Sprinting Panda, Friendly Dragon | A Li Li Dragon Build Guide

Ever since the latest major content patch to Heroes of The Storm, we’ve seen a huge resurgence in my favorite Support Character, Li Li Stormstout. This renewed popularity of everyone’s favorite Panda (sorry, Chen.) is in part due to the shifting Meta of the game in general, and many comps utilizing less stuns, making her Jug of 1000 Cups heroic viable in more situations.

Additionally, her Cloud Serpent being fixed to attack at the appropriate rate regardless of whether the target is moving or now has made the old dragon build seeing a huge surge in popularity, with some slight changes.

Before we get into talents, let’s cover Li Li’s abilities, for those unfamiliar:

ABILITIES

First, we have Li Li’s trait, Fast Feet, which causes her to run 10% faster for 1 second whenever she takes damage. This makes her not only very difficult to chase and kill, but also makes her very easily repositioned, which will become important once we cover her other abilities.

Next, we have Li Li’s basic abilities, listed below:
Q: Healing Brew – 30 Mana, 3 second cooldown. Heal lowest health ally (prioritizing Heroes) in range for 88 (+18 per level).

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W: Cloud Serpent – 30 Mana, 10 second cooldown. Summon a Cloud Serpent on target allied Hero that automatically attacks nearby enemies, doing 22.2 (+2.2 per level) damage per attack. Heroes can only have 1 Cloud Serpent at a time. Last for 8 seconds.

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E: Blinding Wind – Throw a cloud of blinding wind at the two nearest enemies (prioritizing Heroes) dealing 43 (+13 per level) damage. Affected targets are blinded, missing all basic attacks for the next two seconds.

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Finally, her two Heroics, one of which is viable.

R1: Jug of 1,000 Cups – 100 Mana, 70 second cooldown. Rapidly tosses Brew to the most injured nearby allies, prioritizing Heroes, resotring a total of 611.5 (+150.5 per level) Health over 6 seconds.

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R2: Water Dragon – 100 Mana, 45 second cooldown. Summon a Water Dragon that after a delay hits the nearest enemy Hero and all enemies near them, dealing 154 (+14 per level) damage and slowing their movement speed by 70% for 4 seconds.

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Li Li is a great starter Support for new players, as you have to do limited targeting, and she does a great job teaching good positioning. On top of that though, she scales very well for experienced players as well, currently sporting a 53.8% overall winrate, coming in 3rd overall for Heroes League games, according to Hotslogs. Additionally, she has the HIGHEST winrate in Master League with a whopping 61.8% according to Hotslogs at the time of writing. Today, I’ll be covering a build that focuses on her W ability, Cloud Serpent.

TALENTS

Talent Picks:
Level 1: Conjurer’s Pursuit

Collecting the Regen Orbs that are dropped by wizard minions, bosses, and some other merc camps and map objectives give Li Li a permanent increase to Mana Regeneration. Li Li is able to put out a lot of heals very quickly, but this will burn through mana quickly, especially for new players who will likely play a little more spammy with all of Li Li’s abilities.

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Alternatively: On Maps like Haunted Mines or Battlefield of Eternity, where there are statistically less Regen Orbs, I will sometimes take either Pro Toss, which increases the range of her Q ability, or Timeless Creature, which makes the cloud serpent last longer.

Level 4: Mending Serpent

Cloud Serpent attacks heal the friendly unit on each attack. This is going to add a HUGE amount to your overall healing for the game, provided your team mates know what to do when they have that little serpent on their shoulder. It will have a marked decrease in effectiveness if your allies run away from combat when you cast it, which can happen if you are casting the serpent as a reaction to incoming damage.

Level 7: Lightning Serpent

Cloud Serpent attacks bounce to 3 nearby targets, dealing half damage (But healing for full, if you take mending serpent EDIT: As pointed out by some friendly users on Reddit, this was actually patched out of the game as it was insanely broken. The author regrets his inability to remember things like this). This is one of the most important talents in this build, increasing damage of the serpent by about 150%, and giving a huge increase to the overall healing that it provides. As the description implied, whenever the serpent attacks, it basically “cleaves” the 3 closest enemies for half damage. On low damage teams I have actually been competitive in hero and siege damage, all thanks to this talent.

Level 10: Jug of 1,000 Cups

There is literally never a reason not to take this talent. It heals for a massive amount, and Water Dragon is extremely underwhelming both with damage and its slowing effects. This is one of the few support heroics that you need to play carefully. Unlike Malfurion’s tranquility, Jug can be interrupted by stuns and silences, so watch how the enemy team is using their CC before activating Jug. Alternatively, if your team is already far ahead, you can bait out stuns and silences using Jug, hoping that enemies will reflexively interrupt it.

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Level 13: Shrink Ray

Activate to reduce target enemy’s damage and movement speed by 50% for 4 seconds. Shrink Ray is such a versatile ability. It can be used to slow an enemy down just enough for your team to secure that kill and efficiently chase, it can be used on someone pursuing you to ensure you own escape, or it can be used to essentially remove an assassin from a teamfight for 4 seconds. While an argument can be made for hindering winds at this talent tier, it is such a niche pick that I won’t cover it.

Level 16: Serpent Sidekick

You also gain a cloud serpent whenever you cast it on another ally. On par with Lightning Serpent as far as useful talents go in this build. When this is used in a big team fight your healing and damage takes a huge spike and can help keep yourself and another ally topped off while using Q to heal someone else. Absolutely amazing talent that once again requires very little attention on the player’s part.

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Level 20: Kung Fu Hustle

Ability Cooldowns refresh 150% faster while Fast Feet is active. Aside from having probably the best name for any talent in the game, Kung Fu Hustle is also probably one of the best level 20 talents for any character. In Big team fights you will basically be taking damage constantly in the late game due to all the AoE that will be getting fired off. This reduces ALL cooldowns by more than half, which means that you can throw out serpents, heals, and blinds insanely fast. This talent has a HUGE impact on team fights, without any commitment on your part, aside from taking a bit of damage.

PLAYING THIS BUILD

I’ll close out this guide with some basic tips for playing this build.

Using your Q

An outline of a tea leaf appears over the head of whichever ally it is you’ll be healing with your Q. Pay attention to this and learn to position appropriately, especially in team fights to be healing whoever is taking damage. The nice thing about Li Li is that she is VERY forgiving when you over extend, due to her mobility given by her trait, her blind, and her ability to heal and run.

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Using your W

Serpents Are best used as proactive healing, rather than reactive. Since their raw healing numbers are not huge, they excel at keeping allies topped off, not really “burst” healing. If you use a serpent on a low health Ally who is staring down 2 enemies, it will probably be wasted as your ally retreats to the healing fountain.

Using your E

Learn when to use your Blind. Warriors like Leoric attack so slow it’s not worth wasting your cooldown if there are no other Heroes nearby. Auto Attack Heroes like Raynor, on the other hand will be greatly impacted. Lastly, the absolute best feeling when playing Li Li is getting charged and branded by a Butcher, only to blind him and merrily prance away while he swings at the air, receiving no heals.

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Using your R

As mentioned in the talent section, just watch your enemy team. You’ll likely be saving the big 100 second Cooldown for Team Fights, and if their Sylvanas hasn’t used her Wailing Arrow lately, there’s a good chance she’s just waiting for you to pop Jug, and ruin your day. Same goes for Stuns like Muradin’s Storm Bolt, or more likely all of his abilities, and Zagara’s Devouring Maw.

I hope everyone enjoyed this look at Li Li, and is inspired to go out and troll people in the Nexus with a tiny Panda Baby.

Article Written By: Jay Rich

What has been your experience with Li Li? Whether you’re a warrior panda fan or not,  let us know in the comments below!

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