Comprehensive Artanis Guide by Zeratul67

Comprehensive Artanis Guide

By: Zeratul67
Last Updated: Jul 15, 2017
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Build 1 of 3


Build: Full Swap / Tank

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Level 20

Threats to Artanis with this build

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Threat Hero Notes
Sgt. Hammer You can long-range swap her into your team, or shut her down with either of your ults.
Lt. Morales Deny her stim ult with suppression pulse, swap her into your team.
Azmodan Easy to swap, bodyblock, high value from titan killer.
  No Threat
Chromie Very good swap target, but watch out for the traps.
Rexxar You can swap him out of the cover of his bear, but watch out for that stun.
  No Threat
Tracer Makes block charges useless, very hard to hit with swap.
Samuro Mirror images can get in your way, one more target you cannot easily catch.
Tychus He burns through your block charges and deals percentage damage.
Genji Burns block charges, escapes very easily.
Johanna Blinds, unstoppable, stuns, gets in the way and can interrupt your dash.
Li Li Easy to land blinds, Water Dragon ult can murder you.
E.T.C. Can instantly interrupt your dash and stun you easily
Malfurion Roots prevent swaps and makes dashing dangerous. If you swap him into your team, he'll land a whole-team Twilight Dream.


Build: Full Bruiser

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


Build: Jungler Bruiser

Level 1
Level 4
Level 7
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Level 20

Introduction Top

Artanis is very versatile. You can draft him for a number of roles. He is a good bruiser, playmaker or even jungler. You have many viable talents for different situations. Since the rework his kit has a ton of synergies and depth. This guide is meant to elaborate on some of these interactions.

The Artanis Combo: Your most impactful ability is to swap positions with an enemy target at long range. This is done by using your Q Blade Dash, and while in mid-dash, use your E Phase Prism and land it on a target. When your E projectile impacts, it will be the exact time when your positions are swapped. This means you can delay your E to make your swap longer. If you E at point blank range, you will stick on top of your target, and it will be right besides you, slightly moved towards your position. You can use this effect to execute a combo that works similar to Illidan's Dive. But most people are looking for the "God Swaps", the longest range swaps. For that you have to stand back at your combined E+Q range, Q towards the enemy, be patient with your E, and use it at the last possible moment when you can still reach the target with it. Practice it on the dummy, you'll get a feel for it after a while. I suggest trying not to land max range combos, they are a lot easier to dodge than mid to long range ones.

You can aim your E sideways if your target is moving to dodge your swap. It will cover less distance this way, but at least you'll likely hit him.

You can also execute a harder combo, when you stand next to the enemy, you can Q away and immediately hit him with E. The result will be that the enemy is thrown in the direction of your Q, and you'll land where you were before. The distance is based on your timing. This maneuver requires fast and precise mouse movement, since you'll aim in two different directions.

The builds listed here can be combined and you can choose different talents depending on the situation. Generally I find that Artanis' talent tree is rather good, you have a lot of valid choices.

Roles Top

Solo Laning:
Due to the shield giving you a pseudo-sustain and protection against pokes Artanis is good at solo laning. Q help you clear the waves as well as give you cooldown reduction (cdr) for your shield for more sustain. You can out-duel most enemy heroes, so if there is an opportunity, you can be very aggressive.

Some other solo laners you might encounter:
- Alarak: he has a dangerous burst, but cannot stand up to you in a 1 on 1 fight. Try to avoid his combo, or swap him deep into your minions and hit him. If you let him poke you much, he'll heal up, so either play completely passive (his poke won't hurt you) if you have no chance to punish him, or be consistently aggressive.
- Zagara: if you can swap and hit her, it is good. She lacks sustain, all she has is damage to bully you, but that damage is quite high on low levels. If you have AO, just w the hydra to get rid of a lot of pain. The only way to clear her creep tumors is with your Q, which is a bit ineffective and expensive, but you should still do it anyway, else she can run circles around you.
- Thrall: I don't have a lot of experience with the new Thrall. You were able to outduel the old one, and his poke is pretty much negated by your shield. I assume the new one is largely the same, he solo lanes very similar to Alarak.
- Rexxar: you have some tools to hit him directly, such as swapping, but fighting the bear is pointless. If you see a ganker come up to your lane, try to land a swap so you can get him. All he can do if you swap him is to stun you with the bear, slow you with the bird and walk.
- Gul'dan: he is the most vulnerable when he drains, but it is quite hard to get close to him because he'll throw damage your way very fast and very often. When he drains, swap to interrupt and keep hitting him.
- Sonya: she kind of does what you do, except she has real sustain, not only shields. Let her clear the wave if she wants to, you'll mostly want to play fairly passive and just clean up after her.
- Dehaka: a very strong solo laner. My advice would be similar to what you should do against Thrall or Alarak. If you have the opportunity, be aggressive. If he can punish you for it, then be passive. A Dehaka specific tip is to try and swap him away from brushes when you want to help gaking him, so he has a harder time escaping.

Well, in HoTS mercs are not necessarily in a dedicated "jungle" area, but it is still a good catch term for fighting the neutral stuff on the maps. Artanis is generally good at jungling, but the level 1 talent Amateur Opponent makes him super effective. When jungling, use your W on cooldown after your shield comes up. You can also Q through the largest mass to get some CDR and area damage. If you fight boss, you can Q out of the stun circles, the cooldown of the boss stun and your Q is exactly the same.

Artanis is not exactly main tank material, but nowadays double bruiser compositions are fairly common, and you can pick the swap talents to enhance your target lockdown ability. Keep in mind that your durability is much worse if you get focus fired than in a 1 on 1 fight, a lot more so than regular tanks due to the way your shield works, but in larger groups you get a lot more value out of your Q cooldown reduction. You can use your prism to peel divers off your backline if they dive past you. Your initiation is your combo, pretty much.

Artanis does not have extremely high damage, but if built right he has a strong burst and can repeat this burst fairly often. You mostly want to deal damage with your W ability, and only that. With that you are fairly sticky on heroes that are not super mobile. You can use your combo at point blank range at the apex of your Q to perform an Illidan style dive, so you can surprisingly sticky.

Skills Top

Q - Blade Dash: This ability has many uses. First, it is an integral part of your core combo. You can also dodge skillshots with it, or use its built-in cooldown reduction for your trait, and last but not least, it is good for finishing off fleeing low health targets.

W - Twin Blades: A very straightforward ability, use it to close gaps, but keep in mind your trait cooldown, you can and should time your W to reset your shields. W counts as regular auto-attack damage, you'll immediately use up your follow-through, and you'll gain from your seasoned marksman charges.

E - Phase Prism: This is your ability to swap with a target hero. It goes through minions, walls, gaps, anything but heroes. The first hero hit will trade his position for yours. When you are trading positions, you are moving with most collision disabled. You cannot use this, however to pull people across friendly gates, they'll stop at the gate. The converse is not true, you can pull yourself through enemy gates with this, so be careful swapping with enemies very close to their gate.

R - Purifier Beam: Choose this ult when going up against mages. When you put this on a squishy, he'll be forced to move in a wide circle, or else he risks colliding with the beam. You can combine the beam with a root, it deals very high DPS, can even burn down tanks quickly. The first few moments are guaranteed damage if the enemy has no dashes or blinks, so you can also use it to globally finish a low health hero off.

R - Suppression Pulse: Choose this ult if the enemy has many auto-attackers. This will cause a 4 second blind in a large area anywhere on the map, boosting your survivability greatly. It has low cooldown, so you can use it fairly liberally, even for smaller skirmishes, or for saving an out of position ally on the other side of the map.

D - Shield Overload: Your trait activates passively when you take damage. The only thing you have to keep in mind is that you can help keep up your trait with auto attack, Q and W.

Level 1 Talent Choices Top

All talents are viable here for different situations.
- Reactive Parry: Gives you extra tankiness vs slow attackers like Thrall or Butcher. Pick this if there are no enemies that can burn your charges fast (tracer, tassadar, tychus, zarya, and so on) and you need extra survivability vs auto attackers.
- Amateur Opponent: Huge bonus damage on everything non-heroic for your w. This is almost a must-pick on maps where the objective is very impactful (BoE, HM), or where jungling extra is beneficial (BHB, Hanamura). Keep in mind when you proceed with your build that many other talents synergize with this talent. Also, this talent can help you demolish forts and towers very fast.
- Seasoned Marksman: I'd say this is your "default" pick, when none of the above conditions apply. You can get quite hard-hitting autos by the late game, especially if you go nexus blades as well.

Level 4 Talent Choices Top

Here my go-to choice is Shield Surge. In my opinion this is not a very impactful tier, the other talents also serve the same purpose (more shields), but achieve it in different ways. It is up to personal preference, but in my opinion Shield Surge is the most useful generally.

Here I give a special mention to Shield Battery. On the surface the talent is unremarkable (slight CDR on active shield and +1 sec duration), but it can greatly help a sololaner absorb poke damage. This is especially true if you cannot q or hit the minions safely without risking a lot of damage (like vs Zagara or Gul'Dan)

Psionic Synergy gives you some extra survivability in grouped up fights, but it is rare that you'd make much use of it.

Level 7 Talent Choices Top

You have some powerful, and some less powerful choices here. None of the talents are traps or are bad or anything, but two of them stand out in usefulness:
- Warp Sickness: If most of your utility will come from swaps, this is a very powerful addition. The slow will almost always ensure the target's demise. Good synergy with the 16 double swap / CDR talent.
- Follow Through: This boosts your damage. Simple. You'll get the most value out of this talent with your W-s, but it works on all your abilities, including the ults, if you want to min-max the value of the talent. Good to throw it on top of Amateur Opponent (sadly, the damage bonus is only additive), has full synergy with Seasoned Marksman, and an unfortunate anti-synergy with Triple Strike. It is still worth it with Triple Strike if you go full bruiser build.

The other talents are less useful, but they occasionally can be picked:
- Solarite Reaper: Your ability damage enhancer. Good if there are many AA damage mitigators (such as armor), also your kill securing potential is greatly increased with this, as is your wave-clear. The problem is that you mostly want to max out your playmaking or 1v1 potential, and this helps less than either of the above talents.
- Chrono Surge: A very long AA buff after your E. Probably the best 1v1 talent, but it is tied to your E which you don't want to waste nilly-willy for some damage/survivability boost.

Level 13 Talent Choices Top

Strongest contenders are:
- Triple Strike: Sort-of a trade off talent. You gain a lot more burst, but you trade your very short W cooldown for it. I still like it with the Bruiser builds, because it has very good synergy with some talents, and your damage is very much frontloaded anyway. Triple strike makes Amateur Opponent godlike, and has the same synergy with Titan Killer. Anti-synergies include Psionic Wound and Follow Through. You'll still want to combine it with Follow Through to max out your bruiser damage potential. Follow Through + Titan Killer + Triple Strike is a quite hefty burst.
- Graviton Vortex: The most useful trait of this talent is the cooldown reduction, but you should keep in mind that you will pull two people, and you have very little control over who the second person is. A side-effect of this double pull is that you will actually be safer in the middle of the enemy team. Your team can decide who to focus, but you can help them decide with Psionic Wound on 16, it marks them with vulnerable for a quick deletion. Good synergy with the slow on swap, you'll slow two targets at the same time.

Other choices:
- Phase Bulwark: Very useful if there are many mages on the enemy team that burn your health fast. I prefer the double pull in this case, but if your life is threatened by the ability damage burst the enemy dishes out, choose this.
- Templar's Zeal: I never found this really useful. It has synergy with Psionic Synergy (ha-ha), but I rarely pick that talent either. Can save your life in some circumstances, but I think the other talents have a lot more value.

Level 16 Talent Choices Top

All your W talents are really good here:
- Zealot Charge: Good versus those pesky high-mobility heroes. With Triple Strike, Follow Through and a decent stack of Seasoned Marksman, you'll chunk them good from a nice distance, and you can chase people very effectively. If a Tracer or a Valla is being a nuisance, choose this to put some pressure on her.
- Titan Killer: I'd say the go-to talent. Extra damage is always welcome, you can get value out of this talent pretty much all the time.
- Psionic Wound: This is a teamfighting talent. Solo, you won't make much use of it (maybe an auto and the first part of your Q) because it activates AFTER all your burst with the W, but with a team behind you, this can bring some value. Standard thing is to swap an enemy, and dash back on him with this talent for a quick deletion. Best if you did not pick Triple Strike, you can then apply this very often.

You also have a different, fairly strange way of damaging:
- Plasma Burn: The damage is not on-demand and quite unreliable, even if it is fairly high for a burning rage type damage. The enemy can simply end it with more burst. It can be useful if you tend to take trickle damage from AOE but the enemy does not focus you much. Also fairly useful for the jungler build.

Level 20 Talent Choices Top

- Orbital Bombardment: Pick this if your ult has good value. The enemy team must be rather badly drafted (everyone is AA damage) if you ever consider this. In some cases it can be valuable.
- Target Purified: This is for WTF moments and pub-stomps. You'll rarely get real value out of the talent.
- Force of Will: This will increase your staying power greatly. Good for the tankier builds, or if you find yourself unable to stay long in teamfights.
- Nexus Blades: Increases your damage, plain and simple. The mini-slow is good for stutterstepping after your target (makes it a lot easier). Recommended for bruiser builds, or if the enemy does not have the capability to burn through your health quickly.

Force of Will and Nexus Blades are interchangeable on tanky or bruiser builds depending on the situation. The deciding factor will be whether or not you get chunked heavily in fights or are capable of staying up without Force of Will. Nexus Blades is very easy to get value out of, so it is the default pick.

Maps Top

- Battlefield of Eternity:
Here I love the jungler/bruiser build. AO gives you a good immortal nuke from level 1, and you will also be able to very quickly take camps solo. When you got your full synergy (triple strike + ao + ft), you'll chunk the immortal for ~1200 damage per w. You can also start camps when the immortals announce their return, you can get even the shaman camp in that time. Don't be afraid to use your blind ult to deny the enemy immortal damage if you are both just racing. You can also solo lane effectively.

- Blackheart's Bay:
Jungling here is quite important, so AO is recommended build, but you might get a comp where you want to draft Artanis for tanking or bruising when you already have a better jungler. Still I don't think having multiple junglers here is a bad thing on BHB, and fighting is generally to be avoided here, so I think you are safe if you autopick AO. In a pinch, you can use your suppression pulse to delay enemy hand-ins globally (you can cast it without vision).

- Braxis Holdout:
On Braxis you can be a sololaner or if there is a better sololaner you can join the 4man. Both are valid choices. In the 4man you probably want to spec for swapping, but your team might require more of a bruiser/dd, so it really depends on your comp. If you take amateur opponent be sure to focus the heavier zerg units with your w, you'll be able to clear them pretty fast. You can rotate through the merc camps with AO, but here I don't recommend soloing them.

- Cursed Hollow:
Here you can get a lot of value out of swap talents, moving targets out of position in the narrow corridors near the objectives. Your global ults can also buy precious time for your team to arrive at a contested tribute. AO also has some value here, since there are a lot of merc camps, but usually there's a lot of teamfights on this map, so only give up extra tankiness or damage if your team really doesn't need it.

- Dragon Shire:
Good map for Artanis. Swapping is very valuable near the shrines, global ult is very useful when contesting multiple shines and you can out-duel most enemy heroes and hold your ground well on the circles. Blinding the guy channeling the dragon can buy you precious seconds, but only use your ult if you have a strong suspicion that your team only needs those few seconds. Blinding the dragon might also seem like a good idea, but it lasts less time on it.

- Garden of Terror:
Though you can make some value out of AO, i'd still recommend going for damage or survival, as there are a lot of random teamfights on this map, and the objective itself is counted as a hero, but it is an ok choice due to the lots of mercs around. You can also swap the terror, so you can get it off your fort for a while.

- Hanamura:
Jungling and pushing is important here, so AO has a lot of value. Not a lot of other tricks here.

- Haunted Mines:
I'd say all builds are viable depending on the situation. Keep in mind that AO is great versus the attacking enemy golems and the boss golem (or even adding some siege dmg to your friendly golem's push). Swapping can be devastating in the mines and there will be a lot of close combat. Keep in mind you can ult into the mines even if you are not in it.

- Infernal Shrines:
This is a map where you can get some nice value out of Q talents (dmg, cdr), with dmg upgraded Q you can clear guardians quite fast. If you go for AO it can chunk enemy punishers well, but it is overkill on the guardians. Still, lots of merc camps here, so it is not a wasted talent by any means. Lots of good nooks and crannies and vents around the objective for swap locations.

- Sky Temple:
You probably want to go for a bruiser build to be an all-rounder. Some temple locations are very open and swaps are not that great there, but there are narrower corridors too. AO has limited value, mostly you can take out temple guardians fast. Artanis in general is very good at soloing the temple, and can still provide a gobal ult to teamfights happening elsewhere.

- Tomb of the Spider Queen:
The narrow side corridors are great for swap-traps, also a number of vents here and there to lurk for a swap. Q is great here to get out of position spider gems fairly safely. AO not recommended, it has some defensive value, but too few mercs on this map for it.

- Towers of Doom:
Excellent swap locations around the objectives. Since the objectives split up the team usually, you get good value out of your dueling power, and your global ultimates are also valuable for the same reason. AO is not very high value here (as usual, mercing is valuable, but no other benefits), I'd recommend swap or bruiser builds based on enemy and your comp.

- Warhead Junction:
Artanis' global ults and dueling comes in handy on this map, as once again the objectives can scatter the team. There are a number of mercs here, and you can solo boss with AO since you can avoid a lot of damage from it by just circle-stutterstepping it. The map is too open for swaps to be super-effective, but there are places where you can set up good ones.

Changelog Top

2017.07.11: added maps and roles, updated some descriptions
2017.07.12: updated some info on solo laning
2017.07.15: added Dehaka to solo lane opponents

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