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Sylvanas Strategy, Tips, and Tricks

Last updated on Apr 08, 2016 at 08:20 by Srey 28 comments

Table of Contents

Sylvanas Image

General Information

On this page, you will learn how to optimally play Sylvanas 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 Sylvanas 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. General Sylvanas Strategy

Sylvanas is a strong Hero at all points in the game, but is at her weakest during Levels 1 to 3. This is because she lacks burst damage and kill potential. Do your best to push your lane with Withering Fire Icon Withering Fire and Shadow Dagger Icon Shadow Dagger, and try to avoid team fighting until Level 4. If enemy Heroes accompany the minion waves, harass them with Basic Attacks, Shadow Dagger, and a few charges of Withering Fire.

You will lack strong waveclear until Level 7, when you gain access to Unstable Poison Icon Unstable Poison or Withering Barrage Icon Withering Barrage. Once you have either of the two, instantly clear the lane by applying Black Arrows Icon Black Arrows to the entire wave via Shadow Dagger and targeting the lowest health minions with Basic Attacks and Withering Fire. Beware of trying to clear a Minion wave from full health during the early game with Unstable Poison, as sometimes you will be unable to kill the minions while they are under the effect of Black Arrow. Instead, it is sometimes wiser to allow the enemy minions to engage your own minions, forcing them to take some damage before you attempt to clear them. Travel from lane to lane, clearing all of the Minions that are available. This will allow your teammates to focus on roaming for ganks, focus their efforts on one lane, capture Mercenary Camps, or pressure map objectives, all while you soak multiple lanes for experience.

2. 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 Sylvanas.

In order of priority, you should:

  • Take Map Objectives;
  • Hold or clear a lane that no one else on your team is in. If there is no response from the enemy team, continue pressuring this lane with Black Arrows Icon Black Arrows;
  • Take Mercenary Camps (you can solo Siege Giant, Impaler, and Fallen Shaman Camps) on your side of the map;
  • 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. However, sometimes it is best to give up a Map Objective and to simply keep pushing, but the only time you might want to consider doing this is if it is obvious that you will be unable to contest the 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. As Sylvanas, you can apply an enormous amount of pressure because of Black Arrows Icon Black Arrows. Black Arrow allows you to stun Towers, Forts, and Keeps, preventing them from killing your minions and increasing the amount of damage to can deal to them.

Once all of your lanes are being soaked, take Mercenary Camps. They provide a small amount of XP and a significant amount 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. Sylvanas is excellent at capturing Mercenary Camps, as she is able to prevent all or most of the damage they deal with Black Arrows Icon Black Arrows. However, she is quite slow at killing the Mercenaries, so some assistance is recommended.

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 with your allies to destroy the enemies' base.

3. Team Fighting and Ability Usage

Sylvanas' strength in team fights is that of reliability. She deals high sustained damage and is difficult to kill (via Haunting Wave Icon Haunting Wave and the long range on her abilities). You want to stay in the back of team fights, doing what damage you can from the backline. Use Shadow Dagger Icon Shadow Dagger whenever it is available and it can hit multiple targets. If you have Withering Barrage Icon Withering Barrage, Withering Fire should be use as it comes off of cooldown. Constantly strafe and kite enemy Heroes, never allowing them to come within melee range. If an enemy high priority target, preferably Supports and ranged Assassins/Specialists, use Mind Control Icon Mind Control to secure the kill, but beware of overextending due to the fact that it also freezes you in place.

Wailing Arrow Icon Wailing Arrow should not be used simply because it is available, and should instead be used to secure kills by silencing Healers, preventing Heroes (like Illidan or Chen) from using key abilities, or to deal the killing blow. Wailing Arrow should never be used to start a fight, as that is usually the role of the tank. Similarly, Haunting Wave Icon Haunting Wave should be used primarily as a means of mobility, to escape or chase enemy Heroes. Your role in team fights is to output as much damage as possible while staying safe. It is almost never worth overextending past the enemy's frontline to get to their backline. Deal damage to what is available.

4. Summary of Tips and Tricks

  • If an enemy Support gets close to you, do not hesitate to cast Mind Control Icon Mind Control immediately in order to make them walk towards your own team. Since the Heroic Ability can be countered Cleanse Icon Cleanse, mind-controlling Supports is very effective.
  • When clearing a wave with Unstable Poison Icon Unstable Poison, use Shadow Dagger Icon Shadow Dagger once the Minions have been damaged. Otherwise, you may not be able to clear the wave.
  • You can apply Black Arrows Icon Black Arrows to both outer Towers or both of the Giants at the Siege Giant Camp by standing close to one Tower or Giant and using Basic Attacks on the other, while using Withering Fire Icon Withering Fire at regular intervals.
  • Once you have Unstable Poison Icon Unstable Poison, go from lane to lane, clearing as many Minions as possible.
  • Never use Haunting Wave Icon Haunting Wave as a form of damage. Instead, it should always be saved purely as a form of mobility, to escape from or to pursue enemy Heroes.
  • Only use Wailing Arrow Icon Wailing Arrow at the appropriate time. Use it to secure kills by silencing healers or preventing Heroes (like Illidan or Rehgar) from using key abilities.
  • Use Haunting Wave Icon Haunting Wave just before you are in danger, as it takes time for the Banshees to travel.
  • You can juke pursuing enemies by casting Haunting Wave Icon Haunting Wave in one direction and then moving in another direction. If the enemy Hero chases you, teleport to the Banshees. If the enemy Hero chases the Banshees (and where you could teleport to), keep running.
  • Try to always push with major Map Objectives since you can stun the buildings with Black Arrows Icon Black Arrows. Some examples are pushing with the Golem on Haunted Mines, the Webweavers on Tomb of the Spider Queen, or just the Bosses on any map.
  • Shadow Dagger Icon Shadow Dagger spreads a short range from the centre of targets, including Buildings. This means that if you cast Shadow Dagger on a Fort or Keep, it will only jump to additional targets if they are standing adjacent to the Building. Therefore, it is better to cast Shadow Dagger only on Minions or Heroes.
  • Haunting Wave Icon Haunting Wave will teleport you over an environmental wall as long as you teleport when the Banshees have moved at least halfway through the width of the wall.

5. ChangeLog

  • 04 Apr. 2016: The text has been updated to reflect the changes to Sylvanas.
  • 02 Jul. 2015: Updates following the Butcher patch.
    • Added tips for when to choose Shade Form and Spell Shield.
    • Unstable Poison can no longer hit a single enemy more than once.
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