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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      I know we’ve been more quiet than usual the past few weeks, but it’s not because we’ve lost focus on the game. In fact, we’ve been working very hard behind the scenes to regroup as a team and align on our goals for 2019 and beyond. As I mentioned before, this process involved revisiting not only our existing plans, but also rethinking some of our approaches to core areas of the game and its development with our focus solely on creating the best experience possible for our players. It’s been a bunch of work and there’s still much more work ahead, but we’re finally ready to get back to talking about our plans and sharing some insight as to what our players can expect next.
      We can’t talk about Heroes without talking about our awesome content. As you’ve seen so far this year, we released Imperius along with a flurry of impactful hero balance changes across the game. We also announced our Resistance themed event before bringing it to PTR this week, and we’re excited to deliver those fun skins for Hanzo, Deckard, and my BFF, Blaze, next week! While we have more balance changes coming at regular intervals, our next new hero is also right around the corner. There are some theories floating around as to who’s next, but we have a few more releases before they’ll be ready to see the light of day.
      Speaking of our next few releases, you probably noticed that our Lunar New Year seasonal event hasn’t hit yet, but fear not – that’s just because we’ve reimagined it as our Spring Event. Last year we had a ton of fun with our unique seasonal events like Nexomania in Summer, The Fall of King’s Crest in Fall, and Toys in Winter, and we’d like to continue exploring fun new universes and themes to coincide with each season moving forward. Stay tuned for all the details on our Spring Event next month, and know that we’ll not only be bringing back our previous limited-time Lunar New Year content, but we’ll also unveil an exciting, all-new skin theme to round out this year’s event.
      Let’s talk about features and systems. There’s been a lot of discussion both on the Heroes dev team and amongst our community regarding the state of Ranked Play, Quick Match, and matchmaking. The team’s made some decisions as a continuation of the plans we shared at BlizzCon and we have a schedule for a series of improvements we’ll be making across the next few patches and Ranked Seasons. Much like we did in our AMA’s last year, we’d like to have the developers responsible for those changes discuss these plans with you at our next Reddit AMA, tentatively planned for later this month. As part of that AMA, we’ll also dive into some thoughts surrounding our continued evolution of Quick Match and our upcoming completion of the Hero Role overhaul, so please join us for that discussion. We’ll share the upcoming Reddit AMA schedule soon!
      Another thing I mentioned in my last post was that we’d be reevaluating not only our content and feature plans, but also taking another look at how players unlock the Collection. As part of looking back, we took stock of where we’ve been across the game’s lifespan. We recognized that Heroes 2.0 was an important step in our game’s evolution and brought a lot of very positive changes. It grew our audience, got more players earning or buying the stuff we loved creating, and most importantly – it uncapped progression and gave all Heroes players a chance to unlock content in the Collection for free by simply playing the game and earning Loot Chests. While we saw a lot of benefits from our Heroes 2.0 changes, they did come at the cost of taking away the ability to purchase most skins directly. I’m excited to say that we’ve decided to make some changes here based on player feedback.
      Beginning with the Resistance patch that hits next week, all skins in the Collection will be purchasable individually with Gems. This is a change that many of our players have asked for, and we’re really happy to finally bring it to the game. Note that this goes beyond what we offered pre-Heroes 2.0, as every skin in the Collection will now have a Gem and Shard price individually, whereas before Heroes 2.0 skins were only available in bundles that included every color variation. Be sure to check out the patch notes next week for all the details and know that we have plans down the road to expand these offerings to the rest of the Collection. We hope this change helps give players the best option yet to get the exact content they’re most excited about.
      We didn’t want to stop there, so we also looked deeper at ways we could provide more value and utility with Gold. As a result, we’re going to start allowing players to convert their earned Gold to Shards alongside the release of our Spring Event next month. This change combined with the Gem changes is intended to give all players maximum flexibility in how they unlock their favorite content, and the team is excited to provide these options.
      So that’s a lot of stuff summarized at once here, and the team will be elaborating on it all as it unfolds across the next few patches. The past few months have been challenging for us, but the Heroes team is united with a passion for this game and all of you in our community. It’s been difficult to remain so silent while we unpacked all these changes, but we’re eager to get back to communicating regularly with you and talking about the game we all love. To that end, be on the lookout for our next few AMAs across February, March, and April and we’ll be striving to find more ways to get our developers involved in discussing the game with you.
      Thank you for bearing with us as we adapt to these changes, and we can’t wait to share more of the awesome things we’re working on with you in the coming weeks and months! In the meantime, please keep that feedback coming!
      Kaéo
    • By Stan
      Lunara, Probius, and Stitches are on sale this week along with the Flirty Cloud mount.
      Blizzard (Source)
      Our latest round of Heroic Deals and Limited-Time Offers brings 50% off of a limited selection of Heroes and a fresh set of limited-availability skins and mounts into the collection for purchase or crafting. Check out the Hero sales and featured items listed below, and then head in-game to add them to your collection before these offers expire!
      Heroic Deals: February 19 - 26

      Heroes Discount Price Lunara 625 312 Gems Stitches 625 312 Gems Probius 750 375 Gems Limited-Time Offers: February 12 
      The skins and mounts that we’ve added to the Limited-Time Offers are available for Gem purchase and Shard crafting for a period of a few weeks, starting on February 12. Be sure to grab these items now, because once the offer expires they will leave the collection until the next time they’re featured here!
      Skins Mounts Paramour Pajamathur Abathur Flirty Cloud We hope you enjoy your new Heroes, skins, and mounts as you conquer your next challenge in the Nexus! Be sure to head to the Heroes of the Storm website every week to check out our latest round of Heroic Deals and Limited-Time Offers.
    • By Stan
      Free Hero rotation has been updated for the week of February 19.
      Free-to-Play Hero Rotation: February 19, 2019
      Malfurion Valla Gazlowe Johanna Thrall Dehaka Tyrael Lunara Kharazim Kerrigan D.Va (Slot unlocked at Player Level 5) Maiev (Slot unlocked at Player Level 10) Medivh (Slot unlocked at Player Level 15) Nova (Slot unlocked at Player Level 20) (Source)
    • By Stan
      The Nexus Forces have taken over a Volskaya Industries Factory - fight to the death to obtain its manufactured power! Two teams enter, one team leaves.
      Blizzard (Source)
      Rules:
      Battle it out on a single-lane Overwatch-themed Battleground known only as… the Trial Grounds. Shuffle Pick Choose from one of three Heroes at the beginning of the match. Choose carefully though, you won’t have the opportunity to choose again after rounds. Elimination A round is won when all Heroes on the enemy team are slain. Best of Three The first team to win two rounds will win the Brawl! Round Events  Starting at 60 seconds, an elevator will rise in the center of the Battleground, presenting one of the following challenges to both teams: Tribute Capture the Tribute to reduce the health of all enemy Heroes to 1! Capture Point  Capture the point to spawn a Triglav Protector for your team! Artifact Artifact spawns in the center of the Battleground. The first Hero to walk over it gains its power! The Hero that kills the artifact carrier will claim it for themselves. Dueling Immortals Immortals spawn for each team in the center of the Battleground. Once an immortal has been slain, the winning team’s Immortal will take to the sky, revealing the map and raining destruction onto the enemy Heroes. Safe Zone  A Safe Zone is created at the center of the Battleground. Every 15 seconds the entire map is electrified, and only those in the Safe Zone will be protected. There’s also a chance for no event at all. You’ll just have to rely on your own ruthless skills to take down the enemy Heroes and be the last team standing! Rewards:
      Complete three matches of Trial Grounds to earn a Loot Chest!
    • By Stan
      This week's sales include Abathur, Artanis, Butcher, and the Flirty Cloud mount!
      Blizzard (Source)
      Our latest round of Heroic Deals and Limited-Time Offers brings 50% off of a limited selection of Heroes and a fresh set of limited-availability skins and mounts into the collection for purchase or crafting. Check out the Hero sales and featured items listed below, and then head in-game to add them to your collection before these offers expire!
      Heroic Deals: February 12 - 19

      Heroes Discount Price Butcher 625 312 Gems Artanis 625 312 Gems Abathur 750 375 Gems Limited-Time Offers: February 12 
      The skins and mounts that we’ve added to the Limited-Time Offers are available for Gem purchase and Shard crafting for a period of a few weeks. Be sure to grab these items now, because once the offer expires they will leave the collection until the next time they’re featured here!
      Skins Mounts Paramour Pajamathur Abathur Flirty Cloud We hope you enjoy your new Heroes, skins, and mounts as you conquer your next challenge in the Nexus! Be sure to head to the Heroes of the Storm website every week to check out our latest round of Heroic Deals and Limited-Time Offers.
      Head to the official Heroes of the Storm forums to discuss this post with other players.