DIG University: Zaelia's Tracer Guide
Fri 17th Mar 2017 - 10:23am
Hi, this is Zaelia from Team Dignitas, the latest addition to the Heroes of the Storm team. This is my guide on how I like to play and build Tracer for Hero League. If you are new to Tracer, this build is probably not for you yet, because it is a little mechanically demanding and will require you to be somewhat comfortable with her already. This is basically the standard build that I would play in every game against anything, except for maybe her Level 1 talent, but we’ll get into that later.
First, we’ll get into the talents and the build, and then later we’ll get into the early, mid, and late game playstyles.
So, Level 1, the go to is Pulse Strike, which increases your Pulse Bomb charge on Melee. You want to take this because it gives you so many bombs. You can just get your bombs super fast, you can even get 2 in one team fight, and your bomb is your main impact spell as Tracer.
You can also look into Tracer Rounds, which reveals on your auto-attack against stuff like Valeera, Greymane’s Level 4 stealth, or any stealthies. It is also good for chasing around the bushes or against those who juke you around the bushes. Maybe if you are very focused on auto-attacking with a Tassadar, Tracer Rounds can also be fine.
Level 4 you basically always want to take Parting Gift. It adds a little bit of burst to your combo and, in general, is a lot of damage.
Level 7 is actually quite debatable between Jumper and Spatial Echo. Most people will take Spatial Echo, granting you Blinks after takedowns, but I prefer (by a very large margin, actually) Jumper, as it gives you 4 Blink charges. Throughout the whole game you will benefit from having that one extra charge, but Spatial Echo will only help you in certain situations.
Level 10 is always going to be Quantum Spike. The 10% additional damage is so huge and it also allows you to just kill tanks. You don’t really need utility in your kit, you just need the most possible damage output in the small timing windows that you are going to have.
Level 13 you will always want to take Bullet Spray. It gives you wave clear, gives you more reliable poke, and it will synergize really well with your Level 20 talent later on.
Level 16 we have our Locked and Loaded, which will always be better. In basically every scenario, you will want to take and play Locked and Loaded if you can. If it disrupts you in your play and you cannot hit your reload every time, Sleight of Hand is your second best option here, as it gives you more bombs faster, but I really don’t believe it’s even close to the value of Locked and Loaded if you can use it properly.
Level 20 you always wanna go for Get Stuffed!. Not only does it reduce the cooldown of your Melee, increasing your waveclear, and poke potential significantly, it also gives you the ability to blow up your bomb instantly, which makes it so that neither your target nor the enemy support can react to it, leaving them dead!
The playstyle of Tracer on her own is sort of a Sniper role. She gets in, she gets out, she has to be cautious, she’s super squishy. But, when paired with something like a Tassadar, she turns into more of a Carry role where you rely more on your auto-attacks and you rely more on being up in their face actually pulling hero damage numbers for your team. It’s kind of the Valla playstyle, where you just auto-attack everybody, because you are no longer squishy, you are one of the most annoying heroes to deal with, and you turn into this deadly combination that will just win you games outright.
In the early game, right out the gates, what you want to look for is charging your bomb. You took your Level 1 talent, Pulse Strike, which increases your bomb charge from slapping enemy heroes. So, you just want to look to slap some people in the face with your Melee. When you have your bomb before Level 10, it’s very, very easy to confirm a kill on a side lane or when catching someone on a rotation. You can do that solo or just follow your tank around. He stuns for you and you get out your bomb and kill confirmed. Just in general, showing up in lanes, even if you don’t get a gank, reminds the enemy that you are there. So, after you’ve been showing up a few times, you can just actually stay hidden and they will be scared of you the whole game.
In the mid game, when the enemy starts to get ultimates and Ice Blocks, all of a sudden you have a lot more things to worry about when trying to get your kills. So, we’re more turning into a role that creates space more than kills. You need to control vision points, you need to force out some cooldowns, and then you can go for your kills. It’s basically the same playstyle but you just need to be more patient and more teamwork-oriented. Creating space is more your role now.
More towards the late game, you get your Level 16 talent, Locked and Loaded, and it allows you to actually do damage to tanks. So when you’re poking and fighting, you mostly wanna look at just drilling down the tanks. If you have your Locked and Loaded, you will do really, really good damage to tanks and when you have your Level 20 talent, Get Stuffed!, you can just poke down a tank, force out a mistake, and blow them up immediately. So you no longer have to be so much in and out, you can really just dance around them and do tons of damage with your auto-attacks. But while you’re melting their tanks, your main focus is to get a pick on a squishy and it remains like that throughout the rest of the game.
Thanks for reading! Tracer is really one of my favourites. She has an enormous potential for surprising and big impact plays.
You can check out the video version of this guide here on Youtube!