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Thoughts on Li Ming and her playstyle in a guidy form

4 posts in this topic

Li Ming


At the first glance she seems to be a spellcaster like Kael'thas and Jaina. At the second glance too, but there are some differences I like to discuss, including possible ways to play her and pointing out her strengths and weaknesses.


I'd also like to state this is my opinion and as such can be discussed freely.


There are two viable ways to talent and play her: First will be the arcane missile build and second will be the arcane orb build. Though both builds have some downsides.


Arcane Missile build:


Level 1:


Astral Presence: In long team fights, it allows you to stay a threat to the enemy team. Most Heroes without mana are quite useless. This talent allows you have enough mana all the time and with the “executioner” trait, means that you are a constant threat throughout the whole team fight action.


Other viable talent


Force Armor: With the magic missile build you have to stay closer to the front in order to have magic missile hit their target and also have your basic attacks hit it. And this talent negates damage from other burst assassins like Nova or Jaina.


Level 4:


Charged Blast: This is necessary for our arcane missile / auto attack combo.



Ess of Johan: It works like Condemn from Johanna and can be used to combo Area of Effect abilites(e.g. Tyrandes Lunar Flare, help Azmodan Stacks).


Level 7:


Seeker: More damage from our Arcane Missiles.


Level 10:


Disintegrate: Depends if your team composition relies on ultimate setups or not. If you can channel Disintegrate on more than two enemies whole time, it is the way to go, but normally enemy team tries to dodge it.


Wave of Force: Wave of force works like sundering and therefor can help your team to isolate squishy targets and eliminate them.


Level 13:


Illusionist: Unless you are the victim of a chain of crowd control spells, this talent will save your ass, regularly.

If you feel save enough, you can pick one of the other talents. I didn't do the math, so I can't say which one will result in more damage per second. If Cannoneer combos with Charged Blast it will be a nice burst.


Level 16:


Fireflies: Technically Fireflies and Mirrorball will result in comparable damage (without doing the math). Therefore I would recommend Fireflies, the increased speed of the missiles will result in better hitting our desired targets.


Level 20:


Repulsion: Helps isolating targets even more.


Archon Form: Main Flaw is the missing blink in this form. Though the damage in this form is really high and you don't need mana to cast disintegrate.


You will always be near the front and doing damage to the tank or bruisers. Dealing damage to the enemy backline will be hard and you find yourself be focused by the other team. Wave of Force helps isolating targets and this will be your main goal, isolating single target and damage / killing them – quite like Thrall. With Illusionist you have a really strong escape mechanic.


Arcane Orb build:


Level 1:


Astral Presence: Same like Arcane Missile build.


Level 4:


Triumvirate: It allows you to spam this ability. Therefor must have


Level 7:


Zei's Vengeance: We try poke from afar and this talent combos with the level 4 and 16 talent.


Level 10:


Wave of Force: Both talents are viable, though wave of force keeps enemies at bay. We like our enemies stay far away.


Level 13:


Glass canon: To maximize damage, we have to stay way far and therefore being generally out of danger. So we can maximize damage.

Though Illusionist is and stays a strong talent choice.


Level 16:


Arcane Orbit: To maximize our damage output, we get another stage of traveling / increasing damage, it gets more difficult on using it.


Level 20:


Tal Rasha's Elements: Just cast Arcane Missile before casting Arcane Orb and you always have those 20 % more damage on it.


This build is around poking enemies from far and doing enormous amounts of damage – though it will be very difficult to hit those long homing Orbs and they can be quite easily be countered by tanks just face blocking it, before they didn't reach the “critical mass”. But I guess it will be much fun on Cursed Hollow and besieging Forts and Keeps. Both Arcane Missile and Arcane Orb have higher ranges than towers.




Generally, Li Ming is a squishy hero, but quite mobile and have with Illusionist a quite good disengage. Her Arcane Missile damage isn't so much burst like Jaina, but more sustained and you need to properly hit the skill shots. With the Arcane Orb build it gets even more complicated to hit the them properly, but when they land it does tons of damage.


Because of her squishy nature, her natural enemies are those with Burst / Crowd Control Combo (which is true to most heroes) like Kerrigan, Muradin/Tyrande and Thrall (and probably Nova).


Thanks for your attention,



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I haven't played her yet, but she seems to be able to deal tons of damage within a very short time frame. And she can do this from quite a distance and has a nice disengage. I will definitely try her out (and you builds :) in the free to play week. 

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This hero in every game now. I think she is overpower! She must be fixed.

Arcane orb which removes half HP angry.png  and after that she can teleport and successfully escape angry.png

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She's not overpowered -- people just aren't playing with respect for her yet, and aren't pressuring her well.


I've been ROFLstomping all week with her. Not because I'm god mode (though certainly above average), but because the people I'm playing against are clueless.


The entire enemy team will stay just on the edge of orb range. The enemy backliners will sit too far out on the wing looking for an opportunity. Enemy stealthies still think they're invisible. The enemy uses skill shots to engage when teleport is up. The enemy sits at half-range and runs away from orb when cast. The enemy teams are using all of their gap closers while teleport is still up, leaving them with nothing after I port away.


Li Ming is easy to counter. You just can't be dumb about playing the game with her.


Also, I strongly disagree with taking Glass Cannon and taking Wave of Force.  The damage from GC is nice, but Illusionist is a much better talent. The extra distance it makes vs. melee is huge, and the ability to clear most walls in the game (many with extra space to spare) is too strong to give up. Without Illusionist, you have to rub your junk up against the thinnest walls in the game in order to port over them. Once you have the talent, you have plenty of extra space to work with. I just finished a game last night where I killed 4 of the enemy team on my own all because I had Illusionist to create the appropriate amount of space and to juke past corners and over walls. It started with dodging a KT stun to obliterate him, then teleporting to dodge Diablo charge, running and using teleport to give more space during the chase while poking him down, porting over a wall to poke Artanis, then back to finish Diablo, then back to kill Artanis, and then over another wall to kill the enemy Li Ming. Playing without Illusionist is just a trap.

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