Attempting to play a new game is always challenging, but MOBAs are generally on a completely different level. Environments tend to be toxic for newer players and they contain an overwhelming amount of information in the form of item/skill builds, character abilities, and a large cast of heroes. Even veterans of the genre can initially feel overwhelmed and require quite a bit of time to memorize all of the characters in a game and optimal hero builds.
This guide is meant to help alleviate some of that pressure from Heroes of the Storm. Blizzard’s MOBA is definitely a little friendlier than its hardcore counterparts, such as League of Legends or Dota 2, but there is always a lot of pressure for players to perform well. Even though Blizzard has listed skill difficulty on each of its characters, it’s not necessarily a representation of the best heroes for new players. For example, Uther is listed as “easy” because his core mechanics are simple, but his abilities require key timing and he often has more active talents than other characters.
So here are our recommendations for the top 5 Heroes of the Storm Characters for beginners.
The undead king Leoric is actually listed as “Hard” in the game and is definitely the most challenging character to play on this list. However, none of his abilities are that difficult to grasp and his passive makes him ideal for new players. Those inexperience in the Nexus are likely to die more often than their veteran counterparts, and Undying makes sure he gets back in the action quicker. Furthermore, Leoric can absorb a lot of damage while also dishing it out, and he has a very reliable escape mechanic.
It’s unfortunate that Leoric has seen quite a few nerfs since his release, but he definitely isn’t unplayable. His talents are best focused on survivability such as: Reanimation, Hardened Bones, Ossein Renewal, Imposing Presence, and Spectral Leech. March of the Black King is definitely the better Heroic for new players, but Entomb is great for trapping squishy enemy team members.
Another rather challenging hero to play on this list is Valla. The thing about Valla is that she has one of the most basic skill sets in the game, but having a high apm and good positioning is the key to her success. As far as ranged, physical damage dealers go, Valla is about as vanilla as they come. Her abilities include a seeking a skillshot, a wide cone, a dash, and two area-of-effect Heroics. Hungering Arrow is essentially fire and forget, as long as the target is in range, and Multishot is nearly impossible to miss with. Furthermore, Vault is a very effective escape, Strafe does massive damage, and Rain of Vengeance provides excellent crowd control.
Her biggest weakness is an incredibly low health pool and an inability to do burst damage. Depending on her build, Valla will generally do more damage the longer the fight goes on. Both Multishot and auto-attack builds can do insane amount of sustained DPS, but the choice really comes down to the player’s comfort and the enemy team’s composition. Multishot isn’t terribly effective against a team of tanks and the heroic choice comes down to whether you need more damage or crowd control.
Johanna is probably the tankiest character in Heroes of the Storm and one of the most satisfying warriors to play. She’s listed as “Medium” difficulty, but Johanna is quite beginner friendly with her massive health pool and easy-to-land abilities. Abilities like Iron Skin and Shield Glare greatly extend her lifespan and allow her to survive situations no other hero could. We all know that new players have a tendency to tunnel vision or pick a fight with more enemy team members than they can handle, which makes Johanna great for beginners because she might actually survive.
Without a true engagement, or disengagement, ability Johanna isn’t as easy to maneuver as most other tanks; E.T.C. has slide, Muradin can jump, and Diablo has charge. In order to make up for this, movement increasing abilities, such as Conviction and Fanaticism, are recommended. Moreover, Blessed Shield is one of the best initiation tools in the game and can turn the tide of battle.
With Raynor we’re starting to get to the faceroll level characters; there’s a reason why he’s in the opening tutorial. With only one ability that actually needs to be aimed, Raynor isn’t exactly an enigma. However, that doesn’t make him a bad hero by any means. His recent changes have led Raynor to the top of the damage charts and he maintains a higher than 50% win rate. The thing with Raynor is that you know what you’re going to get out of him and there are rarely surprises.
Another great aspect that makes him suitable for beginners is that positioning isn’t as important as other assassins. Adrenaline Rush keeps him alive longer than most other Assassins and Advanced Optics gives him a range advantage. However, he also doesn’t have a real escape mechanic, other than a knockback, so he probably won’t escape a high-pressure gank situation. He also lacks hard crowd control unless Bullseye is taken at level 16. The auto-attack build is generally optimal for Hero Damage and consists of abilities like Seasoned Marksman, Focused Attack, Giant Killer, and Berserk, along with Hyperion for added pushing power.
1. Li Li
If you thought Raynor was easy to play then you’re going to reach an entirely new level of basic status with Li Li. She literally doesn’t have a single ability that needs to be aimed. Healing Brew launches a potion at the most injured ally in a large radius, Cloud Serpent is a target ability, and Blinding Wind, Jug of 1,000 Cups and Water Dragon are proximity based. Although this might sound like a bad thing, it’s what makes Li Li great for beginners. She can simply follow her team around and spam buttons without having to worry about accuracy.
Obviously, this simplicity is also her downfall. Li Li has made rare appearances in higher tiers of gameplay, but she really lacks utility compared to other support characters. Her burst healing is rather weak and she doesn’t have any crowd control, besides Water Dragon. There are a few viable builds on Li Li, such as focusing on Cloud Serpent or Blinding wind, however, all are relatively easy to figure out.
This concludes our list of the top 5 Heroes of the Storm characters for beginners. We hope this list helps you out, and if you have any other suggestions please feel free to leave a comment.
Related: Blizzard Entertainment, eSports, Guide, Heroes of the Storm, MOBA