Alarak is a melee assassin that fits somewhere between Thrall and Kerrigan in terms of utility and strength. His kit lacks mobility and hard crowd control (such as slows and stuns) but he makes up for this with some powerful utility, an invaluable silence and a great deal of damage. What's particularly interesting about Alarak is his trait and how he gains 100% extra damage and healing against Heroes, with the possibility of increasing this value to deal even more damage.
I have to admit that Alarak - as far as I'm concerned - is challenging to play. His Discord Strike has a delay, his lack of gaurenteed escapes makes him entirely reliant on positioning and his only sustain relies on being able to hit multiple enemies for a high return of health. Unlike Thrall who can comfortably poke or Kerrigan who can easily dive and disrupt, Alarak is best skirting around the edges and only going into combat when the time is right.
In the right hands however, Alarak is incredibly powerful and can comfortably carry any team as long as he lands his attacks on the right targets.
Updated: 18 October 2019
Very high Hero damage
Very little mobility
His trait provides huge damage multpliers
No stun or slow by default, but he can push and silence.
Telekinesis is incredibly strong when used correctly
Relies entirely on the push and pull of his Telekinesis.
Lightning Surge is highly effective for poke and sustain
Very squishy if caught out of position
His silence from Discord Strike is amazing
Requires exceptional positioning
Sadism (Trait) - By default and thanks to his Trait, Alarak gain 100% more ability damage and healing versus enemy Heroes. This makes him particularly powerful but it also means that his skills when used against minions or camps are somewhat weaker. Interestingly and as part of his core talent design, Sadism can be increased in order to boost the power of your other talents, and is lost on death. If secure takedowns regularly, Alarak can quickly increase his damage through his Trait by 130%.
Discord Strike (Q) - One of only two abilities in the game that's not an Heroic which can silence, Discord Strike is incredibly valuable. Dealing high damage in a triangle infront of Alarak, it will immediately silence a Hero upon impact for 1.5 seconds. Although there's a fraction of a second delay between casting, it's barely noticable. The cooldown at 8 seconds is relatively lengthy and you can't really afford to miss. If you can, you should always try to focus high value, high damage (or support) targets. It's also important to note that you should always try to use Discord Strike after Telekinesis so that you pull someone towards you, before hitting them.
Telekinesis (W) - Alarak's only means of controlling enemies around him, Telekinesis allows him to push or pull enemies depending on where he points his locator. By default the push/pull isn't very far but it's often enough to disrupt the enemy or position them in such a way that they take damage or prevent an action against a team mate. Be conscious of the fact that Telekinesis has a lengthy cooldown and although you can move while casting it, it's easy for the enemy to avoid it if they're constantly moving and you're too slow to action it. Ideally you want to pull players towards you, or to push players away depending on whether you're attacking and/or defending. As noted above, you should also ensure when you pull a player towards you that you have Discord Strike ready.
Lightning Surge (E) - Lightning Surge is particularly interesting because it deals damage to all enemies between you and your primary target. Considering Lightning Surge also returns 100% of the damage dealt as health, it's your only form of sustain. Based on your trait multiplier, it's easy in a group fight to wrack up a considerable amount of damage and health returned. Be sure to always aim for a Hero at the back of the fight, so you can cut through multiple enemies.
Deadly Charge (R) - Your only form of mobility, Deadly Charge has a brief channel before allowing Alarak to leap forwards dealing high damage to all those in a line. Without doubt it's my preferred Heroic if playing aggressively and alongside Lightning Surge, it allows for significant AOE team pressure. The only caveat to it, when factoring in the charge time, is the fact you're vulnerable during the cast and if your team doesn't follow in, you're way out of position and likely to die.
Counter-Strike (R) - Counter-Strike causes Alarak to be motionless and await being attacked. Once he's hit, he'll send out a shockwave forwards that deals high AOE damage to those in front of him. It's a bit like an inverted Divine Palm and requires the enemy team to hit you in order to trigger its effect. It has a clear "tell" and skilled opponents can avoid you so as to not trigger the attack. That said, if you do find yourself in amongst a fight or time it just right, Counter-Strike can comfortably wipe a low health team.
Level 1: Extended Lightning
Extended Lightning is unquestionably the best of the three talents available as it drastically improves his Lightning Surge. Although it reduces your Sadism by 10% (to 90%) the trade-off sees you gain 20% additional range after hitting 5 players, and a 40% slow that lasts for 2 seconds after hitting 15. If you manage to hit 3 heroes with a single cast, you gain all these bonuses instantly and the 10% Sadism deduction returned. The catch to this talent is the fact you only gain the quest contribution from players between your lightning, not at the end of it. It can take some practice, but hitting 15 players - rather than 3 at once - is super easy.
Level 4: Negatively Charged
Building on Extended Lightning, Negatively Charged increases the damage bonus of victims between Alarak and his victim by 150%. Best of all, each hero hit by the center of Lightning Surge increases the abilities damage by 5%. On long matches, I've had the damage increased by well over 100%. It allows Alarak to deal enormous damage.
Level 7: Applied Force
By default Alarak's Telekinesis has a short range and doesn't pull particular far. Taking Applied Force is pretty mandatory as it allows the ability to push 20% further (great for escaping) but from 20% further away. It's fantastic for grabbing enemies who think they're safe. It might reduce your Sadism by 10%, but it's well worth it.
Level 10: Counter Strike
Offering Alarak a second Heoric ability, Counter Strike makes you immune to damage briefly and if attacked, you'll send out a shockwave of damage to enemies in a triangle in front of you. As the only Hero who can have two Heoric abilities, you might as well make use of it.
Level 13: Pure Malice
It's almost gaurenteed that during a match, your team mates will die. When they do, Pure Malice increases your Sadism by 10% per death, up to a maximum of 40%. Although the bonus is lost on death, it allows you to comfortably reach a 140% damage bonus against enemy Heroes - that's huge.
Variable: Rite of Rak'Shir is a targetted talent that allows Alarak to mark one hero. When he does, for 300 seconds every Discord Strike he lands against that target increases his Sadism by 3%. If he kills that player, he gains 6% Sadism and the cooldown is reset to 10 seconds. What's amazing about this talent is that it makes his Sadism limitless and if you mark the right targets (preferrably a front-line hero) you can achieve ridiculous amounts of bonus damage. I've found it works particularly well against a main tank, as it's highly likely you'll always snag a Discord Strike against them. Just be aware that any bonuses you do gain, will be lost on death.
Level 16: Lightning Barrage
Lightning Barrage allows Alarak to cast Lightning Surge again if he strikes 2 enemies in its center. Against a grouped team, this is easy done and ensures he can quickly repeat his cast for a double dose of damage and healing. While the free cast can't benefit from his Talent improvements, it does still provide some much needed poke and damage.
Level 20: Deadly Charge
Providing some much needed mobility alongside enormous damage, Deadly Charge is brilliant in a team fight and can comfortably mop up enemies that are low health. If needed, you can also use it to disengage when you're really in need but be aware it will cancel if you take damage.
Variable: Against a crowd control heavy team, Last Laugh is fantastic. It allows you to teleport out instantly, removing crowd control. The downside is that if you don't land 3 basic attacks within 4 seconds, your health will drop to 1. I'd recommend you simply use it as an escape tool to preserve your Sadism.
This list of tips and tricks are just a handful of things we think will help your Alarak 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. Remember that Sadism increases by 3% for every takedown your team achieves, but this bonus (30% limit) is lost on death.
2. Sadism works against heroes such as Murky and allows you to stack quickly, if you can kill him quickly.
3. Don't be too worried about taking talents that reduce your Sadism. A handful of kills, or Sadism boosting talents can quickly see you surprass your base 100% bonus.
4. Discord strike deals damage in a triangle and perpendicular to the telegraph (slight to the left and right). Even if your aim is slightly wonky, you can usually grab a player thanks to these additional prongs.
5. There's a very brief delay between casting and attacking with Discord Strike (Alarak raises his arms). You can be interrupted in this moment.
6. The silence on Discord Strike makes it one of the strongest abilities in the game. Try to grab a support hero with it to lock them down.
7. Ideally you want to be using Telekensis to pull as many players towards you as possible, before using Discord Strike.
8. You can use Telekensis to push yourself away from enemy players. Just press Ctrl + W for an instant shunt in the direction you're facing.
9. Although its primary use is to pull players, be sure to use Telekinesis to protect a team mate who's under attack (by pushing the enemy player away).
10. If you're contesting a Boss, save Telekinesis for when it's available for capture. It often pushes far enough away to secure it (especially if you also use Counter Strike)
11. Lightning Surge is cheap on mana, high in poke and deals good damage. Use it often to heal up and harrass.
12. Try to hit as many players as possible with your Lightning Surge, which typically means aiming at the furthest target at the back of a fight.
13. Counter Strike makes you immune to all damage. Even if you won't kill anyone with the after-shock, it can often save your life.
14. It's a good idea to sometimes force the after-shock of Counter Strike by intentionally walking into damage. If you do this while aiming at low health heroes, you can often clean up.
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