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Heroes of the Storm Giant Killer Talent Analysis


Heroes of the Storm Giant Killer Talent Analysis?by perfidiousfox

This post is about the talent Giant Killer (and by extension Problem Solver). I decided to write it after reading a few recent posts. This post is based off of patch information as of June 15th and stats based off of Hotslogs master tier numbers for the week of June 7-13.

I wanted to provide the real life numbers, benefits and counters to the talent.

TLDR: Giant Killer is a situational pick, it works best against high health heroes when picked on a fast attacking hero with range, but unfortunately is often on the same tier as a better talent.

First, a few rules about Giant Killer / Problem Solver (GK/PS):

  1. Applies to basic attacks by hero with talent only (For instance, Lili?s serpent on Raynor with GK will not proc GK from serpent attacks)
  2. Each hit will deal 1.5% of the targets total maximum health (in the case of Problem Solver, 0.5%)
  3. Will apply bonus damage to ?Hero? class targets only.
  4. Does not apply if hero with talent is piloting a larger unit (Plant Terror, Dragon Knight, Odin)
  5. Is unaffected by Block (yep!)
  6. Does not count shields on heroes in calculation of max health.
  7. Will only proc on main target, in the case of multiple bouncing attacks (Fury of the storm)
  8. Will not proc on any basic abilities.
  9. Giant Killer does not scale as strongly as natural basic attack damage does per level for heroes.

I need to test out how GK/PS interacts with hardened shield and similar damage mitigating talents, as I did not expect it to ignore Block.

There are 9 heroes with GK/PS. The following plots their base damage per second (DPS) from GK/PS shown as a percentage of the enemy heroes max health, then calculates max DPS percent based on talent choices and active basic abilities.


Before picking Giant Killer, the first factors to consider are who were the heroes selected in the current game?

Max hero health at lvl 13 ranges from 970hp on Murky, to 4180hp on Azmodan.

Heroes with GK/PS attack speeds also vary widely, from 0.91 hits per second on Thrall, to 1.92 hits per second on Valla (when rancor is selected and stacked)

These wide ranges of HP and attack speeds can create some serious differences in damage due to the percent based stats on GK/PS.

For instance, a level 13 thrall auto attacking (AA) a level 13 murky will deal 13DPS based off of GK. However a lvl 13 Valla traited with rancor AAing a lvl 13 Azmodan will deal 80 DPS based off of GK.

One can easily see that a value judgment has to come into play over selecting GK.

The top 10 maximum health pools in order:

  1. Azmodan *11.6%
  2. Diablo *38.6%
  3. Muradin *7.6%
  4. ETC *26.5%
  5. Chen
  6. Stitches *4.2%
  7. Johanna *29%
  8. Arthas
  9. Tyreal
  10. Sonya *15.9%

Unfortunately, most also have the ability to spec into an attack speed reducing debuff. According to HOTSLOGS, The percentages next to the above heroes are the Master tier talent selection percentages. Tyreal has the choice to spec into imposing will at 13, which is only active while he shield is up, and muradin can chose reverberation at tier 1, for a 3 second debuff.

The lowest 10 health pools in order:

  1. Abathur
  2. Murky
  3. TLV Eric
  4. TLV Baelog
  5. Nova
  6. Valla
  7. Falstad
  8. Jaina
  9. Raynor
  10. TLV Olaf

Heroes on your team that will add synergy with GK/PS by giving you attack speed

  1. Rehgar (Blood lust 40%)
  2. Abathur (Shield bonus 25%)
  3. ETC (Passive Skill 20%)
  4. Raynor (Inspire bonus 15%)

Heroes talent selection for GK/PS according to hotslogs by percent, Master Tier

  1. Sgt Hammer (64.3%) Weak Talent selection at this tier and massive range potential make GK the best pick, the only thing that is a negative is the slow attack speed. Better at 20, or with a supporting hero (see above).
  2. Falstad (51%) Weak Talent selection at this tier and fast attack speeds at range make GK a viable pick
  3. Raynor (45.1%) Competes with Double Barrel. One of the few heroes whos range, and attack speed make GK viable.
  4. Illidan (24.6%) Competes with Sixth Sense. By the numbers, GK sounds good on illidan, but in practice he is too squishy, and his normal targets are squishy characters, so dont take GK here.
  5. Valla (19.8%) Competes with Frost Shot, some would say FS is a necessity of vallas kit, others prefer the bonus from GK for the AA build. Players choice.
  6. Thrall (16.7%) Competes with Grace of Air, which makes thrall more survivable. Attack speed it waaaay to slow to gain the benefits of GK vs the benefits of self presevation. Do not pick.
  7. Tychus (8.2%) Competes with Lead Rain. Argue-ably benefits the most from PS, but requires the right circumstances to be viable.
  8. Zagara (2.0%) Competes with Mutalisk, and Grooved Spines which are hard to pass by, also on the slower end of attack speed.
  9. Zeratul (0.6%) Competes with Wormhole, he attacks to slow, and favors hit-and-run tactics. the only surprise here is that GK was chosen 0.6% of the time? 😛

By looking at these numbers you can see that Giant Killer is not favored by higher tier play on most heroes.

However, there are circumstances where I would contest that it is favorable.

Stitches, Sonya and Azmodan are not likely to pick imposing presence. If you are playing against them, grab it.

Sgt Hammer, Raynor and Valla benefit strongly from GK. If the team comp favors it, take it (one or more synergizing heroes, two or more tanky heroes).

A few outliers to watch out for, if you see the enemy pick these, reconsider GK, in favor of a cc or escape talent, if you don?t have peel (heroes with cc that can lock down anyone jumping on you):

Muradin and Reverberation at level 1. Chosen 68.6% of the time (lasts 3sec, 8sec CD)

Chen and swift reflexes at level 2. Chosen 38.7% of the time, only applies every 4 seconds. Not sure how GK effects this.

Tyreal and Imposing will at level 13. Chosen 60%, but only applies while shield is active (lasts 4 seconds, with a 12 second CD)

Uther and Imposing Presence at level 16. Chosen 8.5%, but competes with Benediction, so often not chosen.

Thanks for listening! Any suggestions or criticisms?


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