Xul (and everyone else) arrive in this week’s hero rotation
After all the excitement of last week — with Dehaka and a balance patch — this week’s a quiet one in Heroes of the Storm, At least a relatively quiet one, because this weekend to celebrate Heroes of the Dorm, every hero will be playable for free — with a 50% XP boost to boot.
While it may seem a bit silly to have a hero rotation on top of this, the promotion only lasts for the weekend — so we still get a regular weekly rotation. This week, we see the necromantic Xul for the first time — and you can play him (plus the rest of the rotation) all week long. So let’s dive in to the rest of the week’s rotation as well as the team’s thoughts…. which are mostly about this week’s hero free for all.
Anna: I’m a lot more excited for the XP boost in concert with the full range of heroes. I know I’m not the only one with a couple albatross-style lowbie heroes kicking around, just waiting to give me that level 5 gold. It always seems like whenever I’ve got a stimpack to burn suddenly Diablo and Arthas are off the rotation for the next month.
Mitch: Seriously, the XP boost is going to be awesome. Going from no XP to stimpack is a pretty noticeable different… a whole weekend of 50%, plus friend bonuses, plus stimpacks (if you choose)? In. Sane. Experience.
Anna: The way the free rotations have played out, I’m going to do my best Miss Cleo impression and say, unless there are heroes you need to level, you’ll be well served playing a dive-heavy bruiser like Sonya this week. The heroes that only rarely see the light of day on the rotation are all countered well by that style of hero. A bruiser won’t be intimidated by the Vikings’ body blocks in a big brawl, and Murky can be vulnerable to their burst. Abathur is the outlier even here, in that just about any hero who finds his soft slug body will wreck him, but he tends to do well when he can use his hat on a bruiser. People will want to level up these quirky high skill cap heroes without also committing to their high cost, so expect to see them on both sides of the map every game. Oddly Abathur is one of my favorite heroes to play, though I usually stick to AI or QM when I do. It requires more map awareness and team awareness than just about any other hero, but being able to farm XP in any lane at just about any time makes him a playmaker who can turn the tide. He’s the epitome of a well-worn quote from Futurama: “when you do things right, people won’t be sure you’ve done anything at all.” Except there’s a scoreboard, so they’ll know. Remember you can use your mines for visibility and you can Symbiote structures to shield them and buy time, or cut down a minion wave or two.
Mitch: I’ll be honest about the heroes themselves: I haven’t had a chance to really play much since the patch. I’ve heard good things about Illidan but I have no idea how players are reacting to Tychus’s changes. I did play Xul, though, and he still seems adequately strong. You know who doesn’t? Dehaka. I’m not sure what the general consensus has been but good god, did I dislike him. He can’t tank as effectively as most Warriors and his niche doesn’t really make up for it. His AOE — the ONLY offensive ability he has to use regularly — isn’t nearly as strong as it should be, his trait has occasional usefulness but is disappointing and ends up being used more often than can allow you to take advantage of its potential, and his two biggest abilities (tongue and the one ultimate) are skillshots. Oh! And, well, overall he’s just… boring. So instead of poems or more comments or whatever, this week I offer readers a challenge: convince me that Dehaka can be a fun, effective hero. Change my mind about him. Please, I really want to like him but I just can’t. Show me I’m wrong.
And now that we have that chatter out of the way, let’s take a look at the heroes who are actually on rotation this week.
Unlocked at player level 7
Unlocked at player level 15
Unlocked at player level level 12
Unlocked at player level 5
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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