Heroes of the Storm: Soapbox's Guide to Dominating as Valla
So you’ve studied Danielle’s fantastic map guides; you read Rob’s gold and hero buying guide. What’s next before you enter the Nexus? A hero guide of course! The subject of today’s guide is one of my favorite characters, Valla, the Demon Hunter.
Valla is a ranged assassin who uses range to her advantage while sniping away at her opponent’s health. By using this guide, you’ll be the bane of your opponent’s existence and the most fearsome Demon Hunter around!
Let’s begin with the skills shall we?
Basic Attacks grant a stack of Hatred, up to 10. Each Hatred stack increases Basic Attack damage by 2% and Movement Speed by 1%.
(Q) Hungering Arrow
60 Mana Cooldown: 14 seconds
Fire an arrow that deals 366 (81 + 15 per level) damage to the first target hit, then seeks up to 2 additional enemies dealing 183 (40.5 + 7.5 per level) damage. Can hit an enemy multiple times.
60 Mana Cooldown: 8 seconds
Deal 360 (75 + 15 per level) damage to enemies within the target area.
75 Mana Cooldown: 10 seconds
Dash to the target area.
Heroic Ability: 80 Mana Cooldown: 60 seconds
Rapidly attack nearby visible enemies for 150 (21.75 + 6.75 per level) damage per hit, prioritizing heroes over minions. Valla is able to move and use Vault while strafing. Lasts for 4 seconds.
(R) Rain of Vengeance
Heroic Ability: 100 Mana Cooldown: 90 seconds
Launch 2 waves of Shadow Beasts that deal 560 (123 + 23 per level) damage to enemies within the target area, stunning for 0.5 seconds per wave.
Outdated animations, but a general idea how her abilities function.
As you can see, Valla is all about the punishment and damage. Her basic attacks make her attack and move faster, and all of her abilities save one are about demolishing your foes. Valla’s priority is the enemy team’s death; she’s a tad focused. Now that we've looked at her skills, let's look at leveling options.
Cost-Effective Materials: Reduces the Mana cost of Hungering Arrow by 30.
Siphoning Arrow: 50% of the damage dealt by Hungering Arrow is returned as Health to Valla.
Composite Arrows: Increases the range of Multishot by 20%.
Rancor: Each Hatred stack increases Attack Speed by 1.5%
Punishment: Using an Ability also grants 3 Hatred stacks.
Vampiric Assault: Basic Attacks heal for 15% of the damage dealt to the primary target.
Manticore: Every 3rd Basic Attack against the same target deals 50% additional damage.
Puncturing Arrow: Hungering Arrow range increased by 25% and the number of times it can bounce to 3.
Arsenal: Multishot also fires 3 grenades, which deal 35 damage.
Caltrops: Drop 3 Caltrops while Vaulting. Caltrops do 25 damage and slow enemies by 20% for 2 seconds.
Hot Pursuit: When at 10 stacks of Hatred, the Movement Speed bonus increases to 20% total.
Repeating Arrow: The cooldown for Hungering Arrow is reset when Vault is used.
Searing Attacks: Activate to increase Basic Attack damage by 50% for 5 seconds. Each attack costs 15 Mana.
Strafe: Rapidly attack nearby visible enemies for 15 damage per hit, prioritizing heroes over minions. Valla is able to move and use Vault while strafing. Lasts for 4 seconds.
Rain of Vengeance: Launch 2 waves of Shadow Beasts that deal 100 damage to enemies within the target area, stunning for 0.5 seconds per wave.
Giant Killer: Basic Attacks against enemy Heroes deal bonus damage equal to 1.5% of the Hero's maximum Health.
Frost Shot: Multishot also slows by 40% for 2 seconds.
Tempered by Discipline: Gain up to 10 stacks of Discipline after Hatred stacks are maxed. Basic Attacks heal for 3% of damage dealt to the primary target per Discipline stack.
Spell Shield: Upon taking Ability Damage, reduce that damage and further Ability Damage by 50% for 3 seconds. Can only trigger once every 30 seconds.
Executioner: Basic Attacks deal 40% more damage against slowed, rooted, or stunned targets.
Tumble: Vault gains an additional charge, allowing it to be cast twice in quick succession.
Blood for Blood: Activate to deal 10% of target enemy Hero's Max Health and heal for twice that amount.
Stoneskin: Activate to gain 30% of your maximum Health as a Shield for 5 seconds.
Vengeance: Strafe also fires penetrating bolts in a line for 7.5 damage every 0.25 seconds.
Storm of Vengeance: Increases the number of Shadow Beast waves to 4.
Nexus Frenzy: Increases Attack Speed by 20% and Attack Range by 20%.
Bolt of the Storm: Activate to teleport to a nearby location.
Now before I go to some builds, let’s go over some of Valla's weaker skills.
The “meh” abilities
Every hero has abilities I deem as “meh.” Some players may find use in them, but I generally avoid them. Valla has less “meh” abilities than others, but the ones she has are pretty lackluster.
Tier 4- Puncturing Arrow-Hungering Arrow range increased by 25% and now bounces three times instead of two.
If you really like the Hungering Arrow ability, this could be useful, but when compared to Vampiric Assualt, Manticore, and Arsenal Multishot, Puncturing Arrow is fairly weak in comparison.
Tier 7- Searing Attacks- Activating will increase your basic attack damage by 50% for 5 seconds at a cost of 15 mana per attack.
Another one I could see potential use for, but can be rather weak in the endgame and is a poor choice compared to the other abilities.
Tier 13- Spell Shield- Reduces damage from an ability by 50% for 3 seconds and only triggers every 30 seconds.
This could save your life, but generally once you are in someone’s sights, you might be dead already. Only take this if you having issues staying alive and avoiding attacks.
Tier 16- Stoneskin- Gives you a shield equal to 30% of your maximum health for 5 seconds.
Just a weak choice in comparison to the other options, especially since Valla doesn’t have a lot of health.
Tier 20- Bolt of the Storm- Allows you to teleport a short distance.
A weak choice and also slightly unnecessary since Valla is rather mobile and capable of increasing her movement speed.
The Situational Abilities
Valla has one ability that should really only be taken when the team composition compliments the ability.
Tier 16- Executioner- This deals bonus damage to stunned, slowed, or rooted enemies.
I recommend only taking this if your team is overflowing with these types of abilities. Valla only has two abilities which can slow, so I do not recommend taking this ability unless your team is well-suited for it.
Now for some general tips!
Stay out of range!
No shame in staying back.
As a ranged assassin, Valla’s biggest advantage over her foes in her range. Always ensure to stay at a long range and avoid getting up close and personal, it won’t be pretty. Like all assassins, Valla will melt in the face of direct damage like a snowball in Hell. I have lost count of the amount of times I have seen an assassin needlessly plunge headfirst into battle and quickly die. Don’t be that assassin. Play smart and annoy your adversaries with your ranged attacks.
Remember you are squishy!
Don't be this assassin.
While you can pick one-on-one fights with some low health heroes, instead be smart and try to limit the enemy team’s focus on you during team fights. Valla is most effective in fights when she is coordinating with the team and not pursuing a lone hero.
Vault is arguably one of Valla’s best skills and has saved my bacon on many occasions. While it can be used to secure kills, try to keep it open for escapes and life-saving jukes. It makes for a great story to tell your friends later.
I almost always go with Strafe for my Heroic Ability. It has a larger damage potential than Rain of Vengeance, especially when leveled up, affects a larger area, and has a shorter cooldown. While Rain of Vengeance has its uses, I have found greater success with Strafe.
Don’t engage alone!
This usually results in...
Now if built right, Valla can engage in some 1v1s, but as a general rule, avoid them unless the enemy hero is knocking on Death’s door and you can safely secure the kill.
Now for some builds!
I Hate Everyone
Tier 1- Rancor- Increases attack speed with each stack of Hatred.
Tier 4- Manticore- Every 3rd attack against the same target will do more damage.
Tier 7- Hot Pursuit- When at maximum Hatred, the movement speed buff is further increased.
Tier 10- Strafe > Rain of Vengeance
Tier 13- Discipline- Upon maximum Hatred stacks, receive Discipline stacks, which heal you for damage done.
Tier 16- Tumble- Allows you to use Vault twice. A must-have!
Tier 20- Nexus Fenzy- Increases your base attack speed and range, which will be buffed by Hatred abilities.
This build is all about gaining stacks of Hatred which give Valla various boosts. The idea is to keep Hatred maintained as much as possible in order to keep the stacks for the buffs. If played correctly, you’ll be dishing out major damage before they know what hit them.
Tier 1- Siphoning Arrow- Half of the damage dealt heals Valla.
Tier 4- Vampiric Assault- Basic Attacks heal Valla
Tier 7- Repeating Arrow- Refreshes the cooldown of Hungering Arrow after using Vault
Tier 10- Strafe
Tier 13- Tempered by Discipline- Upon maximum Hatred stacks, receive Discipline stacks, which heal you for damage done.
Tier 16- Blood for Blood- Activate to deal 10% of enemy’s max health and heal for twice the damage dealt
Tier 20- Nexus Frenzy- Increased range and attack speed for MOAR HEALS!
This build is all about sustaining Valla’s health through damaging her enemies. With nearly every ability used to gain Valla health, you should have no problem staying alive so long as you stay out of range and peck away at your foes.
Hero Hunting (My Preferred Build)
Tier 1- Rancor- By increasing my attack speed, I’ll deal more damage, plus it compliments later abilities
Tier 4- Vampiric Assault- I always take some form of lifesteal hen playing as Valla. Simply to ensure I can sustain myself in lane without having to constantly retreat. By taking this early, I gain early lane sustain.
Tier 7- Caltrops or Hot Pursuit- This one depends upon the enemies you face. If you are facing a lot of disables and heroes who can close the distance and chase, Caltrops all the way.
If you are generally able to easily escape, Hot Pursuit will increase your movement speed at maximum Hatred stacks ensuring you can chase that slippery enemy.
Tier 10- Strafe- ‘Nuff said
Tier 13- This one is also situational. Frost Shot is great since the slow can be used for escaping or slowing a kill.
However, Giant Killer can be great with the increased attack speed for melting those high HP heroes.
Discipline can be used as an alternative lifesteal ability for Vampiric Assault, or in can be used in conjunction with Vampiric to ensure your health is always high.
Tier 16- Tumble- Having two charges for Vault can save you from an otherwise certain death. It can be used to dash for a kill and dash back to safety. When coupled with caltrops, two Vault charges will give any pursuers a headache. I always take this.
Tier 20- Nexus Frenzy- By increasing my base attack speed and attack range, my damage output rises exponentially once the Hatred stacks and other buffs kick in. The increased attack speed coupled with the lifesteal will help ensure your survival in almost any situation.
Valla is a high level hero with several builds and playstyles available to her. These three just happen to be some of my favorites, but are far from the only ones. Hopefully this guide has been helpful and you can use this information to decimate your rivals. Just remember the cardinal rules when playing Valla:
Stay out of reach!
Avoid engaging alone!
Be like water, always moving!
In team fights, stay in the back and avoid focusing the tanks.
Stay tuned to Gameskinny for more Heroes of the Storm guides!