Oxygen

Fenix Meta Tier List (April 2018)

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Our eighteenth Heroes of the Storm Meta Tier list for the Fenix patch of March is here!

We present our eighteenth Heroes of the Storm Meta Tier List for the Fenix patch of March 2018.

Welcome to Icy Veins's Meta Tier List for the Fenix patch. The goal of this list is to try and detail game's current metagame state. The prime goal of such lists is to inform players regarding popular and trending team composition drafting strategies (i.e. the drafting metagame). Although tier listings are generally the product of balance, many factors come into play when discussing the relative perceived strengths of heroes, including player regions, maps, play style, skill level, and, of course, personal perception. As such, any tier list—including this very one—should never be interpreted as gospel, but rather, as a guide to better grasp what to expect with regards to typical drafting experiences. One useful application of such lists is to allow you know which heroes to look out for in terms of practice and counterplay, ultimately improving your knowledge of the game.

Using the list

As stated above, tier lists are easy to mistake for gospel. As new strategies are discovered and experimented with, so changes the perception of the relative strengths of each hero. Tier lists still prove to be useful as a snapshot of player expectations in terms of drafting. Although it is generally considered preferable to focus on high tier heroes (Prime and Core tiers), it is important to note that Heroes of the Storm's wild character and map designs make it so that any given hero's tier position is prone to fluctuate depending on the situation at hand.

One classic example of such is that of Kerrigan on the Infernal Shrines map. Although we currently judge her to be a mid-tier hero, her drafting priority shoots up to first-pick or first-ban material on this specific map due to the nature of its objective. Certain heroes also synergise so well with each other that the sole fact of having the opportunity of drafting them together is generally enough to increase their potential. Tassadar and Tracer, for instance, are generally nightmarish to deal with for many. There are too many examples of these interactions to reasonably produce here, but we invite you to consult our guides to know exactly where and when each hero shines. The guides have been linked in the lists below for your convenience - just click any of the hero names to access them.

A  next to a hero's name means its tier list position has increased since the previous month whereas a  means just the opposite. Additionally, a + or - sign indicates short-to-medium term predictions (which is to say, about a month) for tier increase(s) or decrease(s), respectively. These are often updated after significant balance patches and/or when clear trends are emerging.

If you're newer to the game, also consider visiting our glossary for a comprehensive list of discrete Heroes of the Storm terms.

Current ranked mode map rotation

 
  • Battlefield of Eternity
  • Braxis Holdout
  • Cursed Hollow
  • Dragon Shire
  • Infernal Shrines
  • Sky Temple
  • Tomb of the Spider Queen
  • Towers of Doom
  • Volskaya Foundry

 

Prime Tier

Warrior Assassin Support Specialist
Diablo Genji Malfurion -
E.T.C. Fenix (new) Stukov  
Sonya  Hanzo-    
  Maiev    
  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 Li Li Azmodan
Dehaka Jaina Lt. Morales Nazeebo
Garrosh Junkrat Lúcio Sylvanas
Johanna Li-Ming Uther  Zagara
Muradin Malthael    
Stitches Tracer    
Varian (TauntTaunt) (reworked)-      

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 Medivh
Artanis Cassia Brightwing Murky
D.Va Chromie Kharazim Xul
Leoric Gul'dan Rehgar  
Tyrael  Illidan Tyrande  
Zarya Kael'thas    
  Kel'Thuzad    
  Kerrigan    
  Lunara    
  Nova    
  Ragnaros    
  Samuro    
  The Butcher    
  Tychus    
  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 Gazlowe
Cho'gall Raynor Tassadar Probius
Rexxar Valeera   Sgt. Hammer
  Varian (Colossus SmashColossus Smash) (reworked)    
  Varian (Twin Blades of FuryTwin Blades of Fury) (reworked)    

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

Fenix: "What if we made Hanzo's attacks splash?" asked nobody ever, and the answer was Fenix.

This is our second meta-defining hero release. Though unlike Maiev however, quick nerfs are nowhere to be seen besides some 4% damage reduction since the PTR patch. This is well below my own conservative estimate of "20% too much damage". Where do I even start? Fenix is only bad at what he doesn't do. In other words, he's not a healer and not a tank, but makes up for that about everywhere else. On top of feeling grossly overtuned, Fenix is excruciatingly simple to play, turning most engagements with him a mathematical equation involving complex variables such as "who's basic attack is the strongest" and "who has the most health". In most cases, Fenix wins, but if you're not too sure, you can always back out for a few seconds and allow half your health and inexplicably inexistant mana to fill back up.

Although coin flipping your talent choices would be an effective way of reaching 60%+ win rates, the really good ones include Emergency ProtocolEmergency ProtocolCombat AdvantageCombat Advantage, and Auxiliary ShieldsAuxiliary Shields. They more or less make Fenix harder to kill all while simultaneously providing non-negligible offensive bonuses, taking the burden of having to make decisions off your shoulders.

Heroic-wise, both Better StrafeBetter Strafe and Better Hinterland BlastBetter Hinterland Blast have a place; I suggest the latter if your team has a way of setting up effective crowd control chains, such as TauntTaunt.

Tuning Fenix properly will be a difficult task. Although all he really provides is damage, damage happens to be the ultimate form of utility; after all, when you have slain all your enemies, what is left to fear? I usually like my nerfs done through power shifting "easy" damage (basic attacks, point-click abilities, wide area of effects) to "hard" damage (skillshots, situational effects), but most of Fenix's damage is so simple to deliver that I'm not sure how I would proceed. Weapon Mode: Phase BombWeapon Mode: Phase Bomb may need to be weakened somehow to incentivize players to use Weapon Mode: Repeater CannonWeapon Mode: Repeater Cannon and thus have to play more aggressively. Although drastic, removing the splashing effect outright may be a reasonable place to start given how powerful Fenix's ability to waveclear is.

Stukov: Last month, I commented on being on the fence about Stukov, essentially comparing him to a weaker Malfurion. Upon review, I realized I had missed a crucial element: Burst HealingBurst Healing. Though missing Ice BlockIce Block is a big blow against dive, Stukov does have the ability to punch his problems away with actually threatening basic attack damage, unlike other healers.

Garrosh: With high sustain healers being so popular, Garrosh's Armor UpArmor Up is doing wonders for his survivability and general ability to be disruptive. He doesn't quite stack up against some of the top tier tanks, however, with Diablo being a notoriously strong counterpick (and in general). A well timed IndomitableIndomitable can certainly help mitigate this weakness however, particularly post level 16.

Johanna: She's doing better than most tanks in terms of winrates; I suspect she's proving to be a good counterpick to some of the top tanks. Shield GlareShield Glare is also quite good against Fenix, if he happens to sneak into drafts, and her waveclear is some of the best of the tanking line. Quite easy to play, too, so if you're looking to start tanking, give her a try. I don't think I'm ever upset to see Johanna on my team. Well, not any more than I usually am, anyway.

Greymane: Despite highly waning popularity, Blizzard decided to hit Greymane with this oddly-timed and significant 25% nerf (1 second) to Razor SwipeRazor Swipe. Though it may not seem like much, this affects his waveclear, mercenary camp claiming potential, general damage, and chasing potential. I was hellbent on keeping Greymane as a Prime tier hero, but this makes it difficult to legitimately defend.

Li Li: Speaking of unexpected changes, Li Li received a new "anti-basic attack" tool in the form of the Wind SerpentWind Serpent talent. Just as with Johanna, give it a try if Fenix happens to sneak past a ban. Having access to PseudocleansePseudocleanse is interesting as well. Even without this change however, I feel like Li Li was beginning to gain more traction. I wonder if it'll last, but she's fine right now.

Anub'arak: The current metagame state is not particularly friendly to diving and to most melee assassins, leaving Anub'arak quite lonely for the time being.

Auriel: Small buffs gave me hope.

Medivh: His rework made him more accessible to low- and mid-level players while making him less excessively annoying in the hands of Medivh one tricks. Arcane ExplosionArcane Explosion may be busted, however, and probably single-handedly carries his win rate its currently reasonable level by providing him with huge potential burst damage and helping with waveclearing. My assessment has not changed since last month. It should be noted, however, that at the highest tier (grandmaster), Medivh may be first pick/ban-worthy.

Valla: The last couple "marksman" ranged basic-attack based assassins released (Fenix, Hanzo, Zul'jin) all feature longer-than-average basic attack ranges than Valla. Those without better mobility (read: Zul'jin) aren't popular right now. Let's just say Valla is the victim of much blatant powercreep.

Varian*: Many players, including myself, had predicted the doom of Varian. We were 66% right, with TauntTaunt still performing decently. The Shield WallShield Wall changes were pretty brutal to all specializations, though overly so to Colossus SmashColossus Smash and Twin Blades of FuryTwin Blades of Fury, which relied upon the lengthy protection effect to stay in combat at all and bait ability damage like no other hero could. WarbringerWarbringer may just be the better choice now considering it allows you to jump to allies.

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14 minutes ago, Morcalivan said:

I think Lost Vikings need to be in Prime Tier.

I agree! Just today.. I allowed auto select make me tlv and I had fun in Totsq! Prime material I'm sure. I managed a genji

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Yeah the balance seems to be getting fucked even more with every new hero release. The power creep is disgusting, but what's even more disgusting is mobility creep. I can't help but find myself drifting away from this game. Sad.

Gg.

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Better Strafe and Better Hinterlands Blast :D

On topic: Thx for the List though. interesting as always!

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@Oxygen Any comment on the Tracer changes? I think they were the only thing from the Fenix patch that you didn't hit. To me, her damage still feels pretty fine (especially if you can hold on to your Untouchable stacks) but her mobility/defensive tools feel significantly weaker. You basically now have to take Bullet TimeBullet Time instead of JumperJumper just to get your Blink CD back to what it used to be, so you've lost an entire Blink charge on top of the increased Recall CD.

[inb4 flame: I'm not complaining that she didn't deserve nerfs. I may be a dirty Tracer picker but I have no illusions that she wasn't a bit out of line.]

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I think they will nerf his quest.  Reduce the amount of damage it can attain, and may even go so far as to get rid of the extra swing altogether.

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I'm very surprised that Tyrael and Leoric aren't in Core Tier. Tyrael can enable all those divers (like Genji and Maiev) so well with Justice for All, and his Sanctification is one of the best heroics in the game. Leoric's Entomb has disgusting synergy with Diablo or Hanzo, while having strong waveclear to double soak. 

I think Medivh is worth putting in Core Tier. He seems really strong in the right hand. And he's much easier to play than before.

P.S. Li Li doesn't have a pseudo-cleanse, she has a better Cleanse.

Edited by ShadowerDerek

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Fenix should be in Fenix tier above prime, just like Vikings are their own tier below everything.

Edited by supern0va3000
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Very good, as always! Some points I'd like to discuss, though.

8 hours ago, Oxygen said:

Although drastic, removing the splashing effect outright may be a reasonable place to start given how powerful Fenix's ability to waveclear is.

I have a strong feeling they will make the splash damage deal at least 50%. I don't think they will remove it altogether. But to be fair, I think that nerfing his WarpWarp would already solve most of the problems; increasing the cast time and cooldown, and reducing the range.

I know it doesn't make much sense, but I like to compare Fenix to Gul'dan, as they both have absurdly strong sustained damage, fantastic self-sustain and staying power. However, the key difference is that Gul'dan has no mobility whatsoever until level 20, whereas Fenix has a teleport. I believe that the main reason Fenix is OP is his WarpWarp, which combined with his Shield CapacitorShield Capacitor makes him extremely hard to kill unless there are at least two Heroes with hard CC (because any hard dive completely destroys him). I don't really think his damage is so overpowered, the issue is his mobility.

Honestly, I see everyone complaining about Fenix, but what about the Genji and Hanzo we see in every single match? Thank God the Tracer nerf made this game less cancer.

8 hours ago, Oxygen said:

Stukov does have the ability to punch his problems away with actually threatening basic attack damage, unlike other healers.

Thank you for finally agreeing.

8 hours ago, Oxygen said:

Despite highly waning popularity, Blizzard decided to hit Greymane with this oddly-timed and significant 25% nerf (1 second) to Razor SwipeRazor Swipe.

I'm glad he fell down in the Tier List; Greymane has been a Top Tier ever since his release. I strongly believe that him falling is also due to Fenix, who is overall a better duelist and solo-laner (splash damage and self-sustain).

8 hours ago, Oxygen said:

Even without this change however, I feel like Li Li was beginning to gain more traction. I wonder if it'll last, but she's fine right now.

I've always held Li Li close to my heart, even more after her rework. She is not a meta-defining Hero, but she is very good at doing what she does. She surprisingly hard to kill, specially at level 20 (permanent 30 armor from Shake It OffShake It Off is no joke). I'm also enjoying her Cloud Serpent build a lot (Blessings Of Yu'lonBlessings Of Yu'lon is absurdly powerful). And she has amazing synergy with Fenix (Hindering WindsHindering Winds and the severely underrated Water DragonWater Dragon).

8 hours ago, Oxygen said:

Many players, including myself, had predicted the doom of Varian.

Ironically, though, he is one of the strongest counters for Fenix due his Shattering ThrowShattering Throw. Since the Double Warrior Meta will never ever die, I still believe he is strong as a secondary Tank (or even a Bruiser with Colossus SmashColossus Smash). I don't think they "doomed" Varian; he still is a very powerful Hero, but not as powerful as before (now having to be more defensive overall).

However, I can still see a place for him in the meta, even with Twin Blades of FuryTwin Blades of Fury (get any Hero that can inflict slow or roots, slap that Biotic GrenadeBiotic Grenade and see him chop everything).

Edited by Valhalen

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32 minutes ago, supern0va3000 said:

Fenix should be in Fenix tier above prime, just like Vikings are their own tier below everything.

This year's unpublished April's Fool actually looked like this:

ge5ApZU.png

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Oxygen really outdid himself here. I've never seen any post of his with such "love", full of cosmetic adjectives and "French" for a Hero. Truly a masterpiece. It brought a tear to my eye :^) Oh well, haters gonna hate ¯\_(ツ)_/¯.

On a more serious note, Fenix is ok imho. Yes, he's strong-which he should be if you gauge that name and its history, but he's not just a "I right-click you and you're dead" type of hero (*cough Hanzo's range and damage still more ridiculous cough cough*). He's hard to kill, but you should really be careful about your positioning, especially if your team doesn't peel for you (which happens 99,99% of the time). A small mishap and you're a goner. His range isn't than much safe even in Weapon Mode: Phase BombPhoton Cannon That Moves  unless you invest in a Singularity ChargeCybernetics Core upgrade . I agree he could be nerfed, but light touches would do, no need for him to get the pre-rework Tyrael treatment (nerfing everything, removing all the good talents).

Taunt Varian used to see play only as a counter to Tracer with varying levels of success. Now, it seems like she's less frequent and he can stand on his own, the latter of which is nice (tho I believe he could be used against Heroes such as Genji too but oh well). His other 2 builds can find success too imho.

P.S. Imho, if every new/reworked Hero (or at least every second Hero) doesn't shake up things even a little bit, we'll get stuck in a perpetual cycle, the game will become stale, next step is... (I believe everyone knows and doesn't want it to happen)

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38 minutes ago, SteveFrost said:

OOn a more serious note, Fenix is ok imho. Yes, he's strong-which he should be if you gauge that name and its history, but he's not just a "I right-click you and you're dead" type of hero (*cough Hanzo's range and damage still more ridiculous cough cough*).

Also, he is not a cancer like Maiev or pre-rework Garrosh. He just pew pews, like a good and old dragoon.

Edited by Valhalen
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1 hour ago, Valhalen said:

Also, he is not a cancer like Maiev or pre-rework Garrosh. He just pew pews, like a good and old dragoon.

As a Maiev main, I can agree that she is cancer to play against. At least I’m saying that for all the insects that I brutally slayed.

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7 minutes ago, Maxkitty said:

As a Maiev main, I can agree that she is cancer to play against. At least I’m saying that for all the insects that I brutally slayed.

Even with the nerfs she still is very dangerous. Fenix, however, can escape her Umbral BindUmbral Bind with the right timing since WarpWarp gives him invincibility frames during a small window.

Edited by Valhalen

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2 hours ago, Valhalen said:

I've always held Li Li close to my heart, even more after her rework. She is not a meta-defining Hero, but she is very good at doing what she does. She surprisingly hard to kill, specially at level 20 (permanent 30 armor from Shake It OffShake It Off is no joke). I'm also enjoying her Cloud Serpent build a lot (Blessings Of Yu'lonBlessings Of Yu'lon is absurdly powerful). And she has amazing synergy with Fenix (Hindering WindsHindering Winds and the severely underrated Water DragonWater Dragon).

Ironically, though, he is one of the strongest counters for Fenix due his Shattering ThrowShattering Throw. Since the Double Warrior Meta will never ever die, I still believe he is strong as a secondary Tank (or even a Bruiser with Colossus SmashColossus Smash). I don't think they "doomed" Varian; he still is a very powerful Hero, but not as powerful as before (now having to be more defensive overall).

However, I can still see a place for him in the meta, even with Twin Blades of FuryTwin Blades of Fury (get any Hero that can inflict slow or roots, slap that Biotic GrenadeBiotic Grenade and see him chop everything).

Li Li has been pretty good since the supports nerf. It's just that high-level players greatly disputed her for some reasons. 

Varian is dead because he's literally dead before he's able to do anything, especially DPS Varian. 1 stun and you're instantly melted. Even Taunt Varian is much more fragile than before, and he's very vulnerable to poke damage because his self sustain is pretty low. Turns out that the Shield Wall nerf is much more impactful than having heroic earlier.

Also, if you wanna play Twin Blade, just go play Illidan.

Edited by ShadowerDerek

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50 minutes ago, ShadowerDerek said:

Li Li has been pretty good since the supports nerf. It's just that high-level players greatly disputed her for some reasons. 

I think it has to do with lacking targeted heals.

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3 hours ago, Valhalen said:

Also, he is not a cancer like Maiev or pre-rework Garrosh. He just pew pews, like a good and old dragoon.

Release Maiev.. God, the horrors.... Not even release Zarya with the un-nerfed Energy build could top that lmao

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I wouldn't consider WarbringerWarbringer meaningful talent. Just compare it to Illidan's level 4 Friend or FoeFriend or Foe. That one gives you better range ON TOP of already having better range to begin with. I already tried it and found Ally part minor part of it. You basically take it if they have 80-100% damage in AA, otherwise Shield WallShield Wall no questions asked.
 

PS: Thanks for the laughs from Better Strafe and Better Hinterlandblast. :)

Edited by SleepySheepy

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7 hours ago, Valhalen said:

Very good, as always! Some points I'd like to discuss, though.

I have a strong feeling they will make the splash damage deal at least 50%. I don't think they will remove it altogether. But to be fair, I think that nerfing his WarpWarp would already solve most of the problems; increasing the cast time and cooldown, and reducing the range.

I believe that the main reason Fenix is OP is his WarpWarp, which combined with his Shield CapacitorShield Capacitor makes him extremely hard to kill unless there are at least two Heroes with hard CC (because any hard dive completely destroys him). I don't really think his damage is so overpowered, the issue is his mobility.

What you should see is a pattern: ranged heroed with good damage AND a powerfull escape. Oh, and Fenix also slows so he has utility. Another feature is that he has sustain and reasonably good burst protection(shields).  These make Fenix hard to reach and kill for melee asassins.

Now a different topic: since when (and why) is Thrall a prime tier contender ? Last time I heard about him he was a significantly weaker Sonya. Maybe is because of his lightning build ?

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Talking about Fenix, I don't understand why his spells are allowed to shade spells from the other heroes.

As examples, when he warps after being AA'ed by Zeratul, Vorpal Blade cannot be used. The same thing does apply to his "Better strafe" when used against Tracer : if Tracer gets caught by the scanning laser, the Recall doesn't allow her to cancel the targetting while it can cancel the other targeted spells like KT's Pyroblast (both are heroic spells).

I think that removing those parts of his kit could be a good nerf as it'll allow to catch him more often and make both of his heroics technically avoidable without taking out too much of his raw power or survivability.

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Honestly, there's just one thing about Fenix that makes him truly busted IMO. It's the period of invulnerability, or rather nonexistence, on WarpWarp. It lets him dodge potentially deadly heroics at little cost because it not only provides invulnerability like Ice BlockIce Block, it also detaches incoming projectiles. This means that all he needs to do is warp (without any real timing required) to nullify PyroblastPyroblastTemporal LoopTemporal LoopPurification SalvoPurification SalvoRuthless OnslaughtRuthless OnslaughtPulse BombPulse Bomb, Umbral BindUmbral BindFrost BlastFrost Blast, and many others. I think that removing the "phased out" period, essentially making it work like any other teleport, would already bring his winrates down to reasonable levels. I realize that this would actually increase his mobility by decreasing the delay, so a corresponding range nerf might also be warranted. Beyond this, I think a couple small numerical tweaks (particularly Weapon Mode: Phase BombWeapon Mode: Phase Bomb AOE radius) could be all that's needed.

Edited by Peaches9

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4 hours ago, XeaKon said:

Now a different topic: since when (and why) is Thrall a prime tier contender ? Last time I heard about him he was a significantly weaker Sonya. Maybe is because of his lightning build ?

I've always thought of Thrall to be pretty strong, but he is definitely in Prime right now because of the lightning build. IMO it's pretty broken especially on certain maps like Battlefield of Eternity. Maps like that where the enemy team is clumped up around objectives its easy to get stacks for crash lightning and by late game he puts out so much damage (Edit: From decent range that can't miss and bounces to others I may add). Then add his amazing root, self-sustain, and stun heroic with sundering. He's most definitely prime.

Edited by Dax

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9 hours ago, Valhalen said:

Even with the nerfs she still is very dangerous. Fenix, however, can escape her Umbral BindUmbral Bind with the right timing since WarpWarp gives him invincibility frames during a small window.

Fenix is in fact a good counter to Maiev, but they also synergize very well with each other. However, as we all know, the chances of a Fenix slipping through a draft are very slim, while Maiev is much more likely. Maiev is also way harder to play, so playing her well takes lots of practice, whereas Fenix is very easy to play.

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6 hours ago, IcyBeam said:

Talking about Fenix, I don't understand why his spells are allowed to shade spells from the other heroes.

These are balance afterthoughts they certainly don't take into account. What's avoiding a couple spells for free when you more or less outdamage everyone? You'll note that all 3 last hero releases have ways of completely avoiding certain spell effects, something that was once rare or required extremely good timing (such as Li-Ming blinking to cancel Pyroblast). Power creep's finest!

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      Utilizing Displacement
      At Level 16, you must be aware of which Heroes excel in the late game. “I only really know stuff about my role,” said Breez. “I do know you will get punished for only picking Heroes that are weak in the early game but strong in the later stages. That being said, good late-game Heroes would be like Diablo, Muradin, Tracer, Jaina, and Tychus. They are all very strong beyond Level 16.”
      Which Battlegrounds would these Heroes with late-game power spikes be considered the strongest on? “Thanks to the Tower experience changes that came after the HGC Finals, most maps do not snowball anymore,” said Breez. “Anyway, it's the maps that are least likely to snowball where you will want to pick these late-game scaling Heroes. Good Battlegrounds for these Heroes would be like Towers of Doom, Cursed Hollow, and Dragon Shire.”
      What About Volskaya?
      “In the professional meta, getting the first Protector Mech on Volskaya Foundry is fairly important. Usually if you get the first robot, you just can get the fort or multiple towers easily. It is a little easier to get an early lead on Volskaya if you know what you are doing!”
      It’s not just about knowing what your power spike is, or when the enemy team picks up talents like Icy Veins and Get Stuffed. Passively keeping track of player quests also will give you a competitive edge. “You have to be aware of when Gul'dan is landing his Corruption and when he finishes his Level 1 quest. It happens often that instantly when he finishes his quest people aren't aware of it and he just melts people.”
      Regeneration Globe quests have been buffed across the board thanks to the same gameplay update that Breez referenced above. As such, Breez says, "If you have a stronger early game and you can get two globes from every wave, you can be done with the globe quest incredibly fast now. That is a good example of something that people don't really think about in pro play—if you can just get 30 Globes on Stitches or whoever super early, then that Hero is going to be very hard to kill for the rest of the game.”
      Keep Tabs with Tab
        Make a habit of checking everyone's Talents and Quest progression on the Leader Panel throughout the game. How is someone to supposed to keep track of all this information?! “Click tab,” says Breez. “Click tab more! Keep track of the talents that are being picked, see what is working and what is not working for other Heroes other than yourself. Check to see what Heroics the enemy team takes as soon as they hit Level 10.” 
      Hopefully you’ll heed Breez’s advice next time you hit that Ready button! Be sure to check out the Heroes of the Storm website for more information on Hero roles and Battlegrounds and scope the new Hero page right here at playheroes.com/esports for an inside look at the professional meta. We will return with Endgame Moves later this year!
    • By Stan
      Quite a few interesting items will be on sale next week. You can buy the entire Farstrider Hanzo Skin Pack for the first time and the Ripper Mount will become purchasable for 10,000 Gold through August 20.
      Blizzard (Source)
      Heroic Deals: July 24 – July 30, 2018 
      Our next set of Heroic Deals will begin on Tuesday, July 24! Check out the list of upcoming featured items and Hero discounts below. Upcoming Hero Sales
      Artanis — Sale Price: 312 gems Hanzo — 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
      Farstrider Hanzo Skin Pack* Stealth Mecha Dehaka Scarlet Dream Genie Chromie Citrine Knight Owl Medivh Death Knight Sonya Upcoming Featured Mounts
      Brown Dire Wolf Amber Spectre Phantom Drakkari War Bear * First time featured item!
      Gold Mounts
      The following Gold Mount changes will take place once this week’s round of Heroic Deals begins: Ripper Mount — Will become purchasable for 10,000 gold through August 20. Piggy Bank — Will no longer be purchasable in the Collection.
    • By Stan
      Silver City is a single-lane map with shuffle pick, standard play and the first team to destroy the enemy Core wins. Complete three matches to receive a Loot Chest.
      Blizzard (Source)
      This week’s Heroes Brawl is Silver City! Battle against the enemy team on this single-lane Battleground featuring a familiar design straight out of the High Heavens, Mercenary Camps ready to be swayed to your team’s favor, and tons of action. Queue up, choose your hero, and try your best to send the enemy team to the Burning Hells!
      Rules:
      Shuffle pick - Choose from one of three Heroes before entering the battle. Standard play - no talent or level restrictions. The first team to destroy the enemy Core wins! Rewards:
      Complete three matches of the Silver City Brawl to earn a Loot Chest! Find out more about the Heroes Brawl game mode on our Heroes Brawl site; and as always, you can find more information on this week’s Brawl by clicking the Brawl Info button at the bottom of the play screen when preparing to queue for the Brawl game mode.
    • By Stan
      Team Octalysis' flex player Francisco "Goku" Avalos talks about how to make the best use of your time while the enemy team's dead in the fourth installment of Midgame Moves.
      Midgame Moves
      Part One: Map Pressure & Camp Timings Part Two: Boss Control Part Three: How to Recover from a Lost Fight Blizzard (Source)
      How to Push Your Advantage to the Max
      It’s Midgame Moves week for Heroes of the Storm! It’s time to continue the educational content series that kicked off 2018 featuring some of the smartest personalities in the scene. Midgame Moves is focused on the meaty middle portion of a competitive game! We’ve touched on map pressure, boss control, and recovering from a lost team fight. Today, we will learn about how best to press your advantage.
      You’ve successfully navigated a team fight and there are multiple Heroes dead on the enemy team now. What is the best use of your time while those enemy death timers tick down? Team Octalysis’ flex player Francisco "Goku" Avalos is on hand to help you understand how best to further your lead.
      Take Everything in Close Proximity
      Pushing your advantage is entirely dependent on the situation you find yourself in. Usually, the best call is to push a nearby structure, but if the fight ended on top of a camp it will only take a few moments of your time to capture that as well. Perhaps splitting the team up and clearing waves to get ahead in soak is the best call. There are multiple considerations, and time is of the essence.
      “The amount of travel time is very important,” Goku said. “If you're top and you win a fight, it's not worth it to travel all the way down to take camps on bottom. [The other team will] be back up soon, and they might be able to defend against you. You usually want to take whatever you're close to after you've won the fight—it’s best to press your advantage wherever you're at.”
      Experience leads come and go, lanes get pushed back and forth, and dead players respawn—remember that structure damage is permanent (unless you’re playing against an Abathur with M.U.L.E). Taking a structure after winning a fight typically yields far more value than doing a Mercenary camp.
      “I think a lot of people make the mistake of doing camps just for the sake of doing camps,” said Goku. “Ask yourself what you can do with a camp when you take it. Try and play in the mindset of a 6v5, your Mercenary camp is another player slowly pushing in.”
      Avoid Wasting Time
      There are a few common traps that players fall into once they feel like it’s time to capitalize on their winning position in the game. The first would be assuming that an early game objective is going to set you up for success.
      “If you complete the objective very early, most of the time it's not going to get much done,” said Goku. “The first set of Web Weavers on Tomb of the Spider Queen are very easy to clear, and an early Curse on Cursed Hollow isn’t that impactful. A good rule of thumb is to just try to obtain as much soak as possible after you've taken an early objective. Then you're setting yourself up for the next team fight, and it becomes more difficult for the enemy team to bounce back.”
      The second mistake Goku points to is the immediate call to do a Boss after a fight has been won. This commonly happens on Sky Temple after the level 10 fight on bottom Temple. “I think it's like a 7- to 8-minute Boss at that point, which doesn't do much,” said Goku. “It's just way better to push bottom or middle lane. You can also take their Siege camp instead.”
      Set Yourself Up for The Next Fight
      When you’ve won a fight, do whatever you can to bolster your odds of winning the next fight. If that means taking an enemy Well near a future objective spawn or stealing a camp to deny your opponents a way back into the game, remember that the last fight is inevitably the only one that truly matters.
      It’s best to not get overly ambitious with shot calling in these situations. “If their death timers are around 40 seconds and you still must go through a Fort and a Keep, then it's better to play around the map and try to get a level advantage for the next fight instead. If you're close to their Keep and you have most of your team alive then it's probably best to push,” said Goku.
      How do you know if it’s safe to push or not? “Ask yourself: Who on the enemy team is still alive? For example, if a mage is still up and they still have a Support—that is still a solid defense," said Goku. "But if it's a Warrior or an off-laner, then that's easily your best chance to try and push or end the game.”
      Snowstorm
      “The best Hero for 'snowballing' would be Jaina in my opinion,” said Goku. “The burst she provides demands a constant response from the enemy team. if she gets a level lead it's even more devastating what she’s capable of. Being a talent tier down on Jaina doesn't feel quite as good but you can comeback—one good Ring of Frost or one decent flank can turn the game around.”
      Now that you understand the basics and some of the common mistakes players make when attempting to retain their lead, hopefully you’ll find yourself prepped and ready for the next team fight after winning the last one. Midgame Moves Week continues tomorrow with a guide to scaling featuring Fnatic’s Warrior player Pontus "Breez" Sjögren.
    • By Stan
      In the third installment of Midgame Moves, Team Dignitas' Vilhelm “POILK” Flennmark details how to recover from a lost battle and get back into the game.
      Midgame Moves
      Part One: Map Pressure & Camp Timings Part Two: Boss Control Blizzard (Source)
      How to Recover from a Lost Team Fight
      It’s Midgame Moves week for Heroes of the Storm! It’s time to continue theeducational content series that kicked off 2018 featuring some of the smartest personalities in the scene, now focusing on the meaty middle portion of a competitive game. On day one we explored map pressure and mercenary camp timings, while yesterday we emphasized boss control. Today, we learn about safe rotations and trade pushing!
      You’ve just lost a team fight and things are looking bleak; something needs to change to turn the tides. Team Dignitas’ Vilhelm “POILK” Flennmark is on hand to help you navigate to victory from the backfoot.
      Attitude is Everything
      “You should focus on what you can do, instead of what has happened,” said POILK. “You can’t change what has happened and what set you back, but you can look for things to do that will help you get back into the game.”
      Do your best to be a part of the solution when it comes to mounting a comeback. “Instead of having that little argument in chat, talk about what you can do instead,” he added.
      Playing Safe is the Only Option
      Soaking experience is of paramount importance—it’s the only way you’ll return to even footing. To ensure that you aren’t staggering more deaths in the process, watch your pathing between lanes. “If you know where the enemy is then there is no problem taking the aggressive path between lanes,” POILK said. “It's when you don't know where they are that you should fear doing aggressive rotations because they could very likely be hiding in that bush between the lanes.”
      It’s common for teams to set up with the intention of pouncing on any enemy Hero that walks by. “If you're leading on Cursed Hollow, you can take the aggressive rotation from middle to bottom where you pass the bush. I would recommend checking bushes with spells. If you’re behind, you can dodge the bush completely by taking a less direct route.”
      Stop the Bleeding, Start the Trade Push
      Before course-correcting a game gone sideways, you must stop the bleeding. “If something goes wrong and the fight starts badly, you just want to back off and avoid losing more people,” POILK said. “You always want to gain something in exchange for losing the objective, even if it's just catching some soak from waves.”
      Enter ‘trade pushing’. A trade push is essentially giving up the objective on purpose in exchange for making progress elsewhere on the map. “Trade pushing during an objective you can't contest is a key part of returning to even footing,” POILK said.
      To understand trade push, you must first comprehend the cardinal rule. “Soaking experience is the most important part of Heroes of the Storm, especially in the early and midgame,” POILK said. “If your opponent commits five people to do the middle Shrine but you get soak and structures on both top and bottom, that is a lot of experience gained. After level 20, soak is not that important.”
      Structures are not Everything
      Only one team is destined to destroy the Core, but there will be several small windows in which your team can safely soak and siege without fear. “The objectives don't really get super-strong until the late game,” POILK said. “The second Punisher on Infernal Shrines usually just gets a fort. With a coordinated team you could easily get a fort on your own with the amount of time the enemy team spends doing the objective.”
      The 'Rage Push' Play
      We covered the Hail Mary Boss play yesterday, but there is a dire play to be made in every situation. “A desperation play you'll see on Dragon Shire is where the team that is hopelessly behind will take the Siege Giants and bottom Knights to mount one last rage push. That’s what Team Dignitas calls it. You're hoping for a lucky pick and some structure damage to get back into the game that way. Sometimes just brute forcing is the best chance you'll have to get back in the game. Those circumstances are rare though.”
      Fighting for the objective is often the most straightforward path to victory, but when you’re trying to come from behind you want to minimize your exposure to the enemy team. "On Infernal Shrines, it is very common for the experience levels to be 13-12 when the second Shrine spawns,” POILK said. “For whatever reason the losing team always makes the mistake of forcing a fight during this. If the second Shrine spawns top, you want to hide from the map before pushing bottom lane with your minion wave. This forces the enemy team to choose between pushing with the Punisher and defending, which usually gives you enough time to catch up in levels.”
      Never Give Up; Never Surrender!
      Team Dignitas mounted a comeback of their own against Gen.G Esports in the grand finals of the Mid-Season Brawl. POILK recently played a pretty major role in a great example of running back a game that looked all but over. “Our shot calling is very good—we are always looking for a way back into any game we might be losing,” he said.
      In their match against Gen.G Esports on Towers of Doom, Team Dignitas did just that—patiently waiting for their Storm Tier Talents to even the playing field before wiping their Korean rivals. “I don't really remember what the coms were, but I know we weren't totally sure we could end. I said I could take bottom Fort, Wubby said he could do the Sappers, Zaelia said he could take mid Fort and Snitch was already on his way to top lane. It was like, everyone saw a thing they could do on their own. Everyone just knew exactly what they needed to do.”
      While you shouldn’t expect to have the same coordination as one of the best teams in the world, that’s inspiring nonetheless—and acts as a great segue into tomorrow’s Midgame Moves article on pushing your advantage to the max, featuring Francisco "Goku" Avalos from North America’s Team Octalysis!