Malfurion: A post-nerf build guide

For the past year or so, Malfurion has been largely uncontested as the king of supports in Heroes of the Storm. His hard CC, constant healing-over-time, decent burst healing, and the tools he’s had to keep himself safe kept him incredibly strong. Recently, Blizzard decided to knock Malfurion down a peg by tweaking a few talents and by removing Ice Block from his talent tree resulting in an overall nerf. This guide is going to focus on how to build and play Malfurion with his most recent changes.

Malfurion: Base Kit

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(Q) Regrowth- This ability heals an ally for a large amount of health over 20 seconds.

  • When cast, an indicator in the shape of a leaf will appear over the target’s head. This symbol has a circle timer around it that will show you how much longer your Regrowth will be healing the target.
  • You can have multiple Regrowths going at once as it only has a 5-second cooldown but the ability lasts for 20 seconds.
  • Regrowth can and should be cast on allies with full health, especially before a fight. This way, if they take damage within the next 20 seconds, you are already healing that damage up.
  • Try to keep Regrowth active on your main tank and your main source of damage when you are near enemies. This allows your tank to soak up more damage and it keeps you ready to heal your main damage dealer should the enemy try to kill them. While those two allies are being healed for 20 seconds each, cycle Regrowth between yourself and your other teammates, healing up anyone low on health or in immediate danger.

(W) Moonfire- This ability damages and reveals enemies in a small area. It also gives anyone affected by Regrowth a small burst of healing for each enemy hero you hit.

  • The main reason to use Moonfire is to trigger the burst of healing on all allies with Regrowth active on them.
  • The more enemy heroes you hit with Moonfire, the larger the burst of healing is on your Regrowth affected allies.
  • In a team fight, try to aim this at the enemy frontline as they will often be grouped up and you can get bigger burst heals.
  • Moonfire has a low 3-second cooldown meaning you can use it to interrupt enemies channeling objectives like on Towers of Doom or Tomb of the Spider Queen. You can also use it to provide vision in bushes or over walls if you think an enemy may be trying to set up an ambush.
  • In a pinch, Moonfire is half decent wave clear. It won’t clear anything quickly, but it can help.

(E) Entangling Roots- Root and damage enemies in a small area for 1.25 seconds. The area of this ability expands rapidly over 3 seconds.

  • When aiming for a single retreating enemy, you should try to throw Entangling Roots directly in front of them. This should root them immediately if you place it right. Otherwise, it makes them have to choose between running back into your team, circumnavigating the area of the root which gives your team time to catch up to them, or becoming rooted so that your team has an easier time finishing them off.
  • This ability can be used to follow up on your ally’s CC abilities. If an ally manages to stun a few members of the enemy team, you can throw Entangling Roots beneath the enemies. The root will expand beneath them as they’re stunned and then immobilize them for another 1.25 seconds.
  • Entangling Roots can also be used to deter enemies from chasing your allies. If your ally gets dived on by an enemy Genji, you can throw Entangling Roots at their location to root the Genji and allow your ally to escape. Additionally, you can throw this ability behind an ally being chased so that the enemies have to once again chose between being rooted or having to go around the root. Either way, you bought your ally time to get away.
  • This ability offers very poor waveclear and I don’t advise using it in that manner unless you’re in a very desperate situation or the enemy team is all dead and you’re trying to soak XP as fast as possible.

(Trait) Innervate- Cast this on an ally to replenish 20% of their maximum mana over 5 seconds. This also speeds up their ability cooldowns by 50% during those 5 seconds.

  • Use this as often as possible as it costs you no mana and keeps your allies from having to hearth or tap fountains for mana.

The Heroic Abilities

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Tranquility- This ultimate ability heals allies around Malfurion for 8 seconds. Any ally with Regrowth active on them while inside Tranquility’s area of effect receive 10 armor.

  • Because this gives armor and heals over time, you want to use Tranquility when a big fight starts. The armor will reduce damage taken by Regrowth affected allies by 10% which means the health you restore to them will be a little harder to burst through than it normally would be.
  • Tranquility should be used to prevent allies from becoming low on health as it is very poor at saving someone who is almost dead.
  • You can still cast your abilities while Tranquility is active, meaning you can compound the healing that this ultimate gives you with Regrowth heals and Moonfire burst heals during its 8-second duration.

Twilight Dream- After a short delay, damage and silence enemies for 3 seconds in an area around Malfurion.

  • This ability got its damage nerfed in the recent changes to Malfurion. Because of this and the removal of the talent Ice Block (a way to put Malfurion in a protective stasis for a few seconds), this ability’s pick rates are not what it used to be. Without the extra damage and access to Ice Block, it can be very dangerous for Malfurion to get close enough to enemies to effectively use this ultimate.
  • Despite the recent changes, Twilight Dream remains to be a very good ultimate against dive comps. If the enemy Diablo and Genji dive into your backline, you can cast this to silence them, making them unable to use their abilities while your team turns and kills them.
  • Twilight Dream takes half a second to cast, giving your opponents time to react. If you are stunned before the ability goes off, it will go on a 10-second cooldown.

The Builds

 

Standard Build: This build provides Malfurion with decent self-sustain and movement speed to keep himself alive in times of trouble.

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  • (Level 1) Rejuvenation- Malfurion gains 100% faster base health regeneration for each active Regrowth. This keeps Malfurion healthy over the course of the game without having to cast Regrowth on him.
  • (Level 4) Vengeful Roots- Entangling Roots now spawns a Treant that lasts 10 seconds and damages nearby enemies. The Treant’s damage increases each time you root an enemy. You can also use the Treant to block enemy skill shots and to help clear waves or a camp if you need it.
  • (Level 7) Nature’s Cure- This ability removes stuns, slows, and roots from all allies affected by Regrowth. This is what is called a soft cleanse as it can save allies from enemy CC but it does not offer the Unstoppable status for 1 second like Cleanse does. It can only be used after your ally is rooted, slowed, or stunned, unlike Cleanse which can be used to stop the enemy CC from happening in the first place. The trade-off is that this ability can remove these effects from multiple allies at once where Cleanse can only save one.
  • (Level 10) Tranquility- A way to keep your team alive and healthy in a team fight. Twilight Dream can be taken here as well, though lately, I prefer Tranquility.
  • (Level 13) Nature’s Swiftness- Malfurion gains 6% movement speed per ally affected by Regrowth. This allows you to get in position to land Moonfires or Regrowths faster and gives you a way to quickly dodge enemy skill shots. This talent used to be at level 1, but was moved to 13 and buffed a fair bit. When it was at level 1, it was mandatory to pick it so it still does well at this tier.
  • (Level 16) Nature’s Balance- Increase Moonfire’s area by 25% and Regrowth’s duration by 3 seconds. This talent just increases your healing output by allowing you to hit more enemy heroes with Moonfire and giving your allies more time to be healed by your Moonfires. 
  • (Level 20) Serenity- This increases Tranquility’s healing by 10% per ally affected by Regrowth. Additionally, Tranquility’s cooldown is now discounted by 3 seconds per enemy hit by Moonfire. This just makes you have Tranquility a lot more often and makes it heal much more than it does baseline.

Trait Build: This build provides your whole team with constant mana regeneration and keeps Malfurion’s mana under control on larger maps.

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  • (Level 1) Shan’do’s Clarity- Innervatecooldown recharges 25% faster for each ally affected by Regrowth. This allows you to constantly give your allies mana and cooldown reduction throughout the game, making sure they don’t have to hearth or tap fountains as often as they would need to otherwise. Before, Nature’s Swiftness was too good to pass up but after the changes, Shan’do’s Clarity can shine a bit more.
  • (Level 4) Vengeful Roots- Same as above. More damage, blocks skill shots, good wave/camp clear in a pinch.
  • (Level 7) Nature’s Cure- Same as above. Soft cleanse that can save multiple people from CC.
  • (Level 10) Tranquility- Same as above. Just really good healing output and armor. Twilight Dream can be really dangerous now that Ice Block is gone, but still very worth it against heavy dive teams.
  • (Level 13)  Revitalize- Using Innervate gives Malfurion 50 mana and causes his ability cooldowns to go 50% faster for 5 seconds. This gives Malfurion much better mana sustain than the other build because you should be casting Innervate a lot due to Shan’do’s Clarity at level 1.
  • (Level 16) Same as above. More healing in general.
  • (level 20) Same as above. Have Tranquility up more often and have it heal more.

Additional Thoughts

  • Trait Build can be good on larger maps where hearthing can take someone out of a fight for a very long time.
  • If your team has mages like Jaina or Kel’thuzad, Trait Build is excellent for keeping their mana up in fights.
  • If you have anyone on your team that doesn’t use mana, the Standard Build is usually the way to go.
  • If you aren’t comfortable with Nature’s Cure at 7, Wild Growth is a good alternative that increases the amount of time your Regrowths stay on your allies.
  • At level 20, I sometimes take Lifebloom if I have high health allies that can’t seem to stay healthy since Lifebloom makes Rejuvination instantly restore 10% of the target’s missing health.
  • Watch out for Chromie, she now counters Malfurion pretty well since he can no longer save himself from her combos with Ice Block.
  • Malfurion excels against enemies with damage-over-time abilities like Lunara or Gul’dan.

Conclusion

A big thanks to everyone for reading this! As always, please feel free to let me know what you did or didn’t like in the comments. I think Malfurion is and will continue to be a very strong healer in general, though he may not fit in every comp like he did before his nerfs. I’ll see you guys in the Nexus!

I’m Avinan, working in association with Daily Esports to cover Heroes of the Storm and Magic the Gathering news.