Zeratul Build Guide “I serve the Xel'naga.”
Welcome to our guide for Zeratul, a Melee Assassin 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.
1. Zeratul's Overview
Zeratul is a mobile melee Assassin. Teleporting in and out of fights, he is able to deal massive amounts of burst damage to high-priority backline Heroes unpunished, or temporarily remove them from the fight or set up large combos with Void Prison. Zeratul is permanently Stealthed, allowing him to stalk his targets whilst unseen.
2. Zeratul's Strengths and Weaknesses
- Low base Health
- High skill cap
- Limited sustained damage potential
- Very reliant on Wormhole, which is not available until Hero Level 7
3. Zeratul's Talent Build Cheatsheet
Wormhole Cleave BuildTalent calculator »
The Wormhole Cleave Build revolves around exploiting the Wormhole Talent to reliably and safely gain the benefit of Cleave-related Talents, and most particularly of the synergy between Psionic Strength or Rending Cleave and Void Slash. This build is particularly well suited for team fight heavy Maps such as Infernal Shrines and Sky Temple.
Seeker BuildTalent calculator »
The Seeker Build seeks to maximise Zeratul's single-target burst damage potential. The crux of the build lies in the synergy between Seeker in the Dark, Might Of The Nerazim, and Sentenced to Death to inflict an absurd amount of damage against any chosen target. This build is generally useful against teams that feature limited single-target healing and one high priority target such as Chromie, Jaina, Kael'thas, Li-Ming, or Valla.
Warp BuildTalent calculator »
The Warp Build revolves around improving Zeratul's Basic Attacks to deal a significant amount of sustained single-target damage. Key Talents, around which the build is named, include Warp Skirmisher and Master Warp-Blade, which increase Zeratul's Basic Attack damage, and Darkness Descends, which greatly increases his Attack Speed. This build works well on Maps featuring several Mercenary Camps, such as Blackheart's Bay, Cursed Hollow, and Gardens of Terror.
4. Zeratul's Synergies and Counters
Zeratul tends to struggle against Heroes with targeted crowd control effects, as they prevent him from exploiting Blink and generally remaining safe due to his limited Health pool. Shielding effects are also problematic for him, as they are generally high-value and instantaneous, which counters the burst damage upon which he is so reliant.
5. Zeratul's Maps
Zeratul is at his best when there are plenty of opportunities to roam and gank. Maps that split the attention of the opposing team with multiple Objective spawns or reasons to rotate give him such opportunities. Conversely, Maps with an emphasis on grouping up, laning and waveclearing suit him poorly.
6. Zeratul's Tips and Tricks
- Cleave is excellent at clearing large Minion waves and Mercenary Camps.
- Singularity Spike provides a massive slowing effect; use it to deliver several Basic Attacks against your target.
- Blink is your main survival tool; only initiate combat with it when it is safe to do so.
- Use Void Prison to setup combos with your allies by hitting several enemy Heroes, or to split the enemy team in half.
- Permanent Cloak does not make you Invisible; merely translucent. Keen players will see you coming. To become truly Invisible, stand still for 1.5 seconds.
7. Role in the Current Meta
Zeratul is a powerful Assassin that has a variety of strategic uses. Void Prison works very well to setup combos with allied Heroes, such as Diablo and Jaina, or to temporarily take key enemy Heroes out of the fight, like Supports and Tanks, allowing your team to target vulnerable Heroes. Permanent Cloak, in combination with Blink, gives Zeratul extremely strong ganking strength, as he is able to roam from lane to lane unseen. Stealth also allows Zeratul to flank enemy Heroes and attack the backline directly, rather than first having to go through the frontline. Conversely, Stealth also adds a level of depth that takes time to master and fully understand.
While Zeratul has decent waveclear and can defend a lane alone, he is more useful when roaming about and looking for potential kills. While Zeratul is a credit to most teams, it is important to also have sustained damage Heroes with plenty of area of effect damage, such as Gul'dan or Valla, as most of Zeratul's damage comes in the form of melee single-target burst. Additionally, he is very reliant on his Hero Level 7 Talents to thrive. To compensate for this, it is important to have allies that excel in the earliest stages of the game.
- 11 Feb. 2018 (talents page): Talent builds and recommendations updated to better reflect metagame state.
- 19 Dec. 2017 (abilities page): Fixed an issue whereby the ability tooltips were missing from the page.
- 17 Dec. 2017 (talents page): Talents fully updated to account for the Stealth and Zeratul rework patches.
- 17 Dec. 2017 (this page): Guide fully updated to account for the Stealth and Zeratul rework patches.
- 16 Dec. 2017 (abilities page): Abilities updated to reflect the Stealth and Zeratul rework patches.
- 28 Jun. 2017 (abilities page): Added some important interactions between talents and Singularity Spike and Blink.
- 26 Jun. 2017 (this page): Replaced Worm Hole with Blink when discussion Zeratul being countered by Heroes with targeted crowd control.
- 29 Apr. 2017 (talents page): Rewrote Level 7 and 16 talent discussions.
- 02 Dec. 2016 (this page): Revamped Zeratul.
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