Heroes of the Storm - Raynor Character Guide

This guide looks at Raynor, a classic Starcraft character that has been brought into Heroes of the Storm. Find out how to make the best use of this great ranged assassin character and what his best talents are.

Winning matches in Heroes of the Storm is all about understanding the different characters in the game and using each of them to the best possible effect. There are several different types of characters in the game including assassins, warriors, specialists, and support.  While characters fit into specific roles, each character plays very differently from the others and that is where this guide comes in.

Raynor – Basics

Raynor is a character from the Starcraft games and plays as a Ranged Assassin. While he is ranged DPS he is not the top ranged DPS, but with good reason, he offers a bit more.  He plays as a little bit of support as well due to his ability to push enemies back and to Inspire nearby allies.  Once you learn how to make the best use of his abilities Raynor is a solid character choice that always brings options to your team.  Most players will have at least an idea of how Raynor plays as he is the character used in the introduction quests, but let's find out more about him.

Strengths

  • Deals good damage and good burst damage
  • Provides a lot of group burst damage with Inspire
  • Strong at clearing lanes solo
  • Two strong heroic ability choices

Weaknesses

  • Main attack is skill based for aiming
  • No real escape options
  • No mobility options (other than the generic level 20 Bolt of the Storm)
  • No crowd control options

Cost: 2,000 Gold or $3.99 USD

Raynor – Abilities

Penetrating Round (Q) [12 second cooldown] – This is an aimed skill shot that deals damage and pushes back the enemy that is hit.

Inspire (W) [15 second cooldown] – This ability boosts your speed and damage by 15% for 8 seconds, as well as boosting nearby allies speed and damage by 7.5%.

Adrenaline Rush (E) [45 second cooldown] – This ability automatically triggers when you are brought below 30% health and heals you for a significant amount. The actual amount depends on your level, but is roughly 25%.

Hyperion (R) [100 second cooldown] – This ability is the first of two options that you get at level 10.  It calls down the massive Hyperion starship to attack players in its path.  It deals damage to 4 random targets in its path every second for 12 seconds.  It is great at controlling enemy player movements and forcing them back.

Raynor’s Raiders (R) [100 second cooldown] – This is the second of the level 10 options.  It calls in two allied Banshee ships that will cloak and follow you for 23 seconds, attacking anything you do during that time.  It is a very strong single target DPS option.

Lead from the Front (Passive) – This is a passive ability reduces the cooldown on all of your abilities when something you damaged dies within a second.  Map enemies lower your cooldowns by 1 second and player kills lower your cooldowns by 10 seconds.

Raynor – Talents

Every hero in Heroes of the Storm has several talents that they gain access to as they level in each match.  Rather than look at every talent here, we will focus on the best at each level.

Level 1

There are two decent options at the start, either Give me More or Seasoned Marksman.  The better option is Give Me More, at least in my opinion, as it significantly boosts your healing from Adrenaline Rush.  This is important because Raynor has almost no escape or movement abilities, and adrenaline rush will get used a lot.  The only other decent option is Seasoned Marksman as it boosts your basic attack damage, however since a good portion of your damage is from your abilities, it is only a second best choice (unless teamed with other talents later on that further boost basic attacks).

Level 4

Two more good options here, and I bounce between them.  Focused Attack is a boost to your normal DPS and can help get the kill with a sudden boost to an attack.  The other option is Quick Fingers which doubles the cooldown reduction granted from your Lead from the Front passive ability.  This means that your abilities will be able to be used far more often than normal which provides more damage but runs you our of mana quickly.

Level 7

Two more good options at this level and each has its place.  If you want the highest DPS then Searing Attacks is the way to go as it will boost damage from your next 3 auto attacks by 50%.  The other good option is Heavy Ammo which increases knock back distance on your Penetrating Round, but more importantly deals double damage to structures.  If you want to help push a lane, this talent can really help out.

Level 10

At this level you gain access to either Hyperion of Raynor’s Raiders, your heroic abilities.  Both are really strong but I prefer Raynor’s Raiders as they target your target and chase that enemy down to deal damage to them.  The Hyperion deals damage to more enemies, but marks the lane that it will be attacking in, and hits only 4 targets in that lane at random.  I prefer the targetable damage as opposed to random damage.

Level 13

There is only one really good option here for a DPS player and that is Giant Killer.  This ability causes basic attacks against a hero to deal an additional 1.5% of their health as damage.  When you have to go after an enemy with a large health pool, this makes a big difference, especially when tied together with Searing Attacks and Seasoned Marksman.

Level 16

This level has two decent options, the first is Cluster Round which boosts Penetrating Round damage for each enemy hit and widens the area hit by 50%.  This is the choice I take when I want to push a lane.  If you are going to be going after kills on enemy players then the best choice is Bullseye.  This deals 50% additional damage to the first target hit by Penetrating Round and stuns it for 1 second.  Since Raynor has no good CC or escape abilities, this can really save your life, giving you that split second to escape.

Level 20

Your top level talents provide some really good options. The obvious two choices are Hel’s Angels or Battle Hyperion depending on which level 10 talent you chose.  Assuming you took Raynor’s Raiders then Hel’s Angels are your choice and significantly boost your damage output and their survivability.  The often overlooked option though is the generic Bolt of the Storm.  Since Raynor has no CC or escapes, this choice is often a very good one, but chose it only if you need it in that match.  If the opponents have a lot of CC or slows, or fast moving characters, and keep catching you for kills, then this is your best choice.  If not, and you have been surviving fine up to this point, then I would take the extra damage from Hel’s Angels.

Raynor – Strategy

Raynor can be played extremely strongly in two different ways.  The first and most common way is as a roving sniper and hero killer.  He can do this very well right from the start of the game due to his Inspire ability.  Against weaker opponents often enough an Inspire on a group of minions can allow them to do enough damage that one or two shots from you finishes off that player. By the mid-game Inspire becomes devastating when teamed up with other allies and their abilities.  Roving around the map, looking for a fight and then boosting your teams damage can really ruin the opponents day.  By the late game, your damage becomes high enough with all of your talents that you can chase down even strong heroes and have a good chance to take them down, just don’t get caught, or you won’t escape.

The other way to play Raynor, and one that I really enjoy, is by pushing lanes.  His Penetrating Round which deals damage to multiple enemies and can be boosted to deal more damage to structures, along side his Inspire ability can push lanes and take down towers quickly.  This is especially true in the late game when you can get several minion camps working along side you on the enemy structures.

The only two issues with playing Raynor are:

  • He works really well as either hero damage or lane pusher.  If you try to make him be able to push lanes and DPS, he does neither well, but when focused on one thing, he is extremely strong at it. 
  • He is fairly squishy, with low health and extremely limited CC or escape options, therefore expect to die a lot.

So, while Raynor is a really strong character choice, you do need to take some care when playing him.  His upside is still good enough though to make him a choice that is seen on many teams.


Be sure to visit our complete Guide Portal for Heroes of the Storm for more Hero Guides, updated Tier Lists, and more. To read the latest news, features, and eSports coverage you can also visit our main Heroes of the Storm Game Page.


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

About The Author

Byron has been playing and writing about World of Warcraft for the past ten years. He also plays pretty much ever other Blizzard game, currently focusing on Heroes of the Storm and Hearthstone, while still finding time to jump into Diablo III with his son.

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