The Traitor King is a bit of a Jack of all trades – his kit grants him decent initiation, zoning, crowd control, damage, and even pushing potential. In addition to abilities that allow him disruption and mobility, Anub’arak’s trait summons him a personal army of beetles. These lil’ buddies can push, provide incidental damage in fights, and even absorb skillshots meant for a higher priority target. That they’re also free is just gravy.
Anub’arak is strong at initiation and securing kills throughout the game, but he really hits his stride once he has access to his Locust Swarm heroic. It, combined with his two stuns and beetle horde, give him an often overwhelming presence in teamfights. Despite being a warrior, Anub’arak does rely on his shield and the regen provided by Locust Swarm for sustain in fights, and cannot withstand focused fire for long.
Scarab Host (D)
Spawn a Beetle at Anub’arak’s location whenever he casts a spell. Beetles last for 8 seconds, attacking nearby enemies for 20 (+4 per level) damage.
Anub’arak’s beetles are a subtle but powerful part of his kit. After using any ability, a scarab will spawn and move towards the closest enemy, or barring that a nearby lane. Their siege and hero damage will add up over the course of a game, and they can even act as obstacles for enemy skill-shots. With some later talents, Scarab Host can become a force to be reckoned with.
Cooldown: 12 seconds
Deals 68 (+8 per level) damage. Stuns for 1 second.
Anub’arak’s Impale ability is a long ranged, skill-shot knockup/stun. Its travel time is fairly quick, so it can be easy to catch your opponent off-guard with a well-placed Impale. Keep in mind that this ability travels through targets and underneath terrain. If he can successfully land Impale, Anub’arak can easily follow it up with his other abilities, making him a strong Warrior contender.
Harden Carapace (W)
Duration: 3 seconds
Cooldown: 8 seconds
Gain a 112 (+22 per level) point shield.
Harden Carapace is a rather generic self-shielding ability, with the added bonus of being a repeatable Scarab outlet. Anub’arak should try to have this up whenever damage is incoming. If timed right, Harden Carapace‘s Scarab can block an incoming skill shot, such as Nova’s Snipe or Muradin’s Storm Bolt. This is great for withstanding harassment in lane and staying up a little longer in teamfights.
Burrow Charge (E)
Cooldown: 16 seconds
Burrows to location, dealing 128 (+18 per level) damage and briefly stunning enemies in a small area upon surfacing. Can reactivate the ability to surface early.
A movement skill and a stun all in one, Burrow Charge acts as both an initiating tool and an escape tactic. This makes it one of the more versatile abilities around, and it can enable some tremendous plays if used with forbearance. In a gank, this is an amazing tool for following up a stun and bodyblocking the victim with Anub’arak’s bulky model.
It is often wise to engage with Impale and walk in, so to save Burrow Charge for escaping or chasing down a low enemy. Initiating with this ability can sometimes leave Anub’arak stranded, so skilled ones will charge in only when support is close at hand.
Duration: 8 seconds
Cooldown: 100 seconds
Deal 28 (+8 per level) damage per second in an area around Anub’arak. Each enemy damaged heals Anub’arak for 11.5 (+1.5 per level) health.
This is a stellar AoE ability that will drain nearby enemies and restore health to Anub’arak over a period of 8 seconds. With Locust Swarm under his wings, Anub’arak becomes an incredible teamfighting machine that can mow down enemies as he himself is healed.
Locust Swarm gains effectiveness the more heroes that are nearby, making it a great heroic to pop in the middle of a teamfight. Waiting until Anub’arak is low to cast it is isn’t wise, however, as its healing is gradual and it paints a target on this beetle’s back, making him susceptible to being bursted down.
Cooldown: 60 seconds
Wraps target enemy hero in a cocoon for 8 seconds. Enemies wrapped in the cocoon are unable to act and untargetable. Allies of the hero can attack the cocoon to break it and free them early.
Web Blast excels at removing a lone enemy from the fray for 8 seconds, giving Anub’arak and his team room to smash the enemy ranks while they sit cocooned. Enemy attacks can break this cocoon, so strategic use of it is advised. It is useful to hit an enemy with Web Blast during the chaos of a teamfight, forcing their allies to make a choice: break tempo and free their ally, or ignore him and fight on? Such split decisions can crack an enemy’s cohesion, making this heroic a strategist’s favorite.
Level 1 Talents
Recommended: Assault Scarab or Extended Spikes
Anub’arak’s beetles are a strong part of his hero, so making them stronger is a fine choice. Adding an extra 25% to their damage with Assault Scarab will help his lane presence and actually scale pretty well into the lategame, making his Scarabs a real pain for the enemy team. For Scarab builds this cannot be passed up, and it pulls its weight in other builds as well.
Extended Spikes is something worth picking up if the enemy has a strong ranged presence. This greatly improves the range of Impale and allows for some unfair stuns, making it a great enhancement to Anub’arak’s utility. If there are channels that need to be interrupted in the back line, like Nazeebo’s Ravenous Spirit or Li Li’s Jug of 1,000 Cups, then this should be an easy pickup.
Regeneration Master has its merits, but Anub’arak is not a particularly tanky warrior, and does not gain an incredible amount from this talent. While he is adept at rotating between lanes and picking up health globes, he is susceptible to being bursted down because of his low health pool, and Regeneration Master will do little to prevent that. Harden Carapace should be dropping due to enemy damage, not the time limit, rendering Persistent Carapace a weak choice.
Level 4 Talents
Recommended: Underking or Legion of Beetles
Burrowing Charge is a key ability of Anub’arak’s, and is limited mostly by its 16 second cooldown. Bringing this down to 14 seconds and increasing its range by 20% with Underking might not seem like an incredible boost, but it does enough to affect Anub’arak’s plays throughout a game. The extra range is very helpful for getting that extra distance when chasing or escaping, and 2 seconds can make the difference between getting caught in a gank or tunneling out of one.
Legion of Beetles, on the other hand, provides immense value over the course of a game by spawning an additional Scarab every 8 seconds. This adds to Anub’arak’s incidental push ability and helps bolster his army into a swarm, potentially giving him the extra bodies he needs to win an engagement. This is an incredible talent and is a lynchpin in Scarab builds.
The Traitor King isn’t much of an auto-attacker, so Locust Needles tends to be underwhelming when selected. However, the splash damage can assist him with clearing waves and mercenary camps. Superiority can make him into a decent pusher / jungler, but this hero is better used as an engine of CC and damage.
Level 7 Talents
Recommended: Bed of Barbs or Leeching Scarabs
Anub’arak is already possessed of a lot of crowd control, but adding a 30% slow to his stun can go a long way towards securing kills and peeling for allies. The slowing area persists where the Impale landed for 3.5 seconds, allowing the strategic gumming up of certain choke points. Because of this, Bed of Barbs is a good pickup for more utilitarian Anub’araks.
Scarab lords, on the other hand, will likely want to pick up Leeching Scarabs to further their beetle power. Anub’araks Scarabs are rather fragile and die to AoE, so it may be hard to wring full value out of this talent against a coordinated and AoE-heavy team. Leeching Scarabs also do a lot of work when it comes to clearing mercenary camps.
Shed Carapace adds a good movespeed buff to Harden Carapace, giving Anub’arak improved initiation and escape that is separate from his Burrowing Charge.
Urtricating Spines can add a bit of damage to this beetle’s kit, but it’s neither high nor consistent enough to warrant a regular pickup. Anub’arak will generally want to be engaging with the other team as opposed to solo pushing with mercenaries, but Mercenary Lord can be picked up by any looking to become a master pusher via the jungler.
Level 10 Heroics
Recommended: Locust Swarm
Anub’arak just doesn’t feel right until he’s unlocked Locust Swarm. His teamfighting soars with the acquisition of this heroic. No longer a simple CC machine, Anub’arak can jump into the middle of the fray with Locust Swarm active to deal dispersed damage and recover an impressive amount of health. The sustain and AoE presence that this heroic gives Anub’arak is part of what makes him such a dominant presence in the mid-late game.
However, Web Blast is no less viable a heroic if used correctly. If an enemy team has only one healer or tank, isolating them with a Web Blast and quickly eradicating the rest of the team can shore up any lack of sustain Anub’arak’s team might have. In ganking lineups and compositions with more than enough damage, Web Blast is a strong heroic. Unfortunately, AoE abilities can destroy the cocoon quickly, making timing and placement huge for successfully using this ability.
Level 13 Talents
Recommended: Burning Rage
Anub’arak will often be surrounded by foes, making Burning Rage a great pick for improving his AoE damage. This talent also helps with wave and mercenary clear, leaving Anub’arak with more mana for ganks and objectives.
Chitinous Plating can be picked up is survival is proving more of an issue at this point in the game. Symbiotic Armor is another extension of the Scarab build, and will boost the Scarab’s survivability by a large amount. Spell Shield can be a good choice against enemies with high ability burst damage (i.e. Jaina or Kael’thas), as long as they’re lacking in easy ways to waste it.
Level 16 Talents
Recommended: Blood for Blood or Imposing Presence
Blood for Blood is a great supplement to Anub’arak’s damage and survivability, especially if he’s faced with some high-vitality foes.
Imposing Presence, on the other hand, is an amazing counter to any and all auto-attacking powerhouses who are getting Anub’arak down. Against more ability-based damage, this talent doesn’t do much.
Beetle, Juiced is the icing on the cake for an Anub’arak who has dedicated himself to his Scarabs. Its improvements to their longevity and survivability will take the swarm to the next level.
Epicenter is an awesome increase to Burrow Charge‘s damage and AoE range, improving Anub’arak’s CC even further.
Level 20 Talents
Recommended: Rewind or Hardened Shield
Rewind is incredibly potent on any hero with strong CC – Anub’arak, being the
Traitor Crowd Control King, benefits hugely from this talent. Not only is he able to throw out 4 stuns and generate 2 shields in a short time, but he’s also spawning Scarabs with each cast! Rewind takes a little practice to master, but has bountiful rewards for those willing to try it.
Hardened Shield is the a classic pickup for tanks at this tier. Though Anub’arak isn’t strictly a tank, he can benefit from this talent as well, especially since he so often finds himself on the front line. Four seconds of 75% reduction can keep him alive in the crucial final portion of the game.
Hive Master is the capstone for any beetle build. It adds a permanent vampiric beetle that attacks enemies near Anub’arak, dealing damage and restoring the hero’s life. While this is a cool pickup, its utility is not much when compared to the previous two talents.
Even if Anub’arak decides to pick up Web Blast, Cryptweave doesn’t come recommended; it’s additional 4 seconds of stun are unnecessary and force the Traitor King out of the fight, albeit temporarily.