Dehaka is hype, but will he be competitive?
Warriors play a vital role in Heroes of the Storm as they often lead the charge and secure pickoffs (Diablo, Sonya, Stitches) or protect fragile assassins (Anub'Arak, Johanna, Tyrael). Sometimes, they do both (E.T.C., Muradin, Chen). So what role might Dehaka have?
The way this works
In order for Dehaka to be used in a competitive setting, he has to do something better than the heroes that already exist. If he can't do something better, than he needs to do something unique. And if he can't do both, than we start sinking into Rexxar's territory.
"I wander alone"
Yeah, but not by choice anymore, Rexxar.
Thankfully, Dehaka looks like he brings a lot of raw power to his abilities, and even without without knowing the numbers on his damage or HP, here are the most important competitive strengths Dehaka will bring to Heroes:
You cannot use Mounts. Instead, you may burrow to any bush or vent on the Battleground. 40 second cooldown
- Global movement is powerful and always will be. This 40 second mount ability will allow Dehaka to split push, soak multiple lanes effectively, travel to objectives quickly, threaten all lanes with potential ganks simultaneously, and escape sticky situations
- Unlike Abathur's unique mount that requires vision to use, Brushstalker only requires a bush or vent. This means that Dehaka can silently and without notice travel around the battleground.
Lash out with your tongue, dealing light damage to the first enemy hit, and dragging them with you for 1.75 seconds.
- Depending on it's cooldown, Drag might very well be one of the more powerful warrior abilities in the game. This is more than a stun, it's displacement that you can control.
- Drag will be an extremely effective gank tool that perfectly sets up heroes like Tyrande or Li-Ming. Simply drag an enemy towards your team and watch them die.
- Drag is also effective when used to protect allies, as Dehaka can drag a hostile hero in the opposite direction the friendly hero is escaping, doubling the distance created.
- It's likely that heroes hit by Drag can still attack and use abilities, as it would be mighty overpowered if it stunned in same manner of Mighty Gust or similar dislocation abilities.
Burrow into the ground, entering Stasis and becoming Invulnerable for 2 seconds.
- Ice block available at level 1 seems very good. If you can cancel the Burrow prematurely it get's even better.
- The speed in which Dehaka burrows will make or break this ability. If it is as fast as Ice block, it get's my vote for most versatile ability in the game.
- The presence of this ability in Dehaka's kit means he will never be targeted by Pyroblast, Triple Tap, Judgement, The Hunt, etc etc. The list is very long and hints at how powerful Dehaka might be.
The game changer
And finally, the most powerful thing I think Dehaka will bring to competitive Heroes of the Storm:
Launch biomass that deals damage, silences, and slows the first enemy Hero it hits by 30% for 3 seconds. For the next 6 seconds, the affected enemy loses sight of allied Heroes, and has greatly reduced vision.
- This ability is a skill shot so, depending on how hard it is to connect, it's power level will fluctuate. However, if you land this ability on a support hero during a team fight, I can't see how an organized team will ever lose tat engagement. This is Void Prison levels of powerful.
- A huge reason why Zeratul's Void Prison is so powerful is because Zeratul can remove heroes from a team fight. That hero is almost always the enemy support, as 4 heroes without any heals are much easier to kill. This ability creates an even worse nightmare for support heroes for a longer time period.
- Six seconds without sight of allied Heroes is huge. It means almost all support abilities become unuseable and the blinded player's positioning is crippled.
- The "greatly reduced vision" clause of this ability allows your allied ranged assassins to attack the target from afar without any fear of retaliation. I can't stress how, in organized environments, landing this on any hero means that hero is dead.
- Did I mention that this ability deals damage, slows, and silences on top of greatly reducing vision?
Dehaka seems so good on paper, and I for one enjoy Kael'Thas / Li-Ming / Xul levels of power spikes in a newly released hero. Might this be the first time since Leoric and Johanna that a newly released warrior immediately joins the top tier club?
Follow us on twitter @GosuGamersHots for more Heroes of the Storm eSports news.