Free Week Nemeses: Weekly MVPs

1/19 – 1/26

Another week, another free rotation in Heroes of the Storm. While Quick Match compositions aren’t composed solely of free week heroes, you’re bound to see them far more frequently than usual. With this in mind, there are a few heroes that we would like to highlight as being effective against the majority of this week’s pool.

No hero can counter all of them, of course, and you’re going to come across plenty of extra-rotation heroes. But if you’re playing QM this week and don’t know who to pick, here are some good places to start.

Here are the free heroes this week:

  1.  Li Li
  2.  E.T.C.
  3.  Falstad
  4.  Zagara
  5.  Stitches
  6.  Kharazim
  7.  Nazeebo
  8.  Tassadar
  9.  Rexxar
  10.  Lunara

Given this information, it’s pretty obvious to conclude that you’re going to come up against some pretty dominating lane opponents, such as Zagara and Nazeebo. As such, we think it’s going to be important to play heroes that can hold their own in a self-sufficient laning situation, as well as those with the ability to deal with global map pressure and sustained healing. The following are chosen with those things in mind.

Weekly Free Rotation Nemeses

1. Nova

I would seldom advocate the play of Nova; in fact, I am one of her greatest naysayers. That is not to say that Nova is not a potent hero — it just seems that my own Novas are patently incompetent while enemy Novas are the in-game equivalent to Navy Seals.

Personal vendettas notwithstanding, Nova is positioned to have a strong week in the QM scene. Zagara, Falstad, Nazeebo, Rexxar, and Lunara all fold to her guerrilla burst. Additionally, there are very few heroes on rotation who can easily reveal her: Stitches’s Slam, E.T.C.’s Power Slide, Rexxar’s Flare and Wildfire Bear, Kharazim’s Foresight, and Tassadar’s Oracle (which is admittedly a strong Nova counter).

Even with Tassadar in the free rotation, the pickings are just too good to ignore Nova. Kharazim and Li Li have superb heal over time, and Nova’s onslaught is just bursty enough to blow through them or their allies. Couple that with strong laning heroes who will be pushing out lanes, and a good Nova has her work set out for her.

2. Sonya

This week’s free rotation brings its share of lane bullies: Zagara, Nazeebo, Rexxar, and Tassadar. Luckily for us, Sonya is quite resilient to bullying. Sonya is one of those safe Warrior/Melee Assassin Heroes that can safely deal with any of the above lane-machines without batting an eye. In fact, she’s one of the few Heroes in the game that can actually go toe-to-toe with someone like Zagara and come out on top.

Make sure you’re building Sonya like a laner, though. Get War Paint at level 1, Focused Attack at level 4, and Ferocious Healing (A MUST) at level 7. Get through the laning phase by using Whirlwind on full minion waves, plus using Ferocious Healing on cooldown. The amount of self-sustain you have will make you a difficult laning opponent regardless of the circumstances – just remember to watch your mini-map, because before you pick up Mystical Spear you’re quite susceptible to ganking.

3. Lt. Morales

As far as supports go this week, Lt. Morales looks to be well positioned. The free rotation is weak in the area of dive; as long as Morales can dodge Stitches’s Hooks and stay clear of Mosh Pits, she should be able to keep her team alive admirably. With a good spread of healing she should be able to outlast some of the sustained damage that this week’s free rotation is capable of putting out.

As week’s rotation is also relatively free from high-burst heroes, the Medic will have an easier time healing and surviving. Additionally, E.T.C. and Rexxar are the only heroes with stuns built into their kits. Because they break her healing channel, stuns can be incredibly frustrating as Morales — she benefits greatly from a little breathing room. Overall, people with Lt. Morales in their arsenal should consider her as a powerful weapon against this week’s rotation. Lunaras everywhere will rue the day they tried to poison your patient.

4. Muradin

Because of the necessity for single-target lockdown in this week’s Quick Match lineup, it’s important to throw Muradin into the swing of things. Muradin fits into almost any team; he’s a stout front-liner with the capacity to dish out a tremendous amount of disruption, and has self-sustain to boot! Most importantly, he’s going to be your best friend when it comes to interrupting those annoying E.T.C Moshpits that you’re going to be very familiar with by the end of this week.

During teamfights, always be looking for E.T.C’s engagement – his win condition is landing his Heroic. Watch for it, and catch him during the animation with Storm Bolt. By doing this, you’re single-handedly negating their Warrior’s effectiveness within teamfights. This is hugely advantageous to your team if you can pull it off.

Also, go Thunder Strike at level 13 for the added solo capacity. If you can single out a target with Storm Bolt, the damage dealt by your Thunder Clap is absolutely absurd. Don’t be afraid to dive in on Zagaras, Lunaras, and Nazeebos that have overextended into their lane, especially when you have backup!

5. Sgt. Hammer

To complement our previous choice of Lt. Morales, we’re going to recommend SGT. Hammer for all of your Specialist needs this free week. Hammer has the capacity to deal with any of the lane-bullies in this week’s lineup, and she does best in scenarios that don’t involve dive compositions. She also has the means to deal with engagement, namely by setting up Spider Mines to thwart flanks and using Concussive Blast to create space.

Though Misha and Hydralisks will give Sgt. Hammer’s fortification a hard time, she can shred through most of the weekly lineup with ease. Especially with teammates who peel and fight within her radius, Sgt. Hammer will be incredible hard to reach as she unleashes her fusillade on the enemies and their structures. Watch out for Hooks, however; nothing punishes immobility so much as an accurate Stitches.

Should you be lucky enough to get Lt. Morales on your team, it’s quite easy to siege up in convenient locations and have her position nearby in order to prevent you from dying. With level 10, Morales is able to endow you with Stim Drone, which greatly increases your damage during all encounters. Push hard and play safe!