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Heroes of the Storm – Arthas Guide

A basic overview along with a few suggested builds for playing Arthas in Heroes of the Storm.
This article is over 10 years old and may contain outdated information

Welcome to the Heroes of the Storm build guide for Arthas. In this guide, you will find basic information on the game and Arthas, as well as tips on how to play and build him.

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This guide will break down into six categories:

  • Introduction – A breakdown of the kind of character you’re playing
  • Starter Abilities – The abilities your character starts with at the beginning of the match.
  • Heroic Abilities – Pick from one of these two ultimate-like abilities at team level 10
  • Talents – The character improvements you can choose from to custom build your hero
  • Talent Builds – Recommended builds that I have personally found success with
  • Playstyle Tips – Extra information about the character to help you play your best


In Heroes of the Storm, Arthas is a melee warrior with a kit that focuses on CC and AoE damage. He has abilities that allow him to control the battlefield and even some self-healing capability.

Arthas serves three functions: crowd control, tanking, and damage dealing. Much of his damage is AoE, although he does have some single target abilities. Depending on how you build him, he will lean more towards one of the aforementioned roles.

Starter Abilities

  • Frostmourne Hungers (D) 
  • Cooldown: 30 seconds
  • Empowers basic attacks. Grants mana on hit.

  • Frost Strike (Q)
  • Cooldown: 7 seconds
  • Slow and damage an enemy.

  • Howling Blast (W)
  • Cooldown: 12 seconds
  • Root and damage enemies in an area.

  • Frozen Tempest (E)
  • Damage nearby enemies. Drains mana while active.

Heroic Abilities (Choose One)

  • Army of the Dead (R)
  • Cooldown: 80 seconds
  • Summons Ghouls that can be sacrificed to heal Arthas.

  • Summon Sindragosa (R)
  • Cooldown: 100 seconds
  • Summons Sindragosa to slow and damage enemies. Freezes minions and structures.

Talents (Choose One from Each Tier)

Tier 1

  • Path of the Warrior: Your Hero gains an extra 25 Health for every level gained.
  • Frost Presence (W): Reduces the cooldown of Howling Blast by 2 seconds.
  • Frozen Wastes (E): Increases the radius of Frozen Tempest by 33%.
  • Bribe: Kill enemy minions to gain stacks of Bribe. At 40 stacks, activate to capture target Mercenary Camp. Does not work on Golems.
Tier 2


  • Superiority: Reduces damage taken from non-heroic enemies by 50%.
  • Eternal Hunger (Trait): Reduces the cooldown of Frostmourne Hungers by 10 seconds.
  • Destruction (Trait): The first Basic Attack after casting Frostmourne Hungers is doubled.
  • Poison Enemy: Poisons an enemy hero, dealing 180 damage over 6 seconds.
Tier 3

  • Rune Tap: Every 5th Basic Attack heals Arthas for 10.15% of his max Health.
  • Block: Periodically reduces the damage received from Hero Basic Attacks by 50%. Stores up to 2 charges.
  • Obliterature (Q): Deals 50% damage to enemies around the target.
  • Frozen Executioner (Q): Deals 150% damage to enemies below half health.
Tier 4

  • Army of the Dead (R): Summons Ghouls for 15 seconds. Sacrifice Ghouls to heal for 150 Health.
  • Summon Sindragosa (R): Deals 150 damage. Slows enemy Heroes by 60% for 3 seconds. Freezes minions for 10 seconds and structures for 20 seconds.
Tier 5

  • Spell Shield: Periodically reduces the damage received from Hero Abilities by 50%. Stores up to 2 charges.
  • Relentless: Reduces the duration of silences, stuns, slows, and roots against your Hero by 50%.
  • Cold as Ice (Q): Increases the duration of Frost Strike’s slow by 1.5 seconds.
  • Trail of Frost (W): Enemies caught in the trail of Howling Blast are also rooted and damaged.
Tier 6

  • Biting Cold (E): Increases the damage and cost of Frozen Tempest by 50%.
  • Remorseless Winter (E): Damage slows targets Movement and Attack Speeds by 5% for 1.5 seconds. This can stack up to 5 times.
  • Frostmourne Feeds (Trait): Basic Attacks leech 2% of a target’s max Health each second for 5 seconds. Can be applied to multiple enemies at once.
  • Stoneskin: Activate to gain 30% of your max health in Shields for 5 seconds.
Tier 7

  • Resurgence of the Storm: Upon dying, revive back at your Altar after 5 seconds. This can occur once every 120 seconds.
  • Fury of the Storm: Basic Attacks bounce twice to nearby enemies for 50% damage.
  • Legion of Northrend (R): 3 additional Ghouls are created. Ghouls last 7.5 seconds longer.
  • Absolute Zero (R): Sindragosa flies farther. Enemy heroes are rooted for 1.5 seconds before being slowed for 1.5 seconds.

Talent Builds

Frost CC/Initiator Arthas
  • Frost Presence (W): Lets you spam for more CC.
  • Eternal Hunger (Trait): More Frostmourne Hungers means more mana means more spell spamming.
  • Rune Tap: This is great for sustaining on your own when laning without a support or soloing a mercenary camp.
  • Sindragosa: Blue Eyes White Dragon is a great way to initiate a fight.
  • Trail of Frost: Even more CC.
  • Remorseless Winter (E): Now almost all of your abilities have CC.
  • Absolute Zero (R): Makes Sindragosa even more effective.

This is a great build for when you want to play the role of initiator without going full tank. You won’t be able to do as much damage or survive as long as some other builds, but this will turn you into an absolute crowd controlling machine. Let your allies pick off your enemies as you keep them rooted and slowed.

Unholy Damage Arthas
  • Frozen Wastes (E): Bigger radius means bigger AoE damage.
  • Eternal Hunger (Trait): More mana means more ability spam.
  • Frozen Executioner (Q): Significantly increases the damage of your Q when the enemy is at half health or less.
  • Army of the Dead (R): Extra damage and some self-healing. That’s why it’s an Unholy build.
  • Cold as Ice (Q): Prevent your enemies from escaping.
  • Biting Cold (E): Increases mana cost, but the increased damage is worth it.
  • Legion of Northrend (R): More ghouls to add to your army.

This build is mainly built around dealing damage. You’re lacking in the tankiness department, but the sustain from your ghoul sacrifices should keep you safe if you are careful. Try to harass enemies until they’re at 50%. After that, commit to the fight. Frozen Executioner will make you all the more deadly when fighting against already damaged foes.

Arthas Playstyle Tips

How to Train Your Frost Wyrm
  • Sindragosa is Arthas’s best initiation ability.
  • Requires a lot of practice to be able to time it right.
  • Anticipate where your enemies will go when dropping it down.
  • Team up with a Tassadar that has a wall to prevent the enemy team from escaping Sindragosa’s attack.
Feeding Your Frostmourne
  • Proper usage of Frostmourne Hungers is key to mana management.
  • Try to keep this on cooldown.
  • Use your attacks on minions if you have to.
Don’t Be Tempted by the Tempest
  • Frozen Tempest is great for pushing.
  • It is also great for losing mana.
  • Try not to spam Frozen Tempest unless you are able to manage your mana extremely well.
  • You do not want to be caught off-guard near the enemy turret after pushing when you have no mana left.

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Joseph Rowe
World traveling English teacher, writer, and aspiring front-end developer.