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Dehaka Talents

Last updated on Dec 14, 2016 at 22:50 by Straften 11 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 One-Who-Collects ? Hero Stalker
7 Feeding Frenzy ? Constriction ? Symbiosis Essence Devourer ?
10 Isolation Adaptation
13 Swift Pursuit Ferocious Stalker Primal Swarm
16 Paralyzing Enzymes ? Elongated Tongue Tunneling Claws
20 Contagion ? Change Is Survival ? Apex Predator Essence Claws

2. Common Talent Paths

Split Soak Build

These Talents focus on maximising Dehaka's split soaking potential. The main component of this build is Primal Aggression Icon Primal Aggression, which allows you to clear Minions quickly. Push Minions into towers while enemies rotate to map objectives, which will result in an experience advantage for your team. Make sure to use Brushstalker Icon Brushstalker to get to the objective on time yourself; otherwise, your teammates will often die as a result of being outnumbered. Because you will be clearing Minion waves frequently, Essence Devourer Icon Essence Devourer will work well as a sustain replacement for Hero Stalker Icon Hero Stalker in this build. This frees up your Level 4 Talent for Lurker Strain Icon Lurker Strain, giving you AoE crowd control you would otherwise lack as Dehaka. Talent Substitutes for this build are Hero Stalker at 4 with Symbiosis Icon Symbiosis at 7, which will increase your teamfight damage while reducing the crowd control you are capable of. You may want Isolation Icon Isolation instead of Adaptation if you need additional crowd control, which can be good when you have a second Warrior to help tank.

Team Fight Build

This build focuses on team fight damage and sustain over crowd control. When your team is ready to fight, position yourself to apply Dark Swarm Icon Dark Swarm to multiple enemy Heroes. Use Dark Swarm constantly to reduce the Ability Damage you receive, and increase all damage effected enemies take. Tunneling Claws Icon Tunneling Claws allows you to continue applying Dark Swarm if you become rooted or slowed, and will also allow you to escape when needed. This is important, because it makes it much safer to position aggressively to get the most out of Primal Swarm Icon Primal Swarm. Hero Stalker Icon Hero Stalker will be your sustain Talent here, because it rewards the build's aggressive style. Use Adaptation Icon Adaptation and Essence Collection Icon Essence Collection to keep yourself in the fight until the first takedown, at which point you will recieve additional Essence. If the enemy team does more damage with Basic Attacks than Abilities, take Tissue Regeneration Icon Tissue Regeneration as a sustain option at Level 1 instead of Enduring Swarm Icon Enduring Swarm.

3. Level 1 Talents

Dehaka Enduring Swarm
Enduring Swarm (Level 1) Starcraft Dehaka

Dark Swarm grants 40 Spell Armor, reducing Ability damage taken by 40%.

Dehaka Primal Aggression
Primal Aggression (Level 1) Starcraft Dehaka

Dark Swarm duration increased by .5 seconds and it deals 100% bonus damage to Minions and Mercenaries.

Dehaka Enhanced Agility
Enhanced Agility (Level 1) Starcraft Dehaka

Quest: Each time Dehaka collects 50 Essence, his Brushstalker Movement Speed bonus is permanently increased by 1.5%, up to 15%.

Dehaka Tissue Regeneration ?
Tissue Regeneration (Level 1) Starcraft Dehaka

Quest: Each time Dehaka collects 50 Essence, his Health Regeneration is permanently increased by 5, up to 50.

3.1. Discussion

Enduring Swarm Icon Enduring Swarm is an extremely powerful Level 1 damage mitigation Talent. It reduces incoming spell damage at will, and with a low cooldown Ability. When this Talent is paired with Symbiosis Icon Symbiosis at Level 7, it becomes easy to have Dark Swarm Icon Dark Swarm active throughout team fights. This means you will take only 60% of the damage from harmful Abilities during teamfights for the rest of the game.

Primal Aggression Icon Primal Aggression gives Dehaka powerful waveclear. When combined with Brushstalker Icon Brushstalker's Map mobility, it allows 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.

Enhanced Agility Icon Enhanced Agility only situationally increases Dehaka's mobility. If you are not fighting right next to bushes or vents, this Talent does nothing for you. You will get much more value out of every other Talent in this tier in most games.

Tissue Regeneration Icon Tissue Regeneration offers a lot of passive Health Regeneration. Dehaka lacks access to Basic Attack mitigation Talents, 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.

4. Level 4 Talents

Dehaka Lurker Strain
Lurker Strain (Level 4) Starcraft Dehaka

Emerging from Burrow grants Dehaka Stealth for 3 seconds and also knocks nearby enemies back, slowing them by 30% for 2 seconds.

Dehaka One-Who-Collects ?
One-Who-Collects (Level 4) Starcraft Dehaka

Increases Essence collected from Minions by 50%.

Dehaka Hero Stalker
Hero Stalker (Level 4) Starcraft Dehaka

Increases Essence gained from Takedowns by 100%.

4.1. Discussion

Lurker Strain Icon Lurker Strain gives you a knockback which you can use to peel for your backline, or trap enemies who are trying to get away. The Stealth it grants can be useful for ganking or escaping as well.

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).

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 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 full 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.

5. Level 7 Talents

Dehaka Feeding Frenzy ?
Feeding Frenzy (Level 7) Starcraft Dehaka

Basic Attacks reduce Drag's cooldown by 1.5 seconds.

Dehaka Constriction ?
Constriction (Level 7) Starcraft Dehaka

Increases Drag duration by 0.5 seconds.

Dehaka Symbiosis
Symbiosis (Level 7) Starcraft Dehaka

Every time Dark Swarm damages an enemy Hero, reduce its cooldown by 0.5 seconds.

Dehaka Essence Devourer ?
Essence Devourer (Level 7) Starcraft Dehaka

Quest: Regeneration Globes grant 10 Essence and increases maximum Essence by 1, up to 10.

Reward: After collecting 10, Regeneration Globes will instead grant 15 Essence.

5.1. Discussion

Feeding Frenzy Icon Feeding Frenzy lowers the cooldown of Drag significantly; Basic Attacking 6 times after using Drag will refresh it completely. Because Drag is so impactful, this Talent can be good in prolonged team fights against enemy Heroes who will not kite you.

Against Heroes with strong escape (like Li-Ming or Valla), Constriction Icon Constriction 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.

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 Enduring Swarm Icon Enduring Swarm, 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. For this reason, Adaptation Icon Adaptation is the recommended Heroic with this Talent combination.

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. This Talent also increases the amount of Essence you can store, which in turn increases the potenency of its healing.

6. Level 10 Talents

Dehaka Isolation
Isolation (Level 10) Starcraft Dehaka
  • Mana: 100
  • Cooldown: 60 seconds

Launch biomass that hits the first enemy Hero dealing 200 (+4% per level) damage, silencing and slowing them 30% for 3 seconds. Only allows them to see a very short distance for 6 seconds.

Dehaka Adaptation
Adaptation (Level 10) Starcraft Dehaka
  • Mana: 85
  • Cooldown: 90 seconds

After 4 seconds, heal for 100% of the damage Dehaka took over this period.

6.1. Discussion

Isolation Icon Isolation adds a second hard 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.

Adaptation Icon Adaptation is a powerful Heroic that makes you extremely hard to kill during team fights. When timed well, this Ability can effectively double your Health pool. Adaptation can give the appearance that you are about to die before it heals you, which can bait out enemies as they try to land a killing blow.

7. Level 13 Talents

Dehaka Swift Pursuit
Swift Pursuit (Level 13) Starcraft Dehaka

Brushstalker's bush movement speed bonus now lasts for 3 seconds after leaving the bush.

Dehaka Ferocious Stalker
Ferocious Stalker (Level 13) Starcraft Dehaka

Brushstalker increases Dehaka's damage by 25% for 10 seconds.

Dehaka Primal Swarm
Primal Swarm (Level 13) Starcraft Dehaka

Dark Swarm causes enemies hit to lose 15 Armor for 0.75 seconds, causing them to take 15% extra damage.

7.1. Discussion

Swift Pursuit Icon Swift Pursuit adds duration to Brushstalker's movement speed bonus, which gives it synergy with Enhanced Agility Icon Enhanced Agility from Level 1. Although there is a case to be made for chasing down kills in areas with dense clusters of bushes or vents, it is a stretch. There are many superior Talents to choose from at Level 1, and certainly in this tier as well. On its own, this Talent is not terrible. Three seconds of bonus movements speed out of the bush can increase ganking potential; however, this only outvalues Primal Swarm Icon Primal Swarm in games where you do not take Symbiosis Icon Symbiosis at Level 7.

Ferocious Stalker Icon Ferocious Stalker is another option that can help you secure kills in games where you do not take Symbiosis Icon Symbiosis. If you do take Symbiosis, Primal Swarm Icon Primal Swarm will result in the largest damage increase for your team. Increasing Dehaka's damage by 25% is simply inferior to increasing all damage (including Dehaka's) by 15%.

Primal Swarm Icon Primal Swarm is very good when combined with Symbiosis Icon Symbiosis. Symbiosis makes it possible to keep Dark Swarm Icon Dark Swarm active at all times. During team fights this will result in 15% increased damage (from all sources) to all enemy Heroes who are within range of Dark Swarm.

8. Level 16 Talents

Dehaka Paralyzing Enzymes ?
Paralyzing Enzymes (Level 16) Starcraft Dehaka

Drag slows enemies by 50% for 2 seconds after it ends.

Dehaka Elongated Tongue
Elongated Tongue (Level 16) Starcraft Dehaka

Increase Drag range by 20%.

Dehaka Tunneling Claws
Tunneling Claws (Level 16) Starcraft Dehaka

Dehaka can move while Burrowed.

8.1. Discussion

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 composition in a matchup allows you to easily land Drag, Paralyzing Enzymes is the way to go.

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 by walking away from you, and forces them to sidestep it instead.

Tunneling Claws Icon Tunneling Claws adds a ton of playmaking potential to Burrow Icon Burrow. If you are using Burrow to escape death, this Talent helps you survive by allowing you to pop out in a safer location. Tunneling Claws can also be used offensively, so that you can emerge behind an enemy and block them.

9. Level 20 Talents

Dehaka Contagion ?
Contagion (Level 20) Starcraft Dehaka

Isolation hits all Heroes near the first target.

Dehaka Change Is Survival ?
Change Is Survival (Level 20) Starcraft Dehaka

Increases Adaptation healing to 200% of the damage received and reduces the cooldown by 30 seconds.

Dehaka Apex Predator
Apex Predator (Level 20) Starcraft Dehaka

Reduces Brushstalker's cooldown by 25 seconds and the cast time by 0.5 seconds.

Dehaka Essence Claws
Essence Claws (Level 20) Starcraft Dehaka

Dehaka's Basic Attacks slow the target by 20% for 1 second. If the target is a Hero, Dehaka gains 5 Essence.

9.1. Discussion

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.

Change Is Survival Icon Change Is Survival enables you to heal with Adaptation Icon Adaptation rather than just mitigate damage with it. If you are at half Health and you activate Change Is Survival, you can end up with almost full Health (provided you do not die).

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.

Essence Claws Icon Essence Claws gives you increased sustain and some light crowd-control in the form of a Slow. Because your Basic Attacks now apply Slow, you can much more easily land Drag. The essence on hit can help you to win trades or survive team fights, as you can heal for a small amount each time you Basic Attack a Hero.

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