Gul'dan Abilities and Strategy

Last updated on Jul 19, 2020 at 11:00 by Outofmilk 41 comments
General Information

Welcome to our Abilities page for Gul'dan. Here, we give you an overview of every ability in Gul'dan's kit. For each of them, we explain what it does, how to best use it, and how it works in combination with Gul'dan's other abilities. We also give you strategy tips to play Gul'dan efficiently.


Gul'dan's Tips and Tricks

  • Try to avoid putting Gul'dan in vulnerable situations with low Health by over using Life Tap Icon Life Tap. Health can always be tapped for Mana, but once it has been there is no sure way of getting it back; particularly when Drain Life Icon Drain Life is on cooldown.
  • Fel Flame Icon Fel Flame's short cooldown allows it to be used in quick succession; take advantage of this to burn down waves of minions and your opponents.
  • Drain Life Icon Drain Life is most effective when cast on an enemy Hero under the effects of crowd control as it will be harder for them to escape its cast range.
  • Corruption Icon Corruption is incredibly effective when cast on opponents traveling through a choke-point.
  • Horrify Icon Horrify can be used to split and isolate enemy opponents. Try to target the epicenter between your target of focus and the remainder of their team.

Life Tap

Gul'dan Life Tap
Life Tap (D) World of Warcraft Gul'dan

Gul'dan does not regenerate Mana.

Activate to restore 25% of Gul'dan's Mana.

Life Tap Icon Life Tap is imperative to Gul'dan as he does not have any passive Mana regeneration. Life Tap should be consistently used in tandem with Drain Life Icon Drain Life to ensure Gul'dan is never left hungry for either Health or Mana. Being able to understand when is best to activate Life Tap takes practice and can be frustrating at first. Many new Gul'dan players will find themselves either overusing or underusing Life Tap Icon Life Tap, which both can result in difficult situations. Finding a healthy balance and figuring out what sequence works best for each different situation will take practice but is definitely a must when wanting to play Gul'dan most effectively.


Fel Flame

Gul'dan Fel Flame
Fel Flame (Q) World of Warcraft Gul'dan
  • Mana: 75
  • Cooldown: 1.5 seconds

Release a wave of flame, dealing 210 (+4.5% per level) damage to enemies.

Not only does this Ability provide great waveclear, but its short cooldown allows Gul'dan to constantly pressure enemy Heroes. Gul'dan should be always slightly repositioned after every consecutive cast of Fel Flames. When Drain Life Icon Drain Life and Corruption Icon Corruption are on cooldown, Basic Attacks can be used in between casts of Fel Flames to further maximize Gul'dan's damage output.

Keep in mind that Fel Flames' conical shape causes it to be very hard to land against opponents who are directly up against Gul'dan. When poking with Fel Flames try to maintain a distance at which the widest point of the cone would strike your opponent should the Ability be cast.


Drain Life

Gul'dan Drain Life
Drain Life (W) World of Warcraft Gul'dan
  • Cooldown: 10 seconds

Drain the life from an enemy over 3 seconds, dealing 132 (+4% per level) damage per second and healing Gul'dan for 188 (+4% per level) Health per second.

Drain Life Icon Drain Life is incredibly strong in that a single cast for its full duration will heal Gul'dan over a quarter of his maximum Health. The fact this Ability can be used on Minions greatly increases its versatility, providing a means of seemingly endless sustain in lane. Drain Life is integral to replenishing valuable Health when constantly drawing from Life Tap Icon Life Tap to gain Mana back.

It is imperative to note that most enemy Heroes will try to escape Drain Life's range once it has been cast on them. This could result in Gul'dan not only receiving very little amounts of Health, but force him to try and further survive while the Ability is then put on cooldown. It is best to cast Drain Life on targets closer to Gul'dan as there is a greater chance they will be forced to spend more time within its proximity before the channel expires. Also do not be afraid to maintain the cast channel when confronted with smaller amounts of damage. The replenishing Health will keep you alive while the opponent is still being significantly damaged by the Ability. Be wary of your position once casting Drain Life as it is a channeled Ability that can leave Gul'dan vulnerable and can be easily interrupted.



Gul'dan Corruption
Corruption (E) World of Warcraft Gul'dan
  • Mana: 80
  • Cooldown: 14 seconds

Call forth three bursts of shadow energy, dealing 204 (+4.5% per level) damage over 6 seconds. Corruption can stack up to 3 times on an enemy.

Corruption Icon Corruption is Gul'dan's longest range Basic Ability and his primary source of team-wide area of effect damage. As this Ability has the longest cooldown among all his Basic Abilities, it should be used accordingly. Try to keep it ready to follow up when your Tank successfully engages on enemy Heroes, crowd controlling them and allowing you to easily hit them with your skillshots. The 3 circles of Corruption travel directly away from Gul'dan in a line, starting at the cast location. This can be used to his advantage to apply multiple stacks of corruption to fleeing targets.

After having talented into Echoed Corruption Icon Echoed Corruption and completing the quest, the 3 circles of Corruption will strike again in the opposite direction. This can be useful for applying multiple stacks to targets who may have otherwise been able to avoid one or more of the stacks the first time around. Corruption is most effective when cast on target traveling through a choke point as they will be unable to avoid the damage by means of walking to the side of the cast.



Here we explain how this Heroic Ability works. If you are looking for more information about it, check the dedicated section in the Talent Build page.

Gul'dan Horrify
Horrify (R) World of Warcraft Gul'dan
  • Heroic
  • Mana: 90
  • Cooldown: 80 seconds

After 0.5 seconds, deal 120 (+4% per level) damage to enemy Heroes in an area and Fear them for 2 seconds. While Feared, Heroes are Silenced and are forced to run away from Horrify's center.

Horrify Icon Horrify is an incredibly strong Heroic Ability that not only deals damage but brings a much welcomed element of crowd control utility to Gul'dan's kit. The most useful aspect of this Ability is the way it can be used to manipulate the enemy teams positioning. Enemies stuck by Horrify will flee directly outward from the epicenter of where the Ability was cast. Knowing this, players have several options with how they may choose to utilize Horrify.

Horrify usually will be used in one of three main scenarios: offensively, defensively, or situationally. An offensive cast would involve Gul'dan placing Horrify behind his opponents, forcing them to travel in a direction towards Gul'dan. The defensive use would involve placing Horrify between Gul'dan and his opponents, causing them to run in the opposite direction of him. And lastly, Gul'dan may choose to aim the Ability within the group of his opponents, forcing them to travel in opposite directions of one another and ideally isolating the target of focus.

When it comes to mechanic synergy, the cast order of important Abilities should be discussed early on in the match if not beforehand. The displacement effect of Horrify can greatly impede the effectiveness of many other Abilities (such as E.T.C.'s Mosh Pit Icon Mosh Pit) by moving enemy Heroes outside of their area of effect.


Rain of Destruction

Here we explain how this Heroic Ability works. If you are looking for more information about it, check the dedicated section in the Talent Build page.

Gul'dan Rain of Destruction
Rain of Destruction (R) World of Warcraft Gul'dan
  • Heroic
  • Mana: 80
  • Cooldown: 70 seconds

After 1.5 seconds, summon a rain of meteors in an area for 7 seconds. Each meteor deals 165 (+4% per level) damage in a small area.

Rain of Destruction Icon Rain of Destruction is yet another channeled Ability that Gul'dan possesses which this time does area of effect damage at random over a very large area. It is important to reiterate that this Ability is completely random and there is no way to directly control where and when each of the meteors will strike. The only exception is when going Core, in which case you should slightly offset it rather than centering it. Talenting into Deep Impact Icon Deep Impact at Level 20 does add an additional Slow effect to each of the impacts which provides a nice bit of utility to Rain of Destruction.