Heroes of the Storm – Illidan Guide

A basic overview along with a few suggested builds for playing Illidan in Heroes of the Storm.

Welcome to the Heroes of the Storm build guide for Illidan. In this guide, you will find basic information on the game and Illidan, as well as tips on how to play and build him.

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This guide will break down into six categories:

  • Introduction – A breakdown of the kind of character you’re playing
  • Starter Abilities – The abilities your character starts with at the beginning of the match.
  • Heroic Abilities – Pick from one of these two ultimate-like abilities at team level 10
  • Talents – The character improvements you can choose from to custom build your hero
  • Talent Builds – Recommended builds that I have personally found success with
  • Playstyle Tips – Extra information about the character to help you play your best


In Heroes of the Storm, Illidan Stormrage is a melee assassin with a deadly kit that includes high damage potential and versatile skills that allow him to get in, deal damage, and get out without losing too much health himself.

As an assassin, Illidan is a squishy character, but if you have the right build, he has enough survivability for you to put some hurt into the enemy team with little-to-no deaths.

Illidan will be one of the main sources of damage on your team. Make sure your teammates are playing heroes that compliment him. He lanes well with a support, warrior, or ranged assassin.

Starter Abilities


  • Betrayer’s Strike
  • Cooldown: 9 seconds
  • Next attack applies a Mark of Azzinoth and deals extra damage

  • Crescent Sweep
  • Cooldown: 10 seconds
  • Damage enemies in an area
  • If enemy is marked, silence and deal extra damage

  • Lunge
  • Cooldown: 8 seconds
  • Dash to a location and damage the first enemy hit
  • If enemy is marked, flip behind and root them

  • Mark of Azzinoth
  • Passive
  • Attacking marked enemies reduces cooldowns

Heroic Abilities (Choose One)

  • The Hunt
  • Cooldown: 60 seconds
  • Launches yourself at enemy from extreme range
  • Stuns and deals damage on impact

  • Metamorphosis
  • Cooldown: 100 seconds
  • Duration: 18 seconds
  • Leaps to a target location, dealing damage and increasing max health temporarily

Talents (Choose One from Each Tier)

Tier 1

  • Regeneration Master: Gather 3 Regeneration Globes to permanently grant you +3 health per second. Stacks.
  • Path of the Assassin: Your hero gains an extra 2 attack damage for every level gained.
  • Betrayer’s Mark (Trait): Increases the cooldown reduction per attack to 1 second.
  • Lethal Thrust: Lunge deals 30% more damage.
Tier 2

  • Focused Attack: Every 5 seconds, your next Basic Attack deals 50% additional damage.
  • Vampiric Assault: Basic Attacks heal you for 15% of the damage done.
  • Thrill of the Chase (Trait): Each nearby enemy with Mark of Azzinoth gives Illidan 10% Movement Speed. This effect stacks up to 3 times.
  • Both Blades (Q): lowers the cooldown of Betrayer’s Strike to 6 seconds.
Tier 3

  • Betrayer’s Fury (Q): Betrayer’s Strike also increases Illidan’s Attack Speed by 30% for 4 seconds.
  • Evading Lunge: After lunging, dodge up to 2 Basic Attacks in the next 3 seconds.
  • First Aid: Activate to heal 20% of your max Health over 4 seconds.
Tier 4

  • The Hunt: Become unstoppable and after 1 second, launch yourself at the enemy. Deals 75 damage, stuns target for 1 second and applies Mark of Azzinoth.
  • Metamorphosis: Transforms into demon form and leaps to target location. Upon impact, deals 200 damage in a small area and applies Mark of Azzinoth to targets in a larger area. For each Hero struck, gain 150 temporary max health. Also grants 30% increased attack speed.
Tier 5

  • Spell Shield: Periodically reduces the damage received from Hero Abilities by 50%. Stores up to 2 charges.
  • Giant Killer: Basic Attacks against enemy Heroes deal an additional 1.5% of the target’s max Health in damage.
  • Cursed Strike (W): Increases the damage bonus from hitting a marked target to 50%. Increases the silence to 2 seconds.
  • Immolation (W): Crescent Sweep spouts flames, dealing damage all around Illidan. Its cooldown is also reduced by 2 seconds.
Tier 6

  • Blood for Blood: Activate to steal 15% of target enemy’s max Health and slow its Movement Speed by 30% for 3 seconds.
  • Stoneskin: Activate to gain 30% of your max health in Shields for 5 seconds.
  • Berserk: Activate to increase your Attack Speed by 50% and Movement Speed by 10% for 4 seconds.
Tier 7

  • Fury of the Storm: Basic attacks bounce twice to nearby enemies for 50% damage.
  • Resurgence of the Storm: Upon dying, revive back at your Altar after 5 seconds. This can occur once every 120 seconds.
  • Bolt of the Storm: Activate to teleport to target location.

Talent Builds

Survivability with Damage Illidan
  • Path of the Assassin – Grants you a good amount of Auto Attack damage
  • Vampiric Assault – Gives you some sustain so you do not have to return or use the moonwell as much
  • Evading Lunge – Great for escaping ranged characters and for tanking mercenary camps or the skull golem
  • Metamorphosis – Tankiness plus additional damage for the win.
  • Cursed Strike – Increases the length of the silence, allowing you to stop your enemy from using their abilities on you or to get away.
  • Stoneskin – This shield can be the difference between a successful escape or a death
  • Bolt of the Storm – Great for both chasing and escaping, especially against foes with speed up abilities

This is my default build for Illidan. It gives you enough tankiness to be able to make mistakes, but enough damage to rack up an insane amount of kills for you and your teammates. Tier 5 can be changed around if you’re getting hit with a lot of abilities, fighting a tankier team, or just like to have AoE. Blood for Blood is just as valid as Stoneskin, but slightly less cautious.

Pure Damage Illidan
  • Path of the Assassin – See above
  • Both Blades – Increases the amount of time you can have your Mark of Azzinoth on your enemies by decreasing Betrayer’s Strike’s cooldown
  • Betrayer’s Fury – Increases your auto-attack speed after using Betrayer”s Strike, allowing more hits and faster cooldown reduction
  • Metamorphosis – This is the superior heroic in general right now. Does good AoE damage and buffs your character significantly
  • Cursed Strike – Your W is more likely to put the hurt into someone this way
  • Blood for Blood – Don’t let them get away
  • Fury of the Storm – Increases the amount of damage you do significantly

This build is great if you have a support in your lane or if you know you will have a coordinated team. This build surrenders some survivability for a significant increase in damage. Cursed Strike can be switched out for Giant Killer if facing a tanky team; Blood for Blood can be switched with Berserk; Fury of the Storm can be switched with Bolt of the Storm if you are having problems chasing down your foes.

Illidan Playstyle Tips

Maintaining a Mark of Azzinoth
  • Most important part of Illidan’s kit
  • Mark your target every chance you get
  • Greatly enhances Crescent Sweep and Lunge
  • Lowers cooldowns when auto-attacking a marked enemy
When to Use Crescent Sweep
  • Ineffective at dealing damage unless you take Cursed Strike
  • Not worth using unless it will silence a target or kill it
  • Use on marked enemies to silence them before they use an escape ability
When to Use Lunge
  • Most practical ability in Illidan’s kit
  • Well timed Lunge will either save your life or end your enemy’s
  • Evading Lunge is great for making Illidan less squishy
Metamorphosis or the Hunt
  • Metamorphosis is the stronger ability (for now)
  • Meta allows Illidan to possibly take on two targets if the player is skillful
  • Try to wait until Meta is up to take on hard hitting foes
  • The Hunt is useful for chasing down quick enemies, but does not beat out the tankiness and damage gained from Meta
  • The Hunt might be worth taking if in a team with a lot of coordination

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Joseph Rowe
World traveling English teacher, writer, and aspiring front-end developer.