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Alexstrasza – Heroes of the Storm Hero Review
For those who have been following Heroes of the Storm, Alexstrasza, the Red Dragon Aspect, has finally descended into the Nexus last November 13, 2017. When Blizzard first released her, she came out as the first support hero that focused on healing based on percentage which you can see above your HP bar below. While one of her weaknesses is being dived down on, there are also some ways to avoid it. I managed to play her character last night and even got to test out some builds. So, here’s my take on Alexstrasza.
Pros of Alexstrasza
The pros of playing Alexstrasza is her heals which definitely can help in a duo skirmish. Her Q, Gift of Life, takes a portion of her life and gives it to an ally. However, this heal works best if you’re being accompanied by a tank that specializes in soaking up damage. Or, you can also use the heals to give peeler tanks better survivability especially if the opposing team has high DPS. However, her Dragonqueen form is what removes the sacrifice mechanic and turns into Breath of Life but only lasts a short while.
Speaking of Alexstrasza’s dragon form, the Dragonqueen (D), it’s quite tanky and is known for stalling. This form is best used when holding a point which can be quite vital in places such as Braxis Holdout, Sky Temple, Infernal Shrines, and most likely Volskaya Foundry. Especially when she has Cleansing Fire as her Heroic Skill, she’s untargetable and she can use the fireballs to zone out her enemies while healing her allies. Also, her E as a Dragon – Wing Buffet – can knock back enemies which can help hold points.
Cons of Alexstrasza
The bad thing about playing Alexstrasza? She’s mana hungry; her E skill (Flame Buffet) literally chews up your mana after three to five shots on the first level (assuming you miss). Even with the mana refund, it’s still not enough especially to sustain her combat. Not just that, her Flame Buffet is her only offensive skill which makes her extremely reliant on it. While it does deal lingering damage and has a low cool down of at least 2 seconds, she has to keep running around and there’s a slight delay of one second before Flame Buffet launches.
Her Cleansing Fire on the other hand is semi-rapid fire but it’s a bit of a skill-shot. While her Cleansing Fire is running, you’ll have to take note of the duration of the attack. Wherever your cursor marker lands last, that’s exactly where Alexstrasza will land. So, make sure you know where your shots land for Cleansing Fire.
While Dragonqueen form is powerful, it takes forever to charge. If players want to utilize her Dragonqueen form to the maximum, players will have to take the Flame Fury trait at level one which allows her E to reduce the cool down of her Dragonqueen form. This would make Alexstrasza more focused on the offensive than her usual hang-back support. It gives her a bit more survivability in terms of offense.
Hero Compatibility: Alexstrasza
- Artanis – Artanis is tanky with his shields even after the nerf. All his skills can mess up positioning save for his Twin Blades Skill (W). His Blade Dash can throw Alexstrasza straight into the den of the enemy, allowing them to focus her down. His Phase Prism (E) can also throw her away from her allies, preventing her escape.She can only escape this at level 10 when she can use Cleansing Fire as a means to heal and escape.
- Genji – Genji’s on auto-ban for a reason. His Swift Blade (E) can easily cleave right through Alexstrasza even as she tries to escape. Due to her slow movement, her chance of escape is extremely low unless she’s in Dragonqueen form or she wastes her Cleansing Fire.
- Sylvanas – Sylvanas can dive towards Alexstrasza with her Haunting Wave and her Mind Control Heroic Skill can pull Alexstrasza from her teammates. When you reach level 10, Mind Control (R) → Haunting Wave (E) to dive to the other side to prevent her escape.
- Diablo – Diablo’s Shadow Charge and Overpower can stun Alexstrasza long enough to have his allies punish her especially if he charges her straight into the wall. The combo for stun is Overpower (E) → Shadow Charge (Q) which sends her straight into the wall. If at level 10, Apocalypse (R) → Overpower (E) → Shadow Charge (Q) into the wall. However, Apocalypse is best timed during team fights.
- Johanna – Johanna’s Shield Glare (E) can blind Alexstrasza. Then, using Condemn (W) pull her and use her Iron Skin (D) to soak up any incoming damage.
- Chromie – Chromie’s Time Trap and Slowing Sands can really mess up Alexstrasza’s abilities to escape by slowing her down.
- Nazeebo – Nazeebo’s skill Zombie Wall (W) and Corpse Spiders (Q) can poke at Alexstrasza, whittling her down slowly.
- Junkrat – Junkrat has so much CC and can quickly displace her using his grenades.
- Tracer – Tracer can outrun her and use her mobility to out-kite Alexstrasza.
- Butcher – Butcher is a known hard counter to Alexstrasza, being capable of diving and relentlessly pursuing his enemies.
- Zarya – Zarya’s Gravition Surge can pull enemies in, allowing Alexstrasza to either Flame Buffet them to death or rain Cleansing Fire on them.
- Cho’Gall – If using a Life Bind Build, his large HP can quickly replenish her life and increase her survivability.
- Ana – Her Healing Dart can keep Alexstrasza at full life to increase the potency of her heals.
- Nazeebo – Voodoo Ritual can increase the potency of her heals. At the same time, Nazeebo’s Zombie Wall can keep the enemies in a single area while giving her Cleansing Fire a clear shot.
- Lt. Morales – Lt. Morales has her beam heals and her grenades to prevent enemies from attacking Alexstrasza.
- Garosh – If Alexstrasza is in Dragonqueen form, Garosh can toss her and using Wing Buffet to knock enemies off points. She can also use Abundance to heal allies when tossed in.
Depending on who her teammates are, she can either go late game or early game. Late game often times rely on her heals but can also go full Flame Buffet build to push quickly. Alexstrasza’s Dragonform can tear through structures even when Alexstrasza assumes her humanoid form. On a more personal note, she’s a support that definitely goes beyond the name “support” and can even go DPS similarly to Kharazim except ranged.
Though, I wouldn’t completely recommend Alexstrasza for beginners since her “E” is a bit of a skill shot. However, she is extremely promising especially for players who are not into being the passive support types like Brightwing and Lucio.