Hero Spotlight: Tychus

In case you guys hadn’t noticed, I’ve added a link to the side to provide you guys with quick links to all the hero spotlights I’ve done over the past few weeks. In doing so however, I realised that when it was Tychus week and I spotlighted him, I didn’t really do him any justice whatsoever. I know I said I wouldn’t go back over articles I’d already done, but because the format changed so drastically between him and even the next spotlight, I figured I’d give him his own article instead of sharing it with other Heroes news, especially with what feels like forever since Blizzard last did a hero week themselves – although Murky should be coming along shortly. I’ll also be changing the format slightly again this time to avoid repeating myself over and over.

Tychus Findlay, notorious outlaw, is from the StarCraft universe, originally in concept in the first StarCraft game, but really coming to the forefront in Wings of Liberty. He’s got a great deal of information in his biography on the StarCraft Wiki if you want to check out more on him as a person, but generally speaking: he’s a southern badass from Mar Sara that has a no-nonsense attitude and an aptitude for getting things done ‘the fun way’. He’s primarily in the Assassin role in Heroes, but through talents you can make him a little tankier in case you find yourself in a team with four other assassins and you need someone to take the hits while Kerrigan or Zeratul go in for the kills. Unfortunately, his main drawback is a general lack of utility – he’s there to kill and take hits, but that’s about it.

Please note that at the time of writing this article, Heroes of the Storm is in technical alpha, and I’m not in the alpha to be able to check live updates, so chances are that some of the numbers may have been tweaked and are yet to be updated on online sources.

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Abilities

[Trait] Minigun: Before attacking, Tychus must windup his Minigun briefly. Once wound up, he attacks much faster than other Heroes.

The delay isn’t too long, and you are safe to target switch between enemies without having to wind up again (as long as you’re not moving) so this trait isn’t as bad as it sounds. Especially without the need to last hit like in other MOBAs, you’re not penalised for missing those crucial last hits. The minigun still has a wind-down, so if you do find yourself moving in between shooting, you don’t have to wait for the windup again each time as long as the gun’s still rolling.

[Q] Overkill: Focus Tychus’ minigun on the target, dealing 3760 (720 + 160 per level) damage to the target over 5 seconds. Other targets in the cone take 940 (180 + 40 per level) damage. Can be retargeted.

Overkill deals a ton of damage in a short burst, and allows for Tychus to be able to kite or chase down enemies while moving. It’s a massive attack in team fights that really hits the flavour of Tychus down to the tee. Tapping Q again while channeling it will allow you to switch targets with it, though for the moment it looks like you’re locked to Overkill until the channel is over, so you’ll have to make sure you don’t want to cast any other abilities in the next 5secs.

[W] Frag Grenade: Tychus lobs a grenade that explodes for 560 (85 + 25 per level) damage. Enemies hit are pushed away from the explosion’s epicenter.

The knockback is fairly respectable, and reminds me a lot of Batrider’s Flamebreak from Dota 2. It’s good for knocking heroes into or away from you, or you can knock them behind walls or out of bushes and that. This is pretty much as far as Tychus’s utility goes, the rest of his abilities focus centrally on dealing or taking damage. Because of his lack of stuns and that, you’re probably going to be the main person to pick up map objectives like Doubloons or Cursed Tributes, though if you can knock enemies away to make sure a team mate can complete an objective: do it.

[E] Run and Gun: Charge forward and instantly wind up Tychus’ minigun.

A great initiation ability, especially if you pick up Bolt of the Storm at 20, and it allows you to right click damage straight into the fight. With his natural tankiness, being the initiator of team fights makes sense for him, even in the usual squishy nature of the assassin role. However, it’s not an ability that you target enemies with, so you can easily make your escape if you suddenly realise that you’re put yourself in a bad position and need to move out. With an 8sec cooldown and just 50 mana cost, it’s very easy to spam and jump around the battlefield, weaving in Q’s and W’s in between.

[R1] Drakken Laser Drill: Summons a Laser Drill that deals 155 (22 + 7 per level) damage per second. Able to be targeted by reactivating.

When this first came out, I believe it was the best choice for his heroic despite how awesome it was to commandeer the Odin for his other heroic. However, this served more as the Assassin’s heroic while the Odin was the Warrior’s heroic, giving him a little more survivability. Since then I’m not too sure after balance changes, but I’d like to think this is how Blizzard plan to balance Tychus between his two heroics: this does an amazing amount of damage to a single target, such as buildings and defending against a push.

[R2] Commandeer Odin: Tychus pilots the Odin, gaining a second health pool and reducing all Crowd Control effects by 50%. Basic Attacks in the Odin do heavy damage and no longer require a windup. Tychus gains the ability to fire Ragnarok Missiles and Annihilate to devastate a large area.

He gets more tanky with this talent, allowing himself every 100 seconds to gain a second health pool and wreak as much havoc as his health pool allows, or 17 seconds are up. Do note that when you leave the Odin, your health will be the same as when you entered it, so if you clutch R’d you better make sure you’re out of harm’s way when you’re about to leave. The abilities he gains are as follows:

  • [Q] Annihilate: Tychus fires the Odin’s cannons in a straight line, dealing 70 damage to everything in its path.
  • [W] Ragnarok Missiles: Tychus launches missiles at everything in a radius around him, dealing 70 damage to each target.

With a nuke strike as the level 20 upgrade to it completing the E slot too, but I’ll get into that later.

Talents

As I mentioned earlier Tychus can either be tanky or ganky, and his talents certainly prove that to be the case. In this section I’ll go through each tier and explain how the choices can be used depending on what lineup you have, what lineup the enemies have, and generally how he looks to be on paper. I’m not in the alpha at the moment, so I might have gotten the wrong end of the stick on some of these choices without being able to test them out myself, and of course with it being alpha some of these talents may change over time.

TychusT1Level 1 is always going to be the difficult talent to take, as it dictates the way you play the rest of the game. Fortunately Tychus is the one instigating combat as opposed to reacting to it – all you need to do is determine whether or not you’re going to go around and pick off enemies, or if you’re going to be in the middle of combat taking everything to the face. The first two picks are more tanky options, and the latter two are more ganky options. Personally, I’d go for Regen Master if you’re building to tank, or upgrade your Q to go for more ganky builds.

Remember that only the mage creeps drop health globes at the moment, so if you have a lane partner that’s taking your globes, make sure to tell them that you need them for your warrior build. If you have a melee laning partner or have a support glued to you

TychusT2Again, it’s a very clear-cut between tanky and ganky here. Vampiric Assault scales extremely well with his increased attack speed to make sure that he’s healing up well during fights. Focused Attack, similarly is amazing for a ganky build with his increased attack speed again, especially for taking it off cooldown again and again. The W upgrade is pretty good for pushing, but I still think the other two options are much better.

TychusT3Another opportunity to upgrade the W, but we’re going to miss it again this tier because Tychus isn’t really that much of a utility person. It might serve to catch people out better, but chances are you already have someone in your team for that. First Aid is fantastic for tanking, especially with Path of the Warrior for even bigger heals, but is overall a solid option for the tanky Tychus, even over Rapid Fire for more Vampiric shots. However, I’m not too sure on the choice between Rapid Fire and Searing Attacks for the ganky Tychus: I’m leaning more toward Searing once his weapon’s been wound up to make sure you get those ganks off.

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As I mentioned earlier, Commandeer Odin (please note that it’s not a rank, but an action to take control of something, so please stop calling it Commander Odin) is going to be the more tanky option, especially if you enjoy going into the middle of fights. That’s not to say that you go for the Laser Drill as a ganker though, as the abilities you get in the Odin are fantastic to get those ganks off. Plus, a dead ganker does no ganking, so this is a good clutch save to finish off opponents and get the heck away afterwards.

I’d go for the Drakken Laser Drill in times where you know you’re going to need sustained damage on a target that isn’t moving much, like the Grave Golem or pushing down towns, forts and the core. You can see in the video above that it’s pretty good at defending certain areas as well, but it can be targeted and killed. It’s still fun to place on a chest in Blackheart’s Bay or a tribute in Cursed Hollow, so it’s down to your own playstyle really.

TychusT5At level 13, we’ve got a few options in both categories here. Relentless is a solid tanking (and ganking) option that allows you to get away from bad quicker and cleaner. Especially in solo games if you get affected by CC, chances are you’re going to get focused down soon. However, we’ll be taking a good, solid survivability talent in the next tier, so against improving Overkill I’d say that it’s best off going for upgrading the Q once you unlock the ability to choose that talent. As a warrior, you’re not going to be able to taunt people onto you, but you can sure as hell make sure the enemies aren’t getting away, or enemy assassins aren’t catching up to your supports by slowing them down.

For the ganker role, pretty much everything in this tier is a viable option. Upgrading the Q makes sure enemies don’t escape as easily and pairs well with Executioner in the next tier; Giant Killer is especially useful against enemy warriors and map objectives; Relentless gets you out of CC faster so you can continue eating face; and upgrading your E is great to help chase down and nail those kills (or get out of a bad situation). Overall I’d say to go for Stim Pack as it has that double-edged sword of chasing down the squishies – which your role as a ganker is – as well as having that option to be able to get out of Dodge. Pre-8, it would depend on the matchup: against high CC go for Relentless, if they have a lot of high health enemies go for Giant Killer. It’s especially useful against the Grave Golems and Dragon Knight too.

TychusT6

For tier 6 at level 16m we have one main tanky option that really sticks out in Stoneskin. Again, this is where Path of the Warrior helps buff this out even more, but it’s likely that the regen is still going to win out. Regardless, for this tier there’s only one main option for the tanky Tychus, though upgrading the W is certainly an option to get enemies away from the rest of your team.

For the ganky Tychus, Lock and Load is a very tempting talent to chase down enemies. Remember that everyone has the same base movement speed unlike in other MOBAs, so getting that 15% extra speed will mean that it’s only heroes with abilities to escape that will be able to get away. Executioner is a pretty solid pickup too if you upgraded your Q in the last tier, but movement speed helps a ton in most situations.

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Finally, at level 20 we have 3 options available to us once we get there: two storm abilities and the opportunity to upgrade our heroic we picked at 10. I’m not sure if Fury will stack with Vampiric Assault, but interestingly his version of Fury is 25% less with each bounce, when most other Furies are just a flat 50% reduced damage on both splashes. Regardless, from a warrior’s perspective, being able to stay in the Odin for longer is fantastic and having that nuke to drop when you’ve got a massive team fight going is great for pushing the fight into your favour. However, I do love Blink Dagger in Dota, so Bolt is always going to be a solid choice in most situations. The anti-push on Focusing Diodes is also a great option if you picked up the Drakken Laser Drill.

Similarly, in the ganker build Bolt of the Storm is brilliant for getting into and out of bad situations. You can chase enemies down or Run and Gun in, take a kill, Bolt out before anyone can react. For the ganking Tychus I probably wouldn’t recommend upgrading the heroics as the Storm abilities are just that powerful to gank with. If the game is nearing the end and you need that push, you can combine Fury with your W to easily mow down waves and help finish the game off.

Hell… It’s About Time!

tychusThis week is Tychus week in Heroes of the Storm! Blizzard released an awesome trailer introducing him to the Storm. He is a ranged/assassin hero who can commandeer the Odin as one of his potential heroic abilities and gaining a whole new set of abilities, the other being more stationary in the Drakken Laser Drill. His trait is interesting in that he charges up his weapon and then has the fastest attack speed in the game. He certainly has a fun skillset, and I’m sure I’ll pick him up at some point (most likely as Abathur’s Ultimate Evolution, though I’m sure I’ll pick him up in free rotation to begin with).

icontychusOutside of the Odin, his abilities are as follows:

  • Overkill (Q): Focus Tychus’ minigun on the target, dealing 3760 (720 + 160 per level) damage to the target over 5 seconds. Other targets in the cone take 940 (180 + 40 per level) damage. Can retarget while casting.
  • Frag Grenade (W): Tychus lobs a grenade that explodes for 560 (85 + 25 per level) damage. Enemies hit are pushed away from the explosion’s epicenter.
  • Run and Gun (E): Charge forward and instantly wind up Tychus’ minigun.
  • Drakken Laser Drill (R): Summons a Laser Drill that deals 155 (22 + 7 per level) damage per second.

However, if you pick the Odin as his heroic ability (R), you lose the Drakken Laser Drill, and gains a second health pool and reducing all Crowd Control effects by 50%. Basic Attacks in the Odin do heavy damage and no longer require a windup. Tychus gains the ability to fire Ragnarok Missiles and Annihilate to devastate a large area:

  • Annihilate (Q): Tychus fires the Odin’s cannons in a straight line, dealing 20 damage to everything in its path.
  • Ragnarok Missiles (W): Tychus launches missiles at everything in a radius around him, dealing 20 damage to each target.
  • Nuclear Blast (E): Tychus calls down a nuke at a target location. After a short delay, the target area explodes for 200 damage.

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We also see the first major patch of the alpha, bringing massive changes all round (over 9000 changes, according to object strings and game strings) though changes to heroes can be found here! In addition, earlier on last week we received news that the technical alpha has been released, with a few lucky people in the US being able to access the game to test out how it works on different machines and internet connections, to make sure that it’s stable across a spectrum of different players. Today however, Reddit users have posted that these invites are also being sent to the EU now too!

The best part about this alpha? There is no NDA! What this means is that people are free, once the alpha goes live, to share images, videos, blog posts, podcasts to talk about what’s happening within the game and how it plays! This is a first for Blizzard, considering past alphas have generally been for friends and family of Blizzard only, and have also been under the NDA. However, I’m sure Blizzard knows the strong competition within the genre they’re entering, and want to be able to build up as much hype as they can about the game, so this may be why they’re changing their stance for Heroes at least in terms of alpha. Whether we’ll see the same for Warlords of Draenor is a different matter entirely, but it’ll certainly be interesting to keep an eye on.

As a final note, it’s interesting to see Blizzard hashtagging #TychusWeek. Does this imply a new hero each week now that alpha is starting? I guess we’ll find out in due course!

Check out Tychus’s full hero page here for full list of his abilities, talents and scaling!

tycusIn related Heroes of the Storm news, Blizzard have also released a new blog post (these updates are coming out like wildfire now!) concerning some of the major systems within the game and how it will work. You can check out there entire blog post here, though I will briefly summarise what has been announced so far to round out this blog post. Please note that when talking about levels in this summary, we’re talking about your Heroes of the Storm level, not the level of your hero in matches:

  • Every Tuesday (maybe Wednesday for EU, but we’ll assume it’s Tuesday globally for now) we get a new rotation of free heroes to try out. Before you hit level 7, this will be restricted to five heroes. Once you hit level 7, this increases to six heroes for free each week.
  • At level 5, you can begin to earn gold as a currency, that increases in quantity the more you level up. This gold can be used to purchase heroes so they’re in your rotation permanently.
  • At level 6, daily quests can be completed for more gold. Though only one new quest will appear each day, you can have up to three in your quest log at any time.
  • You can test out heroes whether or not they’re on free rotation in a closed bot match called “Try Me” mode, away from other players, so you can get a feel of how a hero plays if you’re thinking of investing into a purchase of them.
  • If you can’t wait to get to level 5, you can also buy the heroes for real money. People who pre-order Diablo III: Reaper of Souls get a free unlock of the Demon Hunter, Valla.
  • In addition, heroes will have unlockable skins with three or more tints (colour variations) to choose from – one base tint that comes free, and two more that are unlockable.
  • The first unlockable tint is available at the second Hero Quest, the second tint at the fourth Hero Quest.
  • Some skins will be able to be purchased with real money, others from events, and some from a hero’s sixth Hero Quest. All of these additional skins will have three or more tints to choose from.
  • Mounts are used instead of boots found in other MOBAs, and everyone gets a free standard horse. More mounts can be unlocked with real money, and a special one will be unlocked for those making purchase in the alpha/beta stage of the game. Each of these mounts also have three tints to choose from, unlocking the final two at the hero’s fifth Hero Quest.
  • Increasing your out-of-match and gaining experience for it is done in matches by completing quests, playing with Battle.net friends, achievements earned in matches as well as a win bonus for the winning team.
  • Hero Quests are available at level 10, allowing you to complete three special challenges for a hero.
  • Once you hit level 20, you can dig even further into a hero and complete three more Epic Hero Quests.

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