Heroes of the Storm: Tyrael guide

Tyrael, former Archangel of Justice and now mortal angel has made his way to the Nexus. His task? Administering justice, of course. And administer he does — using a powerful mix of abilities that makes him a hard warrior hero to escape. If that sounds like your kind of hero, then this guide is here to help you learn just how to make the most of an angel in mortal hands.

As I said, Tyrael is a warrior hero, one that uses short-range abilities to dish out damage to his enemies. What makes Tyrael unique among warriors are his mix of support abilities and movement capabilities. While he may not sport the highest health pool among warriors, he ties Sonya for the highest attacks per second among warriors and can still take a hit much better than she can. Tyrael also has three different skin variations and a mount to match that make him a hero who can kill enemies and ride into battle in style.

Abilities

El’Druin’s Might (Q) — A major factor in Tyrael’s mobility, El’Druin’s Might not only damages and slows enemies, but also allows Tyrael to teleport to its location for 6 seconds after throwing it in the face of his enemies. One of my favorite parts of this ability is its capacity to rescue Tyrael when other heroes might otherwise be left for dead. Did Diablo grab you and throw you behind the enemy’s towers? Just quickly toss El’Druin’s Might in a safe area and teleport away. Getting cornered by the other team? Use El’Druin’s Might to cross behind walls or gaps that other players must traverse around.

Righteousness (W) — Part of what makes Tyrael a more support-like warrior are his abilities that benefit allied minions and heroes, and Righteousness is no exception. While the shield absorbs significantly more on Tyrael than those around him, it can be excellent for saving friendly heroes who might otherwise die or for giving your team’s minions a boost over the enemy’s and putting pressure on a lane. With certain talents (see below), the shield can gain further bonuses that make it an even more effective defensive ability.

Smite (E) — The counterpart to El’Druin’s Might, Smite not only deals damage in a line but also leaves a patch of holy light on the ground that provides a speed bonus to allied heroes and minions who run through it. Smite helps make Tyrael an almost impossible hero to escape from without turning to the defense of a tower. Smite, however, can be a bit frustrating at times. Because it is an arc that needs to be placed somewhere in a circle around Tyrael, placing it (especially close to Tyrael) can be a bit finicky. It may take a bit of practice with Tyrael before you figure out where to stand to maximize the number of targets hit.

Judgment (R) — The first of Tyrael’s heroic abilities, Judgment represents the targeted offensive option; however, the actual damage component of this ability is weaker than Tyrael’s base abilities. The big draw with this ability is actually its position as another way to bridge the gap between Tyrael and the enemy heroes. Charge an enemy with Judgment, slow said enemy with El’Druin’s Might, speed yourself up with Smite, and then teleport back out before you overextend. Be careful with this one, though. A well-timed Judgment can push enemies away and allow your team to single out a vulnerable enemy; a poorly timed Judgment, however, can push enemies out of the way of your fellow teammates’ targeted abilities (such as Nova’s Precision Strike or Jaina’s Ring of Frost).

Sanctification (R) –The second and more defensive of the two heroic abilities, Sanctification can be useful if your team is especially in need of a little extra support. It is slightly more situational, however, as its usefulness increases with the number of allies that can benefit from it. Due to recent changes, the talent is slightly more viable — it now shields Tyrael and does not require channeling. These changes also reduced the radius, though, so you’ll need to be even more careful when placing Sanctification if you choose this talent.

Archangel’s Wrath (Trait) — Finally, we arrive at Tyrael’s trait. There’s really not a whole lot to say about it; it does a massive amount of damage in a circle around Tyrael after he dies. The biggest challenge with this trait is making sure that you’re prepared to chase an enemy the second you die. In the 3.5 seconds you have before exploding, you do not gain any benefits to movement speed — but you can move through walls. Thanks to the way this trait works, it can be either extremely potent or completely wasted, depending on your ability to catch enemies in its explosion.

Playing Tyrael

Tyrael is a unique warrior in that he can be built with a heavy focus on either tanking or support, as well as (a somewhat less viable) focus on damage-dealing. No matter which style you ultimately prefer, Tyrael’s strength and uniqueness still comes from his ability to support his allies through means other than heals. Notably, his shielding and movement abilities are still able to rescue allies in a bind no matter what talents you take. Knowing when to use what ability will be key to either chasing enemies to their death or making a timely escape in the face of defeat.

Strengths

  • High mobility
  • Can protect allies with shields
  • Has matching mount
Weaknesses

  • Can run out of mana easily
  • Limited burst capabilities

Tyrael is rated “medium” by Blizzard and rightly so. His abilities are relatively straightforward and he’s still enough of a tank where you can usually afford to make a mistake or two without it costing you your life, especially if El’Druin’s Might is off cooldown. What keeps him from being an “easy” hero is understanding how to properly use your abilities to not only damage enemies, but also support your team. Tossing a shield before a hero would otherwise die, using Smite’s speed boost to help heroes escape, or throwing El’Druin from a distance to slow an enemy hero in pursuit all put Tyrael in a tier above “easy.”

Personally, I tend to build Tyrael using this mix between the popular tanking build and the popular damage-dealing build. The recommendations below will allow you to clear minion waves quickly while still being able to initiate team fights and deal out the occasional bit of burst damage. As a warrior whose toolkit includes three active abilities, Tyrael’s mana can be tougher to manage than some other warrior heroes, which is also a factor in some of my recommendations. It’s worth noting, however, that Tyrael has many useful talents that can all synergize well if used properly.

Level 1 

This first talent tier helps set the stage for what sort of role you want to play in the game. Do you want to focus on support, damage, or tanking? Personally, I find Regeneration Master to be the best choice here.

I tried both Horadric Reforging and Purge Evil when I was first playing Tyrael and they were certainly nice, but I found myself dying a bit more quickly than I liked. I switched to Regeneration Master for a few matches and noticed a bigger difference with each match. Horadric Reforging was recently reworked to reduce the cooldown by 3 seconds if it hits an enemy. While it’s rare that a minion wave would last long enough for this talent to affect wave-clearing abilities, it does as an extra boost to enemies with higher health pools. Additionally, it gives Tyrael a slight boost to mobility if you need to chase down an enemy on the run.

Protection in Death is far too situational for me to find it useful — it not only is reliant on Tyrael dying, but also requires allies to be nearby for said death.

Level 4

To complement my Tier 1 choice, I often go with Amplified Healing here to give the bonus health regeneration a boost and to add some oomph if I’m ever laning with a support hero. Vampiric Strike can be a decent choice if you make sure to auto-attack, but it doesn’t work with any abilities and isn’t quite as complementary as Amplified Healing.

The main reason I stay away from Retribution is because I’ve found myself running into mana issues on Tyrael — now, this could just be me using his abilities too often, but the style I find most effective doesn’t leave much room for casting any more often than I already do. To me, this talent gets wasted the second you run out of mana.

As for Even in Death, it’s another one that requires Tyrael to die to be effective and is only good for teleporting with El’Druin’s Might or shielding nearby heroes with Righteousness. Since Tyrael’s Wrath form can’t be affected by movement speed increases, Smite could only ever be used for a quick speed boost to help teammates before you explode and die for real.

Level 7

This is a tough tier to give a definitive pick, because most of these I can envision being useful during any given game. For the same mana reasons as above, I don’t tend to pick Battle Momentum or Searing Attacks. If you can manage mana well, though, Battle Momentum is the more popular pick of the two.

Angel’s Grace is more or less a way to save yourself from needing to use Smite to gain a speed increase. It’s not bad, but if you’re using Smite often enough it becomes slightly redundant. Zealotry, meanwhile, can be useful if you are looking to go for a straight tanking build, as the shield absorbs quite a bit of damage.

That just leaves Reciprocate, which is my go-to choice and a bit of a departure from some of the popular Tyrael builds. I prefer buffing Tyrael to the point where he can tank effectively but also deal a moderate amount of damage. Reciprocate is great for adding a little extra damage against heroes and even better for a one-two punch with either of Tyrael’s other base abilities to take out an entire minion wave at once (which also helps to quickly gather orbs for Regeneration Master).

Level 10

I tend to pick Judgment because it is capable of closing gaps, zoning enemies, and dealing some damage in the process. Be warned! Charging an enemy from too far can result in positioning yourself a little too close to other enemies. Be ready to teleport and speed boost out if it looks like this is happening.

Sanctification is still a good choice if you can maximize its use. Thanks to the changes mentioned above, the talent holds its own against Judgment as a good pick for a Heroic Ability. While it still increases in effectiveness with more allies present, it now serves as a good solo talent because it shields Tyrael as well. If you’re confident you won’t need it soon, this can add extra protection when pushing towers by yourself — be warned, though, your allies will likely be upset if this ability is not off cooldown for a team fight! This is popular in many of the full-tank builds and can be a literal life-saver for your allies.

Tyrael Plus Mount Header

Level 13

My personal favorite here is Burning Rage. It’s a no-mana-cost ability that you don’t really have to think about to be effective and it helps adds a little extra power to Tyrael’s laning capability.

Angelic Absorption and Imposing Will can both be useful in their own way, especially if you’re using Righteousness often. The former is great if you find yourself taking a little too much damage and want more suvivability while the latter can be useful against melee-heavy teams.

Angelic Might is a pure damage increase but, unlike Burning Rage, is slightly more situational. It becomes less effective with fewer enemies and only works on one basic attack. Getting the most use would require either a team fight or a hero surrounded by minions and, as a result, I can’t really recommend this over any of the other choices.

Level 16

Blood for Blood is almost always going to be your go-to talent for this tier. The other talents certainly have potential, but too often that potential isn’t utilized in a match because they are far too situational.

Blade of Justice can be useful if you plan on chasing enemies and is picked in a lot of damage builds, but using it more frequently puts Tyrael’s most effective escape mechanism on cooldown. Salvation is not really a great choice because it only works on friendly heroes (not minions) and will only meet its full potential when your entire team is within the shield’s small radius of Tyrael.

Holy Ground has potential but is incredibly situational. The ring it creates is relatively small and also requires Tyrael to actually use the teleport function of El’Druin’s Might. That said, I have seen some very impressive stealing of minion camps using this talent. Wait for the team to clear a camp, throw down your sword when the mercenaries (or boss!) die, and then teleport in, blocking the enemy from gaining control. A play such as this is very rare, though, and can be incredibly dangerous to even attempt — as such, the talent still doesn’t top Blood for Blood.

Level 20

Angel of Justice becomes available for those who chose Judgment at level 10, and Holy Arena for those who chose Sanctification. Angel of Justice does not add much extra to Tyrael, but allows him to initiate fights more often and from a little farther. Holy Arena is, again, too situational to really top the other choices. However, if you know your team’s composition and strategy, adding a damage boost to the invulnerability can really benefit in full-team pushes.

Hardened Shield is my personal choice and can be great for late-game tanking, especially in team fights. Nexus Blades is picked in many pure damage builds, but doesn’t really top Hardened Shield in terms of overall effectiveness, in my book.

That about sums up Tyrael! He’s quite unique amongst his fellow warrior brethren and can be a huge asset to teams. Playing him properly will not only be noticeable by both teams but can also make the difference between winning and losing. Not to mention, he’s a very fun hero! Once you’ve gotten used to his speed-altering abilities, it’ll be difficult to go back to different heroes who can neither speed themselves up nor slow the enemies down.

Written by Michael Mitchell. Last updated 8/18/15