Basic kit strengths and weaknesses
Lightning Shield build
Build Pros and Cons
Has anyone seen Raynor? You know he is a guy in a space suit with a gun. What? Don't you know whom I'm talking about? Really? Come on! He was in each game the last patch! You probably met him once. He is an incredibly inspiring guy! What? You never heard of Raynor and you think I'm confusing him with Rehgar? But Rehgar was a tier 4 hero in the last patch. People rarely played him. What? Is he in every game now?
I think that Rehgar is a new Raynor in terms of popularity. Just like Raynor, Rehgar can be seen everywhere. You can meet him in almost any casual game. You see him in almost any competitive game. And the funny thing is we rarely see Raynor these days! As if someone swapped them in the tier list. I think that Heroes of the Storm development team has something to do with this. But I'm not sure!
I think that the Hots team has done a marvelous job at bringing Rehgar back into the game. He was and now is a very fun hero to play. In my article, I'll try to describe what is it so great about Rehgar in general, and why the Lighting Shield build is that good in particular. But first, let's have a lore lesson, shall we?
Rehgar Earthfury, Shaman of the Earthen Ring is the full name of the hero. Those who played Warcraft III or World of Warcraft are familiar with a concept of shamans. In World of Warcraft the concept has been further diversified. There are different branches of shamans. From the Heroes of the Storm kit, I can assume that Rehgar is a Restoration Shaman. Lastly, Rehgar is not a character invented for Hots (hello Kotaku) but a character from the World of Warcraft universe. Rehgar has a decent lore. You can find it by the links below.
A small article about Rehgar's lore in Word of Warcraft wiki: http://wowwiki.wikia.com/wiki/Rehgar_Earthfury
Rehgar's lore from Nobbel87:
Rehgar has an ideal basic kit! I'm not joking! He has very cost-efficient spells. At the same time, he does a ton of work for his team with just the basic kit. Rehgar has everything his team needs. He has decent wave-clear. He has single-target and AoE healing. Lastly, he has a nice slow and zoning ability in the form of a totem. Let's have a detailed look at his kit.
Chain Heal serves as both a single-target heal as well as an AoE heal. Of course, you would like to use it on many targets for more efficiency. Overall, it’s a core healing spell in Rehgar's kit. For the amount of Mana that you spend it does decent healing numbers.
Ability description: heal an ally for 816 (387 + 4% per level) Health, then heal up to two other nearby allies for 408 (194 + 4% per level) Health each. The spell costs 65 Mana and has the 9 seconds cooldown.
Lightning Shield can be confusing at first, as it doesn't shield a target. Also, it strikes you as a weak spell at the beginning. After some time, you figure out it can be effectively used to clear minion waves and dish out some damage numbers in fights. Without the Lightning Shield build, the spell is rather weak. So, the Lightning Shield build not only complements Rehgar's strong spots but also eliminates his only weak spell!
Ability description: imbue an ally with lightning dealing 132 (63 + 4% per level) damage a second to nearby enemies. Lasts 5 seconds. The spell costs 60 Mana and has 8 seconds of cooldown time.
Ability description: create a totem that slows nearby enemies by 35%. The totem has 476 (226 + 4% per level) Health and lasts for 8 seconds. The spell costs 50 Mana and has the 15 seconds cooldown.
Rehgar's Trait is a unique one. Rehgar doesn't use mounts. Instead, he transforms into a big bad wolf that runs with the 30% movement speed buff. The transformation also makes his attacks more powerful, they do 75% more damage. Also, Rehgar lunges at the target when he attacks in the Ghost Wolf form. If Rehgar attacks or uses any ability, the form fades away.
This is a fun and unique Trait. It gives Rehgar increased mobility as shapeshift is instant, and you can run around in the wolf form across the battlefield. The lunge effect adds, even more, mobility as well as provides a form of gap closer and damage. The Trait has a 4 seconds cooldown after you "dismount". Lastly, I want to say that it is important to mind your positioning. It is very easy to lose positional control using such ability in the middle of a fight.
Rehgar's basic kit is very well-rounded. He has everything that a team can ask for from a Support hero. The decent wave clear is there. An ability to disrupt enemy heroes is there. Lastly, cost-efficient healing and an additional damage source are also there. Rehgar even has a great mobility in the form of Trait.
Are there any downsides in the kit? Well, there are not. Like every Support hero you have to watch your positioning, but you don't have any major downsides. The mobility created by Trait helps to be in the right place at the right time. However, it can be a double-edged sword for new players. The leaping effect can quickly mess up your positioning.
During the rework, the developers have improved all Rehgar's abilities. As a result, you almost always want to choose this build. Your other abilities are good on their own. Of course, the build is not perfect and doesn't fit in any game. Therefore, there are some situational talents and adjustments. But overall, this is one of the most effective and played builds.
As you've already guessed the build revolves around the Lightning Shield ability. Almost all talents will be used to buff the ability. As a result, the ability will cost less Mana, deal an incredible damage, and apply a shield. Without further do, let's have a detailed look at the talents.
Usually, you choose between the Electric Charge and Lightning Bond talents on this talent tier. Electric Charge is almost always better. Who would have thought that this upgrade is just what the ability needs? Suddenly, you do more damage with the spell. It is also easier to clear minion waves. The talent is a nice setup for the level 16 talent, Rising Storm. With bigger AoE, it will be easier for you to gain those Lightning Shield stacks. Lastly, this talent is a "must have" if you are playing with a melee Assassin. You will insanely increase the damage that your melee Assassin will deal. This will be true not only because of the radius increase but also because of other talents in this build that will highly benefit from the radius increase.
Talent description: increases the radius of Lightning Shield by 33%.
The Stormcaller is a great talent if you are going to spam the Lightning Shield spell. Believe me, you will! There are a lot of situations when Lightning Shield will be a useful contribution. You would like to use it to clear a lane. You would like to use it when taking a mercenary camp, to speed up the process. It can also be used to kill a map objective faster and so on. There are tons of beneficial uses of Lightning Shield across the game, and every time the spell will be used you will spend less Mana. This will allow you not only to cast more Lightning Shield's but also other spells, such as Chain Heal or Earthbind Totem.
Also, Stormcaller serves as a foundation of the Lightning Shield build. As you will invest more and more talents in the ability, it will have a higher value. That means you would like to use it a lot. Of course, the reduced Mana cost will be handy as you are going to use the ability a lot. Lastly, the talent sharpens the damage aspect of the spell. The increased duration of Lightning Shield will not only bring more damage numbers but also will increase the effectiveness of the later talents, such as Rising Storm.
Talent description: reduces Lightning Shield's Mana cost from 60 to 35 and increases the duration by 2 seconds.
We all know the Battle Momentum talent. Well, Rehgar just got a better version of it after talent reworks in the Li-Ming patch. You can treat this talent as a -2 second of cooldown time for your basic abilities. Usually, you can land at least one auto-attack on the enemy between the use of Chain Heal or Lighting Shield. Sometimes you can land more autos. In any case, this talent is a great option for skirmishes. Your spells will come off the cooldowns faster, and you will not only be better at supporting your teammates but also at scoring more damage numbers.
On this talent tier, typically you choose between Cleanse and Blood and Thunder. Blood and Thunder is usually better. You don't meet a lot of heroes with stuns and roots in Quick Matches and Hero League. If you do, then Cleanse should be your choice. However, the topic is very debatable. Whether the Cleanse talent will be viable or not depends on your line-up. From my experience, I can tell that most of the times I can run away with the Blood and Thunder choice.
Talent description: Ghost Wolf attacks reduce basic abilities cooldowns by 2 seconds.
Ancestral Healing is a great Heroic. You instantly heal grievous wounds of an ally and bring him back in a fight. Well, not instantly, as the spell has a one-second delay. If you are going to play Rehgar you need to get used to the delay. So, the usage of Ancestral will need some anticipation of the fight. You would like to see a pattern or logic behind enemy moves and react accordingly. Of course, you can't expect everything. This is why you want to have your basic spells off cooldown. You see, if you react to the situation which you didn't anticipate, basic spells will help you keeping ally alive while Ancestral Healing is connecting to the target.
The Heroic has many uses and strategies built around it. The simple one is to use it on an ally that made a mistake. This way you will negate all enemy damage done and most likely reverse an advantage in a fight. The more advanced approach will require some team play. What I’m talking about is your Warrior diving in the enemy team to create some momentum for your team. This may force some reaction in the form of abilities or even a burst down action which you can easily negate with the ultimate.
So, the Ancestral Healing ultimate is a great supportive spell. It has many uses and is definitely one of the best Support spells in the game.
Description: after 1 second, heal an allied hero for 3400 ( 1615 + 4% per level ) hit-points. The ultimate has 80 seconds of cooldown time and costs 80 Mana.
The talent is an improved version of the Protective Shield talent. Earth Shield is better in many ways. The talent has a far lower cooldown and Mana cost. Also, it shields for a bigger number of hit points. On this talent tier, you choose between the Earth Shield and Earthliving Enchant talents. Earth Shield is better against burst-down setups and in situations when you are in need of more sustain. Also, the talent can be good even against some poking line-ups. If you can cast Lightning Shield before the incoming damage, the talent will be a viable option versus poke spells.
Overall, the spell is an incredible improvement of your support kit. See by yourself: each 8 seconds, you can shield an allied hero. Basically, the shield costs 35 Mana. But that is not everything. If you are able to land at least one auto-attack, you cut the cooldown of Lightning Shield by 2 seconds. Potentially, you can shield your ally each 6 seconds. So, the talent is a great defensive tool, which benefits from the other Rehgar's talents to a great extent.
Talent description: Lightning Shield gives a shield that absorbs damage equal to 15% of the target's maximum health for 3 seconds.
The funny thing about this talent is that it feels like an improved version of Illidan's Immolation talent. Just think about it! After you learn this talent, Rehgar's Lightning Shield does more damage and has a better range than the Immolation talent. This talent is, of course, one of the reasons we see Illidan coupled with Rehgar once again in competitive matches. Rising Storm is the talent for a pure damage increase. You have no utility or support functions in the talent.
As you may have guessed, the talent is incredible when you have a melee Assassin in your team. You can give your ally an insane DPS boost! Coupled with the level 1 talent, Electric Charge, Rising Strom will quickly accelerate to insane damage numbers. Other than that, the talent increases your wave clear potential as well as overall damage output. Even if you don't have a melee Assassin in your team, it is still a great talent to have. You can use it on an allied Warrior or on yourself. In the first case, your ally can quickly burn the sustain of the enemy front line. In the second case, you can dish out more damage in a fight and chase some squishes. Of course, enemy chasing is a tricky part as Rehgar can be killed rather quickly if he is out of position. So, if you want to score additional damage numbers it is better to use Lightning Shield on allied Warriors or melee Assassins.
Talent description: every time Lighting Shield damages an enemy Hero, increase that Lightning Shield's damage by 10%. Stacks up to 20 times.
On this talent tier, you choose between the Strom Shield and Rewind talents. Since we already have a cooldown reduction on the Blood and Thunder talent, it is better to go for the Storm Shield talent. Generally, the mindset behind the choice is next: if an enemy team has great AoE damage (in any form, be it a big number of basic AoE spells or a few AoE Heroics), it is better to choose the Storm Shield talent. If an opposing team has a burst down oriented comp, then the Rewind talent is a better choice.
Other than the situation described above, the Strom Shield talent will be good against a poke oriented enemy line-up. In any case, you want to use the talent prematurely to absorb the incoming damage. You can treat the talent as Protective Shield for the whole team. On the other hand, you can use it to bring in more sustain to a key hero in your setup. Combined with the Earth Shield talent, Storm Shield can give a shield that equals to 35% of maximum hit points of the target. This is a huge shield number. It can save even some really squishy heroes, such as Li-Ming, Jaina, Lunara, and so on. So, the choice between the Storm Shield and Rewind talents is very situational. Usually, Storm Shield is better as you rarely meet hero compositions designed to provide insane burst damage against a single target.
Talent description: activate to give all nearby allied heroes a shield for 20% of their maximum hit points for 3 seconds. The talent has 45 seconds of cooldown time and costs no Mana.
Often times when I write this section, there is a distinctive downside or a weak spot in the hero that I can describe in the Cons part. When speaking about Rehgar, I really can't name one. Sure, he doesn't have a mean of escape but most heroes don't have. Moreover, If Rehgar had an escape ability he would the most broken Support in the game. He already is one of the strongest Supports. As for mobility, he has a form of it built his Ghost Wolf form. So, I that Rehgar doesn't have a weak spot. If you play decently, position wise, there is nothing enemy can do to kill you. On the other hand, Rehgar has tons of Pros. First and one the most important strong spots, especially for the Support role, is decent wave clear. This is a feature that is always nice to have. It is very crucial for competitive play, but even in a casual environment, you can see how easily Rehgar deals with mobs. He also lets you clear mercenaries and map objectives faster. The nature of the wave clear is very flexible and effective. I think that only Tassadar can compete with Rehgar on behalf of wave clear. The main effectiveness comes from the Electric Charge and Stormcaller talents. They let Rehgar spam Lightning Shield and they also make it very cost-efficient.
After decent wave clear, the next strong spot is the increased amount of incredible sustain Rehgar can provide. The nature of sustain is very cost-efficient. You have cheap spells that are very good at what they do. Each 9 to 6 seconds you can shield an ally for 35 Mana and heal your allies for 65 Mana. The healing numbers are great, and I only mentioned basic spells. Rehgar also has an incredible Heroic that can turn the tides of battle. This build adds efficiency to the sustain by decreasing the Mana cost and cooldown of Lighting Shield and giving it a shielding effect. Lastly, the hero has the Storm Shield talent that is good at shielding single targets or the whole team.
In the end, I wanted to mention a rare topic for the Support class. I mean damage. In Heroes of the Storm, most of the supportive heroes have a kit based on saving a hero. They do it by healing, shielding, and using defensive abilities. Rarely, Support heroes give a significant damage boost to a team. Rehgar does, and he does it well. The Rising Storm talent can deal additional damage numbers. It is especially good with melee Assassin, but even if you don't have one in your team, the talent is a source of decent and AoE damage numbers.
Of course, the Lightning Shield build is not perfect or ideal. It doesn't have answers for any game situations. Also, Heroes of the Storm is very complex game. So, there are some variations of the builds, as well as situational talent choices to smooth out different game scenarios. For this build, there are 4 tiers at which you can have alternatives.
This is the level 1 talent. It provides an even greater wave clear. Usually, you don't need an extra wave clear. However, if you are in the situation where no hero in your team has decent AoE spell, you can use the talent. With two Lightning Shields, one on you and the second one on the totem, you can clear almost any minion wave in a few seconds.
So, Lightning Bond is a situational talent which has value when you lack a wave clear potential.
Talent description: casting Lightning Shield on an ally also casts an untalented version on you.
This is the level 7 talent. Cleanse is a good choice when enemy setup is based on some key disruptive spell. With the help of the talent, you can counter enemy plans and initiations. Also, Cleanse will be good against an enemy team that has a lot of stuns, roots, and slowing spells.
In my experience, I find the Cleanse talent to be rarely picked. In a casual environment, a team communication and coordination are not that great. You rarely have a chance to get a great value out of the talent.
Talent description: activate to make target ally Unstoppable for one second. Cannot be cast on yourself. The talent has 60 second of cooldown time and a decent reach.
This is the level 13 talent. It competes with the Earth Shield talent which grants a shield based on the amount of maximum health. Usually, Earth Shield is the choice. However, if you are playing against a poke setup that has nasty AoE spells, Earthliving Enchant will be an awesome talent. With the help of just one Q, you will negate all poking damage done by an enemy team.
Talent description: When Chain Heal heals a Hero below 50% Health, they are healed an additional 439 (208 + 4% per level) Health over 5 seconds.
Rewind is the level 20 talent, and it is a very specific talent. In most cases, even if you are playing against heroes with good burst down damage, the Storm Shield talent is enough to negate the burst. In some rare cases, when you see that shields granted by the Storm Shield and Earth Shield talents are not enough, you can take the help of the Rewind talent. Rewind will give more sustain for a single target. Each 60 seconds, you can use your basic spells twice to save your ally.
Talent description: activate to reset the cooldowns of your basic abilities. The talent has the 60-second cooldown.
Rehgar is that rare case when everything is fine. Judge by yourself. Rehgar is a Support hero that has everything his team needs. He has a single target and AoE healing. He has decent wave clear, zoning and slowing spell, and an incredible Heroic. Rehgar even has a mobility and a gap closer combined into one spell! So, the basic kit of the hero is very well-rounded. It was very strange for me that Rehgar was one the worst supports for a long time. You look at his basic kit and don't understand why he isn't played by many.It turned out that Rehgar needed a talent overhaul as well as some numbers adjustment to become one the best Supports. Now we see him in many competitive and casual games. Moreover, he is very fun to play! He is a strong hero, but at the same time, he is fun to play hero. He is not like Kael'thas was in the past. You don't just play him because his overpowered. Well, you can play Rehgar because he is strong, but I'm 100% you will like his gameplay. The nature of the basic kit as well as ability numbers that Rehgar got after the rework has made the Lightning Shield build very strong and appealing. The basic kit is strong on its own. Generally, you don't want to improve any spell other than Lightning Shield. The reason is simple. If you invest in the Lightning Shield spell, you get more out of single ability compared to other abilities. Fully specialized in Lightning Shield, Rehgar has a better wave clear, a cheaper spell, a better sustain offer as a Support hero, and he also brings in decent damage numbers! Do you see how many things he does for his team at once?
I think that the versatility and cost-efficiency are the reasons why this build and Rehgar are so good. Other than that, I think we can also add low cooldowns and Blood and Thunder talent to the mix. They also make Rehgar and the build exceptionally good.
Meta - conditions of the game that make some heroes to be more popular than the others, due to a nature of the game environment. For example, Meta-game in professional games and casual environment is different. In the first case, people have voice communication and spend a lot of time in the game. They can play various heroes on an extreme level, and do organized moves as a team. At the same time, casual environment consists of players of different skill and understanding of the game, so, heroes that are easier to play are more valued there.
AoE - Area of Effect.
Poking – dealing small amounts of damage while maintaining a safe position.
Wombo-Combo – a setup of spells or Heroics that brings overwhelming results. For example, utter destruction of the enemy team. Usually, it involves spells with tricky mechanics.
Burst down - a use of high damage spells and abilities in a quick succession.
DPS - damage per second.
DoT - damage over time.
Stutter-stepping – an action that uses cooldowns between auto-attacks to move a bit towards a target. As a result, a player can dish out more right-click damage.
Peeling – use of disruptive abilities, as well as body-blocks, to protect your allies. Usually, it is done by Warriors.
Gap closer - an ability used to shorten a distance between you and a target.
Ganking - roaming between the lanes to kill enemy heroes.
Hots - Heroes of the Storm.