Raptor's Guide to Diablo (Rexxar Patch) by Raptorspank

Raptor's Guide to Diablo (Rexxar Patch)

By: Raptorspank
Last Updated: Sep 9, 2015
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Build 1 of 1


Build: Tank

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

Introduction Top

This is the first build guide I've done for Heroes of the Storm so I will do my best to keep this guide tight. I've been playing Heroes since about February and I have 200+ games played, with 150+ on warriors and I'm Hero League rank 34 as of writing. I've come to really appreciate the dynamic that diablo affords a team and so I want to share what I've come to know about the lord of terror.


-He's extremely tanky thanks to his passive
-Very high damage output for a tank
-Great team fighting
-One of the best counter initiators in the game
-Potentially fast respawns


-No escapes (big problem on BHB)
-Loses tankiness on fast respawn
-Weaker initiates than some of the other warriors (like anub'arak)

Abilities Top

Trait : Black Soulstone
Black soulstone is core to diablo's tankiness. As minions die you will collect souls up to the cap of 100. When you die with the full 100 souls you will respawn in only five seconds as opposed to the normal spawn timer. The unfortunate side effect is that you lose all 100 souls.

Shadow Charge ( Q )
Shadow charge is an extremely good ability. It has a relatively short range but its a powerful form of initiate and counter initiate. You slam the target in a direction and it stuns at the end of it. If you slam the target into a piece of terrain such as a wall then the stun is longer.

Fire Stomp ( W )
Fire Stomp sends out waves of fire out in every direction from you. Its your primary method of dealing damage and clearing wave. If you start solo mid or in any other lane, the key is to walk up to the book minion and stomp then, hitting most if not all of the minion wave.

Overpower ( E )
This is your peel and a key ability for succeeding at early ganks. Overpower lifts your target up and slams them onto the opposite side of diablo, applying a short stun at the end of it. If your ganking a lane the key is to lift the enemy with overpower as they try to reach their gate and then shadow charge them further away from safety. I'll have a separate chapter for the intricacies of overpower further below.

Apocalypse ( R )
I don't recommend this heroic as its impact on the game is pretty marginal but I'll go over the basics of it. Apocalypse summons a large circle under each enemy hero when cast. After a second or two the circle erupts, stunning anyone in the circle and dealing a fair amount of damage. However its very easy to walk out of the circle (the circles do not move) and the damage is weaker in my opinion compared to a good lightning breath. If your team has a lot of cc to keep the other team in the apocalypse then it might be a worth while pick up but lightning breath offers more uses.

Lightning Breath ( R )
Lightning breath is diablo's best heroic, largely because of just how dynamic its uses are. Diablo is unstoppable while casting (meaning he cannot be stunned, pushed or cc'd in pretty much any way) though he can still take damage and you will be unable to move while casting it. Lightning storm has many uses which I'll cover further in the guide but its worth noting now that unlike apocalypse, Lightning breath can deal damage to structures as well as heroes.

Talents Top

The goal of this build is to serve as your teams central tank, so it focuses on utility being able to peel for your allies) as well as defense. A quick precursor, my talent choices will be in orange text, other good / decent talent choices will be in green and bad talents will be in purple text.

Level 1

My Choice : Soul Feast
Soul Feast really does major work for diablo's sustainability. You will likely have souls at most points in the game and usually be capped for a long time so this talent makes him very tanky. It increases your health regeneration for the souls you are holding. It really helps diablo stay in lane and in the team fights and essentially serves to make up for his lack of an amplified healing talent.

Other Choices

Block is another very good choice if you want universal tankiness. The downside of soul feast is that when you die and get the five second respawn you won't be getting any benefit from that talent until you build souls, which is very easy but block is a great talent to pick up if you are concerned with losing your souls. It basically stacks a couple hits of basic attack immunity. (Meaning enemy basic attacks will consume a stack instead of dealing damage to you)

Overwhelming Force
It's alright, but increasing the range and knock-back of shadow charge just doesn't give you as much as soul feast or block. I'd only recommend this talent if your team really lacks initiation so the increased range will make it easier for you to get into the enemy team to set up for your team.

Devil's Due
Not a good idea. This talent reduces the required soul count for fast respawns to 60 souls rather than 100. The value of this talent is that you can still build up 100 stacks meaning that you will still have 40 souls after a five second respawn if your souls were capped. However you lose the value of the souls by not having the health regen and counting on dying often is never a good idea, especially when you are the central tank for your team in the fights. Only take this talent if you are new to diablo and want more lee-way with misplays that get you killed.

Level 4

My Choice : Demonic Strength
This is the talent I go with for a few reasons. Since the goal here is to be the tank for your team the added utility just helps you do your job. For ganking it makes it slightly harder for the target to escape after you overpower him (as this talent applies a slow after overpowering) and that can mean the difference between him escaping with 1% health and your team earning another kill. It also carries use for peeling since you can use it to pull a melee assassin out of your team and make it harder for them to get back into your back-line again.

Other Choices

Fire Devil
I'm not personally a fan of fire devil because I like to push tankiness with my early talent pick ups to help diablo stay in the early fights. However it is still a strong talent choice and a great pick up if your team is low in damage. Whenever you use your W ability (fire stomp) you will gain a temporary aura that deals area-of-effect damage around you. If you have a hard time landing effective overpowers you can always pick this up for the guaranteed team fight help it provides.

Soul Catcher
Only take this if you are brand new to Diablo and are dying a fair amount. This talent honestly is pretty bad, it passively grants you souls which makes you reach the souls cap a lot faster. This can help to build up your soul-based tankiness quickly after a five second spawn but you will spend a lot of time at the souls cap meaning that you will be getting absolutely no benefit whatsoever from this talent during most of the game. I'd pass this one up.

Essence of the Slain
Don't take this. Honestly this talent is useless. Its a marginal amount of mana return ( 10 ) from minion deaths nearby. Diablo however rarely runs out of mana (since you will really only be spamming W and saving your Q and E for the right moments) and Diablo is a pretty bad warrior to split push with, so you will rarely be needing the mana boost to keep pushing lane. Not worth as much as any of the other talents.

Level 7

My Choice : Soul Steal
What can I say, this is the purple circle build lol. This talent is again focused on the idea of building Diablo's capability to tank in the team fights, especially in the early game where you still need the tankiness. Your passive grants a bonus to your maximum health for every soul you hold and this talent increases that amount by a large degree. By building really tanky in the early talents it will allow us to spread out a bit in the second half and it gives us the stability to last in the first half of the game.

Other Choices

Battle Momentum
Some warriors won't really make use of this and Diablo is kind of in that camp. Getting your fire stomp off cooldown faster is useful but like I said you are generally holding your Q and E for the right time so battle momentum will rarely get them back off cooldown fast enough to matter with how short range both are. It's still a good pick if your team is starting to snowball as it will let you be more aggressive in the early game with more ability uptime but if the enemy team recovers in the late game, having taken this talent may force you to build tankier later in the build.

From the Shadows
I hesitate to color this talent green because it really isn't very good. The additional stun duration CAN be good but its such a small increase that it really doesn't outweigh the potential of soul steal and battle momentum. Only take this talent if you are a fair bit ahead, aren't having a hard time staying alive and you are on a very close quarters map like Haunted Mines where the chance of you landing a terrain stun is very high.

Devastating Charge
The only thing that is devastating is how bad this talent is. I kid but seriously this talent is not good. I suppose if the enemy team is landing a crazy cc chain on you the second you shadow charge in then it might be worth it but then you can easily counter it by popping your heroic and shredding the enemy team.

Level 10

My Choice : Lightning Breath
Lightning breath is just way to useful to give up at level 10. You can use it to burn bosses, structures or entire teams when used correctly.

Other Choice

If your team has a lot of cc or the enemy team is pretty much all melee then it might be worth picking this up. That way when the entire enemy team dives on your team (and your team groups together) you can drop apocalypse and stun and wreck the entire enemy team. The ability is just too inconsistent and doesn't give you the boss / structure pressure that lightning breath can so its generally better to pass on this one.

Level 13

My Choice : Firestorm
Since we built tanky earlier we can usually afford to pick up this talent. What it does is make it so that your W (fire stomp) sends waves out like usual, but then those waves return to you, dealing damage on the way in as well. This really does work in the team fights, allowing you to send a fair amount of damage out through the entire enemy team and then back through them again. Really a great pick up for fighting and pushing through structures.

Other Choices

Spell Shield
If you picked up battle momentum earlier then you will want to pick up this talent unless you are snowballing the other team hard. If you're having trouble staying alive in general then this is a great talent to pick up, especially effective against Kael'thas and Jaina. Spell Shield is one of those talents thats usually a great pick up on any warrior and Diablo is no exception.

Siphon the Dead
If you are winning the team fights with ease and therefore don't need extra damage or tankiness then this talent can be a great pick up. It does a decent amount of healing over a relatively short time. This is great if you want to push a lane far up, since it will give you more time before you have to recall. Can also be a good pick up if the enemy team has a good healer and your team only has a tassadar or tyrande as this talent will help make up for the lower healing output on your team.

Life Leech
Don't take this. Diablo doesn't do that much damage from basic attacks and he will spend most of his time using abilities anyways. So not only does this give a marginal damage / healing boost but you won't even be getting it most of the time since you can't attack while casting lightning breath. Pass this one.

Level 16

My Choice : Continuous Overpower
This ability is really the best pick up at this level. Level 16 is generally when your team gains a significant power spike and this talent really changes the outcome of fights. If you are ganking it lets you pull a target, smash them away with your charge and then as they start walking away you can pull them back a second time literally guaranteeing a kill. If you team couldn't kill that person then nothing will help lol. The real value of this talent however is for counter initiating. Very effective against an illidan, when he jumps into your backline you can pull him out with overpower and shortly after he'll jump back into your damage dealers and you'll be able to pull him out a second time which generally will give your back-line enough time to kill him or otherwise force him out of the fight. Really helps you peel for your damage dealers.

Other Choices

Imposing Presence
Imposing Presence is always a great pick up against a melee focused comp. If you need more tankiness this talent will do some good work, it just won't offer quite as much help as spell shield or soul steal due to the fact that it won't help you against someone ability-focused like Kael'Thas or Jaina, both of whom are very popular as of writing.

If you have to use your shadow charge to start a fight, i.e. get to the enemy team then this talent can be a good pick up. The reason is that it will allow you to shadow charge into the enemy team, fire stomp and then after a couple seconds do your E + Q combo of grabbing an enemy and slamming them away. Can be a good pick up in those circumstances.

I hesitate to make this a purple talent but in all honesty you would do better with the other talents. The duration on the speed increase is very short and like I mentioned earlier, Diablo is not a basic attack focused hero so the short boost won't give you that much.

Level 20

Here we are, the big one. The final talent pick.

My Choice : Hellstorm
This talent is great. It increases the range and duration of your lightning breath. This means the enemy team will have a harder time getting away from it and you'll be able to force them off your team for even longer. Or you can lightning breath the core for even longer and thus even more damage. It's a good all-around talent.

Lord of Terror
An area-of-effect life steal this talent can be great if the enemy team tends to group up around you often, otherwise I would skip only because the life steal amount is rather minor if it only lands on a single target or pair. Can really change a team fight if you manage to hit the whole enemy team however.

Bolt of the Storm
Yeah this talent is pretty good on every hero that can take it, though Diablo is one of the weaker heroes to put it on. It's a great pick up if you are having a hard time catching the enemy team / starting the fight like mentioned earlier so picking up this ability can help you save your shadow charge for when it matters. Otherwise I'd leave this talent for one of the first two.

Dying Breath
It breaks my heart to make this purple but it really is a bad talent. Yes it is a free ultimate, and if you are getting a five second respawn it can potentially give a lot of extra damage (Thinking a pop apocalypse, die to a damage-over-time and hit them with the second apoc as soon as the stun ends on the first) but it really does not work in practice. Remember when I said the damage from apocalypse was inconsistent? Yeah this is even worse since you don't directly control when it goes off and building around dying often is never a good idea as I mentioned earlier. Pass this one over.

Overpower and Shadow Charge Top

I said I would cover these in more depth later on and so now I'm going to take some time to explore these in more detail.

Overpower is melee range so it can be very difficult to land, so you want to make sure you pop it fairly early to secure the grab before they run away.

This ability is why Diablo is the best counter initiator in the game. Melee heroes, ESPECIALLY Illidan and Zeratul can get to your back-line damage dealers with ease through their kit. They can quickly and easily 100 - 0 one of your assassins and that can cost you the fight and by extension the game.

When an Illidan or Zeratul dives into the back you want to IMMEDIATELY overpower them, pulling them off your assassins and then shadow charge them further away and extend the stun on them. This should give your assassins the time they need to burst these heroes down and prevent them from dealing any further damage, though a second overpower charge really lets you secure your back-line's safety.

Another good trick is to use overpower to bodyblock and enemy for an easy kill. You put the enemy behind you making it fairly easy to position yourself in such a way to hinder their progress or essentially pin them on the terrain so they can be killed.

In the early game the melee assassins don't generally cause as much damage in your back-line so you will mostly want to hold your overpower for ganks. If the enemy places themselves in the middle of the lane or even towards your side of the lane you can easily secure a kill for your team if you can land an overpower on them and shadow charge them under your tower.

Remember you don't necessarily need to save your shadow charge for following up an overpower. If an enemy places themselves out of a position and close to a piece of terrain you can definitely use your charge to gain that extra stun for terrain collision and it can be an extremely effective gank. Few players think about their proximity to terrain so look for plenty of opportunities where your opponent sets up the shadow charge for you.

Lightning Breath Top

Another ability I said I would cover in more detail as it really determines Diablo's usefulness as a pick.

First and foremost, don't be afraid to pop your heroic. Lightning breath forces enemy teams off your team unlike any other. Its a really obvious ability and most opponents know to run. So even if you don't land that much damage on the other team, forcing them away can sometimes be even more effective.

A key tip to note is that lightning breath's range is a farther than it looks. You can count on the damage extending a slight way past the graphic.

If the enemy team has a lot of melee assassins the lightning breath can be a powerful game changer, popping once they've blown all their escapes to jump into your team and punishing them for it. Its also great for destroying the enemy ranged assassins when they move up to reach your back-line, forcing them to retreat or die.

In addition you can use the ability to burn down the boss (only do this if you still have breath off cooldown and most of the enemy team is dead) to get the early clear.

One of the most overlooked and effective uses of lightning breath is pushing down keeps and the enemy core. It can shred through their health fairly easy but it also prevents the enemy team from defending the structure as you can just swivel and shred them instead. This really IS a great use of this ability when you are trying to get a quick keep down or end the game.

Gameplay Top

Lane Phase

If your team has planned ahead and wants to hard push a lane early, such as with a sylvanus arrow for locking down a structure, then you should head to whatever that lane is as your innate tankiness can really help that strategy succeed.

Otherwise my recommendation is to head mid on pretty much every single map. (The exception being Dragon Shire where you want to go to either top or bottom) The reason behind mid is that it will set you up to rotate easily to any team fights that break out and being the tank you can generally control the outcome of the fight. Especially on Cursed Hollow this will allow you to reach the tribute before it spawns no matter where it is located.

The goal with lane phase is essentially just to soak the lane until the first objective spawn unless you have someone in lane with you in which case you are going to want to look for some early picks. If the enemy team plays under their tower let the minion wave clear itself and play passively. If the other team is pushing the wave pretty hard then you can either bait them closer to your tower or just look to pick them at the mid lane, grabbing them with E and then pushing them closer to your gate with Q. If you are paired with a zeratul or illidan than you will almost always get the kill.

The Team Phase

After the first objective / level 7 or so you'll want to look to group up with your team, especially once heroics are picked up. As the tank you're really better off helping the team fight than soaking a lane by yourself but on Tomb of the Spider Queen you will probably still want to sit mid and soak until level 13 or so and push webweavers with your team's largest grouping.

You're goal in this stage is to look to start fights with the enemy team if you are even with or ahead of them. Obviously you don't want to pick a fight with the other team if they've got you outnumbered two to one but generally speaking the best way to make it through this phase is to look to start and win team fights.

If the enemy team is ahead of you, particularly by a talent or so then you are going to want to primarily keep the other team off your team, using your E to pull them away or your Q to push them further away (without putting yourself into harm's way hopefully).

The Late Game

You're level 16 / 20 and now you're looking to end the game. You want to focus on keeping your team alive so when the team fights end you've got more people standing and with enough health to capitalize on the win. You want to focus on forcing fights around the important objectives such as temples (Sky Temple, Dragon shire etc) or bosses. Only attempt a boss if you are extremely confident the enemy team can't stop you. That means you are either several levels and kills ahead or at least three members of the other team are dead. I've stolen boss solo with Diablo by coming in at the very end, shadow charging into the tank, killing them with a fire stomp and forcing the rest off the point with lightning breath. Boss is not to be attempted lightly.

If you do manage to secure the boss then you DEFINITELY want to push it, the boss by itself can be cleared fairly quickly by the enemy team without getting much work done. If you push with it you can clear the structures easily and most teams are scared to fight the enemy team under their boss.

If you have no vision on 4 - 5 members of the enemy team then there is a high likelihood that they are on boss and you'll want to stop them. Remember that boss can do a LOT of damage so even if you are a talent down there is still a great chance to pull off an ace along with a boss steal if you can 5v5 them after they've started boss. If you know they are there and you know what the boss is at, you want to wait until the boss is almost dead to go in. Then the enemy team will have taken the maximum damage and the boss will likely still die, letting you get on the point and steal it without taking much damage from the boss.

In closing Top

Thank you very much for taking the time to check my build out and I hope you enjoyed it. Diablo is one of the best warriors to pick up in solo queue due to the fact he has extremely high hero and siege damage output for a tank while still having great survivability and working well on every map. (You just might not want to carry coins in Blackheart's Bay due to the lack of escapes.)

My IGN is Raptorspank#1847 as well, a reference to something I said in WoW years ago. Feel free to comment and ask questions, I'd love to hear your input. If you think I undervalued a certain talent I'd love to know why. I've experimented with all of them but I certainly might have missed just how effective certain talents can be in certain situations.

If you liked my build guide then feel free to check out my other guides on tanking:

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