Zagara Abilities and Strategy
Welcome to our Abilities page for Zagara. Here, we give you an overview of every ability in Zagara's kit. For each of them, we explain what it does, how to best use it, and how it works in combination with Zagara's other abilities. We also give you strategy tips to play Zagara efficiently.
1. Zagara's Tips and Tricks
- Baneling Barrage should be used primarily for waveclear as to conserve valuable mana.
- Use Hunter Killer to zone enemies from team fights or lane.
- Always use Infested Drop when it is available to deal damage safely and provide vision. Infested Drop can also be used to tank Mercenary Camps and interrupt channeling of objectives (like Tributes on Cursed Hollow).
- Do not try to force Devouring Maw and instead wait for enemies to come into range.
- Place Nydus Worms provided by Nydus Network in spots clear of heavy foot-traffic as to prevent them from being immediately destroyed.
- Always use all available Creep Tumors. Place them inside bushes and at other out-of-the-way locations to prevent the enemy from accidentally destroying them with AoE abilities.
2. Creep Tumor (Trait)
- Charges: 3
- Recharge Time: 18 seconds
Lay a Creep Tumor that generates Creep. While on Creep, Zagara gains 20% additional attack range and both Zagara and her summons move 20% faster. Tumors last 240 seconds and reveal the surrounding area while active.
Stores up to 3 charges.
Creep Tumor places a Creep Tumor at the targeted location, spawning Creep in the surrounding area. Creep increases the attack range of Zagara by 20% as well as increases her movement speed and that of her summoned creatures by 15%. Vision is also granted by the Creep Tumor. Tumors last for 4 minutes and are invisible but can be revealed or killed by taking damage from AoE abilities. Zagara will still only move at 40% increased movement speed when mounted and moving across Creep.
Creep Tumor is Zagara's most iconic ability. It allows her to spread Creep around the map, granting vision and increased movement speed for her and her creatures. Good Creep Tumor use is pivotal to being an effective Zagara player. Zagara should never have 3 stacks of Creep Tumor available as it has no Mana cost and regenerates charges relatively quickly.
Creep only grants vision in areas that are directly within the line-of-sight of its respective Creep Tumor. This means that Creep will not grant vision of a bush unless the Creep Tumor itself is placed inside the bush. Therefore, you should always be placing your Creep Tumors inside bushes whenever possible to maximize your vision. You should also place Creep Tumors at important locations, including common ganking paths, map objectives, and travel routes. For example, you should always place Creep Tumors around the turn-in on Blackheart's Bay or around Boss camps if they are being contested.
Although Zagara lacks direct mobility, like Valla's Vault or Illidan's Dive, you can still stay relatively fluid and safe in team fights because of your Creep. Always place Creep Tumors behind you so that you are able to quickly retreat or spot enemy Heroes trying to flank you. In lane, place Creep Tumors in spots that would be unaffected by AoE abilities, like Multishot, unless deliberately targeted. When talenting into Endless Creep at level 20, the cast range of creep becomes almost laughable. The Tumors will also last for 10 minutes and provide and additional 15% movement speed to Zagara and her creatures.
3. Baneling Barrage
- Mana: 10
- Charges: 4
- Recharge Time: 3 seconds
Launch 1 Baneling that deals 86 (+4% per level) damage to enemies it hits.
Stores up to 4 charges.
Baneling Barrage causes Zagara to launch a single Baneling in the targeted direction. If a Baneling comes in contact with an enemy, hits a wall, or reaches its full range, it explodes and deals splash damage. Up to 4 charges of Baneling Barrage can be stored at one time. Each charge has a 3-second recharge time.
Baneling Barrage is Zagara's primary source of waveclear when in lane. Banelings do not have their own health and cannot be destroyed until they either hit an enemy or reach the end of their range. Because of this Banelings make for reliable poke, especially when contesting Battleground objectives such as Tributes in Cursed Hollow or Altars in Towers of Doom. Keep in mind that Zagara's primary source of lane harass should come from her Basic Attacks, especially when under the effects of creep. Most opponents will quickly learn to avoid the relatively slow moving Banelings if they are relentlessly cast towards them.
When safety permits, stand within the minion wave to hit as many minions as possible. This will greatly improve the efficiency of each Baneling cast. If Zagara is unable to actually cast Baneling Barrage within the minion wave, try to always target the pack on the side as they travel down lane. This will ensure as many minions will be hit by each Baneling as possible. When fighting enemy Heroes, try to hit multiple targets and only use Baneling Barrage when you are sure that each Baneling will hit, like when the enemy Heroes are affected by crowd control. If you are low on Mana and can only cast one or two abilities, you will generally be better served using Hunter Killer or Infested Drop.
4. Hunter Killer
- Mana: 60
- Cooldown: 14 seconds
Summon a Hydralisk to attack a single target, dealing 65 (+5% per level) damage per second. Lasts 8 seconds.
Hunter Killer summons a Hydralisk to attack a single target. The Hydralisk can be killed and can only attack the target if it has vision. If the target is killed or cannot be found, the Hydralisk will travel to the nearest lane and push for its remaining duration. It despawns after 8 seconds.
Hunter Killer is a strong ability that deals a good amount of single-target damage. In lane, Zagara can completely zone out the enemy Hero simply by casting Hunter Killer on them. If they try to fight Zagara or the Hydralisk while it is active, they will take a significant amount of damage from the combination of the Hydralisk and Zagara's Basic Attacks. This allows you to maintain unsurpassed lane control and apply pressure to the surrounding map objectives or structures.
In team fights, Hunter Killer will go largely unnoticed, usually allowing it to deal damage for its full duration, although, it may die to significant AoE damage. Hunter Killer should be used on your primary target, and since the Hydralisk will not switch targets once it spawns, it is important to target the correct Hero. Note that the Hydralisk moves at about the same speed as a Hero, so it will struggle to keep up with fleeing Heroes, unless it is moving on Creep. There are several talent options for Hunter Killer variations presented at level 16. Which to choose will ultimately depend on Zagara's strategy for that particular match. Corrosive Saliva will greatly increase Hunter Killer's teamfight presence, while Mutalisk may prove more useful when sieging enemy defenses.
Since the Hydralisk is essentially a unit, it may have trouble attacking targets over large walls or out of sight. Mutalisk would remove this obstacle at the cost of the damage bonus of Corrosive Saliva. Only use Hunter Killer on structures of high priority, as it is a large source of Zagara's damage and might be unavailable when a scrimmage between Heroes breaks out.
5. Infested Drop
- Mana: 50
- Cooldown: 12 seconds
Bombard target area with a Zerg Drop Pod for 140 (+4% per level) damage.
The pod spawns 2 Roachlings that deal 27 (+4% per level) damage per second and last for 8 seconds.
Infested Drop bombards the targeted area with a Zerg Drop Pod, dealing damage. The pod spawns 2 Roaches that behave like minions. They last 8 seconds or until they are killed.
Infested Drop has a wide variety of uses. It can be used to deal damage, provide vision, clear minion waves, delay channeling of map objectives (like the tributes on Cursed Hollow), dismount enemy Heroes, or help clear Mercenary Camps. In lane, it can be another valuable method of pushing the minions. Keep in mind that hitting enemy Heroes with the Zerg Drop Pod can be relatively difficult as there is a noticeable delay in cast time. Bile Drop is a quest that not only permanently increases the initial damage of the Zerg Drop Pod, but will also increase its impact radius. When trying to complete this quest, try to focus the drops on enemy Heroes who are affected by crowd control. If you are playing extremely aggressively in lane, you can use Infested Drop behind the enemy Towers. This will provide vision of any Heroes hiding behind the walls, allowing Hunter Killer to be used on them.
Use Infested Drop whenever possible in team fights. Even if the drop pod does not directly hit enemies, the Roaches will still do a considerable amount of damage for their duration.
6. Devouring Maw
- Mana: 100
- Cooldown: 80 seconds
Summon a Devouring Maw that devours enemies for 4 seconds. Devoured enemies cannot fight and take 88 (+4% per level) damage per second.
Usable on Unstoppable enemies.
Devouring Maw summons a Devouring Maw at a target location to consume all enemies within its radius. Devoured enemies are unable to take any action and are untargetable for 4 seconds, taking damage each second. Devouring Maw acts as terrain while it exists, preventing Heroes, minions, mercenaries, or creatures from passing through it.
Devouring Maw can be a game-changing ability. Hitting multiple enemy Heroes does some damage and can allow your allies, like Jaina and E.T.C., to combo their abilities as soon as they are released from the Maw. However, even if Devouring Maw only hits a single target, it is essentially removing that Hero from play for 4 seconds. If that target is a support, it can allow your team to kill Heroes before they can be healed. Devouring Maw also acts as a terrain, allowing you to completely block off choke-points from enemy Heroes that are not devoured by the Maw.
The key to using Devouring Maw effectively and getting multi-Hero Maws is to be patient and wait until the right moment. Running into a fight and opening with Devouring Maw almost never works out well, since it is extremely difficult to land in those scenarios. Instead, you want to be engaging the enemy team with your other abilities and Basic Attacks, and use Devouring Maw when the opportunity arises.
Devouring Maw can also be useful to catch fleeing enemies, as devoured enemies will give your team time to catch up and kill the Heroes once they are released from the Maw. When team fighting, beware of using Devouring Maw when your allies are actively using their abilities. For instance, if Diablo uses Apocalypse, you should not use Devouring Maw until after the stun ends. In this way you can maximize your team's damage.
7. Nydus Network
- Mana: 50
- Charges: 2
- Recharge Time: 120 seconds
Summon a Nydus Worm on Creep anywhere that Zagara has vision. Zagara can enter a Nydus Worm and travel to any other Nydus Worm by right-clicking near it. While inside a Nydus Worm, Zagara regenerates 10% Health and Mana per second.
Stores up to 2 charges. Maximum of 10 Nydus Worms at a time.
Passive: Creep spreads 15% farther.
Passive: While on Creep, each Basic Attack reduces all of Zagara's cooldowns by 0.5 seconds.
Nydus Network summons a Nydus Worm at the target location that you can enter by right-clicking, after channeling for a short duration. You can right-click a location or press "R" to exit at any Nydus Worm around the map. While inside the Nydus Worm, your Health and Mana are restored at an incredibly high rate. Nydus Network can be cast while inside Nydus Network. Zagara exits Nydus Network instantly. You may only summon a Nydus Worm in areas covered by Zagara's creep. Channelling to enter a Nydus Worm can be interrupted by any damage or crowd control effects. You can hold 2 charges of Nydus Network. A maximum of 10 Nydus Worms can exist on the map at one time. The Nydus Worm placed first will be destroyed if an eleventh Nydus Worm is summoned. Nydus Worms have infinite duration and last until they are killed or more than 10 Nydus Worms are placed.
The fact that Nydus Worms can only be placed on creep is very important to keep in mind. Enemy Heroes may soon begin hunting Nydus Worms once they begin accumulating. They can use their view of your creep on the ground as a clue to the location of Zagara's Worms. For this reason either try to keep the edge of creep harboring a Worm out of sight completely or over-saturate locations containing Worms as to not give opponents any idea as to where to begin looking. When talenting into Endless Creep at level 20, Nydus Network becomes an almost global ability. Zagara should travel from Worm to Worm, placing them deep within hidden locations of enemy territory. Be careful to keep a solid eye on the location of the enemy. Getting caught behind enemy lines at that stage of the match can very quickly end in defeat for Zagara's team.
Nydus Network has two important passive effects. It increases your Creep spread by 25% and it causes all Basic Attacks to lower cooldowns by 0.75 second while on Creep.
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