Zeratul is the famous dark templar from the Starcraft franchise. In heroes of the storm he’s a stealth assassin in every bit of his play style. If you like sneaking up on a squishy who finds themselves alone or over-extended then this is the hero and build for you! For more of the basics on Zeratul you can check out the BlizzPro hero page here.
Permanent Cloak – (Passive Trait) This is what makes Zeratul the hero that he is. Use the stealth to your advantage by keep the opponents guessing when it comes to your position. Trees and fog are also great tools for sneaking because the shimmer becomes harder to pinpoint. Be wary of the shimmer because observant enemies might use it to give you away. The shimmer is bigger on a big mount so technically the best mount for this character is either Wonder Billy or Billy the Kid.
Cleave – (Q) Good AOE burst that is a nice trigger for the follow through talent. This is Zeratul’s only real wave clear so if needed it can be used for that. Its good to hit a nice cleave then follow it up with an auto attack then Singularity Spike then wormhole away. This will force the enemy to deal with the full brunt of Zeratul’s talents and damage without much time to react.
Singularity Spike – (W) A nice skill shot that does good damage especially when he acquires Double Bombs at 16. Practice hitting your targets with the range on Singularity Spike to maximize Zerutal’s damage and killing potential.
Blink – (E) An amazing escape and engage tool. When combined with Wormhole this talent makes Zeratul a very hard target to take down. Blinking away and having the chance to mount up after dumping a bunch of damage on an opponent will allow for a quick reposition. This will keep the enemy frustrated and guessing.
Shadow Assault – (R) Meh. It does damage I guess but it takes away the whole point of being Zeratul. Your job is surprise harass then escape and reset to do it again. Chasing down people is other heroes jobs and will often get Zeratul killed when he does it. I never take this.
Void Prison – (R) An amazing ultimate that can drastically change the outcome of an engage. Use this to split up enemies or set them up for a nice aoe combo. It can also be used to provide escape for an engage gone wrong. The key to this ultimate is practice because a bad Void Prison can save enemies or split up your allies which is pretty terrible. I take this every time because a few good ones can win you the game.
Regeneration Master – This is a great talent for Zeratul because he will roam a lot early and can be stealthy about grabbing the globes. If you get a lot of globes the payoff it huge because it will allow for some nice regen while he remains stealthed hunting for his next kill.
Focused Attack – This is a big damage increase to Zeratul and is a no question talent pick in my book. Zeratul’s AA damage scales well into the late game and Focused Attack will drastically increase that. Since Zeratul is best at bursting then poking and harassing for takedowns this is the skill that helps with that play style the most.
Follow Through – Almost the same reason you take Focused Attack you take this. The recent changes to follow through made it a very strong pick and it’s why Zeratul has seen more play and is enjoying a higher win rate in the current meta. The combo described in the Cleave ability section of this guide maximizes all of these talent picks to really up the burst damage Zeratul is capable of.
Void Prison – see heroic abilities section.
Wormhole – This really brings Zeratul’s surprise burst game to a whole new level because Blink becomes an initiation/escape tool all at once. Practice getting your combo off before the Wormhole expires and you will frustrate the opponent to no end. This allows you to put quick damage on a target and get away to safety so in my book it’s a must pick.
Double Bombs – This ups Zeratul’s combo damage and is something I like taking for that little extra bit. If you find the enemies are too mobile to hit with the second bomb the Rending cleave is also a good option. If you’ve found yourself the focus of the enemy because of a hero like Tassadar then Stoneskin isn’t a terrible choice either.
Nexus Blades – This will help you hit that second bomb because of the slow Nexus Blades adds and increase Zeratul’s already impressive AA damage. This is a great talent for this build but if you decided to go Gathering Power/First Aid then Rewind is a better choice.
Early game is all about roaming and trying to pick off squishy targets who stay in their lane too long or overextend. Team communication over a mic can help with something like this but if it’s not an option just try not to waste movement and pay attention to the map. Also don’t forget to grab globes because it will pay off big in the late game.
Mid- late game becomes about not getting in the middle of giant skirmishes and picking off priority targets hiding in the enemies back line. You want to be in team fights but not make your presence felt until you can get a kill on someone like Sylvanas or Jaina or Kael’thas or Tyrande or nail a decisive Void Prison that ensures a favorable engagement.
Overall Zeratul requires a lot of practice but has a huge payoff in this meta. He is a great character for frustrating weak minded players and putting them on tilt. Just remember to focus the squishy assassin and your team will thank you. I hope you enjoyed reading and were able to learn something from this guide. As always come back next week for another guide from BlizzPro and leave all comments and feedback below.