|Abilities|| Permacloak, Blinding Light
As one of the solo heroes, Zadkiel gains EXP from killing enemy units, increasing his attack, health, and shields. Although he can revive, he will lose 20% of his current EXP on death, returning a fair amount weaker than he was before. As long as he stays out of the sight of Grigoris (overseers), Zadkiel is an extremely powerful defending and harassing force, possessing a strong attack (nearly 1K damage at its maximum) that deals splash damage all while remaining undetected. When he does need to escape from Grigoris, Zadkiel can use Blinding Light to stun enemy detectors, usually Grigoris, but also Hell's base defenses and nydus worms.
Zadkiel is permanently invisible as a passive trait. Simple enough.
Blinding Light (B)Edit
Zadkiel can stun detectors. Stunning a Grigori means that the Grigori loses both detection and vision up cliffs for several seconds and are slowed significantly. Stunning one of Hell's base defenses (the spine crawlers) means that it will be unable to attack or provide its 1 range detection. Stunning a Nydus worm will stop it from releasing lesser demons for a period of time. Blinding Light costs 40 energy.
Though not listed as a formal ability, it is important to note that Zadkiel deals his melee damage as a surrounding splash attack.
Although Zadkiel seems rather simple, it does not mean he cannot be a game changing force. There are several roles Zadkiel plays, and the best players, especially FyreDog, will fulfill most, if not all, of them.
FyreDog's #1 NA Pro Zad Edit
The core idea behind this strategy is to use Zad most effectively as possible through his most important ability. The ability to respawn. This means you will likely die a lot in the process, but that's okay; you will respawn. Blinding light will NEVER be used except for a few instances I will later explain. Your goal is to inflict as much damage as possible by targeting the smallest number of targets as possible and/or being extremely annoying to the point the enemy will always be on alert searching for you forcing them to move their Grigoris out of position or make a mistake and lose elites or even heroes as they are focused on you.. YOU WILL KILL EVERYTHING YOU ATTACK.
To be more specific, you will focus on ONLY attacking Nydus worms for the most part. Banelings are another high priority as well because they deal high splash damge, they kill themselves if grigs are nearby, and you're expendable. The other elites tend to be closer to the Grigoris and not as worthwhile to sacrifice yourself by killing a few. Asta's Flayed, Devil's Harpies, and Asmo's Tanks are second highest priority if you can manage to kill them.
Beelzebubb's infested eggs that are the source of dark swarm are the third highest priority as you really shouldn't be around the front line of battle helping to fend off Mammon pushes, but if White is getting beat up pretty badly, you should still follow core Zad strategy. YOURE ALL HARASS. Besides, if you help White, you can't claim any of the glory.
Tumors are not to be destroyed unless you're absolutely certain you can destroy a large number without being killed or after you have destroyed their nydus. Destroying tumors early can alert the enemy to your position and creep denial is not particularly important when they have three Grigoris as they can quickly replenish the lost tumors. They, however, still remain important mobility factors and must be destroyed whenever possible. Balance the pros and cons whenever you are thinking whether to destroy tumors.
I find it useful to attack Devil at the beginning of the game when they're preoccupied.
At the very beginning of the game, move to the right through Asta's avenue of attack to avoid the Red grigoris. Try to avoid taking damage if you can by hugging the cliffs if yellow's grigoris are nearby, but DONT USE blinding light. Continue to move toward Red's nydush but take a wide berth of it and position yourself in the back behind it. Most likely and ALMOST ALWAYS, Red will have all their Grigoris at the front expecting you to snipe those dreaded eggs. That's a smart idea on their part, but you're FyreDog! You have to be unpredictable and change the metagame. Put down a Blinding light on their Hell Gate and quickly on the nydus worm. You should take out the Nydus Worm with three swings. You can either stand by the banelings to sacrifice yourself for that ungrateful White or quickly back off before the Grigoris arrive and move toward Asmo or Asta's with a similar strategy. Don't worry about the tumors.
When the gate is about to go down, try to make your way to the back again. You will use a similar strategy as explained earlier to take out the nydus worms except you will start in the back.
When to Use Blinding Light: NO EXCEPTIONSEdit
- Approaching both the Hell Gate and Nydus
- Sneaking past a nearby Grig to reach a Nydus Worm
- When you are being trailed by at least one Grig
Simple attack move micro will allow you to slowly inch your way toward a Nydus if the mass is impeding your progress.
That's all there is to my strategy. There's more to it than that, but that should catapult you into the higher realm of Zad thinking.
Defense and Stopping Dark SwarmEdit
Oftentimes, Zadkiel will simply defend key points throughout the map. His high splash damage and invisibility means that he can often keep the lesser demons at bay without any assistance from other heroes for a time. For example, if an Astaroth player is attacking up the bridge on the right side, the neck of the bridge is narrow enough that all hell units passing by Zadkiel will be caught in the range of his splash attack.
However, Zadkiel will often spend most of his time defending specifically against the Devil because Zadkiel, with his melee attack, is ideally suited to stop attacks under Dark Swarm. Beelzebub , the Devil's main general, can throw out eggs that release Dark Swarm, under which ranged damage is reduced by 90% rendering many of Heaven's units useless while the Devil's melee elites can dish out incredible punishment. While Uriel , Metatron , and Jehoel all also deal melee damage, alone they have a strong chance of dying to banelings, harpies, or Mammon under Dark Swarm.
Zadkiel will also die often. However, Zadkiel, unlike the other three, will also come back to life, and will often be able to regain the strength lost with relative ease; an incentive to defending against Dark Swarm is that Zadkiel earns 200 EXP per egg kill, a healthy boost to his strength. If Zadkiel is in the right place, he can usually kill off the Dark Swarm eggs in several hits, leaving the Devil's elites vulnerable to focus fire from ranged units. This role is especially important when defending the Messiah , who is the main focus of the Devil's forces. The Messiah is very poorly equipped to deal with Dark Swarm; predators have fairly limited HP for the most part, and the Devil's elites can sometimes overwhelm them. Zadkiel can massively weaken or kill the Devil's elites with his high splash damage. A very good Zadkiel might actually be able to shut down a Devil altogether!
The players that Zadkiel aids during Dark Swarm can usually aid him in return immediately after; Devil players will often bring out their Grigoris to detect Zadkiel, but if Zadkiel can stun one or two with Blinding Light, other players have a much greater chance of killing it due to Blinding Light's slowing effect.
Although he is a very slow character, Zadkiel can throw off Hell's push through harassing. Zadkiel has a bonus attack against Hell's nydus worms meaning he deals double damage, which at full power means he deals 1.7K damage. The lesser demons from Hell's nydus worms are a meat wall for Hell and provide the cover Hell heroes and elites need to control the map, tank damage, and operate freely. Shutting one down delay's Hell's efforts for at least another ten seconds while they build a new nydus worm; with the right timing, this opens a chance for other Heaven players to flank Hell and retake control of a large portion of the map! It is important to note that nydus worms do have detection within a small but sizeable range, and the constant stream of units might block Zadkiel's progress. There will often be a Grigori or two also watching.
Zadkiel often targets creep tumors as well. Although they are often minor targets, creep is important for Hell players, as it is necessary for building nydus worms, increases the speed of their units, and provides vision across the map. Especially try to kill clustered creep tumors; some Hell players like to build 4 or 5 creep tumors directly next to each other to spread creep faster, but this only means that in a single swipe Zadkiel can earn over 100 EXP!
Zadkiel can also harass and weaken Hell elites and heroes. The best targets are usually Asmodeus ' siege tanks. By the time Asmodeus realizes that his siege tanks are under attack and begin to unsiege them, Zadkiel can often get in a last swipe to kill one or more of them off. Siege tanks usually also end up quite clustered so that they can all defend each other more easily. Other Heaven players have to heal extensively after sniping just one tank; Zadkiel can sneak up on poorly defended tanks unnoticed. It is important to note that Zadkiel's slow speed and lack of push in the Hell mob prevent him from really chasing down and killing the majority of Hell elites and heroes, so Zadkiel alone will usually not finish them off unless the Hell player is extremely distracted.
While harassing, it is important that Zadkiel stay out of sight of Grigoris. Zadkiel's energy recovers at a glacial pace, and certainly not quickly enough for him to use more than 2 Blinding Lights in a short span of time. Each Hell player begins with three Grigori, and nydus worms also have detection. Knowing that Zadkiel can often escape two Grigori, Hell players will often keep them all in close proximity to detect Zadkiel. Once Zadkiel is spotted, the Grigori can follow Zadkiel perfectly as they move at the same speed, meaning that oftentimes a Zadkiel who has been caught in the sight of Grigoris will often die. It's important to keep in mind that Beelzebub's plague and Abbadon's Fungal Growth will both reveal Zadkiel for a short period of time, and if Hell has enough firepower a few seconds might just kill Zadkiel outright, without a need for Grigori.
With Grigori placement in mind, Zadkiel's effectiveness hinges on how unpredictable he is. A predictable Zadkiel who is always found in familiar spots at familiar times will only get easily killed by Hell's heroes and elites. An unpredictable Zadkiel will slip from place to place, always escaping just before the Grigori arrive, and yet somehow being in place to stop Dark Swarms every time; he will appear to somehow be everywhere at once, an ever present shadow that, at his best, will shut down the Devil's play.
Like a ninja.
A space alien archangel ninja.
I did not cover hero killing in this strategy section. I think that, in general, hero killing as Zadkiel relies more strongly on both luck and perceptive skill of the player rather than any special method belonging to Zadkiel the character. The opponent must most certainly be distracted, or otherwise in some poor positioning, or in the middle of a major battle for Zadkiel to manage to land a final blow. A smart player might notice that Asmodeus, while busy healing, is ignoring Azazel's health and other similar patterns, but beyond this I can't think of hero killing methods.
According to the game creator, the game utilizes Blizzard's EXP system, and as a result Zadkiel only gets XP for killing blows; however, playing experience indicates this system is a bit less consistent. Either way, try to get as many final hits as possible.
Essentially, Zadkiel starts off the game with a healthy amount of EXP, which is why his base damage is considered to be only 50 while his starting damage is much higher. He will lose 20% of his current EXP on death, but this means the stronger Zadkiel is, the larger the drop in power will be.