Abathur Split Push / Soak by FutureRobot

Abathur Split Push / Soak

By: FutureRobot
Last Updated: Jul 4, 2015
3 Votes
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Build 1 of 1


Build: Carpace -> Monstrosity -> Locust

Level 1
Level 4
Level 7
Level 10
Level 13
Level 16
Level 20

Preface Top

Whenever I pre-select Abathur during draft, there seems to be about a 75% chance of at least one person complaining. To be honest, I can't blame them - all they can do is trust their past experience, which for most people would indicate that Abathur is good with Illidan and maybe Valla, and is otherwise a detriment to the team.

There is another way though! Abathur, despite his poor reputation, is quite the versatile hero. The build I lay out here takes advantage of strengths which are mathematical / statistical / logical in nature, and not dependent upon a high level of skill.

Concept Top

Having Abathur means you are one man down on the field, essentially limiting you to 4 heroes in any team encounter and increasing the odds of going against the enemy team 4v5.

This fails to tell the whole story though. What Abathur lacks in body-presence and team fighting ability, he more than makes up for in map-presence and rapid response capability.

To put my theory as simply as possible: Abathur can soak two lanes at once, one with his body (hiding in a bush) and one with his symbiote. He can do this from level 1 (and quite effectively). Additionally, from level 10 he can actually soak 3 lanes with the addition of his monstrosity.

This leaves the enemy team with a dilemma. Let's assume a 3-lane map (see below for 2-lane considerations). To effectively soak and keep up on experience, the enemy team needs to have one hero in each lane, which typically leads to a 2-2-1 hero lane split, and sometimes 3-1-1.

When you stop to consider that, it really is almost mathematical in its simplicity. The trick to making this build work is communication. Most people have primarily followed the "meta" and executed the typical 2-2-1 or 3-1-1 split for the vast majority of their time playing this game, and so the concept of doing something other than this will be foreign and probably a bit scary to them. As Abathur playing this build, the biggest hurdle to your team's success will be in convincing your allies to trust you and think outside the box.

So, as soon as you get into the draft and see that it's safe to pick Abathur, you're going to want to immediately lay out your plan, which is as follows:

The other 4 players on your team will stick together the entire game, always roaming around as a group of 4 and always moving as a team and with proper positioning. They will typically go middle lane, while you will tunnel to either the top or bottom. Hide in a bush, drop a few nests, and symbiote a minion in the opposite lane. You will then be soaking 2 lanes from the beginning of the game.

If as suspected the enemy team has gone with the "standard meta" 2-2-1 split, or even the 3-1-1 split, then your team will be at a body advantage in the first team fight with 4 heroes in the battle. They should proceed to gank whoever is in the middle lane and then move to either the top or bottom, depending on which of these lanes has the most enemy heroes in it. For this example, let's say there were 2 in middle, 1 top and 2 bottom.

So your 4 teammates run to bottom and proceed to gank the 2 enemy heroes there, and you then shift your symbiote from bottom to middle lane (which will now be unoccupied by your teammates). From this point forward, the rest of the game is essentially the same thing - rinse and repeat. Your 4 teammates continue to roam as a group of 4, picking whichever lane contains the most enemy heroes, while you continue to soak the 2 lanes they aren't currently occupying.

The enemy team must choose to either split so they can soak all 3 lanes, or stick together for team fights. As a result, they are forced to either give up experience from 1-3 lanes or be perpetually outnumbered in every team fight. As Abathur, all you have to do is make sure you keep soaking two lanes.

Levels 1-4: Helping teammates and map awareness. Top

The first 3 levels are probably the most difficult for this build, due to your lack of useful abilities as well as your teammates body disadvantage in the event that the enemy team decides to group up.

For that reason, I tend to focus quite a bit on my teammates during these early levels, when a timely shield or spike could be the difference between a dead teammate and a dead enemy hero. While you may lose out on some experience from not having a symbiote on the 3rd lane for a few seconds, it is outweighed by the experience gained from killing an enemy hero and/or potential experience gained by the enemy from killing one of your teammates.

Also keep in mind that it's actually pretty easy to keep an eye on your teammates just with the minimap. You only need to keep an eye on it like you would the rear view mirror in your car. If you see enemy heroes near one of your teammates, there's a possibility they might need your help. If you see them nearby for an extended period of time, they've probably been fighting and your teammate will almost definitely benefit from your help.

While Symbiote "locks" your camera pan within a radius around the target unit, you can still move your camera beyond that radius by clicking on the minimap. Take advantage of this when you see enemy heroes near your teammates on the minimap by clicking over to check your teammates health and the enemy health to assess whether they would benefit from a shield or spike. As an added benefit, spacebar (which usually centers on your hero) will center your camera on the symbiote target, taking you back where you were after you've checked on your allies.

Levels 4-7: Still a challenge, but things start getting easier. Top

Once you reach level 4 and can take Sustained Carpace, your utility to your teammates will increase dramatically. While a single sustained carpace is of limited use on a minion, it can greatly benefit your allied heroes. Carpace isn't a great "burst" heal, but it's actually a pretty amazing "sustain" heal when combined with your level 1 Regenerating Microbes talent. Sustained Carpace will allow you to keep a persistent heal over time active on two targets.

To realize the greatest benefit from this, you're going to want to try to target allies who are low on health and have retreated from the line of fire and are no longer being focused. The heal over time component persists only so long as the shield has remaining health, so your teammates will benefit most from the carpace by avoiding enemy focus and playing it safe while the carpace slowly tops them up. Over the course of the game, this talent will save your allies countless trips to the fountain or core which would otherwise have removed them from the field.

This talent also makes it easier for you to support your teammates while minimizing the experience lost by not having an active symbiote in the unoccupied lane, as you can simply toss a shield on them and go back to the lane.

So, levels 4-6 are essentially the same as levels 1-4 with the added benefit of Sustained Carpace allowing you to more effectively split your attention between team support and lane pushing/soaking.

Levels 7-10: You should be winning by this point. Top

Assuming your team has stuck together as a group of 4 and you have effectively soaked two lanes, you should be at least one level ahead by this point, sometimes 2 or even 3 levels.

However, level 7 is when this build really starts to shine. With networked carpace, you will now be able to shield an entire lane of minions. I typically keep the two lanes I'm pushing shielded as much as possible, only letting the shield lapse when an allied hero requires assistance. Over the next couple minutes upon reaching level 7, you should see your minion waves building up in these lanes, and they build up pretty quickly.

As these waves build up, your networked carpace becomes more and more valuable. Instead of one carpace shielding 7 minions, it will shield 10 or 14 or 21 or however many minions are in range. The result is that your minions alone will start pushing towers and forts without any intervention from your allies.

Level 10: Monstrosity! Top

At level 10, you'll get your ultimate talent, Monstrosity. The Monstrosity is seriously powerful at the moment, and falls not far short of an additional hero on the field. I typically spawn my Monstrosity in 1) the lane which has the least enemy heroes (so they don't just kill it immediately) and 2) the lane in which the enemy wave is pushed furthest towards your base (so your Monstrosity will have more enemy minions to kill before it hits a tower / fort / keep).

Hopefully your teammates are keeping the enemy team busy, and your Monstrosity will be able to push on its own while gaining power with each enemy minion it kills. If it gets low on health, run it back to the next allied minion wave and shield it (which will shield the minions too) and your Regenerative Microbes will heal it up quite well.

In situations where an enemy hero tries to come kill your Monstrosity, your best bet is to either run (if you don't have enough stacks yet for it to be very strong), or pursue and fight the enemy hero. I'd say anything above 15 stacks is probably enough at level 10, and 30 is certainly enough throughout the remainder of the game.

When fighting an enemy hero with your Monstrosity, don't forget one of its greatest strengths: it gains health with every enemy minion/mercenary/(hero??) killed nearby. To that effect, try to fight the enemy hero near your minions and the enemy minions, and make sure your aoe hits as many enemy minions as possible. Once you get the hang of it, you can essentially kill enemy minions to keep your Monstrosity alive while the enemy hero burns through their mana, slowly whittling them down until they are forced to retreat or die.

Often, the enemy team will take note of this and send 3-4 heroes to intercept the monstrosity. This is great, because you've effectively taken those heroes out of the fight with what amounts to an expendable unit.

On maps with highly valuable objectives (sky temple, dragon shrine(?)), your Monstrosity will be quite useful in contesting these points alongside your teammates.

Level 11-16: More of the same? Top

By now the rhythm of the game has already been set, you're probably a couple levels ahead, and you can keep doing what you've been doing. I almost always take Bombard Strain at level 13, but it doesn't do a whole lot quite yet and won't affect your gameplay much.

Just keep doing what you've been doing!

Level 16-XX: Locust Brood, Locust Nest Top

So, with the "nerf" (fix imo) to the backdoor strategy, most people have presumed Bombard Strain to be useless. While it's certainly not as powerful as it once was, I feel that it still carries quite a bit of value when used correctly.

The trick with the new and weaker Bombard Strain locusts is in the timing and positioning. Ideally, you want them shooting at buildings as much as possible. You'll want to try to spawn them just as the last one or two minions from the current enemy wave are about to die, maximizing the amount of time your locusts spend shooting at the nearest building before the next wave arrives. When that wave does arrive, do what you can to clear it as quickly as possible so your locusts can resume attacking buildings.

Another benefit of these locusts is in their map presence. With Deep Tunnel, you can spawn them pretty much anywhere on the map and then hearth back to your core before an enemy hero can kill you. The enemy team can either ignore the locusts (who should be standing just behind your built-up waves of minions beating at their buildings), or they can send heroes to respond which again removes them from the rest of the fight. Meanwhile, you can continue pushing other lanes and assisting allied heroes where appropriate.

I considered putting level 20 and Locust Nest in it's own chapter, but I've found that it doesn't make much difference to my gameplay. Locust Nest can be useful to "trick" the enemy by indicating a false location, but it has seemed to me that by level 20 they are going to be preoccupied with bigger problems and generally won't spend much time trying to hunt you down.

For this reason, I usually save Locust Nest to be used with Locust Brood to add to the power of my "surprise attacks". I try to time my tunnel so that I appear just as a locust spawns, drop the brood and the nest, and then hearth just before one more locust spawns, leaving 6-8 locusts as I hearth out, with more to spawn from the nest.

It doesn't seem like much, and the Bombard Locust certainly isn't as powerful as it used to be, but you'll find that they do a pretty good job of taking out forts, towers, and keeps.

Summary Top

Ok, real TLDR now:

Abathur can soak 2 lanes at once, 3 at level 10. This frees up the rest of your team to pick one lane and otherwise roam from lane to lane without sacrificing any potential experience. The enemy team must either split to soak all 3 lanes in which case your team will outnumber them at every team fight, or group to face your allies in which case you will be consistently out-soaking and out-leveling them over the course of the game.

It's a bit hard at first and you need to keep an eye on your teammates. It becomes a bit easier at level 4, and quite a bit easier at level 7. At level 10 with Monstrosity you can actually soak 3 lanes at once (2.5 perhaps, since the Monstrosity needs to get the killing blow for the XP to count). At level 16 you can begin executing surprise "guerrilla" attacks on the enemy with your Deep Tunnel and Locust Brood. From there it's all gravy.

All you have to do is make sure your team sticks together as a group of 4 and practices correct positioning and tactics, and that you are effectively soaking two lanes.

I didn't mention nests much, but I use them constantly throughout the game. With this build you won't stay on the same symbiote target for long, and so you should have plenty of opportunities to keep track of your nest count. Sometimes I like to keep them spread out for visibility, sometimes I place them to intercept incoming minion waves, and sometimes I stack or line them up as a trap for enemy heroes. The point is, keep using them constantly. They are a resource that you are surrendering whenever you let them sit at 3 charges.


I'm no expert and certainly no pro, this is just how I enjoy to play - and I've found that it works fairly well when the rest of your team trusts you and sticks together. I'm sure many of you will be able to execute the strategy far better than me, and look forward to any suggestions or tips!

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