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Created December 25, 2017

A real Kel'Thuzad Guide (KT, not KTZ) by Nurok

Welcome to my KT (yes, KT and NOT fucking ktZ) build, I hope you find it useful!

Lets start with a popular question: "Why do you take lvl 1 Q without lvl 7 + lvl 16 Q? Where is your synergy bro?"

I will start with the benefits of each lvl 1 first - 

Q (without quest): 

- increases pool duration by 50%

Q (with quest): 

- increases of the pool by 30%

W (without quest): 

- 50% more dmg on enemies hit by the center

W (with quest): 

- increased root duration by 0.5 seconds

E (without quest): 

- chains dmg increased by 125%

E (with quest):

- 15% armor reduction for 4 seconds on the hit heroes

So there are arguments for all lvl 1 talents and they are for sure still situational in my opinion, but I figured due to the following reasons why I love the Q lvl 1 the most: 

- you can waveclear with Q alone due to increased duration AND increased radius on quest finish, which means you can save your W to stack on heroes usually, which is very crucial since you want to have your quest done as fast as possible

- great synergy with hungering cold on 16 AND shade on 20, because the copy also casts the improved version of Q

- improved poke and siege potential due to increased damage on your main source, it doesn't rely as much on other spells as Frost Nova or Chain

- increased raw pve and pvp damage

Back then I had a discussion if I should go for W or E level 1 and didn't pay too much attention to the Q-upgrade initially, because I thought it's necessary to have other Q talents to improve its synergy but I was wrong and nowadays I usually take the Death and Decay upgrade. The armor reduction is great, even if you dont have other spells up it has great synergy for your teammates' damage output. The improved Frost Nova gives an increased CC duration which is also something you shouldn't underestimate and it also provides synergy for follow up by your colleagues. In the end, I think it almost doesn't matter which lvl 1 you take, I think it's personal preference (which is great btw, good job Blizzard! There should be more talents like this, where you can choose by personal preference or given scenarios to adapt) and I just want to elaborate on the points, why I specifically decide for the Death and Decay upgrade these days.

One last point I have to talk about is the talent "Hungering Cold". It's a great talent and in my opinion you should always take it, unless you went for Frost Blast or the AA talent, then you might reconsider (since this is usually not an option, don't even think about different talents for now on 16). Due to the increased radius and the increased duration, you will probably get just as many proccs from HC as you would if you had the increased CC-duration from the Frost Nova talent on lvl 1. It depends on a lot of different factors like a) does the enemy team have cleanse b) does the hit character have a blink etc. etc. and at this point, it's too many detailed factors you would have to think about and it's not worth the trouble, because I am convinced that the damage is roughly the same at the end of the day. Obviously I am talking about KT's dmg output alone and I am excluding teammates in this discussion about HC. 

I hope I could help you guys out and make it easier for you to decide for certain talents on KT. He is one of my favorite characters, if not my favorite mage and I love to play him and enjoy his kit. If I could change something, it would be the maximum amount of quest stacks which are necessary to finish its progress, since right now it's really hard to pick KT in competitive due to its unnatural baseline quest.

I would love to see a change in future, similarly to the following (! These changes are suggested IF the quest would work the same way as before, but with adjusted numbers): 

- 10 Stacks : reduce cooldowns by X seconds

- 20 Stacks : increase spellpower by X %

Thank you for reading my Kel'thuzad guide and go oneshot some noobs which are out of position. 


The Plaguelands
Increase Death and Decay's Duration by 1 second. After gaining 30 Blight, increase the radius of Death and Decay's pool by 30%.
I REALLY love the lvl 1 Q, it is a very flexible talent and allows you to save your W for more combos and doesn't force you into using other spells apart from Q to clear waves.
Armor of the Archlich
Activate to gain 50 Physical Armor for 4 seconds, upon activation, nearby enemies take 99(at 20) damage and are slowed 35% for 4 seconds, 25 second cooldown
almost always armor unless the enemy team has no AA dm... eh, always armor pretty much
Ice Cold
Reduce the cooldown of Glacial Spike by 8 seconds and increase its damage by 400%.
potentially AA against very mobile drafts, it gives a lot of bonus dmg + higher chance of hitting skillshots due to the slow, but.. Glacial is usually always better unless you need raw AA dmg against heavy dive
Shadow Fissure
Create a fissure anywhere on the Battleground that explodes after 1.5 seconds, dealing 320 damage to enemy Heroes in its area. Damaging an enemy Hero with Shadow Fissure resets its cooldown.
Meme blast for memes
Chains of Ice
After Chains of Kel'Thuzad stun expires, targets are slowed by 60% for 1 second.
CD reduction is the the other go to, but I really prefer the slow
Hungering Cold
Enemies rooted by Frost Nova take an additional 55 damage each time they are damaged by Kel'Thuzad.
Dont think about different talents
The Damned Return
Activate to create a Shade of Naxxramas that lasts 15 seconds, which mimics Kel'Thuzad's casts of Death and Decay. 15 second cooldown.
Shifting Malice if you need more mobility (for example against dive), standard is Shade
Balance Patch - 11/29/17
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