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Sgt. Hammer Talents

Last updated on Nov 01, 2017 at 07:59 by Oxygen 45 comments

Table of Contents

Sgt. Hammer Image

General Information

On this page, we present the viable talent choices for playing Sgt. Hammer in a competitive environment in Heroes of the Storm. For each talent, we explain what they do and why they should or should not be taken.

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. Talent Build

Level Choices
1 Ambush Advanced Artillery ? Maelstrom Rounds
4 Barricade Siege Tactics ? Regenerative Bio-Steel ?
7 Pulse Detonation Core Hover Siege Mode Graduating Range
10 Blunt Force Gun Napalm Strike
13 Tactical Mine Deployment Entrenched Hyper-Cooling Engines ?
16 Mechanical Know-how ? Executioner ? Giant Killer
20 Orbital BFG Advanced Lava Strike Shrapnel Mines Ultra Capacitors
Create your own build and share it with friends!

2. Common Talent Paths

Siege Build (talent calculator link)

Level 1 Maelstrom Rounds Icon
Level 4 Barricade Icon Siege Tactics Icon ? Regenerative Bio-Steel Icon ?
Level 7 Graduating Range Icon
Level 10 Napalm Strike Icon
Level 13 Entrenched Icon
Level 16 Giant Killer Icon
Level 20 Advanced Lava Strike Icon

The Siege build seeks to promote what Sgt. Hammer does best: sieging. Key Talents include Maelstrom Rounds Icon Maelstrom Rounds, which greatly improve Sgt. Hammer's burst damage potential, and Graduating Range Icon Graduating Range, which allows you to outrange and pressure most Heroes except Chromie. Sgt. Hammer's other Talent tiers are very reactive; although we have made some basic suggestions, refer to the Talents page to know exactly when to pick which Talent.

3. Level 1 Talents

Sgt. Hammer Ambush
Ambush (Level 1) Starcraft 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.

Sgt. Hammer Advanced Artillery ?
Advanced Artillery (Level 1) Starcraft Sgt. Hammer

Increase Siege Mode's splash damage to 50% of Basic Attack damage, and increase its splash radius by 25%.

Sgt. Hammer Maelstrom Rounds
Maelstrom Rounds (Level 1) Starcraft Sgt. Hammer

Activate to increase Basic Attack damage dealt by 35% for 5 seconds. Hitting Structures with Basic Attacks reduces the cooldown of Maelstrom Rounds by 5 seconds.

Stores up to 3 charges.

This Talent tier is dedicated to improving Siege Mode Icon Siege Mode.

Ambush Icon Ambush's damage increase is only realistically used once per use of Siege Mode Icon Siege Mode, making it rarely as effective as the alternative Talent choices. The Stealthing effect provided by the Talent also has no real practical application.

Advanced Artillery Icon Advanced Artillery provides a reliable yet indirect damage output increase. It is preferred over Maelstrom Rounds Icon Maelstrom Rounds on Maps where sieging is more difficult, such as Battlefield of Eternity, Blackheart's Bay, and Hanamura. It also helps with waveclear, should your team composition lack any.

Maelstrom Rounds Icon Maelstrom Rounds provides the highest direct damage output increase out of the Talent choices available at this tier. Its long Cooldown, however, requires you to hit Structures to go down to reasonable levels. Maelstrom Rounds should only be used when sieging or during improtant team fights.

4. Level 4 Talents

Sgt. Hammer Barricade
Barricade (Level 4) Starcraft Sgt. Hammer

Concussive Blast creates an impassable wall in front of Sgt. Hammer for 4 seconds.

Sgt. Hammer Siege Tactics ?
Siege Tactics (Level 4) Starcraft Sgt. Hammer

Using Neosteel Plating while in Siege Mode grants Unstoppable for 2 seconds.

Sgt. Hammer Regenerative Bio-Steel ?
Regenerative Bio-Steel (Level 4) Starcraft Sgt. Hammer

Basic Attacks while in Siege Mode heal for 15% of the damage dealt.

This Talent tier is dedicated to defensive options. As such, the appropriate choice depends on your team composition as well as that of your opponents.

Barricade Icon 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 of your own allies or yourself.

Siege Tactics Icon Siege Tactics provides a much-needed self-defense mechanism against long-range crowd control and displacement Abilities such as Artanis's Phase Prism Icon Phase Prism and Stitches's Hook Icon Hook. It is also particularly useful against dangerous Heroic Abilities such as Chen's Wandering Keg Icon Wandering Keg, Cho's Upheaval Icon Upheaval, Chromie's Temporal Loop Icon Temporal Loop, and The Butcher's Lamb to the Slaughter Icon Lamb to the Slaughter, to name a few. It should be noted that you do not have to remain in Siege Mode Icon Siege Mode to benefit from Siege Tactics once it is active. This allows you to benefit from the Unstoppable effect to then Thrusters Icon Thrusters away safely.

Regenerative Bio-Steel Icon 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 Icon Siege Tactics.

5. Level 7 Talents

Sgt. Hammer Pulse Detonation Core
Pulse Detonation Core (Level 7) Starcraft Sgt. Hammer

Spider Mines detonate 3 times over 3 seconds.

Sgt. Hammer Hover Siege Mode
Hover Siege Mode (Level 7) Starcraft Sgt. Hammer

Sgt. Hammer can move at 40% Movement Speed while in Siege Mode.

Sgt. Hammer Graduating Range
Graduating Range (Level 7) Starcraft Sgt. Hammer

While in Siege Mode, Basic Attack range is increased by 1.1 every 3 seconds, up to 3.3.

This Talent tier is dedicated to improving general sieging.

Pulse Detonation Core Icon Pulse Detonation Core allows Spider Mines Icon Spider Mines to deal significantly more PvE-oriented damage, as Minions, Mercenaries, and Structures ignore the Mines over their detonation process. This Talent, however, is less than useful against players, who tend to destroy the Mines or simply walk away from them during the subsequent detonations, which immobilise the Mines.

Hover Siege Mode Icon Hover Siege Mode does not provide enough mobility to be considered more useful than its Graduating Range Icon Graduating Range alternative.

Graduating Range Icon Graduating Range improves what Sgt. Hammer does best: dealing long-range damage. This Talent is at the core of Sgt. Hammer's playstyle. Its main advantage is forcing opponents to initiate on you or suffer poke or Structural damage. With the right team compositions, this can be effective.

6. Level 10 Talents

Sgt. Hammer Blunt Force Gun
Blunt Force Gun (Level 10) Starcraft Sgt. Hammer
  • Mana: 100
  • Cooldown: 70 seconds

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

Sgt. Hammer Napalm Strike
Napalm Strike (Level 10) Starcraft Sgt. Hammer
  • 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 Icon 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 Icon Napalm Strike 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 Icon Blunt Force Gun, Napalm Strike's very short 6 seconds 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.

7. Level 13 Talents

Sgt. Hammer Tactical Mine Deployment
Tactical Mine Deployment (Level 13) Starcraft 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%.

Sgt. Hammer Entrenched
Entrenched (Level 13) Starcraft Sgt. Hammer

While in Siege Mode, Concussive Blasts's damage and knockback distance are increased by 75%.

Sgt. Hammer Hyper-Cooling Engines ?
Hyper-Cooling Engines (Level 13) Starcraft Sgt. Hammer

While in Siege Mode, hitting Heroes with Basic Attacks reduces the cooldown of Thrusters by 5 seconds.

This Talent tier is dedicated to utility-based defensive options.

Tactical Mine Deployment Icon Tactical Mine Deployment is a rather strange Talent that empowers Thrusters Icon Thrusters, your main escape Ability, by mixing it with Spider Mines Icon Spider Mines. In theory, this makes it much easier for you to escape by threatening pursuers. In practice, this is rarely necessary nor very useful.

Entrenched Icon Entrenched allows Concussive Blast Icon Concussive Blast to be of use while in Siege Mode Icon Siege Mode, as its base range is otherwise too short. The increased knockback distance is also useful for repelling melee Heroes who might approach you.

Hyper-Cooling Engines Icon Hyper-Cooling Engines is a useful alternative to Entrenched Icon Entrenched if the opposing team lacks a way of initiating on you, as Entrenched loses most of its usefulness then.

8. Level 16 Talents

Sgt. Hammer Mechanical Know-how ?
Mechanical Know-how (Level 16) Starcraft 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.

Sgt. Hammer Executioner ?
Executioner (Level 16) Starcraft Sgt. Hammer

Attacking a Hero that is slowed, rooted, or stunned increases your Basic Attack damage by 30% for 3 seconds.

Sgt. Hammer Giant Killer
Giant Killer (Level 16) Starcraft Sgt. Hammer

Basic Attacks against enemy Heroes deal bonus damage equal to 1.5% of the Hero's maximum Health.

This Talent tier is dedicated to situationally improving Basic Attacks.

Mechanical Know-how Icon 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 Icon Neosteel Plating exclusively for the damage increase provided by this Talent, however, as it is still your main defensive tool.

Executioner Icon 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 Icon 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 Icon 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.

9. Level 20 Talents

Sgt. Hammer Orbital BFG
Orbital BFG (Level 20) Starcraft Sgt. Hammer

Blunt Force Gun's missile orbits the planet every 5 seconds. Only the last missile fired orbits.

Sgt. Hammer Advanced Lava Strike
Advanced Lava Strike (Level 20) Starcraft Sgt. Hammer

Napalm Strike's range is increased by 75% and its impact does 50% more damage.

Sgt. Hammer Shrapnel Mines
Shrapnel Mines (Level 20) Starcraft Sgt. Hammer

Upon detonating, Spider Mines reduce the armor of enemy Heroes hit by 10 for 4 seconds.

Sgt. Hammer Ultra Capacitors
Ultra Capacitors (Level 20) Starcraft Sgt. Hammer

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 Icon Orbital BFG is a notorious win condition for Sgt. Hammer that essentially allows you to completey shut down a lane, and even destroy any Structure, given enough time. With proper positioning, you can threaten two Keeps with a single Orbital BFG cast.

Advanced Lava Strike Icon Advanced Lava Strike turns Napalm Strike Icon Napalm Strike into one of the best poking Ability in the game. The range increase allows you to threaten Map Objectives from great safety, although Napalm Strike remains a great tool to use againt anything in sight.

Shrapnel Mines Icon Shrapnel Mines suffers from the same weakness as all Spider Mines Icon Spider Mines-related Talents: it does nothing if the Mines are killed, which is often the case.

Ultra Capacitors Icon Ultra Capacitors provides a reasonable sustained damage increase against Heroes, granted you are able to remain in Siege Mode Icon Siege Mode for a long period of time and manage to repeatedly attack Heroes. In the late game, this is seldom going to be the case. Furthermore, the alternative Talents offered at this tier have excellent utility that is difficult to pass on.

10. ChangeLog

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  • 01 Dec. 2017: Added talent discussions.
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