Heroes of the Storm

Character Concept: Vanessa VanCleef

HeroesoftheStorm 8 - Character Concept: Vanessa VanCleef

Vanessa VanCleef, heir to the Defias legacy and master of mind-affecting toxins, eventually joined the Uncrowned unwillingly. Daughter of Edwin Vancleef, she cares mainly about revenge on the people of Westfall, and Stormwind itself, for her father's death. With a master's alchemy skills and fast-moving blades, she joins the nexus in all her revolutionary glory.

Vanessa Vancleef – Melee Assassin

Health – 1660

Basic attack damage – 56

Basic attack speed – 3 attacks per second

Note: Vanessa's attacks comes in "flurries" of 6 attacks over 2 seconds, then take a moment to attack again. Using a basic ability resets her flurry cooldown. On average, she does 2 basic attacks per second. 2 seconds attack, 1 second not.

Trait – D – Toxin Mastery – 7 second CD

Activate to switch between Blinding Toxin and Binding Toxin. While Blinding Toxin is active, basic attacks and abilities blind and deal physical damage. While Binding Toxin is active, basic attacks and abilities reduce and deal spell damage. Switching toxins converts blinds to 75% spell power reduction, and spell power reduction to blinds.

Every 8 seconds, switch between dealing 20% additional spell damage and 20% additional physical damage.

First Ability – Q – Blade Rush – 8 second CD, 2 charges

Charge at a target, dealing low damage and extending the duration of blinds or spell power reductions depending on your current active toxin by 0.5 seconds.

Second Ability – W – Parting Gift – 12 second CD

Deals low-moderate damage in an area around Vanessa. All targets hit are blinded or have their spell power reduced by 75% for 1 second based on your current toxin. Then, Vanessa dashes in target direction. If no basic attacks or abilities are used 1 second after Parting Gift ends, gain stealth for 4 seconds. For the first second of stealth, Vanessa is unrevealable.

Third Ability – E – Toxin Rush – 11 second CD

Deals low damage to a target and injects them with poison, reducing spell damage or blinding for 3 seconds, slowing them by 50% for 3 seconds and teleporting Vanessa to the other side of the target.

R1 – Defias Strike – 110 second CD

Ambushes the target, dealing low damage and channeling to stun the target for up to 2 seconds. Each second spent channeling blinds the target or reduces their spell power for 1.5 seconds after the stun ends. Deals 400% more damage when used from stealth.

R2 – Toxin Outbreak – 65 second CD

Causes all current crowd control effects on enemy heroes in close range to extend by 0.75 second and affect all other nearby heroes. Resets the cooldown of Parting Gift.


Tier 1 – Level 1

Poison Mixer – switching toxins causes both toxins to be active for the first 2 seconds. (You deal damage based on the toxin you switched to.)

Working in Shadows – Stealth from Parting Gift lasts until cancelled. Standing still for 3 seconds with stealth grants invisibility.

Delayed Burial – Toxin rush deals damage and activates for 1 second 4 seconds after cast.

Tier 2 – Level 4

Fast-acting Reagents – Damage bonus from Toxin Mastery increased to 35%, but it switches 2 seconds faster.

Burning Rage – Passive – deals low damage to nearby enemies every second. Deals 300% damage to enemies who are blinded or have their spell damage reduced.

Lunge – Active – Bolt in a target direction. Can only be used within 1 second after activating Blade Rush. Regain this ability by using two charges of Blade Rush within 3 seconds of eachother.

Tier 3 – Level 7


Exertion – Blade Rush gains a charge, but gains 2 seconds to its cooldown.

Refresher – Blade Rush refunds both charges, but gains 2 seconds to its cooldown.

Deep Wounds – Blade Rush extends blinds and spell power reductions by 0.75 seconds longer, but gains 2 seconds to its cooldown.

Tier 4 – Level 10

(see above)

Tier 5 – Level 13

Return in a Flash – Parting Gift reduces your heroic cooldown by 3 seconds per heroic target hit after the first.

Potent Binding – Increases the power of your spell power reductions to 85%

Potent Blinding – Blinds on enemies last 10% longer.

Scram! – Active – Reset the Cooldown of Parting Gift. Your next Parting Gift deals no damage. 40 second CD.

Tier 6 – Level 16

Old Tricks – Switching your toxin applies a new blind or spell power reduction but does not remove your previous toxin effect. Switching Toxin extends the duration of spell power reductions and blinds on targets by 1 second.

Leeching Poison – Active – Activate to return 10% of all damage you deal as health for 10 seconds. 30 sec CD.

Coated Blades – Basic Attacks extend the duration of blinds and spell power reductions by 0.2 seconds.

Friend to the Destitute – Nearby ally heroes under 25% health or Mana gain 20 armor. Nearby enemy heroes above 75% health or mana lose 20 armor.

Tier 7 – Level 20

Take Care of Business – Vanessa is able to move while channeling Defias Strike, taking her target with her. Her movement speed is reduced by 50%. Defias Strike can be channeled for up to 3 seconds.

Toxin, Poison, Death, and the Brotherhood – Toxin Outbreak can be reactivated for up to 3 seconds after the first use, and resets the cooldown of Toxic Mastery. Toxin Outbreak's cooldown is increased by 30 seconds.

Edwin's Legacy – Gain all level 7 talents. Blade Rush's cooldown is set to 9 seconds.

Hope Saldean – Vanessa disguises herself, allow her to move past enemies and become unstoppable for 3 seconds. Basic attacks and abilities cannot be used, but active talents are still usable.

Vengeance – Killing the last enemy to kill one of your teammates resets the cooldown of your abilities and fully heals you.


Vanessa VanCleef is a low damage, high-CC melee assassin meant to counter everything but not anything. In order to be anything but a burden to her team in terms of damage, she must play to her trait's ability to give her 20% more damage by rapidly switching between her toxins. This will leave many situations in which she is unable to react immediately and shutdown dangerous AAers or mages. Tracking your toxin to properly deal with enemies is a large part of playing Vanessa properly. While she has very little waveclear, she does have the ability to campclear decently if willing to use CC cooldowns. In teamfights, Vanessa can harass a weak backline and shut down extreme DPS like Zul'jin or Li-ming. While her abilities have lots of potential, they also deal little damage and have long cooldowns. In double healer or double tank comps, Vanessa has no place because of her barely-there damage. However, she acts as a good bodyguard for vulnerable damage-dealers that can be easily targeted by dive assassins.

Important note, please read: I'm like 75% sure someone is going to wonder why she doesn't silence and blind. Silences are much more powerful than blinds. That's the long and short of it.

Thanks for reading! Feedback is always welcome, as are suggestions for heroes you might want me to make concepts for! Have a great day, and I'll see you in the nexus.

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