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September 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)" and focusing exclusively on Hero League data (with the exception of heroes like Cho'Gall, whose unique nature requires pulling data from Team League).  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).  It also contains a number of graphs showing how each hero is performing in both win rate and popularity.  If you'd prefer a summarized report, read on!

Here is a table showing the win rates, pick rates, ban rates, and overall popularity:
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.

Here is a table showing the composite and daily win rates as charts, as well as a chart comparing the previous and current pick/ban rates:
Win rates are shown as a bar indicating their relative distance from 50%.  Blue bars shown above the line are win rates that are above 50%, and orange bars below the line show win rates that are below 50%.  This gives a visual representation of how the win rate has changed each day.  The final column splits the pick rate and ban rate into blue and orange sections, respectively, to show their overall influence on the popularity.  The bar above is the original popularity, and the bar below represents the popularity after the designated period.

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) Once again, this patch shows the value of small changes.  With a 5% health buff, Arthas's win rate has climbed nearly 3 p.p. since last week.  Considering he was already showing up in professional play, it should be interesting to see if this increases his priority at all in that setting.  E.T.C. gained about 2.5 p.p. from a 3% health buff, which may help kindle a bit more love for him in professional play than he's seen in recent months.

2) Mana nerfs to Blaze and Yrel have been a mixed bag.  While Yrel's win rate plunged due to her mana nerfs being without compensation, it seems very likely that Blaze's win rate has shot upwards, perhaps due to being too well compensated.  This was intentional of course, since the devs expressed concern that he remains a low win rate hero despite his higher performance in the HGC.  My greatest concern on the Blaze front in particular is that his clear remains particularly strong and he has just gotten considerably beefier, which means that it could actually become much harder to chase him out of the off-lane now than it was before.  On the other hand, the higher level of mana use could help with that, and the higher cooldown on Bunker makes him more gank-vulnerable than before.  We'll have to see how he handles in the pros before celebrating too much, however.

3) Chromie's buffs make her viable again, but her design still needs work.  I'm not going to do my rant on this one again, so I'll link to my previous thoughts on that topic.  Suffice it to say that these changes have seemingly made her playable again, which in turn will likely bring the bans back out.  I don't think this situation will ever be fully resolved until they take a good hard look at her design and what she's going to be, if not the "artillery mage".

4) Tyrande's nerfs were a good start, but she likely remains too strong.  These changes were good ones, and included some changes that I've advocated for the last few weeks, including the mana cost change on her healing.  They simply weren't enough to stop her from remaining one of the top heroes in Hero League, and likely won't be enough to keep her from being a considerable force in Blizzcon.  As far as further changes, I think we can now safely look at her Lvl 1 talents and try to rein them in a bit, though I wouldn't change them too radically, as it seems that two of the choices have some good competitive parity.  It's mostly the third option, Moonlit Arrows, that I'd like to see tweaked to be a bit more viable, although if nerfs are made to her other Lvl 1s, that may not be necessary.

5) Mephisto has been over-nerfed rather severely.  The biggest loss, statistically, appears to come from Lightning Nova's substantial damage nerf.  I initially suspected that the change to Consume Souls provided some part in the proceedings as well, but there's no real way to prove that it had any sort of substantial impact from the data we have.  It appears that both of Mephisto's heroics tanked in win rate, which implies that Lightning Nova is the most directly responsible for this.  The drop was so large that it couldn't even bring Durance of Hate's win rate up despite the big buffs it received.  However, even though this is the case, I maintain that if Consume Souls is going to be a heroic that is placed on full cooldown after it is interrupted, then it should provide a more immediate benefit other than slows.  My personal stance is to change the heroic to deal damage continuously throughout its channel time, with bonus damage applied at the end if it channels fully.  In exchange (and to keep from becoming an oppressive heroic at end-game), the Lvl 20 upgrade can be adjusted to provide other benefits besides the reset, such as free vision on low health targets so that Mephisto knows when Consume Souls can land a kill shot.  I feel that such an upgrade is probably a lot healthier than the reset, anyways.

Looking for more of my work?  My last HGC article focuses on Whitemane and how the pros have started using her.  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!
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