Heroes of the Storm

The Blind on Cheap Shot was a mistake. It should be moved to Smoke Bomb.

HeroesoftheStorm 1 - The Blind on Cheap Shot was a mistake. It should be moved to Smoke Bomb.

The thing is, while the blind was meant to help Valeera against auto attackers, most of the time you're better off silencing them anyways to prevent them from using their defensive abilities. Valla, Raynor, Fenix, and so on seem like the kind of heroes you'd want to blind, but typically it's better to just silence them anyways because Cheap Shot deals essentially no damage, doesn't prevent them from using their escapes/other defensive abilities against you, and they're probably not going to be taking the time to sit there auto attacking you and facetank your damage anyways. When blinded Raynor will knock you away and activate Adrenaline Rush, Valla will Q pop Gloom and Vault away, and Fenix will slow you then Warp away.

The blind is mainly useful on specific heroes who sustain off autos (Artanis, Butcher, Illidan, Varian, others), and doesn't get value against many teams. It is also used to peel for teammates when many of these same heroes, with a few others thrown in, dive your backline. But like I said, it just isn't useful in many situations. Cheap Shot is the most niche opener, as the stun is pretty mediocre and blind is very specific. I understand why they wanted to give the disabler a blind, but I think it's in the wrong part of her kit.

So if this blind is mainly used to shut down heroes diving into your backline, and only useful against certain heroes and not against others, why not tie it into her heroic choice so it isn't forced upon her at the expense of her old stun duration?

Smoke Bomb is in need of a change, I think. It and Cloak of Shadows do very similar things right now. They're both basically panic buttons that save your neck. The difference is Cloak of Shadows has 1/4 the cooldown, with more utility in many cases. You'll be hard pressed to find a team that Unstoppable, DoT removal, and Spell armor all on demand doesn't come in handy against. Granted, Smoke Bomb is a lot easier to use, but usually worse in my experience (300+ games on Valeera). I'd like to see Smoke Bomb reworked to have more utility, because when you have two ults with the same purpose (panic button), one is usually going to be better than the other.

The best way to rework Smoke Bomb imo, is to move the blind on Cheap Shot to it. Make Smoke Bomb the team utility ult, while Cloak is the "panic button" ult. This is my idea for it: Drop a Smoke Bomb, blinding nearby enemies for 5 seconds and granting Valeera 60% movement speed decaying over 2.5 seconds.


Basically, I'm suggesting we turn this into tool that is used defensively against the same type of heroes you'd like to blind with cheap shot, while still being kind of a defensive tool (but not as powerful as cloak's defensive abilities). The lingering cloud no longer exists, it just instantly blinds nearby enemies for a good chunk of time and grants move speed. So you're choosing between a defensive tool for your team to shut down auto attackers that dive you, or a personal defense tool that excels against mages especially. I think this adds some much needed depth to her heroic choice, and gives her a strong option to fit her disabler role.

And because Valeera has blind moved to Smoke Bomb, I would like to revert Cheap Shot to it's old 1.25 second stun without any blind. Cheap shot is supposed to be the peel ability, and the lockdown ability to prevent a target's escape, but it feels like it's used almost entirely for the blind nowadays because the stun is so short. While 0.75 second stuns can be powerful (see malg), Valeera can only stun one target with it (unlike malg, who also has a sleep), and it's a short ranged ability that needs 3 seconds of waiting in stealth before you can use the increased range, providing plenty of counterplay. I'd like her opener choice to be more of a dilemma that requires adapting to the situation, instead of "stun these heroes, silence these heroes." There is definitely some depth to this choice already (Ambush especially requires judicious use, and isn't really a "default pick" vs anything which is think is good), but I think making Cheap Shot about the stun again, not the blind, would help tremendously to expand this decision making even more. As I said, the power of blind is specific to the enemy comp, so having it thrust on you from level 1 at the expense of your stun feels strange. Stun is always useful however, and can compete with silences/armor reduction against most heroes.

Thanks for reading this! I've been thinking about this a lot and I think this would be a really great change for Valeera. If any blues are reading this, I'd appreciate you thinking this over and considering it.

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