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December 19th, 2018 Patch - 7 Days Later
7 Days Later
(banner courtesy of /u/Somber99)

View the previous post on HeroesHearth here.
View all of my previous blog posts here.

Hello again!  After each balance patch, I've taken it upon myself to track how the balance changes have affected the Nexus.  It's become something of a habit for me, and I thought it might be fun to share my data with the community.

In case you've forgotten what changed in the last patch, here's a link.



Disclaimer (please read!):
All data provided in this post was collected from Hotslogs, which is a database of player-submitted games.  Data was collected between 3:30 PM and 4:30 PM EST each day, using the special filter "Last 7 Days (Current Build)".  As usual, keep in mind that my numbers may differ slightly from Hotslogs's "official" figures as the site regularly updates older information as more games are added. Therefore, our data may not match up perfectly, but it should give a generally accurate view of how the week progressed.

Here is a link to the spreadsheet with the data I've collected.  The spreadsheet contains all of my original data, split into two categories: "Composite" (which represents all data across the entire week) and "Daily" (which represents data from each individual day).  If you'd prefer a summarized report, read on!



Here is a table showing the win rates, pick rates, ban rates, and overall popularity of each hero in Ranked and Unranked play:

Remember, only the heroes whose win rates are highlighted blue/orange with white text have exceeded their margin of error.  Heroes which do not exceed the margin of error are considered to have too little data to confirm that they have changed in any significant way.  Note that the error column assumes a 95% confidence interval.  To put it simply, a 95% confidence interval is a numerical way to measure whether the win rate has changed in any significant way.  If the change to a win rate exceeds the error, then we can assume that there is approximately a 95% chance that the win rate has changed.



The seven-day analysis is below.  Please note that while I try to cover all heroes, not all heroes are in need of in-depth analysis of their changes, so some heroes may have short summaries or may even be omitted entirely.  Also, be aware that the contents of this section are primarily my own opinion of the changes, albeit backed with data.  If you disagree, feel free to explain why in the comments below.

1) Cho'Gall receives significant nerfs to both his health and damage, possibly as part of a move to normalize his design.  In the past, the most definitive reason for leaving Cho'Gall as is was the fact that he was fairly powerful in the right circumstances (i.e. coordinated play with few counters), but otherwise pretty tame in terms of his actual success rate.  The loss of 7% of his base health, coupled with about 10% of his Runic Bomb damage, has made a statistically significant impact in his success in ranked play.  Unranked play remains too small of a sample to conclude the same, though it is fairly likely that a similar drop has occurred there (though perhaps at a smaller magnitude, since historically Cho'Gall's success was more linked to Team League play than any other mode).  It's likely these changes are part of a move to normalize him a bit more, since thus far his practicality has been rather limited.

2) Tweaks to the newly reworked Sylvanas seem to be bringing her closer to a balanced win rate, though I expect further changes down the line as people get used to her new kit in the weeks to come.  The adjustments couldn't have come soon enough, as Sylvanas's win rate was largely tanking out in the low 40s in the time since her new kit premiered.  This is likely for reasons I gave in last week's patch analysis, namely the newness of her kit and the addition of "extra steps" to many aspects of her kit that have increased the level of skill required to play her proficiently as an assassin.  These new buffs have helped her considerably in that regard, giving her 6% more HP and a 10% buff to Shadow Dagger's damage.  I still believe they will need to revisit her later, however, and the notes included with these changes suggest that such a revisit is likely planned.  So I wouldn't get too used to things as they are, because there's a fair possibility she'll be tweaked again in January if she starts climbing in the weeks to come, when people have gotten more used to her.

3) Orphea's changes have helped reduce her down to more tame levels.  The health reduction amounts to about an 8% decrease overall, and when combined with the nerfs to Crushing Jaws (her more popular heroic by a nearly 2-to-1 ratio), her overall win rate has dropped significantly, possibly even to levels that are more balanced.  However, some changes remain less successful.  For example, Backbiter (10.7% PR, 46.2% WR) is still well below its alternatives (-2.1 p.p. vs next highest talent) despite the unusual decision to award a health bonus to it.  It was a nice attempt but it doesn't make the ability any more practical from a functionality standpoint, and I think they ought to consider some other ideas.  Perhaps instead of always moving her back, maybe it should work more like her Q (where you can control the direction of movement), which would make it a lot more viable as a chase/retreat tool than it is right now.  As it stands, moving straight backwards is not always the best move for her, especially if the Chomp didn't land a fatal blow.  It makes her normally more unpredictable movement easier to predict.

4) Adjustments to Samuro and Zagara have resulted in statistically significant decreases in win rate.  Both were likely deserved changes, as high-caliber Samuro and Zagara play can often lead to them being able to freely bully any lane they choose with few repercussions.  These changes impact that by marginally reducing the speed at which Samuro can swap between clones, making it harder for him to rely on his swaps to escape pressure.  This patch also increased the mana cost (+15) and reduced the uptime (+2s CD) of Zagara's best bullying tool, Hunter Killer, even though it received some buffs to damage (+9%) and health (+7%) as partial compensation.

5) Stitches has begun to improve in win rate, quite likely due to the people playing him.  His actual buffs are fairly minor, with only a 60 HP buff baseline (+2%).  This suggests that much of his win rate's change is due to people getting more used to his new design, as well as a overall decrease in the number of people playing him.



Looking for more of my work?  My last article discusses concerns about snowballing and the "passive meta" that the new changes may bring if not handled properly.  That article is located here.  Feel free to let me know your thoughts to this article in the comments section below, or on Twitter at my handle @CriticKitten.  I look forward to your replies!

Hope to see you again next time!
Comments
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Poor Cho'Gall.  At least the devs said they're gonna buff some of his other talents.  As a hero, there's a trap talent on almost every tier.  As you can see from my Cho guide, I always preferred the aggro Cho that gets in and wrecks with beefy autos, but still, it's a risky build and his reduced health makes that even worse now.