Heroes of the Storm

Guide to the new Sylvanas from a GM Sylvanas player

HeroesoftheStorm 8 - Guide to the new Sylvanas from a GM Sylvanas player

Hey! I've been a GM or master every season and wanted to give a basic guide to understanding the new Sylvanas (I've been playing her almost exclusively in HL with a ~70% winrate) because she can feel clunky at first compared to her old kit. I also want to state this is all my opinion, and you're always welcome to hit me up if you disagree and we can talk about it. I'm always changing my mind on kits since the meta is always changing so I'd love to hear your thoughts. TL;DR at the end

General playstyle

  • The first thing you need to understand about this rework is Sylvanas is stronger than ever in skrimishes and teamfights. She also plays a lot more aggressively with her health buff and some of her new/improved talents. She's still decent at pushing with objectives but her solo push isn't nearly as potent. What this means concretely is you want to be in teamfights more often (especially late game) and split-pushing a lot less. Learn to not hold down Q, it'll now be a way to get your spell damage so use it on heroes when they're in range(look down at level 1 talents to know why). I'll go more detail into strategy after talent recommendations.

Talent Recommendations and Comments

  • Level 1 – My most recommended talent on this tier is Might of The Banshee. This talent synergizes so well with her kit and it's incredibly easy to proc since her Qs prioritze heroes. A lot of people have been claiming the W quest talent is a no-brainer but I think when you understand Sylvanas' role in teamfights (that is landing good arrows and pressuring squishies and tank with high single target damage) it becomes more clear why I've chosen this. Also I think having 25% spell damage and faster attack speed to go with your trait right off the bat is better than the potential damage you might get later (which is usually around 50-60% if youre lucky anyway). The slow at one is great if you're against double tanks and cant find yourself pressuring the back at all, it allows you to poke and wither down the tank but still, Might of the Banshee is my recommendation.

  • Level 4 – Here is the tier where I think all the options are extremely viable. I myself prefer Possession because of it's utility (can dive enemy forts/keeps with team and use possession as a way to draw away fire, allows for stronger push, good pressure on big maps etc.). Take Unstable Postion if you really feel you need the wave clear and Merc Queen if you're on a map which can benefit from it (Towers of Doom or Dragonshire).

  • Level 7 – Some might diagree but I think they only talent I'd ever think is worth taking is Festering Wounds at 7 and I'll explain why. My build centers around this talent, it allows for immediate full spell damage, stronger wave clear, and finally synergizes with windrunner soooo well. The other two are good but I think this talent has too much going for it right now in terms of how it synergizes with other talents.

  • Level 10Arrow. Mind Control got a nice buff/change but I think it's extremely situational, Sylv can win games off landing good arrows and since she is more of a teamfighter than ever this ult also seens it's value go up.

  • Level 13Windrunner. Windrunner along with Festering Wounds allows Sylvanas to not only be one of the best ranged gankers in the game it allows her to be very hard to pin down. Having immediate 50% spell damage (with her 1 and 7 respectively) and basically doubling that on top of more mobility is extremely good for her teamfight potential. 13 is her main spike in damage. The other two are fine, the range is good if you take the slow at 1 and the vuln is good against a hard to kill tank like Mal'Ganis.

  • Level 16All of these talents are extremely good but if you don't NEED the unstoppable take the lifedrain or movespeed. Lifedrain with this build allows for really good sustain in teamfights and skrimishes when combined with her windrunner double E combo. Movespeed is also great for ganks and chases if they have a lucio or faster heroes in general.

  • Level 20Bolt usually, deafening blast if you feel it'll win you the teamfight. Sylvanas' with bolt can be an untouchable monster, allowing for even more aggressive plays with your Windrunner combo. If you feel you're getting more value out of arrow or you need someone to be shut down hard then take the Arrow upgrade.

TL;DR Her best and more versatile build is the Windrunner build (see talents above). After learning her talents I hope her playstyle becomes a lot more clear. Her W build doesn't have as much utility as her Windrunner build, and getting stacks will be similar in bonus damage to the Q talent at one anyway (Arrow and Q also benefit from her level 1). Possesion is good for pushing and has other practical uses, but feel free to go the others if the situation calls for it. She is a very strong team pusher and single target damage hero (worse at solo push). Play aggressive and use your Windrunner combo when the opportunity arises to burn down squishies, make sure you watch CC though. If you don't see an opening put pressure on the tank and wait for a good time to combo/arrow. She is a viable pick on all maps, especially ones with a pushing objective.

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