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Zeratul Talents

Last updated on Dec 02, 2016 at 15:49 by Oxygen 45 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

Oxygen is a veteran of the MOBA genre, which he has been playing for nearly 15 years. He has coached some of Heroes of the Storm's most prominent North American players and teams alike, including Team Liquid. As a Diamond Flex player, he enjoys playing all Heroes and roles.

1. Talent Build

Level Choices
1 Greater Cleave Vorpal Blade Shadow Hunter
4 Grim Task Rending Cleave ? Combo Slash
7 Wormhole Slip into Shadow Seeker in the Dark
10 Shadow Assault Void Prison
13 Shroud of Adun Spell Shield ? Mending Strikes
16 Master Warp-Blade Void Slash Sentenced to Death
20 Nerazim Fury Gift of the Xel'Naga Nexus Blades Rewind

2. Common Talent Paths

Mobility Build

The Mobility Build focuses on Talents that seek to provide you with as many gap closers as possible so as to allow you to reliably stick to one particular high-value target, or safely engage in poking without having to commit to anything. Your basic combo consists of Blink Icon Blink, Basic Attack (to use Combo Slash Icon Combo Slash), Singularity Spike Icon Singularity Spike (for the Movement Speed reduction), Basic Attack, Cleave Icon Cleave, Basic Attack, Blink back (through Wormhole Icon Wormhole), or commit with Vorpal Blade Icon Vorpal Blade, as the situation dictates. This combo can be repeated through Rewind Icon Rewind at Hero Level 20. Void Prison Icon Void Prison provides you with some control, and later Talents (Mending Strikes Icon Mending Strikes and Master Warp-Blade Icon Master Warp-Blade) make your sustained Basic Attacks very potent for all purposes.

3. Level 1 Talents

Zeratul Greater Cleave
Greater Cleave (Level 1) Starcraft Zeratul

Increases the radius of Cleave by 33%.

Zeratul Vorpal Blade
Vorpal Blade (Level 1) Starcraft Zeratul
  • Cooldown: 15 seconds

Activate to teleport to the last non-structure target attacked within 3 seconds.

Zeratul Shadow Hunter
Shadow Hunter (Level 1) Starcraft Zeratul

Quest: Gather Regeneration Globes to lower the Mana cost of Blink by 2.

Reward: Upon gathering 20 Regeneration Globes, Basic Attacks reduce the cooldown of Blink by 1 second.

3.1. Discussion

Greater Cleave Icon Greater Cleave does little to really impact the effectiveness of Cleave Icon Cleave for builds that do not revolve around the Ability. This Talent's main use is to increase the reliability of Void Slash Icon Void Slash. However, it is hardly necessary to even such builds, which we do not even recommend in the first place.

Vorpal Blade Icon Vorpal Blade makes Zeratul notoriously difficult to escape for Heroes that have but one gap closer. Nimble Zeratul players will know just how to exploit Vorpal Blade to juke opponents or effectively dodge skillshots.

Shadow Hunter Icon Shadow Hunter meshes rather poorly with Zeratul's typical playstyle; getting more than a few Basic Attacks off is generally rare (or greedy), and, as such, make this Talent less than useful. It also kicks in much later than the Vorpal Blade Icon Vorpal Blade alternative.

4. Level 4 Talents

Zeratul Grim Task
Grim Task (Level 4) Starcraft Zeratul

Quest: Hero Takedowns increase Ability Power by 5% up to 50%. This bonus Ability Power is lost on death.

Zeratul Rending Cleave ?
Rending Cleave (Level 4) Starcraft Zeratul

Cleave deals an additional 40% damage over 3 seconds.

Zeratul Combo Slash
Combo Slash (Level 4) Starcraft Zeratul

After using an Ability, Zeratul's next Basic Attack within 6 seconds deals 40% additional damage.

4.1. Discussion

Grim Task Icon Grim Task has less damage potential than its Combo Slash Icon Combo Slash alternative, must be built up over time, and is lost upon death. We do not advise it.

Rending Cleave Icon Rending Cleave offers Zeratul with a respectable increase to his area of effect damage. It is particularly useful when your team composition lacks waveclear, although this will hinder your single-target damage.

Combo Slash Icon Combo Slash significantly increases both your sustained and burst damage. To maximise its potential, you must see to weave Basic Attacks between each Ability use. A typical burst rotation goes Blink Icon Blink, Basic Attack, Singularity Spike Icon Singularity Spike, Basic Attack, Cleave Icon Cleave, Basic Attack, Wormhole Icon Wormhole out, as needed.

5. Level 7 Talents

Zeratul Wormhole
Wormhole (Level 7) Starcraft Zeratul

For 2 seconds, reactivate Blink to return to the point where it was cast from.

Zeratul Slip into Shadow
Slip into Shadow (Level 7) Starcraft Zeratul

Blink gains an additional charge, but its cooldown is increased by 8 seconds.

Zeratul Seeker in the Dark
Seeker in the Dark (Level 7) Starcraft Zeratul

Singularity Spike takes 50% longer to explode. It can be reactivated to Blink to the target, granting 30% increased Move Speed for 3 seconds.

5.1. Discussion

Wormhole Icon Wormhole is Zeratul's most important talent. It can be used to Blink Icon Blink into the middle of a fight, deal 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, and a mix of Cleave Icon Cleave, Singularity Spike Icon Singularity Spike, a Basic Attacks, and then using Wormhole to get out is pivotal to how you should play Zeratul.

Slip into Shadow Icon Slip into Shadow allows Blink Icon Blink to be used with much more flexibility than with its Wormhole Icon Wormhole alternative. Its Cooldown-related downside, however, is hefty — so much so that we do not recommend this Talent. Our thinking is that Wormhole generally meshes well enough with Zeratul's playstyle to not warrant a Cooldown increase, despite the potential upsides.

Seeker in the Dark Icon Seeker in the Dark's main attraction point over Wormhole Icon Wormhole is the Movement Speed increase it provides. However, Singularity Spike Icon Singularity Spike's skillshot nature makes it blockable by undesirable targets, or, at worst, missable.

6. Level 10 Talents

Zeratul Shadow Assault
Shadow Assault (Level 10) Starcraft Zeratul
  • Cooldown: 45 seconds

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

Zeratul Void Prison
Void Prison (Level 10) Starcraft Zeratul
  • Cooldown: 100 seconds

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

6.1. Discussion

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 one to kill most Heroes in a 1v1 scenario. The problem with Shadow Assault, however, is that it tends to leave you vulnerable if it is to be used to full effect during team fights due to its melee range. This problem is acerbated when the opposing team features much crowd control.

To benefit from Shadow Assault, one must play extremely aggressively during the short while it is active. This can be very risky and admittedly counterintuitive to how Zeratul should be played; that is, as a mobile Assassin. To its credit Shadow Assault will allow you to perfectly assassinate most non-tank opponents that stray away from their team, and its relatively short Cooldown allows it to be used often.

Void Prison Icon Void Prison, 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.

7. Level 13 Talents

Zeratul Shroud of Adun
Shroud of Adun (Level 13) Starcraft Zeratul

Zeratul gains a shield equal to 15% of his Maximum Health over 5 seconds while under Permanent Cloak.

Zeratul Spell Shield ?
Spell Shield (Level 13) Starcraft Zeratul

Upon taking Ability Damage, reduce that damage and further Ability Damage by 50% for 3 seconds. This can only trigger once every 30 seconds.

Can be toggled to allow or prevent this talent from triggering.

Zeratul Mending Strikes
Mending Strikes (Level 13) Starcraft Zeratul

Basic Attacks heal for 35% of the damage dealt.

7.1. Discussion

Shroud of Adun Icon Shroud of Adun's automatic Shielding effect meshes well with Zeratul's in-and-out playstyle. It is, however, in our opinion overshadowed by Mending Strikes Icon Mending Strikes's hefty healing effect.

Spell Shield Icon Spell Shield has niche use against burst-heavy spellcaster team compositions that somehow manage to catch you before you manage to Wormhole Icon Wormhole your way out of trouble. You can turn this talent off so as to avoid wasting its effect against insignificant Abilities. Just don't forget to turn it back on.

Mending Strikes Icon Mending Strikes provides a massive amount of self sustain, allowing Zeratul to deal with Mercenary Camps with ease, and recuperate from most damage very quickly, granted there is something to beat up nearby. It also makes Zeratul unkillable in 1v1 situations by most Supports and certain Tanks as well. Mending Strikes works particularly well with Combo Slash Icon Combo Slash and Master Warp-Blade Icon Master Warp-Blade.

8. Level 16 Talents

Zeratul Master Warp-Blade
Master Warp-Blade (Level 16) Starcraft Zeratul

Every third consecutive Basic Attack against the same target deals 125% bonus damage.

Zeratul Void Slash
Void Slash (Level 16) Starcraft Zeratul

If Cleave hits more than one enemy Hero, it deals 50% increased damage and its cooldown is reduced by 3 seconds.

Zeratul Sentenced to Death
Sentenced to Death (Level 16) Starcraft Zeratul

Deal 50% increased damage to enemies while they have a Singularity Spike attached to them.

8.1. Discussion

Master Warp-Blade Icon Master Warp-Blade meshes perfectly with Zeratul's playstyle, as a general combo, described earlier, has you deliver 3 or more Basic Attacks in a short timespan. It is also particularly useful against Minions, Mercenaries, and Structures, unlike the two other Talent alternatives.

Void Slash Icon Void Slash has the potential of dealing a large amount of area of effect damage during teamfights. It does, however, require you to remain near two or more targets for an extended period of time in order to benefit from the Cooldown reduction aspect, something that is seldom possible.

Sentenced to Death Icon Sentenced to Death has the potential of dealing more burst damage than Master Warp-Blade Icon Master Warp-Blade, at the cost of much sustained damage, and of having much less PvE flexibility. This Talent might be recommendable if your team relies on taking down a very specific targets to rip team fights away from opponents.

9. Level 20 Talents

Zeratul Nerazim Fury
Nerazim Fury (Level 20) Starcraft Zeratul

Shadow Assault grants 30% Life Steal, and the duration is increased by 50%.

Zeratul Gift of the Xel'Naga
Gift of the Xel'Naga (Level 20) Starcraft Zeratul

Allies are no longer affected by Void Prison, and enemies are slowed by 50% for 3 seconds once Void Prison ends.

Zeratul Nexus Blades
Nexus Blades (Level 20) Starcraft Zeratul

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

Zeratul Rewind
Rewind (Level 20) Starcraft Zeratul
  • Cooldown: 60 seconds

Activate to reset the cooldowns of your Basic Abilities.

9.1. Discussion

Nerazim Fury Icon Nerazim Fury greatly increases Zeratul's self-sustain, but does little to counter his weakness to burst damage. In general, if Shadow Assault Icon Shadow Assault is not enough to take a target down, the two seconds added by Nerazim Fury are unlikely to make a big difference.

Gift of the Xel'Naga Icon Gift of the Xel'Naga 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 unnecessary.

Nexus Blades Icon Nexus Blades is an alternative to Rewind Icon Rewind. Its main factor of appeal lies in the large sustained damage it provides, as well as in the respectable Movement Speed reduction effect. It is, however, much less flexible in terms of playmaking or dealing burst damage.

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 Cleave Icon Cleave and Singularity Spike Icon Singularity Spike. You can also 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; see to have enough to go through a second round.

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