Free Rotation Nemeses: Weekly MVPs

2/16 – 2/23

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. 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 whom to pick, here are some good places to start.

Here are the free heroes this week:

  1. Raynor
  2. Muradin
  3. Kharazim
  4. Anub’arak
  5. Zagara
  6. Falstad
  7. Tyrael
  8. Sonya
  9. Tyrande
  10. Greymane

Dive and stuns abound this week. Between Tyrael, Sonya, and Greymane, backliners are going to have to watch their step. Zagara, Falstad, Sonya and Kharazim are all potent laners, meaning gankers and/or strong standalone heroes are important. This week’s nemeses exemplify lockdown, zoning, and vitality.

Weekly Free Rotation Nemeses

1. Leoric

While he may not be the hardiest warrior in the roster, Leoric brings plenty of power to the frontline. Between methodical smacks with his mace, Skeletal Swings, and life drain, he can punish heroes who infringe upon his team’s space. Where some warriors have disruptive abilities to peel with, Leoric has a slow and hefty damage output to deter dives. As one of the best anti-warriors in the game, he will be invaluable this week for peeling Tyraels, Anub’araks, and Sonyas off of the back line.

While his basic abilities are certainly useful this week, Entomb is the true star. This versatile ability can be used to trap landlocked foes or neuter a diving engagement. Did Tyrael just Judgment into your healer? Use Entomb to block his allies from following up, giving your team 4 seconds to smack down the diver and regroup for a strong re-engage. And while Sgt. Hammer is my favorite hero to Entomb in the game, Raynor, Zagara, and Tyrande all make for satisfactory targets.

Leoric will surely knock some skulls together this week. Just be sure to keep an eye out for betrayal. He really doesn’t like betrayal.

 2. Lunara

Wait a second… didn’t we mention above that lockdown and resiliency are at the core of this week’s nemeses? What’s Lunara doing here? Well, Lunara is a hero who excels at punishing heroes who spearhead the enemy formation. Anyone who is in her attack range is going to suffer a good amount of damage from Nature’s Toxin. She’s great at whittling away heroes who lack self-sustain, such as Greymane or Zagara. If she’s attacking Greymane, however, she needs to be sure to stay out of range of Darkflight, as a quick combo can turn the tables.

There are a fair number of stuns floating around the free rotation this week. Luckily, they’re almost all skillshots, meaning Lunara can sidestep them. Try to get used to making your movements erratic and unpredictable. After slinging an auto-attack, fall back and make a little circle / zig-zag step before coming forward to throw another spear. Just make sure that your movements don’t become arbitrary — you need to be actively avoiding skillshots, not just clicking around and hoping the enemy will miss.

Lunaras who stick the backline and make the most of their movement animation will be making a lot of plant food this week.

3. Tassadar

Since his changes a few months back, Tassadar has settled into a solid role as an engine of shields, vision, and battlefield disruption. While he doesn’t have an actual heal, Tassadar’s shield is a strong tool for negating burst from heroes like Sonya and Greymane. With Khala’s Embrace at 7, Tassadar can pre-shield his team to negate the initial impact of a dive. Dimensional Shift is amazing for disengaging from dives — it can even shake a Judgment off like it’s nothing. And while he isn’t as brutal of a laner anymore, he can still pull his weight against the likes of Zagara and Sonya.

Tassadar’s real perk this week is his battlefield disruption. What he lacks in stuns he more than makes up for with Force Wall, whose 12-second cooldown makes way for 5 big plays a minute. Like EntombForce Wall can split a team’s frontline from its backline, punishing dives and delaying support/damage from the back. Oracle, Tassadar’s trait, is also situated to do well against this lineup. Between revealing Zagara’s Creep Tumors and scouting out bushes (face-checks are a no-go against this rotation’s stuns), it will help cut corners to victory.

En Taro Tassadar!

4. Zeratul

Zeratul is at his prime when the enemy frontline forgets to protect their squishies. With a weekly rotation full of divers like Anub’arak and Tyrael, Zeratul is primed to shred neglected assassins, supports, and specialists. What’s more, Void Prison is yet another heroic ability that disrupts the flow of a fight, making it a supreme counter to overzealous divers. It’s a powerful engage and disengage tool that can be used to diffuse disadvantageous fights and force favorable ones.

While Zeratul’s old playstyle involved blinking in, doing some burst, and blinking back out, the slow changes made to his kit have made popular the guerrilla auto-attacking style. Now that Shadow Assault is on a 45 second cooldown (down from 100 seconds, yeesh), the heroic has risen as a viable pick. With two possible playstyles at their disposal, skilled Zeratuls are able to build to best counter the current map and enemy team. With a fairly diverse range of free week heroes, this attribute will prove valuable.

It’s time for Zeratul to get out there and erase the demons of the past (plus every squishy enemy in sight).

5. Diablo

The master of manipulation, Diablo excels at putting enemies where they don’t want to be. Diablo’s strong early game ganks can also help curb powerful laners like Zagara and Sonya. But while he’s often lauded for his offensive capabilities, the angry lizard makes for an admirable defender as well. Imagine a bloodthirsty Greymane leaping upon your Kael’thas, fangs flashing, only to be tackled to the left, tossed to the right, and body blocked to death before he can do much of anything. This same scenario extends to most any hero who dives too far past their allies, especially when the team-splitting heroics from previously mentioned nemeses are available.

Diablos this week should beware that Zagara’s Devouring Maw can stop Lightning Breath in its tracks. Conversely, combining Apocalypse with a friendly Zagara’s Devouring Maw is a devastating play that can swing entire games around. Try to get the timing of the two abilities down for when this scenario arises. Otherwise, Diablo can charge, bash, and burn away at his usual rate while feeling relatively safe from the dive and burst prominent in this week’s rotation.

This week is a great window to convince your enemies why they should kneel before the Lord of Terror. Or you can just break their legs.