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Stukov Talents

Last updated on Oct 12, 2017 at 10:30 by Straften 18 comments

Table of Contents

Stukov Image

General Information

On this page, we present the viable talent choices for playing Stukov 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 Stukov 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 Spine Launcher Fetid Touch ? Growing Infestation ? Poppin' Pustules
4 One Good Spread... Top Off Biotic Armor ? Vigorous Reuptake ?
7 The Long Pitch ? Within My Reach It Hungers ? Targeted Excision ?
10 Flailing Swipe Massive Shove
13 Reactive Ballistospores ? Low Blow Lingering Spines Virulent Reaction
16 Superstrain ? Universal Carrier Pox Populi
20 Controlled Chaos ? Push Comes To Shove Bio-Explosion Switch ?
Create your own build and share it with friends!

2. Common Talent Paths

2.1. Poppin' Pustules Build (talent calculator link)

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 Icon Bio-Kill Switch is activated. The Long Pitch Icon 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... Icon One Good Spread... works in tandem with Pox Populi Icon Pox Populi to provide great healing output. Reactive Ballistospores Icon Reactive Ballistospores gives you a way to reset Bio-Kill Switch Icon Bio-Kill Switch; further increasing your healing and damage output.

2.2. Lurking Arm Build (talent calculator link)

The Lurking Arm Build focuses on Talents that improve Lurking Arm. One Good Spread... Icon One Good Spread... works very well with Pox Populi Icon Pox Populi to provide exceptional healing output. Growing Infestation Icon Growing Infestation, Within My Reach Icon Within My Reach, and Lingering Spines Icon Lingering Spines synergize very well. These Talents greatly increase Lurking Arm capabilities.

2.3. Spine Launcher Build (talent calculator link)

The Spine Launcher Build plays much differently than the other builds, because Stukov's Basic Attack becomes ranged and applies a Slow. This build is very punishing to enemies who have poor positioning, as it can apply Slows constantly. Virulent Reaction Icon Virulent Reaction allows Stukov to Root enemy Heroes in Lurker Arm's Silence area of effect. Bio-Explosion Switch Icon Bio-Explosion Switch further enhances the suppression from Virulent Reaction by applying an additional Weighted Pustule. Targeted Excision Icon Targeted Excision will set the cooldown of Bio-Kill Switch to 5 seconds, allowing you to stack Vigorous Reuptake Icon Vigorous Reuptake much faster.

2.4. Weighted Pustule Build (talent calculator link)

The Weighted Pustule Build focuses on Talents that enhance Weighted Pustule. This build is provides good sustained control, which can be useful if your team composition benefits from Slows. Fetid Touch Icon Fetid Touch and The Long Pitch Icon The Long Pitch allow you to freely apply pustules to enemy Heroes from great range. One Good Spread... Icon One Good Spread... works in tandem Pox Populi Icon Pox Populi to provide great healing output. Reactive Ballistospores Icon Reactive Ballistospores gives you a way to reset Bio-Kill Switch Icon Bio-Kill Switch, further increasing your healing and damage output.

3. Level 1 Talents

Stukov Spine Launcher
Spine Launcher (Level 1) Starcraft Stukov

Basic Attacks become ranged and Slow enemies by 20% for 1.5 seconds, but deal 40% less damage.

Stukov Fetid Touch ?
Fetid Touch (Level 1) Starcraft Stukov

Quest: Hit Heroes with Weighted Pustule.

Reward: After hitting 15 Heroes, reduce the cooldown of Weighted Pustule by 2.5 seconds.

Reward: After hitting 30 Heroes, reduce the cooldown of Weighted Pustule by an additional 2.5 seconds and remove its Mana cost.

Stukov Growing Infestation ?
Growing Infestation (Level 1) Starcraft Stukov

Lurking Arm's area expands by 50% over 2.5 seconds but its cooldown is increased by 4 seconds.

Stukov Poppin' Pustules
Poppin' Pustules (Level 1) Starcraft Stukov

Increase the final damage of Weighted Pustule by 50%.

Quest: Detonate 10 Weighted Pustules without dying.

Reward: Detonating a Weighted Pustule now applies its damage and Slow in an area.

3.1. Discussion

Spine Launcher Icon 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.

Fetid Touch Icon 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 Icon The Long Pitch. The problem with this is that you will be less focused on Healing Pathogen Icon Healing Pathogen and Lurking Arm Icon 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. Of the two Weighted Pustule Talents at this Level, this offers more sustained control than Poppin' Pustules Icon Poppin' Pustules.

Growing Infestation Icon Growing Infestation makes an amazing Ability even more powerful, by expanding Lurking Arm's area of effect. This Talent is a must on maps with many chokepoints near objectives, as it will give your team a massive advantage. The only thing better than an AoE Silence that can be channeled indefinately, is a larger one.

Poppin' Pustules Icon Poppin' Pustules allows you to make big plays if you are able to complete the quest. 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. Even with this quest completed, Healing Pathogen is a more important use of Bio-Kill Switch if you are the only healer on your team. For this reason, try to cast and spread Healing Pathogen before Weighted Pustule, so that detonations will accomplish both healing and damage. Of the two Weighted Pustule Talents at this Level, this offers more play-making potential than Fetid Touch Icon Fetid Touch.

4. Level 4 Talents

Stukov One Good Spread...
One Good Spread... (Level 4) Starcraft Stukov

After a Healing Pathogen infests 3 targets, restore 40 Mana and reduce the cooldown of Healing Pathogen by 2 seconds.

Stukov Top Off
Top Off (Level 4) Starcraft Stukov

Healing Pathogen's heal over time on its initial target is increased by 50% while they are above 60% Health.

Stukov Biotic Armor ?
Biotic Armor (Level 4) Starcraft Stukov

Healing Pathogen grants 50 Physical Armor to its initial target while active on them.

Stukov Vigorous Reuptake ?
Vigorous Reuptake (Level 4) Starcraft Stukov

Quest: Detonate 50 Healing Pathogens with Bio-Kill Switch.

Reward: Increase Bio-Kill Switch's healing by 40%.

4.1. Discussion

One Good Spread... Icon One Good Spread... is a great way to increase your healing output during the early game, but requires you to have several teammates nearby. If you are playing on a two lane map and have a solo laner, this Talent will greatly increase the uptime of Healing Pathogen. With Healing Pathogen on your allies more often, you will have more windows of opportunity for Bio-Kill Switch Icon Bio-Kill Switch. This is exceedingly useful, as Bio-Kill Switch has a relatively long cooldown.

Top Off Icon 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.

Biotic Armor Icon Biotic Armor is a great Talent that allows you to provide Physical Armor to an ally. This can be very useful for helping your frontline to mitigate damage while engaging, or to save an ally who is being focused. Biotic Armor does not give Spell Armor, and will have no effect on Ability-based damage. It is best to take this Talent against enemies who deal most of their damage via Basic Attacks.

Although Vigorous Reuptake Icon Vigorous Reuptake does not give any immediate benefit, it gives Bio-Kill Switch Icon Bio-Kill Switch Heroic healing capability once completed. If your team is struggling during the early game, it is better to choose a Talent that will help you right away. Vigorous Reuptake is an amazing Talent when you can afford to take it, but is not worth a significant Level disadvantage.

5. Level 7 Talents

Stukov The Long Pitch ?
The Long Pitch (Level 7) Starcraft Stukov

Increase the range of Weighted Pustule by 100%.

Stukov Within My Reach
Within My Reach (Level 7) Starcraft Stukov

Increase the range of Lurking Arm by 50%.

Stukov It Hungers ?
It Hungers (Level 7) Starcraft Stukov

Each time an enemy Hero is hit by Lurking Arm, reduce its cooldown by 0.5 seconds, up to 6.5 seconds, and restore 5 Mana.

Stukov Targeted Excision ?
Targeted Excision (Level 7) Starcraft Stukov

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.

5.1. Discussion

The Long Pitch Icon The Long Pitch drastically increases the range of Weighted Pustule, and pairs very well with Fetid Touch Icon 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, and will increase opportunities for Bio-Kill Switch Icon Bio-Kill Switch detonations that include Healing Pathogen.

Within My Reach Icon Within My Reach allows you to channel Lurking Arm from safer distances. This is a great Talent to take, and should be considered above all others in this tier. Lurking Arm is an excellent controlling Ability that excells in oppoonent suppression; being able to be safer while doing so is paramount.

It Hungers Icon It Hungers allows for more frequent usage of Lurking Arm by lowering its cooldown. Additionally, It Hungers can restore a lot of Mana, depending on how many times enemy Heroes are hit by Lurking Arm. This Talent has great synergy with Lingering Spines Icon Lingering Spines; you can cancel Lurking Arm and still gain the benefits of It Hungers.

Targeted Excision Icon Targeted Excision will allow you to activate Bio-Kill Switch Icon 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 Icon 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 comfortable and familiar with Stukov.

6. Level 10 Talents

Stukov Flailing Swipe
Flailing Swipe (Level 10) Starcraft Stukov
  • Mana: 100
  • Cooldown: 80 seconds

Swipe 3 times in front of Stukov over 1.75 seconds, dealing 50 (+4% per level) damage to enemies hit and knocking them away. Each swipe is larger than the previous.

Stukov Massive Shove
Massive Shove (Level 10) Starcraft Stukov
  • 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 200 (+4% per level) damage and Stunning them for 0.5 seconds. Stukov gains 50 Armor while shoving an enemy.

6.1. Discussion

Flailing Swipe Icon 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. Unfortunately, it has a much longer cooldown than Massive Shove Icon Massive Shove, which has a similar amount of impact in most match-ups.

Massive Shove Icon 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

Stukov Reactive Ballistospores ?
Reactive Ballistospores (Level 13) Starcraft Stukov

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 10 second cooldown.

Stukov Low Blow
Low Blow (Level 13) Starcraft Stukov

Lurking Arm deals 150% more damage to enemy Heroes below 30% Health.

Stukov Lingering Spines
Lingering Spines (Level 13) Starcraft Stukov

Lurking Arm persists for 1.5 seconds after it is canceled.

Stukov Virulent Reaction
Virulent Reaction (Level 13) Starcraft Stukov

Detonating a Weighted Pustule on an enemy who is inside of Lurking Arm Roots them for 2 seconds.

7.1. Discussion

Reactive Ballistospores Icon Reactive Ballistospores's primary benefit is that it resets Bio-Kill Switch Icon Bio-Kill Switch. Because Bio-Kill Switch is your main tool for healing allies, this Talent can be very strong. Against opponents who have a lot of burst damage or crowd control, it can be dangerous to drop below 50% maximum health.

Low Blow Icon Low Blow is an interesting Talent that greatly increases Lurking Arm's damage to low health enemy Heroes. This Talent does not contribute to Stukov's healing or utility, so it is generally not worth taking.

With Lingering Spines Icon Lingering Spines, you can stop channeling Lurking Arm, and it will persist. This allows you to do other things while maintaining zone control for a short time.

Virulent Reaction Icon 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 Icon Weighted Pustule onto an enemy, then channel Lurking Arm Icon Lurking Arm directly under them, and immediately detonate Bio-Kill Switch Icon Bio-Kill Switch. They will be Rooted, Silenced, and suffering damage over time.

8. Level 16 Talents

Stukov Superstrain ?
Superstrain (Level 16) Starcraft Stukov

Whenever an ally with Healing Pathogen is Stunned or Rooted, they are instantly healed for 250 (+4% per level) Health.

Stukov Universal Carrier
Universal Carrier (Level 16) Starcraft Stukov

Healing Pathogen can continually spread through Stukov, but its healing is reduced by 50%.

Stukov Pox Populi
Pox Populi (Level 16) Starcraft Stukov

Bio-Kill Switch no longer removes Healing Pathogen but instead sets its duration to 3 seconds.

8.1. Discussion

Superstrain Icon Superstrain is a good Talent to take against team compositions that have copious amounts of Roots and Stuns.

Universal Carrier Icon Universal Carrier only reduces the healing over time component of Healing Pathogen. Bio-Kill Switch Icon Bio-Kill Switch healing remains the same. What makes this Talent so good is that you can permanently keep your team primed to receive Bio-Kill Switch Icon Bio-Kill Switch healing as necessary.

Pox Populi Icon 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... Icon One Good Spread.... By increasing the duration of Healing Pathogen, you increase the likelihood of procing One Good Spread.

9. Level 20 Talents

Stukov Controlled Chaos ?
Controlled Chaos (Level 20) Starcraft 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 100 to 50.

Stukov Push Comes To Shove
Push Comes To Shove (Level 20) Starcraft Stukov

Massive Shove travels 25% faster. If Massive Shove pushes a target for more than 1.25 seconds, its cooldown is reduced by 15 seconds.

Stukov Bio-Explosion Switch ?
Bio-Explosion Switch (Level 20) Starcraft Stukov

Bio-Kill Switch now also detonates Lurking Arm, applying a Weighted Pustule to enemy Heroes inside and Silencing them for 2 seconds.

9.1. Discussion

Controlled Chaos Icon 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 Icon 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. This will often result in favourable end game team fights, and greatly increases the likelyhood of victory.

Bio-Explosion Switch Icon 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 Icon 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.

10. ChangeLog

+ show all entries - show only 10 entries
  • 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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