Hey folks. I wanted to post my own advice instead of simply commenting others. I felt that many of the other commenters are failing to see just how hard the nerfs Azmodan received were. For those that do not wish to go through all this, there will be a TLDR
at the bottom, and a SUPER-TLDR
with it. So here we go.
A. Baseline Azmodan stats:
- Health reduced from 2738 -> 2464
- Health regen reduced from 5.7031 -> 5.1328
This double nerf hurts. Azmodan has a giant hitbox, has no mobility and needs to get upclose in teamfights once his dunk is on cooldown. A straight 10% nerf to his HP and regen seems harsh and unwarranted.
B. Globe of Annihilation (Q) changes:
- Baseline quest: Azmo's Q now gets improved damage by 2 damage every time he kills minions or heroes during 1.5 second after they were hit by the GoA. Theorically, it looks good. In reality, this means that you won't be free to use your Q as you wish anymore. Everytime you will use it on targets that aren't immediately in range of being auto-attacked, you will lose progression on your quest. Also, 1.5 second is a very short window, meaning you will get two stacks maximum per cast. And now, you will be force to cast it on cooldown, otherwise you will be very late on your quest.
[Correction brought by ZeShmoutt
, for minions the quest gives you progression through killing them as for the current Taste for Blood quest, but laso by just hitting heroes with the Q like for Sieging Wrath.]
- Level 1 quests: GoA received some cool quests at level 1, which on paper looks amazing. In reality, the ability already had cool quests before. The loss of Sieging Wrath will notably be very hard for Azmodan. First, Sieging Wrath was a quest that was easy and quick to complete. Second, it was rewarding 33% range to GoA, making jump from 35 to 46.5. For reference, they also nerfed the ability's range to 30. The dunk went from almost a guaranteed 46.5 range to 30. The net result of these changes on his level 1 quest is that he has lost on quest completion and receives a worse reward for them.
- Talents: Infernal Globe has disappeared, and was his best talent. For those not knowing this talent, it was reducing cast time by 40% and increasing missile speed by 40%. In exchange, he received almost 40% of cast speed reduction (used to be 0.535, now it's 0.562). But that was the least important part. The most important part was that the slow projectile that this ability has was becoming somewhat faster, and therefore easier to land and harder to dodge.
- Warning splat: now the circle on the ground where the dunk will land will appear sooner (you can see how sooner on the rework video). This means that the ability will become even easier to dodge.
: Globe of Annihilation now has a shorter range, slower projectile and becomes visible to the enemy to avoid it sooner. Landing this ability will now require other people to be deep into a teamfight and too busy to notice, or to be CC'd. And this is for when you decide that you have no intention to get progress on your quest, because remember that you need to be auto-attacking targets hit by the Globe to get progress on your quest. The conclusion here is that the ability has been nerfed to the ground. Not a single change is positive. Azmodan's defining ability, what made him fun and unique, has been nerfed to the point of becoming pretty anecdotal.
C. Demon Warrior (W) changes:
- Baseline stats: Demon Warrior received buffs and nerfs, essentially balancing the ability into receiving the Hellforged Armor talent baseline. They sold the blending of Hellforged Armor into the ability as a buff, but they nerfed the ability as a compensation. The ability is not better or worse than before, it's about as useful (not much) as before.
- Talents: Army of Hell (lvl4) allows to get that second charge back at level 4, in exchange for a longer cooldown. This is kinda cool. Makes it back to where it was, with the buff of Hellforged Armor. New Hellforged Armor (lvl4) talent gives actual armor to your Demon Warrior, which is also kinda cool. New Battleborn (lvl4) finally gives you reduced cooldown on Demon Lieutenant (new trait) and Demon Warrior with Azmo's auto-attacks. The CD reduction on Demon Warrior is basically the same as having the double charges, so that's not very interesting, and Demon Lieutenant is now a 60 seconds cooldown for 20 seconds of uptime, with considerable less utility linked to it. Not very interesting. Brutish Vanguard at level 13 is interesting, since it will slow enemies around the Demon Warrior by 20%; nothing great but hey, that's still good I guess.
: this has always been Azmodan's worst talent by far. Its biggest flaw has always been that it costed too much. They failed to address this problem and barely changed the ability at all, as the tiny buffs given were compensated by nerfs in the other direction. Notably, Army of Hell does not reduce the cost of the ability anymore. Even for this unimportant ability, Azmodan ends up nerfed.
D. All Shall Burn (E) changes:
- Functionality change: the E now has a set duration instead of infinite.
- Baseline stats: The cooldown is increased. The range is decreased. In exchange, the ability now does damage in an AE at the end of the channel, and cost a flat 30 mana instead of the old 12 mana per second.
- Talents: Nothing a level 1 (which is reserved for Q), nothing at level 4 (reserved for W), one unexciting talent at level 7 (more AE damage if channel is completed, can give stacks of Annihilation). At level 13 is an interesting talent: Cydaea’s Kiss which heals Azmodan for 5% HP if the All Shall Burns' channel completes, especially coupled with Sin's Grasp at level 16 which gives you 4 seconds lowered cooldown if the channel completes.
: the functionality change is a hard nerf. The ability was used as an anti-dive tool: any hero trying to dive Azmodan would get the lazor treatment. Considering that Azmodan also lost HP and regen, this will make him far more easy to dive and blow up. I'm not sure that making more heroes easy to kill for the likes of Tracer and Genji is such a good idea. But the talents are good and interesting. His E will now be more interesting once you reach 13/16 to use as a teamfight ability. This comes online very late during the game, way too late to be concinving. Overall these changes are negative, but not catastrophic like the ones to Globe of Annihilation.
E. Demon Lieutenant (D) changes:
- Baseline stats: Cooldown increased to 60 seconds, duration nerfed to 20 seconds. Instead of having a 100% uptime (unless killed), it now has a 33% uptime (unless killed). Along with this increased cooldown and reduced duration comes the CD reduction on Battleborn (lvl4), but it will never be enough to make up for the nerf.
- Functionality: Demon Lieutenant lost his aura to buff damage for minions around him. To compensate, he now can use Smite to kill instantly a minion every few seconds, which should amount for 2-3 minions killed per cast of Demon Lieutenant. Those 2-3 minions killed will award XP.
: This is a gigantic nerf. Few abilities have been nerfed as much in the game history. The added XP generated by Smite will never compensate the XP lost to having the old General of Hell pushing with one or multiple minion waves. This was the second defining ability of Azmodan after GoA, and they also destroyed it to the point of being so impossible to recognize that they had to rename the ability. It used to be a General of Hell, now we have a Demon Lieutenant. If that's not enough to convince you that this was a nerf, I don't know what is.
F. Demonic Invasion (R1):
Impossible to judge. They've changed the ability a lot, and how it will behave is difficult to see beforehand. Nonetheless, it looks like it will be a lot like it's old version, except now the grunts spawned die fast and deal more damage, with the ult itself having a shorter cooldown and costing more. Sounds like the ult was buffed. Still, it was never the ult that was useful.
G. Tide Of Sin (R2):
- Activate to cause your next Globe of Annihilation to cost no Mana and deal 50% more damage. 30-second cooldown.
A huge nerf. Its older version was far more powerful because it buffed every abilities. Considering that the regular abilities were not buffed as we saw, this is unacceptable. Next to that, that's also a straight 25% less damage nerf, and an immense nerf to availability. It used to have two charges with a 20 seconds cooldown, now it has one charge and a 30 seconds cooldown. Azmodan's third most defining ability, also nerfed to the point of being renamed.
H. Final conclusion:
This rework is filled with mistakes and nerfs that look like the people that worked on it never really played the hero, or understood its fantasy. Azmodan is a mastermind, controling the battlefield. It does so by influencing the different lanes: with his General of Hell, or with Globe of Annihilation. Later on, he does so with Black Pool, allowing him to clear waves from a long distance. This fantasy is seriously hurt with these changes.
The logic behind these changes is transparent: the developpers are trying to make specialists go away, and Azmodan should become the mage he was kinda being to begin with. As such, they want to remove his sieging potential, to make it far less strong. In itself, I'm not against it, if they make his teamfight potential stronger
. Which they failed spectacularly as detailed. They made him worse at literally everything he was doing. To say that I am disappointed and a bit upset is an understatement. He is my favourite hero, the first one I bought back in 2015, and to see him being the last-of-date victims of the
reworks makes me sad. TLDR
: The devs felt that Azmodan's Globe of Annilihation (Q) and Black Pool (R2) was too strong and throwing shades to everything else he was doing. Black Pool was also preventing his Demon Warrior (W) and All Shall Burn (E) ability from being buffed. So they nerfed Q and R2 real hard and failed to buff W and E accordingly. That puts him in the worst spot he's ever been. SUPER TLDR
: Buffs Azmodan was given are nowhere to be enough to make up for the crazy nerfs he received.