Heroes of the Storm balance patch aims to slow down Kael'thas and Diablo

The time has come for a new balance patch for Heroes of the Storm and it looks like Blizzard is finally targeting a few of the game's more powerful characters.


With more characters making their Heroes of the Storm (Li-Ming the latest among them), the time has come for the folks at Blizzard to take a look at each of the game's characters for a balance update. A handful of heroes have been updated, mainly the game's Assassin characters.

Blizzard is aiming for less Basic Attack builds with HotS' Assassin characters and shooting to boost different styles. With that in mind, let's look at the following changes for each of the game's characters:


  • Hammerang (Q): BOOMerang (Talent) - Damage increased from 121 (+4% per level) to 150 (+4% per level)
  • Hinterland Blast (R): Base damage increased from 411 (+4.75% per level) to 475 (+4.75% per level)


  • Frostbolt (Q): Damage increased from 160 (+4% per level) to 190 (+4% per level)
  • Cone of Cold (E): Damage increased from 189 (+4% per level) to 200 (+4% per level)


  • Basic Attack damage reduced from 87 (+4% per level) to 65 (+4% per level)
  • Arcane Barrier (Talent): Shield amount decreased from 200% to 150%; Duration reduced from 6 to 4 seconds
  • Gravity Lapse (E): Stun duration reduced from 1.5 to 1.0 seconds
  • Phoenix (R): Cooldown increased from 40 to 60 seconds
  • Pyroblast (R): Damage increased from 730 (+4% per level) to 810 (+5% per level); Cooldown increased from 50 to 100 seconds


  • Snipe (Q): Damage increased from 268 (+4% per level) to 295 (+4% per level)
  • Snipe Master (Talent): Damage bonus increased from 5% to 12% per stack; Maximum stack bonus increased from 50% to 60%; Maximum stacks decreased from 10 to 5


  • Basic Attack damage reduced from 173 (+4% per level) to 165 (+4% per level)
  • Sundering (R): Cooldown increased from 70 to 80 seconds


  • Ghost Wolf (Trait)(D): Basic Attack damage bonus reduced from 100% to 75%
  • Lightning Shield (W): Damage reduced from 36 (+4% per level) to 30 (+4% per level)


  • Fire Stomp (W): Fire Devil (Talent) - Damage reduced from 23 (+4% per level) to 17 (+4% per level)

While Blizzard doesn't look to be blitzing players with all-out nerfs, clearly the development team felt it was time to finally bring Kael'thas and Diablo's reigns of terror down a few notches. It'll be interesting to observe the changes with Diablo, in particular, as Blizzard is acknowledging his changes come due to a lack of impact from the recent Tyrande changes. Meanwhile, Nova and Jaina look to be getting a few valuable buffs, with the former's Snipe boost a welcome change.

The full list of changes and bug fixes, with developer commentary and rationale, can all be found on Battle.net.

Senior Editor

Ozzie has been playing video games since picking up his first NES controller at age 5. He has been into games ever since, only briefly stepping away during his college years. But he was pulled back in after spending years in QA circles for both THQ and Activision, mostly spending time helping to push forward the Guitar Hero series at its peak. Ozzie has become a big fan of platformers, puzzle games, shooters, and RPGs, just to name a few genres, but he’s also a huge sucker for anything with a good, compelling narrative behind it. Because what are video games if you can't enjoy a good story with a fresh Cherry Coke?

From The Chatty
  • reply
    February 10, 2016 10:30 AM

    Ozzie Mejia posted a new article, Heroes of the Storm balance patch aims to slow down Kael'thas and Diablo

    • reply
      February 10, 2016 1:30 PM

      Glad to see Nova getting a little love. I don't player much any more. She's been getting out shined as the burst dps champ with many of the recent heroes; especially KT. Not that she should necessarily be top, but she's been lagging behind. I think I'm okay with these changes to KT, still my current fav tied with Valla. At least they didn't mess with this living bomb talents. So much burst dps goodness.

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        February 10, 2016 3:18 PM

        Nova needs it after that detune she got.

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        February 10, 2016 3:59 PM

        She was toward the top of the burst following the Cho'gall patch, and then was completely rebalanced out of the burst game in last week's.

        Li-Ming is the current burst queen, and it's hilarious.

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      February 10, 2016 1:51 PM

      diablo already was pretty wimpy in the early game, he doesnt really get to be a terror (swidt?) until mid/late game in my experience.

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        February 10, 2016 2:26 PM

        Diablo nerf seems modest to me. We'll see how he plays now since he's my main Warrior.

        I'm more surprised by the nerfs to Thrall and Rehgar, they didn't seem OP to me by any means.

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          February 10, 2016 3:48 PM

          Rehgar got a major boost from the rework patch that just went in. Like went from never picked to every game because he could still heal but could also kick assassins around with lightning.

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        February 10, 2016 4:01 PM

        Diablo's been pretty godly since the Cho'gall patch due to his ridiculous gank potential.

        I don't know how much the change will tweak that, though.

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          February 10, 2016 10:18 PM

          don't really think his fire stomp was too powerful though. KT on the other hand just deals completely absurd damage. as much as I love melting teams with him, he needed the nerfing

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      February 10, 2016 4:47 PM

      That Kael ult cooldown increase was so necessary. The spell was ridiculous area denial/push damage and could almost always be up.

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