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
Meta – conditions of the game in which some heroes are more popular than the others due to the nature of the game environment. For example, Meta game in professional games and Hero League will be different. In first case people have voice communication and spend a lot of time in the game, so they can play various heroes on extreme level and do organized moves as a team. At the same time, Hero League is environment of players of different skill and understanding of the game, so heroes that are easier to play and provide effective results will be more valued there.
AOE – Area of Effect.
to Poke – to deal some amount of damage to the enemy while staying at the safe distance.
Wombo-Combo – a setup of spells or Heroics that brings overwhelming results, like bringing every enemy team member down almost simultaneously. Usually, it involves spells with tricky mechanics.
to Burst down – to use damaging spells and abilities in quick succession.
DPS – damage per second.
Divy hero – mobile hero that is able jump in and out of the fight, while bringing in moderate damage numbers.
”Blizzard” build offers interesting approach to Jaina gameplay. The build is specific, and you can rarely see it in use. But it is interesting experience, plus it is not something abstract and unusable. Build is viable and has its uses. Moreover, it may be more appealing for most of the readers. The build allows staying in the safe distance or out of the fight completely, but at the same time you are able to land huge blows to the enemy.
For current Meta, it might be not the best build. But not all the games are played by the Meta, especially in Hero League or Quick Match. This build will be very good at positional and stationary fights. Gameplay wise, you will feel like old “Flamestrike” Kael’thas. You just poke people with huge AOE spell, from time to time, and they die. However, the cooldown of Blizzard is higher.
Lastly, what i wanted to say is this build will be extremely good for wombo-combo setups. It will be able to provide extreme amounts of AOE damage. The mechanics of the damage output goes very well with any famous wombo-combo.
The talents in this build, are centered around the idea of buffing “Blizzard”, and providing long range gameplay. Such talent choices will allow you to stay far, far away from enemy threats. At the same time, Jaina will provide strong AOE damage combined with long range nuke, to increase the damage or for better single target focus.
As you will see, there are no Mana generating talents in this build. The reason for that is you won’t be casting spells that much, especially after you reach level 13. Until then, gameplay is similar to Standard burst down build, but you have higher range and able to stay in the backline, while dishing out damage.
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.
The talent will increase radius of “Blizzard” by 30%. Such talent choice is good for 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”.
“Frostbitten” will increase damage amplification from Trait by 15%, and will make it to be 65%, in total. Overall, DPS buff this talent brings will vary, depending on the spell rotation, but it is around 10% of your DPS. For hero oriented at bursting down targets, having such talent is always nice. Again, if it seems not a big deal, think about Tyrande. I mean her Trait. It provides 25%, and she is able to blow heroes away with just her abilities, I’m not even talking about the fact that it also applies for allies abilities! Jaina is not Tyrande, so this 15% buff works only for her abilities, but the actual numbers are critical to bringing down the targets. Also, Jaina has enough AOE spells to make this talent do wonders.
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 risky play, but offers higher reward.
In this particular build i prefer to play with “Ring of Frost”, unless there are divy heroes or heroes with strong initiation potential. This Heroic provides nice setup for improved “Blizzard” and suits general style of play very well. However, the situation with mobile heroes and heroes with good initiation is tricky. On one hand, you want to have Elemental, so in case they will burst you down it will be left on the battlefield to do some damage and assist allies. On the other hand, if you are able to land good combo of “Ring of Frost” + “Blizzard”, you will most likely win a fight for your team and hero trades will be in favor of your team.
So, if you are new to this build, try playing with different Heroics to see how they fit your play style and understanding of the build. Choose any Heroic, which will be more successful to you.
The talent will increase cast range of “Blizzard” by 100%. Here is where fun begins and build starts to have heavy gameplay and talent changes compared to the default build. With such talent active, your gameplay will lean more towards the positional poking. Huge range of the spell will allow poking enemies from afar and supporting lockdowns by Jaina’s allies. Lastly, the talent will be the reason why this build is so good at maps that have stationary objective capture.
Number of “Blizzard” waves will be increased by 1, making it 3 in total. This upgrade will incredibly increase the damage from your “W”. Depending on the spell rotation, it may even be more than 50%. This will happen in cases when enemy is not Chilled and hit by first wave of the spell, which applies the Chilling effect. With this talent in hand, you will be able to provide insane AOE damage from afar. It will be easy to hit enemies with “Blizzard” as it will have increased range due to level 13 talent, plus the spell will create strong zoning effect and will provide slow effect. The only downside will be 15 seconds cooldown.
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. 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 “Blizzard” 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 using it aggressively.
Build Pros and Cons
This build is very much like the “Frostbolt” build, in terms of weak and strong spots, but doesn’t have the luxury of “Icy Veins” talent. This will decrease burst down potential. Also, build is not so good at prolonged fights, as main damage source has very long cooldown and there are no cooldown reduction talents. All these weak spots are compensated with incredibly powerful zoning effect, as well as the ability to create insane pressure, while staying at long range.
Long ranged combat and strong, long-ranged burst down damage
The increased range on “Frostbolt”, and later in the game increased range on “Blizzard”, will create such style of play when you are able to be at long range, towards the enemy, but still do almost all your damage. Later on, with “Snow Crash” in play, provides increased amount of Blizzard waves, you will be able to provide extreme burst down damage from afar. You already can do this on 13, with “Ring of Frost” Heroic, the additional wave just servers as a nail in the coffin.
Very good at zoning
Apart from being very good at long ranged combat, Jaina in this build is also very good at zoning. Same talents that provide long range combat and damage, also provide strong zoning effect. The increased amount of waves for “W” is not only a damage boost, but also prolongs in time the duration of “Blizzard”. So, apart from improving damage aspect of the spell, the talent also improves zoning potential a lot.
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 trades “Ice Block” for “Storm Front”, the increased range of “Blizzard”. The result is overwhelming zoning and poking. Also, the increased range of “Frostbolt” creates long ranged combat, which leaves you almost unreachable for enemies. However, there are heroes that can reach you, so positional mistakes will result in takedown. Situation will shift at level 20, with the arrival of the “Bolt of the Storm”. But Jaina will still melt under enemy focus in the blink of an eye.
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.
For “Blizzard build” there will be mix between the playstyles. Until level 13 you will have, in general, situational approach. Gameplay will look like standard Jaina gameplay. On level 13 when you’ll acquire range upgrade the gameplay will switch to long range combat and long range poking. Your main damage source abilities will have extreme range, so you don’t need to be on the front line to deal damage.
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.
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.
Also, in this build, you rarely need to use Bolt to initiate, as all key abilities have huge range. So, it will stay more on the defensive side, compared to other Jaina builds.
Bolt of the Storm tip
It is better to save “Bolt of the Storm” and use it as save ability. The long range of your spells allows you to stay and the safe distance and put out huge damage numbers. You don’t need any initiating power. So, it is best to think of Bolt as an escape ability.
Ring of Frost tip
This Heroic also benefits from the Trait. And that means that you want targets that are hit by it to be Chilled. The Ring itself provides Chill effect only after the explosion. Ideally, you want to hit enemies with “Blizzard” right before Ring explosion occurs. To achieve such effect you need to cast “Ring of Frost” first, and then immediately follow it up with “Blizzard”. The Ring has 1.5 sec delay before the explosion happens, so first wave of “Blizzard” will hit right before the explosion.
General style of play tip
With this build you want to be patient. You don’t need to rush in or be close to your mates, as your key spells have very long range. Moreover, due to high range it is more preferable for you to be a bit away from your allies. Usually, this confuses enemy, as he think there are one less enemy. With such playstyle you will not only be able to trick enemy in terms of number presence. Also, enemy will have their focus shifted on the other heroes, so they won’t account for you.
Water Elemental tip
If you are going to play with Water, consider taking “Ice Lance” talent. The Elemental is a source of the constant Chill effect. So, having you “Frostbolt” on 2 seconds cooldown instead of 4, will be a decent buff to both Elemental and overall DPS. This talent will be even more useful if you took range upgrade for “Frostbolt” on level 1.
Talent deviations for the Build
There won’t be much alternative talents for this build, as it has many core talents. There are options on level 1 and 7. Also the Heroic is situational. In my opinion the “Ring of Frost” is much better for this build and style of play. However, there can be situations when you would prefer to go Water Elemental. Lastly, i highly recommend going Bolt on level 20. But if you think that Bolt won’t be needed, which is rarely the case, I’ll provide overview of viable options for level 20.
In general, i don’t recommend skipping increased range of “Frostbolt”, unless you have a need in additional Mana regen, or feel that you need stronger CC from you Trait. The reason i value increased range so much is in the specifics of middle game this build has. In the beginning of the game you will be fine without the upgrade, but later on, when everyone has ultimates and before you have level 20, you will be very fragile positioning wise, without the increased range.
Here, on level 1, 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 "Arcane Intellect" 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. The talent will increase the slow from your Trait to 35% up from 25%. Such numbers will make escaping your AOE spell a harder task. Also, it will be a bit easier to hit enemy with skillshots, both for you and your teammates.
Viable talents on this tier have ability to provide additional sustain versus strong melee or right click comps, and can increase the potential in prolonged fights.
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.
Next viable talent is “Ice lance”. It will lower the cooldown of your “Frostbolt”, by 2 seconds, when it hits enemy that is already Chilled. This talent will be very strong in prolonged fights and on the maps with stationary objective fights. Other than that, the talent will also increase your pressure on the enemy front line and Support.
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.
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 taking 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 the 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 the 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.
For “Blizzard” build, the part that is written above will be even more valuable. This build heavily emphasizes on “Blizzard”, so dodging it or negating its damage will be very valuable.
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.
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 4×5 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 your 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.
In this build, Water Ele won’t have strong impact unless “Ice Lance” talent is taken. With Elemental in play, Jaina will be able to do more damage with Frostbolt. Usually, the difference is fatal, as damage will be moderate and stable.
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.
In this build, the value of Ring of Frost will be very high. With its help experienced Jaina players will be able to obliterate either single enemy, or most of the enemy team. Also, it will happen from a long range.
These were general tips. Now, let’s discuss specifics about the particular build.
When you are playing versus “Blizzard” build, there are few things you need to know how to play against. They are the Blizzard spell and Heroic(s). The outplays you can do and tips were provided in the part of the guide situated above. I just want to point out that there is nothing extra, or special about this build, except the long range combat. But this feature of the build must be countered by the setup. You need to have divy or initiation heroes to either put a pressure on Jaina, or have the ability to isolate and bring her down. So, there are no special tips, but heroes that have bigger value. They will be described down below, in the section of the guide that tells about heroes that are good allies and foes to Archmage.
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 the 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.
Compared to other Jaina builds, the Uther is not as critical as a Support, unless other ally picks will benefit from him or you want to snatch him from the enemy. Such shift comes from the long ranged style of play. Also, you don’t really need burst healing, unless there is mobile enemy hero that can burst down Jaina in one second.
Ideal Support for this build is Malfurion. That doesn’t mean you can’t play with others. Playing with other supports will be fine, but Malf will be most beneficial in long fights or in poking wars. The above is true when your other allies well also benefit from Malf, and enemy comp won’t require strong burst healing from your Support.
So, standard Support values are the same for this build, unless the long, drained out fights are more likely to happen. In such scenarios Malf would be more beneficial.
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. But, as I've mentioned before, if you see that the game will feature drained out fights and your team doesn't need burst healing, Malf will be best choice for "Blizzard" build.
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.
For "Blizzard" build there are no "desired" Warrior. Basically, you are fine with any Warrior, described above, which is beneficial to ally setup. There will be slight difference in the style of play, depending on the number of Warriors in your setup. If it is double Warrior setup than there is nothing extra required from Jaina player. However, if you are playing with single Warrior setup, the positional mistakes and general misplays will have higher value and impact then usual.
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. She can always adapt to different style of play, and provide whatever your team needs. 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. Lastly, such setup will be more late game oriented.
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.
Here i have to say that Abby don’t acquire talent upgrades from the original hero, so don’t expect copied Jaina to cast “Blizzard” form insanely long range.
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
In general, 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.
Versus “Blizzard” build, very strong threat will pose heroes that can solo kill Jaina, have good initiation, or can dive in and put a lot of pressure. Weakness versus such heroes comes from style of play and positioning. Jaina doesn’t have “Ice Block” and is usually in the far backline.
Perfect example is, again, Zeratul. He does both things. He can put pressure on Jaina and solo kill her, and at the same time he can isolate her from her team, or provide good initiation. As for heroes that are good at solo killing Jaina, Butcher and Nova will be good examples. They both have enough damage and options to kill Jaina, but are harder to play then Zeratul.
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.
Here i want to point out that ideally you want to have a double warrior setup, with second Warrior being mobile and able to put pressure on Jaina. This way you will be able to secure a quick kill with the help any of your Assassins, and especially in the case of Assassin that is good at solo kills. Good examples of such heroes will be Tyrael, Sonya and Anub.
Tyrael will provide nice lockdown, body-blocking, and buffs that will make killing Jaina an easy task. Sonya has enough damage to almost single-handedly kill Jaina, plus she offers nice lockdown and initiation. Lastly, Anub will be good at everything. He provides enormous amount of stuns and body-blocks, he has Web Blast to disable hero that will come to aid Jaina.
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 zoning out her team or her Support. Also good example of strong specialist will be Sylvanas with default burst down build. If you catch Jaina with cooldowns on her spells she will be an easy kill for you.
This is the end of the third part and the whole in-depth guide thingy. The third part was about "Blizzard" build. The build was described in my traditional manner – thorough the exposure of Talent choices, weak and strong spots, and general style of play. Of course, later on everything was spiced with tons of tips, alternative talent choices, and info about heroes that are friends and foes to the Archmage. The in-depth guide was about Jaina. It contained general hero overview and highlighted 3 different Jaina builds.
If you wish to read previous parts, they can be found by the links below. Previous parts are done with same approach, but tell the story of different builds. First part is about 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. Second part is about Frostbolt build. The build is less popular, in general, but can also be seen in professional matches and in some high level League matches.
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. 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
Second part of the guide: http://www.keengamer.com/article/12071_in-depth-jaina-guide-frostbolt-build
Deviant-Art profile of Narga: http://narga-lifestream.deviantart.com
Site of Arwen: http://arwenphoto.com