Blizzard’s Diablo III themed updates to Heroes of the Storm continued this week with the addition of Kharazim, the Monk. Surprisingly, Kharazim is a melee support character (the only Diablo III-themed support in the game!), but that doesn’t mean he’s incapable of dealing damage. In fact, Blizzard is emphasizing Kharazim’s versatility as a key differentiator amongst the game’s support cast.
Kharazim’s versatility comes specifically from his level one talents. Unlike most heroes, you’ll be able to pick your trait (passive) at level one, and your selection here will determine the role you’ll be playing throughout the rest of the match. Each trait has a different effect on your third attack: Transcendence procs a heal; Iron Fists does 100% bonus damage; and Insight restores mana. Obviously, if you’re looking to play a more DPS oriented monk, you’ll want Iron Fists, but the choice isn’t entirely clear for me just yet on the right trait for healing, more on that later.
Fists of Fury
Truth be told, I prefer playing Kharazim as a damage dealer, but I’m not quite sure how viable that is just yet. The monk’s talents definitely give him enough damage to lay down the pain, but he’s got a huge hole in his stickiness. Kharazim’s kit is completely devoid of crowd control, which appears to be a tradeoff for his crazy level of mobility. Between the multiple targeted dashes and the movement speed increases in his kit, you’ll have no problem catching other players, but the lack of CC definitely makes him fairly easy to kite once enemy CC comes his way. Thankfully, there are multiple talents available to you that can reduce the effects of or outright clear CC, but you’ll be trading off key damage talents to pick them up.
Sadly, even the damage monk’s best ultimate, Seven-Sided Strike, highlights this issue. Seven-Sided Strike will bounce from target to target in its cast area, but enemies who simply move out of the area will not be followed. This often results in some awkward moments where your monk will cease his ultimate and just sit there meditating as he loses his target. In an optimal scenario, where you are sure all the hits will land and you’re mostly attacking the same target, the %HP damage can be incredibly devastating, however.
- Iron Fists
- Way of the Hundred Fists (Cleanse if the enemy team has a ton of CC)
- Seven-Sided Strike
- Fists of Fury
- Blazing Fists
Breath of Heaven
I was apprehensive about Kharazim’s ability to play a main healing role on a team, but at least as far as first impressions go, he seems solid in that regard. I would say that he definitely works better in melee heavy team compositions as most of his heals are area of effect. Kharazim offers a bunch of utility as well. He can grant allies movement speed and shields, area cleanse soft CC, and heal his allies simply by attacking enemies in the fray. Divine Palm is likely your best choice of ultimate when playing a healer, as it essentially revives an ally if they take fatal damage during the duration of its effect. Timing is key with this one, though. Slap it on an ally too early and the effect will expire, rendering it useless. You can sort of crutch yourself on the level 20 talent, Peaceful Repose, as you get used to timing the skill, as this talent will reduce the cooldown of Divine Palm to five seconds if your ally doesn’t die during its effect. It also makes Divine Palm a great detaunt if your enemies are smart and decide to stop attacking your target through Divine Palm’s duration. In solo queue, I don’t expect this to happen too often, so I’ll probably stick with Storm Shield once I get a hang for the timing.
- Transcendence or Insight
- Protective Shield
- Echo of Heaven
- Divine Palm
- Soothing Breeze
- Peaceful Repose or Storm Shield
Have you played Kharazim? What’s your take on the monk so far? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below!