Hello, comrades. Recently I started looking into the healer role because sometimes the fate was so cruel that I had to fill in healer. Turns out that Stukov is extremely fun to play as and now I am stuck on him. I am currently floating around Gold 3 and level 17 Stukov. I'd like to get some advice on my build and how I should be playing in different situations.
I have noticed that Stukov is most effective when you can be close to the enemy team and not die, because your abilities can be very impactful, but have a very short range. Which leads into the 3 builds that I use:
When do I use which build?
I use Pustule build when I feel like I can stay in the front without getting pressured too heavily and keep hitting enemies with the pustule. This build does give out less healing because I am going to prioritize using D on enemies to trigger Pox Populi, which is actually really amazing and is better than virulent reaction most of the time if you hit more than one enemy.
I use the Lurking Arm build VERY rarely, only when I feel like 1) I will be able to stand in one place and channel arm for enough time so Growing Infestation gets value (enemy team doesn't have dive heroes and heroes with difficult to hit skillshots and ranged interrupts) and 2) the map is chokey enough so it is easier to get arm value. Low Blow + Virulent Reaction is absolutely insane when done on low health targets. But again I use this build super rarely.
And then there is the standard build that I use most of the time. I will now cover what talents I pick on each level with the standard build
Level 1 : Reactive Ballistospores. Super useful against hoggerpult, Tyrael charge and other dives because it lets you to just walk away, also really good in general when you cat take damage while under 50% health mid fight and don't die because it resets your D cooldown, but I can't seem to understand when and how to do it, because on level 4 I like picking Vigorous Reuptake which keeps me topped off. Or sometimes I pick Spine Launcher when enemies have heroes that like walking up close like Garrosh so staying back and slowing them is going to be very good or they have heroes such as ETC where the further I am away from my team the better because mosh.
Level 4: Vigorous Reuptake. It does just so much healing. Whether the enemy team has slow coming damage with Gul'Dan or a lot of burst, Reuptake heals for so much health your team should be winning as long as you are alive. Becomes much better at level 7 when you also get a huge D cd reduction. If I am using pustule build or spending a lot of mana on Arm build, I pick One good spread… for extra mana/more healing without the D. One good spread becomes much better at level 20 with Top Off. If enemies have a lot of aa I pick Biotic Armor but honestly so far even against a Valla + aa bruiser + aa tanks I was not impressed by it and always felt like Reuptake would have been better.
Level 7: Targeted Excision. Very good if I can stay close to enemies and proc it consistently. With Vigorous Reuptake this becomes absolutely busted healing your entire team for a huge amount of health every 5 seconds during a teamfight. If I die a bit too often because of being too close to the front/enemies don't overextend frequently enough so I can't keep hitting them with the pustule I go for The Long Pitch. Cooldown reduction on this one is pretty good, however hitting 2 enemies with a such a tiny and slow-moving projectile is very hard but it is still better than staying up close and dying trying to get Targeted off.
Level 10: Massive Shove. At first, I was a big fan of Flailing Swipe, but soon I realized that the ult is pretty useless. Maybe it is because I am at such a low rank but even if I use it when we are down people my team keeps fighting. It feels completely dead if you are not losing a teamfight which is why I started disliking it. Massive Shove however takes much less time to cast on average and has a much shorter cooldown. It can give you sometimes the very much needed 0.5 second stun, interrupt when your Lurking Arm is on cd and can push overextended laners into your wall which is pretty funny and effective if you hit them with pustule after. Also, very rarely it can be used as a +50 armor to dodge a pyroblast or ktz combo, but this is pretty rare.
Level 13: Virulent reaction. I don't think anything else comes even close to this, except Poppin' Pustules because a 3-4 people huge slow + high damage is pretty good, but only if you are going for Pustule build
Level 16: Superstrain. These talents are pretty weak. If the enemy team has at least some stuns and roots Superstrain will be useful because when you are stunnend or rooted the enemy team is probably trying to kill you. If they have like 1 stun I go Pox Populi. If I went Biotic Armor at 4 I am currently experimenting with Universal Carrier, but again I am not impressed by it.
Level 20: Bio-Explosion Switch. These level 20 talents are really weak. Not having to stand still to have enemies silenced while rooted by your Virulent Reaction is very useful (Yes, Virulent Reaction does work with this talent) and it deals the damage you would have dealt by just standing in a single burst and slows them. Neat. This talent has a very heavy anti-synergy with Lurking Arm build. Makes your Low Blow and Spreading Infestation completely useless. Top Off is very unimpactful, becomes much better with Pox Populi and/or One Good Spread… but I don't pick those talents and while I am playing Stukov my teammates are usually either dead or at full health which might be a bad thing (?) but I have never felt the need to heal almost full hp teammates for more. Unless I am a Pustule build man, then extra healing is probably good. The ult upgrades are so unimpactful that I never pick them. Controlled Chaos feels like a downgrade because it doesn't push enemies the entire swipe range but rather only a little, so if you were using Flailing Swipe to push off that Genji or whatever and soft-stun them, now you can't.
So yeah that is my build, any advice on it or my understanding of the hero would be appreciated 🙂
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