Life’s hard for a medic.
This is especially true for Lt. Rosa Morales, Heroes of the Storm’s newest heroine. It’s hard because as one of the most dedicated support heroes in the game, success and victory are often farther apart than they are for other characters. But stick with Morales through the bad times, when you feel as though you could have done everything you could and still lose, and she promises to be one of the most rewarding characters in the roster.
Winning without hurting
Morales is a support hero because she empowers and protects her teammates more than she hurts the enemy. Only one of her abilities, her Displacement Grenade, deals damage. Her others are a little more subtle in the ways they help her team win, and most of them take some practice to use effectively. She has a healing beam similar to Team Fortress 2’s Medic, which she can reroute from ally to ally instantly; she can cast a shield on a teammate and prevent them from taking damage, which is useful in a pinch but not all that flashy. Her two Heroic abilities, Stim Drone and Medivac, amp up another hero and give you a near-instant escape or ambush mechanism, respectively, but deal no damage on their own.
Because most of her abilities focus on helping her team, she doesn’t have a good way to push the line of scrimmage closer to the enemy or take map objectives alone. She’ll often act as a “backpack” for other heroes, keeping them alive and boosting their damage output. This forces her to trust her teammates and hope they’ll carry the load and ensure victory.
Using the buddy system
If you’re playing by yourself with random teammates, this doesn’t happen as often as it should. You don’t get to see your team’s picks in Heroes of the Storm’s regular matchmaking until the fight starts, which means you could end up on a team without a great hero to follow around. These tend to be Assassin-class heroes like Raynor, Illidan, and The Butcher. Morales also loves making sure aggressive heroes like Sonya or Muradin don’t have to worry about the consequences of jumping into the middle of a fight, since she can follow them in and make sure they survive long enough to win. Not having a hero like this on your team gimps Morales’ effectiveness in combat, and it’s frustrating to lose a game because you didn’t luck into the right combination of heroes.
It’s also frustrating to play a game as well as you could have still suffer defeat. In hectic fight, a good Morales player will have to constantly assess and reassess who needs healing and protection (it’s not always the person with the lowest health), since her healing beam doesn’t have a cooldown and is more effective the longer a fight lasts.
She has to be at the right place at the right time, every time, and this includes playing keepaway with enemies who might want to target her first (which they should), and keeping an eye on the map to watch for ambushes. See two red enemy icons approaching a blue one on the minimap? Time to make an emergency rescue with the Medivac, one which you yourself might not survive. Still, you can do everything right, mitigate and heal up more than the enemy team’s supports and still lose. And it’s more frustrating than losing as, say, Sylvanas, because you can feel powerless even after your best performance. You can only do so much when your allies refuse to walk towards you during a fight or rush relentlessly towards again after you’ve saved them.
But you learn a little bit with each loss, and you shouldn’t measure your ability by your win-loss record. It’s likely that she’s meant to played in a more team-oriented or professional environment. With the right team, Morales can feel ridiculously overpowered. I can’t count the number of times I’ve managed to heal up an ally whom the enemy team had caught out for a sure kill, only for us to turn the fight around and score the kill instead. Morales depends on her team as much as it depends on her; if it’s dysfunctional, she will most likely fail. If five strangers have decided to actually work together, she’ll flourish.
Lt. Morales is one of Heroes of the Storm’s most potent heroes, but it might not show at first. It’s going to take some practice how to position yourself in fights, how to prioritize which ally to heal, and when to use her Medivac. But if you play with friends or stumble upon the right team, there’s no greater joy then going an entire match without losing a teammate, steamrolling the enemy team in a single, long-winded push, then having your teammates thank you. That’s what a medic likes to hear.