Kel'Thuzad In-depth Combo Build by Gorthun

Kel'Thuzad In-depth Combo Build

By: Gorthun
Last Updated: Mar 26, 2018
13 Votes
Build 1 of 1


Build: Build #1

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

Introduction Top

Kel'Thuzad is a ranged assasin, also classified as mage. He used to serve the Lich King as the leader of Naxxramas. His main purpose in the Nexus is to lock down two enemy heroes, make them vulnerable and blow them up with his mighty combo. He is quite squishy but for a mage he is not too fragile. His main weakness is his lack of any form of escape mechanism and also his need to position himself closer to the fight than most other mages. Also a big chunk of difficulty of playing him comes from the fact all his abilities are skillshots.

He is an amazing mage pick if the enemy team has at least two frontline heroes. It might seem counter intuitive, but with the amount of damage you can put out you can very seriously threaten even the tankiest heroes in the game. You shouldn't focus thoroughly on just disabling the enemy frontline, but it makes hitting your full combo all that much easier.

I would also like to mention this guide is focused on more experienced players who simply seek to learn how to use Kel'Thuzaad as efficiently as possible. There may be a few phrases or simply wording of some sentences newer players might not understand.

Any constructive criticism is extremely welcome.

Abilty Overview Top

Master of the Cold Dark

This is Kel'Thuzad's trait. It is passive so you dont use the D keybind with him at all.
It is a quest that is completed after chaining enemy heroes or freezing them with your frost nova 30 times.
It has two stages. After 15 chains or roots your basic ability cooldowns are reduced by 2 seconds, meaning you can use your combos more often.
The main boon comes after thirty. Thats when you gain 75% extra spellpower. This basically defines Kel'Thuzad.
It is absolutely crucial that you focus on finishing the quest as early in the game as possible. You MUST have it completed before level 10 where the real fun begins. It is fairly easy to complete it if you keep it in mind. If your aim with chains is true, you can complete it as fast as under 4 minutes. This is also the reason why Kel'Thuzad should never solo lane at the start. After you complete it you actually turn into a crazy good solo laner.

Death and Decay (Q)

This might seem as Kel'Thuzad's main damage ability but it does not really do all that much damage. It is a great waveclearing and possibly sniping tool, when you want to take out low health heroes that are somewhat distant due to its surprisingly long range. It also complements your combo potential very well. Thanks to this ability, you might want to consider taking a different level 16 talent than I suggest. I sometimes take it too. The talent Im talking about is . It makes every instance of damage afflicted by you deal extra small ticks of damage. And since Death and Decay deals damage in ticks it really gives this talent a value.
It is worth mentioning it has a short cast time so you have to work around that, meaning you need to slightly anticipate the enemies movement.
I strongly recommend using quickcast on this ability

Frost Nova (W)

This is an ability that very efficiently locks down enemy heroes after you chain them together. It does not do amazing amounts of damage, but is a powerful cc or zoning tool. Also usable on minions and merc camps. It freezes the enemies hit by the center of the ability and slows heroes hit by its edges. Works very well with a teamcomp that can capitalize on your strong crowd control.
I also strongly recommend using quickcast on this.

Chains of Kel'Thuzad (E)

This is THE most important Kel'Thuzad's ability. It requires some practice to land reliably. It's main downside is it's fairly low range on the initial cast. This is why Kel'Thuzad is often forced to position dangerously.
This ability attaches to the first enemy hero or structure hit (does not work on friendly structures!). Reactivating the ability gives you the opportunity to aim the chains from the initial target. If the second hit connects it pulls the targets together. If one of your targets is a strcture it pulls the hero to it.
This is how you create your powerful combos. With the level 1 talent after finishing your trait quest it also applies a 15% vulnerability debuff. I cannot stress enough how important this talent is.
I do not use quickcast on this ability simply because it is fairly difficult to land it and you want maximum reliabilty. Also the quickcast is not needed that much because you start your combo with this ability but I will elaborate on this later.

Shadow Fissure (R)

This is the go to heroic talent choice of Kel'Thuzad. It is also his main painbringer. With your quest complete, this makes your hero damage skyrocket. It places a rather small circle on the ground which explodes with spikes after 1,5 seconds deaaling staggering amount of damage to all enemy heroes in the area.
One nice thing about this spell is it's global range. Although I do not recommend using this ability freely to harras enemy heroes two lanes away from you, it can do a lot of damage when one of your allies locks down an enemy. With this you can help your team with securing kills even if you're not present in the fight. You also have a lot of fun damaging Sgt. Hammer in her siege mode.
This ability requires qucikcast.

Frost Blast (R)

This is the second heroic option for Kel'Thuzad, but I recommend avoiding it. It has a very slow velocity and your target is marked by a huge blue circle around him. It deals almost no damage to the primary target and most enemies will simply walk away from its area of effect. It offers a solid root, but if you choose this over Shadow Fissure you are greatly limiting your damage output potential.

Talent Choice Explained Top

Level 1 Talent: Barbed Chains

This talent is very underrated. In some guides it even says they do not recommend it. I beg to disagree. The extra damage on chains is negligible, but 15% vulnerabilty debuff for 4 seconds is beyond amazing, especially when you consider your targets will be immobilized and thus very vulnerable to your frontline collapsing on them. It also buffs your damage quite a lot during the entirety of your combo. Clear winner in my eyes.

Level 4 Talent: Phylactery of Kel'Thuzad

This is pretty much a given. Other talent choices in this tier might have situational value but the utility this talent provides is unrivaled. It is a repeatable quest to gather 12 regen globes. It became much easier to complete with the recent regen globe changes.
When you gather 12 regen globes you gain a very decent self sustain in the form of healing yourself for 10% of spell damage you cause.
Also since Kel'Thuzad it susceptible to dive and can get killed easily it gives an instant respawn. Doesnt get much cooler than that.

Level 7 Talent: Chilling Touch

There are two viable choices in this talent tier although this one is favorable in my opinion.
It makes your autoattack deal spell damage instead of physical damage, increases it's damage all the while giving it an area of effect aspect and it also causes a slow every 8 seconds. It does require some awarness of when it is active thus a need to manage your autoattacks arises.
This talent also synrgises with the Talent on level 16 listed below because of it's slow aspect.

Level 10 Heroic: Shadow Fissure

I explained this one above in the Ability Overview section

Level 13 Talent: Chains of Ice

This makes the targets of your Chains of Kel'Thuzad slowed by 60% for one second. It makes locking down enemies after chaining them together with frost nova much easier. This way it improves the reliability of your combo by a large margin.

Leverl 16 Talent: Power of Icecrown

There are two viable talent choices in this tier although I tend to use mostly this one simply because you tend to disable enemy heroes a lot. Because of this you constantly have the extra spellpower provided by this talent when it counts. Synergises very well with Level 7 Talent.

The other option is Hungering Cold. Im not sure exactly which one of these two yields better raw damage results but this tends to be slightly less reliable. This talent relies on the use of Death and Decay to see any real value which is not always possible to land perfectly.
It makes every instance of damage you deal cause extra damage. This is why it requires the use of DnD.

Level 20 Talent: The Damned Return

This talent duplicates your Death and Decay. It's cooldown is as long as it's duration so you should always have it active. It allows for quite a bit of extra damage on your locked down targets and also offers a great improvement to your waveclear and sieging potential.

There are two other possibilites to take. Namely Might of the Scourge and Shifting Malice. The reset on your Shadow Fissure (R) is nice to have sometimes although I feel the Damned Return gives you more reliable source of damage.
Shifting Malice is worth considering simply because it gives you your only escape mechanic. The biggest downside of it is how late in the game it comes to see any real value. This is why I do not generally recommend it.

Combo Explained Top

This chapter will be quite short because I already explained all the abilities and talents above. The key to make this combo work is to cast the abilities in this particular order and in a very quick succesion. That is why I recommend using quickcast on Kel'Thuzad.

The first spell you want to use to initiate your combo is Chains of Kel'Thuzad. It locks down two targets, applies vulnerability and slows them thanks to associated talents.

Next step is to freeze the targets of your chains with your Frost Nova.
This is a nice followup to your chains and makes your next step of this combo possible.

This is the pinnacle of your combo and this is basically what does the most damage. You want to use your heroic Shadow Fissure directly under the enemies frozen by your frost nova. This deals a huge amount of damage and basically gives your team the opportunity to finish the targets off.

Last step which is important but not always possible and not incredibly crucial is to cast Death and Decay on the targets frozen by your frost nova. You should never cast this before casting Shadow Fissure due to Shadow Fissure's 1,5 second delay while DnD has almost no delay at all.

On level 20 with this build the combo deals a total of approximately 9,500 damage if you manage to hit 2 heroes with the full combo. I believe this is rather exceptional and rewarding.

Thank you for reading this guide. Please leave comments below if you liked this or if you would like to suggest any ideas. I would love to see a nice discussion under here.

Also make sure to check out my Li Li In-Depth Healing guide:

Gorthun out.

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