HeroesHow - Kael'thas by Aridion

HeroesHow - Kael'thas

By: Aridion
Last Updated: May 29, 2019
15 Votes
Build 1 of 2


Build: Consistent Damage Build

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


Build: Tank Damage Build

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

Introduction to the Author Top

Hello, my name is Aridion1 -- Aridion in-game. As a new guide writer, I hope to pass on my years of experience playing Heroes of the Storm. I am level 824, and my Kael'thas is level 28 with a KDA of 6.17 and 72.7% win rate this season.

Kael'thas is the quintessential fire mage. Consumed by fel energies, Kael'thas has the ability to devastate any team. Kael'thas has a strong presence in team fights, and if left unattended, he will decimate the other team. I use two primary builds as Kael'thas: Consistent Damage Build and Tank Damage Build. The only variation between the two builds comes down to the level 7 talent. Kael'thas is a hero; no single build is a catch all. He is the most banned hero in ranked for a reason. Hopefully this guide helps you understand why.

Build Theme: Cooldown Reduction and Flamethrowing Top

Essentially both builds focus around Cooldown Reduction and bathing the battlefield in fire. He is the Sun King after all.

First off, this guide begins with explaining Kael'thas'Gameplay when running these builds. Later, I discuss the talents at each level and how they are incorporated into the builds. All talents in my builds synergize with each other. When it comes to selecting the right build, your ability to adapt is imperative. No talent is truly incompatible, and selection ultimately depends on the player. Knowing your enemy is as important as knowing your hero.

Gameplay Top

Early Game: When running Convection, it is important to finish this talent as soon as possible. It is important to keep in mind that Kael'thas does not have the largest health pool and has minimal defenses. Early game, Kael'thas should be with at least one other teammate to lure a larger amount of the enemy team to you. Verdant Sphere with Flamestrike. Do not hesitate to use Flamestrike on minions -- this helps fake out placement. Do not hesistate to use Living Bomb on minions -- it can spread to Heroes who are not paying attention and grab the nice bonus from level 7 (Consistent Damage Build). You will need to back for mana often as Kael'thas. Do not dig your own grave -- look at your mana pool, if you don't have enough for a Gravity Lapse, get out and get to the fountain. Once you achieve level 4, the necessity of mana pool checking goes down.

Mid Game: By level 10, Kael'thas should have completed Convection and can sit more comfortably with his mana. Once Convection has been completed, Kael'thas can become more aggressive with his abilities. If possible, use Pyroblast to pick off low health targets right before objectives start. It is also important to remember that once Convection is complete, Kael'thas has a powerful lane clear that one shots minions. Do not forget to lane.

End Game: From level 13 on wards, it is important to be checking abilities and making sure they are on cooldown! Throw out the fire. Whether it be on minions or heroes, maximize your output from 13 on. Do not forget about your mana, this part of the game tends to be more mana intensive compared to levels 4-13. By level 20, Kael'thas can rapidly throw out abilities. Flamestrike the back line heroes. If tanks are in your face, benefit from Flamethrower/Ignite, and if they are greedy on their pursuit, Sun King's Fury.

Kael'thas Talents: Level 1 Top

Talent Tier Explanation: This talent tier clearly differentiates the two play styles of Kael'thas -- Glass Cannon versus Ranged Bruiser. On the forefront, quests can be daunting, especially those with penalties. Please keep that in mind as you read this talent tier.
Fel Infusion: Fel Infusion is great for beginners. If you are a new Kael'thas player, Fel Infusion is for you. Fel Infusion is a solid mix between damage gain and survivability, If you aren't prepared to quest, take Fel Infusion. Understand though, Kael'thas has two very rewarding talents in this tier that drastically change his play. When you're more comfortable with playing Kael'thas, graduate to a quest.

Mana Addict: Mana Addict can be a very effective trait, but I rarely take this trait. I prefer damage maximization as a ranged assassin. Although, there are times where personal support is necessary such as against a team who has the ability to dive through your team's front line. When taking this trait, it is best to solo lane. You want to get 20 globes as soon as possible.

Convection: Convection is used in both builds. Convection is one of the most rewarding quests out of every hero -- next to Tracer's kill stacks quest or Greymane's basic hit stacking quest. When taking Convection as Kael'thas, you want to never be in a lane alone. Your chances of being picked off increase, and your ability to quickly hit 20 stacks diminishes. When other player's realize Convection is in your toolkit, you become a target. Use that to your advantage. You want to be where the action is with Convection, and you want to maximize the number of target's hit. When building Convection stacks, it is always important to couple it with Verdant Spheres (Trait). Verdant Sphere increases the area of effect for Flamestrike, thus maximizing your capability hit more heroes and complete the quest in a timely fashion.

Kael'thas Talents: Level 4 Top

Talent Tier Explanation: This talent tier focuses around mana conservation with added benefits to the Nether Wind ability.
Nether Wind: Nether Wind can be fickle and counterproductive at times, but it can be rewarding for a sharpshooter. Gravity Lapse costs quite a bit of mana. If you have trouble consistently hitting a hero with Gravity Lapse, do not take this talent. This ability does provide a bit more comfort though as well. It allows for Kael'thas to stop a diver before they can even consider diving. This talent allows access to back of the line targets, and it can sweep an entire team off their feet when coupled with Verdant Sphere. I do not recommend this ability though.

Energy Roil: Energy Roil is used in both builds. Energy Roil is the most solid choice in the tier. It innately reduces the cost of Gravity Lapse, and it can be rewarding in team fights. Consistent stuns are the best stuns. Disruption is your friend as Kael'thas. A cooldown reduction allows for just that.

Mana Tap: Mana Tap is a solid choice for players who cannot effectively weave Verdant Spheres into their Living Bomb rotation. I do not take this trait because I believe the other two talents in this tier are more rewarding for mana management.

Kael'thas Talents: Level 7 Top

Talent Tier Explanation: This talent tier focuses around damage and the different types of damage Kael'thas can produce.
Burned Flesh: Burned Flesh is the talent used in the Tank Damage Build. When fighting against compositions consisting of heroes with high health, this talent allows for devastating results, especially coupled with other talents in these builds. Specifically, a two tank composition melts when versing a Kael'thas using this trait.

Sun King's Fury: Sun King's Fury is the talent used in the Consistent Damage Build. This talent allows for a high amount of disruption against a generally low health pool team. Essentially, this talent forces players to peel away from their team. When weaving Living Bomb with Verdant Spheres, you can punish teams for not being responsible with Kael'thas Living Bombs. I call the build Consistent Damage because it forces that responsibility onto the other team.

Sunfire Enchantment: Sunfire Enchantment can be rewarding but also deadly. This talent effectively forces Kael'thas to spend more time on the frontline, but if you are solid at landing basic attacks, this talent can drastically increase Kael'thas damage. I do not use this talent for the builds I have outlined because to me Kael'thas has no business in basic attacks. The talents I have selected work best together and allow Kael'thas to become a Flamethrower (level 20 talent).

Kael'thas Talents: Level 10 Top

Talent Tier Explanation: This is the heroic talent tier, and it has two distinct types of damage. Direct and Area of Effect.
Phoenix: Phoenix ends up being a solid choice for zone control, but it is not a recommended talent. Phoenix has a short cooldown, and a fairly decent damage output.

Pyroblast: Pyroblast is the recommended talent for both builds. Pyroblast is effective against any team composition, and allows for picking off weak characters in the back line with its long range. Knowing your enemy and their abilities is important when using Pyroblast. Pyroblast can easily turn a team fight in your favor, especially against teams who do not peel the blast away from their teammates.

Kael'thas Talents: Level 13 Top

Talent Tier Explanation: This talent tier focuses around the Living Bomb spell. This talent tier allows for flexibility with the spell, and it can punish teams who are not responsible with their Living Bombs.
Pyromaniac: Pyromaniac is the recommended talent used in both builds. Pyromaniac rewards players who are effective at casting Flamestrike and weaving Verdant Spheres with Living Bombs.

Backdraft: Backdraft ends up fading out as a solid choice in most games. It is a situational ability where best used when the enemy team has generally fast heroes: Lucio, Tracer, Genji, Zagara (on creep), Lunara, Illidan, Li Li, etc.

Fission Bomb: Fission Bomb is an excellent talent against teams who are not responsible with Living Bomb. If you notice early game players are not as receptive to Living Bomb then Fission Bomb ends up being a solid talent choice. I generally do not take this talent though even with that considered. The builds listed are geared for cooldown reduction and being able to truly become a Flamethrower.

Kael'thas Talents: Level 16 Top

Talent Tier Explanation: This talent tier focuses around "future" damage. Each talent adds additional effects to his kit.
Fury of the Sunwel: Fury of the Sunwell creates a nice zone control effect and punishes enemies who do not watch their feet. This is a debatable choice when compared to the other talents in this row. It would synergize the best with the Tank Damage Build. I do not recommend this talent with the given builds.

Ignite: Ignite is the recommended talent used in both builds. This talent synergizes well with the theme of cooldown reduction by providing a free living bomb. If the player is accurate with Flamestrike, you can devastate back of the line characters and force early retreats.

Twin Spheres: Twin Spheres provides a little more leeway weaving Spheres with Living Bombs. A lot of the times though you are waiting to apply the next Living Bomb, or are over utilizing the cooldown reduction granted by Pyromaniac. I do not recommend this talent with the builds outlined.

Kael'thas Talents: Level 20 Top

Talent Tier Explanation: This talent tier focuses around empowering the heroic abilities and Kael'thas' primary damaging abilities. This tier has a ton of flexible talents.
Rebirth: Rebirth expands upon the zone control granted by Phoenix. Having the ability to move the Phoenix requires a broad perspective of the battlefield and understanding of how the enemy likes to move. I do not recommend this talent with the given builds.

Presence of Mind: Presence of Mind is a great talent, and arguably, competitive against the recommended talent in this tier. Presence of Mind reinforces the cooldown reduction theme, but my preference is Flamethrower.

Master of Flames: Master of Flames is another competitive talent in this tier. Choose this talent if you recognized the other team struggles with taking out Living Bombs.

Flamethrower: Flamethrower is the talent that I believe defines Kael'Thas. The added range allows for complete devastation of backline heroes, especially when coupled with Ignite. This talent also mitigates frontline heroes as well because of the build in cooldown reduction. This talent is what I believe allows Kael'thas to bath the battlefield in fire.

Conclusion Top

I do believe that both builds presented provide an outrageous amount of damage output from one hero. If left unchecked, you will walk all over the enemy team. As a mage in World of Warcraft, I cannot help but envy how powerful fire is in Heroes of the Storm. Thank you for reading my first guide, and please leave any feedback. Happy flamethrowing!

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