TLDR; Swap Falstad's level 13 and 16 because it is consistent with other ranged assassins, it'll reduce his power a bit and make him feel more balanced, and it's an easy change for Blizzard.
Historically, for ranged assassins, level 13 has been generally survivability/self-heal/movement speed/CC talents and level 16 has been the big power spike with damage-oriented talents involving % health, armor reduction, CDR/increase to number of charges, or even just a flat damage buff. For instance:
- Level 13 (survivability/move speed/CC)
- Lacerate – Increase Twin Cleave Slow
- Eye of Zul'jin – Basic Attacks grant Move Speed
- Ensnare – Throw a net that Roots enemies
- Level 16 (armor ignore, damage, attack speed)
- No Mercy! – Basic Attacks ignore Armor, deal more damage
- Wrong Place Wrong Time – Bonus Twin Cleave damage at apex
- Let the Killing Begin – Killing enemies increases Attack Speed
Of course. this isn't always the case, (like Sylvanas who has her damage-y, armor-reduction talents at 13 and survivability at 16), and there are also other heroes who mix things up between these talent tiers, so it's not consistent.
But with the reworked Falstad, he is set up like Sylvanas where he receives his power spike at level 13 instead of 16:
- Level 13 (damage increase, CDR, % dmg)
- Thunderstrikes – Lightning Rod deals increasing damage
- Flow Rider – Tailwind recharges Basic Abilities faster
- Sustained Winds – Increase Basic Attacks against Heroes
- Level 16 (CC, survivability/move speed)
- Crippling Hammer – Increases Hammerang Slow, explosion Slows
- Aerie Gusts – Reduce Tailwind delay, increase Move Speed
- Afterburner – Barrel Roll increases Move Speed
Reworked Falstad feels pretty strong at the moment, and I think his level 13 Thunderstrikes for W build is one reason. I think a very simple way Blizzard can reduce his power slightly, but not make drastic changes, and make him feel more balanced to play against is… if his level 13 and 16 talents were swapped.
This will push his big damage boost to slightly later in the game and consistent with other heroes, making him somewhat more manageable until then. And it'll be more risky for Falstad players at level 16 to stick to targets with W build, when other ranged assassins have their powerful level 16 talents and death timers are longer.
Playing against Falstad will become similar to playing against heroes who do have big late-game power spikes, like Zeratul. And you might have more options for counterplay with some of the level 16 talents that come online, like Ana's Active Reload, Anduin's and Lucio's talents that buff their heals, Anubarak's Debilitation, Blaze's Juggernaut Plating, and Sonya's Nerves of Steel.
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