Cho and Gall make their debut on the hero rotation
This week sees a newbie on the Heroes of the Storm rotation: Cho’Gall, who’s been around for a while but hasn’t yet appeared on the hero rotation. Oddly, however, Cho and Gall have two different level restrictions, with Cho available at level 12 and Gall available at level 15. Considering that you need someone playing both Cho and Gall to get into a match, this seems like a potential snag, even though Gall does have a somewhat higher skill cap.
Last week we also learned about the game’s next hero, StarCraft’s Dehaka, and a new map, the ARAM-style Lost Caverns — both of which are currently live on the PTR (alongside some pretty serious hero changes). Blizzard has confirmed that Dehaka will arrive in the Nexus next week, and since the PTR is scheduled to be live through the 29th, we’ll probably see everything else go live, too.
Now, on to this week’s rotation plus the team’s thoughts.
Alex: I’ll be my usual grumpy self and point out how so many of the heroes released early in the game’s lifecycle are so boring. It’s hard to get excited for characters like ETC, Falstad, and Tassadar when you compare them to more recent additions to the game. That’s doesn’t mean they’re bad — Falstad in particular is still used in competitive play — it’s just hard to get excited about playing them. That said, I don’t think any of the heroes on this list are actually bad.
Liz: Maybe this is why we’re getting so many hero reworks recently, to bring the classic heroes up to par with the latest heroes.
Unlocked at player level 15
Alex: Cho and Gall being split up across level 12 and level 15 is weird, but I suppose that’s a limitation of their unlocking structure — maybe they can’t put a level cap on it without splitting them across level tiers. Cho being the lower level of the two makes sense, because you can’t have a Gall without a Cho and if there were more Galls than Chos, you’d have a lot of passengers without drivers. Then again, you can’t play Cho without Gall, either. So… I don’t know. My head hurts. You can’t queue as one without the other so I suspect this’ll be a strange one this week. You can only play him with a friend. You can’t random solo queue as Cho and be given a Gall buddy. It just doesn’t work that way. When playing him, though, it’s important to remember he counts as two characters. If you’re doing the usual early game laning setup of 2/1/2, don’t end up 3/0/2 because you forgot Cho’Gall isn’t one person.
Anna: Yeah, Cho and Gall on free rotation seems kind of odd to me too. They’re pretty powerful heroes but because they share a single body they kind of mess up laning a bit. Not any moreso than other heroes without much of a lane presence like Nova or Abathur, but just something to be aware of.
Unlocked at player level 7
Anna: Kerrigan seems to go back and forth in popularity. She takes a bit of getting used to, since her abilities work best when used in a precise order with expert timing. Use her Impaling Blades, then Primal Grasp your opponent into the Blades as they erupt. It can be a bit tricky, but especially if you’re working with a buddy you can really punish those overextending squishy mages.
Anna: If you’re looking for a buddy for your Kerrigan, look no further than Nazeebo. If he can time his Zombie Wall to trap the people Kerrigan just Impaled, something truly magical happens. If you accidentally mess up your Zombie Wall, remember you don’t have to leave Kerrigan inside it for the full duration. Tap W again and it’ll go away.
Alex: Li Li is, as usual, a really solid support character for people new to the game. She’s solid in general, but the smart-targeting nature of her heals makes her straightforward to play. As long as you’re in range of your teammates and pushing the button for her heal, she’ll heal people. If you’re the sort of person who plays vs. AI, I actually hate playing her in that game mode — computer controlled characters will instantly withdraw from a fight if you hit them with a Blind effect, and one of Li Li’s main abilities applies that. Whereas a player won’t necessarily react to that, the computer having split-second reactions to such effects often results in your team missing out on a kill rather than securing one. It’s like your Blind tells the AI to back up, regroup, and come at you harder. It’s very silly!
Liz: Can I say how much I’m looking forward to Shadowpaw Li Li? Because I’m looking forward to Shadowpaw Li Li.
Available at player level 12
Alex: ETC is one of my least favorite heroes in the game. I don’t think he’s awful, he’s just not for me. When he isn’t powersliding around, he feels big, slow, and ineffective. It might just be my playstyle. He doesn’t click for me, but most Warriors don’t.
Anna: ETC is supposed to be a big dude! All the better to bodyblock you with, my dear. You can grab some mobility by talenting his trait, but not much. He’s a lot of fun to play when you can trust the people you’re playing with to join your dogpile but if you’re soloing and your team coordination isn’t the best yeah, he can be a bit of an albatross.
Available at player level 5
Alex: Sonya is, as always, the exception to my anti-Warrior stance. She doesn’t feel slow. She doesn’t lumber around. She hits people hard and fast much like an Assassin would and I love that. My advice is to not lean on her Whirlwind too much. Use it when you need a little survival in a pack of enemies, not as your main DPS ability. Seismic Slam hurts like hell and I see too many Sonya players ignoring it in favor of a Whirlwind which isn’t doing much for them. Seismic Slam is what’s going to burn down your enemies or their fortifications, not Whirlwind.
This week’s freebies should be going live soon, so jump online to take advantage of them. And, as always, we’ll see you in the Nexus!
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