Blizzard announced a rework for the Heroes of the Storm hero Brightwing last week. Now that her changes are live on the Public Testing Realm (PTR), we’ll get a good in-depth look at what she can be capable of. Here are the rework details and a couple of builds seen on the PTR.
Brightwing: Base Kit
(Q) Arcane Flare: Fire a magical flare that deals Area of Effect (AoE) damage in a circle. The center of the circle deals more damage. If an enemy hero is hit by the center of the circle, Brightwing’s trait, Soothing Mist, gets a free pulse of healing.
This is Brightwing’s main source of waveclear and team-fight damage.
Arcane Flare has a short travel time allowing enemies the chance to dodge out of the way. This means you’ll need to try and predict where your enemies will be so you can hit them with the center of the AoE and get the extra healing pulse.
(W) Polymorph: Click on an enemy hero to silence them, slow them by 25 percent, and prevent them from auto-attacking for 1.5 seconds.
This ability is one of the best in the game for squelching engages from heroes like Illidan, ETC, Kerrigan, Thrall, and Genji. The second they dive in you can slow them, silence them, and rob them of their ability to auto-attack, so your team can make short work of them.
Polymorph can be used to interrupt abilities like ETC’s Mosh Pit or Blaze’s Combustion. Any channeled ability can be interrupted by Polymorph unless the target has Unstoppable or is Stealthed.
Because of the slow and silence, this is also an excellent way to secure retreating kills for your team or to slow down a chasing enemy.
(E) Pixie Dust: Grant an ally 20 percent extra movement speed and 25 Spell Armor for 3 seconds.
This ability allows you to essentially cancel out the slows from heroes like Arthas, Jaina, Fenix, or Leoric with the 20% movement speed you give the target.
The movement speed also pairs well with heroes who may want to engage aggressively but don’t have access to movement speed themselves like Arthas, Artanis, or Alarak.
The 25 Spell armor means your target takes 25 percent less damage from your opponent’s abilities. This is particularly effective against mages like Kael’Thas, Jaina, or Gul’dan.
Being able to grant movement speed and spell armor makes this ability very strong at the beginning of a fight to protect your tank as he engages and takes a lot of damage.
The movement speed and spell armor also serves to make your damage dealers harder to kill in hyper carry style comps.
(Z) Phase Shift: After channeling for 2 seconds, teleport to an ally Hero and heal them for 20% of their maximum health.
Phase Shift allows Brightwing to create macro pressure and soak XP while her team rotates to an objective or team fight. While they’re all on their mounts traveling across the map, you can be soaking a wave of minions before teleporting to the team.
This ability also allows you to hearth, heal up, and restore all your mana, and then teleport back onto the map.
You have to be careful when using Phase Shift because, if you teleport to an ally who needs the healing, you may end up in trouble yourself.
This takes the place of a mount for Brightwing, so you cannot move around the map as fast as opponents or allies unless this ability is off cool-down.
(D/Trait) Soothing Mists: Every 4 seconds, Brightwing releases a pulse that heals all nearby allies for a small amount of health. You can activate Soothing Mists by pressing D to remove all stuns, silences, roots, and slows from nearby allies. This has a 120-second cool-down.
The healing from Soothing Mists will not go off if no one needs healing near you.
The soft-Cleanse effect from activating Soothing Mists actually persists as the animation goes off, meaning you can pre-Cleanse some CC effects. This is incredible as it means that Brightwing effectively has a full AoE Cleanse as her trait. It’s harder to pull off when compared to a normal Cleanse, but it gives Brightwing an extra amount of versatility.
The soft-Cleanse seems to radiate out from Brightwing, removing CC from allies closer to her before removing CC from allies further away from her.
The Heroic Abilities
Blink Heal: Teleport to an ally and heal them for a medium-sized burst of healing. This ability has 2 charges, each charge with a 9-second CD.
This gives Brightwing some sorely needed mobility and repositioning power.
You can use Blink Heal to heal an ally, to get yourself out of danger, to get in range of an enemy to interrupt an ability of theirs with Polymorph, or to reposition yourself to make sure Soothing Mists hits the most allies possible.
Emerald Wind: A swirling torrent of wind radiates from Brightwing, pushing enemies away from her location and dealing minor damage to them.
This ability is one of the best boss control abilities in the game. If Brightwing can teleport onto an ally who is standing on a boss point, immediately casting Emerald Wind can push all enemies off the point so you can capture it.
Because Emerald Wind pushes enemies away from Brightwing, it can be used to interrupt channeled abilities such as Mosh Pit.
Getting an Emerald Wind off in the middle of a team fight can often isolate a member of the enemy team so your team can kill them before they get any help.
Main Support Build: This build is all about making sure Brightwing is healing as much as she can and keeping her allies alive to the best of her ability.
(Level 1) Hyper Shift: This talent increases the heal from Phase Shift from 20 percent of the target’s max HP to 30 percent. It also reduces the CD of Phase Shift by 2 seconds each time a minion dies near Brightwing. This enables Brightwing to soak XP for her team freely and to have a bigger impact in team fights when she teleports in.
(Level 4) Magic Spit: This increases Brightwing’s attack range so that she can attack from a safer distance. In addition to this, basic attacks against heroes reduce the 120-second-long CD of Soothing Mists by 5 seconds. This allows Brightwing to be a little more safe in team fights and to have access to her soft-Cleanse a little more often.
(Level 7) Peekaboo!: Using Phase Shift reveals a large area around Brightwing and grants both Brightwing and her target a large shield. This just grants vision for allies and increases Brightwing’s ability to survive when teleporting into a dangerous situation.
(Level 10) Blink Heal: 2 charges of a decent heal on pretty low cool-downs just allows you to heal more in team fights than the other ult would. The safety provided is also a big deal, as Blink Heal can help you get out of sticky situations.
Emerald Wind is good for controlling boss points or objective points, but you give up a lot of mobility and healing for it.
(Level 13) Versatile: All options here are solid for different situations.
Pixie Boost increases the movement speed on Pixie Dust to 40 percent that decays to 20 percent over 3 seconds. This is helpful against enemy teams with lots of slows, or if you have a tank like Arthas who benefits from movement speed.
Safety Dust makes Soothing Mists heal Pixie Dust targets 25 percent more. This is excellent against poke comps that try to whittle your team’s HP bars down over time.
Pixie Power increases the spell armor of Pixie Dust to 50 and decreases the cool-down of Pixie Dust by 3 seconds. This shines against mage-oriented teams or teams with bursty spell damage.
(Level 16) Critterize: Polymorph now reduces the armor of the target by 25. This is a strong talent that really helps your team focus down a single enemy so you can turn a fight.
If you find yourself being focused a lot or the enemy team has a Kael’thas that went Pyroblast or Mephisto that went Consume Souls, then Phase Out can be really good at keeping you alive since it’s essentially a very short Ice Block-style talent on a 20-second CD.
(Level 20) Speedy Dragon: Brightwing’s biggest weakness is her lack of mobility. Blink Heal helps that, but Speedy Dragon completely eliminates the problem by giving her 20% extra movement speed for the rest of the game. You can now position better for your heals and other abilities while also being a lot safer since you can move out of harm’s way faster now.
Invisible Friends also seems strong. It makes Blink Heal put Brightwing and the target into stealth. While stealthed, you both heal a small amount over time. This stealth and heal do not time out and can only be broken by being revealed or by taking or dealing damage. This allows you to heal allies as they travel across the map and allows you to hide rotations. It also denies opponents the chance to target your ally with abilities that need targets or auto-attacks.
Q Build: This build focuses more on allowing Brightwing to be aggressive and disruptive with slows and silences. This would be well suited as an off-support build in double support comps since it does not have the healing output the previous build has. This build feels like it’s very high variance as all the enemy has to do to counter it is not stand in your Arcane Flares. However, in the right team, it may be pretty strong.
(Level 1) Greater Polymorph: This increases the range of Polymorph and resets the CD of Polymorph if an enemy hero dies. This allows you to chain silence members of the enemy team as other members of their team die.
(Level 4) Dream Shot: Arcane Flare has a 50 percent-longer range. Hitting an enemy with the center of Arcane Flare reduces it’s CD by 2 seconds.
(Level 7) Sticky Flare: Arcane Flare slows enemies by 20 percent, 40 percent if they are hit by the center of the flare. This keeps enemies in range of your team and ensures they cannot get away. It also means that both your Q and your W have slows on them.
(Level 10) Versatile: This build is all about Brightwing being as disruptive as possible, so Emerald Wind is a solid choice. However, Blink Heal allows Brightwing to position aggressively so she can land her silences and slows easier.
(Level 13) Pixie Boost: Again, this build is about being disruptive, so movement speed is default here so you can position faster and be safer.
(Level 16) Hush: The center of Arcane Flare silences enemies hit for 1 second and reduces their damage dealt by 25%. This is the payoff for going Q build; a silence and damage reduction ability on a 6-second CD is insane.
(Level 20) Speedy Dragon: This is more move speed to help you get in position to land your disruptive abilities. Alternatively, Intensive Winds lowers Emerald Wind’s CD to 5 seconds but increases the mana cost to 200 mana. It’s incredibly disruptive, but can be very mana-intensive as 200 mana at level 20 is almost 1/3 of Brightwing’s mana bar.
These rework builds are very tentative. The PTR is a mixing pot of skill levels and everyone is testing out different builds, so nothing here is solid.
Pixie Charm at level 1 seems decent on bigger maps, but Brightwing should rarely be in a position to steal enemy camps.
Brightwing seems to be lackluster when it comes to burst healing, so focusing on one target can really test her limits.
Critical Mists at 7 heals allies cleansed by Soothing Mist and seems like it would be good against Arthas or Jaina.
Taking all the Polymorph talents may be a way to set up resets in a reset-focused comp with Li-Ming and/or Genji. This way kills reset your Polymorph, Ming’s abilities, and Genji’s Swiftstrike.
Thank you all for reading; as always, feel free to let me know if I missed anything. Remember, these builds are not set in stone and are subject to change as balance patches hit and as this rework goes live. Brightwing seems a lot more capable of healing than her former iteration and has a lot of interesting build choices, especially later in her talent tree. If you found it interesting, feel free to share! I’ll see you guys in the Nexus!