Sgt. Hammer Talents
Welcome to our Talents page for Sgt. Hammer. Here, we give you an overview of how strong each of Sgt. Hammer's talents is. Then, we present several viable builds, before analyzing each talent row separately, so that you can make informed decisions.
Sgt. Hammer's Talent Build
|1||✔ ✘ ✘|
|4||? ? ✔|
|7||✔ ? ✘|
|13||✔ ✘ ✘|
|16||? ? ✔|
|20||✔ ✔ ✘ ✘|
Sgt. Hammer's Talent Build Cheatsheet
This standard build maximises the usefulness of Spider Mines to make it difficult for melee Heroes to initiate against Sgt. Hammer. This build ultimately forces your opponents to decide between attacking you on your own terms—protected by Mines—and ignoring you, allowing you to deliver long-ranged Basic Attacks freely.
Level 1 Talents for Sgt. Hammer
Gain Stealth when entering Siege Mode or after not taking or dealing damage for 3 seconds while in Siege Mode. Basic Attacks while Stealthed deal 100% more damage.
Remaining stationary for at least 1.5 seconds while Stealthed grants Invisible.
Increase Siege Mode's splash damage to 50% of Basic Attack damage, and increase its splash radius by 25%.
- Charges: 3
- Recharge Time: 90 seconds
Activate to increase Basic Attack damage dealt by 35% for 5 seconds. Hitting Structures with Basic Attacks while in Siege Mode reduces the cooldown of Maelstrom Rounds by 5 seconds.
Stores up to 3 charges.
This Talent tier improves Siege Mode.
Ambush allows Siege Mode to deal a surprising amount of burst damage. The Stealthing effect is also useful for solo-pushing purposes; after threatening Structures, simply hide in a Brush, and remain stationary while in Siege Mode.
Advanced Artillery provides no useful single-target damage unlike its alternatives. Further, the Splash damage increase is rarely useful for typical team fights. Advanced Artillery shines when solo-pushing, though it lacks the defensive aspect of Ambush.
Maelstrom Rounds can in theory provide more sustained damage than Ambush after three Basic Attacks once activated. In practice however, Maelstrom Rounds inevitably ends up having a very long Cooldown and being difficult to use as freely hitting Structures is not always possible. Ambush is simply more reliable, even if it represents less potential damage.
Level 4 Talents for Sgt. Hammer
Reduce Concussive Blast's cooldown by 3 seconds, its Mana cost by 40, and when cast create an impassable wall in front of Sgt. Hammer for 4 seconds.
Using Neosteel Plating while in Siege Mode grants Unstoppable for 2 seconds, as long as she remains in Siege Mode.
Basic Attacks while in Siege Mode heal for 10% of the damage dealt.
This Talent tier improves Sgt. Hammer's defensive utility. The best choice always depends on your team composition as well as that of your opponents.
Barricade provides a reliable defensive option against melee Heroes that can also be used to deny or hinder initiations. Barricade is particularly powerful in tight spaces, where it can outright block escape or engagement paths. Just make sure not to block off your allies... or yourself.
Siege Tactics provides a much-needed self-defense mechanism against long-range crowd control and displacement Abilities such as Artanis's Phase Prism and Stitches's Hook. It is also particularly useful against dangerous Heroic Abilities such as Chen's Wandering Keg, Cho's Upheaval, Chromie's Temporal Loop, and The Butcher's Lamb to the Slaughter, to name a few.
Regenerative Bio-Steel is Sgt. Hammer's only source of self-sustain. It is particularly useful when your team composition features only one or no Healer at all, and when some of the threats mentioned above do not call for Siege Tactics. Further, Regenerative Bio-Steel lets you heal off Minion waves very quickly while in Siege Mode due to the Splash damage effect.
Level 7 Talents for Sgt. Hammer
Spider Mines detonate 3 times over 3 seconds. Basic Attacks against enemy Heroes grant 5 Mana and reduce the cooldown of Spider Mines by 1 second. Increase this bonus to 1.5 seconds while in Siege Mode.
Sgt. Hammer can move at 40% Movement Speed while in Siege Mode.
While in Siege Mode, Basic Attack range is increased by 1 every 3 seconds, up to 3.
This Talent improves Sgt. Hammer's sieging.
Pulse Detonation Core potentially triples Spider Mines's damage output and movement speed reduction, making them a significant threat that forces a response, which is generally to move away. Spider Mines then become an excellent defensive tool, particularly against melee Heroes. Further, this triple detonation also functions in PvE, making the Talent Sgt. Hammer's only effective way of claiming Mercenary Camps. Structures, too, can be damaged heavily in this manner.
Hover Siege Mode makes Siege Mode significantly more versatile; the ability to reposition without completely unsieging allows Sgt. Hammer to continue threatening opponens where it would otherwise be impossible without spending a few seconds. Note that Hover Siege Mode's slow speed still leaves Sgt. Hammer open to several dangerous Abilities.
Graduating Range represents a 27% increase to Sgt. Hammer's range that must be built up over 9 seconds. This is an unrealistically long period of time to be standing still under most circumstances.
Level 10 Talents for Sgt. Hammer
- Mana: 100
- Cooldown: 70 seconds
Fire a missile across the battlefield, dealing 500 (+3% per level) damage to non-Structure enemies in its path.
- 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.
At this Level, Heroic Abilities become available. Both Heroic Abilities fulfill the purpose of dealing damage, but do so in different ways. Refer to the Abilities section for more information.
Blunt Force Gun's main point of appeal are its global range and relatively high burst area of effect damage. Although it can theoretically be used to "snipe" opponents from across the Battlefield, Blunt Force Gun's relatively slow speed makes this difficult to pull off. Instead, it is generally used during team fights, where you can often hit 3 or more targets for a very respecatable amount of burst damage.
Napalm Strike's main point of appeal is its high area of effect sustained damage output. Although its damage is not nearly as high as that of Blunt Force Gun, Napalm Strike's very short 6-second Cooldown makes it much more versatile than its counterpart. Indeed, this Ability can and should be used indiscriminately against any enemy in sight, though it is particularly effective against Minions and Structures, as most of Napalm Strike's damage comes from its damage over time effect.
Level 13 Talents for Sgt. Hammer
Moving while Thrusters is active leaves a trail of up to 5 Spider Mines. Additionally, increase the Slow of Spider Mines by 15%.
While in Siege Mode, Concussive Blasts's damage and knockback distance are increased by 75%.
While in Siege Mode, hitting Heroes with Basic Attacks reduces the cooldown of Thrusters by 5 seconds.
This Talent tier improves Sgt. Hammer's defensive utility.
Tactical Mine Deployment makes Sgt. Hammer notoriously difficult to chase down. Further, it allows Thrusters to be used offensively, as the Spider Mines this Talent summons also benefit from Pulse Detonation Core. Note that Tactical Mine Deployment summons up to five Mines, and that you must be moving for these Mines to be summoned.
Hyper-Cooling Engines is in an odd place as Thrusters are generally used to escape. Attacking Heroes to reduce the Ability's Cooldown, then, would be impossible. Hyper-Cooling Engines is simply too situational to be worth picking over its powerful alternative.
Level 16 Talents for Sgt. Hammer
Neosteel Plating grants 5% maximum Health as a Shield for 2 seconds. If this Shield is destroyed, Basic Attack damage is increased by 50% for 5 seconds.
Attacking a Hero that is slowed, rooted, or stunned increases your Basic Attack damage by 30% for 3 seconds.
Basic Attacks against enemy Heroes deal bonus damage equal to 1.5% of the Hero's maximum Health.
This Talent tier improves Sgt. Hammer's Basic Attacks.
Mechanical Know-how is used both defensively and offensively against long-ranged poke damage Heroes, such as Chromie and Kael'thas. Make sure not to fall into the trap of using Neosteel Plating exclusively for the damage increase provided by this Talent, however, as it is still your main defensive tool.
Executioner provides the highest situational damage output increase out of the Talent choices available at this tier. It does, however, require you to have a way of triggering its effects. Although Spider Mines can do that, teaming up with Heroes that feature multiple sources of crowd control such as Arthas is an excellent way of benefitting from Executioner.
Giant Killer provides the most reliable damage increase at this Talent tier. It is particularly effective against team compositions that feature two or more Tanks, though it should not be underestimated against all targets.
Level 20 Talents for Sgt. Hammer
Blunt Force Gun's missile orbits the planet every 5 seconds. Only the last missile fired orbits.
Napalm Strike's range is increased by 75% and its impact does 50% more damage.
Upon detonating, Spider Mines reduce the armor of enemy Heroes hit by 10, up to 30, for 4 seconds.
Hitting enemy Heroes with Basic Attacks while in Siege Mode grants 5% Attack Speed for 5 seconds, up to 40%.
This Talent tier is dedicated to improving damage output.
Orbital BFG is a notorious late-game way for Sgt. Hammer to completely shut down a given Lane. On its own, Orbital BFG can make it difficult to destroy Keeps through traditional pushing, as it completely destroys Minions. Furthermore, Orbital BFG is highly disruptive for team fights centered around a given point, such as a Boss, or Map Objective.
Advanced Lava Strike turns Napalm Strike into one of the best poking Abilities in the game. The range increase allows you to threaten Map Objectives from great safety, although Napalm Strike remains a great tool to use on-Cooldown againt anything in sight.
Shrapnel Mines competes with powerful options that define Sgt. Hammer's late-game playstyle. In its current state, it simply does too little to be worth considering seriously.
Ultra Capacitors provides a reasonable sustained damage increase against Heroes, granted you are able to remain in Siege Mode for a long period of time and manage to repeatedly deliver Basic Attacks. In the late game, this is rarely going to be the case. Furthermore, the alternative Talents offered at this tier have excellent utility that is difficult to pass up.
- 05 Apr. 2020: Description and recommendation updated for Hover Siege Mode.
- 15 Feb. 2020: Talents reviewed following February 12 patch changes.
- 27 Jan. 2020: Guide reviewed following January 22 balance patch. No changes to Talent recommendations.
- 11 Oct. 2019: Talent builds and recommendations reviewed and updated.
- 28 Jul. 2018: Talents updated to reflect July 25 balance patch changes.
- 14 Jan. 2018: Updated Siege build.
- 01 Dec. 2017: Added Talent discussions.
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