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Illidan Build Guide “Now I am complete!”

Last updated on Jan 14, 2018 at 21:53 by Oxygen 54 comments

Table of Contents

Illidan Image

General Information

Welcome to our Illidan guide for Heroes of the Storm. Here you will learn everything you need to know in order to play Illidan in a competitive environment, whether you play on your own or with a team.

About the Author

Oxygen is a veteran of the MOBA genre, which he has been playing for nearly 15 years. He has coached some of Heroes of the Storm's most prominent North American players and teams alike, including Team Liquid. As a Master player, he enjoys playing all Heroes and roles.

1. Quick Reference for Illidan

Standard Split Build (talent calculator link)

Level 1 Immolation Icon Unending Hatred Icon ?
Level 4 Friend or Foe Icon
Level 7 Thirsting Blade Icon Reflexive Block 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 ?
Level 20 Bolt of the Storm Icon

The Standard Split build revolves around split pushing and quickly claiming Mercenary Camps to generate an Experience lead. Key Talents include The Hunt Icon The Hunt, which provides global mobility, Immolation Icon Immolation, which increases Illidan's area of effect damage output, and Thirsting Blade Icon Thirsting Blade, which provides significant self sustain.

Metamorphosis Build (talent calculator link)

Level 1 Battered Assault Icon
Level 4 Friend or Foe Icon
Level 7 Thirsting Blade Icon Reflexive Block Icon ?
Level 10 Metamorphosis Icon
Level 13 Sixth Sense Icon Nimble Defender Icon ? Elusive Strike Icon ?
Level 16 Marked for Death Icon Fiery Brand Icon ?
Level 20 Demonic Form Icon Bolt of the Storm Icon ?

The Metamorphosis Icon 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 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.

See our Talents page for further information Create your own build and share it with friends!

Synergies and Counters

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, 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 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 stronger maps Blackheart's Bay Cursed Hollow Garden of Terror Warhead Junction
Illidan's average maps Dragon Shire Haunted Mines Infernal Shrines Sky Temple Tomb of the Spider Queen
Illidan's weaker maps Battlefield of Eternity Braxis Holdout Hanamura 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. This is also why two-lane Maps are generally to be avoided for him.

TL;DR Tips

  • Dive Icon Dive always positions you directly behind your target; use this to body block and avoid area of effect Abilities.
  • 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.
See our Abilities page for further information

2. Introduction

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 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.

3. Strengths

  • Nearly impossible to escape from
  • Excellent duelist
  • May quickly and safely solo claim Mercenary Camps
  • No reliance on Mana and excellent self sustain
  • Flexible Heroic Ability choices

4. 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

5. 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 Tassadar or Uther, 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.

6. Reading Further

To take things further, we have 2 more pages that you can read:

7. ChangeLog

  • 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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