Blizzard recently announced two new heroes coming to Heroes of the Storm. Xul is a Necromancer specialist from Diablo that will be released in the coming weeks, while Li-Ming is a Wizard from Diablo that entered the Nexus recently. There’s one popular build with Li-Ming that’s making the rounds, which is a solid Assassin build, but we have some slight modifications that may work better depending on your play style. First let’s cover Li-Ming’s trait and abilities before we jump into her talent build.
Magic Missiles (Q)
The untalented version of Magic Missiles fires three projectiles at a point on the map. This is a skill shot that’s a bit more difficult to connect than most others. Depending on where you position the target, the missiles will travel along a different path. In addition, the missiles will hit structures, minions or heroes, so if you want them all to hit the same target you have to be positioned well to make sure they don’t intercept something else first. While this attack doesn’t have the range of Arcane Orb, it does have more range than her basic attack, making it worthwhile from a distance.
Arcane Orb (W)
This is Li-Ming’s bread and butter. The large magic ball is where most of her damage comes from. It has long range, dealing more damage as it travels. If you can position Li-Ming so you connect with Arcane Orb at maximum range, it will score most of your kills. Like Magic Missiles, the Arcane Orb will hit missions and structures, and explode as soon as it comes in contact with either. You have to be very careful about your positioning to make sure you hit the desired target for maximum damage.
Li-Ming’s best escape option has limited range when it’s untalented, but with a five second cooldown it comes in handy if you use it preemptively. You can add talents to improve the Teleport, which we’ll discuss in the build section, but just remember this won’t get you out of a bad situation if you weren’t already planning your escape well in advance. Li-Ming has the smallest health pool in the game (for the normal heroes, not Murky and the like) and dies easily if you’re not paying close attention to the position of your enemies.
Critical Mass (Trait)
Critical Mass refreshes all of Li-Ming’s cooldowns anytime she is credited with a kill or assist. That means you need to be moderately close to the enemy hero when they die. You can still be at maximum Arcane Orb range (and even a bit further), but if you’re across the map this trait won’t activate. This is great during team fights as you can finish off an enemy, reset all of your cooldowns, then immediately use your refreshed abilities to finish off another enemy hero. Under the right circumstances you can chain kill the entire enemy team.
Level 1 - Astral Presence
Level 4 - Ess of Johan or Triumvirate
Level 7 - Seeker or Zei’s Vengeance
Level 10 - Disintegrate
Level 13 - Glass Cannon or Illusionist
Level 16 - Mirrorball or Arcane Orbit
Level 20 - Tal Rasha’s Elements or Archon: Pure Power or Temporal Flux
At level one your go-to skill should be Astral Presence. This causes your mana to regenerate 100 percent faster when you have less than half of your mana pool available. Li-Ming can run out of mana quickly if you’re not careful, which makes this the ideal talent when you begin the game.
When you reach level four the popular choice is to go with Ess of Johan. This pulls enemies toward the center of Arcane Orb if it hits. To be clear, this does not stun or interrupt most actions, but it will stop an opponent from running or chasing for a split second, which may be enough time to score a kill or escape respectively. This also works very well in conjunction with Magic Missiles to pull enemies toward a single spot so you can land every missile.
Alternatively, you can use Triumvirate to lower the cooldown of Arcane Orb by seven seconds if it hits an enemy hero after traveling at least 80 percent of its base range. The advantage here is that the cooldown of Arcane Orb is reduced to only three seconds (or practically nothing when you count travel time after the cast). However, thanks to Li-Ming’s trait you don’t really need this once you start landing kills in rapid succession. It works well in the early game, but becomes less important as you inflict more and more damage and score enemy kills in every team fight.
At level seven, pick up Seeker for the recommended build. With this talent, if all three Magic Missiles hit the same target, you get bonus damage equal to just shy of another Magic Missile impact. This is quite a bit of damage, and when you add in an Arcade Orb (especially with the Ess of Johan talent) it can drain any opponent’s health in a single shot.
Your second option at level seven is Zei’s Vengeance. This allows Arcane Orb to inflict 25 percent more damage to enemies at maximum range but 25 percent less damage to enemies at close range. If you have trouble landing all three shots of Magic Missile, this gives you bonus damage (although not nearly as much) with less effort. If you’re still learning Li-Ming, this may be a better option, but Seeker should be your go-to at this level.
When you reach level 10, Disintegrate should be your Heroic ability of choice. It has a 20 second cooldown and fires a beam in the direction of your cursor. It’s good to finish off enemies, especially since the cooldown instantly refreshes if you do. The range is very good so you don’t need to be close to an enemy, but if you’re caught out of position things could get ugly for Li-Ming.
At level 13 you have a choice between Glass Cannon or Illusionist. If you’re confident in your ability to stay alive, pick up Glass Cannon. It increases your ability power by 15 percent, while lowering your maximum health by 15 percent as well. As previously stated, Li-Ming already has a small health pool, lowering it by 15 percent can be dangerous if you’re not highly skilled. Illusionist extends the range of your Teleport by 50 percent and refreshes the cooldown if you lose more than 15 percent of your health at once. So you have the damage option and the defensive escape option depending on your play style.
Mirrorball should be your selected talent at level 16, but once again you have a slightly easier selection of Arcane Orbit for newer players. Mirrorball fires two additional missiles when you cast Magic Missiles. This adds a considerable amount of damage to the attack, especially if you picked up the Seeker talent at level seven. However, if you have difficulty aiming your Magic Missiles to connect every shot (which becomes slightly more difficult with Mirrorball) you can pick up Arcane Orbit to increase the travel distance and damage of Arcane Orb by 25 percent. Once again, you get more damage from Mirrorball, but you need to be better at hitting the skill shot.
At level 20 go with Tal Rasha’s Elements for maximum damage. As long as you don’t use the same ability twice in a row, you gain a 20 percent damage bonus for all abilities. Essentially you need to alternate between Arcane Orb and Magic Missiles, with a Teleport or Disintegrate thrown in if you need to fill some cooldown time.
Depending on your play style, you may opt to go with Archon instead. By pressing 1 you can transform into Archon form and use Disintegrate endlessly at no cost. The catch is that you cannot use any other abilities while you’re in Archon form. You can press 1 again to change back to normal form (with a 10 second cooldown on Archon form), allowing you to use normal abilities again. This is great for quickly taking down enemies in a team fight or even the core at the end of the game. You can sit outside of the core’s attack range and take it down so long as the other team doesn’t interfere.
Your third option is to go with Temporal Flux, which slows enemies by 60 percent when they’re hit with Disintegrate. This allows you to keep them in the Disintegrate beam for a longer period of time, while also allowing your teammates to lay into the target as well. However, you’re giving up a 20 percent damage boost or the ability to use Disintegrate infinitely. Under most circumstances the first two options are better, but depending on your team composition and how the game is going, this can be a better choice.
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