How to Play Heroes of the Storm - Sgt. Hammer Tips - Prima Games

How to Play Heroes of the Storm – Sgt. Hammer Tips

by Bryan Dawson

Sergeant Hammer is a Ranged Specialist that is not particularly easy to use. If you’re new to Heroes of the Storm or MOBA games in general, you may have difficulty playing as Sgt. Hammer. This guide is designed to make things easier by offering a build that works for new players, and alternatives that will be more useful once you get the hang of the character.

Hammer is at home when she’s fighting from as far away as possible. You do not want to be close to any enemies if you can help it. She doesn’t have a normal mount and she has relatively slow movement speed, so if you get ambushed, you have a low survival rate without the right knowledge and tools. With that in mind, let’s get to Sgt. Hammer’s abilities.

Spider Mines

A lack of movement speed and escape options can make Hammer difficult to play. However, the Spider Mines go a long way toward making her fun. The mines inflict damage and decrease the movement speed of your target. They can help you get away, but you have to get your enemies to step on them first. In most cases you should setup mines in the tall brush so they’re not as visible. If an enemy is chasing you, head into the brush to give them a nice surprise, allowing extra time to escape.

Concussive Blast

This has extremely short range and should primary be used as a quick “get off me” attack. It inflicts damage and knocks targets back to give Hammer some breathing room. You can also use this ability to clear minions if necessary, but remember that the range is short. Once you get the hang of the hero, you can use Concussive Blast to knock enemies into traps and attacks, especially ones that are easy to see coming. It even works in knocking enemy heroes closer to your forts so they take fire from your turrets.

Siege Mode

Siege Mode is the bread and butter of Sgt. Hammer. You become immobile, but your basic attack range increases by 90 percent and you deal considerably more damage, especially to minions and enemy fortifications. Your basic strategy as Hammer should be to engage an enemy (hero, minion or structure), get to your maximum range and use Siege Mode to boost your damage.


This takes the place of Hammer’s mount. Instead of a normal mount like most other heroes, Sgt. Hammer gets a four second speed boost. This should not be used to move around the map. Hammer is a slow character and you’re just going to have to accept that. Thrusters should be used to escape and only to escape if you’re new to the hero. The ability has a 30 second cooldown, which means if you get caught by an enemy without Thrusters available, there’s a good chance you’re done for. Save this until you see an ambush incoming, then get out of there as quickly as possible.

Basic Build

Level 1 – Advanced Artillery
Level 4 – Vampiric Assault or Focused Attack
Level 7 – Hyper-Cooling Engines or Slowing Mines
Level 10 – Napalm Strike or Blunt Force Gun
Level 13 – Giant Killer or First Strike
Level 16 – Hover Siege Mode or Executioner
Level 20 – Resurgence of the Storm or Orbital BFG

Sgt. Hammer is not an easy hero to play as, so we’ve created a build that should work well for beginners, with options to use once you get a better grasp of how Hammer plays. At level one, start with Advanced Artillery to increase damage to long-range targets. You should almost always be at maximum range, making this very useful.

When you reach level four, pick up Vampiric Assault to give yourself a healing option, or Focused Attack if you have a decent healer on your team. With Focused Attack, your attacks will inflict more damage, but without a solid healer on your team, Vampiric Assault is arguably a better option, especially if you’re new to Hammer. Once you’ve learned how to escape with Hammer, or you have a healer on your team, Focused Attack is the superior option.

At level seven, you have a couple of options based on your play style. Hyper-Cooling Engines is generally the go-to ability at this level. It reduces the cooldown on Thrusters from 30 seconds to 20 seconds. This gives you the option to use Thrusters a bit more freely, which can be extremely useful. However, if you’re going for a mine-oriented build, Slowing Mines can be very effective. By increasing the movement speed of the Spider Mines (once an enemy runs by), it’s much harder for an enemy to escape, resulting in more damage for your team.

Hammer’s Heroic abilities are both useful, so your selection at level 10 will depend greatly on your play style. Napalm Strike hits any target within a circular area and deals additional damage over time after the initial attack, plus it has a short cooldown so you can really dish out big damage. Blunt Force Gun can hit targets all the way across the map, making it an interesting sniping tool. Napalm Strike is a bit easier to use for beginners, but both options offer solid offensive power.

When you reach level 13, you should choose between Giant Killer and First Strike. Giant Killer gives you a general attack boost when fighting against opposing heroes. First Strike gives you a bigger attack boost if you haven’t been hit with anything for at least five seconds. If your team protects you well and the opposing team doesn’t have Ranged Assassins constantly attacking you, First Strike should be your option of choice, otherwise go with Giant Killer.

At level 16, Hover Siege Mode should be your ability of choice. It allows you to move while in Siege Mode, which just means you can push harder against the opposing team. However, once you get the hang of Hammer, if you have a hero on your team who can stun, root or slow a target, Executioner is a good choice. As a beginner, you’ll get more utility from Hover Siege Mode, but with the right team composition, Executioner is the superior ability.

For Sgt. Hammer’s final ability at level 20, you should choose Resurgence of the Storm or Orbital BFG. If you selected Blunt Force Gun at level 10, then Orbital BFG is a no-brainer. After you fire a missile, it continues to attack the enemy base as long as you’re still alive. Keep in mind, this makes you a top priority to kill if the opposing team is smart. If you didn’t select Blunt Force Gun at level 10, then Resurgence of the Storm is your best option. Late in the game respawn times can be lengthy. With Resurgence of the Storm, you respawn in five seconds every time, so long as you’re not dying more than once every 180 seconds. It can mean the difference between winning and losing in some cases.

Stay tuned to Prima Games as we continue to cover Heroes of the Storm.

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