Probius (Rework) by Scudmarx

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Probius (Rework)

By: Scudmarx
Last Updated: May 26, 2021
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Probius (Rework)

Curious Probe

Probius barely exists in HotS - he was released and then immediately forgotten about. He is probably the weakest hero in the game, and his design is awkward and unwieldy and doesn't really resonate with his 'Probe fantasy' as well as we'd hoped. He has some good but highly telegraphed burst damage and some decent zoning slows, but he badly needs an update. This is my attempt to show some changes that I personally think would help him be a more impactful and unique hero, who hopefully feels more like a curious little builder unit and less like a misshapen mage tied to a stick.

As tempting as it is to give Probius additional structure options to really feed that 'builder' fantasy, there is apparently a technical limitation preventing that design space, so I have chosen to obey that constraint by only reusing what assets he already has.

Here Probius is reworked into more of a Support role (cf. Medivh, Abathur), with decent damage and a collection of soft-CC and team buffs. His power budget is shifted towards his constructed units and away from his Warp Rift explosions, with talent options having a more significant impact than on live.

The most obvious changes you would notice on trying him would be his basic attack being a Tracer style moving-while-firing laser beam, Disruption Pulse no longer removing Warp Rifts, the switching around of the Warp Rift and Pylon buttons, with Warp Rift now on D and being a necessary resource to warp in Pylons and Photon Cannons, and Pylon moving to W and buffing you and your allies. Warp Rifts are the resource now, Pylons are the main Support ability.


Statistics


Attack Type Ranged
Health 1260
Health Regen 2.625
Resource 100 Mana
Unit Radius 0.6875
Attack Speed 4.0
Attack Range 3.0
Attack Damage 10

Probius can channel his Tassadar-style laser basic attack while moving, though the range is still just as tiny. Reduced the size of Probius's Mana pool so that his Pylons can generate mana for him in a more natural way, and his ability costs are reduced accordingly. The net effect is that Probius can still cast abilities at will as long as he is near a Pylon and will quickly run out of mana if he is not, as before.

Combat Trait

1
Warp Rift
Charges: 2
Recharge: 6 seconds


D - Activate to create a Warp Rift at the target location which takes 1.25 seconds to fully activate. Enemies inside an active Warp Rift are slowed by 25%. You can have a maximum of two Warp Rifts active.

Passive: Probius resurrects in the Warp, from where he can teleport to any active Warp Rift, collapsing it. A Warp Rift appears in the Hall of Storms when Probius dies.

The ability to resurrect will function identically to Zagara's Nydus Network, depositing Probius from whatever Rift is nearest to the destination of your next move command. It's a flavourful solution to getting the mountless Probius back to lane quicker after a death, and could replace the "free Z at base" effect that was added to live to solve the same issue.

Primary Abilities

1
Disruption Pulse
Cooldown: 3 seconds
10 Mana

Q - Fire a burst of energy forward, dealing 140 damage to all enemies it passes through. Hitting the center of an active Warp Rift causes a Warp Blast which deals 140 damage to nearby enemies and slows them by 25% for 2 seconds.

Damage increased on baseline Q projectile since Rifts are now valuable as a resource and can't be used as often for explosions, so Q itself represents more of Probius's damage. Warp Rifts are no longer removed by detonations so you don't have to worry about destroying a Rift you needed to build a Pylon with, and the explosion damage is therefore significantly reduced, though it now also applies the Rift's slow.
2
Pylon
Cooldown: 18 seconds

W - Collapse an active Warp Rift into a Pylon after 1.25 seconds.
Pylons generate a Power Field in an area around them. Allies in a Power Field gain 4 Health and 2 Mana per second and their Spell Power and Basic Attack damage are increased by 10%. Probius and his constructs gain 100% increased effect from Power Fields. Does not affect Structures or Elite Mercenaries.
Pylons last a maximum of 30 seconds.

This is the real meat of Probius's new play design. This ability is the main reason that Probius is now tagged as a 'Support' hero. Baseline, Pylons buff all nearby allies - heroes, minions and mercenaries, with a semi-permanent, but fairly small buff. Pylons push lanes fairly well, provide heroes with a small amount of sustain, and give a small increase to your team's damage during fights. Pylons aren't required as a resource for Photon Cannons, though they do buff them well. The intention here is for Probius to drop a Pylon on the lane or objective where he's setting up, and either start to fortify the area with Photon Cannons, or poke and siege with Warp Rifts.
3
Photon Cannon
Cooldown: 6 seconds
20 Mana

E - Collapse an active Warp Rift into a Photon Cannon after 1.25 seconds.
Photon Cannons attack nearby enemies with a blast of energy every second that deals 40 damage to the target, and 50% to other enemies in a small area around them.
Photon Cannons last a maximum of 30 seconds.

Photon Cannons are weaker but more plentiful. They deal a small amount of splash damage, which helps to mitigate the fact that they are stupid and don't prioritize targets well, and helps to clear minion waves to push lanes harder. Probius is intended to be able to push two lanes at once, by dropping a Pylon and a Phase Cannon in a lane and then rotating.

Heroic Abilities

1
Overcharge
Cooldown: 40 seconds
20 Mana

R - Add 10 seconds of duration to active Pylons and Photon Cannons. Increases their range by 100% and grants them 50 Armor for the duration. While Overcharged, the effects of a Pylon's Power Field are increased by 100%, and Photon Cannons gain 50% increased Damage and Attack Speed.

Each Photon Cannon affected increases the cooldown of Overcharge by 20 seconds.
2
Null Gate
Cooldown: 25 seconds
20 Mana

R - Project a barrier of negative energy in the target direction that lasts 4 seconds. Enemies who touch the barrier take 68 damage per second and are Slowed by 80% for as long as they remain in contact with it. Striking the Null Gate with a Disruption Pulse causes a Null Blast, dealing 220 damage to nearby enemies and slowing them by 80% for 2 seconds.

Null Gates are often a great way to get a Warp Rift explosion on someone, but since they're weaker and rarer now, I rolled the combo into the Null Gate itself, which now gets its own explosion interaction, which is essentially a super-powered version of a regular Warp Blast.

Special Mount

1
Worker Rush
Cooldown: 30 seconds

Z - Activate to gain an additional 50% Movement Speed for 5 seconds. Taking damage ends this effect early.

Passive: Probius moves 10% faster by hovering over the ground.

Talents

Level 1


I think Level 1 talents should let you pick an identity. So here, you can either...

(Z) Turbo Charged


Worker Rush grants an additional 10% passive Movement Speed while in a Power Field, and its cooldown is reduced by 10 seconds.
Probius's Death Timer is reduced by 15%.

be small and flighty...

(Passive) Distortion Beam


Probius's Basic Attack slows its target by 2.5% for 2 seconds, stacking up to 20%.
When Probius dies he unleashes a Warp Blast, dealing 120 damage to nearby enemies and slowing them by 25% for 2 seconds, and leaves behind a Warp Rift.

be annoying...

(Active) Construct Probe


Cooldown: 40 seconds
Cost: 50 Minerals

Activate Construct Probe while dead to cause Probius to instantly respawn.

Passive: Enemy Heroes and Minions drop Minerals when killed. Probius can collect these, reducing the cooldown of Warp Rift by 0.1 seconds. Probius can store up to 100 Minerals.

or be buildy.

Level 4

Level 4 talents should be a versatile power upgrade in a chosen specialization; here we have a poke upgrade from Echo Pulse, a burst damage/investment option, and a defensive upgrade.

(Q) Echo Pulse


Disruption Pulses now return to Probius 1.25 seconds after reaching their target.

Moved from 1 and Buffed to compete better with the stronger power talents at 4. Now does full damage on return trip, and is intended to apply to all Disruption Pulses including talented ones from level 20.

(Q/D) Warp Resonance


? Quest: Hitting enemy Heroes with Warp Blasts increases Probius's Spell Power by 1% and reduces the cooldown of Warp Rift by 1 second.

The reward for collecting hero hits is less feast-or-famine, and the reward is useful for non-Explosion builds, helping with build diversity. Uncapping the reward is exciting and fun, but isn't likely to stack higher than the original version in a normal game.

(Passive) Shield Capacitor


Probius and his constructs gain permanent Shields equal to 10% of their max Health. Shields regenerate quickly as long as damage hasn't been taken recently.

The defensive power upgrade at 4, now also protects his constructs which hold a larger piece of his power budget.

Level 7

(Q) Particle Accelerator


Disruption Pulse travels 20% faster and further and the radius of Warp Blasts is increased by 20%. Disruption Pulse and Warp Blasts each deal 20% more damage.

(W) Photon Barrier


Pylons' Power Field grants allies 10 Spell Armor.

The obvious choice for a full support build, gives spell armour to all allies including minions and mercenaries, and remember the effect is doubled on Probius and his Pylons and Photon Cannons.

(E) Tower Defense


Photon Cannon costs 50% less Mana. Summoning a Photon Cannon increases the rate at which Warp Rift cools down by 50% for 6 seconds.

Level 13

(Q) Force Pulse


Enemies hit by Disruption Pulse are knocked back. Enemies hit by Warp Blasts are knocked away from the center and Heroes have their Armor reduced by 20 for 2 seconds, causing them to take 20% increased damage.

(W) Power Overflowing


Pylon's Power Field grants allies an additional 10% increased Spell Power and Basic Attack damage.

(W) Shield Battery


Pylon's Power Field grants affected allies 14 Shields per second, up to 56. Shields persist for 2 seconds after exiting a Pylon Power Field.

Power Field talent choices reduced in effectiveness by roughly half; remember that Power Field affects allied minions and mercenaries now, affects Probius and his constructs at double effectiveness, and can be doubled by the Overcharge heroic.

Level 16

Level 16 brings quirky, powerful effects.

(D) Interference


Enemies that are slowed by Warp Blast or an active Warp Rift also have their Spell Power reduced by 35%.

(D) Gravity Well


Enemies near an active Warp Rift are slowly pulled towards its center. Enemies in the center of an active Warp Rift take 20 damage per second and Heroes receive 80% reduced healing.

(D) Pocket Dimension


Allied Heroes that stand still in the center of a Warp Rift for at least 1.5 seconds become Invisible and Invulnerable while the Warp Rift remains. Moving, attacking, taking damage, or using an ability ends the effect.

You can't get in the Rift while you're being attacked, but if you can set up inside it for a gank it's good clean fun. You are completely removed from the map while in the pocket dimension, so you don't block pathing or get affected by any abilities.

Level 20

(R1) Chrono Boost


Passive: Power Fields increase the flow of time for affected allies by 5%.

Overcharge, don't forget, doubles the effects of Power Fields. This effect gives movement speed, attack speed and cooldown speed to all allies in a field, and is of course doubled on Probius like all other Power Field effects.

(R2) Gate Keeper


Null Gate lasts indefinitely as long as either end is within a Power Field.

(Q) Wave Collapse


Warp Blasts create 4 additional Disruption Pulses that fire at nearby targets, dealing 50% reduced damage. The pulses prioritize Heroes and other Warp Rifts, causing chain reactions of additional Warp Blasts and consequent additional Pulses. A Warp Rift cannot be hit more than once in a chain.

That's a lotta pulses and explosions! Each target will only be picked by at most one pulse from each blast, though if clumped they can still be damaged by pulses targeting other heroes or rifts. With optimal play (hitting multiple rifts with the initial Pulse) the burst potential is insane and may need nerfing.

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