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Sonya Talents

Last updated on Jan 14, 2018 at 21:23 by Oxygen 34 comments

Table of Contents

Sonya Image

General Information

On this page, we present the viable talent choices for playing Sonya 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 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. Talent Build

Level Choices
1 War Paint Block ? Shot of Fury
4 Focused Attack Shattered Ground Hurricane Mercenary Lord
7 Poisoned Spear Composite Spear Follow Through Ferocious Healing ?
10 Leap ? Wrath of the Berserker
13 Life Funnel Aftershock Mystical Spear Spell Shield ?
16 Furious Blow No Escape Imposing Presence Nerves of Steel
20 Arreat Crater Anger Management Nexus Blades Ignore Pain
Create your own build and share it with friends!

2. Common Talent Paths

Burst Build (talent calculator link)

Level 1 War Paint Icon Block Icon ?
Level 4 Focused Attack Icon
Level 7 Poisoned Spear Icon
Level 10 Leap Icon
Level 13 Mystical Spear Icon Spell Shield Icon ?
Level 16 Nerves of Steel Icon
Level 20 Ignore Pain Icon

This Burst Build seeks to take advantage of Leap Icon Leap's extremely reliable area of effect crowd control and gap closing effect. Key Talents include Focused Attack Icon Focused Attack and Poisoned Spear Icon Poisoned Spear, which add to Sonya's ability to inflict burst damage after using Leap. This build is particularly useful when used in a burst team composition, which simply seeks to single out and destroy a specific high-value target.

Whirlwind Build (talent calculator link)

Level 1 Block Icon War Paint Icon ?
Level 4 Hurricane Icon
Level 7 Poisoned Spear Icon Follow Through Icon ? Ferocious Healing Icon ?
Level 10 Wrath of the Berserker Icon
Level 13 Life Funnel Icon Mystical Spear Icon ? Spell Shield Icon ?
Level 16 Nerves of Steel Icon
Level 20 Ignore Pain Icon

The Whirlwind Icon Whirlwind Build seeks to improve the Ability after which it is named. Its goal is to maximize Sonya's self sustain in combat. Key Talents include Hurricane Icon Hurricane, which reduces the Cooldown of Whirlwind, Wrath of the Berserker Icon Wrath of the Berserker, which greatly improves Sonya's damage output and self-healing, and Life Funnel Icon Life Funnel, which further improves the healing provided by Whirlwind. The goal of the build is essentially to hit as many Heroes as possible with Whirlwind, all while Wrath of the Berserker is active.

3. Level 1 Talents

Sonya War Paint
War Paint (Level 1) Diablo Sonya

Basic Attacks heal Sonya for 30% of the damage dealt.

Sonya Block ?
Block (Level 1) Diablo Sonya

Every 5 seconds, gain 75 Physical Armor against the next enemy Hero Basic Attack, reducing the damage taken by 75%.

Stores up to 2 charges.

Sonya Shot of Fury
Shot of Fury (Level 1) Diablo Sonya

Increases maximum Fury by 50. Sonya's Trait can be activated to gain 50 Fury.

Usable while Whirlwinding.

3.1. Discussion

War Paint Icon War Paint provides you with a significant amount of self-sustain. Although Sonya's Basic Attacks are not particularly strong by default, many of the Talents we recommend focus on improving them, making War Paint a solid choice. In the early stages of the game, the talent allows you to remain at a comfortable Health level while laning and clearing Mercenary Camps; later on, it outright allows you to trade favourably with many if not all Heroes.

The mitigation provided by Block Icon Block is generally overshadowed by the amount of self-sustain provided by War Paint Icon War Paint. The latter choice is also much more versatile, in that it has PvE uses. Still, Block has niche use against Heroes with powerful Basic Attacks such as Cho'gall, Sgt. Hammer, Stukov, The Butcher, or Thrall. Block also has the advantage of being active while using Whirlwind Icon Whirlwind, whereas War Paint has no effect of its own.

The instantaneous burst of Fury provided by Shot of Fury Icon Shot of Fury may be useful against team compositions that are able to kite you, as your Fury generation may then suffer. It is also useful in sudden team fighting situations where you may not have had the time to generate Fury beforehand. This talent should be picked over War Paint Icon War Paint against range-heavy compositions. The added maximum Fury can be useful if you manage to cap out your Fury before impending team fights — which you should try and do on Maps with timed Objectives. We still find this utility to be overshadowed by the added survivability of the alternative Talents.

4. Level 4 Talents

Sonya Focused Attack
Focused Attack (Level 4) Diablo Sonya

Every 10 seconds, your next Basic Attack against a Hero deals 60% additional damage. Basic Attacks reduce this cooldown by 1 second.

Sonya Shattered Ground
Shattered Ground (Level 4) Diablo Sonya

Increases Seismic Slam splash damage to 75% of primary target damage.

Sonya Hurricane
Hurricane (Level 4) Diablo Sonya

Reduces the cooldown of Whirlwind by 1 second and Whirlwind removes all slows and roots on Sonya.

Sonya Mercenary Lord
Mercenary Lord (Level 4) Diablo Sonya

Friendly non-Boss Mercenaries near your Hero deal 50% more damage. Gain 50 Armor against Minions and Mercenaries, reducing the damage taken by 50%.

4.1. Discussion

Sonya has a respectably strong Basic Attack, upon which she is dependent, and multiple ways of improving this damage; Focused Attack Icon Focused Attack being one of them. Focused Attack's burst factor works particularly well when trying to pressure vulnerable opponents, especially due to the instant Basic Attack provided by Ancient Spear Icon Ancient Spear.

Shattered Ground Icon Shattered Ground is difficult to capitalise upon, because Seismic Slam Icon Seismic Slam's line damage is itself rather difficult to exploit due to its small size. The damage increase, while tangible, ends up being wasted most of the time for this reason.

Hurricane Icon Hurricane provides an important Cooldown reduction to the Ability upon which Sonya relies to survive team fights. The crowd control removal is also a powerful aspect, although it requires proper timing to see a payoff.

Mercenary Lord Icon Mercenary Lord does little for Sonya, who is already excellent at taking out Mercenary Camps and keeping her Health levels high.

5. Level 7 Talents

Sonya Poisoned Spear
Poisoned Spear (Level 7) Diablo Sonya

Ancient Spear deals an additional 125% damage over 6 seconds.

Sonya Composite Spear
Composite Spear (Level 7) Diablo Sonya

Increases the range of Ancient Spear by 30% and increases Fury generated by 20.

Sonya Follow Through
Follow Through (Level 7) Diablo Sonya

After using an Ability, your next Basic Attack within 6 seconds deals 40% additional damage.

Sonya Ferocious Healing ?
Ferocious Healing (Level 7) Diablo Sonya
  • Fury: 20
  • Cooldown: 10 seconds

Consume 20 Fury to heal 10% of Sonya's maximum Health.

Usable while Whirlwinding.

5.1. Discussion

Poisoned Spear Icon Poisoned Spear is a large damage multiplier for an Ability that deals a respectable amount of base damage, and that ends up further increased while Wrath of the Berserker Icon Wrath of the Berserker is active. Outside of her Ancient Spear Icon Ancient Spear + Seismic Slam Icon Seismic Slam combo, Sonya does not typically have much uptime against nimble Heroes; Poisoned Spear helps her maximise her burst. A notable side-effect of the Ability is that the damage-over-time prevents Stealthed. Poisoned Spear is generally picked against team compositions that only feature one tank.

The range increase provided by Composite Spear Icon Composite Spear can be useful against range-heavy team compositions that tend to kite you to death before you can deal any significant damage. The additional Fury generation also has nice PvE applications, especially when coupled with the Cooldown reduction provided by Mystical Spear Icon Mystical Spear. Avoid picking this Talent if you intend to pick Leap Icon Leap, however, as it provides a reliable gap closer.

Whereas Poisoned Spear Icon Poisoned Spear is for burst damage, Follow Through Icon Follow Through should be used for sustained damage. With enough uptime, Follow Through surpasses Poisoned Spear's damage output, making it a strong choice against two or more tanks, and against all Mercenary Camps. It should be noted that Follow Through improves the healing provided by War Paint Icon War Paint as well, on top of working well with the Basic Attack provided by Ancient Spear Icon Ancient Spear.

If you find yourself in the unfavourable situation where you are the sole frontline Hero for your team, you may wish to invest into more defensive Talents; Ferocious Healing Icon Ferocious Healing is one such Talent. Although the amount of healing it provides is only passable, it is enough to generally reduce the number of times you need to go back to your Altar to heal up, and adds up nicely over longer battles. It is also useful against poke compositions to relieve some strain from your healer.

6. Level 10 Talents

Sonya Leap ?
Leap (Level 10) Diablo Sonya
  • Cooldown: 70 seconds

Leap into the air, dealing 135 (+4% per level) damage to nearby enemies, and stunning them for 1.25 seconds.

Sonya Wrath of the Berserker
Wrath of the Berserker (Level 10) Diablo Sonya
  • Cooldown: 60 seconds

Increase damage dealt by 40%. Reduce the duration of Stuns, Roots, and Slows against Sonya by 50%. Lasts 15 seconds, and extends by 1 second for every 10 Fury gained.

6.1. Discussion

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

Depending on your team composition, you may wish to pick up Leap Icon Leap as an additional initiation tool, or as part of a combo piece. The Ability does come, however, at the steep price of having to give Wrath of the Berserker Icon Wrath of the Berserker up. Leap could also be strongly considered when your team composition features four other damage dealers, though Sonya should then have been questioned as an appropriate Hero pick then.

Wrath of the Berserker Icon Wrath of the Berserker is a core Ability for Sonya, allowing her to temporarily blur the line between tank and Assassin (essentially making her a bruiser). The extreme, raw damage increase provided by Wrath of the Berserker lets Sonya players threaten any Hero, though it is particularly devastating against isolated Assassins and Supports. The Ability also makes Sonya an outstanding Mercenary Camp killer and sieger, and is ultimately very versatile.

7. Level 13 Talents

Sonya Life Funnel
Life Funnel (Level 13) Diablo Sonya

Increases the healing of Whirlwind to 35%, tripled versus Heroes.

Sonya Aftershock
Aftershock (Level 13) Diablo Sonya

Using Seismic Slam reduces its Fury cost by 50% for 2 seconds.

Sonya Mystical Spear
Mystical Spear (Level 13) Diablo Sonya

Reduces the cooldown of Ancient Spear by 3 seconds. Sonya is pulled to the target location even if an enemy isn't hit.

Sonya Spell Shield ?
Spell Shield (Level 13) Diablo Sonya
  • Cooldown: 0 seconds

Every 30 seconds, gain 50 Spell Armor against the next enemy Ability and subsequent Abilities for 3 seconds, reducing the damage taken by 50%.

Can be toggled to allow or prevent this talent from triggering automatically.

7.1. Discussion

Life Funnel Icon Life Funnel greatly improves Sonya's combat self sustain, granted you are able to channel Whirlwind Icon Whirlwind reliably. As such, it is a strong pick against team compositions that do lack means of interrupting.

Aftershock Icon Aftershock is a winmore Talent that requires perfect uptime on specific targets to properly exploit. In the hectic reality of most team fights, this is seldom possible.

Mystical Spear Icon Mystical Spear provides Sonya with an essential element that is missing from her Basic Ability kit: that of unconditional mobility. Mystical Spear makes disengaging possible, and engaging much easier. This is on top of improving your overall Fury generation and damage potential. The Talent is notoriously strong when combined with Poisoned Spear Icon Poisoned Spear.

Spell Shield Icon Spell Shield is specifically designed to deal with Ability-based burst damage. We typically recommend it against compositions that include a mix of Falstad, Gul'dan, Li-Ming, Jaina, Kael'thas, Kel'thuzad, and Nova. You simply need to make sure that Spell Shield's effect is not wasted by incidental area of effect damage by avoiding poke damage and abstaining from fighting unless you can fully commit.

8. Level 16 Talents

Sonya Furious Blow
Furious Blow (Level 16) Diablo Sonya

Increases Seismic Slam damage by 50%, but costs 40 Fury.

Sonya No Escape
No Escape (Level 16) Diablo Sonya

Increases the Movement Speed bonus from using Basic and Heroic Abilities to 25%.

Sonya Imposing Presence
Imposing Presence (Level 16) Diablo Sonya
  • Cooldown: 20 seconds

Activate to slow the Attack Speed by 50% and Movement Speed by 20% of nearby Heroes and Summons for 2.5 seconds.

Passive: Heroes and Summons that attack your Hero have their Attack Speed slowed by 20% for 2.5 seconds.

Sonya Nerves of Steel
Nerves of Steel (Level 16) Diablo Sonya
  • Cooldown: 70 seconds

Activate to gain 30% of your maximum Health as a Shield for 5 seconds. Usable while Whirlwinding.

8.1. Discussion

Furious Blow Icon Furious Blow is a trap Talent. While the damage increase may be appealing from a burst standpoint, you are also paying 40% more Fury for a near-equivalent damage increase. The Talent is simply not really worth it, especially when there are excellent alternatives available.

No Escape Icon No Escape is not a bad talent by any means; the increased mobility is significant both offensively and defensively speaking. It does, however, compete with the outstanding Nerves of Steel Icon Nerves of Steel.

Imposing Presence Icon Imposing Presence offers an unparalleled amount of survivability against Basic Attacks. It is, however, of limited use against team compositions that rely on Ability-based damage. As such, it should be chosen only against teams that feature at least two non-caster Assassins.

Nerves of Steel Icon Nerves of Steel provides Sonya with the survivability that she desperately needs to be able to withstand some of the heavy area of effect damage that commonly defines late-game team fights. The Shield provided by the Talent can allow you to replenish your Health through Whirlwind Icon Whirlwind, as needed.

9. Level 20 Talents

Sonya Arreat Crater
Arreat Crater (Level 20) Diablo Sonya

Leap leaves behind an impassable crater for 5 seconds. Reduces Leap's cooldown by 20 seconds.

Sonya Anger Management
Anger Management (Level 20) Diablo Sonya

Increases all Fury generated during Wrath of the Berserker by 100%.

Sonya Nexus Blades
Nexus Blades (Level 20) Diablo Sonya

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

Sonya Ignore Pain
Ignore Pain (Level 20) Diablo Sonya
  • Cooldown: 60 seconds

Activate to gain 75 Armor for 4 seconds, taking 75% less damage.

Usable while Whirlwinding.

9.1. Discussion

Arreat Crater Icon Arreat Crater is interesting on paper, and yet falls into the winmore category of Talents. Arreat Crater's effectiveness is directly proportional to how many players it manages to isolate in a perfect position for your teammates to capitalise upon.

If you feel that your survivability has not been compromised in any significant way during a given match, Anger Management Icon Anger Management provides you with a humongous increase to your damage output by allowing you to cast Seismic Slam Icon Seismic Slam after every third Basic Attack, as opposed to after every fifth. As an added bonus, it also indirectly increases the duration of Wrath of the Berserker Icon Wrath of the Berserker as a result of the increased Fury generation clause. You may actually even find it difficult to spend all of your Fury.

Nexus Blades Icon Nexus Blades suffers from issues that are similar to Anger Management Icon Anger Management, in that it requires you to have solid Basic Attack uptime in order to truly shine, yet unlike the former choice, does not provide much besides little raw damage and a mediocre slowing effect.

Ignore Pain Icon Ignore Pain is the pinnacle of defensive Talents. Since Sonya relies on being in melee range to deal her damage, she often becomes a priority target. Ignore Pain allows you to severely punish this behaviour while being able to deliver your damage nearly unimpended for as long as it is active.

10. ChangeLog

+ show all entries - show only 10 entries
  • 14 Jan. 2018: Updated Tier 2 and Tier 3 talent discussions. Updated Whirlwind and Burst builds.
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