Heroes of the Storm

How can we improve Stitches as a main tank?

HeroesoftheStorm 7 - How can we improve Stitches as a main tank?
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I was reading through some other posts, and I wanted to consolidate and add my own ideas! Shoutout to u/framed1234 who posted the idea of rooting on E and got me thinking about this with the post below. Also shoutout to u/mMKHaiti for the anti-heal idea!

There are a lot of great ideas floating around about Stitches! Stitches is a lot of fun to play, but does feel underwhelming as a main tank. He doesn't have the hard consistent CC like Garrosh, ETC, Muradin…uhh Etc… Johanna is one of the stronger tanks right now (along with our lord and savoir Diablo), and she does this on slows, interrupts, and blinds (and a killer shield stun at 10, don't take dumb jump).

All of these tanks have some way to stun or interrupt consistently. Stitches has his hook which is fantastic but can be inconsistent and he has Gorge which is memey and fun. Those are his two hard CCs. He has bile, which fits his style of dealing some damage to a lot of people and slowing them down a bit, and a slow on his slam, but again not hard, not consistent.

I often find myself taking Playtime at 4 and Pulverize at 13. The CD reduction is a must for more healing and hooks, and while Fishing Hook and Meat Hook are enticing options, I feel so sad without that huge slow late game. It's more consistent at chasing fleeing opponents than hook, and provides some better CC all around. But this is just what I feel comfortable with as Stitches, so please tell me how I am wrong.

I think Stitches is in this interesting place where, too much more of anything and he would become oppressive. Honestly, he just needs one or two tweaks to really stand on his own as a consistent main tank. I think most people would agree with this. Most posts I read talking about him have people introducing a small change or tweak, and other people saying that it might be too much. He needs something… BUT WHAT?

So, wanted to consolidate some ideas I've seen, AND put some of my own on the table. I won't get into numbers too much, rather just general ideas.

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  • Add CC to his E – I like this idea a lot! I think rooting makes the most sense, though it could also be a 75% slow, or on the other end a stun (.25-.75)The biggest problem with it is that E is on a 20 second CD, so if this gains CC, then it would prioritize Playtime at 4 even more. You could lower to CD, reduce some healing, and add CC, but then we're getting into mini-rework territory.
  • Add a micro-stun to his inner circle of slam. – OOF, this would be so sweet. Probably too sweet. Slam is on a 7 second CD. The inner area is already pretty small. Slam would have to be changed. Longer cooldown, maybe 8 or 9 seconds. Whatever Garrosh's or Muradin's stuns are at.
  • Add an activatable trait, my suggestion is Sweeping Hook – I always love more theming, and Stitches has a giant hook. Maybe he's been practicing in the nexus? I'd love to see a 60 second CD Sweeping Hook. Stitches swings his hook in a small area in front of him (Joh pull area) and pulls all enemies toward him. Gives him one big CC for a team fight. Basically a hook that doesn't go as far, but can hit more than one target. Opens up some new talent options too.
  • Make his hitbox bigger – We know Stitches is fat. We know he soaks up TONS of damage. We know (some of us) that body blocking is REALLY important in HotS. Make Stitches fatter. Make it easier to eat Li-Ming orbs and missiles. Make it easier to block someone out of their gate, or pin them in a corner. Make is easier for me to be IN THE WAY. People always talk about how Stitches big weakness is that the enemy team can walk past him. Make him bigger, to make this harder. Yes, it makes him an easier target for AOE, but I think that's a fine trade-off that people will think about based on the map, enemy team comp, and build paths. I don't mean, make him a little bigger. I mean make him thicc like dragon Alex or Azmodon.
  • Do something with anti-healing – I'm not crazy about this. I've never really tried Blight at lvl 7, the other two are too appealing. Stitches AOE damage is nice, but having some kind of anti healing baseline would be nice. The problem that this doesn't solve is changing how it feels to play Stitches. General players tend to undervalue talents that reduce damage or healing, so even if this helped Stitches as a main tank, I think that people would say it doesn't feel like it helped.
  • Talent into different CC – This might be steering too close to the sins of Varian, but if he had a dedicated talent tier where you CHOOSE what flavor CC is added to his Slam, that might be neat. It also might make him too good in too many comps.
    – Slam knocks back and slows
    – Slam micro stuns, but doesn't slow
    – Slam CD is upped to 10 seconds, but all heroes slammed are rooted for .5 seconds
    – Slam now applies (insert CC/effect here)
  • Make Gorge baseline at 80 second CD, but only gorge for 2.5 seconds – The only reason I'm putting this on here is because I want to talk about a new ult possibility, and I like gorge as a talent and thematically.
  • Fearful Presence – "After .5 seconds, Stitches channels for 10 seconds and gains unstoppable and 30 armor. While channeling, enemies in an area around Stitches are feared for 1.5 seconds." The name and numbers can change or whatever. Listen. Stitches is big, people run around him, but they should be running AWAY from him. Basically, he becomes a Rehgar totem that zone's people out, but he is still a big fat damage sponge. This let's him zone out on objectives and split teams that might dive. It's similar to bile in that it zones, but it does it in a really different way. Level 20 upgrade could increase armor, duration, AoE, reduce CD on successful fears, etc.

I don't know HOW to make CC feel better as a main tank. I know that I like him, and I'll play him every now and then, but I won't take him as a main tank in ranked. I trust the dev team though, and trust they have some awesome ideas cooking. I'd also love to hear any thoughts about these ideas, or other ideas I didn't talk about!

Cheers!

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