Heroes of the Storm is going back to the Warcraft universe with the announcement of both the new Alterac Pass map as well as new melee warrior hero Yrel.
We’ve thrown together a quick overview of her abilities and talents, as well as some quick tips and strategy to get the most out of your early playthroughs with the draenai paladin.
At first glimpse, she may appear to be a somewhat one-dimensional character who’s abilities are too slow and deliberate to be useful in the heat of a team battle.
But with the right build – and a friendly team composition – she could prove be a deadly flanker repellent that keeps her teammates in the fight much longer than they normally would.
Yrel’s trait is Divine Purpose, which passively allows her to charge her basic abilities. Maximum charge takes 1.5 seconds, although her movement speed is reduced by 25 per cent while charging.
Alternatively, Divine Purpose can be activated (on a ten-second cooldown) to instantly charge her next basic ability.
Let’s look at her basic abilities.
|Vindication (Q)||Deals 38 damage to nearby enemies and restores 96 HP to Yrel. Charging increases damage up to 125 and healing up to 320.||50||6|
|Righteous Hammer (W)||Deals 38 damage to enemies in front of Yrel, also knocking them back. Charging increases knockback distance and damage up to 125. At maximum charge, enemies are stunned for 0.75 seconds||50||16|
|Avenging Wrath (E)||Leap to a location and, upon landing, deal 150 damage to nearby enemies and slow them by 50% for one second. Charging increases range.||50||6|
Yrel’s abilities read simple enough, but don’t be fooled into thinking this will give her a low skillcap.
Having the intuition to know when to fire off an ability in its vanilla state, hold the charge a bit longer, or even activate the trait and let a fully charged one go will take hours of gameplay to achieve.
A mix of local area-of-effect damage, self-healing, knockback and a slowing effect in her basic kit looks to make her a very valuable participant in teamfights, although she’ll likely struggle in one-on-one situations.
Next, we’ll quickly run over her talents.
|1||Light of Karabor||Increases Vindication’s radius by 15%. Its healing is also increased by 20% per enemy hero hit|
|1||Dauntless||Casting a basic ability grants Yrel 35 physical armour for two seconds|
|1||Maraad’s Insight||After casting a basic ability, Yrel’s next basic attack heals 148 HP|
|4||Aegis of Light||Upon landing, Avenging Wrath grants other nearby allied heroes 25 armour for five seconds|
|4||Gift of the Naaru||Divine Purpose restores 400 HP to the lowest HP nearby allied hero|
|4||Hand of Freedom||Grants an allied hero a 35% bonus to movement speed for three seconds, removing all slows and roots|
|7||Righteous Momentum||While holding Righteous Hammer at maximum charge, gain a 45% bonus to movement speed|
|7||Holy Avenger||Hitting an enemy Hero with Avenging Wrath at maximum charge reduces its cooldown to one second|
|7||Divine Steed||Mounting is instant and grants an 80% bonus to movement speed that decays over three seconds|
|7||Samaara’s Light||While above 50% HP, gain a 15% bonus to movement speed|
|10||Ardent Defender||Surround Yrel in a barrier for three seconds, absorbing all damage taken and healing her for 50% of the damage received|
|10||Sacred Ground||Yrel sanctifies the ground around her, gaining 40 armour until she leaves – or is knocked out of – the area|
|13||Aldor Peacekeeper||Enemy heroes hit by Vindication at maximum charge deal 30% less damage for three seconds|
|13||Repentance||Increase Avenging Wrath’s slow by 25% and duration by 0.5 seconds|
|13||Velen’s Chosen||Hitting an enemy hero with a basic ability at maximum charge grants a 10% bonus to Spell Power for ten seconds, up to 30%|
|16||Templar’s Verdict||Righteous Hammer reduces the armour of enemy heroes hit by 20 for two seconds|
|16||Divine Favor||Casting a basic ability reduces the cooldown of Divine Purpose by two seconds|
|16||Holy Wrath||After casting a basic ability, Yrel’s next Basic Attack splashes for 30% increased damage around the target|
|20||Word of Glory||Ardent Defender heals nearby allied heroes for 100% of the healing received by Yrel|
|20||Hallowed Ground||Casting Avenging Wrath while inside Sacred Ground moves Sacred Ground to Yrel’s location upon landing|
|20||Bubble Hearth||After one second, Yrel becomes invulnerable and casts Hearthstone – cannot be canceled|
|20||Seraphim||Activate to become unstoppable for two seconds|
There are a couple of interesting builds here on offer for Yrel. As far as the heroic abilities go, the potential for Ardent Defender to turn engagements on their head is high, but at a high level it’s very likely this ability will baited out too often to be of much use.
Sacred Ground has an arguably higher learning curve, but its indefinite effect forces your opponent to deal with it – and that tempo swing will be crucial.
If we’re building around that heroic, my early picks for a Yrel build would be; Light of Karabor, Aegis of Light, Holy Avenger, Sacred Ground, Divine Favour, Hallowed Ground.
That makes her something of a surprisingly mobile support-warrior hybrid, dealing strong pockets of damage and making her team very difficult to scrape off an important objective.
While it’s impossible to know how a hero will really go before they’ve even hit the PTR, my early call is that she’ll make life a little more difficult for flankers like Genji and Maeiv, but will struggle against some of the popular melee counters like Stukov and Fenix.
But if she can provide the protection some of the squishier backline characters need, Yrel could give the ever-changing Heroes meta another shake.