From the shadows…Enter Valeera!
Who is Valeera: Although she is better known for her role in Hearthstone, Valeera is a major player in World of Warcraft as well. She originally appeared during the expansion, Wrath of the Lich King, and has a strong hatred for Arthas, declaring she will never forgive him for what he did to Quel’Thalas. Valeera identifies as a Blood Elf, however she swears her allegiance to neither the Horde nor the Alliance; despite being a close friend to Varian Wrynn, King of Stormwind. She has received formal training as a gladiator under Rehgar Earthfury, was temporarily possessed by a demon, fueling her addiction to fel magic, and a member of the rogue order “the Uncrowned”. Truly a dangerous adversary – as many have discovered – she is someone you would rather have as a friend than foe.
“I’m an excellent rogue. But I can’t perform miracles…not after that nerf at least.”
Why should I care: Valeera is a mix of many things. She could be considered an “anti carry” as she’s capable of shutting down that pesky Chromie, Kael’thas, Zul’jin, Valla and so on through a mix of silences or stuns, delivered from stealth through her unique combo mechanic. If they wish to try to strike back, she’s capable of self cleansing through her heroic Cloak of Shadows, or if she prefers to fight in the midst of it all she can use Smoke Bomb to envelop herself in shadow and confound her enemies. You could easily compare her to other melee assassins like Illidan or Alarak, or say she’s closer to Samuro or Zeratul due to stealth, but nobody brings her unique set of skills to the fight in one kit until now. If you already have a strong form of CC on your team, through Varian, Diablo, or Uther, she’ll feel right at home, capable of stun locking enemies or keeping them silenced.
“I’ll match my wits against your magic any day!”
But is Valeera for me: If you enjoy the “flavor of the week” she’s not quite it. Currently Tassadar has received more attention for his rework. (He’s also going to be a nightmare for you.) Outside of coordinated play, you might “have a bad time” playing Valeera. In my experience, she isn’t quite as self-sufficient as Zeratul or Samuro (the King of the Jungle). She isn’t as capable of a solo laner as Alarak or Thrall. And Illidan is so oppressive for anyone trying to escape him, which could be said for her as well, but she has a tendency to be “all in” in a way that Illidan doesn’t have to be. Currently she has a 41% winrate according to HotsLogs, and I would assume she will receive a buff, unless Blizzard comes to the conclusion that it’s due to her difficulty and learning curve, which is high. She has the second lowest winrate in the game.
If you prefer to faceroll with a hero, Valeera isn’t for you. If instead you prefer a hero that’s going to require a few hundred games (and likely many losses) to discover the optimal talent selection, and you want to figure out the nuances of her kit, Valeera is what you’re looking for. She’s going to require that special touch, much like Chromie for example, to really be a thorn in the enemies side. Just make sure you get a feel for when is the right time to strike from the shadows.
Until next time, the Nexus calls.