| ||Protective Shield (Q) |
Cooldown: 6 seconds
Shields target ally, absorbing (200 base + 40 per level) damage before breaking. Lasts for 8 seconds.
| ||Time Warp (W) |
Cooldown: 12 seconds
Deals (32 base + 8 per level) damage per second to enemies in a target area and slows Attack and Movement Speeds by 35%. Lasts 4 seconds.
| ||Phase Shift (E) |
Cooldown: 20 seconds
Tassadar becomes invulnerable and invisible to enemies. Lasts for 2 seconds.
| ||Twilight Messiah (R) |
Cooldown: 120 seconds
Tassadar gains a (610 base + 40 per level) point Shield, his Basic Attacks deal (234 base + 14 per level) damage, and his Basic Attacks splash for (117 base + 7 per level) additional damage. Lasts for 15 seconds.
| ||Force Wall (R) |
Cooldown: 12 seconds
Creates a force wall that blocks all units from pathing through it. Lasts for 3 seconds.
| ||Oracle (D) |
Cooldown: 30 seconds
Greatly increases Tassadar's vision radius and allows him to detect enemy Heroes. Lasts for 7 seconds.
Tassadar's Protective Shield is your core ability. It is integral to your role as a support character -- if you aren't shielding yourself and your allies, you're missing the point of the support role. It is essential to the point where if you find yourself in a battle that doesn't seem as if it will resolve itself quickly, expending your mana on Time Warp is a bad idea -- it will leave your allies vulnerable if you run out of mana in your attempts to deal damage.
That doesn't mean Time Warp is a bad ability, of course. Time Warp is an excellent ability, but it should be used wisely. Spamming it in an attempt to deal damage won't kill anyone. It creates a small, stationary bubble on the ground. Anything standing in it is slowed and takes damage over time. Though your opponent will be slowed, they can still move out of it -- and that is, perhaps, its greater strength. It forces your opponent to react, to move, creating a moment of vulnerability that your team can use to their advantage. You can also try anticipating your opponent's movements and place it in the way of an attempted retreat, slowing them just enough for your teammate(s) to deal a killing blow.
Tassadar, as a support class, is a nuisance. If you're playing him, that's good. If you're playing against him, that's bad. His ability to use Protective Shield on himself gives him the ability to withstand more punishment than one might expect -- a good thing, as opponents will try to eliminate the support before anyone else in a lane. If Protective Shield isn't enough, Tassadar can use Phase Shift, rendering him invisible and invulnerable for 2 seconds. Find yourself in trouble? Phase Shift, run, and live to support another day.
Oracle is another strong ability, though I've met many who have a hard time remembering to use it. Anticipating an opponent's moves is integral to playing at your best in Heroes
and that's where Oracle gives Tassadar in advantage. While it's active, your vision is greatly enhanced. If your team has lost sight of a member of the opposing team, chances are good that person is coming for you. Oracle will let you see them coming, possibly before they can even see you, and you can prepare yourself before trouble arrives.
Tassadar's Heroic Ability options, Force Wall and Twilight Messiah, present a difficult choice. At level 10, you can only choose one of them. Twilight Messiah, being a high-damage heroic, might not seem like the best choice for a support class. However, Tassadar maintains his ability to use all of his other abilities in that form. You can continue supporting your team in every way you were previously while also dishing out high levels of damage your opponent may not have expected out of you. That, in its own way, is amazing support.
Force Wall, able to be used every 12 seconds, is powerful in a completely different way. Tassadar creates a solid wall on the field for 3 seconds. You can place this in a fleeing opponent's path, cutting off their escape. You can place it behind your own team to ensure their safe escape when needed. If positioned just right, you can split a team in half -- allowing you and your allies to pick them off one by one, rather than dealing with a mob. Of course, Force Wall requires some serious practice. Unless you've chosen the talent that allows it, your team can't pass through the wall, either. Poor timing on your part can mean instead of cutting off an enemy's escape, you cut off your team's pursuit, ensuring your enemy's survival. Your team will not like you very much after that, and if you haven't practiced using the ability, it can happen often.
That image gives you a rough idea of how large the wall is. Precision is required to use it well.Talents
At levels 1, 4, 7, 10, 13, 16, and 20, you'll be able to choose a new talent. Many of these talents are passive, but some are active. Your Heroic Ability at level 10 is your most important talent choice, but every choice determines your unique strengths for that particular match.Level 1
- Regeneration Master: Gather 3 Regeneration Globes to permanently grant you +3 health per second. Stacks.
- Path of the Wizard: Your Hero gains an extra 5 mana and 0.2 Mana Regen for every level gained.
- Time Rift: Increases the damage of Time Warp by 25%.
- Healing Ward: Place on the ground to heal allies in an area for 2% of their max Health every second for 10 seconds.
Personally, I'm not in love with Tassadar's talent choices here. None of them really pop
for me. I often choose Path of the Wizard as my default. The bonuses aren't huge, capping out at 125 extra mana and 5 extra mana regen, but every little bit helps. That comes out to at least two extra Protective Shields at max level before you take mana regen into consideration -- and I'd rate the regen higher in importance than the total mana.
Healing Ward's cooldown of 60 seconds prevents it from being a strong contender at this level. Having a healing ability in your toolkit is great, but it's 20% health every 60 seconds and it asks your allies to stay within its radius to receive the healing at all. More, the Healing Ward can be destroyed by your enemies.
Regeneration Master requires you to be within range of the globes, which you may not always be, and you can never predict how many you will get in a match. I pass on Time Rift because I don't use Time Rift for the damage.Level 4
- Focused Attack: Every 5 seconds, your next Basic Attack deals 30% additional damage.
- Space Jump: Allies that enter your Time Warp gain 20% Move Speed for 2 seconds.
- Reinforce Structure: Protective Shield is 100% stronger and lasts 100% longer when cast on structures.
- Promote: Give target allied minion +200% permanent health and +100% permanent damage.
Space Jump is likely your best choice here, giving your Time Warp a better supporting role. Not only will it slow enemies in its area of effect, but it will give a speed boost to your allies. Useful both for pursuits and escapes.
Reinforce Structure can be a good choice, slowing down your enemies' attempts to break down your team's fortifications. Ideally, though, you won't be using it all that often. It's pretty fun when combined with Khala's Embrace at level 7.Level 7
- Battle Momentum: Basic Attacks reduce your Ability cooldowns by 0.5 seconds.
- Khala's Embrace: If Protective Shield expires, 50% of the shield remains indefinitely.
- Searing Attacks: Activate to increase Basic Attack damage by 50% for 5 seconds. Attacks cost 20 Mana per hit.
- Calldown: MULE: Repairs the target structure, granting it health and ammo over 30 seconds.
Level 7 is where the choices get tough. Battle Momentum allows you to cast Protective Shields more quickly, an enormous boon in a chaotic firefight. Khala's Embrace, however, allows you and your allies to go into every exchange prepared. Assuming you have the mana for it, they can have a 50% strength shield with no expiration beyond an opponent busting through it. That means you can shield everyone when you're gathered for an objective, and when everyone returns to their original lanes, the buffer you gave them remains (mostly) intact. That's awesome.
Searing Attacks seems, to me, like a waste of time unless you choose Twilight Messiah as your Heroic Ability with the intent of combining them. That will make your surprise burst damage even more devastating. In any other scenario, though, you probably don't want to waste the mana.
Calldown: MULE is one that's fun in theory, but more difficult to use in practice. You have to ask yourself -- if you'd chosen Battle Momentum or Khala's Embrace, would the enemy have been able to deal enough damage to the structure to need the MULE to begin with? And, as Heroes
is currently in alpha, there are some quirks involved in the MULE's spawning methods. Sometimes it'll spawn on the side of the structure nearest your enemy, rather than behind the structure, allowing it to be easily sniped.Level 10
- Twilight Messiah
- Force Wall
See the Skills section for commentary on the Heroic Ability choices here.Level 13
- Spell Shield: Periodically reduces the damage received from Hero Abilities by 50%. Stores up to 2 charges.
- Distortion Beam: Basic Attacks slow enemies by 25% for 1.5 seconds.
- Scryer: Oracle lasts 3 seconds longer and grants 15% increased movement speed.
- Shrink Ray: Activate to reduce an enemy Hero's damage by 50% and Movement Speed by 50% for 4 seconds.
Another difficult set of choices. Spell Shield can greatly enhance your personal survivability. At this point, however, do you truly need it? Protective Shield and Phase Shift might be all you need. Or maybe not. If you've had trouble surviving a match, Spell Shield might be the way to go. If you've had trouble keeping your ally
alive, however, consider Shrink Ray. Pop the Shrink Ray on whichever enemy has been most dangerous to your buddy whenever you can.
Distortion Beam wins out on the fun factor, I feel. Distortion Beam provides a cosmetic change to Tassadar. Rather than hurling individual projectiles, his attack actually becomes a beam as described. And that's awesome. The slow is great, too.Level 16
- Prescience: Void Shift will automatically activate after Tassadar falls below 15% life. this effect has a 60 second cooldown.
- Dimensional Shift: Move 50% faster and quickly regenerate health while Void Shifted.
- Rewind: Activate to reduce the cooldown of your Basic Abilities by 10 seconds.
- Berserk: Activate to increase your Attack Speed by 50% and Movement Speed by 10% for 4 seconds.
Personally, I choose Dimensional Shift every time. If you've chosen all of the support and survivability choices up until now, the only way a careful Tassadar player can die is if they run completely out of mana. Prescience may be the better choice for newer players, the automatic activation taking the issue of reaction speed out of the equation.
I'm not a big fan of Rewind, requiring active input to lower your cooldowns, but some might like it. Berserk is a great option for Twilight Messiah builds, players who have chosen that Heroic Ability and Searing Attacks.Level 20
- Resurgence of the Storm: Upon dying, revive back at your Altar after 5 seconds. This can occur once every 120 seconds.
- Fury of the Storm: Basic Attacks bound twice to nearby enemies for 50% damage.
- Shadow Messiah: Increases damage in Twilight Messiah form by 25% and increases attack range by 3.
- Force Gate: Force Wall no longer blocks allied pathing and has 25% increased range.
Resurgence of the Storm can seem like a great option initially. At this stage of the game, when you're hitting level 20, the respawn timer after dying can take a full minute. There's an enormous difference between 5 seconds and 60. However, your ultimate goal is to not
die, so with that in mind, choose the talent that matches your Heroic Ability. Fury of the Storm would be a good choice for a Twilight Messiah build ... if it wasn't competing with Shadow Messiah.
Next time, we'll take a look at a member of the Warrior class. Muradin, perhaps?