Heroes of the Storm

Gul’dan backdoor core ARAM build

HeroesoftheStorm 7 - Gul'dan backdoor core ARAM build

Echoed Corruption – Consume Soul – Hunger for Power – Rain of Destruction – Healthstone – Ruinous Affliction – Demonic Circle

This is one of my favorite strategies for getting free wins in ARAM on Gul'dan. I'm certainly not the first or only person to use this strategy, but I think it's very underused and very potent.


You spend the early game stacking corruption quest, clearing minion waves, and trying to wear down the enemy healer with slow, but constant poke damage. If your team has the advantage, you harass structures as much as you can. Otherwise, you are clearing waves and making it as hard as possible for the enemy team to progress. The more structures you have remaining at 20, the more room you will have to operate.

Once level 20 hits, you drop your teleport circle in a safe spot (ideally the Hall of Storms). Sneak around the edges of the map, and do your best to stay out of vision. Hit structures with all of your spells, carefully lining up for the Corruption to hit all 3 circles. Heal using W, Consume Soul, and Healthstone. Teleport out when they send someone to kill you, then go win the 5v4 with team. Rinse and repeat.

When to use this build:

  • Chances of reaching level 20 with your own keep intact are very high
  • Straight up 5v5 level 20 fight looks unfavorable for your team

When this build won't cut it:

  • Your team is bleeding kills and structures early, to the point that Horrify is the only way you win teamfights and stay in the game
  • Enemy team is unusually well-coordinated and prepared to correctly deal with your backdoor pushes. This is generally not a real concern in ARAM.

Talent Breakdown:

1: Echoed Corruption. This is a core talent to the build. Corruption's DoT can only stack on a target up to 3 times, but the triple strike will proc Ruinous Affliction at level 16 twice. This double proc rarely happens against heroes, but will always happen against a Fort, Keep, or Core if you line up the spell properly. Once you have quest complete, you have the added benefit of applying your DoT to heroes more consistently, thus pressuring them out of lane and slowing down the structure race before level 20.

4: Consume Soul. This is just a solid overall talent for sustaining in ARAM. It gives you an additional two burst heals while you are sieging core. And if you're really pushing the limits of the hero, you can bait people into chasing you at low health, then surprise them by suddenly regaining half your healthbar. It also has the weirdly useful property of one-shotting catapults.

7: Hunger for Power. 15% spell power = 15% faster structure race. The minus healing debuff isn't so bad; you heal yourself plenty.

10: Rain of Destruction. This simply does core damage, making it preferable to Corruption for the sake of this build. In the mid game, you're either using this to siege Fort/Keep or to discourage your opponents from doing the same. If you really want, you can play the rest of this build with Horrify and get away with it; just know that your level 20 all-in on core will be less total damage and adjust your play accordingly.

13: Healthstone. This is another burst heal. It's a very good, unconditional burst heal. The nice thing about having so much reserve healing is that you can convert these heals into extra mana while sieging.


16: Ruinous Affliction. This is the most important talent in the entire build. If you have quest complete and hit the core with all 6 strikes at level 20, Ruinous Affliction adds 2046 damage per cast of Corruption. For reference, on Lost Cavern, Fort has 12900 health, Keep has 17000 health, and the Core has 37600 health at the 15 minute mark. That's around 5% of core, before factoring in the spell power from level 7, before factoring in your normal Corruption DoT damage or anything else. You often get to press E on core twice per attempt. This is an absurd amount of damage for one hero to dish out so quickly.

20: Demonic Circle. This ability transforms you from an structure racing machine into a structure racing machine with an instant global teleport. There is no windup, no animation, no counterplay to the ability itself. As long as you are alive and out of vision, the enemy team is simply forced to either keep a defender at core, or to guard every possible path through the map. Every time you slip past, you are getting massive, permanent progress towards ending the game.

Miscellaneous Tips:

  • Fel Flame outranges Structures, including the core
  • Part of the reason this works so well is that you have top tier waveclear and good poke, which makes it difficult for the enemy team to siege against you. Use this to your advantage
  • You want to be greedy for structure damage, but within reason. Don't just stand there and channel Rain of Destruction in front of a Dehaka who has drag, or whatever
  • You can afford to get very low health while backdooring; level 20 teleport is instantaneous. Spam that Life Tap.
  • Be careful about not cancelling Rain of Destruction early unintentionally. Very easy to do, and can cost you the game in a close core race.
  • This build leaves you with 4 active abilities on the bar. Make sure you know which button is which. Personally, I like keeping the instant teleport on a very easily accessible key that I can hit in a panic; the button that draws your circle is less important, as you only cast it out of combat.
  • Speaking of your level 20 actives, don't forget that 1) you have to place down a circle every time you teleport, and 2) your teleport has a 60 second cooldown.
  • This guide mostly talks about Corruption and Rain of Destruction, but Fel Flame is an important part of your core race as well. Spam Fel Flame as much as you can while still having enough health or mana for your second cast of Corruption. You can auto attack a little bit, but don't just stand under core auto attacking the whole time. You're better off saving your health for mana to cast more spells.
  • You don't always have to win through straight up backdooring the core. If the enemy is forced into a very defensive posture, or straight up leaves a member at their core to defend, you're getting value and your opponents will never make progress without securing kills.
  • If your opponents try to win the game 5v4 and don't send anyone to defend, you very literally can 100-0 the core with enough time. Just now, I had a game where I took core from 80% down to dead in 48 seconds at level 21. 100-0 is easily possible with one more cast of corruption and a few fel flames; you might need to wait for another minion wave to acquire enough mana, however.

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