Anub'arak Abilities and Strategy
Welcome to our Abilities page for Anub'arak. Here, we give you an overview of every ability in Anub'arak's kit. For each of them, we explain what it does, how to best use it, and how it works in combination with Anub'arak's other abilities. We also give you strategy tips to play Anub'arak efficiently.
Anub'arak's Tips and Tricks
- Exploit Scarab Host Beetles to soak damage from Structures and Mercenaries, and to intercept skillshots.
- Use Burrow Charge to close up on a target, then follow up with Impale for much crowd control.
- Harden Carapace should be used on-Cooldown during fights due to its low Mana cost and ability to summon Beetles.
- Use Locust Swarm with caution; it heals for a large amount, but does not make you invincible, especially versus burst damage.
- Hold onto your Cocoon's Cooldown to interrupt and deny strong enemy Heroic Abilities.
- Mana: 65
- Cooldown: 12 seconds
Deals 90 (+4% per level) damage. Stuns for 1 second.
Impale provides a long-range area of effect stun to initiate and peel. Its range makes it an excellent tool to interrupt channeled Abilities. Due to its wave-like nature, Impale can easily hit foes that are near you, but enemies located at maximum range will have more time to evade it due to the spikes' traveling time. With some practice, however, it becomes easier to successfully predict enemy movement and land hits with Impale. The stun and Movement Speed reduction effect provided by Burrow Charge can also be used to significantly facilitate Impale hits.
As with most crowd control Abilities, Impale has a long Cooldown and does little damage of its own. This makes it a poor waveclearing Ability; it is better to find opportunities to use it against Heroes (e.g. by ganking), and particularly when you have allies to follow up on the stun it provides.
- Mana: 65
- Cooldown: 14 seconds
Burrow to the target location, dealing 91 (+4% per level) damage and briefly stunning enemies in a small area upon surfacing, slowing them by 25% for 2.5 seconds.
Burrow Charge can be reactivated to surface early.
Burrow Charge provides Anub'arak with long-range mobility, a short stun to interrupt channeled abilities, as well as a fairly potent Movement Speed reduction effect. Due to its fast speed and collisionless nature, it is the perfect tool with which to initiate fights, catch up to fleeing Heroes, or escape. The stun provided by Burrow Charge also allows you reliably hit a target with Impale; as such, the two Abilities are very commonly chained together. When initiating, always try and surface (by recasting the Burrow Charge while Anubarak is underground) in the direction your intended target may be trying to move in. This will put you in a position where you will be able to perform body-blocking maneuvers.
Burrow Charge's long range can be advantageous or disadvantageous: although it lets you catch opponents by surprise, it can also lead you to overextend out of your teammate's range, preventing them from properly follow up or assisting you. Be sure to account for your allies' positioning when aggressively using Burrow Charge.
- Mana: 25
- Cooldown: 7 seconds
Gain a Shield that grants 40 Spell Armor and absorbs 340 (+4% per level) damage over 3 seconds.
Harden Carapace is a key Ability in making up for Anub'arak's limited Health pool. Although the Shielding amount Harden Carapace provides is not particularly impressive, its Cooldown is short enough, and its Mana cost low enough, that Anub'arak becomes more and more difficult to take down as fights progress: failing to rapidly dispatch him means that he is going to be able to repeatedly Shield himself.
Harden Carapace is generally useful against poke damage and for general PvE purposes; it can and should be used very liberally to summon Beetles through Scarab Host whenever more damage is desirable. While laning the Ability allows you to trade very effectively, or, at the very least, maintain your Health pool as high as possible for impending Objective-related rotations.
As with all Shielding effects, Harden Carapace must be used before taking damage or being disabled so as to actually protect your Health pool.
- Mana: 75
- Cooldown: 100 seconds
Deal 68 (+4% per level) damage per second to nearby enemies. Each enemy damaged restores 24 (+4% per level) Health. Lasts 6 seconds.
Besides the fact that Locust Swarm deals an appreciable amount of area of effect damage, this Ability makes Anub'arak extremely difficult to kill without a concerted effort from your opponents due to its significant self-healing component. Locust Swarm takes into account all enemy entities—including Minions, summons, Structures, and, of course, Heroes—for the purpose of Health gains, making it especially effective against grouped enemies. Due to its long Cooldown, it is recommended to only use the Ability against several Heroes, and during extended engagements where you can ensure that you will get the most out of its duration. The stuns provided by Impale and Burrow Charge can help you keep foes within the effective range of Locust Swarm.
- Mana: 70
- Cooldown: 70 seconds
Wraps target enemy Hero in a cocoon, rendering them unable to act or be targeted for 7 seconds. Allies of the Hero can attack the cocoon to break it and free them early.
Cocoon is a unique Ability that is primarily used to instantly take specific Heroes out of the game for a lengthy time period, preventing them from using key Abilities. During team fights, it is typically used to disable Healers with powerful healing Abilities (such as Alexstrasza). This forces their teammates to then then decide between keeping fighting without their presence or wasting resources to free them. Sometimes, however, you want to use Cocoon on Heroes who can deal a tremendous amount of damage (for example Tassadar with Archon). Cho'Gall, being two Heroes in one, is the best target for Cocoon.
Cocoon is also an excellent tool for holding lone Heroes in place while your nearby teammates collapse on them. Cocoon can be used in this manner to great effect during the rotational phases that many of the Maps call for, netting your team easy kills that would otherwise be very difficult to get. Cocoon's instant crowd control effect can also allow you or your teammates to escape otherwise deadly situations.
Since Cocoon's remaining duration is clearly indicated by a green bar found just above the Cocoon itself, you or your teammates can prepare your Abilities for when the target is to be released from the Cocoon, as to follow up rightly. It is advised to use Impale just as the Cocoon expires to secure a Stun to prevent your target from using Abilities that may help them escape.
- Cooldown: 8 seconds
Using an Ability spawns a Beetle which lasts for 8 seconds, attacking nearby enemies for 20 (+4% per level) damage.
The Beetles spawned through Scarab Host are an integral yet subtle part of Anub'arak's playstyle. Individual Beetles each add approximately 20% more damage to Anub'arak's Basic Attacks, which rapidly adds up as Anub'arak can consistently be surrounded by one to five of them.
Defensively, Beetles also act as extra bodies to catch single-target skillshots (for example Storm Bolt by Muradin before Level 10), indirectly increasing Anub'arak's and his allies' survivability. They also do a good job of tanking Minions, Structures, Mercenaries, and other things that would otherwise attack Anub'arak himself.
Harden Carapace's low Mana cost allows you to spawn Beetles cheaply and on demand, even when you do not actually need to shield yourself. When relatively low on Mana, though, avoid doing that.
- 30 Mar. 2022: Guide reviewed for the latest Balance Update.
- 22 Mar. 2021: Cocoon's Description updated.
- 04 Nov. 2020: Guide reviewed for the latest Balance Update.
- 10 Oct. 2020: Guide reviewed for the latest Balance Update.
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