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Kel'Thuzad prepares chilly entry to Heroes of the Storm

Mr Bigglesworth is in there too!

A cartoon tells me that "Kel'thuzad, Archlich of Naxxramas" has found his way into Heroes of the Storm [official site]. The cartoon also revealed to me that I would have been far more into a He-Man/She-Ra style cartoon featuring these characters than I am into Heroes of the Storm.

This is the part when I turn to the various WoW wikis to unpick things I actually know from things I made up or which happened in a dream, unfortunately there is Kel'thuzad (alternate universe), Kel'thuzad (original), Kel'thuzad (tactics) and Kel’thuzad. Bear with me.

Right, so Kel'thuzad was meddling in the dark arts which tends to get you expelled from various institutions. He got expelled from an institution and founded a plague-spreading cult. He was killed by Arthas, then resurrected by Arthas, then told by Arthas to bring some other idiot into Lordaeron, then.... abandoned to hang out in a floating necropolis?

My favourite thing is that in one of the Warcraft novels Kel'thuzad was caught animating dead rats. Obv people are a bit "JUST SAY NO TO NECROMANCY" but maybe he was just making a zombie rat circus. Rats would be far more amenable to performing on a trapeze if you somehow held dominion over them. It makes the whole trick-learning process a billion times easier.

Blizzard themselves are all: "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."

The night is dark and full of zombie rat circuses, mate.

Let's have a look at his kit.

Hero Trait: Master of the Cold Dark

Quest: Gain 1 Blight every time a Hero is Rooted by Frost Nova or hit by Chains of Kel'Thuzad. Reward: After gaining 15 Blight, the cooldown of all Basic Abilities is reduced by 2 seconds. Reward: After gaining 30 Blight, gain 75% Spell Power. Blight: 0/30

Essentially it incentivises using your spells on enemies so you'll a) play more mage-ish and b) get rewarded for playing more mage-ish well.

Ability: Death and Decay

After 0.5 seconds, launch an orb that explodes upon hitting an enemy, dealing 150 damage to enemies in the area. The explosion leaves behind a pool of decay that lasts 2 seconds, dealing 70 damage every 0.5 seconds to enemies.

This will be good for damage but also for making an area undesirable to stand around in. Generally you can use pools of damage over time to mess with where people can stand in a fight or to mess up chock points they want to pass through.

Ability: Frost Nova

Create a nova that explodes after 1 second, dealing 212 damage to enemies inside and Slowing them by 35% for 2.5 seconds. Enemies in the center are Rooted for 1 second.

It's a chilly slow/root with blast damage. LEarning to aim it and deal with the one second delay on the explosion will help with the hero trait bonuses.

Ability: Chains of Kel'Thuzad

Launch a chain, dealing 97 damage to the first enemy Hero or Structure hit. For 4 seconds after hitting an enemy, Chains can be reactivated to launch to an additional enemy, pulling both enemies together and Stunning them for 0.5 seconds.

This one is more of a whip that damages if you only use it once in an instance. If you hit another character with a second chain you bash them into one another and stun them in what sounds like a cartoonish knocking-heads-together way. If you have someone competent at using chains that should help make enemies not fancy grouping up. Again, the hero trait incentivises using this one.

Heroic: Frost Blast

Launch a meteor of ice at an enemy Hero. Upon impact, the meteor deals 100 damage to its target and 275 damage to enemies in the area. All enemies hit by Frozen Tomb are Rooted for 1.5 seconds.

Okay so, 1) meteors are space rocks entering the Earth's atmosphere while COMETS are the ones made from ice and rock. 2) I think Frozen Tomb is a typo or the name of an ability which ended up being changed as nothing in the kit is called that.

Heroic: Shadow Fissure

Create a fissure anywhere on the Battleground that explodes after 1.5 seconds, dealing 440 damage to enemy Heroes in its area.

It's a delayed megablast, yo.

Watching a gameplay video there are some interesting combos you can pull off which explain the hero's complexity rating spells. It also revealed to me that Mr Bigglesworth - Kel-Thuzad's cat - is part of his dance emote.

Call of Kel'Thuzad sounds like an event where you maybe have to fight evil versions of some characters? "All shall feel the touch of despair as the darkest secrets of the Nexus are revealed... Drawn to the immeasurable power found within the Nexus, Kel’thuzad, Archlich of Naxxramas, has turned several of the noblest Heroes against their allies, and he will not stop until all become minions of the cold dark!"

We should know more as the week progresses.

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About the Author

Philippa Warr

Former Staff Writer

Pip wrote for Rock Paper Shotgun between 2014-2017, covering everything from MOBAs, hero brawlers and indie curios. She also had a keen interest in the artistry of video game creation, and was very partial to keeping us informed of the latest developments in British TV show Casualty.