Stitches is a gross looking abomination from the Warcraft universe. In Heroes of the Storm he plays as a high health isolation tank with the ability to spread poison all over the place. Stitches win rate hasn’t been great lately but he still excels in the right team and is often the best warrior choice for a team looking to roam and gank or isolate key targets. There is a few ways you can play this hero as I will highlight below but if you would like to check out the basics on Stitches head on over to the BlizzPro hero page located here.
Vile Gas – (Passive Trait) I think this passive is very important to Stitches ability to impact a team fight especially in the late game. The possibility the damage from vile gas can secure a kill that would have otherwise gotten away is not to be ignored. Putting yourself in the thick of things to make sure that gas is spreading is key especially during fights that take place on top of objectives.
Hook – (Q) This will make or break a good Stitches player. No skill is more important in defining whether the team is constantly fearful or if they just laugh at your hero and give you no respect. The traps that can be set, especially with teammates like Malfurion and Nazeebo, are very important as well. Stitches is a specialized hero that plays very well with certain heroes. Get your planning down for something like Hook, into Butcher’s stun, into Tyrande’s mark/stun and the enemies will be shaking in their boots. Even if you’re just rolling solo Stitches though hook will be the most important tool in your kit so LAND YOUR HOOKS.
Slam – (W) Just a large arcing AOE damage ability. It’s good especially in clumped areas and I often like to talent into it applying stacks of Vile Gas as well. Don’t be afraid to spam this one a bit during the lane phase or team fights just to make Stitches presence know.
Devour – (E) This close range ability does quite the chunk of damage while restoring almost 20% of your maximum health. The large 20 second cooldown mean I will often hold it for use on enemy heroes unless I’m really desperate for the health.
Putrid Bile – This heroic is insanely good in changing the landscape, literally, of a big team fight especially on objectives. This can often lead to an overall slow of the other team while giving Stiches and his team the ability to weave through enemy team and damage priority targets. The damage combined with your Vile Gas is also very effective at scaring enemies off an are you want to make clear belongs to Stitches and his team.
Gorge – This ability has lost it’s luster and most people are prepared for what it does. A good Stitches player will be able to isolate targets from far away with Hook so wasting your heroic pick on something that does the same thing except at close range seems silly to me. The disruption of a tank walking away from the front lines to spit an enemy out away from their team isn’t a huge benefit save for a few situations. Gorge is a very fun ability but pales in comparison to the effectiveness of Putrid Bile.
Hungry for More – Grabbing health globes is the key here. You can collect quite a lot on certain maps and not so many on others. The extra health is a big boon so if you’re playing a map where globe gathering is easy, like Tomb of the Spider Queen, Hungry for More should be the choice. If you’re playing a map where globes don’t comes as free, like Battlefield of Eternity, Dampen Magic is a great skill for keeping Stitches alive. If you don’t feel surviving will be an issue then Heavy Slam isn’t a terrible choice either.
Putrid Ground – I’ve always loved the utility this talent provides for Stitches. Being able to Slam the enemy team while simultaneously applying Vile Gas is very disruptive to the enemies. This is a great skill for those objective team fights where the teams are almost forced to clump up a bit, like on Infernal Shrines for example. Some people prefer Amplified Healing, which isn’t bad, but I often feel like its over kill. Stitches already has the ability to up his max health and regen through this build while also possessing a skill that can heal 20% of his max health. I find if my support is even somewhat present I have an easy time staying alive as Stitches.
Savor the Flavor – The permanent Health regen is a late game investment that you need to start making as soon as you take this skill. Technically per minute you can add 6 health regen per second with this skill meaning in a perfect world 10 minutes after you take this skill Stitches is regenerating 60 health per second. Obviously that is not going to be the case 99% percent of the time but getting somewhere between 20-30 isn’t out of the question and that’s only 10 minutes later. If the game goes long Savor the Flavor can make Stitches almost impossible to finish off. The reason i don’t like the popular Tenderizer pick at 7 is because the slow you get from Putrid Bile is much more effective and can hit the whole team. The impact Tenderizer has is minimal because Stitches is all about Isolation or making team fights annoying for the enemy. If you get a hero isolated with a Hook your team should have no problem blowing them up without Tenderizer. In a team fight, especially in the late game, Stitches job is to occupy space and make the enemy pay for fighting on your territory. Spreading gas and bile while slowing the enemy require you to be in the thick of things so the extra Regen you get from Savor the Flavor can really make that happen.
Putrid Bile – See the Heroic Abilities section
Indigestion – This level is wide open and I only take Indigestion if I’m not worried about the enemies crowd control effects. I probably go with Relentless more often than I use Indigestion but the extra damage and vile poison is nice. Some people enjoy using Helping Hand to help save their teammates from certain disaster. I’ve seen some amazing plays made with Helping Hand but I don’t think those opportunities present themselves enough to justify Helping Hand.
Fishing Hook – The extra range is a big deal for landing some amazing hooks to punish the enemy team late. If you can make a fight 4v5 late game the enemy is often forced to retreat or fight at a sever disadvantage and Fishing Hook can make that happen. If the plays for hook haven’t presented themselves in a game for whatever reason I will just take Stoneskin and try to be a big nuisance for the enemy team.
Regenerative Bile – The healing and extra duration and movement speed can be the big difference maker for use of Bile. At this point the power of this build is controlling space and looking to isolate. Regenerative Bile will help with those two strategies while also keeping Stitches alive. If the enemy team has employed the strategy of retreating from bile ground then re-engaging after the duration wears off then you should probably take Hardened Shield here so you can bait out some skills and stay in the fight.
Early game is dependent on what your team is going for. If you are looking to roam and set traps early then Stitches will need to be a part of that roaming squad. The important part will be needing to hit his Hooks to ensure kills are secured. If you are just going to lane as Stitches then collect globes and harass the enemy. Don’t be afraid to bait some close range trading against other melee heroes then surprise them with a Devour. Your main goal will be to not die while collecting as many globes as possible. Also if you hit 7 and still find yourself in lane because of the map then make sure to hit the enemy with as many Devours as you can without dying.
Once you move to mid and late game the team fights will be hot and heavy. Stitches needs to be in the middle of these fights spreading bile and gas. This will free your team up to prioritize the enemy threats and take them down. This is easier for your team to accomplish because the enemies will be covered with slows and damage over time effects. Stitches is a giant body that can survive and get in heroes faces so play him like that. If you’re going to die during a team fight make sure that it’s because your team is going to get a favorable trade. If the enemy isn’t afraid of focusing Stitches completely during team fights you may need to adjust your strategy. Play safer during the engages and when you get to 16 and/or 20 take the defensive talents(Stoneskin and Hardened Shield). Try to force the enemy off of your space at all times and when they retreat hit a big time Hook and put them at an even greater disadvantage. Remember to use the Zone control your Bile and Gas provide so that the enemy is constantly forced to fight at a disadvantage or retreat.
Stitches overall is a hero that fits on certain teams and can be very annoying when used properly. I feel strongly about this build and encourage people stuck playing Stitches the old way to give it a try. No other warrior hero offers the kind of space control, damage over time effects, long range combos, and team wide slows that Stitches can and those strengths should be employed. I hope you were able to learn something new and enjoyed the guide. Feel free to leave any feed back or comments below and look for another guide next week.