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Sylvanas Abilities

Last updated on Apr 08, 2016 at 08:17 by Srey 28 comments

Table of Contents

Sylvanas Image

General Information

Below, we give you a brief overview of the abilities that Sylvanas has access to. You should read these ability descriptions before reading further, because the other pages of the guide assume that you have a basic knowledge of Sylvanas's abilities.

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

About the Author

Srey is Rank 1 in Hero League and a top 10 player on Hotslogs. He played for Happy Faerie Dragons, formerly the top amateur team on the North American server. With the team having now disbanded, he is bringing together a new team, which he hopes will compete at an even higher level. You can watch his stream to see how he plays Sylvanas (and other heroes).

1. Withering Fire

Sylvanas Withering Fire
Withering Fire (Q) World of Warcraft Sylvanas
  • Cooldown: 2 seconds

Shoot the closest enemy for 106 (50 + 4% per level) damage, preferring Heroes. Stores 5 charges. Gain 1 charge on nearby enemy Minion or Mercenary deaths, and 3 charges on nearby enemy Hero deaths.

Withering Fire Icon Withering Fire causes Sylvanas to shoot an arrow at the closest enemy target, prioritising Heroes. It can have up to 5 charges. Withering Fire shoots arrows as quickly as you can activate it. Charges regenerate on their own, and they have a 2-second recharge time. Nearby minion deaths grant 1 charge and nearby Hero deaths grant 3 charges. Withering Fire costs no Mana, and it can be cast while moving. Holding down "Q" will expend all of your charges as quickly as possible.

Withering Fire is a powerful ability that is easy to use but difficult to master. This is because of the way Withering Fire prioritises targets. It will first target the closest nearby enemy Hero, and if none exists, it will then target the closest enemy (minion, mercenary, or structure). While the automatic targeting makes it easy to use the ability — just press "Q" to use it — the automatic target is generally not the optimal target. This can make it difficult to focus a priority target if they are hiding behind another Hero. This also applies to Minions, as you will want to be targeting the minions with the lowest health because of Unstable Poison Icon Unstable Poison, and it is unlikely that that Minion will be the closest target.

Withering Fire works on a charge system and has no Mana cost. Therefore, you should be using the ability constantly, or at the very least, not be conserving 5 charges (the maximum) when there are available targets. However, this does not mean that you should use all of the charges as soon as you can. If you are in lane, and an enemy Hero is nearby, you should be at about 4 charges. When the enemy Hero is within range, use Basic Attacks and all of your Withering Fire stacks for some easy damage. Once you have Barbed Shot Icon Barbed Shot or Unstable Poison Icon Unstable Poison at Level 7, you will generally want to clear the minion wave immediately instead of trading with your opponent.

There are three main scenarios where you will want to pace your use of Withering Fire charges. The first is when you are capturing the Sige Giant Camp. In this situation, you will want to stand adjacent to one Giant and then use Basic Attacks on the other while using Withering Fire at a rate of about 1 every 1.5 seconds. This will allow you to permanently stun both Giants until you kill them. The reason you want to use Withering Fire every 1.5 seconds instead of every 1 second (the duration of Black Arrows Icon Black Arrows is only 1 second) is because it takes the Siege Giants a half second to wind-up their attack, and delaying your use of Withering Fire takes advantage of this.

The second scenario is similar. You can stun both outer Towers simultaneously (if there are no minions or Heroes nearby) by standing closer to one Tower and then using Basic Attacks on the other. The third scenario is simply when you want to save Withering Fire charges to burst down an enemy Hero or to benefit from Evasive Fire Icon Evasive Fire.

Aside from the scenarios listed above, you will want to be using Withering Fire charges as soon as they become available. Always be aware that Minions, Mercenary, and Hero kills will grant you additional charges of Withering Fire. You can take advantage of this by using all of your charges against an enemy Hero just before you clear a minion wave, which will refill all of your charges.

2. Shadow Dagger

Sylvanas Shadow Dagger
Shadow Dagger (W) World of Warcraft Sylvanas
  • Mana: 75
  • Cooldown: 10 seconds

Deals 82 (39 + 4% per level) damage and an additional 325 (154 + 4% per level) damage over 2 seconds to target unit. The effect spreads to nearby targets.

Shadow Dagger Icon Shadow Dagger causes Sylvanas to shoot out a dagger at the target, dealing damage upon impact and then further damage over 2 seconds. The effect spreads from the affected target to any nearby targets, applying its full damage to each target. Each target can only be affected once. Shadow Dagger can be used on structures. It does not spread to cloaked targets.

Shadow Dagger can simply be thought of as a targeted AoE spell, as it essentially functions the same way. However, the way the ability jumps from target to target makes it better than most other area of effect abilities, since it is able to hit oddly positioned targets that conventional area of effect spells would be unable to damage. Shadow Dagger is also a fantastic way of applying Black Arrows Icon Black Arrows to targets, and since the duration of Shadow Dagger is 2 seconds, targets affected by Shadow Dagger will have Black Arrow applied to them for 3 seconds. This makes Shadow Dagger (in combination with Unstable Poison Icon Unstable Poison) one of the best waveclearing abilities in the game.

Shadow Dagger should be used whenever it is available, but not on isolated Heroes, unless the damage is enough to secure a kill. Keep in mind that targets must be very close together for Shadow Dagger to spread. Using the ability and not having it spread to nearby targets will usually be quite a significant error, as it accounts for a large portion of Sylvanas' overall damage output.

3. Haunting Wave

Sylvanas Haunting Wave
Haunting Wave (E) World of Warcraft Sylvanas
  • Mana: 75
  • Cooldown: 11 seconds

Send forth a wave of banshees dealing 250 (119 + 4% per level) damage to all targets. Reactivate to teleport to the banshees' location.

Haunting Wave Icon Haunting Wave sends forth a wave of Banshees in the targeted direction, dealing damage. Haunting Wave can be reactivated to teleport Sylvanas to the Banshees' current location. The Banshees disappear once they reach their maximum range or Sylvanas teleports to their location. Sylvanas becomes Unstoppable for a very short amount of time upon reactivating Haunting Wave.

Haunting Wave is an extremely strong ability. Although it does damage, it should be used almost solely as a gap-closer. This is because it does very little damage, has a high Mana cost, a long cooldown, and is Sylvanas' only gap-closer. Since the Banshee wave travels at a set speed, it can take some time before they reach the appropriate destination for you to reactivate Haunting Wave and teleport to their location. Therefore, you will want to use Haunting Wave proactively (because of the delay), so that you have time to reactivate it to teleport to safety.

It is imperative that you only use Haunting Wave as a means of mobility, and only if it is absolutely needed, as you are vulnerable without it. Although Haunting Wave can be used to chase enemies, the relatively slow speed of the Banshees makes it difficult to catch up to enemies. However, the slow travel speed can also be beneficial. If you are being chased and cannot cast Haunting Wave over a wall, you can cast Haunting Wave in one direction and then run in another direction. This forces your enemy to make a decision: chase you or chase the Banshees and where you could possibly teleport to. If they chase you, teleport to the Banshees. If they chase your Banshees, keep running.

4. Wailing Arrow

Sylvanas Wailing Arrow
Wailing Arrow (R) World of Warcraft Sylvanas
  • Mana: 100
  • Cooldown: 90 seconds

Shoot an arrow that can be reactivated to deal 500 (238 + 4% per level) damage and silence enemies in an area making them unable to use Abilities for 2.5 seconds. The arrow detonates automatically if it reaches maximum range.

Wailing Arrow Icon Wailing Arrow is the Heroic ability we recommend you take, as you will see on the Talents Page. Wailing Arrow causes you to shoot out an arrow in the targeted direction. Reactivating the ability, or allowing it to travel its full range, will cause it to explode in a medium area, dealing damage and silencing targets for 2.5 seconds.

Wailing Arrow is a strong Heroic Ability with a very long range. It does a significant amount of damage in a relatively large area, but, more importantly, it silences all affected targets. This means that you should not be using Wailing Arrow for its damage, unless it is to secure one or more kills. Ideally, you will want to use this ability as follow-up once the targets have low health, preventing them from healing or escaping, and essentially assuring their deaths. It also has more niche uses, like interrupting Mosh Pit Icon Mosh Pit, Jug of 1,000 Cups Icon Jug of 1,000 Cups, or Strafe Icon Strafe, or preventing Heroes, such as Illidan or Chen, from using key abilities.

5. Mind Control

Sylvanas Mind Control
Mind Control (R) World of Warcraft Sylvanas
  • Mana: 75
  • Cooldown: 70 seconds

After a 1 second cast, take control of an enemy Hero's movement and prevent them from doing anything else. Channel lasts 2.5 seconds.

Mind Control Icon Mind Control is a very potent crowd control ability, that focuses on picking a key enemy target, most notably squishy ranged Assassins and Supports, and isolating them from the rest of their teammates. This can be usually done in two different ways. You can either direct the mind-controlled target towards your own allies or Structures to enable them to quickly burst it down. If the mind-controlled target is too far away from your own team to focus it, you can simply cause it to run away from the enemy team, ideally leaving them without a Support or ranged damage dealer at the beginning of a team fight.

There are several ways to counter Sylvanas while she is performing Mind Control. If she gets stunned, silenced or knocked away while channeling, the effect of Mind Control will immediately be interrupted, so make sure to position yourself in a way that enemy Warriors, melee Assassins, and other crowd control heavy Heroes cannot reach you. Most Supports can also use Cleanse Icon Cleanse on their affected ally in order to break Mind Control's effect, which is another strong reason why Supports should be taken over above other targets.

6. Black Arrows (Trait)

Sylvanas Black Arrows
Black Arrows World of Warcraft Sylvanas
  • Trait

Basic Attacks and Abilities stun Minions, Mercenaries, and Structures for 1 second.

Black Arrows Icon Black Arrows causes Sylvanas' Basic Attacks and any damage dealt by her abilities to stun Structures, Minions, and Mercenaries for 1 second. Stunned Minions and Mercenaries do not move or attack. Stunned Structures do not attack. Bosses cannot be stunned.

Black Arrows can easily be one of the most impactful traits in the game. It gives Sylvanas and her team unrivaled pushing power with a variety of uses. It allows Sylvanas to siege Towers, Forts, and Keeps without any assistance by stunning Structures and keeping her friendly Minions and Mercenaries alive. She can stun both outer Towers simultaneously, allowing minions and Mercenaries to destroy Structures themselves. The enemy team must send at least one Hero to defend against Sylvanas, or lose their buildings.

While Black Arrow is a powerful split-pushing tool, and it becomes even stronger the more pushing power you have. This is because the enemy team will have a very difficult timing killing your team, friendly Minions, or Mercenaries if their Fort or Keep is stunned because of Black Arrow. This is especially true if your team is pushing with a Boss, Webweavers (Tomb of the Spider Queen), or a Dragon Knight (Dragon Shire). This makes Sylvanas an absolute top priority Hero on some maps.

Black Arrow allows you and your team to siege and destroy Structures when you would normally be unable to. This is extremely powerful, as it allows you and your team to capitalise on the enemy team being out of position or dead, whether or not you have a nearby minion wave.

7. ChangeLog

  • 04 Apr. 2016: Dehaka patch update.
    • Possession is no longer a Heroic ability.
    • Mind Control is now Sylvanas' second Heroic ability.
    • Description of abilities has been updated to take into account her talent changes.
  • 02 Jul. 2015: Updated Wailing Arrow ability description to reflect Unstable Poison changes.
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