Last month, Heroes of the Storm finally got around to nerfing the monstrosity known as Kael’thas—a pyromaniac mage from Warcraft. But the nerf was merely a setback. In the new patch that came out last night, Blizzard had to dial down his abilities once again.
As I wrote back in August, Kael’Thas has been considered one of the strongest ranged assassins in Heroes of the Storm since he was first released at the beginning of 2015. Much of his power comes from the way that his different fire themed abilities chain together to make for devastating combos. Abilities like living bomb, which sets a target on fire for a moment before detonating:
And flamestrike, which summons a ring of fire underneath a target’s feet (if aimed properly, of course):
The mid-August patch addressed one of the most ridiculous aspects of KT’s ability kit: the fact that he was able to level up flamestrike so it automatically cast living bomb on anyone caught inside the circle of fire. Blizzard did away with that in the patch last month. Despite the fact that Kael’Thas was knocked down a peg, many fans were left wondering if the nerf was enough to truly stop the pyromaniac from terrorizing so many games.
Apparently, it wasn’t enough—even by Blizzard’s somewhat relaxed standards. In the latest HOTS patch that went live last night, the developer addressed another OP fact of Kael’Thas: the way his living bomb ability can be upgraded with a talent called “chain bomb.”
As the name implies, chain bomb made it so living bomb would spread to every other enemy (both minions and heroes) in the immediate vicinity of its detonation. This gave Kael’Thas an unparalleled ability to clear entire waves of minions and enemy mercenaries (not to mention enemy heroes) in roughly half a second. Now thanks to the September 8th patch, the chain bomb upgrade means that living bomb only spreads to three additional targets:
Again like I said in mid-August, I appreciate that Blizzard is taking such a considered, incremental approach to these character nerfs—better to handle them with tact than simply nerf someone into the ground and make them totally non-viable for god knows how long, which has happened before in popular MOBAs.
I remain curious whether or not this nerf will be enough for Kael’Thas, however. His dreaded phoenix ult—which casts a fire-breathing bird that shoots at any bad guys in a wide circle—still has a very short cooldown, if you ask me.
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