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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      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 Diablo Genji Malfurion - E.T.C. Fenix  Stukov   Garrosh↑ Maiev-     Sonya Thrall     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 Arthas Falstad Alexstrasza Abathur Blaze   Greymane Deckard (new) Azmodan Dehaka Hanzo↓ Li Li Nazeebo Johanna Jaina Lt. Morales Sylvanas- Muradin Junkrat Lúcio  Zagara Stitches Li-Ming Uther   Varian (Taunt) Malthael       Tracer     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 Anub'arak Alarak Auriel Gazlowe↑ Artanis Cassia Brightwing- Medivh+ D.Va Chromie Kharazim Murky Leoric Gul'dan Rehgar Xul Tyrael  Kael'thas Tyrande-   Zarya Kel'Thuzad+       Kerrigan       Lunara       Nova       Ragnaros       Samuro       The Butcher       Tychus+       Varian (Colossus Smash)↑       Valla       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 Ana Probius Cho'gall Illidan↓ Tassadar Sgt. Hammer Rexxar Raynor       Valeera       Varian (Twin Blades of Fury)     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 The Lost Viking 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, this notoriously poorly designed trio is generally avoided by most players.
       
      Metagame assessment
      Tanky meta featuring a tonne of crowd control. Most fights come down to who gets caught out of position first. The natural counters to a tanky meta is typically a double support meta, but Blizzard's recent crusade against support heroes and general design trend embracing overspecialization (i.e. healers can't deal damage or have waveclear, with Deckard being the pinnacle of such) makes this unlikely to happen unless there are more radical changes inbound. In other words, I feel like we may be stuck with what we see.
      Deckard: Fits right in the current metagame with outstanding follow up to any initiation in the form of Scroll Of Sealing, high healing (though weak against displacement effects), great adaptive talents (notably, Emerald against any burst target and Kanai's Cube as a counter to burst) and armor to make him surprisingly difficult to kill. His biggest weakness might be lacking a Cleanse equivalent, though this is becoming more and more common.
      Garrosh: Doesn't do well against Diablo, but wreaks havoc against many other tanks. Particularly strong right now due to being more or less unburstable on top of bringing his super reliable cleansing effect in Indomitable. High high armor works well with sustain healers who basically populate the two highest tiers of healers, bar Uther.
      Hanzo: Excessive basic attack range allowed him to overshadow every other attack-based assassin bar Fenix. Reducing his range by about 15% puts him in right in range of a number of several movement abilities on top of giving him less breathing room against casters. This results in either reduced survivability or damage dealing potential, and in the inability to attack turrets without retaliation. His waveclear and evasiveness were also hit for good measure (through Explosive Arrows damage and Natural Agility range nerfs, respectively). He remains a fine hero, though nowhere near as oppressive, and nowhere near as safe for newer players. I don't expect him to do well in lower leagues.
      Illidan: A feast-or-famine design that feels outdated in terms of depth, overshadowed in the face of rampant mobility creep, and out of meta versus so much crowd control. This will remain the case as long as he is balanced so tightly around using Betrayer's Thirst.
    • By Stan

      Heroes of the Storm Highlights are back with episode 109 of WTF Moments.
      The latest episode starts off with a Hook & Wrecking Ball combo, executed six times in the same match. Poor Alexstrasza and Blaze! Next, we have an unlucky Fenix that gets tossed by the Dragon Knight straight into Gazlowe's Deth Lazor. Definitely check out the insane Genji gameplay at the end of the video (08:50)!
      Let us know your favorite moments in the comments below and don't forget to submit your replays here for a chance to be featured in an upcoming episode of the series.
      Previous Episodes
      WTF Moments Episode 108 WTF Moments Episode 106 & 107 WTF Moments Episode 105
    • By Stan

      The Combat Medic and the Dark Prelate will be on sale next week for 375 Gems and Abyssal Deathbringer Sonya joins the fray for the first time!
      Blizzard (Source)
      Heroic Deals: May 22 – 28, 2018 
      Our next set of Heroic Deals will begin on Tuesday, May 22! Check out the list of upcoming featured items and Hero discounts below.  Upcoming Hero Sales
      Zeratul — Sale Price: 375 Gems Lt. Morales— Sale Price: 375 Gems The following skins and mounts will be added to the featured item rotation and will become purchasable with gems until this round of Heroic Deals comes to an end:
      Upcoming Featured Skins
      Night Ronin Zeratul  Prototype Love Doctor Morales  Abyssal Deathbringer Sonya*  Dreambreaker Thrall  Cruel Queen of Ghosts Kerrigan  Kandy King Muradin  Overqueen Zagara  Elite Agent Nova  * First time featured item!
      Upcoming Featured Mounts
      Hunter Felsaber Demon  Hellboar
    • By Stan

      Mineral Madness returns as this week's brawl! The objective is to collect Minerals, gain access to special abilities and destroy the enemy Core on the single-lane Starcraft-themed battleground. Play three games to receive a Loot Chest.
      Blizzard (Source)
      Rally your troops and prepare to battle over the Koprulu Sector’s most valuable resource – Minerals! This week’s Brawl is a StarCraft themed mechanical mad dash for Minerals!
      Rules & Details
      Load into a single-lane StarCraft themed battleground and battle to collect Minerals and bring down the enemy Core. SCVs carrying Minerals will be escorted with every Minion wave SCVs are destroyed after 2 hits and are Invulnerable until their escorting Ranged Minion is killed. SCVs drop between 5 and 8 minerals when destroyed, which can be collected by Heroes. Heroes killed while holding Minerals will drop half of their current reserve. Upon reaching 50 Minerals, Heroes consume their gathered Minerals to gain an aura with the following effects:  Instantly destroy Minions Periodically damage nearby enemy Heroes Disable nearby Structures Periodically drop Minerals which enemy Heroes can gather The first team to take down the enemy Core will be declared victorious! Rewards
      Complete three matches of Mineral Madness to earn a Loot Chest! Find out more about the Heroes Brawl game mode on our 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 this exciting new game mode.