Kael' Thas AOE Burst Evolving Build/Guide by Soarin

Kael' Thas AOE Burst Evolving Build/Guide

By: Soarin
Last Updated: May 21, 2015
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Build 1 of 5

Kael'thas

Build: Kael' Thas AOE Bomb High Damage

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

Kael'thas

Build: Flamestrike Build/ Ranged Nuke

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

Kael'thas

Build: Supporty more survivability

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

Kael'thas

Build: Kael'Thas assasination

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

Kael'thas

Build: Ramp scaling

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

Background Top

I am a high ranked (top 750) Master Rank Assassin player, I have been playing since the beginning of the closed alpha and in total have over 500 games just on Heroes of the Storm. Along with that are around 2500 games on Heroes of Newearth at a high level and 600+ games of League of Legends.

Through playing Kael'Thas I have figured out a build that provides for massive AOE DPS and solid harass and tank killing. The Evolving nature of this guide means that it will be updated for future use after considering others opinions, ladder play, and statistics.

Kael' Thas has some major shortcomings in that he has very limited mobility and not an extreme amount of damage to make up for it however his potential AOE combined with very short ult cooldowns make his sustain poke DPS something to largely be reckoned with. Positioning and accurately executing combos are key to making him work.

This is my first guide in a long time so I hope that you like it! I will be updating this in the future as the Meta and Kael'Thas changes!

Abilities Top

Verdant Spheres
(D)
Cooldown: 6 seconds
Your next Basic Ability is more powerful.
Flamestrike
(Q)
Cooldown: 7 seconds
After a short delay, deal 474 (94 + 20 per level) damage in an area. Verdant Spheres increases the radius by 50% and deals 711 (141 + 30 per level) damage
Living Bomb
(W)
Cooldown: 10 seconds
Deal 420 (78 + 18 per level) damage over 3 seconds to an enemy, then they explode dealing 210 (39 + 9 per level) damage to all nearby enemies. Casting a second Living Bomb on an enemy causes the previous Living Bomb to explode immediately.Verdant Spheres makes this Ability cost no Mana and have no cooldown.
Gravity Lapse
(E)
Cooldown: 13 seconds
Stun the first enemy hit for 1.5 seconds. Verdant Spheres causes Gravity Lapse to stun the first 3 enemies hit.
Pyroblast
(R)
Cooldown: 50 seconds
After 2 seconds, cast a slow-moving fireball that deals 1600 (365 + 65 per level) damage to an enemy Hero and 800 (182.5 + 32.5 per level) damage to enemies nearby.
Phoenix
(R)
Cooldown: 50 seconds
Launch a Phoenix to an area, dealing 170 (18 + 8 per level) damage to enemies along the way. The Phoenix persists for 7 seconds, attacking enemies for 170 (18 + 8 per level) damage and splashing for 50%.

How to play Top

Your combo should in general go something like this E>D+W>W>Q then either walk away or attempt to use pyroblast/ zone with phoenix.

Combo to be used through till level 16

Rotation

> (+) > > >


Post level 16 after getting Ignite tallent

Rotation

> > > >

Ultimate thrown in towards the beginning tends to be the best not in the middle.

The nature of the combo



You will only be able to CC one person with this and that is enough contrary to what many people would think. This combo does more damage the more people that are near the person you are comboing and often times can chain itself, through the use of Chain Bomb , to their backlane and lower an entire teams health by about half. The bombs will bounce between people and deal insane damage just make sure you don't overextend with your lust for the AOE.

Pyroblast


There are generally 3 ways to use your ultimate in any scenario.
1. To harass
- The cooldown of pyroblast is ridiculously low you can mostly feel free to use it when you fell like a team fight may be coming up or to zone people away from your team.
2. Beginning of Teamfights
- Contrary to what people seem to think using pyroblast in the beginning of an engagement can be ridiculously impactful and most often it does the most damage that it will ever do in this scenario. When they attempt to engage on you or you engage on them either way most of the CC is burned from both teams in the beginning of fights and there will be people clumped and ready to get group bursted. Along with this ulting in the as they run away into their fellow teammates can cause massive AOE. If they decide to not run to their teammates they can most likely be easily chased down.
3. At the end/ Picks/ 1v1s
-this is pretty self explanatory your ultimate does roughly half of any support or assassin's health it will along with that follow them to the ends of the earth. It is a very good tool you can use for cleaning up.

Phoenix


If you intent to use phoenix just plop it down in the middle of their formation or on top of your own team. This should serve to give you a great deal of zoning against their carrys if they care about their rather slowly decaying healthbars.

UPDATE:As I have played further I have begun to like Phoenix a great deal more, mainly because of its ease of use and the fact that pyroblast tends to gimp yourself in fights rather than be too much of use.

Laning



Duo Laning


During the laning phase always be looking for chances to stun and play aggressive. You have great amounts of burst potential in the beginning at AOE and single target especially if you choose Envenom. Also be looking to poke others with your passive + Living Bomb because it is free in combination and helps to zone people away. You most likely will not be able to take towers early unless you are dominating but it should provide a rather safe and destructive kill lane.

Solo Laning


During the laning phase depending on the match up you will most likely once again focus on your powered up Living Bomb poke and try to stay alive. Remember that in Heroes of the Storm there is no point in going for last hits you just need to be in EXP range to fully benefit from the minion wave in front of you. Kael'Thas has a really hard time against some solo laners so be careful when going up against the likes of Zagara and Thrall especially. If you get put in a hard lane just play defensive and wait to capitalize on ganks that should be coming your way.

Mid-Game


Level 10-15


During this phase of the game focus on supporting your friends and not going for solo plays as much. Clear waves with Verdant Spheres+ Flamestrike and one Living Bomb, it generally will instantly clear any wave and let you get on with what you were doing. Remember Kael'Thas has amazing follow up DPS and stun potential even without the upgraded Gravity Lapse. Focus on team play and poking people during fights. Don't be afraid to combo tanks and always be thinking about getting regen globes for your Mana Addict. This is an interesting time for Kael'Thas because you are about to hit a large power spike and change your play style greatly. During this time you should still be using as many of the first rotation as you can. However always remember that using your passive in combination with Gravity Lapse for clutch 2-3 person stuns is great too. Whenever you are trying to poke at this point do not be too risky with your play, consider how susceptible you are to just getting rushed down by the enemy. Poke from far away with your upgraded Flamestrike and stall the game or follow up on friendlies plays. Very important to note that vs single target you will end up dealing much more damage even before level 16 with one Living Bomb and upgrading Flamestrike.

Late Game + Team Fight/Play Making


Level 16 and Teamfighting


You have just hit Kael'Thas biggest power spike in terms of damage and poke. Passive upgraded Ignite will allow you to deal some of the best poke from any champion in the game at a relatively safe distance even without the range upgrade at level 13. Be near the back of your team and focus on safely attempting to get 1-2-3 man long range Flamestrike off. At this point in the game your Mana Addict should be giving you roughly 500-600 mana allowing you to spam this to your hearts content. If you get caught out just accept that you will most likely die and (without massive healing on your team or strong counter engage) Verdant Spheres+ Flamestrike on top of yourself and try to throw down all the spells you can. If you are going down odds are you will be able to take at least one person with you. Don't be afraid to throw your burst on tanks and watch them run your Living bomb back into their team but ALWAYS be looking to land Verdant Spheres+ Flamestrike on their backline. One Flamestrike on their backline during a fight can completely shift the the battle in your favor.

Playmaking


The opportunity for solo play making is not very frequent for Kael'Thas but when it happens it is hugely satisfying. Bursting with the second combo listed above allows you to kill most any squishy target in the game. If you are confident you can Bolt of the Storm onto an alone enemy stun and combo them as quick as you can and watch the explosions. In rare scenarios you will be able to do the same thing just on two people and there is almost no difference to the combo. You still Gravity Lapse you still upgrade Flamestrike you just have to aim it to hit both and you will likely be able to get both kills. This by no means makes him a great assassination mage. Does he have the ability to, yes, but it is in more niche scenarios and not nearly as reliable as the great Nova is proving to be in the Kael'Thas patch. Feel free to try and make plays just be warned that in this manner you are using your only escape tool to initiate a fight.

In-Depth Talent Analysis and Explanation Top



I find the best for my playstyle and late game harass to be Mana Addict. Towards mid game if you have been farming enough you should have around 500 extra mana and not really ever have problems with it again. You absolutely need this talent to prevent yourself from not having enough mana throughout the entire game. This effectively solves Kael'Thas' rampant mana deprivation.

The other viable option is Energy Roil Kael'Thas stun is very hard to hit and you often have to be in precarious situations to get it off in team fights this helps greatly with that and in lane if you have having trouble with positioning. It is worth noting that your Living Bomb's range is still around the original stuns range so you will have to run up after to combo anyway if you pick this up.

The heal Fel Infusion is rather insignificant if you are harassing the opponent enough they will be the ones losing much more health and you can use well early. And the bonus 20% damage, Convection is pretty awful compared to the previous two in this particular build.


UPDATE: I seem to be switching between Gathering Power and Nether Wind a lot lately they both seem to be very good.

Envenom. I love playing Kael' Thas with large early game laning pressure with a tank or support that has a stun to create a pretty nasty kill lane. Envenom on top of that is one of the best talents in the game and for most champions is an auto pick. It does insane damage and fits very nicely into your combo with the delayed burst. This however tends to fall off in the late game for Kael'Thas as you want to be towards the back being artillery late game.

Gathering Power is a very popular talent as well for its dramatic increase in your combo and especially pyroblast's damage. This Talent can make you either snowball HARD into the late game or become relatively useless vs a team that will consistently kill you in or after teamfights.

Nether Wind, this is a solid choice for ease of use in comboing with the range and speed upgrade. Very Popular choice as well although you don't need it by any means to pull off the combo, it is extremely helpful with landing every stun.

Mana Tap is really never worth it. Mana Addict is the straight upgrade X10 to Mana Tap. Mana Tap will not happen that often in the first place even in the beginning because you don't care about last hitting in this game just XP.



Top Choice here is Fission Bomb this is HUGELY important for this build. This talent makes the burst of this build real and worth it in any way. Without this talent play a different build. That being said even if you are playing a different build this is a very solid talent to choose.

Clairvoyance in any build should never be used. Tri-Optimal is generally not much use. And Sunfire Enchantment just doesn't do the damage that the bomb upgrade can do.



The opinions of on the ultimates and different ways to use them were shown in the above section. In my opinion Pyroblast is better, but further testing and balance could tell otherwise.

UPDATE:Phoenix shows great potential and pyroblast seems to leave you pretty defenseless.



Chain Bomb the AOE part of the burst in this combo. Every time you attach a living bomb to something you will propagate that damage around to everyone. This causes some unexpected backline kills when you lay all of your Living Bombs on tanks and it just chains all the way back. This also effectively doubles to more than doubles your damage in any sort of fight that you are up to.

Pyromaniac, oh the potential in this talent is fantastic but if only it wasn't right next to Chain Bomb. If the possibility existed of Chain Bomb + Pyromaniac this build would be so much more than overpowered but alas it will go unused for quite a while.

Flamethrower,it is pretty good but not needed for this particular build. Most of the ranges for other abilities are close up anyway and in this case we are playing more of a combo build than a poke build. UPDATE: I have seen many people playing with this talent instead and going for a very poke oriented build. Overall a damage decrease sometimes by a very large margin but very long range artillery style poke.

Spell Shield is not at all good for the style of play that you are going for, not worth the talent option especially with two great ones available. Great shielding but you could also just pick up Arcane Barrier later for a much more powerful variant.



Ignite well it increases your your damage by a lot and really allows for you to have lots of living bombs on many enemies quickly. Important to note that the living bombs that are set because of this talent do chain. Also that it will only apply on heroes not minions of any kind. Also very important is that after this talent consider using your passive to upgrade flame strike instead because that will more often result in much more damage and much more bombs placed.

Backdraft, you really don't need this slow you are sacrificing so many Living Bombs for the chance to slow people. I argue that it is not worth it but others thank the opposite. It is all up to yourself in the end.

Gravity Throw really never needs to be used with other talents that are better and could be picked right here.

If you are getting bursted and have nowhere to run Arcane Barrier is insane with Mana Addict at its side. The shield is absolutely ginormous but you lose some good damage in the process.


SO MANY OPTIONS!!!!!!

Bolt of the Storm, it is very very good a top tier choice and allows for much easier assassinations and engages along with getting out of bad spots quickly and easily.

Arcane Power, This is also a great talent to choose to increase your burst further. This is generally best if you have strong engage on your team or someone like a zagara who makes this almost an instant pick.

Rebirth, not necessarily needed but can help alot with mobile enemy teams, especially good if your team doesn't have enough damage.

Presence Of Mind, if the enemy team has a hard time thinking and just clumps for you this is insane. Also if your teamfights seem to be missing some insane AOE damage this is great. This is by far the best when the enemy team is filled with meelee characters that will inevitably be destroyed by the extended AOE. Along with its upgrade there have been quite a few fights i have gotten multiple pyroblasts off in one fight alone.

Best teamates/ Enemies Top

If you can find a friend to lane with then do it. The best allies tend to be tanks and supports with stuns such as Uther, Diablo, Anub'arak, Stitches....etc

With Chain Bomb completely counter The Lost Vikings

Updates Top

Updated 5/13/2015: After playing more and others input also visual upgrades.
Updated 5/14/2015: More build experimentation (noted) and more experience. Added Mid and Late Game Guides

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