Xul is causing quite a stir in Heroes of the Storm. Many are convinced he’s overpowered and while there’s no doubting the strength of his kit, he does have weaknesses. Unfortunately many people in the game still aren't catching on, so I've put a list together of the best ways to counter him.
It might sound obvious but drafting is a huge part of winning against Xul. His kit revolves around shutting down single targets and specifically, assassins. With his ability to massively reduce your attack speed you need to take this into consideration at the very first draft. There’s no use stacking melee heavy Heroes because he’ll instantly counter them the moment he arrives into a fight. It’s also sensible to choose Heroes that have the ability to become Unstoppable (such as Muradin or Johanna) or ones that have Cleanse (Rehgar or Uther). It’s amazing just how many people still take a handful of melee Heroes when Xul counters them so hard - even today I had my team take Greymane, Thrall and Sonya. Needless to say we got absolutely destroyed.
Go Range Heavy
Perhaps as no surprise, going range heavy across all Hero roles is a huge benefit to any team facing Xul. He’ll still get near some of you, that’s largely inevitable when in a team fight and crowd control is played, but for the most part it ensures he has to dive deep. Li Ming, Lunara, Jaina and Raynor all have exceptional range (or utility) and can comfortably kite Xul without fear of being caught by his Bone Prison. These three Heroes also have good wave clear and can often pressure Xul, clear his skeletons and make their own push once he goes back for a fountain. As long as you stutter-step backwards, to ensure you keep him at a distance - but still damage him - there’s very little he can do.
Bait His Bone Prison
Perhaps one of the more challenging tactics is to intentionally bait his Bone Prison. It’s intentionally putting yourself in harms way, before retreating, in order for your team to pounce on Xul. Primarily you want a tank that’s somewhat mobile, or a Hero capable of quickly moving (such as Lunara). If you can bait his Bone Prison in this way, you know you’ve a window of 12 seconds where he can’t use it again and your team should capitalize on this.
Lane Him In Pairs
Xul can eat many players quite easily 1 on 1, especially if he chooses to have his Bone Prison deal damage. If you’re caught in his Bone Prison, he’s in lane and has all cooldowns available, at the very least you’ll take huge damage. By attacking him in pairs, regardless of Hero choice, you’ll not only be able to survive longer but pressure him back to his own keep.
Pay Attention To His Bone Armor Choice
Your team composition will largely depend on what Bone Armor choice he takes. Most settle for damage or evasion, depending on their situation and both need close attention. If he takes evasion, realise you cannot damage him for several seconds so save your cooldowns. If he takes damage, keep him at arm's length and burst his shield down so it breaks before he reaches you.
Beware Poison Nova
If Xul takes Poison Nova, the worst thing you can do is group up on him. Poison Nova is more likely to hit you and your entire team if you’re closest to the point of impact. If you spread out, it’s fairly easy to avoid as it begins to dramatically widen its arc the further it goes. Better still, nuke him down before he even gets to your front-line by using your tank as a barrier while you attack from afar.
Harrass Him In Lane
The worst thing you can do versus Xul is to let him lane uninterrupted. If you do this, he’ll be knocking on your keep door within minutes. Gank him as much as humanly possible, in the knowledge that he has absolutely no means of escape outside of his Bone Armor. Raynor, Jaina, Muradin and Thrall are particularly good for this (Thrall purely for his root). If you can keep harassing him and killing him off in the process, you’ll stop him from doing what he’s supposed to.
The Best Counters
In no particular order, any of these Heroes are amazing against Xul and are all, with the exception of Rexxar, top tier choices:
- Li Ming
If you can secure these, you’ll be in for a much better time against him and his team.
Have some advice on how to kill and win against Xul? Let me know and I'll add it to the list!
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