Arthas, the Lich King by MattNorton365

Arthas, the Lich King

By: MattNorton365
Last Updated: Jul 25, 2015
2 Votes
Rating Pending
Build 1 of 2


Build: Tank n Teamfight

Level 1
Level 4
Level 7
Level 10
Level 13
Level 16
Level 20


Build: Frostmourne Tempest

Level 1
Level 4
Level 7
Level 10
Level 13
Level 16
Level 20

Introduction Top

The Lich King
Class - Warcraft Warrior
Once the crown prince of Lordaeron, and protege of Uther the Lightbringer, Arthas was corrupted by the cursed blade Frostmourne in a bid to save his people. Now he rules over the damned as the Lich King and all shall know his wrath...

Abilities Top

(Q) Death Coil
Mana = 50
Cooldown = 9 seconds
Deals 94 (+14 per level) damage to target enemy. Can be self-cast to heal for 104 (+22 per level) Health.
Death Coil is a unique ability in the sense that it has 2 functions based on the target. It can be used to weaken or finish enemy heroes or to heal yourself during a battle.Its dual function mechanic gives this ability a lot of versatility in the Nexus.
(W) Howling Blast
Mana = 70
Cooldown = 12 seconds
Root enemies within the target area for 1.5 seconds and deals 36 (+6 per level) damage.
Howling Blast is one of two abilities in Arthas' kit that employs Crowd Control (CC). Dealing moderate damage, Howling Blast utilizes a rooting effect to keep Arthas' prey close by. This ability synergizes well with Arthas' other abilities as it gives him more time to pull off abilities and Auto-Attacks (AA).
(E) Frozen Tempest
Mana = 15 per second
Cooldown = 1 second
Deals 30 (+4 per level) damage per second to nearby enemies. Slows enemy Move Speed by 6% per second, stacking up to 30%.
Frozen Tempest produces an AoE zone around Arthas that moves with him. This ability can deal a low amount of damage to enemies near Arthas that gradually builds as he levels. It also utilizes CC as it slowly applies a slowing effect.
(Trait) Frostmourne Hungers
Mana = -30
Cooldown = 12 seconds
Activate to make your next Basic Attack strike immediately, do 100% increased damage, and restore 30 Mana.
Arthas' trait is an active ability that restores Mana and increases the damage to his next attack. Frostmourne Hungers has 5 different talents that can buff it into an even greater damage-dealing, mana-restoring force to be reckoned with.
(R) Army of the Dead
Mana = 100
Cooldown = 100 seconds
Summons Ghouls that last 15 seconds. Sacrifice Ghouls to heal for 128 (+24 per level) Health.
Arthas' ultimates will be discussed in the Talent Breakdown.
(R) Summon Sindragosa
Mana = 100
Cooldown = 80 seconds
Deals 165 (+15 per level) damage and slows enemies by 60% for 2 seconds. Also disables Minions for 10 seconds and Structures for 20 seconds.
Arthas' ultimates will be discussed in the Talent Breakdown.

Builds Top

There are the 2 main builds I use when I play as Arthas. Team composition is the determining factor in which of these builds will work best in a given game.
  • Tank n Teamfight - The Tank n Teamfight focuses on tanking damage while dealing some damage of your own to the enemy. This build works to maintain a balance of life-saving talents that increase Arthas' tankiness while supplying a higher damage output through Frostmourne Hungers, Frozen Tempest, and Summon Sindragosa. This build works well in any given team composition due to its balance between survivability and damage.
  • Frostmourne Tempest - The Frostmourne Tempest Build is a fun build that focuses almost entirely on Arthas' damage output. Talents picked in this build focus on increasing the damage of abilities such as Frostmourne Hungers and Frozen Tempest. This build contains only 2 talents to improve Arthas survivability which are taken at Lvl 10 and Lvl 20. This build works best when their is a Support or another Warrior in your team comp.

Talent Breakdown Top

BlockDon't Pick
Periodically reduces the damage received from Hero Basic Attacks by 50%. Stores up to 2 charges.
I rarely pick Block in my builds, especially when Regeneration Master is on the table as well. In my opinion, a reduction in Hero Basic Attacks is pretty useless. When you think about it, most attacks you will take damage from are Abilities, not Basic Attacks. Of course, there are heroes like Illidan and the Butcher who will use Auto Attacks on you, but even then Block isn't going to save you.
Eternal HungerFrostmourne Tempest
Mana restored by Frostmourne Hungers increased to 60.
Eternal Hunger is a great pick for our Frostmourne Tempest build as it will increase our Mana and thus allow us to sustain our Frozen Tempest for a longer time. Later talents will increase the damage of Frozen Tempest and this ability will be critical in maintaining that damage.
Frost PresenceDon't Pick
Howling Blast cooldown lowered by 3 seconds.
Not a very useful talent overall. Howling Blast should only be used to root escaping heroes and a 12 second cooldown isn't that bad. Plus, there are better talents at this tier to choose from.
Regeneration MasterTank n Teamfight
Collecting Regeneration Globes permanently increases Health Regeneration by 1.5 per second.
Regeneration Master is an awesome talent and fits well in most builds. A personal favorite of mine, Regen Master can grant an extra 30-40 health regen per second, depending on how active the player is at grabbing those regen globes. This talent will vastly increase the tankiness of Arthas.


SuperiorityDon't Pick
Reduce damage taken from Minions, Structures, and Mercenaries by 50%.
A weak talent overall. We'll be spending most of our time soaking damage, dealing damage, and picking fights. Soaking xp is a task that should only occur til Lvl 10 after all.
DestructionTank n Teamfight, Frostmourne Tempest
Damage boost of Frostmourne Hungers increased to 150% damage.
This talent is incredibly useful (especially when compared to the other talents at this level) and will be picked up for both builds. It provides an increase in damage that will provide our tank with some damage and become critical in our Frostmourne Tempest build.
Frozen WastesDon't Pick
Frozen Tempest Mana cost reduced by 3 per second.
For our Tank n Teamfight build, we want to prioritize tank talents with a few talents that provide some damage. This talent only increases the sustain of Frozen Tempest, something that doesn't fit that build. In regard to our Frostmourne Tempest build, the pickup of Eternal Hunger covers this need.


Rune TapTank n Teamfight
Every 3rd Basic Attack heals you for 3.12% of your max Health.
An obvious pickup for our Tank n Teamfight build. This talent allows Arthas to pick up a large amount of Health in the midst of fighting. This Health buff builds up during the course of a fight and is a great pickup for this build.
ObliterateFrostmourne Tempest
Frostmourne Hungers also hits enemies near the target for 50% damage.
Now, whenever you use your trait you get to deal AoE damage. This talent has some great synergy with Destruction and really shows its prowess in close fights. Obliterate is at its strongest when attacking towers or enemy Heroes that are just too close together to survive your onslaught.
Frost StrikeDon't Pick
Frostmourne Hungers also slows the target by 40% for 1.5 seconds.
This sounds like a great talent to pick as it offers more CC to Arthas' kit. However, we have to remember that Arthas' Frozen Tempest grants a max slow of 30%. Obliterate offers better versatility for Frostmourne Hungers.
Death TouchDon't Pick
Death Coil causes enemy Minions to explode, killing the target instantly and dealing its normal damage to other nearby enemies.
It sounds like a really fun talent. Watch a minion blow up and deal its AA damage to every minion near it. While it sounds like a great wave-clear talent, we have to remember that minions don't really deal that damage. A fun idea, but not that practical sadly.


Finally, we have reached Level 10 and before us is the difficult decision of Heroic abilities. Arthas is one of those heroes with 2 really good Heroic abilities, each with its own advantages that can really turn the tide of battle. Let's take a look at them.
Army of the Dead
Summons Ghouls that last 15 seconds. Sacrifice Ghouls to heal for 104 (+24 per level) Health.
Army of the Dead is a great ability that summons 6 ghouls (9 with the Lvl 20 talent) to Arthas' side. These ghouls form a protective circle around Arthas, fighting the nearest target or whomever Arthas targets. In addition, Arthas can sacrifice these ghouls to heal himself. Army of the Dead is a strong ultimate that excels at improving the survivability of Arthas as well as aiding him in fights.
Summon Sindragosa
Deals 150 (+15 per level) damage, slows enemy Heroes, and freezes Minions for 10 seconds and Structures for 20 seconds.
Summon Sindragosa launches a massive skillshot in which Arthas invokes the power of the mighty dragon, Sindragosa. Sindragose carpets the battlefield with ice dealing a large amount of damage. The dragon also unleashes a host of battlefield-changing buffs that freeze Minions and Structures, applies a massive slow, and can root Heroes (with the Lvl 20 talent). Summon Sindragosa is a great teamfighting ultimate that is highly capable of battlefield manipulation.

So which Heroic Ability do we take?

Army of the Dead - We won't be taking Army of the Dead today. While, it used to be more popular, the meta is in a current shift toward Sindragosa. Both talents are still really close to 50-50. But Sindragosa is doing more these days in terms of teamfighting and damage.

Summon Sindragosa - For both our Tank n Teamfight build and our Frostmourne Tempest build, we will be taking Summon Sindragosa. This ability is really powerful in teamfights, often changing the tides of battle. Summon Sindragosa offers more versatility than Army of the Dead as it can be used to siege forts, start teamfights with some burst damage and slows, and clean up the mess after your team wins a teamfight by slowing (and rooting at Lvl 20) any fleeing Heroes.


Spell ShieldTank n Teamfight (1)
Upon taking Ability Damage, reduce that damage and further Ability Damage by 50% for 3 seconds. Can only trigger once every 30 seconds.
An essential pick for our Tank n Teamfight build. This talent is insanely useful against bursty heroes such as Jaina, Kael'thas, Nova, and Zeratul. Up to this point, we have mostly picked regen talents such as Regeneration Master and Rune Tap, but this will be our first damage reduction talent.
RelentlessTank n Teamfight (2)
Reduces the duration of silences, stuns, slows, and roots against your Hero by 50%.
I find this to be just as useful as Spell Shield. Make sure to check the enemy's team comp before making a decision on Lvl 13 talents. If its full of bursty Assassins, go for Spell Shield. But if it contains CC pros such as Muradin or Uther, go for Relentless.
Trail of FrostDon't Pick
Howling Blast impacts enemies while traveling.
This can be a really fun talent that turns Howling Blast into a Skillshot ability in a sense. However, there are better picks at this level and our builds can't accomodate this fun choice. And as you get better at Arthas, you'll find that you can land your Howling Blast roots more accurately.
Biting ColdFrostmourne Tempest
Frozen Tempest damage increased by 50%.
A simple damage boost that will really aid our Frozen Tempest ability. The early-game pickup of Eternal Hunger will increase the sustain of Frozen Tempest, and now we are getting more damage with that sustain.


Frostmourne FeedsFrostmourne Tempest
Increased application to your next 2 Basic Attacks.
We've spent three talents so far buffin our Frostmourne Hungers ability and now we get to use it twice in a row. We will now be receiving a whopping 120 Mana, be dealing some heavy AoE damage with it, and 150% our Basic Attack damage twice in a row to our prey. A simple, yet deadly, pickup at Lvl 16.
Immortal CoilDon't Pick
Death Coil also heals when used on enemies. When used on self, the amount healed is increased by 50%.
We have enough tanky talents which makes this a bad pickup. Besides, if we wanted another tanky talent, Stoneskin is a much better choice.
Embrace DeathTank n Teamfight
Death Coil deals 20% more damage for each 10% of life you are missing.
We've picked up enough life-saving talents so now let's have some fun with our next two talents. At this level, we'll be picking up a talent that can actually aid us in a teamfight. A lot of people like Stoneskin for a Tank build, but by picking up earlier tanky talents we can pick up this and I find it to be well worth the loss of Stoneskin. This talent vastly increases the damage of our Death Coil turning it into a deadly weapon when we're at low health. Great at finishing off weak Heroes.
StoneskinDon't Pick
Activate to gain 30% of your maximum Health as a Shield for 5 seconds.
A great pickup for many tank builds as it allows for crazy soaking. However, I feel that we have enough tank talents to survive a conflict. If you're new to Arthas or are still having trouble soaking and surviving teamfights, pick this up if you need to. It really is a great talent.


We've finally reached Level 20, the second most important level in terms of talents. Here, we can further buff our Heroic Abilities or gain some other really good talents.
Legion of NorthrendDon't Pick
3 additional Ghouls are created. Ghouls heal for an additional 25% and last 5 seconds longer.
An alright talent for our Army of the Dead ability. More ghouls, more heals, and more time with our newfound friends. However, there are better talents in terms of tankiness, namely Hardened Shield.
Absolute ZeroTank n Teamfight, Frostmourne Tempest
Sindragosa flies twice as far. Enemy Heroes are rooted for 2 seconds, and then slowed by 60% for 2 seconds.
An epic ability in terms of buffing our dragon friend. Sindragosa gets a massive length boost which can actually be incredibly useful in cleaning up after teamfights. He now roots enemy Heroes before applying that 60% slow we all love. This talent just does so much for buffing our Ultimate.
Hardened ShieldDon't Pick
Activate to reduce damage taken by 75% for 4 seconds.
Another personal favorite of mine. Sadly, we won't be picking this up as our friend, the Sindragosa, is a lot better at teamfighting.
RewindDon't Pick
Activate to reset the cooldowns of your Basic Abilities.
This can be a really good talent on certain Heroes. Sadly, Arthas isn't one of those heroes. Rewind works best on Heroes with combo abilities such as Murky and Zeratul. Arthas has no combos really. I mean I guess you could get 4 swings with Frostmourne Tempest, but Sindragosa still tops this.

By the Numbers Top

To really drive home the power of these talents, I've written this section to show the numbers of damage, regen, and other stats that we've given Arthas. All numbers (unless otherwise stated) are applicable with Lvl 20.

General Stats
1040 (+220 per lvl)
2.168 (+0.475 per lvl)
500 (+10 per lvl)
3 (+0.0976 per lvl)
47 (+9 per lvl)
Lvl 1 - 1040 Health - 2.2 Health Regen - 500 Mana - 3 Mana Regen - 47 Damage
Lvl 10 - 3020 Health - 6.28 Health Regen - 590 Mana - 3.9 Mana Regen - 128 Damage
Lvl 20 - 5220 Health - 10.85 Health Regen - 690 Mana - 4.85 Mana Regen - 218 Damage

Tank n Teamfight
  • Regeneration Master - If you are diligant with collecting Regen Globes, you can get around 30 extra Health regen per second. Coupled with your natrual regen, this is 40 Health per second, or 0.77% of your total Health.
  • Destruction- You're getting 545 damage with Frostmourne Hungers instead of 436 damage, a bonus of 109 damage.
  • Rune Tap - Coupled with Regen Master, we get 3.12% of our Health every 3 seconds or 1.04% Health per second. Coupled with Regen Master, this is about 2% of our Total Health if we're really diligent about collecting those Regen Globes. This is 104 Health per second. Damn, that's some regen.
  • Spell Shield / Relentless - Either 50% less Ability Damage for 3 seconds or 50% less time under the effects of CC. Either options really good.
  • Embrace Death - At 100% Health, Death Coil deals 374 damage. At 70% Health, Death Coil deals 598 damage. At 50% Health, Death Coil deals 748 damage. At 20% Health, Death Coil deals 972 damage.

Frostmourne Tempest[size]
  • Eternal Hunger - Go from restoring 30 Mana, to 60 Mana.
  • Destruction- You're getting 545 damage with Frostmourne Hungers instead of 436 damage, a bonus of 109 damage.
  • Obliterate - Frostmourne Hungers now deals 273 damage to nearby targets.
  • Biting Cold - Frozen Tempest goes from dealing 110 damage to 165 damage, a bonus of 55 damage a second.
  • Frostmourne Feeds - Our strongest talent now. If you hit the same target twice (as you probably will), Frostmourne Hungers deals 1090 damage, 546 AoE damage, and restores 120 Mana (17% of your total Mana).

Army of the Dead
After doing some testing in Try Mode, I've discovered the unofficial stats of the ghouls summoned by the Army of the Dead ability.
At Lvl 10, 6 ghouls are summoned around Arthas. Each deals 30 damage, has 1250 Health, and heal for 344 Health. This results in an initial DPS of 308 (including Arthas' Basic Attack damage) that decreases as ghouls die or are sacrificed.
At Lvl 20 (without Legion of Northrend), the 6 ghouls deal 40 damage, have 1250 Health and heal for 584 Health. Their initial DPS is 458.
At Lvl 20 (with Legion of Northrend, 9 ghouls are summoned dealing 40 damage with 1250 Health and heal for 730 Health. Their initial DPS is 578.

Summon Sindragosa
At Lvl 10, Sindragosa deals 315 damage, slows enemies by 60% for 2 seconds, disables Minions for 10 seconds, and Structures for 20 seconds.
At Lvl 20 (without Absolute Zero), Sindragosa deals 465 damage with the above debuffs in slows and disables.
At Lvl 20 (with Absolute Zero), Sindragosa deals 465 damage with the above debuffs in slows and disables. However, it roots enemy Heroes for 2 seconds before applying the 2 second 60% slow. Sindragosa also flies twice as far.

I have waited til now to show the exact numbers behind the two Heroic abilities so that I could first show you a general description of them. These Heroic abilities are both really strong in the right situation. If you're looking for 1v1 damage and heals, Army of the Dead is the right choice. I feel Summon Sindragosa is more powerful as it can hit multiple targets and can really change the battlefield. It eliminates non-Heroic damage and provides a moderate burst of damage to the enemy.

Conclusion Top

"I would like to sincerely thank you for reading this guide. This is the first guide I've ever written for HeroesFire (or HOTS in general) and while it took a lot of time to make, I hope it will help all of my readers in the Nexus. Please comment below on my performance in this article and feel free to make suggestions on additions to this guide. Vote for it if you would like to see more guides just like this one. Again, thank you for taking the time to read this. May it help you win on the battlefield." -MLN365

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