Heroes of The Storm: Zul’Jin, Warlord of The Amani Kingdom – ReviewMalaya
Zul’Jin, The Chieftain Of The Amani Tribe Has Arrived With A Vengeance!
“Dis… was our land. Troll land. We, Amani was here before ANYONE! Da elves and their Alliance came ta drive us out. But we never give up. We never forget. Da elves took my eye. I cut off my own arm to escape dem. And now, dey fight alongside the Horde?! I spit on de Horde! I hate you… I hate you all. But I got a surprise for ya now… so come on in. De Amani never give up! We never forget! We never die. Dis is our land. You wanna stay, you stay here forever! We gonna bury you here.”
Zul’jin is the latest hero to arrive in the game Heroes of The Storm on 6th January 2016. Hailing from the Amani kingdom in the ever popular World of Warcraft universe, Zul’jin, the Amani chieftain, is the first troll hero to have joined the game. Formerly allied to the Horde in the Second War, the troll tribe found themselves without their lands after being invaded and destroyed by the Alliance and the Elves. Having escaped with his life, Zul’jin now find his former ally, the Horde, in good terms with the Elves. No wonder, he despises heroes like Thrall and Kael’Thas in game!
Having so much orc’s in game already such as Samuro and Rehgar, Blizzard has done a great job in bringing the first troll into the game. The model of the character is based on Warcraft 2 version of Zul’jin rather than the more recent one in WOW. I think this is a good thing as it means he has both arms and both eyes! The base skin is well designed and has good details, and many argue, is better than Samuro and Varian. The smooth animation of the hero, the cool forest tribal music, voice acting and even the hero’s splash screen, is some of the best to come in recent times. It captures the feel of the heroes perfectly and definitely gives it a flavor of what a forest troll feels like. The Emberlord Zul’jin bundle skin that comes with it is also a great addition, especially with the cool Amani War Bear mount. So, top marks here!
And, without further ado, let’s take a look at his abilities.
Hero Abilities Overview
- Activate to increase Basic Attack damage by 25% but consume 2% of your maximum Health per attack.
- Passive: Zul’jin attacks 1% faster for every 1% of maximum Health missing.
This one of a kind trait is what makes Zul’jin special. He deals more damage the lower his HP is. More details will be explained at the Hero Playstyle section next.
Grievous Throw (Q)
- Zul’jin throws an axe forward, dealing damage to the first 2 enemies hit and marking them for 8 seconds. Marked enemies take 50% bonus damage from Zul’jin’s next 3 Basic Attacks against them.
Zul’jin throws an axe in a straight line. It is a rather easy to land skillshot. This is his instant burst ability allowing his subsequent Auto Attacks to deal 50% more damage. It is a good ability to use during 1v1 dueling, or as a way to scare off enemy. As once marked, usually enemy hero will not stay to fight and take the additional damage. Due to Zul’jin mana shortages, it is not recommended to use this ability to poke too often unless the enemy is already committed to the fight.
At Level 13, the talent Eye of Zul’jin, allows him to have increased 25% movement speed for 2 second if the skill hit an enemy hero. Making it able to serve as a mini escape ability for Zul’jin. More details of this in the next section, Zul’jin’s Weaknesses and Strong Enemy Counter.
Twin Cleave (W)
- Throw 2 axes in a large circular arc, dealing damage and slowing affected enemies by 15% per axe for 2 seconds.
Zul’jin weaves 2 razor blades through the air in a circular motion. It has fixed range and seems rather weird at first. But once you are used to it, it is great. It has good range and is quite instant in hitting your enemy, leaving them with little time to evade it. It has a slow effect on enemy hit, 15% per axe, up to 30% untalented for 2 seconds. So it can also act as a mini escape ability to slow down chasing enemy by casting it sideways instead of the normal frontal direction.
- Channel Zul’jin channels to regenerate 25% of his maximum Health over 4 seconds. Moving or taking damage while channeling will interrupt this effect.
This is Zul’jin out of combat sustain ability. It is interrupted by taking damage, moving or performing any actions. Even talented, it is still interrupted by taking damage, making it unlikely to be useful during combat. This highlight the core design of Zul’jin as being a high damage hero with little sustain (HP regeneration) during combat that requires player to balance dealing more damage versus preserving their safety (by having higher HP).
If Zul’jin is being focused during combat, this ability will not help at all as taking any damage will cancel the HP regeneration and trigger a cute tribal theme sound effect instead.
- Zul’jin is Unkillable for the next 4 seconds, and cannot be reduced to less than 1 Health. Taz’dingo!
Tazzzz’ DINGO! The core of Zul’jin Auto Attack based build! It does not reduce damage taken, but in that 4 seconds of effect, Zul’jin will be unkillable. It is an amazing ability that when timed right, can score many flashy kills. This ability also has great sound effect!
- Zul’jin throws a massive guillotine blade into the sky that crashes down on enemies in the targeted area. The lower Zul’jin’s Health, the more damage it deals.
Guillotine is a long range small AOE (area of effect) nuke. Its damage starts small, but scale exponentially to stratospheric level when Zul’jin is at very low health. It is great as a finishing ability to kill hero, especially low health assassin enemy heroes. Just like Chromie’s Dragon Breath’s ability, enemy cannot see where this skill will land. However, this option lacks the survivability that Taz’dingo! provides.
Next, lets dive into the hero’s playstyle.
Now, how does the hero play like? In essence, Zul’jin is auto attack based ranged assassin, with some cool ability damage. Not too unlike a hero like Valla and perhaps, an advanced Raynor. Blizzard says he is an easy to learn but hard to master hero. And I definitely agree. Zul’jin is a medium difficulty hero, that has a higher skill cap that belies its simplicity.
Zul’jin’s Strength and Good Ally Teammates
Zul’jin is a high risk high reward kind of hero. Unique in the way of his Trait: Berserker, which has can be activated on the fly to deal more damage and also more attack speed the lower his health is. Essentially, Zul’jin is the first hero in the game that becomes more dangerous (with higher damage and faster attack speed) the closer he is to death. This makes it an important skill for the player, to balance HP level and damage level. And this balancing act, is what makes Zul’jin a tough hero to master and highlights his high risk high reward playstyle.
But high risk high reward is what makes Zul’jin such an amazingly fun hero and so satisfying when you get it right. His Trait: Berserker, essentially turns him from a sustain damage hero at the beginning when his HP is high, to a dangerously (for both enemy and Zul’jin himself) bursty damage hero capable of deleting any enemy foolish enough to be in his line of attacks, from the battleground. What also makes it awesome is that trait can be switch on or off almost instantly without delay, providing a great flexibility on how player would like to balance the damage/HP ratio.
Zul’jin also has multiple viable talent build. One that is focused fully on Auto Attacks and incorporates Taz’dingo! as the Heroic ability and another that focused on bursting enemy with Twin Cleave ability and Guillotine as heroic. Zul’jin has different build that can adapt to more tank/melee assassin heavy team or a team of mostly ranged assassin.
Due to the HP draining nature of his trait, hero that provide shield are good partners to Zul’jin. Tassadar, Medivh and Zarya are good partners. Because shield allow him to be tankier without sacrificing his attack speed and damage. Malfurion is good too because his heals are gradual over time, which allows Zul’jin to stay low HP for damage while slowly healing up. Rehgar’s Ancestral Healing, Tyrael’s Sanctification and Uther’s Divine Shield are good follow up to Taz’dingo! Ancestral Healing provides a big burst heal to save Zul’jin from the danger of dying, while the latter two heroic abilities simply provide a longer duration Invulnerable which works like extending his Taz’dingo. Perfect combo.
Zul’jin’s Weaknesses and Strong Enemy Counter
One of his weaknesses is lacking escape ability. This means, Zul’jin is a hero that requires good positioning sense or risk getting focused and killed easily by enemy. Fans of AA heroes like Raynor, Valla, Lunara and Sgt Hammer can rejoice. He has some similarity to them. In fact, he is like a much harder Valla in my humble personal opinion. And strangely, he also has mana issues. Player who constantly spam his basic abilities, especially the Regeneration (E), will find themselves running out of mana quickly before HP becomes an issue. Player will need to know how often they can use their abilities during the poking phase of the game and also be wise in gathering regen globes to prevent having to hearth back to Nexus too often.
Zul’jin lack of mobility means he is susceptible to CC (crowd control, such as stuns, roots, and slows). In view of this, an enemy hero like Muradin, and E.T.C can give Zul’jin a hard time. Diving hero like Illidan is also a strong counter hero to Zul’jin. Illidan can stun or dive into Zul’jin while using his Evasion to fully dodge his Auto Attacks. He can also heal while attacking, making him a formidable opponent against Zul’jin.
Also, Brightwing and Medivh can be strong counter because both have polymorph capability, which can effectively get Zul’jin out of his Taz’dingo 4 seconds invincibility (unkillable status). Since Taz’dingo is usually activated at low health to prevent dying, this Polymorph ability can potentially be used as a way to easily kill a low HP Zul’jin by denying or cancelling Taz’dingo!
Zul’jin challenges players to find a good balance of his damage/HP, strike a good positioning sense and have a good mana management. From the teammate perspectives, Zul’jin is a hero that demands right timing from the support player on how and when to heal him. He also requires a good tank that can distract enemy and peel well (save teammate) as partner to compensate for his lack of mobility and escapes.
In essence, Zul’jin is a fun hero to play with layers of depth to his gameplay and skills. He can be a strong and incredibly rewarding hero to play, capable of nice flashy plays of multiple takedowns with a well-timed use of the right skills and timing. Or he can be a difficult hero to master, dying lots of time and a source of frustration. But with practice, Zul’jin will be a powerful hero in your arsenal.
Written by FieRyACE18, an avid gamer and enthusiast of Heroes of The Storm who can’t get enough of heroes kills in game that he must write an article on it.