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.
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.
Zeratul's Strengths and Weaknesses
- Low base Health
- High skill cap
- Limited sustained damage potential
Zeratul's Talent Build Cheatsheet
This standard build provides a balanced mix of mobility, survivability, and damage, making it effective in most situations, although unspecialised. As a key Talent, Seeker in the Dark provides you with a very useful second ranged gap closer. This allows you to use Blink more liberally for escaping or repositioning.
This specialised attack build provides superior single-target damage and offensive mobility at the cost of personal safety. As a key Talent, Warp Skirmisher makes it difficult for isolated enemies to escape you. This allows you to gank more aggressively and effectively hunt down squishy ranged Heroes such as Chromie, Jaina, Kael'thas, and Valla.
This niche combo build provides superior crowd control at the cost of damage. As a key Talent, Void Prison gives you a clear purpose: to reliably set up for your teammates by disabling several opponents at once. This build is often used with allied Heroes that have powerful area of effect Abilities such as Diablo, Kel'Thuzad, and Gazlowe.
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.
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.
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.
Role in the Current Meta
Note about the current Anomaly: Zeratul's role is to punish Heroes attempting to gather Experience Globes. This is achieved primarily through ganking. Blink also allows Zeratul to gather Globes fairly safely, should no other suitable Hero be available to do so.
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 Healers 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.
- 06 Jun. 2020 (talents page): Talent builds, descriptions and recommendations reviewed and updated following Talent tier 7 rework.
- 05 Apr. 2020 (talents page): Talent builds, descriptions and recommendations reviewed and updated.
- 09 Dec. 2019 (this page): Added a note about current Anomaly.
- 11 Oct. 2019 (this page): Guide updated.
- 11 Oct. 2019 (talents page): Talent builds and recommendations reviewed and updated.
- 11 Oct. 2019 (abilities page): Abilities section reviewed.
- 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 (this page): Guide fully updated to account for the Stealth and Zeratul rework patches.
- 17 Dec. 2017 (talents page): Talents 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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