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Thrall Talents

Last updated on Nov 14, 2016 at 23:00 by Kendric 12 comments

Table of Contents

Thrall Image

General Information

On this page, we present the viable talent choices for playing Thrall 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 Thrall guide can be accessed from the table of contents on the right.

About the Author

KendricSwissh is a Master League 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. Talent Build

Level Choices
1 Block Rolling Thunder Rabid Wolves Seasoned Marksman
4 Ride The Lightning Spirit Journey Mana Tide Envenom
7 Wind Shear Stone Wolves Follow Through Frostwolf's Grace
10 Sundering Earthquake
13 Restless Wolves Grace Of Air Giant Killer ? Spell Shield ?
16 Forked Lightning Tempest Fury Ride The Wind Blood for Blood
20 Worldbreaker Earthen Shields Nexus Blades Bolt of the Storm

2. Common Talent Paths

Full Windfury Build: devastating Basic Attacks to deal strong single target damage

Chain Lightning Build: outstanding AoE poke combined with empowered Basic Attacks and great late game mobility

Earthquake Build: massive Movement Speed reduction combined with powerful single target burst damage

3. Level 1 Talents

Block Rolling Thunder Rabid Wolves Seasoned Marksman

3.1. Descriptions

Block Icon Block causes you to generate 1 stack of Block every 5 seconds, up to a maximum of 2. Block stacks are consumed by individual enemy Hero Basic Attacks, reducing each of them by 75%.

Rolling Thunder Icon Rolling Thunder increases Chain Lightning Icon Chain Lightning's casting range by 30%. It also causes every target recently hit by Chain Lightning to restore 10 Mana as soon as it is attacked by Thrall.

Rabid Wolves Icon Rabid Wolves causes Feral Spirit Icon Feral Spirit to grant 3 stacks of Frostwolf Resilience Icon Frostwolf Resilience when damaging enemy Heroes.

Seasoned Marksman Icon Seasoned Marksman permanently increases your Basic Attack damage by 0.2 whenever a nearby enemy Minion or Mercenary dies, and by 0.5 for each enemy Hero takedown, up to 40. Upon reaching 40 bonus Basic Attack damage, Seasoned Marksman can be activated to increase your attack speed by 30% for 3 seconds. This has a 60-second cooldown.

3.2. Recommended

Rolling Thunder Icon Rolling Thunder allows Thrall to cast Chain Lightning Icon Chain Lightning from a very safe distance, which means he does not have to take unnecessary damage while poking an enemy Hero. The increased casting range also causes Thrall to become an incredibly efficient chaser, capable of killing fleeing enemies from afar. Furthermore, being able to restore up to 30 Mana by attacking targets hit by Chain Lightning enables Thrall to consistently apply pressure with his abilities in lane.

Block Icon Block is a very efficient defensive talent against enemy team compositions that rely heavily on dealing damage with Basic Attacks. Block makes Thrall considerably more durable if he is forced to stay in lane against strong ranged Assassins or Specialists like Sylvanas or Valla. In a late-game situation, Block will, on average, prevent between 100 to 150 damage every 5 seconds, which contributes a lot to Thrall's team fight presence as an engaging melee Assassin.

3.3. Not Recommended

Seasoned Marksman Icon Seasoned Marksman looks like a tempting talent to choose at Level 1 since Thrall's base damage on his Basic Attacks is very high. However, balancing out some of his innate weaknesses, namely his high Mana dependence or his poor defensive capabilities in the early game, adds a lot more utility to Thrall. Consequently, we recommend going for either Rolling Thunder Icon Rolling Thunder or Block Icon Block instead of Seasoned Marksman. Both of the previous talents will contribute a lot more to his overall combat performance than dealing more damage with his Basic Attacks.

Rabid Wolves Icon Rabid Wolves is not a bad talent, yet it requires Thrall to land his Feral Spirit Icon Feral Spirit, which is not always an easy thing to do. Block Icon Block and Rolling Thunder Icon Rolling Thunder prove to be a lot more reliable talent choices, especially for less experienced Thrall players.

4. Level 4 Talents

Ride The Lightning Spirit Journey Mana Tide Envenom

4.1. Descriptions

Ride The Lightning Icon Ride The Lightning causes Chain Lightning Icon Chain Lightning to hit 2 additional targets for 50% damage.

Spirit Journey Icon Spirit Journey causes Feral Spirit Icon Feral Spirit to travel 50% farther.

Mana Tide Icon Mana Tide causes Frostwolf Resilience Icon Frostwolf Resilience to also restore 15 Mana whenever Thrall has accumulated 5 stacks.

Envenom Icon Envenom is an activatable talent that deals a large amount of damage to the targeted Hero over 10 seconds. Envenom has a 60-second cooldown.

4.2. Recommended

Envenom Icon Envenom provides a significant amount of extra damage, which works really well with Thrall's innate burst potential in close combat. Envenom makes Thrall one of the most dangerous duelists in the game and offers a major power spike, especially during the early stages of the game. Envenom is also a very useful tool to keep cloaked Heroes visible, as its damage over time effect prevents them from becoming invisible again.

Ride The Lightning Icon Ride The Lightning adds more targets to Chain Lightning Icon Chain Lightning and, more importantly, additional Frostwolf Resilience Icon Frostwolf Resilience stacks. Furthermore, Ride The Lightning turns Chain Lightning into a very potent poking tool, especially if combined with Rolling Thunder Icon Rolling Thunder at Level 1.

4.3. Not Recommended

Spirit Journey Icon Spirit Journey allows Thrall to secure kills on enemies he could not have reached otherwise. However, Feral Spirit Icon Feral Spirit is quite hard to land, even for more experienced players. Thus, we find this talent to be very unreliable.

Mana Tide Icon Mana Tide is an incredibly bad talent considered the alternative choices Thrall has available at Level 4. Although we previously listed Thrall's Mana dependence as one of his major weaknesses, giving up strong talents like Spirit Journey Icon Spirit Journey or Envenom Icon Envenom in favour of Mana Tide is not recommended. Its Mana regeneration effect simply does not occur often enough to balance out the loss of damage or utility you would have to endure otherwise.

5. Level 7 Talents

Wind Shear Stone Wolves Follow Through Frostwolf's Grace

5.1. Description

Wind Shear Icon Wind Shear reduces the cooldown of Windfury Icon Windfury by 4 seconds.

Stone Wolves Icon Stone Wolves increases the duration of Feral Spirit Icon Feral Spirit's root effect from 1 second to 1.5 seconds.

Follow Through Icon Follow Through increases the damage of your next Basic Attack by 40% whenever you use a Basic or Heroic Ability. This effect does not stack, and expires after 4 seconds if it is not consumed.

Frostwolf's Grace Icon Frostwolf's Grace allows Thrall to activate Frostwolf Resilience Icon Frostwolf Resilience in order to immediately heal himself for its full value, even if he has not accumulated 5 stacks. Frostwolf's Grace has a cooldown of 30 seconds.

5.2. Recommended

Wind Shear Icon Wind Shear is the first talent that will improve Thrall's most essential source of damage, which is Windfury Icon Windfury. Reducing Windfury's cooldown by 4 seconds is huge and provides Thrall with a significant damage and mobility boost, as he receives both increased attack and increased movement speed more frequently. All in all, being able to cast Windfury more often lays the foundation of Thrall becoming one of the most feared Assassins during the later stages of the game.

Follow Through Icon Follow Through adds a lot of extra damage to Thrall's already strong Basic Attacks. We strongly recommend picking this talent if you choose to go for the Full Chain Lightning build, as it synergises extremely well with Forked Lightning Icon Forked Lightning.

5.3. Not Recommended

Stone Wolves Icon Stone Wolves is not a recommended talent for the same reason as Rabid Wolves Icon Rabid Wolves: the risk of Thrall not landing Feral Spirit Icon Feral Spirit and thus not benefiting from taking this talent at all is too high. Furthermore, Wind Shear Icon Wind Shear is too important a talent to be ignored.

Frostwolf's Grace Icon Frostwolf's Grace adds more survivability to Thrall's kit but it does not provide him with any additional damage or mobility at all. As for the other alternative choices, Frostwolf's Grace cannot compete against the importance Wind Shear Icon Wind Shear poses for Thrall's later talents.

6. Level 10 Talents

Sundering Earthquake

6.1. Description

At this level, Heroic abilities become available. Sundering Icon Sundering has already been described in the abilities section.

Earthquake Icon Earthquake causes Thrall to summon an Earthquake that lasts 10 seconds. While Earthquake is active, it periodically creates pulses (3 in total) which slow the movement speed of all enemies within Earthquake's radius by 70% for 2 seconds.

6.2. Recommended

Sundering Icon Sundering turns Thrall into one of the best initiatiors in the game. Being able to break the enemy team's formation by stunning and isolating several Heroes at the same time allows your teammates to collapse on exposed targets and follow up with their own (Heroic) abilities.

When choosing Sundering, it is of utmost importance to know when to use it in order to maximise its efficiency. It is generally recommended to aim Sundering in a way that it splits up the enemy team before engaging a team fight. Doing so will cause confusion and make it very hard for the enemy team to reposition themselves properly in time. Keep in mind that Sundering can be used to secure kills on a single exposed target as well, by stunning it and preventing it from escaping. By the same token, Sundering proves to be a formidable tool in order disengage from an enemy assault that would otherwise take your team by surprise.

Earthquake Icon Earthquake fulfills a similar role as Sundering Icon Sundering, however, it slows nearby enemy Heroes instead of stunning them. While Sundering requires your team to act quickly after it has been cast, Earthquake gains much more value during longer team fights, as it sends out 3 pulses over time.

Furthermore, Earthquake provides Thrall with more self-sustain if the enemy team stays within its radius too long. After hitting Level 20, Earthen Shields Icon Earthen Shields is going to boost that bonus even further by adding shields to Thrall's health.

7. Level 13 Talents

Restless Wolves Grace Of Air Giant Killer ? Spell Shield ?

7.1. Description

Restless Wolves Icon Restless Wolves reduces Feral Spirit Icon Feral Spirit's cooldown by 50% if it hits an enemy Hero.

Grace Of Air Icon Grace Of Air causes Basic Attacks made by Windfury Icon Windfury to grant twice as many stacks of Frostwolf Resilience Icon Frostwolf Resilience.

Giant Killer Icon Giant Killer causes your Basic Attacks to deal additional damage to Heroes equal to 1.5% of their maximum Health.

Spell Shield Icon Spell Shield causes you to take 50% less damage from Abilities for 2 seconds whenever you are damaged by an Ability. This effect has a 30-second cooldown.

7.2. Recommended

Grace Of Air Icon Grace Of Air increases Thrall's self-sustain by a large amount, especially if you chose Wind Shear Icon Wind Shear at Level 7. Picking Grace of Air causes Thrall to become a lot more resilient during team fights and duels, as Windfury Icon Windfury causes him to generate stacks of Frostwolf Resilience Icon Frostwolf Resilience significantly faster.

7.3. Situational

Giant Killer Icon Giant Killer is only recommended if you happen to play against multiple Warriors giving you a hard time during team fights. Combined with Windfury Icon Windfury, Giant Killer causes Thrall to deal a lot of damage with his Basic Attacks, especially against targets with high base health. Still, we prefer taking Grace Of Air Icon Grace Of Air in most situations.

Spell Shield Icon Spell Shield should only be considered if the enemy team consists mainly of Assassins and Specialists that rely on their abilitiy damage, such as Jaina and Kael'thas. In that case, Spell Shield has the potential to absorb more damage than Grace Of Air Icon Grace Of Air could by activating Frostwolf Resilience Icon Frostwolf Resilience more frequently.

7.4. Not Recommended

Restless Wolves Icon Restless Wolves cannot keep up with the survivability that Grace Of Air Icon Grace Of Air or Spell Shield Icon Spell Shield provide you with, nor can it compete against Giant Killer Icon Giant Killer's damage potential. This talent feels very underwhelming compared to its alternative choices at Level 13.

8. Level 16 Talents

Forked Lightning Tempest Fury Ride The Wind Blood for Blood

8.1. Descriptions

Forked Lightning Icon Forked Lightning allows Chain Lightning Icon Chain Lightning to hold 2 charges. Each charge has an independent cooldown of 6 seconds.

Tempest Fury Icon Tempest Fury causes Windfury Icon Windfury's final Basic Attack to hit the enemy 3 times for 75% damage. Each hit caused by the final strike also grants Thrall 1 stack of Frostwolf Resilience Icon Frostwolf Resilience.

Ride The Wind Icon Ride The Wind increases the movement speed buff provided by Windfury Icon Windfury from 30% to 40% and also increases its duration by 1 second.

Blood for Blood Icon Blood for Blood is an activatable talent that instantly deals 10% of the targeted Hero's maximum Health as damage to it, healing the caster for 200% of this damage. Blood for Blood has a 60-second cooldown.

8.2. Recommended

Tempest Fury Icon Tempest Fury is one of the strongest talents available in Thrall's tree. It allows Thrall to take on any Hero in a straight up one-on-one situation and even outshines Blood for Blood Icon Blood for Blood in terms of overall damage output. We cannot emphasise enough how crucial the synergy between Wind Shear Icon Wind Shear, Grace Of Air Icon Grace Of Air, and Tempest Fury Icon Tempest Fury is for Thrall's kit, as these talents turn Windfury Icon Windfury into a low-cooldown, high-damage ability that also causes him to gain 10 stacks of Frostwolf Resilience Icon Frostwolf Resilience all by itself.

Forked Lightning Icon Forked Lightning enables you to cast two instances of Chain Lightning Icon Chain Lightning, which is essential if you chose to go for a full Chain Lightning build. Not only does the second charge of Chain Lightning add additional, albeit unreliable, AoE damage to your kit, it also causes Follow Through Icon Follow Through to trigger more often.

8.3. Not Recommended

Ride The Wind Icon Ride The Wind increases Thrall's mobility, however, only by a small margin. Furthermore, it does not synergise with any of the Level 20 talents, whereas Tempest Fury Icon Tempest Fury works extremely well with Nexus Blades Icon Nexus Blades.

Thrall is one of the few Heroes that should not pick up Blood for Blood Icon Blood for Blood at Level 16 in most cases. Tempest Fury Icon Tempest Fury adds a lot more raw damage, especially if Thrall chooses Nexus Blades Icon Nexus Blades at Level 20. As good as Blood for Blood is, the fact that Frostwolf Resilience Icon Frostwolf Resilience and Grace Of Air Icon Grace Of Air already grant a lot of self-sustain makes it a redundant talent on Thrall.

9. Level 20 Talents

Worldbreaker Earthen Shields Nexus Blades Bolt of the Storm

9.1. Description

Worldbreaker Icon Worldbreaker causes Sundering Icon Sundering to travel indefinitely, meaning you can hit targets from any location on the map.

Earthen Shields Icon Earthen Shields provides Thrall and allies in the area of Earthquake Icon Earthquake with a shield equal to 15% of their maximum health during each pulse. This shield lasts 4 seconds.

Nexus Blades Icon Nexus Blades increases the damage of your Basic Attacks by 20%, and causes them to reduce the movement speed of your target by 20% for 1 second.

Bolt of the Storm Icon Bolt of the Storm is an activatable talent that instantly teleports you to the targeted location. Bolt of the Storm has a 70-second cooldown.

9.2. Recommended

Nexus Blades Icon Nexus Blades works incredibly well with Tempest Fury Icon Tempest Fury, as it will cause Thrall's Basic Attacks (that includes the ones caused by Windfury Icon Windfury and Tempest Fury) to deal additional damage while slowing the target at the same time. The fact that Thrall has some of the highest base attack damage in the game makes Nexus Blades scale incredibly well on him, which is another reason why we strongly recommend picking this talent.

Earthen Shields Icon Earthen Shields provides a significant late game power spike to Thrall and his allies. Being able to potentially shield your entire team for 15% of their maximum health can deny a lot of the enemy team's late game burst damage, which makes it an ideal counter against Heroes like Jaina or Li-Ming.

Bolt of the Storm Icon Bolt of the Storm can catch your opponents off guard due to the fact that most Thrall players always pick Nexus Blades Icon Nexus Blades instead. Hardly anyone expects Thrall to be able to blink over short distances, casting Sundering Icon Sundering from a surprising angle. Bolt of the Storm also allows you to engage fleeing targets or to escape sticky situations. We recommend this talent if you think that your team is not able to support and protect you well enough during team fights.

9.3. Not Recommended

Worldbreaker Icon Worldbreaker allows Thrall to cast his Sundering Icon Sundering Heroic Ability from any location on the map. While this may result in some flashy looking kills every now and then, Worldbreaker's overall combat performance remains questionable for two major reasons. Firstly, skilled enemies are able to spot Sundering's animation and dodge it in time. Secondly, in order for Thrall to make an impact on a team fight, he needs to be close to his teammates. This contradicts Worldbreaker's only benefit, which is its global range.

10. ChangeLog

  • 15 Nov. 2016: Changed Earthquake, Earthen Shields and Bolt of the Storm to Recommended.
  • 17 May 2016: Updated Seasoned Marksman's description following Chromie's patch changes. Talent recommendations remain unchanged.
  • 11 Nov. 2015: Added the Full Chain Lightning Build and changed Forked Lightning from Not Recommended to Recommended and Follow Through from Not Recommended to Recommended as well.
  • 24 Sep. 2015: Updated Thrall's Quick Reference talent build.
    • Changed Ride The Lightning from Not Recommended to Recommended;
    • Changed Spirit Journey from Recommended to Not Recommended.
  • 21 Aug. 2015: Changed the description of Seasoned Marksman and Bolt recommendations.
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