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Zeratul Talents

Last updated on Feb 11, 2018 at 08:40 by Oxygen 62 comments

Table of Contents

Zeratul Image

General Information

On this page, we present the viable talent choices for playing Zeratul in a competitive environment in Heroes of the Storm. For each talent, we explain what they do and why they should or should not be taken.

The other pages of our Zeratul guide can be accessed from the table of contents on the right.

About the Author

Oxygen is a veteran of the MOBA genre, which he has been playing for nearly 15 years. He has coached some of Heroes of the Storm's most prominent North American players and teams alike, including Team Liquid. As a Master player, he enjoys playing all Heroes and roles.

1. Zeratul's Talent Build

Level Choices
1 Greater Cleave ? Shadow Hunter Move Unseen
4 Rending Cleave ? Psionic Strength Darkness Descends ?
7 Wormhole Seeker in the Dark ? Warp Skirmisher ?
10 Might Of The Nerazim Void Prison
13 Shroud of Adun Mending Strikes Spell Shield ?
16 Master Warp-Blade ? Void Slash Sentenced to Death
20 Twilight Falls Gift of the Xel'Naga Nexus Blades Shadow Mending ?
Create your own build and share it with friends!

2. Zeratul's Common Talent Paths

Wormhole Cleave Build (talent calculator link)

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 link)

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.

Warp Build (talent calculator link)

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.

3. Level 1 Talents for Zeratul

Zeratul Greater Cleave ?
Greater Cleave (Level 1) Starcraft Zeratul

Increases the radius of Cleave by 33%.

Zeratul Shadow Hunter
Shadow Hunter (Level 1) Starcraft Zeratul

Quest: Gather Regeneration Globes to lower the Mana cost of Blink by 3.

Reward: Upon gathering 15 Regeneration Globes, Basic Attacks reduce the cooldown of Blink by 1 second.

Zeratul Move Unseen
Move Unseen (Level 1) Starcraft Zeratul

Gain 30% Movement Speed while Stealthed.

3.1. Discussion

This Talent tier improves Zeratul's reach.

Greater Cleave Icon Greater Cleave does little to really impact the effectiveness of Cleave Icon Cleave for builds that do not revolve around the Ability. This Talent's main use is to increase the reliability of Void Slash Icon Void Slash, though this is not necessary with some practice. Since the other Talents featured on this tier are not particularly powerful, this Talent comes down to personal preference. It is worth mentioning, however, that Greater Cleave allows Cleave to "outrange" melee attackers, which can be interesting for trading purposes.

Shadow Hunter Icon Shadow Hunter slightly improves Blink Icon Blink's usability. Since the alternative Talent choices are rather weak, Shadow Hunter is the default choice at this Talent tier.

Move Unseen Icon Move Unseen is rather strange. Generally, while Stealthed, you are Mounted, which defeats the Talent's purpose. Chasing or trying to escape enemies on foot is also quite rare for Zeratul. Skip this one until further notice.

4. Level 4 Talents for Zeratul

Zeratul Rending Cleave ?
Rending Cleave (Level 4) Starcraft Zeratul

Cleave deals an additional 40% damage over 3 seconds.

Zeratul Psionic Strength
Psionic Strength (Level 4) Starcraft Zeratul

Dealing damage to enemy Heroes increases all damage dealt by 6% for 3 seconds, stacking up to 30%.

Zeratul Darkness Descends ?
Darkness Descends (Level 4) Starcraft Zeratul
  • Cooldown: 30 seconds

Activate to gain 40% Attack Speed for 5 seconds.

Passive: Gain 20% Attack Speed.

4.1. Discussion

This Talent tier improves Zeratul's sustained damage output.

Rending Cleave Icon Rending Cleave offers Zeratul with a respectable increase to his area of effect damage. It is particularly useful when your team composition lacks waveclear, although this will hinder your general single-target damage output.

Psionic Strength Icon 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 for PvE purposes.

Darkness Descends Icon Darkness Descends synergises well with Basic Attack-centric builds as well as with Shadow Hunter Icon Shadow Hunter. For dueling purposes, Darkness Descends provides the most damage.

5. Level 7 Talents for Zeratul

Zeratul Wormhole
Wormhole (Level 7) Starcraft Zeratul

For 3 seconds, reactivate Blink to return to the point where it was cast from.

Zeratul Seeker in the Dark ?
Seeker in the Dark (Level 7) Starcraft Zeratul

Singularity Spike takes 50% longer to explode. It can be reactivated to teleport to the target, granting 30% increased Move Speed for 3 seconds.

Zeratul Warp Skirmisher ?
Warp Skirmisher (Level 7) Starcraft Zeratul

Vorpal Blade gains a 2nd charge. Teleporting to an enemy with Vorpal Blade causes Zeratul's next Basic Attack within 6 seconds to deal 40% more damage.

5.1. Discussion

This Talent tier improves Zeratul's mobility.

Wormhole Icon Wormhole competes with Seeker in the Dark Icon 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 is generally more reliable than its counterpart as it does not require you to hit with Singularity Spike Icon Singularity Spike at the cost of being less flexible as you get one less gap closer to work with. It is generally picked along Cleave Icon Cleave-centric Talents to provide you with an easy way to in and out.

Seeker in the Dark Icon Seeker in the Dark's main attraction point over Wormhole Icon Wormhole are the Movement Speed increase it provides and the added flexibility of being able to conserve Blink Icon Blink's Cooldown, as Seeker in the Dark acts as a second gap closer. However, Singularity Spike Icon 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. It is worth noting that the added Singularity Spike duration also has some important implications in terms of damage dealing with the Sentenced to Death Icon Sentenced to Death Talent, which is why they are very often picked together.

Warp Skirmisher Icon Warp Skirmisher is a highly aggressive Talent choice that more or less makes Zeratul inescapable for most if not all Heroes, on top of providing a slight Basic Attack damage increase. Although similar to in usage and easier to use than Seeker in the Dark Icon Seeker in the Dark, its main downside is that its Cooldown is significantly higher than that of the alternative Talent choices. Warp Skirmisher works well along Master Warp-Blade Icon Master Warp-Blade.

6. Level 10 Talents for Zeratul

Zeratul Might Of The Nerazim
Might Of The Nerazim (Level 10) Starcraft 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.

Zeratul Void Prison
Void Prison (Level 10) Starcraft Zeratul
  • 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.

6.1. Discussion

Might Of The Nerazim Icon 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 Icon 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 Icon Void Prison, we mentioned on the Abilities page, Void Prison Icon 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.

7. Level 13 Talents for Zeratul

Zeratul Shroud of Adun
Shroud of Adun (Level 13) Starcraft Zeratul

Zeratul gains a Shield equal to 15% of his Maximum Health over 5 seconds while under Permanent Cloak.

Zeratul Mending Strikes
Mending Strikes (Level 13) Starcraft Zeratul

Basic Attacks heal for 35% of the damage dealt.

Zeratul Spell Shield ?
Spell Shield (Level 13) Starcraft Zeratul
  • Cooldown: 0 seconds

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.

7.1. Discussion

This Talent tier improves Zeratul's combat survivability.

Shroud of Adun Icon Shroud of Adun's automatic Shielding effect meshes well with Zeratul's in-and-out playstyle. It is, however, in our opinion overshadowed by Mending Strikes Icon Mending Strikes's hefty healing effect.

Mending Strikes Icon 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 Supports and certain Tanks as well. Mending Strikes works particularly well with Darkness Descends Icon Darkness Descends, Might Of The Nerazim Icon Might Of The Nerazim and Master Warp-Blade Icon Master Warp-Blade.

Spell Shield Icon Spell Shield has niche use against burst-heavy spell caster team compositions that somehow manage to catch you before you manage to Blink Icon Blink your way out of trouble. You can turn this Talent off so as to avoid wasting its effect against insignificant Abilities. Just do not forget to turn it back on before fighting.

8. Level 16 Talents for Zeratul

Zeratul Master Warp-Blade ?
Master Warp-Blade (Level 16) Starcraft Zeratul

Every third consecutive Basic Attack against the same target deals 125% bonus damage.

Zeratul Void Slash
Void Slash (Level 16) Starcraft Zeratul

If Cleave hits more than one enemy Hero, it deals 50% increased damage and its cooldown is reduced by 3 seconds.

Zeratul Sentenced to Death
Sentenced to Death (Level 16) Starcraft Zeratul

Deal 30% increased damage to enemies while they have a Singularity Spike attached to them.

8.1. Discussion

This Talent tier significantly improves Zeratul's damage output.

Master Warp-Blade Icon 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 Icon Sentenced to Death alternative, it does allow Zeratul to very efficiently claim Mercenary Camps and generally deal PvE or Structural damage. This Talent is worth considering on Maps where Mercenary Camps are abundant, such as on Cursed Hollow and Garden of Terror. Master Warp Blade also works exceptionally well with Darkness Descends Icon Darkness Descends.

Void Slash Icon Void Slash has the potential of dealing a large amount of area of effect damage during teamfights. It is generally picked along Rending Cleave Icon Rending Cleave and Wormhole Icon Wormhole, which allows you to use Blink Icon Blink into several opponents to use Cleave Icon Cleave and then come out alive before they can react.

Sentenced to Death Icon Sentenced to Death has the potential of dealing more burst damage than Master Warp-Blade Icon Master Warp-Blade, at the cost of much sustained damage, and of having much less PvE flexibility. This Talent is generally recommendable if your team relies on taking down a very specific targets to rip team fights away from opponents, which generally is what Zeratul seeks to do. This Talent is generally picked along Seeker in the Dark Icon Seeker in the Dark, as the Singularity Spike Icon Singularity Spike duration increase allows you to get more damage out of the Talent.

9. Level 20 Talents for Zeratul

Zeratul Twilight Falls
Twilight Falls (Level 20) Starcraft Zeratul

Might of the Nerazim resets the cooldown of all Basic Abilities.

Zeratul Gift of the Xel'Naga
Gift of the Xel'Naga (Level 20) Starcraft Zeratul

Allies are no longer affected by Void Prison, and enemies are slowed by 50% for 3 seconds once Void Prison ends.

Zeratul Nexus Blades
Nexus Blades (Level 20) Starcraft Zeratul

Basic Attacks deal 20% more damage and Slow enemy Movement Speed by 20% for 1 second.

Zeratul Shadow Mending ?
Shadow Mending (Level 20) Starcraft Zeratul

Heal for 75% of Spell Damage dealt to Heroes.

9.1. Discussion

This Talent tier improves Zeratul's late-game options.

Twilight Falls Icon Twilight Falls is a fantastic Talent for Zeratul. Ideally, you want to use Rewind 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 Icon Might Of The Nerazim to reset Cleave Icon Cleave and Singularity Spike Icon Singularity Spike. You can also use the Talent just to get a third use of Blink Icon 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.

Gift of the Xel'Naga Icon Gift of the Xel'Naga can be an effective tool to save allies, allowing Void Prison Icon Void Prison to be used directly on your allies, stopping enemies in their tracks. However, Void Prison can be just as effective if placed well, making this Talent unnecessary.

Nexus Blades Icon Nexus Blades is an alternative to Twilight Falls Icon Twilight Falls. Its main factor of appeal lies in the large sustained damage it provides, as well as in the respectable Movement Speed reduction effect. It is, however, much less flexible in terms of playmaking or dealing burst damage.

Shadow Mending Icon Shadow Mending makes Zeratul exceptionally difficult to kill, let alone duelist without proper focus fire. If you are having difficulty surviving or simply cannot make the best out of Twilight Falls Icon Twilight Falls's Cooldown reset, Shadow Mending is an excellent choice.

10. ChangeLog

  • 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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