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Abathur Talents

Last updated on Feb 16, 2017 at 15:24 by Straften 23 comments

Table of Contents

Abathur Image

General Information

On this page, we present the viable talent choices for playing Abathur 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 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. Talent Build

Level Choices
1 Pressurized Glands ? Survival Instincts ? Regenerative Microbes Envenomed Nest
4 Prolific Dispersal Ballistospores Sustained Carapace Adrenal Overload ?
7 Needlespine Vile Nest Networked Carapace ? Calldown: MULE ?
10 Ultimate Evolution Evolve Monstrosity ?
13 Assault Strain ? Bombard Strain ? Spatial Efficiency Soma Transference ?
16 Envenomed Spikes Adrenaline Boost ? Locust Brood Volatile Mutation
20 Evolutionary Link ? Evolution Complete ? Hivemind Locust Nest ?
Create your own build and share it with friends!

2. Common Talent Paths

2.1. Carapace Build (talent calculator link)

The Carapace Icon Carapace Build focuses on talenting Carapace into a powerful and versatile Ability. This build provides great map pressure and out of combat healing to allies, but lacks on demand team fight damage. Regenerative Microbes Icon Regenerative Microbes should be used to heal allied units constantly. Sustained Carapace Icon Sustained Carapace allows you to get the full duration of Carapace's various effects, even when you cancel Symbiote Icon Symbiote immediately after casting Carapace. This essentially enables full value casting of Carapace every 4 seconds. Networked Carapace Icon Networked Carapace provides minor utility during team fights, but is very strong when pushing Minion waves remotely. While Evolve Monstrosity Icon Evolve Monstrosity deals massive team fight damage in ideal situations, it must be stacked ahead of time in order to be effective. It is best if you do not spend much time controlling the Monstrosity until you get Adrenaline Boost Icon Adrenaline Boost at Level 16. Allow it to pressure in an empty lane, while you soak experience with your body and Symbiote. It is possible to gather experience from three lanes at once when using this method, especially while teams rotate to map objectives. This build path is recommended in team compositions that can effectively draw out fights and objectives while you create an experience lead and threaten Structures. It is not recommended for use in dive compositions that require your allies to fully commit to team fights.

2.2. Locust Strain Build (talent calculator link)

The Locust Strain Icon Locust Strain Build focuses on talents that produce and enhance Locusts. It excels at creating debilitating static pressure in lanes of your choosing. The Carapace talents included in this build allow you to preventatively shield your Minion waves and allies. Unlike the Carapace Build, you can have a significant impact on mid-game team fights via Ultimate Evolution Icon Ultimate Evolution. This build path is highly recommended against enemy team compositions that lack strong waveclear, as they will have to spend more time and resources answering your push. While an enemy is clearing your Locusts, your team can engage a favourable team fight.

2.3. Symbiote Build (talent calculator link)

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 with it. Due to the short range of Symbiote's Abilities, this build is ideally paired with a melee hyper-carry who benefits from increased attack speed.

3. Level 1 Talents

Abathur Pressurized Glands ?
Pressurized Glands (Level 1) Starcraft Abathur

Increases the range of Symbiote's Spike Burst by 25% and decreases the cooldown by 1 second.

Abathur Survival Instincts ?
Survival Instincts (Level 1) Starcraft Abathur

Increases Locust's Health by 50% and duration by 40%.

Abathur Regenerative Microbes
Regenerative Microbes (Level 1) Starcraft Abathur

Symbiote's Carapace heals the target for 68 (+4% per level) Health per second over 4 seconds.

Abathur Envenomed Nest
Envenomed Nest (Level 1) Starcraft Abathur

Toxic Nests deal 75% more damage over 3 seconds.

3.1. Discussion

Pressurized Glands Icon Pressurized Glands provides Spike Burst Icon Spike Burst with a reasonable power increase during the early game, and has good synergy with Soma Transference Icon Soma Transference and Envenomed Spikes Icon Envenomed Spikes at Levels 13 and 16 respectively. Pressurized Glands also helps improve your waveclear.

Survival Instincts Icon Survival Instincts will pressure the enemy team by increasing the amount of damage your Locusts can take before going down, as well as increasing the distance they can travel from you before expiring. This talent provides very little benefit unless other Locust talents are also picked up later. If you want to get the most out of Survival Instincts, take Assault Strain Icon Assault Strain or Bombard Strain Icon Bombard Strain at 13, Locust Brood Icon Locust Brood at 16, and Locust Nest Icon Locust Nest at 20.

Regenerative Microbes Icon Regenerative Microbes can provides a good amount of supplemental healing to Symbiote hosts who have an active Carapace shield. The healing effect will end if the shield is destroyed, meaning that this Talent will get maximum value on out of combat allies. This supplemental healing can be very helpful to your team's support, as they will not need to spend as many resources between team fights. When combined with Sustained Carapace at level 4, you can heal almost continuously by cancelling Symbiote as soon as you cast Carapace. This is because the healing takes 4 seconds to complete, which is the same amount of time your Symbiote is on cooldown between switching hosts. This technique can be especially useful in matches where your team lacks a healer completely, which can be common in Quick Match (but can occasionally occur in ranked modes as well).

Envenomed Nest Icon Envenomed Nest dramatically increases the damage of Toxic Nest Icon Toxic Nest, but deals this extra damage over time. Consider taking this if you really need to punish enemy rotations, and are planning on taking other Toxic nest talents at levels 4 and 7. This Talent can also be useful in Quick Match games when the enemy team lacks self-sustain options.

4. Level 4 Talents

Abathur Prolific Dispersal
Prolific Dispersal (Level 4) Starcraft Abathur

Reduces the cooldown of Toxic Nest by 2 seconds and adds 2 additional charges.

Abathur Ballistospores
Ballistospores (Level 4) Starcraft Abathur

Increases Toxic Nest's range to global and increases duration by 25%.

Abathur Sustained Carapace
Sustained Carapace (Level 4) Starcraft Abathur

Increases the Shield amount of Symbiote's Carapace by 40% and allows it to persist after Symbiote ends.

Abathur Adrenal Overload ?
Adrenal Overload (Level 4) Starcraft Abathur

Heroic Symbiote hosts gain 25% increased Attack Speed.

4.1. Discussion

Prolific Dispersal Icon Prolific Dispersal dramatically increases the amount of times you can use Toxic Nest Icon Toxic Nest. While Adrenal Overload Icon Adrenal Overload is strictly better if you have allies that can take advantage of the increased attack speed, Prolific Dispersal is a good alternative if your team lacks such a Hero. Prolific Dispersal has strong synergy with Vile Nest Icon Vile Nest at level 7, even in the absence of Envenomed Nest Icon Envenomed Nest from level 1.

Ballistospores Icon Ballistospores can be useful on very large maps, where you may otherwise need to reposition to place Toxic Nests in optimal locations. In the event that you lose your Forts on large maps, you may not be able to place mines in meaningful locations at all without this Talent. This Talent will also allow you to travel Globally via Deep Tunnel Icon Deep Tunnel, as Toxic Nests grant vision once they mature. This can be useful if you plan on pushing with a Locust oriented build on a large map. On smaller maps Toxic Nest Icon Toxic Nest has a large enough range that the mines are already essentially global without this Talent, making Prolific Dispersal Icon Prolific Dispersal a superior choice in those situations.

Sustained Carapace Icon Sustained Carapace has specific synergy with Regenerative Microbes Icon Regenerative Microbes from level 1. In addition to the effectiveness of this combo as described in detail above, this talent also increases the shield's strength; however, Sustained Carapace will yield very little value without the synergy from Regenerative Microbes. It is not recommended to take this talent combo unless your team needs the supplemental healing from Regenerative Microbes to be amplified. When your team requires the healing from these two talents, you can round out the build by taking Locust talents at levels 13, 16, and 20. Assault Strain Icon Assault Strain will be the best choice at 13 when lacking Survival Instincts Icon Survival Instincts from level 1, as something beneficial will happen when your Locusts die.

Adrenal Overload Icon Adrenal Overload significantly increases the damage potential of Heroes who depend on Basic Attacks for damage, self-sustain, or to trigger other effects. Heroes that do not rely on Basic Attacks benefit much less from this Talent; its usefulness depends on team composition.

5. Level 7 Talents

Abathur Needlespine
Needlespine (Level 7) Starcraft Abathur

Increases the damage and range of Symbiote's Stab by 20%.

Abathur Vile Nest
Vile Nest (Level 7) Starcraft Abathur

Toxic Nests slow enemy Movement Speed by 40% for 2.5 seconds.

Abathur Networked Carapace ?
Networked Carapace (Level 7) Starcraft Abathur

Using Symbiote's Carapace also applies an untalented Carapace Shield to all nearby allied Heroes, Minions, and Mercenaries.

Abathur Calldown: MULE ?
Calldown: MULE (Level 7) Starcraft Abathur
  • Cooldown: 60 seconds

Activate to calldown a Mule that repairs Structures, one at a time, near target point for 40 seconds, healing for 150 Health every 1 second. Grants 2 ammo every 3 seconds.

5.1. Discussion

Needlespine Icon Needlespine increases Stab Icon Stab's effectiveness dramatically, allowing Abathur to deal more damage in team fights. The additional range can be especially helpful if the enemy team is made up of multiple ranged Heroes.

Vile Nest Icon Vile Nest can be extremely annoying for the enemy team. Delaying enemies' movements by a few seconds here and there can help your team secure objectives and kills, and reduces the effectiveness of enemy rotations and ganks. Vile Nest has great synergy with Prolific Dispersal Icon Prolific Dispersal and Ballistospores Icon Ballistospores.

Networked Carapace Icon Networked Carapace is predominantly a PvE Talent focused on pushing empty lanes by keeping large numbers of Minions and Mercenaries healthy. It does apply untalented shields to allied Heroes who are nearby the Symbiote host. Although the shields are untalented, Sustained Carapace Icon Sustained Carapace's persist effect does work with them. This allows you to cast Carapace on multiple Heroes every 4 seconds. While each individual shield is weak, the effect can add up to a meaningful advantage in long team fights.

Calldown: MULE Icon Calldown: MULE should almost always be taken on Sky Temple, because it gets insane value due to the way the main objective plays out there. It is a situational pick on other maps. Calldown: Mule is especially effective on Abathur because you are able to apply pressure and push lanes during all stages of the game, while also keeping your own Structures alive. With this strategy you can win many games through attrition, picking off enemy Structures one by one. Note that you should only have one Calldown: MULE on your team. Coordinate with allies who also have access to Calldown: MULE to decide who should take it.

6. Level 10 Talents

Abathur Ultimate Evolution
Ultimate Evolution (Level 10) Starcraft Abathur
  • 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.

Abathur Evolve Monstrosity ?
Evolve Monstrosity (Level 10) Starcraft Abathur
  • 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.

6.1. Discussion

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.

Evolve Monstrosity Icon Evolve Monstrosity is a strong pushing and sieging tool, but you must sacrifice a lot of team fight presence in order to take it. Evolve Monstrosity deals massive team fight damage in ideal situations, but it is unrealistic to assume that you will be able to get the monstrosity into position for a team fight. You need to build very specifically to mobilise a monstrosity, which is why it lacks the versatility of Ultimate Evolution Icon Ultimate Evolution

7. Level 13 Talents

Abathur Assault Strain ?
Assault Strain (Level 13) Starcraft Abathur

Locust Basic Attacks cleave for 50% damage, and explode on death for 102 (+4% per level) damage.

Abathur Bombard Strain ?
Bombard Strain (Level 13) Starcraft Abathur

Locust's Basic Attacks become a long-range siege attack that deal 70% more damage.

Abathur Spatial Efficiency
Spatial Efficiency (Level 13) Starcraft Abathur

Symbiote's Stab gains 1 additional charge and its Cooldown is reduced by .5 seconds.

Abathur Soma Transference ?
Soma Transference (Level 13) Starcraft Abathur

Symbiote's Spike Burst heals the host for 64 (+4% per level) Health per enemy Hero hit.

7.1. Discussion

Assault Strain Icon Assault Strain can be useful if you want to increase the amount of pushing that your Locusts are capable of, but could not (or did not) take Survival Instincts Icon Survival Instincts at level 1. This is because much of Assault Strain's value occurs when your Locusts die, making the lack of Survival Instincts an benefit for this Talent. This Talent is best taken as a single Locust Talent because of this, and can fit into situations where you have little or no need for the other Talents from this tier.

Bombard Strain Icon Bombard Strain increases the amount that Locust Strain Icon Locust Strain passively pushes lanes. Bombard Strain requires several other Locust talents to be effective, especially Survival Instincts Icon Survival Instincts at level 1. This will maximise the number of Basic Attacks that each Locust is capable of delivering before perishing, while the late game Talents Locust Brood Icon Locust Brood and Locust Nest Icon Locust Nest will maximise the number of Locusts you can create. It can be very effective for threatening Keeps in the late game, and will force the enemy team to make decisions on your terms.

Spatial Efficiency Icon Spatial Efficiency increases Stab Icon Stab's damage and decreases its cooldown. This talent can put out a lot of damage when paired with Needlespine Icon Needlespine. This is useful when you find yourself primarily using Symbiote to imbue a ranged Basic Attacker with Adrenal Overload Icon Adrenal Overload, or would otherwise get decreased value out of Spike Burst Icon Spike Burst Talents.

Soma Transference Icon Soma Transference can heal the host for a significant amount of Health, especially if Symbiote Icon Symbiote is on a melee Hero who will be within range of multiple enemy Heroes. Pressurized Glands Icon Pressurized Glands synergises very well with this Talent. Soma Transference is less effective on ranged allies, and is also very weak against enemy compositions with a lot of burst damage.

8. Level 16 Talents

Abathur Envenomed Spikes
Envenomed Spikes (Level 16) Starcraft Abathur

Abathur's Symbiote's Spike Burst also slows enemy Movement Speed by 40% for 2 seconds.

Abathur Adrenaline Boost ?
Adrenaline Boost (Level 16) Starcraft Abathur

Symbiote's Carapace increases the Movement Speed of the target by 40% for 3.5 seconds.

Abathur Locust Brood
Locust Brood (Level 16) Starcraft Abathur
  • Cooldown: 45 seconds

Activate to spawn 3 Locusts at a nearby location.

Abathur Volatile Mutation
Volatile Mutation (Level 16) Starcraft Abathur

Ultimate Evolution clones and Monstrosities deal 137 (+4% per level) damage to nearby enemies every 3 seconds and when they die.

8.1. Discussion

Envenomed Spikes Icon Envenomed Spikes provides a significant Slow over a large area, especially when combined with Pressurized Glands Icon Pressurized Glands at Level 1. It allows melee Heroes to stick to targets much more easily than they would otherwise be able to. One advantage this has over Adrenaline Boost Icon Adrenaline Boost is that its effect cannot be removed by damaging your Symbiote host. The other important difference is that Envenomed Spikes can affect multiple enemies.

Adrenaline Boost Icon Adrenaline Boost is essentially the opposite of Envenomed Spikes Icon Envenomed Spikes, speeding up a single ally, rather than slowing down multiple enemies. Slowing enemies allows your entire team to reposition, as opposed to giving a single ally increased movement speed. However, if your team composition is structured to build a hyper carry out of a single Hero, Adrenaline Boost can help your team run down kills that would otherwise escape. The main drawback to Adrenaline Boost is that its effect can be removed by destroying the Carapace shield. It is only recommended to take this with a Carapace oriented build, where it can really shine.

Locust Brood Icon Locust Brood can be used in combination with Deep Tunnel Icon Deep Tunnel to instantly create pressure at any location. Locust Brood is required in any kind of Locust oriented build, as it is the only Talent capable of producing Locusts in bursts. Locust Brood can also be effective in situational hybrid builds, as it only needs Bombard Strain Icon Bombard Strain in order to get decent value.

Volatile Mutation Icon Volatile Mutation deals damage over time in a very short range, making it very ineffective with Ultimate Evolution Icon Ultimate Evolution, where you will often clone a ranged Hero and will only be within range for Volatile Mutation very briefly. Volatile Mutation can help Evolve Monstrosity Icon Evolve Monstrosity waveclear lanes more quickly, but Adrenaline Boost Icon Adrenaline Boost is extremely important in order to effectively mobilise a monstrosity.

9. Level 20 Talents

Abathur Evolutionary Link ?
Evolutionary Link (Level 20) Starcraft Abathur

As long as the Ultimate Evolution is alive, the original target of the clone gains a Shield equal to 25% of their maximum Health. Refreshes every 5 seconds.

Abathur Evolution Complete ?
Evolution Complete (Level 20) Starcraft Abathur

Monstrosity gains the ability to Deep Tunnel to any visible location once every 25 seconds.

Abathur Hivemind
Hivemind (Level 20) Starcraft Abathur

Symbiote creates an additional Symbiote on a nearby allied Hero. This Symbiote mimics the commands of the first, but does half damage and shielding.

Abathur Locust Nest ?
Locust Nest (Level 20) Starcraft Abathur
  • Cooldown: 45 seconds

Activate to create a nest that periodically spawns Locusts. Only one Locust Nest can be active at a time.

9.1. Discussion

Evolutionary Link Icon Evolutionary Link makes it harder for the enemy team to kill Ultimate Evolution Icon Ultimate Evolution's target. Because the shield is based on the target's maximum Health, this can be situationally useful if your composition's preferred clone is a Warrior. This Talent can also be strong with melee Assassins, as it will give them more Health for the late game fights.

Evolution Complete Icon Evolution Complete is a niche Talent that is very dependent on your team composition and build. If the enemy team is able to deal heavy burst damage, the monstrosity will likely die before Deep Tunnel can be used. Even in games where you have built specifically around Evolve Monstrosity Icon Evolve Monstrosity, you should strongly consider Hivemind Icon Hivemind.

Hivemind Icon Hivemind increases Symbiote Icon Symbiote's effectiveness by 50% when considering Symbiote Abilities directly. However, Hivemind doubles Symbiote's effectiveness when considering Talents like Soma Transference Icon Soma Transference and Envenomed Spikes Icon Envenomed Spikes, as these Talents work per Hero hit, rather than per Ability cast. This provides you with greatly increased team fight presence. Regardless of what other Talents you take, you will almost always get good value out of Hivemind in team fights.

Locust Nest Icon Locust Nest pushes a full Locust build to the limit, helping to generate as many Locusts as possible. It will double the number of passively generated Locusts, and allows you to simultaneously spawn Locusts in different lanes. This Talent is only recommended when you have several Talents already invested into Locusts, as other options at this tier will get more value otherwise.

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