Xul Build Guide “All who oppose me: Beware!”
Welcome to our guide for Xul, a Bruiser in Heroes of the Storm. Within these pages, you will find everything required to understand how best to play this hero, in both different map styles and team compositions.
Xul is a high damage Bruiser that abuses his strong AoE damage from his abilities to quickly clear any minion wave, which then allows him to create many Skeletal Warriors thanks to Raise Skeleton, letting him become a major threat to towers and, by extension, making the wave much harder to clear. Xul also excels against melee compositions, given he can easily land Cursed Strikes into many targets, reducing their attack speed and making him really hard to deal without crowd control.
Xul's Strengths and Weaknesses
Xul's Talent Build Cheatsheet
Cursed Strikes BuildTalent calculator »
The Cursed Strikes Build gives Xul much survivability thanks to Harvest Vitality's sustain, while Weaken provides considerable resistance by reducing enemy damage dealt. Since this build requires you to be constantly hitting many enemies with Cursed Strikes, it excels against melee-heavy compositions with little crowd control. This build is the most effective at capturing or clearing mercenaries, considering Xul will have Cursed Strikes up nearly all the time, with very high attack speed.
Backlash can be replaced with Shade when facing many Basic Attacks-reliant Heroes, like Raynor, Illidan, or Greymane. Both Poison Nova and Skeletal Mages are useful, though it is recommended to go with Poison Nova when facing many melee Heroes. Skeletal Mages will perform well when you need some kind of crowd control to reach the targets you are looking for.
Scythe BuildTalent calculator »
The Scythe Build offers plenty of AoE damage thanks to the reduced Cooldown on Spectral Scythe and the additional Scythes offered by Echoes of Death at Level 13. Due to Mortal Wound at Level 20, this build becomes particularly powerful against double Support composition who rely on a lot of healing. Unfortunately The Scythe Build is very dependent on Decrepify, which comes a bit too late and might not be a good choice if your team is looking for early-game fights.
Bone Prison BuildTalent calculator »
The Bone Prison Build has much more burst than the other options. It is a great choice if the opposing team has lots of crowd control, ranged heroes, or burst damage, since you will not be able to get much value out of Cursed Strikes.
If you are having trouble facing the opposing laner, we recommend changing both the level 4 and 7 talents into Grim Scythe and Harvest Vitality respectively, since they will give you much more sustain while clearing waves, without crippling your burst capabilities.
Xul's Synergies and Counters
Xul suffers a lot from displacements or crowd control, making Heroes such as ETC or Auriel huge threats, while Johanna is able to blind him during Cursed Strikes, reducing his effectiveness. Xul also struggles against heroes with long range or with high burst damage that allows them to follow up the crowd control, like Jaina and Sgt.Hammer.
Xul shines in maps with nearby lanes, as he will be able to easily abuse his waveclear and Skeletal Warriors, making him excellent on Blackheart's Bay, Tomb of the Spider Queen, and Infernal Shrines. He will also be decent on big maps where the Objective will be very time consuming, allowing him to get a great experience lead through split-pushing, like in Sky Temple, Garden of Terror, or Cursed Hollow. However, Xul does not perform as well in 2-lane maps, given he cannot abuse his fast waveclear to spawn skeletons and go to another lane, which he normally would in a bigger map.
Xul's Tips and Tricks
- Cursed Strikes is one of the best waveclear Abilities in the game, so you should always be attempting to clear a wave and instantly Mount up and rotate to another lane, getting maximum value out of Raise Skeleton.
- Since Xul does not have a strong early game, sometimes it is better to (in some maps) avoid fighting for the first Objective (Infernal Shrines and Cursed Hollow can be good examples), and instead proceed to the opposite lane in order to split-push between the other 2 lanes. A good practice is to warn your team before doing this, given they will be having a numerical disadvantage in the fight, and will have to play it safe.
- Keep in mind Xul has limited mobility, so during fights it is a good idea to wait for your tank to engage, or for enemy heroes to spend their crowd control before going in, given you will struggle to enter and escape fights.
- A good way to use Bone Prison is on a tank just after they spent their defensive skills, a Johanna without Iron Skin or an Anub'arak without Burrow Charge often turn out to be an easy kill, given they will be rooted in the same place for 2 seconds.
- Since Bone Prison has a tiny range, it is recommended to always stay mounted so you can easily find a way to engage your desired target.
Xul's Role in the Current Meta
Each minion wave spawns every 30 seconds (starting from 00:00); this has the same cooldown as Bone Armor, which allows you to ignore the enemy Bruiser every time you step up to clear the wave. Thanks to this, Xul will always be ahead of his enemies, enabling him to move towards the closest lane to either gank or clear it.
Since Xul is slightly dependent on talents to be really impactful in fights, it is better to focus on clearing waves between two lanes during the early game. After you get your main talent for the build ( Harvest Vitality for Cursed Strikes Build, Amplify Damage for Bone Prison Build, and Decrepify for Spectral Scythe Build) start looking for fights—Xul will be extremely good in them.
Current Anomaly favors Xul slightly, considering he will always get the experience globes while clearing the wave, because of his melee waveclear.
- 18 Mar. 2020 (talents page): Updated Xul's talents accordingly to his rework.
- 18 Mar. 2020 (this page): Updated guide for Xul's rework.
- 20 Nov. 2019 (talents page): Updated Xul's talents and removed the Skeleton Build, as we no longer consider it viable enough.
- 16 Jul. 2017 (talents page): Updated Xul's talent descriptions.
- 14 Jul. 2017 (talents page): Corpse Explosion changed from Not Recommended to Recommended.
- 11 Jul. 2017 (this page): Updated guide for Stukov's patch and moved to new guide format.
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