Yrel Meta Tier List (June 2018)


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Our twentieth Heroes of the Storm Meta Tier list for the month of June is here!

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

Spoiler

As stated above, tier lists are easy to mistake for gospel. As new strategies are discovered and experimented with, so changes the perception of the relative strengths of each hero. Tier lists still prove to be useful as a snapshot of player expectations in terms of drafting. Although it is generally considered preferable to focus on high tier heroes (Prime and Core tiers), it is important to note that Heroes of the Storm’s wild character and map designs make it so that any given hero’s tier position is prone to fluctuate depending on the situation at hand.

One classic example of such is that of Kerrigan on the Infernal Shrines map. Although we currently judge her to be a mid-tier hero, her drafting priority shoots up to first-pick or first-ban material on this specific map due to the nature of its objective. Certain heroes also synergise so well with each other that the sole fact of having the opportunity of drafting them together is generally enough to increase their potential. Tassadar and Tracer, for instance, are generally nightmarish to deal with for many. There are too many examples of these interactions to reasonably produce here, but we invite you to consult our guides to know exactly where and when each hero shines. The guides have been linked in the lists below for your convenience – just click any of the hero names to access them.

A  next to a hero’s name means its tier list position has increased since the previous month whereas a  means just the opposite. Additionally, a + or  sign indicates short-to-medium term predictions (which is to say, about a month) for tier increase(s) or decrease(s), respectively. These are often updated after significant balance patches and/or when clear trends are emerging.

If you’re newer to the game, also consider visiting our glossary for a comprehensive list of discrete Heroes of the Storm terms.

 

Current ranked mode map rotation

 
  • Battlefield of Eternity
  • Braxis Holdout
  • Cursed Hollow
  • Dragon Shire
  • Infernal Shrines
  • Sky Temple
  • Tomb of the Spider Queen
  • Towers of Doom
  • Volskaya Foundry

 

Prime Tier

Warrior Assassin Support Specialist
Garrosh Fenix Malfurion  Zagara

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

Warrior Assassin Support Specialist
Arthas Chromie Alexstrasza Abathur
Blaze   Falstad Auriel Azmodan
Dehaka Genji Deckard Nazeebo
Johanna Greymane Stukov  
Muradin Hanzo    
Stitches Jaina    
Varian (TauntTaunt) Junkrat    
  Li-Ming    
  Lunara    
  Maiev    
  Malthael    
  Thrall    
  Tychus    

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.

 

Viable Tier

Warrior Assassin Support Specialist
Anub’arak Alarak Brightwing Gazlowe
Artanis Cassia Kharazim Medivh
D.Va Gul’dan Li Li Murky
Leoric Kael’thas Lt. Morales Sylvanas
Tyrael  Kel’Thuzad Lúcio Xul
Zarya Kerrigan Rehgar  
  Nova Uther  
  Ragnaros    
  Samuro    
  The Butcher    
  Varian (Colossus SmashColossus Smash)    
  Varian (Twin Blades of FuryTwin Blades of Fury)    
  Valla    
  Zeratul+    
  Zul’jin    

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

Warrior Assassin Support Specialist
Chen Chogall Ana Probius
Chogall Illidan Tassadar Sgt. Hammer
Rexxar Raynor Tyrande  
  Valeera    
       

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.

 

Lost Vikings Yrel Tier

Warrior Assassin Support Specialist
Yrel (new) The Lost Vikings

The Lost Viking Yrel 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.

 

Discussion

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.

 

Tanks:

Spoiler

Attributes: Reliable crowd control, high durability; generally situational burst damage, limited sustained damage and waveclear.

Goals: Create opening for teammates to follow and prevent opponents from following up on their own openings.

If you draft too many of them: You’ll lack PvE and PvP killing power.

Examples: Diablo, Garrosh, Johanna, Stitches.

Bruisers:

Spoiler

Attributes: High durability, generally featuring self-sustain, some crowd control, and high melee/short range damage.

Goals: Single-out anything out of position and follow up on the initiator’s openings. Protect your backline from “assassins”. Generally relegated to the solo lane.

If you draft too many of them: You’ll get poked and kited to death.

Examples: Artanis, Arthas, Leoric, Tyrael, Sonya.

Fighters:

Spoiler

Imagine something between bruisers and stalkers.

Examples: Alarak, Malthael, Murky, Ragnaros, Thrall.

Stalkers:

Spoiler

Attributes: High mobility and reliable single target burst damage. Generally unremarkable or otherwise unreliable sustained damage. Limited crowd control and survivability.

Goals: Find the juicy kill target and do just that. 

If you draft too many of them: Initiators and bruisers will laugh their way to victory.

Examples: Genji, Tracer, Valeera, Zeratul.

Marksmen: (and markswomen)

Spoiler

Attributes: High sustained single-target damage output, generally basic-attack based and ranged.

Goals: Hit anything in sight, if it’s safe. Limited mobility.

If you draft too many of them: Assassins will have a field day.

Examples: Falstad, Lunara, Valla, Zul’jin.

Mages:

Spoiler

Attributes: High area of effect burst damage, generally ability oriented. Good, but sometimes unreliable crowd control. Good poke damage. The worst mobility of all.

Goals: Hit the kill target.

If you draft too many of them: The entire enemy team will have a field day.

Examples: Azmodan, Gul’dan, Kael’thas, Kel’Thuzad, Jaina.

Healers:

Spoiler

You know.

Enablers:

Spoiler

Abathur, Medivh, Tassadar.

 

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:

Metagame defining
General pick
Counter-pick
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.



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