Tencent's Arena of Valor [Free] launched late this month, and I really just can't get enough of this game. I posted a launch day review, and I still completely stand behind all five of those stars. Arena of Valor is a ton of fun. The one strange thing about the game, however, is the way they're dealing with releasing heroes across regions is ... a bit odd. Each region the game is operated in has a different content release cycle, so the "newest" hero in North America is old news in every other region. Presumably we'll eventually get caught up, but right now the discrepancies between which heroes are available in which region is real weird. For example, other regions have DC Superheroes like Batman and Superman, but those are still "coming soon" in North America. Whatever rhyme or reason is powering all this decided that this week NA is getting Cresht the Mermidon.

Cresht has a pretty cool kit that reminds me a bit of Gnar mixed with Nami from League of Legends. His "normal" form is like a tiny greenish blue merman guy with a spear, and using a rage mechanic is able to transform into a giant kraken-ish looking creature. Check out the hero spotlight:

The basic kit is similar to a lot of transforming heroes in other MOBAs in that when you're in your normal form your abilities focus on survivability and light crowd control. Then, when you turn into your ultimate form, things get real. You gain a huge shield, get physically larger, and your abilities do loads of area effect damage (complete with lots of screen shake). Playing Cresht well involves intelligently managing when to transform, as doing so also lets out this massive tidal wave effect that allows you to quickly surf it into battle on the water while enemies that are trapped inside of it are stunned.

I've played a couple games as Cresht this morning, and I think my favorite thing about him is how great his ultimate ability is at signaling when the rest of your team should engage. So often it seems like mid to late game in Arena of Valor is filled with durdling around in the middle lane, with your team never really sure when to go in. Well, spawning a giant wave, turning into a giant kraken dude, and charging in indicates to even the most oblivious players, "Hey, we're going into fight now."

It seems like Tencent's thing with hero releases is to do limited time launch sales, so Cresht is currently available for 999 vouchers, or 1199 for Cresht and his firefighter skin which is roughly $10.