This guide may be out of date. The guide author did not update it for more than 6 month.
For the most up-to-date information please refer to the Sparrow Build Guide
I hope this guide can be helpful to you. Some of the info is currently brief, but will be coming.
be sure to check out the video guide at the bottom of this page.
This Guide is still under construction.
I will be updating with an explanation of the build, abilities, combos and strategies when playing Sparrow.
Sparrow is a marksmen, capable of dealing high amounts of sustained damage from distance, whilst being vulnerable if caught in melee distance due to her low health and lack of escape abilities. You need to bear this in mind when playing her, as it forms the basis of almost every decision you will make.
This build focuses on critical hits, adding some attack speed in the mid-game. Due to her low base attack speed, every shot counts. So accuracy on your basic attacks is essential at all stages of the game with this build.
DISCLAIMER: I currently have pretty much no penetration or lifesteal cards. As I unlock more cards I will adjust this build and update accordingly.
Pros and and cons to picking Sparrow:
- High scaling on auto attacks
- Huge mid to late game damage
- Great waveclear with Hail of Arrows
- In built short duration attack speed steroid
- Long range ability to root enemy heroes in travel mode
- Can be used to split push
- Insane team fight potential
- No escape and very vulnerable to being engaged on
- Low hp compounds lack of escape
- Auto attack reliant which are all skill shots
- Low base attack speed and attack speed scaling
- Unforgiving if you miss your autos
Passive: Relentless – Each hit on the same enemy deals bonus damage. Scales brilliantly with auto attack speed. Hail of Arrows, can also apply these stacks.
Basic attack R2/LMB: Bow Shot – Sparrow’s basic attack, most of her damage will come from her basic. She has a low basic auto attack speed at 1.5 seconds per shot, but it scales brilliantly with physical damage. By level 3 it will be scaling at 1.5 times her physical damage bonus. Accuracy on her basic attacks is key to playing her successfully due to her unforgiving attack speed.
First ability R1/RMB: Piercing Shot – A long range attack that becomes more powerful the longer it is charged. It also pierces enemies, so can be used to deal damage through minions or other heroes. Doesn’t deal a lot of damage and quite mana intensive. Can be used in lane to secure multiple last hits when needed. Where this ability really shines is when you’re able to utilize its high range. It’s great at getting that last hit on a retreating enemy, and being able to snipe enemy heroes using travel mode; either offensively when chasing them down, or defensively to give you time to retreat, or counter engage.
Second ability Square/Q: Hall of Arrows – AoE ability that deals moderate damage. Low base damage, but scales reasonably well with physical damage. Mainly used for wave clearing either offensively or defensively. Resist the urge to use at low level before you have your first damage cards, unless you are defending under tower or engaging on an enemy; it does very low damage and does not justify the mana cost. By mid game though, it can wipe a whole minion wave almost on it’s own, maybe leaving a couple to clear up with basics, or even fast with Piercing Shot. The other part of this ability is the fact it stacks Sparrow’s Passive, making it a great tool in engages. Vs a ranged hero, try to position it in the direction the fight is moving. Behind the enemy if they are retreating, or in front of them if you are retreating. Vs a melee hero, drop it on yourself and kite within it. They’ll need to move into it to attack you, applying the stacks and dealing damage a little extra damage.
Third ability Circle/E: Invigorate – Short attack speed steroid to increase the speed of her next three auto attacks. It has a fairly long cooldown, but after levelling a few times you’ll often be able to use it multiple times in a fight. Best used hero engages, especially team fights so don’t use it on minions. Can also be used to take down towers faster when needed.
Ultimate ability Triangle/R: Inner Fire – When activated, Sparrow’s basic attack will fire three shots in a cone in front of her. These shots will also pierce through enemies and apply basic card effects. This ability really comes into its own when combined with invigorate during team fights. If positioned correctly, you can quickly eliminate a number of enemies with this combo. Also useful in 1 on 1 engages to increase your chances of hitting your enemy.
Wave clearing – Hail of Arrows followed by Piercing Shot. Hail of arrows can be used to hit all minions in a wave. Piercing shot can be used to follow up and secure the last hits quickly.
1 on 1 engages – Hail of Arrows followed by Invigorate (Inner Fire optional) – Use hail of arrows to deal a small amount of AoE damage, and apply Relentless Stacks. Use invigorate to quickly deliver three basic attacks. If the enemy is behind minions or you’re having trouble aiming, activate Inner Fire too.
Team Fights – Invigorate followed by Inner Fire – Use invigorate and Inner Fire to deal devastating damage to all enemies in range, very quickly. Hail of Arrows can used as part of this combo. Can also be used on retreating enemies to prevent them entering travel mode.
Early Game (Brief, to be updated)
First thing to do as Sparrow is head to which ever buff your team is starting at, and help take it down. This will give you a big chunk of cxp to begin the game with, helping you get to your first cards faster.
Assuming you’re not deathballing, the key thing for Sparrow in the early game is to play safe, and farm up. Try not to push your lane, which means no using Hail of Arrows or Piercing shot on minions. You really need to focus those last hits, maximising your amber income. Drop a ward at the entrance to your jungle so you can avoid ganks. Don’t place it just by the entrance, walk it into the jungle a little so you get plenty of warning for incoming enemy heroes.
Stay healthy with potions, only using your abilities if you are engaged on or pushed back to your tower. You have good waveclear, so should be able to push back out fairly easily if the need arises.
As soon as you have 9 points card points, head back to grab your first Spear of the Rift Hunter (SotRH) and slot with 3 strikes. Now you’ll be dealing good damage. Either join your jungler(s) and help him with some ganks, or head back to lane to continue to farm. Despite your increased damage, you’re still very fragile so don’t push lanes solo unless you have good wards and vision of all enemies.
If you haven’t been until now, harass your enemies with your auto attacks, if you can sneak a couple off every few seconds you can soon whittle their HP down with your maxed SotRH. That thing hurts.
Head back to grab your second SotRH, and take another look at the state of the game. This is your first big power spike, and you should be looking to pick up a kill or two as you head into mid game.
Mid Game (Brief, to be updated)
If you’ve farmed well you will be ahead of your enemies. Which together with your ultimate means you can start looking to force some skirmishes. Join your team mates and push a lane, making sure to ward the jungle around you to remain safe. Continuously check the mini map to make sure you’re not needed to help de-push other lanes and that you’re not being ganked.
If your team pushes to a tower, the enemies will come to defend it. With your mind on taking advantage of your range, Invigorate and Inner fire, start looking for positions where you can safely unload your combos onto multiple enemies.
During the mid game you must still not venture into a pushed lane solo. You are still very vulnerable, and will be all game. If you get ganked, you will likely die. Stay with your team mates.
Late Game (Brief, to be updated)
After picking up the Blade of Agora and the Windcarver Blade you will be capable of dealing serious damage. Again, this is all reliant on good positioning and clever team fights from your team. Try to encourage them around objectives if you are ahead. If you are behind, play defensively with your team and look to punish your opposition for mistakes. Mistakes will happen, and they are your ticket back into the game.
Late game, Sparrow is able to destroy towers very quickly. Take advantage of this and focus a tower whenever the opportunity arises. Allow your tanks and fighters to keep the enemy off of you, enabling you to focus the priority targets.
I would always recommend starting with the potions and either a ward or the key if solo. Prioritise the ward for safety, but if your team hasn’t picked up a key, grab one to build a couple of harvesters then swap it out for the ward.
This card build focuses on building lots of early damage, whilst slowly increasing your crit chance. Finally rounding off with some attack speed and critical bonus increase for fast, hard hitting auto attacks.
Cards 1 and 2
By the time you have finished your first two Spear of the Rift Hunters you will have ~105 physical damage and a 28% crit chance. This will enable you to deal lots of sustained damage with your basic attacks, with over a 1 in 4 chance of hitting a critical hit for double damage. Your attack speed is low at this point, so you have to make each basic attack count.
Cards 3 and 4
The 3rd and 4th cards take you into the mid game, and are a little more flexible. You can either go for an attack speed boost to make the build a little more forgiving, picking up a Windcarver Blade and filling with 2 Kinetics and a Major Kinetic. Or you can really ramp up that damage with a Blade of Agora, filled with 3 more Strikes. The Blade of Agora will give you much more damage on each hit, whereas the Windcarver will give you a quite significant boost to your attack speed. Personally, I’d grab the Blade, and really focus on landing those hits. But if you’ve been a bit sloppy up until this point in the game, the Windercarver could be exactly what you need.
Whichever one you go for, grab the other next and upgrade as above. Once you have the two of them fully upgraded you will be dealing a serious amount of damage, and quickly. In team fights, look to hit as many enemies as possible with your Inner Fire and invigorate activated, and you’ll see the enemy team melt before your eyes. The 50% crit damage bonus is huge.
Cards 5 and 6
The final two cards are again interchangeable depending on how you and your team are doing. If you’re in the ascendancy and looking to close off the game, pick up another Spear of the Rifthunter. This will send your damage through the roof bringing your crit chance up to over 50%. Make use of your Invigorate and Inner Fire to capitalise on good positioning during team fights.
The other card you’ll be looking to grab to round off the build is a Guardian’s Ward to replace your Scout’s Ward.
This is the build that i have been using in my most successful games as Sparrow. You will be capable of dealing very high damage to multiple targets in team fights, and will be comfortable taking down most heroes in a 1 on 1 too. As I said, I do not have lifesteal or penetration cards and so haven’t been able to test them, hence their omission. As I unlock and test more cards I will update this build
I do not recommend ganking as Sparrow when on your own in the early game, unless the opposition is low health and an easy kill. Sparrow has very low hp and no escapes, so putting yourself in a ganking position can often land you in trouble. Sparrow is great at following up ganks with her team mates, preventing enemy travel mode with Hail of Arrows and dealing damage with her basic attack, Bow Shot.
Towards the late game Sparrow has enough damage in her own kit to quickly dispatch all but the tankiest of opponents. This makes engaging on unsuspecting enemies less risky, providing you are accurate with your attacks. As a general rule, I would still be hesitant to gank solo as Sparrow due to her vulnerability if other enemies join the fight.
That is how I build Sparrow and use her abilities. I hope you’re able to have success using this build and guide. Sparrow is great fun to play once you start appreciating her cons, and playing into her strengths. If you haven’t given her a go yet, or gave up on her for being too vulnerable I’d really encourage you to give her a consideration next time you head into Agora.
Thanks for taking the time to check out this guide, there is a video version to complement this guide below. I really hope you’re able to make use of it. Feedback, comments, tips, requests all welcome. I’ll be in the comments.