If you hear a cackle from the brush … if you see a speck of steel blink in the shadows … just run. The Tortured Undead has arrived in the Halcyon Fold. This horror, with a colossal sword and festering wound, will rend and rip anything that stands between him and eternal rest.
Heroic Perk: Shadows Empower Me
Krul is empowered by the shadows after standing still in brush for 3 seconds. Once empowered, Krul moves faster and his next basic attack will slow the target.
Ability 1: Dead Man’s Rush
Krul dashes to the target and deals damage. Activating Dead Man’s Rush grants Krul a health barrier for 2 seconds.
Ability 2: Spectral Smite
After learning this ability, Krul’s basic attacks apply Weakness stacks (up to 8 per target). Each Weakness stack reduces attack speed and crystal power and allows Krul to lifesteal by basic attacking the target. Spectral Smite consumes the stacks to deal damage and regain health based on the number of stacks consumed.
Ability 3: From Hell’s Heart
Krul pulls Hellrazor from his chest and hurls it in the targeted direction. If the sword hits an enemy hero (on the way out or the way back), it stuns and slows the target and deals damage. Stun duration is longer based on the distance the sword has traveled.
Krul is a versatile melee carry whose build and play style are best dictated by team comp and player strengths. Playing Krul is almost like playing on a different map. When used effectively, Krul will carve his way through the patterns of brush—establishing, maintaining and reestablishing Shadows Empower Me so he can roar out to the enemy at any time. Krul can initiate and tank damage, concentrate on peeling or be your team’s primary damage dealer. And Weakness stacks on high-valued targets will benefit the entire team during engagements. We can’t wait to see what you choose to do with him. …
Krul needs stick to targets to win trades, or else he’ll be kited to death. The move speed burst from Shadows Empower Me combined with the dash from Dead Man’s Rush will almost guarantee you reach the target—and the momentary slow from Shadows will give you a fighting chance. From there, you may need allied crowd control or the help of Frostburn or Shiversteel to stay within range. This is largely because the enemy will quickly realize that the longer the duel goes, the worse things get for them. If you can survive the initial burst damage, the lifesteal from Weakness stacks will create a rapidly changing dynamic in your favor, with health bars going in opposite directions. And with every basic attack, Spectral Smite looms more ominiously over the target (literally). Activating Spectral Smite to cash in on those Weakness stacks may be less about executing the enemy and more about ensuring your survivability. Watching that Smite come down and decimate the enemy is incredibly satisfying, but always stay focused on the state of your own health and the amount of life you’ll regain based on the number of stacks consumed. If you die a half-second before lowering the boom to finish the enemy, it serves your team a lot less than crippling the target while guaranteeing an insurmountable advantage.
The feeling of teamfighting with Krul is a bit of a contradiction in terms: While everything is happening terrifyingly fast, it’s careful, deliberate choices amid the chaos that will maximize Krul’s potential. When initiating, Krul must first effectively protect himself from the onslaught of burst damage that will come his way. That means a split-second decision whether it will be possible to get within range of the enemy carry with Dead Man’s Rush. This isn’t about dealing damage; it’s about the two-second barrier that will be the difference between life and death. If you’re going in and your primary target recognizes the situation and gets out of range, you must switch targets to trigger your barrier before it’s too late. You can always switch back to the carry. But for Krul, the barrier isn’t an option; it’s an initiation necessity. To increase your flexibility and decision points, consider Reflex Block.
From there, it’s about effectively utilizing your item activates and striking the target with as many basic attacks as possible before your gut tells you any more will risk enemy escape. An engagement where you fail to trigger Spectral Smite is a failed engagement. Period. Even if the target somehow dies, you’ve wasted crucial time and missed out on the health boon that lets you stick out fights to the bitter end.
The use of From Hell’s Heart is the most variable element of any fight. You can use it at long range to initiate a teamfight (preferably from the brush) and capitalize on a near-max slow. You can save it to turn around an engagement that’s going sideways. But there’s also tremendous benefit to saving the sword throw for when the target is getting away—ensuring your opportunity to consume those Weakness stacks with Spectral Smite. It’s all about feel and threat assessment … and when that sword is in the air whirling and returning, it will create a chaotic distraction that can momentarily make a mess of the enemy team.
Positioning your team tactically for teamfights is absolutely critical to Krul’s success. Krul will ideally always initiate from the brush to capitalize on Shadows Empower Me. If you can lure the enemy onto your turf or engage quickly when the terrain is favorable, Krul will have an important edge.
- Build attack speed. The faster you can strike the target, the faster you can build up stacks of Weakness … and then decimate opponents with Spectral Smite. Rush Tornado Trigger, but allow yourself to react to events on the ground. You might need to add Tier 1 boots or shielding—or even to prioritize Reflex Block—depending on whether you’re being focused.
- React with shielding. If enemy players go with “all blue” crystal builds to counter Krul, then Aegis is vastly preferably to health items. You’ll have plenty of lifesteal; what you need is protection from Crystal damage.
- Max Spectral Smite instead of Dead Man’s Rush to capitalize on your attack speed.
- Stick to targets with Frostburn. Even with Crystal builds, it’s critical you can get your target close so you can hammer them with Spectral Smite.
- Build Alternating Current. This is a phenomenal item for Krul, giving you attack speed and crystal power. Adding Aftershock to the mix can be downright frightening.
- Max Dead Man’s Rush instead of Spectral Smite for the barrier and damage.
When these two melee carries tangle, things get nasty in a hurry. While Crystal Glaive may have a bursty advantage, Krul will likely outlast Weapon Glaive unless he perfectly times his Bloodsong ultimate.
If SAW’s not careful, the sword and move speed burst will catch him out in a fatal position. SAW needs to get to full Spin-up to be deadly, and Krul’s Weakness stacks reduce attack speed and allow him to duke out long fights with SAW in a way no other heroes can.
Stormguard can’t prevent Krul from stacking up Weakness, and when her protective bubble goes down, it’s time to drop her with Spectral Smite.
Oh, the range! Reaching Petal is a nightmare, and if you get there, you’re sure to have munions exploding in your face.
While the kiting is threatening, it’s the slow that’s the real problem. Anything that makes Krul less speedy and sticky nullifies his advantage.
He’s nimble enough to dodge (or even outrun) the sword, and he’ll even kite you while doing it!
- If there’s also a Krul on the enemy team, use the Weakness stacks he generates to your advantage. That’s right: Your Spectral Smite can use the enemy’s Weakness stacks to execute neutral monsters. Place a scout trap in the Gold Mine pit and wait for the enemy to attack the Gold Miner. Hide in the lower-left corner of brush near the Gold Mine. When the miner is low enough, two steps will put you in range of Dead Man’s Rush. Dash to the miner and Spectral Smite for a clutch Gold Mine steal.
- For a true element of surprise, try throwing the sword behind you and then sprinting past the target. If you do it right, the sword will connect on the flight back, starting the engagement in a head-spinning fashion.
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