Kel'Thuzad Build Guide “The darkness guides me.”
Welcome to our guide for Kel'Thuzad, 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.
Kel'Thuzad is a combo-oriented ranged damage dealer with outstanding area of effect crowd control and burst damage potential. Relying on skillshot Abilities to grow through Master of the Cold Dark makes him weak in the early stages of the game and harder than most Heroes to play, let alone master.
Kel'Thuzad's Strengths and Weaknesses
- Very vulnerable to mobile Heroes
- Difficult to play due to all Basic Abilities being skillshots
- Limited defensive Talent options and general mobility
- Weak in the early game
Kel'Thuzad's Talent Build Cheatsheet
Kel'Thuzad's Standard Build focuses on helping you out in hitting your skillshots and dealing massive amounts of burst damage. The key to playing Kel'Thuzad well is managing to time your combo. With Chilling Touch, this becomes a lot easier due to the area of effect Slow component of it. Once Kel'Thuzad hits Level 10, he gets his hardest hitting Ability and the key component to his combo burst. Landing a Chains of Kel'Thuzad into Frost Nova into an instant Shadow Fissure can potentially one-shot any squishy enemy Hero, and later on Power of Icecrown on top of the Spell Power bonus from Kel'Thuzad's Trait can help securing kills on enemy Tanks as well. Should you choose to get The Damned Return at Level 20, Kel'Thuzad is able to dish out a lot of siege damage.
Kel'Thuzad's ARAM build is similar to the standard build as the build works very well even in ARAM. Kel'Thuzad hits his powerspike pretty fast as landing his spells on multiple targets is a lot easier in ARAM. He also makes great use of Phylactery as globes are easy to come by.
Kel'Thuzad's Synergies and Counters
Since Kel'Thuzad depends highly on skillshots to deal damage, he naturally works well with any Hero that can provide reliable crowd control against a kill target for him to follow up. His frailty also makes him dependent on other Heroes to peel for him; Tanks tend to fulfill these two needs, though other Hero types can too.
Kel'Thuzad's Tips and Tricks
- Generating Master of the Cold Dark stacks is of the utmost importance early on; the faster you complete this Quest, the more likely you are to snowball.
- When targeting two Heroes, Chains of Kel'Thuzad Pulls them towards the middle point between the two Heroes. Cast Frost Nova there.
- When targeting a Hero and a Glacial Spike, Chains of Kel'Thuzad Pulls the Hero to the Spike.
- Using Chains of Kel'Thuzad against a frontline Hero is useful to then hit a more vulnerable backline Hero without being blocked.
- Upon hitting a Hero with Chains of Kel'Thuzad, use Glacial Spike, wait 0.5 seconds, then recast Chains of Kel'Thuzad towards the Spike for an easy hit.
- Frost Nova should be used as a follow up to Chains of Kel'Thuzad or allied crowd control.
- Frost Blast can be negated through effects that render your target Invulnerable, such as Ice Block; pick your target accordingly.
- Shadow Fissure combos particularly well with a center Frost Nova hit due to the Rooting effect.
Kel'Thuzad's Role in the Current Meta
Kel'Thuzad has a niche role as a counterpick to immobile team compositions. Due to his stacking nature, he also does well on Maps that feature constant brawls, notably 2-lane Maps such as Braxis Holdout and Battlefield of Eternity. Under such circumstances, Kel'Thuzad players are expected to exploit his powerful mid-game to snowball the game with excellent burst damage.
His particular vulnerability to highly mobile Heroes makes drafting a Tank with reliable peel essential to ensure Kel'Thuzad's survival. The crowd control provided by most popular Tanks also doubles up as an offensive tool to ease hitting with Kel'Thuzad's powerful yet avoidable Abilities.
- 26 Sep. 2023 (this page): ARAM Build added.
- 23 Sep. 2020 (talents page): Updated talents and build.
- 23 Sep. 2020 (this page): Updated talents and build.
- 08 Sep. 2020 (talents page): Talent builds and recommendations reviewed and updated. Again.
- 07 Sep. 2020 (abilities page): Section updated with additional information.
- 30 Aug. 2020 (this page): Role in Current Meta section updated.
- 19 Jul. 2020 (talents page): Talent builds and recommendations reviewed and updated.
- 05 Apr. 2020 (talents page): Description updated for Chain-Link.
- 15 Dec. 2019 (this page): Added a note about current Anomaly.
- 27 Sep. 2019 (abilities page): Section updated following the nerf to Shadow Fissure.
- 03 Sep. 2019 (talents page): Talent descriptions and recommendations updated to reflect latest Talent rework.
- 03 Sep. 2019 (abilities page): Guide reviewed and updated.
- 03 Sep. 2019 (this page): Guide reviewed and updated.
- 30 Aug. 2018 (talents page): Talent descriptions and recommendations updated to reflect latest balance patch.
- 30 Aug. 2018 (abilities page): Ability descriptions updated to reflect latest balance patch.
- 05 Sep. 2017 (this page): Guide published.
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