At Gamescom 2018 Blizzard announced the addition of Mephisto to Heroes of the Storm. Mephisto is the Lord of Hatred in the Diablo series of games also owned by Blizzard, and has been one of the most anticipated additions to Heroes for a while. With his release into the Public Test Realm (PTR), we’ll get to see what the community as a whole thinks of Mephisto and his play style.
Here’s a breakdown of his talents and abilities and what builds people are using in the PTR.
Mephisto: Base Kit
(Q) Skull Missile: Summon a floating skull near Mephisto. After a short delay, this skull travels forward in the direction of your choosing dealing damage and slowing enemies by 25%.
- Summoning the skull is instant, meaning you can actually leave its position during its delay.
- Skull Missile isn’t an incredibly high damage ability baseline, but the slow is respectable and helps set up your team or Mephisto himself to do more damage.
(W) Lightning Nova: A ring of lightning appears around Mephisto for 2.5 seconds dealing rapid damage to anything it touches. The damage of Lightning Nova ramps up 4% (to a max of 40%) each time an enemy hero is hit with it.
- This ability is a ring so, much like Jaina’s Ring of Frost, enemies must be exactly on the ring to be hurt by it. If they can position inside or outside the ring, they will not get damaged.
- This ability is Mephisto’s main source of damage so learning how to position the ring correctly is paramount to playing Mephisto well.
- Hit as many enemy heroes with Lightning Nova as you can to ramp up the damage in team fights.
(E) Shade of Mephisto: Teleport to a target location near Mephisto dealing damage in an area and leaving behind a shade at his original location. After 2.5 seconds, Mephisto is instantly teleported back to the shade regardless of whether he’s stunned, rooted, or slowed.
- This ability allows Mephisto to position incredibly dangerously to output as much damage as he can before being returned to his original location. Over walls, into the middle of a team fight, it doesn’t matter because he will return to safety regardless of enemy CC.
- Stuns, roots, and slows will not stop Mephisto from returning to his shade, but time stop effects will. So Stitche’s Gorge, Chromie’s Time Trap, or Medivh’s Leyline Seal can keep Mephisto in a precarious position after his initial teleport.
- You can teleport, cast Skull Missile, and then return to the shade and Skull Missile will still travel from where you cast in during the teleport.
- You can not control the return; it will always be 2.5 seconds after casting.
(Trait) Lord of Hatred: Damaging enemy heroes with basic abilities reduces the cool-down (CD) of all Mephisto’s basic abilities. Skull Missile and Shade of Mephisto grant 1.5 seconds of cool-down reduction (CDR) and Lightning Nova grants .3 seconds of CDR per tick of damage
- This trait allows Mephisto to constantly cast his basic abilities during team fights where he can damage multiple heroes at once.
- Because it only activates against heroes, Lord of Hatred does not help Mephisto’s waveclear or camp taking/defending ability.
The Heroic Abilities
Consume Souls: Channel for 2.5 seconds, revealing all enemy heroes globally. After the channel completes, all enemy heroes take a substantial amount of damage and are slowed by 40 for 2.5 seconds.
- This ultimate is global and will hit every enemy hero no matter where they are on the map.
- The slow makes Consume Souls valuable as an engage tool, slowing enemies before a fight to secure a kill.
- The global damage from Consume Souls also makes it an excellent finisher, killing low-health enemies who manage to escape your team.
- The channel time for this ultimate is the same amount of time Mephisto has between teleporting and returning with Shade of Mephisto. This means you can teleport to safety, cast Consume Souls uninterrupted, and then teleport back into the fray.
- 2.5 seconds is a long channel time so watch out for stuns, displacement effects, time stop effects, and taunts when casting as they will interrupt the ability.
Durance of Hate: After a 1-second delay, a wave of evil spirits travel forward and root the first hero hit for 2 seconds dealing minor damage. The spirits will radiate out from the initial target and root any other heroes in the area.
- This is a skillshot, so missing it means you get no value from it whatsoever.
- The radiating root ability is very similar to Malfurion’s Entangling Roots meaning that enemies can outrun the spreading danger.
- This heroic is a way for Mephisto to hold people in place so he gets guaranteed value from his damaging abilities.
- Thrown in the middle of a team fight, this can keep valuable targets from escaping and secure kills.
Lightning Nova Build: This build focuses on Lightning Nova and getting it to do the most damage possible. It also improves Mephisto’s survivability by a good amount.
- (Level 1) Furious Spark: Lightning Nova does extra damage every 5th tick of damage it deals to the same target. This just straight up adds more damage to Mephisto’s kit and helps with his waveclear a little as the extra damage will proc on minions.
- (Level 4) Static Barrier: After Lightning Nova finishes casting, Mephisto gains a shield equal to 50% of the damage Lightning Nova dealt for 7 seconds.
- (Level 7) Ghastly Armor: Mephisto gains 20 armor after teleporting with Shade of Mephisto and for 2.5 seconds after. This compounds with Static Barrier to make Mephisto very hard to kill during and after risky teleport plays.
- (Level 10) Consume Souls: Global vision, damage, and a massive slow is hard to pass up here.
- Durance of Hate is theoretically better with this build because it holds people in your Lightning Nova but a lot of people on the PTR are favoring Consume Souls simply due to the fact that it can’t be missed like Durance of Hate can be. I’m sure we’ll see some balance tweaks to both ultimates before official release though.
- (Level 13) Hysteria: This makes Mephisto’s trait also apply to his heroic abilities. Both heroics have longish cool-downs so this ability just lets you have them far more often.
- (Level 16) Static Field: When Lightning Nova hits its max of 40% extra damage, all enemy heroes within the radius of Lightning Nova take damage equal to 12% of their max health.
- The key to this talent is in the wording. Lightning Nova only damages heroes on the actual ring, but this ability applies the 12% hp damage to anything inside the radius of the ability. So if an enemy is inside the ring avoiding the ring damage but you’re damaging his ally on the ring, both will take the 12% damage.
- (Level 20) Mimic: The shade from Shade of Mephisto now also has an untalented ring of Lightning Nova around it when both are cast. This is just a solid way of upping your damage in team fights though it does make you use your shade very aggressively.
- Upgrading either ult here is also fine; the upgrades are really strong.
Cool-Down Build: This build has less explosive damage, but more frequent and consistent damage.
- (Level 1) Anger: Basic attacks against enemy heroes also trigger Lord of Hatred, offering .75 seconds of CDR per auto.
- (Level 4) Spite: Increase healing globe duration by 60%, reduce your ability CDs by .5 seconds per tick of healing from healing globes. This gives you better health sustain and is another way to keep your ability CDs low.
- (Level 7) Ghastly Armor: The armor is just an all around good way to keep you healthy, and it makes the healing you receive from healers or health globes more valuable as 20 armor makes the new health harder to cut through.
- (Level 10) Consume Souls: More damage, vision, and slows to help you land abilities and secure kills.
- (Level 13) Hysteria: This ability makes Lord of Hatred apply to your ultimate abilities which means you can be casting Consume Souls far more often.
- (Level 16) Static Field: The 12% hp damage is so strong here. With your CDs constantly resetting, you can keep Lightning Nova up a lot so you can get the 12% damage more often.
- (Level 20) Consumed by Hatred: This makes Consume Souls deal extra damage equal to 10% of each target hero’s missing health. Additionally, if Consume Souls kills a hero, it will cast again for free 1 time.
- There is another build floating around that replaces Hysteria and Static Field in the Cool-Down Build with Shard of Hate (basic attacks splash) and Animosity (Basic attacks make Lightning Nova pulse with damage and you can activate the talent to increase Lightning Nova duration). This auto attack focused variant feels really strong and offers effective wave clear.
- Shard of Hate at 13 is valuable in any build if you end up needing more wave clear. It makes Mephisto deal insane siege damage.
- At 20, it may be worth it to take Shade Lord if you find yourself dying a lot because it gives you all the survivability talents from the level 7 tier.
- At 7, you may take Trickery over Ghastly Armor if you’re against a heavy CC comp because it makes your teleport cleanse you of roots and slows.
- Mephisto seems to have many viable talents and build paths, these are just a few.
Thank you all for reading this, please feel free to share if you found it at all informative! Keep in mind that these builds are very tentative and a lot of the ideas here are subject to change as this is all on the PTR and these are very early impressions. Balance changes can effect the viability of what we see here and it may be that upon release people find a whole new way to play him. At any rate, Mephisto seems very strong and capable of a lot of damage. It will be interesting to see where he falls in the meta and how he impacts play at all levels. I’ll see you all in the Nexus!