Sonya Gameplay Updates

Just yesterday we went through Medivh’s talent changes and compared them to how he plays on LIVE. Today, we’ll be doing the same treatment to Sonya gameplay updates. Follow me after the jump as we learn all about Mount Arreat’s representation in the Nexus: Sonya.

Sonya has been in Heroes since day one as an important archetype from Diablo. Her Fury-fueled hack-and-slash nature has gone through some awkward bumps, but nowadays shows a firm place as an aggressive Bruiser.

In the video below you’ll see even Blizzard mentions how solid Sonya is currently, but that a lot of her talent choices are generic, old or stale. We’ll leap onto the comparison afterward.


As you saw from what they showcased, many of Sonya’s new talents are complementary to the different playstyles she is known for. Relentless pursuits with the use of Ancient’s Spear, prolonged engagements through the sustain of Whirlwind, and unexpected splash AoE with the use of Seismic Slam. Just like Medivh, Sonya now has her own new talents as well as juggled old ones to combat her foes. If you’ve been desperately awaiting some fresh air into this old barbarian wait no more.


Talent Tier Level 1

Furious BlowEmpower Seismic Slam. Previously at Talent Tier 16, it has been reworked from 50% more damage to 40% more, but only on the 4th use of Seismic Slam. As an upside, the 4th use of it is free.

War PaintBasic Attacks heal. Unchanged.

Tough As NailsPeriodically gain Physical Armor. Reworked as both a buff and a nerf, Sonya can now gain 75 Physical Armor and have up to 3 stacks of it. Should her Trait’s Movement Speed be active she’ll recover those stacks twice as fast.


Talent Tier Level 4

Shattered GroundIncrease Seismic Slam splash damage. The same but better, this now increases Seismic Slam’s splash damage by 75% and it’s length by 66%.

HurricaneWhirlwind removes slows and roots. Identical.

Battle Rage (Previously named Mercenary Lord)Increase damage to Mercenaries, activate to heal. If you’ve read my Sonya guide before you’d know how much Ferocious Healing made a difference to me. This is now a form of Mercenary Lord and Ferocious Healing combined. You still do 50% more damage to Mercenaries and you can activate it to heal for 10% health, but wait, there’s more! Though the heal used to only be a cooldown of 10-seconds, it is now 30-seconds but with 3 charges and no cost. It’s FREE! This should help curb burst on Sonya as she could always spend all 3 charges back-to-back to gain 30% Health extremely quickly.


Talent Tier Level 7

Poisoned SpearAncient Spear deals damage over time. Unchanged.

Life FunnelIncreases Whirlwind healing. Previously at Talent Tier 13, it remains identical with some wording corrected. No other changes have been done.

Shot Of FuryActivate to gain Fury. Reworked from its old place of Talent Tier 1, it no longer increases your maximum Fury but it still gives 50 Fury even when Whirlwinding. As an added bonus it now passively makes your first auto-attack do 40% more damage after a Seismic Slam.


Talent Tier Level 10 (NO CHANGES AT ALL)

LeapJump to a location, deal damage, and stun enemies.

Wrath of the BerserkerIncrease damage and reduce disable duration.


Talent Tier Level 13

Mystical SpearAncient Spear always pulls, cooldown reduced. Unchanged.

RuthlessIncrease Whirlwind damage to low Health targets. Like a slow Execute if the targets are below 33% health, but as a brand new talent, it’s an interesting option.

No EscapeAbilities give more Movement Speed. Mostly unchanged except its now only 20% Movement Speed. You do get it a whole Talent Tier early having previously been at 16. Overall, not that bad of a compromise.


Talent Tier Level 16

Giant SlammerSeismic Slam deals bonus damage. Completely NEW and completely awesome! Sonya now has a way to deal %Damage (2%!) on every use of Seismic Slam. I’ll never say no to %Damage.

RampageBasic Attacks reduce Ancient Spear cooldown. A huge leap from Talent Tier 4 to 16, this now only increases your Basic Attack damage by 25%. However, that is a flat increase on EVERY attack AND as a bonus, each one decreases the cooldown of Ancient Spear by 0.75 seconds. This finally helps to create the Barbarian fantasy of relentlessly pursuing your foe. Combine this with Leap at 10, Mystical Spear or No Escape at 13, and Composite Spear at 20 and you’ll never be left behind.

Nerves of SteelActivate to gain a Shield. Unchanged.


Talent Tier Level 20


Arreat CraterLeap creates a crater and has reduced cooldown. Unchanged.

Striding GiantWrath of the Berserker can grant Unstoppable. Completely reworked as Wrath of the Berserker’s level 20, you now can activate a separate ability to become Unstoppable for 2 seconds every 30 seconds. Your Health is also increased by 10% in Wrath.

Composite SpearIncrease Ancient Spear range, grants Armor. Now a 50% longer range and grants 25 Armor for 4 seconds should you hit a Hero with it. This new talent makes so much sense as Ancient Spear truly has been at the core of Sonya’s kit for as long as she’s been in the Nexus.

Ignore PainActivate to gain massive Armor. Slightly nerfed, otherwise the same. It has dropped from 75 Armor to only 60.



Sonya Gameplay UpdatesThough I don’t feel that the Sonya gameplay updates was as large as Medivh’s was, maybe it didn’t need to be. Her new, merged, or juggled talents feel much more intelligently placed giving you the chance to really empower your style. Really like Ancient Spear? Take all of its talents and rarely worry about being kited again. Love that splash Seismic Slam damage? Surprise everyone with your unusual AoE and keep up the pressure. Sonya has always felt like a versatile Brusier to me but now she really feels like a fine-tuned one. As long as I can run around causing mayhem on her I’ll be a happy camper.




Featured Art ~ “Sonya The Barbarian” from I-am-ArcG on DeviantArt.
Additional Art ~ from Blizzard Entertainment.

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