Heroes of the Storm

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Illidan

HeroesoftheStorm 2 - The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Illidan
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In the beginning, Illidan was created. This made a lot of people very angry and is being widely regarded as a bad move.

Talents

  • You think you have a choice here, but you don't. You always go Unending Hatred because once completed the quest actually turns Illidan into a real boy. Immolationwould be fine if you didn't have to fight ever, but at some point you have to kill the core and usually that only happens when the enemy team is dead. Battered Assault is a trap, it literally does nothing 99% of the time and when you actually get to team fight it's benefit is only marginally better than Unending Hatred which lets you do other things too, pick Battered Assault in ARAM only.

  • For beginners Friend or Foeacts little bit like training wheels, you go in -> you get in trouble -> you Q out. Once you've learned the basic moves of how to weave in and out you can graduate to using Rapid Chase which actually is the superior choice here for both chase and escape.

  • Once in a blue moon when the enemy drafts zero blinds, stuns and roots you choose Thirsting Blade but for every other game it's going to have to be Hunter's Onslaught. With ability healing enabled, your normal Q heals equivalent of 1,5xAA, your W heals 3xAA for each hero hit and your 16Q heals 6xAA. The block is a lie.

  • When you start your Illidan career it's wise to try out Metamorphosis. It provides solid escape for hairy situations and can be used to dodge many spells that could otherwise be lethal. However, to unlock the full potential of your character you must choose The Hunt. It enables you to join the team fight while doing other things, it lets you escape enemy ganks, it gives you ability to defend friendly heroes from enemy ganks, and it absolutely secures those kills where enemy is trying to flee with low life.

  • You might think Sixth Sense seems like a no brainer here. You already have evasion for auto attacks, so a spell shield for abilities should make you survive better. You'd be wrong. Illidans version of spell shield has CHARGES instead of guaranteed reduction for fixed duration, and there's only 2 of them. Those charges can, and will be, eaten up by absolutely every minor thing in the game from Arthas aura, to Kaelthas bomb ticking, to Azmodan lazer, to DVA rockets etc. That leaves us with Nimble Defender which can be good on rare occasion, but the duration is only 2 seconds and there are many heroes that bypass armor using percentage damage, so the best choice really is Elusive Strike. With the reduced cooldown on E against one target you typically have only 4 seconds of downtime and against two targets only 1 second of downtime.

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  • Like many other tiers this one also provides illusion of choice. On paper Blades of Azzinoth provides the most damage and healing IF you get to attack uninterrupted for 8 seconds, but that is never going to happen. Then we have Fiery Brand which actually would be the best choice IF the extra damage from every 3rd attack actually healed Illidan, it does not. Which leaves us with Marked for Death, damage wise it's similar to Brand but doesn't bypass armor. However, since we're getting cooldown reduction on level 4, ability damage healing on level 7 AND the extra damage actually is applied to healing too, this one actually works out quite well.

  • If you took Meta at level 10 then you always go for Demonic Form, it essentially works just like picking Blink but you also buff your level 10. For the Hunt you have three good choices, Nowhere to Hide is fine on a big map and against squishy targets (Valla, Lunara, LiMing etc.) enabling even more split pushing while maintaining lethal threat at all times. Bolt of the Storm is for when the enemy team is so lethal you have to have emergency exit available at all times, but most of the time you should pick Nexus Blades. The extra damage is nice, but the slow is the real killer enabling you to chase down anyone with impunity AND providing good targets for your team to focus on because they can't move to escape.

When can I pick Illidan?

  • Best maps are those where split pushing and jungling is possible. Illidan does well when he does not have to remain in any location for extended periods of time. You don't want to pick him to be your sololane because he actually loses the lane/objective against all popular solo laners, and has very limited escapes for lane ganks. I would avoid Braxis at all cost (can't win the 1v1, can't depush the objective, no split push opportunities) and the best map is Dragon Shire (objective has 3 locations the enemy has to secure and Illidan can keep rotating between lane pushing, camps, objectives while maintaining global team fight presence with the Hunt).

  • Some enemy team comps are harder than others, but there are no impossible ones. I would avoid picking Illidan into BW (global presence and polymorph is death), Uther (point and click stun, very easy for enemy to follow up with more stuns) and Varian (similar to Uther).

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