Welcome to our Talents page for Stukov. Here, we give you an overview of how strong each of Stukov's talents is. Then, we present several viable builds, before analyzing each talent row separately, so that you can make informed decisions.
1. Stukov's Talent Build
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2. Stukov's Talent Build Cheatsheet
Poppin' Pustules BuildTalent calculator »
The Poppin' Pustules Build allows you to deal tremendous amounts of damage to enemy Heroes who are close together. This makes it very effective against enemy teams who have many melee Heroes, or who group closely during team fights for other reasons. Your typical Ability chain should be to cast Healing Pathogen on an ally, and then try to land Weighted Pustule on as many enemies as possible. Once the pustules are applied, wait for enemies to stack together, detonating them when you see the highest damage potential. Casting Healing Pathogen first gives it time to spread to allies before Bio-Kill Switch is activated. Fetid Touch can greatly reduce the cooldown of Weighted Pustule, and completely remove the Mana cost. The Long Pitch allows you to apply pustules from greater range, which opens up opportunities to apply them to many Heroes with each cast. One Good Spread... works in tandem with Pox Populi to provide great healing output.
Lurking Arm BuildTalent calculator »
The Lurking Arm Build focuses on Talents that improve Lurking Arm. One Good Spread... works very well with Pox Populi to provide exceptional healing output. Alternatively, Biotic Armor and Universal Carrier can provide your team with Physical Armor if needed. Low Blow and It Hungers greatly increase Lurking Arm capabilities. Growing Infestation can be very strong with these, as long as you can reliably trigger It Hungers. If you do not think you will be able to reset Lurking Arm reliably in a certain match-up, take The Long Pitch instead of Growing Infestation.
3. Level 1 Talents for Stukov
Quest: Hit Heroes with Weighted Pustule.
Reward: After hitting 15 Heroes, reduce the cooldown of Weighted Pustule by 2.5 seconds and its Mana cost by 25.
Reward: After hitting 30 Heroes, reduce the cooldown of Weighted Pustule by an additional 2.5 seconds and remove its Mana cost.
When taking damage below 50% Health, instantly spread a Weighted Pustule to all nearby enemy Heroes and reset the cooldown of Bio-Kill Switch.
This effect has a 15 second cooldown.
Lurking Arm deals 100% more damage to enemy Heroes below 30% Health.
Basic Attacks become ranged and Slow enemies by 20% for 1.5 seconds, but deal 40% less damage.
Fetid Touch can greatly reduce the cooldown of Weighted Pustule, and completely remove the Mana cost. This makes it a very good Talent to pair with The Long Pitch. The problem with this is that you will be less focused on Healing Pathogen and Lurking Arm, which both have a greater immediate impact on the course of the game. This Talent will allow you to keep enemies slowed almost constantly if you complete the quest. This Talent has strong synergy with the Level 13 Talent, Poppin' Pustules.
Reactive Ballistospores's primary benefit is that it resets Bio-Kill Switch. Because Bio-Kill Switch is your main tool for healing allies, this Talent can be very strong. This Talent can be a slight deterrent for enemy melee Heroes who may wish to dive Stukov.
Low Blow is a good option to take at Level 1 if you plan to build around Lurking Arm. Its effect is pretty straightforward, but very helpful during team fights in tight corridors.
Spine Launcher is an excellent Talent that will increase the number of times you are able to apply Basic Attacks during a match. Although it reduces damage on paper, it will open up many more opportunities to deal damage safely. Follow-up Basic Attacks will be easier to deliver, thanks to the Slow that this Talent provides. The only reason not to take this Talent is that you may need a different Level 1 Talent for your build.
4. Level 4 Talents for Stukov
After a Healing Pathogen infests 3 targets, restore 10 Mana and reduce the cooldown of Healing Pathogen by 2 seconds.
Healing Pathogen grants 15 Physical Armor to targets while active on them. Detonating Bio-Kill Switch increases this bonus to 75 for 2.5 seconds.
Bio-Kill Switch heals for 30% more when detonating 3 or more Healing Pathogens.
One Good Spread... is a great way to increase your healing output during the early game, but requires you to have more than one teammate nearby. With Healing Pathogen on your allies more often, you will have more windows of opportunity for Bio-Kill Switch. This is exceedingly useful, as Bio-Kill Switch has a relatively long cooldown.
Biotic Armor is a great Talent that allows you to provide Physical Armor to all allies affected by Healing Pathogen. The Physical Armor value is greatly increased for a short time whenever Bio-Kill Switch is activated. This can help your frontline mitigate damage while engaging, or help you save allies who are being focused with Basic Attacks. Universal Carrier is very good with Biotic Armor, because it helps you keep Physical Armor on any nearby allies almost constantly.
Vigorous Reuptake increases Bio-Kill Switch healing when conditions are met, which can be useful if you need more burst healing during team fights. In order to ensure that you trigger the bonus healing, it can be helpful to take Universal Carrier to keep Healing Pathogen on several allies at all times.
5. Level 7 Talents for Stukov
Increase the range of Weighted Pustule by 50%. Detonating 2 or more Weighted Pustules causes Stukov's Bio-Kill Switch and Basic Ability cooldowns to recharge 100% faster for 3 seconds.
Lurking Arm's area expands by 50% over 2.5 seconds, but it cannot be Channeled for longer than 4 seconds.
Detonating exactly 1 Weighted Pustule (but any number of Healing Pathogens) with Bio-Kill Switch reduces the cooldown of Bio-Kill Switch to 5 seconds and other Basic Abilities by 1.5 seconds.
The Long Pitch drastically increases the range of Weighted Pustule, and pairs very well with Fetid Touch. This combination is especially useful when one or more of your allies will benefit from attacking Slowed enemies. This Talent makes it much safer to apply Weighted Pustule to enemies. The cooldown reduction will increase opportunities for Bio-Kill Switch detonations, which will help increase your healing and damage.
Growing Infestation increases the area of Lurking Arm as it is channeled, but limits the amount of time it can be channeled. If you are playing with or against a team composition that can help you trigger It Hungers' effect reliably, Growing Infestation can be very good.
Targeted Excision will allow you to activate Bio-Kill Switch more often, which can (in theory) increase your healing output. There are a few challenges in executing this strategy, however. You must detonate a single Weighted Pustule in order to proc the cooldown reduction of Bio-Kill Switch. Furthermore, you must have already applied Healing Pathogen to the allies who need healing. It is not difficult to meet these requirements, but it can make it hard to get maximum effect out of each Bio-Kill Switch detonation. Consequently, you will be less Mana efficient overall. You may struggle with the timing required to get value out of Targeted Excision initially; it is not recommended until you are very comfortable with all of Stukov's mechanics.
6. Level 10 Talents for Stukov
- Mana: 80
- Cooldown: 80 seconds
Swipe 3 times in front of Stukov over 1.75 seconds, dealing 48 (+4% per level) damage to enemies hit and knocking them away. Each swipe is larger than the previous.
- Mana: 50
- Cooldown: 20 seconds
Extend Stukov's arm. If it hits an enemy Hero, they are rapidly shoved until they collide with terrain, dealing 190 (+4% per level) damage and Stunning them for 0.5 seconds. Stukov gains 50 Armor while shoving an enemy.
Flailing Swipe is a great way to break up tightly grouped enemies, making it easier for your team to get a pick during team fights. It is also a powerful disengage tool when a fight is not looking favourable for your team.
Massive Shove is an amazing Heroic Ability that can remove an enemy from a team fight completely, in ideal situations. Even in closed in areas, it can displace and stun enemies out of threatening positions. While Massive Shove's channel time varies depending on the distance before collision, it will usually take the same amount of time to complete as Flailing Swipe. The primary difference to consider here is that Massive Shove grants 50 Armor while being channeled. Combined with the very short cooldown, these features make it the Heroic to take in most games.
7. Level 13 Talents for Stukov
Increase the range of Lurking Arm by 20%. If Lurking Arm damages enemy Heroes 10 times, its cooldown is reset and its Mana cost is refunded.
Lurking Arm persists for 1.5 seconds after it is canceled.
Detonating a Weighted Pustule on an enemy who is inside of Lurking Arm Roots them for 2 seconds.
Detonating Weighted Pustule with Bio-Kill Switch within 1.5 seconds of its expiration increases its damage by 150% and applies its damage and Slow in an area. Enemy Heroes hit have a Weighted Pustule applied to them.
It Hungers removes some of the counterplay for Lurking Arm. Normally when Stukov is channeling a well placed Lurking Arm near a map objective, the enemy team is forced to make a choice. They need to either force the Stukov to stop channeling, or concede the map objective. Without this Talent, cancelling Stukov's channel will place Lurking Arm on a full cooldown. With this Talent, Stukov will be able to reposition and quickly recast Lurking Arm.
With Lingering Spines, you can stop channeling Lurking Arm and its effect will persist for a short time. This allows you to do other things while maintaining zone control for a short time.
Virulent Reaction provides additional crowd control utility to your kit. It may seem difficult to proc at first, but it is very easy to do. Simply cast Weighted Pustule onto an enemy, then channel Lurking Arm directly under them, and immediately detonate Bio-Kill Switch. They will be Rooted, Silenced, and suffering damage over time.
Poppin' Pustules allows you to detonate Weighted Pustule in an area. You can land Weighted Pustule on several enemy Heroes, and the area damage from the detonation will stack. The successful execution of this technique is a great way to start a team fight. Healing Pathogen is a more important use of Bio-Kill Switch if you are the only healer on your team. Try to cast and spread Healing Pathogen before Weighted Pustule, so that detonations will accomplish both healing and damage. This Talent has great synergy with Fetid Touch from Level 1, and The Long Pitch from Level 7.
8. Level 16 Talents for Stukov
Whenever an ally with Healing Pathogen is Stunned or Rooted, they are instantly healed for 250 (+4% per level) Health.
Healing Pathogen can continually spread through Stukov, but its healing is reduced by 40%.
Bio-Kill Switch no longer removes Healing Pathogen but instead sets its duration to 3 seconds.
Superstrain is a good Talent to take against team compositions that have copious amounts of Roots and Stuns.
Universal Carrier only reduces the healing over time component of Healing Pathogen. Bio-Kill Switch healing remains the same. What makes this Talent so good is that you can keep your team primed to receive Bio-Kill Switch healing as necessary.
Pox Populi refreshes Healing Pathogen duration upon Bio-Kill Switch activation, instead of consuming it. This greatly increases the healing over time component of Healing Pathogen, and allows more freedom in timing Bio-Kill Switch detonations. Pox Populi has amazing synergy with One Good Spread.... By increasing the duration of Healing Pathogen, you increase the likelihood of procing One Good Spread.
9. Level 20 Talents for Stukov
Flailing Swipe gains 2 additional charges, but each use only swings 1 time, at maximum range. Additionally, its cooldown is decreased to 30 seconds, and its Mana cost is reduced from 80 to 30.
Massive Shove Slows its target by 50% for 4 seconds upon colliding with terrain. If Massive Shove pushes a target for more than 1.25 seconds, its cooldown is reduced by 15 seconds.
Healing Pathogen's heal over time is increased by 30% while its target is above 60% Health.
Bio-Kill Switch now also detonates Lurking Arm, applying a Weighted Pustule to enemy Heroes inside and Silencing them for 2 seconds.
Controlled Chaos is usually the best choice if you took Flailing Swipe at Level 10. It allows you to move between casts, and time charges as needed.
Push Comes To Shove is usually the best choice to take if you choose Massive Shove at Level 10. You can almost completely reset Massive Shove with well placed casts, which enables you to remove or Stun a second enemy during end game team fights. The strong Slow effect will prevent affected enemies from returning to the fight immediately. This will often result in favourable end game team fights, and greatly increases the likelyhood of victory.
Top Off increases the healing over time component of Healing Pathogen, but only under circumstances when that healing is not necessary. If an ally is above 60% maximum Health, you do not need this Talent to top them off.
Bio-Explosion Switch can increase the amount of time enemies are Silenced by Lurking Arm, and apply a Weighted Pustule to them. You can think of the Lurking Arm detonation as a second Heroic Ability. This Talent will conflict with your Bio-Kill Switch healing, as you will be putting it on cooldown in order to detonate Lurking Arm. Targeted Excision can greatly reduce the cooldown of Bio-Kill Switch. This allows you to use Bio-Kill Switch offensively, and still provide strong healing to your team.
- 17 Apr. 2019: Talents and discussion and builds updated to account for balance patch.
- 08 Aug. 2018: Talent discussion and recommended Talents have been updated for Stukov's rework in the Whitemane release patch.
- 12 Oct. 2017: Balance patch update.
- Eye Infection Removed.
- Updated text for Fetid Touch, Poppin' Pustules, and Superstrain.
- 09 Oct. 2017: Updated Eye Infection text and moved from Not Recommended to Situational.
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