Overview

Samuro is a melee assassin and I would argue, one of the strongest in Heroes of the Storm. I've always loved the Blademaster but his implementation here is exceptional. Not only does he bring huge amounts of damage but his kit has flexibility and utility to not only ensure he can comfortably deal damage, but survive when a fight turns south.

Whats particularly powerful about Samuro isn't just the control he has over his burst damage (which is eye-watering) but also that his kit suppliments it massively. Although this build guide focuses on burst, all his talents are exceptional and there are effectively three ways to play him well (focusing on Mirror Images, Critical Strikes or Wind Walk). While there's no suggestion this guide is the perfect way to build him, I've had a great deal of success with pursuing a majority of the Wind Walk talents. It makes for a high burst, confusing Hero to fight against.  

One thing to always remember with Samuro is the fact that he's a confusing Hero to fight against but also to master. His combination of stealth (Wind Walk) and double trouble from Mirror Images can often feel a lot to handle. With practice however, you'll quickly grasp when it's best to use his skills and how to engage in combat. 

Updated: 6 June 2017

Pros

Cons

Very hard for enemies to pin down

A steep learning curve

His trait provides lots of talent flexibility and choices

Somewhat vulnerable to ranged, basic attack heavy Heroes

He's so much fun to play

No ranged poke, forces him to rely entirely on basic attacks

Mirror Images and Wind Walk provide lots of survivability

His Mirror Images are fairly predictable

He's capable of bursting for enormous damage

Incredibly vulnerable to Blind and Reveal

Abilities


Advancing Strikes (Trait) - Samuro's Trait provides him with a movement speed bonus of 25% whenever he uses a basic attack against an enemy Hero. It only lasts for 2 seconds but if you began the fight near to your target, they'll struggle to escape. Only agile Heroes such as Tracer, Thrall or Sonya can comfortably outrun Samuro while everyone else - as long as their mobility skills are on cooldown - has a very difficult time. Ideally you want to be maintaining Advancing Strikes as much as possible in a team fight.  

Mirror Image (Q) - There's two primary uses to Mirror Image. The first is to gain additional damage from your two Images and while it's only 30% of your own, they're capable of also dealing critical strikes and act, in many ways, like a DOT by bolstering your own output. Their second use is to body block for Samuro and to confuse the enemy. Although the Images appear gold to you, they actually look identicle to Samuro to the enemy. This makes things particularly confusing during a team fight and while their pathing is rudimentary, it's often enough to disorientate an opponent for a split second or two. It should be said that by default, Mirror Images of Samuro die incredibly quickly to AOE and as they only have 50% of your current health, if you're low health when you use them they'll die near instantly. If you can, try to not only use them at full health (or high health) but also at moments when your Wind Walk is available so you can really confuse the enemy. 

Critical Strike (W) - This ability has two components. The first causes Samuro to deal critical damage when activated and it lasts for 8 seconds (or until you strike an opponent). The critical strike being active is indicated on the HUD (to the lower left) and your sword will also burn with fire. Considering your Critical Strike deals 50% extra damage, it's a high amount of burst potential. Not only this, but Critical Strike also allows you to deal a free Critical Strike every 4th basic attack - again this is highlighted on your HUD. If you can, you want to be timing your Critical Strike (active) with your Critical Strike (passive) so you get two back to back. 

Wind Walk (E) - An incredibly strong skill that once again has two uses. Wind Walk is incredible for escaping as it allows you to not only stealth but gain increased movement speed of 30%. During Wind Walk you're also able to pass through enemies and avoid damage for 1 second when it's first cast. Its duration is lengthy (8 seconds) and the cooldown on Wind Walk actually begins when you use the skill. This is particularly powerful for Samuro as if you time it right, you can effectively use it twice in combat, to open - disengage - before re-engaging. What I will stress is that you need to be sure you won't be caught in AOE attacks after its use, such as a DOT from Kael'thas, as it will quickly pop you out of Stealth once it detonates. 

Bladestorm (R) The easiest of two Heroic abilities to use, Bladestorm offers huge amounts of damage surrounding Samuro. The radius is fairly large and you can move while attacking. The fact you're also unstoppable for 4 seconds can pretty much ensure that if you use it in a team fight, you're gaurenteed to reach your enemy even if you don't survive long enough for maximum use. Unsurprisingly and due to the strength of Bladestorm, it has a very long cooldown and you're incredibly vulnerable during its use. Samuro isn't the hardiest of Heroes and this Heroic effectively places a huge red flag on him, to burst him down. 

Illusion Master (R) - A complex and deep Heoric that allows Samuro to independently control each Illusion he has active. Not only that, but he can move each by itself and swap positions with one. It's similar to controlling The Lost Vikings and unless your mind can manage micro-management in this fashion, it can become fairly complicated. On maps such as Cursed Hollow or Dragon Shire it can be particularly strong, especially if you use your Images to distract before quickly switching places. I will stress that this Ultimate has a high skill ceiling and even now, after playing Samuro for some time on the PTR, I'm still fairly poor with it (not entirely surprising, I'm terrible with The Lost Vikings). 

Talents

Level 1: Way of the Wind

Way of the Wind is a quest talent that increases his Windwalker movement speed by a maximum of 25% with 1.25% given every time he attacks someone from stealth. On completion of the talent, your immunity when you activate Wind Walker also increases to 2.5 seconds.

Variable: Samuro relies heavily on Critical Strike to deal damage and the passive critical strikes that the ability offers. Way of the Blade sees him passively cause a critical strike every 3 attacks instead of 4. Better still, it also boosts all critical strike damage by 25%. 

Level 4: One With The Wind

Most of the talents available to Samuro at level 4 are good, but I've found Mirage particularly effective as a variable against ability heavy teams. It grants two stacks of Spell Block when you case Mirror Images, reducing incoming ability damage by 50%. As a front-line fighter, Samuro needs this mitigate once he's in the thick of things. What's particularly good about Mirage is the fact you can almost always go into battle with two stacks, before using Mirror Images, to gain to more. As long as you've used Mirror Images before a fight, it's a high amount of easily obtained mitigation. 

Level 7: Crushing Blows

As noted above, Samuro relies massively on burst and his Critical Strikes ability. It has a lengthy cooldown by default (8 seconds) so having the opportunity to cast it twice is significant. Crushing Blows not only increases your burst significantly, but also ties into Way of the Blade. If you time it right, you can gain three critical strikes back to back (passive > Critical Strike > Critical Strike). 

Variable: If pursuing a Mirror Images build, take Phantom Pain. With three active Images the damage per second is higher due to a 40% increase in damage output based on each Image.

Level 10: Bladestorm

Due to the nature of combat in Heroes of the Storm in the current meta, Bladestorm is amazing. Its damage is huge, the AOE large and the Unstoppable invaluable. As long as your team follow up, you'll be able to deal incredibly high damage to one or multiple targets. If you also stealth up into a fight using Wind Walk and trigger Bladestorm, the enemy often won't know what has hit them. 

Variable: Illusion Master is a fantastic variable but it requires a great deal of time and practice to perfect. It's the bedrock of most Mirror Images talents and is a must if you're pursuing it. 

Level 13: Shukuchi

Samuro has no means of crowd control or engage outside of Wind Walk and even that, if your trait isn't active, doesn't allow you to catch-up to an enemy player. Shukuchi causes Wind Walk to dart you forward a considerable distance. Not only is it invaluable for escaping, but also ensures you can comfortably keep up with any enemy Hero. It's absolutely brilliant.

Level 16: Harsh Winds

Vulnerability in Heroes of the Storm typically increases damage by 25% but Harsh Winds ramps it up to 30% for 3 seconds. This window of opportunity is significant and more than enough time to unleash at least two Critical Strikes. Just be sure to basic attack from stealth, before Critical Strike > Critical Strike. 

Level 20: Wind Strider

Finally and completing the Wind Walker build, Wind Strider halves the cooldown on the ability. Considering it lasts 8 seconds by default - now with a cooldown of 6 - you are never without it. It effectively allows you to maintain +30% damage against targets during every team fight. 

Variable: Take Three Blade Style if pursuing a Mirror Images build. Your Heroes gain identicle health to you and last for 32 seconds - an enormous amount of time that allows you to keep them active permanently. 

Matchups

These Hero Threat Levels (1 being lowest threat and 10 being highest threat) are to help you determine which enemy Heroes can give you a headache. For the Heroes listed here, take extra care as they're particularly dangerous for Samuro. 

Hero

Threat 

Lunara: Her mobility, nuisance poison and vision make her a challenge for Sumaro. You'll not be able to really hit her and she can constantly poke you. 

7/10

Tracer: She's super fast, can Blink out of attacks and then come back for more. 

9/10

Thrall: His root, ranged poke and self healing are very difficult to deal with. Even with your Wind Walker, he'll mop you up quickly. 

8/10

The Butcher: Onslaught and Lamb to the Slaughter can destroy you near instantly. There's absolutely nothing you can do against him during that window. 

8/10

Illidan: Evade, self healing, mobility, damage - he's a headache you just can't get rid of and he can block most of your attacks. 

8/10

Valla: She has tons of basic attack damage, can stun you with her Ultimate and burst you down incredibly quickly from afar. 

8/10

Kerrigan: Her pull, stun and shielding make her surprisingly annoying and her damage potential is high enough to burst you down.  7/10

Tips

This list of tips and tricks are just a handful of things we think will help your Samuro play. We'll continue to add to the list as required and if you have any tips you'd like to share, let us know in the comments below and we'll place them here. 


1. Samuro has no poke. You rely entirely on the distraction of Mirror Images and Wind Walk to reach your targets. Be sure to have them available at every team fight. 

2. Always try to time Critical Strikes so you gain its benefit after or before a passive bonus. When talented, its passive is gained every 3 strikes instead of 4. 

3. Your Mirror Images die incredibly quickly by default. Use them to block spells, to trigger your talent or to distact while you Wind Walk away. 

4. When you trigger Mirror Images you'll be randomly relocated between your three Images. Try to act like an AI enemy so your opponent doesn't guess which is which. 

5. I've found that when you trigger Mirror Images, you'll typically be placed at the back of the three (more often than not). Use this added space to disengage easily. 

6. Mirror Images is as much about damage as it is distraction. 1 on 1 they offer a considerable increase to your damage and benefit from all your Critical Strike talents. 

7. Try to maintain your trait in combat as much as possible. The movement speed buff is significant but brief. 

8. If you can, always try to engage having used Wind Walk. You'll trigger the bonus damage and then be able to use again not long after. 

9. By default your Mirror Images will randomly attack targets, if there are multiple. 1 on 1 however they'll focus their attention.

10. If you want physical control over your Mirror Images, you have to take Illusion Master. It's the only way to ensure during a team fight your Images concentrate their attacks. 

11. If you can, a good method of attack is to open with Wind Walker to trigger your damage bonus and immediately use Bladestorm. You'll then have Wind Walker available again to teleport to them (if they're trying to run) before using Critical Strikes twice. 

12. The emphasis on this build is utilising your stealth and bursting quickly. If you're timing your Wind Walker correctly, you'll be able to open on a high value, squishy target before using Wind Walker again. 

13. Wind Walker provides damage reduction and an unbreakable stealth but only for the first second. Combined with the leap thanks to the level 13 talent, you'll rarely get caught out. 

14. Be aware that Samuro is highly vulnerable to "vision" skills (such as Tassadar's Trait). They reveal which of his Mirror Images are false. Vision counters include*:

  • Abathur - Toxic Nest (4s Reveal)
  • Brightwing - Peekaboo! (6s Reveal)
  • Chromie - Peer into the Future (4s Reveal, 2s Duration)
  • Gall - Eye of Kilrogg (45s Duration)
  • Greymane - Scented Tincture (10s Reveal)
  • Kharazim - Foresight (3s Duration), Clairvoyance (4s Reveal, 10s Duration)
  • Lt. Morales - Scouting Drone (45s Duration)
  • Lunara - Natural Perspective (3/9s Reveal), Skybound Wisp (upon death; 4s Duration)
  • Malfurion - Moonfire (2s Reveal), Scouting Drone (45s Duration)
  • Medivh - Dust of Appearance (10s Reveal)
  • Murky - Clairvoyance (4s Reveal, 10s Duration)
  • Raynor - Scouting Drone (45s Duration)
  • Rehgar - Farsight (4s Reveal, 10s Duration)
  • Rexxar - Unleash the Boars (5s Reveal), Flare (5s Duration)
  • Tassadar - Oracle (5s Duration/8s Duration talented)
  • Tracer - Tracer Rounds (4s Reveal)
  • Tyrande - Sentinel (5s Reveal), Hunter's Mark (4s Reveal)
  • Zeratul - Vorpal Blade (Causes Basic Attacks to reveal if they are an Illusion. 3s Reveal)

*Credit to Ryteder

15. Building on the above, a variety of spell effects persist on Samuro through Mirror Images, these include:

  • Chromie - Temporal Loop
  • Falstad - Lightning Rod
  • Johanna - Sins Exposed
  • Greymane - Marked for the Kill
  • Leoric - Drain Hope
  • Tassadar - Static Charge (not viable)
  • Xul - Bone Prison
  • Zagara - Hunter Killer (Hydralisks will continue to fixate on the real Samuro after he uses Mirror Image)
  • Zeratul - Vorpal Blade

16. Samuro is weakest during long fights as if his health his low, his Mirror Images will become paper thin and die incredibly easy (they only have a proportional % of his health). 


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Last Updated: Jun 06, 2017

About The Author

Burnell 1
Lover of all things MOBA, Lewis splits his time between Heroes of the Storm, Battlerite and Destiny 2 (with a bit of Overwatch for good measure).

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