Welcome to our Talents page for Sylvanas. Here, we give you an overview of how strong each of Sylvanas's talents is. Then, we present several viable builds, before analyzing each talent row separately, so that you can make informed decisions.
Sylvanas's Talent Build
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Sylvanas's Talent Build Cheatsheet
Sustained Basic Attack BuildRecommended
Level 1 Talents for Sylvanas
Hitting an enemy Hero with Withering Fire increases Sylvanas's Attack Speed and Spell Power by 5% for 6 seconds, stacking up to 5 times.
Quest: Each time an enemy Hero with 3 stacks of Banshee's Curse is hit by Shadow Dagger, its damage is permanently increased by 0.5%.
Enemy Heroes with 3 stacks of Banshee's Curse are Slowed by 15%. Sylvanas's Basic Attacks against Slowed enemy Heroes deal 1% of their maximum Health as damage.
This Talent tier improves Sylvanas's damage output.
Might of the Banshee Queen is the most reliable Level 1 choice damage-wise, provided you use Withering Fire against Heroes. The Spell Power provided by this Talent implies that you should hold on to your other Abilities until you have used Withering Fire so as to improve their own damage.
Unfurling Shadows has the highest damage potential at this tier. This damage, however, must be built over time by repeatedly using Shadow Dagger against Heroes afflicted by three stacks of Black Arrows. This means that Unfurling Shadows can only reach its full potential on Maps that promote constant combat, such as Battlefield of Eternity and Braxis Holdout. It is worth noting that Unfurling Shadows can also trigger off of Shadow Dagger's spreading effect, provided the targets are also afflicted by three stacks of Black Arrows. This explains why Unfurling Shadows is generally picked with Festering Wounds at Level 7.
Overwhelming Affliction provides slightly less area of effect damage than its alternatives, instead bringing a modest but reliable Slowing effect that is useful for kiting and chasing. The percent-based damage also allows Sylvanas to better threaten Tanks. Whether Overhwelming Affliction or Might of the Banshee Queen should be picked comes down to personal preference, as both Talents currently perform well.
Level 4 Talents for Sylvanas
Minions that die under the effects of Shadow Dagger or Sylvanas's Traits explode, dealing 130 (+4% per level) damage to nearby Minions, Mercenaries, and Summons.
Friendly non-Elite Mercenaries near Sylvanas deal 60% more damage. Sylvanas Stuns and deals 30% additional damage to Mercenaries with 3 stacks of Banshee's Curse.
- Charges: 3
- Recharge Time: 12 seconds
Activate to force an enemy Minion to fight for Sylvanas's team. Catapults require 3 charges. Stores up to 3 charges.
This Talent tier improves Sylvanas's waveclear.
Unstable Poison provides Sylvanas with some of the best waveclear in the game. This potential opens up split pushing strategies on some of the larger Maps, including Cursed Hollow and Garden of Terror, by allowing a single Shadow Dagger and a few Basic Attacks to set off a chain reaction of Minion kills. This, in turn, allows you to roam and generally apply pressure, forcing opponents to split up to soak or risk losing Experience and Structures.
Mercenary Queen allows Sylvanas to claim non-Boss Mercenary Camps quickly and with little to no Health loss, something that is generally difficult for ranged Assassins, particularly in the early game. This gives Mercenary Queen a niche use in team compositions that lack another Hero able to effectively deal with Mercenaries. Further, the damage increase provided by Mercenary Queen can open up split pushing opportunities involving Mercenaries, particularly when timed with Map Objectives. This can sometimes make Sylvanas even more effective than Map Objectives themselves, assuming your teammates have been instructed to distract opponents and avoid engaging.
Possession fulfills a role that is similar to Unstable Poison, yet differently. Whereas Unstable Poison would be the better tool for soaking Experience across several lanes and generally applying pressure, Possession lets you concentrate your efforts upon a single lane. Using Possession on all three enemy melee Minions lets you quickly conjure a decent pushing force out of thin air all while denying your opponents's own. This is useful for sieging and otherwise creating targets for enemy Turrets, perhaps to help with a dive. Possession can also be used on Catapult Minions to reverse the effects of losing a Fort, at the cost of three stacks.
Level 7 Talents for Sylvanas
Hitting the same enemy with 5 shots of Withering Fire causes the 5th shot to deal 350% bonus damage.
Increase Shadow Dagger's damage by 10%. Basic Attacks against Heroes with 3 stacks of Banshee's Curse reduce the cooldown of Shadow Dagger by 1.75 seconds.
Increase Haunting Wave's damage by 15%. Haunting Wave applies 3 stacks of Banshee's Curse.
This Talent tier further improves Sylvanas's damage output.
Barbed Shot allows Sylvanas to better threaten isolated targets to make up for her otherwise poor burst damage. Barbed Shot is commonly used with Windrunner to deliver several powerful Withering Fire salvos.
Lost Soul brings the highest area of effect damage output at this Talent tier. It works well with Might of the Banshee Queen, as the Attack Speed provides more Cooldown reduction, and the Spell Power increases Shadow Dagger's damage.
Festering Wounds is a strange Talent that requires Haunting Wave to be used offensively. Its main point of appeal lies in its outstanding synergy with Unfurling Shadows, as applying Black Arrows to several Heroes multiplies Unfurling Shadows's damage growth. Further, Festering Wounds works particularly well with Life Drain, as three Black Arrows stacks are required to trigger the healing effect. The synergy with the popular Windrunner is also worth noting.
Level 10 Talents for Sylvanas
- Mana: 100
- Cooldown: 90 seconds
Shoot an arrow that can be reactivated to deal 228 (+4% per level) damage and Silence enemies in an area for 2.5 seconds. The arrow detonates automatically if it reaches maximum range.
- Mana: 50
- Cooldown: 40 seconds
After 0.25 seconds, fire a missile that Mind Controls the first enemy Hero hit. Heroes hit are Silenced, Slowed by 30%, have 3 stacks of Banshee's Curse applied to them, and are forced to walk towards Sylvanas for 1.75 seconds.
At this Level, Heroic abilities become available. For more information on how to use each Heroic Ability, refer to the relevant section of this guide.
Wailing Arrow is Sylvanas's foremost team fighting Ability. Its unique ability to quickly Silence in a large area of effect makes it effective at shutting down Assassins such as Genji, Tracer, or Zeratul by making their predictable escapes impossible. Further, Wailing Arrow works well against combo-oriented team compositions, as interrupting a key piece of any given combo on demand will turn the fight in your favor. If nothing else, it can also be used for its respectable area of effect damage.
Mind Control is used along Cold Embrace to single-out and rapidly kill any target who is out of position, including Tanks. Mind Control therefore has a niche place in bursty team compositions that seek to quickly eliminate one target to snowball an advantage. Mind Control can also be used to prevent or interrupt key Abilities, as can Wailing Arrow.
Level 13 Talents for Sylvanas
Shadow Dagger reduces the Armor of the initial target by 25 and any enemy it spreads to by 10 for 2.5 seconds.
Haunting Wave can be cast a second time for free within 5 seconds after teleporting. Teleporting with Haunting Wave resets the cooldown of Withering Fire.
Increase Sylvanas's Basic Attack range by 1. Sylvanas's Basic Attacks against enemy Heroes with 3 stacks of Banshee's Curse shoot an untalented shot of Withering Fire. This shot of Withering Fire applies Banshee's Curse.
This Talent tier further improves Sylvanas's damage output situationally.
Cold Embrace provides Sylvanas with a powerful Armor-reducing debuff on a uniquely short Cooldown. Cold Embrace's power depends entirely on your team's cohesion, making it a niche pick for coordinated play.
Windrunner is a special Talent that opens up many opportunities for Sylvanas. On top of increasing her overall mobility, Windrunner lets Withering Fire be used up to two more times in quick succession, ultimately providing a significant amount of burst damage. Works well with Barbed Shot to obliterate isolated Heroes.
Remorseless is the sustained damage option. Although less flexible than its Windrunner counterpart, Remorseless's range bonus makes it easier to position for Basic Attacks to ultimately improve Sylvanas's ability to deal damage. Works particularly well with Overwhelming Affliction.
Level 16 Talents for Sylvanas
Hitting an enemy with Withering Fire grants 6% Movement Speed for 2 seconds, up to 30%. Basic Attacks refresh this duration.
Heal for 15% of damage dealt by Sylvanas to enemies with 3 stacks of Banshee's Curse. Healing is doubled against Heroes.
- Cooldown: 60 seconds
Activate to become Unstoppable and gain 40% Movement Speed for 3 seconds.
This Talent tier improves Sylvanas's survivability.
Evasive Fire significantly improves Sylvanas's combat mobility with very little thinking involved: simply cast Withering Fire and deliver Basic Attacks as you normally would. Evasive Fire is a strong choice with Remorseless and Overwhelming Affliction so as to make it easier to stick to one's target and move away from danger.
Life Drain allows Sylvanas to counter poke damage by providing her with an extremely high amount of self sustain. Triggering the healing, however, requires three stacks of Black Arrows, which is why Life Drain is generally and exclusively used with Festering Wounds to apply said stacks of Black Arrows. Life Drain is useful against artillery Heroes such as Azmodan and Kael'thas.
Will of the Forsaken mirrors its World of Warcraft counterpart by being one of Heroes of the Storm's most powerful Talent and unique to Sylvanas as Heroes of the Storm's Forsaken. Will of the Forsaken's Unstoppable effect has multiple applications, from avoiding deadly crowd control effects meant to lock you down for a kill to chasing opponents who expect to be able to control you in time. The added Movement Speed only adds to this utility. Will of the Forsaken can even be used to easily bait crowd control Abilities in the late-game by playing in an unusually reckless manner. Forget not to use the Ability, however; this effect is not a Passive one.
Level 20 Talents for Sylvanas
Enemies at the center of Wailing Arrow's explosion take 50% more damage and are Silenced for twice as long.
Heroes hit by Mind Control have their vision radius greatly reduced for 5 seconds. Mind Control's cooldown is reduced by 25 seconds.
Withering Fire applies Banshee's Curse, and Heroes hit by Withering Fire reduce its cooldown by 0.75 seconds.
- Cooldown: 70 seconds
Activate to teleport to a nearby location.
This Talent tier improves Sylvanas's late-game options.
Deafening Blast is an extremely powerful effect that suffers from an unfortunately very small area of effect; center hits against key targets are certainly possible, but in most cases, it would require you to aim Wailing Arrow in a way that it hits fewer opponents overall. In general, the tradeoff is not worth it.
Dark Lady's Call reduces Mind Control's Cooldown to a mere 15 seconds, which is unusually short for a Heroic Ability. This allows you to use Mind Control very aggressively and potentially bait opponents into playing around its usual Cooldown.
Withering Barrage represents a reasonable damage increase should you have picked Wailing Arrow and feel that your survivability has not been an issue. There is little to say about Withering Barrage; it simply pays off when Withering Fire is used, which it should always be.
Bolt of the Storm works well with Will of the Forsaken to make Sylvanas one of the hardest Ranged Assassins to lock down. Whether used defensively or offensively, Bolt of the Storm remains as powerful as ever, particularly against Heroes who rely on skillshots or otherwise try to prevent you from moving, such as Leoric or Tassadar.
- 22 Nov. 2020: Description updated for Dark Lady's Call.
- 07 Sep. 2020: Talent builds updated slightly.
- 30 Aug. 2020: Talent recommendations and builds updated to better reflect current metagame state. Again.
- 13 Aug. 2020: Talent recommendations and builds updated to better reflect current metagame state.
- 27 Dec. 2018: Talent discussion added and further updated; new build added.
- 17 Dec. 2018: Build further updated following Sylvanas rework patch. Talent descriptions incoming.
- 12 Dec. 2018: Build updated following Sylvanas rework patch.
- 14 Jan. 2018: Updated Tier 3 Talent discussion. Updated Shadow Dagger build.
- 26 Jun. 2017: Updated the Will of the Forsaken discussion.
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