by Lewis Burnell on Feb 13, 2018
Anub'arak is one of the strongest warriors available in Heroes of the Storm. He has two stuns, a reasonable health pool and can build his Talents to sustain his health through fights: he can even Cocoon enemies to disable them completely. Although he found himself down the pecking order several months ago, recent tweaks to his kit have seen a resurrgence for him, and his win rates reflect that.
He has a lot of crowd control to disrupt the enemy and can often freely escape with very little danger. What makes Anub'arak particularly powerful is his ability to dive in and out of combat and counter mage based assassins who are on the back line. In the right hands and if also pairing with another warrior (such as Diablo or Dehaka) Anub'arak offers a level of nuisance and disruption few teams can deal with.
Updated: 13 February 2018
A reasonable health pool allows you to stay in extended fights
Locusts can help enemies heal (Thrall, Illidan)
Two sources of disruption provides heavy CC
No real mobility when Burrow Charge is on cooldown
Can build to sustain himself for long periods of time
He can't position enemies like Diablo or E.T.C. can
Reasonable damage output for a Warrior
His sustain is weaker than it once wasHigh mitigation against ability based heroes Best with another Warrior
Scarab Host (Trait) - For Anub'arak's trait, he spawns a beetle each time you cast an ability. As a free source of damage, the beetles will assist you in attacking Heroes as well as other priority targets. Their usefulness is not that limited however, as they can be used to block incoming skillshots, waste tower ammunition, and draw aggro from mercenaries. If left to their own devices, their damage is reasonable and acts as a mini-damage over time which adds a little extra pressure.
Impale (Q) - As your main source of crowd control, Impale can be used to initiate fights, interrupt enemy channels, or secure your escape by stunning anyone chasing you down. Due to a fairly long cooldown, this ability should not be spammed mindlessly. Pick your spots wisely to get the most out of this stun. It's particularly valuable after you've arrived at an enemy from using Burrow Charge as it's then difficult to miss with and you'll double-bump someone.
Harden Carapace (W) - This skill is part of what helps make Abub’arak an effective tank. A decent shield on a low cooldown goes a long way towards winning trades, especially early game. As your ability with the lowest cooldown and mana cost, it’s the most effective way to mitigate incoming damage and maximise your trait. Be sure to use it only when you expect to suffer damage as the shield, while significant, only lasts 3 seconds.
Burrow Charge (E) - Burrow Charge is quite flexible, as it can be used both as initiation or an escape tool. High mobility is always valuable, but you’re rewarded for using this on the offensive. When you surface, any enemies in a small area around you become stunned briefly. If you’re near an enemy and need a quick stun, you can press E immediately after descending. Given the long cooldown, make sure that if you’re using this ability to dive into a fight that you know you can get out alive. If you can, it's also worth ensuring you dive onto a high value target such as Li Ming or Jaina.
Locust Swarm (Heroic) - The damage of Locust Swarm can quickly add up over time, either shredding a squishy Hero or slowly melting the enemy team as you get in the middle of them. The healing you get back from it, in addition to your shield, means you can effectively burn down your enemies while keeping yourself alive. Its healing isn't as effective as it once was but it does provide Anub'arak with some valuable sustain. Whether he's a solo warrior or duo, it's often the go-to Heroic simply because it gives him so much more survivability.
Cocoon (Heroic) - A very strong Heroic ability that will essentially remove an enemy Hero from a team fight, turning things into a 5v4 encounter for 8 seconds. This can be very effective if there’s just one Hero that your team simply can’t deal with, however, you need to remember that if they’re important enough their allies might take the time to break the Cocoon. Even if they do, it's time spent rescuing their team mate instead of attacking your team. Always try to Cocoon high priority targets such as the enemy team's support.
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Anub'arak is unquestionably the best Warrior to deal with mage assassins (Jaina, Chromie, Li Ming, Kael'thas) so taking Nerubian Armor and having incoming ability damage reduced by 50% every 12 seconds for 1.5 seconds is significant and will keep you alive for much longer periods.
Anub'arak's Impale is already invaluable for disrupting enemies after he has dived in, but Bed of Barbs builds on this and allows the barbs to remain for 3.5 seconds, slowing anyone who touches them (by 30%) and deals significant damage per second.
Subterranean Shield provides Anub'arak with a significant shield when he uses Burrow Charge. Whether escaping or diving, this mitigation (a little over 360 damage) is significant and provides him with a high amount of survivability.
Purely for the continuous AOE damage and without needing to do anything, Burning Rage offers solid AOE pressure to those around him when he dives. The damage isn't enormous, but it soon adds up as he stays in a fight.
Variable: Urticating Spines allows your Hardened Carapace to deal AOE damage around Anub'arak when he uses the skill, it also now deals double damage to Heroes (352). It's a fairly sizeable AOE burst, especially if you're diving against an enemy Hero and have already surfaced onto them (which also causes damage)
Epicenter increases the impact radius of Burrow Charge by 60% and lowers its cooldown by 1.5 seconds for each Hero hit. Considering you'll often surface against multiple Heroes in a team fight, it's very easy to shave significant time of your key ability.
Having two of everything is never a bad thing. Rewind provides double Hardened Carpace and Burrow Charge. It's often too useful to giveup and allows you dive in and out of combat much more often.
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. For the Heroes listed here, take extra care as they're particularly dangerous for Anub'arak.
Brightwing: Brightwing is listed here simply because she can undo a great deal of Anub'arak's diving potential. Upon surfacing from a Burrow Charge she can Polymorph you, cause vulnerability and prevent you doing your job.
Dehaka: Similarly to Brightwing, Dehaka's ability to disrupt your role is sizeable. His Drag, self sustain and AOE damage can pressure you a great deal. It can also prevent you burrowing away when you need to (if Dehaka times his Drag right).
Sylvanas: Her mobility and ranged damage will slowly take down your health and if she has Mind Control, she can move you away from your team and force you to Burrow Charge back.
Falstad: His ranged poke, high spike damage from his Hammerang and mobility make him a constant headache.
Thrall: His superior healing allows him to beat you in any 1 v 1. Your damage is too slow, his root frustrating and if need be he'll use Sundering.
Jaina: Her slows, ranged damage and burst from her Trait can cause real issues for Anub'arak. Although you can Burrow Charge away or dive onto her, she's fairly good at kiting and can mitigate your damage if she talents for shielding.
Zagara: Creep spread and hydralisks can result in her being very frustrating to fight against. Her Maw can also ensure survival if she uses it when you dive her.
Valla: Her mobility and ranged damage will seriously hurt your health, especially if she pursues a basic attack damage build while taking Giant Killer.
8/10Tracer: Unless you Cocoon her, you'll never land a skill against a well skilled Tracer and even if you do Burrow Charge away, she's only a Blink behind. 9/10 Varian: His stun on Charge combined with Colossus Smash can nearly delete you from the game, almost instantly. Take care versus him. 8/10
This section of our guide contains a list of tips and tricks we think will help your Anub'arak play. 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. Burrow Charge is a great escape, but it is also Anub'arak's primary means of engage. Use it only when you can punish an enemy, or get out alive.
2. Burrow Charge will go under walls, hedges, and short distance scenary. Use this to escape when under serious pressure.
3. You can use Burrow Charge or Cocoon to interrupt Heroics and important channels.
4. Don't engage alone. You're tough, but not tough enough to 1v5.
5. Don't be afraid to dive back into a team fight once your Burrow Charge is off cooldown. The shielding is significant and will give you good amounts of early mitigation.
6. Impale is amazing at preventing players from running away so be sure to save it for retreats rather than always using it for engagement.
7. Try to save Hidden Carapace for when you're activily taking damage rather than before, otherwise it'll go on cooldown.
8. Ensure you start a fight with Nerubian Armor available. It'll mitigate the first round of cooldowns that are fired your way.
9. Anub'arak excels at diving into a back-line of mage Heroes. You should constantly be harrassing them.
10. Your damage from Burrow Charge > Impale > Hardened Carapace is very respectable at level 16 and will seriously hurt squishy Heroes.
11. Remember that both Burrow Charge and Impale cause a small stun upon use.
12. Always use Locust Swarm when in amongst the enemy. The AOE damage, combined with your Burning Rage, is significant.
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