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Math of the Storm: Ana Patch (9/26) Balance Changes
Hey Guys! Sorry for not putting things up on HH immediately, I've been super busy, but I should be able to keep up from now on. Ana patch notes for reference


Globals Interrupts better against globals

Global teleports will now go on a 10 second cooldown when interrupted by enemy or allied abilities, including self-cancelling. Abathur, Brightwing, Dehaka, and Falstad are all affected by this change.
Previously, global teleports would not go on an extended cooldown if interrupted, meaning the teleports could easily be used as escapes if the hero could survive the incoming damage. Now teleports will go on a 10 second cooldown if interrupted. These changes improve consistency and reward players for interrupting global mobility spells. Manually cancelling teleports will also put the ability on a 10 second cooldown.

Nova More utility on Holo Decoy, Anti-Armor Shells still a trap

First of all, Holo Stability does not actually increase the sight range of Holo Decoy; the sight range increase was made baseline. Remote Delivery increased the sight range of Holo Decoy from 6 meters to 9 meters, and the cast range from 8 meters to 16 meters. Pre-patch, Holo Stability offered a 120% increase on the duration of Holo Decoy, increasing the duration from 5 to 11 seconds (Holo Decoy has a CD of 15 seconds). Now it increases the the cast range from 8 meters to 16 meters and the duration from 5 meters to 10 meters seconds as well. Overall, these changes to Nova’s level 4 tier are an excellent consolidation of Nova’s utility. All of the options seem to have a real place now. Rapid Projection still offers some synergy with One in the Chamber at 7, and Covert Mission gives Nova some PvE capability in the form of a Bribe.
Anti-Armor Shells continues to provide an underwhelming amount of additional damage to Nova when compared to Snipe Master and One in the Chamber. While a burst assassin like Nova would prefer slower, harder hitting autos to faster ones, the alternative talents at level 7 (One in the Chamber and Snipe Master) actually add a significant amount of damage. If we assume Nova auto attacks a target three times (which takes 5 seconds), then that is 52.5 extra damage (regardless of the target’s armor). Three procs of One in the Chamber add 252 damage, but this number can be modified by the target’s armor. Assume a target has 0 armor. In order for the “team” effects of Anti-Armor Shells to pay off, the target needs to take 2000 physical damage from other sources to be equal in value to One in the Chamber. This value is completely unrealistic given base “level 0” numbers, and it becomes even more ridiculous as the game goes on. If the target has a max 75 armor however, this requirement drops to 110 physical damage from another source, in which case Anti-Armor Shells is viable as a talent to chew through very heavily armored targets such as a Garrosh. The numbers from Snipe Master are similar but a little harder to compare; Snipe Master adds magic damage while One in the Chamber and Anti-Armor shells add physical damage. Essentially, if Nova is specifically trying to kill a moderately high armor target (at least 30-40 armor) and that target is also taking a significant amount of physical damage from Nova’s team, Anti-Armor shells may add more damage than the other two level 7 options. Otherwise, Snipe Master and One in the Chamber consistently add more damage. Before the patch, Psionic Efficiency raised Snipe’s range from 9.5 to 10.4. Now it raises Snipe range from 9.5 to 10.85. This is a relatively small buff for a talent that is competing with the heavyweights of Double Tap and Explosive Round.

Kharazim Iron Fist nerf, better Transcendence & Insight

Kharazim’s baseline sustained healing was nerfed by 20%, and his mana efficiency became slightly worse, down from 4.83 health per mana to 4.46. His mana per second usage actually became more efficient though because the mana cost increase is less than the cooldown increase. The Transcendence and Insight buffs shift Kharazim builds away from the current Iron Fists build. Transcendence was buffed by 30%, now providing 64 HPS up from 48.7 baseline, or 128 HPS up from 97.3 while Deadly Reach is active. This more than makes up for the 14.5 less HPS nerf to Breath of Heaven. Insight is a little more complicated. Before the patch, Deadly Reach had a 2 second duration and a ~5.5 second cooldown if Kharazim is allowed to continuously attack after completing the Insight quest. Now, Deadly Reach has a 4 second cooldown under the same conditions. Breath of Heaven has a 4 second cooldown on both patches; the four procs of Insight provide an additional 2 seconds of CDR to make up for the 2 second CD increase. However, the above assessments assume Kharazim is able to continuously attack. While his range is longer than normal melee heroes (2 meters base, 4 with Deadly Reach active), there is no guarantee he can stand still and punch people. Both buffs to Transcendence and Insight help Kharazim when he is at his strongest, which is being free to stand still and punch people, while decreasing his power when it’s not completely safe to turret in melee range. Furthermore, this shift in power incentivizes talents like Way of a Hundred Fists that give more passive procs. An Insight Kharazim with both Blinding Speed and Way of a Hundred Fists now reduces the cooldown on Radiant Dash to 7 seconds rather than 8 seconds off of the Way of a Hundred Fists flurry. The Dash of Light buff is intended to provide some more competition at the 16 tier by adding 217.5 health rather than 145. Unfortunately, this tier is very crowded and dominated by Way of a Hundred Fists and Cleansing Touch.

Rehgar Primary target heals less, more overall healing

Chain heal took a 25% nerf to its primary target healing, but the total healing from all 3 bounces is still a 12% buff. Furthermore, Chain Heal will always bounce back to Rehgar because he will always be within the bounce range. Before, healing someone at max cast range would not bounce back to Rehgar. This change also impacts the choices on Rehgar’s level 13 tier. Tidal Waves increases the HPS of Chain Heal by 50%, from 37.1 to 41.7. The added HPS to the primary target was cut from 18.5 to 13.8. By comparison, Earthliving Enchant adds 22.2 HPS per beneficiary. Thus, if Rehgar can expect to trigger more than one Earthliving Enchant per Chain Heal cast, he will get more total healing than from Tidal Waves. Tidal Waves also increases Rehgar’s mana expenditures per point of healing, while Earthliving Enchant does not. Earth Shield continues to be the best choice for single target HPS on relatively bulky targets. However, on with targets with less than 1480 base health, Earthliving Enchant will provide more single target HPS. This covers many of the squishy, diveable characters such as Jaina, Medivh, and Falstad. However, Earth Shield provides all of its additional HP up front, while Earthliving Enchant takes 5 seconds to deliver its healing and only applies if the target is already below half health.

Johanna Major talent rework, more damage

I haven’t done any analysis on Johanna’s talents as they stand, and the Johanna rework has thoroughly affected her talent choices. Thus, for this I will go through each tier one by one.

Level 1 Reinforce or Laws of Hope

Reinforce is Johanna’s block variant, one that synergizes with the CDR talents she has available at levels 4 and 7. I’ve already written an article about Block previously, but this is a powerful talent that provides a significant amount of mitigation. Assuming that Johanna is tanking autos with at least 100 base damage, each stack of block is worth 50 points of HP. Thus, Johanna using her basic abilities is worth 150 points of mitigation. If she preps two stacks of block before walking into a fight, she can achieve a total mitigation value of 250 points. Hold Your Ground increases the shield on Iron Skin from 674 to 808.8 (an increase of 134.8), and decreases the cooldown on Iron Skin from 20 seconds to 16 seconds. This shield benefits from armor, so the actual added value against pure physical damage with Johanna’s base 25 physical armor is 179.9 EHP. Laws of Hope increases Johanna’s base health regeneration by 1.5 HPS, a relatively small amount. This equates to 450 additional HP over five minutes. The added health regeneration does not scale with level. However, the main draw of this talent is the 30% heal that is available every 40 seconds. This is a heal for 653.7 health over 4 seconds, which of course is multiplied by Johanna’s physical armor. Reinforce will provide more value when Johanna can expect continuous poke damage from basic attacks, but for any realistic fight, Laws of Hope will provides significantly more value.

Level 4 Eternal Retaliations or Conviction

The level 4 talent tier was reorganized to give Johanna more utility options early on. Her new choices now give her either waveclear, better engage, or extra damage. Eternal Retaliation provides up to 5 seconds of CDR on Condemn, making her very effective at wave clear. Since it was moved from level 7 down to level 4, it received a small CDR nerf of 33%. Conviction provides 1 second of 25% movespeed when Johanna needs it most, helping her position for the highest value Condemn. This added movespeed is worth ~1.1 added meters of movement. Sins Exposed takes inspiration from Leona in League of Legends, adding 90 base damage to Shield Glare if an ally attacks a marked target. This is a 150% improvement to Shield Glare’s base 59 damage.

Level 7 All good, depends on needs

A brief explanation of decaying slows: decaying slows work by applying a number of stacks of a slow, and then rapidly stripping them away. In the case of Punish, it applied 6 stacks of a 10% slow, then removed one stack every 5/16ths of a second. This means that Punish had a real duration of 0.1875 seconds or something equivalent to a flat 66% slow for one second. Subdue substantially increases the value of Punish if Johanna can catch two targets in the 160 degree 3.5 radius arc, improving it from a 60% decaying slow for 2 seconds to a 2 second 80% slow with no decay. Subdue more than doubles the value of Punish, and while the quest is exceedingly difficult to finish, this talent remains a powerful upgrade to Johanna’s CC vs melee-heavy compositions. Zealous Glare upgrades Shield Glare from a 1.5 second blind to a 2 second blind and provides the opportunity to increase the duration to a max of 5 seconds. Shield Glare has a cooldown of 12 seconds. This talent upgrades Shield Glare’s uptime from 12.5% to 41.7%, a mammoth improvement that denies melee assassins hard. Keep in mind that Johanna must wait 1.1 seconds between basic attacks, so she needs to get them in promptly and remain in melee range for the duration of the blind. Finally, Blessed Momentum provides Johanna with 0.5 seconds off the cooldown of her basic abilities every 1.1 seconds. It is unrealistic for Johanna to continuously basic attack, so I will not include the “minimum CDs” that this talent could provide.

Level 10 Falling Sword

Falling Sword saw a substantial shift in power toward utility, losing half of its damage in exchange for a 2.5 second 50% slow. While the damage was not extraordinary, the damage from Falling Sword is now much closer to the damage on Blessed Shield, and no longer provides a gigantic upgrade to Johanna’s relatively poor damage. The 50% slow is equivalent to a loss of ~5.5 meters of movement on affected heroes, a significant total amount. What remains unchanged is the 0.5 second cast time, the 15 range, the 4 radius impact zone, and the 0.1875 second stun. Blessed Shield remains a strong ranged initiation tool.

Level 13 Holy Fury or Blessed Hammer

Roar adds 28.25 damage to Punish (which has an 8 second cooldown), or 141.25 if Punish hits 2 or more heroes. This averages out to ~3.5 DPS on a single target, or ~17.7 DPS if the “two or more targets” trigger occurs. Holy Fury adds 12 DPS, or 60 damage every 5 seconds, and each hero hit by Conviction adds 24 damage over 5 seconds. Blessed Hammer throws out two hammers that follow the same path but release 1 second apart, that deal 80 damage each on a 30 second cooldown. This cooldown is decreased by 8 seconds per enemy hero hit with Shield Glare. Thus, hitting two heroes with Shield Glare reduces the cooldown of Blessed Hammer to 14 seconds. Because Shield Glare has a 12 second cooldown, it may make more sense to wait on the next Shield Glare (for 2 seconds), so Blessed Hammer can benefit from the cooldown reduction. The ideal is hitting 3 or 4 enemy heroes with Shield Glare, as that reduces the cooldown of Blessed Hammer to 6 or 0 seconds respectively, meaning there are no difficult decisions about waiting to use spells to benefit from the cooldown reduction. The spell details on Blessed Hammer are a bit on the complicated side. Each hammer rotates in a clockwise fashion around Johanna for 3.5 seconds, spiraling outwards. The hammers have a 0.75 meter radius hurtbox which covers most of the area in the 7 meter radius around Johanna. However, the hammer does spiral out beyond this range.

Level 16 All are valuable

Fanaticism potentially provides 40% movespeed up to 6 seconds. This is contingent on her taking damage during Iron Shield without the shield itself breaking. A full 6 seconds of 40% movespeed is ~10.6 added meters of movement. This talent synergizes with Hold Your Ground at level 1. Holy Renewal heals Johanna for 114 HP per target hit, which is 5.2% of her max HP. Imposing Presence continues to be a powerful effect against basic attackers. The movespeed and attack speed slow is especially punishing to melees such as Thrall or Butcher who do not have low cooldown mobility skills.

Level 20 Much better Storm Shield

Heaven’s Fury scans every 0.3 seconds for the 2 seconds Johanna is in the air, making for a total of 6 scans. Thus, if Johanna keeps a single target in the area for the whole duration, she now gets 18 seconds of cooldown reduction instead of 12. With the base cooldown of 60 seconds, this means that 3 targets provides 54 seconds of CDR. Falling Sword’s cooldown starts as soon as she leaps into the air, so Johanna would only have to be on the ground for 4 seconds. Heaven’s Fury only checks for “Enemies” rather than “Heroes”, so it is significantly more effective around minions, summons, and objective monsters. On a wave of 7 minions, 3 ticks of Heaven’s Fury will completely reset the cooldown of Falling Sword, opening up plays where Johanna uses a wave of minions to leapfrog for a 30 meter plus initiation. Indestructible provides a 2179 point shield for 4 seconds when Johanna takes lethal damage. This patch includes a small duration nerf down from 5 seconds. Radiating Faith increases the stun duration on Blessed Shield from 1.5/0.75s to 2/1s for the primary/secondary targets, and upgrades the number of bounces from 2 to 4. Blinded by the Light is a strictly improved version of Storm Shield. It applies a 25% max HP shield (rather than 20%), a 544.75 HP shield for Johanna. Furthermore, the cooldown can be reduced by 5 seconds per hero hit by Shield Glare. The patch notes erroneously say 8 seconds per hero instead of 5. It is highly unlikely that this cooldown reduction will result in a cooldown reset during a team fight, as even hitting 5 people with Shield Glare only reduces the cooldown to 35 seconds. The second Shield Glare cast can reset the cooldown on Blinded by the Light if Johanna hits a total of 10 targets between the two casts, but this is extremely unlikely in any realistic teamfight scenario. Even hitting 9 targets total for a 15 second cooldown is unrealistic without something like TLV, Storm Earth and Fire, or Mirror Image.
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Awesome post as always! Please consider putting tldr at the end of each section, reiterating which talents are best or in which situation they're to be picked