Illidan has been completely reworked as of the Alpha Patch 30414 and I thought I’d make a guide giving my thoughts about him so far.
Playstyle Overview: The new Illidan is a melee assassin who focuses on chasing, dueling, and rapid use of abilities with melee attacks weaved in between.
Betrayer’s Thirst (Combat Trait) – Illidan’s Basic Attacks heal him for 20% of damage dealt and reduce his cooldowns by 1 second.
- Lifesteal and Cooldown Reduction on Basic Attacks. When getting melee hits off in team fights, few heroes can match him in mobility or sticking power. If you play Illidan and notice you can use your abilities VERY FREQUENTLY this is the reason why you feel so awesome.
Dive (Q) – Cooldown: 6 seconds – Dives at the target, dealing 50 (+5 per level) damage and slowing the target by 80% for 0.35 seconds. Illidan flips to the other side of the target.
- This is a targeted ability which can be used on pretty much any hostile unit (unlike his previous E ability which was similar in functionality but was a skillshot). Generally speaking you’ll want to use this ability once the enemy starts moving in a retreating direction to try to get in the way with a body block with the flip. It’s a great gap closer but always keep in mind where this ability will be placing you once executed.
Sweeping Strike (W) – Cooldown: 8 seconds – Dashes towards target point, dealing 70 (+10 per level) damage to enemies along the way. If Illidan hits an enemy, his Basic Attacks do 25% more damage for 4 seconds.
- This ability will be your primary ability used for movement as it does not require a target like Dive does. The damage bonus is applied when hitting any hostile target, including structures.
Evasion (E) – Cooldown: 15 seconds – Cause incoming Basic Attacks to miss for 1.5 seconds.
- This is a very useful defensive skill that allows him to duel other heroes quite well and is also useful in teamfights if you are focused. Keep in mind that Evasion also works on structure attacks
Metamorphosis (R) – Cooldown: 120 seconds – Transforms into demon form at the target location. Deal 300 (+10 per level) damage in the area. Illidan gains 250 (+15 per level) temporary max health for each Hero hit, and gains 20% attack speed. Lasts 18 seconds.
- This ability does a good amount of AoE damage, is good in any sort of AoE composition, and can help Illidan be more of a bruiser rather than assassin for a short amount of time. In my opinion, this feels less impressive than it was for the old Illidan.
The Hunt (R) – Cooldown: 60 seconds – Launch yourself at the enemy. Deals 350 damage, stuns target for 1 second. Very long range.
- This ability has had it’s cooldown reduced significantly and now (at least to me) seems alot more attractive. This ability is obviously great for having a semi-global presence on the map and being able to assist allies at a moment’s notice.
I would say the largest determining factors for which ult I pick are the team compositions and the maps. If your team doesn’t have a very good initiating tank and you’re on a map that is likely to encourage teamfights taking place in a confined area (Cursed Hollow at Tributes, Haunted Mines at Grave Golem), then generally I like Metamorphosis. You might want to take The Hunt if your team is more focused on picking off stragglers, or if the opposition has heroes like Nova who can’t really escape from a hard engagement. On the old Illidan, I grabbed Metamorphosis alot more frequently, but with the reduced cooldown on The Hunt, I feel it is a much more viable option now than before.
I feel like Illidan should be built to increase his burst damage and mobility. While you could build Illidan to somewhat fulfill the role of a bruiser, I feel like you would probably just end up with a hero that doesn’t really damage well and doesn’t disrupt enough to be an effective tank.
Level 1 –
Regeneration Master – Gather 3 Regeneration Globes to permanently grant you +3 Health per second. Stacks.
Battered Assault (W) – Increases the Basic Attack bonus to 40%
Demonic Life-Force (E) – Evasion grants a 75 (+12-13 per level) point Shield. Lasts 5 seconds.
Spar for Blood (Trait) – Basic Attacks now heal for 30% of damage dealt.
- Battered Assault would be my primary choice for this tier as it’s the only talent that increases his damage and the defensive/healing abilities here seem like they would not help that much when it really matters (teamfights/duels)
Level 4 –
Focused Attack – Every 10 seconds, your next Basic Attack deals 50% additional damage. Basic Attacks reduce the cooldown of Focused Attack by 1 second.
Marked for Death (Q) – Illidan’s next Basic Attack on the Dive target deals 100% more damage.
Additional Reach (W) – Increases the range of Sweeping Strike by 20%
Immolation (W) – Sweeping Strike causes Illidan to burn nearby enemies for 29 (+3 per level) damage a second for 3 seconds.
- I feel like if you compared Focused Attack and Marked for Death, Marked for Death is just better in every way. The cooldown reduction of Focused Attack is already cooked into Marked for Death because of your Combat Trait and Marked for Death has a much more controllable trigger to get the increased damage. Immolation seems like it would be more beneficial for a bruiser type, but it does look interesting as the full effect happens over 3 seconds which may be short enough for you to get full benefit out of it.
Level 7 –
Rapid Chase (Q) – Illidan gains 20% Move Speed for 2 seconds after casting Dive.
Lingering Evasion (E) – Illidan gains 2 charges of Block (50% reduced Basic Attack damage) after Evasion wears off. Lasts 5 seconds.
Ultimate Duelist (Trait) – Activate to double the cooldown reduction from Basic Attacks for 5 seconds. 25 second cooldown.
First Aid – Activate to heal 20% of your max Health over 4 seconds.
- Once you play some games as Illidan, you’ll notice that you’re incredibly squishy. I feel like Lingering Evasion might be the one defensive talent I’ll take in this build. This talent is much better than Block, because you can control when the stacks are used. I feel like Rapid Chase isn’t really needed because with Dive and Sweeping Strike, most enemies won’t be able to escape, and if they can escape (because they are Uther or what not) then the extra movement speed won’t likely make a difference. Ultimate Duelist looks interesting, but I don’t feel it offers enough damage to compare to the amount of survivability that we get with Lingering Evasion.
Level 13 –
Giant Killer – Basic Attacks against enemy Heroes deal an additional 1.5% of the target’s max Health in damage.
Lunge (Q) – Increases the cast range of Dive by 30%
Betrayer’s Ally (Q) – Illidan can cast Dive on allies (but will not flip).
Endless Bounds (W) – Illidan ignores all collision while using Sweeping Strike.
Spell Evasion (E) – Illidan takes 50% reduced damage from spells while Evasion is active.
- I feel like this tier has the most talents that are situational. Generally speaking, Giant Killer is rarely a bad choice for someone interesting in doing damage, but it gains more usefulness the tankier your opponents are. Lunge can help you push an advantage if your team is already winning, securing kills or increasing the intiation range of ganks. Endless Bounds allows you to dash through walls and such, which can help you escape losing teamfights. The same can be said of Betrayer’s Ally. By this time in the game you should have a pretty good idea of whether you need mobility or damage.
Level 16 –
Executioner – Basic Attacks deal 40% more damage against slowed, rooted, or stunned targets.
Second Sweep (W) – Illidan can store up to 2 charges of Sweeping Strike.
Betrayer’s Attrition (Trait) – Illidan heals for 15% of Ability damage dealt.
Blood for Blood – Acitvate to steal 15% of target enemy’s max Health and slow its Movement Speed by 30% for 3 seconds.
Stoneskin – Activate to gain 30% of your max Health in Shields for 5 seconds. 60 second cooldown.
- Executioner is composition based as Illidan doesn’t really provide the CC to get much use out of this talent by himself. Blood for Blood is your “Win Duel” button and is generally pretty versatile. Second Sweep is kinda fun to pick if you really just don’t feel like you’re spamming enough abilities. Having additional charges also increases the uptime of the damage buff and allows for additional mobility.
Level 20 –
Fury of the Storm – Basic Attacks bounce twice to nearby enemies for 50% damage.
Bolt of the Storm – Activate to teleport to a nearby location.
Demonic Form (R) – Ilidan remains in Demonic Form permanently or until killed, and can now Mount while in Demonic Form. Increases the Attack Speed bonus of Demonic Form to 30%
Nowhere is Safe (R) – The Hunt has global range. Greatly increases the accleration of Illidan while Hunting a target.
- I don’t really feel like Bolt is needed. Generally speaking Illidan should be able to position himself so that with his movement abilities, he can escape danger if needed. However Bolt can allow you to play a much more agressive style and if your team is relying on your Metamorphosis for engages Bolt can help you land the perfect ultimate. Otherwise I’d just take the Demonic Form. On certain maps, the increase from default to global on The Hunt isn’t that big of a difference unless you’re trying to ult from your base. On those maps I would generally pick Fury of the Storm so that you can do more damage to secondary targets in teamfights.
So a very generic build would be…
1 – Battered Assault (W)
4 – Marked for Death (Q)
7 – Lingering Evasion (E)
10 – Metamorphosis (R)
13 – Giant Killer
16 – Blood for Blood or Second Sweep
20 – Demonic Form (R) or Bolt of the Storm
Tips and Tricks
- Dive can be used on structures. If running away from an enemy you can use a leftover wall to hop over to gain distance. Also if you find yourself on the wrong side of an enemy’s wall (I’m looking at you, Stitches!) then you can use Q on the wall or a turret to hop back over to the correct side.
- The Shan’do Illidan skin is one of the coolest looking skins in the game. If you use this skin, you will feel cool and that confidence will cause you to win more games.
- More to come, feel free to contribute
This is my first guide I’ve made for Heroes and feedback is much appreciated.