First impressions of Heroes of the Storm's newest hero: Artanis
If you pre-ordered Starcraft II: Legacy of the Void then you likely already know that the Protoss hero Artanis has recently been added to Heroes of the Storm as a pre-order bonus. As of October 20th, 2015, Artanis has been rocking the Nexus with his twin Psi-Blades, dishing out some high-DPS warrior action in the way only a Protoss Hierarch can.
Having pre-ordered Legacy of the Void, I decided to give Artanis a spin. Here's what I've discovered so far!
NOTE: VERSUS AI mode was only used solely for the purposes of screen capture. All comments made in this article were tested in Quick Match and Ranked scenarios prior to the screenshots taken.
Artanis is a real pain if left unattended!
The first thing I noticed when playing Artanis was that his Twin Blades ability has a very low cooldown and a relatively low mana cost. Twin Blades allows Artanis to strike any auto-attack target with two quickly executed consecutive strikes, dealing a fair amount of damage to enemy targets. However, the truly dangerous application comes in the form of attacking towers and creep waves.
Twin Blades used once on a tower with the Triple Blades and Skilled Marksman talents takes this third-tier tower down to half health before Artanis takes any considerable damage!
When paired with the Skilled Marksman (level 1) and Triple Strike (level 13) talents, Artanis can deal anywhere between 70-120 extra damage on top of his regular triple-attack when using Twin Blades. While this doesn't seem like much at first, it can result in one or two towers going down before the enemy team has a chance to catch him. Also, since the cooldown is only 4 seconds long, Artanis can potentially take out 2 towers and a gate within 30 seconds of being left unattended.
As such, make sure that Artanis doesn't get the chance to farm Skilled Marksman points, because if he does it can mean the end for your frailer teammates. Within 12 minutes of gameplay, Artanis can get up to 30 points of Skilled Marksman if left unattended, and that's enough to take heroes like Kerrigan or Rexxar's Misha down to half health with a single use of Twin Blades.
Artanis's worst enemy is equal team fights...
While Artanis is capable of doing some serious damage 1v1 or against buildings, he's not that great at tanking damage from multiple sources. As such, Artanis is at risk of preemptive death throughout the game since he has no escape abilities, no healing abilities, and virtually no crowd control. This is doubly true in the early game where he has not yet learned his heroic ability - Suppression Pulse - which blinds enemies.
During early game team fights, any focused attempts at taking down this hero are usually successful since none of his abilities allow him to move him forward to escape, and none of them ever will...
The worst enemy of Artanis is any ability that slows him down. Since his only displacement abilities rather return him to the same spot, or swap him with an enemy, there are virtually no situations where Artanis can escape with his life if more than one enemy hero has him in their sights. While Shield Overload can give him an extra few seconds of survival, it is best at keeping him alive while fighting - not fleeing.
Artanis's most popular build so far
Since Artanis has only been out for a couple of days now, the best build for this character hasn't been decided as of yet. However, as it stands he is currently built as a high-DPS hero with the following talents:
- Level 1: Skilled Marksman - Allows Artanis to gain an extra point of damage for every 6 creeps that are defeated around him. Heroes count as 3 creeps.
- Level 4: Chrono Surge - Phase Prism grants 25% attack speed upon hitting for 4 seconds.
- Level 7: Follow Through - Using an ability causes the next auto-attack to deal 40% bonus damage.
- Level 10: Suppression Pulse - Deals 60 (+10 per level) damage and causes Blind for 4 seconds in a wide area of effect. Has unlimited range.
- Level 13: Triple Strike - Twin Blades strikes 3 times.
- Level 16: Psionic Wound - Causes enemy heroes hit by Twin Blades to become vulnerable, taking 25% extra damage from all sources.
- Level 20: Nexus Blades - Auto-attacks deal 20% extra damage, and cause slow for 1 second.
While using this build, I was able to get behind enemy lines and take the shrine down to 1/8th of its maximum health within 10 seconds!
Artanis is a tricky hero to play. Despite being classified as a Warrior hero, Artanis is a surprisingly easy target to take down. His high DPS abilities and chasing mechanisms make him feel more like a 1v1 Assassin type, and yet his passive ability makes him just tanky enough to be considered a Warrior. We can only wait until professional players pick him up and work out how to best play this hero. However, the builds already out there seem to point towards Artanis being a good hit-and-run type character.
But what do you guys think?
Have you played Artanis in Heroes of the Storm yet? What do you think of his abilities? Do you think the popular build is the best build so far? Do you agree with the style of fighting Blizzard gave Artanis in this game? Leave your opinions in the comments section below!