Heroes of the Storm [official site] is currently debuting new hero Chromie, a forgetful gnome who also happens to secretly be a Bronze Dragon called Chronormu. How does that even work? I’m going to try to find out.
“Chromie is a fragile yet devastating artillery assassin that traps her foes and eliminates them from afar.” That is what the gravelly-voiced man in the spotlight video says.
She’s kind of a glass cannon utility mage to use slightly more typical parlance. Her skills allow her to mess with enemy positioning during teamfights, disrupting their attack or escape attempts. She can also set up for kills, using her heroic, Temporal Loop for pick-offs, or can deploy her abilities to help her or her team get out of sticky situations. But if she’s silenced or crowd-controlled, things will likely go south very quickly.
Chromie gains talents and abilities a level ahead of other heroes. The big thing here would be needing to pay attention to level 9 when she gets her heroic rather than level 10 being the big OH GOD WATCH OUT warning klaxon.
Q: Sand Blast
Chromie creates a ball of sand which she hurls out in a line as a long range projectile. It damages the first enemy hit, passing through everything else. I did a little practice game in their easy one-lane option where you can try a hero out and I was combining it with a first level talent called “Peer Into The Future” which lets you reveal an area on the map for 2 seconds and marks heroes in that area for 4 seconds. What I was doing was scanning the area just behind the gates and turrets to mark an enemy on low health and then sniping at them from the other side of the gate using Sand Blast.
W: Dragon’s Breath
To be honest this looks sort of more like dragon vomit or fire poop because the animation has her dragon form sort of detach from Chromie, zoom up into the air and then rain down damage in a little area. Breath is something I associate with horizontal movement or something wafty, not something that would fall on someone’s head. The thing to note here is that there’s no telegraphing of the damage target area so foes will see the dragon go up but not know where it will land. I can imagine using that for mind games.
E: Time Trap
This freezes an enemy in stasis for short period. You can use it to escape, set up kills and so on. It seems to be visible to foes and has its own health bar though so ranged characters should be able to just take them out pretty easily if you don’t place them carefully or in hidden spots.
Heroic: Slowing Sands
This one’s a sand vortex that slows enemies. Chromie can leave it running while she goes and does other things or uses other spells. It’ll stop when she presses R again or when she runs out of mana. The longer it lasts, the stronger the slowing effect. this one will be useful for manipulating enemy positioning in fights, preventing escapes and chases, or slowing pushes.
Heroic: Temporal Loop
This is pretty much the same as Kunkka’s X Marks The Spot in Dota 2. Chromie binds an enemy to the spot they’re currently standing on and after a few seconds they’re teleported back there. It’s good for setting up kills by pulling someone back into your team’s range as they run away, or knowing exactly where someone will be so you can set up spells that have a cast time or something like Time Trap so that you can give teammates extra time to get into range.
You can take a look at the rest of the patch notes here. There are some changes to how super high matchmaking works and a tweak to stop people sniping at healing wells as successfully in addition to a bunch of other bits and bobs.