Oxygen

Alexstrasza Meta Tier List (November 2017)

62 posts in this topic

xqFSjwv.png

Our thirteenth Heroes of the Storm Meta Tier list for the Alexstrasza patch of November is here!

We present our thirteenth Heroes of the Storm Meta Tier List for the Alexstrasza patch of November 2017.

Welcome to Icy Veins's Meta Tier List for the Alexstrasza 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
  • Braxis Holdout
  • Cursed Hollow
  • Dragon Shire
  • Infernal Shrines
  • Sky Temple
  • Tomb of the Spider Queen
  • Towers of Doom
  • Volskaya Foundry

 

Battlefield of Eternity and Infernal Shrines replaced Haunted MInes and Garden of Terror.

 

Prime Tier

Warrior Assassin Support Specialist
Arthas Genji - -
E.T.C. Greymane    
Garrosh 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
Anub'arak Falstad Brightwing Azmodan
Dehaka Kerrigan Lúcio+ Nazeebo
Diablo Li-Ming Rehgar Sylvanas-
Sonya+ Valla Tassadar-  
Stitches Zeratul    
Varian (Tank) Zul'jin    

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
D.Va Cassia Auriel Murky
Johanna Chromie Kharazim Probius
Leoric Gul'dan Li Li Zagara
Muradin+ Illidan Lt. Morales Xul-
Zarya Kael'thas Malfurion  
  Kel'Thuzad Stukov  
  Jaina Tyrande  
  Lunara Uther  
  Ragnaros    
  Samuro    
  The Butcher    
  Tracer    

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
Chen Cho'gall Alexstrasza (new)- Gazlowe
Cho'gall Junkrat   Medivh
Rexxar Nova   Sgt. Hammer
Tyrael Raynor    
  Thrall    
  Tychus    
  Valeera    
  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

Alexstrasza. She didn't feel great at all back at BlizzCon, and the following PTR saw no changes to her. I expected poor performance, but nothing quite as low as 41%. Where do I even begin? DragonqueenDragonqueen is obviously powerful, but is gated behind a ridiculously long cooldown. Outside of Dragonqueen, she's just... really weak. I don't quite understand the concept behind Gift of LifeGift of Life, but it screams double healer to me, which is unfortunate for multiple reasons I won't elaborate on. AbundanceAbundance heals for too little for how difficult it is to use, on top of putting a big obvious marks on where to shoot. I'm putting her as Niche(-) for now because I suspect most players don't play her all too well, but she's in dire need of buffs, and that was quite obvious 2 weeks ago.

Anub'arak is losing some of his former popularity, though no nerfs were had for a few months. Although I can't explain exactly why, I suspect that tanks with more raw survivability and a bit more sustained damage potential are currently being prioritized. He's still not bad at all, especially with CocoonCocoon to counter Genji's DragonbladeDragonblade and Malthael's Tormented SoulsTormented Souls. Give Locust SwarmLocust Swarm a try if there are no valuable heroic abilities for you to lock down.

Kerrigan has emerged as this month (and last month's) sleeper for ripping hero league wins away, and I suspect my shedding some light over her success may frustrate those whom have been exploiting her relative unpopularity to . Why is she doing so well, though? AssimilationAssimilation's design makes it particularly difficult for double support teams to take her out. In essence, this trait gains more value the longer Kerrigan survives, which then translates into more damage, which then translates into more survivability... and so on.

Zul'jin's most recent rework was certainly one of the most successful reworks to date. Although he wasn't bad to begin with, most of the changes ended up being buffs, contrary to what some players were claiming. To add to this, the meta is quite favourable to him; stacking up on BerserkerBerserker (and keeping its effect active for the damage bonus) is pretty safe with more than one healer around. His trait also tends to favour longer fights, due to the stacking mechanic, allowing him to snowball. GuillotineGuillotine is even starting to see more play, with Taz'dingo!Taz'dingo! feeling less and less necessary to deal with burst.

Rehgar's changes, which I had mistakenly labeled as nerfs, ended up being positive. Turns out, area of effect healing is trendy. Now, why might Rehgar be doing so well? Simply put, versatility. With healers becoming more and more (over)specialized, this is certainly a respectable thing to have. He brings bits of waveclear, mercenary clearing, dueling, and of course, healing to the table. Lightning BondLightning Bond is great for single-target damage as well, making Rehgar particularly strong on Battlefield of Eternity, and just as a general single-target damage dealer.

Tassadar is also falling off quite dramatically. I think I may have overestimated just how unpopular he was in last month's list, but today's values are quite clear. As with Anub'arak, I'm not quite sure what happened, but most of the common Tassadar tag teams (besides Tracer, but she's a strange case) are below 50% winrate. Since the viability of such edge support heroes depend on the strength of what they support, I suppose we shouldn't be all that surprised for this. Force WallForce Wall could probably surprise quite a few opponents, as it is strangely unpopular nowadays.

Nazeebo's October nerfs have struck home, although the current metagame state isn't helping either; chip damage isn't all that effective when it simply gets healed off. He still remains strong if you plan on taking it to the late game, but is nowhere near to being first-pick worthy.

Samuro has always been in a strange place. Though the upcoming stealth changes are going to be extremely positive for him (BlizzCon spoilers!), I feel like his ability to split push, deal with mercenary camps extremely quickly, and single-out healers (or, anyone isolated, really) make him a sleeper. He's at his worse when Mirror ImageMirror Image get taken out quickly, but none of the top tier contenders are particularly heavy on area of effect damage. His winrate is currently the highest of the entire cast, yet his popularity is in the bottom 20. I suppose he requires quite a bit of decision making skills to make good use of. He's not all that flashy either, which may be contributing to his lack of popularity. Give him a try.

Jaina is doing well, though feels a bit out of meta right now, as with most other casters. I suspect that nerfs to any of the Prime tier heroes will see her surge right back up. Generally seen as a 4th or 5th pick.

Lt. Morales, Malfurion, Stukov, and Uther all feel extremely balanced right now, each hovering between healthy 49 and 50% winrates. They all have their niches (Morales on Braxis, for instance), and are generally picked as second healers when the Core tier contenders have been distributed.

Xul, whom I may have overhyped recently, lost Blackheart's Bay and Garden of Terror, some of his favourite maps. To add to this, the tanks who tend to punish him the most are right at the top of the food chain. This is on top of August's pretty heavy-handed nerfs. Just to add insult to injury, he's just not all that great against double support either. Xul is now part of the bottom 10 and will probably stay there for a while.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

She's not weak at all!!! It's just about people who don't know they should use her with high health heroes like chogall or Diablo and people or habe 2sup team... well I and my friends have uch fun with alex+chogall combo .. just people should understand to use her on ranked or teams or draft ! 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, MZLICH said:

She's not weak at all!!! It's just about people who don't know they should use her with high health heroes like chogall or Diablo and people or habe 2sup team... well I and my friends have uch fun with alex+chogall combo .. just people should understand to use her on ranked or teams or draft ! 

Alex is in 'Niche' tier. I think that's just because of her specialised way of healing. It doesn't fit into the regular Meta. Especially with Cho sitting in niche with her. Though she is rather strong currently with most beefy front liners so it will be interesting to see where she lands in the Hazno patch after people become accustomed to her play style.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Lucio is your candidate to the Prime Tier, I'd like to see a couple of lines about him in your Metagame Assessment section, if it doesn't bother you too much.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
46 minutes ago, Oxygen said:

I don't quite understand the concept behind Gift of LifeGift of Life, but it screams double healer to me, which is unfortunate for multiple reasons I won't elaborate on.

I'd say that she indeed is suited for Double Support compositions, more specifically the likes of Brightwing or Lúcio, that can keep Alexstrasza above 75% health most of the time. I've been playing with her non-stop ever since her release, and I can say that the Gift of Life Build is arguably the best (I like using this one). LifeblossomLifeblossom is a fantastic talent, although it requires proper positioning so you can always pick the blossom, but if you do, keeping everyone topped is easy. That's why she requires a solid frontline to be truly effective; and given how her heals work, Double Support + Double Warrior is the way to go.

Quote

Alex is in 'Niche' tier. I think that's just because of her specialised way of healing. It doesn't fit into the regular Meta. Especially with Cho sitting in niche with her.

Funny you say that. She actually works fantastically well with Cho'gall. I've been playing some games as Alex with Double Healer + Cho'gall + Split pusher and it's a wild ride. Really fun.

Overall, I wouldn't say that Alexstrasza is weak, but she definitely has one of hardest learning curves and skill ceilings of all Supports in the game. You need to time well your cooldowns and be very, VERY, VERY careful with positioning so you don't take chip damage.

But I do agree that she needs some buffs, although I'm unsure if Blizzard will really buff her. They really dislike having over the top Supports. But Dog Bless if they do it.

Edited by Valhalen
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I can see why Alex would be "weak", but I'd never imagine she would be put that far bottom. In most cases, I would say she is viable, but second pick in almost every comp.

I'm really surprised that E.T.C. is a prime hero. Honestly, Garrosh is the only obvious Prime hero, and I can see Arthas doing sick plays with his pressure and survivability, but E.T.C. doesn't have a lot to shine with. He's a one trick pony that's dangerous for the first few seconds, then falls off quickly in long dragged out fights. Perhaps I'm just underestimating him, but I would definitely rank Muradin at least equal to E.T.C.

Also, I wonder how is Probius competing in the Viable tier? His kit just screams set up time and lag time. Furthermore, he has one of the lowest popularity rates - in the range of Tychus and Chen - but having none of the niches they've staked. The only positive I see for Probius is his super zoning at level 20 with Null Gate and Gather Minerals Cannon, which can dictate the pace of all key fights.

Otherwise, I agree with everything else.

Edited by Trensicourt

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
56 minutes ago, Trensicourt said:

I'm really surprised that E.T.C. is a prime hero. Honestly, Garrosh is the only obvious Prime hero, and I can see Arthas doing sick plays with his pressure and survivability, but E.T.C. doesn't have a lot to shine with. He's a one trick pony that's dangerous for the first few seconds, then falls off quickly in long dragged out fights. Perhaps I'm just underestimating him, but I would definitely rank Muradin at least equal to E.T.C.

Actually Garrosh has this same issue. If he misses his bread and butter combo, he is pretty much a sitting duck. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
55 minutes ago, Valhalen said:

Actually Garrosh has this same issue. If he misses his bread and butter combo, he is pretty much a sitting duck. 

On the other hand, he has the ability to stay in a fight. His armor makes it harder to kill him, but he still takes the same healing, so basically with a good healer Garrosh has extreme potential. Also Warlord's is a game changing heroic with good coordination. Unless there is a Malthael on the enemy team, I assume he's very powerful.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've been seeing phenomenal success with Alexstrasza, currently holding a 60% winrate with 15 games. She's what's pulling me out of Gold 4, so I was seriously worried that she would get nerfed. Then I saw her in Niche tier with a 41% winrate, and my jaw hit the floor. I find it contemptuously easy to outperform double healer comps as a solo Alex (two games in a row, my solo healing as Alex was more then double two enemy healers combined). On the bright side, this means she can only get BUFFED from here. Platinum, here I come. I find it quite easy to meet the 75% HP clause for her Q talents, and can just sit at the back cranking out heals.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
34 minutes ago, PixieKnight said:

I've been seeing phenomenal success with Alexstrasza, currently holding a 60% winrate with 15 games. She's what's pulling me out of Gold 4, so I was seriously worried that she would get nerfed. Then I saw her in Niche tier with a 41% winrate, and my jaw hit the floor. I find it contemptuously easy to outperform double healer comps as a solo Alex (two games in a row, my solo healing as Alex was more then double two enemy healers combined). On the bright side, this means she can only get BUFFED from here. Platinum, here I come. I find it quite easy to meet the 75% HP clause for her Q talents, and can just sit at the back cranking out heals.

One thing I really like is that Gift of Life can be used on minions and mercenaries. So after getting to level 7, I can spam it on those to further increase the pushing power.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Cmon guys, don't tell me you don't realize Gift of Life can be used together with Abundance to keep her healed at all times. Just keep her inside the circle before using Gift. She doesn't really need another healer in the team.

And yes Dragonqueen has a long cooldown, yet I think she's far better than the likes of Brightwing or Rehgar.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you for yet another fun tier list to start discussion about the meta of the game.

I think you're overestimating Alextrasza's weaknesses. Although she's difficult to master and she has some problems with her healing, I still think she is powerful enough to stand her ground. She is still in need of some buffs, mostly to her trait.

Kerrigan was a surprise to me. Haven't seen her that much in HL, but I guess the stats speak for themselves.

Zul'Jin and Samuro really deserve their rise in the tiers, but Jaina? Has she really gone that far? I always thought Jaina and Kael'Thas were on equal footing when it came to damage. I've always preferred KT myself and I kind of understand the change, but still.

All your other tier loverings seem fine, but as you said most of them came a month late. I still think you should update these at least every time a big update is released.

The dev team has really balanced the healer meta game and I think most of them are currently as balanced as can be. Tassadar has really fallen to his previous niche healer place again. We'll see if they decide to buff him again to make him overpowered for a few days. Regarding Rehgar, he didn't ever really fall as down as you predicted.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm very glad that you take my comments at the last tier list into consideration.

But there're still some heroes' assessments that can be discussed.

Sonya is really strong right now. She's probably THE best solo laner thanks to her great sustain and damage, and her team fight presence is really strong. She can apply enormous pressure on the enemy backline with her high single-target damage (poisoned spear btw), which can break the double-support comp very effectively. Not to mention that she's extremely hard to kill at late game (Nerve of Steel and Ignore Pain).

Diablo had kind of fallen out of favour imo. Despite his enormous health pool, he's really fragile against poke damage since he has no sustain at all. So he's quite weak against Double support because 1) Its damage is mostly from a range assassin's poke; 2) The supports can keep their team alive even if Diablo catch someone with his combo. I think he deserves to be in Viable tier.

Muradin defenitely deserves at Core tier right now, with the same reason as Rehgar -  versatility. His rework vastly improves his talent versatility and damage (If you go for damage build. Trust me, it's insane.), and he's never a bad pick when you need a tank.

If I'm not mistaken, Grubby just found out a bug that makes Samuro really clunky to play, and he said he'll never play him until Blizzard fix it. This bug may makes him much less viable.

I haven't play Alexstraza myself, but from my experience of playing with and against her, she seems pretty strong, especially in double support comp. Her damage is surprisingly high, and her burst heal is really strong. Even though her Q requires her to sacrifice part of her health, she has ways to sustain herself through her W or her lv 7 talent. Dragonqueen is very strong during team fight, and her heroic provide many utility to her kit. You just need to remembet that you're playing a support. (Yes, I've seen many players play her like an assassin. Spamming E on enemy team, diving into the enemy team with her heroic and Dragonqueen and try to push the enemy team into her team. They think they're invincible in during Dragonqueen.) 

Edited by ShadowerDerek

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think bruiser Varian needs a try now. His tank build has been outplaced by Garrosh since months ago but he's still a good assassin with decent sustain with Wall Parry and Second Wind talents. His best asset has to be his Mortal Strike talent which prevents enemy healing.

EDIT: Oh and I also forgot to point out how much I disagree with Kerrigan's rise. She's still limping from her last batch of nerfs some months ago, and the latest patches have done literally nothing for her.

Edited by Leadblast

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Also, isn't Chen and Tyrael at viable tier in the last tier list? Why they don't have a red arrow, and why do they drop to top tier? I think some explainations on the assessment is needed.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Tyrael has good synergy with some of the heroes I see rising in this tier list. The problem lies in that I don't understand the rise of said heroes in the first place. Kerrigan for instance I don't understand why is she even there - she's still suffering from her latest nerfs, her Ravage build has been literally "ravaged" with the elimination of key talents (no longer being able to Ravage onto allies for escape, for instance). Greymane has literally zero self-sustain, and needs badly a strong sustained heal like Morales to even stay alive. Genji is better, but even he shouldn't be THAT strong (basically no self-sustain, just as Greymane). these two heroes seem really out of place in a meta with double healers, assassins with some form of self-sustain (eg Valla, Zul'jin or Falstad), or warriors that can heal themselves (Sonya, Arthas and ETC).

Edited by Leadblast

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
51 minutes ago, Leadblast said:

Kerrigan for instance I don't understand why is she even there - she's still suffering from her latest nerfs, her Ravage build has been literally "ravaged" with the elimination of key talents (no longer being able to Ravage onto allies for escape, for instance).

Most Kerrigan don't use Ravage build anymore. The damage build that aims to maximise her W + E combo's damage is usually what I've seen, but I don't know its strength as I don't play Kerrigan myself.

51 minutes ago, Leadblast said:

Greymane has literally zero self-sustain, and needs badly a strong sustained heal like Morales to even stay alive. Genji is better, but even he shouldn't be THAT strong (basically no self-sustain, just as Greymane). these two heroes seem really out of place in a meta with double healers, assassins with good self-sustain (eg Valla or Falstad), or warriors that can heal themselves (Sonya, Arthas and ETC).

Honestly, if you have 2 supports to keep you healthy, you don't really need self-sustain. All you need is high sustain and burst damage as you're probably the only damage dealer. Greymane does the job very well, on top of being a decent jungler and solo laner, which makes him very versatile and strong.

Genji's and Falstad's damage are not good enough to be the only damage dealer. Genji is often paired with Li Ming to form a 'double-reset' comp that devastate the enemy with high burst damage and the snowball potential of their ability resets. But I agree that he's not as strong as before. And Falstad's self-sustain is too low to be relied on. 

 

Edited by ShadowerDerek
  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, ShadowerDerek said:

They think they're invincible in during Dragonqueen.

I think this is their minds conditioning the idea that BIG DRAGON = SUPER STRONG. Yes, she does get a bonus health, but people seem to forget that she has a very low base health, and Dragonqueen doesn't give her armor  (which it should).

Also, in some cases, going Dragonqueen at the wrong time places a huge target on her head, making easier for skillshot to hit her due the massive size (i.e. Hook, Sleep Dart, Telekinesis, Chains of Kel'Thuzad).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
54 minutes ago, ShadowerDerek said:

Most Kerrigan don't use Ravage build anymore. The damage build that aims to maximise her W + E combo's damage is usually what I've seen, but I don't know its strength as I don't play Kerrigan myself.

Honestly, if you have 2 supports to keep you healthy, you don't really need self-sustain. All you need is high sustain and burst damage as you're probably the only damage dealer. Greymane does the job very well, on top of being a decent jungler and solo laner, which makes him very versatile and strong.

Genji's and Falstad's damage are not good enough to be the only damage dealer. Genji is often paired with Li Ming to form a 'double-reset' comp that devastate the enemy with high burst damage and the snowball potential of their ability resets. But I agree that he's not as strong as before. And Falstad's self-sustain is too low to be relied on. 

 

Hmm, interesting.

I suppose having burst damage makes more sense than sustained damage in a context where heals are abundant. If that's the case I could see Kerrigan/Genji + Li Ming working.

Falstad's sustain is kinda weak, yes, but it's better than literally nothing, like Greymane. His skill and talent's set is flexible enough, you can build around Hammerang + autoattacks, or around Lightning Rod for stronger single-target damage.

I still prefer a bruiser (Fury) Varian over a Greymane myself. Total lack of self-sustains is terrible in the end imho.

In any case, going back to your original question, Tyrael goes well with heroes that like to dive into an enemy backline and need to do so protected like Genji or Kerrigan. I think he's top pick/ban material for maps like Volskaya which is still in rotation...

Edited by Leadblast

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Holy, you guys jumped on this one fast, discussion wise. That's great. I'll produce a response a bit later today to clarify some points, since mobile isn't ideal for big responses. I should note rather quickly that while I do use hotslogs to look at winrates, which are useful to see trends, it is far from the only point of consideration.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Why is Junkrat in Niche tier? If there is a place where enemy must gather, his grenades gain a lot of value, especially once you reach level 16. Once you get Endless NadesEndless Nades, it becomes really hard to push on your Keep. His Conc Mine is also versatile, being escape tool or displacement similar to Garrosh's combo, albeit being harder to pull off. Plus, his level 13  talent Ripper AirRipper Air gives him semi-global status, you won't be as fast Dehaka at reaching one place, but you'll be faster at getting back. Can do camps at cost of some of his HP, you just have to alter between Q and AA.
Only thing I see about him that's a bit lackluster is his Heroic abilities, they need setup.
If it was up to me, I would place him in at least Viable.

Edited by SleepySheepy

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
22 hours ago, MZLICH said:

She's not weak at all!!! It's just about people who don't know they should use her with high health heroes like chogall or Diablo and people or habe 2sup team... well I and my friends have uch fun with alex+chogall combo .. just people should understand to use her on ranked or teams or draft ! 

The devs I've spoken to at BlizzCon have agreed that she was undertuned. Take what you will from this combined to her low on-release popularity and winrates.

22 hours ago, SirGeorge113 said:

Alex is in 'Niche' tier. I think that's just because of her specialised way of healing. It doesn't fit into the regular Meta. Especially with Cho sitting in niche with her. Though she is rather strong currently with most beefy front liners so it will be interesting to see where she lands in the Hazno patch after people become accustomed to her play style.

Don't forget that tiers are basically meant represent player pick expectations, not *just* strength (though they often correlate). Even specialized heroes can end up powerful if they're overtuned. Malthael is a pretty good example; he's supposed to be a tank shredder, but currently does well against pretty much everything.

22 hours ago, Jonar said:

Lucio is your candidate to the Prime Tier, I'd like to see a couple of lines about him in your Metagame Assessment section, if it doesn't bother you too much.

I'll certainly add a bit about him, but basically: Crossfade - Speed BoostCrossfade - Speed Boost and SoundwaveSoundwave are both really good against the current top tier tanks; they all have something that can be dodged or messed up by the knockback, particularly Garrosh. You try yanking a good Lucio player.

21 hours ago, Trensicourt said:

I can see why Alex would be "weak", but I'd never imagine she would be put that far bottom. In most cases, I would say she is viable, but second pick in almost every comp.

I'm really surprised that E.T.C. is a prime hero. Honestly, Garrosh is the only obvious Prime hero, and I can see Arthas doing sick plays with his pressure and survivability, but E.T.C. doesn't have a lot to shine with. He's a one trick pony that's dangerous for the first few seconds, then falls off quickly in long dragged out fights. Perhaps I'm just underestimating him, but I would definitely rank Muradin at least equal to E.T.C.

Also, I wonder how is Probius competing in the Viable tier? His kit just screams set up time and lag time. Furthermore, he has one of the lowest popularity rates - in the range of Tychus and Chen - but having none of the niches they've staked. The only positive I see for Probius is his super zoning at level 20 with Null Gate and Gather Minerals Cannon, which can dictate the pace of all key fights.

Otherwise, I agree with everything else.

These are all very valid comments. I think E.T.C. is just awfully reliable, and often one of the best Garrosh counterpick, tank-wise. I'm inclined to push Muradin up, but I don't see him *thaaat* often.

I think Probius is a bit sleeper right now, but that's my editorial-please-take-with-a-grain-of-salt.

19 hours ago, Maxkitty said:

On the other hand, he has the ability to stay in a fight. His armor makes it harder to kill him, but he still takes the same healing, so basically with a good healer Garrosh has extreme potential. Also Warlord's is a game changing heroic with good coordination. Unless there is a Malthael on the enemy team, I assume he's very powerful.

Garrosh deals a surprising amount of damage once you learn how to properly weave in basic attacks. The armor just give him a lot of uptime and baits a ridiculous amount of overcommitting.

14 hours ago, Leadblast said:

Cmon guys, don't tell me you don't realize Gift of Life can be used together with Abundance to keep her healed at all times. Just keep her inside the circle before using Gift. She doesn't really need another healer in the team.

And yes Dragonqueen has a long cooldown, yet I think she's far better than the likes of Brightwing or Rehgar.

Sure, but her healing values remain pretty low for how much attention she needs.

9 hours ago, Foudmery said:

Can you guys please stop referring to Hotslogs as a legitimate winrate percentage source, that's just silly.

I take them with a grain of salt and combine them with my personal experience. Winrates aren't the only thing that are taken into account here, but they're a useful tool to see trends, along hero popularity.

8 hours ago, Fliits said:

Thank you for yet another fun tier list to start discussion about the meta of the game.

I think you're overestimating Alextrasza's weaknesses. Although she's difficult to master and she has some problems with her healing, I still think she is powerful enough to stand her ground. She is still in need of some buffs, mostly to her trait.

Kerrigan was a surprise to me. Haven't seen her that much in HL, but I guess the stats speak for themselves.

Zul'Jin and Samuro really deserve their rise in the tiers, but Jaina? Has she really gone that far? I always thought Jaina and Kael'Thas were on equal footing when it came to damage. I've always preferred KT myself and I kind of understand the change, but still.

All your other tier loverings seem fine, but as you said most of them came a month late. I still think you should update these at least every time a big update is released.

The dev team has really balanced the healer meta game and I think most of them are currently as balanced as can be. Tassadar has really fallen to his previous niche healer place again. We'll see if they decide to buff him again to make him overpowered for a few days. Regarding Rehgar, he didn't ever really fall as down as you predicted.

Yeah, I was on the busier side this month. I'm trying to update more often, but the meta is a bit of a cluster(...) right now. I'm looking forward to the other changes which will... well, make everything more confusing. And fun.

Regarding Alex, I'm pretty confident with my call. We'll see if she gets buffs.

7 hours ago, ShadowerDerek said:

I'm very glad that you take my comments at the last tier list into consideration.

But there're still some heroes' assessments that can be discussed.

Sonya is really strong right now. She's probably THE best solo laner thanks to her great sustain and damage, and her team fight presence is really strong. She can apply enormous pressure on the enemy backline with her high single-target damage (poisoned spear btw), which can break the double-support comp very effectively. Not to mention that she's extremely hard to kill at late game (Nerve of Steel and Ignore Pain).

Diablo had kind of fallen out of favour imo. Despite his enormous health pool, he's really fragile against poke damage since he has no sustain at all. So he's quite weak against Double support because 1) Its damage is mostly from a range assassin's poke; 2) The supports can keep their team alive even if Diablo catch someone with his combo. I think he deserves to be in Viable tier.

Muradin defenitely deserves at Core tier right now, with the same reason as Rehgar -  versatility. His rework vastly improves his talent versatility and damage (If you go for damage build. Trust me, it's insane.), and he's never a bad pick when you need a tank.

If I'm not mistaken, Grubby just found out a bug that makes Samuro really clunky to play, and he said he'll never play him until Blizzard fix it. This bug may makes him much less viable.

I haven't play Alexstraza myself, but from my experience of playing with and against her, she seems pretty strong, especially in double support comp. Her damage is surprisingly high, and her burst heal is really strong. Even though her Q requires her to sacrifice part of her health, she has ways to sustain herself through her W or her lv 7 talent. Dragonqueen is very strong during team fight, and her heroic provide many utility to her kit. You just need to remembet that you're playing a support. (Yes, I've seen many players play her like an assassin. Spamming E on enemy team, diving into the enemy team with her heroic and Dragonqueen and try to push the enemy team into her team. They think they're invincible in during Dragonqueen.) 

For Sonya and Muradin, I certainly agree. I haven't experienced the Samuro issues, so I can't discuss those. As for Diablo, I used to undervalue him as well, but a few close players have showed me the light. He has potential at the highest levels of play.

7 hours ago, Leadblast said:

I think bruiser Varian needs a try now. His tank build has been outplaced by Garrosh since months ago but he's still a good assassin with decent sustain with Wall Parry and Second Wind talents. His best asset has to be his Mortal Strike talent which prevents enemy healing.

EDIT: Oh and I also forgot to point out how much I disagree with Kerrigan's rise. She's still limping from her last batch of nerfs some months ago, and the latest patches have done literally nothing for her.

I'll check into getting some bruiser Varian games in.

7 hours ago, ShadowerDerek said:

Also, isn't Chen and Tyrael at viable tier in the last tier list? Why they don't have a red arrow, and why do they drop to top tier? I think some explainations on the assessment is needed.

Maybe, I'll double check. I confuse myself at times.

2 hours ago, SleepySheepy said:

Why is Junkrat in Niche tier? If there is a place where enemy must gather, his grenades gain a lot of value, especially once you reach level 16. Once you get Endless NadesEndless Nades, it becomes really hard to push on your Keep. His Conc Mine is also versatile, being escape tool or displacement similar to Garrosh's combo, albeit being harder to pull off. Plus, his level 13  talent Ripper AirRipper Air gives him semi-global status, you won't be as fast Dehaka at reaching one place, but you'll be faster at getting back. Can do camps at cost of some of his HP, you just have to alter between Q and AA.
Only thing I see about him that's a bit lackluster is his Heroic abilities, they need setup.
If it was up to me, I would place him in at least Viable.

He'll shine in a meta that doesn't feature infinite aoe sustain.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
21 hours ago, Oxygen said:

The devs I've spoken to at BlizzCon have agreed that she was undertuned. Take what you will from this combined to her low on-release popularity and winrates.

Do you think she'll get some buffs? The Hanzo PTR patch has nothing for her, though.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Is this tier list geared towards pro play or HL? 

Regardless, Genji's performance at Blizzcon was definitely underwhelming for a prime tier hero. Arthas and Malthael also had horrendous winrates but I agree in HL they can still be a menace. Genji however has some of the worst winrates in HL as well. I can't rly see an argument for Genji that up high after repeated nerfs.

The Blizzcon meta was dominated by Muradin, Greymane and Rehgar. With the nerf to Heavy Impact, Muradin will probably fall off but imo Rehgar should make it up to Prime.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now


  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

  • Similar Content

    • By Stan

      Voice chat is finally available in Heroes of the Storm and this post by Blizzard will guide you through the basics of the system.
      All players must opt-in to join the team voice channel at the start of a game or upon entering a draft lobby. If you don't have a microphone, you will still be able to hear your team. The voice chat tab in the options menu can be used to adjust all settings to your liking. Use the Test button to hear how you'll sound in-game and don't forget to set up your Push-to-Talk Key.
      Blizzard (Source)
      We’re excited to announce that voice communication is now available in Heroes of the Storm! Whether you find yourself in a draft lobby, partied with a friend or two, or with your whole squad in Team League, voice communication will free your hands from the shackles of typing and make it easier than ever to coordinate with your teammates. Before you head in-game to try it out, take a moment to learn how voice channels work in Heroes and get to know the various settings you can adjust to make voice communication your own.
      Team and Party Voice
      We’ve added voice channels to Heroes of the Storm to accommodate both party voice and team voice. If you’re in a party, you’ll automatically be added to your party’s voice channel, and only party members will hear what you have to say. The opposite is also true: if you’re in a partial party and using the party voice channel, you’ll be unable to speak to or hear allies outside your party unless you switch to the team voice channel.
      By default, all players must opt-in to join the team voice channel at the start of a game or upon entering a draft lobby. A notification will appear in chat to remind you that team voice is available, and you can click it to easily join the channel. Keep in mind that voice channels—even party voice—are completely optional. You can use the new voice chat tab in the options menu to adjust auto-join settings and notification sounds to your heart’s content.
      Voice Settings
      Digging a bit further into voice settings, you can click the dropdown menus at the top to pick which device you’ll use to hear your allies’ voices, and set up the microphone you’d like to use for your own. You can click the Test button to hear how you’ll sound to your teammates in-game. However, even if you don’t have a microphone, you can still join party and team voice channels to listen-in as your allies make plans and shotcall.
      As mentioned previously, the checkboxes under Auto-Join Voice and Notification Sounds on the left side of the voice chat options menu can be used to select which voice channels you’d like to join automatically during each game, as well as to enable or disable any voice notification sounds.
      Click the Transmission Mode dropdown to decide whether you’d like to set your microphone to Push-to-Talk or Open Mic. When using push-to-talk, your allies will only hear you while you’re holding down your push-to-talk hotkey (the ` key by default). With open mic, they’ll hear everything you have to say. If you do opt for an open mic, you can adjust the sensitivity slider to stop your microphone from transmitting sound under a certain volume. Finally, run a quick test to make sure your mic is sounding good and your sensitivity is set correctly—broadcasting noise is a surefire way to get muted by your teammates!
      In addition to push-to-talk, you can set up hotkeys to quickly switch between party and team voice channels, or to turn your microphone on and off. 
      In-Game Voice
      Outside of the voice chat options menu, you’ll see a voice widget appear in the top-left corner of most game menus. Clicking this widget will allow you to quickly join, switch, or leave a voice channel. Once you enter a game, you’ll find this widget on the tab screen.
      You’ll also find microphone and speaker icons across from player names on the tab screen, which you can click to mute or unmute allies individually.
      We’ve also added a new reporting option called Abusive Voice that you can use to report players specifically for misbehavior over voice. Additionally, we’ve implemented a voice silence penalty that’s separate from chat silence penalties. This means that players who are frequently reported for Abusive Voice can receive a voice silence, which will prevent them from speaking in team voice for the duration of that penalty. They can, however, still join the team voice channel to listen to allied comms, and can still join and use the party voice channel normally.
      We hope the addition of voice in Heroes of the Storm will help you and your allies communicate more effectively on the road to your next string of victories, and perhaps make a new friend or two along the way.
      Until next time, we’ll see you in the Nexus!
    • By Stan

      Blizzard implemented voice chat and applied balanced changes and various bug fixes in this week's patch.
      Voice chat is now enabled on live servers and in addition to bug fixes, the following Heroes received balance changes:
      Maiev: The latest changes are aimed at lowering her survivability and burst damage throughput. Malthael: Healing from Soul Ripping Minions decreased, Hero-only healing increased. Mana cost of Soul Rip has been increased to 25. Zeratul: Changes to basic & heroic abilities are meant to redistribute his damage, while giving the Hero a slight buff. Xul: Base stats have been buffed and split-push potential has been toned down. Sonya: Balance changes for Sonya were supposed to go live on January 24, but Blizzard's implemented them just now. The changes include a basic attack damage reduction, Poisoned Spear & Nerves of Steel talent adjustments. Blizzard (Source)
      We’ve just released a patch to the live servers in order to implement Voice Communication, as well as apply some balance updates and bug fixes.
      General
      Voice Communication
      Voice Communication has been added to Heroes of the Storm! Read the Voice Communication blog for more information about how to use it in-game. Heroes
      Assassin
      Maiev

      Stats
      Health reduced from 2236 to 2150 Health Regeneration reduced from 4.66 to 4.48 Abilities
      Vault of the Wardens (Trait) Cooldown increased from 8 to 9 seconds Fan of Knives (Q) Damage reduced from 170 to 162 Talents
      Level 16 Armored Assault (Passive) Damage bonus reduced from 25% to 20% Vengeful Knives (E) Bonus damage per Hero hit increased from 1% to 1.2% Malthael

      Abilities
      Soul Rip (Q) Mana cost increased from 20 to 25 Healing reduced from 36 to 25 per target hit Healing from Heroic targets increased from 3% to 4% of the Hero’s maximum Health Tormented Souls (R) Cooldown reduced from 100 to 80 seconds Talents
      Level 4 Die Alone (Q) Damage bonus reduced from 75% to 50% Level 16 Soul Collector (Q) Bonus range reduced from 50% to 25% Thrall

      Abilities
      Chain Lightning (Q) Bounce range increased by 20% Zeratul

      Abilities
      Cleave (Q) Damage increased from 200 to 212 Singularity Spike (W) Damage increased from 228 to 240 Void Prison (R) Mana cost reduced from 100 to 80 Might Of The Nerazim (R) Basic Attack damage bonus reduced from 40% to 30% Specialist
      Xul

      Stats
      Health increased from 1900 to 2000 Health Regeneration increased 3.957 to 4.168 Basic Attack damage increased from 104 to 110 Abilities
      Raise Skeleton (Trait) Skeletal Warrior Health reduced from 240 to 225 Skeletal Warrior damage reduced from 23 to 21 Bone Prison (E) Cooldown reduced from 12 to 10 seconds Mana cost reduced from 80 to 70 Talents
      Level 7 Trag'Oul's Essence (Trait) Mana restoration per Skeletal Warrior attack reduced from 0.5% to 0.2% of Xul’s maximum Mana Support
      Tyrande

      Abilities
      Light of Elune (Q) Cooldown reduced from 12 to 11 seconds Warrior

      Sonya

      Stats
      Basic Attack damage reduced from 88 to 84 Talents
      Level 7 Poisoned Spear (Q) Damage reduced from 125% to 100% of Ancient Spear’s damage. Level 16 Nerves of Steel (Active) Duration reduced from 5 to 3 seconds Shield amount reduced from 30% to 25% of Maximum Health Cooldown reduced from 70 to 60 seconds Bug Fixes
      Heroes, Abilities, and Talents
      Diablo: Lightning Breath sound effects will no longer stop playing before the Ability is finished channeling. Junkrat: Heroes killed by Concussion Mine will no longer respawn at their death location and then slide across the Battleground. Junkrat: Issuing movement commands during Rocket Ride will no longer cause Junkrat to become separated from his Mount. Junkrat: Movement commands that the player did not issue will no longer appear on the terrain in front of RIP-Tire’s model. Junkrat: Targeting unpathable terrain with Rocket Ride will no longer cause Total Mayhem Grenades to visually persist on the Battleground. Junkrat: Concussion Mine can no longer displace Leoric from Wraith Walk’s starting location if the Mine is detonated in the same moment that Wraith Walk ends. Li Li: After learning the Lighting Serpent Talent, Cloud Serpent attacks that are bouncing to additional targets when the Ability expires will now correctly deal damage. Lt. Morales: The tooltip for the Healing Beam icon next to Lt. Morales’ in-game portrait will now correctly display the Ability’s cooldown duration. Malfurion: An ally who is affected by multiple Regrowths will now be correctly healed by Moonfire and have Stuns, Roots, and Slows removed by Nature's Cure. Movement Abilities: Certain movement-based Abilities, like Greymane’s Darkflight or Chen’s Flying Kick, will no longer fail to move the Hero toward a target currently affected by Varian’s Taunt or Garrosh’s Warlord's Challenge. Sgt. Hammer: Can now correctly deploy Biotic Emitters on Volskaya Foundry while in Siege Mode. The Butcher: Fixed an issue that prevented The Butcher from collecting Meat while piloting the Triglav Protector, Dragon Knight, or Garden Terror.
    • By Stan

      Maiev goes live tomorrow and we have a guide for the latest Warcraft Assassin to join the roster.
      It's time for Maiev to enter the Nexus! Learn more about the latest Hero in our guide!
      Feel free to leave your thoughts, suggestions or guide feedback here. Maiev should go live on February 6, 2018, and this article will be updated with the official patch notes once they are out.
      Maiev Build Guide Maiev Patch Notes Maiev Talent Calculator Blizzard (Source)
      Maiev Shadowsong stood watch over the imprisoned Betrayer for ten thousand years, and hunted him relentlessly after he was released. Some say she’s determined; others say she’s obsessed. Either way, she will stop at nothing to ensure the security of her world. Get all the necessary information and gameplay tips on our newest Assassin Hero, Maiev, The Warden, in this spotlight video!
    • By Stan

      Heroes of the Storm Highlights are back with another fun episode of WTF Moments! 
      Episode 102 kicks off with an Abathur slap fest, Blaze entering his Bunker to soak Pyroblast and Garrosh throwing D'Va's Self-Destruct into enemies, killing three of them!
      Don't forget to submit your own replays here for a chance to be featured in an upcoming episode and let us know your favorite moments in the comments below!
      Previous Episodes
      WTF Moments Episode 101 WTF Moments Episode 100 WTF Moments Episode 99 & Best of 2017
    • By Oxygen
         
      Our sixteenth Heroes of the Storm Meta Tier list for the Maiev patch of February is here!
      We present our sixteenth Heroes of the Storm Meta Tier List for the Maiev patch of February 2018.
      Note: This list also takes the February 9 balance patch into account.
      Welcome to Icy Veins's Meta Tier List for the Maiev 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 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 ranked mode map rotation
       
      Prime Tier
      Warrior Assassin Support Specialist Arthas Genji - - E.T.C. Greymane     Sonya Hanzo       Maiev (new)     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 Anub'arak Falstad Alexstrasza Abathur↑ Dehaka Jaina↑ Brightwing- Azmodan Diablo+ Junkrat Lúcio+ Nazeebo Muradin Li-Ming Malfurion↑ Sylvanas Stitches Malthael (reworked)+ Stukov  Zagara Varian (Taunt) Valla Uther   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 Murky Blaze+ Cassia Auriel Xul D.Va Chromie Kharazim   Garrosh Gul'dan+ Li Li+   Johanna Illidan Lt. Morales   Leoric Kael'thas+ Rehgar   Tyrael  Kel'Thuzad Tyrande    Zarya Kerrigan↓       Lunara       Nova↓       Ragnaros+       Samuro       The Butcher       Thrall       Tracer+       Tychus↑       Varian (Colossus Smash)       Zeratul       Zul'jin↓     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 Chen Cho'gall Tassadar Gazlowe Cho'gall Raynor   Medivh Rexxar Valeera↓   Probius↓   Varian (Twin Blades of Fury)   Sgt. Hammer↓ Niche tier heroes have niche application on certain maps or for certain team compositions. They may also 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.
       
      Lost Vikings 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
      Maiev: Where do I even begin? Despite heavy-handed nerfs delivered less than a week after her release, Maiev continues to dominate popularity (read: is banned about 5 times more than she is played at all levels) and top win rates. The fact that I'm not sure what exactly contributes to her success is probably a good indicator of what actually contributes to her success: everything. High survivability, high mobility, high damage potential through Fan of Knives's ability to reset, the ability to both set up and follow up for and on crowd control through Spirit of Vengeance + Umbral Bind, serviceable waveclear, and Vault of the Wardens on a ridiculously short cooldown for good measure to make her an unviable target for heroic ability chains. Warden's Cage ended up the favoured heroic ability choice for Maiev, and it's rather easy to see why; it just works well with the rest of her kit on top of being quite easy for anyone to use, though Containment Disc is not to be underestimated either. She's at the top of the food chain, so Prime tier it is. Expect further nerfs.
      Jaina: Jaina was last month's surprise for me, which is why I had her marked for promotion. I slightly feared Genji players, but after witnessing some more competent Jaina play (including my own not-so-competent experimentation), it's safe to say that Summon Water Elemental is absolutely key to dealing with him (along pretty much every other assassin in the game). For games with little melee assassin pressure, Ring of Frost remains a powerful win condition. Jaina also sports what is arguably the game's best waveclear potential, and can deal with mercenary camps extremely well with Frost Shards and Ice Lance. 
      Malthael: I can certainly see how Malthael's rework may have seemed rather grim to anyone underestimating the power of cleaving attacks. This change, though accompanied by slight nerfs to his damage and survivability, allowed his already powerful laning  to improve, just as with his ability to deal with mercenary camps. One should never underestimate the power of PvE, particularly in less organised play. Furthermore, his reliance upon Tormented Souls was reduced, allowing for Last Rites to actually get some playtime. I've been impressed with it, and I'm probably going to update his builds to reflect this newfound power.
      Abathur: Abathur is the kind of hero that comes and goes with the metagame state and who generally thrives in assassin-oriented states. As with Genji, I wouldn't be fooled by his limited winrates; he just simply tends to do better at higher level, more organised play, and particularly in longer matches. To avoid on Haunted Mines and Braxis Holdout. Please pick your Ultimate Evolution target responsibly, and go for an assassin, with Maiev, Genji, Hanzo, and Jaina making incredible targets. Incidentally, avoid Evolve Monstrosity; it has been tested and rejected a long time ago.
      Tychus: Not a big leap in tier, but a leap nonetheless. He went from seeing pretty much no play for quite a while to seeing some, including tournament play. As expected, he does well against Blaze and a few other bruisers, on top of being on the more resilient side of ranged assassins. Commandeer Odin is excellent, but the real sleeper here is Neosteel Coating, which can do funny things with Relentless Soldier.
      Probius: Nearly as unpopular as The Lost Vikings. Though I don't think he's bad, I certainly think he does not have a place in the current meta. All of the top picks do extremely well against him, as does diving in general. I really wish I had more insights here, but the very few times I did see him in the last month, it was rather sad to witness. 
      Sgt. Hammer: I initially had her as viable, but upon reading user comments, I had to agree: she does extremely well against team compositions that cannot deal with her, and poorly otherwise. This is basically what the Niche tier should be defined by. We could discuss at length why this design is rather unhealthy for the game, but I think Blizzard has recognized this by not releasing a single specialist in over a year.