Heroes of the Storm

Xul should be hotfixed

HeroesoftheStorm 5 - Xul should be hotfixed
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Xul's current power level is currently so high that not only is he in complete control in any Quick Match games he is played in, he is also practically unplayable in Storm League due to being a very high priority ban.

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.

I have seen it been discussed in other posts and comments whether Xul is actually overpowered. To me, it is quite clear that Xul is overpowered, and this view is supported by both statistics and theory. Anecdotally, it can also just be felt that Xul is overpowered when playing in a match with him.

 

Statistics:

Prior to the changes, Xul was a well balanced hero, hovering around a win rate of 50 % over the past 6 patches (Storm League: 50.22 % at 15961 matches) and (Quick Match: 50.57 % at 45463 matches)

With the last patch, Xul's win rate has increased drastically to around 64 % (Storm League: 63.30 % at 188 matches) (Quick Match: 64.72 % at 562 matches).

While the sample sizes are still quite small, a few hundred games are enough to conclude with almost certainty that Xul is has been buffed solidly into >60% win rate range, which not only makes him an overpowered hero, but likely also the strongest hero by quite a few percentage points.

 

Theory:

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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
  • 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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