Abathur Build Guide “You. Enhanced. Improved.”
Welcome to our guide for Abathur, a Support in Heroes of the Storm. Within these pages, you will find everything required to understand how best to play this hero, in both different map styles and team compositions.
Abathur plays differently from every other Hero in the game. With extremely low health and negligible Basic Attack damage, he needs to avoid direct confrontations with enemy Heroes. He instead applies pressure to the map through use of his global Abilities, and participates in team fights by empowering his allies with Symbiote. Abathur is very dependent on good strategy, and can greatly benefit from (or suffer on) certain maps and team compositions.
Abathur's Strengths and Weaknesses
- Can soak multiple lanes at once, creating an XP lead
- Excellent synergy with specific Heroes
- Both Heroics are viable
- One of the best split-pushing Heroes in the game
- Can teleport anywhere on the map (provided there is vision) using Deep Tunnel
- Toxic Nest is excellent at spotting and dismounting enemies attempting to gank allies or sneak objectives
- Weak early game
- Cannot solo a lane by himself
- Body is extremely vulnerable if found
- Requires very good multitasking and map awareness
- Team must adapt to Abathur's unique gameplay style in order to succeed
- Viability is very dependent on the map and team compositions
Abathur's Talent Build Cheatsheet
The Symbiote Build maximises Abathur's team fight presence by taking Talents that improve Symbiote's damage dealing Abilities. This team fight presence comes at the cost of global pressure, as you will lack the huge lane pressure provided by other builds. Although this is not a build that focuses on pushing lanes, it is still important to soak as much experience as possible. Due to the short range of Symbiote's Abilities, this build is ideally paired with a melee assassin who benefits from increased attack speed.
Adrenal Overload will greatly increase the performance of certain heroes, like Illidan, or Greymane. When the Symbiote host is not reliant on Basic Attacks, you should get Needlespine instead. Even though Calldown: MULE will be useful in most games, Vile Nest is also an option in Dragon Shire and Cursed Hollow, since it will provide much control for enemy rotation and objectives. At Level 16 Adrenaline Boost is the standard Talent, but Envenomed Spikes is a great option against team compositions with limited mobility, since the slow will affect all enemies, greatly disrupting their movement. Together with a Dragonblade Genji or Maiev, you can go for Evolutionary Link at Level 20, since the shield and the extra duration will be incredibly good for those Heroes.
Toxic Nest BuildSituational
Toxic Nest build can be a good choice in situations where you do not have viable heroes to place Symbiote on. It excels in maps with constant rotation, such as Dragon Shire, Blackheart's Bay, Cursed Hollow, Garden of Terror and Towers of Doom.
Even though it sounds interesting to use all your Toxic Nest in the same point, this is not the best way to abuse this build. We recommend using the Nests between the waves, while making sure they are not very close between them. The main focus is to abuse Vile Nest's slow to delay enemy rotations or to control the way towards the objective. It is also very important to always have a Toxic Nest on enemy's Mercenary camps, since it will give that information to your team, and sometimes it will even stop their intention in capturing it.
In this build there is not much commitment into Symbiote Talents, for this reason we recommend going for Ultimate Evolution, considering it will be strong nonetheless, since it does not depend on any talents, while Evolve Monstrosity does. Envenomed Nest should be changed to Pressurized Glands if opposing team has good access to sustained-healing, since the damage over time will be negated by their healer. At level 13, Soma Transference is the default pick as long as most of your simbiote hosts are frontline Heroes. Therefore, it is better to go for Spatial Efficiency when backliners are the hosts. Evolutionary Link can be a good Talent as well, and you should use the Heroic Ability on your teammate that is having more trouble staying alive, since the 35% shield will be applied to them, giving them some much needed protection.
Locust Strain BuildNot recommended
The Locust Strain Build focuses on talents that produce and enhance Locusts. It excels at creating debilitating static pressure in lanes of your choosing. You can have a significant impact on mid-game team fights via Ultimate Evolution. This build path is mostly not recommended, but sometimes you will feel like that even with your Symbiote on a Hero you will not win the fights. This happens mostly when enemy team composition is a direct counter to yours. Locust build can be an option in that scenario, but we would still recommend going for Symbiote or Toxic Nest build instead. Abathur's power is completely focused on Symbiote, building around Locusts is not the best path. Most of the Heroes can easily defend against it, reducing the viability of this build. Other builds are harder for enemies to deal with, and therefore are much more reliable.
This build has the major Power Spike at level 16, since Locust Brood will enable Abathur to push easily when enemies are not defending. It is crucial to play more aggresive from that point and forward. If all enemies are showing in the map, use Deep Tunnel to an empty lane to spawn 4 locusts and retreat. While an enemy is clearing your Locusts, your team can engage a favourable team fight, but be aware to warn your team by either pinging or even using Ultimate Evolution and advancing.
Abathur's Synergies and Counters
Abathur is strong with Heroes who serve as ideal Symbiote hosts, or who are good targets for Ultimate Evolution. Ideal Symbiote hosts are Heroes that naturally position themselves in melee range, or with mobile assassins, that can easily abuse Symbiote to kill squishy targets.
Abathur's Symbiote and Locusts help him to deny the enemy team experience when objectives spawn, when most Heroes will need to vacate lanes in order to rotate. This tactic is directly countered by Heroes who can travel globally, and who waveclear very efficiently. He is also very weak against compositions that can join as four to push down a lane. Heroes like Sylvanas, Zarya or Sgt. Hammer are great for that purpose, and for this reason are a big threat for Abathur's team.
Abathur's win condition is to be more places at once than his enemy, and overwhelm the other team with a constant stream of subtle pressure. Abathur is very strong on large maps that feature frequent objective spawns, which allow him to be somewhat ignored for some of the match. These maps allow him to either soak an advantage, or force the enemy team to split. His strength, however, is also his weakness. Abathur gets very little value on small maps that feature fewer lanes, team fights near lanes, or objectives that do not require immediate rotations. Abathur is excellent on Sky Temple due to Calldown: MULE denying most of objective's shots.
Abathur's Tips and Tricks
- Symbiote can be used to soak Experience from distant lanes and to assist your allies in combat.
- Use Symbiote to assure your team do not lose any Experience from lanes they are not present.
- Place Toxic Nests around the battlefield to provide vision, deal damage, and dismount enemies who are rotating. Using them on enemy Mercenary Camps is a great way to spot enemies frequently, allowing your team to invade it or to push somewhere else.
- After getting Soma Transference it is better to only use Spike Burst when there are many enemies inside the area of effect, since you should be always trying to maximize sustain healing in your empowered ally.
- Ultimate Evolution should be used as team fights start.
- Use Deep Tunnel to quickly traverse the battlefield and get out of harm's way.
- Deep Tunnel should be used towards empty lanes when enemies cannot reach them, so you will be soaking Experience for your team with Abathur's body, while also assisting them with Symbiote.
- Calldown: MULE should be used when ready on any damaged lane to maximize its value.
- You should be careful about body position when playing against Heroes that can easily hunt you down, such as Zeratul, Medivh, or Genji. In those scenarios it might even be better to not be in lane at all while you do not know where they are.
Abathur's Role in the Current Meta
Abathur's biggest strength is being able to contest map objectives while soaking experience. This is done by moving Abathur within range of Minions and then using Symbiote or Ultimate Evolution to assist your team. This creates an experience advantage over the enemy team. If the enemy team has one of their Heroes soak a lane to try to catch up, then your team is at a significant advantage in any team fight that occurs during that time.
Due to the specific nature of his strengths and weaknesses, Abathur's place in the meta will likely remain situational. He can be extremely powerful with the right team composition, or can struggle to provide value because of a map's mechanics. Even in drafts where you have a good team composition and map for Abathur, you should make sure your team is comfortable with the pick. Abathur requires your team to play differently than normal, and you will have the most success when your teammates understand this.
- 26 Mar. 2021 (talents page): Updated builds and Talents to better reflect Current Meta.
- 26 Mar. 2021 (this page): Updated builds to better reflect Current Meta.
- 17 May 2020 (this page): Updated guide to ensure meta relevance.
- 09 Apr. 2020 (talents page): Updated builds and Talents to better reflect Current Meta.
- 15 Feb. 2020 (this page): Guide reviewed and text updated for Prolific Dispersal to account for February 12 balance patch.
- 15 Feb. 2020 (talents page): Updated text for Prolific Dispersal to account for balance patch.
- 29 Jan. 2020 (talents page): Reviewed Talents section for relevance and fixed grammatical error.
- 29 Jan. 2020 (this page): Updated synergies to stress the strength of symbiote on high sustain melee Heroes.
- 15 Dec. 2019 (this page): Updated Role in the Current Meta to include information on current Nexus Anomaly.
- 18 Apr. 2019 (this page): Updated Talents section to account for balance patch.
- 18 Apr. 2019 (talents page): Updated Talents section to account for balance patch.
- 12 Feb. 2019 (talents page): Updated guide to reflect Hero rework in balance patch.
- 12 Feb. 2019 (this page): Updated guide to reflect Hero rework in balance patch.
- 12 Dec. 2017 (talents page): Edited Calldown: MULE to reflect 2018 game design changes.
- 16 Feb. 2017 (this page): Updated guide and moved it to the new format.
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