Heroes of the Storm Sgt. Hammer In-Depth Guide



Heroes of the Storm Sgt. Hammer In-Depth Guide by a3udi

TL;DR:

  • Don’t siege unless you’re safe and have your thrusters ready
  • Don’t siege against Kael’thas
  • Take Vampiric Assault against stealthies
  • Don’t take Ambush (1), Lethal Blast (1), Slowing Mines (7) or BFG(10)
  • Don’t push alone
  • Don’t chase with your boost
  • Have good a good position in teamfights
  • Flame team when they run outside your range and die horribly –again
  • Watch the replay or the videos at the end of this guide

First, let’s look at her strengths:

  • Good AA damage
  • Largest AA range in the game (when sieged)
  • Very good escape, can be used offensively
  • Strong disengage with Concussive Blast (W)
  • Good waveclear with Napalm Strike (R)
  • Mana is rarely an issue

Her weaknesses:

  • Very squishy
  • Can’t mount
  • No/Little burst damage
  • Weak in the current (burst+double tank) meta

Abilites

Trait: Artillery: Basic Attacks deal 20% more damage to distant enemies. (Hover over it in-game to see its range. You get it even without sieging up)
Mount: Siege Thrusters: +60% movement speed bonus for 4 seconds; 30 seconds cooldown.
Q: Spider Mines: Create 3 mines that deal 50 (+8 per level) damage and slow enemies by 25% for 1.5 seconds; 14 seconds cooldown
W: Concussive Blast: Deals 50 (+13 per level) damage and pushes enemies away; 12 seconds cooldown*
E: Siege Mode: Become immobile to increase Basic Attack range by 90%, deal 25% splash damage, and deal 30% bonus damage to Minions and Structures; 5 seconds cooldown
R: Napalm Strike: (Heroic Ability): Deals 40 (+16 per level) damage on impact and leaves a napalm area that deals 30 (+4 per level) damage per second. Lasts for 4 seconds; 6 seconds cooldown

You can check her talents in-game or on Heroesfire.com


Builds

As far as builds go she as a lot of options with only a few “bad” talents:

  • Ambush (1): If you want to deal more damage take Advanced Artillery. The 100% bonus also doesn’t stack with First Strike
  • Lethal Blast (1): you don’t ever want to use Concussive Blast to damage enemies
  • Slowing Mines (7): the other two are just too good to pass up
  • Blunt Force Gun (10): while it does a good amount of damage with almost no warning – the low cooldown of Napalm Strike just adds so much utility that it’s just flat out better
  • Bullhead Mines (13): outclassed by the other options
  • Fury of the Storm (20): again vastly outclassed

Now with all that out of the way, how do you build? Let me share my thought process here:

Note: Since I always take First Aid (7) and Napam Strike (10) I won’t list them every time. You can pick Hyper-Cooling Engines (7) if it fits your playstyle better.

Does your team lack damage, but can keep you alive? Go all out on AA damage:

  • 1: Advanced Artillery (Adds 10% Damage to your Trait)
  • 4: Maelstrom Shells (+20% Range) or Focused Attack (AA damage bonus)
  • 13: Two enemy Warriors? Giant Killer, otherwise First Strike (+25% damage bonus if you weren’t attackted within the last 5 seconds)
  • 16: Graduating Range (Doubles your range gradually over 15 seconds when sieged)
  • 20: Nexus Frenzy (+20% range and attack speed)

This is the most powerful build and will melt everyone you target, especially after level 20.
Based on this build we will alter it for the following scenarios:

No Healer:

  • 1: Regeneration Master

No Healer + Nova/Zeratul or 3+ Assasins on the enemy team:

  • 1: Regeneration Master
  • 4: Vampiric Assault – to keep your health high and allows you to duel to some extend
  • (16: Stoneskin – if you need it)
    Side Note: You can solo a garden terror or the mine golem with this build after level 7 (First Aid).

Enemies have a lot of CC but not much burst:

  • 1: Resistant (Reduces the duration all CC by 75% when sieged) – very powerful for dueling warriors/supports while sieged
  • 4: Vampiric Assault or Maelstrom Shells

Enemy has Kael’thas:

He is one of the biggest counters to Hammer right now, so welcome to the free rotation where he is also free! Thanks Blizzard

  • 1: Regeneration Master
  • 4: Vampiric Assault
  • 13: Giant Killer
  • 16: Executioner (this + mines does a ton of damage) or Stone Skin(if you need it)
  • 20: Advanced Lava Strike – huge range and a good amount of damage

Some considerations:

You can pick Excessive Force (4) or Barricade (13) (but never both) if the enemy has a “jumper composition” with two heroes like Illidan, Tyrael or Kerrigan. With this talent you can push them back across half the screen or put a wall between you and the enemy. Note that you can press W again to make the barricade disappear if you trapped an ally or yourself
Pick Hover Siege Mode (16) (allows you to move with 50% walking speed while sieged) if you aren’t confident with your positioning.


How to play

General

  • Quickcast is very useful for your Concussive Blast
  • Unlock the camera if you use Graduating Range (unlock it in general, it’s better)
  • Don’t siege alone unless you know where the enemy team is
  • Avoid sieging when your thrusters are on cooldown
  • Don’t siege too close to the enemy team
  • Use (and save) your Concussive Blast to interrupt channeled abilites (Triple Tap, Strafe, Pyro Blast)
  • Save your Concussive Blast unless you are sure you won’t need it in the next 12 seconds
  • Always lay mines: preferably in bushes, behind you when sieged or where you expect the enemy to come from
  • Always harass your enemy with Napalm if they’re in range
  • Don’t overextend or chase unless you can secure a kill in less than 3 seconds
  • Napalm hits the ground instantly when used very close to you, making it undodgeable. Use this to your advantage
  • Throw Napalm into hidden areas to get vision

Laning

  • Prefer bot/top/golem lane, except for Cursed Hollow (to get to tributes in time)
  • You don’t want to be alone while laning, but if you are: play very cautious. Clear waves, but don’t push
  • If you’re up against a melee assasin consider laying mines into your minions
  • Ignore minions and go straight for buildings if possible
  • Stop laning if your team needs you at objectives
  • Stop laning when the teams start grouping up (usually after level 10)

Teamfights

  • It’s all about your positioning
  • Don’t siege if your team is not commiting to a fight
  • Only siege where your team can help you or you’ve got cover
  • Consider staying mobile during a fight, you don’t always have tosiege
  • If sieged: right click high-priority targets (Assasins, Supports) or what your team is focusing to death
  • Siege up in advance if you picked Graduating Range and anticipate a fight
  • Provide cover for retreats, boost away before the enemy can catch you
  • If your team gets caught: engage thrusters, push the enemies away and retreat
  • Don’t forget to lay down mines as soon they’re off cooldown
  • Use siege mode to zone out enemies
  • If you have to run away put mines in front of you. This way they will be ready to dismount and slow chasing enemys
  • Throw Napalm in below/behind you to dismount chasing enemies

How to play against certain Heroes:

Nova: with the right talents you can beat her 1v1 if you survive her initial burst, remeber to save your W if she picked Triple Tap

Zeratul: Lay mines into your minions since he will try to uncloak in the middle of them to use his AOE ability. Boost away if he jumps you, you can’t duel him 1v1. Save your W to push him away if he blinks after you

Illidan: You can fight him 1v1 with the right talents and some mines around you. Don’t risk it if other enemies could be nearby. Engage your thrusters and push him back after he jumped over you.

Murky: Resistant(1) can be a good pick against octograb, but push him back as soon you see him closing in on you. Often times he will be too low to re-engage.

Stiches: According do HotSLogs Hammer has her highest winrate against him. Don’t siege up when his team has a good follow-up to his hook.

Azmodan: If he uses his channeled beam knock him back to cancel it. You won’t win a 1v1 against his beam, trust me.

Nazeebo: Don’t siege unless he just used his zombie wall

Diablo: Don’t siege unless your reflexes are good enough to push him back while he charges you. However beware that he is somewhat bugged at the moment – you might push him back, but his charge will still push you back.

Sgt. Hammer: If you can: take Graduating Range, you will either zone her out when she picks Hover Siege Mode or be on par with her. If she sieges your structures use your boost and push her away.

Sonya: Cancel her whirlwind with W, be aware of her deadly burst with spear + seismic slam.

Zagara: Take Vampiric Assault to tank her Hunter Killers while laning (but don’t overcommit).

Kael’thas: Never Siege (unless it’s GG) and make dodging his flamestrike your top priority after his level 16. Harass him with Advanced Lava Strike. Avoid going 1v1, don’t chase him.


How to play with Hammer on your team

  • Protect her. If you’re a tank, peel for her if she gets jumped. If you’re support make sure she stays alive. Since she relies on auto-attacks more than any hero in the game she has to stay alive for long enough do get her damage in
  • Don’t fight outside her range. You are essentially fighting a 4v5 at this point and your enemy may jump her while you’re too far away to protect her
  • Ping if you want to retreat
  • Don’t run away if she’s already in a good position and the fight is even (especially if she picked Graduating Range)
  • Don’t re-engage if she used her boost+knockback to save your ass
  • Give her some advice (don’t flame ._.) if you know how to play Hammer and she struggles (“siege behind us”, “don’t push solo”)
  • Ping danger/retreat if she pushes alone and you suspect a gank

Replay

Here is a game I’ve played today against a team with Kael’thas. Sometimes I’ll go against my own advice, but that’s a call you have to make (or I was ballsy).
Fun fact: after writing this guide I went on a 10-game winstreak with Hammer. Guess I’ve also learned something from this :) write your own guide to improve your winrate!

I’ve uploaded two short videos that show how not to play against Hammer:
Let’s just ignore Hammer, what could go wrong?
I don’t think they saw me


That’s it for the guide, but I also want to explain why I main Hammer – even after the nerf and meta changes:
For those unfamiliar with it: Planetside 2 is a “combined arms MMOFPS” with three unique factions (empires) that fight over persistant continents which are splittet into territories. There is infantry, air and vehicle combat. One of those vehicles is an empire specific main battle tank called Prowler. This tank is unique because of its ability which is – you guessed it – siege mode and basically doubles your DPS. Since StarCraft Siege Tanks where often mentioned whenever it was discussed on reddit I always was curious about them. Since I got my beta key when Hammer was on rotation I immediately checked her out. Fell in love and spent 7k after the free week, no regrets.

If you have any questions or anything to add/share, feel free to do so! If you find any errors (factual or grammatical, I always want to improve my english skills) point them out.

Thank you for reading and get ready to roll out!

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One Response to “Heroes of the Storm Sgt. Hammer In-Depth Guide”

  1. Thanks for the great guide! I just started to Hammer and I love her! :D

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