SmX and Bl3kitny on the New Brightwing and Kerrigan
If it smells like construction the next time you enter the Nexus, there’s a good reason. The Garden of Terror map has been revamped and two classic heroes have been reworked: Brightwing and Kerrigan. The Faerie Dragon and Queen of Blades have received more than a few tweaks, boasting new ability functionality as well as updated talent trees. To gain a better understanding on the reworks, we asked the experts for their opinions.
SmX’s Thoughts on Brightwing
Filip "SmX" Liljeström is a master at supporting his Fnatic teammates, and Brightwing is one of his favorite Support heroes. He’s excited that the updates give the Faerie Dragon a more interactive feel.
“The biggest power change of the rework is the baseline cleanse that Brightwing gets,” SmX says. The hero’s trait Soothing Mist now can be activated to clear all stuns, roots, slows, and silences on nearby allies. “Also, the heal on her Z being baseline helps her save people a lot more,” he says. Phase Shift, Brightwing’s global movement ability, now heals 20% of the maximum health to the hero you teleport to. Both tools give the hero some exciting opportunities to turn the tide in battle.
Another highlight for SmX is Phase Out at Level 16. This talent gives Brightwing the ability to become invulnerable for half a second, giving players with a knack for timing an amazing tool for dodging enemy attacks. “I think Brightwing’s new ice block looks really interesting,” SmX says. “I'm really looking forward to playing around with it.”
Whether or not the murderous dragon will be a priority in the HGC is still up in the air. “I'm not sure if Brightwing will be meta for the next season,” SmX explains. “I think it's a for-sure improvement with the rework and I love the hero, so I really do hope she gets her time in the spotlight.”
Players wanting to step up their Brightwing game can keep the following SmX tip in mind as well: “Keep your eyes on your team globally throughout the game as much as possible. You never know how well a good Phase Shift can save a teammate or turn around a small skirmish.”
Bl3Kitny Reacts to Kerrigan
Leftovers’ Assassin player Arkadiusz “Bl3kitny” Czarnecki is no stranger to heroes who dive into the thick of things. He’s deadly with high-impact heroes like Maiev, Genji, and Greymane, so we turned to his expertise regarding Kerrigan’s rework.
To begin, one major change to Kerrigan’s playstyle increases her mobility by giving her two charges of Ravage, which lets her leap to a target. Although the range of Ravage was reduced by 25%, the ability to move quickly between enemy targets is a highlight for Bl3kitny. “I really love [the] new Kerrigan, especially the changes to her Ravage,” he says. “Players are now able to do more by themselves with mobility thanks to two stacks.”
That mobility is increased with the Level 7 talent Boundless Fury, which resets a charge of Ravage on clean hero hits and can occur every 10 seconds per hero. If hopping around the enemy team isn’t your style, Kerrigan’s new talent tree gives you plenty of other options.
“I think that the biggest strength of the rework is her talent tree,” Bl3kitny says. “With the old Kerrigan you were forced to take one build most of the time, if not every game. Here we can really go with anything, it depends on what you want to achieve with the hero: burst, mobility, or area of effect damage.”
The Queen of Blades now has a harder decision at the Heroic level, as Summon Ultralisk has been updated with a skill shot that stuns the first hero it hits and deals a fair amount of damage. In addition, Chrysalis can be picked up at Level 13 to give Kerrigan a brief reprieve from incoming damage. It acts like a personal healing Bunker with a health pool that enemies can deplete to force Kerrigan to emerge before the five-second timer is up.
When it comes to competitive play, Bl3kitny believes the Assassin’s flexibility will be useful in the HGC. “I think we will see more of Kerrigan; the talent tree gives her a lot of potential in most comps,” Bl3kitny says. “I'm sure that her go-to map will still be Infernal Shrines, but I could see her work on maps like Sky Temple or Dragon Shire.”
Bl3kitny has some tips for anyone wanting to improve their Kerrigan game: “[The] most important thing [with] new Kerrigan is controlling your Ravage cooldown and stacks, so you can always jump in/out or change the target you focus. Be patient with your combo and wait for the perfect moment/setup from your team to use it.”
A sign of a strong Assassin player is squeezing out as much damage as possible, frequently hitting basic attacks through stutter-stepping while repositioning or when your abilities are cooling down. The reworked Queen of Blades is no different, especially with her Assimilation shields building up off the damage she dishes out. “Kerrigan has pretty strong auto-attack damage, so make sure to use them between your Qs to maximize the damage,” Bl3kitny says.
Players eager to test out the Brightwing and Kerrigan changes will have to wait no longer, as the updates are now live in the Nexus!