Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Drafting Practice: Day Eight

Draft #1
I'm the Dire player.

I think Radiant is going to have a really bad day.

Razor and Puck are tied middle, maybe with a slight advantage for Puck because of his mobility and evasion.

Spectre is going to flat-out lose his lane.  Veno is food - his low range, low speed and squishiness will spell his doom vs an aggro tri.  Even Disruptor alone would be able to zone out both Veno and Spectre.  Enchantress will come online with a few levels and be able to help out, but by that time, the tri-lane would be lost (if she's not simply ganked in the jungle a lot).  With some aggressive warding of both the large and pull camps, the downfall of Radiant's bottom lane would be complete.

Top, I think it's fairly even, and although I usually favour a ranged laner over a melee one, Weaver's low hp pool won't allow him to harass a Centaur with Return (at least not for very long).  Centaur, being melee, might even be able to get some denies with a Quelling Blade (56 base damage + 32% = 71), although Weaver has decent early base damage (55, or 61 with some items), plus Shukuchi.

Dire have a better midgame, with Razor and Lifestealer online, although Radiant has some decent teamfight ults, with Veno, Centaur and Puck.... but little to combo their mobility ults with, and Veno's L6 will likely be delayed.

I believe Dire also have a better lategame, even though Enchantress, Veno, Puck and Centaur can all scale well... they aren't all that likely to do so given the earlygame setup.

Advantage Dire.

Draft #2:

I can't remember, but it's likely that I'm Dire again.

I favour Radiant's heroes for counter-picking, but I don't think the lanes will go well for them. Spectre just isn't very strong before level 6, and even with the possibility of a side-pull from the Dire hard camp near the top lane, Dire should be able to contest these pulls and harass from range, zoning out Spectre almost completely.  While early points in Nether Ward and Mana Burn will do work against the Dire supports, Dire has a LOT of early burst (Lucent Beam + Arcane/Concussive + Nether Shock), and have 3 ranged heroes versus 1 ranged and 2 melee.

I think the mid lane is pretty close to equal, possibly slightly favouring Viper (because he's just a pain to lane against).

Bristleback will probably do well against Faceless, given his Quill Spray harass, although he's unlikely to get a kill, and even at Level 6, Faceless is unlikely to be able to kill Bristle in a Chrono.

Given that I early-picked Void, I probably should have gone for a different carry, such as Gyro, who's ult and abilities would combo better with Chrono.  I also liked the Invoker pickup, as he has several abilities that could mess with Void inside of Chrono.

Draft #3

Despite the laning definitions shown, I think what we're really looking at here is an aggro-tri from Dire.  OD will do well against any Int hero mid, although he's unlikely to get a kill without a rotation from supports.

Anti-mage + Lich, with Enigma, is a great combo, but Enigma is not very helpful against an enemy tri-lane, and is likely to get ganked a lot in the jungle, especially at early levels.

I actually think the new Bloodseeker will do surprisingly well against Bat, and might even manage to get a kill if he can silence Bat before he pops Firefly (or if it's on cooldown), or after level 6 (Bat is terrible against Rupture).

Mid and late game, Dire's strengths are that Venge can be used to Swap allies out of Black Hole, and WK doesn't really care if he dies once to a Black Hole.  Both DP and Bloodseeker have silences to deal with Anti-mage's attempts to escape via Blink.

Radiant strengths are that both DP and OD are quite squishy, and Bat should get enough farm for a decently-timed Blink Dagger, meaning pickoffs are quite likely on Dire's two cores (Lich, Invoker, and Enigma supply the damage).  Invoker, Enigma, and to a lesser degree, Bat, can stall pushes while Anti-mage farms, as Dire really doesn't have that much push other than DP (until WK get a Maelstrom).

During the draft, Radiant did well to ban out a lot of strong pushers, while taking some decent anti-push.  Dire banned out the tough offlaners, in anticipation of a roaming pair and/or aggro-tri.

I favour the Dire draft for aggression, but I think the Radiant side has a good chance of delaying long enough for Anti-mage to come online, who will do very well against the Dire cores.

Draft #4:

I'm the Dire player, again.

Radiant wins mid, as some Cog spam should keep Pudge low on mana, and Clock is tanky enough to survive any of Pudge's burst.  A roaming Rubick or NP isn't going to change that situation much, whereas a rotation from AA + Sky could be very bad for Pudge.

Bottom lane, AA + Sky should be able to zone DS out of xp range, but he might still get some farm with ion shell spam (which is also annoying to Slardar).  Rubick will likely stay top and stack and pull for DK to improve his farm, though DK would do decently well solo vs. Tide (Dragon Breath spam vs. Anchor Smash spam).

Midgame, I think Radiant will have trouble dealing with NP's split-pushing, unless Clock can get some really good Hooks to gank NP, together with a well-placed Ice Blast from AA.  In the same vein, Pudge could be really deadly to AA and Sky, both of whom would easily die to a Pudge hook + combo.

I think Dire picked up DS too early in the draft - Wall of Replica won't be all that effective against any of the Radiant cores, and Tide and Clock can easily jump on a Pudge that initiates with a hook.

I favour Dire's late game slightly, but I think this game should be decided before that, as one team (probably Radiant) snowballs heavily toward a win.

Advantage Radiant.

Spotlight on Bane: The Tough Support

Intro to Bane

Bane has higher starting damage and EHP than any other ranged support.  He (it?) can also make enemy’s life in lane into a living hell with Enfeeble and Brain Sap.  He is one of the most aggressive laning supports in the game as of 6.82b, on par with Skywrath Mage and Lion.  He can also one of the support heroes that can be played as a mid semi-carry, and scales well until lategame, but still has Fiend's Grip, and thus will stay relevant even after BKBs become prevalent.

Needs mana to sustain casting-harass (clarities or Soul Ring), and is weak against push lineups (where he needs a Necronomicon ASAP).

Support Bane

As a support Bane, you will almost always start with a point in Nightmare to set up aggression in a tri-lane.  After that, you'll either choose Brain Sap (defensive tri-lane) or Enfeeble (aggressive tri-lane, to shut down enemy carry's farm, when you don't think you can outright kill them). An early 1-1-1 build sounds okay on Bane, except that you won't have mana (short of chugging Clarities) to continually spam abilities.  Given that your right-click harass is pretty good, I favour a 0-2-1 build, where you can harass and then recover a good chunk of your own hp with a Brain Sap (and possibly get a kill, too).

Mid-Late Game Blues

Bane's main problem mid to late game is that he's such a good controller, that he tends to get focused heavily, but usually only get Position-4 or 5 level of farm, so he starts to be squishy despite his decent Str gain.  Thus, positioning becomes all-important with Bane.  If you are without a Force Staff or Blink Dagger, it is better to hang back at the start of the fight, coming in to use Nightmare, Fiend's Grip, or an Enfeeble after all the nukes and big ults have been cast.  Brain Sap can be used for burst, but again, you shouldn't be going first...


Bane is countered by multiple stunners on a team, which make his Fiend's Grip useless in teamfights, since it is channeled.  A draft-counter to Bane could be Rubick, as it becomes very easy to steal Fiend's Grip.  Pushing line-ups can also "counter" Bane, as he has virtually no push or counter-push.


Bane benefits from most typical support items, but the following are built especially often on him, because of synergy with his abilities or stats:
  • Soul Ring (Laning)
  • Necronomicon (Luxury)


Typical Support Bane (defensive tri)

L1 - Nightmare
L2 - Brain Sap
L3 - Brain Sap
L4 - Nightmare (for increased range)
L5 - Brain Sap
L6 - Fiend's Grip
L7 - Brain Sap
L8, 9 - Nightmare
L10 - Stats or Enfeeble*
L11 - Fiend's Grip
L12 to 15 - Stats or Enfeeble*
L16 - Fiend's Grip
* if the enemy team is relying on magic damage, and doesn't have a right-click carry that has become dangerous, stats (for survival) might be a better choice than Enfeeble.

Support Bane (aggro tri)

L1 - Save point - spend on Brain Sap for aggression, Nightmare for setup stun, Enfeeble for laning

... I tried to create the rest of this build, but it's too situational.  All his abilities are good - you just have to know which ones to prioritize by situation.

Bane Mid (ganker & semi-carry)

You MUST be able to either shut down the enemy mid, kill the enemy mid, or go ganking after L6 to make a mid-Bane work.  He does NOT benefit from "afk farm", and should be active after L6.  Once Fiend's Grip is active, and with a full mana pool, Bane should be able to 1v1 kill almost any hero.

L1 - Enfeeble
L2 - Brain Sap
L3 - Brain Sap Rank 2
L4 - Nightmare
L5 - Brain Sap Rank 3
L6 - Fiend's Grip
L7 - Brain Sap Rank 4
L8 - Nightmare Rank 2
L9 - Nightmare Rank 3
L10 - Nightmare Rank 4 (mostly you level this up for the increased range)
L11 - Fiend's Grip
L12 - Enfeeble (or stats if enemy team is magic instead of right-click focused)
L13 - Enfeeble (or stats)
L14 - Enfeeble (or stats)
L15 - Stats
L16 - Fiend's Grip
L17+ Stats

Thursday, November 13, 2014

More Drafting Analysis

Draft #1:
Me as Radiant

I think Dire has the advantage here in the lanes.  Although Venge could roam from bottom to middle given the lane setup, Beastmaster doesn't really need it - he can still farm and gain levels safely with Wild Axes and Bottle crowing.  Silencer would probably be best joining Nyx top lane, to both harass Luna and contest pulls by Shadow Shaman.

It's almost impossible to zone out Clockwerk from a lane, given Flare to farm and Cogs to use defensively, although Curse spam from Silencer might force Clock to operate with very little mana, and be vulnerable.  Clock also doesn't really have a good counter to Razor's Plasma Field, and Razor's long attack range doesn't bring him into Cogs range to burn away his mana.  Still, Clockwerk's a pretty tough offlaner. 

Nyx is going to have trouble vs. top - Luna can use Lucent Beam to get him low (unless Nyx is VERY fast with Carapace), and if he gets too close to Shadow Shaman, he can be CC'ed ("Crowd Controlled") and then probably chased down and killed.  Thus, Venge or Silencer should probably rotate to join him top.

Teamfights will once again come down to initiation and counter-initiation - either Beastmaster Blink + Roar or Clock Hook + Cogs.  Timing of Silencer's Ult will be critical, although in general, Dire has some shorter cooldowns on their ultimates - AA only has a 40 sec CD on Ice Blast, and Clock only has a 70/55/40 CD on Hook.  Thus, Dire will be "ready to fight" more often, and will be able to press their tower-pushing advantage (DK Dragon Form, Serpent Wards).  AA and Clock also give Dire more of a global-pushing presence, although Nyx roaming might cause issues for the very-squishy SS and AA.

Lategame, Dire has stronger cores, unless Silencer somehow gets some good farm (although he's being laned as a support).  Dire also has heroes that can easily clear Ancient stacks, which should increase their lead as the game lengthens.

I lost this draft pretty hard, both to laning choices and the draft itself.

Draft #2:
Can't remember which side I drafted...

Top lane is fairly even.  Ion shell is annoying, but so is Anchor Smash.  Both laners quite tanky, and neither has a ton of burst.

Middle fairly even - Luna isn't a terribly strong mid, and Brew is tanky enough to mid against a ranged opponent.  However, Luna, being squishier, is probably more vulnerable to ganks.  Either mid could potentially kill the other after L6.

Aggro tri (all ranged) vs. WK + Warlock = Radiant will lose this one.  Chen can be a strong support, but warding the jungle, or denying him early levels with harass / ganks will make him fairly useless all game.

Conclusion:  Dire wins this draft.

Draft #3:
I'd really like to try this pair of drafts in a real game.  The more interesting part would be the tri-vs-tri.  Lots of burst on both sides.  Slight advantage to Radiant, as they have more stuns, and they are much tankier, but Dire's heroes are very spammy and good tri-laners.

The PA vs. Brew matchup is an interesting one, but PA will need help post-Level 6, as Brew will likely just be able to kill him (her?) straight up.  The tri-lane will likely be decided by then, and roaming will likely decide middle more decisively than the mid match-up itself.

Bottom is probably advantage Radiant, simply because Lone Druid scales better than Bristle, Bristle won't be able to kill LD, and the supports that could gank LD are tied up in the tri-lane at top.  The Bear is also going to be very dangerous to the squishy Dire supports, later in the game.

Teamfights will be interesting, and Nether Ward will do a lot of work against Ogre and Lina, but Lina especially.  However, there's very little lockdown for the Bear (Concussive Shot won't work, Decrepify could work, Grave Chill could work?), and PA has lots of squishy targets to choose from.

Radiant has a much better lategame, but a weaker midgame.  Dire has a chance to get ahead and close the game out before the game goes long, but if they don't, they will lose.

I favour Radiant slightly because of tankier heroes and more hard disables, but Radiant are also taking the bigger risks by running and aggro tri and a greedier mid.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Day Six, Part Two: Opponent Joins in - atypical drafts!

Okay, so I went a bit YOLO with some of these drafts (Spiritbreaker, anyone?), but I didn't think it was all that bad.  My opponent (same one) joined in with some more-atypical hero choices sometimes, but largely stuck to the "strong in the 6.81 meta" heroes.  I think I still got the better of him in some drafts, however.

Draft #1 :  Me as Radiant
If it's not obvious, I'm going for the armor-reduction strategy on this draft. While I didn't get hard-countered by any hero picks, my lanes are weak.   Shadowfiend can do okay versus Viper, but definitely doesn't have the advantage.  The only saving grace for Shadowfiend is that aside from Treant, Dire doesn't have any ganking supports, and Treant will need to stay near top lane to counter the Radiant aggro tri.  While Slardar might have been a decent suicide laner, he's not all that good against Brewmaster solo, and might even die when Brew hits L6.  My tri-lane picks are adequate, but aren't strong enough versus his very-defensive tri, and I don't have enough stuns to lock down and kill Weaver.  Worse, I've picked two very greedy supports (Dazzle and Alch both need levels and/or farm), and I don't have a jungle or pulls to get them that farm.

Conclusion:  Draft okay, lane choices poor.

Draft #2

I don't remember which side was mine, but given that I rarely draft Treant, I'm guessing I was Dire.

I find the tri-lane-versus-trilane situation to be extremely strange.  Disruptor and Treant are usually defensive supports, but are going to have a hard time against the burst lineup of Bane Nightmare or Ogre Fireblast into Arrow, followed up by Brain Sap / Starfall / Ignite.  The Radiant lineup doesn't have a primary stun to set up Leshrac's Split Earth, and both Disruptor and Leshrac are extremely squishy vs. burst.

Top lane, I think it's relatively even - Weaver can harass with ranged attacks and Sikuchi, but the Bear is so tough that he frankly won't care, and without lockdown, Lone Druid can just run back to his tower and heal up.  However, both heroes should get levels and farm.

Mid - I tend to favour Razor, but without ganks, Medusa is actually going to do decently well, especially by spamming Mystic Snake and sapping mana and hp from Razor.

Teamfights and lategame:  both sides are running tri-core lineups (Lesh = Mirana, Druid = Medusa, Razor = Weaver), but I favour Dire slightly because of their mobility.  Treant Overgrowth and Glimpse could help to limit that, but without burst or lockdown, Bear could get kited pretty hard, and if the defensive tri-lane fails, Leshrac is going to be a non-presence in teamfights, whereas Mirana at least has a long-distance arrow to initiate with.

I give a slight edge to Dire in this match, but they are taking the bigger risk with a greedy mid and an aggro-tri.

Draft #3
I'm the dire player in this draft.

This is a tricky draft to predict, because a lot of the success of the match will be determined by how well the Skywrath + Earthshaker duo can roam and gank from level 1.  Both mids are very vulnerable to ganks.  I give a slight edge to Shadowfiend in lane because of his ever-increasing right-click damage, and bottom lane, Sniper really isn't going to suffer from Dark Seer's continual Ion Shell spam (unless Dark Seer gets ballsy enough to dive the tower).  The defensive tri is likely to zone out Undying completely, given Telekinesis + Ice Path + Fade Bolt + Auto-attacks/slows and that hero will not be able to jungle to catch up on farm or levels.  Thus, once he's zoned out, the Jakiro + Rubick supports can also roam, and possibly roam for their team, to counter the roaming Radiant combo.

Teamfights will come down to positioning, as both sides have very big teamfight abilities.  However, given that zombies don't work in Chrono, every time Chrono is available, someone on Radiant is likely to be dead.  However, with proper positioning, well-placed Fissures or timely Arcane Seals could turn the tide of the fight, and there is a continual threat of Nether Ward and Tombstone.  However, Rubick is also going to have a great time stealing the many fantastic abilities (almost no ability is bad).  I suspect this game would start as advantage-Radiant, then switch to advantage-Dire later in the game, especially with their greater push and "bigger", BKB-piercing teamfight abilities.

I give a slight edge to Dire because of the BKB-piercing ultimates (Chrono, Wall, Spell Steal), and because they have slightly more pushing power.

Draft #4
 Me as Radiant.

I think Dire completely forgot about an aggro tri-lane in this draft.  Yes, Sand King and Warlock are both supports that need a lot of farm, but Sniper can't be left alone, and thus WD and Tree aren't going to be able to roam (not that they would be very good vs. QoP or DS anyway...).  QoP and Razor are well-matched in mid, and DS should win the lane against any melee hero, including Bristle.  However, with supports, the defensive tri-lane should stop the aggro-tri of Radiant pretty handily, and CK won't get the farm he needs unless he can somehow manage kills on Sniper or WD.

Midgame, assuming both teams stayed even, would see QoP start to prey on Sniper, and Razor being rather ineffective against CK's illusions and stun/rift.  Dire is lacking an initiator (aside from possibly Treant?), and Golems + Epi are going to wreck Radiant pretty hard post-level-6, and illusions + Golems will do well to soak up Death Ward from WD (if he manages to not get stunned out of it or focused first).

Lategame, Radiant has the advantage in carries.  Sniper, Razor, and Bristleback with farm will steamroll over QoP and CK, and while DS will remain effective with Wall, items like a Pipe on Bristle, and BKBs, will negate a lot of the rest of Radiant's teamfight damage, while Overgrowth and Death Ward will remain effective even into lategame.

I think Radiant could have gone with a defensive tri-lane, and then grouped for teamfights after their supports were level 6, and had a equally good or better game.  Aggro tri-lanes are risky, anyway...

Draft #5
I'm pretty sure I drafted Dire, and I'm also pretty sure that Radiant got their top and bottom lanes reversed (intended to be an aggro tri-lane, with Timber vs. Centaur).

I was trying for a Drow-buffs-other-ranged-heroes in this game, but I think with SK + ES and Timbersaw, all able to get in Drow's face with stuns and big damage, Drow is going to have a very bad day, as is Silencer.

However, if we assume the lanes occur as shown, Razor is likely to die if Venge ganks mid, and Centaur may die once or twice, but should still get levels given that SK and ES only have limited mana, and are both melee heroes.  WD isn't going to be able to harass Centaur without Return giving him back an equal amount of damage.  So... if Dire manages to snowball and delay Blink Daggers, they MIGHT be able to eke out a win.

Advantage Radiant.

Draft #6

Me as Dire.

This was my YOLO draft with SB support and Huskar mid.

I think I basically "win" all three lanes because Huskar will do well against Tinker with Burning Spear harass, Void will get zoned out top, and while NP will have to abandon bottom or feed, he can still jungle as needed for farm.  All three of the Radiant "supports" on bottom need their level 6, which they won't find in lane very quickly, and none of them jungle very well.  Yet, if one or two leave lane to roam or jungle, NP can return and push the tower.  Tinker is no longer an Ancient-farmer like he was pre-6.82, so he won't get a massive lead like he used to.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Supports that Work Mid

I've experimented with a few of the greedier supports, and if you can put them mid, they scale extremely well.  They aren't the usual mids, or even really known as semi-carries but they can work.

Here's the list of supports I've tried that should go mid when possible, and why:
  • Warlock
    • Needs levels (extremely good teamfight skills)
    • Scales well with farm due to Ultimate and Agh's
  • Leshrac
    • Highly dependent on multiple items to reach full potential (Bloodstone, BKB)
    • Needs levels badly, especially before BKBs come out
    • Spammable nuke (Lightning) against enemy mid
    • Can push tower hard if enemy mid leaves lane
  • Lina
    • Ultimate is better at higher levels (compared to Lion, for example)
    • BKB-piercing ult with Agh's (one-shot those supports!)
    • Can become a powerful right-click semi-carry with her passive
    • Should leave mid at L6, refill mana, and gank at least once (repeat when ult available)
  • Phoenix
    • Now in Captain's Mode (6.85!)
    • Needs hp, health regen and levels desperately to have impact
    • Level 2 Ultimate (SuperNova) is much better than L1, due to survivability of egg.
    • Great early-Mek carrier (heavily benefits from Mek).
The following supports are viable mid, and scale reasonably well into midgame (gank & snowball).  However, they MUST be active around the map or in other lanes after Level 6, or their "time to shine" will pass them by:
  • Abaddon
    • Benefits from levels
    • Can get VERY tanky with the right items
    • Best with aggressive mid-game carries (DK, CK, Luna, Slark, etc)
  • Ancient Apparition
    • Needs L6 ASAP for Ult
    • Needs levels
    • Powerful Agh's upgrade
    • Can gank other lanes without leaving mid (after L6)
    • Can zone out melee opponents with Cold Feet and 600 range auto-attacks 
  • Bane
    • The early Fiend's Grip is an auto-kill on the enemy mid.
    • Tends to get focused lategame, and can really use an Hp item, or BKB
    • Really annoying for enemy mid to lane against
    • All Bane's abilities are more effective earlier in the game - the faster he can level them, the greater his impact.
  • Ogre Magi
    • Needs levels
    • Falls off hard lategame, but can have massive impact early-midgame with levels
    • Transitions surprisingly well into a right-click semi-carry with appropriate gear (Crystalis + Shiva's/Scythe)
    • Can alternately use his farm to get teamfight item (Veil, Pipe, Mek, Crimson, etc)
    • Should leave mid at L7 to roam and gank
  • Nyx
    • Needs levels
    • Needs to have early game impact and snowball (Dagon / E-blade, etc)
    • Leaves mid at L6 to gank
  • Earthshaker
  • Enigma
    • He's a better jungler, but if someone insists on the jungle and there's a solar and lunar eclipse at the same time and no one wants mid...
    • Eidolons allow zoning of enemy mid, and pulling lane back
    • Malefice stun is good defensively
    • Can push tower if enemy mid leaves lane
    • Needs levels - all his abilities are good.
    • Needs early Blink, benefits heavily from BKB.
  • Jakiro
    • Needs levels
    • Strong 1v1 laner (tough, great harass)
    • Get early Mek for ridiculous push
    • Benefits heavily from utility items (Force Staff, Veil, Eul's, etc.)
  • Mirana
  • Shadow Shaman
    • Needs levels
    • Needs hp, mana regen & mobility items badly
    • Can take mid tower at L6 with Serpent Wards
    • Downside:  vulnerable in mid, not very strong 1v1 laner (tends to push lane when harassing)
  • Windrunner
    • Scales well with items (Focus Fire ult) and levels (all abilities good)
    • Needs team synergy to be effective (on team with Drow, for example)
These supports are sometimes sent mid for an early level-6 ultimate. Usually happens when you have a jungling carry, the mid lane is available, and solo offlane is too dangerous:
  • Io (usually sent mid as part of dual mid - with CK, Tiny, Sven, or PA)
  • Lich (Sacrifice also annoying to enemy mid)
  • Treant (early levels in Living Armor to help other lanes, especially an aggro-tri)
The following supports should probably NOT go mid, ever, even though they scale well with levels, because they don't need items that badly, fall off too hard after midgame and can't snowball very well).  I've seen it done, but that doesn't mean it's a good idea:
  • Dazzle
  • Disruptor
  • Earth Spirit
  • Lion
  • Rubick
  • Shadow Demon
  • Treant
  • Visage
  • Witch Doctor
If you ever see these mid, go cut your eyes out and throw your computer out a window.  They scale extremely badly, and are wasted mid:
  • Chen
  • Crystal Maiden
  • Enchantress
  • Keeper of the Light

Monday, November 10, 2014

List of Heroes with More Than One Disable

List of heroes with two or more hard disables, and some team ideas around this.

Heroes with Two Disables, NOT including Ultimate:

Earthshaker (Fissure, Aftershock - also Echo Slam)
Lion (Earth Spike + Hex)
Shadow Shaman (Hex + Shackle)
Tiny (Avalanche + Toss)

Heroes with Two Disables Including Ultimate:

Bane (Nightmare and Fiend's Grip)
Brewmaster (ultimate form has Tornado and Boulder)
Centaur Warrunner (Stomp and Stampede)
Clockwerk (Cogs and Hook)

Invoker (multiple)
Kunkka (Torrent & Ghost Ship - and X for chasing)
Naga (Ensnare & Song)
Ogre (Agh's Only:  Fireblast & Unrefined Fireblast)
Rubick (Telekinesis + stolen ability*)

Honourable Mention:

Chaos Knight (Chaos Bolt + Rift = can't run away)
Crystal Maiden (Nova, Frostbite, slowing ultimate)
Meepo (so many nets! at such crazy range!)
Shadow Demon (Disruption + Demonic Purge (slow))
Tidehunter (Gush + Ravage)
Timbersaw (Agh's = dual Chakram)
Treant (Leech Seed + Overgrowth)
Visage (Grave Chill + Familiar Stuns)

Maximizing the use of multiple disables:

To make the most of your disables, you need teammates that can dish out tons of damage to disabled targets, or targets that would otherwise kite or move out of range.

The following heroes benefit more from having extra stunners:

Ancient Apparition (Cold Feet)
Gyro (Call Down)
Invoker (Sunstrike)
Jakiro (Macropyre, Ice Path secondary stun)
Juggernaut (Spin)
Leshrac (Pulse Nova, Edict)
Lifestealer (Rage)
Mirana (set up for Arrow)
Skywrath Mage (Mystic Flare)
Ursa (Fury Swipes)
Illusion Heroes:  Chaos Knight, Naga, Meepo, etc.

Team Ideas:

Mid:  Invoker
Safe:  Gyro + Earthshaker  + Lion
Solo Offlane:  Timbersaw

#2: (pushing team)
Mid:  Leshrac
Safe:  Tiny + Shadow Shaman + Jakiro
Solo Offlane:  Centaur

#3: (2 core, aggro-tri)
Mid:  Ancient Apparition
Safe solo:  Brewmaster
Aggro Trilane:  Lifestealer + Crystal Maiden + Lion

More Team Ideas with heavy disablers.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

List of Damage Amplifiers

Heroes that have damage-amplifying abilities (not including armor reduction):
  • Ancient Apparition (Ice Vortex)
    • -15/ -20 / -25 / -30 Magic Resistance to targets in 275 area
  • Bloodseeker (Blood Rage - self or target) 
    • +25 / +30 / +35 / +40 Damage Increase (Dealt and Taken)
  • Chen (Penitence)
    • +14 / +18 +22 +26 Damage Amplification
  • Elder Titan (Natural Order - aura 275 range)
    • Base Resist Reduction: 12% / 19% / 26% / 33%
  • Medusa (Stone Gaze)
    • Physical Damage taken = +50%
    • Magical Damage taken = -100%
  • Pugna (Decrepify) - Ethereal effect
    • Magic Resist Reduction = 50% (enemies); 25% (allies)
    • Reduces most enemy heroes magic resistance to -12.5%
  • Shadow Demon (Soul Catcher)
    • Damage Amp = 20 / 30 / 40 / 50%
  • Skywrath Mage (Arcane Seal)
    • Magical Damage Amp = 30 / 35 / 40 / 45%
  • Undying (Flesh Golem)
    • Damage Amp = 5-20% / 10-25% / 15-30% (scales in 750 range)
    • Sceptre Amp = 15-30% / 20-35% / 25-40%

Indirect Damage Amplification:

  • Warlock (Fatal Bonds - adds 20% additional damage per additional target)

Items with damage amplification:

  • Orchid (30% damage increase, extra damage applied at once at end of Orchid duration)
  • Ethereal Blade (40% magic damage increase)
  • Veil of Discord (25% magic damage amp)
  • Mask of Madness (causes YOU to take 30% increased damage!)

Damage Amplification Formula:

Actual damage = magical damage × (1 + magic amplification) × (1 + second source of magic amplification ) × (1 − natural resistance) × (1 − magic resistance of item) × (1 − magic resistance of first ability) × (1 − magic resistance of second ability)

Natural Resistance = 0.25 (except for 0.3 for Meepo and 0.1 for Visage)

Interpreting the Formula - What does it mean?

In cases where only base hero magic resistance applies, a magic amplification or magic resistance reduction increases the damage by a percentage amount equal to the % amp or reduction.  For example, if a 100-damage nuke is used on a hero within L4 Ice Vortex, it will take 100 x (1+0.3) x (1-0.25) = 100 x 1.3 x 0.75 = 97.5 damage, instead of the expected 75 damage with base resistance, which is an increase of 97.5 - 75 = 22.5 damage, which is an increase of 22.5 / 75 = 30% increase.

There's some additional math (and ability comparison) about damage amplification in this reddit post.

Here's the page on damage amplication on dota2pedia, and a similar page on magic resistance.

Team Ideas: All healers & lifestealers

This is a "theme" team, but might work really well in low-level pubs where players have a hard time coordinating their nukes.

Candidates:  See List of Healers, Lifestealers and Self-Healers

Team ideas:  Dual Lanes

Omni Mid
Necrophos + Treant
Abaddon + Dazzle

Huskar Mid
Doom + Bane
Chen + Undying

Team Ideas:  Tri-lane

Necrophos Mid
Alchemist + Dazzle
LC Jungle
Undying Offlane solo

Mid: Huskar
Safe: Wyvern, Legion Commander, Pugna
Offlane: Phoenix

Team Ideas:  Dual Mid

Mid:  LC + Io
Safe:  Wraith King, Wyvern

Offlane: Doom

Similar Heroes for When you Get Banned

The following list gives ideas of what hero to pick when your preferred pick suddenly gets banned, or when you love one hero but want to play a similar-but-different one.

Tidehunter = Timbersaw.  Both tough, melee initiator-types with lots of nuke.

Lion = Lina = Ogre Magi.  All are big nukers with big single-target ultimates.

Abaddon = Legion Commander.  Both can be played as support/healer/semi-carries, with slightly different functions, but very similar ability to buff and heal allies.

Wraith King = Sven = Dragon Knight = Alchemist.  All three have hard disable, good tankiness and passive buff.

Magnus = Beastmaster.  Tanky, big teamfight ultimate, buffing abilities and push.

Shadow Demon = Bane = Pugna.  Okay, this is more of a stretch, but all of these are utility supports with an initiating ability, defensive ability, and good sub-abilities on low cooldowns.

Storm Spirit = Puck = Batrider.  All three are "pounce in and isolate" type of ganker / initiators.

Earthshaker = Sand King.  Stun to initiate and followup with big damage.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Spotlight on Legion Commander

Legion Commander is a very versatile hero, who can be played in many roles.  Despite not having a teamfight-oriented Ultimate, she could probably be played as a support similar to Abaddon or Ogre Magi, due to her ability to buff/heal teammates and nuke.

Laning LC (farmer)

Starting:  Courier, Tango, Clarity, Healing Potion, 3 Branches
Early:  Boots, Stick
Core:  Power Treads, Armlet, Blink Dagger
Core Ext:  Basher, BKB
Lategame: Abyssal, AC, Boots of Travel (BoT), Heart

Jungler LC

Legion Commander is often jungled even from level 1, because she is tanky, has early Lifesteal thanks to Moment of Courage, and can self-heal with an attack speed buff using Press the Attack.
I highly recommend Bottle with the 6.82 change to runes.  Soul Ring is also a viable option combined with LC's self-heals and lifesteal.  A Jungle LC should try to gank and snowball after L6, hence the "racecar" midgame items such as Phase and Drums, and OoV to help with chases.  Blink helps a LOT to get good initiation.

Typical Jungling Build:

Starting: Tango, Stout Shield, Quelling Blade
Early:  Boots, Bottle (or Soul Ring)
Core:  Phase Boots, Blink Dagger, Orb of Venom, Drums
Core Ext:  Basher, BKB
Lategame: Abyssal, AC, Boots of Travel (BoT), Heart

Support LC Item Build:

As a support, LC could level Overwhelming Odds and Press the Attack, giving high amounts of healing and buffing to a carry (creating a pseudo-Alchemist).  However, she needs SOME farm to be effective, and thus should be played as a position 3 or 4.
Skipping Duel at Level 6 would be a good idea in this case, because LC will be under-farmed to win duels (unless hunting enemy solo supports or initiating).  Can transition into a semi-carry late game.

Starting:  Courier, Tango, Clarity, Healing Potion, 3 Branches
Early:  Boots, Stick, Basilius, TP
Core:  Power Treads, Vlad's, Eul's, TP
Situational:  Pipe, Gem, Blink Dagger, Halberd
Long Game?  AC, Scythe, BKB, Boots of Travel

Support LC Skill Build:

Level Skill Level Skill
1 Press the Attack 9 Duel
2 Overwhelming Odds 10 Moment of Courage
3 Overwhelming Odds 11 Duel
4 Press the Attack 12 Moment of Courage
5 Overwhelming Odds 13 Moment of Courage
6 Press the Attack 14 Moment of Courage
7 Overwhelming Odds 15 Stats
8 Press the Attack 16 Duel
... and of course Stats for levels 17-25.

Good Teammates:

Paired with Carries that need attack speed, such as:
  • Lifestealer
  • Sven
  • Tiny
  • DragonKnight
  • Slardar

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Warding: Comprehensive Link List

Here's a list of all the warding-related posts and images that I could find.  There are many more, but some aren't all that good.  These either have good explanations, good screenshots/map markup, or both.

6.82 Patch-Specific Wards

Warding Articles:

Dota 2 Jokes

Found a blog with Dota2 jokes on it.

Reprinted from that blog:

General dota 2 jokes:

Q: Whats the river’s name in dota?
A: I’m pretty sure it’s The River Fag. 'Cause I’ve been told I few times ‘don’t cross the river fag

Q: Why did the CM build a battlefury?
A: for the +35% to cleavage

Q: What time does Antimage finish farming?
A: 3AM

Q: What did Jesus say to the apostles when Romans came to arrest him?
A: “MISS???”

Q: Why people always blame the mid for losing his lane?
A: If the mid loses his lane too, we don’t have a single lane that’s winning.

Q: Why does Bounty Hunter sound so nasally?
A: Because he’s allergic to dust.

Q: Who is the only french Hero in Dota?
A: Le shrac

Q: Why Newbee banned Nature’s Prophet and Death Prophet?
A: Because they are a non-prophet organization.

Q: What do you call Darkterror with no lane to farm?
A: Spaceless Void

Q: What does Tusk drink at parties?
A: punch

Q: Why did sniper cross the river?

Q: Why did Kunkka bring his sword to the store when he went to get some more laundry detergent?
A: Because it’s the Tidebringer

Q: Who does Void thank for helping him win the game?
A: His MoM and Daed.

Q: What is Huskar’s favorite game?
A: Half-life

Q: Why does Slardar keep trying to get close to Naga?
A: Because of his Slithereen Crush!

Q: Why do Koreans like Broodmother-only 5v5 mid?
A: Because it is Broodwar.

Q: How did Sven see the invisible Luna?
A: Because he couldn’t miss that great cleave.

Q: What did Sven say to Phantom Assassin when she got her battlefury?
A: Nice cleavage

Q: Why Spirit breaker would make a horrible salesman?
A: Because he’d charge too much

Phantom Lancer walks into a bar.
There was no counter.

Dota 2 vs LOL:

Drow and Ashe walk into the bar.
Bartender: Which of you is a better shot
Drow: Me of course
Ashe: I can’t Deny

Yo mama jokes:

Your mama so fat, chat wheel doesn’t know what lane she’s in.
Your mama so fat, chat wheel can’t decide on which lane she is.
Your mama so fat, even EG can’t throw her.
Your mama so fat, when Rubick tried to steal a spell, all he got was diabetes.
Your mama so fat, that when Bounty Hunter tracks her, he has vision all over the map.
Your mama so fat, if Naix infests her it takes him ten minutes to get back out.
Your mom is so dumb, if silencer kills her, he loses int.
Flesh Heap: When a nearby enemy hero dies, Pudge gains bonus strength. When yo mama dies, Pudge becomes invulnerable.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Earliest Solo Rosh Heroes and Builds

by CNHphoto on Reddit:
So a recent project of mine is learning heroes that can solo rosh early on. I'll post my list of heroes and what they need. I know there's more heroes that can do it in the early game, but I'm not entirely familiar with the minimum requirements (e.g. Venomancer, Troll Warlord, Lifestealer). I'd love to know you think or how to do it with different heroes.
  • Lycan: Need level 7, Vladmir's Offering, Stout Shield, Quelling Blade, Smoke. Complete-able 10 minute mark.
  • Enigma: Need level 5, Medallion of Courage, 2-3 Healing Salves, Smoke of Deceit. Complete-able before 6 minute mark.
  • Ursa: Need level 4, Morbid Mask, Stout Shield, Smoke of Deceit. Complete-able before 6 minute mark.
  • Nature's Prophet: Need level 7, Medallion of Courage, Ring of Basillius, Power Treads, Healing Salve. Complete-able before 12 minute mark.
by hugarh on reddit:
Chen can do it within 10 minutes. Needs lv 7 and a mek. You need an alpha wolf, though .

by Omar_Indeed and stylelimited
Troll just needs Helm of the Dominator and a wolf or ice armor creep, and Level 11.  Usually has Phase Boots by this time as well.  Soloing Rosh before level 11, you need an blue ogre companion to be safe IMO.

by supernerd1123
Drow ranger can do it with a MoM at Level 11.

by DangerAwar
Level 7 Veno can do it with max Plague Wards.  You can have the wards tank Rosh with some aggro management [to avoid having to leave the pit].

How to Accelerate Your Farm

Here are some tips for accelerating farm like a pro.  Gathered from reddit and other sources.

- if mid laner ganks the safe lane, he doesn't stay there to nuke down the next two waves of creeps before going back mid. Leave those creeps for your safelane carry!

Zrog's Tips:
- Don't die.  While this may seem like stupid advice, it also means "don't take risks when you don't have your core items yet", and "abandon fights and escape when they look iffy".
- Your supports may be jumping into a losing fight to ensure that you, the carry, make it out alive, and if you go back into the fight to "save" them, you're doing the wrong thing.
- Don't farm risky zones without support.  Farming the enemy Ancients with no wards or supports nearby is asking to be ganked.

by mido9:
A really important part of finding farm is that in pro games, unless you're immediately grouping to take a tower, every lane+jungle is occupied. There's very little farm that should go straight to the tower or die to an enemy creep wave.
Mid going to gank offlane? A position 5 support rotates to mid for a few quick levels and ward gold.
Carry just finished a gank with his two supports? Immediately back to the safelane he goes.
Offlaner farming his lane, support at safe, midlaner at mid? Carry instantly into the jungle he goes.
Just finished a good deathball and took the Tier 2 Tower? Immediate delta split into each lane + a jungle.
Anti-mage just TP'd to help a mid fight? To ancients ASAP afterwards.
It's a large part of why net exp and net gold is so much higher in pro games on average than in pubs, there's just a lot of gold that goes away for no reason because the mid stuck around to nuke some waves, or a tri-lane support was babysitting a little unnecessarily, or the offlane was running around looking for ganks too often and fell behind in gold, etc. The default state of a lane is to be occupied usually unless there's a really big, clear opportunity to gank and push or some other big deal.

by Jalapen0s
(As a carry): If you see a big fight somewhere else on the map, chances are unless you are 95% sure that you can TP in and get kills on retreating low HP enemies, you shouldn't join the fight, and just keep farming with the space that fight created for you. Also, when your supports pull, after you kill the enemy creeps, detour into the camp and get XP/ cs, then go back into lane.

by Noblewingz
  1. Always BUY OUT. Almost never do I lose gold on a death unless I'm saving for buyback or a big item.
  2. NEVER miss last hits, as a mid player it's acceptable to miss a few because of the enemy mid, but if i'm getting uncontested or under tower, I get almost every one. (Learn to estimate hp under tower so you don't miss last hits, or with quelling drop quelling for easy hits.)
  3. My farming patterns are very efficient, I studied arteezy and burning to get a idea of the best patterns for a mid carry :)
  4. Supports should stack frequently/all the time!
  5. Finally, carry a Town Portal (TP) Scroll at all times and USE IT. That 100 gold often can earn you a extra 300-500 by going to a different lane, instead of waiting for jungle to respawn/creeps to hit your wave!
HiyoleX , paraphrased:
1. Basic Boots.  Moving faster between camps is worth the money.  Get [brown] Boots before your farming item.
2. Know which farming item to get for which carry.  Gyro = HoD.  Anti-mage/PA = BFury.  Medusa = HoD or Maelstrom. Naga = Radiance (usually).  Sniper = Dragon Lance, Maelstrom or Midas.  Void = Midas

FMERCURY writes:
I'd like to emphasize the importance of buying a quelling blade on melee carries. It drastically increases the rate at which you can farm the jungle, not only by boosting your damage against neutrals, but by allowing you to cut more efficient paths (also, removing trees that can obscure enemies). And I guarantee you will improve your CS in the laning phase.
You can even make a case for it on some ranged carries. Radiant gyro is a great example.
[also very useful for cutting trees to make faster farming paths - Zrog]

DROWNING_WITH_SIRENS writes on Reddit:
  • Missing less last hits in lane is going to be the first and most important thing to do well.
  • Clearing camps between waves is another way to increase your farm instead of just waiting around for the creeps to meet again. You can also clear camps if you are struggling to last hit in lane or the lane is too pushed for you to safely do so. [Zrog says:  You should ideally be pushing the wave, and then side pulling with the large camp]
  • Farming where fights are going to happen. If you have the capacity to be useful early, farming near to where you think a fight is going to break out is a good idea. Farm until fight starts, run in and get aoe gold, then go back to farming. Keep a tp if the enemy team is diving. This doesnt mean standing around waiting for the fight to happen like people love to do in pubs, you want to be farming a camp or something while the teams are waiting for someone to do something.
  • Good itemization. It doesn't matter how farmed you are, if you buy bad items you are going to be setting yourself back.
[–]Berbacat writes on Reddit:
  • Planning. Carries that require a minimum amount of farm already know what items to get at minute -1, minute 2, and minute 10. They also have enough experience to know what to get based on how well the laning phase went.
  • Efficiency (1). There are 2 aspects to this: Time and space. Sometimes, identifying space that is available (such as a creep wave pushed up to a Tier 2 tower due to a Tier 1 tower immediately crumbling before) can nab you an extra 200 gold within that minute compared to joining a push that is already guaranteed to get you a Tier 1 tower in the lane you're already in.
  • Efficiency (2): Maximising time that isn't farming. This includes traveling, fighting and most importantly, pushing. If you're traveling to another lane, efficient carries think of the possibility of stacking, or using their mana to clear out a camp somewhere in if they know that they'll regen it later.
  • Disciplined. Carries that know how to farm will generally resist temptation to fight, depending on how close they are to a particular item. If they have foresight, they can even convince teammates to delay a smoke gank or something similar by a minute because he knows in advance what his farming progression is like.
These are just examples at the top of my head, let me know if any of them don't make sense

more from Reddit:
A big part of [farming] is TPing to other lanes with waves opening up. Do not miss CS, farm the jungle in between waves, especially after getting your basic items (treads, aquila). Do not run to base unless necessary, bring yourself regen. Do not die, dying is the #1 reason [carries] fall behind.

by Barnyyy

 by Merlini:

Article: How to Support by Camocspro

I liked this comment/post, but it was buried in Reddit, and I knew I'd never find it again.  It is re-posted here for posterity.

Captured from Reddit.  Post by camocspro.

Here are certain simple rules to all support players who are in low MMR. People at higher level MMR probably all know this already, so ignore from here on.
  1. Always buy wards at level 1. If you think your enemy is an invis hero like clinkz, bounty, weaver, you have to buy sentry wards. Go gather around rune at 0:00 with help. Assess your enemy lanes, if you feel that they are going to safe lane and you are safe laning too, its always better to ward near the enemy's safe lane rune spot, so your mid can see incoming ganks.
  2. Always check the offlane player's inventory. If he has wards, keep tabs on his inventory as he walks around. If he doesn't have it at any moment, he has likely placed the ward around where he walked. Always check pull camp at 0:30, to make sure it hasn't been warded. If it has, buy sentrys ASAP and deward and start pulling. If it hasn't then stack, go zone out if its a strong offlane like phoenix or bristle back and then pull. Else just zone out and pull through. Try to avoid staying in lane with the carry unless he requires it and make sure you get XP and so does his carry. Don't unnecessarily babysit carry. Just zone out offlane and come back in between to help. When harassing try to stay off the aggro range from creeps. Do not unnecessarily harass enemy while taking aggro from creeps. Harass mainly when there are fewer creeps and away from aggro range. Eat a tango before trading hits. Take off creep aggro after each harass. Learn aggro tricks searching on google. Do not trade hits with a hero who has more damage than you. Use harass with spells instead, of course you should have mana regen for that. If you need the carry help in harass and zoning out. Ping the enemy offlane hero to notify your carry to help you. When in lane DO NOT try to steal a creep. Deny and get your gold from pulls. Do not single pull unless you intend to get a tower.
  3. After zoning out, go roam towards mid especially as a 4 role. If you are 5 role, don't bother roaming unless your carry is doing really well and doesn't need any help. As a 4 role, you should buy smoke to gank before minute 6, as most often enemy supports have wards. If you try to gank without a smoke, your move towards mid woulda be of no use. As a 4 or a jungler try to secure the rune for your mid hero if he has a bottle. Come around 55 to the rune spot and ask your mid to go to the other rune spot. This will ensure your mid hero wins the rune battle. Try upgrading courier as soon as possible after minute 3.
  4. Watch for enemy hero levels. I've seen the players perspective of my 3k MMR friend and he didn't even see the scoreboard or the other hero inventories etc to see how everyone else is doing, until he died. Watch for levels of all heroes, especially mid and invis killers like nyx bounty. As soon as nyx hits level 5+, go get sentry wards and place one at mid and one at carry. You also need to get teleport scroll to be ready to TP since around level 6 laning stages transitions into ganks. You will NOT have money for magic wand, or arcane boots unless you have kills. At max you will have boots and a magic wand. This should be enough. That is why position 5 is really hard. You have to try your best to gather gold to invest on wards etc. Also remember to stack, supports even my level of MMR just refrain from doing this. They walk next to a creep camp at 53 and are completely oblivious to the idea that they can stack a camp/ancients without wasting any time. You need to pay a lot of attention. Your gold and levels depends on how well your team is doing, not on how well you are doing. You support your core heroes to win the game. You don't carry the game for your team.
  5. Don't worry too much about your levels, ensure that your core heroes are at good levels as when you are near kills, you will catch up on levels. The more greedier you play the worse it is for your team. If youare position 5 you can control the tempo of the game with your support especially early game. As a position 4 or even position 5 do NOT stay in lane with low hp or mana without any form of regen. Just walk to base to come back. You don't need to use TP to come back. You can just walk back. That TP should be saved to help someone in danger.
  6. The most important thing is to watch enemy inventory. There is no point in ganking someone with a haste rune bottled up if you don't have a really hard disable for a long time. Assess killing potential and hp. HP percentage bar is not enough to gauge killing potential. High strengh gain heroes can have 500 hp at 50% health which is not an easy kill. Also notice mana pools. If weaver has only mana for one sukuchi then it is a great time to gank. If he has full mana, unless you have good lockdown and burst, ganking him is fruitless, because he is going to ulti.
  7. Watch for tier 1 HP. If it is under 50% HP, single pull the small camp and destroy the enemy creeps faster and get tier 1 quickly. This is especially useful, if your safe lane is doing really well and your carry is going midas. This will get his midas faster due to tower gold and therefore accelerate GPM.
  8. Do not deward and place the ward in the same spot. Place in different places all over the map so your ward doesn't get dewarded easily. Always carry dust against shadow blade/invis heroes, sentries is not that useful. Get sentries against heroes that use invis to initiate, like nyx, mirana ultimate etc.
  9. Do not stack disables, and please for the love of god don't buy an aghanims on supports. Buy mobility items. Blink/forstaff euls. My friends always go aghs on bane which is ridiculously dumb and I can't even imagine why. Unless you are warlock aghs is a stupid item on supports. Blink/forcestaff/euls will be better any day. Have a lot of gold, buy necro and stay relevant. Even a bkb/ghost sceptor/halbred is better.
  10. In fights you shouldn't try to right click. Cast your skills and get away from the fight. You are not there to take any damage whatsoever. Once your cooldowns are done, come back into the fight and cast spells again.

Good Follow-up Comments:

by rascast5:
So don't just create space for your carry. Your job isn't to stand next to the carry so he 'has space'. Work to get him kills, work to get mid kills, and work to kill the enemy carry, while keeping vision up around the map so your team doesn't get ganked. Always have a tp so you can tp to ganks to help out and get return kills. Your carry doesn't need to be ultra farmed. If your mid is decent and you help him stomp his lane by controlling runes and ganking then the game becomes 4v5. If you kill the enemy carry as well and stop him from farming it doesn't matter if he could be last hitting better than your guy.

by Myzzrym:
If you see for instance that people are not paying attention to the mini-map, do not place wards in "passive" areas to "avoid ganks" (because they won't notice it anyway). Place your wards aggressively where you know you can catch someone or at least disturb them, or place them in a way where you have sight so you can harass safely because you know the enemy supports are not near.
If you see your carry isn't reliable, it's time to go and try to shut down someone else instead of making sure you own carry can get farm. Be careful, it's really easy to get into a "everyone sucks anyway" mindset and start playing solo, which is not what I'm advocating for. People make mistakes, and you shouldn't entirely abandon your carry because he missed some CS or got killed stupidly once or twice.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Phoenix Agh's Upgrade (6.82b)

So Phoenix now has this Agh's upgrade where she can refresh OTHER heroes' cooldowns on non-ultimates.  What goes well with this?

"Refresher" Hero List:

Doom (Devour & Scorched Earth)
Juggernaut (Blade Fury & Healing Ward)
Lone Druid (new Bear)
Lycan (Howl, Wolves both >30 secs)
Techies (Suicide Squad, upon respawn)
Terrorblade (Metamorphosis)
Undying (Tombstone)
Warlock (Upheaval and Fatal Bonds)
Invoker (so many things... meatballs come to mind)
Drow Range (similar to Lycan, refresh Precision Aura active)

<link to Google doc with table of hero cooldowns>

"Channeled Ultimates" Hero List:

Non-Channeled, persistent spells now "resume" once the egg breaks.  This includes:

Naga - Song of the Siren
Luna - Eclipse
Razor - Eye of the Storm
Sand King - Epicenter
Leshrac - Pulse Nova


Reddit guide of "when to build agh's on Phoenix"

(has since been patched):  Channeled spells screenshots: 

Relevant Phoenix Build / Guide: 

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Item: Dagon (on what heroes?)

Dagon seems to be a great item, giving an extra nuke to any hero.  Who uses it best?

In most cases, the "good" heroes that could make use of the stats + nuke would need another item first, as a source of mana regen (Arcane Boots, usually).

Good Dagon Hero Candidates:

Ogre Magi - has toughness already, needs Int for mana pool
Nyx - needs burst for better ganking, needs bigger mana pool
Skywrath Mage - Int buffs existing nuke and needs big mana pool
Tinker - more nuke for ganking

Rejected Heroes:

Necrolyte - Int carry, but needs toughness
Storm Spirit - likes burst & int, but needs mana regen really badly
Zeus - more burst would be good, but needs mobility more
Pugna - would be good, but Pugna too squishy - needs hp items more
OD - too squishy - needs mobility, already heavily dependent on magic dmg
Queen of Pain (more burst would be good, but Orchid better)

Unusual Candidates:

Windranger (as semi-support, could use an instant nuke, Int buffs right-click for Focus Fire)

Shadow Demon (as semi-support or mid, he could make very good use of it)
Clockwerk - could use the mana pool and burst damage
Tiny - if someone else is carrying, this would increase your nuke a lot

Thursday, October 16, 2014

List of Pure-Damage Heroes by Role

The following heroes have one or more abilities that deals Pure damage, or deal pure damage with an Agh's upgrade.

Also shown on dota2pedia in a different format.

Pure Damage Dealers by Role (ability)


  • Outworld Destroyer (Arcane Orb)
  • Phantom Assassin (Stifling Dagger)
  • Spectre (Desolate)

Semi-Carries & Mids

  • Silencer (Glaives)
  • Invoker (EMP, Sunstrike)
  • Lina (Agh's + Laguna Blade)
  • Bloodseeker (Rupture)
  • Phoenix (SunRay)
  • Pudge (Meat Hook)
  • Templar Assassin (Psi-Blades)
  • Tinker (Laser)


  • Lina (Agh's + Laguna Blade)
  • Bane (Nightmare, Brain Sap)
  • Omniknight (Purification)
  • Phoenix (Sunray)
  • Silencer (Glaives)
  • Vengeful Spirit (Wave of Terror)


  • Doom (Doom)
  • Enigma (Midnight Pulse, Aghs + Black Hole)


  • Enchantress (Impetus)
  • Doom (Doom)
  • Enigma (Midnight Pulse, Aghs + Black Hole)

Solo Offlaners:

  • Timbersaw (Whirling Death*, Timberchain, Chakram)
  • Nyx Assassin (Spiked Carapace)
  • Doom (Doom)

ITEMS that deal pure damage:

  • Urn of Shadows (on enemy)
  • Blademail (Damage return)

List of Healers, Lifestealers and Self-Healers

List of Healing Heroes:

  • Abaddon
  • Dazzle
  • Chen
  • Enchantress
  • Io / Wisp
  • Huskar
  • Juggernaut
  • Legion Commander
  • Necrophos
  • Omniknight
  • Phoenix (Sun Ray)
  • Treant
  • Undying
  • Winter Wyvern
  • Witch Doctor


  • (any burst hero)
  • Ancient Apparition (Ice Blast)
  • Axe (Culling Blade)
  • Necrophos (Scythe)

Heroes with Health Restore / Lifesteal

  • Alchemist (Chemical Rage Healing)
  • Bane (Brain Sap)
  • Bloodseeker
  • Death Prophet (return of Exorcism spirits)
  • Doom (Scorched Earth Heal)
  • Io (Tether + Heal)
  • Legion Commander(Counterattack)
  • Lifestealer (Open Wounds, Feast)
  • Pugna (Life Drain)
  • Terrorblade (Sunder)
  • Weaver (Time Lapse)
  • Wraith King (Vamp Aura)

Viable team ideas with many healers:

Weaver + Bane + Abaddon aggro tri
Necrophos mid
Huskar solo safe

#2: (pushing team - greedy)
Death Prophet mid
Chen jungle
Undying solo offlane
Juggernaut + Pugna safelane

Countering Terrorblade (Dota 2 v6.82b)

So Terrorblade (TB) has hit the Dota 2 scene, and suddenly he's a pick/ban nearly every game.  In pubs, he's especially hard to deal with, due to the lack of team coordination (except sub-3k MMR, where apparently Terrorblade players feed very hard).

How do you deal with Terrorblade?

  1. DO NOT give the enemy TB safe farm for 20 mins!
  2. DO NOT try to out-carry him!  He is effective both mid and late game once he's got his core.
  3. Aggressive Laning (aggro-tri or dual mid) with Spammy Nukers (Skywrath, Zeus)
  4. Counterpicks:
    • High damage nukers:  Lina, Lion, Skywrath, Zeus, QoP
    • 1v1 lane:  use Timbersaw or Darkseer as solo offlaner
    • Elder Titan to reduce his massive agility-based armor to nothing
      • also helpful:  Vengeful Spirit and Shadow Fiend
    • Gankers and Isolation Initiators:  Batrider, Nyx, Bounty Hunter, Bloodseeker, etc.
    • Axe (esp. with Blademail) can manfight TB pretty easily
    • Earthshaker to use his illusions against him (especially if he goes Manta, which is currently a popular item on TB).
  5. Silences:  TB relies on Sunder to stay alive, the use of low-cooldown illusions, and Manta.  Helps if you can delay his use of illusions or Sunder with Doom or Silences.
  6. Kiting:  Sunder has a short range, and the rest of TB is all about auto-attacks.  If you can play keep-away-and-nuke, he doesn't last long.  
    • Weaver is good for this, especially since Time Lapse vs. Sunder = fight reset.
  7. Use his illusions against him:  Dark Seer or Shadow Demon work well.  Copies of TB, with his high damage, can destroy him.
  8. Pure Damage:  Outworld Destroyer, Enchantress, Silencer (orb attacks)
  9. Finding the Real Terrorblade:  TB usually goes Power Treads, to mitigate his low hp, so the real TB will attack slightly faster than his illusions, since the latter don't benefit from the attack speed increase.

More Tips from Reddit (c+p from /u/Zenotha), posted by sourdonut

Counter him by pushing early and taking map control while preventing trades
He gets countered by strong early team fight lineups + one hero capable of stopping pushes (timber, sand king, kunkka, lina, leshrac etc etc) since his team will often be starved early.
Counter him by picking him off whenever he tries to find farm mid game (pre-manta)
He gets countered by pick off oriented lineups (riki, slark, QW orchid rush invoker, clinkz etc); controlling his jungle mid game will starve him significantly.
Counter him by having more scaling cores, while using supports that hard-counter him
He gets countered by ultra-late line ups combined with lion/enchant/sd, support picks capable of neutering most of his farm advantage.
Counter him by laning aggressively
TB is paper and doesn't fare well in tri v tri lanes. His only call to fame is being able to dodge nightmares with illusion transfer and projectile stuns by committing his cast of Meta, otherwise laning aggressively against him and controlling his jungle will slow down his start significantly.
Counter him with with heroes that hit structures faster
All things even, TB is never going to win a race against specific heroes such as Meepo. Speaking of Meepo, this is the true king of split-pushing, the bane of TB.
Counter him with specific picks that easily shut down his contribution
He gets countered in general by % damage like static field and midnight pulse because of interaction with damage amplification on illusions.
He gets countered by picks like Pugna which pushes well early and can one shot his illusions late.
In a nut shell, TB is actually very similar to Meepo. Very strong in the right hands, but easily countered with the correct lineup/playstyle. Meepo is hardly what one would call broken competitively, yet people don't accord TB a similar level of respect ban/pick wise and inevitably fail against him.

Other Resources:

Here's a video by Luminous on the subject, as well as the related anti-terrorblade reddit post.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Team Ideas based on Hero Synergies (Continued)

see also:  Hero Synergies

There are certain hero combinations that work well together (per my "Hero Synergies" post), and you will see teams draft these heroes together frequently.  Here are some team ideas based around hero synergies, with a brief explanation of their combos and required bans.

Team Ideas from Hero Synergies:

  • Drow mid (or Shadowfiend)
  • Alchemist + Windranger + Visage aggro tri.
  • Elder Titan (or Bristleback) solo safe
Combo:  Acid Spray +  Base Armor Reduction + Precision Aura (+ WR Focus Fire & Familiars)
Disables:  Slow, Silence, Stun, Secondary Stuns x 3
Ban:  Omni, Faceless, Spectre, Terrorblade, or Brewmaster

#2: (very greedy)
  • Troll mid
  • Faceless offlane
  • Medusa + Slardar + Venge
Combo:  Armor reduction + Medusa Ult + Right-click with Troll Ult.
Ban:  Omniknight, Dazzle, Shadow Demon, Spectre

  • Huskar mid
  • Luna + Wraith King + Windranger
  • Beastmaster offlane
Idea:  Huskar ganks make space for Luna to farm up.  BM + Luna + WK all have aura synergies.  WR Focus Fire ult is buffed by Luna aura.  BM and Luna ults for teamfighting.  BM and WR give push and anti-push until Luna comes online with Glaives.  All heroes scale well.

Undying + Bane + KotL/Warlock aggro trilane
Necrolyte / Medusa mid
Invoker / Broodmother / Nature's Prophet solo safe

#5: (pushing line-up)
Undying + Leshrac + Jakiro aggro trilane
Venomancer mid
Lycan solo safe

Phoenix combos (now that Phoenix is in CM!)
Huskar mid (go Pipe if appropriate)
Gyro + Phoenix safelane
Enigma jungle (go Mek) - pick this guy last or ban Rubick!
Elder Titan offlane
Idea:  Huskar makes space for this greedy lineup with L6 ganks.  Rotate Phoenix to mid when possible for extra farm / levels.
Combo:  (Echo Stomp + ).. Blink-Hole into Earthsplitter + Calldown + Supernova
Ban:  Rubick, Naga, (Silencer)

Leshrac mid
Naga + Crystal Maiden + Phoenix
Elder Titan offlane
Combo:  Song into Supernova + Earthsplitter + Pulse Nova
Bans: Early gankers (Venge, Ogre, etc).  CM and Phoenix are both squishy and slow.

Phoenix mid
Luna / Medusa + Witch Doctor safelane
Axe jungle
Dark Seer offlane
Combo:  Vaccum into Taunt, while Death Ward + Eclipse + Supernova
Ban:  Naga, Faceless Void

#9: (greedy teamfight lineup)
Undying solo offlane
OD + Warlock + Phoenix (two greedy supports)
Pugna solo mid
Combo:  Upheaval + Tombstone + Supernova + Nether Ward + OD ult, while Golem and Fatal Bonds boosts damage, and Phoenix slows right-clicks.
Notes:  Line-up is low on stuns.  OD chosen because of the pseudo-stun Astral Imprisonment, and big teamfight ult.  Alternate carries include Luna, Kunkka, Dragonknight, Wraith King

#9a: (more Phoenix)
Doom jungle
Pugna safe farm + Warlock / Lich support
Phoenix offlane

Leshrac mid
Idea:  Lich or Warlock ult discourages/punishes enemies who clump up to beat on Phoenix's SuperNova, and opponents may have to choose between a farmed Leshrac who is spamming Pulse Nova, and a Phoenix egg.  Meanwhile, Nether Ward punishes nukes and Doom runs rampant.
Weakness:  There's really nothing preventing enemies from leaving the AOE area.
Bans:  Rubick, Centaur, Naga

More combos:

(aggro or defensive) tri-lane:  Luna + Gyro (greedy support) + Crystal Maiden (hard support)
Faceless Void solo offlane
Shadowfiend mid
Idea:  Area lockdown with Chrono + ranged AOE damage
Ban:  Rubick, Naga
Combo:  Chrono over top of Luna Eclipse, Call Down + Freezing Field + Razes over Chrono, SFiend & Gyro right-clicks.  Luna buffs SF, and SF debuffs armor on enemies for Luna.

#11: (physical dmg team, combo'ing with Medusa Ult)
Tri-Lane:  Medusa + Dazzle + WitchDoctor
Death Prophet Mid
Beastmaster Offlane Solo
Pick:  Death Prophet, Witch Doctor, Dazzle, Beastmaster, Medusa
Ban:  Omniknight, DragonKnight, Terrorblade, Faceless, Axe/Necrophos

#12: (lots of range with boosted right-click)
Solo safelane: Undying
Aggro Tri-lane: Luna, Windranger, Venge/Visage
Mid:  Drow (or counterpick)
Picks:  Venge, Windranger, Undying, Luna, Drow
Note:  This team could probaby do a Level 1 Roshan kill.

Article: the first 3 months of Dota2

What I learned in my first 3 months of Dota 2:

  • How to last hit and deny.  With each small improvement, your gold income increases dramatically, and you can start to pull ahead of your opponents in XP as you deny better.  Remember always that last hitting > denying.  Always choose a last hit on a creep over a deny.

  • When to last hit and when to push.  Even when pushing, you should attempt to last-hit as much as possible.

  • to stay alive:
    •  Learn how to move back and forth to be a harder target for ground-targeted spells
    • Learn that when you’re on low health, you need to retreat and heal, even if it means going all the way back to base.  Lost laning time is better than dying
    • Learn to juke into the trees and use your Town Portal scroll to escape a gank (you DO always carry a TP scroll right?  RIGHT?  Stop being a noob and carry one).
  • A general idea of how most of the (popular) heroes play, and their abilities.  This involves playing a lot of vs-bot games, and being really terrible at heroes for most of the game.
  • That the default hotkeys are NOT your best friend.  You really need to rebind the courier and your items to more-convenient keys.
  • How to use the courier without thinking about it:  create your own lobby-game and practice nothing but using the courier.
  • What the most-common items are based on their icons.  You do not have time in game to read every item description!  Create a lobby of your own, or read the Learn tab online, and get familiar with the items and how to build them.
  • How to stack and pull creeps into the safe lane to pull back your creep line.
  • Respect for tower damage, especially at low levels
  • How to use deny to back up your creep line.  You can only attack your own creeps when they are less than 50% health!
  • What different roles mean, and how they affect how you play:
o   Carry:  weak early-game, dominates late game if farmed up (need items to be any good, and need superior last-hitting skills to get the gold in the first place!)
o   Support:  a character that doesn’t need a lot of items to be viable, and thus should take care of putting down wards, buying Dust if necessary, and generally helping a carry to stay safe and get last hits.  You buy the team-supporting items like Drums of Endurance, Mekanism, Pipe of Insight, and possibly Arcane Boots.  You DO NOT steal last-hits from your carry to get these items!
o   Initiator:  In team fights, it’s your job to go in first and set up an advantageous situation for your team, using your abilities (usually your Ultimate, but not always).
o   Pusher:  You excel at pushing lanes and taking down towers.  You need a game-sense of when the time is right, and when you have enough levels and gear to successfully take down an enemy tower.
o   Ganker:  you get yourself a few levels, maybe a few key pieces of gear, and then you go kill enemy heroes for most of the rest of the game.
  • Observer and Sentry wards are valuable
  • You do not stay in an area where you are outnumbered by enemy heroes unless you have allies, a tower, or an escape route closeby, or a nearly-failsafe escape.
  • Places where enemies can get behind you or pincer you are bad places
  • Know where the enemy team is, and where you allies are by looking at the minimap frequently.  TP to defend your allies.
  • Don’t fight battles you can’t win; you’d be surprised how many people do this, just because they have a full mana bar, their ultimate off cooldown, and they are just itching to use their abilities.
  • Fight only battles that are unfair in your favour.
  •  “Fair” 5v5 fights are won through superior timing or positioning
  • Learn what to buy to stay in lane.  Saving for big items doesn’t keep you safe in lane.  Buy regen and branches at the start, generally.
  • The suggested starting items are generally good picks.  When you’ve played dozens of games, you can start making your own choices.
  •  If you’re forced to return to base, buy and use a TP to get one direction; it is worth it to trade the cost of a TP scroll for the XP and last hits that you will otherwise miss by spending all your time running.
  • Participate in team fights whenever possible!  If you don’t think your team should be teamfighting, say something instead of just being absent or hanging back.  Your lack of participation is the same as if you were ganked pre-team fight, forcing a 4v5 against your team.
  • Do not dive towers directly into a fresh enemy creep wave before around level 8, when creep damage starts to matter less.
  • Physical damage is king in late game, but burst nukes are king in mid-game.  Stuns or disables are useful pretty much all the time.  The deadliness of burst nuke damage tends to fall off after level 12-14, as people gain gear and levels.