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Heroes of the StormSep 18, 2017 2:49 pm CT

Heroes of the Storm balance changes nerf Kel’Thuzad

A new hero is released in Heroes of the Storm. It seems somewhat balanced, and then as players begin to get comfortable with that new hero, is slowly becomes more dominant. Its win rate increase. It’s banned or picked first every game. Eventually, Blizzard nerfs it before the next new hero is released, and the cycle begins anew. Now, Kel’Thuzad joins that grand tradition with a short series of nerfs to cut him back down to size. In a balance patch likely to go live with tomorrow’s maintenance, many of his abilities and talents have been retuned toward this goal.

It looks like a priority for this patch cycle is ensuring those popular questing talents are balanced. Several changes today stem from this aim. Chromie players in particular have been waiting for a change to the Sand Blast questing talent for a long time.

Brightwing also sees some decent buffs in this balance patch, getting a bit more self-preservation with her Phase Shift trait.

Lastly, if you play a lot of Garrosh, be aware many of his mana costs have changed, so you’ll be juggling more than axes from now on.

Here are the full patch notes, including some helpful developer insight.

Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment (Official Post)


We’ll be releasing a new patch for Heroes of the Storm later this week in order to apply balance changes along with a few bug fixes.




  • Basic Attack damage increased from 125 to 130


  • Blinding Light (W)
    • Passive damage bonus to blinded targets increased from 15 to 20%


  • Level 1
    • Thunderstroke (Q)
      • First quest reward damage bonus increased from 75 to 100
    • True Sight (W)
      • Removed
    • Seraph’s Hymn (W)
      • Moved from Level 13
      • Cooldown reduction per basic attack against Blinded Heroes reduced from 3 to 2 seconds



  • Sand Blast (Q)
    • Reduced the number of Sand Blast hits required to unlock the Sand Blast echo from 80 to 60


  • Level 2
    • Timely Surprise (E)
      • Now also increases the cast range of Time Trap by 33%

Developer Comment: Only about 40% of Chromie players were unlocking the echo over the course of a game, and among players that did it was occurring later than we’d like. By reducing the requirements for completing Chromie’s quest, we won’t increase her late game power at all, but make her output a little more consistent.



  • Frost Nova (W)
    • Mana cost increased from 45 to 50
  • Chains of Kel’Thuzad (E)
    • Mana cost increased from 45 to 50
  • Frost Blast (R)
    • Cooldown reduced from 100 to 80 seconds
  • Shadow Fissure (R)
    • Damage reduced from 440 to 400
    • Cooldown increased from 15 to 20 seconds
    • Mana cost increased from 50 to 60


  • Level 4
    • Phylactery of Kel’Thuzad (Active)
      • Quest requirement increased from 10 to 12 Regen Globes
  • Level 7
    • Accelerated Decay (Q)
      • Bonus damage increased from 20 to 25%
    • Glacial Spike (Active)
      • Damage reduced from 220 to 60
      • Delay before the spike spawns increased from .5 to 1 seconds
  • Level 13
    • Chains of Ice (E)
      • Slow duration reduced from 1.25 to 1 second
      • Slow amount decreased from 70 to 60%
  • Level 16
    • Hungering Cold (W)
      • Bonus damage reduced from 60 to 55

Developer Comment: As expected, there is a fairly large discrepancy between Kel’Thuzad’s performance across the entire game vs. players who are getting experienced with him at a higher level. His win-rate has climbed more than most of our other releases as players get used to his kit, so most of our changes are aimed at talent balance and toning his power down. While we like the sharpness of his power spike due to Master of the Cold Dark, we’ll continue to keep an eye on his burst potential and his overall strength going forward.

The Butcher


  • Basic Attack damage increased from 125 to 130
  • Health scaling per level increased from 4 to 4.5%
  • Health Regeneration scaling per level increased from 4 to 4.5%

Developer Comment: While we’ll be continuing to keep an eye on it, we believe that the Butcher’s quest tuning is appropriate. He has seen a significant drop in win rate in Hero League since our last round of changes, so we felt it was appropriate to increase his late-game Health so that he can keep up with other heroes, who often get many tools to survive his initial damage in teamfights.



  • Base Maximum Health increased from 1787 to 1876
  • Base Health Regeneration increased from 3.7 to 3.9

Developer Comment: FOR THE HORDE!




  • Soothing Mist (Trait)
    • Healing aura range increased from 6 to 7
  • Blink Heal (R)
    • Cooldown reduced from 10 to 9 seconds


  • Level 1
    • Dream Shot (Q)
      • New functionality:
        • Increases the range of Arcane Flare by 50%
        • Hitting an enemy Hero in the center portion of Arcane Flare reduces the cooldown of Arcane Flare to 1 second
    • Hyper Shift (Z)
      • Cooldown reduction per Hero healed increased from 2 to 3 seconds
    • Unfurling Spray (Trait)
      • Removed
  • Level 4
    • Arcane Barrage (Q)
      • Removed
    • Peekaboo (Z)
      • Revealed area radius reduced from 20 to 15
      • Added functionality:
        • Pixie Dust is now applied to the target of Phase Shift
  • Level 7
    • Phase Shield (Z)
      • Added functionality:
        • Now applies Shield to Brightwing and her target

Developer Comment: While Brightwing has been seeing a bit more play recently, her talent tree had some low-hanging fruit that we wanted to trim. Granting her a slightly larger range of Soothing Mist baseline will free up a more impactful choice at level 1. The addition of Arcane Barrage’s functionality into Dream Shot should also make that talent a bit more exciting to pick up. Overall, we were looking at giving the Faerie Dragon a few minor buffs and adjusting some talents in order to increase parity amongst her talent tiers.

Lt. Morales


  • Base Maximum Health increased from 1528 to 1605
  • Base Life Regen increased from 3.18 to 3.34


  • Healing Beam (Q)
    • Energy Regeneration cooldown reduced from 3 to 2 seconds
    • You can no longer redirect Healing Beam to a target that is already being healed by your Healing Beam


  • Level 1
    • Caduceus Feedback (Passive)
      • Now increases Basic Attack Range by 1.1 and only generates Energy from Basic Attacks against Heroic targets.



  • Level 1
    • Spine Launcher (Passive)
      • Basic Attack damage reduction decreased from 50 to 30%



  • Level 7
    • Huntress’ Fury (D)
      • Added functionality:
        • Now also increases the range of Hunter’s Mark by 50%
  • Level 13
    • Empower (W)
      • Base cooldown reduction decreased from 4 to 2 seconds




  • Level 1
    • Grounding Brew (D)
      • Removed
  • Level 7
    • Purifying Brew (D)
      • Cooldown reduced from 45 to 15 seconds
      • Added functionality:
        • Chen now gains 30 Spell Armor while channeling Fortifying Brew

Developer Comment: We realize how difficult it is for most Chen players to pass up Brewmaster’s Balance on Tier 3. We moved a powerful level 20 down to compete with it a couple patches ago but the data is still showing it as an underperformer. Lowering the cooldown drastically and granting it the functionality of Grounding Brew should incentivize players into choosing it when playing against certain team compositions.



  • Basic Attack damage reduced from 105 to 100


  • Dark Swarm (W)
    • Damage per tick reduced from 50 to 47



  • Groundbreaker (Q)
    • Mana cost increased from 30 to 35
  • Wrecking Ball (E)
    • Mana cost increased from 60 to 70
  • Decimate (R)
    • Mana cost decreased from 30 to 25


  • Level 1
    • Body Check (Active)
      • Cooldown decreased from 20 to 16 seconds
  • Level 7
    • Into the Fray (Active)
      • Cooldown increased from 30 to 40 seconds

Developer Comment: These changes are a response to community feedback about Garrosh’s Mana costs. We initially kept them relatively low, as he is a fairly low impact Warrior when his combo is not available to him, however we agreed with the feedback and felt that he could use more Mana management.




  • Entomb (R)
    • Cooldown reduced from 75 to 60 seconds

Bug Fixes


  • Fixed a number of tooltip issues across the game.

Heroes, Abilities, and Talents

  • Alarak: Casting Counter-Strike will now display a silver healthbar to indicate Protected status.
  • Chromie: The Deep Breathing talent’s completed damage bonus will now match the tooltip located below her unit frame.
  • Jaina: The Frost Armor talent will no longer cause Jaina’s damage to ignore armor.
  • Leoric: Fixed an issue that could cause Leoric to become invisible after exiting Zagara’s Devouring Maw.
  • Lt. Morales: Fixed an issue that caused Lt. Morale’s Displacement Grenade to reduce healing dealt after learning the System Shock talent.
  • Uther: Fixed an issue causing Uther to gain extra damage and healing on consecutive casts of Wave of Light.
  • Uther: Uther’s Hammer of Justice will no longer apply a 30% slow after the Stun effect fades.


  • Valla: Fixed an issue causing the Creed of the Hunter talent to not play quest sound effects when progress was earned.

User Interface

  • Lt. Morales: The Cellular Reactor talent will now display an incoming heal indicator on the nameplate health bar.


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