I've been playing since the alpha, and have been on a quest to get all heroes to level 15 (done about 55 of them, with the bulk as tanks and healers), to better my understanding of the game and recently dug in on Probius. I have about 30 games mostly in QM at this point, and man, I feel there are some really big problems.
Maybe I'm just missing a build or set of talents, but I've found the hero in his current form to be borderline useless and only potentially viable in some scenarios, but even then, there are so many heroes that do similar things but with stronger tools in their kit. The waveclear is incredibly strong, but so is Xul's or Leoric's, and they do so much more otherwise…
There's an interesting tension between Probius wanting to be in lanes, but simultaneously needing to be early to an objective in order to get set up, but right now I feel like it's very, very difficult to do both.
I feel there are so many issues with the base kit that it's hard to think about talents; let's just talk about abilities and baseline problems and see where we get with that.
- The Z: Worker rush should function (at least) like Hammer's Z. You can stun hammer during that period or slow her while she's boosting, but worker rush literally ends when Probius dealt ANY damage. This makes what's ostensibly an escape/rotation tool, basically only a viable rotation tool. If you blow worker rush, it's 30 seconds (20 seconds with the 4 talent) before you have any escape at all (presuming you're not in damage range). I can't think of another character that has so few ways of mitigating dive or getting caught out. I get why thematically he can't mount, but I feel like he's extra punished for it since he has so little way to deal getting jumped on.
- AAs: Auto-attacks are basically worthless, since they do almost no damage and are so close range that you can almost never get in anyone's face (because you have no escape or mitigation). Deckard might be the most obvious comparison here. His auto-attacks are relatively wet noodle, but he can step and slap because he has self-heal, a slow, and a timed root. I know it's necessarily thematic to "the Probe" fantasy, but an auto-attack that functions more like reworked Tassadar's would make much more sense for me.
- Photon Cannon: Why can the player not direct photon cannon's damage? This would solve SO much in Probius' early lane game. Gazlowe's turrets would be the most obvious comparison, but Jaina's water elemental would be another. The problem is he can't screen himself from damage or punish someone extending into his side of the lane. Again, reducing the cooldown on photon cannon seems the wrong choice here. His kit makes him want to solo lane, but has almost zero way to deal damage to his competition unless they step inside of a warp rift and he has time to detonate it. But then, he needs to be using that to clear, probably…
- Pylons: I feel like messing with the cooldown or pylons' hit points would provide a lot of rough balance issues, but perhaps allow him to carry two charges of pylons? This would make the pylon ult more of a threat, and give him a chance to split damage (the other team has to nuke one and then other, rather than one-by-one-by-one) and more easily ensure he can have photon cannon up for objective fights. You could also give the pylons baseline physical armor, since at least spell-users would have to blow cooldowns to kill them, but ranged auto attackers who can spot your pylons and understand the counterplay are just cancer (Raynor, Valla, Sylv etc.).
- Warp Rift: The way the warp rifts function is great and the most balanced part of his kit; punishes bad positioning from the enemy team, and allows for fairly significant burst, but the Q could use some more functionality. Let's say some sort of trade off for using it directly on a character, versus using it on the warp rift? As of now, basically his only way to do directed character damage is by getting someone to stand in a warp rift and blow it up. It can be significant, but you really need to play into it very carefully.
- Ults: Nul Gate is an incredible zoning tool and it feels like the only viable ult, given how you can create picks with it and how forgiving the timing is. The pylon ult is very easily countered by just destroying pylons or running away for 5 seconds. Giving the pylons chunky physical and/or spell armor during the pylon ult's duration and making the damage targetable (like I would like to see changed on the Photon Cannon) would make it much more viable. Again, giving probius two charges of pylon would help here too. It still has a setup time to get out, but isn't hard countered by some auto-attacker just relentlessly killing your pylons.
Maybe I'm missing some things here, but I may take a break from leveling Probius until after he gets a re-work. I'd love to hear from people who've played a lot. I can imagine there's things I'm missing, but I'd love to hear what other people's thoughts are. I know there was someone who hit level 100 with him, but I just can't imagine it in his kit's current state.
Would love to hear what others think!
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© Post "Probius (Constructive Discussion on a Rework)" for game Heroes of the Storm.
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