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 Bruiser. 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
Standard Split BuildTalent calculator »
The Standard Split build revolves around split pushing and quickly claiming Mercenary Camps to generate an Experience lead. Key Talents include The Hunt, which provides global mobility, Immolation, which increases Illidan's area of effect damage output, and Thirsting Blade, which provides significant self sustain.
Metamorphosis BuildTalent calculator »
The Metamorphosis 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, however; such enablers usually provide one of the aforementioned effects on top of other buffs, such as attack speed or movement speed. A Tank with an effective way to initiate is also useful; many Heroes, including Arthas, E.T.C., and Muradin may fulfill this role.
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. This is also why two-lane Maps are generally to be avoided for him.
Illidan's Tips and Tricks
- Dive always positions you directly behind your target; use this to body block and avoid area of effect Abilities.
- 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.
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 Tassadar or Uther, with opponents failing to properly plan for a late Illidan pick. This opens up the possibility of using Metamorphosis to become extremely oppressive.
- 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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