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Illidan Talents

Last updated on Aug 29, 2017 at 12:22 by Oxygen 46 comments

Table of Contents

Illidan Image

General Information

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

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. Talent Build

Level Choices
1 Immolation Battered Assault ? Unending Hatred ?
4 Rapid Chase Friend or Foe Unbound
7 Reflexive Block ? Thirsting Blade Hunter's Onslaught
10 Metamorphosis ? The Hunt
13 Nimble Defender ? Elusive Strike ? Sixth Sense ?
16 Marked for Death Fiery Brand ? Blades of Azzinoth
20 Demonic Form Nowhere to Hide Nexus Blades Bolt of the Storm ?
Create your own build and share it with friends!

2. Common Talent Paths

Metamorphosis Build (talent calculator link)

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.

Standard Split Build (talent calculator link)

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.

3. Level 1 Talents

Illidan Immolation
Immolation (Level 1) World of Warcraft Illidan

After using Sweeping Strike, burn nearby enemies for 22 (+4% per level) damage a second for 4 seconds.

Illidan Battered Assault ?
Battered Assault (Level 1) World of Warcraft Illidan

Increase Sweeping Strike's Basic Attack damage bonus duration from 3 to 5 seconds. If Sweeping Strike hits 2 Heroes its damage bonus is increased from 35% to 125%.

Illidan Unending Hatred ?
Unending Hatred (Level 1) World of Warcraft Illidan

Quest: Minion kills grant 0.2 Basic Attack Damage. Hero Takedowns grant 1 Basic Attack Damage.

Reward: After gaining 20 increased Basic Attack Damage, receive an additional 20 Basic Attack Damage.

3.1. Discussion

Immolation Icon Immolation provides Illidan with a steady source of area of effect damage, something that his base kit sorely lacks. Immolation helps at all stages of the game, be it with waveclearing, claiming Mercenary Camps, or simply dealing more damage whenever Sweeping Strike Icon Sweeping Strike is used — which is always.

Battered Assault Icon Battered Assault has the potential of greatly increasing Illidan's team fight damage. However, you do need to ensure that Sweeping Strike Icon Sweeping Strike meets its condition of hitting at least two Heroes whenever it is used. Battered Assault is typically picked on Maps that do not feature many Mercenary Camps, as the value of the Immolation Icon Immolation alternative Talent diminishes in this case.

Unending Hatred Icon Unending Hatred provides the largest, most reliable damage increase as a first-level Talent, albeit much later into the game. With some of the fastest Basic Attack speed in the game, Unending Hatred will increase your Basic Attack damage by 30 or roughly 20 to 30% overall. The downside of Unending Hatred is that it requires time to stack and become impactful. Unending Hatred is recommended on Maps where you will spend most of your time in a Lane, notably, Dragon Shire and Tomb of the Spider Queen.

4. Level 4 Talents

Illidan Rapid Chase
Rapid Chase (Level 4) World of Warcraft Illidan

Dive grants 15% Movement Speed for 2 seconds.

Illidan Friend or Foe
Friend or Foe (Level 4) World of Warcraft Illidan

Increases the range of Dive by 20% and allows it to be used to dive to allied Heroes.

Illidan Unbound
Unbound (Level 4) World of Warcraft Illidan

Sweeping Strike can go over walls and terrain.

Reward: After hitting 30 Heroes with Sweeping Strike, gain a second charge.

4.1. Discussion

Although Rapid Chase Icon Rapid Chase provides reliable movement speed increase, the Friend or Foe Icon Friend or Foe alternative is much more versatile with its range increase and ability to jump to allied Heroes.

Friend or Foe Icon Friend or Foe provides Illidan with more mobility. The range increase is useful for chasing, whereas the option to jump to an ally is invaluable to keep yourself alive or avoid dangerous area of effect Abilities.

Unbound Icon Unbound adds a new dimension to the way Illidan can be played by allowing you to quickly move through both terrain and structural walls, making you much more nimble and difficult to catch. Its additional charge clause is also rather simple to fulfill, and will exponentially increase Illidan's mobility while improving the uptime of Sweeping Strike's damage bonus. The only issue with this Talent, however, is how long its associated Quest is to complete. In the end, the range provided Friend or Foe Icon Friend or Foe generally ends up being more useful.

5. Level 7 Talents

Illidan Reflexive Block ?
Reflexive Block (Level 7) World of Warcraft Illidan

Using Dive grants 75 Physical Armor against the next 2 Hero Basic Attacks for 3 seconds, reducing the damage taken by 75%.

Illidan Thirsting Blade
Thirsting Blade (Level 7) World of Warcraft Illidan

Betrayer's Thirst's healing from Basic Attacks is increased from 30% to 50% while Sweeping Strike's damage bonus is active.

Illidan Hunter's Onslaught
Hunter's Onslaught (Level 7) World of Warcraft Illidan

Basic Abilities heal for 25% of the damage they deal. This bonus is doubled versus Heroes.

5.1. Discussion

Reflexive Block Icon Reflexive Block is a powerful choice against teams that feature at least two Heroes with powerful Basic Attacks, such as Cho'gall, Greymane, Leoric, Ragnaros, Raynor, Sgt. Hammer, Stukov, The Butcher, Thrall, Varian, Zeratul, or Zul'jin. Otherwise, Thirsting Blade Icon Thirsting Blade is likely to generate more value in the form of self sustain.

Thirsting Blade Icon Thirsting Blade fulfils the same purpose as Hunter's Onslaught Icon Hunter's Onslaught. Its effectiveness depends just on how much you are able to freely deliver Basic Attacks. If the opposing team features several sources of Blind or crowd control, Hunter's Onslaught may end up being more reliable.

Hunter's Onslaught Icon Hunter's Onslaught is the alternative to when there are either not many Basic Attack-reliant Heroes on the opposing team, or in the presence of Tracer or Tychus, both of which quickly chew through and waste Block charges.

6. Level 10 Talents

Illidan Metamorphosis ?
Metamorphosis (Level 10) World of Warcraft Illidan
  • Cooldown: 120 seconds

Transform into Demon Form at the target location, dealing 46 (+4% per level) damage in the area. Temporarily increases maximum Health by 200 (+4% per level) for each Hero hit by the initial impact. Lasts for 18 seconds.

Illidan The Hunt
The Hunt (Level 10) World of Warcraft Illidan
  • Cooldown: 100 seconds

Charge to target unit, dealing 251 (+4% per level) damage on impact and stunning for 1 second.

6.1. Discussion

At this level, Heroic Abilities become available. Both Heroic Abilities have already been described in the abilities section.

Metamorphosis Icon Metamorphosis is the source of much of Illidan's team fighting power, and is generally picked as a means of crushing team compositions that are ill-equipped to counter Illidan. In the presence of one or more of Illidan's "enablers" as allied Heroes, and in the absence of Illidan's counters, Metamorphosis opens up the possibility for team fighting-centric strategies that simply focus on fighting as often as Metamorphosis is available. Refer to this guide's intro section for more information about Illidan's counters.

The Hunt Icon The Hunt allows you to create Map pressure through split pushing and ganking. It may also be used as a key Ability in burst compositions, although using it as a means of initiating is ill-advised. The Hunt is typically used on larger Maps such as Garden of Terror and Warhead Junction or as a counter to other Heroes with global movement Abilities such as Brightwing, Dehaka, or Falstad.

7. Level 13 Talents

Illidan Nimble Defender ?
Nimble Defender (Level 13) World of Warcraft Illidan

If Sweeping Strikes hits an enemy Hero, gain 25 Armor for 2 seconds, reducing damage taken by 25%.

Illidan Elusive Strike ?
Elusive Strike (Level 13) World of Warcraft Illidan

Sweeping Strike reduces the cooldown of Evasion by 3 seconds every time it damages an enemy Hero.

Illidan Sixth Sense ?
Sixth Sense (Level 13) World of Warcraft Illidan

While active, Evasion grants Illidan 75 Spell Armor against the next 2 sources of Spell Damage, reducing their damage by 75%.

7.1. Discussion

Nimble Defender Icon Nimble Defender provides a dependable damage reduction when fighting enemy Heroes, reducing all damage that taken by 25% with an approximate 50% uptime (via the Cooldown reduction provided by Betrayer's Thirst Icon Betrayer's Thirst). It is, however, less specialized than its counterparts, and should only be picked if no value is to be gained from them.

Elusive Strike Icon Elusive Strike has niche use against team compositions that feature three or more Heroes with potent Basic Attacks, including, but not limited to, Cho'gall, Greymane, Leoric, Ragnaros, Raynor, Sgt. Hammer, Stukov, The Butcher, Thrall, Tracer, Tychus, Varian, Zeratul, and Zul'jin. The Cooldown reduction provided by this Talent, compounded with that provided by Betrayer's Thirst Icon Betrayer's Thirst, will cause Evasion Icon Evasion to be available much more often than it normally would.

Sixth Sense Icon Sixth Sense reduces Ability damage taken for the next 2 instances of Ability damage taken. This unfortunately includes any damage dealt by Abilities, as minute as it may be, such as ticks from Stitches' Vile Gas Icon Vile Gas or Dehaka's Dark Swarm Icon Dark Swarm. This makes it very difficult to reduce the damage of Abilities that are actually dangerous, such as Nova's Precision Strike Icon Precision Strike. Sixth Sense still has a place place against caster-heavy team compositions, such as those that might feature Chromie, Jaina, Kael'thas, Kel'thuzad or Nova.

8. Level 16 Talents

Illidan Marked for Death
Marked for Death (Level 16) World of Warcraft Illidan

Dive deals an extra 180 (+4% per level) damage if used consecutively on a target within 10 seconds.

Illidan Fiery Brand ?
Fiery Brand (Level 16) World of Warcraft Illidan

Every 4th attack against the same Hero deals an additional 6% of their maximum Health as damage.

Illidan Blades of Azzinoth
Blades of Azzinoth (Level 16) World of Warcraft Illidan
  • Cooldown: 8 seconds

Hitting 5 Heroes with Sweeping Strike allows Blades of Azzinoth to be activated, increasing Basic Attack damage by 75% for 8 seconds.

8.1. Discussion

Marked for Death Icon Marked for Death provides Illidan with an alternative way of dealing damage that is no longer tied to his Basic Attacks. This is particularly useful against Heroes that are able kite to reduce your uptime, or otherwise have access to Blind or other forms of crowd control. Marked for Death also turns Dive into a sustained damage increase against Structures and Mercenary Camps. It should be noted that this Talent also makes Illidan particularly strong at destroying Cores.

Fiery Brand Icon Fiery Brand is Illidan's specific version of Giant Killer Icon Giant Killer. Although it requires 4 consecutive Basic Attacks to trigger, Illidan's very fast attack speed, and the fact that Fiery Brand deals a hefty 6% of the target's Health as pure damage makes the Talent a reasonable choice against team compositions that feature Healthy Heroes such as Azmodan, Cho'gall, or two or more Warriors.

Blades of Azzinoth Icon Blades of Azzinoth theoretically deals more damage than Marked for Death Icon Marked for Death, but its limitations generally make Marked for Death more impactful. Not only does Blades of Azzinoth require hitting enemy Heroes 5 times with Sweeping Strike Icon Sweeping Strike prior to using it, but you must also be able to consistantly use Basic Attacks while it is active.

9. Level 20 Talents

Illidan Demonic Form
Demonic Form (Level 20) World of Warcraft Illidan

Permanently remain in Demonic Form. Metamorphosis also increases Attack Speed by 20% and reduces the duration of slows, roots, and stuns by 50%. Illidan can now mount in Demonic Form.

Illidan Nowhere to Hide
Nowhere to Hide (Level 20) World of Warcraft Illidan

The Hunt gains unlimited range. Illidan passively reveals enemy Heroes below 25% Health anywhere on the Battleground.

Illidan Nexus Blades
Nexus Blades (Level 20) World of Warcraft Illidan

Basic Attacks deal 20% more damage and Slow enemy Movement Speed by 20% for 1 second.

Illidan Bolt of the Storm ?
Bolt of the Storm (Level 20) World of Warcraft Illidan
  • Cooldown: 70 seconds

Activate to teleport to a nearby location.

9.1. Discussion

Demonic Form Icon Demonic Form provides Illidan with everything he needs. The attack speed increase synergises nicely with Betrayer's Thirst Icon Betrayer's Thirst, as more Basic Attacks provide more Cooldown reduction, which translates into more survivability. The crowd control reduction also indirectly improves his survivability and general uptime.

Nowhere to Hide Icon Nowhere to Hide does little to truly improve the effectiveness of The Hunt Icon The Hunt. The Ability already has an extremely long range, and the added Revealing effect is less than useful in practice.

Nexus Blades Icon Nexus Blades provides less damage and utility than Demonic Form Icon Demonic Form. Although 20% increased Basic Attack damage and 20% increased attack speed may appear as equivalent at a glance, one must remember that attack speed also provides Illidan with Cooldown reduction through Betrayer's Thirst Icon Betrayer's Thirst. The slowing effect of Nexus Blades is also less than useful to a Hero with infinite chasing potential.

Bolt of the Storm Icon Bolt of the Storm is a powerful Talent for any Hero. Illidan's mobility, however, is high enough to justify picking another Talent. Bolt of the Storm still finds niche use for The Hunt Icon The Hunt users, as they generally need the added survivability that would otherwise be provided by Metamorphosis Icon Metamorphosis.

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