Zeratul Talents

Last updated on Feb 12, 2021 at 21:15 by Derenash 65 comments
General Information

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.

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 Unwavering Pressure ✘︎ Shadow Stride ? Shadow Mending ?
2.

Zeratul's Talent Build Cheatsheet

Death Sentence Build

Recommended
Level 1 Move Unseen Icon Shadow Hunter Icon ? Greater Cleave Icon ?
Level 4 Psionic Strength Icon
Level 7 Seeker in the Dark Icon
Level 10 Might Of The Nerazim Icon
Level 13 Mending Strikes Icon Shroud of Adun Icon ?
Level 16 Sentenced to Death Icon
Level 20 Twilight Falls Icon

This Build provides the highest single target damage achievable by Zeratul. It is excellent for killing squishy Heroes, but also good to follow a Tank's engages.

Each one of the 3 Talents at Level 1 excels at one particular area, and should be chosen according to your playstyle:

  • Move Unseen Icon Move Unseen speeds up each roam at the early game. It is great for rotations, looking for kills.
  • Shadow Hunter Icon Shadow Hunter empowers Zeratul's already good late game, by allowing him to blink more often in teamfights.
  • Greater Cleave Icon 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 Icon 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 Icon Twilight Falls adds enough damage to kill a Healer or Assassin before they can react.

Void Prison Build

Beginner
Level 1 Greater Cleave Icon
Level 4 Rending Cleave Icon
Level 7 Wormhole Icon Seeker in the Dark Icon ?
Level 10 Void Prison Icon
Level 13 Shroud of Adun Icon Mending Strikes Icon ? Spell Shield Icon ?
Level 16 Void Slash Icon
Level 20 Shadow Mending Icon

This Build provides superior crowd control at the cost of damage. Since it is focused on Cleave Icon 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 Icon 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 Icon Apocalypse or Jaina's Ring of Frost Icon 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 Icon 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 Build

Situational
Level 1 Shadow Hunter Icon
Level 4 Psionic Strength Icon
Level 7 Wormhole Icon
Level 10 Might Of The Nerazim Icon
Level 13 Mending Strikes Icon
Level 16 Master Warp-Blade Icon
Level 20 Shadow Stride Icon

This build provides superior mobility, sustained damage, and self-healing at the cost of being vulnerable to crowd control. As key Talents, Wormhole Icon Wormhole and Shadow Hunter Icon Shadow Hunter provide extra mobility through diverse Blink Icon Blink in the fight. It has extraordinary dueling potential. With Master Warp-Blade Icon 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 Icon 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 Icon Warlord's Challenge, Twilight Dream Icon Twilight Dream, or Polymorph Icon Polymorph.

Cleave Build

Situational
Level 1 Greater Cleave Icon
Level 4 Psionic Strength Icon
Level 7 Seeker in the Dark Icon Wormhole Icon ?
Level 10 Might Of The Nerazim Icon
Level 13 Mending Strikes Icon
Level 16 Void Slash Icon
Level 20 Twilight Falls Icon

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 Icon Psionic Strength and Might Of The Nerazim Icon 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 Icon Cleave resets.

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, up to 45.

Reward: Upon gathering 15 Regeneration Globes, Basic Attacks reduce the cooldown of Blink by 1.5 seconds.

Zeratul Move Unseen
Move Unseen (Level 1) Starcraft Zeratul

Reduce the cooldown of Permanent Cloak by 1 second. Gain 30% Movement Speed while Stealthed.

3.1.

Discussion

Greater Cleave Icon Greater Cleave allows Cleave Icon 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 Icon Psionic Strength, Rending Cleave Icon Rending Cleave, and Void Slash Icon Void Slash by making it easier to Cleave several enemies at once.

Shadow Hunter Icon 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 Icon 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.

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

Rending Cleave Icon Rending Cleave provides more upfront damage than its Psionic Strength Icon 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 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 in PvE. The sustained PvP damage increase it provides is very powerful to make up for this fact however.

Darkness Descends Icon Darkness Descends requires sustained Basic Attacks to generate value. In general however, Psionic Strength Icon Psionic Strength will yield more overall damage.

5.

Level 7 Talents for Zeratul

Zeratul Wormhole ?
Wormhole (Level 7) Starcraft Zeratul

After 1.25 seconds, reactivate Blink to return to the point where it was cast from within 4 seconds.

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 or entering Permanent Cloak causes Zeratul's next Basic Attack to deal 50% more damage.

5.1.

Discussion

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'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 Icon Singularity Spike. It has great synergy with Shadow Hunter Icon Shadow Hunter.

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.

Warp Skirmisher Icon 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.

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 20% of his Maximum Health over 3 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

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

Shroud of Adun Icon Shroud of Adun's automatic Shielding effect meshes well with Zeratul's in-and-out playstyle. It is a good option with Move Unseen Icon Move Unseen, but should only be the choice if you cannot deliver Basic Attacks in a fight.

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

Spell Shield Icon Spell Shield is a very situational Talent. You will mostly mitigate more damage with Mending Strikes Icon Mending Strikes or Shroud of Adun Icon 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 Icon Cleave oriented build, because it does not land many Basic Attacks, reducing the effectiveness of Mending Strikes Icon Mending Strikes.

We only recommend picking Spell Shield Icon Spell Shield against team composition with good crowd control or with premeditated Abilities, like a Kael'thas with Pyroblast Icon Pyroblast, or a Tyrael with Judgment Icon Judgment. By activating the Spell Shield when those high damage combos or Abilities are coming, you may mitigate enough damage to survive against them.

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 40% increased damage and its cooldown is reduced by 3 seconds.

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

Deal 25% increased damage to enemies while they are marked or Slowed by Singularity Spike.

8.1.

Discussion

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 duel an enemy, granting great sustain from Mending Strikes Icon 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 Icon Void Slash has the potential of dealing a large amount of area of effect damage during teamfights. It is picked along with Greater Cleave Icon Greater Cleave to ease the 2 targets condition. This Talent is necessary with Void Prison Icon 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 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 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 Icon Seeker in the Dark, as the Singularity Spike Icon Singularity Spike duration increase allows you to get more damage out of the Talent. When paired with Twilight Falls Icon Twilight Falls, this Talent grants Zeratul enough damage to kill a priority target in a second.

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 Unwavering Pressure ✘︎
Unwavering Pressure (Level 20) Starcraft Zeratul

Singularity Spike no longer costs Mana. Basic Attacks against enemies reduce its cooldown by 1.25 seconds, double versus Heroes.

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

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.

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

Heal for 60% of Spell Damage dealt to Heroes.

9.1.

Discussion

Twilight Falls Icon 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 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.

Unwavering Pressure Icon Unwavering Pressure is an odd and ultimately very weak Talent. Zeratul's playstyle revolves around burst damage, particularly with the powerful Twilight Falls Icon 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 Icon Shadow Stride cannot compete with Twilight Falls Icon Twilight Falls in a Cleave Icon Cleave or Singularity Spike Icon 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 Icon 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 Icon Void Prison, since you don't have access to Twilight Falls Icon Twilight Falls.

10.

Changelog

  • 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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