Q – Rock-It! Turret. The staple of Gazlowe. He mustered up these creations to take down his foes and they perform quite well doing so. I love the idea of a hero placing turrets, creating a death field, and luring his enemies into them. While they do cut down on Gazlowe’s effectiveness in a constantly moving battlefield, they make up for it when it comes to laning and stationary teamfights. The duration of each turret I find is great, it doesn’t last exceedingly long but isn’t too short that they are useless. Rock-It! Turrets are fantastic in the early game but can be fairly weak later game as quite a few heroes can one shot them, making Gazlowe less effective. I understand it is good game play on the enemy team to destroy the turrets, but the ease with which the turrets are destroyed feels a bit too easy. The ai of the turrets is lacking as are the ai’s with other heroes minions. I feel if a hero steps into reach of the turrets the turrets should prioritize them over minions and mercs. I think having it auto target heroes within their range wouldn’t be too overpowered but through testing I may be wrong. Another option would be to allow the turrets to be player controlled. I feel this option would be too complex and inefficient as turrets can have multiple stacks unlike Tychus’ Q ability Overkill.
W – Deth Lazor. There was a good thread on his Deth Lazor a little while back which pointed out some of the flaws to this skill and brought up a few suggestions. Here is the link for it: http://us.battle.net/heroes/en/forum/topic/13594760104. As others said in that post, I generally use Deth Lazor in the beginning of the match to clear lanes, get in some extra damage on heroes, and the occasional snipe kill. My biggest dislike to Deth Lazor is the root. It makes it feel extremely clunky and leaves you defenseless which is something Gazlowe does not exceed at in the first place. For a channeled ability which takes 3 seconds (I believe that’s what it is….never really timed it out) I am unsure why it has a cooldown. To me, it would seem the 3 second channel would be enough of a limit on the ability itself. Now if it charged 50% faster, was locked in the original direction, and you could move while casting it, I would have no issue with the 15 second cooldown. Considering as how it’s Gazlowe’s invention doing the charging and not himself it makes sense he would be able to move. The talents to improve his Deth Lazor are lackluster too, but I will get into them each on their appropriate tiers.
E – Xplodium Charge. I love Xplodium Charge. It’s an all around wonderful skill. It is tough to land a stun on heroes without Grav-O-Bomb 3000 but it can be done. I find I use Xplodium Charge to control the map more than anything in a team fight. Heroes will either have to retreat or advance to avoid the 2 second stun which, in a non organized team, usually creates opportunities. It took me a little while to use this skill effectively but I feel I have gotten good at using it to create those opportunities. I love to push a lane then place it right on the exit to the enemy gate while having my turrets up, it creates the decision to kill the turrets and possibly get stunned or to stay back in safety and wait it out. In team fights, especially Cursed Hollow the narrow corridors allow you to force players one way unless they want to get stunned then killed if your team is coordinated. Again on Cursed Hollow, you can pop it on the tribute to stop the cap or delay them from wanting to cap it. Anytime there are heroes who are trying to flee, a well placed Xplodium Charge can either finish them off or allow your teammates to if they change direction. (The last example tends to put Gazlowe out in the open and is an aggressive move but can pay off.) I kinda feel like this section I’ve said the same thing several times….sorry but I wanted to give examples and I really do love this ability.
Passive – Salvager The lifeblood of Gazlowe. I don’t know who made this trait but you are awesome! 😀 Without this passive, Gazlowe’s play would be slow and ineffective. The baseline 30 mana is good and allow Gazlowe to keep a presence on the battlefield but the main power of this passive I feel comes from the reduced cooldown on abilities. Everything flows better on Gazlowe because of this. All in all, just a great well rounded passive that I find to be tailored to this hero and is balanced.
Regeneration Master I believe I have taken this talent once, maybe twice. I feel it is outshined by all the other talents in this tree but can be good for a pug team where there is no healer, especially if you are mercing a lot (which you generally should be.) The extra health globes really add up. I also find Gazlowe can be easily bursted which makes this talent less effective.
Demolitionist I have used this talent on and off a lot, just depends on how siege oriented I wanted to be. The damage really adds up, especially later on if you pick up Robo-Goblin. This talent definitely takes your build towards a siege focused one which can be a strong build. I like having this as an option even though I don’t use it as much as some of the other talents in this level.
Scap-o-matic: Smelter I almost always use this ability. It effectively makes your Rock-It! Turret ability cost 10 mana which is amazing. This talent gives Gazlowe so much more sustainability especially when a moving battlefield is involved. Gazlowe is almost always on the move mid and late game, either heading to objectives or mercenaries. He’s placing turrets, dishing out damage, picking up, and moving onto the next target. I use this ability because I do not like hearthing and waiting for mana, I don’t think anyone really does. The other reason I use this talent a lot is because I love to play an aggressive Gazlowe, especially in the first few minutes of the game. I will place my turrets on the border of the towers range and just annihilate minion waves, allowing my teams minions to start up eating ammo. The other way I like to play with this talent is to place turrets inside the range of one tower then go to town on it. All in all, lane presence and no downtime are what this talent allows. Oh! It also allows Gazlowe to throw out more Deth Lazor’s as mana isn’t really an issue, which again is great early game.
Break it Down! I exclusively used this talent when artifacts were out because of the 40% more mana option. Break it Down! makes Gazlowe a force to be reckoned with, it seems like there’s always something up and the sheer number of Xplodium Charges able to be released is devastating to the enemy team. The extra cooldown reduction for ultimate abilities is also noticeable, especially once you acquire 4 charges on Rock-it! Turrets. I have found I run out of a mana a bit easier but next talent tier, a talent helps with that.
Extra TNT I have dabbled with this ability here and there. I find it has uses but I don’t like what it brings to the table compared to the two passive talent boosts. A team can be devastated with a well timed Xplodium Charge, Grav-O-Bomb 3000, and another Xplodium Charge but I feel the damage increase doesn’t really show up all that much. I know it does, but I’ve never felt like I’ve secured an extra kill or inflicted more noticeable harm on the enemy team when I’ve used this ability in a team fight that is. The only time I really notice a difference is when an enemy either gets caught in it with a minion wave or I’m in a smaller scale fight and can Grav-O-Bomb 3000 a hero into a minion wave for extra damage. Overall, I find it more situational and you really have to land combo’s in order for this to be effective.
Tier 1 overall presents good options for Gazlowe. It gives him a tankier and siege specific option along with upgrades to his already strong passive. I usually have a tough choice between Scrap-o-matic: Smelter and Break it Down! talents. I want both!
Superiority Siege Gazlowe loves Superiority, even mercenary Gazlowe likes it because it allows for easier mercenary kills. I will usually only grab Superiority if I am headed down the path of siege Gazlowe at this point. I find its usefulness shows when assaulting golems, towers, and keeps. I don’t notice a difference while laning, mostly because nothing should really be attacking me, they should be on other minions or my turrets. I have wondered and am unsure about this, does Superiority apply to my Rock-It! Turrets? I’d be interested to know if someone has tested it and come up with an answer, because if it does this talent is much more useful.
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle This is my go to talent for this tier, almost no matter what I choose in the first tier. Yes, this includes if I choose Scrap-o-Matic: Smelter, because it allows me to throw out more Deth Lazors or to push harder and not be concerned about mana, ever. I find this talent pairs with Break it Down! extremely well. Cooldowns are nearly always going to be up with this talent, especially when crashing an enemies walls/towers down.
Clockwerk Steam Fists I love the name of this talent for some reason. I don’t use it often however because I generally don’t find myself wishing my turrets lived longer. I’m usually getting to a place, popping them down, quickly dispatching enemies then scraping them all, picking up and moving on my merry way. I also when I do need to life of the turrets extended they run out of health before the original timer runs out anyway. The only time I can clearly think of where extra turret life would be nice is facing a golem at higher levels and I place turrets outside the aoe and tank it myself or with one of the turrets for a bit. I think this talent could be reworked and made better. An option I thought of just now is, Rock-It! Turrets now target whatever you basic attack. This assumes they are in range and if you aren’t basic attacking anything they would choose a target according to their normal parameters.
Promote I have wanted to make this talent work and I find it can but the low uptime on it really stifles its usefulness. By uptime I’m not only referring to the minute cooldown per charge but also the fact that when both are up (I generally try to pop both at once as it seems more effective to me) I may not be near a lane or near a lane where they could be put to good use. In fact, the only time I really notice an improvement is late game when I throw them on catapults. I think modifying the ability so both health and damage are 200% would make it much more valuable.
Tier 2 I find only has two options and again it comes down to which build you are taking your Gazlowe. For siege Gazlowe Superiority and for anything else I take Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. I would like to see this tier revisited and given stronger options to create more diverse builds and play style. I think with a buff to Promote and a change to Clockwerk Steam Fists there would be more competitive options.
Rock-It! Turret XL I love this talent for taking down mercenaries, especially Knight Camps. The extra damage it provides easily mows down lane minions, mercenaries, and does some extra work in team fights but not really a huge amount, it just keeps everything spread nicely. The extra utility this brings to the turrets is amazing and I think is extremely well done. I don’t really have much to say because it’s self explanatory really.
Mercenary Lord I used to get this talent 100% of the time, no questions asked when I was leveling up and playing Gazlowe. The extra damage on giants and health on knights causes them to be a force to be reckoned with. I have found the longer I play the less effective I feel this talent is. I say this because either I’m facing better teams who dispatch my mercenaries quicker or they don’t let me cap as many as I’d like. I find I use this talent less now than before because I have to watch and realize who my opposing team is much more. Are they capping mercenaries early? Do they quickly dispatch the mercenaries I cap? Are we ahead and have some breathing room? Now to answer those questions. If they are capping mercenaries early, I pay attention to if they are split capping or group capping. If they are split capping (such as is common on Haunted Mines) I will not pick up Mercenary Lord as its effectiveness is limited. If the enemy team is solo capping, I can either keep up with them or out merc them usually so I may take Mercenary Lord. If they are quickly killing the mercenaries I cap, whether it’s because they send a few people to take them out or my team isn’t protecting/pushing with them, I will pass on Mercenary Lord, again because it’s effectiveness is being limited. I have found Mercenary Lord is amazing on a team that is slightly ahead. I’m not even talking xp wise, I just mean control of the battlefield. If my team is pushing and causing the other team to react/change their strategy then Mercenary Lord adds more confusion to the mix. It is just another nail in the coffin I’ve found. I will definitely pick up Mercenary Lord if we are controlling the game or if the enemy team is playing reactively/defensively.
Engine Gunk I used to think this talent sucked and was useless. I have been corrected because it can provide a lot of needed support for not only Gazlowe but his teammates. Gazlowe doesn’t have an escape mechanism besides the standard click run spam and hope no one decides to pursue you. Engine Gunk, when used properly can mess teams up. If your team keeps enemies near the turrets, it makes fleeing so much harder. If your team is getting pushed and need an escape, Engine Gunk can provide that small range gap needed to live to fight another day. The main reason why I have started to use Engine Gunk is because it synergizes with Grav-O-Bomb 3000 so well. The hardest part of the Xplodium Charge/Grav-O-Bomb 300 combo is making sure people can’t escape and will get caught in both blast radius’. Engine Gunk slows them down just enough that I’ve noticed a marked improvement in enemies caught by the combo. Now obviously if another teammate has slows or roots it may not be the best talent option. The other awesome synergy is with other players on your team, namely the assassins who can pick up Executioner. Engine Gunk just slows everything in its path, especially when you get out 4 turrets, most of the enemy team should be slowed and easy targets for Executioner assassins.
First Aid I have used this talent maybe twice, we didn’t have a healer and I wanted to see if it would give me more sustainability. It did, but usually I only lasted a second or two more so not really worth it. Gazlowe is very susceptible to being burst damage, healing 35% over 6 seconds isn’t going to change that. If a team wants you dead, you’re going to be dead with or without this talent.
Calldown: Mule I really like this talent. I find it is useful, has a good effect, and can save a tower or keep. However, the other talents its placed up against make it a poor choice. I have seen a Tassadar (I think he used it or maybe it was another person on our team) pop a Mule then shield the tower and a golem didn’t even make a dent in it.
Tier 3 I find to be the most difficult decision tier for Gazlowe, there are three good options to choose from and it all comes down to individual play style and preference. I would like to see Mule moved to a different tier, maybe replace Promote.
Grav-O-Bomb 3000 This is team fight Gazlowe’s amazing combo. I have used this many times to turn the tide of battles and give our team a victory when fighting over anything. The delay on Grav-O-Bomb 3000 is awesome because it allows you to land a stun with Xplodium Charge. I really don’t have anything bad to say about this skill and I think I’ve mostly covered everything when talking about other talents and how they synergize with this ultimate. I would like to see a slight range increase on the ultimate, but I feel it would be too good. (There is just something so satisfying about landing this combo and seeing everything get decimated.)
Robo-Goblin Until I learned about the Grav-O-Bomb 3000 combo I almost always chose this talent, especially since I solo queued almost all the time. The effectiveness of laning and mercing goes through the roof with this ability. You can solo golems at level 10 and split push so well. This is the siege Gazlowe talent. I’ve had teams ignore me and I run up to their core and annihilate it before they know what hit them. The downsides to this talent are no mounting while it’s active (I’d really like to see this changed) and team fight effectiveness goes down because it doesn’t do extra damage to heroes until level 20. I love Robo-Goblin and I miss using it as I normally spec into the Grav-O-Bomb 3000 for team fights.
Tier 4 is really self explanatory as it leaves you with two options: team fight or siege. Both ultimates I find are well balanced and have their places depending on the match, enemy team, and player using Gazlowe.
Burning Rage I’ve seen other Gazlowe’s use this ability and I have used it at times but I generally don’t like it. I enjoy setting up on mercenaries and then going to town, they don’t really have any time to react. However, with Burning Rage as soon as a turret is placed they engage because you are on fire burning them. I find this talent has its place on this tier and can be competitive with Kwik Release Charge but it doesn’t fit the way I like to play Gazlowe.
Kwik Release Charge Xplodium Charge x2. I really don’t need to say more than that hahaha. It’s awesome! Again the synergy with Grav-O-Bomb 3000 is fantastic but also another charge to Xplodium Charge give you more opportunities to deny enemy teams an escape route or ward them off a point of interest. I would just like to suggest a rewording of the talent to “Xplodium Charge now has 2 charges.” because right now it seems like some of the other talents where you have a limited window to cast the second charge. Great talent which adds to both team fight and siege Gazlowe’s toolkit.
EZ-PZ Dimensional Ripper Our first look at a Deth Lazor upgrade, hooray! By the time you factor in the charge time, the slow isn’t really worth it, they would have been on you already and you’re going to be taking damage. Not useful in warding off heroes. Minions being frozen along with towers is meh also. Minions at level 13 aren’t much of a threat at all. Structures being frozen is nice if your team is pushing hard I guess and you can nuke a tower down but if you are siege Gazlowe, you are already going to be doing enough work on them. Waiting 13 levels and having this be the first option to upgrade Deth Lazor is kinda sad. =/ I’ve taken it once to try it out, I won’t take it again in its current form.
Sprint I have used Sprint several times. I like it, it’s very situational but it can save you especially if you are like me when I go siege Gazlowe. I push hard and generally am over extended trying to knock down that tower, fort, or cap a merc camp next to their base and sprint can allow me to get out just in the nick of time. It doesn’t always work but it’s a solid option on a hero who has no inherent escape mechanisms.
Tier 5 does have some good options. Personally, I find myself only using Kwik Release Charge but I have used the others and can see how they have a place in this tier (ignoring EZ-PZ Dimensional Ripper.) It allows you to customize Gazlowe to your play style and what you are looking to get out of him as a hero. I like it.
Long-Ranged Turrets I have used this talent several times when testing it out to see how it does. I think it is a solid talent, just on the wrong tier. It can out range towers and bring a Hammeresque feel to Gazlowe which I really like. Long-Ranged Turrets just cannot compete with Turret Storage.
Turret Storage Increase my damage by 100%, heck yes! 4 Rock-It! Turrets opens up Gazlowe’s effectiveness in so many ways. Mercenary camps die faster, lanes are pushed harder, more damage in team fights especially with the Rock-It! Turret XL addition, and the best part more scrap for better cooldown reduction. Every other talent on this tier cannot compare to it. Does this mean it needs a nerf? Heck no! The other talents in this tier need to be reworked into stronger ones, especially since two of them buff Deth Lazor which is almost never used later game unless you are trying to disrupt a cap from a distance to buy your team some time.
Hyperfocus Coils I think this talent should be baseline or at least available much sooner. Deth Lazor takes a long time to charge but with the decreased cast time it would be much more valuable. I’d be curious to see how this talent would work on tier 2. I’ve taken it once, maybe twice. It cannot compare to Turret Storage.
Goblin Fusion I can understand the concept behind this talent but it does not deliver what I believe to be its intended result. The extra charge on Deth Lazor just means more time standing there charging up mah lazors waiting to be interrupted or killed while doing so. The damage needs to be 100% increase at least in order to compete with the turret upgrade and should not add an additional charge, it should just deal more damage. If it would be too overpowered to have a flat 100% damage increase, which I could easily see, I would keep it at 50% more damage, then increase the width and distance Deth Lazor targets to round out the talent. I only see this being a valid option if Hyperfocus Coils were on a different tier. All in all Deth Lazor talents are weak in comparison to other options, along with the fact Deth Lazor itself is a bit clunky currently.
Stoneskin I think I have used Stoneskin once (when I picked up First Aid) to see if I could make First Aid more effective and last longer. It worked but overall the extra health only saved me for 3-5 seconds which wasn’t time to do much at all. I can see how some may want the extra buffer of health but for me I find this talent useless, especially when compared to Turret Storage.
Tier 6 has one option in my opinion and that is Turret Storage…you probably guessed that as I made that comment in every talent option haha. The other talents in this tier need a rework to be competitive and to give more options. I imagine it would be hard to compete with 4 charges of turrets though.
Resurgence of the Storm I like this talent a lot on other heroes, especially Sonya as her upgraded ultimates aren’t very good in comparison to other heroes. I find Gazlowe’s upgraded ultimates to be quite valuable, no matter which I choose. Unlike other heroes if Gazlowe is the only one to res because of Resurgence of the Storm, there’s not much he can do to stop a push. I guess you can merc as I did when I took this talent but even then there’s a high risk of being killed because the enemy team will be thinking the same thing. I’d rather see Bolt of the Storm as an option to give Gazlowe another escape talent. I still don’t think I would choose it over his upgraded ultimates.
Swift Storm I liked the artifact which gave Gazlowe increased speed, you could merc like a machine with it. The overall improvement was awesome, however, as a level 20 talent the benefits just aren’t there. It’s easy enough to avoid minion waves at this point because many obstructions or funneling factors have been cleared. The talent can be good on other heroes but I don’t feel it does much for Gazlowe. I guess it could be good if you can get away from an enemy hero and mount up but I’ve found there generally isn’t time to do this, you either kill the hero attacking you or you die quickly.
Miniature Black Hole This is where Gazlowe’s Wombo Combo really comes together and is much easier to land than before. Team fights drastically change with this upgrade and I love it. It’s a strong upgrade and just overall enhances the experience which is exactly what an upgraded ultimate should do in my opinion. The extra range on Grav-O-Bomb 3000 is brutal for enemy teams and makes them either take the combo or spread out, making them easier to pick off.
Mecha-Lord Siege Gazlowe finally brings something to a team fight late game, but generally you don’t want to be meleeing with Mecha-Lord unless the odds are in your favor. The increased duration allows Gazlowe to quickly Shred anything that dares step into his path. My only issue is one I brought up when I discussed Robo-Goblin and that is his inability to mount while Robo-Goblin is active. Usually if you down a fort you will not have time to make it to another before Mecha-Lord runs out. I know the cooldown is short, especially when taking into account the scrap buildings, walls, and turrets drop but it’d just be nice to not have to wait to mount up, especially if you knock down a golem and have several seconds left before you can mount up.
Tier 7 does exactly what it should do, it gives you good upgraded ultimates to enhance your characters gameplay. The generic talents are always nice to have as an option but they don’t really bring anything strong to the table.
I like where Gazlowe is, he seems to be balanced, some enemy team compositions destroy him and his utility while others succumb to it. (Looking at you Stitches and Hammer) I do not lane well against a Hammer while playing Gazlowe at all. If anyone has any suggestions let me know! The only major improvement I would like to see is reworking his Deth Lazor and the talents for it to make it a more viable build.
Some of these builds are very similar but I find they provide varying utility and can change the way Gazlowe is played and/or his effectiveness against certain heroes and synergize well with heroes on your team.
1. Scrap-o-Matic: Smelter or Break It Down!
2. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
3. Rock-it! Turret XL
4. Grav-O-Bomb 3000 (I mostly like it because I can still add to team fights while being aggressive)
5. Kwik Release Charge
6. Turret Storage
7. Miniature Black Hole
1. Scrap-o-Matic: Smelter
2. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
3. Engine Gunk (assuming I have assassins that will take Executioner)
4. Grav-O-Bomb 3000
5. Kwik Release Charge
6. Turret Storage
7. Miniature Black Hole
3. Rock-It! Turret XL
5. Kwik Release Charge or Burning Rage
6. Turret Storage
“Tank” (I don’t recommend this build)
1. Regeneration Master
3. First Aid
4. Grav-O-Bomb 3000
7. Miniature Black Hole
1. Scrap-o-Matic: Smelter
2. Superiority or Promote
3. Mercenary Lord
5. Kwik Release Charge or Burning Rage
Now this isn’t to say these are the only things these builds can do or these are the only builds out there but these are the ones I commonly use and even as the game goes on I may mix and match depending on the flow of the game. (I find that to be a sign of a good talent tree when you can mix and match to come up with many different options.)
Feel free to leave comments and feedback about what I wrote or your own personal Gazlowe experiences. I’m always looking for things I’ve missed, different play styles, and opinions I may not have thought of.