You’re probably sitting there thinking, “I know which Heroes to pick in draft. I just pick the strongest!” Maybe you don’t. Maybe you’re clueless. In any case, it’s good to know why a Hero is so good. Sometimes the best Hero in terms of damage isn’t necessarily the best to draft; in fact, there are a lot of different factors that go into why you should pick one Hero over another as your go-to pick. Heroes like The Butcher or Kerrigan can deal huge amounts of damage and single-handedly win the game during crucial teamfights, but they may not always be the best Hero to draft.
The key elements of the best heroes are reliability, versatility, and overall strength. If you’re looking to expand your Hero roster or even just give your win rate a little boost, consider playing the Heroes in this article. You might be surprised at how much success comes your way when you play some of these classic choices! (Or, if you’re looking for a bit more fun, you can try these Heroes instead).
Kael’thas was the second official mage to enter the Nexus, right after Jaina. He was a powerful Hero from the very beginning with tons of damage and zoning potential, making him the go-to choice for burst damage. It was Kael’thas vs Jaina in every matchup for a long time, but Kael’thas came out the clear winner with his ridiculous Ignite damage at level 16. During this time, landing a key Flamestrike on the back line was basically instant death to everyone unfortunate enough to get hit—a rather infuriating effect for players both professional and casual.
Ignite was eventually removed due to the extreme power of Kael’s poke. Thus was the beginning of the Chain Bomb era. He’s been through some ups and downs since then, but today he still remains one of the top picks, if not the best all-around Hero.
Kael’thas has it all—AoE damage, huge single target damage, and zoning control. He’s got great wave clear, great ganking potential, huge teamfight capability, and can even solo lane if he needs to. There’s literally no downside to him at the moment; draft him to your heart’s content! That is, if he isn’t perma-banned.
If you want a Hero who’s been to the extreme ends of good and bad, Illidan is your man. His damage mitigation and dodging skills make him either terrible or amazing depending on the metagame. He’s had a few major changes here and there (particularly the removal of Unstoppable frames during Dive and the Demonic Form upgrades during beta), but he’s only had one notable rework—and even that wasn’t really a complete makeover.
True to his hyperbolic nature, he’s either an unkillable machine of doom capable of single-handedly winning a teamfight or an annoying pest crushed underfoot. It all really depends on the metagame for him.
Luckily, right now is a great time for him. The recent rework gave him a lot more baseline power in the early to mid game, allowing him to compete as a solo laner and mercenary specialist. Illidan’s outstanding PvE skills and dueling potential make him incredibly versatile and perfect for the “lone wolf” type of player. Nonetheless, he still has some mean teamfighting potential too with some proper support. Pick away, but beware him dropping out of favor during a tank-heavy metagame.
Falstad has changed a lot from his earliest renditions. Previously a bursty mage with tons of splash, he’s been down a couple of different paths before landing where he is today as a mage/auto-attack hybrid. If you played in the alpha, you remember his trademark ability Shock and Awe (now called Hinterland’s Blast). Along with the splash damage from BOOMerang, Falstad could put out some serious hurt under the right conditions. Both of those things were nerfed to the ground at some point, and Falstad underwent a period of relative insignificance for several months.
With the removal of Aerial Blitzkrieg—by far the most counter-intuitive Heroic Blizzard has created so far—and the introduction of Might Gust, Falstad began to see more play again in late 2015 as a short-ranged auto-attacker with a “free” disengage, especially after the scaling changes boosted his damage levels through the roof. More recent iterations have picked up BOOMerang again after various buffs, making him more of a hybrid mage.
Falstad’s biggest selling point is his global presence. He can clear waves, get extra xp during objectives, and grab crossmap objectives with his Flight. Solid DPS, wave clear, and teamfighting abilities all contribute to making him a versatile and reliable Hero to pick.
Muradin is the king of tanks. Aside from his laughable obscurity in early alpha, he has been at the top of the totem pole for almost all of Heroes of the Storm history. Early on, he was a huge wall of health but dealt basically no damage compared to the tanks of the day (Stitches and Arthas being the top two). Even when he received an ungodly decimal error one patch (base regen changed to 3.4 HP/s, but actually gave 34 HP/sec), he still woefully underperformed. Nonetheless, some subsequent buffs to his regeneration and much-needed damage boosts have made him a solid Hero ever since.
He has mad sustain, ungodly amounts of HP between Stoneskin and Avatar, and some decent damage to go with it. The best part about Muradin is that he fits into almost any composition, making him a high priority for early picks in draft. He’s got the interrupts, the baits, and survivability to do well in nearly any environment with nearly any combination of Heroes. If you’re looking to get into tanking, pick up Muradin—he’s cheap, he’s strong, and he’s unlikely to go anywhere anytime soon.
Some of the other Heroes in this article may be intuitive choices, but Xul is not. He’s not a “carry” Hero by any means, but he does a lot of work behind the scenes and forces out a lot of special responses from your opponent.
For the most part, Xul has remained relatively unchanged since his inception. He’s fairly strong but not extraordinarily popular in both professional games and Hero League games, which is somewhat surprising. He’s got a fairly straightforward but impactful playstyle. It doesn’t take a lot of skill or adjustment to play him well, but he can be a game-changer.
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The big thing about Xul is his wave clear and lane pressure, both of which are unmatched by any other Hero. He can easily double soak two lanes by himself while his team covers the objective, completely turning the common 4-1 split on its head. What this translates to is a lot of early game pressure on lanes, usually accompanied by a growing experience lead. If you can play Xul correctly and constantly clear waves, you’re going to find your team mysteriously winning. It’s like magic!
Rehgar is man’s best friend! You can’t go wrong with Rehgar. He’s always been one of the most reliable Supports, both in terms of his straightforward heals and outstanding utility. Nonetheless, he did face a dark time during late 2015 when his healing was nerfed into the ground. No utility talents could feasibly be taken in lieu of his much-needed healing talents at the time, and he suffered compared to Uther, Kharazim, and Lt. Morales.
Right around the time of the scaling changes, he received a major rework in which Blizzard created a monster. Rehgar had the highest healing in the game, did more damage than most Assassins, and had insane Lightning Shield talents, making him hands down the best Hero in the game afterwards. Some well-deserved nerfs brought him back down to a reasonable level, and he’s seen quite a bit of play since.
Rehgar’s got everything you would ever want in a Support. He’s got strong heals, but unlike his counterparts, he also has a great waveclear, respectable damage, and an incredibly powerful AoE slow. If you need a reliable Support with plenty of playmaking abilities, Rehgar is the go-to—assuming his healing doesn’t get nerfed into the ground again in the future.