Free Week Nemeses: Weekly MVPs

2/23 – 3/1

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. Malfurion
  2. Valla
  3. Nazeebo
  4. Diablo
  5. Sylvanas
  6. Kerrigan
  7. Tassadar
  8. Lunara
  9. Stitches
  10. Leoric

This week’s rotation boasts a range of sustained damage dealers, from Nazeebo to Lunara to Valla. The density of stuns/roots is low, but both Leoric and Tassadar can bring battlefield disruption to the table with their heroics. Consistent heals and strong self-sustain will mitigate much of the damage from this week’s lineup, and the ability to dive on the backline has a lot of potential for disruption.

Weekly Free Rotation Nemeses

1. Chen

It’s about time we saw some of this Panderan in the Nexus! With the lack of consistent stuns from the free-week Heroes, Chen is looking to be a fantastic pick for anyone wanting to abuse the backline of a teamfight or soak up a ridiculous amount of damage. Building for regeneration makes him nigh immune to the sustain damage in this week’s rotation. He will need to watch out for Kerrigan’s stun and, even more, Diablo’s Shadow Charge and Overpower. These abilities can counter the sustain Chen gets from drinking and cancel him from channeling his heroics.

Chen has seen some love recently in the competitive scene. Players from the Europe as well as some smaller teams in NA have been picking him up in tournament environments, and it’s really exciting to see! He performs so well in situations with low CC and high damage. With Heroes like Lunara, Valla, Sylvanas and Nazeebo on the free rotation, Chen has his optimal win conditions laid out for him in full. Chen excels at disrupting the backline, jostling squishies and forcing attention to himself. Use this to your team’s advantage to let them do full damage.

Happy drinking!

2. Cho’gall

Since the nightmarish maelstrom of two-headed ogres and bouncy black balls that was Cho’Gall’s release, the two-tone hero has has received a number of small changes and buffs. In capable hands, Cho’Gall is now a force to be reckoned with. While abilities that counter his huge health pool are still a problem, he boasts more than enough raw power to make him a worthwhile pick. Luckily for the first of the Ogre-magi, Leoric is the only hard counter in this week’s lineup. Even though Leoric’s talents and abilities work well against Cho’Gall, the Skeleton King’s slow and indomitable playstyle can be outpaced by the surprisingly fleet ogre.

Molten Block is a great answer to the battlefield disruption available this week — nothing thwarts Entomb harder than 3 seconds of invulnerability. Though Cho’Gall represents a raid boss, he doesn’t have to play like one. While it’s tempting to dive straight into the fray, try to stay on your team’s frontline and pump out consistent ranged damage. Cho’Gall suffers no mana problems — he’s free to spam his spells whenever they’re off cooldown. Cho doesn’t even have to dismount for Gall to fire, which enables some savage drive-by plays. Wait until the enemies are low before charging in and crushing skulls, and you just might walk away victorious.

 

3. Thrall

Thrall is brutal against this week’s rotation. With potent damage, a long-range root and deceptively high sustain, the Orc warchief excels at flanking and disassembling the enemy backline. Throw in good anti-tank capabilities with Giant Slayer and the teamfight-turning Sundering and you have a mean green bruising machine. Thralls who can poke until enemy focus elsewhere and then charge in, hammer leading, will dismantle the enemy team’s formation.

Even this week’s strongest laners (e.g. Leoric, Sylvanas, and Nazeebo) will have a hard time pushing Thrall out of lane. The sustain from Chain Lightning procs alone is enough to keep a wary thrall topped off. In 1v1 situations, he can often dive his opponent with Windfury (for the movespeed boost) into a close-quarters Feral Spirit. This combo remains effective as the game wears on and teamfights and rotations become the norm. Catching one of this week’s squishy heroes with root and even a single ally will usually leave them dead.

 

4. Falstad

Falstad is going to be your go-to Ranged Assassin for this week. Barrel Roll is one of the best ways to get out of a Diablo or Kerrigan lane gank, and can traverse Leoric’s Entomb and Tassadar’s Force Wall. With 2 forms of battlefield disruption on the free rotation, having Mighty Gust at your disposal is also a fantastic way to negate a strong engagement by your opponents. With Giant Killer, Falstad is a tank-busting god — Stitches, Diablo, and Leoric will all crumble to his post-13 assault.

None of the free Heroes can really stand up against a solid Falstad in lane, shy of maybe Nazeebo. Even so, Naz lacks the potential to score a kill on the flying dwarf because of his ability to fly out of Zombie Walls. Always soak lanes with your global presence, and make sure you don’t miss out on any tasty Fly + Gust combinations! Use your surprising burst to catch out overconfident enemies and show them what it’s like being fried chicken.

5. Kharazim

If sustained damage is the name of this week’s game, sustained healing is its archenemy. Kharazim has some of the strongest group heals in the game, especially as the late game approaches. He also has flexibility: go Divine Palm and pluck his allies from death, or choose Seven-Sided Strike to punish warriors encroaching too far into his team. His incidental heal makes him a powerful laner, able to heal himself or an ally as long as there’s something to punch.

The movespeed granted by Breath of Heaven and Quicksilver (at 13) facilitates clean getaways and can help a flagging ally outpace a determined Diablo. Against dive-heavy compositions, Divine Palm can be just enough to have an ally survive several seconds of stunlock. Circle of Healing at 16 can heal for massive amounts with a cooperative team. Heroes with high sustained damage output (Valla, Nazeebo, Lunara) will have a hard time overcoming the monk’s massive heals over time.