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Created December 13, 2019

The Consistent Jaina Build!

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I am Mochrie, a Grandmaster ranged assassin main. Although I'm typically known for my Tracer play, Jaina is also a favorite of mine! This hero has remained consistent, easy, and effective for a long time, and I don't see that changing any time soon.



There is a "fiesta build" (will link later, when I have a guide written for it) of Jaina that is often seen in certain situations, particularly lower ranks, that tends to perform very well when you are allowed to take advantage of very bad enemy positioning. This is not that build. This talent path offers much more consistent performance, and will serve you well, even into the higher ranks!
1
Fingers of Frost
Quest: Gathering Regeneration Globes increases Jaina's Mana Regeneration by 0.1 per second, up to 2 per second. Reward: After gathering 20 Globes, the damage bonus from Frostbite is increased by 10%.
Fingers of Frost is the default. You already want to spend a lot of the early game soaking (Jaina is noticeably better on 3-lane maps for this reason), which will get you a lot of globes. The rewards are also fantastic for a level 1: noticeable mana regen and 10% extra damage on chilled targets.

Winter's Reach has a few niche situations where it may apply, such as stall comps with a double soaker, or if you're just not going to be getting globes at all, like on a 2-lane map (although this probably indicates the Jaina pick was not a great idea in the first place!).

Lingering Chill just doesn't have a ton of application in normal play.
4
Frost Shards
Frostbolt will now pierce the first target to hit an additional target behind them.
Frost Shards will be the most useful choice in most of your games.
Arcane Intellect isn't really neessary with Fingers of Frost and good mana management.
Frost Armor is a fantastic choice for divers, and combines very well with Numbing Blast (16).
7
Ice Lance
When Frostbolt hits a Chilled target its cooldown is reduced by 1.5 seconds and you regain 10 Mana.
Ice Floes doesn't do much in a lot of situations, and you're not really looking to sit in the front spamming Cone of Cold.
Icefury Wand is nice when enemies LET you chain hits for it and stand in Blizzards, but is generally countered by just proper play.
Meanwhile, Ice Lance helps your DPS, even vs good enemies, and makes it easier to trigger Frost Shards.
10
Summon Water Elemental
Summon a Water Elemental at target location. The Water Elemental's Basic Attacks do 78 damage, splash for 25% damage and Chill. The Ability can be reactivated to retarget the Water Elemental. Lasts 20 seconds.
Both are good, but the vast majority of picks should be Summon Water Elemental.

As mentioned earlier, you should be doing a LOT of soaking in the early game. Good Jaina play often doesn't even have a lot of hero damage at this point. But, you still need to finish out your baseline Ice Block quest (deal 15,000 ability damage to chilled targets)! Water Elemental helps you finish up this quest super fast with its application of chill and how its basic attack damage contributes to your quest!

In addition, Water Elemental is simply easier to use, and still performs well against good opponents, whereas Ring of Frost is very counterable by good positioning/mobility/cleanses/etcetera.

Ring of Frost can still be an excellent choice, even versus good players, as long as you have a way to reliably set it up on multiple opponents! Zeratul's Void Prison and Deckard's Sapphire come to mind. However, without the necessary setup, Ring of Frost often depends largely on enemy misplays to have a large impact, which isn't what you want when you're trying to be consistent and climb into the higher ranks.
13
Icy Veins
Activate to make your Basic Abilities' cooldowns recharge three times as fast and reduce their Mana cost by 50% for 5 seconds.
Icy Veins is LUDICROUS, especially for the talent tier it's in! Thirteen! That's a tier where most heroes get utility talents, so damage boosts stick out as especially strong. Icy Veins simply just makes you deal insane damage, end of story.

Storm Front is kinda nice but just doesn't really compete with Icy Veins, and you'll often want to be in cast range of Cone of Cold anyway when going for burst kills. Doesn't really help you when going for kills, but does let you follow-up on team CC from farther away. Still not the pick.

Ice Barrier can be nice if the enemy team is FULL burst and you'll win any fight where they don't immediately get the kill, but Icy Veins is still just so insane that it's hard to justify this pick in the majority of situations.
16
Northern Exposure
Enemies damaged by Cone of Cold are also afflicted with Vulnerable, increasing the damage they take by 20% for 2 seconds.
Snowstorm only does anything versus people standing still, in which case you're already killing them and/or the other two talents would help a lot too.

Northern Exposure is FANTASTIC for helping you burst targets down, and makes you delete basically anybody with a full combo rotation + Icy Veins + Water Elemental. This is the pick in the majority of games.

Numbing Blast works great at punishing super-high mobility targets, like Tracer or Genji. The skillshot area is super forgiving, and Frost Armor (4) ensures that you don't need to hit any other abilities to Chill the target first, assuming they hit you to activate it. Numbing can also allow you to setup kills and even peel the backline a bit yourself! Definitely a great choice in a lot of situations, although Northern Exposure is still my pick for the majority of games.
20
Wintermute
Increases the cast range of Water Elemental by 50%, and the Water Elemental will now mimic your Basic Abilities for 50% damage.
Wintermute is absolutely b o n k e r s. Insane +dmg output, your Water Elemental can apply roots/armor reduction, anyone can be deleted, etcetera. Pick it and don't look back.

Cold Snap just doesn't really do much versus teams that know how to play around it, although it can catch people off-guard and force awkward positioning. Not really on the same level as Wintermute or Ice Blink, though.

I find myself picking Ice Blink pretty much every Ring of Frost game. This talent is mobility, follow-up (bringing you to CC'd targets, helping out with your relatively low range), survivability, everything. You become a much harder target to kill, and can kill enemies easier as well. Great pick when Wintermute is off the table.
Balance Patch - 11/12/19
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