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Sonya Talents

Last updated on Oct 29, 2019 at 20:00 by Oxygen 53 comments
General Information

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

Level Choices
1 Furious Blow ? War Paint Tough As Nails ?
4 Shattered Ground ? Hurricane Shot Of Fury
7 Poisoned Spear ? Life Funnel Battle Rage ?
10 Leap ? Wrath of the Berserker
13 Mystical Spear Ruthless No Escape
16 Giant Slammer ? Rampage ? Nerves of Steel
20 Arreat Crater Striding Giant ? Composite Spear ? Ignore Pain

Sonya's Talent Build Cheatsheet

Standard Build

Talent calculator »
Level 1 War Paint Icon Tough As Nails Icon ?
Level 4 Hurricane Icon
Level 7 Life Funnel Icon
Level 10 Wrath of the Berserker Icon Leap Icon ?
Level 13 No Escape Icon
Level 16 Nerves of Steel Icon
Level 20 Ignore Pain Icon Composite Spear Icon ?

This standard build provides superior survivability. Key Whirlwind Icon Whirlwind-related Talents improve your self-sustain while allowing you to deal area of effect damage on the move.


Level 1 Talents for Sonya

Sonya Furious Blow ?
Furious Blow (Level 1) Diablo Sonya

Every 4th cast of Seismic Slam deals 50% more damage to the primary target and costs no Fury.

Sonya War Paint
War Paint (Level 1) Diablo Sonya

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

Sonya Tough As Nails ?
Tough As Nails (Level 1) Diablo Sonya

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 improves Sonya's laning.

Furious Blow Icon 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 Icon 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 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 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 Icon Whirlwind-oriented builds may prefer Tough As Nails Icon Tough As Nails over War Paint, as time spent spinning is time not spent attacking.

The mitigation provided by Tough As Nails Icon Tough As Nails 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, 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 Icon 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

Sonya Shattered Ground ?
Shattered Ground (Level 4) Diablo Sonya

Increase the length of Seismic Slam's splash by 66% and increase its splash damage to 100% of its base damage.

Sonya Hurricane
Hurricane (Level 4) Diablo Sonya

Reduce the cooldown of Whirlwind by 2 seconds. Casting Whirlwind removes all Slows and Roots from Sonya.

Sonya Shot Of Fury
Shot Of Fury (Level 4) Diablo Sonya

Activate to gain 50 Fury. Usable while Whirlwinding.

Passive: After casting Seismic Slam, your next Basic Attack deals 40% more damage.



This Talent tier improves Sonya's damage.

Shattered Ground Icon Shattered Ground is difficult to capitalise upon, because Seismic Slam Icon 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 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.

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. Shot of Fury is the main damage-oriented Talent available at this tier.


Level 7 Talents for Sonya

Sonya Poisoned Spear ?
Poisoned Spear (Level 7) Diablo Sonya

Ancient Spear deals an additional 100% damage over 6 seconds.

Sonya Life Funnel
Life Funnel (Level 7) Diablo Sonya

Increases the healing of Whirlwind to 35% of damage dealt.

Sonya Battle Rage ?
Battle Rage (Level 7) Diablo Sonya
  • 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.



This Talent tier improves Sonya's self-sustain.

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 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 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 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 Icon 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

Sonya Leap ?
Leap (Level 10) Diablo Sonya
  • Cooldown: 60 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.



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, 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 Icon 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 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 Healers. The Ability also makes Sonya an outstanding at claiming Mercenary Camps and sieging. It should be remembered that Whirlwind Icon Whirlwind and War Paint Icon 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

Sonya Mystical Spear
Mystical Spear (Level 13) Diablo 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.

Sonya Ruthless
Ruthless (Level 13) Diablo Sonya

Whirlwind deals an additional 50 (+4% per level) damage per second to Heroes below 33% Health. Does not generate additional healing.

Sonya No Escape
No Escape (Level 13) Diablo Sonya

Increases the Movement Speed bonus from using Basic and Heroic Abilities to 20%.



This Talent tier improves Sonya's combat mobility.

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.

Ruthless Icon Ruthless amounts to a ~40% increase to Whirlwind Icon 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.

No Escape Icon No Escape, as its name implies, makes it impossible for Heroes with limited mobility to escape from Sonya. Pick against team compositions that include Assassins with no movement Abilities such as Raynor.


Level 16 Talents for Sonya

Sonya Giant Slammer ?
Giant Slammer (Level 16) Diablo Sonya

Basic Attacks and Seismic Slam deal an additional 1.25% of Heroes' maximum Health as damage and heal Sonya for the damage dealt.

Sonya Rampage ?
Rampage (Level 16) Diablo Sonya

Increase Basic Attack damage by 25%. Basic Attacks reduce the cooldown of Ancient Spear by 1.5 seconds.

Sonya Nerves of Steel
Nerves of Steel (Level 16) Diablo Sonya
  • Cooldown: 60 seconds

Activate to gain 25% of your maximum Health as a Shield for 3 seconds. Usable while Whirlwinding.



This Talent tier improves Sonya's sustained damage.

Giant Slammer Icon Giant Slammer provides Seismic Slam Icon 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 Icon 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 Icon Shattered Ground as well to increase the likeliness of splashing enemies.

Rampage Icon Rampage is an excellent way of increasing your sustained damage output and mobility through the Ancient Spear Icon Ancient Spear Cooldown reduction effect. If you do not feel threatened by burst damage, making Nerves of Steel Icon Nerves of Steel unappealing, Rampage is the way to go.

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.


Level 20 Talents for Sonya

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 Striding Giant ?
Striding Giant (Level 20) Diablo Sonya

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.

Sonya Composite Spear ?
Composite Spear (Level 20) Diablo Sonya

Increases Ancient Spear's range by 50%. Hitting an enemy Hero with Ancient Spear grants 25 Armor for 4 seconds.

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

Activate to gain 60 Armor for 4 seconds, taking 60% less damage. Usable while Whirlwinding.



This Talent tier provides powerful utility.

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. It may work well with certain Heroic Abilities such as Grav-O-Bomb 3000 Icon Grav-O-Bomb 3000 and Graviton Surge Icon Graviton Surge however, provided you are coordinated.

Striding Giant Icon Striding Giant provides a bit of survivability and an on-demand Unstoppable effect that is useful in preventing Whirlwind Icon 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 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 added Armor is also notable. Composite Spear works particularly well with other Ancient Spear-related Talents.

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.



  • 29 Oct. 2019: Talent builds and recommendations reviewed and updated.
  • 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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