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Kerrigan Talents

Last updated on Nov 04, 2016 at 17:13 by Micekrispies 4 comments

Table of Contents

Kerrigan Image

General Information

On this page, we present the viable talent choices for playing Kerrigan in a competitive environment in Heroes of the Storm. For each talent, we explain what they do and why they should or should not be taken.

The other pages of our Kerrigan guide can be accessed from the table of contents on the right.

About the Author

Micekrispies is a Grand Master Hero League player who has a passion for the MOBA scene and its community. Having over 6 years of experience in the upper divisions of League of Legends, Micekrispies saw Heroes of the Storm as an exciting new endeavor. His priority is to share his knowledge of the MOBA genre with any and all who desire to learn more. Feel free to drop off a comment in the comments section or check out him out on Twitch where he will gladly answer any of your questions.

1. Talent Build

Level Choices
1 Siphoning Impact Sharpened Blades Energizing Grasp Block
4 Clean Kill Psionic Pulse Fury of the Swarm Envenom
7 Adaptation Blade Torrent Assimilation Mastery Bladed Momentum
10 Maelstrom Summon Ultralisk
13 Eviscerate Double Strike Queen's Rush ?
16 Aggressive Defense Essence for Essence Overdrive
20 Omegastorm ? Torrasque Nexus Blades Bolt of the Storm

2. Common Talent Paths

2.1. Pure Damage Build

As the name implies, the Pure Damage Build favors Talent options that give Kerrigan the most damage output possible (aside from Bolt of the Storm Icon Bolt of the Storm at Level 20, which is often just too good to pass up). This build is recommended when Kerrigan's highest priority is bursting down a specific target, such as an assassin, specialist, or support. In order to effectively utilize this build, Kerrigan must have an ally that will be able to prevent her from being immediately killed from focus-fire after engaging the enemy, such as Tyrael, Uther, or Medivh. This build revolves around a high-risk, high-reward playstyle and should not be used against enemies that will likewise be able to prevent an ally from being immediately picked off by Kerrigan.

2.2. Ravage Build

The Ravage Build is comprised of Talents that provide Kerrigan a well-rounded balance of damage mitigation and utility. Siphoning Impact Icon Siphoning Impact and Clean Kill Icon Clean Kill give Kerrigan a large amount of self-sustain and staying power, particularly during the early and mid-game. Eviscerate Icon Eviscerate and Bolt of the Storm Icon Bolt of the Storm vastly improve Kerrigan's mobility and allow her to more easily stick to her team's target of focus fire. Aggressive Defense Icon Aggressive Defense will help Kerrigan survive the initial burst damage she will sustain after diving into the enemy team with Ravage.

3. Level 1 Talents

Kerrigan Siphoning Impact
Siphoning Impact (Level 1) Starcraft Kerrigan

If the targeted enemy dies within 1.5 seconds, Kerrigan heals for 10.15% of her maximum Health.

Kerrigan Sharpened Blades
Sharpened Blades (Level 1) Starcraft Kerrigan

Impaling Blades deals 25% more damage.

Kerrigan Energizing Grasp
Energizing Grasp (Level 1) Starcraft Kerrigan

Reduces the Mana cost of Primal Grasp by 75%.

Kerrigan Block
Block (Level 1) Starcraft Kerrigan

Every 5 seconds, reduce the damage taken from the next Hero Basic Attack by 75%. Stores up to 2 charges.

3.1. Discussion

Siphoning Impact Icon Siphoning Impact is a phenomenal talent choice for Kerrigan, as it will provide her with much needed self-sustain well into the late-game. The main strength of Siphoning Impact comes from its incredible synergy with Ravage Icon Ravage‘s reset mechanic. As long as enemy Minions are nearby Kerrigan should be able to replenish a very large portion of Health, up to 70% from a full Minion wave. Keep in mind that Health is only granted when Ravage applies the killing blow, so try to time the ability accordingly.

Sharpened Blades Icon Sharpened Blades is a relatively straightforward talent that gives Impaling Blades Icon Impaling Blades a sizable increase in damage. This is the best Talent option for Kerrigan when she will rarely have to worry about keeping her own Health topped off, and would rather increase her damage output. Kerrigan regularly finding herself around a support Hero such as Lt. Morales on a smaller Battleground would be a great example of when she would want to talent into Sharpened Blades.

Energizing Grasp Icon Energizing Grasp is a talent that does not serve Kerrigan very well in terms of value it brings to her. Especially after having talented into Clean Kill Icon Clean Kill at level 4, Kerrigan will rarely have serious Mana issues that cannot be managed. Even so, the Mana returns on Energizing Grasp will not make any real impact on Kerrigan at any point in the match as opposed to Siphoning Impact Icon Siphoning Impact or Sharpened Blades Icon Sharpened Blades.

Block Icon Block reduces very little damage, as it is only equal to one Basic Attack every 10 seconds. Additionally, Siphoning Impact Icon Siphoning Impact will heal Kerrigan for far more health a single charge of Block will prevent should she end up having trouble surviving throughout the match.

4. Level 4 Talents

Kerrigan Clean Kill
Clean Kill (Level 4) Starcraft Kerrigan

If Ravage kills the target, it restores 75% of its Mana cost and increases the damage of your next Ravage by 25%.

Kerrigan Psionic Pulse
Psionic Pulse (Level 4) Starcraft Kerrigan

After casting Primal Grasp, deal 79 (38 + 4% per level) damage per second to nearby enemies. Lasts 5 seconds.

Kerrigan Fury of the Swarm
Fury of the Swarm (Level 4) Starcraft Kerrigan

Your Basic Attacks splash for 60% damage around the target.

Kerrigan Envenom
Envenom (Level 4) Starcraft Kerrigan
  • Cooldown: 60 seconds

Activate to poison an enemy Hero, dealing 352 damage over 10 seconds.

4.1. Discussion

Clean Kill Icon Clean Kill gives Kerrigan the ability to fully utilize Ravage Icon Ravage's reset mechanic without completely depleting her Mana pool. The synergy between these talents is paramount to Kerrigan's playstyle when in lane or near multiple lower Health targets such as the Shamblers on Garden of Terror. The damage increase on Clean Kill will also assist Kerrigan in guaranteeing that Ravage's strike on a target grants the killing blow. Both the reduction in Mana cost and the increased damage of Ravage will allow it to be used for great waveclear, something Kerrigan would otherwise be lacking. Before an impending skirmish or teamfight, always try to make sure that Kerrigan's last use of Ravage killed the target in order to maximize her initial damage output should she engage an enemy Hero.

Psionic Pulse Icon Psionic Pulse is not a bad talent per se and actually can deal a good amount of AoE upon engaging an enemy Hero. However, the fact that it takes 5 seconds to be fully applied (assuming Kerrigan is not immediately peeled away from her target) may sometimes be too slow to synergize well with Kerrigan's kit. Kerrigan relies on her ability to deal immediate, high amounts of single target damage and Psionic Pulse should only be taken if Kerrigan's sole priority is putting out as much damage as possible in trades and team fights.

Fury of the Swarm Icon Fury of the Swarm is clearly intended to provide Kerrigan a means to waveclear and deal PvE damage. Although this talent at first seems tempting because of Kerrigan's inherent lack of waveclear, Clean Kill Icon Clean Kill not only provides her with a great means to push a lane, but also provides more utility in terms of sustain. In teamfights, Fury of the Swarm is effectively useless as most enemy Heroes will be positioned too far apart to derive any value from the splash damage.

Envenom Icon Envenom is rarely, if ever, a good choice for any Hero with this talent as an option. Envenom does a negligible amount of damage over a very long time which can be very easily bypassed by any sort of healing or damage mititgation. Clean Kill Icon Clean Kill is more beneficial overall, due to the utility that it provides.

5. Level 7 Talents

Kerrigan Adaptation
Adaptation (Level 7) Starcraft Kerrigan

Ravage can be used to jump to allies, refunding 50% of the cooldown and 100% of the Mana cost.

Kerrigan Blade Torrent
Blade Torrent (Level 7) Starcraft Kerrigan

Increases Impaling Blades' radius by 30%.

Kerrigan Assimilation Mastery
Assimilation Mastery (Level 7) Starcraft Kerrigan

Increases the duration of Assimilation by 100%. While Assimilation is active, your Health and Mana regeneration is increased by 100%.

Kerrigan Bladed Momentum
Bladed Momentum (Level 7) Starcraft Kerrigan

Basic Attacks reduce your Basic Ability cooldowns by 0.6 seconds.

5.1. Discussion

Bladed Momentum Icon Bladed Momentum significantly reduces the cooldowns of Kerrigan's abilities as she strikes enemy targets with her Basic Attacks. This is an incredibly good talent, as Kerrigan's primary strength lies in her ability to perform a devastating combo of Ravage Icon Ravage, Primal Grasp Icon Primal Grasp, and Impaling Blades Icon Impaling Blades to deal massive amounts of damage to an isolated target. Once Kerrigan has exhausted her abilities she becomes significantly weaker, both in terms of damage output and utility. The more often she is able to use her Basic Abilities, the more effective Kerrigan will be in deleting enemy Heroes from the Battleground.

Adaptation Icon Adaptation is a quite useful talent which provides Kerrigan with much needed escape when caught by a gank in lane or when needing to bail from a teamfight gone wrong.  Unfortunately this talent option is up against Bladed Momentum Icon Bladed Momentum, which is essentially required for Kerrigan to be most effective to her allies. At least the reduced cooldown of Ravage Icon Ravage from Bladed Momentum may sometimes be used to reposition to safety by targeting the least threatening enemy Hero such as the support or a nearby minion or Mercenary. Once repositioned Kerrigan may attempt to juke her way to safety.

Blade Torrent Icon Blade Torrent brings little to the table aside from helping Kerrigan more easily land her Primal Grasp Icon Primal Grasp/Impaling Blades Icon Impaling Blades combo. Kerrigan should not require this talent to regularly land Impaling Blades. If a player feels as though they are having a difficult time getting Impaling Blades to connect, I recommend spending time practicing their Kerrigan mechanics in “Try Mode”. Blade Torrent is the weakest of the talent options for level 7 as it provides the least amount of utility to Kerrigan.

Assimilation Mastery Icon Assimilation Mastery benefits Kerrigan by providing her with bonus Health and Mana regeneration as long as Assimilation Icon Assimilation is active. The regeneration is pretty weak, as it is only active while Assimilations shields are up. Besides, Siphoning Impact Icon Siphoning Impact should be more than enough to keep Kerrigan feeling nice and healthy. The perks of Assimilation Mastery are just not enough to outshine the value of Bladed Momentum Icon Bladed Momentum.

6. Level 10 Talents

Kerrigan Maelstrom
Maelstrom (Level 10) Starcraft Kerrigan
  • Cooldown: 90 seconds

Deals 163 (77 + 4% per level) damage per second to nearby enemies. Lasts for 7 seconds.

Kerrigan Summon Ultralisk
Summon Ultralisk (Level 10) Starcraft Kerrigan
  • Cooldown: 70 seconds

Summon an Ultralisk that attacks the target to deal 220 (104 + 4% per level) damage. Attacks splash to nearby enemies for 50% damage. Can reactivate the Ability to retarget the Ultralisk. Lasts for 20 seconds.

6.1. Discussion

Maelstrom Icon Maelstrom deals plenty of AoE damage although its primary purpose should be to generate shields from Assimilation Icon Assimilation. The damage per second element of Maelstrom is very slow, and does not seem to fit too well with Kerrigan's high burst kit. Kerrigan's main objective is to dive the enemy backline. This strategy usually results in Kerrigan becoming a primary target of focus for the enemy team. The additional shield generated by Maelstrom via Assimilation is integral to Kerrigan's survival. Try to keep in mind that Maelstrom's main purpose is not to deal team wide damage, and players should not sacrifice single target focus to try and position themselves within multiple enemies, unless the situation allows for it.

Summon Ultralisk Icon Summon Ultralisk is a good for harassing a single enemy and zoning them away from teamfights or objectives. The Ultralisk's heightened movement speed will ensure that it will be able to damage most enemies trying to kite or flee from it. The biggest problem with Summon Ultralisk is that once spawned, most competent opponents will immediately focus the Ultralisk down. Additionally, the Ultralisk is very susceptible to background damage from teamfights, especially from large abilities such as Kael'thas's Phoenix Icon Phoenix or Raynor's Hyperion Icon Hyperion. Another disadvantage of Summon Ultralisk when compared to Maelstrom Icon Maelstrom's is that the damage is only single target. In addition, Maelstrom is much better at generating Assimilation Icon Assimilation shields than the Ultralisk, especially with Omegastorm Icon Omegastorm available at Level 20. This additional damage mitigation allows Kerrigan to stay in fights longer, which will result in her dealing more damage overall.

7. Level 13 Talents

Kerrigan Eviscerate
Eviscerate (Level 13) Starcraft Kerrigan

Increases Ravage's range by 40%.

Kerrigan Double Strike
Double Strike (Level 13) Starcraft Kerrigan

When your Basic Abilities damage an enemy, your next Basic Attack hits for 75% bonus damage.

Kerrigan Queen's Rush ?
Queen's Rush (Level 13) Starcraft Kerrigan
  • Cooldown: 50 seconds

Activate to increase your Movement Speed by 30% for 4 seconds. Queen's Rush is also applied for free on Takedowns.

7.1. Discussion

Eviscerate Icon Eviscerate makes Ravage Icon Ravage seemingly impossible to avoid for squishy targets hiding in the backline. The increased range of Ravage also helps Kerrigan stick to fleeing targets who may try to escape through use of various gap-closers. Being able to reach her intended target is vital to Kerrigan's play style. For this reason Eviscerate integrates seamlessly into her kit, as it bolsters the effectiveness of one of her strongest abilities.

Double Strike Icon Double Strike increases Kerrigan's burst output by 1.5 Basic Attacks worth of damage. This is because Double Strike will only proc twice with Kerrigan's full combo; once after initating with Ravage Icon Ravage, and one other time with Impaling Blades Icon Impaling Blades and Primal Grasp Icon Primal Grasp as they are used in unison. Kerrigan has relatively high Basic Attack damage and the additional burst provided by Double Strike may be what Kerrigan needs to quickly delete a squishier target before her opponents have anytime to react. This Talent is a viable option when Kerrigan needs to put out as much damage possible and is already having no issues engaging the enemy. Keep in mind that if the enemy has a means to negate Kerrigan's burst damage through damage mitigation, Eviscerate Icon Eviscerate or Queen's Rush Icon Queen's Rush may prove to be much more useful Talents picks.

Queen's Rush Icon Queen's Rush is a nice talent for helping Kerrigan position in teamfights after having initiated with Ravage Icon Ravage. The additional feature of it triggering from Hero takedowns is also a great bonus as it can allow Kerrigan the ability to hunt down fleeing enemies as they are picked off one by one. Queen's Rush can also be activated defensively, should Kerrigan be caught out of position and require a means of escape. When possible however, try to utilize Queens Rush offensively to maintain constant pressure on the team's target of focus fire as they attempt to disengage.

8. Level 16 Talents

Kerrigan Aggressive Defense
Aggressive Defense (Level 16) Starcraft Kerrigan

Increases base Shield amount gained from Assimilation by 100%.

Kerrigan Essence for Essence
Essence for Essence (Level 16) Starcraft Kerrigan
  • Cooldown: 60 seconds

Activate to deal 10% of target enemy Hero's Max Health and gain Assimilation Shields for twice that amount.

Kerrigan Overdrive
Overdrive (Level 16) Starcraft Kerrigan
  • Cooldown: 25 seconds

Activate to increase Ability Power by 25% and Mana costs by 40% for 5 seconds.

8.1. Discussion

One of Kerrigan's strongest features, the shield generated by Assimilation Icon Assimilation, is enhanced dramatically by Aggressive Defense Icon Aggressive Defense. This bonus to her shield makes Kerrigan much harder to kill by providing her with additional damage mitigation. At this point in the game, Kerrigan's bolstered resilience allows her to maintain a threatening presence for much longer in battle. The shields will also be most effective after Kerrigan's use of Ravage Icon Ravage to leap into the fight. An increase in shield will often times be what Kerrigan needs to survive the initial enemy retaliation, as she will then (most often) become the primary target of focus.

Essence for Essence Icon Essence for Essence provides some nice additional on-demand burst damage alongside a potentially generous bonus to Kerrigan's shield. Remember that Essence for Essence scales with the Health of the enemy Hero it is being used on. Because of this, it is generally not recommended when compared to the utility of Aggressive Defense Icon Aggressive Defense. Most often the target of Kerrigan's initial focus will have a relatively low Health pool. Because of the percent Health scaling of the talent, a low Health pool will dramatically reduce the effectiveness of the damage output and shield benefit from Essence for Essence. Most often, more will be gained from doubling the strength of Assimilation Icon Assimilation with Aggressive Defense Icon Aggressive Defense, than taking Essence for Essence.

Overdrive Icon Overdrive greatly increases Kerrigan's burst damage by 25%, which may at first seem very appealing. However, the problem with selecting Overdrive is that it will be taking the place of one of Kerrigan's greatest source of teamfight resilience; Aggressive Defense Icon Aggressive Defense. Although the damage amplification of Overdrive allows Kerrigan to more easily burst down select Heroes, she is then left quite vulnerable deep within the enemy team. This is all the more tragic should Kerrigan's prey survive her initial attack by some defensive ability such as Divine Palm Icon Divine Palm or Divine Shield Icon Divine Shield. Even should Kerrigan immediately kill her desired target, not having the increase in survivability from Aggressive Defense Icon Aggressive Defense could result in her being quickly taken out.

9. Level 20 Talents

Kerrigan Omegastorm ?
Omegastorm (Level 20) Starcraft Kerrigan

Maelstrom size increased by 25% . Amount of Assimilation Shields generated by Maelstrom increased by 100%.

Kerrigan Torrasque
Torrasque (Level 20) Starcraft Kerrigan

The Ultralisk morphs into an egg when it dies. If the egg isn't killed within 4 seconds, a new Ultralisk is born.

Kerrigan Nexus Blades
Nexus Blades (Level 20) Starcraft Kerrigan

Basic Attacks deal 20% more damage and slow enemy Movement Speed by 20% for 1 second.

Kerrigan Bolt of the Storm
Bolt of the Storm (Level 20) Starcraft Kerrigan
  • Cooldown: 70 seconds

Activate to teleport to a nearby location.

9.1. Discussion

Bolt of the Storm Icon Bolt of the Storm is by far one of the best talents in the game, and has a multitude of uses. The versatility provided by Bolt of the Storm makes it almost mandatory for Kerrigan. Most often Bolt of the Storm will be used for survival, primarily to escape the fray once Kerrigan has collapsed on and killed an enemy Hero. Bolt of the Storm can also cover an insane amount of ground when followed up by Ravage Icon Ravage talented with Eviscerate Icon Eviscerate. Should Kerrigan be caught within crowdcontrol, Bolt of the Storm can be used for an otherwise impossible escape. In a game where good positioning is king, Bolt of the Storm should rarely be overlooked.

Omegastorm Icon Omegastorm turns Kerrigan into a powerhouse frontliner for the duration of Maelstrom Icon Maelstrom. When coupled with Aggressive Defense Icon Aggressive Defense at Level 16, the effectiveness of Maelstrom is increased by 300% . As long as Maelstrom is hitting one or more targets, it is almost impossible for the enemy team to kill Kerrigan. Even with this massive increase in resilience, remain cautious and play wisely. Kerrigan is still very susceptible to crowd-control and can be quickly burst down if Maelstrom is not actively striking any targets.

Torrasque Icon Torrasque can only be taken when using Summon Ultralisk Icon Summon Ultralisk, which this guide does not recommend. Torrasque does not add anything to Summon Ultralisk at level 20 worth causing consideration for selecting it at level 10. Even with Torrasque, Summon Ultralisk will still suffer from the same drawbacks as before, as well as prevent Kerrigan from selecting Bolt of the Storm Icon Bolt of the Storm and Omegastorm Icon Omegastorm which are both phenomenal talent options.

Although Nexus Blades Icon Nexus Blades is only advantageous to what Kerrigan's playstyle is all about, the perks are simply not good enough to justify its pick over Bolt of the Storm Icon Bolt of the Storm or Omegastorm Icon Omegastorm. The damage bonus is nice, and the slow effect decent, but the talent is overall much less game changing than what is provided in utility and versatility by the other options.

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