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Mal'Ganis Meta Tier List (November 2018)

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Our Meta Tier List has been updated for the latest patch!

Welcome to Icy Veins's once-again-belated Meta Tier List for the October 16 patch, which also takes the latest October 31 patch into account. 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

Spoiler

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. The (ban) comment is a ban recommendation; Meta heroes should be picked and banned first, though heroes from other groups should be considered as well depending on how team compositions are shaping up.

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

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

 

Meta picks

Tank Bruiser Fighter Stalker Marksman Mage Support Healer
Mal'Ganis (new) (ban) Genji (ban) Tyrande (ban)

 

High-tier generalists

Tank Bruiser Fighter Stalker Marksman Mage Support Healer
Diablo+ (ban) Sonya VarianTwin Blades of Fury(ban) Zeratul Cassia Jaina Ana
Garrosh (ban)       Fenix (ban) Kael'thas-   Malfurion
        Raynor (ban)     Whitemane

 

Mid-tier generalists

Tank Bruiser Fighter Stalker Marksman Mage Support Healer
Anub'arak+ Artanis Alarak Tracer (ban) Greymane  Azmodan↓↓ Abathur Alexstrasza
Arthas Dehaka (ban) Kerrigan*   Hanzo (ban) Gul'dan Zarya** Auriel
Blaze Yrel Maiev   Lunara Junkrat   Brightwing
E.T.C. (ban)   Malthael   Sgt.Hammer (ban) Kel'Thuzad    Deckard 
Johanna   Ragnaros   Tychus Li-Ming   Kharazim
Muradin   Thrall   Zul'jin Mephisto   Li Li
Stitches (ban)   VarianColossus Smash     Nazeebo   Rehgar
VarianTaunt         Orphea***   Stukov
          Sylvanas    
          Zagara    

*Moved from situational to generalist.
**Moved from Fighter to Support
***Pure conjecture

Low-tier generalists

Tank Bruiser Fighter Stalker Marksman Mage Support Healer
Chen Gazlowe Valeera Falstad Chromie Medivh (ban)+ Lt. Morales
  D.Va Murky   Valla Probius   Lúcio+
    The Butcher          

 

Situational picks (map, team composition, or counterpick)

Tank Bruiser Fighter Stalker Marksman Mage Support Healer
Cho'gall (ban) Leoric Illidan Nova Cho'gall (ban) Tassadar Uther (ban)
Tyrael Rexxar Xul Samuro     The Lost Vikings (ban)*  

*Moved from Marksman to Support

 

Meta heroes define the metagame. They are very often banned or picked right away, as they generally dictate the pace of most drafts and matches.

Generalists form the core of your team and are generally picked after Meta picks have been distributed. They tend to work on most maps, and as part of and against most team compositions. Since this group includes most heroes, I elected to split it into three tiers. High-tier rankings are a result of performance (i.e. win rates) and popularity (i.e. pick and ban rates). This means that heroes with high win rates can be set in low tier; the opposite may also be true.

Situational picks shine on specific maps or as part of specific team compositions.

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Why isn't Azmodan a meta pick ? He is almost always banned alongside Mal'ganis, has waveclear, burst,hp, a targeted ability that deals 620dmg and has low cooldown, range, skillshot blocking minions. All those should qualify him for meta.

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It's so weird to see "Tvin Blyat" Varian as a Top Tier.

On a side note, do you plan on updating the format after we get the updated roles in 2019?

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3 hours ago, XeaKon said:

Why isn't Azmodan a meta pick ? He is almost always banned alongside Mal'ganis, has waveclear, burst,hp, a targeted ability that deals 620dmg and has low cooldown, range, skillshot blocking minions. All those should qualify him for meta.

I think the Azmodan bans are a relic. He's nowhere near as good as he was two months ago, but players are generally slow to catch on.

1 hour ago, Valhalen said:

It's so weird to see "Tvin Blyat" Varian as a Top Tier.

On a side note, do you plan on updating the format after we get the updated roles in 2019?

I keep questioning it myself, but every time I play it, it's insane. His winrates are among the highest as well. I think people see a Varian pick, expect a tank, and get surprised.

I won't update the format because my format has certain advantages. Notably, it deals with edge cases such as Genji and Tracer, who play like melee assassins, yet are labeled as ranged by the game.

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Im kinda surprised to see Mal'Ganis listed as a tank when I thought the general consensus on him was that he's a bruiser and not necessarily main tank material. I happen to disagree with that and think he can play that role but the consensus I thought was bruiser rather than tank

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11 minutes ago, mada7 said:

Im kinda surprised to see Mal'Ganis listed as a tank when I thought the general consensus on him was that he's a bruiser and not necessarily main tank material. I happen to disagree with that and think he can play that role but the consensus I thought was bruiser rather than tank

He has everything a tank needs and more. He is usually played as a bruiser because he also deals a lot of dmg for how much beating he can take and he also doesn't need to be concerned about peeling for his teamates.

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Is Twin Blyat Varian really a Fighter? I always thought he was more of a bruiser.

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Hoping Kerrigan stays mid so she can avoid any further nerfs; I think she feels great right now and while she isnt much more flexible than she was pre-rework she has enough diversity to help her fit in more comps.  

Overall I like this list and love where the meta is at in general, though I think Mal'Ganis is still pretty stupid.  And I've decided TB Varian is a dumpster fire regardless of where he's placed.

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On 11/8/2018 at 9:11 PM, Unpronounceable said:

Is there any particular reason Tyrande is still listed as a Support as opposed to a healer?

Yes... a mistake.

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Az is still first ban material on most maps.  Not on BOE, but on maps like shrine, Braxis and Tomb, he can get MAD stacks.  I only play him on those 3 (when he isn't banned) and I am almost always top hero damage (along with top siege).   Usually around 6-2 kill to death as well.  He is oppressive late game.  Certainly more so than KT, which is only OP if you spread living bomb around like crazy.

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Azmo is a monster literally... I play bad hots, i think but when i take azmodan until the mvp is too easy... i never undestood why the professionals dont use it more often if a noob plays very well with him, a professional would win the hgc

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On 11/15/2018 at 11:15 AM, Nano said:

Azmo is a monster literally... I play bad hots, i think but when i take azmodan until the mvp is too easy... i never undestood why the professionals dont use it more often if a noob plays very well with him, a professional would win the hgc

Because it does not quite work that way. Many things in the nature of Azmodan - both his Q and E at least, as well as his Trait - get exponentially more value the worse your opponents are, and his trait also becomes stronger the worse your teammates are.

At HGC-level of play people will dodge that stuff or not even be grouped up enough for a Q to hit more than one person. In Bronze and Silver, they will cluster up with 4 people right in the middle of that circle and give you stacks within ten minutes 😛 

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So basically tier lists are dead now?
I always quite enjoyed to see how other people rank certain heroes and what builds they take/prefer. 
Although i have my own experience i sometimes use this list to look at heroes i dont have experience with, or when i took a break from this game.

i hope the Tier lists gets updated soon, and regularly 

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