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In-depth Valla guide

Author: Dmytro Voloshyn
20-Jul-2015

Category: Guide

This is in-depth Valla guide. The guide will provide description of the abilities and talents, weak and strong spots of the hero. You will get to know 3 different builds, their pros and cons, their play styles, and their counterplays. Also, article will highlight alternative talents to the commonly used builds. Lastly, there will be tons of tips regarding hero gameplay, particular talent builds, and Battlegrounds. This is first part of the guide. It contains info mentioned above, except Multishot build, Auto-Attack build, and Battleground specific tips.

Image titleimage source: http://tamplierpainter.deviantart.com/art/Encounter-540929649


Contents

     Part 1
Introduction
Abilities and Talents Overview
General Pros and Cons
Hero role and aim in fight
Hungering Arrow Build

   Talent choices
   Hungering Arrow Build Pros and Cons
   General style of play and tips for Hungering Arrow Build
   Alternative or situational Talent choices for Hungering Arrow build
   Tips on How to play against Hungering Arrow Build
   Heroes that are good with and against Hungering Arrow Build

     Part 2

Multishot Build(click-able link)
         
Part 3 
Auto-Attack Build(click-able link)
         
Part 4 
Battleground specific tips

Conclusion


Demons left her for dead
(Introduction)

Originally Demon Hunter from Diablo Universe, Valla is also Demon Hunter in the Nexus. Her Diablo lore describes her as Nephalem that seeks to destroy every hellspawn, as an act of vengeance.

Valla is one of the examples of well-designed characters in Heroes of the Storm. She has been in the game since early Alpha, and survived all the meta game changes. Valla still is, and probably will be for a long time, top tier hero. She is very well rounded, and has diversified style of play. I guess her versatility is the main reason why see her again and again in both, competitive and casual environment. Let’s take a closer look at her kit, to better understand what makes her so strong.

Strafing is cool!
(Abilities and Talents Overview)

Image titleimage source: http://mr--jack.deviantart.com/art/Valla-Vengeance-Incarnate-446393035


Valla has 4 active abilities, passive Trait, and some active Talents. Valla is an Assassin hero, so most of her abilities are designed to deal damage.

Hungering Arrow

Her first ability, Hungering Arrow (”Q”), costs 60 mana and has 14 seconds cooldown.
The ability is a skillshot, meaning you have to point the direction for the projectile. Also, no one has to be around the target, so HA can do full damage. Valla’s “Q” is very good at bursting down isolated targets, or poking opponents during the laning phase, when there are no creeps around.

Multishot

Second ability is named Multishot (“W”). Multishot costs 60 mana and has 8 seconds cooldown.
“W” is an area of effect ability, you can hit multiple targets with it. The ability is very good at poking, both at the laning phase and in the team fights. Also, it allows Valla to have decent wave clear, as well as pushing capability.

Vault

Vault (“E”), Valla’s third ability, serves as both, gap closer and escape ability. Vault has 10 seconds cooldown and costs 75 mana.
This ability is very good at repositioning your hero mid-fights, dodging some skillshots, and chasing down targets. Keep in mind that Vault no longer grants Unstoppable, meaning you can be stunned during its animation. So, it’s best to cast it prematurely.

Now that we are familiar with basic abilities, let’s move on to Trait and Heroics. Valla’s Heroics are also an example of good hero design. Both Ultimates are viable for all three builds, and usually hero compositions are deciding factor.

Strafe

First Heroic ability is Strafe (“R”). Strafe is channeling ability that costs 80 mana and has 60 seconds cooldown. Strafe can be easily interrupted by any ability that has stun effect. And that means you have to stay out of range of those abilities. Also, notice that Strafe fires 3 projectiles per second. For example, if you are playing as level 10 Valla, Strafe will do around 1k (984) points of damage for its full duration. The Heroic is great for bursting and finishing down enemy Heroes. Sometimes, when you know that there will be no team fight, or you are rushing for the win, it can be used to clear important objectives faster.

Rain of Vengeance

Coming up next is Rain of Vengeance (“R”). RoV throws down two waves of shadow beasts, in front of Valla, that deal damage in area and stun for 0.5 seconds. The Ultimate has 90 seconds cooldown and costs 100 mana. RoV has tricky mechanic. It has 0.25 second cast time and it takes about 0.25 second for first wave to hit. Also, second wave has a delay of 0.5 second. If that wasn’t enough, there is also a small delay between the time the Heroic hits the target that is in the beginning of the wave, and that is in the end of the wave! Yeah, i know, Strafe sounded much simpler!
The Ultimate is very powerful tool in the hands of experienced player. It is very good for combo setups, as well as for interrupting some important channeling abilities, not to mention punishing of melee heroes clamping up near each other.

Hatred

Now that we discussed abilities and Heroics, it is time to talk about Trait. Valla’s trait is named Hatred. Hatred is a passive trait that adds stacks for each auto-attack. Maximum amount of stacks is 10, and each stack gives bonus 1% of Movement Speed and 2% of Basic Attack Damage.
Trait allows to dish out more damage in continuous fights, when pushing the lane, or chasing down targets.

As every character in Heroes of the Storm, Valla has tons of talents. Instead of describing each of them now, I’ll provide their description in the part of article that tells about her builds and alternative talent choices.

“Hatred must be tempered by Discipline”
(General Pros and Cons)


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   Pros

   Very versatile assassin that is able to fit in almost any hero composition
Valla has 3 different builds that allow her to burst target down (Hungering Arrow build), or play poking game (Multishot build), or excel in long fights (Auto-Attack build).

   Has very strong abilities, Heroics, and Talents

Valla has very low amount of unused talents, and her abilities are one of the best ones at what they do, and mostly they are simple to execute. Heroics are versatile and can be combined with different builds.

   Very mobile

The bonus movement speed from Trait allows Demon Hunter to move faster, across battlefield, than most of the heroes. Also, it allows you to stutter step with your auto-attacks. Finally, her escape ability has decent cooldown, and can be used both, offensively and defensively.

   Decent laning phase, and pushing\wave clearing capabilities

Multishot provides nice wave clear, and can be used to push a lane, or harass enemy hero. Escape ability allows you to feel yourself okay against ganks. “Q+W” can do wonders versus good amount of enemy heroes, if used at the right time, during laning phase.


   Cons

   Relatively low health pool
As each Assassin, Valla has low health pool. If found out of position, she will melt very quickly under enemy focus.

   Mana dependent, depends on build

Mana dependency is clearly seen on the example of Hungering Arrow Build. You do your usual combo of “Q”’ + “E” + “Q” + ”W” + “R”, and you left with less than half of your mana. Situation is not so dire when playing other builds, as they require less mana overall, and are more oriented on long fights.

   No longer has Unstoppable during “E”

Vault used to have the Unstoppable effect during its animation, allowing you to absorb some enemy disables and skillshots. For example, you could completely negate the stunning effect of Muradin’s Stormbolt if Vault was casted at the right time! No longer the case.

“If you hunt demons long enough, the demons hunt you”
(Hero role and aim in fight)

Valla is an Assassin, and her aim is to dish out as much damage as she can while staying in proper positioning. Sound easy, right? Well, depending on the chosen build, enemy and ally hero comps, and map lots of details and issues arise.
That particular stuff i will describe in corresponding parts of the article, but for now i want to talk about general stuff. When playing as Assassin it is crucial to understand what amount of damage you can take, and what amount of damage you can dish out. Also, your positioning, against enemies and allies, is very important.

“The worst part of hunting is the waiting”
 (Hungering Arrow Build)


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Hungering Arrow, or “Q”, build is oriented at bursting down isolated target. Main source of the damage will be your “Q” ability, and the finisher will be either Strafe, or some ally ability. The main idea of the build is to catch someone out of position, usually it is some squishy hero, and kill him with combo of few Hungering Arrows and Heroic.
There are some setups build around this idea. For example, Tyrael + Valla. This setup will allow to effectively punish any squishy for coming in range of Tyrael’s Judgement. Also, it allows you to initiate fights with one man advantage, and force fights in favorable spots. That’s the general idea. There are, of course, other setups, and counter plays to this build, but i will describe them after the actual build.

Also, this build is often seen in competitive Heroes of the Storm matches. Main reason is build is effective at bursting down isolated targets. In current meta game, heroes that provide such opportunity are contested during the draft.

Talent choices
(Classical Hungering Arrow Build)

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This is standard variation of Hungering Arrow build. On first level you take “Siphoning Arrow”, then on level four “Puncturing Arrow”. “Repeating Arrow” will be your level 7 choice, and on level 10, of course, it is Strafe. Later, on level 13 take “Frost Shot”, and on level 16 take “Tumble”. Finally, level 20 talent will be “Vengeance”.

Siphoning Arrow

The level one choice, Siphoning Arrow, will increase your self-sustain, as your “Q” will now heal on half of the damage done.
This talent is good when you know that you need additional healing. For example, enemies have heavy burst (Zeratul, Nova, Falstad), or you don’t have dedicated healer.

Puncturing Arrow

Puncturing Arrow, level 4 choice, will increase the range of your “Q” by 25% and number of jumps to 3.
With this talent Hungering Arrow becomes your main damage dealing source, and will do 540 points of damage on level 10. The range increase will allow firing “Q” from a safe distance, without the reach of most of enemy spells. As example, Valla has 1700 HP on level 10, so it is almost ⅓ of her HP. With the range increase you can now fire HA from the distance that equals 1.5 of your auto-attack range.

Repeating Arrow

The talent you go on level 7, Repeating Arrow, will reset the cooldown of Hungering Arrow when Vault is used.
This will allow you to cast two “Q’s” in 1 second. Also, the damage output of HA, on level 10, will be 1080. Picking Tumble on level 7 greatly increases the burst and self-heal from Hungering Arrow. However, it requires constant positioning observation, as you may end up in the front line.

Next talent choice is your Heroic, and it will be Strafe. In this build Strafe acts like a finisher to your burst, and is able to do almost 1k (984) points of damage on level 10. So, on level 10 Valla, single handedly, can do 2274 (2x”Hungering Arrow” + + ) damage! And that is more than enough to kill any enemy squishy, provided you will unload all the damage on him, and he won’t be healed. Combine this with short cooldown, 60 seconds, and you have very good bursty oriented hero that has good self-sustain, low cooldowns, and good mobility. Also, let’s not forget that Strafe is AOE ability, meaning any allies that will come to help your victim will also get damaged.

Frost Shot

Level 13 talent, Frost Shot, will add a 2 seconds slow effect, on 40% of movement speed, to your Multishot ability. This talent choice will allow you to chase down and finish your target more effectively. If fight goes longer than expected, you will also have a kitting opportunity in your kit.

Tumble

Level 16 talent, Tumble, will give second charge to Vault, which can be used after a 2.5 seconds delay. Tumble will increase your bursting and self-healing potential even more. On level 16 you will be able to dish out almost 2k (1995) damage with Hungering Arrow, provided you will cast it 3 times. Combine it with 300 points of damage from Multishot and 1476 damage from Strafe, and you are able to do almost 3.8k (3771) damage! On level 16, most of the Assassin heroes have around 2.4k HP, meaning you have more than enough burst damage to solo-kill someone. Also, Tumble will greatly increase your mobility and survivability potential.

Vengeance

Vengeance is your level 20 talent. Vengeance adds more damage to Heroic, which is dealt every 0.25 sec for the duration of the Heroic. On level 20, this talent will increase damage output of your Heroic to 3k (1800 from usual Strafe + 1200 from upgrade) damage over 4 seconds. Well, this upgrade allows you not only to burst down single target, but whole enemy team! However, executing it to its full potential will require some experience and proper positioning, as you will sacrifice Blink. Blink offers a lot of utility and survivability. And is often picked at level 20, but i will describe this talent later. For now, just keep in mind that if you find yourself struggling to play properly with Vengeance talent, take Blink talent instead.

There are, of course, other viable talent choices for this build, but their reasoning will be described later in “Alternative Talent Choices” part of this article. Okay, now that I’ve described classical talent build, let’s move on to pros and cons of the build.


Hungering Arrow Build Pros and Cons

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   Pros

   Very high burst damage output
With usual abilities, Valla is able to render enemy squishy with less than ⅓ of their HP. The Ultimates itself, also provides high amount of AOE damage.

   High mobility and survivability

Double “E” and self-heal from “Q” allows Valla to lessen the load on the healers, and be effective when it comes to chasing someone down or repositioning during the fight.

   Low cooldowns

It takes 15 seconds recharge the abilities, and 60 seconds to recharge Ultimate. Basically, you are always ready for a fight. And even if your Heroic is not up yet, you can always count on your usual abilities, and they provide high damage numbers and burst.

   Very good at solo laning and dueling enemy heroes

The increased range and self-heal on “Q”, plus good AOE from “W”, makes Valla very good solo laner and duelist, as she is able to zone out, and trade her HP effectively with enemy heroes.

   Cons

   Mana dependent

Once the combo is unleashed, Valla is left with half of her mana pool, or even less.

   High skill cap

Demon Hunter main damage dealing ability, Hungering Arrow, is a skillshot, and it has tricky mechanic. The rotation of spells she uses, while doing burst damage, will reposition her towards enemy. All these factors are hard to put up to a good use as a starting player. Also, playing with Vengeance instead of Blink can be challenging.

“Be wavy wavy quiet, I’m hunting demons now!”
(General style of play and tips for Hungering Arrow Build)

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As was described before, your primary goal will be to burst down isolated target with your combo. The combo would be series of Hungering Arrows plus Multishot, plus a finisher, either Strafe or some ally ability(ies). But before you start blowing up targets like balloons you have to consider few things. These things will be proper positioning, knowing the amount of damage you can take and deliver, good mechanical skills, patience, and good map control. The build can be played in a many ways. For example, you can start a fight with your burst, to do quick -1, or force enemy to fight in an unfavorable spot, or wait a proper moment to unleash a burst at the right target, in the right time. Also, as weird as it may sound, you can be very good at ganking.

Starting a fight

If you want to force fights and do quick -1, you need to have a right setup and to catch your targets out of position. The right setup for this play style would be an ally hero with good lockdown. Such hero will hold your target for 1-2 seconds in one place which is usually enough to burst it down. The heroes that are now popular in the meta and would be a right setup are: Johanna, Tyrael, Anub, and Muradin. They all have good lockdown and body-blocking capability. However, Johanna would be the best, as her ultimate usually catches few targets and prevents burst healing on your target. Basically, any type of lockdown is good for a setup. The described heroes considered the best because they offer very simple way of executing the combo, and are good for tanking, and space creating. But that doesn’t mean you can’t do it with less popular heroes like Sonya or Thrall. Oh, and let’s not forget the good old Zeratul that can isolate the healer, or rest of the team, leaving your target without any help.

For this build, the ideal target would be hero that is out of position and doesn’t have any escapes, That means that target won’t have any allies and structures nearby, to negate the damage you will deal. You can also burst down targets with escape, but you need to do it at the right time - when target has cooldown on the escape ability.

Waiting for proper moment

Fight has started, but you didn’t do -1 quickly? Well, that happens. Sometimes the weather is not right, and sometimes they are just playing good and are in proper position before every fight. What you should do then is determine the target that has max HP less than your burst damage, and wait for the right moment, or create it yourself. The right moment would be your target having cooldowns on the escape abilities, and targets allies having cooldowns on healing and saving abilities.

Ganking

Probably, the part about ganking will be unexpected to most of the readers, as you rarely meet ganking Valla outside of competitive Hots. Most of the ganking setups, or heroes, start doing rotations from level 1. Ganking with Valla is a bit different as she opens up her ganking potential with level 7 talent “Tumble”. Basically, this talent doubles the amount of damage your Hungering Arrow can do, and that suddenly makes you very viable for ganking, as you are able to blow away ⅔ HP of enemy squishy with just two “Q’s”. (858 damage, and usual Assassin HP on level 7 is around 1400) 

General tips

If you happen to encounter support that is messing up with your target, healing and saving it from your burst, there are few things to consider. First of all, you can burst down the support. If it is Malf or Brightwing and they don’t have Ice Block, it is actually the most profitable decision you can do. If you can quickly burst down enemy healer, go for it! That will leave enemy team without support, and your team will most likely win the fight.

Second, you can draft such a setup that will isolate the support from your target. So, you are bursting some target and at the same time support is disabled. Examples are Zeratul with VP, Anub with Web Blast, Zagara with Maw and so on. Basically, some disable with long duration, which can be thrown from a good distance, will do the job.

Finally, what you can do is split, or quickly change, your burst. Such action will require the presence of few characters with burst capabilities. Splitting the burst will look like you start throwing your abilities at two targets at the same time. Those targets could be two squishy enemy heroes or support and some squishy target. Changing the burst means quickly changing the target, after some key saving abilities are used on it.

Ganking tips

Ganking with Valla can be tricky, as her damage output is not instant, and requires some mechanical skill. Best way to approach your targets is to catch them when there are no nearby objects that can absorb Hungering Arrow damage. Also, keep in mind the way the mechanic of the “Q” works. It is best to unleash it when the target is midlane or near your gates, so you will have enough time to deal full damage with abilities, and finish target off.

Alternative or situational Talent choices for Hungering Arrow build

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It is time to discuss different viable talents for Hungering Arrow build. As you can see, level 4 and level 7 talents are unchanged. They are the core talents, and if you change them the build won’t be HA anymore, but a mixed build.

Composite Arrows and level 1 Talent choices

So, on first level you can take “Composite Arrows”. Talent will increase the range of Multishot by 20%. This decision is viable when you know you don’t need additional self-sustain. The increased range will be good for poking or bursting from a greater distance. As for other talent choices, the “Rancor” is good talent for Auto-Attack build. If you see that you will be auto-attacking a lot, you should go Auto-Attacking Build. Other two talents are not useful. The reduced cost of Hungering Arrow, “Cost-Effective Materials” talent, is useless, as you will still run out of mana quickly. Last talent on this tier - “Punishment” will give you 3 stacks of Trait each time you use ability. “Punishment” feels like cookie cutter, as Trait is not so strong that you will crave for its stacks, especially when you have better talent choices on the same tier.

Rain of Vengeance

Coming up next is level 10. On level 10 you can choose other Heroic - Rain of Vengeance. If you feel that team already has enough spells to finish off targets, RoV will be a fine choice. Also, Rain of Vengeance is good for doing some wombo-combos, or when enemy composition has tons of melee heroes. Usually, it is ok even versus 2 melee heroes. Lastly, Rov will be the choice when you see that your hero comp lacks disables, or you need to interrupt channeling of important enemy Heroics.

Level 13 Talent choices

The alternative talents on level 13 can be “Giant Killer” and “Spell Shield”. Spell Shield is passive ability that is refreshed every 30 seconds, and negates half of the spell damage taken for the duration of time. Duration is 3 seconds, and talent is triggered upon receiving spell damage. Spell Shield talent shines versus big amounts of spell and bursty damage. Nova, Zeratul, Kael, and Jaina are example of heroes that this talents is good against.

As for Giant Killer - talent takes away 1.5% of max HP, of the hero, with each auto-attack. It is a good pick when enemy team has more than 2 tanks or healers. The bonus damage will allow you to negate huge health pools, or huge amount of heals, that enemy will have.

“Tempered by Discipline” is a last talent on this tier, and i recommend you to not choose it, ever. The talent increases the maximum amount of stacks, that you gain from your Trait, to 20, and for each stack above 10 it will give you stack of Discipline. Each stack of Discipline provides 3% life steal on auto-attack. When you reach 20 stacks in total and 10 in Discipline, it will give 30% life steal. On paper it looks great. Problem is by the time you reach those stacks fight is usually over, and if not - there are better talents on the same tier. And even when you go Auto-Attack build the other talent choices are better.

Level 16 Talent choices

The most interesting tier in terms of alternative talents is level 16. And reason is all the other talents on this tier are viable! If you feel that second Vault is overkill, and you won’t find a use for it, than you have plenty of choices.

“Executioner” is auto-attacking talent, it will buff your damage on 40% when you attack the target that is under effect of roots, slows, and stuns. This talent is a good pick up if you find yourself in need to buff auto-attack damage. Also, talent is superb when you have a lot of CC’s in your team comp, or Arthas. Arthas is special to this talent because he provides continuous slow of the target with his “E” ability, Frozen Tempest.

Famous, and recently reworked, “Blood for Blood” talent is next viable choice. BfB steals 10% of target’s max HP and heals you for doubled amount. The talent is active ability that has 60 seconds cooldown. Also, talent has range of an auto-attack. BfB is strong talents as it not only provides additional burst damage, but also increases your self-sustain. The talent is very good versus hero comps with 2 or more melees, be it warriors or melee assassins.

On the other hand, if you find yourself against many ranged heroes “Stoneskin” will be a good choice. The talent is an active ability, and will give you shield that equals to 30% of your max HP. The duration of the shield is 5 seconds, and cooldown is 60. Also, Stoneskin is good against bursty hero compositions, and when you need additional sustain.

Level 20 Talent choices

Finally! Level 20 talents! There are two choices - “Nexus Frenzy” and “Bolts of the Storm”. Nexus Frenzy is another auto-attacking talent. It will increase the range of your auto-attacks by 20%, which is 6.6 for most ranged heroes, and attack speed by the same percentage. Frenzy is a good choice when you are confident in your team comp, and you know that you will be saved by your teammates in case of initiation, and you are looking to increase your auto-attacking potential.

If described above is not the case than go “Bolt of the Storm”. It is known in the community as “Blink”. Blink is an active ability with 40 seconds cooldown. It will instantly teleport your hero to the pointed direction, and has a range that is a bit bigger than auto-attacking range. I would say approximately range of 7. Blink is good for both, defensive and offensive moves. You can either dodge some strong initiating Heroics, hello Tyrael and Johanna, or initiate by yourself.

And by dodge i mean completely negate. So, it will look like Tyrael is flying in you with Judgment and you Blink away at the same time. What will happen is you will blink away from his ulty, you won’t receive stun or damage, and Tyrael will have his ulty on cd. Also, if you didn’t take “Tumble” on 16, consider taking Blink. Overall Blink is better choice on level 20, as it offers a lot of utility and survivability.

Lastly, let’s talk about upgrade of Rain of Vengeance, and why no one picks it. But before that i have to describe what upgrade does. The talent will increase the number of Shadow Beast waves from 2 to 4. Well, there are some people that do take this upgrade, but that’s bad talent choice. The reasons: you have Blink on the same tier, and let’s be honest no one will stand in one place for 2 second to receive 4 waves of your ultimate. I know! On paper it looks cool, tons of damage, 2 seconds of combined stuns, but what will happen is you will hardly land 2 waves. And even if you are doing combo-wombo stuff, Blink is better. It will allow you to do a proper execution, and usually, when you are comboing, people are dead by the time 3rd wave hits.

Tips on How to play against Hungering Arrow Build

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General idea is to abuse the mechanics of main damage source - Hungering Arrow ability. The damage that comes from this spell is not instant, it comes in portions. Also, the spell is designed in such way that it hits the nearest target. And it is a skillshot. Let’s put all this knowledge to a good use.

First of all, reposition yourself near some object, be it hero, minion or structure, when you are getting damaged, or see that you will be, by Hungering Arrow. This will redirect half, or even more, of the damage to that object. Second of all, learn to bait and dodge the Hungering Arrow, as it is a skillshot not a homing missile.

The finishers. Learn to anticipate and interrupt them. In case it is Strafe, or other channeling ability, saving your stun for that exact moment will be a huge deal. If it is the other hero that is finishing the burst, work around him. Depending on the hero you might need to hold some disables or saving abilities. For example, if it is classical bursting comp like Tyrael + Valla, cleansing the target, that Judgement is being used on, will prevent the burst and kill.

Lastly, cooperate with your support. If you are confident enough in your support, you can bait the whole burst with finisher and survive, as support with proper positioning will appear in the right time and heal all the burst. And this will turn the tides of team fight in your favor.

Heroes that are good with and against Hungering Arrow Build

Playing with Hungering Arrow Valla
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Setups for Initiation

For such setups current top Tanks are very good. I’m talking about Johanna, Anub and Muradin. The classical burst setup with Tyrael is also good, but has fallen off a bit since the introduction of Cleanse on each major Support hero. So, with Tyrael you ulty in the target, then throw your “Q” in the direction the target will flee, at the end of a stun, to teleport on it, and apply slow, and body-block. Finally, finish off the target with “E”. But usually the target is long dead before that, as Valla combo, without Heroic, will leave target with 30-20% of its HP.

With other heroes you repeat this pattern, but with different initiations, lockdowns, and finishers. One thing to notice is Johanna is one of the best heroes for that kind of play style, as her ultimate hits few targets. And that can result in lockdown of half of enemy team, negating the possibility to help or heal your target.

Setups for Burst down and Poking

If you like playing bursty Valla and are thinking how to improve your team comp, try adding another hero with poking or bursting capabilities. Effect will be hilarious, as you will find yourself melting down enemy heroes like ice-cream. The general idea is to remove the HP of target before, or in the process, of Valla burst, and do so from relatively safe distance. Good examples of such setups would be Valla + Zeratul, or Valla + Kael. This strategy will, of course, require more coordination, and has it weak spots and counter plays, but so do many strats in HOTS.

Setups with other heroes

You can also use other heroes, than mentioned above, for the different kind of setups. There are plenty of heroes that can do the job, but are less popular, harder to execute, or not in the meta right now. I will only mention few, such as Sonya and Sylvanas. Sonya’s Heroic will act similar to Tyrael’s ulty, but is AOE stun, and Sylvanas will look to disable escape abilities of your target, and also to hit enemy support, with her ultimate.

“I don’t know this man”

Whether you are playing solo, or don’t want to play any setups, or don’t want to communicate, there are plenty of ways to help your Valla teammate. Saving some spells for Valla’s target can be a game changer. Many spells will do the trick, be it disable or finisher. And I’m also talking about different classes. Even a support hero like Uther can contribute a lot to the outcome of the fight by landing his “E” at the right time. Burst builds are about the momentum and team play, so keeping those things in mind will lead you to victory.

“You are my Valentine Symbiote”

Logical decision. Expected outcome. This is special part of the tips about Valla + Abathur setup, which is amazing. For a long time, we’ve seen Abathur + Illidan setups in the competitive matches, but believe me, Valla instead of Illidan is also a great choice. As a Valla you will feel yourself unkillable, to a certain degree. However, unlike Illidan, you don’t need to be in a melee range to do the damage or regen HP. Also, mistakes you make are not punished so hard, as setup requires less micro, and in general is easier to play. Abathur will buff your damage output and survivability even more! Depending on the talent choices he can also provide additional benefits like movement speed increase, slow, and so on. Damage output will be crazy: on level 7, together with Abby, you are able to do 1350 damage just with spells, not counting Abathur damage talents here! ((Valla) 429x2 (2xHA) + 165 (Multishot) = 1023, (Abathur) 112*2 (2xStab) + 102 (Spike Burst) = 326) And that is the magical number of HP that most Assassins have on level 7.

Playing against Hungering Arrow Valla

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Escapes and minions

Heroes that have escapes, or saving abilities, will be great choice against HA Valla, as they always are versus most burst oriented heroes and setups. However, heroes with summons will also be good. Such heroes will be able to absorb portion of damage that will come from Hungering Arrow. Not only minions will provide additional survivability, but also additional damage, and that is also important. Valla is Assassin hero - she doesn’t have huge HP pool or tons of self-sustain. So, summons will allow you to trade effectively your HP, and in some cases help kill her.

Buffs and disables

Providing additional HP with shields, or granting buff, to hero that is being focused will greatly help against burst. Valla doesn’t have infinite amount of damage. Her damage output is limited by some number, so increasing the HP of your teammate higher than that number will push out teammate from danger zone.
The HP buff is not the only savior. Valla’s spells have exact range, so buffing movement speed of the ally will also help. And finally the disables. They are good counter to stop the burst, or zone Demon Hunter out, to potential target.

Burst healing supports

Supports that offer burst healing, Rehgar and Uther, are your best friends. Also, you can try Li Li, but she is not so good, as she can’t use her healing prematurely. Lastly, one great thing to mentions about the supports is that “Shrink Ray” talent reduces the damage from Strafe and other spells.

Game mechanic abuse 
(There is nothing wrong with this mechanic or such tricks, you won’t get banned or whatever, it is just how it is called in the community)

What I’m talking about is invulnerability frames. IF is a period of time, in which hero won’t receive any damage. Spells like Zeratul’s “Void Prison” or Tassadar’s “Phase Shift” are good examples. Tassadar is invulnerable during PS, and Zeratul’s VP makes anyone who is inside it invulnerable. The damage from Hungering Arrow, and a spell itself, will disappear at the time target becomes invulnerable. So, saving your allies from burst with VP, or dodging all HA damage with Phase Shift is a real thing!


This is the end of the guide. Other parts of the article, that will highlight Multishot and Auto-Attack builds, will arrive soon. They will also contain Battleground specific tips and Conclusions to the whole guide.

Part 2, about Multishot Build, can be found here: 

http://www.keengamer.com/article/12026_in-depth-valla-guide-part-2-multishot-build1


Part 3, which will highlight Auto-Attack Build, is situated here: 

http://www.keengamer.com/article/12029_in-depth-valla-guide-part-3-auto-attack-build



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Article

Thanks for the guide, i have climbed like 6 divisions with this valla build : ). But sometimes when the enemy team is together i find myself not doing too much damage because the arrow bounces in the warrior aniway thanks

Thanks for the feedback! Yeah, in team fights it's hard to burst people down with "Q". So, you either create the situation which will be favorable to you, or wait for the proper moment. Also, you can burst heroes down with Strafe. It deals tons of damage, and is AOE ability. However, it can be interrupted.

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1 year ago by Dmytro Voloshyn
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Article

Thanks for the guide, i have climbed like 6 divisions with this valla build : ). But sometimes when the enemy team is together i find myself not doing too much damage because the arrow bounces in the warrior aniway thanks

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1 year ago by Nome
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Article

When is the next two parts? Great guide so far. Thank you.

Hey, thanks for the feedback! Multishot part will be published on Tuesday...

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1 year ago by Dmytro Voloshyn
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When is the next two parts? Great guide so far. Thank you.

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1 year ago by shert73
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This is really a f...ing in-depth guide if there are gonna be 2 more parts! :-) Good job man...

Wow! Thnx man)

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1 year ago by Dmytro Voloshyn
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This is really a f...ing in-depth guide if there are gonna be 2 more parts! :-) Good job man...

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1 year ago by Lojza
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