Lieutenant Morales, aka Medic, aka the portable healing fountain, is currently the most fragile Support hero in the game. However, if left unattended she can make her team impossible to kill due to the massive amount of healing she can provide. This hero guide will provide you with some tips on how to increase Lt. Morales' survivability as well as maximizing the amount of healing you can provide to your team.
Zagara, Nova, a hydralisk and two roachlings could not burst through the healing output of Lt. Morales
7 Habits of Highly Effective Medics
1. Saving your Safeguard (W) and Displacement Grenade (E) for Emergencies
The first thing you have to remember is that Lt. Morales has to die if the enemy team wants to have any chance of winning the team fight. Therefore, it pays to make this as difficult for your enemy as possible. Make sure you have Safeguard (W) available if the enemy team decides to dive hard for you. It will buy you enough time to reposition as well as give your team a chance to peel away the enemies. There will be times when you have to use Safeguard on an ally, but for the most part your Healing Beam (Q) will be enough to keep them alive. The same principle applies to your Displacement Grenade (E). You want to make sure that you have the grenade available whenever you need to knock back any enemy heroes that decide to dive for you. Avoid using your grenade as a poking tool. Not only is it a waste of mana to poke with the grenade, but you are also giving up your best ability to disengage from enemies who try to engage you. Overall, Safeguard and Displacement Grenade should only be used for emergencies. For the most part, you should trust in the power of your healing beam
2. Make sure your teammates are healthy, but not full health.
There is no need to fully heal your teammates. This is one trap that new Medic players will fall for and they will end up having severe mana issues. As Lt. Morales you always want to make sure that your teammates are able to get value from their passive healing over time. This is especially important during team fights where you should be constantly changing targets with your Healing Beam to keep your team healthy. The few seconds you waste by trying to top off one teammate's health can lead to the death of a different teammate. Healing up to 75% health for squishy heroes (e.g., Jaina, Kael'thas) and 50% health for tanky heroes (e.g., Muradin, Johanna) is usually enough to keep them alive so that you can target someone else with your Healing Beam.
3. Positioning, Positioning, Positioning
Stay as far away as you can from the front line! If you need to heal someone on the front line, you should channel your Healing Beam on them and immediately reposition a little bit further back. The channel range on the Healing Beam is longer than the cast range so you actually have a bit of wiggle room before the Healing Beam untethers from your target. Even though you might be very diligent with staying behind the front line one hero you should watch for is Kerrigan. A good Kerrigan will take advantage of your front liners as a way to get you in range of her deadly pull + stun combo (Primal Grasp + Impaling Blades). The moment you see Kerrigan jump your front line you have to react very quickly and get away from the Kerrigan combo range.
The Healing Beam will only untether from Artanis after he returns from his Blade Dash
4. Dodge skillshots
As Lt. Morales you are not really doing anything too demanding in terms of hero control aside from making sure that your Healing Beam is on the right target. This means that you should have plenty of mouse clicks or APM left to be consistently dodging skillshots that can root or stun you in place. As Lt. Morales you should never be stationary, keep on moving and make it that much harder for your opponents to target you. See Storm Legacy's Dodging Skillshots: Timing & Technique for a more detailed article on the subject.
5. Get out of combat and use your trait (Caduceus Reactor)
Take every opportunity that the enemy gives you to use your trait. You are the primary target on your team so prioritize getting yourself to full health over healing your allies to full health. Like a healing fountain you are a very easy target, but if you make it as difficult as possible for the other team to kill you then your team will likely win the team fight. Having full health as often as possible is one very important habit to have as Lt. Morales.
6. Follow your teammates, forget about clearing lanes.
Is your team not soaking a lane? Do you want to make sure that you are getting maximum XP gain throughout the early game so that you don't fall behind in levels? If you were Jaina the answer would be simple, stay and soak the lane or you could even rotate around the map to soak multiple empty lanes that your team has forgotten about. However, as Lt. Morales you have the worst set of abilities for clearing a wave. Simply put, your effectiveness plummets to zero when you try to solo soak a lane. It is best to just communicate to your team that you cannot solo a lane so that someone can join you and you can make use of your sustain focused abilities. If your lane partner(s) leaves a lane follow them and ask someone else to cover the empty lane.
7. Hearthstone, Hearthstone, Hearthstone
Your team just wiped out the enemy team and you have about 50% mana left after the fight. Should you tap the Healing Fountain or just Hearthstone? Most of the time the answer is to just Hearthstone back to your base. Get full mana this way and save your Healing Fountain cooldown for when you really need it. After winning a decisive team fight your team will be pushing lanes or capturing camps and Lt. Morales adds very little value in any of those tasks anyways so it's best to just get full mana from your base.
Building to Survive
When building Lt.Morales' Talent tree you have to think about three things: survivability, ability to disengage an enemy and mana efficiency. Finding the balance between staying alive and making sure you have enough mana can be tough to manage if you do not maximize the synergy between her Talent options. Rather than just give you a Talent build to copy and try when playing Lt. Morales, I'd like to go through the thought process behind building her to be as annoying and difficult to kill as possible.
1. Level 1 & 16 Synergy
There are two possible routes you can take when maximizing the synergy between Lt. Morales' Level 1 and Level 16 Talents. The first route is what I like to call the “mana build”. The mana build consists of taking Feedback Loop at Level 1 and Shield Sequencer at Level 16. Shield Sequencer actually stacks with the effect of Feedback Loop allowing you to have a net gain of mana after casting two shields (i.e., spend 60 mana, cast two shields, gain 90 mana = net gain of 30 mana). The second route is the “Super Safeguard build” where you take Prolonged Safeguard on Level 1 and Inoculation at Level 16. This buffs up your Safeguard (W) so that it becomes super effective at reducing any burst damage coming your way in order to give your team time to react appropriately. Now you might ask, why not Trauma Trigger at Level 1? For one Trauma Trigger only applies to you and it is also untalented which means you lose out on the synergy at Level 16. Secondly, Trauma Trigger only activates if you reach 50% and a Lt.Morales that is at half health is very easy to take down with or without the Safeguard.
2. Level 4, 7 & 20
At level 4, 7 and 20 the options are clear if your goal is to boost Lt. Morales' survivability. Advanced Block at Level 4 is great against heavy hitting auto attackers that can easily engage you like The Butcher. Clear! at Level 7 is great for disengaging if the enemy team manages to flank and engage you directly. Finally, at Level 20 you could opt for the Storm Shield or the Caduceus Reactor 2.0 depending on whether your team needs more sustain or if it's just you that the enemy team is primarily targeting. I personally prefer Caduceus Reactor 2.0 just because it's nice to have the extra shields every time your trait is active. I find that the Healing Beam and the Safeguard is usually enough to keep my team alive so that Storm Shield is not always necessary.
3. Level 13: Couples Therapy vs Spell Shield
Both Couples Therapy and Spell Shield at Level 13 helps you stay alive as Lt. Morales but you have to decide which one is more suitable against the enemy team composition. Couples Therapy has the obvious advantage of being able to heal yourself as long as your Healing Beam is tethered onto an ally. However, Couples Therapy is not particularly great against enemy compositions that can cast successive stuns preventing you from tethering your Healing Beam onto an ally to heal yourself up. Also, even though the Healing Beam itself can sustain against burst damage, the heal you get out of Couples Therapy is only 25% of the Healing beam itself which makes it weaker against burst damage. This is where Spell Shield comes in. Spell Shield is often my personal go to talent at Level 13 as long as I mind my positioning and avoid having the Spell Shield activated by a low damage spell like Jaina's Frostbolt. Spell Shield is also helpful if you ever find yourself chain stunned and you need the extra few seconds to survive so that you can get out of the stun and use your grenade to disengage.
4. Heroic abilities: Stim Drone vs Medivac Dropship
One trick that all Lt. Morales players should know is making use of the Medivac as a way to escape from a heavy dive from the enemy. The Medivac is not just for long distance travel, you can use it to disengage from a Kerrigan or The Butcher who is diving directly at you. Just keep in mind that if you do hop into the Medivac, your team will be missing their Support for a short period of time leaving your other squishy teammates very easy to kill. On the other hand, Stim Drone is also great for drawing fire away from yourself. A Raynor or Valla with Stim Drone can be such a huge threat to the enemy such that the enemy might be forced to turn their attention away from you and towards the hero with Stim Drone. If you are solo queueing or even duo queuing in Hero League I suggest taking Stim Drone over the Medivac Dropship. The Medivac Dropship is not a bad Heroic Ability, but in order to get maximum effectiveness it requires good communication and team play, something that you might not always have in Hero League.
Raynor with Stim Drone shredding through Thrall and Muradin
When to Draft Lt. Morales: General Principles
We have gone through some tips for maximizing Lt. Morales' survivability and healing potential. It is now time to go through general principles for when you should draft Lt. Morales. These principles are not set in stone and your judgment based on what your team needs is still very much required when drafting. Rather these general principles are here to guide your thought process when thinking about drafting Lt. Morales.
1. Game Length and Frequency of Small Skirmishes
In general Lt. Morales excels when the game gets to the late game. Level 13, 16 and 20 are all power spikes for Lt. Morales in terms of boosting her ability to stay alive. On the other hand, Lt. Morales can sometimes have a hard time keeping up when there are a lot of small skirmishes in the early game. In particular, Dragon Knight can be difficult for Lt. Morales due to the constant 2v2 shrine skirmishes in the early game. The most effective way to get around this problem in Dragon Knight is to convince your team to have a 4 hero rotating gank squad while one person solo soaks the top lane. This solution is effective since a 4v4 will have 3 heroes protecting Lt. Morales while a 2v2 will only have one hero to peel for her.
2. Team Compositions
The decision to draft Lt. Morales also depends on what your teammates pick and what the enemy team composition looks like. Lt. Morales combined with a strong front line makes it very difficult for the enemy to engage her safely. True tanks like Johanna and E.T.C. are excellent for disrupting the enemy as they try to converge on Lt. Morales. Lt. Morales also adds more value on your team if she has a good target for Stim Drone. Ranged auto attackers with a high attack speed like Raynor and Valla are the perfect targets for Stim Drone. Finally, when it comes to team composition synergy, an off-Support hero like Tassadar or Tyrande can help Lt. Morales survive through burst damage. Lt. Morales, however, tend to be weak against chain stun compositions as well as heroes who can silence her. I highly recommend going on Try Mode to see the range of the following spells in order to give yourself the time and space to dodge them: Powerslide (E.T.C), Wailing Arrow (Sylvannas), Polymorph (Brightwing) and Octograb (Murky).
One final advice when playing as Lt. Morales is to have Quickcast turned on or set to "on release". This makes it very easy to switch targets with the Healing Beam which can sometimes be crucial during team fights. Having Quickcast turned on can sometimes make it hard to land a precise Displacement Grenade when you are trying to disengage from an enemy. The grenade's travel path is very narrow, so just take your time when casting it to ensure that you push away your intended target. Thank you for reading Storm Legacy's Lt.Morales Hero Guide. With this guide and some practice your teammates will soon be begging you to play Lt. Morales for the team.
Everybody Loves Morales