Diablo Abilities and Strategy
Welcome to our Abilities page for Diablo. Here, we give you an overview of every ability in Diablo's kit. For each of them, we explain what it does, how to best use it, and how it works in combination with Diablo's other abilities. We also give you strategy tips to play Diablo efficiently.
1. Diablo's Tips and Tricks
- Remember that after reviving through Black Soulstone, your Health pool will be 40% smaller.
- Fire Stomp can hit any given target up to five times in melee range.
- Use Overpower right after Shadow Charge to unconditionally move opponents towards your teammates.
- Cast Lightning Breath when you suspect you may be the target of a crowd control chain, as it makes you Unstoppable for the duration.
- Use Apocalypse right before Shadow Charge and Overpower to unconditionally Stun your target.
2. Shadow Charge
- Mana: 70
- Cooldown: 12 seconds
Charge an enemy, knocking them back, dealing 40 (+4% per level) damage and gaining 15% Movement Speed for 2 seconds. If the enemy hits terrain, they are Stunned for 1 second and take an additional 120 (+4% per level) damage.
Shadow Charge is Diablo's main initiation Ability. Although its bonus Stun condition may initially seem appealing, the Ability's erratic knockback distance makes it difficult to reliably benefit from this effect. It is indeed much more commonplace to use Shadow Charge as a gap closer that perfectly chains into Overpower to unconditionally displace an important target where your team may attack them. Alternatively, it can be used as a follow up for Overpower, so as to shove opponents towards your teammates or away from their own. Since the Ability's Cooldown is so lengthy and its damage so inconsequential, Shadow Charge should almost exclusively be used in the presence of allies, or when trying to finish an opponent off. As a last resort, Shadow Charge may also be used against a far-away hostile target — typically Minions or Summons — to create some space between yourself and an opponent in escape situations.
Shadow Charge is notable for its ability to unconditionally interrupt channeled Abilities from a long range. Strong Heroic Abilities, such as Jug of 1,000 Cups or Ravenous Spirit, are especially valuable to shut down. This, however, often comes at the cost of potentially putting you into an undesirable foward position, upon which your opponents may capitalise to attack you.
As with many knockback effects, you must be mindful of not actually helping your opponents by pushing them to safety, such as behind their own Gates, or out of friendly AoE effects. You can use Shadow Charge yourself to escape through terrain and units, as long as you have vision of an enemy target where you wish to travel.
3. Fire Stomp
- Mana: 30
- Cooldown: 8 seconds
Unleashes fire waves toward the targeted area that deal 12 (+4% per level) damage each. Once they reach maximum range they return, dealing an additional 36 (+4% per level) damage. Diablo heals for 130% of the damage dealt to Heroes.
Fire Stomp's main purpose is to provide Diablo with self sustain a bit of area of effect damage. Although it has a very short cast time, it is typically used on-Cooldown whenever there is a need to deal damage, such as while waveclearing. Since the projectiles generated by the Ability have a relatively long range, they can be used to scout bushes or try to reveal Stealthed Heroes. Fire Stomp is also useful in a pinch to finish off escaping opponents that have a sliver of Health remaining.
One of Fire Stomp's intricacies lies in its ability to "shotgun." In other words, each of the Ability's five projectiles can hit any single target, allowing you to quintuple its damage and healing by positioning properly. Due to the cone-like spread of the projectiles, achieving multiple hits is only possible against targets who are in melee range; the same is true for returning projectiles. Each projectile also pierces, meaning multiple targets can be hit as well. Maximising Fire Stomp's effect then comes down to hitting as many targets as possible. During team fights, this more or less means aiming in the general direction multiple enemy Heroes. In dueling situations, both Shadow Charge and Overpower may be used to reposition your intended target or yourself to secure hits for the returning projectiles, which deal three times as much damage.
- Mana: 40
- Cooldown: 12 seconds
Grabs the target and slams it behind Diablo, dealing 73 (+4% per level) damage and Stunning for 0.25 seconds.
Overpower is what makes Diablo so threatening in melee. Whenever you find yourself within Overpower range of an opponent, its use should become natural, so long as you have allies near you to capitalise on the displacement effect. An often overlooked aspect of the Ability is that it puts you in a perfect position to perform a body block maneuver. Otherwise, Overpower synergises so well with Shadow Charge that they are systematically used one right after the other.
Just as with Shadow Charge, be mindful of not actually helping your opponents by displacing them to safety or away from your allies. Overpower deals a dismal amount of damage and should almost exclusively be used if the effect is going to be useful, allow you to get several Basic Attacks off, or to interrupt a channeled Ability.
In the early game, Overpower can be used to slam an unweary foe behind your own Gate. This is often enough to outright seal the fate of most Heroes.
- Mana: 100
- Cooldown: 90 seconds
Create a demonic rune under each enemy Hero on the battleground. After 1.75 seconds the rune explodes dealing 137 (+4% per level) damage and Stunning them for 1.75 seconds.
Apocalypse's lenghty Stunning effect, respectable damage, and large area of effect make it one of the game's strongest follow up crowd control Ability. It suffers, however, from an extremely obvious graphical effect and a long triggering delay that make it simple to avoid. As such, it is typically used during team fights, when potential targets are likely to be too busy or distracted to avoid the Ability's effects, as a means of interrupting channeled Abilities that leave their casters standing still, or when your team composition features some or many of the Abilities that may be used to set up for it.
The list below contains many of the Abilities that could be used to set up for Apocalypse.
- Upheaval (Cho'gall)
- Howling Blast and Summon Sindragosa (Arthas)
- Powerslide + Mosh Pit (E.T.C.)
- Grav-O-Bomb 3000 (Gazlowe)
- Ring of Frost (Jaina)
- Condemn and Blessed Shield (Johanna)
- Gravity Lapse (Kaelthas)
- Primal Grasp and Impaling Blades (Kerrigan)
- Entomb (Leoric)
- Entangling Roots (Malfurion)
- Ley Line Seal (Medivh)
- Octo-Grab (Murky)
- Zombie Wall (Nazeebo)
- Leap (Sonya)
- Lamb to the Slaughter (The Butcher)
- Earthquake (Thrall)
- Judgment (Tyrael)
- Divine Storm (Uther)
- Bone Prison (Xul)
- Devouring Maw (Zagara)
- Graviton Surge (Zarya)
- Void Prison (Zeratul)
Apocalypse is also a excellent counter-engagement Ability. While making precise offensive plays, opponents do not typically have the freedom to spend much time moving about. Because of that, Apocalypse's delay almost becomes a form of crowd control in of itself, effectively zoning opponents away from your teammates or objectives.
An important maneuver to master is the use of Overpower to draw opponents that may be attempting to move out of Apocalypse's area of effect back into it. The opposite effect should also be avoided, by yourself and allies alike; both Shadow Charge and the aforementioned Ability can push foes out of Apocalypse's mark, therefore wasting the Ability.
6. Lightning Breath
- Mana: 80
- Cooldown: 90 seconds
After 0.5 seconds, become Unstoppable and Channel for up to 4 seconds, dealing 50 (+4% per level) damage every 0.25 seconds to enemies in front of Diablo. Enemies affected are Slowed by 4% for 2 seconds, up to 40%.
Lightning Breath's direction changes with your mouse cursor position.
Lightning Breath is one of the most damaging Abilities in the game. Its main downside is that of disabling Diablo for the duration. As such, Lightning Breath is typically used under the same conditions as Apocalypse: against foes that are already under the effects of crowd control, or otherwise busy or so mispositioned that you may hit them for the Ability's entire duration. Always try and hit at least two targets with Lightning Breath; the large area of effect of which should make this a simple goal to achieve.
Lightning Breath's high damage, stacking Slowing effect, and impressive visuals have important implications for you and your opponents; it makes for an outstanding zoning Ability, as players reflexively avoid standing within its area of effect. Lightning Breath is also an excellent way of punishing opponents for fighting in cramped areas or over static points, such as Mercenary Camps, Structures, or Map Objectives. As a last resort, it can be used as a ranged mean of finishing off escaping foes.
Repeatable Quest: Gain 10 Souls per Hero killed and 1 Soul per Minion, up to 100. For each Soul, gain 0.4% maximum Health. If Diablo has 100 Souls upon dying, he will resurrect in 5 seconds but lose 100 Souls.
Black Soulstone is what allows Diablo's Health pool to grow to be the largest in the game. Although the Health gain and effect are rather important, a common mistake made by newer players is to dedicate too much time collecting Souls. As Minions and Heroes naturally die around you, Soul generation should never be a priority unless you need just a few more to ensure a respawn seconds before an important upcoming team fight.
The nature of Black Soulstone makes Diablo stronger and stronger as games go on; the growing length of respawn timers matter little to Diablo, whom can respawn as quickly as in 5 seconds. This can even allow him to rejoin elongated team fights, with full resources, should he be one of the first Heroes to fall. Just be aware that your Health pool would then be 40% smaller.
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