A developer noticed that nobody ever used Valeera's Thistle Tea talent (level 16, refills all energy on 40s cd). So in the 2021-01-19 patch they cut the cooldown in half, figuring that half cooldown makes an ability about twice as good. But instead, Thistle Tea is still useless. Here's why:
- Changing a cooldown from 40s to 20s still means you get one use per fight. Cooldowns anywhere from 20 to 50 are practically the same, unless the ability can be used outside of a fight, like for poke, engagement attempts (like Cassia's Valkyrie), waveclear, healing, etc. As Thistle Tea only has a purpose after Valeera has spent energy on multiple basic abilities, the lower cooldown doesn't enable using the talent more often.
- Energy talents are redundant. Besides Thistle Tea, Valeera has 3 other talents that improve energy, all at much lower level: Vigor (1), Subtlety (1), and especially Relentless Strikes (4). An energy talent only has value if you would run out of juice without it. If you've already got enough to keep pressing abilities, then another energy talent provides zero value. Valeera can't afford to wait past level 4 to get energy efficiency, so there's no case where it's sensible to spend your lev16 talent on more energy.
How to improve Thistle Tea?
- The Thistle Tea concept is to push a button so you can do more abilities, so replace the current effect with this: "Activate to instantly gain 50 energy and reset the cooldowns of basic abilities and Vanish. 40-60s cooldown". That version gives Thistle Tea a use case for when Valeera misses a Sinister Strike or is surprisingly knocked out of stealth.
Level 16 options
Not only is Thistle Tea worthless, but level 16 has another talent with almost no effect, leaving Sinister Strike as the only viable option. Assassinate gives a bonus when using Ambush (DQ) on a hero that's isolated from his friends. Why is that bad? If a hero is walking around alone after level 16, that could mean a few things:
- He is weak, and Valeera can get a kill without needing talent help.
- He is passively strong, and Valeera can't solo-kill regardless of the talent.
- He has an escape button, like Genji, Murky, Falstad, Dehaka, or Dva, so the best way for Valeera to secure the kill is to take away abilities. That means Garrote silence, so an Ambush talent is worthless.
So there's no case where Assassinate is helpful. It's just a joke talent if you want to overkill a hero who was doomed anyway.
How to improve Assassinate?
- The talent concept is to have improved threat in sneak attacks on a lonely enemy. So remove the link to Ambush (DQ), and allow the talent to also work with Cheap Shot and Garrote openers.
- However, a function of Valeera finding a solo hero and killing him isn't valuable enough, because past 16 it is teamfights that really matter. So on top of the isolated hero effect, give Assassinate a different benefit against groups: "Using Ambush gives Valeera XXX shields for each nearby enemy hero besides the target, lasting for 3 seconds".
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© Post "Why patch failed Valeera’s Thistle Tea (+Assassinate)" for game Heroes of the Storm.
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