I’m new to Heroes beta! What hero should I start with and how do I build them?
Don’t let the extensive list come off as intimidating. Here’s a great way to break everything down into bite-sized chunks.
The assassin comes in two flavors – ranged and melee. Both mean you have little health but do a lot of damage. The only big difference is that ranged hits from afar while melee gets in your face. Though these come with their own pros and cons, just worry about picking one you like.
My pick: Valla
Cliché of me, I know, but don’t knock her until you try her. She has an escape, does incredible damage and teaches you the value of knowing when to use abilities and when to save the mana. What’s more is her talent tree. In it, you can spec survival or go full damage.
Spec 1 – Survival
If this is your first hero, I highly suggest this build to help cushion any mistakes as you learn what you can take and how much of it you can survive before needing to run away. It keeps you alive long enough to learn game mechanics. Also, notice there are no secondary buttons to worry about. Right now it’s all about learning to live.
Spec 2 – Damage
Once you feel you know when to escape, how to escape and can live through most of the game, it’s time to turn Valla into what she was born to be – top damage dealer. This is my personal favorite. Rain of Vengeance is a great stun (provided you can aim it) and Blood for Blood is second to none in one on one combat.
The tank is just that – a heavily armored juggernaut that can take more of a beating than any other hero around. All are melee since great tanks are expected to jump into the fray to isolate, confuse and protect. Expect high health and low damage.
My Pick: Muradin
No insult to dear old Stitches, but Muradin is the definition of this type. Equipped with an escape, a heal and a stun, he is a complete package that requires little understanding of the more complex mechanics in order to do well.
Spec 1 – Pure Tank
This is what I typically use to soak damage and keep going. It drastically extends your ability to continue fighting during engagements. This one is mostly about bolstering your heal and decreasing the amount of damage the enemy team can do to you.
Spec 2 – Stun-o-mancer
When you can finally land his stuns with an accuracy of more than 50%, it’s time to take advantage of what that thing can really do. It’s an exciting mixture of speed and stun that will give you increased mobility and increased control during fights.
The specialist specializes. Usually this means that their talent trees allow you to bolster one ability the entire way down. While many great choices involve mixing and matching, the best way for you to get a feel is to invest 100% into one specialization each time you play. Specialists generally have a medium amount of health and can do medium to high damage.
My Pick: Murky
Now before getting all up in arms, hear me out on this one. Murky comes with the sole provision that you lay one egg in a concealed spot. That’s it. If anything, it is the perfect introduction to using cover when you don’t have a cloak. It teaches you how to use the map to your advantage. On top of this, his extremely low health makes him a great candidate for you to practice not dying. He also teaches laning. So long as you can stand the Murloc talk, he’s a lot of fun.
Spec 1 – Slimer
When I played Murky, I actually found him to be an incredible team member during team engagements more so than pushing lanes the whole time. His slime is annoyingly powerful and should be spammed often. The slow alone gives your team a great advantage if you can land solid hits.
Spec 2 – Power Puff Pusher
Anyone that has fought Murky can tell you his Pufferfish is no laughing matter. The only problem is that it is immobile once it lands and takes a few seconds before detonation. This is plenty of time for every enemy to get out of the way. What can’t move are enemy structures.
This wonderful little group contains the healing and shielding all-stars of Blizzard mythology. All have some form of heal, no matter how small, and otherwise boost the ability of the other players to survive longer during a team battle. Some do it through shields while others do it through sheeps. Health here ranges from low to medium and damage is sporadic with certain supports toping damage charts.
My Pick: Li Li
This tiny panda should come as no surprise to those that know me. Her heals automatically go to the hero with the lowest health, her mana regen is high and the only thing that needs to be targeted requires you merely clicking on a specific hero. Everything is pretty much on autopilot. For the beginner healer, she teaches you what to keep your eye on and how to keep your teammates alive.
Spec 1 – The Happy Healer
Everything here is designed to make her a formidable healer, especially toward endgame. Since Healing Brew is your go to, it makes sense that you would want to bolster it. Elusive Feet was added because quicker movement means you can get around the battlefield faster and have a better chance of getting away from enemy targeting. And they will target you.
Spec 2 – Ankle Biter
On the exact opposite end of the spectrum is Li Li the Lacerater. Ingenious players have grafted her into a veritable killing machine late game. While this isn’t the ‘meta’ spec for that, it nonetheless packs a punch. What’s best about it is that it helps you learn offense. Healers should never contribute just heals.
Lent is coming up tomorrow. What are you giving up for these forty days?
Though I’m not exactly a follower of the Lenten season, you pose an interesting question. If I were to give up anything in Heroes for 40 days and 40 nights, what would I give up?
It would have to be assassins and tanks. I love them therefore they would have to go. In their place, I’d play nothing but supports and specialists. This week would leave me with LiLi, Hammer and Uther. And you know what, that’s a good idea. Far too often I focus on what I know and what I’m comfortable with. Instead, it’s time to break that and work on a skill set that is sorely lacking.
But how to do this effectively… See, the forums would have me believe that choosing anything at all is the worst choice ever. However, if done right, it’s really not that big of a deal. The first step is co-op. This is the perfect place to test out a new hero and unlock their full talent tree. It also gives you the time to test out these talents as they open up one level at a time. If you do it right, you’ll get the chance to try out all of the talents within 5 to 6 games. This doesn’t mean they’re synergistic in any way, it means you get to test drive them and begin coming up with ideas on what would work best together during specific situations. What the meta claims isn’t always a good idea.
Co-op, as we are all well aware, is a fun place because it’s darn near impossible to lose to the comps. This means the learning curve is highly limited. If you play a lot, go in with the intention of testing that hero’s potential for grabbing mercs and their survivability in a 2 on 2. With this data, head into versus. Don’t expect to win. Expect to learn.
Just promise you won’t limit such life altering changes to holidays. The Wednesday ten weeks from now is just as good as any to make a change.
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