After reading this, you should be able to:
Rafaela is the first pure support hero introduced into the game. Now when someone mentions support in MMO and such, people would naturally think of support traditionally as Clerics, Medics, and Bards who excels at buffing teammates and healing. Looking back at Rafaela, she is more like a bard who could great at both strengthening her team and debuffing the enemies. But sadly, her looks, personality, and her backstory screams "I can heal mortal wounds with my spit alone or my magic shenanigans." Like a cleric would.
That's a bogus and everyone knows that. This is also the reason why nobody likes her; who needs Rafaela when the hippie Elf King can heal gazillion times better than the literal angel sent from heaven? She is rarely picked mainly because how underwhelming all the skills are. But that doesn't mean you can't play as her and have fun.
Now before we start, let me drill this single, arguably the most important thing you need to know before playing as/with Rafaela; SHE. IS. NOT. A. HEALER. Don't expect great healing from her at all. Just think of the heal as a side dish for your meal and not as a main dish. This guide goal is to provide beginners some points playing as Rafaela.
I categorize Rafaela as a support who's specialized in Crowd Control, not a Healer. If you think I am wrong, so be it. Balmond was considered as a pure fighter but then people experimented tanky build. Guess what? It works like he was meant to be played as a tank and now the devs categorized him as Fighter/Tank hybrid.
Rafaela is an angel capable of miraculously healing anything. It is said that when she appears, all pain suddenly vanishes, all wounds instantly heal, and all evil disperses like rain clouds when the sun comes out. Now Rafaela has descended upon the Land of Dawn in the hopes of using her miraculous powers to restore peace to the land.
Ugh, her backstory contradicts her skillset. I'm sure that they wanted to make her as a healer and crowd controller hybrid, the problem is the healing is very underwhelming and the passive, oh the passive.....
(Rant incoming) This is the most pathetic “passive” (if you can call it that) in the entire game period. They should just implement it into her other skills and give her a real passive that actually isn't bullcrap. (End rant)
Meh passive at best.
This is your bread and butter. Spam it because it has an incredibly low cooldown duration. This skill is great for poking early game for the respectable amount of damage and slow but falls short during mid to late game because of the bad magic power scaling. Even when you build full magic item, the damage is very negligible so don't bother building full magic item.
Do take note that this skill also reveals nearby enemy even in the bushes or invisible Natalia. So when an exclamation mark shows up, use this skill to instantly reveal Natalia and follow it up with simple autoattacks.
One thing I like to do with the a weaken + skill 1 is to wait for the enemy to dive into turret or attacking the turret. Use the weaken spell, then skill 1 and watch as they struggle to run away from the tower's range. Look at as they struggle, bask in their pain. Enjoy the last bit of their suffering. You earned it. It gets even better worse when your team has a competent Diggie. His stun and skill 2 will make sure multiple victims enemies die because of the turret.
Dont be fooled by the amount of healing. It's small even with full magic item build. The real deal is the movement speed bonus that it gives. You can use it to save fleeing teammates or chasing fleeing enemies. Just take note that the movement speed bonus is instant and short so it is best to use when forcing the enemy to engage or disengage. Simple as that.
The thing about this skill that most people don't know is the casting time of the ultimate is instant if you use it IN FRONT OF THEM. You can use it to engage enemy team with skill 2 + ultimate. To use it properly, you need to learn when the enemy is committing to a fight. For example, Freya jumping to your teammates and bashing their heads. Don't waste it on a Nana who's throwing boomerangs magic darts at you.
Skill prioritization to level up: ULT > Skill 1 > Skill 2
I highly recommend using weaken for the incredible slow and the debuff. Works well early game and still useful for endgame when catching pesky splitpusher or ganking solo target. Other battle spells that I written down is useful too, but I prefer to pester my target as much as possible.
Healing spell is not useful because the cooldown is too long and the healing done is small. Don't bother grabbing it.
• Annoy your enemies. (Nonverbally. Don't trashtalk, nobody likes trashtalker)
• Set-up kills for your teammates
• Roam and assist your teammates
• Speed up your teammates when roaming using skill 2
• “Heal your teammates”
(I feel like this contradicts my whole point but ehh... Everyone overestimate Rafaela's healing capabilities and ignores her ganking potential. If someone dive into 3 enemies and dies even with your aid, It's not your fault. It's their fault. This is the main reason why I don't consider her as a Healer at all...)
• Crowd Controller
• Kiter (Believe it or not, Rafaela can easily kite enemy and most often lure them to your teammates)
What you are not and weakness
• Healer (She is more like an emergency kit, giving band-aids and kisses to people who has broken limbs and idiots who thinks they can 1 v 5 assuming they escaped)
• Team-dependent. Most support heroes are team dependent
• Mana hungry from early to late game
• Squishy. Maybe she should dress more properly when going into battle perhaps?
• Small burst of heal instead of a large amount of heal.
Start off with 2 mana necklaces, you need it so you can spam your skill 1 as much as possible. Go to bottom or top lane with a teammate who either needs :
1. The movement speed from your skill 2.
2. A poker so they can finish them of and snowball quickly (Karina)
3. Someone who need to be babysit and looked after (Layla)
STICK TOGETHER NEVER GO SOLO AS RAFAELA. Otherwise, go to any lane and begin to spam your skill 1 when the first creep wave arrived. Build your core item and make sure you destroy a turret first before roaming. If your lanemate is an agile hero that has escape, you can safely leave lane early to roam and gank enemies.
You are surprisingly powerful early game because of your skill 1. Try to end the game quickly if possible since you skill 1 will become less lethal but more of a nuance late-game
Fighting in laning phase
Play safe and keep spamming your skill 1. If you see one of your enemy gets too close to your turret or alone alert your lanemate for an the assault. Then use your skill 2 to move quickly and attack the target, If you have Petrify or Weaken, use it now. KEEP SPAMMING SKILL 1. Assuming your assault is a success, use your skill 2 to fall back quickly and teleport back if you are low on mana.
If you are losing the lane, keep calm and play safe. Let the 1st turret fall if you are forced to do so but whatever you do, don't let the second turret fall. Call for help if necessary. If the pusher is alone, you can try force them to fall back by spamming your skill 1 and weaken them. Hold the turret as long as you can until backup arrive.
Assuming you have completely finish building your core item, take your time to pick which item you need to have next. You are a threat in mid-game because of your slow and the movement speed bonus you give to your teammates. At this phase, teamfights occur more frequent. If your team managed start a teamfight, walk (fly? flutter? Move?) to the nearest DPS hero and weaken or petrify the them. Don't use your Ultimate just yet, save it when you are sure it will hit because the animation is slow and the warning sign is really obvious. Catch any fleeing enemy with your skill 1 and make sure look at the map. Sometimes mobile heroes like Zilong or Hayabusa will splitpush (in other words, destroy turrets while the rest of their teammates stall your whole team) If this is the case, and you won the teamfight, send 1 of you teammate to fend them of while the rest of you keep pushing. Getting caught alone means death for Rafaela so please stick to the team.
Like tanks, you need to build item that suits your team needs. If your tank are getting bursted down fast, consider tanking defensive items and be an offtank. The core items are usualy present in any Rafaela build but if you are desperate, sell your Enchanted Talisman and buy Dominance Ice or Oracle to last longer in teamfights.
Do you want a basic, standard, boring Rafaela build?
[Any defense item]
Soak the damage so your teammates don't die too early.
ENTERING WEIRD ITEM BUILD
PROCEED WITH CAUTION
Slow for everyone!
I use this mainly in matchup mode. I'm just putting it here for fun and those who want to ruin someone's day. (Trollish Build but it might work...)
(Look at this abomination)
This particular build is very pricey but it's really fun to see them trying to run away from you...
If your team are taking Lord, it's best for you to look around to see if there's any enemy nearby the bushes. Remember, the skill 1 can be used to reveal nearby enemies, including invisible Natalia!
Ask around the forums or the subreddit so don't be shy. The rest comes from your experience playing as a support. If you want to improve more, I suggest practice in classic mode and watch livestreams. Don't feel bad if your win ratio is lower that streamers! They are usually playing 5-man or 2-man team and have guilds. Speaking of which, playing with your friend is much better that alone because you know their skills and can communicate and make strategy before even starting the match. Other than that, remember to have fun and enjoy the game!
LAST UPDATED DECEMBER 5, 2017
After reading this, you should be able to: Know what Rafaela can do for her teammates and enemies. Understand why she's not picked very often. Understand her skillset. (Hopefully) Maximize her potential. Know what she isn't (she's not a healer so shut...