Our complete Arthas guide has everything you need to know about playing this Hero, with the latest builds, tips, map advice and counters.
Arthas is an extremely strong Melee Warrior in Heroes of the Storm, one who's capable of taking on a tanking role, but also shines particularly brightly as a outright melee brawler. He's got a number of slowing and rooting crowd-control options available to him, and he can also keep his health topped up in a tricky fight.
That's the good news, but there are obviously some limitations that you need to keep in mind when playing Arthas. First of all, if you're pinned down by the enemy than you'll find it very hard to escape the immediate danger. Secondly, this character can burn through Mana like nobody else - you need to watch your usage of skills like Frozen Tempest carefully, unless you want to spend more time back at base than fighting with your friends.
Arthas strategy guide and overview - January 2016
The best thing you can do for your team-mates in the role of Arthas is take a roaming position around the battlefield, look for opportunities to set up ganks using your powerful crowd-control options, and clear down minions as you go. This requires you to keep a very close eye on your mini-map at all times, and maintain an updated understanding of exactly what's going on and where at all times. Don't be frustrated if you struggle to land your Howling Blast at first - it takes practise to get this correct.
When fighting alongside your teammates, look to lock a target down initially using Howling Blast, then activate your Frozen Tempest to cripple them even further. This should provide your allies with ample opportunity to finish the job. Just be ready with skills like Death Coil if you're coming under fire, and try to maintain range with your healer - you're going to need their help.
If you're the one initiating a fight for your team, you should have the time needed to start things off with Summon Sandragosa. If someone else is taking the core attention of the enemy team, you should still fire this skill off early, as it's very hard to activate when you're slap bang in the middle of combat.
The best Arthas Talent build - January 2016
While it's possible to spec Arthas out as a pure tank, we've found the most success with this Hero when playing him as a melee brawler. We feel there are better candidates out there when it comes to tanking, so try this resilient melee combat build out for size this month.
Arthas melee brawler build
Level 1 - Regeneration Master - Collecting Regeneration Globes permanently increases Health Regeneration by 1.5 per second.
Level 4 - Destruction - Damage boost of Frostmourne Hungers increased to 150% damage.
Level 7 - Frost Strike - Frostmourne Hungers also slows the target by 40% for 1.5 seconds.
Level 10 - Summon Sindrigosa - Deals 450 (214 + 4% per level) damage and slows enemies by 60% for 2 seconds. Also disables Minions for 10 seconds and Structures for 20 seconds. Mana: 100, Cooldown: 80 seconds.
Level 13 - Biting Cold - Frozen Tempest damage increased by 50%.
Level 16 - Frostmourne Feeds - Increased application to your next 2 Basic Attacks.
Level 20 - Hardened Shield - Activate to reduce damage taken by 75% for 4 seconds.
Arthas Abilities, Heroic Abilities and Traits - January 2016
Arthas is not a particularly easy Hero to play at first, so make sure you're thoroughly acquainted with all of his key Abilities before firing up a match. Here's a quick look at how each one of them works:
Death Coil (Q)- Deals 360 (171 + 4% per level) damage to target enemy.Can be self-cast to heal for 522 (248 + 4% per level) Health. Mana: 50, Cooldown: 9 seconds.
Howling Blast (W)- Root enemies within the target area for 1.5 seconds and deals 149 (71 + 4% per level) damage. Mana: 70, Cooldown: 12 seconds.
Frozen Tempest (E)- Deals 106 (50 + 4% per level) damage per second to nearby enemies. Slows enemy Move Speed by 6% per second, stacking up to 30%. Mana: 15 per second, Cooldown: 1 second.
Army of the Dead (R)- Summons Ghouls that last 15 seconds. Sacrifice Ghouls to heal for 586 (278 + 4% per level) Health. Mana: 100, Cooldown: 100 seconds.
Summon Sindragosa (R)- Deals 450 (214 + 4% per level) damage and slows enemies by 60% for 2 seconds. Also disables Minions for 10 seconds and Structures for 20 seconds. Mana: 100, Cooldown: 80 seconds.
Frostmourne Hungers (D)- Your next basic attack deals 100% increased damage and restores 30 Mana.
Arthas counters and match-ups - January 2016
Keeping track of who counters who in Heroes of the Storm, and which teammates each Hero buddies up well with can be tricky. Opinions don't just vary across different sites, they also change over time. For this reason, we like to reference a community-curated appraisal of how the collection of Heroes stack up against one another - try HeroesCounters for the latest state of affairs.
Right now, these are the current top five match-ups for Arthas in all relevant categories. Check back regularly to see what's changed over time.
- Strong against- Zeratul, Nova, Zagara, Illidan, Greymane
- Weak against- Leoric, Jaina, Artanis, Raynor, The Butcher
- Teams well with- Jaina, Kerrigan, Tyrande, Raynor, Kael'thas
Arthas tips - January 2016
Arthas is a tricky Hero to get started with, and we highly recommend you take him out into a few bot matches before jumping into a live battle. There are a few clever tricks you can master to help improve your game right off the bat though, so use the following advice to get off to the best possible start.
- Assuming you're using our recommended Talent build for this month, ensure you are gobbling up the ghouls created by Army of the Dead when you need it. They're great for keeping Arthas in a fight for much longer.
- Be very wary of how much Mana the ongoing use of Frozen Tempest consumes. Keep it on only for focused fights, or when you suspect a stealthed character like Nova is somewhere around you.
- Death Coil is better used for healing Arthas than for dishing out what is not a tremendous amount of damage (speed things up here with Alt+Q). You have many ways of damaging your opponents, but less methods of gaining health! An obvious exception to this rule is when pinging an enemy Hero with it would secure a kill.
- Aiming Howling Blast correctly is not easy and requires quite some practise. It takes a certain amount of time to reach its destination, so try as much as possible to aim it at a position the enemy is likely to be in a few seconds time. You won't master this overnight, but you do need to perservere.
- Fire off Frostmourne right after a Basic Attack has landed to reset the animation and get that extra damage and Mana restoration super-fast.
Fightin' Cowboy's videos helped us out a huge amount while we were learning the game. The builds have changed with balance patches and shifting metagames, but the broad principles remain the same.
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