Valeera Joins King Varian Into The Nexus And She Will Silently Execute You In Fatal Finesse!
Hello, I am FieRyACE18, and welcome to my hero review for Valeera Sanguinar.
Valeera, is the latest in a long list of illustrious Warcraft assassin heroes, to have arrived into the game Heroes of The Storm on 27th January 2017. Unlike her many assassin counterparts, she is the first World of Warcraft Rogue class to be represented in the game. She joins Kael’thas Sunstrider and Sylvanas Windrunner as the newest and most stunning (pun intended) blood elves in the game. She is also the second elven melee assassin after Illidan Stormrage. Despite officially being categorized as a WOW character in the game, she is more central in the Hearthstone universe, where she is the quintessential Rogue hero.
*You can use quick menu on the left side to navigate each section of this article.
Valeera is orphaned at a young age and resorted to stealing for survival. After a failed theft attempt, she is imprisoned but later sold to a fierce gladiator trainer, Rehgar Earthfury. Trained at a young age by the strict Rehgar, she’s grown to be a strong gladiator fighter. Later, she is put together with a night elf druid Broll Bearmantle, and a mysterious strong male human to form a strong trio partnership in a bid to survive their gladiatorial fight in an ancient arena. The trio forms an amazing group and the mysterious male human, turns out to be Varian Wrynn, the lost King of Stormwind. After escaping their life of slavery, the three of them journey to Stormwind to reclaim Varian’s rightful place on the throne. After Varian is restored as the King of Stormwind, he honored Valeera as his most trusted advisor and bodyguard, earning her the role of Enforcer in the New Council of Tirisfal. Valeera pledge her loyalty not to the Horde or the Alliance, but King Varian and his son alone. Now, she brings her unmatched skills as a rogue to the Nexus, looking to silently but surely, obliterates any enemy in her path.
[section label=”Character Hero & Visual Design”]
Character Hero and Visual Design
Valeera is very beautiful and well designed. She exudes the beauty, sophistication and grandeur of a blood elves (formerly high elves) design.
Being the first rogue hero in game, she brings with her some new and unique mechanic to her gameplay. Her signature move is an ability to stun or silence the enemy from stealth, a first in game. She is the only second hero to have stealth on demand built into her kit, the first being Samuro, the blademaster. While in stealth, she has three additional basic abilities in addition to the standard three, making her the first hero in game to have six distinct basic abilities. Rogues are masters at chaining quick attacks, and Valeera is no different. She has a unique combo mechanic where each of her basic ability in stealth or otherwise, grants a combo point which can be spent to deal more damage through Eviscerate (E). More details will be elaborated later at the Hero Abilities Overview section below.
Visually, Valeera is very beautiful and well designed. She exudes the beauty, sophistication and grandeur of a blood elves (formerly high elves) design. The base skin has blood-red robe, boots and cool retractable bat-wing shoulder pad. Embellished with gold accents and emerald stones all around with that cool rogue double dagger, it is beautifully designed. And if the base skin is already beautiful, her second color tint for the base skins is even better. Purple costume with platinum colored hair, it is in my humble opinion, the best color tint for a base skin in the game. It makes Zul’jin color tint look so bad and uninspired in comparison. How can a base skin with free color tint look so amazing? I absolutely love it. This is why, Heroes of the Storm is the best MOBA game ever in terms of fanservice! And finally, yes, if you haven’t notice it, I will confirm it here. She does not wear pants in the base skin! This is intentionally designed so you can see her sexy beautiful legs. Definitely, Valeera has the best leg in the game!
Her bundle comes with Demon Hunter Valeera and it features a female Illidari look. Like the female version of Illidan. Pretty cool in its own way but like the Zul’jin ones, I prefer the original skin. Blizzard is just too good when it comes to the original skin design. The mount that comes with the bundle, Felsaber, is better. Featuring a wolf like undead animal, bounded by the dark energy of the Fel, it is a good looking mount.
All in all, Valeera is a fun character to play, whilst at the same time, a beautiful character to look at. Blizzard nailed it in their design for Valeera. Absolute top marks here.
Next, let’s take an overview look at her many Rogue abilities.
[section label=”Hero Abilities Overview”]
Hero Abilities Overview
|| Trait ||
- Valeera vanishes from sight, becoming Stealthed and increasing her Movement Speed by 10%. For the first second, she is Unrevealable and can pass through other units.
- Using Vanish grants Valeera an alternate set of Abilities that she can use while in Stealth.
This is her stealth on demand capability. Can be use for both engage and disengage moves. When activated, it grants a new set of abilities in the form of Ambush (Q), Cheap Shot (W) and Garrote (E). Mostly, it is use as engage opener as well as repositioning in an aggressive position to capitalize on the enemy’s mispositioning.
|| Mechanic ||
- Rogues are masters at chaining quick attacks, and Valeera is no different. While visible and in Stealth, Valeera accumulates Combo Points that can be spent to empower Eviscerate (E).
Her combo mechanic which encourages players to chain multiple abilities in quick succession in order to disable as well as deal maximum damage in the shortest amount of time. Each of her ability grants a combo point, which she can then accumulate up to three points. She then uses Eviscerate (E) at up to 3 combo points, to deal maximum damage.
Her speed of combo execution as well as the number of times she can use her abilities, is limited by her energy mechanic. It is up to players to take talents such as Subtlety or Vigor at level 1 in order to enhance her energy regeneration or amount. This will allow stronger chains of combo that will be able to deal further damage that can potentially kill a ranged assassin hero such as Tracer from full health. Indeed, strong burst damage is part of the core capabilities of Valeera.
|| Basic Abilities ||
Sinister Strike (Q)
- Dash forward, hitting all enemies in a line. If Sinister Strike hits an enemy Hero, Valeera stops dashing immediately and the cooldown is reduced to 1 second.
- Awards 1 Combo Point.
This is her gap closer that provide much of her mobility in game. Can be used to generate combo points and has a 1 second cool down when it hits enemy hero. It is a strong DPS tool when you talent into it. It can also be used as a disengage tool for escape or to dodge enemy hero’s skillshot. More details will be elaborated at Hero Playstyle section below.
Blade Flurry (W)
- Deal damage in an area around Valeera
- Awards 1 Combo Point per enemy Hero hit.
Being her only form of AOE damage, Blade Flurry instantly deals damage in a short range radius around Valeera. It serves as her most reliable form of waves clear. It awards 1 Combo Point per enemy hero hit. This can be used to quickly generate combo point if used in the midst of many enemy heroes. However, this can put her in a dangerous position and thus, it is not commonly used for this purpose.
- Consume all Combo Points to eviscerate an enemy, dealing increased damage per Combo Point spent. Valeera can store a maximum of 3 Combo Points.
This is her highest single target damage ability. Its damage is based on the number of Combo Points already accumulated, up to 3 Combo Points. Each successful basic ability attack on an enemy hero, generates 1 Combo Points. It is best used after 3 Combo Points has been generated for maximum damage.
|| Vanish Abilities ||
- Ambush the target, instantly dealing damage to them.
- Awards 1 Combo Point.
This is her highest damage opener ability from Vanish. It does not have utility such as stun or silence like the other two Vanish ability. However, it is the best opener if you would like deal as much damage as possible in the shortest amount of time.
Cheap Shot (W)
- Deal a small amount of damage to an enemy and stun them for 1.5 seconds.
- Awards 1 Combo Point.
This is her hard cc opener, that deals 1.5 second of stun which then allows Valeera and her team to deal damage and subsequently kill the enemy. By itself, it deals little damage but it is one of her two strong Hero disabling ability alongside with Garrote (E). And also, this is the best stun ability in the game! For most cases, it is her best opener ability in Vanish mode.
- Garrote an enemy, instantly dealing a small amount of damage, as well as a larger amount of bonus damage over 7 seconds, and Silencing them for 2 seconds.
- Awards 1 Combo Point.
This is an incredibly useful opener that combines both damage and utility. It is especially good against enemy mage hero as the Silence prevents them from using any ability for 2 seconds. For example, when used against heroes like Li-Ming and Tracer, it prevents them from using the Teleport and Blink ability respectively to escape. This allows Valeera and her team to be able to secure the kills easier.
|| Heroic Ability ||
Smoke Bomb (R)
- Create a cloud of smoke. While in the smoke, Valeera is Unrevealable and can pass through other units. Additionally, she gains 25 Armor, reducing damage taken by 25%. Valeera can continue to attack and use abilities without being revealed. Lasts 5 seconds.
- Using this ability does not break Vanish.
Smoke bomb is her first heroic ability it produce a cloud of smoke bomb around Valeera. While inside the smoke bomb, she is Unrevealable and takes 25% reduced damage from the enemy basic ability. She is completely invisible while dealing damage and enemy’s auto attack cannot be used against her. It is best used in the midst of a teamfight or as an escape tool in a pinch. One trick she can do is when her Vanish trait is off cooldown, she can use Smoke Bomb to trick enemy into thinking she is in there, while she stealth up and leaves the battlefield. Great escape.
Cloak of Shadows (R)
- Valeera is enveloped in a Cloak of Shadows, which immediately removes all damage over time effects from her. For 1 second, she becomes Unstoppable and gains 75 Spell Armor, reducing Ability Damage taken by 75%.
- Using this ability does not break Vanish.
Like the first heroic ability, this one is also mostly used as an escape tool. It grants 1 second of Unstoppable, which is like a self cleanse ability against enemy cc such as root or stun. This can be used to escape cc that will guarantee her death such as E.T.C Mosh Pit. It also grants 75% spell armor for that 1 second, which means it is good against heroic ability such as Kael’thas Pyroblast, and Nova’s Triple Tap, reducing the damage by a large chunk. With only 18 second cool down, it is a spammable ability that can be utilized often against an enemy team with heavy crowd control capability. Otherwise, Smoke Bomb is usually the go to heroic ability.
Next, let’s delve deeper into her general playstyle in the next section below.
[section label=”Hero Playstyle”]
Valeera is a melee assassin that is really unique. She has a combo mechanic and two different sets of abilities, a standard one and another in Vanish form.
She is essentially a stealth hero, with playstyle that is not too unlike Zeratul. Nova and Samuro players may find some common ground too. She goes around in stealth, to wait and hunt for lonely hero that has gone out of position. She repositions aggressively behind enemy lines and wait for squishy enemy backline heroes such as Li-Ming, Valla, and Raynor to be in vulnerable position. Then she performs her combo of multiple attacks to either disable of eliminate the enemy.
Now let’s talk about her basic combo. She goes Vanish (D), then opens with Cheap Shot (W) for the 1.5s stun, then proceeds with Sinister Strike (Q) and Blade Flurry (W). She gains 3 combo points from this chain of attacks and she finally finishes off with Eviscerate (E). It is important to try to use Eviscerate at 3 combo points as the damage will be the highest. This is but an example of one stun combo which she can use to disable enemy while her teammate is around to deal the damage. She also has talents such as Initiative or Seal Fate that grants an additional combo point. This allows her to use one less basic ability before Eviscerate at full combo point can be utilized. Another example is to start with Ambush (Q) in Vanish (D), then again followed with the Sinister Strike (Q) and Blade Flurry (W) before finishing with Eviscerate (E).
In brief, her stun combo is D,W,Q,W,E and her DPS combo is D,Q,Q,W,E.
Her kit is broad and has various build, thereby her complexity. Her talent build is beyond the scope of this article. But I can mention here that she definitely has multiple diverse build. She build centred around Sinister Strike (Q), with talents such as Relentless Strike, Mutilate and Seal Fate. She build centred around Ambush (Q) with talents like Initiative, Assassinate and Death From Above. Valeera is definitely a hero with complexity and build diversity that is worth exploring and mastering.
On the surface, Valeera seems complex with so many basic abilities to learn and execute. Blizzard’s Game Designer, Centaurik, mention that in their design views, Valeera is an “enemy carry disabler. And indeed she is. Her kit has both stun and silence capability coming out of stealth, a first in game. She specializes in disabling or eliminating enemy backline such as mage class or ranged assassin heroes. But at the same time, she is good at dealing high burst damage that can instantly kill a squishy hero.
She has good looks and she has great diversity. Diversity in how players can chain their combo attacks and diversity in various talent builds. She punishes weak enemy and frustrate them endlessly. She is an amazing character.
She may be a complex hero but once mastered, she will prove to be an incredibly fun and rewarding character to play.
Written by FieRyACE18, an avid gamer and enthusiast of Heroes of The Storm who can’t get enough of heroes kills in game that he must write an article on it.