Exciting new times as Blizzard introduces its first Nexus-born hero, Orphea to HoTS. With no association to an existing Blizzard franchise such as Warcraft or Overwatch, Orphea is the first in what I expect will be many new heroes to be created in the ongoing emerging narrative.
Daughter of the Raven Lord and Heir to the Raven Court, she is determined to undermine her father’s plans that we have seen develop all year across the Nexus events.
You can check out Orphea’s spotlight trailer for some details about what she adds to the game.
As you can see from her skill set, Orphea is a mid-range Assassin hero with a high damage potential. Her abilities are as follows.
Trait – Overflowing Chaos (D)
Hitting an enemy Hero with a basic ability grants 1 Chaos. Chaos can stack up to 3 times.
While Orphea has Chaos, her Basic Attacks against Heroes consume all Chaos, dealing 50% increased damage per stack, and heals Orphea for 100% of the damage dealt.
Right out of the gate we see that Orphea is made for aggression, a high skill cap on her abilities means players with the right timing and positioning will be dealing consistent high damage.
Shadow Waltz (Q)
After 0.5 seconds, deal 150 damage to enemies in a line.
Hitting a Hero with Shadow Waltz sets its cooldown to 2 seconds, refunds 25 mana, and causes Orphea to dash a short distance upon moving.
- Cost: 5 Mana
- Cooldown: 25 Seconds
Probably Orphea’s strongest ability, for its dash and skill-shot ability. Combined with her Overflowing Chaos trait, skilled players will keep landing the hits and feeding the chaos in a team fight.
The only weaknesses to this ability are the long cooldown if you miss the enemy hero and that the ability is telegraphed by a large purple tendril making it easier to dodge.
After 0.625 seconds, deal 285 damage to nearby enemies in front of Orphea.
- Cost: 60 Mana
- Cooldown: 10 Seconds
A 180-degree arc, Chomp helps Orphea take a bite out of melee heroes targeting her with a high AoE burst.
A great filler for your Shadow Waltz combo as well as confined team fights, the ability is telegraphed by large purple jaws but the animation is so fast that it’d have to be a pro-Genji that evades your attacks.
Release a wave of dread that deals 85 damage to enemies hit. Dreads erupts 0.75 seconds after reaching the end of its path, dealing 175 damage and Slowing enemies in the area by 25% for 2 seconds.
- Cost: 50 Mana
- Cooldown: 14 Seconds
As with all of Orphea’s abilities, Dread requires careful timing and positioning. The damage on the initial path is only light, so look to end the large burst of Dread on the enemy heroes.
It’s handy to note that the dash on a Shadow Waltz puts Orphea at approximately the right range to land a perfect Dread on a pursuing enemy. Definitely something worth practising.
Eternal Feast (R1)
After 1.5 seconds, deal 210 damage in an area. Eternal Feast repeats every 1 second as long as it hits an enemy Hero.
- Cost: 75 Mana
- Cooldown: 50 Seconds
Every so often the perfect team fight ultimate shows up and while I’m under no illusions that Eternal feast will be nerfed in the near future, make use of it while you can.
Eternal feast lacks the utility and control of Crushing Jaws but will be popular with new players as they dominate messy team fights with an endless torrent of chaos damage.
Crushing Jaws (R2)
After 1.25 seconds, pull enemies in an area towards the centre, dealing 275 damage and Stunning them for 0.75 seconds.
- Cost: 75 Mana
- Cooldown: 50 Seconds
Damage and a stun, what more is there to say?
Lining up the enemy team for a bombardment of her other abilities or other team synergies such as Zagara’s Devouring Maw, Malfurion’s Twilight Dream or Genji’s Dragonblade. The most skilled Orphea players will take Crushing Jaws because they understand that a team-fight is more than damage output.
Overall Orphea is shaping up to be a real contender for top mage DPS, but without a Blizzard franchise beyond Heroes of the Storm to call home will she be popular with players?
That remains to be seen, for now, she’s in every quick match as players are eager to try out her awesome arsenal of chaotic power.