Our complete Jaina guide has everything you need to know about playing this Hero, with the latest builds, tips, map advice and counters.
If you're undaunted by the prospect of controlling a notoriously squishy character who's capable of dishing out incredible amounts of pain, then you'll be right at home with Jaina. Not only does she pack some of the most impressive damage output in Heroes of the Storm, she can also cripple her enemies' attempts to flee to safety thanks to the chilly slowing effects of her spells.
The main downside - as we've mentioned already - is that Jaina can be taken out by the enemy team in the blink of an eye, so you have to be on top of your positioning every step of the way. She can also chug through Mana at a frightening rate if you don't manage her damage output carefully, and choose the right spell for the job at hand.
With all that said and done, she's a fantastic pick in just about any match and one of the most fun to play if you can tame her more problematic aspects. Our next guide will dig a little deeper into Jaina, help you craft a solid foundation of talents, and provide some additional hints and tips to help boost your skill level with this Hero further.
Editor's note - March update: We've tweaked our preferred general-purpose talent build a little for this month. Further down the page you'll also find a few useful tips for specific battlegrounds. We'll keep updating this section of the guide in the future!
Jaina strategy overview - March 2016
Due to Jaina's natural vulnerability, you should always be working with at least one other teammate in the early game. Watch how you're spending that Mana too, as you'll quickly run out if you start spamming damage all over the place just because you can - check our tips section further down the page for more details on this.
Jaina's real job - beyond helping with lane clearing - is pretty simple: kill the enemy. Try to strike multiple enemy Heroes with your incredible AOE damage output, and watch your positioning at all times. If the enemy gets a shot at bringing you down, they'll take it and wipe you out before you can blink (no pun intended, WOW fans). Don't forget that you can hide yourself in the bushes to drop your AOE bomb on the enemy out of nowhere as well.
It's really important to factor Jaina's Frostbite Trait into everything you do if you're to maximise your damage in a fight. If you can pull off a combo of Blizzard / Cone of Cold / Frostbolt rapidly, you'll be able to throw out a huge amount of damage - you need to complete these steps quickly for it all to come together to maximum effect.
The best Jaina Talent build - March 2016
There are a handful of very specialised Jaina builds out there, but we like this one for its combination of massive burst damage and its potency against entire packs of enemies. It's an approach that really plays into Jaina's core strengths.
Jaina burst DPS build
Level 1 - Lingering Chill - Increases the duration of Chill from 4 seconds to 6 seconds.
Level 4 - Snowstorm - Increases the radius of Blizzard by 30%.
Level 7 - Frostbitten - Increases the damage bonus of Frostbite from 50% to 65%.
Level 10 - Summon Water Elemental - Summons a Water Elemental at target location. The Water Elemental's Basic Attacks do 171 (82 + 4% per level) damage, splash for 25% damage and Chill. Can reactivate the Ability to retarget the Water Elemental. Lasts 20 seconds. Mana: 75, Cooldown: 80 seconds.
Level 13 - Improved Ice Block - Activate to place yourself in Stasis and gain Invulnerability for 3 seconds. When this effect expires, nearby enemies are Chilled.
Level 16 - Northern Exposure - Enemies damaged by Cone of Cold are also afflicted with Vulnerable, increasing the damage they take by 25% for 2 seconds.
Level 20 - Bolt of the Storm - Activate to teleport to a nearby location.
Jaina Abilities, Heroic Abilities and Traits - March 2016
As we've already mentioned a couple of times, Jaina can burn through Mana at a frightening rate. Take a moment to familiarise yourself with all of her Abilities, so you choose the right tool for the job at hand.
Frostbolt (Q)- Deal 351 (167 + 4% per level) damage and Chill the target. Mana: 30, Cooldown: 4 seconds.
Blizzard (W)- Bombard an area with 2 waves of ice, dealing 366 (174 + 4% per level) damage each. Damaged enemies are Chilled. Mana: 75, Cooldown: 15 seconds.
Cone of Cold (E)- Deal 415 (197 + 4% per level) damage and Chill targets. Mana: 50, Cooldown: 10 seconds.
Summon Water Elemental (R)- Summons a Water Elemental at target location. The Water Elemental's Basic Attacks do 171 (82 + 4% per level) damage, splash for 25% damage and Chill. Can reactivate the Ability to retarget the Water Elemental. Lasts 20 seconds. Mana: 75, Cooldown: 80 seconds.
Ring of Frost (R)- After a 1.5 second delay, create a Ring of Frost in an area that deals 680 (323 + 4% per level) damage and roots enemies for 3 seconds. The ring persists for 3 seconds afterward, Chilling any enemies who touch it. Mana: 70, Cooldown: 80 seconds.
Frostbite- All abilities Chill targets, slowing Movement Speed by 25% and amplifying damage from your abilities by 50%. Lasts 4 seconds.
Jaina counters and match-ups - March 2016
Before you throw yourself head-first into battle, it's well worth brushing up on which Heroes Jaina's particularly strong and weak against - not to mention which other Heroes make a good partner in crime.
Different experts have very different opinions about how individual Heroes stack up against one another, so we tend to reference a community-curated resource like HeroesCounters for this sort of information. Here's how things stand in each category at the time of publishing.
- Strong against- Sgt. Hammer, Malfurion, The Lost Vikings, Xul, Brightwing
- Weak against- Greymane, Zeratul, Tyrael, Nova, Kerrigan
- Teams well with- ETC, Johanna, Malfurion, Nazeebo, Arthas
Jaina tips and battleground guides - March 2016
Jaina is as deadly as she is vulnerable on the battlefield, and so you should try to keep the following tips in mind as you play through your first few games with her.
- Jaina's squishiness cannot be overstated, so always stay well back from the focus of the battle, and let your spells do the talking from the greatest possible range.
- If you've followed our talent build and have gained access to Bolt of the Storm, it gives you a little more mobility, but don't get too cocky!
- Once you reach the mid-game, Jaina is a gank victim waiting to happen. Stick close to a teammate to increase your chances of living longer and dishing out the damage.
- You're not exactly rolling in Mana reserves at the start of each game, so try to hold back on Blizzard unless you're sure it's going to bag an enemy kill.
- Make sure you coordinate your Water Elemental properly - in an ideal world you'll be focusing on the same target at the same time.
- Back to the subject of Mana conservation, Cone of Cold is preferable to Blizzard when it comes to taking down minions. In terms of bang for your buck it just makes more sense.
- Watch your Mana closely. If you know a big objective encounter is about to come around, take the opportunity to refill back at base.
Battlefield of Eternity
Jaina loves to throw her thing around on Battlefield of Etenity as there are so many opportunities to dish out some of her delicious AOE damage. The slowing aspect of Frostbite should also ensure that few enemies get to escape to safety during the many team brawls you'll experience on the map.
Be very careful wandering around the lower third of Blackheart's Bay with Jaina, as she is tremendously squishy and runs a high chance of getting ganked around here. Instead, move between the upper two lanes, clearing out minion wave after minion wave, and be ready to interrupt a Doubloon hand-in from the enemy team.
Fightin' Cowboy's videos helped us out a huge amount while we were learning the game. The builds have changed with balance patches and shifting metagames, but the broad principles remain the same.
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