Home, Hearth & Heroes
My Builds My Blog My Tiers
Created September 18, 2019

Jack of all Trades, Master of Some - Part 1

You can find me streaming on Twitch. For a free coaching session, hit up my Discord, and for more content, my Youtube.

Welcome to Why Isn't This Banned, the blog that shines a light on under-utilised heroes in an effort to return the word 'niche' to it's rightful owners. Last week, we looked at DPS/Tank/Support Zarya, which you can find here. This week, we'll be knocking off the DPS, and focusing on the Tank/Support hybrid Tyrael.

The Archangel of Justice is an incredibly versatile tank, boasting the best mobility of any frontliner in the game, and some of the best battlefield manipulation available. Through a mixture of buffs and debuffs, he can enable aggression or egression as needed, and has two polar-opposite ultimates that can tailor to incredibly different situations.


Angel of Justice

Tyrael offers two distinct playstyles. With Sanctification you can empower incredible dive, or disable enemy attack, as well as force virtually anything on the map. Judgement, alternatively, makes you a point-and-click stun tank, closing targets from 100-0 through co-ordination and communication (read: pinging five times). The second build is the one we'll focus on today, as it has both wider application in general Storm League, and makes for an easier learning experience.

Additionally, the Archangel of Justive possesses a number of tools that allow him to manipulate the battlefield. A skilled player enables offense and defense when casting El'Druin's Might. By blinking forward, you become an offensive kill-closer, enabling dive through your 35% 6.5 second slow. But by remaining with your backline, you can just as easily block enemy aggressors; shield your squishy, speed your squishy, and turn on the offender. At thirteen, you gain the option to do both, in addition to your fight-deciding ultimate. 


Bound by Law

Tyrael inherently possesses 'soft' CC, the trade off to his incredible mobility. At level four, we'll pick up the aforementioned 35% refreshing slow on our Q, enabling us to catch and close kills. This will be your bread and butter CC for the rest of the game; a 35% slow is enormous, I cannot overstate this enough. Down at 65% movespeed, targets are virtually standing still to most skill shots. Not only that, but we can also accelerate our teammates using smite. At a difference of 60% worth of movespeed between the target and your teammates, you'll force defensive ultimates and significant cooldowns if the enemy wants to live.

The majority of Tyrael's strength lies in later talent tiers, and Tyrael helps stall the game out every wave to get you there. Tyrael has one of the most unique traits in HoTS; Anti Waveclear. By shielding a wave using Justice for All (75% of your own shield), you delay enemy rotations and significantly slow their progress. Every second counts! Just a few moments can translate to EXP missed, levels delayed, and even kills on rotation. In HoTS, every tick of EXP matters, because if you get to your spikes before the enemy gets theirs, you can force fights at enormous advantage.

That leaves us, of course, with the ultimate. Judgement is one of the most powerful stuns in the game; it's point and click at incredible range, and at 1.5 seconds, you'll have plenty of time to knock a target out. Communicate with your team! Ping your target five (5!) times before you go in, and make sure everyone is onboard with pressing their buttons. A simple "Ult when I stun" can be the difference between a won and lost game. Human psychology is just as much a weapon as any button pressing, and a Judgement into a Sunder/Blunt Force Gun/Wailing Arrow is one of the best feelings in the world. 

Identify enemy solutions to your ult! Stunning Lucio is great - unless there's a Garrosh ready to throw him to safety the moment you go in. Catch targets unaware by hiding in bushes or over terrain; use allied vision, from waves or teammates, or wait until the enemy naturally splits apart. Your success is limited only by creativity of application, and at 20, it becomes the best stun in the game, bar none. Angel of Justice increases your range to appoximately your entire friggin' screen, and lowers it to a thirty (30!) second cooldown. That means you can use it to both start AND end a fight.


Horadric Reforging: Holy Talents!

With Judgement, we have a fairly linear setup until ten, where we diverge. While I'll break down the why of each talent below, we'll start off with a few constants here.

Three talents are unchanging; Justice for All at level 1 is vastly superior to both a larger shield or jank HP regen. It enables our niche of Anti Waveclear as well as providing generous in-fight sustain. Bound by Law at level 4 pushes your slow from a hindrance to a threat, and locks down anything you can Q and auto. And finally, Judgement at level 10 is necessary for this particular playstyle; Sanctification will be expanded upon in Part 2 of this guide.

Only take the other 20s if your ultimate is on cooldown and the game-deciding fight is upon you.

The build I actually detail in this guide is advised for learning the hero, but talents should be mixed and matched according to the situation at hand. Experiment and practice identifying which talents are best where. The Burst build is the best when there 's a clear VIP target on the enemy team (Sgt. Hammer, Morales, Ana) without whom the enemy team falls apart. Team Buff takes advantage of Swift Retribution to push your team to ludicrous speed and enable huge gap close; it's paired with talents that are equally useful in fast or slow fights. Holy Ground builds around - you guessed it - Holy Ground, creating a ring of terrain that enemies cannot pass, even with Unstoppable or Cleanse. Use it to secure boss points and key chokes, such as on Towers of Doom or Cursed Hollow.

Playstyle by Phase

From levels 1 through 4, follow the enemies best waveclear (Johanna, Kael'thas, Azmodan) and ensure you W just as their ability hits. Follow the enemy to merc camps, harass them, and look for grouped-up dismounts with your Q. Press only W and E, and only on waves, and you'll never run out of mana. Press Q only when it gets multiple dismounts or enables a kill.

From levels 4 through 7, keep a lookout for lagging heroes that can be caught out and killed. A Kael rotating alone is a dead Kael.

From levels 7 through 10, enable your own waveclear with your 7 of choice just as much as you block theirs. With either of Reciprocate or Swift Retribution, your kill potential goes up dramatically, and you're encouraged to group.

At 10, ask yourself this: am I ahead, or behind? If ahead, look aggressively for a kill with your heroic advantage; if behind, wait until your team can back up your dive with their own ultimates. Be on the lookout for quick kills at the level up!

From 10 till 16, you're a teamfighting machine; your W is no longer just for waves, it's for your team too. Q ahead of enemies you're trying to kill, bodyblock and slow them, and then Sword of Justice out. Be on the lookout for poor enemy rotations, or conversely, poor allied rotations; you can spin either to your advantage with a good Judgement into Ults. Be patient when it's on CD, and look to play more defensive when it's not up.

If you're past 16 and nearing 20, play extremely passive if safe to do so; your 20 spike is one of the largest in the entire game, allowing you to spam Judgement to trade for important abilities and ultimates. You can press it just to get a cleanse out, if that means getting a kill 30 seconds later.


Tips and Tricks

Mana Management: never press Q and you'll never run OOM. Don't use your abilities for damage in the early game; you can use smite to help your team waveclear, but your Q should only be used to reposition or dismount multiple enemies. In the lategame, ensure that you're getting meaningful damage; that is, damage that contributes directly to a kill. Everything else is a waste of mana.

Q in front of enemies and block their path; your bodyblocking is incredibly impactful because you can position so freely with your mobility.

Make sure to auto! Your level 4 rewards it hugely, and every tick of damage from a tank counts!

Reciprocate, at 7, will automatically go off after 4 seconds; cast it two seconds before you intend to Judgement, and you'll always hit the target with the damage burst.

Law and Order's bonus damage stays until you cast your next W or E; hit as many friendly heroes as you can with your W. Cast Judgement. Press E, then press W; with the cooldown reduction at 16, you'll have another higher-damage Smite up in three seconds, about 1.5 seconds after the stun finishes.

Angel of Justice has disgusting range. It spans nearly your entire screen; use it for unexpected engages, or even to disengage the enemy team by colliding with the tank.

Communicate your ultimate. Make sure your team knows what's about to get hit, and they will follow up FAR more often than otherwise. Even in elo hell, there's someone on your team trying to win the game. Combo with them.


Shoutout to GrepherDK for his generous donation, and for sponsoring this guide. I now offer coaching, with one session free! You can catch me on twitter, twitch, or discord. Thanks for reading!


Justice For All
Increase the Shield applied to allies by Righteousness to 75% of the Shield gained by Tyrael.
The Anti Waveclear talent; denies enemy waveclear and slows the game in doing so.
Bound by Law
Increase El'druin's Might's Slow by 10%. Tyrael's Basic Attacks against enemies Slowed by El'druin's Might increase the Slow duration by 1 second, up to 4 seconds.
Your CC tier, turns your nuisance slow into a real threat.
When Tyrael's Shield from Righteousness expires or is destroyed, it deals for 170 damage to nearby enemies.
Reciprocate offers excellent waveclear on a tank thoroughly lacking it, and offers good, scaling burst damage to your judgement self-combo.

Swift Retribution buffs your team's speed to absolutely ludicrous levels; you will positively stampede whatever's in your way. Inform your Vallas and Greymanes about the attack speed buff, and they'll thank you for it.

Purge Evil is difficult to use, which is why I don't recommend it; it'll rarely net more damage than reciprocate (since you don't want to stun when the enemy is clumped), and it doesn't offer waveclear.
After 0.75 seconds, charge an enemy Hero dealing 150 damage and stunning them for 1.5 seconds. Nearby enemies are knocked away and take 75 damage.
Sword of Justice
Upon teleporting using El'druin's Might, El'druin swaps places with Tyrael, and El'druin's Might can be reactivated to teleport an additional time.
Sword of Justice allows you to constantly confuse the enemy, and misdirection in a lategame teamfight can net you huge victories. Use it to bait out enemy abilities, scout deep in enemy territory, or enable simultaneous offense and defense.

Holy Ground is Tyrael's former signature talent, and has lost none of it's power down here at 13. It has incredible utility, and is a consistent hallmark of creative players. By all means, practice this! This talent pairs excellently with Horadric Reforging; if your ultimate is on CD at 20, you may even want to try Seal of El'Druin, for sheer ridiculousness and zoning.

Law and Order contributes enormous burst, for when the enemy team is propped up by one keystone character. It also synergises nicely with Smite the Wicked.
Burning Halo
Both Tyrael and El'druin deal 18 damage per second to nearby enemies. Teleporting increases this damage from Tyrael by 150% for 2 seconds.
This tier is pretty simple; pair whatever looks best to your 13 of choice! Remember that Tyrael's late talents are generally good spikes, and plan according to whether you're behind or ahead. Big damage looks better from ahead, while a few Holy Ground's might save your team when behind.

Since I haven't touched upon it elsewhere, I will note that Burning Halo does very, VERY significant sustained damage. In engagements that aren't one and done with, or in situations where you'll be sparring back and forth before you can ult, it gets excellent, excellent value. It also offers waveclear if you're terribly behind.
Angel of Justice
Increases the cast range of Judgment by 50%, and reduces the cooldown by 40 seconds.
Angel. Of. Justice. Absolutely BONKERS 20, always take it if Judgement is up. Take advantage of the 30s CD to bait out enemy ultimates like Sound Barrier and Ancestral Healing, then come back in 30 seconds to finish the job from a screen away.

Defense of the Angels is an excellent shield because it's frequently available; it reduces its' 120 second cooldown by three seconds anytime ANYTHING you W takes a tick of damage. If you W a wave, and the enemy Li-Ming disintegrates that wave, it would instantly come back up.

Seal of El'Druin is to be paired with Holy Ground specifically, unless you're next dimensioning to pair it with Purge Evil; note that, at ridiculous attack speeds, you start missing damage from how hard it is to stutter step.
Balance Patch - 08/28/19
There are no comments for this build.