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Heroes of the StormDec 20, 2017 3:32 pm CT

Garrosh’s pull gets nerfed in latest Heroes of the Storm balance patch

Heroes of the Storm has been struggling with its matchmaking since its patch last week. Today, the servers went down for unusual Wednesday maintenance to address some of these issues — but the game’s latest balance patch rolled out at the same time. In addition to some matchmaking fixes, heroes such as Nova and Li Li received some tuning tweaks, while Garrosh received a fundamental change to his defining ability, Groundbreaker.

Previously, Groundbreaker pulled heroes hit by the ability toward Garrosh. Through Groundbreaker, he could yank enemies into melee range, then throw them to his desired location with Wrecking Ball. This combination brutally punished enemy heroes who were out of position, almost guaranteeing a gank. Garrosh’s mere presence in a fight put his opponents on the back foot, creating an area of control no other hero can claim. Perhaps rightly, players viewed this situation as having no counterplay — the only way to avoid Garrosh getting picks was, often, simply not fighting him at all.

As of today’s patch, Garrosh’s Groundbreaker no longer pulls enemies toward him at all. Instead, Groundbreaker applies a brief stun followed by a 2-second slow. Garrosh can no longer pluck an enemy out of the fray and toss them away — instead, he’ll need to follow up on Groundbreaker by pushing forward to close into melee range with his enemies before he can use Wrecking Ball. Luckily, this balance patch also gives Garrosh a minor buff to his health, hopefully making up the difference of needing to put himself at greater risk to get anything done.

Of course, having a baseline AOE stun could empower Garrosh in a completely new way.

Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment (Official Post)





  • Dragonstrike (R)
    • Damage increased from 58 to 64



  • Health reduced from 1350 to 1300
  • Health Regeneration reduced from 2.81 to 2.71


  • Snipe (Q)
    • Damage reduced from 255 to 245


  • Level 16
    • Lethal Decoy (E)
      • Holo Decoy damage bonus reduced from 50% to 40% of Nova’s damage



  • Basic Attack damage increased from 165 to 173


  • Level 13
    • Spirit Shield (Active)
      • Cooldown reduction granted by Frostwolf Resilience increased from 8 to 10 seconds




  • Corpse Spiders (Q)
    • Damage increased from 36 to 38
  • Ravenous Spirit (R)
    • Damage increased from 103.4 to 108
  • Gargantuan (R)
    • Health reduced from 2300 to 2185


  • Level 4
    • Hexed Crawlers (Q)
      • Health and Mana return increased from 0.75% to 1%
  • Level 20
    • Vile Infection (Trait)
      • Damage bonus reduced from 200% to 150%




  • Lifebinder (R)
    • Cooldown reduced from 75 to 60 seconds
    • Mana cost reduced from 100 to 80
  • Cleansing Flame (R)
    • Cooldown increased from 90 to 100 seconds
    • Damage reduced from 150 to 135


  • Level 16
    • Draconic Discipline (Trait)
      • Dragonqueen duration bonus reduced from 9 to 7 seconds



  • Polymorph (W)
    • Cooldown reduced from 12 to 10 seconds
    • Mana cost reduced from 60 to 50

Li Li


  • Cloud Serpent (W)
    • Health restored per attack increased from 15 to 20


  • Level 1
    • Wind Serpent (W)
      • Cooldown reduction granted per Hero hit by Blinding Wind increased from 3 to 4 seconds
  • Level 4
    • Serpent Sidekick (W)
      • Cloud Serpent duration bonus granted per attack increased from 0.5 to 0.6 seconds
    • Safety Sprint (Trait)
      • Duration increased from 2 to 3 seconds
  • Level 7
    • Let’s Go (Active)
      • Range increased from 4 to 6
  • Level 13
    • Gale Force (E)
      • Bonus Basic Attack damage against Blinded Heroes increased from 50% to 75%



  • Amp It Up (E)
    • Healing per second reduced from 120 to 114



  • Level 4
    • One Good Spread (Q)
      • Mana restoration reduced from 40 to 30




  • Level 7
    • Chrono Surge (E)
      • Attack Speed bonus increased from 50% to 75%
  • Level 13
    • Templar’s Zeal (Q)
      • Cooldown reduction increased from 150% to 200%
    • Phase Bulwark (Trait)
      • Spell Armor increased from 40 to 50



  • Basic Attack damage in Mech form increased from 21 to 24



  • Health increased from 1970 to 2060
  • Health Regeneration increased from 4.102 to 4.293


  • Groundbreaker (Q)
    • Groundbreaker no longer pulls enemy Heroes to Garrosh
      • Instead, Groundbreaker now knocks enemy Heroes into the air, Stunning them for 0.75 seconds, and then Slowing them by 30% for 2 seconds
    • Talent tooltips for Warbreaker, Defensive Measures, Rough Landing, and Mortal Combo have been updated to reflect this change
  • Wrecking Ball (E)
    • Cooldown reduced from 16 to 14 seconds
    • Mana cost reduced from 70 to 65


  • Level 16
    • Mortal Combo (Q)
      • Cooldown reduction granted to Wrecking Ball decreased from 10 to 8 seconds
      • Window of time to throw enemies increased from 2 to 3 seconds

Developer Comment: While he is well balanced with regard to his win-rate, Garrosh has been widely considered more punishing than other Warriors compared to the amount of counter-play he offers. While we love his playstyle and the epic moments he can create, we wanted to reduce the amount of frustration he can cause opponents. We’ve added a window of time between being hit by Groundbreaker and being thrown into the enemy team, which should help players have more opportunity to outplay him. We’re also looking at other Heroes who are lacking in counter-play, or are overly frustrating to play against, and are planning to make similar changes to them in the future.

Bug Fixes


  • Quick Cast: Fixed a bug causing Heroes to repeatedly cast Mount or other self-cast Abilities if the initial cast was interrupted by issuing another command using Quick Cast On Release.
  • Quick Cast: Fixed a bug in which holding right-click to move while attempting to cast Abilities using Quick Cast On Release could interrupt movement or prevent those Abilities from casting.

Heroes, Abilities, and Talents

  • Brightwing: Phase Shift can now be correctly cast on the entirety of an allied Hero’s Minimap portrait.
  • Hanzo: Coming under the effects of Zarya’s Graviton Surge while casting Storm Bow will no longer prevent the player from using Hanzo’s Abilities after Graviton Surge ends.
  • Hanzo: Rejoining a game while AI Hanzo was casting Storm Bow will no longer prevent the player from using Hanzo’s Abilities.
  • The Butcher: Fixed an issue preventing The Butcher from using consumable items such as Healing Pulse or Turrets on Volskaya Foundry.

The smaller balance changes in this patch are solid all around — Li Li needed some help after her recent rework and the Stealth changes in the 2018 Gameplay Update may have given heroes like Nova too much power. And, as someone who loves playing Artanis, I’m always appreciative of Artanis buffs.

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