Overview

Stitches is a versatile and frustrating Warrior to play against. His kit, though appearing simple, actually has a lot of flexibility and utility. So much so that as main tank or off-tank, he's capable of making plays through his Hook that can single-handedly win games. Although he lacks direct immunity to abilities, or a means of mitigating damage entirely until later levels, he makes up for in continued pressure from his trait as well as high damage from his Slam ability. I will stress that practice with his Hook takes time and being able to use it well, without regularly missing, is key to effective stitches play. If you miss more times than you land your Hook, you really shouldn't be entering Hero League with him. 

Updated: 14 August 2017

Pros

Cons

A varied kit capable of making plays thanks to his Hook

Has no reliable means of escape unless he takes his Heroic

Capable of dealing good damage with the right talents

Pretty poor as a solo "tank"

His Hook is invaluable at targetting single enemy players  

Almost entirely reliant on effective Hook play  

His Gorge is fantastic

No hard crowd control outside of a very brief Hook stun

Works well paired with another Warrior

Can die quickly if focused

Abilities

Vile Gas (Trait) - Although Stitches trait isn't amazing, its primary function is to simply add pressure to enemies that strike him. Causing poison damage to enemies that have attacked him for 3 seconds, it increases the pressure on the enemy Support, in order to keep his team topped up. Ideally, you want to be infecting the enemy team with Vile Gas as often as humanly possible. 

Hook (Q) - His signature ability and key to his play style, Hook has a huge range and allows Stitches to pull one player towards him. Be aware however that if there is a minion or mercenary in front of your target, you'll Hook them instead. Fortunately the projectile speed at which Stitches throws out his chain is fairly fast, so the margin for error only grows if your specific target has invulnerability or a teleport. Always try to target Heroes that have the fewest means of escape and preferrably the squishiest. Finally, Hook can pull players through scenary and will briefly stun anyone you strike so even if you're at very close range and want to interrupt, say, E.T.C.'s Mosh Pit, you can. If possible, always try to find locations where your team has vision (but they can't see you) so they can you still Hook them. 

Slam (W) - A high damage, low cooldown, wide area attack that purely deals damage. Ideal for wave clear or pressuring a group of enemy players, you should use Slam as often as humanly possible as it's also incredibly cheap on mana. Try to hit as many players as possible.

Devour (E) - Key to Stitches' survival is Devour. Dealing relatively high damage (half its maximum value against heroes) it restores roughly 20% of Stitches' health. It's a huge amount and will keep you alive 1 on 1, but also reduces the need for a healer on your team to constantly heal you. Try to always use Devour on the nearest target as it will gaurentee you health and deal damage in the process

Putrid Bile (R) - The most popular heroic ability of the two, Putrid Bile tends to be a safe bet but one that's pretty poor. Allowing Stitches to sprint quickly by gaining a 20% movement speed buff, he also emits a bile that slows enemies by 35%. If you can manage to squeeze around the enemy team to cover them in the Bile, your team can capitalize on this and focus them down. Best of all, Putrid Bile can also be used as an escape skill due to the trail of Bile following behind you (the speed boost also helps!). I will add however that Putrid Bile really isn't great in higher level play and opportunities to maximize the slow - because of how it trails behind you - are limited. 

Gorge (R) - An heroic that's often overlooked but undoubtedly his strongest, Gorge allows Stitches to consume one player for 4 seconds. When Gorge ends, the player takes damage and during the period the consumed enemy can't do anything. Against an enemy tank, or healer, you can turn any fight from 5 v 5 to 4 v 5 instantly. Four seconds is a very lengthy period of time in Heroes of the Storm and if you use Gorge on the right target, there are few team fights you can't win. Ideally you want to Hook a high value target, instantly Gorge them and then walk away and into your team. Your team can then kill them with very little opportunity for the player caught to do anything about it. 

Talents

Level 1: Dampen Magic

Until level 16 and 20, Stitches has no means of mitgating incoming damage. Even Devour can only do so much to keep you alive, so reducing incoming ability damage by 50% and further ability damage for 1.5 seconds afterwards is significant. Dampen Magic is a must.

Variable: Chew Your Food is great if you're against a ranged heavy team that's likely to eat away at your health. Providing a heal over time for 10% of your maximum health, on top of the 20% healing from Devour, gives Stitches a fair amount of survivability. 

Level 4: Amplified Healing

Amplified Healing can be a great choice if you're with a limited healer such as Brightwing or Kharazim who rely on passive, or a single heal to sustain their team. 

Variable: Due to the size of Slam, it's hard to miss one or more enemy Heroes. By having the skill infect enemies struck with Vile Gas through Putrid Ground you're sure to not only deal more damage, but pressure them continually with poison. 

Level 7: Savor The Flavor

Stitches needs all the help he can get to stay alive and Savor The Flavor provides much needed sustain. Every time you Devour an enemy Hero, you gain 2 additional regeneration. Over the course of a match, it's fairly significant and reaching 30+ health per second more than achievable. 

Variable: Last Bite is great for providing Stitches with sustain because it's fairly easy to know when someone is about to die (including minions or mercenaries). When they do, you gain a 12 second cooldown reduction on the skill. That's huge and leaves you with 

Level 10: Gorge

Gorge is a must-have Heroic for proper Hook play as it allows you to eat a single player, drag them back to your team and secure a kill. As long as you nab someone who has low mobility (like Kael'thas or Malfurion) you'll always leave the enemy team 1 player short. The only catch is that for Gorge to work well, you need solid Hook play. 

Level 13: Flea Bag

With no ability to break free from Crowd Control, Stitches relies heavily on Flea Bag. When stunned or rooted his basic abilities have their cooldown reduced by 6 seconds, allowing you to at least use a second Devour if needed.

Having a 25% increased arc and range on Slam by 25% is huge and allows you to hit targets much more often and infect them much easier. It also helps with your ranged poke - Mega Smash is awesome.

Level 16: Stoneskin

At 16 most Heroes peak in power which is where Stitches tends to take a beating. Picking up Stoneskin can provide a much needed shield and gives him some healthy survivability (30% of your maximum health for 5 seconds).

Variable: Fishing Hook is a brilliant alternative if you're good at landing them. The 40% range increase is enormous and can snag players who don't realize just how far away you can be. 

Level 20: Cannibalize

Cannibalize provides Stitches with 5% of his maximum heal every basic attack. It's a huge boost for Stitches' sustain and while it won't keep you alive under huge pressure, it works amazingly well between Devour and Dampen Magic.

Variable: Further boosting your survivability, Hardened Shield reduces all incoming damage by 75% by providing 75 armor for 4 seconds. It's incredible for surviving a burst. 

Matchups

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. For the Heroes listed here, take extra care as they're particularly dangerous for Stitches. 

Hero

Threat 

The Butcher: Lamb to the Slaughter combined with Butcher's Brand will absolutely destroy you. Without a means of escaping, you're going to die.

8/10

Xul: His Bone Prison, attack speed reduction and Poison Nova can make life pretty miserable. 

8/10

Jaina: She's a threat because of her ability to slow you and as a result, you'll struggle to escape. Although you can pull her, she can shield herself and still deal high damage in the proceess. 

8/10

Kerrigan: Her shielding, stun, leap and pull makes life very difficult for Stitches. You can survive her for some time, but she'll end up winning 1 on 1.

6/10

 

Lunara: Her damage over time, mobility and range make her a headache - especially now they've fixed her stutter stepping. Lunara also easily avoids your Hook - she's very annoying. 

8/10

Thrall: Self healing, a powerful stun heroic and a root make life for Stitches very difficult. If he does root you, you need to hit him with everything you've got, as quickly as possible. Even then, you'll have still took serious damage. 

8/10

Raynor: His auto attack damage is enormous and his stun on his knockback can absolutely destroy you. He has better range, can attack quickly and heal himself. Try to avoid or have your team focus him early.

9/10

Varian: Simply because of his survivability and Taunt he can be frustrating for Stitches to deal with. If he takes Colossus Smash, he and his team can also blow you up in seconds. 8/10
Genji: Mobile, hard to Hook and incredibly frustrating due to his mix of close quarter and ranged attacks.  7/10

Tips

This list of tips and tricks are just a handful of things we think will help your Stitches 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. Stitches' trait is completely passive and only triggers when he takes damage. Ideally, you want to be in amongst the enemy so that all those who hit you, suffer the damage over time (even if it is fairly low). 

2. Slam is your only form of wave clear and AOE damage. It has a low cooldown (8 seconds) and is cheap on mana. Don't be afraid to use it often. 

3. If you can, try to use Slam so that you hit an entire minion wave. Approaching it from the side (as opposed to head on) should allow you to do this fairly easily. 

4. Devour is your primary form of Sustain as it heals you for a considerable amount instantly. Unfortunately it has a long cooldown. Only use it when you have to and before your health is too low. 

5. If possible, try to use Devour against a high value target. Its damage is halved against heroes, but it'll still eat a chunk of their health instantly. 

6. Devour deals full damage against non-heroic units (including camps). 

7. Your Hook can be blocked by minions and mercs. Try to always use your positioning to avoid them when attempting to grab someone in lane (approach from the top or bottom of a lane).

8. Your Hook has a fast traveling speed but you'll still need to lead your throw. Try to predict where you anticipate the enemy to be moving to, rather than where they currently are. 

9. Hook can drag players through scenary. Try to do this as much as possible to truly pull someone out of position. 

10. When you've Hooked someone and before you have Gorge, hit them instantly with Slam > Devour for maximum damage. 

11. You can use Hook to stop someone from channeling an ability as it causes a brief stun.

12. Be sure to save your active abilities (Stone Skin and Hardened Shield) for when you're under serious pressure. Stone Skin provides a shield, Hardened Shield complete mitigation. 

13. Always Gorge someone you have Hooked and begin to walk back into your team. It's also a good idea to ping for help at the location where you want to stop, so your team is ready. 


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Last Updated: Aug 14, 2017

About The Author

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

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