Blizzard’s team brawling MOBA Heroes of the Storm welcomed this week a new hero to the roster, the wizard of Diablo 3 Li-Ming. Li-Ming is a ranged assassin whose kit has large amounts of burst potential, very little in disengage, multiple viable talent builds and a trait like no other in the game. This is a quick breakdown of how to up your Heroes of the Storm game and be introduced to this brand new hero.
I’m going to start off with this mini-guide with Li-Ming’s kit going through her QWER skills and explaining what they are, how to use them and useful skills to fit your gameplay. These descriptions of her abilities come straight from her profile page on the Heroes of the Storm website. I do not use sites like Heroes of the Storm Log to do my builds but through my own experience with her as not an advanced player but intermediate one. If my recommendations don’t work for you then feel free to visit HotsLog to see what the community is doing with her at the moment.
Q- Magic Missiles- fires three missiles towards an area, each dealing heavy damage to the first enemy hit.
Li-Ming’s Q ability is the core of her poke style gameplay. It fires 3 projectiles that meet each other at where the mouse pointer was when it is cast. It has a very low cooldown of 4 seconds and is great as an ability to poke enemies from a safe range. Later talents increase its power by adding a damage buff when all 3 missiles hit the same target and you can upgrade it to fire 5 missiles.
W- Arcane Orb- fire an orb that powers up as it travels, dealing heavy damage to the first enemy hit. The further the orb travels, the harder it hits up to massive damage at maximum range.
Arcane Orb is Li-Ming’s most powerful basic ability, being able to deal up to 1200 damage to an unbuffed enemy hero, in the end, game and it only has a 10-second cooldown. It’s simple in use and deceptively difficult in maximizing its execution. It is possible to use this ability to almost fully clear a minion wave in one cast with only one upgrade and can also be upgraded to have minor crowd control aspects added to it. There are damage upgrades for this ability at levels 7, and 16 that synergize with her base damage increases at levels 13 and 20. These factors make this ability not only her strongest burst ability but one of the most powerful burst abilities in the entire Heroes of the Storm roster.
E- Teleport- Teleport a short distance instantly
Rounding out her basic kit is a very short range teleport but is one of her most important abilities. While it cannot cover massive amounts of the area like Blink or Zeratul’s teleport, it is vastly important because of a few reasons. First, while its range is not very impressive, it is enough that you can dodge almost any high damage skill shot in the game. This increases Li-Ming’s survivability greatly because she does have a very low health pool. Second, damage can be added to this ability so that once you have run your normal spells, you can close the gap and defeat an enemy by teleporting onto them. Third, this ability has one of the few sustainability talents available where Li-Ming is able to get a shield worth 25% of her health every time she teleports.
R- Disintegrate- Channel a powerful beam, dealing massive damage over 2.5 seconds to enemies caught in it. The direction of the beam changes with your cursor’s position.
I’m not going to be going over Li-Ming’s other Heroic Ability, Wave of Force, mainly because I have not been able to find a way to make it a viable choice while using a poke based strategy. Disintegrate is what I find to be the superior ability due to its range and ability to finish off low health enemies trying to get disengage from a team fight. It is as simple as it sounds, it is a straight line of energy that does sustained damage over 2.5 seconds as long as you can keep the beam on an enemy. It is the final piece of her burst combo and when combined with her trait becomes a weapon that can change the entire outcome of a team fight.
Hero Trait- Critical Mass- Getting a takedown will refresh the cooldowns on all your Abilities
This is the crux of how to play Li-Ming in an effective way and what makes her one of the most powerful mages in Heroes of the Storm. This is also why it is very important to make sure that the hero you focus gets taken down because this trait will proc if you get the takedown or if you get an assist. Using this, it is possible to run through Li-Ming’s burst combo 2-4 times in a team fight depending on how hard the enemy team engages and how well you position yourself in these fights. I have personally turned a 3v5 fight into 4 takedowns by simply choosing a target and maintaining a safe distance while combing my abilities smartly.
Li-Ming is a mage based burst assassin that does her best work from being well behind the front line and allowing warriors to tank and crowd control to keep her safe. In the early game, do not engage hard unless you are sure you can score the takedown but stay safely back and poke with Magic Missiles. Also, take advantage that her Missiles and Orb can safely siege towers from outside the range of the towers so if you are able to push the enemies back into their fort, fire off what you can towards the turrets and wall before the next minion wave arrives. While with the higher skill cap, I recommend taking talents that upgrade the Orb’s power at levels 4 and 7 since this is your highest damaging ability and easiest to hit reliably. At mid game, you receive two massive power spikes with Disintegrate at 10 and Glass Cannon at 13. Once you have these you will have enough power to impose your will in team fights. During a team fight, take your time to get into superior positioning and when the moment is right to let out a combo of Q then W then R. It will take a few tries but once you get the damage down, you will then see the next part of this. If you are part of a takedown, all your cooldowns are reset, meaning it is possible to cast this combo over and over until the fight is over. This is the power of Li-Ming in a team fight.
Now, there are two things that will happen if you do not use good positioning in a fight. The first is you can try to run and use that short range teleport to get some extra distance away. Li-Ming is capable of jumping over a few of the geographical points but these are usually few and far apart. The second thing you will do if you get caught is you will die because Li-Ming does not have a health pool that can survive even one rotation of another Assassin’s abilities and she is very, very easily burst down if you are unable to disengage early or take out the enemy focusing on you.
Good Pairings and Counters
E.T.C, Diablo and Muradin are all very good bodyguards for Li-Ming because of their crowd control powers. Stay behind them at all costs because they can soak the damage that you cannot take. I don’t even recommend putting a healer with her because she has such a low health pool that even if she was to be healed in the middle of being burst down the chances of her surviving are still so small that it really is just wasting the heal on her.
Zeratul, Nova, Artanis and Diablo are all great counters for different reasons. Zeratul and Nova have huge burst potential and can use stealth to make Li-Ming’s positioning not matter when they engage with her. Artanis and Diablo both have abilities that can alter her position on the field so that instead of being safely away behind a tank, you are now in the middle of the fist fight.
Li-Ming brings an amazing level of damage to Heroes of the Storm with the potential to change the meta so that she becomes a top tier pick. While having a high skill cap, she is still able to be picked up and understood by most players due to an easy to learn and hard to master kit. She fits right in with the current stun meta and it would not surprise me to see her being used in competitive play with the upcoming Heroes of the Dorm tournament that Blizzard is sponsoring.