Blizzard announced today that Medivh would be available in Heroes of the Storm starting next week, alongside a large patch that brings changes to both the matchmaking and ranked system. The patch is currently live on the Public Test Realm and will be available June 14th, 2016. Medivh will cost $9.99 or 15,000 for in-game gold.
Medivh – Character Analysis
Medivh is ranged specialist with some support abilities. Medivh is also geared towards disabling enemies as opposed to doing large amounts of damage. He will most likely be used on maps that have close quarters and capture based objectives.
Active Trait – Raven Form
Medivh’s Raven Form ability allows him to turn into a flying raven. When Medivh is in this raven form he is able to fly over obstacles and ignores all enemy targeting and damage for a period of time. Medivh’s sight aura is also greatly reduced when in raven form. In the competitive scene recon is crucial, and because of this Medivh will most likely be picked or banned on a regular basis based on this one ability.
Q Ability – Arcane Rift
Medivhs’ Arcane Rift ability send out a small projectile that damages any enemies it passes through. The cooldown of Arcane Rift is greatly reduced if the projectile hits an enemy hero. This ability is great for the early game as it allows Medivh to harass enemies in lane while clearing minions.
W Ability – Force of Will
Medivh’s Force of Will ability allows you shield a nearby ally for a few seconds making them impervious to damage. This is good for blocking large nuking abilities or shielding your tank before engaging in a fight. Unfortunately you won’t be able to cast this ability on yourself, which means you cannot utilize it for escapes.
E Ability – Portal
Medivh’s portal ability allows him to place two small portals a short distance apart. Medivh and his allies will be able to walk through them and warp to the other side. The portals only last 6 seconds. This ability is useful for helping players escape from danger as well as getting the drop on another team who might be on a capture point from behind the fog of war. Portal could also be used to quickly escape from the enemy team when a fight doesn’t go your way.
Ultimate #1 – Polybomb
Polybomb turns an enemy hero into a sheep for two seconds. During this time the enemy cannot attack. Once the two seconds have passed the curse passes to another close by enemy team member. There is no limit to how many times the effect can chain to enemies, which means it’s good for forcing enemies in close quarters to disengage.
Ultimate #2 – Lay Line Seal
After a half a second cast time, Medivh casts a ball of energy in a straight line. Any enemy heroes caught in the blast are locked inside a stasis mode for 3 seconds. Enemies cannot be damaged during this time. This is another ability that is good for close quarters, however it might prove to be more situational then polybomb.
How Medivh Will Be Used in the Competitive Scene
I see Medivh as a pretty situational pick for public games, but a common pick for the competitive scene. His ability as a scout for his team is unmatched even by Lunara with her wisps. I believe Medivh will be one of the most played and banned heroes in upcoming tournaments just due to the fact he can block large ultimates, set up amazing plays, and in some cases disable an entire team. Teams playing on smaller maps will surely make a run for Medivh if he isn’t banned outright.
How Ranked Play Is Changing
Previously Heroes of the Storm’s ranked system separated players into 50 different ranks that you could achieve, with 1 being the highest and 50 being the lowest. With the new patch players will have to play 10 placement matches, once complete they will be separated into 1 of seven divisions.
The 7 divisions are from least skilled to high skill: bronze, silver, gold, platinum, diamond, master, and grand master. Divisions between bronze and diamond will be separated into 5 different tiers, with 1 being the highest. By winning games players can move up in tiers and ultimately divisions. Past platinum is master, which only has 1 division. Players master ranks will only display the current number of ranked points they have accrued in their division. If a player makes it to grand master their xp will be replace by their position on the leaderboard.
Players who are ranked will only be able to queue with others who are 1 division removed from theirs. Players who are in placement matches will also only be able to queue with those completing their placement matches.
Based on your participation in ranked player each season, you will be rewarded with different prizes such as mounts and player icons.
Blizzard has also announced that with the upcoming patch they will be rebalancing players matchmaking rankings or MMR in order to improve queue times and the overall game experience. One of the things that is happening is the separation of MMR for different game modes. With the introduction of unranked draft, players will now have a quick match MMR as well as another for the draft mode. This ensures that poor performance in one game mode does not affect the other or vice versa.
Blizzard also announced that they will be changing their uncertainty system. The uncertainty system basically tries to determine if the ranking you are at is your true skill, it starts off very high when you are a new player because the game is not sure how good or bad you are at the game. As you play the game it decreases and you get set into a skill spot in the MMR system. With this new system the uncertainty rating will be increased for all players giving them a chance to crawl up the MMR rankings into their true skill bracket. This reset will occur every new season.
The Rest of It
More information on the upcoming patch can be found on Battle.Net.