Deathwing

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Deathwing
DeathwingArt.png

"The Nexus shall tremble."

Basic Info
Title The Destroyer
Role Bruiser Bruiser
Difficulty Medium
Franchise Warcraft Warcraft
Price Gem.png1,000 / Money.png20,000
Release Date December 3, 2019
Base Stats
Attack Type Melee
Health 3200
Health Regen 6.668
Resource 100 Energy
Unit Radius 1.25
Attack Speed 0.67
Attack Range 2.5
Attack Damage 170
Data Page


Deathwing, the Destroyer, is a bruiser hero from the Blizzard Entertainment Warcraft franchise. One of the five Dragon Aspects and the leader of the Black Dragonflight, Neltharion the Earth-Warder was once a protector of Azeroth. During the War of the Ancients, he was driven mad by the Old Gods and turned against his former allies. Now known as Deathwing the Destroyer, he has found his way to the Nexus where his limitless rage drives his ultimate goal of widespread destruction and the eventual end of all living things.

Background[edit | edit source]

Neltharion the Earth-Warder was the leader and aspect of the black dragonflight Aspect of Earth and one of the five Dragon Aspects, beings empowered by the titans to be the immortal guardians of Azeroth after defeating Father of Dragons Galakrond. However, driven insane by the Old Gods, Neltharion turned on his siblings during the War of the Ancients. Neltharion's body cracked open, revealing his molten heart, and magma and fire flowed off his chest. Goblin smiths forged an armor to serve as a vessel to contain Deathwing's raging powers and keep them in check, which were then placed on his body. Only those plates kept his power from destroying his body. After this, he took a new name - Deathwing, the Destroyer and Aspect of Death. Deathwing was the most powerful servant of the Old Gods, and acted as their instrument of destruction. He manipulated both the Horde and Alliance during the Second War, but was ultimately defeated. He was not killed however, and retreated to the elemental plane Deepholm to recover.

Years later, Deathwing emerged from his realm, outfitted with Elementium plating that barely held his crumbling form together. He began the Cataclysm, an event that nearly tore Azeroth apart. His ultimate goal was to begin the Hour of Twilight, an apocalypse where all life would end and the Old Gods would awaken once more.

Gameplay[edit | edit source]

Deathwing is larger than the game’s other dragons, even Alexstrasza in her dragon form, according to Adam Jackson, live game designer on Heroes of the Storm, and Kyle Dates, hero designer. But unlike Alexstrasza, Deathwing plays in his dragon form, not his human form, exclusively.[1]

Deathwing is an extremely versatile and unique melee Bruiser. He plays very different to similar characters Deathwing is permanently Unstoppable, making him immune to all crowd control effects, meaning opponents are not be able to slow, displace or stun him. However, he cannot be affected by any ally abilities. Other players cannot speed him up, buff his damage, clone him, or even heal him. He also cannot be healed in the Hall of Storms.

Choosing a Form[edit | edit source]

Deathwing chooses between Destroyer and World Breaker forms, which play very differently. Forms can only be switched every 20 seconds or when using Dragonflight, so it's important to know which form to use for each fight.

Destroyer provides the most damage and mobility, making Deathwing a flexible brawler. This form is best suited for dueling heroes and chasing.

World Breaker has more range and utility, providing a lot of CC and area denial. This form is best suited for engaging fights, poking, and setting up allies.

Unleashing Dragonfire[edit | edit source]

Molten Flame is the single most damaging basic ability in the game. However, it's important to choose when it's best to cast. It has an extremely long wind-up and is easy to avoid while in use - while also leaving Deathwing totally defenseless from all other sides. Try to cast it into allied crowd control, narrows pathways, or towards important areas to cut off opponents for maximum destructive value.

Battlegrounds[edit | edit source]

Deathwing excels on Battlegrounds with tight spaces that make his abilities hard to dodge, such as Tomb of the Spider Queen, Battlefield of Eternity, and Garden of Terror. He also works best on smaller maps thanks to his low mobility outside of Dragonflight.

Hero Synergy[edit | edit source]

Just because he's above your paltry buffs doesn't mean he has to work alone. Deathwing benefits greatly from heroes capable of keeping enemies in place to use his powerful but unreliable Molten Flame. He also enjoys heroes with strong peel, which can shake otherwise sticky targets like Tracer and Malthael. Alexstrasza is uniquely the only hero capable of healing Deathwing, thanks to Circle of Life creating a Regeneration Globe.

Strengths[edit | edit source]

  • Permanently Unstoppable, making him immune to all crowd control effects.
  • Area damage and zoning.
  • His abilities are incredibly strong and uninterruptible.
  • High health pool and passive armor.
  • Global mobility.
  • CC.

Weaknesses[edit | edit source]

  • Poke damage
  • Unaffected by allied abilities: Cannot be healed or buffed.
  • Weak to percentage-damage attacks, which chew through his health bar and ignore his armor.
  • His abilities have a notable wind-up. This telegraphs his attacks and gives enemies time to avoid them.
  • Difficulty chasing and escaping enemies.
  • Once Dragonflight has been used, Deathwing's mobility options are limited.

Abilities[edit | edit source]

See Data page for a table of scaled values at key levels.
Aspect of Death Icon.png
Aspect of Death
Deathwing is fitted with 4 Armor Plates which grant 10 Armor each. Every 25% Health lost causes Deathwing to lose a plate. Plates are only restored when Dragonflight is used, based on the amount of health Deathwing has when landing.
Deathwing is also a mighty Dragon Aspect who is permanently Unstoppable and deals 100% additional Spell damage to Heroes, but views his allies with contempt and ignores any of their friendly effects.

Type: Defensive damage modifier, Offensive damage modifier, Status effect
Affects: Self
Properties: Armor, Unstoppable

  • Deathwing uses Energy instead of Mana as a resource. Deathwing has 100 max Energy, which regenerates at 5 Energy per second (even while channeling Molten Flame).
  • Deathwing can still be affected by allied and enemy Time Stop and pathing blockers and by enemy non-crowd control debuffs, like Attack Slows, Blinds, Damage over time, Damage modifier, Healing modifier, Revealed, Armor debuffs and hero specific debuffs that are not tied to applying a crowd control effect on the target.
  • Deathwing cannot be eaten by Zagara's Devouring Maw (but its pathing blocking properties still work).
  • Damage bonus stacks additively with other offensive damage modifiers that can affect Deathwing's damage.
  • Armor bonus stacks additively with itself, but not with other Armor effects. Other defensive damage modifiers may stack.
  • Deathwing does not heal while in the Hall of Storms or after casting Hearthstone.
  • Deathwing can heal himfelf by using Dragonflight, picking up Regeneration Globes, using Healing Fountains. and by selecting certain talents.
Form Switch Icon.png
1
Form Switch
Cooldown: 20 seconds
Switches Deathwing between Destroyer and World Breaker forms, each granting access to two unique Basic Abilities.
Incinerate damages enemies around Deathwing and Onslaught allows him to lunge at enemies.
Lava Burst creates a Slowing area and Earth Shatter Stuns enemies in two lines.

Type: Transformation
Affects: Self
Targeting: No target
Cast time: 2.0+0.5 seconds

  • Deathwing starts the game in Destroyer form.
  • Whenever Deathwing respawns, he respawns in the form he was using when he died.
Molten Flame Icon.png
Q
Molten Flame
10 Energy, Energy Cooldown: 3 seconds
After 1.5 seconds, Deathwing breathes stream of flame, dealing 21 damage every 0.125 seconds. Drains 30 Energy per second.

Type: Spell damage
Scaling: 4.00%
Affects: Enemies
Targeting: Point target
Cast time: 1.5+0 seconds
Area of Effect: Rectangle
Width: 3.5
Height: 12.0
Tickrate: 8.0 per second

  • Molten Flame is usable in both forms.
  • Molten Flame can be cancelled 0.75 seconds after successfully casting it to end its effect early.
Incinerate Icon.png
W
Incinerate
15 Energy, Energy Cooldown: 4 seconds
After 0.75 seconds, Deathwing flaps his wings, dealing 85 damage to nearby enemies.

World Breaker: Lava burst
Create a lava pool that damages and Slows.

Type: Spell damage
Scaling: 4.00%
Affects: Enemies
Targeting: No target
Properties: Area of Effect
Cast time: 0.75+0 seconds
Area of Effect: Circle
Radius: 7.0
Lava Burst Icon.png
W
Lava Burst
20 Energy, Energy Cooldown: 6 seconds
After a 1 second delay, deal 30 damage to all enemies in the area and create a pool of magma that deals 16 damage per second and Slows enemies by 35%. Lasts 6 seconds.

Destroyer: Incinerate
Damage enemies near Deathwing.

Type: Spell damage, Crowd control
Scaling: 4.00%
Affects: Enemies
Targeting: Point target
Properties: Area of Effect, Slow
Cast time: 1.0+0 seconds
Range: 9.0
Area of Effect: Circle
Radius: 3.0
Tickrate: 4.0 per second (x24)
Damage per tick: 4
Onslaught Icon.png
E
Onslaught
20 Energy, Energy Cooldown: 5 seconds
After 0.5 seconds, Deathwing lunges in a direction dealing 42 damage to enemies and Slowing them by 35% for 2 seconds. Deathwing bites enemies at the end of the lunge, dealing an additional 80 damage.

World Breaker: Earth Shatter
Damage and Stun enemies in two lines.

Type: Spell damage, Crowd Control / Movement: Dash
Scaling: 4.00%
Affects: Enemies / Self
Targeting: Point target
Properties: Area of Effect, Piercing Skillshot, Slow
Cast time: 0.5+0.1875 seconds
Range:
- Dash: 2.0
- Bite: 3.0
Area of Effect:
- End: Radial
- Bite: Circle
Radius:
- End: 2.25
- Bite: 1.25
Arc: 180 degrees (end area)
Hitbox: 4.5x1.5
Missile speed: 20.0

  • After dash the hitbox lingers for 0.25 seconds. 0.0625 seconds after that it impacts the half-circle at the end of the hitbox and another 0.0625 seconds later it deals the bite damage.
Earth Shatter Icon.png
E
Earth Shatter
25 Energy, Energy Cooldown: 12 seconds
Create a fissure of earth that deals 80 damage to enemies hit and Stuns them for 0.75 seconds.

Destroyer: Onslaught
Lunge in a direction.

Type: Spell damage, Crowd control
Scaling: 4.00%
Affects: Enemies
Properties: Piercing Skillshot
Cast time: 1.0+0 seconds
Range: 14.0
Hitbox: 2.0x2.0
Missile speed: 10.0
Fissure alignment: 6 degrees
Cataclysm Icon.png
R
Cataclysm
Cooldown: 90 seconds
After 2 seconds, Deathwing flies in the targeted direction, dealing 90 damage on impact and leaving scorched ground that deals 48 damage a second. Lasts 6 seconds.

Type: Spell damage / Movement: Launch
Scaling: 4.00%
Affects: Enemies / Self
Targeting: Point target
Properties: Area of Effect, Piercing Skillshot
Cast time: 2.0+0 seconds
Area of Effect: Rectangle
Width: 9.0
Height: 22.0
Hitbox: 9.0x3.0
Missile speed: 17.0
Tickrate: 4.0 per second (x24)
Damage per tick: 12

  • Starts on a 270 second cooldown at the beginning of a match.

Dragonflight Icon.png
Z
Dragonflight
Cooldown: 45 seconds
After 3 seconds, fly into the sky, becoming immune to all effects and gaining 2.5% Health per second. Once cast, this ability cannot be interrupted. Cannot be cast for 4 seconds after taking damage, Basic Attacking or casting an Ability.

Type: Healing
Scaling: -
Affects: Self
Targeting: No target
Cast time: 3.0+0 seconds
Tickrate: 1.0 per second

  • Taking damage only prevents using the ability. Once it has been activated it cannot be interrupted.
  • Can be in air however long you want.
Destroyer Icon.png
Q
Destroyer
Cooldown: 8 seconds
After 1.75 seconds, Deathwing slams down to the ground, dealing 52 damage to enemies in the area and landing in Destroyer form. Deathwing can begin to cast Abilities 3 seconds after landing.

Type: Spell damage / Movement: Teleport
Scaling: 4.00%
Affects: Enemies / Self
Targeting: Point target
Properties: Area of Effect
Cast time: 1.75+0 seconds
Range: Global
Area of Effect: Circle
Radius: 5.0

  • Cannot be cast on a point that is out of vision.
  • Begins on cooldown when Dragonflight is cast.
World Breaker Icon.png
W
World Breaker
Cooldown: 8 seconds
After 1.75 seconds, Deathwing slams down to the ground, dealing 52 damage to enemies in the area and landing in World Breaker form. Deathwing can begin to cast Abilities 3 seconds after landing.

Type: Spell damage / Movement: Teleport
Scaling: 4.00%
Affects: Enemies / Self
Targeting: Point target
Properties: Area of Effect
Cast time: 1.75+0 seconds
Range: Global
Area of Effect: Circle
Radius: 5.0

  • Cannot be cast on a point that is out of vision.
  • Begins on cooldown when Dragonflight is cast.

Talents[edit | edit source]

1
Dragon Soul Icon.png
Dragon Soul
Destroyer: Incinerate heals Deathwing for 75% of the damage dealt to enemy Heroes.
World Breaker: Lava Burst's explosion damage heals Deathwing for 150% of the damage dealt to enemy Heroes.

Type: Healing
Scaling: -
Affects: Self
Properties: Lifesteal
Molten Blood Icon.png
Molten Blood
While Deathwing has 3 or more Armor Plates, he heals for 0.4% of his maximum Health per second.

Type: Healing
Scaling: -
Affects: Self
Tickrate: 1.0 per second
Draconic Might Icon.png
Draconic Might
Deathwing's Basic Attacks against enemy Heroes heal him for 40% of the damage dealt. Upon losing an Armor Plate, Deathwing becomes Protected for 0.75 seconds.

Type: Healing, Status effect
Scaling: -
Affects: Self
4
Infernus Icon.png
Infernus
When Molten Flame is cast at 75% Energy or higher, its damage is increased by 75% against Heroes.

Type: Offensive damage modifier
Affects: Ability

  • Damage bonus stacks additively with other offensive damage modifiers that can affect Molten Flame's damage.
Heat Wave Icon.png
Heat Wave
Destroyer: After hitting an enemy Hero with Incinerate, Deathwing deals 16 damage per second to all nearby enemies foes the next 8 seconds. Stacks up to 4 times.
World Breaker: Increases the explosion damage of Lava Burst by 125%.

Type: Spell damage / Offensive damage modifier
Scaling: 4.00%
Affects: Enemies / Ability
Properties: Area of Effect
Area of Effect: Circle
Radius: 3.75
Tickrate: 2.0 per second (x16)
Damage per tick: 8

  • Damage bonus stacks additively with other offensive damage modifiers that can affect Lava Burst's damage.
Dragon's Ire Icon.png
Dragon's Ire
While Deathwing has 3 or fewer Armor Plates, his damage is increased by 30%.

Type: Offensive damage modifier
Affects: Self

  • Damage bonus stacks additively with other offensive damage modifiers affecting Deathwing's damage output.
7
Firestorm Icon.png
Firestorm
When Deathwing lands, he drops 7 meteors near the landing area, dealing 65 damage to enemies hit.
Heroes hit by the meteors reduce Dragonflight's cooldown by 12 seconds.
Meteors prioritize landing on Heroes, otherwise they fall randomly in the area.

Type: Spell damage
Scaling: 4.00%
Affects: Enemies
Properties: Area of Effect
Area of Effect: Circle
Radius: 1.0
Death Drop Icon.png
Death Drop
Hitting an enemy Hero with Destroyer or World Breaker's landing damage reduces their Spell Armor by 15 for 6 seconds and Deathwing's Basic Ability cooldowns by 2 seconds.

Type: Defensive damage modifier
Affects: Enemy Heroes
Properties: Armor reduction

  • Does not stack with other negative Spell Armor effects. Other defensive damage modifiers may stack.
Skyfall Icon.png
Skyfall
Charge Cooldown: 10 / 0.5 seconds
After using Dragonflight, Deathwing can drop meteors anywhere within vision dealing 58 damage to enemies in the area. Has 3 charges.
If a Hero is hit, Deathwing heals for 5% of his maximum Health and reduces his landing cooldowns by 1.5 seconds.

Type: Spell damage / Healing
Scaling: 4.00% / -
Affects: Enemies / Self
Targeting: Point target
Properties: Area of Effect
Cast time: Instant
Range: Global
Area of Effect: circle
Radius: 2.0
Impact delay: 0.8125 seconds

  • This ability takes over the 'E' slot during Dragonflight.
  • Cannot be cast on a point that is out of vision.
10
Burn Beneath My Shadow Icon.png
Burn Beneath My Shadow
When an enemy Fort or Keep is destroyed the cooldown of Cataclysm is reset. Cataclysm's periodic damage increased by 150%.

Type: Offensive damage modifier
Affects: Ability

  • Damage bonus stacks additively with other offensive damage modifiers that can affect Cataclysm's damage.
Bellowing Roar Icon.png
Bellowing Roar
Cooldown: 60 seconds
Active: After 1 second, Deathwing unleashes a mighty roar, dealing 25 damage to nearby Heroes and causing them to run in Fear for 2 seconds.

Type: Spell damage, Crowd control
Scaling: 4.00%
Affects: Enemy Heroes
Targeting: No target
Properties: Area of Effect, Fear
Cast time: 1.0+0.5 seconds
Area of Effect: Circle
Radius: 6.0

  • Fear is treated as a Silence effect.
13
Wicked Inferno Icon.png
Wicked Inferno
Molten Flame's Energy cost per second is reduced by 10. After using Molten Flame, Deathwing gains 15 Energy over 3 seconds.
Ruination Icon.png
Ruination
Destroyer: The bite from Onslaught now Slows by 60% for 1.5 seconds.
World Breaker: Reduce Earth Shatter's cooldown by 6 seconds and its Energy cost by 10.
Fire and Fury Icon.png
Fire and Fury
Basic Attacks against Rooted, Slowed, or Stunned enemy Heroes deal 30% additional damage and reduce the cooldowns of Deathwing's Basic Abilities by 0.5 seconds.

Type: Offensive damage modifier
Affects: Self
Properties: Attack Modifier

  • Damage bonus stacks additively with other offensive damage modifiers that can affect Deathwing's Basic Attack damage.
16
Conflagration Icon.png
Conflagration
Dealing 320 damage with Molten Flame to enemy Heroes within 4 seconds causes them to burn for an additional 100 damage over 4 seconds. While burning, they explode every 1 second, dealing 80 damage to all nearby enemies.

Type: Spell damage
Scaling: 4.00% (threshold & damage)
Affects: Enemy Heroes (DoT) / Enemies (AoE)
Area of Effect: Circle
Radius: 3.0
Tickrate: 1.0 per second (x4)
Damage per tick: 25
Gaze Onto Destruction Icon.png
Gaze Onto Destruction
Hitting Heroes with Destroyer or World Breaker's landing causes their damage to be reduced by 75% and Slows them by 40% for 4 seconds.

Type: Offensive damage modifier
Affects: Enemy Heroes

  • Damage reduction stacks additively with other offensive damage modifiers affecting the target.
Elementium Plating Icon.png
Elementium Plating
Cooldown: 60 seconds
Active: Activate to gain a Shield equal to 35% of Deathwing's missing Health for 8 seconds. While the Shield holds, Deathwing regenerates 2% of his maximum Health per second.
When the Shield expires or is destroyed, Deathwing regains Armor Plates appropriate for his new Health.
The Shield and effect end immediately if Deathwing uses Dragonflight.

Type: Shield, Healing
Scaling: -
Affects: Self
Targeting: No target
Cast time: Instant
Tickrate: 1.0 per second
20
Stood in the Fire Icon.png
Stood in the Fire
Enemy Heroes are Slowed by 40% while standing in Scorched ground, and its duration is increased by 50%.

Type: Crowd control
Affects: Enemy Heroes
Properties: Slow
Arrival of a God Icon.png
Arrival of a God
Destroyer or World Breaker's landing damage is increased by 400%.
Deathwing also gains the benefits of all of his level 7 talents.

Type: Offensive damage modifier
Affects: Ability

  • Damage bonus stacks additively with other offensive damage modifiers that can affect landing damage from Dragonflight abilities.
Destroyer's Rampage Icon.png
Destroyer's Rampage
For the next 6 seconds after landing in Destroyer form, Deathwing's damage is increased by 40% and his Basic Ability cooldowns recharge 50% faster.
Damaging Heroes refreshes this effect and switching to World Breaker form removes the effect.

Type: Offensive damage modifier
Affects: Self

  • Damage bonus stacks additively with other offensive damage modifiers affecting Deathwing's damage output.

Skins[edit | edit source]

Deathwing Skins
 
Rare The Destroyer
Backstory: One of the five Dragon Aspects and the leader of the Black Dragonflight, Neltharion the Earth-Warder was once a protector of Azeroth. During the War of the Ancients, he was driven mad by the Old Gods and turned against his former allies. Now known as Deathwing the Destroyer, he has found his way to the Nexus where his limitless rage drives his ultimate goal of widespread destruction and the eventual end of all living things.

Deathwing The Destroyer.jpg
Gem.png1,000 / Money.png20,000
The Destroyer
Deathwing Ancient.jpg
Free
Ancient
Deathwing Savage.jpg
Free
Savage
Deathwing Iron.jpg
Gem.png180 / Shard.png112
Iron
Deathwing Glorious.jpg
Gem.png180 / Shard.png112
Glorious
Deathwing Tyrannical.jpg
Gem.png180 / Shard.png112
Tyrannical

Portraits[edit | edit source]

Deathwing Portraits
 
Carbot Deathwing Portrait.png
Carbot Deathwing
Gem.png120 / Shard.png112
Deathwing Hero Portrait.png
Deathwing Hero
Deathwing Mastery Portrait.png
Deathwing Mastery
Sketchy Deathwing Portrait.png
Sketchy Deathwing
Shard.png60
Pachimari Deathwing Portrait.png
Pachimari Deathwing
Gem.png75 / Shard.png40

Sprays[edit | edit source]

Deathwing Sprays
 
Carbot Deathwing Spray.png
Carbot Deathwing
Gem.png120 / Shard.png112
Pachimari Deathwing Spray.png
Pachimari Deathwing
Gem.png75 / Shard.png40

Emojis[edit | edit source]

Deathwing Pack 1 Emoji Deathwing Pack 1 Deathwing Happy.png Deathwing Pack 2 Emoji Deathwing Pack 2 Deathwing Angry.png
Emoji Name Shortcut Emoji Name Shortcut
Emoji Deathwing Pack 1 Deathwing Happy.png Deathwing Happy :deathwinghappy:
:deathappy:
Emoji Deathwing Pack 2 Deathwing Angry.png Deathwing Angry :deathwingangry:
:deatangry:
Emoji Deathwing Pack 1 Deathwing ROFL.png Deathwing ROFL :deathwinglol:
:deathwingrofl:
:deatlol:
:deatrofl:
Emoji Deathwing Pack 2 Deathwing Cool.png Deathwing Cool :deathwingcool:
:deatcool:
Emoji Deathwing Pack 1 Deathwing Sad.png Deathwing Sad :deathwingsad:
:deatsad:
Emoji Deathwing Pack 2 Deathwing Oops.png Deathwing Embarrassed :deathwingoops:
:deathwingembarrassed:
:deatoops:
:deatembarrassed:
Emoji Deathwing Pack 1 Deathwing Silly.png Deathwing Silly :deathwingsilly:
:deatsilly:
Emoji Deathwing Pack 2 Deathwing Love.png Deathwing in Love :deathwinglove:
:deathwinginlove:
:deatlove:
:deatinlove:
Emoji Deathwing Pack 1 Deathwing Meh.png Deathwing Speechless :deathwingmeh:
:deathwingspeechless:
:deatmeh:
:deatspeechless:
Emoji Deathwing Pack 2 Deathwing Surprised.png Deathwing Surprised :deathwingwow:
:deathwingsurprised:
:deatwow:
:deatsurprised:

Quotes[edit | edit source]

Main article: Deathwing/Quotes


Development[edit | edit source]

The possibility of adding him has been discussed frequently by the game's developers,[2] but he was controversial due to his size. His inclusion was discussed as a battleground boss[3], a battleground or as a core replacement.[4] During BlizzCon 2017 Kaeo Milker said: "So for Alexstrasza, we knew we wanted to go with something that was a dragon aspect again. We get asked for Deathwing all the time. Deathwing is something that we'd want to be this big dragon all the time, which is just really, really difficult. So Alexstrasza let us get the balance of fulfilling that dragon fantasy, and at the same time introducing a really interesting new support mechanic."[5]

D.Va the Destroyer[edit | edit source]

D.Va the Destroyer

D.Va skin The Destroyer is themed around Deathwing the Destroyer. The reason for the existence of this skin in Heroes of the Storm is a bit intricate. On the 22nd of April, 2017, the official Heroes of the Storm Twitter account posted a teaser for an upcoming cinematic to highlight the launch of Heroes of the Storm 2.0, as well as reveal the next hero coming to the Nexus after the upcoming release of Genji.[6] One of the seemingly more popular fan theories in response to the teaser was that of the new hero being Deathwing.[7] However, when the "Hanamura Showdown" cinematic was released on the 25th of April, it turned out that the new hero was actually D.Va and the teaser had apparently merely been hinting at Diablo's presence in the cinematic.[8]

This sparked some controversy, with some players being disappointed by the lack of Deathwing or arguing that the teaser had been misleading, while others argued that it never made sense for the new hero to be Deathwing anyway and that it was the aforementioned players' fault for getting their hopes up over something that wasn't confirmed. In any case, the whole thing sparked something of a meme amongst the community, and in response Blizzard made the D.Va the Destroyer skin.[9] As an added bonus, the In Development video where the skin was shown features a scene on the end card where D.Va the Destroyer and Genji kill Diablo in Hanamura.[10]

When Deathwing was eventually announced as a hero in October of 2019, Blizzard again paid homage to the meme by preceding the announcement with a teaser image mimicking the original "Hanamura Showdown" teaser.[11]

Hero Design[edit | edit source]

Deathwing was the most requested Hero by the community. After the release of Alexstrasza, the developers began experimenting with different sizes for Deathwing. At first, he was 20% bigger than he is now. From there on they slowly decreased his size until he felt right. They had to carefully determine the size of Deathwing because when you're this massive Hero, you also become a magnet for skill shots and AoEs, just because you're easier to hit. He looks big, but should not be "the easist character in the game to kill". Additionally, body blocking and fitting through certain elements on the map also needed to be taken into consideration. So he ended up with the same hitbox as Azmodan, but with a massive Hero model. To make him look bigger, the developers used some animation tricks: He spreads his wings and legs more out while standing still than Alexstrasza and thus takes up more space than her. However, when he is moving around he "retracts" into his hitbox. So he looks really big, but it does not feel out of place.[12]

The designers looked at all of the versions that exist, from cinematics and other art pieces, to create their concept of Deathwing. When he was walking around during testing, people could really see the head, back, and wings. The team took the areas that people will see the most and added more detail to make him look more aggressive. Deathwing has an iconic firey chest, but you won't see that in game because you don't see his chest. The team tried to bring some of that fire to his back. The team added gaps to the armor on his back to let some fire shine through. Deathwing's jaw was a little too plain and chiseled, so they looked at reference material and added some iron cheekbones.[13]

For Heroes of the Storm it was important for him to feel overwhelming and powerful, while still playing well and balanced in the game. Two main fantasies were connected to Deahwing: The dragon fantasy (a powerful and menacing creature, who uses fire breath and physical attacks to tear enemies apart) and the Cataclysm fantasy from the World of Warcraft: Cataclysm cinematic (a terrible and mighty creature, who rips the world itself apart). Capturing both fantasies in one hero was challenging, so the team created two ability sets that he can switch between: The Destroyer form (a close range, aggressive melee kit) and the Worldbreaker form (a Mid range, area denial kit, ripping the earth apart beneath his opponent's feet).[13]

The developers discussed a lot internally, whether or not they should add a way to visually distinguish between Deathwings Destroyer and Worldbreaker form. They decided to not have a direct visual indicator for numerous reasons, but the main one being that persistent FX on a character are not only very expensive, but they generally add more clutter than they're worth. Malthael is a good example of another hero that went through this struggle. His mark had some nine iterations before they landed on the assortment of FX and Icons he's got now. Deathwing though is very different, and the reality is that you're going to know what form he's in very quickly based on the abilities he uses.[14]

The developers also wanted him to feel strong and powerful, so they started off with just a huge healthpool. It felt okay, but it was frustrating for the enemy team to through off all of their abilities at Deathwing and he still has many HP left. The effect was that the enemy teams didn't attack Deathwing at all and ignored him. Thus let the developers to the Armor Plate mechanic, where as you damage him he also looses his Armor Plates. Now weakening him felt more rewarding. Now it felt realy meaningful to poke down his Armor Plates from afar right before a teamfight starts.

To make him balanced, Deathwing has quite some restrictions. He got double damage to heroes, a delay to lift off, active cooldowns after landing, and so on - to prevent him from being a cheesy split pusher. The players should want him to be in team-fights instead.[15]

To make him balanced, Deathwing became a hero who can't benefit from his allies' abilities. Despite that, he still relies on his team to be effective. The developers made a lot of design decisions to ensure that he doesn't go too far in the direction of being completely self-reliant. As one example, while he can't be healed by allies, he very much designed around excelling during big teamfight engagements. Because his abilities have such long wind-ups, he combos very well with his allies when it comes to receiving help in setting up a good Molten Flame, which can simply win engagements when done correctly. He also helps allied CC chains happen due to having fairly good follow-up CC, particularly when in Worldbreaker form. When played optimally, Deathwing is absolutely at his best when fighting alongside his team. In 1v1 settings he isn’t nearly as potent due to his abilities being easily dodged due to their long wind-ups.[16]

Deathwing also can't heal in the Hall of Storms by design. He heals 2.5% of HP per second while in the sky and it would become better for you to hearth to the Hall of Storms, walk out, and hearth again to get your health back faster than sitting in the sky, which the developers wanted to avoid.[15]

Trivia[edit | edit source]

  • Deathwing made his debut in Warcraft II: Beyond the Dark Portal (April 1996).
  • Deathwing was first playable on the BlizzCon 2019 floor.
  • Deathwing is the third dragon hero in the game, the first two being Chromie and Alexstrasza.
  • Deathwing is the largest hero in the game (slightly bigger than Alexstrasza in her dragon form).
    • However, his hitbox doesn't extend to his wings, tail, or head.
  • Deathwing features a unique health bar, which has the same dragon curled around it that World of Warcraft's elite mobs do.
  • Deathwing was foreshadowed in the Caldeum Complex event in the spring of 2019, with the patch description mentioning Techno Vandal Chromie having visions of a "cataclysmic force" on the horizon.
  • In the weeks leading up to Deathwing's announcement, occasionally the screen would shake and turn orange at the start of the match.
  • Deathwing's dance animation is a reference to the Brazil Dog Dance.
  • Deathwing is permanently Unstoppable even at the in-game shop. If you try spinning him, he doesn't get the stun effect unlike other heroes in the game.
    • However, he has an extra animation in the Collection, where he'll fly out of the shop when you leave his screen. He will glide down and land if you view him.
  • Deathwing costs Gem.png1,000 / Money.png20,000 at his release time. He is the first hero to cost more than the usual price tag for new heroes, which is Gem.png750 / Money.png15,000 at the release (Gem.png750 / Money.png10,000, 2 weeks after the release). This was something the developers planned from early in his development to recognize that Deathwing is something truly special in the game on many fronts. The original intention was actually for him to be the games first Mythic Hero, an idea that was later scrapped.[17]
  • Deathwing's Home Screen music is based on Xaxas—the song that plays in the cinematic trailer for World of Warcraft: Cataclysm—and the Deathwing Last Stand music that plays towards the end of the Madness of Deathwing boss encounter in World of Warcraft.
  • Deathwing was the last Hero ex-Blizzard lead-animator Lana Bachynski worked on before leaving Blizzard.[18]
  • Deathwing's Home Screen shows him standing on the rubble of the Dragon Knight in Dragon Shire. The portal behind him shows the Valley of Heroes in Stormwind City, which Deathwing briefly attacked at the beginning of the Cataclysm.
  • The Ancient Deathwing skin is a reference to Deathwing's original appearance in Warcraft II, in which he is depicted as a green dragon with black wings and silvery metal plating.
  • The Tyrannical Deathwing skin mimics the color scheme of the chromatic dragonflight in World of Warcraft.
  • According to Andrew Kinabrew, the Savage Deathwing skin is based on Mephisto's Soulburn skin tint.[15]

Gallery[edit | edit source]

General[edit | edit source]

Development[edit | edit source]

Abilities[edit | edit source]

Videos[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

External links[edit | edit source]

Heroes
 
Bruiser Bruisers_ ArtanisChenD.VaDeathwingDehakaImperiusLeoricMalthaelRagnarosRexxarSonyaThrallVarianXulYrel
Healer Healers_ AlexstraszaAnaAnduinAurielBrightwingDeckardKharazimLi LiLt. MoralesLúcioMalfurionRehgarStukovUtherTyrandeWhitemane
Melee Assassin Melee Assassins_ AlarakGazloweIllidanKerriganMaievMurkyQhiraSamuroThe ButcherValeeraZeratul
Ranged Assassin Ranged Assassins_ AzmodanCassiaChromieFalstadGreymaneFenixGallGenjiGul'danHanzoJainaJunkratKael'thasKel'ThuzadLi-MingLunaraMephistoNazeeboNovaOrpheaProbiusRaynorSgt. HammerSylvanasTracerTychusVallaZagaraZul'jin
Support Support_ AbathurMedivhTassadarThe Lost VikingsZarya
Tank Tanks_ Anub'arakArthasBlazeChoDiabloE.T.C.GarroshJohannaMal'GanisMuradinStitchesTyrael
Unknown_ Mekkatorque