PTR Preview: Tyrande Rework

At Gamescom 2018 Blizzard’s Heroes of the Storm team had a special version of the game available to play so that attendees could try out their newest hero, Mephisto. However, in this version of the game, it was found that Tyrande had undergone a secret rework. Now that rework is live on the Public Testing Realm (PTR) and a lot of people are testing her out.

Here are the details concerning her abilities and a few builds being used on the PTR.

Tyrande: Base Kit

Tyrande, new, rework, damage build

(Q) Light of Elune: When cast on Tyrande or an ally, this ability applies a medium-sized burst heal to the target. It now has two charges that replenish at the same time. Light of Elune’s cool-down (CD) is shortened by 1.5 seconds every time your auto attacks or abilities damage an enemy.

  • Tyrande’s basic attack range got a minor upgrade with this rework, so auto attacking between heals should be easier than before. Continuous auto attacks, on any enemy, will go a long way in keeping this ability’s CD short.
  • Having two charges that replenish at the same time allows you to heal twice, then auto a lot and use your abilities to do damage, and then heal twice again pretty quickly in a fight due to the 1.5 second cool-down reduction (CDR) built in to the ability.

(W) Sentinel: Fire an owl shaped projectile across the map, revealing everything along it’s flight path until it collides with an enemy hero. That hero takes a small amount of damage and is revealed for 5 seconds.

  • One major change from the previous iteration of Tyrande is that this ability no longer pierces baseline. This means you may want to throw it a little differently to give vision of the entire enemy team instead of just hitting them with it like you would have done before this rework.
  • While Sentinel is now more of a scouting ability, it still can be a good sniping move.
  • Sentinel does deal damage, so you can lower the CD of Light of Elune with it if you need to.

(E) Lunar Flare: After a .75 second delay, damage and stun all enemies in a small area for .75 seconds.

  • Because of the delay, this ability is easiest to use as follow up Crowd Control (CC). If your tank stuns an enemy, you can cast this and immobilize the target for an additional .75 seconds.
  • Lunar Flare can be used by itself but you’ll have to get the timing right in order to stun people who are moving. This isn’t a huge issue, but for newer players using the ability effectively may have a bit of a learning curve.
  • This ability also applies CDR to Light of Elune, so being accurate with it can and probably will occasionally be the difference between saving someone or letting them die.

(Trait) Hunter’s Mark: When applied to an enemy, lower their Armor by 15 and reveal them for 4 seconds.

  • This ability effectively makes any non-structure target of yours take 15% more damage from all sources.
  • Hunter’s Mark can be used to help take or clear a boss faster than your team otherwise would be able to.
  • It makes Tyrande a solid pick on Battlefield of Eternity because she can use Hunter’s Mark on the Immortals.
  • This trait makes Tyrande fantastic in a dive or pick comp because she can make the target more susceptible to the incoming damage from yourself and your team.

The Heroic Abilities

Tyrande, rework, new, damage build, Shadow Stalk, heroic

Starfall: Deal minor damage and slow enemies by 20% in an area for 6 seconds

  • This ability has always been solid on maps like Braxis Holdout or Infernal Shrines where the objectives are very PvE oriented and it continues to be strong on those maps.
  • Starfall deals damage to everything inside of it, which means you’ll be getting 1.5 seconds off Light of Elune’s CD multiple times very quickly. This means, as long as you’re hitting multiple enemies, Starfall makes Light of Elune have almost no cool-down.

Shadowstalk: Grant all allies stealth for 10 seconds and apply a large heal-over-time effect for 10 seconds.

  • This ability is global and requires no skillshots to be hit to be useful. Press R, heal and stealth your whole team.
  • Giving stealth allows you to entirely prevent some abilities from being cast on your team at some points. Diablo’s charge, Azmodan’s laser, any auto attacks from anyone, all require a target and stealth makes you entirely untargetable. This allows you to deny engages to your opponent and allows you to engage without fear of targetted abilites hitting you.
  • Stealth also makes your whole team invisible on the mini map, so you can hide a risky boss call or core rush.
  • The healing from Shadowstalk is over time, meaning you can cast it before your allies take damage in order to have it healing them as they take damage over the next 10 seconds.

PTR Builds

AA Healing Build: This build focuses on healing output above all else, though that involves dealing consistent damage via auto attacking.

  • (Level 1) Versatile: All the options on this tier are good in different situations.
    • Celestial Attunement gives you the ability to constantly cleanse off slows, stuns, and silences against enemies like Stukov, Arthas, Jaina, or Alarak.
    • Kaldorei Resistance gives you Spell Armor against heavy spell damage enemies like Kael’thas, Blaze, or Whitemane.
    • Moonlit Arrows gives you faster CDR on Light of Elune so you can heal up damage over time effects from enemies like Gul’dan, Lunara, Ana, or Xul more effectively
  • (Level 4) Trueshot Aura: Activate to reset the CD on Hunter’s Mark and to increase the attack damage of nearby allies by 20%. This talent also passively increases your own attack damage by 20% for the rest of the game.
  • (level 7) Elune’s Chosen: Activate to select a target. The target is healed for 200% of your basic attack damage for 10 seconds. This has synergy with Trueshot Aura and a few talent s a bit later on but most importantly it gives you a 3rd way to heal someone. With 2 casts of Light of Elune and one cast of Elune’s Chosen you can have healed 3 different targets for quite a bit of health.
  • (Level 10) Shadowstalk: Heal and Stealth all allies. Just another way to heal your entire team during a fight, or to stealth them before a fight or to hide a rotation.
  • (Level 13) Quickening Blessing: Light of Elune now gives the target 20% extra movement speed for 3 seconds and passively increases your movenment speed by 10% for the rest of the game. This allows you to position in better places faster, and allows you to more reliably hit auto attacks because you can keep up with enemies better. Also, giving allies movement speed is never bad.
  • (Level 16) Darnassian Archery: Each auto attack against a hero increases your auto attack damage by 10%. This damage goes away after 8 seconds or if you attack a non-hero. This talent allows Tyrande to get really good healing output from Elune’s Chosen as each heal from it increases in size as Darnassian Archery gets stacks.
  • (Level 20) Iceblade Arrows: Increase Tyrande’s attack speed by 25%, basic attacks decrease the damage dealt by the target by 8% for 2 seconds. This effect stacks up to 5 times. Faster attacking means more healing from Elune’s Chosen and Light of Elune. It also means more damage from Darnassian Archery. The damage reduction is just icing on the cake.

Damage Build: This build is more focused on the damage output Tyrande can have and the self sustain she can have instead of the healing she can do.

  • (Level 1) Versatile: Just like the above build. Pick the option that keeps you alive most effectively.
  • (Level 4) Trueshot Aura: More damage for this damage build, and the reset on your trait allows for 15% more damage on a target more consistently.
  • (Level 7) Mark of Mending: Basic attacks heal Tyrande for 2% of her max health. Basic attacks against targets with Hunter’s Mark on them heal allies and yourself for 2% of their max health. This allows Tyrande to be an insane duelist, healing herself 4% of her max health per auto attack if her target has her trait on them.
  • (Level 10) Starfall: Area of Effect (AoE) slow, constant area damage, and Light of Elune resets all in one ability.
  • (Level 13) Quickening Blessing: This allows Tyrande to chase kills and position for the most damage possible. This also keeps her safe as the extra movement speed allows her to disengage faster or dodge skill shots easier.
  • (Level 16) Darnassian Archery: Stacking damage in all team fights and you suddenly become one of the most horrifying duelists in the game. This talent gives Tyrande just so much raw damage output it’s hard to pass up for this build.
  • (Level 20) Iceblade Arrows: Faster autos, and you decrease the enemy’s damage so Tyrande now wins most if not all 1v1 fights.

Additional Thoughts

  • There are way more builds being experimented with in the PTR, and nothing here is solid or set in stone. Tyrande is quite different than her former iteration and it’s going to take a little while for people to figure her out.
  • Owl build seems weak compared to the two builds above or her more trait-centered build. She can auto attack constantly so the AA builds get constant value. Her trait can be refreshed by Trueshot Aura at level 4 and each mark lasts longer if you take Ranger’s Mark at 13 so builds built around Hunter’s Mark gets more consistent value. Sentinel, however, doesn’t get any form of CDR until level 16 and you have to give up Darnassian Archery for it.
  • Tyrande is definitely able to solo-heal now. Whether she matches up to more meta healers like Whitemane or Deckard is yet to be seen but it will be interesting to see how her role in the meta shakes out.
  • People were worried she wouldn’t be able to deal much damage any more but she seems capable of putting out decent numbers while still having really good healing. Even the damage build above allows for excellent healing output just because of Light of Elune’s built in CDR.

Conclusion

A big thanks to anyone reading this! Please feel free to share if you found it interesting. Tyrande’s rework is going to change her playstyle a fair bit and make her more of an actual support hero, though she’ll be able to deal a lot of damage as well. Remember, these builds and ideas are all very tentative as the PTR is a testing ground full of players from all ranks mixed up to try out new heroes. Her builds could change drastically due to balance changes or just because of more exposure upon release.

I’ll see you all in the Nexus!

I’m Avinan, working in association with Daily Esports to cover Heroes of the Storm and Magic the Gathering news.