Ragnaros Build Guide “DIE, INSECT!”
Welcome to our guide for Ragnaros, a Bruiser in Heroes of the Storm. Within these pages, you will find everything required to understand how best to play this hero, in both different map styles and team compositions.
1. Ragnaros' Overview
Ragnaros is an unique battle-mage-like melee Assassin. His high proficiency at dealing large amounts of area of effect damage is offset by the avoidable nature of his Abilities. Opposing insects stand no chance against Ragnaros when he overtakes Structures (or their smoldering ruins), for his true power can then be unleashed... until a group of appropriately-geared adventurers go and claim their weekly treasures, that is.
2. Ragnaros' Strengths and Weaknesses
- Most Abilities are telegraphed and thus avoidable
- Limited utility beyond raw damage and waveclear
- Mediocre survivability
3. Ragnaros' Talent Build Cheatsheet
Blast Wave BuildTalent calculator »
Blast Wave Build focuses on improving Blast Wave. This balanced build provides a remarkable amount of short-range area of effect burst damage and survivability. This damage and survivability, however, hinge upon your ability to position in a way that you can get Blast Wave to hit as many opponents as possible. Given Ragnaros' lack of crowd control outside of a perfect Sulfuras Smash hit, this may be difficult to accomplish against Heroes with gap closers or ranged attacks and Abilities. Blast Wave truly comes alive when combining the Engulfing Flame, Tempered Flame, and Blast Echo Talents, which essentially quadruple Blast Wave's base damage to provide a formidable self-Shielding effect. This build is generally recommended against balanced team compositions that neither feature two or more tanks nor 4 ranged Heroes.
Empower Sulfuras BuildTalent calculator »
Empower Sulfuras Build focuses on improving Empower Sulfuras. Of all 3 main Ragnaros builds, this one provides the highest amount of sustained damage. Its main drawback, however, is that it requires you to remain in melee range to get the most out of it. And although it does provide superb self sustain, it is lacklustre against most forms of burst damage. Key Talents include Hand of Ragnaros, which halves the cooldown of Empower Sulfuras granted you strike at least two Heroes, and Giant Scorcher, which inflicts a tremendous amount of damage over time to high-Health Heroes. As such, this build is recommended against team compositions that feature little to no burst damage, and two or more tank-like or otherwise Healthy melee Heroes so as to guarantee consistent Hand of Ragnaros Cooldown reduction effects.
Living Meteor BuildTalent calculator »
Living Meteor Build focuses on improving Living Meteor. This build is defined by Living Meteor's ability to situationally deal a tremendous amount of area of effect damage from a long range. This damage potential, however, is limited by the Ability's skillshot nature. In other words, Living Meteor requires a reliable setup, which generally comes under the form of crowd control provided by allied Heroes. The long-range nature of Living Meteor makes this build a solid choice against team compositions that feature several ranged Heroes that would otherwise be able to kite you and nullify your other melee Abilities. It is at its most effective when your own team composition features two or more aggressive melee Heroes that will often force opponents to play defensively, where Living Meteor excels. Key Talents include Shifting Meteor, which increases the reliability of Living Meteor, and Molten Power and Meteor Bomb, both of which vastly improve the raw damage output of the Ability.
4. Ragnaros' Synergies and Counters
5. Ragnaros' Maps
Since Ragnaros offers both excellent waveclear and sustained damage, and a reasonable amount of self-sustain, he is not particularly weak on any Map. Molten Core and Lava Wave, however, make him exceptional at dealing with particular Map mechanics. Molten Core can specifically be used to absorb a number of Blackheart's Bay's or Sky Temple's Map mechanic attacks that would otherwise be aimed at Structures. Lava Wave heavily damages the Zerg wave on Braxis Holdout, and one Lane worth of Webweavers on Tomb of the Spider Queen. Molten Code does a good job of handling these mechanics as well, making Ragnaros particularly effective on these Maps.
6. Ragnaros' Tips and Tricks
- Empower Sulfuras resets your Basic Attack; hit once, and then activate the Ability for a quick burst of damage.
- Living Meteor works best against Heroes that are running in a specific direction, such as during chases or escapes.
- Blast Wave can be quickly self-cast by holding ALT, and then pressing the Ability's hotkey (by default E).
- Sulfuras Smash's Stunning effect can be used to setup for your own E-W-Q chain.
- Lava Wave moves very slowly, but might just catch opponents that are not paying attention by surprise.
- Molten Core's effect can be used to mitigate the damage of certain Map Objectives, such as on Blackheart's Bay or Sky Temple.
7. Role in the Current Meta
Although labeled a melee Assassin, Ragnaros works best when positioned at a midpoint within any given team's formation, somewhere between the frontline and the backline, so as to be able to make the most out of his positional Abilities. Without any non-Heroic crowd control and a very weak gap closer, Ragnaros is ill-equipped to be played like a typical melee Hero that would seek to single-out vulnerable targets. He is, however, incredible at following up on any crowd control or opportunity provided by allied Heroes. This makes Ragnaros a natural fit to any team composition that may be able to lock down their foes but lack that "finishing touch".
The features that makes Ragnaros stand apart from Heroes that fulfil a similar role, however, lie in two of his Abilities: Molten Core and Lava Wave. These two Abilities have the capacity to outright counter or heavily impact certain Map mechanics. Molten Core is also particularly potent against teams that rely heavily on pushing to generate an Experience or Structural advantage. These Abilities will be discussed further, in the Abilities and Strategy section of this guide.
- 14 Jan. 2018 (talents page): Updated Sulfuras, Blast, and Meteor builds.
- 12 Aug. 2017 (talents page): Updated Talents and builds to reflect the August 8 patch and metagame changes.
- 12 Aug. 2017 (this page): Updated builds to reflect the August 8 patch Talents and metagame changes.
- 26 Jun. 2017 (talents page): Updated the amount of bonus damage from Sulfuras Hungers to 120.
- 14 Dec. 2016 (this page): Guide added.
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