Jaina, Warcraft Assassin Hero
Jaina is one of the strongest assassins in Heroes currently. The good news is that most of Jaina’s abilities are AoE, so landing your skillshots isn’t as hard as it sounds. Jaina is all about skillshots though, so if you don’t like the pressure of having to land your skillshots every time, Jaina may not be the hero for you. Her tremendous burst ability, combined with slows from all of her abilities, make her a powerful asset for any team comp. All this power comes with some trade-offs. Like most assassins, Jaina is squishy. Unlike most assassins, Jaina’s power comes in what i’d describe as ‘spikes’. Because of these spikes, your timing has to be spot on.
Jaina’s Hero trait is Frostbite. It is the key to Jaina’s tremendous burst capability. Frostbite applies a slow to enemies. In addition, Jaina’s other abilities do increased damage when damaging a target with Frostbite. Frostbite is applied to enemies any time they are damaged by any of Jaina’s abilities(not auto attacks!). It has a decently long range too, so it has a lot of utility for checking pushes, slowing pursuing enemies, and so on.
Frost Bolt (Q) has a short cooldown, and a very long range. You can open with it, and then come back to it after your rotation. Opening with it gives you a quick application of Frostbite, which will increase the damage of your other more powerful abilities.
Blizzard (W) drops a circle AoE anywhere within its range of Jaina. It drops two rounds of ice on enemies, so placement is important. It can wipe out almost an entire wave of minions if placed properly. Dropping this on bunched up enemy heroes in a teamfight can wreck an entire enemy team. This ability is on a long cooldown, so make it count.
Cone of Cold (E) is similar to Blizzard, but it deals damage in a cone, spreading outwards from Jaina. Again, great for slowing pursuing enemies, or wiping out a minion wave. It is on a shorter cooldown than Blizzard, but still is somewhat long.
In case you hadn’t noticed, 2 of Jaina’s 3 abilities have long cooldowns. This is what I consider ‘spike’ damage. You do lots of burst damage, but with a long cooldown period between. Your Frost Bolt is on a decent cooldown, so you can probably use it twice in a rotation if you open with it (Q,W,E,Q). Once you have done your rotation, Jaina is extremely vulnerable. All you have is your auto attack, and nothing to escape with.
Jaina Talent Build
This guide applies specifically to the build I use with Jaina. Below is my go-to build for Jaina, and right now i’m sitting at over 55% Quick Match win ratio.
- Deep Chill (1) increases the slow from Frostbite to 35%. This keeps enemies in yours, and your team’s, range longer. I also sometimes take Lingering Chill if the enemy team has extra Warriors or tanky characters.
- Arcane Intellect (4) will be your mana saver. Jaina is an enormous mana hog like most Assassins.
- Frostbitten (7) increases the damage bonus from Frostbite! That’s a damage increase for every ability.
- Summon Water Elemental (10) actually has kind of a hidden benefit. Your water elemental deals damage in an AoE when you place it, and more damage as it continues to attack. It’s also on a short-ish cooldown, which is nice.
- Storm Front (13) increases the cast range of Blizzard. As this is your heaviest hitting ability, you can drop it on enemies from the safety of far, far away.
- Northern Exposure (16) increases the damage to enemies you hit with Cone of Cold. It’s a Vulnerabe debuff of 25% extra damage. Again, more damage for your other abilities.
- Wintermute (20) increases the cast distance of your water elemental. Again, allowing you to cast from safety. It also makes the water elemental mimic your own attacks. For example, casting Blizzard on an enemy now casts TWO Blizzards on that enemy! If you’re both in range, of course.
Keep Jaina back behind your Warrior(tank). You are not frontline material! Don’t push out too far solo. Once your rotation is down, you are out of the game more or less until your abilities are off cooldown. Try positioning your Blizzard a little behind enemies. It’s a natural reflex to pull back when you see a Jaina running towards you (I mean, who wants to eat a double Blizzard and Cone of Cold, followed by a double helping of Frost Bolts?). That way, they will run into your Blizzard, and hopefully take both waves. Along the same lines, try to hold your Cone of Cold until the very last second. You will have to stop for a split second to cast Cone of Cold, even though it is an instant. You want to make sure your enemy will still be in the cone’s range, as they get that split second to continue retreating. Remember Jaina is an Assassin. That means your main focus should be killing enemy Heroes. Don’t blow everything clearing your lane. If you are in lane with another ally, save your mana/abilities for enemy Heroes. Early game, you will have to do some lane clearing. Later game though, your team needs you to focus on the enemy Heroes. You excel at squishing everything that isn’t a Warrior.