Welcome to our Talents page for Sonya. Here, we give you an overview of how strong each of Sonya's talents is. Then, we present several viable builds, before analyzing each talent row separately, so that you can make informed decisions.
Sonya's Talent Build
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Sonya's Talent Build Cheatsheet
Whirlwind BuildTalent calculator »
The 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, which reduces the Cooldown of Whirlwind, Wrath of the Berserker, which greatly improves Sonya's damage output and self-healing, and 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.
Sustained Melee Punish BuildTalent calculator »
The Sustained Melee Punish build seeks to improve Sonya's sustained damage output and splash damage to threaten team compositions that tend to group up and have to fight Sonya up close. The main Talent combo of the build lies in Furious Blow, Shot Of Fury, and Giant Slammer, which combine particularly well to increase Seismic Slam's damage output. This build also deals with Mercenary Camps particularly well.
Level 1 Talents for Sonya
Every 4th cast of Seismic Slam deals 50% more damage to the primary target and costs no Fury.
Sonya's Basic Attacks heal for 30% of the damage dealt.
Every 16 seconds, gain 60 Physical Armor against the next enemy Hero Basic Attack, reducing the damage taken by 60%.
Stores up to 3 charges. Charges refresh 200% faster while Fury's Movement Speed bonus is active.
This Talent tier focuses on improving Sonya's laning. Your choice should generally depend on your direct lane opponent, though other Heroes, as well as the Map, should be taken into consideration.
Furious Blow is Sonya's only damage-oriented choice at this Talent tier. In sustained damage dealing situations, such as while sieging or claiming Mercenary Camps, this Talent amounts to a 10% damage increase and a 6 Rage cost decrease to Seismic Slam. In practice, Furious Blow allows your fourth Seismic Slam to be used as a means of dealing "surprise" burst damage. In general, Furious Blow should be picked if you plan on claiming many Mercenary Camps (Cursed Hollow, Garden of Terror), if you feel like the opposing team composition has little ways of threatening you (double healer), or if the alternative Talents are voided due to the presence of certain enemy Heroes.
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 generally 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. War Paint is of limited use against burst-oriented team compositions however, as it requires much uptime to payoff. Whirlwind-oriented builds may prefer Tough As Nails over War Paint, as time spent spinning is time not spent attacking.
The mitigation provided by Tough As Nails is generally overshadowed by the amount of self-sustain provided by War Paint. The latter choice is also much more versatile, in that it has PvE uses. Still, Tough as Nails has niche use against Heroes with powerful Basic Attacks such as Cho'gall, Stukov, The Butcher, or Thrall. It also has the advantage of being active while using Whirlwind, whereas War Paint has no effect of its own. See to use an Ability every 4 seconds to maximise Tough as Nail's uptime. Do not pick this Talent against fast attackers such as D.Va, Lucio, Tracer, or Tychus.
Level 4 Talents for Sonya
Increase the length of Seismic Slam's splash by 66% and increase its splash damage to 100% of its base damage.
Reduce the cooldown of Whirlwind by 2 seconds. Casting Whirlwind removes all Slows and Roots from Sonya.
Activate to gain 50 Fury. Usable while Whirlwinding.
Passive: After casting Seismic Slam, your next Basic Attack deals 40% more damage.
Shattered Ground is difficult to capitalise upon, because Seismic Slam's line damage effect is itself rather difficult to exploit due to its small width. The damage increase, while tangible, ends up being wasted in Hero combat situations for this reason. This Talent does make Sonya's waveclear very competitive however, making it worth considering if your team composition does lack said waveclear.
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.
The instantaneous burst of Fury provided by 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. Shot of Fury is the main damage-oriented Talent available at this tier.
Level 7 Talents for Sonya
Ancient Spear deals an additional 100% damage over 6 seconds.
Increases the healing of Whirlwind to 35% of damage dealt.
- Charges: 2
- Recharge Time: 30 seconds
Activate to instantly restore 10% of Sonya's maximum Health. Stores up to 2 charges. Usable while Whirlwinding.
Passive: Sonya deals 25% more damage to Mercenaries.
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 is active. Outside of her Ancient Spear + Seismic Slam combo, Sonya does not typically have much uptime against nimble Heroes; Poisoned Spear helps her maximise her burst and general ability to trade A notable side-effect of Poisoned Spear is that the damage-over-time effect prevents Stealthing. Poisoned Spear is generally picked against team compositions that only feature one tank.
Life Funnel greatly improves Sonya's combat self-sustain, granted you are able to channel Whirlwind reliably. As such, it is a strong pick against team compositions that lack reliable means of interrupting.
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; Battle Rage 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.
Level 10 Talents for Sonya
- Cooldown: 70 seconds
Leap into the air, dealing 135 (+4% per level) damage to nearby enemies, and stunning them for 1.25 seconds.
- 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.
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 as an additional initiation tool, as a peeling 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 up. Leap could also be strongly considered when your team composition oddly features four other damage dealers, as may often the case in Quick Match situations.
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 at claiming Mercenary Camps and sieging. It should be remembered that Whirlwind and War Paint provide healing based on Sonya's damage output, meaning that Wrath of the Berserker also increases her survivability.
Level 13 Talents for Sonya
Ancient Spear always pulls Sonya to the target location even if it doesn't hit an enemy. When used this way, Ancient Spear's cooldown is reduced by 5 seconds.
Whirlwind deals an additional 50 (+4% per level) damage per second to Heroes below 33% Health. Does not generate additional healing.
Increases the Movement Speed bonus from using Basic and Heroic Abilities to 20%.
This Talent tier focuses on improving Sonya's combat mobility.
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.
Ruthless amounts to a 33% increase to Whirlwind's damage to Heroes below 33% Health. Although this is a substantial damage increase, its unreliability makes it unappealing. It is worth noting that the damage increase does not translate into more healing.
Level 16 Talents for Sonya
Basic Attacks and Seismic Slam deal an additional 1.25% of Heroes' maximum Health as damage and heal Sonya for the damage dealt.
Increase Basic Attack damage by 25%. Basic Attacks reduce the cooldown of Ancient Spear by 0.5 seconds.
- Cooldown: 60 seconds
Activate to gain 25% of your maximum Health as a Shield for 3 seconds. Usable while Whirlwinding.
Giant Slammer provides Seismic Slam with an approximate 5 to 15% damage increase and Sonya's Basic Attacks with a 10 to 20% increase, depending on how much Health the target Hero has. In general, the Rampage alternative is likely to yield more overall damage, although Giant Slammer may allow you to punish melee-heavy team compositions, as Seismic Slam's splash damage also triggers the additional damage. Consider picking Shattered Ground as well to increase the likeliness of splashing enemies.
Rampage is an excellent way of increasing your sustained damage output and mobility through the Ancient Spear Cooldown reduction effect. If you do not feel threatened by burst damage, making Nerves of Steel unappealing, Rampage is the way to go.
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, as needed.
Level 20 Talents for Sonya
Leap leaves behind an impassable crater for 5 seconds. Reduces Leap's cooldown by 20 seconds.
Wrath of the Berserker increases maximum Health by 10% and grants Striding Giant, which can be activated to become Unstoppable for 2 seconds. 30 second cooldown.
Increases Ancient Spear's range by 50%. Hitting an enemy Hero with Ancient Spear grants 25 Armor for 4 seconds.
- Cooldown: 60 seconds
Activate to gain 60 Armor for 4 seconds, taking 60% less damage. Usable while Whirlwinding.
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.
Striding Giant provides a bit of survivability and an on-demand Unstoppable effect that is useful in preventing Whirlwind from being interrupted and at countering Heroes such as Artanis, Diablo, Garrosh, and Stitches, who rely on displacement for kills.
The range increase provided by 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 added Armor is also notable. Composite Spear works particularly well with other Ancient Spear-related Talents.
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.
- 30 Aug. 2018: Talent descriptions updated to reflect latest balance patch.
- 13 May 2018: Talent descriptions and recommendations updated to reflect Sonya's rework patch.
- 07 Mar. 2018: Talent descriptions and recommendations updated to reflect Sonya's rework patch.
- 14 Jan. 2018: Updated Tier 2 and Tier 3 talent discussions. Updated Whirlwind and Burst builds.
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