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Heroes of the Storm Kel'Thuzad

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Hello readers,

I worked overtime throughout last week and braved hour-long PTR queues to bring you this guide right on time for Kel'thuzad's awaited release. I'll also be updating the tier list within the week, after some data is collected.

See you in the nexus!

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Great job, as always. Phylactery of Kel'ThuzadPhylactery of Kel'Thuzad is too good, man.

However... No Chains of Kel'ThuzadChains of Kel'Thuzad build? I know it is hardest skillshot to land in the game, but should be very rewarding in the right hands, right? I think a build around this ability could be at least situational, with Barbed ChainsBarbed Chains and Strip ShieldsStrip Shields being useful in teams featuring the likes of Tassadar, Chen and/or Zarya.

Also, I wonder if Chains of Kel'ThuzadChains of Kel'Thuzad works against any kind of object with collisions, rather than just structures. Say, for example, can you "stick" the chains into something like the Nazeebo's Zombie WallZombie Wall? Or Leoric's EntombEntomb? Or even the pot spawned by the Garden Terror? I say this since you can stick the chains into Kel'Thuzad's own Glacial SpikeGlacial Spike.

Edited by Valhalen

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Great build, completely agree on it. 

I think you should add garrosh to the list of heroes that counter him and work well with him. Even though he might not get to Kel'Thuzad, he may still put him into a situation that can be fatal. As an ally he can also easily throw enemies that would otherwise kill him, or throw Kel'Thuzad away from danger.

Edited by Maxkitty

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3 hours ago, Maxkitty said:

Great build, completely agree on it. 

I think you should add garrosh to the list of heroes that counter him and work well with him. Even though he might not get to Kel'Thuzad, he may still put him into a situation that can be fatal. As an ally he can also easily throw enemies that would otherwise kill him, or throw Kel'Thuzad away from danger.

I'll definitely consider it. I just don't have enough Garrosh experience for the moment, however. Also consider that without mobility, Garrosh is an easy target for chain combo.

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Guest Chrees

Fun hero, the ability to pull of some cool plays with Chains is great. I really hate how the Utility ult is on such an extreme cooldown compared to the pure damage one. They did that with Cassia too but then buffed Valkyrie's cooldown. I hope Frost Blast gets the same treatment but it can be game changing so maybe not. 100 seconds though ugh..

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The thing that I noticed the most when playing him tonight was that he is so much more fragile than I was expecting.  With a low health pool and no real escape options I find he really needs to play far back and cautiously.  It's actually the reason why I don't think his level 4 talent selection is completely one sided.  Phylactery of Kel'Thuzad is amazing, no question but it only helps so much vs burst damage and getting jumped on.  I'd still probably take it most of the time but after playing him I can actually see the value in the other two options.

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6 hours ago, TSRD said:

The thing that I noticed the most when playing him tonight was that he is so much more fragile than I was expecting.  With a low health pool and no real escape options I find he really needs to play far back and cautiously.  It's actually the reason why I don't think his level 4 talent selection is completely one sided.  Phylactery of Kel'Thuzad is amazing, no question but it only helps so much vs burst damage and getting jumped on.  I'd still probably take it most of the time but after playing him I can actually see the value in the other two options.

Definitely agreed; this is why we have the two other options as "?" (aka situational). Phylactery makes it so that you -need- to burst KT down, however, as otherwise, he'll just heal back right up.

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Looking at his placement in a tier list, personally I would judge him as tier 2, so core tier. While his utility is extremely devastating and his damage can wipe out enemies within seconds, most dive heroes counter him easily. However, what makes me love him, is that for those who have mastered him and can survive and punish dive teams, he quickly jumps to a tier 1 hero (for that player who mastered him). So while he is generally great, but not the absolute best, for experienced players, he might very well be one of the most devastating heroes to ever enter a match. 

Basically what I mean is he is tier 2 in general (imo), but way up in tier 1 to mastered players.

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10 hours ago, Maxkitty said:

Looking at his placement in a tier list, personally I would judge him as tier 2, so core tier. While his utility is extremely devastating and his damage can wipe out enemies within seconds, most dive heroes counter him easily. However, what makes me love him, is that for those who have mastered him and can survive and punish dive teams, he quickly jumps to a tier 1 hero (for that player who mastered him). So while he is generally great, but not the absolute best, for experienced players, he might very well be one of the most devastating heroes to ever enter a match. 

Basically what I mean is he is tier 2 in general (imo), but way up in tier 1 to mastered players.

That's where I had planned to place him. He's very feast or famine, as most casters tend to be. His Trait is obviously a factor.

Good insight.

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1 hour ago, Oxygen said:

That's where I had planned to place him. He's very feast or famine, as most casters tend to be. His Trait is obviously a factor.

Good insight.

Thank you! I love how he varies from situation to situation and can quickly scale up or down tiers depending on the player. He is a fun hero. I always love those heroes that you can master over time and are so rewarding and Kel'Thuzad is exactly that. The fact that he has counters makes him balanced and not as OP as he may have been. Overall, I'm pretty glad I saved my gold for him. Blizzard made an extremely well designed hero this time.

Edited by Maxkitty

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1 hour ago, Maxkitty said:

Thank you! I love how he varies from situation to situation and can quickly scale up or down tiers depending on the player. He is a fun hero. I always love those heroes that you can master over time and are so rewarding and Kel'Thuzad is exactly that. The fact that he has counters makes him balanced and not as OP as he may have been. Overall, I'm pretty glad I saved my gold for him. Blizzard made an extremely well designed hero this time.

I completely agree.  This is 100% a hero that takes mastery to really see his power.  I was watching a twitch stream of a better player (better than me anyhow) using him and frankly it put my level of play with him to shame.  Chain pulls into frost roots, awareness of chain pulls not just between heroes but also buildings and glacial spikes (not to mention the dexterity to see each option and perform them), building up decay stacks quickly (I saw a game where he had it done in under five minutes and that wasn't vs AI), and all of that while staying alive with such a fragile hero.  I can't think of many heroes I'd consider as demanding or rewarding to get the most out of as I would Kel'Thuzad.

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Guest Silvermane

Consider taking Armour of the Archlich against cloakers.  Its AoE is large enough that you can break it as they come close.  Especially useful against Valeera, and makes follow ups easier.

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7 hours ago, Guest Silvermane said:

Consider taking Armour of the Archlich against cloakers.  Its AoE is large enough that you can break it as they come close.  Especially useful against Valeera, and makes follow ups easier.

That's an excellent point I'll add to the guide. I already talked about it as a counter, but not specifically for its ability to remove stealth. We may have some of the most intelligent comment section I've ever seen. Making me so proud!

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I'd like to point that despite Samuro being listed as a counter to Kel'Thuzad, the opposite is valid. If anything, I'd say Kel'Thuzad is even more dangerous to Samuro (and the whole enemy team).

Kel'Thuzad can use Samuro's Mirror ImageMirror Image to his own advantage to quickly farm Master of the Cold DarkMaster of the Cold Dark by exploiting the clones' AI (I've managed to complete it roughly 6 minutes once). an astonishing rate. Also, you can use Chains of Kel'ThuzadChains of Kel'Thuzad to pin down the clones to Samuro himself or even other Heroes.

Against an unsuspecting Samuro, Kel'Thuzad can make him his bitch.

In a similar fashion, you can do the same thing to Rexxar and Misha, even more consistently as they are always together, therefore easier targets for the Chains. I assume it would be very hard for a Rexxar player be able to prevent Kel'Thuzad from farming his trait on Misha.

This is even more powerful when you combine it with Might of the ScourgeMight of the Scourge to repeatedly hit Misha and/or Samuro's clones.

AND he is a also a nasty bully to Abathur. Shadow FissureShadow Fissure all day, especially at level 20 with Might of the ScourgeMight of the Scourge.

Wouldn't be interesting to list in all guides opponents that said Hero is a counter to?

Edited by Valhalen

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Indeed, any "multi-part" hero is a great boon for KT.  You can easily add The Lost Vikings to that as well.  While they don't need to stay together like Samuro clones or Misha, they still add additional bodies to the field that wouldn't have been there otherwise.  The fact that the vikings aren't terribly threatening to KT just makes them even nicer to farm off.

Chromie is also exceptionally weak to KT thanks to her long casting animations.

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8 hours ago, TSRD said:

Indeed, any "multi-part" hero is a great boon for KT.  You can easily add The Lost Vikings to that as well.  While they don't need to stay together like Samuro clones or Misha, they still add additional bodies to the field that wouldn't have been there otherwise.  The fact that the vikings aren't terribly threatening to KT just makes them even nicer to farm off.

Chromie is also exceptionally weak to KT thanks to her long casting animations.

Yeah, exactly. I thought of them too, but since a good The Lost Vikings player will most of the time be doing split-push, the Vikings won't be clustered in skirmishes and team fights, where Kel'Thuzad truly shines.

As a Stukov main I can say that Kel'Thuzad stomps him his poor mobility and stationary position while channeling Lurking ArmLurking Arm.

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Is it just me or does anyone else not find kt ( Honestly idk what to abbreviate him as ) as hard as he was made out to be? I started to play him and I get my quest done faster then almost every other kt..

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Guest SacriJuts

Hi I found a little error (I believe) in the guide, on the Plaguelands build, The build lists Shadow FissureShadow Fissure while the explanation talks about the synergy with AoE damage of Frost BlastFrost Blast

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21 minutes ago, Guest SacriJuts said:

Hi I found a little error (I believe) in the guide, on the Plaguelands build, The build lists Shadow FissureShadow Fissure while the explanation talks about the synergy with AoE damage of Frost BlastFrost Blast

Thanks for pointing this out! I passed this onto Oxygen and will get this fixed soon.

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On 9/23/2017 at 1:26 AM, 50m8r4 said:

Is it just me or does anyone else not find kt ( Honestly idk what to abbreviate him as ) as hard as he was made out to be? I started to play him and I get my quest done faster then almost every other kt..

Nope. Its not just you. The quest is ridiculously easy.

So i've been using this build on kel"thuzad since he got released and i'm really kicking ass with it.

You would kick ass more if you would pick any other lvl 1 talent from the tier. Plaguelands is the worst one. Same can be said about Accelerated Decay. 
https://www.icy-veins.com/heroes/talent-calculator/kel-thuzad#29.7!3232222
Altough Kelthuzads PvE dmg is high, Hes a still "Teamfight Hero". Pick Talents that gives you advantage in teamfights. Plaguelands is basicaly a siege talent since its almost useless in teamfights. Accelerated Decays doesnt give any value either unless you have someone who can provide you with additional roots. 

Edited by xevex

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Guest Cryozeal

Is Hungering Cold really that effective since Frost Nova only roots for 1 second? That means, extra damage from Death and Decay only proc twice. And if you use Shadow Fissure in the combo Death and decay will come out a bit late after rooting effect and will have no extra damage from Hungering Cold. If more teammates have rooting skills, that's another story.

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