Method scHwimpi’s Guide to the Queen of Blades
Kerrigan has always had a reserved seat in the professional meta. This is thanks to the deadly ability combo contained within Kerrigan’s base kit that not only displaces enemy heroes, but stuns for a full (and often fatal) second. At the professional level, getting combo’d by the Queen of Blades almost always spells certain death. From HGC Europe we have Method’s own Assassin player Simon "scHwimpi" Svensson to explain the finer points of his go-to Kerrigan build.
Trait Talk: Understanding Assimilation
Assimilation, Kerrigan’s trait, gives Kerrigan shields equal to 10% of the damage she deals with basic attacks and abilities for 6 seconds. With every bit of damage that Kerrigan dishes out she gains a temporary shield in return.
Level 1: Sharpened Blades
At level 1, scHwimpi takes Sharpened Blades which increases the damage of Impaling Blades (W) by 25%.
“Kerrigan is very strong in the early game,” scHwimpi said. “I pick Sharpened Blades because when you combo someone you want to get as much damage in as you can.”
Level 4: Fury of the Swarm
At level 4, scHwimpi takes Fury of the Swarm which allows Kerrigan’s basic attacks to splash for 60% damage around her.
“It's pretty much your wave clear talent. Kerrigan is great at taking camps with this talent. It's one of her strengths, creating map pressure with camps and clearing waves. While you're doing camps you have that threat where you could be ganking any lane. It's really valuable.”
Level 7: Bladed Momentum
At level 7, scHwimpi takes Bladed Momentum which reduces Kerrigan’s ability cooldowns by 0.6 with every basic attack.
“Bladed momentum reduces your cooldowns when you auto attack, you use it to repeatedly combo the frontline. You should auto attack as much as possible.”
"If you Ravage (Q) in on an enemy, you should take a step in one direction and combo the enemy when they are standing slightly further away from you. This space gives more room for Primal Grasp (E) to pull someone in."
Level 10: Maelstrom
At level 10, scHwimpi takes Maelstrom, which deals 82 damage per second over seven seconds to nearby enemies. “Maelstrom is basically like a shield generator I would say. You get some extra damage, but you don't use it for that. You use it when you think you're in trouble,” scHwimpi said.
Other Option: “I do Ultralisk sometimes. It works when the enemy team has a squishy backline hero with no mobility such as Kel'thuzad or Kael'thas. If their team can't lock you down or anything and you can freely dive the backline then Ultralisk is fine.”
Level 13: Eviscerate
At level 13, scHwimpi takes Eviscerate which increases the range of Ravage by 40%.
“Basically, I do the ravage range just to punish people more. If you want to play the optimal way, Double Strike is safer and does more damage, but I just find the range to be useful in certain cases and it can sometimes be the difference between a won and lost team fight. The range gives Kerrigan extra mobility to kill someone and it might win you the fight or the game. Most people do this build with Double Strike at 13 instead.”
Level 16: Essence for Essence
At level 16, scHwimpi takes Essence for Essence which is an additive ability that deals damage equal to 10% of the targeted enemy Hero's max health while granting Kerrigan Assimilation shields for twice that amount.
“It gives you a big shield. The way I play it, I kill the frontline. Just using it on a frontline hero casually chunks them down and gives you a big shield.”
Level 20: Psionic Shift:
At level 20, scHwimpi takes Psionic Shift, which teleports Kerrigan a short distance to a targeted location and deals 50 damage to any enemies nearby. Enemy Heroes hit give Kerrigan 300% of the damage dealt as Assimilation Shields.
“Bolt of the Storm gives you a means of escape and a means to make aggressive plays. I use it aggressively a lot because I play in a way where I'm not out of position, I use it to catch enemies off guard most of the time.”
How to Play:
scHwimpi plays Kerrigan a bit different than most pro players, opting for a more conservative style. “You should play Kerrigan like a backliner almost. Players should use Ravage (Q) less, or less aggressively in general.”
Kerrigan’s Ravage can be an aggressive means of engagement, but scHwimpi cautions against this all-in strategy. “When contesting an objective, like on Infernal Shrines, you should never Ravage in unless your team has already committed to an engagement. Instead, you want to use Ravage to get out on the minion's behind you. You want to keep combo'ing on the enemy frontline while you're doing the shrine.”
In Hero League, Kerrigan is usually a solid pick on Infernal Shrines, but she also does well on Dragon Shire and Braxis Holdout. “I like to roam as Kerrigan on Braxis. I can do the camps and create kill pressure,” said scHwimpi.
ScHwimpi is from HGC Europe, where the top teams focus on killing tanks first and foremost in team fights. “Combo the frontline. Kill the tank, even though Bronze Hero League players say you should not. It's actually good.”
When to Play:
While Kerrigan has always been a pocket pick, she struggles into many of the Warrior picks in the current meta. “She does poorly into Garrosh, Blaze, Leoric, Johanna, and Stitches,” scHwimpi said. “I do think she’s pretty good into Diablo and does alright into E.T.C. and Anub'arak. You want to be playing against killable frontliners when you play her.”
If you see the right opportunity to unleash the Queen of Blades on your foes the next time you enter the Nexus, try this build and let us know what you think on Twitter or Facebook. Don’t miss scHwimpi and the rest of Method at the Mid-Season Brawl on June 9! You can catch all the action right here at playheroes.com/esports.
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