I'm a 2x Rank 1 and Master+ player specializing in high MMR Assassin & "flex" play, and have played HotS since first wave technical alpha testing. I now stream and youtube more casually.
My guides are like notebooks. I update them progressively based on what I learn and theorycraft. As such, this guide is a culmination of my experience, successes, and feedback.
YouTube: OCM If you've ever played a rogue in World of Warcraft, you're going to love Valeera. Right off the bat, you'll notice a few key similarities: Valeera's kit changes when she's stealthed or unstealthed, giving her two different skillsets. She also uses combo points, requiring an active understanding of "rotation".
Valeera's kit is really something, and allows the player to adjust to a number of situations that make her an incredibly safe pick in a number of situations. She has great response and flex talents, meaning that you can adjust your picks to respond to the enemy team as well as actively counter it.
In this guide, I'll be going over a few of the key builds I use when playing Valeera, and I'll also explain a number of her "responsive" talents and where they best apply.
Also, normally I'll note which build I consider the most "meta", but I've not been able to name just one for Valeera. If there's one that applies most universally, it's probably the "Korea" build based off of pro Korean and HGC play; it's rather easy to access and play effectively so I've saved for dramatic explanation.
You want to talk about nasty burst damage? Let's start off talking about this build by establishing that, at level 20, the full combo featured in the build will dish out approximately 3,300 damage in about 1 second when performed correctly.
Note what I said, however. This is definitely a late-game gimmick, but an insanely effective one. This build emphasizes isolated assassinations that can completely shut down split-pushes, solo-soaking, and even capitalize on careless repositioning during teamfights.
The combo for this build can be perfomed by: D-(Active)-Q-W-E
As mentioned prior, this build emphasizes the immense damage provided by Ambush and Death From Above's opening burst on isolated targets, so obviously this build does well against isolated heroes. However, I've found this build incredibly effective during team fighting as well. Squishier or weaker targets repositioning to the backline for recovery are super susceptive to the teleport burst provided by Death From Above, allowing you to get in, get the kill, and get out. Skilled players can make use of this on a regular basis and really abuse even the most seemingly appropriate positioning on the enemy team.
An alternative build is featured below that makes use of smaller maps that may not benefit Vigor.
As the title of this build suggests, silence is golden. Valeera has the third largest health pool of current melee assassins in the game, which allows for builds like this centered around more "consistent" burst damage.
The key talents in this build revolve around damage provided by Garrote and the utility it offers for CC, burst damage, and DoT damage. Obviously, Garrote is an ability available to Valeera while she is stealthed, so most of your engages will begin from stealth as your opener.
Recognize as well that a lot of the potency of this build comes from assuring that you also finish your full combo point closer with Eviscerate to maximize the late game damage of the Garrote follow-up, making sure to utilize your Auto-Attack weaving as well. This combo can be performed by: D-E-W-Q-E-AA
I've listed a couple of alternative routes to this build as well below; notice the situational talent responses for AP damage, as well as alternatives focused around more consistent AA pressure.
This tab is specifically to show a number of "flex" builds that you can take to specifically counter enemy gimmicks.
1. Anti-Auto Build
This build (featured below) emphasizes counters to heavy auto-attack teams that allows you to make use of quick opening CC and counter-damage shutdowns like stuns and blinds to ensure quick work of enemy mitigation.
Your 20 pick is flexible and does not have to be static to stealth cooldown reduction.
2. Anti-Heal Build
As suggested by the title, this build excels versus multiple support comps because of it's early game potency and scaling threat throughout the game. Be sure to have your healers in target when you use your actives, and try to cleave as many people as possible with the Active-W combo to ensure group anti-healing.
Your 20 is flexible and does not have to be static to stealth cooldown reduction.
3. Korea (Meta)
This build is based off of popular pro-scene picks. It's pretty easy to play and accessible to learn, but makes use of kit essentials like quick-build combo points, CC on demand, and heavy late game burst.
Note that the 13 tier is pivotal, and can be used to respond to a number of enemy team comps.