Tyrael; the troublemaker by SirNeshorn

Tyrael; the troublemaker

By: SirNeshorn
Last Updated: Jul 1, 2015
138 Votes
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Build: The Initiator

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Threats to Tyrael with this build

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Threat Hero Notes
Tyrande No way of escaping and starts out with very low HP. Om nom nom... Has an annoying stun, but that's about it.
Jaina Generally nothing else than food for Tyrael, and a high priority target in any teamfight. Be prepared to swap targets whenever she uses Ice Block, and then swap back when it ends.
Malfurion Can't do much on his own, so don't be afraid to go agressive on him. Avoid fighting if you're afraid of broccoli.
Zagara Beastly damage output, but lacks good escape mechanisms...at least until level 10. Rarely a threat to you, but do not simply charge into her and expect to win a duel. If you get any help, she's dead almost every time you jump on her.
Abathur Just about an equal threat to anyone. You can shield yourself from most of his burst. If you catch him spawning locusts near your base, he's done for.
Valla In the laning phase, Tyrael and Valla are fairly equal if she goes Multishot build. After level 10, Valla stands very little chance against Tyrael alone, and because of her low HP she is a very good target for Judgement. Very dangerous if left unattended in teamfights. Focus her at all times and she is toast.
Stitches Stitches has taken a severe hit from the nerf bat (and rightfully so), which means he now has lower durability and far less damage than he used to have. His CC is still dangerous and has good range, but in a one-on-one contest he is no match for Tyrael, and he can't escape you either. Usually not a good target to use Judgement on, as he is still tanky. And yes, he still smells bad.
Tychus He is great at kiting melee heroes with Overkill, so avoid that. Lacks sustain in lane, so you can often trade with him. Very good target for Judgement, especially after Odin nerf.
Anub'arak He can shield himself from your damage, and you can usually dodge his attempts to damage you as well. Painful in teamfights. Do not duel this guy when he gets his heroic ability.
Falstad High priority target with loads of damage which you want to prevent from happening. Usually no big threat to Tyrael on his own, but his ability damage should not be underestimated, especially if you are alone and he specs Lightning Rod.
Li Li Not easily killed, but you might be able to do it with a little help. Certainly not my first choice of targets in a teamfight, but there are worse.
Sonya Sonya herself will beat you soundly in lane thanks to the life leech of Whirlwind, but she is a very viable target in a teamfight. Sure, she has some HP, but Judgement/Smite/BFB will take care of most of that. Will rarely kill you on her own, but it's not a good idea to duel her.
Thrall Thrall will obliterate you in a duel, so don't bother trying. He will however, not escape you easily if you bring friends, and even though he has a decent self heal, he is a fairly good target to use Judgement on.
Arthas In general, Arthas is not a hero you want to duel at any point in the laning phase, but he is considerably weaker now due to Evenom no longer being available to him.
Kerrigan Loads of lockdown which makes her dangerous to any single target. If she spends all of her juice on you, however, that's usually a good thing since that means it will not end up on one of your assassins. A good target to Judgement.
Raynor This guy used to have auto attacks that could tear any tank to shreds in seconds. He is still dangerous and has no innate escapes, but he has an annoying knockback whenever you stun him. High priority target.
The Butcher The Butcher is durable and will win pretty much any duel you engage into, especially if he goes for buffed auto attacks. He can also chase you to a certain degree and pin you to the ground with a pretty funny looking wooden pole with a chain. However, he can't escape you that easily unless he uses the pole to prevent you from chasing. Do not EVER duel, and you should be fine.
Azmodan Big fat Azmodan is usually not that easy to deal with when you're alone. You can't just rush into him because his HP and damage output both outclass yours. What he can't do, however, is escaping you. Gang up on this guy with 4 friends like true sportsmen.
Gazlowe Gazlowe is a hero that is easily underestimated. When caught out of position, he will not be able to escape you. However, as the game progresses, he WILL outfight you in a duel. Take him out early in a teamfight.
Illidan Illidan is squishy. and is unlikely to escape you if near death. Then again, you're not gonna escape him that easily either, unless you manage to move over a cliff. Do not duel.
Murky I'm not really sure where to place a good Murky player. His damage is pretty nice, and his March of the Murlocs can prevent your entire team from doing much. But he's easily removed from the fight...at least temporary. Save your Judgement for other targets.
Tassadar By himself, Tassadar is not a big threat unless Archon is active. On the other hand, his shield is very annoying since he can rapidly apply it to anyone you use Judgement on. Very bad target for initiation due to Dimensional Shift.
Zeratul Zeratul is annoying to deal with, but luckily you can bust him out of stealth if he approaches. The problem is stopping him from getting his ulti off. If he goes Shadow Assault, Judgement him every time and he will gnaw his teeth out. One problem Zeratul can cause for you is that when you Judgement someone and charge into the fray, he can Void Prison the rest of your team if they don't catch up immediately (and let's face it, that's not gonna happen, you ARE the initiator after all). Pay attention to this in teamfights.
Chen Chen can drink endlessly to stop your damage since you don't have Cast Aside anymore. Then again, his damage output is low and he can't hardroot you any longer either, letting you escape or chase with EM. Still a bad target for you to go on.
Diablo Diablo is a big beefy warrior who can knock you away from squishies and takes alot of cutting to remove from the fight. No threat on his own, but he can make teamfights sour for you if he knows what he is doing. Fortunately, very few players do.
The Lost Vikings Vikings present a bizarre challenge. You can squash one of them easily if they attack one by one, but when initated on they are actually quite tricky to beat. Their escapes are good, and their boat is painful. Sometimes it's worth blowing Judgement on Eric just because their boat gets weaker if you kill one of them, but rarely a good target in a teamfight.
Johanna With pathetic damage output and overall very bad mobility, the girl herself is no threat on her own, but similar to ETC she can make your life somewhat difficult nonetheless. Being a real obstruction for pretty much any hero in the game, Johanna doesn't go down easily and has some nasty abilities (both short ranged and long ranged) that can prevent you from doing your job; displacement, ranged stun with her heroic, and occasionally a strong slow with her Q if she speccs it. Most of the time a very bad target for Judgement since she is unlikely to die and can even become Unstoppable, nullifying stuns and slows.
E.T.C. ETC has pathetic damage output, but he can displace you and stun you. Also, he's quite difficult to take down on your own. No threat alone, but annoying to deal with in teamfights.
Nova Nova has violent burst damage, which makes her dangerous to anyone. Stands very little chance on her own against Tyrael, but she blows through your shields instantly and becomes dangerous together with other heroes. Bring down Judgement on this girl whenever you can.
Sylvanas Sylvanas has a long-range silence which can prevent you from initiating with Judgement, and in the laning phase she has ranged harassment which costs no mana. It is common for her to specc +25% damage taken on her Dagger too which melts anyone hit, and she has good escapes. Certainly not an easy matchup, but it's often good to Judgement her to remove her from the fight, dead or alive.
Brightwing BW is a real pain for most heroes to deal with. His Emerald Wind ruins your initiation, and polymorph can wreck you when you're chasing a target or trying to escape. Ugh...
Rehgar Rehgar is actually a very strong melee duelist, and his healing output is pretty darn good. His ulti can ruin your initiation, but at least you just forced a big heal with it. Fairly tough, but can be initiated on if you catch him out of position. Usually not the best target to go on.
Uther VERY good at counter-initiating with his ultimate. On top of that, he can sustain himself vs you in the lane. A seemingly good target for Judgement, but the problem is he will get off his ulti anyway. Ugh...
Muradin Muradin is quite a hassle to deal with. He has great sustain in lane, and if he gets the jump on you, his auto attacks can prevent you from using Judgement in a teamfight. Among your worst enemies.
Nazeebo This guy has great damage with his DoTs and a very powerful ultimate which you need to interrupt. On top of that, he is one of the more durable ranged heroes in the game. Luckily you can escape his zombies if he catches you. Still, he's NOT easily dealt with, but you do counter alot of his stuff, which will be needed if you are going to win the game.
Sgt. Hammer This woman is a beast. Tyrael does not like beasts. Do not simply let her sit quietly and shoot. Judgement is great against her, so consider burning her when you can. She will escape your initiation, but at least you will force her back. A big problem in a teamfight, and certainly not an easy opponent in the lane either. Ugh...
Tyrael Best hero in the game. Kill ASAP.
Kael'thas Kael'Thas may be a low HP target with no escapes at hand until he gets Bolt of the Storm, but as the game progresses past level 13 he can pretty much blow up ANY hero that dares attack him alone (his burst even surpasses Jaina's). This guy MUST die quickly should your team ever engage a KT in a fight, be it 2v2, 3v3 or 5v5. Very good target for Judgement. Do not duel after level 13, and especially not after level 16.


Build: The Vindicator (auto attack focused...

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Build: The Guardian (tank build)

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Introduction Top

Tyrael is a very aggressive warrior hero with some very good tools at his disposal to fulfill his role. While he is fairly easy to play for beginners, it still takes some practice to become a really good Tyrael player.

I'll mainly describe how to play Tyrael like an initiator. This is what you're probably expected to play like if you pick this hero, and it's also what he does best.

- Fairly good damage output for a warrior
- Moderate durability when in the middle of a fight
- Excellent initiator with El'Druin's Might and Judgement for single target lockdown
- All of his basic abilities can buff multiple allies or debuff multiple enemies
- Great mobility, which makes him almost impossible for enemy heroes to escape
- Can specc into several viable builds depending on what your team needs

- No innate ability to restore lost HP
- While durable, he is not as durable as the heavier frontliners such as Stitches or Muradin
- Can still be kited when Judgement and El'Druin's Might are on cooldown
- Trait is only helpful if Tyrael dies, which, much like in real life, is something you want to avoid most of the time

Abilities Top

In this chapter we'll take a look at Tyrael's abilities and how to utilize them.
El'Druin's Might is a mobility tool as well as a ranged slow. Its range is fairly good and its damage is moderate, but fairly weak for its cooldown, and thus it shouldn't be used as a harassment tool without consideration first. In a fight, this enables Tyrael to jump on his target and slowing it. When in trouble, it lets him escape. Note that the range is good enough for Tyrael to leap across some pretty wide cliffs, such as the boss areas in Cursed Hollow.

Rightneousness gives Tyrael a decent shield and all nearby ally units a weaker shield as well. While it is not nearly as strong as Tassadar's Plasma Shield, it still adds some extra effective health for Tyrael when he needs it, and it allows affected allies to absorb abit of AoE damage such as from Valla's Multishot. Also worth of note is that the shield becomes twice as strong if used with a certain talent, which will be described in the next chapter.

Smite is Tyrael's bread & butter damage ability, as well as being the cheapest ability at his disposal. By itself it is a fairly standard area target spell which deals pretty good AoE damage and with a short cooldown, allowing Tyrael to use it very often. On top of that, it leaves a mark on the ground which increases the movement speed of any allied unit that walks over it by 25%. Great for most situations. The range is fairly short however, making it abit easy for enemies to realize when you're gonna use it in the laning phase for harassment.

If you've played League of Legends, this ability is similar to that of Kog'maw's passive when he dies. When the enemy lands a killing blow on you, you're able to move for 3.5 seconds. After that, you'll explode with a radius indicating by the aura that encircles you, dealing quite alot of damage to any enemy you hit. The blast itself IS very strong, but sadly you can't without talents chase your enemies that easily in your state, and thus if you don't hit anything, this passive will end up doing nothing for you throughout the game.

Talents Top

Tyrael is a very versatile hero, which makes it possible to specc him in many different ways. In this section, we'll take a look at all of his current talents and describe each one of them. The ratings I give these talents are just my opinions which I have acquired after quite a few games playing this hero.


Tier 1 Talents:
Rating : 3/5. While I will never encourage anyone to pick a talent which revolves around your own hero dying, this talent DOES have its uses. First of all, you'll discover that often it's easier to explode on your allies than your enemies since allies won't dodge you on purpose. Second, the shield it gives is REALLY strong, letting your allies stay in the fight for alot longer. The pure stats of this talent are very high, but still... I will not recommend you picking this unless you play together with a team that really knows how to cooperate.

Rating : 1.5/5. El'Druin's Might is NOT your main nuke, and the damage contribution from the skill throughout the game will be very low. This talent is not worth it, even though 30% is an attractive number.

Rating : 5/5. A big boost to your most damaging ability. It was nerfed from 30% to 25%, but it' still by far the best of the bunch in this tree if you ask me.

Rating : 4/5. After the patch 11th feb you start out with 4 regen when you pick this talent. Considering Tyrael has no innate ability to restore lost HP, this talent certainly has its uses, especially so in the laning phase. However, in order to be effective you need to get some stacks, or it will drop off in the late game. If you're playing as solo warrior, this is probably the best of the bunch, as with Amplified Healing your total regeneration can reach higher than 100 HP/sec in late game. Great on Blackheart's Bay especially where the distance between the two top lanes are small and you can easily move abit around, in addition to alot of small camps which yield health orbs on elimination. Not that good on Garden of Terror where you basically have to ride through Sahara each time you wanna lane swap.


Tier 2 Talents:
Rating : 4.5/5. Great talent whenever you have a healer. If you don't, it's obviously bad.

Rating : 4/5. This ability recieved a significant upgrade from 15% to 25% with the patch as of 1st of July. As in a previous version of the guide, it is mostly useful in the laning phase to give you some extra sustain since Tyrael has no innate ability to restore lost HP. In duels, it helps quite a bit (especially against other warriors) and it is decent for solo queue since you will roam alone more often than if you play with a team who has good communication. Inferior to Amplified Healing if you play with a healer, but it can help you out in those games where healers are not present. Very good for solo queues.

Rating : 3.5/5. While not an outright awesome talent, cooldown reduction on your main nuke is always nice. Not guaranteed to increase your damage that much in a fight since you're not always hitting multiple heroes with it. What it DOES give you however, is the ability to clear waves more easily. Decent if you lack good wave clearers.

Rating : 2.5/5. Like the previous trait improving talent, I'll never recommend another talent that revolves around you dying. Abilities deal no damage while you're dead, but it does make it alot easier to land your blast of glory. Considering the blast removes about one third of Valla's HP if you hit her, it's not entirely useless, but you're still way more useful to your team when you're alive. Consider something else.


Tier 3 Talents:
Rating : 5/5. Another universal talent. This talent is really good for Tyrael as he is very ability dependent in order to achieve anything. Goes well with his decent attack speed, and it is extremely helpful in resetting the cooldown of your ultimate.

Rating : 2/5. The movement speed you gain from this talent is equal to that of your Smite buff. Not that great, but decent for escapes. Inferior to other choices on this level.

Rating : 3.5/5. The damage you get from this talent is actually pretty good. After some testing, it's confirmed it does damage whenever the shield breaks or it is destroyed (at first it seemed to me it only did damage when the shield was expiring). It can be timed if you shield yourself before you jump into the fray, but it's gonna take some practice. However, the range of the explosion is VERY short, which makes it difficult to utilize against anything that moves away from you. Pretty good against melee heroes that want to gang up on you, though, especially Illidan. You should also consider that the damage you get from Battle Momentum due to reduced cooldown on your Smite will greatly outshine this talent, but burst damage wise it is a worthwhile contribution.

Rating : 2.5/5. Decent talent, but questionable if it helps you alot since your shields are likely to be destroyed anyway rather than expire. Synergizes very well with the tier 6 talent called Salvation.

Rating : 4.5/5. Essential in an auto attack build, which can work on Tyrael due to his ability to stick to a target. A universal talent, there's not much to say other than that it is a powerful steroid which makes you a nightmare for heroes that can't escape you.


Tier 4 Talents:
Rating : 5/5. This ability is the best hard initiate in the game. Very similar to Clockwerk's ulti in DotA (except this one is a unit targeted ability), this moves Tyrael into position and stuns the target of your choice. Use it on any squishy of your choice, or you can use it to stop well protected enemies who need to be stopped doing their business (e.g. Nazeebo/Ravenous Spirit, Nova/Triple Tap, Valla/Strafe and so on).

The true strength of this talent becomes apparent when you're playing with other good players. Skype or any form of TS is highly recommended as you can drop pretty much ANYONE if you get a good initiation. Me and my cousin tend to play Tyrael/Muradin alot where I simply call out a target, charge it with Judgement and blow my load in his face, then Muradin comes in with a dwarf toss and makes sure the target is stunned for a week and a half until he is dead.

Rating : 4/5. Not a bad ability by itself, but it does not complement Tyrael's role that well. Tyrael is the guy who chases enemy assassins and wrecks havoc in the middle of things. He doesn't sit around praying for his allies. You can play around with this if you like, as it protects other heroes from getting interrupted by enemies and stuffs. In 99% of the encounters however, Judgement is preferred (and probably expected from your team too).


Tier 5 Talents:
Rating : 3.5/5. Less than moderate permanent AoE damage available to several other heroes with similar strength to Stitches' pre-patch Vile Gas. It's decent for pushing out waves a little easier without wasting mana, and it helps abit on maps where you kill stuff to gather objectives, i.e. Garden of Terror and Haunted Mines. Other than that, not that much to say. A helpful talent in most situations.

Rating : 4/5. This used to be a tier 2 talent before. It has become more powerful now however, which effectively adds a little HP to your shield whenever you pop it and take damage. Can regenerate ALOT of HP if you shield yourself and soak damage from a minion wave, for example (you regenerate a set amount of HP for each attack your shield absorbs with a refreshing buff). At level 20 this can regenerate about 1000 HP (910 to be accurate, if you picked Amplified Healing) at best, which is pretty darn decent. Also great on levels with small creeps carrying objectives (Haunted Mines, Sky Temple, Garden of Terror), and it is riddicilously good with Hardened Shield at level 20 if you shield yourself before charging into the fray.

Rating : 3.5/5. Because this talent only helps you when your shields are up (which can be blown apart with a couple of nukes), the effectiveness of this talent is often very limited. Useful if you're up against a Nova and you KNOW she's gonna hit you. Otherwise, it's not really that great. It has become even more lackluster now that Imposing Presence is also a 50% attack speed reduction (it was 30% before). However, it also reduces movement speed, which could be nice against heroes that try to kite you while attacking such as Tychus or Valla. Rarely worth it anyway, if you ask me, but 50% slow in the movement speed department is REALLY strong, so I guess it's good if you manage to pop your shield when the correct target attacks you.

Rating : 1.5/5. If you're looking for better damage output, Burning Rage is probably alot better than this. Sure, it helps you whenever you're smashing someone's face and you're fighting in an enemy creep wave or if it's Arthas and he has his ghouls up. Besides that, this talent will be of extremely limited use. Consider something else.


Tier 6 Talents:
Rating : 2.5/5. This talent makes your main mobility tool into a powerful steroid. 225% extra damage done over the next 3 attacks is nothing to sneeze at, and it's an essential part in a pure auto attack build. Works really well against targets that can't escape you that easily and lacks a high HP pool such as Nova, Tyrande and Zagara. Numerically it yields more damage than Blood for Blood against low HP targets. The reason it gets a below average rating is because it synergizes somewhat poorly with initiation from Judgement. Otherwise it's pretty good.

Rating : 3/5. This talent used to be pretty good combined with Cast Aside (which was removed). It's somewhat useful in that you can teleport in front of an escaping enemy, creating a barrier he can't walk through in front of him. You can also effectively block bottle neck spots with this, such as the small passages in Garden of Terror. It does takes abit of practice, though, but it can certainly work wonders if it is well placed.

Rating : 4/5. If you invest in this talent, Zealotry from tier 3 talents would also be nice. It potentially doubles your shield, which can at level 20 reach up to 1400 HP. That's pretty big for a 12 second cooldown ability. It helps you very little in the situations where you shield yourself and you're alone in the fray, so after you initiate with Judgement you are very unlikely to benefit from the full bonus a second time in the teamfight. Great for soaking big creep waves in late game as well, and scales well with Angelic Absorption too (especially if Zealotry was also picked).

Rating : 4/5. A serious change was made to this talent as of patch 1st of July, and about time, I guess. Make no mistake, the talent is still good, but the powerful slowing effect is no longer present and damage dealt has been reduced by a third. This opens up for some changes in preferred talents in this talent tree, as Blood for Blood might not always be the best choice. If you can stack 5 BFBs on your team it can still be devastating, I guess. However, not exceptionally so.


Tier 7 Talents:
Rating : 4/5. Great talent in itself, the range increase is always welcome. The cooldown reduction is certainly welcome, but you won't really struggle that much with cooldowns at this stage since:
a) Battle Momentum helps alot refreshing it
b) People will be dead for a long time at this point if they are killed
With the addition of the new universal talents, I would open up for other choices.

Rating : 2/5. Probably good if you pick Sanctification in the first place, and seems especially nice if combined with Rehgar's Bloodlust. Other than that it seems meh to me (I've never tried it ever, and I've played quite a few games with this hero...)

Rating : 5/5. This talent is great. When active, your shield's strength increases to slightly above 50% of your max HP. If you're the only warrior on your team, I pick this without even considering something else.

Rating : 4.5/5. If you're 2 warriors and/or you're playing against heroes that can't easily outrun you, this talent is great. The damage helps abit, and the slow is really awesome. Obviously scales well with an auto attack focused build.

Mechanics Top


Some special notes should be said about certain heroes that go very well with Tyrael:

Double warrior may seem lackluster after the removal of Resurgence. As far as my experience goes, this is not always the case, and CERTAINLY not with Muradin. Both of you are extremely mobile and can lock down a target for a long time. This gives Nazeebo alot of time to position himself accordingly while you two keep the attention of the enemy team and possibly drawing out some big cooldowns. Make sure you go for a squishy so that you force the enemy team to not ignore you.

I've tried this a couple of times, and it's absolutely hillarious. It's only room for a single assassin, but it's usually sufficient. The stunlock you can pull off is ******edly strong, and since you and Muradin can initiate, it gives Uther and Tyrande enough time to get into position as well while you have a target locked down. Seriously, try this once, it's riddicilous. Good assassins for this could be pretty much anyone, but Raynor or Valla would be strong candidates.

For some stupid reason, Blizzard hasn't implemented the possibility to watch replays from previous versions. I'd hope I could add a clip from a game just to show you how fun this comp can be.


Tyrael is a melee hero whos main damage ability also has fairly short range, and so, you'll have to plan abit ahead when you're approaching enemy heroes in the lane. Against other melee heroes you'll generally have no problem pushing the wave or harassing your enemies, so generally you just want to avoid poking. Since Smite is your most powerful spell as well as the cheapest, try to land Smites as often as you can. This should be fairly often since its cooldown is only 7 seconds.

Now for some good news. Tyrael is extremely mobile, and if you're expecting to take damage in return when you go in for harassment you can always shield yourself if need be. However, be careful about using Righteousness too much or you'll quickly find yourself out of mana.

Basic Mechanics - When to use Smite?
Almost always when it's available.

Basic Mechanics - When to use Righteousness?
As rarely as you can. It's fairly expensive and adds up alot of mana if you have to use it in conjunction with Smite just to harass. Some special occasions should be mentioned, however:

In ranked play, Valla is almost ALWAYS picked, so if she's not among your ranks, expect her to be an enemy. Depending on the current status of your minions, you can land a Smite without too much hassle or you'll end up taking WAY more damage than you can give. Usually you'll have to shield yourself, or you'll end up getting in a Smite while taking both a Hungerging Arrow AND a Multishot in return. A very bad trade for you. You're usually equally matched, but only if you know what you're doing. Don't worry...you'll butcher this woman later in the game. I'll try to fix some video clips on how to handle her in lane, as you will probably face her alot.

In most situations, there's no way you can do a worthwhile trade against this hero. As far as your shield goes, it will be exhausted by two auto attacks at full siege range from her. You're better off waiting for help and just stay in XP range of enemy minions.

If you're the visual learner type, this is a very short example of how you can trade effectively.

  • Smite when you see an opening
  • Shield yourself when you expect to take damage
  • Smite again when an opening presents itself (its short CD makes sure I can do it before Valla has another Multishot ready)

Often you may fail and shield yourself AFTER you take damage, or way before you take damage which discourages enemies to waste mana on your shield. Don't be discouraged; this happens even to the best HotS players out there. Practice makes perfect, and if you've played MobAs before you probably have experienced this alot already. Yes folks, we do ALL start somewhere, and we do ALL occasionally fail :)

When to use El'Druin's Might?
El'Druin's Might is very good for catching up to your opponent and to escape. Whenever you use it and want to teleport on top of another hero, always aim for a spot right behind him/her. This will put Tyrael in a good position to body block the opposing hero, allowing you to add more auto attacks as well as letting allied heroes do more damage too.

Again, if you're the visual learner type, I've tried to compile a few examples together which can be helpful to those who are new to Tyrael.


Tyrael can roam as he is a pretty good chaser. Usually this is something you want to let a stealther (Zeratul, Nova) or a stunner (Kerrigan, Muradin) do, but if you're asked to leave your lane you don't have to think an awful lot about whether it will be effective or not.

El'Druin's Might is usually a good initiation tool, but try to ride in and initiate with auto attacks whenever you can. This is especially important against heroes with displacement tools (Blink, Vault, Run & Gun), which you can probably figure out without any further explanation.

For this reason, you also want to consider what lanes are worth ganking. Heroes which you will have a high chance of success killing:

Some heroes are not worth the attempt of ganking, but even if you don't kill a hero, you will still probably push them back and out of lane.

Tyrael is not a good jungler. He becomes considerably stronger at level 13 and beyond, but until that point you will take alot of damage and exhaust your mana in any attempt on camps. Bring allies or leave this to other heroes who are better at it.

A great 2v2 fighter, Tyrael can easily set the pace because he can freely choose a target to swing his blade at. Because Smite deals good damage, you can quickly focus one target down with the help of one ally and possible score a kill if they are out of position. Stay very aggressive in lane...this will help you alot.

Things get quite chaotic when more people are involved. Sadly, Smite isn't all that effective against multiple targets. Sure, it is an AoE spell, but unless they are really stacked on top of each other, chances are you'll hit one or two targets with it. Therefore, consider yourself a hero that focuses on a single target only.

When to use Judgement?

Frankly speaking, Judgement is very good for two things: initiation and counter-initiation.

There's no set-in-stone rules for when to use your abilities, but there are some very reckognizable situations where Judgement fits well into a fight. Generally speaking, you want to use it as early in a fight as you can, and preferably on a high priority target (often a squishy assassin or a support).

Using Judgement into the opposing team will usually achieve some of the following:
  • Lockdown on a single target and, potentially, a kill
  • If used on an assassin : forcing heals on target and possibly driving it out of the fight
  • If used on a healer : target becomes desperate and is forced out of the fight
  • The enemy team will focus their attention on you, since you are the most exposed target

As initiation

If you're using TS or Skype, you can always call out when you want to go in. Mobile heroes with lockdown and/or burst damage are very valuable together with you for this. Suitable allies to bring along when initiating are many, among them are:

Basically anyone that can provide additional lockdown and/or high burst damage will make an excellent addition to your initiation. Reasons? Simple:
  • A: Your target is stunned and eventually takes too much damage, and dies.
  • B: Your target dies outright.

...of course, those are pretty bold statements. But rest assured, if your allies know what they are doing, then Judgement does indeed becomes the best hard initiate in the game. Avoid going for beefy warriors if you can, as they are likely to survive the incoming onslaught AND they often specc Amplified Healing, which makes them the preferred target of healing anyway. Occasionally assassins will survive too...sadly.

So what happens if an assassin survives? Well...as mentioned earlier, you will very likely force out heals and defensive cooldowns from said assassin (if he/she has any). This will probably make said assassin pull back and play more defensive until his team is into position. And thus, you will have to chase him deeper into the enemy team in order to reach him, which will likely get you killed. Ugh.

Let's say both you and your target survive, the situation above happens and you stay into the fray without diving WAY behind enemy lines...was it worth it?

YES! Chances are by now your team is in position while the enemy team is in slight disarray. You used your ultimate, but you have probably forced big cooldowns on the other side as well. More often than not, YOUR team has the advantage at this point. Sure, it's much cooler and flashy when Judgement ends up in scoring a kill. But it won't happen every time.

Practice the use of Judgement in an aggressive way, and don't be afraid to fail. You can't always win, but don't be afraid of making quick decisions that may potentially give your team a huge advantage. Initiation is a very powerful tool. Learn to love it!

As counter-initiation

Judgement can also be used to peel a team member against overextending enemy heroes, which will often result in a kill. Just keep in mind that Judgement itself deals very little damage, so unless you and your team have some follow-up, chances are you will waste your ultimate. It is however not wasted if it saves a life.

Team fights will in general be very random. Some predictability can be given to the location of where the big fights will appear: map mechanics. Blackheart's Bay will likely end up in a bloody mess near captain Blackheart's galleon, Sky Temple will end up with a fat graveyard at the active temples, etc. For Tyrael, it is often advantageous to fight in places that feature unpassable terrain (this makes El'Druin's Might a very powerful mobility tool). Try to convince your team to help you lay traps for enemies in places like this.

I'll add some pictures later to visualize good spots for fighting.

Notes on other builds Top

So I've mentioned Tyrael is a versatile hero with several builds. Tyrael does indeed work quite well with several talent combinations. Some builds are less effective than others, some are more effective. It depends on the team.


The oldschool favorite of carry players and hour-long DotA-match lovers, this build favors those who prefer to smash their enemies with sheer force rather than flimsy magical abilities.

This talent build will maximize your damage output while sticking at a target (and being able to attack...). It provides two powerful steroids and one passive AoE damage talent, while the final passive adds some more buff to your auto attacks permanently. YES, I picked Burning Rage over Angelic Might because Angelic Might is outright horrible unless you hit a creep wave or something with Smite.

What is good about it?

The short version of the story: Tyrael becomes a more powerful duelist. Great for solo-queueing in Quick Matches, and coupled with Vampiric Strike, it will help you sustain yourself in those games where healers are not present.

Basically this build is good whenever you play with allied heroes that can constantly slow, stun or impair your target (Arthas with Frozen Tempest, for example). This means you'll get alot of auto attacks in while your steroids are active. In addition, it's an advantage if you play against enemy heroes that can't run from you either way.

Nexus Blades in particular doesn't add THAT much beef to your auto attacks damage-wise. Sure, 20% isn't weak or anything, but it helps you keep your target from running too fast due to the 20% slow which is really nice. This will also help certain heroes with Executioner specced, which makes them do more damage too.

Good against:

What is bad about it?

Now that Blood for Blood is nerfed, Blade of Justice will have a stronger role as a level 16 talent, but I'm still not sure if I like the talent that well. As said it will work good in solo queue since you'll chase opponents more, but in team fights in synergizes somewhat poorly with initiation from Judgement. Other than that, it's no big deal. There are several good talents to choose from at level 16.

In a given scenario as described above, to get the damage boost you want, you have to initiate with El'Druin's Might. This will sometimes happen anyway, but often you'll want to use Judgement for that which means you have to use El'Druin's Might sometimes not just for the slow & damage, but also to buff your attacks up. If this is the case, save it for chasing people, don't just throw away your best infight mobility tool.

Furthermore, Tyrael might need other talents more in general. Battle Momentum is absolutely fantastic for Tyrael, and it especially helps him to reset the CD of Judgement. Battle Momentum is also pretty good damage-wise since you can Smite more often. Searing Attacks just buffs up your single target damage. Your durability will also take a hit by leaving out the extra shields you can apply in a fight, plus Angelic Absorption.

As a final note, steroids can be wasted in a fight if you're prevented from attacking while they are active. That means a shrink ray, stuns and whatever coming your way will ruin your day. Although this might actually be a good thing...if they waste their Shrink Ray on you, it won't be used on your DPS. Take this as a compliment!

While being viable, I don't run this build that often. It's fun occasionally since you become a much stronger duelist, and most assassins can't go toe to toe with Tyrael with these talents (please notice most here... don't go toe-to-toe with a healthy autoattack-built Butcher...). Pick these talents on occasion if you need some variation as it can be fun in solo queue, but you'll probably find yourself less useful to your team in the later stages of the game.


Tyrael with no talents buffing up his survivability has moderate endurance in battle for a warrior. He is tougher than Sonya and Anub'arak, but not as tough as Muradin, Diablo, Stitches and Arthas.

As you can see, Tyrael has alot of good defensive talents. Yes, I picked Battle Momentum over Zealotry. Why? Because being able to refresh your shield more often will usually result in being able to absorb more damage than extending the duration of your shields, which might be broken before they fade anyway.

I prefer Angelic Absorption over Imposing Will almost all the time. Both talents will only activate when your shields are up, but if you take one or two auto attacks and then the rest of your shield is blown to bits by magic damage, you'll likely have more benefits from Angelic Absorption. The latter talent can also help you restore lost HP more quickly when you're pushing lanes by letting minions attack you, and it helps Tyrael's jungling capabilities if your team needs help to get mercenaries.

So what the build does is boosting your regen and your shields. Lately I've run alot with Angelic Absorption over Burning Rage in most builds since I've begun to really like the talent, and it becomes particulary good with Hardened Shield which makes your shield from Righteousness likely to survive for 4 full seconds, enabling you to regenerate up to 910 HP as mentioned in the talent section (Furion's Regrowth at level 20 heals for a total of 980 HP over 10 seconds in comparison).

What is good about it?

Any warrior worth a damn needs to be able to take a punch. Tyrael surviving longer means your team will generally survive longer and being able to dish out more damage. As a bonus, keeping Battle Momentum will also be a good boon to your damage output as you can Smite more often, and your Judgement will almost always be available for teamfights.

The talents also provide you with additional regeneration. This is especially nice since you have no innate ability to heal yourself, and so this will be a way to restore lost HP over time. Very helpful in the laning phase.

Good against:

Pretty much anything. Being able to survive is always nice, so it increases your chances against...everyone? Not really sure what to say.

What is bad about it?

Your damage will take a small hit, which won't really be that noticeable in the big scheme, BUT you lose out on Blood for Blood. This means in order to burst someone down with the initiation from Judgement you really need some help from your DPS heroes. If you got enough damage on your team, this might not be a big problem. Blood for Blood isn't that strong anymore, but it did add to your burst, so sadly this won't be a part of it in this build.

In addition, Regeneration Master is only effective if you manage to stack it up to acceptable numbers. If the enemy team zones you out from healing orbs and you miss out on the big monsters that can drop multiple orbs (Grave Golem, Garden Terror), the talent will start falling behind and not help you too much.

That being said, your extra durability is noticeable in teamfights if they last long. However, if you're caught out of position or surprised in a stunlock, this build won't help you much: it offers no particular protection against burst damage and disables.


After quite a few games with Tyrael, he still remains my favorite hero. I've been mixing abit around with the builds, and I really like the Initator build after testing other builds multiple times, but sometimes it's nice to mix in more durability depending on what you feel you need. Admittedly, Regeneration Master is sometimes a better pickup, and Retribution is not nearly as good as Amplified Healing in most cases. Burning Rage is still my go-to pick on maps where you kill stuff for objectives (i.e. Haunted Mines and Garden of Terror).

Overall, there are loads of combinations that work well, and Tyrael is still quite versatile and has decent damage potential no matter what talents you choose.

Good hunting.

End note Top

So, that's about it for now. I'll probably add some more stuffs every now and then if I find something useful to rant about.

Other than that; have fun playing Tyrael!

Guide Changelog:

1st July : updated for Butcher patch.

7th June : updated for Johanna patch.

31st May : updated for Kael'thas patch.

30th April : changed a couple of ratings and matchups.

13th April : changed some ratings about talents after some experimenting.

6th April : added abit of info about the talents and changed some of the descriptions of matchups against other heroes due to patch.

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