Heroes Of The Storm: Leoric’s Abilities

I'm a wraith, AMA

Ah, that weird feeling where the wall separating the Blizzardiverse and the Dotaverse-whose-inhabitants-originated-in-the-Blizzardiverse-and-then-diverged-for-legal-reasons thins a little and you can almost hear the phrase “assertion of IP rights”*. By which I mean, “Hey – there’s a Heroes of the Storm [official site] spotlight video for Leoric, The Skeleton King.”

Leoric, as you will remember from your Diablo history books, was the king of Khanduras. Corrupted by Diablo he went on an executions ‘n’ terrible decision-making spree until he was killed by a knight. Inconvenient, yes, but Diablo was able to raise Leoric from the dead which is what the whole Skeleton King business is all about. Lots of evil undead action ensued.

That keenness for resurrection and biffing things is the theme for his soon-to-arrive character in Heroes of the Storm.

Let’s talk specifics:

His trait is Undying. What that means is that when he’s killed on the battlefield, instead of tabbing out to check Twitter you need to stay in the game and control his wraith form which can be used to slow enemies or decrease the hero’s respawn timer. When you come back into the game you’ll spawn wherever the wraith happens to be. That means you’ll need to keep an eye on the timer so you don’t end up stuck somewhere stupid getting re-murdered.

His first ability is Skeletal Swing which sounds like a dance but is actually just a skeleton swinging his big old mace thing. It does heavy damage if you do it when you’re alive (double against enemy minions to bear that in mind for wave clearance) and when you’re dead this is the thing that slows enemy heroes so you can use it to facilitate kills or escapes.

Contemplating nature

His next ability is Drain Hope. More accurately it is “drain HP” because it drains hit points and not hope. Essentially you connect yourself with an enemy hero via a giant ghost fist and suck life out of them and into you like they’re the oilfield milkshake in There Will Be Blood. You can go about the rest of your mace-wielding business while this happens. Using it while dead is the thing that reduces your respawn timer, slurping your way towards resurrection.

Third is Wraith Walk. For that you shift into wraith form for a short time. It makes you invulnerable plus (at least it looks like this from the video) a bit faster. When it ends or is cancelled you snap to the position of the wraith. Useful for repositioning as you pursue a kill or try to escape, is what I’m trying to say.

Finally we come to the ultimate abilities. HotS heroes give you a couple to choose from – there are no items in the game so the skill builds are the only place where you can tweak what your character does in response to how the game is going.

First is Entomb. Entomb means you put down a tomb in the hopes of trapping enemies. If you’re a Dota 2 player, think of Tusk’s Ice Shards. If you aren’t, what it does is it throws down a three sided tomb. To escape the enemy must then run back towards you and you can do some more biffing. Obviously you can also throw it down in the wrong place and absolutely screw up fights, stopping a teammate mid-chase or trapping them in a box with an enemy who can rip them to pieces.

Dude also knows tombs.

The other one is March Of The Black King where you go in a straight line and hit things. The hitting has a lifesteal effect.

It’s basically the Blizzard version of when Lisa and Bart get into a fight and Bart starts windmilling his arms.

“On my way I’m going to be doing THIS and if you get hit it’s your own fault.”

“Okay, then I’m going to start kicking air like this and if any part of you should fill that air it’s *your* own fault.”

So now you know.

Leoric will be hitting the Nexus “soon”.

*The whole thing is kinda interesting. There was King Leoric from Diablo who then popped up in DotA. In Dota 2 he became Ostarion, the Skeleton King, and the lore was all “No, he has a totally different backstory to this Leoric dude and his empire’s made of bone and there’s a Throne of Bone and WHY ARE YOU GIGGLING?” then Skeleton King disappears for “ceremonial reasons”. He comes back #rebranded as Wraith King (via a special event) with a new ghostly face and everyone starts calling him Andrew WK because of his new initials. He’s got the same skillset but he’s very definitely not called Skeleton King. Now Leoric shows up in HotS and is all I KNOW ABOUT WRAITH STUFF TOO ASK ME ANYTHING ABOUT WRAITHING. God, now I’ve typed the word wraith too many times and it looks all wrong.


  1. eggy toast says:

    I went to visit a friend out of town. I thought he and his friends were geeking out on Warcraft 3, but it turned out they had a modded multiplayer version that wasn’t even an RTS. I played my first ever DOTA matches on that trip and I thank the gods regularly that I never took to it and this is all jbbrish to me.

    • Skeletor68 says:

      jbbrsh is gibbrish to me

      Dota 2 is great. I end up watching way more than playing though. Takes too much commitment and dedicated concentration.

      • Skeletor68 says:

        *gibberish* bloodly lack of edit function. That backfired, haha

      • Greg Wild says:

        Yeah, definitely agreed here. I quite like Dota 2, but I just don’t have the time to spend on it. HotS is quite a nice compromise imo. You can jump into a game and not feel you need to have spent time learning about builds and strategies. Plus with the short games, you never feel you’ve spent all your precious gaming hours on one match that possibly resulted in teeth gnashing.

        • cyrenic says:

          I love the shorter game times, as well.

          With shorter games and the elimination of last hitting, they’ve hooked me entirely.

  2. davethejuggler says:

    I kinda felt the other way around. I’m much more comfortable with Dota. I know what the items do, you can see what items other heroes have, and the skills are always the same (i mean you can skill them in different orders but it doesn’t change that much). In HotS I was never really sure what the enemy heroes skills were and as they change through picking levelups i couldn’t figure a way to see what people were able to do. Not being able to see what items they have (as there are no items) also meant i couldn’t work out where they were in their progression, what direction they were heading in. That coupled with only having the free heroes to play and figure out meant i was put off by the amount of learning i’d need to do. I guess i could have persevered, but i already did that with dota.

    Having to buy heroes rather than get them all free and buy cosmetics instead was the major reason i didn’t stick with it I guess.

    • Nevard says:

      If you press tab it shows you everyone’s talents, and what those talents do.

  3. son_of_montfort says:

    I guess I’ll be that pedantic guy – the “oil-field milkshake” was There Will Be Blood. If Leoric were to be like No Country for Old Men, he would need a Monkee’s Davy Jones haircut and his power would be shooting dudes in the face.

    • son_of_montfort says:

      On topic though, I quite like HotS and find its community to be much more welcoming than DOTA’s. The DOTA community makes me feel that all of humanity is doomed.

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      Philippa Warr says:

      You’re entirely correct. Fun fact: I watched them back to back and now always mix up the titles :)

      • son_of_montfort says:

        Funny how that works! What I should have also said was – I very much enjoyed reading this article (many chuckles and I am excited to give Leoric a spin)!

  4. Darth Gangrel says:

    “the oilfield milkshake in No Country For Old Men” Actually, it’s in the movie There Will Be Blood where Daniel Plainview (Daniel Day-Lewis) says that famous quote about sucking up oil like it’s a milkshake.

  5. Nevard says:

    If he doesn’t have a load of bone-related puns, I’ll Riot!
    Err, wait…

  6. satan says:

    Finally gave this crop of MOBA games a proper run with HOTS.
    I like what Blizz have done and I enjoy the odd game, but I still can’t see myself playing it more than once a week.

  7. trollomat says:

    Embedding gifs from classic Simpsons episodes succeeds every time in making me read parts of articles that are otherwise completely uninteresting for me.

  8. Frings says:

    Here comes another ridiculously broken hero, for sure. Wonder how long it’ll take for them to balance him out after launch.

    • Fenix says:

      That’s the IceFrog way of introducing new heroes. During the days of WC3 Dota he learned that if new heroes aren’t very strong, people will stop picking them altogether after the first initial rush to play the new hero. It happened with Obsidian Destroyer and Dazzle I think, which were quickly forgotten a week after release.

      So now whenever there’s a new hero in Dota 2 you can bet your ass that it is going to be broken and imbalanced as hell, until later patches where its slowly nerfed to be on everyone elses level.

      Unless it’s Earth Spirit, which is still absurdly broken even though its been out for ages. Mostly because no one really knows what it does, honestly.