Having a short but storied history, Heroes of the Storm is Blizzard’s attempt at the MOBA space that began back in the days of Warcraft. Featuring exclusively characters from within the Blizzard universe, Heroes come from Diablo, Warcraft, Starcraft and other lore and are familiar to anyone playing Blizzard games within the last 10-20 years. In our “Nerf Tier” list, we’ll go over which heroes are the strongest in the game and why, in detail, we think they could move up or down. With statistically backed information, our tier lists are solidly supported by both the true win rates in live play, the official live patch notes, and more statistics that may effect the game in the coming weeks. Have a look at the list below as we cover the four tiers of hero play, from Average to Nerf Tier.
Click here to skip to the Nerf Tier
Featuring a host of new updates to the title in preparation for the Open Beta testing phase and full launch coming within the next few weeks, Blizzard is hard at work polishing up the finer points of Heroes of the Storm. Adding balance needs into the mix as well, along with the implementation of another all-new Hero, the title’s ever expanding nature and vast quality of life will come to light in May.
Starting out with Assassin class Heroes, Nova’s “One in the Chamber” talent will not increase bonus Basic Attack damage from 50% up to 80%. As the only improvement in Nova’s set, this may drive users to build into clones more than usual, but it’s unclear if this will bring her out of the lowest class of Assassin tier Heroes. Raynor will also grab a buff this patch, bringing more than one trick to the show with Penetrating Round knocking back by 23% greater distance, and Inspire picking up a lower cooldown, more bonus Attack Speed, and at less mana cost.
As we move forward into the Specialist class, Abathur has been perplexingly weakened as one of the most unusable Heroes in the game. Featuring a 30% shorter attack range on Bombard Locusts and a small damage buff on Symbiote [Stab], we’d rather see Abathur not feel like an inhibition in our matches, but Blizzard knows best. Azmodan will now boast a 30 second duration on Bound Minion [up from 15 seconds] for his General of Hell trait – now that’s some power, if you’re pushing an empty lane.
Gazlowe is packing in so many viability changes this week that he may feature prominently by this time nest patch. Turrets now cost 10 less mana, targeting in cones and not circles. Trading circular aiming with a 15% buff in attack range [Long-Ranged Turrets], pushing and defense can be more valuable, but objective play may require more attention to positioning to be effective. Deth Lazor features too many changes to easily summarize, overall resulting in less firing time and cooldown time, along with less damage. The damage per second will improve and the spell should be more easily used in heavy combat situations. Countering these changes, Xplodium Charge costs more mana, but the Grav-O-Bomb will now trigger 0.1875 seconds faster.
For convenience purposes, Murky will now spawn with an egg already placed in your Hall of Storms. If both you and your egg die, the egg will respawn with you in the Hall of Storms yet again. Sylvannas will pick up a specific talent to her character with this patch, adding Remorseless as an option to level 7. After using an ability, the next Basic Attack within 3 seconds deals 25% more damage.
Featuring one of the only obvious debuffs of this patch, The Lost Vikings will now become stunned for 1.5 seconds if the Longboat is destroyed before its duration ends. This will certainly mean considerably more deaths for the Vikings as the Longboat is typically used when your team of Vikings is around 50% health in the heat of battle. Conversely, “Play Again!” has been buffed to viability in comparison with all Vikings being fully restored on casting – not just respawning the dead Vikings back to life. Zagara’s Infest trait has also had its duration increased to 30 seconds from 15.
Supports won’t see much change in this patch, as Rehgar has actually been weakened in the slightest and Tassadar now reveals enemy units faster. Warriors in contrast are packing loads of changes this time around. Anub’arak now features considerably improved Beetle A.I., along with nearly removed casting delays on his Q and E. While Chen casts “Storm, Earth Fire”, his status bar will now be hidden to better show off his transformation for player awareness.
Diablo again has so many wide changes that listing them all could last the duration of this tier list. To summarize, he won’t be quite as meaty, but he now packs in the ability to steal 10% of the max health of all nearby enemies at level 20. His regeneration has been improves and his maximum health increases by percentage per level. He can either passively gain souls without kills at level 4 or gain 10 mana on enemy Minion death – I’ll take the latter. Shadow Charge has a hard nerf to the base ability with new functionality choices at talent levels 1 and 7. Fire Stomp will now also be weaker early, but as strong late. This is the general trend with Diablo as a whole, as it is clear Blizzard is looking to make his talents built around the long games.
E.T.C. has also received a vast sweeping change this patch. Rockstar [Trait] now only affects Heroes, featuring a variety of changes to the talent itself. Powerslide traits have changed considerably as well, but as with Rockstar traits, they don’t feel like a usability change, just moving one component to another place to allow for variety in builds. Face Melt will now feature one of the most game-changing adjustments for E.T.C. with “Encore.” At level 16 you will now have the opportunity to choose this talent and leave behind an “Amplifier”, knocking back enemies a second time in a remote location where you first cast the skill. Guitar Solo talents are yet again moving all over the place, but aside from the “Just Keep Rockin'” trait, there isn’t much to speak on. You will have 50% less vulnerability to stuns and the like when training in this Trait.
Muradin is becoming a more viable damage tank with this patch, as his utility looks to improve his niche, but Sonya may secure this role in the patch with major changes yet again in the Warrior class type. Sonya can now heal for 30% of basic attacks, up from 25%, or choose to increase max fury to 200, up from 150 [now double of base]. Mystical Spear talent has now been moved to level 13 from 16, and Seismic Slam is undergoing improved damage.
We will not yet include any estimations on the new character Kael’thas Sunstrider in this tier list as she has no statistical basis for rating the character at this point. We cannot judge a character solely based on our opinions and feel confident that we’re providing you the reader with the highest quality tier list online. Those who love Whirlwind on Sonya will be excited as well, with Fury cost coming down – though duration follows along. Overall the damage remains the same, as Whirwind offered more damage at once before, now distributed evenly over two bursts in the same duration. Healing on Whirlwind is receiving harsh quality of life changes, which could be a game changer for Sonya – nerfing heal amounts from 40% for all target damage down to 25% against minions and monsters, 50% against Heroes. This will hurt her strengths as Sonya was formerly able to take on objective camps without worrying much about needing assistance. With these changes, Sonya is likely forced into a new talent that Blizzard has placed in this patch – Hurricane. At level 4 Sonya can now learn Hurricane, removing active slows and roots affecting Sonya. She had rooting and stunning issues before making her almost unusable in team fights and Blizzard knows that without this she’s going to need a nerf – we suspect that she’ll get a buff in the next patch after a deep dive this time around [and she’s already on bottom as one of my personal favorites.]
As we get going into this Heroes of the Storm patch, we’ll continue coverage of the details on how and why heroes in Average Tier through Nerf got where they are in the full anthology of posts. New changes are bolded below.
- Warrior: Muradin, Sonya, Chen
- Assassin: Nova, Tychus, Raynor
- Support: Malfurion, Tassadar
- Specialist: Sgt. Hammer, Abathur
Up to the Effective Tier:
- Warrior: Tyrael, Arthas, Stitches
- Assassin: Zeratul, Falstad
- Support: Li Li, Tyrande
- Specialist: Zagara, Gazlowe
Up to the Strong Tier: Azmodan, Murky, Diablo
- Warrior: E.T.C, Diablo
- Assassin: Kerrigan, Illidan, Valla
- Support: Rehgar, Uther
- Specialist: The Lost Vikings, Nazeebo, Azmodan
Nerf Tier Heroes
- Warrior: Anub’arak
- Assassin: Jaina, Thrall
- Support: Brightwing
- Specialist: Murky, Sylvannas
While each player and player build could vary their opinion of this tier list with high levels of practice, these figures represent overall play by the Heroes of the Storm community, as well as how the numbers compare with the latest patch. Please take into consideration the value of these Heroes in a team composition while playing ranked play as situation will change which Hero is the most valuable. In the coming weeks we will continue to keep updating you on the trends of your favorite champions in their respective roles.
Look forward to more Nerf Tier with the next Heroes of the Storm update exclusively on PowerLeveled – created for those interested in statistically supported and battle tested tier listings.