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Last Edited February 6, 2020

Combo-Tank Imperius

I build and play Imperius more like I would play main tank Arthas (or alternatively you can think of him like playing Kerrigan), meaning I feel he is strongest off of the counter engage, on the flank, or at moments the enemy team's positioning is weakest. I like an even-keeled, balanced style where I can pay more attention to how my teammates and enemies are moving around and keep providing steady advantages throughout a team fight rather than trying to force a big play as a bruiser who half expects to die if things don't go well. Imperius is already naturally strong at dueling and being aggressive to secure kills so I don't feel there is a need to accentuate it except strictly off of his combos. There are a lot of bruiser, Sonya/Twin-Blades-Varian style builds for Imperius which I certainly would direct you to if enjoy that playstyle.

I purposely picked talents that put forward your tankiness and make sure that you are the most survivable at the time you engage more as a main/off tank. With this build you need to mostly practice combos and getting the maximum value from your own armor/shielding.

It is always best to pick Imperius in the last 2 picks of a draft due to the fact that he is heavily countered by displacement/interrupts during his Q as well as anyone that can take easy pot-shots at you while you're sitting still during Q (Li Ming, Nazeebo, Kael'Thas, and so on). The following heroes will give you a bad time: Lucio (boop, fast AA's and general movement speed) and Brightwing (polymorph and emerald wind) along with many others.
1
Impaling Light
Celestial Charge's final damage is increased by 125% and cooldown is reduced by 1.25 seconds for each Valorous Brand on the target when the Stun completes.
The build depends on getting good value with Q and having it up often enough that you can use it to engage, peel or escape as needed. Q is our primary method of gap closing besides slowing and walking up to enemies. *Tip: if you move your mouse closer to your character model when casting, you can Q at point blank range.
4
Sovereign Armor
Molten Armor grants 50 Armor for 2.5 seconds.
Because you self-stun when you use Q, you are a sitting duck. Q in and then pop E the moment it looks scary (if not instantly). As mentioned on the 10 tier, this can also be used to help ensure that your Angelic Armaments shield survives and you are able to use your swords on the kill target (but keep in mind that doing that at full health is suboptimal as you give up E self-sustain value).
7
Flash of Anger
Consuming a mark from Celestial Charge deals 150 damage and gives Imperius a Shield for 250 over 4 seconds
With potential cooldown reduction on Q, this will be proccing quite often. Burning a Celestial Charge mark with an auto attack does a circle of damage around them and gives you a decent shield. Your waveclear will somewhat suck unless you hit heroes that are in a minion wave, but think like a tank and be out of vision looking to set up fights and that doesn't matter much anyways.
10
Angelic Armaments
Summon a ring of blazing swords that grants 1000 Shield for 3 seconds. If the Shield lasts the full duration, this ability can be reactivated within 5 seconds to launch 6 swords toward an area, each dealing 140 damage to the first enemy hit.
When you for sure know the moment of truth for going in - press R, then Q in. If you need the shield to survive, use Molten Armor to increase the shield's effectiveness so that you can get the sword damage off. For all other engages you will likely just use Molten Armor when it is up. The standard combo is W, Q, E because the slow helps land the Q and you get as many brands on the target as possible. Otherwise, the mega combo is W, R, Q, E.
13
Divine Rage
Consuming a Valorous Brand mark reduces the cooldown of Molten Armor by 1 second.
This talent makes Imperius even more mana starved but it increases your armor uptime and opportunities to self heal so it's worth it.
16
Celestial Swiftness
Gain 20% Movement Speed for 5 seconds after casting Celestial Charge. Gain 40% Attack Speed for 5 seconds for each Hero stunned with Celestial Charge.
This attack and move speed is essential for running around proccing all of the brands on people after you Q them. Also, if you miss your Q at least you can run away!
20
Heavenly Host
Nearby allied Heroes gain 600 Shield for 3 seconds. If the Shield lasts the full duration, fire a sword at the nearest enemy Hero, dealing 140 damage.
Imperius doesn't have great peel, but if you can't peel well for your allies at least throw them a big old shield when they need it. The extra damage is nice too.

Impervious would be a great choice as main tank as well to ensure that you land your Q (for an important engage or a Mosh interrupt) and as yet another way to link up some defenses with your short Q cooldown in general.
Balance Patch - 01/03/19
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