Kel'thuzad, the Lich of Un-Fun

So there is a major problem with this hero’s design that no other hero shares to this degree: he is extremely binary in his outcomes.

I have the feeling that whenever I got a Kel into my group, they suck and rarely hit. Often enough, when I play against Kel though, they just rofl-stomp everyone with a single wombo-combo.

Playing against KT is not fun at all (in my opinion), as you either happen to have a bad Kel player (lucky you!) or you have the right tools / players against him - otherwise you are screwed, big time.

There are few other heroes or abilities on my personal list of “bad design” in HotS, but Kel’thuzad really is at the top of it. I hope they will someday rework him completely …

Until then, I will do the following and recommend everyone who feels the same as me to do this:
If you play draft mode and you see someone pick Kel’thuzad, leave the draft immediately to boycott this BS.


Or, just pick one of his counters? He hates heroes that can dive him, dodge or cleanse his chains, or spell armor through his combo. Assassins like Lunara or Tracer can give him fits, healers like Rehgod or Kharazim can nullify large portions of his kit, and Anub’arak is by far my favorite tank to draft into him, as the big bug is basically an unstoppable, spell-immune, beetle-spawning nightmare for KTZ.

The whole point of playing a draft mode is to pick and counter pick to enahce your team’s strengths, and exploit the enemy team’s weaknesses, of which KTZ has enough to make him balanced.


I totally see your point and it sounds fair in theory, but in reality these counters will not always be around, and there may be counters to your counters on the enemy team.
It doesn’t always perfectly unfold like you describe.

You also have to consider that KT may be one of the last picks in which case you don’t get to pick a counter (and I don’t want a HotS where everyone has to pick some KT counters just IN CASE he might be present). ^^

True and you need to have heroes like that to make carrying a possibility in this game.

You know the things your typical whinners complain they can’t do.

I sure prefer having a binary hero like KTZ be a carry than jimmy who trumps a good part of the cast with just right clicking and sometimes pushing the inspire button because he is that overtuned.

But what would be the point of having a hero with whom you are forced to last pick to avoid counters if he ends up being worse than your valla or jimmy or jaina that you picked blindly?

Blizzard game always have that great design where your general picks are so busted they are better than the rest of the cast and the specialized picks are always under fire because general pick player has his ego bruised he is not the diva 200% of the time even though they often have a list of conditions to fullfill for even picking them in the first place.

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I have seen even good 67% winrate ktz players lose to hard dive. Just learn to draft against him or accept that you’ll lose. Also if you’re on his team protect him from dive. I dont think he’s any better or worse than other mages in terms of balance.

Yea he’s awful if he misses his combos. They’re harder to hit than most mages. But ive seen jaina’s who miss ring of frost when using it on a 5 man moshpit so…




This is why i love those leaver penalties and our dear leaver queue.


I agree, he’s one of the worst designed heroes in the game.

And I think the answer of “just draft to counter him” is stupid.
Ultra hard counters are the reason composition variety becomes so stale.
It’s the reason Cassia was redesigned.
You should always have options, a surprise last pick in draft shouldn’t ruin the game.
This is why balance should definitely take QM into account.

Additionally, I think the design of combo heroes is very bad anyway.
They very much encourage the CC chain -> dead hero -> fight is over before anyone else could do anything snore fest.
And when those combos miss, the hero is useless.
Meanwhile Mephisto can spam abilities left and right and still carry games, using abilities is fun. Constantly making decisions is fun.
And that’s why I think damage should be reduced across the board, but cooldowns (and mana costs) also reduced.
There was a reason they removed Mothership Archon toilet from SC2, it was stupid and boring, though the game is still pretty garbage from too much “terrible, terrible damage”

By this reasoning, all heroes should counter each other, and there would never be niche picks like Anub’arak to counter mages, Arthas to counter melee heroes, Brightwing to counter divers, Uther to counter burst damage, and so on. You would also lose unique heroes that require specific types of counters such as Deathwing, Murky, or Zeratul.

This would make the meta even more stale, as there would never be a reason to draft anything other than the tank with the highest survivability/CC, the healer with the most utility/output, the bruiser hardest to gank, and the assassins with the highest raw numbers.

What makes “draft to counter him” a valid argument is that there are many different ways to counter him, not just one or two heroes, so your draft still has a great deal of flexibility. You can draft Tracer, or you can draft Illidan to get in his face. You can draft Kharazim for dive and cleanses, or you can draft Uther to cleanse and counter the burst. You can draft Imperius to keep him at range, or you can draft Dehaka for the flank and gank and dodging his combo with Burrow. You can draft Anub’arak to make him miserable, or ETC to make him miserable.


wait people actually dodge drafts when they see KTZ picked? a hero that can’t do crap if his team isn’t doing work? or can be so good if enemy team are a bunch of potatoes? why would you dodge a draft and get leaver penalty just cause you’re scared of that hero rather than ban him if he’s bringing you nightmares?


While I recently post similar topic and than watching replies and finding some mistakes in my and my team play against KTZ (or my team KTZ doing mistakes) you have to remember that only one player in team Bans. Meaning 4 people can vote KTZ to be banned but one that actually is choosing bans can tell - “Screw you I vote of Lili, Johanna and Cassia as I love playing AA character”

the point is you’re not going to see KTZ in enemy team every game. and there’s only few player’s who are actually good at him but people making it sound like KTZ is Invulnerable you can’t touch him you just see them pick him and you lose the game! he’s super weak against dive comps you focus him and he’s down. but when you stand still and make his life easier to land his combo on you then why complain? i don’t understand that most of people that complain about KTZ are 100% either bronze or silver league player’s who plays vs Smurfs.

people in this game just doesn’t want to accept that someone is better than them at playing the game. this is the problem with the hots community you see a good player you just can’t accept it you must say he’s playing a broken hero that’s why they won against me it’s never your fault that you lost it’s because enemy team took a broken hero just like the guys who were saying Deathwing = insta win


You are so unlucky with bad KT then.

Have you ever heard of Leoric, Tychus, Greymane? Anyway, you should hear.

By this reasoning SKILL should counter skill.

And there shouldn’t be.

That should very much be the goal.
Requiring counters is stupid.
None of those even require counters though.
Deathwing has strengths, and also built in weaknesses like massive size and delays.
You don’t need % damage to take advantage of either of those, nor to deal with Deathwing.

Nothing does.
You can use Uther to help against Jaina’s burst too, but no one says you NEED to pick Uther to deal with it.
Because even though a well placed Ring can nuke a team also, the majority of her play doesn’t revolve around that.

Git gud you nub pleb.


I totally agree that KTZ is one of worst designed heroes. He does not allow in-built counter play. His combo either hits or it misses. It’s not because you dodged it, it’s because KTZ guessed right or wrong. It’s not thing you react to, you already have to be moving when he shoots the chain and hope it’s the right direction and that you got enough mobility to even make it possible with big hit box heroes.

As contrast a dumpster tier hero like Kerrigan was well designed combo hero who allows counter play since start. She gives time for side step(and still doesn’t get the damage level of KTZ), even basic mobility tools can be used to dodge it and her combo places her in vulnerable position as she is melee hero.
Meanwhile KTZ can use tanks, vehicles or his spike as first target and gets ridiculous range for his second chain all this despite being ranged hero middle of his team. Also when it comes to in built defenses ice blocks, spell shields and blinks have become increasingly rare as well as general cleanse. As result there is even less counter play than than days say Kerrigan was playable.

And to people who say “just pick dive”. Have you ever played against KTZ bot(prior to devs lobotomizing bots) ? It greatly showcased the hero when played mechanically well. It will practically always hit the combo so it will always take 1-2 heroes with him. Only way you are really going to ensure he can’t do that is you either D-shield(20)/sanct your team while killing him or you stunlock/silence him(and this requires their healer not being able to cleanse this and team not being able to peel nor counter kill. Another great hero vs KTZ is Medivh but finding good Medivh is pretty much like finding an unicorn. It’s not an OP hero, just badly designed one due to low counter play and interactivity which applies to medivh too btw :weary:

you’re missing the big thing about KTZ though, his quest,
until he finishes the quest he is doing 75% less damage,
he’s like the mage version of Butcher,

its only after the quest completion can he start playing and be a threat.

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You can’t actually think that he is not a threat before his stacks. It’s not just damage KTZ brings, he brings kill set up also with displacement and hard CC. His combo even baseline takes about half GMs health. On average combo is followed by roughly 1s stun from tank and another 1s root from support + damage they deal and if it’s not big 3 lane map(so one where you can’t effectively rotate as 4 man) there is still 2nd DPS too. Since Tank is most commonly the starting chain of combo he can’t peel there either as he is hit by the same KTZ/tank/support CC as other end of the chain. Just because KTZ can’t 1 vs 2 before his quest is done doesn’t make him non-threatening. And no, he doesn’t deal 75% less damage without stacks, that would be around 43% less damage compared to being max stacks. With stacks he deals 75% extra damage compared to baseline.

On contrast Butch loses meat when he dies. He provides less damage despite being melee, takes significantly longer for his quest and is very easy to shut down even after he gets his meat. Even in high ELO good KTZ is always gonna get his stacks. You will slow it down a bit by having as few people as possible on his lane and hopefully they will be among more mobile ones from your team. You play passive just like you would with ZJ on lane while playing aggro on obj so battles don’t last long. That’s about the extent you can do to lessen KTZ stacking.

It does, but knowing how to draft is also a skill. Beeing a mechanical genius does not suffice to be good in this game.

LuL, what a boring game that would be if every hero was a gerneralist. Might aswell transform every hero into Raynor and watch who is the more skillful Raynor.

Every hero has certain counters, some more some less. KTZ doesn’t even need specific counters to punish him. He is an immobile glass cannon with not a whole lot of range. A general mage counter will already be enough. Hell, just pick a bruiser that can somewhat go deep, like Sony and you will be good.

And you don’t need a specific counter to KTZ either. He is nothing more than your ordinary mage. A little bit of awareness and someone who can dive him and you are fine.