Kael’thas is one of the most contrasting heroes in the game. His popularity is higher the lower the rank you go, despite having one of the poorest talents trees in the game.
HOTS Logs has KT at 58.3% popularity, but this jumps to a massive 84.9% in Bronze-Gold, but crashes down to 37.3% in Platinum-Masters. Many other heroes fare worse, and he’s not the worse hero in that respect, but the reworks and balances have never quite hit the nail on the head.
KT loses much of his effectiveness against higher-lever players, but is powerful against lesser-skilled players who spread the bomb like a Christmas present or stand in a double Flamestrike far too often. He has an excellent base kit, but terrible talents and heroics.
He’s my favourite mage and I hate how limited his talents are, so I’ve put this rework idea together which will bring him into a place of having a varied list of talents and fixes some of the glaring issues with his builds and effectiveness. As always, his overall numbers would need to be adjusted accordingly.
Base Kit – All as is! But…
Active – Mana Addict – Now baseline quest, with the same requirements. Base mana costs increased slightly.
Empowered Gravity Lapse – Stun count of three is not counted for non-heroes, i.e. it can now stun three heroes, even in waves. Gravity Lapse’s skill shot is thinner.
Phoenix – 70 second CD – Now deals more damage on its flight path, has a slightly longer range, it still only attacks one target with a splash attack, but now priorities nearest Hero, explodes on expiry, similar to a Living Bomb, but without the spread and DOT.
Pyroblast – 90 second CD – Increase projectile speed, slightly decreased damage.
Q – Convection – Quest – As is, but half stacks (rounding up) are lost on death, not a hard reset.
W – Fire Bomb – Quest – Hit 15 enemy heroes with Living Bomb’s spread. Reward – Accelerates Living Bomb’s duration from 3 seconds to 2.5 seconds, dealing the same overall damage.
D – Fel Infusion – Verdent Spheres increases the Spell Power of the next basic ability that deals damage by 10%.
E – Nether Wind – Gravity Lapse gain +30% range and speed. Refund 50% mana cost per hero hit, up to 100%.
E – Energy Roil – As is, but allow CDR for each hero hit and refund base mana cost by 50%, but only once. This is the current sleeper OP talent by the way…
D – Mana Tap – Regeneration Globes restore mana for +50% bonus duration. Reduce Verdent Spheres’ CD to 5 seconds whilst under the effect of a Regeneration Globe.
Q – Burned Flesh – Enemy heroes hit by Flamestrike suffer an additional 5% maximum HP damage over the next 5 seconds. Gain two second CDR on Flamestrike if two or more heroes are hit. This can bring the CD down to 5 seconds (see Mana Tap).
W – Sun King’s Fury – As is.
D – Sunfire Enchantment – Now applies to the next three AAs, damage reduced slightly, gain 5% spell power, capped at 15%, for 10 seconds if an empowered AA hits an enemy hero.
W – Pyromaniac – As is.
W – Fission Bomb – Combined effects of Fission Bomb and Backdraft, but with a 20% slow.
D – Twin Spheres – Moved from 16, Verdent Spheres gains a second charge.
Q – Fury Of The Sunwell – Flamestrike explodes again 1 second later, or 1.5 later if it was empowered by Verdant Spheres.
W – Ignite – Now applies to all targets, but prioritises closest Heroes.
E – Gravity Slam – Targets suffer 75 damage for each 0.25 second they have been stunned for when Gravity Lapse finishes. There is potential for a triple stun on one target with Twin Spheres and Energy Roil, but Energy Roil can have CDR as is if too OP.
Rebirth – Phoenix leaves a Phoenix Egg on its expiry explosion. Kael’thas can pick up the Phoenix Egg, by moving onto it, to reduce the CD of Phoenix to 10 seconds.
Presence Of Mind – Reduce Pyroblast’s CD to 60 seconds, increase its explosion radius by 50% and can now be empowered by Verdant Spheres to deal +5% maximum HP damage to all targets hit.
Q – Flamethrower – As is.
W – Master Of Flames – As is. Passively increases the periodic damage of Living Bomb by 35%.
These talent changes give Kael’thas a fresh set of builds, with situational choices, and now brings Gravity Lapse and Verdant Spheres more into his potential for dishing out damage.
Mana Addict baseline is an obvious addition as it dominates his current level talent choice, but now KT has certain risk-reward choices, such as multiple stuns and damage at 16 or picking up his Phoenix Egg, and gives him meaningful choices in how to apply his damage in each game.
Let me know your thoughts and what you like, or what you’d change with him.
Next on the rework block, it’s everyone’s favourite space-slug, Abathur!
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