Heroes Of The Storm: Heroes Brawl Mode Kicks Off With Punisher Arena

Punisher Arena

Heroes of the Storm’s [official site] Heroes Brawl mode is out now marking a victory for consistent brand experiences across a multi-franchise media landscape. It’s a rotating game mode where Blizzard switch up how you play and what heroes you can use and the like. They have similar modes in Hearthstone and Overwatch so you might be familiar with the concept from there.

I’ve tried it a grand total of one times and at the moment I think I’d rather just play normal HotS. Whether that’s just because of the current flavour of Brawl or the mode itself I’m not sure.

So. The first Heroes Brawl is Punisher Arena. It’s up until 28 October and you earn points by taking down opponents on an arena-style map. As the name suggests there are punishers, one representing each team, who are fighting one another in the centre and you can help take the opposing one down for 10 points. Hero kills will net you four points. First to 100 points wins and it’s a best-of-three situation so you’ll play more than one round regardless of who wins.

Heroes Brawl is not really clicking with me at the moment, but I think that’s because I don’t have a massive hero pool and the current mode made me pick between three randomly selected characters each time. In both rounds I got no-one I’m good at and the easiest level was medium, with most heroes being marked difficult. It wasn’t exactly a great atmosphere in which to get to grips with the intricacies of anyone, I’ll tell you that. It is also a mode where that matters far less – no-one flamed me for awfulness – but there was no way for me to latch into the match as I didn’t feel like I was doing anything meaningful with the hero most of the time.

I think the thing that sticks out to me here (and do bear in mind this is only an impression after a single attempt) is that HotS matches proper don’t take much time and, to me, don’t feel hugely consequential so I find them easy to dip into anyway. As a result this particular brawl mode felt a bit odd. There wasn’t much to persuade me that this was a reliably fun interlude in my gaming.

I’ll probably wait for the cycle to move on to the next mode and see what that is. I will also add that I don’t really feel drawn to the brawls in other Blizzard games either so it’s entirely possible that they are simply not for me!

In other news, Warcraft’s Samuro has been added to the HotS roster as a tricksy, stealthy blademaster:


  1. Bluestormzion says:

    To me, the Brawls are a great short fun burst, a different mode entirely if I’m coming off of a couple games that seem like wins for 15 minutes until my team forgets how to Effing ENGAGE, and turns into four guys trying to hide behind each other and me screaming obscenities as I’m the only one trying to stop the enemy from getting the I Win Button at the objective that we could TOTALLY have just steamrolled since three of them are dead and all five of us are alive.

    And that’s the beauty of the Brawls: There’s nothing TO DO besides fight at the objectives. Nobody can say “Oh, I was getting a jungle camp, you were the stupid one,” or “We needed XP so I was laning (instead of getting the GUARANTEED LEVEL UP from the damn Laser Temples,)” If you’re not Fighting the Objective Battle you must either be 1) Dead or 2) AFK. And if you ARE AFK, my match ends in 5 minutes and I can get people who AREN’T AFK.

  2. Freud says:

    It a fun alternative to ARAM in other games and a good source of gold for players since you get 1000g for doing three of them.

    It’s also a good way for new players to test new heroes in a non-stress environment, since every hero is available and not just the ones you own.

  3. rondertaker says:

    i guess i had more fun with it because i play a lot of HoTS with a lot of different heroes so i welcomed things being mixed up, and was always able to choose a hero i was somewhat familiar with. that being said i doubt i will ever play a particular brawl more than the 3 times required to get the weekly reward…

  4. frozbite says:

    For me, brawl in state it is now is total fail:
    – no hero exp
    – no quests completion
    – no any hero progress during brawl

  5. Arathain says:

    I’m really enjoying it. I love the way hero selection works, since it takes so much of the pressure off and encourages you to experiment. Then you get a rolling, messy, effects laden team fight, and HotS is good at those.

    It works for me very well because I like to play multiple characters, I don’t have the time to commit to get good enough for hero league, and currently I’ve won every round I’ve played so maybe I’m biased.