Heroes of the Storm's latest PTR patch reworks five characters
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Heroes of the Storm has reworked five of its playable characters in the latest Public Test Realm (PTR) patch. These champions include Anduin, Johanna, Raynor, Stitches and Valla.

Along with these hero updates, the developers also made updates to search terms. For example, keywords such as “Double Soak, Sustain, Escape, Camps, Burst, Mage, Stun, CC, etc.” were added to help competitive players find the heroes they want for team compositions.

Anduin’s talent shifts

The priest from the World of Warcraft universe received a shift in talents. According to the developers, his later tier talents were effective. In order to change things up and give Anduin more functionality in the early game, his higher level talents were moved around.

Heroes of the Storm Anduin
Anduin in Heroes of the Storm.

Anduin’s also received the following new talents:

Level 4

  • (New) Surge of Light [E]
    • Basic Attacks reduce the cooldown of Chastise by .75 seconds. Basic attacks against Heroes rooted by Chastise launch an additional Basic Attack.
  • (New) Piercing Light [E]
    • Chastise pierces to hit an additional target.
    • Quest: Hitting two Heroes with a single Chastise permanently increases Spell Power by 1, to a maximum of 10.

Level 20

  • (New) Inner Fire [R2]
    • The target of Light Bomb gains 40% movement speed and 50 Armor for 3 seconds.
  • (New) Censure [E]
    • Chastise stuns for .75 seconds and its Root duration is increased by .5 seconds.

Johanna’s new passive

Johanna received a new passive that is also a new type of talent. The Heroes of the Storm developers noted that they are experimenting with a new “Loan” style.

Similar to Anduin, the hero from the Diablo universe had some of her talents shifted around. To make way for her new passive and other new talents, a few old ones got removed as well.

Heroes of the Storm Johanna
Johanna in Heroes of the Storm.

Below are Johanna’s new talents:

Level 1

  • (New) Divine Fortress [Passive]
    • Loan: Instantly gain 20% maximum Health. Every death reduces this bonus by 5%.
    • Basic Attacks against enemy Heroes grant 8 Physical Armor for 2.5 seconds, stacking up to 40.

Level 7

  • (New) Steed Charge [D]
    • Increase Iron Skin duration by 1 second. Activate to instantly become Mounted for 3 seconds, and damage dealt to Johanna during this time doesn’t dismount her.

Level 16

  • (New) Shrinking Vacuum [W]
    • Enemies Heroes hit by Condemn have their damage reduced by 25% and are slowed by 25% for 2 seconds.

Valla’s new synergies

Valla, another playable hero from the Diablo universe, also got a rework. Her talents were shifted around and received new functionalities. According to the developers, they wanted to create new cross-synergies with the playable hero. In turn, this makes her blander talents more interesting.

Heroes of the Storm Valla
Valla in Heroes of the Storm.

Below are Valla’s new talents:

Level 1

  • (New) Fire At Will [W]
    • Every enemy Hero hit by Multishot grants 2 Hatred.
    • Quest: Enemy Heroes hit by Multishot permanently increase its damage by 4.

Level 20

  • (New) Acrobat [E]
    • Gain 2 additional charges of Vault. Vaulting drops 3 Caltrops.

Stitches wants to play

Next, Stitches was granted Shambling Horror as a new baseline ability. This helps players maneuver him in and out of fights. Combined with his reworked talents, Shambling Horror also makes Stitches more dangerous.

“We’ve also decided to bake in the benefits of the old Fishing Hook talent at level 13,” the developers said. “This talent was simply too fun and effective to the point where it became impossible to design reasonable alternatives.”

Stitches in Heroes of the Storm.

Below are Stitches’ new talents:

Level 4

  • (New) Vile Cleaver [Trait]
    • Basic Attacks against targets afflicted with Vile Gas deal 35% more damage and spread Vile Gas to nearby enemies.

Level 7

  • (New) Putrefaction [Trait]
    • While Shambling Horror is active Vile Gas reduces healing received by 30%.
    • Passive: Vile Gas heals for 60% of the damage it deals.

Level 13

  • (New) Under Pressure [W/Trait]
    • Increase Slam’s damage by 25.
    • Quest: Every 6 times Vile Gas deals damage to a Hero, permanently increase the damage of Slam by 1, to a maximum of 75 additional damage.

Level 20

  • (New) Gift From The Embalmer [R1]
    • Putrid Bile deals 100% more damage to Heroes.
    • Quest: Each time Putrid Bile deals damage to an enemy Hero, Stitches’ next death timer is reduced by 2%, to maximum of 80% total reduction. Half of this bonus is lost on death.
  • (New) Master Hooker [Q]
    • Reduce the cooldown of Hook by 5 seconds. Enemy Heroes hit by Hook receive 100% less healing for 2 seconds. Allied Heroes hit by Hook are Unkillable for 2 seconds.
  • (New) Gas Bag [Trait]
    • Activating Shambling Horror grants you Unstoppable for 3 seconds.
    • Passive: Reduce Shambling Horror’s cooldown by 20 seconds.

Raynor’s new upgrades

Finally, the Heroes of the Storm developers injected some more fun into Rayor’s talent options. The StarCraft hero is still straightforward in terms of gameplay, however, he received notable updates at level 20.

Raynor in Heroes of the Storm.

Below are Raynor’s new talents:

Level 13

  • (New) Line ‘Em Up [Q]
    • Reduce the cooldown of Penetrating Round by 3 seconds. If two or more enemy Heroes are hit, reduce its cooldown by an additional 3 seconds.

Level 20

  • (New) Cavalry’s Arrived [R1]
    • Give ‘Em Some Pepper lowers the cooldown of Hyperion by 5 seconds if the primary target is a Hero.
    • These Heroes are targeted by Hyperion for 100% increased damage.
  • (New) Raiders Roll [E]
    • Adrenaline Rush grants Unstoppable and continues healing for 2 additional seconds.
    • This additional duration ends immediately upon reaching 70% Health.
  • (New) Sergeant Pepper [D]
    • Give Em Some Pepper activates every 3rd Basic Attack.
  • (New) Execute Orders [Passive]
    • Reduce your Death Timer to 30 seconds. Upon death, cast Hyperion towards the nearest enemy Hero.

Alongside these hero reworks, other playable characters received balance updates as well. These involve Mei, D.Va, Hogger, Sonya, The Lost Vikings, Lucio, Uther, Azmodan, Falstad, Junkrat and Tassadar.

For players who compete in Storm League, the Volskaya Foundry battleground got replaced by Warhead Junction.

This Heroes of the Storm patch will be available for playtesting on the PTR until May 17.

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!