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Stealth

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A stealthed allied Zeratul surrounded by an enemy Nova, Samuro and Valeera

Stealth is a hero ability that makes the hero nearly invisible.

Gameplay[edit | edit source]

Stealth heroes are not completely invisible, as faint distortion shader can be seen at their location. Stealthed Heroes are hidden on the minimap and untargetable by direct abilities and Basic Attacks. Some abilities grant stealth for an unlimited duration while others have a limited duration stealth. Stealth is cancelled by attacking, using an ability, channeling a map objective or upon taking damage.

If a stealthed Hero remains immobile for a short amount of time (1.5 seconds) they will become "Invisible" and will not display any outline or visual effect until they move again or are revealed by dealing or taking damage. This includes Heroes under the effects of temporary Stealth effects such as Samuro's Windwalk or Tyrande's Shadowstalk. To avoid some bad gameplay situations, there are a couple of exceptions to this mechanic: Heroes cannot become Invisible while occupying a capture point, such as Braxis Holdout or Mercenary Camp Beacons - instead, they will retain normal Stealth visual effects.

Purpose[edit | edit source]

As the Balance team currently sees it, the purpose of Stealth is:

  • Defense/Escape - Stealth makes you more difficult to target, and can also make it easier to escape danger. Skillful escapes using Stealth are cool.
  • Positional Advantage - Stealth makes it easier to get into positions your enemy would normally not expect you to be in. Since your risk of getting caught out is relatively low, you're less restricted by enemy map control than other heroes.
  • Map Advantage - Stealth makes it hard for enemies to know where you are on the map, which forces them to play more cautiously because they never know when you might show up in their lane or jump them on a Merc camp. This gives your teammates an edge in terms of controlling the map.[1]

Breaking Stealth[edit | edit source]

While cloaked heroes cannot be targeted, they can be hit by Skillshots, Area of Effect abilities and splash or cleave damage. Being Revealed while in Stealth reveals the hero and allows it to be targeted, but doesn't break the stealth or cancel any bonus effects given to the hero while normally in Stealth. Bouncing or chaining abilities (like Thralls Chain Lightning, Sylvanas' Shadow Dagger, etc.) bounce also to stealthed targets that are outside allied vision.[2]

Unrevealable[edit | edit source]

Before, "Unrevealable" is a state that exists where you cannot be broken out of stealth, but the enemy can still see your stealth shimmer. This mechanic exists on several Heroes, namely Valeera and Samuro, when they first enter their stealth states.

Stealth Heroes[edit | edit source]

For Matchmaking the following Heroes are classified as stealth characters. The strength of Stealth heroes is proportional to the enemy team's level of coordination. They live and die by whether they can get picks on unprotected or out-of-position targets.

Stealth Rework[edit | edit source]

The old stealth effect: A stealthed allied Zeratul surrounded by an enemy Nova, Samuro and Valeera

As part of the 2018 Gameplay Updates, the Developers made significant changes to how Stealth works in Heroes of the Storm. Before the rework, the stealth shimmer visual was extremely hard for a significant number of players to see, and was ultimately just an eye test for the opposing team. Previously, if the opposing team could quickly spot the enemy stealthed Hero, they gained a significant advantage while the stealthed Hero was left with very few options for counterplay. On the flip side, against a team that consistently failed to spot the shimmer, stealth Heroes could dominate the match and force players into a very passive and not-entirely-fun playstyle. Due to this, there was also a large disparity in the power level of stealth Heroes at different ranks of play. In uncoordinated Quick Match games, stealth was king. However, in high-level ranked play and esports, stealth Heroes were much weaker and hardly ever seen. With this change, the Developers wanted to shift the power away from that ‘eye test’ and encourage more strategic use of stealth.[3]

Heroes using stealth[edit | edit source]

Unlimited duration[edit | edit source]

  • Brightwing's level 20 talent, "Invisible Friends", adds an additional effect to her "Blink Heal" heroic ability, granting Brightwing and the Hero target stealth.
  • Nova and Zeratul's trait, "Permanent Cloak", grants them stealth when out of combat for 3 seconds.
    • Nova's level 20 talent, "Apollo Suit", decreases the cooldown of "Permanent Cloak" to 1 second.
  • Nova's ability, "Ghost Protocol", grants her stealth on activation. For the first 0.5 seconds, she is Unrevealable.
  • Sgt. Hammer's level 1 talent, "Ambush", adds an additional effect to her "Siege Mode" ability, which grants her stealth when entering "Siege Mode" and when out of combat for 3 seconds while in "Siege Mode".
  • The Lost Vikings' level 1 talent, "Spy Games", grants Erik stealth after standing still for 3 seconds. The stealth persists for 3 seconds after moving.
  • Tyrande's level 10 heroic ability, "Shadowstalk", grants her and all allied Heroes stealth on activation.
  • Valeera's trait, "Vanish", grants her stealth on activation. For the first second, she is Unrevealable.

Limited duration[edit | edit source]

  • Dehaka's level 4 talent, "Lurker Strain", adds an additional effect to his "Burrow" ability, which grants him stealth for 3 seconds.
  • Greymane's level 4 talent, "Eyes In The Dark", adds an additional effect to his "Disengage" ability, which grants him stealth for 3 seconds.
  • Medivh's level 20 talent, "Invisibility", grants an allied hero stealth for 20 seconds.
  • Murky's level 1 talent, "Egg Hunt", adds an additional effect to his "Spawn Egg" trait, which grants him stealth for 5 seconds when respawning from his egg.
  • Samuro's ability, "Wind Walk", grants him stealth for 10 seconds. For the first second, he is Unrevealable.
  • Tassadar's ability, "Dimensional Shift", makes him Unrevealable for 2 seconds.
  • Valeera's level 10 heroic ability, "Smoke Bomb", Creates a cloud of smoke that lasts 5 seconds. While in the smoke, Valeera is Unrevealable.

References[edit | edit source]

Statistics
 
Attack_ Attack damage icon.png Basic Attack (Attack range icon.png Attack RangeAttack speed icon.png Attack Speed) • Ability (Resource (Unitstatus icon mana.png Mana) Spell power icon.png Spell PowerCooldown)
Defense_ Unitstatus icon health.png HealthHealth RegenerationHealing (Healing modifierLifesteal) • ShieldPhysical armor icon.png Armor
Utility_ Move speed icon.png Movement speed
Buffs_ Absorbing icon.png AbsorbingEvadeHealingInvulnerable icon.png InvulnerableParryProtected icon.png ProtectedStasis icon.png StasisStealthShieldsUnkillable icon.png UnkillableUnstoppable icon.png UnstoppableUntargetable
Debuffs_ Attack SlowBlinded icon.png BlindCrowd controlDamage over TimeKnockbackRevealed Icon.png RevealedRooted icon.png RootSilenced icon.png Silence (Feared icon.png FearMindcontrol icon.png Mind ControlPolymorphed icon.png PolymorphTaunted icon.png Taunt) • SlowStunned icon.png Stun (Sleep icon.png Sleep) • Stopped icon.png Time Stopped