The power deposition on a tungsten surface exposed to combined pulsed/continuous high power plasma is studied. A study of the correlation between the plasma parameters and the power deposition on the surface demonstrates the effect of particle recycling in the strongly coupled regime. Upon increasing the input power to the plasma source, the energy density to the target first increases then decreases. We suggest that the sudden outgassing of hydrogen particles from the target and their subsequent ionization causes this. This back-flow of neutrals impedes the power transfer to the target, providing a shielding of the metal surface from the intense plasma flux.