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Illidan Strategy, Tips, and Tricks

Last updated on Jul 02, 2015 at 20:15 by Oxygen 33 comments

Table of Contents

Illidan Image

General Information

On this page, you will learn how to optimally play Illidan in a competitive environment in Heroes of the Storm. Everything you need to know is explained, from general gameplay to specific tips and tricks.

The other pages of our Illidan can be accessed from the table of contents on the right.

About the Author

Oxygen is a veteran of the MOBA genre, which he has been playing for nearly 15 years. He has coached some of Heroes of the Storm's most prominent North American players and teams alike, including Team Liquid. As a Diamond Flex player, he enjoys playing all Heroes and roles.

1. General Illidan Gameplay

In the early game, you are unable to clear waves versus any kind of ranged poke, and should instead look to create pressure elsewhere on the map. You should lane with other Heroes, preferably a healer, to help make up for your poor early laning, and to allow you to leave the lane to clear Mercenary Camps. Trying to force something in a lane that is clearly not in your favour is not only ineffective, but also dangerous. Since ability cooldowns and health are your only limiting factors, you should constantly be pushing waves and clearing Mercenary Camps when not fighting.

A team centered around Illidan will generally lack siege potential and must instead rely on hard initiations to take objectives. If your team is having trouble breaking the other team's defenses, it is often wiser to push multiple lanes with Mercenary Camps rather than to dive behind a Keep or Fort. This is because you need a large area to fight, so that fleeing enemies can be chased. You need to choose where to fight so that the enemy team does not simply retreat within their walls, where you should not pursue.

Crowd control has been mentioned several times in previous pages as a strong counter against you, and with good reason. Your base health is quite low and if you are unable to use Evasion Icon Evasion when the enemy concentrates damage on you, then it is likely you will die, even if you are being actively healed. Dive Icon Dive is a great mobility skill but it cannot be used while you are Stunned. Dive should instead be used before you are affected by crowd control (to avoid it). Use Metamorphosis Icon Metamorphosis right before enemy concentration on you is about to climax. Not only will it heal you (in the form of bonus health), but it can dodge a lot of damage on its own while also acting of a sort of disengagement tool, where the enemy will often split up to avoid the damage or reposition according to where you land.

2. What To Do When Not Team Fighting

The most important and difficult aspect of Heroes of the Storm is performance in team fights, since this is often where games are decided. That said, team fights usually take up a relatively short amount of time, with the rest of the game being spent performing other tasks. In this section, we will walk you through what you should be doing outside of team fights as Illidan, and we will cover team fights at length below.

In order of priority, you should:

  1. Take map objectives;
  2. hold or clear a lane that no one else on your team is in;
  3. take Mercenary Camps on your side of the map;
  4. push whatever lane your allies are already pushing the hardest.

Map objectives almost always have the largest impact on the game. If you ignore these, then not only do you miss out on objectives that the enemy takes, but the enemy team also benefits from these objectives. On some maps, team fighting is synonymous with taking objectives, like on Sky Temple or Dragon Shire, but Garden of Terror, for example, does not always promote fights between both teams. The Boss Mercenary Camp on some maps constitutes a map objective.

Your goal outside of team fights is to gain as much of an advantage over your enemy as possible, and in Heroes of the Storm, this means soaking XP from minions. Unless there is a team fight, leaving a lane without anyone to soak the XP should never be done, especially if it is just to take a Mercenary Camp.

Once all of your lanes are being soaked, take Mercenary Camps. They provide a small amount of XP and significant lane pressure. Taking the Mercenary Camps on the enemy's side of the map is risky, and it should only be done if you can be sure they will not or cannot contest.

If you have already taken all that the map has to offer, it is likely that most, if not all of the lanes are pushing in the direction of your enemy. This pressure should be capitalised on. Push a lane that is already weak to destroy the enemy's base.

3. Role in Team Fights

As Illidan, you lack meaningful burst damage, instead dealing sustained damage, and must therefore survive in fights to be effective. The opposing team knows this and they will usually focus you first. Surviving the initial enemy burst damage upon entering a fight is often a pivotal point, as, if you die the fight is usually lost, since your team is usually built around Illidan. If you survive, you can be healed to full by your healer(s) and the enemy team's crucial abilities will be unavailable, effectively allowing you to win the fight.

Ideally, a team should always have a dedicated tank to engage a fight, such as E.T.C. or Muradin. Once the fight has been initiated, you should Dive onto a target that has the highest chance of being killed. However, this does not always mean that an Assassin like Valla will be the target. If the enemy team is positioned correctly, jumping onto the backline means that the enemy's frontline will cut you off from your healers, allowing you to be focused down and killed. No matter the situation, you must always be within range of your healers, and not overextend where you are isolated.

If a vulnerable target, such as Tyrande, Valla, or Nazeebo is within range of your backline (including your healers), then they are your target, but if a vulnerable target does not exist then the next easiest-to-kill Hero is prioritised. Teams with Illidan often focus on engaging extremely aggressively, where the entire team focuses the enemy's backline, forcing them to target the immediate aggressors (you and other melees), instead of your vulnerable backline.

3.1. Ability Usage

Using your abilities in team fights as Illidan is fairly straightforward. If your initial target is far away, use Dive Icon Dive, but otherwise you should use Sweeping Strike Icon Sweeping Strike to close the distance. The damage on Dive is low and it should be saved exclusively for mobility, even if that means not having to use it during a fight, as the opportunity can always arise where you wish you had Dive available. Once you are in the middle of a fight, you will want to use Evasion Icon Evasion in the most efficient way possible. Using Evasion early means that it will see more use over the length of the fight, but like Dive, that does not mean it should be used simply because it is available. Instead, use Evasion when you expect to receive the highest amount of damage from the enemy, as doing so will you keep alive significantly longer.

Using Metamorphosis Icon Metamorphosis properly can be tricky, since it has so many different uses. The biggest indicator of when to use it is if you are in danger of dying. Metamorphosis is fantastic at providing survivability, with additional health, repositioning, and making you untargetable. As such, using it just to enter fights is almost always a poor choice. Once Evasion has been used in a team fight, and if you are able to hit multiple targets with Metamorphosis, this is when it should be used. Using it in this way allows you to take advantage of everything it offers, including the damage. However, there are some unique situations when you will want to use Metamorphosis differently.

  • as a mobility spell if you are chasing stragglers after a fight;
  • if there are enemies that are very low and securing the kills will win the fight;
  • to dodge key enemy abilities, like Rain of Vengeance Icon Rain of Vengeance, Divine Storm Icon Divine Storm, Emerald Wind Icon Emerald Wind;
  • to better reposition yourself if you get isolated or stuck in a corner;
  • to escape enemy ganks or otherwise cheat death.

4. Summary of Tips and Tricks

  • Leave enemy walls up so they can be targeted with Dive Icon Dive later, although sometimes it is better to destroy them to avoid funneling into a choke point with your team, or so an allied Stitches can use Hook Icon Hook.
  • Illidan is a poor laner and should instead solo Mercenary Camps as soon as possible. You can solo the Ogre (easy) camp at Level 4 and the Knights (hard) camp at Level 6.
  • Metamorphosis Icon Metamorphosis should be used to continue a fight rather than start one. It should not be used just to deal damage.
  • Use Sweeping Strike Icon Sweeping Strike whenever it is available, while Dive Icon Dive should be used solely for mobility.
  • Evasion Icon Evasion should be saved to reduce a large amount of incoming damage. It does not dodge the attacks of summoned creatures.
  • Overextending past the range of your healers is ill-advised and will usually lead to death.
  • Illidan does not require Mana. Always be active, whether it is fighting, pushing lanes, or capturing Mercenaries Camps.

5. ChangeLog

  • 02 Jul. 2015: Dive no longer makes you briefly Unstoppable. The writing has been slightly altered to reflect this.
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