First off, I want to say that blizz keeps upping their game with the Hero spotlights. They’re putting us out of a job! So if you want to see a really good overview of how to use Gul’dan’s skills, go check out the official blizz video here. When I first saw his abilities, I was a little underwhelmed and wanted to see the talents, so in this video, I’m going to give you my first impressions, a fairly in depth overview of all of Gul’dan’s talents, along with of the cool combos that have popped up to show why people are already calling him the most OP new character since Thrall’s debut.

In World of Warcraft Gul’dan is an empowered Warlock that stops at literally nothing in the pursuit of corruption. I don’t know how they translated this flavor so well into Heroes of the Storm but I found myself chasing people for kills more often in 4 or 5 games of Gul’dan than I did in the past month on everyone else combined. Sometimes I don’t get the kill, look around and I’m underneat 4 towers. It’s really cool how tunnel visiony you get with him especially since he’s a ranged character. Ok, for those who haven’t seen the spotlight, he’s got pretty basic abilities. Aren’t too hard to understand. Gul’dan’s trait is Life Tap. You deal damage to yourself to restore 25% mana. No you can’t kill yourself with it. Essentially, this helps you stay in lane and soak forever, in teamfights, it lets you keep throwing out your abilities from the backline, and in a 1v1 scenario it’s an interesting balance.

You can always life tap one more time to get that last ability out, but if you do, you run an even greater risk of being one-shot. His Q, Fel Flame, is a long thin cone of fire that shoots out in front of you. That’s what she said. It does 400 damage, is on a 1 second cooldown and is super spammable but he’s about as mana hungry as Tassadar so you’ll oom yourself after casting this 8 times. Drain life is a long range lock on attack that is like having a portable morales with you wherever you go, and this is why he’s so good in 1v1 combat. If you’re at full health, make sure you Life tap once or twice real quick before you activate this so you can finish at full health and mana. His E, Corruption, is like the little bouncy balls of death from Chogall. Gul’dan’s corruptions land a lot faster so you have to have better reaction time to avoid this, but you can’t control how spread out it goes, so without the randomness aspect, people will learn how to avoid this pretty quickly after he’s live.

Putting it all together, you can put a corruption on someone, throw out two fel flames, life tap twice to get your mana back up, and then drain life them to get back to full health and mana. They’ll be pretty close to dead. Alright, talents. At level 1, we’ve got the pursuit of flame. Hit 40 enemy heroes with fel flame, and you get a bigger flame. This is a lot easier to hit people with and double up on than corruption so it’s super easy to stack this, but at the same time, this is your main wave clear ability, so you want to hit multiple enemies and all the minions at the same time, which can be a little tricky and put you in bad positions. Glyph of Drain Life increases the cast range of drain life by 25%.

Not much to say here, you get it. Drain life does dps and heals so this is a nice boost to damage and survivability vs mobile teams. Echoed Corruption is fantastic. After 30 hero hits, corruption bounches back, and the stacks aren’t lost on death. Since the poison from corruption stacks, you can do silly damage with this if people are stunned. Like Medivh’s ability “The Master’s Touch” you find yourself doing all sorts of silly things to get your stacks up. Also, if you corruption just in front of a hero, they’ll get hit by the first and the second explosion so you only have to hit 15 people theoretically. Chaotic Energy keeps your mana full. After 20 health globes, everything costs 20 less. This isn’t a direct damage increase like the other level 1 talents but you don’t have to life tap as much, so it’s essentially a survivability talent.

At level 4 you have your choice of different survivability talents. Health funnel gives you almost no cooldown on your Drain life after you kill something so you can farm minions for health and mana. You combine this with Life tap and you can get back up to full from zero in one minion wave. Improved life tap gives you 35% mana rather than 25%. Essentially, you’re life tapping less often, and sacrificing your health less. Consume soul is super powerful. Let’s say you’re at half health and mana. Life tap twice, eat a globe minion and an archer with consume soul and then drain life on another minion and suddenly you’re practically full on everything.

I’d compare this to Xul’s skeleton build healing, where he has crazy survivability if he’s fighting near a minion wave. I think I’d recommend this if you’re trying to stay alive and present in a 1v1 laning situation. Level 7 is all about the deeps. Bound by shadow sounds awesome but I’m a little underwhelmed actually. For each hero hit by fel flame, reduce the cooldown of corruption by 1 second. It doesn’t really lend itself to a burst combo and it’s generally a bad idea to rely on multiple abilities interacting for your damage, especially when both are psuedoskillshots. Devour the frail deals 50% more damage to enemies below 50% health. This one is interesting because Drain life is how you stay alive. I think you just want to use it on cooldown essentially and this incentivises you to use it to as a damaging ability rather than a sustain one.

Solid talent, but unlike Echoed Corruption, I don’t think you should change your playstyle because of it. Curse of Exhaustion slows heroes hit by corruption by 2 seconds. Slows are good. CC wins games. Hunger for Power is actually what got me so damn excited about Gul’dan. It increases abiltiy power by 15% at the expense of healing taken. Trading off even more survivability for damage feels great. Although, this will make your morales hate you. His ultimates are both solid and not broken. Haunt cc’s everyone hit in a circle for 2 seconds and does damage to heroes only. The level 20 buff to this is increasing it’s fear time to 3 seconds and adding vulnerable to everyone hit.

A team can do a lot of damage in 3 seconds, but I wouldn’t recommend this to a skillshot heavy team because while you can control where they go, only you know, and moving targets are just harder to hit. Autoattackers can just pew pew. His other ultimate Rain of Destruction has been getting a lot of hate as too RNG based, but it’s pretty all around amazing. Go test it out on a target dummy and try to do less than 1000 damage to it. I haven’t tested the upgrade much but it feels underwhelming, with only a 90% slow for ½ a second. At 13 we’re back to sustain talents. Fel Armor gives you a spell shield for 2 and a half seconds whenever you hit a hero with your Q, Fel Flame. Remember that your Q is on a 1 and a half second CD so this is practically a permanent 30% less spell damage taken for any decent teamfight.

I’d love to see some cool plays where someone at half health has a pyroblast on them, takes a medihv portal over to an enemy just to hit them hit em with Fel Flame and Drain life a little. That’d be sweet. Dark bargain is great, your health is increased by 25% but your respawn time is increased by 15 seconds. It’s like the Anti Murky. More health to stay out there, but your team suffers if you die. Two noteworthy things. You have 4500 health at lvl 20 rather than 3500, but more importantly, you can do a full mana up with life tap, and be at 2500 health rather than 1500. Try this out for a few games. Healthstone is awesome and even if it ends up not being used much, as a WoW player, I’m so glad they put this in.

It essentially gives you infinite mana. It’s an easy heal, sure, but you can now life tap twice without a health penalty. As we know from Warlords of Draenor, gul’dan just doesn’t go away, and this is an awesome translation of that. At 16 you really start to flesh out your combos. Rampant Hellfire is your “Build into your Q” talent. It increases fel flames damage up to 30% whenever you hit a hero. Combine this with Pursuit of Flame, Hunger for Power, and Fel Armor, and you can do a lot of instant cast, easy skillshot damage from really far away without taking much damage from spells. Ruinous affliction is your “Build into your E” talent. Rather than just poison damage, each corruption pool does about 200 damage. If you hit all three on the same person while they’re running away, the third strike hits for 500. So, you build Echoed corruption for double the pools, pretty much any level 7 talent, but I like hunger for power, and then Ruinous affliction, and then suddenly your E is doing absurd damage and you can take down forts solo with one ability.

That’s all though guys, I hope you enjoyed. Subscribe if you haven’t and if you want to see more videos, hit the like button. I’m doing videos for Hearthstone every thursday but this guy is new and everyone is excited, so I gotta be the first one, right? Have a good one guys! Oh also, at level 20 he has a demonic circle so he can teleport anywhere on the map he wants.

He’s maybe a little strong..

As found on Youtube