Heroes of the Storm's meta is often defined by 4-5 powerhouse heroes that have the ability to make big plays and impact the game. Heroes with powerful heroics that allow them to initiate a favorite team fight or secure a hero kill are regular picks for this exact reason.
Diablo and Tychus are among the oldest designed Heroes that routinely define the meta. Their core abilities are so impactful it is hard to be useless in a team fight. On the other end of the spectrum are less popular Heroes that, you guessed it, all fail at consistently creating high impact plays for their team.
Zagara, for example, would be absolutely busted in nearly any other MOBA for her vision and map control, but in HoTS she is routinely considered a mediocre pick. Fenix is a hero with a similar reputation. His slightly awkward kit and fragility don't make up for how difficult he can be to play especially when compared to more consistent ranged DPS Hero like Cassia or Valla.
That being said, there is another fate for Fenix players looking to rank up with their favorite Protoss. Instead of playing Fenix like a standard ranged assassin, this talent build turns Fenix into a surprisingly effective gankier with the team fight swinging potential of Li-Ming and the late-game tank-busting prowess of Tychus.
The Carry Fenix
To demonstrate the build, we look toward the play of Dominic "Nic" Asal, a German Heroes of the Storm player currently playing for Granit Gaming & Washed Up. Nic is a veteran of the HGC and streams master level HotS gameplay at twitch.tv/nicheroes.
Nic already has a huge lead in the clip above because the moment Fenix hit level 7, it became an all-out gank fest. Few heroes can match the DPS burst Fenix gets at 7, so a skilled player can use this momentum to turn around the game and win multiple lanes for their team.
NOTE: If you can't reliably stutter-step this build will be a challenge to play, but for those who are willing to master the Warp, Fenix might quickly become your default pick range DPS pick.
After moving, Fenix's next Basic Attack deals 35% more damage to Heroes.
Basic Attacks against Slowed Heroes with Repeater Cannon active grant 10% Movement Speed for 4 seconds, up to 40%
After arriving with Warp, gain 175% Attack Speed for 4 seconds while in Repeater Cannon mode. Hero Takedowns reset Warp's cooldown.
Channel for 1.5 seconds, sweeping a laser in front of Fenix that locks onto enemy Heroes. Once Channeling finishes, fire 5 missiles at each locked Hero, dealing 79 (+4% per level) damage each. Deals 50% increased damage to Slowed targets.
After arriving with Warp, gain 50 Armor for 4 seconds.
Every 3rd Basic Attack against Heroes while Repeater Cannon is active deals an additional 6% of the target's maximum Health as damage.
Upon taking fatal damage, Shield Capacitor regains 800 (+4% per level), Shields. This effect has a 120-second cooldown.
Level 7, 13, and 16 are the big power spikes that allow you to start making aggressive plays. The build is central to the level 7 talent, Warp Warfare, that causes Fenix to gain an insane 175% percent attack speed increase after using Warp.
Here is where things get tricky. If Fenix stands still while attacking you lose the 35% percent bonus damage granted by the level 1-talent Mobile Offense. This means your gameplan is all about aggressively using Warp to deal as much damage as possible in 4 seconds to a single target. Once the target dies, Warp is reset and you get to do the whole thing over again.
Why it works
Fenix has low HP, is vulnerable to shield destroying talents, and has a large hitbox, meaning his ability to trade damage and out-poke the enemy team is often done so at a disadvantage. The Warp build allows Fenix to sacrifice long-range poke in favor of a brute-force DPS that speeds up the team fight or skirmish.
Speeding up the engagement ultimately benefits Fenix because he is able to pick fights on his terms. The last place you want to be as a Fenix is getting engaged upon or ganked and this strategy reduces the odds of that happening.
Most heroes can't live long when being bombarded with 175% attack speed auto-attacks and, at level 16, the percent damage Fenix deals every 3 attacks makes life a nightmare for the enemy tanks.
Nic makes it look easy because his Warps are timed well and place him in advantageous positions and flanks. He also relies on a keen sense of enemy hero movement to identify gank opportunities and stay away from problem heroes that can blind, stun, or otherwise interrupt the DPS assault.
Tips and Advice
- For as strong as it sounds on paper, this build is quite hard to play and requires a lot of confidence. When you aggressively Warp in, you need to secure a kill so Warp's cooldown is reset and you can safely retreat or continue advancing with plus armor and attack speed.
- Non-commital warps and wishy-washy decisions will get you killed often when playing this build. If you find yourself dying too much, focus more on using the innate poking ability of Fenix's kit and only move in on a hero when they are around 50% HP.
- Try hovering around your allied tank while remaining out of the vision of the enemy. When you feel your tank is close enough to land an ability, Warp in to visually "initiate" the gank and make use of the tank's CC.
- Experiment with patiently stalking a common lane route in between minion waves or objectives. At level 7, Fenix can take control of enemy Heroes' lane movements by initiating an unexpecting skirmish. The massive DPS Jump at 7 is especially effective at ganking the enemy solo lane during lane swaps.
Warp Warfare allows Fenix to approach the game in a more impactful way and provide massive team-fight swings after securing a single kill. Similar to Li-Ming, Fenix can win a team-fight after a single kill and pairs well with allied armor reduction or CC. If you are looking for an unexpected strategy that can swing a game wide open from as early as level 7, this build is for you.
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