I love Nazeebo. He’s one of my most played Heroes and my class of choice in Diablo. I’m fast approaching level 20 on him and it’s great to see him having a minor revival in Heroes of the Storm. I’ve always felt he was good (at times he has been amazing) but he’s always been one of those Specialists that never quite reached the lofty heights of Zagara or Sylvanas. Part of the reason for this, I suspect, is that most of his damage is sporadic. Whether he’s shooting fish in a barrel in the hopes of snagging someone in Zombie Wall or having his Corpse Spiders randomly dart from target to target. Where his Toads are concerned, they’re largely negligible unless used like a shotgun, at which point you’re probably already in trouble, unless you landed your Zombie Wall or are rapidly backing away.
Despite his sporadic nature of dealing damage, to remove that would - I feel - remove a large part of what gives Nazeebo flavour. I love the autonomy of his spiders and the fact they’re relentless. I love the fact his toads provide area denial despite being undeniably poor. How then would I go about improving Nazeebo without changing the heart of his kit? It’s a tricky one but I do have a couple of ideas of my own.
Have Zombie Wall Actually Prevent Escapes
It’s been said multiple times, there have been a variety of videos demonstrating it, but Zombie Wall is easy to escape from. Dozens of Heroes can escape from it when caught despite, according to Blizzard, it supposedly acting as an unavoidable object (similar to Leoric’s Entomb). The fact it’s so easily avoided negates much of its potential, much to the detriment of Nazeebo and his team. Considering the zombies can be killed, is that not enough of a counter to have them impassable by all abilities unless they’re destroyed? It’s not particularly challenging to focus one zombie, killed it and worm your way out, and yet countless Heroes don’t need to do this. Make it truly impassable, please?
Sort His Toads Out
They’re slow, they fan out to near uselessness and with only three by default, they’re really nothing to fear. Even when talented, they’re still incredibly lacklustre: 3 toads can become 5 and their damage can increase up to 80% after a significant amount of hops. Unfortunately there’s no point building into Plague of Toads because and to be blunt, both Zombie Wall and Corpse Spiders, including their talents, are vastly superior. My proposal would be to replace Plague of Toads completely (which will never happen) and instead replace them with Plague Bats. Have three large bats fly out from Nazeebo in a fan-shaped telegraph, at a speed not-to-dissimilar to Rexxar’s Spirit Swoop. The damage can remain the same as Plague of Toads but it would provide some much needed poke to rival his Corpse Spiders, while bolstering his pre-existing talents dedicated to his Plague of Toads.
Change Blood Ritual
Does anyone ever take this talent? According to HOTSlogs it’s the least selected and that’s not entirely surprising: it’s poor in comparison to Hexed Crawlers (which provide some immediate sustain in team fights) while Big Voodoo offers sizeable boosts to your health and mana. Gaining near 2% of your maximum mana and health when you kill an enemy is great for laning, but still inferior to its peers. Is there not room here to add another Plague of Toads talent? My thought is to have it renamed Bad Medicine and have all enemies affected by the damage of Plague of Toads to have their damage reduced by 15% for 6 seconds. This would provide him with early game mitigation (that was potentially team wide) but to also pair with Guardian Toads.
Personalize Ice Block
A mock-up of how Rigor Mortis could look (replacing Ice Block)
The “flavor” of Ice Block feels totally wrong for Nazeebo and I think personalizing it for his style would be great. My thought is to have Nazeebo become paralyzed, immune to all damage. During this time would radiate a poison cloud. Anyone in contact with the cloud would suffer damage equal to that of Chen’s Ring of Fire (54.08 per second, +4% per level). I feel it would fit nicely with his theme and would once again provide some area denial. You could even call it rigor mortis.
Rework Soul Harvest
Few people take Soul Harvest despite Blizzard’s attempt to encourage it, simply because Spider Colony or Ring Of Poison are so much better. In principal I like the idea - a possible 25% bonus to your health and ability power for 15 seconds is significant. Unfortunately it’s hard to reach the maximum amount unless laning and you’re still left with alternative talents that are superior. Besides buffing it further (which feels a little lazy) it seems a shame to have a level 16 talent primarily useful only when laning. Even when you do secure 5 stacks, I’d still rather have the ability to cast Corpse Spiders more often or have Zombie Wall deal serious damage.
At level 16, the "laning phase" is often over and the game relies entirely on successful team fights. My thought for Soul Harvest was to rename it (Hoodoo) and simply invert its effect, so that Nazeebo draws his strength from allies around him. Whether minions or allies, this would allow Nazeebo to stay back and still gain its benefits without having to be in amongst the enemy team just to make it viable. It would still be useful in lane, as you could draw from your own minions, but would have a much stronger viability in team fights.
Lower Vile Infections Requirements
On small Battlegrounds 150 stacks of Voodoo Ritual is easily achieved by level 20. On larger Battlegrounds such as Warhead Junction or Blackheart’s Bay, it’s a slog to try to reach it. Unquestionably the best talent available at level 20, it feels far too limiting for his strongest talent to be viable only on the small maps (I tend to end Warhead Junction on 90 stacks). With that in mind, I think lowering the 150 to 120 would help his end game and although a difficult target, make it much more achievable.
Remove Fury of the Storm
Similarly to Ice Block, this generic talent lacks flavor for Nazeebo and I’d like to see it replaced with the following:
Spirit Vessel: When Nazeebo receives fatal damage he automatically enters the spirit realm for 2 seconds, healing for 25% of his maximum health. This effect cannot occur more than once every 180 seconds.
Functioning similarly to Uther’s Redemption, it’s a long cooldown survival mechanism that’s passive and which comes at a cost of the huge damage bonus Vile Infection affords.
So there we have it - my ideas for Nazeebo! Do you have your own? What do you think of my suggestions? Let me know in the comments below.
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