Malthael Abilities and Strategy
Welcome to our Abilities page for Malthael. Here, we give you an overview of every ability in Malthael's kit. For each of them, we explain what it does, how to best use it, and how it works in combination with Malthael's other abilities. We also give you strategy tips to play Malthael efficiently.
Malthael's Tips and Tricks
- Malthael's Basic Attacks hit enemies in a 180 degree arc; use this to maintain Reaper's Mark on as many targets as possible.
- Reaper's Mark's damage also works against most non-Structure units, making it effective against Bosses and Map Objectives.
- You can hold the default Q hotkey to repeatedly cast Soul Rip without effort.
- Wraith Strike is useful for quickly avoiding impending skillshots and areas of effect.
- Tormented Souls resets Wraith Strike's Cooldown on-use AND when Tormented Souls ends.
- A skull marker appears above Heroes that would die to Last Rites's damage.
- Do not be conservative with Last Rites, as it is better to guarantee a kill and get the Cooldown reduction than to hold it.
- Inevitable End can be used to bait important Abilities from the enemy team, as the Cooldown is relatively low.
- Due to Shroud of Wisdom's delay, it should be activated around 1.5 seconds before going in, as most Abilities will be used on you in the first seconds. Using it too quickly might result in having reduced uptime, while taking too long might cost your life.
A Note on Malthael's Basic Attack
Malthael's Basic Attacks have a unique feature: instead of hitting a single target like most other Basic Attacks, they hits all enemies in a 180-degree arc centered on their target. This attribute is particularly useful for claiming Mercenary Camps and waveclearing purposes, especially since Reaper's Mark, which will be discussed below, is inflicted to all targets damaged by these Basic Attacks. Since Malthael's power is directly dependent on how many targets are affected by Reaper's Mark, making the most of this area of effect feature is essential to thriving.
Reaper's Mark (Trait)
Basic Attacks cleave in an area in front of Malthael and afflict non-Structure targets with Reaper's Mark for 4 seconds. Marked enemies are revealed and take damage equal to 2% of their maximum Health every 1 second.
Although we typically list Hero Abilities in their in-game order, Malthael's Trait is quite unique in that it impacts the rest of his Abilities. It is thus listed first, so as to provide a clearer context for everything else.
Reaper's Mark is core to Malthael as his key Abilities — Soul Rip and Wraith Strike — can only be used against targets that have been affected by Reaper's Mark. It is as such vital that you not only master the art of applying Reaper's Mark through Basic Attacks by seizing any occasion to do so, but also, see to apply the Trait to as many different targets as possible by trying to hit as many enemies as possible through Malthael's cleaving Basic Attacks and Death Shroud.
By nature, this Trait makes Malthael's Basic Attacks deal some of the highest damage on a per-hit basis, the caveat being that this damage is dealt over time. Hitting the same target twice merely refreshes Reaper's Mark to its 4-second duration rather than stacking the damage-over-time effect.
It should be noted that Reaper's Mark also functions against Bosses and Map Objectives which must be killed, making Malthael exceptional at dealing with such matter.
- Mana: 25
- Cooldown: 2 seconds
Extract the souls of nearby enemies afflicted by Reaper's Mark, dealing 100 (+4% per level) damage and healing Malthael for 25 (+4% per level) per target hit. Heroic targets heal Malthael for an additional 4% of the Hero's maximum Health.
Soul Rip provides Malthael with a reasonable amount of area of effect damage. The Ability's main point of appeal, however, is its healing effect, which is based off any Hero hit's maximum Health. This makes Malthael strive in situations where multiple Heroes have been hit by Reaper's Mark, as the effects of Soul Rip stack fully per target hit. Under certain circumstances, the Ability thus allows Malthael to be surprisingly difficult to kill, and is the second reason, beyond Reaper's Mark, why Malthael does so well against high-Health Heroes.
While laning or claiming Mercenary Camps, Soul Rip plays an important part in Malthael's self sustain. Death Shroud can and should be used to apply Reaper's Mark to as many Minions or Mercenaries as possible so that Soul Rip's healing effects can trigger against as many targets as possible. This interaction is key to Malthael's strong presence as a solo laner.
Note that you can simply hold the default Q hotkey to effortlessly cast Soul Rip without having to repeatedly press its cast key.
- Mana: 30
- Cooldown: 5 seconds
Instantly teleport through an enemy afflicted by Reaper's Mark, dealing 59 (+4% per level) damage and refreshing Reaper's Mark.
Wraith Strike provides Malthael with outstanding combat mobility which, in turn, translates into high uptime. Combined with the large sustained damage provided by Reaper's Mark and Soul Rip, Malthael becomes one of the most dangerous Heroes to pressure both Tanks and non-Tanks, and particularly when defensive Abilities have been expended. Since Wraith Strike displaces Malthael behind his target, it can be used to reliably body block escaping or chasing foes. Its instantaneous cast speed also makes it useful for dodging impending delayed Abilities, such as Jaina's Blizzard, and becomes a key part in Malthael's general survival. Its short Cooldown means it can be used very liberally, granted it is safe to do so.
For escaping purposes, Death Shroud can be used to apply Reaper's Mark to a far target, upon which Wraith Strike can then be used.
It should be noted that Wraith Strike places Malthael's Basic Attack on a Cooldown. So, for damage-per-second purposes, it is better to use a Basic Attack right before using Wraith Strike, in order to not lose possible damage (only if you are in melee range with the target).
- Mana: 50
- Cooldown: 8 seconds
After 0.25 seconds, unleash a wave of dark mist that applies Reaper's Mark to enemies it hits.
Death Shroud fulfills the double function of allowing Malthael to apply Reaper's Mark from range and in an area of effect. Although Death Shroud does no damage by default, the mark it applies deals some by nature. Without Death Shroud, it can be very difficult for Malthael to safely engage against ranged Heroes, let alone catch up to them. As such, mastering the skillshot-like Ability is key to playing Malthael successfully. Its slow speed means that you will have to either predict where your intended target will be moving to, or rely on crowd control provided by allies to hit Death Shroud.
Death Shroud's ability to apply Reaper's Mark in an area makes it his most reliable way of benefiting from Soul Rip's healing against as many targets as possible. When unthreatened by ranged damage, Malthael's Basic Attacks should be used to spread Reaper's Mark so as to conserve Mana.
- Mana: 20
- Cooldown: 60 seconds
Unleash a torrent of souls, continually applying Reaper's Mark to nearby enemies for 4 seconds. When Tormented Souls is cast and when it expires, reset the cooldown of Wraith Strike.
Tormented Souls has two main purposes. First, it allows Malthael to reliably apply Reaper's Mark in a large area. Combined with Soul Rip, this effect makes Malthael particularly threatening and difficult to kill in team fighting situations. This wide Reaper's Mark application also provides Malthael with many opportunities to use Wraith Strike offensively and defensively.
Tormented Souls also completely resets the Cooldown of Wraith Strike upon use and then once again 4 seconds later. This lets you use a first Wraith Strike aggressively, knowing that the Ability will be available shortly after to provide you with an opportunity to escape.
- Mana: 100
- Cooldown: 70 seconds
Apply a death sentence to an enemy Hero that, after 2 seconds, deals damage equal to 50% of their missing Health.
Quest: Enemies killed between the application of Last Rites and within 1.5 seconds of it dealing damage permanently reduce its cooldown by 5 seconds, to a minimum of 20 seconds.
Last Rites's power lies in its ability to reliably deal some of the game's highest burst damage from range. By nature, Last Rites will kill any Hero at or below 33% of its maximum Health. This threshold is indicated by a skull icon floating above nearby enemy Heroes. It should be noted that even if the target does not die from Last Rites' effect, it is still damaged. Still, since Last Rites' damage scales with how proportionally low its target's Health is, the Ability should almost exclusively be used as a finisher.
Certain effects, such as Invulnerability or Stasis effects, can prevent Last Rites from dealing its damage, although Armor and other forms of damage mitigation will not. It is important to account for the aforementioned effects when using Last Rites, especially due to its delayed effect.
Another noteworthy point lies in Last Rites' Cooldown reduction clause: every target who dies while under Last Rites' effect permanently reduces the Ability's Cooldown by 5 seconds. This bonus is acquired whether or not Last Rites is the source of the killing blow, as long as the dying Hero was under the effects of Last Rites.
- 05 Nov. 2020: Abilities section reviewed.
- 17 Oct. 2020: Updated Wraith Strike's discussion.
- 14 Apr. 2020: Note added about Malthael's unique Basic Attack and section reviewed and description for Tormented Souls updated.
- 11 Oct. 2019: Abilities section reviewed.
- 13 Jun. 2017: Guide created.
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