von (new)B muses on: Falstad, Shock an' Aww Yeah by vonBoomslang

von (new)B muses on: Falstad, Shock an' Aww Yeah

By: vonBoomslang
Last Updated: Apr 14, 2015
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Build 1 of 4

Falstad

Build: Hammermage, casual

Level 1
Level 4
Level 7
Level 10
Level 13
Level 16
Level 20

Falstad

Build: Hammermage, trickier

Level 1
Level 4
Level 7
Level 10
Level 13
Level 16
Level 20

Falstad

Build: Hammerhammer, sustained

Level 1
Level 4
Level 7
Level 10
Level 13
Level 16
Level 20

Falstad

Build: Hammerhammer, burstier

Level 1
Level 4
Level 7
Level 10
Level 13
Level 16
Level 20

Introductions Top

Who am I?

A player with not enough experience but just enough ego to think others might like to read about builds he found and enjoys. These aren't guaranteed to fit in the meta, or be super competitive, or anything really, but they're builds I enjoy, and that's what matters to me.

Who is Falstad?

In Heroes of the Storm, Falstad is a ranged assassin, classified as Hard. He takes to battle astride on his mighty gryphon, armed with hammers, lightning, and a hammer that shoots lightning. His mount gives him map presence, and he can deal bursty or sustained damage through attacks or abilities, depending on how he is built. He is not, however, durable, and must rely on his escapes to survive. Also, while mobile in combat, he can be chased down by a mounted enemy.

What's this build?

Builds, unusually for me. Falstad works well both built relying on his abilities cooldowns and mana pool, as well as showering the enemy with a barrage of lightning hammer basic attacks. Ultimately, what you're after is damage with a side of survivability, and that's what I seek to offer.

In here, I'll cover four builds, or at least, two variants of two builds - the Hammermage, focusing on dealing damage with abilities, and Hammerhammer, using Falstad's strong auto attack. The former will be split into the user-friendly "casual", and the more advanced "trickier" that'll help you burst down enemies when they don't expect it, but will require more careful play. The latter build comes in "sustained", with steadily increasing damage as you progress, and "burstier", able to do sudden spikes of damage, which I'm not a fan of but it deserves mention anyway.

Ability Overview Top

Z: Flight - Instead of mounting up, Falstad may choose to fly to an area of his choosing. This ability has considerable but finite range, as well as a noticeable casting time, but even then, the ability to completely relocate every 45s is huge. You can use this to turn a juke into an escape, to split push and still join for teamfights, to assist teammates in trouble, to do high risk high reward plays where you fly to intercept escaping enemies, to punish a greedy enemy who split pushes at low health, to hearth and return in record speed... it's a great power, really. However, a word of warning - the target area is visible to your enemies. Try to fly into bush to stay hidden, and remember you can be seen in flight. Mind its limitations, don't use it needlessly because the cooldown isn't tiny, but make use of it.

D: Tailwind - Falstad's trait is passive and a replacement of sorts for the ability to mount up. If he's not damaged, he moves faster. Not mount-fast, but fast. What is important is that this ability doesn't shut off if you attack, only if you're damaged. This lets you quickly relocate or chase in combat, as long as enemies don't attack you. Sadly, the time it's offline is pretty significant. Keep in mind that mounted enemies can and will catch up to you - however, they have to dismount to attack you, while you don't have to lose Tailwind to throw out an ability or attack to slow them down.

Q: Hammerang - Falstad's Q throws out a charged hammer, damaging and slowing all enemies in encounters. But that's not all - once it reaches the end of its range, the hammer starts to return, heading towards Falstad's current location and dealing the damage and slow again. This is Falstad's primary wave clear and a good damage ability, as long as you can land both hits on a target. Don't forget that you can adjust the return flight path by relocating yourself to hit targets you would have otherwise missed.

W: Lightning Rod - Falstad's W instantly zaps a nearby enemy with lightning, dealing a moderate amount of damage. The beauty of it, however, is that it will then proceed to zap them again (for 70% of the initial damage), up to four times, assuming you stay near enough to your enemy. If Hammerang is your main source of AoE damage, this is your main single target one, dealing some triple of its damage. Of course, they work best together, combining the slow and Tailwind to make sure all four zaps land.

E: Barrel Roll - Falstad's E has him dash a short distance forward, including through walls and enemies, as well as grants him a small (~9% of your HP) shield. This, obviously, is his main escape. The dash is short ranged but it helps, and the ability to ignore that wall in the way can buy you a few crucial seconds. It's generally not worth it to use this ability in a duel, as you are likely to deal more damage to your foe than negate with the piddly shield in the time it'd take to use. Plus, you'd be burning your escape. Speaking of, you can use this to offensively move over walls, but it's generally not a good idea - you have no way of granting yourself vision of what's on the other end, and if you run into trouble, the 14s cd will be down. However, this is very good for escaping from inside a Zombie Wall or Arreat Crater.

R: Mighty Gust - Falstad's first heroic has him launch a wide gust of wind that travels a fair distance forward, sweeping along and slowing any enemies it encounters. The more tactical of the choices, it's a good idea if you know what you're doing. Pushing weak enemies into the waiting arms and weapons of your team, pinning them up against a wall, buying time for a retreat or to save a wounded ally, stealing jungle camps... it's not a popular choice but used properly it is a powerful - and fun! - tool.

R: Hinterland Blast - Falstad's second heroic has him, after a brief charge, unleash a mighty blast of lightning with massive range and damage. Its one major downside is the highly visible arc of lightning that clearly shows its path, giving your foes ample time to get out of the way... if they are able. Roots, stuns, slows, Devouring Maw, Grav-O-Bomb 3000, these are all excellent ways to set this up. Besides, just like Precision Strike, if you hit nothing but force your enemies to stop running when they can't afford to (IE zone them) is a success in its own.

Talent Choices: Top

Lvl 1:
Conjurer's Pursuit is the core talent for the "casual" hammermage build. Bluntly put, more mana means more abilities. If you pick this, make sure to pick up as many regen orbs as you can - try to grab them in two lanes (kill the caster minion in one, then fly or walk to another before they kill theirs), be there for the orbs that drop off mercenaries, tribunes and dubloon camps, and especially be there for the three pink hearts dropped by neutral grave golems and plant terrors.
Power Throw is an alternative to the above, used by the "trickier" hammermage to make him more dangerous, at the cost of having to be more careful about mana usage and return to fountain/wells more often, something aided by Flight. The extra range can be used for poking your enemies when they think themselves safe. Keep in mind that it'll be harder to land both hits on close-by enemies, as the hammer will be out longer - which is also the reason this trait is suggested in the "burstier" hammerhammer, for reasons we'll get to later.
Seasoned Marksman is the core talent for the "sustained" hammerhammer build. One damage per stack might not seem like a lot, but you have to remember that Falstad's native attack speed is a very impressive 1.43 - matched only by Valla, Tychus (neither of which gets Marksman), Illidan (who does but has to give up a crucial defensive talent for it) and buffed Raynor (who doesn't have 100% uptime). Those hammers will add up. It's important that you get those stacks - two for every elapsed minute of the game is a good target to shoot for, more if you can swing it. This talent is particularly neat on Haunted Mines, as the skeletons do count for it.
Updraft slightly increases the distance of your Barrel Roll. Not useless and it lets you get over some walls, but I cannot recommend it. The little extra bit of distance won't save you, and it does nothing to recharge.
Bribe is Bribe. I personally don't find the few seconds saved on a merc camp worth a talent slot - if I'm gonna be farming in lane, I'd rather be doing it for mana regen or basic attack damage, anyway.

Lvl 4:
Charged Up is the core talent for both hammermage builds - the two extra strikes increase Lightning Rod's damage from 5.4 to 7.4, a pleasant 37% increase, and just as importantly, it synergizes powerfully with a later talent. However, it's important that you keep your enemy in range even longer to enjoy the full benefits.
Gathering Power is a viable alternative to the above, trading the (non-guaranteed) 37% increase to one power for a 5-15% one to all of them, including one ultimate, but also the added penalty for dying. This is a matter of personal choice, but keep in mind it lacks the aforementioned synergy.
Vampiric Assault is a core talent for both hammerhammer builds - 15% lifesteal is important both for normal sustain and for letting you live longer to do your DPS. It lets you win duels and keeps you topped off. It's hard to justify not taking it.
Flow Rider decreases the cooldown of your main escape, but even though it's just what I accused Updraft of not being, I do not consider it a viable choice. The alternatives here are not worth losing for it.

Lvl 7:
Battle Momentum is a core talent for the "casual" hammermage build. Falstad's rapid attack will rapidly reduce the cooldowns of your skills, considerably increasing your damage, but also your survivability (by refreshing your escape) and utility (your heroic). It is not recommended for the "trickier" hammermage build, as it requires the additional mana granted by Conjurer's Pursuit to be effective. It is also an alternative talent for the "sustained" hammerhammer build, for the added utility of quicker heroic recharge.
BOOMerang is a core talent for the "tricky" hammermage build, a recommended talent for the "sustained" hammerhammer build, and an alternative talent for the "casual" hammermage build. It lets you reactivate the ability to make your thrown hammerang explode, dealing damage comparable to its impact in a sizable area. Importantly, unlike most explosions, this doesn't destroy the hammerang, letting it simply deal some 50% more damage, when and where you want it, at no extra cost. This is nice burst and gives Falstad some much needed AoE, as the explosion is large enough to cover an entire fighting creep spawn when detonated over the caster. This talent is especially useful in the Cursed Mines, as it lets you quickly destroy an entire skeleton group.
Secret Weapon is a core talent for the "burstier" hammerhammer build, and an alternative talent for the "sustained" hammerhammer build. The increase to your basic attack damage while your hammerang is substantial, and can tear chunks off the health bars of unsuspecting enemies. This is the second half of the synergy with Power Throw, as a longer flight means more boosted attacks. By that same token, if possible, you may try to stutterstep away from your hammer as you attack, as it may give you one or two attacks more.
First Aid is an alternative talent for the "sustained" hammerhammer build, giving you 30% extra HP with which to fight, or a heal to let you stay out there longer. It is a good enough choice if you're concerned about your ability to survive but it weakens you to go with it.
Free Roll is another talent that benefits your Barrel Roll, this time making it cost no mana, ensuring you don't find yourself too mana starved to escape. As such, its use is extremely situational, and again, the alternatives are much more powerful. Perhaps one day there shall be a Barrel Roll talent that is useful.

Lvl 10:
Hinterland Blast is a powerful long-ranged high damage ability. Mighty Gust is a powerful medium-range high control ability. Both have their uses and both are valid choices for either build; however, Hinterland Blast has added fairly strong synergy with a later hammermage build talent, while Wing Gust has mild negative synergy as it is more reliant on its upgrade, and thus competes for the lvl 20 slot.

Lvl 13:
Thunderstrikes is a core talent for both hammermage builds, as it increases the damage of Lightning Rod. Specifically, it increases the damage from 5.4 to 7.9, a 46% increase if allowed to run the full duration. However, there is the aforementioned synergy with Charged Up, and Thunderstrikes increases its damage from 7.4 to 11.55, a whooping 56% increase, or 114% compared to the base ability. Assuming, of course, that you can keep the target in range for the full duration, which you should endeavor to do, through careful application of team support, positioning, Tailwind if possible, and Barrel Roll if you think you can risk it.
Giant Killer is a core talent for both hammerhammer builds, greatly benefiting from Falstad's impressive 1.43 attack speed. It only gives benefits vs. heroes, but it's a considerable benefit, especially on high health warriors.
Crippling Hammer doubles the slow on your hammerang, which is nice if you need extra slow, but let's face it, you usually don't. It's not worth giving up a major damage spike for.
Static Shield is an alternative talent for any Falstad build, granting a 25% shield over its duration, 35% with Charged Up. While it does mean giving up a big source of damage, the added survivability may be required depending on enemy team composition and how the game goes. For example, against a high damage low health team, a hammerhammer build may consider this recommended.

Lvl 16:
Overdrive is a core talent for the "casual" hammermage build and a recommended talent for the "trickier" hammermage build, letting them burn a fair amount of mana for extra burst potential. The "casual" build should use it at every opportunity, while the "trickier" one has to be slightly more conservative. The interaction between Overdrive and Lightning Rod requires further research. If possible, try to always cast Hinterland Blast while under the benefits of Overdrive.
Afterburner is a recommended talent for both hammerhammer builds and an alternative talent for the "trickier" hammermage build. Finally a good Barrel Roll talent, it adds a major speed burst after the dash, perfect for both chasing and escaping pursuit.
Aerie Gusts is an alternative to the above, trading the speed-on-demand of Afterburner for overall increased performance. The 10% speed increase is nice, but it's the major reduction in delay before Tailwind reactivates that is what we're after - 2s is a short enough time for it to come back on in the midst of a teamfight, or after a successful juke.
Hammer Time is an alternative talent for all Falstad builds that borders on recommended in certain matchups - if your team lacks good interrupts while the enemy team has many skills that urgently need to be interrupted, that 0.75s stun may be the deciding factor. The window to land it is fairly narrow, though remember that both the outwards and return flight of the hammerang slow, and its cooldown is most likely far shorter than whatever you're trying to interrupt. This is a good talent tier for choice.

Lvl 20:
Epic Mount is a recommended talent for both Hammermage builds. The greatly reduced cooldown, start and flight time allows Falstad to zip rapidly across the map and escape from all but the most determined of ganks. Not to mention it's insanely fun. Frankly, the main reason I prefer playing hammermage to hammerhammer is beacuse then I can take this talent over...
Nexus Frenzy is a core talent for both Hammerhammer builds. More range means more safety. More attacks means more raw damage, more extra damage from Seasoned Marksman, more extra damage from Giant Killer, and more attacks with Secret Weapon's buff, and of course, more raw damage. Not taking this talent is extremely detrimental to your damage output.
Wind Tunnel is a recommended talent for any Falstad that chose Mighty Gust. The upgrade adds the ability to use it as a powerful area denial tool, split teams with careful (risky) positioning, and to hopelessly pin entire teams against walls for prolonged amounts of time. The main drawback is not taking the two above talents.
Call of the Wildhammer increases Hinterland Blasts' damage slightly, as well as doubles its already insane range. The former is nice, the latter is extremely situational. It's not terribly worth taking over the other talents at this tier.

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