Hopeing to get the thoughts of other Whitemane players out there. Why do you choose Whitemane as your healer?
Maybe it's because I played a whole lot of Whitemane pre-rework.. but it's been a long time since then, and picking her up again has left me feeling… pretty meh.
Whitemane pre-rework was an absolute beast, and while I had a fantastic time playing her, it was definitely problematic. She had the highest healing output of of any healer on the roster for a long time, her damage was competitive with some DPS, and she had absolutely no concerns regarding mana to boot. After the multiple reworks however, she kind of feels like an echo of what she used to be. Maybe i'm just missing her glory days, but it doesn't feel all that great locking her in on draft. I still play a lot of Whitemane, just for fun. I appreciate the skill floor that was created out of her latest iteration, but locking in Whitemane doesn't really feel like I'm making a strong pick.
Right now, from what I can see, Whitemane excels in a few places.
Her main strength is burst healing. I believe Whitemane has the highest potential burst healing output out of any hero in the game. A good spread of Zeal, a well placed Divine Reckoning, activating her passive and throwing out a E+W can turn the tide of a fight in 4 seconds, and then do a whole bunch of overhealing ontop of that. Most of her talent builds can accomplish an insane amount of burst healing and it's very satisfying to pull these game-changing feats.
Her secondary strengths comes from a few forms of utlity, through the availability of cleanse, a targeted/channeled 50% damage reduction, and a decently reliable 1.5 second root. She has two potential armor reduction talents at levels 16 and 20, and the +40% armor for 4 seconds on all nearby allies ult deserves a special mention as well.
Now after reading that, perhaps I've convinced a lot of people that Whitemane is a great healer. And while on paper it seems great.. in practice, I can't help but find her pretty lacking. Again, perhaps I'm just missing her glory days, but compared to most other healers, Whitemane plays with a whole lot of limits that other healers are free of, without bringing much to the game to compensate.
First of all, mana management. Now yes, Whitemanes earlier versions where ridiculous when it came to mana. With certain talents, there was never a reason for Whitemane to drink fountain let alone return to base. She could just heal up, W, and all her mana would return. Now, mana management is at a fairlu reasonable place, and I appreciate the thought and consideration a good Whitemane player must have to manage her Q and mana. However, it feels like an extremely restrictive mechanic to play against and hardly rewards the player for managing it well. In most cases, it feels a lot like by playing Whitemane, you're playing with a handicap that other healers do not have, and executing it well only rewards mediocre healing.
My second gripe with Whitemane is her damage output. Again, her first iteration was absolutely broken. She did a lot of damage, a lot of healing, and could even 1v1 a handful of heroes on the roster. But now, Whitemanes damage output falls flat against most other healing heroes. Not to mention, a lot of other healers are able to do more damage without making themselves as vulnerable as Whitemane. Gaining 25 spellpower at the cost of 25 armor is a fine trade, and adds another interesting mechanic that needs to be played skillfully. But that, added to her self-rooting channel and its modest cast range makes Whitemane very susceptible to oncoming damage. Ontop of THAT, add on her low 8 second duration zeal and short cast range on Q, refreshing zeal on your frontline become a non-option unless you want to put yourself in serious danger.
And third, I think Whitemane's autoattack build is just really forced and out of place. Disregarding her weak autoattack animation, Whitemane and her kit where not originally designed with autoattacks in mind. Don't get me wrong- her AA build performs fine and is an alright choice if you're looking for a much steadier, sustained healing output. But even after implementing the AA-oriented talents into her kit, it still feels very out of place for Whitemane. It's especially frustrating when you use this build and are essentially locked out of her inquisition utility because casting the spell and not autoattacking becomes a huge HPS loss. AND YEA, OKAY, her AA animation is really, really unsatisfying.
Anyways. My thoughts on Whitemane. Curious as to all the other Whitemane players think. For context, I'm a High Plat/Low Diamond healer main. I used to almost exclusively Whitemane until the rework. Now my most played has been overtaken by Anduin, then Tyrande, with Whitemane not far behind.
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