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.
Gul'dan's Talent Build
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Gul'dan's Talent Build Cheatsheet
Drain Life BuildRecommended
The 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.
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.
Anti-melee Fel Flame BuildSituational
The 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 will allow Gul'dan to feel somewhat safer as he will need to extend less to harass his opponents.
Level 1 Talents for Gul'dan
Quest: Hit 30 enemy Heroes with Fel Flame.
Reward: Fel Flame's radius is increased by 10%.
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.
Quest: Hit 40 enemy Heroes with Corruption.
Reward: After the third strike, Corruption strikes 3 times in the opposite direction.
Pursuit of Flame is only a recommended choice when utilizing the 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 and Rampant Hellfire, as well as trigger the cooldown reduction effect of Bound by Shadow.
Chaotic Energy greatly increases Gul'dan's sustain and utility in lane. Lowering the mana cost of spells and getting more healing from globes will help out in the early game with Life Taps and put some ease into your healer. The range increase synergizes well with the later talents as well.
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 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.
Level 4 Talents for 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.
Increase the Mana restored by Life Tap to 40%.
- Charges: 3
- Recharge Time: 25 seconds
Instantly kill an enemy Minion and heal for 365 (+4% per level) Health.
Stores up to 3 charges.
Improved Life Tap significantly improves Gul'dan's core mechanic Life Tap. A 15% 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 properly.
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 25-second cooldown of Consume Soul is also quite generous. Consume Soul combined with 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. 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.
Level 7 Talents for Gul'dan
Each enemy Hero hit with Fel Flame reduces the cooldown of Corruption by 1.75 seconds.
Drain Life deals 50% more damage and Slows the target's Movement Speed by 40%.
Increases Spell Power by 15% but reduces healing received from allies by 25%.
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, Consume Soul, 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 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 heal Gul'dan. The increase in damage on 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, and does not increase the amount of healing Gul'dan will receive from the ability.
Curse of Exhaustion is probably the biggest damage upgrade you have for the Drain Life build. Increasing the damage by 50% and slowing the target by 50% will allow you get more health out of enemy heroes and make them more susceptile to threats from your allies. With the range bonus from your quest at level 1, you will definitely notice the power you get from this talent.
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, so being able to reduce its cooldown dramatically by landing casts of Fel Flame can be useful. When playing with a burst composition, 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.
Level 10 Talents for 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.
- 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.
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 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.
Level 13 Talents for Gul'dan
Hitting an enemy Hero with Fel Flame grants 50 Spell Armor for 2.5 seconds, reducing Ability Damage taken by 50%.
Drain Life heals for 75% more Health when used on Heroes.
Gul'dan's maximum Health is permanently increased by 40% but his respawn time is increased by 10 seconds.
- Cooldown: 45 seconds
Activate to heal for 25% of Gul'dan's maximum Health.
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 casts. A 50% 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 without running the risk of ending up with dangerously low Health.
Harvest Life works better in 1v1 situations where the bonus health from Harvest Life could decide the outcome: life or death. If you have all the other Drain Life talents, it is mostly recommended to pick this one up as well, however, Healthstone can still work great if you need the health instantly rather than over time.
The permanent Health increase of 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 10 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 45-second cooldown makes Healthstone a very strong talent option. Especially when combined with 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 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.
Level 16 Talents for Gul'dan
Fel Flame's damage is increased by 12% for 5 seconds when hitting an enemy Hero. This can stack up to 5 times.
Corruption deals an additional 78 (+4% per level) damage on impact. If the enemy is hit by all three strikes, the third strike deals 268 (+4% per level) damage.
Dealing 600 (+4% per level) damage to enemy Heroes causes the next cast of Life Tap to cost no Health and grant Gul'dan 25% Spell Power for 5 seconds.
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 Build. The increased size of Fel Flame from completing the 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, 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 is a core talent in the Corruption Build. When well placed, a cast of Corruption empowered with Ruinous Affliction will do insane amounts of AoE damage to any target caught in its wake. 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 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 adds some micromanagement to Gul'dan's kit, but will reward you if you manage to execute it properly. You get a free Life Tap and 25% spellpower for five seconds. The criteria for achieving the bonus are pretty easy and you can potentially go a whole teamfight without ever having to lose HP due to spamming Life Tap. This talent really only works well in the Drain Life build, due to the two other talents synergizing well with their respective builds.
Level 20 Talents for Gul'dan
Increases the duration of Horrify by 1 second, and while Feared, enemies lose 20 Armor, causing them to take 20% increased damage.
Rain of Destruction slows enemies Movement Speed by 90% for 0.5 seconds.
- Cooldown: 1 seconds
Summon a Demonic Circle at Gul'dan's location. Activate to teleport Gul'dan to the Demonic Circle.
Haunt adds a huge amount of utility to the already impressive 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 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 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 is a viable talent option particularly when facing threats such as Illidan, Greymane, or Tyrael.
Deep Impact is a talent that ultimately provides too little utility to Rain of Destruction to make it a reasonable pick over 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.
- 16 Apr. 2022: Guide has been reviewed and no changes are needed.
- 20 Jan. 2021: Guide has been reviewed and no changes are needed.
- 02 Jul. 2020: Guide has been reviewed and updated.
- 23 Oct. 2019: Updated Darkness Within talent.
- 04 Sep. 2019: Guide has been reviewed for latest patch and no changes are needed.
- 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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