Gul'dan Build Guide “I am darkness incarnate.”

Last updated on May 10, 2018 at 09:59 by Micekrispies 40 comments
General Information

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 Icon Life Tap at the cost of his own Health. Life Tap combined with Drain Life Icon 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

V Strengths
X 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 Icon Drain Life, as it provides no movement impairing effects unless talented with Curse of Exhaustion Icon 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 Build

Talent calculator »
Level 1 Echoed Corruption Icon
Level 4 Improved Life Tap Icon
Level 7 Bound by Shadow Icon
Level 10 Horrify Icon
Level 13 Healthstone Icon
Level 16 Ruinous Affliction Icon
Level 20 Haunt Icon

The Corruption Build is comprised of talents that will maximize Corruption Icon Corruption's overall effectiveness in battle. Completion of Echoed Corruption Icon 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 Build

Talent calculator »
Level 1 Chaotic Energy Icon
Level 4 Health Funnel Icon
Level 7 Curse of Exhaustion Icon
Level 10 Horrify Icon
Level 13 Harvest Life Icon
Level 16 Darkness Within Icon
Level 20 Haunt Icon

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 Icon Corruption (to trigger Curse of Exhaustion Icon Curse of Exhaustion), Life Tap Icon Life Tap (to trigger Darkness Within Icon Darkness Within), then Drain Life with multiple casts of Fel Flame Icon Fel Flame while it is on cooldown.

Fel Flame Build

Talent calculator »
Level 1 Pursuit of Flame Icon
Level 4 Improved Life Tap Icon
Level 7 Hunger for Power Icon
Level 10 Horrify Icon
Level 13 Fel Armor Icon
Level 16 Rampant Hellfire Icon
Level 20 Haunt Icon

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 Icon Rampant Hellfire to maximize his damage output. Therefore when possible, he should attempt to land casts of Fel Flame Icon 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 Icon 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

V Gul'dan synergizes with

Like most ranged assassins, Gul'dan performs best with a sturdy frontline to provide him with reliable peel, and a support to keep his Health topped-off as he will need to use it to Life Tap Icon Life Tap for Mana.

X Gul'dan is countered by

Gul'dan's lack of gap-closer causes him to struggle most against highly mobile assassins, primarily those with a reliable form of crowd-control to interupt his channel of Drain Life Icon Drain Life.

5. Gul'dan's Maps

Gul'dan's stronger maps
Braxis Holdout Dragon Shire Infernal Shrines Tomb of the Spider Queen Volskaya Foundry
Gul'dan's average maps
Battlefield of Eternity Blackheart's Bay Cursed Hollow Garden of Terror Sky Temple Towers of Doom Warhead Junction Haunted Mines Hanamura Temple
Gul'dan's weaker maps

Fel Flame Icon 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 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.
  • Locate a safe position when casting Rain of Destruction Icon 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 Icon Fel Flame and Drain Life Icon 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 Icon Fel Flame provides great poke and waveclear while both Life Tap Icon Life Tap and Drain Life Icon Drain Life give Gul'dan ample sustain. During teamfights Gul'dan should not shy away from repeatably casting Fel Flame Icon 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.

8. Changelog

  • 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.
Show more
Show less