von (new)B muses on: Sgt. Hammer, Indiscriminate Justice by vonBoomslang

von (new)B muses on: Sgt. Hammer, Indiscriminate Justice

By: vonBoomslang
Last Updated: Apr 13, 2015
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Build 1 of 1

Sgt. Hammer

Build: Indiscriminate Justice

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 Sgt. Hammer?

In Heroes of the Storm, Sgt. Hammer is a ranged specialist, classified as Hard. She is the longest ranged auto-attacker in the game, at the not inconsiderable cost of having to deploy in place to do so. She excels at dealing heavy, sustained damage to targets from well outside their range, but requires protection from her team to do so. If properly played around, she is a powerful tool.

What's this build?

Sgt. Hammer excels at damage, specifically high sustained damage, and this build exists to provide as much of that as possible while remaining survivable. Bama uses very little mana and replenishes her modest health pool quickly, meaning she can stay in lane a long time, and she has enough tools to usually evade a gank. It is however important not to take risks, as while you are a tank, you are not a tank, and you die easily if caught unprepared.

A Foreword on Laning Top

While Bana can hold down a lane on her own, she shouldn't, as it's a bad, risky idea for her to pick up orbs, and her sustain will suffer without it. This goes double on Tomb, where it's vital that you pick up the gems. Plus, a lanemate can cover your back as you push forward. If you can manage it, park yourself in range of enemy defenses, and force the enemy to deal with you or lose them, but again, not without backup. Nova in particular is a good lane partner, able to sneakily pick up orbs and suddenly take down enemies who think they can tank your high damage long enough to take you down, or just spot for you across walls and brush, all the while supplementing her abysmal clear with your great one.

Ability Overview Top

Z: Siege Thrusters - Sgt. Hammer's tank doesn't fit on a horse, big surprise. Instead of mounting, she can activate her tank's thrusters, instantly boosting her speed by 60% (compared to a mount's 40%), but only for 4 seconds out of every 30. Just as importantly, activating the thrusters will instantly undeploy you. This is your main method of getting out of ganks and danger. If you're feeling safe (your team is with you, the enemy is accounted for and fleeing, your health is high), you can sometimes use this to chase down enemies - you can catch them even if you're mounted, you can gain up to 2.2s of running on them, and firing your main gun once or twice won't disable the thrusters. But again, don't get greedy, as this is your main and most reliable escape.

D: Artillery - Sgt. Hammer's trait is passive, and all it does is give a fairly significant (20%) damage increase to enemies out of your own basic attack range. This usually means being deployed, but a few of your talents can extend your undeployed range to where you get that bonus as well. The trait has a fairly distinct sound when it's in play; you can hover your mouse over it to see the radius that it won't take effect inside of. Obviously, if possible, engage enemies at range.

Q: Spider Mines - Sgt. Hammer's Q spreads three small autonomous mines in an area a short distance away from her. The mines arm after 1s, and will chase down nearby enemies, exploding for damage and slow. The damage isn't great, and the slow is nice at deterring chasers, but neither of those is the best part about this power. You don't need line of sight to the target area. This power is great for checking for enemies hiding in the brush or across a wall, or for guarding your back in the same. Use liberally, you can spare the mana.

W: Concussive Blast - Sgt. Hammer's W is a tank-sized shotgun that pushes away and damages all enemies in its sizable cone. The damage isn't impressive, but it's the knockback that matters. The primary use for this is to dissuade melee enemies from scratching your paint, but that alone won't save you. Rather, use this to add distance when you're escaping. At the same time, don't forget it can be used offensively as well. Sometimes, even though you're a DPS, the best thing you can do is use your thrusters to drive close to an ally and knock a whole group of chasers away from them, dropping some slowing mines on top of that, then zoom away. Alternately, you can use it (and the aforementioned mobility) to interrupt a whole slew of dangerous channeled abilities - for example, Jug of 1,000 Cups or Whirlwind. In fact, it even has enough range to save your team from a Mosh Pit. And in a pinch, you can use it for a bit of extra burst on an enemy and his minion wave too. Or, if you like it risky, get behind a greedy enemy or annoying Siege Giants and punt them into tower range. So many uses!

E: Siege Mode - Sgt. Hammer's E is your bread and butter. It takes a moment to activate or deactivate, it roots her in place when used, and in return, it boosts her basic attack in several different ways. Positioning is key with this - you want somewhere where you can soak XP and damage the enemy waves, but also be safe from ganks and perhaps even be able to take enough pot-shots at your lane opponent to dissuade them from staying anywhere near your minions, and at the same time have a route of escape. Keep in mind it takes 5s for it to recharge, as well as a small but nonzero amount of mana to engage, so creeping forward isn't as foolproof as it might be.

R: Blunt Force Gun - Sgt. Hammer's first heroic fires a comically big rocket in a straight line, hitting all targets in its infinite range. It's a silly thing, useful for catching fleeing enemies and providing unexpected damage, and its upgraded version is hilarious and powerful, but it really, really lacks the usability of...

R: Napalm Strike - Sgt. Hammer's second heroic lobs an incendiary rocket at a target area, dealing a fair amount of damage on impact, then setting it on fire for four seconds, dealing a large amount of damage to anything staying there. Doesn't sound impressive? It has a six second cooldown. Six seconds. You can spam this to your heart's content. Use this to damage buildings. Use this to damage heroes. Use this to kill creep waves. Use this with Concussive Blast to kill creep waves instantly. Use this to make capping Dragon Knights and Tributes impossible for your enemy. Did I mention you can fire this off when undeployed? And that it outranges even yourself in Siege Mode? And that it provides vision in its small area, letting you shell buildings you have no vision on? It's just that good. One more important note: The higher in level you go, the closer the impact damage comes to the entirety of standing in the DoT. So try to land it on your hated foes.

Talent Choices Top

Lvl 1: Resistant - The choice I go with most often. It's just so horribly useful. Yes, the protection applies only when you're deployed, but let's face it, you're ganked most often when you are. And being able to give the enemies a faceful of shotgun while firing up your thrusters often a whole second earlier is a big deal. This is a must have against enemies with stuns (Muradin!) or roots (Malfurion!). It's rare that I don't pick it, and when I do, it's usually for Advanced Artillery because you can't go wrong with extra damage. That said, Ambush is an interesting choice. It requires a fair bit more micro (as Bama will no longer acquire targets unless told to) but it's rarely taken so people don't expect you to turn a corner and just... disappear. Plus, stationary blurs are much harder to see than mobile ones. With that said, the other two choices are very poor. Lethal Blast boosts the damage of a power you don't use for damage, and Regeneration Master not only gives you a benefit you don't really need, it also requires regen orbs and you're the single worst suited hero for picking them up reliably.

Lvl 4: Vampiric Assault - A must have in my book. It gives healing off basic attacks, and you're all basic attacks. The amount of sustain you get from creep waves with this is mind-boggling, and it lets you even engage (ranged) assassins in DPS races and win with worrying frequency. If it wasn't such a great talent, the others here would also be good picks. Excessive Force makes your concussive blast even more disruptive and fun to use. Focused Attack gives you impressive alpha and boosts your overall damage. And the pick I see most often, Maelstrom Shells, boosts your range, both deployed and not. It lets you shell from a comfortable distance, but again, I prefer shelling from a comfortable health.

Lvl 7: Hyper-Cooling Engines - Most people I see take First Aid here, giving them sustain (which I already have) and the ability to win fights they would have otherwise lost. The engines, though, let me get away from fights I would have definitely lost. Not only that, with the reduced cooldown, I can more often risk burning up the thrusters to simply shave off 2.2s of travel time from going to a fight way over there, plus another 2.2s when in my own base. It's too useful not to take, as far as I am concerned. Slowing Mines, meanwhile, doesn't seem worth it. Sure, it's a considerable upgrade to the slow (changing the effective delay from 0.375s per mine to 0.8s per), but it's not really useful enough a tool to rely on, compared to those two.

Lvl 10: Napalm Strike - No contest. I'm sorry, Blunt Force Gun, you're fun, but Napalm Strike is insanely powerful. This is a major power spike for Bama, in nearly every aspect - sustained damage, burst, harass, objective denial, even mobility, seeing as you can fire them off on the move. Pick it, use it, love it. There's another reason not to go with Blunt Force Gun but I'll get to that in time.

Lvl 13: First Strike - More damage? More damage! A lot of "more damage", in fact, as long as you're not attacked. This means more damage when sieging, when pushing, even when team fighting to an extent, though 5s is a long while to wait for it to be back. Most people I see going for Giant Killer, and I can't really see the appeal, as it only works against heroes, and your attack speed isn't that impressive. Personal choice, here, I prefer the added utility of First Strike. The alternatives are also interesting, but they don't give what I want, IE more damage. Bullhead Mines is nice for that extra bit of disruption and escape (though they take too long to arm to reliably interrupt enemies), while Barricade adds a bit of a wall (roughly shaped like the far arc of the, uh, firing arc) to Concussion Blast, and definitely has its uses when escaping in the jungle. But, what can I say... more damage? More damage!

Lvl 16: Hover Siege Mode - It's a difficult choice between this and Graduating Range, because who doesn't want to have the absolutely longest range in the game? Pity it goes away once you have to relocate, and you're so far from the team that might help you, and, which was the dealbreaker for me, you're out of range to lob Napalm Strikes, punishing you for trying to use it. So, no Graduating Range for me. Instead, I get to hover. Not terribly fast, but fast enough to follow and shell somebody stutter-stepping or simply trying to run while slowed. Not to mention you can move out of your old bane, damage patch abilities, or float up a bit closer when the battle moves or your current target dies, all without spending 50 mana and waiting 5s for Siege Mode to come back up. However, there's a downside to Hover Mode - without it, losing range of a target will make her automatically switch to another. With it, however, she will follow the target. If you're not quick on the micro, you might find yourself out of position. Something to keep in mind. Now, Mine Field means more slow and more damage but they're not super useful anyway, and definitely not worth giving this slot up for, and Stone Skin would be handy if not for your low HP - the amount of situations it'll save you from is just too small to justify taking it. However, there is a third (second for me) valid choice - Executioner. A massive upgrade to your damage if, if your team can reliably slow your targets. If your team includes an Arthas or a Rehgar or another hero who can reliably drop area slows - no matter how small - your teamfight potential will skyrocket. But at the cost of mobility. It's also worth more than merely considering.

Lvl 20 - Nexus Frenzy - More attack speed on a slow-attacking basic attacker, and even more range? Pick it, end of guide, there are no other valid choices. And it's not that the heroic upgrades are bad, far from it! But you have to give up so much to get them. Advanced Lava Strike would synergize well with Graduating Range, but you know what synergizes with Graduating Range better? Nexus Frenzy. Especially because the range increase from it gives your basic attacks and the far edge of your napalm rockets the exact same range. Also, remember when I said Blunt Force Gun isn't worth taking? Orbital BFG is the reason. Not because it's bad, oh no. It's because the heroic is only good with it, so you can't take Nexus Frenzy. Having a rocket screech across the battlefield every five seconds is as hilarious as it is effective. Laid horizontally down across a lane guarantees the enemy cannot push minions down it. Vertically (for shorter travel time, thus quicker respawn) across their core will keep its shield down while chipping away at its health. With good timing, you can have two rockets in play at the same time. It's a great ability, but it's, I feel, not worth giving up Nexus Frenzy and Napalm Strike up for. Oh and Fury of the Storm is especially useless on Sgt. Hammer, since Siege Mode gives you heavy splash anyway.

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