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Heroes of the StormJun 12, 2018 3:50 pm CT

Yrel arrives in Heroes of the Storm with bubblehearth and Harley Quinn skins

Two long-awaited additions are now live in Heroes of the Storm! The first is Yrel, a champion of the Light and the first Draenei to be added to the game. The second is an “AV battleground,” which is officially named Alterac Pass.

Interestingly, the patch — entitled Echoes of Alterac — seems to tie into the major lore of the game. In the promotional video for the patch, Alterac’s introduction is seemingly the result of the Raven Lord seeking out a new realm.

Join us below as we take a look at the Echoes of Alterac patch, which is live now.

Yrel, Retribution incarnate

Yrel is a Warrior hero whose main shtick is channeling all of her basic abilities. Every one of her standard abilities has a channel time, and each can be activated at any time during the channel. Of course, a full channel will result in a stronger effect.

Check out her full ability kit below:

  • Vindication (Q) — Unleash holy energy around Yrel, dealing 38 damage to nearby enemies and healing her for 96. Charging up this Ability increases its damage up to 125, and healing up to 320.
  • Righteous Hammer (W) — Swing Yrel’s hammer, dealing 38 damage to enemies in front of her and knocking them away. Charging up this Ability increases its knockback distance, and damage up to 125. Enemies hit at maximum charge are Stunned for 0.75 seconds.
  • Avenging Wrath (E) — Leap to a location, dealing 150 damage to enemies in an area and Slowing them by 50% for 1 second. Charging up this Ability increases its range.
  • Ardent Defender (R) — Surround Yrel in a barrier for 3 seconds, absorbing all damage taken and healing her for 50% of the damage received.
  • Sacred Ground (R) — Yrel sanctifies the ground around her, gaining 40 Armor until she leaves the area.
  • Divine Purpose (Trait) — Activate to instantly charge Yrel’s next Basic Ability at no mana cost. Passive: Yrel’s Basic Abilities charge up over 1.5 seconds, increasing in effectiveness, but reducing Yrel’s Movement Speed by 25%.

Outside of her standard kit, Yrel has a solid set of talents. Specifically, she has Bubblehearth, which is really all you need to know, right?  Okay, she also has Divine Steed. That’s important, too. For real, though, check out her full talent list over at BlizzPro and tell us why you’d take anything but those two talents.

Alterac Pass is exactly what I wanted it to be

Before we break this down, all I can say is… “Wow!” Alterac Pass looks freaking awesome. I highly recommend you check out the video above, because Alterac Pass is unlike any battleground we’ve had before. If you can’t watch, here’s a quick rundown:

  • There are no Cores; to win the match, you must defeat the enemy faction leader (Drek’Thar or Vanndar Stormpike).
    • The generals’ health will regenerate if you disengage from combat, similar to the effect of leaving the enemy bunker or keep in Alterac Valley.
    • Each General has a high amount of armor, and this armor decreases with each Keep you take.
  • In various places throughout the battleground, there are mud pits. Standing in these will slow your Hero, with the slow amount increasing the longer you remain in the mud.
  • Prisoner camps are the battleground’s central objective. Periodically, prisoners spawn on the enemy’s side of the map. These prisoners are surrounded by guards, who must be defeated to free the captives.
    • To free captives, you must channel their cages and then defend them during an “escape sequence.”
    • Taking the map objective spawns a cavalry unit in each of your lanes. These increase damage and speed of anyone in their proximity. This bonus increases with each objective completion.
  • Gnoll camps (akin to Hellbats on Braxis) and Ice Giant bosses (akin to Grave Golem bosses on Cursed Hollow).

During the livestream, Alterac Pass was mentioned as being a small-to-medium size map, at least in terms of how fast you can travel from mid-lane to the top of bottom lanes. Additionally, boss health was said to be comparable to a standard Core, assuming a couple stacks of Armor had dropped — with full Armor, they’re a bit beefier.

In addition to Yrel and Alterac Pass, Echoes of Alterac promises to bring new skins, mounts, and more. Several faction-themed skin variants appear throughout the video. For example, there’s a Goblin Junkrat, a Spirit Healer Auriel, and several others. On top of that, there is the usual selection of quests, sprays, and more.

All of this is live right now, so jump in game to enjoy — or check out the patch notes for all the details.

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