Bloodlust isn’t as Good as You Think

Or: How to Rehgar to best effect.

Despite his history as a gladiator, Rehgar isn’t a front line fighter in Heroes of the Storm. Sure, he’s beefier than the ranged support, but he can’t stand toe-to-toe with any warrior the way Uther can, and most assassins will eat him. He doesn’t have the strongest basic heal and his disable is good when placed properly but lacks the obvious power of Polymorph or Lunar Flare. It’s like Entangling Roots but just slows, not stops. Lightning Shield is great to drop on your beefy warriors who always find themselves in the thick of it and Ghost Wolf makes you slippery and mobile.

Rehgar’s strengths are in his mobility, mana efficiency, and the diversity of his toolbox. His weaknesses are that none of his abilities, outside of his ultimates, are game changers and his contribution to a team fight, aside from his abilities, is low. He doesn’t hit hard, even in Ghost Wolf, and can often get in the way of Sonya the Slayer, Illidan, or Stitches.

So how do you build and use Rehgar to make him shine? How do you maximize his strengths and minimize his weaknesses? Well, first let’s talk about his abilities.

Chain Heal (Q) – It’s not a big heal, but it is a good top off. Keeps your burst of life going. It’s a good way to begin a teamfight after one has started. It’s also good to use on mercenaries and minions, especially knights, since they soak up damage and are easy to top off.

Lightning Shield (W) –  This should go on whoever is in the thick of a fight. The damage output is fantastic, the cost is low, and the cooldown means you can punish the diving assassins with some real force in the late game.

Earthbind Totem (E) –  A decent slow in a small area, Earthbind is best used to slow enemy minions and to keep them away from your towers; and to cut off escapes. Look for the obvious escape route, Ghost Wolf around to it and drop your totem as they run. It can also make escaping from your allies’ positional hits better – i.e. Gazlowe’s bomb, Nova’s Precision strike, Raynor’s Hyperion.

Now talents.  My recommendations for Solo Queues and general support are starred (*). Alternate Builds are listed below.

heroes-of-the-storm-rehgar-earthfury

Tier 1

Spirit Walker’s Grace - a 25 mana cost reduction sounds nice and can be taken if you’re the only support or you want to concentrate on making Chain Heal into the most mana efficient heal possible. Still a better talent available.

Empowering Charge - If you have Sgt. Hammer or Illidan, this might be worth taking if you stick to them like glue and use Lighting Shield on them all the time. Illidan with this is a terrible beast to deal with and can wreck enemies in no time. If you don’t have either of those, or can’t stick with them, you’re better off not taking it.

*Colossal Totem - This makes your snare more offensive in nature. You affect a much larger area and removing it is more difficult. Now you can drop it to the side of a fight, an escape route, or path and still stay out of the general fray. I take this talent almost every game.

Healing Totem - It’s a decent heal on a decent cooldown, but it prevents you from being as mobile as you could be and doesn’t have a powerful enough effect to turn a teamfight.

 

Tier 2

Focused Attack – Even in Ghost Wolf, with Empowering Charge, this isn’t useful. You don’t hit hard enough to warrant using the shield on yourself every time. The assassins and warriors will benefit more from it and you should be blocking the escapes, not fighting on the front.

Chain Reaction – Lighting shield can only be cast on one target at a time, two if you talent it at 16, and then it’s you and someone else, not two different allies. It’s not bad and would be fantastic if Reactive Spark was in a different tier. But it’s not so skip this one.

Reactive Spark - This can be useful. Load your team up with Lightning Shields and descend into a teamfight with lots of sparks on your side. But the trigger range is large, it triggers on any enemy, and Lightning Shield still has a cooldown that makes buffing everyone with the shield, or even more than 2, a chore.

*Feral Heart - You’re going to be in Ghost Wolf anyway. It’s your escape, it’s a buff to your measly attack damage, it’s your mount, and now it brings you mana. The health regen is nice but the mana regen is fantastic. I drop in and out of Ghost Wolf constantly and use it to keep myself in a lane, in a team fight, or just tagging along with allies rather than hearthing or using a fountain.

Farsight - I want this ability to be useful, but I’m not sure it is. Unlike more open MOBAs, Heroes maps, even the big ones, are cramped. You know where they are and, if you don’t, a  Farsight guess won’t help. Wards help in Dota2 because they linger, and tell you information, even if destroyed. This reveals a small area you either knew a lot of about already or isn’t going to help you at all.

 

Tier 3

Battle Momentum - This is one of those things that sounds really good on paper but pans out poorly in game. You’re not Illidan, you’re not a warrior. You’re support. You can help lane, sure, but you shouldn’t be split pushing. You’re not sticky enough to make this work in a team fight.

*Earth Shield - A wonderful talent. It lasts the duration of Lightning Shield, scales well into late game, and gives you a good reactive buffer when your allies are getting trashed.

Shadow Wolf - 2 seconds worth of cloak on your escape is enough for you to realize you’re screwed, even if invisible. Quick fingers might make this useful for positioning sneak attacks with Feral Lunge, but is it better than Earth Shield? It is not.

Searing Attacks - You have a decent attack speed (.8), combine this with Berserk and Bloodlust and you’re dangerous, right? Unless you’re snared or Ghost Wolf is on cooldown or the enemy team remembers how squishy you are and that your heal isn’t big.

 

Tier 4

Bloodlust (R) – If you use this at the right time, it’s fantastic. It turns the tide of a fight in 10 furious seconds. It will win games. It you use it incorrectly, you hear some sounds and die.

*Ancestral Healing (R) –  99 times out of 100, you’ll be glad you have Ancestral Healing. The one time you think you need Bloodlust, just Ancestral Healing to fill up an ally and keep the fight going or save someone from death.

 

Tier 5

Spell Shield - Up your tank factor. Not bad, not great. Consider taking it if you have no warriors on your team, are being focus fired, or are clicking blind.

*Healing Surge - Boosts your only heal by a good chunk and it spreads the love. Late game will be lots of team fights anyway and, since you’re running close to the middle or sides, throwing a heal to the warrior and “it bouncing to top the assassins and specialists too?” Great!

Stormcaller - If you took reactive spark, this can help buff your buddies. It means that half the cooldown time is spent without a shield, rather than 5 seconds. If talented with Earth Shield it can provide a decent panic button.

Lightning Totem - Did you take Colossal Totem? Of course you did. This can make your snare really nasty and the damage output competes with a Gazlowe turret.

Feral Lunge - If you decided to try the Right Click alternate build, you have to take this talent. No other way around it. The lunge distance is impressive and, when built to do the Right Click thing, Rehgar can finish off fleeing enemies pretty quick.

 

Tier 6

*Lightning Bond - A two for one cast? Damn right you want this.

Earthgrasp Totem - Lots of slippery little bastards on the enemy side? Valla’s juking, Hammer’s jets. The larger cast range is great and the root seals the deal. It also helps to keep you in range for the Right Click.

Blood for Blood - Thematically appropriate but not mechanically, at least compared to other talents. If you need a boost on your escape because Illidan won’t back off or an extra dent in the warrior’s HP, it can help but you’re better off keeping your team alive and in range of the bad guys.

Berserk - He’s an orc. They go berserk. You’re not. You should skip this.

 

Tier 7

Fury of the Storm - Gladiator’s War Shout if you’re doing the Right Click build.

Storm Shield - Not a bad talent, especially since your main heal is a bit weak, and with tanky heroes this can be a big buffer. Not my first choice, but not bad to take if you’re with a beefy group.

Gladiator’s War Shout - This is your “we REALLY win more” button. It can be brutal when paired with Gazlowe taking camps and a good counter push; or if your mercs are fighting their mercs.

*Farseer’s Blessing - Heal Stitches or Diablo for 6000, heal your nearby friends for 1500. Big heal, medium heals, and everyone on your side is still in the fight.

 

Play Strategies

These are based on my build and my experiences. If you disagree or want to add something, please do so.

Early Game - Find someone with some good damage output – Kerrigan, Nova, Falstad, Sonya – and follow them around like the faithful dog you are. Babysit, body block, snare, punish the aggressive heroes with traps. Don’t encourage your little killer to dive but, instead, bring them fodder. You don’t have a big heal yet so your best bet is to snare, keep people topped off outside of team fights, and shield your melee with Lightning Shield. Weave Ghost Wolf into your laning and fighting to keep mana coming back.

Late Game - You’re a grown up wolf man orc thing now. Roam, but use the buddy system. You should bounce between one or two of your killers and punish the aggressive hero or turn the tide if your friend is getting ganked. You can do some things by yourself but your presence is most felt at someone’s side. Be thinking about who you’re helping next as you finish helping someone.

How to Use Bloodlust - So you picked Bloodlust and you’re itching to break that roar out and stomp some face. But you use it and the enemy team breaks off and flees or your frontline gets CCd and everyone rushing to fight is eaten by their Stitches and Arthas. When do you use it?

Bloodlust in HotS isn’t like Bloodlust/Heroism in WoW. Those are used to burn a boss down. Everyone’s on the guy, wailing away, and you use the ability to get the last 9% or whatever. You can do that in HotS is you’re fighting a big Golem on Haunted Mines or desperately trying to keep a lone Dragon Warrior out of your base but those are rare circumstances that need Bloodlust as a sort of Hail Mary. If you’re using it in a team fight, which you should be, don’t use it right away. Wait. Wait for the nadir, the low point, when everyone’s used their abilities and punched each other and are waiting for cooldowns to come around. When your team and their team are mixed together. Then press it. Now your team’s a meat grinder.

It is critical that you focus fire during Bloodlust - Your extra attack speed means diddly squat if everyone’s doing their own thing. But if you focus fire, you can kill the entire enemy team in 10 seconds.

Builds

Thanks for reading! Be sure to vent your frustration with my incorrect decisions or heap your praise for my correct ones in comments.

Travis Morrow is a writer who really likes peanut butter. He plays Dota2, HotS, and lots of tabletop games. Occasionally he jabbers on his personal site.

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