Warning It appears that you may be blocking the ads, and we are fine with it (read more here). That said, it would really be awesome if you decided to whitelist our website or make a donation :) You can also send us Bitcoins (1DEkropiHPWBmfJxogFaXQscfzhmdpTti4)!

Zeratul Abilities

Last updated on Feb 02, 2016 at 20:31 by Srey 27 comments

Table of Contents

Zeratul Image

General Information

Below, we give you a brief overview of the abilities that Zeratul has access to. You should read these ability descriptions before reading further, because the other pages of the guide assume that you have a basic knowledge of Zeratul's abilities.

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

About the Author

Srey is Rank 1 in Hero League and a top 10 player on Hotslogs. He played for Happy Faerie Dragons, formerly the top amateur team on the North American server. With the team having now disbanded, he is bringing together a new team, which he hopes will compete at an even higher level. You can watch his stream to see how he plays Zeratul (and other heroes).

1. Cleave

Zeratul Cleave
Cleave (Q) Starcraft Zeratul
  • Mana: 40
  • Cooldown: 6 seconds

Deal 439 (208 + 4% per level) damage to nearby enemies.

Cleave Icon Cleave instantly deals damage to all enemies around Zeratul.

Cleave is a very simple ability, but its short cooldown, high damage, and improvement through talents make it your main source of damage. It is your most Mana-efficient ability, costing only 40 Mana, whereas Singularity Spike Icon Singularity Spike costs 60 Mana and Blink Icon Blink costs 75 Mana. When waveclearing, stand within the minion wave, allowing Cleave to hit as many targets as possible. Use Cleave as it becomes available in team fights.

2. Singularity Spike

Zeratul Singularity Spike
Singularity Spike (W) Starcraft Zeratul
  • Mana: 60
  • Cooldown: 12 seconds

Flings a Singularity Spike that sticks to the first enemy hit. Deals 500 (238 + 4% per level) damage after 1 second and slows the enemy by 40% for 3 seconds.

Singularity Spike Icon Singularity Spike throws a Singularity Spike in the targeted direction, sticking to the first target hit. After a short delay, it explodes, dealing damage and slowing the target.

Singularity Spike is your only source of crowd control (a 3-second slow), while also dealing a significant amount of damage to a single target. Although it can be a difficult ability to land, the payoff is worth it, as the slow and damage are crucial to killing your target, since the slow will allow you to follow up with Basic Attacks. Although Singularity Spike is a ranged ability, you will generally be casting it from within melee range, since you need to also damage your target with Cleave Icon Cleave and Basic Attacks. When you do use it from a range, you will generally be limited to chasing and fleeing. However, you should not use it for poking, as Singularity Spike on its own is not very impactful — the cooldown is long and your target can simply heal. Instead, use it in combination with Cleave and your Basic Attacks.

The Mana cost of Singularity Spike is quite high at 65 Mana, so we recommend only using it when you are in combat with enemy Heroes or are trying to quickly capture a Mercenary Camp.

3. Blink

Zeratul Blink
Blink (E) Starcraft Zeratul
  • Mana: 75
  • Cooldown: 10 seconds

Teleport to the target location. Using this Ability does not break cloak.

Blink Icon Blink teleports Zeratul to the targeted location. Blink does not break Permanent Cloak Icon Permanent Cloak. You can teleport to any location within the range of the ability, including over terrain walls and in the fog of war. It cannot be used when rooted, polymorphed, silenced, or stunned.

Blink is an integral part of Zeratul's kit and using it carelessly will often leave you out of position, leading to your death. Never engage a target with Blink if you could instead close the gap by walking up to your target while cloaked, unless Blink can be used to secure a kill. If you use Blink to engage, the enemy Hero you are targeting can use their gap-closer to escape and leave you with no way to follow-up. Additionally, using Blink to enter an undecided team fight will leave you vulnerable, with no way to escape. You should only Blink into fights that are in your favour and pose no risk to you.

Once you get Wormhole Icon Wormhole at Level 13, it completely changes the way Blink is used. It allows you to Blink into the backline and use Cleave, Singularity Spike, and some Basic Attacks before reactivating the ability and teleporting to safety. Using it in this way allows you to deal a massive amount of burst damage from relative safety. Blink can also be used to jump in the midst of a group of enemies to deal damage, before reactivating it to return to safety.

4. Shadow Assault

Zeratul Shadow Assault
Shadow Assault (R) Starcraft Zeratul
  • Heroic Ability
  • Mana: 50
  • Cooldown: 45 seconds

Your Basic Attacks cause you to charge at enemies and have 20% increased Attack Speed. Lasts for 4 seconds.

Shadow Assault Icon Shadow Assault increases your attack speed by 20% and causes you to charge at your target from a short range every time you use a Basic Attack. Shadow Assault lasts for 4 seconds.

Shadow Assault Icon Shadow Assault is a widely used Heroic ability at lower levels of play. This is because it is easy to use and it allows you to kill most Heroes in a 1v1 scenario. However, the problem with Shadow Assault is that you die almost instantly when focused by the enemy team, especially in team fights. It is even more problematic when the enemy team has lots of crowd control.

To benefit from Shadow Assault, you must play extremely aggressively while it is active. This can be very risky and counterintuitive to how Zeratul should be played: as a mobile Assassin, Blink Icon Blinking in and out of fights. However, Shadow Assault will allow you to assassinate enemy Heroes that stray away from their team and its short cooldown enables it to be used often.

5. Void Prison

Zeratul Void Prison
Void Prison (R) Starcraft Zeratul
  • Heroic Ability
  • Mana: 100
  • Cooldown: 100 seconds

Slows time in an area to a near standstill, making allies and enemies invulnerable and unable to act for 5 seconds. You are not affected.

Void Prison Icon Void Prison Void Prison Icon Void Prison instantly puts all affected targets into stasis, including allies, structures, and Mercenaries. When in stasis, Heroes are made untargetable, immune to all damage, and unable to take any action. Additionally, all buffs and debuffs on a Hero are paused, as are their cooldowns. Buffs, debuffs, and cooldowns resume once the stasis ends. Zeratul himself is not affected by Void Prison and can freely pass through the Void Prison. He can reactivate the ability to end the effect at any time, as long as he is not affected by silence, stun, or polymorph. Void Prison lasts 5 seconds. If a unit is affected by damage over time abilities, like Envenom Icon Envenom or Singularity Spike Icon Singularity Spike, the effect will continue when Void Prison ends. If Void Prison touches any capture point, the point will become frozen and uncapturable by either team until Void Prison ends.

Void Prison is an easy ability to use, but it is difficult to master. Although it can be used in a variety of scenarios, there are three major uses that you should be aware of. The first (and primary) way that Void Prison should be used, is to temporarily take key enemy Heroes out of a fight. For example, when fighting a team that has Uther and Illidan, you can use Void Prison on Uther (possibly hitting other enemy Heroes as well) and then focus all of your damage onto Illidan, killing him before Uther can offer any support.

Void Prison's second major use is to set up combos with your allies, by allowing some abilities to land that would normally be difficult to hit, as well as giving your allies time to correctly position. For example, hitting four or five enemy Heroes with Void Prison, followed by Diablo's Apocalypse Icon Apocalypse and Nova's Precision Strike Icon Precision Strike will essentially guarantee your team an easy ace. However, the coordination required to pull off perfect combos usually does not exist in casual games, requiring you to play with a premade party to pull it off correctly. It also requires allied Heroes that have the abilities necessary to combo.

Similarily to setting up combos, Void Prison's third major use it to catch fleeing enemies or to prevent them from catching your allies. In both scenarios, Void Prison gives your allies time to move and better position.

Void Prison also has several niche uses. It can be used to make your structurs immune to damage, possibly saving them from destruction. It can be used to save allies from damage that would otherwise kill them, by making them invulnerable. It can even be used to freeze a Mercenary Camp's capture point, giving your team time to contest it. However, these uses (and all of the others that exist) are arguably less impactful than the three major uses previously listed, and Void Prison should generally be limited to those uses.

6. Permanent Cloak (Trait)

Zeratul Permanent Cloak
Permanent Cloak (D) Starcraft Zeratul
  • Trait
  • Cooldown: 3 seconds

Gain Stealth when out of combat for 3 seconds. Taking damage, attacking, using Abilities, or channeling reveals you.

Permanent Cloak Icon Permanent Cloak passively causes Zeratul to become cloaked when out of combat for 3 seconds. The cloaking effect makes Zeratul untargetable by single-target abilities and Basic Attacks, prevents minions, mercenaries, and structures from attacking him, adds a large amount of transparency to his model, removes his health, Mana bar, and name from his model, and removes his portrait from the minimap.

Cloak is lost when any of the following conditions is met:

  • Using a Basic Attack
  • Taking damage
  • Being hit by revealing abilities, such as Oracle Icon Oracle, Farsight Icon Farsight, Clairvoyance Icon Clairvoyance, andShadowstalk Icon Shadowstalk
  • Using any ability (including talents, like Rewind Icon Rewind), with the exception Blink Icon Blink
  • Channeling map objectives
  • Mounting up or using the Hearthstone
  • Being within range of the enemies' Core

It should be noted that cloaking does not make Zeratul fully invisible and he instead appears transparent and heavily distorted to enemy players, a visual effect often described as a shimmer. Attentive players can spot this shimmer and thwart your surprise attack attempts.

Permanent Cloak Icon Permanent Cloak is perhaps your greatest strength. Although it does not give you literal invisibility and the shimmer can still allow opponents to spot you, even the most experienced players will not always be able to keep track of you all of the time. However, this does not mean you should play as if you will never be spotted and you should still play like an assassin, using bushes and staying just out of the vision of enemy Heroes. This is especially true if the enemy team has abilities that can reveal you, such as Oracle Icon Oracle and Clairvoyance Icon Clairvoyance, since you are very vulerable and easily killed once revealed.

Since it takes 3 seconds to re-enter Permanent Cloak, you will generally want to deal all of your damage at once, rather than over time. In this way, you can re-cloak and wait in safety for your cooldowns. This in-and-out playstyle promotes mobility, and it is therefore always in your best interest to be mounted whenever possible. This also gives Permantent Cloak the ability to double as a faux gap-closer, allowing you to ride up to your target, since the cloaking will keep you hidden.

When stalking your target while cloaked, it is very important to avoid being in a position where AoE damage, meant for another target, might hit you, unintentionally revealing you.

7. ChangeLog

  • 04 Feb. 2016: Added Shadow Assault to the list of abilities since it it can be situationally viable.
  • 03 Jul. 2015: Updated descriptions to match 03 Jul. 2015 talent changes.
Force desktop version
Force mobile version