[Updated for Kharazim Patch] In-Depth Illidan Guide by Severage

[Updated for Kharazim Patch] In-Depth Illidan Guide

By: Severage
Last Updated: Feb 18, 2016
239 Votes
Build 1 of 2

Illidan

Build: Best Build (Based on Eywa's Build)

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

Illidan

Build: Read Talents Section for Viable Talents

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

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Click -> Russian Version

(I do not personally update this version so it may be out of date sometimes)

Hi! I'm Severage, long-time casual gamer and more recently a Heroes of the Storm addict. Since my HotS invite I've played 1200+ games on (primarily) assassins. Illidan is my favorite Hero, with over 240 games on him (SINCE BETA, not counting all the games I played on Alpha) and 70% Win Rate (Solo queue as well as premades).

I have played a lot, and thus know a lot about the game in general, as well as reaching (and maintaining for a long time) 4K+ MMR on Hotslogs, etc.

{Stopped playing in Summer 2015, but AFAIK Illidan's playstyle and probably even his build haven't changed much since then. Hopefully this guide remains useful!}

Places you can find me:
YouTube
Twitter
HotDogs

Thanks for your interest, and thanks for reading!

Table of Contents - For Your Convenience!



1. Introduction
1.1 Please Read
1.2 Credits
1.3 Abilities Intro

2. Talent Breakdown

3. Game Progression
3.1 Early Game
3.2 Late Game

4. Map Guidelines

5. Match-Ups

6. Pro As Heck Parody Video Guide

7. Changelog - The End!

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Let me state that Illidan is not very easy to play. While his mechanical requirement isn't very high, split-second decisions will extend your life beyond what you would've though possible or end your life prematurely. I will share what has worked best for me, but depending on the person you may have mixed results; any Illidan playstyle will take time to adapt to, and there's no big secret to make you a great Illidan player, just a more efficient one. The rest is up to practice.

IMPORTANT! -

You may mess around with any of the viable talents and assort them however you like - the main build is the one I actually take in most games, it has a very potent mix of survivability and DPS, which allows you to be self-sufficient (Don't need a Healer) while dishing out good damage. The recommended build will always be what I find to be the best build at the time.

In the sections below I will introduce new Illidan players to Illidan's kit, and then move on to why specific talents are or are not viable...so scroll down to find out why a talent you pick is not on my "Best Build"!

Thanks for reading this part, if you don't want/need to read the rest of the introduction you can click the quick-link below to skip it.

Jump to: Talent Breakdown

CREDITS -


The Best Build is not just a build that I came up with and decided to use, but was over time what other veteran users shared with me.

Way back I took Battered Assault and Immolation, and thought I was the first proponent of the Immolation talent. Little did I know there were those who beat me to discovering the great talent. Tazz told me of Shadow Shield a long time ago, but more recently Eywa shared her build with me (Who convinced me to take Metamorphosis pretty much 100% of the time way back, as well as Bolt of the Storm).

You could say that Eywa is the progenitor of Illidans everywhere, as Illidan was fairly unpopular prior to her popping up on the top of hotslogs (EU) (There were probably others as well but I wouldn't be able to name them if there are).

Eywa's build is the one I have listed as the "Best Build", she not only helped me out, but subsequently helped YOU out since it's now on this guide. I also never asked her to help me out, she came here and did that of her own volition. It doesn't end there though, she also critiqued my guide a bit and helped me revise it, which is of course still present in the guide. Many thanks to her!

For a little preview of how you can dominate teamfights and get carried by your healers with Illidan, check out this video.


(Q) Dive
Cooldown: 6 seconds
"Dives at the target, Dealing 50 (+5 per level) damage and slowing the target by 80% for 0.35 seconds. Illidan flips to the other side of the target."

Illidan's longest range gap closing ability, with lower damage but high utility. This move has high range and flips to the opposite side of the opponent, a powerful gap closer, and allows for unlimited chase combined with Sweeping Strike.

As of 6/30/15 this ability no longer provides 'Unstoppable' frames, I.E. you can be stunned during Dive.
(W) Sweeping Strike
Cooldown: 8 seconds
"Dashes toward target point, dealing 70 (+10 per level) damage to enemies along the way. If Illidan hits an enemy, his Basic Attacks do 35% more damage for 4 seconds."

Sweeping Strike has the same distance as Dive's range, though Dive goes behind enemies so technically travels further. This is one of the moves you will want to use on CD when chasing to ensure you get the maximum damage out of your autoattacks. Combined with a dive that guarantees an autoattack every couple seconds, it's not hard to stick to a target and deal some great damage.

(E) Evasion
Cooldown: 15 seconds
"Cause incoming base attacks to miss for 2 seconds."

Properly timed, you can use this to dash in and out of the fray taking little to no damage. Most people will instantly focus Illidan (Or any assassin for that matter) the moment they jump in. Unlike Blinds which cause certain targets to miss, Evasion lets you dodge all basic attacks for 2 seconds (Usually ~2 per enemy). Remember that thanks to Illidan's passive the cooldown can be a lot shorter than 15 seconds.
(Trait) Betrayer's Thirst
"Illidan's Basic Attacks heal him for 20% of damage dealt and reduce his cooldowns by 1 second."

Arguably the most powerful passive in the game, and the only reason Illidan is viable. Illidan has moderate damage on his abilities, but most of his damage comes from autoattacks through talents, and this gives you 20% lifesteal and reduced cooldowns.

You can imagine that it follows, then, that in many cases it's better to go for more damage or more defensive ability, unless the defensive ability greatly out-performs more damage.



(R1) The Hunt (R2) Metamorphosis

These will be explained when I breakdown my talent preferences.

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In this section I'll go through each talent choice for each tier individually so you can follow my logic for each selection, instead of just picking my build because it's in a guide somewhere.



Shadow Shield - "Evasion grants a 75 (+12.5 per level) health shield. Lasts 5 sec."

This grants you exactly 10% of Illidan's base health + 10% of his scaling health on his E per level.

UPDATE 2/14: After the bugfix to this talent, this is, in my opinion, the winner of this tier 100% of the time. The continuous Es you get throughout a teamfight will help your survivability by a great margin, especially after Sixth Sense. The bug used to be that Auto-Attacks would destroy your shield while your Evasion was still active, even though the Auto-Attacks "Missed". With this no longer a problem, it is now a potent AA and Spell Damage shield.

Before you say "10% of Illidan's HP is nothing, useless talent", know that you pop this several times in a fight...and dozens of times in a lane. Over the course of a teamfight you may very well save yourself 30% HP (Not counting Sixth Sense mitigation), which out-performs other talents in the tier.
Alternative Talent Breakdown


Immolation - "After using Sweeping Strike, burn nearby enemies for 13 (+2.5 per level) damage a second for 4 seconds."

Remains a potent option even after the nerf. Offers 63 DPS in AoE, great for clearing mercenaries and early camps, keeping you healthy in the jungle since it increases your clear time. Difficult decision whether this is better than Thirsting Blade, but if only for the early mercing I'd take this talent. Read more on Thirsting Blade's description.
Alternative Talent Breakdown


First Aid - "Activate to heal 35% of your max Health over 6 seconds."

Still the survivability go-to for this tier, if you need it. I would take this more often than not over Thrill of Battle unless you're winning pretty hard, and always take this if you went Metamorphosis if you don't have a healer as the %Max HP scales well with the bonus HP from Metamorphosis.

However, if you do have a support (Preferably 2 honestly) and you are going to build Metamorphosis, you will have the tankiness to have a lot of staying power in fights. This makes Thrill of Battle a more viable option, for several reasons. Primarily, you will deal formidable DPS regardless because your base AA and W damage are fairly strong and will be off CD more frequently. Secondly, you will be able to use Evasion very often with the Attack Speed buff from Metamorphosis + ToB. With Shadow Shield, this can increase your life by a significant margin. Finally, Metamorphosis has a significantly longer CD than The Hunt, so ToB remedies that as well.

Little hint: Spam ToB. Seriously there's never a good reason not to use it unless you will need it in 5 whole seconds - the CD is tiny on it and it will help you clear faster, do mercs faster, and get your Heroic Ability up faster. Get accustomed to using it often so you don't forget to use it in fights.

I know that was a bit long-winded, but play around with it and First Aid, see which you like.

Alternative Talent Breakdown


The Hunt Information


Metamorphosis Information


Giant Killer - "Basic Attacks against Enemy Heroes deal an additional 1.5% max health in damage."

The luxury talent. If you can afford to not take Sixth Sense, you take this. Even against a team with smaller health pools, GK is a nice DPS boost. However, survivability is your #1 concern. As you've surely heard said many times, you don't do any DPS when you're dead.

NOTE: NEVER take Giant Killer if you took Thrill of Battle. Half of the reason to take ToB is the Evasion/Shadow Shield/Sixth Sense synergy. If you took First Aid, you may then consider Giant Killer if you're ahead.
Alternative Talent Breakdown


Blood for Blood - "Activate to deal 10% of target enemy Hero's Max Health in Spell Damage and heal yourself for 200% of damage dealt."

For many Heroes, the change to Blood for Blood was a nerf to the talent, but for Illidan, it's just a change. In some cases it could even be considered a buff.

Since Illidan doesn't care or need burst damage, the health return increase should provide him with overall higher DPS, granted he stays alive to DPS after using it. Furthermore Illidan doesn't need the slow that the pre-'nerf' BfB had, since Illidan can chase forever anyway.

Keep in mind that it heals for 200% of the damage it deals, and Spell Shield (along with talents like it) will reduce that damage since BfB deals Spell Damage, reducing your heal. Preferably don't use it as fights open so talents like this are on CD.
Alternative Talent Breakdown


Bolt of the Storm - Cooldown: 40 seconds - "Activate to teleport to a nearby location."

So, after trying it out I actually love this talent. It has a very low CD for its utility. The other lv 20 talents are still good, but situational, while Bolt is always very strong. Especially because so many Heroes that have problems escaping take it at 20 as well (E.G. Zagara, Jaina, Kael'thas, Valla). Very useful talent.

Alternative Talent Breakdown

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Early on, you want to stay safe. Yes, Illidan can kill other Heroes in lane, IF you trade smartly and don't go ham for kills. When trading in lane I like to save my Evasion for when I start to take turret shots, allowing me to trade with enemy Heroes under turrets without taking extra damage. Then you Dive back through the enemy minion wave just before your Evasion runs out. You will seldom kill enemy Heroes this way, but you can trade very effectively and waste turret ammo.

By stay safe I don't mean zone yourself and stay way back. Trade smartly, never waste your Evasion or Dive when you don't need to, and don't get greedy for a kill. Poking your opponent out of lane is just as good as it makes them lose XP soak.

You can do Siege Giants and Bruiser Camps at level 4. On certain maps you can't do this because Objectives spawn at around the time you hit Lv 4, but on a couple maps you can get away with it (E.G. Blackheart's Bay).

Both Immolation and Thirsting Blade can solo any mercenary camp (Except Boss), but if you solo Bruisers, tap Moonwell on your way there to stay healthy.

In closing, my philosophy on Illidan is, if you're dying too much, just PvE.

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The Hunt


Metamorphosis



Hope this was helpful!
//FINAL NOTE//

You can Dive the Core (Flip over it), and your Evasion dodges it. Happy backdooring!

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Map Information







Map Information







Map Information







Map Information







Map Information

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Match-Ups



Unfortunately because of a text allowance issue (My guide had too many characters, RIP), the Match-Ups section of the guide was deleted.

Due to the fact that I no longer play Heroes of the Storm (As of Summer 2015), I'm afraid I don't have the up-to-date knowledge to recreate this section.

Sorry!

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'Pro as Heck' Video Guide




Shameless plug to my YouTube Channel here, but if you've ever heard of 'Pro as Heck' guides, or you want a little more chuckle in your life, you can check this comedy sketch of a video out. =)



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ChangeLog (Fall 2014 - Summer 2015)



Unfortunately because of a text allowance issue (My guide had too many characters, RIP), the Match-Ups section of the guide was deleted.

Since I'm not a robot, I can't remember the exact dates, changes, and updates to my guide from early Technical Alpha to mid-2015.

Sorry!

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