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Sylvanas Talents

Last updated on Apr 08, 2016 at 08:39 by Srey 28 comments

Table of Contents

Sylvanas Image

General Information

On this page, we present the viable talent choices for playing Sylvanas in a competitive environment in Heroes of the Storm. For each talent, we explain what they do and why they should or should not be taken.

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. Talent Build

Level Choices
1 Overflowing Quiver Paralysis Mercenary Queen ?
4 Withering Barrage With the Wind Lost Soul
7 Barbed Shot Unstable Poison Possession
10 Wailing Arrow Mind Control
13 Life Drain Windrunner Will of the Forsaken Spell Shield ?
16 Evasive Fire Cold Embrace Overwhelming Affliction Remorseless
20 Deafening Blast Dark Lady's Call Fury of the Storm Bolt of the Storm

2. Common Talent Paths

Wailing Arrow Build: Exceptional mobility combined with strong AoE disruption

Mind Control Build: Outstanding crowd control with the ability to eliminate high priority targets

3. Level 1 Talents

Overflowing Quiver Paralysis Mercenary Queen ?

3.1. Descriptions

Overflowing Quiver Icon Overflowing Quiver causes Withering Fire Icon Withering Fire to automatically shoot 1 free charge whenever a nearby enemy Minion dies. This effect cannot hit enemy Heroes and has a short cooldown.

Paralysis Icon Paralysis causes your Black Arrows Icon Black Arrows to last 75% longer.

Mercenary Queen Icon Mercenary Queen increases the damage dealt by friendly nearby non-Boss Mercenaries by 50%.

3.2. Recommended

Overflowing Quiver Icon Overflowing Quiver is a solid talent to clear Minion waves very efficiently and works very well with other Withering Fire Icon Withering Fire related talents, notably Withering Barrage Icon Withering Barrage at Level 4 and Barbed Shot Icon Barbed Shot at Level 7.

Paralysis Icon Paralysis is a decent talent with great synergy on follow up talents like Unstable Poison Icon Unstable Poison at Level 7 or Overwhelming Affliction Icon Overwhelming Affliction at Level 16. While pushing, the additional disable time against Structures can also be useful.

3.3. Situational

Mercenary Queen Icon Mercenary Queen can have its value on certain Battlegrounds, most importantly Infernal Shrines and Sky Temple. Here, capturing early Mercenary Camps and pushing alongside them can be crucial to provide your team with an early game lead. However, make sure to communicate with your team before committing to a split-push strategy while Objectives are available.

4. Level 4 Talents

Withering Barrage With the Wind Lost Soul

4.1. Descriptions

Withering Barrage Icon Withering Barrage increases the amount of Withering Fire Icon Withering Fire's charges by 1. Charges can also be fired 33% faster.

With the Wind Icon With the Wind increases the range of Withering Fire Icon Withering Fire by 25%.

Lost Soul Icon Lost Soul reduces the cooldown of Shadow Dagger Icon Shadow Dagger by 1.25 seconds each time it spreads to an enemy Hero.

4.2. Recommended

Withering Barrage Icon Withering Barrage increases your overall damage potential in lane and during team fights significantly. Being able to shoot an additional charge of Withering Fire Icon Withering Fire and the ability to shoot them more rapidly, also works extremely well with Remorseless Icon Remorseless. The ideal rotation to maximise your damage would be Withering Fire, Basic Attack, Withering Fire, Basic Attack, and so on and so forth.

With the Wind Icon With the Wind provides a notable range increase to Withering Fire Icon Withering Fire. While a 25% increased range may not seem too substantial, it allows Sylvanas to play from a much safer range, and out of reach of a lot of threatening abilities, like Shadow Charge Icon Shadow Charge, Cone of Cold Icon Cone of Cold, and more. It also allows you to harass enemies much more easily, especially while in lane.

4.3. Not Recommended

Lost Soul Icon Lost Soul is quite an unreliable talent, since the cooldown reduction effect relies on enemy Heroes standing close to each other. When you are clearing Minion waves, Lost Sould has literally no value at all. When in team fights, you will likely only use Shadow Dagger twice anyway, with more uses being extremely rare. Over the duration of the fight, you will often benefit more significantly from talents that boost Withering Fire Icon Withering Fire rather than from a lower cooldown on Shadow Dagger.

5. Level 7 Talents

Barbed Shot Unstable Poison Possession

5.1. Descriptions

Barbed Shot Icon Barbed Shot doubles the damage of Withering Fire Icon Withering Fire against Minions, Mercenaries, and Monsters.

Unstable Poison Icon Unstable Poison causes any minion or mercenary that dies while under the effect of Black Arrows Icon Black Arrows to explode, dealing damage in a small area. Targets can only be damaged by the explosion once.

Possession Icon Possession can be used on enemy Minions to charm them, which causes them to fully heal and fight for you. Possession has 3 charges.

5.2. Recommended

Barbed Shot Icon Barbed Shot is a very useful talent during the mid-late game (Levels 7-20), since large Minion and Mercenary Waves can cause a lot of harm during that period of time. The additional waveclear is very helpful for Sylvanas, to relieve lane pressure and keep allied Structures in good shape. Barbed shot also drastically increases your ability to capture Mercenary Camps yourself, specifically the Siege Giant Camps, which she can kill much faster when alone. Furthermore, Barbed Shot assists with taking Map Objectives on maps like Cursed Hollows (Bosses), The Garden of Terror (Garden Terrors), and Tomb of the Spider Queen (Webweavers).

Unstable Poison Icon Unstable Poison provides an enormous increase to your waveclearing. A single use of Shadow Dagger Icon Shadow Dagger will clear an entire wave of Minions, regardless of the size (with the help of Withering Fire Icon Withering Fire and Basic Attacks). This allows you to spend only a few seconds in a lane clearing Minions, giving you the opportunity to roam and take Objectives elsewhere on the map.

5.3. Not Recommended

Possession Icon Possession fails at outperforming the other talents in terms of waveclear. Being able to charm up to three enemy Minions does not push a lane as quickly as being able to wipe out entire enemy Minion waves with the help of Barbed Shot Icon Barbed Shot or Unstable Poison Icon Unstable Poison.

6. Level 10 Talents

Wailing Arrow Mind Control

6.1. Descriptions

Wailing Arrow Icon 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 all enemies hit for 2.5 seconds.

Mind Control Icon Mind Control has a 1-second casting animation. After that, Sylvanas takes control of a target enemy Hero's movement and also prevents them from doing anything else for 2.5 seconds. While Sylvanas is channeling Mind Control, she remains frozen in place.

6.2. Recommended

As mentioned on the Abilities page, Wailing Arrow Icon Wailing Arrow does a significant amount of damage in a relatively large area, but more importantly, it silences all affected targets.

Mind Control Icon Mind Control is a deadly counter to every Support Hero and other high priority targets. Since the Heroic Ability can be countered Cleanse Icon Cleanse, mind-controlling Supports is particularly effective. 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. By the same token, beware of overextending, especially when crowd control heavy Heroes, such as Muradin or E.T.C. are nearby.

7. Level 13 Talents

Life Drain Windrunner Will of the Forsaken Spell Shield ?

7.1. Descriptions

Life Drain Icon Life Drain causes Shadow Dagger Icon Shadow Dagger to heal you every time it affects a new target.

Windrunner Icon Windrunner allows you to cast a second Haunting Wave Icon Haunting Wave for free for 2 seconds, after teleporting with the first. It also causes Haunting Wave to fully recharge your Withering Fire Icon Withering Fire.

Will of the Forsaken Icon Will of the Forsaken is an activatable talent that makes you Unstoppable and gain 30% increased movement speed for 3 seconds. Unstoppable makes you immune to all forms of crowd control.

Spell Shield Icon Spell Shield causes you to take 50% less damage from Abilities for 2 seconds whenever you are damaged by an Ability. This effect has a 30-second cooldown.

7.2. Recommended

Life Drain Icon Life Drain is a useful self-sustain talent. The amount of health it heals is minimal, yet it adds up throughout the course of the game. Life Drain can heal a significant amount against large Minion waves, which also saves you from being dependent on the Healing Fountain too frequently.

7.3. Situational

Spell Shield Icon Spell Shield provides a significant reduction in burst damage used against you. This can be exceptionally good versus strong poke Heroes, like Azmodan and Kael'thas, as well as Heroes that rely on single combos to deal damage, like Jaina and Kerrigan. However, it can be activated by abilities that deal an insignificant amount of damage, such as Entangling Roots Icon Entangling Roots or Chain Lightning Icon Chain Lightning, and thus, will not be available for high damaging abilities. It is important to avoid being hit by abilities when Spell Shield is up. Take Spell Shield when the enemy team is prioritising you with multiple Assassins.

7.4. Not Recommended

Windrunner Icon Windrunner is mobility overkill. When you use Haunting Wave Icon Haunting Wave you will usually end up in a position that is already adequate, and an additional Haunting Wave immediately after is simply not needed. There are some situations where having Wind Runner would allow you to pull off some crazy escapes or secure kills, but these situations are extremely rare.

Will of the Forsaken Icon Will of the Forsaken is essentially a better self-Cleanse Icon Cleanse with twice the cooldown. The difference is that Cleanse is a Level 7 talent, whereas Will of the Forsaken is a Level 13 talent. Will of the Forsaken is a good talent, but it is up against other strong self-sustain talents, namely Life Drain Icon Life Drain and Spell Shield Icon Spell Shield. There are some games where the enemy team will have a lot of crowd control and Will of the Forsaken might seem like a good option, but we feel that the other options are still more viable. Sylvanas is an extremely safe Hero, with a large range and a lot of mobility. Therefore, your allies, rather than you, are more likely to be the ones being affected by the crowd control in the first place.

8. Level 16 Talents

Evasive Fire Cold Embrace Overwhelming Affliction Remorseless

8.1. Descriptions

Evasive Fire Icon Evasive Fire causes you to gain 10% movement speed every time you hit a target with Withering Fire Icon Withering Fire, up to 30%. The effect lasts for 2 seconds and any targets hit when you are at 30% increased movement speed will refresh the duration. It works on any target hit, including Structures.

Cold Embrace Icon Cold Embrace causes Shadow Dagger Icon Shadow Dagger to also make the target take 25% additional damage from all sources for 2 seconds, but the range of Shadow Dagger is reduced by 25%. All targets, including structures, minions, mercenaries, summoned creatures, and Golems take increased damage.

Overwhelming Affliction Icon Overwhelming Affliction causes Black Arrows Icon Black Arrows to apply a stacking slow to Heroes. Any instance of damage caused by Sylvanas will apply 1 stack, up to a maximum of 5. The slow lasts 1 second but the duration is refreshed every time Sylvanas deals damage to the target. Overwhelming Affliction benefits from Paralysis Icon Paralysis.

Remorseless Icon Remorseless causes your basic attack to deal 40% more damage every time you use an ability. If Remorseless is already active on your next basic attack, using another ability will simply refresh the duration.

8.2. Recommended

Evasive Fire Icon Evasive Fire grants you a nearly permanent 30% movement speed increase through careful use of Withering Fire Icon Withering Fire. This allows you to kite and chase nearly every enemy Hero in the game, making your only real weakness hard crowd control, like stuns. Evasive Fire is always useful, regardless of the situation. Talents like With the Wind Icon With the Wind further accentuate the benefits of Evasive Fire by allowing Withering Fire more access to targets via the increased range. When fighting, never use all of your Withering Fire charges, since you never want to lose the movement speed bonus, because it begins to re-stack from 10% increased movement speed.

Overwhelming Affliction Icon Overwhelming Affliction applies a stacking slow, up to a maximum of 25%. The slow itself is pretty strong and it can be easily applied to entire enemy teams with Shadow Dagger Icon Shadow Dagger, as Shadow Dagger deals 5 instances of damage over 2 seconds, making the slow last for a total of 3 seconds (the duration of Black Arrows Icon Black Arrows is 1 second). The problem with Overwhelming Affliction is that it is difficult to keep it applied to more than a single Hero, since Shadow Dagger is your only means of AoE application (Wailing Arrow Icon Wailing Arrow only applies a single stack). This makes Evasive Fire Icon Evasive Fire a much more appropriate and practical means of mobility.

Remorseless Icon Remorseless provides a significant damage boost to your Basic Attacks. It is possible to have Remorseless active on every Basic Attack through careful use of Withering Fire Icon Withering Fire charges, although this does require some practice. Overall, we recommend this talent to more experienced Sylvanas players, whereas beginners should stick to Evasive Fire Icon Evasive Fire or Overwhelming Affliction Icon Overwhelming Affliction.

8.3. Not Recommended

Cold Embrace Icon Cold Embrace is one of Sylvanas' worst talents. It only increases the damage your entire team does to one single target, which makes it a much worse version of Tyrande's Hunter's Mark Icon Hunter's Mark, which is available from Level 1. Given the strong alternatives Sylvanas has available at Level 16, Cold Embrace should be discarded.

9. Level 20 Talents

Deafening Blast Dark Lady's Call Fury of the Storm Bolt of the Storm

9.1. Descriptions

Deafening Blast Icon Deafening Blast causes Wailing Arrow Icon Wailing Arrow to deal 50% more damage to enemies at the centre of the explosion and silence them for 5 seconds. Targets around the edge take normal damage and are silenced for 2.5 seconds.

Dark Lady's Call Icon Dark Lady's Call increases the movement speed of Mind Control Icon Mind Controlled enemies by 100% for the entire duration.

Fury of the Storm Icon Fury of the Storm causes your next Basic Attack to deal an additional amount of damage to the target and to any Minions or Mercenaries near that target. This effect has a 5-second cooldown.

Bolt of the Storm Icon Bolt of the Storm is an activatable talent that instantly teleports you to the targeted location. Bolt of the Storm has a 70-second cooldown.

9.2. Recommended

Dark Lady's Call Icon Dark Lady's Call almost guarantees you a 100% kill on squishy Assassins and Supports, since the 100% movement speed bonus makes it impossible for the enemy team to catch up with them. This talent has virtually no downsides and can single-handedly win team fights before they really started.

Bolt of the Storm Icon Bolt of the Storm is one of the best talents in the game, having a huge variety of uses, although it will generally be used to escape death. It makes Sylvanas, who already has a lot of mobility, almost impossible to kill. While you already have a gap-closer, it takes time for Haunting Wave Icon Haunting Wave to travel before you can teleport to the Banshees, allowing your enemies to kill you or move to the location you will teleport to. Bolt of the Storm instantly teleports you to safety and it has a very large range.

Bolt of the Storm also has offensive uses. You can use Bolt of the Storm to teleport over walls or to catch fleeing enemies.

9.3. Not Recommended

Deafening Blast Icon Deafening Blast has the longest silence in the game (at 5 seconds) and does a massive amount of damage — if you can hit enemy Heroes with the centre of Wailing Arrow Icon Wailing Arrow. If it does hit, it will rarely hit more than one or two Heroes. Deafening Blast's lack of reliability is its main problem, especially since Bolt of the Storm is extremely useful in a variety of situations.

Fury of the Storm Icon Fury of the Storm increases Sylvanas' waveclear, which is already able to clear Minion waves of any size in a second or two, making Fury of the Storm overkill. The additional damage it grants your Basic Attacks every 5 seconds is extremely minimal and will never be more beneficial than Bolt of the Storm Icon Bolt of the Storm.

10. ChangeLog

  • 04 Apr. 2016: Dehaka patch update.
  • 22 Aug. 2015: Removed Mercenary Lord and updated talent description recommendations.
  • 02 Jul. 2015: Updates following the Butcher patch.
    • Envenom now deals damage over 10 seconds, up from 5 seconds. The amount of damage is unchanged.
    • Unstable Poison can no longer hit a single enemy more than once. Explanation updated.
    • Possession now has a charge system and no longer increases Minions' health. Explanation updated.
    • Spell Shield nows lasts for 3 seconds once activated, up from 2 seconds.
    • Dark Lady's Call functions differently, in accordance with the Possession update.
    • Blood for Blood damage decreased from 15% to 10% of the target's maximum health, but the heal amount is increased from 100% to 200% of damage dealt. Additionally, Blood for Blood no longer Slows the target.
    • Changed Shade Form to Situational from Not Recommended. Talent description updated.
    • Changed Spell Shield to Situational from Not Recommended. Talent description updated.
  • 27 Apr. 2015: Changed With the Wind to Situational from Recommended.
  • 27 Apr. 2015: Changed Barbed Shot to Recommended from Not Recommended.
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