Our complete guide to playing Thrall with this month’s most effective talent build.
Our complete Thrall guide has everything you need to know about playing this Hero, with the latest builds, tips, map advice and counters.
Thrall’s one of our favourite Melee Assassins in Heroes of the Storm, not least because of his great Trait that keeps him self-sustained while you concentrate on dishing out your damage. He’s also got a pair of tremendously disruptive Heroic Abilities at his disposal, and the ability to really ramp up the damage as you head into the late-game.
As for his weaknesses, you will find that he drops pretty fast if focused by the enemy, even taking into account that delicious self-healing. Mastery of this character also requires an awareness of positioning, timing, and the ability to use the right skill for the job at hand, rather than blindly unleashing your fury against the enemy! You also need to manage your Mana carefully – especially in the early-game.
Editor’s note – April 2016 update: There are no major changes to our guide to Thrall’s best talent build this month. We have updated the counters section, however, and also included a few Thrall-specific tips for a couple of Battlegrounds. We’ll add more to this section in subsequent updates.
Thrall strategy overview – April 2016
It’s important to remain mobile when playing Thrall, and dance around the enemy to your advantage. A strong opener is to drop Feral Spirit on top of your – ideally squishy – target, before wading in with Windfury and dishing out as much damage as possible. Don’t be afraid to disengage and look for another exposed opening if it’ll keep you alive, and stay aware of your Frostwolf Resilience stacks at all times.
There’s something of an art behind the use of Sundering – assuming you’ve picked it – and practise with this Ability will pay off huge dividends. In an ideal world you should use this Heroic Ability to isolate the enemy support, stun them, and make it easier for your team to obliterate them before focusing on the rest of the pack.
The best Thrall Talent build – April 2016
We’ve really been enjoying this Chain Lightning build this month, as it lets you dish out the pain with increasing ferocity as the match wears on. You can also look forward to some much-needed mobility when you hit Level 20, thanks to Bolt of the Storm.
Thrall Chain Lightning build
Level 1 – Rolling Thunder – Increases Chain Lightning’s range by 30% and attacking enemies recently hit by Chain Lightning restores 10 Mana.
Level 4 – Ride the Lightning – Chain Lightning can hit 2 additional enemies for 50% damage.
Level 7 – Follow Through – After using an ability, your next Basic Attack within 6 seconds deals 40% additional damage.
Level 10 – Sundering – After a short delay, sunder the earth in a long line, dealing 601 (285 + 4% per level) damage and shoving enemies to the side, stunning them for 1.5 seconds. Mana: 75, Cooldown: 80 seconds.
Level 13 – Spellshield – Upon taking Ability Damage, reduce that damage and further Ability Damage by 50% for 3 seconds. Can only trigger once every 30 seconds.
Level 16 – Forked Lightning – Allows Chain Lightning to hold 2 charges that can be used in quick succession.
Level 20 – Bolt of the Storm – Activate to teleport to a nearby location.
Thrall Abilities, Heroic Abilities and Traits – April 2016
You’ll get so much more out of Thrall if you carefully choose your moment to strike, rather than just charging in with your axe swinging. To really master this Hero, it’s essential that you understand how each skill works on a situational basis, and then use the right tool for the job at hand. Have a look through all of Thrall’s Abilities before tackling our collection of tips further down the page.
Chain Lightning (Q)– Deal 391 (186 + 4% per level) damage to an enemy and half that amount to 2 nearby enemies. Mana: 40, Cooldown: 6 seconds.
Feral Spirit (W)– Send out a Feral Spirit that deals 336 (160 + 4% per level) damage to enemies in its path. Upon hitting an enemy Hero, the wolf stops and roots that hero in place for 1 second. Mana: 60, Cooldown: 12 seconds.
Windfury (E)– Increase your Movement Speed by 30% for 4 seconds. Your next 3 Basic Attacks occur 100% faster. Mana: 65, Cooldown: 12 seconds.
Sundering (R)– After a short delay, sunder the earth in a long line, dealing 601 (285 + 4% per level) damage and shoving enemies to the side, stunning them for 1.5 seconds. Mana: 75, Cooldown: 80 seconds.
Earthquake (R)– Summon a massive Earthquake that periodically slows enemies in the area by 70%. Lasts for 10 seconds. Mana: 90, Cooldown: 60 seconds.
Frostwolf Resilience– Dealing damage with Abilities grants 1 stack of Frostwolf Resilience. At 5 stacks, you are instantly healed for 660 (314 + 4% per level) Health. Cooldown: 30 seconds.
Thrall counters and match-ups – April 2016
Every Hero has a handful of counterparts who are capable of smashing them into the ground, and likewise each Hero has a few juicy targets they should always feel good about getting stuck into.
We like to keep tabs on a site like HeroesCounters for details of how the metagame currently stacks up, as determined by the community. Here’s how things look today:
- Strong against- Malfurion, Zeratul, Tyrael, Valla, Lt. Morales
- Weak against- Li Li, Xul, Johanna, Uther, Brightwing
- Teams well with- Rehgar, Abathur, Lt. Morales, Tassadar, Kharazim
Thrall tips – April 2016
Thrall isn’t the trickiest Melee Assassin to play in the game by a long shot, but there are a few tricks you should keep up your sleeve if you want to squeeze every last drop of damage that you can from this character. Here’s a quick look at some of the tried and tested tips that have helped Thrall survive in many a metagame.
- Watch your Mana closely in the early game. Chain Lightning can chow through your Mana like nobody’s business – if you’re going to use it much early on, be prepared to hit up a Healing Fountain pretty quickly!
- Don’t waste the cooldown of Windfury by trying to benefit from its effects while you’re Blinded! Wait for the effect to wear off, then switch it on for its buffing goodness.
- You don’t have to use Windfury just as a means of engaging a fight or catching up with an enemy. It can also be used to escape a precarious situation, and you can even throw a Feral Spirit behind you to keep your assailant at bay. Just be quick at pulling this move off!
- Despite your nature as a melee fighter, try to maintain your mobility as much as possible. Look for opportune moments to strike with the right Ability, and don’t be afraid to disengage and stay at the periphery of things until your next opportunity appears.
- Try and maintain awareness of your current Frostwolf Resilience stacks, particularly when heading into battle. Knowing roughly when those heals are going to trigger can affect your combat decisions a great deal.
- Sundering works particularly well if you can use it to isolate the enemy healers and other squishy targets from the relative protection of their beefier allies.
Battlefield of Eternity
There isn’t a huge amount of Thrall-specific advice for Battlefield of Eternity, beyond emphasising the importance of using your Sundering ability to maximum effect during the Immortal team brawls.
Pop Windfury when you’re rattling damage off against the treasure chests on this map. This will ensure you polish the box off quickly, and grab those Doubloons before the enemy can get a chance to cause you a headache.
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.