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Gul’dan – Quick Guide (Build, Counters & More)

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  • 07/07/2016

gul'dan build

Introduction

Gul’dan is the Hero that our Heroes of the Storm boosting team has quickly started loving and hope he will climb and stay on top of our Heroes of the Storm Tier List. Although his kit is not all that original, (his Life Drain is comparable to Leoric’s Drain Hope, and his Corruption is much like Dread Orb and lastly his Fel Flame is similar to Medivh’s Arcane Rift) his combined kit is very powerful. His Trait, Life Tap, gives him amazing sustain when used with Life Drain and gives him the ability to not just sustain for huge periods of time, but also deletes most all the need for him to ever go back to base. What’s also great about Gul’dan is that not only does he have great sustain that is great on objective based maps, but his Ultimate – Horrify – is ridiculously strong. The fear on it is not only a disruption, but also guarantees enemy Heroes are crowd controlled enough that the squishies are going to be easy pickings.
Finally, just because of the nature of team fighting in the game, Corruption is capable of applying a massive amount of damage over time, especially when used with his Fel Flame. Just make sure to careful against Heroes that have a slow, root or stun as Gul’dan has absolutely no way to escape. If you need help with this, buy a HotS account to practice on.

Gul’dan Abilities

life tap gul'dan hots

Life Tap (Trait) – This is probably one of the best Traits in the entire game, Life Tap when used with Drain Life gives Gul’dan basically permanent sustain. At a small cost of 25% health, Gul’dan will get 25% of his mana. His Trait can be used as many times as you want, allowing you to always regain your mana. Unsurprisingly there’s a also a large amount of risk when you Life-tap. Using it too much will make you extremely vulnerable, especially when your Drain Life is on cooldown. If there is an enemy Nova or Zeratul, pushing your luck when using this to regain your Mana will make you open to being killed very quickly. If you can, try to only use Life Tap when you’re near full health, or when your Life Drain is up so that you are able to quickly regain your health.
fel flame gul'dan hots

Fel Flame (Q) – On a cooldown of just 1.5 seconds, Fel Flame is a wave attack that you can use repeatedly. Correct usage of this ability will make Gul’dan even higher than he currently is on the Heroes of the Storm Tier List. It has a mana cost of 75 and since you only get 500 mana, you will quickly run out of mana out if you spam it too often. The best use for Fel Flame is when you can hit multiple targets as it can pass through all of them in a line. If you are able to, you should try to use Fel Flame as your main means of “poke” as it has a very low cooldown and very high range which allows you to fire it quickly and often to ensure your team’s objectives can’t be messed with.
drain life gul'dan hots

Drain Life (W) – This is truly one of my favorite skills in the entire game. Drain Life gives you a large amount of health back. It is a channeled spell, meaning you are unable to move during it and it can be interrupted by any stuns. Despite that, over the next 3 seconds it can return well over 900 health and the synergy it has with Life Tap means it will ensure that you pretty much will never need to go back to your base, part of the reason Gul’dan is so high on our HotS Tier List. You really can’t afford to ever waste Drain Life and while it can be used against minions in lane very easily, it’s pretty challenging against enemy Heroes because of how much players naturally move. It’s best to use it if an enemy is distracted or when they are forced to retreat then you will get the most value.
corruption gul'dan hots

Corruption (E) – Corruption is a slow moving projectile, and it deals a reasonable amount of damage over time. It can affect several Heroes at once and if you are successful at hitting several, it will pressure any healer on their team. The Corruption can also stack 3 times, so its damage will be significant if you are able to land them all. However, In most cases you will not be able to, but the potential is always there during team fights. If you can, try to use your Corruption on high impact targets or the enemy Support to gain maximum pressure.
horrify gul'dan hots

Horrify (R) – Undoubtedly the better Ultimate ability of the two choices, Horrify will fear all enemies in its radius for a full 2 seconds sending those hit running into random directions. It doesn’t deal that much damage but its utility is amazing. When used in the center of a fight and if team engages, it can pretty much guarantee that someone from their team will find themselves running out of position. This can pretty much ensure you and your team an opportunity to punish them.
rain of destruction gul'dan hots

Gul’dan Build

gul'dan build hots

Level 1: Echoed Corruption OR Pursuit Of Flame
Level 4: Improved Life Tap OR Consume Soul
Level 7: Devour the Frail
Level 10: Horrify OR Rain of Destruction
Level 13: Healthstone OR Dark Bargain
Level 16: Darkness Within or ANY OTHER
Level 20: Haunt

Counters

Lunara: Her base mobility, poison and vision make her a problem for Gul’dan. You will not be able to use your Life Drain and she easily runs circles around your spells.
Tracer: She’s extremely fast, can Blink right out of your Life Drain and deals massive damage to you using her Ultimate.
Thrall: His root, poke and healing are basically impossible for you to deal with. Even with your large range, if he takes Sundering and flanks you, you will die quickly.
The Butcher: Lamb to the Slaughter and Onslaught will destroy you instantly. The best that you can hope for is to try to use Horrify at the impact point then run away.
Illidan: Self healing, Evade, mobility, high damage – he’s a real headache that you cannot get rid of.
Greymane: His burst potential to kill you instantly is extremely annoying if he changes to Worgen form while keeping his Ultimate ability ready.
Kerrigan: Her shielding and pull/stun and make her pretty annoying and her burst damage potential is high enough to slice through even your Life Drain. Scary to play against and often high on the HotS Tier List.

Gul’dan Tips

Here is our list of tips. These are just a few things that we think will help your play.
1. Life Tap is invaluable for giving you mana and when it is paired with Life Drain you never need to head back to base. Use this to bully your lane opponents.
2. Life Drain should be used on minions in lane when available to ensure that your health is always topped up to use Life Tap.
3. Gul’dan has no way to escape so be sure to position yourself in the back of a fight. You have to be able to get out if it goes badly.
4. Horrify is your only escape tool because it can be used to disrupt their team during a fight. Practice saving it for the right moment and don’t be afraid to use it just to save yourself if you be caught out.
5. Ideally before using Life Drain you should position yourself so that you can guarantee it completes. Failing to do so will put it on a massive cooldown and you won’t gain much health in return.
6. Buy Heroes of the Storm Accounts to practice on before you play with random players.
7. Fel Flame is your basic bread and butter attack that you should spam use to poke your enemy. Only use your Non-Fel Flame skills when you are positive you can land them.
8. Healthstone provides amazing sustain in a pinch. Be sure you have at least one available for a team fight. If you need to, quickly use Lap Tap then consume the hearthstone.
9. Try to land your Corruption on as many targets as possible to maximize damage over time. It’s worth using Corruption against any target that’s rooted or stunned to guarantee all the stacks.
10. Horrify is amazing when a team-fight is already going on and the enemy team is quite weakened. You can then use it to scatter them and finish them off.
11. Remember that for a mage, you have an insane amount of sustain. You are able to go toe-to-toe with every other Hero and come out on top after level 13.

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