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Franchise-warcraft.png This is from the Warcraft universe.

The Dark Lady watches over you.

Damage (6/10) Utility (7/10) Survivability (7/10) Complexity (5/10)

Sylvanas is a Ranged Specialist Hero from the Warcraft universe.

She has a stoic, but arrogant personality.[1] As Ranger-General of Silvermoon, Sylvanas is a leader of her people and a powerful force for good against the undead scourge that seek to overthrow the elven race. Her deadly accuracy is legend across Azeroth.[2]


In death, Sylvanas still considers herself one of the foremost protectors of Quel'Thalas, and repeatedly offers assistance in the form of supplies and troops to the blood elves. This may be due in some part to the fact that the Dark Lady still grieves over her failure to protect Quel'Thalas from the Scourge invasion during the Third War, when she fell in battle.[3]

Gameplay Summary

Sylvanas a Specialist with powerful sustained damage, waveclear and mobility, featuring very balanced attributes. She is unique as her trait, Black Arrows, allows her to shutdown enemy minions and structures, essentially stunning them permanently as long Sylvanas hits them with Basic Attacks or Abilities.

Overall, Sylvanas fits into most team compositions due her very potent kit capable to destroying structures by herself if left alone, all while being capable of handling quite well in teamfights. Her versatile mobility also makes her quite difficult to take down.


  • Very high sustained damage for a Specialist Hero, rivaling or surpassing even some Assassins.
  • Formidable solo laner.
  • One of the strongest waveclears in the game.
  • Can easily solo Mercenary Camps.
  • Considerably low mana issues.
  • Black Arrows allows her to stun all enemy Minions, Mercenaries and Structures save for Bosses and Cores.
  • Withering Fire is an auto-target ability that provides very high burst and is great at pressuring opponents as Sylvanas can use it while moving, and can be used with Basic Attacks without cancelling them.
    • It is also absurdly potent during teamfights that happen in lanes, as it'll recharge with each Minion killed.
  • Shadow Dagger is a very potent tool for spreading Black Arrow and shutting down as many Minions as possible.
  • Haunting Wave is a very versatile escape tool due its range.
    • It is also very useful for chasing down opponents.
  • Wailing Arrow covers large radius and can shutdown the entire enemy team if properly timed.
  • Mind Control is a versatile Heroic Ability that can be used either to take down key-targets or to push away dangerous threat.


  • Very low healthpool.
  • Extremely bad in bursting heroes.
  • Struggles against heroes who can catch up to her Haunting Wave (such as Illidan).
  • Bad duelist.
  • Besides Haunting Wave, she has almost no solutions to break stealth.
  • Hard to master.
  • Weak against burst assassins (like Nova).
  • Considerable weak in the early game.
  • Poor teamfight power after using her Heroic Abilities.
  • Susceptible to stuns and silences, which prevents her from escaping with Haunting Wave.
  • Can struggle when fighting for lane domination against other Specialists (i.e. Zagara).
  • Withering Fire offers poor targeted damage as it can often hit enemy minions instead of Heroes.
  • Haunting Wave has a small delay, which requires proper timing.
  • Mind Control leaves Sylvanas completely vulnerable and open to retaliation.


Sylvanas specializes in DPS and siege damage.[4]

Withering Fire (Q)
Cooldown: 2 seconds

Charge Shoot the closest enemy for 48 (+4% per level) damage, preferring Heroes. Stores 5 charges. Gain 1 charge on nearby enemy Minion or Mercenary deaths, and 3 charges on nearby enemy Hero deaths.

Shadow Dagger (W)
Mana: 75
Cooldown: 12 seconds

Deals 39 (+4% per level) damage and an additional 154 (+4% per level) damage over 2 seconds to target unit. The effect spreads to nearby targets.

Haunting Wave (E)
Mana: 75
Cooldown: 11 seconds

Send forth a wave of banshees dealing 119 (+4% per level) damage to all targets. Reactivate to teleport to the banshees' location.


Black Arrows [Passive]

Basic Attacks and Abilities Stun Minions and Mercenaries for 1 second, and Basic Attacks disable Structures for 1 second.

Heroic Abilities

Wailing Arrow [Heroic Ability]
Tier 4 (Hero Level 10)
Mana: 100
Cooldown: 90 seconds

Shoot an arrow that can be reactivated to deal 238 (+4% per level) damage and silence enemies in an area making them unable to use Abilities for 2.5 seconds. The arrow detonates automatically if it reaches maximum range.

Mind Control [Heroic Ability]
Tier 4 (Hero Level 10)
Mana: 75
Cooldown: 60 seconds

After channeling for 1 second, gain control of an enemy Hero’s movement for 2.5 seconds.


Tier 1, Hero Level 1

Overflowing Quiver
Tier 1 (Hero Level 1)

Releases a free Withering Fire shot whenever a nearby enemy Minion dies. The free shot can only hit non-Heroic targets.

Dreadful Wake
Tier 1 (Hero Level 1)

Haunting Wave now disables Minions and Mercenaries for 7 seconds. Restores 5 Mana per minion hit by Haunting Wave.

Mercenary Queen
Tier 1 (Hero Level 1)

Nearby non-Boss, allied Mercenaries deal 60% more damage.

Tier 2, Hero Level 4

With the Wind
Tier 2 (Hero Level 4)

Increases Withering Fire's range by 25%.

Lost Soul
Tier 2 (Hero Level 4)

Reduces the cooldown of Shadow Dagger by 1.0 second for each enemy Hero hit.

Withering Barrage
Tier 2 (Hero Level 4)

Gain an additional charge of Withering Fire, and charges fire 33% faster.

Tier 3, Hero Level 7

Unstable Poison
Tier 3 (Hero Level 7)

Minions that die under the effects of Black Arrows explode, dealing 121 (+4% per level) damage to nearby enemies. Does not damage Heroes or Structures.

Tier 3 (Hero Level 7)

Turn the allegiance of an enemy Minion. Stores up to 3 charges.

Barbed Shot
Tier 3 (Hero Level 7)

Withering Fire deals 200% bonus damage to Minions and Mercenaries.

Tier 4, Hero Level 10

Wailing Arrow [Heroic Ability]
Tier 4 (Hero Level 10)
Mana: 100
Cooldown: 90 seconds

Shoot an arrow that can be reactivated to deal 238 (+4% per level) damage and silence enemies in an area making them unable to use Abilities for 2.5 seconds. The arrow detonates automatically if it reaches maximum range.

Mind Control [Heroic Ability]
Tier 4 (Hero Level 10)
Mana: 75
Cooldown: 60 seconds

After channeling for 1 second, gain control of an enemy Hero’s movement for 2.5 seconds.

Tier 5, Hero Level 13

Life Drain
Tier 5 (Hero Level 13)

Shadow Dagger heals you for 39 (+4% per level) each time it spreads to an enemy.

Tier 5 (Hero Level 13)
Cooldown: 0.5 seconds

Teleporting with Haunting Wave fully recharges your Withering Fire. Haunting Wave can be cast a second time for free within 5 seconds after teleporting.

Will of the Forsaken
Tier 5 (Hero Level 13)
Cooldown: 60 seconds

Activate to become Unstoppable and gain 40% Movement Speed for 3 seconds.

Spell Shield
Tier 5 (Hero Level 13)
Cooldown: 0.5 seconds

Every 30 seconds, gain 50 Spell Armor against the next enemy Ability and subsequent Abilities for 1.5 seconds, reducing the damage taken by 50%.

Can be toggled to allow or prevent this talent from triggering automatically.

Tier 6, Hero Level 16

Evasive Fire
Tier 6 (Hero Level 16)

You gain 10% Movement Speed for 2 seconds whenever an enemy is hit with Withering Fire, stacking up to 30%.

Cold Embrace
Tier 6 (Hero Level 16)

Shadow Dagger lowers the Armor of the initial enemy by 25 for 2 seconds, causing them to take 25% more damage.

Storm btn-extra int 0.png
Tier 6 (Hero Level 16)

After using an ability, your next Basic Attack within 3 seconds deals 40% additional damage.

Overwhelming Affliction
Tier 6 (Hero Level 16)

Black Arrows now also applies to Heroes, slowing their Movement Speed by 6% for the duration. Stacks up to 5 times.

Tier 7, Hero Level 20

Deafening Blast
Tier 7 (Hero Level 20)

Enemies at the center of Wailing Arrow's explosion take 50% more damage and are silenced for twice as long.

Dark Lady's Call
Tier 7 (Hero Level 20)

Mind Controlled enemies gain 100% Movement Speed for the duration.

Fury of the Storm
Tier 7 (Hero Level 20)

Every 5 seconds, your next basic attack will deal an additional 94.64 (+4% per level) damage to the target, and 237.12 (+4% per level) damage to all nearby Minions and Mercenaries.

Bolt of the Storm Icon New.png
Bolt of the Storm [Active]
Tier 7 (Hero Level 20)
Cooldown: 70 seconds

Activate to teleport to a nearby location.

Talent Builds

  • Balanced Build: focused on providing Sylvanas with a healthy blend of damage, utility and mobility. This build allows Sylvanas to maximize her effectiveness in teamfights while still further improving her waveclear and sieging.
    • If the map features a lot of strong Mercenaries (such as the ones in Braxis Holdout and Volskaya Foundry), taking Mercenary Queen at level 1 can greatly improve Sylvanas pushing power in the late game.
    • If the enemy team features a very dangerous Assassin or powerful Support, Mind Control can be more useful instead to quickly eliminate those key targets.


  • Withering Fire cost no mana, and their stacks refresh quickly, specially when waveclearing. Use them freely to speed up the laning phase.
  • Try hitting Shadow Dagger at a target that will more likely spread Black Arrows to as many enemies and structures possible.
  • Do not use Haunting Wave for waveclear; it should be used solely as a escape tool, or in other scenarios, to secure a takedown by chasing opponents.
  • Do not use Wailing Arrow preemptively; save it for when opponents are more likely to unleash powerful cooldowns to maximize the shutdown. It is great for interrupting channeled abilities.
  • Positioning is key when using Mind Control, as Sylvanas will be left vulnerable for 2.5 seconds.
    • When controlling an enemy Hero, try putting them at a favorable location for the allied team to take them down.
  • While Sylvanas is a formidable solo laner due her ability to shutdown Structures, she becomes even more powerful with another Hero with high siege damage (i.e. Azmodan, Probius).



While Sylvanas pairs well with the majority of the cast, she truly shines when fighting alongside high-burst Assassins that complement her damage. In addition, having other split-pushers is a great way to create additional map pressure.

Azmodan is an incredibly strong solo laner and sieger, given the right circustances. This, combined with Sylvanas's Black Arrows.

Jaina provides an effective damage output and crowd control that works pretty well with Sylvanas, specially if Mind Control is taken, allowing Sylvanas to direct her victim directly into Jaina's abilities.

In a similar fashion to Azmodan, Probius powerful damage output can devastate structures if left alone, which makes him even more effective at split-pushing if Sylvanas is focused on another lane.

Valla has all the right tools to an effective teamfighter: high burst damage, mobility and hard crowd control (if Rain of Vengeance is taken. This allows Sylvanas to even focus on using backdoor strategies while her team focus on objectives, provided that Valla ready.

Effective against

The perfect Portal engage can be completely nullified if your team is unable to follow up immediately. The silence and crowd control effects of Sylvanas’ Heroic abilities are very dangerous against teams looking to make good use of Medivh's portals.

Since Varian gains more power at level 10 than most Heroes, Sylvanas’ powerful early game pushes are difficult for Varian to handle.

Effective foes

Sylvanas is at her best when being able to quietly push the lanes by disabling structures. Because of that, lane bullies that can constantly harass and dive can make her life a living nightmare, specially those that have mobility on par with her. In addition, stealth Heroes can also catch her by surprise while she is split-pushing.

Diablo's aggressive playstyle can greatly limit Sylvanas mobility. If timed correctly, he can effectively prevent her from teleporting with Haunting Wave after the initial cast, essentially sealing her fate.

Nova's superior range and burst damage can get Sylvanas unguarded. In addition, Triple Tap will hit Sylvanas even if she teleports with Haunting Wave.

Zeratul's high burst and ability to stick to his targets makes difficult for Sylvanas to escape even if she teleports with Haunting Wave.


The Banshee Queen (base)
SylvanasTBQPurple.png SylvanasTBQGrey.png SylvanasTBQRed.png
The Banshee Queen Frost Scarlet
Ranger-General Sylvanas IconShard.png 100
The Ranger-Generals are the commanders of the Farstriders of Quel'Thalas. It is their solemn duty to ensure the protection of Silvermoon, or give their lives in its defense.
Features altered voice-over.
SylvanasRGBlue.jpg SylvanasRGGreen.jpg SylvanasRGRed.jpg Sylvanas - Ranger-General - Sin'dorei.jpg
Ranger-General Woodland Ghostlands Sin'dorei
Warchief IconShard.png 100
Sylvanas never wanted to be warchief, and was never fond of Vol'jin. Nevertheless, she has sworn to avenge the fallen shadow hunter and lead their people to victory against the Legion
Sylvanas - Warchief.jpg Sylvanas - Warchief - Cold.jpg Sylvanas - Warchief - Crimson.jpg
Warchief Cold Crimson
Dark Lady IconShard.png 100
The guise of a Dark Ranger strikes fear into the hearts of their enemies. The guise of the Dark Ranger Queen will send them running for reinforcements...
SylvanasMasterGray.jpg SylvanasMasterGreen.jpg SylvanasMasterRed.jpg
Dark Lady Plagued San'layn
Raven IconShard.png 400
Those who fight against evil are often the most affected by it. The Rogues of Khanduras learned this well when their former sister Sylvanas fell in league with the maiden of Anguish, Andariel.
This skin is related to the Diablo themed-skins.
Sylvanas - Blood Raven.jpg Sylvanas - Skeletal Raven.jpg Sylvanas - Banshee Raven.jpg Sylvanas - Jungle Raven.jpg
Blood Skeletal Banshee Jungle
Sylvanas - Wild Raven.jpg
Sugar Plum IconShard.png 1600
Sugar and spice? Maybe. Everything nice? Not by a long shot.
This skin is related to the Winter Veil themed-skins. Features themed abilities.
Sylvanas - Sugar Plum.jpg Sylvanas - Sugar Plum - Snow.jpg Sylvanas - Sugar Plum - Sour.jpg Sylvanas - Sugar Plum - Sweet.jpg
Sugar Plum Snow Sour Sweet IconShard.png 2400
Lunar IconShard.png 600
Much has changed for Quel'Thalas over the centuries, but the Windrunner family has never stopped honoring their elders during the Lunar Festival.
Sylvanas - Lunar.jpg Sylvanas - Lunar - Jade.jpg Sylvanas - Lunar - Soaring.jpg
Lunar Jade Soaring


Sylvanas's "good" (left) and "evil" (right) forms

Sylvanas was conceived within the first two years of the game's development.[5] She appeared as a hero in early builds. She had powerful ranged attacks and was deadly, easy to kill. She benefited from dexterity items.[2] She was a powerful mid to late game hero.[1]

As with the rest of the characters at the time, Sylvanas had a "good" and "evil" form—in her case, corresponding to her living and undead forms respectively.[1]

Her abilities and stats were as follows:

  • Stats
    • Life: 1
    • Attack: 5.25
    • Abilities: 6
    • Speed: 3.75
  • Abilities
    • Trueshot Aura
    • Wild Arrow
    • Frost Arrow
    • Silence
    • Freezing Trap
    • Multishot[2]

Sylvanas has proven difficult to balance in regards to battleground design, given her ability to disable towers.[6]


Patch changes


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 StarCraft Legacy staff. 2010-10-24. BlizzCon 2010 StarCraft II Art Panel. StarCraft Legacy. Accessed 2010-10-26.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 StarCraft Legacy staff. 2010-10-22. BlizzCon 2010 StarCraft II Custom Maps and Editor Panel. StarCraft Legacy. Accessed 2010-10-23.
  3. From WoWWiki
  4. 2015-03-06, Pax East 2015 : Sylvanas, Tomb of the Spider Queen and UI updates. Blizzplanet, accessed on 2015-03-18
  5. 2016-11-21, BlizzCon 2016 Heroes of the Storm Deep Dive Panel Transcript. Blizzplanet, accessed on 2016-11-21
  6. 2016-10-15, Heroes of The Storm Dev Discusses Cho'Gall Balance, Hero Design, And More!. The Escapist, accessed on 2016-10-15

External links