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Created June 29, 2020

Breaking the Meta: Shrike Build Ana

This build aims to maximize Ana's healing, damage, and utility by applying doses on multiple enemies. Normally Ana wants to stand in the back of fights but this build takes advantage of Shrike's leech effect to let Ana spread her doses and stay healthy. Due to Ana's low mobility and health pool, it's best to pair her up with allies who can peel for her. This build works well if the enemy team has multiple frontliners and no divers to let you stack doses freely. It's an extremely demanding playstyle that requires you to pay attention to multiple things all at the same time while having the mechanical skills to execute it.

First, you're still a healer and need to pay attention to your teammate's health bars. This becomes especially important when you pick up Concentrated Doses at level 16 as that is when her healing potential skyrockets. It's easy to tunnel vision on stacking doses that you don't pay attention to your teammate's health. You're missing out an on demand cleanse with Active Reload for more healing.

Second, you need to spread doses. The success of this build lies within the burden of execution to spread your doses. This becomes important at level 7 when you pick up Mind Numbing Agent and at level 16 with Concentrated Doses as that is when this build comes fully online. You're going to want 5 doses applied in every fight, either spread out or on 1 target. Don't be too greedy with stacking and never force 5 stacks on a target if they're retreating- it will put you in bad position. At 5 stacks, Concentrated Doses matches Sharpshooter's healing at 10 stacks. If an Orphea or Mephisto jumps in front of you, stack doses to reduce their spell damage. Your doses also reduce the healing done by healers, another tool in your arsenal to accompany her utility. Post-10 you should start to stack only when it is safe. At level 16 you should be finished stacking and focus on empowering your Concentrated Doses by having at least 5 doses active in fights.

Third, you need to learn to stay alive using your Shrike. Combined with your ability to spread doses is your ability to kite and avoid burst damage. The lower your health, the bigger the target is on your back. You're going to take damage being so close in the fights, but kite back to heal up when your health falls below 80%. If you've been stacking Vampiric Rounds well and constantly apply doses to minions and structures, 5 stacks in a fight is enough to sustain you.

Even though it is not a meta build because of how dangerous it is to stack doses, as well as being countered by smart enemies that won't let you stack for free, I think it's the highest potential build Ana has. In ideal fights, I was hitting 1k heals per shot. In other cases, it's easy to get caught out of position and bursted down if you don't have Mind Numbing Agent on the right targets. It's difficult to get into the rhythm of Shrike build but if things go your way, it makes Ana an absolute monster in fights.

Vampiric Rounds
Quest: Stack 5 Doses on an enemy Hero. Reward: Increase Shrike's healing by an additional .75%. Reward: Increase Shrike’s Heal by .25%.
You get 3 stacks for applying 5 doses and 1 if attacking at max dosage. The early game is when you want to stack aggressively and try to reach at least 80 stacks before level 10 and 150 at level 16. The later the game goes, the more difficult it is for you to stack doses as enemies get stronger and can punish you harder. Anything past 150 stacks is great especially if you are in a map without minion waves to heal up from.
Sleep Dart applies 4 Doses. While Aim Down Sights is active, Sleep Dart pierces all enemy Heroes.
This talent lets you apply doses easier as well as provide more CC. Pre-10, use Sleep Dart to quickly stack Vampiric Rounds. Post-10, be careful as the only opportunity you have to stack is 4 doses from Overdose and an auto attack. Even if that's the case, it's not wise to use Sleep Dart to get stacks at this point.
Mind-Numbing Agent
Every Dose a Hero has reduces their Spell Power by 10%.
This is an early game power spike for this build. This talent let's you trade and stack a little bit safer as you're reducing their damage as well as healing some of it back. Post-10 you'll mostly be applying doses on their frontline, but getting 2 doses on a mage or healer is enough to noticeably reduce their effectiveness.
Nano Boost
Instantly boost an allied Hero, restoring 200 Mana. For the next 8 seconds, they gain 30% Spell Power and their Basic Ability cooldowns recharge 150% faster.
Either heroic is good. By being near the fight, I found Nano easier to use.
Purifying Darts
Healing Dart removes Roots and Slows from the target, and heals for 20% more when doing so.
They're all situational. Without Active Reload, Smelling Salts and Purifying Darts aren't consistent. Speed Serum is nice to have but with the abundance of slows in the game, Purifying Dart will eventually get value and the extra healing is a nice bonus.
Concentrated Doses
Increase Healing Dart's healing by 10% for each Dose active on enemy Heroes.
At 5 stacks, it already performs as well as Sharpshooter. Landing a Sleep Dart on two targets quickly increases your healing by 80%. This is the point in this build where your ability to execute is tested. Applying and maintaining as many doses as you can in a fight is where the potential of this build shines.
Dynamic Optics
Basic Attacks increase Attack Speed by 10% for 3 seconds, up to 100%. While Aim Down Sights is active, increase your Basic Attack Range by 4.
It's good against dive and allows you to quickly stack doses on their backline. If you're having a hard time dealing with divers, Armored Stance gives you more survivability and damage to give them a hard time.
Balance Patch - 11/12/19
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