Tl;Dr. people complaining about Falstad W. Main issue comes from: resets interaction with Thunderstrike lvl13; (and as Spazzo pointed out the slow that keeps someone in W forever); maybe from resets themselves but fix Thunderstrike interaction first to see; but not from the dmg the original W cast which is similar to before the rework. Also might have explained to people how to hit bigger numbers with W more consistently.
We've all seen the rise of Falstad W in the last patch and people have been calling for nerfs (from what I've read it seems people mainly want his W dmg nerfed). But technically, Falstad's W dmg itself wasn't buffed. His numbers did not change. One reason we started seeing W build more often is that with the in built Boomerang, people don't need to restrict themselves to picking Boomerang at lvl7 and more people explored W build; especially when its lvl1 was bugged. (From u/Spazzo965 's post it's still bugged, extending the slow from his Q for the duration of W which makes it even harder to get away from than it should be and so is impactful)
Damage-wise it's still similar. Full W duration with full W build at lvl20 does 2866 dmg total with 50 stacks (similar to wingman stacks at the end of a game) or 3057dmg total with 60 stacks (similar to Dishonourable Discharge stacks at the end of the game).
However, the new lvl1 talent, Dishonourable Discharge, brought in a new mechanic to Falstad's W: reset on takedowns. By itself it is what it is, but paired up with Thunderstrike at lvl13, which increases the dmg of subsequent strikes by 20% for each strike, you get some pretty crazy interactions. I will call the first strike Winitial and subsequent W strikes W1, W2, W3 and so on to W6 to designate the first strike at 20%, 2nd strike at 40% up to the 6th strike at 120% from Thunderstrike. Note there is a W7 at 140% dmg that I will explain later.
So what are its interactions? If you W someone and they die, you get to W someone else entirely (a potential 3057 worth of dmg Winitial all the way to W6 at lvl20 with 60 stacks). That by itself is already strong enough but things happen if there is a takedown during a cast of W (and only during, if W link is broken before another W is cast, you get the normal interaction).
Reapplication on the same target. If you W someone, and a takedown happens during that W and you W someone again. You do not have two instances of W on that target, instead you refresh the duration. So if you had Winitial, W1, W2, W3 on that target, and a takedown happens and you press W on them again, they will get hit with Winitial, W4, W5, W6, W7, W7, W7. (W6 is not the max, there is one more lvl of dmg after that. There are two ways to see that extra lvl. With reset from his level 1 or if you press W close to off cd after a full W occurred, in which case you skip W1 and go Winitial W2 W3 W4 W5 W6 W7).
Application on a second target while W is active on another. There can only be one instance of W. If the new target is further than the current target, they get hit by Winitial but the current target just finishes it's original cast. So if you're on W5 and cast W on a target further away, they get hit by Winitial but nothing else and the current target only gets hit by W6 and W ends (quite a waste). If the new target is closer than the current target, they carry on from whatever W level the current target was at. So if you're on W5 and cast Winitial on a closer target, they get W initial, W6 W7 W7 W7 W7 W7 (remember each of those W7 is at 140% added to the normal W strikes)
So a way to 'fix' W Falstad isn't to fix the original W build, which is similar to what it was before and people didn't call for nerfs then, but fix those reset interactions that allow 1 take down to turn the tide so hard. (Li Ming is much more balanced around her trait than Falstad is imo). I think forcing Thunderstrike to reset to 20% on the first strike (after initial one) each W cast would prevent uncontrollable dmg. This means that the player will have to think about when to cast his reset W so he can reach top stacks from his current W before pressing W again and starting from 20% for his first strike. As for the reset itself, the cd of W after a full cast is only 4 seconds already and if you force Thunderstrike to reset to 20% at the first strike you won't get crazy burst dmg from it but it will have to ramp again which means W1 will always be 316 and ramp up instead of being 631 from the start (at 60 stacks), imo fitting of a point and click skill that can reset.
Edit: you can always nerf the stacks if people finally realise it is strong after however many years we had of W build Falstad before the rework.
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