Karax by Murraythehuman

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New Concept


By: Murraythehuman
Last Updated: Sep 23, 2022
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Mighty Phase Smith

A flexible bruiser who can directly upgrade his abilities by fighting up close.

This hero concept is relatively straightforward. After someone introduced me to the concept of Solarite, I was intrigued by if the idea of a hero with a secondary style of self-upgrading could work. If such an idea was to be implemented, it would have to use only the existing inputs and UI, so pop-ups for grids or talent trees or the like would be inappropriate.

However, one issue a hero with such a robust upgrading system would have (as is the case with most questing heroes), is an innate tendency to become Feast or Famine. As such, I didn't want to introduce any mechanics that directly boosted immediate damage or sustain, but ones that would instead improve the hero's 'opportunities'.

Karax has a unique set of 3 icons to the left of his health bar, each displays the number of upgrades of his basic abilities.

Attack Type: Melee
Attack Speed: 1.20
Attack Range: 1.25

Attack Damage: 70
Health: 2200
Health Regen: 4.583

Resource: Mana

Playstyle breakdown
Spoiler: Click to view

Combat Trait

Phase Smith
Karax gains 1 Solarite every second, as well as 5 Solarite every time he basic attacks an enemy hero. By expending 100 Solarite, he can activate Phase Smith to select and upgrade a basic ability.

In case it's not clear, once you select your trait, you then cast/select the ability, and it'll be upgraded instead of being cast. You can also re-select trait to cancel.

The maximum stacks are some arbitrary number in the hundreds of thousands. It would just be user-hostile to punish players who want to think a bit longer on their decision. Just buy when you've made your decision.
This move is LOCKED UNTIL THE GAME STARTS, so you only start generating Solarite once the gates open.

Karax has special voice lines he'll periodically spout when he has 100 Solarite and hasn't spent it yet.

Primary Abilities

Phase Cannon
Cooldown: 6 seconds.
Mana Cost: 30

After .25 seconds, fire a barrage of 5 energy projectiles towards the cursor. Enemies hit take 66 damage and are slowed by 25% for 1 second.

Upgrades increase the number of projectiles by 1.

Range: 6.6 Note: This is slightly more than 'average basic attack range'.

Each shot is spaced about .1 seconds apart, for a total channel time of about .75 seconds.
This is Karax's main source of damage, as well as a useful poke tool. Each upgrade increases your potential damage by 20%. Though because you are locked in place while channelling, upgrades won't necessarily translate directly into damage.

Hit Q again to cancel (only after .75 seconds).
Power Strikes
Cooldown: 10 seconds.
Mana Cost: 40

Karax gains 75% increased attack speed for 2.5 seconds. Attacks empowered by Power Strikes heal Karax for 50% of the damage dealt, tripled against heroes.

Upgrades increase the duration by .25 seconds.

Power Strikes is an important mechanic for keeping Karax in the fight, as well as for generating Solarite. The move is, however, somewhat underwhelming as a damage tool. Additionally, in terms of raw benefit, upgrading Power Strikes is Karax's weakest option out of the three. But because it directly improves your Solarite Generation, it's worth investing in, especially early on. If, for some insane reason, you upgraded it 30 times, you would be able to keep the ability up indefinitely.
Thunder Drop
Cooldown: 18 seconds.
Mana Cost: 70

Karax rises, becoming Immune for .5 seconds, before slamming down hard in a marked area, dealing 130 damage and stunning enemies hit for .75 seconds. If Thunder Drop hits at least one enemy hero, its cooldown is reduced by 6 seconds.

Upgrading increases the move's range by 10%.

Range: 5

This is a very powerful ability, with both a moment's damage immunity, followed by a stun. The move is fairly easy to dodge, as the damage radius is displayed immediately upon activation, and has about .25 seconds of travel time. The radius of the impact is roughly as big as Cho'gall's bomb detonation. Use this move to reliably initiate, letting you land basic attacks for Solarite. Since upgrading Thunder Drop only improves the move's range and not its power, upgrading this opens up new opportunities, but may prove redundant in a number of cases. Regardless, leaping to distance locations gives Karax some hard-to-match playmaking power.
However, because this move has the potential to be used as a 'free escape', the move punishes you with a longer cooldown if you don't hit anyone.
The targeted area for this move appears immediately, and displays a red Protoss icon in the middle, immediately conveying which ability it is when used, gutting some of its potential for surprise attacks.

Note: "At least one enemy hero" means that the cooldown reduction only applies once, so hitting 5 people is still only a 3 second reduction.

Heroic Abilities

Cooldown: 25 seconds.
Mana Cost: 25

Your next basic ability casts with its upgrade effects doubled.

So this one's a bit of a payoff ability, used to greatly enhance one of your abilities. The more widely you spread your upgrades, the more versatile this heroic becomes, but the more you stack a single ability with upgrades, the more powerful it becomes.
Solarite Beam
Cooldown: 80 seconds.
Mana Cost: 80

After .75 seconds, Karax fires a pair of incredibly long ranged beams from either side of his body in the target direction, crossing over at the cursor. The beams deal 160 damage, and grant 5 Solarite per hero hit. Heroes hit by both beams take an additional 300 damage and grant an additional 15 Solarite.

Solarite Beam is targetted similarly to Li Ming's Q, but with no middle projectile, and with the starting point of each projectile spread out further. The 'projectile' of this move has a very high range, with the speed of the projectile increasing as it travels. Land both lasers for a toasty 620 damage, plus 25 Solarite, or more when hitting multiple heroes.

Level 1 Talents

Survivability talents that all encourage different means of applying your upgrades. Solarite Heart is somewhat dangerous (and only tentatively balanced), but further adds rewards to upgrading stats. Phase Shields favors an even spread, but doesn't necessitate it, while Boosting Strikes can grant a payoff to high stacks of Power Strikes, or simply enable one of Karax's other two abilities with its lowered cooldown.

Trait (D): Solarite Heart - Every second time an ability is upgraded, it also upgrades one of Karax's stats. Upgrading Phase Cannon grants 1% increased maximum Mana, upgrading Power Strikes grants 1% increased movement speed, and upgrading Thunder drop grants 2% increased maximum health.

Trait (D): Phase Shields - Whenever you cast an ability, gain a 100 health shield for 2 seconds, increased by 30 for each upgrade the ability has received. Activating an ability will refresh the shields to match the new ability's shields.

W: Boosting Strikes - While Power Strikes is active, Karax gains 10% increased movement speed. Quest: Upgrade Power Strikes 4 times. Reward: While Power Strikes is active, Karax's basic attacks against heroes lower the cooldowns of Phase Cannon and Thunder Drop by .75 seconds.

Level 4 Talents

Talents that help with gaining Solarite. Press On follows from the design of Imperius's Press Forward, granting Karax a continuous source of health and Solarite if he plays aggressively in lane. Nerve Coils changes the nature of Power Strikes, making it a good tool for Karax to use in overly lethal matches, as it allows him to keep his distance while building up stacks of Solarite. Lastly, Magnus Slam rewards aggressive use of Thunder Drop, especially when used for takedowns.

Passive: Press On - Your Regen Globes heal you for 50% longer. While under the effects of a Regen Globe, your passive Solarite generation is increased by 150%. Damaging enemy heroes while under the effects of a regen globe refreshes the regen globe's duration.

W: Nerve Coils - While Power Strikes is active, Karax strikes with his tentacles, causing his basic attacks to become ranged and slow targets by 15% for 1 second and grant an additional 3 Solarite when used on heroes.

E: Magnus Slam - Hitting heroes with Thunder Drop grants 15 Solarite. Quest: Upgrade Thunder Drop 8 times. Reward: Reduce the cooldown of Thunder Drop by 2 seconds, takedowns now refresh its cooldown.

Level 7 Talents

Dedicated Phase Cannon talent tier. Increase its power and/or utility. Channel Energies grants Karax a pretty substantial boost to his survivability, while Spreadshot can either be used to boost his potential single target damage at close range by a massive amount, or to simply spread out damage to a larger group. Lastly, focusing prism boosts his range, letting him play more safely, while adding a very powerful piercing effect if the player is willing to invest the required Solarite.

Q: Channel Energies - While channelling Phase Cannon and for .5 seconds after, Karax gains 30 armor. Each time Phase Cannon hits a hero, the duration of the armor is extended by .25 seconds.

Q: Spreadshot - Phase Cannon now fires 3 projectiles at once in a tight fan formation, each one dealing 50% reduced damage.

Q: Focusing Prism - Increase the range of Phase Cannon by 25%. Quest: Upgrade Phase Cannon 12 times. Reward: Phase Cannon pierces all non-structure enemies.

Heroic Talents

Detailed above.

Level 13 Talents

Simple flex talents that don't follow much of an overall theme, but add extra opportunities to Karax's kit. Reroute Energy can reward players who use their cooldowns intelligently, either for a harder engage with Thunder Drop, or more dedication to either Phase Cannon or Power Strikes. Quantum Edge Strike, on the other hand, Quantum-edge Strike improves Karax's single target damage, allowing him to focus down a single enemy in a manner he is usually incapable of. Lastly, Slamwave adds superb extra power to teamfights, and indirectly boosts Thunder Drop's damage.

Trait (D): Reroute Energy - While all of Karax's abilities are off cooldown, his next ability is treated as if it has 5 additional upgrades.

W: Quantum-edge Strike - The first basic attack of Power Strikes deals an additional 233 damage over 3 seconds. Each time Karax damages the target it refreshes the duration.

E: Slamwave - Upon hitting the ground, Thunder Drop releases a shockwave that deals 145 damage and slows nearby heroes by 50%, decaying over 2 seconds.

Level 16 Talents

A powerspike talent tier that pays off your stacks with very direct damage boosts. Photon-Breaker adds a final boost to Phase Cannon, which rewards a good balance of upgrades, as too many will make it too hard to land. Golden Arsenal gives Karax a means of shredding tanks across his two primary sources of damage, while Hullcracker can enable him to set up for a kill against one or more priority targets.

Q: Photon-breaker - .5 seconds after the last shot of Phase Cannon, Karax fires an additional, untalented projectile that explodes in an area around the first enemy hit, and deals 10% increased damage for each Phase Cannon Upgrade. Deals half damage to structures.

Q/W: Golden Arsenal - Phase Cannon shots and basic attacks empowered by Power Strikes deal .5% of a hero's maximum health in bonus damage.

E: Hullcracker - Thunder Drop reduces the armor of enemy heroes hit by 20 for 2.5 seconds, increasing the damage they take by 20%. The armor reduction is increased by 1 for each Thunder Drop upgrade, to a maximum of 50.

Storm Talents

Somewhat basic, but nonetheless effective Storm talents. Overload gives you more regular access to your heroics, or unleash your inner Will of Gall with Master Phase Smith, and stack up like crazy. Lastly, Buyback grants some fairly powerful self-revival.

R1: Power Overwhelming - Reduce the cooldown of Overload by 10 seconds. It gains an additional Charge.

R2: Reclamation - Reduce the Cooldown of Solarite Beam by 20 seconds. Each time Solarite Beam hits an enemy hero, its cooldown is reduced by 5 seconds and it restores 5 Mana. Heroes hit by both beams reduce the cooldown by an additional 15 seconds and restore 15 Mana.

Trait (D): Master Phase Smith - Your passive Solarite generation is 50% faster. Takedowns generate 150 Solarite.

Active: Buyback - While dead, spend 180 Solarite to instantly resurrect at the Hall of Storms. 60 second cooldown.

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