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Dehaka Talents

Last updated on Jun 29, 2017 at 18:32 by Straften 17 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 ? Tissue Regeneration Enhanced Agility ?
4 Lurker Strain One-Who-Collects ? Hero Stalker
7 Feeding Frenzy Constriction ? Symbiosis
10 Isolation Adaptation
13 Primal Rage ? Ferocious Stalker ? Primal Swarm ?
16 Paralyzing Enzymes Elongated Tongue Tunneling Claws ?
20 Contagion ? Change Is Survival ? Apex Predator Essence Claws ?
Create your own build and share it with friends!

2. Common Talent Paths

2.1. Gank Build (talent calculator link)

These Talents focus on maximising Dehaka's ganking potential. Enhanced Agility Icon Enhanced Agility will help you run down your prey. Getting kills and assists will reward you with increased sustain via Hero Stalker Icon Hero Stalker. Feeding Frenzy Icon Feeding Frenzy greatly reduces the cooldown of Drag. It has strong synergy with the bonus movement speed from Enhanced Agility, which enables you to get off an extra Basic Attack or two. Ferocious Stalker Icon Ferocious Stalker greatly increases your waveclear, and your damage in team fights. You will be casting Drag quite often with this build; Paralyzing Enzymes Icon Paralyzing Enzymes is a strong choice that makes each cast much more impactful. Once you acquire Essence Claws Icon Essence Claws, most enemy Heroes will no longer be able to escape you if they are caught alone.

This build works best on maps with many bushes or vents, where you can benefit from Enhanced Agility most often. Play near these map features when possible, as they provide you a significant advantage in most matchs. While you are soaking experience and Essence, be on the lookout for opportunities to gank enemies who are positioned aggressively in lanes.

2.2. Team Fight Build (talent calculator link)

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 deal damage. This will increase all damage affected enemies take, once you have Primal Swarm Icon Primal Swarm. 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 Dark Swarm. 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 consists mostly of Ability damage, Enduring Swarm Icon Enduring Swarm is a great option at Level 1.

3. Level 1 Talents

Dehaka Enduring Swarm ?
Enduring Swarm (Level 1) Starcraft Dehaka

Dark Swarm grants 40 Spell Armor while active.

Dehaka Tissue Regeneration
Tissue Regeneration (Level 1) Starcraft Dehaka

Regeneration Globes grant 10 Essence.

Repeatable Quest: Every 50 Essence collected permanently increases Health Regeneration by 4, up to 40, and maximum Essence by 1, up to 10.

Dehaka Enhanced Agility ?
Enhanced Agility (Level 1) Starcraft Dehaka

Brushstalker's Movement Speed bonus now lasts for 5 seconds after leaving a bush.

Repeatable Quest: Every 50 Essence collected permanently increases the Movement Speed bonus of Brushstalker by 2%, up to 20%.

3.1. Discussion

Enduring Swarm Icon Enduring Swarm is a 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 most of the time during team fights. This Talent is very good against Mage-heavy team compositions. It does not mitigate damage from Basic Attacks; another Level 1 choice may be prudent if they enemy team has a strong Basic Attacker.

Tissue Regeneration Icon Tissue Regeneration provides a large amount 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. This Talent gives you Essence when you pick up Regeneration Globes, which can help you refill your Essence faster after healing with it.

Enhanced Agility Icon Enhanced Agility greatly increases the duration of Brushstalker's movement speed bonus. Collecting Essence increases the movement speed bonus. This Talent is great on maps that feature a lot of bushes or vents, as it can dramatically enhance Dehaka's otherwise poor mobility.

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. Sadly, it is hard to recommend this Talent over Hero Stalker Icon Hero Stalker, which greatly increases Dehaka's survivability during team fights.

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 average team fight for Dehaka involves activating Essence Collection at some point. 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 activating Essence Collection. 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.

5. Level 7 Talents

Dehaka Feeding Frenzy
Feeding Frenzy (Level 7) Starcraft Dehaka

Basic Attacks reduce Drag's cooldown by 2 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 0.4 seconds.

5.1. Discussion

Feeding Frenzy Icon Feeding Frenzy lowers the cooldown of Drag significantly; Basic Attacking 5 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 high mobility (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 very beneficial. 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. For this reason, Adaptation Icon Adaptation is the recommended Heroic with this Talent combination.

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. Additionally, their vision radius is greatly reduced 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 favour. The ability to chain crowd control by himself is part of 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. One of the only ways to stop Dehaka is to focus him, and this Heroic punishes that practice.

7. Level 13 Talents

Dehaka Primal Rage ?
Primal Rage (Level 13) Starcraft Dehaka

Gain 1% increased Attack Damage per Essence stored.

Dehaka Ferocious Stalker ?
Ferocious Stalker (Level 13) Starcraft Dehaka

Dark Swarm deals 40% more damage while Brushstalker's Movement Speed bonus is active.

Dehaka Primal Swarm ?
Primal Swarm (Level 13) Starcraft Dehaka

Dark Swarm causes enemies hit to lose 10 Armor for 0.75 seconds, causing them to take 10% extra damage.

7.1. Discussion

Primal Rage Icon Primal Rage greatly increases Dehaka's Basic Attack damage while he is at full Essence. For this reason it is best when paired with some sustain options, like Tissue Regeneration Icon Tissue Regeneration and Adaptation. Tissue Regeneration also helps you refill your Essence faster after spending it on healing, which makes it even better to pair with Primal Rage.

Ferocious Stalker Icon Ferocious Stalker's duration can be increased by taking Enhanced Agility. These Talents work well together, and are best on maps that feature a lot of bushes or vents.

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 much more often. During team fights this will lower the armor of 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. This Talent is great for Dark Swarm builds, because you can use Dark Swarm while burrowed.

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. You can try to force this scenario by landing Drag on an enemy, which will force their teammates to help them.

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. This Talent has great synergy with Drag and Feeding Frenzy Icon Feeding Frenzy; enemy Heroes who lack strong escapes are doomed.

10. ChangeLog

+ show all entries - show only 10 entries
  • 29 Jun. 2017: Talents page updated following June 28th balance patch.
  • 16 May 2017: Talents page updated following Dehaka's rework in D.va's release patch.
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