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Witch Slayer


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Hi all,

I was glad to see Witch Slayer seeing at least a little bit of love in the most recent patch, but I still feel that the core problems with this hero haven't been addressed. 

I suggested these changes years and years ago when I was in SBT, and a few people (including EU as I recall) liked them, but they were never tested or implemented as far as I'm aware. 

In the current meta, Witch Slayer simply feels underwhelming in both of his roles, laning support and solo mid. 

His problems are as follows:

  1. As a laning support, he is unnecessarily slow (290) when compared to many other support heroes, he also has a bizarrely high turn rate when compared to most similar heroes (540). These combined make him feel sluggish and slow to react. How many times have you seen a Witch Slayer die when turning around to stun the people chasing him?
  2. In both roles, his awful autoattack projectile speed and long BAT and attack animation are not compensated for by his pitiful damage with high variance (42-48). This hurts him as a support in terms of harassing/denying and it really hurts him as a mid hero when it comes to competing for lasthits and denies. 
  3. His mana costs are still a touch too high. This becomes more apparent when you're getting that early PK as mid. You often won't have the mana to use your full combo along with a PK. 

His Power Drain lacks any relevance outside the laning phase or harvesting mana from creeps when out of combat, with its utility restricted to just removing an enemy illusion.

I would suggest the following. I would consider these to be minor buffs or simply quality of life changes that would make the hero feel a bit more useful and viable in the current meta. 

  1. Increase his movement speed to 295 and reduce his turn rate to 450
  2. A slight reduction to his attack animation wind-up and a small buff to his damage would help him a lot. The damage change could actually be implemented as a direct result of item (3) to follow.
  3. Reducing his mana costs further might make him a little too strong once he has a few items, but he needs to be able to use his full kit in the early-midgame more easily. Therefore, I would propose increasing his base INT from 23 to 24, and his INT gain from 3.0 to 3.2. Not only would this give him that tiny bit extra mana he needs, but it would also buff his attack damage without having to increase his base damage directly. 
  4. I would suggest that at level 4 of the ability, Power Drain becomes a tether, rather than a channeling effect. This would allow Witch Slayer to have some actual utility for the spell in teamfights and ganks later into the game, being able to move, use his other abilities, and attack during the effect. I feel there is enough counterplay to this with simply purging the effect on self or moving out of range, but it would be easy enough to have the effect still cancel if Witch Slayer is silenced and/or stunned if necessary. 

This may seem like a lot of thought for such minor buffs, but Witch Slayer has long been one of my favourite heroes, and he simply feels underwhelming in the current state of the game, and still very much "legacy" while many other heroes have experienced some power creeping. It just feels as though some of these minor aspects which make him feel lacklustre have been overlooked over the years.

Edited by GoochMeister
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On 12/2/2020 at 11:51 AM, w3wstarboy said:

Witch Slayer is fine as he is, if he receive any buff, it will be his late game, not his early game.

Increase ms and reduce mana cost of his skill is OP buff so No

Sounds like you barely read what I wrote, since I did not suggest a decrease in mana cost for any of his skills. Perhaps you should actually read a topic before replying to it?

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Damage is good. It helps offset the early game stats that are prevalent now.

Still just needs a nudge with Mana Drain but is overall pretty swell.

I need to know something, Newerth. The way we used to be together... I... I don't mean lately, but before... It was real, wasn't it?

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4 minutes ago, ElementUser said:

Can consider for a future patch

 

What did you think about his ultimate change this patch?

I have mixed feelings about it. I think it massively increases his early game relevance and viability as a mid, which I love because I love playing the hero mid.

However, it feels a little overwhelming against many heroes. 650 magic damage is absolutely huge. A level 6 bubbles with, say, boots, bottle and a soul trap (which gives +3 STR) has 650 HP, and dies to a stun+ult combo, with no autoattacks required. Not only is the stun easy to hit in general, but it becomes impossible to miss with a level in minimise. 

I actually tested this on a number of heroes after reading your reply, and almost every INT hero, and many agi heroes, die at both level 6 and level 7 to a stun + ult combo, from full HP, and with 300 GPM worth of items (taking into account boots+bottle, and assuming 300 GPM is fairly average for an evenly matched 1v1 mid). Some AGI heroes require 1-3 autoattacks in addition to the combo (easily achievable with his disables) and even most STR heroes only require 3-4

A guaranteed kill against the enemy mid every time the ult is off cooldown, with absolutely zero counterplay, just feels too strong. I feel like the focus in altering his ult should have been around level 11, to keep him relevant in the midgame as someone who could still solo kill the enemy carry, forcing the enemy team to use resources to protect them. 

As I said in the original post, I like that he's being looked at again, I just think it's coming from the wrong angle. "Press R to kill enemy hero" is frustrating to play against and kinda unfulfilling to play as. With other solo kill 1v1 mid heroes, you at least have to land your combos with some degree of skill, and there's counterplay. It felt this way with Witch Slayer before. You had to make damn sure you got the full duration of your spells off to throw in autoattacks before hitting that R button.

Again, I don't hate it, but throwing in things without counterplay is just going to end up being frustrating for many people. 

I only found this out because I happened to play bubbles mid right after the patch, and came up against a Witch Slayer. I was winning handily until level 6, and he immediately minimised (which take cover does not work against), stunned and ulted me, and I died from full HP. I think my reaction on discord was something like,

"Well guys, Witch Slayer got buffed."

I even went into practice just now, and even with steamboots at level 7, bubbles dies to:

Minimise->autoattack->stun->autoattack-ult->autoattack

And this is with 1 level in minimise and the other in power drain. You die during the stun duration. Plus, if you use minimise to stop a disjoint on the very first autoattack you throw (which bubbles is unlikely to take cover, but you can stop him anyway) then you can open with an autoattack, and have one autoattack to spare.

And get this, I tested again. Steamboots AND vestments on bubbles. You can just about survive if you surf + take cover out of there..... unless Witch Slayer has a soul trap. And I'm willing to bet I would easily have a soul trap before the opposing mid had spent 2k just to stay alive. And this is a hero with TWO disjoints. 

This got really long, I tend to overanalyse things lol.

But at any rate, there's my feedback, I think it was a good idea to increase the ult damage, but it's a little much at level 6, and doesn't address the actual problems with the hero in my opinion. It feels cheap to compensate for his flaws by having him simply click on the enemy to kill them. 

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6 hours ago, GoochMeister said:

Sounds like you barely read what I wrote, since I did not suggest a decrease in mana cost for any of his skills. Perhaps you should actually read a topic before replying to it?

I complain what i dont agree (movement speed, mana cost), and i dont complain what i didn't see it as problem (turn rate, attack damage)
You are not the only one who want and talk about Power Drain change, I myself did it before.

Like i said, Witch Slayer is fine early game. You basiclly want to remove his weakness early game. And his solo mid role is not awfull as you said

What i dislike about witch slayer is his SOTM, which is doesn't really suit with WS. If enemy have magic immunity, all of his skill cant use, what good about superior magic damage for Ws without stun/hex

Edited by w3_StarBoy

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4 hours ago, w3_StarBoy said:

I complain what i dont agree (movement speed, mana cost), and i dont complain what i didn't see it as problem (turn rate, attack damage)
You are not the only one who want and talk about Power Drain change, I myself did it before.

Like i said, Witch Slayer is fine early game. You basiclly want to remove his weakness early game. And his solo mid role is not awfull as you said

What i dislike about witch slayer is his SOTM, which is doesn't really suit with WS. If enemy have magic immunity, all of his skill cant use, what good about superior magic damage for Ws without stun/hex

So not only did you not read the post, you didn't read my reply to your reply. Lol.

I did not suggest reducing the mana costs of his spells. I cannot stress this enough. Maybe you'll understand this by reading it for the THIRD TIME. 

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10 hours ago, ElementUser said:

So then what will make him different from Pyro at level 11? Pyro will have way more combo damage at that point.

I think the heroes have different utility, and Witch Slayer doesn't necessarily need to do as much ability damage as Pyro, given that he has two disables which are both better than Pyro's stun. 

I think in the mid-late game they fill different niches, with Pyro scaling more with both ability damage and autoattack DPS, and Witch Slayer building more utility. My suggested change to Power Drain would differentiate them even further in terms of damage vs utility, and then they both fall into different niches moreso than they do at present. 

In the early and midgame, assuming both are being played mid, they fill the same niche as most other mid gankers, which I think is fine, and they don't really NEED to be different. 

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1 hour ago, GoochMeister said:

1. Increase his movement speed to 295 and reduce his turn rate to 450

Movement speed and turn rate

7 hours ago, w3_StarBoy said:

2. A slight reduction to his attack animation wind-up and a small buff to his damage would help him a lot. The damage change could actually be implemented as a direct result of item (3) to follow.

Auto attack damage or skill damage or both, also attack animation buff 

2 hours ago, GoochMeister said:

3. Reducing his mana costs further might make him a little too strong once he has a few items, but he needs to be able to use his full kit in the early-midgame more easily. Therefore, I would propose increasing his base INT from 23 to 24, and his INT gain from 3.0 to 3.2. Not only would this give him that tiny bit extra mana he needs, but it would also buff his attack damage without having to increase his base damage directly. 

Reduce mana cost of ability, increase base stat, stat gain per level

13 hours ago, GoochMeister said:

Sounds like you barely read what I wrote, since I did not suggest a decrease in mana cost for any of his skills. Perhaps you should actually read a topic before replying to it?

 Good luck, have fun, mate. 

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19 minutes ago, w3wstarboy said:

Movement speed and turn rate

Auto attack damage or skill damage or both, also attack animation buff 

Reduce mana cost of ability, increase base stat, stat gain per level

 Good luck, have fun, mate. 

I literally never suggested increasing his skill damage. 

I literally never suggested reducing the mana cost of his abilities, in fact I state the exact opposite IN THE QUOTE YOU USED.

I'm starting to think you literally just can't read. 

You aren't contributing, so kindly leave this thread. I appreciate that English probably isn't your first language, so don't try to debate in English. I can't state anything more plainly than I already have. You keep quoting things, thinking you're making a point, but the exact things you're quoting run contrary to your point, so I have nothing further to elaborate on.

Please just READ WHAT YOU ARE QUOTING AND REPLYING TO. 

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Again, I appreciate that English isn't your first language, and it might be hard to follow the tone/flow of a native speaker, so I'm going to add a single word so that you can understand my point and where you're going wrong:

On 12/2/2020 at 11:16 AM, GoochMeister said:

 

  1. Reducing his mana costs further might make him a little too strong once he has a few items, but he needs to be able to use his full kit in the early-midgame more easily. Therefore, I would propose INSTEAD increasing his base INT from 23 to 24, and his INT gain from 3.0 to 3.2. Not only would this give him that tiny bit extra mana he needs, but it would also buff his attack damage without having to increase his base damage directly. 

 

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- You talk about reduce mana cost, I said no, not good, same with you. Increase ws stat, well that's fine with me, no complain.

- Do you see the word "or" ???, since you didn't tell us which "damage", it's normal people think either auto attack damage or skill damage

- You have problem of taking people word in opposite way. People complain what they want and ignore what they dont care. I read full of your thread many times, and i agree some part of it, dont agree the other part, and simple ignore the last.

- You say i dont contributing just because you dont agree i said the current WS is fine ???

 

Edited by w3wstarboy
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4 hours ago, w3wstarboy said:

- You talk about reduce mana cost, I said no, not good, same with you. Increase ws stat, well that's fine with me, no complain.

- Do you see the word "or" ???, since you didn't tell us which "damage", it's normal people think either auto attack damage or skill damage

- You have problem of taking people word in opposite way. People complain what they want and ignore what they dont care. I read full of your thread many times, and i agree some part of it, dont agree the other part, and simple ignore the last.

- You say i dont contributing just because you dont agree i said the current WS is fine ???

 

No, I say you're not contributing because you barely speak English and are struggling to comprehend what I'm actually suggesting, resulting in a tiresome discussion which consists entirely of me correcting your misunderstandings. 

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So what i misunderstandings then?

 - You want to change his turn rate or his auto attack damage early because his animation/projectiles is awfulll

 - You want to change his movement speed because you said he is slow AF

 - You menton his mana cost used is high so better give him more stat ?

 - You suggest some change on Power Drain which is normal happen in every WS thread complanation
 

And in the end, i said the current ws is fine, better buff his late game, increase move speed or reduce mana cost of his skill is bad. What wrong with it ????

P/S: I also grow tired of this discussion.

Edited by w3wstarboy
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One problem you have to keep in mind is that he's very good in your average pub TMM game, but not really pickable in competitive. Mana drain is also a frustrating mechanic if maxed early and he can pull it off - so these are factors to keep in mind when proposing changes to him. 

 

Right now, I don't see any of these changes solving the comp pick vs pub high performance problem

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I really agree with the movement speed change. He is so weak because of this unnecessary slow ass movement speed just like Glacius. Witch Slayer is like a worse version of Pyromancer currently. All Witch Slayer has is an extra 3.5 second disable over Pyromancer; there stuns are basically the same. On the other hand, Pyromancer has huge damage from his Q and his passive E which more than makes up for the difference in their ultimate damage in the early game, which ALSO surpasses Witch Slayers ultimate damage later. His staff of the master is WAY better with a huge ass 1200 AOE nuke compared to Witch Slayers' 1100 (or 1000? I forget) single target nuke.

 

His survivability is on par with Pyromancers survivability, but most players are wary of fighting a Pyromancer because he can nuke the shit out of you in the early game. While for Witch Slayer, in the early game he is incredibly weak and literally any hero can out harass him which really hurts his support role while there's so many other better options. For this reason, and the power creep of the game over the years, we don't see Witch Slayer mid that much anymore as we used to since he is so vulnerable.

 

Some changes I can suggest to help him out would be to make him able to move during his mana drain channel. This should help out his early game "harass" and help him push back other supports during the laning phase.

Also, change his ultimate to automatically have superior magic to make it somewhat unique. Also a cool Staff of the Master for him for to make up for this change would be to give him an non-targetable ultimate option (like Thunderbringer AOE ult vs Single target ult) to make his ultimate shoot like a hollowpoint bullet and it passes through all targets it hits and all targets hit by the bullet take the full damage (or it can decrease per person hit if you think thats too OP). Another Staff of the Master suggestion could be like his bullet ricochets, but that's kind of like Soul Reaper Staff, so that's kind of lame.  Also I would bump up his survivability to be on par with other supports

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WS's SOTM feel like non-existence to me. The addition effect is useless if you shoot the non-magic immunity target.

Why not make it scale on intelliengce or increase it cast range so we can "safely" use it without get close to magic-immnuity target?

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On 12/16/2020 at 1:45 AM, ElementUser said:

One problem you have to keep in mind is that he's very good in your average pub TMM game, but not really pickable in competitive. Mana drain is also a frustrating mechanic if maxed early and he can pull it off - so these are factors to keep in mind when proposing changes to him. 

 

Right now, I don't see any of these changes solving the comp pick vs pub high performance problem

I honestly believe it could be something as simple as:

- Rescale Silver Bullet damage from 650/750/850 to 600/750/900

- Implement the movement speed/turn rate improvements and the minor buff to INT

- Add the suggested tether effect when Power Drain is at level 4

 

He could still kill most heroes 1v1 mid at level 6, he just actually needs to take a point in miniturisation and chain his stuns. It ever so slightly improves his mid-lategame damage, gives his E some actual utility, and it fixes his weak laning phase when played as a support.

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