My Experience: HOTS Xul

For the past 3 or so days I have been playing Heroes of the Storm more than I ever have. Before Xul the Necromancer came out I think I had played a handful of games over the span of 6 months or maybe more, I thought the game was okay but it wasn’t as fast paced as Diablo is. I wanted to KILL KILL KILL and in HOTS you can’t do that, so I played it every so often to mix it up.

I was a LvL 2 before I began my Necro and now I am a LvL 8. My highest leveled character was the demon hunter which was a LvL 2, my Necro is now a LvL 5 (almost 6). I am actually enjoying the game A LOT more than I thought I would. I purchased the Necro with the fear that I would play 2 or 3 games with him and just not take to HOTS, but I haven’t stopped playing it! 12 games in the last 3 days! That may not seem like a lot but each game can last to 20 minutes AT LEAST! So minimum I have sunk 4 hours into HOTS and my Necro and I have LOVED it.

I am still learning so I haven’t played any online games as of yet but I started off winning 5 of 6 games on “Adept” level of AI matches and now I am 5 of 6 in “Veteran” AI matches. There is only 1 level higher and I think I am almost ready for that. I started out making the mistake of over reaching (basically means going in to far on enemy territory, being to aggressive and getting yourself killed), but once I became aware of my issue and started being more strategic about it I really started to become a better player (against the AI lol).

When I start the game I get to chose my first skill, which Bone Armor I want. I almost always choose “Shade” which evades basic attacks. I like this option because I use it when I need to escape with little to no health as it blocks basic attacks from heroes and those pesky enemy towers. It has gotten me away from a lot of bad situations, but if you are in to deep there is only so much it can do.

Xul’s starting abilities are Spectral Scythe, Cursed Strikes and Bone Prison, along with the passive Raise Skeleton. I am actually really a bit disappointed in Raise Skeleton because skeletons you raise are really weak and you can only have 4 max (unless you upgrade later). That being said when there is a cluster of enemy minions, using Cursed Strikes to take out multiple minions at once (which raises 4 quick skeletons), it really helps turn the tide in a battle for the path.

Spectral Scythe, Cursed Strikes and Bone Prison are absolutely FANTASTIC! I cant express enough how much I LOVE these 3 abilities. Once I became fairly good at honing the basic skills I was able to start using them together and that’s when I became a killing machine! I honestly thought Bone Prison did not hold long enough to be effective (as I stated in a previous HOTS article), oh but it is, it is absolutely deadly when used correctly. Come in strong taking on 1 or 2 heroes with Cursed Strikes, giving them good damage and slowing their attacks, they have no choice but to run. What is the rule about outrunning a bear? You don’t have to be faster than the bear you just have to be faster than the slowest person! So when they try to run, who ever ends up being slower gets put in a Bone Prison and then is immediately cut up with the Spectral Scythe and 90% of the time its lights out!

Over the 12 games I have played with Xul I have found the best skill set (for me at least) that really allows me to become a force on the ground. By the time I am LvL 20 I feel like I can not be stopped.  So with Shade already equipped at LvL 1, “Death Reach” is my next go to ability at LvL 4. Death Reach increases the range of Spectral Scythe, so now I can reach twice as far to catch running enemies further away and reach father back when attacking enemies are clustered.

LvL 7 goes to “Harvest Vitality” which allows me to gain health while attacking Heroes with Cursed Strikes. I don’t know how many times this ability has brought me from almost dead to nearly full health. It literally changes the tide of battle as I have been able to take on and push back the entire enemy team long enough for my teammates to back me up.

LvL 10 is a no brainer with the Poison Nova. Want a quick way to break up if not kill a cluster of enemy heroes? Poison Nova is a MUST and it is SO effective! To be fair I never tried the Mages but I haven’t heard great things about them from other players and when an AI player is also Xul and the have Mages other heroes take them out pretty quickly. If my team is in trouble I run as close as I can to the other team and release hell upon them. They all run for their lives, literally.

LvL 13 is BIG for me. I feel this is where I become nearly unstoppable. “Giant Curse” increases Cursed Strikes damage to Heroes. At this point Cursed Strikes not only deals area damage, slows your enemies attack speed, heals Xul, but now it deals INCREASED damage! My enemies can stand and fight for even LESS time then they already could at the start of the game , and now that 90% chance of catching that slow runner turns into a 50% chance you’re taking out 2 enemies at once. Going into a cluster of enemies with half or less than half of their life left… forget it! You are about to take them all out and fill your life at the same time!

LvL 16 adds on more devastation with “Flowing Wounds”. Now when I use Spectral Scythe not only does it have twice the range but now if I hit a Hero in the process its cool down is reduced to HALF its original cost. So in a cluster of enemy Heroes I can throw double the amount of Scythes to catch more fleeing enemies!

Finally at LvL 20 I select “Call of the Grave” to increase the damage of my Poison Nova. At this point you just shouldn’t be near me because I am about to bring down the house! Nova will take a LARGE chunk of enemies life so quickly and if they are lucky they can outrun the others but with all my other abilities there is going to be A LOT of kills coming up!

At LvL 20 you also have the option to have the ability “Bone Spear” and I was SUPER excited to see that as I though they did not put it in the game. HOWEVER I find it to be SUPER ineffective and I will not ever choose it again. That is the only real let down here.

56 Hero Kills in 12 games, I don’t know if that’s a lot but it sure feels like it to me. I started out my first 2 games dying about 18 times and now I die about once or twice every 3 games! I have really become a fan of HOTS and all of its fun maps, designs, and gameplay. My goals are to be the best Necro in HOTS and get Xul to LvL 10 unlocking new skins and all that good stuff. I hope to be a force by the time I am ready to jump to online play but we will see.

Have you had the chance to play Xul or Heroes of the Storm? Let me know what you think!

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