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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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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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      Blaze
      Talents
      Level 1 Adrenaline Stimpack [Active] Additional functionality: While Blaze has over 80% Health, gain 25% bonus Attack Speed and 10% bonus Movement Speed. Endurance Stimpack [Passive] Cooldown reduced from 40 to 30 seconds. Adjusted functionality: When damaged while below 30% maximum Health, Endurance Stimpack will automatically cast if it is not on cooldown. Neural Stimpack [Active] Mana restoration increased from 30 to 40. Level 4 Incinerator Gauntlets [Passive] Moved from Level 7. No longer causes Basic Attacks to light Oil Spills. Meltdown [Trait] Damage reduction increased from 7% to 8% per stack. Level 7 Adhesive Petroleum [W] Moved from Level 4. Slow amount increased from 30% to 35%. Slow duration increased from 2.5 to 3 seconds. Additional functionality: Now also causes Basic Attacks to light Oil Spills. Return to Top
      Cho
      Talents
      Level 1 The Will of Cho [Trait] Moved from Level 20. New functionality: Killing enemy Minions grants 1 stack of The Will of Cho, and Hero Takedowns grant 10 stacks. Gain 1 Armor for every 30 stacks of the Will of Cho, up to a maximum of 10 Armor. This Armor bonus stacks with Ogre Hide. Level 4 Uppercut [Q] Damage reduced from 7% to 5% maximum Health. Additional functionality: Each Hero hit by Surging Fist reduces its cooldown by 5 seconds. Seared Flesh [Passive] Adjusted functionality: Attack damage bonus is kept when attacking different Heroic targets, and is only lost after 5 seconds or when a non-Heroic enemy is attacked. Level 7 Power Surge [Q] New functionality: Enemy Heroes who are hit by Surging Fist are Slowed by 30% for 2.5 seconds. Gain 15% Movement Speed while charging Surging Fist and for 2.5 seconds after casting the Ability. Level 16 Runed Gauntlet [Passive] Cooldown reduction increased from 5% to 6%. Level 20 Fuel for the Flame [Passive] Moved from Level 1. New functionality: Basic Attacks against enemies cause them to explode, dealing 21 damage to them and 45 damage to nearby enemies. This damage is doubled against enemy Heroes. Return to Top
      Diablo
      Base
      Shadow Charge [Q] Cooldown reduced from 13 to 12 seconds. Mana cost reduced from 70 to 65. Overpower [E] Cooldown reduced from 13 to 12 seconds. Mana cost reduced from 40 to 35. Talents
      Level 4 Life Leech [Passive] Healing increased from 1.5% to 2% maximum Health when not at full Souls. Healing increased from 3% to 4% maximum Health when at full Souls. Level 13 Hellfire [W] Damage per second to nearby enemies increased from 15 to 17. Return to Top
      E.T.C.
      Base
      Face Melt [W] Cooldown increased from 10 to 12 seconds. Mana cost increased from 50 to 55. Return to Top
      Garrosh
      Base
      Bloodthirst [W] Ability Effects now occur at the start of the Ability’s cast, rather than at the end. Talents
      Level 1 Body Check [Active] Cooldown reduced from 16 to 15 seconds. Slow duration increased from 2 to 3 seconds. Level 16 Mortal Combo has been reclassified as an [E] talent. Rough Landing [Q] Removed. New Talent: Seasoned Soldier [Passive] Gain 5% maximum Health, increase Groundbreaker’s Slow duration by 1 second, and Bloodthirst gains an additional charge. Level 20 Death Wish [R1] Additional functionality: Increase the duration of Warlord’s Challenge by .5 seconds. Deadly Calm [R2] Damage reduction increased from 25% to 40%. Inner Rage [Active] No longer causes the cooldown of Body Check to recharge faster. Additional functionality: Increase the healing reduction of Body Check by an additional 45%. Return to Top
      Johanna
      Base
      Iron Skin [Trait] Cooldown increased from 20 to 25 seconds. Talents
      Level 20 Radiating Faith [R2] Blessed Shield Stun duration against all targets reduced from 2 seconds to 1.75 seconds. Return to Top
      Mal'Ganis
      Talents
      Level 4 Echo of Doom [W] Damage increased from 54 to 60. Level 10 Dark Conversion Cooldown reduced from 80 to 60 seconds. Mana cost reduced from 70 to 60. Level 13 The Night Beckons [E] Slow duration increased from 2.5 to 3 seconds. Return to Top
      Mei
      Talents
      Level 1 Heavy Pack [Q] Cooldown reduction increased from .125 to .25 seconds. Level 4 Crystallize [Trait] Cooldown reduction reduced from 15 to 10 seconds. Duration of Spell Armor after Cryo-Freeze ends reduced from 2 to 1 second. Level 10 Avalanche [R1] Cooldown increased from 65 to 70 seconds. Ice Wall [R2] Cooldown reduced from 90 to 70 seconds. Level 20 Cascade [R1] Cooldown reduction increased from 25 to 30 seconds. Return to Top
      Muradin
      Base
      Thunder Clap [W] Movement and Attack Speed Slows increased from 25% to 30%. Return to Top
      Stitches
      Base
      Health reduced from 3150 to 3060. Health regeneration reduced from 6.56 to 6.38. Hook [Q] Range increased from 11 to 12. Slam [W] Mana cost reduced from 40 to 35. Additional functionality: Deals 50% bonus damage to Minions and Mercenaries. Talents
      Level 13 Fishing Hook [Q] Bonus range reduced from 50% to 40%. Return to Top
      Bruiser
      Xul
      Base
      Spectral Scythe [Q] Damage reduced from 200 to 190. Raise Skeleton [Trait] Damage done when Skeletal Warriors die reduced from 46 to 40. Talents
      Level 4 Jailors [Trait] Movement and Attack Speed bonuses reduced from 30% to 25%. Level 16 Weaken [W] Damage reduction reduced from 40% to 35%. Return to Top
      Yrel
      Talents
      Level 1 Light of Karabor [Q] Healing bonus when hitting one enemy Hero increased from 40% to 45%. Healing bonus when hitting more than one enemy Hero increased from 80% to 90%. Dauntless [Passive] Physical Armor reduced from 50 to 40. Maraad's Insight [Passive] Healing increased from 128 to 135. Return to Top
      Healer
      Kharazim
      Base
      Breath of Heaven [W] Healing increased from 276 to 285. Return to Top
      Lt. Morales
      Base
      Safeguard [W] Armor amount increased from 30 to 35. Return to Top
      Rehgar
      Talents
      Level 10 Bloodlust [R2] Duration reduced from 8 to 6 seconds. Healing from Basic Attacks reduced from 40% to 30%. Return to Top
      Melee Assassin
      Maiev
      Talents
      Level 1 Pursuit of Vengeance [W] Additional functionality: Each Hero hit by Spirit of Vengeance reduces the cooldown of Umbral Bind by 1 second. Level 7 Bonds of Corruption [W] Additional functionality: Enemy Heroes pulled by Umbral Bind have their Movement Speed reduced by 20% for 4 seconds. Level 10 Containment Disc [R1] Cooldown reduced from 50 to 40 seconds. Mana cost reduced from 60 to 50. Level 16 Vengeful Knives [Q] New functionality: Dealing damage to enemy Heroes causes the next cast of Fan of Knives that hits enemy Heroes to deal 1% maximum Health as bonus damage, up to 5%. Return to Top
      Ranged Assassin
      Cassia
      Base
      Basic Attack damage reduced from 130 to 125 Health reduced from 1700 to 1660 Health Regeneration reduced from 3.54 to 3.46. Talents
      Level 1 Charged Strikes [Passive] Bonus Attack Speed reduced from 20% to 15%. Bonus Basic Attack damage reduced from 20% to 15%. Level 4 Plate of the Whale [Trait] Bonus Health Regeneration reduced from 7 to 6. Bonus Health Regeneration when fully charged reduced from 14 to 12. Level 7 Surge of Light [Trait] Damage reduced from 300 to 285. Return to Top
      Gall
      Talents
      Level 4 Double Back [W] Removed. Rising Dread [W] Moved from Level 13. Additional functionality: Re-activate Dread Orb to reverse the third bounce. Level 13 Psychotic Break [Passive] Moved from Level 20. Additional functionality: Increase Gall’s damage to enemy Heroes by 10%. Level 20 New Talent: Twilight Frenzy [Active] Activate to reduce the cooldown of Shadowflame and Dread Orb to 2 seconds for the next 6 seconds. 30 seconds Cooldown. Return to Top
      Greymane
      Talents
      Level 10 Cursed Bullet [R2] Damage reduced from 40% to 35% maximum Health. Return to Top
      Mephisto
      Base
      Lightning Nova [W] Damage reduced from 45 to 43. Talents
      Level 1 Furious Spark [W] Damage reduced from 72 to 65. Level 13 Abhorred Skull [Q] Spell Power bonus increased from 20% to 25%. Return to Top
      Tassadar
      Talents
      Level 7 Beam Alignment [Q] No longer increases Tassadar’s Basic Attack range. Additional functionality: Reduce the Mana cost of Shock Ray from 55 to 45. Arc Discharge [Passive] Additional functionality: While Resonance Beam is fully charged, increase Tassadar’s Basic Attack range by 1. Level 10 Archon [R1] Shield amount reduced from 40% to 30% maximum Health. Return to Top
      Tychus
      Talents
      Various talents have been reordered to follow normal convention [Q, W, E, etc.] Level 7 Relentless Soldier [Passive] Armor amount increased from 25 to 30. Level 13 Spray 'n' Pray [Q] Additional functionality: Overkill also Slows enemy Movement Speed by 25%. Neosteel Coating [Active] Duration increased from 3 to 4 seconds. Level 16 Lead Rain [Q] Removed. Sizzlin' Attacks [Passive] Moved from Level 20. Armor Piercing Rounds [Q] New functionality: Each time Overkill hits an enemy, its damage against them is increased by 15%, stacking up to 60% bonus damage. Titan Grenade [W] Additional functionality: Each enemy Hero hit by Frag Grenade reduces its cooldown by 1 second. Level 20 New talent: Can Do This All Day [Q] Reduce Overkill’s cooldown by 4 seconds. While Channeling Overkill, Tychus gains 40 Armor. Return to Top
      Bug Fixes
      Heroes
      Ana Fixed an issue where Ana could get quest progress with Vampiric Rounds through Blinds and Evasion. Artanis Fixed an issue where Phase Prism had an incorrect Mana cost when cast during Blade Dash. E.T.C. Fixed an issue where Guitar Hero's cooldown effect was active without the talent needing to be taken. Tassadar Fixed an issue where Oracle did not reveal Creep Tumors. Whitemane Fixed an issue where Saintly Greatstaff worked on non-Heroic targets. A new balance patch has just hit the Nexus, check out the official patch notes for more details!
    • By Stan
      The Climate Phenomena Nexus Anomaly has proven to be disruptive to the normal flow of the game and caused FPS drops, so Blizzard removed it from the game.
      The current plan is to have one more Nexus Anomaly in 2020 and going forward, anomalies won't be pursued at a set cadence.
      (Source)
      Hello fellow Heroes!
      After reading through your feedback and deliberating amongst ourselves, we have decided to remove the Climate Phenomena anomaly from the Nexus. While this was not an easy decision to make, we feel it is the right thing to do for the game. We also wanted to take this time to more clearly define the purpose of our Nexus Anomalies, and our plans for them going forward.
      Nexus Anomalies were intended to serve two functions:
      We wanted to distribute our annual gameplay updates throughout the year, giving us the freedom to try exploratory changes that we weren’t committed to if they ended up not working out. Previously, we introduced all our gameplay updates each year around BlizzCon. These updates were usually fairly impactful, and many players had trouble adjusting to the large amount of sudden change. We wanted Heroes to have an exciting, fun change for players to look forward to every season. As far as what exactly each Anomaly would entail, we did not have too many set rules, largely to ensure that we had the creative freedom to try bold ideas. So far, we believe our Anomalies have largely been successful, particularly after we had some time to iterate on them.
      With Climate Phenomena, we wanted to play with two ideas. The first was introducing a new Hero to the Nexus with an accompanying theme, and the second was the prospect of changing game states throughout a match, with a minor impact on gameplay. Unfortunately, we’ve found that these changes were too disruptive to the normal flow of the game, and they didn’t add enough fun factor to account for how much they impacted the player experience. Some players also reported frame-per-second (FPS) issues due to the Anomaly, which we found to be unacceptable.
      Moving forward, we intend to finish the year with one more Anomaly, released alongside the final season of 2020. After that, we have decided that we will not be pursuing Anomalies at a set cadence like we did this year. We still plan on regular gameplay updates, and will continue to experiment with ways to make Heroes a better game, so you can count on that still happening. In the future, we want to take a bit more time and release updates only when we feel they are in a more polished state, and we want to give the members of the Development Team the freedom to explore certain longstanding issues that we think are important to the community. For example, we’re considering large updates to maps that we feel could use some design improvements.
      As always, thank you for taking the time to read through our thoughts, and for the years playing this game, which we love so much, alongside us. We’ll see you… in the Nexus!
    • By Stan
      The Heroes team will be hosting their next AMA and answer your questions on Thursday, July 16. Feel free to submit your questions here in the meantime. We will be back with a recap as usual.
      (Source)
      Greetings, Heroes!
      We’re going to host our next AMA on Thursday, July 16, 2020, PDT.
      The following Heroes developers will join the thread and answer your questions starting around 10:00 a.m. PDT (7:00 p.m. CET) until 12:00 p.m. PDT (9:00 p.m. CET).
      Adam Z. Jackson (/u/BlizzAZJackson) Andrew Kinabrew (/u/Blizz_KinaBREW) Brett Crawford (/u/Blizz_Daybringer) David P Warner (/u/Blizz_DWarner) Dorothy Sheng (/u/BlizzDorothy) Joshua Kofalt – (/u/BlizzKofalt) Kaeo Milker (/u/KaeoMilker) Kevin Gu (/u/BlizzKGu) Kyle Dates (/u/BlizzKyle) Sergey Morozov (/u/Blizz_SMorozov) Taylor Hankins (/u/Blizz_Hankins) When posting multiple AMA questions: Please make an effort to post one question per comment. This will make it easier for others to read through the thread, and will help the developers focus on one question at a time. However, please feel free to comment as many times as you'd like in order to get your questions posted.
      You can start posting your questions right now, and we'll see you on Thursday!
    • By Oxygen
      Our thirtieth Heroes of the Storm Meta Tier list for June 2020 is here!
      The latest meta tier list for June 2020 is here!
      Welcome to another Icy Veins's Meta Tier List for the June 3 patch. The goal 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).
      A new format, soon™
      First off: sorry for taking so long to update the list. We're in the final stage of a complete (and overdue) redesign of our tier lists. While I can't say for sure when we'll be showcasing it, it'll make both the updating process and your browsing experience that much better. In the meantime, I've restricted the class system to the system used in-game so as to reduce confusion. Stay tuned!
      Current ranked mode map rotation
      Current anomaly
      A Call For Help!. For more information about this Anomaly, simply refer to our Anomaly guide.
       

      S-tier Tank Bruiser Ranged Assassin Melee Assassin Healer Support E.T.C.   Cassia       Johanna   Mephisto        

      High-tier Tank Bruiser Ranged Assassin Melee Assassin Healer Support Blaze Sonya Falstad Ragnaros Deckard Abathur Garrosh Xul Fenix Samuro Lùcio   Mal'Ganis Yrel Greymane Thrall Rehgar       Jaina   Stukov       Kael'thas   Whitemane       Raynor           Sylvanas           Tassadar           Tracer        

      Mid-tier Tank Bruiser Ranged Assassin Melee Assassin Healer Support Arthas Artanis Azmodan Alarak Alexstrasza Zarya Anub'arak Chen Chromie Gazlowe Ana   Diablo Deathwing Hanzo Kerrigan Anduin   Muradin Dehaka Kel'Thuzad Maiev Auriel   Varian (Taunt) Leoric Li-Ming Qhira Brightwing     Malthael Lunara Zeratul Lt. Morales     Varian (Blades) Nazeebo   Malfurion     Varian (Smash) Orphea   Tyrande       Sgt. Hammer   Uther       Tychus           Valla           Zagara           Zul'jin        

      Low-tier Tank Bruiser Ranged Assassin Melee Assassin Healer Support Cho D.Va Gall Illidan Kharazim Medivh Stitches Rexxar Genji Murky   TLV Tyrael   Nova The Butcher         Probius Valeera    
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