Get rank 1 with Zagara (some tips)

Zagara is one of the strongest laners in Heroes of the Storm. Her ability to bully people out of experience range is fantastic and lets you generate an experience lead from level one and once you have this lead, it only gets worse for her opponents. I played Zagara a lot during my climb to rank one and now use her as a situational pick on certain maps as I do with most heroes. While I feel she can usually be picked safely into most lineups, there are some maps that she excels on. Here are some tips on how to play Zagara and how to avoid traps that a lot of new players make when playing her.

What maps should Zagara be picked on

As stated earlier, Zagara is a strong pick on any map. However, I feel that on Blackheart’s Bay and Dragon Shire she is an insta-pick as she can scout and control the objectives so effectively. On Blackheart’s Bay, spread your creep across the chest and the surrounding area and your team will always be able to react to enemies going to turn in coins. On Dragon Shire, place creep around the central area and then take up position in the top or bottom lane and control that capture point. Your creep will provide vital intelligence regarding your enemies whereabouts and allow your teammates to act accordingly.

Cursed Hollow might be Zagara’s weakest map as you cannot predict where the tribute will spawn, however, her pushing power can be very useful still and the top and bottom lane are very short which allows very aggressive play and bullying during the lane phase.

Be sensibly aggressive in lane

zagara gain rank

Zagara players must not only be aggressive but also able to run away when required.

This is the most important tip for laning with Zagara. Play aggressive and force rotations from the enemy team to try and stop you (more on this later). You should be to looking to put yourself between the enemy and their creeps wherever possible in order to deny experience, if they are denied of experience then they are essentially useless during the early stage of the game.

The playing sensibly part is also important. If the enemy laner has been playing passively (most have no choice but to do so) then suddenly starts duelling you, expect a roamer to be coming to help. Use Tumors to help you avoid being roamed upon and killed needlessly…

Use Tumors carefully

Place a tumor behind your gate. This is where you can always run to regenerate on if necessary. Use other creep tumors to grant line of site to paths entering your lane. Once you have tumors placed then you can play very aggressively and still have enough time to escape any roamers. When you see roamers on the map, ping them out to show other lanes that they can safely play more aggressively.

Once objectives start spawning, use tumors to provide line of sight to the area. On Blackheart’s bay this is especially useful. Place several creep tumors around the chest and in the foggy areas near the chest and consistently replace them once they are cleared.

Health and Mana conservation

You should not have problems with your mana in lane. I pretty much never use banelings during lane phase and mainly use infested drop. If an enemy wanders too close to try and contest experience then set a Hunter Killer upon them (use Infested Drop first so the roaches tank any tower shots before your Hunter Kill does). Health should also not be a problem if you took Reconstitution as any poke damage you receive can be swiftly regenerated by your creep or your healing well.

Incubation is good but Endless Creep is broken

Incubation is an ok skill but I cannot justify taking it as my level 7 talent. At this stage, laning has often broken down and the first or second objectives have spawned. Intelligence on the enemies location becomes much more vital. Endless Creep takes Zagara’s best ability (Creep) and makes it even better. On any other game then an ability to grant wards +50% vision range would be taken instantly and considered broken. It is no different in this game. Vision wins games and Zagara has the most powerful vision tool in the game.

Devouring Maw

This ability has swung many teamfights around. Look at how the teamgfight is going and judge where to place it for maximum effectiveness. Use it to force the enemy team into a temporary numbers disadvantage that they cannot recover from. Trapping more than 2 people is usually going to win the teamfight if the rest of your team is positioned well enough to capitalise. The cooldown on this skill is quite long at 100 seconds so don’t use it needlessly, use it to win!

Recommended Zagara Talents

Usually I choose:

  • Reconstitution for laning strength.
  • Envenomed Spines always. This talent is too good to not take.
  • Endless Creep for vision.
  • Devouring Maw
  • Mutalisk is my most common choice at level 13. The Mutalisk can chase it’s target much easier.
  • Brood Expansion for huge sustained damage on a single target.
  • Bolt of the Storm for safety and positioning. Tyrant Maw is a strong ability that works on any takedown not just takedowns from the Maw which means you can often get two ultimates off during the same teamfight. However, Bolt of the Storm is almost always required as your mobility is very limited without it.

This build gives you strong sustain damage and excellent map control through vision.

Have any questions or comments?

I have played a lot of Zagara but I know some people have played a lot more than me. If you have any suggestions or advice then comment below and share your knowledge.

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