Heroes of the Storm
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Heroes balance update reworks Varian and more

This may look like a fresh set of patch notes, but it’s actually a round of balance updates coming to Heroes of the Storm soon. How soon? That we’re less certain of, but considering these changes weren’t included in today’s PTR patch notes, we’re likely to see these changes live before the patch hits — possibly when the weekly rotation resets tomorrow.

Newcomer Varian is getting the lion’s share of the changes, as Blizzard figures out how to balance the game’s first multi-class hero. In our opinion, he’s pretty weak until level 10 and pretty beastly afterwards… and we’re not convinced this update will change that. But — as the constant stream of patch notes and balance changes tell us — bringing all heroes to that perfect 50% win rate isn’t always easy, so there may be more changes in store for Varian. But this balance rundown isn’t all about Varian: changes are also coming to Falstad, Gul’dan, Li-Ming, Samuro, Zeratul, Nazeebo, Brightwing, Kharazim, Anub’arak, Diablo (who’s getting a big overhaul in next week’s patch), Stitches, and Tyrael.

Other than Varian, most of these are minor changes, but if your favorite hero’s on the list you’ll want to check the full rundown of changes — alongside developer commentary to help make sense of it all — below.

Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment (Official Post)

ASSASSIN

FALSTAD

Abilities

  • Flight (Z)
    • Cooldown increased from 45 to 55 seconds

Talents

  • Level 20
    • Epic Mount (Z)
      • Now reduces Flight cooldown to 30 seconds

Developer Comments:  We are looking at bringing down the power of global talents. We like what they bring to the game and their draft implications per map but feel that they are currently available a bit too often.

GUL’DAN

Abilities

  • Rain of Destruction (R)
    • Cast range increased by roughly 10%

LI-MING

Talents

  • Level 7
    • Calamity (E)
      • Now only deals damage to Heroic targets

Developer Comments:  Li-Ming’s Calamity is being used just as much as a minion-clearing tool as a Hero-killing tool, which was never the intention in her original design. By limiting this to Heroes only, it helps highlight one of her intended weaknesses which was low wave-clear potential.

SAMURO

Abilities

  • Wind Walk (E)
    • Cooldown increased from 12 to 13 seconds
  • Bladestorm (R)
    • Damage per second reduced from 250 to 235

Talents

  • Level 1
    • Way of the Blade (W)
      • Critical Strike bonus damage reduced from 25 to 20%
  • Level 4
    • Mirage (Q)
      • Spell Block mitigation amount reduced from 50 to 40% per charge

Developer Comments:  Samuro has fallen into a much better spot since our last changes but still has a handful of over-performing talents. We feel that these changes are much lighter than the last round of nerfs and should bring Samuro even closer to the coveted 50% win-rate.

ZERATUL

Talents

  • Level 1
    • Shadow Hunter (E)
      • Cooldown reduction upon quest completion increased from .75 to 1 second
  • Level 4
    • Grim Task (Passive)
      • Ability Power stack bonus increased from 4 to 5%
      • Maximum Ability Power bonus increased from 40 to 50%
  • Level 13
    • Mending Strikes (Passive)
      • Healing reduced from 40 to 35%
  • Level 16
    • Void Slash (Q)
      • Damage bonus increased from 40 to 50%

Developer Comments:  We’re happy overall with how Zeratul came out with his talent revamp, and are making some adjustments to make his talent pick and win rates more competitive.

 

MULTI-CLASS

VARIAN

Abilities

  • Lion’s Fang (Q)
    • Mana cost reduced from 60 to 50
    • Slow amount increased from 30 to 35%
  • Parry (W)
    • Cooldown reduced from 10 to 8 seconds
  • Heroic Strike (Trait)
    • Bonus damage changed from Physical to Spell
    • No longer heals from Second Wind, and now benefits from Ability Power
  • Taunt (R)
    • Health bonus increased from 50 to 60%
    • Mana cost reduced from 40 to 20

Talents

  • Level 1
    • Lion’s Maw (Q)
      • Slow increased from 40 to 50%
  • Level 4
    • Warbringer (E)
      • Cooldown reduction decreased from 10 to 8 seconds
  • Level 7
    • Live by the Sword (W)
      • Duration bonus increased from 20 to 40%
      • Cooldown reduction decreased from 3 to 2 seconds
  • Level 20
    • Vigilance (R)
      • Cooldown reduction increased from .75 to 1 second per Heroic Basic Attack

Developer Comments:  Varian has had a solid release into the Nexus. We think one of the most important things about our first multi-class character is that all 6 “builds” are close in power level, and right now Twin Blades and Warbringer are a little higher than the rest. These changes are designed to nerf Warbringer’s point and click stun frequency, increase the power of Shield Wall by reducing the cooldown of Parry, greatly increase the statistical bonuses of Taunt, and reduce some of the synergy between Second Wind and Twin Blades of Fury that was creating so many problems for teams without a good counter to Basic Attacks. We’ve done a mix of baseline buffs and Talent nerfs to hopefully keep Varian’s overall balance close to where we intended.

 

SPECIALIST

NAZEEBO

Abilities

  • Corpse Spiders (Q)
    • Missile speed increased by roughly 20%

Talents

  • Level 7
    • Toads of Hugeness (E)
      • Bonus per hop increased from 15 to 20%
      • Maximum bonus increased from 60 to 80%
  • Level 16
    • Soul Harvest (Active)
      • Ability Power and Health bonus increased from 4 to 5% for each enemy hit
      • Maximum bonus increased from 20 to 25%

Developer Comments:  These changes are designed to increase the accuracy of Corpse Spiders, since landing it precisely on isolated targets is so important. We’re also increasing the effectiveness of Toads of Hugeness and Soul Harvest, as the Talents weren’t competitive enough against the other options. Together, these changes should make the Spider and Toad builds more enticing.

SUPPORT

BRIGHTWING

Abilities

  • Phase Shift (Z)
    • Cooldown from 45 to 55 seconds

Developer Comments:  We are looking at bringing down the power of global talents. We like what they bring to the game and their draft implications per map but feel that they are currently available a bit too often.

KHARAZIM

Abilities

  • Breath of Heaven (W)
    • Increased the Movement Speed bonus from 10 to 15%

Talents

  • Level 1
    • Iron Fists (Trait)
      • Damage bonus reduced from 125 to 110%
  • Level 4
    • Earth Ally (Active)
      • Cooldown increased from 30 to 45 seconds
  • Level 7
    • Heavenly Zeal (W)
      • Movement Speed bonus increased from 25 to 30%

Developer Comments:  We’re glad to see that Iron Fists Kharazim is a very viable melee Assassin/Support hybrid! We think that we can reduce the damage slightly on it, since Kharazim was able to throughput strong damage and healing with the Talent. While the damage potential of that build is stronger than we want, overall Kharazim is close to balanced, so we’ve provided a small Movement Speed increase to Breath of Heaven to offset the loss.

 

WARRIOR

ANUB’ARAK

Stats

  • Base Health increased from 2120 to 2226
  • Health Regeneration increased from 4.4 to 4.6 per second

Developer Comments:  Anub’arak has taken a bit of a hit since we removed his Invulnerability from Burrow Charge. This additional Health buff is to help compensate him so that he can be a better front-line Warrior.

DIABLO

Stats

  • Diablo’s Basic Attack has received responsiveness improvements

STITCHES

Talents

Level 13

  • Flea Bag (Passive)
    • Cooldown reduction increased from 3 to 6 seconds

TYRAEL

Abilities

  • Sanctification (R)
    • Cooldown increased from 80 to 100 seconds

Developer Comments:  Tyrael’s Sanctification has been a dominating force in professional play for a long time. While we like the huge playmaking aspect that it provides, it currently has a shorter cooldown than many other Heroics that it can negate. This cooldown increase puts it on par with other Heroics that have a similar impact on the outcome of a teamfight.

BUG FIXES

Heroes and Talents

  • Kharazim: Fixed an issue that caused Kharazim’s final hit during Way of the Hundred Fists to deal more damage than intended.

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