For those of you who have not heard about Heroes of the Storm, it is a game made by Blizzard, tagged as a hero brawler rather than a multiplayer battle arena. It does fit the description of a MOBA, but it feels less competitive, or rather, more casual and it is disassociated with the moba genre by some people. I am a level 37 player who hasn’t even touched Hero League, so I might not be the most knowledgeable, but I am the average player – meaning that my input is, generally speaking, more valuable for others average players or gamers. Without further ado: Brightwing, the Supportive Support.
The way heroes are categorized in this game can be seen as overly-simplified: you have the warriors, heroes which can vary from tanks to bruisers. You have assassins, which can be actual assassins, burst characters or damagers with different forms of evasion. They can also be attack-reliant ranged heroes, similar to the carry/adc, though they do have to use their abilities considering the lack of itemization. They also can be ability-reliant heroes, what we’d know as mages. Another category is Specialists, those are the most interesting because they use their kit to push, disable or help in the most curious manner of ways. Ways which sometimes make you feel like you’re either playing a dodging game, an RTS or even a management game.
The last category is the support hero. And, it seems, this category is universal – it doesn’t encompass more than it reads, even though it promises more than its name delivers. That is, however, something related to the hero design, given that heroes are more complex than just those four archetypes and possess a variety of builds which allow for different roles.
Brightwing is the supportive support. I shall make a breakdown of its kit, alongside my opinion on how everything is tailored together.
- Phase Shift – You cannot mount. Instead, you teleport to the target ally after a short channel. There’s a 45 seconds cooldown which you won’t mind at all. This is what will turn you into a savior, and make you proud of yourself when you turn a losing 1v1 into a winning 1v2. ‘GG, I could have killed that guy!’? Too bad, it’s a team game, and you better prove it! Plus, imagine how much the poor enemy is suffering right know.
- Soothing Mist – This trait activates every 4 seconds, healing nearby allies. This offers a good deal of lane sustainability, even teamfight survivability. Talents such as Mistified and Revitalizing Mist can turn Soothing Mist into a proper and reliable healing ability. One downside is that you will have to be in the center of the team so the trait is able to reach all your teammates, which can be risky for a squishy like you. Fortunately, you have tools to deal with it.
- Arcane Flare – The average AoE skillshot. Comparable with Soraka’s Q. It is by no means a great damaging ability, but it can be a good poke. Most often than not, I’ve used it as a zoning tool, noticing that people have the reflex of dodging every skillshot, even though they are approaching an enemy. The only talent I found worth was Dream Shot, which makes it more spammable. Perhaps Arcane Barrage and Sticky Flare can add to its utility.
- Polymorph – That one awesome disable tool. Its talents don’t do too much, in my opinion, but the ability itself is gold. There has been a small rise in the number of Valla players, and the amount of times I silenced them out of their ults was so much, and yet it always left me satisfied. When you are playing against a Brightwing you don’t necessarily feel how impactful the little guy is. But when you play as the faerie dragon itself you are aware of the amount of times you save the day. It is wrong to think that you only have a passive power which lacks visibility, aka your trait, the not-quite-damaging Q and not-really-that-obvious E. All your kit makes you what you are – a supportive support. You’re there for the people. And you’re there for annoying the heck out of the enemies you polymorph into fluffy sheep.
- Pixie Dust – You give those people some block charges and a short boost of speed. Nothing major, surely, and the talents just give more of the same – one more defensive capabilities, one more speed, on makes it bounce on another ally. It can be a nice escape tool and chase tool, if your goal is getting past a very small gap. The block charges can be a lifesaver, but are less impressive in comparison with your ultimates, trait and disable. Maybe I am underrating this ability? Surely, it’s a useful one, I can’t deny that – but I regard it as the weakest in your kit.
- Blink Heal – The amount of saves I pulled off with this one. The amount of escapes I pulled off with this one. I find it so great an ability that I’ve never picked the other ultimate before. I feel like this is what Brightwing is about: jumping and being useful. Now, promotionally sold packed into the same R button.
- Emerald Winds – Possibly the greatest tool for a save, or for dispositioning enemies. However, I find it too situational to use and it requires great positioning as well – condition which can be harder to meet because you are supposed to be in the middle of your team because of your trait, while also being far enough not to get killed. I feel like choosing a position based on three different conditions to keep in mind can be difficult.
It was overall an enjoyable experience playing Brightwing. Before I actually did play him/them/it/whatever, I felt like Brightwing had absolutely no impact – I guess it has to do with how his abilities don’t have the same amount of visibility for anyone else apart from the Brightwing itself, but that can be because I myself am not a hardcore-enough player. The amount of times you save an ally is more than satisfying, even if most of the time it is done by having your cursor over an enemy and pressing W , or having it over the ally and pressing E. Being targeted abilities, they do lack a certain skill requirement, but then again, you are a supportive support – and for that, you need to support the player via the kit, so they are able to support others.
I feel like he’s been a balanced play. Nothing I can complain about, I don’t feel like he is overpowered either. Usually I go with a certain talent build and keep in the same in every match, because I like it being fit for myself, rather than fit for the situation, but I’ve found myself several times picking another talent just because it proved better in the current matchup. As for the character design itself, its floaty and colored characteristics go well with the variety of abilities, and with the fact that most of them have someone else centered as the protagonist and you are that one mythical animal companion, helping them achieve their glory. But, hey, you just want to make friends all along, right? The trailer for Brightwing surely did a great job on showing what this small little ball of faerie dust and obnoxiousness (for the enemies) is all about.
If they ragequit for not getting a kill, after all, why not be fabulous about it? The dragon-magic-fantasy sort of fabulous.