Artanis, All you need to know [patch 19.0] by D4Ni

Artanis, All you need to know [patch 19.0]

By: D4Ni
Last Updated: Jul 19, 2016
10 Votes
Build 1 of 1


Build: General build (will vary - see guide)

Level 1
Level 4
Level 7
Level 10
Level 13
Level 16
Level 20

Summary Top

Changelog Top

Guide creation date: 9 May 2016 (17.5 - Tracer patch).
Guide last patch update: 19.0 (Gul'dan patch - 12 july 2016)


Gul'dan patch & Maps section updated (12 july / 19 july 2016)

While Gul'dan patch didn't bring any changes to Artanis, I finally managed to update the Maps section with all the maps currently in play. You can see them here.

added Maps section to the guide (7 june 2016)

You can find map-specific tips & strategies for Artanis.
Added Tower of Doom, Infernal Shrines and Battlefield of Eternity. More to come soon.

Jump to Maps

patch 18.3. Chromie buff (2 june 2016)

No updates to Artanis or his gameplay.

patch 18.2. Hotfix (25 may 2016)

Just bugfixes. No updates to Artanis or his gameplay.

patch 18.1. Hotfix (19 may 2016)

This patch fixed some bugs, one of which: "Fixed an issue that could allow Artanis to strike three times, rather than twice, during his Twin Blades Ability.". This problem was only reported since Chromie patch, so if you didn't have the chance to play Artanis in the small 1 day window, you probably missed it.

patch 18.0. Chromie Patch (17-18 may 2016)

With the release of Chromie and some huge changes to some heroes and talents, what are the aspects that impact Artanis?
Well there are 2 changes that impact Artanis gameplay in my opinion:
1. The introduction of Chromie
2. Seasoned Marksman

1. Chromie

The introduction of Chromie makes Blade Dash and possibly Lethal Alacrity talent more viable, for both defending and attacking.
a.) If you see Chromie casting her Q in your direction, you should expect both Q (Sand Blast) and W (Dragon's Breath) hitting somewhere near you. While you normally shouldn't be her primary target, because Artanis functions well below 50% HP, he can become a target. A well timed Blade Dash could send you flying out of harm's way.
b.) If you want to challenge Chromie you will need mobility, and you may not be able to go close to her, so talents like Lethal Alacrity and Solarite Reaper may finally get some good purpose in poking her away.

2. Seasoned Marksman

As you problably know by now, this talent has been changed into a Quest talent.

OLD version: For every 6 minion kills near your Hero, gain 1 basic attack damage. Takedowns count as 3 minions.
NEW version: Every 1 minion killed near you grants 0.2 attack damage, and takedowns grant 0.5 attack damage, to a max of 40. Finishing the quest: Activate to gain 30% attack speed for 3 seconds. 60s cooldown.

So now, instead of 1 stack on 6 minions, you will earn 1 stack for each 5 minions. While the bonus reward for the quest (and the limit of 40 stacks) may not be great for all heroes, it can be a good utility talent for Artanis who is dependent on basic attacks and attack speed. So this change could actually make Seasoned Marksman a better pick for him than it was before.

Who am I? Top

Who am I or how I play is not really relevant here. I am not a beginner, nor am I a pro. I am just a medium guy, who has enough heroes to play in HL, and occasionally does that. I've spent enough time in the game to have a good view over heroes and gameplay, but I still have things to learn. I am a competitive guy, but I mostly play for fun. We all have to acknowledge that it is a game after all.

What might interest you more is what kind of player I am and what's my expertise on Artanis.
In general, I am a balanced, but offense-oriented support kind of guy. What does that mean? Well if you think about football, I am an offensive midfielder. If you think about a team, I am that guy who can be in charge if needed, but often falls back to let & support others lead. In HotS I like playing a hybrid role between a support and a warrior. Maybe that's why I like heroes like Artanis, Tassadar, Tyrael and so on.

My favorite hero, and my highest, in HotS, is of course Artanis. I am not the best Artanis player in the game, that's for sure. Quite frankly I had many problems before I managed to learn how to play him correctly. But I think I make him justice with this guide, and hopefully I can help others get over his learning curve.

Who is Artanis? Top

"I am Hierarch Artanis, leader of all protoss. And in unity, there is strength."

Artanis is the main character from Starcraft II, Legacy of the Void storyline. He was a side character in Starcraft I and along the way became friend with all other main characters in the game: Zeratul, Raynor and Kerrigan.

He evolved from being a pilot, into leading the united protoss in a fight against their extinction. His mentor was Tassadar, and like him, Artanis was too embraced with both Templar and Dark Templar powers. In the storyline he has one green blade and the other blue, symbolizing the traits mentioned.

Zeratul gave his life to save Artanis, because he believed he was the only one who could save the protoss race. And indeed, Artanis, became a true leader, both emotional and rational, different than what we would have expected from the protoss. He was indeed the salvation of his race, alongside his allies, Kerrigan & Raynor.

But, beside this mantle of leadership, Artanis was and will always be a warrior, brave, calculated and deadly.

Abilities & Trait Top

In Legacy of the Void Artanis is a leader who takes great risks for his victories. His gameplay mechanic in HotS is therefore thematic, with all his abilities and game style being somewhat risky and could end up badly if not played well.

In this regard, his abilities are:

Q: Blade Dash
Mana: 65
Cooldown: 10s

This is Artanis first ability. It dashes forward to a certain point dealing small amount of damage, and than returns on the same path dealing higher damage.

This is a tricky ability to use. Your main concern is to keep yourself from using it in the wrong situations, because it can put you in an unfavorable position, and you could die very easily.This ability can be interrupted by stuns or abilities, and you are not invulnerable or immune to damage. If you get interrupted you will remain in the position you were when you got hit, making the ability end prematurely.

W: Twin Blades
Mana: 25
Cooldown: 4s

This is Artanis second ability, and his most important one. It activates to have a basic attack strike twice in quick succession. It stays activated as long as you are not hitting anything, and it resolves when you land your first hit. While this is active you can charge a small distance toward your target. Very small cooldown, and it interacts very well with Artanis trait.

Try to use it as often as possible and pre-activate it before entering a fight.

E: Phase Prism
Mana: 70
Cooldown: 14s

This is Artanis third ability, and also a tricky one. It fires a prism that deal damage and swap positions between you and the enemy Hero if it connects. As above, in the Blade Dash's description, your main concern is to use it only when you are not putting yourself in jeopardy.

Use it offensively to create plays, pull a running assassin back in the fight, or defensively to escape when you're cornered. The damage dealt should not be taken into account, this is for utility purposes only.

Passive: Shield Overload
Cooldown: 20s

This is Artanis Trait. Whenever he is below 50% health and taking damage he will receive a shield for 5 seconds. Basic attacks reduce the trait's cooldown with 4 seconds.

This means that you need 5 basic attacks in theory to refresh the shield cooldown. In practice things are different, you have to take casting time into account. Artanis has 1 attack per second, meaning that a basic attack takes 1 second to cast.

There are several ways to lower this cooldown:

You should always use your Twin Blades toward lowering the cooldown of the trait, so that means that 1 Twin Blades + 2 Basic Attacks will suffice in the early game.

This result in 1 second cast time for Twin Blades + 8 seconds from its effect + 2 seconds casting time for 2 Basic Attacks + 8 seconds for their effect => 1+8+2+8 = 19s and 1s left for the refresh.

This means that you need a minimum of 4s to refresh your trait without any talents, as long as you hit something. With the help of talents and combination of abilities you can reduce the minimum to around 2s, or even 1s in best case scenarios, and you can stack the shields, giving you a major boost in long fights. But you always have to match this 2 requirements:
1. You have to hit an enemy
2. You have to be below 50% HP to activate the trait and start the cycle.

The conclusion here is that you have to take advantage of this trait and should always try to refresh its cooldown as soon as possible when you are below 50% health.

Numbers Top

Now that we saw all his abilities, it's time to have a close look at the numbers without any talents, so we can decide what could be best to take at every level, damage-wise. Keep in mind though, that there are also other aspects to take into account beside the numbers, like positioning, strategy, team-work, your ability as a player, and so on.

Ability Level 1 Level 4 Level 7 Level 10 Level 13 Level 16 Level 20
225.02 **
369.64 **

** Means that at that certain level the damage of the ability could be increased through talents and it would affect the remaining values in the table for the upper levels of that ability.

Before we can talk about the builds, we first have to see the history of changes for Artanis.

History of Artanis in HotS Top

Artanis was first released in October 2015, as part of the Warrior class.
Most of the heroes in this class have a larger HP (Health Pool or Hit Points) and a greater survivability compared with other classes, but a lower damage output. Because of this most warriors are used as Tanks.

Artanis didn't see a high success on his release because he wasn't actually a tank. Many people saw him like Sonya, a hybrid between a damage dealer and a tank, and thus he established himself as a Bruiser in HotS.

Several patches after, we learned that Blizzard wasn't satisfied with Artanis being a Bruiser, so he received some notable changes toward the Tanking options, and a slight nerf to one of his crucial DPS talents: Triple Strike. He felt better, but something was still missing. His biggest problem was that he couldn't close the gap between him and the target, thus being hard to fire his trait as often as it was designed.

The greatest change in that direction was made on 19 April 2016, when Artanis received a baseline shorter version of his older Zealot Charge talent, thus making him a better pick even as a tank. Since then players who choose to play Artanis have more options and better decision making all around. He is now viable both as a tank and a bruiser.

Builds Top

As you probably know by now, many heroes in HotS have some popular builds, according to the "meta".

What is this "meta"?
In HotS, "meta" defines the highest and optimized strategy to play a certain hero in a certain role in order to have a quicker and safer path to victory with your team. It also defines heroes interaction in your team and what you should do in a certain game, on a certain map.
Who defines the "meta"?
Players define the "meta" (usually pro players, because they play the most and at high level). When a large number of people find the same stategy of playing a hero being the best in most cases, that strategy becomes popular, and becomes part of the "meta".

One hero can have one or more meta builds (standard builds). Artanis has 2 standard builds: DPS & Tank.

The DPS build looks like this:
Level 1 Level 4 Level 7 Level 10 Level 13 Level 16 Level 20

and the Tank build looks like this:
Level 1 Level 4 Level 7 Level 10 Level 13 Level 16 Level 20

As you can see the builds are pretty much one sided. You either pick one side or the other. We also have to keep in mind the fact that this builds were played at high level and are used in situations when you know your teammates and you know if you can go full DPS or need to stick on solo tanking. In practice, you almost never choose this builds 100%, because as you play and learn HotS you realize that your build is always made according to the game at hand. You have to know the variation of builds and strategies so you know how to adapt on the spot, but you certainly shouldn't copy one's build over and over again, just because he's doing great with it, not even the "meta build". Maybe you have a different play style or a different situation at hand.

Things change, and will always change. Back in the days when Artanis was first released, Triple Strike And Zealot Charge were taken almost 90% of the time on all the builds, regardless of the situation. Now, it is not the case anymore, and that's great because it means we have diversity.

This is not my first guide to Artanis (you can see the other one here, but it's obsolete now). As the time passed and more games I played, I realized that I was doing it wrong, and you are probably doing the same (regardless if you are a newbie or not).

So my suggestion is remember what the DPS and tanking options are, but forget about those builds. In fact forget about every build you ever read. Instead I propose you make a "base build" (or general build if you like), from which you can always adjust depending on the situation. The idea of the general build is simple: we supposedly take the best talent overall on each tier and make the general build. When we will actually play, we will ask ourselves some questions, depending on the situation at hand (team composition, role in the team, etc). If none of them trouble us, we will stay with the general build choice. If the questions reveal a new strategy, we adjust accordingly.

I will give you my version of the "base build" and explain everything below, from talents to strategies. When you understand all and feel that your playing style has a different "base build", you can make one yourself, based on what you already know.

Ok, lets begin. This is the general build:
Level 1 Level 4 Level 7 Level 10 Level 13 Level 16 Level 20

Why are this talents best in my base build and how do we pick other talents I will explain below. For now, stop a moment and think about the concept of the base build.

You should also note that in most cases your final build will end up with some changes from the general build, simply because this is just a starting point, and the final build represents a match-oriented creation adjusted for that game.

I often end up with a build like this:
Level 1 Level 4 Level 7 Level 10 Level 13 Level 16 Level 20

and sometimes with a build like this:
Level 1 Level 4 Level 7 Level 10 Level 13 Level 16 Level 20

So take the general build as a starting point from which you adjust your talents according to every match up.

Talents Top

In this section I will use the following colors:
General Build choice
Alternative talent

Now before we go any further, there is still one thing to explain. Before the buffs, Artanis was better played as a bruiser, and so the damage talents were generally better choices, simply because he was poor as a tank. Now that he can sustain himself, he is better played as a tankish hero, meaning that the balance went from damage to defense. But do not be fooled by this. You can score a better DPS with defensive talents, by simply staying more time in the fight, than picking the damage talents, but dying 3 or 4 seconds earlier. I know that lots of people say that DPS is the way to go for him, but trust me. I didn't mention that I am an offensive player for nothing in the upper sections. I too prefer damage over defense, but in Artanis case, staying longer in a fight is actually better for both DPS and sustainability. With no mistake, he remains a capable bruiser, but he can also fill the role of a tank now.
Level 1

Back in the days, tier 1 was pretty poor in talent choices, you either took Reactive Parry or Seasoned Marksman. Nowadays we only have 3 talents (instead of 4), but all are good options. My best pick is Reactive Parry simply because the other two talents are situational and dependent on the map you're playing, while this talent help you anytime.

For this tier you have to ask yourself a couple of questions:
1. How many AA (auto-attack) heroes are in the opposing team? It's extremely rare to have no AA opponents at all.
2. What is your role in the team? Are you a solo-warrior, or do you have help? Does the other warrior (if any) has any tanking capabilities?
For exemple: you play alongside Diablo or Muradin. It is pretty obvious that they are the first option for tanking, so you have more liberty to go toward DPS if you like. But what about playing with Sonya? Well she is a bruiser, and you are more tanky than her, so it's your job to be the tank.
3. What map is it? Do I benefit more from other talents? Do I need the extra damage on non-Heroics?

Reactive Parry - gives you 2 charges of blocking the next basic attack after you activate your Twin Blades and thus only take damage equal to 1 basic attack, instead of 2 (if both charges are used). When used successful you will see the word Blocked in orange near Artanis.
You should take this talent if: you have more opposing AA heroes -AND/OR- you have to play as a Tank -AND/OR- You don't have much use of the other options at this tier -AND/OR- you are new to Artanis, and don't know what works best.

Seasoned Marksman - This is one of the alternate talents, and a very popular one. While it is a good talent, it's very dependent of you staying on the lane and kill minions or be there when they die, which is not always the case. If you know you can earn over 30 marks by the time you reach level 16, than you can considered it. If not, than is not worth investing in. To get the most out of this talent you should roam between lanes, which is not always possible or desired (it is not so good on Battlefield of Eternity).
You should take this talent if: the map has many minions (Spider Queen, Infernal Shrines, etc) -AND/OR- you want a DPS spike in the late game -AND/OR-you don't need Reactive Parry or Amateur Opponent.

Note: Also consider the fact that Artanis has 1 attack/s, thus making this talent less effective than in other heroes cases. (Jimmy, I'm looking at you)

Amateur Opponent - Before the buff, this talent was rubbish. It is still the last option, but 150% to non-Heroics is very good on certain maps like Battlefield of Eternity or even Infernal Shrines, where you can fight against Immortals or Punishers. The bonus applies for any camp and tower also. Around level 20 you can reach 700 per strike, and with Triple Strike around 2100 total.
Level 4

From all the tiers, I think this one is the most impactless for Artanis gameplay. I see 2 viable picks and 2 experimental ones. The best tier pick goes to Chrono Surge, because it adds up some attack speed and also gives you some motivation to connect your Phase Prism more often.

Questions that can help you:
1. Do I feel more confortable with Blade Dash or Phase Prism ?
2. What talent choice would benefit my playing style more?

Chrono Surge - Gives you 1.4 attack speed for up to 4 seconds after you connected your Phase Prism, meaning you hit one more basic attack in the same span of time as if you had only 1 attack speed per sec. Granted it has some weaknesses, but with the help of baseline charge on Twin Blades you should be able to make the most of it even with a larger gap between you and the target. Good synergy with Follow Through on level 7. Leaves the door open for both DPS or Tanking build paths.
You should take this talent if: if you want more DPS potential on Artanis -AND/OR- you want to take Follow Through at level 7 -AND/OR- you are not interested in Templar's Zeal or Lethal Alacrity -AND/OR- you are new to Artanis, and don't know what works best.

Templar's Zeal - Before the buffs, this was the only talent that mattered on this tier, but now I think Crono Surge is just a bit better in most situations. As long as you are below 50% HP, Blade Dash recharges 100% faster. That means that instead of 10s, the cooldown lowers to 5s. This can be very useful regardless of the build you choose later on. Good synergy with Psionic Synergy on level 7.
You should take this talent if: you are very good with Blade Dash and feel the need of cooldown reduction -AND/OR- you plan on taking Psionic Synergy on level 7 and build toward a fast refresh on your trait -AND/OR- you like it better than Chrono Surge.

Lethal Alacrity - Still very popular, and I still think that its utility doesn't help Artanis to much, since Blade Dash has sufficient range, and the speed increase only helps so the extra range would be covered in the same amount of time. I've seen some scouting and poking reasoning behind choosing this talent, but I think there are better options on this tier.
You should take this talent if: you want to play a poke-style Artanis -AND/OR- you use it only for preventing low-health targets escape.

Shield Battery - I didn't understand this talent for a long period of time. I don't like playing with it, but now I see its very situational purpose. Most of the time your shield won't last all the duration, but after a certain level when you start stacking shields, some of them would actually have a good change of lasting. And when it does, it rewards you with 8 seconds reduction, which can lead to another shield and so on. Your timing has to be impeccable though. Not my cup of tea.
Level 7

I call this the "decisional tier" because ever since the release, this was the level on which you mostly decide the path of your build. Sure, you can patch and adjust later on, but this choice will be the outstanding feature between one Artanis and another. For those who read my initial build about Artanis it may come as a surprise, but the best pick goes to Psionic Synergy. The reason is simple: cooldown reduction means Shield Overload more often, and that means more survivability, which can mean more DPS also.

For making a good decision you should ask this questions:
1. Do I have a good support, who stands by my side, or do I often have to fight without healing or shields?
If you have a good healer on your back (like Morales, for instance) you can go berserk on DPS options. If not, choose wisely. If you have a Tassadar you can stack your shields and benefit the most out of your traits and abilities.
2. What kind of build do I want to make?
If you are Shield-oriented, than you may want Psionic Synergy. If you are toward a poke-style build you may want Solarite Reaper. If you want pure DPS no-matter-what, go for Follow Through.
3. What area do I want to improve more?

Psionic Synergy - The funny thing is that back in the days I was so against this talent, and now it's my top pick for the tier. Nevertheless this talent was good then, as it is good now. The reason behind me being against it was the fact that back then Artanis was only a mere bruiser, so talents like this only gave an ilusion of sustainability, when the lack of a gap closer was so clear. The latest iteration of Artanis shifted so much toward Shield Overload and tanking capabilities, that it is hard to pass this talent, especially with the addition of baseline charge on Twin Blades.
Regardless if you are a good Blade Dasher or not, if you hate it or love it, you still have to use the ability (I doubt anybody would play with only 2 abilities on Artanis). You will use this against other heroes, even if you like it or not. So why pass such a good talent? There is no reason whatsoever. I know, Follow Through seems much more juicy, and it is, but a dead Artanis won't deal damage at all. Staying alive more time, on the other hand, can bring you a better DPS than Follow Through overall.
You should take this talent if: you want to rely on your trait in the thick of battle -AND/OR- want survivability more than pure DPS -AND/OR- you are new to Artanis.

Follow Through - This is the second best talent on this tear, and still a good pick if you want DPS. I would only advise you to take this option if you have a good support on your side, or you feel you are not focused. As a note, this talent only applies to the first instance of Twin Blades attacks. Good synergy with Chrono Surge from level 4.
You should take this talent if: you are in need of pure DPS and have a good support on your side -AND/OR- you are not focused in a fight -AND/OR- you have a tanky team composition (2-3 warriors), so you went on DPS path.

Solarite Reaper - This was my favorite option before the changes to Artanis. It gives you an unsuspected damage buff on your Blade Dash in a fight, and it makes the damage of the ability more reliable (It's easier to miss the second wave if the enemy is skilled). The last iteration of Artanis has better options now, but it remains a good and underrated alternative.
You should take this talent if: You constantly miss your return of Blade Dash -AND/OR- you are not interested in the other talent options.

Warp Sickness - This is not a bad talent, and could potentially help your team to kill an offset Hero, but you have better choices here, and you can kill a target in the same scenario without this talent anyhow.
You should take this talent if: only if you want the slow over DPS or shield options.
Level 10

Artanis is one of the few Heroes who has the privilege of 2 global heroic abilities, and both are viable in the right scenario. Which one is the best pick? Suppression Pulse, because it's superior. I see Purifier Beam is still very popular, like it was in the past, but I think more people realize the power of Suppression Pulse in the curent state of the game.

The thing is Purifier Beam is dodgeble, unless you are stunned or rooted, so you rarely deal damage with it. You will say that most people use it for CC, so they force a target out of battle. Well I have to say 2 things here:
1. If you target a Morales for example, and she already has her beam on somebody, she can just circle around your beam and keep healing her target.
2. If you want CC, why not use the actual heroic for CC?

Don't get me wrong Purifier Beam has its place and usages, and Suppression Pulse has its weaknesses, but from a general point of view, the second one is better in most situations.

So what should you ask here:
1. Do you have many AA heroes in the opposite team?
2. Do you have any stun or root capabilities in your team?
3. Who is your greatest threat in the game? If it's a mage (Jaina, Kael'thas, Li-Ming) you should take Purifier Beam. If it's an AA hero (Lunara, Raynor, Valla, Tracer) you should take Suppression Pulse. Also note that you should consider most tanks as AA heroes (they usually have CC abilities with small damage, and can take the damage of the beam if needed).

Taking the right decision isn't always easy. If you're up against a team like Jaina, Tracer, Kael'thas, E.T.C, Tyrande you have to see what group makes the most impact against your team. Jaina & Kael'thas are spell-oriented heroes, so Suppression Pulse is not going to help you against them. On the other hand Tracer, Tyrande and E.T.C. could be more affected by it. Who do you want to shut down? Jaina? Kael'thas? Tracer? Tyrande? Choose wisely.

Suppression Pulse - Blinds all enemy heroes in a large circle for up to 4 seconds. Also deals a small amount of damage, but that's not so important. It's great against AA heroes, and weak against spell-oriented heroes. It can interrupt abilities because of the damage dealt.
You should take this talent if: you have AA heroes in the opposite team -AND/OR- the enemy team has no spell-oriented threat against you -AND/OR- you are against a tanky composition (2-3 warriors) -AND/OR- you are new to Artanis.

Purifier Beam - very powerful if the target has no mobility, but it can be avoided very easily by heroes with high movement speed. The benefit is that it makes a target flee from the fight. Best against key targets (supports or mages).
You should take this talent if: enemy team has mages and they are a big threat -AND/OR- you want to isolate a good support from his team -AND/OR- your team often roots or stuns.
Level 13

This is the moment when Artanis starts to shine, and also the tier where you define your build's path. The best pick is Triple Strike because it's a great talent for both DPS and Tank builds, and it's impossible to go wrong with it.

Questions that may help you:
1. Do I need spell-damage mitigation?
2. Can I get over the added 1 second cooldown to Twin Blades ?
3. How do I behave in battle, all in or not?

Triple Strike - Before the buffs this talent was mandatory on almost all builds. Now the talent was nerfed with a 1 second on cooldown. Even with this drawback it remains one of the best talents on the tier, but it is not mandatory anymore. Good synergy with several talents and strategies, like Force of Will or Amateur Opponent. It gives you another basic attack, so 4 seconds more toward Shield Overload 's cooldown reduction.
You should take this talent if: you want a boost in DPS -AND/OR- you want to refresh your trait more often -AND/OR- you are not focused with spell damage.

Phase Bulwark - This is the alternate talent, usually taken into the tank build. It can be very useful against a heavy spell team, especially with the 1 second buff on the duration. The added survivability can give you more DPS on the long-run by simply staying in the thick of battle longer.
You should take this talent if: the enemy team is spell-focused -AND/OR- you find yourself commited to the fight too often.

Burning Rage - This is not a bad talent, considering the fact that you have to be close to your enemies to attack them, but you have better choices in Triple Strike or Phase Bulwark. Can be a good source of DPS in long fights or specific objectives, on maps like Infernal Shrines or Spider Queen.
You should take this talent if: you want a passive DPS boost -AND/OR- find yourself in long battles -AND/OR- want to take down minions on certain maps faster.

Graviton Vortex - Taking a second Hero with the first may not be the best idea, and the damage dealt by the Phase Prism is way to low to be worth it. I guess this talent is good against low-health targets, but that's situational. I don't really recommend this one, but you are free to take it if you think you need it most than others on the tier.
Level 16

In my opinion this is the most impactful tier. Sure, level 20 is usually the max for any Hero, but I feel that, for Artanis, level 16's choice is the most deciding throughout a match. All talents are very good and you should choose according to the game's developement. You are in a good position, you have all the information you need to take the right decision. There is no best pick here, just a "general" or "safe" pick if you want: Shield Surge, because it's the most noob friendly and adds some survivability.

The only question to ask here is:
What is the area you need (and want) to improve? Shield / Range / Damage / Utility?

Shield Surge - A great talent for survivability. It gives you about 1680 shield at level 16 and 1960 shield at level 20. Sure, it decays to half over 3 seconds, but it can be a major boost at the right moment. This talent can make the difference between life and death in the late game, giving you good aid in a tough fight, and has the potential to add some DPS just by staying alive longer.
You should take this talent if: you build for tanking -AND/OR- you need extra defense in battles -AND/OR- your team is behind and you need to make a difference -AND/OR- you are new to Artanis.

Zealot Charge - This was the most wanted talent back in the days. Now that you have 50% of its effect from level 1, you may only take it if you really feel you need a higher charge range.
You should take this talent if: you want a larger charge range -AND/OR- the opposing team has lots of mobility targets.

Titan Killer - This talent gives you and additional 2.50% from the target's max health. This means that you are receiving a bigger bonus against tanks, and smaller bonus against assassins. Against a 2800 health Hero, the bonus would be 70 per basic attack, and against a 4800 health Hero the bonus would be around 120 per basic attack.
You should take this talent if: you want to improve on DPS -AND/OR- you are up against a tanky composition and you don't have survivability issues.

Psionic Wound - This is the utility option. Makes the target vulnerable and take 25% more damage for 2 seconds. If you want to capitalize on this, you need to cast Blade Dash after Twin Blades, giving you a bonus of almost 200 hit points. Not a bad talent, but I feel there are better choices. Now if you have strong assassins like Lunara, Li-Ming, Valla, Tracer, in your team, this might be a very strong option.
You should take this talent if: you have strong assassins in your team ready to capitalize on the vulnerability
Level 20

Storm talents, finalizing the build. Best pick Force of Will, simply because it helps you both defensively and offensively by reducing the cooldown of Shield Overload sooner, regardless if you took Triple Strike or not.

The question here is simple: Are you ahead or behind as a team?
If you need to catch the enemy team you might benefit from Force of Will or Orbital Bombardment if they have more AA heroes needed to be shut down. Otherwise, you can go for Nexus Blades.

Force of Will - This is my favorite talent of all tiers. It has a great synergy with Triple Strike. Regardless of the build, you will rarely want to pass this one. I think you should take this talent 90% of the times.
You should take this talent if: you want more survivability -AND/OR- you are behind as a team and need to turn it around.

Nexus Blades - This is the DPS alternative at tier 20, and a very good talent. It gives a boost in DPS, with 20% more damage to basic attacks. With Triple Strike at level 13, this was the most popular choice for offensive builds.
You should take this talent if: you are ahead as a team and don't need the survivability boost from Force of Will.

Orbital Bombardment - The utility alternative, giving a second charge for Suppression Pulse, is a huge boost in utility and team play, but it has it's usefulness in specific scenarios only.
You should take this talent if: there are plenty of AA heroes in the enemy team, and you need to shut them down more often.

Target Purified - This is very situational, and I wouldn't recommend taking it, even if you picked Purifier Beam at level 10. You are better off with either Force of Will or Nexus Blades.

Overview Top

As you can see you have a lot of good decisions to make while playing Artanis, and that is a good thing. In the past, most players adopted a bruiser build because it was the most viable one. You can still play him as DPS, but I think that you would benefit more if you'd try his other talents too.
I often find myself playing him as a tank, but you don't have to copy what I do.

Make yourself a new "general build" if the one I made is not good enough for you, and start from there. See what would be the safe picks for most encounters, and what would be the niche picks. Make the build according to your play style, and don't let anyone tell you otherwise. You won't get most of him if you don't enjoy yourself.

General Tips Top

Ultimatelly, it's your decision what build you're taking. I may be an offensive-oriented player, you may be defensive-oriented. I may rely on lower, but steady DPS, you may rely on burst DPS. I may rely on kitting and positioning, you may rely on shields. It's ok, everybody has their own playstyle and should not change it no matter what other say. But there are some general tips & tricks when playing Artanis, regardless of your build and talent choices.

Artanis HP at level 20 is 4919.07, but you'd better try to see him as a Hero with 2459 HP and 2460 Shield. Why? Because he's very soft health-wise until he reaches 50% HP. After that he has several boosts in cooldowns and shields, so he will be more durable. While it is always great to enter a fight with more than 80% HP, Artanis really shines only below 50% HP, and you have to be careful because playing with low life is a two-sided sword.

So what should you do when playing Artanis?
  • Don't be too brave when it's not the time. Artanis is very strong 1vs1, and he can handle a 1vs2 matchup, but don't push it. 3 Heroes deal more damage than you can absorb.
  • Remember that you are weak in the early game. Play safe until level 7 when you boost your DPS or survivability.
  • Artanis doesn't have any escape mechanism, beside the prism in some situations, and is an all-in Hero in most situations, so don't engage when you are not sure you can handle the fight. If you find yourself behind with DPS in the middle of the fight, running will probably not save you.
  • If you get surrounded, keep cool, try to make your rotation (your trait can help you until you find means of escaping or until your allies arrive) and watch for environment elements that can help you. Don't run if you are slower then your attacker, getting hit in the back is not helping you, and ranged assassins usually are weaker than you at close range. If you die anyway, at least make a trade and next time pay attention where you're roaming.
  • When using Blade Dash if you want to be successful, try to kite the enemy first and make him chase you. If you dash him when he is chasing, you will surprise him and probably will be able to strike him with both waves.
  • Always pre-activate Twin Blades before entering a fight. You should be ready to strike even the burstiest foe. They should never be able to enter your range and get away with it.
  • When fighting a foe 1vs1 in a battle that could go either way, use your Phase Prism to confuse him, by changing his position, thus giving you enough time to retaliate and finish him. Even half second of not being hit counts.
  • Do not underestimate the opposing Hero, even if you are stronger on paper. People play differently, and you might get surprised. Don't be overconfident.
  • If you get cornered or swaped, use Phase Prism to escape. You can also use Prism to get a foe in your tower's range, but don't put yourself in trouble for that.

Threats & Allies Top

There aren't specific threats to Artanis, or specific victims. Anybody who has strong CC capabilities, high movement and attack speed or strong ranged attacks can be threats to Artanis. But if you play your cards right, you can kill anybody you want. I had strong duels with Diablo, Valla, Falstad, Zagara, Azmodan, to name a few, and I managed to win the fight against them. It really depends on the situation.

You have to avoid straight up fights against heavy CC Heroes, like E.T.C, Muradin, etc, because they cancel your powers. But they are mostly tanks, and you are not supposed to engage them unless you have no other targets, or you are not alone.

As for allies, Artanis benefits the most from Heroes that gives him shields. Strange enough, healers are not always good partners for him, because Artanis needs to be just below 50% HP to benefit from cooldowns and his trait Shield Overload. Because of this, Heroes like Tassadar, Tyrael and such, are the best partners for him, because their shields stacks with Shield Overload, but don't raise the HP above that 50%, like healers usually do, so he stays in his ideal condition longer. Healers can be good allies too, but they have to wait until the trait goes off before they do their magic on Artanis.

Beside Shielders and Healers anyone can support Artanis in a fight, as long as they understand his weaknesses and strong points.

Maps Top

On this section we will talk about some choices you have according to every map. The most important aspect of this section is to give some reasoning behind your tier 1 choice and developing a strategy later on.

Tower of Doom - Objective: control the bell towers and capture the altars.
This is one map on which I really recommend taking Amateur Opponent, because you will often find yourself trying to capture the enemy bell towers, or recapture your own. You have the ability to focus the towers down alone, if you have some minions near you to soak the damage. Bonus: it will also help you battle the boss & mercs. Consider taking Triple Strike for maximizing the damage of Amateur Opponent, even if you build for tank-Artanis, because this map is very objective-oriented and there is no other way to win it. You should capture towers and use them as a distraction.

How to make the difference example: before the altars spawn, capture an enemy tower. When it's time for the objective, they will have to make a choice, recapture their tower or contest the altars. They will often choose to split, so your team has a huge advantage. Bonus: if they have clear way, the mercs can attack the enemy core! So if you took the enemy tower on bottom lane, than it may be a good idea to capture the mercs, if the enemy team is not contesting their tower immediately, so they will have clear way to the core.

Infernal Shrines - Objective: activate shrines, kill minions, control punishers.
Now this map is very complex and because of that there are many ways to win here, dependent or independent on objective itself. You should build according to your team strategy. All starting talents can be usefull and can push you toward one strategy or another late game.

Seasoned Marksman may be a great choice because you have to kill minions to capture the Punishers. 40 minions means 8 stacks, but you have to be confident that your team is able to contest the shrine. If not, then you might want to go for Amateur Opponent to be able to kill the enemy Punishers easier, or Reactive Parry to help you contest the area, so your team would be able to capture the actual Punisher.
NOTE! I was informed that the shrine minions don't count for Seasoned Marksman anymore. I think it needs to be tested, but even if so, there are plenty minions on lanes, and picking the talent on this map is still viable. To be honest I don't pick the talent too often because I personally don't like it. That doesn't mean you shouldn't, it has its usages.

How to take the decision: Do you have any good siegers in the team? Sgt Hammer, for example, can assist you in securing the Punisher, but he can also siege alone, leaving your team to put pressure in two separate areas. What will be your main focus? Capture the shrines or siege? Don't get me wrong you can do both, but you have to focus on one. If you want to cover for Sgt Hammer or any other specialist while he does his job on a lane, you should just poke the shrine and try to get it if you don't die for it, basically keeping the enemy busy. If you are not confident on sieging or you don't have a good specialist on your team for that purpose, you can strive for controlling the shrines.

Battlefield of Eternity - Objective: control immortals
The strategy on this map is somewhat similar with the one on Infernal Shrines and is also dependent on team composition, but there are a few key differences. One big difference is that we only have 2 lanes and there is a huge space between them. This means that sieging is even more important, but also means that Seasoned Marksman is useless here. You won't have enough minions to gather your stacks. You will either go for Reactive Parry and be the stone between their team and yours, or take Amateur Opponent and focus on getting the enemy immortal down, or defending against it, and/or capture mercs.

This map is oriented on team fights, so you have to keep close to your team and focus one lane or the other between objectives, in most cases.

Tomb of the Spider Queen - Objective: summon the webweavers
This is the best map for Seasoned Marksman since it is small and you got a lot of minions involved. That being said, if you need more protection don't be afraid to take Reactive Parry instead, even if you give up some damage. Most often is best to stay alive more than hitting harder but dying too easily. The strategy on this map is simple: fight for gems and summon the webweavers. Avoid team fights if not necessary. Soaking is more important here, because you also gain gems from the enemy minions. Therefore talents like Solarite Reaper and Lethal Alacrity could see more play, helping you more with wave-clearing.

How to make the difference: The key on this map is the timing between summoning webweavers and taking boss. Often is a good idea to take the boss while the enemy team is busy with the weavers. Another strategy is to take the boss first, and weavers immediately after, but for that you need to win a team fight and kill some enemies before taking boss, otherwise your strategy could be ruined.

Sky Temple - Objective: control the temples
If there is any map that I recommend you take Reactive Parry, this is the one. This map is all about controlling the temples, and that involves a lot of team fighting, so the block talent will help you more than others. I also suggest you prioritize taking Suppression Pulse over Purifier Beam, because it can be a very useful tool when defending or attacking a temple. Other than that you should talk with your team and see what strategy you will go for: split pushing or 5-team roaming.

How to make the decision: If you have a good specialist, you can let him split push while the rest of you defend the temples. If not, the best idea is to roam together. You can be very tanky, but don't think of going between the enemies alone trying to save a temple. That is one of the biggest mistakes people make on this map. You lost the temple, let it be. Do something useful instead: gather XP, take mercs, etc.

Blackheart's Bay - Objective: "there she blows!"
Also called "booty bay", this is the most complex map in the game. Why? Because the map is uneven in lane position, it is big enough to make you wander if caught out from your team and you have multiple ways of winning. The prefered way is collecting coins. But you can also win with sieging and boss. This map is very rewarding for globe-trotters because every merc gives you a healing globe.

It's hard to say what is the best strategy for Artanis on this map. You may be tempted to take Seasoned Marksman, but more than 50% of the games on this map require you to roam/fight in the middle, so you end up with no minions nearby to fuel the talent. Amateur Opponent is also useless here, unless you plan to take the sieging route. But even then, you should probably take down towers with your specialist, not Artanis. So your opening talent will most often be Reactive Parry, and your main goal should be to protect your allies that have coins on them. Also keep in mind that you will need to roam a lot on this map, so choose your talents accordingly.

Dragon Shire - Objective: control the Dragon Knight
On this map you are free to take any tier 1 talent, because all of them are usefull in the right situation. Seasoned Marksman is your choice for an offensive Artanis, Reactive Parry is for tanking reasoning, and Amateur Opponent can be good for defending against the Dragon, but also for pushing alongside it.

How to make the difference: The best strategy on this map is securing the Dragon, but sometimes that would require an never-ending fight. In those situations, it may be best to choose just one of top or bottom lane, and keep hold of that one. As long as you control one of them, the enemy cannot take the Dragon. Simple as that.

Cursed Hallow - Objective: sieging, sieging, sieging.
This map is all about sieging. You either do it beforehand, or wait until the curse to do it. But eventually that's what you have to do. Amateur Opponent may be a good choice in that regard. You also have 2 bosses on this map, and the talent can help you either to defeat it, either to defend against it.

How to make the difference: There are 2 big mistakes you can do on this map:
1. Battle for each spawning tribute. While it is a good idea to take as many tributes as you can, when you are outnumbered back away. You need 3 tributes to apply the curse, and the same applies to the enemy team. In the early game especially, soaking is much more important than tributes.
2. Taking mercs when the curse is on. This is a huge mistake. When the curse is on, you take down the keeps and forts. Do not waste time to take mercs that would eventually do the same thing you can do better & faster. By the time you took them, the enemy can defend their keeps and you would only wasted time and an objective for that matter. The same thing applies to boss. Do not take the boss when the enemy team is cursed. By the time you capture it, the curse is gone, and you would have to help it in order to push something.

Garden of Terror - Objective: take the terror, go with the terror!
This map is about fighting shamblers, earning seeds and growing terrors. Sounds fun? Well, kind of. Because like many other maps, the objective of the game pushes you to an area where you are far from the minions, I don't really recommend Seasoned Marksman as a starting strategy. Your goal on this map is to take the terror and stop the enemy team from doing the same.

How to make the difference: Most often you should push with your terror. Do not let the terror alone. If you want to split push, than separate 1 or 2 guys with the terror, and the rest on another lane. But, do not ever let that terror alone. That is a mistake I see very often, and I hardly understand. Why do you bother taking a boss, a dragon or a terror if you don't go with it? It makes no sense. Sure, you can use them sometimes as a distraction, but those times are so limited, yet this mistakes are made so often.

Haunted Mines - Sorry, didn't have the chance to play Artanis on this one.

Final words... for now! Top

I think we won't have any new changes to Artanis in the near future, but I will keep this guide up to date if any appear.

Thanks for reading. Feel free to add comments and suggestions, and hope you all enjoy our favorite protoss.
My life for Aiur!

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