Extreme Depth Competitive Sylvanas Guide And Why by Sunshine

Extreme Depth Competitive Sylvanas Guide And Why

By: Sunshine
Last Updated: Aug 11, 2015
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Build 1 of 6

Sylvanas

Build: Standard Sylvanas Build

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

Threats to Sylvanas with this build

Threat
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Threat Hero Notes
1
  No Threat
2
  No Threat
3
Kael'thas
4
Illidan
5
Kerrigan
6
Valla
6
The Butcher
7
  No Threat
8
Zagara
8
Zeratul
8
Jaina
9
Nova
10
  No Threat

Sylvanas

Build: Anti Illidan, Zeratul, Butcher,...

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

Threats to Sylvanas with this build

Threat
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High
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Threat Hero Notes
1
  No Threat
2
Johanna
3
Illidan
4
The Butcher
5
Zeratul
6
  No Threat
7
  No Threat
8
  No Threat
9
  No Threat
10
  No Threat

Sylvanas

Build: Out Matched In Lane

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

Threats to Sylvanas with this build

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Threat Hero Notes
1
  No Threat
2
  No Threat
3
Tassadar
3
Raynor
4
  No Threat
5
Zagara
5
Li Li
6
  No Threat
7
  No Threat
8
  No Threat
9
  No Threat
10
  No Threat

Sylvanas

Build: Anti Nova, Jaina, Kael'thas, and...

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

Threats to Sylvanas with this build

Threat
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Threat Hero Notes
1
  No Threat
2
  No Threat
3
Kael'thas
4
  No Threat
5
Nova
5
Azmodan
6
Jaina
7
  No Threat
8
  No Threat
9
  No Threat
10
  No Threat

Sylvanas

Build: Enemy Mega Tank Build

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

Threats to Sylvanas with this build

Threat
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Threat Hero Notes
1
  No Threat
2
  No Threat
3
Muradin
4
Azmodan
5
  No Threat
6
  No Threat
7
  No Threat
8
  No Threat
9
  No Threat
10
  No Threat

Sylvanas

Build: Possession Build

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

Threats to Sylvanas with this build

Threat
Low
High
Show all
Threat Hero Notes
1
  No Threat
2
  No Threat
3
  No Threat
4
  No Threat
5
  No Threat
6
  No Threat
7
Kerrigan
7
Illidan
8
Zeratul
8
The Butcher
9
  No Threat
10
Nova

Introduction Top

Hi guys, I go by Sunshine, this is my first guide I will be writing and here is a list of my "credentials". Played since the very end of Alpha, logged over 3k games, rank 1, 3.7k mmr, scrims against top teams, ESL majors competitor, level 20 Sylvanas, and a lot of tourney experience in the past 3 months.

Sylvanas has fallen out of the meta for the competitive scene a bit but she is still an insanely strong hero. So Sylvanas is a true mix between the Ranged Assassin and Specialist roles which is pretty unique. Some could argue that Zagara and Nazeebo are as well but while playing those heroes even though they push and do a lot of damage they feel and play entirely different. Sylvanas can very easily feel like a Valla, Raynor, or Falstad before she felt like a Gazlowe or Azmodan.

The point of this guide is to help people understand why you pick talents and not just blindly picking them without understanding the impact or just because other people picked them.

Complete Talent Overview Top

Level 1 Talents:

So this is an extremely popular talent picked by many players but there is not much value in this talent. The way Sylvanas' Withering Fire works, targeting the closest enemy to Sylvanas prioritizing heroes, this talent really adds little to your Sylvanas play. Almost always in team fights there will be a tank or melee assassin up in your face soaking the shots anyway so it does very little to help anywhere but the lane phase. Sylvanas is a fairly good laner who's weakness is usually only abused by repeated ganks making her play very passive. Sylvanas is also very hard countered by Zagara and this is one of the only uses this talent can shine. Taking this talent, if you play incredibly well, can help negate the dominance of Zagara in lane. You still probably won't win lane but it can help you stop her bullying you. That being said heroes is a very different game where the lane phase is not overly impactful on the game so even if you pick this talent to crush lane and you do there is no guarantee that this talent choice will be worth it.

This talent only really becomes impactful if you pick Cold Embrace at level 16. The only real value you get out of this talents maybe you get 3 W's off in a team fight instead of 2 but the cooldown is already so low on this ability that you really don't need it. The real reason you use this ability s not for damage but more for the stun affect it has on buildings and minions and if you choose the vulnerability affect at level 16.

This talent has started to come into the meta as of late and has been a long time favorite pick of mine. This talent gives Sylvanas a lot of flexability in that it gives her very strong push before she is commonly know to have and also turns her into a very good mercenary camp grabber. This talent, when mixed with Ranger's Ambush at 4, allows Sylvanas to clear the siege camps very quickly while taking very little damage. You can also take the bruiser camp easily but it will take you a longer period of time. So if you can push a wave and then go back to do a siege camp then go back to lane Sylvanas really is able to use her pushing power to gain an advantage.

This talent has far to much overlap with Sylvanas' passive for her to get much out of this. The only time I would recommend this talent is if you are on Haunted Mines and even then I'm not sure how much value Sylvanas gets out of it.

Level 4 Talents:

This talent is very lack luster because Sylvanas' Black Arrow(D) trait is good enough that it does not need an extra duration plus the extra duration feels very small to use a talent on.

This talent is extremely bad and offers nothing to Sylvanas. Please never take this talent.

After the new Envenom nerf this is my favorite talent to pick up on Sylvanas. So this will get complicated but stick with me. Envenom is a very good talent that does 502 damage(at level 10) over 10 seconds on one target and full charges of Q is 290 damage(at level 10). Now these extra stacks have a lot more versatility than envenom. Paired with Barbed Shot at 1 you can clear waves or mercenary camps extremely fast. Also paired with the level 13 talent Evasive Fire you can either use your Q charges to help chase down an enemy or run away from an engagement. When you pick these other two talents a full refill on your charges not only becomes more damage but it also helps wave clear and mobility. Also Envenom has a 60 second cooldown for 502 damage at level 10 where as Haunting Wave reset on Q's will add 290 daage every 11 seconds which is 1,450 damage over the same time frame.

Even though this talent was nerfed from 5 to 10 seconds this talent is still very strong. I find it most useful against heroes like Illidan, Zeratul, Butcher, and Kerrigan. It is also very affective against Johanna because of the way damage over time interacts with shields. If Johanna pops her passive to try to survive throwing envenom on her immediately removes most if not all of her shield making her no longer being unstoppable. So that means it is easy to cc her and try to get away or burst her down.

Level 7 Talents:

This talent is still the most powerful pick for Sylvanas in my opinion. This talent allows her to push a wave almost instantly and then return back to the team for team fights. This creates a lot of rotations from the enemy team to deal with it or allows Sylvanas to push harder than any other hero.

This talent is extremely good if your team lacks enough healing or if Sylvanas needs to stay in lane and the enemy team is ganking heavily. It allows her a large self heal when applied to an enemy creep wave. Situational talent but still v strong even in team fights.

This talent is deceiving. It seems very strong because Sylvanas can use her Q so many times in fights. However Sylvanas has a very fast auto attack speed while having a relatively low attack damage. Also the standard for other heroes with a similar talent is 40% bonus not 25% so with attack damage being so low plus being paired with a lower percentage increase it does not add much damage. Plus making full use of this ability is hard because players tend to use all her Q stacks at once not spacing them out. Also you give up great wave clear which gives a ton of pressure on the map. Very small damage increase compared to strong lane pressure just doesn't seem worth it.

I will address this talent after the patch, no real need to discuss it is never picked.

This talent is very good for trying to survive heavy dive comps or gankers but it tends to make players play more risky. While this talent will stealth you and help you escape you are still able to be revealed by area of effect damage. So characters like Jaina, Tyrael, Arthas, etc. are very good at making this talent null and void. So Sylvanas can pick up this talent if she is afraid of being blown up but she shouldn't play like she is untouchable if she has Haunting Wave.

Level 10 Talents:

This ult is completely game changing. Sylvanas can either win or lose team fights of this fight. This ult is really good when paired with melee assassins, when they jump in to start the fight if Sylvanas silences more then 2 people it becomes very hard for the enemy team to deal with the melee assassin up in their face. Also in fights where her team does not have a melee assassin it is usually most effective for her to focus her ult on the support when a fight starts. Supports usually need to react very quickly to keep their allies alive and having 2.5 seconds of not being able to heal or help is usually enough time to burst someone down and snowball a team fight. Also saving Sylvanas ult to interrupt Nazeebo's Ravenous Spirit or Li Li's 1,000 Jugs is also a very strong team fight swing.

Ok so I'm about to get a lot of hate but hear me out. The new Possession is extremely good but very situational. This ult creates so much pressure that pushing becomes a problem immediately. This is ult can only be picked on maps where the map objective can help Sylvanas in team fight to make up for the lack of a team fight ult. So you can not pick this ult on Dragon Shire, Cursed Hollow, Blackheart's Bay, Tomb of the Spider Queen, Sky Temple, or Haunted Mines. However on Garden of Terror and Battlefield of Eternity I think this ult can be picked. Sylvanas can push very hard with her ult and then hop in the garden plant which will make up for her lack of a team fight ult. She has to play differently but I do think it is possible. Also on Battlefield pushing hard with Sylvanas ult and then returning to defend her immortal is very strong. The immortal on defense can be so helpful in team fights that I do think she can take possession and work perfectly fine. Now she should always take into account the enemy team. If the enemy just has a straight up god tier team fight and a silence can help stop that, pick silence. But if possession seems viable on one of those maps, go for it. Also not sure but possession may also be viable on Inferno Shrines because the map objective actively fights the enemy team but that is pure speculation.

Level 13 Talents:

This talent is wonderful against heroes like Nova, Azmodan, Kael'thas, and Jaina who can deal a large chunk of your health pull without you being able to respond through spell damage. Usually pick this talent when enemy team has large amounts of burst that will be hard to avoid.

This is my favorite talent at this tier, allows Sylvanas to dodge skill shots, chase someone down for a kill, or escape a bad engage. This talent makes Sylvanas extremely mobile and enhances everything about her kit, couldn't ask for more. Synergies with Ranger's Ambush at 4 very well.

This talent feels very underwhelming when compared to Evasive Fire. You can slow a hero 25% for 1 second compared to increasing your move speed by 30% for 2 seconds. It is also a lot harder to get the maximum slow onto heroes while it is very easy to get the max speed buff from evasive fire. Only time this really helps where evasive fire wouldn't is if she are trying to slow the enemy for her team to either catch up or run away.

Adds roughly 75% damage to Sylvanas' Q but not to the same target as her Q. Hard to see the value in this talent while playing, it isn't terrible there are just much better options at this tier.

Level 16 Talents:

This talent is extremely fun when paired with all the other E talents. However fun it is vastly out shadowed by the 3 other talents at this tier.

This ability allows not only Sylvanas but her entire team to deal a much larger chunk of damage to not just one but possibly all 5 of the enemy team members. The fact that this talent can make an entire team vulnerable is outrageously good and the 25% decrease to range is the only thing keeping this talent from being over powered. You can still use this ability from auto attack range so it doesn't hurt

This talent allows you to self heal for a very large amount off of a tanky person like Muradin or Azmodan. Not great for burst damage but really good for staying up in a fight and giving you that quick health pool to either win the fight or survive.

This talent is very good against heavy blow up comps that look to stun lock you and kill you. So heroes like Tyrael, Tyrande, Muradin, Stitches, or ETC are great to pick this talent so that they can not remove you from a fight before it begins.

Level 20 Talents:

Not Bolt of the Storm, do not pick.

Not Bolt of the Storm, do not pick.

Not Bolt of the Storm, do not pick.

Sorry for the kind of lame level 20 guide but in all honesty Bolt of the Storm is just the best talent in the game period and even with the 70 second cooldown instead of 40 I think it will still be the best. Now if Sylvanas is winning the game hard she can go ahead and troll but the best talent to pick every time will be Bolt of the Storm if nothing changes about Bolt.

Maps Top

Sylvanas doesn't have a bad map. Any map she can turn up the heat and just push a lane hard, forcing a rotation. Now there are some maps that she creates more pressure than others. I'll run through the maps here and try to help explain how to get the most value out of her.


Battlefield of Eternity(BoE)- This is on of the maps that Sylvanas can create a ton of pressure on. Early game it might feel hard to apply pressure because a lot of players hang out in lane a lot. Once you move to the mid game and late game though Sylvanas can pop into a lane, clear a wave, and then retreat back to her team. At first this may not seem super effective but as ammo gets low the minion waves will no longer be cleared by towers or forts. Also this map will be one of only 3 that I will recommend Possession on. The thought here is that defending her immortal with her team will almost act as a 6th champion. The immortal makes up for the fact that she is giving up her big impactful team fight ult. Now if she shows up in a lane, takes over an entire enemy minion wave, throws a W on enemy towers, and retreats back to her team she will create so much pressure that she will easily take forts if the enemy does not respond. While BoE is only a two lane map it is fairly large so running to a lane to clear minions is a very big deal. Time is a precious commodity in Heroes of the Storm so if they have to waste time clearing 2 waves of minions Sylvanas' team can get some serious damage onto the enemy immortal.

Now I'm a big advocate for soloing mercenary camps as Sylvanas with Barbed Shot and Ranger's Ambush but the merc camps on this battle ground are highly contested so always clear an enemy wave very quickly before doing a camp and make sure you know where all 5 members of the enemy team are before starting a camp.

Conclusion Top

Sylvanas is a very viable character who has variety to her builds. I haven't listed every build possible but if you have a question just message me on reddit at SunshineSC2 and I would be more than happy to try and help.

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