Heroes of the Storm: Greymane guide

The mighty King of Gilneas has joined the Nexus in the form of an Assassin hero — but with a twist! Genn Greymane utilizes his trademark Curse of the Worgen to shift between Human and Worgen forms, resulting in an Assassin that’s both ranged and melee. While players can opt to focus on one form over the other, mastery of Greymane comes in making the most of both forms. Whittling enemies down from afar before picking the right time to strike as a Worgen will result in the most effective use of his two forms and keep the enemy team forever on the run. This hero guide will help break down Greymane’s skillset and talent options for players looking to try their hands at the unique and incredibly fun hero.

Before jumping into the full guide, a few quick build suggestions are listed below if you want to just dive right into Greymane play. A more detailed breakdown of each talent option can be found later in the guide.

Recommended build: Wolfheart, Insatiable, Incendiary Elixir, Marked for the Kill, Visceral Attacks, Concentrated Blast, and Tooth and Claw.

This build makes the most of Greymane’s two forms and emphasizes Inner Beast. It allows you to deal heavy damage no matter what form you’re in and utilize Greymane’s trait in a way that truly brings out the synergy between Human and Worgen.

Pure-Human build: Perfect Aim, Draught Overflow, Quicksilver Bullets or Incendiary Elixir, Marked for the Kill, Running Wild, Concentrated Blast, and Hunter’s Blunderbuss.

This build focuses on Greymane’s Human-form abilities for players who prefer a safer, ranged approach to the Assassin. While it will be slightly lower on damage output than a Worgen build, it has the benefit of keeping Greymane farther away from his enemies, which can be especially useful for those not used to Assassins and their low health pool.

Pure-Worgen build: Viciousness, Thick Skin, Wizened Duelist, Go for the Throat, Visceral Attacks, Alpha Killer, and Tooth and Claw.

This build brings out the beast within Greymane. If you prefer a purely melee Assassin playstyle, this build is for you. It will have a higher damage output than a purely Human build but puts you at a greater risk for death since you’ll be up close to your enemies.

Abilities

Curse of the Worgen (Trait) — By far the most important aspect of Greymane, his trait is what makes him such a unique Assassin hero. Using certain abilities will swap him between Human and Worgen forms — the former being ranged, the latter melee with increased damage. Below, each ability is split between its Worgen and Human form effect.

Gilnean Cocktail (Q, Human form) — One of my favorite abilities, Gilnean Cocktail is a very strong area-of-effect ability. The major caveat to this ability is that it creates a cone-shaped AOE behind your target, and if it doesn’t hit a target the AOE happen at all. This can be circumvented via a talent later on, but if you opt to not take this talent, be sure to use Gilnean Cocktail from the angle that will offer the most damage output. Positioning is important, as a well placed shot can be the difference between clearing a minion wave and only hitting one enemy at once.

Razor Swipe (Q, Worgen form) — While in Worgen form, your AOE ability turns into a close-ranged swipe with a shorter cooldown. The upside to Razor Swipe over Gilnean Cocktail (outside of the cooldown) is the fact that targeting is slightly less of an issue; as long as your swipes are within range of enemies, it will hit them. In addition, it slightly moves your character forward, which can help if you’re trying to escape a pursuing enemy.

Inner Beast (W) — The only ability that stays consistent between forms, Inner Beast is a relatively straightforward increase to your attack speed. The challenge with Inner Beast comes with which level-1 talent you choose to take. Depending on your choice, maintaining a high uptime on this ability will affect how you play Greymane.

Darkflight (E, Human form) — Part of what makes Greymane so deadly is his ability to leap to enemies just when they think they can run away. Darkflight is an excellent way to finish enemies off after whittling them down from range in Human form. Be careful with this one, though, as it becomes much more difficult to escape enemies once you’ve gone Worgen.

Disengage (E, Worgen form) — Greymane’s primary method of, well, disengaging from combat, Disengage is an excellent way to gain some distance between yourself and enemies after engaging in Worgen form. The downside to this ability is that if you’ve recently used Darkflight to engage, you’ll have to wait until this is off cooldown to use. Disengage also has a relatively short range, so don’t expect it to be a life-saver if you’re up against a ranged enemy.

Go for the Throat (R) — The first of Greymane’s heroic abilities, Go for the Throat is the more offensive of the two. A super-charged version of Darkflight, this ability will let you finish off entire teams if timed well. The downside to this ability is that making the most of it does require a bit of precise timing — it resets whenever it kills a target, and not resetting it means missing out on a lot of potential damage.

Marked for the Kill/Marked for the Kill Leap (R) — Greymane’s second ability can’t put out the same damage as his first, but it offers more utility and quite honestly is a lot of fun if you can pull off a kill with it. Aiming the shot can be a bit difficult, but it has a very long range and once it hits an enemy, you can leap to that enemy no matter how far away. This makes Marked for the Kill incredibly strong at denying enemies an escape. Use it at close range for extra damage and then leap when they think they’ve escaped, or just use it from a distance to surprise an enemy who thinks they’ve made it to safety.

Playing Greymane

My particular strategy for playing Greymane with the recommended build above revolves mostly around Inner Beast. I focus on high uptime, plus a reduced cooldown and mana return via autoattacks. This allows me quick attacks no matter what form I’m in and, with some of the later talents, also helps to use Greymane’s other abilities more often or to a greater effect. I still focus on shifting in between Human and Worgen forms, but I do so more often. As soon as Disengage is active, I shift out for an empowered Gilnean Cocktail before quickly shifting back into Worgen form and using Razor Swipe as often as possible. I tend to take Marked for the Kill as it offers another way to deny enemies an escape, but the heroic ability choice with my build is mostly up to the player since it doesn’t play into the other talents’ synergy.

Strengths

  • Greymane can deal large amounts of damage to both heroes and minions.
  • Talents work very well together and provide excellent synergy.
  • Master Greymane wears a top hat. Need I say more?
Weaknesses

  • Greymane is very squishy and has no self-healing talents to counterbalance this.
  • Effective use requires shifting between Human and Worgen forms.
  • Full synergy doesn’t come until late into a game.

Level 1

Wolfheart is my default choice for this tier. While Viciousness and Wolfheart both offer different ways to increase Inner Beast’s uptime, Wolfheart wins out for me because as long as you’re attacking something, you’ll be able to use it more frequently. Viciousness has its uses (especially with gank-based specs), but no matter what you’ll have to wait 16 seconds once Inner Beast wears off. It’s a higher risk with only a slightly higher reward.

Perfect Aim and Scented Tincture both alter Gilnean Cocktail but don’t really outshine the other two options this tier. Perfect Aim can be made obsolete by Insatiable at level 4 and Incendiary Elixir at level 7, while Scented Tincture is incredibly situational and rarely ever taken. Scented Tincture may be useful in its own right as a way of really preventing enemies from escaping, but against the other options this tier it’s hard to recommend.

Level 4

Insatiable is my favorite choice because it allows you an almost constant presence on the field assuming you do not get too low on health. While selective use of abilities can prevent mana issues, Insatiable allows you to use abilities at will and helps with damage output. It’s not the most popular choice but it works incredibly well with the recommended build listed at the top of this article.

Thick Skin, meanwhile, is the most popular choice in this tier and adds some much-needed defense to Greymane’s most vulnerable form. Where Darkflight normally means putting yourself entirely at risk of death, Thick Skin will help add an extra layer of defense when going in for the kill.

Eyes in the Dark is the second defensive option this tier and is especially helpful in aiding your escape. I find it slightly less useful than Thick Skin, however, because its defensiveness only comes in handy when you’re already trying to escape. Thick Skin adds defense that strengthens your offense; Eyes in the Dark offers stronger defense but without added offense.

Draught Overflow is a strong pick this tier because the added length helps hit enemies hiding behind minion waves and it also adds extra power for clearing out large waves all at once. The only reason I don’t take this choice is because I take Incendiary Elixir at level 7, which makes Gilnean Cocktail an almost risk-free ability.

Level 7

Incendiary Elixir is a talent I find practically mandatory. Without it, Gilnean Cocktail becomes an all-or-nothing ability: aim it slightly off and you get nothing from it. Incendiary Elixir fixes that and allows you to use it wherever you need in order to hit heroes. You can aim it slightly in front of the Tribute on Cursed Hollow to stop a turn-in, use it near the ground where someone is stealthed, or just toss it in front of the enemy team to cause massive AOE damage. Whatever you use it for, it becomes exponentially more useful with Incendiary Elixir picked as a talent.

Wizened Duelist is another high-risk, high-reward talent — and without any self-healing, it’s a talent I shy away from. If survivability isn’t a problem as you play Greymane, this talent will only make you stronger; but with how squishy Greymane tends to be, the fact that all stacks are lost on death makes this slightly less appealing.

Quicksilver Bullets is a pick that will depend on how you prefer to play Greymane. Personally, I don’t find it nearly as useful as Incendiary Elixir, but if you’re playing him for the first time and finding yourself struggling to stay alive, this is an excellent talent to help ease you into his style with a bit more of a safety buffer.

Level 10

Go for the Throat, as discussed above, is the more offensive of Greymane’s two heroic abilities. Unlike Marked for the Kill, it’s a guaranteed hit on the target; however, it becomes more useful as a definitive finisher to leap from enemy to enemy.

Marked for the Kill, meanwhile, is a skillshot that requires careful aim but will close the widest of gaps between yourself and your enemies if aimed properly. It can also be used at close range to help make enemies vulnerable for a faster takedown for your team.

Level 13

On the Prowl is the most popular option in this tier an offers arguably the strongest escape mechanism. Especially if you have a talent that allows Inner Beast to be active more often, this talent will allow you to frequently move quickly — a necessity if Greymane gets caught in a bad position. Meanwhile, Running Wild makes engaging and disengaging easier, which means you’ll have an easier time leaping in for the kill as well as escaping if things go south. It’s not my preferred talent, but the extra range (especially on Disengage) make this a very appealing option.

Visceral Attacks is not the most popular pick, but it’s my favorite choice in this tier. Using the recommended build at the top of the guide, this talent allows you to deal large amounts of damage in Worgen form without worrying about mana. Combined with a beefed-up Inner Beast, it’s a very powerful pick.

Unfettered Assault is rarely picked this tier. The extra range on Razor Swipe is useful for escaping, but it neither performs better than other escape options here nor does it make up for the increased cooldown.

Level 16

Alpha Killer and Concentrated Blast are the two most popular picks this tier and each offers its own benefits. The former is excellent for players who prefer to focus on the “Assassin” aspect of the class and specifically target heroes. Concentrated Blast is my personal choice, largely because the damage output from an empowered Gilnean Cocktail is very high and provides AOE to clear out minion waves in an instant. Part of this choice, however, is dependent on the other talent options outlined in the recommended build, which focuses a lot on Inner Beast.

Relentless Predator and Executioner are both more niche abilities than the other options this tier. Relentless Predator is an incredibly useful defensive talent, but its effectiveness will vary based on your enemies’ team composition. Executioner, on the other hand, is rarely picked because it requires effects on the target that Greymane himself cannot apply. Paired with the right hero, however, the damage output from this is quite high. Both of these options are very dependent on team compositions across the board, though.

Level 20

The level-20 tier is a bit of an oddball. None of the talents are particularly game-changing and don’t offer the sort of synergy across tiers that the other talents do.

Unleashed and Gilnean Roulette are both situational and offer ways to chain-jump between enemies; however the effect of both is typically too situational to be preferred over the other options this tier. Gilnean Roulette can be very useful if you find your enemies grouped up often, as the 25% damage increase will be applied to all of them. Unfortunately, this is a difficult trick to pull off.

Hunter’s Blunderbuss and Tooth and Claw both offer a passive increase to your damage in either Human or Worgen form. Your choice will depend on which form you prefer to fight in, though I tend to lean toward Tooth and Claw because the Worgen form damage is naturally higher and cleaves rather than sprays behind the target (which requires more careful positioning).

And that’s it for Greymane play! He is honestly some of the most fun I’ve had on a hero in a long time. The key to Greymane is remembering just how easy he can be to kill and playing somewhat defensively until the opportunity to strike presents itself. Utilizing the balance between Human and Worgen forms is a must and will allow you to be an imposing presence against any enemy.

Written by Michael Mitchell. Last updated 01/19/16.