Greymane arrives with this week’s free hero rotation and sales
We’re getting back into our regular Heroes of the Storm schedule with a new hero rotation, new sales (for the first time since the Black Friday sale arrived in November), and a brand new hero. Today Genn Greymane will finally show up in the Nexus (though European players can expect him tomorrow) for 15,000 gold or $9.99 — but players who are both patient and frugal will be able to pick him up in two weeks for just 10,000 gold.
If Heroes maintains its typical pace of a new hero every three to four weeks, we’ll have another Nexus newbie in February — but as of yet we have no idea who it will be. What will Blizzard surprise us with this time? Though they’ve mentioned Tracer is coming, with Overwatch’s launch still distant it seems unlikely — whoever it is, we expect to find out within the next couple of weeks.
Enough speculation! Let’s dive into this week’s rotation alongside somewhat sparse commentary from the team — I blame the post new year’s blues.
We’ll kick off this week with a poem celebrating Greymane from our resident bard, Mitch:
Growl, scratch, leap, and bite,
Ready your musket, it’s time to fight.
Enter Lord of the Worgen,
Your worst fears made real,
Marking his enemies,
And unwilling to heel.
Nightmarish, he chases, soon to be feral,
Escape right away, or otherwise peril!
With Greymane already in the spotlight, let’s check out his preview video to see him in action:
Anna: Butcher is fun, but his model design grosses me out. Not as bad as Stitches, but still. Yuck.
Mitch: Psh. Model design? Butcher just wants a hug. Probably. Also blood. He likes blood. My personal favorite build with Butcher makes use of the “extra blood” talent and the attack speed increase talent. He’s very squishy, especially before he has full blood stacks but can deal some of the highest DPS in the right conditions. Find a Stim Drone Morales and you’ll be an unstoppable force.
Unlocked at player level 5
Anna: I find it a bit funny that every other week or so we talk about Jimmy “he-hey, man” Raynor and what a solid, but unfortunately boring, character he is for a newbie. However, I find Valla to be quite newbie friendly herself, and without the pitfall that is Penetrating Shot’s knockback. She can escape much more easily with Vault. She has excellent AOE lane clear and good single target DPS with her autoattack. All three abilities make her a dynamic and fun character to play. Her one downfall is her survivability, though she can be made formidable with self-healing damage talents added to abilities or to auto attacks. This means you drop a few DPS talents, but the old saw about dead DPS doing no damage applies here, especially for newer players. That extra reflexive healing plus Vault gives you lots of opportunity to learn the ropes while giving you a pretty good escape if you get caught out of position.
Mitch: I agree with the sentiment above that she’s a newbie-friendly hero. She’s also a lot of fun and great with anyone who can boost autoattacks such as Abathur or Morales.
Unlocked at player level 12
Anna: Hammer has long been a favorite of mine, though she takes quite a bit of finesse to play. The new team Bob Ross Fan Club picked her on Battlefield of Eternity during Heroes Rising over the weekend (go to 1:30:32 for the beginning of the match). That match was an excellent showcase for Hammer’s strong points. She can position herself to zone out the other team on Eternals while still staying back a bit from the fray. Due to her health buffs she can also provide excellent body blocking. The talent choices by Zuna in that match follow my personal favorite build, too. It’s very heavy on the autoattacks, making it easier for her to pay attention to her enemies’ placement and positioning. Knowing when to backpedal out early on Hammer and when to stand her ground to do lots of DPS is what separates the clutch Hammers from the ineffective ones. It’s just a shame her skins aren’t cuter.
Mitch: I hate Sgt. Hammer. Not because she’s bad but because she continually makes my life hell as Lunara and her early game is just UGH. That damn range on her attacks means she can hit towers without being in their attack range and zoom out when danger arrives. For Hammer newbies, don’t forget you can use “Z” at any time to activate a quick boost that’s great for escaping. You don’t need to leave Siege Mode to do so, either.
Anna: Oh how weird, Hammer is the only specialist this week? And only available to level 12+? That kinda sucks for newbies.
Unlocked at player level 15
Anna: Despite continually getting garbage comps every time I pick a support, I’ve been trying to get Brightwing to level 8 while I have my holiday stim pack active. With Noxychu’s awesome graphic on our super fab Heroes landing page, I feel like she’s our sort-of Blizzard Watch Heroes mascot. Oddly, even though the Butcher grosses me out, Brightwing’s murderous spirit in such a cute little package tickles my fancy. Kindred spirits, probably.
Mitch: You’re so good at murder.
Mitch: I think it was Anna (though I can’t remember for sure) who said his name literally means “bad, angry, bad, angry” or something along those lines. He’s one of the strongest AOE healers in the game but he’s also Malfurion. It’s up to you to weigh those two facts against each other. I think you know what to do.
On sale for $4.24/€4.19/£3.19 with his Lumberjack skin on sale for $2.49/€2.49/£1.89
Mitch: I freaking LOVE Artanis. He can do a decent job tanking or damaging, depending on how you spec him. I’ve been playing with a friend of mine who has been rocking Artanis lately and he makes excellent use of Artanis’s Suppression Pulse against comps that are high in melee or autoattackers. I’d honestly never seen the use of it until I saw a whole team blinded and basically made useless. He’s not exactly a newbie-friendly Warrior though, and requires a bit of a counter-intuitive approach to tanking. Never run when you’re low on health. You stand a better chance of keeping your shields up and killing enemies (or at least lasting a bit longer) by fighting than you do by running.
Unlocked at player level 7
Mitch: He’s another slow attacker but his freezes work amazingly well, especially early game, when paired with an Assassin. He’s sort of a mid-range Warrior; not that great, but not that bad. If you generally like Warriors, give him a try and be sure to use his trait on cooldown. It’s not a passive, so forgetting to use it will be very damaging to your effectiveness.
In addition to being on rotation, his Archangel skin is on sale for $4.99/€4.99/£3.69
Mitch: Diablo is one of those heroes I had to warm up to [something something fire joke] but still not one I’m sure I can fully recommend. He’s a VERY slow attacker and his main advantages are his ability to position enemies and his tankiness. If you like tanky types, give him a try. But don’t expect high 1v1 damage out of him.
If you need a starting point with any of these heroes, check out our Assassin guide, Specialist guide, Support guide, and Warrior guide for quick rundowns on each hero. This week’s freebies should be going live this afternoon, so jump online to take advantage of them. And, as always, we’ll see you in the Nexus!
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