Honestly I still think Thunderbringer does such an amazing job in dealing damage throughout the whole game, not just early to mid but also late with his % based damage output.
I do think Thunderbringer is not underpowered but by all means not to strong either, I think you could compare him to heroes like Hellbringer,Martyr etc, they're not underpowered but not to strong either.
A small buff could be viable but I wouldn't mind if Thunderbringer would be the same, but then again that's my opinion.
Most people doesn't realize that lighting rod only deals maximum damage when the enemy is at full HP. The damage is substantialy weak if the enemy is at 50% HP. So it mean that TB ulti is most effective used to initiate a team fight. And there is the issue about the null-stone that I mention earlier and also TB need to be at 800 range from his enemy for his rod to be effective. And of course if TB is seen in the middle of a team fight he will be targeted theres no doubt about it. So how hes gonna deal with all that problem? SH? Tablet? PK? But these item will delay his mana item. And hes not really a good farmer at that.
Elaborate on this point. Offer up reasons why TB's attack range is unfit with his role and skillset. Demonstrate why it makes him underpowered. Counterpoint it with what an extended attack range would offer.
For the laning phase:
His current attack is fine because he has enough range to attack the melee mobs without making himself horribly prone. TB also benefits from grabbing lots of int and stats early for his mana pool and survival. Coupled with his OK starting INT, he last hits the melee creeps decently (not great). The archers can be tagged with Chain Lightning super easy: which also benefits because the archer is usually the last to die in a wave and nearest to the enemy hero. This means that the lightning will A.) Not push the lane too hard because it only tags the archer creep and B.) Guarantees that the lightning will hit the enemy hero instead of bouncing into the creep wave.
For the rest of the game:
TB's skill set revolves around spamming spells for lightning rod damage. The 1ish second cool down after you do the Chain -> Lightning Blast -> Chain -> Ult -> Chain combination is usually better spent closing more ground until the next Chain Lightning -> Thunderblast. Or running away cause you're spent. This is the window that the push tablet becomes essential for either closing ground or gaining ground.
Honestly I think TB is a very fun hero to play but lacks a good form in design. He is made to nuke people from afar (and be very effective at it) without fault. All his spells cannot miss and he even has a steroid passive to make him a bit more balanced vs high hp heroes (and to make him last even after midgame). The only problem is that his hp and armor are so low that when he gets close enough for his passive (which had its range nerfed, don't get that decision at all) to kick in he can very easily be killed by anyone who has a blink, semi blink, long ass ranged stun or slow (and seriously, a ton of heroes already have some form of these spells built in, if not they can buy it). He just simply melts away making your options very limited.
You can either
a: suicide when you want a kill since you have to get in a dangerous range with no escape items
b: stay very far behind in teamfights and only come in after some stuns and other spells have been landed (be sure to wait untill the other team used their good spells cause you simply can't afford to get hit by them), did I mention that the whole team will be looking for you since you die in 1 second and deal shitloads of dmg?
c: get some form of escape/utility item so you can gank/escape more successful, sadly to get the money for this item you need to either last hit very well (very hard for tb since low range + not enough mana to spam chain to make enough money off it) or make some nice kills; which, as stated, is hard unless they are already at half hp and you have mana to use ulti and blast.
I get the idea of making him a glass cannon and giving him some extremely powerfull spells, but his complete and utter lack of any way to get away after the damage has been done is much too extreme, it feels as if his strong points are overly compensated with bad ones. He is seriously gimped because of this, since if a ganker gets you unawares you are 100% dead, you have no means what so ever to defend yourself. The only thing you can do is nuke them. But sadly no ganker will ever jump you with only 50% hp.
Honestly, I think what you describe is less of a problem with Thunderbringer being overspecialized and more of a problem with other heroes being way too generalized and not having a strong niche. If more heroes were designed like Thunderbringer, with massive strengths and massive drawbacks, then we'd see better strategical and tactical variety and depth.
I know midwars can't be parameter for balance, but I highly suggest that the ones that asks for buffs on tb play a couple mid wars matches. Receiving 1k+ damage on his Q+W combo having mystic vestments is something not really enjoyable. I think the hero is balanced because he needs to farm to get to that point, as his enemies. But still, it's interesting to see him in mid wars, as some other heroes that we asks for buffs and see how they work properly farmed.
Retired after the deportation system announced by S2 games. If you are a latin and have any self esteem, uninstall tthis game and play something else.