“Let’s drop the beat!”
Who is Lúcio: As a young man, Lúcio grew up in poverty in an area of Brazil hit particularly hard by the Omnic Crisis. In order to lift the spirits of the people of Rio de Janeiro, Lúcio began performing music on street corners and block parties. His life changed, however, when the Vishkar Corporation attempted to take control of his city, exploiting the populace and imposing curfews. Lúcio chose to fight back, stealing the Vishkar Corporation’s technology, and utilizing it to start an uprising that would drive the Vishkar out. As a result, Lúcio became a hero; a symbol for the oppressed and a force for good through his music.
Why should I care: Since Lúcio was announced he has often been compared to Brightwing because the source of his healing is an AoE which doesn’t require mana, but that’s pretty much where the similarities end. The most interesting aspect of Lúcio’s kit actually comes from his Speed Boost. The reason being Lúcio is passively able to provide a 15% movement speed buff to allies within range, and can boost the bonus to 45% through Amp It Up. This actually enables a fair number of heroes who previously suffered because they lacked mobility. Butcher doesn’t necessarily have to charge in to close the gap. Arthas doesn’t have to slowly walk towards enemies, and Kerrigan can save her leap for a more opportune moment. This is a huge aspect of his kit that differentiates him from other supports because it’s a persistent effect. Lúcio is actually able to solo heal pretty adequately but also benefits from an additional support who’s able to provide targeted heals. This allows him to either focus on speed boosting or he could choose to chase with a melee assassin friend and catch that pesky ranged assassin who’s going to escape. You thought Illidan was bad before? Try escaping a speed boosted one.
But is Lúcio for me: I believe Lúcio is a strong addition to the current support meta because he thrives in a sustained combat environment. He even has a powerful anti burst tool through his heroic Sound Barrier, which you’ll recognize if you’ve played Overwatch. I’ve seen many fights turn as a result of a well timed shield, especially once the enemy commits to the fight. Lúcio is able to heal right up there with the best of them, but does require his allies playing to his strengths, to a degree. He doesn’t necessarily have the versatility of Malfurion, but I recommend drafting Lúcio if you have a melee hero who lacks mobility, or supplemental to a healer like Uther who struggles to heal multiple allies when a skirmish drags out. Ultimately, if you’re a support player I believe you’ll enjoy Lúcio a great deal. And yes, despite some small similarities, there’s still room for Brightwing too.
Until next time, the Nexus calls.
Here is a short list of Hero League tips that might help you get the most out of your climb.
• Before playing Hero League play a warm up QM or UD match, but don’t treat it like a normal match. Instead set a goal for yourself: This game I’m going to try not to die. This game I’m going to practice stutter stepping in every fight. This game I’m going to conserve my mana for the objective. It’s extremely important you practice consciously and not simply go through the motions if you want to improve.
• Speaking of mana, this is easily one of the most wasted resources in the game. A pro player once said, in low rank play the mistake he sees most often is player’s using mana to clear a minion wave. If at all possible, try to save your mana for the objective for two reasons: 1) If you come prepared and the enemy team doesn’t you have an advantage. 2) If you are able to tap your healing fountain and the enemy team isn’t because they used theirs to regain health and mana that’s another advantage in your favor.
• Do not waste a minion wave. That’s part of the reason why wave clear is one of the most important aspects of this game. For one, the minions are going to push your lane. Every tower, wall and keep you give up helps the enemy team in the long run; but if the enemy team clears their wave, gets the XP and you’re waiting at the objective for 30 seconds, you may not realize it but they’re slowly wearing you down. They’re either expanding their XP lead, or closing the gap. Both are dangerous for you.
• Set up is important. If the enemy team reaches the objective with time to spare, and has the opportunity to get in place, and you’re running in late you’re putting yourself at a huge disadvantage. If they have 5 at the objective, don’t come as 4 unless you have a substantial XP lead. If they’re in place that gives them the advantage of vision, positioning, and they can get the drop on you with their heroics before you’re able to react. Throwing out everything you have haphazardly will likely not work out for you unless you’re severely outplaying your opponent.
That’s it for now. I hope you enjoyed this short list, keep an eye out for more in the future. Until next time, the Nexus calls.
Who is Valeera: Although she is better known for her role in Hearthstone, Valeera is a major player in World of Warcraft as well. She originally appeared during the expansion, Wrath of the Lich King, and has a strong hatred for Arthas, declaring she will never forgive him for what he did to Quel’Thalas. Valeera identifies as a Blood Elf, however she swears her allegiance to neither the Horde nor the Alliance; despite being a close friend to Varian Wrynn, King of Stormwind. She has received formal training as a gladiator under Rehgar Earthfury, was temporarily possessed by a demon, fueling her addiction to fel magic, and a member of the rogue order “the Uncrowned”. Truly a dangerous adversary – as many have discovered – she is someone you would rather have as a friend than foe.
“I’m an excellent rogue. But I can’t perform miracles…not after that nerf at least.”
Why should I care: Valeera is a mix of many things. She could be considered an “anti carry” as she’s capable of shutting down that pesky Chromie, Kael’thas, Zul’jin, Valla and so on through a mix of silences or stuns, delivered from stealth through her unique combo mechanic. If they wish to try to strike back, she’s capable of self cleansing through her heroic Cloak of Shadows, or if she prefers to fight in the midst of it all she can use Smoke Bomb to envelop herself in shadow and confound her enemies. You could easily compare her to other melee assassins like Illidan or Alarak, or say she’s closer to Samuro or Zeratul due to stealth, but nobody brings her unique set of skills to the fight in one kit until now. If you already have a strong form of CC on your team, through Varian, Diablo, or Uther, she’ll feel right at home, capable of stun locking enemies or keeping them silenced.
“I’ll match my wits against your magic any day!”
But is Valeera for me: If you enjoy the “flavor of the week” she’s not quite it. Currently Tassadar has received more attention for his rework. (He’s also going to be a nightmare for you.) Outside of coordinated play, you might “have a bad time” playing Valeera. In my experience, she isn’t quite as self-sufficient as Zeratul or Samuro (the King of the Jungle). She isn’t as capable of a solo laner as Alarak or Thrall. And Illidan is so oppressive for anyone trying to escape him, which could be said for her as well, but she has a tendency to be “all in” in a way that Illidan doesn’t have to be. Currently she has a 41% winrate according to HotsLogs, and I would assume she will receive a buff, unless Blizzard comes to the conclusion that it’s due to her difficulty and learning curve, which is high. She has the second lowest winrate in the game.
If you prefer to faceroll with a hero, Valeera isn’t for you. If instead you prefer a hero that’s going to require a few hundred games (and likely many losses) to discover the optimal talent selection, and you want to figure out the nuances of her kit, Valeera is what you’re looking for. She’s going to require that special touch, much like Chromie for example, to really be a thorn in the enemies side. Just make sure you get a feel for when is the right time to strike from the shadows.
Until next time, the Nexus calls.
Hello everyone, I hope your Hero League climbing has been going well. I’m steadily making my way towards Diamond and always learning new things. Today I would like to talk about the Support role and the Specialist role. Each of these roles has a variety of heroes and play styles to choose from and even though they fall under the same category each hero brings something different to the table. If you primarily play the Support role or the Specialist role, you have to pay close attention to what type of draft your team is trying to create, but also what you can do to counter the enemy team. Although this concept is always true regardless of which role you play, I would argue it’s especially important in the case of the Support and the Specialist because Li Li will not be as effective against a strong ability power team, and Auriel thrives in a counter dive scenario (Aegis, Detainment Strike) or if someone on your team is capable of delivering a burst of heavy damage.
Let’s dig a little bit deeper into what this means for you if you want to be more effective in playing either the Support or Specialist role.
Support: One of the most common ways of determining how effective you are as a Support is recognizing how much of your resources you’re forced to use on yourself. If you’re constantly having to put your heal on cooldown to heal yourself, it’s likely you’re overextending. Overextension is one of the most common mistakes I see from Supports at my level of play. Maybe you’re trying to get a clutch Polymorph off with Brightwing, or you want to open a fight with a Water Dragon as Li Li, but ultimately that can cost you your life. It can force you to heal yourself when someone else also desperately needs a heal. It might mean you have to back during an objective. All of these situations can cost you the objective. It’s extremely important you’re conscious of your positioning as a Support. You can lose almost any member of your 5 man team and still win a fight, but if the healer dies and the enemy team still has their Support, they will probably outlast you.
It’s also important if you want to draft the role in HL that you have a variety of Supports you’re able to play for what the situation needs. For instance, Lt. Morales would be a strong addition to a team that benefits from a global transport (Medivac) or some extra punch to an existing carry (Stim Drone) but she’s weak to a team with strong engage, chase, and dive. As a result you should avoid drafting her early in the draft. But take Malfurion, as another example: He’s a strong early draft pick. A good dive hero doesn’t make him nervous because he could self cast root, or cast Twilight Dream as the enemy closes in on him. He’s a good enabler if you have a mana starved “carry” but he’s not necessarily going to be as effective healing a team with an auto attack emphasis or if the enemy team is capable of large bursts of damage at once. For that you might want Rehgar who’s capable of using Ancestral Healing or Tassadar who can soak a lot of damage and can cast preemptive shields. Regardless of who you choose, make sure it’s what your team needs.
Play Support if:
• You have good positioning
• You are good at prioritizing
• You manage your mana properly
• You have a variety of Supports you’ve mastered
Specialist: Easily the most misunderstood role in the game. The Specialist symbol actually used to be a tower because theoretically they excelled at split pushing and destroying structures. That’s no longer the case. The Specialist is a collection of “rule breakers and masters of unconventional warfare”. Medivh was originally going to be classified as a Support, yet he doesn’t heal. As a result, he’s considered a Specialist. Although he doesn’t heal, if your team already has a Support like Brightwing who excels at outlasting the enemy team with a small passive heal but doesn’t necessarily provide burst healing throughout the fight, Medivh might actually be a useful addition. Sylvanas is going to be effective on any map where she can push with the objective (Tomb of the Spider Queen, Dragon Shire, Infernal Shrines, Battlefield of Eternity, Haunted Mines). Xul is the king of split soaking and gaining an experience advantage. He can also bring a lot of useful CC to a fight through a point and click root and his Skeletal Mages heroic. Nazeebo, in many ways, could be considered an Assassin, and will fit into a lot of different team comps, and is especially effective against an enemy team with a lot of ability power. All of these things and more are important considerations should you choose to draft a Specialist. Make sure you’re asking yourself, regardless of who you draft, “What am I bringing to our comp?”
Play Specialist if:
• You have a strong understanding of the hero and their strengths and weaknesses
• You are confident the enemy team won’t draft around you
• You are confident your team understands your strengths and weaknesses and will play to them
As always, thank you for reading. I hope this information has been helpful to you. If there’s one thing I would like you to takeaway from this guide it’s think about your hero and what they bring to your composition. This will give you a big advantage over the player on the enemy team who spams Illidan. Make sure you practice a variety of Supports and if you want to draft a Specialist you usually can’t go wrong with Sylvanas, Ragnaros or Nazeebo.
Good luck and keep climbing!
The time has come for the arrival of Zul’jin, Warlord of the Amani
(Credit to PhillGonzo)
With the release of Zul’jin the Nexus finally sees the introduction of its first troll hero. A highly requested addition, but was the wait worth it? Without further adieu, who is Zul’jin and why should you care?
Who is Zul’jin: The Warlord of the Amani, Zul’jin was responsible for uniting the warring tribes of Zul’Aman. His people joined the Horde during the Second War, serving reluctantly under Orgrim Doomhammer, the Orcish Warchief. It was due to intense hatred for the elves of Quel’Thalas and his desire to reclaim his land that he joined the orcs in their crusade to defeat the Alliance. Zul’jin was betrayed not once, but twice by the Horde: First when the Horde abandoned him during his siege of Quel’thalas, ultimately costing him the destruction of the elven kingdom. But further when the newly christened Blood Elves were allowed to join the Horde in his absence; during a time when they had captured and horribly tortured him, resulting in the loss of his eye and his arm. Vowing revenge, Zul’jin become a villain of sorts. Though his motivations never changed, the world changed around him and he was abandoned by his allies.
“Night Elf? Day Elf? Now you dead Elf.”
Why should I care: Zul’jin is an interesting addition to an already crowded ranged assassin meta because he brings something to the table that many ranged assassins don’t get: sustain. He has on demand health, which means he’s able to hold his own against many traditional solo laners. His skillset is most akin to Gul’dan, who is arguably the most powerful ranged assassin in the meta currently. Due to his sustain, Zul’jin can often bully enemies through his trait which allows him to sacrifice health for damage. This is what results in Zul’jin being easy to use but difficult to master. You will be required to make difficult decisions in the heat of the moment about how much health you can afford to sacrifice.
Additionally, you can often force enemies to over commit to a fight, attempting to burn you down, only to be laid out by your heroic “Taz’dingo” which provides you with temporary invulnerability. Be careful when you use Regeneration because the enemy will often try to poke you in a fight, resulting in 0 health gained. If you can safely retreat, however, you can often come back when your team needs you most – ready for more.
“The Amani never give up. We never forget. We never die. Dis is our Land. You wanna stay? You stay here forever. We gonna bury you here…”
But is Zul’jin for me? Initially, personally, I thought no. Zul’jin takes some getting used to. Although he’s physically tougher than many other assassins who occupy his same space, it’s easy to underestimate the amount of health you’re sacrificing, with little gain. He has two skillshots (three if you count his heroic Guillotine) and can often be “feast or famine”. However, I am really getting a kick out of him now that I’ve gotten used to the range of his abilities and had the opportunity to try a few build paths. He has come conditional talents and an amazing quest talent at level 1.
If you’re like me and you grew up playing Warcraft 2, I’m certain you’ll be satisfied with the direction they took; being so loyal to his original design. If you know him from World of Warcraft, however, you may be somewhat disappointed. He’s not really that Zul’jin. Ultimately he may not shake up the meta, but in the sustain meta that we’re currently in I think he’s a welcome addition. If your team drafts Tassadar, Medivh, Zarya, or Uther, Zul’jin might be the perfect addition to the draft, as he benefits greatly from their shields. Until next time, see you in the Nexus!
My name is HenshinM and I am currently ranked Platinum in HL with a 61% winrate as of Season 3. As always, a mild disclaimer: If you’re looking for advice at the highest level of play I suggest checking out content from CavalierGuest, MFPallytime, Grubby, Srey, and McIntyre. But as promised, and long overdue, here is my short guide on hero draft roles and why you might not be playing the role that suits you best.
Perhaps one of the most misunderstood roles. (The award for most misunderstood goes to Specialist by a wide margin.) If you’re currently a Ranged Assassin, Melee Assassin or Support main and you find yourself constantly frustrated by your inability to control the flow of a fight you’re probably a Warrior main at heart. As of the current meta, (which will likely see a shakeup in January) the strongest hero’s for this role are Diablo, ETC, Johanna and arguably Muradin to a lesser extent. It seems like this role is generally avoided due to the stigma surrounding it from MMORPGs and like games where a lot of pressure is put on the tank with little glory. However, my experience has shown the role of Warrior boils down to three main concepts: Knowing when to engage and disengage, body blocking and protecting the back line. The most common mistake I see from a Warrior is chasing a low health enemy out of a fight while his backline suffers. Do not make the mistake of being the Warrior who is always looking forward and never looking back! Securing a kill is important and situationally acceptable but if your backline suffers you’ve failed your job.
Play Warrior if:
• You have good map awareness
• Good engagement instincts
• Good retreat instincts
• Big picture view of fight
Warrior actually leads me into Melee Assassin because while as a general rule you should avoid chasing as a Warrior, you’re actually rewarded for doing so as a Melee Assassin. Some pros have said this is the most difficult role in the game to play simply because of the sheer amount of mechanical skill that is awarded for playing a Melee Assassin such as Thrall, Alarak, Illidan or Kerrigan to their utmost potential. This is difficult because the expectation is that you have mastered stutter stepping, positioning, knowing when to chase or let the target go, and you have a strong sense of who you can 1v1. As a Melee Assassin you will find you’re often the only answer to a strong split pusher such as Gazlowe, Zagara or Sylvanas. They will retreat when they see you because of your sustain, poke, and gank potential. However, the mistake you often see from a Melee Assassin is confusing themselves as a Warrior (Bruiser) and staying in a fight for too long. They don’t utilize their poke or sustain, they go all in and die. Best case scenario they get a 1 for 1 (which is situationally a benefit, but often a wasted opportunity. In general if you didn’t secure a kill on their healer your team is probably at a disadvantage because you no longer have a “kill secure” hero.) Ultimately that’s what your job boils down to. Applying team fight pressure and securing a kill. You often see this mistake made by a Ranged Assassin who overextends for a kill. They don’t have the tools to escape, they force the tank to drop everything to save them, and the fight tilts in the enemy team’s favor. Always look for opportunities as a Melee Assassin to secure a kill, chip the enemy team’s hp, and support the Warrior by off tanking if necessary.
Play Melee Assassin if:
• You have strong micro play
• You have good 1v1 instincts
• You have strong map awareness
• You have good positioning
On to a massive favorite, but widely misunderstood role. The reason being the Ranged Assassin could actually be separated into multiple sub roles. For the sake of simplicity, you have either “Chip Damage” dealers who are most comfortable from range and are not intended as kill securers (Kael’thas, Jaina (to a lesser extent) Chromie and Gul’dan) and “Chasers” (Lunara, Valla, Tychus (to a lesser extent) and Tracer) who are better suited towards securing a kill. In general, as the Ranged Assassin, you have to focus the most on your positioning because you will likely have the largest target on your back if you’re doing your job right. If you overextend for a kill and you get dived and you die, don’t blame the Warrior. It’s because you were too greedy. Unless you can safely kill your target, allow the Melee Assassin to chase down the kill and continue to put pressure on the enemy team by doing damage from range. This will often win you a fight because the enemy team is down an ally anyway since they had to back. Also, if you get in trouble, the mistake I often see made by Ranged Assassins is forcing their tank from the fight as they try to catch up to you to protect you from the Illidan you won’t escape. If you have no more options for CCing Illidan, as our example, run towards your team and hope they have the instinct to save you unless you can safely get behind your gate.
Play Ranged Assassin if:
• You can keep a cool head. (You will be focused)
• You have good positioning
• You can punish bad positioning
Alright guys, that’s it for now! My next guide Section 2 will focus on Support and Specialist and should be uploaded soon. As always, thanks for reading and I hope this guide proves helpful to you. Good luck in your Hero League climb. I’ll see you in the Nexus!
The time has come for the arrival of Ragnaros the Firelord
You have likely already seen our recent post detailing Ragnaros and his abilites, difficulty and skill set. Here’s some extra information about the Firelord and why you should care.
Who is Ragnaros? Ragnaros is the master of all fire elementals. He originally appeared in World of Warcraft in the Molten Core raid as the final encounter. Ragnaros wields the mighty Sulfuras and rains fire down upon his enemies. He strikes fear into the hearts of his enemies when he shouts, “By fire be purged!”
Why should I care? According to Blizzard they wanted Ragnaros to have a truly “raid boss” feel and a lot of work went into accomplishing this. Ragnaros has two sets of abilities. One in his hero form and a separate set of skills when he takes on his raid boss form through his trait “Molten Core”, temporarily physically taking the place of an allied keep or a destroyed enemy keep. Ragnaros fulfills a unique space as an anti push melee assassin.
He is effective against team’s that attempt to push a lane hard because he will provide the keep with a separate health bar and can defend until reinforcements come. He could be seen as an effective counter to Sylvanas because her trait will not affect him in the same way it would a keep.
He can wreak devastation and chaos upon an enemy team attempting to escape by pincering them.
(Credit to MFPallytime)
He can also siege the enemy team from relative safety during an objective or hard push a lane by utilizing his heroic “Lava Wave”. His heroic will actually soak xp regardless of whether or not somebody is in the lane!
But is Ragnaros for me? Well, if you enjoy melee assassins who are somewhat on the squishier side but with some healthy sustain, two forms and two sets of abilities, a unique trait with strong play potential and good wave clear you’re going to enjoy Ragnaros. He’s a hero with that larger than life feel who can turn fights through a well timed Lava Wave or with clever use of Molten Core. If you’re looking for some old school WoW nostalgia you’re going to enjoy hearing Ragnaros demand, “Be gone from my realm!” or if you just like fire you’re going to enjoy scorching your enemies. Once again Ragnaros shows Blizzard isn’t afraid to push the envelope with heroes. Until next time, see you in the Nexus!
Hello all, and welcome to my first guide. I’m going to be talking to you about what brought me to HotS as a former LoL player and why I’ve stuck with this game after a year of playing in spite of my experience with a few other MOBAs. I’m currently ranked Platinum in Hero League.
I have over 2500 games played and a 67% winrate in Hero League this season. I can’t give you advice at the highest level of play (For that I recommend my unofficial mentors Srey, Grubby, MFPallytime, McIntyre, and CavalierGuest) but I do want to touch on a lot of the basic concepts that may seem “Duh” at first but which some of us still struggle with due to bad habits and misconceptions about how the game works.