Allow me to be honest: Sylvanas is absolutely disgusting. The undead banshee hero in Blizzard’s Heroes of the Storm is insanely flexible, with a plethora of strong build options. She’s my most-played hero, by far — and I want to help you take advantage of her potentially devastating power.
Over the course of a hundred or more games, I really honed in on what I think is the perfect build for my playstyle: a murderous arrow slinger with a dash of durability. It rewards an aggressive playstyle that’s all about forcing the enemy team scatter or suffer a painful death from her hail of arrows.
Check out this build if you’re interested in playing Sylvanas like an absolute boss — obliterating the enemy while you’re at it.
Guide By: Ian Nowakowski
Why You Should Play Sylvanas
- Sylvanas is one of the most flexible heroes.
- Sylvanas has unique tools to backdoor the enemy base.
- Sylvanas is extremely mobile.
- Sylvanas rewards risky and aggressive plays.
- Sylvanas likes to kill things… all the things.
Sylvanas’ Starting Abilities
- Black Arrows (Passive): Sylvanas’ auto-attacks disable enemy minions and buildings for a short amount of time. (Any non-hero you shoot can’t shoot back–even buildings!).
- Withering Fire: Fire an arrow at the closest enemy (prioritizing heroes).
- Shadow Dagger: Throw a dagger that deals damage and spreads to enemies. Applies Sylvanas’ passive.
- Haunting Wave: Fire wraiths in a straight line dealing damage. Re-activate to teleport to the wraiths current location.
Talents to Take into Battle
This build really lets Sylvanas unlock her inner marksman, while making sure her enemies are frozen in time. You can wreck the enemy base all game long, and focus on team fights in the late game.
The Banshee Queen always wants to let arrows fly. With this build, you can make sure they always hit the mark.
Level 1: With the Wind – Withering Fire gets more range
This may seem like a strange choice, but hear me out. When you’re pursuing a nearly dead foe, this talent really pays off.
I can’t tell you how many times my friends have been yelling in Skype to burst down one hero on the other team, only to find them escaping just out of range of all of us. Until I started taking this Talent — the extra range made sure I always finished the kill.
Outside of finishing fleeing enemies, it also lets you establish lane dominance, by guaranteeing you always have an easy way to throw out really obnoxious harass damage.
Level 4: Paralysis – Add 100% duration to Black Arrows
Absolutely invaluable. You must take this Talent. This the greatest tool in a split-pushing Sylvanas’ arsenal.
Thanks to this, you can now solo any neutral camp in the game (besides the boss) without taking any damage. You can solo two turrets at the same time without taking any damage!
No other hero in the game can do this. Every time you see an opening, run to enemy towers/buildings and reduce them to dust. This is amazing rinse-and-repeat, no-cooldowns-needed map pressure.
Level 7: Remorseless – Gain Damage on your next attack after using an ability
This is when you start becoming a serious damage threat. Your Withering Fire holds five stacks and can be cast as fast as you can click it (or just hold it down to rapid-fire). Now imagine that you’re alternating it perfectly with auto-attacks, each of which is empowered by this Talent.
That’s a lot of downrange damage from just one mana-free ability. Once you have this, you can begin to roam and look for fights with enemy heroes. Your team will be thankful for that extra damage when brawling for objectives!
Congratulations! You just took your first big step toward becoming an unstoppable killing machine.
Level 10: Wailing Arrow – Fire a gigantic arrow that detonates, dealing damage and silencing enemies
A great Wailing Arrow creates a wailing enemy team. Grabbing it as your ultimate abilities creates opportunities for you to shut down the entire enemy team completely.
The silence can be used to wrap up kills, turn team fights, or disengage if it’s getting too dangerous during a brawl. And if you weren’t picking up kills before, your time has now come. This is Sylvanas’ best way to create silent, deadly chaos.
Level 13: Overwhelming Affliction – Black Arrows apply a movement slow that can stack
The problem with hitting heroes is that they so rarely stand still. So how do we fix that? Slow those punks down. Since you’ll be applying your passive to pretty much everyone, you’ll get a lot of mileage out of reducing their ability to peel off of a sticky situation.
Your life just got a whole lot easier. In a game likes Heroes, where movement in fights is key, anything to slow down the opposition creates opportunities for your team.
Level 16: Cold Embrace – Add vulnerability to Shadow Dagger
This is when your damage and team fight presence ramps up to ridiculous levels. Remember, Shadow Dagger applies to pretty much any nearby enemies, so you can make an entire enemy team vulnerable (a 25% damage-taken amplification). This also applies to buildings, which is just ridiculous, and adds a big boost to your siege potential.
At this point, your entire kit revolves around extra damage, extended Black Arrow duration (notice how all those earlier Talents boost the value of this Cold Embrace Talent), and damage amplification. There’s enough potential damage here to make any team quiver.
Be sure to make your skills count! A silenced, vulnerable enemy is a ripe target for Sylvanas’ keen aim — and her friend Sonya’s blades!
Level 20: Deafening Blast – Increase the damage and silence effect of Wailing Arrow
I know, I know. It’s not Bolt of the Storm (a more popular Talent choice at this Level), but hear me out! The extra silence (particularly on late game tanks) really disarms them and can render them ineffective for an entire team fight.
The extra damage is good, but if you’re accurate you can completely shut down a clumped group of enemies for, like, a really long time. Couple this with something like Elite Tauren Chieftain’s taunt and the enemy team can be reduced to ash in moments.
This talent completes your transformation into an absolutely terrifying marksman that has multiple avenues to help your team and ultimately melt faces en route to a victory!
How to Destroy with Sylvanas
Early Game: Your damage is decent, but very limited compared to what you’ll be capable of later. I’d take her to mid lane, preferably, as her match-ups there are normally pretty advantageous.
If you find yourself being able to dish out more damage than the enemy in mid lane, use the time they’re out of lane to push towers and siege with your Black Arrows passive. This will create great map pressure and allow your other lanes to play aggressively, as the other lanes are forced to come deal with you in mid.
If you’re having trouble in lane, you really only have one option: roam. Sylvanas is lethal early, easily deleting squishy heroes like Nova — especially with the help of other allies. Roaming to other lanes will create pressure and force the enemy to react to you. Withering Fire and Shadow Dagger should be enough damage to carry you to some early kills and lane pressure.
Mid Game: Your damage really starts to ramp up and you should have access to Wailing Arrow. Your job in the mid game is to make plays, specifically around objectives. Sylvanas is create at applying damage to clumps of enemies and objectives are often where you’ll find opportunities to maximize this strength.
Sylvanas’ silence from Wailing Arrow will be key to dismantling the enemy team. Smart use of it will let your team hold objectives and gain the upper hand. If you don’t have your Wailing Arrow, encourage your team to hold off until you do. It makes fighting in the mid game so much easier.
End Game: This is the part of the game that Sylvanas should really shines in. Like sad little lambs to the slaughter, your enemies shamble at you only to fall down dead. With the vulnerability applied by Shadow Dagger, Sylvanas can tear through flesh and stone with equal lethality. Not to mention your Wailing Arrow, which are incredibly effective at dictating fights after Level 20. And that’s where you want to be, destroying team fights and steamrolling objectives off of that.
Play aggressive. You know that your damage is high and, if someone is even minimally out of position, you can crush them decisively. If you get in too deep, just know that you can throw out your Wraiths and teleport to safety. Her kit is made to reward risky play, so go in with confidence!
Want to learn how to smash faces with the Barbarian Sonya? Check out Josh’s Heroes of the Storm Sonya guide!