Who will join the Nexus next in Heroes of the Storm?
It’s time for another round of “who do we think the next hero to join Heroes of the Storm will be?” This is overdue if anything, especially if Blizzard is still hoping to hit the target of multiple new heroes added this year. Of course, I won’t begrudge them for missing that, especially with everything that has been going on. The adjustment to working from home must’ve caused more than a few delays.
But with the Winter holiday event probably right around the corner, it would make for a good time to add a new hero. We’re due for a new Ranged assassin, since the last time they added one of those was Orphea back in 2018. So who are they going to choose? Here are a few potential choices from the different franchises who could potentially bring some interesting mechanics to the table.
Control the might of the seas with Lady Vashj
There have been rumors about Lady Vashj coming to Heroes for almost as long as Heroes has been out. Maybe not with the same ferocity that people have clamored for Deathwing and Kel’thuzad, but she’s been a part of the conversation. There have been a lot of Warcraft heroes added to the roster recently, but she’d make for a fearsome spellcaster or ranged auto-attack character. Maybe both depending on potential talents. In Warcraft 3 the Naga Sea Witch had a lightning cone attack, freezing arrows that slowed people she attacked, a mana shield, and a big tornado that slowed and damaged anything caught in it — just like a tornado would do in real life!
She could be built as a fearsome wielder of lightning and frost magic to slow and stun her foes — really lean into the Naga’s connection to the sea. If you wanted to further differentiate her from the Warcraft 3 version, you could include raid mechanics from when we fought her in Burning Crusade. Like summoning tainted Water Elementals, have one of her ultimate giant crashing wave of poison damage that could be upgraded at 20 to leave any hero struck by it with a tainted core, rooting them to the spot for some time.
With her upcoming appearance in Shadowlands, the time has never been better to let her slither into the Nexus. Putting her in all of her Maldraxxian regalia would also make for a great first skin option to be added alongside her.
Let justice rain from above with Pharah
I know that we just got Mei so another Overwatch hero is unlikely, but I really love Pharah and would love to see how she played in Heroes. The Overwatch heroes really feel like the best versions of themselves when they make the jump over. Getting all those fun new talents really helps me fall in love with them. I didn’t like Junkrat half as much as I did until I got to ride a rocket and crash it right on top of a fleeing hero.
Pharah would pose some interesting mechanical problems for the Heroes developers to overcome. Since so much of her power in Overwatch comes from her aerial superiority, how do you replicate that in the Nexus where things are kept much closer to the ground? Would her flight be a toggleable state where she could avoid certain ground effects, like Zagara Banelings or Stukov’s Lurking Arm ability, with a fuel meter that recharges over time? Or would it be something closer to the Hanzo ability to leap over walls. They could maybe give her a fuel gauge that powered everything she did, with attacks and abilities having stronger effects the more fuel she had.
Justice rains from above is already a pretty solid ultimate ability, it could be given an upgrade at level 20 to make her unstoppable while using it so that you always got the full value from all of your rockets, as long as you were still alive. Her concussion rocket could be cast at a circle on the ground, knocking enemies and Pharah back from that point, or allies if they really wanted to get wild. Stitches, Anduin, and Garrosh all abilities that let them relocate their teammates, so it wouldn’t be that much of a stretch for Pharah to get to do that too. I’d really like to see her get a rocket punch as another ability — maybe it could be like a rocket-powered Diablo charge? You could charge someone into a wall, put a couple of rockets into their face, and then use your concussion rocket to make some space for yourself. Alternatively, it could be something similar to Stukov’s Ultimate shove, but with the added fun of Pharah going along for the ride.
It’s the prime (evil) time to add Baal
I’ve already made the case for Baal back when it started snowing in the Nexus. Those weather anomalies might not have lasted very long, but my desire to get the final Prime Evil from Diablo hasn’t diminished. Is it time to finally unleash the Lord of Destruction onto the Nexus? I hope so!
I still think that his clones would probably make for an interesting ranged Samuro type character. Force your enemies to waste their resources on figuring out who the real Baal is while you spend your time blasting them with demonic magic. This could also be a good spot to get the Diablo Fire Chains affix into Heroes, attach a tether between the two Baals that damages whoever stands in between them.
As the Lord of Destruction, it’s possible that one of the things that he could destroy is other characters’ mana. There haven’t been any abilities in-game yet that can drain other characters’ mana. Sure not all of the heroes in the game have mana as a resource, but imagine if at the start of a fight Baal stole some of your mana. It could make for some huge plays by forcing the enemy team to retreat when they can’t use any of their abilities. You could upgrade it to silence enemies hit as well or permanently increase Baal’s mana.
He was also teased in the Diablo: Immortal trailer from Chinajoy this year. With Immortal still on the horizon, having Baal make his debut in Heroes before that could help to remind people how what a great demon he is.
Heat things up with Mira Han
Mercenary Queen Mira Han is one of the most larger than life personalities in StarCraft 2. So it’s clear that she’d fit in nicely with the greater Blizzard universes of the Nexus, particularly if she arrives at the controls of a heavily modified Terran Goliath. We’ve seen what she and Matt Horner bring to the table as co-op commanders in StarCraft, so let’s throw that into the Nexus.
I’d really like to see a heat mechanic like the League of Legends character Rumble. Mira could pilot a tricked out Goliath, but everything is aftermarket and overheats with too much use. Learning to play around with your total heat to get bonus effects from your abilities would be a fun new mechanic for Heroes.
While D.Va and another character in a mech might share some overlaps, Mira should be a much more fragile character. She’d probably have stripped off more of armor for speed than is strictly necessary. Give her a focus on standing in the backline and deploying artillery, lots of artillery. Chromie shouldn’t be the only character with a giant range. For an ultimate, she needs to have her Space Station Relocation ability from the co-op commanders mode. Dropping a giant space station on your enemies is amazing and should be encouraged. It could get an upgrade where it leaves behind debris that blocks your path until destroyed.
If BlizzCon had happened this year, we’d be looking at getting our hands on a new character pretty soon, so it’s not impossible that by this time next month we could be tearing things up as Lady Vashj or Baal. Of course, they could always go a completely different direction and announce their first hero so large that they replace your Core. Maybe it’s time for Yogg-Saron to take his turn in the spotlight.
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