Artesia just came out, and after playing a few games with her I am prepared to risk embarrassing myself after a few weeks by saying that she's pretty mediocre. I will preface this by saying that there's a good chance I'm completely wrong about this. I often scold people for sharing opinions about Heroes that aren't out yet, or Heroes that literally just came out the same day. With that in mind, I could just be stupid. But alas, in the few games I've played with Artesia, I spent most of the time wondering to myself: "Why am I playing this Hero and not Torturer?". So here you go, my top 5 Reasons why Torturer can replace Artesia on my team any day:
Torturer can Farm better
This might surprise you but Artesia is more of a Carry than a Ganker. Really, her role is almost identical to Torturer (with some small exceptions which I will get into later)- she's a semi-carry that can also (apparently) Gank. Despite not having any direct scaling factors besides the fact that he can literally turn Mana into damage, Torturer excels (in addition to other factors) because he can farm well. His area of affect damage makes clearing both large creepwaves and double/tripple stacked creeps easy. Artesia, in comparison, is completely lackluster. Her Q deals damage in a small area of effect, but in order to hit multiple targets realistically you have to have them literally standing in front of you, ideally attacking you. Being able to farm up a lot of Gold if you are playing a relatively item dependent Hero (like Torturer or Artesia) is going to be hard when this is already a challenge.
Torturer can Push
In addition to (in my opinion) eclipsing Artesia in every way, Torturer also sports the ability to Push. When you first think about it, it seems unfair, like I'm comparing apples to oranges. But really, since Torturer can already do literally almost everything better than Artesia, it seems like a fair comparison. Being able to deal tons of damage to Towers with a non-ultimate ability is huge, something I don't think I need to tell anyone because Torturer has been around for ages.
Torturer has a Stun and no Skillshots
Artesia doesn't have a stun. Not even a mini-stun. This instantly puts her in a difficult place when ganking, because if I see her coming I can just TP away. S2 has gotten a lot of flack for putting stuns and mini-stuns on a lot of Heroes, but honestly, it almost seems unfair thee days to make a ganker/carry that doesn't have some sort of stun. The only other Hero that functions this way is Blood Hunter, and we all know how great he is. A long time ago, in a place called DotA, Torturer's Stun was hard to land. Combined with a very long casting animation and incredibly small AoE, Leshrac's Q was (and to my understanding still is) a skillshot. Torturer's Q, on the otherhand, is not. The ability has been nerfed many times but next to Leshrac's stun it's still the size of Texas. It isn't hard to land. Q aside, all of Torturer's abilities require 0 skill to land, contrary to Artesia. Artesia's Q is technically not a hard ability to hit- it basically locks on to your target. The problem arises with the fact that it can hit creeps, basically making Heroes that are standing next to creeps extremely difficult to hit. Additionally, Heroes with summonable minions like Wildsoul, Balphagore, Keeper, etc, are all extremely difficult to chase down when they can just place their minions in your way. This technically wouldn't be too big of a deal if Artesia's Q was the only real damaging ability she has. E's damage is negligible, and hinges on the fact that the enemy is near me, which is obviously not always the case.
Artesia is an inferior Teamfighter
Artesia has a huge potential damage output- this I cannot deny. Using your ultimate combined with all the charges on Q after using W produces huge amounts of damage- but the problem is that this never really happens because it's ridiculously hard to pull off. First of all, Artesia has to channel her W ability to even begin fighting. In late-game teamfights, the damage W puts out through E is laughable- it's barely even worth mentioning. So basically, after I drop my R, I begin channeling my W which does nothing. Through playing Voodoo Jester we all know how hard it is to keep a channeling ability up a teamfight- which is why he is rewarded so greatly for every second it stays up. Same with Tempest ult. All channeling abilities in HoN tend to reward the player greatly because they're so difficult to maintain. In a teamfight, Artesia's W grants her negligible regen and negligible damage. By the time I've started channeling W, Torturer could have already rolled his head around on the keyboard and produced more than I will through the entire fight. After I'm (hypothetically) done safely channeling my W, I can begin shooting Q. Problem is, since my ult is stationary, half my damage is probably going into creeps. The Area of Effect is not very large and I can't exactly steer the projectiles, so there's no real guarantee they will hit properly. I've basically just spent 3 seconds channeling to be able to output less damage and effects than a hero like Torturer.
Torturer and Artesia share almost the same Stats
You might think because of all these natural disadvantages, Artesia might have a lot more INT or STR gain than Torturer. This isn't the case. All their stat gains are almost the same, Artesia only sports 0.3 more STR gain than Tort, with 19 Starting Strength over his 18. Their INT is 100% identical and Torturer actually features (a lot) more agility than Artesia for some reason. Additionally, for some reason, Artesia is also slower than Torturer. I guess the idea here was that since Torturer needs to be near his enemies to deal damage he could use higher movespeed to catch them- but really, what is that worth when Torturer has an AoE stun to easily get close to people. Artesia can only run into the lane guns blazing and hope that her 15% slow will be enough to kill the enemy before they make it to the tower. Also, Torturer has 600 range while Artesia, for some reason, only has 525.
Concluding, I feel like Artesia is pretty weak right now. It feels like there are Heroes that can do what she does and better. She doesn't really excel in the early game as a Ganker as I thought she might, but her Lategame isn't much better either. In addition to dealing comparable damage to Torturer, Artesia's damage is 100% Magical, making her especially weak to Shrunken Heads later in the game. Torturer wins out here again, having at least 1 ability which deals Physical damage. Let's not forget that Artesia is a Hero that has to cast a lot of smaller spells to be effective, a playstyle that is dangerous because it's easily countered by Heroes like Vindicator.
If I had to buff Artesia right now I'd probably:
- Increase the AoE of her Q's damage by about 50.
- Increase her Movespeed by about 10 MS.
- Increase the damage of Arcane Bolts to at least 100 damage at rank 4.
But of course it's only the first day and we have yet to see anyone play Artesia to her full potential. As usual, it's a waiting game and we'll all just have to see if I'm right or not- hopefully I'm wrong.