HotS Character: Imperius
The Archangel of Valor and the leader of the Angiris Council, Imperius is the said to be the greatest warrior in the creation. Imperius wields a fierce spear known as Solarion, said to be forged in the heart of a dying sun. He takes the charge in battle and his fiery lust for vengeance knows no bounds. Merely facing him in battle itself is a challenge.
I’d like to start with a note. One of my favorite internet people, Carbot, did a take on Imperius. I remember I checked it back then but couldn’t remember how it was. So in the middle of this article I decided to watch it to make sure they aren’t too similar. I think his trait is pretty good. I wanted to have some unstoppable thing for him but thought it could be too powerful so went with Solarion. We did both go for a spear-pin-teleport mechanic, but you can appreciate this is sort of the thing anyone could think of with a character like Imperius (and especially if you watch Wrath.) Similarly we both did something that allows him to move across the battlefield but while Carbot chose an ultimate, mine was the mount ability. I was thinking of making his second ultimate like Bloodseeker from Dota, but I saw Carbot used it for Imperius and felt bad to use the same thing, so I changed it. But anyway, check his version out. Check everything from it while you are at it. Meanwhile, let me get back to the article:
My hero fantasy for Imperius is his presence in the field: He is fearsome. His enemies don’t want to face him. He is a great, scary warrior, sort of a Batman if Tyrael is Superman, or Punisher, if Tyrael is Daredevil. He’s relentless and you can not escape his wrath. And of course, a warrior becomes one with their weapon and Imperius wields Solarion to deadly effect.
Imperius is a melee warrior. His basic attack is with the spear, making a thrust motion and spewing forth flames, which is the connection point for the attack.
Trait-Mark of Solarion: Each melee attack and Valorous Throw leaves a damage over time effect that will only stop after 1 second after leaving Imperius’ line of sight.
Sample Quest Talent: Damage enemies with the mark dot 100 times. Reward: The time required for enemies to lose Mark of Solarion is increased by 0.5 seconds.
Sample Quest Talent: Keep an enemy marked for 10 seconds consecutively. Reward: Your basic attacks now gain a range increase with every hit. In animation, the range of the flames directed from Solarion will increase and his attack animation becomes a beam, similar to Tassadar.
Mount — Wings of Valor: Instead of riding mounts, Imperius flies. After not taking or delivering damage for 3 seconds, he gains a stacking 5% movement speed buff every second, increasing up to Junkrat’s rocket speed, reset on damage or using an ability or attack.
Talent: Imperius loses only half of the Wings of Valor stacks when he takes damage or uses an ability or attack. If speed bonus is at 15% or lower, it disappears completely. Imperius will always need 3 seconds to re-start receiving Wings of Valor after dealing or taking damage regardless of this talent. ie at 50%, you can attack, drop to 25%, wait 3 seconds out of combat, gain 5%, get damaged and drop to 15%, attack someone and all bonus will be gone. After 3 seconds out of combat, you start gaining stacks again.
Q - Valorous Throw: Imperius throws Solarion, damaging all enemies in a path for a very long distance (could go from fort to keep). The spear will be visible in the animation. If the spear meets a wall, it stops. If an enemy hero is “inside” the spear when it hits a wall, the hero will be pinned to that wall for 1.5 seconds. Furthermore, the target gets a Mark of Solarion.
Sample Quest Talent: Pin 10/20 heroes with Valorous Throw ability. Reward: Extra damage/Spear is longer and can pin multiple heroes.
W — Judgement of Vengeance: Imperius judge an enemy in close range with Solarion, marking the enemy, rooting both himself and the target on the ground for 3 second. He can not cast other abilities during this period, but he will be doing basic attacks. During this period, half the damage he receives will be reflected to the target. Damage received will reduce the cooldown of this skill. This ability can also be activated if Valorous Throw pins an enemy, and Imperius will instantly fly to the target and judge them.
Sample Quest Talent: Judge heroes 20 times following a Valorous Throw. Reward: When Judgement of Vengeance is used following a Valorous Throw, all enemies in close range to Imperius are judged.
E — Vengeful Fervor: Passively, Imperius has increased regeneration per target with Mark of Solarion. This ability can also be activated to remove all the Marks and heal Imperius for amount that increases per target with the Mark.
Sample Talent: If at least 2 heroes are marked when Imperius uses Vengeful Fervor, he becomes unstoppable for 0.75 seconds per marked hero.
R1 — The Heavenly Host: Imperius calls upon the Heavenly Host. 12 Angels will swoop upon the field and attack enemies, dealing medium damage over 1 second and slowing them by 70%. Each enemy will be targeted with an angel, starting from the closest one. If there are less than 12 targets, multiple angels will engage a single target (meaning all will descend upon a single target if cast on one enemy.) If multiple angels or on one target, only the damage is increased.
Sample L20 Talent: Angels summoned by the Heavenly Host deals less damage and the damage is now dealt over 3 seconds but roots the targets during the effect.
R2 — Wrath of the Archangel: For 5 seconds, Imperius has greatly increased attack speed, basic damage and spell power. Furthermore, he gains 10 armor for each enemy marked by Solarion. However, with each basic attack and ability used, he gains a frenzy stack. At the end of Wrath of the Archangel, Imperius takes damage proportionate to the amount of stacks he has. This damage by itself does not reduce Imperius below 1 hit points.
Sample L20 Talent: The end damage of Wrath of the Archangel is now spread evenly between Imperius and each target marked with Mark of Solarion.
Sample L20 Talent — Mark of the Host: Any allied unit now counts for keeping Mark of Solarion up.
Sample L20 Talent - Divine Pursuit: (Bolt of the storm variant) Teleport to an enemy target (slightly longer range than other BotS) and apply Mark of Solarion on all enemies.
Imperius will ideally want to mark as many targets as possible, but he can not run around marking enemies: He needs to pick his targets. He can use his Q to single out foes or protect his weaker allies being ambushed by predators. His W similarly can be used offensively or defensively. Squishy targets can be overwhelmed with the focus from Imperius allies and the directed damage on top. Another idea would be to use it against a tougher target to burst them a good deal. His E is similar to Dehaka’s heal. While he can regenerate a lot, it will take time to mark several targets in the heat of battle, so he needs to think about when to use it. Also, Imperius needs to keep in mind that his trait has no expiration time as long as the enemies are visible to him, meaning allies like Tassadar can make life very hard for enemies who want to visit a nearby bush to drop Mark of Solarion. The Heavenly Host can either be used to control the battlefield with a sudden slow or burst a single enemy down and a good Imperius will use the rest of his kit to isolate the targets he wants. Wrath of the Archangel can be a great finisher but lacking any real escape tools, Imperius either needs to be conservative with his offense or make sure he has a healer nearby: Diving into the enemy team without support will only get him killed.
Honestly, I’m not sure if this is the perfect kit for Imperius, but I think there are a couple cool ideas here. Once again, I encourage you to watch Carbot’s video on him as well. As usual, I’m more than happy to hear any thoughts or feedback.