We present our twentieth Heroes of the Storm Meta Tier List for the month of June 2018.
Welcome to Icy Veins’s Meta Tier List for the June 12 patch. The goal of this list is to try and detail game’s current metagame state. The prime goal of such lists is to inform players regarding popular and trending team composition drafting strategies (i.e. the drafting metagame). Although tier listings are generally the product of balance, many factors come into play when discussing the relative perceived strengths of heroes, including player regions, maps, play style, skill level, and, of course, personal perception. As such, any tier list—including this very one—should never be interpreted as gospel, but rather, as a guide to better grasp what to expect with regards to typical drafting experiences. One useful application of such lists is to allow you know which heroes to look out for in terms of practice and counterplay, ultimately improving your knowledge of the game.
Using the list
Current ranked mode map rotation
Prime tier heroes are considered to be extremely strong in all situations, and show no obvious weakness. They are very often banned or picked right away, as they generally dictate the pace of most matches.
Core tier heroes are strong in a wide variety of situations and have few counter-picking possibility. They should form the core of your team, and be picked after Prime Tier heroes have been distributed.
Varian (Colossus Smash)↑
Varian (Twin Blades of Fury)↑
Viable tier heroes are generally well-rounded that have either fallen out of favour, or, inversely, are on the rise in popularity, due to the current Prime tier contenders.
Niche tier heroes have niche application on certain maps or for certain team compositions. They may also picked to “round out” your team composition when your team composition is missing out on key components, such as a “jungler” (mercenary camps), a solo laner, or solid waveclear.
The Lost Vikings
Underplayed Tier heroes are deemed to be either considerably weaker than the majority of other Heroes, or much more challenging to play properly. Although they may situationally shine, these heroes are generally avoided by most players.
I know I promised a new list for last week, but I generally try to give important changes about a week to set in somewhat before writing about them. Nexomania launching on a Friday (May 22) also threw my timing off slight as well, though I think it’s safe to expect future events involving loot chests to fire off right before weekends for economic reasons.
In other news, I brought up the idea of reworking how the list is presented a couple weeks ago. The first change I’d like to discuss pertains to role division. Since Blizzard is taking its sweetest time with reworking the class system, I’m looking for a way to better convey each hero’s role. Concretely, this means I’m considering adding more categories and renaming some of the classic ones. This requires a good bit of consideration and some creativity, although I feel like the system I discussed in last month’s tier list is solid enough to officially subject to everyone’s scrutiny. Let me know how you feel about it, as I’m sure it can be improved.
Marksmen: (and markswomen)
The second change I’m looking to make pertains to tiering. Although I’ve never been completely happy with it, some of the problems are becoming more and more apparent as the game is becoming more balanced, and as I spend time thinking about it. First, it fails to really make sense with regards to statistics. For instance, Genji, who stands at at a low 40% win rate, has been considered one of the strongest hero for over a year now. Why might that be? I don’t know (well, I do…), but I certainly wish I could better convey this. Second, the names don’t really make sense because they describe different states; niche and viable, describe circumstances, whereas core and prime could be said describe a hierarchy. This doesn’t really make sense as prime tier heroes are certainly viable, and as niche tier heroes can outperform so-called prime heroes under the right circumstances. Third, the system does not account for player skill level differences or regional preferences.
I lack the data to sort heroes by league (bronze, silver, etc.), but even if I did have enough data, it would hardly tells the whole story (refer to the Genji anecdote above). The tiering system I’m considering goes like this, however:
Situational (map/team composition dependent)
I’d probably add a Ban-worthy tag to certain heroes. For instance, I’d never ban Zagara over Chromie despite considering her generally stronger. Furthermore, I’d consider giving some heroes + and – tags to provide a certain sense of perceived power, though I’ll have to consider carefully.
As for the metagame discussion, it’ll be coming shortly, as per usual. In the meantime, I’m looking forward to seeing how everyone feels about the changes.