In the most recent Heroes of the Storm patch Tracer got a full rework. This rework didn’t do anything major to her base kit, but was geared towards adjusting her talents. Talents like Leeching Rounds were added into her basic kit, meaning survivability is now a staple in all Tracer builds.
This is one of the few changes in this Tracer rework that has changed her playstyle noticeably.
Base kit changes
- Max Health increased by 50, from 1280 to 1330 – Not a noticeable change except for in the early game, allowing you to not get out-poked as easily.
- Health Regen decreased from 5.3 to 2.71 – Again not a very noticeable change due to Leeching Rounds being added to Tracer’s trait, healing her for 15% of the damage dealt by her basic attacks.
- Basic attack range lowered to 5, with damaged reduced to 24. However, the Pulse Charge gain from basic attacks was increased by 25%.
- Pulse Bomb itself had a reduction in both single target and AOE damage, down to 288 and 144 respectively.
- Recall received the most changes. Cooldown was changed from 30 seconds to 20 seconds, the amount of time recalled was reduced from 3 to 2 seconds, and the duration of the recall was increased to 1.25 seconds from .75 seconds. This change was the one that threw me off the most. Recall has to be used in a more calculated way than before. If you don’t keep track of that 2 second time frame, you can still be caught out of position and punished by the enemy team.
For the most part, aside from the changes to Recall, Tracer’s base kit changes are not very drastic. The base damage of Pulse Bomb may catch some players off guard, but the changes to the level 10 talents easily make up for this soft nerf.
With the overhaul to many of Tracer’s talents, I’ve seen two common builds in my Heroes of the Storm matches. Each have completely opposite playstyles, but both seem like they will be viable depending on your team composition.
Melee build: This build centers around playing Tracer in close quarters and utilizing your W ability. The build takes talents like One-Two Punch at Level 1, Jumper at Level 13 and either Bullet Spray or Heavy Handed at Level 16. Gaining a second charge of your melee, in addition to gaining a shield upon using your Blink, allows Tracer to dive into the back line and rapidly get off Pulse Bomb. This build works against teams that have a vulnerable backline, especially if they don’t have reliable escapes.
Auto attack build: This one is heavily focused on Tracer keeping her distance in fights and maintaining sustained damage output. Tracer Rounds at level 1 increases your basic attack range to help stay at a distance. Leeching Rounds also rewards the player for not burning through Blink charges, unless desperately needed to clean up a target.
While the Tracer rework was unexpected, I think it is a very welcome one. With some base self sustain and better talent choices, she can more adequately go toe-to-toe with other heroes in the Nexus. I do feel that after this rework, Tracer has more sustained damage. Overall, the changes feel good and make Tracer viable without having to build an entire team around her.
You can see the full list of changes in the Heroes of the Storm patch notes.