Brightwing seems like a bit of an odd assortment of abilities for a support hero. With no active healing ability, no mount and an AoE attack on her Q, she has taken a lot of getting used to for many players.
But as Heroes of the Storm evolves so too many the characters who make up the pool of choices to enter the Nexus. She heals her allies passively through an AoE called Soothing Mist and instead of a mount, she can Phase Shift to any ally on the map.
This combo of abilities means she can get involved in any team fight or try to save any ally regardless of her position.
However, Brightwing has fallen out of favour as the overall Meta has shifted towards diving, displacement and high single target damage. The current changes Blizzard plans to make look to bring the Faerie Dragon back into the Nexus in full force.
Heroes of the Storm Brightwing Changes
- Arcane Flare (Q)
- Reduction in damage of both the centre of the spell and outer area of effect as well as an increase missile speed, meaning it’s harder to dodge, however hitting an enemy hero with the centre of Arcane Flare pulses a free Soothing Mist to heal nearby allies.
- Polymorph (W)
- Increased duration from 1.25 to 1.5 seconds but also an increased cooldown of 10 seconds to 12 seconds.
- Pixie Dust (E)
- Minor reduction in range but remains otherwise unchanged.
- Soothing Mist
- Still passive heal but a slight reduction in healing. Now has an active AoE Cleanse in the form of Calming Mist(D). Calming Mist removes stun, root, slow and silence from all allies within range on a 2-minute cooldown.
- Phase Shift (Z)
- Increased cooldown by 5 seconds but has the added bonus of healing the target for 20% of their maximum health.
- Blink Heal (R) is unchanged at this time.
- Emerald Wind (R)
- No longer grants passive healing increase as well as took a reduction in damage, but also features a massive 10 seconds reduction in cooldown.
Brightwing has had a massive talent overhaul, moving talents up and down from other levels, adding functionality or bonuses to existing abilities in addition to scrapping and redoing no less than twelve of her talents.
Let’s have a look at what that means for the beloved Faerie Dragon.
Level 1 talents seem a bit varied and random. This is where you decide what kind of Brightwing you want to play and will begin to inform your choices at higher levels.
There are no obviously weak talent choices here and your decision will depend on your playstyle and team composition.
Greater Polymorph is simply used to increase Polymorph’s (W) duration by 0.75 seconds and was always considered a bad choice at level 16. Now at Level 1 it increases the range of Polymorph by 30% and resets the 12-second cooldown immediately when a nearby enemy hero is killed.
This rewards aggressive Brightwing players who are looking to disrupt the enemy line up, great for hotly contested objective maps like Infernal Shrines.
Hyper Shift previously rewarded Brightwing for just hanging in the back and passively healing. Now it increases the Phase Shift (Z) healing an ally receives to 30% of their maximum health and reduces the cooldown of your phase shift by 2 seconds for each enemy minion killed.
This is the real winner in my eyes as it best suits my style of being everywhere on the map at once, helping allies escape a gank or securing kills on the enemy.
Pixie Charm just adds to the bribe mechanic of Brightwing from allies healed to killing minions and landing Arcane Flare (Q) on enemy heroes. Useful for securing mercenary camps but probably best left to another hero if you’re solo support.
Now we start to define what sort of Brightwing you’ll be playing. Each talent in this tier focuses on a key ability or aspect of the Faerie Dragon. Level 4 is one of the more crucial level decisions you’ll make as these talents synergise well with level 16 in particular and also should begin to help you make up your mind on what Heroic ability you’ll take at level 10.
Manic Pixie is gone and now replaced with Magic Spit (Gross). This talent increases Brightwing’s basic attack range as well as attacks against hero reduce the cooldown of Calming Mist (D) by 5 seconds. A useful talent against an enemy line up with lots of stuns, roots and snares but not an essential pick.
Unstable Anomaly no longer deals a fixed amount of damage when Polymorph (W) expires but instead causes the target to ‘explode’ dealing 2% maximum health to all enemy heroes in range meaning it’s better at high levels, polymorphed targets also move 40% slower.
This is probably the go-to talent in my eyes at this level just for the slow, but there’s argument for any talent at level 4.
Dream Shot moved up from level 1 and remains mostly unchanged. Just a simple reduction of Arcane Flare (Q) by 2 seconds instead of 1 when hitting a hero with the centre of Arcane Flare.
Mistified, Cleanse and Phase Shield have all been removed with their utility folded into other talents or into basic abilities for free.
This tier of talents helps direct where your utility and team focus will be. What your Brightwing style brings to the overall team effort will dictate your choice here.
Sticky Flare moved down from level 13 and, in my opinion, was slightly nerfed. This talent reduces the movement of enemy heroes hit by Arcane Flare (Q) by 20% for 3 seconds or 40% if hit with the centre of the ability. It used to be a flat 40% but was also available later, useful in a Flare build but not if you’re solo supporting.
Peekaboo! moved up from level 4 to 7 and provides a shield to both Brightwing and the ally hero she teleports to with Phase Shift (Z). Despite moving up in level I still think this talent is incredibly useful for a Brightwing who is looking to be everywhere and save everyone.
Critical Mist is a brand new talent to help boost an already powerful ability. Whenever you use your Calming Mist (D) any ally who has a status effect cleansed from them is also healed for 200.
This is an amazingly strong talent that synergises well with Magic Spit (Still gross). Watch the enemy team rage as their big stunning ultimates are cleansed away and your team gets healed in the process.
Pick your heroic ability, either Blink Heal or Emerald Wind.
Level 13 focuses on improving the Pixie Dust (E) ability in one of three ways, which way is best will depend on your team and in particular the enemy team. Look for what kind of damage the enemy does as well as if they are ranged or melee characters predominantly.
Ice Block and Shield Dust have found themselves replaced with Safety Dust and Pixie Power to put an emphasis on this levels talent focus.
Safety Dust increases the duration of Pixie Dust by 1 second and increases Brightwing’s healing on allies with Pixie Dust on them by 25%. A nice simple interaction to buff up that ally who is being focused by the enemy team, but losing the shield on Pixie Dust really hurts.
Pixie Power gives a reduction in Pixie Dust’s cooldown by 3 seconds as well as giving an ally 50 armour. An essential pick against an enemy line-up that features a lot of mages like Jaina or Kael’Thas.
Pixie Boost gives an ally with Pixie Dust on them +40% movement that decays to +20% after 3 seconds. It used to give +50% movement that dropped to 20% after 1.5 seconds so it’s still a buff because you’re faster for longer, but may prove challenging to chase down or escape enemy heroes with the reduction in initial movement speed. Still a great pick at Level 13.
Bouncy Dust has bounced right out of the game along with Hardened Focus and find themselves replaced with Phase Out and Hush. Both of these talents bring a different type of utility to Brightwing.
Survivability and team fight potential is the key focus of this tier, allowing Brightwing to help dictate what the enemy team can and can’t do.
Phase Out is the replacement for Ice Block that requires a lot more skill to use. Phase Out blinks Brightwing out of existence for 0.5 seconds and has a 20 second cooldown, making her invulnerable to all damage and cancelling any other effects on her.
As with all the Brightwing changes, position and timing are crucial, but practice with Phase Out will ensure you can cancel incoming enemy abilities that will one shot you.
Hush means that hitting enemy heroes with the centre of Arcane Flare (Q) silences them for 1 second and causes them to deal 25% less damage. This is the real reason you’d consider a Flare build for Brightwing.
A 1 second silence may not sound like much but the chance to interrupt an enemy casting their heroic ability like Diablo’s Lightning Breath or ETC’s Mosh Pit is so tempting and game changing that it makes the talent worth it.
Every old level 20 talent is gone and have four brand new talents in their place. Level 20 looks to cement your playstyle and help get you over the line for a win. By now you really should have an idea of what sort of Brightwing you’re playing so the best talent for you will depend on your choices up to this point. That being said let’s take a look.
Invisible Friends, Blink Heal (R) now gives both Brightwing and her target stealth. They can’t be revealed by any means for .5 seconds and will continue to heal for 20 health per second whilst staying stealthed. This has so many uses I can’t describe them all, if you picked Blink Heal as your Level 10 talent then I don’t see a reason not to pick this. The play making potential is huge.
Intensive Winds, despite sounding like Brightwing ate something she shouldn’t have and now has a tummy ache, this is a crazy good talent. It lowers the cooldown of Emerald Wind (R) from 50 seconds to 3… Yep 3 second cooldown for a huge AoE knockback that also does damage, Wow. It does however increase the mana cost from 90 to 200, so spamming it isn’t super viable but having that kind of power at your beck and call is pretty amazing.
Faerie Protector, this active ability casts Pixie Dust on all nearby allied heroes with a 60 second cooldown. Now that might sound underwhelming in comparison to the other talents at level 20, but if you’ve been paying attention you’ll remember along the way we have been buffing up our Pixie Dust to give lots of utility to our allies. The ability to buff your allies at once is not something to turn your cute little dragon nose up at.
Speedy Dragon, a simply little +20% movement speed for Brightwing. Nothing amazing but certainly not bad. Seems a bit weak compared to the other talents given that it doesn’t add anything to the overall team effort.
I’m loving these changes to Brightwing. As a player who likes using unorthodox heroes and pressuring the enemies in team fights these changes are the best thing possible.
They allow Brightwing players to really impact the game beyond their passive healing and global presence. These changes will increase the skill needed to play Brightwing well but I’m confident we are about to see the Faerie Dragon skyrocket in games picked both casually in quickmatch as well as Hero League and professional play.
She answers a lot of question that the current Meta is asking regarding control and displacement of the enemy team. It’s a big cute greenish purple thumbs up from me.