When I first settled down on a character in World of Warcraft sophomore year of college, I made a Human Warlock. I eventually moved from the class due to clunky mechanics and the burden of managing a pet, but a wave of nostalgia hit me when Gul’dan was teased for Heroes of the Storm. Guldan is a power-hungry warlock from the World of Warcraft universe. He traded the lives of the orc civilization in the pursuit of personal power. The design team hit the nail on the head with his design. Playing around in the PTR, I am very happy with the power level of Gul’dan.
Trait: Life Tap – Gul’dan does not regenerate Mana. Activate to restore 25% Mana.
Q: Fel Flame – Release a wave of flame, dealing 190 + 4.5% per level damage to enemies. (1.5 second cooldown)
W: Drain Life – Drain the life from an enemy over 3 seconds, dealing 138 + 4% per level damage per second and healing Gul’dan for 179 + 4% per level Health per second.
E: Corruption – Call forth three bursts of shadow energy, dealing 214 + 4.5% per level damage over 6 seconds. Stacks 3 times.
R1: Horrify – After a short delay, deal 125 + 4% per level damage and fear enemy Heroes in the area for 2 seconds.
R2: Rain of Destruction – Summon a rain of meteors in an area for 7 seconds. Each meteor deals 172 + 4% per level damage in a small area.
I’m going to call it now and say that Gul’dan will rival Kael’thas in terms of power. Both characters have very similar range and power in their abilities. They both have a similar weakness in mobility. Gul’dan has a much higher life pool and amazing sustain to support his low mobility, where Kael’thas has a ranged stun.
Gul’dan comes on top as the clear winner in the Ultimate department. Both Horrify and Rain of Destruction are amazing abilities. They both hit in an area and can shape team fights. Rain of Destruction has the same utility as Phoenix, zoning out and controlling where team fights occur. Horrify is a new kind of crowd control, “fearing” enemy heroes in the direction opposite of the attack. If you hit an enemy from behind, they will be towards you and your team. Gul’dan can initiate a fight on one enemy and push his team away in the opposite direction. It’s Mighty Gust’s utility with additional damage tacked on.
lvl 4: Consume Soul – Allows Gul’dan to consume an enemy minion to regain a significant amount of health to himself. This talent gives Gul’dan even more sustain in lane, making it very difficult to push him back to base. Heroes of the Storm is a not a MOBA that promotes “freezing” lanes, so the drawback of naturally pushing your lane is non-existent. Consume Soul gets some fringe benefits versus some Specialists that summon minions like Nazeebo’s Zombie Wall.
lvl 7: Curse of Exhaustion – This talent gives Corruption a 50% slow, granting Gul’dan even more utility in a team fight. I’m a huge fan of massive AoE slows and this talent brings it in spades. Don’t be fooled by Corruption’s range.
lvl 13: Dark Bargain – Guldan already has the highest HP of any assassin in the game. Dark Bargain gives him even more health, rivaling the total of “tanky” supports like Uther and Rehgar. He would have twice as much health as Li-Ming, Tracer, and Chromie. Gul’dan trades 25% increased maximum health for 15 seconds of increased re-spawn time on each death. With enough practice, this trade off is worth it.
lvl 20: Demonic Portal – Demonic Portal allows Gul’dan to place a indestructible portal at his location on the map and recall to it at instant speed. The teleport ability is on a one minute cooldown and has no maximum range. This ability is a mash up of both Chromie’s Bye Bye! talent and Bolt of the Storm. You can use Demonic Portal to get out of ganks and tough fights. Sundered by Thrall? No problem. After the stun, teleport back to your base at instant speed. You can also use the portal offensively by placing it, backing to your fountain to heal and teleporting back to the frontline.
Gul’dan is going to have some interesting pairings with supports. While Tassadar is a very popular support due to his shields, they are not as valuable to Gul’dan due to Life Tap. Malfurion and Lt. Morales seem to be a perfect pairing for Gul’dan.