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Xul, the Necromancer – Developer Comments, Talents, Release Date

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  • 22/02/2016

xul hots

Diablo 2 players are likely overly excited after Blizzard’s announcement about the new hero in the Nexus. Necromancer Xul joins us along with Diablo III wizard Li-Ming. With Li-Ming already being in the game for a couple of weeks, it’s soon time for the necromancer Xul, who will likely join us on March 1st, 2016.Our Heroes of the Storm boost team brings you some cool info. We can’t wait to see how will he position in our Heroes of the Storm Tier List.

Blizzard’s Jade Martin on Xul

Potential builds?
Xul has a wide build diversity. You can build him into a great split pusher and sieger, a high-sustain damage dealer, or a specialist that will debuff the enemy team. If you don’t go for a skeleton build (split pushing build) you want him either fully damage built or a full utility build for debuffing the enemy team. My favorite build would likely be the Spectral Scythe [Q] build even tho I prefer to build situationally, I love the high reward when you land those reverse Q skillshots!

Role in the current meta? Who does he counter? Who counters him?
We still do not know how will players utilise him in current meta, we’re very interested to see where he lands, his [W] Cursed Strike makes him great against auto attackers like Illidan, Thrall and Raynor.
Heroes that can keep distance and kite are counters to Xul, such as Lunara and the mages, but if Xul can handle a good flank and catch them with his Bone Prison, they’re in trouble. Xul is great in teams with Kael’Thas, Muradin or Johanna.Those heroes have longer range CC abilities that allow him to more easily land his Bone Prison. Xul’s role in the teamfights depends on what kind of composition is the team running, but I can say that he is great in peeling squishy allies, locking down enemy carries, dealing DPS and applying curses.

Can we hear more on the skeleton mechanics? Are they just going to run straight through the lane or follow him around? Will there be more heroes with similar mechanics?
Whenever an enemy minion dies it will raise a skeleton that will push the lane nearest to Xul, if a minion dies far from the lane it will attack nearby enemies before running to the lane. We decided this is the best course of action because if a large number of skeletons followed Xul to teamfights it would make a really big mess on the screen. We currently do not have plans for heroes with similar mechanics but, why not?

Can you tell us more about his curse?
His [W] Cursed Strikes when activated, for the next 4 seconds his basic attacks cleave and apply a debuff that leaves a 50% attack speed reduction on enemies for 2 seconds. And you can upgrade the curse via talents for more curses.

Will he have any interactions with Leoric?
Yep! When he kills Leoric he will do a taunt, spoilers alert ;).

Advice for new Xul players?
I strongly suggest you consider what does your team need, a split pusher, a damage dealer or a specialist debuffing? After you answer that, remember that positioning is the key to play Xul, he has low mobility and being at the right place at the right time is crucial.

Xul Abilities

TRAIT
Raise Skeleton: When a nearby enemy Minion dies, it becomes a Skeletal Warrior for 15 seconds. Up to 4 Skeletal Warriors can be active at once.

BASIC ABILITIES
[1] Bone Armor: Activate to gain a Shield equal to 25% of your maximum Health for 3 seconds.
[Q] Spectral Scythe: Summon a scythe at target location that travels toward you after a 1-second delay, damaging enemies in its path.
[W] Cursed Strikes: Once activated, your Basic Attacks over the next 4 seconds deal damage in a wide arc and reduce the Attack Speed of enemies hit by 50% for 2 seconds.
[E] Bone Prison: After a 2-second delay, root target enemy in place for 2 seconds.

HEROIC ABILITIES
[R] Poison Nova: After a short delay, release poisonous missiles that deal massive poison damage over 10 seconds to all enemies hit.
[R] Skeletal Mages: Summon 4 Skeletal Mages in a line that attack nearby enemies and slow them by 30% for 2 seconds. Lasts up to 15 seconds.

xul hots

Xul Talents

Level 1

[Active] Backlash: When Bone Armor expires, nearby enemies take 15% of their maximum Health as damage.
[Active] Shackler: While Bone Armor is active, nearby enemies are slowed by 30% for 1 second.
[Active] Shade: While Bone Armor is active, nearby enemies are slowed by 30% for 1 second.

LEVEL 4

[Q] Death’s Reach: Increase Spectral Scythe range by 20%.
[E] Jailors: Bone Prison summons 2 Skeletal Warriors that fixate on the target for 15 seconds. These Skeletal Warriors do not count toward your maximum Raise Skeleton count.
[Trait] Trag’Oul’s Essence: Raise Skeleton restores Mana.

LEVEL 7

[W] Harvest Vitality: Cursed Strikes Heal you for each enemy Hero hit.
[W] Weaken: Increases Cursed Strikes attack speed slow to 75%.
[Trait] Rathma’s Blessing: Gain health whenever a skeleton is summoned.

LEVEL 10

[R1] Poison Nova: Poison enemies around you.
[R2] Skeletal Mages: Summon Frost Mages to damage and slow enemies.

LEVEL 13

[Q] Decrepify: Spectral Scythe slows enemies by 40% for 3 seconds.
[W] Giant’s Curse: Cursed Strikes deal an additional 2% of an enemy hero’s maximum Health as damage.
[Trait] Corpse Explosion: Skeletal Warriors explode on death, dealing damage in a small area. Damage is doubled vs. non-heroic enemies.

LEVEL 16

Executioner: Basic attacks deal 40% more damage against slowed, rooted, or stunned targets.
[Q] Flowing Wounds: Reduces Spectral Scythe’s cooldown by 4 seconds if it hits an enemy Hero.
[E] Amplify Damage: Enemies rooted by Bone Prison become Vulnerable for 2 seconds, taking 25% increased damage.
[Trait] Skeleton Mastery: Increases maximum Skeletal Warrior count to 6 and increases their damage by 100%.

LEVEL 20

LEVEL 20
[R1] Call of the Grave: Enemies hit by Poison Nova now also take an additional 1% of their maximum Health as damage every second.
[R2] Raised Mage: When a nearby enemy Hero dies, a Frost Mage will rise from the corpse to fight for you. Also increases Frost Mage slow amount to 50%.
[Q] Mortal Wound: Enemies hit by Spectral Scythe receive 75% reduced healing for 4 seconds.
[Active] Bone Spear: Deal damage to enemies in a line.

What kind of build will you play? Our HotS boost team hasn’t decided yet, we’re going to wait before we see the actual numbers in the game. We reckon this could be a great release just like Li-Ming, Likely Tier 1 or 2 in our HotS Tier List.

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