Zeratul Build Guide “I serve the Xel'naga.”

Last updated on Feb 11, 2018 at 08:40 by Oxygen 63 comments
General Information

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 Icon Void Prison. Zeratul is permanently Stealthed, allowing him to stalk his targets whilst unseen.

2. Zeratul's Strengths and Weaknesses

V Strengths
X Weaknesses
  • -Low base Health
  • -High skill cap
  • -Limited sustained damage potential
  • -Very reliant on Wormhole Icon Wormhole, which is not available until Hero Level 7

3. Zeratul's Talent Build Cheatsheet

Wormhole Cleave Build

Talent calculator »
Level 1 Greater Cleave Icon Shadow Hunter Icon ?
Level 4 Psionic Strength Icon Rending Cleave Icon ?
Level 7 Wormhole Icon
Level 10 Void Prison Icon Might Of The Nerazim Icon ?
Level 13 Mending Strikes Icon Spell Shield Icon ?
Level 16 Void Slash Icon
Level 20 Shadow Mending Icon Twilight Falls Icon ?

The Wormhole Cleave Build revolves around exploiting the Wormhole Icon Wormhole Talent to reliably and safely gain the benefit of Cleave Icon Cleave-related Talents, and most particularly of the synergy between Psionic Strength Icon Psionic Strength or Rending Cleave Icon Rending Cleave and Void Slash Icon Void Slash. This build is particularly well suited for team fight heavy Maps such as Infernal Shrines and Sky Temple.

Seeker Build

Talent calculator »
Level 1 Shadow Hunter Icon
Level 4 Psionic Strength Icon
Level 7 Seeker in the Dark Icon
Level 10 Might Of The Nerazim Icon Void Prison Icon ?
Level 13 Mending Strikes Icon Spell Shield Icon ?
Level 16 Sentenced to Death Icon
Level 20 Twilight Falls Icon Shadow Mending Icon ?

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 Icon Seeker in the Dark, Might Of The Nerazim Icon Might Of The Nerazim, and Sentenced to Death Icon 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.

Level 1 Shadow Hunter Icon
Level 4 Darkness Descends Icon
Level 7 Warp Skirmisher Icon
Level 10 Might Of The Nerazim Icon Void Prison Icon ?
Level 13 Mending Strikes Icon Spell Shield Icon ?
Level 16 Master Warp-Blade Icon
Level 20 Twilight Falls Icon

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 Icon Warp Skirmisher and Master Warp-Blade Icon Master Warp-Blade, which increase Zeratul's Basic Attack damage, and Darkness Descends Icon 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

V Zeratul synergizes with

Zeratul's risky-but-dangerous nature makes him prefer allies that can increase his survivability. Otherwise, he works well with Heroes that have strong Heroic Abilities that require some form of setup, thanks to Void Prison Icon Void Prison.

X Zeratul is countered by

Zeratul tends to struggle against Heroes with targeted crowd control effects, as they prevent him from exploiting Blink Icon 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's stronger maps
Blackheart's Bay
Zeratul's average maps
Battlefield of Eternity Cursed Hollow Dragon Shire Garden of Terror Haunted Mines Sky Temple Tomb of the Spider Queen Towers of Doom Volskaya Foundry Warhead Junction
Zeratul's weaker maps
Braxis Holdout Hanamura Temple Infernal Shrines

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 Icon Cleave is excellent at clearing large Minion waves and Mercenary Camps.
  • Singularity Spike Icon Singularity Spike provides a massive slowing effect; use it to deliver several Basic Attacks against your target.
  • Blink Icon Blink is your main survival tool; only initiate combat with it when it is safe to do so.
  • Use Void Prison Icon Void Prison to setup combos with your allies by hitting several enemy Heroes, or to split the enemy team in half.
  • Permanent Cloak Icon 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 Icon 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 Icon Permanent Cloak, in combination with Blink Icon 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.

8. Changelog

  • 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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