Table of Contents
- +Abilities and Strategy
- ×Talent Build
On this page, we present the viable talent choices for playing Sylvanas in a competitive environment in Heroes of the Storm. For each talent, we explain what they do and why they should or should not be taken.
The other pages of our Sylvanas guide can be accessed from the table of contents on the right.
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. Talent Build
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2. Common Talent Paths
Shadow Dagger Build (talent calculator link)
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, which massively reduces its Cooldown, and 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) and survive ( Windrunner, Bolt of the Storm).
3. Level 1 Talents
When a nearby enemy Minion dies, a free Withering Fire is shot. This cannot hit Heroes.
Haunting Wave's application of Black Arrow on Minions and Mercenaries increases the duration to 7 seconds. Haunting Wave restores 5 Mana per Minion or Mercenary hit.
Friendly non-Boss Mercenaries near Sylvanas deal 60% more damage.
Dreadful Wake has its uses in the earliest stages of the game, but quickly becomes overshadowed by Sylvanas' other waveclearing Talents that become available at Hero Level 7. Why merely disable that which you can kill?
Mercenary Queen can be valuable on certain Maps, such as Garden of Terror and Sky Temple, where split pushing with Mercenaries can be very effective. Just make sure to communicate with your team before committing such a strategy while Map Objectives remain available.
4. Level 4 Talents
Increase Withering Fire charges by 1. Charges can be fired 33% faster.
Increases Withering Fire's range by 25%.
Reduce Shadow Dagger's cooldown by 1.25 seconds each time it spreads to a Hero.
While Withering Barrage provides Sylvanas with a respectable burst damage increase, it find itself completely overshadowed by the Lost Soul Talent, which can account for 50% or more of Sylvanas' team fight damage output. With the Wind, although not bad either, cannot be realistically recommended for the same reasons.
5. Level 7 Talents
Withering Fire deals 200% bonus damage to Minions, Mercenaries, and Monsters.
Minions that die under the effects of Black Arrows explode, dealing 116 (+4% per level) damage to nearby enemies. Does not damage Heroes or Structures.
- Charges: 3
- Recharge Time: 8 seconds
Force an enemy Minion to fight for Sylvanas's team.
Stores up to 3 charges.
Barbed Shot significantly improves Sylvanas' ability to waveclear and claim Mercenary Camps. Furthermore, Barbed Shot assists with killing Map Objectives or other important Monsters on Maps such as Battlefield of Eternity (Immortals), Cursed Hollows (Bosses), The Garden of Terror (Garden Terrors), and Tomb of the Spider Queen (Webweavers).
Unstable Poison, as with Barbed Shot, provides an enormous increase to your waveclearing; a single clever use of Shadow Dagger against damaged Minion becomes enough to clear out an entire wave of Minions, regardless of the size. This allows you to spend only a few seconds in a lane clearing Minions, giving you the opportunity to roam and take Objectives elsewhere on the Map while effectively pressuring.
Possession, although not bad by any means, fails to outperform the other competing Talents in terms of waveclear. Being able to charm up to three enemy Minions does not push a lane as quickly as being able to wipe out entire enemy Minion waves with the help of Barbed Shot or Unstable Poison, although it may lead to larger assisted pushes. Still, the aforementioned Talents generally remain more versatile.
6. Level 10 Talents
- 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 making them unable to use Abilities for 2.5 seconds. The arrow detonates automatically if it reaches maximum range.
- Mana: 75
- Cooldown: 60 seconds
After a 1 second cast, take control of an enemy Hero's movement, Silencing them and prevent them from doing anything else. Channel lasts 2.5 seconds.
Mind Control is a deadly counter to every Support Hero and other high priority targets. Since the Heroic Ability can itself be countered by Cleanse, mind-controlling Supports is particularly effective. If an enemy Support gets close to you, do not hesitate to cast Mind Control immediately in order to make them walk towards your own team. By the same token, beware of overextending, especially when crowd control-heavy Heroes, such as Muradin or E.T.C. are nearby, for they may easily interrupt you.
7. Level 13 Talents
Shadow Dagger heals Sylvanas for 37 (+4% per level) each time it spreads to an enemy.
Teleporting with Haunting Wave fully recharges Withering Fire. Haunting Wave can be cast a second time for free within 5 seconds after teleporting.
- Cooldown: 60 seconds
Activate to become Unstoppable and gain 40% Movement Speed for 3 seconds.
- Cooldown: 0 seconds
Every 30 seconds, gain 50 Spell Armor against the next enemy Ability and subsequent Abilities for 3 seconds, reducing the damage taken by 50%.
Can be toggled to allow or prevent this talent from triggering automatically.
Life Drain provides a respectable amount of self sustain. The issue here, however, is that sustained damage is not generally Sylvanas' fear; burst damage and crowd control are. Life Drain does not help against such as the alternative Talents do.
Spell Shield provides a significant reduction in burst damage used against you. This can be exceptionally good versus strong poke Heroes, such as Azmodan and Kael'thas, as well as Heroes that rely on single combos to deal damage, such as Jaina and Kerrigan. Just make sure to turn the Talent off so that its effects are not wasted by insignificant incidental damage.
Windrunner is mobility overkill with an impressive amount of built-in damage. Without any hard crowd control at hand, it becomes nearly impossible for opponents to catch up to or escape Sylvanas. The ability to fully recharge Withering Fire twice is also excessively useful, and especially when paired with Barbed Shot, to claim Mercenary Camps or waveclear.
Will of the Forsaken is essentially a better self- Cleanse, providing some built-in mobility and independence from your healer. Although it can be a useful Talent against crowd control-heavy (3+ sources of such) teams and to make Mind Control uninterruptable, it is an expensive choice to make over Windrunner.
8. Level 16 Talents
When an enemy is hit with Withering Fire, gain 10% Movement Speed for 2 seconds, stacking up to 30%.
Shadow Dagger lowers the Armor of the initial enemy by 25 for 2 seconds, causing them to take 25% more damage.
Black Arrows now also applies to Heroes, slowing their Movement Speed by 6% for the duration. Stacks up to 5 times.
After using an Ability, Sylvanas's next Basic Attack within 3 seconds deals 40% additional damage.
Evasive Fire, Overwhelming Affliction, and Remorseless all provide Sylvanas with relatively strong bonuses. They all must, however, compete with Cold Embrace. It is difficult to justify anything but the latter Talent, as being able to apply a 25 Armor reduction for 2 seconds every 3 to 6 seconds in team fights (assuming Cold Embrace) is incredibly powerful. Should your team have other sources of Armor reduction, however, Overwhelming Affliction is a reasonable alternative with its dependable AoE movement speed reduction effect.
9. Level 20 Talents
Enemies at the center of Wailing Arrow's explosion take 50% more damage and are silenced for twice as long.
Mind Controlled enemies gain 100% Movement Speed for the duration.
Every 5 seconds, your next Basic Attack will deal an additional 91 damage to the target, and 228 damage to all nearby Minions, Mercenaries, and Monsters.
- Cooldown: 70 seconds
Activate to teleport to a nearby location.
Deafening Blast turns Wailing Arrow into the longest silencing effect in the game (lasting a whooping 5 seconds) on top of dealing a massive amount of damage — if you can hit enemy Heroes with the centre of the AoE, that is. This generally requires some form of crowd control to follow up upon. Deafening Blast is therefore viable when you do have this reliable piece of crowd control at your disposal, and is generally picked as a piece of a combo team composition.
Dark Lady's Call is a Talent that greatly punishes positional mistakes made by opponents. As such, it is significantly stronger at lower levels of play, where Cleanse or interruption effects may not be readily available or kept off-Cooldown. Dark Lady's Call also sees niche usefulness when facing against a team composition featuring one very threatening Hero.
Bolt of the Storm is often recognized as one of the best Talents in the game, having a huge variety of uses, although it will generally be used to escape death. It makes Sylvanas, who already has a lot of mobility, almost impossible to kill. While you already have a gap-closer, it takes time for Haunting Wave to travel before you can teleport to the Banshees, allowing your enemies to kill you or move to the location you will teleport to. Bolt of the Storm instantly teleports you to safety and it has a very large range. Bolt of the Storm also has offensive uses; You can use Bolt of the Storm to teleport over walls or to catch fleeing enemies.
10. ChangeLog+ show all entries - show only 10 entries
- 26 Jun. 2017: Updated the Will of the Forsaken discussion.
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