KendricSwissh

Kel'Thuzad Hands-On First Impressions in Heroes of the Storm

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Kendric got a chance to play the Archlich of Naxxramas at Gamescom 2017 and shared his thoughts and impressions in our latest review.

Role & Playstyle

Kel’thuzad has been a fan favorite for a long time now and Blizzard has finally answered the call of thousands of Heroes of the Storm community members by introducing him at Gamescom 2017. The Archlich of Naxxramas is a ranged Assassin who is capable of dishing out a respectable amount of burst damage from long distance range. He also excels at dealing large amounts of AoE damage to clear Minion Waves very efficiently.

Trait, Abilities & Talents

First and foremost it is worth mentioning that Kel’thuzad feels like a very skill-based Hero who relies greatly on the player’s skill to time, predict, and aim his abilities carefully in order to be rewarded.

trait.JPG

(Source)

That reflects itself especially well in Kel’thuzad’s Trait called Master of the Cold Dark, which requires the player to land crowd control effects - provided by Frost Nova and Chains of Kel’thuzad - on enemy Heroes in order to gain so-called Blight stacks. After acquiring 15 Blight, all the cooldowns of Kel’thuzad’s Basic Abilities are lowered by 2 seconds, after reaching 30 Blight, his Spell Power is increased by 75% which causes all of his abilities, Heroic Abilities included, to deal significantly more damage.

main abilities.JPG

(Source)

Kel’thuzad’s bread and butter damage ability is Death and Decay, which is a relatively easy to land projectile, that expands into a circular damage zone upon impact on the first enemy hit. The impact itself deals a considerable amount of damage, while it also leaves behind a void zone that deals damage over time to enemy Heroes staying inside.

Frost Nova, on the other hand, is a little bit trickier to get value from. Similar to Chromie’s Sand BlastSand Blast or Dragon's BreathDragon's Breath, Frost Nova comes with a 1-second delay, which makes predicting your target’s movement path very important. After the delay, Kel’thuzad unleashes a large circle of Frost, which deals heavy damage and slows all enemies inside. Enemies in the center of the ability also find themselves rooted for 1 second, which makes this ability extremely powerful if aimed properly.

Last but not least, Chains of Kel’thuzad introduces a new mechanic to Heroes of the Storm, which allows the Lich to chain two enemy Heroes together, pulling them both closer to each other and stunning them for 0.5 seconds. What’s particularly interesting about this ability is the fact that it can also be landed on Structures, which makes it quite sneaky for enemy Heroes who think themselves safe behind a Wall or a Keep for instance. Both Frost Nova’s root effect and Chains of Kel’thuzad’s stun effects count towards his Trait Master of the Cold Dark, which makes them very important for his overall combat performance.

heroic abilities.JPG

(Source)

Both of Kel’thuzad’s Heroic Abilities looked quite powerful without feeling broken or overpowered. While Frost Blast is targeted at one enemy Hero, it unleashes a huge amount of AoE damage and crowd control around the target upon impact making it a deadly ability for team fighting. However, it felt like dodging Frost Blast was fairly simple to do and as such, the true strength of this Heroic Ability remains yet to be seen after his release.

Shadow Fissure, on the other hand, can be described as a very safe Heroic Ability, as there are hardly any drawbacks when picking it. After a short delay, Kel’thuzad summons a large fissure on the targeted location from anywhere on the map (making it a global Heroic Ability similar to Nova’s Precision Strike), which deals a respectable amount of damage to any enemy Hero standing inside. Keep in mind, however, that it does not deal any damage to non-Heroic sources, which means it can neither be used to clear Minion Waves (and soak experience), nor to siege enemy Structures from afar. A bonus especially for newer Kel’thuzad players is its 15-second cooldown, which makes missing the ability quite forgiving.

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Super hyped! And I will farm that Jaina skin for as long as it takes. It's about time Blizzard embraced that meme! xD

Edited by Maxkitty

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I dont know how i feel about his toolkit, i love his lore, i love his spells, but i feel like i will suck at him, as i am not grat at predicting where people will move, skillshots fine, landing aoe fine, but like landing chromies dragons? yeah no i cant.

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1 hour ago, Plaguestorm said:

I dont know how i feel about his toolkit, i love his lore, i love his spells, but i feel like i will suck at him, as i am not grat at predicting where people will move, skillshots fine, landing aoe fine, but like landing chromies dragons? yeah no i cant.

Unlike Chromie, KT has a lot of CC which makes it easier to land those spells, so if you suck with chromie, you'll probably be a little better when playing KT. We'll just have to see how overpowered he will be, as he can deal over 6000 damage in a few seconds at level 20.

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@KendricSwissh, from your point of view, based on the talent list that @Stan posted yesterday, which build would you judge to be the most effective? He has a shitload of good talents, which I think will make him very flexible.

However, I feel that a Death and Decay build seems to be more rewarding in general, since the ability itself, as you said, is the bread and butter of his damage, and it has low cooldown and mana cost, making it easy to spam.

1 - The Plaguelands

4 - Phylactery of Kel'Thuzad

7 - Accelerated Decay

10 - Shadow Fissure

13 - Icy Grasp

16 - Arcane Echoes

20 - The Damned Returns

What are your thoughts?

Edited by Valhalen

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17 hours ago, Valhalen said:

What are your thoughts?

You've hit the nail on the head with the build IMO. D&D will dominate on the damage front of talent builds. I'd love a chains build, especially given how easy chains are to land, but I feel like the talents are too weak for chains.

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