The leaves are turning and the sun is setting, but Update 1.24 brings about the most color we’ve ever seen. The past few updates have entirely shifted the meta with more than a few balance changes and the addition of several new heroes. Crystal mages have risen up on the scale while melee Heroes are finally starting to see the light of day. Let’s jump in … “to the dark we go.” Poof!
Celeste: Update 1.24 is giving this mage two pigtails up. Her almost unparalleled scaling, range, stun, and sheer game-ending prowess give her a strong leg up on any and all competition. Readjustments in 1.24 and the introduction of yet another invisible foe (or two, and sometimes three) in the form of Flicker haven’t slowed Celeste from dropping more stars onto the Fold than ever before, so keep an eye to the sky.
Samuel: The dark mage has managed to remain unchanged through the last few patches, despite frequent nerfs to fellow ranged and mage Heroes. Powerful hexes and curses send foes to the grave (or put them to sleep, then make them sleep forever) while Samuel dances around the Fold taking fights wherever and whenever he wants them. Oblivion allows Samuel to escape bad situations or reshape fights as he needs to, while his abilities supply him with immense damage, range, mobility, and utility.
Kestrel: This archer’s quiver of armor-piercing arrows aren’t going away any time soon. Even with her 1.23 hotfixes being made permanent alongside a few extra base damage nerfs on Glimmershot and Active Camo, Kestrel remains dominant on the Fold. In the Lane, she can gather plenty of gold to reach her power spikes quickly, and easily wins against many competitors for Lane dominance by weaving autos in between Glimmershots for ridiculous short-term trades.
Skaarf: Skaarf is not the strongest mage due to his slower skillshot and his kit’s lack of damage if he misses it, but he can still poke quite effectively. His CC options are also more limited than some other Laners, meaning that Skaarf often needs to rely a bit more upon his allies to set up ideal fights for him. All said and done, don’t sleep on Skaarf–given the chance, this little dragon will watch the world burn and gurgle adorably while he Fans the Flames.
Kind of a Big Deal
Baron: With the slow on Porcupine Mortar restored, Baron is somewhat capable of staving off enemies and farming up. Baron’s weak early game still holds him back often, especially when he’s up against mage Laners and powerful ganks from the Jungle. If he manages to get past his weak phase, Baron will more than make up for it late game with his ridiculous combos of explosive potential.
Vox: The sound boy is a sound pick, but often finds himself outmatched by other Heroes with more range, options, and sheer force of damage. Both Weapon and Crystal Vox seem to be outplayed, outperformed, or both by other Heroes, but Vox can definitely still pose a threat. Any Vox that maintains his distance and jukes skillshots won’t have to Wait For Vain Crystal explosions too long, but he needs to Sonic Zoom himself into the lead or he’ll be listening to some R&B Blues.
Gwen: The Fold’s only law-enforcement (outside of Tier 2 Rona) is in a pretty decent spot. Her variety of builds and simple but effective kit make her a solid pick in a good number of situations, but teams that can draw out her Skedaddle quickly find this gunslinger’s weakness. Boomstick and Buckshot Bonanza combine for great poke and utility, while Aces High allows Gwen to keep critical targets from escaping her grasp.
Adagio: Adagio makes for a fine backline mage, but he truly lacks mobility compared to other Lane choices and usually ends up sitting more or less in one place casting spells on himself or allies. This makes Adagio somewhat of a sitting duck when teams collapse upon him, as Gift of Fire isn’t an escape tool. Adagio’s only other recourse is to cast Verse of Judgement, which prevents Adagio from escaping himself. The ultimate usually doesn’t get to apply its stun to enemies, meaning that using it defensively is a gamble as to whether it will deal enough damage to kill all assailing foes in one fell sweep. Hint: Usually it won’t.
Blackfeather: This dashing Assassin makes it into the Lane list for exactly that reason–his dashes. Blackfeather is able to trade decently in Lane due to the barrier and damage made available to him by On Point. His true strength is his ability to jump onto any enemy Laner the instant they make a mistake, turning all of the harass he’s exchanged into execution potential. Blackfeather’s ability to change the flow of battle and reduce incoming harassment makes him the only Melee Hero who can consistently survive in the Lane. Despite this, his weak early game can become his undoing, as Ranged foes can harass him much more effectively before On Point is overdriven.
Skye: Turns out dropping all of that defensive plating for mobility might not have been the best decision for a mech design. Skye is in an awkward spot where her kit allows her to truly outplay enemies, but her Lane clear has been suffering and she often takes the worse end of trades. This makes it very easy to fall behind and even harder for her to catch up if she does, which all adds up to a really bad day.
Ringo: The original Gwen is also feeling a bit under the weather. Perhaps all of the alcohol he’s consumed over the past two years is finally affecting his aim, or perhaps he’s just getting old. Ringo finds himself out-damaged, out-maneuvered, and out-played by many Heroes on the Fold now, but maybe this will sober him up for good times in the future.
SAW: Without strong compositions to protect him, this turret-pushing fiend often finds himself staring at a respawn timer rather than shattered Vain Crystals. SAW’s insane DPS potential isn’t enough to pull him out of many of the tricky situations he places himself in, and without allies by his side, he’ll surely fall. Knowing SAW, he’ll find a way to push through, but today isn’t his day.
Kestrel: No matter where she goes, Kestrel seems to find immense success, and her power peaks in the Jungle. Kestrel can use her Glimmershots to their maximum effectiveness more often than not, granting the Bow a clear speed that most Heroes can’t keep up with even if they build a Stormcrown. One Shot One Kill allows Kestrel to make her impact felt wherever it’s needed on the map, and Active Camo combined with brushes allows Kestrel to provide ganks for herself, making this archer one heck of a pick.
Taka: Back at it again! The Kamuha Assassin takes any small lead and snowballs harder than any Hero in the Fold. Taka’s arsenal of stealth, speed, damage, invulnerability durations, and mortal wounds are only hampered by one thing: his abysmal clear speed. Fortunately, it only takes a Stormcrown to fix that problem, and once he finishes that item he’ll fly through Jungles and become a nightmare for any team that dares to not keep up with the necessary vision to contain him.
Skye: Clearing isn’t so difficult in the Jungle, where helpful Treants offer health and energy while brush and early help from the Roam keep Skye isolated from other threats. The lack of Lane minions to get in the way of Forward Barrage also makes Skye an incredible early-game bully in the Jungle, so watch out!
Blackfeather: Blackfeather is perfectly comfortable in the Jungle. His general mobility allows him to navigate the Jungle effortlessly, especially after reaching Level 6. On Point is almost always available, making Blackfeather ready to catch out foes at the drop of a kiss. With fewer threats to his early game, Blackfeather is able to scale into the anti-range threat he’s intended to be.
Lance: Lance’s combination of low cooldowns, high damage, high crowd control, decent scaling, and no energy requirements make him a terrifying force in the right hands. His high base stats allow him to build damage and tank items, and he can essentially pick whatever he needs most at a given time and find success. At the end of the day, Lance is still a team player, and if he fails to protect his allies or can’t properly coordinate with them, he’s likely to get outmaneuvered and outplayed.
Koshka: This crazy cat has an easy time clearing her Jungle (and yours) quickly, and her kit’s prioritization on damage makes Koshka extremely good at leveraging any small victory into many small (and large) victories. She does sometimes struggle to finish games, but can often power through before enemies manage to get enough gold and experience to outscale her natural abilities.
Kind of a Big Deal
Petal: Petal can be an absolute menace in the Jungle. With enough CP, her Munions devour everything in sight while Petal herself manages to pump out a lot of damage via Alternating Current. Petal doesn’t have quite as much raw power as the top contenders, but the heal on her ultimate can keep her relevant in the later portions of games, allowing her team to rally together for one final push and end with another checkmark in the W’s.
Samuel: Samuel is strong, but can’t quite live up to his full potential in the Jungle. The AoE damage on Malice and Verdict provides him with decent clear. His ganks and Jungle engagements are extremely powerful. Unfortunately, Jungle Samuel often ends up yearning for more gold rather than more experience, meaning that he’s best suited for the Lane.
Reim: Reim’s grumpiness knows fewer boundaries in Update 1.24, and he’s really enjoying the reduced constraints on his Fortified Health. It hasn’t been enough to launch him to the top, but the minor buffs to Frostguard are making his old bones feel decades younger.
Glaive: Glaive’s rocket-punting shenanigans and passive critical hit chance would seem to be ideal when faced with a meta dominated by squishy and relatively immobile targets, but this blind cat just can’t seem to hit. His burst combos are plenty sufficient, but Afterburn’s long cooldown often limits the impact Glaive can provide. Glaive often finds out the hard way that he’s not tanky enough to endure early trades before engagements truly start, and his passive lifesteal on Bloodsong often proves insufficient to heal him up after taking critical damage.
Ozo: Goodbye Throwzo! The most recent batch of changes leave this monkey with somewhat misshapen paws and clunky interactions, but he’s feeling much better now. Using his abilities in teamfights doesn’t necessarily mean gambling on your survival to the end, and that allows Ozo’s sustaining powers to kick in and kick some butt.
Alpha: Alpha is a powerful enemy, especially when building Blue, but she absolutely requires her team’s protection when caught in the midst of Infinite Reboot. If Alpha makes it through the sequence, she’s plenty capable of turning fights and turning heads. On the other hand, teams that can’t guarantee her survival will probably need to read up on the instruction manual, as she falls apart with under just the right amount of pressure. Some assembly required.
Krul: Krul’s sustain and Weakness stacks make him a powerful foe regardless of his target, but his relevancy truly depends on his ability to stick to those targets. When up against Heroes who can avoid him easily with Jump Jets, Active Camo, Kaiten, and well placed Core Collapses or Impales, Krul has a somewhat unfair time staying in fights. Once his target gets out of range, the Undead Viking tends to fare quite poorly no matter how many defensive items he’s built.
Rona: Rona finds herself a bit too susceptible to both team’s compositions. While she performs well against relatively immobile mages, her clear speed often leaves her out to dry against stronger Jungle picks. Additionally, without a Roam who can create convenient groupings for Red Mist, Rona tends to fizzle out as the game continues. Into the Fray makes Rona a very directed Hero: into fights or out of them, but usually not both. If things go South, she’s unlikely to turn the fight around or to get out alive.
Joule: Joule often finds herself in bad situations in a Fold dominated by Ranged Heroes. She needs a lot of gold to get to the point where she truly shines, and up until then her damage and clear speed leave a lot to be desired. Furthermore, Rocket Leap has decent potential to place Joule into more trouble than she can handle. If she stays to fight, it becomes apparent that Joule can really struggle to deal similar damage to her opponents. Retreating is a poor option because it exposes Joule’s back, which is not protected by Heavy Plating and often results in the pot shots from enemy Laners showing her the fastest way back to base: respawn.
Flicker: The Fold’s first full-time Bleekos hit the Fold in an impressive fashion. Flicker brings a lot to whomever he’s paired up with. His Passive makes him both an anti-vision nightmare for enemies and a powerful vision supplier for his own team. Flicker’s abilities also provide consistent damage, CC, and zoning power even with little to nothing in terms of items. His ultimate can completely destroy enemies when coordinated properly. Surprise teamfights are historically lost by the team who gets surprised, and Flicker provides more evidence to that theory with each match he plays.
Lyra: Similar to Flicker, Lyra still offers teams an arsenal of spells and tools to use as they see fit. Bright Bulwark and Principal Arcanum are superb tools for preventing enemies from escaping strong engagements, and War Treads, Arcane Passage, or a well-placed Imperial Sigil are all plenty sufficient to set up those engagements. Lyra’s flexibility as a healer, disabler, mobility-provider and CC-machine allows her to work well with and against almost anyone on the Fold.
Kind of a Big Deal
Lance: While still an extremely powerful pick, people have been going against Lance for a long time now, meaning that dodging an Impale is often a more practiced move than reacting to Flicker’s Fairy Dust or Catherine’s Merciless Pursuit. The Gythian Knight is still a superb frontline defender, but he isn’t the top dog anymore.
Catherine: When strong bursty Heroes rise to power, so Catherine rises to take them down. A Blast Tremor that isn’t blocked grants Catherine and company an immense advantage, and Stormguard allows Catherine to body-block more effectively than any Roam in the game. Merciless Pursuit remains one of the most reliable stuns in the game, but it is limited to a single target and is often telegraphed by Catherine’s sprint and sound.
Ardan: Ardan offers his team a premium in mobility, barriers, initiation, and area control. All of these things allow Ardan to grant his allies overwhelming power with simple but effective brute force applications. Ardan is also decent against Ranged picks, as his gap closers allow him to reduce the amount of poke he and his allies take while Gauntlet creates opportunities to catch enemies out or contain them in a desireable location. Ardan and his team will have to make sure that they properly coordinate to ensure victory, but he’s sure to sock unsuspecting and unprepared teams in the jaw.
Phinn: It’s been a rough fishing season for the River Troll. For the first time ever, Phinn has been asked to crawl back under the bridge he came out from. Quibble isn’t as much of a threat as it used to be with reduced base damage in early levels, and Forced Accord can sometimes put Phinn’s team in as much jeopardy as it threatens against enemy teams.
Fortress: This wolf is still howling at the moon, and still to little effect. Fortress can work with certain compositions, but his performance as a Roam remains fairly unstable. Another, more consistent choice of Roamer is usually more desirable, as even when Fortress hits his stride, his success is mostly due to the success of his Packmates rather than a superb individual contribution.
Adagio: Anything Adagio does, Lyra does better. Gift of Fire places all of Roam Adagio’s tools into one basket. Granted, that basket is pretty easy to use, but Verse of Judgement holds on tight to its title of “Most Consistently Blocked Stun in the Game” and the slow on Gift of Fire is difficult to make effective use of outside of early engagements. Outside of that, Adagio only supplies single target heals and bonus damage, while still leaving his team in want of more healing and more damage. Awkward.
Let us know your thoughts on our 1.24 Hero Tier List! From accuracy to article format, we take all feedback into consideration. If you wish to view old Hero Tier Lists, you can do so here. Credit to those involved in this Hero Tier List: