Arthas Build Guide “Frostmourne hungers.”
Welcome to our guide for Arthas, a Tank in Heroes of the Storm. Within these pages, you will find everything required to understand how best to play this hero, in both different map styles and team compositions.
Arthas is a Tank but he is mostly being played as Bruiser because his Abilities are not that strong compared to the other main Tanks. Avoid playing him as Tank unless you are not countered by the enemy team and you are instead countering them.
He excels at slowing and rooting several enemy Heroes at the same time, which allows him to either chase retreating enemies or to peel for his team, especially against melee Heroes that need to Basic Attack and lack mobility.
Arthas's Strengths and Weaknesses
- Powerful crowd control
- Good self-sustain
- Counters melee Heroes that rely on Basic Attacks
- Solid damage output
- Weak engage with Howling Blast
- No mobility
- Weak to Displacement effects
- Consumes a lot of Mana with Frozen Tempest
- Lack of interrupts
- Suffers against healing reduction effects
- Weak to kite
- Not enough burst damage protection
Arthas's Talent Build Cheatsheet
Frozen Tempest BuildRecommended
Arthas's Frozen Tempest Build allows him to cripple the enemy team's advance or retreat by further increasing the power of Howling Blast and Frozen Tempest.
Death Coil BuildSituational
Arthas's Death Coil Build increases his self-sustain and poke damage. When casting Death Coil on enemy Heroes after picking Immortal Coil at Level 7, Arthas can heal himself and deal damage to the targeted enemy Hero at the same time. When self-casting it, Arthas gets extra healing from the same Talent.
Arthas's Frostmourne Build increases his damage output in the late game, given you can get at least 20 stacks for Eternal Hunger at Level 1 during the game.
Arthas's Synergies and Counters
Arthas pairs well with Heroes who can either follow up on his crowd control (such as Chromie with A Proper Greeting) or initiate with their own (for example Maiev), especially if your main Tank does not provide enough crowd control for peeling (Stitches comes to mind).
Heroes who can give him some mobility (for example Zarya with Speed Barrier at Level 4) and/or help him survive through burst damage definitely help (such as Medivh).
Arthas, due to his lack of mobility gets easily countered by Displacement effects (such as Wrecking Ball by Garrosh).
He also suffers against burst damage usually coming from Mages (for example Kel'Thuzad), healing reduction effects (such as Emerald by Deckard Cain), high range (Hanzo comes to mind), Slow effects (for example Jaina), and high mobility (such as Zeratul played correctly).
Last but not the least, Arthas does not like to face enemy Heroes who are weak to interrupts (like Sonya and her Whirlwind) because he does not have any of them.
Due to Frozen Tempest being heavy on Mana consumption, Arthas suffers on Maps where he needs to stay active for long periods of time (with Braxis Holdout being the major offender) and does not shine on Maps where it is highly preferred to have your Solo Laner take care of 2 lanes by double soaking (for example top-mid on Towers of Doom).
While being decent at it, Arthas does not excel at capturing Camps and/or defending enemy Mercenaries in lane, making him a suboptimal pick on Maps where macro is important (for example Garden of Terror).
Arthas's Tips and Tricks
- Death Coil can be used on enemies to damage them or on Arthas to heal him, something that can be done faster by using the Self Cast Modifier [Alt] rather than by mouse-hovering Arthas.
- Howling Blast being a slow projectile requires you to predict the movements of enemy Heroes.
- Frozen Tempest reduces both Movement Speed and Attack Speed of enemy Heroes, making it particularly effective against melee Heroes who rely on Basic Attacks.
- Frostmourne Hungers resets the cooldown of your Basic Attack, so try to use it immediately after a Basic Attack goes off.
- Army of the Dead can heal you on cooldown if you press R to cast it, then press and hold R for its duration.
- Summon Sindragosa disables enemy Structures, excluding Healing Fountains, which can make it a very potent ability to use during pushes.
Arthas's Role in the Current Meta
Even if classified as Tank by Blizzard in-game, Arthas is mostly played as Solo Laner because his lack of interrupts and mobility do not allow him to scare most Tanks and, more in general, Heroes in the current metagame. In addition to that, he is fairly weak when he cannot count on his powerful Army of the Dead to increase his survivability—before Level 10, against burst damage, or against healing reduction effects.
To further compare him to other Tanks, the Root provided by Howling Blast cannot stop enemy Heroes from casting their Abilities, making him usually not a good choice over Tanks with a Stun (such as E.T.C. having Powerslide).
All that said, Arthas is primarly chosen to provide his team additional peeling from melee Heroes during team fights (for example against Kerrigan) or to counter a particular Tank (for example Diablo) or Solo Laner (such as Artanis).
- 26 Nov. 2022 (abilities page): Guide reviewed.
- 26 Nov. 2022 (this page): Guide reviewed.
- 26 Nov. 2022 (talents page): Guide reviewed.
- 02 May 2022 (talents page): Builds added.
- 02 May 2022 (this page): Builds added.
- 07 Dec. 2021 (this page): Guide reviewed for the latest Major Patch.
- 07 Dec. 2021 (talents page): Guide reviewed for the latest Major Patch.
- 07 Dec. 2021 (abilities page): Guide reviewed for the latest Major Patch.
- 10 Mar. 2021 (this page): Builds updated.
- 09 Mar. 2021 (talents page): Builds and Talents updated.
- 09 Mar. 2021 (this page): Builds and Talents updated.
- 21 Aug. 2020 (talents page): Talent Build page updated.
- Balance Update revision.
- Minor fixes.
- New layout.
- 21 Aug. 2020 (abilities page): Abilities and Strategy page updated.
- Minor fixes.
- New layout.
- 21 Aug. 2020 (this page): Introduction page updated.
- Balance Update revision.
- Minor fixes.
- New layout.
- 03 May 2020 (talents page): Talent Build fully revised to match new standards.
- Talent Build and Talent Build Cheatsheet modified to reflect the current metagame.
- Talent Descriptions modified to better describe when to pick them.
- 03 May 2020 (this page): Introduction fully revised to match new standards.
- Overview rewritten to better describe the Hero.
- Strengths and Weaknesses modified to give a better idea about the Hero when being played right.
- Talent Build Cheatsheet updated to reflect the current metagame.
- Synergies and Counters modified to mention notable Heroes that were missing and to remove misleading Heroes that were listed.
- Maps modified to focus on the main aspects of the Hero when evaluating a Map.
- Tips and Tricks modified to list important tips that were missing before and to delete more obvious ones.
- Role in the Current Meta modified to reflect the current metagame and to remove the unnecessary part about the now fixed Experience Globes.
- 03 May 2020 (abilities page): Ability and Strategy fully revised to match new standards.
- Tips and Tricks modified to add important tips that were missing and to remove obvious ones that were not worth mentioning.
- Ability Descriptions modified to better explain how to use Abilities effectively.
- 23 Mar. 2020 (this page): Wrong information corrected.
- 23 Jan. 2020 (talents page): Updated Arthas's Tank Build.
- 09 Dec. 2019 (this page): Added an entry about the current Anomaly to the guide.
- 25 Nov. 2019 (talents page): Changed Deathlord from Situational to Not Recommended.
- 05 Jun. 2019 (abilities page): Slight updates to some of the ability descriptions.
- 05 Jun. 2019 (this page): Updated map rankings, strengths, weaknesses, matchups, etc.
- 05 Jun. 2019 (talents page): Completely overhauled and updated Arthas's talents and builds to make the guide more up-to-date with the current state of the game.
- 04 May 2017 (talents page): Updated Frost Presence's talent description.
- 16 Apr. 2017 (talents page): Changed the Howling Blast build to use Icebound Fortitude instead of Mortal Coil and improved the description of the Bruiser build.
- 15 Mar. 2017 (talents page): Removed Self-Heal Build and updated the other two builds.
- 14 Mar. 2017 (talents page): Overhauled talent recommendations following Arthas's rework in Probius's patch.
- 18 Jan. 2017 (this page): Converted guide to new format and updated it.
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