Heroes of the Storm
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Latest Heroes patch aims for balance with both buffs and nerfs

We were told yesterday that Heroes of the Storm balance patch was coming today, and now we know just what’s changing. Affected by this Heroes patch are Falstad, Greymane, Li-Ming, Valla, Abathur, Zagara, Kharazim, Artanis, and Sonya. As always, the Heroes team is aiming to balance gameplay so no single hero is dominent while encouraging build diversity — which means we’ve got an array of nerfs and buffs to try to bring everything in line. And balance being the name of the game, we’ve got more Li-Ming nerfs, though they aren’t as major as the last round of changes.

Our favorite patch note, however, isn’t a nerf or a buff, but commentary on Abathur:

It’s extremely difficult bartering with a space slug. Abathur refuses to allow us to nerf devolve him without also buffing evolving him. In exchange for lowering the overbearing slow amount and duration of Vile Nest, he has gladly accepted a baseline increase to his Carapace Shielding.

Check out the full patch notes, alongside developer commentary, below.

Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment (Official Post)

ASSASSIN

FALSTAD

  • Hammerang (Q)
    • Gathering Storm (Talent)
      • Damage gained per Hero hit increased from 1 to 2
    • BOOMerang (Talent)
      • Reactivation damage increased from 150 (+4% per level) to 175 (+4% per level)
      • Damage radius increased by 25%, which now more appropriately matches the explosion’s visual effects
  • Lightning Rod (W)
    • Charged Up (Talent)
      • Additional strikes increased from 2 to 3
    • Thunderstrikes (Talent)
      • Damage bonus per subsequent strike increased from 15% to 20%
  • Barrel Roll (E)
    • Updraft (Talent)
      • Range bonus increased from 30% to 40%

Developer Comments: Overall, we are very happy with where Falstad is currently sitting, especially in the professional scene. We have been keeping an eye on some of his weaker Talents, though, and felt we could make some of his Talent tiers more competitive by tuning them up.
We love the feedback we have been receiving on the quest-style talents that some Heroes have, like Gathering Storm, and want to offer more opportunities for players to show off their skill!

GREYMANE

  • Basic Attack damage increased from 138 (+4% per level) to 145 (+4% per level)
  • Gilnean Cocktail (Q)
    • Primary target damage reduced from 69 (+4% per level) to 59 (+4% per level)
    • Splash damage reduced from 207 (+4% per level) to 177 (+4% per level)

Developer Comments: Greymane’s Gilnean Cocktail build has been very dominant since the last round of buffs to the Ability. We’re seeking to nerf that build slightly so that it isn’t always the correct choice, and compensate him by improving his Basic Attack builds slightly. Overall, we think this is a minor nerf to the Hero, but nothing substantial.

Become a Watcher

LI-MING

  • Magic Missiles (Q)
    • Now deals 50% damage against Structures
    • Mirrorball (Talent)
      • Now also increases the Mana cost of Magic Missiles by 5
    • Fireflies (Talent)
      • Now also reduces the Mana cost of Magic Missiles by 5
  • Disintegrate (R)
    • Temporal Flux (Talent)
      • Slow amount reduced from 60% to 40%

Developer Comments: Magic Missiles were not designed with intent on dealing heavy Siege damage, so we are halving it against Structures. Li-Ming’s level 16 Talents are all incredibly valuable and fun to play with, but at the end of the day, Mirrorball added too much power without any kind of drawback; the shifts in Mana costs should help sweeten the pot for players that want to spec into Fireflies.
As for Temporal Flux, well, let’s just say we were so in love with Li Ming’s overwhelmingly powerful level 20 Talents that we misjudged how demoralizing a 60% slow could be to play against when its cooldown constantly reset.

VALLA

  • Basic Attack damage increased from 91 (+4% per level) to 94 (+4% per level)
  • Hatred (Trait)
    • Basic Attack damage gained per Hatred stack increased from 2% to 3%
    • Punishment (Talent)
      • Hatred stacks gained per Ability cast increased from 3 to 4
    • Manticore (Talent)
      • Damage bonus increased from 50% to 60%
  • Multishot (W)
    • Damage reduced from 164 (+4% per level) to 148 (+4% per level)
  • Vault (E)
    • Caltrops (Talent)
      • Damage increased from 30 (+4% per level) to 45 (+4% per level)
      • Slow amount increased from 20% to 30%
  • Rain of Vengeance (R)
    • Damage increased from 256 (+4% per level) to 350 (+4% per level)

Developer Comments: Right now, the safest way to play Valla (Multishot build) is also the most effective. The changes to her Multishot, Hatred, and Basic Attack damage are the first of many to come that should help to align the efficacy of a Hero’s build with the difficulty in which that build plays. The other balance tweaks are quality of life changes for some of her weaker Talents.

SPECIALIST

ABATHUR

  • Symbiote (Q)
    • Carapace (E)
      • Shield amount increased from 137 (+4% per level) to 150 (+4% per level)
  • Toxic Nest (W)
    • Vile Nest (Talent)
      • Slow amount decreased from 50% to 40%
      • Slow duration reduced from 4 to 3 seconds

Developer Comments: It’s extremely difficult bartering with a space slug. Abathur refuses to allow us to nerfdevolve him without also buffing evolving him. In exchange for lowering the overbearing slow amount and duration of Vile Nest, he has gladly accepted a baseline increase to his Carapace Shielding.

ZAGARA

  • Hunter Killer (W)
    • Health changed from 554 (+3% per level) to 471 (+3.5% per level)
  • Devouring Maw (R)
    • Cooldown increased from 100 to 120 seconds
    • Tyrant Maw (Talent)
      • Cooldown reduction increased from 25 to 30 seconds per takedown

Developer Comments: Hunter Killers are a bit too overwhelming during the early laning phases, and we are hoping to give some other Heroes more counter-play options than just retreating back behind their gate.
Devouring Maw has shown time-and-again that it has the power to completely change the outcome of a fight, and even a game. We feel it should join some of the other, similarly powerful Heroics at the two-minute cooldown mark.

SUPPORT

KHARAZIM

  • Breath of Heaven (W)
    • Heal amount increased from 250 (+4% per level) to 280 (+4% per level)
    • Echo of Heaven (Talent)
      • Second wave Heal amount decreased from 50% to 35%

Developer Comments: Kharazim’s Echo of Heaven Talent is contributing too much to his overall Healing. We’ve decided to nerf the amount of Healing it offers and buff his base kit to compensate. His Healing output with the Talent should be roughly the same, but now players should have more flexibility to pick other Talents on its tier.

WARRIOR

ARTANIS

  • Health increased from 2245 (+4% per level) to 2335 (+4% per level)
  • Health Regeneration increased from approximately 4.67 per second (+4% per level) to approximately 4.86 per second (+4% per level)
  • Shield Overload (Trait)
    • Shield Battery (Talent)
      • Cooldown reduction increased from 6 to 8 seconds
    • Phase Bulwark (Talent)
      • Duration of Ability damage reduction increased from 3 to 4 seconds
    • Shield Surge (Talent)
      • Bonus Shield amount increased from 50% to 100%
  • Blade Dash (Q)
    • Templar’s Zeal (Talent)
      • Cooldown recharge rate increased from 75% to 100%
  • Twin Blades (W)
    • Amateur Opponent (Talent)
      • Bonus damage against non-Heroic targets increased from 100% to 150%
    • Triple Strike (Talent)
      • Now also increases the cooldown of Twin Blades by 1 second
  • Phase Prism (E)
    • Khaydarian Resonance (Talent) removed
    • Chrono Surge (Talent)
      • Attack Speed bonus increased from 25% to 40%
    • Warp Sickness (Talent)
      • Slow duration increased from 3 to 4 seconds
    • Graviton Vortex (Talent)
      • Now also reduces the cooldown of Phase Prism by 6 seconds

Developer Comments: Artanis has a lot of Talents that were underperforming when compared to the others on the tier. These buffs should nudge him toward better build diversity. We’ll continue to monitor Artanis after this first round of buffs, and a few more changes may charge into the Nexus at a later date, if necessary.

SONYA

  • Wrath of the Berserker (R)
    • Cooldown increased from 45 to 60 seconds

Developer Comments: Wrath of the Berserker is available too frequently, which devalues some of the skill involved with keeping the buff up as long as possible. This should calm her nerves a tad while helping to differentiate players who can manage their Wrath generation from those who can’t.

BUG FIXES

Heroes and Talents

  • Abathur players will no longer become locked out of casting Abilities if Symbiote is cast at the same moment that Abathur is killed.
  • Fixed an issue that could completely refill Muradin’s Mana under certain circumstances.
  • Xul’s Spectral Scythe will no longer disappear prematurely if Bone Armor expires while the Scythe is airborne.
  • Fixed a rare issue that could cause Xul’s Skeletal Mages to persist longer than the Ability’s intended duration.

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