Starter comment, I'm level 954 playing HotS for years almost exclusively in quickplay. I currently have a 65.3% winrate with Hogger in quickplays in 101 games played. I played the hell out of him the week that he came out, to the detriment of school. Hogger is hilarious, strong, and can do almost anything your team needs which is why I find him so much fun to play. This guy can steal camps, self sustain, bully lanes, win 1v1's, disrupt objectives, peel, split soak, you name it.
Generally, when I play hogger my build is pretty limited. I experimented a lot at first and have arrived at what I think is a pretty solid core build that you can make tweaks to based on matchups. The biggest questions you should ask at the start of a Hogger game is How fat are my enemies? and How hard can they burst? These 2 questions will be able to shape most of your build and decisions.
Level 1 talents. Bones to Gnaw all the way. This choice is partly impacted by the fact that we almost always take Hordapult at 10, because it also benefits from this talent. This talent lets you regen 30% over 10 seconds, which can be done every 20 seconds. If you are spamming for healing this is 90%HP per minute, very valuable in offlane bullying. The cherry on top is 10% armor, which is better all game than the life increase from journeyman cooking. On the prowl, and rage focused build in general, is inconsistent and not recommended.
Level 4 talents. Aggro Range or Hogger's Joggers Brute force's damage bonus is slow to scale and does not mesh with our playstyle. Aggro range is my go-to pick in many maps where you can 1. Get consistent teamfight bounces in close quarters like Cursed Hollow 2. You'll be doing lots of merc'ing, this talent speeds it up tons. Joggers is my pick on hanamura, or against comps with dangerous range dps like Tychus or Zul'jin where bouncing in their face is unreliable.
Level 7 talents. Garbage fire is my go to. It gives a significant CD reduction to your heal, makes it do real damage against softies, and gives slight slow. This also helps you waveclear with just dynamite and loot hoard, saving your Hogg Wild for escape. Dense blasting power is neat, but situational in the spread and without synergy from other dynamite talents not worth it. Seeing Red is interesting, and only recommended against lower DPS teams where you can actually make consistent use of the attack speed.
Level 10 Heroic. Hordapult 4 lyfe. Shockwave is ONLY a choice if your team desperately needs a stun. Hoardapult, empowered by Bones to Gnaw and Garbage Fire, is amazing. Your ult can propel you onto low hp enemies trying to escape, you can initiate fights with hordapult into Hogg Wild, you can escape if you mispositioned, and you can create a 20 second lasting loot hoard for cheeky boss kills where you Hogg Wild much more effectively. All the while you are healing, getting armor, slowing and damaging enemies.
Level 13 Talents. Dust Devil is probably the only real choice here. 30 armor on top of 10 from loot hoard meat is dope, and its even better with rage from Aggro Range kicking it up to 50 + 10. Pummel is unreliable, BloodThirst doesn't heal enough to justify passing on armor.
Level 16 Talents. Furzerker is the most consistent and reliable significant dps increase, with a nice bonus of 20% MS when Hogg Wild ends (You now have +30/50 armor and +20MS after hogg wild, meaning you can chase down people you couldn't quite finish or generally do your hogger thing). Headbanger is interesting and quite strong, but only if you hit the stun. I would take this against thicc enemy teams where you need more control, and I would be sure you understand your D–>Q–>W–>E combo first.
Level 20 Storm talents. Probably the most diverse tier in terms of choice. Starting with my most picked, No Control. This talent is disgusting against certain heroes in certain situations. Notably, soft, sneaky bastards who like to hide alone in the back lines like Li Ming, Nova, Tass, Chromie, etc…. If you can correctly disrupt a fight and zone these softies out, no control can finish. It's really important to understand a couple things about this ability though. It's untalented, so you will not have your comfy +30/50 armor during. It also doesn't have aggro range, so you wont build rage and you won't hit in as big an AOE. In general I do not recommend casting this into more than two heroes, especially not in the middle of a team fight. The damage really shines against a single target that you wont bounce off, or two softies that are close and low hp. Also, Hogg Wild does up to double damage based on your rage and this is true for No Control also. Strongly consider pumping your rage before casting this if you arent using it just as a pick on a low running softie. Secret Stash is honestly meh, but if the enemy isn't going to let you get a no control off and survivability is still an issue, this will make you tankier by offering even more meat and some zoning with the dynamite. Anger management has upshot potential, but like all rage is unreliable. Honestly I haven't experimented with this enough because I usually take No Control, but it seems solid enough.
So now lets move on to the playstyle, tips and tricks that make Hogger shine.
Rage management Rage gives hogger up to 50% CDR and up to 100% increased Wild Hogg damage. Whenever possible, you should aim to maintain high rage whether in lane, merc ing, or team fighting. One big thing to get rage is stunning ANY unit with your Staggering blow. Yes, even lane creeps. I like to open on a minion wave with dynamite into loot hoard into Q, stunning 2 or 3 enemies, devastating the wave, and immediately bumping up rage. Hitting dynamite spot on also gives rage, you should always be doing this when possible. Sometimes, I will intentionally let minions in lane hit me to maintain rage as hitting and getting hit build rage and reset the degen. You have crazy self heal, you can take a couple hits to ensure you stay optimal. Lastly, Hogg Wild has tons of rage interactions. You will do up to 1% more damage per rage, you will generate rage with it if you take Aggro Range, and While Hogg Wild is active you do not degen rage, even if you hit nothing. This can be a useful tool to maintain rage between minion waves, just bouncing around waiting for more things to hit.
Wild Hogg Wild Hogg is a truly deep ability that you can learn so much from and deserves it's own mention. This is the reason Hogger is so fun, and also sometimes borderline broken. This ability importantly grants Unstoppable for it's entire duration. Butcher charging you planning to lamb you? Yeet away at the last second and watch his ult do nothing. Kel'Thuzad trying to get saucy? Spin away, or better yet spin into his soft face. Even if you hit no bounces, this ability does moderate damage augmented by rage and is insanely useful. This ability has the potential to do crazy damage. With full rage and no bounces you can do most the life of a softy just by casting on the direction they are running. In close quarter bouncing, the damage goes nuts and really ruins enemy melee's day. Also, this ability merc's. It merc's so fucking hard. I'd say 85% of camps in this game have two parallel edges that you can set up a spin on and clear basically any camp as soon as they start spawning. Camps that don't have this can mostly be get by making your own wall with loot hoard (or even Hordapult). Aggro range makes it much faster and easier. The Key to this is taking a second to line up your trajectory so both your initial line and your bounce lay Exactly on top of each other. Spend some time getting every camp on every map to find the best spots. One big thing to know with this, when searching for max range bouncing spots, Starting your bounce from the middle of your intended path lets you achieve bounces that you could not if you started close to a wall. This is because for some reason you bounce further than your initial, pre-bounce zoom. For instance, in sky temple, at any of the temples stand in the middle of the triangle on the ground of the objective. Aim your bounce right or left perfectly, and you will solo clear the entire objective, killing all the enemy minions easily and spending enough time on the objective to trigger the shots. If you try to do this by starting next to a wall and aiming away, you will fail. Also Also Also, this ability doesn't just grant unstoppable. While you will bounce off any terrain, you will spin right the F through everything else. Nazeebo wall you? Who cares. Tass thinks he's safe behind his wall? Show him Hogger doesn't believe in space magic.
Hogg Wild Usage by Level Sky Temple, above. Battlefield, top and bottom objectives can be bounced up and down, Side objectives have a narrow but usable left to right. Spider Queen, all mercs are EZmode Blackheart Bay Siege mercs have a narrow, diagonal bounce spot. Turn in can be bounced down into maze directly below it, up next to objective, back into maze, repeat. Shrines All mercs have bounce spots, some are narrow and hogger may pop out for unknown reasons. You can 4 corner the objective with bounce and it's devastating Dragon Shire All mercs can be bounced, objectives can be blocked with one or two hoards for hilarious bouncing on objective. Alterac Ez camp, hilarious displacement of captives with hoard Cursed Hollow Literal playground for bouncing, tons of paths can be blocked with hoards, have fun here. Braxis Firebats can be bounced, homing missile camp requires rage and fast hoard into Hogg Wild to solo clear but can be done. Warhead All mercs have bounces. Towers of Doom All mercs EZmode Hanamura Hogger thinks Hanamura is a bad level and so should you.
First thing you should practice is your Loot hoard into staggering blow combo. This is a great way to bully anyone getting close to you during landing. I like to feign retreat, get someone to chase, then turn with D into Q. Once you hit the stun, you can follow up with an immediate dynamite for damage and slow and then either Hogg Wild or auto attack.
Make sure you Stutter Step
In lane, you will often bully opponents HP down and force them to go heal. What many people don't expect is for you to Yolo Hogg Wild straight at the gate that they are trying to go hide behind. You will bounce off it, potentially hitting them with a decent amount of time if they are running straight back and hogger can handle a couple tower hits early to secure these kills.
Loot hoard bouncing in general It's important to understand that unlike Tassadar, your loot hoard is always oriented the same in relation to the map. That is, it will have flat sides facing the cardinal directions, never tilted or angled. That means setting up bounces with your hoard requires walls with similar orientation.
Hoardapult into Loot hoard into Hogg Wild This combo is hard to pull off, hilarious, and devastating. If your enemies don't have disables to stop you, you can at times dive their back line, throw a loot hoard perpendicular, then spin to win between them. This is hard to pull off vs good enemies, but in tight quarters there may be nowhere for them to run.
Loot hoard and Hordapult can be immediately canceled by repressing their button, yielding immediate meat. Don't be like that nazeebo that walled you in for the enemy Kel-Thuzad. If you hit a bad hoard blocking your buddies, kill it instantly and move on. Do not be afraid also to Hold alt + Push D, then Push D again. You will spawn your hoard, destroy it, and immediately start to regen 30% HP over 10 seconds (with Bones to Gnaw). If you're being chased, Alt+D into move click will spawn the hoard on your own butt, pushing you forward and putting a barrier between you and danger.
Use Staggering Blow to smack Siege mercs into tower range or out of range and deal with them yourself
Loot hoard can displace The prisoners in alterac pass Did you know the prisoners you are rescuing are actual units with models? Did you know you can shove them out of their prison and make them targettable further on your own side by shoving a horde directly against their side? I actually haven't tried to reproduce this as I've just done it once but it was hilarious and I hope it isn't patched.
Here's my big mess of thoughts, this is my first time making one of these so forgive if I missed things.
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