Heroes of the Storm

Maiev’s Combo: Guide, Counters, Design, Balance, Feedback

HeroesoftheStorm 8 - Maiev's Combo: Guide, Counters, Design, Balance, Feedback
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Introduction

In the first part I will talk about how to execute and counter Maiev's combo and in the second part I'll spend some words on the design and balance of Cruel Chain.

I'm a bit late on the topic because I like to write whenever I have some free time between games and the queues were too fast these days!


Guide

Umbral Bind : Maiev's next Basic Attack cleaves and applies a tether to enemy Heroes hit for 2.5 seconds. If a tethered Hero moves too far from Maiev, they are pulled toward her, dealing 110 (+4% per level) damage and breaking the tether.

Spirit of Vengeance : Send a shadow of Maiev outward that will return to its cast location, dealing 150 (+4% per level) damage to enemies along both paths. If an enemy Hero is hit, reduce the cooldown by 4 seconds.

There are three methods to pull with Umbral Bind:

  • Forward Combo (E-W-E-A)
  • Backward Combo (E-W-A-E)
  • Melee Combo (W-A-E-E)

I don't list other Abilities because there isn't a single moment to use them.

Forward Combo

The aggressive forward combo is:

  1. Spirit of Vengeance towards the enemy Hero(es).
  2. Umbral Bind to prepare the tethering effect on your next Basic Attack.
  3. Blink to teleport yourself near the target Hero(es).
  4. Basic Attack to tether nearby Heroes.
  5. Walk backwards to trigger the pull.

Backward Combo

The safer backward combo is:

  1. Walk towards the enemy Hero(es).
  2. Umbral Bind to prepare the tethering effect on your next Basic Attack.
  3. Spirit of Vengeance in a safe direction.
  4. Basic Attack to tether nearby Heroes.
  5. Blink to teleport yourself and trigger the pull at the same time.

Melee Combo

The situational melee combo is:

  1. Walk towards the enemy Hero(es).
  2. Umbral Bind to prepare the tethering effect on your next Basic Attack.
  3. Basic Attack to tether nearby Heroes.
  4. Spirit of Vengeance through the enemy Heroes.
  5. Blink to teleport behind them.

Counters

The best tools to counter Maiev's combo are Stun and Root because they can stop any type of combo, however there are various ways to counter it.

Awareness

This group of counters don't require a specific Ability.

When she's nearby, you can:

  • Stay far from anything she can Basic Attack (eg. Minions) because Umbral Bind will cleave behind it/them and tether you.

When you see her Spirit of Vengeance coming towards you, you can:

  • Stay away from it for 3 seconds.
  • Punish her with a good engage.

When you are tethered by Umbral Bind already, you can:

  • Counter the pull by walking towards her for 2.5 seconds.

Not only when you play against Maiev, you can:

  • Stay spread and don't group too much with allied Heroes.
  • Avoid fighting in choke points by going early to the Objective and taking a better position.

Abilities

This group of counters require a specific Ability.

When you see her Spirit of Vengeance coming towards you, you can:

  • Use area of effect Abilities in that zone.

When you see her walking in, you can:

  • Root, Stun, Silence her to disable her Blink for a while.

When you see her using Blink aggressively, you can:

  • Blind her to prevent Umbral Bind for tethering with her next Basic Attack.

When you are tethered by Umbral Bind already, you can:

  • Root, Stun, Slow her to not let her walk backward to pull.
  • Teleport, Unstoppable, Stasis yourself and/or your allies to break the tether.
  • Movement Speed buff yourself and/or your allies to move towards Maiev and avoid the pull.

Design

Don't think too much about balance while reading this section, but focus on the design.

Any Version

Cruel Chain (Level 16): Umbral Bind grants 25% Movement Speed for 2.5 seconds. <...> Umbral Bind's pull damage <...> is increased by 30%, up to <...>

The 25% Movement Speed for 2.5 seconds will help Maiev during the Forward Combo – because it requires Spirit of Vengeance to go in and movement to pull – but won't directly contribute to the Backward Combo or the Melee Combo – because they start by walking in and therefore can count on Spirit of Vengeance to get out.

Each stack of Cruel Chain (Level 16) adds 30% of Umbral Blind's pull damage, that's equal to 33 (+4% per level).

Old Version

Cruel Chain (Level 16): Umbral Bind grants 25% Movement Speed for 2.5 seconds. In addition, each time Maiev deals damage to tethered targets, Umbral Bind's pull damage to all targets is increased by 30%, up to 150%.

This version requires the Maiev's player to execute a mini game that consists of hitting the enemy Hero(es) with his/her Abilities, something that's easier to do when going for the Backward Combo or the Melee Combo – because they start by walking in and therefore can count on Spirit of Vengeance to pull – but it's dangerous to execute when going for the Forward Combo – because it requires Spirit of Vengeance to go in and movement to pull.

The mini game is based mostly on your execution and it's barely affected by the number of Heroes you tether, meaning that in a single target scenario the average player will get 90% bonus damage the majority of the times and the experienced player will get 120% bonus damage the majority of the times and that in a multi target scenario they will both get 150% bonus damage.

While some people think the mini game is awkward, it looks like Maiev's players loved it.

New Version

Cruel Chains (Level 16): Umbral Bind grants 25% Movement Speed for 2.5 seconds, and its pull damage is increased by 30% for each tethered target beyond the first, up to 120%.

This version requires the Maiev's player to hit as many Heroes as possible, meaning that you won't be able to get the maximum amount of stacks/damage during a duel.

The lack of the mini game looks not interesting for Maiev's players! The community clearly wants some ways to differentiate the average player and the experienced player.


Balance

Don't think too much about the design while reading this section, but focus on the balance.

Old Version

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This version was objectively strong at killing a single enemy Hero while also being able to do the same thing with a group of enemy Heroes.

The fact that you could do both things without having to choose between a Talent doing the first and a Talent doing the second was powerful as well.

New Version

This version is objectively really weak at killing a single enemy Hero and weak at killing a group of enemy Heroes.


Feedback

This section is about how I'd personally change the Talent to keep it balanced and interesting at the same time.

Hybrid Version

This version that I personally created keeps the best of both worlds, from design perspective and from balance perspective as well.

Cruel Chain (Level 16): Umbral Bind grants 25% Movement Speed for 2.5 seconds, and its pull damage is increased by 10% for each tethered target, up to 50%. In addition, each time Maiev deals damage to tethered targets, Umbral Bind's pull damage to all targets is increased by 20%, up to 100%.

The main threshold values of this version are:

  • You can get up to 40% additional bonus damage by executing the mini game better than the average player. This value was 60% for the Old Version and 0% for the New Version.
  • You can get up to 50% bonus damage if you tether the whole enemy team. This value was 0% for the Old Version and 120% for the New Version.

The goals of this version are:

  • Keep the mini game because it feels rewarding for experienced players.
  • Have a considerable difference between single target damage and multi target damage.
  • Keep the single target damage at a reasonable level.
  • Keep the multi target damage at a reasonable level.

Closing

The tables below will help you compare all versions easily:

  • Targets shows the number of tethered Heroes.
  • Stacks shows the number of times you proc Cruel Chain.
  • Old Bonus shows the bonus damage you used to get with the Old Version.
  • New Bonus shows the bonus damage you get with the New Version.
  • Stacks Bonus is the part of Hybrid Bonus that's works like the Old Version.
  • Targets Bonus is the part of Hybrid Bonus that's works like the New Version.
  • Hybrid Bonus shows the bonus damage you get with the Hybrid Version.
  • Old Delta is the difference between Hybrid Damage and Old Damage.
  • New Delta is the difference between Hybrid Damage and New Damage.

The values corresponding to 1 target go from 3 stacks for the average player to 5 stacks for the experienced player.

Bonus Damage

The first table shows the percentage of additional damage you get from Cruel Chain, with a focus on how the Hybrid Bonus is composed.

Targets Stacks Old Bonus New Bonus Stacks Bonus Target Bonus Hybrid Bonus
1 3 +90% +0% +60% +10% +70%
1 4 +120% +0% +80% +10% +90%
1 5 +150% +0% +100% +10% +110%
2 5 +150% +30% +100% +20% +120%
3 5 +150% +60% +100% +30% +130%
4 5 +150% +90% +100% +40% +140%
5 5 +150% +120% +100% +50% +150%

You can immediately see how the Stacks Bonus has way more impact that then Targets Bonus, just to keep the skill ceiling high.

Scaled Damage

The second table shows the additional damage you get from Cruel Chain at Level 20, with a focus on the difference between Hybrid Damage and the others.

Targets Stacks Old Bonus Old Delta Hybrid Damage New Delta New Damage
1 3 +217 -48 +169 +169 +0
1 4 +289 -72 +217 +217 +0
1 5 +362 -96 +265 +265 +0
2 5 +362 -72 +289 +217 +72
3 5 +362 -48 +313 +169 +145
4 5 +362 -24 +337 +121 +217
5 5 +362 -0 +362 +72 +289

As you can clearly notice, the Hybrid Version is a small nerf compared to the Old Version but a big buff compared to the New Version.

Source: Original link


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