Lord of Terror
Diablo is more of a brawler than a tank. His ability to charge into a fight and disposition an enemy makes him invaluable on a well-coordinated team. With a trait that lets you respawn in 5 seconds at the cost of souls, he can make an appearance in every teamfight, sometimes dying and coming back for more. Unlike warriors like Johanna or Chen, he cannot withstand the focused fire for long, and should instead use his mobility and disruption to create chaos in a teamfight.
The Lord of Terror is also capable of dealing potent AoE damage, especially once he has access to his heroics. Between shredding enemy squishies and melting the front line’s face, Diablo has an appropriately fearsome teamfight presence. He makes for a strong initiator and playmaker, and with good followup he can pull an enemy from safety and secure a kill, turning the tide of a fight before it’s even begun.
Black Soulstone (D)
Gain 10 Souls per Hero killed, or 1 per Minion. For each Soul, gain .15% maximum Health. If you have 100 Souls upon dying, you resurrect in 5 seconds and lose 100 Souls. Maximum 100 Souls.
This trait rewards a Diablo who is actively pushing lanes and assisting with kills. Gaining maximum health is definitely something a frontliner like Diablo wants to be doing. At the cost of 100 hard-earned souls, Diablo can (or rather, is forced to) respawn in 5 seconds instead of the usual timer, giving him a potential double presence in late teamfights. Diablo is, however, far squishier when bereft of souls, which can sometimes make the quick respawn a setback.
Shadow Charge (Q)
Cooldown: 12 seconds
Charge an enemy, dealing 206 (54 + 8 per level) damage and stunning them for 0.5 seconds. If the enemy collides with terrain, they are stunned for 0.75 seconds instead.
The stun and displacement on Shadow Charge are both potent, making this one of Diablo’s premier abilities. Though it doesn’t make for a great chaser or initiator, as it pushes the enemy hit away, this makes a great followup to Overpower. This combo allows Diablo to take an out-of-position foe and push them into his team, allowing for easy takedowns. Otherwise, this can be used to push enemies where they don’t want to be or to disengage.
Fire Stomp (W)
Cooldown: 6 seconds
Unleashes fire waves in all directions that deal 210 (39 + 9 per level) damage each.
Fire Stomp has a bit of a learning curve, but if Diablo manages to hit multiple enemies with his flames he can deal strong sustained damage. This is great for clearing minion waves and mercenary camps, and can do quite a bit of damage with a few specialized talents.
Cooldown: 12 seconds
Grabs the target and slams it behind Diablo, dealing 46 (+6 per level) damage and stunning for 0.25 seconds.
The ability to pull an enemy out of place is a powerful one. Overpower is strong alone and just incredible with the rest of his kit. As far as ganking and initiating goes, Overpower should be Diablo’s go to move to single out an enemy. Following it up with a Shadow Charge to send them into his team is exactly what Diablo wants to be doing. With Diablo’s bulky model, this makes for a great peeling and protecting tool as well.
Cooldown: 100 seconds
Create a demonic rune under each enemy Hero on the battleground. After 1.75 seconds the rune explodes dealing 300 (110 + 10 per level) damage and stunning for 2 seconds.
This global stun is only held back by its delay. Putting a stunning rune under every enemy hero is huge in the chaos of teamfights, though outside that context this heroic can be easily dodged. With enough lockdown, Apocalypse can decimate the entire enemy team.
Lightning Breath (R)
Cooldown: 60 seconds
Become Unstoppable while channeling lightning that deals 1760 (392 + 72 per level) damage over 4 seconds. The direction of the Lightning changes with your mouse cursor position.
Massive AoE on a reasonable cooldown. What more does a Lord of Terror want? Lightning Breath is great for pushing, zoning, clearing camps, and punishing enemies who cluster in teamfights. Diablo becomes unstoppable during the duration of this channel, making him immune to stuns and other interruptions. The direction of the spray will follow the mouse cursor, allowing flexibility in the dispersion of damage.
Level 1 Talents
Recommended: Soul Feast
Soul Feast provides Diablo with great in-lane survivability as well as lasting sustain, as long as he keeps his soul count relatively high. Being able to lane and roam without hearthstoning between engagements is a big boon. With a full HP Diablo constantly on the prowl, the enemy team can never rest.
Block is another choice for survivability, and should only be taken over Soul Feast if the basic attack damage possessed by the enemy team is overwhelming. The regeneration provided by Soul Feast in the early game is invaluable.
Devil’s Due will allow Diablo to cheat long respawns more often and pay less, making it a great option for the ballsy playmakers out there. However, the goal is to die less often, and the previous talents improve that rather than mitigating the cost of death.
Overwhelming Force is a good buff for Shadow Charge, but pushing the enemy even farther isn’t necessarily a good thing. Diablo needs to focus on survivability if he wants to be Shadow Charging into the front line, and Overwhelming Force doesn’t help with that.
Level 4 Talents
Recommended: Fire Devil
The AoE damage this adds to Fire Stomp excels at clearing minions and mercenaries. Adding damage to Diablo’s teamfight game isn’t bad, either, making Fire Stomp a popular pickup.
Demonic Strength can be of great value in a pick lineup, where Diablo is used for the utility and other heroes follow up with the damage. Adding a 2 second 25% slow to Overpowered targets goes a long way towards ensuring their death.
Soul Catcher removes some of the burden of gathering souls, but Diablo would rather be building his soul count through more kills than he would by being passive. Both of the previous talents will generate more souls as long as a Diablo is proactive.
Essence of the Slain provides a nice outlet of mana rejuvenation, but is generally unnecessary on the Lord of Terror.
Level 7 Talents
Recommended: Soul Steal
Diablo wants to be surviving engagements, and Soul Steal helps a lot. Boosting the health bonus of Black Soulstone by two-thirds is momentous and will help him stick around longer to secure kills and peel for allies.
Battle Momentum rewards a bruiser-type Diablo who is constantly slashing at his opponent’s face between abilities. While he loses out on some survivability with this choice, Battle Momentum can greatly increase a zealous Diablo’s utility.
From the Shadows does add a nice .75 stun if Shadow Charge manages to bash someone against a wall, but doing so is not a constant bet, making this an inconsistent and underwhelming talent.
Devastating Charge is a good pickup if the team is crowd control heavy and tends to hinder Diablo’s freedom of movement.
Level 10 Heroics
Without a team, Lightning Breath is a far surer bet for a heroic ability. Its damage output and low cooldown make it a nice addition to teamfights and contesting objectives. Smart use of this can force enemies out of an important area or otherwise manipulate their fight plan.
Apocalypse, on the other hand, rewards a measure of coordination between teammates. If someone else can get off a widespread stun or slow first, Apocalypse becomes as devastating as it sounds, inflicting massive damage and a 2 second stun. This is a far less reliable heroic than Lightning Breath, but is more rewarding.
Level 13 Talents
Recommended: Firestorm or Siphon the Dead
Firestorm adds a whole new element to Fire Stomp. The flames will return to Diablo’s location after reaching the end of their area, giving him a measure of control as to where that damage goes. This adds some great repeatable damage to the chaos of a teamgfight and bolsters Diablo’s AoE capabilities.
Siphon the Dead is a more defensive pickup, but no less valuable in certain situations. Being able to regenerate 15% health on command, especially when souls are keeping him vital, will go a long way to keeping a besieged Diablo alive.
Life Leech can be good against heroes with high health pools, but unless he picked up Battle Momentum Diablo generally doesn’t throw basic attacks around. That said, this makes for a mean brawling / sustained damage talent.
Spell Shield can prevent quick deaths at the hands of high burst heroes, but Diablo should generally be quick with his engagement to take these heroes out before they can return the favor.
Level 16 Talents
Recommended: Imposing Presence or Rampage
Imposing Presence will take a lot of heat off of Diablo’s back, especially if the other team is rife with basic damage dealers. If Diablo is having a tough time managing the frontline because of a barrage of attacks, this is surely the way to go.
Rampage further increases Firestorm‘s utliity, giving Diablo extra movement and damage after using it.
The Overpower / Shadow Charge combination is stronger early game, so enhancing it with the likes of Domination is generally too little, too late. Overpowering twice can be pretty disruptive, however, making Continuous Overpower a viable pick .
Level 20 Talents
Recommended: Lord of Terror or Bolt of the Storm or Hellstorm
Lord of Terror can do a lot of damage and restore a lot of health, depending on how many enemies are around when it does off. Having an ability this potent on a separate cooldown is pretty amazing, and makes Diablo’s lategame brawling pretty top notch.
Bolt of the Storm is always a good pickup for its diverse applications. With it, Diablo can engage and escape more effectively. He can also set-up dangerous kills with impunity, as long as he leaves himself room to blink away in time. This talent is always a good pickup as long as the player actually uses it.
50% increased length and endurance is something a lot of people would kill for. Hellstorm makes Lightning Breath that much bigger and stronger, allowing even crazier AoE bursts in the late game.
Apocalypse activating on death is cool, especially if Diablo can cheat his death timer and slink back into the fray. The 20 second reduced cooldown is swell as well.