Malthael – Heroes of the Storm

Malthael’s in-game model

Heroes of the Storm is Blizzard’s word in the MOBA genre, and today we’re taking a look at the bruiser character in Malthael. Malthael is taken from the Diablo universe, from his very own DLC – Reaper of Souls. He was added to the game on the 13th of June 2017 and is currently sitting at 750 gems or 10,000 gold to unlock.

Malthael is a specialized bruiser than loves taking on high-health heroes in his anti-tanking role. If your opponent doesn’t suffer from percentage-based damage such as Murky, well then your role will shift dramatically. But, if you come up against a bruiser and tank-heavy lineup, you’re going to have a huge hero damage stat by the end of the game.

Malthael is a popular carry character and has been the subject of many a demonstration on how to get out of ELO hell in the competitive side of Heroes of the Storm because of his ability to counter-play many of the popular picks, achieve reasonably good wave clear, and the crucial ability to double-soak lanes effectively. Combine all this with the bulk that being a bruiser provides, along with the high level of sustain that Malthael has from his Q ability, and you get a character that sticks around in fights, surprises enemies, and bullies fores out of lanes.

Using Malthael

Malthael survives and provides utility through his sustained damage and high-health melting through applying his trait either by his wave sending ability or by using his cleaving auto-attack. If your enemies are not marked with your soul trait, you’re going to have a hard time being useful to the team composition.

Use Malthael to sustain in your lane and bully out your opposition and punish melee heroes who get too close either in your lane or during team-fights over objectives. This is where Malthael excels, but be wary when it comes to high mobility heroes. You are susceptible to being kited, and you will not have any CC to lockdown those foes who can engage or escape from you.


  • Soul Rip

Extract the souls of nearby enemies afflicted by Reaper’s Mark, dealing 100 damage and healing Malthael for 25 per target hit. Heroic targets heal Malthael for an additional 4% of the Hero’s maximum Health.

Malthael using the Soul Rip

Like I mentioned earlier, if you’re not applying your trait, you’re going to have a hard time with your bullying. Spread it around thickly, and use this ability in team-fights to disengage, and re-engage with much higher health. Stay on top of enemies, wearing them down, and healing yourself all the while.

This will also allow you to stay in your lane, reaping the souls from the minion wave not only to keep your health high, but combining this ability with certain talents can take your wave clear from good to great.

  • Wraith Strike

Instantly teleport through an enemy afflicted by Reaper’s Mark, dealing 59 damage and refreshing Reaper’s Mark.

Malthael engaging with Wraith Strike

Excellent for catching, getting on top of vulnerable foes in team fights, re-applying your trait, and dishing out a little extra chunk of their health bar. It’s also good for an escape, applying your trait to a minion for a method of escape after an engagement. Jump in, jump out.

Can also be augmented with a talent that causes area damage and applies that mark to those affected within to provide a decent AoE option not only for applying your trait, but for dealing area damage. Take care with the cooldown, as Wraith Strike can often be the difference between securing a kill and sitting on the death screen yourself.

  • Death Shroud

After 0.25 seconds, unleash a wave of dark mist that applies Reaper’s Mark to enemies it hits.

The will be your answer to foes that don’t want to get up close and personal enough to apply your trait. Can be augmented with talents to extend the length and reduce the cost, if you’re coming up against a range-heavy enemy team composition. Can also be used in combination with your wraith strike ability to make a quick escape.

Malthael laying down the Death Shroud

The ability can be used to apply your trait to a full wave of minions, though this is less than optimal and can be seen as a waste of a cooldown as your auto-attacks cleave waves and apply the trait also.

  • Reaper’s Mark
Reaper’s Mark

Basic Attacks cleave in an area in front of Malthael and afflict non-Structure targets with Reaper’s Mark for 4 seconds. Marked enemies are revealed and take damage equal to 1.75% of their maximum Health every 1 second.

Heroic Abilities

  • Tormented Souls

Unleash a torrent of souls, continually applying Reaper’s Mark to nearby enemies for 4 seconds. When Tormented Souls is cast and when it expires, resets the cooldown of Wraith Strike.

Certainly the less popular of the two heroic abilities, but that doesn’t mean that it doesn’t have its place. If your enemies are grouping, or you’re finding the utility of jumping in and out as the game unfolds and would like the resets on Wraith Strike, don’t hesitate to take the Tormented Souls for those resets to set up some big plays.

  • Last Rites

Apply a death sentence to an enemy Hero that, after 2 seconds, deals damage equal to 50% of their missing Health.

Repeatable Quest: Enemies killed between the application of Last Rites and within 1.5 seconds of it dealing damage permanently reduce its cooldown by 5 seconds, to a minimum of 20 seconds.

Last Rites is fantastic in securing kills and finishing off those pesky heroes who have huge HP bars and abilities that would keep them from death’s door as they lose their health. The enemy Artanis keeps shielding when you’re trying to take him down? Not anymore. That pesky Garrosh keeps gaining armor when you’re trying to end him? Not anymore!


Level 1:

Death’s Reach

Increase Wraith Strike’s range by 35%.

On a Pale Horse

Gain an additional 20% Movement Speed while mounted.

Fear the Reaper

Activate to increase Movement Speed by 25% and pass through other units for 4 seconds.

Level 4:

Die Alone

Soul Rip deals 50% more damage if it hits only one Hero.

Throwing Shade

Increase Death Shroud’s range by 33%, reduce its cooldown by 3 seconds and reduce its Mana cost from 50 to 30.

Death Shroud’s initial impact deals 2% maximum Health as damage to non-Structure enemies.

Black Harvest

Quest: Apply Reaper’s Mark to Heroes for a total of 180 seconds.

Reward: Permanently increase Reaper’s Mark’s duration by 2 seconds.

Level 7:

Malthael’s Xenotech Gamma skin

Cold Hand

Soul Rip Slows enemies by 20% for 2.5 seconds.


Wraith Strike now damages and applies Reaper’s Mark to enemies around its target.

Touch of Death

Activate to reduce healing received by Heroes afflicted by Reaper’s Mark by 50% for 4 seconds.

Level 13:

Soul Siphon

Increase Soul Rip’s bonus healing from Heroes to 4.75% of the Hero’s maximum Health.

Ethereal Existence

Gain 10 Physical Armor per enemy Hero afflicted by Reaper’s Mark, up to a maximum of 30.

Inevitable End

Activate to become Unstoppable for 2 seconds, but remove all active Reaper’s Marks.

Shroud of Wisdom

After 2 seconds, gain 50 Spell Armor for 4 seconds.

Level 16:

Soul Collector

Reduce Soul Rip’s cooldown by 0.5 seconds and increase its range by 25%.


When damaging a Hero, Wraith Strike deals bonus damage equal to 8% of the Hero’s maximum Health.

Memento Mori

Reaper’s Mark deals 90% increased damage after afflicting an enemy for more than 4 seconds.

Level 20:

Reaper of Souls

Increase Tormented Souls’ duration by 2 seconds. While Tormented Souls is active, Hero Takedowns refresh the duration.

Angel of Death

Last Rites heals for 100% of the damage dealt, and its current and future cooldown reduction bonuses are doubled.

Final Curtain

Death Shroud leaves a trail in its wake for 4 seconds, applying Reaper’s Mark to enemies in its area.

No One Can Stop Death

Activate while dead to immediately respawn at the Altar but increase Malthael’s next respawn time by 25%.

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ProgramFounding Writers
AuthorLuke Cowling
GameHeroes of the Storm


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