Arthas is probably one of most recognizable characters in all of Blizzard. The Lich King in Heroes of the Storm is a difficult character to play so he is often labeled as underpowered or the worst tank. I’m here to tell you that couldn’t be further from the truth. With some practice and proper use of his abilities you can make the Lich King the enemy teams nightmare. If you want to check out the basics of Arthas head over to the BlizzPro hero page that can be found here
Frostmourne Hungers (trait D) is an amazing trait that can be activated to power an auto attack and restore mana. The best thing about this trait is that it resets the auto attack animation for surprising burst damage that is often unexpected. The way to reset the attack animation is right after you get hit confirmation(damage has happened from an auto attack) activate the trait and attack again. You should see him suddenly pull his sword back and attack again immediately. Thing of this as a constant speed boost to his auto attacks that should be taken advantage of as much as possible.
Death Coil (Q) is a strong tool that requires some mastery to use properly. When using death coil offensively be sure to keep in mind that one characters leave Arthas’s range they are often impossible to catch so try to get it off before an enemy starts to make their escape. When used properly as a heal it can help you win duels or allow your support to focus others during team fights.
Howling Blast (W) This is a low damage skill with a long root at 1.5 seconds. The best Arthas players will watch the enemies and use this to punish their bad habits. Early game hitting this in a lane that Arthas suddenly roamed to will mean a death sentence for any enemies unlucky enough to get hit.
Frozen Tempest (E) managing the toggle of Frozen Tempest is going to make or break an Arthas player. Overuse of this ability will cause him to be constantly out of mana but not putting it on at the proper time will leave him lacking damage on a target that would have been an easy kill. Every situation so just be aware of your mana pool and what resources Arthas will need to secure a kill.
Army of the Dead (R) Derpy AI ghouls with decent sustain option to eat them for health but I think this is a wasted heroic choice. Arthas needs to rely on his abilities, talents, and support so that he can do what he really excels at. Taking this handicaps you because of how good the other choice is.
Summon Sindragosa (R) The ultimate engage tool. Sindragosa can ruin an entire enemies teams engagement with a massive slow that your team can then capitalize on with superior damage and positioning. The pressure you can apply to the enemy team when you hit level 10 before them is amazing. This will shut down any structures hit by it including the healing well! This makes it impossible to hide from your level lead so use this to put the pressure on the enemy team and keep that lead.
Regeneration Master – Arthas is really strong in the early game so grabbing globes for the late game investment is fairly easy. This will help him out late game a ton and makes it the preferred talent choice at level 1.
Destruction – is what gives you great burst when you catch a character out and capitalize on the auto attack reset discussed in the trait section. You want the enemy squishy characters to feel the pain when you catch them out early. Frozen Waste is really not needed here if you manage W properly.
Rune Tap is the only real choice here because when coupled with Regeneration Master it makes Arthas the unmovable object that your team needs. Around level 7 it becomes make or break time when trying to gain an advantage in the levels and this skill allows Arthas to be around to put in work. This also allows him to take camps with ease at this point or hit minions or structures for extra sustain.
Summon Sindragosa – see the heroic talents section.
Biting Cold – is amazing if you can get away with it. The damage output per second that Biting Cold gives Arthas is amazing. Relentless is something Arthas may NEED depending on how much hard CC the enemy team has so be sure to pick appropriately.
Stoneskin – seems to be the choice right now due to the current bursty meta that is Heroes of the Storm. This is a big shield (1302 at level 16) that will eat up some of the enemies cooldowns and allow Arthas to continue his campaign of destruction. If the enemy team is lacking burst or you have a very comfortable lead take Frostmourne Feeds. Frostmourne Feeds is amazing at giving Arthas extra damage and mana management.
Hardened Shield seems to be the choice here because at this point of the game Arthas has probably drawn the focus of the enemy team. If you have been playing him properly Arthas has more than likely been a nightmare for the enemies backline. With all that taken in account the enemy team will be trying to burn you out of fights as quick as possible and Hardened Shield will prevent that and force enemies to waste skills/mana. If you have a huge lead and want to just keep your foot on the enemies throat while ending the game then taking Absolute Zero will do just that.
Arthas has amazing early game power and you want to use that well especially squishy enemies that power comes late game. Work with your lane partner so they can take advantage of your ability to root an opponent and follow up with harass. You can counter lane pressure with Frozen Tempest but hold onto your skills to manage Arthas’s small mana pool. You want to look for opportunities to land a Howling Blast root on the enemy, who you can then close with while bringing up Frozen Tempest. You will be able to immediately land an autoattack Frostmourne Hungers combo. If they stay to in your range to trade you can continue to punish. Wait for cooldowns to reset and look for another opportunity for more of the same.You can also roam pretty easily, and this can snowball a lead for your team. I prefer for the enemy to be about halfway out in the lane for a gank. A succesful kill will put you ahead in experience and give you an opportunity to push the lane and get heavy damage on a tower/wall.
You want to do a lot of the same stuff as you did early game hoping to hit 10 before the enemy team. If you hit 10 before the opponent the snowball can begin. Your job is to balance protecting your backline while disrupting and damaging the enemies backline. If you hit 10 before the enemies this can be accomplished easily with Sindragosa as it will be the ultimate engage tool. Nothing disrupts an entire team quite like coming out of the bushes with a surprise Sindragosa that allows Arthas and his team to start picking off slow targets. Stay with your team and keep control of map objectives that will create opportunities for a death push on the enemy team.
Big shout out to Digitality(@BWMCDigitality) for doing so much work with Arthas and teaching me enough to be able to put this guide together. Without his contributions this guide wouldn’t have been possible. I hope you enjoyed this build and look for another one next Thursday right here at BlizzPro!