Heroes of the Storm: Rexxar guide
Rexxar, the Champion of the Horde, has made his way to the Nexus and is ready to use his mastery of beasts against any who might oppose him. With the help of his faithful companion Misha, Rexxar can be an instrumental hero is controlling enemy heroes during team fights. While he is categorized as a Warrior hero, players should be aware he does not play like your typical Warrior and is, in fact, much more comparable to the playstyle of many Specialist heroes. Multitasking and knowing when to fall back are keys to making the most of Rexxar’s unique playstyle.
A few quick builds are given below, but be sure to check out the Tips for Playing Rexxar section for a better idea of how to get the most out of each tool at Rexxar’s disposal.
This build is great for soloing mercenary camps and bosses. Either double team using Rexxar’s enhanced Spirit Swoop, or send Misha in alone while Rexxar uses Spirit Swoop to clear a nearby lane.
This build emphasizes the Warrior-atypical characteristics of Rexxar by adding numerous stuns and slows to his and Misha’s arsenal.
This build gives a damage boost to both Rexxar and Misha while adding some survivability to Misha. It’s less focused than the above builds, but it works as an all-around build.
Spirit Swoop (Q): Rexxar wouldn’t be a beast master if he couldn’t find an endless supply of birds to propel toward his enemies. Spirit Swoop is the only ability you’ll be able to use if you happen to lose Misha and unless you talent for Bird of Prey, it’s mostly used for slowing enemy heroes. If you do talent for Bird of Prey, it’s an incredibly effective way of clearing minion waves (especially if you can aim it to hit all of the minions as they walk in a straight line).
Misha, Charge (W): Misha’s main attack is an excellent way to control enemies. Even if untalented, this ability can be the key to winning team fights by stunning multiple enemy heroes at once. If talented, you’ll be able to use this more often and keep enemies stunned (and likely frustrated). The other upside to this ability is that charge can go through certain objects like Entangling Roots or Zombie Wall.
Mend Pet (E): A very strong heal, Mend Pet is something you won’t want to forget to use. This is the only way to heal Misha unless you choose certain talents, and even then, this will outheal them by far. Be sure to use this as often as possible, assuming it won’t deplete your mana and leave you without the option of using an escape ability.
Bestial Wrath (R): The offensive option of Rexxar’s two heroic abilities, Bestial Wrath finds the most use by players. Since this ability is a flat damage increase, it is relatively simple to use and only requires players to be aware of possible upcoming team fights in order to make sure it’s not on cooldown when it’s needed most.
Unleash the Boars (R): The crowd control option, Unleash the Boars will help Rexxar and his allies chase down enemy heroes (and root them if talented for it). The downside to this ability is that there must be a hero in its (admittedly large) range to get use out of. It does not work against minions or mercenaries, and overall is not as popular a choice as Bestial Wrath.
Misha, Follow or Misha, Attack (Trait): One of the most important parts of Rexxar’s gameplay comes via his trait. If Misha does not have a fixate target, she will only attack the same target as Rexxar until the trait is clicked again and “Misha, Follow” is active. It’s important to remember that if you aren’t using “Misha, Focus!” Misha switches targets as soon as Rexxar does. It’s even more important to remember that you must activate “Misha, Follow” if you are retreating, otherwise Misha will remain on the target until Rexxar gets too far away (which is significantly further now and will likely result in Misha dying).
Misha, Focus! (1): This command was recently added to help control Misha better. It allows you to either send Misha to a specific point and wait, or to attack a specific target until it dies. The upside to this is that Misha and Rexxar can now split focus to capture objectives or attack two different targets simultaneously — either Rexxar on minions and Misha on mercenaries, Rexxar on one tower and Misha on another, or whatever way you want to split damage. The downside is that making the most out of this new command requires even more micromanaging, which can be complicating or confusing for new players. If you find “1” difficult to reach during normal combat, I highly recommend re-binding this ability to a key you can readily click.
Tips for playing Rexxar
Unlike many other heroes, Rexxar has a lot of specific tricks that will go miles when learning or playing him in matches.
For starters, if you’re completely new to micromanagement heroes (such as Lost Viking or Abathur), it might be easiest to start playing Rexxar in all AI matches to get a feel for how his trait works and how controlling him and Misha works. Personally, I started with beginner AI, moved up to adept AI, then moved up to expert AI before I finally felt comfortable enough to move into real-player teammates and quick matches. Furthermore, I learned Rexxar before “Misha, Focus!” was an option, and I recommend new players practice without using “Misha, Focus!” at least for a few games to get an idea of how the trait works and how controlling Rexxar and Misha at the same time works. Once you’re comfortable controlling Misha and Rexxar, you can begin practicing using “Misha, Focus!” to better micromanage Misha’s attacks and movement.
Speaking of micromanaging Misha, she counts as a hero for many aspects of the various maps. This means you can use “Misha, Focus!” to send her to the Dragon Shrine while Rexxar stays in the lane and clears minions (see above image). Furthermore, Misha can also grab health fountains for Rexxar and both will gain the fountain’s benefits. Misha can also collect coins, gems, and seeds for Rexxar.
Finally, it’s important to understand that Rexxar dying also kills Misha whereas Misha dying leaves Rexxar alive but severely limits what he can do. For this reason, it is important to always keep an eye on Rexxar and be sure that if you ever need to run, you activate “Misha, Follow” immediately so that Misha will not continue to attack enemies and get herself killed while you run away.
Hunter-Gatherer is by far the most popular choice in this tier. The health regeneration not only keeps Misha in combat longer, but it means any incidental damage that Rexxar takes can be healed slowly without needing a healing fountain or active support nearby.
Grizzled Bear is the second most popular choice here, and can be a good option if you plan to tank on Misha. However, Misha isn’t built to tank enemy heroes as well as other Warrior heroes, which means this talent tends to work best when Misha is taking small amounts of damage from enemy heroes rather than acting as a main tank.
Survivalist Training and Flare are two choices that are almost never taken. Even though mana is occasionally an issue, Survivalist Training really doesn’t outweigh Hunter-Gatherer or Grizzled Bear. And Flare is only marginally useful but its function can essentially be done by using Misha, Focus! to have Misha quickly scout an area.
Easy Prey is many players’ pick in this tier, and for good reason. With the “Misha, Focus!” command and increased leash range, you can now stand close enough to some mercenary camps that Rexxar remains in his lane while Misha attacks the mercenaries. With this talent (and the accompanying recommended build above), Misha can solo bosses or Misha and Rexxar can team up to take down mercenaries even more quickly.
Hungry Bear is also a strong choice here as a talent that helps keep Misha alive longer. Misha attacks fast enough and this heals large enough that, combined with Mend Pet, it can keep Misha alive against most enemies.
Crippling Talons and Taking Flight both alter Rexxar’s Spirit Swoop, but neither is especially appealing compared to Easy Prey. Crippling Talons does work well with a control build and the slow is pretty noticeable. Taking Flight, however, is just not worth it in almost all cases. The mana return is small and requires Spirit Swoop to hit a hero, while the increased range is unnecessary against minions. Between the two, Crippling Talons is easily the better option.
Aspect of the Beast is a very popular choice here because it allows Misha to stun enemies much more often. This can be an incredible way to keep enemy heroes under control, especially if Misha is not being focused and can just continue to attack and Charge as she pleases.
Bird of Prey was recently nerfed but still packs a punch… er, scratch. With this talent, Rexxar’s Spirit Swoop can one-shot most enemy minions, sometimes taking out an entire minion wave in one fell (spirit) swoop. Additionally, it is great for some extra damage against mercenary camps.
Throwing Axes is not a popular choice but can be useful when learning how to best position Rexxar with respect to Misha during combat. The increased autoattack range gives players more leeway in how soon they need to withdraw before becoming overwhelmed by enemy heroes.
Blood of the Rhino is, again, a talent rarely taken by most players. It can be a useful band-aid fix if you find Misha dying too often, but most times, players can keep Misha alive by using “Misha, Follow” before Misha gets too low. Moreover, the other talents in this tier are simply much better options.
As discussed above, Bestial Wrath is the more popular choice here and is the one I find to be most effective, most often. It is a straight damage increase, which makes it an appealing choice but its drawback is that it’s only effective against one target at a time. If you’re going for a pure control or tank build and want to help more with keeping enemies from escaping rather than doing damage yourself, Unleash the Boars can be useful — especially when paired with its level-20 boost that roots enemies. It has a large range and an equally large cone to hit as many enemies as you can target in it, but the drawback is that it is only effective against heroes and can easily be wasted if not used at the right time.
Wildfire Bear is far and away the top choice in this talent tier. Passively adding AOE damage to Misha only increases the amount she can dish out against waves, mercenaries, and heroes. Most other options in this tier add situational utility.
Barkskin and Bear Necessities both alter “Misha, Charge” in different ways. Barkskin, while not a great choice in terms of damage, will be the best choice for full-tank builds and adds a nice bit of survivability to Misha. Meanwhile, Bear Necessities can help against mercenary camps as a way to reduce incoming damage to Misha, but if you chose Easy Prey, Misha will be strong enough against mercenary camps without this choice. I also find it doesn’t serve much use against minion waves since I typically take Bird of Prey to wipe out whole waves at once.
Thrill of the Hunt is a very niche talent. While it’s not always recommended, I have found that it can be useful as a way to escape fights much more easily. The run duration is short, but can be useful for a quick retreat needed at the last second. Additionally, the added speed can help Misha chase down enemies as long as Rexxar has a minion or two to autoattack in the process.
Once again, a specific talent shines brightest above the rest. In this tier, that talent is Feign Death, an incredibly useful way to save Rexxar from certain death and make controlling Misha easier for a few seconds. The only drawbacks to Feign Death are that the 5 seconds can feel relatively short if you don’t have a plan for when the duration ends, and it has a cooldown.
Primal Intimidation is the second-place option here and can be useful in tanking builds or in some utility-focused builds. While it’s not always the most appealing, it is still a comparable talent choice that requires little-to-no extra thought on the player’s part to utilize.
Aspect of the Hawk is the damage-only option this tier. While the uptime can be nice if you’re consistently hitting a hero with Spirit Swoop, this talent still ultimately requires an enemy hero to be effective and is often a less appealing option than Feign Death. Still, for pure-damage builds, Aspect of the Hawk is a decent pick if you know where to throw your birds.
Critical Care buffs Rexxar’s already strong Mend Pet but is very situational as to when it’s actually effective. If you find Misha dying a lot in a match or frequently needing extra healing, this talent has its perks. But even for a tanking build, the other options in this tier are still usually more appealing.
Spirit Bond is a great “overall” choice for this talent tier and will work with most builds, assuming you’ve taken Bestial Wrath. However, the downside is that you sacrifice more spec-specific talents this tier has to offer.
Speaking of spec-specific talents, Frenzy of Kalimdor adds more damage overall to Rexxar and the slow effect given to Misha makes her almost impossible to escape if played well. I like to take this build to give Rexxar a bit of extra solo strength and some added utility when Misha is alive. Hardened Skin is the other spec-specific option and is the one you’ll want to take if you’re going for a full-tank build.
Kill Command is the last option here and should really only be taken if you’re opting for a control build — and even then, it’s typically outperformed by the other options. The root can be nice, however, and if you want to play Rexxar as a control hero, you may want to give this option a test to see if it fits your preferred playstyle.
That’s it for Rexxar! He certainly takes a lot of getting used to, but with some practice can be a very fun and unique hero to play. Remembering above all that Misha’s survival is paramount, and that Rexxar is not your typical Warrior hero will go a long way in making sure Rexxar is played to maximum effectiveness.
Written by Michael Mitchell. Last updated 11/17/15