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Common HotS Terms Explained

Common HotS Terms Explained

25 Apr 2018

Simple & Comprehensive Explanations of Heroes of the Storm Game Terms


Simple & Comprehensive Explanations of Heroes of the Storm Game Terms

Stutterstepping means: moving your Hero efficiently between Basic Attacks. If your Hero's Basic Attack cooldown is 1 second, it means you can attack once per second. The wind-up/animation of the auto-attack may last something like 0.2s. This means that you have 0.8s of "free time". If your Hero stands still in this time, you are an easy target for skill shots. You can use this downtime to move & chase, retreat, or dodge skill shots. That's the essence of stutterstepping. Good players will continually move in between Basic Attacks or spells to present a more difficult target, and move in the direction they want to go. Without wasting (too many) Basic Attack opportunities.

Stutterstepping is not to be confused with orb-walking or animination cancelling.  

Rotations is a very broad term and very commonly used in MOBA's. It covers a very large set of moves, knowledge and decision making. Summarily, it means making the best use of your time, wherever that may be. Going from the top lane to the middle lane because there's momentarily nothing to do at the top lane, would be called a "rotation" to mid. You can then add a bit of damage at the middle lane, mount up, and go top again to meet your minion wave.  

More difficult rotations are where you willingly give up lane experience from minions in your solo lane, for example to help out an ally on a Mercenary Camp. They may be getting ganked by the opponent, and you make a judgment call that it's more important to help out a ganked ally on a Merc camp than to stay in your lane and soak your lane's experience. Your quick thinking and quick rotation ends up helping your ally, saving them, and your team even nets two kills on enemy Heroes! "That was a quick and effective rotation by the solo laner". There are many other examples of rotations! It's the bread & butter of MOBA's and Heroes of the Storm.  

The term "feeding" is overused, but the definition is when players die relatively unjustifiably, often due to personal error, overextension, and greed. A death caused by unexpected team mates' errors, force majeure, fighting a team fight to the end, would not be a "feed". Trying to confirm a kill on an enemy under their own Fort with a 10% success chance, and then dying, would be a feed.  

When a Hero, usually a tank, occupies an area of the map. This can be a bush. The Hero is functioning as an "anchor" to his or her team. Anchors provide vision and cover to their allies. They provide threats, dismounts, or damage to an opponent's Hero. A tank may "anchor" for their team by standing in a brush, giving their allies safe and quick rotations past that area, without the threat of getting ambushed.  

Using your Hero or any of your Hero's abilities to gain information about the enemy's whereabouts or about areas of the map.  

Zoning is a bit harder to explain. Zoning usually means creating a threat somewhere, or creating the illusion of a threat. The result will be that the opponent has to respect that threat. If a Tank shows up at an enemy Bruiser camp, they may have to think that he's being backed up by the rest of his team, closely behind him. The tank is effectively 'zoning' at the enemy Bruiser camp, preventing them from taking it.  

When someone who is just minding his or her own business gets attacked by several enemy Heroes. Usually this comes as a surprise to the ganked player. Good minimap awareness, safe play and playing well with vision, can all help to reduce the chance of getting ganked.  

Stream sniping  
When a player queues up at the same time as a streamer queues up, the matchmaker may match them against each other due to the timing. A sniper will use the information from the stream to meet the streamer, for example because he likes to play against or with the streamer. This doesn't necessarily mean he or she will also be stream cheating or ghosting.

Stream cheating / ghosting  
When a player has the streamer's stream open when playing against him or her. The player will use the information of the stream to gain an unfair advantage, for example in draft picks & bans, or in the game to see the whole enemy map. Because a streamer voluntarily chooses to stream their perspective in a near-live setting, it's generally an accepted occupational 'hazard', despite it being unfair.    

Stream delay  
The amount of seconds or minutes a streamer deliberately chooses to delay his or her stream by. The advantage is that it makes it more difficult for people to stream snipe or cheat against them. The disadvantages are plentiful and usually outweigh the advantages. They include: less chat interactivity which reduces enjoyment for both the streamer and the viewers. Less "live" feeling. Less rapidly pick up on feedback (forgetting to change overlay, mic muted, etc.). Almost no streamer will want to instate a delay despite the possibility of ghosting.

DreamHack VLC #HGC 2016

DreamHack VLC #HGC 2016

14 Jul 2016

Grubby casting DH VLC 2016 - Heroes of the Storm Global Championship


Heroes of the Storm - Europe Fall Regional - DreamHack Valencia 2016


More information:

Reddit thread



HotS Feb10 Balance Update

HotS Feb10 Balance Update

10 Feb 2016

Grubby gives thoughts on February, 10 Balance Update for Heroes


Blizzard just released their Heroes of the Storm  -- Balance Update Notes for February 10, 2016. 

I'll chip in with my first impressions. I have not tested or played with the new changes yet, but I feel pretty good about them in general. I don't agree on everything though. Let's take a look!

You can read the exact changes here:

Whereas Blizzard writes in exact damage numbers for level 0, I'll reflect the relative changes in percentages (%), to add understanding of how everything changed.

- Level 7: BOOMerang (Q), 24% damage increase
- Level 10: Hinterland Blast (R), ~16% damage increase

Grubby's comments: Falstad right now is one of the best Heroes/Assassins in the game. His standard build is: https://www.heroesnexus.com/talent-calculator/11-falstad?filter-ptr=1#UOiPOOTOSOHPLAA. 

With this patch, Falstad will receive a significant buff to talents that are normally not used, BOOMerang and Hinterland Blast, and no nerfs. This increase theoretical talent diversity and options, buffing him has a Hero, as options are always a powerful thing to have. At level 16, his Hinterland Blast will deal 135 (863->998) more damage or 169 (1079->1248) more damage with Overdrive. At level 7, BOOMerang will explode for 37 (159->196) more damage than previous patch. 

With a 120s CD, I would probably still take Mighty Gust (40s CD) over Hinterland's Blast every time. With a 10s CD on Hammerang/BOOMerang, I would probably still take Seasoned Marksman + Secret weapon over Gathering Storm/BOOMerang every time.



Using new Gathering Power

Using new Gathering Power

19 Nov 2015

Grubby with a fascinating dissertation on how to use the new Gathering Power (as of 17 November 2015).


Gathering Power has gone through a number of changes throughout Heroes of the Storm's development, reaching its final destination (for now) with 17 November's Cho'Gall patch.

Going forwards, Gathering Power will start with a 0% bonus Ability Power upon picking the talent, increased by 2% for every Hero Takedown (not kill, more about that later) up to a maximum of 30% - and fully reset upon death back to 0%. Here's my thoughts on why this is the best iteration yet, and how to best use it.

Cho'Gall patch GP

The current version of Gathering Power (Cho'Gall patch) has 15 different power levels. There's 0%, 2%, 4%, and so on, and in 15 Takedowns you can get all the way to 30%. This makes the Talent situational, which is the actually the best kind of Talent from a design standpoint. Situational Talents force players to consider carefully and make compelling choices based on the situation at hand. Adaptation is one of the many facets of a player's skill. The ones that adapt (smartly) will have a leg up.

Gathering Power is the embodiment of situational talents, taking it to the extreme. It will be punishing harshly for Deaths, while rewarding killing streaks heavily. Whereas the last version of Gathering Power (Kharazim Patch) was also unforgiving, it was also unattractive with only 1% AP per Takedowns. The result was that you went from an "Already winning" situation to "Still winning", maybe not even thanks to GP.

Kharazim patch GP

So the Kharazim patch Gathering Power did a 1% bonus per Takedown, 0% passive starting Ability Power, and a half-reset upon Death. AP starts becoming interesting at about 6%+, so it wouldn't be worth it until 6 Takedowns. Even its power summit at 15% was not enough to guarantee late game domination. Dying punished you kinda harshly, without much of a reward for flawless play. Basically this usually entailed that if you were winning essentially without a level 4 talent, you would probably keep on winning afterwards as well, in spite of the Ability Power bonus, not because of it. The new version is different!

How to use the Cho'Gall patch Gathering Power

Cho'Gall patch GP will be best used when you can get an early game advantage, but have a team composition that falls off in the late game. At its maximum power, 30% Ability Power is a huge boost that could help secure the mid to late game.

I once had a game on Blackheart's Bay in January 2015 where we managed to net 23 to 0 Takedowns in the early game with an Arthas/Kerrigan roaming composition, but gave up XP soak in return. We may have gotten complacent, but the opponents also had a powerful late game composition. They dragged the game out by the skin of their teeth, and managed to come back.

Creating more significance in Takedowns vs XP soak

The sources of XP in Heroes of the Storm are sixfold:

  • Minion waves
  • Forts, Keeps, Towers
  • Hero Takedowns
  • Objective kills
  • Mercenaries
  • Passive experience trickle

Besides killing pieces of the enemy base, there is normally no real difference between the other 5 sources of Experience. Normally in the early game, if you give up most of 1 minion wave but get 1 more Takedown, it draws even, and you'll be on equal footing with your opponent. Using Gathering Power, such a trade-off comes with an additional benefit of 2% extra Ability Power for GP users. This would lead to more investments in Takedowns, increasing excitement for both teams and onlookers.

Which Heroes to use GP on

Right now, there are 4 Heroes that can make use of GP at level 4. Kael'thas, Nazeebo, Nova, Zeratul. Looking at the different Heroes:


This Bloodmage can pick from Mana Tap, Gathering Power, Nether Wind and Envenom. Mana Tap is not as bad as I used to think, but competes with at least 2, probably 3, superior talents. Nether Wind is amazing as a disengage tool, multiple crowd control, and burst combo's. Envenom puts Kael'thas unnecessarily in harm's way for marginal advantages over his usual spell rotations.

Gathering Power in the Kharazim Patch stopped being useful for Kael'thas as 1-7% AP wasn't enough to give up the speed and range increase on Nether Wind. However, Kael'thas may be able to use GP if his allies can keep him alive. I could see GP being used if the team is Kael'thas, Tassadar, E.T.C., Illidan, Uther. Not only would Illidan attract most of the enemy's attention, there's also Tassadar's and Uther's defensive capabilities to save Kael'thas.


The Witch Doctor's can choose from Spider Cluster, Promote, Mercenary Lord and Envenom. I've already said why I'm not a huge fan of Envenom. Both Promote and Mercenary Lord require Nazeebo to in a lane with superior odds, preferably 1v0, wholly unopposed. That's because Promote is countered by enemy presence, only working against enemy minions & buildings. Mercenary Lord requires Nazeebo to be immobile, and he has no escape. That's very risky for a ranged damage dealer to commit to. Both are situational talents that only work in heavily specialized compositions where you can do a 1-1-3 lane distribution and push all the way to the bank.

Finally, there's Spider Cluster, and this one is very good. It was the only serious pick for Nazeebo in the Kharazim patch, but Gathering Power will have a massive advantage for Toad builds (7 & 13) and Ravenous Spirit! I expect GP Naz to be extremely powerful when paired up with early game bro's, for example in a team of Nazeebo, Kerrigan, Stitches, Brightwing and Muradin. Spider Cluster will still be default, but GP will be the pot of gold at the bottom of a rainbow.


Especially in QM and lower level HL, Zeratul can get kills practically by himself. He can self-sufficiently boost the GP stacks and continue to dominate with it. With Zeratul losing Focused Attack and its replacement Master Warp Blade being far inferior, I could see GP becoming an attractive pick.

On a side note, I think the best talents to pick for Zera will be Level 1: Regen Master, Level 4: Vorpal Blades and Level 7: Follow Through. First Aid was already trending for Zeratul, but Focused Attack was an important source of damage. Giving up First Aid for Follow Through to have more damage would compensate for FA's loss, while giving more survivability and finish potential with Vorpal Blade. I could even see a potential drop of Wormhole if Vorpal Blade usage turns out to be super effective.


Similarly to Zeratul, Nova can get kills practically by herself especially on the lower levels, which is where she shines anyway. Her alternative choices are also quite poor (Envenom, Remote Delivery and Perfect Shot), making GP probably the default choice. Maybe Nova will be competitive viable.... maybe

Which allied Heroes will help your GP play the best

Having good early game Heroes on your team will help secure higher Ability Powers for GP. This added damage can help cover for Hero late game weaknesses. Excellent examples of early game Heroes who get the job done for kills are Tyrande, E.T.C and especially Kerrigan. This Queen of Blades also happens to drop off more than other Heroes at level 13+. If, however, she helped to buff up an allied Kael'thas' GP to 30% thanks to her early Takedowns, it may just give the Kerrigan team the upper hand.

Against which enemy Heroes to use GP

Using GP will be markedly better against easy-to-kill enemy Heroes. Going up against Vikings, Murky, Leoric, split pushers and melee Assassins creates a situation where GP could get above-average results. Even if die your fair share, your GP stackage may hover between 4-10%, being marginally valuable. Better (or safer) play may see you into the higher double digits, 12-18%.

Concern for snowballing

Some people may be concerned that effective GP stacking may lead to a snowballing Heroes experience. Firstly, not all snowballing is bad. A team who took a big risk-reward trade-off, is genuinely playing better, or is making good use of an early game powerhouse strategy, may or should be rewarded with being able to close the game more easily, barring any big mistakes.

Secondarily, a Hero with buffed up GP stacks still has the same HP as he ever did. Focused efforts for the opposite team to kill the GP Hero creates an exciting interplay with shifted priorities. Normally it may not be viable to dive on the enemy Nazeebo over other targets, but this situation may just create such a need. If successful, even poor Hero trades (3 for 2) may end up being worth it, if only you can reset Nazeebo's stacks back to 0%. The counter to snowballing will be banding together and prioritising a reset of their powerplay Hero's GP stacks.

The excitement for the competitive viewing experience

Having provided the commentating for tournaments like Heroes of the Dorm (April, 2015), Road to Blizzcon Europe (3-4 October, 2015) and BlizzCon Heroes World Championships (6-7 November, 2015), I've got a premonition that it will be incredibly exciting to cast players on Heroes who are picking Gathering Power. The combination of GP with early game roaming squads will mean non-stop action.

Secondly, the desire for the other team to kill that Hero specifically will create exciting climaxes and focus points. It will be easier to tell a compelling story revolving around that Hero.

Final observations (or tl;dr)

Use Gathering Power in lower level games on Nova and Zeratul, where netting many kills can make you a lethal glass cannon.

  • Nova will be terrifying to go up against for beginners (what blur?!)
  • Pair up GP Heroes with great early game heroes like Zagara, Kerrigan, E.T.C.
  • Kael'thas' default will be Nether Wind, GP if he's feeling greedy
  • Nazeebo's default will be Spider Cluster, GP if he's going Toad/Ravenous Spirit build

Share your experiences with Grubby via Twitter on @followgrubby.


Grubby is proudly sponsored by ASUS ROG, who just launched the gaming laptop powerhouse G752 which comes with Windows 10, a 6th-generation Intel® Skylake Core™ i7 processor, up to 64GB DDR4 RAM, and the latest NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX™ graphics, ROG G752 laptop delivers exceptional gaming performance. https://bit.ly/1kzWYRI

BenQ Gaming

Grubby is proudly sponsored by BenQ Gaming monitors, running a dual BenQ monitor set-up. Main screen: XL2730Z (https://bit.ly/1NSiHzc) and secondary screen with a 90° swivel, the indomitable XL2420T.

Playing the Experience Game

Playing the Experience Game

18 Nov 2015

The importance of soaking XP as opposed to Takedowns or fighting over Objectives.


How many people do you send to an objective, and how important is lane XP during objective call-to-arms? It can't be said enough that clearing minion waves is essential, but there's also the objectives. A closer look at the decision making processes.

Speedy wave clear

Oftentimes, the possibility of clearing 1 more minion wave is the speed with which you can clear it. Johanna routinely picks up Level 1: Knight Takes Pawn (W) over strong survivability talents like Reinforce and Regeneration Master, and Rexxar often takes Level 7: Bird of Prey (Q) over attack range with Throwing Axes or Misha's additional stuns. The XP and push power gained from PvE talents turns out to be essential. Clearing waves quickly also helps for your own safety, and hastens you to the objectives. Fast clears get you to objectives quicker, and with more of an XP lead. Both can help you win Team Fights very decisively.

That's why on my stream you'll often see me stay in a lane longer to get XP, because I know how important it is to get it. If my allies have good poke and good sense, they'll delay the objective for some seconds while I join the objective a bit later - with our team having a nice XP lead. That's what I love about Heroes like Leoric, Johanna, Tassadar, and Malfurion with good waveclear.

The value of minion wave XP

Clearing fast helps to get XP, but how much? A whole minion wave is actually worth a lot of XP, especially in the early game. To put it in perspective: not only is a minion wave of 7 minions is worth more than a Fort Tower, but did you know that it is even worth more than killing an enemy Hero?

At level 3 vs level 3, you'll get 417 XP for killing an enemy Hero. You'll get 108 XP for killing a footman minion. So just 5 minions are worth more than a takedown! Note: the exception is that while getting a kill you're also denying enemy minion XP soak because you're killing a solo lane dude. Otherwise, you don't want to miss too many minions for Takedowns. As a general rule, soaking with at least a Hero per lane until level 10 is going to be very sound strategy.

Let's compare two extremes.

  • General rule A: always have minimum 1 Hero per lane until level 10, no exceptions. Ignore all objectives. No exceptions. 3 man push enemy towers/forts while the opponents do the objectives. After level 10, free play.
  • General rule B: always have minimum 1 Hero per lane until level 10, 5 man every objective until it's been decided. After level 10, free play.

General rule A is going to win you more games, even if you give away every immortal, tribute or skull until that time. You'll be far ahead in XP, leading in talent, reaching level 10 quicker, and this will give you most of the future objectives when they get more powerful.

Luckily, we don't have to be so extreme. While early wave clearing is very important, there are exceptions. These exceptions often rely on how quickly you can clear them. Slow clearing by heroes like Uther, Muradin, Li Li and Tyrande often means you'll rely on getting more Takedowns to make up for it. It means showing up earlier to objectives, trying to force cap to get some early kills, while the enemy great wave clearers like Leoric and Tassadar show up 5s later but will try to be on time to contest the objective. Even if you get 7 to 2 Takedowns, you may be at equal XP due to different sources of XP (Takedowns vs minions). That's why kills aren't everything.

Good waveclear heroes clear, poke and delay. Meanwhile, good pickoff Heroes rely on the takedowns during laning and at objectives fights.

  • This means that the stun-train comps rely on the kills! Don't give them what they want, avoid their kill attempts by giving them respect in team fights, use disengage tools, and win the game through the map and XP advantage. They are under pressure to make something happen.
  • The wave clear comps rely on XP advantage and winning through the map. You cannot beat them at the push game, so you must get kills like clockwork without getting overconfident. A few early takedowns means you're keeping up, not winning. Keep making it happen.

See what kind of team you are in QM or after the HL draft, and play accordingly. Share your experiences with Grubby via Twitter on @followgrubby.


Grubby is proudly sponsored by ASUS ROG, who just launched the gaming laptop powerhouse G752 which comes with Windows 10, a 6th-generation Intel® Skylake Core™ i7 processor, up to 64GB DDR4 RAM, and the latest NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX™ graphics, ROG G752 laptop delivers exceptional gaming performance. https://bit.ly/1kzWYRI

BenQ Gaming

Grubby is proudly sponsored by BenQ Gaming monitors, running a dual BenQ monitor set-up. Main screen: XL2730Z (https://bit.ly/1NSiHzc) and secondary screen with a 90° swivel, the indomitable XL2420T.

Advanced unusual tips: #1

Advanced unusual tips: #1

16 Nov 2015

How to keep and hold on to talent tier advantages more effectively, and take advantageous fights.


You can win a game of Heroes of the Storm by constantly doing the obvious thing. Soaking lanes, killing people, capturing merc camps, getting objectives, and eventually killing the Core. However, I see some people make the mistake of letting their autopilot do all the thinking. Autopilots are very useful to repeat effective habits, but are all our habits effective? I take a look at a common late game scenario where people are unwittingly giving opponents more comeback mechanics - something anyone who likes to win games should hope to avoid.

Clear like Morgan Jones from the Walking Dead

Clearing minion waves, and pushing the lane, gives you several advantages:

  • It gives your team XP
  • Lanes will deplete enemy fort& tower ammunition, eventually destroying them
  • You have more map vision
  • Lane minions help support your push into an enemy base

There's a twist!

However, there is also a more subtle disadvantage which isn't nearly as obvious. Keep it in mind for when the time is right!

  • Pushing a minion wave forces your minions to travel into the enemy base. It becomes easier for the enemy team to safely soak up their experience from beneath the relative safety of their base. The same goes for Mercenary camps! More safe XP for them. 

Say you're already level 20. You've got your Storm Tier talents - yes that's actually how the level 20's talents are called - and you're the upperdog. Opponent's at level 18, and is looking for a way to make a comeback. You may not be doing something ill-advised like solo laning with one of your Heroes when all enemies are missing on the map, but you may still be making a mistake unknowingly. Casually clearing all minion waves and pushing all 3 lanes to the opponent will actually bring them closer to level 20, where they have a much better shot at equalizing.

Wipe enemy team instead of passive pushes
What if you didn't? All you're getting is vision, the route to level 21, and some push power. But basically at this level, if you wipe out an enemy team you can kill a Keep and destroy their Core before they're back. No need to take such a passive approach as sending waves of brainless minions at them. What if you:

  • Capture 0 merc camps
  • Kill 0 lane minions
  • Stay as 5 and set up a trap
  • Wait for the lane minion bait to spring

Discounting the glacial pace of passive XP trickle, it will now take ages for the opponent to get to level 20. They have a few options, counterable by your team:

  • Stay at base, don't gain much XP, yield all objectives to you: you can win by objectives.
  • Clear 1 lane's minions at a time as 5, retreat quickly, then do the next: you can win by a neutral territory 5v5 20vs18. 
  • Split up and soak all lanes: you roam as 3, 4 or 5 and pick off a few Heroes at a time!

By pushing all lanes, you're actually giving them a 4th option, which is to be patient, wait until they get 20 and then make a comeback fight at 20 vs 20. It doesn't matter as much at this point if it's 20 vs 21, 20 vs 22 or 20 vs 23.

Don't give them that option, play smart, and evolve your gameplay!

Share your experiences with Grubby via Twitter on @followgrubby.


Grubby is proudly sponsored by ASUS ROG, who just launched the gaming laptop powerhouse G752 which comes with Windows 10, a 6th-generation Intel® Skylake Core™ i7 processor, up to 64GB DDR4 RAM, and the latest NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX™ graphics, ROG G752 laptop delivers exceptional gaming performance. https://bit.ly/1kzWYRI

BenQ Gaming

Grubby is proudly sponsored by BenQ Gaming monitors, running a dual BenQ monitor set-up. Main screen: XL2730Z (https://bit.ly/1NSiHzc) and secondary screen with a 90° swivel, the indomitable XL2420T.

Understanding the new scaling

Understanding the new scaling

15 Nov 2015

New scaling
In the new scaling, all Heroes will gain roughly 4% power per level.


My goal is to help you understand what will happen when the new scaling changes that Blizzard is introducing will go live, tomorrow, 17 November 2015. It will be up to the player base to decide whether the new changes will be a good thing, hopefully after a reasonable amount of testing. In fact, some players who play casually may barely notice and just wonder why their character feels different - they may attribute it to a special morning routine. Who knows.

Talent tier advantage

If you're familiar with the basics of Heroes of the Storm, we know that Heroes get new talent picks at level 1, 4, 7, 10, 13, 16, and 20. These talents give powerful bonuses that will often win team fights for you. Engaging in a team fight when the enemy team has 1 more talent is usually a bad idea (11v13, 15v16). When behind, a team must choose their fight carefully to have minimal disadvantage. If you can't get a 5v4, at least make sure you're level 16 vs 18 so that you're not down a talent.

Stats advantage

Besides talents, there's the character stats to consider (press "c" to see your char stats in the game). In the current version of Heroes of the Storm (16-Nov-2015), all Heroes get a fixed amount of HP & Damage increase per level-up. If you have 1000 HP at level 1, and gain 220 HP per level-up, you'll have 1220 and level 2 and 1440 at level 3. These are huge relative differences which creates a big power difference between a team that is on level 2 versus a team that is on level 3 Hero Levels.

For example consider these no-talent-picked hero stats:

  • E.T.C. gets a 4.3% increase in HP from level 20 to 21 (5800->6050)
  • Thrall gets a 4.5% increase in auto attack damage from 20 to 21 (378->395)
  • E.T.C. gets a 23.8% increase in HP from level 1 to 2 (1050->1300)
  • Thrall gets a 31% increase in auto attack damage from 1 to 2 (55->72)

Both damage and HP see huge relative differences at the early levels. Even without good play, the stats will generally do their work for you, and it will be rare to see a level 4 team lose to a level 3 team, because they are up a talent AND up ~20% overall statistical strength.

The difference between level 21 and 22 is decent, but 4% differences in stats are unlikely to be as decisive as would be proper micromanagement, control, mechanics, decision making and positioning.

New scaling

In the new scaling, all Heroes will gain roughly 4% power per level. This is already happening at level 20->21 currently, but as illustrated very clearly not at level 1. This is achieved in the new scaling by bringing up everyone's Base HP and Base Damage roughly to their previous level 8 values. So a Chen will start with ~2600 HP at level 1, and a Thrall may start with 150+ damage on his auto attack.

Death timers

Additionally, Blizzard said death timers will be increased at level 1 just like Hero's stats, also to about their level 8 value.

PvE changes

A possible unintended side-effect so far, is that every Hero's strength against minion waves has been changed from what it is currently. Enemy fortifications also hit Heroes weaker, right from the get go at level 1. In the new patch, you can easily take several tower shots without going into lethal range in a 1v1, whereas before that was suicide.

More early game action?

As a result of the above, making ganks on enemy squishies in the early game will be far easier. The increased death timers also makes it more rewarding. The presumed goal is to enhance early game action, add more meaning to early kills particularly in how they deny enemy experience soak, and make all Heroes feel more powerful and characteristic at level 1 already.

Blizzard is taking quite a risk here with these changes. Game balancing has been quite effective, as 36 out of 42 active Heroes saw competitive play at BlizzCon. Big or small changes will always need to be made continuously to adjust to discoveries or developments, but nothing quite as big as this has happened before. Blizzard is making a statement that they believe this will be for the best of the gameplay, otherwise they wouldn't take a risk like that. I believe they are right, but it remains to be seen.

Whether these changes will have the intended effect, we will know soon, but one thing is for sure. Everything you think you know about the meta, and each Hero's respective strength and viability, is going to change completely once the new patch hits. It's like a reset on balancing, and I invite everyone to keep an open mind to Gazlowe, Thrall, and Hammer picks. Experiment, play some games, and share your experiences with Grubby via Twitter on @followgrubby.

Blizzard Patch Notes: https://us.battle.net/heroes/en/blog/19953593/heroes-of-the-storm-ptr-patch-notes-november-11-2015-11-11-2015


Grubby is proudly sponsored by ASUS ROG, who just launched the gaming laptop powerhouse G752 which comes with Windows 10, a 6th-generation Intel® Skylake Core™ i7 processor, up to 64GB DDR4 RAM, and the latest NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX™ graphics, ROG G752 laptop delivers exceptional gaming performance. https://bit.ly/1kzWYRI

BenQ Gaming

Grubby is proudly sponsored by BenQ Gaming monitors, running a dual BenQ monitor set-up. Main screen: XL2730Z (https://bit.ly/1NSiHzc) and secondary screen with a 90° swivel, the indomitable XL2420T.

Commentating BlizzCon 2015

Commentating BlizzCon 2015

06 Nov 2015

Grubby to commentate BlizzCon 2015



Grubby to commentate BlizzCon 2015

On 6-7th November, Grubby will be commentating the exciting conclusion of all Roads to Blizzcon. As North America, Europe, Korea, Taiwan and China clash to determine which team will produce the world champion, Grubby and co-casters will deliver the exciting action to the worldwide audience.

Team Na'Vi, Team Dignitas, DK, Cloud9, TempoStorm, GIA, YL and Braveheart are in contention for winning part of the $500,000 prize pool. Watch the action via www.BlizzCon.com or https://twitch.tv/blizzheroes!

Streaming marathon ASUS

Streaming marathon ASUS

01 May 2015

Grubby's first public appearance as ASUS ROG brand ambassador at the 3-day Play It Cool streaming marathon


Grubby will be doing two 12-hour streaming sessions:

  • Friday, May 1st: 08:00 - 20:00 CEST
  • Saturday, May 2nd: 20:00 - 08:00 (Sunday, May 3rd) CEST

About Play it CooL:
Boasting a host of world-famous gaming personalities, great eSports teams, and popular gaming titles like Heroes of the Storm, Hearthstone, and DOTA 2. The ASUS ROG Play It Cool Gaming Marathon is a 3-day non-stop live streaming event that’ll set pulses racing.

It’s also a chance for you to see the latest gaming laptops and desktops with the exclusive ASUS ROG cooling solutions in their element. These cooling solutions effectively keep the machines cool, preventing overheating and enabling them to perform at peak performance throughout the 3-day event.

Excited yet? Stay tuned and watch the exciting live stream from May 1st - 3rd on Play It Cool


ASUS ROG Sponsors Grubby

ASUS ROG Sponsors Grubby

29 Apr 2015

ASUS ROG to sponsor Grubby
We're happy to announce that ASUS ROG and Grubby will be working together in 2015 to promote the ASUS ROG product categories of Gaming LaptopGaming Desktop and Gaming Peripherals


ASUS ROG to sponsor Grubby
I'm very happy to announce that ASUS ROG and I will be working together in 2015 to promote the ASUS ROG product categories of Gaming LaptopGaming Desktop and Gaming Peripherals. As a professional gamer since 2003, I have experienced first-hand how important it is to have the right equipment. Whether you are a frequent traveler like me, or you're looking to get the most out of your home set-up, we're always on the lookout for good quality products that can help push our gaming capabilities to the limit.

Working together – how it came about
Earlier this year I've had a chance to meet up with the ASUS ROG people. I shared my quest to find a great Gaming Laptop and Peripheral sponsor, and learned that ASUS ROG believes in me and what I do. After discussing and making plans, we came to our agreement to work together in 2015 and going forward I'll be ambassador and adviser to ASUS ROG's products.

Gaming Laptops
Whether I'm competing, commentating or promoting, each time I travel I leave behind my Desktop PC. Having an ultra-portable, high-end Gaming Laptop allows me to stream, practice and just play my favorite games in high quality. This means my fans and I never have to miss a day of streaming whether I'm in a hotel room or at events and tournaments.

Gaming Desktop
Streaming has taken huge leaps and bounds in the past few years. Graphics, physics and rag doll effects in games have also increased dramatically. It's fun to be able to tune up everything to “Ultra/ Extreme” settings and still be able to stream at 1080p and 60 FPS. This is just the beginning of our partnership, but thanks to ASUS ROG I won't need to worry about down-scaling on any satisfying graphical effects. I'll be hooked up with the sickest rigs.

Gaming Peripherals
Mechanical keyboards, gaming mice, mouse pads and headsets: there's a huge variance out there in personal taste, quality and durability. As you will know if you've been watching my stream in the last half year, I've been looking out for replacements for my Keyboard and Mouse specifically. ASUS ROG commits themselves to delivering the very best, and I'll happy to select my personal favorites over the coming period of time. I'll be sure to let you know what I think works best for some of our favorite games.

Streaming while traveling
From April 10th to 27th I was part of the Commentator team that delivered the premier “Heroes of the Dorm ©” Tournament stream live on ESPN2 & ESPN3 in North America. In between the casting weekends, I was free to stream games like Heroes of the Storm. Thanks to ASUS ROG's G501 Gaming Laptop, I can stream while on-the-move.

ASUS ROG G501 Gaming Laptop
The first spotlight product of this sponsorship will be the G501. It is designed with the gaming traveler in mind with its Ultra-Thin & Light with Premium Aluminum Construction.

It also features a great cooling system, sports a 4K IPS Extremely High Resolution Display and tops it off with an NVIDIA GTX960m Graphics Card. With this laptop, you'll be able to play games with beautiful graphics on-the-go, and even stream them out on Twitch at high quality.

You can find out more information about the ASUS ROG G501 on https://gseries.asus.com and click “learn more” about G501.

Upcoming plans – Play it CooL!
As a way to celebrate our new partnership, I'll be cooperating on the ASUS ROG event “Play it CooL” where I'll play and stream 24 hours of Heroes of the Storm on 1st - 3rd of May. You can join in on the action and play Heroes with me or Kaelaris. See the intro video at: Play it CooL

Thank you
I owe all my viewers and fans the deepest gratitude for supporting me over the last 12 years of my gaming career. Thanks to you, I'm able to work together with awesome sponsors like ASUS ROG and this allows me to continue to do what I love best: gaming!

Warm regards,

About Grubby
Manuel 'Grubby' Schenkhuizen has been a professional gamer since 2004. Schenkhuizen holds over 40 tournament victories (including 6 world championships) and has done commentating, streaming, created gaming guides and hosted show matches. Watch Grubby live on Twitch playing popular Blizzard games like Heroes of the Storm and StarCraft II.


For years since its establishment, ASUS aimed to put an ever-greater emphasis on PC gaming. This process resulted in the 2006 founding of the Republic of Gamers brand (ROG), formed for the sole purpose of delivering the most innovative hardcore hardware for truly dedicated gamers.

Since then, the efforts of the ROG team have led to a constant flow of PC gaming technology that has become legendary among enthusiasts for its performance. ROG is more than just hardware, though – we take an active part in the global gaming community, helping develop the industry by sponsoring events such as PAX, BlizzCon and Dreamhack. Worldwide media have recognized ROG as a leader in PC gaming and overclocking performance, with many of our products winning awards and gaining very positive feedback from hardware pros.

With this great response from gamers and the industry, ROG has all the resources it needs to keep working on enabling even better experiences – technology never sleeps, nor should the action!

Heroes of the Dorm 2015

Heroes of the Dorm 2015

16 Apr 2015

Follow your favorite college. Win scholarships. Submit your fantasy bracket.



Heroes of the Dorm is right around the corner, and teams are hopeful to make their way to the Grand Finals on Sunday, April 26 at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, California. Over the next couple of weekends, we have a team of presenters that will follow the teams and their many stories as they do battle in the Nexus, hoping to secure college tuition. Our presenters for the first two weekends are:

Super 16 – Sunday, April 12:

Shaun “Jester” Delaney
Manuel “Grubby” Schenkhuizen
Tim “Trikslyr” Frazier

Epic 8 – Saturday, April 18:

Sean “Day9” Plott
Manuel “Grubby” Schenkhuizen
Tim “Trikslyr” Frazier



The five players on the winning team will earn the tuition for their college career!
Fourth year students on the winning team can win up to $25,000 to pay back college expenses


Epic Gaming System for Heroes of the Stormimg_pc

Each member of the winning team will receive:

Intel i7-4790K CPU
GIGABYTE GA-Z97X-Gaming 7 Motherboard
GIGABYTE GTX 960 series Graphics Card
Intel 530 Series 180GB SSD
8GB (4×2) 2133 MHz DDR3 Memory
Rosewill Star Predator Case
Rosewill PSU: Arc 750
HyperX Cloud II Headset
SteelSeries Heroes of the Storm Mousepad

HomeStory Cup 10

HomeStory Cup 10

13 Nov 2014

HomeStory Cup X - the most special one yet?


If everything goes well, hopefully we'll see Grubby at HomeStory Cup X! (Qualification or invite!!)

SC2: Become a better person

SC2: Become a better person

05 Oct 2014

Does playing StarCraft II have the potential to make you a better person? Grubby delves into the mentality of playing StarCraft II and its (elusive) rewards.

An Article about the Mentality behind being a StarCraft II Player
Becoming better at StarCraft may make you a better person
You may be a player who one day aspires to be a professional gamer. Or you might be a StarCraft II player who simply wants to dig deep inside your own potential to see to what levels you can improve. For playing StarCraft II, it's not necessarily so much a story of "Will I ever be the next Bonjwa?", it's a story of knowing oneself, improving oneself, challenging oneself, and overcoming difficulties. Becoming a better StarCraft II player brings you face to face with the man in the mirror. It's highly confrontational and oftentimes self-depreciative journey which can make us feel bad about ourselves, ergo ye olde ladder anxiety. Simply put, seeing how 'bad' you are feels bad - a bruised ego. Giving the opponent the proverbial finger by handily defeating them, conversely, feels great. It's stroking the ego. As you can see, besides the obvious mechanical demands such as speed and dexterity, SC2 is an intensely emotional game. And there lies the nub; how can we become a better StarCraft II player, and in doing so, become a better person?
Becoming a better person
When I was 17 and started playing WarCraft III, I was quite unassuming, and felt relaxed about my level of play and results. It wasn't until after the initial tournament victories that I could 'do worse' than I had done so in the past. It also put pressure on me as a favorite, and it planted a seed in my mind that goes along the lines of "I am better than this player, that player, and players X, Y and Z." This kind of thinking should feel very familiar to anyone who's ever played competitive online games. There's always someone better and worse than you on the internet. Oftentimes when we are quite sure that we are better than someone we're facing, it leads us to not give our opponent the due respect, which subsequently leads us to underestimate them, which makes us play worse than we are capable of. Losing in such a scenario can lead to anger and frustration. I don't remember when it started, but some time when I was 19 years old, I was slamming the table with my fist hard if I felt angry. Angry that I lost to someone I "shouldn't" lose to. When I got a girlfriend at age 20, the behavior of slamming tables was quite problematic because it frightened her, and underlined my immaturity and incapability to deal with my emotions in a proper manner. On the surface, it was simple - angry, slam table, what's the big deal. But deep down inside, it was uncovering the fact that I was repeatedly not giving my opponents enough credit.
Even if on paper I was technically 'better', I have learned since that there are no "should have won" situations! In a balanced game with little luck involved, there's always multiple reasons that could point at why I lost. The moment I thought that I *should* win, was when I mentally made myself weak. I wasn't expecting or preparing for the worst. I wasn't giving opponents respect. I wasn't thinking of my opponents as people of flesh and blood, with desires and ambitions - ambitions to beat me. If someone is ready to take on the challenge to beat you, why should you not accord them the same respect? Stopping the table-slamming habit, and understanding that every opponent is potentially dangerous and is allowed to play the game in any way they want, any way that makes them happy - truly allowed me to fix this personality flaw and StarCraft II flaw as well.
Overcoming rage
If we are honest with ourselves, we're almost never upset with the way the game works. It's not a unit or a state of balance that really upsets us. It's the opponent's temerity or cheekiness of play style. It's our own shortcomings (which we may or may not be admitting to). An example! We think we are upset with a unit called the Swarm Host, because it's so strong! In truth, we are more upset over the fact that we aren't dealing with that unit in an elegant and efficient manner. If all players failed against Swarm Hosts, but we were the one player that effectively deals with them, we'd be proud and bask in the exclusive glory. "I'm triumphing, where others fail!". A beautiful dream. The anger comes from a frustration of delayed success (there is no failure), not the unit itself. When tackling the problem of "overcoming rage", the key is to understand what we are angry about. This can be very confrontational, but we must remember the basic tenets of life: (1) we are alive and feel emotions, happy and sad ones (2) other people are also alive with their own desires to be admired, loved, etc. (3) we can always try to bemoan a situation, or improve it, and most importantly: (4) there's no telling where our maximum potential lies if we never try to realize it, even when we're against the odds. 
There are no skill ceilings
Every now and then, we think we just can't seem to improve anymore. Improve what, I ask? Win/Loss ratios? Our league or rank? Statistics are modern marathon medals without having shown up. They're trophies that our father earned, which were passed down to us. Accolades are like the answer to a mathematics quiz without showing the formula or solutions that you used to solve it. Bluntly put, medals are worthless. Improving our "trophy cabinet" has the same value as scoring a 10/10 without understanding the subject matter. They look cool, and impress friends and peers, and they may even give us (a transient) satisfaction. That's ok! But it should not be the primary method of self-evaluation. The experience of attaining a greater level of mastery at anything in life, including StarCraft II, is a lasting glow of feel-good-ness. We reach this by tackling huge problems in bite-sized challenges. Quality of practice. Type quality of practice in Google, there's a sea of information on the internet or any number of books that teaches you how to effectively improve without just throwing time and quantity at the issue.
Scientifically, when there's even a small thing we could've done better in any given game we ever played, there lies a potential improvement we can try to incorporate into our play! If there's even one thing you could do better, the "There's nothing I could've done" or "I can't improve" argument becomes invalid! You could say, "It wouldn't have mattered", and I'd say: "You'll never appreciate enough how many little things add up to something significant". We can't always imagine the big picture because we're sadly only human with limited imaginative power, but we need to have faith that it will simply feel so much easier to be able to build upon many little advantages - and capitalize on further opportunities that may arise.
Closing words
Playing competitive RTS, I've felt glory and despair countless of times. I've felt frustrated and ecstatic, loved and hated, free and restricted. I've erred, learned, improved, tinkered and traveled. StarCraft II is not for everyone. If you love this game, you love to challenge yourself. The medal is not important, only the feeling of satisfaction after a successful epic macro game or timing attack. We do best to respect ourselves by respecting our opponents, as this eliminates all other concerns and reduces a game to the bare necessities: faction versus faction, victory or defeat. Good luck, commanders.

Author: Grubby


DreamHack Stockholm 2014

DreamHack Stockholm 2014

26 Sep 2014

Grubby travels to Stockholm in Sweden to compete in the DreamHack Open.


Traveling on Thursday night 25th of September, Grubby and Cassandra will travel to Sweden to attend the DreamHack Stockholm where Grubby will be playing. On 26th & 27th November, DreamHack will be in full swing and will entertain tens of thousands of eSports fans around the world.

The StarCraft II tournament will have $25,000 USD in prizes and 4,000 WCS points up for grabs. We hope Grubby can make a deep run!

For a complete score overview: https://wiki.teamliquid.net/starcraft2/2014_DreamHack_Open/Stockholm/Group_Stage_2

Groupstage #2 - Group K
26 September 2014 16:00 CEST
1.   herO 2-0 4-0
2.   Grubby 2-1 4-3
3.   DeMusliM 1-2 3-4
4.   StarNaN 0-2 0-4

Grubby had to replay a game against DeMusliM due to a powerfailure 30 minutes into the game. Fortunately manages to proceed to Group Stage #3.

Groupstage #3 - Group D
26 September 2014 20:00 CEST
1.   Jaedong 2-0 4-0
2.   Ryung 2-1 4-2
3.   Grubby 1-2 2-5
4.   Welmu 0-2 1-4

YOU choose Next WC3 Commentary!

YOU choose Next WC3 Commentary!

16 Sep 2014

Which game would you like to see next? Let me know in the comments section! Provide a replay download link if possible :)


Which game would you like to see next? Let me know in the comments section!


I've done 3 episodes of Season 2 of Grubby's WarCraft III Commentaries so far. 

S02E01: Game 2 of WCG 2008 vs Moon (Secret Valley) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yW_b5QIvMYA

S02E02: Game 3 of WCG 2008 vs Moon (Twisted Meadows) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s_KB5lxOIP0

S02E03: Game 2 of BlizzCon 2009 vs Shy (Ancient Isles) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VcrVgAvYteY

S02E04: ???

Some options:

  • Game 1 of BlizzCon 2009 vs Shy (Melting Valley)
  • Game 1 or 2 of BlizzCon 2009 vs SocceR (Turtle Rock & Ancient Isles)

If you have another idea, let me know!

WCS Ro32 - Sept 9, 2014

WCS Ro32 - Sept 9, 2014

09 Sep 2014

Grubby is going on Ro32 in the WCS Europe Premier. Watch him go against Happy, MC and Serral.


Don't miss WCS Europe Premier League Ro32 Group H on September 9 at 12:00 pm EST / 6:00 pm CEST.  Grubby’s potential opponents will be the Russian Terran player Happy, Korean Boss-Toss MC and 16 year old Finnish Zerg player Serral.

You can watch the games live here and cheer for our Dutch Protoss player, Grubby. Will he qualify for Ro16?   

HK ESports Tournament

HK ESports Tournament

30 Aug 2014

Grubby is moving towards semifinals at the HK ESports Tournament.


Grubby is participating at the 2nd Hong Kong E-Sports Tournament. So far, he reached the semifinals, after playing against Korean player Symbol. Next, Grubby will be facing Protoss player Hurricane. Therefore, cheer up Grubby on August 30rd and 31st.
The money pool is $10,000 USD and 1,800 WCS points will be divided among participants.
1st   - place will receive $6,500.00 and 300 WCS points
2nd  - place will receive $2,000.00 and 200 WCS points
3rd   - place will receive $1,000.00 and 150 WCS points
4th   - place will receive  $   500.00 and 150 WCS points

A live stream can be found on www.twitch.tv/hkesports

Special thanks goes to BenQ to be a co-sponsor for this highly competitive tournament. For more information you can check the official website here.


Author: Erik "Gornom" Trinkl 

Gamescom Showmatches 2014

Gamescom Showmatches 2014

17 Aug 2014

Friendly showmatches of Grubby vs Liquid.Ret at the Gamescom 2014 in Cologne, Germany!


Grubby will be playing against Liquid's Ret at the Gamescom 2014 in Cologne, Germany! Blizzard Entertainment has established a presence again to promote their games and StarCraft II was certainly not forgotten! Come check it out if you want to meet either of these players and enjoy watching some StarCraft II with fellow fans of the games!

Just visit Gamescom on Sunday, the 17th of August - and find the Blizzard Entertainment booth. The games start at 16:30 local time!


NOTE: This event will not be viewable online.


*Update: The showmatch between Grubby and Retresulted to a 2-0 for our Protoss player.

Small Victories

Small Victories

15 Aug 2014

Good news! Grubby's participation in weekly tournaments such as ZOTAC Cup, Go4SC2 and Gfinity cup has had some success.


Good news! Perhaps no major cause for celebration as of yet, but a positive note for Grubby and his supporters. In the last two weeks or so, we've seen an increase in Grubby's participation in weekly tournaments such as ZOTAC Cup, Go4SC2 and Gfinity cup, with some success. He's also come off the DSCL LAN recently. A summary of Grubby's results in the last two weeks:


  • 2nd place - Go4SC2 #383 ($50)
  • 1st place - JudgeHype Cup #4 (€100)
  • 3rd place - DSCL Open Individual League (€150)
  • 1st place - Kyle's Charity tournament ($100)
  • 1st place - Gfinity Cup 16th July (£200)

Next stop will be DreamHack Valencia (18-19 July 2014). Show your support on https://twitter.com/followgrubby! :)

Gfinity G3 Tournament

Gfinity G3 Tournament

02 Aug 2014

On August 2-3, the Gfinity G3 tournament will be going down. $30,000 prize pool and 3375 WCS points.


$30,000 USD in prize money and 3375 WCS points will be up for grabs in... London! The Gfinity is fast establishing a solid presence in the StarCraft II scene. From their online tournaments and qualifiers to this massive LAN in London, UK, they're providing a great foundation for European players to compete at a serious LAN for some good prizes.

Grubby has been invited and has happily accepted. On 1st of August he'll be flying to London to compete, and we'll just see what he can do there! :)

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