E3 2015
The Undying Skeleton King Leoric in Heroes of the Storm

Mitchell Saltzman | 21 Jun 2015 23:30
E3 2015 - RSS 2.0

The Eternal Conflict event in Heroes of the Storm aims to fill a notable hole in the cast of Blizzard's crossover MOBA: Characters from the Diablo universe. Prior to the recent release of Johanna, the Crusader, there were only six Diablo characters on the roster. By the time the Eternal Conflict event runs its course, that number will become 10.

In addition to Johanna, Blizzard will be adding The Butcher, a fearsome enemy from Diablo 1 and 3, who functions in Heroes of the Storm as a beefy assassin; The Monk from Diablo 3, who will be the first support class hero from the Diablo universe; and finally, everyone's favorite Skeleton King, Leoric.

Blizzard was showing off Leoric and all of his abilities at E3, giving me an opportunity to see the Skeleton King in action. Leoric, as you might imagine, is a warrior class hero who is defined mainly by his unique ability to never actually leave the battlefield.

His trait, called Undying, works a little bit like Uther's in that, when he dies, he remains on the battlefield and is still capable of casting spells. Unlike Uther though, Leoric's ghost doesn't disappear after a short while. Once his respawn timer is up, Leoric will rematerialize with full health and can rejoin the battle as though he never left.

While in ghost form, Leoric can still affect the battle by casting his abilities, which will still slow and apply any additional effects, but can't do any damage.

Speaking of his abilities, Leoric's "Q" is an arcing slash with his weapon called Skeletal Swing that will slow enemies if it hits. His "W" is a skill shot called Drain Hope that will tether Leoric to an enemy and drain their life, damaging enemies over time while healing Leoric. The enemy can escape out of the range of the tether, but Leoric can continue moving while the spell is active, giving him the chance to chase a tethered enemy.

Leoric's "E" ability is an escape/chase maneuver called Wraith Walk that summons a spectral clone of Leoric that he can control and teleport to, much like how Sylvanas can teleport to her Haunting Wave ability. The clone moves quicker than non-mounted up heroes, making it a good way to catch up, attack with Q to slow, and keep on the pressure.

His two heroic abilities are called Entomb and March of the Black King. Entomb causes a narrow graveyard to rise out of the ground, trapping a hero within its walls. While the obvious use for this ability is to trap an enemy trying to escape, it can also be used defensively, much like Tassadar's force wall heroic ability. The level 20 upgrade for Entomb causes spikes to emerge from the walls, dealing extra damage to anyone unfortunate enough to be caught.

March of the Black King is a little more straight forward. Leoric executes three Skeletal Swings in succession while moving forward, dealing massive damage and healing for each hit. To top it all off, he's unstoppable while in the animation, meaning he can't be stunned or slowed. March of the Black King's level 20 upgrade will also cast Drain Hope on any nearby enemy after the last hit of the March.

Unfortunately, I wasn't able to play with Leoric myself to test out how tanky he actually is, how much damage he's able to do, and how much of a presence he's able to maintain on a battlefield despite being in ghost form. Nonetheless, he seems like a fairly unique hero and I'm curious to see how he fits into the current roster of warriors.

RELATED CONTENT
Comments on