It’s been a decent bit of time since Sylvanas got a massive overhaul in the Nexus. Below we’re going to cover a build I’m personally fond of that enables you to both effectively jungle and participate in team fights when the situation arises.
Trait Black Arrows
Probably one of the best traits in the game. Every time you hit a minion, merc, or a structure, it becomes stunned for 1 full second. This enables amazing push out of her by virtue of simply letting your creeps do more damage by taking less damage themselves. They can’t hurt you if they can’t hit you.
This ability comes with 5 charges, and every time you smash that Q button, you fire off an arrow that hits the closes enemy for a base 50 damage, it’s 49.92, but lets just round it up for simplicity’s sake. These arrows do target heroes over anything else, but 90% of the time, you’re using this to burst creeps down.
Sylvanas tosses a poison dagger into an enemy that deals a base 38 damage initially and another base 153 damage over 2 seconds. The bonus of this ability is that it spreads to other targets, enabling you to disable an entire enemy wall for a few seconds. The damage is quite deceptive as well.
A nice little teleporting skill that also has the added benefit of dealing a base 118 damage to enemies that it hits. More often than not you’re going to be using this to get away from people, so make sure if you do that you’re casting it over impassable obstacles to give yourself more space to run away.
After a 1 second cast time, Sylvanas takes control of someone’s mind, controlling their movement for 2.5 seconds. As a side note, the level 20 upgrade of this is silly, where it boosts the controlled units movement speed by 100%. Try it sometime, its goofy to watch. You can get stunned out of this heroic so make sure you’re covered while casting this.
Sylvanas shoots a screaming arrow that can be activated at any point along its flight path to explode, dealing out a whopping base 237 damage and silencing any enemy heroes in its radius for 2.5 seconds. This skill is amazing for getting those annoying channeling heroics to stop, combo with something like a maw, or void prism. Its also great on getting that snipe on a fleeing low health hero if you know where they’re running to. Sometimes that staggered death timer on the enemy team is worth burning this Heroic over.
Level 1 Overflowing Quiver
This is going to allow you fire off more arrows to kill creep waves. Every time a creep dies near you, you fire off a free withering arrow. This will only target enemy creeps, again, this is a push skill only, and its going to be amazing in the early game.
Level 4 Withering Barrage
Now you get 6 charges of withering fire and now you can fire it 33% faster. Granted Withering Fire was already fast at a 2 second cooldown, but this just makes it silly fast at this point.
Level 7 Barbed Shot
Now here’s where you start hitting full stride in pushing waves and taking camps, you’re now dealing 200% more damage to everything but enemy heroes. You will be wiping creep waves blazingly fast and now you should be soloing merc camps with zero assistance needed.
Level 10 Wailing Arrow
I really love Mind Control, but we will want the crowd control that Wailing Arrow will bring over the single target isolation that Mind Control will bring for this particular build.
Level 13 Life Drain
Everyone needs a little bit of sustain in some way, and Sylvanas is no exception. Giving your Shadow Dagger this Talent will heal you for a base 39 health, 89 by the time you take this skill, for each enemy hero that Shadow Dagger spreads to.
Level 16 Evasive Fire
Now you’ll be getting additional movement speed each time you hit an enemy, 10% each time you hit, stacking up to 30% for 2 seconds. With the amount of Withering Arrows you’ll be throwing out, you should have no problem keeping a nice fat movement speed buff on you a great deal of the time. More speed means you can be around the map more quickly, especially after the nerf to mount speed.
Level 20 Bolt of the Storm
Always take Bolt, this is your get out of jail free card. Use it however the situation calls for it.
This build is meant to push lanes out hard and fast, and you want to do just that, especially in the early game. You have the unique ability to push lanes out and even take Towers out early from level 1 thanks to Black Arrows. If you’re given an opportunity to do just that, take it, Towers are experience and any chance you have to take extra experience for your team you should absolutely take it. However, in the early game, you’re also incredibly squishy and at this point in the lifespan of Heroes, players have a pretty good idea of when to stun Sylvanas to stuff your attempts to Haunting Wave away from danger.
As soon as you get Barbed Shot you should start looking to take merc camps a few seconds before objectives spawn in the farthest lane away. So an example would be to take your top bruiser camp on Sky Temple at around 15 seconds before the 2nd Temple spawns on bottom, that should give you enough time to cap and run to bottom to assist your team while your camp top does all the work of pushing for you. Or even push incredibly hard if your team doesn’t need assistance at that time. You’ll be forcing them to make a hard choice, rotate to you and stop your push and give up the Objective or fight for the Objective, potentially lose, and lose structures on two fronts.
This doesn’t mean split push with her the entire time. You have one of the best crowd control heroics in Wailing Arrow. Taking away your opponents ability to cast anything at all for 2.5 seconds is amazing and can easily swing a team fight into your favor. All the split pushing in the world means nothing if your lack of presence means your team is getting consistently wiped out by the enemies. Knowing when to join your team and when to split push is key to playing a successful Sylvanas, and its something that’s going to take practice, but keep at it and you’ll be helping your team to easy victories.