Our complete Diablo guide has everything you need to know about playing this Hero, with the latest builds, tips, map advice and counters.
Diablo packs a devilish punch on the battlefield, and he's a Hero who's more than capable of both initiating team fights and also rescuing allies from the clutches of unwelcome combat. Not only does he bring a pair of stuns to the table, he's also capable of increasing his health regeneration rate through combat, and can even reduce his respawn time to a very handy five seconds.
Those positives aside, he's a little bit sluggish to move around in battle and he doesn't dish out a great deal of damage during typical, single-target damage encounters. Apart from his charging ability, he's got nothing in the way of emergency escape tools either, so he's best played with a buddy or two by his side.
Editor's note - February update: As always, we've checked over our Diablo guide thoroughly to make sure everything's up to date in terms of talent builds and Hero counters. We've also added a few battleground-specific tips that should help you perform even better with this Hero - we'll add to this section in due course.
Diablo strategy overview - February 2016
Given Diablo's rather meagre damage output in the early game, it makes sense to team up with someone packing a little more oomph. When playing with allies, Diablo really shines at leaping in to interrupt enemy abilities, rescuing friends with his mighty grabbing ability, and using his impressive presence to physically stop enemies from making a run towards safety. Less laning, more ganking is the order of the day for Diablo.
The best Diablo talent build - February 2016
Diablo DPS build
Not so long ago, many players focused on making a virtue out of Diablo's Soul-based skills, but the tide has turned somewhat in recent months. Here's our preferred build for this month, which is both extremely powerful and somewhat simpler to stay on top of.
Level 1 - Soul Feast - Black Soulstone increases your Health Regeneration by 3% per Soul.
Level 4 - Fire Devil - Fire Stomp also surrounds you in flames that deal 51 (24 + 4% per level) damage every second for 6 seconds.
Level 7 - Battle Momentum - Basic Attacks reduce Ability cooldowns by 0.5 seconds.
Level 10 - Lightning Breath - Become Unstoppable while channeling lightning that deals 1753 (832 + 4% per level) damage over 4 seconds. The direction of the Lightning changes with your mouse cursor position.
Level 13 - Firestorm - Fire Stomp waves return to you, dealing 125% damage.
Level 16 - Rampage - Fire Stomp increases Diablo's Movement Speed by 20% and Basic Attack damage by 50% for 2 seconds.
Level 20 - Hellstorm - Lightning Breath lasts and reaches 50% longer.
Diablo Abilities, Heroic Abilities and Traits - February 2016
Like every other Hero in the game, it's Diablo's special skills that set him apart from the pack, and he has a few very interesting tools in his arsenal. Check our tips section further on down the page for some important info about combo-ing a couple of these Abilities together for maximum effect.
Shadow Charge (Q)- Charge an enemy, knocking them back, dealing 206 (98 + 4% per level) damage, and then stunning them for 0.5 seconds. If the enemy collides with terrain, they are stunned for 1 second instead. Mana: 60, Cooldown: 12 seconds.
Fire Stomp (W)- Unleashes fire waves in all directions that deal 233 (111 + 4% per level) damage each. Mana: 40, Cooldown: 6 seconds.
Overpower (E)- Grabs the target and slams it behind Diablo, dealing 160 (76 + 4% per level) damage and stunning for 0.25 seconds. Mana: 60, Cooldown: 12 seconds.
Apocalypse (R)- Create a demonic rune under each enemy Hero on the battleground. After 1.75 seconds the rune explodes dealing 301 (143 + 4% per level) damage and stunning for 2 seconds. Mana: 100, Cooldown: 100 seconds.
Lightning Breath (R)- Become Unstoppable while channeling lightning that deals 1753 (832 + 4% per level) damage over 4 seconds. The direction of the Lightning changes with your mouse cursor position. Mana: 80, Cooldown: 60 seconds.
Black Soulstone- Gain 10 Souls per Hero killed, or 1 per Minion or captured Mercenary. For each Soul, gain .20% maximum Health. If you have 100 Souls upon dying, you resurrect in 5 seconds and lose 100 Souls. Maximum 100 Souls. Cooldown 30: seconds
Diablo counters and match-ups - February 2016
There are many lists out there that pull together strong and weak match-up information, but we like to use the community-sourced results at HeroesCounters for our evaluation of each one of HotS Hero's counters. Here's the current top five from this resource, correct as of today.
- Strong against- Nazeebo, Nova, Sgt. Hammer, Li Li, Lt. Morales
- Weak against- Leoric, Thrall, Johanna, Tyrael, Raynor
- Teams well with- Tyrande, Rehgar, Uther, Valla, Zeratul
Diablo tips and battleground guides - February 2016
Diablo isn't the trickiest character to play with in the game by a long shot, but there are some very important tried and tested tricks of the trade that you should add to your repertoire as quickly as possible. Here are a few essential tips that will help you get the upper hand on the battleground.
- One of the core Diablo moves that should be mastered as soon as possible involves using Overpower to lift an enemy Hero up and over Diablo's head, then using Shadow Charge to punt your poor victim into your allied territory. Pulling this off in the early laning stages can make a huge difference to your early-game, as your towers pick apart the opponent.
- Flip that same advice around in team fights and charge into a target with Shadow Charge, then throw your target back towards your advancing teammates like a piece of sorry-looking meat.
- While Black Soulstone provides a very handy health buff, keep in mind that the 20% bonus will disappear after spawning, and so you will not have the same survivability as you had in your previous incarnation - for a while at least...
- Make Diablo's size count for something, and use his immense body to physically block enemies who are trying to flee from the fight. This is the kind of scenario where Diablo can really make a difference in a roaming party.
- Assuming you've following our preferred Talent build for Diablo, make sure you resist the urge to blow Lightning Breath on relatively minor groups of enemies. Not only is it worth saving this skill for large numbers of enemy Heroes, it also prevents you from being locked down by their crowd control effects, so use it wisely.
Battlefield of Eternity
- Stay flexible when fighting on the Battlefield of Eternity with Diablo, and look to support whichever teammates are currently running afowl of the competition.
- During the Immortal fight that takes place in the centre of the map, make sure you use Diablo to grab the attention of the enemy team off your squishier friends. You must win these team skirmishes if you're to achieve the map's ultimate objective of winning the Immortal fight.
- Likewise, should your Immortal win, let this beast deal with the structures in front of it while you help keep teammates alive. You should also assist your team in a similar fashion if they are attempting to deal with the enemy's Immortal instead.
- There's not a awful lot you can do to really make Diablo shine on this map. Just make sure you're applying all of our general gameplay tips here, and focus your support on the top and middle lanes where the bulk of early combat is likely to occur.
Fightin' Cowboy's videos helped us out a huge amount while we were learning the game. The builds have changed with balance patches and shifting metagames, but the broad principles remain the same.
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