A breakdown of today’s Heroes of the Storm balance patch

Small tweaks and big changes

Yesterday, Blizzard announced that there would be a massive balance patch launching today that would alter a number of characters. The list consisted of both underpowered, balanced, and overpowered heroes, so theorycrafters were hard at work figuring out what they could possibly change. Now, we have that info.

First up is Falstad, who was slightly buffed, which is good news since most players generally consider him to be already balanced. Potentially seeing more of them in the wild makes me happy since he’s such a unique hero that’s fun to fight against. Predictably, Greymane’s “Q” (cocktail) build has been nerfed a bit, though his basic damage has been slightly increased to facilitate a wide array of builds. I like this change, and feel like Blizzard has done a good job with Greymane so far.

Li-Ming, as expected, is getting another nerf. She’s sitting in the higher spectrum right now in Hero League, but isn’t quite as dominate as she was at launch. She’ll be even less so soon, as her Magic Missile siege damage has been decreased by 50%, and her Temporal Flux level 20 talent now only slows enemies by 40%. The siege change needed to happen, as she could outrange towers and blow them up in seconds, but I’m not so sure about the slow — I’m afraid that she’ll drop even lower in terms of winrate which feels a tad excessive.

Valla has gotten buffs across the board, with the exception of a slight damage reduction with multishot. This is great news for Valla fans, as she’s needed some tweaks for some time, though her mana issues are likely to still rear up regardless. I hope Blizzard takes another look at her in the future. Abathur has also been tweaked ever so slightly, upping his carapace shield and lowering his mine slow (by way of vile nest) duration and slow amount. I love the buff to encourage more hat play but any nerfs feel silly at this point, given his woefully low representation and winrate.

Zagara, another dominant character currently, got a few nerfs. Her Hydralisks now have less health, and her maw heroic cooldown is 20 seconds longer. They’re small nerfs that won’t likely hamstring her and were needed. Kharazim, a recent under-performer, had his healing increased overall for his W. This feels like a half-measure, as current supports need to be brought in line with the dominant Rehgar. Now we have to wait even longer to see parity. For those of you who were worried about Sonya nerfs, don’t fret, as her berserker heroic cooldown was just increased by 15 seconds — no biggie.

Artanis is another big part of this patch. He got a round of buffs, and according to Blizzard, they may even bring him up even further if they aren’t enough (hint: they aren’t). His health was increased, as well as his health regeneration, and just about every talent was buffed outside of a one second cooldown increase for Triple Strike. Unfortunately, they missed a huge opportunity to move Zealot Charge to a lower level requirement, and Artanis still only gets his big break at level 16 — much later than most warriors.

And that’s it! Blizzard is still waiting on data for Xul before they tweak him, and they’re developing reworks for Gazlowe and Tychus. Until then, this is what we’ll deal with.

Heroes of the Storm [Battle.net]

Chris Carter
EIC, Reviews Director - Chris has been enjoying Destructoid avidly since 2008. He finally decided to take the next step in January of 2009 blogging on the site. Now, he's staff!