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Alterac Valley

During Blizzards Livesteam on the official Heroes of the Storm Twitch Channel, two huge new announcements were made today!

Alterac Valley Yrel
Echoes of Aterac Valley Keyart

One of the most important characters – and least talked about – in Warlords of Draenor lore is Exarch Yrel. She is an Alliance protagonist we first meet in a storyline as a Priestess of Karabor.  She is set free by champions of the Horde and Alliance, and begins to take a prominent place in the early questlines of WoD.

After the events of Shadowmoon Valley and the introduction questlines in Warlords of Draenor, Yrel helps to lead the Draenei people on Draenor to help the Alliance overcome both the Iron Horde, and ultimately: the Burning Legion itself.

Yrel, The Light of Hope.

Blizzard has spent a fair amount of time building up a well known hero pool from the Starcraft, Diablo, Blizzard and Overwatch Franchises. Blizzard is now turning their focus on the World of Warcraft Universe. With this reveal, Blizzard ascribes the following to Yrel as a hero in HoTS:

“…A deliberate melee warrior whose heavyweight abilities reward premeditation and commitment…”

Yrel’s bears a ‘retribution paladin’ toolkit. Here’s a quick look at what this hero offers:

  • Yrel Passive Trait-
    • Activate to instantly charge Yrel’s next Basic Ability at no mana cost.
    • Passive: Yrel’s Basic Abilities charge up over 1.5 seconds, increasing in effectiveness, but reducing Yrel’s Movement Speed by 25%.
    • Cooldown – 10 Seconds.
  • Yrel’s Basic Abilities-
    • (Q) – Vindication – 
      • Unleash holy energy around Yrel, dealing 38 damage to nearby enemies and healing her for 96. Charging up this Ability increases its damage up to 125, and healing up to 320.
      • Cost – 50 Mana.
      • Cooldown – 6 Seconds.
    • (W) – Righteous Hammer –
      • Swing Yrel’s hammer, dealing 38 damage to enemies in front of her and knocking them away.Charging up this Ability increases its knockback distance, and damage up to 125. Enemies hit at maximum charge are Stunned for 0.75 seconds.
      • Cost – 50 Mana.
      • Cooldown – 16 Seconds.
    • (E) – Avenging Wrath – 
      • Leap to a location, dealing 150 damage to enemies in an area and Slowing them by 50% for 1 second. Charging up this Ability increases its range.
      • Cost – 50 Mana.
      • Cooldown – 6 Seconds.
    • (R) – Yrel Heroic Abilities – 
      • (R1) – Ardent Defender – Surround Yrel in a barrier for 3 seconds, absorbing all damage taken and healing her for 50% of the damage received.
      • (R2) – Sacred Ground – Yrel sanctifies the ground around her, gaining 40 Armor until she leaves the area.
      • Cost – Both abilities choices cost 40 Mana.
      • Cooldown – Both abilities choices have a 100 second cooldown.

Yrel seems to be a strong addition to Heroes of the Storm. She wields a giant crystal mace with slow, but powerful attacks. She is a warrior who absorbs damage, fighting her enemies head on, while healing herself to survive the fight. Here’s Yrel’s Hero Spotlight:

Alterac Pass

This new battleground takes inspiration from World of Warcraft’s epic Alterac Valley battleground. I remember in vanilla spending upwards of 40+ hours in one battleground. One could begin the battleground, leave to commence their daily routine, and return home with the battle still raging. This battleground was loved – and hated – by many. Blizzard has given us condensed look at the Alterac Valley Battleground:

Echos of Alterac

A new event coming to the Nexus, Echoes of Alterac, offers players quests which will reward them with new cosmetic items. All of these items, such as mounts and banners, are themed after World of Wracraft. Yrel and Alterac pass are both set to hit the PRT today (6.4.2018.)

A side note: my original prediction didn’t include Yrel as the newest hero. I find it a bit odd her introduction is during the Alterac Valley event. Her origins are not in Azeroth, but from an alternate universe. She doesn’t completely join the Alliance, and isn’t found in classic WoW, unlike Alterac Valley. I would have hoped to see a Paladin from classic WoW, such as Tirion Fordring, if this is the way the dev team was going. But, either way, I’m excited to see Aterac Valley and Yrel debut in the Nexus soon!

Both of these look to be promising additions to Heroes of the Storm. What are you thoughts? Are you excited to see Yrel as the latest hero to grace the Nexus? Do you feel she’ll be strong? Let us know in the comments!