Take one for the team with the latest addition to the Heroes of Newerth roster: Martyr

Lucas Sullivan

Let's face it: death is a part of any MOBA. Be you pro or nub, making a worthwhile contribution to your team means at some point, your HP is bound to drop to 0, and you'll have to wait patiently back in the base. S2 Games knows all too well how much dying can affect a match—but what if dying for the good of the team was part of a hero's strategy? Say hello to Martyr, a support hero in the truest sense who puts teammates before his Kill/Death ratio. Check out the Spotlight video above, then check out his ability list, complete with actual numbers!

As you can see, the Martyr is all about putting the well-being of his allies before his own, and dying as the Martyr isn't necessarily a bad thing if you're sparing a teammate's life. With such little offensive capabilities, Martyr will have a rough time killing enemies when he's alone—but position him in the back of a teamfight, and you'll have enemies wondering why their targets won't die even after spamming all their spells to exhaustion. Here's the full breakdown on Martyr's abilities, with tips on how to play him direct from S2:

  • Retribution: Martyr deals 75/100/125/150 plus 1/2/3/4 times the percentage of Health he's missing in Magic Damage to the target. The target is slowed by the percentage of Health Martyr is missing, up to 50%, for 3 seconds.

  • Guardian Angel: Martyr passively reduces all incoming damage by .2/.3/.4/.5 times the percentage of Health he's missing. Martyr may cast Guardian Angel on an allied hero, redirecting 20/30/40/50% of the damage that hero receives to Martyr. If Martyr dies while Guardian Angel is on an allied hero, Martyr gains the same amount of experience that hero does for 30 seconds.

  • Sacrificial Lamb: Martyr may sacrifice 20% of his current health to heal nearby allies for 70/80/90/100% of that amount. If Martyr dies, nearby allies gain Attack Speed and Movement Speed for 10 seconds.

  • Hand in Hand: Martyr targets an allied hero, and sets both of their Health percentages equal to the higher of the two. The healing effect takes place over 1.5 seconds, during which Martyr must channel to maintain the healing.

With Martyr, dying might not result in you getting yelled at. Maybe.

S2 Games' Guide to Martyr

Martyr is all about clutch damage output and clutch saves. In the early phase, it's not necessarily a bad thing to be at low health, as it results in higher damage Retribution casts. That said, don't be afraid to trade blows with your lane opponents early on—damage they do to you might actually help you kill them. Guardian Angel also gives you added damage reduction while your health is low, so teetering near death will be the name of the game. Keep yourself low, but not so low that you'll instantly die, and kite in and out with Retribution casts for harassment.

The mid-game phase is all about being with your team, casting Guardian Angel on an ally that enemies are focusing, and making clutch saves—on both yourself and allies—with Hand in Hand. Hand in Hand, if used correctly, can really throw off enemies with a massive health swing in healing one of your team's heroes. Use that to your advantage, baiting aggression and then casting your ultimate to make light of their work.

During the late game, keep your carry protected with Guardian Angel. There are a couple ways to support your team later in the game. If you have a good amount of farm, which you should get health items and an Astrolabe, stay in the middle of the fray, and use Sacrificial Lamb to be an epicenter of healing. Use Guardian Angel to keep allies alive, and toss out Retributions at the enemy squishies. If you find yourself way behind on farm, then stay in the back and be a huge emergency heal for your carry. And remember, if you die after casting all of your spells, it's not the end of the world—you'll give a buff to your allies and continue to gain experience.

\'Sup dude. Check out my sweet cross.

PC Gamer's take

Martyr seems like he could make dying fun. There's nothing worse than hopping into a teamfight, dying instantly, and wishing you could do something to help out your allies. But with Guardian Angel, you'll continue to contribute while you root for your teammates from the afterlife. Hiding a Martyr in the treeline could make for some hilarious trolling—bait enemies with a low-health teammate near the jungle, then heal them to full with Hand in Hand while your entire posse jumps the hapless hero (chuckling all the while). From the sounds of it, Martyr will have a pretty rough—but exciting—time during the early game, constantly inching closer to death and living in fear of every stun, silence, and manaburn the enemy can throw at him.

All-in-all, though, Martyr seems like an excellent addition to the relatively-small pool of support heroes, and his concept is an exciting step towards making the least fun thing in the game, getting killed, that much more enjoyable. Also, just wondering—does anyone else find it really meta to hear MsPudding's voicepack interspersed between her narration? Maybe it's just me.

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