One of the most refreshing things to come from Blizzard’s long-awaited dive into the multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) scene, is the always fun, and incredibly refreshing Heroes of the Storm. Consistent updates, constant support, and a wealth of publicity and cool features keep me coming back for more, and the latest update that launched the “Machines of War” event is certainly no different. In this update, we received one of two new heroes: Alarak, Highlord of the Tal’darim. As I tend to do with almost every new hero, I purchased Alarak and stormed right into the Nexus, trying to figure out the best way to use him and what his strengths and weaknesses were. If you’re looking for a run-down of how the Master of Sadism himself works, then look no further!
One of the two important things to note about Alarak is that he is a Melee Assassin, and as such, will excel in any role that involves taking out the weaker members of an enemy team. What improves his ability to take down enemy Heroes faster than any other is his passive trait, Sadism, which increases the ability damage dealt to enemy Heroes by 100%. This alone, coupled with great planning, will turn any team fight into an incredible victory. Be careful, though, as over-extending with Alarak will lead you into some dangerous situations that you won’t find yourself able to get out of easily. If you find yourself in a situation where you need to escape, Alarak’s ability Telekinesis is great, as it pushes you and any enemies away from a targeted point. The drawback, however, comes in the free-targeting system of Telekinesis. One wrong mis-click, and you could find yourself in the enemy’s clutches. One of the most unique things about Alarak is his talent build, which allows you to trade-off strengths and create different weaknesses. Couple the unpredictability of an Alarak build with the fact that he’s an incredibly strong team-fighter, and you’ll be on your way to some sure fire victories.
As mentioned above, Alarak has one of the most interesting talent trees in the entire game, with the ability to take a second Heroic Ability at level 20 opening up several interesting doors during late game pushes and team battles. Based on my play with Alarak, I have only one single talent tree that I would recommend using, and it comes from OCM’s Alarak guide on HeroesFire
A lot of this may look confusing to anyone not familiar with Alarak’s builds, but if you check out the full guide above on Heroes Nexus, you’ll see that the idea behind the Sith Lord Alarak build is to heavily use Lightning Surge as a self-sustain due to it’s massive healing bonus, but to also keep the Sadism bonus in tact that many builds will choose to forego for other powers. By buffing up Lightning Surge, Alarak also gains the ability to poke-check at range, which is an excellent utility for a melee assassin to have and can turn the tide in a team fight easily against escaping Heroes. As with most Alarak builds, the obvious Level 20 talent choice will be to go with whatever Heroic ability you chose to forego at Level 10, and it’s entirely situational on which Heroic you’ll want to go with. If you’re facing an aggressive team who is constantly trying to engage in fights, then I would go with Counter-Strike to punish them for their extending/pushing attempts. Otherwise, Deadly Charge is excellent for diving into objectives and punishing the enemy team for gathering in one spot. Again, your choice of first Heroic is highly situational, and you should feel out your enemy team before choosing this.
SUCCESS WITH ALARAK – DO’S AND DON’Ts
With all that being said, Alarak can be a powerful melee assassin, and coupled in with his ability to develop and ranged poke-check, can be an incredible damage producer and carrier for any team. That being said, it’s important to remember that as a carrier, the most important job you have aside from dealing devastating damage to the enemy team is staying alive. You’re no use to the team if you’re dead. Using Telekinesis in tactful and smart ways will ultimately help you survive, and avoid an otherwise untimely death if surrounded. Do not attempt to engage groups of enemies by yourself, and if you opt for Deadly Charge, make sure you’re timing with the rest of your team before an engagement. The worst thing you can do is unleash Deadly Charge and leave yourself prone and vulnerable for the enemy team with no help in sight. It’s also wise to utilize the build above and establish the powerful ranged poke-check, preventing the need for Alarak to chase to be able to deal devastating damage. Otherwise, how you choose to play Alarak is all up to you. Good luck Heroes, and enjoy the task of mastering Sadism in the Nexus!