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

Last updated on Oct 11, 2019 at 18:00 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

Standard Build

Talent calculator »
Level 1 Greater Cleave 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
Level 16 Void Slash Icon
Level 20 Twilight Falls Icon Shadow Mending Icon ?

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 Icon Seeker in the Dark provides you with a very useful second ranged gap closer. This allows you to use Blink Icon Blink more liberally for escaping or repositioning.

Attack Build

Talent calculator »
Level 1 Move Unseen Icon
Level 4 Psionic Strength Icon
Level 7 Warp Skirmisher Icon
Level 10 Might Of The Nerazim Icon Void Prison Icon ?
Level 13 Mending Strikes Icon
Level 16 Master Warp-Blade Icon
Level 20 Twilight Falls Icon

This specialised attack build provides superior single-target damage and offensive mobility at the cost of personal safety. As a key Talent, Warp Skirmisher Icon 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.

Combo Build

Talent calculator »
Level 1 Greater Cleave Icon
Level 4 Psionic Strength Icon
Level 7 Wormhole Icon
Level 10 Void Prison Icon
Level 13 Mending Strikes Icon
Level 16 Void Slash Icon
Level 20 Shadow Mending Icon

This niche combo build provides superior crowd control at the cost of damage. As a key Talent, Void Prison Icon 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.

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 Oct. 2019 (talents page): Talent builds and recommendations reviewed and updated.
  • 11 Oct. 2019 (abilities page): Abilities section reviewed.
  • 11 Oct. 2019 (this page): Guide updated.
  • 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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