Overview

Falstad is a global assassin that provides high levels of damage. With strong mobility and soft crowd control, he has the tools necessary to keep himself safe while taking out priority targets. He can completely turn team fights when played correctly, or be a non-factor when played poorly. Like most assassins, Falstad is reliant on others around him to distract the enemy so that he can freely attack and if he's allowed to do this, his damage can be invaluable to any team.

I should also add that his ability to fly to any location on a Battleground (within a certain range) makes him invaluable at capturing specific objects or split pushing. He can comfortably soak a lane before arriving into a team fight and with the right positioning on his Heroic (Mighty Gust) can quickly come to the aid of his team. 

Be aware however that if Falstad is focus-fired, he can die incredibly quickly and like most assassins is highly vulnerable to crowd control. 

Updated: 07 December 2016

Pros

Cons

Extremely high damage output 

 Extremely vulnerable to CC/being focused

Mobility + ability to self-peel is invaluable on an Assassin

Needs a few seconds alone with his target to have kill pressure

Is able to quickly fly anywhere on the map, able to join fights or take objectives - even right after backing 

One poorly placed Barrel Roll will mean death

Is an absolute monster if his team is ahead

Can be difficult to play effectively if team is behind

Abilities

Tailwind (Trait) - Falstad is all about mobility. If you can keep yourself safe from damage, Tailwind gives you extra movement speed to help maneuver your way around the battlefield. Its a flat 20% speed increase and although you can't mount, it does allow you to move quickly once out of combat without the need to repeatedly use Z. In addition to this and already accompanied by his trusty gryphon mount, Swiftwing, Falstad does not un-mount. Instead, he gains access to Flight, which will very quickly transport him anywhere on the map within a large radius (with a 45 second cooldown.) This has a variety of uses, including quickly getting back to lane after healing, chasing down a fleeing enemy, counter-ganking, and split-pushing.

Hammerang (Q) - has a variety of uses. It can be extremely efficient wave-clear, as long as you don’t let yourself run too low on mana while using it for this purpose. Your hammer also deals a fair amount of damage, making it useful for both poke damage in lane, and team fights when you can hit multiple targets. The slow on it makes it a great tool to chase down your targets, as well as secure your own escape. Try to use Hammerange before an enemy escapes to give you enough time to chase them but also use Lightning Rod as well.

Lightning Rod (W) - This is extremely effective in an all-in, and a large part of what makes Falstad able to win a lot of 1v1’s. The single target damage from Lightning Rod is quite high, but it does require you to stay in close proximity to your target. As such, it can leave you vulnerable if you’re not careful, so make sure to be aware of your surroundings before committing to staying in range for the full duration.

Barrell Roll (E) - is useful for much more than just being able to yell “Do a barrel roll!”. Against a single target, this can help keep you in range to secure the kill as they’re attempting to get away. However, make sure that your target is alone before dashing in, otherwise you’ll find yourself dead quite quickly. The more common use of Barrel Roll is to make sure you can escape, as it makes you untargetable, and can get over most terrain as well.

Hinterland Blast (Ulimate) - It used to be incredible but unfortunately its damage is fairly poor considering you need perfect aim and in most instances will only finish off players that are already low health. If you use it too early in a team fight it's likely the enemy team will be healed up, too late and you risk missing as the enemy team splits. If you do take it, try to use it when the enemy team are low health (around 25%) to pressure them.

Mighty Gust (Ultimate) - A well-placed Mighty Gust can completely isolate an enemy, and leave them out of position and is often the best choice for Falstad simply because of the amount of control it provides. Whether it's defending a Boss capture, flying over the enemy team and blasting them back into yours - Mighty Gust is invaluable. 

Talents

Level 1: Gathering Storm

A lot of Falstad players in the competitive scene have begun to take Gathering Storm. Partly because by mid and late game, it allows your Hammerang to deal absolutely enormous damage. Allowing you to gain 2 additional damage every time your Hammerang hits an enemy Hero, it's fairly easy to achieve well over 200 extra damage.

Variable: When you aren't using skills, Falstad is almost entirely reliant on his basic attacks. Considering his attack speed and their default damage, bolstering them after every minion and Hero takedown is significant. Seasoned Marksman might not look strong, but towards end-game it can really help your damage output, especially once the quest is complete. I prefer the burst that Gathering Storm provides as an opener, but for a pure basic attack build Seasoned Marksman is fantastic.

Level 4: Static Shield

Falstad will often find himself 1 on 1 due to his global ability and his need to split push. Static Shield provides some much needed defence as it offers a shield every time he lands Lightning Rod, totally 4% of his maximum health per strike. If you can maintain your strikes against an opponent, your shield will stack and help keep you alive. 

Variable: If pursuing an AA focused build and for personal sustain, pickup Hammer Gains. You'll regain health based on 20% of the damage dealt, allowing you to excel in 1 on 1 situations while giving you much better lane sustain.

Level 7: Secret Weapon

This talent synergizes extremely well with Power Throw and Seasoned Marksman. With the Hammerang now out for a longer period of time, you can get off more empowered basic attacks using Secret Weapon. This is a huge power boost that’s difficult for enemies to account for in the middle of a fight, and will allow you to take down your target significantly more quickly.

Level 10: Mighty Gust

The go-to Ultimate for Falstad, Mighty Gust is all utility. Whether it's saving your team from being attacked, or blasting an enemy into your team, Mighty Gust can buy you lots of time to recover or regroup. On objective heavy maps that require interaction it can also be incredibly strong for allowing your team to use the object. 

Variable: When talking about a strong variable, Hinterland Blast is high on the list. With its extremely long range and reasonable damage, Hinterland Blast can be used to snipe a low-health enemy who’s on the run. However, the more effective use is usually during a team fight, rather than at the end. If the enemies are grouped up, a good Blast across their team can turn an even 5v5 into a slaughter rather quickly.

Level 13: Giant Killer

When pursuing a purely mage-based Falstad build, take Flow Rider. While your trait is active your skills will have their cooldown reduced by 100%. I will add that maximizing Flow Rider requires exceptional positioning to allow Falstad to get the most out of it, as taking damage prevents the talent from working. That said, when it comes to being level 16 it will pay off. 

Variable: While Crippling Hammer is good variable, Giant Killer is incredibly useful for boosting your basic attack damage. 1.5% additional damage, based on your opponents maximum health, might not sound a lot. However, it'll add a significant amount of damage per attack (depending on your enemies total health) and considering enemy health scales based on their level, so will Giant Killer's power. Against double Tank compositions or Cho'gall, it's incredible. 

Level 16: Crippling Hammer

Aerie Gusts is a brilliant talent as it allows you to capitalize on Flow Rider. Reducing your Trait to only a 3 second cooldown but also gaining a 100% reduction to your cooldowns during this period can lead to some eye watering damage if you're left alone. 

Variable: With the Hammering being Falstad’s only reliable crowd control, increasing its effectiveness can be crucial. Whether using Crippling Hammer to prevent the escape of a fleeing enemy, or securing your own safe passage out of an engagement, getting that extra slow can be invaluable to a squishy Assassin.

Level 20: Epic Mount

On particularly large maps where mobility is key, take Epic Mount. It reduces the cooldown of Flight to 25 seconds and reduces the cast time before flying to 0.5 seconds. Only Dehaka can rival such mobility.

Variable: With how potent Falstad’s basic attacks will be, Nexus Frenzy is the Talent of choice here. With increased attack speed and range of 20%, he can take down enemy Heroes and Forts in the blink of an eye.

Matchups

Who to fight and not to fight one on one is actually fairly straightforward with Falstad. In early laning phase, you’re mostly looking to soak up experience, as your primary goal is to not fall behind. However, landing some early poke with Hammerang can quickly soften up a target. If you find yourself ahead on HP, a quick rotation of your abilities (Hammerang > Barrell Roll > Lightening Rod > Auto Attack) can easily take down an unsuspecting opponent.

Other than that, the decision whether or not to fight an enemy Hero can be as simple as looking at the experience bars. When you’re ahead, you can often solo kill just about anyone on the enemy team with proper positioning. When behind, even some Supports will take you down with ease due to you being incredibly squishy. Falstad requires you to make intelligent assessments of your own power level comparative to the enemy; one miscalculation, and you’ll just be waiting to re-spawn.

These Hero Threat Levels (1 being lowest threat and 10 being highest threat) are to help you determine which enemy Heroes can give you a headache. Any Heroes that aren't on this list are easy pickings for Falstad. If a Hero is listed here, take greater care.

Hero

Threat 

Illidan: His mobility combined with his shielding/evasion make him a real nuisance. Even with your knock back, he can still harrass you quite easily.  

8/10

Kerrigan: Her stun, pull and self shielding mean she can deal huge damage to you. Your heal might trigger but her shielding means she'll stick to you if you don't have your knock back. 

7/10

Murky: It might sound silly, but Murky is a nightmare. His movement, Bubble and health regen make him a real nuisance to fight against. 

8/10

Nova: She can nuke Falstad down nearly instantly and turn her attention to you. If she takes Tripple Tap, you're in trouble. 

7/10

The Butcher: His health regeneration from Butcher's Brand combined with Lamb to the Slaughter mean he can tie you down.

8/10

Zeratul:  Similarly to Nova, his ability to burst from cloak means that at the very least you'll take a beating. 

8/10

Thrall: His self healing, ability to root you and his Chain Lightning make him a real threat. Combined with his Wind Fury, if he gets close you're going to melt.

8/10

Lunara: A combination of ranged poke, poison and mobility make her a huge threat. You can rarely land your Hammerang, while she'll easily outrun your Lightning Rod. 9/10
Tracer: Speed, mobility and an ability to avoid everything you have. Tracer will cut you down in seconds if you have no Barrel Roll available. 9/10

Tips

This section of our guide contains a list of tips and tricks we think will help your Falstad play. We'll continue to add to the list as required and if you have any tips you'd like to share, let us know in the comments below and we'll place them here. 


1. Don’t underestimate the damage of Hammerang, even at early levels. Just a bit of poke damage can completely dissuade enemies from trying to aggress on you in lane.

2. Barrel Roll can be used defensively to escape, or offensively to catch up to a fleeing enemy.

3. Be very careful when using Barrel Roll offensively. If you don’t know where the rest of the enemy team is, you may just be throwing yourself at them while simultaneously blowing your only method of escape.

4. Don’t only use Hinterland Blast to snipe a kill. While it’s extremely satisfying to do so, landing it on multiple enemies at the start of a team fight will often be a much more effective use of the ability.

5. When you’re ahead, make sure you’re constantly applying pressure. With the slow (and possibly stun, depending on level/talent choice) on your Hammerang, you can be an incredible pain to deal with. Make sure you’re constantly pressing your advantage.

6. While you’d love to take out the primary damage dealer on the enemy team, don’t rush past multiple Warriors to do so. If you’re in the middle of the opposing team without backup, you’re just going to die instantly. Don’t listen to people yelling at you about “focusing the tank.” Your job is to hit the highest priority target that you can safely get to. If that’s their front line, then you’ll absolutely be focusing the tank.

7. Given that some Assassins need time to scale up, it can be easy for your opponents to assume you don’t have a lot of early damage. If you can land some unanswered poke in lane, go ahead and dash in to show them that they were mistaken.

8. Remember to split-push as Falstad. On objective maps you can afford to soak in lane before flying to the fight at the last minute.


To read the latest guides, news, and features you can visit our Heroes of the Storm Game Page.

Last Updated: Dec 08, 2016

About The Author

Burnell 1
Lover of all things MOBA, Lewis splits his time between Heroes of the Storm, Paragon and SMITE.

Comments