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Ragnaros Build Guide “DIE, INSECT!”

Last updated on Apr 05, 2020 at 14:30 by Oxygen 12 comments
General Information

Welcome to our guide for Ragnaros, a Bruiser in Heroes of the Storm. Within these pages, you will find everything required to understand how best to play this hero, in both different map styles and team compositions.


Ragnaros's Overview

Ragnaros is a unique battle-mage-like Bruiser. His high proficiency at dealing large amounts of area of effect damage is offset by the avoidable nature of his Abilities. Opposing insects stand no chance against Ragnaros when he overtakes Structures (or their smoldering ruins), for his true power can then be unleashed... until a group of appropriately-geared adventurers go and claim their weekly treasures, that is.


Ragnaros's Strengths and Weaknesses

V Strengths
X Weaknesses
  • -Most Abilities are telegraphed and thus avoidable
  • -Limited utility beyond raw damage and waveclear
  • -Mana-hungry
  • -Mediocre survivability

Ragnaros's Talent Build Cheatsheet

Standard Build

Level 1 Engulfing Flame Icon
Level 4 Slow Burn Icon Fire Ward Icon ? Catching Fire Icon ?
Level 7 Blistering Attacks Icon
Level 10 Lava Wave Icon Sulfuras Smash Icon ?
Level 13 Tempered Flame Icon Resilient Flame Icon ?
Level 16 Blast Echo Icon
Level 20 Heroic Difficulty Icon Lava Surge Icon ? Submerge Icon ?

This standard build provides a balanced mix of utility, survivability, and damage, making it effective in most situations. Key Blast Wave Icon Blast Wave-related Talents allow you to reliably threaten one or more opponents and waveclear efficiently.

Melee Build

Level 1 Sulfuras Hungers Icon
Level 4 Catching Fire Icon Fire Ward Icon ? Slow Burn Icon ?
Level 7 Hand of Ragnaros Icon
Level 10 Lava Wave Icon Sulfuras Smash Icon ?
Level 13 Cauterize Wounds Icon
Level 16 Giant Scorcher Icon
Level 20 Heroic Difficulty Icon Lava Surge Icon ? Submerge Icon ?

This specialised attack build provides superior melee area of effect damage and survivability at the cost of utility. As key Talents, Hand of Ragnaros Icon Hand of Ragnaros and Cauterize Wounds Icon Cauterize Wounds allow you to threaten tightly-grouped Heroes and benefit from high combat self-sustain. This build is mostly useful against opposing team compositions with 3 or more melee Heroes.

Ranged Build

Level 1 Shifting Meteor Icon
Level 4 Slow Burn Icon Fire Ward Icon ? Catching Fire Icon ?
Level 7 Molten Power Icon
Level 10 Sulfuras Smash Icon Lava Wave Icon ?
Level 13 Cauterize Wounds Icon Resilient Flame Icon ?
Level 16 Meteor Bomb Icon
Level 20 Heroic Difficulty Icon Lava Surge Icon ? Submerge Icon ?

This specialised build provides a powerful ranged damage-dealing option at the cost of sustained damage. Key Living Meteor Icon Living Meteor-related Talents allow you to deal damage from a safe distance. This build is mostly useful against opposing team compositions of 4 or more ranged Heroes, against which engaging in melee would be dangerous.


Ragnaros's Synergies and Counters

V Ragnaros synergizes with

Ragnaros is at his best when coupled with Heroes that feature some form of reliable ranged crowd control so as to help him setup his own Abilities. He is particularly effective with Bruisers due to the Movement Speed increase provided by Blast Wave Icon Blast Wave.

X Ragnaros is countered by

As a generalist, Ragnaros is not particularly vulnerable or effective against anyone; still, his lack of crowd control makes him inadequate against some specific Heroes, notably Chen. He is also prone to be kited due to his lack of an effective gap closer.


Ragnaros's Maps

Ragnaros's stronger maps
Braxis Holdout Infernal Shrines Tomb of the Spider Queen
Ragnaros's average maps
Alterac Pass Battlefield of Eternity Blackheart's Bay Cursed Hollow Dragon Shire Garden of Terror Hanamura Temple Sky Temple Towers of Doom Volskaya Foundry Warhead Junction
Ragnaros's weaker maps

Since Ragnaros offers both excellent waveclear and sustained damage, and a reasonable amount of self-sustain, he is not particularly weak on any Map. Molten Core Icon Molten Core and Lava Wave Icon Lava Wave, however, make him exceptional at dealing with particular Map mechanics. Molten Core can specifically be used to absorb a number of Blackheart's Bay's or Sky Temple's Map mechanic attacks that would otherwise be aimed at Structures. Lava Wave heavily damages the Zerg wave on Braxis Holdout, and one Lane worth of Webweavers on Tomb of the Spider Queen. Molten Code does a good job of handling these mechanics as well, making Ragnaros particularly effective on these Maps.


Ragnaros's Tips and Tricks

  • 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.

Role in the Current Meta

Note about the current Anomaly: In a typical solo lane situation, Ragnaros's role is to gather Experience Globes. This Anomaly opens up many opportunities for him to punish opposing laners with a full Ability combo.

Although labeled a Bruiser, Ragnaros works best when positioned at a midpoint within any given team's formation, somewhere between the frontline and the backline, so as to be able to make the most out of his positional Abilities. Without any non-Heroic crowd control and a very weak gap closer, Ragnaros is ill-equipped to be played like a typical melee Hero that would seek to single-out vulnerable targets. He is, however, incredible at following up on any crowd control or opportunity provided by allied Heroes. This makes Ragnaros a natural fit to any team composition that may be able to lock down their foes but lack that "finishing touch".

The features that makes Ragnaros stand apart from Heroes that fulfil a similar role, however, lie in two of his Abilities: Molten Core Icon Molten Core and Lava Wave Icon Lava Wave. These two Abilities have the capacity to outright counter or heavily impact certain Map mechanics. Molten Core is also particularly potent against teams that rely heavily on pushing to generate an Experience or Structural advantage. These Abilities will be discussed further, in the Abilities and Strategy section of this guide.



  • 09 Dec. 2019 (this page): Added a note about current Anomaly.
  • 11 Oct. 2019 (talents page): Talent builds and recommendations reviewed and updated.
  • 11 Oct. 2019 (this page): Guide updated.
  • 11 Oct. 2019 (abilities page): Abilities section reviewed.
  • 14 Jan. 2018 (talents page): Updated Sulfuras, Blast, and Meteor builds.
  • 12 Aug. 2017 (talents page): Updated Talents and builds to reflect the August 8 patch and metagame changes.
  • 12 Aug. 2017 (this page): Updated builds to reflect the August 8 patch Talents and metagame changes.
  • 26 Jun. 2017 (talents page): Updated the amount of bonus damage from Sulfuras Hungers to 120.
  • 14 Dec. 2016 (this page): Guide added.
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