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Franchise-warcraft.png This is from the Warcraft universe.

Bear witness to the dark master's power!

Damage (8/10) Utility (3/10) Survivability (5/10) Complexity (6/10)

Gul'dan is a Ranged Assassin hero character from the Warcraft universe.

Abandoning the ways of shamanism, Gul'dan entered a pact with the demon lord Kil'jaeden and betrayed his people in exchange for limitless power. But it came at a great cost: Gul'dan must sacrifice part of his own life force to fuel his destructive fel magics. With the orcish Horde under his master's thrall, both Draenor and Azeroth nearly fell into his grasp. Now, Gul'dan is set to spread his corruption across the Nexus!


Indebted to a demonic lord and pitted against the mentor he betrayed, Gul’dan is one of a handful of fel orcs on Draenor, his visage and shamanic power twisted balefully by demonic communion. The outcasts he leads, the Stormreaver clan, now fight to wrest their “rightful” place in the Iron Horde from Gul’dan’s former master Ner’zhul and to tempt a great army of orcs into infernal corruption.

Gameplay Summary

Gul'dan is a mid-range Assassin capable of dealing high sustained area damage. He is unique as he can replenish his Mana by sacrificing a portion of his own health. This, paired with his ability to sap the health from his opponents to replenish his own allows Gul'dan to stay on the battlefield for longer, as opposed to other "mage" Heroes that constantly need to visit healing wells or teleport back to the Hall of Heroes to restore mana.

Overall, Gul'dan fits in most team compositions due his incredible raw damage output, at the expense of utility.


  • Can replenish Mana at the expense of Health through Life Tap.
  • Outstanding self-sustain thanks to Life Drain.
  • Very high area of effect damage.
    • Fel Flame is a powerful waveclear and poke tool.
    • Corruption is an efficient zoning tool, and very useful to be cast on choke points.
  • Decent sieging capabilities thanks to his high sustained damage.w
  • Can solo Mercenary camps at ease, especially if talented into Corruption.
  • Horrify provides so needed utility and can change the course of teamfights.
  • Rain of Destruction can deal incredible high damage if used properly.
  • Can access one of the best escape tools in the game, Demonic Circle.


  • Requires constant micro-management and monitoration of health and mana.
    • In addition, Gul'dan doesn't naturally regenerate mana.
  • Life Tap should be used carefully; misuse can render Gul'dan vulnerable if there are no enemies he can Life Drain from.
  • Vulnerable to crowd control.
  • Has no mobility options except for Demonic Circle at level 20.
  • Offers no utility outside of Horrify and Curse of Exhaustion, therefore relying on teammates with crowd control abilities to ensure he can land his damage properly.
  • Fel Flame has low range, requiring Gul'dan to get to closer range in order to hit his opponents, which is very dangerous due his frailty.
  • Life Drain is easy to walk away from. Therefore, Gul'dan requires allies capable of limiting the movements of his opponents to sucessfully sap their health.
  • Corruption is slow and predictable, being relatively easy to avoid.
  • Requires proper positioning during team fights.
  • Rain of Destruction is very imprecise due its random nature, making hard to hit the desired targets. In addition, Gul'dan is rendered immobile during its channeling, leaving him vulnerable to retaliation.
  • Demonic Circle is only accessible in the end-game.


Fel Flame (Q) [Cone]
Mana: 75
Cooldown: 1.5 seconds

Release a wave of flame, dealing 200 (+4.5% per level) damage to enemies.

Drain Life (W) [Channeling]
Cooldown: 10 seconds

Drain the life from an enemy over 3 seconds, dealing 137.28 (+4% per level) damage per second and healing Gul'dan for 47 (+4% per level) Health per second.

Corruption (Gul'dan) (E) [Area of Effect]
Mana: 80
Cooldown: 14 seconds

Call forth three bursts of shadow energy, dealing 213.18 (+4.5% per level) damage over 6 seconds. Stacks 3 times.


Life Tap (D) [Active]
Health: 222 (+10 per level)
Cooldown: 0.5 seconds

Gul'dan does not regenerate Mana.

Activate to restore 25% mana.

Heroic Abilities

Horrify (R)
Tier 4 (Hero Level 10)
Mana: 90
Cooldown: 80 seconds

After a short delay, deal 124.8 (+4% per level) damage and fear enemy Heroes in the area for 2 seconds.

Rain of Destruction (R) [Channeling]
Tier 4 (Hero Level 10)
Mana: 90
Cooldown: 100 seconds

Summon a rain of meteors in an area for 7 seconds. Each meteor deals 171.6 (+4% per level) damage in a small area.


Tier 1, Hero Level 1

Pursuit of Flame [Questing]
Tier 1 (Hero Level 1)

IconQuestTalent.png Quest: Hit 40 enemy Heroes with Fel Flame.
IconQuestTalent.png Reward: Fel Flame's radius is increased by 10%.

Echoed Corruption [Questing]
Tier 1 (Hero Level 1)

IconQuestTalent.png Quest: Hit 40 enemy Heroes with Corruption.
IconQuestTalent.png Reward: After the third strike, Corruption strikes 3 times in the opposite direction.

Chaotic Energy [Questing]
Tier 1 (Hero Level 1)

Increases the cast range of Drain Life by 25%.
IconQuestTalent.png Quest: The healing provided by Regen Globes is increased by 50%.
IconQuestTalent.png Reward: After Gathering 20 Regen Globes Gul'dan's Basic Ability Mana costs are permanently reduced by 20.

Tier 2, Hero Level 4

Health Funnel [Passive]
Tier 2 (Hero Level 4)

Drain Life's cooldown recharges 100% faster while it is channeling. If an enemy dies while under the effect of Drain Life, the cooldown is instantly refreshed.

Improved Life Tap [Passive]
Tier 2 (Hero Level 4)

Life Tap now restores 35% Mana.

Consume Soul
Tier 2 (Hero Level 4)
Cooldown: 30 seconds

Instantly kill an enemy Minion and heal for 379.6 (+4% per level) Health.

Tier 3, Hero Level 7

Bound by Shadow [Passive]
Tier 3 (Hero Level 7)

Each enemy Hero hit with Fel Flame reduces the cooldown of Corruption by 1 second.

Curse of Exhaustion [Passive]
Tier 3 (Hero Level 7)

Drain Life deals 50% more damage and slows the target's movement speed by 25% if they are afflicted by Corruption.

Hunger for Power [Passive]
Tier 3 (Hero Level 7)

Increases Ability Power by 15% but reduces healing received from allies by 25%.

Tier 4, Hero Level 10

Horrify (R)
Tier 4 (Hero Level 10)
Mana: 90
Cooldown: 80 seconds

After a short delay, deal 124.8 (+4% per level) damage and fear enemy Heroes in the area for 2 seconds.

Rain of Destruction (R) [Channeling]
Tier 4 (Hero Level 10)
Mana: 90
Cooldown: 100 seconds

Summon a rain of meteors in an area for 7 seconds. Each meteor deals 171.6 (+4% per level) damage in a small area.

Tier 5, Hero Level 13

Fel Armor [Passive]
Tier 5 (Hero Level 13)

Hitting an enemy Hero with Fel Flame grants 40 Spell Armor for 2.5 seconds, reducing Ability Damage taken by 40%.

Harvest Life [Passive]
Tier 5 (Hero Level 13)

Drain Life heals for 50% more Health when used on Heroes.

Dark Bargain [Passive]
Tier 5 (Hero Level 13)

Your maximum Health is permanently increased by 25% but your Death Respawn time is increased by 15 seconds.

Tier 5 (Hero Level 13)
Cooldown: 60 seconds

Activate to heal for 25% of your maximum Health.

Tier 6, Hero Level 16

Rampant Hellfire [Passive]
Tier 6 (Hero Level 16)

Fel Flame's damage is increased by 8% for 5 seconds when hitting an enemy Hero. This can stack up to 5 times.

Ruinous Affliction [Passive]
Tier 6 (Hero Level 16)

Corruption deals an additional 81.12 (+4% per level) damage on impact. If the enemy is hit by all three strikes, the third strike deals 242.32 (+4% per level) damage.

Darkness Within [Passive]
Tier 6 (Hero Level 16)

After using Life Tap, the next ability you cast has 25% increased Ability Power.

Tier 7, Hero Level 20

Haunt [Passive]
Tier 7 (Hero Level 20)

Increases the duration of Horrify by 1 second, and while Feared, enemies lose 20 Armor, causing them to take 25% increased damage.

Deep Impact [Passive]
Tier 7 (Hero Level 20)

Rain of Destruction slows enemies Movement Speed by 90% for 0.5 seconds.

Demonic Circle
Tier 7 (Hero Level 20)
Cooldown: 1 seconds

Summon a Demonic Circle at your location. Activate to teleport to the Demonic Circle.

Talent Builds

  • Fel Flame Build: focused on maxizing the effectiveness of Fel Flame, increasing its damage and range. This agressive build is best used when the enemy team has two or more frontline Heroes, allowing Gul'dan to put constant pressure on his opponents. Fel Flame's low cooldown, combined with the level 16 talent Rampant Hellfire allows Gul'dan to greatly increase his damage output, assuming he manages to hit enemy Heroes constantly.
  • Corruption Build: focused on improving the damage potential and cooldown reduction of Corruption. This build is best suited against team compositions that feature backline Heroes, due Corruption's high range (but also work against melee oriented teams as well). It also makes Gul'dan's sieging even more effective, allowing him to cripple structures at ease. Bound by Shadow plays a pivotal role in this build, allowing Gul'dan to cast Corruption more often.
  • Life Drain Build: focused on maxizing Life Drain capabilities. A very situational build, only useful against teams with low mobility and when Gul'dan's own team features many Heroes with crowd control abilities, to ensure Gul'dan gets full channels of Life Drain. This build is also useful when the team features no healers.


  • Make sure to monitor Gul'dan's health and mana constantly, since they co-depend on each other. Maintaining a balance between the two is key.
  • Life Tap should be used carefully. Try avoiding using it recklessly and putting Gul'dan in situations where he cannot replenish his health, especially when Life Drain is on cooldown.
    • It should be noted that Gul'dan can't kill himself by using Life Tap at dangerously low health.
  • Don't be afraid of casting Fel Flame; its low cooldown and high damage output allows Gul'dan to put constant pressure on his opponents, minion waves and even enemy structures.
  • Life Drain is easy to walk away of and, since it's a channeling ability, it can be interrupted. Make sure to use it when the enemy Hero has been afflicted by a crowd control ability, such as a stun or root.
    • Life Drain heals the same regardless of being enemy Heroes or minions (unless when talented). So don't be afraid to use it on minions to replenish health.
  • Using Corruption effectively requires careful thinking. Try to predict the enemy's path to make sure all three hits land.
    • Due its high cooldown, it is best to save it for moments when enemies are sure to get hit by it.
  • Horrify is best used when the team fight is already in progress, to isolate opponents at low health and more efficiently take them down.
    • It is also a great escape tool as allow Gul'dan to quickly disrupt enemies pressuring him.
  • Rain of Destruction should always be used on a safe spot, such as behind structures, where enemies are less likely to reach Gul'dan. Make sure to use it when there allies to protect Gul'dan from being interrupted.
  • If taken, Demonic Circle provides Gul'dan with a so needed mobility tool, being arguably one of the best (if not the best) escape mechanisms in the game. Make sure to place the glyph on a safe location, such as behind a allied structure, a bush, or even the Hall of Heroes itself.
    • It is important to remember that enemy Heroes can see the glyph generated by Demonic Circle, and can intercept Gul'dan after he teleports (Abathur, for example, can place Toxic Nest in stacks over it and strike Gul'dan by surprise when teleports into it).
    • Demonic Circle can be effectively used for map objectives such as Dragon Shire and Braxis Holdout.



Gul'dan is best paired with a strong frontline, to open opportunities for him to unleash his damage while providing needed peel (as he lacks mobility). Because of this, Warriors and other Heroes featuring a lot of crowd control are very helpful. In addition, Healers can ensure Gul'dan stay at his best form while using Life Tap.

Gul'dan turns Health into damage, and Auriel turns damage into Health. Together, they’re an engine of war. The sheer amount of area of effect and damage over time effects that Gul’dan provides really give Auriel a lot of energy to work with. And as long as she keeps healing Gul’dan, she won’t have to worry about her ally running out of Mana.

Gul’dan is a hero that needs a defensive Warrior to help peel for him and keep him safe. Johanna fits the bill with slows, blinds, and enemy displacement. Other strong front-line Warriors such as Muradin, Arthas, and ETC can fit the bill, as long as they don’t leave Gu’ldan vulnerable by diving too far into the enemy team.

Lt. Moralesplate.png
Similar to Malfurion, Lt. Morales’s high single-target healing keeps Gul’dan fueled and able to put out a lot of damage over a long period of time with little regard to managing his Mana.

Who knew that Gul’dan and Malfurion would be best buddies? Malfurion’s high sustain combined with Innervate means that Gul’dan’s machine of using his Health and Mana to fuel abilities becomes much more efficient. These two in a lane together can be terrifying, as Gul’dan can use his abilities much more often without fear of running out of resources.

Effective against

Gul'dan can easily cripple Heroes with no self sustain and poor mobility, allowing him to capitalize on their weaknesses even further. His sustained area damage also makes him a strong solo laner, capable of trading against other solo laners, such as some Specialists.


Effective foes

Gul'dan's completely lack of crowd control and mobility (outside of Horrify and Demonic Circle, respectively), makes him a vulnerable target to Heroes with high mobility and dive capabilities. In addition, Heroes with hard crowd control, such as stuns and silences, can interrupt his Life Drain, eliminating his source of self-sustain.

Like Chen with his Fortifying Brew, Gul'dan really doesn’t like Heroes who can interrupt his Drain Life. Not only can Alarak almost guarantee that Gul’dan won’t get value out of his key healing ability, but he can also easily put Gul’dan out of position in the laning phase and during teamfights.

Anub'arak has everything that Gul’dan hates. Two ways to interrupt Drain Life (three if he talents into Cocoon), a strong initiation tool to easily reach Gul’dan and put on the pressure, and a ton of spell mitigation.

Chromie excels against heroes who stand still, which Gul’dan is doing every time he casts Drain Life. This pressure makes it hard for Gul’dan to have a sustained presence in team fights. He also does not have any way to reliably reach or punish Chromie, which forces him to depend on his teammates to keep her busy while he dishes out damage.

Gul’dan struggles against heroes who have strong initiation abilities that can be used to dive past his frontline. Kerrigan can easily get to Gul’dan, which forces him to play a much more conservative game than he would like to. It also doesn’t help that using Drain Life makes him a sitting duck for her devastating combo.

While Gul'dan himself poses a high threat to Stukov, he can be easily shutdown with Lurking Arm and Weighted Pustule due his poor mobility. Gul'dan will find himself at his most vulnerable position when using Life Drain and Rain of Destruction, two abilities where he must stay still to channel.


Darkness Incarnate (base)
Gul'dan - Darkness Incarnate.jpg Gul'dan - First War.jpg Gul'dan - Legion.jpg Gul'dan - Brooding.jpg
Darkness Incarnate First War Legion Brooding IconShard.png 150
Shadow Council IconShard.png 100
With his deception complete, Gul'dan need no longer hide his face Beneath a cowl. He is Darkness Incarnate, and all of the Nexus shall behold his true power in the war between shadow and light.
Gul'dan - Shadow Council.jpg Gul'dan - Shadow Council - Chaos.jpg Gul'dan - Shadow Council - Mag'har.jpg Guldan - Shadow Council - Wretched.jpg
Shadow Council Chaos Mag'har Wretched IconShard.png 150
Balespider IconShard.png 400
The Balespider's Burning Vestments were woven from the cinderwebs of the Red Widow, Beth'tilac. Only by enduring the flames of the Firelands can a Warlock know its searing embrace.
Gul'dan - Balespider.jpg Gul'dan - Balespider - Nerubian.jpg Gul'dan - Balespider - Toxic.jpg Gul'dan - Balespider - Heroic.jpg
Balespider Nerubian Toxic Heroic
Dark Nexus IconShard.png 400
The avatars of the Dark Nexus are twisted reflections of heroes and villains. While they may wear familiar guises, they are, in truth, chaos and hatred incarnate... an ancient evil that can only be bargained with: never controlled.
Gul'dan - Dark Nexus.jpg Gul'dan - Dark Nexus - Cataclysmic.jpg Gul'dan - Dark Nexus - Eldritch.jpg
Dark Nexus Cataclysmic Eldritch


Data for Gul'dan existed by November, 2014.[1] As of BlizzCon 2015, his concept was being worked on.[2] He was revealed in the reveal trailer for Medivh.[3]


Patch changes


External links