A lot of people like to play HotS for fun – after all, it’s a game, right? But if you are on this site, chances are you are looking for something more: you want to win games, to rank up and climb the ladder to get to rank one. That’s very different from playing the game as a casual player: sure, that’s fine too, but it’s not as rewarding. If you want to become a better player and climb the ladder, you need not only good mechanics and game knowledge, but also a proper roster.
In HotS heroes don’t come for free, and you have to pay gold to unlock them: so you either way pay cash or grind in game to unlock enough heroes for Ranked Hero League. Grinding is surely a part of this game, but it can be frustrating, so you need to get the most out of the gold you earn: if you follow our Heroes of the Storm boost team’s latest guide, you will be able to unlock ten heroes with only 37000 gold. And we are not talking about low tier heroes, but viable champion that can fit many team compositions, and sometimes even many roles.
Note that these aren’t necessarily the strongest heroes out there, but they get the job done for a decent amount a gold. It’s also worth mentioning that this list doesn’t focus only on a few roles, but it’s a selection that covers all the necessary roles. You don’t want to be that guy who can’t play supports or tanks because they don’t have the proper heroes and forces his team into a bad composition, am I right?
Of course if you want to buy an expensive champion because you think he is really op, or strong in this meta, or even because you know him from another game (I remember that my first ‘main hero’ was Jaina, because I loved playing frost mage in my WoW days), feel free to do it. Maybe you are saving money to buy the upcoming hero Artanis as soon as he is released for 15000 gold, before the price reduction. Hell, maybe you really want to buy Kael’thas because he has a pretty cool kit and is one of the strongest assassin in the game (be sure to check our guide to master this hero!), but having to pay 10000 gold for only one hero can really delay the start of your ranked games! If your goal is simply to get the best heroes to start playing ranked, look no further. We got you covered. So without further ado, let’s get started with our list!
You can check how these listed heroes rank in our regular Heroes of the Storm Tier List.
Assassins are pretty common in ranked game; in a standard Hero League match, there are two assassins per team, four in total, so we are going to suggest you four assassins to buy in preparation for the ranked play. Having less means that you can be forced in a bad situation if the heroes you can play are picked by someone else.
Keep in mind that assassins are defined by their damage, but they can be very different. The most common distinction is in ranged and melee assassins, but also mobile, immobile, ability or autos based and so on. We are listing four different assassins to cover all these attributes keeping a decent balance, while of course trying to save as much money as possible!
Raynor, 2000 gold or 3,99$
Everyone of us played Raynor at least one time during his first HotS matches, for a simple reason: his kit is pretty straightforward, and it’s really easy to play. However many players stop playing him because he is considered a “beginner champion” not viable for competitive games: if you think that’s legit, you can’t be more wrong!
Despite his simple kit, Raynor has a 53% win rate in Hero League: he is basically the assassin with the highest win rate! If you add to this statistics that he is really, really cheap, you can understand why we recommend him.
As we said his kit is really straightforward, but not weak at all; and he is a really solid pick in this meta where warriors are so dominant, because he can be built to emphasize on his long range autos, getting him a really nice dps from a safe distance, allowing him to kite warriors perfectly, especially thanks to his movement speed buff. He has also great utility and can fit many team comps because of his attack and movement speed buff for his team. His set of abilities makes him great not only in team fights, but also in sieging and turtling scenarios.
Valla. 2000 gold, 3,99$
We told you that Raynor is one the cheapest assassin the game; well, Valla is the only other costing only 2000 gold: she is the perfect pick for a new player, but also really viable in competitive ranked games, for a very important reason: she is one of the most flexible assassin in HotS. She can really fit in a lot of different compositions depending on how you build her and what talents you choose.
She is surely not as strong as Raynor, and her 47.3% win rate in Hero League proves it. However she can still be very good in experienced hands, and she even sees some professional play! After all she is a pretty safe pick if you need a ranged assassin, and only have 200 gold to spend.
As we said, her main strength is in flexibility. She has currently three different viable builds, so she can fit basically every team composition and fill the needs of every team. She can be played as an auto attack based hero, for sustained constant damage; she can also be used as a single target nuker, emphasizing on her abilities. Lastly, she can also focus on Area of Effect damage if your team needs an AoE damage source. Choosing the right talents is really the key to be a good Valla player, and understanding your team strengths and weaknesses is even more essential when playing as Valla.
Falstad. 7000 gold, 8,49$
Some of you guys will be surprised to see this name on the list, and yes, we understand what you are thinking. “How about Illidan and Tychus? They are cheaper!”, or “Falstad? Really? He is not a really good assassin!”. Well, that’s not true at all. To start, you surely have a point noting that Illidan and Tychus cost 3000 gold less, but they are not so effective – we can say that they are two of the worst assassin in this meta, and let’s be honest: they are boring! Their kit is really simple and common in MOBAs: if you have experience playing other games, you can surely see how they are similar to many other champions. On the other hand, Falstad has an higher win rate, is more viable and can bring to the table something unique, that you won’t be able to find in any other assassin: global presence and, by extension, global pressure.
Falstad doesn’t have a regular mount, but the unique “Flight” ability. He can basically fly to any place in the map at the last second, making him really unpredictable for movements. There are really no limits to the uses of this ability: our Heroes of the Storm boost team recommends you to use it to stay in lane as long as possible before flying to an objective, to move quickly across the map when you respawn, if you are trying to gank or if you are off position in a bad spot, away from your team. You can get really creative with this incredibly useful ability!
I like to think of Falstad as a training champion: by playing him you will increase your map awareness, understand how to splitpush effectively without getting caught and how to communicate and coordinate with your team to take objectives at the right time. That’s why he is one of our four recommended assassins: he can apply a great global pressure, and has also a decent burst if you build him in the best way. Do you still prefer Illidan to Falstad now? I don’t think so
Kerrigan. 7000 gold, 8,49$
Falstad, Valla and Raynor are three ranged assassins. We all love ranged heroes because, despite being squishier, their range means that they are safer than their melee counterparts. However keeping a nice balance of front line and back line is also important: you should never pick only for yourself, but also consider your composition. If you need to choose a melee, lockdown assassin, Kerrigan is the best choice.
She is absolutely deadly in the right composition: if your team has good crowd controls and you are able to chain them with your W E combo, there is no way the enemy will escape unharmed: your poor victim may just go in the kitchen to eat something, for what it’s worth, as it’s really hard to counter such a lockdown assisted by other friendly CCs.
Her win rate is pretty high when compared to other assassins, 49,3%, and she is not that expensive, making her a really worth buy. You can save 3000 gold getting her instead of another assassin, and get closer to the start of your ranked matches!
Now that you should have already four viable assassins, it’s time to choose three warriors. Why three, you might ask, Well, in every team comp there is at the very least one warrior, and sometimes a team will prefer a second one to get extra ccs, tankiness or extra damage: this means that having at least three warrior is mandatory! Maybe a fourth warrior is a decent buy, but getting enough assassins and supports should be a priority.
Warriors are melee heroes who specialize in different areas: they can offer tankiness, crowd control to lockdown an enemy target to burst down or to peel for an ally, or they can supply extra damage helping your assassins. We don’t really recommend pure tanks warriors, as they work only in very specific comps, and prefer instead more flexible picks, who excels at at the least two of the three attributes: tankiness, damage or ccs.
Muradin, 2000 gold – 3.99$
Our first recommendation is Muradin. He is a pretty standard warrior, with high tankiness and a really stun- he is your classical pure tank, who is able to tank damage for the team while providing utility. On top of that, he is really, really cheap, just like Valla or Raynor, so do yourself a favor and get it.
His win rate is 45,7%: not really high in general, but remember that warriors have always low win rates, except for Johanna and Leoric. If you aren’t still convinced, well, let me tell you that he is one of the most played hero in ranked games, with an outstanding 40% pick rate: he surely is popular and really viable, not only in amateur games but even in the pro play and competitive games. If you like to watch HotS tournaments, you surely know how strong he can be.
He is mainly played as a solo tank, because he can absorb a lot of damage for his team, but if you want to play him as an off tank feel free to do it: he has a decent damage and good utilities thanks to his stun, making him a pretty flexible pick for a beginner.
Tyrael. 4000 gold, 6,49$
Tyrael is pretty different from Muradin: he is not your standard pure tank, but is better played as off tank, because his kit is designed to emphasize on damage and not hard ccs: what we call “soft CCs”. However he can still be used as a main tank and get the job done, but is’t not his optimal use. If you want a proof of his strength and viability, take a look at his 47,4% win rate, keeping in mind that warriors have a lower win rate compared to other roles.
Sonya is a really good off tank as well, with an high win ratio, and our Heroes of the Storm boost team really thought about putting her on this list. In the end we decided to stick with Tyrael because Sonya isn’t really a flex pick: she isn’t really good as a main tank but is more played as a secondary damage source, while Tyrael can really fit in most compositions. So if you are looking for an easy to play and flexible warrior, Tyrael is a great choice for only 4000 gold.
I like to think of Tyrael as a “jack of all trades”: he can be used as “meat shield” to absorb damage, as a damage source with the right built, and has always a great utility and a good stun. Even is ultimate, Judgement, makes him really scary in any team that focuses on ganking.
E.T.C. 2000 gold – 3.99$
E.T.C., like Falstad, may sound like a weird pick to you. Well, he surely wasn’t very strong before the last changes, but now he is gaining popularity, and since many players are picking him up you will see his real potential very soon, He is pretty cheap, and this is surely a good reason to buy him: however keep in mind that he isn’t a no-brainer picks because he is not as flexible as Tyrael or Muradin.
Before choosing him, analyze your team composition very carefully. If your team has a lot of Area of Effect, he is a great pick thanks to his Mosh Pit heroic; however this means that you are relying on your team doing well and we all know that you know who you are going to meet in your solo q games. So if you know who you are playing with, E.T.C. is a great pick, and we may even see him in competitive games; in solo q don’t pick him blindly.
His win rate reflects this description: a respectable 45% since the last changes, with a great increase, and still a good ratio compared to other warriors, making him a good choice as your third warrior in your roster.
In the standard meta, there is one support in every team to fill your healing needs. Having two supports in the same team can be a viable strategy depending on the comp, but usually one is enough. Also many people don’t enjoy playing supports, as it feels like a low impact role that relies on your team mates being good enough to win the game with your help (while many players think that playing an assassin means that you should be good enough to win the game despite your teammates mistakes). Personally, I enjoy playing supports and I think that their role is very underrated, and surely not useless! Quoting Futurama, “When you do things right, people won’t be sure you’ve done anything at all”. Anyway, if you are stuck in the last pick position there are high chances that you are going to play in the support role, so be prepared for it and buy these two cheap heroes. Luckily they are also very strong and viable, so you won’t need to pay a lot of gold to have two of the best supports in the game.
Li Li 2000 gold – 3,99$
Li Li is probably the most controversial name on the list. She is often considered a “bad champion” because she has a low skill cap, and she is pretty easy to play. In addition a major part of her kit is her heroic, that is easy to interrupt. However despite her really being a “beginner hero”, Li Li has an impressive 55% win rate: the highest among all the supports! Sure, maybe she is not a strong pick in competitive, but works really fine for solo q.
Her kit is not stunning, but surely solid and underrated, especially her blind debuff is way more important than most people think. Long story short, she is easy to play, effective and very cheap: the perfect pick for a roster of ten heroes to start the ranked play being able to play support!
Malfurion. 2000 gold, 3,99%
Malfurion is a well known character from World of Warcraft, and is a pretty versatile support in HotS. He has a lower win rate compared to Li Li, but still a good 47,8%, and he sees also some competitive play. His kit is complete: has a single target heal, an Area of Effect heal and even some crowd control, his notorious roots.
Our HotS boost team really likes Malfurion because he is a jack of all trades, depending on his build, and can fit into any team comp offering a really substantial utility. He has good heals, a Cleanse to dispel debuffs and let’s not forget about Innervate, really useful for the mana problems.
Lastly, he costs only 2000 gold: a really cheap hero with great potential for a beginner support player!
The special is another support-ish role in HotS: usually there is only one specialist for every team, and sometimes an assassin or a bruiser is played instead! For this reason we will only recommend one specialist in our list, and a pretty good one too for beginners. The main reason is not only that you can play an assassin instead, but that many good specialist are really, really expensive, so it’s better not to waste your gold on more specialist unless you really like the role.
About the role, the specialist should be an hybrid between a support and an assassin, providing extra damage and wave clear, since usually assassins are bad at pushing lanes.
Zagara, 7,000 Gold – $8.49
Zagara is our hero of choice for the specialist role: she has a very high win rate, at 51%, so she is in the top 4 of all specialists. She is a really popular pick in ranked play because she is easy to play but also offers an high utility and good damage. She doesn’t come very cheap, but Zagara is really worth her price.
What really makes the difference between her and every other specialist is her Creep Tumors ability: she is able to provide vision across the map providing useful information for her team. She focuses on the “macro” aspect of the game: ganks, rotations, bosses and objective in general, rewarding a more tactical approach to the game. As long as her team is able to utilize the informations and the extra vision she brings to the team, you will be able to gain an edge even before the fights start.
Her kit in general makes Zagara an early game bully in lane who doesn’t fall off later, since her heroic Devouring Maw will make her a threat in team fights. She is also great at splitpushing with the extra safety from Creep Tumors and a good damage overall. She is a very balanced and easy to play specialist that can fit almost any comps, and is perfect for beginners.
Expanding your roster
As we said in this list there are the best ten heroes for starters, but as soon as you start playing in the Hero League you should try to buy more heroes. We picked five hero to expand your roster among the most expensive ones, because after all they are superior to the others.
Uther. 7,000 Gold – $8.49
Uther is probably the best support in HotS, and arguably the best hero too. He has a good 50,3% win rate, but what matters is his absurd pick/ban rate in competitive, where many pro players abuse him. His kit is truly complete: he has a great heal, many excellent stuns, good heroics and many special talents. He is a must have for every support player
Kael’thas 10,000 Gold – $9.99
Kael’thas is one of the best assassins in the game. He has a stun, an amazing area of effect damage with his living bomb and an incredible zone control. He has a 51,9% win rate and a really high pick rate: 63,3%! He is popular for a good reason: is damage is very high and is probably the best assassin in the meta. Be sure to check our HotS boost team guide to read the most useful tips to master Kael’thas!
Jaina 10,000 Gold – $9.99
We really emphasized how much Kael’thas can be strong, and Jaina may be considered a “lower tier” hero when compared to a strong mage like Kael’thas. However we strongly believe that her kit is really unique and incredibly useful, because on top of her single target burst she offers a great utility to the team, thanks to her perma slow. She basically soft cc everything she touches: it’s easy to see how this slow makes a difference during chases but also in teamfights, making really easy to kite warriors. Her strengths allow her to have a good 50,7% win rate
Leoric 10,000 Gold – $9.99
Leoric is surely on of the strongest warriors – so strong he was recently nerfed, but despite the balance changes he is still a top tier hero. He has a really high damage output while being a tank, many soft crowd controls and even incredibly mobility. According to our Heroes of the Storm boost team, he is really one of the best tank in the game right now, as proven by his 55.8% win rate.
Nazeebo 10,000 Gold – $9.99
Lastly we have Nazeebo, our recommended specialist. Maybe he is not as flashy as many other heroes, but offers a lot of utility, damage and zone control. I mentioned often the win rates of the heroes we recommend, and well, Nazeebo has the highest win rate in HotS: 56,1%! He is the best specialist in the game for a reason: his only weakness is the lack of escapes, but he still has a decent survivability.
With these last five heroes our guide is complete: if you followed our tips, with only 37000 gold you should be ready to start playing in the Hero League and play every game to the maximum in every position. Prepare to climb the ladder and get ready to reach rank one with our help!
PS: in this guide we mentioned the win rates many times. Keep in mind that win rate can and will change often, so don’t be surprised if you notice different win rates in a few days. Remember that they are surely a great indicator of an hero strength, but they are not perfect, because even the best hero performs poorly when played poorly.