gladiators and street fighters serving in the ranks. This new alliance has provided the Azure dragons a strong defense against threats in the physical world.
      High above, the Jigoku Cybenetics Corporation, a primary manufacturer of mechanical augmentations, has become a target of both groups. In the mean streets, human enhancement has become one of the few options left to move the playing field more into the favor of those willing to bend the law. But their efforts have not gone unnoticed, and any who would dare to impugn the honor of Jigoku find themselves in the sights of the CyberOni, Jigoku’s elite agents: merciless killers at the beck and call of their bureaucratic masters.
      Caldeum Complex Quest Chain
      Make Contact with the Dragons: Capture 8 Mercenary camps in winning games Reward: Azure Dragons Spray and 3 Day Boost Meet the Azure Prophet: Win 2 games as a Melee or Ranged Assassin Reward: Azure Dragon Chromie Portrait and a Caldeum Complex Loot Chest Earn the Turtles’ Trust: Contribute 25,000 XP in winning games Reward: Onyx Turtles Spray and 250 Gold Spar with Kharazim: Win 2 Games as Healer or Support Reward: Onyx Turtle Kharazim Portrait and Cyberpunk Phrases Pack Join the Tigers’ Hunt: Kill 150 Minions in winning games Reward: Ivory Tigers Spray and 250 Gold Prove Your Valor to Johanna: Win 2 games as Tank or Bruiser Reward: Ivory Tiger Johanna Portrait and a Caldeum Complex Loot Chest Take Down the CyberOni Butcher: Achieve 50 takedowns in winning games Reward: Jigoku Cybernetics Spray and Jigoku Cybernetics Butcher Portrait Raid Jigoku Cybernetics Research Facility: Destroy 10 Forts or Keeps in winning games Reward: Jigoku Cyber Oni Warboar and 500 Gold Caldeum Complex Loot Chests
      Starting the week of March 26, all Loot chests earned through progression (except Hero-specific Chests), Heroes Brawl, or by spending Gold will be Caldeum Complex Loot Chests. These loot chests guarantee at least one item from the Caldeum Complex or previous years’ Lunar New Year Spring events. Carve out your place among the infamous gangs and score yourself some sweet loot before the streets calm on April 30!
      Note: Loot Chests earned prior to the start of this event will not become Caldeum Complex Loot Chests.
      Storm League
      Hero League and Team League have been merged into a single ranked queue: Storm League Players must have 16 or more Heroes available and account level 50 or above to queue for Storm League Additional Details: Players can choose their preferred roles in the Ranked menu, so other team members can understand their play style Players can see party members’ win count under their rank badges on the Storm League queue screen The starting MMR in Storm League will be taken from a player’s last highest MMR from Hero League or Team League, whichever is higher Players will be prevented from queuing up in Storm League as a party together if their rank difference is more than 2 leagues apart There is a tooltip available to indicate this Exception: For players in a party of 5, any member outside the party’s League spread maximum will not be counted toward matchmaking requirements Exception: Players who have not yet placed are able to play with anyone Leaderboards have been updated to reflect Storm League Heroes
      We have recently revamped hero roles. For more information on this, check out our blog here.
      Healers
      Lúcio

      Abilities
      Crossfade (W) Healing decreased from 16 to 15 per second Movement Speed aura reduced from 20% to 10% Amp It Up (E) Healing Boost heal reduced from 114 to 112 per second Speed Boost Movement Speed reduced from 45% to 30% Wall Ride (Z) Moved from (Trait) to (Z) Skate Mode (Z) Removed New Trait – Push Off While Wall Ride is active, you can jump off the wall, dealing 100 damage and slowing all enemies hit by 75% for 1 second Talents
      Level 1 Maximum Tempo (E) Removed Party Mix (E) Moved from Level 7 New Talent – Smooth Moves (Z) Increase Wall Ride duration by 1 second; while Wall Ride is active, your Basic Attacks heal Lúcio for 30% of their damage and restore 0.5 Mana Level 4 Chase the Bass (Q) Removed Subwoofer (Q) Additional functionality: Close enemies are knocked back 75% further Quest: Hit 3 enemy Heroes with the same Soundwave Reward: Increase Soundwave arc by 50% and range by 20% New Talent – Supersonic (Trait) Push Off recharges 100% faster while you have the Wall Ride buff Level 7 Sonic Amplifier (W) Removed Reverse Amp (W) Moved from Level 10 New functionality: While Amp It Up is active, Healing Boost deals 50 damage a second and Speed Boost slows by 20% to enemies in the aura New Talent – Good Vibrations (Q) Every enemy hit with Soundwave grants Lúcio a 35-point Shield for 7 seconds; this value is tripled for enemy Heroes hit Level 10 New Heroic – High Five (R) Activate: Quickly skate towards target allied Hero, healing them for 250 and granting Unstoppable for 1 second (15 second cooldown per allied Hero) Level 13 Beat Mixing (W) Removed Can't Stop, Won't Stop (Trait) Removed Back in the Mix (Trait) Removed Hard Style (Trait) Removed Slip (Z) Moved from Level 1 New functionality: While Wall Ride is active you gain 20 Armor and if you pass through an enemy Hero, you gain 40% Movement Speed for 1 second New Talent – All Together (W) Each allied Hero in your Crossfade aura grants 5% base Movement Speed (this bonus stacks with other Movement Speed buffs) New Talent – Heavy Casters (Trait) Push Off no longer Slows but instead Stuns enemies for 0.5 seconds Level 16 Bring it Together (E) Removed Up the Frequency (E) No longer reduces Mana Cost Additional functionality: While Wall-Riding, increase your Basic Attack range by 40%; Basic Attacks lower the cooldown of Amp It Up by .45 seconds New Talent – Up to Eleven (E) Activate: Increase the duration of your active Amp It Up by 2 seconds (60 second cooldown) Level 20 Synaesthesia Auditiva (E) Removed Bonus Track (E) Removed Nonstop Remix (R) Removed New Heroic Mastery – Mixing Fire (R) You can now High Five enemy Heroes, damaging them for 225 and reducing all healing done to them by 50% for 3 seconds. Passive: Increase the duration of Amp It Up by 1 second New Talent – House Party (W) All of your healing is increased by 10% for each allied Hero in your aura New Talent – Summer Anthem (W) Activate: Other allies in your Crossfade aura cannot be reduced below 1 Health for 1.5 seconds (75 second cooldown) Developer Comment: Lúcio’s rework is unlocking some new ways to help your allies and further harass your enemies! His old Trait, Wall Ride, is still completely functional but has been moved to his Mount (Z). The replacement Trait, Push Off, is a new utility Ability that gives Lúcio more mobility with a built-in way to peel enemies for his allies.
      That is just the beginning, though, as Lúcio has also gained a new Heroic Ability—High Five. This Ability allows him a small bit of burst healing to help compete with Sound Barrier while also granting an on-demand Unstoppable buff to allies that may have bitten off more than they can chew. If you were a big fan of Reverse Amp, no need to worry, it stays on his kit in the form of a talent and has similar functionality! In response to the added power, we are slowing him down a little so he is not quite as frustrating to lock down.
      Ranged Assassins
      Chromie

      Abilities
      Sand Blast (Q) Now hits all enemy types, though stops travel after one hit Deals 50% damage to Structures Baseline quest has been removed Casting a Sand Blast now spawns an Echo that replicates Chromie’s Sand Blasts and Basic Attacks, dealing 50% damage; Maximum of one Echo active at a time Damage reduced from 315 to 280 Cooldown increased from 2.5 to 3 seconds Cast time reduced from .8125 to .5 seconds Initial missile speed has been reduced, but acceleration has been added The time the missile takes to travel its full distance has been increased from .4375 to .625 seconds Dragon's Breath (W) Ground warning is no longer visible to enemy heroes Damage reduced from 390 to 195 Now fires a succession of 3 blasts with a 0.75 second delay towards a vector targeted direction Cooldown increased from 8 to 15 seconds Mana cost increased from 50 to 75 Time Trap (E) Once placed, now requires Chromie to re-activate the Trap with (D) to detonate and puts all units in the area in Time Stop Now affects allies as well as enemies Search area increased from 1.5 to 2 radius Mana cost increased from 25 to 30 Health increased from 300 to 500 Timewalker/Bronze Talons (Trait) The Bronze Talons Basic Attack component of her trait has been removed Talents
      Level 1 Deep Breathing (W) Stacks increased from 12 to 25 Bonus reduced from 5 to 2 per stack Bonus at maximum stacks reduced from 140 to 50 New Talent – Once Again the First Time (Q) Quest: Hit an enemy Hero with Sand Blast 40 times Reward: Sand Blast’s maximum Sand Echoes increased from 1 to 2 Mounting Sand (Q) Removed Level 2 Andorhal Anomaly (E) Moved from Level 18 No longer causes all three charges to refresh at once Additional functionality: Reduces the cooldown of Time Trap by 5 seconds All Time Traps are detonated at the same time New Talent – Chronic Conditions (E) After Time Stop ends, enemies affected by Time Trap are Slowed by 25% for 3 seconds and allies gain 25% Movement Speed for 3 seconds New Talent – Time Troubles (E) After Time Stop ends, enemies affected by Time Trap lose 20 Armor for 3 seconds and allies gain 20 Armor for 3 seconds Enveloping Assault (W) Removed Timely Surprise (E) Removed Level 5 Mobius Loop (W) Cooldown reduction reduced from 3 to 1.5 seconds per enemy Hero hit Mana return reduced from 100 to 40 per enemy Hero hit Bronze Talons (Q) Has been redesigned When Chromie hits an enemy Hero with Sand Blast, she deals 30% additional Basic Attack damage for 5 seconds New Talent – A Proper Greeting Passive: When Chromie damages a Slowed, Rooted, or Stunned enemy Hero, she deals 25% additional damage for 5 seconds Dragon's Eye (W) Removed Chrono Sickness (E) Removed Level 8 Slowing Sands (R1) Redesigned: Slow now increases the longer an enemy is in the affected area Now Slows by 5% every 0.25 seconds, up to a maximum of 70% Temporal Loop (R2) Range reduced from 11 to 8 Now also increases the recharge rate of Chromie’s Basic Abilities by 500% for 3 seconds Level 11 Here and There (Active) Now has a range of 9 Now teleports Chromie to a targeted location near a Sand Echo, and teleports the Sand Echo back to her old location New Talent – Gnome Speed Ahead! (Q) After casting Sand Blast, Chromie gains 200% increased Health and Mana Regeneration and 20% Movement Speed for 3 seconds Bye Bye! (B) Removed Level 18 New Talent – Unravelling (R1) Every 0.25 seconds, enemy Heroes Slowed by Slowing Sands have their Spell Armor reduced by 2, up to 30 Stuck in a Loop (R2) Now also increases the duration of Temporal Loop’s cooldown reduction buff by 3 seconds New Talent – Blessing of the Bronze Passive: While Chromie is alive, she and all her allies gain 10% Movement Speed and their Basic Abilities recharge 30% faster Pocket of Time (R1) Removed Developer Comment: Our goal with this Chromie update is to create various degrees of success that Chromie can enjoy, so that she doesn’t feel like quite the same all-or-nothing mage that she’s historically been. Traditionally, Chromie has often required a hard counter to keep her in check or completely wrecked an opposing team, creating polarizing experiences.
      We’re instituting a lot of changes that allow Chromie to get partial success with her Abilities (multiple Sand Blasts baseline, 3 blasts of Dragon's Breath), while also widening her toolkit (friendly Stasis, Basic Attack damage, PvE damage). While we’re diversifying her kit, we also want to make sure that Chromie feels special, and we think that her Sand Echoes and predictive gameplay with Dragon's Breath are still unique parts of her that embody the feeling of artillery mage while still having moments of counter play for opponents.
      Lunara

      Talents
      Level 4 Blossom Swell (Q) Movement Speed bonus reduced from 15% to 12% This Movement Speed bonus now stacks with other Movement Speed bonuses Developer Comment: Due to Lunara’s unique Movement Speed mechanics, our recent update to Blossom Swell was not as beneficial to Lunara as we had hoped. To address this, we are slightly reducing its bonus but allowing it to stack with other Movement Speed bonuses, including Lunara’s trait, which should dramatically increase the total Movement Speed that she gets from this talent.
      Bug Fixes
      Fixed an issue where the healing nameplate UI would be hidden when the total equals 0. Fixed an issue where broadcasts would sometimes appear twice when sent Revamped Hero roles, further reworks, and a merged Hero & Team League are coming soon!
    • By Stan
      Chromie and Lucio were revamped in the latest patch and here's a look at their updated abilities and talents.
      Chromie
      Trait
      Timewalker
      Chromie has traveled to the future, and as such, will learn her Talents 2 levels earlier than her teammates! Detonate Time Trap Detonates active Time Traps. Basic Abilities
      Sand Blast [Q] (Mana: 20, Cooldown: 3 seconds)
      After 0.5 seconds, fire a missile that deals 280 damage to the first enemy hit. Deals 50% damage to Structures. Casting Sand Blast leaves an Echo behind that mimics Chromie's Sand Blast and Basic Attack, dealing 50% damage. Maximum of 1 Echo active at a time. Dragon's Breath [W] (Mana: 75, Cooldown: 15 seconds)
      Vector Targeting Launch 3 blasts into the air that land every 0.75 seconds towards the targeted direction, dealing 195 damage each. Time Trap [E] (Mana: 30, Cooldown: 15 seconds)
      Place a Time Trap that arms and Stealths after 2 seconds. Chromie's Trait can be activated to detonate the trap, placing all nearby allied or enemy Heroes in Time Stop for 2 seconds. Maximum of 1 trap active at a time. Heroic Abilities
      Slowing Sands [R1] (Mana: 4 per second, Cooldown: 5 seconds)
      Summon a sand vortex that Slows enemies by 5% every 0.25 seconds, up to 70%. Temporal Loop [R2] (Mana: 60, Cooldown: 50 seconds)
      Choose an enemy Hero. After 3 seconds, they are telported back to the location where Temporal Loop was cast on them. Basic Abilities recharge 500% faster for 3 seconds after casting Temporal Loop. Talents
      Level 1
      Once Again the First Time [Q]
      Quest: Hit 40 Heroes with Sand Blast. Reward: Increase the maximum number of active Echoes to 2. Deep Breathing [W]
      Quest: Every time Dragon's Breath hits a Hero increase its damage by 2, up to 50. Reward: After hitting 25 Heroes, increase its damage by an additional 50 and also increase Chromie's vision radius by 100%. Timewalker's Pursuit [Active, Cooldown: 25 seconds]
      Quest: Gather 15 Regeneration Globes. Reward: After gathering 15 Globes, Chromie gains 5% Spell Power and her Mana Regeneration is increased by 1. Level 2
      Chronic Conditions [E]
      After its Time Stop ends, enemies affected by Time Trap are Slowed by 25% or 3 seconds and allies gain 25% Movement Speed for 3 seconds. Time Troubles [E]
      After its Time Stop ends, enemies affected by Time Trap lose 20 Armor for 3 seconds and allies gain 20 Armor for 3 seconds. Andorhal Anomaly [E]
      Increases the charges and maximum active Time Traps to 3, and reduce its cooldown by 5 seconds. Level 5
      Bronze Talons [Q]
      Hitting a Hero with Sand Blast grants 30% additional Basic Attack damage for 5 seconds. Mobius Loop [W]
      Hitting a Hero with Dragon's Breath reduces its cooldown by 1.5 seconds and restores 40 Mana. A Proper Greeting [Passive]
      Damaging a Stunned, Rooted or Slowed enemy Hero grants 25% additional damage for 5 seconds. Level 8
      Slowing Sands [R1] (Mana: 4 per second, Cooldown: 5 seconds)
      Summon a sand vortex that Slows enemies by 5% every 0.25 seconds, up to 70%. Temporal Loop [R2] (Mana: 60, Cooldown: 50 seconds)
      Choose an enemy Hero. After 3 seconds, they are telported back to the location where Temporal Loop was cast on them. Basic Abilities recharge 500% faster for 3 seconds after casting Temporal Loop. Level 11
      Gnome Speed Ahead! [Q]
      After casting Sand Blast, Chromie gains 20% Movement Speed and 200% inreased Health and Mana Regeneration for 3 seconds. Here and There [Active, Cooldown: 30 seconds]
      Activate to teleport to an area near an Echo, swapping it with Chromie's previous location. Time Out [Active]
      Activate to place Chromie in Stasis and gain Invulnerability for up to 5 seconds. Can be reactivated to end the effect early. Level 14
      Shifting Sands [Q]
      Hitting an enemy Hero with Sand Blast grants 8% Spell Power for 10 seconds, up to a maximum of 40%. The duration is refreshed whenever an enemy is damaged by the primary Sand Blast. Fast Forward [Q]
      If Sand Blast travels at least 70% of its base distance and hits a Hero, its cooldown is reduced to 0.75 seconds. Quantum Overdrive [Active, Cooldown: 30 seconds]
      Activate to increase Spell Power by 25% for 10 seconds. Level 18
      Unraveling [R1]
      Every 0.25 seconds, enemy Heroes Slowed by Slowing Sands have their Spell Armor reduced by 2 up to 30. Stuck in a Loop [R2]
      Temporal Loop teleports the target a second time after the first, and Basic Abilities continue recharging for an additional 3 seconds Piercing Sands [Q]
      Sand Blast now pierces all enemies hit. Blessing of the Bronze [Passive]
      While Chromie is alive, her all allied Heroes gain 10% Movement Speed and their Basic Abilities recharge 30% faster. Lucio
      Trait
      Push Off [D]
      While moving alongside terrain, activate to slide towards a targeted location. Enemies hit take 100 damage and are Slowed by 75% for 1 second. Basic Abilities
      Soundwave [Q] (Mana: 30, Cooldown: 7 seconds)
      Deal 105 damage to enemies in an area and knock them back. Crossfade [W]
      Play one of two music tracks for Lucio and his allies. Crossfade - Healing Boost: Passively heal Lucio and nearby allied Heroes for 15 health per second. Crossfade - Speed Boost: Increase the Movement Speed of Lucio and nearby allied Heroes by 10%. Amp It Up [E] (Mana: 90, Cooldown: 13 seconds)
      Raise Lucios Crossfade track volume for 3 seconds, amping Healing Boost to 112 health per second and Speed Boost to 30% increased Movement Speed. Heroic Abilities
      Sound Barrier [R1] (Mana: 100, Cooldown: 80 seconds)
      After 1 secnd, Lucio and nearby Allied Heroes gain a 1296 point Shield that rapidly decays over 6 seconds. High Five [R2] (Mana 50, Cooldown: 15 seconds per ally)
      Quickly skate to an allied Hero. Upon arrival, the ally is granted Unstoppable for 1 second and is healed for 250. Talents
      Level 1
      Party Mix [W]
      Quest: Play Lucio's Crossfade tracks to nearby allies for a total of 8 minutes. Multiple allies provide additional time. Reward: Permanently increase Crossfade's range by 20%. Accelerando [Z]
      Wall Ride's Movement Speed bonus gradually increases to 40% over 4 seconds while Lucio maintains its effect. Smooth Moves [Z]
      While Wall Ride is active, Basic Attacks heal for 30% of the damage dealt and restore 0.5 Mana. Passive: Increase Wall Ride duration by 1 second. Level 4
      Subwoofer [Q]
      Enemies within the first half of Soundwave's range are knocked back 75% further. Quest: Hit 3 enemy Heroes with a single Soundwave. Reward: Increase Soundwave's arc by 50% and its range by 20%. Off the Wall [Q]
      Hitting an enemy with Soundwave while Wall Ride is active reduces its cooldown by 3 seconds. Supersonic [D]
      While Wall Ride is active, Push Off's cooldown recharges 100% faster. Level 7
      Good Vibrations [Q]
      Hitting an enemy with Soundwave grants Lucio a 35 Shield for 7 seconds. Hitting enemy Heroes grants 3 times this amount. Reverse Amp [W]
      Blast Lucio's active Crossfade track at enemy Heroes. While Amp It Up is active, Healing Boost deals 50 damage per second and Speed Boost Slows by 20%. This ability is unaffected by Crossfade talents Boombox [Active, Cooldown: 20 seconds)
      Place a boombox that plays Lucio's active Crossfade track for 30 seconds. Its volume adjusts with Amp It Up. Crossfade tracks do not stack. Level 10
      Sound Barrier [R1] (Mana: 100, Cooldown: 80 seconds)
      After 1 secnd, Lucio and nearby Allied Heroes gain a 1296 point Shield that rapidly decays over 6 seconds. High Five [R2] (Mana 50, Cooldown: 15 seconds per ally)
      Quickly skate to an allied Hero. Upon arrival, the ally is granted Unstoppable for 1 second and is healed for 250. Level 13
      All Together [W]
      For each ally affected by Crossfade, Lucio gains 5% Movement Speed that stacks with other bonuses. Heavy Casters [D]
      Push Off no longer Slows enemies, and instead Stuns them for 0.5 seconds. Slip [Z]
      While Wall Ride is active, passing near an enemy Hero increases its Movement Speed bonus to 40% for 1 second. Passive: Wall Ride grants 20 Armor. Level 16
      Rejuvenescencia [E]
      While Amp It Up is active, Crossfade's Healing Boost heals for an additional 2.5% of the target's maximum Health each second.
      Up the Frequency [E]
      Hitting enemy Heroes with Basic Attacks reduces the cooldown of Amp It Up by 0.45 seconds. Passive: Wall Ride increases Basic Attack range by 2.2. Up To Eleven [Active, Cooldown: 60 seconds]
      Activate to extend the duration of Amp It Up by 2 seconds. Level 20
      Boss Nova [R1]
      Reduce the cooldown of Sound Barrier to 30 seconds, but the Shield now decays over 4 seconds. Mixing Fire [R2]
      High Five can now be cast on enemy Heroes, dealing 225 damage and reducing all healing received by 50% for 3 seconds. Passive: Increase the duration of Amp It Up by 1 second. House Party [W]
      For each ally affected by Crossfade, Lucio gains 10% increased healing. Summer Anthem [Active, Cooldown: 75 seconds]
      Activate for all other allies affected by Crossfade to become Unkillable for 1.5 seconds.
    • By Stan
      The Heroes team recently talked about Loss Forgiveness, Storm League seeding, and solo queue in a series of blue posts on Reddit.
      Loss Forgiveness Clarifications
      Loss Forgiveness was discussed during the Ranked & Balance & Matchmaking AMA of March 6. The new feature is there to help soften the impact of a team with a player missing a significant portion of a match which contributes to a potentional loss. We learned that it has undergone significant development and the team still plans to implement it to the game. Yesterday, however, the Heroes team informed us that there are still some edge cases that impact the release of Loss Forgiveness. The tricky portion of the feature is to truly determine, whether a player has connection issues or is disconnecting on purpose.
      Blizzard (Source)
      Do you plan to implement a loss forgiveness mechanic for being matched with AFK/Disconnected players in ranked?
      Hello Midnight7_7:) Firstly I'd like to let you know that the The Loss Forgiveness feature has undergone significant development, and is something we still plan on delivering. However, there are quite a few edge cases that we need to consider when developing this feature in order to make sure it provides the best experience for you, the player.  Let's break this question down into a few scenarios: 
      A game completes while a player is disconnected: A leaver penalty is already applied to the account and the user is no longer able to participate in ranked matches until they have played the required amount non ranked matches. This scenario is already handled. 
      A player is disconnected for a significant portion of the match: This is the Loss Forgiveness feature that we would like to polish.
      Update Posted on March 18th
      Hey folks,
      I'd like to bring some clarity to the second point that was intentionally left vague as we are working around some of the edge cases that impact the release of this feature.
      The Loss Forgiveness feature is designed to help soften the impact of a team with a player missing a significant portion of a match which contributes to a potential loss. Ideas that that we've considered and are still polishing up are:
      The amount of time a player needs to be absent for before they significantly lessen the chance for their team to win. If the team who experienced the absent player wins - still award the win. If the team who experienced the absent player loses - forgive the loss. If the offending player has a frequent history of being absent for significant portions of a match, apply a stricter penalty that impacts their rank. The duration of time the player will be flagged as a frequent deserter will be for the remainder of the season. The tricky situation around the polish of Loss Forgiveness is determining if a player truly disconnected or is experiencing (potentially widespread) connectivity issues outside of their control. In the event the player is experiencing connectivity issues, we feel it may be unfair to apply a stricter penalty that impacts their rank. On the other hand, for players who are intentionally frequently absent from a game, the stricter penalty needs to be applied otherwise the system can be exploited.
      I hope this brings some additional clarity around some of the misunderstandings.
      Using Team League MMR to Seed Storm League & Single Queue
      Hero and Team League will be merged into Storm League, a single Ranked queue, in the latest content patch that arrives on live servers next week. The starting MMR in Storm League will be taken from a player's last highest MMR from Hero or Team League, whichever is higher. One reason why the Heroes team is okay with that, despite the unbalanced Team League, is because they plan to cap everyone at Diamond 5, so boosted players will have to fight their way up the ranks.
      They're also internally considering the return of Solo Queue (being matched with other solo players), but it won't ship with the new Season.
      Blizzard (Source)
      Blizzard, it is no secret that TL is a highly unbalanced mess where ranks are made up and points don't matter. I assume you don't want to completely ostracize players that exclusively play TL, but I would highly recommend you ignore TL entirely when it comes to seeding Storm League. If you do not I fear the clown fiesta that Ranked is now will only be enhanced and your new mode will be DOA.
      Good afternoon Reddit friends,
      We have been hearing this feedback loud and clear, and have talked about it internally a lot. We understand your feelings about this and are working very hard to make sure that Storm League is fun, competitive, and inviting to all players interested in it.
      The major reason we are okay with taking the highest between both current Leagues is because we plan to 'clamp' the high-end of the player base. The exact clamp position is still subject to change, but we are currently targeting an MMR equivalent of Diamond 5. This means that even players that were previously 'boosted' in TL games, will have to fight their way back into higher rankings. 'Boosted' players that don't actually deserve their current MMR should fall to where they belong over time, and with the incoming decay changes, will not be able to place high and then just quit.
      We are still very hard at work on a lot of this stuff, so please continue to give your feedback and discuss all of the stuff you are looking forward to, as well as the things you would like to see changed!
      Have a wonderful PTR day!
      Thank you for the reply. Could you tell us if there will be a solo queue only possibilty? Like to only queue vs other solo players?
      We have talked about this internally and think it's a great idea. We also bounced-around the idea of each player having two visible MMR's as well (solo and group).
      The chance of it shipping with the first season is very small though, as we still have a huge amount of work to finish the current scope.
      So correct me if I'm wrong. What you're saying is that the highest rank anyone will be able to achieve when Storm league goes live is (for now)D5? Is it for TL MMR only or both?
      For both - but again, that is still subject to change as we continue fleshing out the full feature.