Abilities and Talents overview
General Pros and Cons
Hero role and aim in fight
Standard Jaina Build
Build Pros and Cons
General style of play and Tips for the Build
Talent deviations for the Build
Tips on how to play against Jaina and the Build
Heroes that work well with and against Jaina
Jaina is one of the few heroes in the game that can allow themselves a luxury of focusing Warrior hero. The “Frostbolt” build is very good at killing isolated targets. I should say, blowing them up in just few seconds. The amount of damage you will be able to dish out, as well as the speed at which the damage will come, allows Jaina to focus any target, be it enemy Assassin or Warrior.
In professional games, this build is used to focus enemy Warrior. In general, Jaina is good at killing targets with her burst damage. Even in Standard build, you can see her killing enemy Warriors with ease. This build in particular will be extremely good at that task, and will put insane amounts of single target damage. However, the great power comes at great cost. This build has higher positional dependency, as you won’t have "Ice Block", and is even more teamplay oriented, as teammates have to always watch out for you.
Usually, you want to have few heroes with stuns and disables, to hold target in place. This way you will be able to unleash all you damage, and secure the kill. The “Frostbolt” build is harder to play than the Standard build. It is more oriented at teamwork and has some mechanical limitations and specifics, which players have to count for.
Lastly, this build will offer higher range of your "Frostbolt", so you will stay out of the range of most enemy spells and disables.
As you may have already guessed, the main damage source of this build will be “Frostbolt” ability. You will see talents that will increase the effectiveness of the “Frostbolt”. General talent philosophy will be based around improving “Frostbolt” and getting talents that will allow you to burst down targets insanely fast.
This talent will increase range of the “Frostbolt” by 30%. Out of all your abilities, “Frostbolt” already has high range. Increasing it even further will allow you to stay in the safe distance, at the same time providing high damage and pressure to a single target. Also, such huge range will make Jaina very good at chasing heroes, and cleaning up fights. Lastly, you will be able to check “bush traps”, and other juking stuff, from extremely long distance.
As description states, the talent will give Mana to Jaina when she hits Chilled targets. If target is hit with auto-attack, hero will receive 5 Mana. If target is hit with a spell, Jaina will receive 25 Mana. The Chill effect is applied by her Trait, and her Trait is applied to all abilities. Basically, this talent is a source of almost infinite Mana pool. For caster, it is very important to have “healthy” Mana pool. “Arcane Intellect” will be very good at prolonged fights, as Jaina will still be having Mana for the spells, while rest of the heroes won’t. Lastly, this talent will be very strong for maps that have stationary objective capture. The reason is at those maps you will have prolonged fights for the objectives. Such maps are “Cursed Hollow”, “Sky Temple”, “Battlefield of Eternity”, and “Haunted Mines”.
“Ice lance” talent will reduce cooldown of “Frostbolt” by 2 seconds if it hits a Chilled target. And I immediately want to point out that “Water Elemental” attacks Chill the target. This talent will be first power spike in the build. With it help you will be able to do double the damage output of your “Frostbolt”. Combined with “Winter’s Reach” talent, such build offers strong potential in poking and long-term fights.
If we were to talk about this before patch 13.0, then the choice would be “Water Elemental”. The reason for that is, previously, it provided AOE damage at casting point. The damage numbers were something like 40% of “Ring of Frost” damage, plus Elemental would immediately score a right-click, which was something about 15-20% of damage of RoF. Now, the story is different, as Elemental no longer provides AOE damage at casting point. So, the choice is situational. If you feel like obliterating enemy team in 1 second, then “Ring of Frost” is good choice. Jokes aside, “Water Elemental” is better at prolonged fights, zoning key heroes, and slowing auto-attackers. At the same time, “Ring of Frost” will be good at bursting down target(s). The Elemental will provide stable DPS and results, as well as will be hugely annoying to your enemy, while Ring is more high risky play, but offers higher reward.
Personally, i tend to go Water Elemental in this build. It will provide constant Chill effect. So, even if your target will be body-blocked by ally, to prevent chill effect from series of “Frostbolts”, your target will still be Chilled. Also, Chill effect is valuable not only for "Frostbolt", but for all Jaina abilities.
This talent is activatable. It has 60 seconds cooldown and costs zero Mana. Upon activation, talent will recharge cooldown timers of your Basic Abilities 3 times faster, and will reduce their Mana cost by 50%. The talent lasts for 5 seconds. “Icy Veins” is the second power spike in the build, and is a main source of insane burst you will have. This talent will allow you to shoot “Frostbolt” each second, will reduce cooldown of “Blizzard” to 5 seconds and cooldown of “Cone of Cold” to 3.3 seconds of time. As you understand, with such cooldowns of the abilities Jaina will be extremely efficient at blowing up isolated targets. The damage output will be so wild that you will be able to kill enemy Warrior.
“Cone of Cold” will now root targets that are Chilled, for 1 second. This is very strong upgrade for “Cone of Cold”. It is always good to have additional CC in team. However, the crowd control this talent brings is insane. You can root enemy team if you hit them with Blizzard. Also, this talent is extremely effective versus melee heroes, or heroes that heavily rely on the escape abilities. This talent allows you to kill enemy Assassin single-handedly, as you are able to burst down full HP in about 1-2 seconds. Also, talent is very good for some wombo-combo setups.
Bolt of the Storm
“Bolt of the Storm” is active talent that teleports hero in the selected location, within the range of the talent. The talent has 70 seconds cooldown and costs no Mana. Bolt will serve as both, save ability and initiation ability. In the late game, Jaina offers insane burst potential. She is able to obliterate enemy Assassin single-handedly, within one second of time. So, Bolt will be insanely good initiation ability. With right spell rotation, enemy hero won’t be able to escape due to “Numbing Blast” talent, but at the same time will receive fatal damage. At the same time, this talent can be used defensively to “blink out” from dire situations and poor positioning, or to dodge some enemy initiations and Heroics\abilities.
Also, in this particular build Bolt will be the only save ability, as there are no “Ice Block”. So, value of right decision making will be higher. This will also put additional pressure on your positioning. You have to keep in mind that this is your only escape ability, when you consider to use it aggressively.
Build Pros and Cons
This build is kind of trade off. You put out extreme amounts of DPS, but in exchange you have less survivability, as there is no “Ice Block”. The increased range of “Frostbolt” will definitely help, but you won’t have answer for some dives and initiations. In general, this build is also more team dependent. You want to have more attention from teammates in terms of peeling and healing. Also, build is very momentum based and cooldown oriented. Here I’m talking about “Icy Veins” ability. This ability will be the source of your insane burst damage. However, it lasts for short period of time and has long cooldown. So, experience of playing momentum builds will be very valuable for the players looking to be good at “Frostbolt” build. You don't want to pop up the talent and do almost zero damage with it. You want to use it with maximum, or close to maximum, efficiency.
Extreme amounts of burst damage and ability to delete enemy Warriors
The “Icy Veins” talent will allow you not only to pop enemy Assassins like a balloons, but also apply such fate to enemy Warriors. The single target burst damage output of this build is the highest among all Jaina builds. Also, it is a quickest one.
Increased chasing and poking potential
Long range and small cooldown of the “Frostbolt” will allow you to be effective at chasing down targets. Moreover, you will be doing it from a safe distance. Also, build will be very strong in poking wars. The increased range will allow you to damage enemy heroes bit by bit, and if they are to make positional mistake or overextend, there are many ways you can punish them.
Very good at prolonged fights
The “Arcane Intellect” creates wonders at maps with prolonged fights for the objectives, and in usual prolonged fights. When most of the heroes will be at low Mana pool, or have no Mana at all, you will have half of your Mana left and will be able to do tons of DPS. Of course, Major part of this strong spot in Jaina gameplay comes from “Arcane Intellect” talent. But there is also one important detail. It is short, 4 seconds, cooldown of the “Frostbolt”. Having almost infinite Mana is nice, but you really won’t do whole lot if you don’t have spells to use.
Also, in this build you will have 2 seconds cooldown of your “Frostbolt” if you will be able to keep the targets Chilled.
Increased positional dependency and team oriented gameplay
All the basic abilities are designed to do damage and slow. Such a nice kit to have! However, with no mobility spells, options to reposition herself, and other utility options Jaina is very positional dependent and more team oriented that other Assassins, which can be on their own. That doesn’t mean you can’t kill isolated hero on your own. You can and will. There are plenty of options and abilities to do that. The question is can you survive after that. And this is a moment when allies have to peel for you. Otherwise, with cooldowns on your spells, you will likely fall a victim to enemy Assassin.
This build in particular, trades “Ice Block” for “Icy Veins”. The result is overwhelming burst damage, that comes at a cost of survivability. Until level 20, positional mistakes made with this build are likely to be fatal.
General style of play and Tips for the Build
This topic is very relative, as there are a lot of variables that will affect what you can do, and what you can’t, how you can play, and how it is better not to play. So, I’ll describe general patterns, and some template situations, in which they are better to use. Of course, the end result will be spiced by the tips. Tips will lead to better understanding of this “general style of play” thingy, and will allow me to share some tricks and gameplay experience.
As Jaina, you would want to play either aggressively or defensively. Aggressive style of play means that you are always behind your Warrior, able to immediately follow his CC with your spell rotation. Sometimes you can even be on the front line, but this is for more experienced players, and is very debatable style of play, with lots of rules and is not for everyone. If you are learning how to play with Jaina aggressively, stay behind the tank, in reach of your spell rotation. Such style of play is available when enemy can’t really punish you for such positioning, or you don’t care because you have stronger line-up, or Uther with “Divine Shield”. Usually, if enemy doesn’t have long range CC’s or diving heroes, or heavy initiation comp, you have a green light.
In the reverse scenario, you don’t have Uther, stronger line-up, or enemy can punish you, you have to stay in the back line, in range of your support. Ideally, you want to enter the fight when major threats are blown and enemy spells are on cooldown. This way you will be able to unleash your damage without any major consequence. By “enter the fight” i mean unleashing your whole ability kit. That doesn’t mean you just stand aside doing nothing, until right moment appears. You can throw some “Frostbolts” and act like you are going to go in.
Once you hit level 13, and grab “Icy Veins”, real fun starts. With this talent you are able to obliterate target hero in few seconds, even if he is being healed by the Support, as your damage output is insane. But what is more fun is the ability to kill enemy Warriors. You will want to focus all your destruction potential on Warrior heroes without escape, or Warrior heroes that have already used their escape ability, and it is on cooldown for next 5 seconds. This is very important rule, as your “Icy Veins” talent has long cooldown. If you will waste, you will also waste the potential to kill enemy Warrior.
On level 20, with “Bolt of the Storm” you will be able to do “YouTube moves”, and in case of experienced players, play very aggressively, resulting in few enemy heroes, or even whole enemy team, being deleted from the game. Of course, such play style will require some experience, game understanding, and game feeling. But that’s the reason people are playing Assassins, to do some incredible moves and carry games. This playstyle is less true for Heroes of the Storm, as it is more teamplay based game, but there are heroes like Jaina, which are able to play like that.
Lastly, keep in mind that in this build “Bolt of the Storm” is your only safe ability. That means that you have to use it effectively and always consider that you don’t the “Ice Block” talent. Such scenario will require more patience and experience in terms of positioning.
Icy Veins tip
When bursting down the target with the use of “Icy Veins” talent, you would like to use “Blizzard”, “Cone of Cold” and “Frostbolt” before the “Icy Veins” talent. This way you will still get insane cooldown reduction for these spells, but you won’t waste 1-2 seconds of your “Icy Veins” time to cast them. Such sequence of spells and talents will result in few more "Frostbolts" cast.
Ring of Frost tip
If you know that you are definitely going to play with “Ring of Frost” Heroic, consider playing with “Conjurer’s Pursuit” and “Snowstorm” talents, at level 1 and level 4. This shift in talent choices is done for the radius increase of the “Blizzard”. The need in this comes from style of play when, in mass fights, you hit enemy with “Ring of Frost”, and at the same time use “Blizzard” in the middle of the Heroic. With the “Snowstorm” talent in play, “Blizzard” will hit not only the targets that are in the middle of the Ring, but also the targets that are rooted by the Ring.
However, keep in mind that you will trade Frostbolt's range for increased Mana regen.
Level 16 talent tier and spell rotation tips
In mass fights, your main damage source will be “Blizzard” ability combined with “Cone of Cold”. Depending on the talent you choose on 16, your rotation of spells will be drastically different. If we are talking about the roots talent, then you want to use your “Cone of Cold” after first wave of “Blizzard” hits. If the situation is different, you took the damage amplification talent, then you want to hit targets with “Cone of Cold” first and then use other spells to benefit from damage amplification. However, in both cases “Blizzard” will be first spell to cast, and you will either use “Cone of Cold” before first wave hits, if you skilled damage amplification, or after first wave hits, if you skilled roots. I guess it is needless to say that in every scenario you have to be in “Cone of Cold” range, near your enemy.
Frostbolt mechanic tip
For this build it is very valuable to have a good aim with “Frostbolt”, as it will be your main damage source. However, it is even more valuable when bursting isolated target. The reason for this is the way “Frostbolt” ability works. The projectile hits only first target. Meaning that if your target will have ally nearby, he can save it from the burst, or take part of the burst, by taking damage by his body. If you haven’t damaged that hero with your abilities, his actions will also result in 4 seconds cooldown time of your “Frostbolt.” Such mechanical weakness of this build can be compensated by the “Frost Shards” talent, on level 4. However, such talent choice will lead you to a Mana problem. I will provide more info on this case in section of the guide that describes alternative talent choices, but for now i'll tell that if you are going to use "Frost Shards" talent, it is better to go "Conjurer's Pursuit".
Water Elemental tip
Water Elemental is more preferable for this build for one more reason. Apart from providing constant Chill effect on the target, you can also use him to body-block the target. This is very strong move, to compensate the “Icy Veins” cooldown. Usually, you don’t want to burst down your target without the “Icy Veins”, as there is the possibility that target will escape on low HP. Body blocking with Heroic can solve that problem. Of course, here i'm talking about Warriors, as you don't need "Icy Veins" to kill isolated enemy squishy.
Ice Barrier tip
This talent will be very effective with standard “Frostbolt” build talent choices, when you are playing versus enemy heroes that have extreme burst down potential. The talent will allow you to trade blows, but survive.
Talent deviations for the Build
Please note that the sequence of talents displayed in the image is just a collection of situational talents. They are taken from different gameplay situations, so this is not the sequence of the build you should follow.
This build is specific and has core talents, which create the build. However, there are many adjustments to be found! For example, you can take improved “Blizzard” and Mana regeneration from Globes, on level 4 and 1, if you definitely know that you are going to play with “Ring of Frost”, and you feel that you won’t need that additional range on “Frostbolt”.
Here you can go for “Conjurer’s Pursuit”. The talent will increase the regeneration rate of your Mana by 0.1 point per Health Globe. Apart from “Arcane Intellect”, this talent is also very good at providing additional Mana in prolonged fights. Usually, it is taken when you plan to go different talent on level 4, “Snowstorm” so you know that you won’t have an AI talent.
You can also play with “Deep Chill”. If you feel that your team lacks CC’s, and you don’t need additional range from “Frostbolt”, this will be a fine choice.
As you already know, the alternative talent on this tier is “Snowstorm”. The talent will increase radius of “Blizzard” by 30%. Such talent choices are good on maps with lots of narrow spaces, or to support ally setup of heroes. First example that would come to mind is teamplay with Johanna. She uses her “W” to catch enemy heroes, while you are able to do more damage and catch more heroes with the increased range of the spell, by casting it prematurely onto the location of Johanna’s “Condemn”. Lastly, i have to say that this talent is available if you took Globes on level 1. Otherwise, you will run out of Mana very quickly, especially with “Icy Veins” usage. You can play like that, but such playstyle will require good team coordination, as you will have to visit fountain very often.
In case you know that there really won’t be an opportunity to hit isolated targets, “Frost Shards” talent will be good. It will remove, from the board, the threat of missing the “Frostbolt” on the target, because it was covered by the ally. However, as I’ve mentioned before, you will have huge problems with Mana, so “Conjurer’s Pursuit” should be a level 1 talent choice, to deal with that problem.
This talent tier offers interesting option. It is “Frost Armor” talent, which Chills enemy heroes that attack you and every 8 seconds reduces the damage of the enemy auto-attack by 75%. “Frost Armor” is very good against right-click heroes and heroes that have high auto-attack burst damage output. However, keep in mind that you will sacrifice your damage output for this talent. So, it is best to choose it when you are in urgent need of additional sustain, and you know that this talent will turn the tides in your favor.
There is another talent on this tier that upgrades the “Cone of Cold” ability. Its name is “Northern Exposure” and it applies Vulnerability effect on the targets hit by “Cone of Cold”. The Vulnerability effect will increase the damage taken by 25% and will last for 2 seconds. If you feel that your team has enough CC already, and you are looking for additional burst damage increase, this talent is ideal. The amount of damage you will be able to unleash will be extreme. However, you have to keep in mind that this spell changes your rotation, as you want all your other spells to benefit from the damage amplification effect.
Apart from “Cone of Cold” upgrades, you might be looking at “Ice Barrier” talent. It converts 25% of the damage dealt to Chilled targets into shields. The shields last for 3 seconds. Usually, it is not needed. But when you are playing versus enemy Assassins that can burst you down with the same speed you can burst them, this talent will be very effective.
I have to remind you that there is no “Ice Block” in this build. And you are playing really, really squishy Assassin hero that craves for any save ability. So, i recommend you to take “Bolt of the Storm” and don’t look at other talents. But, if you are really confident that you won’t need it, read the description of viable talent choices below.
In some cases, “Bolt” may not be required and you will be looking at other talent option in strife to further increase your burst damage output. At this time, out of the shadows, comes “Wintermute” talent. This talent is an upgrade to your “Water Elemental” Heroic. It will increase cast range, by 50%, and will allow your Water Ele to mimic your abilities, for half of the damage. With this talent, tales about Jaina single-handedly killing enemy team can become truth. If not, the upgrade will extremely increase your DPS and burst. Keep in mind that Ele will cast “Blizzard” spell at the same location of the original one, after the cast and the duration of the original one is finished.
Also, keep in mind that “Water Elemental” doesn’t have ability cooldowns and is mimicking your abilities. Yeah, i know! It is written in the description. But my point is when you activate “Icy Veins” and start shooting “Frostbolts”, the Elemental will do the same. If you are going to shot “Frostbolts” each second, Elemental will shot them also each second! This is just unbelievable burst potential!
If you took “Ring of Frost”, the Water Ele upgrade will, of course, not be available to you. In such cases
“Lightning Bolt” “Arcane Power” will be the choice. It will provide additional burst damage potential, as well as nice Mana refreshment. The talent has 60 seconds cooldown and costs no Mana. It increases the Ability Power of the hero by 15% and restores 400 Mana upon activation. The talent lasts for 5 seconds.
You might be considering to take upgrade for the “Ring of Frost” Heroic. Please, don’t! Upgrade is named “Cold Snap”. It provides additional frost explosion after the original ultimate is ended. And that is the problem. The original Heroic will expire in 4,5 seconds. On level 20 the damage output of the heroes are such that enemy heroes will either be already dead, or won’t be in the center. So, this effect will rarely find its uses and it is better to take “Arcane Power” instead.
Tips on how to play against Jaina and the Build
Generally, you want to abuse the weak spots of the hero. They are poor mobility, no save abilities until some point of the game, and team oriented gameplay. When playing versus Jaina you would like to isolate her from her team, or catch her out of position.
Jaina is squishy Assassin. She has low health pool and no shields or other forms of decent self-sustain. This makes heroes that provide burst damage very effective against her. If you pair such hero with heroes that provide disable or stun for few seconds, you will have an easy time killing Jaina. The key point is, of course, to catch her out of position or while she is casting her spell rotation.
Very mobile heroes will be very effective versus Jaina. You will be able to go in do some damage and go out. Even if you won’t able to take her down, this will be effective action, as she will be forced to stay out of the fight for some period of time. If she’s not, she will likely to fall victim to your teammates or yourself.
Post level 20, when Jaina will have Bolt, the situation will change. It will be harder to bring her down, as she will have escape ability. However, this escape ability is often used as initiation tool. You can play around it, and wait for her to use it, or overextend with its usage. Of course, you can create situation to bait the usage of the Bolt, and the positional overextension.
These were tips regarding general hero and actions choices. Now, let’s talk about the mechanics and outplays based on it.
Ideally, you want to have an answer to Jaina in your pick. I mean team setup. And I’ll talk about specific heroes in the part below. Here, I’ll tell about stuff like the mechanics and outplays you can do versus her.
Playing on weaknesses of the enemy hero is nice, but good players often times know their weak spots and won’t allow you to capitalize on them. You can play on enemy mistakes and hope that he will do one, but approach won’t work in higher levels of play. So, you have to learn how to play against strong spots of the hero.
You have to understand how Jaina works. I mean what is her damage source, what spell is bigger part of the damage, and how to play against all this stuff. Her main damage source, in whole spell rotation, is “Blizzard”. The key part of playing as Jaina is to be good at hitting your enemy with a “Blizzard”. If Jaina is able to damage you with “Q” and “E”, but won’t hit you with “Blizzard” you won’t receive fatal damage. “Blizzard” is not instant spell - it has delay before first wave hits, and it has delay before second wave hits. In fact, only instant spell that Jaina has is “Cone of Cold”, and it has almost melee range of casting. That means that dodging “Frostbolt” or “Blizzard” is vital part of the gameplay versus Jaina.
Here i have to say that for "Frostbolt" build the situation is a bit different, than described above, in way that Jaina has lower cooldown and other upgrades for "Frostbolt", so value and damage of the spell in this build will be higher compared to default situation. I would say that in long fights "Frostbolt" would cover half of her damage numbers. Just about the same we can say about burst with the usage of "Icy Veins" talent.
If you stay in long range versus Jaina, and you dodge “Frostbolt”, she won’t have the ability to come in range of other spells and hit with them, as you won’t be slowed and it will be easy for you to dodge “Blizzard”. If you got caught by the “Frostbolt”, you need to dodge that “Blizzard”, or you will be dead, most likely. It is best to always save your save ability for such cases. It shouldn’t be hard. “Blizzard” has 15 seconds cooldown, while most of the basic save abilities has less or the same.
Compared to default situation, the value of dodging "Frostbolt" will be higher for this build. As I've said before, overall the damage numbers of the "Frostbolt" will be increased. Also, it has higher range, so staying out of it means you will have to stay out of the fight. Lastly, versus this build you want not only to dodge "Blizzard", but also to dodge burst that will come from "Icy Veins" talent.
Now that we’ve discussed basic abilities, it is time to talk Heroics.
Often times i see Jaina in games. No wonder, she is one the strongest heroes in the game. And often times i see hero that is running away from her Water Ele, while his team is chasing someone. And that is a mistake. The mistake by the teammates of course! Kill that damn Water and don’t chase. “Water Elemental” does moderate right-click damage and slows your ally. It creates huge zoning effect, and in fact you are fighting 4x5 if Water is attacking your ally. It takes few seconds to kill Elemental, but most players ignore that fact. That ignorance often times come at a cost of a fight.
In professional games, especially now as Elemental doesn’t do AOE damage at the cast point, this ultimate doesn’t have such huge impact as it has in Hero League. In those games, players are organized and usually it is a first action they do, killing “Water Elemental”, when Jaina casts it. Of course, Hero League environment is different, but what you can do is stop underestimating this Heroic's potential, in terms of zoning, and help you ally. If you are the one who is attacked by the Elemental, then spam the pings at yourself. Usually, not all your allies are “learning how to play this game”, and there will be 1-2 that will help.
Jaina casts her Elemental either to zone some hero out of the fight, or to burst target down. If you are the Support player, tracking Jaina focus and burst healing her targets is one the best things you can do for your team. If you are the Warrior player, throwing some zoning or stunning abilities at Jaina while she is bursting down someone can save a life to your ally. Same rule is applied against Elemental. Don’t be shy to use his abilities at him, in case there is no critical need to use them elsewhere.
Now comes hard part. What to do if you are that guy, which is chased by Elemental and/or is focused. If you don’t have any useful ability, there is nothing you can do but ping for help. Under useful abilities i mean either some save abilities, or abilities that can disable Jaina and disrupt her spell rotation, or Water.
Also, i have to add that in this build the value of "Wintermute" talent will be higher. Combined with "Icy Veins" talent, the upgraded Water Elemental will shot "Frostbolts" at you with the same cooldown ratio as Jaina will. If Jaina player will take the upgrade, the Elemental will pose higher threat than usual, as his damage output will equal half the spell damage of Jaina, for the period of time when "Icy Veins" will be active. Anyway to prevent the burst from both, Jaina and Elemental, you have to disrupt Jaina's casting, as Elemental is just mimicking her spells.
Ring of Frost
Playing versus “Ring of Frost” is much simpler! You either have an escape ability to dodge it, or you are most likely will be dead. Sometimes, there is a decent support player that will save you with “Cleanse” and heals, but the odds of that to happen equals to the percentage of win rate of a balanced hero, by Blizzard standards) Also, there can be some prominent allies that will use their abilities to counter initiate, disrupt enemy actions and save you, but the odds of that to happen equals to the percentage of the players representing each rank)
Also you can try standing in the middle area. Sometimes it works, and enemy won’t focus a player that is standing still for 4 seconds on one place.
Jokes aside, if you are playing the Support role, you can cleanse the Root or Slow effect from the Ring. And doing so will save your ally. If you are playing Warrior hero with stuns and other hero roles that have powerful initiating abilities, your job will be to prevent enemy from focusing down your teammate(s) that is caught in the “Ring of Frost”.
Lastly, if you are that guy, you need to reposition yourself out of the Ring. If there no such possibility and you see that you will get caught, go in the center of the ring. That way you won’t be Rooted and won’t receive damage and Chill effect. Once the Root effect is expired, move away from the center, but keep in mind that you will be Chilled by the Ring, as it persist for 3 seconds after Roots, and Chills enemies who touch it.
Versus Jaina that has "Frostbolt" build, you don't want to be either Rooted or Slowed by the Ring, as the effect will trigger lower cooldown of "Frostbolt". Usually, with this build, Ring and "Icy Veins" are popped up at the same time, so it is best to save your escape abilities or saves for this moment.
These were general tips. Now, let’s discuss specifics about the particular build.
There are two main things you have to consider when playing versus “Frostbolt” build. First one is the mechanics of the “Frostbolt”, while the second one is the timing of the “Icy Veins” talent.
The “Frostbolt” has mechanics like Muradin’s “Stormbolt”. It is a skillshot that fires projectile. The projectile has some flying speed and hits first enemy, unless there is a talent that allows it to pierce the first target and hit the second target. So, why am i telling you all this? One of the ways you can help your teammate, which is being focused by Jaina’s “Frostbolts”, is to to eat the Bolt instead of him. The results will be Jaina having her “Frostbolt” on longer cooldown, because she hit not Chilled target, and your teammate escaping the Chill effect and focus of the enemies.
However, you have to know what talent enemy Jaina took at level 7. This is important, because it can be “Frost Shards”. In that case, the “Frostbolt” will have piercing effect and will hit not only you, but most likely the ally you are saving. In such scenario, eating Jaina’s “Frostbolt” is bad idea and you need to help your teammate in a different way.
Icy Veins mechanics
It is very important to track the moment when Jaina activates “Icy Veins”. The animation of “Icy Veins” looks like outward explosion of snowflakes. As soon as you see it, you have to act. No matter what role you play, general idea here is to prevent Jaina from using her spells on the focused target. Use any abilities you have to allow your ally escape the Chill effect and reposition himself towards the safe distance.
The experienced Jaina players will use all their basic abilities first, and then will activate the talent. Usually, in such scenario your Support has used his abilities, to heal the damage of previous spells, and he has nothing to offer for the upcoming burst from the “Icy Veins” talent. Ideally, you want to have Uther as your support. In such scenarios he will have an answer in form of “Divine Shield”. Other Supports are much weaker in such situation, as their spells might not connect in time, or have the ability to out-heal the damage that will come from Jaina.
No matter what, your primary goal in such situation is to disrupt Jaina for the duration of the “Icy Veins” talent. If you don’t have the ability to focus her down, or trade efficiently with her team, it is best to stay at safe range, as Jaina will have all her abilities ready after the talent will expire. She will have “Cone of Cold” ready in 3 seconds, “Blizzard” in 5 seconds, and “Frostbolt” each second if she hits non-Chilled target, or even less if she hits Chilled target.
Heroes that work well with and against Jaina
Heroes you would like to take when you play with Jaina
Generally, as a Jaina player, you want to have Support that can save you if you make positional mistake, and 1-2 Warriors that are mobile and have few disable abilities.
This build in particular, is more dependent on the allies, than Standard burst down build. In this build you don’t have “Ice Block” and general style of play requires more peeling from teammates than usual. So the value of Warriors that are able to provide both space creation and nice disables will be higher. Also, until level 20 you don’t have any escape ability, so keeping yourself out of range of key enemy spells and staying in range of your allies will be top priority.
As I’ve mentioned before, Jaina is team dependent hero. This means that she needs support from her team. If we are to talk about Support heroes that go well with her, than Uther is the best choice. Right now with the rework to “Cleanse”, Uther is back to №1 Support spot. So, ideally you want to get Uther, as he provides everything Jaina and the team needs. He has amazing burst healing, the best saving ultimate in the game, “Shrink Ray”, stuns and other useful stuff.
If you don’t have the ability to play Uther, than any other Support will do. I have to correct myself and say, every support except Brightwing, Tyrande and Tassadar. Right now, Brightwing is in very specific spot and is very weak as a solo Support. Play him if you really know what you are doing. Tass and Tyrande are not supports, but semi-supports. You can play them together with Jaina, especially Tyrande, as she provides insane burst damage boost, but not at the role of main Support.
Main idea, when playing a Support, is to determine which style of play your Jaina player have chosen, and play accordingly.
As Jaina, if you are playing aggressively, it is best to have supports with burst healing, like Uther, Rehgar and Kharazim. If you chose to play passive, it is best to have reactionary supports, like Malf or Li Li.
Ideally, for aggressive style of play, you want to have Warriors that are able to jump in fight with you, providing disable and body-blocking. Johanna, Anub, Muradin and Tyrael will be best for such style of play. On the other hand, if you want to play more passively you will need Warriors that are able to hold the damage and peel for you. Leoric, Arthas, Johanna and Muradin will do the trick.
Other roles and hero picks, except Warriors and Support, are not so important to Jaina, but there are some nice heroes that suit well the general style of play of Archmage.
In general, it is fine to play with any Assassin hero. However, there are some specific heroes which are extremely good, so they will be more preferable to have. I’m talking about Zeratul, Kerrigan and Valla, and in some cases Kael’thas. Double mage setup is specific one, so I’ll talk about it later.
Zeratul is good to have in a team, because he is very mobile and is always able to assist you with your target. Together with Jaina, Zera will bring extreme amounts of burst damage and will be able to kill enemy heroes in split-second. Also, he has best zoning and initiating Heroic in the game, which can help you isolate target from the team, or disable enemy Support for the duration of the burst.
Kerrigan is good addition to Jaina, because she will shift focus from Jaina on herself. Also, she provides tons of disruption, disables, and damage. Together with Jaina, she will be able to obliterate enemy team, just like in those YouTube movies.
Valla is good, because she is Valla. I mean she is most flexible hero in the game. Always can adapt to different style of play, and provide whatever you need. If you need additional burst damage, she will be able to provide additional burst damage with damage numbers on par with Zeratul. Also, she is mobile, able to follow you around, has very good self-sustain, amazing Heroics, and is Demon Hunter)
Now we are back to Kael’thas. It is better not to have double mage setup, because both of this heroes have same weakness - they are team and position dependent, have no self-sustain or save abilities. When you already have one hero like that, it is better to have other Assassin or Specialist hero with different kit, and set of weak and strong spots. You can try playing double mage setup. There is nothing wrong with it! It is just that you will have to put much more effort in your positioning and the game focus, than with other setups like Jaina\Zeratul or Jaina\Raynor. Oh, and your teammates will also have their stress doubled.
The heroes i didn’t mention at the start, and which can work wonders with Jaina, are diving melee Assassins: Illidan, Thrall and Butcher. Reason for that is their skill cap. They can do wonders, as they will be getting all the focus from the enemy team, while creating space for Jaina and doing tons of damage. But playing with them is relatively hard, and requires good communication, teamplay and experience.
There are few god-like teammates for Jaina. First of all it is Abathur with “Ultimate Evolution” Heroic. This guy will bring burst damage potential of your team to the skies. One Jaina is good, but two Jainas are able to delete enemy Warrior from the game, in the blink of an eye.
Next one is Murky with “Octo-grab”. This Murloc will be not only annoying as hell and create a lot of space for you, and will assist damage wise, but also will provide 3 seconds of stun that is only dispel-able by “Cleanse”. But how can you “Cleanse” the “Octo-grab” if you are the target of it? By the way, “Octo-grab” lasts for its full duration even if you kill Murky before it is finished.
Good Sylvanas players will be very effective in duo with Jaina, as they will be able to hit either whole enemy team with Silence, or the enemy Support. This will let you kill your target without any/major resistance. Lastly, Sylvanas can provide nice damage amplification that will further increase Jaina bursting potential.
Speaking about the damage amplification. There was no space in other roles, so I’ll provide accommodation for Tyrande in Specialist role. She is also very good with Jaina. She provides nice lockdown and damage amplify. At the same time, she has good scouting, burst damage and offers nice heal.
Heroes you would like to take when you play against Jaina
Basically, these will be the same faces you’ve seen in previous part of the guide. There are few reasons for that. Firstly, heroes that are good with Jaina, at killing other heroes, are also good at killing Jaina. Secondly, Heroes of the Storm is a young MOBA and there not many heroes in the game, and the amount of strong and playable heroes is even less.
“Frostbolt” build will be more vulnerable to disruptive spells, disables, and heroes that are very good at initiating and diving in. Basically, catching Jaina out of position and focusing her down, with such heroes, will most likely result in her death. Few good examples of such heroes would be Zeratul, Muradin and Anub.
Zeratul will be able to isolate Jaina from her team or Support, at the same time providing burst damage. Muradin in Avatar form will be able to provide nice disruption of spell casting. Plus he offers nice CC’s. Lastly, Anub will be source of disables and he has “Web Blast” Heroic. It can be used to completely negate Jaina’s “Icy Veins”.
Snatching that Uther from the enemy team will be a good choice. Usual play style for Jaina is aggressive one, but with Uther she is able to play super aggressive and not be punished at all. So, taking away that possibility would be a good tactical move. If Uther is taken by enemy team, you would like to have either Rehgar or Kharazim. They will provide burst healing, and will be able to keep teammates alive under Jaina’s assault.
As you can see we have a new sub-division here. Playing melee Assassin versus Jaina is very hard. Almost any mistake will result in death. I really advise you not to play those guys versus her, unless you are really good with them. If you are, than do it! She will be a food for you. But why am i telling you this? If you are good with melee Assassins, you already know this!
Just name heroes from previous part of the guide, and you will be right about Assassins that are good against Jaina. While providing excellent burst damage herself, Jaina is squishy Assassin. So heroes like Zeratul, Valla and Kael’thas will be extremely good versus her. There are also less popular and harder to play heroes like Nova and Falstad. They can be good versus Jaina, but their effectiveness will highly depend on player skill and teamwork. And yeah, Zera is Ranged Assassin.
Situation here is the same as it is with Assassins. All the Assassins that are good with Jaina are also good versus her. So, you can either snatch Leoric and Johanna from her team, or pick hero that will be good at peeling for your damage dealers.
Ideally, you want to have heroes that will fit your Team comp, but at the same time will have escape abilities, so they can be effective versus "Icy Veins" if they will be the target of Jainas burst. Examples of such heroes are Johanna, Leoric, Muradin, and Anub. Johanna will have an answer to Jaina's burst in form of Trait. Also, she will be good at saving her allies with Heroic. Leoric has nice escape ability that makes him unstoppable, thus negating the effect of Jaina's Trait. Mura is just good in everything. He has stuns to lock down Jaina or Elemental. He can escape burst with his "E" ability. He has zoning ability that slows attack and movement speed. And lastly he can provide strong disruption of Jaina in Avatar from. The reasons why Anub is good are described in the introduction to this part of the guide.
Short story long, the situation is the same as it is with previous categories. Just imagine Murky keeping Jaina disabled for 3 seconds, or Zeratul with Abathur’s Hat, one-shooting Jaina and zonning out her team or her Support.
This is the end of the guide. This was second part of the in-depth Jaina guide. It highlighted "Frostbolt" build. The build was described from the perspective of talent choices, strong and weak spots, and general style of play. Later on, the article was spiced with tips, suggestions on how to play against Jaina and the build. In the end, guide was finished with the description of heroes that are better to use as allies and foes to Archmage.
If you wish to read previous part, it can be found by the links below. Previous part is done with same approach, but tells the story of Standard burst down build, the one you can usually see in high level Hero League matches or in tournaments. Also, it contains general hero description.
Lastly, what i wanted to say is this guide was made with help of Narga and Arwenphoto. And i want to express great appreciation to them) Narga is one of my favorite cosplayers. In this article you see her charming cosplay as Jaina Proudmoore, from the Warcraft III times. All these beautiful shots were made by Arwenphoto. There are much more shots in this lovely cosplay, but i reserved them for the third part about "Blizzard" build. No matter what, you should check Narga's Deaviant-Art profile, there is much more inspiring cosplay there, and Arwen's site. The site is full of not only Narga's cosplay, but also other beautiful models. The links are provided down below.
First part of the guide: http://www.keengamer.com/article/12065_in-depth-jaina-guide
Deviant-Art profile of Narga: http://narga-lifestream.deviantart.com
Site of Arwen: http://arwenphoto.com