The Essential Essence Collector by GargoPat

The Essential Essence Collector

By: GargoPat
Last Updated: Apr 12, 2016
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Build 1 of 2


Build: The Good stuff

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


Build: CC Machine

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

Play Style Top

Dehaka is a tanky warrior, who excels at ganking lanes with his global presence and locking down single targets with his crowd control spells during ganks and team fights. Thanks to his Mount ability Brushstalker, he can jump to any other lane and gank, soak experience, or secure an objective.

Although his global presence might lead him to play like an assassin by ganking lanes, his overall damage output is very low, forcing him to rely on his team to follow up to his engages quickly. This makes team coordination very important, as both Drag and Isolation have a lengthy cool down, meaning he becomes a liability to his team if he whiffs either (or both) of them.

Since Dehaka relies on his team to follow up on his engages, team mates with either hard crowd control such as stuns, or allies with high burst damage make ideal choices, to either lock down your target long enough to kill them, or burst them down quickly enough before they can escape. Allies like Thrall, Uther and Zeratul make ideal choices.

During a team fight, make use of Dark Swarm to move through enemy units and get to your target, preferably a squishy assassin or support. You can Drag them back to your team to finish them off, or Isolation can shut them down and prevent them from being of any help to their team. If you are getting focused, don't forget that Essence Collection is a very powerful heal (assuming it has full or near-full stacks) and Burrow can be used to avoid hard hitting spells or dangerous crowd control that might prevent you from healing.

Abilities Top

Essence Collection: Dehaka's passive grants stacks of Essence whenever a nearby minion or hero is slain. These stacks can be consumed to heal him for a large amount and is his primary source of sustain. The max number of stacks is 50. Make sure that you have a significant number of stacks going into a team fight to keep yourself healthy while tanking enemy hero damage.

Basic Abilities
Drag: This is Dehaka's signature ability. Drag stuns the target and allows him to drag the target with him for a small period. He can activate his other basic abilities while dragging a target, as well as attack them with basic attacks. Note that it will hit the first enemy unit it collides with, including Nova's Holo Decoy and minions spawned from Army of the Dead and Demonic Invasion.

Dark Swarm: Dark swarm allows Dehaka to pass through other units, and is his best way of getting to enemy back line to position himself for a proper Drag or Isolation. Note that the tool tip states it deals double damage to heroes, but this is a typing error. The damage stated on the ability is the damage done to heroes, and half of that is done to minions. This ability can be cast during Drag and Burrow.

Burrow: Dahaka's main tool for dodging important skill shots or targeted abilities such as Pyroblast or Hinterland Blast. You can activate Essence Collection during burrow to ensure you regain some health before going back into a team fight.

Heroic Abilities

Isolation: One of the single strongest lock down abilities in the game, it completely shuts down ranged healers and assassins by silencing them as well as reducing their vision. Note the visions reduction is 6 seconds, while the slow and silence is only for 3 seconds.

Adaptation: Once you activate this ability, in 5 seconds you will heal based on how much damage you took since activation. This ability can be hard to use, since you have to predict when you are going to take damage, and how much damage you are going to take, since you must survive for 5 seconds to gain any benefit from this ability.

Mount (Z)

Brushstalker: Use this to jump to any brush or vent on the map. This is great for getting back into team fights or securing objectives. Don't hesitate to use this to position yourself 10 feet away if it means you can get to the enemy team's back line to lock down their supports or squishy assassins.

Talents Top

Level 1 Talents

Enduring Swarm: This talent helps soak up damage taken from enemy spell casters such as Kael'thas or Jaina. However, it is only a 25% damage decrease, making it significantly weaker when compared to other Block styled talents, including Dampen Magic. It does have some synergy with Symbiosis, but otherwise it is too weak to consider.

Primal Aggression: Dark swarm will now deal equal damage to minions and heroes. This doesn't do anything for Dehaka in a team fight, since it doesn't affect player-spawned minions like those from Hunter Killer or Army of the Dead. It is useful for split pushing and clearing minion waves, but Dehaka should be in team fights instead of split pushing.

Enhanced Agility: Since Dehaka has no Mount ability, this talent is a very good pick as it compensates for the lack of Mount, and also allows him to move faster in a team fight to better position himself for Drag. Note that you can continue to gain stacks towards the movement speed bonus even if you have 50 stacks, meaning there is no penalty for holding onto stacks.

Tissue Regeneration: Unlike Enhanced Agility, this talent doesn't patch up any of Dehaka's flaws, since he already has good sustain with Essence Collection. I do not recommend this talent over Enhanced Agility.

Level 4 Talents

Lurker Strain: This talent can help Dehaka escape from a sticky situation. However, any damage he takes will reveal him, and he can be path blocked by enemies unless he uses Dark Swarm, which will just reveal him and negate this talent entirely. It CAN be used to gank, if you Burrow our of the enemies sight range, and then gank them while invisible, but then you will not have Burrow to use in case you get into trouble.

Numbing Eruption: This talent knocks back any enemy units standing on top of Dehaka when his Burrow finishes. The slow is pretty weak, and more often than not won't be enough to help Dehaka get away from pursuing enemies, making it a rather weak talent. However, it does knock opponents back, meaning that it can interrupt channel abilities such as Mosh Pit, but that relies on your opponents starting a channel on top of you.

One-Who-Collects: This boosts the essence gain from Essence Collection from 2 stacks per minions to 3 stacks. This is a very minor buff, and offers nothing for team fights. I recommend against this talent.

Hero Stalker: This grants 25 essence for a hero takedown, up from 10. This allows Dehaka to generate significant essence during a team fight, which is one of his biggest weaknesses. Continued use of Essence Collection during a team fight makes Dehaka very hard to kill, making this the best talent to chose at level 4.

Level 7 Talents

Feeding Frenzy: Considering that Drag has a lengthy 15 second cool down, and you will be landing at least a few basic attacks in every team fight, this talent can be very efficient at allowing more use of Drag, which is Dehaka's best tool for helping his team secure kills.

Constriction: 0.5 seconds added to a stun doesn't sound like much, but a 2.25 second stun is significantly longer than a 1.75 second stun. It gives your team more time to lock your target down, and allows you to drag them further away from their team, making it harder for them to escape once they are free.

Symbiosis: Since Dark Swarm should be active in every team fight, reducing its cool down can be very useful, especially when combined with other talents that affect Dark Swarm, such as Whirling Dervish and Enduring Swarm. However, it is more efficient to have Drag on a lower cool down with Feeding Frenzy over Dark Swarm on a lower cool down. This talent also gains less use if you don't pick other talents that affect Dark Swarm.

Essence Devourer: You won't be gathering many regen globes in a team fight, making this talent a pretty poor choice.

Level 13 Talents

Swift Pursuit: 20% movement speed is nice, but on maps without a ton of brush or vents, this talent won't get much usage, making it too situational to make it worth picking over the other talents at this level.

Ferocious Stalker: A decaying movement speed bonus every 40 seconds is pretty bad, unless you also take the Apex Predator talent. Then it can be very useful, but until that point it's pretty weak.

Whirling Dervish: This is the only talent I advise picking on this tier. Reducing disables for 3 seconds isn't game changing, but it does allow you to handle hard stuns or slows much easier, since your more than likely going to be the target of them during a team fight. Synergizes well with Symbiosis.

Level 16 Talents

Paralyzing Enzymes: The slow can make it even harder for enemies to escape, and helps keep them in range of Dark Swarm. This is a useful talent if your team is lacking additional disables.

Elongated Tongue: 20% range isn't very much, but considering that Drag has a rather short range to begin with, any boost to increasing it's length is very much appreciated.

Rapid Regeneration: Having an additional heal can be very useful in a team fight, especially if you have no stacks of Essence Collection or if your team's healer has been killed. The extra heal while invulnerable can give you the extra boost you need to survive.

Level 20 Talents

Contagion: This talent applies Isolation to all nearby enemy heroes in a small area when it hits your target. This can completely shut down multiple members of the enemy team, however, it requires them to be clumped up together. This can be make easier with a team composition with strong coordination and team fighting, such as Gazlowe and Uther. If your team does not have such potential however, this talent is only sub-par, as hitting more than two enemies in a team fight can prove to be a challenge.

Change Is Survival: Changes the heal to 125%. However, it still poses the same problems as the standard Adaptation, being you still have to survive long enough for it to work. Unless your team somehow wound up with no dedicated healer, I would advise against this talent.

Apex Predator: Significantly reduces Brushstalker's cool down, allowing for more global presence. This allows more securing of objectives, assisting in team fights, or splitting off to push a lane. This is probably the best talent to take for that insane global presence, unless your team has very good team fight and coordination that you can effectively make use of Contagion.

Hardened Shield: Allows you to tank more damage in a team fight. However, why would you tank the damage when you can instead avoid it with Burrow? The only use for this talent is blocking unfriendly skill shots for allies such as Triple Tap. Also, do not take this talent along with Adaptation, since that is counter-productive.

Hero Synergies Top

Strong against

Tyrande: Tryrande has no escape tools, making it difficult for her to escape once she's been caught by Drag. She is also completely shut down by Isolation, rendering her unable to heal any allies or attack any of yours.

Sgt. Hammer: Sgt Hammer is all about attacking from long range and staying out of the thick of a fight. Dehaka can reduce her vision and take her completely out of a fight, as well as Drag her into the middle of a skirmish where she doesn't want to be. His only problem is getting close enough to her, since Thrusters and Concussive Blast make approaching her difficult.

Weak against

Lunara: Her ranged poke and ticking damage over time as well as slow effects make her a real lane bully, and Dehaka has no answer to range poke. Her constant harass can also prove challenging if Dehaka cannot acquire enough stacks of Essence Collection to mitigate her poke, forcing him out of lane.

Falstad: He has safe poke with basic attacks and hamerang, allowing him to bully Dehaka with ease. He also can use Barrel Roll to escape even after being pulled by Drag, making him especially slippery and hard to lock down.

Brightwing: Polymorph ruins Dehaka, as he cannot cast any spells or use his trait to heal himself while he is hexed. Blink Heal also allows her to escape getting caught out by Drag, and Dehaka doesn't have the damage alone to finish her off after Dragging her. Her global presence also mitigates Dehakas, as she can simply jump to an enemy that Dehaka is attempting to gank and keep them safe with her heals and polymorph.

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