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Junkrat Meta Tier List (October 2017)

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We present our twelfth Heroes of the Storm Meta Tier List for the Junkrat patch of October 2017.

Our twelfth Heroes of the Storm Meta Tier List for the month of October 2017 is here!

Welcome to Icy Veins's Meta Tier List for the Junkrat 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

 
  • Cursed Hollow
  • Dragon Shire
  • Haunted Mines
  • Tomb of the Spider Queen
  • Towers of Doom
  • Volskaya Foundry
  • Sky Temple
  • Garden of Terror
  • Braxis Holdout

 

Prime Tier

Warrior Assassin Support Specialist
Anub'arak- Genji Tassadar- Nazeebo
Arthas Greymane    
E.T.C. Malthael    
Garrosh      
       

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 Azmodan
Diablo Jaina Lúcio+ Sylvanas
Sonya+ Li-Ming Malfurion Xul
Stitches Valla Stukov-  
Varian (Tank) Zeratul Uther-  
    Lt. Morales  

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 Abathur
Chen Cassia Auriel Murky
D.Va Chromie Kharazim Probius-
Johanna Gul'dan Li Li Zagara+
Leoric Illidan Rehgar  
Muradin Kael'thas Tyrande  
Tyrael Kerrigan    
Zarya Lunara    
  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   Junkrat (new!)-
  Samuro   Sgt. Hammer
  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

Junkrat felt quite undertuned on the PTR, yet suffered little more but nerfs to what was arguably his best heroic ability option, Rocket Ride. You  may have noticed that I labeled him as a specialist, and that's because he feels like one. I can't stop drawing parallels between Gazlowe and him, which are limited sustained area of effect damage and zone control. Heck, Grav-O-Bomb 3000Grav-O-Bomb 3000 is just a RIP-Tire that pulls instead of knocking back, is it not? Junkrat's winrates are hovering around some 42% as it stands, making him one of the worst heroes in the game. On one hand, my PTR gut feeling seemed accurate. On the other hand, I think he's excessively difficult to play, but has potential, meaning that I think he will get a bit better over time, winrates-wise. Still, buffs are needed, and we're talking ~15-20% cooldown reductions and damage increases across the board. I would usually never dare suggest something as drastic, but Junkrat feels way off. Niche, probably bottom.

E.T.C. has finally ascended to metal godhood, potentially as a response to Garrosh's popularity, or possibly because healers can't really shred him off due to Guitar SoloGuitar Solo's near-infinite self-sustain and just enough basic attack damage to be threatening.

Garrosh is now the most popular (and banned) hero in the game. The way armor works in conjunction with healing makes him ridiculously hard to kill in this healer-heavy metagame, while one good Wrecking BallWrecking Ball is often enough to secure a kill, granted you're not throwing E.T.C. Warlord's ChallengeWarlord's Challenge also happens to be a pseudo Mosh PitMosh Pit that can't be interrupted and on a much shorter cooldown, which is really good for ripping kills away while healers can't... well, heal.

Nazeebo's late game power was recently redefined (read: improved), and GargantuanGargantuan is a nightmare to deal with when disengaging or killing it is impossible. As it turns out, healers tend to lack the damage to quickly focus the thing down. In general, I feel that specialists begin to shine in such metagames, where proper waveclear and sieging tend to be rarer. This also means slightly longer games, which translates into more Voodoo RitualVoodoo Ritual stacks.

Stitches is falling out of favour as blowup comps are. His lack of CC and single target damage are just what you don't want your tank to lack right now. Still, he's not bad by any means; simply falling out of favour.

Uther no longer prime? What's going on! As stated for Stitches, blowout team compositions are a thing of the past. Uther's niche is just that: countering such blowouts with his burst healing and armor buffs, and setting up or following up with Hammer of JusticeHammer of Justice. These things aren't particularly useful in a sustain-oriented metagame. If Tyr's DeliveranceTyr's Deliverance wasn't such a late game talent, Uther may work, but it isn't.

Lt. Morales is pretty much the polar opposite of Uther; high sustained healing, little burst, zero follow up potential, thrives in extended fights, and so on. Although she was slightly nerfed recently, it wasn't really enough to seriously affect her performance.

Azmodan is rising for the same reasons Nazeebo is: waveclearing and sieging are in high demand right now, and massive health pools can become a problem, especially for teams that might run two low damage and waveclear support heroes such as Ana and Lúcio.

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20 minutes ago, benOwar said:

is it intended that Junkrat is listed as a Specialist or just a copy/ paste mistake?

My attempt at humour.

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  • Haha 2

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Any specific reason why Zagara is in Viable and not Core tier? She is really annoying to play against in laning phase and on maps like Garden of Terror where split pushing is viable, she is rather obnoxious.

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ETC does indeed answer Garrosh a lot. Just make sure you use his Powerslide wisely to bait Garrosh's longer cds on his throw, and the increased range and knockback on Face Melt at level 4 really helps out on ensuring Gary can't body anyone or get close enough to throw someone from your backline reliably, or, if he does, hinders any follow up from his team. I have been avoiding using Mosh Pit as ETC though however against Garrosh, as the latter does have a talent to dip into to become Unstoppable and can Cleanse team mates caught on the outer circle and so on and so forth; too many variables to make the hefty 2 minute cd investment worth it in solo queue. 

I'd expect Muradin to come back into the core tier sooner or later as well. Almost Anub levels of peel and isolation with Haymaker and the E builds that may be worth exploring if you're adventurous as I prefer more standard tank builds on him, and arguably one of the meatier and sturdy  Warriors in the game, Muradin isn't easy to burst down in most cases, and the anti hp heroes that exist have had their power turned down somewhat. 

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4 hours ago, Oxygen said:

Still, buffs are needed, and we're talking ~15-20% cooldown reductions and damage increases across the board

I kinda disagree in there... Junkrat'w poke potential makes him a nightmare to deal with, especially against heroes with poor mobility and self-sustain. Plus, both his Heroic abilties can change the course of teamfights.

I don't think he needs damage buffs since he brings a lot of utility and displacement to the match. Pair him with Garrosh and unleash havoc, playing ping-pong with your enemies.

Edited by Valhalen

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16 hours ago, Oxygen said:

My attempt at humour.

I was seriously hoping Junkrat would have been a sort of ranged Gazlowe, that could control fights through area denial in this CC focused meta. Instead we got a dps that underperforms in every aspect. He doesn't do enough damage to have area denial, he can't hit people with enough consistency to be a major damage dealer for his team, and he can't solo lanes enough to be a serious threat by solo laning, like Gul'dan or Kael'Thas.

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Funny, my friend and I were saying that Junkrat feels like a specialist. I didn't agree with him at first... but then I played a few matches. Now your list says the same!xp

Just noticed no more duck! Now Oxygen looks like some sort of badass!

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5 hours ago, Warper said:

Funny, my friend and I were saying that Junkrat feels like a specialist. I didn't agree with him at first... but then I played a few matches. Now your list says the same!xp

Just noticed no more duck! Now Oxygen looks like some sort of badass!

Don't mess with Ethereals.

3 hours ago, clepsydriska said:

Any comments on the Zul'jin and Muradin reworks that debuted at the same time as Junkrat? I was curious what you thought of them.

I like both reworks, and both feel quite balanced. I think Muradin's a bit better now, perhaps a candidate for core tier, but we'll need a bit more time. His talents definitely feel broader; same can be said about ZJ. I'm still surprised they chose to rework these heroes when Raynor and Sgt. Hammer are really... yeah.

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15 hours ago, Warper said:

Just noticed no more duck! Now Oxygen looks like some sort of badass!

A duck would take down an ethereal in seconds. No chance of survival.

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Just now, Blainie said:

A duck would take down an ethereal in seconds. No chance of survival.

I miss that duck. Ducks are way more badasses than Ethereals.

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7 minutes ago, Valhalen said:

I miss that duck. Ducks are way more badasses than Ethereals.

New expansion-end boss for WoW: a duck.

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1 minute ago, Blainie said:

New expansion-end boss for WoW: a duck.

This reminds me. There are no ducks in WoW, are there? I don't think I've ever saw a duck critter.

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13 minutes ago, Valhalen said:

This reminds me. There are no ducks in WoW, are there? I don't think I've ever saw a duck critter.

The only duck we need - Rubber DuckRubber Duck

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Re: Reworks -  Interesting, thanks! Zul'jin definitely felt a ton smoother to me just because of Amani Rage letting him have access to his attack speed steroids in situations where he'd otherwise be sitting there with full health going "Gee I wish something would damage me...." Muradin I couldn't really judge because I've always been a truly terrible Muradin player XD

 

Re: Ducks - Would you rather fight one hundred duck-sized ethereals or one ethereal-sized duck?

Edited by clepsydriska
i accidentally a word
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3 hours ago, clepsydriska said:

Re: Reworks -  Interesting, thanks! Zul'jin definitely felt a ton smoother to me just because of Amani Rage letting him have access to his attack speed steroids in situations where he'd otherwise be sitting there with full health going "Gee I wish something would damage me...." Muradin I couldn't really judge because I've always been a truly terrible Muradin player XD

Yeah, it also let people just avoid you with their focus and ensure you spend the fight doing barely anything, rather than touching you and adding to your DPS.

3 hours ago, clepsydriska said:

Re: Ducks - Would you rather fight one hundred duck-sized ethereals or one ethereal-sized duck?

100 duck-sized Ethereals. 1 duck can end the world.

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I agree with most of the list, but some heroes' placements is quite questionable IMO. My opinions below are from watching tournaments (HGC) and high level players' stream (mainly Kendric, Grubby and Mewn), so it might not be the most accurate.

 

Warriors

Anub'arak: I feel like he's been fallen out of favour since his nerf a couple patches ago. He's a solid tank, but nowhere near Prime Tier IMO. Being relatively fragile (especially against AA damage) and low sustain mean that he can struggle against Double support hyper-carry comp.

Sonya: Probably the best solo laner/bruiser currently, she's definitely a strong contender for Prime Tier.

 

Assassins

Mages: I want to talk about mages specifically in the current meta. With the meta being highly focused on sustain and supports, mages have very little place right now. Most mages tends to have mana and cooldown issues to prevent them from dealing sustain damage. Since Double support comps only run 1 range assassin, you want a hero that can deal both sustain and burst damage. That's why most mages don't fit in these comps, except Gul'dan. Gul'dan is probably the only mage that doesn't have mana issue, and with his Q being on 1s CD, he's able to deal a large amount of sustain damage. Therefore, he should be in Core tier, and other mages should be in, at most, Viable tier.

Malthael: He just receive a direct damage nerf. He's still strong (especially in BOE), but isn't a priority anymore. I'd put him in Core tier.

Valla: Probably the most versatile range AA assassin right now, she's able to deal both sustain and burst damage.(assuming the player doesn't go for AA build) Definitely a strong contender for Prime tier.

Zeratul: I really don't understand why he sit in Core tier for that long. Not many people pick him, and even if someone pick him, he doesn't look strong enough to be considered a good pick. Stealth heroes just aren't good enough in high level plays.

Nova: With Hanamura being removed and Support camp not bribable, her niche use is completely gone. She's definitely Bottom tier IMO.

Raynor: He definitely need some love from Blizzard. Why would you pick him over Valla or even Sgt Hammer? He's outclassed by almost all range AA assassins right now. Definitely Bottom tier.

 

Supports

Tassader: This guy. He is, in my opinion, higher than Prime tier. He is the best 2nd support you can get in a Double support comp: strong waveclear, assassin-like damage output, burst protection with AA lifesteal. He has all the things that make Double support comps so strong. Oh, did I mention that he has a better Ice Block in his base kit?

Reghar: Despite the recent nerf to his Chain Heal, I think he's still really strong. Strong waveclear, insane merc camp claiming power (probably the only support that can solo camp), strong AOE heal, and of course, Ancestral Healing. Definitely Core tier IMO.

 

Specialists

Sylvanas: She's a weird specialist. In terms of solo laning and pushing, she's not as good as other specialists like Azmodan and Zagara; in terms of team fight presence, she's not as good as assassins. This put her in a very awkward place IMO, that's why she should not be in Core tier.

Xul: He's completely fallen out of favour after people realised that how bad his team fight presence and late game are. He's viable, but not strong.

Zagara: One of the best solo laner and split pusher currently, she can be a nuisance against team that lack waveclear and global to answer. A strong contender for Core tier.

Medivh: I really think he should be a support.

The Lost Vikings: This is the part I disagree the most. Yes, he's very special to play and play with, but he's nowhere near Bottom tier. Being the best split-soaker and one of the best split-pusher in the game, his global map presence is so strong that the opponents will need to make very difficult decisions through out the game. And his pick rate isn't that bad either. According to Hotslog, his pick rate is higher than Chen and Probius, which you place in Viable tier. He deserves at least Viable tier IMO, because he's neither 'weaker than majority of other heroes', nor 'avoided by most players'.

 

Sorry for the wall of text that is higher than Trump's wall. I just want to express my opinion on the tierlist and have some good discussions. Feel free to correct me if I said something wrong. Thanks for the good works though.

 

Edited by ShadowerDerek
fixed some typo
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43 minutes ago, ShadowerDerek said:

Anub'arak: I feel like he's been fallen put of favour since his nerf a couple patches ago. He's a solid tank, but nowhere near Prime Tier IMO. Being relatively fragile (especially against AA damage) and low sustain mean that he can struggle against Double support hyper-carry comp.

Even though the meta is shifting from Spell Damage to Basic Attack damage plus Double Support focus, Anub is still very strong due his mobility, two stuns and CocoonCocoon.

44 minutes ago, ShadowerDerek said:

Reghar: Despite the recent nerf to his Chain Heal, I think he's still really strong. Strong waveclear, insane merc camp claiming power (probably the only support that can solo camp), strong AOE heal, and of course, Ancestral Healing. Definitely Core tier IMO

Stukov is can solo camps too. Maybe not as fast as Rehgar, though.

45 minutes ago, ShadowerDerek said:

Sylvanas: She's a weird specialist. In terms of solo laning and pushing, she's not as good as other specialists like Azmodan and Zagara; in terms of team fight presence, she's not as good as assassins. This put her in a very awkward place IMO, that's why she should not be in Core tier.

Sylvanas will always remain at Core Tier because her kit is too good. No other Hero in the game can disable structures (except for Arthas' Summon SindragosaSummon Sindragosa) and she waveclear is really strong. She also has a very strong engage/disengage gameplay that makes her very slippery. And both her Heroics can win teamfights.

51 minutes ago, ShadowerDerek said:

Xul: He's completely fallen out of favour after people realised that how bad his team fight presence and late game are. He's viable, but not strong.

It depends. He can completely destroy Melee oriented comps with the Cursed Strikes build. He also surprisingly resilient. But I agree that he should be on viable.

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43 minutes ago, Valhalen said:

Even though the meta is shifting from Spell Damage to Basic Attack damage plus Double Support focus, Anub is still very strong due his mobility, two stuns and CocoonCocoon.

 

Anub'arak is still a strong Utility tank, but currently ETC does his job better IMO. And Cocoon can be easily destroyed by Fast Auto Attackers like Valla, Tassader, etc.

Edited by ShadowerDerek
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      Deckard
      Base
      Healing Potion [Q] Now displays its impending AoE to allies while the missile is in flight. Fortitude of the Faithful [Trait] Radius increased from 5.5 to 6.5. Talents
      Level 1/4/7 Gems [Active/W] Added functionality: Increases the damage of the unleashing Horadric Cube by 100%. Level 4 Ruby [Active/W] Cooldown reduced from 30 to 20 seconds. Trigger radius of Lesser Healing Potions increased from .5 to 1 (matching base potions). Level 20 Perfect Gems [Active/W] Now reduces the cooldown of all Gem talents to 5 seconds, instead of a flat 25 second reduction.
      Li Li
      Talents
      Level 4 Hindering Winds [W] Moved to level 13. Slow duration increased from 1.5 to 2 seconds. Level 13 Surging Winds [W] Moved to level 4. Cooldown reduction reduced from 3 to 2 seconds.
      Lt. Morales
      Talents
      Level 7 Vanadium Plating [W] New Functionality: Increases the duration of Safeguard by 1 second. While the target is Stunned or Rooted, Safeguard’s armor value is increased to 50. Prolonged Safeguard [W] Removed. New Talent - Medi-Drone [W] Allies with Safeguard receive 50% of the healing done by Healing Beam on other targets.
      Malfurion
      Base
      Entangling Roots [E] Cooldown reduced from 14 to 12 seconds. Mana cost reduced from 75 to 65. Innervate [Trait] Cooldown reduced from 30 to 25 seconds.
      Whitemane
      Base
      Basic Attack Damage increased from 55 to 62. Clemency [Active] Mana cost removed. Additional functionality: Removes 1 stack of Desperation. Inquisition [W] Additional functionality: Removes 1 stack of Desperation. Zeal [Trait] Added functionality: Activate to increase your Spell Power by 25% and reduce your Armor by 25 for 5 seconds. 60 second cooldown. Talents
      Level 10 Scarlet Aegis [R1] Cooldown reduced from 90 to 70 seconds. Level 13 Saintly Greatstaff [Trait] New functionality: Hitting an enemy with Searing Lash marks them for 3 seconds. Basic Attacks against a marked target deal an additional 75 damage and consume the mark. Level 20 New Talent – Guiding Light [Active] Activate to grant target ally a permanent Zeal. Only one target can have this at a time. Melee Assassin

      Qhira
      Talents
      Level 1 Finishing Touch [Passive] Modified functionality: Gain 15% Basic Attack damage. When you Basic Attack a Hero below 50% Health, gain an additional 15% Basic Attack damage and 35% Attack Speed for 3 seconds. Ranged Assassin

      Junkrat
      Base
      Vitals Health increased from 1350 to 1425. Health Regeneration increased from 2.813 to 2.969. Talents
      Level 4 BOOM POW [W] Cooldown reduction increased from 8 to 9 seconds. Level 7 Big As [E] Armor reduction increased from 10 to 15. Level 10 Rocket Ride [R2] Damage increased from 815 to 890.
      Li-Ming
      Base
      Vitals Health from 1232 to 1270. Health regen from 2.57 to 2.65 Talents
      Level 1 Astral Presence [Passive] Removed. Force Armor [Q] Additional functionality: Mana regeneration is increased by 100% while below 35% maximum Mana. Level 4 Triumvirate [W] Additional functionality: Max range Arcane Orbs also refund 40 Mana. Bug Fixes
      General
      Many abilities that were incorrectly incrementing Healing or Self Healing scores have been fixed. Protected now contributes to Healing or Self Healing Score. A.I. should no longer become stuck in a logic loop while attempting to capture Merc camps that have enemy structures nearby. User Interface
      Fixed additional issues that caused Gem purchase dialog show blank screen. Fixed typos in Boost tooltips. Fixed an issue where player names are cut off when they have a Boost active. MAC
      Fixed an issue that would cause mouse hover outlines for some objects to render solid black. Fixed an issue that would cause area of effect circles to render with an incorrect color. The latest balance update has hit the Nexus and here are the patch notes.
    • By Stan
      This week's Hero rotation includes Ana, Brightwing, Kael'thas, Zul'jin, and more.
      Free-to-Play Hero Rotation: October 15, 2019
      Player level remains unknown because Blizzard stopped updating the official forum post.
      Ana Artanis Azmodan Brightwing Cho Chromie ETC Gall Kael'thas Li Li Rexxar The Butcher Zagara Zul'jin (Source)
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