Stan

Blaze PTR Patch Notes: Jan 2

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Blaze, the latest Warrior Hero from Starcraft, is now available for testing on PTR until January 8. Malfurion received a talent rework and his visuals have been updated to coincide with the changes. The Battleground rotation for Ranked Play remains unchanged.

Blizzard LogoBlizzard (Source)

Our next Heroes of the Storm patch has just hit the Public Test Realm and will be available for playtesting until January 8. During this time, we kindly request your assistance in trying out the new content before we officially release the patch. Just like last time, if you encounter any bugs or other issues during your PTR play sessions, please stop by the PTR Bug Report forum to let us know about your experiences.

New Hero: Blaze

Cpl. Miles "Blaze" Lewis has always been drawn to the flame, but it wasn't until he joined up with Raynor's Raiders that he put his pyromania to good use. He's seen his fair share of battles since then, and has never failed to bring the heat.

Trait

  • Pyromania
    • Gain 25 Armor and deal 40 damage to nearby enemies every 0.5 seconds for 4 seconds. Each Hero hit by Flame Stream reduces Pyromania's cooldown by 5 seconds.

Basic Abilities

  • Flame Stream (Q)
    • Fire two streams of flame that deal 83 damage to enemies hit. Flame Stream sets fire to Oil Spills it comes in contact with.
  • Oil Spill (W)
    • Vector Targeting.
    • Dispense a slick of oil that lasts for 5 seconds and Slows enemies that come in contact with it by 40%. Flame Stream can set Oil Spills on fire for 2.5 seconds, dealing 18 damage every 0.3 seconds to enemies inside. While on fire, Oil Spills no longer Slow enemies. Additionally, Blaze is Healed for 49 Health every 0.3 seconds while standing in flaming Oil Spills. Stores up to 2 charges.
  • Jet Propulsion (E)
    • After 0.5 seconds, charge forward, colliding with the first enemy Hero hit, dealing 52 damage to them and nearby enemy Heroes. Enemies hit are also Stunned for 1.25 seconds.

Heroic Abilities

  • Bunker Drop (R)
    • After 0.5 seconds, deploy and enter a Bunker with 1300 Health. Blaze and his allies can enter and exit the Bunker at will. While in the Bunker, occupants gain access to Flamethrower, dealing 179 damage to enemies in a line. Exiting the Bunker grants 25 Armor for 2 seconds. Bunkers last 10 seconds, or until destroyed.
  • Combustion (R)
    • Channel up to 2.6 seconds. Once Channeling ends, nearby enemies are Slowed by 60% and take 48 damage  every 0.5 seconds. Combustion's Slow and damage over time durations are extended the longer Blaze Channels, from 1 second up to 5 seconds. Blaze's Movement Speed is reduced by 50% while Channeling.

Art

Heroes, Abilities, and Talents

  • Malfurion has received updated visual effects to coincide with Talent changes.

Battlegrounds

Battlefield of Eternity

  • The Minimap will now indicate upcoming Immortal spawn locations 30 seconds after the game begins.
    • Subsequent Immortal indicators will appear on the Minimap shortly after a previously summoned Immortal has been defeated.
    • Swap locations will not appear on the Minimap when an Immortal has been reduced to 50% Health.

Heroes Brawl

  • Dodge Brawl
    • Chromie’s Health has been increased from 3 to 5
    • Ghost Chromies now display player names overhead
    • The in-game camera will now lock to Ghost Chromie until a new round begins

Ranked Battleground Rotation

  • The Battleground rotation for Ranked Play has not been changed.

Heroes

Support

Malfurion

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Stats

  • Basic Attack Damage reduced from 64 to 60

Abilities

  • Regrowth (Q)
    • Mana cost reduced from 45 to 35
    • No longer has an initial heal effect
    • Heal amount per tick decreased from 27 to 20
    • Duration increased from 15 to 20 seconds
  • Moonfire (W)
    • Mana cost reduced from 15 to 10
    • Damage reduced from 100 to 90
    • Added functionality:
      • For every enemy Hero hit with Moonfire, instantly heal all targets with an active Regrowth for 140
  • Entangling Roots (E)
    • No longer effects non-Heroic targets
  • Tranquility (R)
    • Duration reduced from 10 to 8 seconds
    • Cooldown reduced from 100 to 80 seconds
    • Mana cost reduced from 100 to 80
    • Added functionality:
      • All Heroes with an active Regrowth effect gain 10 Armor while in range of Tranquility

Talents

  • Level 1
    • Shan’do’s Clarity (D)
      • Functionality changed:
        • The cooldown of Innervate regenerates 25% faster for each active Regrowth
    • Scouting Drone (Active)
      • Removed
    • New Talent – Nature’s Swiftness (Q)
      • Malfurion passively gains 5% Movement Speed for each active Regrowth
  • Level 4
    • Full Moonfire (W)
      • Removed
    • Strangling Vines (E)
      • Moved from Level 7
      • New functionality:
        • Enemy Heroes rooted by Entangling Roots receive 25% less healing for 2 seconds
    • New Talent – Deep Roots (E)
      • Entangling Roots grow 25% larger and last 25% longer
  • Level 7
    • Tenacious Roots (E)
      • Moved from Level 16
      • New functionality:
        • Root duration is increased by 25%. If Malfurion becomes stunned, refresh the cooldown of Entangling Roots
    • New Talent – Nature’s Cure (Active)
      • Activate: Remove all stuns, roots and slows from allies with an active Regrowth. 45 second cooldown.
    • New Talent – Wild Growth (W)
      • Every time your Moonfire hits an enemy Hero, increase the duration of all active Regrowths by 1 second
  • Level 13
    • Shrink Ray (Active)
      • Removed
    • Life Seed (Passive)
      • Removed
    • Revitalize (Q)
      • Moved from Level 16
    • Hindering Moonfire (W)
      • Moved from Level 7
  • Level 16
    • Ysera’s Gift (Q)
      • Bonus heal amount increased from 40 to 60%
    • New Talent – Moonlit Harmony (W)
      • Increase the heal of your Moonfire by 15% for every active Regrowth
    • New Talent – Nature's Balance (W)
      • Increase the area of Moonfire by 25% and the duration of Regrowth by 5 seconds
  • Level 20
    • Serenity (R)
      • New functionality:
        • Every Hero hit with Moonfire lowers the cooldown of Tranquility by 3 seconds. While active, Tranquility's healing is increased by 10% for each active Regrowth
    • Storm Shield (Active)
      • Removed
    • Rewind (Active)
      • Removed
    • Lunar Shower (W)
      • Moved from Level 7
      • New functionality:
        • Hitting an enemy Hero reduces the cooldown of Moonfire by 1 second and ramps the damage of the next Moonfire by 20%, stacking up to 3 times
    • New Talent – Lifebloom (Q)
      • Casting Regrowth on a player instantly heals them for 10% of their missing Health
LEVEL (TIER) MALFURION TALENTS
1 (1) Nature's Swiftness (Q) Celestial Attunement (W) Shan'do's Clarity (D)  
4 (2) Strangling Vines (E) Deep Roots (E) (!) Vengeful Roots (E)  
7 (3) Wild Growth (Passive) Tenacious Roots (E) Nature's Cure (Active)  
10 (4) Tranquility Twilight Dream
13 (5) Hindering Moonfire (W) Revitalize (D) Ice Block (Active)  
16 (6) Ysera's Gift (Q) Nature's Balance (Passive) Moonlit Harmony (Passive)  
20 (7) Serenity (R) Astral Communion (R) Lifebloom (Q) Lunar Shower (W)
  • (!) indicates a Questing Talent.
  • Italic text indicates a NEW Talent.
  • Underlined text indicates a MOVED Talent.

Warrior

Johanna

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Abilities

  • Falling Sword (R)
    • Johanna can no longer take damage or be targeted while initially casting Falling Sword. 

Collection

General

  • Items in the Collection have received updated UI colors to improve readability

New Bundle

  • Blaze Heroic Bundle – Available until January 22, 2017

New Announcer

  • Blaze

New Skins

  • Blaze
    • Hazardous Blaze
    • Veteran Blaze
    • Fel Reaver Blaze
      • Abominable Fel Reaver Blaze
      • Coldfire Fel Reaver Blaze
      • Infernal Fel Reaver Blaze
      • Smoldering Fel Reaver Blaze
  • Probius
    • Ara Tribe Probius
    • Nerazim Probius

Bug Fixes

General

  • Fixed a number of typo and tooltip errors across several aspects of the game.

Art

  • Abathur: Casting Ultimate Evolution will no longer cause visual effects to persist on the terrain at Abathur’s previous location.
  • Valla: The color of Lavendar Deputy Valla’s scarf has been updated to match the rest of the skin.

Heroes, Abilities, and Talents

  • Abathur: Locusts will now correctly retain their selected skins during Ultimate Evolution.
  • Chen: Fixed an issue that could cause Chen to become unresponsive if Wandering Keg’s duration expired while the barrel was too close to unpathable terrain.
  • Garrosh: Talent descriptions for Inner Rage and Brute Force will no longer swap when selecting either Talent.
  • Junkrat: Total Mayhem will no longer trigger twice if Junkrat is killed by the secondary Basic Attack damaged granted by the Giant Killer Talent.
  • Junkrat: Casting Rocket Ride will no longer cause an empty Health Bar to appear.
  • Junkrat: Fixed an issue in which Ripper Air could grant cooldown reduction to Concussion Mine if a Summon, such as a Creep Tumor, Healing Ward, etc., was also hit when the Mine was detonated.
  • Nazeebo: Gargantuan Stomp can no longer be cast while the Gargantuan is stunned or polymorphed.
  • Samuro: Illusion Master can no longer be cast while Samuro is airborne after being hit by an effects like Junkrat’s Concussion Mine detonation.
  • Samuro: Issuing a Hold Position command to Samuro’s Mirror Images and then selecting one of them will no longer cause the others to cancel the Hold Position command.
  • Zul’jin: Lacerate’s Talent icon is now correctly colored blue, rather than purple.

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24 minutes ago, Stan said:

Casting Regrowth on a player instantly heals them for 10% of their missing Health

I know it's a level 20 talent but holy shit

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40 minutes ago, Plergoth said:

I know it's a level 20 talent but holy shit

No storm shield though and no initial heal without that, so it's pretty much necessary if your solo healer.

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Malfurion's rework definitely looks interesting. I wasn't expecting him to be reworked so soon, though.

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That malf rework is really interesting. Needs testing to know if it is actually any good. but it seems like he could have a LOT of healing over time with some burst out of good moon fires. Seems like moonfire spam might be gone to be healing utility, but that' might not be a bad thing. Really curious to try him out.

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Idk, seems to me damage trait Kharazim will still be able to significantly outheal a Malfurion just with Echo of Heaven (Malf will be able to equalize/take the lead much later if he even does) cause burst heal is best heal. I like the change to make Tranquility more enticing a lot tho.

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10 hours ago, SteveFrost said:

Idk, seems to me damage trait Kharazim will still be able to significantly outheal a Malfurion just with Echo of Heaven (Malf will be able to equalize/take the lead much later if he even does) cause burst heal is best heal. I like the change to make Tranquility more enticing a lot tho.

They're gonna make him a much stronger mid-late game healer rather than a late game healer. I like that. Can't wait to try him. Making Moonfire more impactful for his healing is fantastic.

Edited by Valhalen

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With the heavy tanks in the mix, the new Malf looks pretty on point, getting rid of this cheap damage they abuse. I like it. 

Also agreeing in the fact that the Moonfire spam to increase his healing is a great thing! He will be more proactive than just a HoT spammer.

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The new Malf looks interesting, but I think his talent choice is not diverse.

Lv 1: Nature's Swiftness seems really good for a support that has no self peel. Probably the best talent in this level.

Lv 4: Deep root is pretty much the default choice here. The other choices are quite underwhelming.

Lv 7: Wild Growth seems like the best choice here. It synergies very well with Nature's Swiftness at Lv 1 and Moonlit Harmony at Lv 16 because the increased Regrowth duration can cause more Regrowth to be active at the same time. Nature's Cure is overrated because:

1) It doesn't give unstoppable;

2) You need to have Regrowth active on your target;

3) It only removes stuns, roots and slows, so I don't think it can remove horrify, taunt and other silence effects.

Tenacious Root is bad: if you get stunned as Malf, in most cases you die before you're able to cast the root.

Lv 10: Tranquility still sucks when compared to Twilight Dream.

Lv 13: Ice Block. You need it. The other choices are very underwhelming.

Lv 16: Moonlit Harmony is a big power spike to him. It vastly improves his otherwise lackluster burst heal, in a quite reliable way. This is probably the best talent in his entire talent tree.

Lv 20: Lunar Shower has better synergy with Moonlit Harmony than Lifebloom, on top of having a lower cooldown, so I think Lunar Shower is the better choice.

Overall, I fell like Moonlit Harmony and Lunar Shower make him a really strong late game healer, but mana sustain is gonna be his biggest issue since he pretty much need to spam Q and W all the time. Also, the removal of Elune's Grace and Storm Shield definitely hurt him.

Edited by ShadowerDerek

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23 minutes ago, ShadowerDerek said:

Lv 1: Nature's Swiftness seems really good for a support that has no self peel. Probably the best talent in this level.

I wonder if Nature's Swiftness has a cap. Because let's not forget that Malfurion can cast Regrowth on Minions and Mercenaries. The tooltip doesn't specify if the movement bonus is only applied by using Regrowth on Heroes.

Edited by Valhalen

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2 hours ago, Valhalen said:

I wonder if Nature's Swiftness has a cap. Because let's not forget that Malfurion can cast Regrowth on Minions and Mercenaries. The tooltip doesn't specify if the movement bonus is only applied by using Regrowth on Heroes.

It doesn't state a cap, but since Regrowth has a 5s cd and 20s duration, you usually have around 15-20% speed boost, which is still significant. It's like you always have Lucio's speed boost.

Edited by ShadowerDerek

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14 minutes ago, ShadowerDerek said:

It doesn't state a cap, but since Regrowth has a 5s cd and 20s duration, you usually have around 15-20% speed boost, which is still significant. It's like you always have Lucio's speed boost.

But do you get the speed bonus from healing Minions and/or Mercenaries?

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54 minutes ago, Valhalen said:

But do you get the speed bonus from healing Minions and/or Mercenaries?

It doesn't specify heroic targets, so it should work on non-heroic allies.

Even if it doesn't work on non-heroic targets, it's probably still the best Lv 1 talent. Shan'do's Clarity is rather situational while Celestial Attunement is rather weak with the basic attack nerf. Also, it seems like Blizzard nerf it secretly to only increase the reveal duration for 1s, which makes it even worse.

Edited by ShadowerDerek

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Wait... if Malfurion got his scouting drones removed, does this mean this will be Raynor's new trait???? since he's the only hero left with this talent as far as I remember.

Edited by Leadblast

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32 minutes ago, Leadblast said:

Wait... if Malfurion got his scouting drones removed, does this mean this will be Raynor's new trait???? since he's the only hero left with this talent as far as I remember.

Yes, he is the only one left with this talent, but I don't think it'll become his Trait, though. Similarly, Rehgar is now the only Hero that still has Healing TotemHealing Totem; since it was removed from Li Li after her rework.

I assume that future reworks will also get rid of stuff like Ice BlockIce Block, or at least add something equivalent. Because from a character fantasy perspective it makes zero sense that Malfurion, Brightwing and Nazeebo can encase themselves with ice.

Edited by Valhalen

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      Warrior Assassin Support Specialist Anub'arak Falstad Alexstrasza↑ Azmodan Dehaka Junkrat↑↑ Brightwing Nazeebo Diablo Kerrigan Lúcio Zagara Muradin Li-Ming Stukov↑ Sylvanas↑  Stitches Malthael↓ Uther   Varian (Tank) Nova↓-       Valla       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 Garrosh Chromie Kharazim Probius Johanna Gul'dan Li Li+ Sgt. Hammer↑ Leoric Illidan Lt. Morales Xul Zarya Jaina Malfurion (reworked)+   Blaze (new) Kael'thas Rehgar   Tyrael (reworked)↑ Kel'Thuzad Tyrande     Lunara       Ragnaros       Samuro       The Butcher       Thrall↑       Tracer       Valeera↓↓-       Zeratul+     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 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
      Happy new year to everyone. This list is a tad late, as was the last one, but I was, once again, waiting for one of those odd rework patches that come out a week after featured hero releases and go untested on the PTR for some reason. HGC matches also began just yesterday, meaning that new trends  are likely to emerge shortly; today saw unexpected Cassia, Tychus, and Leoric make an appearance, which was certainly exciting. As per usual, I'll be updating the list as I see fit throughout the next few weeks. The last few lists have generated quite a bit of discussion, which is great to see. Although I cannot reasonably respond to every comment, I do read everything posted. Keep it up!
      Blaze. My initial PTR assessment of the hero, which was quite positive, was followed by a sudden realization: he does a lot of things well, but nothing exceptionally well. Blaze is the quintessential jack of all trades, master of none type hero. Generally, that's not a particularly desirable trait, because heroes are generally picked for their niches to either counter opponents or synergise with allies. For a warrior, he can't really solo tank, meaning he often ends up in that strange spot where you need a pretty well fleshed out team composition to make him work. But when he works, he does work well. He can hold his own in a solo lane, but his waveclear isn't quite good enough to deal with mercenary camps pushing before Grill and Kill, which can be frustrating. Certain heroes, such as Leoric and Malthael, completely shut him down as well. This leads me to believe that he won't see much tournament play if at all, unless teams are messing around. Viable as a late pick when you don't really know what else to pick because your team composition is already fine.
      Sonya. She's currently the most popular pick in the game. You can't go wrong with a bulky solo laner that can duel nearly anyone, output as much damage as an assassin, and clear mercenary camps with ease. Leap lets her setup really well if your team composition lends itself to that. Still, I don't think she deserves bans.
      Hanzo. This important Overwatch figurehead could just not be allowed to remain seen as underpowered for over a month. After unsuccessfully giving him a blanket 10% damage buff across the board following poor PTR feedback, Blizzard adopted the bolder strategy of making his basic attacks deal ability levels of damage thanks to the Sharpened Arrowheads changes. What was initially supposed to be a difficult to master skillshot-based hero now  has access to what is arguably the most powerful basic attack in the game, though the Serrated Arrows + Never Outmatched combo I discussed last patch remains useful for trivializing map objectives on Battlefield of Eternity and Infernal Shrines while allowing Hanzo to solo any mercenary camp from level 7 and on. With the help of another hero, bosses also become possible at this level. Losing map control or suffering one or two early deaths against Hanzo is devastating. Explosive Arrows lets him waveclear relatively well too, though particularly with Piercing Arrows for double hits on minions. The Natural Agility range increase made it much more usable, to where Hanzo can now reliably escape most if not all heroes with proper positioning. It is interesting to note that these buffs coincided with Hanzo's first free week.
      Junkrat. The proverbial death of the double healer meta means it's time for sustained poke to shine. Junkrat's popularity exploded recently as players discovered that a mix of reliable ranged waveclear, playmaking (through Concussion Mine) and potentially fight winning RIP-Tire hits made the hero a force to be reckoned with. Just be sure to pick up Endless Nades; that's your late-game damage.
      Malthael. Hanzo does really well against him, so I'm not surprised by the dip in popularity. Malthael is still very powerful, though unlikely to draw bans before second round, if at all. Always a solid pick against double tank as well as a solo laner.
      Nova. She (along with Valeera) were allowed to remain oppressive for quite a while, benefiting from the turmoil generated by the stealth rework and Blizzard employees taking a couple weeks off for the holidays. Nova is now in a good spot, with clear counters and niches, though I'm still disliking how easy Lethal Decoy makes her to play. I feel like she'll keep a potential caster meta in check for quite some time now that she's back on the radar.
      Alexstrasza. She's doing rather well. Dragonqueen is now being appropriately treated (though not quite respected by opponents) as a heroic ability by players to fight over objectives and while sieging.
      Stukov. His high healing output makes him rather strong in a poke-heavy meta. I think players are going to experiment with the Growing Infestation + Virulent Reaction (+ Bio-Explosion Switch) combo to make Stukov a lot more aggressive than we're used to seeing him be. Flailing Swipe continues to be great as a pseudo-Mighty Gust in terms of disengaging. Stukov is probably one of the best solo "all purpose" hero leaguing healer at the moment.
      Sylvanas. Any change to minion or structure damage end up being indirect buffs or nerfs to Sylvanas. Since structures were recently buffed again and Sylvanas's direct counters were nerfed quite heavily, I think she's back to being relatively high priority. Possession is really strong now, as is Mercenary Queen, though only if there's nothing for Barbed Shot to work on.
      Tyrael. Though he's not notably more powerful than he was before, I think his rework opened up a viable bruiser build for him, increasing his versatility. He's sitting at a healthy 50% win rate at the time of writing. HGC already saw him picked rather often - though, that's pre-Tyrael patch, where he is arguably weaker - , and I'm certainly looking forward to see what kind of builds players are going to gravitate towards. Holy Ground is still great, and comes online 3 levels earlier than it did before.
      Valeera. She suffered the same fate as Nova, though her overly simplistic ability set makes small nerfs very impactful. At the end of the day, she's probably going to require a broad rework, because as of right now, she either bursts her target down and feels "unfair", or doesn't and feel "worthless". Right now, she's erring on the side of the latter.
      Malfurion. Possibly one of the best rework ever done, though his vastly increased skill cap may make him less popular. His sustained healing output is excellent, but his lack of burst management still makes him difficult to play. 
    • By Stan

      This week's brawl is the Temple Arena. Harness the power of the temples to destroy the enemy Core. Choose one from three randomly selected Heroes and pick your Heroic ability. No other talents are available. Complete three matches to earn a Loot Chest.
      Blizzard (Source)
      This week’s brawl is the Temple Arena! Harness the power of the Alligator, Cobra, and Jackal Temples to destroy the enemy Core!

      Rules:
      Choose from one of three randomly selected Heroes before entering the Arena. Be quick about it though, you only have 30 seconds to choose! Everyone will begin the round at level 10 and will be asked to choose a Heroic Ability. No other talents will be available. During each round, slay the enemy team’s Heroes and capture the Temple Shrines to take shots at their Core! The Core for each team will have set amounts of health based on the number of active Shrines. Each round can have 1-3 active Shrines. The first team whose Core reaches 0 health will lose the round. Be the first team to win 2 rounds and claim victory! Rewards:
      Complete three matches of the Temple Arena 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.