Pubfun Zagara - Swarm of the average Joe by heybrun

Pubfun Zagara - Swarm of the average Joe

By: heybrun
Last Updated: Jun 27, 2015
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Build 1 of 3


Build: Pure swarm

Level 1
Level 4
Level 7
Level 10
Level 13
Level 16
Level 20


Build: Creep control

Level 1
Level 4
Level 7
Level 10
Level 13
Level 16
Level 20


Build: Queen fighting

Level 1
Level 4
Level 7
Level 10
Level 13
Level 16
Level 20

Disclaimer Top

This guide is about fun queue. This guide is about "hey, how do I play that hero" while taking a beer on a Friday night. This guide is about the normal gamer, doing a normal gaming life and having no money on the line playing that game.

I'm not a pro, I'm an alpha player who is ranked at around level 15-20 in hero league. I like experimenting with builds, and even if there is the "holy grail" of build, I think it's nice to try stuff and thinking out of the box.

There is a section explaining the "philosophy" between each builds.

Zagara abilities Top

Creep Tumor
    - It gives vision.
    - It gives you speed.
    - It regen you.
    - It cost nothing.

Put it in bushes. Make a path with it. Put it where you stand. Put creep everywhere. You never know when a creep tumor will become useful. You know that watchtower where everybody goes to fight and die at the start of every game? Well, creep is your personal watchtower. Put watchtowers everywhere!

Baneling Barrage
    - It splashes.
    - It roots you.
    - It explodes at the first thing in its path.

Use it mainly vs minions and structures. Try to aim at the wizard in the middle, if you hit him, it can splash over all the other minions.

In teamfight, if you use that, use it from afar when you have no other abilities to use. Never use it at close distance, since you can't move when using that ability.

Hunter Killer
    - It hurts a lot.
    - It chase its target.
    - Can be killed.
    - Did I say it hurts a lot?

This thing hurts. Cast it on enemy heroes or big targets (mercenary, towers, etc). The damage output is almost like a regular hero. The opponent either have to kill it or run, if not, it does a lot of damage.

Infested Drop
    - It have a delay.
    - It pops two little minions (roaches)
    - It does zone damage.
    - It falls from the sky, so you can cast it over walls.

This ability is not really about the damage, more about the roaches that pop up. They attack everything around them and gives you vision. It's a nice tool to help your minion lane or simply to poke at your opponent.

Talents Top

Red talents bring nothing the table. I'm not really harsh on my evaluation, so to get a red color means that this specific talent is really bad.
Yellow talents are average. They do what they are supposed to do. They are viable, without being the top choice.
Green talents are strong. You can't go wrong with them.

Level 1

Centrifugal Hooks
Banelings already travel a good distance. It's fun to play around, but honestly, this talent feels a little useless. The opponent have all the time in the world to evade them.
Corpse Feeders
Great for pushing. Your roaches can soak more damage from the tower, depleting more of their ammos. It maximize the most of their 8 seconds so they don't die before.
The "default" talent. More health on something that cost almost nothing for you to generate. Never a bad choice.
Ok I guess. The problem lies in the fact that Corpse Feeders can deplete tower ammo probably better than you can do using this and your auto-attack.

Level 4

Envenomed Spines
Strong talent. More range and more damage, some heroes have to wait until level 20 to get a similar talent.
Medusa Blades
It's ok. The talent is a little weak, but it's nice to have an option for splash damage on auto-attack.
Tumor Clutch
Great for creeping the map and having map control. Spam creep like crazy, it's worth it.
Meh. You're not an assassin. The talent is good, but it feels awkward on Zagara.
It makes a minion stronger, but I'm not sure how useful it is. If you take it, infest the archers on the back. The knights always die first and the wizard is weak.

Level 7

Battle Momentum
Nice talent. Faster cooldowns is great, especially for Hunter Killer
Volatile Acid
This is serious splash damage on structures and minions. Problem is, it's probably the worst choice on this tier.
Ventral Sacs
I like this one. 3 roaches means that it's almost the same amount of damage as a Hunter Killer, without being forced into a target.
Endless Creep
Creep is good. More creep is better. On maps where you want map control (like the pirate map), this is great.
Rapid Incubation
This is some serious heal for 45 seconds cooldown. The most popular talent on this tier for sure.

Level 10

Devouring Maw
Great for teamfights. Really helpful to stop the enemy team and help your own team position itself. There is a small delay, so you have to anticipate a little when you cast it.
Nydus Network
Great for map control. You can push simultaneously multiples lanes, you can get back in base faster than using B, you can join your team in a matter of seconds even if you're on the other side of the map.

Level 13

A great boost to hunter killer. Take this one if you want map control and good harass.
Grooved Spines
The other great boost. Take this talent if you prefer having burst damage.
Bile Drop
You use Infested Drop for the roaches, not the damage on impact. It's easy to miss, easy to evade and I never killed someone with that. Forget about it.
Giant Killer
Good at what it does. The more the target has HP, the better it is. Problem is, you should boost your hunter killer for damage instead.
Spell Shield
You know what can prevent you from dying? A hunter killer killing your opponent before you get killed.

Level 16

Baneling Massacre
Man, I would love to be able to love this one. But it's hard. 8 banelings means you're stuck casting the spell longer. If you miss, you are now a sitting duck longer than before. This talent is more a nerf than anything else.
Brood Expansion
This is the best talent in the whole talent tree. We are talking about insane damage here.
Metabolic Boost
It's good. It's overshadowed by Brood Expansion, but it's really cool. You have the equivalent of a mount on creep. Amazing for map control.
You know what can prevent you from dying? 2 hunter killers killing your opponent before getting killed. Or having an instant mount on creep.

Level 20

Tyrant Maw
Maw is stronger, so it's cool. The problem with cooldown reduction is you don't get Maw to kill, but for zone control in a teamfight. And usually, you zone control at the start of the fight (with everybody healthy), not the end.
Broodling Nest
This has tremendous pushing power. Every 20 seconds, you can generate a new wave of minions where you want. People underestimate this talent, but it compliments really well Nydus.
Fury of the Storm
More splash. If you like splash damage, use this one.
Bolt of the Storm
Escape move for Zagara. It help compensate for her biggest weakness. It's great if you took Maw at level 10, not so much if you took Nydus. I mean, you have Nydus to teleport all over the map, why would you want to teleport half a screen?

Maw or Nydus? Top

Devouring Maw
Maw is pretty easy to understand. You cast it and after like 1 second, a big mouth come from the ground to trap and damage your opponent. Maw also acts as a wall, you can't cross it.

If you want to use Maw, use it to split the enemy team. Like, in a 5v5 fight, if you trap 3 opponents in your Maw, it means the 5v5 is now a 5v2 for 4 seconds. Be patient, used correctly, it can completely change a fight.

Nydus Network
Nydus is a little more complex. It's an ult for map control, but you need good map awareness for that. There are multiple uses for Nydus.

Remember that you can have only 4 Nydus on the map. If you add a 5th, the oldest one dies.

- You can use it to go back to base. Just drop a nydus in your base and that's it. It's a lot faster than using B.
- You can use it to control multiple zones at the same time. Easy example is the Dragon map. Depending of which shrine need your support, you can get there really fast and safely.
- You can use it to split push. Drop a nydus on two lanes and alternate. Go on a lane, drop your banelings, roaches, hunter killer. Go on the other lane, repeat.

Overall, if you build for teamfights OR you play on a small map (Mines map and Spider map), take Maw. If you prefer map control, take Nydus (except for Mines map and Spider map, they are really too small for Nydus).

Pure swarm build Top

The idea of this build is to swarm the opponent. This is the build where you can generate the most minions. At level 20, you can generate:
- 3 roaches (30% less dmg vs non-hero)
- 2 mutalisks (last 12 seconds + bounce dmg)
- 6 broodlings

It's mostly a pushing build, but you can teamfight really well. 3 roaches is pratically the same damage as 1 mutalisk, without being locked to a target. If you have an objective to control (like the tributes), you can drop roaches there, get vision, get free damage and force your opponent to deal with the roaches. You also get the hunter killer upgrades and the Envenomed Spines, meaning you still get good DPS.

Nydus gives you infinite mana (you just nydus back to base) and an easy escape (biggest weakness of Zagara). Even if you get hit while entering nydus, it doesn't cancel. You have to be stunned to cancel your entrance into Nydus.

Early game, you play normally, push your lane and stay safe. Until level 10, you can have mana problems. Nothing special here.

Mid game, it's time to establish your nydus network. Start with one in your base, one in your favorite lane. Then Nydus depending of how the game develop. Don't stay too long in a place, you can teleport all around the map, so move around!

Late game, it's time to push with your Nydus. Put Nydus near where you need to push then spam your minions. Never be too far from a Nydus. If you find yourself deep into a lane alone and your Nydus is far, pop another one and GTFO. You probably stayed too long in the lane anyway, they are coming to gank you. Use the "wave" system.

What is the wave system?

It's easy. Look at the cooldowns:
Banelings: 10 seconds
Hunter Killer: 14 seconds
Drop: 12 seconds
Broodlings: 20 seconds

You see how close those cooldowns are? Let's say you exit a Nydus:
- Broodling spawns
- You drop all your abilities
- And then what? You wait there for at least 10 seconds while spamming auto-attack?

By the time you wait for your abilities to come back, you can generate new broodlings. So just go back into your Nydus and re-exit to generate a new wave of minions. Also, at that point, Illidan/Zeratul/Nova is probably becoming obsessed by you, desesperate to kill you. With the Nydus nearby, you can just GTFO and exit elsewhere for a new wave.

Creep control Top

This build is about being everywhere, seeing everything. On a good game, you can easily see permanently half of a map. Like all the bottom part of the Pirate map (love this build on that map).

It start slow, it's not until level 7 that you start to see some results. But then, at level 16, the party starts. 40% bonus speed is a permanent mount on creep, so if you creep well, you can run all around the map, poking, escaping, getting objectives, etc.

It also gives a great vision advantage to your team, because if your creep is well spread, it becomes hard for the opponent to move without being seen.

Disadvantage is that in maps that require more raw power (like Mines or Spider map) than map control, you important DPS (mainly 2x hunter killer you don't get).

Nonetheless, a really fun build to use and viable in most of the maps. It also compensate for Zagara lack of escape. You trade DPS for a lot of survivability.

Queen fighting Top

The "pro" build. It makes Zagara really strong in team fights. Choosing Maw instead of Nydus means that you don't have infinite mana, why the choice of Rapid Incubation at level 7. You also have no escape, so that's why you get teleport at level 20.

Don't go on the frontline, spread your creep and you should stay alive. Aim to get multiple heroes with your Maw. Using it on the only hero on the front is useless.

If you need to escape and you are pursued (like Illidan is on your ***), you can use Maw to trap your opponent. You can also use Maw as a wall and just block the way, especially in you pass into a narrow path.

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