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 Talents

Last updated on May 17, 2016 at 15:44 by Srey 27 comments

Table of Contents

Zeratul Image

General Information

On this page, we present the viable talent choices for playing Zeratul 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 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. Talent Build

Level Choices
1 Block Greater Cleave Rapid Displacement ? Regeneration Master Seasoned Marksman
4 Master Warp-Blade Vigorous Strike Gathering Power Sustained Anomaly Vorpal Blade
7 Follow Through Void Slash Shadow Spike First Aid Searing Attacks
10 Shadow Assault ? Void Prison
13 Giant Killer Burning Rage Wormhole Assassin's Blade Spell Shield
16 Rending Cleave Double Bombs Stoneskin ?
20 Nerazim Fury Protective Prison Nexus Blades ? Rewind

2. Common Talent Paths

Sustained damage and assassination build: Extremely high single target damage with great sustained damage

3. Level 1 Talents

Block Greater Cleave Rapid Displacement ? Regeneration Master Seasoned Marksman

3.1. Descriptions

Block Icon Block causes you to generate 1 stack of Block every 5 seconds, up to a maximum of 2. Block stacks are consumed by individual enemy Hero Basic Attacks, reducing each of them by 75%.

Greater Cleave Icon Greater Cleave increases the radius of Cleave Icon Cleave by 33%.

Rapid Displacement Icon Rapid Displacement reduces the cooldown of Blink Icon Blink by 1.5 seconds.

Regeneration Master Icon Regeneration Master permanently increases your Health Regeneration by 1 per second for every Regeneration Globe you collect, up to 30. After gathering 30 Regeneration Globes, your maximum Health is also increased by 500. Purple Regeneration Globes dropped from neutral Boss monsters count as well.

Seasoned Marksman Icon Seasoned Marksman permanently increases your Basic Attack damage by 0.2 whenever a nearby enemy Minion or Mercenary dies, and by 0.5 for each enemy Hero takedown, up to 40. Upon reaching 40 bonus Basic Attack damage, Seasoned Marksman can be activated to increase your attack speed by 30% for 3 seconds. This has a 60-second cooldown.

3.2. Recommended

Regeneration Master Icon Regeneration Master synergises well on Zeratul, since you can collect Regeneration Globes from multiple lanes when ganking. Permanent Cloak Icon Permanent Cloak also provides you with plenty of time to regenerate your health when waiting to engage the enemy team. Regeneration Master will heal you more than the damage that Block Icon Block prevents, especially later in the game when you have a lot of Regeneration Globes.

3.3. Situational

Rapid Displacement Icon Rapid Displacement reduces the cooldown of Blink Icon Blink by 15%. The problem with Rapid Displacement, is that you must use a second Blink exactly 8.5 seconds from the moment you use the first. Otherwise, Rapid Displacement will provide no benefit. Regardless, a 15% cooldown reduction at Level 1 for your most important ability is still excellent. You will usually be waiting for Blink to become available before fighting enemies, and engaging 1.5 seconds earlier will be noticeable. Take Rapid Displacement on maps with few Regeneration Globes, like Haunted Mines and Battle of Eternity, or when facing very mobile enemies.

3.4. Not Recommended

Block Icon Block works well with Permanent Cloak Icon Permanent Cloak, since you will only be revealed briefly when fighting, and two charges of Block is enough to reduce most of the damage from any Basic Attacks during that time. However, when playing Zeratul, you should be avoiding the enemy team's focus, not trying to capitalise on it. Regardless, nullifying a single Basic Attack (two charges of Block) is insignifican. Regeneration Master Icon Regeneration Master is the recommended talent because it regenerates a significant amount of health, much more than Block will prevent. This is why Rapid Displacement Icon Rapid Displacement is chosen over Block as a situational talent.

Greater Cleave Icon Greater Cleave provides little benefit without additional talents to improve Cleave Icon Cleave's strength, such as Void Slash Icon Void Slash and Rending Cleave Icon Rending Cleave at Levels 7 and 16 respectfully. Since this guide does not recommend those talents, there is no reason to take Greater Cleave.

Seasoned Marksman Icon Seasoned Marksman can increase your Basic Attack damage, but it suffers from two major problems. Firstly, it is relatively weak during the early game, until you have accumulated a number a stacks (and therefore it does essentially nothing for the first 10 minutes of the game). Secondly, it puts too much reliance into your Basic Attacks. Regeneration Master Icon Regeneration Master becomes useful much earlier into the game than Seasoned Marksman and the regeneration is better than the additional attack damage. It is also much easier to collect Regeneration Globes than to farm minions.

4. Level 4 Talents

Master Warp-Blade Vigorous Strike Gathering Power Sustained Anomaly Vorpal Blade

4.1. Descriptions

Master Warp-Blade Icon Master Warp-Blade causes every 3rd consecutive Basic Attack against the same Hero to deal 100% bonus damage.

Vigorous Strike Icon Vigorous Strike causes your Basic Attacks to heal you for 25% of the total damage they deal.

Gathering Power Icon Gathering Power causes each of your Hero takedown to increase the damage of your Basic and Heroic Abilities by 2%, up to 30%. This bonus is lost upon death.

Sustained Anomaly Icon Sustained Anomaly causes Singularity Spike Icon Singularity Spike to explode, dealing its damage and slow within a small radius around it. It also causes Singularity Spike to explode if it misses its target.

Vorpal Blade Icon Vorpal Blade is an activatable talent that allows you to teleport to the last non-structure target that you used a Basic Attack against within the last 3 seconds, regardless of range.

4.2. Recommended

Master Warp-Blade Icon Master Warp-Blade takes advantage of Zeratul's very high Basic Attack damage. Master Warp-Blade, in combination with Follow Through Icon Follow Through at Level 7, allows you to deal very high burst and sustained damage, without the stipulations that Gathering Power Icon Gathering Power and Void Slash Icon Void Slash have.

4.3. Not Recommended

Vigorous Strike Icon Vigorous Strike requires you to put yourself at risk (by using Basic Attacks) to regenerate health, causing you to lose more health than you gain. Your goal is to deal, you will not be using Basic Attacks for long enough periods to justify taking this talent.

Gathering Power Icon Gathering Power increases the damage of your abilities by 5-15%. Even if you are only able to maintain a 10% damage increase, Gathering Power is still one of the strongest talents in the game. That being said, Master Warp-Blade Icon Master Warp-Blade and Follow Through Icon Follow Through, at Levels 4 and 7 respectfully, provide more damage than Gathering Power and Void Slash Icon Void Slash. More importantly, they provide significantly more burst damage.

Sustained Anomaly Icon Sustained Anomaly does not synergise well with Zeratul, who excels at dealing single target damage. Regardless, Sustained Anomaly has a very small radius, making it very difficult for the AoE to damage multiple targets. In contrast, Master Warp-Blade Icon Master Warp-Blade significantly increases Zeratul's damage and works well with the rest of his kit.

Vorpal Blade Icon Vorpal Blade is more of a gimmick than a talent. Occasionally, Vorpal Blade can be used to follow an enemy that uses a gap-closer to escape, but you will have already used Cleave Icon Cleave and Singularity Spike Icon Singularity Spike. Vorpal Blade is only useful sometimes, whereas Gathering Power Icon Gathering Power is always useful.

5. Level 7 Talents

Follow Through Void Slash Shadow Spike First Aid Searing Attacks

5.1. Descriptions

Follow Through Icon Follow Through increases the damage of your next Basic Attack by 40% whenever you use a Basic or Heroic Ability. This effect does not stack, and expires after 4 seconds if it is not consumed.

Void Slash Icon Void Slash increases the damage of Cleave Icon Cleave by 30% if it is used while you are cloaked. Rending Cleave Icon Rending Cleave at Level 16 benefits from Void Slash.

Shadow Spike Icon Shadow Spike prevents you from decloaking when you use Singularity Spike Icon Singularity Spike. Additionally, the range of Singularity Spike is increased by 20%.

First Aid Icon First Aid is an activatable talent that restores 35% of your maximum Health over a 6-second duration upon activation. First Aid has a 60-second cooldown.

Searing Attacks Icon Searing Attacks is an activatable talent that increases the damage of your Basic Attacks by 50% for 5 seconds, but causes each of them to consume 15 Mana for the duration of this effect. Searing Attacks has a 25-second cooldown.

5.2. Recommended

Follow Through Icon Follow Through significantly increases both your sustained damage and burst damage. It does more damage than Void Slash Icon Void Slash (versus a single target), while not requiring you to be cloaked to do so. If Blink Icon Blink is used to escape, you can Cleave Icon Cleave, Basic Attack, Singularity Spike Icon Singularity Spike, Basic Attack, and then Blink. If you use Blink to engage, you can Blink, Basic Attack, Cleave, Basic Attack, Singularity Spike, and then Wormhole Icon Wormhole out (post Level 13). Following this order will allow you to maximise your damage, while revealing yourself for as little time as possible.

5.3. Not Recommended

Void Slash Icon Void Slash does less damage than Follow Through Icon Follow Through (versus single targets), while also requiring you to be cloaked. You will not always be able use Cleave Icon Cleave from Cloak, especially in longer, more sustained fights, preventing you from dealing damage most optimally.

Shadow Spike Icon Shadow Spike allows you to remain cloaked when using Singularity Spike Icon Singularity Spike. Since Singularity Spike should be used when you use Cleave Icon Cleave, you will already be close to your target and decloaked, making Shadow Spike's benefits useless.

First Aid Icon First Aid is a good talent on most Heroes, but Zeratul's Permanent Cloak Icon Permanent Cloak prevents enemies from engaging you when you are out of combat, giving your Support time to heal you. Additionally, you should deal all of your damage with Cleave Icon Cleave and Singularity Spike Icon Singularity Spike before your opponents have time to react or damage you.

Searing Attacks Icon Searing Attacks benefits your Basic Attacks, which you should not be relying on. The short duration of Searing Attacks (5 seconds) encourages you to fight for extended periods of time, which Zeratul is not suited for. Additionally, it has a relatively long cooldown, whereas Follow Through Icon Follow Through does not.

6. Level 10 Talents

Shadow Assault ? Void Prison

6.1. Descriptions

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.

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.

6.2. Recommended

As we mentioned on the Abilities page, Void Prison Icon Void Prison is a powerful Heroic ability with a variety of uses. It can be used to catch fleeing enemies, setup combos, and even delay the capturing of Mercenary Camps, giving your team time contest the objective.

6.3. Situational

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.

7. Level 13 Talents

Giant Killer Burning Rage Wormhole Assassin's Blade Spell Shield

7.1. Descriptions

Giant Killer Icon Giant Killer causes your Basic Attacks to deal additional damage to Heroes equal to 1.5% of their maximum Health.

Burning Rage Icon Burning Rage causes you to deal damage to all adjacent enemies every second. This effect is not active while Cloaked or Mounted.

Wormhole Icon Wormhole augments Blink Icon Blink, allowing you to reactivate it to teleport you back to the point that Blink was originally cast from within 2 seconds. Wormhole does not break Permanent Cloak Icon Permanent Cloak. There is a fraction of a second delay before you can use Wormhole after Blink.

Assassin's Blade Icon Assassin's Blade increases the damage of your Basic Attacks by 20% for 5 seconds after breaking Permanent Cloak Icon Permanent Cloak. You also gain 10% bonus movement speed while cloaked.

Spell Shield Icon Spell Shield causes you to take 50% less damage from Abilities for 2 seconds whenever you are damaged by an Ability. This effect has a 30-second cooldown.

7.2. Recommended

Wormhole Icon Wormhole is Zeratul's most important talent. It can be used to Blink Icon Blink into the middle of a fight, do damage, and then Wormhole out, or to juke. Without Wormhole, Blink's uses are severely limited, as it must generally be saved to exit a fight, rather than to enter one. Wormhole allows Blink to do both. Using Blink, followed by Cleave Icon Cleave, Singularity Spike Icon Singularity Spike, a couple of Basic Attacks, and then using Wormhole is pivotal to how you should play Zeratul.

7.3. Not Recommended

Giant Killer Icon Giant Killer requires you to use multiple Basic Attacks to be effective. While this is difficult for any melee Hero, since they will need mutliple sources of mobility, it is especially difficult for Zeratul, who has low base health and no defensive abilities.

Burning Rage Icon Burning Rage requires you to be in the midst of a fight to be effective. As Zeratul, this is not a position that you want to be in. You want to do your damage quickly and exit the fight, waiting for your abilities to become available again.

Assassin's Blade Icon Assassin's Blade is not a bad talent, the problem is that Wormhole Icon Wormhole is too good. It provides you with much needed mobility, allowing you to quickly jump in and out of fights. Without Wormhole, you can engage or disengage, but not both.

Spell Shield Icon Spell Shield provides a significant reduction in burst damage used against you. The problem with it is that it will usually activate on abilities that deal an insignificant amount of damage, such as Entangling Roots Icon Entangling Roots or Chain Lightning Icon Chain Lightning, and not be available for high damaging abilities. Additionally, you will often be cloaked and avoid much of the enemies' damage regardless.

8. Level 16 Talents

Rending Cleave Double Bombs Stoneskin ?

8.1. Descriptions

Rending Cleave Icon Rending Cleave causes Cleave Icon Cleave to deal an additional 50% damage over 5 seconds. Rending Cleave benefits from Void Slash Icon Void Slash.

Double Bombs Icon Double Bombs allows you to cast a second Singularity Spike Icon Singularity Spike for free within 3 seconds of using Singularity Spike. The second Singularity Spike deals 50% damage.

Stoneskin Icon Stoneskin is an activatable talent that grants you a damage-absorbing Shield equal to 30% of your maximum Health for 5 seconds. Stoneskin has a 60-second cooldown.

8.2. Recommended

Rending Cleave Icon Rending Cleave deals more damage overall damage than Double Bombs Icon Double Bombs since Cleave Icon Cleave has a 6-second cooldown versus Double Bombs Icon Double Bombs' 12-second cooldown. Rending Cleave deals AoE damage, making it more effective in team fights than Double Bombs and providing very effective waveclear from Level 16 onwards. Additionally, Rending Cleave is much easier to use within the 2-second window of Wormhole Icon Wormhole than Double Bombs.

8.3. Situational

Stoneskin Icon Stoneskin can be very helpful when facing enemies with very high damage and crowd control. Zeratul has relatively low maximum health, making Stoneskin less effective when compared to Heroes with more health. However, all of Zeratul's level 16 talents are pretty weak, so taking Stoneskin will not cause you to lose out on much. Take Stoneskin when you need the damage mitigation.

8.4. Not Recommended

Double Bombs Icon Double Bombs deals slightly more damage than Rending Cleave Icon Rending Cleave, but it has several drawbacks. Singularity Spike Icon Singularity Spike has twice the cooldown of Cleave Icon Cleave, using Double Bombs increases your combo time (which is problematic, especially when using Wormhole Icon Wormhole, and Double Bombs only increases your damage to a single target, whereas Rending Cleave also increases your AoE damage.

9. Level 20 Talents

Nerazim Fury Protective Prison Nexus Blades ? Rewind

9.1. Descriptions

Nerazim Fury Icon Nerazim Fury grants Shadow Assault Icon Shadow Assault 30% lifesteal and the duration is increased to 9 seconds from 6 seconds.

Protective Prison Icon Protective Prison prevents all allies from being affected by Void Prison Icon Void Prison.

Nexus Blades Icon Nexus Blades increases the damage of your Basic Attacks by 20%, and causes them to reduce the movement speed of your target by 20% for 1 second.

Rewind Icon Rewind is an activatable talent that instantly resets the cooldown of your Basic Abilities. Rewind has a 60-second cooldown.

9.2. Recommended

Rewind Icon Rewind is a fantastic talent for Zeratul. Ideally, you want to use Rewind immediately after you use all of your basic abilities, to maximise Rewind's benefit. However, if you just need damage, you can Rewind just Cleave Icon Cleave and Singularity Spike Icon Singularity Spike. Conversely, you can use Rewind just to get a second Blink Icon Blink, when trying to escape pursuers. Note that the abilities that you Rewind still have their full Mana cost. Two full rotations of your basic abilities (plus Void Prison), is a massive 450 Mana. If you do not have 450 Mana, it is likely that you will be unable to effectively use all of your abilities.

9.3. Situational

Nexus Blades Icon Nexus Blades significantly increases your damage, especially in longer fights. The Slow allows you to stick to your targets, so that you can continue using Basic Attacks. However, Rewind Icon Rewind also increases your damage, while also providing you with Slows (from Singularity Spike Icon Singularity Spike). Take Nexus Blades when against enemies with few gap-closers and you do not require the mobility that Rewind provides, via a second Blink Icon Blink.

9.4. Not Recommended

Nerazim Fury Icon Nerazim Fury can only be chosen if you are using Shadow Assault Icon Shadow Assault.

Protective Prison Icon Protective Prison can be an effective tool to save allies, allowing Void Prison Icon Void Prison to be used directly on your allies, stopping enemies in their tracks. However, Void Prison can be just as effective if placed well, making this talent unneeded.

10. ChangeLog

  • 17 May 2016: Removed Berserk and updated descriptions for Seasoned Marksman and Regeneration Master following Chromie's patch changes. Talent recommendations remain unchanged.
  • 06 Apr. 2016: Vampiric Strike renamed to Vigorous Strikes.
  • 04 Feb. 2016: Moved Shadow Assault from Not Recommended to Situational.
  • 18 Nov. 2015: Updated Zeratul's talents following Cho'gall patch.
    • Focused Attack replaced with Master Warp-Blade.
    • Master Warp-Blade causes Zeratul's every 3rd consecutive Basic Attack against the same Hero deals 100% bonus damage.
    • Gathering Power description updated.
  • 07 Sep. 2015: Updated Zeratul's talents.
    • Rending Cleave changed to Recommended from Not Recommended.
    • Double Bombs changed to Not Recommended from Recommended.
    • Wormhole reactivation time reduced from 3 seconds to 2 seconds.
  • 22 Aug. 2015: Updated talent descriptions for Seasoned Marksman, changes in talent recommendations.
  • 03 Jul. 2015: Updated Zeratul's talents.
    • Regeneration Master changed to Recommended from Not Recommended.
    • Rapid Displacement changed to Situational from Not Recommended.
    • Greater Cleave changed to Not Recommended from Recommended.
    • Focused Attack changed to Recommended from Not Recommended.
    • Gathering Power changed to Not Recommended from Recommended.
    • Follow Through changed to Recommended from Not Recommended.
    • Void Slash changed to Not Recommended from Recommended.
    • Double Bombs changed to Recommended from Not Recommended
    • Stoneskin changed to Situational from Not Recommended.
    • Rending Cleave changed to Not Recommended from Recommended
    • Nexus Blades chaned to Situational from Not Recommended.
    • Talent descriptions of all mentioned talents have been updated, as well as the descriptions of other related talents.
  • 02 Jul. 2015: Updates following The Butcher patch.
    • Spell Shield nows lasts for 3 seconds once activated, up from 2 seconds.
    • Regeneration Master no longer initially regenerates 4 health per second and each Regeneration Globe collected now permanently increases your health regeneration by 1.5 per second (instead of 4 health regeneration for every 3 globes collected).
Force desktop version
Force mobile version