Being about to enter the final stretch of my months long task of leveling up all heroes to 5, and that means I’m hardly spoiled for choice, now: a handful of heroes, or less, unless I want to commit to long ascent to level 10 on one of the other heroes.
Valeera happens to be the one closest to 5. That’s the first hero I can remember giving me a concern, a feeling resembling anxiety. She’s technical, complicated: unlike most heroes, under most respects.
As a stealthed assassin, her ability to switch at will between modes stands out, as most her peers will simply, and automatically, enter it on a cool-down timer, as long as certain conditions are met.
And what that entails, is two sets of Basic Abilities: 6 different skills that can, and should, be combined together, instead of the usual 3 or 4. Not all of them are created equal: five generate Combo Points, another of Valeera’s unique features, while one, Eviscerate, burns them all: the more CP, the higher damage it does; CPs are capped at 3, and will expire if not used timely.
But that’s not all: most heroes fuel their Basic Abilities with Mana. Valeera has Energy: the difference is Valeera’s fuel tank is way smaller, and it can only be regenerated, effectively put a hard limit on the combo chains.
A number of abilities heavily leaning on offensive, none of them doing a ton of damage: figure out the best chains for the situation, and make sure your enemy is in rough enough shape, when you’re done and out of energy; better yet, decidedly dead.
Valeera has one dash ability, that can be used to get out of harm’s way. But stealth is your ticket to safety, and once broken out of it, you may not be able to re-enter it, soon as your combo is exhausted.
Predictably, it took me some matches to get to passable end-screen figures. Contrast with Nova, another stealthed assassin; she’s got a decoy to draw fire away from her, a slow-and-damage, and a burst ability, and with her Stealth cool-down taking less than half the time of Valeera’s, the execution seems so much simpler.
Nova also has a Hero Ability, Precision Strike, that is more straightforward than either of Valeera’s: an AoE attack that charges up, and can be used to finish heroes across the whole map, or to discourage an opponent from following, while retreating into the shadows.
Long story short, my first match with Nova, after a long while, it’s 30 take-downs and MVP. Of course I got my ass handed to me in the next match!