He could have came with WoW: Legion but that’s okay
After years and years of Warcraft III (I’m so glad that game doesn’t have a /played command) I’ve had plenty of time to assess which hero is my favorite. All of them have their own charm, but the Dreadlord (a role often times filled by Mal’Ganis) was my jam. The vampiric voice, the imposing visage, the sheer tactical value of a point and click sleep crowd control spell: all of it added to his allure.
Over a decade later and he finally made it into Heroes of the Storm, nearly closing the door on Warcraft III characters that have yet to make it in. Blizzard missed the chance to usher him in with the more relevant launch of World of Warcraft: Legion with a badass Lightforged Dreadlord skin, but I’ll settle for him being included at all.
Mal’Ganis is a complete beast in terms of utility. As a warrior he’s tanky, bolstered by his passive ability “Vampiric Touch,” which heals him for 45% of damage dealt to heroes (unbuffed) or 15% dealt to non-heroes. His Fel Claws ability (three activated slashes) stuns on the third slash. Necrotic Embrace provides armor and damages enemies in an area-of-effect circle around him and Night Rush (the equivalent of Warcraft III’s aforementioned sleep) grants him 50% movement speed for two seconds and sleeps heroes in his wake. One of the greatest things about his swath of crowd control is how teammates can benefit from hard to hit skillshots, often making it easier to complete their talent quests that ramp up more damage.
His heroics Carrion Swarm (an area-of-effect ability that makes him invulnerable for three seconds and heals) and Dark Conversion (swap health percentages with a hero after a quick channel) only add to this survivability. Outside of his cartoonish face (which you won’t be focusing on so much in the heat of combat, zoomed out), he’s as imposing as a Dreadlord should be.
Right now Mal’Ganis is pretty dominant, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing if he’s properly tuned. Heroes of the Storm has needed more meta-worthy tanks for some time, and adding another formidable warrior into the mix will only spice up your everyday quick matches and the pro scene. The thing about Mal’Ganis is that he works best at midrange, so to counter him you’ll need to snipe him down and kite him (someone like Jaina will work wonders against his limited mobility).
And with the Dreadlord box checked off, we only have a few Warcraft III heroes left to make the journey to HOTS: The Pitlord, Naga Sea Witch, Shadow Hunter, and Goblin Alchemist. The Tauren Chieftain is debatably already in with ETC but could also technically count, as he sports a slightly different kit. If I had to guess the specific characters that would fill these roles respectively: Magtheridon, Lady Vashj, Mezil-kree (or a troll in the new World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth storyline), Zovzik and Cairne Bloodhoof.