Overview

Kerrigan is a powerful melee assassin that is capable of dealing high single target damage but also controlling the battlefield thanks to her pull and stun. In a team fight she can prevent any opposing player escaping and with her trait, she can shield herself by dealing damage. The one major downside to Kerrigan is that outside of Queen's Reach, she has no real means of escape unless she specifically talents for Adaptation (Ravage leap). That said, she brings a great deal of utility to her team thanks to her pull and this alone can cause great difficulty for any team. Unsurprisingly and like most melee Heroes she relies on good positioning and a solid engage. 

Updated: 14 March 2017

Pros

Cons

Very high single target damage late game 

She has no reliable means of escape unless you talent for it 

Her Primal Grasp "pull" is invaluable in a team fight 

She needs to perfectly time her pull and stun for maximum impact

Her stun from Impaling Blades is also incredibly strong 

Neither of her Heoric abilities are amazing

She can comfortably solo lane thanks to her self shielding 

Fighting for a place against Butcher, Thrall and Varian

Abilities

Assimilation (Trait) - Assimilation allows Kerrigan to gain 100% of her damage deal from basic attacks as shielding. The key to it being strong is the fact the amount returned is doubled against Heroes. Although it won't keep you permanently alive if someone is beating on you, it does provide you with some valuable mitigation and allows you to go toe to toe against most Heroes. 

Ravage (Q) - Her only source of mobility, Ravage is a leap that deals high damage on impact and the ability resets if you kill your target. When talented, it can be used on allies to allow you to easily escape (similar to Kharazim's Dash). I must stress that to simply Ravage into a fight, with little thought for positioning or whether you can make it out after the dive will almost always see you killed (or seriously harmed). Ravage is a ability that's based on committing to a fight - if you're leaping in, you need to be killing the target or ensuring that your team is following up behind you. 

Impaling Blades (W) - Kerrigan's W places a trap on the floor that springs blades after a brief pause. It stuns those hit for 1 second, regardless of how many people are on it. It's best used just before Primal Grasp so you pull players onto it. The ability rotation however (Ravage > Impaling Blades > Primal Grasp) does take practice but is fundamental to her play.

Primal Grasp (E) - Undoubtedly her strongest ability, Primal Grasp allows Kerrigan to pull any enemies and Heroes caught in its grip. It's range is good, and you can grab a whole team if they're grouped together. Paired with Impaling Blades, it's an awesome spike that causes high damage while drawing enemy players significantly out of position. There is a slight delay as you cast Primal Grasp so be sure to take this into account when attempting to land it. If you can, you should always attempt to pull a high value target. At the very least and if you land your full attack chain, they'll take huge damage. 

Maelstrom (R) - Arguably the better of her two Heoric abilities, Maelstrom deals damage per second and you can still use your abilities during it. It's effectively a glorified damage over time ability that lasts for 7 seconds. Its damage output isn't huge, but if you're in amongst the enemy it provides a reasonable amount of additional pressure. Just don't use it too early - preferrably before your first Ravage. 

Ultralisk (R) -  Great against beginner teams or when soloing, Ultralisk allows you and your creature to deal huge damage against a single target. Unfortunately, it's also really squishy and most compotent teams will blow it up instantly. While it does have value in 1 on 1 situations, due to the abundance of AOE skills in Heroes of the Storm they never last long. At its best, it's reasonably good for zoning an enemy Support so they have to retreat or pay attention to killing it. 

Talents

Level 1: Sharpened Blades

Increasing the damage of your Impale by 30%, this allows for a huge burst of damage against one or multiple opponents. It's part of the reason why Kerrigan has such high win rates at the moment. Sharpened Blades is a must.

Variable: Energizing Grasp reduces the mana cost of Primal Grasp by 75%. Kerrigan is mana hungry and relies almost entirely on Primal Grasp to be viable. Without it, she can't follow up and Ravage alone offers little. Reducing its mana requirement to a fraction of the original cost allows you to engage much more often. 

Level 4: Psionic Pulse

The primary reason why Kerrigan is so strong right now (alongside Sharpened Blades), Psionic Pulse deals huge damage to anyone caught in Primal Grasp. By level 20 it's well over 500 damage that when combined with Impale allows you to melt just about anyone. 

Variable: Whether you're in lane or diving into a team fight, Kerrigan relies heavily on her basic attacks once her abilities have been used. Splashing all those around her for 60% of her basic attack damage is solid AOE pressure. Fury of the Swarm is also great for clearing minions quickly, especially if soloing a camp.

Level 7: Blade Momentum

Kerrigan relies massively on her abilities so having their cooldowns reduced by 0.6 every basic attack you make is significant. Considering the amount of time you should be dealing basic attack damage, Blade Momentum shaves considerable time off your cooldowns. 

Variable: Your only real means of escape, Adaption allows you to use Ravage on an ally to leap to them. It's invaluable for allowing you to escape and much needed when you have to retreat. Best of all, it reduces by cooldown of Ravage by 50% when you leap to an ally and returns 100% of the mana cost. 

Level 10: Maelstrom 

The best of two poor Ultimate abilities, Maelstrom allows you to deal persistent damage around yourself. It's not mind-blowingly good, but it's a fair bit of damage and gives you reasonable shielding return. Combined with your splash damage from Fury of the Swarm, Kerrigan can offer valuable AOE pressure. 

Level 13: Double Strike

Similarly to other Heroes who have talents that increase their basic attack damage after using a skill, Double Strike boosts Kerrigan's by 75% once she has used a skill. It takes practice to truly maximize Double Strike's potential, simply because you have to get into the habit of using a skill, using a basic attack and then using another skill. It can also pose some problems for your rotation of Primal Grasp > Impaling Blades. With practice however it's well worth the additional damage output. 

Variable: Providing a 30% movement speed increase instantly, Queen's Rush provides some much needed mobility outside of Ravage and best of all, if you kill someone you automatically gain the buff. It allows you to hunt down players easily and snowball on your first kill.

Level 16: Essence For Essence

Essence for Essence is great as it provides a significant amount of shielding based on the damage you dealt with the blade (10% of the Heroes maximum health is is doubled and returned as shielding). It's a huge amount of instant sustain and can be invaluable at the start of a fight, as it gives you a solid bank of shielding to then build on with your basic attacks. 

Variable: Increasing your shield amount from your Trait by 100%, Aggressive Defense provides some much needed protection. Considering your Trait already doubles its potency against Heroes, this talent allows for huge amounts of shielding that last a long time. 

Level 20: Bolt of the Storm

A guarenteed means of escape for Kerrigan, Bolt of the Storm allows you to move out of harms way when you need to and with Leoric ever popular, it's awesome for escaping Entomb or just avoid a burst of damage. 

Variable: Having your basic attack damage increased by 20%, while causing a slow by 20% for 1 second, is significant. Nexus Blades is a very offensive talent choice that boosts your significantly damage end game.  

Matchups

These Hero Threat Levels (1 being lowest threat and 10 being highest threat) are to help you determine which enemy Heroes can give you a headache. Any Heroes that aren't on this list are easy pickings for Kerrigan. If a Hero is listed here, take greater care.

Hero

Threat 

Murky: If he keeps dodging your combo (which he easily can) he will slowly kill you with slime, a Puffer Fish and Octograb. 

7/10

Thrall: His Feral Spirit combined with self healing means he'll often beat you 1 on 1, even with your shielding. His Windfury and Chain Lightning offers too greater damage. 

7/10

The Butcher: Lamb to the Slaughter, his Butcher's Brand and Onslaught mean that The Butcher, 1 on 1, is a huge counter to Kerrigan. You can't escape him and you can't kill him. 

9/10

Brightwing: Although she won't technically kill you, Brightwing is a hard counter to Kerrigan with her Polymorph. The moment you dive into combat, she'll Polymorph you and then you're in serious trouble. 

7/10

Jaina: Her slows, Water Elemental (should she take it) and her range make her incredibly annoying to fight against. A skilled Jaina can dodge your combo or keep you far enough away that you'll never reach her. 

8/10

Tracer: You literally can't do anything against her. Her mobility and ability to attack while moving make it impossible for Kerrigan to do anything.  9/10
Tychus: Similarly to Tracer, he has a lot of mobility but somewhat slower. Despite that, he can use Overkill to pressure you - has a grenade to knock you back and deals solid basic attack damage.  8/10
Varian: Simply because of his self sustain and stun on Colossus Smash, he's outrageously strong against Kerrigan.  10/10

Tips

This list of tips and tricks are just a handful of things we think will help your Kerrigan play. We'll continue to add to the list as required and if you have any tips you'd like to share, let us know in the comments below and we'll place them here. 


1. Your most important attacking rotation is Ravage > Impaling Blades > Primal Grasp. It deals huge damage to just about anyone or at the very least, allows your team to. 

2. Even though you gain shielding from your trait, the gain isn't huge so you should still be cautious when 1v1ing someone. 

3. Try to use Maelstrom when you're near enemies as you don't move quickly and the radius isn't huge. 

4. Primal Grasp is mana efficient for clearing minion waves now that you gain mana return on enemies hit - combined with the DOT, it's easy to solo lane. 

5. Try to position yourself in a fight so you can leap in with Ravage on the squishiest target, and follow up quickly with Impaling Blades > Primal Grasp. 

6. Remember that later game you can use Ravage to leap to allies if you talent for it. It will save your life. 

7. If Jaina is on your team and she has Water Elemental, Summon Ultralisk can also work as two AI opponents on the battleground bolsters your teams damage output. 

8. Never dive into a fight first. You'll just die and be unable to get away. Wait for your Warrior. 

9. Primal Grasp and Impaling Blades is a lengthy period of crowd control. The pull and stun prevents enemy action for at least 2 seconds - more than enough to deal massive damage. 


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Last Updated: Mar 14, 2017

About The Author

Burnell 1
Lover of all things MOBA, Lewis splits his time between Heroes of the Storm, Paragon and SMITE.

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