The Ex-Confederate Marshall has stood against whatever the universe can throw at him and survived. He stands as a bright beacon of hope among enigmatic aliens and monsters, still fighting for justice in a cold uncaring universe.
No single person has seen more in the StarCraft universe than Jim Raynor, who has personally witnessed the birth of the Zerg as a race while forging the first Terran alliance with the Protoss. He is a man of brutal honesty, and his sense of justice has since made him the guiding force of reason in the Korhal sector of space. Hunted by his own people for crimes he did not commit, he leads a motley crew of outcasts, criminals, and idealists as he tries to save the universe from itself. Now, he finds himself trapped within the void as the face of Heroes of the Storm as an assassin-type hero, and a player’s first introduction to the mechanics.
I mean no disrespect to Raynor or anyone who plays him, but he is for the most part the intended “newbie” hero of HoTs and is comparable to the Drow Ranger of Dota. Every ladder match will have a Raynor in it, which should come as no surprise as his range and abilities make him easy to learn for novice players. His passive trait, Adrenaline Rush, is an automatic heal for approximately a thousand points of health whenever Raynor dips below 30% health. And most of his talents are passive ones that add bonuses to his normal attack, but the few abilities he does have are impressive and make him a perfect fit on almost any team.
Generally speaking, I would recommend always selecting any talent that boosts his damage and range of his normal attack, with the only expectations being the ones that boost his Penetrating Round ability. This attack deals a high amount of damage as it pierces through targets (duh), while also pushing back any enemies that get too close. It is instantaneous and hard to dodge, and when fully buffed it can kill most of the squishier heroes under half health without a second thought.
Furthermore, Raynor has his Inspire ability that grants him and those around him a 15% bonus to attack speed and damage for eight seconds. Other heroes only receive half of this bonus, but there is no reason that this shouldn’t be on a constant cool-down when in a fight. Combined with Penetrating Rounds, Raynor can forcefully push a lane as he brings up allied creeps while keeping the enemy backed up against their towers.
Not only that, but Raynor is one of the few heroes who has two viable choices for heroic talents, with Hyperion and Raynor’s Raiders. Calling in the Raiders will summon two cloaked banshees that will autonomously follow you for a short period, attacking your target . Their damage scales reasonably well and if you are going for a more “assassin” type role, then they are the perfect choice for you. But if you are looking to further compliment the “pusher” role, Hyperion is the way to go as it summons down the massive battle cruiser to blanket the area with its plasma barrage. The Hyperion hangs around for 12 seconds and will force most enemy heroes to run away from the blast area while it destroys any buildings and creeps in its wake.
If you are still on the fence about giving Raynor a try then you’ll be happy to know that the ever-excellent Robert Clotworthy has returned to the role once again as the gruff space marine. Clotworthy has voiced Raynor for 15 years now, and his voice has since become as iconic as the character is.
Jimmy is a great starting hero and it isn’t a surprise that he is the tutorial character that every new player is required to play when starting the game for the first time. Blizzard has openly tossed around the idea of making him the only “free” character that is always available for players, and from where I sit that seems like a good call. Like all heroes in HotS, Raynor has multiple roles, but he excels as both a pusher and assassin. If left alone in a lane he can easily take it over and be knocking down on the enemy base within the ten minute mark.
And don’t worry, he always has one in the chamber.