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June 11, 2015

Hero Analysis: Raynor

Hello and welcome to another installment of Hero Analysis. This is a weekly article where we look at every aspect of a hero to allow the general player base a better understanding of the hero as well as give some insight into what Blizzard has done in terms of design for each and every hero. As usual, these articles are based off of observation and various sources of information – due to this, all of this information can change as the game goes into beta and then release.

This week, we will look at Raynor – an assassin based hero from the Starcraft franchise. As a hero noted to be a character designed for newer players but also give room for more skillful players to truly shine. Raynor is a powerful auto-attacking hero with abilities to facilitate continuous damage through auto attacks. Through the proper use of his abilities, players can find themselves capable of destroying enemies in a flurry of attacks while defending himself through self-healing and avoid close contact with enemy heroes.


Raynor’s abilities focus on his ability to deal damage to a single target as well as allowing him to survive easily within teamfight’s so long as his abilities are off cooldown. Managing his cooldowns will help him deal more damage and survive longer within teamfights.

Lead from the Front

This is Raynor heroic trait that presents a last hit like mechanic within Heroes of the Storm. If this ability is utilized correctly, it can allow Raynor to use his abilities often and in turn help his survivability and damage output. It should be noted that this ability can be triggered through the death of any unit – including small minions. A skillful player should always be looking for kills to finish off in order to trigger this skill more often – even during a fight, it might be worth finishing off an enemy unit just to get lowered cooldowns. Where this ability shines the most is in its capability of allowing Raynor to fight with his whole set of abilities more often – as it will soon be clear that some of his abilities are largely important to achieve the highest damage output possible for Raynor.

Penetrating Round (Q)

Raynor can do a moderate amount of damage as well as push back enemies with this ability. It can be helpful to increase the amount of burst damage but this method of using the ability is limited due to the knock back. Pushing away enemies can be risky in placing an enemy in a position that is easier to survive. Ideally, if this ability is to be used as damage – it should be used as a finisher, using it to finish off an enemy with an extra burst of damage. A more normal method of using this ability is in keeping away enemies – Raynor wants to keep a certain distance from enemy heroes as he is ranged hero, there is no reason to keep dangerous enemies near himself. A well timed shot of Penetrating Round can push an enemy hero just out of position for a devastating set of attacks against Raynor or even his allies – this is where a skillful player can shine with it. It is easy to simply push away anyone near Raynor but it takes a good sense of awareness of the battlefield to correctly time this ability to the exact moment when he needs it. Because Raynor lacks a true movement ability that many heroes within Heroes of the Storm has, Raynor must conserve the usage of this ability – or trigger his heroic trait often. Players must be aware of the possibility of lowering the cooldown of this ability whenever possible or they will suffer against enemies with heavier movement abilities. Overall, Penetrating Round has some offensive capabilities with its heavy damage but it shines in its defensive purposes with well-timed pushbacks.

Inspire (W)

This is Raynor’s steroid ability; it is what makes Raynor such a powerful damage dealer with his auto attacks. The movement speed, although definitely beneficial to chasing and escape, is overshadowed by the impressive bonus to the attack speed bonus. With the extra 20% attack speed, players will deal more damage but it also allows Raynor to send out more auto attacks to trigger his passive more often. Because this ability has an 8 second duration and a 12 second cooldown, a skillful player could feasibly maintain this ability permanently through picking up a couple kills with his heroic trait. If this ability is maintained, Raynor’s only limiting factor to casting this ability is his mana – something that he doesn’t use much anyways. It should also be noted that it also gives some bonuses to allies around him, which is likely to include creeps – the extra move speed as well as attack speed can make allies around Raynor to be quite powerful with chasing, attacking, and taking down targets quickly. This ability is truly what makes Raynor a powerful single damage auto-attacker, most of the damage he does comes from his auto attacks – without this, he would pale in comparison to other heroes with stronger abilities.

Adrenaline Rush (E)

Something Blizzard directly said about Raynor was about his difficulty; the hero itself was designed to be very accessible to new players – there are fewer things to focus on, allowing newcomers to learn the basics and expanding their knowledge of game mechanics. With this ability, Blizzard has made their intentions clear with this hero. As one of the few completely passive abilities in the game, Adrenaline Rush is an extremely strong defensive ability that gives a lot of room for error for the player – there is a certain safety for Raynor whenever this ability is off of cooldown. Players can be free to move to dangerous positions knowing that they have a considerable heal available to them if at any point they are at critical health. As well, this ability being automatically activated – the player’s ability to react is not required in the basic use of this ability, not even disables will stop a Raynor from healing when he is nearing death. But there is more depth to this ability than first meets the eye – not in its usage but in how players play around it. Raynor himself needs to be aware of when this ability is available to him in fights – with it, he can push forward and be a little rash; without it, he needs to be more wary and pull back a little. But while it’s off cooldown, Raynor should look towards recharging the massive cooldown this ability has with his heroic trait – once again, utilizing his heroic trait will largely increase Raynor’s effectiveness on the battlefield. This ability is simple in usage but its depth comes from how the players look to capitalize on the advantage it gives and what players do when they do not have this ability ready for them.

Heroic Abilities

Raynor’s powerful flying allies are signature parts of his character – he is sure to have at least a few of them at his disposal even in Heroes of the Storm. Players have two choices that work extremely well in many situations; it is a matter of preference and usability within each match. There are no distinct role changes – instead it is a playstyle preference.

Hyperion (R)

This monolithic powerhouse of a spacecraft gives Raynor extremely powerful teamfight capabilities. The extreme amounts of damage it can do while flying over can devastate a teamfight and destroy many enemy buildings if used correctly. The Hyperion will fire at a random enemy unit within its circle AoE at a set interval. This means that buildings, small minions, enemy heroes, or summons can be valid targets to be hit. In order to maximize the damage of this ability, Raynor needs to use this ability when he is sure that enemy heroes will not easily escape the AoE or allow the shots to be absorbed by useless little units. Using this within a lane is obviously unwise, they are usually quite open and will have minions continually spawn and move down the lane – but within the areas around the lanes, the smaller paths and lack of creeps can make this ability devastating for the enemy team. The Hyperion itself travels quite slowly so players need to time it right, giving little time to move out of the way due to disables or other threats presented to the enemy team. As seen, the cooldown for this heroic ability is quite long but this is easily counter balanced by Raynor’s heroic trait – last hit often and the cooldown can be little to nothing and using this ability can come often and devastatingly. This ability is more suited for those that want to focus more on teamfights – dealing huge amounts of damage within a short period of time through good timing and even better cooperation from a team.

Raynor’s Raiders (R)

Raynor’s second heroic ability summons a pair of Banshees that will follow Raynor automatically as well as attacking the targets he hits – because of the lack of micromanagement here required from Raynor, this ability is quite easy to use and its effectiveness is quite notable. An extra 24 damage with Raynor a huge bonus especially due to Raynor’s Inspire ability to boost the Banshee’s attack speed. The Banshees do come cloaked, this helps with the survivability of the Banshees – especially on the run, they will not appear until they attack. This gives Raynor a chance to quickly back away from a fight with his Banshees safe and then make a quick turn around when the time is right. This ability focuses more on auto-attacks and dealing powerful damage through a slew of devastating shots from Raynor and his Banshees. Given this heroic ability’s cooldown is at 100 seconds, with the use of Lead from the Front, this ability can be used more often than any other longer cooldown heroic ability in the game. Players need to be aware of that or they waste their huge damage potential. Overall, this ability is more focused on single-target damage and more precise damage from Raynor – it is also much easier to use, newer players may choose this ability over the other just for that fact.


Raynor is a model example of a hero that is simple but also has a decently high skill-cap to make sure playing the hero is interesting. Blizzard has employed almost deceptively simple abilities that under careful inspection show the possibility of a skillful player truly shining with the usage of every ability. Whether it be with continual maintaining of Inspire with Lead from the Front or using Penetrating Round just at the right time to save a life – there is a slightly higher skill-cap that one might not expect when first looking at this hero. Raynor in fights will focus mainly on auto attacks – it is after all, his main source of damage. Raynor needs to unleash a volley of auto attacks right on time to either finish off a target to recharge his own abilities or to pepper away at enemy heroes just within reach. There is no fancy movements to do with Raynor, the actions themselves are quite simple – it is the inner working of a player, utilizing each of his abilities correctly in order to utilize the incredible amount of power that is hidden behind the veil of simplicity, that makes Raynor truly impressive.

Thank you for reading this week’s Hero Analysis. If you have any comments, feel free to post it in any way you feel comfortable – we’ll be sure to read anything you have to say. Keep an eye on Stormable as we will put out more and more unique quality content as we near beta and then release.

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