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Heroes of the Storm: Some Details on Xul

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Blizzard game designer Jade Martin talked to the Reno Gazette Journal about Xul, the new Hero that will soon enter the Nexus. Xul's abilities and talents were also revealed.

 

We already had a small glimpse of Xul's abilities a month ago. Now, all of the Necromancer's traits, abilities and talents have been revealed. We have included them in the spoiler tag below:

 

TRAITS AND ABILITIES

 

TRAIT

Raise Skeleton: When a nearby enemy Minion dies, it becomes a Skeletal Warrior for 15 seconds. Up to 4 Skeletal Warriors can be active at once.

 

BASIC ABILITIES

[1] Bone Armor: Activate to gain a Shield equal to 25% of your maximum Health for 3 seconds.

[Q] Spectral Scythe: Summon a scythe at target location that travels toward you after a 1-second delay, damaging enemies in its path.

[W] Cursed Strikes: Once activated, your Basic Attacks over the next 4 seconds deal damage in a wide arc and reduce the Attack Speed of enemies hit by 50% for 2 seconds.

[E] Bone Prison: After a 2-second delay, root target enemy in place for 2 seconds.

 

HEROIC ABILITIES

[R] Poison Nova: After a short delay, release poisonous missiles that deal massive poison damage over 10 seconds to all enemies hit.

[R] Skeletal Mages: Summon 4 Skeletal Mages in a line that attack nearby enemies and slow them by 30% for 2 seconds. Lasts up to 15 seconds.

 

CHOOSE A TALENT

 

LEVEL 1

  • [Active] Backlash: When Bone Armor expires, nearby enemies take 15% of their maximum Health as damage.
  • [Active] Shackler: While Bone Armor is active, nearby enemies are slowed by 30% for 1 second.
  • [Active] Shade: While Bone Armor is active, you evade all Basic Attacks, but its cooldown is increased by 10 seconds.

LEVEL 4

  • [Q] Death's Reach: Increase Spectral Scythe range by 20%.
  • [E] Jailors: Bone Prison summons 2 Skeletal Warriors that fixate on the target for 15 seconds. These Skeletal Warriors do not count toward your maximum Raise Skeleton count.
  • [Trait] Trag'Oul's Essence: Raise Skeleton restores Mana.

LEVEL 7

  • [W] Harvest Vitality: Cursed Strikes Heal you for each enemy Hero hit.
  • [W] Weaken: Increases Cursed Strikes attack speed slow to 75%.
  • [Trait] Rathma's Blessing: Gain health whenever a skeleton is summoned.

LEVEL 10

  • [R1] Poison Nova: Poison enemies around you.
  • [R2] Skeletal Mages: Summon Frost Mages to damage and slow enemies.

LEVEL 13

  • [Q] Decrepify: Spectral Scythe slows enemies by 40% for 3 seconds.
  • [W] Giant's Curse: Cursed Strikes deal an additional 2% of an enemy hero's maximum Health as damage.
  • [Trait] Corpse Explosion: Skeletal Warriors explode on death, dealing damage in a small area. Damage is doubled vs. non-heroic enemies.

LEVEL 16

  • Executioner: Basic attacks deal 40% more damage against slowed, rooted, or stunned targets.
  • [Q] Flowing Wounds: Reduces Spectral Scythe's cooldown by 4 seconds if it hits an enemy Hero.
  • [E] Amplify Damage: Enemies rooted by Bone Prison become Vulnerable for 2 seconds, taking 25% increased damage.
  • [Trait] Skeleton Mastery: Increases maximum Skeletal Warrior count to 6 and increases their damage by 100%.

LEVEL 20

  • [R1] Call of the Grave: Enemies hit by Poison Nova now also take an additional 1% of their maximum Health as damage every second.
  • [R2] Raised Mage: When a nearby enemy Hero dies, a Frost Mage will rise from the corpse to fight for you. Also increases Frost Mage slow amount to 50%.
  • [Q] Mortal Wound: Enemies hit by Spectral Scythe receive 75% reduced healing for 4 seconds.
  • [Active] Bone Spear: Deal damage to enemies in a line.

 

The interview also contained insights on some of these abilities. For example, we already knew that Spectral Scythe is going to work as a reverse skillshot. As far as Xul's Skeletons are concerned, whenever a nearby enemy minion dies, it will be raised as a skeleton that pushes the nearest lane to Xul. If, for whatever reason, a skeleton is raised outside of a lane, it will prioritize attacking nearby enemies before going to the lane. This will allow the Necromancer to be a good lane pusher. Lastly, Xul will have access to additional Curses - apart from the one applied by Cursed Strikes - via his talents.

 

Xul was made into a Specialist, because he can work both as a melee Assassin and as an off-tank warrior. In general, he can have great build diversity: he can have a Skeleton build, that is all about lane pushing and dealing with siege; he can focus more on damage dealing by increasing the burst damage of his Spectral Scythe; lastly, he can work as a debuffer with all his Curses and his good survivability.

 

Jade Martin reckoned that Xul will be a good counter to melee Assassins, like Illidan or Thrall. He added that Xul's weakness might be long-range Heroes like Mages and Lunara, but he can still somewhat deal with them if defensive talents are chosen. Lastly, Xul will have good synergy with Heroes with long range CCs like Kael'thas, Muradin and Johanna.

 

Martin mentioned Blood Golem, a heroic ability that was scrapped. Last but not least, he teased that there will be an interaction between Xul and Leoric, when the former kills the latter.

 

Head over here to read the whole interview!

 

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