Started with a simple No Mercy! thread about adding shield damage, but it got a bit out of hand. Whilst discussing Zul'Jin's snowballness, I thought retouching this old festive skin too!
Statistics! Nothing that warrants a rework. Nice balance, few diversity issues and Q is… well…
Poor Grievous Throw has its own thing going. On 7, Ferocity gives more aa speed to stack, Arcanite Axes adds its own stacking. On 16, Wrong Place and Let the Killing Begin also help stack. Fun!
Boneslicer makes Q talents work. It ain't that unpopular a package, but it stands next to Headhunter, which gives range, fits any build and doesn't need talents. Plus, No Mercy! is pretty weak. It can do a lot vs Garrosh, E.T.C., Uther… so niche and bland, especially for level 16.
Worse yet, Boneslicer removes Q's unique restriction. The point of Grievous Throw is it gives you a time window to activate its max damage with your attacks. What's the point if you're gonna use your attack bursts to just hit the same enemy? You can do that anyway!
Take with a grant of salt, especially in terms of balance.
- Grievous Throw: Maximum enemies hit increased from 2 to 3 (reduced Boneslicer dependency).
- Boneslicer: Increase the range and radius of Grievous Throw by 20% and it pierces through all enemies hit. Basic Attacks against Marked Heroes gain 2 range and restore 10 Mana.
- Vicious Assault: Grievous Throw lasts 2 seconds longer and its damage bonus is increased to 100%. Twin Cleave also benefits from it.
- No Mercy!: Removing the mark of Grievous Throw deals bonus damage to Heroes equal to 10% of their maximum health, and counts as 5 Hero hits for You Want Axe?.
Boneslicer helps Mark as many targets as possible. Assault adds more burst and can use Ws to chew Marks. No Mercy! avoids talent dependency, stacks to fit the other lvl16 talents, and gains % damage that also ignore armor. Since it's tied to an ability, can't get out of hand and evaporate tanks.
Instead of having Boneslicer 'fix' the ability and No Mercy! 'fix' armor, there's emphasis on removing every possible mark. This strikes a balance between single-target Basic Attacks and the mage-ier Twin Cleave hitting multiple foes, and highlights Grievous Throw as the burst ability.
Should also note that the last time a Q talent got changes was November 2017, with Vicious Assault adding duration. Zul'Jin had just gotten his rework a mere couple months ago. When unpopular things are left untouched for a while, it's an indication there's things in store for them.
Fun fact, Grievous Throw is a WoW attack of Zul'Ama's final boss, but completely different.
Both Heroics are well balanced, but Guillotine only has a 20% pick rate, and Buzzsaw 8% because of it. Shame as it captures Zul's essence beautifully in a mage-y ability. How can it get more attractive?
Say both damage and cd dropped. It'd make it a much more versatile PvE tool for clearing camps etc, drop in a duel, or use twice in a long fight. Overall better feel and less 'unfair' when it lands. Alternatively, a cast bonus like Temporal Loop's can reduce the burst for another perk.
Talents – Mostly Fine Otherwise!
On 1, talents should match how rewarding Headhunter feels. I mean, it's a big ol' quest talent, but still. I think my Boneslicer idea would help. Recklessness is just a matter of math. Can balance a few different ways. Say, give 20% to both Attack damage and Spell Power while below 50% health.
Level 4, a tiiiny Troll's Blood buff, like 5% more healing. Or a brief damage/speed bonus on completion, rewarding proper use during a brawl and making Forest Medicine more attractive.
13 and 16 just need to decide whether Eye & Killing or the W talents are on the right power level.
7 and 20 will be perfect if Vicious Assault and Buzzsaw get more popular.
Baseline infinite stacking makes Heroes more reliant on map & comp, spoils early to late-game balance, and can snowball. It's healthier to have a cap (Azmodan, Junkrat with Q stack), or limit stacks after getting the rewards (Butcher). At least Zul'jin, unlike Naz, has baked-in power spikes.
But endless stacks are fun! So, could halve stacks past 150 hits. Or halve them baseline to devalue them, and buff Zul. Attack damage from 94 to 100, Twin Cleave from 112 to 120, whatever works.
Since there's already talents like Amani Hide that help stack, another idea is for level 1 talents to also do that. Say, Boneslicer gave 3 stacks per Mark removed, Recklessness 2 per 3rd consecutive Attack vs a Hero, Headhunter on takedowns. But that'd require more overall tuning, so, dunno.
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© Post "Zul’Jin Grievous Throw/Talent Feedback + Christmasy Skin" for game Heroes of the Storm.
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