Hi guys I am a big Valeera player with a few hundred games on her nearing level 75. I am HailFall on the HotS forums, but I thought I would post this here in hopes more people would see it. I'm here to talk about Valeera's openers and my suggestions to balance them, making all of them feel viable. First I will discuss Cheap Shot and Garrote (and why Cheap Shot struggles to compete) then I'll get to ambush.
Right now it is no secret that Valeera usually opens with Garrote. It provides solid CC that both prevents her target from fighting back as well, and prevents them from using defensive or mobility abilities to survive her damage.
In her rework, Cheap Shot was transitioned from a moderate/powerful Stun to a weak Stun with a Blind tacked on. This seems interesting. You choose between disabling your enemies ability to use physical damage with Cheap Shot, or spell damage with Garrote. Unfortunately, it doesn't end up working out like that.
The big issue with having Valeera choose "Silence or Blind" is that everyone wants to use their abilities, but not everyone needs to auto attack. In fact most of the roster would rather have their abilities than their auto attacks with a Valeera in their face. They are typically going to want to dump all their damage spells on you and run away, not sit there attacking. Blind fails to get as much value because of this. It does provide a short Stun, but the damage and disabling duration are so much lower that it really struggles to compete.
I think the Stun needs to go up to 1 second for the crowd control to seriously compete with a 2.5 second Silence. On the other hand if they really want to embrace the disabling nature of the ability, I would suggest increasing the blind time by 0.5 seconds, then nerfing the level 13 Blind by that amount (so her total possible Blind does not change either way). I would also like to suggest Blizzard increase the damage a little bit. Sometimes I miss kills with Cheap Shot just because it does so much less damage than Garrote. Increasing the damage to say, 80, would make me feel a lot more inclined to use it to finish a low health target with the short "stay still" effect.
As for Ambush, there are a lot of different things to do with it. It's hard to make it compete with cc without making its burst damage too extreme, so it follows that one option is increasing the Armor Shred on it to 15 and seeing how it goes. However what I want to suggest is a little more creative.
I say to embrace the "surprise attack" nature of the ability, and change it's damage to a percentage of current health, similar to Greymane's cursed bullet. With this, it would be a strong choice to engage on full health targets, whereas Garrote would be more focused on lockdown and Cheap Shot would be more focused on disabling. It would still keep the Armor Shred, so it would be a good choice on a target your team already has means to lock down to open up a fight. I can see a lot of creative ways to use this, so I really hope you guys at blizzard read this and consider!
Thanks for reading guys :> see you in the Nexus
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