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.
Stukov's Talent Build
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Stukov's Talent Build Cheatsheet
Standard Bio-kill BuildRecommended
The Standard Bio-kill build focuses on enhancing Stukovs trait. Reactive Ballistospores and Spine Launcher are both situational and the correct talent depends on the enemy team composition. If they have dive heroes, Reactive Ballistospores is the correct talent, if not Spine Launcher would be recommended. Targeted Excision will allow Stukov to use his trait more often, resulting in both more healing and damage/CC through Weighted Pustule. The level 20 talents are situational and most of the times you can pick the upgrade to your level 10 heroic ability.
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 25 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 25 second cooldown.
Lurking Arm deals 100% more damage to enemy Heroes below 50% 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 and Virulent Reaction, making it the best talent for Weighted Pustule build.
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. This talent should only be picked if the enemy team has a heavy melee composition.
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 10 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.
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. This talent will allow you to silence more enemy heroes than normal and has great use with the Lurking Arm build.
Targeted Excision will allow you to activate Basic Abilities 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 your Basic Abilities. 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.
Level 10 Talents for Stukov
- Mana: 60
- Cooldown: 60 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.
Level 13 Talents for Stukov
Increase the range of Lurking Arm by 20%. If Lurking Arm damages enemy Heroes 8 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. This is, however, a weak talent compared to Virulent Reaction.
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. However, 1.5 seconds is too low and will not be useful in a game.
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. This talent is the reason to pick Stukov and you can single handedly carry a game by triggering this talent on enemy heroes.
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. However in most situations you will want to go with Virulent Reaction as the CC from that talent can be the difference of killing an enemy hero or the hero escaping.
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. You should always pick this talent if that is the case.
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. The 40% heal reduce does hurt Stukov a lot, and because your team will not always be stacked, this talent sees little use.
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.
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 25 seconds, and its Mana cost is reduced from 60 to 25.
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, dealing 230 (+4% per level) damage, applying a Weighted Pustule, and Silencing enemy Heroes inside for 2.5 seconds.
The cooldown and Mana cost reduction of Controlled Chaos has its benefits, however the strength of this talent comes from being able to control all three charges. Most of the time, one knockback can be enough to disengage from the enemy team.
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. Do note that this talent should only be picked on maps where you can reliably trigger it. Maps that are big and open like Hanamura are a great place where this talent can shine.
Bio-Explosion Switch does not work well with your Fetid Touch + Lurking Arm combo. Since you want Virulent Reaction to go off, the silence and damage of Lurking Arm can easily occur for more than 2.5 seconds and 230 damage. Given that your team has CC on top of yours, it will probably last even longer, making this talent useless.
- 20 Jan. 2021: Guide has been reviewed and no changes are needed.
- 18 Dec. 2020: Updated talent choices.
- 19 Jul. 2020: Updated talent choices to showcase the new builds.
- 02 Jul. 2020: Guide has been reviewed and no changes are needed.
- 05 Aug. 2019: Updated talents.
- 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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