Written and Edited by: Casey Lightford
Cho: “The pathetic wretches of this new realm already fear me.”
Gall: “They should! So many souls for me to harness!”
These are the first words uttered from Cho’Gall, a two-headed monstrosity. This horrid Ogre Mage first appeared in the real-time strategy (RTS) game called Warcraft II. From there, Cho’Gall attacked players from all reaches of the world in the massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) World of Warcraft: Cataclysm. Now, we see Cho’Gall work as a team to defeat heroes from Blizzard’s forefront in the multiplayer online battle arena-like (MOBA) game called Heroes of the Storm.
Cho’Gall is the first hero, champion, god, or whatever MOBA-term you see fit, that requires two people to control them; never has this been done! After watching Blizzcon 2015, I did not know what to expect from this interesting duo. For players to control a complicated hero, they need to have the best communication skills to reach Cho’Gall’s full-potential. Their reconnaissance dives into the Nexus (a powerful trans-dimensional storm that Blizzard created to clash their universes together) to destroy their enemies with ease.
Cho‘Gall falls into different categories of reconnaissance that I will discuss. Each observation is clearly seen by the way they move, use abilities, and strategize together.
Cho’s Specailty: Exploration
Cho takes the role as a melee-warrior hero. His brutish strength can bulldoze opponents and destroy low-health heroes. Every hero has abilities and talents they earn throughout any given match. Cho’s abilities are Surging Fist (Q), Consuming Blaze (W), Rune Bomb (E), and Upheaval or Hammer of Twilight (R).
Cho specifically falls under “exploration” because the player controlling him conducts movement around the map; wherever Cho goes, Gall must follow. Cho is the transportation that travels to uncharted territory. If an enemy hero is nearly dead, it is up to Cho to close the distance. If Cho is nearly dead, running away may be the best choice of action. Luckily, some of Cho’s abilities are perfect for exploring the battlefield.
Cho’s Surging Fist temporarily slows him as he charges into the direction given by the player. This ability can deal damage to enemies heroes or help Cho retreat. Both uses of this ability are formidable pieces of Cho’Gall’s movement and exploration around the map.
Every hero also has their heroic abilities. Cho’s heroic abilities, Upheaval and Hammer Twilight, can be used offensively or defensively. Upheaval pulls enemies behind Cho’Gall that damages and slows them. Hammer of Twilight has Cho swinging a giant hammer at close-range to deal damage to enemies, pushes them away, and stuns for .75 seconds. Both abilities transport enemies to different locations which is uncharted territory for them; an opposition of exploration that could mean death. If either heroic ability is executed correctly, it gives Cho and his teammates time to decide if they should run or fight.
Gall’s Specialty: Survey
Gall is a range-assassin hero that surveys the battlefield. He controls like no other hero since he is only a head attached to Cho. Instead, the player only needs to control Gall’s abilities; Shadowflame (Q), Dread Orb (W), Runic Blast (E), and Twisting Nether or Shadow Bolt Volley (R).
The entire time Cho is moving around the map, it opens up new possibilities for Gall. His main goal is to survey and react. Shadowflame and Dread Orb are two specific abilities that help Gall with this. Both abilities are great for discovering enemy heroes in hidden terrain, behind walls, and cloaking. Also, he possess a talent (that no one ever uses) called Eye of Kilrogg which places a giant eye-ball on the field, granting vision to a large area around it for 45 seconds.
Like Cho, Gall has two heroic abilities that help in this specific category. Twisting Nether slows enemies surrounding Cho’Gall by 40% for 5 seconds. If Gall activates the ability again, it will detonate, dealing a powerful area of effect (AOE). This ability works great with enemies within close proximity to Cho’Gall and must be activated based on the location of enemies heroes. The closer the enemy is, the better chance this will kill them. Gall’s other heroic ability, Shadow Bolt Volley, fires bolts of energy for nearly 4 seconds in a movable, straight line that deals a lot of damage when focused on the enemy. If enemy heroes are out-of-sight or hidden, this is a great way to reveal their location as well as clean up in teamfights.
Cho’Gall’s Teamwork: Investigation and Observation
Cho’Gall has to work together to accomplish the next piece of reconnaissance; their investigation. This category is similar to surveying, but Cho’Gall is actively searching for enemy heroes instead. Both heroes share their Rune Bomb and Blast (E) ability. Cho activates the Rune by rolling this enormous bomb in a straight path and Gall finishes it off by detonating it. Along the Rune’s path, Cho’Gall is able to see enemy heroes and minions which reveals more vision once detonated.
The teamwork behind the Rune Bomb and Blast needs to be synchronized. If Cho throws the Rune in the wrong direction or Gall detonates too early, this investigation tool does not work well. Comparative, spamming the Rune may be productive too for damage-sake, yet incorporating teamwork is what Cho’Gall is all about. Once Cho’s Rune Bomb is ready to throw it again, it benefits the two heroes and their team if thrown towards locations where the enemy could be hiding. The better investigation skills Cho’Gall has, the easier the match will be.
The final piece to Cho’Gall’s reconnaissance has them working separately to observe. Both heads have two observation abilities that can benefit one another as well as the team. Cho’s Consuming Blaze (W) ability ignites nearby enemies dealing damage over time and grants health regeneration. Not only does Cho act as the transportation, but also the lifeblood. Cho’Gall has 3687 health points, the most health compared to any hero. Cho must observe their health and uses this ability every time enemies are near. The higher the health of Cho’Gall, the longer they can fight. However, if both heroes fall, it counts as two team deaths which can result in a loss in close matches. Below is a clip from my favorite streaming Chu8. He is easily one of the best Heroes of the Storm players out there and this video shows an excellent demonstration of Cho’Gall being used effectively.
As mentioned earlier, there are abilities that can help Cho run away when his hit points are low though. He must observe his surroundings when it comes to health management. If there is a support hero on the team that can provide health regeneration or shields, how close are they to Cho? If there are health regeneration water fountains at the base, what is the distance Cho must travel to reach one? Being an observant Cho helps his counterpart survive and conquer their foes.
Gall’s observant ability is called Dread Orb (W), which is great for surveying as mentioned earlier. Gall hurls a liquid bomb that bounces three times dealing damage. The Orb can reach long distances and change based on different talents. The best way to use Dread Orb is after observing the enemy movements. If Gall notices that the enemy hero runs in a zigzag pattern, throwing the Orb while predicting their movement could result in a lot of damage.
Yes, Gall can spam his Dread Orb ability that might have a slightly similar outcome, but observing enemies closely will yield better results. If an enemy hero has a sliver of health, observing that enemy hero gives Gall a more likely chance to obliterate the enemy hero instead of letting them run away.
There are no heroes like Cho’Gall and may never be in another MOBA-type game. The fact that two human players must control this tremendous force creates teamwork never seen before. They cannot act separate, instead act as one. Heroes of the Storm is about teamwork and the confidence each player controlling Cho’Gall must bestow in each other is massive.
Analyzing heroes through their reconnaissance can show strengths and weaknesses. Even though each hero is designated specific abilities, their talents also help shape those abilities. I touched little on talents since everyone should have a choice in creating their own hero. The abilities are there to guide the player, and to unlock a hero’s true potential takes practice and creativity. Cho’Gall are the heroes I never knew I wanted in Heroes of the Storm and I cannot wait to see what Blizzard releases next.