Our complete Falstad guide has everything you need to know about playing this Hero, with the latest builds, tips, map advice and counters.
If you can't stand the thought of being out of action for a single moment - whether you're on the wrong side of the map or the wrong side of being alive - Falstad is fast going to become one of your favourite characters in Heroes of the Storm. This absolute king of mobility has an extraordinary Z ability that can help him cross vast swathes of the battleground in the blink of an eye, and if that wasn't enough he also packs one of the meanest right-click attacks in the game as well.
While he's got great damage potential and even more exceptional mobility, there are some downsides to be aware of when playing this Hero. For a start, he's very vulnerable to crowd-control and so will often find himself locked down and the focus of the enemy team's attention very quickly. Secondly, getting the most out of that mobility takes some practise as you develop the skills to pick the correct target to assist, and reach them in good time too.
Despite these niggles, we're big fans of Falstad. He's a very popular pick in the current Heroes of the Storm metagame too, so it pays to understand what makes this particular Hero tick. Our Falstad guide today will walk you through the process of picking a solid collection of talents to maximise this Hero's strengths, help you understand the character's abilities, and ensure ou get off to a solid start by way of some tried and tested tips.
Editor's note - June update: It's been a little while since we last updated our Falstad guide, and so there are some pretty big changes to consider. First of all we've updated all of his ability information to reflect the latest patch, and also overhauled our recommendation for Falstad's best talent build. Finally, we've added some extra map-specific tactics to the relevant section of the guide, and will continue expanding on this area in the weeks and months ahead of us.
The best Falstad talent build - June 2016
We love the way this build simplifies combat and allows you to focus on the much bigger battleground picture, without having to sacrifice anything much in the way of damage potential. It's a great set of talents for Falstad newcomers and veterans alike, and really helps showcase the Hero's unique characteristics.
Falstad new player build
Level 1 - Seasoned Marksman - Quest: Every Minion killed near you grants 0.2 Attack Damage, and Takedowns grant 0.5 Attack Damage, to a max of 40 damage. Reward: Upon gaining 40 bonus Attack Damage, you can also activate Seasoned Marksman to increase your Attack Speed by 30% for 3 seconds. 60 second cooldown.
Level 4 - Hammer Gains - Basic attacks heal for 20% of the damage dealt to the primary target.
Level 7 - Secret Weapon - Increases Hammerang's range by 30% and Basic Attacks deal 60% bonus damage while Hammarang is in flight.
Level 10 - Hinterland Blast - After a short delay, deal 1202 (498 + 4.75% per level) damage to enemies within a long line. Mana: 100, Cooldown: 120 seconds.
Level 13 - Flow Rider - While Tailwind is active, your Basic Abilities recharge 100% faster.
Level 16 - Aerie Gusts - Reduces the activation time for Tailwind from 6 to 2 seconds, and increase the Movement Speed bonus from 20% to 30%.
Level 20 - Epic Mount - Reduce the cooldown of Flight to 25 seconds, reduce the cast time before flying to 0.5 seconds, and increase the speed by 50%.
Falstad tips and strategy advice - June 2016
Falstad's exceptional mobility comes at a cost to his health which leaves him rather squishy. For this reason, make sure there's a teammate or a turret or something between you and your target at all times. Save Barrel Roll for its escape potential, rather than as an offensive means of getting into battle faster.
When the game first starts, find a lane you can push hard, and use that amazing Hammerang Ability to clear out long lines of minions. It is very easy to get picked off as Falstad in the first few levels, so be very wary of biting off more than you can chew. Keep a close eye on your Mana too and make sure you keep it topped up whenever the opportunity presents itself.
Making the most of your amazing Flight Ability is crucial too. Use it early on to efficiently soak XP or recover from an embarrassing death, and always maintain awareness of what's going on where, and who needs your help the most critically. Your ability to get into a team fight quickly can often turn the tide of battle in your team's favour so always have eyes on where the skirmishes are happening.
Mastering Falstad's mobility can be quite taxing as it requires a very broad understanding of the overall state of the battle, but fighting with your friends is - thankfully - a good deal easier. Simply focus on staying alive while maximising use of Hammerang and Lightning Rod whenever they're available. Don't be too quick to fire off that delicious Hinterland Blast - wait for when you've got a nice line of enemies to obliterate, and ideally hold back until they've fallen foul of your team's crowd control measures as well.
If you've got a lot of experience with other Ranged Assassins then you should be able to slip into the role of Falstad pretty easily. The main element you need to master is that insane mobility, as it's such a defining aspect of this Hero's playstyle. Here are some general tips that should help you get more out of the character, starting with your very first match.
- Try to get in a good position to maximise the return on your Hammerang, particularly when it comes to minions. An extra second to line your shot up just so, and hit the most enemies, can really make a difference.
- Barrel Roll's good for both getting out of danger when a fight goes wrong, and for getting up close to a fleeing enemy. Just make sure you're not rolling your way into an ambush.
- Your Hammerang can be used to scope out areas like bushes, and it's good to get into the habit of using this Ability to scout out the area ahead for any stealthed enemy Heroes.
- As a general rule, try to keep your stacks of Seasoned Marksman at double the number of minutes passed in a match. It's a reasonably good barometer for making sure that awesome right-click attack is growing at a worthy rate as you progress through a match.
- Tempting though it may be to use Barrel Roll to greedily catch up to a weakened opponent, you should exercise a little discipline and keep it off cooldown for when you need an emergency escape mechanic of your own.
- Try to make the most of your Z skill. If your team need more firepower in a team fight, get over there quickly. If an enemy's about to approach and tap an objective, head over immediately and tap 'em up. Often, your most useful action with Flight will be to do something the team can't reliably get done in time themselves because of distance issues.
- Astute awareness of what's happening on the battlefield is a crucial part of mastering Falstad. If you know what's going on and where it's happening, you can make better decisions about the use of your zippy Flight skill. A skilled Falstad player can make a massive difference to the outcome of a match by consistently getting over to the right fight in good time.
- Try a little micro-movement in-between using your Basic Attacks, to ensure you're maintaing distance between you and the enemy, while not suffering any downtime on your precious and powerful right-click attack.
Battlefield of Eternity
- Your map-specific role on this map is pretty simple: use your great burst damage to help bring down the enemy Immortal as quickly as possible.
- The action can move around the map pretty fast, so make sure you have keen awareness of what's going on and where, and be ready to pounce with your amazing Flight ability.
- Flight is an incredibly useful ability in this map, as it allows you to race in quickly and start contesting those coin chests as soon as they appear.
- Use Falstad's solid damage output to finish off those bonus Doubloon camps as soon as they come off cooldown.
- Because of your rapid mobility advantage, it is not necessary to drop everything immediately and go racing off to gather the Tribute. Try to get as much XP out of the lane you're in before scooting off.
- Use Hammarang to interrupt an enemy Hero's attempt to take the Tribute. If necessary, just keep harassing in this way until the rest of your friends show up.
- Take the top or bottom lane on Dragon Shire - along with a friend - and be ready to take your nearest Dragon Shrine as soon as it pops. Another Hero should ideally take the Dragon Knight.
- Don't forget that you can use your rapid mobility skills to tap a Shrine, particularly if it's not actually being contested at the time.
- If the enemy team has the Dragon Knight, then get to the fight as quickly as you can. You have very strong burst damage to assist in bringing it down fast, but just watch out for the massive knockback.
- Use Hammarang to tap any nearby bushes when you're approaching a Shrine - you never know who's going to be hiding inside, and you'd rather have the heads-up.
Fightin' Cowboy's videos helped us out a huge amount while we were learning the game. The builds have changed with balance patches and shifting metagames, but the broad principles remain the same.
Falstad Abilities, Heroic Abilities and Traits - June 2016
There's a knack to getting the most out of Falstad's Abilities, and a little bit of practise goes a very long way towards playing the Hero to a much higher standard. Here's a quick look at how this character's combat model works.
Hammerang (Q)- Throw out a Hammer that returns to you, dealing 290 (138 + 4%) damage and slowing enemies by 25% for 2 seconds. Mana: 70, Cooldown: 10 seconds.
Lightning Rod (W)- Deal 235 (112 + 4% per level) to an enemy, and an additional 165 (78 + 4% per level) damage per second for 4.25 seconds if you remain close to the target. Mana: 70, Cooldown: 15 seconds.
Barrel Roll (E)- Dashes forward and grants a 375 (178 + 4% per level) point Shield for 3 seconds. Mana: 75, Cooldown: 14 seconds.
Mighty Gust (R)- Push enemies away and slow their Movement Speed by 60%, decaying over 5 seconds. Mana: 70, Cooldown: 60 seconds.
Hinterland Blast (R)- After a short delay, deal 1202 (498 + 4.75% per level) damage to enemies within a long line. Mana: 100, Cooldown: 120 seconds.
Tailwind- Gain 20% increased Movement Speed after not taking damage for 6 seconds.
Falstad counters and match-ups - June 2016
Before firing up a match it helps to make a note of who Falstad is both weak to and strong against in the overall roster of Heroes. It doesn't hurt to know the kind of character it's worth buddying up with when you're checking our your team list either.
Here's a quick look of how those match-ups currently look, according to the community-curated wisdom at HeroesCounters.
- Strong against- Chromie, Diablo, Leoric, ETC, Sylvanas
- Weak against- Zeratul, Nova, Muradin, Chen, Greymane
- Teams well with- ETC, Tyrael, Brightwing, Lt. Morales, Thrall
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