Heroes of the Storm guide: Tyrande bodyguard build
Tyrande has always occupied an uncertain space in the Heroes of the Storm meta, which often translates to the lower end of tier lists. There will always be characters in any MOBA that aren't necessarily poor picks in and of themselves, but simply can't compete with others who fill their role better.
At first, Tyrande didn't fit into the standard team composition of "two warriors, assassin, specialist and support", because her healing was outshined by several other supports. And she lacked the burst to be a true assassin. However, when a hero doesn't fit existing roles, perhaps they just need a new one.
Replacing the specialist, I've found Tyrande performs well as the support's support, or "bodyguard" - allowing the warriors to focus on defending the assassin and pushing. In the heat of a fight, many support players will remember having to make the split second decision: do you heal yourself? Heal your teammate? Or will you have your key crowd-control on cooldown because you used it to escape earlier?
Tyrande provides an answer to this conundrum - not only with that extra heal or stun, but with something all supports often wish they had just a tiny bit more of: damage.
If built correctly, her sustained damage can be quite a threat if the enemy is unable to reach her or escape her range. This allows the support or another team member to join in and dispatch the would-be assassin when they're distracted. The bodyguard role also allows her unique strengths to shine 0 such as the increased damage for allies from her passive and the map-awareness from owl scouting.
Ranger's Mark (trait)
- Her passive is essential to this strategy, so needs to off cooldown as much as possible.
Focused Attack (passive)
- A good boost to your sustained damage that will synergizes well with her trait and the later talent, Huntress' Fury. The same could be said for Searing Arrows, but the active component means that it could go unused at a critical juncture as well as costing mana, which will be used for more important things.
Quickening Blessing (Q)
- Ideal for helping teammates or yourself get out of sticky situations with a burst of movement speed if your stun (E) is on cooldown.
- While Shadowstalk could arguably be more suited to a role of defending the support with an excellent escape tool, it requires a more coordinated team than you are likely to see in solo queue. Starfall, on the other hand, provides a large (and potentially global) area of effect damage and all the benefits that implies. Zoning from map objectives, turning a teamfight in your favor or catching a fleeing enemy.
Huntress' Fury (trait)
- An attack speed boost from Hunter's Mark means the damage bonus from Focused Attack is triggered that much more often. The resulting health drop for your enemy will make most assassins back off.
Trueshot Aura (passive) or Shooting Star (E)
- Either works well here. Trueshot Aura allows you to buff your allies' damage even when your trait is on cooldown, but the mana refund and damage increase that comes with Shooting Star significantly improves her burst damage.
Nexus Frenzy (passive) or Celestial Wrath (R)
- Nexus Frenzy is the talent that better fits with the sustained damage theme, as well as synergizing with Huntress' Fury. Celestial Wrath gives you a global presence, allowing you to contribute to a teamfight before you even get there.
This build is a good mix of damage and defense that should allow you to hold the line until the rest of your team is able to help, or even take out an enemy on your own in the right situation. Try it out and let me know in the comments how it works for you!