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Kael'thas Strategy, Tips, and Tricks

Last updated on Apr 07, 2016 at 20:00 by Micekrispies 21 comments

Table of Contents

Kael'thas Image

General Information

On this page, you will learn how to optimally play Kael'thas in a competitive environment in Heroes of the Storm. Everything you need to know is explained, from general gameplay to specific tips and tricks.

The other pages of our Kael'thas 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. General Kael'thas Strategy

Kael'thas is a strong Hero. At no point in the game is he weak or lackluster, but he does increase in strength as the game progresses. With each talent point he becomes significantly more powerful, dealing even more damage. During the early game, waveclear with empowered Flamestrike Icon Flamestrike and harass enemies with Living Bomb Icon Living Bombs. Using Living Bomb with Verdant Spheres Icon Verdant Spheres reduces the cooldown of Living Bomb to 6 seconds (the cooldown of Verdant Spheres), but should only be done if there are 2 enemy Heroes that you can target. Kael'thas has no mobility and very low maximum health, but he is still an effective ganking Hero with Gravity Lapse Icon Gravity Lapse, just be wary of enemies preying on you.

As Kael'thas, you should always be playing for the mid to late game, as Level 16 provides Sun King's Fury Icon Sun King's Fury, drastically increasing your damage output. Attacking an enemy Hero affected by Living Bomb for even just a short period will do massive damage. Your goal in team fights is purely to deal damage and stay alive. As part of the backline, you need to stay behind your Tanks so that they are able to protect you. Phoenix Icon Phoenix can help to zone enemy Heroes away from you, while Gravity Lapse can be used to peel.

2. When Not Team Fighting

The most important and difficult aspect of Heroes of the Storm is performance in team fights, since this is often where games are decided. That said, team fights usually take up a relatively short amount of time, with the rest of the game being spent performing other tasks. In this section, we will walk you through what you should be doing outside of team fights as Kael'thas.

In order of priority, you should:

  • Take map objectives;
  • Hold or clear a lane that no one else on your team is in to soak the XP;
  • Take Mercenary Camps (with the assistance of your team);
  • Push whatever lane your allies are already pushing the hardest.

Map objectives almost always have the largest impact on the game. If you ignore these, then not only do you miss out on objectives that the enemy takes, but the enemy team also benefits from these objectives. On some maps, team fighting is synonymous with taking objectives, like on Sky Temple or Dragon Shire, but Garden of Terror, for example, does not always promote fights between both teams. The Boss Mercenary Camp on some maps constitutes a map objective. However, sometimes it is best to give up a map objective and to simply keep pushing, but the only time you might want to consider doing this is if it is obvious that you will be unable to contest the objective.

Your goal outside of team fights is to gain as much of an advantage over your enemies as possible, and in Heroes of the Storm, this means soaking XP from minions. If there is a lane without an allied Hero in it, you need to go to it, so that the XP from minions does not go to waste.

If there are no map objectives to take, lanes to soak, or enemies to gank, take the Mercenary Camps. They provide a small amount of XP and a significant amount lane pressure. Taking the Mercenary Camps on the enemy's side of the map is risky, and it should only be done if you certain that the enemy team cannot, or will not contest. Kael'thas is relatively ineffective at capturing Mercenary Camps alone, so you will generally need the assistance of your allies.

If you have already taken all that the map has to offer, it is likely that most, if not all of the lanes are pushing in the direction of your enemy. This pressure should be capitalised on. Push a lane with your allies to destroy the enemies' base.

3. Team Fighting

Kael'thas boasts some of the highest damage of any Hero in the game, but this comes at the cost of also being one of the least mobile Heroes in the game. No matter the fight, you always want to be as far back as possible to avoid being engaged on. Communicate to your team that you need help peeling and, if they can do that, then you can provide the damage. The only way you can peel for yourself is with sheer damage and Gravity Lapse Icon Gravity Lapse, forcing the aggressor to back off or die, so it is important that you have the assistance of your allies.

In team fights, Verdant Spheres Icon Verdant Spheres should be used with whatever ability is most relevant. Empower Flamestrike if there is only 1 enemy within Living Bomb range, empower Living Bomb if there are at least 2 enemy Heroes to target, and empower Gravity Lapse if you need the crowd control. You can also empower Gravity Lapse to hit an enemy hiding behind another enemy. If you went the Flamestrike build with Fury of the Sunwell Icon Fury of the Sunwell at Level 16, almost empower Flamestrike. Ideally, use Phoenix Icon Phoenix in combination with crowd control from your allies to maximise its damage, but simply using it in the midst of a fight is acceptable too. Pyroblast Icon Pyroblast should generally be used at the beginning of a fight or at the end of a fight.

3.1. Ability Usage

Although you can use and empower any ability in any order, using your abilities in a specific order will reward you with increased damage. Kael'thas' highest single-target damage combo is listed below.

  1. Phoenix Icon Phoenix
  2. Gravity Lapse Icon Gravity Lapse
  3. Verdant Spheres Icon Verdant Spheres
  4. Flamestrike Icon Flamestrike
  5. Living Bomb Icon Living Bomb

The first four steps should be completed within a fraction of a second. It is important that you also use Basic Attacks whenever possible. Not that this is only for single-target damage. Dealing the most AoE damage depends on the enemy's positioning.

4. Summary of Tips and Tricks

  • Since Kael'thas lacks any type of mobility, positioning is extremely important. Once an enemy Hero is attacking you, you must rely on your allies to assist you. Protect yourself by being proactive and keeping your distance.
  • Verdant Spheres Icon Verdant Spheres should be used with Flamestrike Icon Flamestrike if you want to waveclear.
  • Only empower Gravity Lapse Icon Gravity Lapse to catch an enemy Hero hiding behind a minion or to stun multiple enemy Heroes.
  • Early game, you can use empowered Living Bomb Icon Living Bombs when trading with enemy Heroes, as this will lower the cooldown of Living Bomb from 10 seconds to the 6 seconds, the cooldown of Verdant Spheres Icon Verdant Spheres.
  • Always collect Regeneration Globes for Mana Addict Icon Mana Addict.
  • Phoenix Icon Phoenix can be used to zone enemy Heroes, kill mercenaries, clear minion waves, and to siege or defend Forts and Keeps. Its relatively low cooldown encourages you to use it liberally.
  • Channel Pyroblast Icon Pyroblast behind walls or your frontline. Try to use it proactively and early in fights, rather than saving it to finish enemies off.
  • A complete list of abilities that effectively counter Pyroblast (not including heals or blinks) can be found in the Abilities section.
  • Fury of the Sunwell Icon Fury of the Sunwell at Level 16 will dramatically increase your damage output. If you are losing fights prior to Level 16, try to wait until you have Sun King's Fury.
  • Gravity Lapse Icon Gravity Lapse is difficult to hit. Take the time you need to land it, as you are defenseless if you miss.

5. ChangeLog

  • 05 Apr. 2016: Updated Strategy in accordance with the massive changes to Kael'thas.
  • 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.
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