HotS – Guldan Out Now – Competitive Analysis
As of today Guldan has officially been added to the Heroes of the Storm roster. Guldan is a sustain damage assassin who use drains enemies health points and sacrifices his own to regain mana.
Trait – Life Tap
Guldan has an activateable trait called life tap. Guldan does not regenerate mana automatically like other heroes do, he must instead spend health in order to get back large chunks of mana. It’s unclear whether or not life tap will kill Guldan if his health is low enough. While it takes a good chunk of health to use, it gives back an even larger amount of mana, knowing when to life tap in the middle of a fight will be a crucial skill.
Ability Q – Fel Flame
Guldan’s Q ability is Fel Flame, a straight forward damage spell that passes through enemies and damages all it touches. This ability is good for the current meta which emphasizes lane clearing and burst damage. The ability has no stun so it wont interrupt heroic abilities.
Ability W – Drain Life
Drain life is a single target channeled ability that will break when Guldan’s target gets out of range. Guldan cannot move while channeling this ability. Drain life can be used on minions and other units besides heroes to restore health, ensuring that Guldan will be able to continue using life tap to gain mana back. This ability should probably only be used outside of team fights, or on stunned targets, it’s mostly mean to to sustain and help Guldan recover. It can also be used to deal more damage to stunned heroes while simultaneously recovering health and mana. This ability will work well in conjunction with heroes like ETC that can mass stun the opposing team.
Ability E – Corruption
Corruption shoots three small bursts in from of Guldan that do damage overtime. The ability can stack on a character up to three times meaning the target will take more damage. Corruption is similar to Fel fire in that it passes through enemies, but it’s more effective in team fights and for enemy heroes that may be fleeing the battle. Corruption is also another tool in Guldan’s kit for clearing enemy creep waves. This ability means that Guldan will most likely be a good pick for teams wanting back line damage in team fights with solid reliable lane clearing. However, getting three stacks off on one hero requires good aim and it’s unlikely to happen most of the time due to the fact your opponent could use and escape or side step it altogether.
Heroic 1 – Horrify
Guldan’s first heroic ability is horrify. Horrify is an area of effect ability that takes control away from enemy heroes caught within the blast. This is probably Guldans most valuable ability since it can be used to get an early advantage in team fights, or get out of a fight when things go south. Chances are that if Guldan is ever used in a competitive match this will be the heroic that is picked, since it has the ability to set up great plays and turn team fights around.
Heroic 2 – Rain of Destruction
Rain of Destruction is a large area of effect ability that can be used to zone enemy heroes and deal large amounts of damage. The downside to this spell is that the damage is only applied to a hero when they are struck by a meteor and the spread is so large that you are unlikely to kill anyone in a team fight if they are near full health. This heroic ability could be used to scare off opponents from escaping down a specific route, or blocking their escape entirely after a team fight. It could also be used on more objective based maps to gain an advantage while fighting over specific areas. Guldan is not able to move during this ability either, which means he will be vulnerable during this time and wont be able to deal damage.
How He Will Affect Competitive Play?
While Guldan is an assassin coming into an assassin heavy meta, it is unlikely that he will see competitive play very much. While he has good zone control and disengage abilities for most encounters it’s unlikely he will be able to out damage assassin’s like Li Ming and Kael’thas. On top of that most of his damage is overtime, which isn’t as reliable in a burst damage heavy meta. However, it’s likely he will be picked on more area objective maps like Cursed Hollow, since he is able to both deal damage in an area and zone control the opposing team. Guldan will also show up on teams with an ETC since he will be abl to stun them and line up enemies for Guldan’s damage abilities.