Blizzard Entertainment has just announced that Yrel will be joining the Heroes of the Storm Nexus along with the new Alterac Pass map.
The draenei champion is fighting a new battle in the Nexus. Welding a large two-handed hammer, Yrel is reminiscent of the Retribution Paladin playstyle in World of Warcraft. She is also the first draenei hero to be implemented in the game.
Born on Draenor and growing up in the Temple of Karabor, Yrel has dedicated a large part of her life to the Holy Light. She served as an acolyte and even gained the notice of Prophet Velen, who later trained her in leadership. However, the peaceful life of Yrel soon came to an end when Azeroth’s Garrosh Hellscream united the orcs into the fearsome Iron Horde. The draenei was then caught in the middle of a war with a burning desire to protect her people.
At the end of the World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor expansion, Yrel walked alongside Grommash Hellscream and Durotan in victory, calling for a rebuilt Draenor and hoping for a brighter future.
“She’s got this really unique look and silhouette for her,” Matt Villers, the lead hero designer on the Heroes of the Storm development team, explained during the live stream reveal. “She doesn’t look like any of our other heroes. She’s got that big, two-handed hammer, right? We’ve got Uther, who brings kind of that Holy Paladin, a little bit of that Protection Paladin fantasy, but he doesn’t really have a lot of those big moments where he’s smashing people in front of the camera,” Villers said. “Yrel really gave us the opportunity to do that. She’s got that big hammer, she’s got that big wind-up feel.”
Players who have played an Arms Warrior or Retribution Paladin in World of Warcraft would be familiar with the slow and deliberate feel of Yrel’s playstyle.
Yrel’s first Basic Ability is Vindication (Q), which unleashes holy energy around her, healing her and dealing damage to nearby enemies. Her next ability is Righteous Hammer (W), where she swings her hammer and uses the power of the Naaru to deal damage and knock enemies in front of her away. Avenging Wrath (E) is the last of Yrel’s Basic Abilities, and it lets her leap to a location dealing damage to enemies and slowing them down.
Her heroics are Ardent Defender (R1) and Sacred Ground (R2). Ardent Defender surrounds her in a barrier and absorbed damage taken and heals her, it can also be cast while channelling her Basic Abilities. Meanwhile, Sacred Ground purifies the ground around her and gains armour. The effect only benefits her and has no time duration, and persists until she leaves or a hero forces her out.
Notable talents include Aegis of Light, where upon landing, Avenging Wrath grants nearby allies armour for a few seconds, Gift of the Naaru, which makes Divine Purpose heal an allied hero with the lowest health, and Hand of Freedom, which grants an ally movement speed and removes slows and roots.
At level 13, Velen’s Chosen is a Talent where hitting an enemy with a Basic Ability at maximum charge will grant her Spell Power.
If players love Chromie’s Bye Bye! Talent, they will love Yrel’s Bubble Hearth, as after one second, she becomes invulnerable, casts Hearthstone, and is taken back to base.
Matthew Cooper, lead content designer for Blizzard Entertainment, sees Yrel in either a tank a or bruiser role. She can handle a lane by herself with her ability to self-sustain, and control over the flow of battle, making her a viable hero in various team compositions.
Yrel may even find a home away from home in the Alterac Pass map. The map was an iconic battleground from the original World of Warcraft, where players had epic 40 versus 40 battles between Horde and Alliance.
In Heroes of the Storm, it is a large, three-lane battleground still featuring the Horde and Alliance as they clash in the Nexus. It does not have a core outside the Hall of Storms, however. Instead, in its place, are respected faction leaders. While the Horde has General Drek’Thar of the Frostwolf Clan, the Alliance gets General Vanndar Stormpike.
To win the game, players have to fight through forts and face the enemy leader. Both leaders will charge at incoming heroes, and even follow up with Whirlwind to deal damage around them. There are strategies to face these generals, for example, for every keep destroyed, generals will lose some armour. To take down forts, getting a map objective will spawn a cavalry unit, which will help push enemy territory. As for camps, there are two Ice Giant boss camps and two Knoll siege camps. Finally, the addition of Mud Pits around the objective area means the longer heroes stand in them, the greater hit to their movement speed.
Yrel will stop at nothing to protect her people, and fighting alongside her and the already rich selection of heroes in an all-new map, players have already claimed a great victory.
The Heroes of the Storm: Echoes of Alterac event will be between June 12 and July 9, while the new Alterac Pass map and the new skins will be released on June 19.
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