Xul is a powerful melee specialist that has the potential to take on most enemy Heroes and win. With unrivalled lane clear thanks to his ability to summon skeletons and cleave minions, there are few who can better him in lane.

Unsurprisingly and as a melee specialist, Xul can struggle against ranged opponents. Fortunately for him he has Bone Armor by default, an active skill that allows him to gain shielding allows him to withstand incoming attacks.

I will add that Xul can be challenging to play against organised teams because as a melee Hero, being on the front line leaves him very vulnerable to spikes and crowd control. Using your ranged poke from Spectral Scythe is the best way of staying alive until you know you can dive in. 

Updated: 23 March 2017



Incredible lane clearing potential thanks to his Trait 

He's very, very mana hungry early game

His AOE cleave against groups of Heroes and Minions is unrivalled 

Super vulnerable to ranged poke from Heroes such as Lunara or Raynor 

Bone Armor at level 1 gives him plenty of survivability 

His Trait is only really useful in lane - out of lane it does nothing 

Poison Nova is an good Heroic for damage and pressure

Bone Prison requires you to be up close and personal, leaving you vulnerable 

His Bone Prison can cause problems for most Heroes 

Poison Nova is easily countered in the current meta


Bone Armor (Active) - Available from level 1, Bone Armor is an active skill that provides Xul with a Shield equal to 25.00% of his maximum Health for 3 seconds. Even if you don't lose that shield when fighting, it will still disappear after the time period. With a lengthy cooldown (30 seconds), you need to ensure you use it at the right moment. When upgraded it can slow attackers, deal damage to them or allow you to evade. 

Raise Skeleton (Trait) - Killing a nearby minion allows Xul to summon a Skeleton Warrior that will fight alongside him for a brief time. Lasting up to 15 seconds you can only have 4 active at any one time, with talents allowing you to upgrade to 6 or have your Skeleton Warrior's explode upon death. You should note that when not in lane, Xul can't really make use of his trait as there are no minions to kill. I'd also recommend that to really maximize your push potential, you need to be rotating between two lines (mid and top or mid and bottom) to ensure a double-push of skeletons. 

Spectral Scythe (Q) - As a medium ranged attack, Spectral Scythe is summoned a distance away from Xul. After a brief pause it will fly back to you, allowing you to deal damage to anyone in its path. It's also important to note that the Scythe will fly back to you regardless of location so if you move to the right spot, it's possible to hit multiple targets regardless of where they move to.

Cursed Strikes (W) - Providing an unrivalled ability to cleave down minions, Cursed Strike allows you to deal AOE damage to enemies in front of you. In addition to this, it also slows down the attack speed of enemies struck by it (40% for 2 seconds). Try to use the ability against groups of enemies, whether Heroes or Minions. Used against melee Heroes, it'll absolutely destroy them (Illidan, Sonya or Butcher). 

Bone Prison (E) - Without doubt one of the strongest abilities in the game, Bone Prison causes a delayed root after two seconds. Unlike other roots that are skill shots, this is targetted meaning if you do land it, it's gaurenteed to trigger. Be sure that your team capitalizes on this. Finally, it's important to note that the range of Bone Prison is tiny so you have to put yourself in harms way to use it. Take care. 

Poison Nova (R) - A point-blank AOE heroic that causes high damage over ten seconds. It causes huge pressure on the enemy team and if used alongside a Mosh Pit or Graviton Surge, you're going to cause significant problems for any team. The one downside to Poison Nova is simply the fact healing over time from heroes such as Malfurion or Lucio mitigate a large chunk of its power. w

Skeletal Mages (R) - Probably the safer of the two heroic abilities, Skeletal Mages casts a line of them at a position of Xul's choosing. While the slow is reasonable (30%) the Skeletal Mages can be easily killed and once they are, enemies are free to move at full speed. A good composition consisting of Li Ming or Kael'thas can burn them down quickly but they still cause trouble for any team as they body block and slow players quickly. 


Level 1: Backlash

Backlash allows Xul to deal 15% maximum health damage to all enemies around him when his Bone Shield is destroyed. It's a massive amount of damage and one that can comfortably eat a chunk of an entire teams health if Xul is in amongst the crowd. 

Variable: Shade is a good talent for Xul and although it adds an extra 10 second cooldown to your Bone Armor, it allows you to avoid all basic attacks for its duration. Against Heroes such as Lunara or Raynor, it allows you to cut through them so easily and mitigate lots of damage. 

Level 4: Trag'Ouls Essence

If you're seeking lane sustain, especially on small maps, take Trag'Oul's Essence. It provides mana every time you kill a minion and pretty much ensures you never have to go back to base.

Variable: Xul lacks ranged poke and his Spectral Scythe is his only means of attacking from afar. Taking Death's Reach allows you to extend its reach by 20%, giving you much more opportunities to deal damage without diving in. 

Level 7: Rathma's Blessing

Building on Tag'Oul's Essence, take Rathma's Blessing for further lane sustain. On top of gaining mana every time you kill a minion, you'll also gain health. Both combined provide amazing lane push.

Variable: Being on the front line during team fights means Xul takes a lot of damage. As is also pretty normal in Heroes of the Storm, players tend to group up. Harvest Vitality allows you to gain health every swing against enemy Heroes, giving you some much needed sustain.

Level 10: Skeletal Mages

Skeletal Mages are amazing versus melee heavy compositions or Heroes that lack mobility. It's also a brilliant tool for area denial and if the mages are left unchecked, does deal good damage.

Variable: Poison Nova is a point blank AOE that deals enormous damage on impact and over time: it's a must. Poison Nova not only pressures enemies but its impact damage is enough to finish many off. The one downside is that a good healer such as Rehgar or Lt. Morales can comfortably heal through the DoT.

Level 13: Corpse Explosion

For pure lane push, Corpse Explosion is fantastic. If you're regularly rotating lanes, you'll push quickly and be able to re-join team fights in no time.

Variable: Further improving Xul's ranged potential, Decrepify causes Spectral Scythe to slow enemies by 40%. It's amazing in team fights, stops players escaping and allows your team to really capitalize on their slow movement.

Level 16: Amplify Damage

A no-brainer, Amplify Damage causes vulnerability on anyone caught by Bone Prizon. 25% extra damage for 2 seconds against a rooted target is amazing and a must-have upgrade.

Variable: If you team is lacking ranged poke, take Flowing Wounds - hitting an enemy Hero with Spectral Scythe reduces its cooldown to 4 seconds.

Level 20: Raised Mage

Raised Mage increases the slow duration of your Heroic from 30 to 50% but also allows you to summon a Skeletal Mage at the location of where an enemy hero dies. It's free damage and an additional body to block shots and cast slows. 

Variable: Against any team with a Healer, it's almost mandatory. Any enemies struck by Spectral Scythe will have their healing reduced by 75% for 4 seconds. Against Malfurion or Rehgar it's just incredible - even more so on maps that need sustain. Take Mortal Wound!


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. For the Heroes listed here, take extra care as they're particularly dangerous for Xul. 



The Butcher: Lamb to the Slaughter combined with Butcher's Brand will absolutely destroy you. Without a means of escaping, you're going to die even if you have Bone Armor. Fortunately you can reduce his attack speed and that's about the best you can hope for. 


Jaina: She's a threat because of her ability to slow you and as a result, you'll struggle to escape or reach her. Although you can survive some of her burst, you'll never reach her. 


Kael'thas: His Gravity Lapse and burst damage will cause you problems. You'll rarely get near a good Kael'thas player and he'll deal tons of damage to you and your skeletons before you get close. 



Lunara: Her damage over time, mobility and range make her a headache - especially now they've fixed her stutter stepping. With no crowd control, you'll have a hard time ever getting near her. 


Li Ming: A teleport, huge range and ridiculously high burst make Li Ming a real threat. Try to avoid her until someone else engages her.  


Raynor: His auto attack damage is enormous and his stun on his knockback can absolutely destroy you. He has better range, can attack quickly and heal himself. Try to avoid or have your team focus him early.



This list of tips and tricks are just a handful of things we think will help your Xul 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. Xul is strongest when in lane thanks to his trait. Be sure to always split-push when you can and force those towers down while your team keeps the enemy busy. 

2. Bone Armor is obtained at level 1 but has a relatively lengthy cooldown. Only use it when you know you need to mitigate damage. 

3. Against single targets Cursed Strike is relatively pointless because the cleave component won't do anything. However, its strength is in the fact that it reduces the attack speed of those affected by 50%. Melt melee Heroes with it. 

4. Bone Prison has a very close range requirement - be sure to use it on squishy targets such as Li Ming or any healer. Have your team attack them once it triggers. 

5. It takes several seconds for Bone Prison to activate. Take this into account when you cast it so the enemy can't move to safety. 

6. Xul is super mana hungry during early game. Only use your skills in lane if you have a fountain or won't need mana for some time. 

7. Any Hero that has serious ranged potential can eat Xul for breakfast, even with his Bone Armor. Play smart and attack them when they're already engaged. 

8. Poison Nova is amazing but only works best against enemies you're right next to. After a Zagara Maw, stand next to it and use Poison Nova when the enemy appears. They'll take enormous damage. 

9. With no mobility skills over extending in lane can cause your death. Once you've cleared a Fort, move down (or up) a lane. 

10. Xul isn't amazing at clearing camps because he can't trigger his trait. If you plan on taking a camp, be sure to have your Bone Armor and cooldowns ready. 

11. Xul pairs amazingly well with Rehgar as his Lightning Shield combined with his Totem slow allows you to deal lots of damage to enemies affected. 

12.  Avoid Lunara. No, seriously. She's a pain in the ass. 

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Last Updated: Mar 23, 2017

About The Author

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