Oxygen

Blaze Meta Tier List (January 2018)

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Our fifteenth Heroes of the Storm Meta Tier list for the Blaze patch of January is here!

We present our fifteenth Heroes of the Storm Meta Tier List for the Blaze patch of January 2018.

Note: This list also takes the January 16 balance patch into account.

Welcome to Icy Veins's Meta Tier List for the Blaze 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
  • Warhead Junction

Volskaya Foundry replaces Garden of Terror.

 

Prime Tier

Warrior Assassin Support Specialist
Arthas Genji - -
E.T.C. Greymane    
Sonya Hanzo↑↑↑    

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 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 KillGrill 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. LeapLeap 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 ArrowheadsSharpened 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 ArrowsSerrated ArrowsNever OutmatchedNever 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 ArrowsExplosive Arrows lets him waveclear relatively well too, though particularly with Piercing ArrowsPiercing Arrows for double hits on minions. The Natural AgilityNatural 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 MineConcussion Mine) and potentially fight winning RIP-TireRIP-Tire hits made the hero a force to be reckoned with. Just be sure to pick up Endless NadesEndless 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 DecoyLethal 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. DragonqueenDragonqueen 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 InfestationGrowing Infestation + Virulent ReactionVirulent Reaction (+ Bio-Explosion SwitchBio-Explosion Switch) combo to make Stukov a lot more aggressive than we're used to seeing him be. Flailing SwipeFlailing Swipe continues to be great as a pseudo-Mighty GustMighty 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. PossessionPossession is really strong now, as is Mercenary QueenMercenary Queen, though only if there's nothing for Barbed ShotBarbed 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 GroundHoly 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. 

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Why is Hammer in Viable Tier? I see her so little that she deserves to be in Niche Tier. Don't know last time I've seen her.

Sidenote: I feel like every game where Hammer is, she isn't actually contributing directly to win, but rather she is like Nano Boost or Auriel's level 16 talents, just extension of Warrior who can protect her. I don't feel feel like it's much to what I do.

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Junkrat and Kerrigan THAT high? This isn't sitting very well with me. Junkrat's paragraph didn't really sell me; if you want poke, there the usual known broken stuff like Li-Ming and Chromie (and Gul'dan maybe). Don't think he can compete with that. Kerrigan... I'll just consider this a typo.

 

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6 minutes ago, SteveFrost said:

Junkrat and Kerrigan THAT high? This isn't sitting very well with me. Junkrat's paragraph didn't really sell me; if you want poke, there the usual known broken stuff like Li-Ming and Chromie (and Gul'dan maybe). Don't think he can compete with that. Kerrigan... I'll just consider this a typo.

 

These two characters have seen tournament play this week, are both rising in popularity, and Kerrigan sports particularly high win rates. They're both pretty difficult to play well, however, which might be a turn off for some players.

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55 minutes ago, Oxygen said:

These two characters have seen tournament play this week, are both rising in popularity, and Kerrigan sports particularly high win rates. They're both pretty difficult to play well, however, which might be a turn off for some players.

About Junkrat I don't really care much tbh, I just don't think he sits that high atm (compared to the aforementioned ones). If he proves worthy of that spot, no biggie.

Kerrigan on the other hand is one of those Heroes I like (and when I like a Hero I really like him/her/(it?)). I don't think I missed so many episodes and she jumped that high all of a sudden. The issue with her imho is that she literally requires a team built around her to function properly in her current state (I believe she needs a talent tree rework as well). And it seems kinda ironic cause every tier list post contains the  "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 " part and you suddenly see her skyrocket to the top. I'm all for seeing her picked and played often personally. After all, pros do know best.

Edited by SteveFrost

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Was honestly hoping to see a bit of Nova play at HGC. She's very good at shutting down meme heroes such as Junkrat and Hanzo and creating headaches for otherwise solid heroes to deal with (Orbital on Alex W, for example), and is arguably easier to play than other mages at the moment. 

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2 hours ago, SteveFrost said:

Junkrat and Kerrigan THAT high? This isn't sitting very well with me. Junkrat's paragraph didn't really sell me; if you want poke, there the usual known broken stuff like Li-Ming and Chromie (and Gul'dan maybe). Don't think he can compete with that. Kerrigan... I'll just consider this a typo.

 

Junkrat's displacement is a huge counter to Alexstrasza, who is one of the most popular Healers at the moment. Concussive Mine is fantastic to ruin her Abundance. 

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1 hour ago, SteveFrost said:

Although we currently judge her to be a low-to-mid-tier hero

I suppose that needs an update, now.

Kerrigan is strange; very good at higher levels, and really... not good at lower levels.

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Theser tier lists are so funny. 
One month niche, next month prime. 

Alexstraszas popularity doesnt really suprises me, if you watch your hp you basically heal like nano-boosted Uther.

(though not quite respected by opponents)

This is what i find funny. I think they should nerf her Q heal in Dragonqueen and make the added HP bigger. Right now people arent even threathened, they just jump at you. 

Hanzo was good to begin with but Sharpened Arrowheads just threw him over the roof no wonder that Malthael is no longer prime when Hanzo is doing his job as a tank killer better. 

Sonya finally where she supposed to be. 

Junkrat is similar to non-dot Lunara with his AoE poke. Altough he might not be the best of dmg dealers hes suprising good at finishing of low hp heroes on top of that he can send people to their death with his mine. Imo he was better at it then Garrosh and the nerf didnt help Garroshs case. Not to mentions hes ultis can cause a teamwipe and RIP-Tire is somewhat non-avoidable even by heroes who have protected cuz you can just wait till it goes off.

Endless Nades is indeed the best choice for sustained dmg in that tier but Spread Volley feels like a second ulti on a short cooldown which means its available in every major teamfight. Endless Nades also doesnt help Junkrat in PvE in any way with Spread Valley you can even solo claim most merc camps.

Edited by xevex

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Nova is still dead and buried under several layers of nerfs. I really doubt the HGC (also known as the "Hanzo-Genji Championship") will revive her.

Blaze doesn't feel particularly bad against Malthael: he has some self-sustain capability, as well as a bunker to protect himself from Malthael's AOE heroic + Soul Rips combo.

Why is Lucio not in Prime tier already? He is consistent top pick/ban material across all League ranks.

My prediction about Tyrael is that pros will run a mobility-based build (identical or similar to the one I proposed) because that's the only good thing with the new Tyrael. Will it be enough to push him out of niche tiers? Probably not.

Edited by Leadblast

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5 hours ago, Plergoth said:

Was honestly hoping to see a bit of Nova play at HGC. She's very good at shutting down meme heroes such as Junkrat and Hanzo and creating headaches for otherwise solid heroes to deal with (Orbital on Alex W, for example), and is arguably easier to play than other mages at the moment. 

Care to tell me how do you think Nova can sneak onto a smart Hanzo? He has his nice big AOE scouting arrow, and Nova has been wed with the nerfhammer months ago.

Do people even play the same game anymore?

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1 hour ago, Leadblast said:

Care to tell me how do you think Nova can sneak onto a smart Hanzo? He has his nice big AOE scouting arrow, and Nova has been wed with the nerfhammer months ago.

Do people even play the same game anymore?

In a straight forward trade or tf environment, Nova 5x stacks has the edge over Hanzo in terms of damage and burst (without setup) and her kit allows her to juke and mess around with his telegraphed abilities. I prefer Orbital but I've seen exactly what Triple Tap thinks of his trait as well. 

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6 minutes ago, Plergoth said:

In a straight forward trade or tf environment, Nova 5x stacks has the edge over Hanzo in terms of damage and burst (without setup) and her kit allows her to juke and mess around with his telegraphed abilities. I prefer Orbital but I've seen exactly what Triple Tap thinks of his trait as well. 

I didn't ask how Nova beats Hanzo in an 1v1 duel, I asked you how do you think Nova can sneak onto him.

Triple Tap is stopped cold by Dragon's Arrow.

Try playing this game next time.

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8 hours ago, Oxygen said:

I suppose that needs an update, now.

Kerrigan is strange; very good at higher levels, and really... not good at lower levels.

One of the things that warrants a talent tree rework, don't you say? :3

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I always thought Junkrat's displacement was reason enough for him to be at least viable, but as everyone kept telling me he was low-tier, I stopped playing him. True, he never did that much but the mine, my dudes, THE MINE!

Anyway, Sonya is still ranked too low in my opinion and the other changes seem appropriate. Not quite sure about Greymane, but what do I know, he might be fantastic in high elo games. 

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2 hours ago, Fliits said:

Anyway, Sonya is still ranked too low in my opinion

She's literally in the highest tier. How much higher should she, or could she, be ranked?

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4 minutes ago, PrivateJoker said:

She's literally in the highest tier. How much higher should she, or could she, be ranked?

She deserves her own Tier at the top xD #spintowin (quite arguably on a serious note)

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6 hours ago, Leadblast said:

Care to tell me how do you think Nova can sneak onto a smart Hanzo? He has his nice big AOE scouting arrow, and Nova has been wed with the nerfhammer months ago.

Do people even play the same game anymore?

Hanzo puts the Scouting Arrow out and it's on it's cooldown? Nova walks around it and up to him? Classic situation for any stealth versus someone with a scout ability (Chromie, Tassadar). There is no reason for the Nova not to be smart as well and arguably (especially with shimmer gone now) any "smart" hero can spot a Nova.

Shelve that salt mister; this ain't the kitchen.

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40 minutes ago, MurkyFelix said:

Hanzo puts the Scouting Arrow out and it's on it's cooldown? Nova walks around it and up to him? Classic situation for any stealth versus someone with a scout ability (Chromie, Tassadar). There is no reason for the Nova not to be smart as well and arguably (especially with shimmer gone now) any "smart" hero can spot a Nova.

Shelve that salt mister; this ain't the kitchen.

Yeah Nova walks up to him, and he does what? Stand in the same spot and await patiently for his death like lamb in the slaughterhouse? Couldn't he, um, move away or something? Couldn't Tassadar use Oracle as well to check for her and go away too in pretty much the same manner?

did you know Chromie is pretty much up there with Junkrat when it comes to get away safely from an enemy?

You shelve your naivety and start using your brain as well while playing.

Edited by Leadblast

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21 minutes ago, Leadblast said:

Yeah Nova walks up to him, and he does what? Stand in the same spot and await patiently for his death like lamb in the slaughterhouse? Couldn't he, um, move away or something? Couldn't Tassadar use Oracle as well to check for her and go away too in pretty much the same manner?

did you know Chromie is pretty much up there with Junkrat when it comes to get away safely from an enemy?

You shelve your naivety and start using your brain as well while playing.

Hey man, honestly. There is no need for such toxicity. People have opinions, and it is important to respect them. If you don't agree, you have the right to disagree and discuss, which is what we're trying to do here. But respect in the first place. If they say something wrong, just correct them without insulting their intelligence.

This isn't the Battle.Net forums, thankfully, where people spit venom in your face and downvote in mass anything they don't agree with. This placed isn't called "Icy Veins" for no reason. We're all chillin' here, ya know?

goosfraba.jpeg

Edited by Valhalen
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10 minutes ago, Valhalen said:

Hey man, honestly. There is no need for such toxicity. People have opinions, and it is important to respect them. If you don't agree, you have the right to disagree and discuss, which is what we're trying to do here. But respect in the first place. If they say something wrong, just correct them without insulting their intelligence.

This isn't the Battle.Net forums, thankfully, where people spit venom in your face and downvote in mass anything they don't agree with. This placed isn't called "Icy Veins" for no reason. We're all chillin' here, ya know?

goosfraba.jpeg

People like MurkyFelix make this place seem no different from Blizzards forum whatsoever lol.  It's them who insult my intelligence.

This guy is deliberately trolling you know.

Edited by Leadblast

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1 hour ago, Leadblast said:

People like MurkyFelix make this place seem no different from Blizzards forum whatsoever lol.  It's them who insult my intelligence.

This guy is deliberately trolling you know.

Trolling or not, it does NOT give a valid reason to throw insults at people whatsoever. Keep the jabs to yourself - no one here needs to know them.


For the tier list itself, is there a reason why Kel'Thuzard is in the viable tier? He gets outpoked from the likes of Hanzo/Chromie/insert any medium-long range mage because of his combo range being too small outside of his Glacial Spike and his poke being extremely mediocre, and his lack of mobility/survivability options outside of the level 20 talent makes him food for anyone that can reach him, particularly the ones in the core/prime tiers.

 

It feels like he constantly has to play on the edge of danger to get the most out of him, but he fails more than he succeeds. And I say this as a a guy who stuck with him since release.

Edited by NoBodyIsHere

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1 hour ago, Leadblast said:

People like MurkyFelix make this place seem no different from Blizzards forum whatsoever lol.  It's them who insult my intelligence.

This guy is deliberately trolling you know.

No one insulted your intelligence, and if you can't take a discussion of how you can counter play reveal mechanics without tilting and flying off the handle at someone you really don't belong on the internet... Bring it down a couple notches before mods have to get involved like they have on a couple other threads.

Aside from that, the tier list looks solid. I think uther should be one lower and kharazim one higher, but not that strongly. Jaina might also be creeping closer to the core tier with the shift in meta from double healer. She benefits from the same thing any of the mages do, explosive damage that won't be topped off constantly by double supports. But she in particular can the easier 1v1 kill potential.

That said, I see arguments for a few that could be moved up and down 1 tier, but no one is drastically out placed. Great work as always.

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2 minutes ago, Laragon said:

No one insulted your intelligence,

No one? SEVERAL ONES I'd say. I won't put up with trolls like you do. Go bear them on your own.

Edited by Leadblast

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2 hours ago, Leadblast said:

Yeah Nova walks up to him, and he does what? Stand in the same spot and await patiently for his death like lamb in the slaughterhouse? Couldn't he, um, move away or something? Couldn't Tassadar use Oracle as well to check for her and go away too in pretty much the same manner?

did you know Chromie is pretty much up there with Junkrat when it comes to get away safely from an enemy?

You shelve your naivety and start using your brain as well while playing.

In fairness you did only ask how does Nova sneak up on him. What happens after is completely dependent on what else is going on and the reaction of the hero being attacked; as expected. And yeah; Tassadar could do that but the point I was making earlier was that the stealthies would (and probably should) take advantage of when the scouting tools are on cooldown.

For Chromie; somewhat but it does depend on placement of time traps and her real escapism doesn't come until level 11 and even that's dependent on her baseline being done (if you didn't take Bye Bye).

In reference to you're next comment; please point out where I insulted your intelligence (presume you were talking about me since you mentioned my name ;-;). You know your stuff quite well and are rarely wrong but you are quite hostile in delivering facts/discussing the game.

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      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