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Thrall Strategy, Tips, and Tricks

Last updated on Jul 04, 2015 at 10:00 by Kendric 12 comments

Table of Contents

Thrall Image

General Information

On this page, you will learn how to optimally play Thrall 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 Thrall can be accessed from the table of contents on the right.

About the Author

KendricSwissh is a Rank 1 Warrior and Support player in Hero League. He has been playing Heroes of the Storm since the early stages of the Alpha version and has mastered a large number of Heroes. He is also creating Heroes of the Storm related content on YouTube, most notably his series called Epic Plays of the Week, which focuses on video clips submitted by his viewers. He is also a streamer on Twitch where he will gladly answer all of your questions about the game.

1. General Thrall Strategy

Playing Thrall requires a good understanding of how to efficiently position yourself during a team fight. Thrall possesses both powerful initiation and disengage possibilities, most notably because of his Sundering Icon Sundering Heroic Ability. Whether you protect your allies from an enemy assault or commence a team fight, as a melee Assassin it is your primary task to appear at the right places at the right time. To do so, observing the enemy team's behaviour and tracking the Minimap is crucial. Before you fully commit to attacking an enemy target, you should make sure to know whether they have used key abilities that could harm your combat performance by disabling or kiting you. Prime examples for such abilities would be Brightwing's Polymorph Icon Polymorph, Illidan's Evasion Icon Evasion, or Li Li's Blinding Wind Icon Blinding Wind.

During the mid-late game, Thrall's tasks may vary depending on the situation he finds himself in, however, they will mostly include:

  • breaking the enemy formation by using Sundering Icon Sundering which will ideally expose primary targets to the rest of your team;
  • assisting the rest of your teammates in focusing a designated target using Feral Spirit Icon Feral Spirit and Windfury Icon Windfury;
  • poking and dismounting distant or retreating enemies using Chain Lightning Icon Chain Lightning;
  • clearing Siege Giant and Bruiser Mercenary Camps while out of combat.

Map awareness is very important for multiple reasons when playing melee Assassins like Thrall. If not laning, you want to rotate between lanes in order to assist your teammates with ganks during the early stages of the game, preferably on exposed enemy Heroes without innate escape spells such as Jaina or Kael'thas. If laning, try to bully your laning opponent(s) using Chain Lightning Icon Chain Lightning to keep them at bay. Rolling Thunder Icon Rolling Thunder at Level 1 proves to be a very useful talent to help you in that regard.

After both teams reached Level 10, laning becomes a little bit less important which means you should focus on sticking together with the rest of your team to fight for Map Objectives. Like other melee Assassins, Thrall has to rely on good positioning more than most other Heroes in order to avoid getting killed before the team fight even starts. However, once you manage to get close to an enemy Hero by using Windfury Icon Windfury, it will become very difficult for them to escape the root of Feral Spirit Icon Feral Spirit and the stun of Sundering Icon Sundering.

2. When Not Team Fighting

While team fights do occur quite frequently in Heroes of the Storm, it is equally important to know what you are supposed to do during the rest of the game. One of the most underrated strengths of Thrall is the fact that he is capable of clearing Mercenary Camps all by himself at Level 7, especially if he chose the Wind Shear Icon Wind Shear talent which will allow him to heal himself more frequently by triggering Frostwolf Resilience Icon Frostwolf Resilience. Capturing a Bruiser Camp on maps like Sky Temple (preferably around the 4-minute mark) or Cursed Hollow shortly before the next Map Objective spawns can become quite crucial and heavily influence the outcome of the early game. If no Map Objectives are currently available, or if your team is about to capture one, your next goal should be to make sure that all lanes are soaked, especially if your team still needs to reach Level 10.

How to position yourself when moving around with your teammates is another thing we consider worth mentioning. While marching through enemy territory, Thrall should always walk behind a Warrior and in the vicinity of a Supporter. If you are not entirely sure about the enemy team's position, you should avoid face-checking bushes at all cost. We cannot stress enough how important good positioning is when playing Thrall, since he innately lacks escape abilities that would allow him to dash or teleport over short distances.

3. When Team Fighting

Playing Thrall effectively during a team fight can be a challenging, yet very rewarding experience, as a well placed Sundering Icon Sundering, followed by the root provided by Feral Spirit Icon Feral Spirit, has the potential to allow your team a solid engagement on stunned and rooted enemy Heroes. In general, we like to distinguish between three types of team fights to make things easier, especially for newer and less experienced players.

3.1. Team Fights Started By Your Team

Feral Spirit Icon Feral Spirit is your only hard engaging Basic Ability, which means that you should make sure to catch your target in it before charging at them. Landing a good Feral Spirit becomes even more important if your team lacks crowd control abilities in general. You should always use Sundering Icon Sundering to initiate on the enemy team, as it is almost impossible to cast a decent Sundering in the middle of a team fight when everyone is usually more spread out.

When playing Thrall it is of utmost importance to constantly check two factors before fully committing to a larger fight. First of all, you have to make sure that your teammates, especially the support player, are within reach to follow up on your initiation. Unlike more mobile melee Assassins such as Illidan or Zeratul, Thrall usually does not have to worry about getting separated from his team, but we still recommend double checking your teammates' position on the Minimap before going all in against the enemy team. Next, you need to determine if the enemy team decides to fight back or not. If they do, follow up with Feral Spirit Icon Feral Spirit and activate Windfury Icon Windfury. However, if the enemy team decides to retreat from you, you should remain calm and refrain from casting any long cooldown abilities, such as Envenom Icon Envenom (provided that you picked it at Level 7).

3.2. Team Fights Started By The Enemy Team

Although Thrall is usually played as an offensive Assassin, he is also capable of protecting his allies quite efficiently. If one of your teammates gets caught off guard by an enemy Warrior or melee Assassin, you should immediately try to assist them by casting Chain Lightning Icon Chain Lightning on the engaging Hero to potentially dismount them first, before using Feral Spirit Icon Feral Spirit to root them in place. Sundering Icon Sundering can be an incredibly effective tool to keep charging enemies away from your Assassins and Specialists in the backline, but you should keep in mind that it needs about 1 second to be activated. During that short time frame we suggest that you try your best to avoid stuns and silences, as otherwise Sundering will be on a 10-second cooldown.

3.3. Skirmishes

Skirmishes are fights in which neither of the teams really commits to going all in. Most of the time you will encounter skirmishes around Map Objectives or in the vicinity of Mercenary Camps. Unlike in team fights, when playing Thrall you may want to hold on to your skills and see how events are going to unfold. Keep your Basic Abilities, Feral Spirit Icon Feral Spirit in particular, ready in case one of your allies gets caught a little too deep. Save your Sundering Icon Sundering until the real battle begins. A skirmish will probably end up in a team fight sooner or later if neither one of the teams decides to retreat.

4. Summary of Tips and Tricks

  • Keep track of your Frostwolf Resilience Icon Frostwolf Resilience indicator before fully committing to a fight. The more stacks you currently have the faster you are going to heal yourself in a fight.
  • Each Basic Attack done by Windfury Icon Windfury provides you with 1 stack of Frostwolf Resilience. If you chose Grace Of Air Icon Grace Of Air at Level 13, each Basic Attack done by Windfury provides you with 2 stacks of Frostwolf Resilience.
  • Sundering Icon Sundering is an incredibly versatile Heroic Ability; use it to catch fleeing enemies, to initiate team fights, or to stun engaging enemies.
  • Avoid using Windfury Icon Windfury while you are blinded.
  • Thrall is one of the strongest duelists in the late game. Do not be afraid to confront enemies in a one-on-one situation if you are ahead or even on levels.
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