Xul's current power level is currently so high that not only is he in complete control of most of the Quick Match games he is played in, he is also practically unplayable in Storm League due to being a high priority ban on all of his good maps. Hotfixing Xul will both make him more fair in Quick Match, and make him less banned and thus more playable in Storm League and Unranked Draft.
Functionally, I think the Xul changes are good, and should not be reverted, but Xul's numbers are simply too much: He does too much damage, he is too hard to kill, and his new level 16 talents are too powerful for how easily and widely they can be applied. Xul does not need to be readjusted on all of these, but when they are all as strong as they are, and present all together, they make for a very overpowered Xul.
Xul should be changed now, and not in another two weeks. The changes do not have to make him a perfectly balanced hero, but they should aim to bring Xul's win rate below 60 %, preferably closer to 55 %. Xul can then be adjusted again as appropriate with the patch that is expected in another two weeks.
Going by influence, displayed on heroesprofile, which is a way to easily display win rate, ban rate, and pick rate as a combined value, Xul is also currently by far the best pick and ban
I normally would post about the same topic this soon, but since my previous entry was dismissed as having "not enough data" to support my conclusions, I think it is appropriate with this follow-up post. The data was there 12 days ago, the data is most certainly here now: Xul is sitting comfortably at +65 % win rate at over 11000 games played in Quick Match, Unranked Draft, and Storm League.
Prior to the patch, Xul was performing solidly at around 50 % win rate. It then stands to reason, that the significant buffs he received will also significantly increase his win rate beyond 50 %.
The buffs are overall very substantial, the most important ones being:
- Health and health regeneration increased by 10 %
- Spectral Scythe spawns a skeleton for each hero hit
- Skeletons focus the target of Bone Prison
- Skeletons explode on death, dealing damage to all enemies nearby (the damage was reduced as it was bugged, but it is still a change from the previous Xul version)
- Decrepify (Level 16 talent): Enemy Heroes who are damaged by Spectral Scythe or Skeletal Warriors are Slowed by 40% for 2.5 seconds.
- Weaken (Level 16 talent): Enemy Heroes who are damaged by Cursed Strikes or Skeletal Warriors deal 40% less damage for 3 seconds.
Xul also received some adjustments consisting of simultaneous buffs and nerfs, but overall these changes were also buffs:
Xul's basic attack damage was reduced by 10 %, but Cursed Strikes now increases his damage by 15 %. Xul almost always has Cursed Strikes active when auto attacking, and effectively these two changes negate each other.
Maximum Skeletons spawned from minions were reduced from 4 to 3, and while this may sound like a big change, the actual effect of it is very little. Skeletons spawned from casting abilities do not count towards this maximum. Xul will also still spawn 7 skeletons from each minion wave, each of which will now also deal AoE damage to all nearby enemies upon death. This change only means that 3 skeletons from minions will be active at a time, making his pushed in waves absorb a couple less tower shots. This effect is entirely offset by the fact that the skeletons will explode upon death, which also deals damage to structures.
The health of skeletons were increased, while their duration was decreased. Both of these changes are small, and have a very little effect. The change is either a buff or neutral, as skeletons only very rarely live for their full duration, and a reduction in duration from 15 seconds to 12 seconds is not going to make the duration short enough to change this.
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