Content of the article: "My take on a Kael’thas Talent Cleanup"
During last weeks AMA /u/BlizzAZJackson answered my question regarding Kael'thas lack of changes, where he also asked for suggestions. I would like to present my ideas for fixing one of the stalest talent trees in the games history.
I wouldn't call myself a Kael-main mostly because it is selfish to main ranged assassins in Storm league. But at Herolevel 60, I still know enough about his issues to give some perspective.
The biggest problems in Kael's talent tree lies with his trait talents. Fel Infusion, Mana Tap, Sunfire Enchantment and Twin Sphere. Heroesprofile puts them at a pitiful 12% popularity on average.
So most of my concept is to try and fix these talents into something useable.
Convection: Added functionality: After Quest-completion, Flamestrike continues to gain +10 damage permanently whenever it hits 2 or more heroes at once.
(W) Living Flames: Quest: Spreading Living Bombs to Heroes gives Kael’thas 0.4% Spell power (Up to 6%).
Reward: After 15 bombs have been spread to Heroes, Kael’thas heals for 25% of the damage dealt by Living Bombs.
Analysis: Kaels level 1 talents are easily the ones in need of most help. Since Globes were changed, Mana addict has become almost completely mandatory. For now I suggest to try and make his other talents competitive, but I could easily see a complete talent makeover needed at this tier.
Convection lacks inevitability. For a quest talent with such a huge risk, the reward fails to scale into the lategame. In a time when more and more heroes gain permanently scaling level 1 talents, with lesser risk, there is probably room for some additional power post-completion.
Fel Infusion barely qualifies as a trait talent, as the free spell power is really all that matters, and balancing has proven that it is either too weak to see any play or good enough, at which point it is the most boring level 1 talent in the game. I find it unsalvageable. In it's place I suggest a living bomb quest giving out similar effects, in a more powerful form. For being the ancestor of Quest talents, it always surprised me that Kael never got one relating to living bombs.
Energy Roil: Added functionality: Hitting a hero now also reduces the cooldown of Kael’thas’s ultimate ability by 8%.
Analysis: On paper, Kael's level 4 talents are similar to his level 1s, with Nether Wind being highly dominant. I don't think it is that bad though. Mana tap sees low use, but I think this comes more down to Mana Addict being such a dominating talent and the 2 talents being redundant with each other. With more competitive level 1 talents, it would likely see more use. Energy Roil on the other hand has clearly proven to need more help.
Sunfire Enchantment(Moved to level 16)
(W): Gravity Distortion: Living Bomb detonates twice as fast on targets affected by Gravity Lapse.
Analysis: Sunfire Enchantment is one of the more interesting trait talents that Kael has, but the power budget just isn’t there at 7 to make it relevant. My proposal is something that would make it easier to spread bombs, though such a talent would compete with the damage bonus from Sun King’s Fury.
Twin Spheres(Moved to level 20)
(D) Sunfire Enchantment: Activating Verdant Sphere causes Kael’thas’s next 2 Basic Attacks to deal 137(+4% per level) Spell damage. For each of these attacks that hits a hero, gain 10% Spell Power for 10 seconds(Up to 20%).
Passive: Increase the attack range of Kael’thas by 1.1
Analysis: Twin Spheres seems like such a simple talent, till you realize that Kael gets nearly no added damage from an additional Verdant Sphere. Flame Strike gets no damage, Living bombs can’t be cast on the same target anymore(Those were the times!). This could never compete with Kael’s other 16 talents. Something that adds damage is needed. Here is where Sunfire Enchantment comes in.
How is a bad level 7 talent going to be a competitive level 16 talent? Well the answer is simple, we just got to pump those numbers. More damage, more spell power, more reliable activation and safer to use. We are competing with Fury of the Sunwell and Ignite, 2 titans among Kael's talents. There is no room for rookie numbers.
This does bring it close to the old Sun King's Fury, but that was many years ago now, and I think the game has evolved enough to handle this.
Master of Flames: Added Functionality Now also gives Kael’thas the benefits from all his level 13 talents.
(D) Twin Spheres: Verdant Spheres gains a second charge. Spells empowered by Verdant Sphere has their casting range increased by 25%*.
*Yes this does include the range of Gravity Lapse, despite that technically not being a "casting" range.
Analysis: This one will be controversial. Removing Kael’s best level 20 talent doesn’t really align with the goal of a simple cleanup, but I feel it is needed. Flamethrower is such a boring talent in design. It could say “Flamestrike gains 40% cast range” only and still have a popularity over 50%. Every caster just wants to be able to cast their primary damage spell from further away but that doesn’t make it good design, see Chromie.
Tying the range increase to Twin sphere brings a larger focus on using Kael's entire kit, and on utilizing his trait with all his spells on occasion. Right now it is straight up never recommended to use Empowered Flamestrike, which seems all sorts of backwards when the trait plays massive roles for most other heroes in the game.
This is my take on to fix Kael's talents. I would be eager to hear ideas from the rest of the community.
- I’ve written a Rework for Kael’Thas, trying to fix him at low level.
- THANOS (Lion) mid back on the menu?
- Tips, tricks and some Information for new players in ARAM mode
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