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Ragnaros Abilities and Strategy

Last updated on Dec 14, 2016 at 13:56 by Oxygen 12 comments

Table of Contents

Ragnaros Image

General Information

Below, we give you an overview of the abilities that Ragnaros has access to. We also explain how to best your these abilities.

The other pages of our Ragnaros guide can be accessed from the table of contents on the right.

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. Tips on Ability Usage

  • Empower Sulfuras Icon Empower Sulfuras resets your Basic Attack; hit once, and then activate the Ability for a quick burst of damage.
  • Living Meteor Icon Living Meteor works best against Heroes that are running in a specific direction, such as during chases or escapes.
  • Blast Wave Icon Blast Wave can be quickly self-cast by holding ALT, and then pressing the Ability's hotkey (by default E).
  • Sulfuras Smash Icon Sulfuras Smash's Stunning effect can be used to setup for your own E-W-Q chain.
  • Lava Wave Icon Lava Wave moves very slowly, but might just catch opponents that are not paying attention by surprise.
  • Molten Core Icon Molten Core's effect can be used to mitigate the damage of certain Map Objectives, such as on Blackheart's Bay or Sky Temple.

2. Empower Sulfuras

Ragnaros Empower Sulfuras
Empower Sulfuras (Q) World of Warcraft Ragnaros
  • Mana: 25
  • Cooldown: 4 seconds

Ragnaros's next Basic Attack is instant, dealing 191 (+4% per level) Ability damage in an area, and heals for 20% of the damage dealt. Healing doubled versus Heroes.

Molten Core: Molten Swing

Stun and damage nearby enemies.

Empower Sulfuras is a vital component of Ragnaros's single-target and area of effect damage output, and survivability, regardless of the intended target and chosen build. In essence, it should be used whenever available; its very short Cooldown and low Mana cost promote repeated uses by design. While laning, Empower Sulfuras is an excellent waveclearing tool that also provides a respectable amount of self sustain; it is relatively simple to hit an entire Minion wave — and opposing Heroes — by simply targeting the Caster Minion, or whichever is positioned at the centermost point should their usual formation have been disrupted. Remember that Empower Sulfuras grants twice as much healing when used against Heroes, making the Ability particularly valuable to use against clustered opponents.

Empower Sulfuras has a deceptively large area of effect, which allows the Ability to be used in a pseudo-ranged fashion; by carefuly selecting targets it is possible to exploit this area of effect to reach foes that would otherwise be out of your range. To maximize your damage output with Empower Sulfuras, you should see to try and weave in one Basic Attack whenever you have the intent of activating Empower Sulfuras. The idea is to benefit from the Ability's Basic Attack reset feature to get the most out of Ragnaros' particularly slow but highly damaging Basic Attack.

3. Living Meteor

Ragnaros Living Meteor
Living Meteor (W) World of Warcraft Ragnaros
  • Mana: 60
  • Cooldown: 12 seconds

Summon a meteor at the target point that deals 68 (+4% per level) damage, then rolls in the target direction dealing 272 (+4% per level) damage per second for 1.75 seconds.

Molten Core: Meteor Shower

Drop a line of meteor impacts.

Living Meteor has the highest damage-per-cast potential of Ragnaros' Abilities. This damage, however, is situational; opponents that are running directly away (or towards you) make for the best target, as every one fourth of a second spent into the Ability's linear area of effect proportionally increases its damage. This is not to say, however, that Living Meteor should not be used against stationary targets; Heroes under the effects of crowd control will find that Living Meteor can still deal a hefty amount of damage to them, even under less than perfect conditions. Opponents that are aware of the Ability's pattern, however, will often move perpendicularly to its path so as to mitigate much of its damage.

In general, Living Meteor is suitable for a variety of tasks, ranging from waveclearing to sieging to poking. When using Living Meteor to waveclear, you can often destroy most of the approaching Minion wave by casting towards the destination of said Minions. In a sieging scenario, you can maximise the amount of damage dealt by the Ability by casting it slightly ahead of whichever Structure you seek to damage; this will cause the Meteor's large area of effect to get a few more ticks worth of damage in. For poking scenarios, try and judge whether a team fight is on the verge of happening, as Living Meteor's damage shoots up considerably when hitting several targets. This is especially important to consider when using a Living Meteor-centric build due to the Ability's relatively long Cooldown.

4. Blast Wave

Ragnaros Blast Wave
Blast Wave (E) World of Warcraft Ragnaros
  • Mana: 50
  • Cooldown: 9 seconds

Ignite Ragnaros or an ally, granting 25% Movement Speed for 1.5 seconds before exploding dealing 104 (+4% per level) damage to nearby enemies.

Molten Core: Explosive Rune

Cause a delayed explosion in a large area.

Blast Wave is an Ability that is primarily used for the utility of its respectable 25% Movement Speed increasing effect. This effect is particularly useful to allied Tanks whom are trying to engage without investing the Cooldown of their gap closer, or for yourself when trying to swat cowardly insects with Empower Sulfuras Icon Empower Sulfuras. As with all Movement Speed increases, Blast Wave is also useful with personal or allied escape attempts. The damage it deals is rather minimal when compared to that of your other Abilities, but still proves useful when waveclearing.

It should be noted that Blast Wave is rather special, in that its related Talents dramatically increase the Ability's potential to inflict area of effect damage and to provide you with increased survivability.

Press ALT + Blast Wave's hotkey (by default E) to automatically self-cast.

5. Sulfuras Smash

Ragnaros Sulfuras Smash
Sulfuras Smash (R) World of Warcraft Ragnaros
  • Heroic
  • Mana: 75
  • Cooldown: 80 seconds

Hurl Sulfuras at the target area, landing after 0.75 seconds, dealing 198 (+4% per level) damage. Enemies in the center take 594 (+4% per level) damage instead and are Stunned for 0.5 seconds.

Sulfuras Smash is notable for its ability to inflict a massive amount of damage in a large area of effect, from a very long range. The main factors to consider when using this Ability are how many opponents you are able to hit with the most damaging part of its area of effect — the center —, the cast delay of three fourth of a second, and how you and your allies can follow up on its Stunning effect. The answer to these questions generally lie in crowd control provided by allies. Get to learn what every Hero is able to provide such effects, how long they last, and whether or not they can affect multiple Heroes. This will allow you to better know how to capitalise and play off of them. This is not to say, however, that Sulfuras Smash absolutely requires crowd control to strike true; with enough practice, you can generally predict where Players just might be headed so as to crush them appropriately. See to capitalise on combat busying your opponents, too. In a pinch, Sulfuras Smash can also be used to interrupt channeled abilities.

6. Lava Wave

Ragnaros Lava Wave
Lava Wave (R) World of Warcraft Ragnaros
  • Heroic
  • Mana: 80
  • Cooldown: 120 seconds

Release a wave of lava from Ragnaros's Core that travels down the targeted lane, dealing 240 (+4% per level) damage per second to non-Structure enemies in its path and instantly killing enemy Minions. Damage increased by 100% versus Heroes.

Lava Wave is a unique Ability that requires a solid grasp of Heroes of the Storm to use and counter. This is due to the fact that its use is constrained solely to Lanes — which offsets the massive damage potential of the Ability. Lava Wave progresses very slowly within the targeted lane and shows up on the Minimap as an icon representing a flame, giving opponents a bit of a warning. Since Lava Wave begins its effects at your team's Core, it is a rather defensive Ability by nature; the further it must travel, the more time your opponents have to avoid it. It is not to say that it cannot be used offensively, however. Team fights sometimes break out in lanes, fighting over Structures, perhaps, and a timely cast could bring such fights to a swift, well-done end. Lava Wave can also be useful in sieging scenarios, as it would force opponents away from the Structures they are attempting to protect. It should be noted that Lava Wave, by its traveling area of effect nature, deals more damage to foes that run directly away from the Wave.

Lava Wave's crushing damage makes it particularly effective against Minion-based Map Objectives, such as those of Braxis Holdout or Tomb of the Spider Queen. Conversely, the Ability is less than useful on Maps that promote extended fights over out-of-lane Objectives, such as Blackheart's Bay or Garden of Terror. Still, the fact that it clears out several Minion waves can open opportunities for your team to push on top of quickly generating a respectable amount of Experience.

7. Molten Core

Ragnaros Molten Core
Molten Core (D) World of Warcraft Ragnaros
  • Cooldown: 120 seconds

Channel on an allied or destroyed Fort or Keep to replace it with Ragnaros's ultimate form, temporarily gaining new Abilities, having 3996 (+4% per level) Health that burns away over 18 seconds.

Ragnaros returns to his normal form upon losing all Health in Molten Core.

Note: Molten Core replaces each of your Basic Abilities with the ones listed below for its duration.

Molten Core is what makes Ragnaros such an excellent Hero when it comes to base defense. While under the effects of Molten Core, your Health essentially becomes a duration meter; the more damage you take, the shorter the effects. This counterintuitively makes the Ability best to cast when surrounded by allies so as to get the most out of its damage potential which, it should be noted, is very high.

Contrary to one might think, Molten Core is also very useful offensively. Taking over your opponent's razed Forts and Keep can make it very punishing for them to defend their other Structures. Molten Core is also fantastic to sneak in during team fights that may break out around valid targets. On certain Maps, even, Molten Core can be used to contest Objectives from afar, dealing plenty of damage or buying time for your allies to show up. Dying while under the effects of Molten Core will not actually kill Ragnaros.

7.1. Molten Swing

Ragnaros Molten Swing
Molten Swing (Q) World of Warcraft Ragnaros
  • Cooldown: 6 seconds

Swing Sulfuras in a wide arc, dealing 161 (+4% per level) damage and Stunning enemies for 1 second.

Damage increased by 25% versus Minions, Mercenaries, and Monsters.

Molten Swing replaces Empower Sulfuras Icon Empower Sulfuras while under the effects of Molten Core Icon Molten Core. Its Stunning effect is particularly useful for setting up your other Abilities, most particularly Explosive Rune Icon Explosive Rune. Its relatively short range, however, limits its overall usefulness.

7.2. Meteor Shower

Ragnaros Meteor Shower
Meteor Shower (W) World of Warcraft Ragnaros
  • Cooldown: 2 seconds

Summon 3 meteors at the target point that fall in the target direction. Each meteor deals 151 (+4% per level) damage and slows enemies by 25% for 2 seconds.

Damage increased by 25% versus Minions, Mercenaries, and Monsters.

Meteor Shower replaces Living Meteor Icon Living Meteor while under the effects of Molten Core Icon Molten Core. Its use is very similar to the Ability it replaces; to get the most out of it, see to aim the Ability in the direction your intended target is moving so as to hit them with as many blasts as possible. Meteor Shower's range extends beyond the range indicator of Molten Core, sometimes surprising opponents, and making excellent at interrupting Map Objectives that must be channeled. The Movement Speed reduction effect of Meteor Shower can also be used to setup Explosive Rune Icon Explosive Rune.

7.3. Explosive Rune

Ragnaros Explosive Rune
Explosive Rune (E) World of Warcraft Ragnaros
  • Cooldown: 4 seconds

Create a rune that deals 285 (+4% per level) damage to non-Structure enemies after 1.5 seconds.

Damage increased by 25% versus Minions, Mercenaries, and Monsters.

Explosive Rune replaces Blast Wave Icon Blast Wave while under the effects of Molten Core Icon Molten Core. As a highly damaging delayed effect, Explosive Rune should be used ahead of intended targets, or against those under the effects of crowd control.

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