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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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      Anduin
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      Abilities
      Healing Brew (Q) Healing increased from 175 to 212. Now a skillshot. Cooldown increased from 4 to 5. Blinding Wind (E) Now hits all targets in a radius of 4 in an arc in front of Lili. Damage reduced from 133 to 119. Talents
      Level 1 Free Drinks (Q) Cooldown reduction increased from 1 to 2.5. Health threshold increased from 50% to 60%. Level 7 The Good Stuff (Q) Healing increased from 42 to 50. Level 13 Mass Vortex (E) Adjusted Functionality: Increase Blinding Wind’s arc and range by 25%, Blinding Wind deals 50% additional damage for 2 Heroes hit and 25% additional damage for each additional hero. Level 16 Two For One (Q) Adjusted functionality: Upon healing a hero with Healing Brew, share a drink with the nearest target (prioritize heroes) to that hero, if there are no targets nearby the healing effects are doubled. Pick Me Up (Q) Adjusted functionality: Healing Brew grants 15% movement speed for 1 second. Return to Top

      Uther
      Abilities
      Devotion (Trait) Armor reduced from 25 to 15. Armor duration reduced from 2 to 1.5 seconds. Additional functionality: [Quest] Heal and prevent 60,000 damage to you and allies with your basic abilities. [Reward] After accumulating 60,000 healing and damage prevented Uther acquires Redemption.
      Redemption: After Eternal Vanguard ends, Uther revives at the spirits location with half of his health restored. This effect has 300 seconds cooldown, everytime Uther heals and prevent damage reduces Redemption cooldown by 1 second. Holy Light (Q) Healing reduced from 362 to 340. Healing received for healing allies reduced from 181 to 170. Additional functionality: [Quest] Heal and prevent 15,000 damage to you and allies with Holy Light. [Reward] After accumulating 15,000 healing and damage prevented with Holy Light, Holy Light mana cost reduced by 20, range increased by 25% and cooldown reduced by 2 seconds. Holy Radiance (W) Healing reduced from 177 to 160. Damage dealt reduced from 177 to 160. Additional functionality: [Quest] Heal and prevent 15,000 damage to you and allies with Holy Radiance. [Reward] After accumulating 15,000 healing and damage prevented with Holy Radiance, damaging or healing Heroes with Holy Radiance refunds 5 Mana and reduces its cooldown by 0.5 second. Talents
      Level 1 Silver Touch (Q) Removed. Wave of Light (W) Removed. (New Talent) Faith (Trait/Quest) [Quest] Heal and prevent 60,000 damage to you and allies with your basic abilities. [Reward] After accumulating 60,000 healing and damage prevented, Devotion grants 10% additional armor and duration increased by 1 second. (New Talent) Divine Haste (Trait) Devotion grants 10% movement for 2 seconds. Level 7 Guardian of Ancient Kings (Trait) Adjusted functionality: Healing a Hero that is Stunned, Rooted, or Silenced doubles the Armor amount they receive from Devotion. Level 16 Benediction Cooldown increased from 60 to 90. Now resets all abilities upon activation. Level 20 Redemption Removed. (New Talent) Unstoppable Justice (Trait) Uther can use Holy Radiance during Eternal Vanguard, each hero healed or hit by Holy Radiance or Flash of Light increases Eternal Vanguard duration by 0.25 seconds. Return to Top

      Whitemane
      Stats
      Health increased from 1400 to 1498. Health regeneration increased from 2.9218 to 3.126326. Basic Attack damage 62 to 69. Abilities
      Desperate Plea (Q) Mana cost increased from 45 to 60. Mana increase per stack of Desperation reduced from 45 to 40. Healing amount increased from 140 to 160. Inquisition (W) Cooldown increased from 12 to 13. Scarlet Aegis (R) Duration reduced from 4 to 3. Armor increased from 40 to 60. Healing amount increased from 250 to 275. Divine Reckoning (R) Mana restored from damage dealt reduced from 25% to 20%. Zeal (Trait) Cooldown reduced from 40 to 30. Armor reduction increased from 25 to 30. Clemency (Active) Cooldown increased from 12 to 13. Now removes all stacks of Desperation upon casting, each removed stack restores 50 mana. Talents
      Level 4 Unwavering Faith (Q) Adjusted functionality: Increase Whitemane’s Basic Attack range by 1. Whitemane gains 10% increase damage dealt for each active Zeal buff. Level 13 Lashing Out (E) If Searing Lash’s second strike hits an enemy Hero, reduce its cooldown to 1 second and increase the next Searing Lash damage by 25% per hero hit up to 50%. Saintly Greatstaff (E) Damage reduced from 55 to 40. Mark duration increased from 3 to 4. No longer removes the mark after the first basic attack. Return to Top

      Melee Assassin

      Maiev
      Abilities
      Vault of the Wardens (D) Cooldown increased from 13 to 14 seconds. Additional functionality: Deals 15% more damage to Illidan. Talents
      Level 16 Cruel Chain (W) New functionality: Umbral Bind grants 25% Movement Speed for 2.5 seconds, and its pull damage is increased by 30% for each tethered target beyond the first, up to 120%. This is a reversion of the reversion to Cruel Chain’s last functionality. Return to Top

      Illidan
      Abilities
      Betrayer's Thirst (D) Additional functionality Now grants immunity to Blind. Vision is greatly reduced. Deal 15% less damage to Maiev. Return to Top

      Qhira
      Talents
      Level 20 No Sanctuary (Passive) Removed. (New Talent) You are Already Dead Casting Blood Rage reduces healing received by 50% for all affected heroes, if the affected heroes are below 10% they die instantly instead. Return to Top

      Samuro
      Stats
      Health reduced from 1725 to 1656 Health regeneration reduced from 3.5898 to 3.4462 Basic Attack damage reduced from 102 to 96. Return to Top

      Valeera
      Talents
      Level 16 Thistle Tea (Active) Cooldown increased from 40 to 60. Additional functionality: Now increases all damage dealt by 20% for 4 seconds. Level 20 (New Talent) Cold Blood (E) Activate to increase the damage of Valeera’s next Evicerate by 80%. Return to Top

      Ranged Assassin

      Azmodan
      Talents
      Level 16 Trample (Active) Range increased from 6 to 7 Damage increased from 275 to 295. Additional Functionality: Enemy Heroes that die within 2 seconds of being hit with Trample reset the cooldown. Return to Top

      Chromie
      Abilities
      Sand Blast (Q) Maximum amount of Sand Echoes increased from 1 to 10. Sand Echoes Abilities and Basic Attack damage reduced from 40% to 10%. 15 mana cost, 2 seconds cooldown. Dragon's Breath (W) New Functionality: Launch 8 blasts into the air that land every 0.25 seconds in a large area randomly, dealing 153 damage each. Dragon’s Breath Impact Radius increased from 2 to 2.5. Cast range increased from 13 to 16. 50 mana, 10 seconds cooldown. Temporal Loop (R) Adjusted Functionality: Choose an enemy Hero. After 3 seconds, they are teleported back to the location where Temporal Loop was cast on them, during that time Sand Blast cooldown has been removed and Dragon’s Breath has been set to 1.5 seconds. Cooldown increased from 50 to 60. Talents
      Level 1 Once Again the First Time (Q) Adjusted Functionality: Upon quest completion increases Sand Echoes damage by an additional 10% and allows Chromie to spawn 2 more additional Sand Echoes. Quest completion stacks increased from 40 to 60. Level 18 Stuck in a Loop (R) No longer increases recharge rate. Return to Top

      Genji
      Stats
      Basic attack damage increased from 44 to 48. Return to Top

      Nova
      Stats
      Basic ‍��?�?? ‍ ‍ ‍ ‍ ‍ ‍�����?? ‍ ‍ ‍ ‍ ‍ ‍ ‍ ‍ from ‍ ‍ ‍ ‍ ‍ ‍ ‍ ‍ ‍ ‍ ‍ ‍ ‍ ‍ ‍ ‍ ‍ ‍ to 1�0 ‍ Talents
      Level � ‍6 ?!���?? (W) Armor �?�???� from undefined to undefined. Level 20 ‍ ‍ Removed. **(New Talent) undefined (�)** Nova’s Holo Decoy also cast ���� which deals undefined% damage. <blockquote>
      <b>Developer Comment:</b> Nova has been ��??�?? in general, these changes should ��?� her in ����� while ���?�???�?? �? �???�???�??� �?�?�� ?���?���?� and kill ?���?��� ?��??? ?��???���?.
      </blockquote>
      <a href="#top">Return to Top</a>

      Li-Ming
      Talents
      Level 4 Triumvirate (W) Removed. (New Talent) Ess of Johan (W) If Arcane Orb hits an enemy Hero after traveling at least 85%, they are pulled toward its center. Level 7 Zei's Vengeance Damage reduced from 30% to 25%. Cooldown reduction increased from 1 to 3. Calamity (E) Damage reduced from 300 to 290. Level 13 Glass Cannon (Passive) Maximum health reduction reduced from 15% to 10%. Level 16 Arcane Orbit (W) Travel distance reduced from 25% to 15%. Additional Functionality: Increases distance travel damage by 15%. Return to Top

      Tracer
      Stats
      Basic attack damage reduced from 26 to 25. Talents
      Level 1 Slipstream (E) Adjusted functionality: Recall cooldown is reduced by 5 seconds, but the amount of time Recalled is reduced by 1 seconds. Level 7 Jumper (Q) Removed. Bullet Time (Q) Adjusted functionality: Basic Attacks lower the cooldown of Blink by 0.05 seconds, this gets tripled against Heroes. Spatial Echo (Q) Removed (New Talent) Space Sickness (Q) Activate to increase your next Blink range by 75%, heroes that are caught through that blink are stunned for 0.5 seconds. 25 seconds cooldown. (New Talent) Time Paradox (Q) Blink grants 1 stack of evasion that lasts for 0.5 second, can only have 1 stack. Level 13 Bullet Spray (W) Additional functionality: Reduces Tracer’s Melee cooldown by 2 seconds. Level 16 Focus Fire (Trait) Adjusted functionality: For every 5th basic attack on the same target, increase all damage dealt by Tracer to them by 5% up to 15%, lasts 2.5 seconds, basic attacks refresh this duration. Level 20 Get Stuffed! (W) No longer reduces Melee’s cooldown. Return to Top

      Bug Fixes:
      Fixed an unexpected search result in queues resulting in insanely fast games being found in 5 ~ 15 seconds in QM. Fixed an issue where Whitemane Skeletal Mesh “Legs” Component would stretch more than intended. Tracer’s “Recall” no longer causes a time paradox and duplicate herself on the battlefield followed by a server crash for that match. Fixed an Anub’Arak in the game. Tracer’s Melee no longer misses the target. Samuro can no longer swap while in the Hall of Storms. Thrall’s “Earthquake” no longer makes Sky Temple fall out of the sky. Fixed an issue where Mercy deal a surprising amount of damage, unintentionally. Probius’s “Warp Rifts” no longer disable the map’s lightning while they are inside the player’s screen. Multiple multiplicative fixes for multiple abilities that grants Spell Power and Physical Damage multipliers. Brightwing’s Polymorphs no longer replaces the victims texture with the animal they were turned into. Rehgar going back from Spirit form no longer causes to displace one of his shoulders for the rest of the match in Orc form. Infinite Quests Fixed the occurrence of dealing infinite damage due going below 0 points and overflowing the value. Fixed an issue where the player can go lower below 0 stacks on a quest. Fixed an issue where players can receive negative stacks on their quests. Fixed an issue where Probius cannot play his death sounds. Lucio no longer plays “It’s Everyday Bro” while having Speed Boost active with Crossfade. Models no longer randomly T-pose in replay mode. Leoric no longer spawns a tower when he dies, again. Multiple fixes for UI in replay mode. Several AI fixes and improvements. Return to Top
      Here are the April Fools patch notes with Mercy, the long-awaited D.Va rework, and more!
    • By Stan
      Although there's no rotation this week because all Heroes remain free to play, Blizzard still updated their sales with a new set of Heroes that you can buy at a reduced gem price.
      Hero Sales
      Heroes Old Price New Price Junkrat 750 Gems 375 Gems Mal'Ganis 750 Gems 375 Gems Sylvanas 625 Gems 312 Gems Mounts
      REMOVED Green Treasure Goblin costs 7,000 Gold.

      Skins
      Footman Varian Skin Pack is on sale for 675 Gems. The following skins are included in the bundle:
      Stormwind Footman Varian Stromgarde Footman Varian Kul Tiras Footman Varian
      Latest Heroes of the Storm News
      All Heroes Free to Play Through April 13 Heroes Lounge Sign-Ups Now Open Next Hero Won't Be Lady Vashj
    • By Stan
      While there's no free rotation this week because all Heroes are free to play, you can buy 3 new Heroes at a reduced gem price. The Footman Varian Skin Pack and Green Treasure Goblin remain on sale.
      Hero Sales
      Heroes Old Price New Price Kel'Thuzad 750 Gems 375 Gems Lt. Morales 625 Gems 312 Gems Varian 750 Gems 375 Gems Mounts
      Green Treasure Goblin costs 7,000 Gold.

      Skins
      Footman Varian Skin Pack is on sale for 675 Gems. The following skins are included in the bundle:
      Stormwind Footman Varian Stromgarde Footman Varian Kul Tiras Footman Varian
      Latest Heroes of the Storm News
      All Heroes Free to Play Through April 2nd
    • By Stan
      All Heroes remain unlocked in the game until April 13.
      As you probably know, Blizzard made all Heroes free to play on March 21. This was supposed to end on April 2, but today, they decided to extend it by 9 days, so you can enjoy the full roster through April 13.
      Placeholder for tweet 1245430753095110657 Don't forget to reach level 5 with as many Heroes as possible to receive 500 gold per Hero!
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