Free Week Nemeses: Weekly MVPs

2/2/2016 – 2/9/2016

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. Diablo
  4. Thrall
  5. Artanis
  6. Azmodan
  7. Tychus
  8. Rehgar
  9. Jaina
  10. Chen

Given that Li Ming is a highly hyped hero who is coming out this week, I am including her to this list as an honorable #11. We are going to be seeing her in abundance. This week’s rotation features a fair amount of dive to pressure backline heroes, but few stuns to follow that pressure up. A preponderance of channeled abilities means that heroes with stuns and silences will have an edge.

Weekly Free Rotation Nemeses

1. The Butcher

This meat-hungry hero has his limitations. That said, his ability to unfailingly charge a single target has the potential to crush this week’s lineup. Malfurion, Valla, Tychus, Jaina, and Li Ming are all susceptible to being chased down and promptly murdered.

As always with The Butcher, it’s useful to find Heroes that are in sticky situations before engaging on them with Ruthless Onslaught. The most ideal situation, is to wait in a bush or a similiar region that grants you vision, and patiently watch for one of your victims to rotate from lane to lane – that’s your kill moment. Communicate with your teammates to ensure you’re not diving into enemy territory unannounced. It’s really important to keep communication active when playing The Butcher, especially in Quick Match.

And always remember, if you happen to fall in combat, make sure you’re collecting Fresh Meat stacks from lanes before heading back into combat. The extra damage you receive is usually a requirement for successful ganking.

2. Tyrande

Stuns are going to be more powerful this week than usual, and that’s saying something. Between interrupting Chen’s chugging and catching Li Mings between teleports, Lunar Flare is poised to decimate much of this week’s opposition. Much like pre-buff Lunara, one of Li Ming’s weaknesses is her minuscule health pool. Landing a single stun on her should net aware teams an easy kill. That can also be translated to a number of the other free week Heroes this week – such as Jaina, Malfurion and Tychus. Look for opportunities to follow up Lunar Flare with other teammates’ crowd-control abilities in order to be most destructive.

This week also has its fair share of beefy brawlers (hello Chen and Diablo). Luckily for Tyrande, Hunter’s Mark will spell doom for any warrior foolish enough to charge into her team alone. Taking down a Chen who’s deep in his booze is made all the easier by 25% vulnerability. While a huntress massacring endangered pandas might rustle some jimmies, just remember that Chen started it, no matter how affable he appears.

3. Brightwing

While there is burst damage in the free rotation this week, it’s overshadowed by sustained damage. Brightwing reigns when it comes to drawn-out fights, and her heals will have a lot of time to unfurl in the Nexus this week. Pixie Dust will also prove invaluable for diminishing the damage done by basic attack powerhouses like Valla, Thrall, and Artanis.

The real reason Brightwing makes the cut for this week’s nemeses is Polymorph. Nothing is more damning to a dive-based hero than being reduced to a useless varmint for 1.5 seconds. Not only is this ability great for turning that raging Diablo or soaring Artanis into harmless sitting ducks, it also excels at cancelling channels. So when Chen is drinking or preparing to split into three, or Azmodan is burning down your frontline with All Shall BurnPolymorph can thwart their plans and secure their deaths.


4. E.T.C.

This week’s lineup both lacks stuns and is vulnerable to them, making it a perfect setting for some mean E.T.C. plays.

Without sounding too repetitive, E.T.C. is going to be the go-to tank for this week’s lineup because of his disruptive capabilities, and his group healing he receives at level 13 (GROUPIES!!!). Basically, the only things you need to be really concerned about are Tychus’ Frag Grenade and Diablo’s full combo. Without these abilities available, the free-week rotation is no match for your Powerslides and Mosh Pits, should you choose that Heroic ability. That being said, if your team composition can’t really capitalize on the disruptive power of Mosh, try out Stage Dive! Our friend Tempo Srey has pretty much coined the dive as being completely viable, and in most cases he plays it as a preference. Thank you based Srey.

One thing you keep in mind is the damage potential of the enemy team. Once E.T.C. goes in, it can be difficult for him to escape, so just be mindful of what abilities your opponents have at their disposal, and make smart decisions on your engagements.



5. Sylvanas

When it comes to Specialists, Sylvanas is the most elusive (barring Abathur, that sneaky slug). Her mobility, reasonable damage, push potential, and AoE silence with Wailing Arrow make her a good prospect for this week’s mini-meta. While she is susceptible to being dove upon and burst down, conscientious Sylvanas’s will ensure they’re saving their Haunting Wave to remove themselves from potential danger.

The free week doesn’t have a /whole/ lot of wave clear, so you’re going to need to take that into account when playing Sylvanas. Make sure you’re pinging camps fairly early (if you’re uncomfortable with her mechanics in soloing camps), and use that to create pressure throughout the map. If you’re worried about the damage numbers on your enemy’s team, just push safe waves (as long as you know the enemy team has shown up on the mini-map), then rotate safely and continue to create pressure in other lanes.

Also, hit your Wailing Arrow on that Jaina before she gets to Iceblock. You’ll have her screaming all the way back to Stormwind if you crush that combo, boys.