Dota 2 Heroes Tips and Counters Mega Guide



Dota 2 Heroes Tips and Counters Mega Guide by tsunami643

Alchemist

  • Try to catch people in your Acid Spray if you’re about to stun them. Besides the fact that they’ll take damage over time by being stunned in the spray, the spray lowers armor significantly and Unstable Concoction deals physical damage. A 360 damage physical nuke is good, but a 360 damage physical nuke with -6 armor is even tastier.
  • After 5 seconds, Unstable Concoction reaches its max damage/stun time. So you don’t need to wait for 0.5s left on the timer, you can throw it at ~2 for the same effect.
  • You can do stuff when you’re brewing the concoction. A lot of players seem to focus all their attention on the concoction and abruptly stop everything they’re doing when they hit W. This makes it abundantly obvious that you’ve got something up your sleeve. Start the concoction in the fog so the noise is masked, come out and try to pick up a last hit or just slap a creep around, then lob that Erlenmeyer flask at a sucka.
  • You get 25 seconds between stacks on Greevil’s Greed. If you’re freefarming, you should be hitting 30 gold CONSTANTLY. Learn how to strategically draw aggro from neutral creeps using Acid Spray and/or Radiance to keep stacks up.
  • If you’re starved for mana and you’re sitting on a Basi ring, disassemble it if you’re Chemically Raged. The bonus mana regen you’re getting from your ult is counted as base mana regen, thus a percentage based item (such as the Sage Mask) from your Basi ring will regen mana quicker than a flat regen item (such as the full Basilius.)

Versus

  • Unstable Concoction detonates in a small AoE as of 6.75, so if you have him stunned and you heard it start concocting earlier, don’t just walk up to him if you’re a melee hero. Let it detonate first. Similarly, don’t give your teammate a hug if they’re about to get hit, unless you want to get stunned with them out of solidarity.
  • Just because you think the DoT from Acid Spray isn’t hurting you much doesn’t mean that you’re powerful enough to stand in it. At level 4 it’ll drop your armor by 6, which makes it extremely tempting for someone like a TA or Bounty Hunter to walk in and pop your ass.

Ancient Apparition

  • Shoot your ult farther than you think it should go in most short range encounters. The shatter debuff is infinitely more useful in many situations than the nuke, and as long as they’re along the path of the projectile, they’ll get frosted. Plus it goes slow as hell in low range and it’s unfairly easy for people to retreat the second they see it. Create a lobby, enable -wtf, spawn an enemy hero, queue up a bunch of move commands up and down the lane, and try to hit them at different ranges to practice.
  • Ice Vortex is more than a massive range slow and scouting tool, it’s also a 275 radius Veil of Discord. Throw them all over the place when you’re pushing and try to ult people when they’re sitting in a Vortex for massive damage. Keep this in mind if you’re skilling Chilling Touch as well, since Chilling Touch deals Magical damage.
  • The reason Eul’s is considered core on AA is because Cold Feet+Cyclone pretty much assures the stun will get triggered. However, a lot of AAs go tunnel vision when finding a high priority target and try to pull this combo on them. As a result, you probably just Cycloned their PL out of Ravage and Call Down because you were being a greedy bitch. In chases and ganks, the Cyclone+Cold Feet can be useful, but I would avoid using it in teamfights. If anything, save the Cyclone for yourself.

Versus

  • If you’re walking back to the fountain at low HP and an enemy AA is alive but not on the map, take a short break and try to bait his ult. It’s more difficult to juke than Sun Strike, but if you’re a support, it’ll be worth it to spend a few extra seconds standing at your rax than getting blasted in your fountain.
  • His ult is famous for having the world’s most confusing tooltip, but if you’re against an AA, all you need to know is that if his ult flew over your head, you have a debuff that won’t let you heal any HP. No lifesteal, no fountain, no Tranquil Boots, no PYOORIFICAYSHUN. Just you sitting and praying you don’t drop below the shattering threshold.

Anti-Mage

  • Blink into the trees! If you’re getting ganked, always assume that there is someone behind you, waiting for you to blink back to retreat and get wrecked. You have a stupid low CD on blink. Blink into the trees, watch four heroes suddenly materialize from the fog struggling to find you, then quietly blink along the treeline until you’re sure you’re safe.
  • Mana Void comes with a free ministun. Don’t keep slicing at people if you see them channeling something, just cancel it. It doesn’t matter if the ult does 2 damage, you can kill everyone without it.

Versus

  • Staggering your stuns as a team has never been so important as it is when ganking AM. I know you really want to get your Impale damage off really badly, but those extra 0.7 seconds you earned for not pulling the trigger the moment you got in range will be rewarded.
  • As against many carries, a Ghost Scepter can save your life if you’re a support and the fun is over. He’s targeting you first because he doesn’t want you stunning his ass when he gets started on the main course. Plus, many people forget about Ghost Scepter’s OP passive, which is a free 0.5s disarm when an enemy hero is wasting time frantically right clicking you and wondering why nothing is happening.

Axe

  • Berserker’s Call goes through magic immunity. If you see a BKB’d Shadow Fiend having an epileptic fit, man up and have a chat with him.
  • Just because you don’t catch anyone in Berserker’s Call doesn’t mean the spell was a bust. You get +40 armor during its duration which can easily make the difference between life and death early game during tower dives.
  • Avoid activating Blade Mail if you’ve caught a bunch of people in your Call. Blade Mail will reflect exactly as much damage as you’re taking, and chances are you’re not taking much damage with +40 armor engaged. This is situational, however, so if you see Lina is priming up a Laguna Blade or PA is critting you for billions of damage even with the armor buff, then turn it on.

Versus

  • Be aware that Battle Hunger can be taken off by denies! If your lane mate is being a hungry hungry hippo with last hits, focus your energy on landing a deny.
  • Pay attention to who is Battle Hungered late game. Stop burning through every creep wave with your Glaives and let poor old Witch Doctor get a last hit.
  • Culling Blade goes through Dazzle’s Shallow Grave. I don’t have much more to add other than the fact that as a Dazzle player, this is incredibly annoying.

Bane

  • No one seems to know how Nightmare works, so let me learn you something. For the first second of the Nightmare the unit is completely invulnerable, similar to Naga sleep. Now if anyone right clicks this hero after the first second, the Nightmare will be transferred to them. The duration of the Nightmare is refreshed every time it’s transferred. However, If any damaging spell is used on the hero, they’ll instantly wake up, take the damage, and the Nightmare will not be transferred.
  • Enfeeble is outrageous early game. It can be tempting to spend a majority of your mana constantly Brain Sapping, but it can be more valuable to completely disable your lane enemy from getting a single last hit than forcing them to use and buy regen.

Versus

  • TAKE THE NIGHTMARE OFF YOUR ALLIES. If they’re Nightmared out of position, take it off them and slowly migrate the Nightmare to safer territory. To transfer a Nightmare, attempt to deny your Nightmare’d ally.
  • Use summons to take the Nightmare off allies or yourself when possible. Beastmaster boar, Lycan wolf, Brood spiderling, or Prophet treant are all great sacrificial lambs to remove the Nightmare.

Batrider

  • Pay attention to the buff icon timer for Firefly. When it ends you need to make sure you won’t be stuck somewhere you don’t want to be.
  • Don’t feel obligated to drag someone as far as you can when you Flaming Lasso someone. If your team is nearby or you’re 1v1ing, your time may be spent better trying to lay on additional Napalm stacks.
  • Don’t just toss Napalms casually. Treat Sticky Napalm like an orb effect and go out of your way to make sure you’re keeping stacks up on the enemy hero. The difference between 2 stacks and 4 stacks is the difference between a kill or suggesting they eat a tango.
  • Napalm is relevant all game long because turn speed is useful all game long. Just because you’re not laning anymore doesn’t mean you should stop using the spell. It still gives vision, it still raises your damage, and it’s still annoying as hell to have to turn in bullet time.

Versus

  • Buy a Magic Stick ASAP against this fool. You can get one from the side shop. If you’re playing Batrider, make sure that your enemies don’t have a magic stick. If they do, be aware that a “guaranteed kill” can quickly turn against you.
  • Once you get 3 stacks of Napalm on you, immediately back off. Those two melee creeps will just have to give their gold to no one.

Beastmaster

  • This guy is the king of counterwarding (Venomancer is his queen… and Slark is the court jester). If you get sentry wards, gem, or if you really want to impress everyone, a Necro 3, prepare to rob the enemy team of all their vision with your mobile dewarding crew.
  • A solid pick against Enigma since he can stand on the other end of a Black Hole and still stun him out of BKB.
  • Try to aim Primal Roar like a Burrowstrike if possible. You’ll only be able to stun your primary target, but any enemies caught in the line of fire will be slowed and take some damage.

Versus

  • Take the time to kill the Hawk if you see it. Use a spell if you have to. Half the reason this guy gets picked is because of the vision he gives his team. If you suspect that the Hawk is already invis and you are in the mood for privacy, toss an AoE spell like Powershot or Dragon Slave on top of the nearest bunch of trees. You might inadvertently 360 noscope proasshit kill it.
  • As opposed to many other Initiators like Tidehunter or Treant, Beastmaster remains incredibly valuable for his team even after he ults because of his aura. If you’re up against a Void or Spirit Breaker, it can be worth it to kill Beastmaster before you focus your attention on the carry.

Bloodseeker

  • Bloodrage is a useful silence and all, but it also is practically a DD rune on demand. Use this for your own benefit, but also be aware that if you silence that Weaver, he might just man up and destroy you with the power you gave him.
  • Bloodrage can be cast on allies. After Sven Warcries, Storm Hammers, and God’s Strengths himself, I’m sure he wouldn’t mind having quadruple damage for the cost of a silence.

Versus

  • TP scroll.

Bounty Hunter

  • As soon as you hit 6 LEAVE YOUR LANE AND DO SHIT. Stop farming creeps and start farming heroes once Track is up and running.
  • Shadow Walk has a visible cast animation even if you’re invisible when you cast it. If your invis is about to run out and you’re quietly following someone, run into the fog to recast it, otherwise the enemy hero will see a big dust cloud around you and immediately run.
  • You can cast Shadow Walk while you’re channeling a TP.

Versus

  • Manta dispels Track. Diffusal can purge Track. Slark’s Dark Pact can purge Track.
  • Pay attention to your buff icons when there’s a BH on the enemy team. You can’t see the giant flare when it’s on you, but you can see the Tracked icon in your buffs.
  • A lot of Bounty Hunters blow Shuriken the second they see you. If they do, just TP out no worries.
  • Track gold adds up quickly and is what allows teams with softer carries than yours to wipe you out. Gondars LOVE trades because even though it seems like a 1:1 kill, it’s more like a 1.5:1 gold kill.
  • BH is at his strongest in the midgame when people are still separated, but still squishy, so take initiative with detection. As opposed to other invis heroes like Clinkz and Nyx, Bounty doesn’t get any bonus move speed from his Shadow Walk, which makes him easy pickings if you dust him or if he bumbles into a sentry warded area.

Brewmaster

  • Another Brewmaster tip thread? That’s right, another Storm Panda love letter. I, and nearly every true Brewmastererer, consider the Storm Panda to be the strongest part of Brew’s ult, which is why it breaks my heart to see people ignore it.
  • I don’t care what situation it is, but Cyclone will ALWAYS BE USEFUL. Cyclone the support so that your teammates won’t waste time killing that squishy CM when they should be focusing the carry. Cyclone that dick Omniknight so his whole team cries at him for not ulting. Cyclone that PA who is slicing everyone to shreds because the rest of her team is locking your team down. Cyclone the roided up Sven and waste a whopping 6 seconds of God’s Strength. Then when he comes back down, wait two seconds and Cyclone his punk ass again.
  • After you pick someone to twister, think about Dispelling some Magic. Off the top of my head, it dispels TA’s Meld, SK’s invis from Sandstorm, and a lot of other shit. I can understand, in the middle of the teamfight, you probably don’t have time to think about this stuff. So who cares, just toss out a dispel onto a teammate (maybe you’ll evaporate a Tide Gush or Slardar Amp Damage) or an enemy (to wipe Omni’s Guardian Angel off of them or damage the Warlock Infernal) and chances are you’ll probably do something good. The only time you shouldn’t throw a Dispel all willy nilly is if you are ganking and you Cycloned someone who you intend on killing because Dispel Magic will immediately stop the Cyclone.
  • Both Earth and Storm pandas deal piercing damage with their auto attacks, which is pretty pathetic against heroes. Wind Walk gives you a free 100 damage physical attack. So use it! If you’re quick, you should easily be able to use it twice during your ult, which is 200 physical damage that you were not using before. Late game, Wind Walk will be your main escape mechanism because your Fire Panda will go down as soon as someone so much as farts on it, and the Earth Panda goes down surprisingly quickly once carries start doling out big single target damage.
  • Many a time you’ll finish your Primal Split and have the entire enemy team staring hungrily at your Earth Panda. If you have a Blink Dagger, you shouldn’t worry. No matter how many times they damage your Pandas, Blink Dagger will be off cooldown the moment you reform. So just position your Earth Panda so you can get an effective Blink, and start mashing the item hotkey.

Versus

  • Brew is impossible to kill 1v1 if you’re a right clicker. Between Drunken Haze and Drunken Brawler, hitting this guy is a miracle. And this is if Primal Split is down.
  • Manta can dispel Drunken Haze. Save the split for after Brewmaster Hazes you otherwise you’re going to have a miserable teamfight. Or get an MKB to ignore it altogether.
  • Kill the Fire Panda ASAP. This is the majority of Brewmaster’s damage once he splits. Treat it like a Tombstone.
  • SILENSILSILSILESILENSILENCESILENCE. Dude hates silences and hexes. Primal Split has a cast time and Hexes and some Silences are instant. If you have these on your team he’ll likely have to cut his Blink->Clap->Haze->Split combo to just Blink->Split.

Broodmother

  • Always be checking your enemy’s items. If they’re sitting around with a single sentry ward, you can be sure that they know where you are and they’re waiting for the right moment to pounce.
  • Make the investment to buy your own sentries the second you find out they can see you. You can almost always beat them to the ward kill if you have an established army of spiders . You will quickly recoup the lost money, their support will not.
  • You get Spiderites on Spiderling denies. You don’t even need to get the deny, just poke every allied creep with a Spiderling and have them die within 2 seconds. Boom, free Spiderites. That’s another second of sweet sweet tower sieging.
  • Spiders are more than just tower tanking and bounty giving critters, they’re also units with collision. If you’re making a move on someone, send an attack command on your hero, then grab a handful of spiders and just shuffle them around in front of your prey. Nothing is more frustrating for an enemy than being sandwiched in by a crew of ragtime dancing Spiderlings.
  • Spiderlings can also be used to block or stack camps. If you’re farming in the lane send some Spiderlings to the nearby jungle camps that you know you’re going to farm and stack them. You need to put your webs down accordingly, however, because if your spiders go invis, the neutrals will immediately drop aggro.
  • Spiderlings and Spiderites have nearly the same vision radius as a hero. If you’re freefarming your legs off, don’t rely on your webs to give you enough vision to protect you. Sending a lone Spider to chill somewhere up ahead to scout.
  • Manta Style is a worthwhile early pickup on Brood. You can Manta out of Dust, your Illusions get Incapacitating Bite, and the movespeed makes you even more deadly.
  • If you’re in a teamfight, throw out a web in the area. Just because you’re not invis doesn’t mean you’re not benefitting from the massive HP regen and movespeed.
  • Keep a web on the Rosh pit late game for vision.

Versus

  • Broodmother’s webs give her a small radius of vision. If you’re trying to gank her, avoid walking across the middle of a web unless you’re smoked.
  • Don’t be dumb and sit around with one sentry in your inventory. Either quickly place both down or drop the extra somewhere near your tower. An ignorant Broodmother is pretty much a free kill in the early game, so don’t squander your opportunity. Don’t pull the ripcord too quickly or take too long. If her creep wave just died you can be sure that your creeps are going to start hitting her in her web and will completely give the jig up. Similarly, don’t just throw down a sentry and then start auto attacking her wildly.
  • Try to sneak up with your AoE spells. Broodmothers will immediately call their spiders off as soon as they see Lina float into their lane. Cast something like Illuminate from the fog, however, and you’ll be making that paper.
  • You can purge Broodmother’s ult. If you see her butt turn all red use a Diffusal Blade to cure her. Medusa’s ult will take this off as well.

Centaur Warrunner

  • Return damages towers. Be a man and draw aggro from the tower to speed up the pushing process. If you want to force aggro, right click any enemy hero anywhere on the map while you’re in tower range, or just be the closest target attacking the tower.
  • Double Edge costs no mana, so use it as your primary pushing spell late game. The AoE is bigger than you think and once you get a Hood of Defiance(which reduces the damage you take from Double Edge)+Heart, you should easily be able to take down a creep wave in a few seconds between Double Edge and Return.
  • Pay attention to when you can use Stampede from across the map. If your boy Shadow Fiend is getting ganked, don’t be shy about turning on your lawnmower with R. Similarly, if SF is ganking Luna, but just can’t keep up, use your ultimate.
  • After you get Blade Mail, try to find ways to hurt yourself during its duration. KotL about to bust out an Illuminate? Gimme. Chaos Meteor rolling around? I love meatballs. Bloodseeker Rupture you for some reason? Yeeeeehaw.

Versus

  • Hoof Stomp has a pretty small radius. If you see a Centaur is trying to run side by side with you to ensure that he’ll land it, don’t keep moving straight, juke left or right.

Chaos Knight

  • This is fairly common knowledge, but please turn on your Armlet before you Phantasm. Congratulations, you got super beefy illusions with no HP drain. This is also true pre-Manta or pre-Illusion rune for every hero.
  • Spread your spells out. If you land a close range stun, don’t just pull the trigger on Rift. Wait for them to walk away for a bit, then suck back them. Though typically you want to Rift first, get your first hit off, then stun.
  • CK is one of the most entertaining heroes to mindgame with due to the fact that Phantasm shuffles your position with your illusions and your illusions are strong as hell. Send a Phantasm into the lane to pick up some last hits in the lane while you and your other illusions are giggling in the jungle. Then when someone shows up, run behind them and Rift your crew in.
  • You can also abuse this defensively. If you’re about to die, take a risk and send one of your illusions where you wanted to go while you sit still. Most people will assume you have shit micro and continue pursuing whichever one is moving.

Versus

  • Rift has an amusingly long cast time. If you’re getting chased by CK, use tree fog liberally.

Chen

  • Use Penitence before Test of Faith if you have the mana for both. I know it’s tempting to nuke someone on sight, but they ain’t goin’ nowhere with a 32% slow and bonus damage amp.
  • If you’ve got nothing better to do early game as Chen, try finding a Wildkin and just send it mid. Start a Tornado and sic it on the enemy mid. Congratulations, you just won their lane.
  • Don’t bring your whole entourage back to base if you need to refill HP and mana. Leave your creeps in the lane and try to pick up last hits, or send them to jungle/ancient camps and start stacking.
  • On the other hand, it’s okay to send a creep back to the fountain to heal if you don’t want to waste the time finding another one in the jungle.

Versus

  • Consider getting a Midas or Helm of the Dominator if you’re up against a Chen. Watch him fumble through his control groups before he realizes that you turned his Satyr into your Quarterstaff.

Clinkz

  • Try to time your ganks so that if things go wrong, Skeleton Walk is off cooldown.
  • Chen/Enchilada/Dominated creeps are essentially delivery food with Death Pact. Chen creeps are especially useful since Holy Persuasion buffs their HP.
  • Searing Arrows affects structures. This + Strafe makes Clinkz a crazy good pusher.
  • Don’t just use Strafe off CD. The cooldown is extremely lengthy, and without it, Clinkz is pretty meh. The only time you should ever use it while farming is if you have stacked ancients.
  • Similar to BH’s invis, Skeleton Walk has a very obvious cast animation even if you cast it while invis. If you’re hunting someone, run into the fog to refresh it if needed. Otherwise if they see a puff of fire right next to them, you can be sure they’re going to start running.

Versus

  • Dust is somewhat useful against Clinkz, but Sentries are much better. Clinkz gets 44% movespeed bonus when he’s Skelly Walkin’, which makes him hard to catch with or without detection. The goal is to catch him off guard and take the offensive.
  • Keep your own sentries if you’re a carry and Clinkz is starting to roam. You can’t depend on your supports to follow you around constantly with detection.
  • Clinkz is another hero who is great to get a Ghost Scepter against.

Clockwerk

  • Common knowledge: You can kill your own cog in one hit. Just “deny” the cog and you can get out. Bonus: 9 times out of 10 when your cogged in target tries to take the path you just created, they’ll get shocked by the neighboring cog, especially if you kill a corner cog.
  • Using Cogs as an area denial tool is just as useful as locking someone in. It lasts an eternity, goes through magic immunity, and deals damage+mana burn. If Naix thinks he’s cute Raging and TPing, stand a little bit away from him and shock him out. If Sand King is muttering in the sand, do the same thing. Or post-Hookshot, walk a little bit forward and then deploy cogs so they shock your target and cut off their escape route.
  • Flare gives vision, we all know that, but the vision provided during the Flare’s flight is just as important. Make a decision whether you want vision of a small area for a long time or a large area for a short time. If you are policing the Rosh pit, detonate the Flare there. If you’re trying to get information about where the enemies are during a lull, let it fly all over their jungle and explode somewhere useless. Ideally you can do both in one flare and get a double kill where it explodes, but that’s not always going to happen.
  • If you’re mid and wardless, use Rocket Flare to get vision of a rune spot.

Versus

  • If Clock had business cards they’d probably say: “Rattletrap: Professional Clarity Assassin.” Try to keep Clarity usage on the down low, even if Clock’s not in your lane.
  • Rocket Flare is a popular spell to get cross-map kills. If you’re low on HP and Clock is far away, pause for a moment once you’re in fog to try to juke a flare.
  • Hookshots are fairly easy to juke if you know they’re coming. If you’re trying to escape and you just walked into a flare, stand still or change your path for a moment.
  • Battery Assault doesn’t hit invis units, so not all hope is lost if you just got hooked and cogged. Just go invis and Clockwerk won’t be able to do squat.

Crystal Maiden

  • Be aware that she has the lowest move speed in the game besides Techies. No tip here, she’s just ridiculously goddamn slow.
  • Frostbite lasts for 10 seconds on creeps and will do 70 DPS at all levels (WOW THAT’S LIKE 700 DAMAGE). This allows you to grab some easy XP or ward money from a large neutral camp as one Frostbite+some auto attacks will usually be enough to kill the biggest creep in the camp. Just do your team a favor and finish the whole camp though, no one wants your leftovers. And no, Jungle Maiden isn’t really viable, unless level 8 by 12 minutes with Tranqs+Blink Dagger is okay by your standards. Though knowing locKified, CM is probably the best jungler in the game.
  • If you’re going Battle Maiden, the item of choice is a Shadow Blade, as you can cast the invis while you’re channeling your ult.

Versus

  • Don’t underestimate her early game damage. If you don’t have any stuns, her ult will destroy you in a 1v1 support cage match.
  • Frostbite will disable Blinking spells (and obviously Blink Dagger). If you’re an AM or QoP and CM is sauntering towards you, you can be sure that she has backup.
  • You’ll find yourself often asking “How does X have so much mana!?” when there’s a CM on the enemy team. CM is why they have so much mana. So don’t assume that just because AA has Chilled his Touch 3 times at level 2 that he’s going to stop any time soon.

Dark Seer

  • If you’re in the hard lane solo, take Surge at level 1 and immediately surge your first creep at the front of the wave at 0:00. With good positioning you should be able to Surge it twice and get it well within enemy tower range no matter what, which will subsequently get the lane pushed to your side.
  • 75% of the time, your allies will benefit from a Surge more than you can. Don’t be a scrooge, Surge and Shell that Radiance+Scorched Earth Doom Bringer and watch him turn into a 522 MS Epicenter. Help Crystal Maiden put that ward down without being molested for once. Let Batrider take someone halfway across the map in three seconds.
  • Vacuum destroys trees in a small AoE. It may be expensive, but if you’re solo hard laning, shaving down the tree line next to you to create a juke spot could save your life. This goes for Beastmaster, Windrunner, and others as well.
  • When the two creep waves meet during the laning phase, watch for which of the enemy melee creeps is taking the least damage and then Ion Shell that one. Now the enemies can’t kill the Shelled creep on demand.
  • It can be smart to Ion Shell an enemy if you’re having to take a defensive position, especially if the enemy team is melee heavy. Putting an Ion Shell on an enemy Meepo is a micro nightmare, putting it on Omniknight forces him to stay in weird positions so he doesn’t damage his team, putting it on Undying discourages him from getting the full effect of Flesh Golem, and of course putting it on Broodmother is like winning a slot machine.
  • Ion Shelling invisible allies is hilarious. The damage isn’t large enough to show a huge white bar of missing HP building up on an unsuspecting enemy and the purple lines emitting from the shell don’t even appear.
  • A Wall across the top of the stairs on a T3 tower can instantly discourage a push. I know it feels bad that you won’t be able to make copies if the enemy decide to not push, but if you know that you’re not going to get good positioning or a good Vacuum, it can be worth it.

Versus

  • If DS is solo versus two of you, the support should just sit on his side of the lane very early on. The more you can zone him out early, the better. Once he gets a few levels into Ion Shell you won’t be able to, let me take a page out of Ayesee’s book here: “hang and bang” with him. Wait for him to shell a creep, then immediately pop out and start poking his pointy butt.
  • Every time the Wall makes an illusion of you, you’ll take the nuke damage from the Wall again. So stop standing in the wall to kill them, you round headed schmuck.
  • If you’re a carry, pay attention to when an illusion is made of you. While you’re critting their team for buckets o’ damage, your Bizarro counterpart is doing the same to your supports. Do your team a favor and kill your illusion before it zones them out.
  • Never blow a purge until you see him Surge. I am too lazy to reword that in a way that would make you not want to punch me in the face. Let DS do his fist pump and then promptly whittle him down to 100 MS.

Dazzle

  • People fail to realize that Dazzle’s claim to fame, other than being the best support in the game, is that all of his spells are physical damage. Poison Touch ticks physically, Shadow Wave deals and heals physically, and Weave is all about mitigating with the one factor involved in calculating physical damage: armor value. SYNERGY POURS INTO ME.
  • The Poison Touch projectile has an invisible ministun on contact at all levels. Use this to baffle people when you cancel their TPs because DAZZULLLL.
  • Be smart about healing post-Shallow Grave. I’m fine if you Grave at 1/2 HP, because at least you’re trying, but if you’re healing a 1 hp hero while they’ve still got 4 seconds on the Grave clock, I will cut you. Wait for the ring around them to drop to the ground (when it does, time’s up) and then immediately Urn+Mek+Wave them and watch the enemies freak out. You’re wasting precious healing potential by healing someone who’s safe and is going to get that HP burned off inevitably anyway.
  • My Weave priority list goes like this: During pushes, whichever team is pushing gets the Weave. Tower shots hurt like hell or don’t even scratch depending on your armor values. In teamfights, Weave as soon as possible on as much as possible. If your team has more physical damage, Weave the enemies and vice versa.
  • Weave is a useful scouting tool. Many a time I’ve used it to quickly check the Rosh pit from afar. The vision radius is huge, the cast range is very generous and the cooldown is low enough that it’s usually okay to ‘waste’ it.
  • Don’t forget that you also have a damage instance around yourself when you Shadow Wave. Stand in the middle of an enemy creep wave during pushes to damage it even faster.
  • I don’t know why you can Shallow Grave illusions, but I sure love doing it. Not only is it useful for mind gaming purposes (OF COURSE THAT 1 HP CK HITTING A CREEP IS THE REAL ONE), but it can also help briefly preserve a PL push, keep that Replica’d level 25 DK illusion alive, or let that Naga illusion continue burning the enemy.
  • Dazzle is a deceptively strong suicide laner. He loves levels, you can farm from afar with Shadow Wave, and he’s impossible to kill. Mainly because…
  • Shallow Grave to an immediate TP can get you out of nearly every situation early game unless you’re against some sort of Mirana, Rhasta, Lion lane. These are two reasons why I live and die by the Double-Tap to Self-Cast option.
  • What’s that Omniknight? You can’t heal magic immune allies? Dazzle badger don’t care about no BKB. You can Shadow Wave or Weave any BKB’d ally or enemy. Even if the enemy activates a BKB post-Weave it won’t get purged. Dazzle badger don’t give a shit.

Versus

  • Don’t just aimlessly walk into a wave of enemy creeps if you’re going for a kill on Dazzle. One Shadow Wave will quickly tear you apart, especially if you have low armor (due to Gush, Medallion, Weave, etc). Also beware as a melee hero when going for a last hit. Position yourself so that you’re on the edge of the creep wave.
  • Remember that Poison Touch will stop any channels on impact. So don’t start TPing in front of Dazzle because you think he has no stuns.
  • Weave keeps adding up over time. Just because you’re doing fine in the first few seconds of a team fight doesn’t mean you’ll hold up as well when you’re at -5 armor.

Death Prophet

  • Exorcism is physical damage. As a result, it goes through BKB, does more/less damage based on armor values and is generally relevant all game long. It also damages towers.
  • Your Ghosts will target whoever you right click. You can change targets even if you’re disabled/stunned/Chronosphered/Cycloned.
  • Krobe will walk to wherever you cast Crypt Swarm if it’s not within 600 range even though she can hit units nearly twice as far away. Keep this in mind during chases or pushes.
  • Be sure to deny a lot so you can hear all her boner inducing deny lines. I can’t stress enough how important this is for effective Krobe play.

Versus

  • Chasing her down mid-Exorcism is a dangerous game. Besides the fact that the ghosts do a lot of damage, it’s entirely likely that the ghosts will completely fill up her HP once they’re done and she’ll just turn around and destroy you.
  • She’s crazy weak at early levels (pre-6) which makes her a very easy target to gank, especially since many Krobes don’t get an early Silence. DP can get scary if she has a good start, but she’s very easy to shut down early.

Disruptor

  • The outside of Kinetic Field is just as useful as the inside. Don’t be afraid to block someone on the outside with the edge rather than lock them in.
  • Count down your Glimpses. Glimpse is an incredibly powerful spell, but only if used intelligently. Glimpse will always revert someone to where they were 4 seconds prior. So as soon as you see someone out of position, remember where they were and start counting to four. Watch where the end location dot is and cast a field around it. An easy method to timing is by casting a Thunder Strike on your target and then waiting for it to end (Thunder Strike lasts ~4 seconds long and gives you basic vision of your target).
  • Glimpse will break any channels. You don’t need to time the Glimpse so seamlessly that the travel time of the ball will trigger while they’re TPing, just Glimpse them as soon as you see them.

Versus

  • TP behind trees or even one tier back if you’re defending a push against Disruptor unless you like wasting 135 gold. Glimpse will also be a real pain if you’re a Nature’s Prophet, Wisp, Spectre, or Tinker.
  • Pay attention to the AoE of the Static Storm. Many a time a Disruptor will cast half of it within the Kinetic Field and the other half outside. Stop running against the wall of the Field and sitting in the Storm if you don’t have to.

Doom Bringer

  • Learn the abilities and auras of neutral creeps and figure out which ones best match your playstyle. I like getting a Taskmaster from an easy camp early game for the movespeed, Centaur from a medium camp mid game for the stomp and aura, and an Alpha Wolf from a medium camp late game for the crits and aura. If you’re jungling, try to get a Hellcaller… Brainbender…? Pianoplayer…? Rogerfederer…? big red Satyr for the HP regen or the blue Ogre for the Ice Armor.
  • DOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOM mutes items, including the true sight a player gets from Gem. Also useful against Mek or Pipe carriers.

Versus

  • Pay attention to what creep ability Doom has by clicking on him. Don’t get surprised when his team rushes out of nowhere because he has a Taskmaster aura or if he breaks your channel after LVL? Death because he took a Centaur Stomp.
  • Please deny your allies when they’re Doomed. I’m not walking near you because I want to tell you what my dog is allergic to, I need you to kill me.
  • However, you ideally want to click on your ally and track how much time is left on the Doom debuff icon because deny range != dead range.
  • DOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOM mutes items, including that Magic Wand that I know you want to use so badly because it should be enough to just barely sa… you’re dead.

Dragon Knight

  • Green Dragon’s Corrosive Breath works on towers. This is half the reason why it’s recommended to level your ult at 6/15/16. The other half is because Red Dragon is pretty useless unless you have stacked ancients.
  • Corrosive Breath is nonlethal. Don’t let enemies get away with a hint of health because you’re assuming the poison will tick them down, it won’t.
  • The transformation into dragon form is nearly as useful as the dragon form itself in lane. No one ever expects you to suddenly go dragon form and whip out a 450 range 2.5 second stun in the span of no seconds. People know how far to stand away from a DK in Knight form and people know to stand much further back from a DK in Dragon form. Don’t give them the chance to adapt.

Versus

  • Don’t group up late game. The splash on Frost Dragon is outrageously powerful and is what makes DK a strong teamfighting carry.
  • If you’re in higher level games and you see a DK has taken Red Dragon early, it can be worth the investment to ward and police his ancients.

Drow Ranger

  • Drow and Lina have the longest attack range in the game besides Techies. Drow, however, has an orb. Abuse this.
  • Don’t forget to turn off Frost Arrows if you have Lifesteal. The orbs don’t stack.

Versus

  • More like Ford Ranger. BECAUSE SHE HITS LIKE A TRUCK, AMIRITE? HAHAHAHA. Get in her face. Even if you’re eating tons of damage, there is nothing Drows hate more than someone in melee range of her. Besides losing half of her ult damage, you can usually scare Drows if you manmode on them.
  • “Guys we really need to gank Drow. WTF HOW DOES SHE KNOW WE’RE HERE DUDE I FREAKING TOLD YOU THEY HAD WARDS.” Wrong, bitch. It’s because Drow Ranger has 1700 night vision. You just got Icefrog’d.

Earthshaker

  • In most situations, the block on Fissure is more valuable than the stun itself. So if you’re trying to throw out a Fissure from long range, lead it more than you want to. If you don’t land the stun, it’s a minor inconvenience. Zoning your target on the wrong side, however, is a major inconvenience.

Versus

  • ES has basically no mana, so you’ll often see an ES sucking down clarities pretty frequently in lane. More often than not it can be worth using a spell or tanking some creeps to take it off of him.
  • “Hey guys don’t clump, I think ES has bli… Yeah… he does.”

Enchantress

  • Untouchable is a highly underrated skill. This makes you a real dick to trade hits with if you do choose to lane with her. It also makes you a great hero to tank Rosh since he attacks in slow motion.
  • Impetus calculates the damage by the distance between you and the target once the projectile hits the target. Thus, after tossing an Imp, you can run back or Force Staff to get some more damage while it travels.
  • You can Enchant a lot of enemy units. Necro creeps and Manta Illusions are both A+++ steals.

Versus

  • If you’re a right clicker, try to let your supports take care of Bambi. You’ll be wasting your time trying to kill her mid game when nukes will touch her Untouchable fluffy tail quicker than you can.
  • “Guys we really need to gank Enchantress.” Just kidding, no one has ever said this. But Enchantress does have 1800 night vision. YOU JUST GOT ICEFROG’D AGAIN.

Enigma

  • Be a bro and convert one of the mid lane’s creeps at 0:00.
  • You can make Eidolons out of Eidolons, thus further Horcruxing it. The CD for Conversion gives you about ~0.5s to quickly convert an Eidolon before it disappears. This information is highly relevant during Rosh attempts.
  • I don’t know why you can convert siege creeps into three Eniglets, but you can. This can speed up certain pushes significantly.
  • Midnight Pulse breaks trees. Use this to counter Sprout, burn down a bunch of trees during a chase, or to be super sneaky and carve a path to hide so you can easily blink in for huge Black Holes.

Versus

  • Blink Dagger is a big deal on Enigma, especially if he’s a team’s sole initiator. If you can get a DoT or some damage on Enigma and then quickly initiate on their team, you can be sure that he will be furiously clicking his Blink Dagger but won’t be able to do anything.
  • “Hey guys don’t clump, I think Black Hole is off coo… GOD DAMN IT.”

Faceless Void

  • Like AM, escape into the trees if you’re getting ganked. It’s less viable on Void since Time Walk costs a lot and you have a longer CD, but you should always have a TP on you anyway.
  • You’re invulnerable when using Time Walk. While not always practical, you can use this to run head first into projectile stuns like Skeleton King’s or KotL’s ponies and then just start wailing on them.
  • Chronosphere reveals invisible units. If Prophet decided to stop fighting you and Shadow Bladed out, cast a Chrono along the path and laugh maniacally when you discover him without any sort of detection. It doesn’t DISPEL the invis though, so if you weren’t able to finish off that Clinkz in the Chrono, he’s going to get away.
  • Donkeys in the Dota universe have a stronger grip on space and time than most heroes. Chronosphere will not freeze the enemy courier.
  • Any units owned by you can move around in a Chronosphere. This makes Necrobook or Manta Void viable builds for more deeps in your Chrono.

Versus

  • Time Walk has a slowing effect if you’re along its path or at its destination, so don’t start frothing at the mouth because you couldn’t get away.
  • MKB doesn’t counter Backtrack. BKB doesn’t counter Time Lock. Chronosphere mutes evasion. What I’m saying is, you better end the game fast because Void doesn’t give a shit what items you built.

Gyrocopter

  • Try to prime Flak Cannon a little bit before you engage (similar to TA’s Refraction or Ursa’s Overpower). This way you can use up all the charges and have it come off CD soon after.
  • Stack ancients for the love of god. Flak Cannon will hit every single unit in the 1000 AoE for the same damage. The spell is basically built to exploit stacking.
  • Shadow Blade is considered core on Gyro because your first Flak Cannon hit out of Shadow Blade will deal the +150 bonus damage to every target in the AoE. *false
  • Flak Cannon can hit neighboring creeps if you’re targeting a tower, but it won’t target the tower if you’re attacking creeps. This game…

Versus

  • Taking on Gyrocopter 1v1 in the early or mid game is probably suicidal. A level 4 Rocket Barrage will deal 690 magic damage to you if you eat all of it. Get a huddle going with your creeps if Gyro is trying to make a move on you.
  • If you’re at low HP, it can be smarter to eat the rocket early than gamble that your tower will be able to kill it before it reaches Spirit Breaking speeds.
  • Creeps can’t kill the rocket. While they draw aggro from it, only tower shots or hero attacks can damage it.
  • Ward this guy’s ancients or just pop in real quick and kill his dominated creep. Or even better yet, win a teamfight and then take his stacks. This also applies to playing against Luna.

Huskar

  • Inner Vitality can be cast on allies and has a fairly low CD for the amount that it heals. Cast it on your friendly neighborhood support after a teamfight to make their life much easier.
  • Turn on your Armlet AFTER you Life Break, not before.
  • On the other hand turn on your BKB BEFORE you Life Break so as to not take the self-damage (works with Omni Repel as well).
  • It’s worth leveling Burning Spears more than just for the early game because it serves as an orb that can turn off lifesteal. Farming is much much faster at low HP rather than the 100% that constant lifesteal will keep you at, even with Armlet degen.

Versus

  • Save your nukes for when he’s at low HP rather than at the beginning of the engagement. All you’re doing is letting him burn you down faster while Inner Vitality is working in overdrive and allowing him to exploit Armlet toggling without punishment.
  • You better know what you’re getting yourself into if you’re trying to gank Huskar. Dude thrives on people not checking themselves and subsequently wrecking themselves.

Invoker

  • Remember to change your orbs for their passive uses late game. I know it’s difficult to keep track and a lot of Invokers like to have their next spell Pre-Voked, but those 3 Wex orbs can make the difference between you catching up to an enemy or not.
  • Remember your stunning spells: Cold Snap, Deafening Blast, and technically Tornado. If you don’t know what to cast and Invoke is off cool down, just use one of these (if you’re leveling them properly that is, don’t be tossing around Tornados with 1 Wex).
  • At a certain point in the game your EMPs detonate fast and your Tornados disable for ages, making the combo less simple since Tornado’d units can’t get EMP’d. At this point you can afford to delay placing the EMP after the enemies have been up in the air for a few milliseconds.
  • Pay attention to your teammates when you Tornado. It’s a great spell and all, but it also has Naga Sleep levels of destroying your teammates plans.
  • Tornado has a purging effect that can take off runes or certain buffs, like Meld.
  • Alacrity can be cast on siege creeps. Tether+Overcharge and Bloodlust them as well for huge hyperexcited catapults.
  • Forge Spirits are invaluable for pushing. They have amazing range late game, serve as two extra damaging and tanking units, and they last forever.
  • Forge Spirits are also great if you’re mid to serve as rune control. Spawn a Forge Spirit around 20 seconds before the even minute mark and have it sit at the rune. If it’s there, kill it, if it’s not, oh well.
  • Ghost Walk is QQW. I remember this because every time I get ganked I want to QQ… W.
  • You can cast Ghost Walk while channeling a TP.
  • Don’t change your orbs in Ghost Walk. Pressing any hotkey will instantly dispel your invis. Ideally, you’ll want to throw up 3 Wexes before you Ghost Walk, but you’ll rarely be able to pull that off in a gank situation.
  • For some reason, Ghost Walk can slow Magic Immune units. If you’re against a certain type of lineup, consider using Ghost Walk offensively to make kiting heroes like Naix even easier for your team.
  • Learn and practice the stereotypical Invoker combos: EMP+Tornado, Forge Spirits+Cold Snap, Chaos Meteor+Sun Strike+Deafening Blast, Forge Spirits+Alacrity, Tornado+Sun Strike, Ice Wall+Being the greatest spell in Voker’s arsenal that is criminally underused.

Versus

  • Always keep tabs on the spells he has Invoked by clicking on him to get a better idea of how he’s building. If you’re mid and he has Sun Strike invoked, warn your team. If he’s missing and he’s been going Q/W, tell them to watch out for a Tornado from the trees.
  • Tornado doesn’t deal damage until you hit the ground, making it possible to blink the moment you hit the ground if you’re quick. *false
  • Forge Spirits burn off your armor with each attack. Invoker isn’t just harassing you just to be a dick. Well he is, but he’s also trying to soften you up for whatever is about to happen next.

Jakiro

  • Liquid Fire slows down tower attack speeds and is what makes Jakiro a great pusher. Pay attention to when it’s off cool down and use it accordingly. This also makes Jakiro a good buddy to have during tower dives and solo Rosh attempts.
  • Pay attention to the cooldown and try to save your Liquid Fire procs for pot shots on enemy heroes in lane, rather than dicking up your lane mate’s last hits. Yeah Tom, I’m calling you out, you twin headed dumbass.
  • No one likes fighting in a Macropyre. So if you don’t want to fight, throw out a Macropyre. It’s not a big enough ult that it matters if you blow it, but it’s annoying enough to discourage engagements. Either that or they’ll be all, “Guys, Macropyre is down, let’s get this Magnus, Enigma, Gyro, Void, DS combo started.”

Versus

  • Ice Path has a pretty long cast animation but insane range. If you’re running away from a gank, keep your camera on Jakiro to see if/when he is casting an Ice Path. The margin for error for him increases dramatically the further you get, but the stun will stay the same if you’re caught in it. So in the words of Slark…

Juggernaut

  • Common tip, but you can TP when you’re in Blade Fury. Use this to farm to your heart’s content with little fear of being ganked.
  • Your Healing Ward works on creeps. As useful as it is to keep you alive, Jugg is a competent solo pusher with staying power that the healing ward gives creeps.
  • If you’re 6, constantly be looking for good opportunities to Omnislash. A good way to create one is to quickly kill the enemy’s creep wave and then pounce on him while he’s wondering why you got four last hits and he has yet to get one. The lane push will be worth the kill.

Versus

  • If he’s 6, he’s constantly looking for good opportunities to Omnislash. A good way to avoid getting owned is to always stay next to your creeps and to always be a mile away from your wave when it dies.
  • HOLY SHIT PLEASE KILL THE HEALING WARD. It takes 1 attack. Doesn’t matter if it’s a 1k crit from Drow or a love tap from a 10 damage Visage Familiar, KILL IT.
  • DUDE I’M SERIOUS, KILL THE HEALING WARD.
  • At early levels, help your teammate diffuse Omnislash damage by running in and taking some bounces. At late levels or post-Agh, play your teammate the world’s smallest violin and run away.
  • You can Salve through a level 1 Blade Fury. The chances of being able to use a Salve without Jugg’s ally taking it off or him just right clicking you at a level 1/2 gank are probably slim, but this is one of those tips that everyone likes to share and I’m not going to let one of you poindexters in the comments take the glory.

Keeper of the Light

  • Stop channeling Illuminate in the middle of the lane. KotL works best as a creepy old hero molester hiding in the trees gently stroking his staff.
  • Don’t be afraid to terminate an Illuminate early if people are moving away. The horses have a travel time and a small amount of assured damage can sometimes be better than a huge amount of unreliable damage.
  • Learn where the creeps should be according to what the time is to get the most out of Illuminate. Don’t be channeling an Illuminate at X:53 when pushing into T3s just because it’s off CD, start it at X:57.
  • Your Illuminate range is longer than XP range. You can use this to help a lane mate get XP even faster during pushes, but it can also hurt you if you’re freefarming and losing out on XP. This is mainly relevant if you’re jungling and trying to Illuminate 2 camps at once.
  • When trying to Recall a teammate in danger, keep in mind that if they receive any damage from a hero, the Recall gets cancelled. Wait for your ally to run into the trees or just escape fog to initiate the Recall, then just cross your fingers that they can keep juking.
  • If you’re priming up a push with your team, let your carry farm another lane and then Recall them in.
  • Blinding Light won’t stop channels even though it bounces enemies. You can use it if it makes you feel better, but Tinker is still going to TP out before you can kill him.
  • If you’re trying to maximize your Chakra usage, try to get as little INT on a hero before you Chakra them. Change your Treads or put your Sheep or Bloodstone on the ground. It’s the same concept as shedding STR before you heal, yet used much less frequently. Though I’d draw the line at dropping branches unless you’re aui_2000.

Versus

  • Keep your lane warded up tight if you’re against KotL to keep eyes on when and where he’s Illuminating. You’ll save the money you would have spent on regen with your wards.
  • Don’t underestimate Blinding Light. If you’re a hero who is reliant on lifesteal to stay alive, this skill will destroy you. I’d always recommend getting a BKB or Manta if you’re a carry and the enemy team has a KotL solely because of this skill.

Kunkka

  • You’re only assured a Torrent+X combo at late levels of X, but there’s nothing stopping you from leading the Torrent a little bit away from the X at early levels.
  • Abuse Torrent’s huge cast range. The spell has a very obvious cast animation and will likely get juked if the enemy sees you Heil Hitler. Cast it from the fog or high ground or combo it with a ally stun.
  • If someone is TPing out in front of you, don’t use Torrent or Ghost Ship to stop them, use X. It’s way faster to cast and is more reliable.
  • If you want to be cute, you can cast X on yourself or an ally before getting Teleported somewhere. You can use this at later levels of X to quickly go back home, get a few bottle charges or pick up something from the shop, and then quickly come back on the lane.
  • Try to use Tidebringer in such a way that it doesn’t push the lane during the laning phase by hitting the ranged creep in the back or just facing in such a way that it doesn’t hit most of the wave.
  • Don’t listen to the haters, Shadow Blade is still giving you +150 damage on your Tidebringer.

Versus

  • If Kunkka’s sword is glowing, get ready to receive a face full of Tidebringer.
  • The splash effect on Tidebringer is visible on invisible units. Don’t sneak around in front of a Kunkka if you’re invisible because he will likely wonder why there was a poof of water on nothing.
  • Going magic immune mid-X will prevent you from getting returned.

Leshrac

  • The outrageously long cast animation on Split Earth is both a blessing and a curse. It’s mainly a curse, but you can use it to your advantage. In lane, there are few things more irritating than KotL seeing a Leshrac go all Napoleon Crossing the Alps, moving so you don’t get stunned, and then him canceling the animation. You can also use this to stun people chasing you without having to turn around by casting it directly at your feet.
  • When munching on a tower with Edict, become a zen master of positioning. Leshrac is one of the few heroes who can successfully push towers even while your creep wave changes aggro from the tower to the next enemy creep wave. Just stand in the corner of the AoE so that you’re only seeing explosions underneath the tower and give her the edict. If you don’t right click, you won’t draw any aggro and the tower will continue attacking whichever unit is closest, which will still be the creeps.
  • Try to bait out a glyph when you walk up to a tower before using Edict. Now that Edict has a cast time, you can try to cast and then cancel it to bait it. Though most of the time people will just glyph the second they see Leshrac smugly standing alone by their tower. Don’t waste 5 seconds of Edict with your antler up your butt.
  • Eul’s is an amazing item on Leshrac. If you’re having a bad game and you know you’re not going to be able to hold on to Bloodstone charges, get a Eul’s. If you’re having a good game, still get Eul’s. Not only does it give amazing mana regen for the price, but it gives move speed and has one of the best synergy actives with Leshrac in the game. First of all Cyclone has no cast time and has pretty generous range, so when you’re hunting someone down, just Cyclone them and then start priming a Split Earth. Between the Cyclone time and the Split Earth stun, you just kept your target in place for 4.5 seconds. It’s easier than you think since Split Earth has a small period of time where it’ll deliver the stun (when the spikes come out plus a few more… centiseconds?).*inaccurate Secondly, Edict and Pulse Nova continue doling out damage around you even when you’re cycloned, so just run into the middle of the fight and start raving in the air for a free 2.5 seconds of uninterrupted Nova’ing.

Versus

  • Split Earth is one of the easiest stuns in the game to juke. It has an incredibly obvious cast animation and has an eternity of a cast time. It is usually worth running backwards a small distance just to dodge it.
  • There’s nothing a Leshrac hates more than ganking someone near creeps. It can be worth it to stand with your creep wave rather than trying to retreat if you’re getting ganked by Leshrac with Edict turned on. You’d be surprised how little damage Edict does when it’s diffused among 6 units.
  • Don’t glyph your structures until you see Leshrac turn on his Edict if he’s solo pushing your towers.

Lich

  • Sacrifice should be the first thing you level and you should immediately eat a creep at 0:00 (ideally your mid’s, if they can take advantage of it) and another one when the spell comes off CD. A lot of people say you should eat the first ranged creep because it’ll slow down the lane push, but I like eating a melee creep. A ranged creep gives 41 exp and a melee creep gives 62 exp. It takes 200 exp to get to level 2 and a 20 exp difference is significant at such an early stage in the game. Yeah, it’ll help balance the lane on your side if you take the first ranged creep… but so does killing off one creep in general.
  • Sacrifice does not count as a deny (unlike Enigma’s Demonic Conversion), but rather it’s as if the creep never existed. Thus, enemies don’t get half exp from the creep, they get none. A ~60 exp loss per wave adds up quickly and allows you to be significantly more aggressive as the laning phase progresses.
  • You can cast Ice Armor on creeps. If you’re trying to help out on a push, start slapping Ice Armor on all your frontline creeps to slow the enemy’s melee creeps and buff up your own.
  • Chain Frost has a ministun on the very first target it hits. If you see Sand King headbanging, it can be worth using your Chain Frost on him to stop his channel. Similarly, it can be worth using Chain Frost on an enemy BKB’d carry that’s trying to TP out of an ill-fated farming adventure since the stun goes through BKB. Don’t worry about the slow projectile speed, the stun is triggered as soon as you cast, not when it hits.

Versus

  • Ice Armor only slows you if you’re melee. If you have a ranged carry on your team, let them take care of Ice Armored heroes if possible.
  • You’re losing out on a lot of experience per wave if you’re laning against Lich. The enemies will likely hit 6 significantly before you do.

Lifestealer

  • A formerly less common tip before Naix started getting picked in every pro game, but like Juggernaut, you can TP while Raged. If you’re TPing back to base and you have at least 150 mana (75 for Rage, 75 for the TP) there are very few situations in which you shouldn’t use this.
  • So you got caught out and now you’re being slowly escorted down the lane by five enemy heroes while you’re playing Temple Run inside one of their ranged creeps (always Infest the enemy ranged creep when in this situation, it’ll take the longest time to die naturally). Use the aforementioned tip. Wait for Rage to come off CD and pop it the second you bust out and try to TP.
  • Learn how to choke-point jungle if you’re going to jungle with him. Naix is one of the best to do it with.
  • Don’t initiate a teamfight with Open Wounds. This skill is your free Satanic. When you’re about to die, crack Pudge open like a coconut and drink his blood. The slow is useful in 1v1 situations, but the 30% lifesteal is invaluable in teamfights.

Versus

  • OH MASTA, LOOK AT ALL THESE SUPPORTS KITING ME. Ghost Scepter, Force Staff, Blink Dagger and Shiva’s Guard are all great pickups against a Naix. As is a TP scroll if he hasn’t gotten a Basher yet.
  • If you have a lot of HP, stay away from him. Lifestealer likes killing people, but he also like stealing life. I’ll gladly get kited by Luna if it means that I can paw at the nearby Centaur Warrunner a few times to get me up to half HP.
  • It’s okay to stack stuns on Naix, mainly because Rage has no cast time. As a result, he’ll probably be able to get out of most situations unless your dad is ChrisC.
  • Every initiator becomes twice as fearsome when Naix is on the enemy team. Storm Spirit, Clockwerk, Batrider, Wisp, Nature’s Prophet, etc, are all Mk. IV Naix Bombers. Even other units like the Spirit Bear, Beastmaster Hawk, Brood Spiders, Lycan Wolves, Visage Familiars, etc, all become things to fear.

Lina

  • While she has a terrible auto-attack animation, she has ludicrous range. Few heroes can trade hits with you, despite your pizza spinning auto attack (idea: PM anuxi about toque blanche cosmetic. Lore-wise… Crystal Maiden = gazpacho chef?).
  • Laguna Blade has a stupid short CD for how effective it is at 6. Abuse it.
  • It’s okay to blow a few spells to keep Fiery Soul stacks up. Once you have a high enough mana regen, you can keep yourself at Sanic speeds by alternating between Dragon Slave and LSA. Build up stacks in the fountain before a TP or use them on nothing to speed up an escape.

Versus

  • You thought you were smart picking up that Ghost Scepter against Naix, didn’t you? “WTF HOW DID YOU GUYS DIE? LINA ALWAYS FREAKING FOCUSES ME.”

Lion

  • Stop ground targeting Earth Spike when you don’t have to, you ass. Icefrog’s such a nice guy, he gives you a mostly guaranteed targeting system for free. There is a special circle in hell for Lions who skillshot and whiff Earth Spike on single targets. Probably one that they can’t get out of and back to and back from and back again.
  • Common knowledge, but you can Mana Drain enemy ranged creeps and several jungle creeps.
  • Time your Mana Drains on enemy heroes in lane with last hits. If one of your creeps is about to die, start Draining. Either they go for the last hit and lose a bunch of mana, or immediately back off and lose the last hit.
  • Hex and Mana Drain are simple spells that quickly kill Illusions. Early game this isn’t really relevant, but when Naga or Spectre start getting fat, this can be useful.
  • I’m not done talking about Mana Drain. This spell is some serious bullshit now and people are still skipping it because of its reputation. Between Tranquil Boots and Mana Drain, Lion pretty much never needs to go back to the fountain. Yes, I’ve even been taking it to level 4 lately with much success. Lion’s right click damage is negligible, so what do you do after you SPIIIIIIIIKE and Hex? You start sucking the mana right out of Tiny’s dick is what you do. Either someone has to waste a stun on you to stop your channel, or they have to run back 1100 units so they don’t lose 480 mana in 4 seconds.
  • If you a feel a teamfight coming on, keep casting and canceling Hex on their initiator. Hexes have 0 cast time and the second they come into range, the spell will get cast. If you’re worried about Magnus RPing your team, group up all juicy-like and bait the blink, then Frogitize him, Cap’n.

Versus

  • Always be afraid of this guy. He can kill you with relative ease makes crushing rocks seem such a breeze and can lock you down for ages. If you see him suddenly start walking towards you, he’s probably gearing up to finger your butthole or setting up for a gank.

Lone Druid

  • Swap into Druid form if: You’re healing HP (you’re healing a larger percentage of your HP in Druid form), you’re running back or from base or running around from camp to camp in the jungle (you have higher MS in Druid form), or you’re trying for pro jukes (you can dodge stuns/attacks while you’re Transforming). Swap into Bear form if: Nearly everything else.
  • Don’t be afraid of letting your Spirit Bear wander away from you. Use it to draw aggro from an incoming creep wave, stack jungle camps/ancients while you’re freefarming, go shopping for you, go back to the Fountain to heal, burn down a creep wave or enemy jungle camp from across the map with Radiance, give a good position for Tinker to TP into, play Chinese Checkers with Death Prophet, or just scout for you.
  • If your Spirit Bear just died and you’re on the losing end of a team fight, don’t just cast it again in the hopes that you can turn the fight around. Save it for when you respawn.
  • Hold on to your skill point for your level 4 Spirit Bear until you get into a skirmish. Entangle has a 5s cooldown and lasts for 3 seconds on a hero. When you skill up the bear its cooldowns are refreshed, making it possible to potentially double-entangle your target.
  • At a certain point in the game, you become just as chufty (TM Vysetron) as your Spirit Bear. Keep the Radiance on the Bear, but put the AC and Mjollnir on your hero. Basher is dealer’s choice. Not only is it less of a loss if your bear dies or it’s on CD but you’re also dealing more damage than your bear at this point.
  • Keep your Midas on the Bear, use the Midas on the hero. You won’t benefit from the XP multiplier on Midas if you use it from the Bear.

Versus

  • Shake that bear. If Sylla is being annoying with the Spirit Bear, damage it. If you see that the Spirit Bear suddenly has full HP, it’s a great time to kill Sylla since he probably just spawned a fresh one. If you manage to get him Bearless in lane, you just murdered his early game. If you manage to get him Bearless before a push, you get a tower for free.
  • Killing the Spirit Bear will damage Lone Druid significantly. Sylla doesn’t have much HP when he’s not in True Form and killing his level 4 Spirit Bear will deal 400 damage to him.
  • LD is one of those heroes that allows for easy level 1 Rosh attempts. If you see him and Ursa, Lich, Skeleton King, VS or a lot of other heroes, be sure to police the Rosh pit when you spawn.

Luna

  • Yah’re noot getting’ a Helm farr the Lifesteal. Yah’re getting’ it soo you can take a creep, send it t’ the Ancients, and wolk oot a minute laytar with six hoondred gold and 2 levahls.
  • Ehclipse is married ta’ Loocent Beeem. If fahr suhm reeason yuh’re keepin’ Loocent Beem at low levuhls, Ehclipse is gooin’ ta’ be yoosless, yah pouf.
  • Ehclipse doesn’t continu’ aftar ya’ die, so doon’t uuse it if yah’re gettin’ ganked joost causz yah’re a wee bit pehssd that ya got cought.
  • Ehclipse has a fahrly loong cast tiyme. It’s oookay t’ cast it earlier than ya need it joost soo you can ge’ i’ off befahr gettin’ poorma-stooned.

Versus

  • Luna has the highest base move speed in the game, so as tempting as it can be to tap that ass, it’s typically not a smart idea. Especially if she’s 6 and Eclipse is up and running.
  • Once your tier 3 tower goes down, get ready to enter Glaive City. Not only will this damage everything in sight but there is a high probability that your Blink Dagger is going to get disabled from an errant glaive. I can’t tell you how many failed Epicenters and Ravages I’ve witnessed from 1200 units away from a rax. Three. I’ve seen three.

Lycan

  • Wolves are quite possibly the strongest scouting tool in the game. Once they hit 4 you have two 460 move speed, permanently invisible, 55 second observer wards on demand. Use this to scout, check/kill runes, block/stack camps, body block targets, and most importantly, follow around high priority targets. If you want them to quietly hunt someone, issue a follow command. Press (default) M+left click on a hero. Your wolf will tail your target but never attack and break invisibility. However, be aware that when the duration of the wolf ends, the enemy hero will suddenly see a wolf keel over and die next to him, possibly compromising your sneakiness.
  • Howl is a game changing skill that is used terribly in pubs. This ain’t just a “Oh shit Lycan isn’t as strong as he used to be and I need to use this skill to solo Rosh” skill. This is a “12 second Drow aura on steroids every half minute” skill. At level 4 you’re handing a Demon Edge to every allied hero on the map. Pay attention to what your team is doing on the map and use it to help them even if you’re not there. Pair it up with a Brood or Furion to buff their creeps, or with a Battle Trance for mad deeps.

Versus

  • Lycan’s wolves still deal as much damage as ever before, but now they’re incredibly squishy. They don’t drop as high a bounty as a Familiar, but it’s still worth killing them.
  • Pay attention to when the enemy team is Howl’d. Not only can you not trade hits with them now, but it can be a good signal that Lycan is Roshing.
  • Nowadays Lycan only gets picked if someone randoms him. Be aware that a Lycan with random gold can get just as deadly in the jungle as 6.74 Lycan was without random gold. Except now it only takes like 30 seconds of you peeking around to completely dick up his jungle.

Magnus

  • Ranged allies are still benefitting from the bonus damage from Empower. Unfortunately, you’ll never be able to give Luna cleavage.
  • Skewer only goes as far as you click if you’re not maxing out the range. I know you’re really excited that you actually landed a 3-man RP… now just pan the camera a bit and you’re made.
  • No one is forcing you to use Skewer to drag enemies all willy nilly or use it only before RP. You can also use it at close range mid-gank to inject a 40% slow with your horn, or use it to destroy a treeline to help your team close a gap.
  • When Skewering to escape, don’t freaking carpool with the people who are ganking you. It’s smart to go past cliffs with Skewer, but it’s dumb if you’re bringing the TA and Tide with you. Choose a Skewer destination that is not only far, but also at an angle that won’t drag undesirables along for the ride.
  • It’s pretty easy to tell when you’re about to whiff your RP, so cancel that shit. Not only will this boggle the enemy minds (‘DID HE USE IT? I THINK HE USED IT. HAHA HE MIS… FUCK’), but it saves you the trouble of loading up sadtrombone.wav in your head.

Versus

  • When you’re mid against Mag, it’s obvious when he’s trying to push the lane so that he can get the rune. He’s going to auto attack all the creeps a bit and then he’s going to Shockwave at a very predictable angle. There isn’t much you can do to stop this (other than harassing him hard), but at least don’t get hit by the Shockwave. It wasn’t even meant for you.
  • RP is one of those skills that’s worth keeping track of, mainly because it’s a stupid powerful ult, but also because it has a pretty easy to remember CD of ~2 minutes (120s, 110s, 100s). People think you’re next level when you write down the Rosh timer, people will think you’re next next level if you start writing down cooldowns.

Medusa

  • Even if you’re hitting a single target but Split Shot is toggled on, you’re still taking the damage nerf. Stop taking Rosh or pushing creepless towers with Split Shot on.
  • The way the damage scales on Mystic Snake is opposite of Fade Bolt. You’re gaining damage for each target hit, not losing it. Don’t shoot the Snake directly at the enemy hero in lane.
  • “Damn, I really wished I had Mana Shield turned off before that gank,” said no Medusa ever. At a certain point in the game (read: after the laning phase) there are very few reasons to ever have Mana Shield turned off.
  • Think of Stone Gaze as a big ole’ AoE Diffusal Blade with a free AS slow. Anything a Diffy does, Dusa’s doing (except instagibbing Warlock Infernals).

Versus

  • If you don’t know where Medusa is in the first 2 minutes of the game, then you know exactly where Medusa is. The ancient strat is cute, but also pretty simple to counter. You got the “Put a ward to block the camp,” the “sentry her ward so she doesn’t know what to do,” the old “sit around and intermittently harass her so she can’t decide if you’ve left her alone yet or not,” and the classic “bring 3 heroes in to waste her and then take her stacks.”
  • If you don’t know where Medusa is in the next 40 minutes of the game, then you know exactly why Medusa isn’t a popular hero. If you can’t beat the enemies 4v5 in the midgame, then you weren’t going to beat them anyway.
  • When a Mystic Snake gets tossed out on the lane ask yourself, “Would Fade Bolt be able to jump to me from here?” If you said yes, then you probably already got hit by it.

Meepo

  • So you randomed Meepo and you’re too much of a stubborn bastard to repick. Here’s the basic guide to not being worthless as Mappo in teamfights, even with your perfect micro skills. Step 1: Figure out what your “Control Group Tab” button is in the options. Step 2: Figure out what your Q button is. It’s probably Q. Step 3: Start mashing these two keys while left-clicking all over the teamfight. Step 4: Huge binds on the targets you didn’t want to hit. This guide is incompatible with Legacy Keys.
  • No, Meepo doesn’t have some sort of extra respawn timer reverse Bloodstone debuff, you’re just leveling 2x,3x, 4x, 5x faster than everyone else on the map. If you get caught, you can start eating that sandwich that you made before the match was found.
  • Each Meepo is counting as a hero to split XP. If you have 3 Meeps and 1 Dazzle in the lane, Meepo is getting 75% of the experience, even though there are technically 2 heroes there.
  • When fountain diving, be sure to make liberal use of the use the A+click on an ally (in this case, another Meepu) to drop fountain aggro.
  • The only reason your whole entourage should be in the fountain is if you just respawned, otherwise there should always be at least one Meepo out on the map. If they all need heals, just rotate them in and keep one somewhere safe in the jungle.
  • If you don’t have the micro. micro. micro OPA micro skills for the Blink to Superpoof combo, consider getting a Shadow Blade to do it. Just sneak up to a hero while invis, then Poof in Turtle, Drama, and E for surprise Meepo intercourse.
  • You can Poof to illusions owned by you. Yet another trick that I don’t find particularly useful, but I didn’t want to see “ur tips suk tsumni u dint even say u can alsoe poof too illus” 10 times in my inbox.

Versus

  • Do you really need tips on how to counter Meepo? Everyone instantly counterpicks him for no reason anyway. All I got for you is: Pay attention on the arc on Earthbind to try to guess how to juke it.

Mirana

  • You’re only getting the second Starstorm hit on a target if it’s in 175 range of you. So no, you didn’t get unlucky, you just suck at positioning.
  • The idea behind landing consistent arrows is trying to throw them in a way that gives you a large window to hit a target. If you’re tossing out arrows that are 90 degrees opposite your target, you’re giving yourself a very small frame for the arrow to hit. It can be smart to sacrifice some time of the target running to give yourself a more forgiving/parallel angle. However, it’s entirely possible that this is all flowery bullshit because I am, in fact, a terrible Mirana.
  • The more realistic idea behind landing consistent arrows is pairing it with other stuns.
  • Mirana is PotM. Of all the nicknames for DotA heroes I had to learn, this one took me the longest to figure out because I kept thinking it meant Pirates of the Meridian.

Versus

  • If there’s a Mirana on the enemy team, treat her like a Pudge as far as movement and positioning is concerned. Hug creeps, don’t stand still, and abuse your teammates for being arrow magnets.
  • Moonlight Shadow lasts 15 seconds. That’s an eternity in Dota time. While I have yet to see a Mirana ever use this effectively, I fear one day that I will finally be matched against a 5 stack in which someone mains Mirana. And I will commend them if they can use this clearly amazing skill effectively.
  • If you Silence an enemy hero who is Moonlight Shadow’d, they won’t be able to turn invisible.

Morphling

  • Use Waveform to travel between and damage two jungle camps at the same time. You may think this is a worthless tip, but this guy needs all the help he can get at this point.
  • Replicate has very generous range. Use this not only to make Replicas of enemies from far away during teamfights, but use it as a gap closer during ganks (create a Replica, immediately take its position, you are now in Void’s ass) or as an escape when getting ganked.
  • When using a Replica to escape, treat it like an Illusory Orb. Let your hero walk in one direction and let the Replica go the opposite direction. Doesn’t matter which one the enemies commit to, you’re gold ponyboy.
  • Replicas do 50% damage. A 50% damage Agh Tiny still hurts like crazy, whether he’s the enemy or your ally. Find the highest damage dealer in the map and Replicate them for a teamfight. Replicas also take 100% damage. A 100% HP Centaur takes an eternity to kill. If the highest damage dealer in the map is also someone who gets iced out in moments (i.e. Clinkz), then try to go for the tankiest.
  • You can Morph STR/AGI while stunned/disabled. What’s up with that? Dude needs a nerf if you ask me.

Versus

  • You need to have nukes if you want to kill Morph. He’s in a perma-Armlet toggle state at a certain point in the game with STR Morph.
  • “Dude, Naix is in our jungle. Yeah he’s by himself, let’s get him. FIEND’S GRIP, REVERSE POLARITY, OH NO IT’S A REPLICATE WE’VE BEEN DUPED.” Don’t let this happen to you. You will get submitted to Fails of the Week and Suns & Co. will have to watch it and delete it.
  • If Morph went E-Blade, he’s probably roaming around with low strength, making him a prime candidate for a good old fashioned Nyxing. Good Nyxers include: Nyx, Nyx, Nyx, Wisp+Anyone but mainly Wisp+Nyx, Nyx, and Dagon 5 + Sheepstick Furion.

Naga Siren

  • Mirror Image can remove all the debuffs that a Manta would (besides Silences, obviously). Look at the lane you’re up against to see if an early Mirror Image could save your skin (like for Open Wounds or Grave Chill). Mirror Image’s split time also allows you to be invulnerable when projectile spells like Skeleton King or Sven’s stuns hit.
  • Send a unified move command (look in your options to find out what the key modifier is, by default it’s CTRL) after you split otherwise it’s super obvious which Naga Naga Naga Naga is 100% Naga. Or if you’re a fan of Mindgamez™, send a lone illusion out from the school and act nonchalant while the enemies gun it down.
  • After you hit 6 and you’re quietly farming, you should always try to keep at least 175 mana. 100 for the Song, 75 for the TP. Any extra GPM that you would have theoretically gained with your Rip Tiding Mirror Images will likely get wiped if you get ganked.
  • Although couriers possess an unparalleled understanding on the intricacies of space and time, they are like dolphins and get caught in those six-pack plastic can things all the time. Ensnare will bind both walking and flying couriers. There’s a Douglas Adams joke to be made somewhere in here but I can’t find it.
  • If you aren’t partied up in a 5 stack, just use your ult defensively. “Buuuut moooom, all the other heroes get to press R in a teamfight.” “Maybe when you’re older, Slithice. Why can’t you be like that nice boy Wisp and use your ult situationally?”
  • You didn’t listen to me, did you. You used it. You used it specifically after I told you not to. See, Naga, this is why we can’t trust you… Now look. Everyone is shuffling around awkwardly on your team because they’re both seething with rage and because they can’t tell if you want to commit to this failed fight or not. Hey. Hey, it’s okay. Look, I’m sorry I got mad. Just press R again. Yeah that’s right, you got it. You can cancel your ult. You can just act like it was a misclick. But it wasn’t a misclick. You wanted to press R. Now you get to press it twice.
  • So you took my advice and you found 4 people to stack with just so you can use Song of the Siren. We’re so proud of you, Slithice. Now I’ll let /u/meill fill you in on what you can do with it.
  • Enemy structures are invulnerable during Song, but allied structures aren’t. This allows you to get uncontestable and rage inducing denies on towers. Though if you’re TPing in to kill one, start singing beforeyou TP (not during, not after). You don’t realize how long Naga’s cast times are until you get Multicasted in the mouth.
  • Roshan is deaf. Sing near Rosh to quickly steal the kill+Aegis from the enemy, or to allow you to finish Rosh without the enemy team forming a mosh pit in the Rosh pit. Too easy, I don’t feel good about that one.
  • There aren’t many situations in which you want to use all 7 seconds of your ult. If you catch someone out with it, cancel it as soon as people are in position rather than buying the enemy team even more time to get over there.
  • If an enemy activated a BKB in a team fight and there aren’t any huge allied spells being thrown out, you can try to isolate them with Song. Sleep his team, kill the insomniac. This is also possible to do by offensively Repelling an enemy as Omniknight.

Versus

  • Be wary of activating BKB or Rage or Repel against Naga in a teamfight for the aforementioned reason.
  • Ensnare will break any channels, reveal you if you’re invis, disable you from blinking, and go through magic immunity. Yet despite all that you can somehow Houdini out of it by activating Ghost Scepter. I don’t understand this game.

Nature’s Prophet

  • Sprout gives flying vision for some reason. Like a huge radius of flying vision. A couple of stupid trees as tall as Nyx can see up cliffs while Visage’s Familiars can barely even SCOUT THE ROSH PIT WITHOUT HAVING TO FLY INTO IT AND GETTING KILLED IN TWO HITS BY THE ENEMY. Ahm… Use Sprout to scout enemies who are juking in a jungle, counter ward cliffs, or to get that last hit on the flying courier who just flew out of vision.
  • Target your Sprout during your TP animation. You’ll cast it as soon as you’re in range and have vision of the target, rather than fumbling around the moment you get there and inadvertently trapping your allied Night Stalker. The spell can be hero targeted, so you only rarely need to skillshot it (only when the enemy is magic immune, or you’re trying to guess where an invis hero went).
  • Carry a TP scroll. It makes it incredibly difficult for you to get punished for TPing in to snipe couriers, killing fleeing heroes, or pulling down a tower’s pants and backdooring it.
  • Half the reason why Shadow Blade is total bullshit on this guy is because 95% of the raising the roof animation for Teleport won’t break the invis.
  • You can use Teleportation to mindgame enemies. If you see your teammate is getting ganked, start casting a TP right on top of the enemies, even if you only have 10 HP, just to freak them out. The animation is pretty obvious and is long enough that you can cancel it even if you have the reflexes of a slow loris. I’m assuming slow lorises are slow. I mean, it takes that rice ball in that gif so slow.
  • When ganking in the early game, TP into hidden places like inside the side shop or behind the lane.
  • So you got caught out. No trubz, brah. Furion ain’t the king of bullshit for no reason. Step 1: Run away a little bit. Step 2: Cast Sprout on yourself (you can use double tap to self cast if it’s enabled) so no one can see you during your private time. Step 3: Double tap the TP hotkey to automatically target the fountain. Step 4: Do it all over again in 45 seconds because the enemy never learns.
  • If you’re TPing from the fountain to start pushing a lane, queue up a Nature’s Call on the nearest group of trees. You should be able to recoup most of the mana lost with residual Fountain regen.
  • In theory, turning a Sprout into Treants will help keep your enemy in place for an even longer period of time because of the Treants collision, but I’ve had like a 10% success rate with this.
  • Learn how his ult works and how to maximize the damage on high priority targets. I typically only cast it if I see heroes on the minimap and at least 2 lanes have creeps fighting at the moment.
  • Real talk? I hate this hero with a passion. No other hero has such a high discrepancy for success based on whether they’re on my team or not a.k.a. The Furion-Clinkz Postulate. I have incredibly low standards for a successful Furion on my team: Get the out of the jungle at any point in the early game, don’t push every lane at the same time making it impossible for the carry to farm, and don’t buy a Divine Rapier. Is that so much to ask?

Versus

  • QUELLING BLAAAAADE. Also Tangoes. Few spells can lose effectiveness so dramatically from such cheap items. If your ally is Sprouted, be a friend and use one of these to get them out. Learn which spells can break trees as well (mainly the not so obvious ones like Tether, Split Earth, Tombstone, etc). These can also come in handy to invade NP’s little home when he Sprouts himself to TP out. I will keep at least 1 Tango or my QB well into the mid game if there’s an enemy Prophet.
  • Keep a close eye on your courier and get it up and flying ASAP against an enemy Prophet.
  • If you see an ult bouncing around, back out of the lane to get out of vision and stay there for a few seconds. If you’re wondering how his ult just hit you in the middle of your jungle, either Riki is stalking you or they have a ward.
  • Save your stun/silence for the end of his TP animation. He ain’t going nowhere soon. Let him think that he’s going to get out while you’re whittling him down with auto attacks, then pop his ass at the buzzer.
  • Prophet faces in the direction that he’s TPing. While not always useful, if you see him Teleporting you can warn your teammates where he’s probably traveling to.

Necrolyte

  • My first tip is to make sure you’re not playing Warlock. Sam A. Mowry is probably a cool dude and all, but his voice range is… lacking. As a beginner, how was I supposed to know I needed to make more distinctions between heroes besides: Long gravely intonation, carries a staff, slow as fuck.
  • “Nah he’s dead, Death Pulse will kill him.” HAHAHAHA, no. Death Pulse never gets them. Death Pulse is about as reliable as the gold you get from Doom’s Devour. Always finish the kill either with Heartstopper, Scythe, or auto attacks.
  • People skip Heartstopper Aura because it pushes the lane. Oh does it? Does it really? Yes it does, it’s about one auto attack per every melee creep in the wave’s worth of damage at level 1. People also assume it’s worthless because they aren’t seeing a huge white chunk growing on the enemies HP bar. Heartstopper is the long con. Enemies will suddenly realize they have a strong urge to eat tangoes, the support will wonder how they’re losing so much HP every time they go to harass you, and every time you kill someone you can all chat “fartstopperd” so they think they got outplayed by a 12 year old. If you’re in an aggressive lane, you should definitely get at least one level of this spell. If you’re in a defensive lane, you should still consider it.
  • I do not like Agh on this guy one bit. Personally, I think the upgrade is Razor/Lion tier. In the most recentHDotD for Necrolyte /u/r_deschain makes a case for getting it. I suppose if you’re going against a double Heart Centaur then it’s a legitimate purchase, but I can’t think of any other hero who could ever hit 4k HP.In my opinion, you’re better off getting items like Rod or Shiva’s for tanking purposes and Dagon or Veil for buffing Scythe. Perhaps one day Icefrog will make the upgrade do Pure damage.
  • The stun on Reaper’s Scythe goes through BKB. That’s neat.

Versus

  • If you’re on the run from a potentially fatal Death Pulse, a cute tactic is to get the courier to use a Salve on you to bypass the brief cast time of popping open the flask and lathering up.
  • You need to make a move fast on Necro if you’re a Nyx/Clinkz/BH/Riki type of hero because of Heartstopper. The more time you wait for the perfect moment, the more McDonald’s Necro is pumping into your system.

Night Stalker

  • You don’t need to pop everything on one target. Silence the Lion, Void the Drow, then odd future wolf gangkill them all.
  • If you ever have more than 5 urn charges on this guy, you’re using urn wrong.
  • Avoid taking traditional ganking routes if you’re in high level games. You’re hella fast so you can sacrifice some running time in order to avoid walking into typically warded areas.
  • Use TPs liberally during night time. Show yourself in one lane, then TP to another once the wave dies. Then type, “I was top, but now I’m bot.” because you know that Sniper rage-typed that to his teammates in chat.
  • The first night will decide the rest of the game so try to be aggressive, but know your limits. If the enemy team is putting a lot of eggs in their PL basket then it’s okay to back off and farm their jungle. Then once they all leave, rape the basket.
  • Buy your own wards. I’m a stingy 1/2 player, but NS is one of the few mid heroes that I’ll buy my own wards with (the others being orb heroes like Viper or Clinkz). It takes no time at all to run into the enemy jungle to ward it up and you’ll make back the 150g in just one kill.
  • Leveling Darkness at 6 is situational. As long as you hit 7 or 8 before 9 minutes, you’ll still be able to use your ult twice in the first night.

Versus

  • When I first started playing, I couldn’t understand why NS took no goddamn damage from the tower. Then a year later I figured out what Armor does and that NS is essentially an M1 Abrams with occasional wings. Anyway, yesterday was an enlightening day.
  • You need to have fresh wards up by night one. Wards last 6 minutes long, the first night happens at 6:00. I don’t care what role you’re playing, I want to see a new Chen eyeball spinning around by 5:40.
  • Like against Bounty Hunter, if NS blows his stun early, try to TP out.

Nyx Assassin

  • Nyx gets the luxury of easy positioning that Lion doesn’t get, making multi hero Impales much simpler. Vendetta one hero and then target the Impale on the other hero. Since you’re in such close range to your first target, you will most likely nyx them both with the Impale.
  • Nyx was clearly the cool football captain in high school, which is why he hates nerds like OD and Silencer. Mana Burn does more raw damage on INT heroes, but mana is a much more expensive resource on STR and AGI heroes. Nyx wisely. Or not, because this skill has a 4 second CD at level 4.
  • Use Vendetta for the damage mid game, use it to get a good stun late game. The nuke is still useful, but people will have BKBs and be grouped up late game, making it a lot harder to fully nyx someone without getting stopped.
  • At level 16 Vendetta cooldown is the same as the duration. Try to make things happen during the tail end of the duration so that you can Vendetta out if things go poorly or to get a double Vendetta for maximum nyxing.
  • Oh boy, a hero where Dagon is core! That’s great. Upgrading it to Dagon 5 is not core. Unless you’re straight up nyxin’ outta control, you should probably work on a late game item after Dagon 1/2.
  • Be on the map as little as possible. The less time you spend nyxing around in lane, the less willing the enemies are to farm.
  • If you keep getting rolled by PL+KotLs, just plop Nyx solo in their lane and watch how quickly it all gets nyxed.
  • You can cast Vendetta while you’re channeling a TP. Nyx.

Versus

  • I can’t tell if it’s a bug or not, but you can tell when Nyx Vendettas, even in the fog. A lot of times you’ll see a blue flash in the fog near you. If so, prepare to get Nyxed.
  • Police your damage sources. Nyx can Carapace you off of Radiance burn, any DoT you put on him, and units you own that damaged him.
  • Try to bait out Carapace by casting and canceling spells with obvious animations (Split Earth, Thunder Clap, Shockwave, etc).
  • You need to bathe the map in sentry wards against Nyx. If you’re playing the 5 role, nearly every 200g should be spent on getting sentry wards during the mid game. Put them on choke points, behind towers, in the lane, in your jungle, in their jungle, on their ancient, inside their fountain. Everywhere.

Ogre Magi

  • Ogre can trade hits with the best of them in lane. Dude has ~6 armor to start and 587 HP. To give perspective, that’s about the EHP of a naked level 6 Crystal Maiden. Love the chuft, fear the chuft.
  • Each level of Ignite does more damage than Fireblast if it’s not Multicasted. Let that sink in for a bit.
  • At max Multicast, the range on Ignite is nearly the same as Blink Dagger range. This can be a really simple way to turn off an initiator’s Blink Dagger for 7 10 seconds.
  • An early level in Bloodlust can be a big deal. 10% movement speed can very easily turn around or secure a gank. Also, Orb of Venom, amirite guyz lolol.
  • Once you’re level 16, you should be butter churning Bloodlust into every allied unit on the map if you have the mana. Heroes, creeps, Silly’s Bear, siege creeps, …Beastmaster’s Hawk.
  • Veil is straight dope on this guy. At maxed Multicast you should be able to whip out 3 amplified Fireblasts on a target during its duration. Plus OM is an INT hero for some reason, so Veil will also buff your right click.
  • I’ve been avoiding putting skill builds in these tips because they’re almost always situational and dependent on playstyle, but I would like to posit that taking Multicast at 6 is not always necessary. Multicast kicks up Fireblast’s mana cost by 30, whether or not you proc it (and raises his skill cap amirite guyz lolol). Ogre has some significant mana issues in the early game, and 30 extra mana per Fireblast adds up quickly. In games where I’m struggling to even finish my boots, I find maxing Ignite, then Fireblast, with one level in Bloodlust, and Multicast at 10 and 11, to be more useful. tsunami pls disband.

Versus

  • Even though running’s not as fun as hitting, Ogre is a chaser extraordinaire. Between a +16% MS Bloodlust, -26% MS Ignite, and of course a 2.4s 4x Multicast’d Fireblast stun, you better hope that you have fog galore to exploit and watch him kiss his club and never be able to get the stun off.

Omniknight

  • Purification has an extremely long cast animation, but you can use this to your advantage in lane. Most melee heroes will immediately back off a last hit if they see Omni start Tebowing. So cast n’ cancel.
  • It boggles my dick as to why so many Omniknights are chronically stingy with Repel. More often than not I’ll see Omnis following around an ally in sketchy territory who inevitably gets caught out and stunned and then they’re all “Oh wait, I have a spell to stop that from happening.” SPAM IT. If you’re sitting around babysitting a carry in lane and everyone is off the map, use it. If you’re going into dangerous areas to ward, use it. If you envision some sort of 3600 range initiation possibly happening when the two teams are toeing off, use it. You get 12 Omniscient seconds of magic immunity for 50 mana. If your ally is retarded and doesn’t reposition themselves at the end of the duration they deserve to get punished for the two seconds before it comes off CD again. Yes, it’s great if you can get enemies to waste their stuns and then Repel them off, but most of the time your allies will get killed first because you needed to compensate for that Laguna Blade damage by Purifying before Repelling.
  • One of the few uses of offensive Repels is to purge off enemy runes or spells like Surge. Also useful when used in conjunction with Naga sleep. Other than that, you misclicked and you should feel bad.
  • Use Guardian Angel more like a Mek than Shallow Grave. There’s no reason you can’t start getting dat Omniscient love with your team once they’re all at half HP, rather than in Culling Blade range.
  • Omniscience is core for fountain diving. GA will completely negate any damage from the fountain machine gun.

Versus

  • Probably the best hero in the game to get a Diffusal Blade against. Lifestealer running away with a sliver of health and Guardian Angel? Purge it. Storm Spirit being an annoying asshole and diving in 2 tiers deep because he’s Repelled? HeyyyyloeverybodythisisPurge it. The fact that Omni is also worthless if you burn off all his mana is just gravy.
  • Rubick’s wet dream. “Oh I better cast something before Rubick steals Guardian Angel… but I don’t want him getting Repel. Wait, shit, I don’t want him getting Purification either.”
  • Eul’s, Invoker’s Tornado, Medusa’s Stone Gaze, and Storm Panda’s Cyclone (and obviously Purge) can also dispel GA. Someone in the comments will likely call me out and add any that I’m forgetting.
  • When he pops a Soul Ring, start sweatin’. WOO. Especially in lane, as either mid has come to gank or he wants to Purify you in the mouth.

Outworld/Obsidian Destroyer/Demolisher/Devourer

  • Once you hit ~1100 mana, you can start safely autocasting Arcane Orb with impunity if you have maxed Essence Aura.
  • Stack your Imprisonments on the same target, especially if they are INT heroes since it’ll cut their right click damage. It’s also okay to also stack Imprisonments on heroes with high-cost spells, like Tiny and Pudge, so they are too dumb to cast anything.
  • Time Imprisonments right before the enemy goes for a last hit. Supposedly, if a creep was denied while an enemy was Imprisoned in War3 DotA they wouldn’t gain any experience at all, but that doesn’t seem to be the case in Dota 2. Either way, it’s super annoying to get Harbinged right before killing a creep.
  • Try to pull off an Imprisonment on an enemy before using your ult. At level 16, one Imprisonment should give you an extra ~200 magical damage on that target and ~100 extra damage on everyone else. Just make sure you’re not Imprisoning a high priority target that needed to get RP Skewered.
  • You want to use Sanity’s Eclipse as early in a teamfight as possible so that you can actually take advantage of the fat mana burn on some heroes. WHOA IT HAS A MANA BURN? It has a mana burn.
  • There was some post a while back that had a INT/Cost spreadsheet, but I can’t find it now. In any case, the core information was that Rod is the bomb diggity on OD.
  • Refresher beats Agh in both giving you a stronger right click and in buffing Sanity’s Eclipse. That being said, you probably shouldn’t be going for either of these unless you’re in a 70 minute game or against 5 strength heroes.

Versus

  • Nyx nyx nyx nyx. Mana Burn is the most anti-OD spell in the game.
  • Pugna pugna pugna pugna. Nether Ward is the second most anti-OD spell in the game.
  • Bkb bkb bkb bkb. Magic immunity is the most anti-OD state in the game.

Phantom Assassin

  • Understanding the ins and outs of the Stifling Dagger are critical to not getting demolished in lane. Learn the projectile’s travel times, be able to accurately estimate the damage of the dagger at each level on creeps, and practice timing right clicks+melee range Daggers to make it impossible to deny you.
  • Like Wisp, always be on the lookout for allied units to Phantom Strike to when you’re trying to escape.
  • Please get one level in Blur early. Pretty please.
  • Coup de Grâce makes it incredibly frustrating to grab CS while pushing, so take down the creeps that are being focused the least when the waves clash (ranged creep first, then that one melee creep that was late to the party, then that’s about it).
  • Don’t listen to her lies. While Mortred may claim to be an immaterial girl, she’s high maintenance, requires a lot of attention, useless unless you shower her in items, and she tells all the other sisters of the veil that you two aren’t dating because of your small penis.

Versus

  • PA has a pretty awful lane presence, so this blurry bitch will be taking a lot of last hits with Dagger to avoid harassment. A Magic Stick may be a good investment if you’re doing a good job zoning her out.
  • Stifling Dagger gives vision while it travels and once it reaches its destination. This can make Blink escapessomewhat unreliable.
  • If you’re a carry, get a MKB. If you’re a support, get a Ghost Scepter. If you’re tanky, get a Blade Mail.

Phantom Lancer

  • When Spirit Lancing in lane, Soul Ring in the fog or when you’re already in range to Lance, otherwise you’ll probably be forced to use it on the poor ranged creep 9 seconds later.
  • Use Doppelwalk offensively. The movespeed is useful for gap closing if Spirit Lance and Diffusal Purge aren’t cutting it. The invis is a very effective way to go all Riki on someone’s ass in the late game.
  • Use Doppelwalk defensively. If you see Pudge standing around in the jungle waiting for you to go in for a last hit, give him what he wants. Play dumb, yet convincing, with a micro’d Doppel to bait out an initiation.
  • When you know you’re being watching, you should never make it clear that you’ve deserted your squad. If you’re farming in lane and you see the enemies start to close in on you, Doppelwalk before walking backwards. If you’re in too deep in a teamfight, just act natural and stay with your army until you get a good moment to Doppel in a fresh recruit.
  • If you die after you have a Diffusal in the mid game, it better be because the entire enemy team smoked up and seeded the entire lane with sentry wards. Unless they have a Gem or Necro 3, you should be able to Purge off any detection (Dust, Track, Amplify Damage) and the movespeed buff from Doppelwalk should be enough to get out of most half baked ganks.
  • Once again, as with nearly every invis spell/item, you can cast Doppelwalk while you’re TPing. However, this is exceptionally useful on PL since a lot of newbies will just assume you broke the TP channel when they see your Doppel keep walking.
  • If you like taking Juxtapose early for some reason, use it intelligently. On the off chance that you do proc one randomly in lane, use it to: Serve as a 20s ward in the jungle, stack or pull a camp, harass an enemy, and if nothing else, use it to help last hit.
  • You should rarely be pushing along with your army in the early/mid game. Most of the time you want to push the lane until you hit the stairs to the river, sub in a fresh Doppel to serve as Lieutenant, and then go jungle. Eventually someone from the enemy team will freak out and come running to stop the push, bring the creep equilibrium back to your tower, and you walk out with the PL Jungle Corps and drive them back. Rinse and repeat.
  • Constantly be sending out unified commands (usually generic attack+move commands on the minimap). Every second that a PL illusion stands around doing nothing, Icefrog kills a Baby Roshan.
  • If you see the enemy team mobilizing on your army, start microing one illusion and move it out. Ults will be used, dusts will be dropped, rage will be had, and tears will be delicious.

Versus

  • When you’re laning against or you’re a mid ganking PL, get sentries and/or dust before ~7 minutes. PLs frequently put themselves in death territory early on with tons of Soul Ring sacrifices because they assume that no one will ever get detection in lane.
  • Lancer’s success is almost entirely dependent on split pushing you into submission. The sooner your team starts playing five man Dotes and pushing down towers, the better. This is also because…
  • PL is a subpar teamfighting carry. In teamfights a lot of high damage AoE spells are being tossed out, making it impossible for him to get an army up and running. Mr. 4.2’s STR gain is still pretty poor, making his illusions paper against spells until he gets a Heart up. Ergo, the more teamfights you can force, the better.

Puck

  • Illusory Orb is your main escape before you get your Blink Dagger. The second you toss out an Orb to damage some creeps, your fairie dragon ass starts looking much tastier to kill. This is most relevant when you’re in the mid lane and you’re trying to push the wave to get the rune. Only use the orb if you’re confident that you can’t get nuked down in the next ~10s. Else, you’re monkey food if you don’t leave.
  • Thought you could hide from me, eh? Illusory Orb gives a huge amount of flying vision. Not only does it give vision around the Orb itself, but the vision lingers for a few seconds along its path as well. Use it for scouting, shutting down juking, finishing off couriers. You know the drill.
  • There are three main ways to Jaunt the full distance reliably. Either you watch for the Orb to turn red, learn how the sound effect of the Orb, or use the Orb’s spell icon as a clock. The Orb travels for 3 seconds, so Jaunt in right before the spell cooldown timer hits 9. Or you can just count to 3. Yeah… yeah!
  • When you’re on the run, toss an Orb in one direction and continue walking in another direction. If they commit to the Orb, don’t Jaunt, if they commit to you, keep walking. If the enemies are really starting to tick you off, you can also sit and wait in Phase Shift while the Orb travels.
  • You can shift+queue while Phase Shifted to perform actions once the channel ends. However, you usually want to break the Phase Shift channel, rather than shift+queue because…
  • Puck can completely avoid spells like Rot or Ice Path and even insta-cast spells like Hexes while Phase Shifted as long as you blink in the direction you were facing before you Phase Shifted AND if you don’t shift-queue. If you try to blink in a different direction, you’ll spend too much time turning around after Phase Shift and If you shift-queue, spells like Rot and Ice Path will still hit you. Whoo! That was tooooo close.
  • You’re not getting away that easy. Dream Coil has a brief initial stun when you cast it, making it useful to break TP channels or channeling skills.
  • You only need to cast Phase Shift to disjoint things, you don’t need to complete the channel. If a tower shot is about to pound you, just tap Phase Shift and keep moving. Thanks Phase Shift, I thought they had me.

Versus

  • As soon as the Orb comes out, start looking for the kill. Puck may be hard to lock down, but Orb being on cooldown halves this hero’s survivability in the early game.
  • Illusory Orb travels for three seconds. Most stuns last ~2 seconds. Save your stun for around 1 second after an enemy Puck tosses out an Orb. If they Jaunt within that second, they didn’t get very far anyway so whatever.
  • Playing against Puck mid is all about baiting out useless Phase Shifts. Animation canceling is usually the easiest way, but smart Pucks ain’t about that cancel lyfe and won’t get scared by your Magnus practicing lacrosse with Shockwave canceling. So just wait for them to use Phase Shift for some other reason (tower shots, creep aggro) or try to bait it by tossing out a less important spell (Shadow Strike is the textbook example) or an auto-attack.
  • Dream Coil always lasts for 6 seconds, unless Scepter’d. All I can say about this is every time I see a pro player predict the timing and walk out of the break AoE the moment the Coil ends, I jizz in my pants.
  • You can break out of the Coil without getting stunned with spells like Waveform or Ball Lightning. You can Blink out as well, but you’ll take the damage and be stunned when you land.

Pudge

  • Fact: Meat Hook goes through siege creeps. Fact: The only way anyone ever learns this is because they once got hooked while sitting next to a siege creep they thought they could trust. Fact: People have terrible memories and will forget about this interaction.
  • You can Hook units that are Cycloned. They won’t take any damage, but you will change their position.
  • Who needs /dance when you can spam cancel your Hook animation and watch enemies do the Electric Slide trying to dodge it.
  • Arguably the most reliable way of predicting enemy movement for Hooks during the laning phase is to watch for last hits. While you’re hiding, watch the HP of your creeps and wait for the enemy to pick up the last hit. The knowledge of where they will be plus their attack animation should be enough to land a Hook fairly easily.
  • It’s possible to have someone Dismembered but not in Rot range, so turn off Rot if you’re not seeing their HP steadily trickle down.
  • You can Salve up through the first few levels of Rot without it being dispelled. This applies to Pudge himself and any enemies he’s Rotting.
  • Typically, the only successful intentional Rot denies I’ve seen is when a Pudge starts Rotting when they’re ~1 auto attack away from death. Other than that, it’s always LUCKY BULLSHIT.
  • Spam toggle Rot to keep the slow on a target, but take minimal damage. Supposedly this is a bug, but until it gets fixed you can keep pee shivering while chasing.
  • Walking up to a hero and Dismembering them without Hooking them is like getting body shots as a Sniper in TF2. No one will respect you, but who gives a shit.
  • Practice targeting Dismember while an enemy is getting Hooked to give enemies as little time to react as possible and to ensure you ult them in the Rot radius.
  • When Roshing, don’t use Dismember unless you’re absolutely safe. It’s a huge red flag for the enemy team that Pudge is off enjoying some fresh meat (the sound is global every time you cast it) despite the fact there is no hero on the map getting Benihana’d.
  • Never let Rubick steal Meat Hook. Constantly be spamming Rot against a Rubick.
  • The Undisputed Heavyweight Illusion Rune Champion. No one likes getting illusion runes, but on Pudge, they’re great. Don’t have perfect micro skills? Of course you don’t, you’re playing Pudge. Get this, just plop a lone illusion the enemy’s end of the river staring at the creep wave. You just got so far deep into their mid’s head you could write his biography. While he’s sweating bullets on the opposite end of the wave, walk your real self over and land the easiest hook of your life.

Versus

  • Play the hero and read the tips. The best way to beat a Pudge is to become the Pudge. You put Pudge into a cup, he becomes the cup, you put Pudge into a teapot, he becomes the teapot. Be Pudge, my friend.

Pugna

  • Nether Blast damages towers and siege creeps. You don’t get bonus damage for engulfing the whole tower, which is what some Pugnas seem to think. Keep the tower on the edge of the Blast AoE and focus the majority of the Blast on the creep wave.
  • Nether Blast is an great spell to cast and cancel. The animation is extremely obvious, but the lack of any visual feedback makes it difficult for the enemy to tell if you canceled it or not. Eventually they’ll call your bluff, at which point you can start getting lazy with your Stop key.
  • You can Decrepify the Nether Ward, effectively making it invulnerable for 2-3.5s since it’s already magic immune.
  • Check yourself before you Decrep yourself. In a 1v1 situation you usually want to Decrep the enemy, when there are multiple enemies you usually want to Decrep yourself, when there is a teamfight, you should try to save your Decrep for your nether ward.
  • Unlike with Ghost Scepter, you CAN TP while Decrepified without it being dispelled.
  • Decrepify makes you immune to physical damage even from spells, such as Jugg’s Omnislash or Dazzle’s Shadow Wave.
  • Lane and neutral creeps will immediately drop aggro if you are Decrepified. If you’re sneaking behind enemy lines and a creep is following you, Decrepify yourself and he’ll lose interest. This is also extremely useful for tower dives if you’re willing to eat a slow, since both the tower and creeps will ignore you.
  • Nether Ward’s mana degen is significant, especially in lane. Find a nice cozy place to hide it and revel in how huge a 1600 radius is.
  • Life Drain creeps to heal yourself up after a teamfight.

Versus

  • The Nether Ward will toast you before your spell comes out. The spell won’t be put on cooldown if you die, though, so if you want to give Pugna the kill instead of Void, throw down some Mass Serpent Wards.
  • If you’re in the Nether Ward’s AoE, you will see a debuff icon in your status bar.

Queen of Pain

  • There’s a cast time on Shadow Strike, cancel it to juke, etc, etc.
  • Only Blink to initiate if you’re absolutely positive that the enemies can’t take a fight when you show up. If it turns out that Lion had just enough mana for a Hex and now Ursa is TPing in, that 6s cooldown is going to feel like an eternity.
  • Scream of Pain can hit invis units and units in fog.

Versus

  • Shadow Strike is not a constant DoT. There’s an initial nuke damage when the projectile hits and then a tick of damage every 3 seconds (5 ticks, for 15 seconds). Get a quick Bottle sip or Armlet toggle between ticks to stay alive.
  • Shadow Strike’s projectile can be completely disjointed by invisibility, which is why Meld single handedly wins the matchup for TA against QoP mid.
  • Watch her Blink animation to determine the direction that she Blinks in. The particle ‘cone’ always points in the direction that she goes.
  • QoP can be built in a number of ways which will influence how she will be played. If you’re seeing an Oblivion Staff or Mystic Staff, watch for ganks because she’s probably going Orchid or Sheep, if you’re seeing a Point Booster, watch for teamfights because she’s probably going Agh or Bloodstone, if you’re seeing an Ogre Club or Perseverance, she’s probably going BKB or Linken’s and is probably going to semi-carry.

Razor

  • Tired of hearing me talk about spells that give vision? Well too bad. People don’t use spells for scouting and countering jukes enough so this is my personal crusade to make it more commonplace. Plasma Field gives you flying vision as it travels out.
  • Static Link gives vision around your target hero as well. Now I’m done. For this volume…
  • WHY DOES NO ONE USE STATIC LINK IN LANE? You subtract damage from the enemy, making it harder for them to last hit. NEAT. You gain almost a Blade of Attack for every second that you sap ’em, making your harass much stronger. SWEET. The buff lasts for 18 seconds after the Link breaks. HOT DIGGITY. It costs 20 mana at level 1. HNGHHH. #razortoptier678 #staticlinkatone #fuckplasmafield #bawtumismissing
  • You can Static Link magic immune units both before and during magic immunity. You can Static Link through Linken’s sphere and pop its cooldown. You can Static Link the Spirit Bear. You can Static Link a sleeping hero without them waking up, making Bane+Razor a meaaaan lane and Naga+Razor a meaaaan teamfight comp. Pretty much the only thing that can stop Static Link is the enemy moving out of the break radius.
  • If you’re worried more about dealing damage than stealing damage it’s okay to Link the Crystal Maiden to buff up your damage if Luna keeps breaking the Link. You can sap more damage than a hero actually has, so CM will see a fat red -168 by her measly 63 damage.

Versus

  • If you see a Plasma Field come out in lane and you won’t be able to get out of its radius in time, just move towards Razor. Whatever auto attacks you’ll eat in return will probably do less damage than a full max range Plasma Field.
  • Just because Razor died doesn’t mean you get all your damage back instantly, and just because you died doesn’t mean Razor won’t keep dealing +200 damage. Static Link’s buff/debuff will remain for the full duration.

Riki

  • Smoke Screen. Great silence, great blind, great slow. AAAA+++++++ SPELL, WOULD CAST AGAIN. It also has great range. So don’t hotbox your gank target in the center of the cloud unless you’re terrified of them casting something, just leave them in the tip of the AoE. By reflex, most enemies won’t even realize that you duped them until they’re halfway through the cloud.
  • You can Blink Strike to allies as well as enemies. And like all other pseudo-Blinks you can cast it while Frostbitten or Ensnared.
  • You still have collision when you’re in Permanent Invisibility.
  • Using any items, like Phase Boots or Magic Wand, will temporarily break Permanent Invisibility.
  • Riki has ridiculously high armor to start (5.7), but you also have like no HP to back it up. You’re armored jello until you get a damage block item like Poor Man’s Shield or more HP.
  • Diffusal Blade is core for a number of reasons: 1. Riki loves AGI items. 2. Riki doesn’t need another Orb effect. 3. You can Purge enemies to slow them to a crawl and keep them in your Smoke Screen even longer. 4. You can Purge Dust, you can Purge Amplify Damage, and you can Purge Track off yourself.

Versus

  • Turn around. Every now and then you get a little bit greedy when you realize that you’ve got no farm. Turn around. Every now and then you get a little bit tired of listening to all the ‘missing’ calls. Turn around. Every now and then you get a little bit nervous when you’re in your jungle without any wards. Turn around. Every now and then you get a little bit terrified ’cause now you’re standing in a purple cloud. AND I NEED A STUN RIGHT NOW, AND I NEED ONE MORE THAN EVER. Rikis hate attacking heroes who decide to hold a staring contest rather than run scared. He is practically working with a Double Damage rune from Backstab when your back is turned, so if you think you can last the Smoke’s duration, turn around and have a chat with him. Most of your attacks will miss, and you’re still going to be silenced, but if backup is coming, put your man pants on and fight him. Even if backup isn’t coming, turn around and then start TPing. All of this is assuming that you’re not playing Bristleback, though.
  • Silences destroy Riki. Permanent Invisibility will be disabled as long as he’s Silenced and he won’t be able to Blink Strike anywhere.
  • Good anti-Riki items as a support include pretty much any mid-game support item. Smoke Screen stops you from using spells, not items. Force Staff is the typical pickup, Eul’s is good, and Ghost Scepter is good. For late game, you’ll pretty much always want to go for a Necro 3, Orchid, or Sheep.
  • Riki holds a strong grudge against both King Bars. BKB and MKB are both good carry items against a Riki because they both allow you to fight in the Smoke.
  • Practice the buddy system. Riki can’t deal with ganking two heroes at the same time.
  • Like when against Broodmother, don’t make it obvious that you have a Sentry Ward down in the lane unless you’re ready to go for the kill.
  • Keep your Spidey senses on point. If you notice that your hero is doing some peculiar pathing or stutter stepping for some reason, Riki’s probably following you around, gently licking you.
  • When pushing, place a Sentry Ward in/around/behind your team out of the Tower’s sight. If your team hasn’t been super aggressive with detection, it’s highly likely that Riki is ghost riding your whip and waiting for the perfect Smoke.

Rubick

  • Telekinesis is just as good as any other stun. It’s actually better than a lot of stuns mainly because Rubick has essentially non-existent cast times. For the most part, Telekinesis can be pulled off just as quickly as a Hex. So if you’re worried Magnus is about to blink in and RP your entire team, arm Telekinesis and start frantically left-clicking the ground in the middle of your team. Or keep spam casting and canceling it on their initiator so that once they blink in range, you’ll instantly pick them up.
  • Rubick has to be looking in the direction that you want to cast Telekinesis Land, so don’t waste time spinning around practicing a triple Axel if you’re trying to escape. Either cast the Land immediately after picking an enemy up or not at all.
  • Generally you want to cast the Land as soon as possible anyway so that your allies can see where you’re dropping the enemy and can plan accordingly.
  • If you’re getting chased by multiple heroes, it can be smart to cast the Land towards you, rather than away from you. During the Lift’s duration, the other enemies will have probably passed your target up, so the Land should stun them on the way back.
  • One of the hallmarks of a strong anti-pusher is the ability to draw aggro from a creep wave off of a tower during pushes. Fade Bolt is probably one of the strongest spells in the game to do this, mainly because of its zero cast time, huge range, and substantial damage. When you want to slow down the enemy’s push, cast it on the creep wave and the creeps will lose interest in hammering your tower and come for you instead.
  • You can Spell Steal through magic immunity. Just because Enigma is a big golden tear drop doesn’t mean you can’t steal Black Hole through BKB.
  • Patience is a virtue. Don’t steal spells all willy nilly. Go into a teamfight knowing the spells that you would want to steal and wait for them to be cast. You’ll only be able to steal ~2 spells per teamfight, so make them count.
  • Rubick has zero cast times on any stolen spells. Forget everything you know about landing Leshrac’s Split Earth, be amazed at how you can ejaculate a Fissure in a split second, and revel in how much better a spell Zeus’s Lightning Bolt is when you don’t have to fist pump for half a second to cast it.

Versus

  • Rubick being in your lane automatically adds another ~375 units that you need to keep in your safety zone because of instant Telekinesis. Don’t let him into your zone. He’s definitely in your zone.
  • Rubick is all about capitalizing on your forgetfulness/laziness. “Oh right, they have a Rubick, I should have cast Anchor Smash after Ravage. I should have cast Blade Fury after Omnislash. I should have cast Flak Cannon after Rocket Barrage.” Put a condom on all of your spells, it’s 99% effective.
  • Always check what spell Rubick has stolen by clicking on him. If you’re Pudge and Rubick just Ghostbuster’d your essence, there is a big difference in how the next minute is going to go down if he stole Rot or if he stole Meat Hook.

Sand King

  • Target Burrowstrike ON THE ENEMY. JUST CLICK ON THEM. WHY ARE YOU SKILLSHOTTING IT? This ain’t Impale, son. You’re not getting bonus range because you think you’re a next-level skillshooter.
  • The combination of him having no cast times, Burrowstrike being a stunning Force Staff that doesn’t break trees, zero fade time on Sandstorm, and the fact that Blink Dagger is a core item makes his jukeability second to none. Use all of this to your advantage and be unpredictable. Cast Sandstorm, but then immediately change directions while you’re invisible. Use Burrowstrike+Sandstorm to disjoint attacks until your Blink Dagger comes off cooldown. Burrowstrike into the trees and start TPing. This is the zombo.com of heroes, the only limit is yourself. And your mana.
  • You typically want to avoid leveling Caustic Finale in lane unless you’re against a melee carry, multiple melee heroes, or aggressive pushers. Then definitely level it. Then poke every creep in the lane. Then Burrowstrike. Then get kills.
  • If you’re planning on channeling an Epicenter post-Burrowstrike, aim the Burrowstrike so you end up behind the enemy. Not even an instant Hex will be able to cancel it because you’ll finish the channel in the time they spend turning around to cast the Hex on you.
  • If you are going to shift-queue your Blink Dagger after the Epicenter channel, choose your destination at the very last second. Things can change in a two second channel time. Positions can move, TPs come in, blinks go out, children grow up, empires fall.
  • Veil of Discord is made for this hero. The huge cast range, long debuff duration, and large AoE make it the perfect companion for Epicenter.

Versus

  • Burrowstrike is probably one of the weirdest scaling stuns in the game. As opposed to the stun duration increasing per level, the range increases. Kill lanes are potent at all levels with Sand King, but the daynja zone grows quite quickly.
  • You really need to have at least one non-targeted Stun or Silence on your team against Sandy Claws. Standing around Sandstorm and realizing that absolutely no one on your team can break the channel is both frustrating and embarrassing. Sentry Wards will help, but having to throw down a Sentry Ward against every Sandstorm will be a massive waste of money.
  • You may not be able to stun/silence him out of his Epicenter channel, but you can still disable his Blink Dagger with damage. Wasting 2-4 pulses for a 0.1s Illuminate is a great trade.
  • If Sand King is poking every one of your creeps in a wave, just back up and enjoy the caustic fireworks from afar.
  • Probably the second best hero in the game to get a Pipe against after Zeus.

Shadow Demon

  • If you select your Disruption illusions you can see how the enemy is skilling themselves since your illusions’ skill points will mirror the enemy’s. For example, since Shadow Demon is a popular pick against Anti-Mage (because the illusions will Mana Break AM), you can use this to see how AM is skilling himself (maxing Mana Break, maxing Blink, or taking stats).
  • There are pretty much two main reasons why you should ever Disrupt an ally to save them. Either you’re trying to burn off 2.5 seconds of a disable they’re in or they’re about to die and you’re using it like a Shallow Grave. For slows, blinds, silences, or disarms, unless you’re communicating with your allies, don’t bother Disrupting them. I can assure you that 9 times out of 10, people will get mad at you even if they were dead anyway.
  • However, there are tons of great situations to use Disruption on allies in other situations. When jungling, make more Axes for more Counter Helixes. During tower pushes, make more Lunas for maximum glaives. During defenses, make fake Batriders and send one in. When warding, make more yous to bait a gank attempt. Disruption’s a strong offensive spell but it’s an underrated defensive spell. Just try to get permission before forcing a friend to evangelize for your cause.
  • Common knowledge, but you can Soul Catch a Disrupted enemy.
  • Soul Catcher will never catch siege creeps.
  • Disruption banishes a target for 2.5 seconds. Blink Dagger’s damage cooldown is 3 seconds. Don’t give TA a 2.5 second banish period to do her nails and then immediately blink out. Cast a Shadow Poison while she’s banished. You don’t even need to use the Detonate because the impact damage from the Shadow Poison will disable her Blink Dagger and then she’ll immediately take damage from her illusions afterwards.
  • Shadow Poison is a great spell to use to stack camps because of its ludicrous range and cheap mana cost. For maximum supportage, angle yourself so you can stack two camps with one Shadow Poison. Just hope that you don’t get Mud Golems.
  • Shadow Poison is another great spell to draw creep aggro off a tower during defenses.
  • You thought I’d go through an entire volume without talking about vision? C’mon, son. Shadow Poison is the king of vision-granting spells. The first reason is because it’s a 1500 range spell that gives flying vision along its projectile path.
  • The second reason is because if you land a stack on an enemy unit, it’ll give you the vision that unit has for 10 seconds. If this isn’t blowing your mind, I’ve taken the liberty of depicting how useful this is in picture form with toaster oven graphics. “Oh hey, my team is doing Rosh. Gee, I wonder where the enemy team is.Oh looks like Tiny and Nightstalker are there. I wonder what that Agh Nighstalker can see.HMMMMMMMMMMMMM.” This is especially useful when breaking Tier 3 tower high ground.
  • Demonic Purge is essentially a Diffusal Blade purge that can go through magic immunity. This includes the ability to instagib summons like Warlock’s Golem.
  • Solid pick against PL because your Disrupted illusions can Juxtapose.

Versus

  • If he’s mid, immediately send a Magic Stick on the courier. If he’s in the side lane, hold off on buying one until you see how pumped he is about how awesome Shadow Poison is.
  • The only reason Shadow Poison is balanced is because the projectile is very easy to dodge. Don’t get lazy. You won’t see a fat 4 above your head, but you can look in your status bar to see how many stacks are on you. If you’ve clumsily bumbled into 3 stacks, immediately back off.
  • The only reason Soul Catcher is balanced is because it’s extremely hard to land, especially in the laning phase. Being a ranged hero will actually work against you when laning against SD because your natural positioning makes you easy pickings for a Soul Catchin’.

Shadow Fiend

  • The easiest way to line up Razes is to just right click on the enemy hero so SF follows them around. As long as they’re not cornering trees or you’re not pathing around creeps, you should automatically have a perfect line.
  • Cancel your Razes. The cast time is long, so if you know you’re going to miss, hit the stop key.
  • If you’re having a hard time in lane, go to the easy jungle camp and Raze it down for quick souls. This is more viable on Radiant than Dire, especially because you can stack the Radiant easy camp and waste almost no time.
  • One of the most useful heroes to learn Tread switching for.
  • 90% of the Requiem of Souls cast animation is hidden by Shadow Blade invisibility. This is pretty neat.

Versus

  • Don’t Bottle rush against SF unless you know exactly what you’re doing. You would be better off spending more money on stats to beat his last hits and to bully him out of lane, or to spend more money on regen to just sit on his side of the lane. How successful you are in the first 2-6 minutes of the game in zoning SF will make a big difference in how hard he’s going to own your team.
  • The reason this guy isn’t picked up in pro games anymore is because Smoke of Deceit exists. Nearly every currently strong mid possesses some sort of escape ability to deal with this. Shadow Fiend is not one of them. Destroying SF’s laning phase is the textbook example of “shutting down” a hero.
  • Don’t forget that he mini-ults when he dies.

Shadow Shaman

  • Ether Shock can hit secondary units ~400 units further away than its cast range. If an enemy is making a run for it and is just out of cast range, cast the Shock on the ranged creep right behind them.
  • The Sparknotes on Hex: Instant cast time, insta-kills illusions, disables evasion, and is super annoying. As mentioned in the Lion tips, spam cast and cancel this spell on the enemy team’s initiator when you’re toeing off. The moment they blink in, they’ll be Rhasta Fried Chicken.
  • Avoid shift-queueing spells like Hex during Shackles. Against most heroes, the Hex will come out fast enough, but against BKB carriers or heroes with instant-cast magic immunity like Lifestealer or Juggernaut, they’ll be able to go magic immune before you Hex. -inaccurate- Question: Can Anti-Mage or Queen of Pain blink out if I shift queue the Hex? Answer: No, they still get Hexed before they can blink. Response: Then screw you, I’m getting every millisecond of Shackles.
  • As cute as it is to spawn your Serpents in a circle around a tower singing kumbaya, you never want to do this. Your wards hurt, but only when they’re all able to attack at the same time. When you spawn them in a huge circle, even a Pugna can take them on one by one.
  • The Serpent Wards are controllable units. This hero is one of the few ‘micro’ heroes that box selection is encouraged on. Square your Serpents, tell them to stop spitting on creeps, and reorient them on the tower that you were trying to kill or on that 1HP armlet-toggling Naix that inadvertently limped back into your wards’ range.
  • There is no secret to landing Ward Traps other than practice. Eul’s doesn’t work in Dota 2, shift-queueing is unreliable, and luck can only take you so far. It’s a skillshot, just learn the cast animation and range.

Versus

  • If you’re ward trapped, you can Phase through the serpents using Phase Boots or certain invis/windwalk abilities.
  • Mass Serpent Ward costs a ton of mana, making Rhasta a great candidate for Mana Burning/Leaking or picking Pugna against.
  • You can break these cuffs. Always have a stun/silence ready on your team to bail a teammate out from the Shackle channel. At level 4, Shackles disable for nearly as long as Bane’s ultimate.
  • Serpent wards do physical damage and have splash. BKB won’t stop them, armor values affect them, and hugging your teammates won’t diffuse the damage.

Silencer

  • Curse of the Silent gets a bad rep for being a cheesy spell, but it’s still great against certain (mainly STR and AGI) heroes. Check your lane and see if it’s worth skilling. Even if the heroes do have marginally-spammable spells, you’re still forcing the enemy to use them and waste mana when they don’t want to. That Venomancer may have Plague Wards, but make him cast them twice and he won’t have the juice to Gale you for a while.
  • Unlike Pudge’s Flesh Heap, you don’t get INT from kills that you were around for before you level Glaives of Wisdom. But as long as there wasn’t some sort of triple kill at level 1, that shouldn’t be an issue as you should get an early level in Glaives for the orb harass anyway.
  • Last Word is bullshit amount of damage and utility for the mana cost. Early game you want to cast it on squishy targets to force them back to the fountain, late game you want to cast it on heroes who rely on spell combos (Invoker, Sand King, Magnus, etc) or carry heroes with few spells (Spectre, Viper, Drow…) or ones that blow whatever spells they have the second the fight starts (Sven, Tiny, Ursa…). The goal is to either disrupt their spell combo or disarm them. Either way, it’s super annoying.
  • Much like with Undying’s Tombstone, you don’t want to Global Silence and then have the enemy team tip their hats and tap dance away until the spell wears off. And much like with Black Hole, you want to save this ult for a full on burly brawl in the mid/late game, not a one-for-one pick off. Silencer’s job is rarely to start fights, he’s there to SILESILESILENCSILENCSILENCSILSILSSILSILENCE fights that are on the cusp of breaking out. You usually want to cast Global Silence soon after your initiator goes in. It’s okay to let a spell or two leak through at the beginning if it means that the enemy is committing to the fight, because the goal is to hit them with the 4’33” right when they’re at the point-of-no-return in the teamfight.
  • You can save Global to break channeling ults as well (Enigma, Bane, Sand King, Witch Doctor, CM), but often times it’s better to stop them from using their spells altogether by preemptively Silencing than to risk getting disabled while they’re channeling.
  • If you’re past the phase when huge 5v5 teamfights are being decided by a single ultimate, save your ult until after BKBs get popped. If you Global Silence while an enemy is magic immune, they’ll get silenced. If you do it before, they can purge the silence by going magic immune.

Versus

  • If you’re a carry playing against Silencer, it would be prudent to save a spell for after he casts Last Word on you. Say you’re playing Sven and you bust in Storm Hammering, God’s Strengthing, and Warcrying all over the place. You’re going to get destroyed by the Disarm in five seconds if you get Last Word’d. Always keep one spell off CD to ensure the shower curtain Silencer puts around you won’t disarm you.
  • Silencer doesn’t just temporarily take your INT, he steals it. Much like against Bounty Hunter, avoid trading 1 for 1 with this hero because +2/-2 INT adds up quickly. Silencer won’t get any INT if he dies first, though.
  • Similar to when against other ultimates like Overgrowth, save your BKB for after Global Silence is cast. If Global is cast while you’re magic immune, you’ll still get silenced. If you go magic immune while you’re deaf, the debuff is removed.

SKELETON KING

  • HELLFIRE BLAST IS A SLOW-ASS STUN. YOUR ANIMATION IS HELLA OBVIOUS AND THE PROJECTILE TRAVELS ABOUT AS FAST AS A PASS IN THE WNBA. DON’T GIVE SUCKER M.C.s A CHANCE TO BLINK/INVIS/CREATE A GAP, USE THE STUN AS CLOSE TO THE ENEMY AS YOU CAN. BACK IN THE DAY YOU USED TO GET FORCE STAFF ON THIS GUY TO COMPENSATE FOR THE MASSIVE TRAVEL TIME, BUT NOW FORCE STAFF SUCKS ON SKELLY. BROTIP: CANCEL THE CAST TO GET A SWEET-ASS RED GLOW ON YOUR HAND.
  • VAMPIRIC AURA IS AN AURA. THIS MEANS IT ISN’T AN ORB EFFECT. THIS ALSO MEANS IT PUSHES YOUR LANE HARDER THAN A FOUL IN THE WNBA. DON’T LEVEL THIS SHIT EARLY UNLESS YOU ROCKIN SOME NEXT LEVEL PUSH STRATS.
  • MORTAL STRIKE. NOT BLADE DANCE, NOT DRUNKEN SUPER SMASH BROS. BRAWLER, NOT CADILLAC COUPE DEGRACE. ONLY THE KING HAS THE CALCIUM FOR A CRIT SKILL WITH AN ACTIVE COMPONENT. I DON’T KNOW HOW TO USE THIS SKILL OPTIMALLY YET, BUT YOU DON’T HAVE TO BE INVOKER TO KNOW THAT YOU SHOULD CAST IT ON FLESHY IDIOTS WITH LOTS OF HP OR AS A PENULTIMATE BLOW ON FOOLS WHO THOUGHT THEY COULD ONE ON ONE YOU ON THE BBALL COURT OUTSIDE OF THE SCHOOL. IT’S NON-FATAL HP REMOVAL THOUGH, SO YOU CAN’T PUSS OUT AND KILL PEOPLE FROM AFAR.
  • MANA IS A CRUTCH FOR BITCH-ASS INT HEROES WHO DON’T DRINK ENOUGH MILK TO DO THE DEEPS WITH THEIR MITTS. SOUL RING IS CORE ON THE BONER KING TO DEAL WITH THIS. EAT YOUR OWN HP BEFORE YOU DIE AND YOU’LL ALWAYS HAVE THE MANA TO REINCARNATE.
  • EVERY TIME REINCARNATE IS OFF COOLDOWN, YOU ARE THE TEAM. YOU ARE THE INITIATOR, YOU ARE THE CARRY, YOU ARE THE SUPPORT, YOU ARE THE REVERSE POLARITY. GO IN, TAKE THE ENEMY TEAM’S SPELLS LIKE A MAN, TAKE A THREE SECOND POWER NAP, WAKE UP, GRABABRUSHANDPUTALITTLEMAKEUP, TURN ON YOUR BKB, CRIT THE FIRST FOOL YOU SEE, WIN THE GAME.
  • I PLAYED SKELETON KING IN MY VERY FIRST DOTA MATCH. I LOST FOR NO REASON OTHER THAN THAT I WAS WEAK OF MIND AND IMPURE IN HEART. I KNOW NOW THAT YOU CANNOT PICK THE KING, THE KING PICKS YOU. I ONLY PLAY SKELETON KING IF THE DOTA GODS ARE BENEVOLENT ENOUGH TO ALLOW ME TO RANDOM HIM. EXCEPT THEY KEEP GIVING ME BROODMOTHER INSTEAD. FUCK.

OH GOD SKELETONS. HOW DO I BEAT HIM?!

  • YOU CAN’T COUNTER THE KING, YOU CAN ONLY HOPE TO CONTAIN THE KING.
  • HOWEVER THE KING CAN BE CONTAINED PRETTY EASILY. LIKE TUPPERWARE EASY. INVIS CAN VERY EASILY DISJOINT HIS STUN AND BLINKS CAN CREATE GAPS THAT THE KING IS TOO LAZY TO CLOSE.
  • STAY AWAY FROM HIM IF YOU HAVE A LOT OF HP UNLESS YOU WANT TO GIVE HIM A 7 SECONDS OF AN ARMLET’S WORTH OF HP THANKS TO M-M-M-MORTAL STRIKE.
  • BURN/LEAK/SOUFFLÉ HIS MANA IF THE ENEMY WAS TOO STUPID TO NOT BUY A SOUL RING.
  • WHEN SK REINCARNATES THERE’S A SLOW APPLIED TO EVERYONE IN A 700 AOE. YOU DIDN’T EVEN NOTICE BECAUSE YOU WERE TOO BUSY SCREAMING FOR DEAR LIFE. EXCEPT YOU PROBABLY NOTICE IT NOW BECAUSE IT GOT HELLA BUFFED IN 6.78.
  • DIDN’T REALIZE HIS ULT WAS OFF COOLDOWN? WHEN YOU COME AT THE KING, YOU BEST NOT MISS.
  • THE KING AND URSA ARE TOTAL BROS. IF YOU SEE THESE TWO PROUD CITIZENS OF FUCKSHITUPSYLVANIA ON THE SAME TEAM, THEY’RE PROBABLY GOING TO DOUBLE PENETRATE ROSH AT LEVEL 1.
  • OSTEOPOROSIS.

Skywrath Mage

  • Arcane Bolt gives vision as it travels. This is useful in mid matchups as you can use the brief vision before impact to get in one auto-attack if the enemy is on the high ground.
  • Concussive Shot has zero cast time. If you have the mana, always cast it if you’re getting chased.
  • Ancient Seal is the only single-targeted instant-Silence in the game besides Orchid’s active. The magic amplification is nice and all, but a guaranteed 6 second Silence is what makes this skill amazing. Cast this constantly on initiators and blinkers/pseudo-blinkers.
  • Avoid casting Mystic Flare unless you are pairing it with some sort of slow/stun/trap. Like Nyx’s Vendetta, when Mystic Flare is down, you’re not nearly as spooky-scary.
  • If you are free-balling a Mystic Flare, prediction and practice are your best bets to landing it consistently. You want the enemy to walk into the middle of the Flare half a second after you cast and then think to themselves “Well, great, now it doesn’t matter which direction I walk, I’m eating this ult.”

Versus

  • Avoid trying to outrun Arcane Bolt unless you have some plan to not die to it. It’s going to hit you regardless, all you’re doing is giving the enemy team a tiny little ward that’s giving away your location as you run.
  • If you’re mid against SM, get a Magic Stick, but also consider getting a ward. Magic Stick only gets charges if you can see the enemy cast the spell. Arcane Bolt has pretty good range so he’ll probably be casting it from the high ground. Throw a ward down on his side of the river to ensure that you’re getting your money’s worth from the stick. I got 6.78’d pretty hard here.
  • After Skywrath blows his mana load at level 1 with a thousand Arcane Bolts, he’ll probably start sipping clarities in the corner like a junkie. Punish that.
  • Concussive Shot has a small AoE on impact. Like against Sven’s Storm Hammer, avoid clumping up if a Concussive Shot is on your tail.
  • Beware of the Mystic Flare combos on the enemy team. Sprout/Power Cogs may be annoying spells, but they become killboxes with a Skywrath. If this is a concern, get a Force Staff or Eul’s.
  • BKB completely shuts this hero down. Like, massively. Some INT heroes get pretty shut down with magic immunity, but Skywrath is on a whole ‘nother level.
  • Be a pal and help eat some Mystic Flare damage to save a teammate in trouble if you can take it. The damage gets instantly halved, even if you’re magic immune.

Slardar

  • You can cast Sprint while TPing and it won’t break the channel.
  • Avoid Sprinting into fights. You usually want to use Sprint either to get to a fight or when you’re chasing someone down. 15% bonus damage isn’t that dramatic, but every little bit counts.
  • Slithereen Crush and Bash procs do physical damage, making them work very well with Amplify Damage’s armor reduction.
  • Cancel Crush’s animation. I’m running out ways to say, “you can tell when you’re not going land it,” but you can tell when you’re not going to land it.
  • Amplify Damage can be cast on siege creeps to help quickly bring them down during a push.
  • Amplify Damage lets your team take Rosh extremely early in the game. Just make sure someone else on your team has a targeted spell to take off Rosh’s Linken’s first.
  • People seem to think Slardar’s main purpose in the game is: “Oh no, the enemy randomed Riki. I KNOW, I’LL COUNTER PICK HIM WITH SLARDAR.” The True Sight on Amplify Damage is just the icing on this amazing skill’s cake. Slardar’s main role is to be an initiator who can start fights, wedgie your carry, stuff your supports in a locker, then steal Rosh’s lunch money.
  • However, if you are picking him for countering invis heroes get a gem. Amplify Damage isn’t some sort of get-out-of-buying-detection-free card. The way to counter invis heroes is to know where they are before they know you know where they are. This whole reactionary, “Ohh god Bounty Hunter just killed my CM, wait it’s okay I’ll cast my ultimate on him oh shit oh shit I accidentally clicked on that creep next to him wow this is bullshit why can I even cast my ult on creeps. Stop saying Well Played!” is not how to do it.
  • Slardar’s carry potential is massively underrated. Unlike other STR carries who typically build stuff like damage (Sven/Kunkka/SKELETON KING) or AS/MS (Tiny/CK/Naix), Slardar mainly just needs EHP boosting items (Heart, HotD, Armlet, AC, Halberd) to begin transitioning into a carry. Amplify Damage most of the DPS buffing you need, Slurdur just needs to survive long enough in the fight to take advantage of it.

Versus

  • Much like against Centaur, juke left or right if Slardar is chasing you and trying to Crush your Slithereen. The AoE on the stun is tiny and the cast animation is lengthy.
  • Amplify Damage allows the enemy team to take Roshan super early. Keep the pit warded up tight, especially if the enemy is Dire.
  • Like with Dust or Track, Amplify Damage can be purged off by Diffusal Blade, Manta Style, or Slark’s Dark Pact.

Slark

  • Dark Pact is a ‘nuke’ like Infest can be a ‘nuke.’ Yes, the spell can deal healthy damage, but that’s not its primary purpose. Don’t yank the Pact ripcord the second you get in melee range of your gank target. Wait for them to turn around, or for their teammate to come in to save them, then pull the trigger and wipe off any potential disable. This spell is, like, 80% of the reason why every single Slark guide I read has the word ‘slippery‘ somewhere in it. If you need to use Dark Pact for damage, only use it if you’re sure the enemy can’t stop you or try to save it for the killing blow.
  • This is straight off the wiki, but worth mentioning. Dark Pact can’t purge: Doom’s Doom, Axe’s Battle Hunger, Ancient Apparition’s Ice Blast, Bloodseeker’s Rupture, Bane’s Enfeeble, Witch Doctor’s Maledict and Orb of Venom’s slow.
  • Medallion is a cute pickup on Slark because Dark Pact can purge the negative armor debuff off yourself after you cast it on an enemy.
  • Pounce won’t latch illusions, making it useful for identifying the real CK/PL/Waifu Siren.
  • Pounce disjoints stuff like tower shots or ranged right clicks. If you time it right you can even evade projectile spells like Hellfire Blast or Assassinate.
  • Take advantage of your collisionless state in Pounce when you’re escaping. Don’t just leap along down the lane, Tarzan over a tree line or jump a cliff to create a gap. It’s a lot more trouble for the enemy to find a way around to catch you.
  • Essence Shift gifts you with a bonus 19 ‘pure damage’ (with the STR removal), 13 ‘mana burn’ (with the INT removal), and sucks off 1 damage from the enemy (with their primary attribute’s removal).
  • Capitalize on Essence Shift stacks. Don’t sit around and farm after you get a kill, take a tower or TP to another lane and use all the damage you have to continue snowballing.
  • Shadow Dance is an extremely effective spell for counterwarding. The moment you stop dripping and slow down, you’re in enemy vision and the Shadow Dance passive is lost. However, Slark didn’t get any help breaking out of Dark Reef because he knew it would just be worthless supports who probably wouldn’t counterward the guard towers after you pinged them. Try to carry your own sentries so you can Pounce up and kill wards without having to rely on your teammates.
  • This slipperyfuck hero is the last one to cover that has 1800 night vision (the others being Enchantress, Meepo, Night Stalker, and Lunar Blessing Luna).

Versus

  • Dark Pact purges as often as it damages, meaning that there are 10 little mini-purges throughout the duration of the spell. So don’t stun Slark in the middle of the purple.
  • Inexperienced Slarks have a tendency of going for long-range Pounces which are fairly easy to juke. Line yourself up with him when you’re getting chased to tease the Pounce out, then move straight left or right and dodge it.
  • Essence Shift is the long con. You may think you’re winning these exchanges in lane because Slark has awful HP, but he’s gaining a Slipper of Agility and you’re losing an Iron Branch’s worth of stats every time you say hi.
  • You’ll get your Essence Shifted stats back when you respawn, but Slark will still have them as well. If Slark dies, you’ll get your stats back incorrect you’ll still be missing your stats, but he’ll lose them.
  • Neither Dust, Track, nor Amplify Damage will help you reliably counter Slark because he can Pact off all of those. You need sentries, a Gem, or a Necro 3.
  • Ghost Scepter isn’t as useful against Slark as it is against some other gankers since Pounce and Pact can deal substantial magical damage, but it can still be a worthwhile pickup.
  • He has no means of breaking channels. If Slark is hot on your tail, just start TPing.
  • Bloodseeker notably counters the dickens out of Slark. Slark doesn’t like to be silenced, he can’t Dark Pact off Rupture, and if he loses too much HP he’ll make BS Thirsty and give him true sight, stopping him from getting Shadow Dance regen.

Sniper

  • Shrapnel. It gives vision. It’s a huge AoE slow. It has insane range. It’s useful against higher tier towers because magical damage doesn’t get reduced by the increased armor. Iz gud spel.
  • Headshot. It’s a thing. That Sniper does.
  • At levels 3 and 4 of Take Aim, you can hit towers without them hitting you. Use it in conjunction with the vision that Shrapnel gives you for night sieges.
  • You can cancel Assassinations with the Stop key.
  • With no additional magic resistance (like from Cloak, Spell Shield, or being Meepo), Assassination deals ~266/379/491 raw damage. Avoid discharging impotent Assassinations. Sniper doesn’t have a lot of mana and you need every second you can get in lane farming, rather than sitting in the fountain complaining about how Lycan didn’t die to your ult.
  • The hero that needs to exploit positioning in lane the most. The Sniper Shuffle is the complex laning dance that involves waddling forward, popping the enemy in the face until you get a Headshot, pissing them off, running backwards, praying that they don’t feel like wasting the energy to kill you, and waiting for them to retreat. Then repeat. The better you are at predicting enemy movement, the better Sniper you can be.

Versus

  • Sniper gets peeped on by nearly every single hero in the game that isn’t a support, and even some supports. Are you a bursty ganker? You counter Sniper. Do you have a slow or a stun? You counter Sniper. Are you playing Sniper? You counter Sniper.
  • If you’re getting Assassinated, you will have an icon in your buffs. The shot will get fired when the buff timer goes around halfway. It can’t be disjointed by invisibility, but if you’re quick you can dodge it with spells like Rage, Disruption, or Leap.

Spectre

  • suoreneg ytterp si reggaD lartcepS no doirep ecarg sselnoisilloc ehT Nah I can’t keep that up. But only because I’m a method writer. The collisionless grace period on Spectral Dagger is pretty generous as of the most recent bug fixes. Even if you toss the Dagger one way and walk in the opposite way, you still get ~2-3 seconds of collisonless phasing. So if you don’t need to create a huge gap, you can toss the Dagger at your enemies to slow them and then escape down a cliff or across some trees in the other direction.
  • Spectral Dagger’s move slow goes through magic immunity.
  • Desolate never misses. It goes through both blinds and evasion.
  • Dispersion reflects damage that you would have taken. Therefore, every time you die from max health, 28.2% of your HP pool is reflected as AoE pure damage (it’s more than the 22% due to the increased EHP that Dispersion gives you). This means that the only way to buff Dispersion damage is to increase your HP pool, not by building armor or other damage mitigation.
  • No one is forcing you to build Radiance every game. My girl the Mercurial is more versatile than people give her credit for. Look up some more adventurous guides/builds and realize that she can be more than the carry that did more than farm all day and press R once in a while.
  • If you have 2 lives (buyback, Aegis) save Haunt for your second one. Dispersion from your first death will leave the enemy team low allowing your Haunts to do clean up work.
  • Haunt allows you to be continuously farming or split pushing yet still be there for teamfights. You need to abuse this. Spectre doesn’t have a farming skill like most carries, her claim to fame is that she always needs to be in the lane where no one else is until teamfights break out.
  • Haunt illusions start with a 400 base move speed, which means not only do they have an easy time sticking to their target, but +% move speed items like Yasha or Drums are even more effective on them.
  • Reality uses Spectre’s cast time and is cast after turning to face the selected Haunt illusion — don’t wait until the last second of Haunt to cast it or you might fail to snap back to Reality.

Versus

  • Spectre might as well be holding a pool noodle as a weapon for the first 15-25 minutes of the game. Spectral Dagger is way too expensive to offensively spam, Desolate nearly irrelevant in lane because she’s too slow to consistently harass and there are creeps everywhere, and Dispersion’s payoff is low when her HP pool is mediocre and the damage being dealt isn’t high. If you shut her down early, her lack of a farming skill to fall back on will gimp the enemy team big time.
  • Haunt illusions can be slowed and hexes will instantly kill them, but they can’t be stunned, body blocked, juked, or otherwise prevented from rubbing themselves all over squishy supports.
  • Whenever she Haunts, stand next to your creeps or give your teammates a hug. For most of the early to mid game her only Haunt damage is coming from Desolate, so don’t let it proc.
  • Speccy doesn’t do much damage to Roshan, she’s bad at taking towers, and she has pretty miserable AGI gain for a carry. This means that when you lose a teamfight, Spec’s team won’t be able to take too many objectives.
  • Magic immunity ignores damage from Desolate and Dispersion, making BKB a solid pickup against Spec.

Spirit Breaker

  • You can use items while you’re Charging, like Shadow Blade, Mask of Madness, or BKB. You can even TP(edit – only to the fountain if you double tap the TP hotkey) while you’re charging, but that’s supposedly a bug.
  • If you’re getting ganked and you can’t take the fight, immediately move your camera over to another lane, find a creep or neutral, and Charge it. This is your escape mechanism.
  • Greater Bash is essentially a crit dressed up in a scaling bash. Unfortunately, the only way of amplifying the ‘crit’ damage is by building move speed, not damage. The plus side is that you have two guaranteed ways of proccing this crit Bash with Charge and Nether Strike. At 522 move speed, which can be reached fairly easily with Treads+Drum+max Empowering Haste+an active Mask of Madness, a level 4 Greater Bash deals ~209 magical damage. This would make the Charge+Nether Strike combo deal ~667 magical damage at level 11.
  • Probably the best Dust carrier and anti-invis hero you could ask for in pubs. Every time Dust is off CD, Charge that Riki and bash him into next Tuesday.
  • Get wards in the enemy jungle. Players will automatically avoid farming in lane once they realize you’re becoming a threat and will start farming their jungle. Teach them that there is no sanctuary from the space cow.
  • SB is the tankiest level 1 hero in the game. With no items, the cosmic bull has an EHP of ~927. Take advantage of your chuftiness and don’t be afraid of getting into fights early on.

Versus

  • Ward everywhere. You need to always be keeping tabs on Spirit Breaker: Where does he come from, where does he go, who is he ganking, Barathrum Joe.
  • Charge can break Linken’s from across the map. In bronze scum pubs this makes Linken’s an SB counter, but in RIAA-certified Double Platinum tier, this makes SB a Linken’s counter.
  • One of the easiest heroes to bait. No SB can resist charging down a lonely CM quietly farming in lane, so take advantage of the mad cow’s blood thirst. After a few failed ganks, the map will open up substantially when he stops Charging on a whim.
  • You can stun SB while he’s charging. This is useful to know when you’re getting Charged, but it’s also useful when you’re ganking SB. Keep a stun in your pocket for when he tries to Charge to another lane.
  • SB has two guaranteed ways of Bashing you through magic immunity, and has a 17% chance for a third. Avoid having to go toe to toe with him if you’re heavily reliant on magic immunity.

Storm Spirit

  • Static Remnants give you flying vision in a fairly large radius around their cast point. Use this to find people trying to juke in the trees, scout Rosh, or check an area before going up hill.
  • Remnants last 12 seconds each so it’s not a bad idea to set some up if you’re afraid a Nyx or Bounty is trailing you since they’ll detonate and damage on invis units.
  • Only Electric Vortex levels 3 and 4 will pull a target far enough into a Remnant that you create after you Vortex. Levels 1 and 2 will just wiggle them down a bit while you waste mana and slow yourself down.
  • You can Overload an auto attack while it’s in the air. If you just tossed a long range auto attack on a target, you can cast a Remnant and the attack will hit Overloaded.
  • Cast a spell in the fountain or throw up a quick Remnant once you reach your destination if you’re going to be TPing to a tower. Get your free Overload.
  • You can use items while in Ball Lightning, like Orchid, you can begin channeling a TP while flying, you can cast spells like Remnant or Electric Vortex while flying, and you can even pick up runes that are along your path while in Ball Lightning.
  • Storm will immediately perform the next action you ordered once you come out of Ball Lightning. If there is no action (like a right click on the enemy hero), he’ll just auto attack the nearest thing. This can be irritating when you’re Balling long distances or into fogged vision because he’ll inevitably blow an Overload charge on a creep. To avoid this, hit the Stop key while you’re flying and he’ll do nothing when he lands.
  • Avoid making multiple short trips when you’re escaping and Balling on a mana budget. Do one long trip. The main mana cost is in the ignition, hot n’ fresh out the kitchen.
  • You are completely invincible while in Ball Lightning, so brush up on your jukenomics. Besides using the invincibility to dodge things, spells like Mana Leak or Rupture won’t affect you when you’re traveling and you can even fly through a Chronosphere without getting locked.
  • A lot of people shoehorn themselves into always building mana regeneration on Storm. It’s okay to build yourself around mana optimization, rather than regeneration, if that’s your playstyle. Boots of Travel can be a good pickup since TPing to a creep can halve the Ball distance to an enemy instead of TPing to a tower. BKB allows you to stand in a fight and lets you use Ball Lightning exclusively to get Overload charges. Even Shadow Blade, while clowny, can allow you to initiate with a straight Backstab -> Vortex, letting you keep Ball mana in the bank for when you need to escape or chase enemies down.

Versus

  • Shut his mouth. Silences and basically every disable really rustle Storm’s jimmies. The more time he has to spend walking around with Underloaded right clicking, the less happy he is.
  • Break his ankles. Like most other heroes with a blink, Storms will overshoot Ball Lightning down the path that they think you’re traveling so they can get in more right clicks. If you’re escaping out of his auto attack range during a gank, as soon as he starts Balling towards you, turn around and move to where he just was. He’ll either have to Ball again to come back, or he’ll have to walk like a pleb.

Sven

  • Storm Hammer is arguably the best level one stun in the game. The caveat is that you’ll only have the mana for one stun every five minutes because of how mana hungry the spell is and how terrible Sven’s INT gain is. Pretty much every time you drop the Hammer during the laning phase, you should be angling for a kill.
  • Cleave damage cannot be evaded or blocked by magic immunity. If you land the hit on your primary target, everything in the radius will take damage.
  • Warcry is a very potent pushing skill. The armor buff applies to all allied units in the AoE, including summons. Even if you’re not pushing, you can use it on your creep wave as it passes the river to get some extra tower damage or to make it harder for the enemy to last hit.
  • Warcry is a very potent chasing skill. The 12% movespeed buff is almost another pair of brown Boots’ worth of MS. Take a level of this early on.
  • Warcry is a very potent teamfighting skill. When maxed, you’re giving an Assault Cuirass’s’s’s worth of armor to everyone on your team for 7 seconds.
  • God’s Strength multiples Sven’s primary attribute damage. Meaning, when you go full WOLOLO, your STR is getting multiplied, but items that are adding green + damage (raw damage items) aren’t get multiplied.
  • Sven is the only hero on whom BKB is truly core core. On nearly every other hero, BKB is primarily bought a defensive item, but because God’s Strength jacks Sven up from his STR, BKB is a strong offensive item on him, giving +44/49/54 damage at 6/11/16. This is the same reason why Heart is actually an obnoxiously strong damage item on Sven (+80/100/120 dmg).
  • BKB is also necessary to serve as the can opener for the whoop ass you deliver with God’s Strength. Time spent disabled is time spent not smashing everything in your path. So don’t get greedy with triggering your BLT at the last second.
  • Every time you level up from battle points in Dota 2, you get a Sven item that you already have. Not true, you say? THEN WHY DO I HAVE SO MANY GODDAMN SVEN ITEMS? I DON’T EVEN PLAY THIS HELICOPTER HEADED MOTHERFUCKER. SWEET PEACHES, IT’S LIKE A FUCKING SVEN FOREVER 21 IN MY INVENTORY.

Versus

  • You can’t disjoint Storm Hammer by blinking, teleporting, or going invis. That power glove will follow you to the ends of the earth.
  • Sven relies on being able to kill you before you kill him. He’s a STR hero, but he’s often built like a plexiglass cannon. In teamfights, he should pretty much always be the top priority if he’s the carry.

Templar Assassin

  • The bonus damage charges you get on Refraction don’t get dropped on denial attacks. This is relevant for mid lane controlling purposes, because you can aggressively deny the dick out of your creeps and push the lane at the same time with the spill.
  • All damage sources are created equal on the temple steps. Whether it’s a ranged creep, a tower shot, or a Laguna Blade, every instance of damage you take will wipe a Refraction charge off. I see far too many TA’s right click the enemy mid from across the river, facetank every creep in the wave, lose all their Refraction charges, and then get pounded by the tower when they finally get to the ‘dive’ part of the dive. Casting Refraction does not draw aggro. Walking up the stairs does not draw aggro. Detonating a Trap does not draw aggro. Climbing the Aggro Crag does not draw aggro. As a TA, it’s massively important to not right click the enemy until the perfect moment, but when that moment comes, you go balls deep.
  • The cooldown on Refraction is the same as its duration. Before going in for a gank or joining a teamfight, you want a fully charged Refraction to be on the tail end of its timer so you can put a fresh one up when everything inevitably starts going wrong.
  • Meld has no cast time and no fade time. This is useful for disjointing spells, tower shots, and right clicks, but it’s also huge for juking. You must see through the enemy’s eyes, my friend. When you’re getting chased, Meld as soon as you get a moment of high ground above the enemies. If you’re juking in the jungle, Meld as soon as you think you’re in a split-second of fog.
  • That being said, Meld is not to be used as a traditional invis skill. If you play like a bitch, you gonna die like a bitch.
  • You have no collision when you’re Melded, so you won’t block pathways.
  • For a good laugh, buy a Shadow Blade and cast Meld during the fade time. Then walk away a second later and watch the enemy team angrily attack the ground.
  • If you have trouble landing Meld strikes in the heat of the moment, try using A+left click instead of right clicking on the enemy. You may end up attacking creeps, but that’s your problem not mine.
  • Meld damage does not spill. So stop wasting mana Melding the front creep in a wave.
  • The armor reduction debuff from Meld works on Rosh.
  • To be an effective Lanaya, you’ve got to learn how to play Psi-Blades like a violin. Each deny should effortlessly pick up a last hit in the same stroke. A full creep wave should be wiped in two spills after you pick up a Desolator. An invisible Broodmother should be eliminated with the instinct of a Dota-playing Italian supercar.
  • Always go for denies. The Psi-Blade will spill even if the creep dies before your attack projectile hits.
  • Never use the hero hotkey to detonate Psionic Traps. Not only will it possibly Detonate the wrong trap, but it also makes Lanaya use her cast animation to Detonate it. If you click (or box select, or tab to) the Trap and Detonate it that way, you can avoid the cast delay.
  • You can give shared control of your Traps to all of your teammates so they can detonate your Traps themselves. However, please notify your teammates that you’re doing this. Otherwise, I’m going to be playing Lone Druid and wondering why the fuck my Bear isn’t Recalling while I’m detonating a Flux Pavilion concert all across the map.
  • The core Trap locations are the runes (or one rune), their side of the hill, your side of the hill, Rosh, and choke points on stairs. The rest is dealer’s choice.

Versus

  • If TA is receiving the damage buff from Refraction, her Psi-Blades will be longer and glow redder. Personally, I can’t tell the difference and I don’t have the time to color match that shit at Home Depot when I’m dying under my tower.
  • DoT her Refraction. Venomancer, Viper, Radiance, etc. Spells that deal lots of instances of damage like Dark Pact, Torrent, or Rot are good too.
  • Now the exceptions: Orb of Venom and HP Removal (like Necrolyte’s Heartstopper Aura or Urn of Shadows) do not burn off Refraction charges. And levels 1 and 2 of Ion Shell can damage TA without eating Refraction charges.
  • You can’t break TA’s Meld with any stun or silence since Meld invisibility is an infinite duration buff (which is purgable), not a channeled spell. Your team really needs to have ground targeted or non-targeted spells otherwise she is just going to walk crouch all over you.
  • However, spells that change her position like Flamebreak, Blinding Light, or Fissure, can break Meld.
  • Know what you’re getting yourself into if you dive a TA. Can you handle her having Refraction? Do you have detection if she Melds? Will you be able to kill her if she has five Traps lying around? Are you going to ask yourself any of these questions or just ping her twenty times and GANK THIS SHITFACE FFS ✓?
  • Always be moving around when you’re against her mid. Make her miss last hits because she’s too busy trying to spill strawberry milk on you.
  • If you’re mid against Lanaya, get some sentry wards at around 6 minutes. Not only will this allow you to actually finish a gank on her if you get the upper hand, but you can also clear the Trap(s) that you knowshe has on your side of the hill.
  • Smokes are great against TA because teams will often be lazy with warding when they can rely on Trap vision.

Tidehunter

  • Gush’s side effect is armor reduction. Try to use it before Anchor Smash since Anchor Smash is physical damage.
  • Anchor Smash’s side effect is 40% damage reduction. Ya’ll throwing tooltips at me? You know that pubbies don’t read.
  • Anchor Smash is an extremely easy spell to animation cancel (hit the stop key). This is mainly relevant if you’re laning against another melee hero since you can bait them out of getting last hits by throwing out half-Smashes.
  • The damage reduction on Anchor Smash can be applied through magic immunity. Meaning that if you’re dealing with BKB carries, save your post-Ravage Anchor Smash after BKBs are turned on. If you apply it before they go magic immune, BKB will purge the debuff off.
  • Kraken Shell is somewhat of a one point wonder. If you aren’t dying before you can Ravage, less damage block may be more useful so you can hit the purge threshold quicker.
  • Ravage is Tidehunter’s ultimate.

Versus

  • Preventing Ravage is extremely difficult even with a coordinated team, but your best bet is to be exceedingly generous with staggering your stuns.

Timbersaw

  • Whirling Death can be activated while you’re mid-Timber Chain.
  • Be generous when targeting Timber Chain. It’s okay to sacrifice ~50 range to ensure you aren’t airballing chains.
  • Your goal in lane is to find the minimum amount of creep aggro you need to draw to keep Reactive Armor working at its cap.
  • An enemy can receive the burst damage from the Chakram once when it flies out and once when it’s coming back. So if it looks like an enemy is about to escape the AoE of the Chakram, just return it while they’re still in it. The extra passthrough damage will be more useful than a few more milliseconds of slow.

Versus

  • Always be in the middle of the lane when laning against or escaping from Timber. The distance you’re saving by hugging the treeline won’t matter when he purely damages your ass.
  • Timbersaw hates Mana Leak probably more than any other spell in the game, so fight bullshit with bullshit and pick KotL of Pain.
  • Avoid right click harassing him in lane. That’s what he wants. Save your mana and HP for a full kill attempt.
  • If you’re a strength hero, Whirling Death will fuck your shit. Losing 10 off your primary attribute means you are going to lose 190 HP, plus the nuke damage. Shit hurts.

Tinker

  • Laser does pure damage. On Tinker, the main ways to take advantage of this is to one-shot Level 6 Visage Familiars when maxed, ignore Huskar’s Berserker’s Bullshit, and penetrate Anti-Mage’s hexagon armor.
  • Laser’s 100% Blind is a big deal. Early game, you can keep it in your pocket for when a right click hero dives you. Late game, it’s effectively a three-second Halberd disarm.
  • After extensive testing, I still have no idea how cast direction affects March of the Machines, but all the cool kids cast it backwards, so just do that. I guess the idea is that, since the robots spawn behind Tinker, you want them to start spawning in front of the enemy…?
  • March of the Machines damages through and doesn’t get reduced by magic immunity.
  • Avoid drying yourself out every time you TP on the lane in the late game. Keep mana in the bank to deal with a Rearm or TP getting broken. At the very least, keep your Soul Ring off CD whenever you’re Traveling back to the fountain.
  • You don’t have to level Rearm at 6. If you’re getting slow farm and aren’t close to your Boots of Travel, you’ll be better off leveling spells that can net you kills.
  • Every single minute mark is valuable for Tinker, especially if/when you get a Blink Dagger. Tinker can take advantage of stacking like a mother. Time your TPs so you can end up near jungle or ancient camps at the :53 second mark, then March the stack down. Ez farm ez life.
  • You don’t get experience from camps that you kill after you’ve TP’d out. I see a ridiculous number of streamers TP out when they’re halfway through quietly munching on an ancient camp just to keep their APM spam up. What the hell man, you left before all of the big creeps died and you’re not level 16. I think you could have sacrificed the two extra seconds, I promise I won’t lose respect for you just because I didn’t hear you mash your Cherry MX Blues for a moment.
  • Using Soul Ring will always give you a +150 mana buffer, even if your mana is filled. So don’t use Soul Ring before you TP out of the fountain otherwise the TP will take mana out of the buffer.
  • Take advantage of the few seconds of residual Fountain Aura when you TP to a creep. If you’re fast, you should be able to use a Bottle charge and have it replenished immediately, and you should be able to lose minimal HP from Soul Ring’s Sacrifice.
  • Don’t make life hard for the carry. You have the ability to be in all three lanes whenever you want, but you also have the ability to bail at a moment’s notice. Much like Nature’s Prophet, Tinker’s job is to farm the dangerous locations that other heroes can’t. So stay out of the lane that your carry is trying to farm.
  • Also like when playing Prophet, use fake TPs to scare enemies off chasing your allies. If they call your bluff, then, like when playing Prophet, tell your team “I did help” and go back to playing PvE across the map.

Versus

  • For some reason, lane creeps drop aggro off of an enemy creep if there is a Boots of Traveled person TPing onto it. So it’s up to you to kill the creep and prevent Tinker’s TP.
  • Boots of Travel’s channel time does not increase based on nearby teammate TPs like scrolls do, meaning that backup from Tinker can come quickly.
  • March of the Machines damages through and doesn’t get reduced by magic immunity. I’m repeating it because this will be on the exam.
  • Tinker is a filthy liar. Heat-Seeking Missiles miss. A lot. Ways to make them miss include: Any kind of blinking, any kind of invisibling (including Smoke), any kind of banishing, any kind of teleporting, any kind of magic immunity, being ethereal before they’re launched, and spells like Pounce, Leap, Waveform, etc. This spell gets more disjointed than an old lady falling down the stairs, which begs the question as to why Tinker hypes their reliability.

Tiny

  • Avalanche has a short delay before the stun connects, so try to slightly lead it if you can. You don’t need to go full Leshrac, but you’re not going to hit someone who’s running from the outskirts of the AoE.
  • Avalanche is constantly stunning in the AoE, so you can throw it in advance, like Ice Path, if you know a hero will be in the AoE before it finishes (mid-banish, pre-TP).
  • Toss damages buildings if a unit lands on it.
  • Toss breaks channels through magic immunity, including your allies’. Don’t Toss your Sandy Claws until he finishes channeling Epicenter.
  • “Dear mr icefrog can u pls let tuny toss ppl to runes? Lol. I think it wuld be a good thing to add so lik when im gnaking or sumthin and dazzl walks by and is like wtf y am i here, i can be lik u got runetossed ROFL. tnx!!!!!!”
  • I joke, but a Tiny who knows how to use Toss to its fullest is terrifying. Tossing an enemy to your lane mate at the tower at level 1, Tossing an enemy to a Beastmaster Hawk in the trees, blinking on the enemy carry and Tossing them back to your team. This is what separates the level 6 Tinys from the level 16 Tinys.
  • Let your right clicks finish. Tiny’s attack speed is constantly changing throughout the course of the game, which makes it a real bitch to consistently cancel his backswing animation. Err on the side of caution and be patient.
  • /u/Decency did a test on the most optimal way to skill Tiny. Along with /u/weewolf‘s quintessential dad joke, this is a solid thread. The tl;dr tells you everything you need to know about playing Tiny: 1. Cast Avalanche first, then Toss after a very slight delay (as soon as you see the blue ‘stunned’ symbol appear over their head). 2. At level 16+ this deals 820 damage to a hero with standard 25% magic resistance. 3. Optimal skill build: Avalanche-Toss-Avalanche-Toss-Avalanche-Grow-Toss-Toss-Avalanche.

Versus

  • As long as the rocks are flying around, an Avalanche will stun you if you walk into the AoE.
  • Toss can be used like an indirect Blink Dagger. This is usually not something you need to worry about, but every once in a while you’ll run into a pair of jamokes who think a Centaur+Tiny lane is the funniest shit since wrinkle-free pants.
  • Craggy Exterior will make you froth at the mouth if you’re a melee carry, so get a BKB.
  • Tiny has no armor to start. Storm Spirit is wearing a goddamn bathrobe and has 5 armor and this igneous, metamorphic, third type of rock I can’t remember dude has 0. Coupled with his super slow attack animation, Tiny can’t trade hits very well in lane.

Treant Protector

  • Treant can use items while he’s Nature’s Guise’d. This is almost entirely pointless for the hero, except when you go Mission: Impossible as fuck and stealth ward the entire enemy jungle. You can also use a TP while invis and arrive to a tower still invis if you’re near trees.
  • You still have collision when Guise’d, so you will block paths and bump into heroes.
  • The healing component of Leech Seed is finally useful now that it continues after the target dies. During pushes, save it for when the creep waves clash under a tower so your creeps won’t run away from the heal.
  • The two aspects of Living Armor (the heal and the block) are not separate buffs like with TA’s Refraction. If you take too many damage instances, you will lose the heal. Assume that all your allies are idiots and don’t understand how ‘damage instances’ work and avoid healing teammates when they’re aggro’d by a bunch of creeps or neutrals.
  • But if your allies were smart, they’d exploit as many instances of the block as they can without losing the healing buff. Boy, wouldn’t that be something.
  • Avoid casting Living Armor on a tower unless you know that the enemy creep wave is far away for the same reason.
  • If you use Living Armor on a tower while it’s Glyphed, the damage instances won’t tick down.
  • You can cast Living Armor through the minimap.
  • There are always occasions when you can be using Living Armor. In the early game, be policing your lanes if anyone needs the heal. If no one needs the heal, then see if someone can benefit from the block. If no heroes need it, then look at towers. In the late game, when you’re struggling for relevance, you can always cast it on creeps to ever so slowly help a push.
  • Since everyone knows to not BKB until Overgrowth comes out, you have to play a dangerous game of chicken with enemy carries. You can cancel the Overgrowth cast against dumber enemies, but most of the time you’ll just have to bite the bullet and let the carry break out.
  • According to the wiki, Overgrowth is supposed to be able to stop metamorphosing. But in my testing, DK and Lycan were both able to K.A. Applegate my ass while Overgrown, so this may be a bug or it’s just inaccurate.

Versus

  • It’s usually not worth buying Dust just for Nature’s Guise in most games, but it is a good idea to keep a sentry in the vicinity when your team is pushing an enemy tower to protect against Treant surprise tentacle raping your team.
  • Nature’s Guise is purgable.
  • You can see the Living Armor buff on enemy heroes if you click on them to check the number of block instances left and the amount of time left.
  • The Living Armor damage block makes dives against a team with Treant a huge gambit, so avoid early game aggression.
  • ♫ (It starts with) One push, I don’t know why. It doesn’t even matter how hard you try. Remember these tips, when that pile of sticks helps the tower get fixed. (All I know) Is that mana is a valuable thing. Watch our Pudge miss, I bet he’s typing -ping. Watch our whole team start spamming ►Well Played! Now Clock Flares life away. (Witch Doctor’s here) Didn’t look at it go. Tried to bottle crow, killed El Gato. Come on let’s hold on and stop this whole throw. I wasted my urn so–wait, where’d my team goooo? We stayed together as 5 and even though we tried, it all fell apart. Now this stupid Tree will eventually heal the whole tower, GG… I PUSHED SO HARD AND GOT SO FAR, BUT IN THE ENDDDD, IT’S FUCKING LIVING ARMOR. NOW OUR TEAM’S DEAD AND URSA’S FED, BUT IN THE ENDDDD, IT’S FUCKING LIVING ARMOR. ♪ There’s no such thing as chipping down a tower against a Treant, you have to commit fully to every tower push, otherwise you’re just wasting your time.
  • If Treant is solo in the hard lane, consider aggressively pushing as soon as possible. It may seem counterintuitive, but if Tree has to blow Armor on healing his tower, that means he’s not using it to help his teammates.
  • Cast BKB or Manta Style or Diffusal Purge AFTER you’re Overgrowth’d to break out of it.
  • You can manually cast orbs to attack while Overgrowth’d.

Troll Warlord

  • There is almost no reason to be in ranged form after the laning phase aside from the Whirling Axes slow or to get one very last hit on an enemy before they escape. Every attribute is harder, better, faster, and stronger in melee form.
  • …I guess the other reason you’d want to be in ranged form is to get more HP out of a heal, but really it’s negligible.
  • Troll is tied with PA as the dumbest hero in the game with +1 INT growth per level. Whirling Axes (Melee) is a great wave clearing spell, but Troll runs out of magic juice fast, especially if you got a Shadow Blade, so don’t spam your spells.
  • Neither the blind, nor the damage, from Whirling Axes (Melee) work on Rosh. Why? I don’t know. Here’s where my boy /u/imxtrabored would come in and be all like: “The way Whirling Axes was coded in Dota was that 4 invisible Hippogryphs spawn in a circle around Troll and heal every target for a negative amount, which doesn’t affect Hargon Stompdick-based units like Roshan.”
  • Whirling Axes (Ranged) give a dope amount of lingering flying vision. If there’s only one thing you take away from all my tips, I hope that it’s vision giving spells should be prized and cherished like a… warm… baby…
  • Pay attention to when you can help your team with Battle Trance if you’re not around.
  • I don’t care that it got nerfed, Battle Trance is still my #1 contender for ‘most broken spell in the game’. Pair him up with Tiny and backdoor a tower every 30 seconds. Pair him up with OD for machine gun pure damage. Pair him up with Lycan and watch your Lich out-DPS the enemy Alchemist without either of you being there.

Versus

  • Troll’s no Ursa, but he can still solo Rosh fairly early in the game. Keep your eyes on the pit after he picks up some lifesteal.
  • The blind on Whirling Axes (Melee) is obnoxious and usually worth getting a King Bar for.
  • Troll’s entire kit revolves around making chop suey out of a single target. If he has to switch focus before killing a target, you’re doing a good job dealing with him. Force Staffs, Eulses, and Banishes are all ideal counters.

Tusk

  • Ice Shards has beastly range, but the projectile travels pretty slow. If you’re going for a long range Shard, try to save it for when the enemy is moving into a chokepoint.
  • Turn on your Phase Boots before you Snowball and don’t cast anything else. Casting any spell except Snowball will make you lose the speed buff and your Snowball will depressingly dismantle before you even make it halfway to the target.
  • You, and anyone else in you wrap up, are completely invulnerable when rolling in a Snowball. So whenever your team starts cursing at you for wrapping them in a dopey 20 movespeed Snowball, just say you were trying to protect them.
  • Use the Sigil. I know, man. You’re playing Tusk, you don’t want to have to like, do things, and like, help the team. You just wanna punch shit, yeah? I get that, bro. Thing is, the Sigil is amazing and you’re being a Penguin Punching busta by maxing out Snowball and not even putting a point in the Sigil.
  • Now that you’ve Snowballed yourself into 5 and you’re dead, why don’t you take the Sigil for a drive. Doesn’t that feel good? Doesn’t it feel good to be affecting magic immune units with a huge movement speed and attack speed slow? Yeah, I bet it does.
  • Oh wow, look at that. The Sigil is giving you a bit of flying vision. You could use that to find wards and stuff. Gee, that’s neat. What a neat spell.
  • NOW YOU GOT IT KILLED. THAT’S 120 GOLD (AT LEVEL 4) YOU JUST HANDED TO THE ENEMIES. OH THE HUMANITY.
  • Walrus Punch breaks channels, even if the enemy is magic immune.
  • You won’t lose the Walrus Punch buff when attacking towers or denying creeps. Or, if you’re a pessimist: You can’t Walrus Punch towers or use it to aggressively deny the shit out of your creeps.
  • I vant a nice kleen fite.

Versus

  • Ice Shards is kind of a poor man’s Telekinesis in lane in that you need to add some extra space in your safe zone to compensate for it. The distance you have to move to walk out of the Shards doesn’t seem like much, but you set yourself up for skillshot disables or free harass.
  • Tusk n’ Team are invincible in his Snowball, so don’t cast your spells until the ball busts.
  • Kill the Sigil. I know, man. You’re in a teamfight, you don’t want to ha– oh wait it’s 120 gold. I’ve played enough Visage games to know that people will dive past Tier 3s for that kind of money.

Undying

  • Decay is weird nuke. You take 76 HP (4 STR)+the nuke damage from a hero on every cast, but it doesn’t look like much because their HP bar is still full green. After you play Dirge for a couple of games, you realize that enemies will often fail to notice how much HP they’re missing in lane and how much damage you’ve built up. So crank the aggression.
  • In lane, try to use Decay only when you can catch multiple heroes. The people you are laning against are not drift compatible. Even if they’re doing a good job avoiding each other, they’ll eventually bumble into each other, which is when you pounce.
  • Soul Rip is technically more useful as a heal than a nuke because healing isn’t reduced by magic resistance.
  • You can Soul Rip your Tombstone to heal it. In 90% of teamfights this is how you should be using the spell.
  • Zombies add to Soul Rip’s unit count.
  • “Oh good, Flesh Golem is down, let’s force a fight,” said no team ever. Tombstone is your real ult, and youget to need to max it at level 7.
  • If you’re trying to use Tombstone as a slow, you’re pretty desperate. If you’re that desperate, the enemy has probably been running for a while. If the enemy has been running for a while, their teammates are probably en route. If their teammates force a fight, you have no Tombstone. Don’t use Tombstone as a last ditch slow.
  • Avoid using Tombstone as initiation as well. The fight needs to get nice and committed before you should feel comfortable bringing the thriller. The zombie spawning AoE may feel like a lot in the laning phase, but when teamfights start rolling around, people will escape the 1000 range without even trying if you plop down the Tombstone on reflex.
  • Pugna can Decrepify Tombstone now. So that’s a thing.

Versus

  • Don’t stand next to your lane partner when you’re against Undying, especially in a trilane. If he’s spamming Decay, make sure he’s only hitting one hero.
  • Because Undying takes your STR in lane, healing items are more effective. If you’ve got a few stacks of Decay on yourself, that’s the best time to use a tango.
  • AoE physical/composite damage screws Undying. Luna and Gyrocopter are great at instaclearing zombies. Dazzle’s Shadow Wave, Tinker’s March of the Machines, and Alchemist’s Acid Spray*inaccurate are other notable counters. As are all types of cleave (Battle Fury, Empower, or Sven’s Cleave) and splash (DK ult 11 and 16).
  • Kill the Tombstone. Finish it. I don’t want this toss-one-attack-meh-I-didn’t-do-much-damage-to-it-so-it’s-not-my-problem business, or this well-we-almost-killed-it-but-then-it-got-Soul-Ripped-so-whatevs shit. Unless your team has one of the aforementioned methods of zombie genocide it is almost ALWAYS worth killing the Tombstone the second it comes up. Even if you’re faring okay as the carry, your support players are playing the PopCap game of their life because you didn’t help kill the Tombstone.
  • Zombies will lose interest in you if you go invisible.
  • It’s usually more practical to just finish off the Tombstone rather than farm zombies after a fight. However, you can see how much time is left on the Tombstone by clicking on it and watching its ‘Magic Immunity’ buff run down if you’re feeling greedy.
  • Flesh Golem’s damage amplification is vastly underestimated. Undying isn’t just being a nuisance stomping around your carry, he’s being a walking Soul Catcher. You don’t have to kill him right off the bat, but keep him off of your high priority allies.

Ursa

  • Earthshock is ridiculously good slow that gets little respect. There are no tips here other than if you’re like all the other jabronis on Dotabuff who don’t level it until 10, I hate you. I bet you’re the kind of guy who skips Shrapnel on Sniper too. Disgusting.
  • You use Overpower stacks on denial attacks. So turn all those unused stacks from failed kill attempts into aggressive denials to pull the lane back.
  • The duration on Overpower is 5 seconds longer than the cooldown. Meaning that before you go in for a gank or into Rosh, you should cast Overpower well in advance so the second cast is already in the chamber when you need it.
  • When laning, try to keep Fury Swipe stacks up like Napalm, especially against melee heroes. Ursa has very high base armor (5.52), so he can take abuse quite well.
  • Fury Swipes is an orb effect. I learned this three da Every new Ursa player learns this on their first jungling experience when they discover that the Morbid Mask they rushed isn’t doing dickity.
  • The damage buff from Enrage is not dynamically calculated. When you hit Rawr, you’ll keep that damage value no matter how low your HP gets. Similarly, if you use Enrage at 10hp and then eat Cheese, you won’t get more damage.*JK THIS IS INACCURATE
  • The next question is: Well, how does Armlet work with Enrage? The answer is: It doesn’t. For some reason, it seems that Armlet being on or off doesn’t factor into Enrage damage. Since Armlet gives you 475HP when activated, you should be getting 24/29/33 damage at 6/11/16, but you don’t. *Am I wrong again? Probably.
  • And before you ask, you can’t buy 6 Vit Boosters, Enrage, then sell them and keep the damage.
  • Ursa has probably the most flexible item options of any AGI carry in the game. Really the only item he needsis Vlad’s, the rest situational. Any pair of boots can work, Blink or Shadow Blade are good for initiation, Rod of Atos can be great for killing and increasing Enrage damage, Halberd can be great for manfights against bashlords, hell even Sheepstick or Eul’s are great if you don’t need anything else.
  • Roshing for Dummies: Get Vlad’s, get Smoke, cast Smoke, TP to nearest tower, cast Overpower, wait a couple of seconds, run into the Rosh pit, chop Rosh, cast Overpower again immediately, UHHUHAUAHUAH IMMORTALITY.
  • You should always check the 0 minute rune as Ursa. Getting a Haste rune is basically an all expense paid trip to first blood.
  • TAKE THE ROSH TIMER WHEN YOU’RE PLAYING THIS GRIZZLY-ASS, POLAR-ASS, BROWN-ASS, BLACK-ASS, APPARENTLY-GIANT-PANDAS-ARE-ALSO-A-MEMBER-OF-THE-BEAR-FAMILY-ASS HERO. I know it’s the day after Christmas, but I got you what you really wanted:
    bind "b" "chatwheel_say 57" //Current Game Time
    

    Crack open your Steamsteamappscommondota 2 betadotacfgautoexec.cfg and now you too can show your teammates no mercy every time you press B. Ballers, you’re putting numbers on the boards.

Versus

  • Today’s the day you take a stand against Ursas who jungle for 20 minutes and then come out to Black King Buttravage your whole team. Ursabears are not good at multitasking, so all you really need to do is creepily stare at him taking camps while you rub that shared EXP all over your body. Chances are, if you’re in the macaroni and cheese trench where Ursas are jungling, the enemy mid isn’t going to help shoo you out of his jungle anyway. Prollem solved.
  • Ursa has no stuns, so keep your finger on the TP when you see him moseying on down towards you.
  • You really need at least one Force Staff on your team against Ursa, preferably more. After that, Eul’s, Rod, Sheep, and Ghost Scepter are all good support items against Ursa.
  • Good carry items against Ursa are Basher/Abyssal, Manta, Halberd, and sometimes Ethereal Blade.
  • Be aware of Level 1 Rosh attempts when Wraith King/Skeleton King, Lone Druid, or Io/Wisp are on Ursa’s team.

Vengeful Spirit

  • Magic Missile might just be the most boring spell in the entire game. I have more fun turning on Flak Cannon than casting this. If you need tips on how to use this spell, you’ve disappointed me more than I’m disappointing you.
  • Wave of Terror is a useful spell for scouting out dangerous territory because of its massive range+vision.
  • Wave of Terror affects magic immune units.
  • Vengeance Aura only amplifies base damage and damage from attribute items, not +damage items. God, I’m sorry, I’m falling asleep just writing these. Do I have something against VS or is she objectively extremely lame? To me, VS is like a Toyota Camry. Useful, reliable, and ranked Consumer Reports’ top four door sedan for over 12 years. But you don’t make friends with Camrys. Girl hasn’t even really been changed since before 6.57.
  • Vlad’s can be a worthwhile pickup on VS, because if you’re standing around your carry, you’ll be giving them +51% bonus damage with both Vengeance+Vladmir’s Aura.
  • Nether Swap goes through magic immunity.
  • If you’re ever against an Enigma, your assignment is to sit around and play with your hair until you can use Swap to break Black Hole.
  • If you’ve got jokes, Shadow Blade can be an amusing pickup on VS, since Swap to Shadow Walk is a pretty safe maneuver in most pubs.

Versus

  • The Wave of Terror debuff lasts 20 seconds and at level 4, it’s basically an AoE Medallion on your whole team.
  • When you’re 20 minutes in on a terrible game and you’re trying to make yourself feel better by asking, “Who has the better late game?” The answer is typically the team with VS on it. Vengeance Aura gets stronger as (most) carries get stronger. End soon against a VS before she starts beefing up her carries or turns into one herself.
  • At level 16, Nether Swap’s range is 1200, which is dangerously long. During T3 tower defenses, make sure that the enemy team doesn’t have wards on your high ground otherwise your carry is going to get swapped.

Venomancer

  • I did CAPS LOCK LEORIC just to keep up appearances. Welcome to the real manliest hero in Dota.
  • Exhibit A: Call up the boys at SkadiStats and Dotametrics and find out which hero has the most posthumous kills. Culling people to death is pretty manly. But killing people when you’re already dead? Manlier.
  • Exhibit B: Veno’s so manly he’s not even the right class of hero. An AGI caster without a steroid? That takes balls. Venomous balls. Venomous gales.
  • Exhibit C: Venomancer. Checkmate, omniknights.
  • Veno is a great hero to practice harassing without drawing creep aggro. Poison Sting isn’t an orb, but with good aggro control, you can have it behave like one.
  • A lot of people don’t skill Plague Wards early because they claim it pushes the lane. That would be right, if it weren’t completely fucking wrong. “But tsunami,” you say, “they do piercing damage. They hurt creeps like crazy.” Willickers, you’re right. And I’m so proud of you for knowing they do piercing damage. It sure is a good thing you can micro your wards. Still confused? WELL LET ME BREAK DOWN SOME XxX360NOSTOPWARDCONTROLxXx.
  • tl;dw – Use the stop key and use unified unit orders. No one is forcing Plague Wards to constantly attack. Stop them if there are no heroes around, sic them all on a creep at the same time to last hit or deny, put them up on cliffs and tell them to shut up so they don’t alert an enemy who didn’t know you could see them.
  • This is also useful when chasing enemies down with Plague Wards. When you throw one up ahead, don’t waste time selecting it to acquire a target, just issue a unified ctrl+right click on the enemy hero.
  • Plague Wards have collision and can be used to block narrow paths.
  • Try to deny your Plague Wards in lane.
  • Veno is the queen of harassing junglers. Plague wards block camps, have an awesome cast range, short CD, last forever, and are impossible for enemies to kill quickly enough without blocking a camp themselves. Even beyond that, Poison Sting is really hard to deal with for most junglers.
  • With one cast of a 4 point Gale and one attack with a 4 point Poison Sting, you do ~850 magical damage over 15 seconds.
  • In a teamfight, your job is to Bell, Biv, and/or DeVoe every hero in the vicinity. Each of your poisons last for ~15 seconds, so you need either your Poison Sting or Venomous Gale on everyone to give a final tick of lethal damage post-Nova.

Versus

  • Always be on the lookout for opportunities to deny your allies. You can’t deny Poison Sting or Nova, but you can deny allies under Venomous Gale (even level 1).
  • Poison Sting DoT does not cancel healing. If you’re about to die to Poison Sting, use your Salve without fear.
  • You can Phase Boot through Wards if you’re getting body blocked by one.

Viper

  • If you’re in an high harass lane, focus your points in Corrosive rather than your orb. Corrosive actually does more DoT (40/60/80/100) than Poison Attack (20/32/44/56).

Versus

  • For the first 25 minutes of the game you’re not going to get away from Viper and you’re not going to win a manfight against him. Shrug your shoulders, pack your shit up, and start TPing as soon as the first orb hits you.
  • You want to avoid putting DoTs on Viper. Every time he takes damage, Corrosive Skin will refresh on your hero. Seeing as how Corrosive Skin is also giving him magic resistance, he’ll typically take less damage than you from any DoT.
  • THIS INCLUDES RADIANCE. OH GOD NEVER BUILD A RADIANCE AGAINST VIPER.

Visage

  • You can Grave Chill any non-allied unit. If you see the enemy mid coming to gank you in lane, just Chill the nearest creep and make a break for it. If you’re trying to catch up to an enemy for a final Soul Assumption, Chill a neutral in the jungle to get in range quicker.
  • Don’t sit on Soul Assumption charges. Instead of struggling to land a Familiar stun in a teamfight before realizing that they all died in the chaos, worry about using Soul Assumption every time you have full service bars.
  • It’s only once you start playing Visage that you realize that there are a lot of heroes who kill your familiars for breakfast. Timbersaw, Tinker, and Bane are all pure damage dealers who can kill them easy. Bristle, Bounty Hunter, Axe, and Luna are some notable high physical damage dealers who will also ice out your families.
  • If you’re against heroes like that, there are many other ways to use familiars. Use Brooklyn and Lexington to stack ancients, send them to gank a different lane, put them behind a lane and use them to distract the next creep wave before a dive.
  • Familiars’ do not*HP, Armor, and movespeed don’t automatically upgrade when you level them up *but damage does, you have to resummon to get all the leveled perks.
  • In most teamfights, you’ll usually want to have your familiars spit on the enemy’s squishiest support. Not only can these supports not take the abuse, but most don’t have a way of easily getting rid of the birds either.
  • Familiars deal physical damage which make them pair well with minus armor, like Medallion.
  • Visage is yet another hero on whom unified commands are great on. Most of the time your familiars will be gossiping with each other above a nearby treeline. Don’t worry about unit groups or box selecting and just ctrl+right click what you want to do.
  • The simplest way to familiar stun is through unit tabbing. Grave Chilly the enemy, tab to a familiar, press Q, tab again, Q again, Assume some Souls, get some kills.

Versus

  • With Visage’s new and unimproved base magic resistance, Orb of Venom can now burn off all layers of Gravekeeper’s Cloak levels 1 and 2 in just one hit. Most other DoTs will also quickly burn off layers.
  • You can’t stun/hex familiars. Well you can try, but it won’t stop them from flying just out of range.
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One Response to “Dota 2 Heroes Tips and Counters Mega Guide”

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