We are continuing our Interview with A Master series where I interview players who have mastered one character. Enjoy!
P.S. If you are enjoying this series, upvote!
P.S.S. Series #1 can be found HERE..
Hero Mastered: Kel'Thuzad
1) What is your current player level and which character do you think and feel that you have mastered completely?
I am level 1774 and level 303 with Kel'Thuzad.
2) Why did you choose to master this character? What was the appeal?
I have always really loved the character and was really excited to see him join the nexus. Initially, I was actually very worried when I saw his gameplay. I was always a mage player, but Kel'Thuzad's kit looked very challenging and I was afraid I wouldn't enjoy playing him. I ended up being completely wrong and basically filled my entire match history with Kel'Thuzad on release.
3) How long did it take for you to master the character?
I was actually doing pretty well with him when he initially released, but I felt very confident after the first 100 levels. I feel like with a hero as challenging to play as Kel'Thuzad, there are always more ways you can optimize his gameplay. That is part of why I kept on playing him for so long.
4) What modes did you use to master the character?
I initially played a lot of him in QM to get a feel for the hero, but I moved on to ranked after a while. My games are split pretty evenly with over 800 in QM and nearly 900 across the three ranked modes.
5) What are the strengths of your character?
Definitely crowd control. I would say a unique strength is the displacement that allows him to really punish players for their positioning mistakes that they might otherwise get away with. I think that is part of what frustrates some players, because he punishes mistakes very hard. He is strongest on teams that already have someone who is generating threat and throwing out a lot of CC that he can capitalize on.
6) What are the weakness that you have found in the character?
Kel'Thuzad is weak to heroes who have burst protection for themselves or allies. CC removal like cleanse really limits his performance as well. He is also very weak to dive if you are able to doge his abilities or prevent him casting with CC. Another weakness is that his combo takes a long time to actually kill someone. This gives your teammates a lot of time to respond by CCing him or saving the target. Any hero with move speed bonuses or high mobility should not get caught by him.
7) What is your favorite utility build for every map?
I generally pick Barbed Chains, Phylactery, Chilling Touch, Shadow Fissure, Chains of Ice, Power of Icecrown, and The D***ed Return
8) Do you have a specific build for specific comps or enemy comps?
Armor of the Archlich is very powerful against dive, AA heroes, and it is really strong in the early game in general. If you have this talent, you can actually use it to make aggressive plays with the AoE slow and armor.
Chain-Link can be a very strong talent and is a great pick when you have to interrupt something like a Mosh or Holy Word Salvation. I pick this talent pretty often because having another stun tends to be valuable.
Frost Blast is really good into certain comps like melee heavy teams that tend to clump. It also can shut down heroes at key moments (Genji cannot swing his blade while rooted). Don't underestimate this ability.
9) What tips would you give to a player who was looking to master your character?
Practice hitting his skill-shots and doing the combo in try mode for a while before playing him in actual games. You want to be able to E W E R Q and understand how to position Frost Nova so that the enemy players will be rooted.
I would not recommend playing with Strip Shields (veeeeeery situational) or Ice Cold. These talents may sound good, but their value is very bad in practice. Ice Cold in particular seems to be a big noob bait. Make sure to learn how to use vision and your mount to your advantage. Kel'Thuzad's effective range is not that great. Being able to stay mounted and out of vision allows you to capitalize on enemies who step up. You do not want to be the first player targeted as Kel'Thuzad.
Ideally, the other team beings to engage on another player, giving you more freedom to chain them as they try to execute their play. Playing him with a friend that is a good tank player in QM will make it much easier to learn how to follow up on your tank and ensures a frontline for you to rely on. This could reduce some frustration.
I also see a lot of players not utilize his wave/camp clear and structure damage as well as they could. His sustained damage to non-moving targets is really pretty high. Lastly, I would say that playing him in the current meta is very difficult and probably not a worthwhile endeavor if you are planning to use him to climb. I think that maining any other mage right now is likely to get you better results for less effort. But he is still fun to play.
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