Prime Evil 101 by HidaHayabusa

Prime Evil 101

By: HidaHayabusa
Last Updated: Sep 6, 2016
3 Votes
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Build 1 of 1


Build: Affliction Warlock

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

So, why Gul'dan? Top

If we are talking about HL, he is a tier 2 pick at best. He takes the slot of an assassin but lacks the burst damage, any form of CC and is completely shut down if he gets dived or caught out of position. At the time I write this, the most contested picks and the most popular bans in HL are Zagara, Li-Ming, Kerrigan, Illidan, Falstad, and the occasional supports/tanks. In other words, if you are planning to get Gul'dan in the big-boys fight, you won't have any trouble selecting him given that you can select a hero of your choice and not forced to tank/support or counter pick.

Gul'dan is a good laner, with infinite sustain if left alone, good poke and no real need to visit the Hearth early. In other words, he is a good laner that gets the job done and can hold his own against a 1v1 lane or even a 1v2 provided you don't go Leeroy Jenkins style on wave clear. The right way to wave clear is to Q (in such a way that a minion is always unhit), Q again, then D (lifetap) and then drain the remaining full health minion back to full life. Keep your E for hitting enemy heroes and never waste it for minions early.

The rule of thumb is to have near maximum health and near maximum mana after each wave clear. Avoid facechecking bushes, don't overextend beyond half way in your lane and use your W at full safety, since you are pinning yourself for 3-4 seconds. In early objectives, your role is to poke, drain someone if you can (keeping him visible for your teammates to keep hitting) and of course gather stacks of Corruption by hitting your circles right. You can't hard CC, you can't avoid damage, you can't insta-kill someone so be patient and try to help the team by doing what you are doing best. All of your energy should be given towards building up your mid-late game (post 10 to 20).

When to Gul'dan? Top

No rocket science here. You need a solid frontline (tank+bruiser, tank + melee assassin, double bruiser). This is where you can poke with E and zone people. Keep a distance from your frontline, the rule of thumb suggests that the distance you want is for your Q edge to just damage your enemy frontline. Keep your position and advance ONLY if your frontline advances. Maximum burst comes from landing E (more than 1 hit), Q and immediattely W the running/rooted enemy. If you can't do this while safe, DON'T advance.

Apart from your team, the most imporant element for picking Gul'dan, is the opposing lineup. Essentially Gul'dan shines against teams that are going to be busy fighting your frontline, OR against specific specialists to just keep them at bay. For example: Did Zagara found her way in HL and didn't stop in the Ban phase? Gul'dan is fine against her in the early phase (best Zagara's phase), since he can kill her creep FOREVER, sustain by W'ing her mutalisks and also easily land his Corruption in more than one hit, because Zagara stops to lay Creeps or fire Banelings (ideal for multi corruption stacks). In general, he can replace the specialist in your team when you need a counter-specialist pick WITH good late game damage.

The Build Top

Level 1: Echoed Corruption
No other choice here. You build for a better future, and this quest talent is amazingly simple to complete since it just need you to be careful and it does not reset on death. Most of the times if I am in solo lane duty, I am able to complete this a bit later than level 10. Keep in mind that I play rather defensively with Gul'dan. Upon completion, you get 3 more circles of Corruption going backwards, which is a HUGE increase of your poke damage, and if underestimated (usually is, since people misjudge the range), it can one-shot squishies that get in 3 out of 6 circles or force them to Hearth.

Level 4: Improved Life tap.
See no more talents in this tier. This is a winner. More mana for one tap. Two and you are almost full from empty. Amazing talent that NEEDS to be taken. It's directly related to Gul'dan's amazing sustain, which is a reason to pick him.

Level 7: Bound by Shadow/Hunger for power OR
Since we are building for a E build, Bound by shadow is good. Not amazing but good given the high CD of Corruption. Don't go Rambo to make it work, but remember that once you start poking in a teamfight, then move a bit forward, hit a Q or two and then recast E. Part of the reason why you need a proper frontline. Otherwise if we are talking QM here, then go for Hunger for Power is a flat 15% increase in your damage.

Level 10: Horrify
The other heroic is not viable at the moment. It's random, it needs you to be pinned and unable to cast and it's generally underwhelming. However, this (Horrify) is amazing. You pretty much target an area hit R and the people caught in it will move AWAY from the outer circle. You need a lot of practice to get it right. Unless your team has the upper hand and you just need a mechanism for the opponents to spread away while you dive them and go YOLO, it's fine. If not, you need to carefully aim it, imagine the running away trajectory of the opponent and hit it. For instance if people are chasing you, hit R on your self so that your chasers will move away. If you want some careless ranged assassin to come towards your team, hit R behind them and see them charging forward. A great heroic on an acceptable cooldown.

Level 13: Healthstone/Fel Armor or
Healthstone is basic heal. Burst heal, easy to use and can surprise people. Fel armor is amazing on the other hand if you face lots of ability based heroes and you can hit them consistently. You can pretty much run with a 40% ability damage reduction shield for ever as long as you hit Q on a hero. Choose and pick.

Level 16: Ruinous affliction
This is where it begins to become fantastic. Every enemy that is hit by 3 Corruption circles gets a huge burst of damage on top of increased DoT. Simply amazing and a huge boost to Gul'dan's siege and poke potentials. If you have completed the level 1 quest, you can imagine that this is much easier to achieve, and if by any chance you got a helping opponent that somehow eats all 6 circles, he goes boom instantly. Of course, Sieging with this is amazing since you can easily land 6 corruptions to stationary big targets like Keeps/Forts and Cores.

Level 20: Haunt/Demonic Circle or
Two very different approaches. If the opposing team has two tanks, then Haunt is nuts. If you have to push in order to catch up with a team and you need to be at two places, then go Circle. I won't go in further analysis on the Circle's teleport, because on one hand it does provide with a 'oh-****' button for when the **** hits the fan, only thing is, this shouldn't be happening on level 20. I.e you shouldn't get caught, overpush or fight in a disadvange when on 20 since it's game over if a wipe happens. If you are very familiar with map mechanics, you can choose a safe place to set the circle, and plan the teamfight ahead. I can see this working in maps that the big teamfight happens in know places (BoE, Infernal Shrines, Blackheart, etc). Otherwise my thinking is that if you use it to teleport to the core instead of dying during a teamfight, it's not really worth it, unless your other team survives.

MOST of the times I am going for Haunt, because if it hits as a follow up of my melee engagement it can translate to LOTS of damage and probably tank takedowns.

General tips Top

    1. You are not the superstar. Play safe, lend your damage, poke (no matter how weak it seems, it isn't), clear creeps and survive to late game.

    2. When riding to an objective, USE the correct pathing. Go through forts, don't go through the misty map. If you get caught you are dead. No escape, no hard cc.

    3. Don't waste E on minions unless we are talking about a HUGE wave of mercs and minions.

    4. Don't tap like a fool. Tap before you cast Drain Life on a full health minion or a non threatening hero.

    5. Clear creeps (did I mention that?)

    6. If you have Kerrigan or Thrall in your setup, don't screw them over with your Horrify. Let them charge, catch something and THEN Horrify.

    7. Drain Life's cast range is fair. For instance if two tanks fight it off, you can securely drain the other tank and still be away from harm's way. Remember your burst is E, Q, D then W.

    8. Aim your E cleverly. You should practice hitting the first outer circle exactly at the target. This will give you two hits. If he is running it will give you 3. 3 Hits post level 16= a visit to the hearth if not healed. A full E on a stacked team post 16 is going to make them call for retreat. So, don't get caught and be at the correct place always.
    1. Your good partners are
Xul, Kerrigan, Thrall, E.T.C., Uther, Brightwing, Johanna
2. Your worst nightmares are Kerrigan, Illidan, Greymane, E.T.C., Uther
3. You are good against Zagara, Xul, Hammer (easy to land E on), Azmodan if he gets picked on Tombs

In general I'd never pick Gul'dan as a first pick in HL, since there are many assassins that are more influential to the game. I find him a good pick if some conditions are met, and if better options are banned. You won't be disappointed by his learning curve also, since his play hides quite some surprises and secrets that make him more interesting. Currently he is a tier 2 (in my eyes) or more subjectively a tier 3 choice that shines if some stars align. The thing is that he is very fun to pilot, quite rewarding if you get used to him and very unexpected since his burst-poke in late game is something that you can't see in other heroes.

Thanks for reading and happy cursing.

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