When we’re discovering potential strategies for the game, inspiration is the game itself, really. Whoever you are playing, you should feel heroic. And every warrior needs to make a difference. With Alona, we didn’t want her to be too passive as a healer. We want you to be in the fight, using different abilities. We want you to feel like you’re getting better at doing her job, which is sustaining your team.
I think there are two things that work in her favor. Because she tends to stay in the back of the fight, your opponent will oftentimes lose track of her. A lot of the times that you see Alona running the Relic, it’s because there was a teamfight and the opposing team lost track of the healer and she’s going to rush the Relay. With her Sun’s Grace defensive ability, she has decent mobility. She’s sneaky, really. Alona is a character that players can lose track of, and by the time you do, she’s already halfway down the map.
The Light of Judgement was something we went back and forth on for a really long time. The Sun Shrine was fairly obvious in terms of design. We needed a Buildable that could heal warriors when Alona wasn’t around. But we went back and forth for a while before we landed on the Light of Judgement as her second Buildable. Once we landed on it, however, it just felt right, and it’s something that the team is really proud of. It’s thematically appropriate, it impacts the battlefield. It’s something that can’t be ignored for too long.
Above all else, we want Buildables to feel impactful. Fighting around a Sun Shrine is great for your team and bad for your opponents. All of the additional healing for your team is a huge advantage during teamfights. And again, it’s impactful, right? Your opponents can’t ignore it. I think that’s the number one way we know we succeeded with the healing shrine. You can use the shrine to get back into the fight quickly and it feels good to use. I oftentimes will see an opposing team stop their rush against us because they want to take down a Sun Shrine. It’s an important Buildable to eliminate because the effect stacks. You can get double, triple healing even, if you build multiple shrines next to each other. If any Buildable can attract that sort of attention, I think we’re meeting our goals. Every Buildable should feel like it drastically alters that area of play.
If there’s anything an aspiring Alona player should do, it’s to stay near your tank when you first enter the fray of battle. They’ll keep you safe and you’re healing goes a long way with tanks. Next, you want to stack cooldown equipment buys. This equipment makes it so you can use your abilities more often. Keep building it until it’s at heroic or epic level, and her Ability 1 will almost always be ready to use.
Something that not a lot of people know, is that when you build attack power with Alona, it makes her heals stronger. Building attack power and cooldown will give you really strong heals. This is helpful especially in the late game, when your opponents are stacking damage or if tanks are stacking armor and health, more powerful heals will help you keep up with the increase delta of these stats.
If you’re consistently getting focused, then buying equipment that reduces your respawn time is a great idea. Because she’s a ranged warrior, consider buying items that increase damage dealt to Buildables. You’ll be able to clear out enemy Buildables fairly quick, and because you’re on the backline, you won’t be bothered too much while you’re taking down those Buildables. If you can gather gold and increase your healing power by the second or third round, you’ll be ahead of the damage curve for most players.
You want to be aggressive with your Sun Shrines, too. You want to place it in an area of the arena where your team can easily get back to it and recover. It’s safe if you place the Sun Shrine near your base, sure, but if you can deploy it a bit deeper into the fight, it makes it easier for your team to sustain itself. You’ll have a much easier time controlling that area.
Same with the Light of Judgement. I see people put it down quickly, but try holding onto it until your team is in a fight, get a health advantage because of your heals, and then drop it down and watch enemies start to die. I think for new players, the tendency is to put down Buildables as fast as you can. With Alona, it’s wise to hold onto them and place this strategically as the match goes on, because being able to heal anywhere on the map can do wonders to help your team score.
Let’s wrap things up by taking a quick look at Alona’s abilities.
Primary Attack: Fireball
A projectile that heals teammates, damages enemies and causes knockback.
Take up a position outside of combat and spam shots into a team fight, whether you’re hitting teammates and healing them, or disrupting opponents, you’ll be contributing to your team’s victory.
Ability 1: Radiance
Targets a nearby teammate, heals them over time while reducing their incoming damage.
With Radiance’s short cooldown, you can have it active very often, don’t forget to use it for its damage reduction as well as its healing potential.
Ability 2: Sunburst
Creates an explosion of energy around Alona which deals damage and knocks opponents away.
Stay near your teammates to protect you, and try to save your Sunburst for enemies that begin to pressure you down.
Ultimate: Blessing of the Sun
A powerful AoE heal which heals for a great deal, also heals Alona.
Alona is fully invulnerable during Blessing of the Sun, so if you find yourself about to die with no other options, activate Blessing of the Sun for some extra time, which hopefully gives you enough time for your teammates to assist you.
Defensive Ability: Sun’s Grace
Short ranged, invulnerable teleport.
Save Sun’s Grace as a last result as it can be used in a variety of different situations for mobility. You can use it to teleport past enemies for an effective Blessing of the Sun, or chase an opponent down who has critical health and use Sunburst to finish them off.
Steady area-of-effect healing for nearby teammates. The effect of Sun Shrine stacks, so multiple Sun Shrines drastically increase the healing a teammate receives. When you’ve got strong pressure against the opponent, dropping a Sun Shrine in the enemy base will give your team some added support.
Light of Judgment
A powerful mirror that targets the nearest opponent and deals damage over time. Deploying one near a Jail is a great trap – enemies who get stuck in Jail will get burnt to crisps pretty quickly.