Gul'dan Talents

Last updated on Jun 13, 2019 at 14:10 by Outofmilk 40 comments
General Information

Welcome to our Talents page for Gul'dan. Here, we give you an overview of how strong each of Gul'dan's talents is. Then, we present several viable builds, before analyzing each talent row separately, so that you can make informed decisions.

1. Gul'dan's Talent Build

Level Choices
1 Pursuit of Flame ? Chaotic Energy Echoed Corruption
4 Health Funnel Improved Life Tap ? Consume Soul
7 Bound by Shadow ? Curse of Exhaustion Hunger for Power
10 Horrify Rain of Destruction
13 Fel Armor Harvest Life Dark Bargain Healthstone
16 Rampant Hellfire ? Ruinous Affliction Darkness Within
20 Haunt Deep Impact Demonic Circle

2. Gul'dan's Talent Build Cheatsheet

Corruption Build

Talent calculator »
Level 1 Echoed Corruption Icon
Level 4 Consume Soul Icon Improved Life Tap Icon ?
Level 7 Hunger for Power Icon Bound by Shadow Icon ?
Level 10 Horrify Icon
Level 13 Fel Armor Icon 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.

Anti-melee Fel Flame Build

Talent calculator »
Level 1 Pursuit of Flame Icon
Level 4 Consume Soul Icon Improved Life Tap Icon ?
Level 7 Bound by Shadow Icon Hunger for Power Icon ?
Level 10 Horrify Icon
Level 13 Fel Armor Icon 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.

3. Level 1 Talents for Gul'dan

Gul'dan Pursuit of Flame ?
Pursuit of Flame (Level 1) World of Warcraft Gul'dan

Quest: Hit 30 enemy Heroes with Fel Flame.

Reward: Fel Flame's radius is increased by 10%.

Gul'dan Chaotic Energy
Chaotic Energy (Level 1) World of Warcraft Gul'dan

Increases the cast range of Drain Life by 25% and the healing provided by Regen Globes by 50%.

Quest: Gather 15 Regen Globes.

Reward: Basic Ability Mana costs are permanently reduced by 20.

Gul'dan Echoed Corruption
Echoed Corruption (Level 1) World of Warcraft Gul'dan

Quest: Hit 40 enemy Heroes with Corruption.

Reward: After the third strike, Corruption strikes 3 times in the opposite direction.

3.1. Discussion

Pursuit of Flame Icon Pursuit of Flame is only a recommended choice when utilizing the Fel Flame Icon Fel Flame Build. Although there is a quest portion to the talent, it does not take too long to complete, as Gul'dan will be able to land many casts of Fel Flame against his lane opponent when trading with them during the early game. The increased size of Fel Flame from Pursuit of Flame will allow Gul'dan to fight from somewhat safer positions, deeper behind his allied frontline. The larger size will also make it much easier for Gul'dan to generate and maintain stacks of both Fel Armor Icon Fel Armor and Rampant Hellfire Icon Rampant Hellfire, as well as trigger the cooldown reduction effect of Bound by Shadow Icon Bound by Shadow.

Chaotic Energy Icon Chaotic Energy is a lackluster quest compared to Gul'dans other choices. A Drain Life build does not come close to the teamfight presence and waveclear the other two builds have. Consequently, this talent is best left alone.

Echoed Corruption Icon Echoed Corruption is a great talent that provides Gul'dan with even more damage on top of his already loaded kit. The quest portion of the talent is relatively easy to complete, as each strike of Corruption Icon Corruption that connects with an enemy Hero will count towards the objective. A single, well placed cast of Corruption should regularly gather multiple strikes that count towards the quest goal. Once the quest is completed, Corruption has the potential to do an even greater amount of burst and DoT (damage-over-time) damage to a decent sized area. This talent is incredibly strong on maps with many narrow choke-points such as Towers of Doom and Tomb of the Spider Queen. These constricted passage ways will help funnel enemies into Corruption's path. It is important to note that Echoed Corruption is mandatory when using the “Hunger for Darkness” build, as much of the following talents will be chosen to most effectively maximize Corruption's power.

4. Level 4 Talents for Gul'dan

Gul'dan Health Funnel
Health Funnel (Level 4) World of Warcraft Gul'dan

Drain Life's cooldown recharges 100% faster while it is channeling. If an enemy dies while under the effect of Drain Life, the cooldown is instantly refreshed.

Gul'dan Improved Life Tap ?
Improved Life Tap (Level 4) World of Warcraft Gul'dan

Increase the Mana restored by Life Tap to 35%.

Gul'dan Consume Soul
Consume Soul (Level 4) World of Warcraft Gul'dan
  • Charges: 2
  • Recharge Time: 30 seconds

Instantly kill an enemy Minion and heal for 365 (+4% per level) Health.

Stores up to 2 charges.

4.1. Discussion

Health Funnel Icon Health Funnel's cooldown reset on enemy death is good, and the fact that this resets even when using Drain Life Icon Drain Life on minions makes it somewhat viable if you are stuck as a solo laner. However as that is not your role as Gul'dan, this talent rarely sees play and you are better off with either of the other two options.

Improved Life Tap Icon Improved Life Tap significantly improves Gul'dan's core mechanic Life Tap Icon Life Tap. A 10% increase in the Mana provided by a single Tap is huge, and should keep Gul'dan well supplied without having to over-tap to stay relevant in teamfights. The Health Gul'dan can save when using Life Tap not only keeps him safer during the match, but also translates to more potential Mana in the long run. More Mana allows Gul'dan to keep his damage output up, especially in longer trades when poking enemy Heroes over map objectives or sieging. This talent should only be picked if you are unable to utilize Consume Soul Icon Consume Soul properly.

Consume Soul Icon Consume Soul is a great talent option for matches when Gul'dan will find himself in lane for longer durations or constantly nearby enemy minions. The amount of Health replenished by Consume Soul is significant, and the fact it can store two charges means Gul'dan can restore a massive amount of Health almost instantly. The 30-second cooldown of Consume Soul is also quite generous. Consume Soul combined with Drain Life Icon Drain Life provides Gul'dan with nearly unparalleled self-sustain when laning. The better Gul'dan can manage his Health, the more Health he will be able to sacrifice for Mana using Life Tap Icon Life Tap. Consume Soul is best on maps where Gul'dan will have regular access to enemy Minions such as Tomb of the Spider Queen, Dragon Shire, and Towers of Doom.

5. Level 7 Talents for Gul'dan

Gul'dan Bound by Shadow ?
Bound by Shadow (Level 7) World of Warcraft Gul'dan

Each enemy Hero hit with Fel Flame reduces the cooldown of Corruption by 1.5 seconds.

Gul'dan Curse of Exhaustion
Curse of Exhaustion (Level 7) World of Warcraft Gul'dan

Drain Life deals 50% more damage and Slows the target's Movement Speed by 50% if they are afflicted by Corruption.

Gul'dan Hunger for Power
Hunger for Power (Level 7) World of Warcraft Gul'dan

Increases Spell Power by 15% but reduces healing received from allies by 25%.

5.1. Discussion

Hunger for Power Icon Hunger for Power is a game changer for Gul'dan, as a 15% increase in all damage output is not something to take lightly. Since Gul'dan's primary role as an assassin is to deal damage, this talent will prove invaluable. Although it does come at the cost of a 25% reduction in healing received from his allies, this does not affect the many other ways Gul'dan will be going about keeping himself nice and healthy (Drain Life Icon Drain Life, Consume Soul Icon Consume Soul, Healthstone Icon Healthstone). Whether intentional or not, at the time of this writing Regen Globes and Healing Fountains ARE affected by the Hunger for Power Talent although that is not mentioned in the Talent tooltip. The increase in damage will make each cast of an ability more impactful, meaning that on paper, Gul'dan should have to cast fewer abilities to be equally as effective. Theoretically, this casting of fewer abilities should result in a need for less Mana, which causes the need to be regularly casting Life Tap Icon Life Tap to go down, which ultimately results in Gul'dan no longer requiring constant heals from his allies in the first place. Now, it is important to note that this is all somewhat irrelevant, as Gul'dan should continue to regularly blast off abilities just as often as before having talented into Hunger for Power. Because of this, we as Gul'dan players should rejoice in the fact that a 25% reduction in healing is a small price to pay for such a power spike. The reduction in healing received should not be too much to prevent allies from continuing to support Gul'dan. The increase in damage on Fel Flame Icon Fel Flame will also make waveclearing a breeze, allowing Gul'dan to quickly regroup with his team for important objectives. On a quick side note; the 15% increase in Ability Power only affects the damage aspect of Drain Life Icon Drain Life, and does not increase the amount of healing Gul'dan will receive from the ability.

Curse of Exhaustion Icon Curse of Exhaustion in its current state is a rather bad talent compared to the benefits you receive from Hunger for Power and Bound by Shadow. While the slow is nice, you will not need it.

Bound by Shadow Icon Bound by Shadow is the definition of a situational talent, as it will only be beneficial to Gul'dan if the enemy team has a heavy melee composition. The build places heavy emphasis on zoning and poking enemies with Corruption Icon Corruption, so being able to reduce its cooldown dramatically by landing casts of Fel Flame Icon Fel Flame can be useful. When playing with a burst composition, Hunger for Power Icon Hunger for Power remains a stronger pick. Bound by Shadow will integrate smoothly into poke compositions built around stalling teamfights in order to zone enemies or siege fortifications.

6. Level 10 Talents for Gul'dan

Gul'dan Horrify
Horrify (Level 10) World of Warcraft Gul'dan
  • 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.

Gul'dan Rain of Destruction
Rain of Destruction (Level 10) World of Warcraft Gul'dan
  • Mana: 90
  • Cooldown: 100 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.

6.1. Discussion

Horrify Icon Horrify is the talent you will want to pick in every situation. A 2-second fear, causing the enemy team to split up, is huge in teamfights and good casts of Horrify can decide the outcome of a teamfight.

Rain of Destruction Icon Rain of Destruction is one of the most lackluster heroic ability in the game and even with the recent buff it should never be picked. The fact that this heroic ability has the chance to miss all meteors in a teamfight just makes it all the much worse. Until Rain of Destruction gets reworked, stay away from this talent.

7. Level 13 Talents for Gul'dan

Gul'dan Fel Armor
Fel Armor (Level 13) World of Warcraft Gul'dan

Hitting an enemy Hero with Fel Flame grants 40 Spell Armor for 2.5 seconds, reducing Ability Damage taken by 40%.

Gul'dan Harvest Life
Harvest Life (Level 13) World of Warcraft Gul'dan

Drain Life heals for 75% more Health when used on Heroes.

Gul'dan Dark Bargain
Dark Bargain (Level 13) World of Warcraft Gul'dan

Gul'dan's maximum Health is permanently increased by 30% but his respawn time is increased by 15 seconds.

Gul'dan Healthstone
Healthstone (Level 13) World of Warcraft Gul'dan
  • Cooldown: 60 seconds

Activate to heal for 25% of Gul'dan's maximum Health.

7.1. Discussion

Fel Armor Icon Fel Armor is a great source of damage mitigation for Gul'dan as long as he will be able to get off a consistent amount of Fel Flame Icon Fel Flame casts. A 40% reduction in damage taken from abilities is outstanding and the 2.5-second duration per Fel Flame strike is very generous. Because Fel Flame has a cooldown of 1.5 seconds, as long as he can connect the ability, Gul'dan should be able to keep up Fel Armor for the entire duration of every brawl. The reduction in damage taken also affords Gul'dan a little more freedom to draw Mana via Life Tap Icon Life Tap without running the risk of ending up with dangerously low Health.

Harvest Life Icon Harvest Life, compared to Fel Armor Icon Fel Armor or Healthstone Icon Healthstone, is just too weak to be considered. You will not often be channeling full duration of Drain Life Icon Drain Life on enemy Heroes, which in turn reduces the use of this talent.

The permanent Health increase of Dark Bargain Icon Dark Bargain is extraordinary, however, the cost of its strength is too unforgiving to be justified. Being taken out of the match for an additional 15 seconds after death is detrimental to your allies and will often lead to enemies capitalizing on their huge numbers advantage when contesting objectives or sieging fortifications. Although Gul'dan's entire kit is based around his Health management, Dark Bargain is way too risky of a gamble to bet on.

Having reliable access to an immediate 25% Health heal on a 60-second cooldown makes Healthstone Icon Healthstone a very strong talent option. Especially when combined with Consume Soul Icon Consume Soul, Gul'dan is able to rise up from life-threatening low amounts of health almost instantly. Even when Gul'dan is winning trades and only taking diminutive amounts of damage, Healthstone can be activated immediately after replenishing his Mana with Life Tap Icon Life Tap to stay topped off and ready for imminent skirmishes or teamfights. If timed wisely, Healthstone should be available for every major altercation, particularly those surrounding important map objectives. The on-demand nature of Healthstone also allows it to be used to prevent Gul'dan from being immediately blown up if caught out or the target of the enemies focus fire.

8. Level 16 Talents for Gul'dan

Gul'dan Rampant Hellfire ?
Rampant Hellfire (Level 16) World of Warcraft Gul'dan

Fel Flame's damage is increased by 10% for 5 seconds when hitting an enemy Hero. This can stack up to 5 times.

Gul'dan Ruinous Affliction
Ruinous Affliction (Level 16) World of Warcraft Gul'dan

Corruption deals an additional 78 (+4% per level) damage on impact. If the enemy is hit by all three strikes, the third strike deals 233 (+4% per level) damage.

Gul'dan Darkness Within
Darkness Within (Level 16) World of Warcraft Gul'dan

After using Life Tap, the damage and healing of Gul'dan's next Ability is increased by 30%.

8.1. Discussion

Rampant Hellfire Icon Rampant Hellfire is a great talent that will greatly improve the damage output of Gul'dan and is best selected for when utilizing the Fel Flame Icon Fel Flame Build. The increased size of Fel Flame from completing the Pursuit of Flame Icon Pursuit of Flame quest will make striking targets to generate and maintain stacks of Rampant Hellfire much easier. Keep in mind that Rampant Hellfire will stack up to 5 times, and generates a stack for EVERY enemy Hero struck, theoretically allowing it to be fully stacked with one cast of Fel Flame should it somehow manage to hit the entire enemy team. Although Rampant Hellfire lacks the initial burst effect of Darkness Within Icon Darkness Within, its long term damage will greatly surpass it should Gul'dan be able to maintain his stacks. It should be noted that it is never a good idea to put Gul'dan in a vulnerable position just to stack or maintain stacks or Rampant Hellfire. Although he may get a few quick stacks, there is not much he can do with them if he is immediately targeted and taken down by his opponents.

Ruinous Affliction Icon Ruinous Affliction is a core talent in the Corruption Build. When well placed, a cast of Corruption Icon Corruption empowered with Ruinous Affliction will do insane amounts of AoE damage to any target caught in its wake. Echoed Corruption Icon Echoed Corruption helps to ease the burden of trying to land 3 strikes of Corruption on a single target, as the additional strikes will count toward the damage bonus of Ruinous Affliction. Bound by Shadow Icon Bound by Shadow also keeps the cooldown time of Corruption realistically low, allowing Gul'dan to systematically poke down enemy Heroes as they attempt to contest objectives.

Darkness Within Icon Darkness Within is not a very good talent in its current state. To maximise the value of this talent, you would have to be Life Tapping between every spell, but doing so will put Gul'dan at low health and at great risk. The bonuses to the core builds you get from the other two talents are much better options.

9. Level 20 Talents for Gul'dan

Gul'dan Haunt
Haunt (Level 20) World of Warcraft Gul'dan

Increases the duration of Horrify by 1 second, and while Feared, enemies lose 20 Armor, causing them to take 20% increased damage.

Gul'dan Deep Impact
Deep Impact (Level 20) World of Warcraft Gul'dan

Rain of Destruction slows enemies Movement Speed by 90% for 0.5 seconds.

Gul'dan Demonic Circle
Demonic Circle (Level 20) World of Warcraft Gul'dan
  • Cooldown: 1 seconds

Summon a Demonic Circle at Gul'dan's location. Activate to teleport Gul'dan to the Demonic Circle.

9.1. Discussion

Haunt Icon Haunt adds a huge amount of utility to the already impressive Horrify Icon Horrify. An additional second of duration on a large AoE crowd-control ability is absolutely huge. The additional vulnerability debuff to EVERY hero struck with Horrify is just insane, as Gul'dan and his allies will be able to do immense amounts of teamwide damage to their helpless victims.

Demonic Circle Icon Demonic Circle is a great source of re-positioning or escape for Gul'dan players who happen to find themselves being repeatably dove on by more aggressive opponents. Although Horrify Icon Horrify can be used to peel away immediate threats, manipulating the direction of opponents can be quite tricky. Demonic Circle is an overall more reliable source of escape and should be always placed nearby the location of an impending teamfight. Try to position the Circle close to where the backline of Gul'dans team will be in order to receive assistance from allies after having escaped, but make sure it is far enough away to avoid being immediately focused again. Demonic Circle Icon Demonic Circle is a viable talent option particularly when facing threats such as Illidan, Greymane, or Tyrael.

Deep Impact Icon Deep Impact is a talent that ultimately provides too little utility to Rain of Destruction Icon Rain of Destruction to make it a reasonable pick over Horrify Icon Horrify at any point in a match. Rain of Destruction will remain to have its list of set backs, and the slow provided by Deep Impact is just as unpredictable as the damage. Although at a glance the 90% slow effect looks huge, the .5 second duration renders it basically useless.

10. Changelog

  • 10 May 2018: Updated the page for the rework of the hero.
  • 14 Jul. 2017: 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.
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