Illidan Build Guide “Now I am complete!”
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 is a nimble melee Offlaner. Very fast attacks, several gap closers, and the ability to significantly reduce his own Cooldowns through 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
Illidan's Talent Build Cheatsheet
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, to be better in lane and mercenaries at the early game with Immolation, or to have a great mid game and late game with Unending Hatred.
At Level 16 you have to choose between 3 options to increase your damage.
- Blades of Azzinoth is a great option when paired with Unending Hatred or if the enemy team does not feature blinds.
- Fiery Brand is extremely effective against Healthy or Armored Heroes, like Deathwing, or Cho.
- 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 BuildSituational
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, which significantly improves Illidan's team fighting damage output, and Demonic Form, which further increases Illidan's damage output and makes crowd control ineffective.
Illidan's Synergies and Counters
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 during 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.
Illidan's reliance on the healing and Cooldown reduction provided by 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.
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 always positions you directly behind your target; use this to body block and avoid area of effect Abilities.
- With Friend or Foe, 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 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 when capturing Mercenaries will only slow down the speed in which they are released. Only Sweeping Strike and Evasion should be used in Mercenary Camps.
- Sweeping Strike does not require a target, unlike Dive, making it useful as an escape tool.
- Evasion also mitigates the damage from Structures and other non-Heroic entities.
- 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.
- The Hunt's near-global range opens up opportunities to split push.
- Illidan can ignore Core damage with Evasion and Betrayer's Thirst. You can go for the core even with enemies defending it, by using Sweeping Strike and 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-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 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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