Abathur is one of the most flexible heroes and truly metamorphic in his talent tree, dependant on what is happening with the game. Team makeup, map, and objective components can play a huge part in your evolving talent choices, so no one template can be the answer. The master of evolution, you can evolve him as the game evolves to make up for deficiencies. Knowing where to evolve is the key to
Abathur was my first hero, and I stuck with him as my main since the game came out, i've played him in every way, Stab and spikes, locusts, nests, and eventually stuck with variations on this build.
So alas, this is the start of my Abathur Hybrid Siege and team support build post Karhazm patch, where a few enhancements have changed the dynamic even more. I'll be focusing primarily on the locust/adrenalyn/hivemind build, added a Nest build featuring the new
with 25% more dmg on
. The first is mainly a siege/team support hybrid build and second is a nest build great for tight maps with tight choke points. Neither are great for the new
player. For the new player, I'd recommend a stab/spike burst build. This build requires a good knowledge of the maps, hiding places, the timing of objectives, and each hero's capabilities.
has the potential to nearly double your highest team member's siege capability as well as be the lead xp pusher. With this build you really need to have a good understanding of the maps and where are safe places to hide Abathur in order to dry up enemy tower ammo, xp, and siege. Also the waves and phases that you should move within, and be focused on symbioting, are important. Knowing when and who to symbiote, and when not to symbiote, are key factors in successful Abathur-ing. Balance is paramount, you don't want to get too one sided and the ability to simply abandon what it is you are doing at the moment for a bigger picture is valued.
Abilities while not Symbioting
Abilities while Symbioting
Level 1 Top
This used to be my bread and butter go to first talent choice, it's an awesome talent, but looking at siege numbers, it became a bit of a crutch compared to the advantages
and a locusts build gives you late game. If you have a good team composition DPS-wise, you could probably live without the extra range and cool down that this talent give's
. It really helps in early game to have this, and is greatly enhanced in late game too, but in late game
can pave the way for a last minute core assault by way of hardened locusts, and can garner you heaps of xp. It does help significantly to have this talent if there is a
, on the enemy team. You can pretty well time this to expose them. Each pulse will expose either if they re within the range. If you are low on DPS, or have a
to contend with and no stealth vision on your team, it would be a good choice to go this route since Zeratul has to be so close to do much dmg. If my team has plenty of dps and no enemy Zera, I go with
This talent pays massive siege dividends from mid to late game especially coupled with LVL13
. It's gotten a pretty decent upgrade, the locusts are 40% more health/50% duration now. One caveat, you must get in close for the locusts to reach the towers. The closer you are to a tower, the less chance u have of getting tracked down through your locusts and your locusts can do a lot more dmg. Locusts help early game to empty out your enemy canon tower's ammo in whichever lane they are going. It usually takes a few mins to empty out a set of cannons early game, if you are close to the towers and progressively gets quicker. It can, however, attract unwanted attention to
's hiding spot. So be mindful, keep moving between lanes every 30 sec, working on different towers, or within wave intervals, and place some nests along the path through which the locusts travel to see if you have any enemy Abby hunters tracking u down by way of your locusts, especially if u are deep cover. If you are close cover, near your own towers, be ready to cancel symbiote and run if someone starts attacking you.
I don't normally choose this unless some derpp in HL on last choice doesn't pick a healer when none has been chosen. The heal is quite negligible and doesn't really help when someone is being focused down at all, even in conjunction with the shield. The heal is good for narrow escapes though, no doubt. And in a networked carapace build, it extends merc and minion life even more, lending to siege dmg that way.
This talent has received a 25% dmg upgrade this patch, and I've been playing with it in a nest build.
builds are definitely viable at a very high skill level, but you really need to both carefully understand the dynamics of the map and the team, as well as be knowledgable of attack and escape choke points surrounding objectives with split second decisiveness to make this a worth while choice. At lvl 20 this would do 563.25 DOT/4secs per nest. I have seen enemy heroes die from nests that I've placed pre-patch while running, but rarely, it will be interesting to see how this fares with the upgrade. It's important that if you do take this talent, that you go full nest build, including
at lvl4, and might as well go
at 7, and that you have communicated to your team to drag your enemy over the nests during escapes. More often then not, an unaware team won't run through your own nests. I don't know whether this is psychological, but it can be tricky to have your team escape through your nests, as they tend to think that anything on the ground is bad to step in. Still, I really like the possibilities that this talent has to offer in a nest build.
Level 4 Top
This would be the next choice should you take on a
build. It gives you a tonne of
s at your fingertips, 5 charges initially. When nesting, it's important that you time things critically. You should use a set of nests for map placement of Abby and his alarm system, then you have engage and disengage nesting around the objective's choke and escape points. Place your movement nests, then let your 5 charges build up for the objective. When placing around objectives, it's important to place nests before the enemy gets there, and not to place nests within a mass damage epicentre or they will simply be destroyed in one
swoop, rather, place them at choke points surrounding the area where you know someone will run through in escape. I usually place on both sides escape/engage routes, Enemy first so they pop up and aren't seen before the enemy gets there, if it is late and someone is already there, wait till the battle begins, then place on your team escape points. Timing is vital, when u hear the objective warning, immediately stop what you are doing and setup your nests. With some luck, they'll all be armed before your enemy gets there. If the enemy sees where you have placed them, it will be bye bye nests so make it quick.
This isn't really a great talent, and is a bit useless. Global range can pretty well be had simply by strategic placement of
, so not great to waste this talent for something you can already do inherently. If I were the developers, I'd recommend coupling this talent with a much larger vision radius around nests, at least 300% to make it a viable alternative choice for Zeratul and Nova watchers.
This can be a great choice when coupled with
if you want to buff up your team's and minions/mercs hitpoints. It allows you to shield more than one team mate, and have the shield stay on while you jump to another. Definitely a viable choice if you go a
build, but since this guide is more focused on a locust/team build, I don't usually recommend this.
This is my usual choice in this tier especially if there are auto attack melee assassins like Illidian or Butcher, or
on your team. The 25% attack speed makes any of them OP.
Level 7 Top
For your lvl 7 choice you really could go with any of them depending on what's going on, and you wouldn't go wrong.
Needlespine is an awesome talent to have for nailing the coffin down on that fleeing enemy. It's burst potential can actually be felt. I've spent whole games on an Illidian just picking off enemies with this and spike bursts to no end. The extra range seems tuned just right to pick off escaping victims especially. The extra dmg that it outputs is only second to upgrading this with an extra charge.
My usual goto has been
because it just gives that extra punch of burst dps chasing a would be victim. Then I started playing with nest builds and taking
after the patch. On certain maps, nest builds with vile-nest are OP, and i suspect once more people start playing nest builds with the heightened dmg, that they will probably have to nerf it. It's "this is a joke right?" powerful if the technique is flawless and the team is clued in to a nest strat. The slow from
is insane! And with strategic placement, you can make the slow last for up to 10 seconds or more, so long as the enemy continues trampling through all of your nests. BBay is a great map for this as is Cursed hollow. I've frequently landed chains of 6 second slows at 50% which is brilliant for a talent upgrade that also does massive dmg. When
s/locust build, he has massive full dmg capability.
This talent is very interesting indeed in that it will transfer the carapace to all mercs and minions surrounding the one you cast it on. For any of the three lane maps, this can amount to a fair bit of extra shielding for mercs/minions.
Calldown Mule is situational and repairs/re-arms structures fairly decently quick. It can be especially useful on Garden Terror, Battlefield of eternity, spiders, and mines maps where structures get ravaged by golems and stuff. You'd have to sacrifice
for it, but that's really not a huge sacrifice, considering it heals and re-arms your structures. If your team isn't too far behind, and you feel that you are evenly matched with the enemy at this stage, contingent on the map, it might be useful to take this to tip the scales in your favour. Going call down mule will require a bit more skill though, as your thought process will then be split managing 3 things, the hat, the MULE, and figuring out where the best MULE placement should be, as well as nest/deeptunnel/keeping alive process. A lot to juggle
Level 10 Top
I rarely take this ULT, simply because it lasts for such a small amount of time in comparison to the monstrosity, and while it may turn the tide of a battle, killing an enemy, the siege that the monstrosity does imho gives more xp overall and has more practical utility. In some games when this pops up, there are times when u really need the extra clone, and it may be worth those pivotal moments, like getting that 3rd tribute, or handing in doubloon warfare. You might, and I stress might
take one or two extra enemy's out, but since evolve will last indefinitely, and has huge siege potential, it makes better sense to take
This ULT is probably one of the biggest siege devastators, and longest lasting ULTs in the game. It builds stacks with each enemy minion killed (to 30), and when it gets to 30 stacks, watch out! It's totally worth symbioting your monstrosity and driving it straight to structures when it gets to 30 stack as the dmg to structures is arguably tantamount to a butcher with half meat stacks. When you launch your monstrosity, it's usually a good idea to wait till the right moment, for instance, when an objective spawns and the enemy is focussed elsewhere. It's also important to launch it somewhere you know will get some siege dmg in, whilst letting it build stacks. I'll usually tunnel near the front lines, and let my locusts work on emptying a structure, then launch it right near a structure and move. Take control of it, and spike burst enemy units so it will gain stacks. If it gets low on health, drive it a bit away and let it resume autopilot. Don't freak out if it dies, it's ok. It's only a fraction of your siege output, albeit a huge fraction.
Level 13 Top
This talent is fantastic, but it can be mitigated by heroes simply by ranging the locusts down. The dmg when the locusts explode vs a structure is pretty sweet, and if your aim is structure, or minion based, then maybe this would be the way to go. I personally prefer the ranged attack from bombard strain, it seems to give me a lot more siege dmg result than
but that could just be my monstrosity as well, hard to gauge.
I love this talent, the siege dmg from this stacks up quickly and since the Locusts get close enough to the towers to consume their ammo still, it makes it definately a viable option over cleve. All in all,
s dmg is fairly proportional however, when a pack of locusts with range start attacking a hero, they are quick to back out or end up dying. I've seen bombard strain take out enemy's structures in no time. I usually take this talent over the slow or the heal from spike bursts if I've gone with Survival Instincts in the beginning. And if you go locust build at 13, you absolutely must go with
at 16, or mostly it will have been a waste.
This gives you an extra stab charge, and it can really help your burst potential while your hat is on a friendly hero. Sometimes at this point, your team is behind and you desperately need more dps over siege. After a while you can gauge whether or not your team has enough dps to make it, and if not, then by all means "Evolve, Conquer!" and take this talent as it will push your team over the top with dps potential.
This is also an adaptive choice. This talent heals with each enemy hero hit with the spikes. Obviously, if you took Preassurized glands in lvl 1, then you would get more benefit from this. This talent requires you to be very careful about when you hit it. It's best when you can at least clip 2 or more heroes with spikes as the heal scales up much nicer the more heroes hit with it. If your team is struggling to survive, then take this by all means.
Level 16 Top
This is a really great talent to slow your enemy. When your
is on a friendly hero chasing a would be victim, they need some CC love to help them out. The spike bursts get a 40% slow with this for 2.5s. If your team is having trouble with runners often, it might be a good idea to adapt and take this talent over brood. However, the argument could be given that if a team is behind in numbers, taking locust brood will help those numbers a fair bit in a very short amount of time, so I usually opt for brood over this now after seeing the results of it time and time again.
I don't use this talent, but I can see where it may come in handy. Especially with escapes, or running down an enemy. Your cool down on your carapace is far longer then your spikes though, so this would only really be great in a totally different type of build.
totally rocks and brings your combined locusts talents to fruition. This talent will give you 3 additional locusts every time you hit it. It's best to have a nest somewhere close to an enemy fort (but out of sight range) to be able to start the locusts broods. Move in launch, wait 30s, launch again, then move to another lane and repeat. From this moment on, you need to be ultra aware of the enemy looking for you, keep yourself surrounded with nests to be able to spot, and keep your eye on the minimap. Once the enemy team start to realise you've built for locusts, the hunt is on. So have your nests setup for the next move so there is no delay. You kind of get a good idea when your cool down is up with this after a while, but its much easier to just keep both your move timer and this timer on the same wavelength.
This talent has gotten a bit of an enhancement in range and dps, and isn't too bad at taking out enemy minions and heroes, but for this build it would be a bit of a waste to go this route as all the talents so far have been building up to
. If you want to go this type of build then don't waste all the talents on locust build as it will just be for 2 locusts.
Level 20 Top
This gives your Evolution a shield. Since I don't take this ULT 95% of the time, I don't take the extension to it either. If I do take the ult, I usually will take Hivemind over this anyhow but I could see where it might come in handy.
This is definitely a viable option should you wish to keep your Mostrosity jumping lanes, but this will require you to constantly keep an eye out for your monstrosity, and if you are symbioting at the same time, then it's necessary to shift balance toward managing your monstrosity, when it should be split depending on what is happening in game. I love to take control of my Ult and run it right to a tower and so forth, but i have no quorums about letting it go to autopilot when my team volleys with the enemy. The team should be the priority, with the Monstrosity as a secondary, albeit important secondary bonus. Still, a whole article could be written about strategies surrounding the monstrosity and moving him around. I'd definitely consider this talent as a viable option if the team was say 2.5 levels ahead at this stage. The mere idea of having the team chase the monstrosity from lane to lane, splitting them has a lot of advantage, if done right.
Hivemind is simply OP, so OP they had to nerf it a bit when they fixed it or it would be outrageous. It was OP if people stood close together, but still, it was fragile, and took planning and notification to your teammates. It can be so frustrating using this with an Illidian jumping all over the place because it used to always separate, but with the new seek mechanism, it will re-aquire a new hero if the old one goes out of sight, which totally makes up for the "smaller" hat it gives the second symbiote. It is now only half the output dmg on the and shield on the secondary symbiote, but this is considerably better than only having it work for a few seconds. I think it is still a fantastic bread and butter utility talent to take and I'd probably take it 75% of the time. The extra locusts, and smoke and mirrors from the additional
in the next talent, can definitely be worth it though, especially if u have taken bombard strain or cleve, but
can certainly turn the tide if u have been losing battles. If you are ahead, take the additional nest, if behind take Hivemind.
Depending on how the game is going, if I've been hunted down a few times, and if we are ahead a bit, I'll take this over Hivemind. Simply because it spreads the enemy out within a minute of you spawning it and your
at the same time. The nest will keep up to 2-3 locusts going if you are close range, add another 2-3 from you, plus your 3 from the brood every 30s, with
you have a total nightmare for the enemy team. These locust's cumulative dmg are worth another sieging team member on their own. All these resources add up as does the dmg from the locusts themselves.
I've had countless games where the home team has been behind, the locusts carved out a couple huge gaping holes clear to the core, we took the enemy team out once to push core for the win. By this stage in the game, there are so many locusts coming down lanes, the enemy team is desperate to find
so keep on the move. A great strategy is to pop one of these deep in enemy territory around the middle between two lanes right before you move to another spot, you can also influence the direction locusts go by simply jostling [abathur] one way or another to get them to run down a different lane. Broods are quite frustrating for them, and they will have one person on
duty by this stage so it can be worth it just to watch it.
With locust play, don't be afraid to die, you will get caught out at times, but don't let dying get in the way of you taking risks to get deep near the enemy towers, and within XP range of the action. While you are deep, continuously spread your nests, even deeper in enemy territory in case you do get hunted down, you can immediately deep tunnel back into the action when you spawn again.
Another great locust strategy is "Onion Skinning" or layering in. It works surprisingly well on a few maps and u can sit there nearly the whole game without being detected. You spread nests one layer deep to the near enemy forts, emptying out the first layer of towers, then spread nests to spots that are yet another layer deep. You would be surprised at how many stealthy spots there are near the next layer of enemy towers that one can deep tunnel to and not be noticed. The enemy will get notifications that their forts are being attacked, and will start seeking the front line, while you are already one layer deeper into their territory the whole time. I've been able to sit nearly a whole games one layer deep. When the first layer falls, the second is right behind on nearly all lanes.
Judging from the communities occasional dislike of
whenever he is chosen, I'd have to conclude that there is quite a lot of misunderstanding of both how to play him, and play with him usually. Not all players know what the hat it, what it does. People get upset when they start losing, and the blame usually rests on the
choice. I remember getting pinged a lot from players thinking I was actually doing nothing but sitting at the core early on:D. I've been in a lot of games that end up 2 lvls behind early game, and psychologically the team thinks it must be because we have an
, so they end up giving up right then at lvl6.
A couple things to clarify to people who end up playing with
that don't usually play him yourself, first, the massive XP that Abathur usually ends up with at the end of the game, is only a fraction from being in lane close to the action, the majority of it is from siege mid-late game when locusts and
are sieging, so please people, don't freak out on early game
s let the game develop some before passing judgement. It's great if abby is right up on the lane but not always necessary as in order to empty cannons,
needs to be near them.
is a hero of subtlety, understatement, and his attacks are masked by their seemingly insignificant and yet constant engagements. But those constant bombardment of insignificant attacks add up exponentially, so be patient.
is the turtle vs the hare.
Secondly, The sign of a good
is one who dies at least once or twice, as it shows that the player is taking risks and getting in close, where
if you get one who ends up dying a few times. Early game, this is not a big deal. The enemy often needs to be tested to see how savvy they are.
Thirdly, There is NO
map, at least not bad enough to preclude him as a hero choice. So let's put this to rest. Even Dragonshire is an easily winnable
map if you know how to play it correctly. There are better maps than others, certainly, but the advantages a good
brings to the table, far outweigh the map deficiencies. What some people do not know is that
himself can complete objectives, take possession of dragon knights, garden terrors, etc, and get away quickly when they explode via a deep tunnel. It's an unexpected surprise that the enemy gets a shock from when
himself deep tunnels and takes control of a Dragon Knight so play this to your advantage.
Build log Top
8-15-15 Original Publish
8-18-15 added Updated Nest build