Noblesse’s Guide to the Lord of Terror
As a former Warrior player for Ballistix, Noblesse won the Fall Championship at BlizzCon 2016 before retiring from competition. He has since gone on to coach Gen.G to first-place finishes at the 2017 HGC Finals, the 2017 Gold Club World Championship, and the 2018 Mid-Season Brawl. You would be hard pressed to find someone more qualified to speak on the upper echelons of competitive play.
The Lord of Terror recently received a substantial rework. Thankfully, Noblesse is on hand to explain the finer points of the defining build from the professional scene thus far.
Now You Shall Know My Wrath
The Combo: W, Q, W, E, W
“Use Fire Stomp first, then you want to Shadow Charge an enemy into a wall. Then Fire Stomp again and flip the enemy with Overpower before Fire Stomping one more time.”
The concept of the build is to empower Diablo’s deadly ability combo and improve his sustain. The combo does not come online until Diablo has his level 7 talent Eternal Flame—which resets the cooldown of Fire Stomp (W) when Diablo stuns an enemy Hero with Shadow Charge (Q) or Overpower (E).
Each talent in this build unlocks a key component of Diablo’s damage output and self-sustain in the late game, although there are a few things to know before you start flipping and charging your opponents. “Diablo is not very good in the early game,” said Noblesse. “You need to stay safe and focus on staying on an even footing in terms of levels against your opponent. Diablo will almost always scale better than the enemy tank.”
Trait Talk: Black Soulstone
Diablo’s updated Trait, Black Soulstone, grants Diablo 10 Souls per Hero killed and 1 Soul per Minion, up to a maximum of 100. For each Soul, Diablo gains 0.4% maximum Health. If Diablo has 100 Souls upon dying, he will be resurrected in 5 seconds—at the cost of 100 Souls.
“Before the rework, if you died you lost your souls and Diablo would be very weak. Now, after the rework, if you die and lose 100 Souls, you can still stay in the fight with the sustain from Fire Stomp.”
Level 1: Make a Defensive Choice
“All three level 1 talents are very good. It depends on the Battleground and enemy team composition.”
“One interesting combination is to run Diablo with Ana. Nano Boost makes Diablo's Lightning Breath very strong, especially with the level 20 upgrade Nano Infusion—which, when used on Diablo, will heal him for 50% of Spell Damage dealt.”
Option 1: “If you can't get many globes, you will usually want to take Feast on Fear to regain health off of Shadow Charge.” Feast on Fear heals Diablo for 12% of his maximum health over three seconds when he successfully stuns an enemy Hero with Shadow Charge or Overpower.
Option 2: “If you anticipate that you will get a lot of globes you should choose Devil’s Due.” Devil’s Due increases the effects of Regen Globes and Healing fountains by 2.25% per Soul.
Option 3: “If the enemy team has burst damage or mages you will want to take Soul Shield.” Soul Shield is an activatable talent that grants Diablo 25 Spell Armor, plus 50% of Diablo’s current Souls in additional Spell Armor, for 4 seconds. Soul Shield’s 45-second cooldown is reduced by one second every time Diablo damages an enemy Hero.
Level 4: Souls to the Flame
Here Noblesse picks up Souls to the Flame, which grants Diablo 1 Soul every third time Fire Stomp hits an enemy Hero—and heals for an additional 1.3% of its damage dealt per Soul.
“This is a key point of this reworked Diablo build. You need to get healing points from using Fire Stomp. Souls to the Flame is going to help you regain your health and stay up in team fights.”
Level 7: Eternal Flames
If Diablo has a power spike, it would likely be at level 7 when he gets Eternal Flames and can begin resetting the cooldown of Fire Stomp.
“After further specializing into Fire Stomp with Eternal Flames, you can basically use Fire Stomp three times in a team fight. This is when Diablo becomes more of a threat.”
Level 10: Lightning Breath
While both Heroics have their merit, Noblesse points to Lightning Breath as the go-to currently. “Lightning Breath does more damage than before. However, the real value of this Heroic is the slow it can apply, up to 50%.”
Level 13: Hellfire
At 13 Noblesse’s build calls for Hellfire, which grants Diablo 2% Spell Power for 10 seconds (to a maximum of 30%) for every Hero hit by Fire Stomp.
“If you choose the Fire Stomp talent at 13, you can gain up to 30% Spell Power, which is also applied to Lightning Breath. So, if you can successfully execute your combo and get a Fire Stomp off on enemy Heroes three times in a row in a team fight, then you will have maximized the Spell Power that can be applied to Lightning Breath. You can melt tanks with Lightning Breath once it has been buffed like this. Do not be afraid to use Lightning Breath if you've only hit two Fire Stomps in a team fight at this point, as you won't always be able to find a wall for Shadow Charge to secure a reset.”
Level 16: Debilitating Flames
Debilitating Flames is the next logical choice in this build, applying a 5% slow to all enemies hit by Fire Stomp for 4 seconds, up to 50%. Heroes Slowed 25% or more by this talent deal 50% less damage. “Debilitating Flames helps to slow enemy Heroes in team fights. I used to think this talent was not very good, but after I played with it for a while, a 25% slow is extremely strong if you can manage it. The damage reduction up to 50% is extremely helpful. It is not difficult to get value out of this talent.”
Level 20: Hellstorm
The upgraded Heroic, Hellstorm, makes Lightning Breath last 200% longer. “Lightning Breathe is very good for peel, as it can often cancel unwanted engagements. It is very good to stop enemies from initiating fights.”
Option 2: “Sometimes I choose the Blink. It’s very easy to die when you use Lightning Breath—the time is so long they can focus Diablo and kill him. If the Support is unable to save Diablo, I opt for Blink.”
Looking for an alternative to the Fire Stomp build? Manny "Fury" Medina, Warrior player for LFM Esports, has you covered. “The auto-attack build is another means of sustaining yourself through team fights, especially with the attack-speed buff that comes with the Cruelty talent at level 13. Besides auto-attacking, you want to spam the Overpower ability to keep the attack-speed buff stacked up. Once you're at 100 souls at level 16, you can almost 1v1 anybody. It’s super fun, especially with an Abathur hat!"
There you have it: A full read on the new Diablo from one of the sharpest minds in Heroes of the Storm. For information on Gen.G Esports upcoming schedule, be sure to check out their team page. As always, you can catch all the action right here at playheroes.com/esports.