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Ana Meta Tier List (September 2017)

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We present our eleventh Heroes of the Storm Meta Tier List for the Ana patch of September 2017.

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

Current map rotation

 

Battlefield of Eternity
Cursed Hollow
Dragon Shire
Haunted Mines
Infernal Shrines
Tomb of the Spider Queen
Towers of Doom
Volskaya Foundry
Warhead Junction

 

Prime Tier

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

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
Dehaka Falstad Brightwing Nazeebo+
Diablo Jaina Stukov Sylvanas
E.T.C.+ Li-Ming Malfurion Xul
Garrosh Valla    
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 Ana (new!) Abathur
Chen Cassia Auriel Azmodan
D.Va Chromie Kharazim Murky
Johanna Gul'dan Li Li Probius
Leoric Illidan Lt. Morales+ Zagara
Muradin Kael'thas Lúcio+  
Tyrael Kerrigan Rehgar-  
Zarya Lunara Tyrande+  
  Ragnaros    
  The Butcher    
  Tracer    
  Zul'jin    
  Kel'Thuzad    

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 Nova   Medivh
  Raynor   Sgt. Hammer
  Samuro    
  Valeera    
  Thrall    
  Tychus    
  Varian (Damage)    

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

Ana epitomizes the double healer meta we have been sufering playing with for the last few months, as I feel she is not designed to be a solo healer. Being unable to heal oneself is a pretty big downside, Biotic GrenadeBiotic Grenade just really promotes the double healer playstyle, and the ability happens to counter it a bit itself. Nano BoostNano Boost is like a good Stim DroneStim Drone (sorry, Morales) on a shorter cooldown and really shines with some of the top tier picks, particularly Genji, Li-Ming, Malthael, Sonya, and Nazeebo. Unfortunately, it follows the annoying trend of healer heroic abilities being unable to be self cast. Basically, this means Ana is a solid pick with another healer, and with a strong Nano Boost target. Viable.

Dehaka's damage was recently reduced by the exact threshold that would make him unable to waveclear effectively in the early stages of the game, greatly reducing his ability to split push and outpush some of the other popular solo laners. This damage loss also has repercussions in his ability to really punish isolated heroes with BrushstalkerBrushstalker's movement speed bonus. Dehaka's ability set makes him thrive with an experience lead, so the nerfs will certainly be felt on Zerus.

Brightwing received the ''combine two bad talents into one'' treatment for Dream ShotDream Shot, (which still probably won't be picked over the improved Hyper ShiftHyper Shift) on top of some quite powerful buffs to her ever-popular Phase ShiftPhase Shift build. With Dehaka becoming less powerful, having a global hero that can clear creep turmors as a bonus is certainly appealing. She's in fact currently the healer with the highest win rate, though she, as with most other healers, feels quite balanced.

Leoric's changes proved interesting, but ultimately not powerful enough to keep him up to the higher tiers. He still sits at a very balanced exact 50% win rate, and will continue to guard his eternal niche of countering tank-heavy team compositions.

Kerrigan is the surprise of the month for me, despite a recent small damage shift towards her Primal GraspPrimal Grasp Impaling BladesImpaling Blades combo, and away from EviscerateEviscerate. This translated into slightly better mercenary camp control and burst waveclear, and, of course, a lot more damage for players who can reliably land the combo against two or more players. The way Kerrigan's shields works makes small changes snowball rather quickly in terms of her power level.

Auriel's best talent (arguably, anyway), Bursting Light, was outright removed. In essence, the talent removed the cooldown of her heal and gated it only behind as much damage as her Bestow HopeBestow Hope target could inflict, though her general hope generation was improved by about 20% to make up for that. Blizzard justified the change by saying she was too reliant upon hypercarries to reach her true potential (read: was probably too strong). This is a rather strange change considering late design decisions have been aimed at specializing heroes, and particularly, healers. Expectedly, her win rate and popularity have plummeted.

Rehgar was just slammed with one of the strangest and least expected changes I have ever seen. In essence, Chain HealChain Heal now heals its main target for approximately 25% less, but provides about 25% more healing to its second and third target. While this can technically provide more overall healing, we can't forget the role of healers in, well, saving individual targets from death. This also makes spot healing less effective in general. The ability's range was also reduced by 20% (about 12% for bounces) for good measure as well. It is also worth noting that Ghost WolfGhost Wolf is also bugged right now and no longer pounces to its target. Either way, I feel like the Chain Heal changes are a nerf, not a sidegrade.

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I've seen Kael'thas rising in popularity recently (HGC). And yeah, poor Rehgar; Stukov just has a much better version of Chain Heal. Only for Ancestral he may get picked (or some crazy Archon Bloodlust strats teehee).

Do you guys think that with all of them Overwatch Heroes coming, the game's in danger of becoming trapped in an "OW meta"? The mobility that characterises them (fire on the move etc), only exception being Zarya(?), seems much frustrating to play against and giving an unfair advantage (stronger than Lunara's) And Genji probably didn't convince anyone as a strong assassin at first, but with the right enabling, we all saw the horrors.

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How is Tyrael viable? He's only use is in a dive composition and even then only as a second tank. I'd say he's niche tier, at least for the time being.

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4 hours ago, Fliits said:

How is Tyrael viable? He's only use is in a dive composition and even then only as a second tank. I'd say he's niche tier, at least for the time being.

I'm inclined to agree, even if I think he's good. He's hard to use for sure, esp. in uncoordinated play.

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Ana is indeed in the right spot. While she can be used as a solo healer in the likes of QM with the Biotic Grenade build (which is arguably her best build), she just performs much better with another healer; Stukov/Auriel/Lucio are particularly very good with her.

And oh boy, Malthael is a beast with her. Tormented Souls + Nano Infusion + Biotic Grenade is godlike.

I  have a question, though. Does Tassadar's basic attacks become spell damage while in Archon? I've ran a match with a Tassadar yesterday and accidentally Nano Boosted him, and for my surprise he appeared to be dealing way more damage.

Edited by Valhalen

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5 hours ago, SteveFrost said:

in danger of becoming trapped in an "OW meta"? The mobility that characterises them (fire on the move etc), only exception being Zarya(?), seems much frustrating to play against and giving an unfair advantage (stronger than Lunara's) And Genji probably didn't convince anyone as a strong assassin at first, but with the right enabling, we all saw the horrors.

Yeah, this is a legit fear. Mobility is ALWAYS king in a MOBA. Ana seems to have locked the double support meta to stay, and junk rat splash/wave clear possibility is terrifying. Obviously they won't be completely overwatch heroes, but they carry a lot of weight in the early pick/ban phase.

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22 minutes ago, Laragon said:

Yeah, this is a legit fear. Mobility is ALWAYS king in a MOBA. Ana seems to have locked the double support meta to stay, and junk rat splash/wave clear possibility is terrifying. Obviously they won't be completely overwatch heroes, but they carry a lot of weight in the early pick/ban phase.

Mobility creep also makes older  designs obsolete as a lame side effect. Yes, it's fun to jump around, but when everyone does, positioning and flanking lose so much value. "I isolated genji/tracer" = a thing you'll never hear.

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4 hours ago, Laragon said:

Yeah, this is a legit fear. Mobility is ALWAYS king in a MOBA. Ana seems to have locked the double support meta to stay, and junk rat splash/wave clear possibility is terrifying. Obviously they won't be completely overwatch heroes, but they carry a lot of weight in the early pick/ban phase.

 

4 hours ago, Oxygen said:

Mobility creep also makes older  designs obsolete as a lame side effect. Yes, it's fun to jump around, but when everyone does, positioning and flanking lose so much value. "I isolated genji/tracer" = a thing you'll never hear.

But HotS isn't a MOBA, it is a Hero Brawler :^)

And that's just the tip of the iceberg imho. While the OW roster may currently lack a reliable, decent solo tank (Zarya/D.Va can't fill that role imho- or maybe they can, but still, can't tank a whole lot), imagine when Reinhardt/Winston/Roadhog(ewwwww) join. I'm willing to bet they'll all be S tier tanks from the get go (if they stay true to their OW design and thusfar, everyone has). Or stuff like Reaper's ult (for which he can use his blink and wraith walk abilities to position perfectly) and so many more. Holy Mother of God...

10 hours ago, Fliits said:

How is Tyrael viable? He's only use is in a dive composition and even then only as a second tank. I'd say he's niche tier, at least for the time being.

I'm positive he gets picked only for his Heroics, both of which are very good and can make the difference (and Holy Ground, but mostly for the Heroics). The rest... just meh.

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31 minutes ago, SteveFrost said:

And that's just the tip of the iceberg imho. While the OW roster may currently lack a reliable, decent solo tank (Zarya/D.Va can't fill that role imho- or maybe they can, but still, can't tank a whole lot), imagine when Reinhardt/Winston/Roadhog(ewwwww) join. I'm willing to bet they'll all be S tier tanks from the get go (if they stay true to their OW design and thusfar, everyone has). Or stuff like Reaper's ult (for which he can use his blink and wraith walk abilities to position perfectly) and so many more. Holy Mother of God...

I highly doubt Roadhog will ever be added to HotS, since he is pretty much Stitches. I can see him as a skin for Stitches, just like the Widowmaker Nova skin.

Winston or Reinhardt, on the other hand, would be very welcome additions to the roster.

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24 minutes ago, Valhalen said:

I highly doubt Roadhog will ever be added to HotS, since he is pretty much Stitches. I can see him as a skin for Stitches, just like the Widowmaker Nova skin.

Winston or Reinhardt, on the other hand, would be very welcome additions to the roster.

I feared that as well, but I delved too deep on the matter and saw a multitude of comments in various places. The "other side of the story" is that skins like that don't necessarily rule out the coming of other Heroes. For example, we got Azgul'dan and Gul'dan. And Widowmaker Nova is stated as "Nova cosplaying as Widowmaker", so that presumably leaves a window- and I believe it does. They're both female (hawt) snipers, ok. But the similarities end there. Nova doesn't have poison mines and grappling hooks. Widow doesn't go invis or make clones of herself and so on. Like you got Jimmy and Tychus (I love how they use the first name for one and last name for the other lul), both in a Marine suit but they play entirely differently. I don't think anyone befalls the "Muradin-Magni" category.

Same with Roadhog. Personally, I'd be glad if he didn't make it (cause my guts hate him), just mentioned him as an example of powerful ('meta') front-line.

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43 minutes ago, SteveFrost said:

I feared that as well, but I delved too deep on the matter and saw a multitude of comments in various places. The "other side of the story" is that skins like that don't necessarily rule out the coming of other Heroes. For example, we got Azgul'dan and Gul'dan. And Widowmaker Nova is stated as "Nova cosplaying as Widowmaker", so that presumably leaves a window- and I believe it does. They're both female (hawt) snipers, ok. But the similarities end there. Nova doesn't have poison mines and grappling hooks. Widow doesn't go invis or make clones of herself and so on. Like you got Jimmy and Tychus (I love how they use the first name for one and last name for the other lul), both in a Marine suit but they play entirely differently. I don't think anyone befalls the "Muradin-Magni" category.

Same with Roadhog. Personally, I'd be glad if he didn't make it (cause my guts hate him), just mentioned him as an example of powerful ('meta') front-line.

I completely agree with you. I keep saying that all the time, specially since I really wanna see Broll Bearmantle added into HotS but people keep saying it will never happen because Malfurion already has the Stormmantle skin, which is based on Broll.

My point is: I think we won't see Roadhog playable because his moveset wouldn't be very different from Stitches (Hook, self heal, etc).

Edited by Valhalen

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This time i completely agree to the list, with one exception. 

I don't see Tychus anywhere. The reason I looked for him was that with the recent changes to vehicles now being unstoppable. I feel like he and other % based damage dealers might rise in popularity again, since without the ability to cc the vehicles at all, they have become a lot more scary imo and the best way to counter them is % based damage.

Nazeebo is getting more and more popular and so is his toad-build, wich can deal an incredible damage vs those big hitboxes the and piloted objectives provide. So the + is definitely justified. 

 Tyrael is also where he should be. I can't play him and even if every other tank would be banned I would stil hesitate to take him, but that is just cause I can't play him. Seeing him played by good players in games, streams or videos I can understand how powerful and versatile he is. 

The changes on Rehgar seem to really hit him hard in game. Without the ability to prioritise a target for the heals he is just an aoe healer (apart from his ult of course) but not as good at that as other aoe healers (like Stukov, Brightwing or even Lúcio). Really feel like he should get a rework that makes it possible for him to be the aggressive frontline healer I feel he should/could be. 

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26 minutes ago, ecO1 said:

This time i completely agree to the list, with one exception. 

I don't see Tychus anywhere. The reason I looked for him was that with the recent changes to vehicles now being unstoppable. I feel like he and other % based damage dealers might rise in popularity again, since without the ability to cc the vehicles at all, they have become a lot more scary imo and the best way to counter them is % based damage.

Nazeebo is getting more and more popular and so is his toad-build, wich can deal an incredible damage vs those big hitboxes the and piloted objectives provide. So the + is definitely justified. 

 Tyrael is also where he should be. I can't play him and even if every other tank would be banned I would stil hesitate to take him, but that is just cause I can't play him. Seeing him played by good players in games, streams or videos I can understand how powerful and versatile he is. 

The changes on Rehgar seem to really hit him hard in game. Without the ability to prioritise a target for the heals he is just an aoe healer (apart from his ult of course) but not as good at that as other aoe healers (like Stukov, Brightwing or even Lúcio). Really feel like he should get a rework that makes it possible for him to be the aggressive frontline healer I feel he should/could be. 

I think Tychus hasn't been good since his range nerf. He didn't get anything in return; he's not even great against what he's supposed to counter... due to the low range. How do you attack tanks without getting yanked or stunned? Anyway, yes at the rest. Rehgar is in a really weird spot, and I don't like it.

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12 hours ago, Oxygen said:

I think Tychus hasn't been good since his range nerf. He didn't get anything in return; he's not even great against what he's supposed to counter... due to the low range. How do you attack tanks without getting yanked or stunned? Anyway, yes at the rest. Rehgar is in a really weird spot, and I don't like it.

I completely agree. Tychus is a very niche-nichy spot where there is absolutely no reason to pick him, as Malthael can do everything he can, but way better due the absurdly high self-sustain, plus his insane synergy with Ana's Nano BoostNano Boost.

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It's worth noting that Nanoboost is still awaiting for a fix so that it correctly increases the healing done by the target; would make it a much more impactful tool to give to a tank and, as you say, help cement her place in a double support comp. 

I personally enjoy her more with a double front line, one mobile assassin and a mage or in betweener, but the positional requirements are unforgiving and you must be consistently landing those Q's as much as you can. 

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11 minutes ago, Plergoth said:

I personally enjoy her more with a double front line, one mobile assassin and a mage or in betweener, but the positional requirements are unforgiving and you must be consistently landing those Q's as much as you can. 

A team I have been testing with some friends: Garrosh, Malthael, Kel'Thuzad, Stukov, Ana (I'm usually the Ana, using the Biotic Grenade build).

It is quite effective as Garrosh and Malthael both have high self-sustain, and get higher value from the Biotic Grenade buff. And as I mentioned in the Ana thread, Malthael can melt the entire enemy team with a combination of Nano BoostNano Boost (plus Nano InfusionNano Infusion) and Tormented SoulsTormented Souls. It is amazing.

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Its a bit annoying when they introduce high mobility heroes with some cc focused characters. Most of mages cant land simple hit. Genji for example can easily counter Kael both ult by simply rushing out of Phoenix and deflecting pyro. Tracer is same situation. Ofc its not only Kael but also KTD, Jaina, Li and rest ofc mages/specialists. Sadly new heroes outmatch most of old ones and some more reworks would be welcome.

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20 hours ago, Valhalen said:

I completely agree with you. I keep saying that all the time, specially since I really wanna see Broll Bearmantle added into HotS but people keep saying it will never happen because Malfurion already has the Stormmantle skin, which is based on Broll.

My point is: I think we won't see Roadhog playable because his moveset wouldn't be very different from Stitches (Hook, self heal, etc).

Imho, Druids can be Multiclass so yeah, wouldn't say he'd just be a Malfurion skin. 

In HoN (Heroes of Newerth), there are at least 3 different Heroes who can hook (last time I checked); Devourer (classic, Pudge port), Gauntlet (hardest to execute, can either pull enemy towards him or himself towards enemy) and Prisoner 945 (can pull multiple people with 1 hook, even a 5-man); as iconic and signature an ability can look, it can certainly fit in more than one unique Heroes. And one thing I like about HotS is that the characters feel really unique gameplay wise (which is something hard to achieve in the genre). Not trying to argue or anything, just sayin' :3

19 hours ago, ecO1 said:

Tychus

I think he's gonna raise too. Apart from the Vehicles thing, the multiple Warrior comps seem as prevalent as ever (I've been seeing double support double warrior single assassin many games) and imho, he feels like a safer Malthael and both his Heroics can be helpful (Odin seems to dominate because it can be strong for teamfights/objective control/sieging or combination of those but Drakken Laser can have its uses too). And Malth has been hit with the nerfhammer quite a bit (he still seems popular though not as much as before)

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On 4.10.2017 at 12:52 AM, Oxygen said:

I think Tychus hasn't been good since his range nerf. He didn't get anything in return; he's not even great against what he's supposed to counter... due to the low range. How do you attack tanks without getting yanked or stunned?

Tychus was my main HL hero pre nerf and I can see that he struggles since the changes. I stil feel like he has got a spot in the game (also in my heart ;) and though atm he might be niche I see some potential for him to rise again. But that will remain to be seen I guess.

On 4.10.2017 at 1:14 PM, Valhalen said:

I completely agree. Tychus is a very niche-nichy spot where there is absolutely no reason to pick him, as Malthael can do everything he can, but way better due the absurdly high self-sustain, plus his insane synergy with Ana's Nano BoostNano Boost.

I feel like Malthael has the same problems as Tychus. Getting cced and burst down wich in the meta current meta can easily happen. If only one of these aspects or even none is given as he, maybe is picked later into a draft, I feel he is extremely hard to deal with and it can feel like he is unkillable. But that is the reason he is prime tier and Tychus, at least imo, could get up to viable.

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9 hours ago, ecO1 said:

Tychus was my main HL hero pre nerf and I can see that he struggles since the changes. I stil feel like he has got a spot in the game (also in my heart ;) and though atm he might be niche I see some potential for him to rise again. But that will remain to be seen I guess.

I feel like Malthael has the same problems as Tychus. Getting cced and burst down wich in the meta current meta can easily happen. If only one of these aspects or even none is given as he, maybe is picked later into a draft, I feel he is extremely hard to deal with and it can feel like he is unkillable. But that is the reason he is prime tier and Tychus, at least imo, could get up to viable.

Both Tychus and Malthael require a solid frontline and crowd control chains to dish out their tank buster damage. Tychus is in a harder spot because he has no self-sustain unless when talented, and he lacks the somewhat high mobility that Malthael has. However, both of Tychus Heroics can win team fights if properly timed/used. He can deal very high damage under the effects of Nano BoostNano Boost during his Commandeer OdinCommandeer Odin.

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I think ETC is very deserving of his +. His popularity in all modes and leagues has skyrocketed. His survivability is very impressive, and he can shrug off a lot of poke damage he might receive. In addition, he has great means on locking enemies down and knocking them out of position. Mosh Pit is undeniably one of the strongest heroics in the game, provided the enemy has little means of interrupting it, or if you use it one those enemies that might do so. Especially if your team can follow up, Mosh Pit can easily dominate a team fight and can be the difference between a win and a loss.

On the other hand, I would argue that Garrosh is easily top tier, or at least deserving of a +. He might have no mobility, but his sustain and survivability are very good. He also has a great deal of utility, able to throw an enemy in a dangerous position, often meaning death if your team has any sort of follow-ups. His Groundbreaker and Wrecking Ball combo can be quite unpredictable as well, and can easily and utterly destroy an enemy if it takes them by surprise. He also has an exceptionally high amount of bans in all modes and leagues, as well as a large amount of picks. I personally find him to be meta defining and a match dictating hero. 

Edited by Maxkitty

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On 10/13/2017 at 6:13 PM, Maxkitty said:

I think ETC is very deserving of his +. His popularity in all modes and leagues has skyrocketed. His survivability is very impressive, and he can shrug off a lot of poke damage he might receive. In addition, he has great means on locking enemies down and knocking them out of position. Mosh Pit is undeniably one of the strongest heroics in the game, provided the enemy has little means of interrupting it, or if you use it one those enemies that might do so. Especially if your team can follow up, Mosh Pit can easily dominate a team fight and can be the difference between a win and a loss.

On the other hand, I would argue that Garrosh is easily top tier, or at least deserving of a +. He might have no mobility, but his sustain and survivability are very good. He also has a great deal of utility, able to throw an enemy in a dangerous position, often meaning death if your team has any sort of follow-ups. His Groundbreaker and Wrecking Ball combo can be quite unpredictable as well, and can easily and utterly destroy an enemy if it takes them by surprise. He also has an exceptionally high amount of bans in all modes and leagues, as well as a large amount of picks. I personally find him to be meta defining and a match dictating hero. 

I'm inclined to agree. Tanks have been in a pretty interesting position as of lately.

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22 hours ago, Oxygen said:

I'm inclined to agree. Tanks have been in a pretty interesting position as of lately.

Definitely they are. I think Blizzard reached a very good balance with all the Tanks / Bruisers right now (maybe except for Cho'gall, he still thrives to find his place in the meta). Look at Arthas, who was considered one of the worst in the game, but now is at a Top Tier position. Another Warrior that will always have a huge impact in the metagame is Dehaka; even though he was hit hard with some nerfs, he still has huge damage, utility and survivability to bring to the table.

Also, now that Ana's inclusion means that the Double Support meta is here to stay, tanks with self-sustain can be even harder to take down thanks to Biotic Grenade further improving their healing (Dehaka, Stitches and Garrosh particularly).

Edited by Valhalen
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      Part One: Map Pressure & Camp Timings Part Two: Boss Control Part Three: How to Recover from a Lost Fight Part Four: Pressing Your Advantage Blizzard (Source)
      No Worries, We’re Scaling
      It’s Midgame Moves week for Heroes of the Storm! It’s time to continue theeducational content series that kicked off 2018 featuring some of the smartest personalities in the scene. Midgame Moves is focused on the meaty middle portion of a competitive match. We’ve touched on map pressure, boss control,recovering from a lost team fight, and pushing your advantage. Today we will learn about scaling!
      What is scaling? The basic concept is that, as a game of Heroes of the Storm progresses, Heroes on both sides of the Battlefield grow stronger. It may sound simple, but it is actually quite complicated. Thankfully, Fnatic’s Warrior player Pontus "Breez" Sjögren will be your guide to scaling (with style).
      Understand Your Power Spike
      “The midgame starts at Level 10,” Breez says. “It ends at Level 16 because that is when you have all your basic talents and you can play your Hero to its full potential.”
      Knowing when your Hero has come online is of paramount importance, especially for a Warrior player like Breez who spends most of his time on the Battlefield in the thick of things. “Try and learn at least the basic ability of every Hero,” he says. “When you want to take it to the next level, you really must know the talents—at least the important ones. You should do your best to know what talents could come into the game and change things.” 
      Utilizing Displacement
      At Level 16, you must be aware of which Heroes excel in the late game. “I only really know stuff about my role,” said Breez. “I do know you will get punished for only picking Heroes that are weak in the early game but strong in the later stages. That being said, good late-game Heroes would be like Diablo, Muradin, Tracer, Jaina, and Tychus. They are all very strong beyond Level 16.”
      Which Battlegrounds would these Heroes with late-game power spikes be considered the strongest on? “Thanks to the Tower experience changes that came after the HGC Finals, most maps do not snowball anymore,” said Breez. “Anyway, it's the maps that are least likely to snowball where you will want to pick these late-game scaling Heroes. Good Battlegrounds for these Heroes would be like Towers of Doom, Cursed Hollow, and Dragon Shire.”
      What About Volskaya?
      “In the professional meta, getting the first Protector Mech on Volskaya Foundry is fairly important. Usually if you get the first robot, you just can get the fort or multiple towers easily. It is a little easier to get an early lead on Volskaya if you know what you are doing!”
      It’s not just about knowing what your power spike is, or when the enemy team picks up talents like Icy Veins and Get Stuffed. Passively keeping track of player quests also will give you a competitive edge. “You have to be aware of when Gul'dan is landing his Corruption and when he finishes his Level 1 quest. It happens often that instantly when he finishes his quest people aren't aware of it and he just melts people.”
      Regeneration Globe quests have been buffed across the board thanks to the same gameplay update that Breez referenced above. As such, Breez says, "If you have a stronger early game and you can get two globes from every wave, you can be done with the globe quest incredibly fast now. That is a good example of something that people don't really think about in pro play—if you can just get 30 Globes on Stitches or whoever super early, then that Hero is going to be very hard to kill for the rest of the game.”
      Keep Tabs with Tab
        Make a habit of checking everyone's Talents and Quest progression on the Leader Panel throughout the game. How is someone to supposed to keep track of all this information?! “Click tab,” says Breez. “Click tab more! Keep track of the talents that are being picked, see what is working and what is not working for other Heroes other than yourself. Check to see what Heroics the enemy team takes as soon as they hit Level 10.” 
      Hopefully you’ll heed Breez’s advice next time you hit that Ready button! Be sure to check out the Heroes of the Storm website for more information on Hero roles and Battlegrounds and scope the new Hero page right here at playheroes.com/esports for an inside look at the professional meta. We will return with Endgame Moves later this year!
    • By Stan
      Quite a few interesting items will be on sale next week. You can buy the entire Farstrider Hanzo Skin Pack for the first time and the Ripper Mount will become purchasable for 10,000 Gold through August 20.
      Blizzard (Source)
      Heroic Deals: July 24 – July 30, 2018 
      Our next set of Heroic Deals will begin on Tuesday, July 24! Check out the list of upcoming featured items and Hero discounts below. Upcoming Hero Sales
      Artanis — Sale Price: 312 gems Hanzo — Sale Price: 375 Gems The following skins and mounts will be added to the featured item rotation and will become purchasable with gems until this round of Heroic Deals comes to an end:
      Upcoming Featured Skins
      Farstrider Hanzo Skin Pack* Stealth Mecha Dehaka Scarlet Dream Genie Chromie Citrine Knight Owl Medivh Death Knight Sonya Upcoming Featured Mounts
      Brown Dire Wolf Amber Spectre Phantom Drakkari War Bear * First time featured item!
      Gold Mounts
      The following Gold Mount changes will take place once this week’s round of Heroic Deals begins: Ripper Mount — Will become purchasable for 10,000 gold through August 20. Piggy Bank — Will no longer be purchasable in the Collection.
    • By Stan
      Silver City is a single-lane map with shuffle pick, standard play and the first team to destroy the enemy Core wins. Complete three matches to receive a Loot Chest.
      Blizzard (Source)
      This week’s Heroes Brawl is Silver City! Battle against the enemy team on this single-lane Battleground featuring a familiar design straight out of the High Heavens, Mercenary Camps ready to be swayed to your team’s favor, and tons of action. Queue up, choose your hero, and try your best to send the enemy team to the Burning Hells!
      Rules:
      Shuffle pick - Choose from one of three Heroes before entering the battle. Standard play - no talent or level restrictions. The first team to destroy the enemy Core wins! Rewards:
      Complete three matches of the Silver City Brawl to earn a Loot Chest! Find out more about the Heroes Brawl game mode on our Heroes Brawl site; and as always, you can find more information on this week’s Brawl by clicking the Brawl Info button at the bottom of the play screen when preparing to queue for the Brawl game mode.
    • By Stan
      Team Octalysis' flex player Francisco "Goku" Avalos talks about how to make the best use of your time while the enemy team's dead in the fourth installment of Midgame Moves.
      Midgame Moves
      Part One: Map Pressure & Camp Timings Part Two: Boss Control Part Three: How to Recover from a Lost Fight Blizzard (Source)
      How to Push Your Advantage to the Max
      It’s Midgame Moves week for Heroes of the Storm! It’s time to continue the educational content series that kicked off 2018 featuring some of the smartest personalities in the scene. Midgame Moves is focused on the meaty middle portion of a competitive game! We’ve touched on map pressure, boss control, and recovering from a lost team fight. Today, we will learn about how best to press your advantage.
      You’ve successfully navigated a team fight and there are multiple Heroes dead on the enemy team now. What is the best use of your time while those enemy death timers tick down? Team Octalysis’ flex player Francisco "Goku" Avalos is on hand to help you understand how best to further your lead.
      Take Everything in Close Proximity
      Pushing your advantage is entirely dependent on the situation you find yourself in. Usually, the best call is to push a nearby structure, but if the fight ended on top of a camp it will only take a few moments of your time to capture that as well. Perhaps splitting the team up and clearing waves to get ahead in soak is the best call. There are multiple considerations, and time is of the essence.
      “The amount of travel time is very important,” Goku said. “If you're top and you win a fight, it's not worth it to travel all the way down to take camps on bottom. [The other team will] be back up soon, and they might be able to defend against you. You usually want to take whatever you're close to after you've won the fight—it’s best to press your advantage wherever you're at.”
      Experience leads come and go, lanes get pushed back and forth, and dead players respawn—remember that structure damage is permanent (unless you’re playing against an Abathur with M.U.L.E). Taking a structure after winning a fight typically yields far more value than doing a Mercenary camp.
      “I think a lot of people make the mistake of doing camps just for the sake of doing camps,” said Goku. “Ask yourself what you can do with a camp when you take it. Try and play in the mindset of a 6v5, your Mercenary camp is another player slowly pushing in.”
      Avoid Wasting Time
      There are a few common traps that players fall into once they feel like it’s time to capitalize on their winning position in the game. The first would be assuming that an early game objective is going to set you up for success.
      “If you complete the objective very early, most of the time it's not going to get much done,” said Goku. “The first set of Web Weavers on Tomb of the Spider Queen are very easy to clear, and an early Curse on Cursed Hollow isn’t that impactful. A good rule of thumb is to just try to obtain as much soak as possible after you've taken an early objective. Then you're setting yourself up for the next team fight, and it becomes more difficult for the enemy team to bounce back.”
      The second mistake Goku points to is the immediate call to do a Boss after a fight has been won. This commonly happens on Sky Temple after the level 10 fight on bottom Temple. “I think it's like a 7- to 8-minute Boss at that point, which doesn't do much,” said Goku. “It's just way better to push bottom or middle lane. You can also take their Siege camp instead.”
      Set Yourself Up for The Next Fight
      When you’ve won a fight, do whatever you can to bolster your odds of winning the next fight. If that means taking an enemy Well near a future objective spawn or stealing a camp to deny your opponents a way back into the game, remember that the last fight is inevitably the only one that truly matters.
      It’s best to not get overly ambitious with shot calling in these situations. “If their death timers are around 40 seconds and you still must go through a Fort and a Keep, then it's better to play around the map and try to get a level advantage for the next fight instead. If you're close to their Keep and you have most of your team alive then it's probably best to push,” said Goku.
      How do you know if it’s safe to push or not? “Ask yourself: Who on the enemy team is still alive? For example, if a mage is still up and they still have a Support—that is still a solid defense," said Goku. "But if it's a Warrior or an off-laner, then that's easily your best chance to try and push or end the game.”
      Snowstorm
      “The best Hero for 'snowballing' would be Jaina in my opinion,” said Goku. “The burst she provides demands a constant response from the enemy team. if she gets a level lead it's even more devastating what she’s capable of. Being a talent tier down on Jaina doesn't feel quite as good but you can comeback—one good Ring of Frost or one decent flank can turn the game around.”
      Now that you understand the basics and some of the common mistakes players make when attempting to retain their lead, hopefully you’ll find yourself prepped and ready for the next team fight after winning the last one. Midgame Moves Week continues tomorrow with a guide to scaling featuring Fnatic’s Warrior player Pontus "Breez" Sjögren.
    • By Stan
      In the third installment of Midgame Moves, Team Dignitas' Vilhelm “POILK” Flennmark details how to recover from a lost battle and get back into the game.
      Midgame Moves
      Part One: Map Pressure & Camp Timings Part Two: Boss Control Blizzard (Source)
      How to Recover from a Lost Team Fight
      It’s Midgame Moves week for Heroes of the Storm! It’s time to continue theeducational content series that kicked off 2018 featuring some of the smartest personalities in the scene, now focusing on the meaty middle portion of a competitive game. On day one we explored map pressure and mercenary camp timings, while yesterday we emphasized boss control. Today, we learn about safe rotations and trade pushing!
      You’ve just lost a team fight and things are looking bleak; something needs to change to turn the tides. Team Dignitas’ Vilhelm “POILK” Flennmark is on hand to help you navigate to victory from the backfoot.
      Attitude is Everything
      “You should focus on what you can do, instead of what has happened,” said POILK. “You can’t change what has happened and what set you back, but you can look for things to do that will help you get back into the game.”
      Do your best to be a part of the solution when it comes to mounting a comeback. “Instead of having that little argument in chat, talk about what you can do instead,” he added.
      Playing Safe is the Only Option
      Soaking experience is of paramount importance—it’s the only way you’ll return to even footing. To ensure that you aren’t staggering more deaths in the process, watch your pathing between lanes. “If you know where the enemy is then there is no problem taking the aggressive path between lanes,” POILK said. “It's when you don't know where they are that you should fear doing aggressive rotations because they could very likely be hiding in that bush between the lanes.”
      It’s common for teams to set up with the intention of pouncing on any enemy Hero that walks by. “If you're leading on Cursed Hollow, you can take the aggressive rotation from middle to bottom where you pass the bush. I would recommend checking bushes with spells. If you’re behind, you can dodge the bush completely by taking a less direct route.”
      Stop the Bleeding, Start the Trade Push
      Before course-correcting a game gone sideways, you must stop the bleeding. “If something goes wrong and the fight starts badly, you just want to back off and avoid losing more people,” POILK said. “You always want to gain something in exchange for losing the objective, even if it's just catching some soak from waves.”
      Enter ‘trade pushing’. A trade push is essentially giving up the objective on purpose in exchange for making progress elsewhere on the map. “Trade pushing during an objective you can't contest is a key part of returning to even footing,” POILK said.
      To understand trade push, you must first comprehend the cardinal rule. “Soaking experience is the most important part of Heroes of the Storm, especially in the early and midgame,” POILK said. “If your opponent commits five people to do the middle Shrine but you get soak and structures on both top and bottom, that is a lot of experience gained. After level 20, soak is not that important.”
      Structures are not Everything
      Only one team is destined to destroy the Core, but there will be several small windows in which your team can safely soak and siege without fear. “The objectives don't really get super-strong until the late game,” POILK said. “The second Punisher on Infernal Shrines usually just gets a fort. With a coordinated team you could easily get a fort on your own with the amount of time the enemy team spends doing the objective.”
      The 'Rage Push' Play
      We covered the Hail Mary Boss play yesterday, but there is a dire play to be made in every situation. “A desperation play you'll see on Dragon Shire is where the team that is hopelessly behind will take the Siege Giants and bottom Knights to mount one last rage push. That’s what Team Dignitas calls it. You're hoping for a lucky pick and some structure damage to get back into the game that way. Sometimes just brute forcing is the best chance you'll have to get back in the game. Those circumstances are rare though.”
      Fighting for the objective is often the most straightforward path to victory, but when you’re trying to come from behind you want to minimize your exposure to the enemy team. "On Infernal Shrines, it is very common for the experience levels to be 13-12 when the second Shrine spawns,” POILK said. “For whatever reason the losing team always makes the mistake of forcing a fight during this. If the second Shrine spawns top, you want to hide from the map before pushing bottom lane with your minion wave. This forces the enemy team to choose between pushing with the Punisher and defending, which usually gives you enough time to catch up in levels.”
      Never Give Up; Never Surrender!
      Team Dignitas mounted a comeback of their own against Gen.G Esports in the grand finals of the Mid-Season Brawl. POILK recently played a pretty major role in a great example of running back a game that looked all but over. “Our shot calling is very good—we are always looking for a way back into any game we might be losing,” he said.
      In their match against Gen.G Esports on Towers of Doom, Team Dignitas did just that—patiently waiting for their Storm Tier Talents to even the playing field before wiping their Korean rivals. “I don't really remember what the coms were, but I know we weren't totally sure we could end. I said I could take bottom Fort, Wubby said he could do the Sappers, Zaelia said he could take mid Fort and Snitch was already on his way to top lane. It was like, everyone saw a thing they could do on their own. Everyone just knew exactly what they needed to do.”
      While you shouldn’t expect to have the same coordination as one of the best teams in the world, that’s inspiring nonetheless—and acts as a great segue into tomorrow’s Midgame Moves article on pushing your advantage to the max, featuring Francisco "Goku" Avalos from North America’s Team Octalysis!