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
|1||? ? ✓|
|4||✓ ? ?|
|7||? ? ✓|
|13||✘︎ ? ✓ ?|
|16||✓ ? ✘︎|
|20||✘︎ ? ? ✓|
Malthael's Talent Build Cheatsheet
Malthael's Standard Build provides superior survivability and sustain damage. It provides you with powerful self-sustain and continuous area of effect damage that force your opponents to spread out, reducing their effectiveness.
Malthael's Massacre Build is focused on dealing the maximum possible damage through Massacre and Mortality. Tormented Souls adds extra damage and mobility to Malthael through multiples uses of Wraith Strike.
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.
Death's Reach significantly improves Malthael's effective threat range, and is often picked alongside other Wraith Strike Talents. It is good against many marksmen, while Fear the Reaper is better to kite Melee Heroes.
On a Pale Horse provides no combat benefits. Still, the Talent is excellent if you need to double soak on relatively big Maps, such as Infernal Shrines, Towers of Doom, Garden of Terror, Sky Temple, or Cursed Hollow.
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, without the possibility for enemy Heroes to bodyblock him. The collision removal is also deceptively useful for dodging Abilities by allowing you to unpredictably move right through your target.
Level 4 Talents for Malthael
Soul Rip deals 50% more damage to Heroes if it hits only one Hero.
Increase Death Shroud's range by 33%, reduce its cooldown by 3 seconds, and reduce its Mana cost from 50 to 30.
Death Shroud's initial impact deals 2% maximum Health as damage to non-Structure enemies.
Quest: Apply Reaper's Mark to Heroes for a total of 180 seconds.
Reward: Permanently increase Reaper's Mark's duration by 2 seconds.
Die Alone increases 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 Massacre, as your playstyle will be to constantly mark all possible targets with Reaper's Mark. This Talent is excellent on Battlefield of Eternity, as it enables good long-ranged poke against the Immortal.
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 other Heroes with high max Health 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: 20 seconds
Activate to reduce healing received by Heroes afflicted by Reaper's Mark by 50% for 4 seconds.
Cold Hand improves Malthael's ability to stick to his targets by providing him with a very reliable Slow. Cold Hand is particularly debilitating when used along Soul Collector, as it will assure all enemies are hit by Cold Hand's Slow.
Massacre is excellent to apply Reaper's Mark towards multiple targets, increasing your damage and self-sustain. It also has good synergy with Mortality, as it will apply the percent-based damage on all targets.
Touch of Death excels against Heroes with high self sustain, like Diablo, Dehaka, or Sonya. It is also a good Talent to counter double-Healer team compositions and generally impair high burst Healers such as Whitemane, Rehgar, or Alexstrasza.
Level 10 Talents for Malthael
- 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.
- 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.
At this Level, you gain access to Heroic Abilities. If you want to read more about them, check the dedicated section in the Abilities and Strategy page.
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. This makes Tormented Souls synergise particularly well with Mortality and Massacre, which may be used to quickly damage multiple targets for up to 24% of their total Health.
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: 20 seconds
After 2 seconds, gain 50 Spell Armor for 4 seconds.
Soul Siphon's extra healing is not good enough to compare it with Shroud of Wisdom and Ethereal Existence. The Healing added by it will not be more efficient than the damage mitigated by Soul Siphon's counterparts.
Ethereal Existence is used to counter team compositions that rely heavily on Basic Attacks, and specific Heroes such as Greymane, Raynor or Illidan.
Inevitable End is one of the most reliable sources of Unstoppable in the game, as it only has a 20-second cooldown. This Talent excels against premeditated crowd control, like Diablo's Apocalypse or Anub'arak's engages. However, it is also great if the opposing team has ways to disrupt Malthael during the fights, as Inevitable End will protect him against these Stuns and Silences.
Be aware that Inevitable End removes all applied marks. It is better to either activate it after blinking with Wraith Strike, before using Death Shroud, or during Tormented Souls.
Shroud of Wisdom is used to improve your survivability against Ability-damage heavy team compositions, featuring burst Heroes such as Jaina, Li-Ming, or Kael'thas. 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 60% increased damage after afflicting an enemy for more than 4 seconds.
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 targets with high maximum Health. This Talent should only be picked alongside Massacre, as the percent-based damage will be applied to all targets hit. It does, however, compete with Soul Collector, which greatly improves your survivability.
Memento Mori's damage boost is not good enough to justify the choice, as Soul Collector will add excellent survivability, while Mortality will apply more reliable damage into the fight. It also has terrible synergy with the most versatile Level 13 Talent, Inevitable End.
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%.
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. This Talent is the standard choice here, as it can be used in multiple ways, and will be effective in every game.
In Heroes of the Storm, a match can be easily decided by a kill during the late game. No One Can Stop Death allows Malthael to trade his life with someone else very often through Last Rites, which can win the game for your team.
- 26 Mar. 2021: Updated Talent recommendations.
- 27 Oct. 2020: Touch of Death's discussion and relevance updated.
- 17 Oct. 2020: Builds and Talents updated to better reflect current meta.
- 14 Apr. 2020: Description for Tormented Souls updated.
- 15 Feb. 2020: Talents and recommendations reviewed following February 12 patch changes.
- 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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