Hailing from the Warcraft universe, Kael’thas Sunstrider left his lofty seat on the mage council of the Kirin Tor to avenge and protect what remained of his people after destruction at the hands of the fallen prince, Arthas. Armed with three crystals of power left behind by the ransacking Scourge, Kael’thas has now made his way to the Nexus. Kael’thas is a ranged assassin capable of strategically augmenting his spells and dishing out extreme area damage. Kael’s tactical decision making is mainly fueled by his trait, Verdant Spheres. Once activated, Kael’s spheres begin to orbit his body, primed to empower his next ability. Kael’s trait has a short, six second cool-down and is a critical part of getting the most out of this versatile mage. Kael’thas wields the iconic spell Flamestrike – a ranged area of effect ability that will summon a column of flame at a targeted area after a short amount of time. The empowered version of this ability, fueled by Verdant Spheres, increases the effect radius by 50% and deals even more damage. Living Bomb is a volatile ability that deals ongoing fire damage to a single target followed by an explosion dealing damage to all enemies nearby.

When Living Bomb is empowered by Verdant Spheres, it makes the spell free to cast and removes its subsequent cool down timer. Kael’thas can force Living Bomb to explode on command if the spell is cast on a single target twice before the standard three second delay has lapsed. A nod to Kael’thas from the Tempest Keep raid is Gravity Lapse. This ability will levitate the first target it hits, stunning them for a short duration. When empowered by Verdant Spheres, Gravity Lapse will affect the first three targets it hits. Kael’s first Heroic option is Phoenix. Kael’thas summons a powerful phoenix to a targeted area, dealing damage along its flight path. The phoenix will remain in play at the target location for a short duration, dealing direct damage to enemies around it including splash damage to neighboring targets. Pyroblast is Kael’s devastating take on the classic mage fireball. After a short cast time, the Elf Lord will unleash a slow moving fireball that deals massive direct damage to its target and splash damage to other enemy near the target.

Once it is cast, Pyroblast is locked to its target and in almost all cases the damage cannot be avoided. Kael is capable of bringing massive damage to team fights but he is also a fragile target. Perfect positioning on the battlefield and intelligent setup for encounters will be the mark of a masterful player. When looking to apply damage, keep an eye out for enemies that are clumping up. Kael’thas has built in area damage with Living Bomb and Flamestrike; combining the two abilities can bring any opposition to their knees, or make them spread out for easy pickings by teammates.

Gravity Lapse is a useful tool, both offensively and defensively. An exercise in patience can go a long way to helping secure your team a victory. When using Kael’s heroics, consider opening up a fight with Pyroblast. It’s a lengthy channel and can present some unique opportunities for your teammates as it will force the opposing team out of position. Phoenix can be useful for zoning, sieging, or of course, massive team combos thanks to its large area of effect and constant damage. Keep in mind that Kael will truly shine when surrounded by allies capable of peeling opponents away from him or setting up victims for his punishment.

Let us know in the comments if you have any great tips for how to get the most out of Kael’thas; we look forward to seeing what players can do with this powerful addition to the Heroes roster. Be sure to subscribe here on YouTube and follow us around the web for all current news about Heroes of the Storm. We’ll see you in the Nexus..

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