Heroes of the Storm – A Look at Mephisto and Hanamura
At Gamescom 2018, Blizzard revealed the next hero to enter the Nexus.
The Prime Evil Lord of Hatred himself, Mephisto, will be gracing our character select screen and likely every quick match in the next update for Heroes of the Storm. As a ranged assassin, Mephisto is shaping up to be very competitive albeit slightly difficult to use properly.
Most of his abilities use the ‘skill shot’ style in that they target a direction or space instead of a hero. This means they will often miss in the hands of newer players which creates the illusion of a low power fragile hero.
With powerful AoE abilities on longish cooldowns, it’s essential to chain his attacks together to sustain a strong AoE presence, which becomes easier around map objectives and boss camps that force big team fights.
Mephisto looks to be a strong harasser during lane phases. He’s really able to pull melee assassins and warriors, especially those trying to complete quest talents in the early game. His weak spot is a powerful melee opponent who can close the distance as well as his lack of crowd control or burst damage to win a 1v1 fight.
That being said, a well-played Mephisto flirts on the edge of the battle while his warrior friends frontline the enemy and peel any threats from him. He has weak wave clearance so should only be left to solo laning when no other options are available.
There is some general unhappiness about his appearance in the community. I personally dig it as it’s pretty close to his Diablo 2 skin. The only thing missing is some spooky mist as he hovers through the air.
Also, the potential for skins is awesome, but the unspoken question is can we expect some more Diablo related releases to come? With Diablo 3 on the Switch coming soon, could a Diablo 2 remaster be on its way or dare I say it… Diablo 4?
Mephisto HotS Abilities
Enough speculation, however, let’s have a look at the Lord of Hatred’s abilities.
Trait – Lord of Hatred
Hitting enemy Heroes with Basic Abilities reduces Mephisto’s Basic Ability cooldowns.
Skull Missile and Shade of Mephisto grant 1.5 seconds of cooldown reduction per Hero hit, and Lightning Nova grants 0.3 seconds per Hero hit.
We’ve seen similar abilities like this on other heroes but not quite the same. Similar to Illidan’s Betrayer’s Thirst trait, sustained fighting ability comes from positioning and landing hits on the enemy. However, it is a skilled Mephisto player who can manage their cooldowns effectively.
Skull Missile (Q)
Conjure a skull that travels in the target direction after 0.75 seconds, dealing 127 damage to enemies hit and Slowing Heroes hit by 25% for 2 seconds.
Cooldown: 8 seconds
A cheap missile that allows Mephisto or allows to catch enemies fleeing a battle or secure that last hit as they dive past the gate to the well, it is a delayed missile that launches from Mephisto’s position during the time of cast, not his current position. This feature combos well with Shade of Mephisto below for potential deep dives on the enemy to secure kills.
Lightning Nova (W)
A ring of lightning appears around Mephisto for 2.5 seconds. Enemies within the ring take 48 damage every 0.25 seconds. Each time a cast of Lightning Nova hits a Hero, its damage is increased by 4%, up to 40 %t.
Cooldown: 14 seconds
Lightning Nova is interesting in that it is a narrow ring around Mephisto and does not include the space between him and the edge of the AoE. This will take some practice for most players to maintain effectively and further reinforces his mid to backline positioning and dependence on tanks to hold enemies at bay.
Shade of Mephisto (E)
Teleport to a location, dealing 78 damage to nearby enemies and leaving behind a Shade of Mephisto at Mephisto’s original location. After 2.5 seconds, Mephisto is teleported back to the Shade’s location.
Cooldown: 18 seconds
A Teleport AoE that allows Mephisto to deal damage when diving enemies that think they are safe, which still returns him to his original location even if crowd controlled.
This is nuts, it takes the dive meta of Genji and cranks it up to 11. With little to no risk of being stunned and beaten to death behind the enemy gate, Mephisto is now one of the few heroes still able to secure enemy kills beyond their gate or fort.
Consume Souls (R)
Channel for 2.5 seconds, revealing all enemy Heroes. After the Channel completes, all enemy Heroes take 357 damage and are slowed by 40% for 2.5 seconds.
Cooldown: 120 seconds
This is absolutely awesome. Mephisto takes what his little bro Diablo does and makes it better. Sure he might not have a game franchise named after him, but Mephisto offers so much power. This ability allows him to reveal, damage and then slow everyone on the enemy team. I can see him becoming a consistent pick or ban once he is eligible for Hero League.
If that isn’t dope enough for you, the level 20 talent ‘Consumed by Hatred’ recasts Consume Souls if it causes a takedown of an enemy hero. This only casts 1 additional time. Sorry ,no crazy team kills with one button.
Durance of Hate (R)
After 1 second, unleash a wave of evil spirits that Root the first enemy Hero hit for 2 seconds and deal 160 damage to them over the same duration. Durance of Hate spreads outwards from its initial target, Rooting and damaging additional nearby enemy Heroes.
Cooldown: 80 seconds
This is the more practical Heroic ability. It offers great team fight control and potential to combo with other players and your own abilities.
A targeted root effect, which rushes out and roots other enemies. This is the heroic ability you should be taking, especially since the level 20 talent ‘Unspeakable Horror’ also silences all enemy heroes effected.
The utility of this heroic can’t be denied, but the sheer joy you’ll experience when chaining two Consume Soul casts as the enemy break away from a failed team fight is just too incredible to pass up.
As you can see, the combo potential is huge and Mephisto will shine on maps that force teams to fight over tightly packed individual objectives like Volskaya or Infernal Shrines. It’s impossible to deny his AoE potential, however, I think he needs to be paired with a strong frontline and a burst damage hero to cash in on his AoE.
He is unlikely to bring down enemy heroes by himself.
Despite this AoE, his wave clearance is quite bad. Mephisto’s dependency on hitting heroes to reduce his long ability cooldowns means he will be wherever the fighting is the thickest and should leave the push to a cheeky Sylvanas AFK farming a lane.
All of the footage of Mephisto so far has been on the reworked Hanamura Temple map, which he excelled at. This is partly because he was just revealed for punters at Gamescon 2018. It’s also because the map reworks have changed the objective to be less frantic and random.
Hanamura feels more like an Overwatch Payload map, which Hanamura isn’t… yeah, I don’t get it either.
There is now only a single payload that spawns, with a single path through the middle of the map. Both teams are trying to push the payload to opposite objective goals. The payload doesn’t shoot damage at the core like the Towers of Doom map, but is no more like Blackhearts Bay in that it pummels a lane with damage.
This means that it’s worth trying to push the enemy lanes now that you can, in theory, ignore the objective and just beat down the core like any other game.
I wouldn’t advise it as the damage from the objective is enough that trying to ‘damage race’ is probably a losing strategy.
The camps have all been reworked as well. Aside from the general layout, the entire map has been completely overhauled.
I’ll postpone my groaning and sighing when I get Hanamura for a while after it launches.
We don’t have a rock solid date for when the next content patch will land, but watch this space as I will be doing a post patch analysis of Mephisto & Hanamura shortly after it’s available.