At GamesCom this year Blizzard announced the release of three new heroes to their new MOBA Heroes of The Storm. Kharazim, Rexxar and Artanis. It has been almost a month since the release of Kharazim, the healer monk from Diablo III, and yesterday we got our first taste of Rexxar. As with all newly released heroes they immediately become popular picks in public games. While this is no real measure of their success, compared to other newly released heroes, Rexxar just isn’t that good. What’s the issue here? We must go deeper.
Warrior or Specialist?
Rexxar, from Warcraft lore, is half-orc half-ogre character who uses his Hunter abilities to tame pets, in this case his trusty bear Misha, and use the wild to his advantage. If you’ve ever played any Warcraft, namely World of Warcraft, you’d understand that Hunters use their pets for survivability and damage. This confused me the most with the release of Rexxar. He enters the game as a warrior which does come with certain expectations. Warriors in Heroes of The Storm are usually your tank heroes whose job it is to protect your fragile allies. While Rexxar may not be tank himself, his bear Misha negates most damage dealt. This does not give him the right set of skills to be deemed a tank, but rather a specialist?
Perhaps he may fit into the current meta once he has been experimented with in the professional scene. At the moment many professional teams are experimenting with dual warrior setups, as some warriors do have damage capabilities. For example Leoric, who tanks hard and hits harder, combo’d up with Johanna, who is extremely tank. Perhaps he will fit into a similar lineup, but that remains to be seen.
What’s even worse is that Rexxar has only a 40% win rate after his day of release, with roughly 3000 games played. Compared to the release of Leoric, also a Warrior, this is shocking. This isn’t enough though, we still need to go deeper.
Rexxar vs. Lone Druid
While Rexxar does feature in Dota 2 and the original Dota as the Beastmaster, his closest relative is the Lone Druid, who also uses a bear companion. Similarly the bear acts as the tank, while the hero controls the abilities. The biggest difference here is that Lone Druid’s bear companion can be micro’d (controlled by the player) at the same time as controlling the hero. In Heroes of The Storm Misha is controlled by AI, with two basic functions- Attack or Follow. If you’ve played WoW you’d know that Hunter’s pet AI is atrocious at times, and this makes Rexxar extremely awkward in team fights. On a related topic, an example would be Nazeebo’s Gargantuan who often prefers to attack structures outside of team fights. While Gary the Gargantuan (not his real name) only exists for a short period of time upon cool down, Misha is constantly up, and you can’t control her.
This further elaborates my suggestion of Rexxar being a specialist, perhaps focusing more on soaking experience and pushing, instead of trying to be a tank with a clunky bear. As I mentioned, perhaps there is a situation where Rexxar may feature alongside a second Warrior, but to be honest I don’t see that happening just yet. Looking at Nazeebo once again, he is often picked as a solo specialist with a skillset which insures slight survivability and the ability to deal hero and structural damage. Basically, if left alone Nazeebo becomes a nightmare to deal with. I honestly felt Rexxar would fit a similar role, but I was wrong. I highly doubt Blizzard would consider a remake, but the general consensus is he sucks.
Last Updated: September 10, 2015