Heroes of the Storm

Hero Concept: Ner’zhul, the Core Replacement Hero

HeroesoftheStorm 5 - Hero Concept: Ner'zhul, the Core Replacement Hero

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I can't quite remember which BlizzCon it was, or if it even was a BlizzCon when they talked about it, but some time ago now the developers mentioned the idea of toying around with core replacement heroes, the one mentioned at the time being N'zoth I believe, but they had issues in reducing downtime iirc. The concept of a core replacement hero did get me thinking though, and though I don't know how realistic it is, I felt the idea of it was interesting at least and as such I wanted to share it. As such, without further ado, I present my concept for Ner'zhul, The Lich King.

(All damage and health values are for level 1, and would increase by 4% per level)


So, seeing as this character would replace the core, there is the threat of a lot of downtime since you can't move or auto-attack. In order to mitigate this, I have added buttons. Many buttons.

Powers of Unholy Patronage (1): Change Ner'zhul's ability set to one focused on empowering allied heroes.

  • Select Champion (Q): Select an allied hero to be your champion, giving them 10% attack speed, 10% attack damage, 10% spellpower, and 5% increased max health. 16 second cooldown
  • Empower Champion (W): Empower your champion, giving them an additional 10% attack speed, 10% attack damage, 10% spellpower, and 5% increased max health. Each time this ability is used, all allied minions lose 15% maximum health and 15% damage. Can be stacked up to 4 times. 4 second cooldown
  • Reclaim Power (E): Reclaim some power from your champion, removing 1 stack of Empower Champion. 4 second cooldown

Powers of Necromancy (2): Change Ner'zhul's ability set to one focused on attacking the enemy directly.

  • Raise Dead (Q): Create a tombstone anywhere on the map. The tombstone will spawn a zombie every 4 seconds. The zombies will attack the nearest visible enemy for 35 damage and slow them by 5% per attack, stacking up to 10 times. Zombies last 8 seconds and have 120 hp. The tombstone lasts 16 seconds or until destroyed and is destroyed by any 2 attacks. 16 second cooldown
  • Banshee Howl (W): Summon a banshee at a target location where you have vision. After 3 seconds the banshee will howl, cursing anyone in it's vicinity. The curse causes it's target to miss 33% of it's auto-attacks and lasts for 4 seconds. 8 second cooldown
  • Necrotic Plague (E): Plague the earth at a target location where you have vision, creating an area which lasts 2.5 seconds that will inflict a necrotic plague onto any enemy hero that stands in it. The plague deals 230 damage over 6 seconds. Any spell damage (excluding the plague itself) will reset the duration of the plague, and it's damage is increased by 20% every 6 seconds it stays on the target. If the target dies while necrotic plague is active it will spread to any nearby enemy heroes. 10 second cooldown, 2 second cast time (with a clear animation at the target location)

Powers of the Scourge (3): Change Ner'zhul's ability set to one focused on aiding his team.

  • Summon Shade (Q): Kill a targeted allied minion and spawn a shade on their location. The shade has 10 hit points and is permanently cloaked, though it may not become invisible. After standing still for 4 seconds it's vision range is increased by 150%. Only one shade may be active at a time, and the shade can be ordered to move by reactivating this ability. The shade lasts until killed. 30 second cooldown.
  • Summon Blight (W): A necromancer appears at the target location and begins to summon blight. After 8 seconds of channeling blight appears and will stay there for the next 25 seconds. If the necromancer is killed the summoning is cancelled and no blight will appear. Allied heroes standing on blight will gain 20 armor and regenerate 50hp/s in addition to their standard health regeneration. 15 second cooldown
  • Summon Necromancer (E): Spawn a Necromancer from the core. The necromancer will move down the nearest lane and summon 2 skeletons in combat on a 6 second cooldown. Summoned skeletons last for 8 seconds. 60 second cooldown


Though I haven't thought out all of the talents, I do have a couple ones which I think would be cool:

Level 7:

Curse of Mortality: Enemies hit by banshee's curse receive 35% less healing for the duration of the ability.

Curse of Tongues: Enemies hit by banshee's curse have their spellpower reduced by 30% for the duration of the ability.

Curse of Weakness: Enemies hit by banshee's curse now miss 66% of their auto-attacks instead.


Level 10:

Unleash the Scourge (R1): Reduce the cooldown of Raise Dead to 2 seconds and cause Banshee Howl to trigger instantly for 10 seconds. PASSIVE: Zombies gain 30% increased movement speed and 25% increased attack damage. 100 second cooldown

Plague of Lordaeron (R2): Necrotic Plague will reset it's duration when the afflicted enemy casts a spell as well as when taking spell damage, and any time it's duration is reset it has a 30% chance to spread to the nearest enemy hero. If necrotic plague spreads to an enemy which is already afflicted, it instead resets the duration. 12 second duration 50 second cooldown

Level 16:

Frozen Might: Empower Champion now stacks up to 6 times. Going up to 5 stacks will reduce the health of all allied minions to 1. Going up to 6 stacks will instantly kill all allied minions on the map.

Necromantic Invigoration: Allied heroes standing on Blight will recharge their basic ability cooldowns 30% faster.

Infected Claws: If an enemy hero gains 7 stacks of the zombie slow, they are infected with necrotic plague, and any subsequent zombie attacks will reset necrotic plague's duration.

Level 20:

Tide of Doom (R1): Unleash the Scourge now lasts 16 seconds. Any time a zombie attacks an enemy hero, reduce the cooldown of Unleash the Scourge by 1 second.

The Gift That Keeps On Giving (R2): Each time Necrotic Plague is spread to another hero, it increases it's duration by 2 seconds, and increases the duration of Plague of Lordaeron by 1 second. If Necrotic Plague is spread to a hero that is already afflicted, it increases it's duration by 4 seconds and the duration of Plague of Lordaeron by 2 seconds instead.

Dark Teachings: Reduce the cooldown of Summon Necromancer by 40 seconds and grant it 2 charges. Necromancers will now summon skeletons every 2 seconds, and skeletons will last twice as long.

Now We Are One (D): Merge with your current champion, granting them a permanent 30 armor, 30% increased health, 20% increased attack damage, and 20% increased spellpower and granting you a new ability set. However you may no longer use abilities outside of your new ability set, and should your champion die, you will lose the game. Additionally the core will no longer spawn minions and will be surrounded by a death field killing any enemy minions that get within it's range (this is just to keep minions from massing up in spawn). The core will likewise no longer be attackable. Your champion will not be able to enter spawn anymore and will be permanently visible (but not revealed) on the minimap. Your champion must be next to the core and must accept the merge. 6 second channel time, interrupted by damage to the target.

Lich King ability set:

  • Deathly Touch (Q): Shoot a ball of shadow energy towards the target area that deals 150 damage to the first enemy it connects with and heals for 100% of the damage done. 5 second cooldown
  • Dark Tendrils (W): If your champion is a ranged character, push the closest enemy away from them. If your champion is a melee character, pull the closest enemy within range to them. 16 second cooldown
  • Unholy Strength (E): Your champion gains 40% increased attack speed and will heal for 50% of all damage done by basic attacks. While this ability is active it will drain 2.5% of your champions maximum hp per second. 6 second duration, 12 second cooldown
  • Mastery of Death (R): For the next 2 seconds your champion cannot be reduced below 1 hp and will receive 25% more healing. 120 second cooldown

Closing Thoughts:

First of all, let me make clear that I have no doubts in my mind that if this concept were to be made into a character today and put into the game, it would most likely be quite broken in some way or another. This is more of a first draft than a full fledged hero. Either way, if you made it all the way down here I thank you for the interest in my humble creation. It's been something I've been thinking about for the last week or so, so it felt good to sit down and write it out. I don't know how realistic it is in terms of possibility (for example I'm not even sure an ability like dark tendrils could work) but I just came up with something I felt was cool and will be happy to discuss it. Any feedback is appreciated, long as it's constructive.

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