Heroes of the Storm is an upcoming multiplayer online battle game where players can control their favorite characters from Blizzard’s iconic games and have them do battle against other heroes in team-based combat. Choose between characters from the Warcraft, Diablo, and Starcraft franchises and finally get to settle the score as to who will win when one is pitted against the other. Heroes of the Storm features dozens of characters to choose from, but for now we will focus more on Kerrigan, the Queen of Blades, from the Starcraft universe.
Kerrigan is an Assassin class hero from the Starcraft universe. Born Sarah Kerrigan, the soon to be Queen of Blades discovered her psionic powers in a grisly manner, as this caused the death of her mother as well as the loss of her father’s sanity. Kerrigan was then captured by the Terran Confederacy and was designated Ghost Number 24601. Here, she was stripped of her morality and was trained to kill for the organization.
Eventually, she was freed of the Confederacy’s control but was soon betrayed and left for dead. However, the zerg Overmind sensed Kerrigan’s potential and transformed her into the powerful Queen of Blades. Although under the zerg’s control, Kerrigan was given with a shred of free will, and this proved to be the Overmind’s downfall as Kerrigan took over control of the Swarm soon after.
Now with the zerg under her leadership, Kerrigan finally has control over her own destiny with no master to answer to. How this would affect the universe is anybody’s guess.
Kerrigan is armed with an array of items that she can use to decimate any opponents that stand in her way. The first of these are her wings that she can use to fly as well as capture and strike at enemies with high precision, dealing huge damage. Kerrigan also has the ability to call upon the Swarm and use them to attack her foes. Lastly, Kerrigan can also use her psionic ability to deal vast damage to enemies around her.
Kerrigan, like all heroes, has one passive trait and three starting abilities. Kerrigan’s trait is Assimilation, where in she gains shields that will absorb damage equivalent to 10% of basic damage and 20% of ability damage to non-Hero targets. This value doubles when damage is done to Heroic targets. The maximum value of the Shield’s defense will increase as players level up.
Kerrigan’s first starting ability is Ravage (75 mana cost, 8 seconds cooldown) which targets a single enemy. If Ravage kills the target, then the cooldown is immediately reset. The second ability is Impaling Blades (60 mana cost, 12 seconds cooldown) which damages and stuns an area of enemies. Lastly, Primal Grasp (50 mana, 8 seconds cooldown) pulls a group of enemies towards Kerrigan and damages them. Damage dealt by these abilities increase as Kerrigan levels up, and talents will further improve upon these abilities.
At level 10, Kerrigan can gain a heroic ability, and players can choose between the Maelstrom ability (100 mana cost, 120 seconds cooldown) which deals damage to enemies within the vicinity for 9 seconds, or the Summon Ultralisk ability (100 mana cost, 80 seconds cooldown) which deals splash damage as well as well as conjure an Ultralisk that will deal huge damage to enemies for 20 seconds.
Players can also choose talents from different tiers as they level up. Choosing which talent to select is important if you want to build a formidable character that suits your playing style best. These would provide you with new abilities as well as greatly empower existing ones.
For those who want to deal damage to more enemies at once and if you rely on basic attacks more, then the following build is recommended:
Path of the Assassin – increases attack damage
Fury of the Swarm – basic attacks splash to other enemies, dealing them 50% damage
Battle Momentum – allows you to call upon Kerrigan’s abilities faster as it reduces cooldown times
Double Strike – allows for 50% extra damage dealt for basic attacks
Executioner – best for those that belong to teams where abilities will stun or slow enemies as Kerrigan will deal 40% more damage to them
Fury of the Storm – basic attacks bounce twice so that they will get to deal more damage, equal to 50% of the original damage dealt
This build ensures high damage to lower level enemies, but does not promise high survivability against tougher opponents. This is also great for those that want to get into the thick of the battle as splash damage is maximized.
Another recommended build will increase your chances of survivability while relying more on your abilities. This also maximizes your defenses and your ability to last against more powerful opponents.
Siphoning Impact – heals 5% of your max life upon usage of Ravage
Envenom – poisons enemies for six seconds. This gives you the chance to either outlast them or to run away while still dealing damage to them
Block – allows Kerrigan to reduce damage taken from basic attacks. Up to two charges can be stored but must be used wisely
Summon Ultralisk – allows Kerrigan to regroup as the Ultralisk will do the fighting for her
Lingering Essence – improves your trait and, ultimately, the effectiveness of your shields
Blood for Blood – steals enemy health and slows them down, allowing you to attack them further
This build gives you the best advantage especially when it comes to ensuring that each attack hits hard. Health absorption will also allow you to last longer in a fight even against swarms of enemies or tougher heroes.
The best strategy when using Kerrigan is to hit and run. Kerrigan has high damage capabilities but very low survivability. If you want to keep on attacking, then make sure to focus your talents on shields as well as on those that will allow you to absorb health. Otherwise, get ready to keep on dying as you are far better dealing damage than taking it without these enhancements.
Kerrigan was also built to hit from up close, and because of your low tolerance to damage, it is recommended that players build up Kerrigan’s range, especially when it comes to her starting abilities. Balance out talents chosen when building up your character to take advantage of areas that will benefit your attack preferences.
Timing and combos are also very crucial when playing Kerrigan. Using Impaling Blades after a Primal Grasp will deal tons of damage and stun them, allowing you or your teammates to damage them further. In addition, using Ravage after either moves will give you additional health as well as reset this ability if it results in a kill. Of course, players would still have to think fast on their feet in order to take advantage of this particular hero as the character was really not built to take a lot of damage.
Pros and Cons
Kerrigan is a great basic character, especially for those who are aggressive in their combat style. She has a good balance of support abilities as well as talents that can greatly enhance her ability to gain damage. However, while certain talents will provide her with an extended range, she can only be truly effective if near one or multiple enemies. In turn, that means that she also runs the risk of getting ravaged by the opposition if she is not built well to sustain injury.
Kerrigan is also not a good one-on-one fighter, as she thrives in chaos where in no hero is targeting her in particular. Kerrigan works well in bunched fights where her ability to do splash and area damage will be greatly beneficial. Someone will always need to watch her back and provide her with a means to escape, though, so that she will be able to stay in the fight longer. Of course, Kerrigan can simply summon an Ultralisk for some added firepower or use other abilities to give her the chance to escape and fight another day.
Tips and Tricks
Never go with Kerrigan if you intend on fighting alone. Have a teammate watch your back at all times, and weave in and out of the battle especially if your ally is handling multiple targets at once and they all have their eyes on your teammate. Use basic attacks or chain abilities together, depending on your build type, and then give you and your members a breather to regroup. You can also summon zergs or the Ultralisk so that enemies will not have a chance to recover while you do.
Regardless of your build type, make sure also that you are surrounded before you unleash area attacks. This will allow you to deal maximum damage, and some attacks may even slow down or stun enemies which would leave them ripe for the picking by your allies. Keep a close eye on your mana and abilities to ensure that you can call upon your skills whenever you need them. This will require you to take your time and not attack blindly if you want to use Kerrigan more effectively as your hero of choice.