Heroes Of The Storm's New Two-Player Hero Is Actually Great For Beginners

Heroes Of The Storm's New Two-Player Hero Is Actually Great For Beginners

Heroes of the Storm is introducing a crazy new hero, Cho'gall, who's controlled by two players at once. This has never been done ever before in any big MOBA — not DOTA, LoL, or HOTS.

Hi everyone. Quick public service announcement: By this point in the post, you might have noticed that I'm not Yannick LeJacq, our resident MOBA maniac. We are united in goal and spirit, but not heart, body, or — most crucially — byline. Also, I don't know; I guess I think Drake's just alright. And yet, I'm writing about Heroes of the Storm, a complicated game I honestly don't play all that much (yet).

Thank goodness for Cho'gall. He's an ogre (think: big, with a belly that sways less like it's full of jelly and more like it's stuffed with rocks) with two heads, and two players control him at once. One plays as Cho, and they handle movement and a few basic attacks. The trickier elements of offence, meanwhile, go to Gall, who essentially rides shotgun while Cho drives. You'd think he'd be awful for beginners, given how convoluted and disjointed that all sounds. But actually, he's pretty elegant to play once both players get the hang of their respective roles.

It's so much fun, especially if you're prepared to talk a bunch with your comrade in arms, legs, and, you know, everything else. Plus, if you're like me, you can have a more experienced friend handle decisions about which lane to push down, positioning, when to pursue side objectives, and so on. In my experience, it takes a tremendous amount of pressure off, and a friend can give you a sort of guided tour through the game while you kill stuff.

That said, there's room for quite a bit of strategy, of which I've only sighted the tip of the iceberg (through a periscope, miles away from shore, during a snowstorm). Here's some quick stuff I discovered while playing with a friend:

  • Gall is a caster, so his main attacks are ranged. Shadow Flame is an aimed strike that's not ultra powerful, but it's good for engaging at mid-range or bringing down foes who are just about to escape from your web of dark magic and, uh, bile.

  • Dread Orb lets Gall lob a bomb that bounces three times. As you level, you can modify it to do more damage on successive bounces and — to really trip people up — bounce backward.

  • Recharge on both is only a couple seconds.

  • Gall commands the mid-range, and Cho intercepts when opponents get up in your face(s). But they work together on one of their coolest attacks: Rune Bomb. It's a rolling Indiana Jones boulder of destruction that Cho deploys at will. Now for the cool part: it's then up to Gall to detonate it. At first I kept missing my cues, and before I knew it our bowling ball of arcane doom was sitting shamefully in the gutter. But once I started getting the timing down — keeping up my own attack rhythm while watching for the bomb — it felt great. I might have gotten a little too into it, what with all the cheering I was doing when I pulled off double kills.

  • While my friend and I weren't able to delve super deep into this, I noticed that Gall had the option to level in ways that buffed Cho's Consuming Flame, a damage-over-time skill. We were having enough trouble communicating basic attacks and whatnot, so we didn't really get around to coordinating talent builds. I did, however, take my friend's cue and buff Rune Bomb as much as possible. By the time a match ended, we had it doing huge damage and coming back to us like a big bouncy boomerang.

  • We talked a lot. Turns out, being conjoined to another person fosters communication. Who'd have thought? We were yelling and laughing back and forth for our whole match. "What lane do we want to push?" "Oh damn, nice kill!" "Aaaaaand detonate the bomb... NOW NOW NOW."

  • After our match, a Blizzard employee told us we were the best Cho'gall team he'd seen all the day. I'm almost 100 per cent certain he said that to everybody who played Cho'gall.

  • I'm planning to ask a bunch of people I've never met to play this character with me. Seems like a good way to get to know people.

As a MOBA neophyte, I had tons of fun playing Cho'gall and riding shotgun (or, I suppose, being a shotgun) with more experienced players. I can't give a super detailed breakdown of how I think he fits into the pre-existing meta since I don't know it super well, but I'm concerned that he might be a bit too powerful, given how easily my friend and I were steamrolling people.

Maybe the Blizzard employee wasn't lying; maybe we really were that good — in perfect sync, like the Backstreet Boys. But... I have my doubts. We'll see sometime this month, when Cho'gall goes live and people start spreading him around like a (cool) disease.


    I'm interested to see how this will work out in the wild. It seems to me that the hero would have to be insanely broken to make up for the fact that you are essentially playing 4 heroes vs 5. Or does this let you play with a team of 6?

      it's 5v5 still, but you're playing as 4 mobile characters.

      In theory it would be no different to playing with an Abathur. With Abathur on team only heroes are in lanes. Gall is a permanent Abathur hat to Cho.

        Hmm... but Abathur buffs whoever he jumps into, right? So Cho'Gall needs to be as strong as a hero with Abathur inside them, so inherently stronger than any other single hero. Could be pretty broken, but I love the concept.

          Well Cho and Gall are still two separate heroes with two entirely separate skills... They just share one single body. It should be possible for good players to take cho'gall down solo, but in this game I've even seen it hard for regular heroes to beat others with the 2v1 advantage.

          I'm just very excited to see how robust it will be, I doubt he'll be OP for too long before the nerf bat swings.

            It'll be interesting to see how they balance it. I can see it either being stupidly good in the hands of good players, or unplayable in the hands of bad players.

              I can see it either being stupidly good in the hands of good players, or unplayable in the hands of bad players.

              So then no different to any other hero in the game? Seriously think about that for a few seconds... There are heroes I'll never play because I know I suck at them compared to those who rock at them.

                Not really. I mean, the hero has to be broken, since you're basically sacrificing a second hero in order to put two players on him. So we have a broken hero, and having good players on him will exacerbate the advantage more than having them on two separate heroes.

                Anyway, it'll be interesting to see whether they can get it to work or not.

    My wife and I are going to rock the shit out of Cho'Gall... She's a good player but she often doesn't know when to stop extending her reach... I'll play as Cho and control movement, she'll play as Gall and deal damage.

    The fact we're right next to each other when playing means we'll hopefully have much better communication than random players.

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