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Kael'thas Abilities

Last updated on Apr 14, 2016 at 20:00 by Micekrispies 21 comments

Table of Contents

Kael'thas Image

General Information

Below, we give you a brief overview of the abilities that Kael'thas has access to. You should read these ability descriptions before reading further, because the other pages of the guide assume that you have a basic knowledge of Kael'thas's abilities.

The other pages of our Kael'thas guide can be accessed from the table of contents on the right.

About the Author

Micekrispies is a Grand Master Hero League player who has a passion for the MOBA scene and its community. Having over 6 years of experience in the upper divisions of League of Legends, Micekrispies saw Heroes of the Storm as an exciting new endeavor. His priority is to share his knowledge of the MOBA genre with any and all who desire to learn more. Feel free to drop off a comment in the comments section or check out him out on Twitch where he will gladly answer any of your questions.

1. Verdant Spheres (Trait)

Kael'thas Verdant Spheres
Verdant Spheres (D) World of Warcraft Kael'thas
  • Cooldown: 0 seconds
  • Charges: 1

Activate to make Kael'thas's next Basic Ability more powerful.

Verdant Spheres Icon Verdant Spheres can be activated to empower the next basic ability that you cast, giving it additional effects. Once activated, Verdant Spheres lasts until it is consumed. Its cooldown does not begin until the empowerment has been consumed.

  • Empowered Flamestrike Icon Flamestrike increases Flamestrike's radius by 50%.
  • Empowered Living Bomb Icon Living Bomb makes your next Living Bomb cost no Mana and have no cooldown. If Living Bomb is on cooldown, empowered Living Bomb cannot be used.
  • Empowered Gravity Lapse Icon Gravity Lapse causes Gravity Lapse to stun the next 3 enemies hit for 1.5 seconds, up from 1 enemy hit for 1 second.

Verdant Spheres adds a level of depth to Kael'thas that few other Heroes possess. However, it only modifies your abilities linearly, such as increased damage, rather than giving them a totally new function. This makes your empowered abilities function similarly to your default abilities, but with increased effectiveness. It is up to you, the player, to decide which empowered ability is most effective in each situation and use it accordingly. More information on each empowered ability can be found below and in the Team Fighting and Ability Usage sections.

2. Flamestrike

Kael'thas Flamestrike
Flamestrike (Q) World of Warcraft Kael'thas
  • Mana: 70
  • Cooldown: 7 seconds

After 1 second, deal 320 (+4% per level) damage in an area.

Verdant Spheres increases the radius by 50%.

Flamestrike Icon Flamestrike deals damage in the targeted area after a short delay.

Flamestrike is used mostly to poke from a long range and to waveclear. Of your three basic abilities, Flamestrike should be the ability that you empower the most often with Verdant Spheres Icon Verdant Spheres to deal maximum damage in team fights. Since there is a delay between casting Flamestrike and it dealing damage, aim it where your target will be, and not where they currently are. Doing so will help you hit moving targets. Casting Flamestrike on targets affected by crowd control, like Gravity Lapse Icon Gravity Lapse, can make it easier to hit your target.

3. Living Bomb

Kael'thas Living Bomb
Living Bomb (W) World of Warcraft Kael'thas
  • Mana: 50
  • Cooldown: 10 seconds

Deal 120 (+4% per level) damage over 3 seconds to an enemy, then they explode dealing 200 (+4% per level) damage to all nearby enemies. Other Heroes damaged by this explosion are also affected by Living Bomb, though the secondary explosions cannot spread.

Verdant Spheres makes this Ability cost no Mana and have no cooldown.

Living Bomb Icon Living Bomb is a targeted ability that deals damage over 3 seconds and then explodes, damaging all nearby enemies and spreading Living Bomb to Heroes that were damaged by the explosion. This effect can only happen from the original Living Bomb. Living Bomb cannot be cast on a target that is already affected by Living Bomb.

Living Bomb is a single-target, damage over time ability that then explodes, dealing AoE damage. It is very powerful throughout the game, but it is especially impactful once full team fights begin to occur and enemies begin to stack. Living Bomb can be used when empowered with Verdant Spheres Icon Verdant Spheres, effectively reducing its cooldown to 6 seconds (the cooldown of Verdant Spheres), but you will generally not have 2 targets within range to use the 2nd charge on. This makes Living Bomb fantastic at trading versus enemies, since it costs no Mana, is targeted, and is only on a 6-second cooldown. Generally, you should refrain from using Living Bomb without Verdant Spheres or from using Living Bomb a second time after an empowered Living Bomb, unless the additional damage is needed to secure a kill.

Standing as far back as possible from team fights is the best precaution you can take to ensure that you are safe while trying to cast your abilities. Only get within range to cast Living Bomb if you are confident that the enemy team is unable to get to you, your allies will protect you, or casting Living Bomb will win the fight. It is not always wise to use your Basic Attacks to deal damage with Sun King's Fury or Sunfire Enchantment Icon Sunfire Enchantment. Arcane Barrier, once you have unlocked it by completing Mana Addict Icon Mana Addict's quest effect, is also fantastic at keeping you alive when trying to get within range to Living Bomb.

4. Gravity Lapse

Kael'thas Gravity Lapse
Gravity Lapse (E) World of Warcraft Kael'thas
  • Mana: 90
  • Cooldown: 14 seconds

Stun the first enemy hit for 1 second.

Verdant Spheres causes Gravity Lapse to stun the first 3 enemies hit and increases the stun duration by 50%.

Gravity Lapse Icon Gravity Lapse stuns the first enemy it hits in the targeted direction. It passes through Structures.

Gravity Lapse is your only source of crowd control, so it is important that you use it sparingly. Gravity Lapse's large hitbox means that it will often hit unintended targets, like minions, summoned creatures, or other Heroes if you are not careful. Empowering Gravity Lapse with Verdant Spheres Icon Verdant Spheres can help alleviate this issue by allowing Gravity Lapse to stun the first three targets and for a longer duration. In this way, you can hit Heroes hiding behind minions or Tanks, but Gravity Lapse's short range means that you must be standing very close to the enemy Heroes to Stun them, which can be fairly risky.

Gravity Lapse can be used both offensively and defensively, but it is always more effective when there are allies nearby that can follow-up with damage or crowd control of their own. Use Gravity Lapse to setup ganks during the early game, but be wary of doing so later into the game, and instead use it to peel for yourself or in combination with your allies' abilities.

Using Verdant Spheres to empower Gravity Lapse is situational. While you could Stun up to three enemy Heroes with Verdant Spheres, it might be better to simply empower Living Bomb Icon Living Bomb or Flamestrike Icon Flamestrike, allowing you to deal more damage. This is especially true if there is no follow-up from your allies. Sometimes empowered Gravity Lapse is best used to Stun a single Hero that is hiding behind minions. Whether or not to use empowered Gravity Lapse depends on a number of factors, and ultimately, it is up to you to decide when to use it.

5. Phoenix

Kael'thas Phoenix
Phoenix (R) World of Warcraft Kael'thas
  • Heroic
  • Mana: 80
  • Cooldown: 60 seconds

Launch a Phoenix to an area, dealing 78 (+4% per level) damage to enemies along the way. The Phoenix persists for 7 seconds, attacking enemies for 78 (+4% per level) damage and splashing for 50%.

Phoenix Icon Phoenix launches a Phoenix in the targeted direction, dealing damage to all enemies that it hits along the way. The Phoenix persists for 7 seconds, attacking the closest enemy (prioritising Heroes) every 0.5 seconds. Nearby enemies take 50% splash damage. The Phoenix is untargetable and cannot be killed.

Phoenix is a high-damage, AoE ability. While it is mainly used to deal damage in team fights, it is also has many other uses. Phoenix can be used to zone enemy Heroes, kill mercenaries, clear minion waves, and to siege or defend Forts and Keeps. Its multitude of uses is due to its relatively low cooldown of 60 seconds. For reference, Tyrande's Starfall Icon Starfall has a 100-second cooldown and does half the damage (although the radius is larger), it applies a slow, damages all affected enemies, and it lasts 1-second longer. Since Phoenix has such a low cooldown, it should be used much more liberally than similar Heroic abilities.

Phoenix's biggest downfall is that it lacks any form of crowd control and enemy Heroes can easily walk out of the affected area. This is why it is important to use Phoenix for the express purpose of discouraging enemies from walking through it (to defend an objective), or in combination with allied crowd control, which can be used to force enemies to stay within Phoenix's radius. However, that is just to use it most optimally, using it in the middle of a team fight with no crowd control is often perfectly acceptable.

To better understand when to choose Phoenix over Pyroblast, please refer to Kael'thas' Recommended Level 10 abilities.

6. Pyroblast

Kael'thas Pyroblast
Pyroblast (R) World of Warcraft Kael'thas
  • Heroic
  • Mana: 80
  • Cooldown: 100 seconds

After 1.5 seconds, cast a slow-moving fireball that deals 810 (+5% per level) damage to an enemy Hero and 405 (+5% per level) damage to enemies nearby.

Pyroblast Icon Pyroblast launches a slow-moving fireball at the targeted enemy Hero after 1.5 seconds of channelling. The fireball does a massive amount of damage to the target and 50% splash damage to all nearby enemies. It cannot be outrun and its speed will accelerate until it hits its targeted. Once you begin channelling, a range indicator will appear, and if the target moves beyond the range, the channelling will be stopped, but Pyroblast will not go on cooldown. If you or an enemy cancels the channel, Pyroblast goes on a 10-second ooldown.

Pyroblast deals the most single-target damage of any ability in the game. It is able to do 40% or more of a squishy target's maximum health, and in conjunction with your Basic Abilities, you possess more than enough damage to 1-shot the majority of Heroes in the game. However, Pyroblast has a 1.5-second channel time, during which enemies can move out of range or interrupt your channelling, not to mention you are immobile and at the mercy of your enemies, so it is important to never channel the ability in positions where you are vulnerable. Try to use Pyroblast from behind a wall or your Tank. Not only will this protect you, but it will also make it less likely that the enemy team will notice you and interrupt you or run out of range. It is important to note that for all intents and purposes, Pyroblast is effectively a single-target ability. As soon as an enemy Hero identifies that they have been targeted they will attempt to flee, especially if they are a Hero with low maximum health. Pyroblast's extremely slow travel speed gives the enemy team plenty of time to spread out to prevent any splash damage.

Although Pyroblast can be an effective finisher, most enemy Heroes will flee out of your range when their health gets low. This is why it is important to begin channelling Pyroblast before your target leaves the fight, but doing so in the midst of a fight can be difficult, since channelling leaves you vulnerable to Assassins and interrupts. Using Pyroblast to initiate a fight can help alleviate this, since the enemy team's frontline Heroes will usually not yet be in position to stop you.

There are numerous abilities can reduce or completely negate the fireball. To use Pyroblast optimally and prevent it from being wasted, it is important that you can identify these abilities. For example, if the enemy team has a Malfurion with Ice Block Icon Ice Block, you should never target him with Pyroblast, unless Ice Block has already been used. Otherwise, you are trading Pyroblast for Ice Block, which you should never do. Below is a complete list of abilities that effectively counter Pyroblast (not including heals or blinks):

To better understand when to choose Pyroblast over Phoenix, please refer to Kael'thas' Recommended Level 10 abilities.

7. ChangeLog

  • 14 Apr. 2016: Verdant Spheres no longer increases Flamestrike's damage in accordance with the latest Balance Update.
  • 04 Apr. 2016: Dehaka patch update.
    • Living Bomb explosions now spread Living Bomb to all nearby enemy Heroes not already affected by it but can no longer be cast on targets already affected by Living Bomb.
    • Using Verdant Spheres to empower Gravity Lapse now also increases its Stun duration by 50%.
    • Updated descriptions to reflect changes.
  • 24 Aug. 2015: Updates following Kharazim patch.
    • Chain Bomb is now the key talent following Ignite's removal. Descriptions have been updated to reflect this (especially Flamestrike and Living Bomb).
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