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Heroes of the StormAug 20, 2018 12:30 pm CT

Mephisto, Lord of Hatred is coming to Heroes of the Storm, and Hanamura returns

Mephisto is the newest hero entering Heroes of the Storm. Blizzard teased him over the weekend before showing off his spotlight this morning. He looks like a strong contender that’s going to make you hate your time as a front line player — which is fitting because he’s the Lord of Hatred. We also got our first look at the rework to the Hanamura map, and it looks like the time away has been good to it.

Mephisto’s a ranged assassin with a lot of area of effect damage, and mobility. Definitely a case of high risk and high reward for skilled players. Unlike Kel’Thuzad who relies on comboing his spells together to achieve maximum potential, Mephisto wants to hit as many targets with each one to take advantage of his trait. Lord of Hatred lowers the cooldown on all of his basic abilities for every hero hit by any of his spells. It’s great to see another of the Prime Evils make their way into Heroes and I wonder if Ba’al is far off.

Mephisto, Lord of Hatred

Abilities

  • Lord of Hatred (Trait) Hitting enemy Heroes with Basic Abilities reduces Mephisto’s Basic Ability cooldowns. Skull Missile and Shade of Mephisto grant 1.5 seconds of cooldown reduction per Hero hit, and Lightning Nova grants 0.3 seconds per Hero hit
  • Skull Missile (Q) Conjure a skull that travels in the target direction after 0.75 seconds, dealing 127 damage to enemies hit and Slowing Heroes hit by 25% for 2 seconds. cooldown: 8 seconds
  • Lightning Nova (W) A ring of lightning appears around Mephisto for 2.5 seconds. Enemies within the ring take 48 damage every 0.25 seconds. Each time a cast of Lightning Nova hits a Hero, its damage is increased by 4%, up to 40%. cooldown: 14 seconds
  • Shade of Mephisto (E) Teleport to a location, dealing 78 damage to nearby enemies and leaving behind a Shade of Mephisto at Mephisto’s original location. After 2.5 seconds, Mephisto is teleported back to the Shade’s location. cooldown: 18 seconds
  • Consume Souls (R) Channel for 2.5 seconds, revealing all enemy Heroes. After the Channel completes, all enemy Heroes take 357 damage and are Slowed by 40% for 2.5 seconds. cooldown: 120 seconds
  • Durance of Hate (R) After 1 second, unleash a wave of evil spirits that Root the first enemy Hero hit for 2 seconds and deal 160 damage to them over the same duration. Durance of Hate spreads outwards from its initial target, Rooting and damaging additional nearby enemy Heroes. cooldown: 80 seconds

Mephisto doesn’t have much in sustainability — countering him is going to be all about getting in his face and dodging those Skull Missiles so he doesn’t get cooldown reduction. At level seven he gets talents that buff his Shade ability, which means pinning him down might be tough. Shade of Mephisto also gets a talent at level 20 that unlocks all of the options from level seven, making it a major cornerstone of his play style.

When Genji was added to the game we also got the Hanamura map to go alongside him. Unfortunately Hanamura wound up being not that much fun to play. It was similar to Towers of Doom, but spawning two payloads at the same time for each team wound up pulling too much focus from the rest of the map. Players didn’t enjoy it. The matches either ended in about half as much time as Blizzard was hoping for, or dragged on forever. Blizzard heard the feedback and pulled the map to tinker on it.

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Return to Hanamura Temple

The biggest change to Hanamura is that it’s no longer set up like Towers of Doom. You’ll have to finish off the core the old fashioned way in order to win. The objective is now a single payload pushed back and forth, and the map feels a lot more like Sky Temple. Once you capture the objective it will do damage to the nearest structures, and hit the core if no keeps are left. The spotlight highlights how heroes who have a lot of set up can be great in this situation, since you know where the next fight is going to be. We’re unlikely to see Deckard Cain fall out of favor any time soon.

Mercenary camps have been shifted around, giving us a new beefy robo samurai that pushes lanes with a big sword cleave. They also added a new kind of watchtower that has a trio of defenders that have to be cleared out before you get the vision. Since the defenders give experience, you’ll want to try and protect your vision so the other team doesn’t get even more of a boost.

Hopefully these changes make the map more exciting. It’d be great to see the new Hanamura played at Blizzcon. Having to deal with guarding the objective and push the lanes sounds like it could throw a monkey wrench into the usual strategies that a lot of teams have been playing. It could potentially shift the focus onto some heroes that we don’t see very often. Gazlowe and Probius are just itching to get their moment in the sun.

We’ll likely get to see both Mephisto and Hanamura in action at Gamescom this week. I’m excited to get to get my hands on Mephisto, even though I’ll probably be terrible on him.

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