Gul'dan Build Guide “I am darkness incarnate.”
Welcome to our guide for Gul'dan, a Ranged Assassin 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.
1. Gul'dan's Overview
Gul'dan is a ranged assassin who is capable of dealing large amounts of close proximity AoE damage. This unique Hero possesses the ability to replenish Mana using Life Tap at the cost of his own Health. Life Tap combined with Drain Life allows Gul'dan to have some of the best overall self-sustain in the game, as he can very quickly rise back to full Health after having spent a large portion of it to restore Mana. It is very important when playing Gul'dan to maintain a reasonable balance of Health and Mana, as to not end up Life Tapping yourself into a compromising situation. Despite his lack of readily available utility, Gul'dan's massive raw damage output makes him a valuable asset to most team compositions and a serious force to be reckoned with.
2. Gul'dan's Strengths and Weaknesses
- Health and Mana pools require constant monitoring due to their unique co-dependent relationship
- Incredibly vulnerable to crowd control
- Most opponents will learn to walk out of Drain Life, as it provides no movement impairing effects unless talented with Curse of Exhaustion at Level 7
- No gap-closer or utility in Basic Abilities
- Requires great positioning during skirmishes and teamfights
3. Gul'dan's Talent Build Cheatsheet
Corruption BuildTalent calculator »
The Corruption Build is comprised of talents that will maximize Corruption's overall effectiveness in battle. Completion of Echoed Corruption provides Gul'dan with a massive power spike, therefore it is important for Gul'dan to land as many casts of Corruption as possible on enemy Heroes right from the start of a match. Corruption's long range makes it great for defending and sieging fortifications, as well as poking away enemies from capturing battleground specific objectives such as the Altars on Towers of Doom.
Drain Life BuildTalent calculator »
The Drain Life build focuses on the relaible damage output and incredible self-sustain of Drain Life. This build performs well against melee Heroes that need to remain close to Gul'dan in order to be effective. Gul'dan will need to keep an eye out for key enemy crowd-control abilities to make sure he does not become an easy target of focus-fire when channeling Drain Life. Gul'dan's primary combo will involve opening with Corruption (to trigger Curse of Exhaustion), Life Tap (to trigger Darkness Within), then Drain Life with multiple casts of Fel Flame while it is on cooldown.
Fel Flame BuildTalent calculator »
The Fel Flame build is an aggressive build that allows Gul'dan to put out massive amounts of sustained damage to targets within a relatively close proximity. Before team fights, Gul'dan will need to generate stacks of Rampant Hellfire to maximize his damage output. Therefore when possible, he should attempt to land casts of Fel Flame on the enemy frontline in order to be ready when either team fully commits to an initiation. The bonus size of Fel Flame upon completion of Pursuit of Flame will allow Gul'dan to feel somewhat safer as he will need to extend less to harass his opponents.
4. Gul'dan's Synergies and Counters
5. Gul'dan's Maps
Fel Flame provides Gul'dan with very high sustained AoE damage making him a spectacular choice on maps revolving heavily around PvE battleground objectives. His team fight potential is also strong enough to make him a viable option on any map when a team composition is in need of a dependable ranged assassin.
6. Gul'dan's Tips and Tricks
- Try to avoid putting Gul'dan in vulnerable situations with low Health by over using 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 is on cooldown.
- 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 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 is incredibly effective when cast on opponents traveling through a choke-point.
- 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.
- Locate a safe position when casting Rain of Destruction, such as behind a wall. The channeling of this ability will leave Gul'dan susceptible to crowd-control and burst damage.
7. Role in the Current Meta
Although considered a ranged assassin, Gul'dan rarely should have to shy away from an enemy who may overstep their boundary. Fel Flame and Drain Life will put out massive amounts of quick damage to close proximity targets. To offset this strength, both abilities have been given rather modest cast ranges. Because of this, effectively utilizing Gul'dan requires excellent positioning. Players will need to be close enough to land their onslaught of Fel Flames and to channel Drain Life fully, but far enough away to prevent becoming the enemies' target of focus.
Gul'dan tends to fit well in generic teams of a “standard” composition. This includes a stable frontline and at least one reliable support. During the early game Gul'dan is best left in a lane alone to fend for himself. Fel Flame provides great poke and waveclear while both Life Tap and Drain Life give Gul'dan ample sustain. During teamfights Gul'dan should not shy away from repeatably casting Fel Flame on any target available, as it has a very short cooldown. He may also require peeling from his teammates so do not hesitate to make this known to them. This is particularly important when facing off against Heroes with gap-closers such as Illidan or Greymane as they will try to capitalize on Gul'dan's lack of escapes.
- 10 May 2018 (talents page): Updated the page for the rework of the hero.
- 10 May 2018 (this page): Drain Life build added to guide and content adjusted accordingly.
- 14 Jul. 2017 (talents page): Added a note to the Talents section regarding the Level 7 Talent Hunger for Power affecting the healing received from Health Globes and Healing Fountains.
- 22 Nov. 2016 (this page): Gul'dan rework under the new guide format.
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