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Abathur Strategy, Tips, and Tricks

Last updated on Jul 12, 2016 at 13:25 by Straften 11 comments

Table of Contents

Abathur Image

General Information

On this page, you will learn how to optimally play Abathur in a competitive environment in Heroes of the Storm. Everything you need to know is explained, from general gameplay to specific tips and tricks.

The other pages of our Abathur 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. General Strategy For Abathur

Abathur is one of the very few Heroes in the game who can soak XP in two places at once. This is because Symbiote Icon Symbiote soaks XP normally when hosting a target, so using Symbiote on an allied minion can allow you to soak XP globally. The second way Abathur can soak XP is by simply moving to within XP range of minions like any other Hero. This term is called "body-soaking" because it seems antithetical to how Abathur should be played (i.e., using Symbiote to soak since it is safer and global). However, body-soaking is the most important skill that an Abathur player can learn. It is usually done by placing yourself in a bush or behind a wall that is within XP range of enemy minions dying. Body-soaking allows you to Symbiote your allies in team fights and soak XP, rather than choosing one or the other.

Although body-soaking away from your Structures is inherently dangerous, you should not die while doing it. Through the use of your Map, you should always have a vague idea of where the enemy team is and where they are likely to go. They may need to clear a pushing lane on the other side of the Map, defend their base, or contest map objectives. These activities can make them unable or unwilling to potentially waste time trying to kill you. This is why it is extremely beneficial to have good map awareness and a strong understanding of the game; you need to know when you should and should not body-soak.

Abathur's power does not come from his fantastic soaking or ability to assist any ally instantly, but from the fact that he can do both of these things simultaneously. Abathur allows his team to contest map objectives while still soaking XP and pushing lanes. This creates an XP advantage over the enemy team. While capturing the objective is ideal, your team "wins" simply by delaying the objective for as long as possible, as every moment that the enemy team has to contest the objective is a moment that they are missing XP in lanes. Teams with Abathur are generally weak in full 5 versus 5 team fights during the early game, making it difficult to outright win map objectives. This is why it is important to understand objective-trading. Identify the strengths of your team prior to fighting to establish how likely it is to win a fight (and an objective). This is one reason why playing Abathur can be difficult, especially if not playing in a coordinated group.

While soaking is vital to playing Abathur correctly, using Symbiote to assist any ally should always take priority. You should be ready to use Symbiote at a moment's notice, preferably before a fight occurs. During the very early game, body-soaking is mostly irrelevant, so which lane you are stationed in is dictated by which lane you want to spawn Locusts in with Locust Strain Icon Locust Strain. Generally, you want to be in a lane that will push hard against the enemy team or will be pushed hard by the enemy team.

2. When Not Team Fighting

As Abathur, you should never be idle; there is always something that you can be doing. It will mostly involve using Symbiote Icon Symbiote to push, wavelcear, soak, or assist allies. The only times that you should not be using Symbiote is when it is on cooldown, when placing Toxic Nest Icon Toxic Nests, repositioning yourself to body-soak, or while using your Heroic.

3. Team Fighting

Team fighting is very straightforward when playing Abathur. If you have Ultimate Evolution Icon Ultimate Evolution, use it just prior to a fight, cloning your highest damage-dealing Hero and dealing as much damage as possible. If you do not have Ultimate Evolution or it is on cooldown, use Symbiote Icon Symbiote on your highest priority Hero, typically your melee Assassin. If you do not have a melee Assassin, Symbiote should be used on your Tank. Simply use Symbiote's abilities as they become available.

4. Summary of Tips and Tricks

  • Soaking
    • Body-soak by placing yourself within XP range of enemies minions as they die. Body-soaking is extremely important, especially when contesting map objectives.
    • Map awareness is more important on Abathur than any other Hero. You need to be able to Symbiote Icon Symbiote any ally the moment they need it, while also pushing a lane and watching your own positioning.
    • Symbiote Icon Symbiote soaks XP. Take advantage of this by using Symbiote on minions when there are no allied Heroes in lane. This is an extremely important part of playing Abathur correctly.
  • Playing safely
    • Enemies can track your Locust Strain Icon Locust Strain for an approximation of your location.
    • Always be aware of your position and the enemy team to avoid being killed unaware.
    • Be extremely wary of using Deep Tunnel Icon Deep Tunnel to get to a location if enemies are missing.
    • Although you can use Symbiote Icon Symbiote from the fountain, you are not taking advantage of Deep Tunnel Icon Deep Tunnel or Locust Strain Icon Locust Strain. Only stay in fountain if the enemy team has total map control.
    • Always use Deep Tunnel Icon Deep Tunnel to escape, rather than Hearthstoning, as Hearthstoning has a much longer channel time and is interrupted by any damage.
  • Heroics
  • Toxic Nest Icon Toxic Nest
    • Do not forget to use Toxic Nest Icon Toxic Nest whenever it is available. Place mines along paths that the enemy is likely to take or objectives that they need to contest.
    • Toxic Nest Icon Toxic Nests can be placed in close proximity to each other to instantly kill enemies with low base health. Additionally, Toxic Nests can be placed in lane to more quickly kill enemy minions.
    • Toxic Nest Icon Toxic Nest can be placed on top of Zagara's Creep Tumor Icon Creep Tumor, killing it immediately upon maturation of the mine.
    • You can place a Toxic Nest Icon Toxic Nest at a location to provide vision required to Deep Tunnel Icon Deep Tunnel there.
  • Symbiote Icon Symbiote
    • Always be doing something. Symbiote Icon Symbiote only has a 4-second cooldown and costs no resources, so you should always be using it.
    • Unless the Symbiote Icon Symbioted host needs to benefit from a talent like Adrenal Overload Icon Adrenal Overload, it is usually more efficient to use all of Symbiote's abilities, cancel, and then re-host the target. Doing this will reset all of the cooldowns, allowing you to use them more often.
    • Symbiote Icon Symbiote can be used on Structures to reduce the damage they take with Carapace Icon Carapace.
    • Use pings to help communicate your intentions to your teammates when using Symbiote Icon Symbiote, especially in Solo Queue.

5. ChangeLog

  • 12 Jul. 2016: Updates following Gul'dan's patch.
    • Updated text throughout the strategy section.
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