This strategy guide assumes you already know the basics of the game and some knowledge of battle spells and weapons as I will not be delving into them too much. Those basic information can be found on the internet and in the forums covered by many players and developers.
Natalia MVP Build and Strategies
I am currently in the top 10 Natalia rankings for Singapore playing solo in Legend rank. So anyone from SG wanna team up pls ping me. Inconsistent team mates when soloing.
Natalia is one of the heroes that could possibly turn the tide of battles when played well. She could hunt loners who are clearing lanes or jungling, take down turrets quickly in split push strategies, ninja steal the enemy base, take out mages and marksmen in group fights, attack from unexpected places before disappearing into the bushes, assassinate low hp enemies who are recalling back to base and so much more.
She is quite fun to use in the game. I have had over 1500 game plays using her. She has a unique playstyle and if you rank alone, it is totally up to the team if they can adapt to you or vice versa. A lot of situations turn bad when they don’t quite understand your play style; example Natalia is great for stealing turrets – away from group skirmishes. Some players don’t understand that and insist you always join their group fights. If used well, Natalia often has the highest turret damage in the entire game as she brings down turrets and harasses enemy weak points on the map. So playing Natalia requires a constant reading of the game and adapt accordingly, hit where enemy least expect. Sometimes I just frustrate enemy players by killing their hero over and over again, they would sometimes spend precious minutes trying to ambush me at the last seen location while I pop up in other places; this helps your team overall as it reduces enemy farming time.
Natalia should always be flexible and adapt to situations like helping out teammates whenever possible while stealing turrets, leveling up and understanding which enemy heroes to take down first. Always go for enemies that can stun you in a group fight. This gives you a chance of dropping smoke bomb and be immune to basic attacks while you hack away at the target before dashing away towards your friends.
She is, however, quite squishy in open fights unless she is higher level than the enemies, then she would be able to tear them to shreds with those speed gear that crits insanely even when they are inside the safety of their own turrets. (her shadow bomb reduces damage from turrets and her lifesteal gear is extremely useful and is especially deadly with Inspire battle spell) Early stage, it is wise to start farming, Natalia needs her weapons to perform well later stage of the game. So try to get items asap but balance with helping the team. Don’t be too adventurous at the start, play safe and harass. Only experts will turret dive in the early game to get kills. (like me ;p)
There are also a few natural enemies who counter her abilities but she should do well when having the patience to wait out until they use their ultimate abilities or using a hit and run tactic to wear down their hp (remember every stealth attack silences them) before going full crazy with the battle spell “Inspire” to finish off the enemy. Alternatively, simply just avoid them and target other enemy heroes until you have your gear.
Remember her core ability is stealth- being able to see the enemy while they cannot see you. That itself is a game changer when combined with wit and team strategies.
Skills Tips and Skill Combination Tips
She has an array of interesting skills to frustrate enemies with.
Assassin Instinct (passive) – This skill is always ‘on’. Think of it as her natural ability and needs no activation. Attacking enemies from behind (even a little to the side is fine) increases her basic damage by 15% and if she is in stealth mode, she does an additional 35% basic damage! In addition, attacking in this mode causes the enemy not being able to use any of their skills for 2 secs! It is like being paralyzed and 2 secs is a long time to take damage. To top it off, being in the bush for 2 secs lets you turn invisible for a whopping 5 secs while increasing your speed of movement by 20%. You could literally cruise around the map invisible 100% of the time! (great with Rapid Boots)
Claw Dash – This ability does decent damage. Coupled with items that enhance attack effect with skills, this could be an excellent way to dash through enemies to let the ability take effect for your team to take advantage of. Also, weapons that grant crit damage work on this skill too. However, the best part of this skill is for quick ‘dashes’ through walls or wherever as you use it to evade or hunt enemies down. (It is like having flicker as a battle spell except enemies can see your direction of move) The use of this skill, however, is still subject to some getting used to. It would typically dash towards enemy heroes first before auto targeting minions, however, sometimes it could be server lag or whatever calculation the server does, it makes you run towards a minion when you want to chase after a hero especially if the hero is not deliberately targeted. There is an arrow to direct dashes so it is a good practice to follow it because sometimes you would accidentally dash into enemy turrets if pressing the buttons too fast. Another thing to note is if your first dash hits an enemy, you have 2 secs to activate the next dash- think of it as your reward for running into minions or enemies or monsters. So if you press too fast, you may find yourself back peddling a bit.
Smoke Bomb – This skill is excellent for reducing enemy movement speed (by 65%) and increasing Natalia’s attack speed (by 30%). Can you imagine activating your battle spell inspire? (increases attack speed by 55% and ignoring 25 pts of armor) Another note about the smoke bomb is that it reduces the damage from turret into a fixed damage per hit instead of increasing damage every hit, so it’s awesome for turret dives.
Cold Blooded Strangling – This skill is probably one of the weakest among her abilities I feel, her ultimate in my opinion should be Smoke Bomb. All this skill does is do multiple slashes of ‘75 physical’ damages and lowering enemy speed by 65%. Do note that all damages in your skills go up as you level up, so Natalia would probably do 200+ damage for each slash at level 10 and above. If you rely on lifesteal to survive skirmishes, you should remember this ultimate won’t activate lifesteal as lifesteal is on basic attacks and the slashes mean you will be stuck there for at least 1 sec, so use it when you see opponent have very little health. On a slightly different topic, I think ‘Cold Blooded Slashes’ might fit the animation better unless there is an update coming up showing Natalia jumping onto the backs of enemies trying to strangle them as they try to run away- wouldn’t that be an awesome sight!
Natalia’s skills are mainly used for hit and run. Her main role is to take out high value targets and removing towers fast. I have covered some techniques above so I will continue here. First, her stealth passive abilities are awesome but take precaution against heroes that can unstealth you like Bane, Rafaela, Odette, and Saber who have Area of Effect (AoE) skills. Learn to count their skill activation timing. Example, Bane has an AoE passive skill that triggers every 6 secs. Saber’s Flying Sword ability has a starting 8 secs cooldown (will go down as he piles on cooldown reduction items). However, while you can get damaged and unstealthed by these two heroes, they will not be able to see you if you are still in the bush. (this likely applies to most other heroes) But take extra precaution against Rafaela’s Light of Retribution which can damage, unstealth and reveal you even if you are hiding inside the foliage. And she has an insane starting 4 secs cooldown on her skill. Same goes for Kagura’s umbrella.
So always utilize her natural advantage- be invisible all the time. If you are hunting an enemy hero who is soloing, go in stealthed from behind (even if it is slightly behind) to get your maximum crit damage from your first hit then use Smoke Bomb to increase your attack speed and reduce enemy’s movement speed. If you have Battle Spell ‘Inspire’, use it to finish off enemy quick. If they happen to jump away with a skill or Flicker away, chase using your Claw Dash to finish off the enemy if their HP is low. Or if they start to get away from your smoke area and HP is very low, finish off with Cold Blooded Strangling. Otherwise, if their HP is still high enough and have dangerous abilities that they can use like Freya’s speed stun, Zilong’s insane attack speed skills, Eudora’s painful Chidori spells and Argus’s Eternal Evil ultimate skill- retreat. Just hit and run. Engage again when you have your skills recharged for another round or try again when you have your items. This is just a general rule. Sometimes you have items that create shields or have teammates just behind, you can continue the chase especially if it is a high-value target.
Turret diving is one of the craziest things Natalia can perform at all levels. Enemy heroes with extremely low HP use the safety of their turrets to recall back to base. You have to anticipate low HP enemies in a group fight. They can’t see you but you know he or she will be recalling back. Disengage from the group and go into stealth mode and seek the injured enemy at a nearby turret. Prepare to Claw Dash just after entering the turret zone. When you Claw Dash make sure you hit your target so that after you release your smoke bomb and slay the enemy, you still have a second chance to Claw Dash out of the turret’s sphere of attack, all the while the Smoke Bomb reduces increasing turret damage to you. Be warned that if you attempt this on an enemy hero that can stun you, the effort may meet with disaster as the enemy can be alerted to your presence by an exclamation mark above their hero.
When you are caught in the open and you need to evade, there are a few options. Because Natalia is squishy, most Natalia players wear Rapid Boots to give her 50 movement points making her faster than most heroes. Running fast is one option, coupled with Claw Dash if required. But sometimes, you may not have those boots and if possible, Claw Dash past enemy minions or jungle monsters so that you can activate your Claw Dash twice. Also, hitting any type of enemies and entering bushes allows you to go into stealth mode almost immediately. So if you can, hit a minion and disappear into the bushes. And please, run wisely as enemies can still try their luck using skills to hack into bushes in the hope of uncovering you.
When chasing low HP enemies, try to activate your Claw Dash twice by going past minions or monsters. Alternatively, go into stealth mode and track the enemy into the general direction they headed. Because you have an increased speed movement in stealth mode, you can often track them to a place where the enemy thinks it is safe. Sometimes they hide in bushes or in turrets for recall back to home base or blatantly jungling thinking their lifesteal items will get them their HP while gaining experience from the monster kills. To play Natalia, sometimes you have to think like a predator.
Skill Leveling Order Information
I recommend claw dash first then smoke bomb and finally the strangler. Generally leveling up in that order. Claw dash is useful when jungling- hitting the monster and while it faces you, you dash to its back and you get additional damage hitting from behind and when it turns to face you, you dash back to your original spot getting that bonus again.
Last but not least, it allows you to go through walls so it’s great for quick maneuvers between monsters and enemy minions. More importantly, should you turret dive in the early game, it helps you get away. Remember if you equip Blade of the Seven Seas, your claw dash will utilize the weapon’s unique feature that reduces opponent’s physical armor. Your teammates can take advantage of the reduction too.
Recommend to Battleground Spells
For Natalia I recommend Inspire. That extra speed and armor reduction can tear enemies to shreds, even tanks if you equip physical penetration weapons like Malefic Roar. The other common alternative is Retribution for fast jungling and stealing of enemy monsters when they are farming. I prefer Inspire because you could still utilize it when jungling and more importantly helps me get my hero kills fast. There is one more battle spell I want to recommend if the opponent has Fanny and that is Petrify. It freezes heroes right where they are for 0.7 secs- great for hunting or evasion. The thing is that it works as an AoE so enemies in a small area can be stunned. I have yet to try it out in rank but is highly situational and your battle tactics are shifted to more frontline which Natalia is not cut out for.
For Natalia I feel Physical Assassin Set is the best. gives you physical attack, penetration and cool down bonuses.
Equipment Purchasing Order and Why
If you take a look at her skills, Natalia mainly relies on basic attacks to do massive damages. So make sure you have items that enhance basic attacks. Within hero attributes, her speed is 260 which is normal for most heroes except support, mage and marksmen who are generally slightly slower. She also has one of the highest attack speed at 0.902 third to Zilong at 0.964 and Sun / Argus at 0.916. Beginning of game I always start with Hunters Knife for jungling. Later you can sell it off for other weapons. My preference is to go for speed and critical damages so my second item is Berserkers Fury. The reason is Natalia will be heavily engaged in fights after the initial monster rush and so she needs heavy damage to be effective in a hit and run tactics or tower diving. Some argue for speed item first, but I find she will hide from shadows and ambush and that’s where you want heavy dmg plus when you activate Inspire, it will give you the speed to hack away the enemy HP. After that, I will go for Swift Boots to give her mobility in chasing or evading. You really need her mobility to be effective. However, recently I am using Rapid Boots a lot more. Next item for me would be a speed item that also grants critical damage – Scarlet Phantom. With these three items, Natalia can be a mean killing machine including taking turrets down easily. At this point, jungling is a breeze because of all those speed, critsand 20% bonus damage from Hunter’s Knife. Next, you will want a Lifesteal weapon- I highly recommend Haass Claw – the best Lifesteal item in the game. I tried alternate versions like Endless Battle but perhaps it’s my play style, I find I perform better with Haas’s Claw. My speed and crits allow Natalia to recover HP like Wolverine on steroids. She could withstand a flurry of attacks by several fighters especially with Smoke Bomb and Inspire activated. Next up is an item to satisfy Natalia’s need for speed- the Wind Talker. Many players forgo this item because it does not have any damage, but I personally feel for Natalia’s build it is crucial. It adds 20 more speed movement to your 40 from Swift Boots, this makes her probably the fastest hero in the map. That is the reason why I did not opt for Rapid Boots in the recommended build. Finally, I have the Blade of Despair to replace Hunter’s Knife. If the game is prolonged, I will buy another Wind Talker to replace my boots. In this way she still has at least the basic 40 movement from the two items but what an insane bloodthirsty killer she would become.
Choose 3 Heroes That Go Well With Yours
Natalia is best paired with heroes who have crowd control abilities, either slowing enemies or clamping them together in one spot or disabling them temporarily. For tanks I like to hunt with good old Tigreal. Gatotkaca’s Unbreakable skill forces enemies to be attracted to him and Minotaur’s Minoan Fury is great too for Natalia to slash her way through the enemies. Mages are great partners too because of their stun capabilities but they can be squishy if caught in a counter attack. If I had to choose top three heroes to work with I’d choose Tigreal, Saber and Cyclops. Tigreal I have explained earlier. Saber’s Triple Sweep ultimate ability is amazing with Natalia’s speed crits that further silence the enemy. Usually, Saber initiates first, knocking target airborne and Natalia finishes up the job. If the enemy manages to flicker away, Saber’s Flying Sword will usually do the trick. And I love it when we make the kill and then disappear into the bush as quickly as we appeared. Of all the mages I chose Cyclops as a preferred partner because of his mobility and follow up damages besides his Star Power Lockdown ultimate ability. A worthy mention is Ruby because of her stun abilities but not many players use Ruby these days.
Choose 3 Heroes You Counter
Natalia is a natural predator to mages and marksmen but I will list three heroes she is extremely effective against. First off Layla. Confirm kill as she has paper thin health and only has basic attacks that can be negated by Natali’s smoke bomb. Next is Gord. Slow and low hp and with an ultimate skill that roots him to the ground for 3 secs, he’s virtually begging to be killed. I will mention Rafaela as an easy kill (generally support are easy to kill) but I would like to bring up Zilong and Roger because of their skills that only affect basic attacks which are useless when the smoke bomb is activated. However, I would go up toe to toe with them only when I have most of my gear and all my abilities refreshed.
Choose 3 Heroes That Counter You
Natalia’s range of enemies that are a natural counter are not many and some which appear to be a counter can be countered back, depending on the situation and your knowledge of the other enemy heroes’ abilities. I would list Saber as a first choice natural counter to Natalia because if Saber is in a group with his Flying Sword constantly activated, it is very difficult for Natalia to advance unseen to strike high-value targets. The next counter would be Fanny just because of her insane damage and mobility. Last but highly respected is Chou. His skills do damage and Natalia’s smoke bomb is useless against them. I generally avoid Chou and thankfully, I am seeing fewer people using him. Of worthy mention is Hilda. She is fast and her abilities deal damage as well as stun like Chou. I now also want to add another worthy mention for Kagura because of her umbrella. Especially when you are low health, try not to hide in bushes near her.
Know your surroundings at all time. Observe the minimap to see how the enemy players are moving. If you are hiding in the bush and want to see what is happening slightly off screen, you can move your finger on the top right so the camera pans around for you to see what’s happening off screen so you can decide to act when the situation calls for it.
Another thing is communication, try to set up your dialogues to mention things like ‘stall the enemy while you steal turrets’ or some useful communications to help your team understand your motives and actions. Balance your time on farming, stalking enemies, helping out team fights and bringing down turrets. It is a lot to ask for an assassin, but that is Natalia’s role and that is why she can help carry the team when used effectively. I would prioritize farming over killing, then turret stealing over killing, then after acquiring most of your items, you do all the killing. Have fun playing Natalia!
Natalia can be build many ways depending on your play style. There is no one item set fits all. I have played against a team with 3 enemies using petrify and that tactic totally destroyed my team. I went for an all-out offensive item gear set up just because of my play style. I have been mainly soloing and have not had a team, so if you guys wanna have me on board just ping me here.
A gameplay video can be found here:
Here shows the initial jungling path I recommend to take. Appearing at mid sometimes catches the enemy off guard and if your teammate spots your movement he or she can join you. Then head south to harass turrets. Once you bring down the 2nd turret, you are open to using the highlighted bushes as your camping grounds as there may likely be solo enemy trying to clear bots or jungle the monsters there. This allows you to dominate the bottom lane and when necessary move elsewhere to support.