Heroes of the Storm: Kharazim Impressions
ByDate: Oct 05 2015 Views:
Author: MMOsite Writer Alexander Hinkley
Kharazim, Veradani Monk is one of the more recent additions to the growing roster of Heroes of the Storm characters. Apart from a brief couple of days after release where he was in most games, Kharazim isn’t played all that much so it was hard to get a feeling for his overall play style and power level. Having been available to play him for free last week, many players, including myself, were able to finally get our hands on him to test him out. I was actually quite surprised by the results.
My initial thoughts on Kharazim were that he was very strong. He has high mobility and some really good ultimate level abilities. This can be a deadly combination in MOBAs. He can be built either as a strong healer or as a damage dealer / healer hybrid. According to HOTS Logs, most players tend to build him as a healer considering it shows 87% of the time, players take Transcendence to start the game and then Echo of Heaven 80% of the time they hit level seven.
I personally like to build Kharazim for as a hybrid damage dealer/healer with Iron Fists, Way of the Hundred Fists, Fists of Fury, and Seven-Sided Strike for damage then Healing Ward, Circle of Life, and Storm Shield for protection and healing. Seven-Sided Strike is an incredibly powerful ability kind of similar to Fiora’s old Blade Waltz ultimate in League of Legends. When activated, Kharazim becomes completely invulnerable for a couple of seconds, dashing around an area and striking the highest health enemy hero within the area for a percentage of their maximum health.
A well timed Seven-Sided Strike can sometimes turn the tides of a team fight and makes Kharazim very dangerous to duel one on one as well. Seven strikes each dealing seven percent of the target’s max health all hitting the same hero mean that Kharazim can drain 49% of his enemy’s max health while simultaneously being untargetable and invulnerable. That’s all from using just one ability! It’s hard for any hero to overcome that in a 1v1 scenario.
Most players tend to learn Divine Palm as his ultimate instead, which works similar to Zilean’s Chronoshift in League of Legends. When activated on a friendly hero, it will revive them with a good amount of their health back if they die within the next three seconds.
Aside from Seven-Sided Strike, I really like Kharazim’s battlefield mobility. Kharazim can hold two charges of Radiant Dash, which lets him dash to a target ally or enemy (and damaging them if it’s an enemy). Radiant Dash has a lowly 12 second cooldown and there are numerous talents that can buff this ability such as Blinding Speed which reduces cooldown and adds another charge and Quicksilver which gives you a hefty movement speed bonus if you dash to an ally.
Radiant Dash has multiple uses. You can use it to chase a retreating enemy hero. You can use it to escape from an enemy hero chasing you. You can use it to dash into battle, heal your allies with Breath of Heaven, and then dash back out to safety. Radiant Dash is a great ability and you should use it early and often.
On paper Kharazim looks like he would be one of the stronger heroes in the game but that unfortunately seems not to be the case in reality. After playing him pretty much exclusively for a week straight, I found that either we were completely dominating our opponents or that my team got steamrolled and there was nothing more I could personally do to change that. Feeling helpless to prevent what seems like an inevitable loss is never fun. Some heroes are so powerful that even when your team is clearly losing you think to yourself, ‘if only I could catch them at the right moment I can turn this around.’ Kharazim is not one of those heroes.
Kharazim’s role is officially classified as a support so if you build him as a damage-dealer, you’re not going to be able to compete with most true damage dealers. Kharazim is probably better built as a healer, and can excel in this role, but still falls short when compared to other healing champions such as Malfurion in my opinion because in order to heal allies, Kharazim has to also put himself in danger on the front lines. Breath of Heaven only works on nearby champions and his Transcendence heals work off basic attacks. Someone like Malfurion on the other hand can hang back and heal from a distance with Regrowth. The trade off being that Kharazim has “burst” heals which can save someone from dying at the right moment whereas Malfurion’s Regrowth heals over time. Personally I’d rather have a heal over time from safety than a burst heal from the front lines, because if I die trying to heal someone, then I can’t heal anybody anyway.
If I wanted to play a straight up healer, I’d sooner go with Malfurion or Li Li than Kharazim. Perhaps that is why Kharazim isn’t played nearly as much as Malfurion or Li Li. Kharazim hasn’t been able to find his niche yet.
So is it worth spending 10,000 gold or dropping ten bucks to unlock Kharazim? Unless you are a huge Diablo fan and just want to play with this specific character, then I would probably say no. Kharazim isn’t overly powerful and takes a good deal of practice and skill to be able to play effectively. You need to know the precise moment when your heals will be MOST effective. That requires experience and instinct. It can be frustrating to play him but he does have a higher win rate than most other supports so there is something to be said for that. One could say that Kharazim is a low floor, high ceiling champion in terms of performance. Either you will be a huge difference maker in the match or you’ll get owned. There doesn’t seem to be an in-between with him.