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Dehaka Talents

Last updated on Sep 12, 2016 at 01:29 by Straften 7 comments

Table of Contents

Dehaka Image

General Information

On this page, we present the viable talent choices for playing Dehaka in a competitive environment in Heroes of the Storm. For each talent, we explain what they do and why they should or should not be taken.

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. Talent Build

Level Choices
1 Enduring Swarm Primal Aggression Enhanced Agility Tissue Regeneration ?
4 Lurker Strain Numbing Eruption One-Who-Collects ? Hero Stalker
7 Feeding Frenzy ? Constriction ? Symbiosis Essence Devourer ?
10 Isolation Adaptation ?
13 Swift Pursuit ? Ferocious Stalker ? Whirling Dervish ?
16 Paralyzing Enzymes ? Elongated Tongue Rapid Regeneration
20 Contagion ? Change Is Survival ? Apex Predator Hardened Shield ?

2. Common Talent Paths

Waveclear Build: great waveclear and maintains a strong team fight pressence

Team Fight Build: Allows constant AoE damage during team fights

Gank Build: Maximize move speed and focus on picking off Heroes

3. Level 1 Talents

Enduring Swarm Primal Aggression Enhanced Agility Tissue Regeneration ?

3.1. Descriptions

Enduring Swarm Icon Enduring Swarm causes Dark Swarm Icon Dark Swarm to reduce the damage of the next two abilities that hit you by 50%.

Primal Aggression Icon Primal Aggression causes Dark Swarm Icon Dark Swarm to deal double its normal damage to Minions and Mercenaries, and increases Dark Swarm's duration by 0.5 seconds.

Enhanced Agility Icon Enhanced Agility permanently increases your Movement Speed by 1.5% for every 50 Essence you collect. This bonus is capped at 15% Movement Speed (500 Essence).

Tissue Regeneration Icon Tissue Regeneration permanently increases your Health Regeneration by 5 Health per second, for every 50 Essence you collect. This bonus capped at 50 Health per second (500 Essence).

3.2. Recommended

Enhanced Agility Icon Enhanced Agility permanently increases Dehaka's Movement Speed. Dehaka lacks any kind of gap closer, and instead relies purely on Movement Speed buffs and Brushstalker Icon Brushstalker in order to close distances. It is hard to go wrong choosing this talent, and will benefit Dehaka no matter what the enemy team composition is. Constant Movement Speed will help you avoid damage, deal damage, body block enemies, and get to places faster when Brushstalker is on cooldown. It is arguably his best survivabilty Talent in this tier, and certainly his best offensive choice. There are times when you can benefit from the other Talents in this tier, as Dehaka has other Movement Speed Talents later. However, if you are ever confused about what to take, Enhanced Agility Icon Enhanced Agility is a safe (and usually good) choice. Keep in mind that Swift Pursuit Icon Swift Pursuit's Movement Speed bonus does not stack with Enhanced Agility Icon Enhanced Agility when choosing a Level 13 Talent.

Primal Aggression Icon Primal Aggression gives Dehaka powerful waveclear. When combined with Brushstalker Icon Brushstalker's Map mobility, it can allow Dehaka to quickly respond to large waves of Minions and Mercenaries that would be troublesome to clear without Primal Aggression. This Talent can also help you keep waves pushed out; although, it will not directly increase Dehaka's low siege damage to structures. If you take Apex Predator Icon Apex Predator at Level 20, you can apply massive Map pressure, by contantly pushing lanes into enemy Keeps late game. Consider taking Primal Aggression Icon Primal Aggression if you are up against a push heavy enemy team composition, and your team needs more capacity to clear. Primal Aggression also has good synergy with Symbiosis Icon Symbiosis at level 7, greatly increasing the uptime of Dark Swarm when fighting even a single enemy Hero.

3.3. Situational

Tissue Regeneration Icon Tissue Regeneration is Dehaka's take on Regeneration Master Icon Regeneration Master, as they both give the user permanent Health Regeneration for completing a task. Tissue Regeneration is limited to 50 Health per second, but still offers a lot of passive Health Regeneration. Additionally, Tissue Regeneration Icon Tissue Regeneration has the potential to reach 50 Health per second much sooner than Regeneration Master Icon Regeneration Master. Dehaka lacks access to Basic Attack mitigation Talents like Block Icon Block, so Tissue Regeneration Icon Tissue Regeneration is a good option if you are facing Basic Attack poke. It can also be useful against heavy harassment Heroes like Zagara. Dehaka relies on Movement Speed buffs to close the distance to his prey, so it is important to pair Swift Pursuit Icon Swift Pursuit or Ferocious Stalker Icon Ferocious Stalker with Tissue Regeneration Icon Tissue Regeneration.

3.4. Not Recommended

Enduring Swarm Icon Enduring Swarm causes Dark Swarm Icon Dark Swarm to grant 2 charges of Enduring Swarm. Each charge of Enduring Swarm reduces a single occurrence of ability damage by 50%. Each occurrence of ability damage will consume a charge, even if multiple hits are from a single ability. The charges have no duration, and last until depleted. You cannot hold more than 2 charges. The biggest problem with Enduring Swarm Icon Enduring Swarm is that it can be completely removed by low damage ability ticks. Abilities like Sylvanas' Shadow Dagger Icon Shadow Dagger or Li-Ming's Disintegrate Icon Disintegrate can remove both stacks of Enduring Swarm almost instantly, and deal near full damage anyway. Furthermore, Enduring Swarm does very little against Basic Attack focused Heroes. While Enduring Swarm does have great synergy with Symbiosis Icon Symbiosis, the other talents in this tier will most often offer more to your kit overall. Consider taking this talent if the enemy team lacks significant basic attack damage, and has few damage over time abilities.

4. Level 4 Talents

Lurker Strain Numbing Eruption One-Who-Collects ? Hero Stalker

4.1. Descriptions

Lurker Strain Icon Lurker Strain grants 5 seconds of Stealth once Burrow Icon Burrow expires.

Numbing Eruption Icon Numbing Eruption knocks back and slows enemies by 30% when emerging from Burrow Icon Burrow.

One-Who-Collects Icon One-Who-Collects increase Essence gathered from lane Minions from 2 Essence per Minion, to 3 Essence per Minion.

Hero Stalker Icon Hero Stalker increase Essence gathered from enemy Heroes from 10 Essence per Hero, to 25 Essence per Hero.

4.2. Recommended

Hero Stalker Icon Hero Stalker could be considered a winmore Talent, as you only benefit from it when enemy Heroes die. However, the Talent has extremely good synergy with Essence Collection Icon Essence Collection in team fights. The average team fight for Dehaka involves activating Essence Collection at some point, in order to out sustain enemy Heroes. Without Hero Stalker Icon Hero Stalker, you may need to play carefully after using your Essence stacks, as you will lack significant self sustain after this point. Hero Stalker Icon Hero Stalker allows you to heal for almost 30% of your maximum Health every time an enemy Hero dies near you. This talent helps Dehaka to snowball team fights in his team's favour. Enemy Heroes like Murky or The Lost Vikings still give 25 Essence every time they die, which can be of importance if you need a quick Essence boost. The power of this Talent during team fights makes it highly recommended; however, it is not without faults. If your team composition benefits from a passive early and mid game, you may want to choose One-Who-Collects Icon One-Who-Collects instead, as you will not benefit from Hero Stalker unless enemy Heroes die near you.

4.3. Situational

One-Who-Collects Icon One-Who-Collects increases the amount of Essence you collect when soaking a lane. Normally a standard wave of Minions will yield 14 Essence, but with One-Who-Collects Icon One-Who-Collects you can gather 21 Essence. This Talent will not help you in team fights as much as Hero Stalker Icon Hero Stalker; however, it is a great way to reliably stack up Enhanced Agility Icon Enhanced Agility or Tissue Regeneration Icon Tissue Regeneration. One-Who-Collects Icon One-Who-Collects is not recommended on Maps that require you to be away from lanes for extended periods. It can be strong on Maps with frequent laning (like Tomb of the Spider Queen), or on team compositions that do not want to fight until late game.

4.4. Not Recommended

Lurker Strain Icon Lurker Strain grants you Stealth when you emerge from Burrow Icon Burrow. Burrow always lasts for 2 seconds, and cannot be cancelled early. Enemies who see you Burrow will know exactly where, and when you emerge. This means that to effectively use Lurker Strain, you will need to Burrow when enemies do no know where you are (ruling it out as an escape option). It is possible to Burrow from inside of a Bush or Vent, and then gank with 5 seconds of Stealth. This does however, put one of your defensive abilities on a 20 second cooldown. You are trading the defensive functionality of Burrow for a 5 second Stealth which takes 2 seconds to activate. If you want to gank someone successfully, timing is of utmost importance. It may be a good time to gank when you activate Burrow, and become a bad idea by the time you are Stealthed 2 seconds later. While the Talent can be fun to use, it is not recommended.

Numbing Eruption Icon Numbing Eruption is another Talent that takes effect when Burrow Icon Burrow ends. Enemies will know where and when you will emerge from Burrow most of the time. You could get some value out of this when facing melee heavy enemy team compositions. Even then, Numbing Eruption Icon Numbing Eruption is too unreliable, and is not recommended at this time.

5. Level 7 Talents

Feeding Frenzy ? Constriction ? Symbiosis Essence Devourer ?

5.1. Descriptions

Feeding Frenzy Icon Feeding Frenzy reduces Drag Icon Drag's cooldown by 1.5 seconds every time you Basic Attack.

Constriction Icon Constriction increases Drag Icon Drag's stun duration by half a second (from 1.75s to 2.25s).

Symbiosis Icon Symbiosis reduces Dark Swarm Icon Dark Swarm's cooldown by half a second every time it damages an enemy Hero.

Essence Devourer Icon Essence Devourer permanently increases your maximum Essence by 1 for the first 10 Regeneration Globes you collect, and grants 10 Essence per Globe. Once you collect 10 Regeneration Globes, they will grant 15 Essence each, but will not increase your maximum Essence any further.

5.2. Recommended

Symbiosis Icon Symbiosis allows you to keep Dark Swarm Icon Dark Swarm active much more, potentially through an entire team fight. Being able to walk through enemies and deal AoE damage throughout entire team fights is extremely powerful. When this Talent is paired with Whirling Dervish Icon Whirling Dervish, Dehaka becomes very hard to stop. Be careful not to overextend, as the enemy team will have few options to deal with you other than to focus you with damage. This Talent can significantly lower the cooldown of Dark Swarm Icon Dark Swarm even in duels, making it recommended for most games.

5.3. Situational

Feeding Frenzy Icon Feeding Frenzy is similar to Diabolical Momentum Icon Diabolical Momentum in that it lowers a cooldown each time you Basic Attack. The differences are that Feeding Frenzy Icon Feeding Frenzy only lowers the cooldown of Drag Icon Drag, but lowers it by 3 times the duration that Battle Momentum lowers all abilities. Basic Attacking 6 times after using Drag will refresh the cooldown, allowing you to use Drag much more often in teamfights. Because Drag is so impactful, this Talent can be good in prolonged team fights against enemy Heroes who will not kite you.

Constriction Icon Constriction will add 0.5 seconds of stun to Drag Icon Drag. Against Heroes with strong escape (like Li-Ming or Valla), this time can mean the difference between a takedown, or the enemy getting away. Constriction will improve your ganks, and should be strongly considered if your team composition is oriented around ganking.

Essence Devourer Icon Essence Devourer is another way to reliably collect extra Essence, and can help you stack Enhanced Agility Icon Enhanced Agility or Tissue Regeneration Icon Tissue Regeneration much more efficiently. When compared to One-Who-Collects Icon One-Who-Collects, it is better in every way. It grants up to 15 extra Essence per Minion wave instead of 7, and also grants Essence from other sources of Health Globes (like Mercenary Camps). The problem with this comparison is that One-Who-Collects Icon One-Who-Collects is a level 4 Talent, and Essence Devourer is a level 7 Talent. It can be a good option if you want to take Hero Stalker Icon Hero Stalker, but have a passive early game team composition. This is mainly due to Hero Stalker Icon Hero Stalker being so valuable in team fights, even if none happen until late game.

6. Level 10 Talents

Isolation Adaptation ?

6.1. Descriptions

Isolation Icon Isolation launches a projectile that deals 439 (208 +4% per level) damage, silences, and slows (30%) the first enemy hit for 3 seconds. For 6 seconds, the effected Hero can only see a very short distance, and cannot see vision normally granted by allies.

Adaptation Icon Adaptation heals you for 60% of the damage you take over 4 seconds following its activation.

6.2. Recommended

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 teams favor. 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 multiple enemies away from you, especially when you have team mates with you who can punish controlled targets.

6.3. Situational

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 with burst, 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.

7. Level 13 Talents

Swift Pursuit ? Ferocious Stalker ? Whirling Dervish ?

7.1. Descriptions

Swift Pursuit Icon Swift Pursuit increases your Movement Speed by 20% while in a bush or vent, and for 2 seconds after leaving it. Bonus Movement Speed does not stack with Enhanced Agility Icon Enhanced Agility.

Ferocious Stalker Icon Ferocious Stalker increases your Movement Speed by 60% upon emerging from Brushstalker Icon Brushstalker. This bonus decays over 3 seconds. Bonus Movement Speed does not stack with Enhanced Agility Icon Enhanced Agility.

Whirling Dervish Icon Whirling Dervish halves the duration of silences, stuns, slows, and roots against you while Dark Swarm Icon Dark Swarm is active.

7.2. Situational

Swift Pursuit Icon Swift Pursuit is one of Dehaka's Movement Speed options. It is best on Maps that feature many Bushes or Vents close together, creating paths for Dehaka to maintain 20% bonus Movement Speed. Swift Pursuit does not stack with Enhanced Agility Icon Enhanced Agility, so it is not recommended to take both. However, paired with a different Level 1 Talent, Swift Pursuit Icon Swift Pursuit can give Dehaka the additional mobility he thrives on.

Ferocious Stalker Icon Ferocious Stalker is a burst Movement Speed option. Although it does not stack with Enhanced Agility Icon Enhanced Agility, they do have some synergy. Ferocious Stalker Icon Ferocious Stalker's bonus speed degrades to nothing over 3 seconds. When paired with Enhanced Agility Icon Enhanced Agility, you will still be moving 15% faster when Ferocious Stalker Icon Ferocious Stalker wears off. The primary drawback of this Talent is that it can only help you when Brushstalker Icon Brushstalker is off cooldown. Until Level 20, it is only possible to use this Movement Speed burst once every 40 seconds. In spite of these weaknesses, it can be a powerful tool to catch enemy Heroes.

Whirling Dervish Icon Whirling Dervish is extremely good when combined with Symbiosis Icon Symbiosis. Symbiosis makes it possible to keep Dark Swarm Icon Dark Swarm active at all times. Consider taking Whirling Dervish when the enemy team has a lot of crowd control; however, remember that this should be paired with Enhanced Agility Icon Enhanced Agility and Symbiosis Icon Symbiosis for best results.

8. Level 16 Talents

Paralyzing Enzymes ? Elongated Tongue Rapid Regeneration

8.1. Descriptions

Paralyzing Enzymes Icon Paralyzing Enzymes slows enemies by 50% for 2 seconds after Drag Icon Drag's stun expires.

Elongated Tongue Icon Elongated Tongue increases Drag Icon Drag's range by 20%.

Rapid Regeneration Icon Rapid Regeneration heals you when Burrow Icon Burrow is activated.

8.2. Recommended

Elongated Tongue Icon Elongated Tongue is recommended because it increases the number of opportunities to land Drag Icon Drag. The extra range also makes it harder for enemy Heroes to dodge Drag.

8.3. Situational

Paralyzing Enzymes Icon Paralyzing Enzymes adds a strong slow after Drag Icon Drag's stun duration, making an already powerful crowd-control even stronger. If the team compositions in a matchup allow you to easily land Drag, Paralyzing Enzymes is the way to go.

8.4. Not Recommended

Rapid Regeneration Icon Rapid Regeneration adds a relatively weak healing effect to a Hero who has several better sustain options by this point. Upgrading Drag Icon Drag with Elongated Tongue Icon Elongated Tongue or Paralyzing Enzymes Icon Paralyzing Enzymes will be more impactful most of the time.

9. Level 20 Talents

Contagion ? Change Is Survival ? Apex Predator Hardened Shield ?

9.1. Descriptions

Contagion Icon Contagion causes Isolation to also hit all Heroes near the first target.

Change Is Survival Icon Change Is Survival increases Adaptation Icon Adaptation's healing from 60% to 125%, and decreases its cooldown by 30 seconds.

Apex Predator Icon Apex Predator lowers Brushstalker Icon Brushstalker's cooldown to 15 seconds, and reduces the cast time by half a second.

Hardened Shield Icon Hardened Shield reduces all damage taken by 75% for 4 seconds, upon activation.

9.2. Recommended

Apex Predator Icon Apex Predator gives Dehaka some of the highest Map mobility in the game. With this Talent Dehaka can freely push lanes, Hearthstone for Health and Mana as needed, and still show up to fights in time. Apex Predator is generally recommended, as it greatly increases Dehaka's already high Map pressure.

9.3. Situational

Contagion Icon Contagion can be devastating to enemy teams who fight close together, or on Maps that require fighting in tight spaces. Even landing Isolation onto 2 enemy Heroes can win a team fight. The key to using Contagion well is patience. You need to wait for your team to be ready for an engage. Once they are, you need to wait for an opportunity to land an Isolation that will hit a target that is very close to other enemy Heroes.

Hardened Shield Icon Hardened Shield can be a great choice if you are having trouble staying alive in team fights, or if the enemy team is running a burst-composition. If Adaptation Icon Adaptation is active avoid using Hardened Shield Icon Hardened Shield unless you will otherwise die, as Adaptation's healing will be reduced as damage taken is reduced. With this in mind, Hardened Shield Icon Hardened Shield is good with Adaptation Icon Adaptation, increasing your ability to stay alive while waiting for Adaptations Health refund.

Change Is Survival Icon Change Is Survival heals for more than Adaptation Icon Adaptation; however the main reason it is useful is that it greatly reduces Adaptation's cooldown. By being able to use Adaptation every 60 seconds, it should be available for every teamfight. Only consider this Talent if you are already getting good value out of Adaptation. If you find yourself dying after activating Adaptation in the late game of a particular match, Hardened Shield will be a better choice.

10. ChangeLog

  • 12 Sep. 2016: Guide Update
    • Added a new Talent Build.
    • Updates to the Talent Tree:
    • Level 1 Talent Primal Aggression moved from "Situational" to "Recommended".
    • Updated some minor textual errors.
  • 12 Jul. 2016: Updates following Gul'dan's patch.
    • Adaptation duration reduced from 5 seconds to 4 seconds..
    • Enduring Swarm spell resistance increased from 25% to 50%.
    • Primal Aggression now also increases the duration of Dark Swarm by 0.5 seconds.
    • Essence Devourer quest added: Every Regen Globe collected increases maximum Essence by 1 (caps at +10 maximum Essence). Once 10 Regen Globes are collected, the Essence gathered from each Globe will increase from 10 to 15.
    • Rapid Regeneration Heal amount increased from 76 to 90.
    • Change is Survival now also lowers the cooldown of Adaptation by 30 seconds.
    • Apex Predator cooldown reduction decreased from 30 seconds to 25 seconds.
    • Talent tree updated to now show Change is Survival as Situational.
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