Heroes of the Storm (HOTS) has been one of the powerhouses of the MOBA (Multiplayer Online Battle Arena) scene. Now on its 5th year, the game manages to stay fresh because of constantly hefty gameplay and balance tweaks, and their colorful cast of 89 characters (called “heroes”).
In this piece, we’ll be focusing on these heroes. Specifically, how well they match up against the rest of the cast.
Knowing this hierarchy beforehand is essential in MOBAs because it lets you strategize your play to gain the upper hand. You’ll also gain insight on which hero pairs up well with others, and which one is at a disadvantage when facing certain opponents.
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The Tier List
Team synergy, positioning, and coordination are the building blocks to winning in the game. As such, each hero is ranked depending on these factors. Each hero in HOTS is assigned a role out of the six enumerated here:
- Tank – Heroes that protect their team from incoming attacks. They usually last longer than others in clashes/team fights.
- Bruiser – Not as defense-oriented as tanks. In turn, they have good damage potential which makes them a hybrid balance of offense and defense.
- Support – Heroes that provide buffs and utility skills to other allies. Conversely, they can also impede opponents’ advances through de-buffs and other status-changing abilities.
- Healer – Heroes that focus on healing allies and mitigating the damage dealt to the party.
- Melee Assassin – These are pure attackers that deal massive damage to opponents in close range.
- Ranged Assassin – The same as Melee Assassin, but they attack from long range. They are also usually squishier (easier to kill) than their melee counterparts.
Now without further ado, let’s dive right into the tier list.
These heroes are almost certainly picked first because of how well they could dictate the flow of the game. They have great stats, along with extremely useful skills that always give their team the advantage in fights.
|Deathwing||Bruiser||Deathwing has a massive health pool along with tough armor. His skills are a bit slow, but they hit very hard.|
|Kael’thas||Ranged Assassin||Living Bomb dictates the flow of combat every time. Used perfectly, this can disperse enemy units, making them easier to chase down.|
|Xul||Bruiser||Xul’s lack of mobility is offset by his invaluable ability to push lanes quickly.|
|Ana||Healer||Ana excels as a healer because she can keep your party alive while maintaining a good distance from the fight itself.|
Heroes in the A-tier are good all-rounders that pair well with others in other tiers. These heroes make up most of the recent meta, so a lot of players will be decent in utilizing their skills.
|Chen||Bruiser||Chen is tough to kill and can harass his opponents because of persistent skills.|
|Dehaka||Bruiser||Can easily clear waves of enemies. Isolation makes him survive even on his own.|
|Garrosh||Tank||Another hero with good armor rating, Garrosh is good for team fights because he can isolate a hero from the opposing team, making it easier to pick off.|
|Gul’dan||Ranged Assassin||Has good AoE skills that clear waves of enemies and have enough impact on team fights.|
|Raynor||Ranged Assassin||Raynor is a tanky offensive character able to survive fights while dishing significant damage. He’s also beginner-friendly so there’s not much downside to having one in your party – regardless of player skill.|
|Johanna||Tank||Has a large amount of health for survivability. Additionally, Johanna can clear waves of enemies easily compared to other tanks.|
|Blaze||Tank||Good in team fights or by herself. Blaze can also force opponents out of their position with her abilities.|
|Tychus||Ranged Assassin||Tychus is good for chipping away at opponents’ health and clearing waves of enemies.|
|Tassadar||Ranged Assassin||Same as Tychus, but with longer range and less effective wave-clearing capabilities.|
|Imperius||Bruiser||Imperius has a good stun skill, high survivability in team and solo fights, and a decent damage output.|
|Anduin||Healer||Anduin’s utility comes from his ability to sustain teammates’ health, but also save them from death when necessary.|
|E.T.C.||Tank||E.T.C.’s selling point is his flexibility to fit any team composition. He is decent in all areas, which makes him fun to play in team fights.|
|Lunara||Ranged Assassin||Lunara is good for pressuring opponents because of her poison. While it doesn’t always finish them off, they’ll be a lot more cautious when pulling up in team fights because of this.|
|Fenix||Ranged Assassin||Fenix is good for dealing potshots to the opponent, then clearing waves of enemies. The ability to warp out of sticky situations is essential for solo pushing.|
These are good heroes with a lot of utility in team fights, pushing, roaming, or defending your lanes.
|Leoric||Bruiser||Leoric’s Drain Hope skill is your best bet against enemy tanks. Additionally, his passive weakens the enemy team’s damage capability so they’re usually at a disadvantage during team fights.|
|Malfurion||Healer||Malfurion is a decent healer which can also facilitate picking off enemy heroes because of his Entangle skill.|
|Muradin||Tank||A tank with good self-healing capabilities will always be a hard target for the enemy team. To add to his versatility, Muradin also has an effective stun skill.|
|Anu’barak||Tank||Good for keeping enemy teams at bay in clashes. The downside is Anu’barak is one of the easier tanks to kill in the game.|
|Arthas||Tank||Arthas is better at damaging rather than protecting allies. His subpar mobility hinders the effectivity of all that damage, however.|
|Diablo||Tank||Diablo works best when he unleashes all his abilities at the start of team fights. He has the health pool and armor to do it, so he’s always a problem in clashes.|
|Deckard||Healer||Deckard offers utility as a damage-dealer with healing capabilities. He has a decent range which is effective for zoning enemies. The AoE attacks also help clear waves and prevent the other team from pushing.|
|Alarak||Melee Assassin||Alarak is a true assassin. With high burst damage, he pairs well with other heroes that are good at roaming and picking off solo enemies on the map.|
|Abathur||Support||Abathur could be on S-Tier under the right party composition. He has a unique playstyle that might not translate in most matches but is excellent in pre-made teams.|
|Alextrasza||Healer||A good choice if you want a healer that can effectively zone. Alextrasza’s downside is that she’s not a very effective healer by herself.|
|Falstad||Ranged Assassin||Good for repositioning himself to where fights are going to be, offering a unique advantage against enemy roamers.|
|Cassia||Ranged Assassin||Cassia’s downfall is her low range despite being a ranged assassin. She still has high damage potential though, so you must be experienced to use her effectively.|
|Auriel||Healer||Auriel is situationally good because her healing strength depends on her partner. A team with Auriel has to strategize who comes with her in the lane.|
Average heroes which don’t stand out, but have useful uses under the right situation and setup.
|Kerrigan||Melee Assassin||Kerrigan is sort of a one-trick pony that can deal massive damage with her skill combos, but not flexible in different situations.|
|Li Li||Healer||Li Li is a good choice for beginners who want to learn the healer role. You can’t play Li Li wrong unless you force it, but that also means you rarely excel with her as well.|
|Li-Ming||Ranged Assassin||Li-Ming is a resilient hero because of that annoying teleport. She can deal high damage to individual heroes, but she’s sort on the wave-clear department.|
|Lucio||Healer||Lucio is a great healer, but his best trait is his ability to bestow movement speed buffs to allies.|
|Rexxar||Bruiser||Good as a solo-laner, Rexxar’s downside is his niche advantages that are only present in certain maps.|
|Sylvanas||Ranged Assassin||Quick to reposition, Sylvanas is a pest in the backline despite her low damage output.|
|Rehgar||Healer||Look for someone else if you want good healing. Rehgar’s best trait is his utility in battle because of decent damage and mobility.|
|Uther||Healer||Great burst healing, and one of the best lockdown skills in the game. Uther is good as a roaming companion or backline support in lanes.|
|Sonya||Bruiser||Sonya is useful in solo-lane because of her decent damage and above-average sustainability in fights.|
|Mephisto||Ranged Assassin||Mephisto’s AoE ability makes him a decent choice for controlling enemy pushes.|
|Genji||Ranged Assassin||Genji has great mobility and decent damage, which makes him very fun to play. He’s good at initiating team fights and getting the jump on enemy teams.|
|Greymane||Ranged Assassin||Greymane is always a safe pick because of good burst damage, and decent enemy harassment potential.|
|Jaina||Ranged Assassin||Jaina is good at launching status effects that slow the enemy team down. Her skill cooldowns are painfully long though, so knowing when to properly use them is paramount.|
|Junkrat||Ranged Assassin||AoE potshot damage is Junkrat’s calling card. Outside of this, Junkrat can’t do much without the support of his team.|
|Ragnaros||Bruiser||Ragnaros is a decent choice if you want to push a lane and defend it when enemies start appearing.|
|Stukov||Healer||Stukov’s healing is average, but his AoE silence is useful in team fights.|
|Stitches||Tank||Stitches has a steep learning curve because of his hook, but his massive health is a nuisance to opponents.|
|Qhira||Melee Assassin||Qhira has good damage as a close combat character but needs to be controlled by skilled players to be truly effective.|
|Malthael||Bruiser||Malthael has good wave-clearing capabilities with minimum effort. His straightforward playstyle also means that it’s easy to counter him.|
|Orphea||Ranged Assassin||Orphea has decent damage, but not as burst so it’s hard to get kills with her.|
It will take good party composition and coordination to make these heroes shine. Consider using them only if the matchup calls for it.
|Maiev||Melee Assassin||Maiev is good when the right team is built around her. Consider using her if there are already plenty of AoE skill users in your team.|
|Mal’Ganis||Tank||Mal’ganis is useful for harassing enemies in his lane because of sustained damage and self-healing but he doesn’t have any disable skills to make him useful in group battles.|
|Thrall||Bruiser||Good for crowd-control, Thrall is usually focused on at the beginning of team fights, which makes his survivability low.|
|Whitemane||Healer||Unlike other healers, Whitemane’s heal is related to how much damage is given to the enemy. For beginners, this is tricky to manage, therefore adding to her liability in team fights.|
|Yrel||Bruiser||Another hero that’s focused early on in team fights because her damage can be a nuisance if left alone.|
|Zarya||Support||Zarya isn’t suitable for dealing damage, rather she’s best at mitigating damage to allies because of her shield abilities.|
|Zeratul||Melee Assassin||Has high burst damage, but his slow animations before skills give time for opponents to react. It doesn’t help that Zeratul is a very squishy character.|
|Zul’jin||Ranged Assassin||Zul’jin has high damage potential but is difficult to master.|
|Illidan||Melee Assassin||Illidan is very strong when used by an experienced player. He’s best as a roamer with other support heroes with him.|
|Brightwing||Healer||Brightwing’s Global Travel is useful for repositioning the team. As a healer, Brightwing is subpar.|
|Artanis||Bruiser||Artanis has a high skill cap that can turn off most players, but he can be effective once they master his skills and movement.|
|Azmodan||Ranged Assassin||Opponents have to watch out for Azmodan because he can clear waves quickly. In team fights, Azmodan performs less than stellar.|
|Chromie||Ranged Assassin||Chromie has a decent range which makes her good for taking potshots at enemy heroes.|
|D.Va||Bruiser||D.Va is more of bait for other teams rather than a genuine threat. Her Self-Destruct is a good denial ability which also affects enemy teams.|
|Kel’thuzad||Ranged Assassin||He can do insane damage with skill combos but can’t initiate nor finish off opponents because of his lack of lockdown skills.|
|Lt. Morales||Healer||Has great single-target healing which is good for partnering with roamers. In the later stages of the match, the lack of group healing makes Lt. Morales a liability.|
|Sgt. Hammer||Ranged Assassin||Good for potshots to harass enemies but is also quite easy to kill.|
|Medivh||Support||One of the hardest heroes to master, Medivh will only be used by a handful of pre-made squads that build around his viability in fights.|
|Tracer||Ranged Assassin||Tracer has a low health pool, meaning she can’t be in the thick of the fight most of the time. Her mobility and damage make her good for hunting down stragglers after a clash goes down.|
These heroes provide little value in team fights but can be a useful distraction for opponents.
|Nazeebo||Ranged Assassin||A late-game hero if there ever was one. Nazeebo’s weakness is that he is very slow to be impactful in battle.|
|Nova||Ranged Assassin||Nova is easy to use, but her utility lies in her Snipe skill, which often leaves her out of position in fights.|
|Samuro||Melee Assassin||Samuro is good when you’re facing off against beginners because they’ll likely get confused with his clones. More experienced players, however, will find this very easy to deal with.|
|T.L.V.||Support||The Lost Vikings can only be effective by the most skilled players because they require a lot of micromanagement. The upside is they have a huge push and zone potential.|
|Tyrael||Tank||Tyrael has very little combat utility but is used because of his shields.|
|Tyrande||Healer||Tyrande should be higher in this list if it weren’t for her abysmal mobility and high skill cap. Her healing is useful in the right hands though.|
|Valla||Ranged Assassin||Valla can deal heavy damage to opponents if left alone. However, her low health demands that she’s in a team that could protect her in team fights.|
|Varian||Bruiser||Varian is easy to learn and use but also easy to counter for opponents because of his simplistic play style.|
|Zagara||Ranged Assassin||Zagara is useful for pushing and providing vision for the team. She doesn’t shine as much in team battles, unfortunately.|
|Kharazim||Healer||Khazarim is a versatile hero that can heal teammates and deal some damage in fights. Because of this, he doesn’t stand out in any other aspect of the game.|
|Valeera||Melee Assassin||Valeera is useful when you want to focus on the biggest threat on the enemy team. She doesn’t do well by herself, so she fares better as part of a roaming assassination squad.|
It will take an extremely skilled player to make these heroes shine. They have serious flaws with a relatively weak upside to them.
|The Butcher||Melee Assassin||When controlled early on in the match, The Butcher will have a hard time making an impact later on.|
|Cho’gall||Ranged Assassin||With a large design, Cho’gall almost always finds himself decimated by the opposing team before making an impact in the team fight.|
|Gazlowe||Melee Assassin||He’s good at pushing lanes and zoning opponents in his lane but doesn’t have much value in clashes.|
|Murky||Melee Assassin||Murky is so squishy that it’s frustrating to play him early to mid-game. He does have value late-game though, so make sure you can farm and strengthen him by then.|
|Probius||Ranged Assassin||Probius requires a lot of setup before getting any kills. It doesn’t help that he has a low health pool.|