Kith's Tychus Review + Rework


Hello, friends. My name is Kith and I like videogames. I also happen to like Tychus and, while he’s probably my favorite character from the Blizzard universe, I feel like he could provide a lot better gameplay than he currently does.

Now, if you’re a patron of HeroesHearth, you may think you’ve seen this whole “Tychus Review And Rework” business before (and you’d be correct). My original article covered Tychus’s history in HOTS and why certain elements of his design were brought into being, but it didn’t really provide an in-depth look at his loadout or grading of his current status like I prefer to do nowadays. I’ve been itching to retread old ground and dig a little deeper ever since my style changed, so this post will be an expression of that.

The Review will cover Visual Design, Unit Stats, Abilities, Talents, Overall Gameplay Issues, and culminate in a Final Grade. After that, I will present the Rework aimed at solving whatever issues the Review reveals as the second post in the thread.

When I initially started work on this Review and I was using one of my friends as a sounding board for topics to cover, I mused that anyone unfamiliar with the mechanics of Tychus in HOTS probably wouldn’t be able to pick out his kit from a list of others. We argued about it for a while until I remembered that Google Survey existed, so I decided to skip out on the discussion and just put my theory to the test to settle the matter.

I created a survey portraying a silhouette of Tychus and his trademark minigun and then asked respondents to assign one of seven kits to the mystery man. The results of that survey were… telling. As of this time of writing, I have collected 335 responses, visualized here:

Interestingly, the most common cases of mistaken identity are Raynor, Zul’jin, and Sgt. Hammer:

When I questioned the respondents I knew personally on why they made the choices that they did, almost every one stated that the reason for choosing those skillsets in particular was due to their increased Weapon Range seeming appropriate for a minigun user. My best guess as to why is because in most media, miniguns are commonly portrayed as heavy gunner style weapons with medium to long range.

How commonly, you may ask?

Pictured: Team Fotress 2, Monday Night Combat, DOOM, Serious Sam, Warhammer 40k, Metro, Payday 2, Gears of War, Call of Duty, Fortnite, Fallout, Metal Gear Solid, Grand Theft Auto
Not Pictured: Many others

Pretty commonly.

Now, this is not to say that Tychus’s visual design is bad - his model, animations, and skill effects are all spot-on, and his kit does suit him in the context of his character and the necessary balance for HOTS. However, it is worth noting that nothing about his design implies that he has reduced range and that most people expect him to have either standard or increased range based on the weapon he uses.

Tychus is incredibly meaty for a Ranged Assassin, managing to out-health a fair portion of the Melee Assassins and completely out-healthing every Ranged Assassin except for Mephisto and Azmodan. And, appropriately for someone who wields a Minigun that’s as big as they are, Tychus’s Basic Attack DPS is one of the highest in the game. However, these benefits come at a pretty significant cost.

For starters, Tychus cannot stutter-step - his Attack Speed is simply too high. This puts him at a massive disadvantage in skilled play where the ability to mount a mobile offense to pursue wounded targets and the opportunity constantly reposition to avoid damaging skillshots are practically mandatory. A good example of what I mean can be found in some of Fan’s recent Raynor videos in Storm League: he’s constantly shifting after each attack for both offense and defense. Tychus, by his very nature, cannot do this.

Tychus’s inability to Stutter Step wouldn’t be so much of an issue if that was the only limitation he had - after all, his DPS is certainly nothing to sneeze at. Unfortunately, he has another drawback: his Basic Attack Range is 4.5, one unit shorter than the standard 5.5. This puts Tychus that much closer to the Crowd control that so many Tanks and Bruisers have, makes him even easier to hit with dangerous skillshots, and renders him unable to openly trade against other characters with Ranged Basic Attacks without practically guaranteeing that he’ll take damage in the process.

Now, I should mention that the limitations of a high Attack Speed or a reduced Basic Attack range are hardly crippling on their own - there are several characters with either (or in a few cases, both) that manage to perform just fine. However, in Tychus’s case, having both limitations while also being expected to provide a significant amount of damage from Basic Attacks (and Basic Attack-adjacent mechanics) is a major hindrance and results in his unit control being very clunky.

I find it difficult to convey my thoughts on Minigun because I keep being afraid that I’m going to understate just how good it is. In essence, Minigun allows Tychus to engage on basically any target and the only way to prevent terrible, terrible damage is by doing anything in your power to stop him for as long as you can - even if it’s just for a half-second. For how much damage Minigun is capable of letting Tychus do, it’s basically a free Heroic.

Minigun’s Health Shred was added as a replacement for Tychus’s original wind-up Attack Speed mechanics, under the justification that they wanted to make Tychus into a Tank Buster (specifically, “targets that have a lot of Health”). However, as the developers later realized, Health Shred is effective against all targets because all targets have health. While the change to his range was successful in making it more difficult for Tychus to trade against other Ranged enemies, his damage output steadily increasing over time created a completely different problem: if Tychus gets the drop on you, you’re probably going to die - regardless of if you’re the intended “high Health” target that Minigun was designed for.

Overkill’s only genuine problem is that it cannot be canceled without mechanical abuse. If that was added (say, a Cancel ability that overwrites the Trait slot while Overkill is active), Overkill would be a solid B and perfectly fine in my book.

As an aside, not every negative I list is a problem that needs solving. For example, while Overkill being unaffected by Minigun is undeniably a drawback of Overkill, Tychus absolutely does not need the ability to circumvent the only limitations keeping Minigun’s insane strength in check.

Like Overkill, Frag Grenade is in a pretty good position - not too strong, not too weak, has skill potential thanks to the knockback. Unlike Overkill, I wouldn’t want many changes made to it because it’s more or less fine as it is.

Run and Gun isn’t necessarily bad, but it bothers me that it has lost functionality twice over the years (losing the ability to spin up Tychus’s Attack Speed, both from his original trait and the first trait rework) and it still hasn’t gotten anything to compensate. By comparison, Vault was double-buffed with a lowered Mana Cost and a damage boosting component in the same patch. I can live with it not moving Tychus very far, but the fact that it’s maintained its cost without getting a buff to compensate is frustrating.

Commandeer Odin is good, but it’s interesting to stop and think about just how much it does. A friend of mine once said that the Odin turns Tychus inside out, and they’re not too far off of the mark. For comparison:

  • Tychus has short range, cannot stutter-step to save his life, is primarily focused on burning down single targets, and (surprisingly) has a higher damage output at the cost of being riskier.
  • The Odin has (literally) twice as much Basic Attack and Ability range as Tychus does, can stutter-step easily, has massive amounts of AOE coverage, and can apply its damage from safe distances.

It’s not necessarily a problem with just how radically different the two are, but it’s a very stark difference. Odin is practically everything that Tychus is not, save for their relative durability (which Odin builds upon) and both having a short-range dash as a mobility option.

What is a problem, however, is how inconsistently Odin interacts with some Talents. Being that it completely replaces Tychus’s abilities while active, it naturally doesn’t benefit from any of the Talents that upgrade them. However, some Talents get exceptions:

  • Master Assassin functions normally, increasing the Odin’s Basic Attack DPS significantly when completed.
  • Relentless Soldier “works”, but due to the Armor Patch that changed Armor effects to no longer stack outside of specific circumstances, it merely overwrites the 25 Armor that the Odin grants with… 25 Armor, accomplishing nothing.
  • Neosteel Coating can be activated normally.
  • In the Rhythm and That’s The Stuff! have a strange synergy with the Odin. Because That’s The Stuff! was changed to give healing on expiration instead of on damage and because Odin disables Minigun while active (and therefore forcing it to expire), the Odin is the only way to cancel Minigun to access the stored healing. For the standard 3-second duration of Minigun that’s not so useful, but when In the Rhythm has extended Minigun’s duration to several seconds per cast, that can be the difference between living or dying.
  • Sizzlin’ Attacks notably does not work on the Odin, despite a similar Talent/Ability interaction (Tassadar’s Focused Beam and Archon) functioning properly.
  • Bob and Weave inconsistently interacts within itself. It applies the additional charges to Thrusters just fine, but Odin doesn’t take the passive 1.5 Basic Attack Range into account when transforming, leaving the Odin’s Basic Attack Range at 9 instead of 12.

Finally, and this is a pretty significant art mishap: Commandeer Odin doesn’t actually call down an Odin.

On the left is the actual Odin and on the right is a Blackhammer (also known as the Collector’s Edition skin for the Thor (a miniaturized version of the Odin design)).

My best guess as to why the Blackhammer model was used instead of the Odin was that, because it was already covered in various doodads and lights, it required the least amount of work to match HOTS’s aesthetic. However, it’s still wrong, and it still bothers me every time I see it. Even more frustrating is that the original Odin model recently got an update with the release of Tychus as a Co-Op Commander for Starcraft II, sporting a new paintjob with extra blue and the Heaven’s Devils logo in fun places (like the arm cannons):

I know it’s not a gameplay thing and I know that the Art Team is very different from the Balance Team, but I can still dream that one day it will be fixed.

Once upon a time when Tychus wasn’t so awkward and focusing your build on raw sustained damage was reliable, the Drakken Laser Drill was the go-to Heroic because it didn’t keep you from using Minigun like Commandeer Odin did. Unfortunately, the patch that cut down Tychus’s range and sustain made that playstyle severely suboptimal and several miscellaneous adjustments to the Laser Drill’s placement requirements has made it harder to use than ever before.

There’s very little reason to take the Laser Drill these days - it’s just too clunky. Turning all of Tychus’s weaknesses into strengths with Commandeer Odin is much more reliable and valuable.

At first glance, Press the Advantage seems like an excellent Talent: increasing Tychus’s Basic Attack Range to slightly more than the standard 5.5 would allow him to trade a bit better against other Ranged characters. However, there are several glaring drawbacks:

  • The increased Basic Attack Range only lasts for 3 seconds.
  • The increased Basic Attack Range is tied to Tychus’s movement ability, meaning that using it offensively leaves Tychus vulnerable to getting bogged down and unable to quickly dodge for 10 seconds.
  • It doesn’t fit into Tychus’s typical tactics of Minigun > Overkill > Run and Gun > Frag Grenade.

Press the Advantage looks good, but it’s basically a trap talent. Its benefit doesn’t fit naturally into Tychus’s playstyle and trying to make use of it offensively puts the player at a distinct disadvantage. The only thing that saves Press the Advantage from a grade of D is the synergy it has in the extremely sub-optimal build that uses In the Rhythm and Bob and Weave.

I’m going to be honest with you here: I hate Regen Globe quests that don’t involve some kind of sustain as a reward, especially when they take so long to complete. However, I always take Dash for several reasons:

  • Dash’s completed Quest actually makes Run and Gun worth its Mana Cost.
  • Dash is the only Talent at Level 1 that provides Defensive value, something Tychus sorely needs.
  • Dash’s increased mobility can be used both Offensively and Defensively, making it much more flexible than the other options’ reliance on Offense.
  • Dash’s direct improvement to Run and Gun causes it to synergize with Overkill and Frag Grenade.

Dash is more flexible and effective than the other options at the tier, even when only partially completed. There is no reason to not take Dash.

In theory, the ability to quickly refresh the cooldown of Run and Gun and stay on a target for a mobile offense is useful. However, Tychus already has Overkill, so picking up Combat Tactician is pretty pointless. Even if you were getting significant value out of Combat Tactician and casting Run and Gun regularly, it costs so much for what it does that you’d run out of Mana in short order.

Back in the day, In the Rhythm was my go-to pick and nobody on this green Earth could hope to pry me away from it. Nowadays, I wouldn’t get caught dead using it - Tychus just doesn’t have the range to sit and shoot like he used to, and the most excellent synergy with That’s the Stuff! was inverted into a counter-synergy. Anything at Level 4 is a better option for one reason or another, so there’s no reason to pick it.

The Bigger They Are… is probably the most powerful Talent in Heroes of the Storm. It’s also the most misguided, but I’m getting ahead of myself.

We’ll start with how Tychus fares without it. Minigun’s normal effect adds 2.5% Health Shred to Tychus’s basic attacks for 3 seconds, up to 30% of a target’s Maximum Health plus the 600 damage from Tychus’s Basic Attacks. For most targets, this is a pretty substantial amount of damage:

  • The Average Warrior Health Pool is 2,562. 30% of that is 768 and adding 600 DPS gives us 1368 damage over 3 seconds, roughly 53% of their Health Pool.
  • The Average Assassin Health Pool is 1515. 30% of that is 454 and adding 600 DPS gives us 1054 damage over 3 seconds, roughly 69.5% of their Health Pool.

Granted, I’m fudging a lot of this - this isn’t taking into account things like Armor and averaging together all of the Warriors and Assassins leaves a lot of room for outliers - but the important part to take note of is how much damage is being dealt in context. While the Average Warrior takes more actual damage, the Average Assassin takes more proportional damage, being left at a noticeably lower amount of Health after the calculations are done.

The Bigger They Are… makes this disparity much, much worse.

The Bigger They Are… increases Minigun’s Health Shred per shot from 2.5% to 4%, a 60% increase in Health Shred per hit. With this increase, you can deal the same amount of Health Shred damage in a much shorter amount of time: you would only need 8 attacks to deal 32% Health Shred to the target rather than Minigun’s native 12 for 30%. It also caps itself, no longer applying Health Shred to targets below 35% of their Maximum Health, meaning that Minigun can no longer directly aid in finishing off a target.

At first glance, this seems reasonable: given that The Bigger They Are…'s 4% Health Shred per hit could only deal 48% of the target’s health, it seems unlikely that a target would lose 75% of their health from a single activation. However, what most folks forget is that this damage is riding on the back of Tychus’s Basic Attacks. Going back to our Average Heroes, we get the following:

  • The Average Warrior Health Pool is 2,562. 48% of that is 1229 and adding 600 DPS gives us 1829 damage over 3 seconds, roughly 71% of their Health Pool.
  • The Average Assassin Health Pool is 1515. 48% of that is 727 and adding 600 DPS gives us 1327 damage over 3 seconds, roughly 87.5% of their Health Pool.

While The Bigger They Are… is technically true to phrase it’s named after because it definitely increases the amount of damage Minigun does to high-health targets, it also just so happens to make Minigun into one of the better tools in HOTS for deleting Assassins. While the cap ensures that Minigun cannot do the job alone, Overkill and Frag Grenade all but guarantee a kill.

Minigun is basically a Heroic and The Bigger They Are… is basically a Level 20 Talent. You get Minigun for free and The Bigger They Are… at Level 4.

Also it lowers Minigun’s cooldown by 2 seconds as if it wasn’t already one of the most significant power spikes in the game.

Master Assassin is, in a word, okay. On one hand, increasing the Attack Speed of a character that has substantial DPS and heavily relies on a powerful On-Hit effect is pretty good. On the other hand, it doesn’t really make a notable difference until you get 15 Takedowns, all of which have to come after you pick it up.

Unless you’re specifically seeking to empower Odin as much as possible because there are too many counters to Tychus’s standard form, The Bigger They Are… is a better choice.

Quarterback solves one of Tychus’s main issues: his distinct lack of range. With it, he can poke the enemy backline from a very safe distance and and finish off wounded targets more reliably.

Concussion Grenade is… alright. The increased knockback certainly has a lot of uses, from knocking enemies further back into your range to defending yourself better against dives by shoving away attackers. However, being a knockback effect also means that it’s possible to save enemies, so your mileage may vary.

Relentless Soldier is only useful when you get stuck, and if you’re getting stuck you’re probably getting dogpiled and 25 Armor is unlikely to save you. Additionally, it’s not very versatile - it doesn’t provide any benefit for things like Slows, Knockbacks, Pulls, or even Stasis Damage effects like Gorge or Tyrant Maw. I could see it getting value against a very stun-heavy team, but at that point you’re better off just not getting hit.

Commandeer Odin is good for when you don’t need to be Tychus and remains useful even when you do.

The Drakken Laser Drill was good when sustained damage a viable build. Nowadays Tychus’s burst build is objectively better, and unfortunately Drakken Laser Drill just doesn’t compare as a result.

What was once the only choice at Level 13 is now merely an option. In its original form, That’s the Stuff! healed for Minigun’s damage as it was dealt, providing much-needed sustain from the Minigun-centric playstyle provided by In the Rhythm and Drakken Laser Drill. However, since it was changed to healing on expiration, That’s the Stuff! is now counter-synergistic with In the Rhythm’s extended Minigun duration, leaving it only a viable option if you take The Bigger They Are… or Master Assassin (or using Odin’s Minigun disable to force the expiration and trigger the healing).

75 Spell Armor is no joke, so Neosteel Coating is an excellent choice. If you happen to be facing heavy Ability Damage (especially if you’re in a situation where you can’t get reliable Minigun value to heal from That’s the Stuff!), then Neosteel Coating is the way to go.

Spray ‘n’ Pray is a Level 1 Talent in the wrong neighborhood.

Frag Grenade is Tychus’s primary tool for finishing off wounded enemies and securing kills, so adding a little extra oomph to the that is a pretty solid choice. However, I tend to not take it because I feel like 5% isn’t very useful when compared to Armor Piercing Rounds.

For example, Stitches has the largest base Health Pool in the game, clocking in at 3183. Titan Grenade’s 5% Health Shred tacks on 159 damage when used against Stitches, a 62% increase in effective damage. While substantially effective against meaty targets like Stitches, it falls off quickly against lighter enemies - anything smaller than Azmodan’s 2563 Health pool is going to see less than a 50% increase in effective damage, and the majority of the characters in HOTS have less than 2000 Health (lowering the effective damage increase to 40% or less).

It’s still good, certainly has its uses, and hits in an area, but I feel that Armor Piercing Rounds is the more reliable choice.

Lead Rain isn’t bad in theory, but it’s definitely not a Level 16 talent and it’s definitely not comparable to Titan Grenade or Armor Piercing Rounds.

Overkill is Tychus’s bread and butter when things aren’t going perfectly: maybe he got blinded and his Minigun is useless, maybe he needs to run away and discourage pursuit, maybe the initial ambush wasn’t enough and he needs to follow up to secure the kill. Armor Piercing Rounds empowers Overkill in such a way that it becomes better at pretty much all of these things and, unlike the Health Shred from Minigun or Titan Grenade, actually applies to non-Heroic targets. Additionally, the damage bonus doesn’t fall off in effectiveness against low-health targets like Titan Grenade does, so it’s substantially better for killing off fragile but dangerous enemies.

Big Red Button just gives you more of what makes the Odin good and is practically the default choice as a result.

The increased range is handy, but the placement range means that an immediate cast is likely going to be within the enemy’s reach and the damage ramp-up generally doesn’t happen fast enough to get any real value before the Laser Drill gets destroyed. The Laser Drill does have its uses and Focusing Diodes happens to make it better at those niche applications, but it’s not nearly enough to put it on the same level as Commandeer Odin and Big Red Button.

Sizzlin’ Attacks has a very hard time competing with Big Red Button’s increased duration and Nuke, so it’s pretty much what you take when you don’t have the Odin available. It certainly gets lots of points for making Tychus’s DPS even more terrifying, but the reliably safe damage of Odin is more valuable pound for pound.

All told, Bob and Weave offers nothing better than the other options at this tier. Teamfights at Level 20 are over in seconds, so you want either the increased range and burst from Big Red Button or the increased DPS from Sizzlin’ Attacks to lower your exposure time to the absolute minimum. A fully completed Dash bumps up the grade (and you should really have Dash completed by this point), but that reliance on a Level 1 Quest isn’t a great look.

  • Feels clunky and awkward compared to other Ranged Assassins, even ones with similarly reduced ranges.
  • While Minigun plays to Tychus’s strengths and Odin helps to overcome his weaknesses, overall effectiveness plummets without either (or both).
  • Talent selection has degraded over time due to patches and left clear winners at every tier except for 13 and 16, drastically reducing build variety.
  • The Bigger They Are… is seriously such a big deal that it deserves its own bullet point, just for how amazingly good it is at killing squishy targets.

Tychus suffers from what I like to call “Overbalance”: the state of a design being balanced in practice, but by virtue of having just as many massive disadvantages as it does massive advantages. The problem with Overbalance is that it often leads to polarizing experiences - sometimes the design performs admirably, being nearly unstoppable. Sometimes the design falls apart because a single leg gets kicked out from under it.

The core ideas of Tychus’s design aren’t bad by any stretch of the imagination - once upon a time, Tychus’s gameplay felt fine. However, the details appended to the design over time have caused a lot of issues that could be solved with a more measured approach instead of such an extreme one.

I think I just got Respect Banned
Kith's Varian Review + Rework
Goodbye, friends
Kith's TTK Olympics
Since we are getting nerfs reverted

All concepts discussed in this Rework are free to use by Blizzard without credit.

So now we’re on the part where I make suggestions on how to fix all of these problems that I’ve pointed out. My goals are thus:

  • Do not introduce concepts that would require new assets
  • Do not introduce any new major gameplay mechanics
  • Remain faithful to the core fantasy of the character
  • Reduce opportunities for awkward gameplay
  • Reduce opportunities for overpowering gameplay
  • Revitalize Talent Tree with viable choices at every Tier

Notable changes (such as tooltip updates, cost/cooldown adjustments, ect) will be listed in italics.

Normally I dive into the stats first but since Tychus’s trait is so integral to how he plays, I figured I’d break tradition and do this part before any of the others.

The inspiration for this change comes from the original rework aiming to make Tychus into a Tank-buster Assassin. As noted in the Review, any form of Health Shred added to Tychus’s substantial damage output is going to make him more effective at killing Assassins as well (because all characters have Health). However, a significantly smaller portion of the Heroes roster has access to Armor, and the majority that do are either Tanks or Bruisers.

Armor Piercing Rounds would bypass whatever Armor and Physical Armor the target has, causing Tychus’s Basic Attacks to deal full damage to them. Block effects in particular (Arthas’s Rime, Sonya’s Tough as Nails, ect) would be consumed as normal.

Without Minigun’s massive anti-everything DPS boost skewing Tychus’s balance to one side, the opportunity to reduce his clunkiness presents itself. The primary source of his clunkiness is how the reduced Basic Attack Range couples with his high Attack Speed: not only is it more difficult for Tychus to effectively engage targets, but to stay engaged as well.

The changes to his Attack Range and Attack Speed are intended to adjust his Basic Attacking experience to be less awkward while paying a greater homage to his fantasy of a heavy gunner: he’s got amazing DPS at a slightly increased range to make up for the fact that Stutter Stepping is now effectively impossible instead of merely difficult. To keep his current damage profile, his Attack Damage has been reduced by half.

As I said in the Review portion:

The Cooldown Refund is there for a little extra spice to make up for cutting out Minigun’s massive power float.

The only change I feel Frag Grenade needs is a Quality of Life one - with Tychus’s Attack Speed going ever higher, Frag Grenade’s cast time would cut more of his DPS than ever before. Making it transient would make Tychus’s high Attack Speed feel less constricting.

Cost reduced by 50% because it drives me insane that such a tiny scoot costs so much Mana.

Commandeer Odin has had its Armor replaced by a Shield for several reasons:

  • To better illustrate how much durability it adds to Tychus
  • To allow it to act as a panic button
  • To pay homage to the original implementation’s extra health bar
  • To pay homage to the current Commandeer Odin/That’s The Stuff interaction
  • To better interact with Armor effects

Additionally, Commandeer Odin can now be canceled early as a QoL tweak.

I should also mention that the “increased range” still sets the Odin’s range to 9, I just cut out the “100%” statement 'cause 9 is not 200% of 6.

Drakken Laser Drill has been replaced by Heartbreaker, a retooled Minigun that comes with an adjusted In The Rhythm. I chose to do this for a handful of reasons:

  • Minigun’s health shred is what Tychus has come to be known for, so keeping it around feels appropriate and moving it to later in the game makes Tychus’ early game less overwhelming
  • In The Rhythm was extremely popular before the anti-synergy, and baking it in resulted in the opportunity to make a unique and effective Level 20 upgrade that rewards extended durations
  • Heartbreaker is focused on single-target damage, contrasting Odin’s multiple AOE attacks
  • Heartbreaker’s Health Shred effectively bullies tanky frontliners, contrasting Odin’s burst and range effectively bullying squishy backliners

Now, I don’t think that the Drakken Laser Drill is a bad Heroic, I just feel that Tychus snarling “Don’t MESS with the DEVIL” and ripping someone apart with gunfire is a better portrayal of his character. This is also not to say that the Drakken Laser Drill ability should be removed from HOTS entirely, either - after all, someone else from the Starcraft universe is pretty well-known for making use of 174 gigawatts.

Compared to Minigun, Heartbreaker lasts longer and comes with a retooled In The Rhythm, but also has a longer cooldown and a Mana cost. Additionally, the Heartbreaker rework would also be an excellent time to update Percentage Damage with its own unique coloration instead of keeping the generic purple of Ability Damage.

Talents have been almost completely overhauled, featuring many new talents and a new organizational structure:

  • Level 1 Talents: Mobility Tier
  • Level 4 Talents: Grenades Tier
  • Level 7 Talents: Defense Tier
  • Level 10 Talents: Heroic
  • Level 13 Talents: Overkill Tier
  • Level 16 Talents: Power Spike Tier
  • Level 20 Talents: Storm Tier

Allows Tychus to more easily pursue a target during Overkill, or possibly aid in escaping a pursuing enemy.

Rather than being focused on moving Tychus, Concussion Grenade focuses on moving enemies.

From the distant lands of Level 20, Bob and Weave finds a new home among the Level 1 Talents. The Reworked Bob and Weave is, in my opinion, a fairer version of Dash that makes you pay in Mana rather than Regen Globes for doubling the effective distance of Run and Gun.

Quarterback comes a tier earlier since it’s not as easy as it used to be to burst folks down with Minigun.

Like Quarterback, Titan Grenade has moved to an earlier tier because it’s not as easy to burst down targets without Minigun. Unlike Quarterback, Titan Grenade fell three tiers, primarily because it’s not so powerful when it doesn’t have the opportunity to be paired with Quarterback. However, it’s still pretty strong, so the bonus damage has been reduced from 5% to 4%.

A utility option featuring the spirit of the dearly departed Melting Point. If you need extra waveclear, objective strength, or mercenary-clearing prowess, then this talent is for you!

Shake It Off is a re-imagining of Relentless Soldier that (in my opinion) does something a little more useful. Two important notes:

  • Shake It Off is not a Cleanse effect, it just allows Run and Gun to be cast while Tychus would otherwise not be able to (similarly to how Gall can use Shove to move Cho while Cho is stunned).
  • Bob and Weave still provides an additional cast of Run and Gun, but if Tychus is still Stunned, Rooted, or Silenced after using Shake It Off, it cannot be used.

Another familiar face from a later Tier, Neosteel Coating has reverted to its original 50 Spell Armor with the move.

A nice little sustain option that gets much more effective when you shoot people with Armor. It should be mentioned that the extra healing is multiplicative, not additive - shooting an ETC with 25 Armor will increase the healing amount to 22.5%, not 40%.

It is still Commandeer Odin, my dudes.

It is still Heartbreaker, my dudes.

Spray and Pray is in a better place now that 13 is dedicated to Overkill talents and Tychus’s talents in general have been cleaned up, but it a little extra sauce on its AOE because I felt like it.

Crafted in the loving memory of Combat Tactician’s intended use.

Overkill hits three times per second for for 4 seconds. Assuming full value against a single target, Mean Machine would reduce any active Basic Ability cooldowns by 3 seconds.

The single-target benefit isn’t great, but Overkill isn’t a single-target ability.

Focused Fire is a rebranded (original) Armor Piercing Rounds, now featuring an additional fancy effect that aligns with Tychus’s reworked design and a drawback to make up for being moved to an earlier tier.

Finish 'Em Off builds upon the natural combo of Overkill + Frag Grenade and directly synergizes with many talents.

Master Assassin with a new home and a new coat of paint.

Look at all of this shiny newness that Press the Advantage has. Expanded to include all of Tychus’s abilities (including Heroics and any of Commandeer Odin’s sub-abilities), it’s a pretty handy tool for keeping enemies as far away as possible.

Once upon a time, the Nuclear Missile upgrade to Ragnarok Missiles was its own skill and it’s always bothered me that it was condensed into Ragnarok Missiles. Separating the two is a QoL change that gives the Odin slightly more zoning power and overall tactical flexibility.

Also I rewrote the tooltip to be more in-line with more modern Talents.

Get enough bonus duration on Heartbreaker and you’ll have the opportunity to have it permanently active. Also it hurts more, which is neat.

If the offensive boost of your chosen Heroic doesn’t suit your fancy, there’s a defensive option at 20 that can help you survive on the mean streets of the Nexus. Also, just to make sure there’s no ambiguity, Comin’ Through! would not apply to Bob and Weave’s extra cast of Run and Gun.

Do you like shooting things? Are you tired of your enemies blinding you and making it so you can’t shoot things? If you answered yes to both of those questions, I have a talent for you!

Once upon a time in an AMA, BlizzCooper stated that the HOTS team had decided to move away from the design trend of pushing heroes into very hard counter style “sharp roles”. However, Tychus’s updates over time have doubled down on the original rework that added Minigun, making him feel more and more like a relic of that era.

The ultimate goal of this rework is to push Tychus away from the hard counter Anti-Tank role and more towards a Generalist Ranged Assassin who has a trait with an Anti-Tank slant to make up for his inability to stutter-step. I feel that the design accomplishes that goal handily, while also accomplishing other things (like cutting the insanely overpowered The Bigger They Are… and revitalizing Tychus’s Talent Tree in general).

And with that, I’m finally out of things to say. I hope you liked it and, if you didn’t, I hope you’ll tell me why.

Thank you for reading. :wave:

also yo blizzard i need a job i don’t hate, hustle me out to california and let’s make a deal

Feedback Thread for Hero Reworks

Honestly any change that isn’t making Odin a permanent form is just gravy for me. I want to be in an Odin mech, not be in a mech sometimes.


I think the suggested changes are interesting, making tychus an incredibly heavy handed hard counter to comps that utilize armor. Definitely a niche that has yet to be filled in hots despite how much armor and percentage based damage is floating around. Never did feel like simply doing % damage was a good counter to armor either, it only really acted either too slowly or it was just not sufficent against things like crystal aegis at level 20 on something like a valla or uther giving 50 armor to something like a sylvannas.

I do disagree with some of the talent and ability ratings, I definitely feel as if laser drill could easily be a B and thor is not a must pick, but I see the reasoning behind it.

Solid thread post


I can’t imagine Tychus without his Drakken Laser Drill, honestly.

He’s one of my favourite heroes too, and I almost never pick the Odin, think it’s a matter of taste.

Drakken placement… well, yes, it’s not automatic and sometimes it takes 3 clicks, but once you do and if you manage to hide it well… works wonders for me. Great zoning and dmg.

Good post tho and great ideas. But don’t remove the Drakken!


i always take it on BoE because that upgrade is excellent in both burning the immortal and defending against it.


When you consider In the rhythm and Q range as bad talents (and then for whtever reason rate lvl16 talent higher than grenade), I know you don’t really play tychus at all.
In the rhythm has been, is, and will always be the default antitank (hence simply default) choice (TBA is OK, but that’s not why you pick tychus).
The default lvl13-16 would be healing+grenade (antitank), but if there are certain mobile heroes (e.g., ming, tracer, or any other hard to reach backline), Q-Q is the only correct way to go (E build ming gets out of range without the lvl13 talent).
I’m not a fan of not taking lvl20 odin, but sizzling and bob and weave are both very powerful talents too.
With a couple niche exceptions, tychus’ entire talent tree is actively used and quite balanced. Saying that there’s “no talent diversity” is a very blatant lie and again shows lack of tychus experience.

Learn to play tychus before even trying to make suggestions. You just wasted hours of your time that could have been used to actually play tychus instead.


It actually bugs me an awful lot that Tychus was given the Odin as a Heroic because it all but guaranteed that we wouldn’t be getting a Thor hero. It’s awfully hard to separate the two, though…

Honestly, I don’t think the new Tychus would be that much of a heavy-handed counter to anyone except Garrosh (and even then, it’s not like Garrosh doesn’t have methods of dealing with the big blue goon).

Which ratings do you disagree with, aside from the Laser Drill?

Thank you!

Once upon a time, I was the same way. When I play Tychus I want to play Tychus, not ride around in an “Odin”. However, the changes to his Attack Range and sustain made my old Rhythm/Laser build demonstrably worse than Bigger/Odin, and now whenever I give the old build a shot (or even just Bigger/Laser), it feels like I’m playing a handicap.

This perfectly illustrates my issues with the current Drakken, though.

  1. The placement is such a pain. I remember once upon a time when I could self-cast it reliably and it was basically like having an extra charge of Run and Gun because it shunted Tychus out of the way.
  2. You have to hide it. Drakken Laser Drills are massive mining tools that are basically siege equipment, they shouldn’t have half as much health as a Bunker.

The range is good and the damage is good, but I feel like it’s just not enough - and I say this as someone who used to swear by the Laser Drill all the time.

Technically I’m not advocating for its removal :sunglasses:

That’s a pretty reasonable use case, I will admit. I personally prefer to take Odin or Sizzlin’ Attacks because they’re more reliable in a Teamfight, though.

Alas, my ruse has been discovered - I only partake in Tychus casually!

The Bigger They Are… has such massive mechanical and statistical advantages over In The Rhythm that I cannot possibly understand how you would think this. Please explain further.

Are you going to share why you think this, or are you just going to make statements with no backing?

“Actively used”? Maybe, but not by skilled players. Picking Diamond and Master on HOTSlogs, the following talents have a sub-20% pickrate:

  • Combat Tactician (9.1%)
  • Master Assassin (18.4%)
  • Concussion Grenade (7.1%)
  • Spray ‘n’ Pray (15.3%)
  • Lead Rain (8.8%)
  • Focusing Diodes (15.2%)
  • Bob and Weave (16.9%)

That doesn’t say “quite balanced” to me.

We’ll agree to disagree.

I mean, he’s only my highest-leveled hero. I don’t know what more you want from me.


It doesn’t.

  1. It’s extremely susceptible to blinds (you can be 100% sure those blinds will go to you the moment you press that button, if you play TBA).
  2. Your damage is significantly “reduced” if any other damage comes towards your target (since you will stop at 35% no matter what). Your teammate ming is not just going to stand around for 3 seconds and wait until you finish your minigun and then finish it off.
  3. You don’t have enough damage to finish a 35% tank. Not to mention, he will get a heal once your minigun is done.
  4. It’s useless against Garrosh (who is normally completely destroyed by tychus).
  5. I could go on, but I think 4 is enough.

TBA is good for killing squishies (especially 1x1), not tanks.

P.S. If you have a 7-sided khara or malthael in your team, sure then TBA is the better choice no matter what (you’d just have to make the combo work). But that’s a very specific situation, not general rule.

You say those talent tiers have no options and yet you list only 1 option of each as bad. Not to mention >5% can still be great niche talents (e.g., I can definitely think of uses for concussion, especially for some1 who is used to playing a lot of morales and is good at pushing ppl exactly where he wants them to go).

That doesn’t mean you know how to play him. Especially if you haven’t even actually tried the other talents… You know how to play 1 build, but you have absolutely no experience to talk about build viability.
That reminds me of those lvl2k mings who played only E build for 5k games and think they know ming (Ok, I may have seen only 1 real-life example of that). Hint: they don’t.
And anyway, my conclusion that you don’t know tychus was based on your actual post and suggestions, not your level or experience.


Btw, master assassin would be the best choice with lvl20 sizzling attacks. It’s just 15 takedowns, even by lvl20 is quite unrealistic in any high level game. But in games where 30+ takedowns are common, it’s definitely not a bad talent.


Tychus is susceptible to Blind in general. This isn’t unique to TBA (although you are correct in pointing out that, proportionally, Blinds have a greater effect on TBA in comparison to a Minigun significantly extended by In The Rhythm).

Except that Minigun is not the only tool Tychus has for dealing damage. You’re acting like Overkill and Frag Grenade don’t exist and I’m not sure why.

Just because Tychus is effective at attacking tanks doesn’t mean he should be focusing them. And, even if he is, you’re again acting like Tychus’s other abilities don’t exist (and neither do his teammates).


I won’t argue that it has reduced effectiveness against Garrosh, but

  1. That’s 1 hero out of 86 that TBA has reduced effectiveness against
  2. “Reduced effectiveness” and “useless” are definitely not on the same level, this isn’t Fueled By Torment granting Mal’Ganis a net gain in health when hit by Li Ming’s Disintegrate or Tassadar’s Basic Attacks (and even then, it’s not like Garrosh is incapable of being blown up at that level of health even with his 30+ Armor)

I’m not even remotely convinced, so please keep going.

TBA isn’t good for killing anything. Its primary purpose is severely wounding, which you can then use your other abilities (or allies!) to perform cleanup.

You’ll have to explain this one to me. Why does TBA “combo” with those abilities specifically?


“Clear winners at every tier” and “drastically reduced build variety” are very different statements from “there are no options at these tiers” - especially when I went over reasons why you might want options that are not the “clear winners” or how they might be useful.

See above statement about how I went over reasons you may want to choose given talents, even going over the very example you cited:

Relevant portion bolded for your convenience.

If I can’t prove that I know what I’m talking about when it comes to Tychus after showing my Level 72 Tychus with a 60% winrate, I don’t know what it’s going to take to convince you. For that matter, if I’m measuring you by the same standards that you’re measuring me, there’s no indication that you know what you’re talking about either, so now I’m wondering why I should listen to you despite your assertion. What evidence do you have that you know better?

I feel like you and I are talking about different posts at this point. Did you miss the part where I said I used to use In The Rhythm all the time? Or maybe I’m at fault, and I missed the part where I stated that I have never tried other talents before (spoilers: I did not claim that at any point).

If you disagree with me? Fine. Everyone has different viewpoints, so I can deal with that. But this whole “you don’t know what you’re talking about” thing you’ve got going on holds no water unless you’re willing to prove you know better.

If you’ve got Master Assassin complete and you took Odin at 10, Big Red Button is the better option by far. I mean, yeah, a completed Master Assasin does give Tychus that extra attack per second for Sizzlin’ Attack synergy, but the ability to deal damage safely (and over a much wider area) is ultimately more valuable.


You should first try playing TBA yourself then. I can see only in the rhythm on your hotslogs profile. Isn’t it weird to be advocating for a talent you’ve pretty much never even played?

I’ve just put out a broader and more realistic picture out here so that people don’t accept your completely narrow and wrong impression as the only correct truth.


I do, and I have been.

Probably because I don’t upload my replays to HOTSlogs. My HOTSlogs profile (which I didn’t even know I had until now) is likely made out of replays uploaded by other users and is less accurate than most for that reason.

Isn’t it weird how you still act like you know what you’re talking about despite having no evidence to prove it?

You have failed to address or respond to any of the other points I made in my previous post.


I have years of experience arguing with Kith. You’re obviously well out of your element in making an argument. Perhaps let someone else take up that profession lol.

@Kith - Solid points well constructed all around, as from the point of view of someone who literally hasn’t played hots in a year or more. I’ll see if I can get AH to look over it - he plays this cancerfest more than I do.


Good job! Minus the numbers i agree in everything. I hope this become a reality in the future.


encountering squish on the forums today was not what i expected

Looking forward to it! I’m always down for more feedback.

What numbers do you have an issue with? There are quite a few different types. :stuck_out_tongue:


If you’re playing games where you have large minigun durations from in the rhythm and people are letting you hit that, you’re not in a game that matters anyway. Obviously the enemy doesn’t know how to handle you regardless of talents.

The value of TBA isn’t just the increased damage, but the fact that it happens in such a short span of time, reliably, and happens more often.

Also the complaint that your allies can reduce your damage by…doing damage to the enemy?.. Seems silly. Yeah they’ll be brought below the 35% threshold and you may not get as much DPS but the enemy is still dying faster. So unless all you care about is your own stats this shouldn’t be a problem. This is also preferable, because sustained damage is a lot easier to heal and guard against.


Whoever made your collage of ‘Medium to long range’ gunners is clearly bad at TF2.
The Heavy is terrible at long range and mildly annoying at medium.
His optimal range is close to medium-close.

Vulcan Raven was also a short range boss, but that was more due to the isometric perspective.

And Fallout’s minigun is also terrible at long/medium range. It’s got a longer effective range than a shotgun, but not by much.

And your 40k Terminator assault cannon is for close-medium range combat. It’s actually one of the shorter ranged heavy weapons.

While the actual use of the weapon system is for long range, games tend to make it incredibly inaccurate as balance. Limiting it to short range killing and medium range annoyance.


There are plenty of heroes which have far more lower used talents. And in some cases 20% is an acceptable pick rate aswel (niche talents exist).

Tychus realy only has a few problems regarding talents, and thats why certain talents are getting underpicked aswel.

First of all however, his kit as it is, is already well designed, the abilities are clear, they synergize with each others and even the ultis are well balanced against each other. And its logical they are, tychus has been OP with this kit before, it shows the baseline is good. No changes are needed here.
And there is a major reason why no abilities are being extremely visible, and thats because of minigun, which is simply his trait. And a very strong one on that. It makes his kit complete.

But back to the problems:

The first problem is the ITR + TTS synergy, a synergy that was a major reason to pick tychus. And it has been changed into a counter synergy instead. Its the reason why ITR and TTS no longer have an S rating. It simply was the goto talent combination. His rework killed this entirely instead of nerfing it to an acceptable state.
Yet it could have been quite simple: TTS always triggers after 3 seconds, or at intervals of 3 seconds with each later interval being weakened (ie. 2nd trigger is 50%, 3rd is 25%, 4th is 12.5% etc). It gives the healing, but still provides a gap to attack through. And is always going to be usefull.

With this synergy being returned we however would create talent issues later on. And thats because Neosteel Coating is then going to become significantly weaker as thats currently a much more recommended talent when going for ITR. But even in this case, if you have a proper healer, its going to remain strong. It might become a niche, but a strong one regardless.

Only spray and pray is going to be a weak choise. But for this one we could introduce a major buff: spray and pray adds 1 base range. This gives tychus his older range (from the times where he was OP) but still takes away his self sustain. He cant get both. And in this case, it remains level 13 worthy because you dont want this to synergize with the other 2 anymore.

And now up to the next talent: Bob and Weave
Although this one was buffed with the extra range, the range is given too late to tychus. The range however makes him equal to many other assassins again. And the mobility increase allows tychus to position himself much better.
With that, its a talent that has a clear niche: any hero which doesnt have a gap closer is going to have a pain facing a tychus.
And note: The 15% for level 20 talents is a quite high value. and it just proves it by competing with Focusing Diodes. They take about 30% away from the other talent options, but as you stated both dont go below 20%, its very likely that both other talents are near the 40% range. A 1/3 pick rate compared to the highest pick rate in a talent tier is an excelent pick rate.
And this tells me that a 20% pick rate isnt too bad. i rather focus on talents that go below 15%.

Combat tactician however is indeed a talent i would consider useless. Simply because to get the real value out of it, you need to be level 20 and take Bob and Weave. You are better off getting the globe quest and gain extra mobility that way. And the only problem is that to get the advantage to dodge more often, you need to AA, which is often at a range where dodging doesnt happen as often due to the quick responses required from the player.
So here is the first talent i call truly useless.

Now looking at the next <15% talent i havent talked about: Concussion Grenade
Knockback is nice, but extra range on a decent damage ability (especialy past lvl 16) on a hero which already has range issues is simply just better. This talent is on the wrong tier and would better belong on level 1. And at that point it can synergize with level 4 allowing more reliable knockbacks to happen.
Its not a bad talent in its idea, just placed incorrectly.

Lead Rain is a talent i dont realy see having a lot of uses except in the case of maybe lunara (but why would you attack her as tychus in the first place?). The problem is that at this time in the game your team already should have enough CC to lock down a target for you.
And on this i have no idea how to fix it other than just removing it and trying to come up with a new talent here.

But yeah, thats only a few talents that need a rework, and a few talents that need to be moved.

And specificly here… this game has multiple skill levels, and not all talents have to suit the higher skills. If a talent benefits the player much more on lower skill levels, it can be fine. If a talent would have a 60% pick rate on gold, but 10% in diamond+, maybe the diamond+ talent is simply too difficult to use for gold players?
Sometimes options are only there to allow diffirent skill levels to adjust better towards their skill level.
For example on medivh, if you play at silver, you realy dont want to use the portal talents too much, your teammates wont use them effectively. It can be fine.

And your statement about it feeling clunky, i think its part of how he should play. Not all heroes have to be the same. For some lunara feels clunky, and for others valeera does. Players can vary a lot, and i personaly cant tell that tychus feels clunky.

The current tychus is also not a hero that is ment to be used as solo laner (and blizzard did a good job at removing that capability from him), he benefits most when his teammates can pull enemies towards him. And thats when he can burst out some very dangerous damage. And thats his key feature. Allowing some talents to take back some of his solo laning capabilities can be fine, but it has to go at a cost somewhere.

Tychus is one of the heroes which has a fairly balanced talent tree, a tree where most talent tiers dont have a talent with an over 80% pick rate. And 2 very clear ways to build (ITR + Nanocoat or TBTA + TTS), which both also make the tychus player capable to play in a very diffirent way.

And because this post became massive, here a TLDR of the changes i think would work:

  • Remove combat tactician
  • Move Concussion grenade to level 1.
  • Remove Lead Rain
  • Move bob and weave to level 16 (and if spraynpray is altered, reduce its range bonus)
  • Add a new level 20 talent.
  • Alter TTS in such way that when having extra ITR stacks, it doesnt hinder the healing part (after 3 seconds healing should always take place).
  • Give spray and pray +1 additional range on his AA.

TF2 has a diffirent mechanic in place that forces players to go for close range:
Damage ramp up and fall off. The 0 point being 256 units away. Anywhere closer allows damage to be boosted by 50%, further away (up to 1024 units) being a damage reduction to just 25% damage.
Thats why the heavy is poor at long range.

And its a poor example when comparing to this game because this game doesnt involve range dependant damage on most heroes (hanzo’s R is one of the few exceptions).


It just bugged me that of all of the characters and games in that collage I am familiar with, none of them actually fit the medium to long ranged gunner archetype they claimed. Even without damage falloff Heavy is a poor choice for medium or long range, you can see it when he’s kritzed. He’s just too inaccurate.