Sylvanas Talents

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

Welcome to our Talents page for Sylvanas. Here, we give you an overview of how strong each of Sylvanas' talents is. Then, we present several viable builds, before analyzing each talent row separately, so that you can make informed decisions.

1. Sylvanas's Talent Build

Level Choices
1 Might of the Banshee Queen Unfurling Shadows Overwhelming Affliction ?
4 Unstable Poison Mercenary Queen ? Possession
7 Barbed Shot Lost Soul Festering Wounds
10 Wailing Arrow Mind Control
13 Cold Embrace Windrunner ? Remorseless
16 Evasive Fire Life Drain Will of the Forsaken
20 Deafening Blast Dark Lady's Call Withering Barrage ? Bolt of the Storm ?

2. Sylvanas' Talent Build Cheatsheet

Stacking Shadow Dagger Build

Talent calculator »
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.

Sustained Shadow Dagger Build

Talent calculator »
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.

3. Level 1 Talents for Sylvanas

Sylvanas Might of the Banshee Queen
Might of the Banshee Queen (Level 1) World of Warcraft 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.

Sylvanas Unfurling Shadows
Unfurling Shadows (Level 1) World of Warcraft Sylvanas

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%.

Sylvanas Overwhelming Affliction ?
Overwhelming Affliction (Level 1) World of Warcraft Sylvanas

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.

3.1. Discussion

This Talent tier improves Sylvanas's damage output.

Might of the Banshee Queen Icon Might of the Banshee Queen is the most reliable Level 1 choice damage-wise, provided you use Withering Fire Icon 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. Further, the Attack Speed provided by Might of the Banshee Queen synergises particularly well with Lost Soul Icon Lost Soul. For this reason, these two Talents are generally picked together.

Unfurling Shadows Icon Unfurling Shadows has the highest damage potential at this tier. This damage, however, must be built over time by repeatedly using Shadow Dagger Icon Shadow Dagger against Heroes afflicted by three stacks of Black Arrows Icon 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 Icon Festering Wounds at Level 7.

Overwhelming Affliction Icon Overwhelming Affliction lacks the area of effect damage output of the alternative Talent choices on top of synergising poorly with most of Sylvanas's other Talents. Overwhelming Affliction may have niche use in the rare situation where you have to solo lane against a tank. Overwhelming Affliction would then allow you to kite and deal threatening percent-based damage.

4. Level 4 Talents for Sylvanas

Sylvanas Unstable Poison
Unstable Poison (Level 4) World of Warcraft 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.

Sylvanas Mercenary Queen ?
Mercenary Queen (Level 4) World of Warcraft Sylvanas

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.

Sylvanas Possession
Possession (Level 4) World of Warcraft Sylvanas
  • 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.

4.1. Discussion

This Talent tier improves Sylvanas's waveclear.

Unstable Poison Icon 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 Icon 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 Icon Mercenary Queen allows Sylvanas to claim 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 Icon Possession fulfills a role that is similar to Unstable Poison Icon 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 diving. Possession can also be used on Catapult Minions to reverse the effects of losing a Fort.

5. Level 7 Talents for Sylvanas

Sylvanas Barbed Shot
Barbed Shot (Level 7) World of Warcraft Sylvanas

Hitting the same enemy with 5 shots of Withering Fire causes the 5th shot to deal 350% bonus damage.

Sylvanas Lost Soul
Lost Soul (Level 7) World of Warcraft Sylvanas

Basic Attacks against Heroes with 3 stacks of Banshee's Curse reduce the cooldown of Shadow Dagger by 1.75 seconds.

Sylvanas Festering Wounds
Festering Wounds (Level 7) World of Warcraft Sylvanas

Increase Haunting Wave's damage by 25%. Haunting Wave applies 3 stacks of Banshee's Curse.

5.1. Discussion

This Talent tier further improves Sylvanas's damage output.

Barbed Shot Icon Barbed Shot is by far the weakest Talent available at this tier. It suffers due to Withering Fire Icon Withering Fire's uncontrollable nature which often means that Barbed Shot will end up hitting an undesirable target or a different target altogether before triggering.

Lost Soul Icon Lost Soul is core to Sylvanas's single-target damage output by allowing Shadow Dagger Icon Shadow Dagger's Cooldown to be reduced to just over three seconds through constant Basic Attacks. Lost Soul's power becomes obvious when used with Cold Embrace Icon Cold Embrace, available at Level 13.

Festering Wounds Icon Festering Wounds is a strange Talent that requires Haunting Wave Icon Haunting Wave to be used offensively. Its main point of appeal lies in its outstanding synergy with Unfurling Shadows Icon Unfurling Shadows, as applying Black Arrows Icon Black Arrows to several Heroes multiplies Unfurling Shadows's damage growth. Further, Festering Wounds works particularly well with Life Drain Icon Life Drain, as three Black Arrows stacks are required to trigger the healing effect.

6. Level 10 Talents for Sylvanas

Sylvanas Wailing Arrow
Wailing Arrow (Level 10) World of Warcraft 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.

Sylvanas Mind Control
Mind Control (Level 10) World of Warcraft Sylvanas
  • Mana: 75
  • Cooldown: 50 seconds

After 0.25 seconds, fire a missile that Mind Controls the first enemy Hero hit. Heroes hit are Silenced, Slowed by 30%, and forced to walk towards Sylvanas for 1.75 seconds.

6.1. Discussion

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 Icon 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 melee 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.

Mind Control Icon Mind Control is used along Cold Embrace Icon Cold Embrace to single-out and rapidly kill any target who is out of position, including tanks. Mind Control works particularly well with bursty team compositions that seek to quickly eliminate one target to snowball their advantage. Mind Control can also be used to prevent or interrupt key Abilities, as can Wailing Arrow.

7. Level 13 Talents for Sylvanas

Sylvanas Cold Embrace
Cold Embrace (Level 13) World of Warcraft Sylvanas

Shadow Dagger reduces the Armor of the initial target by 25 and any enemy it spreads to by 10 for 2.5 seconds.

Sylvanas Windrunner ?
Windrunner (Level 13) World of Warcraft Sylvanas

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.

Sylvanas Remorseless
Remorseless (Level 13) World of Warcraft Sylvanas

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.

7.1. Discussion

This Talent tier further improves Sylvanas's damage output situationally.

Cold Embrace Icon Cold Embrace provides Sylvanas with a powerful Armor-reducing debuff on a uniquely short Cooldown, particularly when combined with Lost Soul Icon Lost Soul.

Windrunner Icon Windrunner improves Sylvanas's ability to chase and escape. Windrunner is generally picked against melee Assassins, where a single charge of Haunting Wave Icon Haunting Wave may not be enough to ensure one's safety. Note that each Haunting Wave cast refreshes the Cooldown of Withering Fire Icon Withering Fire, giving Windrunner a situational way to find a bit more damage, as needed.

Remorseless Icon Remorseless does not mathematically compete with the added value of Cold Embrace Icon Cold Embrace's Armor reduction effect, nor with the utility provided by Windrunner Icon Windrunner.

8. Level 16 Talents for Sylvanas

Sylvanas Evasive Fire
Evasive Fire (Level 16) World of Warcraft Sylvanas

Hitting an enemy with Withering Fire grants 6% Movement Speed for 2 seconds, up to 30%. Basic Attacks refresh this duration.

Sylvanas Life Drain
Life Drain (Level 16) World of Warcraft Sylvanas

Heal for 15% of damage dealt by Sylvanas to enemies with 3 stacks of Banshee's Curse. Healing is doubled against Heroes.

Sylvanas Will of the Forsaken
Will of the Forsaken (Level 16) World of Warcraft Sylvanas
  • Cooldown: 60 seconds

Activate to become Unstoppable and gain 40% Movement Speed for 3 seconds.

8.1. Discussion

This Talent tier improves Sylvanas's survivability.

Evasive Fire Icon Evasive Fire is effectively a weaker but longer-lasting Will of the Forsaken Icon Will of the Forsaken. The two alternative Talents are too powerful to pass up for a late-game Movement Speed increase.

Life Drain Icon 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 Icon Black Arrows, which is why Life Drain is generally and exclusively used with Festering Wounds Icon Festering Wounds to apply said stacks of Black Arrows. Life Drain is useful against artillery Heroes such as Azmodan, Kael'thas, and Sgt. Hammer.

Will of the Forsaken Icon 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.

9. Level 20 Talents for Sylvanas

Sylvanas Deafening Blast
Deafening Blast (Level 20) World of Warcraft Sylvanas

Enemies at the center of Wailing Arrow's explosion take 50% more damage and are Silenced for twice as long.

Sylvanas Dark Lady's Call
Dark Lady's Call (Level 20) World of Warcraft Sylvanas

Heroes hit by Mind Control have their vision radius greatly reduced for 5 seconds. Mind Control's cooldown is reduced by 30 seconds.

Sylvanas Withering Barrage ?
Withering Barrage (Level 20) World of Warcraft Sylvanas

Enemy Heroes hit by Withering Fire reduce its cooldown by 0.75 seconds.

Sylvanas Bolt of the Storm ?
Bolt of the Storm (Level 20) World of Warcraft Sylvanas
  • Cooldown: 70 seconds

Activate to teleport to a nearby location.

9.1. Discussion

This Talent tier improves Sylvanas's late-game options.

Deafening Blast Icon 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 Icon Wailing Arrow in a way that it hits fewer opponents overall. In general, the tradeoff is not worth it.

Dark Lady's Call Icon Dark Lady's Call reduces Mind Control Icon Mind Control's Cooldown to a duration of mere 20 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 Cooldown.

Withering Barrage Icon Withering Barrage represents a reasonable damage increase should you have picked Wailing Arrow Icon 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 Icon Withering Fire is used, which it should always be.

Bolt of the Storm Icon Bolt of the Storm works well with Will of the Forsaken Icon 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.

10. Changelog

  • 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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