Overview

Zul'jin is a ranged assassin that grows in power as he loses his health. His trait provides passive attack speed bonuses when his health is lowered and when activated, instantly boosts his basic attack damage by 25% at a cost of his maximum health. He's effectively a berserker and has to carefully balance his health versus damage output in order to truly maximize his damage. 

In many respects this makes Zul'jin a high risk, high reward Hero. In order to be truly effective with him you have to really push how little health you have as this significantly increases your damage output. At the same time, you need to take care when low health because you can be instantly killed. 

What's particularly interesting about Zul'jin is that one of his abilities allows him to restore his own health, providing some much needed sustain when you've sacrificed your health. Unfortunately it needs to be channeled so once again you'll need to rely on your own intuition as to when to replenish your health, or when to stay and fight.

In comparison to many Heroes I'd consider Zul'jin fairly complex simply because of your need to manage your abilities, trait, healthpool and to still keep an eye on the enemy and their movements. That said, if you can manage to handle all this Zul'jin is incredibly powerful.  

Updated: 25 August 2017

Pros

Cons

Amazing self sustain thanks to Regeneration

Has no default means of keeping enemies in place

Incredible damage when low health

A high risk, high reward Hero

Taz'dingo is a fantastic Heroic

Relies heavily on positioning 

Excellent in lane

Mana intensive if you over-use Regeneration

Pairs brilliantly with Malfurion, Rehgar and Auriel

To be at his strongest he has to have a fraction of health

Trait

 

Berserker (Trait) - When activated Berserker increases Zul'jin's basic attack damage by 25% and begins to deplete his health by 2% per attack. As its passive, you gain 1% attack speed for every 1% of of your maximum health that's missing. Simply put, the less health you have the quicker you'll attack. At the same time, that attack speed - and rapid delivery of basic attacks - will quickly deplete your health. Key to using his trait correctly is knowing when you do or don't need the extra damage. When laning for example, there's no real need for the 25% attack damage increase, but during a team fight you'll want to keep it on at all times until your health gets a little too low. 

Side Note: Zul'Jin has a baseline Quest (You Want Axe?) that allows him to improve his abilities as he plays:

  • !Quest: Every 5 Basic Attacks against Heroes increases your Basic Attack damage by 1
  • !Reward: After landing 75 Basic Attacks on enemy Heroes, increase your Basic Attack range by 1.1
  • !Reward: After landing 150 Basic Attacks on enemy Heroes, your Twin Cleave will revolve twice

Abilities

 

Grievous Throw (Q) - Your primary ability for bolstering your damage, Grievous Throw allows you to strike through two enemies and mark them for 6 seconds. Those marked take 50% bonus damage from your next 3 basic attacks, effectively allowing you to quickly spike someone down. If you also combine this with your trait, your basic attacks deal a huge amount of damage even if the window of opportunity is small. I'd also add that if you can, try to only use Grievous Throw when you know you can land the basics off - without a default slow (or movement speed ability) you can often waste the ability when an enemy moves away. 

 

Twin Cleave (W) - An ability that takes a little practice, Twin Cleave has a unique telegraph and is perfectly circular. You can choose where to position the blades and they fly from Zul'jin out towards the enemy and back in again (like a double boomerang). The damage isn't amazing, but if you manage to hit both axes on the way out and back it's significant. If you can hit multiple targets it can comfortably pressure the enemy while the slow of 15% per axe is helpful when chasing someone down. 

 

Regeneration (E) - Providing Zul'jin with some much needed sustain, Regeneration is a heal over time that needs to be chanelled. If you take damage during it, the heal will fail despite its projected return. If you can, try to always back off when using it or deny line of sight. If you've a strong front line, you can usually get away with quickly firing it off without too much risk. I will add however that by default, it doesn't heal for much but is often enough to keep you topped up. 

 

Taz'dingo! (Heroic) - Without doubt the Heroic of choice, Taz'dingo! provides Zul'jin immunity for 4 seconds. You can still take damage during it, but you can't have your health reduced past 1. What's particularly powerful about Taz'dingo is that it not only mitigates all incoming damage, but often buys you more than enough time to finish an enemy off or to have your team heal/shield you. It's best used just as you're near death so that you gain the full 4 seconds of damage against the enemy. 

Guillotine (Heroic) - Doing exactly what it says on the tin, Guillotine is a high damage Heroic that strikes down near instantly. Its default damage at level 20 is around 500 but if you're on 1% health, reaches as high as 2300 in a single strike. For the most part you aren't ever going to find yourself this low, but it's fairly easy to have its damage increased to at least 1500 when you're at 25% health. Its radius isn't large, and is relatively thin so be careful when aiming it as it's easy to miss with if you cast it in a hurry. 

Talents

Level 1: Boneslicer

Zul'jin relies heavily on Grievous Throw in order to boost his damage, so picking up Boneslicer significantly improves his damage potential. Boneslicer ensures that basic attacks against a target affected by Grievous Throw doesn't remove the buff, allowing Zul'jin to go ham for a full 6 seconds irrespective of how many attacks he lands. It affords him amazing damage potential.

Level 4: Amani Rage

Zul'jin needs to be low on health to really boost his damage potential, so taking Amani Rage provides a much needed - and instant - opportunity to do just that. Using this active Talent instantly reduces his current health by 50%, while healing himself for the same amount over 6 seconds (while also gaining 10 armor). Fundamentally, the 6 second heal over time (with less health) allows you to trigger your Trait to churn out rapid damage quickly, even if you start a fight at full health. 

Variable: Voodoo Shuffle is a great alternative if you're against a slow/root heavy composition (such as Lunara/Rehgar or Malfurion) as it completely removes both debuffs. Best of all, it only has a 10 second cooldown. 

Level 7: Viscious Assault

Increasing Zul'jin's Grievous Throw damage by 30%, Vicious Assault also Zul'jin to deal ridiculous damage. Fundamentally, it allows Zul'jin to deal 80% increased basic without any respite for 6 seconds (as long as he lands his ability). Few Heroes can survive such pressure. 

 

Level 10: Taz'dingo!

A no-brainer. Taz'dingo! provides amazing survivability and can comfortably allow you to kill an opponent who might have thought he'd killed you, while it also ensures you can get out of a variety of bad situations due to the 4 seconds of complete mitigation.

Level 13: Eye of Zul'jin

Eye of Zul'jin allows Zul'jin to gain 2% movement speed for each basic attack he lands. Considering the speed at which Zul'jin can attack when low health and during a team fight, it's fairly easy to reach significant speeds incredibly quickly. It's great for allowing him to reposition, or to escape when super low.

Level 16: No Mercy

Building further on Grievous Throw, No Mercy allows him to bypass the armor of any enemies struck by the ability. Considering Uther and Garrosh are so heavily in the meta right now, anything that renders armor useless is exceptional. 

Variable: Against a team with little access to armor bonuses, take Let the Killing Begin. It allows Zul'jin to instantly gain 40% attack speed when he kills an enemy Hero, while killing enemies provides a 5% stack for 12 stacks. 

Level 20: Amani Resilience

Boosting Taz'dingo!, Amani Resilience returns 50% of the damage dealt during your Heroic back to you once it expires. Considering your potential damage output when on 1% health (with your crazy attack speed) allows you to gain back some much needed health once it expires. 

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

Hero

Threat 

Cassia: Blinds, ranged poke and mitigation when moving. She's a good counter. 8/10
Genji: Simply because Zul'jin regularly has to be at very low health, Genji can sweep in and kill you instantly - from far away with his Swift Strike.  8/10

Illidan: Evade, self healing, mobility, damage - he's a headache you just can't get rid of and your self-sustain won't save you if caught without Blast Wave.

8/10

Kael'thas: Living Bomb when you're low health will kill you every time, especially if Taz'dingo! is on cooldown. 8/10
Li Ming: Her range, combined with the fact you're often low health, can see you die and reset her trait constantly. 8/10

Lunara: Her mobility, nuisance poison and vision make her a challenge for Zul'jin. You can poke her down, but she can comfortably harrass you as well. 

8/10

Samuro: His decoys are a real pain and it's often difficult to track which is which. Even if you do identify the real one, he'll comfortably escape before returning for you. 8/10

Thrall: His root, ranged poke and self healing are very difficult to deal with. If he uses Earthquake you'll struggle to disengage and he'll happily cut through your health.

8/10

The Butcher: His healing is better than yours and if he uses his Heroic to silence you, you're in serious trouble. 

9/10

Varian: His Parry, Charge (stun) and either Heroic (Colossus Smash or Fury) will destroy you very quickly.  8/10

Tips

This list of tips and tricks are just a handful of things we think will help your Zul'jin 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. Remember that your trait only reduces your health when you use basic attacks. You can keep it on as long as you wish if you aren't attacking.

2. When laning, I'd recommend you don't use your trait. The damage bonus is nice, but you'll quickly sacrifice your health and mana. 

3. Zul'jin is mana intensive if you're constantly using Regeneration. Try to use health globes/fountains to keep your mana topped up, instead of automatically using the ability.

4. I wouldn't recommend using Grievous Throw or Twin Cleave when laning. Neither offer amazing clear and will simply waste your mana. It's more efficient to just use your basic attacks.

5. Regeneration will project your health return and if you take damage during the channel, you'll only get a portion back based on how long you did manage to channel for. Try to always complete the channel (or there abouts) to ensure your mana isn't wasted. 

6. If you attempt to use Regenerate and take damage, it will still go on cooldown. 

7. When you reach 1 health with your trait active you won't die and it will stay on. 

8. Zul'jin only attacks quicker when he lowers his health. At 1 health you'll have (by default) 100% extra attack speed.

9. Zul'jin pairs incredibly well with Heroes such as Brightwing, Tassadar, Rehgar and Malfurion. They can constantly supply him with a steady stream of healing, allowing him to comfortably keep himself alive.

10. Rehgar paired with Zul'jin using Bloodlust is outrageous. His health return makes him near unstoppable if he's already low health.

11. Try to use Twin Cleave when enemies are grouped together or running away. You can aim the blades as they arc out, so aim slightly ahead of your target.  

12. Grievous Blade can strike two enemies at once. If you're doing a camp, ensure you line up your shot to debuff two - allowing you to then deal maximum damage against both. 

13. Zul'jin excels on Battlegrounds where he can attack a single target continuously. On Battlefield of Eternity for example, if he's low health he can rip them down in seconds. 

14. Remember that once Taz'dingo! ends and until you're level 20, you will still have 1 health. Be sure to position yourself so that when it does end, you can quickly use Regeneration. 


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Last Updated: Oct 20, 2017

About The Author

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

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