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Heroes of the StormApr 12, 2018 11:00 am CT

Heroes of the Storm’s latest patch majorly nerfs Sylvanas’ Black Arrows trait

For a brief window of time yesterday, Heroes of the Storm had a new patch hit servers only to have that same patch reverted due to issues it was causing players. But it looks like those issues are resolved, as the patch — sans a Home Screen rework — hit servers last night. The patch itself primarily focuses on balance, with a majority of the changes made to Assassin and Warrior heroes. Of course, most of those will be overshadowed by the change to Sylvanas’ trait.

Black Arrows, one of the mainstays of her kit, is no longer going to affect Structures by anything but her auto-attacks. Now, her auto-attack damage did receive a slight buff to compensate. But this change is still going to rattle a lot of Sylvanas players who are used to auto-attacking one Tower while using an ability on the other in order to keep both of them disabled. Outside of the fact that Sylvanas was admittedly very good at pushing, it’s interesting to me that the Developer Comment mentions her trait “limited how Battlegrounds can be designed and played.”

I’m curious what exactly those limitations were from a design standpoint, but I’m more curious about how this change will affect the average Sylvanas player. I imagine it’ll eventually even out as more players learn to adjust their playstyles, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see less of the hero in low-difficulty AI matches.

As I said, though, there are more changes than just the ones to Sylvanas. For a full look at yesterday’s patch, be sure to check the notes below:

Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment (Official Post)



  • Level 1
    • Gathering Storm (Q)
      • Added functionality:
        • Every Hero Hammerang hits also returns 10 Mana.
    • Wingman (Active)
      • Added functionality:
        • Reduces Lightning Rod’s cooldown by 3 seconds
  • Level 4
    • Updraft (E)
      • Added functionality:
        • Removes the duration of Shields granted by Barrel Roll.


  • Basic Attack damage reduced from 96 to 86.
  • Plasma Cutter (Q)
    • Damage reduced from 145 to 135.
  • Planet Cracker (R)
    • Damage increased from 105 to 108.
  • Level 1
    • Advanced Targeting (Q)
      • Damage bonus reduced from 0.75 to 0.5.
      • Maximum bonus damage reduced from 75 to 60.
    • Arsenal Synergy (W)
      • Damage bonus increased from 100% to 175%
  • Level 4
    • Emergency Protocol (Trait)
      • Movement Speed bonus reduced from 30% to 25%.
  • Level 7
    • Combat Advantage (Q)
      • Damage bonus against Slowed targets reduced from 50% to 40%.
  • Level 13
    • Auxiliary Shields (Trait)
      • Shield regeneration reduced from 20% to 15% of Basic Attack damage dealt.
    • Dampening Field (Trait)
      • Spell Armor increased from 15 to 20.
    • Rapid Recharge (Trait)
      • Shield recharge increased from 20% to 40% of healing received.
  • Level 20
    • Singularity Charge (W)
      • Repeater Cannon bonus Attack Speed increased from 50% to 100%.
    • Unconquered Spirit (Passive)
      • Shield amount increased from 600 to 800.

Developer Comment: Fenix has proven himself quite powerful, mainly due to his capability for consistent damage output. While we’re happy with how he plays, we’re making a few changes to bring his damage in line and address Talent imbalances.


  • Natural Agility (Trait)
    • Cooldown increased from 20 to 25 seconds.
  • Dragon Strike (R)
    • Damage increased from 64 to 70.
  • Level 4
    • Serrated Arrows (W)
      • Bonus damage granted versus Minions, Mercenaries, and Monsters reduced from 150% to 100%.


  • Level 1
    • Aether Walker (E)
      • Reduced the time required after taking damage from 5 to 4 seconds.
  • Level 4
    • Dominance (Trait)
      • Adjusted functionality:
        • Takedowns now restore 30% of missing Health.


  • Level 7
    • Perfect Shot (Q)
      • Added functionality:
        • Each Hero hit also grants an additional Precision Sniper stack.
  • Level 13
    • Ionic Force Field (Trait)
      • Armor duration increased from 2 to 3 seconds.
    • Double Tap (W)
      • Added functionality:
        • Also increases Pinning Shot’s cooldown by 2 seconds.
  • Level 16
    • Lethal Decoy (E)
      • Holo Decoy damage bonus reduced from 35% to 30%.
    • Crippling Shot (W)
      • Armor negation reduced from 25 to 20.
    • Explosive Round (Q)
      • Area of effect damage increased from 50% to 70%.


  • Health reduced from 1350 to 1280.
  • Health Regeneration reduced from 5.625 to 5.332.
  • Basic Attack damage reduced from 29 to 28.



  • Health increased from 1850 to 1924.
  • Health Regeneration increased from 3.8554 to 4.0078.
  • Taunt (R)
    • Bonus Health and Health Regeneration reduced from 30% to 25%.



  • Level 7
    • Force of Magic (W)
      • Bonus Spell Power increased from 20% to 25%.
    • Arcane Explosion (W)
      • Base damage reduced from 90 to 80.
      • Maximum additional damage reduced from 350 to 315.
  • Level 13
    • Circle of Protection (W)
      • Now also increases Force of Will’s cooldown by 2 seconds.
    • Reabsorption (W)
      • Heal amount increased from 60% to 70%.


  • Basic Attack damage increased from 85 to 90.
  • Black Arrows (Trait)
    • Abilities no longer disable Structures.

Developer Comment: As part of our ongoing quest to increase counter-play and curb frustration when playing against certain Heroes, we’re changing Sylvanas’ Black Arrows trait so that her Abilities no longer disable Structures. This effect is incredibly powerful and, in the past, has limited how Battlegrounds can be designed and played. We realize that turning off enemy Structures is an important part of Sylvanas’ identity, so rather than removing this functionality completely, we’re addressing it in such a way that she now has to put herself in danger to get maximum value. This should allow more counter-play for opponents when Sylvanas is pushing, and enable us to improve her teamfight capabilities, which we’re doing initially via a small Basic Attack damage buff. We’ll be keeping an eye on her performance, and are ready to make further tuning changes as needed.



  • Health increased from 1949 to 2027.
  • Health Regeneration increased from 4.0585 to 4.2226.
  • Level 1
    • Transcendence (Trait)
      • Healing increased from 98 to 104.


  • Regrowth
    • Heal amount reduced from 400 to 380.
  • Moonfire
    • Heal amount reduced from 140 to 135.
  • Level 4
    • Strangling Vines (E)
      • Heal reduction duration increased from 2 to 3 seconds.



  • Level 1
    • Accumulating Flame (Q)
      • Adjusted quest reward functionality:
        • Gain 15 Armor per Hero ignited with Breath of Fire. This lasts 3 seconds.
    • Freshest Ingredients (Trait)
      • Health Regeneration granted by gathering Regeneration Globes no longer caps at 30.
  • Level 4
    • Keg Toss (W)
      • Bonus damage per Hero hit increased from 3 to 4.
      • Bonus damage maximum increased from 60 to 80.
  • Level 7
    • Purifying Brew (Trait)
      • Added functionality:
        • Spell Armor persists as long as Chen has Fortifying Brew Shields.


  • Adaptation (R)
    • Cooldown reduced from 90 to 80 seconds.
  • Level 1
    • Enduring Swarm (W)
      • Spell Armor increased from 40 to 50.
  • Level 4
    • Lurker Strain (E)
      • Slow duration increased from 2 to 3 seconds.
    • Hero Stalker (Trait)
      • Added functionality
        • Enemy Heroes hit by Dark Swarm grant 1 Essence.
  • Level 13
    • Ferocious Stalker (W)
      • Bonus damage increased from 40% to 50%.


  • Basic Attack damage increased from 105 to 109.
  • Drain Hope (W)
    • Cooldown reduced from 11 to 10 seconds.


  • Level 1
    • Ardent Restoration (Passive)
      • Healing increased from 13.75 to 15 per stack.
  • Level 4
    • Stalwart Angel (Q)
      • Armor increased from 20 to 25.
      • Armor duration reduced from 3 to 2 seconds.
  • Level 7
    • Purge Evil (E)
      • Basic Attack damage bonus increased from 35% to 45%.
  • Level 16
    • Burning Halo (Q)
      • Damage increased from 15 to 18.
      • Bonus damage after teleporting increased from 100% to 150%.
      • Bonus damage duration reduced from 3 to 2 seconds.
    • Smite the Wicked (E)
      • Cooldown recharge rate increased from 100% to 125%.
      • Cooldown recharge rate duration after teleporting reduced from 3 to 2 seconds.

Developer Comment: We’re making adjustments focused on the viability of some of Tyrael’s Talents. In particular, Sword of Justice was not picked very often, and was underperforming. We’re addressing this by taking a few Talents (Stalwart Angel, Burning Halo, and Smite the Wicked) and increasing their synergy with Sword of Justice by increasing the bonuses that Tyrael receives while El’druin is out, but reducing the bonuses for teleporting. This should enhance Sword of Justice’s playstyle, by allowing players to teleport into a fight, but still having an active El’druin’s.


  • Health increased from 2225 to 2292.
  • Health Regeneration increased from 4.6406 to 4.7750.
  • Particle Grenade (Q)
    • Damage increased from 71 to 75.
  • Graviton Surge (R)
    • Cooldown reduced from 80 to 60 seconds.

Bug Fixes

  • Fixed a pair of issues that could cause the game client to crash.
  • Johanna: Learning Holy Renewal and casting Shield Glare while using one of Johanna’s Enforcer Skins no longer causes placeholder art to appear at her feet.
Heroes, Abilities, and Talents
  • Ana: After learning Grenade Calibration, Biotic Grenade’s floating combat text now displays the correct amount of Healing received with each tick.
  • Auriel: Bestow Hope’s buff and visual effects will no longer be removed if the target enters a Stasis effect, like Zagara’s Devouring Maw.
  • Cassia: After learning Martial Law, Basic Attacks now correctly apply bonus damage against Slowed Heroes.
  • Fenix: Fixed an issue that could prevent the Rapid Recharge Talent from providing its Shield recharge effect when Healed.
  • Fenix: Plasma Cutter is now correctly interrupted by Stasis effects, like Stitches’ Gorge and Anub’arak’s Cocoon.
  • Fenix: Casting Plasma Cutter on an Invulnerable target no longer grants quest progress for the Advanced Targeting Talent.
  • Fenix: After learning Singularity Charge, the Talent description that is appended to the Weapon Mode Ability tooltip now states the correct amount of bonus range provided to Phase Bomb Basic Attacks.
  • Greymane: The Wizened Duelist Talent’s Basic Attack counter no longer continues to update after achieving maximum quest progress.
  • Leoric: Fixed an issue preventing Leoric from casting Hearthstone while in Undying form.
  • Malthael: After learning Black Harvest, quest progress indicators now correctly appear every second while a target is affected by Reaper’s Mark.
  • Medivh: Fixed an issue in which Medivh could create four Portals at once after learning Portal Mastery.
  • Medivh: Is no longer dismounted after casting Arcane Brilliance.
  • Probius: Disruption Pulse no longer gains bonus damage from the Particle Accelerator Talent when it passes through non-targetable units, like Gazlowe’s Scrap.
  • Varian: Learning Colossus Smash no longer reduces Varian’s Health Regeneration by more than the intended 10%.
  • Zeratul: Casting Void Prison on Blaze’s Bunker while players are inside no longer halts their Ability cooldowns indefinitely after Void Prison expires.

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