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Heroes of the StormJan 2, 2019 1:00 pm CT

Imperius brings flames and destruction to the Heroes of the Storm PTR

Just before the new year, Blizzard announced a new hero for Heroes of the Storm — Imperius, the Archangel of Valor and one of the High Heavens’s most powerful warriors — who will be arriving on the PTR today. I’ve always felt like Imperius was one of the glaring omissions from the Diablo setting in Heroes of the Storm. With Tyrael and Auriel representing the High Heavens, and a host of demons including Asmodan, Diablo and Mephisto for the Burning Hells, the angels could definitely use some muscle.

I’m a little surprised to see him make his appearance now — I’ve expected him for a long time, but considering recent news, I wasn’t sure how soon we’d get a new hero. However, it’s likely that there are several heroes already in the works from before the developer shift and with development still ongoing with a smaller staff, it may well be a while into 2019 before a significant slowdown makes itself felt. Either way, we’ve got Imperius, and now we’ve got an idea of what he brings to the table.

Imperius looks to be a front line combatant with some tricky fire damage abilities. Celestial Charge is a solid movement ability, allowing you to get into or out of combat and close gaps when necessary, which is always a good thing for a melee focused character who needs a way to apply pressure and avoid being kited. Solarion’s Fire, the W ability for the hero, sends a wave of flame in a line away from Imperius that does increased damage and applies a slow to those enemies that get hit dead center by the arc of the ability. Molten Armor, meanwhile, is an AoE damage field that also heals Imperius for the damage he deals with it, making it a good ability to use if you’re getting focused and are in a pile of enemies — I could see it used in conjunction with Celestial Charge as a survival and escape move.

Valorous Brand, Imperius’ trait, applies up to three marks on an enemy hero, one mark for every ability Imperius can use. So if you use Celestial Charge to hit a target, then nail them with Solarion’s Fire and manage to get Molten Armor to hurt them that’s three marks and your next auto-attack will deal increased damage for every mark on your enemy. The marks are consumed in the process. This means that if Imperius is in the thick of melee using his abilities he’ll also deal increased damage with his autoattacks, rewarding an up-close aggressive combat style.

Imperius’ Heroic abilities let you customize him — do you want to play Imperius as a tanky damage sponge or more as an avenging sort of angel, dealing out damage to your enemies? Angelic Armaments provides a shield of divine weapons orbiting Imperius, and if the enemy fails to break through that shield in time Imperius can recast it to rain damage down on them with a skill shot. Wrath of the Angiris mirrors Imperius’ famous Diablo 3 appearance during Reaper of Souls, grabbing an enemy and then hurtling up the air to come crashing down on a targeted area to stun and damage them.

Since he’s making his PTR appearance today — check out the full PTR patch notes for all the details — I can only hope he’s ridiculously OP and stays that way for a while, because frankly I’d love to get in a few games and see how he feels.

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