Elite Tauren Chieftain
ETC sacrifices survivability and damage for pure crowd control utility. The result is a dynamo of disruption that will have the enemy team floundering for space to breathe. His huge frame and obnoxious abilities will often paint a target on his back, but that’s fine – he’s not the one dealing the damage, just the one paving its way. His heroics give him the choice between a map-wide presence or a ludicrous AoE stun, rounding him out into a powerhouse of a warrior.
With his Guitar Solos keeping him sustained, ETC makes for a scary laner/ganker when paired with a damage dealer to follow up on his stuns. In conjunction with a healer and another tank/initiator, ETC can bully his way through a teamfight and disrupt the enemy’s attempts at maintaining formation. His lack of survivability is something that can be worked around, and can reward teams with another tank and high sustained damage.
When you use a Basic or Heroic ability, give 20% Attack Speed for 4 seconds to all nearby allied Heroes.
If anyone fills the role of a supportive tank, it’s ETC. His trait alone is a huge boon to his team, especially in well-thought-out compositions where the attack speed can make a big impact. ETC will be using his abilities often, making him a solid booster for the rest of his team.
Cooldown: 12 seconds
Slide to a location dealing 200 (67 + 7 per level) damage and stunning enemies hit for 1 second.
A nice vectored stun with a good cast time and additional mobility on top. This is ETC’s premier skill and is what helps him stun down the enemy team. It also allows him to slip into the middle of enemy groups for prime Mosh Pit casting. With talents, ETC can build this ability up to be quite versatile.
Cooldown: 12 seconds
Deals 150 (55 + 5 per level) damage to nearby enemies, knocking them back.
This ability blasts enemies away from ETC, making it valuable for smacking enemies out of position. Facement is great for disengagement and disruption, and is part of what makes ETC so obnoxious.
Guitar Solo (E)
Cooldown: 8 seconds
Regenerate 145 (31 + 6 per level) Health per second for 4 seconds.
A simple self-sustain ability. ETC should use this to restore health whenever he needs it. Its 8 second cooldown and low impact make it great for activating Rockstar for quick burst of team damage. ETC can take quite a bit of punishment in lane because of this skill, but it doesn’t make him immune to burst damage.
Mosh Pit (R)
Cooldown: 120 seconds
After 0.75 seconds, channel to stun nearby enemies for 4 seconds.
A ludicrous AoE stun. If ETC manages to catch all nearby enemies in a Most Pit, it’s more or less lights out for them. This ability is only valuable when teammates are nearby to follow it up, as ETC can do no damage himself during its duration. Stuns and dazes will cancel this heroic, putting priority on either entrapping or killing enemies who can interrupt it.
Stage Dive (R)
Cooldown: 75 seconds
Leap to any location. Deals 340 (112 + 12 per level) damage to enemies in the area, slowing them for 3 seconds.
Global mobility allows ETC to push lanes or grab mercenaries until the moment a teamfight breaks out, at which point he can dive right into the fray. Stage Dive can assist with ganks gone awry, get ETC to fights in seconds, and be used as an escape measure in extreme circumstances. This is a far more versatile and forgiving heroic than Mosh Pit, but it potential for blowouts isn’t nearly as high.
Level 1 Talents
Recommended: Rolling Like a Stone
Power Slide is ETC’s bread and butter – extending its length only makes him better at initiating and locking down targets. Rolling Like a Stone also give ETC added escape abilities, making it a solid pickup for the duration of the game.
The permanent bonus to Guitar Solo that Prog Rock provides is awesome and turns the ability into a bounty of health. As long as ETC is picking up Regeneration Globes throughout the game, he will have some massive self-sustain come the late game.
Block doesn’t mitigate enough damage to be worth the pickup unless the enemy team has two or more heroes with brutal basic attacks.
Pwn Shop Guitar does relatively little all game long and never really needs to be picked up. For brand new players who can’t keep from Guitar Soloing until they’re mana deficient, this will suffice to help them.
Level 4 Talents
Recommended: Double-Necked Guitar
Further improving Powerslide is a good idea, especially when the improvements include doubling its area and increasing the speed at which it moves. This upgrade allows ETC to catch out far more enemies with Power Slide and can make it a strong minion-clearing ability.
ETC isn’t going to be putting out much damage, so boosting it marginally with Pinball Wizard isn’t a great call. However, giving Facemelt a facelift with Mic Check can be good for getting more uses out of the ability, further agitating enemies and pushing them out of their comfort zone.
Hammer-on is a good boost for ETCs with teams built around him for the attack speed. Generally, though, increasing the utility of Power Slide is his best bet.
Level 7 Talents
Recommended: Loud Speakers or Just Keep Rockin’
Loud Speakers provides a sizable buff to Facemelt‘s range and knockback, making it even better at breaking enemy formations and scattering foes. ETC’s utility jumps with the pickup of this talent.
Just Keep Rockin’, on the other hand, is a defensive pick at heart. If enemy CC is getting ETC down, Just Keep Rockin’ can cut the duration of debuffs in half, giving this rock god more room to slide and solo.
ETC’s basic attacks are just short of pathetic, and improving them or relying upon them with Follow Through or Guitar Hero is generally not a great decision. This is a hero with exceptional abilities, and those should be his focus.
Level 10 Heroics
Recommended: Mosh Pit
As far as teamfighting abilities goes, Mosh Pit is next level. A 4 second AoE stun is tremendous, and a landing one of these babies with solid followup is a good way to steal a game away. However, the channel for this skill can be interrupted by a stun or a daze, making it difficult to get off against heroes like Tychus, Muradin, Johanna, etc. It also requires a fair amount of patience and team cohesion to extract value from this heroic. With its two-minute cooldown, poor Mosh Pits are punished fairly harshly.
Stage Dive is a great mobility tool and can work extremely well in some split-push setups. ETC has a global presence with this heroic, giving him a lot of ganking and teamfighting power. However, the 3 second slow is nothing, compared to what Mosh Pit can do. ETC can easily pick up this ability for the presence and mobility it grants, but will miss out on some insane CC.
Level 13 Talents
Recommended: Showstopper or Face Smelt
Power Slide often puts ETC in a predicament, especially once the enemy team has been made gunshy about Mosh Pit. Showstopper gives ETC a window of reduced damage immediately after Power Slide, making it a better initiation and escape mechanism and giving ETC more survivability.
Face Smelt is more useful in ganking lineups where the slow can be taken full advantage of. If ETC manages to Facemelt an enemy into a dangerous place, the slow from Face Smelt slims their chances for survival significantly.
Groupies can be picked up if ETC’s team desperately needs some extra healing, but he misses out on so much other utility that the extra support is usually not worth it. ETC doesn’t want to be sticking around his allies to restore them, either, but rather sliding around the enemy frontline, stunning and body-blocking all the while.
Spell Shield can help ETC survive through high ability burst damage from the likes of Falstad or Kael’thas, but can also be played around. This is a very situational pickup.
Level 16 Talents
Recommended: Speed Metal or Echo Pedal
Granting a 20% movespeed buff with each ability is a pretty huge boon for any team, allowing them more freedom while roaming and in teamfights. Speed Metal makes ETC an excellent utility hero for his team – the added speed helps keep allies alive and fleeing enemies dead.
Echo Pedal gives ETC some incidental AoE damage, allowing him to actually starting putting out numbers in the later game. While he’s not going to be bursting tanks down with this talent, ETC can pump out sustained AoE as long has he persists in a fight.
Imposing Presence is a good pickup for countering high attack damage heroes like Valla or Illidan. Cutting their attack speed in half will make them very hesitant to attack you.
Encore has some niche applications for fleeing and wombo combos, but having a second, uncontrollable Facemelt is not a powerful pickup for level 16. The leftover amp makes the subsequent blast obvious and easy to dodge.
Level 20 Talents
Recommended: Tour Bus or Bolt of the Storm
Mosh Pit can suffer from poor placement; Tour Bus refreshes Powerslide‘s cooldown and allows ETC to use it mid-Mosh. Not only does this allow him to capture enemies who evaded the initial stun, but it also extends the duration of Mosh Pit by 2 seconds. For late game utility, this is prime.
Bolt of the Storm is amazing for utility and can allow for some ridiculous blink + Mosh Pit combos. This is also an escape, a gap closer, and everything in between. While it can’t give ETC quite the versatility with Mosh Pit as Tour Bus, it adds a variety of other utilities.
Death Metal can really catch enemies off guard, especially if they haven’t been checking talents. If anyone’s near him when he dies, an ETC with Death Metal will perform an uninterruptible Mosh Pit at the location of his death. So even when this rock god flickers out of some fights, he can still secure a win.
Storm Shield is a solid support talent, especially if ETC is on a team with another warrior or two. This can mitigate a lot of burst damage, but given ETCs role as a disruptor, his other talents in this tier seem more catered to his playstyle.
Crowd Pleaser can allow for repeated Stage Dives, but the novelty and effectiveness of the heroic will usually have worn off by this point in the game.