Heroes of the Storm

Feedback and Suggestions on new Zagara

I've been a long-time Zagara player, but I largely shelved her after her first rework. The rework stole some of my favorite gameplay elements to turn her into an oppressive bruiser, then they overnerfed her kit so she'd lose most solo matchups due to low health, no recovery, middling damage at high mana cost, and tumor dependency in a meta that kept getting more heroes that could clear them with ease.

Changes made:

  • Attack range no longer dependent on creep.

  • Summons move at 130% movement speed while on creep.

  • Baneling Barrage base charges halved, damage per cast doubled (no change to mana or cooldown).

  • Roachling attack increased by ~10%.

  • Jagged Barbs changed from 200 stacks of Serrated Spines to 250 stacks of Serrated Spines.

  • Fury of the Storm removed.

  • Level 20 talent: get 86 base ability damage on every third attack on the condition that nothing is between you and the target and the target is not moving. (equal to 1.01 free attacks or ~167 Serrated Spines stacks, increased to ~203 Serrated Spines stacks if Volatile Acid is taken)

  • Level 20 talent: Deal 25% more damage against everything you press W on. If it dies, get 25% more damage against whatever else your W happens to target. Lingers for 3 seconds, should W die. Between 68% uptime to more-than-one-target-with-100% uptime.

Feedback:

Attack range increase was necessary. Zagara was underwhelming in the lane because she was too dependent on tumors to perform her job of harassing melee enough to counteract their sustain.

Summon movement speed increase is a nice addition that still encourages Zagara to place tumors and still makes enemies want to clear them, if they don't want to clear the hunter killer. Effect on roachlings is minor.

Baneling changes are nice in close quarters (melee enemies are encouraged to not stand in Zagara's face while she has full charges as full Q build), but way over the top. Drop + 2x Banelings + 1 attack on each range is a cleared wave at 1 for less mana than the regen globe. Volatile Acid range increase encourages Zagara players to constantly bombard towers from extreme safety (not even on their half of the map early game) because they have the mana to spare and the cooldown makes it very hard to reach Zag before new charges are up. Baneling Massacre now gives 8 banelings per 10 seconds versus 6 banelings per 15 seconds.

Broodmother, Jagged Barbs, and Serrated Spines are joke talents. Ever since the original rework, Zagara has been kept very far away from fighting the backline where scaled attacks matter. Devouring Maw wants Zagara to combo. Nydus Network wants Zagara to poke anything nearby for CDR so she can throw out more ability damage. The only situation where Serrated Spines finds value is multi-healer/tank comps, and in those situations Envenomed Spines and Corrosive Saliva works better.

The other problem with these talents is that they do the exact same thing. As I'd described them, they can be condensed into "add X stacks to Serrated Spines" and serve the same purpose. Broodmother falls into this category as well, largely due to how situational it really is.

Pack Instinct is pretty decent design, and helps Zagara reclaim her lategame PvE that was nerfed out of existence. Before this, I always asked myself "why play Zagara when Azmodan does everything better?" With Pack Instinct, I feel like I can actually fight in a 1v1 or pressure a building solo late-game.

Suggestions:

Baseline:

  • Increase Baneling cooldown to 3.5 seconds. Decrease Baneling damage to buildings to 75%. Increase Baneling mana cost to 20. Decrease Baneling base damage to 76.

Talents:

  • Volatile Acid: Banelings travel 50% faster and their damage is increased by 30%, but their travel distance is halved.

  • Serrated Spines: Zagara's basic attack damage is increased by 0.2% every time she or one of her summons attacks a hero.

  • Viscous Acid: Rename to Hunter Strain. Banelings now leap a short distance if they get close to a hero or structure while traveling, detonating upon reaching them. Banelings slow targets hit by 25%.

  • Baneling Massacre: Removed and replaced with Splitter Strain. Banelings spawn two Miniature Banelings upon exploding. Miniature Banelings slowly move toward the nearest valid target and attempt to explode, dealing 21 base damage to that single target. Dies without dealing damage after 2 seconds.

  • Jagged Barbs: Zagara's attack speed is increased by 25% while on creep. Enemies are slowed by 15% while on creep.

  • Broodmother: Zagara's attacks instead launch a Baneling toward the target. Any increases to attack damage now apply to Banelings.

I think that would fix up her "AA" build, weaken the currently-oppressive Baneling build, and keep her in a pickable condition.

Source

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