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Abathur Abilities and Strategy

Last updated on Feb 16, 2017 at 15:35 by Straften 32 comments

Table of Contents

Abathur Image

General Information

Below, we give you an overview of the abilities that Abathur has access to. We also explain how to best your these 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. Tips on Abathur's Ability Usage

  • Symbiote Icon Symbiote can be used to absorb the XP from distant lanes and to assist your allies in combat.
  • Place Toxic Nest Icon Toxic Nests around the map to provide vision, deal damage, and dismount enemies who are rotating.
  • Ultimate Evolution Icon Ultimate Evolution's low cooldown allows you to use it liberally in team fights, to destroy Structures, or speed up the capture of Mercenary Camps.
  • Spawn Locust Strain Icon Locust Strain in a lane that needs your assistance or your team is pushing hard in.
  • Use Deep Tunnel Icon Deep Tunnel to quickly traverse the map and get out of harm's way.

2. 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, have 316 (+4% per level) health and deal 34 (+4% per level) damage with each Basic Attack.

Locusts will passively push the lane you are closest to. They have a constant influence on a lane's balance; similar to (albeit much less significant than) Catapult Minions. It is ideal to place yourself near an empty lane when possible, in order to create static lane pressure that will force an enemy to rotate to you.

It is important to note that Locust Strain cannot be toggled off and spawned Locusts will lead the enemy team right to you. Toxic Nest Icon Toxic Nests can be used to see potential threats moving toward your location; be aware of enemy locations on the minimap. When enemies begin closing on your location, you can quickly travel to a position far away via Deep Tunnel Icon Deep Tunnel.

3. 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 allows 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. If you are being pursued by an enemy who is capable of interrupting Deep Tunnel, make sure you use Deep Tunnel before they are in range to stop you.

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. You will need to place nests ahead of time, as they will not grant vision until they have gone through a 5 second activation process.

4. 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.

Stores up to 3 charges.

Toxic Nest Icon Toxic Nest creates a mine at the targeted location that takes 5 seconds to activate. Once active, it provides vision, gains Stealth, 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 if revealed. 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 those that rely on Stealth to perform ganks. 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.

5. Symbiote

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

Spawn and attach a Symbiote to a target ally or Structure. While active, Abathur controls the Symbiote, gaining access to new Abilities. The Symbiote is able to gain XP from nearby enemy deaths.

Symbiote Icon Symbiote defines Abathur as a Hero. By creating a direct link between him and any allied Hero, Minion, or Mercenary, Symbiote allows Abathur to soak or assist allied Heroes in a global manner. Symbiote is often lovingly refered to by the community as "aba hat" or simply "hat" due to its appearance. 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.

When playing Abathur, Symbiote should be active or 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 if they need it. Symbiote does not always have to be used on allied Heroes, it may also be used on Minions, Locusts, Mercenaries, or Structures to push lanes and soak XP.

Symbiote Icon Symbiote has a shorter cooldown than Stab, Spike Burst, or Carapace. As cancelling Symbiote refreshes the cooldowns of these sub-abilities, it can often be efficient to end Symbiote after using all of these Abilities in quick succession. While this should generally be how you use Symbiote, there are several exceptions.

Sometimes, maximising the value of Symbiote requires you to stay with hosts longer than it takes you to spend all of your cooldowns. For example, waiting for a third charge of Stab is slightly faster than cancelling and recasting Symbiote. This can be useful when a fleeing enemy is being pursued by your host, and will die from one more Stab. Additionaly, Carapace's shield ends when Symbiote is cancelled; keeping Symbiote on your host may be useful when you elect not to take Sustained Carapace Icon Sustained Carapace. Finally, hosts do not benefit from Adrenal Overload Icon Adrenal Overload when Symbiote is not active. Allowing Adrenal Overload's effect to persist during combat can be more useful than refreshing your own cooldowns, especially when your host relies on Basic Attacks for damage and sustain.

During team fights, Symbiote Icon Symbiote should almost exclusively be placed on your frontline melee 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. Stab and Spike Burst have relatively short ranges, and Melee Heroes will naturally position so that you can use them effectively.

5.1. Stab

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

Shoots a spike towards target area that deals 119 (+4% per level) damage to the first enemy it contacts.

Stab Icon 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.

5.2. Spike Burst

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

Deals 120 (+4% per level) damage to nearby enemies.

Spike Burst Icon 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 very useful for assisting with waveclear and Mercenary Camps.

5.3. Carapace

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

Shields the assisted ally for 157 (+4% per level). Lasts for 8 seconds.

Carapace Icon Carapace provides a fairly weak shield, but can be used very often with no resource cost. Use Carapace whenever your host is taking damage.

6. Ultimate Evolution

Abathur Ultimate Evolution
Ultimate Evolution (R) Starcraft Abathur
  • Heroic
  • Cooldown: 70 seconds

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

Ultimate Evolution Icon 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. Ideally, the cloned Hero will also have a gap closer to ensure that you are able to close in on enemies and deal meaningful damage during the 20 second window. Cloning Tanks will yield less damage, but can be useful if your team requires more crowd control.

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. 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. Do not forget that Abathur will return to the location Ultimate Evolution was cast from once the Heroic ends.

7. 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 Abathur to control it, in addition to Symbiote's normal benefits. This Ability can be reactivated to automatically cast Symbiote on his Monstrosity.

Evolve Monstrosity Icon Evolve Monstrosity should be used in a lane with many 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, do not allow it take Tower shots. Instead, wait for allied Minions to absorb the shots. You can take the Monstrosity into direct combat. It can be incredibly strong against enemy Heroes, especially if you have built up full stacks on it. The Monstrosity cannot collect Regeneration Globes, pick up Gems or Coins, or participate in map objectives that need to be channeled. It can capture areas, like Mercenary Camps, the temples on Sky Temple, and the shrines on Dragon Shire.

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