Claiming Your Destiny Since 2016 (Comprehensive Gul'dan Guide) v2.1 by Leidiriv

Claiming Your Destiny Since 2016 (Comprehensive Gul'dan Guide) v2.1

By: Leidiriv
Last Updated: Jan 31, 2017
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Pillager | January 10, 2017 10:15pm
What do you think of a build that uses fel flame for most of its damage but takes chaotic energy at tier 1? The reward for pursuit of flame is minor as you said (especially compared to that of echoed corruption) and fel flame goes through mana quickly, so I'm wondering if this would work well.
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Leidiriv (10) | January 13, 2017 8:50pm
The problem with such a build is that, while Fel Flame is amazing DPS, such a build would do nothing to address Gul'dan's main base weakness (that is, lack of burst). I imagine the build would be something like Chaotic Energy, Consume Soul, Hunger for Power, Horrify, Fel Armor/Healthstone, Rampant Hellfire, Haunt. While it does seem nice, Chaotic Energy gives you the same overall benefit as Improved Life Tap, but you lose out on the massive gains from Ruinous Affliction. Whereas if you go Improved Life Tap, you don't really lose out on anything from any other talents, as Consume Soul is generally at least slightly less valuable than Improved Life Tap.

Also, with Rampant Hellfire, you sacrifice the massive burst that Ruinous Affliction gives in order to give yourself some (admittedly REALLY nice) sustained damage, but at the cost of it being ramp-up focused. You have to consistently hit multiple heroes with your Q in order to get the bonus in a timely manner, and it drops off fairly quickly. In addition, an E build synergizes very nicely with Gul'dan's sustained damage, essentially letting him fill both damage roles in a team at once, being very flexible in terms of compositions.
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Pillager | January 14, 2017 5:22pm
Thanks for the reply. I was actually thinking of a build that uses both chaotic energy and improved life tap. Gul'dan is one of my favorite characters but I wish there were an alternative to the corruption build that could be equally useful.
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poinstang | December 21, 2016 10:53am
silver....2...?
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Leidiriv (10) | December 22, 2016 3:55pm
indeed, though I finished the season at silver 1. I see nothing wrong with someone's rank being "low" if their insights are valid and their tips usable. This guide isn't meant for high-level players who know how to play Gul'dan better than me and are overall better at the game. They already know this. This guide is meant for those players who are looking at Gul'dan as a potential new hero, who, like me, are on the lower end of the MMR spectrum. If this guide helps even one person rank up, then I've done my job.
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ebbebbebb | December 10, 2016 9:54am
So lots of people have beautiful theories about the value of Rain of Destruction. Clearly, you think it's TERRIBLE. The problem with these theories is that they are rarely matched against data. There is data on hotslogs about Rain of Destruction, and the data says that while it is picked much less often, it has a higher win rate than Horrify. Attempting to focus on higher-expertise players by limiting the search to team league or the upper ranks only makes the difference in win-rate starker.

Now it could be that there is bias in this data. Two possibilities come to mind. Either people more often pick Rain when they are clearly winning already at level 10 because they feel they can afford the risk; or people pick Rain when their background Gul'dan win rate is 60% because they feel more comfortable experimenting. Both of these effects seem likely present, but for me they seem unlikely to explain the nine per cent win rate advantage Rain has over Horrify in Team League. And even if these effects explain much of the apparent advantage of Rain, it seems to clearly follow that Rain cannot be nearly as terrible as many people suppose. "One of the worst in the game" has a higher win-rate on hotslogs than "one of the best in the game".

So here is an alternate theory. People sometimes talk as if the seven second channel means casting Rain is actually worse than not. Then sometimes there is the implication that its randomness makes it bad (as though the number of heroes you can catch with a Corruption is not also substantially random--further, see this breakdown of how the meteors are distributed). Both these suggestions fail to a) properly evaluate how much damage Rain actually does and b) account for the fact that Gul'dan is generally safe while channeling because of the range (she should either be hiding or well behind her party) and because she's not expending mana! When you cast Rain, Corruption should be on cool down so you are actually just missing 3-4 Fel Flames, and all the mana you save = damage Gul'dan is not taking from Life Tap. This theory explains why Rain of Destruction has a reasonable win rate: it can do more damage than just about anything, can catch heroes as they attempt to run away because of the large area, is most potent when a team fight is going on near the enemies' base so that you are hitting their buildings and units at the same time, and saves Gul'dan mana=heatlth while channeling. It can work on defence too when you can cast it behind a wall say with the enemies' pushing boss/whatnot near the centre.

I am happy to hear theories about the advantages of Horrify, but I find them unconvincing if they do not take the available data into account. Particularly, it seems like many players write off Rain of Destruction based on the theoretical superiority of Horrify--it looks better on paper. So my request to you is to give Rain of Destruction another shot, or to give an explanation of the win-rate discrepancy. Or explain the situations it doesn't work and the situations it does (because clearly it works sometimes). Or, perhaps include a disclaimer in your guide? "While I think Rain of Destruction is terrible, it has a higher win rate than Horrify on hotslogs, so take my opinion with a grain of salt"

Incidentally, I agree Deep Impact is probably an under-performer and I only ever take it if in a win-more situation. It does improve Rain of Destruction more than it might first seem, by keeping heroes in the area.
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Leidiriv (10) | December 11, 2016 6:44pm
The only explanation I can come up with as to why RoD has a higher winrate than Horrify is because everyone and their mother is taking Horrify the majority of the time, though they may be terrible at actually landing it or even playing Gul'dan themselves. They hear that Horrify is the god-ultimate and they use it unconditionally and have terrible accuracy with all of his skillshots (speaking of, Corruption isn't random at all if you're good at aiming it, it's just an awkward skillshot). Those who take RoD are those who are dedicated to making it work and are overall more dedicated to Gul'dan as a whole, and as such work with it to eke out every ounce of power they can get. It's also a matter of how they use the ults. Those who take Horrify, on the other hand, generally don't seem to understand the ins and outs of the ability (a large portion seem to not even know that enemies move directly away from the center of the circle).

The way I see it, the winrate discrepancy is likely based on the overall effort put into making the ultimate work. RoD *might* end up becoming the new uber-meta pick, but I simply can't see it ever outdoing a 2-second full team stun/displacement that can also be talented to be 3 seconds and apply Vulnerable. Hope this was satisfactory!
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ebbebbebb | December 18, 2016 6:49pm
Of course satisfactory, thank you for you thoughtful answer. Two points:

1. I tried to control for people just sucking at Horrify by focussing on upper tiers, as described in OP. This only strengthened the effect. That doesn't mean what you suggest is not there, but if it were, wouldn't it be weaker at upper tiers, where people know how abilities work and how to mostly land skillshots et c? (It could also be that your effect is present but that Horrify is easier for skilful players to get around than Rain, somehow?) Your other claim that only relatively dedicated Gul'dan players ever pick Rain is more convincing to me and is a subset of my suggestion that mostly 60% win-rate Gul'dans take it.

2. Corruption is random in two senses: first, it's random whether multiple heroes will be in position for you to catch them together, which is why I mentioned number of heroes. Of course you and your team can control the position of enemy team to some extent, but also not. Second, watch this fifteen second bit of Liszt's first Mephisto Waltz. I have never seen a pianist perform that live without errors (in studio they cut multiple takes together to remove misnotes). On a good day, maybe they get 5/6 of the jumps. Which ones? It's random. The greatest pianists in the world can't do it without a bit of luck. And unless you're in Diamond you probably shouldn't be comparing yourself to a great pianist in terms of dedication and skill anyway. (This doesn't even get at people changing direction during Corruption.) All this fear of RNG people cite against Rain seems to me to misapprehend that almost everything that happens in the game is partly under our control and partly not. People are risk averse and live in an imaginary land where getting a skill-shot is "skill" whereas RNG is "random" and that makes one better than the other, when an appraisal of how often each thing actually happens should be the relevant question. It's almost moralizing, like a person deserves to lose if they miss skill-shots but not if the random meteors misfire. Well, deserving to win doesn't win games.

To me it still seems that Horrify has a lot of utility but Rain does enough damage to be similarly good. I'm sure you would agree that there is an amount of damage that could outweigh the utility of Horrify.
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GeorgeGaming (3) | November 30, 2016 9:55am
Beautiful. Also the rain heroic can be used on the core as most hits will hit it, and one's that don't will usually hit heroes fighting your allies.
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DannyP | November 13, 2016 3:30am
Pretty Awesome Guide i read everything tried to do everything right , and **** it went alright , ended with a score of 17/10/4 , they were a bit noobs but u know :D
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g4mp4ng | September 1, 2016 11:11am
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hawkray (21) | August 13, 2016 6:33pm
Nice guide dude!
Ah, I understand that you don't like Rain of Destruction, but it's a thematically awesome ability I think. They could tweak it so it's not absolutely useless some times though.
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Leidiriv (10) | August 13, 2016 6:36pm
I like the concept of the ability a lot, but it's just too weak to be usable as it stands. If Gul'dan didn't have to channel it or it wasn't so random, it would be a lot better, imo.
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Crs Grim (33) | August 12, 2016 9:55am
Wish his Rain of Fire wasn't so random.
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Leidiriv (10) | July 30, 2016 9:24pm
Note: If anyone has suggestions to make the guide better, please feel free to share them.
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InTheFace (1) | July 27, 2016 7:47am
indeed the best build
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Roidrage (2) | July 15, 2016 2:51am
Good guide, though very hard to read. Hard to tell where something ends or starts.
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Leidiriv (10) | July 15, 2016 10:01am
I apologize for the poor formatting. I'll fix it either today or tomorrow, depending on what happens on my end.
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