Nobody takes anything but > bc the other picks dont give even remotely the same kind of value. > is a cool talent but as one of the single hardest quests in the game to complete, smoothly increasing damage as you progress it and then giving a bonus to damage once you finish it is… kind of underwhelming. I take convection every time, and I have to tell you, I can't actually tell the difference between 19 stacks and 20 stacks. The rush I get when I finish the quest is just that I've locked in my progress & won't lose anything when I die, not that I got a vague increase in my damage that is already boosted — effectively you could make convection secretly not increase damage or do anything at all and players probably wouldn't even notice! That's kind of a red flag.
So convection is gone, > takes its place. Now you get nothing as you progress the quest, lose all progress if you die, then when you finish it you get that gigantic boost to cast range that is game changing. That, is worth playing him so differently that you never die. It encourages you to be good at the playstyle that it then facilitates
But, kael deserves to still have a level 1 talent that increases his Q damage. Can it be made more interesting in a way that loops back into his ability rotation though? Why yes. If you move > to level 1 and make it a quest that gives bonus damage for every stack then once you complete the quest it casts a free second flamestrike, the reward for completing the quest is only a damage increase if you stun-combo your enemy. And do you know what that requires? An aggressive, close range combo-heavy playstyle that leverages your gravity lapse, completely opposed to the cautious sniping play-style that convection/new-flamethrower requires.
Those are talents that are worth not taking mana addict. You have one quest that turns Kaelthas into a sniping mage but requires he play in a super tense, cautious way, and a quest that rewards consistent combos & aggressive play by increasing his capacity to follow up setups.
… but then that just leaves >. Nobody takes that, put it on the same tier as snipe build or double-Q's and it'll be even worse, kaelthas has no other form of self-heal. … fuck it, fel infusion is gone too. Quest!fury of the sunwell now no longer increases the damage of your Q at all, instead every enemy hero you hit with your Q heals you for every stack of the quest you have. Healing = inversed damage, so it's roughly similar value, but now he has a talent that heals him as a reward for landing skillshots, which also increases the interesting decisions presented bc now you have to pick between sustaining your health with this talent (& increasing damage/followup) or sustaining your mana with mana addict (& increasing your ability to survive burst) — even if you play aggressively you have to decide whether you think you're gonna live long enough to run out of mana, which is effectively betting on your ability to dodge skillshots
as for what to put at lvl 16 & 20 to take those talents' places? Well, here's an easy answer; fel infusion goes to level 16, but also increases the damage of the spell you cast with your trait by 20%, and — remember how the problem with convection was that you couldn't quite tell how much more damage you were dealing before/after getting it? Convection is now a level 20 retroactive quest talent that increases your Q damage for every Q you've landed all game. Now, when you take convection, you will be able to tell how much more damage you're doing. Plus, because the thing you do to fill up your retroactive quest talent is "land your skillshots, get regen orbs for mana & don't die", it won't have the really bad side affect of Naz's retroactive quest where Naz is in the offlane farming for a talent he will never get to pick bc you lost at lvl 13
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