Welcome to our Talents page for Dehaka. Here, we give you an overview of how strong each of Dehaka's talents is. Then, we present several viable builds, before analyzing each talent row separately, so that you can make informed decisions.
Dehaka's Talent Build
|1||? ? ✓|
|4||✓ ? ?|
|7||✓ ✘︎ ?|
|13||✓ ? ?|
|16||? ✓ ?|
|20||✓ ✓ ✘︎ ✘︎|
Dehaka's Talent Build Cheatsheet
Enhanced Agility BuildRecommended
Enhanced Agility build is excellent if your enemies can easily run away from the usual Dehaka build. The extra Movement Speed from Enhanced Agility will allow you to reach them. This build has more mobility in exchange for less self-sustain, and should only be picked in maps with many vents or bushes, since it is very dependent on those.
Dehaka's Standard Build will be a good option in every game. It gives him good survivability through Level 1 and 4 Talents, and good teamfighting power with his Level 7, 13, and 16 Talents.
Lurker Strain is a good standard choice at Level 4, as it is a very versatile Talent that can be used in many ways, like to escape ganks, to secure drags, or to disrupt enemies in teamfights. However, the other 2 Talents are good in their specific niches; While Hero Stalker is exceptional against melee Heroes, One-Who-Collects is excellent to improve your macro overall.
At Level 13 Primal Rage is excellent with Tissue Regeneration, while Primal Swarm can be an option if you are being focused and forced to use your essences early, increasing the damage dealt by your team. The standard Talent for Level 16 is Tunneling Claws, but if you did not pick Lurker Strain at Level 4, Elongated Tongue will be great choice instead.
Dark Swarm BuildBeginner
Dark Swarm build excels against heroes reliant on Spell Damage and melees. This build will be more impactful against less experienced players, since those will mostly group up in order to kill Dehaka, but will end up just giving him lots of essence stacks. When your team is ready to fight, position yourself to apply 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. 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.
Level 1 Talents for Dehaka
Dark Swarm's duration is increased by 0.5 seconds and grants 50 Spell Armor while active.
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.
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%.
Enduring Swarm is a powerful Level 1 damage mitigation Talent. It allows Dehaka to reduce incoming Spell Damage at will, via a low-cooldown Ability. When this Talent is paired with Symbiosis at Level 7, it becomes easy to have 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 provides a large amount of passive Health Regeneration. Dehaka lacks access to Basic Attack mitigation Talents, so 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. It also has great synergy with Primal Rage at Level 13, since it will increase Basic Attack damage by an extra 10%.
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, as it can dramatically enhance Dehaka's otherwise poor mobility.
Level 4 Talents for Dehaka
Emerging from Burrow grants Dehaka Stealth for 3 seconds and knocks nearby enemies back, dealing 125 (+4% per level) damage and Slowing them by 30% for 3 seconds.
Passive: Reduce the cooldown of Burrow by 3 seconds.
Increases Essence collected from Minions by 50%. Dark Swarm deals 40% more damage to Mercenaries.
Increases Essence gained from Takedowns by 100%, and gain 1 Essence each time an enemy Hero is hit by Dark Swarm.
Lurker Strain reduces the cooldown of Burrow, applies a knockback effect and a Slow to enemies hit upon emerging from Burrow, and makes Dehaka become Stealthed for a few seconds. This can be used to peel for your backline, to escape gank attempts, or trap enemies who are trying to get away from you. Overall, this is a good Talent due to how much it adds to Burrow, being a good option in most games.
One-Who-Collects increases the amount of Essence you collect from Minions while laning. Normally a standard wave of Minions will yield 14 Essence, but with One-Who-Collects you can gather 21 Essence. This Talent will not help you in team fights as much as Hero Stalker; however, it is a great way to reliably stack up Enhanced Agility or Tissue Regeneration. One-Who-Collects is mostly recommended against compositions with many ranged Heroes, since you will have a hard time stacking essence through Hero Stalker.
Hero Stalker is a great Talent if you can reliably hit the opposing team with Dark Swarm. 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 in a Dark Swarm-oriented Build or with Enhanced Agility.
Level 7 Talents for Dehaka
Basic Attacks reduce Drag's cooldown by 1.5 seconds.
Passive: Increase Drag's duration by 0.5 seconds.
Drag Slows enemies by 40% for 2 seconds after it ends.
Gambit: When Drag ends, deal an additional 280 (+4% per level) damage to the target over 2 seconds. Every death reduces this damage by 40 (+4% per level), up to 5 times.
Every time Dark Swarm damages an enemy Hero, reduce its cooldown by 0.4 seconds.
Feeding Frenzy increases Drag's duration and lowers its cooldown significantly; Basic Attacking 7 times after using Drag will refresh it completely. Because Drag is so impactful, this Talent will be good in every situation, both in lane and teamfights.
Paralyzing Enzymes is an underwhelming Talent. In a Drag-oriented Build, Feeding Frenzy will always be a better option.
Symbiosis allows you to keep Dark Swarm active much more, potentially through an entire team fight. Being able to walk through enemies and deal area of effect damage throughout entire team fights is very beneficial. When this Talent is paired with 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.
Level 10 Talents for Dehaka
- Mana: 70
- Cooldown: 60 seconds
Launch biomass that hits the first enemy Hero dealing 200 (+4% per level) damage, revealing, Silencing, and Slowing them 30% for 3 seconds. Additionally, their vision radius is greatly reduced for 6 seconds.
- Mana: 70
- Cooldown: 60 seconds
After 4 seconds, heal for 100% of the damage Dehaka took over this period.
At this Level, you gain access to Heroic Abilities. If you want to read more about them, check the dedicated section in the Abilities and Strategy page.
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 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 is not a weak Heroic; it 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. However, Isolation with Contagion adds a great crowd control for Dehaka that can be abused in various ways, turning adaptation into a very situational pick.
Level 13 Talents for Dehaka
Dark Swarm Slows enemy Heroes by 15% for 0.75 seconds and deals 60% more damage while Brushstalker's Movement Speed bonus is active.
Dark Swarm causes enemies hit to lose 10 Armor for 0.75 seconds, causing them to take 10% extra damage.
Gain 1.25% increased Attack Damage per Essence stored.
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.
Primal Swarm is very good when combined with Symbiosis. Symbiosis makes it possible to keep Dark Swarm active much more often. During team fights this will lower the Armor of enemy Heroes who are within range of Dark Swarm. It should be the pick when you are being focused and cannot have essences up for long, so you would not get value from Primal Rage.
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 self-sustain options, like Tissue Regeneration. Tissue Regeneration increases the maximum extra damage by increasing the maximum essence. It also helps you refill your Essence faster after spending it on healing, which makes it even better to pair with Primal Rage.
Level 16 Talents for Dehaka
Increase Drag range by 20%.
Increase movement speed while Burrowing to 125%.
Dehaka gains 20 Armor and 15% increased Attack Speed while in a bush and for 5 seconds after leaving.
Elongated Tongue increases the number of opportunities to land 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 adds a ton of playmaking potential to 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 a Dark Swarm-oriented Build, because you can use Dark Swarm while burrowed.
Pack Leader will greatly increase Dehaka's survivability. It is a good Talent to get on Maps with many bushes, so you will be able to get 100% uptime on the extra armor. However, it is very underwhelming when paired with Enduring Swarm at Level 1, since the armors do not stack together. We only recommend this Talent with Enhanced Agility on specific Maps.
Level 20 Talents for Dehaka
Isolation hits all Heroes near the first target.
Increases Adaptation healing to 200% of the damage received and reduces the cooldown by 40 seconds.
Dehaka's Basic Attacks slow the target by 20% for 1 second. If the target is a Hero, Dehaka gains 5 Essence.
Reduces Brushstalker's cooldown by 50 seconds and the cast time by 0.5 seconds.
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 enables you to heal with 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). The cooldown reduction provided by it is also excellent. Adaptation's cooldown becomes the same as Burrow's, and can be used several times in the fight.
Essence Claws gives you increased self-sustain and some light crowd-control in the form of a Slow. But Contagion and Change Is Survival are too good to pass on.
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. However, if your team is willing to have a last team fight to decide the game, Contagion and Change Is Survival will be better choices.
- 11 Dec. 2022: Updated Apex Predator's relevance.
- 09 Dec. 2021: Talents and Builds updated after recent balance patch and meta development.
- 28 Sep. 2021: Pack Leader description updated.
- 24 Jul. 2021: Talents and Builds Updated after recent balance patch.
- 05 Nov. 2020: Talents updated after recent balance patch.
- 31 Jul. 2020: Builds and Talents updated to reflect current meta.
- 07 May 2020: Builds and Talents updated for May 6th balance patch.
- 12 Apr. 2020: Builds and Talents updated to reflect current meta.
- 18 Apr. 2019: Talent discussion updated to account for balance patch.
- 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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