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
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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 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.
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.
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.
This Talent tier improves Zeratul's reach.
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 both Psionic Strength and Void Slash by making it easier to Cleave several enemies at once.
Shadow Hunter is in an odd place as a Talent because Blink is rarely on-Cooldown when Zeratul is in position to deliver sustained Basic Attacks. The Mana cost reduction clause is at best superficial as well. The Talent's Quest makes it inactive until the mid-game as well, making it even less appealing.
Move Unseen may situationally improve Zeratul's survivability and capacity to harass Heroes without area of effect Abilities. It also has a small amount of synergy with Warp Skirmisher, as Stealthing 1 second faster may allow you to get an empowered Basic Attack where you would usually not.
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.
This Talent tier improves Zeratul's sustained damage output.
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.
This Talent tier improves Zeratul's mobility.
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 is generally more reliable than its counterpart as it does not require you to hit with 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-centric Talents to provide you with an easy way to go in and out.
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. Although similar to in usage and easier to use than 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 with Master Warp-Blade.
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.
This Talent tier improves Zeratul's combat survivability.
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 Darkness Descends, Might Of The Nerazim, and Master Warp-Blade.
Spell Shield is overshadowed by its Mending Strikes counterpart. With his mobility, Zeratul is rarely in a situation where Spell damage is the main threat. If it is, work on predicting and avoiding skillshots.
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.
This Talent tier significantly improves Zeratul's damage output.
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 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.
Void Slash has the potential of dealing a large amount of area of effect damage during teamfights. It is generally picked along Greater Cleave and Wormhole, which allows you to use Blink into several opponents to use Cleave and then come out alive before they can react.
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 situationally recommendable 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. Pick only if your team is well coordinated.
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.
This Talent tier improves Zeratul's late-game options.
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 falls into the same category as its Unwavering Pressure alternative. Shadow Stride makes for a powerful chasing tool, however, Zeratul is already one of the best chasers around, making the Talent redundant at best.
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's Cooldown reset, Shadow Mending is an excellent choice.
- 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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