Heroes of the Storm: Deathwing Build Guide
In this Deathwing Build Guide, we provide an overview of his strengths, abilities, talents and matchups.
Deathwing is a slow but powerful hero that looks down on enemies and allies alike. He has one of the highest effective health pools in the game, boasting huge health numbers and a ton of armor. Deathwing comes with a handful of unique mechanics that sets him apart, such as his armor plates, being permanently Unstoppable and being immune to allied effects. Immunity to allied effects means he cannot receive any heals, shields, or any allied buffs. This inability to be healed means he must sustain himself by flying with Dragonflight, through Healing Fountain or Regeneration Globes. This Deathwing build aims to give you some extra tools to rain destruction on the Nexus.
Enormous effective health through his armor
Doesn't do well against consistent poke
Unique in his kit and playstyle
|Fairly lengthy wind-up times on his abilities|
|Terrifying to play against||
His mobility is poor on the ground
He is permanently Unstoppable, allowing him to ignore all enemy CC
Cannot be healed, shielded or buffed
|Has a strong global in Dragonflight||Percentage health damage ignores armor and can annihilate his health pool|
Trait / Travel
Aspect of Death (Trait) – Deathwing's Trait has two functions. The first part, is his armor plates. He has 4 Armor Plates which grant 10 Armor each. Whenever he drops below a 25% Health threshold, Deathwing will lose a plate. For example, If Deathwing has all four plates and drops below 75% health, he will lose one plate. He will lose his second plate if his health drops below 50% and so on. Plates are only restored when Deathwing uses Dragonflight, and the restoration is based on the amount of health Deathwing has upon landing. The second part to this trait is that he is permanently Unstoppable and deals 100% addtitional spell damage to heroes. This makes him immune to roots, slows, stuns, or any crowd control. He is also immune to all allied effects, meaning he cannot be healed, shielded, or buffed in any way by allies. This includes abilities such as Abathur's Symbiote and Auriels Resurrect.
Dragonflight (Z) – This allows Deathwing, after a short period, to fly into the sky. Upon doing so, he'll begin to restore health slowly. After 8 seconds, he can then land anywhere on the map where he has vision, in either of his forms. While the cooldown on Dragonflight isn't generous, it does grant him amazing amounts of mobility and sustain.
Abilities (Any Form)
Form Switch (1) – A straightforward ability that allows you to switch between Destroyer and World Breaker forms. What does that mean? Well, each form grants unique abilities, which perform different tasks. Destroyer gains access to Incinerate (damages enemies around Deathwing) and Onslaught (allows Deathwing to lunge at enemies). World Breaker brings AOE and crowd control, with Lava Burst creating a slowing area and Earth Shatter stunning enemies in two lines.
(Any Form) Molten Flame (Q) – Your first and primary ability regardless of which form you're in. After 1.5 seconds, Deathwing channels to deal massive damage to all enemies in a line in front of Deathwing. It has a fairly clear wind-up time, and you can't turn while casting it. If you can, try to use it when enemies are caught in crowd control, so that you can guarantee the damage. It is also a decent way to clear minion waves.
(Any Form) Cataclysm (R) – Deathwing starts with his Heroic, and it's a very good one. Cataclysm allows Deathwing to, after 2 seconds, fly forward, scorching the ground. Enemies caught in the massive radius suffer continuous damage. Upon landing, he's then free to continue with his standard abilities. Just be careful to not dive too deep into the enemy team as you have very little mobility to retreat. This ability starts on a 270 second cooldown when the game starts (240 by the time the gates open).
Abilities (Destroyer Form)
(During Dragonflight) Destroyer (Q) – When you're in the air, using Q will allow you to land in Destroyer form. You'll damage all those around you, and instantly be granted the Destroyer kit. To note, you'll need to wait 3 seconds before you can begin casting abilities, once you've landed.
(Destroyer Form) Incinerate (W) – Your primary AoE when you're needing an ability quickly (though it still has a brief cast time), Incinerate will cast an burst of flame around Deathwing. Its damage isn't enormous, but it will soften up multiple enemies, especially if used in the middle of a team fight when surrounded by opponents.
(Destroyer Form) Onslaught (E) – A simple leap and slow, Onslaught your only way to close distance. It isn't a huge leap, but is often enough give you a little distance on retreating enemies. It can also be used to retreat yourself but don't rely on it too much.
Abilities (World Breaker Form)
(During Dragonflight) World Breaker (W) – When you're in the air, using Q will allow you to land in World Breaker form. You'll damage all those around you, and instantly be granted the World Breaker kit. Similarly to landing in Destroyer form, you'll need to wait 3 seconds before you can begin casting abilities, once you've landed.
(World Breaker Form) Lava Burst (W) – Offering crowd control (an area slow), Lava Burst is a fairly wide AoE ability that has fantastic utility within a team fight. Used in an enclosed space, or to zone opponents, it's great at forcing enemies to walk where you want them to.
(World Breaker Form) Earth Shatter (E) – After a short cast, Deathwing send two fissures along the ground that damage and stun enemies briefly. The stun is short but can be a good tool to set up CC or damage for your team. Keep in mind that the two fissures are sent out at a small angle and will not be sent straight ahead.
Level 1: Molten Blood
(Great if you plan to stay back and deal more damage from a distance)
Molten Blood allows Deathwing to passively heal for 0.5% of his maximum health per second when he has 3 or more armor plates. He only drops below 3 armor plates when he dips below 50% health, allowing considerable uptime. Molten Blood grants about 12 health per second at level 1 which is a fairly decent amount compared to his other two options. Keep in mind this healing happens whether you are fighting enemy heroes or not, unlike his other two options.
Alternative - Draconic Might (Great if you plan to always go in)
Draconic might allows deathwing to heal for 53 health per auto attack against enemy heroes at level 1. Taking his attack speed into account he heals for about 35 health per second if he can consistently attack heroes. It also grants Deathwing Protected for 0.75 seconds when he loses an armor plate, allowing you to avoid some damage unreliably. Keep in mind that damage is calculated before armor plates so if Deathwing is full health and an attack deals 40% of his health, he will be at 60% health and then become Protected for 0.75 seconds.
Level 4: Infernus
Infernus allows Deathwing's Molten Flame to deal 75% more damage when cast at 75% energy or higher. Since his E and W abilities in either form cost very low Energy, Molten Flame will almost always be cast at above 75% energy the first time in a fight. This allows him to annihilate enemies caught in CC as well as offer some significant poke before a fight erupts.
Level 7: Skyfall
(Great for some extra sustain)
Skyfall allows Deathwing to drop meteors anywhere within his vision, dealing minor damage but healing him for 3% of his health if he hits an enemy hero. This ability has 3 charges and a 10 second recharge time. This greatly reduces the time Deathwing needs to spend in the air to heal. It can also be used to stall objectives where enemies need to channel such as Cursed Hollow's tributes.
Alternative - Firestorm (Great if you need to use Dragonflight often)
Firestorm makes Deathwing drop meteors when he lands. These meteors prioritize landing on heroes and deal minor damage. They also reduce Dragonflight's cooldown by 12 seconds per enemy hero hit. This can be great when you don't need the sustain from Skyfall or need to be able to move around the map more often.
Level 10: Bellowing Roar
Bellowing Roar allows Deathwing to, after 1 second, fear all nearby enemy heroes for 2 seconds. This can be used to peel for allies or set up CC on enemies. You do not lose access to Cataclysm if you choose this, allowing you to use Cataclysm to close the distance with enemies then fear them with Bellowing Roar.
Level 13: Wicked Inferno
Wicked Inferno reduces the energy cost of Deathwing's Molten Flame by 10 energy per second. He also gains 15 energy over 3 seconds after finishing a cast of Molten Flame. This can allow you to zone areas for a very long time (up to 6.5 seconds) or save energy to be able to cast Molten Flame again.
Level 16: Conflagration
Conflagration allows Molten Flame to deal additional damage if enemies take enough damage from Molten Flame. This adds a ton of extra damage to execute the kill target. Enemies only need to get hit for 1.125 seconds to proc the added damage, which is very likely if used on hindered enemies.
Level 20: Stood in the Fire
Stood in the Fire makes Deathwing's Cataclysm apply a 40% slow and also increases the duration by 3 seconds. This allows Deathwing to initiate fights with Cataclysm since the slow will allow your team to catch up to look for a kill. It can also be used to zone an area for even longer.
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. If a Hero is listed in this Deathwing build, take greater care to play around them.
This list of tips and tricks are just a handful of things we think will help your Deathwing play. We'll continue to add to the list as required and if you have any tips or anything else about this Deathwing build you'd like to share, let us know in the comments below and we'll place them here.
1. Healing Fountains and Regeneration Globes heal Deathwing for a ton due to his high maximum health. They both continue to tick while Deathwing is flying in Dragonflight as well.
2. Deathwing has a massive amount of effective health. Use it to get your allies into a position to look for a kill.
3. Deathwing's abilities are slow and have long cast times. Use them to force enemies to move or follow up on CC.
4. Since Deathwing is permanently Unstoppable, he can soak enemy CC such as Muradin's Storm Bolt without detriment. Help out your team by eating that CC.
5. Dragonflight can quickly get Deathwing across the map but careful landing behind enemies. He has very little mobility on the ground and can easily get stuck too deep.
6. Molten flame can clear waves very quickly.
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