Heroes of the Storm Balance Patch Notes - December 16, 2019
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker)

Heroes of the Storm has just been updated with Hero balance changes! Read on for details.

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  • Toys 2 Event Quests
    • Toys 2 is the winter event for Heroes of the Storm running from the week of December 16 to the week of March 3, PST. Roll dice, complete quests, and join Tickle Mephisto on a board game adventure in the Nexus for awesome rewards... and sweet revenge!
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    • During the Toys 2 event, all Loot Chests you earn through progression, Heroes Brawl, or by spending gold will be New Toy Loot Chests. (Except Hero-specific Chests, which will remain unchanged.) Most limited-time items shown above have a chance to drop from New Toy Loot Chests only. You can also score Items from previous years’ winter events limited-time loot chests!
  • Balance
    • Gaining Unstoppable now prevents and removes Blinds.

    Developer Comment: We’ve read recent feedback that it is strange that Silences are removed by the Unstoppable behavior, but Blinds are not. While Unstoppable has traditionally been primarily intended to remove effects that cause a hero to not be able to control the movement of their character, this philosophy gets a little grey when it comes to Silences, as heroes can still freely move, but they lose their ability to use movement abilities. In the past we decided that it was better for Silences to be removed, but understand the argument that Blinds are effectively Silences for auto-attack based heroes. We’re trying this change to see how it pans out, as Blinds have traditionally been very powerful forms of soft CC in our game and this can help out heroes that are heavily shut down by them.

  • Experience Globes
    • Heroes who kill Minions with Abilities or Basic Attacks will automatically collect the experience from the Minions.
    • Experience Globes will no longer time out while travelling to a hero.
    • They will still expire if the hero moves out of range of the Experience Globe before it reaches them.
    • Removed a .5 second delay before Experience Globes can be collected.

    Developer Comment: While we’re excited for the experience globes and the increased clarity that they offer in regards to how experience is gained, we’ve read the feedback that it can be too difficult for many heroes to gain the globes. While we think there are some good reasons to keep them as a pick-up only mechanic, we overall agree with the sentiment, and are going to allow heroes who kill Minions to get the experience from them. We still believe that this change will allow for more interesting hero interactions overall, and are excited to see how it pans out over the course of the rest of the season. We’re also including some quality of life changes that should make Experience Globes feel generally better to collect.


Many seasonal items will be returning to the Collection, and will be available for crafting and in Loot Chests for a limited time!

New Bundles (Limited Time Only!)
  • Toys 2019 Bundle
  • Toys 2018 Bundle
  • Cosmonaut Qhira Bundle
  • Tickle Mephisto Bundle
  • Green Army Bundle
  • Train Bundle

New Skins
  • Tickle Mephisto
    • Grumpy Tickle Mephisto
    • Crazed Tickle Mephisto
    • Shocking Tickle Mephisto
    • Cuddly Tickle Mephisto
    • Unlucky Tickle Mephisto
  • Cosmonaut Qhira
    • Commander Cosmonaut Qhira
    • Blazing Cosmonaut Qhira
    • Explorer Cosmonaut Qhira
    • Eternal Cosmonaut Qhira
    • Super Cosmonaut Qhira
  • Green Army Deckard Pain
  • Green Army Commandant Varian
  • Green Army Raynor
  • Bitter Bear Stitches
  • Shabby Bear Stitches
  • Fuzzy Bear Stitches
  • Galactic Force Valeera
  • Proto Force Valeera
  • Ferocious Dehakasaurus Rex
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New Mount
  • Toy Train
    • Speedy Toy Train
    • Blazing Toy Train
    • Cosmic Toy Train
    • Royal Toy Train
    • Grimrail Toy Train
  • Galactic Lion
  • Proto Lion
  • Gloomy Plush Unicorn
  • Shabby Plush Unicorn
  • Mellow Snowflake
  • Periwinkle Snowflake

New Content
  • New portraits, sprays and other items have been added to the collection!




  • Level 10
    • Locust Swarm [R1]
      • Damage increased from 62 to 68.
      • Healing increased from 21 to 24.
  • Level 16
    • Debilitation [E]
      • Spellpower reduction duration increased from 4 to 5 seconds.
    • Beetle, Juiced [Trait]
      • Additional functionality: Increase the Health of Beetles by 20%.

Developer Comment: These buffs are to some of Anub’arak’s talents that have been lagging behind their competitors for some time. Beetle, Juiced in particular should now be more consistent in its benefit to round out a Beetle-oriented build, even if Anub’arak isn’t able to get a lot of Basic Attacks off on enemy Heroes.


  • Surging Fist [Q]
    • Channel time to charge maximum distance reduced from 4 to 2 seconds.

  • Level 1
    • Calloused Hide [Trait]
      • Additional functionality: While Ogre Hide is active, Cho gains 15% Movement Speed.
  • Level 7
    • Enraged Regeneration [Trait]
      • Additional functionality: While Gall’s Ogre Rage is active, enemy Heroes who are hit by Gall’s Dread Orb have their Healing reduced by 35% for 4 seconds.
  • Level 13
    • Twilight Veil [Active]
      • Armor bonus increased from 100% to 200%.

Developer Comment: It’s been awhile since our Old God worshipping Ogre has had some love, so we’re both buffing up some of Cho’s weaker talents as well as reducing the time that Surging Fist needs to be channeled in order to get a significant charge. This should help make Cho’s Q build more viable as well as allow him to better reposition himself during teamfights.


  • Health reduced from 2700 to 2625.
  • Health Regeneration reduced from 5.625 to 5.469.
  • Condemn [W]
    • Damage reduced from 58 to 55.

Developer Comment: Johanna’s become a dominant force in the tanking world, and is currently the #1 most picked hero at high level play. Because of this, we’re slightly reducing her Health, as well as reverting her previous Condemn buff.



  • Health reduced from 3200 to 2920.
  • Health Regeneration reduced from 6.67 to 6.08.
  • Incinerate [W]
    • Damage reduced from 85 to 80.
  • Onslaught [E]
    • Damage reduced from 42 to 40.
    • Damage at the end of the lunge reduced from 80 to 75.
  • Cataslysm [R]
    • Periodic damage reduced from 12 to 11.

  • Level 1
    • Draconic Might [Trait]
      • Healing reduced from 40% to 30%.
  • Level 7
    • Skyfall [E]
      • Healing reduced from 5% to 3% maximum Health.
  • Level 10
    • Burn Beneath My Shadow [R1]
      • Bonus damage reduced from 150% to 100%.
  • Level 16
    • Elementium Plating [Active]
      • Shield amount reduced from 35% to 30% missing Health.

Developer Comment: It turns out that Deathwing has lived up to his name, and has been destroying the Nexus since his release. Cataclysm and Burn Beneath My Shadow in particular have proven to be incredibly powerful, so we’re reducing their effectiveness by a fairly significant amount. In addition to these changes, we’re reducing the power of some overperforming talents as well as slightly nerfing his Destroyer form. Even with these changes, we expect Deathwing to continue to be a powerful addition to any team that he’s on.


  • Level 1
    • Rolling Thunder [Q]
      • New functionality: [Passive] Increase the number of Chain Lightning bounces by 1. For 8 seconds after hitting an enemy with Chain Lightning, Thrall’s next Basic Attack against them grants him a stack of Frostwolf Resilience. If the target is an enemy Hero, then he also deals damage to them equal to 2% of their maximum Health and healing for the same amount.

Developer Comment: Echo of the Elements and Crash Lightning are both fairly solid talents that have different use cases for when to pick them. Rolling Thunder has been less successful, so we’re trying something new with the talent. We’re still keeping its theme of marking targets with Chain Lightning and then hitting them for a bonus, but now this bonus will allow Thrall to deal bonus damage to enemy Heroes while also interacting with Frostwolf Resilience.


  • Level 20
    • Frenzy [R3]
      • No longer increases Varian’s Attack Speed by 15%.
      • Additional functionality: Increase the damage of Heroic Strike by 25%.

Developer Comment: We weren’t super happy with the power of Frenzy’s buff, as well as that it asked Varian players to learn a new Basic Attack cadence after being used to one speed the whole game. Instead, we’re turning the Attack Speed bonus into a bonus to his damage over time by buffing Heroic Strike instead.


  • Level 1
    • Dauntless [Passive]
      • Physical Armor duration increased from 2 to 2.5 seconds.
  • Level 7
    • Holy Avenger [E]
      • Additional functionality: Hitting an enemy Hero with Avenging Wrath at maximum charge also increases its damage by 25%.
  • Level 16
    • Templar’s Verdict [W]
      • Damage increased from 6% to 7% maximum Health.
    • Divine Favor [Trait]
      • Cooldown reduction increased from 1.5 to 2 seconds.
    • Holy Wrath [Passive]
      • Bonus splash damage increased from 20% to 30%.
  • Level 20
    • Word of Glory [R1]
      • Additional functionality: Increase the amount that Yrel heals from damage received from 50% to 75%.
      • Range of allied healing increased from 8 to 12.

Developer Comment: These changes are mostly looking to buff Yrel’s late-game by adding more power to her Level 16 talents. We want her to be more relevant without dominating the solo lane too much, so we’re opting to make her Level 16 tier to be an exciting spike for her to hit in her games.



  • Level 10
    • Resurrect [R1]
      • Resurrected Hero’s Health increased from 50% to 100%.
      • Delay before resurrection reduced from 5 to 3 seconds.
      • Additional functionality: Auriel can now see her own ghost. If she presses R while dead, she will cast Resurrect on herself.

Developer Comment: We’re trying some fairly significant buffs to Resurrect in order to help it better compete with Crystal Aegis. Auriel can now Resurrect herself, which should help if she is the focus of the enemy team, and her targets will now come back faster and with all of their Health.


  • Level 1
    • Greater Polymorph [W]
      • Adjusted functionality: Increase Polymorph’s range by 30%. If Brightwing hits an enemy Hero with Arcane Flare’s center within 2 seconds of being Polymorphed, then reduce Polymorph’s cooldown by 7 seconds and gain 50 Mana.

Developer Comment: Our last changes to Brightwing have better rounded out her talents, however Greater Polymorph was a little too hard to consistently proc. Instead of requiring her to hit a Polymorphed target, she now has a slightly larger window of time to get the cooldown reduction proc. We’re also increasing the cooldown reduction bonus from 6 to 7 seconds.


  • Health reduced from 2156 to 2075.
  • Health Regeneration reduced from 4.49 to 4.32.

  • Level 20
    • Bulwark of Light [R1]
      • New functionality: Divine Shield is also applied to an allied Hero with the lowest Health near its initial target, and its duration is increased by 1 second.
    • Divine Hurricane [R2]
      • Cooldown reduction increased from 20 to 40 seconds.
    • Divine Protection [Trait]
      • New functionality: Increase Devotion’s Armor to 40, and its duration by .5 seconds.

Developer Comment: Uther is in a bit of a strange spot at the moment, as he has recently had a spike in his win rate, and at higher level play we’ve been seeing him flexed into the main tank role. We think it’s pretty cool that heroes can sometimes splash into other roles, but in general Uther is overperforming, so we’re lowering his Health a bit. On an unrelated note, similar to Greymane, Uther’s Level 20 talents have long been dominated by one choice, in this case Redemption. We’re giving the other talents on the tier some significant buffs so that they can better compete. We hope that this won’t increase his win rate significantly as Redemption has always been a fairly powerful talent, and are prepared to make adjustments if this ends up not being the case.

Melee Assassin


  • Health increased from 1650 to 1725.
  • Health regeneration increased from 3.44 to 3.59.

  • Level 16
    • Fiery Brand [Passive]
      • Damage increased from 8% to 9% maximum Health.

Developer Comment: It’s just a little more Health on Illidan. What could go wrong?


  • Basic Attack damage reduced from 110 to 102.
  • Mirror Image [Q]
    • Cooldown reduced from 18 to 14 seconds.
    • Duration reduced from 18 to 8 seconds.
    • Images now have their duration increased by 1 second each time they or Samuro use a Basic Attack against an enemy Hero.
    • Mirror Image Basic Attack damage increased from 9 to 11.
  • Wind Walk [E]
    • Additional functionality: Samuro is healed for 1% of his maximum Health every second that he has Wind Walk active.
  • Image Transmission [Trait]
    • Cooldown reduced from 25 to 14 seconds.

  • Level 1
    • Way of the Blade [W]
      • Physical Armor reduction reduced from 10 to 5, stacking up to 3 times.
      • Physical Armor debuff duration increased from 2 to 2.25 seconds.
      • Additional functionality: Mirror Images now also apply the Physical Armor reduction.
    • Way of the Wind [E]
      • No longer grants cooldown reduction to Wind Walk when attacking enemy Heroes.
      • Additional functionality: Casting Windwalk heals Samuro for 5% of his maximum Health.
  • Level 7
    • Burning Blade [W]
      • Fixed an issue where Illusions did not deal bonus splash damage with Burning Blade when Illusion Master was picked.
    • Phantom Pain [W]
      • Bonus damage reduced from 45% to 35%.
      • Additional functionality: Now also reduces the cooldown of Image Transmission by 10% when Samuro Critical Strikes an enemy Hero.
    • Crushing Blows [W]
      • No longer gives Critical Strike 2 charges.
      • Cooldown reduction increased from 1.75 to 2 seconds.
      • Additional functionality: Critical Strikes against enemy Heroes increase Samuro's Basic Attack damage by 15% for 4 seconds, stacking up to 3 times.
  • Level 10
    • Bladestorm [R1]
      • Cooldown reduced from 110 to 25 seconds.
      • Damage reduced from 47 to 36.
      • Duration reduced from 4 to 3 seconds.
      • Removed functionality: Bladestorm no longer grants Unstoppable.
      • Additional functionality: Bladestorm now also grants Samuro 25 Armor for its duration.
    • Illusion Master [R2]
      • Cooldown reduced from 10 to 8 seconds.
  • Level 13
    • Mirrored Steel [Q]
      • Cooldown reduction reduced from 1 to .75 seconds.
  • Level 20
    • Dance of Death [R1]
      • Damage increased from 25% to 30%.
      • Additional functionality: If Samuro hits enemy Heroes at least 25 times with Bladestorm, then reset its cooldown.
    • Three Blade Style [R2]
      • Mirror Image duration reduced from 36 to 16 seconds.

Developer Comment: These changes are intended to limit Samuro’s split-pushing capabilities, particularly with Illusion Master, as well as increase his presence in teamfights. A good Samuro player can be a bit of a pain to deal with, particularly when he’s spending most of his time macroing and not engaging with the enemy team except to swap to a far away clone. These changes should make this scenario happen less often, while also giving Samuro more rewarding tools for engaging and fighting the enemy team.

Ranged Assassin


  • Level 1
    • Keep Moving! [Z]
      • Additional functionality: Increase the Movement Speed bonus of Shove from 25% to 35%.
    • We See You! [Passive]
      • Additional functionality: Increase the number of Basic Attacks required to kill Eye of Kilrogg by 1.
  • Level 7
    • Edge of Madness [Q]
      • Bonus damage increased from 8% to 12% per stack.
  • Level 13
    • Twilight Nova [W]
      • Additional functionality: Reduce the cooldown of Dread Orb by 1 second.
  • Level 16
    • Leaden Orb [W]
      • Stun duration increased from .75 seconds to 1 second.
    • Shadowsnare [Passive]
      • New functionality: All of Gall’s Basic Abilities Slow enemy Heroes by 15% for 4 seconds. This effect can stack up to 2 times.

Developer Comment: Similar to Cho, we took a look at Gall and we’re giving him some talent love. The buffs to Leaden Orb and Shadowsnare should hopefully cascade into other talents in his tree becoming more powerful as well.


  • Level 7
    • Incendiary Elixir [Q]
      • Adjusted functionality: Reduce the cooldown of Gilnean Cocktail by 2 seconds. Upon quest completion, reduce the cooldown of Gilnean Cocktail by an additional 2 seconds.
  • Level 20
    • Unleashed [R1]
      • New functionality: Increase the damage of Go for the Throat by 25%. If Go for the Throat kills an enemy Hero, reset the cooldown of all of Greymane’s abilities.
    • Gilnean Roulette [R2]
      • New functionality: Reduce the cooldown of Cursed Bullet by 20 seconds and its damage to 30% of the enemy Hero’s current Health.
    • Tooth and Claw [Trait]
      • Additional functionality: Increase the damage of Razor Swipe by 100%.

Developer Comment: For Greymane, we’re giving part of Incendiary Elixir’s cooldown reduction bonus baseline so that the talent gives him some baseline power, as well as making it easier for him to complete the quest. In addition to this change, we’re addressing his Level 20 talent diversity, which has not been the best. We’re giving 3 of his talents significant buffs so that they can compete with Hunter’s Blunderbuss, which has traditionally been the go-to option. Unleashed now makes it easier to proc Go for the Throat, as well as causing those procs to give him significantly more mobility and damage due to resetting his cooldowns. For Gilnean Roulette, we’re trying the idea of the talent changing Cursed Bullet to be more like a 4th Basic Ability that can be used multiple times in a teamfight or as a potent poke tool. Finally, Tooth and Claw is now also turning Razor Swipe into a significant source of damage.


  • Level 1
    • Thing of the Deep [Passive]
      • Spell Power bonus reduced from 10% to 5% for each quest completion.

Developer Comment: We went a little overboard with Thing of the Deep, so we’re pulling back on the Spell power bonus that it provides.


  • Level 16
    • Jagged Barbs [Trait]
      • Attack damage bonus increased from 30% to 40%.

Developer Comment: Yay buffs.

Bug Fixes

  • Fixed an issue where enemy XP Globes could be visible through fog of war.
  • Fixed an issue where placed and unplaced accounts could not queue together in Unranked games.
  • Current Ranked Season has been renamed to 2020 Season 1.
  • Seasonal reward portraits for 2019 Season 3 now have the year 2019 (rather than 2020) on them.

  • Samuro
    • Critical Strikes' bonus is now properly applied for 50% increased damage when cast with Merciless Strikes.
  • Whitemane
    • Casting Zeal no longer interrupts channeled effects.
This article was originally published in forum thread: Heroes of the Storm Balance Patch Notes - December 16, 2019 started by Nerraw View original post
Comments 11 Comments
  1. ThatsOurEric's Avatar
    I knew Deathwing would get the nerf bat, but damn, looks like they beat him to death
    with it. I wonder how effective he's even going to be now.

    Scary buffs for Greymane though, means I'll need to make sure he's either banned or
    taken in my Ranked games.

    Varian change is retarded, and they're wasting their time with the Illidan buff. He needs
    a rework, he's still bottom of the Assassin totem pole for what he does.

    Yrel is already a pain in the ass to deal with, I can't fathom why they would ever buff
    her the way they did now.

    Not surprised they scaled down Naz's trait (it really was too powerful), and I'm glad they
    nerfed Uther, cause there were too many assholes ruining Ranked games with their "Uther
    is totally a tank guys, really!", only for it to fail spectacularly. Hopefully this takes the wind
    out of their sails.
  1. DesoPL's Avatar
    Wait. Event is now on live or PTR?
  1. lollerlaban's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by DesoPL View Post
    Wait. Event is now on live or PTR?
    Toys 2 is the winter event for Heroes of the Storm running from the week of December 16 to the week of March 3, PST. Roll dice, complete quests, and join Tickle Mephisto on a board game adventure in the Nexus for awesome rewards... and sweet revenge!
  1. Nerraw's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by DesoPL View Post
    Wait. Event is now on live or PTR?
    It's live in the US. The skins are technically available in the EU store, but the balance update and the event itself won't go live until early Wednesday morning. There's a maintenance window scheduled for 0200-0400.
  1. therealstegblob's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by ThatsOurEric View Post
    I knew Deathwing would get the nerf bat, but damn, looks like they beat him to death
    with it. I wonder how effective he's even going to be now.
    It's rare for solely number nerfs to really matter at all, unless a character is overpowered specifically due to number output (or the numbers nerf is so significant that it majorly cripples them). I recall the recent-ish 10% healing output nerf Resto Druids got in WoW and people thought it was some major nerf and I kept laughing and telling them it wouldn't change anything other than making their overall numbers slightly lower. People argued with me, and lo and behold, Druids were still by away and far the best PVP healers and M+ healers.

    Deathwing on the other hand is only really good because of his numbers. His kit actually sucks pretty bad. I don't think these nerfs will exactly impact him THAT much, you'll still easily top damage done meters but you'll only be doing it by 15k instead of 45k.
  1. Nerraw's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by therealstegblob View Post
    Deathwing on the other hand is only really good because of his numbers. His kit actually sucks pretty bad. I don't think these nerfs will exactly impact him THAT much, you'll still easily top damage done meters but you'll only be doing it by 15k instead of 45k.
    It's easier to just adjust the numbers this close to a major holiday though. They nerf his numbers now, he'll hopefully mellow out a bit during the holidays, and then they can start looking at making his Worldbreaker actually worth something when they come back in the first week of January.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Well, I'll be damned. EU just updated a day ahead of time.
  1. ophion1990's Avatar
    That Uther change cracked me up, the meme-Uther was too strong, I guess. Not sure if the results of tank Uther were problematic enough to warrant a nerf, though. Also funny how Anub is now in a spot where he needs a buff. Glad they finally hit him where it hurts so they can build a healthier hero overall. Johanna nerf was probably overdue, though I though Hold Your Ground was gonna be nerfed aswell. Since, AFAIK, that's one of the more problematic talents.

    Pretty happy with the bruiser changes overall. The role is in a pretty good spot with most heroes being playable. Yrel was definitely not bad, I don't mind seeing buffs to bunny build, though. Thrall change is nice too, I don't think the talent was bad though it's definitely more interesting now, quite a lot of lane sustain from him now too. It's really only Xul, D.Va and Varian who are in kind of an awkward spot. With D.Va already getting a rework soon™ and Varian being playable in burst comps with Jaina/Li-Ming, even though he's not nescesarily played in the offlane spot and it's not really playable in the average game.

    Also very excited about the Samuro changes, that Bladestorm CD change was also pretty funny to read. Even though the ability itself is obviously made significantly weaker now.

    Edit: They adressed 3 concerns I had with XP Globes aswell, which is pretty sweet. The Unstoppable change might also be a substanial buff for the Butcher. At the very least it means people will have to be more careful about when they blind, since Butcher can remove it himself now.
  1. Nerraw's Avatar
    I finally shelled out the 15k for Deathwing yesterday. I guess his permanent Unstoppable is different from the regular one, because he can still get blinded.
  1. Jotaux's Avatar
    That Samuro buff is insane. After getting reamed by him I decided to give him a try. Not knowing a single thing about him and just picking up talents that were buffed I was chasing down tanks with ease. Yrel in her armor circle was a joke.
  1. Raugnaut's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Nerraw View Post
    I finally shelled out the 15k for Deathwing yesterday. I guess his permanent Unstoppable is different from the regular one, because he can still get blinded.
    No, for whatever reason despite it being in the notes, Unstoppable doesn't prevent blinds yet.
  1. thanhbui0343's Avatar
    wow it's awesome

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