Hero Idea: The Wizard

Heroes of the Storm has a huge pool of potential heroes to be implemented. By looking at the concepts of possible heroes in the future, we can make speculations on the possible implementation of upcoming heroes. With this series of articles, we’ll take from a variety of sources to create the concept for a new hero. This is completely based off of speculation and mostly to look at what kind of mechanics that could possibly be implemented into Heroes.

REMEMBER THAT THIS ARTICLE IS BASED COMPLETELY ON SPECULATION. PLEASE DO NOT CONSIDER THIS AS AN OFFICIAL LOOK AT BLIZZARD’S DEVELOPMENT – THIS HERO CONCEPT WAS MADE BY US FANS.

We look at the wizard from the Diablo series for this hero. Named Xerdna, this powerful assassin hero uses flashy abilities with a variety of powerful effects, reminiscent of the gameplay style found in Diablo. With this hero, I looked to create synergy between every ability much like the other heroes already in the game. A main goal of this hero is to allow players to create a variety of combos with the base abilities and auto-attacks, while using talents to specialize how a player wants to deal damage to enemies.

Overview

Xerdna , the Wizard is an assassin type hero that has weak defensive stats (resistances/health), low auto-attack damage but high ability power to allow her to scale well throughout the game – focussing mainly on her abilities to deal damage to enemies. Without careful positioning, players will find that their abilities are less effective and she will die extremely quickly. But if all of her spells are use together, she will decimate her enemies in a blaze of magic.

Heroic Trait

Arcane Dynamo – Every third attack, Xerdna’s next ability that does damage will deal 25% more damage.

Mutually Exclusive Talents

  • Quick Fire: After casting an ability, Xerdna gains 100% attack speed for 2 seconds. This effect has a 10 second cooldown.
  • Speed of Insight: When under the effect of Arcane Dynamo’s bonus, the Wizard moves 15% faster.
  • Attunement: Instead of granting bonus damage to abilities, every attack will give a bonus of 15 ability power stacking up to 150. The Ability power is lost when an ability is cast.

The idea with Arcane Dynamo is to make players add in auto-attacks between spell casts even though they don’t do too much damage. Quick Fire is designed to allow players to precharge Arcane Dynamo before a fight, casting a spell and then quickly getting another charge of Arcane Dynamo to cast another spell with bonus damage. Speed of Insight allows players to have more mobility to get into position to cast a spell or even carefully manage Arcane Dynamo to escape with bonus speed. Attunement’s goal is to allow players to charge up a “super-spell” – to hold back on casting spells until charging up to max before releasing one extremely powerful spell while trading away more consistent damage bonuses.

First Ability

Q: Disintegrate – Channel a beam towards target direction, the first enemy caught in the beam will take heavy damage. While channeling, Xerdna can rotate in place to change the direction of the beam. Long range, 5 second channel time, 12 second cooldown.

Mutually Exclusive Talents

  • Concentrated Blast: When disintegrate is cast – instead of a beam, Xerdna will charge up energy for 0.75 seconds to release a ball of energy. The ball of energy travels at a slow speed and will explode on first contact of an enemy, dealing damage equal to a full channeling of disintegrate in a tiny AoE.
  • Intensify: The beam will deal more damage the longer Xerdna has channeled the beam.
  • Powerful Ray: The beam pierces enemies, dealing damage to everyone caught in the line – the damage is decreased by 5% for each target after the first.

Disintegrate is designed to be an ability that allows for a lot of skillful play and counter play – a skillful enemy can avoid the damage while a skillful Xerdna can easily track a player attempting to dodge the damage coming out from Disintegrate. Concentrated Blast changes the way Disintegrate is used; due to changing it to a skill-shot with a slow moving projectile, Xerdna needs good lock down on enemies or to be much closer in order to hit with the Concentrated blast – but all of the damage is dealt at once. Intensify encourages Xerdna’s team to help lock down an enemy in order to get as much damage as possible from Disintegrate. Powerful Ray changes Disintegrate into an AoE line ability, trading away some damage in order to hit targets behind the first.

 

Second Ability

W: Frost Nova – Xerdna blasts nearby enemies with ice, dealing medium damage and slowing their movement speed by 25% for 5 seconds. Small-Medium size PBAOE, 10 second cooldown.

Mutually Exclusive Talents

  • Deep Freeze: Frost Nova will freeze (stun) enemies hit for 1 second.
  • Bone Chill: Enemies will take 25% more damage for 5 seconds when hit by Frost Nova.
  • Frozen Mist: Instead of slowing enemies, Frost Nova will deal heavy damage to enemies hit.

Frost Nova is a PBAOE ability which can be dangerous to use offensively as Xerdna is quite squishy but it is very strong in keeping enemies in place for whatever purpose. Deep Freeze makes Frost Nova a powerful CC skill – setting up for her own abilities or allies abilities. Bone Chill allows for powerful AoE combos from Xerdna and her allies that deal more damage on specific targets. Frozen Mist completely forgoes the CC capabilities of this skill turning it into a heavy damaging PBAOE ability – this allows players to fine-tune Xerdna’s abilities to their own liking.

 

Third Ability

E: Teleport – Xerdna instantly teleports to target location. Medium range, 20 second cooldown.

Mutually Exclusive Talents

  • Calamity: Enemies around the original location and the destination of the teleport will take medium damage.
  • Worm Hole: A worm hole is created upon arrival, after 0.5 seconds – enemies in a small-medium area are pulled to the centre.
  • Safe Passage: After teleporting, damage taken is reduced by 25% for 3 seconds

A simple teleport skill, extremely important as many heroes in-game have many movement abilities as well – it puts Xerdna on par with other heroes in terms of movement. Given her squishiness, it is important to use Teleport at the right time, not wasting the huge cooldown at an unnecessary time – this also combos well with her other abilities which require good positioning. Calamity turns this ability into an offensive ability – allowing for a huge amount of damage (possibly hitting twice) if Xerdna is positioned correctly. Worm Hole allows Xerdna to combo with herself or with allies for devastating effect in midst of teamfights. Safe Passage gives the player a way to play safer if they find themselves in danger often due to the lack of survivability Xerdna normally has.

Heroic Abilities

R1: Slow Time – A field is created for 5 seconds that slows enemy projectiles by 50%, enemy movement speed 50%, and attack speed 50%. Medium Range, medium circle AoE, 100 second cooldown.

Slow Time plays with an interesting idea of slowing projectiles, allowing allies to easily dodge skill-shots or make preparation before a projectile hits them while the attack speed slow deals with melee auto-attackers. The movement speed slow also encourages aggressive play with this skill, allowing Xerdna to hold enemy heroes in place for allies to converge and unleash devastating abilities.

R2: Mirror Image – The wizard summons a mirror image at the target location for 15 seconds. Although the mirror image cannot be CC’d, it has the same defensive stats as Xerdna (resistances/health). It will use the same abilities that Xerdna uses, dealing 75% of the final damage. Disintegrate will be targeted towards the location that was clicked on cast (and continue to change as the player retargets). Frost Nova will be duplicated at the location of the mirror image. Teleport will cause the mirror image to teleport to where the player originated. Long range, 100 second cooldown.

Using the mirror image, a skillful Xerdna can multiply the amount damage she can output. Her skills alone require careful positioning, with the addition of mirror image – perfect positioning can make her a force to be reckoned with but it can also allow Xerdna to cast spells and hit enemies effectively if she herself cannot position properly. Overall, this provides great combo potential and skillful play for Xerdna.

Playstyles

As a whole, Xerdna’s abilities all combo well into each other – especially when combining specific talent. The base cooldowns on the spells are meant to be high to curb her damage output but they can be decreased through the use of talents to be slightly more spammable – allowing her to deal more damage more often. Mana needs to be managed carefully as she does not have a passive that will grant bonus regeneration but mana should not be much of a problem later into the game.

 

As Xerdna is a hero based heavily on combos, here are some ways Xerdna can be played with specific choices of talents – there are more ways to play Xerdna specifically designed into the hero but here are some examples.

AoE Nuker

Talents:

  • Quick Fire – increased attack speed after spell cast.
  • Powerful Ray – piercing Disintegrate beam.
  • Frozen Mist – Increased damage on Frost Nova.
  • Calamity – Damage at origin and target of teleport.

Using the heroic ability mirror image, this build looks to deal heavy AoE damage – forgoing any defense and utility. The combo is as follows:

  1. Precharge Arcane Dynamo
  2. Move up close to enemies immediately casting Mirror Image closer to yourself
  3. Frost Nova
  4. Attack enemy three times quickly with Quick Fire gaining a new Arcane Dynamo buff
  5. Disintegrate
  6. Teleport on top of enemies (or away if in danger)

This whole combo has very little CC, it requires your allies to be hold down enemies relatively close together. Using Arcane Dynamo with Quick Fire to quickly charge up the two heavy damage abilities can increase your damage heavily. Finishing with the teleport gives you good versatility at the end of the combo – either teleport in place to deal twice the damage or towards or away from enemies for positioning and some bonus damage. All of this is being duplicated by a mirror image closeby further increasing your damage output.

Utility Caster

Talents:

  • Speed of Insight – increased movement speed with the Arcane Dynamo buff
  • Powerful Ray – piercing disintegrate ray
  • Bone Chill – increased damage debuff from Frost Nova
  • Worm Hole – pulling enemies after a delay with teleport

Using the heroic ability Slow Time this build looks to have a lot of utility to combo with other allies helping the team’s overall damage output. There is less of a distinction in a full combo with this build, instead opting to use abilities as allies throw out their abilities and attacks. For example, when huge AoE abilities are being thrown out, Teleport followed up by a Frost Nova can help the damage output of allies. Or if an ally has massive AoE stun, Frost Nova and then Disintegrate to deal heavy damage to enemies stuck in place. Slow Time can be used when huge teamfights break out to make sure that allies have the upper hand in damage. This build does less damage than other possible builds but it looks to help the damage output of allies.

WTF BOOM!

Talents:

  • Attunement – charging ability power bonus.
  • Concentrated Blast – charging projectile instead of beam.
  • Whichever talent for Frost Nova
  • Worm Hole – AoE pull at the destination of teleport

Using the heroic ability mirror image again, this build focuses on the huge damage potential of concentrated blast with Disintegrate. The combo is as follows:

  1. Precharge maximum Attunement
  2. Worm hole into the centre of enemy targets
  3. Mirror Image nearby the centre of the worm hole
  4. Concentrated Blast toward the centre of the worm hole
  5. Frost Nova

The idea of this build is to focus all of the damage output on Disintegrate modified by concentrated blast. By pre-charging attunement, the damage is further increased. It is necessary to use worm hole to begin the combo and quickly cast mirror image and concentrated blast to capitalize on the pulling effect of worm hole. Ideally, disintegrate’s projectile should be fired quickly after the worm hole take effect – pulling enemies into one point and in line with disintegrate, heavy damage ensues as the mirror image further boosts the possible damage output followed by a quick frost nova to cap things off.

There are many other possible builds with this hero, focusing on many other aspects of the hero. What do you think about the Wizard I created? Which talents would you use in what combos? Is the wizard that you imagined in Heroes different than my own creation? Feel free to post your comments. We’ll have a new hero concept to present next week.

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