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Created September 3, 2019

Basics and Builds

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ETC is the bread-and-butter do-all tank of HoTS; if you need to knockback a Garrosh, he's your guy. If you need lockdown for the kill, he's your guy. If you need a global to guard a keep, he's your guy, and if you want to jump a squishy backline, he is -once again- your guy. Sound good? Let's dive in!

The big secret to ETC is sliding right. I mean that literally; if your base is on the right side of the map, you should be sliding right. ETC has an AOE stun taped to his escape: what that means is, you're vulnerable at the end of your slide. If you slide directly into the enemy team, congratulations; you've surrounded yourself with angry swordsmen and are probably dead. On the other hand, if you walk up BEHIND the angry swordsman, you have options; you can press W to bounce them into your DPS' line of fire, you can stand there and make silly faces, or you can slide through them into your team. That last option should be most of your slides.

The other big secret is you don't need to slide in straight lines. If the enemy's on the left and safety is on the right, you can also slide up and down! These are less safe than going directly into your team, but still significantly less suicidal than going horns deep. Think of the space around you as a big circle; your team is green, the enemy is red, and the bits in between are orange. You're not quite as safe as you could be, but it's quicker to set up and easier to execute.

Lastly, ETC has tons of options; you can build as a main tank with healing, a block tank with slows, an offlaner with a global, or even a duelist in lane. Recognising when you should adjust your build is the hallmark of excellent understanding; while certain talents might be niche, they still have applications; always be on the lookout for them!


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Prog Rock
Quest: Gathering a Regeneration Globe permanently increases the healing per second of Guitar Solo by 5, to a maximum of 100. Reward: After gathering 20 Regeneration Globes, Guitar Solo also heals nearby allied Heroes for 50 Health every second while it is active.
Prog Rock is our go-to. If you're not sure what to pick, start here. The AOE healing pairs nicely with a bursty support like Uther, and helps top off your team in prolonged fights. Just make sure to rotate often for globes!

Block Party is the best block talent on the block; it lets you slap defenses on your team and go on your merry way. Into a AA Hanzo, Raynor, or Zul'jin, you'll get excellent value over the course of a game. Consider it especially on smaller, skirmish-based maps like Battlefield of Eternity and Hanamura.

Guitar Hero is a very niche talent; it pairs with Hammer On at 7 to give ETC a duelist build for the offlane. The problem is, it doesn't scale very well; in the late game, you might regret not picking Prog Rock for more dependable HP. Don't pick this unless you know what you're doing!
Loud Speakers
Increases Face Melt range and knockback by 50%.
Loud Speakers is the default choice; it makes your knockback enormous, allowing you to easily push away threats like Garrosh, Diablo, or Muradin. You'll pick this 90% of the time.

Crowd Surfer is a niche talent that allows you to bait the enemy team and generally play deep; it requires pretty extensive map knowledge to really make use of, as well as vision of the enemy team from over terrain. Experiment in a custom first!

Speed Metal is a niche talent; it pairs with Block Party to enable an early-game bully comp that runs at the enemy team and constantly fights. Heroes like Greymane and Zul'jin will love you for it, but make sure your team is going to use your buff, or you'll have a fairly dead talent.
Pinball Wizard
Face Melt does 300% more damage to enemies recently affected by Powerslide.
Pinball Wizard is a controversial recommendation; on one hand, it gives you a lot of teeth in helping to secure a kill. On the other, it encourages bad play; most players will slam on their knockback the second they slide. Instead, wait out the duration of your stun, THEN hit W; you and your team will have more time to hit the target that way.

Echo Pedal gives you waveclear without having to sacrifice your cooldowns. For a global, this can be crucial, since using slide means you can't Stage Dive for a good ten seconds. It also gives you better waveclear against large waves in the late game, since Prog Rock and Aggressive Shredding will let you have 100% uptime on the damage ticks.

Hammer-on is an extremely niche talent suited only to the solo lane and the brawliest of teamfights. Sustained damage isn't really ETC's specialty, and it's outshone by the other two options on the tier. Experiment at your own risk!
Stage Dive
Leap to target location, landing after 2.75 seconds, dealing 330 damage to enemies in the area, and slowing them by 50% for 3 seconds.
Stage Dive is an escape, engage, and global all rolled into one, in line with ETC's power-bundling theme. Stage Dive will always give you value, and is the default for that reason. Use it on clumped teams or to get a numbers advantage across the map; just make sure you don't dive alone, as your telegraphed entry is very easy to hit.

Mosh Pit is one of the most powerful ultimates in the game, up there with Void Prison and Apocalypse. It shares an enormous cooldown to compensate; at 120 seconds, you'll only have a few moshes per game. On the flip side, a good mosh will immediately win a teamfight. It's an enormous risk-reward ultimate, and requires cooldown tracking to really maximise its value - you need to know when the enemy doesn't have interrupts available, or you won't get value out of this ult. With moshes especially, practice makes perfect, so don't be afraid to pick it in unfavourable circumstances if you want to learn!
Mic Check
Hitting at least 2 targets with Face Melt reduces its cooldown by 6 seconds.
Mic Check is our go-to; CD reduction is an easy advantage to wrap your head around. More knockbacks = more effect; simple. You can trigger it off buildings and monsters, as well as heroes and minions. Once you pick this talent, you should always trigger it.

Face Smelt is a neutered talent; what was once a 80% decaying slow is now only 50%. Still, coupled with Loud Speakers, it is a powerful piece of CC that acts as great followup to your Pinball Wizard. Use it against heroes that lack escapes, when the fight will end in a single cast of your W.

Encore is a niche talent that sits with Crowdsurfer as a know-the-map talent. You can take huge advantage of bushes and corners with it, enabling creative flanks and panic. You can hit W, slide through the team, then bounce them back in to you; you can disrupt a chase, or temporarily close a choke. It's really only as limited as your creativity, but it's still a niche talent.
Aggressive Shredding
Your Basic Attacks reduce the cooldown of Guitar Solo by .75 second.
Aggressive Shredding pairs well with Prog Rock to enable sustained healing for you and your merry band during teamfights. It also promotes auto attacking constantly, which is an excellent habit to pick up.

Imposing Presence is your solution to Greymane and Zul'jin; anything that auto attacks hates Imposing. It knocks off stutter stepping rhythm and generally cuts damage in half. The 20% slow also helps your team catch up to a potential kill.

Show Stopper is an aggressive talent that encourages sliding right in to the thick of things and drawing aggro. An excellent followup to stage dives into very damage-heavy teams, you'll know when you need it by level thirteen.
Crowd Pleaser
Stage Dive's impact area is 50% bigger, and its cooldown is reduced by 10 seconds for every enemy Hero hit.
ETC's 20s are some of the most varied in the game. The only hard and fast rule is to HOLD your talent selection until you really need it. Get in the habit of hitting Ctrl + # instead of clicking, and you can have the flexibility right up until you need to act. All five options here have excellent application; my only recommendation is to upgrade Stage Dive if you chose it, as the enormous area increase allows you to guarantee hitting multiple heroes.

Balance Patch - 08/28/19
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