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Alarak Talents

Last updated on Aug 26, 2017 at 10:00 by Straften 28 comments

Table of Contents

Alarak Image

General Information

On this page, we present the viable talent choices for playing Alarak 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 Alarak guide can be accessed from the table of contents on the right.

About the Author

Straften is a Grand Master ranked player in both Hero League and Team League. He has a passion for theorycrafting, and regularly tests new features early on the PTR. He explains his strategy, reasoning, and implementation in these guides.

1. Talent Build

Level Choices
1 Sustaining Power Extended Lightning Ruthless Momentum
4 Chaos Reigns Negatively Charged ? Show of Force
7 Dissonance ? Hindered Motion ? Applied Force
10 Deadly Charge ? Counter-Strike
13 Blade of the Highlord Pure Malice ? Rite of Rak'Shir
16 Lethal Onslaught Lightning Barrage ? Mocking Strikes
20 Counter-Strike ? Deadly Charge ? Last Laugh ? Hasty Bargain
Create your own build and share it with friends!

2. Common Talent Paths

2.1. Chaos Reigns Build (talent calculator link)

The Chaos Reigns Build is made up of Talents that focus on increasing the reliability and damage of Discord Strike as much as possible. Use Discord Strike Icon Discord Strike to follow-up Telekinesis Icon Telekinesis whenever you can do so safely. Try to finish all quests on Extended Lightning Icon Extended Lightning in the opening team fight. This will refund the 10 Sadism that the Talent costs, and the completed quests are a huge power spike to have in the early game. Applied Force Icon Applied Force allows you to pull enemy Heroes into Discord Strike from a safer distance, but can be exchanged situationally. Hindered Motion Icon Hindered Motion will help to proc Mocking Strikes later, and can also help you land Discord Strike while you are still practicing Alarak's combo. Use Lightning Surge as often as you can to poke enemies. Once they are low on Health you can secure kills with Telekinesis and Discord Strike. Keep in mind that Mocking Strikes can proc on Heroes slowed by Extended Lightning. At Level 20 you can take Hasty Bargain Icon Hasty Bargain if you have a lot of Sadism, or take Deadly Charge Icon Deadly Charge if you do not.

2.2. Lightning Surge Build (talent calculator link)

The Lightning Surge Build is exceptionally good at long range poke, especially against melee heavy team compositions. It is very easy to play, as you simply use Lightning Surge every time it is available. Target enemy Heroes behind the enemy frontline whenever possible, to damage as many Heroes with each cast as possible. When you finish stacking Extended Lightning Icon Extended Lightning, you will be able to slow enemies who are hit by the center of the beam. Negatively Charged Icon Negatively Charged can be stacked without limit, and is not lost on death. Lightning Barrage Icon Lightning Barrage gives Lightning Surge a free second cast if an enemy Hero is hit by the center of the beam. With Hasty Bargain Icon Hasty Bargain and clever positioning, you can cast Lightning Surge up to 4 times in quick succession. It is very important to focus on hitting enemy Heroes with the center of Lightning Surge's beam, as many of your Talent investments involve this mechanic.

3. Level 1 Talents

Alarak Sustaining Power
Sustaining Power (Level 1) Starcraft Alarak

Increase the healing received from damaging Heroes with Lightning Surge by 40%.

Alarak Extended Lightning
Extended Lightning (Level 1) Starcraft Alarak

Reduce Sadism by 10%.

Quest: Hit Heroes with the center of Lightning Surge.

Reward: After hitting 5 Heroes, increase Lightning Surge's range by 20%.

Reward: After hitting 15 Heroes, Lightning Surge's center also Slows enemies by 40% for 2 seconds.

Reward: After hitting 3 Heroes with the center of a single cast, increase Sadism by 10% and instantly gain all other Rewards.

Alarak Ruthless Momentum
Ruthless Momentum (Level 1) Starcraft Alarak

Basic Abilities recharge 20% faster while above 80% Health.

3.1. Discussion

Sustaining Power Icon Sustaining Power will add healing to Lightning Surge, but this comes at the cost of the increased range you would get from Extended Lightning Icon Extended Lightning. By taking Extended Lightning, you can prevent more damage than Sustaining Power can heal. This is accomplished by casting Lightning Surge from a safer distance than would otherwise be possible. Sustaining Power will require a buff before it can be recommended over Extended Lightning.

Extended Lightning Icon Extended Lightning is made up of three quests which enhance Lightning Surge. The first quest increases the range of Lightning Surge, allowing you to poke from much safer positions. It will give you more opportunities to find targets behind enemy Heroes, which will allow you to stack other Lightning Surge related quests more easily. The additional range will also allow you to heal with Lightning Surge more safely. This quest can usually be completed in the opening team fight, if there is one. The second quest adds a slow to enemies hit by the center of Lightning Surge. This can be very powerful in team fights, and as a follow-up to Telekinesis and Discord Strike. The slow can also be used to set up your combo, as the slowed enemies will be much easier to hit. The third quest gives a 10% Sadism bonus; this essentially refunds Extended Lightning's initial Sadism penalty.

Ruthless Momentum Icon Ruthless Momentum can help to reduce the cooldown of Alarak's combo, as long as he remains near full Health. It will reduce the cooldown of Telekinesis the most, since that Ability has the longest cooldown. This Talent will be at its best when laning with allies during the early game, because your support can help to make sure you stay near full Health. The problem with recommending Ruthless Momentum over Extended Lightning, is that Extended Lightning will get even more value in the same scenario.

4. Level 4 Talents

Alarak Chaos Reigns
Chaos Reigns (Level 4) Starcraft Alarak

Quest: Hit Heroes with Discord Strike.

Reward: After hitting 15 Heroes, increase Discord Strike's damage by 50.

Reward: After hitting 2 Heroes with a single Discord Strike, increase its damage by 50.

Reward: After hitting 3 Heroes with a single Discord Strike, increase its damage by 80 and instantly gain all other Rewards.

Alarak Negatively Charged ?
Negatively Charged (Level 4) Starcraft Alarak

Increase the Lightning Surge damage bonus to enemies between Alarak and his victim to 150%.

Repeatable Quest: Each Hero hit by the center of Lightning Surge permanently increases the damage bonus by 5%.

Alarak Show of Force
Show of Force (Level 4) Starcraft Alarak

Heroes hit with 3 of Alarak's Abilities within 2 seconds take an additional 77 (+4% per level) damage.

4.1. Discussion

Chaos Reigns Icon Chaos Reigns is a great Talent that increases Discord Strike's damage when various quests are completed. Discord Strike should be used quite often, so this Talent will help increase damage with most builds. All three quests can be completed instantly by hitting three or more Heroes with a single Discord Strike. This quest can be very easy against Heroes who have multiple bodies in a small area, like Samuro.

Negatively Charged Icon Negatively Charged can greatly increase your damage in team fights when using a Lightning Surge poke focused playstyle. Make sure to hit enemies between you and your target in order to get value. The bonus damage only applies to Lightning Surge's center area, so it is best to pair this Talent with Extended Lightning Icon Extended Lightning. This quest's stacks are not lost if Alarak dies.

Show of Force Icon Show of Force is a very satisfying Talent that promotes landing all three Basic Abilities in quick succession. It is a lot of fun, and can make practicing Alarak's combo entertaining. However, Alarak's Abilities should not always be used in quick succession. It is often better to use them individually. Chaos Reigns is better overall once completed, because it will deal more bonus damage than Show of Force will until Level 22. It is also easier to hit multiple enemies with Discord Strike than it is to chain three Abilities on multiple enemies; adding damage to Discord Strike will generally be more effective than adding a similar amount of damage to an Ability chain.

5. Level 7 Talents

Alarak Dissonance ?
Dissonance (Level 7) Starcraft Alarak

Increase Discord Strike's Silence duration by 0.75 seconds.

Alarak Hindered Motion ?
Hindered Motion (Level 7) Starcraft Alarak

Telekinesis Slows enemies by 25% for 2 seconds.

Alarak Applied Force
Applied Force (Level 7) Starcraft Alarak

Reduce Sadism by 10%, but Telekinesis pushes 20% further and has 20% increased range.

5.1. Discussion

Dissonance Icon Dissonance increases the silence duration of Discord Strike. This can be useful for locking down Heroes who have escapes, as they will be unable to cast them for an additional amount of time. This is especially useful against Warriors, who usually need to cast Abilities to enhance their survivability. This Talent has the added benefit of not reducing Sadism.

Hindered Motion Icon Hindered Motion adds a slow to Telekinesis, which can be useful if you are experiencing difficulty landing Discord Strike.

Applied Force Icon Applied Force greatly increases the impact of Telekinesis, and makes landing the Telekinesis into Discord Strike combo much easier. At the same time it increases the effects of the other uses of Telekinesis, including peel and escape. This Talent generally has the greatest impact of the Talents in this tier; it allows Alarak to pull enemies out of position from a safer distance.

6. Level 10 Talents

Alarak Deadly Charge ?
Deadly Charge (Level 10) Starcraft Alarak
  • Cooldown: 0 seconds

After channeling, Alarak charges forward dealing 200 (+4% per level) damage to all enemies in his path. Distance is increased based on the amount of time channeled, up to 1.6 seconds.

Issuing a Move order while this is channeling will cancel it at no cost. Taking damage will interrupt the channeling.

Alarak Counter-Strike
Counter-Strike (Level 10) Starcraft Alarak
  • Mana: 50
  • Cooldown: 30 seconds

Alarak targets an area and channels for 1 second, becoming Protected and Unstoppable. After, if he took damage from an enemy Hero, he sends a shockwave that deals 275 (+4% per level) damage.

6.1. Discussion

Deadly Charge Icon Deadly Charge can deal massive damage to several enemy Heroes, or deal fatal damage to a low health enemy who is fleeing a team fight. You will be fully committed after your charge, so make sure your team is ready before you charge in. If your team does not want to commit to a fight, you may cancel the channel at any time. Attempting to channel Deadly Charge while inside or behind an enemy Minion wave will not work, as the Minions will attack you and cancel your channel. Deadly Charge is more risky than Counter Strike, because its defensive uses are limited.

Counter-Strike Icon Counter-Strike is a great Heroic option that can be used to save Alarak from high damage Abilities, hard crowd control, or simply to deal burst damage during a fight. When using Counter-Strike primarily as a damage source, enemy damage over time effects will proc the strike very reliably. You will need to think ahead and counter an enemy attack, which is much different than the hard engage you get from Deadly Charge Icon Deadly Charge. It is generally recommended over Deadly Charge due to the control and versatility it provides.

7. Level 13 Talents

Alarak Blade of the Highlord
Blade of the Highlord (Level 13) Starcraft Alarak

Basic Attacks against Heroes increase Sadism by 7% for 4 seconds, stacking up to 35%. Basic Attacks against Heroes refresh this duration.

Alarak Pure Malice ?
Pure Malice (Level 13) Starcraft Alarak

Increase Sadism by 10% any time an allied Hero dies, up to 40%.

Sadism gained from Pure Malice is lost on death.

Alarak Rite of Rak'Shir
Rite of Rak'Shir (Level 13) Starcraft Alarak
  • Cooldown: 300 seconds

Activate to mark an enemy Hero for 300 seconds.

Hitting the marked Hero with Discord Strike increases Sadism by 3%. Killing the marked Hero increases Sadism by 5% and lowers the cooldown of Rite of Rak'Shir to 10 seconds.

Sadism gained from Rite of Rak'Shir is lost on death.

7.1. Discussion

Blade of the Highlord Icon Blade of the Highlord adds a temporary bonus to Sadism while Alarak applies Basic Attacks to enemy Heroes. This bonus is lost shortly after the application of Basic Attacks ends. The bonus Sadism has a limit of 35%. This Talent is not currently recommended because Rite of Rak'Shir Icon Rite of Rak'Shir's bonus can scale well past 35%, and is only lost if Alarak dies.

Pure Malice Icon Pure Malice increases Sadism up to 40%, but requires your teammates to die for this to happen. For this reason, Pure Malice will get the most value when you have expendable Heroes like Murky or The Lost Vikings on your team. You should still consider Rite of Rak'Shir, as its bonus can scale far past 40%.

Rite of Rak'Shir Icon Rite of Rak'Shir has the potential to scale Sadism Icon Sadism's bonus to absurd amounts. This bonus is lost on death, but can otherwise be stacked without limit. You can gain 5% Sadism easily, just by casting this on an enemy Hero who is about to die. Some enemies will be zoned out of fights, simply by casting Rite of Rak'Shir on them. It is important to note that destroying D.Va's Mech will not reset Rite of Rak'Shir's cooldown; casting it on her is not recommended.

8. Level 16 Talents

Alarak Lethal Onslaught
Lethal Onslaught (Level 16) Starcraft Alarak

Hitting an enemy Hero with Discord Strike grants 50% of Sadism's damage bonus to Alarak's Basic Attacks for 4 seconds. Basic Attacks against Heroes refresh this duration.

Alarak Lightning Barrage ?
Lightning Barrage (Level 16) Starcraft Alarak

Hitting an enemy Hero with the center of Lightning Surge allows it to be cast again for free on a different primary target within the next 2 seconds. This free cast cannot benefit from Lightning Barrage.

Alarak Mocking Strikes
Mocking Strikes (Level 16) Starcraft Alarak

Basic Attacks against Stunned, Silenced, Slowed, or Rooted Heroes reduce the cooldown of Alarak's Basic Abilities by 2.5 seconds.

8.1. Discussion

Lethal Onslaught Icon Lethal Onslaught is similar to Mocking Strikes, in that they both grant a bonus to Basic Attacks against enemy Heroes who have been hit by Discord Strike. Lethal Onslaught can only be triggered by Discord Strike. However, Mocking Strikes Icon Mocking Strikes can be triggered by any silence, slow, stun, or root effects. In addition to this important difference, the effect of Mocking Strikes is much more powerful than that of Lethal Onslaught. For these reasons, this Talent is not currently recommended.

Lightning Barrage Icon Lightning Barrage is a great Talent for playstyles focused on Lightning Surge use. This enables you to deal more damage, heal more often, and stack Negatively Charged Icon Negatively Charged higher.

Mocking Strikes Icon Mocking Strikes is very strong, and is generally recommended. It greatly reduces Basic Ability cooldowns each time Alarak Basic Attacks an enemy who is stunned, silenced, slowed, or rooted. You can silence enemies with Discord Strike, and slow them with Extended Lightning Icon Extended Lightning or Hindered Motion Icon Hindered Motion. Basic Attacking after landing these Abilities is quite natural, and Mocking Strikes will generally get a lot of value.

9. Level 20 Talents

Alarak Counter-Strike ?
Counter-Strike (Level 20) Starcraft Alarak
  • Mana: 50
  • Cooldown: 30 seconds

Alarak targets an area and channels for 1 second, becoming Protected and Unstoppable. After, if he took damage from an enemy Hero, he sends a shockwave that deals 275 (+4% per level) damage.

This ability will take over Alarak's Trait button.

Alarak Deadly Charge ?
Deadly Charge (Level 20) Starcraft Alarak
  • Cooldown: 0 seconds

After channeling, Alarak charges forward dealing 200 (+4% per level) damage to all enemies in his path. Distance is increased based on the amount of time channeled, up to 1.6 seconds.

Issuing a Move order while this is channeling will cancel it at no cost. Taking damage will interrupt the channeling.

This ability will take over Alarak's Trait button.

Alarak Last Laugh ?
Last Laugh (Level 20) Starcraft Alarak
  • Cooldown: 30 seconds

Activate teleport to the chosen location and remove all Roots, Slows, and damage over time effects. If Alarak fails to hit enemy Heroes 3 times with Basic Abilities within 4 seconds of using Last Laugh, his Health is reduced to 1.

Alarak Hasty Bargain
Hasty Bargain (Level 20) Starcraft Alarak
  • Cooldown: 20 seconds

Activate to permanently reduce Alarak's Sadism by 4% and reset the cooldowns of his Basic Abilities.

9.1. Discussion

Counter-Strike Icon Counter-Strike is covered in detail above. Alarak is able to take both of his Level 10 Heroics in the same game. It is recommended to do so if Deadly Charge was taken at Level 10, because Counter-Strike is incredibly valuable after Deadly Charge is used to commit to a fight.

Deadly Charge Icon Deadly Charge is covered in detail above. This can be a good choice if you are against a very squishy composition, or if you are being denied Rite of Rak'Shir Icon Rite of Rak'Shir stacks which could be spent on Hasty Bargain Icon Hasty Bargain. Deadly Charge is also good if you are getting resets from Mocking Strikes, in which case Hasty Bargain may not be needed.

Last Laugh Icon Last Laugh is a risky Talent that is almost exclusively useful as an escape. Attempting to use this Talent offensively will often result in death, unless you are very confident in your ability to reliably land Alarak's skillshots. As a last resort escape it can be worth taking, as Telekinesis is a rather poor tool for a full retreat. If you need something to preserve your Rite of Rak'Shir Icon Rite of Rak'Shir stacks, this Talent can often work.

Hasty Bargain Icon Hasty Bargain gives up some of Sadism's bonus damage with each use; however, it allows Alarak to kill most Heroes in the game by himself. If you are confident and comfortable on Alarak, this Talent can allow you to close out a late game team fight in order to secure victory. For maximum value, throw out your full Ability rotation, then activate Hasty Bargain and repeat. Don't worry about the damage you give up doing this, as kills in the late game are much more valuable. Additionally, you can farm Sadism back with Rite of Rak'Shir Icon Rite of Rak'Shir.

10. ChangeLog

+ show all entries - show only 10 entries
  • 26 Aug. 2017: Blade of the Highlord text updated to reflect balance patch, earlier this week.
  • 20 Jun. 2017: Extended Lightning text updated.
  • 01 Jun. 2017: Text updated for Show of Force's discussion.
  • 31 May 2017: Talents page updated following balance patch.
  • 16 May 2017: Talents page updated following Alarak's rework in D.Va's release patch.
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