Heroes of the Storm

Zagara’s Rework Concept, Abilities and Talents – An aid for Heroes best evolving menace. (Reasons and explanation breakdown for each talent)

HeroesoftheStorm 4 - Zagara's Rework Concept, Abilities and Talents - An aid for Heroes best evolving menace. (Reasons and explanation breakdown for each talent)
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Hello r/heroesofthestorm. My name is Phewxye, a long time player (with short breaks here and there) who simply loves Zagara and her thematic. I used to play with her a lot back then but today, the meta has clearly changed and there are heroes who does the job way better than she does except in (maybe?) Cursed Hollow.

Anyway, I've been thinking that Zagara has lot of potential in this game, to ascend as a truly evolving and haunting threat and that's what her talents will be about – evolving and growing stronger. She's still very fragile tho (with the exception of her lv13 resistance tier, which has to follow a certain condition to trigger its resistance).



Abilities

(D – Specialization) – Creep Tumor

Zagara lays a creep tumor that generates creep. While on creep, Zagara and her summons gains 10% additional movespeed. Tumors lasts for 120/240 seconds (lvls up at 10) and can be destroyed.

Cooldown: 15 seconds, 2 charges.

Baseline specialization's been toned down, but just because you'll upgrade it immediately at level 1, so it stays basically the same (but with the talent's spin).

(Q) – Baneling Tunnel

Zagara sets up a Baneling Tunnel in a fixed place that has creep and it can be destroyed. If an enemy destroys the Baneling Tunel, Zagara has to wait 8 seconds before setting up a new tunnel.

Zagara can cast the ability again to send a barrage of banelings into a specified direction coming from this tunnel. This command does not stops Zagara's movements and other action inputs (she can cast it while walking and it wont stop Zagara's movement).

Each baneling deals splash damage in the area of explosion.

Cooldown: 4 seconds, stores up to 4 charges.

The player can use the numbers (1-6) to destroy a Baneling Tunnel within range and reposition it 2 seconds later.

This ability is being reworked so you can bring more player's skill expression. Setting up the tunnel brings more the fantasy of building your own empire, asserting and dominating zones and makes the player feel smart with his decision. It also opens up on the ability of playing aggressive or defensively (according to the player's playstyle). The fact of casting this ability no longer stopping your movement/action inputs also increases the player's APM capability (vibrating even more his skill expression).

(W) – Hunter Killer

Summons a Hydralisk to chase and attack a single target, dealing damage each attack/second. Lasts for 8 seconds. This ability can be reactivated once to change its target or go to a specified location. If commanded to go to a specific location, once arriving, it'll attack nearby enemies, prioritizing heroes. The Hydralisk despawns if too far from Zagara.

Cooldown: 16 seconds

Nothing much changed, just the fact that you can control the Hydralisk so it can, again, increase the player's skill expression and APM capability.

(E) – Infested Drop

Bombard a targeted area with a Zerg Drop Pod to deal damage on the landing site.

The pod spawns 2 roachlings that deals damage each attack/second. Lasts for 8 seconds.

Cooldown: 16 seconds.

Nothing changed. This ability is fine the way it is (but talents will bring its own twist later on – keep reading to find out)



Talents

Level 1 – Specialization Tier

(D and Auto Attack) – Evolving Spines

Creep Tumor's health increased by a good margin, spreads further and almost instantly but it's time active is reduced to 30 seconds.

  • Quest: Every 3 consecutive attacks against the same Hero increases Zagara's Attack damage by 1%, up to 20%. Heroes takedowns grants 5% damage increase.

  • Reward: Zagara's auto attack damage increases by more 20% and her range increases by 1. If on creep, this damage bonus is increased to 30% and her range by 1.25

This new talent resolves around Zagara's auto-attack build. It fleshes up the actual Evolving Spines, bringing a more fun and engaging talent, both for Zagara and the enemy. Reducing Creep Tumor's active time is the tradeoff of this aggressive but rewarding playstyle.

(D and Spell-Casting) – Evolving Symbiosis

Zagara gains 5% additional magic damage. Creep Tumors health slightly increased and gains 50% magic resistance.

  • Quest: Achieve 50 stacks. Hitting enemy heroes with abilities grants 1 stack and takedowns grants 5 stacks.

  • Reward: Zagara gains an additional 5% magic damage, increased to 15% while on creep. Hitting enemy heroes with Banelings explosions reduces all basic abilities cooldown by 0.5 seconds. Hitting enemy heroes with Infested Drop reduces all abilities (including ultimate) cooldown by 1 second for each hero hit.

This talent resolves around Zagara's spell casting capabilities. It rewards the player by hitting his spells and always wanting to hit more, while engaging with the enemy, as they'll always try to dodge them.

(D and Zone Control) – Evolving Tumors

Creep Tumor's active time increased by 50% and cast range increased by 200%. Creep now grants vision of all the area that is infested and an additional 15% extra movespeed to Zagara and her summons.

  • Quest: Collect 25 Regenerative Globes.

  • Reward 1: After collecting 8 globes, Zagara deals an additional 15% damage from all sources to enemy minions and Mercenaries, increased to 25% while on creep.

  • Reward 2: After collecting 16 globes, creep increases allied minions and mercenaries damage by 25% and movement speed by 10%. Creep active time increased by more 50% and cast range increased by 200% more.

  • Reward 3: After collecting 25 globes, Zagara gains an additional 25% damage from all sources to enemy minions and mercenaries. While on creep, this bonus increases to 50% and affects enemy structures as well, but the bonus damage is dealt over 5 seconds.

This is a specialization that further improves Zagara's split-push capabilities. Since she'll be almost all the time split-pushing and doing mercs, going globe after globe will be a fun addition to her and she will feel growing stronger against these particularities.

Level 4 – Q Tier

(Spell-casting) Volatile Acid – Baneling Tunnel health increased and mana cost slightly increased. If the Baneling Tunnel stays put for 5 seconds, it'll evolve and generate 1 baneling charge every 3 seconds. After 5 more seconds, it evolves again, increasing the generation charge to every 1.5 seconds. Banelings speed travel increased by 25%. Cooldown of each charge reduced by 0.5 second.

This talent massively improves Spell-casting (or split-pushing) Zagara, while giving it a rewarding and engaging feel for her (and her allies) for protecting the Baneling Tunnel that is defensively or aggressively positioned. It will also trigger the enemy team and they'll probably hunt down even harder Baneling Tunnels. The tradeoff will be her new mana issue and the management of her resources.

(Crowd-Control) Viscous Acid – Banelings now applies a decaying 10% slow for a second. If an enemy Hero gets hit by 3 banelings in a row, he'll be rooted for 0.75 second. This effect has a 10 seconds cooldown per target.

Viscous Acid is a tool to try increasing Zagara's safety (or pickoff capability).

(Damage access) Thermosensitive Acid – Lose two charges. Explosion area increased, and Banelings now seek nearby enemy heroes, even on fog of war, dealing 25% more damage and revealing them for 3 seconds after hit.

A nice little spin to players who don't want to bother on actively hitting their spells and bring valorous information for him and his team, making it easier to track down pesky enemies. The tradeoff is the obvious loss of charges, since the player will likely hit more without much concern.

Level 7 – E Tier

(More summons and damage) Zerg Rush – Infested Drop range decreased by 25%. The zerg pod now spawns 3 zerglings instead. Zerglings moves and attacks faster (2 aa/s), but has reduced health and reduced spawn duration – 4 seconds. * Quest: Zerglings has to attack heroes 80 times. * Reward: After hitting heroes 40 times, increases zerglings spawned by 3. * Reward: After hitting heroes 80 times, increases spawn duration to 6 seconds and their damage by 20%.

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Pretty straightforward talent. Gives you more summons with more damage capability at the cost of being fragile and low spawn time. The quest also pushes Zagara onto a more aggressive playstyle to achieve its rewards.

(Zone control and information access) Changeling's Domain – Infested Drop mana cost reduced. Infested Drop Pod additionally spawns a changeling. Changelings are fast and fragile moving creatures that doesn't attack enemies, but will give vision to the player and his team and lives for 15 seconds (or until killed). The changeling can be controlled by reactivating this ability and once the ability is available again, the player loses control of the current changeling and it'll stand in place, warding the area.

This talent fulfills the zone controlling niche that most good Zagara players has. It demands lots of map awareness and can provide a good utility if used properly. Tons of potential there.

(Damage reliability) Roachers Call – The zerg pod now spawns 2 Roaches instead. Roaches deals slightly more damage than roachlings and has ranged attack and longer spawn duration – 10 seconds. * Quest: Hit 12 heroes with Infested Drop. * Reward: After hitting 6 heroes, increases Infested drop damage by 10% and its radius by 15%. * Reward: After hitting 12 heroes, increases the damage by more 25% and its radius by 15% more.

*Good choice for the spell-casting playstyle, as it further enhances its ability to deal raw, explosive damage. Enemy players should avoid getting hit by these as it will severally delay Zagara's choice of talent to come online. *

Level 10 – R Tier

(R1) Devouring Maw – Choose a specified location to send a Nydus Worm to maw the area after a second, trapping inside enemy heroes caught while dealing damage for 4 seconds. If Devouring Maw is used in a creeped area, Nydus Worm will maw instantly and slow enemies caught by 20% after the duration for 2 seconds.

Cooldown: 74 seconds.

Not much has changed except giving good Zagara players the ability to maximize Devouring Maw's effect by baiting the enemy onto her creep (or previously setting up creep where battle will happen).

(R2) Nydus Network – Summon a Nydus Worm anywhere in the map that has creep. Zagara can enter the Nydus Worm and travel to any other Nydus Worm in the map. Only 3 Nydus Worms can be active at the same time.

Passive: After staying for 2 seconds on a Nydus Worm, Zagara regenerates 8% of her health and mana each second, increased to 15% after staying for 5 seconds.

Passive: Zagara can now use Baneling Tunnel anywhere in the map that has creep and vision and close enough from a Nydus Worm.

Cooldown: 120 seconds, 2 charges.

The ultimate that screams Zagara. Not much has changed as it is fine the way it is, except being able to use Baneling Tunnel close to it and a fine tuning to her regenerative terms.

Level 13 – Resistance Tier

(D dependent resistance) Protective Creep – While on creep, Zagara gains 10 armor. If Zagara gets rooted, stunned or silenced while on creep, she gains an additional 20 armor for 2 seconds. This effect has a 30 seconds cooldown.

This talent makes Zagara want to assert as much zone as possible to maintain her 10% damage reduction as well as giving her a bit more time to react to oncoming damage after being disabled. Skilled players will want to quickly stun her before actually engaging to pop off that whooping 30 seconds cooldown.

(Q dependent resistance) Regenerative Acid – Banelings explosions damage against heroes grants Zagara 20% healing over 4 seconds. While healing, Zagara gains 30 magic resistance.

Being able to constantly hit as much as possible enemy heroes with her Banelings will definitely reward this choice of talent, as well as reducing incoming poke damage while healing.

(W/E dependent resistance) Swarm Transfusion – Hydralisk and Zerg Pod summons now instantly heals Zagara for 40% of the damage dealt against enemy Heroes.

Straightforward talent as well. Zagara will probably make more value of resistance (as healing) out of this talent but the tradeoff is that she'll be vulnerable to burst damage, as opposing to other talents choices.

Level 16 – W Tier

(Off tank) Corrosive Saliva – Hydralisk now deals an additional damage equal to 2% of the enemies max health and reduces his armor by 10. This effect can stack twice.

Good and solid pick against beefy targets. Can't say much about this one as it pretty much explains itself.

(Damage reliability) Relentless Predator – Hydralisk total health increased and every time it attacks an enemy hero, increases its spawn time by 1.5 seconds, up to 6 seconds.

This talent resolves around keeping up her hydralisk alive as much as she can, for damage purposes or for body-cluster purposes (eg not getting hooked by Stitches)

(Burst damage) Vicious Spikes – Hydralisk Spawn duration reduced to 2 seconds, damage increased by 10% and after each attack, increases its attack speed by 15% and spawn duration by 1 second, up to 4 seconds.

*Burst and aggressive talent with the tradeoff being severely reduced spawn time. Zagara will want to pick this talent when someone can set up the target for her (or by making it a good defensive talent against all-in assassins). *

Level 20 – Upgrades Tier

(R1 upgrade) Tyrant Maw – Devouring Maw can now be used anywhere in the map with creep and vision and the slow applied is increased to 40%. Cooldown reduced to 30 seconds.

Devouring Maw can still be used within Zagara's range if no creep is available in the specified location.

Further increases Zagara's reward by devouring enemies on top of her creep. This upgrade grants global range but the player will probably use it as an extension rather than actually using it on the other edge of the map – but still possible tho.

(R2 and E + summons upgrade) Brood Swarm – Increases Nydus Worm charge by 1 and reduces its cooldown to 60 seconds. Once Zagara leaves a Nydus Worm, she spawns a talented Infested Drop on the nearest enemy, prioritizing heroes. This effect has a 16 second cooldown. All Zagara summons now has increased vision range.

Basically unlocks Zagara's Zerg Rush capabilities. Spawning an Infested Drop when leaving a Nydus Worm rewards aggressive Nydus Worms placed in the map.

(D upgrade) Jagged Barbs – While on Creep, Zagara gains 20% more attack damage, 10% extra attack speed and her attack range is increased by 1. Each attack increases the damage and attack speed bonus by 10%, up to 50% bonus damage and 40% attack speed. This effect and stacks lasts indefinitely or 4 seconds after leaving the creeped area. Once leaving, the bonuses are reset.

Greatly enhances Zagara's Auto attack ability and makes her (and her allies) protect her tumors and stay in the creeped area, while making the enemy team play around this feature, either by rushing the tumors or by dragging Zagara and her allies away from the creep.

(W upgrade) Mutalisk Menace – Zagara can't control Hunter Killer anymore, but its cooldown is greatly reduced to 8 seconds and now spawns a Mutalisk instead. Mutalisks are fast flying creatures whose attacks are ranged, has increased vision range, spreads to 2 nearby enemies and has 40 magic resistance. Mutalisks doesn't despawn if too far from Zagara.

Makes Hunter Killer capacities go wild and doesn't matter which talent you went with at level 16, you'll probably get full use of this talent resource.


Thanks for reading till here. I spent way more than 5 hours just writing this and much more thinking about her talents in a way that made it feel like fun, engaging and filled the current meta pace.

Cheers.

Source: Original link


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