Malthael's Decrepit State

General Discussion
I know I've made a decent amount of Malthael posts in the past. I don't want to whine on the official Blizzard forums, I feel like there are plenty of other outlets for that, but I just love Malthael.
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I first played this game about a year ago when I was introduced to it by friends. I was hopeful to see Malthael in their cast but was disappointed to see he wasn’t in the game yet. I accepted it since the game was still fresh and there are many favorites for the players. I enjoyed the game a lot but eventually my friends who introduced it to me went back to League of Legends. I can play MOBA’s alone but playing solo can be pretty hard sometimes so I went back as well.

Fast forward a year later and the Nexus 2.0 event begins and a bunch of my friends tried it out again since many aspects of the game had either been changed or buffed out to be an improvement. Again, Malthael was still missing from the roster; however, the amount of Heroes in the game felt like it had doubled since I last played so I was perfectly fine with this. Playing a Support in Heroes of the Storm felt impacting unlike Supports in League of Legends so that kept me hooked very well. I was extremely annoyed with Tracer, Genji, and D.Va being in the game but the game had plenty of positives to it so those negatives were easily overshadowed.

About two months later, the Malthael teaser was revealed. It was obvious to me it was Diablo themed and others had theorized it was Pandemonium Fortress but I didn’t want to get my hopes up. The day he was fully revealed my friend woke me up by texting me it was Malthael. I don’t know any other day I’ve jumped out of bed so quickly. It was elated that my favorite villain for basically most games was finally a playable Hero. I was in love with his kit. He had basically everything from his boss fight and little more in it. He looked amazing being ported over, I was so happy hearing his voicelines. I played him so much that it annoyed my friends because of the long queue and I got my only Hero on PTR to level 15. I was obsessed, I wouldn’t let anyone else play him, or I would do it very begrudgingly.

I admit he was overtuned in the beginning and I accepted he would need nerfs because 10% max Health in 4 seconds is pretty excessive combined with Memento Mori to be 20% max Health in 4 seconds. However, I thought the nerfs would stop around the 2% mark but they didn’t. His damage continued to be gutted and then he got the infamous “rework” which was intended to make him capable of being balanced. Initially I was livid but some of my friends convinced it was for the best and for a while I believed that. Now, after more nerfs, he is reliant on a Talent (Die Alone) that completely guts is damage because a Trait that is designed to be on multiple targets is now limited to one target for maximum damage. And if you don’t take this Talent, you basically are missing half your damage until level 16.

He is an excellent pick for wave clear and can take Mercenary camps with relative ease, but so can many others and better. His win rate is +50% but his pick rate when from one of the top to being abysmal near the very bottom.

I don’t want Malthael to be a number 1 pick for every game but I don’t want to feel like a liability on my team because the intuitive playstyle was gimped. I can top damage with him still but it requires a very favorable matchup and I have to wait until late game for that (or have the rare case of a Nano Boost). Even and Illidan can have a better time with unfavorable matchups, he’s threatening still.

I’m sorry if this feels extremely charged and intent on insulting Blizzard. I’m not a level 200 or even 100 Malthael, but I do love his character to death (no pun intended). All I do is rant on how much I love him.

If you made it this far, thanks for listening to me.
Welcome to the club. The majority of former Malthael players don't seem too happy with his current state, according to his ~15% pickrate drop since the rework.

I've got a re-rework concept for him. What do you think?
https://www.heroesfire.com/hots/concept/malthael-8381
09/21/2018 08:49 PMPosted by Maximus
Welcome to the club. The majority of former Malthael players don't seem too happy with his current state, according to his ~15% pickrate drop since the rework.

I've got a re-rework concept for him. What do you think?
https://www.heroesfire.com/hots/concept/malthael-8381
I took a brief look over your concept (11:27 PM at the time of this post) and I do like a lot of what you did with him, trying to make him feel more rewarding and have situational talents. I do think a lot of what you came up with could work in Malthael's favor but a good amount of would need number tuning.
I actually love playing Malthael the way he is right now because of how many bases his kit covers.
1. Waveclear. I first got into Hots by playing Xul because I like RTS games and his kit gave me a sense of the macro game in Mobas. Malth has waveclear that I think is almost as good as Xul, and is perfectly capable of soaking two lanes.
2. Global. I recognize the importance of globals, but never got into Dehaka, Brightwing, or Falstad. On a Pale Horse at lvl 1 gives him a pseudo global. He can soak an extra wave before reaching the objective, rotate quickly for ganks, or quickly cap all of the camps.
3. Sustain/solo lane. I always love playing heroes that can sustain their own health for the extra sense of independence(team mates can be unreliable). Combined with Dia Alone at lvl 4, he can win almost every solo lane matchup.
4. Jungler. Quickly soloing the bruiser camp while maintaining health is a rare ability. Malth can solo the bruiser camp at lvl 4 and be back in lane in time for a wave. Combined with his waveclear, he creates lane pressure like a specialist.
5. Ganking/Dueling. I always like to play a hero that can win in a 1v1 situation, especially if they can stick to fleeing heroes to secure the kill. Malths teleport + his slow means that nobody can escape when caught out in the open. His sustain + Last Rights means that he can 1v1 almost anyone.

Malth is the only hero in the game that combines every quality I look for to suit my style of play. I always win the solo lane, I always create massive lane pressure, I always have high xp contribution, I usually get a couple free kills/ganks. In team fights I can usually get in the back line and Last Rights their healer or dps. Don't think of Malth as an assassin. He is a extremely well rounded specialist who happens to not suck in team fights; at least trading for a healer. I think he's my favorite hero to play at the moment.
I honestly feel like his mana nerfs should've been reverted with his 16 talent soul collector.

Beyond that I think he's alrightish, sure he doesn't have the best pickrate and he's mostly oriented towards multiple warriors and he's not too great in the double warrior meta...uh...... ok maybe he needs some buffs.
09/21/2018 09:38 PMPosted by JerseyP
Don't think of Malth as an assassin. He is a extremely well rounded specialist who happens to not suck in team fights
This is not what he was meant to be, at all. When he was first released, his kit did not scream anywhere that is a waveclearer or someone who thrives on Mercenary Camps. And even if you do pick him for these reasons, there are many people who will accomplish what he does and more.
I never got to play the old Malthael before this last rework, but he seems like he used to be a lot of fun. I can see the potential for him to be an amazing assassin, but something always feels off. From what I've read in the various Malthael threads, a lot of his issues seem to be fixable by partial or full rollbacks of his reworks and some numbers tuning. I like Maximus' version, but Blizzard has never struck me as the type of developers to wholeheartedly implement a player's ideas on how something in their game can be fixed.

No point really in taking a Malthael for the solo lane when there are plenty of heroes better suited for that role that can also contribute more to team fights.
Malthael, another victim to post-release changes like Tyrande. Before his role was really clear, a tank melter. Now he's just some weird minion soul sucker who occasionally gets to become a god if people clump up under him.
I don't like his concept in HotS, in Diablo 3 Malthael has more interesting abilities for adapt here. I don't know why devs maked him so pathetic abilities (pathetic because he have only one active button before he is attack someone, this is very boring for me).
Unpopular opinion i don't like seeing blaze and yrel spammed in solo lane all the time and didn't like it when it was malthael either.
If blaze and yrel nerfs can make thrall malth and sonya appear more often I'll be satisfied.
I share your passion. Almost since my first day in Hots I wanted him in the game. I pretty much rushed to the PC when I saw a video of Grubby reviewing his abilitys and I enjoyed the playstyle they gave him. He is a perfect middleground between a bruiser and a mobile melee assassin and even though he was nerfed and reworked I never lost the passion for playing him.
I do share the view that he needs a buff or a rework in terms of teamfighting even tho I would not say he is a particulary bad teamfighter. I don't think however that reverting him to his former state will do the trick. Old Malth had the problem of beeing overly reliant on Tormented Souls. This was not because Last Rites was so bad (It got barely buffed), but because TS pretty much doubled or even tripeled his effectivness in a Teamfight. The rework dealt with that problem by giving him means to spread his mark more effectively outside of TS, but in turn his numbers and therefore his Teamfighting received a nerf, while also devaluing TS a lot.
If they rework him again I think they should give him the options to either specc into Multitarget with Trait, E and TS or into Single target with AAs, W and Last Rites.
The Heroes that are weak in the game are strong IRL. And I don't mean their "original" games or timelines.

https://youtu.be/rbL-7SKeB6E?t=2m
09/22/2018 04:47 AMPosted by TheKarlster
I share your passion. Almost since my first day in Hots I wanted him in the game. I pretty much rushed to the PC when I saw a video of Grubby reviewing his abilitys and I enjoyed the playstyle they gave him. He is a perfect middleground between a bruiser and a mobile melee assassin and even though he was nerfed and reworked I never lost the passion for playing him.
I do share the view that he needs a buff or a rework in terms of teamfighting even tho I would not say he is a particulary bad teamfighter. I don't think however that reverting him to his former state will do the trick. Old Malth had the problem of beeing overly reliant on Tormented Souls. This was not because Last Rites was so bad (It got barely buffed), but because TS pretty much doubled or even tripeled his effectivness in a Teamfight. The rework dealt with that problem by giving him means to spread his mark more effectively outside of TS, but in turn his numbers and therefore his Teamfighting received a nerf, while also devaluing TS a lot.
If they rework him again I think they should give him the options to either specc into Multitarget with Trait, E and TS or into Single target with AAs, W and Last Rites.
His Tormented Souls is reliant on his Trait and vice versa so you’re right that it had to be hurt to improve him. They gutted him too far and reduced him to a 1v1er and that’s it...

I agree they need to allow players choose which playstyle they prefer otherwise he is going to be stuck in this niche that basically no one picks him for.
The simplest change they could make to him would be to make it so that tormented souls removed his mana bar and replaces it with souls. Using his Q on more people gives him more souls returning his previous play style while allowing people to play him the way he currently is if they want to. When he’s at full souls he can activate his ult to do what it currently does and maybe his e will then also close a few souls. The main benefit of this is it removes his mana so he can fight longer gives him a soul collecting aspect(which he never had) and doesn’t buff his damage too much. All this does is allow people to use a similar play style to the one he had before his rework. If people like him how he currently is just go with last rights and nothing changes.
09/21/2018 09:28 PMPosted by DankMemeGod
I took a brief look over your concept (11:27 PM at the time of this post) and I do like a lot of what you did with him, trying to make him feel more rewarding and have situational talents.
Thanks! I was trying to bring back his old high-skill/high-reward playstyle.

09/21/2018 09:28 PMPosted by DankMemeGod
I do think a lot of what you came up with could work in Malthael's favor but a good amount of would need number tuning.
Oh absolutely. I've had a lot of issues with things like The Culling, which is basically a Giant Killer/Executioner hybrid, and Shallow Grave, which increases Reaper's Mark's damage to heroes like Valla by a full 64%, which may be a bit too much.

I had originally put The Culling at 2% per basic attack, but decided that was too strong so early, so I reduced it to 1%. I think that should be fine.

Shallow Grave is one I originally estimated at 30, then realized that was more than doubling RM's damage against Valla. I reduced it down to 20, then to 18, and now to 16, and I'm hesitant to drop it any lower. I think Valla's ability to kite Malthael should make up for it's damage, but I'm pretty much certain anything below 15 would be too little.

There are a couple others I'm eyeing again, but are there any others in specific that catch your eye as pushing or crossing the line?
09/22/2018 09:55 AMPosted by Maximus
09/21/2018 09:28 PMPosted by DankMemeGod
I took a brief look over your concept (11:27 PM at the time of this post) and I do like a lot of what you did with him, trying to make him feel more rewarding and have situational talents.
Thanks! I was trying to bring back his old high-skill/high-reward playstyle.

09/21/2018 09:28 PMPosted by DankMemeGod
I do think a lot of what you came up with could work in Malthael's favor but a good amount of would need number tuning.
Oh absolutely. I've had a lot of issues with things like The Culling, which is basically a Giant Killer/Executioner hybrid, and Shallow Grave, which increases Reaper's Mark's damage to heroes like Valla by a full 64%, which may be a bit too much.

I had originally put The Culling at 2% per basic attack, but decided that was too strong so early, so I reduced it to 1%. I think that should be fine.

Shallow Grave is one I originally estimated at 30, then realized that was more than doubling RM's damage against Valla. I reduced it down to 20, then to 18, and now to 16, and I'm hesitant to drop it any lower. I think Valla's ability to kite Malthael should make up for it's damage, but I'm pretty much certain anything below 15 would be too little.

There are a couple others I'm eyeing again, but are there any others in specific that catch your eye as pushing or crossing the line?
Die Alone returning to an extra 75% damage may push him back to the duelist that they're attempting to balance him around so keeping it at 50% might be the best.

For the level 7 Talents, every Talent except Cold Hand has a lot put into it so it kinda just feels left out and lackluster compared to the others. Death's Grip may be a little too much but there could also be an argument it's fine with the current duration and CD.

For level 13 the Soul Siphon Talent may be a little too strong especially when using Tormented Souls. I suggest capping much earlier at say 20%.

The level 16 Talent, Soul Collector, are you saying each time you hit more than one Hero with Soul Rip that you increase the range?

Those are some of my questions / concerns.
09/21/2018 09:38 PMPosted by JerseyP
I actually love playing Malthael the way he is right now because of how many bases his kit covers.
1. Waveclear. I first got into Hots by playing Xul because I like RTS games and his kit gave me a sense of the macro game in Mobas. Malth has waveclear that I think is almost as good as Xul, and is perfectly capable of soaking two lanes.
2. Global. I recognize the importance of globals, but never got into Dehaka, Brightwing, or Falstad. On a Pale Horse at lvl 1 gives him a pseudo global. He can soak an extra wave before reaching the objective, rotate quickly for ganks, or quickly cap all of the camps.
3. Sustain/solo lane. I always love playing heroes that can sustain their own health for the extra sense of independence(team mates can be unreliable). Combined with Dia Alone at lvl 4, he can win almost every solo lane matchup.
4. Jungler. Quickly soloing the bruiser camp while maintaining health is a rare ability. Malth can solo the bruiser camp at lvl 4 and be back in lane in time for a wave. Combined with his waveclear, he creates lane pressure like a specialist.
5. Ganking/Dueling. I always like to play a hero that can win in a 1v1 situation, especially if they can stick to fleeing heroes to secure the kill. Malths teleport + his slow means that nobody can escape when caught out in the open. His sustain + Last Rights means that he can 1v1 almost anyone.

Malth is the only hero in the game that combines every quality I look for to suit my style of play. I always win the solo lane, I always create massive lane pressure, I always have high xp contribution, I usually get a couple free kills/ganks. In team fights I can usually get in the back line and Last Rights their healer or dps. Don't think of Malth as an assassin. He is a extremely well rounded specialist who happens to not suck in team fights; at least trading for a healer. I think he's my favorite hero to play at the moment.


Mhmm Thank you for posting. I'll try this Malt play myself. I used to enjoy him till his "rework". You play him like a good alternative to my Sonya. I don't understand why you're getting down voted. A good player will adopt and I never really gave Malt a chance since his rework.
09/22/2018 10:38 AMPosted by DankMemeGod
Die Alone returning to an extra 75% damage may push him back to the duelist that they're attempting to balance him around so keeping it at 50% might be the best.
The idea was to bring back his duelist playstyle, and since the cleave is gone it won't be as strong in the solo-lane. I think 50% is almost definitely too low, especially comparing that to Shallow Grave and The Culling at the same level, even if a full revert to 75% is too high.

09/22/2018 10:38 AMPosted by DankMemeGod
For the level 7 Talents, every Talent except Cold Hand has a lot put into it so it kinda just feels left out and lackluster compared to the others.
Cold Hand has always been the dominant choice, and considering how well it synergizes with The Culling and provides the majority of his kiting, I actually tried to weight the others more heavily than normal to compensate. I actually feel that in the majority of situations, this would still be the go-to talent, simply because of the utility it provides.

If you really think it needs it, would increasing the duration to ~3 seconds or adding a speed buff effect to Malthael for hitting heroes work?

09/22/2018 10:38 AMPosted by DankMemeGod
Death's Grip may be a little too much but there could also be an argument it's fine with the current duration and CD.
The passive effect is relatively lackluster in general, but the activatable is basically a more situational version of Ana's grenade. It only fully blocks healing on targets at or below 50% health and it has a much longer cooldown. I feel this one is pretty balanced.

09/22/2018 10:38 AMPosted by DankMemeGod
For level 13 the Soul Siphon Talent may be a little too strong especially when using Tormented Souls. I suggest capping much earlier at say 20%.
Good point/idea.

I reduced it to 5% up to 20%.

09/22/2018 10:38 AMPosted by DankMemeGod
The level 16 Talent, Soul Collector, are you saying each time you hit more than one Hero with Soul Rip that you increase the range?
Yes, slightly. Thank you for bringing my attention back to that talent, I missed it when I reviewed it earlier.

I went back and removed the quest. Between the quest being so late in the game and having such a large reward, I just decided it wasn't worth it. It now grants 25% range flat, and it no longer refunds mana, as that is pretty much pointless that late in the game.

Any other questions/suggestions/concerns?
RIP Malathiel. It's sad to see a great character die like this.

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