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Kael'thas Talents

Last updated on Aug 11, 2016 at 22:08 by Micekrispies 16 comments

Table of Contents

Kael'thas Image

General Information

On this page, we present the viable talent choices for playing Kael'thas in a competitive environment in Heroes of the Storm. For each talent, we explain what they do and why they should or should not be taken.

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. Talent Build

Level Choices
1 Convection Fel Infusion Mana Addict ?
4 Nether Wind Energy Roil Mana Tap ?
7 Burned Flesh Sun King's Fury Sunfire Enchantment
10 Phoenix Pyroblast ?
13 Pyromaniac Backdraft Fission Bomb
16 Fury of the Sunwell Twin Spheres Arcane Dynamo
20 Rebirth Presence Of Mind Master of Flames Flamethrower

2. Common Talent Paths

Flamestrike build: Strong area of effect damage

Verdant Spheres Build: Allows for a versatile playstyle

3. Level 1 Talents

Convection Fel Infusion Mana Addict ?

3.1. Descriptions

Convection Icon Convection increases Flamestrike Icon Flamestrike's damage by 5 whenever it successfully hits an enemy Hero, up to a maximum of 100. However, if Kael'thas is killed, all bonus damage is lost. If he manages to gain the maximum amount of 100 bonus damage, Flamestrike's damage is increased by an additional 100 and dying will no longer cause Kael'thas to lose any bonus damage.

Fel Infusion Icon Fel Infusion causes Verdant Spheres Icon Verdant Spheres to heal Kael'thas when it is activated and passively increases the ability damage that you deal by 5%.

Mana Addict Icon Mana Addict increases your maximum Mana by 15 when you pick up a Regeneration Globe. The Mana is granted immediately. After gathering 20 Regeneration Globes, Arcane Barrier gets unlocked. Arcane Barrier is an activatable talent, that provides Kael'thas with a shield equal to 100% of his maximum Mana for 4 seconds. Arcane Barrier has a cooldown of 45 seconds.

3.2. Recommended

Convection Icon Convection, when fully stacked, can be an incredibly strong Talent option. The high-risk, high-reward nature of Convection makes it a challenging, yet rewarding choice. The massive increase in damage to Flamestrike Icon Flamestrike is monumental in a Flamestrike-centric build. It is very important to play safe when trying to complete the quest portion of Convection, as Kael'thas will lose all progress should he be killed before it is accomplished. This requires players to have to weigh the cost of overextending to aim and land a cast of Flamestrike. During the early game, particularly when in lane, make sure to keep an eye on the Minimap for missing enemies who may be attempting to gank Kael'thas. Convection works best with a strong frontline that will help peel away enemy Heroes from Kael'thas as he casts Flamestrike.

Fel Infusion Icon Fel Infusion is a great talent that provides Kael'thas not only with an overall increase in damage but also some nice passive healing. The self-sustain provided by Fel Infusion will help Kael'thas trade more efficiently in lane as well as during teamfights and skirmishes. This talent is a great option for players who want to increase their damage output but find themselves having a hard time effectively stacking Convection Icon Convection, particularly against assassins like Nova and Zeratul who will consistently attempt to hunt down Kael'thas before he can finish his quest.

3.3. Situational

Mana Addict Icon Mana Addict is a great source of damage mitigation and Mana regeneration for Kael'thas players who are willing to sacrifice raw damage output for sustain and survivability. Mana Addict might be the best talent option for Kael'thas when matched against a burst composition, as the large shield can help keep him up during the enemies focus fire, especially in the late game. The increased Mana pool will also help players last longer when trading over Objectives or sieging enemy fortifications. The bonus Mana granted after gathering a Regeneration Globe is immediate, and can be seen as an additional source of Mana regeneration.

4. Level 4 Talents

Nether Wind Energy Roil Mana Tap ?

4.1. Descriptions

Nether Wind Icon Nether Wind increases Gravity Lapse Icon Gravity Lapse's range by 30% and refunds 80 Mana if it hits a Hero.

Energy Roil Icon Energy Roil reduces Gravity Lapse Icon Gravity Lapse's cooldown by 9 seconds when it hits an enemy Hero.

Mana Tap Icon Mana Tap restores a small amount of Mana when activating Verdant Spheres Icon Verdant Spheres.

4.2. Recommended

Nether Wind Icon Nether Wind is a great talent that increases the utility of Gravity Lapse Icon Gravity Lapse twice over. The increase in range will allow Kael'thas to more safely catch-out enemies or peel for allies. Nether Wind is incredibly strong when combined with Verdant Spheres Icon Verdant Spheres, as it will allow Kael'thas to land Gravity Lapse on Heroes hidden behind the enemy frontline. The Mana refund is also a great bonus that will help to somewhat relieve Kael'thas from the burden of his Mana intensive abilities.

4.3. Situational

Mana Tap Icon Mana Tap lacks the utility bonus of Nether Wind Icon Nether Wind, but is strong in that it is a reliable source of Mana regeneration. Unlike the Mana refund of Nether Wind, the Mana from Mana Tap is not dependent on landing an ability. Mana Tap also becomes all the more useful when talenting into Twin Spheres Icon Twin Spheres at Level 16.

4.4. Not Recommended

Energy Roil Icon Energy Roil is unfortunately too weak of a talent option to justify its selection when compared to both Nether Wind Icon Nether Wind and Mana Tap Icon Mana Tap. The bonus cooldown reduction is only granted upon a successful cast of Gravity Lapse Icon Gravity Lapse, just like the Mana refund of Netherwind. The increase in cast range and the Mana refund of Nether Wind is much more rewarding to Kael'thas than a moderate reduction in cooldown of Gravity Lapse.

5. Level 7 Talents

Burned Flesh Sun King's Fury Sunfire Enchantment

5.1. Descriptions

Burned Flesh Icon Burned Flesh deals extra damage to enemy Heroes equal to 8% of their maximum health if Flamestrike Icon Flamestrike hits at least 2 enemies.

Sun King's Fury Icon Sun King's Fury causes Living Bomb that spread to enemy Heroes to deal an additional 30% damage.

Sunfire Enchantment Icon Sunfire Enchantment causes Verdant Spheres Icon Verdant Spheres to transform your next Basic Attack into a spell, in addition to its normal effects. The spell functions identically to a Basic Attack, except that it deals more damage and it acts as an ability, and it will affect things like Spell Shield Icon Spell Shield.

5.2. Recommended

Burned Flesh Icon Burned Flesh will do massive amounts of damage to the enemy team should a cast of Flamestrike Icon Flamestrike land on multiple enemies. This talent will wreak absolute havoc on teams when combined with a quest completed Convection Icon Convection and Fury of the Sunwell Icon Fury of the Sunwell. Make sure to always cast an empowered version of Flamestrike using Verdant Spheres Icon Verdant Spheres in order to greatly increase the size of the ability and help ensure multiple enemies will be struck.

Sun King's Fury Icon Sun King's Fury will cause Living Bomb Icon Living Bomb to do large amounts of AoE damage to enemies unable to spread out after being struck. This talent is a great choice for the Verdant Spheres Build, where there is much less emphasis on the need to land casts of Flamestrike Icon Flamestrike.

5.3. Not Recommended

Sunfire Enchantment Icon Sunfire Enchantment does not have the raw team wide damage output to be considered a viable pick. Although the single target damage bonus is actually not that bad, both Burned Flesh Icon Burned Flesh and Sun King's Fury Icon Sun King's Fury have a much stronger impact on teamfights and unfortunately cannot be passed up.

6. Level 10 Talents

Phoenix Pyroblast ?

6.1. Descriptions

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.

Pyroblast Icon Pyroblast launches a slow-moving fireball at the targeted enemy Hero after 2 seconds of channeling. 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 channeling, a range indicator will appear, and if the target moves beyond the range, the channeling will be stopped, but Pyroblast will not go on cooldown. If you or an enemy cancels the channel, Pyroblast goes on a 10-second cooldown.

6.2. Recommended

Phoenix Icon Phoenix is a great reliable source of damage that should be the standard pick for the vast majority of matches. There are a multitude of uses for Phoenix, such as zoning, waveclearing, and sieging or defending fortifications. Unfortunately Phoenix lacks any sort of crowd control, so many times enemies will be able to easily walk out of its effect. That is why Phoenix is best used in conjunction with reliable sources of crowd control. The abilities listed below are often used in conjunction with Phoenix.

The 60-second cooldown of Phoenix further makes it a great ability. The relatively short cooldown of Phoenix can help guarantee that it will be available for most teamfights or skirmishes, particularly those surrounding importan: Battleground objectives.

6.3. Situational

Pyroblast Icon Pyroblast is hands down the most powerful single-target ability in the game. Pyroblast can be used to finish off most targets, particularly squishier enemies such as supports or assassins. Alas, Pyroblast is the definition of situational, as it is incredibly unreliable and difficult to channel. The 2-second channeling time puts Kael'thas in an incredibly vulnerable position. Most enemies, especially those with a source of interupt or burst damage, will attempt to capitalize on Kael'thas' exposure. Even if Kael'thas is able to successfully cast Pyroblast, the slow movement speed of its projectile will give enemies ample time to react. There are many ways the damage of Pyroblast can be completely negated, such as by Uther's Divine Shield Icon Divine Shield or Tyrael's Sanctification Icon Sanctification. Pyroblast should never been taken should the enemy team have a means to counter it.

7. Level 13 Talents

Pyromaniac Backdraft Fission Bomb

7.1. Descriptions

Pyromaniac Icon Pyromaniac reduces the cooldown of Kael'thas' Basic Abilities by 1 second each time Living Bomb Icon Living Bomb deals periodic damage. It does not reduce the cooldown of Verdant Spheres Icon Verdant Spheres.

Backdraft Icon Backdraft causes the explosion from Living Bomb Icon Living Bomb to Slow all affected enemies by 30% for 2 seconds.

Fission Bomb Icon Fission Bomb increases Living Bomb Icon Living Bomb's explosion radius by 20%.

7.2. Recommended

Pyromaniac Icon Pyromaniac is a great choice when trying to maximize Kael'thas' damage output. The reduction in cooldown for Kael'thas' Basic Abilities will greatly increase his damage uptime. Also, the reduction in cooldown of Gravity Lapse Icon Gravity Lapse will provide Kael'thas with additional utility allowing him to be more useful in teamfights and skirmishes.

Backdraft Icon Backdraft provides a nice element of crowd control to Living Bomb Icon Living Bomb. This slow is quite significant and makes it easier for Kael'thas to land his other abilities. Enemies under the effect of Backdraft will also have a much more difficult time trying to escape the AoE damage of Phoenix Icon Phoenix. When confronted by melee Heroes, the slow provided by Backdraft will assist Kael'thas in kiting them.

7.3. Not Recommended

Fission Bomb Icon Fission Bomb is useful in terms of increasing the area-of-effect zone of Living Bomb Icon Living Bomb, however the utility of both Pyromaniac Icon Pyromaniac and Backdraft Icon Backdraft must be sacrificed for it. The 20% increase in explosion radius may feel underwhelming, leaving Fission Bomb better left unpicked.

8. Level 16 Talents

Fury of the Sunwell Twin Spheres Arcane Dynamo

8.1. Descriptions

Fury of the Sunwell Icon Fury of the Sunwell causes a second Flamestrike Icon Flamestrike to be automatically cast at the same location 1.5 seconds after the first explodes. The second Flamestrike will be empowered if the first was also empowered.

Twin Spheres Icon Twin Spheres causes Verdant Spheres Icon Verdant Spheres to gain a second charge.

Arcane Dynamo Icon Arcane Dynamo causes a Basic Ability to increase Kael'thas Ability Power to increase by 3% for 5 seconds, stacking up to 15%.

8.2. Recommended

Fury of the Sunwell Icon Fury of the Sunwell is incredibly strong and a must pick for the Flamestrike Build. The strongest feature of Fury of the Sunwell is that the second cast of Flamestrike Icon Flamestrike inherits all of the original cast's talent related bonuses. This means both Convection Icon Convection and Burned Flesh Icon Burned Flesh will be included in the second explosion, allowing a single cast of Flamestrike to do absolutely devastating amounts of damage to the enemy team.

Twin Spheres Icon Twin Spheres is a great choice for players who build more around the effects of Verdant Spheres Icon Verdant Spheres than Flamestrike Icon Flamestrike. The second charge of Verdant Spheres provided by Twin Spheres acts just like the original, activating any and all Talent bonuses surrounding it. This means that Fel Infusion Icon Fel Infusion, Mana Tap Icon Mana Tap, and Sunfire Enchantment Icon Sunfire Enchantment all become effectively twice as beneficial should they have been previously selected for.

8.3. Not Recommended

Arcane Dynamo Icon Arcane Dynamo at first appears to be a tempting option to increase Kael'thas damage output. Unfortunately in practice it feels rather weak, especially when compared to Fury of the Sunwell Icon Fury of the Sunwell and Twin Spheres Icon Twin Spheres. Because the effects of Arcane Dynamo only last for 5 seconds, unless having already talented into Pyromaniac Icon Pyromaniac, players will have to space out casts of Basic Abilities in order to maintain the bonus Ability Power. The 15% Ability Power increase also will not come into effect until after Kael'thas has been able to cast 5 abilities, making Arcane Dynamo a rather weak option for generating reliable immediate burst damage.

9. Level 20 Talents

Rebirth Presence Of Mind Master of Flames Flamethrower

9.1. Descriptions

Rebirth Icon Rebirth doubles the duration of Phoenix Icon Phoenix and allows Kael'thas to retarget the Phoenix once while it is active.

Presence Of Mind Icon Presence Of Mind increases Pyroblast Icon Pyroblast's explosion radius by 50% and reduces its cooldown by 25 seconds per enemy Hero hit.

Master of Flames Icon Master of Flames causes Living Bomb Icon Living Bomb's explosion to reapply another full instance of Living Bomb Icon Living Bomb.

Flamethrower Icon Flamethrower increases the cast range of Flamestrike Icon Flamestrike by 40%. If two or more Heroes are struck by Flamestrike, the cooldown of it is reduced by 4 seconds.

9.2. Recommended

Rebirth Icon Rebirth allows Kael'thas to reposition his Phoenix once, providing him with additional zoning potential. This repositioning occurs from the location of the Phoenix, not Kael'thas, and can be repositioned globally. The repositioning of the Phoenix can also be used to target enemies who may have exhausted their gap-closers to escape its reach, or followup against enemies who may be attempt to engage or disengage out of the area of the Phoenix. The 100% increase in duration is further magnifies its strength, particularly when being used to zone away enemies from an objective.

Master of Flames Icon Master of Flames vastly increases the impact of Living Bomb Icon Living Bomb in teamfights. The beauty of Master of Flames is that the additional applications of Living Bomb will also benefit from talents that effect it, such as Sun King's Fury Icon Sun King's Fury, Pyromaniac Icon Pyromaniac, and Backdraft Icon Backdraft. Talenting into Master of Flames will force enemy teams to split up from those struck by Living Bomb in order to prevent its spread. This splitting can be capitalize on by Kael'thas and his allies, allowing isolated target to be quickly focused down.

Flamethrower Icon Flamethrower is a great option for the Flamestrike Icon Flamestrike build as it allows Kael'thas to cast his strongest Basic Ability from a much safer distance. This allows him to safely zone away enemies and more easily interrupt Heroes attempting to capture an objective such as an Altar on Towers of Doom or a Tribute on Cursed Hollow. The decrease in cooldown from striking multiple enemies with Flamestrike will allow it to be readily cast, vastly increasing Kael'thas damage output. Combined with the effect of Fury of the Sunwell Icon Fury of the Sunwell, Kael'thas will be able to trigger a volley of Flamestrike explosions that will chunk large amounts of Health from the entire enemy team.

9.3. Not Recommended

Presence Of Mind Icon Presence Of Mind is a very weak talent that does not increase the explosion radius of Pyroblast Icon Pyroblast hardly enough to justify its selection. Even if Pyroblast manages to strike and enemy, they will most likely have split off from their team enough to negate the AoE aspect. Because of this the cooldown reduction of Presence of Mind will pretty much always only end up being a disappointing 25 seconds.

10. ChangeLog

  • 11 Aug. 2016: Auriel patch update.
    • Updated talents to match patch changes.
    • Gravity Crush has been removed.
    • Sun King's Fury has moved to Level 7 and now increases the damage of Living Bombs by 30% and is Recommended.
    • Arcane Dynamo has been added to Level 16 and is Not Recommended.
    • Arcane Power has been removed.
    • Flamethrower has been added to Level 20 and is Recommended.
  • 17 May 2016: Living Bomb's talent Sun King’s Fury has had its basic attack damage reduced by 20%.
  • 14 Apr. 2016: Adjusted Nether Wind's and Gravity Crush's descriptions in accordance with the latest Balance Update.
  • 05 Apr. 2016: Dehaka patch update.
    • Updated talents to match patch changes.
    • Convection received significant changes and is now Situational.
    • Nether Wind has received significant changes and is now Situational.
    • Energy Roil has received significant changes, has moved to Level 4, and is now Recommended.
    • Burned Flesh has been added at Level 7 and is Situational.
    • Gravity Crush has been added at Level 7 and is Not Recommended
    • Sunfire Enchantment has been changed to Recommended.
    • Pyromaniac's cooldown reduction has been reduced from 2 seconds to 1 second and is now Recommended.
    • Backdraft's Slow has been reduced from 50% to 30%, moved to Level 13, and is now Situational.
    • Fission Bomb now only increases Living Bomb's explosion radius by 20%, has moved to Level 13, and is now Not Recommended.
    • Fury of the Sunwell's second explosion is now only delayed by 0.5 seconds (from 1 second) and is now Situational.
    • Sun King's Fury has been added at Level 16 and is Recommended.
    • Twin Spheres has been added at Level 16 and is Not Recommended.
    • Rebirth is now Recommended.
    • Master of Flames has been added at Level 20 and is Not Recommended.
    • Arcane Power now lasts for 10 seconds and is Situational.
  • 18 Nov. 2015: Updated the Gathering Power description following the changes brought about by the Cho'gall patch.
    • Living Bomb’s explosion now applies Living Bomb to the three closest enemies that are not already under its effects, preferring Heroes.
  • 23 Aug. 2015: Updates following Kharazim patch.
    • Ignite removed.
    • Spell Shield removed.
    • Gathering Power no longer starts from 5%. Killing a Hero increases damage doen by 1%, down from 2%. Half of all stacks are lost upon death. Stacks up to 15 times.
    • Arcane Barrier is now Recommended.
    • Arcane Barrier's shield duration increased from 3 seconds to 6 seconds.
    • Backdraft is now Situational.
    • Backdraft Slow increased from 40% to 50%.
    • Backdraft duration reduced from 2.5 seconds to 2 seconds.
    • Changed description of Mana Addict to reflect taking Arcane Barrier at Level 16
    • Mana Tap now restores 5% of your maximum Mana on kill, rather than a flat 20 Mana.
    • New talent - Fury of the Sunwell: Casting Flamestrike will cause a second Flamestrike to be cast 1 second after the fire explodes.
    • Fission Bomb increases Living Bomb's explosion radius by 30% but now increases Living Bomb's explosion damage by 30%, down from 75%.
    • Pyromaniac cooldown reduction increased from 1 second to 2 seconds.
    • Gravity Throw moved from Level 16 to Level 13.
    • Flamethrower is now Not Recommended.
    • Chain Bomb is now Recommended
    • Gathering Power is now Not Recommended.
    • Nether Wind is now Recommended.
    • The descriptions of all mentioned talents have been updated.
  • 11 Jul. 2015: Fel Infusion is now a Situational talent. It was not recommended before.
  • 02 Jul. 2015: Spell Shield nows lasts for 3 seconds once activated, up from 2 seconds.
  • 12 Jul. 2016: Updates following Gul'dan patch
    • Updated damage change to Convection Talent from 74 to 100 bonus damage.
    • Energy Roil cooldown reduction increase from 7 to 9 seconds.
    • Reduction in Gravity Crush bonus damage from 30% to 25%.
    • Added description of new Rebirth mechanic.
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