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Last Edited November 5, 2019

Be-All End-All Main Tank Uther Guide

You can find me live on Twitch from 10 AM MDT - 4 PM MDT! For a free coaching session, hit up my Discord! Additionally, I now have a Youtube up!

Companion video found here! Lightbringer Uther with Divine Shield!

Welcome to Carry Class! Amongst the flurry of Deathwing hype, there are still a few of us mere mortals looking to expand our horizons. Today will feature one such endeavour: a tanky support as a supportive tank. Say hello to Main Tank Uther!

The Lightbringer

To runs us back, I've previously categorised tanks on the following: Scout, Peel, Damage, Sponge, and Lockdown. I've since revamped my definitions, since the 1.0 versions were missing in specificity; from now on, tanks will be rated on the following six categories:

Scout, Sustain, Peel, Threat, Engage, and Escape. If a hero can excel at four out of seven, it can tank. There are a couple more nice features - Waveclear, Anti-Waveclear, Global, to name a few - but those are the main ones.

Let's apply this model to Uther! Uther has atrocious scouting, regardless of build. He offers talentable damage, talentable peel, and talentable threat. He has a reasonable mount-based engage (think Garrosh!), a talentable escape - you know what, he's flexible, okay? He has access to a 3.75s stun at 16, and the best damn peel in the game with Hand of Protection (read: Cleanse) into Divine Shield.

A benefit of this flexibility is in your build diversity. You have a lot of options here: you can function as the benevolent Guardian, enabling a carry through your back-breaking 3s Invulnerability + Cleanse; you can play the wrathfulAvenger, smiting foes through Holy Fury. Finally, you can play as Stun Incarnate; the one man CC train and derailment. There's a lot of power to explore here, so let's get started!

Bastion of Truth

Uther clocks in at a base 2156 HP, just a hundred or so shy of ETC. This is especially relevant when you factor in his trait, which (similar to ETC!) grants 25 armour to allied heroes affected by his heals. Note that both your Q and W will benefit you no matter what, and that your Q heals you for half the potency when targeting outwards. It basically heals for 150% of the base heal, 100% to your ally, 50% to you. Alternatively, if you're running Holy Shock, you can run a consistent 33% uptimate on your 25 armour, and the heal's a nice upside too.

It's imperative you utilise Holy Light (Q) on allies (or enemies!) correctly, as a big part of your efficacy is mitigating damage via armour. If you're stepping up to frontline alongside your Off-Tank, the two of you can soak up significantly more damage with the extra EHP (Effective HP - with 25%, you're effectively at 133% of your base HP), and the armour makes any and all healing more powerful, since you're getting more bang for your buck. Take advantage of your armour!

Your W, Holy Radiance, gets the exact same treatment, granting any allies hit 25 armour. This skillshot can make a teamfight by itself, and is especially synergistic on heroes with natural sustain; think Illidan, Fenix, or Sonya. Any damage mitigated on such heroes enormously increases their efficacy, since they can afford to frontline harder and trade more efficiently. Your teammates' damage output is defined foremost by how long they live. You've got influence over that - use it!

Uther comes with a 0.81 model size, near the very bottom of the totem for frontliners. Essentially, you'll have a hard time bodyblocking, but an easier time escaping.This is particularly important with the AA build, in which each stun grants 25% movespeed on a 75% uptime. In addition, they're available once every 4 seconds - not too shabby!

Finally, we'll touch on Uther's Ultimates. Uther has two of the most divisive ultimates in the game; both are excellent, and both require solid mental application for maximum value.

Divine Storm deals a modest sum of damage along with a FAT 1.75s stun, in a radius of 3.5 units (1 unit = 1 aba mine).It's one of the best setups in the game for skillshots, slow followup, and bursty AoE. Additionally, catching a squishy hero out of a bush is the best feeling in the world.

Divine Shield needs no introduction, but we'll give it one anyway. Three second of Invulnerability. Nothing short of a Time Stop (VP Leyline) is going to touch this effect; this is the most potent peel in the game, period, bar none. Any hypercarry will bend over backwards for one of these, and you'll need to determine early (as early as draft) if a teammate is worth it. Should that be the case, however, they'll hand you the game on a silver platter.

Finally, recognise when to die. No, we're not being morbid - Uther gets monumental value from dying opportunistically. There are situations where you've pressed every single button and there's just nothing you can do saving autoing for at least 4 seconds. At this point, step into a nearby blizzard, dive into the enemy backline, and become one with the light. Tactical trait use is when all your cooldowns are used up and you've nothing else to contribute; recognise these opportunities, because if you can die to trade a 0 for 1 or 0 for 2, you're in an amazing spot.

Honour Guide Us!

So! We've covered basic abilities, but there's a whole wealth of talents for us to dig into.

Firstly is Uther's ultra-powerful 7 tier. Here, you'll need to make a difficult decision between three (yes, three) viable choices. Foremost is Hand of Protection, Uther's Cleanse; it sits at a 90s CD, reduced by 5s per auto attack. Should you find yourself able to auto continuously for 15 seconds, you'll fully reset it. A lot sexier than Cleanse's 60s, that's for sure. Actually pressing this button after 15s is nutty; strongest into heavy burst-oriented comps, the kind that lead with a long CD tank engage.

Hand of Protection is a chance for you to show off your tanking prowess by slapping down the mirror's engage. A strong sense of prediction will render a Frisbee, Apocalypse, or Cocoon completely ineffective; this tilts your opponent, gratifies yourself, and renders you a God in your teammates' eyes.

Alternatively, you can pick Guardian of Ancient Kings. While similarly predictive, it needs more precise timing than cleanse. In this scenario, you're allowing your teammate to get CCed, but you're arming them with that fatty 50 armour to help them survive. This ability is much more useful in skirmish-style compositions, where CC is used off CD and often staggered (read: every SL game).

In particular, watch for enemy comps with Johanna, Stukov, or Brightwing - heroes with low cooldown, spammable CC. The value in Kings is that you can use it frequently, so it benefits doubly from staggering your heals; have a Q ready while your W is on CD, and vice versa. The chinese powerhouse E-Star dominated group stages at Mid-Season Brawl 2017 by abusing the 'old' GoAK that granted 75 armour; while less potent, it's still a highly compelling pick for a sustain-based hypercarry. Heroes like Kerrigan, Valla, or even Tracer can do a lot with double the HP.

The third talent we'll touch upon is an option for the Holy Shock build; Armour of Faith is a niche but powerful solution to pesky flankers, offering up to 4 Holy Shocks in 6 seconds - translating to 724 scaling damage that's point-and-click - from a tank. If you haven't heard this before - tank damage is almost always relevant, because tanks are the ones who decide kill targets. That's 724 HP that a Genji, Zeratul, or Jaina does not have, and that's a whole lot less that your DPS has to do for a confirmed kill. The colossal range on Silver Hand ensures you're able to hit virtually any backliner to boot. Picking it is conditional on having easy procs; Condemn, Lurking Arm - that sort of thing.

Phew, that's a lot to take in! If you need a break, take it here! We've gone through a wealth of information covering the basics; now, let's move on to his builds!

Tides of Darkness, Pursuit of Justice

Setting outside the multitude of variants, Uther builds down two divergent paths. Option one is Vanguard Uther, the Guardian, the Frontliner - whatever you want to call him. He builds Hammer of the Lightbringer, Pursuit of Justice, Hand of Protection, Divine Shield, Well Met, Benediction, any 20. This build allows you to frontline hard; with the frequence of your stuns, you'll uptrade hard into channels like Stukov and Sonya's E. Too, you'll have 75% uptime on 25% extra movespeed, and post 13, it'll slow and debuff damage by 25% too. All every four seconds!

The big star of this build is your 4s cleanse train; when your Kerrigan/Illidan/Valla dives into the enemy team, pop your Q + Hand of Protection on the initial salvo, then slam home the Divine Shield. Shield is best used early, or at half HP on self-healers. Communicate and encourage your teammate to be aggressive, and enable their domination!

Alternatively, you can build into holy shock; Silver Touch/Holy Shock (duh)/Armor of Faith (conditionally)/Divine Storm/Blessed Champion/Benediction/20 is a shell you can rotate in and out of; you can spin the 7 for a cleanse or GoAK, the 13 for a spell shield or debuff, the 1 for the AA quest - you get the idea.

The gist of it is this; you have a 181 (+4%/level) damage point-and-click damage spell on a 6s CD. This is incredibly potent on fragile flankers, such as the aforementioned Tracer, Genji, or even Jaina. Additionally, if you have a consistent Armour of Faith proc, you can effectively guarantee your 'combo' -> Q - AoF - 2s - Q - 2s - Q - 2s -Q. Remember your damage throughput is point-and-click; ask any Tracer how much the enjoy playing into that.

Alright! That's build basics down. You can mix and match as you please - provided your build is optimal for your scenario. Virtually all your buttons can be made useless or incredibly potent - choose wisely! We're done with talents for now, so let's jump to drafting!

The Light Curse You!

Uther loves the draft. It's his favourite screen in the entire game, because it's where he traps people. Picture this: your team locks Uther, Fenix, and Blaze before the third ban. Does your opponent have the slightest clue what's coming? Blaze could be an offlaner or tank, Fenix could be a rotater or solo, and Uther could be a primary support, secondary support - or frontliner.

Believe that the last one will rarely be predicted correctly. The biggest advantage to Main Tank Uther is you can double up on healers without compromising on damage; three open slots is more than enough raw dps, leaving you able to take a Primary DPS, Flex DPS, and an Off-Tank alongside a Support.

Incidentally, if you add those four categories to Main Tank - congratulations! You've just made the generic HoTS composition skeleton. Huzzah!

A big part of selecting MT Uther, like any significant relationship, is communication. Clearly explain your intentions to your team; look or ask for a D. Shield worthy carry. Explain your plan to enable that or initiate with a 3.75s CC train, and most teams will roll with it.

Alternatively, if you sneak the fifth pick, your team doesn't really get a choice. Either way, laying out the gameplan can only ever help you; if they turn toxic when you try communication, they were going to irregardless. Block and move on!

A big part of MT Uther however is drafting him early, showing him off to your opponents. If they commit to slow damage to play into Uther (Lunara, ZJ), congratulations; you've outplayed them in the draft. Have your Support pick on the last rotation, and watch them fall over as their damage is outpaced.

A small side note here - I don't really consider BW, Lucio, or Lili as 'healers'. Rather, I mentally categorise them as 'utility' heroes - the reason behind that being their effective healing in a real fight is often severely limited. That's not to say the heroes are bad, but paired with Uther, you end up with virtually no ability to top up your teammates. If you have a Valeera at 1/4th HP, Uther and Lucio have to press all of their buttons to get her past 2/3rds. For comparison, Malf does this just pressing Q. Learn your heroes, and advise your teammate into picking a full healer!

Additionally, there are a few boogeymen you need to be aware of; Zeratul and Medivh love clumping, and both have Time Stops to negate both of your ultimates. Another weakness of MT Uther is displacement; your 4man wants to stick together as much as possible. Conversely, Gust, Hook, Wrecking Ball and Sunder all have the capacity to separate and split your team. Effectively, this turns a 4v4 into a (for example) 2v1 and a 3v2. Double support compositions universally do not like this; fighting split makes it difficult for you to grant your resources to all your heroes, making it incredibly hard to Triage. This equals your death.

Finally, beware heroes that can punish grouping, force isolation, or do both; Maiev is the bane of double support, but you may find equal difficulty playing into a KTZ or KT, and Azmo or Junkrat. My advice for these situations is simple; kill them before they can kill you. Bushwhack, gank, and aggressively hunter-killer these heroes down. Engage HARD, get the kill, and get out. This is the easiest way to deny the enemy's win condition.

Okay, let's summerise! MT Uther dominates by tricking opponents on the draft screen, winning sustained fights, and teamfighting in general. He's adaptable, with a win condition in Benediction at 16, and generally scales strongly.

Double support is weak to displacement, split fights, and characters that benefit from clumping. Don't forget to communicate on the draft screen!

The Light Abandons Snowman No Man!

So, how do you play him?

Levels 1 through 7, focus on just playing the game. If you're AA, stack off a camp or freeze a secluded wave. If you're Silver Touch, just play as normal, and let your quest stack naturally. Don't force it! You'll play poorly and waste mana.

At 7, you gain the ability to fight far more aggressively; heroes like Kerrigan or Dehaka gain huge value from not having their abilities interrupted - enable offense as much as defense. Cleanse is limited only by creativity; GoAK needs anticipation, too!

At 10, with Shield, you want to look for the W->Cleanse->1s->Divine Shield->3s->Q "combo" on your hypercarry. Let them be selfish; they'll carry you for it.

At 10, with Storm, look for deep flanks, bushes, obvious rotations, and generally any way to get onto the backline. Your mount is your best friend; be mounted if you're looking for engages, always.

Your style is the same 11 through 15. Play scared when down cleanse or ult, seek to gather these resources before fighting.

At 16, double stun kills are your win condition. Follow the mount and hide logic mentioned @ 10 for storm.

At 20, save your talent until you intend to apply the 20 in question. If you have your ultimate up, rip it and force a fight asap.

There's relatively little to say regarding Uther's inherent play; you're ultimately a support, and are thus limited by your waveclear player's decision making. Where you shine is in orchestrating the teamfight, the maestro behind the scenes that keeps the operation going. This hero carries unbelievably hard via enabling teammates; ping, communicate, and dominate.

Well Met! Well Met! Well M-Squelch-

At just over 3k words, that's going to do it for today! But we'll leave you a few tips to get you started.

Mount. Up. This is your engage. Same as a Garrosh or Arthas; mount up, always.

Your W is a very powerful skillshot, and is literally 100% better for every extra target you can hit. You're better off waiting to aim a W carefully than throwing it out off CD; be patient and calculating, and you will be rewarded. Take it off quickcast, too.

Stagger your Q and W; use your Q when your W is at 6s of CD, and vice versa. Endeavour to have at least one button up at all times; it gives you solutions for incoming burst, and makes you less useless.

Your abilities always self-heal, do not ever use them solely for you. Your Q should always be on an allied hero or enemy, and your W should be utilised when your team pushes or off the back of heavy enemy spells.

You can predict allied (and enemy) movement by "creating" a space. Moving forwards or backwards leaves a gap where you were; Human psychology often causes people to fill that space. Use this and terrain to direct and control your team's movement without co-ordination.

You can utilise your W to hit the entire enemy wave when it's lined up. You can also use it when your wave has taken some damage to heal it; this is known as Anti-Waveclear, and is a monumental inconvenience to the enemy team. Excellent into equal damage AoEs like Flamestrike and Multishot.

You can utilise Pursuit of Justice to aggressively engage or disengage as required; E becomes your Escape, so ensure it's up for emergencies. Pair with AA Quest 1, always.

Analyse the enemy's damage; prioritise countering certain 'spells', by having either of Q or W available when that spell is available. If the enemy cooldown is shorter than 12 seconds, you'll need to alternate. If longer, you're fine.

You have the strongest cleanse in the game, period, bar none. Destroy the enemy's engage, cripple their confidence, and bolster your team; stop stuns, displacements, roots, silences - whatever. When a teammate is performing a combo or channel, that's another excellent time to cleanse. Finally, when a teammate is inting, you can use them to bait abilities, then cleanse them out. Bam, you've uptraded.

Recognise clever opponent's that'll isolate you via Cocoon, Containment Disc, Gust, and so on - slam your Shield before they can do so.

On that note, Shield is best used while the target is near maximum health. On self-sustainers like Sonya or Illidan you can pop it after they lose some health, but on everyone else it's best used near high health.

With Holy Shock Divine Storm, you have quite the potent 1v1; Shock->AA->Bene->E->AA->E->AA->R->AA->AA->E->Shock. You won't be able to get that whole thing into teleporters, but anything else will take a smashing. Having even one teammate to help you pushes your threat up an order of magnitude.

With Redemption at 20, you can pop your ult, smash everything, and rambo into the enemy team. If they don't kill you, bodyblock and cause havoc. If they do, excellent, you can utilise your 20 to heal and come back shortly. Make sure you press every button before dying, and ensure your team survives through your reincarnation.

Saying Smack out loud builds personal synergy with Uther's Hammer. It's also just fun.

You can find me live on Twitch from 10 AM MDT - 4 PM MDT! For a free coaching session, hit up my Discord! Additionally, I now have a Youtube up!

Hammer of the Lightbringer
Quest: Basic Attack enemies 75 times. Reward: Basic Attacks reduce the cooldown of Hammer of Justice by 1.5 seconds. Passive: Basic Attacks restore 1.5% of Uther's maximum Mana.
Silver Touch forms the core of a long-distance Holy Shock build that needs to hit targets far away; it has zero impact on the CDR or damage, so if you don't terribly need the range, you're better off going Hammer of the Lightbringer. Otherwise, it's excellent!

Wave of Light doesn't do enough to justify picking. The quest is just too long, and sacrifices your mana pool for much more of the game than the other two mana talents.

Hammer of the Lightbringer is the choice if you're able to autoattack during teamfights. If that's too difficult (eg. into Garrosh or Stitches), pick Silver Touch. Otherwise, look to 'reserve' a wave somewhere in the early game, ask your team to let you olo a camp, and whack away! You can usually complete this under 3 minutes in.
Pursuit of Justice
Hammer of Justice increases Uther's Movement Speed by 25% for 3 seconds.
Holy Shock is eponymously the core of the Holy Shock build; it's an excellent choice into squishy heroes, or in situations where the enemy cannot respond to successive poke (eg. Kharazim Lucio BW). Try it out!

Pursuit of Justice is a huge mobility tool and allows you to frontline a LOT more aggressively, then zoom out of danger with your tiny hitbox and stun. While you won't need this once you've mastered Uther, it's frequently excellent, gets you into place for Divine Storm, and all around helps you live. Excellent training wheels!

Holy Fire does reasonable damage, but adds zero waveclear; it's surpassed by the other two options, which offer stronger effects at lesser compromise.
Hand of Protection
Activate to make target ally Unstoppable for 1 second. Cannot be cast on Uther. Basic Attacks reduce Hand of Protection's cooldown by 5 seconds.
Armor of Faith is picked under these conditions; easily procced, Holy Shock, team doesn't need/deserve saves.

GoAK pairs with a sustain hypercarry that can self-heal and take advantage of repeated 50 armours. Think Sonya and Illidan, but also a brave Valla or Tracer.

Hand of Protection is the best cleanse in the game; 15 seconds of autos will reset it. It'll often go far lower than 60s, which is the default cleanse CD. Learn it, love it, master it; it'll carry your whole damn team.
Divine Storm
Deal 170 damage and stun nearby enemies for 1.75 seconds.
These ultimates need no introduction. If you're unsure, go storm. If you trust even one teammate, go shield for them, and let them carry. Uther enables others as much as himself; understand when there's more value in Shield, and exploit that to win.
Well Met
When used against Heroes, Hammer of Justice reduces the target's Movement Speed and damage dealt by 25% for 3 seconds.
Contrary to popular opinion, I really like Blessed Champion, especially with Holy Shock. It adds about 53 scaling points of AoE healing per second. That's 250 hp in a 5 unit circle over 5 seconds for everyone; if your whole team somehow got that, it'd be 1250 healing. Not bad; even if it only heals you and one other person, it's the only talent on this tier that increases your team's HP. Note that it doesn't provide armour, as the heal comes from your autos, rather than your basic abilities. That'd be busted anyway.

Well Met is a capstone for HotL, your level 1 quest. Excellent debuff with 75% uptime; use it on the enemy tank if they have no mobility. Great into heroes about to ult too, like a mage.

Spell Shield is Spell Shield. Take into Ktz, Pyroblast, Temporal; you'll know when you want this by level 13.
Activate to reduce the Mana cost of Uther's next Basic Ability by 50 and its cooldown by 10 seconds.
Beacon of Light is selfish garbage. Position to take less damage; don't crutch on this.

Tyr's Deliverance is great with self-healing heroes or hyper-competent Auriel/Alexstraszas. Don't take it outside of coordinated, unless your Sonya/Illidan's a fucking god.

Benediction is the strongest non-ult in your entire tree. Double stun is backbreaking; double GoAK procs are disgusting. You can pop it on Q to double shock if it'll kill something. Overall excellent. Most of your Benedictions will be Es.
After Eternal Devotion ends, Uther revives at the spirit's location with 50% of his maximum Health.
Everything here is good, not just Redemption. If you have Shield available, and a fight's about to start, just talent it. If they have no solutions, you just autowin.

Hurricane is fine, the reach let's you scare backliners to death. Use it and go past their frontline, make sure to ping your target.

Take Redemption if the fight will go long. If not, Divine Protection will likely get more value. Makes Benediction->W very reasonable, too.
Balance Patch - 08/28/19
There are no comments for this build.
where is it the 7th thing to be a tank?
I had waveclear as a factor, then edited it out but forgot to update. Whoops.
oh well. Thank you. I've tried him as main tank in a qm premade group and the guide has been a lot useful
So is Lv.16's Benediction better for solo play than Tyr's Deliverance? I find myself usually going with Tyr if I chose Blessed Champion the previous talent tier.
Benediction is infinitely better for solo play. 2 seconds of.continuous stun kills most things, amd gives you double the chances to interrupt mobility like Valla/Fenix/Falstad E. Tyr's is for situations where double stun can't get value, mostly.