Welcome to our Talents page for Malthael. Here, we give you an overview of how strong each of Malthael's talents is. Then, we present several viable builds, before analyzing each talent row separately, so that you can make informed decisions.
Malthael's Talent Build
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Malthael's Talent Build Cheatsheet
Standard BuildTalent calculator »
Level 1 Talents for Malthael
Increase Wraith Strike's range by 35%.
Gain an additional 20% Movement Speed while mounted.
- Cooldown: 25 seconds
Activate to increase Movement Speed by 25% and pass through other units for 4 seconds.
This Talent tier improves Malthael's mobility.
Death's Reach significantly improves Malthael's effective threat range, and is often picked along Throwing Shade to give him a fighting chance against range-heavy team compositions. Against two or more melee Heroes, however, this Talent is unnecessary.
On a Pale Horse provides no combat benefits on top of being relatively underwhelming on a Hero who is expected to rotate relatively little due to his solo nature. Still, the Talent could prove moderately useful on some of the larger Maps, such as Cursed Hollow, Garden of Terror, or Warhead Junction.
Fear the Reaper provides Malthael with utility he sorely lacks: an on-demand means of improving his mobility. Fear the Reaper is particularly useful for its underrated ability to remove Malthael's collision, allowing him to move back to safety unhindered after using Wraith Strike. The collision removal is also deceptively useful for dodging Abilities by allowing you to unpredictably move right through your target. Fear the Reaper also works particularly well with Tormented Souls due to the movement speed it provides.
Level 4 Talents for Malthael
Soul Rip deals 50% more damage to Heroes if it hits only one Hero.
Quest: Hit 12 Heroes with Death Shroud.
Reward: Permanently increase Death Shroud's range by 33%, reduce its cooldown by 4 seconds, and reduce its Mana cost from 50 to 25.
Quest: Apply Reaper's Mark to Heroes for a total of 180 seconds.
Reward: Permanently increase Reaper's Mark's duration by 2 seconds.
This Talent tier improves Malthael's damage.
Die Alone pushes Malthael's single-target damage output to very reasonable amounts, allowing him to duel Heroes he would otherwise not be able to, such as Thrall. It should be noted that Die Alone can also be used in team fights by focusing your Reaper's Mark on a single target, though this is seldom recommended unless you absolutely need to dispatch a specific target. Die Alone is powerful when solo-laning.
Throwing Shade improves Malthael's ability to poke on top of increasing his threat range. Throwing Shade is often picked along Death's Reach to deal with team compositions that feature 3 or more ranged Heroes.
Black Harvest significantly improves Malthael's area of effect damage over time output by increasing the duration of Reaper's Mark. This duration increase also indirectly improves Malthael's survivability and mobility by making it easier to maintain Reaper's Mark up on multiple targets for Soul Rip and Wraith Strike purposes. Black Harvest tends to be picked over Die Alone when the opposing team composition features 2 or more tanks or otherwise Healthy Heroes such as Azmodan, and if you plan to not solo lane.
Level 7 Talents for Malthael
Soul Rip Slows enemies by 20% for 2.5 seconds.
Wraith Strike now damages and applies Reaper's Mark to enemies around its target.
- Cooldown: 25 seconds
Activate to reduce healing received by Heroes afflicted by Reaper's Mark by 50% for 4 seconds.
This Talent tier provides situational offensive utility.
Cold Hand improves Malthael's ability to stick to his targets by providing him with a very reliable movement speed reduction effect. Cold Hand is particularly debilitating when used along Tormented Souls, as the movement speed reduction helps improve Tormented Souls' uptime.
Massacre is rather difficult to fully utilise due to its relatively small area of effect. In general, the other Talents offered at this tier will yield more damage, and do so more reliably.
Level 10 Talents for Malthael
- Mana: 20
- Cooldown: 80 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.
- Mana: 100
- Cooldown: 65 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 15 seconds.
Tormented Souls fulfills a role that is similar to Death Shroud — that of applying Reaper's Mark in an area of effect — although it does so much more reliably, as it is not a skillshot. Wading through an opposing team with Tormented Souls, when casting Soul Rip, deals a devastating amount of area of effect damage on top of making Malthael difficult to kill due to the self sustain provided by Soul Rip. Wraith Strike can also then be used to reliability maintain the effects of Tormented Souls. As with all area of effect Heroic Abilities, and by nature of its effects, Tormented Souls should almost never be used against less than three targets; not only is it not valuable to do so, but also does its effect increase exponentially the more targets it hits. Most of Malthael's team fighting power lies in Tormented Souls, making this Heroic Ability the go-to choice.
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.
Level 13 Talents for Malthael
Increase Soul Rip's bonus healing from Heroes to 4.75% of the Hero's maximum Health.
Gain 10 Physical Armor per enemy Hero afflicted by Reaper's Mark, up to a maximum of 30.
- Cooldown: 20 seconds
Activate to become Unstoppable for 2 seconds, but remove all active Reaper's Marks.
- Cooldown: 30 seconds
After 2 seconds, gain 50 Spell Armor for 4 seconds.
This Talent tier provides situational defensive utility.
Soul Siphon greatly improves Malthael's self-sustain, and particularly when matched against at least two tanks or three or more melee Heroes. It should be noted, however, that if your opponents' team composition features at least two reliable Stunning or Silencing effects, you may find difficult to benefit from Soul Siphon, and Inevitable End should instead be preferred.
Ethereal Existence is used to counter team compositions that rely heavily on Basic Attacks, and specific Heroes such as Greymane and The Butcher. The Armor provided by Ethereal Existence becomes particularly potent when combined with that of Tormented Souls.
Shroud of Wisdom is used to improve your survivability against Ability-damage heavy team compositions, featuring burst Heroes such as Jaina, Kael'thas, or Li-Ming. It should be noted that unlike similar Talents, Shroud of Wisdom has to be activated two seconds before the Spell Armor is needed; as such, you need to be wise, as the Talent's name implies, and predict impending damage burst. Generally, it is safe to assume retaliation after engaging through Wraith Strike.
Level 16 Talents for Malthael
Reduce Soul Rip's cooldown by 0.5 seconds and increase its range by 25%.
When damaging a Hero, Wraith Strike deals bonus damage equal to 8% of the Hero's maximum Health.
Reaper's Mark deals 80% increased damage after afflicting an enemy for more than 4 seconds.
This Talent tier improves Malthael's damage.
Soul Collector significantly improves Malthael's area of effect damage output and self-sustain, and particularly when picked along other Talents which improve Soul Rip. If you have been struggling with team fight survival, Soul Collector should help.
Mortality improves Malthael's burst damage output, particularly against Healthy targets. The Talent is generally picked against two or more tanks to improve your ability to threaten them as needed. It does, however, compete with Soul Collector, which is outstanding.
Memento Mori significantly improves Malthael's area of effect damage over time output by increasing the damage of Reaper's Mark. Since Reaper's Mark's damage is based off its target's maximum Health, Memento Mori is particularly useful against two or more tanks, who will have to play much more carefully than they would generally have to against Assassins.
Level 20 Talents for Malthael
Increase Tormented Souls' duration by 2 seconds. While Tormented Souls is active, Hero Takedowns refresh the duration.
Last Rites heals for 100% of the damage dealt, and its current and future cooldown reduction bonuses are doubled.
Death Shroud leaves a trail in its wake for 4 seconds, applying Reaper's Mark to enemies in its area.
- Cooldown: 180 seconds
Activate while dead to immediately respawn at the Hall of Storms but increase Malthael's next respawn time by 25%.
This Talent tier provides powerful utility.
Reaper of Souls is a winmore Talent with outstanding potential against team compositions featuring Murky or The Lost Vikings, who can reliably be killed to trigger Reaper of Souls' duration increase. Otherwise, you would be better served by Final Curtain.
Angel of Death provides Malthael with an alternative source of self-healing, and one that is potentially powerful. If you have been successfully killing targets through Last Rites only to die shortly after, Angel of Death may be worth considering, though it is seldom more powerful than Final Curtain. If you managed to get at least 5 kills with Last Rites, Angel of Death becomes much more attractive, as it will instantly bring the Ability's Cooldown to its cap of 15 seconds.
Final Curtain significantly improves your ability to apply Reaper's Mark to multiple targets, greatly improving your damage over time potential and self-sustain. The trail created by this Talent also acts as a zoning tool, and is extremely punishing to opponents who must fight in enclosed spaces.
No One Can Stop Death is potentially useful to salvage losing matches by giving you another chance at life. It should be noted that this Talent can be picked while dead to allow you to revive. Be careful, however, as giving up Final Curtain is a significant cost.
- 11 Oct. 2019: Talent builds and recommendations reviewed and updated.
- 15 Feb. 2018: Talents and builds updated to better reflect current metagame state.
- 06 Feb. 2018: Talents and builds updated following Maiev patch changes.
- 14 Jan. 2018: Updated Heroic talent discussion. Updated Soul Rip and Reaper builds.
- 14 Jun. 2017: Added talent discussions.
- 13 Jun. 2017: Guide created.
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