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To celebrate the upcoming launch of Overwatch, Blizzard is releasing Tracer for Heroes Of The Storm. This time-bending fighter will be available for everyone starting April 26th. However, those who bought  a digital copy of Overwatch: Origins Edition will get her for free and a little earlier, on April 19th.

Much like in Overwatch, she is a mobile assassin that can deal a great amount of damage while moving. I believe she has what it takes to make an impact of the current metagame, because while she will not be the easiest character to pick up and play initially, once mastered she could be a frightening hero that counters some of the most powerful threats. This article will cover her abilities, as well as my predictions regarding her place in the metagame.

Heroic Trait:

tracer_reload

Reload (D)

This trait has two functions. Much like Tychus, She can lock her attacks on an enemy, allowing her to move while shooting. Every 10 shots, she needs to take a short break in order to reload. While this process is automatic, you can manually reload, this can be useful to get ready for a team fight.

 

Primary Abilities:

tracer_blink

Blink (Q)

Her most iconic ability, blink work in a very similar fashion then it does in Overwatch. She can dash for a short distance. While this is a fairly short hop, the ability has 3 charges that can be used without any cooldown  between them, allowing her to dodge most skill shots with relative ease. It can also be used as an easy escape from a bad situation, or a way to chase the enemy.

 

tracer_melee

Melee (W)

When Tracers gets very close to her foe, she can deal a surprisingly strong hit to the enemy. While it can hit both Heroes and minions, it will prioritize the Hero. Dealing damage with this attack also lowers the cooldown of her heroic ability (witch is covered below) by 5% for hitting an enemy, and 10% for a Hero. You can use this ability shortly after an offensive Blink to finish off your foe with a quick burst of damage, catching off guard most frail ranged assassins.

 

tracer_recall

Recall (E)

Tracer’s mastery of time allows her to come back in the past, giving her a chance to recover from a bad decision. Upon using this ability, Tracer goes back where she was exactly 3 seconds ago, recovering the Health Points she might have lost during that lapse. This ability can also remove any negative status effect she had, making her very difficult to catch. While this his very powerful, a well placed stun or silence can incapacitate her for long enough to finish her off.

 

Heroic Ability:

tracer_pulseBombPulse Bomb (R)

This ability is very different from anything we currently have in the game. While Tracer is the first and only hero to have only one Heroic Ability, she is also the first to have it unlocked at level 1. Just like in Overwatch, the only way to recharge this ability is by hitting enemies with your auto attacks, or by successfully landing a Melee strike. When used, this bomb will travel a short distance and then detonate after 1.5 seconds. If used on an enemy, it will stick to it, dealing massive damage to the target, as well a good damage to any other foes around it. If the ability doesn’t hit anything, it will stick to the ground and then explode dealing the same damage to any enemies inside the radius. At level 10, instead of choosing your Heroic Ability, you can instead upgrade your Pulse Bomb in three unique ways. If not properly positioned, this ability can be devastating to the enemy team, punishing them for staying to close to each other.

 

Tracer Screenshot

Matchup Predictions:

Good Against: Li-Ming, Thrall, Anub’arak, Rehgar, Kerrigan, Muradin, Tyrande

Thanks to her Blink Ability, Tracers will work very well against almost every hero that rely on skill shots to get to the enemy. Once mastered, Blink can be used to easily dodge any projectiles as she dances around her target, leaving them unable to deal any real damage. For example, Li-Ming is currently one of the most feared assassin in the game and the most banned hero in Hero League, but she will have a very hard time hitting Tracer at all since her Abilities are skill shots.

Tracer

Weak To: Lunara, Raynor, Zagara, Gazlowe, sgt. hammer, Uther

Uther is very dangerous to Tracer. Since she has a fairly short auto attack range, she is always one click away from being stunned for a short while, which is usually enough to kill this frail assassin. Tracer might be a very nimble hero, but all her fancy Blinks wont fool Gazlowe’s turrets, Zagara’s Hydralisk, or even Sgt. Hammer’s auto attacks. The only real option here is to wait for a gank or swap lanes. I think Lunara and Raynor are also going to do pretty well against her, mostly because of their superior range and very strong auto attacks. Most heroes with access to a Silencing or Blinding ability should do decently well against her.

Recap:
I feel like Tracer is in a very good position for the current metagame – she will contest a few heroes that have very few counters (ie Li-Ming). She’s as hard to catch as she is hard to escape from, but all that good stuff comes with a price: this is a somewhat frail hero, very vulnerable to stuns, silences or even blinds, and it might take a few games to get used to her.

All images and YouTube video are property of Blizzard Entertainment.

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