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Kel'Thuzad Build Guide “The darkness guides me.”

Last updated on Sep 05, 2017 at 09:55 by Oxygen 18 comments

Table of Contents

Kel'Thuzad Image

General Information

Welcome to our Kel'Thuzad guide for Heroes of the Storm. Here you will learn everything you need to know in order to play Kel'Thuzad in a competitive environment, whether you play on your own or with a team.

About the Author

Oxygen is a veteran of the MOBA genre, which he has been playing for nearly 15 years. He has coached some of Heroes of the Storm's most prominent North American players and teams alike, including Team Liquid. As a Master player, he enjoys playing all Heroes and roles.

1. Quick Reference

Blighted Frost Build (talent calculator link)

The Blighted Frost Icon Blighted Frost build focuses on improving Kel'Thuzad's burst damage potential. It works particularly well when your team composition features several sources of crowd control to follow up on Frost Nova Icon Frost Nova or to enable you to easily follow up with your own crowd control chain. Key Talents include Blighted Frost, which increases the duration of Frost Nova's Rooting effect, Shadow Fissure Icon Shadow Fissure, which deals a large amount of area of effect damage, and Hungering Cold Icon Hungering Cold, which greatly improves Kel'Thuzad's burst damage through Death and Decay Icon Death and Decay.

Plaguelands Build (talent calculator link)

The Plaguelands Icon The Plaguelands build focuses on improving Kel'Thuzad's utility. It is at its best when your team composition may lack waveclear, sieging, or Mercenary Camp claiming power, and a proper way of reliably initiating combat with opponents. Key Talents include The Plaguelands, which improve Kel'Thuzad's sustained area of effect damage, Frost Blast Icon Frost Blast, which unconditionally Roots a targeted Hero, Hungering Cold Icon Hungering Cold, which greatly increases Kel'Thuzad's damage through Death and Decay Icon Death and Decay, and The Damned Return Icon The Damned Return, which more or less doubles Kel'Thuzad's sustained damage output.

See our Talents page for further information Create your own build and share it with friends!

Synergies and Counters

Kel'Thuzad synergizes with

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 is countered by

Since Kel'Thuzad relies chiefly on skillshots to deal damage, he does particularly poorly against Heroes that have ways of quickly dodging his Abilities. Furthermore, his frailty and lack of self-peel makes him vulnerable to Cloaked or otherwise high-damage nimble Heroes that can quickly reach him.


Kel'Thuzad's stronger maps Braxis Holdout Towers of Doom
Kel'Thuzad's average maps Battlefield of Eternity Blackheart's Bay Cursed Hollow Dragon Shire Garden of Terror Hanamura Haunted Mines Infernal Shrines Sky Temple Tomb of the Spider Queen Volskaya Foundry Warhead Junction
Kel'Thuzad's weaker maps None

Maps that promote early skirmishes are generally beneficial for the purpose of quickly completing Master of the Cold Dark Icon Master of the Cold Dark. Furthermore, Maps with channeled Objectives are good for him since the objectives can reliably be interrupted by Shadow Fissure Icon Shadow Fissure. Otherwise, Kel'Thuzad's versatility makes him a fine pick all-around.

TL;DR Tips

See our Abilities page for further information

2. Introduction

Kel'Thuzad is a combo-oriented ranged damage dealer with outstanding area of effect crowd control and burst damage potential. His reliance on skillshots and relative fragility, however, make him one of the hardest Heroes to play, let alone master.

3. Strengths

4. Weaknesses

  • Very fragile, especially to melee Assassins
  • Difficult to play due to ALL Abilities being skillshots
  • Limited defensive Talent options

5. Role in the Current Meta

Kel'Thuzad's reliable crowd control and high area of effect burst damage make him a good fit for most team compositions, whether there is lack of means of initiating or plenty of Rooting or Stunning effects for Kel'Thuzad himself to follow up on.

Kel'Thuzad's high threat level and fragility make him a high-priority pick in most drafting situations, and generally match-dictating as a Hero, in the sense that team compositions do well to support him — and counter him, when possible. His particular vulnerability to highly mobile Heroes makes drafting a tank with reliable peel essential to ensuring the success of Kel'Thuzad-based compositions. His inability to reliably solo lane also makes it important to draft at least one independent Hero for this task.

6. Reading Further

To take things further, we have 2 more pages that you can read:

7. ChangeLog

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  • 05 Sep. 2017 (this page): Guide published.
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