A brief history of Valeera Sanguinar
With her introduction in Heroes of the Storm, Valeera Sanguinar has now appeared in three Blizzard games: World of Warcraft, Hearthstone and now Heroes. What you may not know about the Blood Elf Rogue is that she’s got a long history — her first lore appearance was in World of Warcraft: The Comic Book issue #1, with a cover date of January 2008 (it was actually released in November of 2007) and before that she appeared in art for The Burning Crusade and in products such as this collectible statue. It’s also worth noting that the Paladin she’s fighting in that statue is Vindicator Maraad, a fellow we saw quite a bit of in Warlords of Draenor.
Valeera has made a bit of a habit of outliving her sparring partners. In addition to Maraad, she’s also outlived her former gladiatorial partner King Varian Wrynn (also known as Lo’Gosh) and even had an appearance in World of Warcraft back before and during Wrath of the Lich King.
Her in-game appearances
Valeera’s first appearance was during the Scourge Invasion event that accompanied the Echoes of Doom patch (patch 3.0.2) in October of 2008. This puts it technically before the actual release of Wrath of the Lich King but after the patch cycles of The Burning Crusade, and since Valeera first appeared in art published during Burning Crusade, I count her as a Burning Crusade character, but if you prefer a Wrath date I won’t argue it. Either way, she appeared during the Scourge Invasion in Stormwind alongside King Varian Wrynn, and then when Wrath itself launched she took part in the Battle for the Undercity, again as one of Varian’s allies.
And then she pretty much vanished. She was part of the World of Warcraft comic from its inception until about issue 30 or so, when it stopped being about the adventures of the cast of characters introduced in the first issue and shortly thereafter ceased publication.
What’s she been up to?
Well, since the end of the WoW comic she’s appeared in a ton of Blizzard promotional artwork. When Hearthstone entered development, she was chosen as the default Rogue character. Essentially, she’s become the face of Rogues in WoW almost by default, as most players only got a little exposure to other characters that might have filled that role like Garona or Edwin VanCleef. While Valeera hasn’t made a ton of appearances in actual games, she’s so present in Burning Crusade era art that even before people knew her name they had an idea that Rogue = That Blood Elf. The above image of Valeera trying to kill a Night Elf Hunter (who looks a lot like Warcraft III Shandris Feathermoon except that the hair is different, thus ruining my Valeera/Shandris fanfic before I could even write it) is just one of many, many images that came out during The Burning Crusade.
With her appearance in Heroes of the Storm, we now have three separate Blizzard games she’s appeared in, which cements that iconic status even more. Other Rogues are arguably more important in Warcraft lore — hard to top assassinating King Llane Wrynn, really — but for 10 years, Valeera has been the face of Rogues.
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