Thor is a powerful hero in the early game, with a very iconic, although somewhat predictable, and easy to avoid ultimate. He is a very versatile hero, that can heal himself, stun enemies, quickly engage and disengage from combat, and more.
- Strong Early Game
- Excellent in one vs one battle
- Strong passive (energy damage, stun, and self-healing)
- Powerful Ultimate (but easy to avoid)
- Decent mobility (due to the S2)
- Somewhat predictable (both S2 and Ultimate have to be charged)
Thor Item Build
|TANK / BRUISER|
|Upgraded Hydra Boots|
|Cloak of Levitation|
|Captain America’s Shield|
|Captain America’s Shield|
Thor early game (lvl 8)
Well, a lot of a Thor’s gameplay revolves around God of Thunder passive, so let’s take a quick look at it. The quickest way to activate the passive is to engage enemies with the S1 marking them with Lightning Strike, followed by S2 and basic attack. This way the hammer will strike the enemy once, S2 and S1 hammer returning to Thor are the first and the second hit, and your basic attack will strike the target the third time, summoning the lightning to stun it and strike it with energy damage, while also healing Thor. One important note. Both healing and the energy damage from the lightning will only increase with your level but receive no bonus from attack items (Strike Particle should also empower the lightning strike). Also, remember that the lightning strike has 6 seconds cooldown when used against the same target – if it didn’t some very nice combos and builds would be possible, but that would probably make Thor too overpowered.
Hammer Strike (S1) is a simple, straightforward skill, throw the hammer striking your foes, possibly twice, if it hits on the way back. S1 should be upgraded as much as possible and prioritized over the S2. It can (and should) be used for clearing minion waves, as the healing from passive will also activate when Thor fights against minions and creeps. It’s not extremely powerful healing (except if you’re very low), but anything that can help you stay in the lane longer is a good thing.
Winds of Valhalla (S2) is Thor’s main mobility skill, and it can be charged by holding the S2, allowing him to cover more distance. Be careful while charging this skill, as it can be easily interrupted by control abilities, at least that was my experience with it. S2 can be used to quickly change the lane, pursue, or run away. Being interrupted just before you activate the S2 in order to escape can be particularly annoying, so it’s sometimes better to make a quick but shorter dash forward, rather than trying to fully charge the skill and ‘waste’ it by being interrupted (and possibly dying because of it). Also, players that are familiar with the Thor will know what you are about to do when they see you whirling the hammer, and might get away before you fully charge the skill. Anyway, the S2 should be saved up for engaging/pursue/run away moments so don’t use it needlessly (on minions, for example). It can also save a second or two of travel time when you’re getting out of the base – start charging the S2 at the edge of the base area, before being fully healed.
NOTE: You can’t cancel S2 once you start charging it.
During the very first few levels, Thor should play aggressively, since he’s able to overpower most other heroes. When facing other strong early game heroes (like Executioner, Hulk, etc.), some poking with a hammer throw is probably a good idea, before charging into a melee. In other words, S1 will grant him range advantage against characters that are risky to fight head-on, so you might as well use it. I usually open up the fight with the S1 and smash through the opponent with the S2, followed by a basic attack to get a quick stun – as I already explained when I talked about the passive. It can also be done the other way around, opening with the S2, followed by S1 and basic attack, this will also cause a quick stun.
Opening the fight with the S2 is a better option later in the game since it enables you to quickly close the distance.
NOTE: S2 deals a lot of damage, so always try to run through your target rather than just getting near it.
Thunderclap (Ultimate) becomes available at level 4, as with other heroes that have only two skills plus the Ultimate. At this point, if your opponent isn’t at full health and poking phase went well, you could try to go for your (probably) first kill. Thor’s Ultimate is excellent, especially in the team fights but it has one big disadvantage, it can be relatively easily avoided. In most situations, it shouldn’t be fully charged, as that would give decent players enough time to get out of the AoE. With all that said, I would recommend using the Ultimate right after stunning your opponent with lightning (from passive), diminishing his chances to escape from it in time (and probably getting your first kill). Thor is powerful in the early game, so some roaming around and helping out your jungler and teammates in other lanes is definitely a good idea. Remember that you can use the S2 to quickly get to the point where your help is most needed.
ULTIMATE COMBO: Engage with the S2 (marking your target), plus basic attack (slow from Mjolnir) and S1, immediately followed by Ultimate. This way your foe will get stunned from passive under the Thunderclap (the third hit will be either the hammer returning back to you or the lightning from the Ulti) and won’t be able to escape.
NOTE: Iceman can cancel your ultimate if he freezes Thor while he is in mid-air and charging the Ulti!
Thor should fight his enemies head-on, as healing from passive can keep him on his feet. With stun and healing, Thor is very powerful in one vs one battles!
Well, that’s it for the early game. If everything goes well, Thor shouldn’t have to go back to base for healing (due to his passive), more than once, during the early game (but his energy pool might be an issue).
Thor mid-late game
In team fights, look for the enemies controlled by your allies before using the ultimate (slowed/stunned enemies will have a harder time running away from Thor). I would like to point out another very important thing. Thor’s Ultimate can be aimed! I know this might sound obvious but I talked to some players that didn’t notice this after playing dozens of games with Thor.
Heroes that have AoE control abilities have a good synergy with Thor. For example, once I played the Corvus Glaive and as soon as I would use my Ultimate (the black hole that draws everyone into its center), my Thor ally would activate Thunderclap directly above the black hole and could charge it up, since the enemies couldn’t escape. His brother Loki also has very good synergy with the Thunder God, with his S2 freeze and AoE slow Ultimate. There are more heroes out there that would work well with Thor, these were just two examples. Namor with his Ulti is also one of them.
There is another very important aspect of Thor’s Ulti. When fully upgraded Thunderclap will grant Thor 100% physical and energy resistance, and I believe it was 80% at one level before the maximum. So, with fully (or almost fully) upgraded Ulti, don’t be afraid to jump (aim the skill) in the middle of the enemy team and start smiting them with lightning strikes.
NOTE: The wording on this skill is somewhat weird. At first, I thought that Thor would be completely immune to everything except true damage. What you actually get is a 100% bonus to armor and energy resistance. In short, this skill will double your armor and energy resistance value (both from items and base value).
During team fights use the S2 to engage squishy enemy backline, knocking up anyone that stands in your way, and perform the previously mentioned S2, S1, basic attack, Ulti combo.
I spend so much time talking about the Ulti, but it has such a low CD that it almost seems as if it’s always available when you need it. So, use it, and use it often!
On the final note, if you find yourself surrounded by enemies and your health ticking down, use the Ulti. It might be enough to scare them off or to take one of them down with you, in the final act of defiance! Even if the Thunderclap isn’t fully upgraded, Thor will still get huge resistance bonuses and a powerful shield on top of that, allowing him to survive for several seconds while charging this powerful ability.