Kel'Thuzad has faithfully served the Lich King both in life and after death. Reanimated as the Archlich of the Scourge and given domain of the Dread Necropolis, Naxxramas, Kel’Thuzad remains Arthas’s most trusted advisor and master of the cold dark.
Archlich of Naxxramas, esteemed Lich Lord of the Plaguelands, Commander of the Dread Necropolis, Master and Founder of the Cult of the Damned, formerly of the Council of Six, Creator of the Abomination, Summoner of Archimonde the Defiler, Betrayer of Humanity, Hearthstone Enthusiast, and Majordomo to the Lich King, Kel’Thuzad.
Kel'Thuzad is an Assassin with a gameplay that revolves around "combo abilities", in the same vein as characters like Kerrigan, Alarak and Kael'thas. He is capable of inflicting plenty of roots, slows and stun effects, as most of his abilities feature at least one form of crowd control.
His Trait, , grants him a massive powerspike once completed, allowing him to snowball the match if the quest is completed earlier. This makes Kel'Thuzad particularly valuable at participating in skirmishes, allowing him to complete the quest as soon as possible.
Overall, Kel'Thuzad fits in most team compositions, but excels in those with additional crowd control abilities that can synergize or complement his own, allowing him to unleash his true power.
- Capable of setting up powerful crowd control chains.
- Powerful burst damage through his ability combos.
- Fits into most team composition, being able to adjusts his talents accordingly.
- allows Kel'Thuzad to increase his power, and snowball the match once the quest is completed.
- has extremely low cost and cooldown, being a versatile tool for waveclearing, poking and follow-up damage.
- can secure takedowns if used properly, combining damage and utility.
- is a versatile, yet complex ability, that is the basis of Kel'Thuzad combos, capable of pulling enemies towards structures or each other.
- 's explosions covers a large radius, and can incapacitate an entire group when well timed.
- is a very versatile Heroic Ability, as it has global range, very low cooldown, deals high damage, and is a powerful follow-up to Kel'Thuzad other abilities.
- High skill ceiling, being difficult to master.
- Requires proper setup to deal effective damage.
- Most of his abilities have a delay before being cast, meaning the player must plan ahead so his enemies don't escape.
- Awful durability (even supports with low damage, like Lt. Morales and Rehgar can kill him).
- All his abilities (except for ) are skillshots.
- Vulnerable to dives and Melee Assassins, especially given his limited options for defensive talents.
- Lacks self-peeling abilities to repel sticky opponents.
- Not very efficient at solo laning.
- Cannot deal well against opponents with high mobility, such as Tracer, that can easily dodge his skillshots.
- can be completely negated by specific abilities, such as or .
Tier 1, Hero Level 1
Tier 2, Hero Level 4
Tier 3, Hero Level 7
Tier 4, Hero Level 10
Tier 5, Hero Level 13
Tier 6, Hero Level 16
Tier 7, Hero Level 20
- Death and Decay Build: focused on increasing 's utility and damage through the key talents and . This build is recommended when additional sources of waveclear are required (such as in Tomb of the Spider Queen and Braxis Holdout).
- Frost Nova Build: focused on increasing burst damage potential through the key talents and . This build is recommended when the allied team features plenty of crowd control sources to set up or follow up Kel'Thuzad's own sources of crowd control.
- Chains of Kel'Thuzad Build: focused on increasing 's utility and damage, allowing Kel'Thuzad to trade against more resilient Heroes thanks to , as well those that can shield (such as Tassadar) thanks to .
- Focus on completing as soon as possible, even if the abilities don't manage to secure takedowns. The sooner it is completed, the faster Kel'Thuzad can snowball the rest of the match.
- Kel'Thuzad's ideal combo should be: > > .
- Try to use on cooldown; its low mana and cooldown allows for Kel'Thuzad to constantly poke his opponents and aid in waveclear.
- Pick your target wisely; ping your opponent so your team know who to focus.
- Additionally, avoid using it on opponents that can negate it, to prevent wasting the cooldown.
- 's level 20 talent, , triggers the reset even when hitting opponents like Summoned Bosses (i.e. Dragon Knight and Garden Terror) or clones (, ).
Kel'Thuzad is at his best when paired with any Hero that can setup and/or follow-up his ability combos; such as those with reliable crowd control abilities. This makes completing much faster. Most Warriors work very well with Kel'Thuzad, as they are often packed with a kit focused on crowd control and very needed peel for Kel'Thuzad, as his low health and lack of escape makes him an easy target.
While Kel'Thuzad becomes a threat to the entire enemy team once , he can be even more dangerous when capitalizing on Heroes with poor mobility and/or lack of spell damage mitigation. He also excels when fighting opponents that can summon clones, as they can "feed" him stacks of his trait, and become targets for .
Kel'Thuzad's greatest weakness is the fact nearly all his abilities (except for ) are skillshots that require pinpoint accuracy. Therefore, he performs poorly against Heroes with high mobility that can easily dodge his Abilities. Also, Kel'Thuzad's low health and lack of escape and self-peel makes him an easy target to gankers and divers, particularly Stealth-based Heroes.
- Archlich of Naxxramas (base)
|Archlich of Naxxramas||Northrend||Scourge||Blightlord 150|
|Naxxramas Kel'Thuzad 150|
- Star Lich 600
- What the heroes of this pitiful blue marble fail to understand is the Earth's fate cannot be delayed forever. In the end, the stars will fade and die, and in the cold dark... Our empire is eternal.
- This skin is related to the Eternal Empire themed-skins. Features altered voice-over and themed abilities.
Kel'Thuzad was under consideration for inclusion as early as 2011. He was reguarly the most requested hero from players in censuses undertaken by Blizzard Entertainment. His model was previewed at BlizzCon 2014. Work began on him in January 2017. The "paper design" phase ended on January 30, ahead of schedule.
Kel'Thuzad's abilities are themed around frost and shadow magic, rather than necromancy.
- Similarly to Leoric's "Space Lord" skin, Kel'Thuzad's Star Lich skin is a satire to Darth Sidious from Star Wars. This is evident with the different voice lines that makes analogy to the series.
- (Patch September 5, 2017) Note: Added.
- 2015-11-08, Kel'Thuzad Model. Twitter, accessed on 2015-05-01
- 2001-10-23, BlizzCon 2011 - Starcraft 2: Heart of the Swarm and Blizzard DOTA - Art & Technology Panel (Full). YouTube, accessed on 2011-11-07
- 2017-09-10, Resurrecting Kel’Thuzad: Honoring a Legacy – Heroes of the Storm. YouTube, accessed on 2017-09-10
- 2017-08-24, GamesCom 2017 Heroes of the Storm Kel'Thuzad Interview. YouTube, accessed on 2017-08-26
- 2017-08-29, Resurrecting Kel’Thuzad: Paper to Pixel – Heroes of the Storm. YouTube, accessed on 2017-09-10