Jaina Build Guide “I'm here to help.”
Welcome to our guide for Jaina, a Ranged 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.
Jaina is combo-oriented ranged damage dealer with outstanding area of effect crowd control and burst damage potential. Befitting her Frost Mage theme, her Abilities also Slow everything they hit. Her reliance on skillshots and delayed Abilities, and relative fragility, however, make her one of the hardest Heroes to play, let alone master.
Jaina's Strengths and Weaknesses
- Very fragile, especially to melee Assassins
- Difficult to play due to ALL Abilities having some form of counterplay
- Long Cooldowns that must be managed with care
- Limited mobility
Jaina's Talent Build Cheatsheet
Jaina's Standard Build is a very versatile and useful Build path to take in every game. It has a good damage on the frontline with Icefury Wand or with Ice Floes, excellent Mana management with Level 1 and Level 4, and has several Talent options to pick based on the opposing composition.
Icefury Wand is an excellent Talent to apply constant damage to a Tank or Bruiser without cooldowns. However, Ice Floes is outstanding against several melees in the opposing team. Combined with Icy Veins and Numbing Blast, Cone of Cold can Root divers and melees for five seconds, but remember to apply chill on them before using it!
Jaina's Frostbolt Build seeks to improve Jaina's sustain damage output through the several synergistic Talents which empower Frostbolt. Fingers of Frost provides much needed Mana and a bit of extra damage; Frost Shards makes Frostbolt more difficult to block and potentially doubles its damage; Ice Lance situationally halves Frostbolt's cooldown, which is particularly significant when combined with Icy Veins; Summon Water Elemental provides a reliable way to keep targets Chilled through Frostbite.
It is important to note that Winter's Reach is an option at Level 1, but should only be chosen against several high ranged Heroes, as it is necessary to apply pressure on them.
Jaina's Synergies and Counters
Since Jaina depends highly on skillshots to deal her damage, she naturally works well with any Hero that can provide reliable crowd control against a kill target for her to follow up. Her frailty also makes her dependent on other Heroes to peel for her; Tanks tend to fulfill these two needs, although other Hero types can as well.
Since Jaina relies chiefly on skillshots and delayed Abilities to deal damage, she does particularly poorly against Heroes that have ways of quickly dodging her Abilities. Furthermore, her frailty and lack of self-peel makes her vulnerable to Stealthed or otherwise high-damage nimble Heroes that can quickly reach her.
Jaina's excellent waveclear makes her particularly effective on Maps where the Objective requires the rapid destruction of several small enemies, or where quick rotations are expected. She also becomes quite proficient at claiming Mercenary Camps as well past Hero Level 7. She tends to be weaker on Maps where she might need to be isolated, although she should probably never be left without an ally regardless, due to her dependence on peeling.
Jaina's Tips and Tricks
- Use your Abilities together to maximise Frostbite's damage.
- Root or Slow enemies before casting Blizzard and Ring of Frost. Allied crowd control is also helpful.
- Use Blizzard to very efficiently waveclear or claim Mercenary Camps.
Jaina's Role in the Current Meta
While Jaina's sustain damage may be slightly lower than that of other Assassins, her burst damage potential certainly makes up for this. This extreme amount of burst damage allows Jaina to heavily damage or outright kill out-of-position targets, something that her counterparts would be unable to do. Additionally, almost the entirety of Jaina's damage is area of effect, allowing her to heavily punish enemy teams that group tightly together.
Unlike other burst damage Heroes who are very weak during the early game, lack waveclear, or can only deal single target damage, Jaina's abundance of on-demand burst damage does not make other parts of her kit weaker. Her only real weakness lies in her very low mobility and dependence on good positioning.
- 09 Dec. 2021 (abilities page): Frostbite's description updated after recent balance patch.
- 09 Dec. 2021 (talents page): Updated Winter's reach's description to reflect recent Balance Patch's changes.
- 09 Dec. 2021 (this page): Guide updated after recent Balance Patch.
- 24 Jul. 2021 (this page): Guide updated after recent Balance Patch.
- 24 Jul. 2021 (talents page): Updated Builds and Talents after recent Balance Patch.
- 30 Jun. 2021 (talents page): Builds and Talents updated to reflect current meta.
- 30 Jun. 2021 (this page): Guide updated to reflect current meta.
- 09 May 2021 (talents page): Icefury Wand discussion updated and build modified accordingly.
- 22 Nov. 2020 (talents page): Arcane Intellect's discussion updated.
- 30 Aug. 2020 (this page): Role in Current Meta section updated.
- 05 Apr. 2020 (talents page): Descriptions updated for Icy Veins and Snowstorm.
- 15 Feb. 2020 (talents page): Talents reviewed following February 12 patch changes.
- 15 Dec. 2019 (this page): Added a note about current Anomaly.
- 23 May 2019 (talents page): Updated Talent discussion and recommendations following patch v2.45.1 changes.
- 14 Jan. 2018 (talents page): Updated Tier 6 and 7 Talent assessments. Updated Frostbolt build.
- 07 Sep. 2017 (this page): Guide updated for Kel'thuzad patch and moved to new format.
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