Once called “Darkness Incarnate” and “Destroyer of Dreams,” Gul’dan was the first orc warlock and is considered one of the most powerful warlocks to have ever existed. He lived to amass power by any means necessary—even betraying his kin to those that sought to enslave them.
Gul’dan’s tale began on the planet Draenor, the homeworld of the orcs. The most spiritual of Draenor’s orcs were the Shadowmoon Clan, which was led by the orc shaman Ner’zhul. Ner’zhul was Gul’dan’s mentor, and he taught the young Gul’dan how to harness the elements. Gul’dan was a talented pupil, and with his intelligence and cunning he took to shamanism readily.
Gul’dan’s hunger for power only grew when he encountered the demon lord, Kil’jaeden. Gul’dan was promised unfathomable power in the form of mastery over fel magic—the ways of the warlock—if he would only swear fealty to the demon lord and usurp his mentor. However, Gul’dan would pay a terrible price for such power. His actions would damn the orcs, binding them to the will of the Burning Legion. Gul’dan accepted Kil’jaeden’s terms without hesitation, and the empowered Horde would later decimate their enemies—and their world.
The warlock led his orcish horde to Azeroth, with the aid of the sorcerer Medivh and the Dark Portal that connected the two worlds. The bloodthirsty orcs spread across the Eastern Kingdoms like a storm, conquering the lands far and wide with Gul’dan plotting and waiting for his chance to claim ultimate power.
Gul’dan’s thirst for power would eventually be his own downfall; he would stop at nothing less than becoming a god. The warlock set out to find a magical artifact of great power: the Eye of Sargeras, dark titan and creator of the Burning Legion. The Eye was hidden away within the long-forgotten Tomb of Sargeras at the bottom of the Great Sea. Gul’dan eventually discovered the tomb, but was wholly unprepared for what lurked inside. Instead of unearthing the Eye, Gul’dan and his minions were torn apart by the demons that had long ago been drawn to the tomb through the dark magics that emanated from Sargeras’s remains. Gul’dan finally realized that he was a pawn for Sargeras’s machinations all along.
You can harness Gul’dan’s fel magic in Hearthstone as the warlock hero. Gul’dan’s hero power, Life Tap, takes a small sacrifice of his own life and turns it into card drawing power! The Burning Legion’s demons are at the warlock’s beck and call, which can be unleashed on your opponent when they least expect it. Demons are not one to lend their power freely, so be warned! If too many minions start to rally against Gul’dan, he can unleash the devastating power of the Twisting Nether and send them spiraling into the Abyss!
- "Behold those who have power, and who are not afraid to wield it. Behold... the warlocks!" - Gul'dan
Gul'dan is the creator of the Shadow Council and the first death knights, and is acknowledged as one of the most powerful beings to have ever lived. Gul'dan was at fault for the orcs' descent towards demonic enslavement. He was also a primary factor in the orcish Horde invading Azeroth, earning him the title "Betrayer of the Orcs".
The spirit of Gul'dan is trapped in Shadowmoon Valley in what is now Outland - the remnants of Draenor. He appears to be trapped around the period of the opening of the Dark Portal, nearly forty years earlier.
All of the knowledge Gul'dan had was sealed in his skull. His skull would later be used as a channeling totem for demonic energies. Gul'dan's skull has been used countless numbers of times by both Ner'zhul and the Burning Legion to create havoc on both Draenor and Azeroth. That was until Illidan Stormrage found the skull. He held the skull of Gul'dan until his untimely demise within the Black Temple. It can be looted by players in World of Warcraft. Gul'dan was also responsible for creating the fel volcano known as the Hand of Gul'dan. It was created when he cut the orcs' ties to the shamanistic magics of Draenor.
When viewed in the Collection, Gul'dan has the following flavor text:
- Talented, persuasive and hard-working. Too bad he wants to feed your soul to demons.
|Well played||Well played.|
|Greetings||I greet you.|
|Mirror Greetings||And I, you.|
|Oops||That was a mistake.|
|Threaten||Your soul shall suffer!|
|Concede||You win... this time.|
|Opening remark||Your soul shall be mine!|
|Mirror start||I am your nightmare!|
|Thinking ||I wonder...|
|Thinking ||So many possibilities...|
|Running out of time||I'm almost out of time!|
|Almost out of cards||I'm almost out of cards!|
|Out of cards||I'm out of cards!|
|Error: Too many minions||I have too many minions.|
|Error: Generic||I can't do that.|
|Error: Hand already full||My hand is too full!|
|Error: Hero already attacked||I already attacked.|
|Error: Minion not ready||Give that minion a turn to get ready.|
|Error: Minion exhausted||That minion already attacked.|
|Error: Not enough mana||I don't have enough mana.|
|Error: Need a weapon||I need a weapon.|
|Error: Can't play that card||I can't play that.|
|Error: Can't target stealthed minions||I can't target Stealthed minions.|
|Error: Not a valid target||That's not a valid target.|
|Error: Must attack taunt minion||A minion with Taunt is in the way.|
|Selection in Arena||Embrace the shadow.|
|Lunar New Year Greetings||Happy New Year!.|
|Winter Veil Greetings||Pleasant Feast of Winter Veil....|
|Midsummer Fire Festival Greetings||Burn the fires.|
|Pirate's Day Greetings||Pirate's Day? I don't get it.|
|When playing Kara Kazham!||Kara Kazham|
|Good game||Good Game.|
- Patch 22.214.171.124534 (2020-06-09): New animation added for Life Tap.
- Patch 126.96.36.19974 (2016-04-24): Wow emote added. Sorry emote no longer available.
- Patch 188.8.131.5251 (2016-03-14): "Pleasant Feast of Winterveil...." changed to "Pleasant Feast of Winter Veil...."
- Patch 184.108.40.20656 (2015-12-04): Winter Veil emote added.
- Patch 220.127.116.1133 (2015-11-10):
- Mirror start emote added.
- Taunt error message changed from "I must attack the minion with Taunt." to "A minion with Taunt is in the way."
|1,000 wins portraits|
|Book of Heroes portraits|
|Free heroes: promotional and special events|
|Purchasable heroes: pre-orders and limited availability|