Our essential Anub'arak guide has everything you need to know about playing this Hero, with all the builds, tips, map advice and counters you could need.
When you're done messing around with some of the simpler Warriors in Heroes of the Storm, we think you'll have a lot of fun digging deeper with Anub'arak. He's capable of dishing out pretty decent damage, possesses some very useful crowd control abilities, is a top-tier choice for initiating fights, and can also do pretty well going toe-to-toe against another lone Hero.
That's the good news, then, but there are a few things to keep in mind. While Anub'arak can stand his ground, he is relatively fragile at the same time, and so you'll need to have your wits about you to stay in the game. Not only that, you'll also need some pretty zippy reflexes just to lain many of this character's skillshots on your targets. It's for these reasons that we tend to recommend new players learn the Warrior side of the game with another Hero at first.
Assuming you're ready to get stuck in with this Hero, we think our Anub'arak guide should take some of the sting out of proceedings. First of all we get straight down to business by highlighting the most powerful Anub'arak build that's currently out in popular play. After that we've got an overview of the general strategy required for playing Anub'arak, along with some tried and test tips. Finally, we've got a breakdown of all of the most important counters for this character in the overall roster of Heroes. Got any specific questions? Ask in the comments and we'll do our best to help.
Editor's note - June update: Much has changed for Anub'arak since we last revisited our Hero guide, and so we've taken the opportunity to radically overhaul this feature. A dramatically different build is proving dominant in the current metagame, and so we've added new tips information to reflect the changes. We'll start adding some map-specific tactics for Anub'arak in the weeks ahead - stay tuned for updates!
The best Anub'arak talent build - June 2016
Here's a look at the build(s) we believe are currently the most potent for Anub'arak. Let us know what you're getting up to with this Hero in the comments section. We'd love to hear what's working well for you!
Anub'arak general build
This is a really solid build for Anub'arak, one which for the most part focuses on enhancing the Hero's core abilities.
Level 1 - Dampen Magic - Upon taking Ability Damage, reduce that damage and further Ability Damage by 50% for 1.5 seconds. Can only trigger once every 8 seconds.
Level 4 - Underking - Increases Burrow Charge range by 20% and damage by 100%.
Level 7 - Chitinous Plating - Increases Harden Carapace's Shield amount by 40%.
Level 10 - Cocoon - Wraps target enemy Hero in a cocoon, rendering them unable to act or be targeted for 8 seconds. Allies of the Hero can attack the cocoon to break it and free them early.
Level 13 - Urticating Spines - Casting Harden Carapace will also deal 176 (84 + 4% per level) damage to nearby enemies.
Level 16 - Epicenter - Increases Burrow Charge impact area by 85% and lowers the cooldown by 4 seconds for each Hero hit.
Level 20 - Rewind - Activate to reset the cooldowns of your Basic Abilities.
Anub'arak strategy guide and tips - June 2016
Your principal role as Anub'arak is to engage the enemy by initiating the fight for your team and using your crowd-control and interruption skills to ensure the battle remains squarely in your favour.
Burrow Charge allows you to blast your way into combat and stun nearby enemies as you emerge, giving your teammates the chance to start dishing out their damage. Impale can likewise be used to pin a target in place while your friends get stuck in. When not starting a fight, these skills can also be used to rescue allies who have found themselves under the enemy team's spotlight.
Burrow Charge can also be used to escape from danger, and you shouldn't hesitate to blow this cooldown if it means you live to fight another day. While dishing out his own melee attacks, Anub'arak's damage-dealing insect spawns take much of the micromanagement out of the moment-by-moment damage output, allowing you to focus on a more strategic role within your team.
Anub'arak isn't the toughest Hero to play in HotS by any means, but there are a few easy tricks you can master fast that will really make a difference on the battlefield. Here's a quick round-up of some of the most important plays you need to know about.
- The ammunition of any structure doesn't care what it hits, as long as it hits something. For that reason, it can be extremely beneficial to drop beetles nearby. All of your Abilities will trigger your combat insects thanks to the Scarab Host Trait.
- You have some flexibility when it comes to Burrow Charge. Use it to either initiate a fight under favourable circumstances, or escape from battle if you've been caught out by the opposing team. Note that this skill also allows you to move through objects that would otherwise have been impassable, were you to travel overground.
- Get into the habit of popping Carapace after engaging an enemy (or two). It might just be enough to save your skin before burrowing your way to safety if you get caught out too.
- You are not obliged to see out the full travelling distance of Burrowing Charge. Tapping the E button a second time will caue you to burst out of the ground, right on top of your target. If you want to keep your opponent stunned longer than your appearance causes, get ready to drop Impale against them to pin them in place a little longer.
- Assuming you're using our recommended Talent build, don't forget about your Rewind Ability. It's especially useful in the final stages of the game when you're going for that last big push to seal the deal.
- Try to hold onto your Harden Carapace until you are actually taking damage. You want to maximise the use of this skill as much as possible. You should likewise try to avoid picking a big fight without having Dampen Magic at hand.
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.
Anu'barak Abilities, Heroic Abilities and Traits - June 2016
Anu'barak's Abilities allow him to both dish out some pretty mean damage, and disrupt the opposing team quite heavily. His tough Harden Carapace skill allows him to live longer in ambushes, and also survive long enough to dictate initiated fights on his own terms.
Impale (Q)- Deals 220 (104 + 4% per level) damage. Stuns for 1 second. Mana: 65, Cooldown: 12 seconds.
Burrow Charge (W)- Burrows to location, dealing 235 (112 + 4% per level) damage and briefly stunning enemies in a small area upon surfacing. Can reactivate the Ability to surface early. Mana: 65, Cooldown: 16 seconds.
Harden Carapace (E)- Gain a Shield that absorbs 570 (260 + 4% per level) damage over 3 seconds. Mana: 35, Cooldown: 8 seconds.
Locust Swarm (R)- Deal 145 (69 + 4% per level) damage per second in an area around yourself. Each enemy damaged heals you for 40 (19 + 4% per level) Health. Lasts 8 seconds. Mana: 100, Cooldown: 100 seconds.
Cocoon (R)- Wraps target enemy Hero in a cocoon, rendering them unable to act or be targeted for 8 seconds. Allies of the Hero can attack the cocoon to break it and free them early. Mana: 70, Cooldown: 60 seconds.
Scarab Host- Spawn a Beetle at your location whenever you use an ability. Beetles last for 8 seconds, attacking nearby enemies for 44 (21 + 4% per level) damage.
Anub'arak counters and match-ups - June 2016
Whoever you find yourself up against, you'll want to keep your wits about you at all times. With that said, there are some opposing Heroes that can cause Anub'arak a particularly nasty headache. There are many different opinions on who's weak against who in HotS, but for a good feel for the biggest dangers, we like to reference the community at HeroesCounters.
Here's a quick round-up of the top five for each category, correct at the time of this article's publication:
- Strong against- Li Li, Chen, Lt. Morales, Nazeebo, Nova
- Weak against- Leoric, Valla, Sylvanas, Zagara, Johanna
- Teams well with- Tyrael, Jaina, Kerrigan, Rehgar, The Butcher
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