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Sgt. Hammer Abilities and Strategy

Last updated on Nov 30, 2017 at 07:59 by Oxygen 45 comments

Table of Contents

Sgt. Hammer Image

General Information

Below, we give you an overview of the abilities that Sgt. Hammer has access to. We also explain how to best your these abilities.

The other pages of our Sgt. Hammer guide can be accessed from the table of contents on the right.

About the Author

Oxygen is a veteran of the MOBA genre, which he has been playing for nearly 15 years. He has coached some of Heroes of the Storm's most prominent North American players and teams alike, including Team Liquid. As a Master player, he enjoys playing all Heroes and roles.

1. Tips on Ability Usage

  • Be careful with Siege Mode Icon Siege Mode; although its damage increase may be tempting, it also leaves you very vulnerable to area of effect Abilities.
  • Use Thrusters Icon Thrusters sparingly; they are your only reliable method of escaping opponents.
  • Sgt. Hammer's low Mana costs allow you to use Spider Mines Icon Spider Mines on-Cooldown to protect your flanks. Keep them away from Minions to preserve them.
  • Concussive Blast Icon Concussive Blast deals very little damage; use it to push enemies away from you or teammates.
  • Neosteel Plating Icon Neosteel Plating should be used to avoid Ability-based burst damage such as an impending Pyroblast Icon Pyroblast hit.
  • Napalm Strike Icon Napalm Strike is useful for quickly checking Brushes, dismounting or Revealing opponents, and clearing Zagara's Creep Tumours.

2. Siege Mode

Although we typically list Hero abilities in order, Sgt. Hammer's Trait is quite unique in that it heavily impacts the way that she is played. As such, we list it first and not last, as we usually do with other Heroes.

Sgt. Hammer Siege Mode
Siege Mode (D) Starcraft Sgt. Hammer
  • Cooldown: 2 seconds

Activate to enter Siege Mode. While in Siege Mode, Basic Attacks deal 20% more damage, have 100% increased range, and deal 25% of their damage as splash damage around the target.

Siege Mode Icon Siege Mode is Sgt. Hammer's most iconic Ability and single-handedly separates poor Sgt. Hammer players from good ones. This may come off as a surprise, but for any given match, one should seek to, as much as possible, avoid being in Siege Mode. This is simply due to the fact that the complete loss of mobility, before the Hover Siege Mode Icon Hover Siege Mode Talent is acquired, is far more detrimental than the upsides of the Ability, and will get you killed against most competent players. The only right times to ever be in Siege Mode are when you are waveclearing an empty lane, when you are sieging a base with the protection of several teammates, or when you are absolutely certain that no Ability can punish you. Although this may sound vague, this means keeping track of your opponent's most important Cooldowns, including, but not limited to, Artanis's Phase Prism Icon Phase Prism and Stiches'sHook Icon Hook. This fact can not be stressed enough; Siege Mode is only to be used when its downside of being completely unable to move can not backfire.

3. Thrusters

Sgt. Hammer Thrusters
Thrusters (Z) Starcraft Sgt. Hammer
  • Cooldown: 30 seconds

Increase Movement Speed by 60% for 4 seconds. Thrusters are always active while at the Altar. Activating Thrusters cancels Siege Mode.

Thrusters Icon Thrusters replaces Sgt. Hammer's ability to use a Mount. It increases her movement speed by 60% for 4 seconds, and instantly brings her out of Siege Mode Icon Siege Mode. It has a Cooldown of 30 seconds. This Ability is automatically activated (without a Cooldown) while at the Altar of Storms.

This Ability is one of the many elements that make Sgt. Hammer so unique. As a Hero, she essentially forfeits most of her out-of-combat mobility for a readily available and very powerful combat movement speed boost. Despite Sgt. Hammer's very defense-oriented skillset, Thrusters Icon Thrusters should almost exclusively be used defensively. This is particularly true when the opposing team composition feature melee Assassins or hard-engaging Heroes. Even if that is not the case, it is almost always a mistake to use them offensively (unless it can safely secure kills) or worse, simply for traveling a bit faster.

Since the Thrusters last for only a few seconds, being hit by any crowd control (particularly Stuns and Roots) will cause you to lose out on a large portion of the Ability's duration. It is imperative that you remain careful when activating it.

4. Spider Mines

Sgt. Hammer Spider Mines
Spider Mines (Q) Starcraft Sgt. Hammer
  • Mana: 45
  • Cooldown: 14 seconds

Create 3 mines that arm after 1.25 seconds. Mines detonate when an enemy comes in range, dealing 96 (+4% per level) damage to nearby enemies and Slowing them by 25% for 1.5 seconds.

Siege Mode: Cast range increased by 100%.

Spider Mines Icon Spider Mines are a proactive defensive tool, meaning that you must predict your opponent's behaviour in order to make good use of them. Early, they are to be cast into Brushes that surround your current lane whenever they are available. This prevents the Mines from being wasted by Minions on top of scouting for incoming attackers, potentially slowing them as well.

In combat, Spider Mines Icon Spider Mines are also to be used whenever they are off-Cooldown, simply as added damage and for their slowing effect. Repeatedly using Spider Mines in the same area can create dangerous zones for your opponents to walk into and deter them from engaging you. Preemptively using Mines can also open up escape paths for you by slowing down pursuers. Laying down six or more Spider Mines generally allows Sgt. Hammer to fight off most individual Heroes.

5. Concussive Blast

Sgt. Hammer Concussive Blast
Concussive Blast (W) Starcraft Sgt. Hammer
  • Mana: 60
  • Cooldown: 12 seconds

Deal 141 (+4% per level) damage to enemies in front of Sgt. Hammer and knock them back.

Siege Mode: Radius increased by 50%.

Just as with Thrusters Icon Thrusters, Concussive Blast Icon Concussive Blast is a primarily defensive tool. Pushing melee foes away from you not only prevents them from attacking you, but also allows you to get one or two Basic Attacks in as they must close distance again to damage you. Offensively, Concussive Blast deals too little damage from too little range to realistically be useful outside of its knockback effect. That effect can, however, be used to peel or interrupt important channeled Abilities.

6. Neosteel Plating

Sgt. Hammer Neosteel Plating
Neosteel Plating (E) Starcraft Sgt. Hammer
  • Mana: 30
  • Cooldown: 12 seconds

Gain 25 Armor for 2 seconds.

Siege Mode: Grants 100% more Armor.

Since Neosteel Plating Icon Neosteel Plating grants Armor on demand for a very short duration, the best way of using this Ability is when you are about to be struck by highly damaging Abilities. Although this generally means Heroic Abilities, certain Basic Abilities, such as Chromie's Dragon's Breath Icon Dragon's Breath, are notoriously easy to hit from far away for how much damage they deal. It is worth noting that Siege Mode Icon Siege Mode increases the Armor provided by Neosteel Plating by a hefty 25, making immobilizing yourself marginally safer.

7. Blunt Force Gun

Sgt. Hammer Blunt Force Gun
Blunt Force Gun (R) Starcraft Sgt. Hammer
  • Heroic
  • Mana: 100
  • Cooldown: 70 seconds

Fire a missile across the battlefield, dealing 500 (+3% per level) damage to enemies in its path.

There is little to say about Blunt Force Gun Icon Blunt Force Gun. It deals a moderate amount of uncounterable line-based damage in a relatively large area. The projectie's relatively slow speed means that you must predict the movement of your opponents if you plan on using the Ability from more than a screen away. Although it is generally beneficial to wait for crowd control to hit your opponents, especially in an area of effect, Blunt Force Gun requires very little setup to work.

8. Napalm Strike

Sgt. Hammer Napalm Strike
Napalm Strike (R) Starcraft Sgt. Hammer
  • Heroic
  • Mana: 35
  • Cooldown: 6 seconds

Deals 164 (+4% per level) damage on impact, and leaves a napalm area that deals 50 (+4% per level) damage per second. Lasts for 4 seconds.

Napalm Strike Icon Napalm Strike's short cooldown, negligible Mana cost, long range, and solid sustained damage make it the quintessential poking tool that is to be used against Heroes, Minions, Structures, and Mercenaries whenever it comes off-Cooldown. It is also useful for scouting Brushes, knocking Heroes off their mounts, and bringing cloaked Heroes out of Stealth. It should be noted that Napalm Strike has a short traveling time, making it necessary to aim ahead of an intended target. Napalm is an extremely straightforward Heroic Ability that can be used in any scenario where damage is required.

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