Balance Prep for BlizzCon
Written by: ChaosOS
ChaosOS is here again to highlight the most important balance changes in the recent patch notes! The long-form mathematics post can be found on HeroesHearth.
This patch constitutes the majority of the final changes before BlizzCon, and thus, these top five changes will be instrumental in shifting the meta before the biggest competition of the year.
#1 - Support Nerfs
Ana, Lt. Morales, and Stukov all took big nerfs this patch. Overdose on Ana enabled her to quickly apply -30% spell power and neuter enemy mages and healers in the back line as well as more than double her waveclear with Biotic Grenade. Now that Overdose only works on a single target with Sleep Dart, it’s a much less attractive talent.
As for Morales and Stukov, they ate HP nerfs which will make them significantly more vulnerable to dive. Various talent/base kit nerfs also reduced their impact in fights. If these heroes were becoming popular in the current meta, there’s a good chance we’ll see them fall out of favor quickly in the next few weeks.
#2 - Johanna Buffs
We did it, Reddit! Johanna received one of the largest buffs in Heroes of the Storm history with an 8% base HP buff. After a rework that weakened the crusader to laughable levels, Johanna finally has a good dose of survivability back. Roar and Blessed Hammer also received buffs to bolster her damage output, so it’s possible Johanna may creep back into the meta for BlizzCon.
Laws of Hope remains the best talent at 1, but Blessed Hammer became the best damage talent at 13 for most purposes in this patch.
#3 - D.Va Rush-down
D.Va’s level 1 talent Rush-down is now easily the best talent in that tier. Base D.Va averages out to 110% movespeed, but with Rush-down, D.Va could reach about 130% average movespeed. With the buff, D.Va can rotate faster than Pale Horse Malthael with an average movespeed of 155%.
One of D.Va’s biggest historical issues is her weak rotations, and this buff could just catapult her back into the meta by allowing her to quickly and easily pressure multiple lanes.
#4 - Nazeebo
Blizzard is trying to up Nazeebo’s stacking game by making him significantly squishier in the first 5 minutes of the game but much tankier late game. His early game health took a huge hit, but in return he now gains 6 health per stack of Voodoo Ritual instead of 4. Big Voodoo at level 4 is a must-take talent because it also benefits from the buff.
The spider/toad changes are a net nerf to Nazeebo’s damage output regardless of what talents Nazeebo takes, though. Since the stealth buff last month, the Toad build has become the preferred build in GM Hero League, but that could change with the latest round of balance adjustments.
The tweaks to his abilities should balance out the decision between Q, W, and E build since historically one or the other has always been much stronger. Hopefully Nazeebo can reach a state where he chooses his build based on the type of damage he needs (AoE vs single target) instead of whichever one does more damage.
#5 - Malthael Passive Nerf
Malthael’s damage took a serious dive with this change. All in all, his passive took a direct 11% nerf and a ~4% overall damage nerf, making him much weaker at burning down high HP targets. Talent-wise, Memento Mori is solidly worse than Soul Collector now. The added damage from Memento Mori just doesn’t match up to the extra healing and range from Soul Collector anymore.
Honorable Mention: Lunara Wisp
Big buff to Wisp, finally making it reasonable to control. Wisps are also much tankier now, making Dividing Wisp a huge winner among Lunara’s Wisp talents.
Joseph "ChaosOS" Meehan is an avid Heroes of the Storm enthusiast who just enjoys mathing things out. You can check out his blog on HeroesHearth for more in-depth patch analysis and follow him on Twitter.