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Abathur Abilities

Last updated on Jul 12, 2016 at 13:10 by Straften 19 comments

Table of Contents

Abathur Image

General Information

Below, we give you a brief overview of the abilities that Abathur has access to. You should read these ability descriptions before reading further, because the other pages of the guide assume that you have a basic knowledge of Abathur's abilities.

The other pages of our Abathur guide can be accessed from the table of contents on the right.

About the Author

Straften is a Grand Master ranked player in both Hero League and Team League. He has a passion for theorycrafting, and regularly tests new features early on the PTR. He explains his strategy, reasoning, and implementation in these guides.

1. Symbiote

Abathur Symbiote
Symbiote (Q) Starcraft Abathur
  • Cooldown: 4 seconds

Assist another allied Unit or Combat Structure, allowing you to shield them and use new Abilities.

Cannot be used on another Hero's Summons.

Symbiote Icon Symbiote creates a link between you and any allied target anywhere on the map. While Symbiote is active, you will have access to three additional abilities that will originate from or benefit the hosted target: Stab Icon Stab, Spike Burst Icon Spike Burst, and Carapace Icon Carapace. If the host dies or Abathur is Stunned, Polymorphed, or Silenced, Symbiote is immediately cancelled. Symbiote will remain on a host affected by Stasis; however, Symbiote abilities will not be usable during the untargetable period. Symbiote may be cancelled at any time (even when the host is in Stasis). Stab, Spike Burst, and Carapace have their cooldowns immediately refreshed when Symbiote is discontinued. While Symbiote is active, you soak all nearby XP. It cannot be used on Bosses, or summoned creatures other than Locusts.

Symbiote Icon Symbiote is your main ability and contains most of your power. When playing Abathur, Symbiote should be active on cooldown for most of the game. Since Abathur does not have Mana, the only downside to using Symbiote is that it will not be immediately available to use on another ally. Symbiote does not always have to be used on an allied Hero. If an allied Hero does not require it, you should use it on a Minion, Locust, Mercenary, or Structure to push a lane or to soak XP. All of Symbiote's sub-abilities should generally be used as quickly as possible. Cancelling Symbiote places it on a 4-second cooldown.

Since Symbiote Icon Symbiote only has a 4-second cooldown and cancelling Symbiote refreshes the cooldowns of Stab, Spike Burst, and Carapace, it is actually more efficient to end Symbiote after using all of its abilities and then reactivating it, rather than waiting for the cooldowns to come back on their own. While this should generally be how you use Symbiote, there are a few cons to using it like this. Firstly, once you use both charges of Stab, you will be able to use a third Stab slightly quicker than re-Symbioting, although re-Symbioting will deal more damage in the long run. Secondly, Carapace's shield ends when Symbiote ends, so keeping Symbiote on your target may be a good idea if they are extremely low. However, re-Symbioting will essentially decrease Carapace's cooldown from 12 seconds to 4 seconds. Lastly, the host will not benefit from passive talents when Symbiote is not active, like Adrenal Overload Icon Adrenal Overload, so it can sometimes be better to not re-Symbiote targets that rely on Basic Attacks. Re-Symbioting also allows you to quickly react to changing situations and aid a different ally if needed.

During team fights, Symbiote Icon Symbiote should almost exclusively be placed on your frontline Heroes. If your team has a variety of these Heroes, Assassins should take priority, as you will increase your team's kill potential the most this way. This is because you want to get the most damage possible out of Spike Burst and Stab, while simultaneously increasing the resilience of your frontline with Carapace. At most other points in the game Symbiote can be placed on any Hero, although preferably a melee one. Stab and Spike Burst have relatively short ranges, and Melee Heroes will naturally position so that you can use them effectively.

1.1. Stab

Abathur Stab
Stab (Q) Starcraft Abathur
  • Charges: 2
  • Recharge Time: 3 seconds

Shoots a spike towards target area that deals 113 (+4% per level) damage to the first enemy it contacts.

Stab Icon Stab shoots a spike in the targeted direction that deals damage to the first enemy it comes into contact with. You can hold up to 2 charges. You gain 1 charge every 3 seconds and all charges are immediately refreshed upon reusing Symbiote, which has a cooldown of 4 seconds.

Stab deals significantly more damage-per-second than Spike Burst Icon Spike Burst against single-targets, while also being a ranged attack. This can be extremely useful when defending channelled objectives with a melee Hero, as Abathur can give them a ranged attack to interrupt the enemies' channelling.

1.2. Spike Burst

Abathur Spike Burst
Spike Burst (W) Starcraft Abathur
  • Cooldown: 6 seconds

Deals 111 (+4% per level) damage to nearby enemies.

Spike Burst Icon Spike Burst deals damage to all nearby enemies.

Spike Burst may seem underwhelming during the early game, but it can become much stronger if you take Soma Transference Icon Soma Transference and Envenomed Spikes Icon Envenomed Spikes at Levels 13 and 16 respectively. Even with no talents invested into it, it is effective for assisting with waveclear, or Mercenary Camps.

1.3. Carapace

Abathur Carapace
Carapace (E) Starcraft Abathur
  • Cooldown: 12 seconds

Shields the assisted ally for 150 (+4% per level). Lasts for 8 seconds.

Carapace Icon Carapace shields the hosted ally for up to 8 seconds, but it ends immediately if Symbiote is cancelled.

Carapace is a fairly weak shield, being roughly 1/3 as strong as Tassadar's Plasma Shield Icon Plasma Shield. Use Carapace whenever your host is taking damage.

2. Toxic Nest

Abathur Toxic Nest
Toxic Nest (W) Starcraft Abathur
  • Charges: 3
  • Recharge Time: 10 seconds

Spawn a mine that becomes active after a short time. Deals 153 (+4% per level) damage and reveals the enemy for 4 seconds. Lasts 90 seconds.

Toxic Nest Icon Toxic Nest creates a mine at the targeted location that takes 5 seconds to mature. Once matured, it provides vision, becomes invisible, and will explode if an enemy moves over it, damaging nearby enemies and destroying the mine. The mine has its own health pool and can be destroyed by AoE abilities and Basic Attacks, although it can only be targeted with Basic Attacks when visible. Minions and Mercenaries will not target the mines, but Structures will (when they are visible). Mines can be placed beside each other, but not on top of each other. Mines work on a charge system, allowing you to hold up to 3 charges at a time. One charge is generated every 10 seconds. Toxic Nests last for 90 seconds.

Toxic Nests have a variety of uses but are primarily used to provide vision along key paths, dismounting and revealing passing Heroes. This is exceptionally strong against Heroes that focus on ganking, especially Nova and Zeratul. Place Toxic Nests at choke-points and along routes that enemies are likely to take to get to an objective or lane. Toxic Nests can also be used to help waveclear by placing them in the midst of enemy minions.

With so much emphasis on Symbiote Icon Symbiote, it can be easy to forget to use Toxic Nest charges as they become available. Place mines as frequently as you can in between Symbiote uses. Although Toxic Nests can only be placed within a certain range of Abathur, do not feel obligated to move if you cannot place them in a specific area. It is more important to body-soak for XP or to spawn Locusts down a specific lane than to place mines in a different location.

3. Ultimate Evolution

Abathur Ultimate Evolution
Ultimate Evolution (R) Starcraft Abathur
  • Heroic
  • Cooldown: 50 seconds

Clone target allied Hero and control it for 20 seconds. Abathur has perfected the clone, granting it 20% Ability Power, 20% bonus Attack Damage, and 10% bonus Movement Speed. Cannot use their Heroic Ability.

Ultimate Evolution Icon Ultimate Evolution clones a target allied Hero, allowing you to control the clone for 20 seconds, at which point it dissipates. The clone spawns next to the original target and does 20% increased ability and Basic Attack damage, and has 10% increased movement speed. The clone functions identically to the cloned Hero, but you cannot use talent-based abilities or Heroics. When controlling a clone, Abathur's body disappears from the map for the duration. If the clone dies, it provides the enemy team with XP equal to 25% of a Hero kill.

Ultimate Evolution is a fantastic and versatile Heroic ability. It should usually be used on high damage Heroes, as these clones will benefit the most from the extra Ability Power and Basic Attack damage. The ideal clone will have high ability based or Basic Attack damage, as well as a gap closer to help you secure kills. Cloning Tanks will yield less damage, but can be useful if more crowd control is needed.

Use Ultimate Evolution just before a team fight breaks out. Play the cloned Hero as an extremely aggressive version of themselves, as Abathur will not actually die if the clone dies, so it is in your best interest to have the clone absorb as many of the enemies' abilities as possible. Note that since Abathur disappears from the map while the clone is active, Ultimate Evolution can be used to escape ganks if it is not possible to use Deep Tunnel Icon Deep Tunnel to escape. However, do not forget that Abathur will reappear at the same location he started once the clone ends.

4. Evolve Monstrosity

Abathur Evolve Monstrosity
Evolve Monstrosity (R) Starcraft Abathur
  • Heroic
  • Cooldown: 90 seconds

Turn an allied Minion or Locust into a Monstrosity. When enemy Minions near the Monstrosity die, it gains 5% Health and 5% Basic Attack damage, stacking up to 40 times. The Monstrosity takes 50% less damage from non-Heroic enemies.

Using Symbiote on the Monstrosity allows you to control it, in addition to Symbiote's normal benefits. This Ability can be reactivated to automatically cast Symbiote on your Monstrosity.

Evolve Monstrosity Icon Evolve Monstrosity turns an allied minion or Locust into a Monstrosity. The Monstrosity functions the same as a minion and will head down the nearest lane. When enemy minions near the Monstrosity die, it gains 5% maximum health and Basic Attack damage, stacking up to 40 times, or 200%. The Monstrosity takes 50% less damage from Structures and minions. If you target it with Symbiote Icon Symbiote, you can control it directly in addition to Symbiote's normal benefits. The Monstrosity cannot collect Regeneration Globes, pick up Gems or Coins, or participate in map objectives that need to be channeled. It can capture Mercenary Camps, the temples on Sky Temple, and the shrines on Dragon Shire. Pressing R with a Monstrosity active will automatically cast Symbiote Icon Symbiote on the Monstrosity and move your camera to its position.

We recommend that you take Evolve Monstrosity when playing on Cursed Hollow, Blackheart's Bay, Sky Temple, or Garden of Terror and you do not have an ideal target for Ultimate Evolution Icon Ultimate Evolution. The reasoning is twofold. Firstly, the map must be large enough that the enemy team cannot easily traverse the map and kill the Monstrosity. Secondly, being able to clone a Hero that has high damage and gap closers will provide more benefit than Evolve Monstrosity by allowing your team to more easily win team fights.

Evolve Monstrosity should be used in a lane with lots of enemy minions and when no enemy Heroes are nearby. This gives the Monstrosity time to gain stacks, increasing its health and damage. If you create the Monstrosity with enemies near, it will be killed before it can have any meaningful impact. When the Monstrosity is pushing down a lane, there is no need to control it with Symbiote Icon Symbiote, except to soak XP. However, there are some situatons where you can or should control it. If the enemy team is coming to kill the Monstrosity, you should have the Monstrosity flee, making the enemy team waste a significant amount of time chasing it (if they wish to do so). When the Monstrosity is pushing Structures, avoid having it take Tower shots, instead allowing allied minions to absorb the shots. Lastly, you can take the Monstrosity into direct combat. It can be incredibly strong against enemy Heroes, especially if you have built up stacks on it.

5. Deep Tunnel

Abathur Deep Tunnel
Deep Tunnel (Z) Starcraft Abathur
  • Cooldown: 30 seconds

Quickly tunnel to a visible location.

Deep Tunnel Icon Deep Tunnel allows you to teleport anywhere on the map that you have vision of after channelling for 3 seconds. Deep Tunnel only goes on cooldown when successfully used.

Although Abathur lacks a mount, Deep Tunnel more than makes up for it, allowing you to almost instantly adapt to changing situations. Deep Tunnel should generally be used to reposition yourself to body-soak XP from minions, but it can also be used to escape ganks, sneak map objective captures, or to spawn Locusts at a specific location, among other things. If you are being pursued by an enemy who is capable of interrupting Deep Tunnel, attempt to dodge the Stun or use Deep Tunnel early.

If you lack vision of a location that you want to tunnel to, you can reveal it by placing a Toxic Nest Icon Toxic Nest.

6. Locust Strain (Trait)

Abathur Locust Strain
Locust Strain (D) Starcraft Abathur
  • Cooldown: 15 seconds

Spawns a Locust to attack down the nearest lane every 15 seconds. Locusts last for 25 seconds.

Locust Strain Icon Locust Strain spawns a Locust to attack down the nearest lane every 15 seconds. They have a very short ranged attack and last for 25 seconds. Like Heroes, Locusts have collision and will block movement through them.

Locusts will passively push the lane you are closest to. While the effect is not always noticeable, it is important to always take it into consideration during the early game when your allies are laning. Place yourself in a lane that is either pushing hard or being pushed in hard.

It is extremely important to note that Locust Strain cannot be toggled off and spawned Locusts will lead the enemy team right to you. If you are not in a protected area, enemies may seek to kill you over and over again.

7. ChangeLog

  • 12 Jul. 2016: Updates following Gul'dan's patch.
    • Symbiote will now remain on a host that enters Stasis; however, Symbiote abilities may not be used for the duration. Symbiote may be manually cancelled when the host is in Stasis.
    • Updated text for Symbiote, Spike Burst, Toxic Nest, Ultimate Evolution, and Evolve Monstrosity.
  • 07 Sep. 2015: Updates following Lt. Morales patch.
    • Pressing R with a Monstrosity active will now automatically cast Symbiote on the Monstrosity and move your camera to its position.
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