Saturday, February 28, 2015



Valla is the Demon Hunter from the Diablo universe. Demon Hunters are a group of solitary warriors, adept at ranged weaponry and slaying demons.

In Heroes of the Storm, Valla is a high damage and high mobility Assassin, capable of dealing incredible damage to the enemy at long range if left unchecked.


1) Meta / Statistics
2) General Strategy
3) Abilities
4) Talents
5) Competitive Build - Multishot
6) Competitive Build - Giant Killer
7) General Valla Play Guide

Meta / Statistics

1) Hit Points - Valla has nearly the lowest hit points in the game, but she is relatively difficult to kill because she is able to safely output damage from long range and can use Vault to get her out of danger.
2) Basic Attack - Valla has nearly the highest basic attack DPS in the game. Despite this, her builds mostly focus on Multishot instead of basic attacks, as it allows her to attack from longer range and put herself at less risk.
3) Popularity - Valla is one of the most popular picks in pub games and competitive games due to her extremely high damage output.
4) Win Rate - She also enjoys a very high win rate.

Valla costs 2,000 gold / $3.99

General Strategy

Valla's already powerful basic attacks become stronger the more she attacks and builds Hatred stacks, making her a natural pusher. Combined with her Multishot and Vault she can safely apply lane pressure, giving her a choice of pushing or grouping up for team fights. Her lack of HP and general fragility means she's a poor dueller, so she should avoid wandering alone and getting caught out in a 1v1 fight. The ideal situation for her is one where your team has other heroes to disrupt and disable the enemies and allow her to output maximum damage unhindered. Her primary teamfight damage contribution, Strafe, relies on a good understanding of what stuns the enemy has available and what range they can be used, so you can position yourself to do maximum damage while not getting interrupted.


Trait: Hatred

Basic Attacks grant a stack of Hatred, up to 10. Each Hatred stack increases Basic Attack damage by 2% and Movement Speed by 1%.

Upon gaining stacks, one stack is lost after 3 seconds, then 1 additional stack is lost every second until a new stack is gained or all stacks are depleted.

Q: Hungering Arrow

60 mana / 14 seconds cooldown. Fire an arrow that deals 366 damage (at level 20) to the first target hit, then seeks up to 2 additional enemies dealing 50% damage. Can hit an enemy multiple times. If fired upon a single target, it will take 732 damage.

If talented with Siphoning Arrow, it will return 50% damage done as health. Assuming 3 hits for 732 damage, it will heal you for 366.

If talented with Puncturing Arrow, it will strike an additional target, dealing 915 damage in total. If Siphoning Arrow is talented, it will also heal for 458.

Standard projectile range shown here.
Improved projectile range with Puncturing Arrow talent shown here.

W: Multishot

60 mana / 8 seconds cooldown. Deal 360 (at level 20) damage to enemies within the target area.

If talented with Arsenal, it will also launch 3 grenades doing 185 damage each (at level 20), increasing damage on targets hit by roughly 51%. Each grenade detonates on the nearest target it hits, and each target can only be hit by one grenade.

Standard range shown here.
Improved range with Composite Arrows talent shown here.

E: Vault

75 mana / 10 seconds cooldown. Dash to the target area. Vault has a 0.3 second animation time: during this animation you are completely invulnerable, allowing you to dodge abilities like stuns if timed correctly. Vault range shown here.

Vault movement obeys normal pathing rules: it will path around obstacles and cannot path through impassable terrain or objects.

R: Strafe

80 mana / 60 seconds cooldown. Rapidly attack all nearby visible enemies for 150 damage per hit, firing 3 shots per second (for a total of 1800 damage) prioritizing heroes over minions. Valla is able to move and use Vault while strafing. Lasts for 4 seconds. Interrupted if disabled. Strafe radius shown here.

All enemies within the radius are affected, except those shielded from Valla by other enemies or structures. The exception to this are heroes, which are always affected regardless of positioning.

The level 20 improved version adds up to 16 piercing bolts at half damage fired at random targets during the duration of the Strafe. These piercing bolts are constrained to a maximum of 7 hits per target. If you are strafing a single target, it will be hit by 7 piercing bolts. If you are strafing two targets, they will be each by an extra 7 piercing bolts each. If you are strafing three or more targets, the 16 extra piercing bolts will be divided randomly among them.

If you Strafed a single target, it would take an additional 525 damage from those 7 piercing bolts in addition to the base 1,800 damage from Strafe. In an ideal case, if the enemy clumped up, they could possibly by hit by more than 7 piercing bolts as they take collateral damage from bolts aimed at other targets.

R: Shadow Assault

100 mana / 90 seconds cooldown. Launch 2 waves of Shadow Beasts that deal 560 damage per wave to enemies within the target area, stunning for 0.5 seconds per wave. Has a delay of 0.6 seconds before the first wave strikes. The second wave fires 2 seconds after the first wave. Each wave stuns in a wave with 0.4 second travel time. Shadow Assault AOE shown here.

This heroic ability does less damage, but the long range unblockable stun it provides can be crucial in interrupting important channeled abilities..

The level 20 improved version (Storm of Vengeance) adds another 2 waves after the first 2.


The next section is a complete breakdown of all the talents available to Valla, along with their current pick rates in Diamond League (top 10% of the player base). Pick data was obtained from HOTSLOGS. The general trend is to play Valla primarily utilizing Multishot, but there are some alternate builds around basic attacks or Hungering Arrow.

Level 1 Talents

1) Cost Effective Materials (1.1% pick rate)
Reduces the cost of Hungering Arrow by 30 Mana.

2) Siphoning Arrow (7.4% pick rate)
50% of the damage dealt by Hungering Arrow is returned as Health to Valla.

3) Composite Arrows (74.6% pick rate)
Increases the range of Multishot by 20%. (visual range increase shown in Ability section)

4) Rancor (16.5% pick rate)
Each Hatred stack increases Attack Speed by 1.5% up to a maximum of 15%

5) Punishment (0.5% pick rate)
Using an Ability grants 3 Hatred stacks.

Level 4 Talents

1) Vampiric Assault (9.5% pick rate)
Basic Attacks heal for 15% of the damage dealt.

2) Manticore (9.4% pick rate)
Every 3rd Basic Attack against the same target deals 50% additonal damage. Stack counter resets in 5.5 seconds if no further attacks are made.

3) Puncturing Arrow (6.6% pick rate)
Hungering Arrow range increased by 25% and the number of times it can bounce to 3. (visual range increase shown in Ability section)

4) Arsenal (74.4% pick rate)
Multishot also fires 3 grenades, which deal 185 damage each. Each grenade detonates on the nearest target it hits, and each target can only be hit by one grenade.

Level 7 Talents

1) Battle Momentum (82.6% pick rate)
Basic Attacks reduce Ability cooldowns by 0.5 seconds.

2) Caltrops (1.0% pick rate)
Drop 3 Caltrops while Vaulting. Caltrops do 65 damage and slow enemies by 20% for 2 seconds.

3) Repeating Arrow (6.3% pick rate)
The cooldown for Hungering Arrow is reset when Vault is used.

5) Searing Attacks (10.1% pick rate)
Activate to increase Basic Attack damage by 50% for 5 seconds. Each attack costs 15 Mana. Cooldown of 25 seconds.

Level 10 Talents

1) Strafe (50.1% pick rate)
Detail provided in Ability section.

2) Rain of Vengeance (49.9% pick rate)
Detail provided in Ability section.

Level 13 Talents

1) Giant Killer (18.2% pick rate)
Basic Attacks against enemy Heroes deal bonus damage equal to 1.5% of the Hero's max Health. At level 20 Valla has 199 attack damage. This ability is most effective against high HP heroes like Diablo (6000hp) in which case it adds 90 attack damage, a roughly 45% boost.

2) Frost Shot (73.6% pick rate)
Multishot also slows by 40% for 2 seconds.

3) Hot Pursuit (0.5% pick rate)
When at 10 stacks of Hatred, the Movement Speed bonus increases to 20% total.

4) Tempered by Discipline (3.9% pick rate)
Gain up to 10 stacks of Discipline after Hatred stacks are maxed. Basic Attacks heal for 3% of damage dealt per Discipline stack. This talent effectively helps you maintain Hatred stacks, as when losing stacks due to not attacking, you first lose Discipline stacks, and then only Hatred stacks.

5) Spell Shield (3.8% pick rate)
Upon taking Ability Damage, reduce all Ability Damage taken by 50% for 2 seconds. Can only trigger once every 30 seconds.

Level 16 Talents

1) Executioner (7.0% pick rate)
Basic Attacks deal 40% more damage against slowed, rooted, or stunned targets.

2) Tumble (6.6% pick rate)
Vault gains an additional charge, allowing it to be cast twice in quick succession. Has a cooldown of 2 seconds between charges.

3) Blood for Blood (82.4% pick rate)
Activate to steal 15% of target enemy's Max Health and slow its Movement Speed by 30% for 3 seconds. Has a cooldown of 60 seconds. Blood for Blood range shown here.

4) Stoneskin (3.9% pick rate)
Activate to gain 30% of your Max Health as Shields for 5 seconds. Has a cooldown of 60 seconds.

 Level 20 Talents

1) Vengeance (10.8% pick rate)
Detail provided in Ability section.

2) Storm of Vengeance (3.6% pick rate)
Detail provided in Ability section.

3) Nexus Frenzy (40.9% pick rate)
Increase both Attack Speed and Basic Attack Range by 20%

4) Bolt of the Storm (44.7% pick rate)
Activate to teleport to a nearby location.
Has a cooldown of 40 seconds. Bolt of the Storm range shown here.

Competitive Build - Multishot

There is one main build seen in competitive games, which is the Multishot build. This build allows you to consistently inflict large amounts of damage at a safe distance to the enemy team.


1) Core Talents
This build utilizes Composite Arrows (level 1), Arsenal (level 4) and Frost Shots (level 13) to empower your Multishot, giving you a long range, hard hitting and slowing AOE attack.

2) Mandatory Picks
Battle Momentum (level 7) is a critical talent which helps reset your abilities, particularly your heroic ability, allowing you to have it up every teamfight. Other Valla builds have similar damage but miss out on Battle Momentum, and loss of cooldown reduction on her heroic ability is noticable.

Blood for Blood (level 16) is an all round amazing talent, allowing her to kite enemy melee heroes who manage to get close to her. She can also use it in conjunction with Vault to chase down a fleeing enemy hero.

Bolt of the Storm (level 20) synergizes very well with Valla's playstyle of hitting enemies safely from long distance.

3) Flex Picks
Level 10 is a flex pick, with a choice between Strafe or Rain of Vengeance

When to pick Strafe - for example, in KotS W#11 Tempo Storm vs Cloud9 Maelstrom Game 1- Enemy team consists of Illidan, Uther, Tassadar, ETC (stage dive), Zeratul. No important channeling ability to interrupt on the enemy team so Valla takes Strafe

When to pick Rain of Vengeance - for example, in KotS W#11 Tempo Storm vs Cloud9 Maelstrom Game 2 - Enemy team has a Nazeebo who takes Ravenous Spirit, so Valla picks Rain of Vengeance for an extra long range unblockable interrupt.

Competitive Build - Giant Killer

There's a situational build around Giant Killer that is used when the enemy team has several high HP warriors. For example, in KotS W#11 Grand Finals - C9 Maelstrom vs Tempo Storm (Bracket Reset) Game 2 - Enemy team consisted of ETC and Diablo - two very high HP tanks. Valla picks a basic attack build with Giant Killer for better sustained DPS.

1) Core Talents
This build utilizes Rancor (level 1), Manticore (level 4), Searing Attacks (level 7), Giant Killer (level 13) and Nexus Frency (level 20) to empower your basic attacks. Valla in particular gets exceptional value from Giant Killer, since she's got a very fast attack speed and the talent gives a flat damage equal to 1.5% of enemy's max hp per attack.

Blood for Blood (level 16) is a core talent even though this isn't related to basic attacks - we picked this build specifically because there were high hp heroes on the enemy team (like Diablo, who has 6,000hp at level 20). Blood for Blood excels at taking down high HP targets, and will do 900 damage instantly to Diablo, while healing you for 900hp - which is about 1/3 of your total HP.

2) Mandatory Picks
Rain of Vengeance (level 10) is picked instead of Strafe because you don't want your basic attacks locked out for 4 seconds during Strafe.

General Valla Play Guide

Because of Valla's strong basic attack and boosted movement speed, playing her to her maximum potential requires strong mechanics - particularly in the area of stutter stepping.

Stutter stepping is basically moving your character in between basic attacks, allowing you to both fire your basic attack every time its ready while also taking small "steps" in between. This allows you to move a certain distance while also shooting, either walking alongside a retreating enemy while shooting them (to keep them in range for longer) or for shooting while you're falling back and kiting an enemy chasing you (inflicting damage on them even while you're retreating).

Without stutter stepping, the default behaviour of your hero is to either move without attacking, or attack without moving.

Valla's kit and playstyle is quite simple, as befits a beginner character, but her damage output is very high. Probably the biggest skill check when using her is in using her heroic abilities. Strafe requires you to be close enough to the enemy to hit them, but not close enough that the enemies can stun you. This requires good knowledge of the range of the stuns other heroes have, and also paying close attention to what stuns have been expended and which have not.

Rain of Vengeance is also tricky to use, because of its short range and long delay - if used in isolation it is easily dodged and rendered useless. It has to be used in conjunction with other skills - for example in combination with allied stuns and slows to hold them in place. It can be used as area denial - preventing the enemy from entering the fight via a narrow corridor. It can also be used as an unblockable long ranged stun against channeling abilities like Nazeebo's Ravenous Spirit.

Besides the Multishot build and Giant Killer build, there is also a Hungering Arrow build, which is designed for winning 1v1 duels. A fully talented Hungering Arrow will do 915 damage at level 20 and heal you for 458hp, and you can reset it with Vault (Repeating Arrow), twice in a row (Tumble). Hitting 3 Hungering Arrows on the enemy in quick succession will deal 2,745 damage to them, a nearly fatal amount of damage, while also healing you for 1,372, restoring about 50% of your hp. This can very quickly turn any fight around. However, this build performs poorly in teamfights and has little to offer after the initial burst, and so it is not often used.