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

Last updated on Jul 19, 2020 at 11:00 by Outofmilk 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.


Gul'dan's Overview

Gul'dan is a ranged assassin with a good ability to siege, waveclear and teamfight. 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.


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
  • -No gap-closer or utility in Basic Abilities
  • -Requires great positioning during skirmishes and teamfights

Gul'dan's Talent Build Cheatsheet

Corruption Build

Level 1 Echoed Corruption Icon
Level 4 Consume Soul Icon Improved Life Tap Icon ?
Level 7 Hunger for Power Icon
Level 10 Horrify Icon
Level 13 Healthstone Icon
Level 16 Ruinous Affliction Icon
Level 20 Haunt Icon Demonic Circle 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

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 Demonic Circle Icon ?

The Drain Life Icon Drain Life is currently the best build to use on Gul'dan. The talent choices in this build focuses heavily on reducing the downside of picking Gul'dan which is mainly having the healer always healing Gul'dan due to how Life Tap works. With the Drain Life build Gul'dan will have superb lane presence and lane sustain, in the later levels he gets alot of added burst damage if you manage to play around Darkness Within Icon Darkness Within.

Anti-melee Fel Flame Build

Level 1 Pursuit of Flame Icon
Level 4 Consume Soul Icon Improved Life Tap Icon ?
Level 7 Hunger for Power Icon
Level 10 Horrify Icon
Level 13 Healthstone Icon
Level 16 Rampant Hellfire Icon
Level 20 Haunt Icon Demonic Circle Icon ?

The Fel Flame Icon Fel Flame build is a heavily situational build and its effectiveness depends entirely on the enemy team composition. If it is a heavy melee team (at least 3 melee heroes) this build can see some use with its constant casting of Fel Flames. 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.


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.


Gul'dan's Maps

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

Gul'dan is a good overall pick and performs well in most, if not all maps. However, he excels in maps that have 3 lanes where you would need to rotate between two lanes. Thanks to his Fel Flame Icon Fel Flame ability, Gul'dan is able to clear waves faster than most other heroes. His team fighting 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.


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.

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 healer. 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.



  • 07 Sep. 2020 (this page): Added Drain Life build.
  • 19 Jul. 2020 (this page): Updated talent choices on Corruption and Fel Flame build.
  • 02 Jul. 2020 (this page): Guide has been reviewed and no changes are needed.
  • 02 Jul. 2020 (talents page): Guide has been reviewed and updated.
  • 05 Dec. 2019 (this page): Added a note regarding this seasons Anomaly.
  • 23 Oct. 2019 (talents page): Updated Darkness Within talent.
  • 04 Sep. 2019 (talents page): Guide has been reviewed for latest patch and no changes are needed.
  • 04 Sep. 2019 (this page): Guide has been reviewed for latest patch.
  • 13 Jun. 2019 (this page): Guide updated.
  • 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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