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Heroes of the Storm Beginner Hero Recommendations

heroes of the storm is a free to play 5v5 team hero brawler game. fairly similar to league of legends and dota.


i like it and would play some games with blog readers if they are interested and will play on the North America server. (you're allowed to play on NA from elsewhere, but you could lag). if you play with me you could get some insight into how i think about things, and get some criticism on a topic where you might find it easier to listen to than philosophy criticism.

i have some hero recommendations for new players and some reasoning.

i think it's important to pick a small number of heroes to get good with, rather than just playing everyone.

in order to play in hero league you need to be able to play every role: damage dealer, tank, and healer. there's a hero pick system where you won't always get what you want and may have to play the role your team needs.

and a hero can only be picked once, so someone else could take your hero first. they are also adding bans to remove some heroes during the hero choosing process.

so you need more than one hero for each role, in case you can't get your first choice.

the more popular the heroes you pick are, the less chance of getting them. my favorite hero right now is Li-Ming. but she's the most popular hero in the game. she's one of the 10 heroes played in around 85% of games. there's around 50 heroes and the next most popular hero sees 50% usage, and it drops a lot from there since the average popularity of heroes has to be around 20%. see http://www.hotslogs.com/

so if you play Li-Ming, it pretty much increases the number of heroes you need to be comfortable with, since getting to use her is really unreliable. in order to have a damage dealer you play available, you need just about as many with or without Li-Ming.

heroes of the storm is also a hard game, so i recommend starting with easier heroes. many people overreach and say "i'll learn it" but they'd have a better time, and learn more, if they started with something more approachable. (similar to people trying to start with Fox in SSBM, then quitting before getting any good. that's dumb. they should have started with a hero they could get halfway decent with faster.)

the hardest heroes to play are the melee damage dealers, abathur, and the lost vikings.

my recommendations:


1) lili (22.3% popularity). she's one of the easier heroes to use effectively.

2) malfurion (25.3% popularity) can be your backup if lili is taken. his healing is somewhat similar to lili (big aoe team heal as his ultimate, and you can stay in back).


1) leoric (9.8% popularity). if you die, he comes back to life faster than regular heroes. that makes mistakes less punishing. he clears lanes well.

2) chen (8.4% popularity) can be your backup. he's hard to kill and doesn't have to worry about running out of mana. he's a good laner.


1) raynor (34.7% popularity). he has extra range and a low amount of button pressing. one of the easier heroes to control. he's fragile and doesn't have great area of effect damage.

2) kaelthas (23.9% popularity). chainbomb can do a ton of damage to the other team, especially at lower player skill levels, without much effort. lots of area of effect damage. fragile but you can stay in back.

3) nazeebo (11.4% popularity). another fragile ranged damage dealer. a typical team has 1 tank, 1 healer, and 3 damage dealers, so that's why we're doing another backup damage dealer. nazeebo's attacks are reasonably easy to use while staying to the back, and he's unpopular.

with these 7 heroes, you'd have a pretty good chance of being able to play whatever role is needed. this would let you learn some of the easier heroes to be effective with, not learn too many at once, and get off to a good start.

(you need 10 heroes minimum unlocked to play hero league currently. this will be raised to 14 soon when they add 2 bans per side. however, being ready to play only these 7 will usually be fine.)

heroes of the storm receives frequent patches which improve some heroes and weaken others. at the time of writing, all of the heroes i suggested are pretty good. not necessarily the best, but plenty good enough. some heroes are actually bad enough to be a problem, so i avoided them.

i'd also recommend you pick two roles to focus on more, and one less, in order to better concentrate your learning on fewer heroes. if you prioritize two of the roles over the other one, you'll usually be able to play one of those two.

extra ideas:

- Gall. Gall is one head of a two-headed ogre, Cho'Gall. you have to play him with a friend. what's good about Gall is you don't have to do movement. you just shoot stuff while your friend controls moving around. so he's probably the easiest hero in the game. but you can't play him by yourself.

- Murky. places an egg where he can respawn in a few seconds if you die. not being punished much for deaths is really nice when you're new. he has an unusual playstyle.

- if you like a particular hero, you could ask about him/her. some of the heroes are a bad idea to start with, but a lot would be fine.

this list is very different from McIntyre's:


he's a pro player. his list revolves around heroes that can win games even if your team is bad, assuming you play really well.

when you play a hero, don't just pick random talents. google a guide or use hotslogs by clicking on the hero, e.g.:


at the bottom you can see which talent builds people actually use and get the best win percentage with. those are a great place to get started. you can adjust your talent choices more after you know what you're doing.

Edit: Kaelthas was nerfed in a patch. You could get Valla instead. See the comments.

Elliot Temple on March 24, 2016

Messages (7)

i played with someone good on voice chat for a while and wrote some thoughts:


curi at 4:01 PM on March 26, 2016 | #5096 | reply | quote

League of Legends

What do you think of LoL ? Have you played lol ?

Anonymous at 10:00 AM on March 31, 2016 | #5097 | reply | quote

don't like last hitting, farming, the map design, extra complexity i don't think improves the game, carries over needing teamwork. prefer blizzard's art too.

i was never very interested in LoL or dota2 b/c they follow dota1 too closely, which i didn't really like.

curi at 12:27 PM on March 31, 2016 | #5098 | reply | quote

Kaelthas sucks in the new patch. RIP. And his skill changes made him harder to play than before (his auto attacks matter more and he lost blink at 20). So I don't recommend currently.

Valla is decent idea for a replacement. Her biggest downside is she's around 50% popularity.

Now that there's bans, Li-Ming's popularity (pick or ban) is up to 97.4%. lol. And she's banned about twice as much as she's picked. She's the most popular ban – about twice as much as anyone else.

curi at 4:38 PM on April 4, 2016 | #5101 | reply | quote

if you aren't spending any real money, buy the 2000 gold heroes first. for the order to get them, i'd say Lili first and E.T.C. last (or you could skip E.T.C. if you want). then look at some of the 4000 gold heroes. at 4000, johanna and zagara would be fine. anub'arak, jaina and maybe tyrael could work. but stay the hell away from the melee heroes who aren't tanks (warriors).

before buying any heroes that cost more than 2000 gold, try them out when they are on the free rotation.

curi at 2:23 AM on April 5, 2016 | #5102 | reply | quote

the buffed kael again and he has a high winrate now. pretty good beginner choice currently.

Anonymous at 3:36 AM on April 14, 2016 | #5115 | reply | quote

i think maybe chen is too hard to use, maybe a bad choice. i'd now say it'd better to learn johanna instead even though she's more popular, i think she's the easiest tank and she's one of the best.

also i realized hero popularity is less bad than it sounds. suppose johanna was 50% popular (actually it's a bit less) and never banned (she isn't banned all that much). then she'd be on your team 25% of the time, and in those games either you have her or someone else is tanking so you don't need to be tank. if she's 50% popular, it's (ignoring bans) only the ~25% of games where the other team has her that you might need to be tank but be unable to use her. so a hero having a fairly high popularity percentage is only about half as bad as it sounds, except for the top few heroes who get banned a ton.

curi at 10:06 AM on May 4, 2016 | #5174 | reply | quote

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