Sonya Abilities and Strategy
Table of Contents
- ×Abilities and Strategy
- +Talent Build
Below, we give you an overview of the abilities that Sonya has access to. We also explain how to best your these abilities.
The other pages of our Sonya 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. Tips on Ability Usage
- As Fury does not decay over time, try and keep it full before impending engagements.
- Ancient Spear is Sonya's most important Ability; avoid wasting it unless you are sure you can land it.
- Use Whirlwind to trigger Fury's movement speed when chasing foes down to keep up with them.
- Try and constantly keep on attacking while under the effects of Wrath of the Berserker to maintain its effects for as long as possible.
Although we typically list Hero abilities in order, Sonya's Trait is quite unique in that it heavily impacts the way that she is played. As such, we list it first and not last, as we usually do with other Heroes.
Use Fury instead of Mana, which is gained by taking or dealing damage. Using a Basic or Heroic Ability grants 10% Movement Speed for 4 seconds.
Fury, Sonya's Trait, serves two purposes. First, it replaces Sonya's Mana with a unique resource called Fury. Whereas Mana scales with Hero Levels and naturally regenerates over time, Fury has a static total of 100 and is generated by Basic Attacks, taking damage, the Ancient Spear Ability, and certain Talents. Basic Attacks generate 6 Fury per hit; separate instances of direct damage taken generate 2 Fury each. Second, it increases your movement speed by 10% for 4 seconds whenever you use an Ability.
As a resource, Fury is not particularly difficult to manage, though it is an integral part of Sonya's playstyle. A simple rule of thumb is to not spend it when you may not be able to regenerate it before engaging in any kind of player combat, for which you always want your pool to be full or nearly so. You should, however, try and avoid overgenerating Fury by attacking or using Ancient Spear when you are full. It is also worth noting that the Healing Well does not provide Fury.
The movement speed increase clause is straightforward: it essentially amounts to a reliable 10% movement speed increase while in combat, allowing Sonya to outmanoeuvre, chase, and escape from many less-mobile Heroes. It is helpful for increasing your Basic Attack uptime as well, granted that you maintain the effect by using an Ability at least once every 4 seconds.
3. Ancient Spear
- Cooldown: 13 seconds
Throw out a spear that pulls Sonya to the first enemy hit, dealing 173 (+4% per level) damage and briefly stunning them. If this hits an enemy, generate 40 Fury.
Ancient Spear has many important functions, making it Sonya's most important Ability. Besides dealing a large amount of damage, the Ability acts as Sonya's main gap-closer, interruption tool, and Fury generator. Failing to hit an Ancient Spear can leave you Fury-starved for an extended period of time, as you will then have to rely on Basic Attacks to generate enough to use your other Abilities. It is therefore essential that you learn the Ability's range and projectile speed so that you may reliably hit your intended target, even in high stress situations. Do know that keen opponents who understand the importance of the Ability may attempt to juke you to avoid being hit, at which point experience and prediction skills will come into play.
After successfully hitting an Ancient Spear, you should always try and follow up with a Seismic Slam cast. It is often possible to land a Basic Attack as well due to the movement speed increase provided by Fury. The large amount of Fury generated by Ancient Spear is a good way of greatly extendending the duration of Wrath of the Berserker. The Mystical Spear Talent, acquired at Hero Level 13, also turns Ancient Spear into a reliable escape mechanism, though you do lose out on the Fury gain and damage when it is used as such.
4. Seismic Slam
- Fury: 25
- Cooldown: 1 seconds
Deals 176 (+4% per level) damage to the target enemy, and 44 (+4% per level) to enemies behind the target.
Seismic Slam is Sonya's main single-target damage Ability. With such a high damage value on a very short 1-second Cooldown, it is by far the highest DPS Ability in the game, and is key to eliminating players, Mercenaries, and Structures alike. Its use is, however, limited by your available Fury, and by the fact that it requires you to be very close to your target. Still, Seismic Slam is essentially the reason why you should always strive to remain near your foes when it is safe to do.
There is no secret to using Seismic Slam; whenever you are within cast range of anything you intend on quickly dispatching, the Ability should be used. The only exception to this is when you are in need of healing yourself or passing through units, at which point your Fury should instead be saved towards using Whirlwind. It should be noted that even if Seismic Slam deals a certain amount of damage to foes behind your initial target, this effect is typically not taken into account as this limited damage is rarely worth the hassle of having to reposition yourself. Sonya's fast attack speed makes it possible to land one Basic Attack between each Seismic Slam, even if you have enough Fury to chain-cast them; doing so will maximise your damage and promote Fury generation.
- Fury: 40
- Cooldown: 5 seconds
Deals 441 (+4% per level) damage to nearby enemies over 3 seconds, and heals for 25% of damage dealt. Healing tripled versus Heroes.
Although Whirlwind deals a respectable amount of damage, its restrictive Fury cost and long channeling time restricts it to the utility role. The Ability's main point of appeal lies in its healing properties. When used against three or more entities, Whirlwind provides the significant amount of self-sustain that makes Sonya so notoriously difficult to force out of lane. Whirlwind can also be situationally useful for both chasing and escaping; since it does not have a casting animation, unlike Ancient Spear and Seismic Slam, you can instantly benefit from the movement speed increase provided by Fury without having to stop moving. One should also keep in mind that Whirlwind provides Sonya with the rare Ability to freely move through units for its duration, which is particularly useful to reposition, avoid being body blocked.
Whirlwind is notably powerful against team compositions that lack reliable means of interrupting it. Hitting several Heroes at once can yield an impressive amount of healing, though one should see to first and foremost remain in a safe position. It should also be noted that since this healing depends on how much damage Whirlwind deals, effects that increase Sonya's Ability damage or increase the damage taken by enemies will effectively cause Whirlwind to heal more.
- Cooldown: 70 seconds
Leap into the air, dealing 135 (+4% per level) damage to nearby enemies, and stunning them for 1.25 seconds.
Leap is a straightforward Heroic Ability that is typically used in conjunction with one or several other abilities that require a setup of some sort to be effective. Leap's main point of appeal is that it provides an extremely reliable area of effect stun on a relatively short Cooldown that moves Sonya right into the heat of battle. A best-case scenario is to hit as many players as possible so that your allies may follow up with their own area of effect Abilities. You should, however, always try and focus on targeting vulnerable backline Heroes so as to increase the impact of your combo.
Leap combos well with the following Abilities:
- Lightning Breath from Diablo;
- Mosh Pit from E.T.C.;
- Hinterland Blast from Falstad;
- Grav-O-Bomb 3000 from Gazlowe;
- Blizzard and Ring of Frost from Jaina;
- Primal Grasp and Impaling Blades from Kerrigan;
- Ravenous Spirit from Nazeebo:
- Precision Strike from Nova;
- Hyperion from Raynor;
- Overkill and Commandeer Odin from Tychus;
- Strafe and Rain of Vengeance from Valla;
- Devouring Maw from Zagara;
- Void Prison from Zeratul.
Using Leap onto several targets followed by Whirlwind is an excellent way of both dealing a large amount of area of effect damage and recovering a fair bit of Health without being interrupted, as your targets will be Stunned for a good portion of Whirlwind's duration.
7. Wrath of the Berserker
- Cooldown: 60 seconds
Increase damage dealt by 40%. Reduce the duration of stuns, slows, and roots against Sonya by 50%. Lasts 15 seconds, and extends by 1 second for every 10 Fury gained.
Wrath of the Berserker temporarily turns Sonya into a force to be reckoned with, even for the thoughest of tanks, as it pushes her damage to the upper echelons of the entire Heroes of the Storm cast for an excessively long period of time. While the Ability is active, no other Hero can safely withstand her attacks without some form of peel or escape. The crowd control reduction clause of the Ability is also extremely important to a Hero that would otherwise struggle with uptime in team fights.
Outside of general player combat, Wrath of the Berserker is useful for very quickly claiming Mercenary Camps, waveclearing, or destroying Structures. Due to its particularly short Cooldown, one should not shy away from using the Ability for such a purpose, especially since the duration can be extended by generating more Fury over said duration. This is typically achieved by aggressively delivering Basic Attacks and using Ancient Spear as Wrath of the Berserker is active. One very interesting application of the Ability is that of being able to solo claim the Boss Mercenary Camp from as early as Hero Level 10, assuming that certain other specific Talents were also chosen.
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