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, just as in our ongoing League of Legends tier list, 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
As Heroes of the Storm enters Beta phase 34659, Blizzard is cracking out major sweeping changes to the heroes, map objectives and more. With the addition of Sylvanas Windrunner to the mix along side an all-new map “The Tomb of the Spider Queen”, look forward to a major update so significant that you’ll be forced to re-evaluate your graphics level when loading the game for the first time. Here are the highlights of the latest patch for Heroes of the Storm.
This patch covers an update to nearly every Hero in the game, so buckle up if you’d like to know exactly why your favorite Hero moves around in the tier list this week – it’s almost certain to happen. Abathur how features buffs in nearly every tree option for Toxic Nest as of the latest patch, as well as having his heroic ability “Evolve Monstrosity” persist until it is killed, rather than expire. If you’ve chosen Ultimate Evolution instead, the cooldown and duration have both been reduced, but clones now gain a heavy stat buff. Azmodan will reel in his top-end damage as his Taste for Blood option on the Q spell now caps at 500 damage. We don’t expect that to effect his win rate terribly, but it would hurt a pro-level or perfectly matched game which may have drug out a bit.
Diablo will pick up a small buff this patch with the Apocalypse heroic ability having only a 100 second cooldown as opposed to the former 120 seconds. If you’re using Lightning Breath Diablo will also now cast the skill in the direction of the cursor, rather than the direction he was facing at the time of cast. E.T.C. has had his Fury of the Storm talent replaced with a Hardened Shield talent, backing him further into a tank role, though most built him this way already. Falstad took sweeping buffs this week as one of the weaker heroes in the game, increasing his basic attack at level 1, buffing his Barrel Roll and buffing the Mighty Gust heroic ability as well.
Jaina just picked up a more base damage in this patch, along with a new level 20 talent “Arcane Power”, increasing spell damage by 15% and restoring 400 mana over 5 seconds. With Frostbite now applying to unstoppable units, Jaina will now have exceptional ability to counter units like the Grave Golem, and have received buffs to all skills aside from her heroic ability. Watch out, as we predict that Jaina may be one of the strongest in the game going forward – though we’re going to wait on the stats to back that up. Kerrigan got more control over her Ultralisk skill with this patch, not really buffing her but rather aligning this skill with Jaina’s Water Elemental.
Lili takes a small cooperative debuff by no longer being able to heal Abathur’s Ultimate Evolution Clones or Nova’s Holo Decoy. This is good in that she now only heals players, but in a team fight this can also be a tell for which Nova is the REAL Nova. If anything this is a debuff for Nova specifically, but with such a small ratio of games played between the two, we’ll leave that to the stats sheet to decide. Murky is grabbing a significant boost this patch as well, with doubled health regeneration and an all-new talent giving him a 10-25% ability power boost. Murky’s egg no longer gives experience to the enemy team, as well as having a lower cooldown and increased health. Slime’s stacking damage now applies to unstoppable units as well, leaving Murky much stronger against the primary objectives than before.
Nazeebo has the first seriously questionable talent changes, dropping his trait damage bonus but raising his heroic ability damage and Plague of Toads damage. Nazeebo will have his utility as a pusher dropped as the result of this patch but his nuke ability rose significantly after level 10. Raynor will have a TINY basic attack damage buff, going up +1 per level. Sgt. Hammer got a huge hit point nerf this patch, leaving players more vulnerable if they aren’t aware of the 8% drop. Sonya players who love Whirlwind will love the changes this patch as Sonya can now use activated abilities while in the middle of Whirlwind. This could lead to an absurd variance in user skill vs. win-rate on Sonya, but we’ll keep up with that as the weeks progress.
Stitches will follow up with a health debuff and a utility increase with this patch, scaling down his health after level one, but increasing his Toxic Gas trait to be more effective against large groups of minions. Slam now will no longer provide a hard stun, but the Pulverize talent reduces the cooldown of Slam by two seconds and slows enemies for one second by 75%, just enough to get a nice hook. Stiches had a buff to both heroic abilities as well, compensating for what might otherwise be viewed as global debuffs. Tassadar’s Force Wall now forms 50% faster with almost half the mana cost of the previous patch, allowing him a more viable support role in this patch as well.
The Lost Vikings stood out as the strongest heroes in the game since their launch, and may prove true just the same after a few changes this patch. Longboat Raid, the preferred heroic ability of most players, will now have reduced damage, down one damage per level. In trade for this The Lost Vikings will enjoy a level 20 option for their own unique Fury of the Storm talent, granting a 10+4/level damage bonus to basic attacks against targets. This applies to each individual viking, amounting to a 30+12/level bonus if they are working together. Don’t expect them to come down off their reign atop the tier list this patch as this only emphasizes their body blocking ability.
Thrall is adding on sweeping buffs this patch, along with rising mana costs to match. His Mana Tide will now also be less effective as his scaling heal increases from +23/level to +30/level. Chain Lightning hits harder, but at increased mana cost, as well as Wind Fury increasing movement speed at higher cost. Thrall may as a result of this be in fights for less time, but be considerably more effective while in them. We’ll keep an eye out on this one for you. Tychus will be confusing on your first play through, but his skills have not changed, though their names have. Tyrande has some formality changes this patch as well, moving skills around from one place to another, but not really changing her mechanics by the time you reach level 20. Most importantly, Hunter’s Mark “Mark of Mending” trait now heals for 2.5% of your target’s max health, and Light of Elune has a longer cooldown with a higher healing rate. Raising both cooldown and heal values by 30%, she won’t lose or gain anything per second, just reduces the number of clicks required to be effective.
Uther may be the most significantly changed character in patch 34659, featuring more talent changes than nearly every other hero combined, so we’ll drop you the highlights. Uther does not attack players upon death, but gains a specialized heal. If over level 20, players will be given the option to modify Eternal Devotion so that Uther can come back to life with 50% health after a duration. Uther’s heal has had it’s range decreased, but his reach talent evens this out with a 40% range buff if you spec into it. Holy Radiance has had a similar range reduction, dropping 16%, but a new talent at level 4 can increase both length and width by 40%. Hammer of Justice can now be used as a SEVERE crowd-control ability, nearly ensuring one death in every team fight with the level 7 talent Burden of Guilt. After the stun wears off from Hammer of Justice, Burden of Guilt applies a 30% slow for the next two seconds. If a team is working well, that’s a kill almost every time. In trade for this stun focus, Divine Storm now has a 50% bonus stun radius, down from 100%. This won’t hurt if you’re looking to target a single player or two, but it will hurt if you’re looking to save your entire team from death.
Valla isn’t catching a nerf this patch, but she is losing some quality of life. With her Hatred trait moving from level 13 to 7 and Battle Momentum removed, Valla will be most concerned with the change to her Vault. Valla can now be stunned mid-Vault as she is no longer Unstoppable. This can severely impact her pursuit and escape in fights, but with no reduction to her damage she may not move far down the tier list except at the highest level. Closing out the massive patch changes, Zeratul’s Double Bombs now deal only 50% damage on the second bomb and Void Prison now dims out affected Heroes’ status bars.
We will not yet include any estimations on the new character Sylvanas Windrunner 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.
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: Murky, Azmodan
Up to the Effective Tier: Abathur, Jaina
- Warrior: Tyrael, Diablo
- Assassin: Jaina, Zeratul
- Support: Li Li, Tyrande
- Specialist: Zagara, Abathur
Up to the Strong Tier: Falstad
- Warrior: E.T.C, Arthas, Anub’arak
- Assassin: Thrall, Kerrigan, Illidan, Falstad
- Support: Rehgar, Uther
- Specialist: Gazlowe, Sgt. Hammer, Nazeebo
Nerf Tier Heroes
- Warrior: Stitches
- Assassin: Valla
- Support: Brightwing
- Specialist: The Lost Vikings
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. 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.