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Xul Talents

Last updated on Jul 27, 2016 at 19:50 by Kendric 12 comments

Table of Contents

Xul Image

General Information

On this page, we present the viable talent choices for playing Xul 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 Xul guide can be accessed from the table of contents on the right.

About the Author

KendricSwissh is a Rank 1 Warrior and Support player in Hero League. He has been playing Heroes of the Storm since the early stages of the Alpha version and has mastered a large number of Heroes. He is also creating Heroes of the Storm related content on YouTube, most notably his series called Epic Plays of the Week, which focuses on video clips submitted by his viewers. He is also a streamer on Twitch where he will gladly answer all of your questions about the game.

1. Talent Build

Level Choices
1 Backlash Shackler ? Shade
4 Death's Reach Jailors Trag'Oul's Essence
7 Harvest Vitality Weaken Rathma's Blessing
10 Poison Nova Skeletal Mages
13 Decrepify Giant's Curse Corpse Explosion
16 Executioner ? Flowing Wounds Amplify Damage Skeleton Mastery
20 Call of the Grave ? Raised Mage Mortal Wound Bone Spear

2. Common Talent Paths

Poison Nova Build: outstanding damage over time

Spectral Scythe Build: strong zoning potential and healing reduction

Skeleton Build: great pushing power and decent AoE damage

3. Level 1 Talents

Backlash Shackler ? Shade

3.1. Descriptions

Backlash Icon Backlash deals damage to all nearby enemy Heroes equal to 15% of their maximum health after Bone Armor Icon Bone Armor expires.

Shackler Icon Shackler slows surrounding enemy Heroes by 35% for 1 second while Bone Armor Icon Bone Armor is active.

Shade Icon Shade dodges all enemy Basic Attacks while Bone Armor Icon Bone Armor is active but also increases its cooldown by 20 seconds.

3.2. Recommended

Backlash Icon Backlash is an aggressive talent, which requires you to stay close to nearby enemy Heroes in order to benefit from its effect. The damage effect is quite significant, especially against high health opponents like Warriors and certain Specialists.

Shade Icon Shade comes with the drawback of increasing Bone Armor Icon Bone Armor's cooldown by 10 seconds. However, the Basic Attack evasion is capable of absorbing more damage done to Xul than the original shield of Bone Armor, especially against hard-hitting Assassins like Thrall or Raynor.

3.3. Situational

Shackler Icon Shackler is not a bad talent per se, however, it fails to have a reliable impact during team fights, especially if the enemy team composition consists mainly of ranged Heroes, which are very hard to reach for Xul. By the same token, if the enemy team features multiple melee Heroes, Shackler can actually hinder their mobility quite significantly, which makes it a niche talent choice.

4. Level 4 Talents

Death's Reach Jailors Trag'Oul's Essence

4.1. Descriptions

Death's Reach Icon Death's Reach increases Spectral Scythe Icon Spectral Scythe's range by 20%.

Jailors Icon Jailors summons 2 Skeletal Warriors around the enemy Hero hit by Bone Prison Icon Bone Prison. These Skeletons fixate on their target exclusively for 15 seconds. Skeletons summoned by Jailor do not count towards Xul's Raise Skeleton Icon Raise Skeleton maximum cap.

Trag'Oul's Essence Icon Trag'Oul's Essence restores Mana whenever a Skeletal Warrior is summoned by Raise Skeleton Icon Raise Skeleton.

4.2. Recommended

Death's Reach Icon Death's Reach adds some significant poking potential to Xul's kit, since it allows him to cast Spectral Scythe Icon Spectral Scythe from a larger distance. By potentially hitting more enemy Heroes due to the increased traveling range, Death's Reach also has decent synergy with talents like Decrepify Icon Decrepify at Level 13 or Mortal Wound Icon Mortal Wound at Level 20.

The Mana regeneration provided by Trag'Oul's Essence Icon Trag'Oul's Essence can often be crucial to help Xul stay in lane and avoid unnecessary downtime due to being forced to teleport back to refill Mana.

Jailors Icon Jailors offers fairly decent value, especially if combined with other Skeleton based talents like Corpse Explosion Icon Corpse Explosion Skeleton Mastery Icon Skeleton Mastery.

5. Level 7 Talents

Harvest Vitality Weaken Rathma's Blessing

5.1. Descriptions

Harvest Vitality Icon Harvest Vitality causes Cursed Strikes Icon Cursed Strikes to heal Xul for each enemy Hero hit.

Weaken Icon Weaken increases Cursed Strikes Icon Cursed Strikes' attack speed slow from 40% to 75%.

Rathma's Blessing Icon Rathma's Blessing restores health whenever a Skeletal Warrior is summoned by Raise Skeleton Icon Raise Skeleton.

5.2. Recommended

Rathma's Blessing Icon Rathma's Blessing is a very useful talent, since it prevents major downtimes for Xul, which would force him to either teleport back to base or use the Healing Fountain. The ability to stay in lane for an extended period of time improve both his soaking and pushing capabilities.

5.3. Not Recommended

Harvest Vitality Icon Harvest Vitality comes with two drawbacks, which make it slightly inferior to Rathma's Blessing Icon Rathma's Blessing. Firstly, it requires you to use Mana by activating Cursed Strikes Icon Cursed Strikes and to actually hit enemy Heroes. Secondly, it is dependant on the cooldown Cursed Strikes.

Weaken Icon Weaken is a very chancy talent to pick. It can work great against multiple enemy melee Heroes, since Xul usually has an easy time hitting them with Cursed Strikes Icon Cursed Strikes. However, against ranged Heroes who are able to kite Xul, it has very little value. Furthermore, self-sustain is one of the biggest issues when playing Xul, which makes Rathma's Blessing Icon Rathma's Blessing too important of a talent to be neglected.

6. Level 10 Talents

Poison Nova Skeletal Mages

6.1. Descriptions

At this level, Heroic Abilities become available. Poison Nova Icon Poison Nova and Skeletal Mages Icon Skeletal Mages have already been described in the Abilities section.

6.2. Recommended

Poison Nova Icon Poison Nova is a powerful AoE damage over time Heroic Ability, which becomes particularly powerful if the enemy team lacks AoE healing. Furthermore, melee Heroes obviously have a harder time dodging the Poison Nova's projectiles, since Xul can reach them more easily than ranged Heroes. Consequently, it is crucial to analyse the enemy team composition before picking Poison Nova.

Skeletal Mages Icon Skeletal Mages fulfills a different role than Poison Nova Icon Poison Nova, since it is less about dealing damage and more about zoning. The wall of Skeletal Mages functions very similarly to Tassadar's Force Wall Icon Force Wall, it can either be used to prevent enemies from entering a specific area or it can be used to chase down retreating opponents.

7. Level 13 Talents

Decrepify Giant's Curse Corpse Explosion

7.1. Descriptions

Decrepify Icon Decrepify causes Spectral Scythe Icon Spectral Scythe to slow the movement speed of each enemy hit by 40% for 3 seconds.

Giant's Curse Icon Giant's Curse causes Cursed Strikes Icon Cursed Strikes to deal an additional 2% of the target's maximum health as bonus damage to enemy Heroes.

Corpse Explosion Icon Corpse Explosion causes Skeletal Warriors to explode upon death, dealing a small amount of splash damage in a small radius around them. Deals 100% increased damage to non-Heroic targets.

7.2. Recommended

Decrepify Icon Decrepify provides a fairly reliable source of crowd control against several enemies if Xul manages to position himself accordingly. Decrepify works extremely well with Poison Nova Icon Poison Nova, since it allows Xul to slow his targets prior to using his Heroic Ability. Doing so makes it much harder for them to dodge Poison Nova.

Corpse Explosion Icon Corpse Explosion is a huge asset when it comes to waveclear and pushing. If Xul is left unattended, he can destroy enemy Structures and Minion Waves very quickly. Corpse Explosion also posseses some outstanding synergy with Skeleton Mastery Icon Skeleton Mastery at Level 16, which is why we recommend picking both of these talents combined.

7.3. Not Recommended

Giant's Curse Icon Giant's Curse is a very situational talent, which only unfolds some sort of value against high health targets in the enemy team. However, being able to potentially deal a small amount of extra damage is not as good as providing additional crowd control by picking Decrepify Icon Decrepify. Giant's Curse can not compete against he massive waveclear coming from Corpse Explosion Icon Corpse Explosion either, which makes it a rather weak talent.

8. Level 16 Talents

Executioner ? Flowing Wounds Amplify Damage Skeleton Mastery

8.1. Descriptions

Executioner Icon Executioner increases the damage of your Basic Attacks by 30% for 3 seconds after hitting a Hero that is currently affected by any form of crowd control.

Flowing Wounds Icon Flowing Wounds reduces Spectral Scythe Icon Spectral Scythe's cooldown by 5 seconds if it hits an enemy Hero.

Amplify Damage Icon Amplify Damage causes the target caught by Bone Prison Icon Bone Prison to become vulnerable, taking 25% increased damage from all sources while rooted.

Skeleton Mastery Icon Skeleton Mastery increases the maximum numbers of Skeletal Defenders from 4 to 6 and also increases their damage by 50%.

8.2. Recommended

Flowing Wounds Icon Flowing Wounds allows Xul to cast Spectral Scythe Icon Spectral Scythe more frequently, which becomes particularly powerful if he chose other Spectral Scythe related talents like Death's Reach Icon Death's Reach at Level 4 or Decrepify Icon Decrepify at Level 13.

Amplify Damage Icon Amplify Damage enables Xul and his teammates to focus and kill a single enemy Hero more efficiently by increasing all damage taken by 25%. Similar to Tyrande's Hunter's Mark Icon Hunter's Mark, Amplify Damage can work wonders if your team has decent burst damage to follow up on a rooted target.

Skeleton Mastery Icon Skeleton Mastery provides a massive boost to Xul's pushing power, especially if combined with Rathma's Blessing Icon Rathma's Blessing and Corpse Explosion Icon Corpse Explosion, which we strongly recommend.

8.3. Situational

Executioner Icon Executioner can be a relevant talent under certain circumstances. First of all, you need several reliable sources of crowd control, such as Jaina or Muradin, in your team in order to consistently benefit from Executioner's bonus damage. Secondly, you need to make sure that your team has decent waveclear and pushing power, which would allow you to neglect Skeleton Mastery Icon Skeleton Mastery.

9. Level 20 Talents

Call of the Grave ? Raised Mage Mortal Wound Bone Spear

9.1. Descriptions

Call of the Grave Icon Call of the Grave causes Poison Nova Icon Poison Nova to deal an additional 1% of the target's maximum health as damage every second.

Raised Mage Icon Raised Mage raises a Skeletal Mage from their corpse whenever an enemy Hero dies, which deals damage to nearby enemies. It also increases the movement speed slow from 30% to 50%.

Mortal Wound Icon Mortal Wound causes enemies hit by Spectral Scythe Icon Spectral Scythe to receive 75% reduced healing for 4 seconds. Mortal Wounds has no effect on shields or Healing Wells.

Bone Spear Icon Bone Spear fires a piercing projectile in a straight line, which damages all enemies in its path.

9.2. Recommended

Mortal Wound Icon Mortal Wound is an incredibly powerful talent against enemy healers. Being able to shut down strong healing abilities, such as Lt. Morales' Healing Beam Icon Healing Beam or Rehgar's Ancestral Healing Icon Ancestral Healing, turns Xul into a very strong late game team fighter. We strongly recommend this talent if you went for a Spectral Scythe Icon Spectral Scythe heavy talent build.

Bone Spear Icon Bone Spear comes with 10-second cooldown, which is exactly what makes this talent so impactful. Being able to damage multiple Heroes and to clear Minion Waves more efficiently makes this talent too good to be neglected.

9.3. Situational

Call of the Grave Icon Call of the Grave adds a significant amount of bonus damage to targets with a higher health pool, mostly Warriors and certain Specialists like Azmodan or Nazeebo. Keep in mind, that it also affects enemy Structures, which turns it into a formidable sieging ability as well. However, if the enemy team mainly consists of low or medium health Heroes, we do not recommend picking this talent.

9.4. Not Recommended

Raised Mage Icon Raised Mage's effect is too little to be considered an alternative to the other Level 20 talents. While the additional movement speed slow turns Skeletal Mages Icon Skeletal Mages an even more effective zoning tool, the raised Skeletal Mage does not really pose a serious threat to the enemy team. All in all, talents that provide their full benefit after an enemy Hero has died, are highly risky to pick. Instead, you would rather want to pick talents, that actively help you killing your enemies.

10. ChangeLog

  • 27 Jul. 2016: Changed some of Xul's talents in accordance with the latest balance update.
  • 13 Jul. 2016: Changed Trag'Oul's Essence from Not Recommended to Recommended.
  • 17 May 2016: Executioner has been slightly reworked in Chromie's patch, but this does not change the talent viability.
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