Any team can benefit from having a support character as an ally, and those that can control Malfurion – the Archdruid from the Warcraft franchise – with enough skill will definitely become an asset quickly. Given the ability to heal and regenerate ally’s mana as well as possessing some decent crowd control abilities, Malfurion can frustrate opponents as well as serve as a boon for allies. Here’s our guide on how to build and play as Malfurion effectively.
Under the guardianship of Cenarius, demigod of nature and patron of druids, Malfurion Stormrage grew to become a powerful protector of the night elves. He was there during the War of the Ancients, where he defended Azeroth against the Burning Legion alongside lover Tyrande Whisperwind and brother Illidan.
After centuries of access to the Emerald Dream, a peaceful realm where in the night elves are safe from danger and interference, he was awoken in order to battle beings such as Xavius and Ragnaros. Fully awoken, Malfurion now joins Tyrande in the Alliance’s efforts for a safer and peaceful world.
Malfurion can call upon the elements, primarily roots that spring from the ground, as he also possesses the powers of the moon in order to help allies and deal damage to enemies. In addition, Malfurion can also call upon various abilities which can help his teammates such as healing damage or restoring their energy. These abilities can also be used to silence enemies or slow them down. These abilities make Malfurion a great support character that can use his skills to either harm or benefit heroes, depending on which side they are on.
Malfurion’s trait, Innervate, allows him to grant an allied hero 100 mana over 10 seconds at no cost. This can be activated once every 30 seconds. This trait makes Malfurion great for supporting heroes that rely more on starting abilities rather than on basic attacks. Of course, players must also be able to balance between this and healing, among other things, and to not just focus on replenishing energy.
Malfurion’s starting abilities are Regrowth, Moonfire, and Entangling Roots. Regrowth (75 mana cost, 7 seconds cooldown) lets Malfurion heal allies for one time and then provides more health over time. Moonfire (20 mana cost, 3 seconds cooldown), on the other hand, deals damage in an area of effect and reveals them for 2 seconds. Lastly, Entangling Roots (75 mana cost, 12 seconds cooldown) stops a radius of enemies in their tracks as well as damages them. The ability grows in area over three seconds. As with most heroes, these starting abilities can be enhanced and improved and new abilities may be added as players level up and by choosing the right talents whenever they become available.
For heroic abilities, players can choose between Tranquility and Twilight Dream. Tranquility (100 mana cost, 100 seconds cooldown) heals all nearby allies over 10 seconds, while Twilight Dream deals damage and silences for 3 seconds all enemies in a large radius around Malfurion.
Malfurion does not have a build that will turn him into a tanky damage builder. However, as a support character, his abilities can be focused more towards allies, benefiting them, or towards enemies, which would give your teammates a better chance to attack and deal more damage.
The build below is for the former configuration, allowing Malfurion to support his allies’ health or energy.
Harmony – returns mana cost if Regrowth is used on minions of mercenaries
Shan’do’s Clarity , Protective Shield, or Healing Wand – Shan’do’s Clarity lessens the cooldown period of Innervate by 10 seconds and mana is restored twice as fast while Protective Shield grants a target ally hero with shields that will protect him from 300 damage for 5 seconds. Lastly, Healing Wand allows Malfurion to place a ward that will heal allies that step on it for 1.95% of their health every second for 10 seconds.
Enduring Growth – increases the effect of Regrowth by 6 seconds
Tranquility – heals all nearby allies per second for 10 seconds
Life Seed – passively provides health to nearby allies. This amount is equal to the heal over time amount provided by Regrowth. This ability activates every 15 seconds.
Hardened Focus – basic ability cooldowns are reduced by 50% while Maalfurion is above 80% health
Serenity – Tranquility’s healing effect is increased by 25% and adds mana generation capabilities at a rate of 5 per second
While the above build can ensure survivability of your teammates, facing off against a powerful team may make all of those buffs moot. Thus, having a good balance of skills that can damage enemies as well as those that have crowd control abilities will certainly be helpful as well.
With that, here’s the recommended build if you want Malfurion to focus more on making the enemies’ lives much more difficult directly.
Scouting Drone or Moonburn – Scouting Drone allows Mlafurion to place a scout that will reveal all cloaked enemies within the area for 60 seconds. However, this drone can be killed by enemies, nullying its effect. On the other hand, Moonburn deals 30% more damage to non-heroic targets when Moonfire is used.
Vengeful Roots – spawns a Treant that can attack enemies for 12 seconds if Entangling Roots is used
Elune’s Grace or Strangling Vines – Elune’s Grace increases the range of starting abilities while Strangling Vines doubles the damage dealt by Entangling Roots
Twilight Dream – deals damage and silences enemies in a large area around Malfurion
Full Moonfire or Shrink Ray – With Full Moonfire, Moonfire’s mana cost is reduced to 10 while the range is also increased by 50%. Shrink Ray reduces and enemy hero’s damage and movement speed by half for 4 seconds.
Hindering Moonfire or Tenacious Roots – Moonfire slows targets hit by the ability by 20% for 2 seconds while Tenacious Roots lets Entangling Roots become 25% larger, last 25% longer, and has its rooting effect increased by 0.5 seconds
Nightmare – adds slowing effect to enemies hit by Twilight Dream and increases silence effect to four seconds
The above build will really become a headache for enemies as Malfurion will become packed with crowd control abilities such as rooting, silencing, and slowing. Players can get to spam Moonfire and Entangling Roots is a great way to keep enemies rooted while you escape or have allies deal heavy damage to them.
Malfurion is classified as a ranged support, so keeping distance is certainly a must. Players can perform their tasks effectively a bit farther away if they are focusing on ally buffs, but they would have to risk closing the distance towards the action if they would like to use their abilities more offensively. With that, keep an eye out on your health and not just on your allies. Back off if you are near death in order to be able to recover as it would be better to have allies take the brunt of the damage rather than you going down with them.
It is also important to never venture into the field alone. Although Malfurion has higher health than usual as compared to most support characters, he wouldn’t be able to last in a one on one fight. Thus, always try to find someone that will do the fighting for you, preferably an assassin or melee warrior that can keep enemies at bay while you either support them or
Pros and Cons
Malfurion provides great support to allies in terms of health and energy. He can also be a frustrating offensive threat as he possess some great crowd control abilities as well. Of course, the latter can also be used defensively by making enemies become less of a threat, especially those who rely on cloaking, speed, and spamming abilities. Luckily, most of Malfurion’s abilities require little mana and even less cooldown times to activate.
However, Malfurion’s main weakness is that he is not a heavy damage dealer, nor is he given a lot of health. This makes his survivability low, and his abilities in a solo fight is very questionable as well. Thus, in as much as others will rely on his support abilities, he would also need to have a solid backup of teammates which would allow him to remain in the sidelines while allies would be more directly engaged in the fight.
Tips and Tricks
Innervate is your best tool when playing Malfurion. Make sure to replenish your allies’ mana whenever this ability becomes available. Focus on using this ability on heavy hitters so that they would be able to take down enemies fast with high damage, low cooldown abilities. On the other hand, use Regrowth whenever someone in your team is in danger. Look at allies in need of help, and this is also where the Life Seed talent comes in by passively providing other teammates with the assistance that they need.
For attacking and defense, use Moonfire and Entangling Roots wisely. This can be used to great effect in revealing cloaked enemies. The Hindering Moonfire ability also provides slowing effects to targets, so players can take advantage of that as well. Lastly, if you are confident with your healing abilities, then choose Twilight Dream over Tranquility as this will provide you with even more of an advantage especially against enemies that rely more on abilities rather than basic attacks. Remove their ability to call on spells to hurt you or buff them, and you’ve pretty much gotten the win in the bag. Combine this with slowing and rooting abilities and allies will have a parade raining down the hurt on enemies that are at their whim and mercy.