The Honeymoon Period is in effect, and I am in love with Sylvanas. So that being said, I played quite a bit last night, and put together a build that feels like a good balance between damage, survivability and pushing. I am also providing my feedback on each talent selection and pointing out some back up or situational talents. Your feedback and discussion is truly valued!

TL;DR:

  • Lost Souls
  • Envenom
  • Unstable Poison
  • Wailing Arrow
  • Splinter Shot
  • Cold Embrace
  • Deafening Blast

LEVEL 1

TalentDescriptionThoughts
With the Wind [Q]Increases Withering Fire’s range by 25%.Don’t Take: While the range is a nice addition, Sylvanas doesn’t struggle for range. The upgrade utility doesn’t provide any additional increase to DPS unless you are a solo chasing, with such specificity it doesn’t provide the most improvement at this tier.
Lost Souls [W]Reduces the cooldown of Shadow Dagger by 2 seconds.Take: The improvement to your “W” will increase your uptime on Black Arrows to the highest number of targets. It will work well in early game for taking potshots at towers, while still have utility in the late game for chasing and spreading Black Arrows to the enemy heroes.
Barbed Shot [Q]Withering Fire deals 200% bonus damage to Minions and Mercenaries.Don’t Take: Sylvanas doesn’t need additional pushing support, and while this could add a slight increase to early game pushes the overall utility is low. It essentially becomes useless in the late game.
Corruption [Trait]Basic Attacks against Structures destroy 2 Ammunition.Situational: If left alone, with this talent, Sylvanas can muster a huge push quickly. Quickly switching between towers will greatly improve the survivability of your creep causing some early game deep pushes to forts. The late game applicability is zero.

LEVEL 4

TalentDescriptionThoughts
Paralysis [Trait]Increases duration of Black Arrow by 100%.Don’t Take: I don’t feel this adds as much utility as the other options at this level. While I can see the increased ability to chase fleeing heroes, we still don’t want to chase deep since positioning is so important. If being able to chase is important, I would recommend taking Evasive Fire at level 16.
Overflowing Quiver [Q]Whenever you would gain a Withering Fire charge from killing a Minion or Hero while at maximum charges, it is automatically fired.Situational: I wouldn’t outright call this a Don’t Take since there is the potential when you are generating “Q”s faster than you can use them…potentially. Otherwise this talent helps assist those who are worried they can’t remember to stay on top of their “Q”s. Note:Save your fingers, you can spam “Q” by just holding it down instead of slamming it as fast as possible.
Ranger’s Ambush [E]Using Haunting Wave to teleport refills all charges of Withering Fire.Situational: I personally don’t like this choice, and while it will improve DPS, it removes your only escape for the majority (if you take Bolt of the Storm) or the entirety of the game.
EnvenomActivate to poison an enemy Hero, dealing 180 (+30 per level) damage over 5 seconds.Take: This is my talent of choice, and believe it adds the most to your hero’s build.

LEVEL 7 I could see an argument for almost any talent choice in this group.

TalentDescriptionThoughts
Unstable Poison [Trait]Minions and Mercenaries that die under the effects of Black Arrows explode, dealing 75 (+9 per level) damage to nearby enemies.Take: The improved creep clear with this is impressive. And there is the potential for burst damage if your lane opponent is standing in a wave when they die. This talent is good at improving lane bullying. Then again, you have to hope your opponent is dumb enough to stand in the dying wave more than once. EDIT: Upon further play, I find that I have to clear enough late game waves that this talent has been very strong. Additionally, I have actually been able to burst down enemy heroes who are standing in large minion waves in the late game. Plus, it is fun to see everyone explode.
Life Drain [W]Shadow Dagger heals you for 10 (+3.5 per level) each time it spreads to a new enemy.Situational: I believe this talent tier, more than any other, is about personal choice. I like the improved sustain in the lane, but this loses effectiveness in late game.
Follow ThroughAfter using an ability, your next Basic Attack deals 25% additional damage.Situational: The uptime on this ability is quite high, with the ability to spam your “Q” almost constantly.
Mercenary LordSiege and Bruiser Mercenaries near your hero deal 50% more damage.Don’t Take: Since they’ve nerfed this talent so you have to escort the mercs I’ve found it to be a lot less impactful on your ability and utility. This could prove useful in the mid game pushes, but not much after.
Shade Form [E]Haunting Wave grants Stealth for 3 seconds. Activating the teleport does not break the Stealth.Situational: If you are looking for even more survivability this proves to be a good choice, especially if you are planning to get the Ultimate upgrade at 20, and skipping Bolt of the Storm.

LEVEL 10

TalentDescriptionThoughts
Wailing Arrow [R]Shoot an arrow that explodes for 200 (+20 per level) damage and silences enemies for 2.5 seconds. Can be reactivated to detonate the arrow early.Take: For now, I believe this is the best choice of the two. It has nice AOE damage, which will inflict your Black Arrows. This will allow you to silence a bunched up enemy team for 2.5 seconds. One downside, you can be CC’ed between cast and then activation, so there is a chance you can miss this skill shot against heavy CC teams if you are out of position.
Possession [R]Force an enemy Minion to fight for you. It gains 20% Attack Damage and Health. Cooldown increased to 20 seconds when used on Catapults.Don’t Take: Without some beefing up, this isn’t a strong ultimate. If you had this ability in the early game (pre level 5) it would be stronger in assisting in lane push, but as you transition to more team fighting it loses useful, and in late game the utility is nearly zero.

LEVEL 13

TalentDescriptionThoughts
Overwhelming Affliction [Trait]Black Arrows now also applies to Heroes, slowing their Movement Speed by 5% for the duration. Stacks up to 5 times.Opt. 2 Take: Do you want to slow the target, or speed yourself up? That’s the question for these two talent choice options. I prefer to slow the target, since it helps the whole team besides myself.
Evasive Fire [Q]You gain 10% Movement Speed for 2 seconds whenever an enemy is hit with Withering Fire, stacking up to 30%.Situational: The added bonus of taking this talent is the increased speed bonus of 10% stacks vice the decreased speed debuff of 5% stacks. This will also stack more (30% vice the 25% of Overwhelming Affliction).
Splinter Shot [Q]Withering Fire hits a second target for 19 (+2.25 per level) damage.Situational: I like this talent to improve Splinter Shot and Black Arrows distribution during a team fight. Also, if you accidentally target the wrong target, your second shot might still get the right guy. Downside, this adds nothing on a 1v1. EDIT: Upon further play, combining this with Unstable Poison makes a POTENT lane pushing build that is hard to deny. Entire minion waves will melt in just a few shots. And at the speed of the deaths, your Q is infinite, incase you are attacked during that clear. Very strong.
Spell ShieldUpon taking Ability Damage, reduce that damage and further Ability Damage by 50% for 2 seconds. Can only trigger once every 30 seconds.Situational: If you are against a very bursty damage team (e.g., Jaina / Zeratul), this could be a good chance to improve survivability. Overall, I think there are stronger talents in this tier.

LEVEL 16

TalentDescriptionThoughts
Windrunner [E]After you teleport from Haunting Wave, you can cast a second one for free within 2 seconds.Don’t Take: As I stated previously, they balanced the Windrunner talent fairly well, so you are still vulnerable to CCs during that casting time, I believe Bolt of the Storm at 20 provides more survivability.
Cold Embrace [W]Shadow Dagger makes enemies Vulnerable, taking 25% more damage, but the range of Shadow Dagger is reduced by 25% .Take: This is a GREAT talent, I believe it adds a huge amount of utility to your team and provides universal support during team fights. With Lost Souls you’ll be able to get this vulnerability out early and often, especially with grouped heros.
Will of the ForsakenActivate to become Unstoppable and gain 30% Movement Speed for 3 seconds.Situational: Again, if you are really worried about being bursted down (DAMN YOU NOVA) then you can take this to improve your survivability. Also, you can use this to chase in combination with your “E”.
Blood for BloodActivate to steal 15% of target enemy’s Max Health and slow its Movement Speed by 30% for 3 seconds.Don’t Take: I know people are going to disagree on this one, but I feel like this is a selfish talent choice. You boost your damage at the expensive reducing overall team damage with Cold Embrace. I do not recommend.

LEVEL 20

TalentDescriptionThoughts
Deafening Blast [R]Enemies at the center of Wailing Arrow’s explosion take 50% more damage and are silenced for twice as long.Opt. 1 Take: Assuming you made the effort to improve your “E”‘s escapability utility, then taking this is a good choice. The increased damage is nice, but that 5 SECOND SILENCE THOUGH. EDIT: After further play I feel like this is the better overall pick at 20, the 5 seconds of silence is too strong and can swing an entire team fight.
Dark Lady’s Call [R]Increases the Attack Damage and Health bonus to 30% and allows Possession of enemy Mercenaries with a 20 second cooldown.Situational: If you selected Possession at level 10, I believe this is a must pick talent. This is the only way that your ultimate stays relevant in the late game.
Fury of the StormEvery 5 seconds, your next basic attack will deal an additional 20 (+9 per level) damage to the target, and 20 (+24 per level) damage to all nearby Minions andDon’t Take: I believe this has been overshadowed by other choices in the tier. Although this would be activated regularly, by the time you hit level 20 we aren’t really focused on burning down minions / mercs as a priority.
Bolt of the StormActivate to teleport to a nearby location.Opt. 2 Take: Coupled with your “E” you can ALMOST escape Illidan. Seriously though, this is my go to talent choice to stay alive longer in extended team fights, or to quickly retreat, I highly recommend.


SHARE

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.