Stan

Heroes of the Storm Balance Update: Apr 11

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36452-balance-update-mar-21.png

This week's balance update was delayed, because the patch caused an issue affecting logins. The patch should now be live in all regions.

Blizzard LogoBlizzard (Source)

Edit: As an update, we believe we've identified the issue and are still planning to release this patch today. We'll let you know if anything changes. Thanks!

Hi everyone,

When we initially released today's patch in the Americas, we encountered an issue affecting logins. As a result, we've reverted the patch so that we can investigate the cause and roll out a fix as soon as possible.

For now, we've also pulled the patch notes out of the launcher to prevent any more confusion about which patch is currently live. You can still play normally on version 31.1 while we work to address 31.2.

Thanks for your patience!

What's New?

  • Fenix and Tracer received nerfs in this update, while Chen and Kharazim have been buffed.
  • Sylvanas' Black ArrowsBlack Arrows trait has changed so that her abilities no longer disable Structures.
    • The change does not affect her Basic Attacks.
  • New functionality has been added to Falstad's Gathering StormGathering StormWingmanWingman & UpdraftUpdraft.

Read on for more details!

Blizzard LogoBlizzard (Source)

Assassin

Falstad

XZ4PPH8K5IF51417483334088.png
Talents
  • Level 1
    • Gathering StormGathering Storm (Q)
      • Added functionality:
        • Every Hero HammerangHammerang hits also returns 10 Mana.
    • WingmanWingman (Active)
      • Added functionality:
        • Reduces Lightning RodLightning Rod’s cooldown by 3 seconds
  • Level 4
    • UpdraftUpdraft (E)
      • Added functionality:
        • Removes the duration of Shields granted by Barrel RollBarrel Roll.

Fenix

FWX7K6MDUZO51519929019805.png
Stats
  • Basic Attack damage reduced from 96 to 86.
Abilities
  • Plasma CutterPlasma Cutter (Q)
    • Damage reduced from 145 to 135.
  • Planet CrackerPlanet Cracker (R)
    • Damage increased from 105 to 108.
Talents
  • Level 1
    • Advanced TargetingAdvanced Targeting (Q)
      • Damage bonus reduced from 0.75 to 0.5.
      • Maximum bonus damage reduced from 75 to 60.
    • Arsenal SynergyArsenal Synergy (W)
      • Damage bonus increased from 100% to 175%
  • Level 4
    • Emergency ProtocolEmergency Protocoll (Trait)
      • Movement Speed bonus reduced from 30% to 25%.
  • Level 7
    • Combat AdvantageCombat Advantage (Q)
      • Damage bonus against Slowed targets reduced from 50% to 40%.
  • Level 13
    • Auxiliary ShieldsAuxiliary Shields (Trait)
      • Shield regeneration reduced from 20% to 15% of Basic Attack damage dealt.
    • Dampening FieldDampening Field (Trait)
      • Spell Armor increased from 15 to 20.
    • Rapid RechargeRapid Recharge (Trait)
      • Shield recharge increased from 20% to 40% of healing received.
  • Level 20
    • Singularity ChargeSingularity Charge (W)
      • Weapon Mode: Repeater Cannon Repeater Cannon bonus Attack Speed increased from 50% to 100%.
    • Unconquered SpiritUnconquered Spirit (Passive)
      • Shield amount increased from 600 to 800.
Developer Comment: Fenix has proven himself quite powerful, mainly due to his capability for consistent damage output. While we’re happy with how he plays, we’re making a few changes to bring his damage in line and address Talent imbalances.

Hanzo

XTR79I1I9ND91510181901566.png
Abilities
  • Natural AgilityNatural Agility (Trait)
    • Cooldown increased from 20 to 25 seconds.
  • DragonstrikeDragonstrike (R)
    • Damage increased from 64 to 70.
Talents
  • Level 4
    • Serrated ArrowsSerrated Arrows (W)
      • Bonus damage granted versus Minions, Mercenaries, and Monsters reduced from 150% to 100%.

Li-Ming

Q9YVJXM1128C1455326823654.png
Talents
  • Level 1
    • Aether WalkerAether Walker (E)
      • Reduced the time required after taking damage from 5 to 4 seconds.
  • Level 4
    • DominanceDominance (Trait)
      • Adjusted functionality:
        • Takedowns now restore 30% of missing Health.

Nova

1P2JN07X4Q121417483335002.png
Talents
  • Level 7
    • Perfect ShotPerfect Shot (Q)
      • Added functionality:
        • Each Hero hit also grants an additional Precision Sniper stack.
  • Level 13
    • Ionic Force FieldIonic Force Field (Trait)
      • Armor duration increased from 2 to 3 seconds.
    • Double TapDouble Tap (W)
      • Added functionality:
        • Also increases Pinning ShotPinning Shot’s cooldown by 2 seconds.
  • Level 16
    • Lethal DecoyLethal Decoy (E)
      • Holo DecoyHolo Decoy damage bonus reduced from 35% to 30%.
    • Crippling ShotCrippling Shot (W)
      • Armor negation reduced from 25 to 20.
    • Explosive RoundExplosive Round (Q)
      • Area of effect damage increased from 50% to 70%.

Tracer

CRCTL07EI16X1461800038629.png
Stats
  • Health reduced from 1350 to 1280.
  • Health Regeneration reduced from 5.625 to 5.332.
  • Basic Attack damage reduced from 29 to 28.

Multiclass

Varian

Y0GG60I3URG11478716215274.png
Stats
  • Health increased from 1850 to 1924.
  • Health Regeneration increased from 3.8554 to 4.0078.
Abilities
  • TauntTaunt (R)
    • Bonus Health and Health Regeneration reduced from 30% to 25%.

Specialist

Medivh

6WFFUF574HLT1463704053340.png
Talents
  • Level 7
    • Force of MagicForce of Magic (W)
      • Bonus Spell Power increased from 20% to 25%.
    • Arcane ExplosionArcane Explosion (W)
      • Base damage reduced from 90 to 80.
      • Maximum additional damage reduced from 350 to 315.
  • Level 13
    • Circle of ProtectionCircle of Protection (W)
      • Now also increases Force of WillForce of Will’s cooldown by 2 seconds.
    • ReabsorptionReabsorption (W)
      • Heal amount increased from 60% to 70%.

Sylvanas

I6HR01N9WF0Y1439221492511.png
Stats
  • Basic Attack damage increased from 85 to 90.
Abilities
  • Black ArrowsBlack Arrows (Trait)
    • Abilities no longer disable Structures.
Developer Comment: As part of our ongoing quest to increase counter-play and curb frustration when playing against certain Heroes, we’re changing Sylvanas’ Black ArrowsBlack Arrows trait so that her Abilities no longer disable Structures. This effect is incredibly powerful and, in the past, has limited how Battlegrounds can be designed and played. We realize that turning off enemy Structures is an important part of Sylvanas’ identity, so rather than removing this functionality completely, we’re addressing it in such a way that she now has to put herself in danger to get maximum value. This should allow more counter-play for opponents when Sylvanas is pushing, and enable us to improve her teamfight capabilities, which we’re doing initially via a small Basic Attack damage buff. We’ll be keeping an eye on her performance, and are ready to make further tuning changes as needed.

Support

Kharazim

ZNF0FO7V6W8J1439221492354.png
Stats
  • Health increased from 1949 to 2027.
  • Health Regeneration increased from 4.0585 to 4.2226.
Talents
  • Level 1
    • TranscendenceTranscendence (Trait)
      • Healing increased from 98 to 104.

Malfurion

1JZXW9JSV6ZW1417483334684.png
Abilities
  • RegrowthRegrowth
    • Heal amount reduced from 400 to 380.
  • MoonfireMoonfire
    • Heal amount reduced from 140 to 135.
Talents
  • Level 4
    • Strangling VinesStrangling Vines (E)
      • Heal reduction duration increased from 2 to 3 seconds.

Warrior

Chen

0WB1N574QT991417483333970.png
Talents
  • Level 1
    • Accumulating FlameAccumulating Flame (Q)
      • Adjusted quest reward functionality:
        • Gain 15 Armor per Hero ignited with Breath of FireBreath of Fire. This lasts 3 seconds.
    • Freshest IngredientsFreshest Ingredients (Trait)
      • Health Regeneration granted by gathering Regeneration Globes no longer caps at 30.
  • Level 4
    • Keg TossKeg Toss (W)
      • Bonus damage per Hero hit increased from 3 to 4.
      • Bonus damage maximum increased from 60 to 80.
  • Level 7
    • Purifying BrewPurifying Brew (Trait)
      • Added functionality:
        • Spell Armor persists as long as Chen has Fortifying BrewFortifying Brew Shields.

Dehaka

S5T04ROESNVH1466787135735.png
Abilities
  • AdaptationAdaptation (R)
    • Cooldown reduced from 90 to 80 seconds.
Talents
  • Level 1
    • Enduring SwarmEnduring Swarm (W)
      • Spell Armor increased from 40 to 50.
  • Level 4
    • Lurker StrainLurker Strain (E)
      • Slow duration increased from 2 to 3 seconds.
    • Hero StalkerHero Stalker (Trait)
      • Added functionality
        • Enemy Heroes hit by Dark SwarmDark Swarm grant 1 Essence.
  • Level 13
    • Ferocious StalkerFerocious Stalker (W)
      • Bonus damage increased from 40% to 50%.

Leoric

10VUJ6C6M9DG1439221492653.png
Stats
  • Basic Attack damage increased from 105 to 109.
Abilities
  • Drain HopeDrain Hope (W)
    • Cooldown reduced from 11 to 10 seconds.

Tyrael

MUSK7R1KG1O11417483335506.png
Talents
  • Level 1
    • Ardent RestorationArdent Restoration (Passive)
      • Healing increased from 13.75 to 15 per stack.
  • Level 4
    • Stalwart AngelStalwart Angel (Q)
      • Armor increased from 20 to 25.
      • Armor duration reduced from 3 to 2 seconds.
  • Level 7
    • Purge EvilPurge Evil (E)
      • Basic Attack damage bonus increased from 35% to 45%.
  • Level 16
    • Burning HaloBurning Halo (Q)
      • Damage increased from 15 to 18.
      • Bonus damage after teleporting increased from 100% to 150%.
      • Bonus damage duration reduced from 3 to 2 seconds.
    • Smite the WickedSmite the Wicked (E)
      • Cooldown recharge rate increased from 100% to 125%.
      • Cooldown recharge rate duration after teleporting reduced from 3 to 2 seconds.
Developer Comment: We’re making adjustments focused on the viability of some of Tyrael’s Talents. In particular, Sword of JusticeSword of Justice was not picked very often, and was underperforming. We’re addressing this by taking a few Talents (Stalwart AngelStalwart Angel, Burning HaloBurning Halo, and Smite the WickedSmite the Wicked) and increasing their synergy with Sword of JusticeSword of Justice by increasing the bonuses that Tyrael receives while El’druin is out, but reducing the bonuses for teleporting. This should enhance Sword of JusticeSword of Justice’s playstyle, by allowing players to teleport into a fight, but still having an active El’druin’s.

Zarya

1VUWFBVGUHBY1475167033295.png
Stats
  • Health increased from 2225 to 2292.
  • Health Regeneration increased from 4.6406 to 4.7750.
Abilities
  • Particle GrenadeParticle Grenade (Q)
    • Damage increased from 71 to 75.
  • Graviton SurgeGraviton Surge (R)
    • Cooldown reduced from 80 to 60 seconds.

Bug Fixes

General
  • Fixed a pair of issues that could cause the game client to crash.
Art
  • Johanna: Learning Holy RenewalHoly Renewal and casting Shield GlareShield Glare while using one of Johanna’s Enforcer Skins no longer causes placeholder art to appear at her feet.

Heroes, Abilities, and Talents

  • Ana: After learning Grenade CalibrationGrenade Calibration, Biotic GrenadeBiotic Grenade’s floating combat text now displays the correct amount of Healing received with each tick.
  • Auriel: Bestow HopeBestow Hope’s buff and visual effects will no longer be removed if the target enters a Stasis effect, like Zagara’s Devouring MawDevouring Maw.
  • Cassia: After learning Martial LawMartial Law, Basic Attacks now correctly apply bonus damage against Slowed Heroes.
  • Fenix: Fixed an issue that could prevent the Rapid RechargeRapid Recharge Talent from providing its Shield recharge effect when Healed.
  • Fenix: Plasma CutterPlasma Cutter is now correctly interrupted by Stasis effects, like Stitches’ GorgeGorge and Anub’arak’s CocoonCocoon.
  • Fenix: Casting Plasma CutterPlasma Cutter on an Invulnerable target no longer grants quest progress for theAdvanced TargetingAdvanced Targeting Talent.
  • Fenix: After learning Singularity ChargeSingularity Charge, the Talent description that is appended to the Weapon Mode Ability tooltip now states the correct amount of bonus range provided to Weapon Mode: Phase BombPhase Bomb Basic Attacks.
  • Greymane: The Wizened DuelistWizened Duelist Talent’s Basic Attack counter no longer continues to update after achieving maximum quest progress.
  • Leoric: Fixed an issue preventing Leoric from casting Hearthstone while in UndyingUndying form.
  • Malthael: After learning Black HarvestBlack Harvest, quest progress indicators now correctly appear every second while a target is affected by Reaper's MarkReaper's Mark.
  • Medivh: Fixed an issue in which Medivh could create four Portals at once after learning Portal MasteryPortal Mastery.
  • Medivh: Is no longer dismounted after casting Arcane BrillianceArcane Brilliance.
  • Probius: Disruption PulseDisruption Pulse no longer gains bonus damage from the Particle AcceleratorParticle Accelerator Talent when it passes through non-targetable units, like Gazlowe’s Scrap.
  • Varian: Learning Colossus SmashColossus Smash no longer reduces Varian’s Health Regeneration by more than the intended 10%.
  • Zeratul: Casting Void PrisonVoid Prison on Blaze’s BunkerBunker while players are inside no longer halts their Ability cooldowns indefinitely after Void PrisonVoid Prison expires.
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Where does this Sylvanas' nerf comes from? I haven't even seen her on higher ranks for a while. This cripples her pushing power by almost half.

 

@Edit: it seems that only her abilities will not affect structures anymore, her basic attacks are still the same. I think it is better like this, smaller changes each time.

Edited by lChronosl
Finished reading the source.

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Great, a lot of useful nerfs and buffs. I don't think it's enough in the case of Fenix or Chen, but it is definately a good start.

 

@IChronosl; Sylvanas can be broken in lower leagues and in QM, and in Unranked I tend to flat out ban her once the broken stuff has been adressed because no one can deal with her.  Which is a problem, but it is also a L2P issue so I don't thjnk it's that severe.

However, a far bigger issue is that Sylvanas' Trait is stupidly oppressive from a map design perspective, so it needed to go. Heck, I'd go as far as to say it should have never existed in the first place.

This being said, I do agree it nerfs a character which isn't very good in the first place, so she probably needs a few buffs to compensate other than her AA damage.

Sure, Sylvanas will lose some of her uniqueness, but in exchange become an overall much more game-friendly character, if given a balance patch or two.

 

 

Edited by Aasgier

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Quote

Black Arrows (Trait)

  • Abilities no longer disable Structures.

It says that her *Abilities* no longer disable Structures. The way I read this her basic attacks still do, but none of her abilities, primarily her knife throw, will leak onto structures and disable them long enough for her to get into position. This means she'll be forced to get within shooting range if she wants to disable a structure, which if she's smart she'll go with a group of minions to take the hits for her.

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That goes for every character though - bursty mages like Jaina can deal a lot of damage to structures while minions soak the hits.

I would not be surprised if Sylvanas' AA will eventually no longer disable structures too, though, and instead Sylvanas gets a major rework into a teamfight hero.

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Sylvanas got change exactly because people at lower ranks tend to ignore her, while solo pushing doesn't work at higher ranks. At first, it's likely she is being nerfed, but as they said they will change it accordingly.

By the way, Chen buffs?

Image result for what year is it

I immediately need to check how far can I push globe collection. He still needs actual survival increase through HP, but this works for now. By the way, I'm not sure does duration still increase per affected Hero for burn quest, or is it fixed 15 armor.

After reading, armor is 15 or more, for 3 seconds. Logical change, since 25 armor for adjustable 1s or more (but mostly 1s) does nothing.

Edited by SleepySheepy
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Glad to see all those virgin sacrifices finally paid off and that lord Lucifer nerfed Fenix. Also, Falstad buffs :D

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No one is talking about the Dehaka buffs that pretty much skyrocket him to Prime Tier?

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Arsenal Synergy damage buff for lvl 1 Fenix is downright confusing. It can already one-shot minion waves when damaging enemy heroes and make finishing blows on runners easy. But they did not change the truly most devastating part of Fenix, which his Warp resets. In fact, saying his continuous damage is what makes him OP and then leaving him the ability to keep pace with runners and be rewarded with an escape or chase reset is a little bit contradicting.

Tyreal seems to be going back and forth in stats for some reason.

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The thing with Sylvanas is that she's got decent damage and mobility, no sustain and is quite fragile. My default play style for her is as an aggressive bully quick to run away or doing hit-and-run pushing on structures. What really defined her is her trait, even if she had always had decent team fighting presence with her ults. While this nerf won't make that much of a difference, I hope they won't remove her stunning of structures completely, since it would really damage her uniqueness.

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Remember when Blizzard removed entire maps out of the game entirely because of Sylvanas' trait? Pepperidge Farm remembers. 

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This is actually a huge nerf to Sylvannas.     She can't solo push against two towers now, she has to get in firing range before she can disable a fort, she loses a lot of damage that comes from buildings getting her DoT from spreading out of a minion wave, and so on and so on.

This wouldn't be a problem if her teamfight was good, but...it isn't.     She generally can do her ult, and then is reduced to "squishy poker" with low/slow dps.

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I think the nerf to Sylvanas is due to edge cases where winning the first objective with Sylvanas in low-level games can potentially end the game right there. E.g., there was a BoE match where a teammate went Aba with enemy Sylvanas shown, and we got annihilated by the first immortal; it still had shields when it reached our core.

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Chen getting buffs?

Kuvahaun tulos haulle angry video game nerd what were they thinking

He's way too OP already, and now they're buffing him?!

In other news, Fenix has finally come back to the mortal plane, less played characters are getting buffs, other meta defining characters are being nerfed, Sylvanas's dagger can't push forts alone now and ALL SHALL SUFFER, PEASANTS!

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Meh. The Wail and Dagger still lets her lock down a bruiser camp until killed right from the start though? She should still be able to push hard on camp heavy maps early. While we're at it, we can remove that stupid mule from Abathur for something that fits his theme. Yuck!

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Update #2: Patch notes are up.

A quick update: They still plan to release the patch today.

Thanks @FunnyGinMan for bringing it up.

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1 hour ago, Fliits said:

Chen getting buffs? He's way too OP already, and now they're buffing him?!

I'm assuming this was sarcasm and you're making a joke, right? Cause we all know the opposite is the truth. 

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Oh ok I see, Sylvanas's abilities still proc Black Arrow and leak onto everything. It just won't disable structures effected by it anymore.

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7 hours ago, CyberDVonaven said:

I'm assuming this was sarcasm and you're making a joke, right? Cause we all know the opposite is the truth. 

There's an on-going joke on the HoTS subreddit where Chen is so OP that he needs constant nerfs and any nerfs make him more OP (at least my understanding of it). A line I've seen a lot before is "Oh look, X is OP right now, better nerf Chen". You are correct; we know he's quite sub-optimal right now ;-;

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3 hours ago, MurkyFelix said:

There's an on-going joke on the HoTS subreddit where Chen is so OP that he needs constant nerfs and any nerfs make him more OP (at least my understanding of it). A line I've seen a lot before is "Oh look, X is OP right now, better nerf Chen". You are correct; we know he's quite sub-optimal right now ;-;

That joke originally came from Super Smash Bros. 4, where Nintendo released a plethora of patches that nerfed Greninja, and that joke "X is OP now, better nerf Y" came to life.

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It seems they buffed some half-tanks(Leoric,Dehaka) and nerfed some oppresive heroes(Tracer). On Fenix it seems they are lowering and spreading his damage over multiple talents. It is always good when you have multiple builds.

Regarding Sylvanas they apparently decided that its trait was too powerfull and reduced its power ONLY AGAINST STRUCTURES. So she still maintains the waveclear and merc clearing capacity.

On another topic, Chromie needs some serious nerfs to its damage/range/escape or at all three. It always forces you to play aggresively.

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1 minute ago, XeaKon said:

On another topic, Chromie needs some serious nerfs to its damage/range/escape or at all three. It always forces you to play aggresively.

If they nerf Chromie she'll be a sitting duck. She has one of the highest learning curves of all the Mage characters alongside Kel'Thuzad. I think she is fine. A pro Chromie can carry the team and a bad Chromie is nothing more than a dead weight.

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What are they doing to Nova? ^^ Why did they nerf lethal decoy even more? Did anyone still play that build or Nova at all for that matter :)

And Tracer got hit again... And they reduced Hanzos mobility - yet somehow Genji remains untouched still :) I fear they might be overdoing the changes "because it can be frustrating to play against suchandsuch hero". I mean all those frustrating to play against heroes do have counters (read: a stun and a followup) as you have all discussed here concerning Sylvanas. So are they trying to Balance the game around QM? I may be wrong, but most of those heroes they keep hitting aren't played that much in ranked or at tournaments anyway... (apart from genji that is)

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15 minutes ago, Valhalen said:

If they nerf Chromie she'll be a sitting duck. She has one of the highest learning curves of all the Mage characters alongside Kel'Thuzad. I think she is fine. A pro Chromie can carry the team and a bad Chromie is nothing more than a dead weight.

A bad player is always bad, more or less. It might be that I have encountered a lot of good Chromies but was always dificult to reach her and moreso kill her. Afk is my advice for bad(and underline bad) Chromies, seriously; the A.I. has pinpoint accuracy with her and also leads her targets. I am not joking, the downside is that you might miss the exp in qm and sorts but in ranked IS an alternative.

Regarding Kel'Thuzad, I consider him having almost unavoidable damage and CC(except when dealing with Unstoppable) if used right(average use and above).

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      Should I Try and Solo the Boss? ave a Reason and Follow Through
      Short Answer? No.
      Long Answer: “I would almost never recommend soloing a Boss. Maybe with an Illidan and Abathur combo, it could be worth it—but in general, it takes so long that even if you're capable of doing it, it's far too risky and the map control you give up just isn't worth it. Anytime you have someone capable of soloing a Boss it's generally way more effective to just bring one extra DPS with them and kill the Boss much quicker and make yourself less vulnerable to being invaded. You can still have the same benefit, you're doing the Boss without the enemy team knowing and you can still do that while having three of your Heroes visible on the map instead of four. It's something that really shouldn't be attempted.”
      Thieves in the Night
      It is possible, albeit difficult, for Medivh to steal the Boss with Ley Line Seal. So, you’re casually strolling between mid and bot lane with some of your teammates minding your own business when you catch a glimpse of the enemy Varian wailing away on the Boss. Prepare to invade!
      “Tyrael's Holy Ground is your best friend when it comes to stealing a Boss," said Cauthonluck. "Although, Zarya's Expulsion Zone is also very good. Chen's Wandering Keg can achieve kind of the same thing, although it can be difficult to get all their members off the point long enough to capture it. Falstad's Mighty Gust is another tool, but it can be tricky to setup because it requires hitting the Gust into Barrel Roll from a very specific angle where it sweeps the entire enemy team off and leaves you on the point. Any time you do that you're basically resigning yourself to death. I would be very careful with that one.”
      To Defend or Not to Defend
      What is the best way to go about deciding who needs to defend against a pushing Boss? "Most of the time you're going to want to defend with everybody," said Cauthonluck. "However, if the enemy team isn't pushing with their Boss, it's usually best not to defend with all five but to have your highest DPS Heroes defending while your Warriors and Supports are doing useful things on the map such as soaking, defending other lanes, or doing Mercenary camps."
      As always, do your best to be constantly aware of the variables in play. "If you're one or two creep waves away from getting to 16 or 20, then it can be good to have four people defend and one person on your team go to soak that talent tier before you defend hard."
      Armed with this information, hopefully your next attempt at Boss will be a little more thought out. Check back with us tomorrow for more of Midgame Moves Week when Team Dignitas' Vilhelm "POILK" Flennmark explains how to recover from a lost team fight.  
    • By Stan
      It's time for Midgame Moves week in Heroes of the Storm! In the first installment, Wade "Dreadnaught" Penfold covers map pressure and mercenary camp timings.
      Dou you remember Opening Moves that covered a wide range of subjects, aimed to educate players on the variety of different ways to start a competitive match?
      #1: The 4-1 Split #2: How to Know If You'll Win the Level 1 Fight #3: Pushing Towers Early #4: The 5v5 Mid Strategy #5: The Chinese Bush Meta Midgame Moves is a continuation of the series and the second installment about boss control will be available tomorrow!
      Blizzard (Source)
      It’s Midgame Moves Week for Heroes of the Storm—and we’re continuing the educational content series that kicked off 2018 featuring some of the smartest personalities in the scene. Midgame Moves will be focusing on the meaty middle portion of a competitive game! Today we will focus on Map Pressure and Mercenary camp timings.
      What is Map Pressure?
      Every game of Heroes of the Storm is a race between two teams. The team winning the race is the team with more map pressure at any given time, demanding a response from their opponents. That team is in the driver’s seat. That is the team with the freedom to make decisions.
      The team that doesn’t have map pressure is that team responding to it, trying to defuse it. That team is on the back foot—defending their structures against minion waves, Impalers, Punishers, Hellbats, Armored Gnolls, Grave Golems, Immortals, Calvary… you get the picture.
      “Map pressure is probably one of the most important aspects of Heroes of the Storm,” said Wade “Dreadnaught” Penfold, former professional player for Tempo Storm and current HGC caster. “When you apply pressure at multiple points of the map at once you are buying yourself more time to rotate and more time to make decisions before your opponent. Map pressure is the tool used to increase the chance of obtaining and maintaining an experience advantage.”
      When Should I Be Doing Camps?
      You should never take any camp without having a reason for doing so. Obviously, it’s less risky to take camps on your side of the map (safe camps) than it is on your opponent’s side (not-safe camps). Sneaking enemy camps almost always ends in tragedy, so it’s in your best interest to refrain unless your team is on the same page.
      Ask yourself this series of questions every time you consider taking a camp:
      Does my team need me elsewhere? Are we going to be able to push with this camp? If I start this camp, am I in danger ob eing invaded by the enemy? Do I need help to do this camp quickly? Which enemy Hero am I anticipating will come to clear this camp? “Before level 10 you should not be doing camps if you do not have a member of the team soaking in every lane,” Dreadnaught adds. “I am not saying that you must have a person in each lane for every waking moment of the laning phase, but it is very important to capture as much experience as possible on the battleground as fast as possible.”
      Know Your Mercenary Camp
      Siege Giants – “Siege Giants have a long-range, high-damage auto attack. Try to focus on keeping them alive by zoning out your opponents. Late game pressure is where the Siege giants are a step above the rest of the mercenaries—but no matter the point of the game, if they are left unchecked, you are going to regret not clearing them.” Found on: Dragon Shire, Cursed Hollow, Garden of Terror, Haunted Mines, Blackheart’s Bay, Sky Temple, and Tomb of the Spider Queen. Sappers – “The Sappers do a large amount of damage and they are one of the more reliable camps to get structural damage from, but they need to reach a certain range from the Towers before they cast their charge. You will need to escort them into Tower range.” Found on Towers of Doom and Haunted Mines. Impalers – “Impalers act much like Siege Giants, in that they auto attack from outside of Tower range, but their overall effectiveness is a notch down. They can be stacked on certain maps like Infernal Shrines, and that can make them more threatening.” Found on Battlefield of Eternity and Infernal Shrines. Hellbats – “Hellbats are tougher in terms of health than the other siege camps, but their limited range makes them less impactful in sieging. Their splash damage helps to clear, and their large health pools allow them to tank Tower shots. Their auto attacks reduce Armor on Heroes, which makes them a pain to clear on your own.” Found on Braxis Holdout and Warhead Junction. Assault Troopers – “Assault troopers can out-range enemy towers and will help push a wave, but this camp struggles to pack the same punch compared to Siege Giants or Sappers.” Found on Volskaya Foundry. Armored Gnolls – “Alterac Pass is brand new and we are still learning how to play the map in the most effective way possible, but [Armored Gnolls] function much like the Hellbats. I think it’s safe to say that the Armored Gnolls should be treated as Hellbats both in effectiveness and how to approach them.” Found on Alterac Pass. Knights – “Knights are the best camp in the game to push with because the Wizard minion provides a Spell Armor aura. This aura helps increase everyone’s ability to push and makes your minion wave difficult to clear. When the Wizard falls, the camp is far less impactful, so try to protect that little guy at all costs.” Found on Dragon Shire, Cursed Hollow, Garden of Terror, Blackheart’s Bay, Sky Temple, and Tomb of the Spider Queen. Fallen Shaman – “The Fallen Shaman spawns dogs that will fight on his behalf and when they die he will bring in a new set of puppers. The Shaman will stay out of range of Towers and Forts the entire time, so unless you respond to him and kill him, you are relying on the minions to clear him and his dogs. This takes a very long time to make happen and because of this, the camp is the best at split pushing.” Found on Battlefield of Eternity and Infernal Shrines. Goliaths and Raven – “Goliaths can’t out-range the Towers which makes the camp not ideal for sieging. It does provide a solid amount of threat to heroes because the Raven has a long-range seeker missile that can do a decent amount of damage. You can out-range the ability and avoid the damage, but it will force you away from the camp a significant distance. The Raven also has AoE damage to try to help the Goliaths push and the Goliaths are pretty tanky.” Found on Braxis Holdout and Warhead Junction. Why Wait to Capture the Camp?
      So, you’ve done the camp and it’s time to stand on the circle to capture it and get those Mercs pushing. WAIT! You could get so much more out of this if you put a little thought into what you’re doing!
      “You should be stalling the cap whenever you know that there is going to be an objective spawning on the map and that there is no way that anyone on the opponent’s team can contest you," Dreadnaught said. "There are hundreds of different situations where stalling will help your team out, but in all of these cases you are stalling to ensure that you are capping your camp with a purpose and timing it in order to give your team the greatest advantage possible.”
      Stalling the cap of a camp is small change you can make to your game that can have a potentially major impact. “A good example of this would be on the first Shrine Phase of Sky temple," Dreadnaught said. "Your opponents are likely going to start their Knight camp at some point during this time frame and if they do, you may consider stalling the cap of yours to ensure that the Knights meet up under the cover of your top Fort Towers. This gives you the easiest defense position to clear and will allow your Knights to push without interruption while your team fights on the Temple.”
      Common Camp Capture Timings
      Battlefield of Eternity:
      “Capture Impalers before first Immortal.” “Capture Shaman camp as the Immortal spawns.” Braxis Holdout:
      “Either Camp during the Beacon Phase to create pressure and help enable the control.” Cursed Hollow:
      “Capture Giants as the first tribute spawns.” “Capture Knights in between the first and second tribute spawns.” Dragonshire:
      “Roughly 45 seconds after a Dragonknight dies, capture any camp available. This better sets up the map for the next shrine phase.” Garden of Terror:
      “Whenever you have one of the two Garden Terrors cleared, pick up a close camp to demand a response and then get free seeds from the opposite terror. “ “Capture Giants as you are channeling to pilot your own Garden Terror and then pressure mid and bottom with the terror.” Haunted Mines:
      “Capture Sappers and Giants during mine phase to get free damage while everyone is getting skulls.” “Capture Giants when the Grave Golem is sieging to help defend and get counter pressure.” Infernal Shrines:
      “Capture Impalers during the laning phase between rotations of middle and bot lane.” “Capture bottom Impalers once you have control over mid with first Impaler set.” “Capture the Shaman Camp anytime the Shrine spawns middle or bottom, especially bottom.” Sky Temple:
      “Capture Giants and Knights before first Temple phase.” Tomb of the Spider Queen:
      “Capture Knights before or during first turn-in phase.” Towers of Doom:
      “Capture Sappers as soon as they spawn and as often as you can on bottom half of the map.” Volskaya Foundry:
      “Capture bottom Turret Camp as soon as it spawns and as often as possible” “Capture the Support Camp as soon as the Turret camp is picked up, try to take this camp as frequently as possible.” With a little practice and patience, split-pushing and pressuring your opponents can become second nature. Be sure to check back in with us tomorrow for more of Midgame Moves week when we cover everything you need to know about Boss control with HeroesHearth Esports’s Coach Rori "CauthonLuck" Bryant-Raible.
    • By Stan
      Free Hero rotation has been updated for the week of July 17 and features Yrel!
      Free-to-Play Hero Rotation: July 17, 2018
      Raynor Muradin Sonya Nazeebo Uther Jaina Falstad Cassia Ana Lt. Morales Hanzo (Slot unlocked at Player Level 5) Alarak (Slot unlocked at Player Level 10) Chen (Slot unlocked at Player Level 15) Yrel (Slot unlocked at Player Level 20) (Source)
    • By Stan
      Blizzard today fixed a bug from July 10 that affected team compositions in Quick Match games.
      Placeholder for tweet 1017845167808659456 The latest Heroes of the Storm content patch went live earlier this week and with it a bug that lead to erroneous matchmaking in Quick Matches.
      Blizzard (Source)
      Hi everyone,

      We've just rolled out a fix in order to address this issue. Please let us know if you continue to encounter very unusual team compositions during your Quick Match games.

      Thank you!
    • By Stan
      Heroic deals for the week of July 17 include the Butcher and Lost Vikings!
      Blizzard (Source)
      Every Tuesday, we place a number of Heroes on sale, and swap a fresh set of cosmetics into the featured item rotation. Check out this week’s items and then head in-game to pick up anything that catches your eye. Heroic Deals: July 17 – 23, 2018
      Our next set of Heroic Deals will begin on Tuesday, July 17! Check out the list of upcoming featured items and Hero discounts below. Upcoming Hero Sales
      The Butcher — Sale Price: 312 gems The Lost Vikings — 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
      The Butcherlisk Pajama Party Lost Vikings Mecha Rehgar Cheerleader Kerrigan Toxic Demonic Auriel Deep Herald of N'Zoth Alarak Upcoming Featured Mounts
      Crimson Ringmaster's Pride Ghost Speeder