Imperius, Archangel of Valor, Leader of the Angiris Council, Defender of the High Heavens…and kind of a dick.
The greatest defender of righteousness enters the Nexus as the darkness threatens to consume it all. A warrior with high moderate damage and survivability as well as utility and sustain, he shines in the depths of combat and embodies all the traits a hero needs to call themselves a bruiser.
Strong single target damage, charge stuns and an AoE flame that heals himself, Imperius is near unkillable in the right hands and a tremendous foe to face from across the Nexus.
Imperius Heroes of the Storm
Imperius excels at duelling enemies head-on, stopping those troublesome assassins like The Butcher from scaling up or completing their quest/stacks. With a strong late game presence as well as great early game laning, he is proving to be a favourite amongst bruiser players.
However, he does compete with some favourites such as Yrel or Malganis for a spot in the team line-up. Recruit a team with strong crowd control to stop him from overextending and getting killed amidst the enemy team.
Let’s take a look at Imperius’ abilities and traits, as well as some talent synergy.
Trait – Valorous Brand
- Each Basic Ability marks any enemy heroes hit for 10 seconds. Basic Attacks consume the target’s mark and deal an addition 30% damage per mark consumed.
This is a great trait that keeps Imperius applying a decent threat to the enemy line-up, even when an enemy healer is trying to keep your target alive. I recommend taking the level 4 talent Battle Hunger so every time you consume a mark you heal yourself, this keeps Imperius deeper in the enemy line longer so he can continue to smash face.
Celestial Charge (Q)
- Lunge toward a targeted direction and stab, dealing 35 damage. If any enemy heroes are hit, Imperius channels a 1 second stun that deals 70 damage once it finishes.
- Cost: 40
- Cooldown: 10 seconds
This ability is sick.
Not only is it incredibly useful because it impales and stuns ALL ENEMY HEROES it connects with, but just visually it looks great too. However, as you impale your opponent and lift them off the ground you are unable to move due to the stun being channelled.
When you’re outnumbered use the charge to dash to safety, as tempting as a 5 man stun might be it’s the wrong call when you’re alone.
Solarion’s Flare (W)
- Release a fiery wave that deals 100 damage. Enemies hit by the centre of the wave take an additional 50 bonus damage and are slowed by 40% for 3 seconds.
- Cost: 60
- Cooldown: 8 seconds
Decent wave clearance paired with a way to get easy stacks of Valorous Brand on your enemies. Stop your targets from escaping judgement by landing this skill shot ability on them. Pair this with the level 1 talent quest Consuming Flame.
Nail heroes with your Flare to increase the damage by 10 per hero hit and increase the slow by 15% after you hit 15 enemy heroes. It will take some practice but warrior players used to Sonya, Arthas and Diablo will be used to time delayed directional abilities.
Molten Armor (E)
- Shrouds Imperius in flames for 3 seconds, striking a nearby enemy for 19 damage every 0.25 seconds. Imperius heals for 100% of the damage dealt, the healing received is doubled versus Heroes.
- Cost: 50
- Cooldown: 12 seconds
On the surface, Molten Armor looks like a wave clear ability but it’s really designed to just smash a single poor enemy hero into pulp.
It is the ideal 1v1 duel ability and can be activated during the stun channelling time of Celestial Charge to maximise the damage potential. Because you can’t choose which enemy gets hit by Molten Armour, it is best used when running down your target.
Take Divine Rage at level 13 to reduce Molten Armours cooldown every time it hits an enemy hero and Melting Touch at 16 to reduce the enemies armour. All of this combines for a fiery aura that helps you demolish your foes while restoring your health.
Angelic Armaments (R)
- Summon a ring of blazing swords that grants 1000 shield for 3 seconds. If the shields lasts the full duration, this ability can be reactivated within 5 seconds to launch 6 swords towards an area, each dealing 140 damage to the first enemy hit.
- Cost: 60
- Cooldown: 60 seconds
Probably the better of the two heroic abilities, Angelic Armaments provides protection during team fights, as sort of a panic button should things not be going your way. But the primary use is to protect you as you dive deep into the enemy line and using the swords as a form of ranged execute.
It takes practice but learning how to land all 6 swords on the target is crucial if you want to punish your enemies. Also the visuals of heavenly blades forming a barrier around an Archangel warrior then launching those blades into some jerks face.
Wrath of Angiris (R)
- After 0.75 seconds, charge in the targ*et direction, lifting the first enemy Hero hit into the Heavens. While in the air, Imperius can steer the landing location by moving. After 2 seconds, slam the target into the ground, dealing 375 damage and stunning them for 1 second.
- Cost: 80
- Cooldown: 80 seconds
Wrath of Angiris probably isn’t the right choice in most situations, but it looks so cool. The idea of Imperius grabbing his enemy and soaring into the heavens before suplexing them into the dirt is too cool to not take. It could easily make it into a top ten anime battles montage.
But in all seriousness, Wrath allows you to take a vulnerable or key enemy hero and reposition them a friendly barrier. Timing and positioning is everything when it comes to executing Wrath of Angiris properly, as the short channel time can be stunned or silenced.
Imperius seems pretty impossible to deal with and that’s true of most new heroes who enter the Nexus as the quick play games are dominated by a new hero no one has ever seen before. But if you’re not as interested in playing Imperius and want to know how to tear him apart, well this is the segment for you.
Imperius is quite slow. Aside from his charge, every 10 seconds he has poor mobility. So kite him with heroes such as Genji or Tracer or reduce his healing potential with Ana’s biotic grenade. Crowd controlling Imperius is key to breaking him apart, but it’s a lot of effort to reduce the impact of one hero.
Imperius looks to be a real threat in the Nexus, but will he change the Meta?
That remains to be seen.