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Dehaka Abilities

Last updated on Jul 12, 2016 at 16:41 by Straften 7 comments

Table of Contents

Dehaka Image

General Information

Below, we give you a brief overview of the abilities that Dehaka 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 Dehaka's abilities.

The other pages of our Dehaka 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. Drag

Dehaka Drag
Drag (Q) Starcraft Dehaka
  • Mana: 75
  • Cooldown: 15 seconds

Lash out with your tongue, dealing 351 (167 + 4% per level) damage to the first enemy hit, stunning and dragging them with you for 1.75 seconds. If you are stunned or silenced while using Drag, the effect ends.

Drag Icon Drag is a linear skillshot that deals damage and becomes a channeled stun if it hits an enemy. Dehaka can use Basic Attacks (only on the enemy effected by Drag), Dark Swarm Icon Dark Swarm, and Essence Collection Icon Essence Collection during the channel; however, Heroic abilities and Burrow Icon Burrow will be unavailable during this time. As the ability's name implies, it may be used to drag an enemy in a desired direction. Pulling enemy Heroes into damage is ideal, either into turret range, or into the range of friendly Heroes.

Dehaka ignores collision with any unit actively stunned by Drag Icon Drag, making it highly versatile. It can be used to reposition behind the the enemy, so you can body block them once Drag Icon Drag's stun wears off. If you decide to use Drag Icon Drag this way, be careful of activating Dark Swarm Icon Dark Swarm for extra damage, as this will enable your prey to walk through you and possibly escape. It can even be used for escape, in rare instances where you are being blocked and Dark Swarm Icon Dark Swarm is on cooldown.

Although it is ideal to use Drag Icon Drag on Heroes, there are times when you may effectively use it in other ways. If an enemy Siege Giant is damaging a Fort or Keep, you can Drag one of them into the structure's range, to help you clear them faster. Another example are the Immortals on Battlfield of Eternity. While they cannot be stunned, Drag Icon Drag does still damage them, making it an option in extremely close damage races. Feeding Frenzy Icon Feeding Frenzy would increase the effectiveness of using Drag Icon Drag this way; but not enough to merit taking the Talent if something else is better for team fighting in the matchup. Of course, Drag Icon Drag can be used to kill an enemy, if they are out of range of your basic attacks, and on the verge of death.

2. Dark Swarm

Dehaka Dark Swarm
Dark Swarm (W) Starcraft Dehaka
  • Mana: 50
  • Cooldown: 9 seconds

Deal 132 (63 + 4% per level) damage a second to nearby enemies for 3 seconds, and become able to move through units. Deals double damage to Heroes. Can be cast during Drag and Burrow.

Dark Swarm Icon Dark Swarm forms an AoE damage over time zone around Dehaka. It does double damage to Heroes, but is still an efficient tool when clearing minions waves. While active, Dehaka ignores unit collision. This means that Dehaka can move through enemies, but it also allows enemies to move through Dehaka. It is a great means of dealing damage to an enemy who is fleeing, as basic attacking could cause you to fall out of range. With Dark Swarm Icon Dark Swarm active, you can keep up with the target and deal damage while you wait for an opportunity to use Drag Icon Drag.

Dark Swarm Icon Dark Swarm is capable of applying lots of pressure during team fights, as you can position yourself freely and damage multiple enemies simultaneously. When empowered with Symbiosis Icon Symbiosis, Dark Swarm Icon Dark Swarm's cooldown can be completely reset in fights, giving you even more freedom of movement and damage.

As with Drag Icon Drag, Dark Swarm Icon Dark Swarm can be used to escape a blocked position. Dark Swarm Icon Dark Swarm is superior in this function, as it will allow you to pass through all enemies, rather than only one. In addition, Dark Swarm Icon Dark Swarm can be used more liberally than Drag Icon Drag, as it has a much lower cooldown and costs less mana.

3. Burrow

Dehaka Burrow
Burrow (E) Starcraft Dehaka
  • Mana: 65
  • Cooldown: 0 seconds

Burrow into the ground, entering Stasis and becoming Invulnerable for 2 seconds.

Burrow Icon Burrow causes Dehaka to become Invulnerable for 2 seconds. It can be compared to Ice Block Icon Ice Block with some important differences. Burrow Icon Burrow has a 20-second cooldown instead of 60-second, it lasts two seconds instead of three, and it cannot be cancelled like Ice Block Icon Ice Block can be. This means your opponents will know exactly when and where you will pop up.

While the ability is not without limitations, it is a powerful tool when combined with the rest of Dehaka's kit. Essence Collection Icon Essence Collection can be used while Burrow Icon Burrowed, allowing the healing over time take effect before you come out of Stasis. Dark Swarm Icon Dark Swarm can also be cast when Burrow Icon Burrowed, so that you continue to deal damage while Invulnerable.

One of the most impactful ways to use Burrow Icon Burrow is to bait out powerful abilities from the enemy team, and then nullify them. Ideally the ability you choose to delete will be something with a higher cooldown than Burrow Icon Burrow. Examples of good abilities to use Burrow on are Kael'thas' Pyroblast Icon Pyroblast and Nova's Triple Tap Icon Triple Tap; although, avoiding any chain crowd control can also be good, especially if key enemy abilities are put on cooldown.

4. Isolation

Dehaka Isolation
Isolation (R) Starcraft Dehaka
  • Mana: 100
  • Cooldown: 60 seconds

Launch biomass that hits the first enemy Hero dealing 439 (208 + 4% per level) damage, silencing and slowing them 30% for 3 seconds. Only allows them to see a very short distance for 6 seconds.

Isolation Icon Isolation is a linear skillshot which slows, silences, and removes vision from an enemy hit by it. It is a unique form of crowd control, as no other ability in the game can remove a player's vision. The effected enemy can see in an extremely close proximity to them, move around, and basic attack during Isolation. During the second half the effect, the slow and silence are removed; although, their vision will remain impaired.

Isolation Icon Isolation adds a second powerful crowd control to Dehaka's kit, which really helps to increase his threat level in team fights. By landing Isolation on one target and Drag Icon Drag on another, you can drastically tilt a fight in your team's favour. The ability to crowd control two enemies out while dealing damage with Dark Swarm Icon Dark Swarm, is what makes Dehaka such a disruptive presence for the enemy team. The threat of this close range combo can sometimes zone mutliple enemies away from you, especially when you have team mates with you who can punish controlled targets.

The ideal targets to use Isolation Icon Isolation on are Supports or damage dealers. It will help to land it on any enemy during a team fight; however, you want to maximise your value and remove damage and healing from the enemy team's tool kit. Landing Isolation on a Warrior will impair that Hero for a time, but it will not reduce the tank's Health by a significant amount. Fortunately, Dehaka has many tools to slip past the frontline (including Brushstalker Icon Brushstalker which will be outlined below). If you take Contagion Icon Contagion at Level 20, try to land Isolation on two or more targets who are clumped together, even if they are Warriors.

5. Adaptation

Dehaka Adaptation
Adaptation (R) Starcraft Dehaka
  • Mana: 85
  • Cooldown: 90 seconds

After 4 seconds, heal for 60% of the damage you took over this period.

Adaptation Icon Adaptation will heal you for 60% of all damage you can sustain (without dying) during the four seconds following activation. It has the potential of adding survivabilty to your kit, at the cost of sacrificing the crowd control and extra damage afforded by Isolation Icon Isolation. Adaptation Icon Adaptation can make Dehaka seemingly unkillable in certain environments, where the enemy team composition has an inability to answer it. In these scenarios, Adaptation can allow Dehaka to absorb an enormous amount of damage from the enemy team. Although it can be beneficial, it also has inherent limitations that are worth thinking about when considering it during a game.

Probably the most important weakness of Adaptation Icon Adaptation is the fact that it does nothing for you during the first four seconds. In this time, you are encouraged to sustain a lot of damage, to ensure that you get good value out of your heroic ability. If you are ignored during the four seconds, it does nothing. If you are killed while it is active, it does nothing, with the added inconvenience of your death. Unfortunately, some of the tools you have to postpone your death also diminish the effectiveness of Adaptation Icon Adaptation. If you are worried that incoming damage will be fatal, you may activate Burrow Icon Burrow; however, this will insure that you take no damage for 50% of Adaptation's duration. You may also consider easing the amount of incoming damage by taking Hardened Shield Icon Hardened Shield at Level 20, but this would reduce the potential healing of Adaptation by 75%.

The most efficient way to mitigate damage when using Adaptation Icon Adaptation is to heal through the damage, as long as you can survive. Essence Collection Icon Essence Collection can heal you for 60% of your maximum Health over five seconds, giving it excellent synergy with Adaptation. To get the most out of this combination, begin healing with Essence Collection as soon as you begin taking damage while Adaptation is active. Another option in Dehaka's kit that has positive synergy with Adaptation is Tissue Regeneration Icon Tissue Regeneration, which can heal for an additional 200 damage over the 4 seconds. External sources of healing may be helpful, so coordinating with your team could allow you to take even more of a beating without dying.

Adaptation Icon Adaptation can be strong against teams that lack much burst damage. Sustained damage is easy to monitor, and you can often take a lot of it without dying. However, when the enemy team is able to reliably kill you quickly, taking Adaptation is not recommended, as it will do little to help you win. Even if you are facing a composition that Adaptation could work against, think about its value next to Isolation Icon Isolation.

6. Essence Collection (Trait)

Dehaka Essence Collection
Essence Collection (D) Starcraft Dehaka
  • Trait
  • Cooldown: 1 seconds

Gain 10 Essence from Takedowns and 2 Essence from nearby Minions dying. Activate to consume all Essence and heal yourself for 64 (31 + 4% per level) Health over 5 seconds for each Essence stored. Maximum of 50 Essence. Can be cast during Drag and Burrow.

Essence Collection Icon Essence Collection gathers Essence stacks from enemy lane Minions and Heroes who die nearby. Dehaka does not need to damage these units to collect the Essence, he only needs to be in range of them when they die. The ability can store up to 50 stacks, and can be activated to heal Dehaka based on the number of stacks stored. At full stacks, Essence Collection Icon Essence Collection will heal you for 60% of your maximum Health over five seconds. Essence Collection is Dehaka's main source of sustain, offering a huge heal over time when at full stacks. While at full stacks, Dehaka can still collect Essence for related Talent quests; although, the stored amount for healing purposes will remain at 50.

Essence Collection Icon Essence Collection can be activated whenever necessary; however, it is advisable to keep a large store of Essence available for team fights. Remember that you can Hearthstone to base to heal when an objective is announced, and get back in time by using Brushstalker Icon Brushstalker. Activating Essence Collection as soon as you have taken (or will immediately take) significant damage in a team fight will let the healing over time begin working right away. Using your full stacks right before an enemy Hero dies allows you to store their Essence; although, this can wasteful if you have no use for the healing yet.

7. Brushstalker

Dehaka Brushstalker
Brushstalker (Z) Starcraft Dehaka
  • Cooldown: 40 seconds

Burrow to a bush on the Battleground.

Dehaka does not use traditional Mounting, as it is substituted by Brushstalker Icon Brushstalker. Activating Brushstalker enables him to travel from any location, to any Bush or Vent on the map. It takes Dehaka about two seconds of channeling to dig into the ground, and about two more seconds to emerge at the target location. Once underground, Brushstalker cannot be interrupted. If the target location becomes partially blocked, Dehaka will emerge adjacent to it. If the target location becomes completely blocked, Dehaka will emerge where Brushstalker was cast and it will go on full cooldown. When Brushstalker is activated, a noise will be made which will alert enemies near your destination. If Dehaka is interrupted by crowd control effects while channeling, the digging animation is canceled. It will not be put on cooldown, and can be cast again once the crowd control wears off.

Brushstalker Icon Brushstalker is the most defining ability in Dehaka's kit. It sets him apart from the other Warriors in the game by changing the way he deploys himself to objectives or team fights. Dehaka is able to soak a considerable amount of Experience by staying in lane longer than other Warriors can. After soaking "too long" from a normal Warrior perspective, he can arrive to important events on time via Brushstalker. It is also a powerful ganking tool. Enemies are alerted by Brushstalker's ominous noise, but they can still be caught between Dehaka and his ally. The constant threat Brushstalker inflicts on the enemy team can be a benefit in and of itself. If enemies play too carefully for you to gank with Brushstalker, your team can gain more momentum over the map.

Practice your Map awareness when playing Dehaka. You will get the most value out of Brushstalker Icon Brushstalker when you are keenly aware of happenings around the Map. Do not be afraid to click on the Map and observe events directly with the camera. You can gather details this way that cannot be seen on the Minimap. While this is rather general gameplay advice that can be applied to any Hero, Dehaka is one of few who can quickly travel vast distances. Of the Heroes who do have cross-map mobility, he is the most forgiving to practice this on. He has several tools (other than his high Health) that can help you get used to this technique. If you are attacked by an enemy Hero while your camera is elsewhere, you have Burrow Icon Burrow, Essence Collection Icon Essence Collection, and Brushstalker itself to help you survive and relocate to safety. No matter the level of play, the ability to gather information with the camera and the Minimap is one that can always be improved on. Dehaka is one of the best Heroes to use when focusing on improvement of this skill.

8. ChangeLog

  • 12 Jul. 2016: Updates following Gul'dan's patch.
    • Adaptation duration reduced from 5 seconds to 4 seconds (buff).
    • Adaptation text updated.
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