The competitive meta in NA is currently dominated by double Warrior compositions as a response to heavy burst damage coming from popular damage dealers like Zeratul, Jaina, Kerrigan, Azmodan, and Kael’thas. The higher health pools of Warrior heroes allows them to soak up the burst damage with enough time to get healed up and lead the riposte.
Common Warrior picks include Johanna, Leoric, Arthas, and Muradin. All four of these heroes have good wave clear and multiple ways to lock down an opponent through some combination of stuns, roots, snares, and body blocking. The Asian tournament scene sees a lot of Tyrael and Anub’arak as their hard initiation can almost instantly delete a squishier hero, but those heroes are seen as niche or fringe picks in NA.
The most common Support pick is Uther because of his two on-demand healing spells (a third with Benediction at 16) along with the power and versatility of Divine Shield. Malfurion and Rehgar are seen as secondary Support options because they lack the instant damage protection and crowd control immunity that Divine Shield brings. Kharazim and Brightwing are rising in popularity very slowly, though EU and Asia have both shown the power of these heroes in recent tournaments.
While the most popular damage dealers remain Zeratul, Jaina, and Kael’thas, certain heroes are coming in as silver bullets to deal with these “bruiser” heroes like Raynor, Tyrande, and Sonya. Heroes like Zagara, Nazeebo, and Valla remain as strong picks because they are versatile enough to deal with a variety of compositions and can deal their damage from relative safety, but riskier damage dealers like Sylvanas, Sgt. Hammer, Falstad, and Illidan struggle to deal effective damage against the resilient front line fighters.
In drafting the most common first bans are Zeratul, Uther, Leoric, and Jaina. The first three are simply the best at their respective roles, but Jaina is sometimes banned first not only because of how hard she shuts down melee fighters (like Butcher, Arthas, Sonya, and Kerrigan) but also because a Jaina ban can limit the burst damage options of the other team while guaranteeing a grab of one of those three powerhouse heroes for your own team.
Though Rexxar has not had a profound impact on the metagame, the recently revealed abilities of the Medic hero, Lt. Morales, seem to be very impactful and show great promise to help damage dealers like Illidan and Raynor deal huge amounts of damage.
Guest Author - Tonic