A mid-range damage dealer and a dynamo of map vision, Zagara brings a whole lot to any team she is on. In addition to her top-notch damage, this Zerg motherfucker (ß need better noun) has a unique trait that lets deposit ‘creep tumors’ at various places on the map. These are invisible to enemies, grant vision, and corrupt the ground around them over time. Ground with creep on it increases the movement speed and health regen of both Zagara and friendly minions.
One of the most dangerous laners in the game, Zagara’s early game damage is matched by few. The best Zagara players will prove invaluable to their teams throughout the course of a game, due to their high damage output and the map-wide vision they can provide. Many of Zagara’s abilities summon minions – appropriate, given her affiliation with the Swarm. This gives her a measure of pushing potential and allows her to bring some minor chaos to the teamfight scene.
Creep Tumor (D)
Cooldown: 15 seconds
Lay a Creep Tumor that generates Creep. You and your summons move 20% faster on Creep and restore 7.75 (1.81 + 0.31 per level) Health a second. Tumors last 240 seconds.
Arguably Zagara’s most important part of her arsenal, Creep Tumor spreads out in an area, increasing your movement speed, and Health regen. They also provide you with vision over that area, so make sure you’re spreading them constantly. The mana cost is very low, and you can store up to 3 charges. Whenever you’re in a dangerous position, try to make sure you have a path of Creep Tumors leading backward, to increase your disengage mobility.
Baneling Barrage (Q)
Cooldown: 10 seconds
Launch 4 Banelings that deal 135 (40 + 5 per level) splash damage each.
A longed ranged ability with splash damage, Baneling Barrage is a Hero-killing machine if used correctly. Baneling Barrage makes you temporarily immobile, so try casting this ability when you aren’t at risk of being attacked immediately. If you’re able to shoot your Baneling Barrage into an area with multiple enemies, the splash damage will increase your damage output by a significant portion.
Hunter Killer (W)
Cooldown: 14 seconds
Summon a Hydralisk to attack a single target, dealing 160 (46 + 6 per level) damage per second. Lasts 8 seconds.
Hunter Killer is easily Zagara’s strongest single-target ability. In the laning phase, use Hunter Killer on your lane opponent every time it’s available. If they don’t kill it immediately, they’ll have to back off because the damage output is so high. Try to time your Hunter Killer in between powerful Area of Effect abilities, because it can die quickly. If you find your opponent starts to attack your Hunter Killer, move towards them and deal free damage, as they’re focused on another target entirely.
Infested Drop (E)
Cooldown: 12 seconds
Bombard target area with a Zerg Drop Pod for 300 (72 + 12 per level) damage. The pod spawns 2 Roachlings that deal 53 (15 + 2 per level) damage per second and last for 8 seconds.
Infested Drop can be a very useful tool for laning, because your Roachlings soak tower ammunition, resulting in a very strong push potential for Zagara. If you’re engaged in a fight, try landing this ability directly over your target, because it deals additional damage in the area it first strikes.
Nydus Network (R)
Cooldown: 60 seconds
Charge Summon a Nydus Worm at target location that you can enter by right-clicking. While inside, you exit by targeting a Nydus Worm with R or right-clicking near the Worm. Maximum 4 Nydus Worms.
Nydus Worm is a useful ultimate if your opponents are playing a safe team composition. Similar to other specialist PvE builds, Nydus Worm can give you the opportunity to roam around the map a lot faster, getting more Mercenary Camps and pushing multiple lanes. While it certainly has it’s uses, I’ve never seriously considered taking Nydus Worm, because Devouring Maw plays such an impact in team-fights.
Devouring Maw (R)
Cooldown: 100 seconds
Summon a Devouring Maw that deals 555 (99 + 24 per level) damage and devours enemies for 4 seconds. Devoured enemies cannot fight and take 78 (40 + 2 per level) damage per second.
Easily Zagara’s strongest team-fighting ability, Devouring Maw deals a small amount of damage, and completely removes the Heroes caught in the center. By placing Devouring Maw on a healer, the 4 seconds gives you enough time to burst down a target — changing the fight entirely. This is a very versatile Heroic, because it can be used to trap enemies inside while you make an escape. Make sure you’re communicating your Heroic timer with your team, and try to play team-fights around it.
Level 1 Talents
To further enhance Zagara’s laning phase, and to place emphasis on using Creep Tumor, I always start level 1 with Reconstitution. The increased Health Regeneration makes you heal up very quickly while in lane, allowing you to make damage-trades more often with your Hunter Killer. Place your Creep Tumor all over the place, and reap the rewards of the regen.
Level 4 Talents
Recommended: Envenomed Spines
Zagara has a very strong auto-attack. It’s quick, long range and deals considerable damage. I choose Envenomed Spines at level 4 to increase her already strong auto-attack damage. The Damage over Time proc that your auto-attacks cause gives you even more of an incentive to deal damage, which is Zagara’s main focus.
Level 7 Talents
Recommended: Battle Momentum
Zagara’s damage emphasis comes mainly from her abilities, so I go with Battle Momentum at level 7 to have those abilities available more often. Again, you want to auto-attack with Zagara frequently (considering the level 4 talent choice) to increases the effectiveness of Battle Momentum.
Level 10 Heroics
Recommended: Devouring Maw
Devouring Maw is way too significant in team-fights to neglect as your Heroic choice. It’s the strongest ability in Zagara’s arsenal, and has the potential to dramatically change how a team-fight turns out. Coordinate your Devouring Maw with your other teammates’ abilities, and burst down targets that are left stranded outside.
Level 13 Talents
Recommended: Grooved Spines
Keeping your Hunter Killer alive increases your damage output by a ton. I choose Grooved Spines at level 13 to allow my Hunter Killer to stay at a safer damage, while dealing additional damage. In combination with the additional range you gained by choosing Envenomed Spines at level 4, you can devastate your opponents from a much safer distance.
Level 16 Talents
Recommended: Brood Expansion
Just in case you were itching to spam your Hunter Killer more, Brood Expansion allows you to store 2 charges of Hunter Killer; absolutely destroying anyone who tries to fight you. Not much more needs to be said about this talent — just keep using your abilities and dealing as much damage as possible!
Level 20 Talents
Recommended: Bolt of the Storm
Because Zagara is a Specialist with low mobility, I always choose Bolt of the Storm at level 20. Your only chance of messing up later in the game as Zagara, is by getting caught out and dying. Bolt of the Storm will allow you to remedy your mistakes up to once every 40 seconds.