Newly nerfed Li-Ming joins this week’s free hero rotation
It’s another week, which means it’s another free hero rotation in Heroes of the Storm. This week the rebellious wizard Li-Ming joins the free lineup for the first time, though with her recent nerfs it probably won’t be a bloodbath for everyone not playing her.
We’re two weeks away from the release of Xul, which means we have another new hero headed our way in a week or two. But who will it be? Two weeks out would put us at the end of March, which is still a bit early for Tracer’s announced April release. And while we’ve yet to hear about other new heroes, Blizzard is teasing us with a new hero — and we strongly suspect it’s another StarCraft zerg: Dehaka. Sure, Blizzard may yet surprise us, but for now we’re placing our bets on Dehaka arriving next week or the week after.
But no matter what’s happening next week, we have a new rotation to discuss this week. Read on for who’s on deck this week and, as always, what the team thinks.
Unlocked at player level 15
Anna: I’m excited to try out Li-Ming! I got super busy the past month or so — having people Over, Watching the kids — so I didn’t buy her yet even though I dig both her high DPS high fragility archetype and her sparkle princess aesthetic. She’s been lighting up the competitive scene, so I’m pumped to finally get to poke around with her. Get it? Poke? As in like, poke, when you attack an opponent at range to chip away at their health just a little? Oh, it was funny. It looks like most of my favorite long-distance divas are in the mix this week so it’s awesome that Li-Ming joins the free rotation (see you next week, Jaina).
Mitch: A+ joke, Anna. You’ve just earned yourself a promotion! I’m sad to say, though, you missed out on the best Li-Ming, the pre-nerf Li-Ming who not only had Ess of Johan but also dealt ridiculous damage to towers. Though the nerfs were totally justified and she’s still an amazingly fun hero. I can’t say this often enough: Blizzard is nailing it with these heroes lately. Not one of them has been a disappointment and they’ve all managed to surprise me and grab my attention in a way I didn’t think they’d be able to (especially being non-Warriors!).
Liz: It’s like clockwork. New hero, three to four weeks later and a nerf arrives. And then you can play them for free!
Anna: Valla saw a bit of competitive play this weekend with the auto attack build I’ve been championing that newbies try out for a while now. Lane positioning is such a big deal in this game that taking a lot of the activated abilities out of the equation to focus on that is a good thing. The side bonus is some auto attack builds, namely the ones with Vampiric Embrace and/or Tempered By Discipline, can be even more forgiving by keeping Valla a bit healthier.
Liz: Death from afar (preferably by arrows) characters are always my favorite characters.
Unlocked at player level 7
Anna: Sgt Hammer is another hero with what may be a ‘trap’ heroic ability. Her BFG (which of course stands for Blunt Force Gun! No swears here!) is a ton of fun. It’s a skill shot with global presence and can pick off those fleeing heroes… every 70 seconds. Napalm is a targeted AOE and strong zoning tool on Hammer, who is usually a stationary target. It also has a very short 6 second cooldown making its throughput far, far higher. It’s a little less clearcut than Sylvanas, but you’ll pretty much always want to choose Napalm.
Anna: One very important thing to know as a newbie if you’re going to try out Sylvanas: Possession is a trap. Her other heroic ability, Wailing Arrow, is pretty decent, but Possession is one of the weakest in the game. It would be fairly powerful in early game to turn your opponents’ minions against them, but by level 10 Sylvanas usually destroys an entire minion pack within seconds. Though it may be advantageous to add an extra body or two to soak tower shots, her trait prevents structures from firing anyway.
Mitch: Malfurion is the worst.
Unlocked at player level 5
Anna: The Rehgar nerf yesterday probably means that BarkBark’s competitive dog days are over. He’ll still make a pretty solid support for non-competitive players and offensively minded Rehgars favoring Bloodlust won’t see what all the fuss is about. Being unable to target himself with Ancestral Healing severely cuts short his survivability in big team fights where the opponent has the coordination to focus him, so raise those OhMyDogs one last time, because this is the patch we’ll be seeing in play in Seoul for the Global Spring Championships.
Mitch: Anub’arak is another of Mitch’s Majestic Top Many because he’s a pretty solid tank who can do serious damage to lanes if left uncontrolled. His beetle build has a slight learning curve but I know a lot of people enjoy it. I tend to go for a more laning/damaging build but either way ya cut it, he’s enjoyable. Just be careful, he’s pretty reliant on skill-shots. If you’re bad at those, maaaaybe give him a pass (or test in AI matches first).
Unlocked at player level 12
Mitch: Chen is the weirdest Warrior in the game and you’ll probably either love him or hate him. I love him, but I have to be in the mood to play him. His trait is a consistent, must-use part of his gameplay, so be prepared to hit his D a lot.
Mitch: I feel like I need to send love out to my (former, thanks to Greymane) main hero, Tyrael. He’s a solid Warrior no matter which role you take (tank, damage, mixed) but his MANAgement (get it?) is notoriously bad, so just be aware of that. I do feel like he’s falling a bit behind some of the newer heroes but at the same time I don’t really want to see him change. He really is solid, like I said.
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!
Please consider supporting our Patreon!
Join the Discussion
Blizzard Watch is a safe space for all readers. By leaving comments on this site you agree to follow our commenting and community guidelines.