Overview

Abathur is one of Hero of the Storm’s most unique Heroes. Rather than roaming the map like others, you use him to boost other heroes in your team through your Symbiote. Abathur is capable of pushing lanes by using his trait to soak and kill creeps, while bolstering heroes.

He does require lots of skill to play well and you need to have exceptional map awareness because key to pushing lanes and gaining experience is rotating and "body soaking" with Abathur in lane.

I know of many Abathur players that simply stay in one lane, Symbiote one person for far too long and do little else but use their abilities. It's not really the right way to play him as you should be making valuable use of your ability to soak experience in lanes, supporting all allies wherever they are but also pushing other lanes where possible. Unsurprisingly, Abathur is hard to play well. 

Updated: 22 June 2017

Pros

Cons

Very good at allowing your teams to pressure lanes

A passive playstyle (you don't control a character, per se)

Able to “cover” the entire map globally

Has a poor reputation due to bad players

Flexible in allowing you to support teammates in different lanes thanks to Symbiote

Limited ability set means your presence in fights is somewhat narrow

His mines give great visibility

Relies on good players for maximum effectiveness

Abilities

Locust Strain (Trait) - is Abathur's main source of wave push and experience soak. It allows him to spawn Locusts down the nearest lane from his body. You can Symbiote the Locust but you cannot directly control it.  Its primary use is to allow you and your team to continually soak XP whilst you're in lane, even if you aren't directly interacting with that lane. 

Symbiote (Q) - is Abathur's most powerful ability and it allows him to assist another unit or structure. You can then use your Symbiote abilities to protect your ally or harm enemies. I'd advise that when you do Symbiote someone, use your abilities when appropriate but don't stay Symbioted if your abilities are on cooldown. There's little point remaining attached to a hero as you can't actually do anything during cooldowns, so it's best to exit, place Toxic Nest's, or rotate lanes.

Toxic Nest (W) - are surprisingly strong and a valuable tool for Abathur. You can place them anywhere on the map (although the range is limited). When planted, they'll turn invisible after a brief period and if an enemy player touches them, they'll explode causing high damage. You can place a good handful of them but be aware that they don't last forever and you'll need to keep replenishing them. Try to place them in strategic locations such as the entrance to The Mines. What makes Toxic Nest's so powerful is the fact you can use them three times and each Nest provides vision allowing you to use your (Z) to tunnel to it. 

Evolve Monstrosity (R) - allows Abathur to target a minion or locust and evolve it. When he does so, the Monstrosity will erupt and you can control it. The Monstrosity is amazing at pushing lanes and it gains strength from killing other minions, to a maximum of 40. Considering it also takes 50% less damage from minions and structures, it's incredible for pushing lane. Unfortunately Monstrosity is pretty predictable and most teams can see it coming. 

Ultimate Evolution (R) - When playing Abathur, your team is inevitably down a player due to the nature of your Symbiote play. Taking Ultimate Evolution allows you to clone any other Hero and as such, bring the play back to 5 versus 5. Although you cannot use a Heoric Ability, you can use your cloned Heroes skills. Having x2 Kael or x2 Muradin is amazing and for a brief period, can easily win you team fights. 

Talents

Level 1: Survival Instincts

Abathur is all about push so taking Survival Instincts allows his Trait to work much harder. Increasing your Locust's health by 50% and its duration by 40% you can split push much easier, allowing you to switch lanes when a Locust is released to cover two at once. 

Variable: Regenerative Microbes is great if paired with someone like Illidan as it allows you to provide some healing to your Symbiote host. 

Level 4: Ballistospores

Toxic Nests are incredibly important for Abathur as the global vision they provide allows him to tunnel to their location to split push and release his Trait into lane. Ballistospores increases your presence by increasing their range and duration by 25%, allowing you to move much further up a lane once a Toxic Nest is ready. 

Variable: Providing a 25% increase to attack speed, Adrenal Overload is amazing on fast melee Heroes such as Illidan or The Butcher. It's a huge damage boost if pursuing a Symbiote build. 

Level 7: Vile Nest

Vile Nest allows your Toxic Nests to slow enemy movement speed by 40% for 2.5 seconds. If you can place them in well walked areas or around objectives, it's an invaluable trait for being a nuisance. 

Variable: Your primary DPS ability when in Symbiote just got a significant boost, with Needlespine providing an increased range and a 20% damage increase.

Level 10: UItimate Evolution

Ultimate Evolution is just about the only Heroic you should be choosing as Abathur. Due to the nature of his playstyle, the fact his body is never in a team fight makes any subsequent brawl a 4 versus 5. Taking Ultimate Evolution levels the playing field, allowing you to clone any allied hero. What's particularly strong about this is you gain access to all that heroes abilities and if you use it on someone like Kael'thas or The Butcher, that's double the trouble. Just be sure to use it during a team fight and not before otherwise your Evolution will run out of time before you need it. 

Level 13: Bombard Strain

Still pursuing the value of lane push, Bombard Strain allows your Locust to cast a ranged attack. Not only does this deal 70% more damage but the increased duration of your Locust allows it to push hard. If you can drop one in lane and switch to another quickly, that's a lot of pane pressure the enemy team have to deal with. 

Variable: Your main ability just received an additional charge with Spatial Efficiency, allowing you to do even more damage when using Symbiote. Never a bad thing. 

Level 16: Locust Brood

Spawning three Locust from your location, they inherit all your talent improvements. If you can wait for your trait to spawn then use this ability, you'll have 4 Locust pushing down lane (all with ranged attacks). You should then rotate and push another lane. Locust Brood is awesome.

Variable: Envenomed Spikes allows your Spike Burst to slow enemies by 40%. This skill is amazing at pressuring groups of Heroes and allowing you to chase them down. With an agile Hero like Illidan it's amazing. 

Level 20: Locust Nest

Acting as a mini-Abathur, a Locust Nest is a placed object that will regularly spawn an upgraded Locust. You can now cover all three lanes if you place your Toxic Nests (for vision) while also using Locust Brood. As long as your Locust Nest remains active, it will continue to send them down lane. Be sure to hide them in bushes or vents!

Variable: When you cast Symbiote on a Hero, you can now affect one other with Hivemind. Double the fun, double the damage and shields. Your team is now effectively 6 versus 5 in all fights. 

Matchups

These Hero Threat Levels (1 being lowest threat and 10 being highest threat) are to help you determine which enemy Heroes can give you a headache. Primarily the biggest problem for Abathur are Heroes capable of diving in for you behind walls or cloaking to you. All the rest are easily avoided as long as you keep your eyes open. 

Hero

Threat 

Illidan: His mobility and dives mean he's always a nuisance against you. A good illidan can comfortably leap over a wall, kill you, and leap back. 

9/10

Nova: Her ability to cloak mean that she can comfortably kill you even behind the safety of a keep wall. Her Orbital Strike can also blow you up anywhere on the map. 

9/10

Zeratul: He is much like Nova, only he kills you quicker. Be nervous if he's in the enemy team. 

9/10

 
Valeera: She can hunt you while you're cloaked and you'll rarely see her coming.  9/10
Medivh: His Raven form can hunt you down and he has enough escapes and mitigation to kill you before you know whats hit you. 9/10

Tips

This list of tips and tricks are just a handful of things we think will help your Abathur. We'll continue to add to the list as required and if you have any tips you'd like to share, let us know in the comments below and we'll place them here. 


1. Abathur releases a Locust every 15 seconds. This can reveal your position if you place your body outside of protective walls. 

2. Always try to assist melee or ranged assassins with your Symbiote - Illidan, Thrall and Valla are excellent choices.

3. Remember to regularly change lanes to soak XP. Your Locust will continually move into the nearest lane, so if enemy Heroes are on the bottom - move to the top and have your body out of sight, but near the wave (this reduces your Locust travel time). 

4. Abathur doesn't have a mount but does have a travel ability that allows him to burrow underground to anywhere on the map that is visible to him. 

5. If your team aren't under pressure, push lanes hard by using a Toxic Nest > Deep Tunnel to a quiet area of the lane. 

6. During any team fight, always try to use your Heoric on an allied hero that can cause the most impact. Typically cloning a ranged hero such as Kael'thas or Jaina can bring a lot of instant value. 

7. If there's cloak users on the opposing team, you aren't really safe in any base. Place plenty of mines to help detect them and regularly check your body. 

8. Key to playing Abathur is regularly rotating lanes. Use your Toxic Nests in bushes to grant you vision so you can quickly use your Z to travel to a new lane.  

9. It's important as Abathur to "body soak" so that you're near to minions when they die so your team gets the experience. Hide in bushes in lane, but only when it's safe to do so. 


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Last Updated: Jun 22, 2017

About The Author

Burnell 1
Lover of all things MOBA, Lewis splits his time between Heroes of the Storm, Battlerite and Destiny 2 (with a bit of Overwatch for good measure).

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