Heroes of the Storm

Zagara as a Ranged Assassin in this Political Climate (Rework ideas)

HeroesoftheStorm 10 - Zagara as a Ranged Assassin in this Political Climate (Rework ideas)

So the last Developer Comment on Zagara (dated 6/6/18) reads as follows:

Developer Comment: The Nexus has changed a lot since Zagara first arrived. Originally, she was the ultimate lane bully, known for pushing enemies out of lane with Hunter Killer and draining tower ammo with her summons. The arrival of new solo-laners who can challenge her power, combined with the removal of tower ammo, has made this part of her identity less special.

This is unfortunately still true a year later and it's important to note that those comments were made about scaling changes, while her actual rework was almost two years earlier (dated 12/07/2016).

Currently, the Overqueen of the Zerg finds herself slightly 6% popularity (similar to Tyrael, Kharazim, Deckard or Tracer) with a 49.2% winrate, between Maiev and the Butcher. This isn't bad on paper, but popularity drastically drops the higher the rank and Zagara is virtually inexistent in professional play.

Of course, a rework does not guarantee high-level play (see more: Azmodan) but I would love to see Zagara be brought to modern meta standards.

The goals of this Rework are the following:

  • Make Zagara viable competitively.

  • Move away from non-interactive gameplay and towards team fighting, without losing the split-pusher aspect.

  • Build variety – each build should provide unique gameplay. This means moving certain talents to open possibilities for new synergies and playstyles.

  • Achieve Hero Fantasy – Overqueen of the Zerg.

Basic Statistics:

  • 1575 health, 3.28 regen

  • 500 mana

  • 86 basic attack damage, 1.25 attack speed, 6 range

  • Comment: Basic Attack increase. This rework aims to make Zagara's Basic Attacks a central aspect of her kit.

Basic Abilities:

Trait: Creep Tumour

  • Lay a Creep Tumour that generates Creep. While on Creep, Zagara gains 1 additional attack range and both Zagara and her summons move 20% faster. Tumours last 240 seconds.

Q: Baneling Barrage

  • 3s cooldown, 10 mana

  • Launch 1 Baneling that deals 86 (+4% per level) splash damage. Stores 4 charges.

W: Hunter Killer

  • 16s cooldown, 40 mana

  • Summon a Hydralisk to attack a single target, dealing 62 (+4% per level) damage per second. Lasts 8 seconds. Stores 2 charges.

  • Comment: While it is true that the game has been moving away from summons and visual clutter in general, a Queen is nothing without her Swarm. Summons are mandatory for Xul, Azmodan and Zagara. I don't think this is up for discussion.

E: Mass Frenzy

  • 40s cooldown, 75 mana

  • Zagara and her summons gain 20% attack speed for 8 seconds.

  • Comment: The role of Infested Drop was originally to soak damage from Towers and Forts. When Ammo was removed, their role diminished. The Infested Drop was difficult to land, and the Roachlings themselves were nothing more than a distraction. The new ability, Mass Frenzy, gives Zagara and her Hydralisks a burst of damage sorely needed during teamfights.

R1: Devouring Maw

  • 100s cooldown, 100 mana

  • Summon a Devouring Maw that devours enemies for 4 seconds. Devoured enemies cannot fight and take 88 (+4% per level) damage per second. Usable on Unstoppable enemies.

R1: Infested Drop

  • 100s cooldown, 100 mana

  • Bombard the target area with 5 Zerg Drop Pods that deal 147 (+4% per level) damage each. Each pod spawns 2 Roachlings that deal 27 (+4% per level) damage per second and last for 8 seconds.

  • Comment: SYKE YOU THOUGHT I redesigned Infested Drop as a Damage alternative to her Crowd Control/Team Coordination-oriented Maw. To avoid clutter, each Drop Pod could instead only spawn one Roachling, with improved stats.

Talent Tier One:

  • (Q) Volatile Acid: Banelings can travel 50% further before exploding and their explosion radius and damage to non-Heroes is increased by 50%.

  • (A) Infest: Nearby Ranged Minions deal an additional 100% damage, plus an additional 1% per 1000 Siege damage Zagara has dealt. Can be toggled on or off.

  • (P) Serrated Spines: (!) Quest: Each Basic Attack against a Hero increases Zagara's Attack Damage by 0.3.

  • Comment: Volatile Acid improves the Banelings radius in addition to its current functionalities, adding synergy with other talents.

Talent Tier Two:

  • (Q) Baneling Massacre: Gain 2 additional charges of Banelings, and they deal 20% more damage.

  • (Q) Viscous Acid: Banelings slow enemies by 40% for 2 seconds.

  • (A) Envenomed Spines: Zagara's next Basic Attack is instant and applies 230 (+4% per level) damage over 5 seconds. Refresh the cooldown by damaging Heroes 40 times.

  • Comment: Viscous Acid provides more CC but lasts less as it is an underperforming talent. Envenomed Spines should be more interactive.


Talent Tier Three:

  • (D) Malignant Creep: Creep spreads 15% farther. While on Creep, each Basic Attack reduces all of Zagara's cooldowns by 0.5 seconds.

  • (A) Nydus Network: Summon a Nydus Worm on Creep anywhere that Zagara has vision. Zagara can enter a Nydus Worm and travel to any other Nydus Worm by right-clicking near it. Stores up to 2 charges. Maximum of 4 Nydus Worms at a time.

  • (P) Mutalisk: Zagara spawns a Mutalisk each time she gathers a Regeneration Globe. Mutalisks travel down the nearest lane, dealing 24 damage to the main target. Their attacks bounce, hitting 2 additional targets for 12 damage each. Mutalisks last for 30 seconds.

  • Comment: Recycling is the name of the game – I split the previous Heroic Nydus Network into two talents: one that provides Zagara with the Global mobility (with or without the Health and Mana regeneration, depending on what's balanced) and another one that grants her the Passive bonuses she used to gain on creep when taking said Heroic.

  • I also chose to redesign Mutalisk for two reasons. (1) It has been overperforming compared to the choices on its current tier, even after several nerfs and (2) The current Mutalisk design comes in conflict with later talents.

Talent Tier Four:

  • (W) Corrosive Saliva: When used against Heroes, Hunter Killers deal additional damage equal to 2% of the target’s maximum Health. Zagara is healed by damage dealt this way.

  • (Q/E) Relentless Swarm: The duration of the next Mass Frenzy is increased by 0.1s each time a Baneling damages an enemy Hero.

  • (D) Protective Coating: While on Creep, Zagara gains 20 Armor, taking 20% less damage. Hitting an enemy Hero with Baneling Barrage grants 50 Spell Armor against the next enemy Ability, reducing the damage taken by 50%. Can only gain 1 charge per cast, up to 4 charges maximum.

  • Comment: Corrosive Saliva and Hydralisk Transfusion have been combined, with their effects slightly diminished. Protective Coating has similarly combined with a modified "Spell Shield".

Talent Tier Six:

  • (E) Medusa Blades: While Mass Frenzy is active, Basic Attacks deal 20% more damage and splash to three nearby targets.

  • (E) Lurker Strain: Mass Frenzy causes Hunter Killers to evolve into Lurkers, burrowing underground and dealing their damage in a straight line.

  • (E) Symbiosis: Mass Frenzy heals all nearby Allied Hereso for 160 instantly and an additional 320 over its duration, also removing any damage over time from them.

  • Comment: As with every Hero, Level 16 marks a significant Power Spike and defines the Hero's build. So must it be for Zagara with Options for either her Basic Attack build or her Summoner Mage build, with a third option that takes her to a more supportive role, reminiscent of the Swarm Queens of StarCraft II.

Talent Tier Seven:

  • (R1) Tyrant Maw: Devouring Maw deals 100% more damage per Hero devoured and when you get a Takedown reduce its cooldown by 25 seconds.

  • (R2) Darken the Skies: Infested Drop now summons Roaches that have double the unit radius, 50 armour and deal 100% more damage. Roaches prioritise enemy Heroes.

  • (D) Endless Creep: The cast range for Creep Tumour is increased by 2000%. Creep Tumours now last 600 seconds. While on Creep, Zagara gains an additional 10% Movement Speed and 20% Attack Speed. This Attack Speed stacks with Mass Frenzy.

  • (W) Brood Expansion: Hunter Killer gains an additional charge and all charges are gained at once.

  • Comment: Obviously, Fury of the Storm had to go, being a generic talent. Both Endless Creep and Tyrant Maw remain, but made more impactful, Infested Drop deserves an upgrade, as any Heroic should have (see more: Lightbomb) and Brood Expansion culminates the Summoner Zagara build.

  • Conceptually, I like the idea of a talent which would give access to all her level 16 talents. However, seeing how strong tier six talents already are, that might become too strong, so I didn't include it.

I believe this rework achieves the goals I set while not removing anything from Zagara's current playstyle. Want to split push the whole game? There's a build for that. And there's also at least two new builds that open up for higher level strategies.

I have my doubts and skepticism when I read similar posts from other players, which is why I hesitated in posting this. However, I realised that at the end of the day, it does no harm and only opens discussion.

That being said, I hope you enjoyed going through these ideas and depending on the reaction, I might be making similar posts of ideas that have gathered in a folder on my computer over the past few months.

EDIT: I'm trying to clean up the post, since it is a big block of text and Reddit doesn't allow for the cleanest formatting.

Source: Original link

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