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Heroes of the Storm received an update with balance changes to playable characters like Nazeebo, Deckard Cain, Qhira, Stitches and more. This list also included Zagara, who was temporarily unplayable prior to the update. 

Zagara receives nerfs

Heroes of the Storm updates with balance changes, nerfs and buffs
Zagara artwork. | Provided by Blizzard Entertainment

The brood queen from the StarCraft universe received a few nerfs to her health, health regeneration and basic attack damage. Her Baneling Barrage [Q] ability also got nerfed in terms of mana cost, cooldown and damage. 

Adding to the Baneling Barrage [Q] nerf, the Volatile Acid [Q] talent no longer increases the damage of the ability. However, Baneling Massacre [Q] allows players to gain two more changes of Baneling Barrage [Q] while increasing its cooldown. Heroes of the Storm players who choose Pack Instinct [W] at level 20 will also notice a slight decrease in damage and a reduced duration. 

  • Level 1
    • Volatile Acid [Q]
      • Removed functionality: No longer increases Baneling Barrage’s damage.
  • Level 7
    • Baneling Massacre [Q]
      • Changed functionality: Gain two additional charges of Baneling Barrage, but increase its cooldown by 2 seconds.
  • Level 20
    • Pack Instinct [W]
      • Damage bonus reduced from 25% to 20%.
      • Duration reduced from 3 to 2 seconds.

Valla gets healing nerfs

Next, Valla received updates to her talents. Similar to Zagara, she had high damage output, so the developers reduced some of that alongside her healing. Meanwhile, one of Valla’s level 20 talents, Death Siphon [R1], had some functionality removed, making the penetrating bolts no longer heal her for the damage dealt. 

  • Level 4
    • Arsenal [W]
      • Damage reduced from 120 to 100.
  • Level 7
    • Hot Pursuit [Trait]
      • Movement Speed per stack of Hatred reduced from 2.5% to 2%.
  • Level 13
    • Gloom [Active]
      • Healing per second reduced from 2.5 to 1.25.
      • Healing per second now scales with level.
      • Passive Spell Armor reduced from 20 to 15.
  • Level 20
    • Death Siphon [R1]
      • Removed functionality: Penetrating bolts no longer heals Valla for their damage dealt.

Nazeebo befriends more spiders

Nazeebo artwork. | Provided by Blizzard Entertainment

As for Nazeebo, the hero from the Diablo universe received significant balance changes. Heroes of the Storm players who choose to go with Corpse Spiders [Q] quest will see that the cooldown was reduced alongside more damage output. 

Players who choose the Spirit of Arachyr [Q] later on can get Nazeebo to spawn additional spiders. Spider Colony [Q] at level 16 also reduces the cooldown of the basic ability. Adjustments were also made to his Plague of Toads [E] build. Meanwhile, at level 20, Fury of the Storm [Passive] got removed and replaced with Bad Medicine [Active].

“It’s been a hot minute since we touched the Naz man,” the developer notes said. “We like that he’s a late-game PvE powerhouse, but we feel there’s room for him to have more PvP impact early on.”

  • Level 20
    • Fury of the Storm [Passive]
      • Removed.
    • (New) Bad Medicine [Active]
      • Consume 5 Stacks of Voodoo Ritual to become Unstoppable, gain 20% Movement Speed, and 50 Armor for 2 seconds. 30 second cooldown.

Hanzo receives buffs

As for the Overwatch ranged assassin, Hanzo now has more health and increased health regeneration. The cooldown of Natural Agility [D] also reduced from 30 to 25 seconds as well, allowing him to jump across terrain more often. A couple of his talents also got buffed by the developers. 

  • Level 7
    • The Dragon Hungers [Q]
      • Duration increased from 10 to 12 seconds.
    • Sharpened Arrowheads [Passive]
      • Armor reduction per stack increased from 2 to 3.
      • Maximum Armor reduction remains 20.
  • Level 10
    • Dragonstrike [R1]
      • Center damage bonus increased from 50% to 75%.

Lunara acquires talent buffs

Heroes of the Storm updates with balance changes, nerfs and buffs
Lunara artwork. | Provided by Blizzard Entertainment

Over in the World of Warcraft universe of heroes, Lunara received some buffs. According to the developers, these would incentivize players to consider her less popular talents. She received some cooldown reductions alongside damage increase. 

  • Level 1
    • Hippity Hop [Z]
      • Cooldown reduced from 4 to 2 seconds.
  • Level 7
    • Choking Pollen [Q]
      • Damage against enemies with 3 stacks of Nature’s Toxin increased from 150% to 200%.
    • Wild Vigor [W]
      • Damage bonus increased from 50% to 70%.
  • Level 10
    • Thornwood Vine [R1]
      • Damage increased from 176 to 184.
  • Level 13
    • Abolish Magic [Active]
      • Cooldown reduced from 30 to 20 seconds.

Qhira spins into the Nexus

The developers said they noticed Qhira’s Revolving Sweep [E] has not been as popular among players. Therefore, the bounty hunter received some buffs for it. Players who still prefer the Fatal Wounds [W] quest can also enjoy that it now requires 150 hits to heroes as opposed to 200. 

      • Level 1
        • Fatal Wounds [W]
          • Quest requirement reduced from 200 to 150 Hero hits.
      • Level 4
        • Ensnaring Swing [E]
          • Primary target Slow increased from 40% to 60%.
      • Level 13
        • Pulsing Pain [E]
          • Damage increased from 115 to 135.
      • Level 16
        • Lingering Ailment [E]
          • Armor reduction increased from 15 to 25.
        • Swing Life Away [E]
          • Spell Armor increased from 50 to 60.
          • Spell Armor duration increased from 2.5 to 5 seconds.
      • Level 20
        • Utility Belt [E]
          • Cooldown reduced from 5 to 2 seconds.

Lt. Morales gains health and energy

Lt. Morales artwork. | Provided by Blizzard Entertainment

As for Lt. Morales, the StarCraft hero received increased health and health regeneration. Her energy regeneration per interval via Healing Beam [Q] and armor from Safeguard [W] also received buffs. However, the Vanadium Plating [W] talent received a slight nerf. 

      • Level 4
        • Trauma Trigger [Passive]
          • Cooldown reduced from 40 to 30 seconds.
      • Level 7
        • Vanadium Plating [W]
          • Armor reduced from 25 to 20.

Deckard Cain gets potion buffs

Next, Deckard Cain had his Healing Potion [Q] and Horadric Cube [W] slightly buffed while his Scroll of Identify [E] talent received a new functionality. Players who opt for his Healing Potion [Q] talents are also rewarded with more buffs

Other new functionalities include his Lorenado [R2] at level 10, which deals 20 damage to enemy heroes hit, and Super Healing Potion [Q] at level 13, which makes his potions heal for 25% more against heros at less than 50% health.

      • Level 1
        • Scroll of Identify [E]
          • New functionality:
            • Quest: Hitting a Hero with Scroll of Sealing permanently increases its damage by 2.
            • Reward: Hitting 15 Heroes causes Scroll of Sealing to reveal and reduce the Armor of Heroes by 10 for 4 seconds.
            • Reward: Hitting 30 Heroes increases the amount of Armor reduction against Heroes to 15 and its duration to 6 seconds.

Leoric receives wave clear buffs

Heroes of the Storm updates with balance changes, nerfs and buffs
Leoric artwork. | Provided by Blizzard Entertainment

Leoric’s Skeletal Swing [Q] now deals additional damage to minions to help with wave clears. Meanwhile, Wrath of the Bone King [Trait] increases the damage of his third basic attack. Additionally, Kneel, Peasants! [Q] received a new functionality to aid with camps. 

      • Level 4
        • Kneel, Peasants! [Q]
          • Changed functionality: Skeletal Swing deals an additional 75% damage to Mercenaries and Monsters, and they activate Skeletal Swing’s cost and cooldown refund.

Stitches nerfs in Heroes of the Storm

As for Stitches, the developers noticed that players chose him over other tanks. Therefore, he received a few nerfs to his baseline in terms of health, health regeneration and the duration of Shambling Horror [D]. A couple of his talents also received nerfs.

      • Level 4
        • Tenderizer [Passive]
          • Slow amount reduced from 25% to 20%.
          • Slow duration reduced from 2.5 to 1.5 seconds.
      • Level 16
        • Pulverize [W]
          • Slow reduced from 80% to 70%.
          • Armor reduction duration reduced from 4 to 3 seconds.

Amy Chen is an esports journalist and enthusiast who specializes in in-depth interviews and breaking news. A University of Toronto and Humber College graduate, she is passionate about building up the Canadian esports industry. Her current favorite games are Hearthstone and Heroes of the Storm, and she has always had a soft spot for World of Warcraft!


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