Stealth is a Hero Ability that makes the Hero nearly invisible.
Stealthed Heroes are not completely invisible, as an outline of them can be seen. Stealthed Heroes are hidden on the minimap and untargetable by direct Abilities and Basic Attacks. Some abilities grant stealth for an unlimited duration while others have a limited duration stealth. Stealth is cancelled by attacking, using an Ability, channeling a map objective or upon taking damage.
If a stealthed Hero remains immobile for a short amount of time (1.5 seconds) they will become "Invisible" and will not display any outline or visual effect until they move again or are revealed by dealing or taking damage. This includes Heroes under the effects of temporary Stealth effects such as Samuro's Windwalk or Tyrande's Shadowstalk. To avoid some bad gameplay situations, there are a couple of exceptions to this mechanic: Heroes cannot become Invisible while occupying a capture point, such as Braxis Holdout or Mercenary Camp Beacons - instead, they will retain normal Stealth visual effects.
As the Balance team currently sees it, the purpose of Stealth is:
- Defense/Escape - Stealth makes you more difficult to target, and can also make it easier to escape danger. Skillful escapes using Stealth are cool.
- Positional Advantage - Stealth makes it easier to get into positions your enemy would normally not expect you to be in. Since your risk of getting caught out is relatively low, you're less restricted by enemy map control than other heroes.
- Map Advantage - Stealth makes it hard for enemies to know where you are on the map, which forces them to play more cautiously because they never know when you might show up in their lane or jump them on a Merc camp. This gives your teammates an edge in terms of controlling the map.
While cloaked heroes cannot be targeted, they can be hit by Skillshots, Area of Effect abilities and splash or cleave damage. Being Revealed while in Stealth reveals the hero and allows it to be targeted, but doesn't break the stealth or cancel any bonus effects given to the hero while normally in Stealth. Bouncing or chaining abilities (like Thralls Chain Lightning, Sylvanas' Shadow Dagger, etc.) bounce also to stealthed targets that are outside allied vision.
Before, "Unrevealable" is a state that exists where you cannot be broken out of stealth, but the enemy can still see your stealth shimmer. This mechanic exists on several Heroes, namely Valeera and Samuro, when they first enter their stealth states.
As part of the 2018 Gameplay Updates, the Developers made significant changes to how Stealth works in Heroes of the Storm. Before the rework, the stealth shimmer visual was extremely hard for a significant number of players to see, and was ultimately just an eye test for the opposing team. Previously, if the opposing team could quickly spot the enemy stealthed Hero, they gained a significant advantage while the stealthed Hero was left with very few options for counterplay. On the flip side, against a team that consistently failed to spot the shimmer, stealth Heroes could dominate the match and force players into a very passive and not-entirely-fun playstyle. Due to this, there was also a large disparity in the power level of stealth Heroes at different ranks of play. In uncoordinated Quick Match games, stealth was king. However, in high-level ranked play and esports, stealth Heroes were much weaker and hardly ever seen. With this change, the Developers wanted to shift the power away from that ‘eye test’ and encourage more strategic use of stealth.
Heroes using stealth
- Brightwing's level 20 talent, "Invisible Friends", adds an additional effect to her "Blink Heal" heroic ability, granting Brightwing and the Hero target stealth. For the first 0.5 seconds, Brightwing and the affected Hero are Unrevealable.
- Nova and Zeratul's trait, "Permanent Cloak", grants them stealth when out of combat for 3 seconds.
- Nova's level 20 talent, "Apollo Suit", decreases the cooldown of "Permanent Cloak" to 1 second.
- Nova's ability, "Ghost Protocol", grants her stealth on activation. For the first 0.5 seconds, she is Unrevealable.
- Sgt. Hammer's level 1 talent, "Ambush", adds an additional effect to her "Siege Mode" ability, which grants her stealth when entering "Siege Mode" and when out of combat for 3 seconds while in "Siege Mode".
- The Lost Vikings' level 1 talent, "Spy Games", grants Erik stealth after standing still for 3 seconds. The stealth persists for 3 seconds after moving.
- Valeera's trait, "Vanish", grants her stealth on activation. For the first second, she is Unrevealable.
- Dehaka's level 4 talent, "Lurker Strain", adds an additional effect to his "Burrow" ability, which grants him stealth for 3 seconds.
- Greymane's level 4 talent, "Eyes In The Dark", adds an additional effect to his "Disengage" ability, which grants him stealth for 3 seconds. For the first 0.625 seconds, he is Unrevealable.
- Medivh's level 20 talent, "Invisibility", grants an allied hero stealth for 20 seconds.
- Murky's level 1 talent, "Egg Hunt", adds an additional effect to his "Spawn Egg" trait, which grants him stealth for 5 seconds when respawning from his egg.
- Samuro's ability, "Wind Walk", grants him stealth for 10 seconds. For the first second, he is Unrevealable.
- Tassadar's level 13 talent, "Shadow Walk", grants him Unrevealable Stealth for 1.5 seconds upon activation.
- Tyrande's level 10 heroic ability, "Shadowstalk", grants her and all allied Heroes stealth for 10 seconds on activation.
- Valeera's level 10 heroic ability, "Smoke Bomb", Creates a cloud of smoke that lasts 5 seconds. While in the smoke, Valeera is Unrevealable.
- The Nexus Anomaly "Climate Phenomena" grants heroes who stay inside of bushes for 1.5 seconds stealth for 40 seconds during Foggy Mists.
|Attack_||Basic Attack ( Attack Range • Attack Speed) • Ability (Resource ( Mana) Spell Power • Cooldown)|
|Defense_||Health • Health Regeneration • Healing (Healing modifier • Lifesteal) • Shield • Armor|
|Buffs_||Absorbing • Evade (Parry) • Healing • Invulnerable • Protected • Stasis • Stealth • Shields • Unkillable • Unstoppable • Untargetable|
|Debuffs_||Attack Slow • Blind • Crowd control • Damage over Time • Knockback • Revealed • Root • Silence ( Fear • Mind Control • Polymorph • Taunt) • Slow • Stun ( Sleep) • Time Stopped|