Welcome to our Talents page for Zeratul. Here, we give you an overview of how strong each of Zeratul's talents is. Then, we present several viable builds, before analyzing each talent row separately, so that you can make informed decisions.
Zeratul's Talent Build
|1||? ? ✓|
|4||? ✓ ✘︎|
|7||? ✓ ✘︎|
|13||? ✓ ?|
|16||? ? ✓|
|20||✓ ✘︎ ? ?|
Zeratul's Talent Build Cheatsheet
Death Sentence BuildRecommended
Each one of the 3 Talents at Level 1 excels at one particular area, and should be chosen according to your playstyle:
- Move Unseen speeds up each roam at the early game. It is great for rotations, looking for kills.
- Shadow Hunter empowers Zeratul's already good late game, by allowing him to blink more often in teamfights.
- Greater Cleave is a balance between both Talents, as it slightly improves Zeratul in all stages of the game.
After level 7, Seeker in the Dark enables a more aggressive playstyle in fights by granting an extra blink to engage. At Level 20, through a second use of all Abilities, Twilight Falls adds enough damage to kill a Healer or Assassin before they can react.
Void Prison BuildBeginner
This Build provides superior crowd control at the cost of damage. Since it is focused on Cleave, Zeratul can just dish out his damage and blink out safely. Therefore, Void Prison Build is a good choice against crowd control-heavy compositions.
Void Prison has numerous different applications, but it requires decent micro and good decision-making skills to be used properly. Void Prison enables Zeratul to control everything that happens on the map and in fights. Considering its macro properties, it can be used in 2 main ways:
- As a form to start a good fight, which is one with either Talent advantage or numerical advantage.
- To disengage from a bad fight, so the opposing team does not capitalize with kills.
When it comes to a running fight, Void Prison can also be used effectively in several ways:
- It can be used as soon as possible to setup for a combo, like with Diablo's Apocalypse or Jaina's Ring of Frost. It is important to hit multiple Heroes with it, prioritizing squishy targets.
- If for any reason one enemy is isolated from the rest, Void Prison can be used towards the rest of their team, to assure the isolated target will be killed.
- After Level 16, you can cast it right after hitting 2 targets with Cleave. It will create a good setup for yourself, enabling a second or third cast of that basic Ability.
Those are the main approaches to get value from Void Prison in this build. However, due to how flexible this Heroic Ability is, it can be used in other countless ways. For further information, check the Abilities page.
Basic Attacks BuildSituational
This build provides superior mobility, sustained damage, and self-healing at the cost of being vulnerable to crowd control. As key Talents, Wormhole and Shadow Hunter provide extra mobility through diverse Blink in the fight. It has extraordinary dueling potential. With Master Warp-Blade, you will be able to kill a desired target in seconds, while also healing yourself.
Despite all the bonuses provided by Wormhole, it has one major weakness, that is not being able to blink back for 1.25 seconds. Experienced players will use targeted or AoE Abilities to control you in this window. For this reason, we do not recommend this build against this kind of Abilities, like Warlord's Challenge, Twilight Dream, or Polymorph.
Cleave Build has a great potential to win fights through high AoE damage. Besides that, it also has good single-target damage from Psionic Strength and Might Of The Nerazim. We recommend getting this build if you cannot easily burst a squishy target, and would rather have a better teamfight by dealing more damage through Cleave resets.
Level 1 Talents for Zeratul
Increases the radius of Cleave by 33%.
Quest: Gather Regeneration Globes to lower the Mana cost of Blink by 3, up to 45.
Reward: Upon gathering 15 Regeneration Globes, Basic Attacks reduce the cooldown of Blink by 1.5 seconds.
Reduce the cooldown of Permanent Cloak by 1 second. Gain 30% Movement Speed while Stealthed.
Greater Cleave allows Cleave to hit opponents who are running directly away from Zeratul after a Basic Attack (which creates a gap between the two, putting the target out of range). Many kills can be secured this way, considering that Zeratul's basic rotation leaves many Heroes with a sliver of Health remaining. Further, Greater Cleave synergises well with Psionic Strength, Rending Cleave, and Void Slash by making it easier to Cleave several enemies at once.
Shadow Hunter has the drawback of being ineffective until completed. However, once completed it will greatly increase the amount of possible plays to be done by him. Since you need to deliver several basic attacks to get value out of Shadow Hunter, we only recommend this Talent against compositions without good crowd control to stop you.
Move Unseen speeds up Zeratul's rotations considerably. This Talent allows you to freely use your blink after issuing a gank to reposition for another one in any lane. The main reason it is decent for this roamer playstyle is that it takes out the 1.5 seconds necessary to Mount up. Be aware that Mounting up will always be a disadvantage after getting Move Unseen.
Level 4 Talents for Zeratul
Cleave deals an additional 40% damage over 3 seconds.
Dealing damage to enemy Heroes increases all damage dealt by 6% for 3 seconds, stacking up to 30%.
- Cooldown: 30 seconds
Activate to gain 40% Attack Speed for 5 seconds.
Passive: Gain 20% Attack Speed.
Rending Cleave provides more upfront damage than its Psionic Strength counterpart. This makes it better in situations where you would not be able to deliver many Basic Attacks, such as against crowd control-heavy team compositions. Further, if you need to claim Mercenary Camps or find yourself cleaning up Minions on three-lane Maps, Rending Cleave is a good choice, as it functions in PvE unlike its counterpart.
Psionic Strength provides an easy to use and reliable damage increase. Its main downside compared to the alternative Talents, however, is that it does not function in PvE. The sustained PvP damage increase it provides is very powerful to make up for this fact however.
Level 7 Talents for Zeratul
After 1.25 seconds, reactivate Blink to return to the point where it was cast from within 4 seconds.
Singularity Spike takes 50% longer to explode. It can be reactivated to teleport to the target, granting 30% increased Move Speed for 3 seconds.
Vorpal Blade gains a 2nd charge. Teleporting to an enemy with Vorpal Blade or entering Permanent Cloak causes Zeratul's next Basic Attack to deal 50% more damage.
Wormhole competes with Seeker in the Dark as two of Zeratul's most important Talents. Individually, they each in essence serve to greatly improve Zeratul's combat mobility, though they do so slightly differently. Wormhole's 1.25-second delay becomes a great liability against crowd control-heavy team compositions. However, in other scenarios, it is generally more reliable than its counterpart, as it does not require you to hit with Singularity Spike. It has great synergy with Shadow Hunter.
Seeker in the Dark's main attraction point over Wormhole are the Movement Speed increase it provides and the added flexibility of being able to conserve Blink's Cooldown, as Seeker in the Dark acts as a second gap closer. However, Singularity Spike's skillshot nature makes it blockable by undesirable targets, or, at worst, missable. Still, Seeker in the Dark is generally considered the superior choice at higher levels of play due to the aforenoted flexibility it provides.
Warp Skirmisher is a highly aggressive Talent choice that makes Zeratul more or less inescapable for most if not all Heroes, on top of providing a notable Basic Attack damage increase. On the other hand, it does not add any form of engage to Zeratul, but only increases his already good chasing capabilities. Since Warp Skirmisher does not add the same flexibility to engage or disengage provided by the other options, we do not recommend it in any build.
Level 10 Talents for Zeratul
- Mana: 30
- Cooldown: 20 seconds
Activate to cast an untalented version of Zeratul's most recently used Basic Ability, dealing 50% less damage.
Passive: After using an Ability, Zeratul's next Basic Attack within 6 seconds deals 30% more damage.
- Mana: 80
- Cooldown: 100 seconds
Slows time in an area to a near standstill, placing allies and enemies in Time Stop for 5 seconds. Zeratul is not affected.
Might Of The Nerazim is Zeratul's more selfish and offense-oriented Heroic Ability choice. It is generally chosen when you are unable to determine whether your teammates will be willing (or able) to cooperate with you for strong Void Prison plays. Might Of The Nerazim is also an excellent choice for bursting down a key target if the opposing team relies on a single squishy Healer or Assassin.
Void Prison, we mentioned on the Abilities page, Void Prison is a powerful Heroic Ability with a variety of uses. It can be used to catch fleeing enemies, setup combos, and even delay the capturing of Mercenary Camps, giving your team time contest the objective.
Level 13 Talents for Zeratul
Zeratul gains a Shield equal to 20% of his Maximum Health over 3 seconds while under Permanent Cloak.
Basic Attacks heal for 35% of the damage dealt.
Every 30 seconds, gain 50 Spell Armor against the next enemy Ability and subsequent Abilities for 3 seconds, reducing the damage taken by 50%.
Can be toggled to allow or prevent this talent from triggering automatically.
Shroud of Adun's automatic Shielding effect meshes well with Zeratul's in-and-out playstyle. It is a good option with Move Unseen, but should only be the choice if you cannot deliver Basic Attacks in a fight.
Mending Strikes provides a massive amount of self sustain, allowing Zeratul to deal with Mercenary Camps with ease, and recuperate from most damage very quickly, granted there is something to beat up nearby. It also makes Zeratul unkillable in 1v1 situations by most Healers and certain Tanks as well. Mending Strikes works particularly well with Might Of The Nerazim and Master Warp-Blade.
Spell Shield is a very situational Talent. You will mostly mitigate more damage with Mending Strikes or Shroud of Adun, as these two will be always useful, since they do not depend on being used against specific Abilities. However, Spell Shield is excellent in a Cleave oriented build, because it does not land many Basic Attacks, reducing the effectiveness of Mending Strikes.
We only recommend picking Spell Shield against team composition with good crowd control or with premeditated Abilities, like a Kael'thas with Pyroblast, or a Tyrael with Judgment. By activating the Spell Shield when those high damage combos or Abilities are coming, you may mitigate enough damage to survive against them.
Level 16 Talents for Zeratul
Every third consecutive Basic Attack against the same target deals 125% bonus damage.
If Cleave hits more than one enemy Hero, it deals 40% increased damage and its cooldown is reduced by 3 seconds.
Deal 25% increased damage to enemies while they are marked or Slowed by Singularity Spike.
Master Warp-Blade offers a reliable mean of increasing your damage output. Although Master Warp Blade offers less burst damage than its Sentenced to Death alternative, it does allow Zeratul to very efficiently duel an enemy, granting great sustain from Mending Strikes. This Talent is worth considering in games where enemies cannot punish you during your dive, as it will deal much more sustained damage than the other options.
Void Slash has the potential of dealing a large amount of area of effect damage during teamfights. It is picked along with Greater Cleave to ease the 2 targets condition. This Talent is necessary with Void Prison, as it allows Zeratul to use Cleave, entrap enemies with Void Prison to have Cleave ready again when they are released.
Sentenced to Death has the potential of dealing more burst damage than Master Warp-Blade, at the cost of much sustained damage, and of having much less PvE flexibility. This Talent is excellent if your team relies on taking down a very specific targets to rip team fights away from opponents. When picked, it is generally done so along Seeker in the Dark, as the Singularity Spike duration increase allows you to get more damage out of the Talent. When paired with Twilight Falls, this Talent grants Zeratul enough damage to kill a priority target in a second.
Level 20 Talents for Zeratul
Might of the Nerazim resets the cooldown of all Basic Abilities.
Singularity Spike no longer costs Mana. Basic Attacks against enemies reduce its cooldown by 1.25 seconds, double versus Heroes.
Reduce the cooldown of Vorpal Blade by 10 seconds. Casting Vorpal Blade grants Zeratul a Shield that absorbs up to 260 (+4% per level) damage for 3 seconds.
Heal for 60% of Spell Damage dealt to Heroes.
Twilight Falls is a fantastic Talent for Zeratul. Ideally, you want to use Twilight Falls immediately after you use all of your Basic Abilities to maximise its benefit. However, if you just need damage, you can simply use Might Of The Nerazim to reset Cleave and Singularity Spike. You can also use the Talent just to get a third use of Blink when trying to escape pursuers or chase particularly slippery Heroes. Note that the Abilities that you reset still have their full Mana cost; see to have enough to go through a second round.
Unwavering Pressure is an odd and ultimately very weak Talent. Zeratul's playstyle revolves around burst damage, particularly with the powerful Twilight Falls. Unwavering Pressure's sustained style puts Zeratul at risk on top of providing an underwhelming reward for succesfully delivering enough Basic Attacks to trigger a Cooldown reset.
Shadow Stride cannot compete with Twilight Falls in a Cleave or Singularity Spike build, since using all your Abilities twice will be more effective than having a shield from this Talent. However, Shadow Stride has great synergy with a Basic Attacks build, because it greatly increase his survivability while also guaranteeing constant hits.
Shadow Mending grants outstanding self-sustain to Zeratul. As long as you keep hitting multiple enemies with Cleave, you will be very resilient. It is a great choice with Void Prison, since you don't have access to Twilight Falls.
- 12 Feb. 2021: Talents and Builds updated to better reflect current meta.
- 05 Oct. 2020: Talents and Builds updated to better reflect current meta.
- 07 Sep. 2020: Talents reviewed and builds updated.
- 06 Jun. 2020: Talent builds, descriptions and recommendations reviewed and updated following Talent tier 7 rework.
- 05 Apr. 2020: Talent builds, descriptions and recommendations reviewed and updated.
- 11 Oct. 2019: Talent builds and recommendations reviewed and updated.
- 11 Feb. 2018: Talent builds and recommendations updated to better reflect metagame state.
- 17 Dec. 2017: Talents fully updated to account for the Stealth and Zeratul rework patches.
- 29 Apr. 2017: Rewrote Level 7 and 16 Talent discussions.
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