This Is How We Do It

This Is How We Do It
Your Heroes of the Storm Starter Guide to Ruling the Nexus

Eric Brackett | 2 Jun 2015 13:30
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Valla

Valla is a ranged assassin from the Diablo universe and is one of the most popular assassins in the current build of the game. Her main role is hero damage, but her playstyle is very versatile so there are several different ways in which she can deliver that damage.

Abilities

Hungering Arrow (Q) is a skillshot that deals a large amount of damage to the first target it hits. It will then seek out two more targets and deal half damage to them, so it can be used to help clear out minion waves or merc camps if needed. What makes this skill really shine, however, is the fact that it can also hit the same target multiple times, so this makes it a very strong skill for bursting down priority targets such as healers or other assassins. This is a very powerful ability, but it makes up for it by having a relatively long cooldown, so timing is key to using it effectively.

Multishot (W) is a long ranged cone skillshot that deals a large amount of damage to all enemy targets in its radius. This makes it ideal for clearing out minion waves, merc camps, or in team fights, when the enemy team is grouped up. Multishot shines on maps that center the objective around quickly clearing out a groups of enemies, such as the Haunted Mines or Tomb of the Spider Queen.

As I mentioned in the discussion of Raynor, most assassins are very squishy and can easily be burnt down by focus fire. Valla is no exception to that rule, but unlike a lot of assassins, she does have a means of escape in the form a of a short range dash called Vault (E.)

Valla abilities Heroes of the Storm

Valla's trait, Hatred, is a passive that grants her an attack damage and movement speed bonus for every auto-attack she performs, stacking to 10 times. This is a very strong trait since, no matter your build, Valla will be auto-attacking a lot, and the extra damage really adds up - not to mention the speed boost can help her hunt down fleeing targets or make a getaway of her own.

Valla's choice of heroic abilities is a a bit of a difficult one, as both are strong depending on the situation. Strafe, or as I like to call it, spin-to-win, deals a high amount of damage to nearby enemies over the course of a few seconds. Valla can move and use Vault while channeling Strafe, so it can be difficult for enemy heroes to avoid.

Valla's second heroic is Rain of Vengeance, a short range skillshot that deals a moderate amount of damage and stuns any enemy target in the area. This skill is a bit more tactical in its use than Strafe and it is often picked as a means of interrupting a channeled ability, such as Nazeebo's Ravenous Spirit. Overall, both are strong picks, but for the most part I would suggest Strafe, especially for new players, as it deals consistent damage and is simply easier to use.

Talents

I mentioned above that Valla was a very versatile hero, and the main reason for this is because her talents allow her to be built in multiple different ways. Players can opt to focus on Hungering Arrow, Multishot or make an auto-attack focused build, and each are viable. Due to this flexibility, Valla's talent choices will largely depend on which of those playstyles you choose to focus on. With that in mind, let's take a more in-depth look at each one.

A build focused around Valla's Hungering Arrow will allow to to do a lot of burst damage to a single target and is probably one of the highest single-target damage builds in the game. The downside is that Hungering Arrow can be a fairly mana intensive ability and has a long cooldown. There are ways to mitigate these weaknesses, such as taking the level 1 talent Cost-Effective Materials, which will reduce the mana cost of Hungering Arrow by a decent amount, though you lose out on the health sustain you would gain by taking Siphoning Arrow. The cooldown can be reset by taking the level 7 talent Repeating Arrow which resets Hungering Arrow's cooldown when Vault is used though you'll need to learn how to incorporate Vault into your damage rotation.

Valla Heroes of the Storm

The second option is the ever popular Multishot build, which increases the effectiveness of Valla's W. This build is great for staying in the back line and doing a lot of area damage to the enemy team; it really shines on maps such as the Haunted Mines where quickly clearing out groups of enemies is very important. The level 1 talent Composite Arrow increases the range of Multishot by a large amount, making it one of the longest range area-of-effect abilities in the game. At level 3, you'll want to pick up Arsenal, which further increases the damage done by Multishot, and you can add a slowing effect at level 13 by taking Frost Shot.

The final option is to a build around Valla's auto-attacks, and this is actually one of my favorite play styles on her due to the fact that it allows her to do deal consistent damage throughout team fights and, with the right setup, can provide her with some fairly strong self-healing. The auto-attack build is probably the build with the most variety in terms of talent choices, so let's take a deeper look.

At level 1 you'll probably want to go with Rancor, which adds an attack speed bonus in addition to the other benefits provided by your trait. Level 4 is when things begin to get tricky as you have two strong options. You can either go with Manticore, which increases the damage of your auto-attacks when they are used on the same target, or you can go with Vampric Assault, which heals Valla every time her auto-attacks deal damage.

Level 7 features another tough choice between the movement speed increase of Hot Pursuit, which doubles Valla's movement speed once she's maxed out her stacks of Hatred, or the extra damage provided by Searing Attacks. This is an activated ability that greatly increases your auto-attack damage for five seconds, but makes each attack cost mana. Both are good choices, and it boils down to your playstyle and how the game is going. If you find yourself getting focused a lot, then you might want to pick up Hot Pursuit to give yourself a bit of extra escape, but if you need some extra burst, then Searing Attacks is a strong choice.

Level 13 features Giant Killer, which further increases your auto-attack damage, and since the damage is based on the target's overall health pool, it can be very useful for burning down tanks. The second option is to go with Tempered By Discipline, which adds a healing component to Valla's passive. This can stack with Vampric Assault to provide some very strong self-healing to Valla or it can be used to replace it if you decided to go with Manticore at level 4. Both of these are very strong choices and it really depends on the game. If the enemy team has a strong frontline, then Giant Killer can help you cut through their tanks, but the sustain gained from Tempered By Discipline should not be underestimated - I have used it and managed to come out of fights with more health than when I went in.

At level 20, the upgrades to your heroics can both be strong options, but I've found that they lose out when compared to your other two choices at this tier. Nexus Frenzy is a great talent for every build, but is almost mandatory in an auto-attack build since it greatly increase both the range and attack speed of your auto-attacks. Notice that I said it is "almost" mandatory, and that is because Bolt of the Storm's teleport is a great talent both defensively and offensively. As always, the choice will vary depending on how the particular game is going, but I do think that Bolt is the safer of the two choices.

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