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Sylvanas Build Guide “Let none survive!”

Last updated on Dec 27, 2018 at 09:55 by Oxygen 60 comments
General Information

Welcome to our guide for Sylvanas, a Ranged Assassin in Heroes of the Storm. Within these pages, you will find everything required to understand how best to play this hero, in both different map styles and team compositions.


Sylvanas's Overview

Sylvanas is a mobile Ranged Assassin. Her unique ability to Stun Structures through Black Arrows Icon Black Arrows and several Map control-oriented Talent choices reward players with a strong macro-oriented approach to the game. Her mediocre damage output must be made up for with decisive kills however, lets she may end up overwhelmed in long team fights.


Sylvanas's Strengths and Weaknesses

V Strengths
X Weaknesses
  • -Weak early game
  • -Inability to deal selective damage; often stuck having to target what is closest
  • -Low maximum Health; vulnerable to other, more mobile Assassins

Sylvanas's Talent Build Cheatsheet

Sustained Shadow Dagger Build

Level 1 Might of the Banshee Queen Icon
Level 4 Unstable Poison Icon Mercenary Queen Icon ? Possession Icon ?
Level 7 Lost Soul Icon
Level 10 Mind Control Icon Wailing Arrow Icon ?
Level 13 Cold Embrace Icon Windrunner Icon ?
Level 16 Will of the Forsaken Icon
Level 20 Bolt of the Storm Icon Dark Lady's Call Icon ? Withering Barrage Icon ?

The sustained Shadow Dagger Icon Shadow Dagger build greatly improves Sylvanas's sustained single-target damage output by exploiting the synergy between a few key Talents. Might of the Banshee Queen Icon Might of the Banshee Queen provides Attack Speed, which helps reduce Shadow Dagger's Cooldown through Lost Soul Icon Lost Soul. A short-Cooldown Shadow Dagger can then be used to maintain a deadly Armor-reducing debuff applied through Cold Embrace Icon Cold Embrace. Mind Control Icon Mind Control and Wailing Arrow Icon Wailing Arrow can both be useful depending on the matchup.

Stacking Shadow Dagger Build

Level 1 Unfurling Shadows Icon
Level 4 Possession Icon
Level 7 Festering Wounds Icon
Level 10 Wailing Arrow Icon Mind Control Icon ?
Level 13 Cold Embrace Icon Windrunner Icon ?
Level 16 Life Drain Icon Will of the Forsaken Icon ?
Level 20 Bolt of the Storm Icon Dark Lady's Call Icon ?

The stacking Shadow Dagger Icon Shadow Dagger build focuses on improving Shadow Dagger's damage over time through Unfurling Shadows Icon Unfurling Shadows. Festering Wounds Icon Festering Wounds is used to reliably apply three stacks of Black Arrows Icon Black Arrows to multiple Heroes at once, which multiplies the speed at which Shadow Dagger's damage grows. This build is particularly powerful on Maps that promote early lane fights, such as Battlefield of Eternity and Braxis Holdout, as they provide ample early opportunities to build up Unfurling Shadows stacks.


Sylvanas's Synergies and Counters

V 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.

X 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 Maps

Sylvanas's stronger maps
Alterac Pass Braxis Holdout Tomb of the Spider Queen Volskaya Foundry
Sylvanas's average maps
Battlefield of Eternity 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 an effective 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 Objectives. Unstable Poison Icon Unstable Poison, Mercenary Queen Icon Mercenary Queen, and Possession Icon Possession make her effective at waveclearing, claiming Mercenary Camps, and split pushing respectively, allowing her to be versatile.


Sylvanas's Tips and Tricks

  • Withering Fire Icon Withering Fire is extremely cheap; use it as often as possible if there are no enemy Heroes around.
  • 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 and vehicles.

Role in the Current Meta

Sylvanas offers a unique combination of traits: safe and effective waveclear through Unstable Poison Icon Unstable Poison, the ability to disable Structures with Black Arrows Icon Black Arrows, and strong Tank-busting potential through a combination of Shadow Dagger Icon Shadow Dagger-related Talents. As such, she is a powerful "surprise" late-pick for team compositions seeking to rapidly kill the first enemy in sight, and specifically on Maps that feature Map Objectives that are likely to take damage from Structures, such as Dragon Shire.

Sylvanas should be picked along a burst damage-oriented Assassin, such as Jaina, and a Tank who is able to reliably apply hard crowd control on the intended kill target, such as Diablo or E.T.C.. Wailing Arrow Icon Wailing Arrow is treated as one of the most powerful team fighting Heroic Ability as it prevents Healers from assisting said kill target. Depending on your team's burst damage potential however, Mind Control Icon Mind Control may also work as an isolation tool.



  • 27 Dec. 2018 (talents page): Talent discussion added and further updated; new build added.
  • 19 Dec. 2018 (abilities page): Updated for the latest rework.
  • 17 Dec. 2018 (this page): Guide updated following Sylvanas rework patch.
  • 17 Dec. 2018 (talents page): Build further updated following Sylvanas rework patch. Talent descriptions incoming.
  • 12 Dec. 2018 (talents page): Build updated following Sylvanas rework patch.
  • 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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