Stop picking talents that reward bad play
What are talents that reward bad play? I will go over a few examples and why do I dislike the following talents, and why some of them are deceptively bad despite looking good even in practice .
First of all though, a short introduction: I am known in game by the tag Ravatar, I have played Heroes passionately ever since release and overall love the game. I joined Heroes Lounge during its first season, and have played actively in division 1 ever since, played flex slot in open division in the team Minion Genocide for a while where I was coached by pro HotS coach, CavalierGuest, and I coached myself several lower division teams. I followed HotS pro scene actively (rip) and loved to analyze all the build and plays I witnessed. In the past seasons in Hero League I ranked consistently around mid-master, with dips up and down.
Back on topic, on the talents that reward bad play. I think the prime example of this is Muradin's Perfect Storm quest, where your Storm Bolt's damage increases with each Storm Bolt that lands. This talent is deceptively bad, and when I say deceptively I mean that literally. Because it makes you look better. Now keep in mind that I play flex slot, and find myself playing Jaina or Ming every now and then. When you pick Perfect Storm how often do you find yourself using your Q just to get a stack? And after you land it, you feel good because you made a lasting impact on the game, since your overall damage will go up.
This is not how the Ming or Jaina player will feel. For Ming player, that Storm Bolt means another 10 seconds time you are waiting on your Orb, or for Jaina 10 more seconds for using Blizzard. Without a follow up, the Storm Bolt will never do enough damage to really kill someone on their own. It has a stun component and it is an excellent set up for securing 3 waves of blizzard or a max range arcane orb. Or an Orphea Dread. The examples are many. There was an interesting notion when it came to pro scene, that the higher Ming players winrate went, the lower their average damage was. Because they didn't spam abilities to do numbers, but used them to secure kills, and made sure their cooldowns were always up for the perfect opportunity. In Storm League, low damage on a Jaina or Ming can be perceived as bad play, especially if your own numbers are sky high due to spamming Storm Bolt on cooldown. Quoting Orphea: ''Why do you have to be part of the problem?''. During my relatively short time in OD team I quickly learned and was told to not use my Blizzard on cooldown to get my Ice Block quest completed, because it meant that our tank would be frustrated for the next 16 seconds of not doing anything because I wanted that 120 damage in. (On a side note, Jaina Ice Block quest is horrible design due to exactly this)
However, this doesn't mean the talent HAS to be bad. In Korean scene, Perfect Storm was played a lot, but it never reached too heavy stacks. The reason for the pick was mainly because they loved their high burst kill comps, where every bit of damage mattered, no matter how small it was. This way of play however, requires highly coordinated execution and precise mechanics, something you shouldn't expect of a random teammate in Storm League, or even your casual playmate in most cases.
I've talked a lot about Perfect Storm, but it is by far not the worst offender. I think this honor, or rather dishonor, goes to Lt. Morales and her talent tree. The level 1 already has two large traps, and I shall start with the milder one.
The talent ''Life Support'' gives you 2 energy every time someone deals damage to a safeguarded target, up to 20 energy per cast. So lets go over something about Morales: You are healer with very small resource pool (even if it does recharge easier) and one single saving tool, Safeguard. 30 armor on a target on top of healing is a big deal. Something that you reeeeally want to use when that enemy Muradin lands a storm bolt and Jaina is approaching with a blizzard coming up.
How do you get the most value out of Life Support? Well you spam it whenever you can, because you have tied your small pool of resources to doing exactly just that. You don't spam it, you don't heal. And when you spam it, that triple Blizzard will secure the kill. And you can go behind the excuse that you didn't have your CD up for the save and it was his/her fault for not dodging the Storm Bolt. And both the target that died, and you might perceive this as actual truth.
The worst offender, out of all the talents in the game is ''Clear!'', and rest of the grenade build. Every time there is a Morales and I play a skill shot based hero, a few times in the game I miss a very critical skill shot due to target being thrown away by the granade. Displacement Granade is highly impactful skill that can make or break games, and cause a loss or a win. If you also watched the HGC pro scene back in 2017, the last game Morales saw in pro scene before her rework, Team Dignitas lost it due to Bakery (love you Bakery) knocking off target with a granade from Mene's Arcane Orb, and Mene and rest of the team dying as a result. And the Twitch Chat went full on memes.
Whenever there is a ''Clear!'' in the game, that number goes tenfold, because the Morales is encouraged to spam a highly impactful displacement on cooldown. It needs to be stacked up quickly, and once it is stacked up, the punishment for incorrect use goes even higher by the larger knockback. I have lost a many games due to Morales Granade knocking a Garrosh to my face so she could get shields from her level 4 talent. To add insult to injury, she also had low energy and couldn't heal me, because ''Clear!'' is the only talent on level 1 that doesn't help with Energy regeneration. And Morales isn't even meta. Not every button should be pressed because you can, but be used when its effect would have a heavily positive impact.
Thankfully, Morales level 1 has a talent that rewards actually good play: That is the Cadaceus Reactor. This talent increases your auto attack range, and causes your auto attacks to restore energy. If you are a support player who knows his/her hero, you know weaving auto attacks in is an important part of every hero. Even if the damage isn't much, it has no cost if you learn to do it correctly. And it does add up rather quickly, and in certain comps that rely on getting one kill really fast, every piece of damage counts. I've known support players that have improved as players by picking this talent, because they started actively thinking about how can they weave in basic attacks. And funnily enough, the talent is powerful enough to basically give Morales infinite pool of resources, countering one of her major weaknesses.
I hope this post made you think about how do your talent choices affect your play, and which changes are actually harmful and which are beneficial. In the post I went over only two heroes with these detrimental mindset talents, but I am sure you can think more of them. It is important to remember the function of the role you fill in a team comp and forget about the numbers on statistics, because the game is more complicated than that.