Hero Analysis: Tyrael
Welcome back to Hero Analysis! After a short hiatus, we are going back to the usual schedule every week with Hero Analysis – so without any more delay, let’s begin. Every week, we look at heroes released by Blizzard closely – every little aspect to glean off all of the information possible from what little we know. This will allow us to get a better understanding of the core concepts with each hero – players can find that this extra bit of information can give them a better understanding of information released by Blizzard. As well, we will look at how Blizzard designs their heroes and predict the overall goal that Blizzard has set out with each decision they make.
This week, we look at Tyrael – a warrior type hero from the Diablo franchise. This quick acting member of the hero roster can be a force to be reckoned with – protecting allies, pushing enemies back, and turning the tide of battle in a moment. A player’s speedy reactions can truly show how strong Tyrael can be in times of need. He is tanky and unwavering in midst of battle, he himself a powerful damage dealer capable of taking damage while dealing just as much damage. But in the times of need, with quick enough reactions, Tyrael can save allies just in time. It’s a clever balance of aggression and defense – a consistent offense and a reactive defense.
Tyrael’s abilities are all quick and powerful. When used as a quick reaction to enemy movements, its effect is magnified – its reaction unpredictable and intense. Enemies never know exactly when these skills will be used – if at all, when they do an ally is protected from danger or an enemy is rushed by Tyrael in a flash. A strong player only increases this, the reactions faster – its use perfected.
Tyrael’s heroic trait on death will become a ghost and explode after a short delay. It should be make clear that the ghost moves quite slowly, enemies have plenty time to move away from Tyrael on his death. But players can make this ability quite effective, he will often find himself in the centre of battles with his mobility and general tankiness. Using his imminent explosion, he can force enemies away from specific positions – the denial of space can be used cleverly to allow Tyrael to force away important targets during a fight. This usage plays on enemies not being hit by it but if Tyrael would like to hit enemies – using some quick deception, a hit is possible. Back off slightly, acting as if to zone away another enemy then quickly spinning around at the last moment slamming right into the target. This ability is clever – it’s simple, almost considered useless to deft enemies – but its strength comes in the user, abusing the reaction of enemies to Tyrael’s advantage.
A blade is thrown to the target location; it will deal damage to enemies in a small area. Tyrael can activate the ability again to teleport to the sword. The movement from this ability is impressively strong, extra damage and a choice to teleport or not. During a gank, the extra damage and teleport will put Tyrael in a good position to initiate a gank and be prepared to follow it up. But what makes this ability extremely powerful is the choice – the choice to teleport after the damage. It can be used just as damage – a quick nuke. There is nothing forcing Tyrael to teleport to the location, players do not need to worry about getting into a dangerous location with the damage. In terms of escape, its options are once again powerful. Throwing a blade in one direction and running in another gives Tyrael an advantage over enemies – chase Tyrael and he teleports to his sword; go to the blade and Tyrael simply walks the other direction. Choice is the key to the power of this ability – it’s not the speedy movement, it’s the variety of ways that he can use the ability to the best of the situation.
Tyrael’s second ability creates a shield for himself – when it expires or is removed by damage, it explodes dealing damage to enemies around him. There is clear synergy with this ability and his other abilities – he needs to stick close to enemies in order to make sure of the damage, to get in the midst of the enemies and force them to deal damage to him by being so close and intimidating. To do this, his first ability can keep himself close. This can be used cleverly with his first ability during a gank – hide within some vision obstructing terrain, activate this ability and wait until it’s about to run out – then at the very last moment, use his first ability to deal huge amounts of burst damage with little to no time to react. But at its most simple usage, it can be used to dramatically increase his survival within the centre of battle. A quick use of this ability can block crucial amounts of damage and quickly to burst the shield and deal damage quickly – once again important for the player’s reaction time to be quick enough during the thick of battle. It’s clear that timing is the most important part about this ability – if misused, it becomes useless; it might not explode on enemies, it might not block damage in time – there is huge room for error. Blizzard has cleverly designed a simple ability and yet difficult to use ability – a way for skillful players to truly show off.
Tyrael links himself with another ally, it will then redirect all damage from that ally to Tyrael. This ability is what makes Tyrael truly powerful in assisting allies. A quick link to any ally can have a surprising effect to enemies, the redirection of damage made quickly and redirecting enough to stay alive. There is immense amount of power but there is equally the same amount of risk. Obviously, Tyrael’s second ability helps cover some of the damage when redirecting damage. But Tyrael still need to manage their own health, using it just at the right time instead of carelessly – letting allies taking some damage only to save them when absolutely necessary. That is the balance that must be found while using this ability. To achieve this balance within the heat of battle will be the key of the usage of this ability – the player’s quick thinking is so important with Tyrael, the combination of the player’s reaction time and the player’s decision making skills is beautifully designed within the ability by Blizzard. A skillful player will master it; those who misuse it, only face their own untimely destruction. But perhaps this could be used to the player’s advantage. Death for Tyrael – triggers his heroic trait, there’s a possibility to use this to completely save an ally from any form of damage while Tyrael himself wades into battle, using his abilities as quickly as he can. This presents enemies no choice but to deal with Tyrael directly, necessary to kill him as quickly as possible in order to even damage the protected ally. On death, Tyrael is still a problem, his ghost just waiting to explode – the danger of heavy damage keeping enemies back. Once again this ability shows Tyrael’s whole idea of decisive actions quickly – players can put all of his basic abilities together to great effect provided they can use them all in time to respond to enemy motions and actions.
Although there is a clear difference between offensive and defensive heroic abilities to choose from for Tyrael, there is once again the idea of quick reaction speeds. Good timing and even quicker reactions will make the most out of either of these abilities.
First Heroic Ability
The first heroic ability allows Tyrael to charge towards a target and stunning and damaging the enemy and pushing enemies in his path away. This is another movement ability that players can add to their arsenal – this, in combination with his first ability, means that Tyrael can zip around in battle quickly. But the most important part about this ability is disruption, its ability to quickly stun a target while pushing everyone away can help single out a target during a gank or in the middle of a teamfight. Stopping enemies in their motion and changing the pace of the battle immediately. The clear advantage of a powerful single target stun is complimented by creating room for allies to follow up. A quick jump to an important target and quickly bursting down before they can react is exactly why Tyrael wants to do with this ability, forcing enemies to react faster than Tyrael’s already speedy ability set. All about quick reactions with Tyrael, whether it be now allowing enemies to react by being faster or reacting faster than enemies can finish an action.
Second Heroic Ability
The second choice is a PBAOE ability that has a short delay in activation but when it is successfully activated, allies around Tyrael are immune to damage. This ability is an anchor within the teamfight – it gives a position where his allies can safely stay in and do as they will without worry of damage. But there is a catch – the problem is because this ability requires Tyrael to channel, the field that is immune is immobile. Enemies can easily manoeuvre away until the effects run out and then strike just as hard as before. In its usage, there is clear requirement for catching the enemies in a position that forces enemies to fight – essentially, the enemy must be at the point of no return within a fight for this ability to be most effective. If the enemies can manueovre safely, this ability is useless but if their movement can be punished by Tyrael’s allies and the balance of a battle can change quickly – Tyrael’s allies capable of focusing on offense with almost suicidal intent. This is an ability that requires good timing, Tyrael must be ready to use it as soon as there is an opening for allies – once again reacting quickly to the actions of enemies and the positioning of his allies. This is the more defensive of the two choices for heroic ability but its power comes in the ability to turn defense into a powerful offense.
All of Tyrael’s abilities are strong on their own – their usage can be used simply, a quick shield here, a small jump there. But at the same time, if the abilities are all put into the hands of a player that can predict the actions of enemies and react accordingly – then Tyrael and his allies become undefeatable in skirmishes, enemies offenses blocked and their mistakes amplified. Tyrael’s abilities are all best used in reaction to enemy, using it incorrectly can ally enemies to react to Tyrael instead – it’s a game of predictions and reactions with Tyrael’s abilities. Blizzard has once again created a hero that, at first, is quite simple and in a way, that look on it is true – Tyrael’s abilities can be used in simple uncreative ways and still be moderately effective. On the other hand, Blizzard has quietly designed ways for a skillful player to distinguish themselves with Tyrael, their twitch reactions coming into play and more than ever, their decision making becoming the forefront of using each ability. There is a clear advantage of designing heroes like this, it makes every hero approachable yet its skillcap much higher than expected – players can continue to learn as they play each hero. Tyrael is a good example of a protective warrior hidden behind that is the ability to put up such an unwavering offense that enemies should not be able to even kill a single one of Tyrael’s allies even as they force aggression with abandon.
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