Will the newest patch affect Heroes of The Storm at rAge?

9 min read
5

South Africa’s biggest gaming event kicks off this weekend, along with a host of competitive tournaments in all different disciplines. Johannesburg’s annual rAge expo begins on Friday the 9th of October, and with it the inaugural Heroes of The Storm tournament for a grand prize total of R60 000. While many teams have been preparing for the tournament, Blizzard have decided to throw a curve ball in the form of a patch two days before the competition kicks off. The question is, how will these changes, looking specifically at heroes, affect this weekend’s tournament?

1024x768

The full patch details are available on Hero Nexus

The Heroes

Since many South African’ are new to Heroes of The Storm quite a few relied on tier 1 (most popular) heroes throughout the previous patch. Unfortunately this will come back to bite quite a few teams as some of these heroes received significant changes in the latest patch.

Zeratul

  • Basic Attack damage reduced from 47 (+13 per level) to 47 (+12 per level)
  • Blink (E)
    • Wormhole (Talent)
      • Blink reactivation time reduced from 3 to 2 seconds
  • Void Prison (R)
    • Casting range reduced by 50%

Zeratul was an extremely popular pick during the qualifiers, especially for one of South Africa’s top teams, Bravado Gaming. His ability to burst down supports with high damage abilities and auto attacks has now been nerfed considerably with his base damage reduction. This will definitely be a major fall for some teams who prioritise Zeratul as a tier one pick. I doubt he will fall completely from the drafts of some teams since his elusiveness and the element of surprise he brings will still catch the odd player off guard. In summary, he’s just not as strong as he used to be.

Abathur

  • Locust Strain (Trait)
    • Locusts will no longer spawn as soon as the game begins, and will now wait until the first Minion wave spawns
  • Evolve Monstrosity (R)
    • Pressing R with a Monstrosity active will now automatically cast Symbiote on the Monstrosity and move your camera to its position

Abathur has received a few nerfs since the beginning of HoTS. This latest nerf is a continuation of changes which will hopefully please players who still think the hero is overpowered. Abathur is a strange hero, rarely joining battles but instead providing buffs for teammates and creep waves. The Locust Strain change would often provide important information for the team as to what lanes the opposing team are running by gaining vision from the locusts. This may affect some teams in South Africa, but since Abathur is a rather complex hero to play I feel it’s not going to have a major impact.

Nazeebo

  • Corpse Spiders (Q)
    • Spiders attack damage decreased from 10 (+1 per level) to 9.5 (+0.95 per level)
    • Leaping Spiders (Talent)
      • Spider attack damage bonus decreased from 25% to 15%
  • Ravenous Spirit (R)
    • Vision radius granted by the Spirit increased by approximately 66%

Nazeebo has been a popular specialist pick in competitive matches both locally and internationally. His ability to solo a lane, dealing hero and siege damage while having sustainability has made him a top-tier pick. I feel the changes to Nazeebo won’t be as influential as there are essentially two separate builds to run. The Plague Toads are still a powerful option and do deal a ton of damage. I think we are going to see a lot more Nazeebo in this weekend’s tournament.

Read  Blizzard's Battle.net app now lets you gift Overwatch loot boxes to friends

Chen

  • Fortifying Brew (Trait) (D)
    • Shield amount changed from 20 (+12 per level) to 33 (+10 per level)
    • Brew will now regenerate in increments of 5 while channeling Fortifying Brew
    • Keg Toss (Talent) moved from Level 7 to Level 1
    • Bottomless Mug (Talent) moved from Level 1 to Level 16
      • This Talent’s functionality has changed
      • Now decreases the cooldown of Fortifying Brew from 5 to 3 seconds
    • Combat Stance (Talent)
      • Shield duration after Fortifying Brew channeling ends increased from 2 to 3 seconds
    • New Talent (Level 1): Grounding Brew
      • Now decreases all incoming Ability damage by 25% while channeling Fortifying Brew
  • Flying Kick (Q)
    • Flying Kick speed increased by approximately 20%
    • Brew Strike (Talent)
      • This Talent’s functionality has changed
      • Now reduces Flying Kick’s cooldown by 1 second for every Hero hit by Keg Smash
  • Keg Smash (W)
    • Slow duration increased from 2.5 to 3 seconds
    • Full Keg (Talent) moved from Level 1 to Level 7
      • This Talent’s functionality has changed
      • Now increases Keg Smash damage and area of effect by 50%
  • Breath of Fire (E)
    • Deep Breath (Talent)
      • Now also reduces Breath of Fire’s Brew cost from 30 to 20
    • Ring of Fire (Talent)
      • Damage increased from 10 (+2.5 per level) to 11 (+2.75 per level)
  • Storm, Earth, Fire (R)
    • Brew cost removed
  • Wandering Keg (R)
    • Brew cost removed
    • Cooldown decreased from 90 to 70 seconds

Chen received a major buff in the latest patch and while there is not much to add on his previous track record, I know for a fact he will be picked more than often this weekend. There isn’t much to add, just reading over his skills provides enough information as to why he will become a tier one pick in less than a week.

E.T.C

  • Health increased from 1040 (+240 per level) to 1050 (+250 per level)
  • Power Slide (Q)
    • Stun duration increased from 1 to 1.25 seconds
  • Face Melt (W)
    • Mana cost decreased from 60 to 50
    • Cooldown decreased from 12 to 10 seconds
    • Mic Check (Talent)
      • Cooldown reduction increased from 4 to 5 seconds
  • Guitar Solo (E)
    • Heal amount increased from 25 (+6 per level)  to 27 (+6.5 per level)
    • Pwn Shop Guitar (Talent)
      • Mana cost reduction increased from 40% to 60%
    • Prog Rock (Talent)
      • Bonus healing granted per Regeneration Globe increased from 2 to 3 Health per second.

Initially E.T.C wasn’t picked as a tier one tank as his abilities relied on the team being within close proximity, which was never the case in professional games. Then they introduced the dual tank meta where E.T.C was still not considered. With his recent changes he may just slip into a draft or two especially with increased disable and slightly more tankability.

Johanna

  • Condemn (W)
    • Knight Takes Pawn (Talent)
      • Damage bonus against Minions and Mercenaries decreased from 400% to 300%
      • Stun duration against Minions and Mercenaries decreased from 4 to 3 seconds
  • Blessed Shield (R)
    • Stun duration decreased from 2 to 1.5 seconds for the first target struck, and decreased from 1 to 0.75 seconds for additional targets.
    • Radiating Faith (Talent)
      • No longer increases Blessed Shield range.
      • Now increases the stun duration to 2 seconds for the first target struck, and 1 second for additional targets

Johanna was one of the most popular Warrior Tank picks in the previous patch. Her ability to sustain a lane while clearing has now been slightly nerfed with the changes to Knight Takes Pawn. Her ultimate, Blessed Shield, also took a major bump with decreased stun duration forcing you to take an extra talent to increase it once again.

Read  The Overwatch Halloween Terror event is alive, IT’S ALIVE!

Leoric

  • Ossein Renewal (Talent)
    • Now dismounts Leoric upon activation
    • No longer causes Leoric to pause briefly when activated while moving
  • Skeletal Swing (Q)
    • Damage decreased from 100 (+10 per level) to 85 (+8.5 per level)

Leoric brought about the birth of the dual warrior tank setup with his ability to apply a truck load of right click damage and Skeletal Swing. As you can see the nerf in damage will see his popularity dwindle slightly but I don’t feel he will completely disappear from the competitive match pool, especially not this weekend.

Rexxar

  • New Ability: Misha, Fixate! (1)
    • “Misha, Fixate!” will have two functions, depending on its target:
      • If “Misha, Fixate!” is used on an enemy, Misha will move to attack the target until the target dies, a new order is issued, Misha leashes, or Misha dies
      • If “Misha, Fixate!” is used on the ground, Misha will move to that area and hold  position until a new order is issued, Misha leashes, or Misha dies
        • Using “Misha, Fixate!” will automatically place Rexxar‘s passive into the “Misha, Follow!” state
        • Misha retains her current behavior when issuing commands using “Misha, Follow!” (D) and “Misha, Attack!” (D)
  • Misha (Trait)
    • Misha’s leash range has been significantly increased
    • Misha will now hide when Rexxar is hidden in a Bush
  • Spirit Swoop (Q)
    • Bird of Prey (Talent)
      • Bonus damage to non-Heroic targets has been reduced from 300% to 200%.

I did mention a while ago that Rexxar may receive significant changes as he was pretty bad, and well here they are. All I can say is that Rexxar will definitely feature this weekend. He will almost act as a wild card pick for some teams as their opponents may have absolutely no idea how to deal with him

Rexxar

The heroes mentioned above will definitely have a major impact on the weekend’s tournament as some teams won’t have a proper chance to put time into the patch. Most are on their way to Johannesburg, setting up, writing exams and will only have a proper chance to get to know it on Thursday evening with the tournament beginning on the Friday morning. All we can say is best of luck, and may the best team win.

Last Updated: October 7, 2015

Kyle Wolmarans

Critical Hit’s esports guy. I talk about esports and drink whiskey. I also write and cast for elsewhere – but my work here is independent of that.

  • HairyEwok

    Congo, do you know if rAge matches will be streamed again this year?

    • Lardus-For the Emperor!

      Very interested to see these matches myself. I have been looking at Road to BlizzCon matches for North America and Europe so would like to compare what’s going on.

      • Hargrim

        Hopefully the quality of matches on show is high enough that SA gets a spot in next year’s EU Road to Blizzcon

    • I’m not as integrally involved as I was last year, so I have no idea. Best bet is to follow individual teams for updates. I know I will be updating all Energy eSports scores and such.

  • Hargrim

    Looking forward to this tournament. The Warrior meta is going nowhere (sadly) but the warriors featured may just surprise. The return of Chen, ETC, and a big one you forgot to mention, Mr. Big Booty himself, Stiches, while Diablo is still the Lord of Weakness

Check Also

Blizzard honours INTERNETHULK with an Overwatch League Award

The Dennis Hawelka Award will be presented to the player who had the most positive impact …