So I’ve been playing a bit of Imperius lately, and he’s a ton of fun. I’ve literally had more fun playing him in 5 games (2 of which I lost) than I have playing Zul’jin in the past 3 weeks. I may end up becoming an Imperius main at this rate.
However, I’ve noticed that there are some talents that are a little underwhelming (low winrates and pickrates, along with just feeling kinda lackluster), specifically at levels 7 and 20.
I wanted to offer a little insight into the likely reasons these talents are underperforming, as well as what I think should be done to improve them.
Flash of Anger, Blaze of Glory, and Holy Fervor.
To be clear, Flash of Anger is not one of the “underwhelming” talents I was referring to. I am only including it here to compare the other two talents at this level to it.
Flash of Anger
Consuming a mark from Celestial Charge deals 180 damage around the target and grants Imperius a 300 point Shield for 4 seconds.
This is a super strong talent, for a multitude of reasons.
For starters, that 180 AoE damage also affects the target hero. For comparison, Imperius’ basic attacks deal 195 base damage against a target with all 3 Marks on them, meaning Flash of Anger nearly doubles the damage of that first AA you make after a combo.
Additionally, if you land your Q on more than 1 enemy, you can actually switch targets after each attack to refresh that shield and pop that AoE splash (which is higher than Imperius’ basic attack damage) multiple times.
But wait, there’s more!
The really ridiculous part of this talent lies in the way it synergizes with other talents, namely Celestial Swiftness at level 16 (which grants attack speed) and Brand of Solarion at level 20 (which makes “consuming” marks no longer remove them). This allows you to get that almost 100% bonus damage on every AA against a Marked target (as well as that big shield) for the next 5 seconds and you will be AAing more during that period. By level 20, Imperius’ full Q-build combo can deal over 6,000 damage to a single target over 5 seconds.
Talk about burning through someones healthbar…
And that’s just the damage output from this setup! We haven’t even factored in the almost 500 shields he will be generating or the 900 health he’ll be healing for every second.
This is Imperius’ best talent at level 7. It has high impact, it is reliable, and it synergizes terrifyingly well with his other talents, contributing to its own ~51% winrate and ~80% pickrate as well as Celestial Swiftness’ 54% winrate and Brand of Solarion’s 64% winrate.
This talent needs no buffs. It’s fine as it is.
Blaze of Glory
Solarion’s Fire leaves a line of scorched earth along its center, exploding after 2 seconds and dealing 135 damage. This explosion benefits from and consumes Valorous Brand marks.
This is a powerful effect in and of itself. It both heals Imperius for 75 and deals 20% more damage for every Mark it consumes, just like Imperius’ basic attacks, except you don’t have to worry about being blinded, stunned, or displaced preventing you from consuming those Marks like with your AAs. And since the bonus damage it deals is higher than Imperius’ basic attack damage, that 20% bonus damage per Mark goes just a little bit further when this effect is what consumes them.
However, it is a bit unreliable, considering that you must first hit your targets with your abilities and then keep them over the line long enough for it to explode underneath them. If they escape from the line’s area, you get no value out of this talent. This shouldn’t be hard to do with your combo, but it also means this talent relies far more on your full combo than FoA.
Additionally, while this deals more damage than Imperius’ normal AAs, it doesn’t come close to matching FoA’s burst damage, nor does it match FoA’s sustained AoE damage against multiple targets.
As a result, this talent is usually only worth picking over FoA if you are consistently comboing multiple targets but you cannot reliably get off your AAs after doing so (such as if they are reliably counter-CCing you).
Unfortunately, it also does not synergize with any of Imperius’ other talents. The fact that its effect only occurs once per cast of SF means it doesn’t synergize with the Celestial Swiftness/Brand of Solarian pairing, and the only other talent modifying Solarion’s Fire does not benefit from the secondary explosion at all.
This talent is decent in a vacuum, but its limited reliability and near total lack of synergy with the rest of his talents contribute to its ~47% winrate and 9% pickrate. It’s not bad, it’s just not quite good enough in the majority of situations.
To fix this, I think CDR is the best option. Making BoG’s secondary explosion reduce the cooldown of Solarion’s Fire for every Mark it consumes would allow this talent to get its current value more often.
Cooldown: 25 seconds
Active: Activate to cause the next 4 Basic Attacks within 10 seconds to cleave for 30% additional damage.
This seems amazing at first glance, but it doesn’t take too long playing with it to realize it’s not.
Looking at its stats quickly explains why.
Holy Fervor’s 30% bonus damage stacks additively with Valorous Brand’s bonus damage. That brings the total damage bonus against a triple-Marked target up to +90%.
190% of 122 is less than 160% of 122 + FoA’s 180 damage.
In other words, it deals less single-target damage than FoA does.
Furthermore, it’s AoE damage is also lower than both FoA’s or BoG’s can be, though it is more reliable than BoG.
FoA’s bonus damage can be proced whenever you land your Q on a hero, meaning if you perform your combo correctly FoA will always have a chance to contribute.
BoG’s bonus damage simply requires you to pin a target in place over your W’s center line long enough, which should happen basically every time you successfully land your combo.
Holy Fervor has a 25 second cooldown, meaning that you may end up regularly having to perform your combos without it.
FoA grants a shield for extra survivability. Holy Fervor does not.
So it deals less damage, is available for use less often, and it provides no extra self-sustain.
To be fair, there are 3 advantages this talent brings over FoA:
- It can be used for waveclear, something Imperius is fairly bad at otherwise.
- It allows you to consume all Marks on heroes in front of you out to 3.5 range in a single attack reducing the risk of CC -blocking you.
- It can be used against targets Marked by your non-Q abilities.
Unfortunately, BoG is actually almost as good at #1 and is significantly better at #2, FoA is almost as good at #2, and #3 shouldn’t be much of an issue anyway since you should be landing your Q with your W and E in your combos. These advantages just don’t make up for this talents deficiencies.
This talent has a 44% winrate and a ~9% pickrate. It is statistically Imperius’ worst talent across all his talent tiers, and after playing with FoA a lot I can actually feel the difference in power.
This talent needs some big buffs, and I have several ideas for this.
- Additional Functionality - Holy Fervor’s cooldown is reduced by 2 seconds whenever Imperius applies a Valorous Brand to a hero.
– This is pretty self-explanatory. CDR for Holy Fervor whenever you Mark a hero.
- Additional Functionality - Holy Fervor now heals Imperius for an additional 50% of the damage dealt whenever it consumes a Valorous Brand.
– Whenever Holy Fervor’s cleaving basic attacks hit a Marked enemy, they heal Imperius for half the total damage they dealt to that target.
- Adjusted Functionality - Holy Fervor’s 30% bonus damage is increased to 40% and it now stacks multiplicatively with Valorous Brand’s bonus damage.
– This would mean that the more Marks you have on a target, the higher Holy Fervor’s bonus damage increases. At 3 Marks, this would total 224% bonus damage, rather than the current 190%.
Some slightly nerfed combination of these could also do the trick.
Unrelenting Descent and Impervious.
The other talents at this level are fine and fill fundamentally different roles, and I’ve already touched on Brand of Solarion anyway, so I’ll skip over the details for them and focus on just these two talents.
Consuming a Valorous Brand reduces the cooldown of Wrath of the Angiris by 10 seconds.
Wrath of the Angiris has an 80 second cooldown. This talent would mean that you would only need to consume 8 Valorous Brands to reset its cooldown.
That’s not bad, but it really isn’t necessary. Wrath of the Angiris is already enough to swing most fights if you can land it, much like Gorge. By the time you’ll have it off cooldown again, the fight will probably already be coming to a close.
Hell (or is it “Heavens?”), if you pick Brand of Solarion with Flash of Anger and Celestial Swiftness you might not even need to cast WotA to win your fights. I know that’s pretty common in my matches.
This talent has a ~55% winrate (which is pretty poor for level 20 talents) and a ~4% pickrate.
I don’t think there’s much that could be done to improve this talent. Increasing the charge range of WotA, increasing the movement speed while in the air, or reducing the windup time could all be good options, but I’m not sure if they’d really do the trick.
Cooldown: 75 seconds
Active: Activate to become Unstoppable and gain 75 Spell Armor for 3 seconds. Hitting Heroes with the center of Solarion’s Fire reduces this cooldown by 5 seconds.
This basically the younger sibling of Arthas’ Anti-Magic Shell, which grants total immunity to spell damage instead of 75 armor, heals for 25% of the damage prevented, and lasts one second longer and has a 15 second shorter cooldown, but does not grant Unstoppable.
Just like Unrelenting Descent, this also isn’t bad, but it also isn’t really necessary. If you position properly and land your combos consistently, you shouldn’t have to worry about enemy CC completely shutting you down too often, and even if you did you probably wouldn’t have Impervious up often enough to help.
This talent has a ~56% winrate and a ~13% pickrate.
Also like Unrelenting Descent, I don’t really know how to improve this. Lowering the cooldown might help, but still I don’t really see much reason for me to pick this over Brand of Solarion, even against CC heavy comps. Idk, not much else to say here.