Illidan Build Guide “Now I am complete!”

Last updated on Mar 26, 2021 at 20:30 by Derenash 57 comments
General Information

Welcome to our guide for Illidan, a Melee Assassin in Heroes of the Storm. Within these pages, you will find everything required to understand how best to play this hero, in both different map styles and team compositions.


Illidan's Overview

Illidan is a nimble melee Offlaner. Very fast attacks, several gap closers, and the ability to significantly reduce his own Cooldowns through Betrayer's Thirst Icon Betrayer's Thirst make him extremely difficult to outmaneuver. His polarized 'feast-or-famine' nature tends to make him the center of attention for both allies and opponents — for better or for worse.


Illidan's Strengths and Weaknesses

V Strengths
  • +Nearly impossible to escape from
  • +Excellent duelist
  • +May quickly and safely solo claim Mercenary Camps
  • +No reliance on Mana and excellent self sustain
  • +Global presence with The Hunt Icon The Hunt
  • +Exceptional against Heroes reliant on Basic Attacks, such as Raynor or Greymane
X Weaknesses
  • -Requires a team composition that revolves around supporting him to excel
  • -Exceptionally vulnerable to crowd control due Basic Attack reliance
  • -Limited sieging potential
  • -Very weak when playing from behind
  • -Limited waveclear
  • -Extremely vulnerable to counter picks

Illidan's Talent Build Cheatsheet

Flexible Build

Level 1 Battered Assault Icon Unending Hatred Icon ? Immolation Icon ?
Level 4 Hunter's Onslaught Icon Reflexive Block Icon ?
Level 7 Friend or Foe Icon
Level 10 The Hunt Icon
Level 13 Sixth Sense Icon Nimble Defender Icon ? Elusive Strike Icon ?
Level 16 Marked for Death Icon Fiery Brand Icon ? Blades of Azzinoth Icon ?
Level 20 Bolt of the Storm Icon Nowhere to Hide Icon ?

The Flexible build revolves around getting specific Talents to compensate Illidan's weaknesses. This build is recommended if the enemy team have different ways to deny your Basic Attacks, so you build around dealing with what they feature.

At level 1 you can choose to have a good presence in early teamfights through Battered Assault Icon Battered Assault, to be better in lane and mercenaries at the early game with Immolation Icon Immolation, or to have a great mid game and late game with Unending Hatred Icon Unending Hatred.

Hunter's Onslaught Icon Hunter's Onslaught is the default Talent at level 4, but Reflexive Block Icon Reflexive Block can be a great option against Heroes dependent on Basic Attacks, like Raynor or Greymane.

At Level 16 you have to choose between 3 options to increase your damage.

  • Blades of Azzinoth Icon Blades of Azzinoth is a great option when paired with Unending Hatred Icon Unending Hatred or if the enemy team does not feature blinds.
  • Fiery Brand Icon Fiery Brand is extremely effective against Healthy or Armored Heroes, like Deathwing, or Cho.
  • Marked for Death Icon Marked for Death, being the only talent that boosts Illidan's PvE capabilities while not dependent on delivering many Basic Attacks, is a good option if opposing team has many different counters for Illidan.

Basic Attacks Build

Level 1 Battered Assault Icon Unending Hatred Icon ?
Level 4 Thirsting Blade Icon
Level 7 Friend or Foe Icon
Level 10 Metamorphosis Icon
Level 13 Sixth Sense Icon Nimble Defender Icon ? Elusive Strike Icon ?
Level 16 Blades of Azzinoth Icon Fiery Brand Icon ?
Level 20 Demonic Form Icon

The Basic Attacks build focuses on improving Illidan's team fighting presence. It is commonly picked as a means of punishing team compositions that lack the tools to hinder Illidan's Basic Attacks. Key Talents include Metamorphosis, the Heroic Ability core to the build, Battered Assault Icon Battered Assault, which significantly improves Illidan's team fighting damage output, and Demonic Form Icon Demonic Form, which further increases Illidan's damage output and makes crowd control ineffective.


Illidan's Synergies and Counters

V Illidan synergizes with

Illidan strives when played with any Hero that can increase his survivability, be it through Shielding effects, Armor, or raw instant healing. He is typically known to requires allied Heroes known as "enablers" to be at his best.

Medivh is one of the best enablers for Illidan, due to how he covers Illidan's weaknesses to burst damage while he is under crowd control. Additionally, it is important to not use Force of Will Icon Force of Will during Evasion Icon Evasion, since the overlap of 2 defensive Abilities may considerably cripple Illidan's survivability. We recommend using Medivh's shield right after Evasion runs out, so Illidan can reset his cooldowns while protected.

X Illidan is countered by

Illidan's reliance on the healing and Cooldown reduction provided by Betrayer's Thirst Icon Betrayer's Thirst makes him particularly vulnerable to effects that can reduce his attack speed or otherwise stop him from attacking. Furthermore, his ability to split push can often be matched by other Heroes to even out any advantage generated by this strategy. Although Illidan can be countered by many Heroes, his design makes him very oppressive when poorly counterpicked.


Illidan's Maps

Illidan's stronger maps
Blackheart's Bay Cursed Hollow Garden of Terror Sky Temple Warhead Junction
Illidan's average maps
Alterac Pass Dragon Shire Hanamura Temple Infernal Shrines Tomb of the Spider Queen
Illidan's weaker maps
Battlefield of Eternity Braxis Holdout Towers of Doom Volskaya Foundry

The Hunt Icon The Hunt makes Illidan particularly effective on larger Maps that feature multiple Objectives that must be contested, as it allows him to effectively soak and push without giving up potential team fighting presence, as would other Heroes. Illidan also strives on Maps that feature several Mercenary Camps for him to claim, as he does so painlessly, and tends to be weak in lane. Since Illidan has a very good chase potential, he also benefits from maps where fights happens far from the lane, allowing him to easily reach the opposing defenseless backline


Illidan's Tips and Tricks

  • Dive Icon Dive always positions you directly behind your target; use this to body block and avoid area of effect Abilities.
  • With Friend or Foe Icon Friend or Foe, Dive Icon Dive can be utilized as an engage or escape tool. It is interesting to use it towards the enemy team, to proceed with Sweeping Strike Icon Sweeping Strike to reach your target, resetting the Cooldown of Dive, to use it to retreat when enemies turn their focus on you.
  • Illidan can use walls to retreat with Dive, to heal himself, or to reset his Cooldowns. It is recommended to not break them, since those can help you a lot.
  • Using Dive Icon Dive when capturing Mercenaries will only slow down the speed in which they are released. Only Sweeping Strike Icon Sweeping Strike and Evasion Icon Evasion should be used in Mercenary Camps.
  • Sweeping Strike Icon Sweeping Strike does not require a target, unlike Dive, making it useful as an escape tool.
  • Evasion Icon Evasion also mitigates the damage from Structures and other non-Heroic entities.
  • Metamorphosis Icon Metamorphosis's short Immaterial effect can and should optimally be used to quickly dodge Abilities.
  • Always use your Basic Attacks, even when out of combat, so as to heal and reduce the Cooldowns of your Abilities with Betrayer's Thirst Icon Betrayer's Thirst.
  • The Hunt Icon The Hunt's near-global range opens up opportunities to split push.
  • Illidan can ignore Core damage with Evasion Icon Evasion and Betrayer's Thirst Icon Betrayer's Thirst. You can go for the core even with enemies defending it, by using Sweeping Strike Icon Sweeping Strike and Dive Icon Dive to move away from opposing Heroes while also finishing the game.

Illidan's Role in the Current Meta

Illidan's general playstyle is typically defined by the Map and draft at hand. On larger Maps where Mercenary Camps are plentiful, such as Garden of Terror and Warhead Junction, a The Hunt Icon The Hunt-oriented playstyle may be preferred, particularly if the opponent's team composition features other global Heroes such as Brightwing, Dehaka, or Falstad. Under fortuitous circumstances, it may be possible to build a team composition around Illidan by early-picking some of his enablers, such as Medivh or Abathur, with opponents failing to properly plan for a late Illidan pick. This opens up the possibility of using Metamorphosis Icon Metamorphosis to become extremely oppressive.



  • 26 Mar. 2021 (talents page): Updated Talent recommendations.
  • 04 Mar. 2021 (talents page): Builds and Talents updated after recent balance patch.
  • 04 Mar. 2021 (this page): Builds updated after recent balance patch.
  • 30 Nov. 2020 (this page): Removed Gladiator's Medallion's Tip.
  • 22 Sep. 2020 (talents page): Builds and Talents updated to reflect current meta.
  • 22 Sep. 2020 (abilities page): Dive description updated.
  • 22 Sep. 2020 (this page): Guide fully updated to reflect current meta.
  • 14 Jan. 2018 (talents page): Updated Metamorphosis and Standard Split builds.
  • 29 Aug. 2017 (this page): Guide fully updated and moved to new format.
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