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Sylvanas Build Guide “Let none survive!”

Last updated on Jan 14, 2018 at 21:48 by Oxygen 45 comments

Table of Contents

Sylvanas Image

General Information

Welcome to our Sylvanas guide for Heroes of the Storm. Here you will learn everything you need to know in order to play Sylvanas in a competitive environment, whether you play on your own or with a team.

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. Quick Reference for Sylvanas

Shadow Dagger Build (talent calculator link)

Level 1 Overflowing Quiver Icon Mercenary Queen Icon ?
Level 4 Lost Soul Icon
Level 7 Barbed Shot Icon Possession Icon ?
Level 10 Wailing Arrow Icon Mind Control Icon ?
Level 13 Windrunner Icon Will of the Forsaken Icon ? Spell Shield Icon ?
Level 16 Cold Embrace Icon Overwhelming Affliction Icon ?
Level 20 Bolt of the Storm Icon Deafening Blast Icon ? Dark Lady's Call Icon ?

Shadow Dagger Icon Shadow Dagger Build is a balanced build that offers excellent area of effect damage, waveclear, and mobility. The core concept behind the build lies in improving Shadow Dagger through two specific Talents that turn it into an outstanding area of affect damage dealing Ability: Lost Soul Icon Lost Soul, which massively reduces its Cooldown, and Cold Embrace Icon Cold Embrace, which provides you with a reliable Armor reduction effect. The other Talents, which can be changed to respond to whatever best suits the situation at hand, seek to improve your ability to clear Mercenary Camps (Barbed Shot Icon Barbed Shot) and survive (Windrunner Icon Windrunner, Bolt of the Storm Icon Bolt of the Storm).

See our Talents page for further information Create your own build and share it with friends!

Synergies and Counters

Sylvanas synergizes with

Sylvanas is a rather general pick, in that she works well with the vast majority of team composition. She does, however, excel when picked along other high-damage mobile ranged damage dealers that can capitalise on Black Arrows Icon Black Arrows, Heroes that can provide area of effect crowd control, or with other strong split pushers to create an immense amount of Map pressure.

Sylvanas is countered by

As a fragile backline Hero, Sylvanas struggles against anything that can either burst her down or match the mobility provided by Haunting Wave Icon Haunting Wave. Stealthed Heroes are particularly threatening to her, as they generally highly limit her ability to safely split push.


Sylvanas's stronger maps Battlefield of Eternity Braxis Holdout Haunted Mines Tomb of the Spider Queen Volskaya Foundry
Sylvanas's average maps Blackheart's Bay Cursed Hollow Dragon Shire Garden of Terror Hanamura Temple Infernal Shrines Sky Temple Towers of Doom
Sylvanas's weaker maps Warhead Junction

Sylvanas is a highly contested pick on all Maps that feature Objectives that provide you with a pushing force, as Black Arrows Icon Black Arrows's Structure disabling effect greatly increases the longevity and effectiveness of such pushing forces. Her Barbed Shot Icon Barbed Shot Talent also turns her into one of the most effective Heroes at taking down Monsters (such as the Immortal on Battlefield of Eternity) and Mercenaries, further increasing her drafting priority on Maps that feature these elements.

TL;DR Tips

  • Use all of your Withering Fire Icon Withering Fire stacks freely; they cost no Mana and refresh quickly.
  • Use Shadow Dagger Icon Shadow Dagger whenever it is available, but see to have it affect as many enemies as possible.
  • Haunting Wave Icon Haunting Wave should almost exclusively be used only for its mobility, as it deals minimal damage.
  • Hold on to Wailing Arrow Icon Wailing Arrow until you can hit many opponents or for when you need to prevent a Hero from saving another.
  • Use Mind Control Icon Mind Control to move a key target away from their team, and into yours.
  • Black Arrows Icon Black Arrows allows you to push down Structures without minions; exploit this especially with allies.
See our Abilities page for further information

2. Introduction

Sylvanas is a mobile ranged Specialist with very high sustained damage and waveclear. Her mobility and the long range and instantaneous nature of her Abilities makes her a very safe Hero that is difficult to shut down. Sylvanas also boasts extremely strong utility in her unique ability to stun Structures, Minions, and Mercenaries. Overall, Sylvanas is one of the most dangerous Heroes in the game if left unchecked.

3. Strengths

  • Very high overall damage
  • Extremely powerful waveclear
  • Able to stun most Structures, Minions, and Mercenaries
  • Very mobile, with a strong gap-closer; very safe
  • Can silence enemies in a large area
  • Can use Mind Control Icon Mind Control on enemy high priority targets (Assassins, Supports) to expose them to your team
  • High Mana efficiency
  • Great at clearing out Mercenary Camps

4. Weaknesses

  • Low maximum Health; vulnerable to crowd control
  • Rather weak early game
  • Poor targeted single-target damage

5. Role in the Current Meta

Sylvanas is a very well-rounded Hero with few significant weaknesses. She is a little lackluster during the initial stages of the game, but with every new talent she becomes exponentially stronger. Sylvanas is able to output a massive amount of damage in both skirmishes and team fights, with most of her damage being dealt over time. Without the utility and impact from Wailing Arrow Icon Wailing Arrow or Mind Control Icon Mind Control, she will find it difficult to burst down targets, especially if the enemy team has healers, such as Malfurion or Brightwing, who heal over time.

Once Sylvanas is Level 7, she will have access to some of the best waveclear around. She also has fantastic mobility through Haunting Wave Icon Haunting Wave, which, when paired with the long range of all of her Abilities, translates into Sylvanas being very difficult to kill. Additionally, Black Arrows Icon Black Arrows allows Sylvanas and her team to attack points that would otherwise be impossible to contest without Minions. Altogether, Sylvanas is a safe, powerful, and dependable Hero that opens up many opportunities for snowballing.

6. Reading Further

To take things further, we have 2 more pages that you can read:

7. ChangeLog

  • 14 Jan. 2018 (talents page): Updated Tier 3 talent discussion. Updated Shadow Dagger build.
  • 26 Jun. 2017 (talents page): Updated the Will of the Forsaken discussion.
  • 08 Jan. 2017 (this page): Guide updated for Zul'jin's patch and moved to the new format.
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