In Heroes of the Storm, every Hero has their own diverse kit with unique abilities. A heroes' ability kit is generally composed of 3 basic abilities useable right from level 1, a passive or active Trait, and a powerful Heroic ability. Abilities are used by pressing the corresponding abilities' hotkey, and may require a target whether it be a unit or the ground. All damaging abilities that do not modify a unit's Attack damage deal Spell damage; floating damage text will display Spell Damage as purple numbers above the target’s head. Damage, Healing and Shield values of abilities are subject to Scaling, while static values such as an abilities' duration or range are not.
Types of Abilities[edit | edit source]
Trait[edit | edit source]
All heroes have their own unique Trait (also known as a passive) that has a heavy impact on how that hero plays. Usually the Trait is a permanent effect that is always active, and is simply a descriptor for the unique mechanic the hero can utilize. Many heroes have an active Trait used by pressing the D hotkey, and work as an extra ability at no cost. Others have a passive Trait but can press the Trait's hotkey to disable a channeled ability, or through a Talent can activate the Trait for an effect. This is different from passive abilities a hero might have in their kit, such as Raynor's Adrenaline Rush that is not activatable normally.
Heroic[edit | edit source]
All heroes have access to 2 special talent choices upon reaching level 10 that are exceptionally powerful abilities called Heroics (also known as an Ultimate). These Heroics are potentially game-changing abilities and are the strongest tools in a heroes' arsenal, however often the Heroics are limited by a long cooldown of some sort. A hero can only gain one heroic at a time and they will have wildly differing effects, so deciding which one to choose in different games is a big factor in playing well. At level 20 most heroes can upgrade their Heroic of choice by choosing a Storm Talent.
There are a few heroes that do not follow this convention. Chromie acquires her Heroic at level 8 due to her Trait, and likewise upgrades it at level 18. Tracer has one heroic, Pulse Bomb, that she gets automatically at level 1 and upgrades once at level 10. Varian has a choice of 3 passive Heroics that greatly modify his stats. Alarak has the option of choosing the opposite Heroic choice at level 20 instead of upgrading. Maiev does not upgrade her Heroics at level 20, instead she gains access to 3 strong active abilities at level 20.
Other[edit | edit source]
Many heroes can gain bonus abilities through Talents. These activateable Talents are usually available on the 1 Hotkey, and if the hero can choose more than one they will fill up the other number Hotkeys from 2-6. These abilities often have rather long cooldowns essentially granting a bonus ability to supplement their kit. A few heroes have access to a bonus ability with no talents, including Zeratul's Vorpal Blade, Xul's Bone Prison, and Nova's Ghost Protocol.
Most heroes have all 3 of their basic abilities, but there are a few heroes who have a reduced number of ability choices. These heroes include The Lost Vikings who have no basic abilities and must unlock them through talents, Abathur who has only 2 basic abilities but gains a different kit while using Symbiote, D.Va's Pilot mode which has 1 active ability to re-enter her mech and has 2 more abilities as talents, and Kharazim who doesn't have a Trait until one is chosen from 3 options at level 1.
Cooldown[edit | edit source]
Cooldown (or CD) is the minimum length of time that the player needs to wait after using an ability before they can use it again. Players can press ALT and left-click any of their Ability or Talent icons to quickly indicate their remaining Ability cooldown durations to teammates via chat messages. There are many ways to reduce the cooldown of a heroes' abilities.
Resources[edit | edit source]
Most heroes have a resource that limits how frequently they can use abilities (in addition to individual cooldowns). A hero cannot use an ability without having the required amount of his or her resource. Resources are displayed just below the heroes' health bar, both on the bottom-left of the screen by the heroes' portrait, and directly above the heroes' model. Enemies cannot see an opposing heroes' current resource in any circumstance.
Mana[edit | edit source]
Most heroes use Mana. It has a maximum of 500 at level 1, plus 10 per level up, to a maximum of 790 at level 30. A hero's mana restores over time based on their mana regen, and a hero cannot use an ability if they do not have enough mana to fulfill its mana cost. Mana regenerates constantly at a rate of 3 per second at level 1, plus 0.0976 per level up, to a maximum of 5.8304 per second at level 30. Heroes can also pick up Regeneration Globes that restore 7% of maximum Mana over 5 seconds.
Mana is used as a way to add another layer of depth to sustain. There is little counterplay to heroes that can poke at the enemy with no repercussions, but if they use their abilities too much they can run out of mana giving the opponent a chance to take advantage of their weakness. Sometimes it is best for heroes to hold onto their abilities for when you really need them so they don't go "out of mana" (OOM).
Unique Resources[edit | edit source]
Valeera uses Energy that caps out at 100, and is consumed to use abilities. Energy regenerates at the rate of 10 per second but is consumed very rapidly, so many of her talents can grant increased Energy regen.
Chen uses Brew that caps out at 100, and is consumed to use abilities. It does not increase or decrease passively, and is regenerated by channeling his Trait which grants 25 Brew and then 30 Brew per second while channeling.
Sonya uses Fury that caps out at 100, and is consumed to use most of her abilities. It does not decrease passively, and 6 fury is generated from each basic attack or 2 fury each time she takes damage. She can also gain Fury by hitting enemies with Ancient Spear or through certain Talent selections.
Lt. Morales uses Energy that caps out at 100, and most of her abilities have no cost. Energy is spent by her Healing Beam ability which constantly drains Energy to heal a target ally, and if she does not channel Healing Beam for 2 seconds Energy is regenerated at the rate of 6 per second. Talents can add an ability that drains energy to heal herself, or allow her to regenerate energy through hitting enemies with attacks or abilities.
Auriel uses Energy that scales with her level, and most of her abilities have no cost. Energy starts empty and is generated based on the damage dealt by her or the ally affected by her Trait Bestow Hope. The only ability that interacts with her resource is Ray of Heaven which consumes all stored Energy to heal allied heroes in an AoE based on the Energy consumed. The more Energy she has, the stronger the healing effect. Talents cause Ray of Heaven to only partially drain Energy, and can also increase the max size of her Energy pool.
Zarya uses Energy that caps out at 100, and all her abilities have no cost. Energy starts empty and is generated by absorbing damage with her Personal Barrier and Shield Ally abilities, at the rate of 1 energy for every 10 damage absorbed scaling with levels. Each point of Energy increases Zarya's damage by 2%, meaning at high Energy she deals 300% damage with abilities and basic attacks. After .5 seconds her Energy decays at the rate of 3 per second causing her to lose all energy after 33 seconds. She has many talents that interact with her Energy, whether it be by increasing the generation rate, granting special effects while at high energy, or allowing Energy to go above 100 by fulfilling certain requirements.
No resource[edit | edit source]
There are a few heroes that have no resource cost at all. These heroes are generally restricted by cooldowns or other features. Some heroes have a certain ability with an important cooldown that is shown where resources would usually be shown.
- the Lost Vikings
- Neither head of Cho'gall uses a resource.
- Junkrat has his grenade's ammunition count displayed on his resource bar.
- D.Va has her Self Destruct or Call Mech cooldown displayed on her resource bar.
- Fenix has his Shield Capacitor Shields displayed on top of his health bar.
- Tracer has her basic attack's ammo displayed on her resource bar.