Friday, August 29, 2014

Drafting: Heroes that act as generic counter-picks

There are a few heroes that counter a lot of different heroes.  When you're stuck against a lineup that might demolish you in some specific way, consider some of these:

Solo Split Pushers:

These heroes allow you to give ground instead of team-fighting, knowing that your split-pusher is going to force them to break off or lose ground of their own.  Note:  as of patch 6.82b, split-pushing is a lot more dangerous, as the enemy team can get a lot more gold/XP from a single pick-off.

  • Tinker
  • Nature's Prophet
  • Lycan
  • Weaver (somewhat less so)
  • Phantom Lancer (once he gets going)
  • Ember Spirit (with Boots of Travel, especially)

Teamfight Counters & Counter-Initiators

These heroes basically make team-fighting a lot more difficult for the opponent, with a single hero pick:
  • Centaur Warrunner (Stampede to retreat / avoid team-fight, or counter-initiate)
  • Silencer (obvious; Global Silence)
  • Earthshaker (Fissure makes good long-range interrupt or wall).
  • Pugna (Nether Ward)
  • Dark Seer (Wall of Replica)
  • Rubick (steals your good team-fight ultimates)
  • Shadow Demon (protects the focus target)
  • Naga Siren (Song of the Siren stops the team-fight)
    • Honourable Mention:  Keeper of the Light (spams Illuminate over the teamfighting area)

Global Anti-Push

These heroes allow you to remain with your comrades, but still anti-push from across the map.
  • Ancient Apparition (Ice Blast)
  • Clockwerk (Flare)
  • Gyrocopter (with Agh's upgrade)
  • Visage (send Familiars)
  • Nature's Prophet (Nature's Wrath, Teleport)
  • Keeper of the Light (Recall allows someone to push out the wave, and then be back for the teamfight)


If the enemy team has a lot of burst, and is likely going to try and focus down one hero as the fight begins, consider some of these counters:
  • Shadow Demon:  Disruption
  • Vengeful Spirit: Nether Swap
  • Dazzle:  Shallow Grave
  • Omniknight:  Repel, Guardian Angel
  • Outworld Devourer:  Astral Prison
  • Abaddon: Mist Coil, Shield
... or you can just pick tankier heroes.

Anti-Carry Heroes

  • Razor - counters non-illusion carries by stealing their damage
  • Elder Titan - counters Agility heroes by eliminating armor from agility gain and base armor
  • Lifestealer - counters beefy Strength carries by doing dmg proportional to health.
  • Shadow Demon - creates illusions of hard-hitting carry
  • Dark Seer - Wall of Replica creates illusions of hard-hitting carry

Anti-Pickoff Supports

Sometimes you need tankier supports with an escape or stun so they can run away.  Here are some examples.  I'm not including the typical "healing" supports (Abaddon, Dazzle, Omni, etc).
  • Windrunner (Windrun)
  • Shadow Demon (Disruption, Purge)
  • Disruptor (Glimpse)
  • Witch Doctor (Cask, Heal)
  • Jakiro (tough, and Ice Path helps)
  • Bane (tanky, Nightmare)
  • Rubick (Telekinesis + Fade Bolt both deter aggression)
  • Sand King (Sandstorm + Burrowstrike to escape)
  • Tidehunter (he's just really damn tough, and Anchor Smash reduces enemy right-click)
  • Earthshaker (tough, and can wall off the pursuit)
  • Io/Wisp (Tether and run)
  • Wraith King (after L6)
  • Phoenix (Dive away)
  • Earth Spirit (boulder away)
  • Tusk (Snowball away)

Flash Farming Carries

Sometimes your lineup severely lacks push or "quick recovery by farming".  These are carry heroes that can farm absurdly fast, farm stacked ancients, or push lanes super-quickly, with their base abilities (i.e. they don't require additional items):
  • Gyrocopter (Flak Cannon)
  • Shadow Fiend (Razes)
  • Luna (Glaives)
  • Alchemist (Chemical Rage)
  • Dragon Knight (Dragon Form - Red Dragon or above)
  • Meepo (Clones)
  • Kunkka (Tidebringer)
  • Tinker (March of the Machines - no longer affects ancients)
  • Medusa (Split Shot)

List of Hero Synergies for Drafting

As I've been practicing my drafting, I've gradually learned some combos to look out for, and heroes to ban based on my opponent's picks.  I'll add to this as time goes on.

Drow + Visage = very powerful familiars.  Add Venge or SFiend for additional pain.

Drow + Windrunner = very high-damage Focus Fire (add Desolator on WR for tower melting)

Drow Precision Aura (or Lycan Howl) + Clinkz / Windrunner = very effective Strafe / Focus Fire

Spectre + Troll = very fast-hitting Haunt illusions (with max Desolate).  Hell on supports.  Requires dual lanes, or for Troll to go mid (preferably against a weak enemy mid).  You might get away with "support Troll" if no aggro-tri against you.

Faceless Void + Witch Doctor / Jakiro / Lich  = very good damage-dealing synergy with Chrono, plus defensive supports to protect a farming 1-position Void.  Note: it's far easier to ban out the Void than trying to ban out the multiple supports that are good with Chrono!

Wisp + Tiny/CK/Sven + Nature's Prophet = a very powerful global ganking combination.  While you may not be able to prevent the Wisp + Carry, at least don't let them get both Wisp and NP!  AA, Clockwerk, and Invoker are also good with this combo.

Lycan + Death Prophet = painful pushing power.  Lycan runs around the back to demolish supports, while Exorcism goes to work on the rest of the team.

Lycan + Broodmother = Howl makes for very dangerous broodlings.

Mirana + Bane / Shadow Demon / Crystal Maiden = very good set-up for arrows.

Visage = heralds an aggro tri-lane (usually).  May also prompt a Drow last-pick.

Vengeful Spirit = heralds a roaming support or roaming pair.  Avoid leaving squishy carries alone if they don't have an escape skill!

Earth Spirit = heralds a WTF (just kidding!)

Disruptor + Axe / Undying = very mean "cage match" with Helix or Tombstone.  Sometimes done as an offlane duo, or as part of aggro tri-lane.  Jakiro also combos really well with this.  Countered by heroes with escapes or healing supports.

Centaur / Shadow Shaman + Skywrath Mage = good control and good damage; very potent roaming pair

Clockwerk + Skywrath = put enemies in a box and nuke them, while interrupting them constantly.

Clockwerk + Invoker (Exhort) =  Cogs makes the killbox, Sunstrike makes the kill.

Nature's Prophet + Skywrath = surround them with trees and nuke them from the sky.

Magnus + Anti-Mage/Phantom Assassin/Faceless Void = carry doesn't need Battlefury to farm effectively.  Hard carry can do massive damage during Reverse Polarity.

Warlock + Undying/Elder Titan/Kunkka/Phoenix = it's bad when you're in a massive pool of syrup and can't get out of the way.  Add Pugna with Nether Ward for additional enemy frustration. It's a good idea to pick another support with a teamfight ult so that the enemy has to choose between targets to interrupt.  See also Team Ideas around Delayed AOE.

Anti-mage or Phantom Assassin = may prompt a last-pick Magnus, for the "free Battlefury" from Empower.

Heroes that are Helped by Heroes:

Anti-mage --> helped by --> Magnus (Empower = "free Battlefury")
Axe -->  Disruptor, Undying
Bloodseeker --> Zeus (get targets low health faster)
Bounty Hunter -->  Lycan (Howl), for massive Jinada strike
Clockwerk --> Invoker (Sunstrike), Skywrath (ult), Gyrocopter (Call Down), Lina/Lesh, Kunkka (Ghost Ship)
Doom -->  Abaddon, Dark Seer, Dazzle
Dragon Knight -->  Beastmaster aura, Crystal Maiden aura (DK needs AS and mana regen)
Faceless Void -->  Dark Seer, Magnus (setup for Chrono)
Undying -->  Broodmother, Nature's Prophet, Chen (numbers around Undying boosts Soul Rip)

See also:  List of Initiators by Ability Type

See also: Team Ideas from Hero Synergies

Team Ideas: tanks and healers

Tanky Heroes and Healers:

Solo lane: Beastmaster
Mid:  Necrolyte
Trilane:  Alchemist + Abaddon + Visage

Offlane:  Undying / Centaur
Mid:  Dragon Knight
Safe:  LC/Alchemist + Abaddon/Chen + Bane
Weaknesses:  Anti-push

Solo:  Doom
Mid:  Legion Commander
Aggro Tri:  Axe + Tusk + Visage

Team Ideas around Medusa

Medusa's Ult, Stone Gaze, is basically area lockdown with a physical dmg boost and a magical resist increase.

My feeling is that this tactic is something to take advantage of while few players are all that familiar with how Medusa's ult works.

From the List of Physical Damage Hero Abilities, we get the following teams:

Safelane Carry = Medusa
Safelane Support = Vengeful Spirit
Roaming Support = Slardar
Offlane Solo = Beastmaster
Mid = Death Prophet
Possible Bans:  Omniknight, Dark Seer, Tinker, NP, Lycan

Safelane Carry = Medusa
Safelane Support = Witch Doctor
Secondary Support = Undying
Offlane Solo = Beastmaster
Mid = Troll Warlord
Possible Bans: Batrider, NP, Lycan, Faceless Void, Omniknight

Friday, August 22, 2014

Drafting Practice: Day Twelve - Not the Same Old Combinations

All these drafts were against the same opponent - one with a sense of humour.  He also made me aware of the "cheesy" Spectre + Troll combo, which I wasn't aware of (Haunt, use Battle Rage, kill enemy supports or buildings).

Apparently "roaming two supports" is a thing now - lots of drafters seem to be doing it.  It usually involves drafting fairly lane-independent cores or semi-cores (Razor, Weaver, Invoker, Brewmaster, Timbersaw, Viper, Batrider), which allows you to roam supports instead of babysitting.  If you choose cores that come online early, your roaming should shut down any enemy "greedy" picks or junglers, and the game should be yours (in theory).  However, I found that running an aggro tri-lane could often shut down the opponent's ability to roam, and give some of your cores a much better chance, or at least a better start.

Draft #1
Me as Radiant

I could probably leave Slark alone in lane and roam my supports too, hopefully to shut down Kunkka hard.  My Silencer could easily fall to his roamers, although a Last Word against Skywrath would shut him down after the first cast if he wasn't already Level 3 with Silence of his own.  I'm pretty sure Silencer would be food, though.

I think the drafts are relatively even otherwise.

Draft #2
Me as Radiant

I think I win these lanes, but lose the draft.  Sven + Io would probably have a rough time with Clockwerk burning away their mana, and Clock would even be able to get CS, and would out-level his lane opponents.

PA is a good carry, but probably wouldn't lane all that well vs. DK.  Once DK hit L6, he'd probably be able to push the tower (opponent has very little anti-push).

Disruptor was my direct counter-pick to Wisp, who might otherwise be able to bring in Sven (or even PA) for some ganks on Invoker.

My Skywrath pick was by reflex, already having grabbed Clockwerk (Cogs + Mystic Flare = good).  However, I was trying to stay with tankier targets so I wouldn't fall to PA crits or Io ganks as easily.  I think Skywrath was the wrong pick - I should have gone for more push, but I didn't know he was going to final-pick PA! Still, with my DK pick, I should have gone for a more push-oriented lineup, as DK peaks kinda early.

I think I lose this draft due to lack of push and being heavily out-carried.

Draft #3
Me as Dire

I think I lose this game - not enough carry, and not enough push vs. his anti-push.  His cores come online early enough to matter, and I've gimped my Warlock by tri-laning him (he'd be the farmer, but needs XP more).

While I have some sweet teamfight if I got a combo off, he also has good counter-initiation, and his cores are quite tanky.

Draft #4
Me as Radiant

Here's where the drafts started getting stranger.

I have a decent amount of push and counter-split push, but wasn't expecting the last-pick Phantom Lancer.  My aggro-trilane was well picked to shut down the Lancer, and my Weaver is slippery enough to split push a bit too, but a lot of the fights would come down to who initiated first:  his Bat or my Clock, and whether Exorcism > Ghost Ship, or who could Silence the enemy first, and pick/hit the right target(s).

I think this would be an interesting match.  Weaver would probably have to buy a Maelstrom to fight PL with, though.

Draft #5
Me as Dire

I first pick Razor, but then he picks Sky + Zeus.  I give him the finger and pick Pugna.  He immediately swears and says "gg".  He tries to save the draft, but I further screw him over by taking Silencer, and then I take Bounty Hunter to hunt his squishy supports, too.

Pretty sure I won this one pretty hard.  Pugna's ward would do WORK, not even counting Global Silence.

Draft #6
Me as Radiant

Although my team could probably Level 1 Rosh, I wouldn't risk it against a Puck, who could safely scout the pit with Orb.

His supports cannot roam without Brewmaster getting totally shut down, but Spectre would probably also need some help vs. Bristleback.  Mid matchup is even, possibly a little in Puck's favour.

He has some counter-push, but not sure how Spectre and Brew would do against tanky cores like Lycan and Bristle (who might both have to get MKBs to deal with Brew!).

I tried to pick tanky heroes after seeing the Spectre pick - there's nothing like Spectre wrecking your supports later in the game.  Mind you, the game might not even go that late, but if it does, at least I don't auto-lose my supports.

Draft #7
Me as Radiant

I am confused by the Wisp + Medusa first pick.  I suppose an Overpower + Split Shot, while your opponents are under Stone Gaze would be quite effective.

In reaction, I picked a heavy-push line-up, with more early-game emphasis.  Without a lot of stuns on the enemy team (only Venge, really), and no escapes (other than Nether Swap), Clinkz should be able to get some kills and snowball.   Meanwhile, I should be knocking towers down.

None of his lanes should win as shown, and although his roaming combo is very potent, but they can't be everywhere, and would probably be forced into a defensive tri-lane to save Medusa and her tower.

Draft #8
Me as Radiant

I like my draft okay, but it doesn't work against his line-up.   Juggernaut was a reflex pick after Veno, but it does little for my lineup.  My only saving grace is I can attempt a level 1 Rosh (buy TPs and/or use Smoke to get there in time and finish before the buzzer), and not finish with too low of health, thanks to Jugg's healing ward.    I'd be in pretty rough shape if I failed at the Rosh attempt, but I think I'd be in trouble anyway.

Team Ideas: DoT Ultimates

Based on the list of DoT ultimates, here are some team ideas:

Heroes that group and/or AOE hold/slow:
Wraith King, Magnus, Enigma, Treant, Dark Seer

Team Ideas:
Mid:  Magnus
Tri-Lane (aggro):  Sand King + Disruptor + Undying
Safe Lane:  Gyrocopter

Mid:  Invoker
Solo (offlane): Elder Titan

Safe Lane:  Doom + Lich
Jungle:  Enigma

Mid:  Kunkka
Solo (offlane):  Dark Seer

Safe Lane: Anti-Mage + Treant + Jakiro

Mid:  Leshrac
Offlane:  Treant

Safe Lane:  Sand King + Gyro
Jungle:  Doom

Mid:  Kunkka
Solo (offlane):  Lich

Safe Lane: Naga + Warlock
Jungle: Enigma

Mid:  Warlock
Solo (offlane):  Elder Titan
Safe Lane:  Gyro + Venomancer
Jungle:  Enigma

Mid: Leshrac
Solo Offlane:  Elder Titan
Safe:  Kunkka + Gyro + Treant

DoT Ultimates (with Treant Overgrowth)

Treant's Overgrowth is a strange AOE disable in that it does no damage by itself.  It needs something to go with it.
This is similar to Enigma's Black Hole, except Overgrowth can't be interrupted.

Heroes with AOE Damage Over Time or Delayed Damage:

Sand King - Epicenter
Leshrac - Pulse Nova, Edict
Gyro - Call Down
Kunkka - Ghost Ship
Earth Spirit - Magnetize
Venomancer - Poison Nova
Jakiro - Macropyre
Lich - Chain Frost
Undying - Tombstone (it's not an ult, but it's close)
Disruptor - Static Storm
Witch Doctor - Cask + Death Ward (can still be interrupted)
Warlock - Infernal (Aura + Right-clicks)
Doom - Scorched Earth
Any Radiance carry (Naga, Spectre, Doom)
KotL - Illuminate
Elder Titan - Earthsplitter
Invoker - Deafening Blast, Chaos Meteor, Ice Wall, EMP
Death Prophet - Exorcism
Dark Seer - Wall of Replica illusions
Crystal Maiden - Freezing Field

DoT Ultimates By Role:

Carries:  Gyro, Kunkka, Doom
Supports:  Sand King, Earth Spirit, Veno, Jakiro, Lich, Disruptor, WD, Warlock, KotL, CM
Mids:  Death Prophet, Veno, Leshrac, Warlock, Invoker
Junglers: Dark Seer
Offlaners: Dark Seer, Elder Titan, Doom, Lich, Venomancer, Undying

See also:  Team Ideas with DoT Ultimates

Team Ideas: Everyone has a (reliable) stun

Team Ideas with heavy stun:

Mid:  Ember Spirit
Trilane (aggro):  Slardar + Venge + Visage
Solo: Centaur

Mid:  Dragon Knight
Tri-lane (aggro):  Tiny, Ogre Magi, Crystal Maiden
Solo:  Nyx

Mid:  Storm Spirit
Trilane:  Luna + Venge + Shadow Shaman
Solo:  Elder Titan

Mid:  Gyro
Trilane: Alchemist + Rubick + Jakiro
Solo: Magnus

List of Heroes with Stuns (by position / role)

I know I probably missed some here, but here's a starting list of reliable stuns, by hero position.

Carries with reliable stuns: 

Wraith King, Sven, Dragonknight, Alchemist, Chaos Knight, Ember Spirit, Morphling, Slardar, Tiny, Luna

Semi-Carries or Mids with Reliable Stuns/Disables:

Dragon Knight, Ember Spirit, Storm Spirit, Invoker (Wex)

Offlaners with disabling Ultimates:

Beastmaster,  Tidehunter,  Magnus, Treant, Phoenix (secondary, ult)

Offlaners with Reliable Non-Ult Stuns:

Centaur (stomp), Nyx, Elder Titan (unreliable)?

Supports with reliable stuns:

Venge, Lion, Shadow Shaman, Ogre Magi, Rubick, Wraith King, Alchemist, Sand King, Earthshaker, Nyx

Supports with Secondary or Unreliable Stuns:

Leshrac, Lina, Kunkka, Visage (familiars), Witch Doctor, Mirana, Alchemist, Jakiro, Gyro, Enigma, Ancient Apparition

Team Idea: Come back here!

Team Idea:  Lots of spells that reposition enemy heroes

Heroes:  Kunkka, Venge, Magnus, Batrider, Disruptor
Alternates:  Dark Seer,  Earthspirit, KotL, Chen, Rubick

Mid:  Magnus
Solo (Off)lane:  Batrider
Tri-lane:  Kunkka + Disruptor + Venge (roam/pull)

Picks, in order:  Batrider, Venge, Disruptor, Kunkka, Magnus
Possible Bans:  Tidehunter, Faceless Void, Silencer, Dazzle, Rubick, Naga, Shadow Demon, Doom

Strengths of this team:

  • Multiple initiation & teamfight combos:
    1. Blink into Reverse Polarity + Static Storm + Kinetic Field + Ghost Ship + Torrent
    2. Batrider Lasso --> Magic Missile + Torrent (+ right-clicks)
    3. Venge swap --> as 2. above
    4. Blink and Skewer for pickoff
  • Counter initiation:
    • Venge swap 
    • Magnus RP + any combo
  • Chase / Teamfight Cleanup:
    • Disruptor Glimpse --> as 2. above
    • Kunkka X --> as 2. above.
  • Buffs have good synergy (Empower + Vengeance Aura + Wave of Terror + Kunkka Tidebringer)
  • RP and Kinetic Field are both good setup for Ghost Ship
  • Disruptor counters heroes such as Nature's Prophet and Tinker
  • Multiple laning possibilities (could send Batrider mid against a stronger mid, and Magnus solo offlane, or run the tri-lane on the offlane).

Weaknesses of this team:  

  • Kunkka is not the strongest core, and relies on burst damage rather than sustained heavy right-click (low Agility gain, usually not built with attack speed items)
  • Picks such as Silencer or Naga could really shut down the Magnus-based teamfight, or let Batrider jump in for a pickoff and get picked off instead with a timely Silence or disable.
  • Although the teamfight is decent, and pickoff / roam potential is good, there aren't any really good tower-killers on the team.
  • Both Batrider and Magnus both need Blink to be effective (and Venge would benefit from it as well, now that she's allowed to use the item!)

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Team Ideas: Level 1 Rosh

Heroes with Best Level 1 Nukes

Highest Damage L1 nukes:

Shadowfiend (ShadowRazes, three ranges. 75 / blast, max 3 blasts on starting mana pool = 225)
Visage (Soul Assumption:  (20+ [65*3] = 215 on a 4s CD)
KotL (Illuminate: 200 dmg fully charged)
Tinker (HS Missile: 2 rockets @ 100 dmg each = 200)
Mirana Arrow (Sacred Arrow = 50 up to 140 extra dmg = 190)
Centaur (175 dmg Double Edge)
Razor (Plasma Field 15-80 damage* each direction = 30-160 dmg at L1)
Alchemist (Unstable Concoction 150 dmg physical)

Beastmaster (Wild Axes: 70 per axe = 140)
Storm Spirit (Static remnant = 140)
Shadow Shaman (Ether Shock 140 dmg, 1 target)
Naga Siren (Riptide = 130 dmg and -2 armor for 8s on 10s CD)
Lich (Frost Nova = 125 dmg)
Doom (LVL? Death = 125)
Earthshaker (Fissure = 125 dmg, 1s stun + 8s barrier)
Earth Spirit (Boulder Smash =125 dmg)
Leshrac (Split Earth = 120 w/ 2s stun)
Kunkka (Torrent = 120 dmg w/ 1.25 s stun & 1s slow)
Windranger (Power Shot = 120 dmg)
Tidehunter Gush (110 dmg + 40% slow & 2 armor reduction for 4 secs)
Skywrath Mage (Arcane Bolt = 60+27*1.6 = 103 minimum starting (on 5s CD)
Sven (Storm Hammer= 100 dmg w/ 2s stun)

Highest Level 1 damage abilities:
Juggernaut Bladefury (80 dmg * 5secs = 400)
Gyrocopter Rocket Barrage (3x10x11 = 330)
Leshrac Edict (9*32 = 288)
Clockwerk Battery Assault = 225 over 10.5 secs (15*10.5/0.7)
QoP Dagger (50+30*5 = 200 dmg)
Warlock Shadow Word (165 over 11s)
Disruptor (Thunder Strike = 4 x 40 = 160 dmg)
Phoenix Fire Spirits (4*10 per Spirit * 4 = 160 dmg)
Ancient Apparition Cold Feet (37.5 * 4 = 150)
Ogre Magi Ignite (26*5 = 129)

High Damage with Multiple Targets:
Leshrac - Lightning Storm (4 jumps * 80 = 320 on 4s CD)
Medusa - Mystic Snake (3 jumps = 80+100+125 = 305 total)
Dazzle - Shadow Wave (80 * 3 targets = 240 physical dmg)
Rubick - Fade Bolt (70+56+42+28+14 = 210 on 5 heroes)
Tusk - Snowball (with 4 allies = 80 + 20*4 = 160)
Visage - Soul Assumption (builds charges quickly with multiple targets)
Zeus - Arc Lightning (85 dmg * 5 targets =  425 dmg)

Best L1 Area-Damage Cone Nukes
Lina - Dragon Slave (100 dmg)
Death Prophet - Crypt Swarm (100 dmg, short CD)
Dragon Knight - Fire Breath (90 dmg, 12s CD)
Beastmaster - Wild Axes (70 dmg/axe = 140 physical)
Tiny - Avalanche (100 dmg)

AOE-around hero Nukes:
Abaddon (dmg block + damage on pop)
Omniknight (Pure damage!)

Damage Over Time Effects:
Witch Doctor Maledict
Warlock Shadow Word

Line-Effect Nukes:
  • Nyx
  • Lion
  • Magnus

Level 1 AOE Ranged Nukes
  • Clockwerk Rocket Flare
  • Undying Decay

Level 1 AOE Nuke + Stun
  • Alchemist Unstable Concoction
  • Leshrac Split Earth
  • Lina Light Strike Array
  • Slardar Slithereen Crush
  • Centaur Stomp
  • Kunkka Torrent
  • Sven Storm Bolt
  • Earthshaker Fissure
  • Sand King Burrowstrike
  • Elder Titan Echo Stomp

Level 1 AOE Nuke + Slow
  • Ursa
  • Brewmaster

Team Idea: Minion Heroes

Again, this type of lineup is for LOLZ, and it's very push-heavy, so you need to win the game early, in general.  You MUST ban Earthshaker, or ensure that he's not going to be picked, or you WILL lose.


  • Earthshaker
... Echo Slam will destroy you.


  • Clinkz
  • Doom
... both of these heroes will appreciate your team's walking platters of buffs.

Team Idea - Physical Dmg + Creeps:

Visage (warding), Chen (Mek), Dazzle (Necrobook), Shadowfiend, NP (Deso)

More Minion-Team Composition and Laning Ideas:

  • Broodmother / NP / Lone Druid / Beastmaster offlane
  • Invoker / Venomancer Mid (Mek)
  • Chen/Enchantress/Enigma jungle (Basi)
  • Lyncan + Visage safelane

List of Heroes with Minions:

  • Chen
  • Enchantress
  • Visage
  • Lyncan
  • Enigma
  • Nature's Prophet
  • Invoker (Exhort - Forge Spirits)
  • Warlock (Infernal)
  • Broodmother
  • Venomancer (Wards)
  • Lone Druid
  • Beastmaster

Team Idea: All Initiators

Please keep in mind that most of these team ideas are for Lolz - I don't recommend them in serious, competitive, play.

Team ideas:  all initiators

Sfiend mid (shadowblade)
Tiny + Sandking + Warlock safelane
Tide/Centaur/Clockwerk offlane

Storm Spirit / Puck mid
Centaur solo offlane
Axe + Shadow Shaman + Disruptor agro tri

Initiator Carries:
Silencer?   Doom?  Spectre?  Faceless Void?  Ember Spirit?  Naga?  Slardar, Tiny, Ursa, Huskar
Initiator Mids:
QoP, Puck, Magnus, Invoker,  Storm Spirit, Silencer? Ember spirit, Huskar,

Best Roaming Supports

Zrog says:  I don't agree with everything that's pointed out in this article/post, but it's generally correct, and for the right reasons.  Note that the original author assumes that you will be roaming the support at Level 1. I've taken tips and opinions from elsewhere on the web and added them at the bottom.

By Chuavechito on

You don't really need [Observer Wards] to roam but you WILL need to counter-ward with either a set of Sentry or 1-2 Smokes. Go for Sentry only if you are confident enough in your warding skills.

My ranking on roamers:

1) Earthshaker ("Shaker" or "ES")
2) VS [Vengeful Spirit]
3) Lich and Venomancer
4) Tidehunter
5) Sven and Ogre [Magi]
6) CM [Crystal Maiden] and Doc [Witch Doctor]
(7) [Skywrath Mage - massive mana pool and able to spam nukes].

Shaker is the best roamer because Fissure is the best roaming skill at level 1. However he can only roam when he is picked to do so. If he roams he will be underleveled and underfarmed so is really important that the team picked a roamer ES and not a ES to turtle/spam area dmg in teamfights.

Lich, VS and Veno are good roamers because they are very level and item independent heroes. Also, their stun/slow are really good at level 1 and they have range. VS > Lich/Venom because stun > slow.

Tide is like Lich or Veno but he's melee so his ganks are much less effective.

Sven is not a good roamer because he isn't level or item independent, and has a small mana pool. [Zrog sayshe does, however, have a very good Level 1 stun/nuke, and can be roamed similar to Earthshaker]

Ogre is not a good [level 1] roamer because he is very level dependent. [Zrog disagrees - he's still effective at L1, but you don't roam him at level 1, you roam him at level 3, with a 1-1-1 build].

CM is a terrible roamer because you will delay the aura too much. [Zrog just had an aneurysm, as Crystal Maiden is probably the best early roamer after Venge.  If you need the aura that bad, just don't pick her as a roamer!]

Doc [Witch Doctor] is also a terrible [early] roamer because his stun is terrible at level 1. [Zrog says: that's why you roam him at L3, with 2 points in Maledict, and bring a buddyMaledict damage is disgusting if you have someone else to dish out the first bit of damage].

Zrog's Notes:

Earthshaker and Vengeful Spirit got a lot of votes, too, especially for L1 roaming.

Treant considered a good L1 roamer with a slow (Leech Seed) + High base dmg.  L2, can dive towers with Living Armor, or can stealth with Nature’s Guise.  Should check rune early (invis, haste, DD, all good).  Start with boots, and your position 5 should hand over some consumables.

Nyx has also been mentioned, but is less useful without levels and farm.

Shadow Demon is a good roamer, but needs a buddy for more damage.  Ideally should have L3 before roaming.

Skywrath Mage hadn't been released when the above post was written, but I would add him.  He pairs well with a tanky roamer that can initiate (ES, Ogre, etc).

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Drafting Practice - Day Ten

Draft #1:
As Spectator

No, I wasn't actually drafting this one, but spectating.  Here's my quick analysis on this draft:

Radiant:  I can't really understand the Darkseer pick after Doom.  Both are tanky heroes that need to be in the front lines, and both tend to build similar items.  Yes, Doom with Surge + Ion Shell is effective, but you're still overlapping roles. The Tiny+Wisp combo is potent, and could easily pick off the Sniper if he decided to solo farm... but they didn't know there was a Sniper pick at this point, so who are they aiming for?  Ganking the supports, who aren't likely to be off farming by themselves?  Ganking the Void when he doesn't have Chrono available?  (in which case, why is he farming alone?).  Void is even likely to Backtrack some of the damage and then just Time Walk into the trees and Town Portal away.

The final Radiant pick of Earthshaker isn't bad - a good initiator who can jump onto Sniper, or block the retreat of the two squishy supports.  Still, it still feels like more of the same, as with Doom & Darkseer, and Tiny+Wisp.  I suppose you could go for Toss into Vaccum into Echoslam?  Still, 4 melee heroes + wisp doesn't seem like a winning combination, especially in lane.  Doom will probably lose mid quite hard, and even Tiny+Wisp will probably only hold their own against Clockwerk, and then he'll out-level them both.

Dire's pick are pretty standard for the current meta, although I'm not sure about the Clockwerk + Void, as they tend to get in each others' way.  However, Clockwerk goes especially well with Skywrath, and he's one of the better suicide laners. He's also very effective against melee heroes to zone them out.  The sniper pick as last pick seems very appropriate to me, given what he's facing.  Yes, the Tiny+Wisp combo could cause problems, but given what the Dire player saw in the opponent's draft, he's almost going to auto-win a lane against so much melee.  The Earthshaker could cause problems for Sniper, but similarly, at least one or even both of the Dire supports could roam, as well (Dark Seer is unlikely to solo-kill the Void, especially if zoned out early on).

I favour the Dire draft.

Draft #2:
As Spectator

This draft mainly comes down to the tri-lanes.  I think Pugna and the Earthshaker+Jakiro combos will shut down the aggro tri really hard, with an early level in Nether Ward to drain away mana, and seriously hurt Lina or Skywrath if they dare cast a spell.

Other lanes seem fairly even.

Draft #3:
As Radiant

That's right, I drafted the Ogre.  I'm actually a big fan of him, and he's super-tanky even lategame.

I'm quite happy with my lanes, and they'll all do decent or better.  The enemy Drow is probably dead meat in her lane.  Dire has some nice combos with Sunstrike, however, especially with a Disruption + Curse + Shackle + Sunstrike.  My heroes are all quite tanky, so I'm not terribly worried about even my supports getting picked off during a Chrono, as long as I can keep Void down in farm.

I actually don't mind his draft - it's not weak, and the game would have a lot to do with the skills of the various players.  If Batrider fed at all, for example, Void could get huge.  Similarly, if Drow fed, Bristleback would be fairly unstoppable by midgame.

Draft #4:
As Radiant

I remember this drafter, because he LOVED to roam two supports.

I think Nyx will have a very bad lane with Silence + Ensnare + Ice Path.  However, Tinker doesn't have an escape, and must rely on wards or positioning to avoid ganks from the roamers.  Tide will do decently well against Lycan, simply by spamming Anchor Smash to deny last-hitting power or fend off wolves, and my Tinker should counter his Lycan's split-push.  In turn, his roaming Nyx could threaten split-pushers mid game, and his AA Ice Blast is decent in delaying pushes.

However, other than Brewmaster, the Dire side doesn't have a lot of teamfight.  Not only that, but Song of the Siren could be used to wait out a Brewmaster Primal Split, and then re-engage from an advantageous position (for example, Macropyre down, into Ravage + Ice Path + Exorcism + March).  I believe Naga's Ensnare goes through BKB, so immobilizing Lycan and kiting WK wouldn't be a large problem.

I'd say that neither side has a draft advantage.  Both players have picked very different styles, but it's splitpush+gank vs teamfight+push, and both teams are set up well for their chosen styles.  Dire has a slight advantage midgame, as his heroes come online earlier, but Radiant could take the lategame with Naga as a harder carry than Lycan (due to illusions), and still has pushing power of her own.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Drafting Practice: Day Nine

Draft #1:
I'm Dire

Quick Analysis:
Mid - Even.  Dmg steal vs. Orb harass, neither has an escape vs. ganks.
Bottom - Somewhat even.  Weaver can harass more easily, but is a lot more fragile.  Both have escapes vs. ganks.
Top - Jugg gets destroyed by solo drow, unless Drow is stupid.  His roaming supports, however, could force my supports to avoid roaming to ensure Drow survives.

Draft #2:
I'm Dire.

Draft advantage: probably none.  If Weaver in Chrono, he's dead.  His team has split push, but I have Nyx and Clinkz to gank the split-pushers (Clinkz typically builds Orchid, too).

Teamfights are probably even, and rely on ultimates on both sides (Brew split vs. Chrono, Death Ward, and Global Silence).

Anti-push is low on Dire side.  No good anti-push abilities to counter NP or Jakiro.  Relies on ganks or big teamfights to counter split push.

Draft #3:
I'm Radiant Side.

Once again, I first-pick Void, and he also gives me Witch Doctor.  However, he has a good balance of push, split-push, gank and teamfight with his picks.

Success probably depends on my massive amount of push or split-push, plus ganking with Nyx, versus his Timbersaw and/or Venge roaming.

He can also pressure between Chronosphere cooldowns.  My Void would probably have to get an easier Agh's to compensate, which would delay his damage items.

He can't really L1 Roshan with his lineup, but he can probably do it at level 6 no problem, especially from Dire side.

Conclusion:  I should probably have picked a support with more anti-push than WD, probably Jakiro.  Nyx wasn't a bad choice, but picking BOTH NP and Tinker probably was, since neither have good teamfight.

Draft #4:
I'm Dire Side.

Quick Analysis:  I think lanes could be even, but he has the advantage with Batrider once he has Blink + Force Staff.  There's really not much I can do against Batrider initiation + Global Silence.  Basically, he gets an auto-pickoff, and turns it into a 5v4.

I have tanky cores (on purpose), and I have more push with Serpent Wards, Dragonform, and Infernal, but several of his heroes are more mobile, and he also has good initiation with both Bat and Earthshaker.

This draft, once again, depends greatly on the laning stage, and my roaming supports (or aggressive tri-lane, if I choose to do that).  However, his solo laners both have escapes, whereas mine don't.  A well-placed Fissure could easily result in Viper's death, even if I backed him up with my supports.

I think mid would go better than expected if the Warlock player was smart and bought a Magic Stick, and used Fatal Bonds to harass.  However, Bat could solo-kill the Warlock at level 6, whereas Warlock probably couldn't catch Batrider to do the same (even with Golem).  Also, Warlock is more easily gankable, especially if he pushes the lane out with Fatal Bonds harass.

I think I have the slightly less-favourable draft.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Day Seven Drafting Practice: Uncertain Outcomes

Draft #1:  Me as Radiant

Honestly I don't know how his aggro tri-lane would do.  My opponent and I argued about it a lot, and he felt that Lycan would get highly shut down, and even killed with Chilling Touch.  Or, that WR would simply harass him until he could no longer farm.

I'm pretty sure I destroy his other 2 lanes though - PA isn't going to get anything done vs. Batrider, except a few last hits with Dagger, and Tide isn't going to have a good time vs. Silencer mid.

Mind you, he COULD abandon the tri-lane and leave WR there to hold back pushes, and then roam AA + SS and make Silencer's life in mid very difficult...

One of the problems with his tri-lane comes when Silencer hits 6 and neither AA nor SS are anywhere close because of the tri-lane.  After a few levels, Lycan can even go jungle, while SS and AA will have a hard time catching up on levels.  Of course, he'll also have an early Ravage (if he manages to use it before I silence him), and quite a lot of CC.

If Batrider can get an early Blink (which he should be able to), he can kill almost any of the opponent's supports solo (except Tide), unless SS is very fast with his Hex.  This will mean also that PA is never going to feel safe farming when Batrider can just Blink in and kill her.

Draft #2:  Me as Dire

Here I am, getting greedy again.

I think mid lane is a tie, since Zeus can just stay back and farm with Arc Lightning, but I should be able to drive NP out of top lane (or kill him a lot), but my LD isn't likely to get much done bottom, although it will be difficult for them to repeatedly kill the bear.

My opponent admitted to me that he was going for a "global effect" line-up, which he saw a pro team draft once.  It looks quite effective on paper, except that he's relying on NP having a good game and being able to split push to prevent / avoid / tradeoff during teamfights.   He has squishy heroes and nothing to save them with during a Chronosphere.  Of course, if Spectre gets off the ground, his Haunt will tear my supports apart, too.

He might also have forgotten about Rubick's Null Field, which increases my team's magic resist, and also that Viper's Corrosive Skin gives extra resist as well.  He's not likely to be killing me with nukes, and if he roams his supports, LD's bear is going to shut down Spectre.

My team's real issue would be with Nyx - I have very squishy, Int-based supports, and a roaming / initiating Nyx would be very difficult to counter.  It may also prevent my LD from solo farming or pushing if Nyx gets a few items up.

Draft #3:  Me as Dire

Okay, so my Earthshaker isn't really going to be able to roam.  He puts a very push-heavy tri-lane against my tri-lane, and I pick the tanky CK as an early-effect carry in response.

I have decent anti-push with SS, Invoker, and Beastmaster, although I really don't have much to counter his split-push from NP, who will have a good laning phase given the matchup.

This game would largely come down to the success of his aggro tri-lane, and whether I could get farm on CK so that he could snowball into the midgame.  He's going fairly midgame-centric himself, so it would be an interesting match.

This particular opponent placed great stock in aggro tri-lanes with supports and no true carry.  I suspect he would farm his Leshrac in this tri-lane (I suppose Veno could be the other choice?).

Friday, August 15, 2014

Drafting Practice - Day Six, Straying Away from "Top Meta" Heroes

Draft #1:  Me as Radiant

I was trying here to avoid first-picking the typical Lycan, Razor, Shadow Shaman, Doom, Faceless Void, Viper, Batrider, Invoker, or Tidehunter.  These are VERY common heroes in the current meta, mostly because of their (laning) flexibility.  Shadow Shaman has multiple disables and a great tower-pushing ultimate, which are very effective in a support.

I was expecting an aggro tri-lane, thus my decision to lane this way.  Weaver is an unusual mid, but I chose to take him mid after I saw the very-short-ranged Storm Spirit as the most likely enemy mid.  I believe Weaver would do well harassing Storm Spirit in mid lane, and might even be able to get a solo-kill on him before level 6.

I could easily leave Clockwerk top to get farm.  The enemy combo is good, but probably not enough to bring him down.  He could also use offensive Cogs early to burn away WK's mana, so that he wouldn't be able to Hellfire Blast anyway.  Clockwerk can out-lane WK solo, so that holds Leshrac in lane so WK can farm, which then gives Clock a level advantage and possible kill when he hits Level 6 before his dual opponents.

Since Tidehunter isn't going to be able to threaten DK, I can roam my supports, leaving DK by himself.  Even Storm Spirit will have a difficult time killing DK in the space of his Vortex, and DK can thereafter stun and run or simply TP away.

I think our pushing power is tied, but my split-push is better with Weaver, and my anti-split push is decent with AA Ice Blast and Clockwerk Flare.  Clockwerk isn't the best initiator against Storm Spirit, and initiating on WK is just dumb anyway, but if Enigma or Leshrac strayed in range of a Hookshot, they would make tender pickin's...

My Weaver will be able to attack from range, while DK tanks the front rank damage.

I am happy overall with my draft.  It's not a guaranteed win, but I feel that it's a decent match.

Draft #2:  Me as Radiant

Again, I'm trying to stay away from the "top meta" heroes, because continual drafts with those heroes is boring.

My biggest regret in this draft is not banning the very-obvious Mirana last pick.  I thought my opponent was going to want more hard carry, and while Mirana can carry, I was thinking that my lineup would be threatened more by a heavier-push carry, such as Luna.

In general, I like the lane matchups.  He's not going to be able to roam his Earthshaker unless he wants either Mirana or SD to die a few times.  His main problem with the tri-lane is that he HAS TO have his supports in lane to defend Mirana, or I can use a Nightmare + Hellfire + Missile to stun SD to death.  Nightmare is instant, so he's not going to be able to Disrupt to save himself.  If I can block or disrupt or harass his pulling supports, WK should do okay against even the ranged Mirana.

I don't think NP does well solo against Batrider, but then, no one does, really.   NP should at least be able to get SOME farm, and decent XP.

Gyro should be able to take apart Doom in mid, and if he can't roam his Earthshaker easily, I'll easily win mid.

If I did this again, my Venge should probably have been a CM instead for the tri-lane, mostly for the mana aura.  However, I picked Venge in response to his Batrider, hoping that a Nether Swap might save whomever Batrider jumped upon.

As mentioned by my opponent post-draft, I could also farm on Venge instead of WK, since I have a triple-core lineup (NP, Gyro, WK) to my opponent's dual-core (Doom, Mirana).

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Drafting Practice: Day Five - Still too greedy

Draft #1:  Me as Dire

I think I have the stronger laning stage here, simply because I have a jungler, and my offlane is fairly solid, while Invoker is going to destroy Beastmaster mid, though BM should get SOME farm with Axes and a Bottle.  Invoker, being ranged, has a straight advantage there, and Quas-Wex gives better staying power, while Exhort will drive Beastmaster out of the lane with high damage and Forge Spirits.

Dark Seer can be zoned out of lane, but even if his XP is denied, he should get a little bit of farm early on, at least enough to buy some basic items.  It is possible for him to get killed, but that's why they call it the suicide lane, right? ;-)

Timbersaw offlane should be pretty safe, although isn't likely to get a lot of farm.  If I manage to rotate Enigma from the jungle, and get a Shackle+Sheep initiation on him, Timbersaw could get blown up.

The downside is that he can afford to rotate his supports to kill my mid or even ambush safe lane, while I'm pretty much stuck in lane - Shadow Shaman will need to support Luna, at least with pulls and possibly even to threaten a kill on Timbersaw so he doesn't get too aggressive, and Enigma has to commit to jungling.

With some early pickoffs, he could easily get his free-farming Morphling his core items, and snowball from there.  A Nether Swap from Venge could save people in a teamfight, and BM's Roar could eliminate almost any one target.

His anti-push is decent, with Axes, Power Shot, and Chakram, but he doesn't have anything matching a Vacuum + Wall + Black Hole + Chaos Meteor + Serpent Wards.  Dark Seer's Wall of Replica is probably one of my better weapons, since a replicate of Morphling is going to put serious hurt onto his supports.

I think I lose this one if he has any good roaming.  Luna, unlike Morph, has no escape ability, and Morph will outcarry her eventually.  Timbersaw, Venge, and even Windranger can all give Morph space to farm, while my Luna will need babysitting.  I can kill towers better than he can with Eidolons + Serpent Wards + Forge Spirits, but I'm unlikely to get enough towers down before Morphling comes online to force fights, and meanwhile he can just split push or use anti-push to keep me at bay.

Draft #2:  Me as Radiant

My drafting is still really greedy.  The lanes look okay, except a roaming SD + Leshrac can eat anyone they choose.  SS + Naga could fight back decently, and might even kill Bounty Hunter in lane if they can surprise him with Dust or a Sentry, and Batrider could escape over cliffs, or trees, but Lone Druid is likely to die repeatedly if he gets too far from his tower, and NP isn't going to be able to farm very safely.

Tinker would probably need help mid against Batrider early game, although with a Bottle and some rocket spam, he might be able to threaten Bat enough to get some farm.

His strategy will rely on successful pickoffs, while mine relies on getting Core items up (Blink on Bat, basic carry items), while NOT getting picked off.  Given how slowly my carries come online, his Ember can force fights earlier and gain ground.  Tinker will be partially countered by NP, but that depends greatly on Bat getting items and being able to roam and threaten Tinker with a Bat+NP combo.  Once Bounty comes online, the jungle and even solo or split-pushing will be extremely unsafe for me, although it wouldn't be difficult for me to group up and push towers down quickly with Bear + Serpent Wards + Treants.

Basically, I've given him the initiative.  If I can hold off, I should win quite handily lategame, but it's going to be quite an uphill battle for me.

Draft #3:  Me as Dire

I'm really not sure who wins this one.  Venomancer could do decently well against Razor early game, since it's Plague Wards and poison damage that makes Veno dangerous mid, not whether Razor can steal damage or not.  My supports will be forced to stay in lane and defend Spectre, but if he roams his supports, his tri-lane will fail.  Invoker and Elder Titan will probably tie that lane, although if Razor could rotate bottom, Invoker would probably die (unless he had Ghost Walk ready).

I was aiming for teamfight this game, instead of heavy push or gank, and Razor should be able to shut down Morphling quite effectively with Static Link, and Spectre will demolish his squishy supports with Haunt.  My combo is Burrowstrike + Epi into Static Storm and/or Kinetic Field, into Earthsplitter, while Spectre makes a nuisance of herself with Haunt, hopefully distracting the enemy supports.  Razor is likely to get disabled by Bane, but if I win the teamfight, Disruptor should enable me to pick off stragglers and increase the magnitude of my win.

His combo is decent as well - Fissure/Echoslam + Poison Nova + Invoker Bullshit + Waveform, while Bane disables 2 targets with Nightmare + Ult, and possibly even shuts down Razor's damage with Enfeeble (although Razor should be able to steal a lot back).

Neither of us has a heavy focus on push, but I think his is a bit better with Invoker, Morph, and Veno (although I've found that Veno's wards are better anti-push than push).

This match would all come down to the aggro trilane.  If he wins, he snowballs and my Spectre becomes useless.  If I win, not only does his Morph take too long to come online, but my Sand King can jungle more easily than his Earthshaker can farm, and my Razor + Spectre should outcarry even Morphling.  As right-click damage increases in importance, Elder Titan's armor reduction will hurt Morph more and more.

I think I'm set up quite nicely for a defensive tri-lane, but his aggro tri-lane is quite strong as well.  I have a feeling that I'd lose Disruptor a couple of times...

Draft #4:  Me as Radiant

I think Death Prophet wins mid against the melee Naga, and Nyx really isn't going to threaten my safe lane, nor be able to solo-kill Enigma early game.  Centaur can probably win against Doom if his supports leave to roam, but it depends a great deal on what creep Doom manages to find.  If SS and AA are free to roam, my mid could die, and Enigma will feel unsafe in his own woods.  His Nyx will also discourage Lycan from solo split pushing, especially if Nyx gets some early kills and picks up some items.

His picks against my early Lycan are good, and he has lots of disables to prevent Lycan from wreaking havoc on his back lines during teamfights.  However, aside from a very good Nyx initiation, he will have more trouble starting fights than I will, with Centaur or Enigma blinking in.  However, he can also nullify a teamfight with Naga, or set up Nyx very effectively with a Song of the Siren initiation (this would depend greatly on his team coordination - a lot of Naga pub players could screw this up horribly).

I think I have a decent shot at winning this matchup, but it would depend greatly on pickoffs and initiation.

I don't think Dazzle was the right pick, here.  Someone a little more bursty, or with a disable might have been better.  The idea was Weave + Exorcism (Spirits) + Physical damage (Howl, Wolves, Eidolons) would be quite effective.

My last-pick of Centaur was intended to have a semi-counter for Song, and Centaur would have to save his Stampede for after Song of the Siren, since my team would either need to retreat (if initiated upon), or pursue (if Song was used to retreat).

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Drafting Practice: Day Four, Analysis

Just FYI - this drafting is during patch 6.81b.

Draft #1:  Me as Radiant

We both have some serious push, but I have way harder carries.  Unfortunately, I got too greedy with them, and Faceless Void is unlikely to be able to do anything solo offlane.  I thought it was a good idea at the time, until the Pugna pick, because I didn't account for Silences + Nukes being just as effective as stuns (I saw few stuns, and thought I'd take a chance with an offlane Void).

I would probably rotate Witch Doctor offlane to support Void, and since both Pugna and Skywrath are both very squishy, some early aggression might pay off (or a very lucky Cask from WD).

His pushing power peaks earlier than mine, with Enigma, DK, and Pugna all coming online long before Gyro starts being a flash-farming pusher, and DP peaks a little later than DK, given that DP's level 6 ultimate isn't nearly as powerful as her level 11 ultimate (number of spirits goes up a lot, especially with more levels in Mysticism).

We both have quite the wombo combos going on here, but I feel that Silencer and Void can both easily disrupt his initiation combo, as long as they aren't both in the Black Hole, or bursted down during/immediately after a Ravage (which is indeed possible).

I have a nasty, nasty combo with Chronosphere + Death Ward + Call Down/Flak Cannon + Exorcism/Crypt Swarm + Global Silence.  Basically, if I get the Silence off, and a Chrono on 2 or more targets, I'm going to kill the 2 targets, even if they are BKB'ed (Death Ward and Exorcism are both physical damage, as is Flak Cannon, not even including Void's right-clicks.

The smart thing to do would be to rush Agh's on Void just to enable more frequent Chronos.

If he could get a successful Ravage + Blackhole onto Silencer and Void before I could counterinitiate with Chrono or Global Silence, he could do some serious damage.  DK would be very difficult to kill inside a Chrono without the rest of the combo, and Ravage could set up some really nice Silences and Stuns.

The other problem I have with my draft is a lack of reliable stuns.  On the opponent's team, he has DK's stun, two big ultimates with stun, a silence, Enigma's short-lived but frequent Malifice stun, and Pugna's Decrepify.  I do, however, have 2 unreliable stuns and 2 silences, plus Chrono.

The determining factor behind who would win is probably whether my opponent could get an early lead and push, versus whether I could prolong the game long enough for my carries to get farm.

I think I got a bit too greedy, though.

Draft #2:  Me as Radiant

Apparently today was a day of greedy line-ups.  However, in this case I might get away with it, as Lone Druid could farm with his bear, given that Leshrac is very squishy, Treant is a more defensive support (usually), and Bristleback only has a slow, and is primarily a tank (although yes, he can carry quite well).  OD will be fine against Viper mid, and Void + Warlock will ensure safe farm against Tidehunter, although if Treant and Leshrac rotate bottom while Shadow Shaman isn't there, they could kill Warlock quite easily (Void would likely be able to Time Walk to safety).

I drafted Warlock early, and intended to go for more of a wombo-combo with him, but when I saw the very-defensive Treant pick, along with Tidehunter (no stun early game), I started going greedy.

His main problem is that he has very little anti-push, other than Leshrac, who is a close-range pusher.  Warlock golems + Bear + Serpent Wards + Warlock Slow are going to be difficult to deal with.  A good Ravage followed by Overgrowth + Leshrac AOE could really hurt, but that assumes that Shadow Shaman doesn't Sheep or Shackle Leshrac or Bristleback, and that the bear doesn't get any Entangles.  With only 1 Int hero, OD's ultimate is REALLY going to hurt, too.

I think I did well on this one - early and mid game is stable enough unless he snowballs hard with Viper, and he has very short-range damage abilities other than right-clicks from Viper and Bristle.  I would have liked to see how this game plays out.

Draft #3:  Me as Radiant

Man, this guy loves Treant, and going Dire side.

Frankly, I think I could win this one with early to mid-game dominance.  Exhort Invoker can do well enough mid against Razor once he has Forge Spirits to harass, and the two enemy supports won't get much XP, can't leave Wraith King alone in lane vs. Batrider, and don't have enough lockdown to kill Batrider before he flies away.  Yes, if Batrider was dumb and took a Hellfire Blast + Cold Feet + Leech Seed, he'd be dead, but otherwise he could soak XP, force the supports to remain to protect WK, and allow my Earthshaker to take apart his Razor and his Doom.  Actually, I think CK + Wisp could take apart Doom by themselves, but Earthshaker would make it pretty much guaranteed (Doom has very little base armor and no escape from Fissure/Chaos Bolt/Reality Rift).

The other thing you may not notice is that I have quite the global presence with Wisp Relocate + Invoker Sunstrike.   Batrider is also highly mobile, and can jump in for pickoffs.   My opponent has a good defensive ability with Living Armor, but I have a fair amount of magical burst, which isn't going to be prevented with Living Armor.

It might be worth mentioning that he doesn't have a lineup that can do a Level 1 Roshan, or even an early Roshan - he has too many melee heroes, which leads to Roshan using his AOE stomp/stun, and he doesn't have any abilities, auras, or synergy to allow him to kill Roshan quickly.  Thus, it's more difficult for him to use the only Dire advantage.

Here, I'm in the position of having a weaker lategame, with CK as a stronger midgame hero, and Invoker as only a secondary core.  His Razor + WK + Doom is going to outcarry me hard, but only if they can get farm.  Razor's Static Link isn't all that useful against an illusion-based carry, and he has no strong AOE ultimates or Cleave to deal with illusions.  He does, however, have several good damage-dealing right-clickers, but Wisp and Invoker are both quite squishy if I could focus them.

Draft #4:  Me as Radiant

Okay, so I grab Lycan this time, since my opponent doesn't ban it.  That means a push strategy, so I follow up with Death Prophet after he picks Tinker.  I go Clockwerk to counter his Tinker, since Tinker would at least have to worry about being initated upon while split-pushing.  I protect Lycan with Sand King, who can jungle nicely for farm, and Jakiro, who combos nicely with Clockwerk, and also has decent push and anti-push, in addition to being relatively tanky.

He has Cold Feet and Roar as his only stuns.

His only anti-push, aside from Tinker's March of the Machines, is Beastmaster's Axes.  Beastmaster can't really spam axes (cooldown, mana), and if Tinker is helping with anti-push, he isn't split pushing.

Tinker can't catch Lycan to kill him (unless Lycan stupidly has no ult when split-pushing), and Tinker can't escape Lycan (other than a TP) once Lycan has BKB.  Yes, Tinker could Blink + Sheep on top of Lycan and Laser/Dagon/Rocket him for tons of damage, but by the time Tinker gets that much farm, I should be knocking on his Barracks.

His initiation is limited to Beastmaster's single-target stun, or an Overgrowth.  Overgrowth doesn't grant him much - I can defensively Ice Path, Macropyre, Cogs, Burrowstrike, Silence... almost every hero has some defensive against it.  It locks Lycan down for a bit, but there's no followup.  Sure, he could lob an AA Ice Blast on top of my push, but he can't go charging in on the heels of that against Ice Path, Burrowstrike, Cogs, and Exorcism / Silence.

I'm pretty confident that I'd have the edge in this draft.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Drafting Practice: Day Three, Part Three - Noobing and Not Noobing

... ok, so it was a slow day.  If you're still reading, I hope you're learning something, at least.

These drafts were against a different opponent, and I feel I got the better of him, mostly.

Draft #7:  Me as Radiant

I feel like my lanes are solid enough to roam 2 supports - Dark Seer will do fine against 2 melee heroes, and even if he gets zoned out of XP range, he'll get some farm and will even cause some issues with Ion Shell to the enemy melee carry (Ember Spirit, I'm assuming).

Razor can handle Bristleback, simply by stealing his damage, and may even kill him.  This, of course, could go either way - if Razor gets low and too far from his tower, he could also be food for Bristleback.  However, since I can afford to roam supports and my opponent's supports will need XP before they become really dangerous, I think I have the upper hand, here.

He doesn't have anti-push (except Tinker), and if Tinker's doing that, he can't split-push.  Wall of Replica would be very effective against his melee carries, and DP's silence could really hurt Ember Spirit especially.

Bah, I dunno.  I'd love to play this one out. 

Draft #8:  Radiant is me

The idea behind this draft was to keep Lycan safe, while creating situations where I could lock down enemies to kill them, while also not really caring about Doom.  The most effective target for Doom is probably Disruptor, but then Doom is going to get ripped apart by the rest of my heroes.

My combo is ET Stomp into Kinetic Field + Static Storm into ET Earthsplitter, with Axe putting out a Call on one of the enemy heroes (probably Tinker or SS), while Viper goes to town on them, and Lycan meanwhile tearing up the enemy back lines (Enchantress).

However.... I lose this game because of lack of push and anti-push.  Granted, I could get some items to help me (Necrobook, Maelstrom, etc), and my lanes seem strong or at least stable, and Axe + Disruptor make for great "cage matches" against enemy supports (heck, ANY of his heroes), but except for Lycan, I gots little push.  Yeah, yeah - Axe can spin to win, and demolish creep waves, but he shouldn't be standing in them when the enemy is coming on top of him.

Drafting Practice: Day Three, Part Two: Improvement

Draft #4:  Me as Radiant

The idea of this lineup was to have some tough carries who also come online midgame, and then back them up with a healer (Abaddon in this case).  Elder Titan (ET) would provide valuable armor and resist removal against enemies, and add a nice followup to Chronosphere.  My last-pick Brewmaster SEEMED like a good idea, as he's difficult for Bane to lock down, and has quite a bit of CC of his own during his ultimate, and even in normal form he'll dodge a lot of TA's right-click.

Ok, so I thought I was being all clever with my tri-lane bottom, but then he puts Void down there, and I doubt I have enough lockdown to kill him before he Time Walks away.  However, Brew will likely do just fine solo against him (even at level 6, when Void can't do much damage in the Chrono).  Thus, Abaddon and SShaman could roam.  SShaman would likely pull the lane repeatedly to get some farm of his own, and Abaddon could roam, guard runes, help tower dive vs. TA, or assist Elder Titan top.

ET will do fine against Mirana + Bane, simply because he can use his Spirit to farm and stay far from initiation range of Bane.  If he makes a mistake, he's dead, but that's typical with the suicide lane.

DK and TA are probably equal mids, although TA's armor reduction could really hurt DK, and DK doesn't have anything to deal with refraction, except in Dragon Form Level 1, once level 6 hits.  TA has rune control advantage with her traps after Level 6, but without much psi-blade impact until later on, both heroes will likely get enough farm to come online for midgame.

Pushing power:  Okay, here's where his lineup falls flat.  He's really got no good midgame push-antipush against SS Wards + DK Dragon Form + my backup/sustain from Abaddon / ET.  Heck, ET could even put Void to sleep inside the Chrono! (I think?  Do spirits work in Chrono?)

The main issue would be:  can Void get enough farm, or can TA get enough ganks, to make it to lategame?  I have a feeling I could seriously roll over the enemy lineup during midgame.  However, against more cores and harder carries, it would have to be a short game or I'd lose.

After the draft, my opponent pointed out that Brew makes a terribly tri-lane hero, as he needs levels more than farm.  I think I could adjust lanes to make that happen, though.

Draft #5:  Me as Radiant

I feel that I drafted poorly here.  I don't really have anything to stop Lycan from running around killing all my supports, my Wraith King will get kited around by Storm Spirit and even Lycan.  If he stands still, a Black Hole is waiting for him.  Razor can steal damage really well from Lycan, which is why I let the Lycan through the first ban, but NP will be food to the Storm Spirit ganks, and Lich doesn't really offer anything at all beyond denying Centaur a bit of farm, which isn't even a big deal.

Let's just move on...

Draft #6:  Me as Dire

Ok, so I got too greedy here.  I'm going to be punished heavily with an aggro tri-lane, unless by some miracle I can get an upper hand on kills.  Early game, before level 6, Wraith King is only going to have 1-2 stuns before running out of mana, although both AA and Viper have very long-range attacks to harass Void.  Void can likely get away from most ganks, but he's not going to get a lot of farm.  Jakiro is likely to get caught out and killed if he doesn't hang in the back, and if he hangs back, he's not helping against the harass.  My best choice would be to actually be very aggressive from level one, and hope that a good Burrowstrike + Dual Breath would allow me to get an early kill.  With a slight upper hand, I would be able to get an edge against a severely-slow-leveling Viper.

My mid matchup is far better.  I think Brew, as a melee character, would have a great deal of trouble against an Exhort Invoker.  However, once Brew hits 6, he's going to be a lot stronger than anyone in my lineup.

I basically lose bottom.  Sure, Darkseer will get XP, but OD will get freefarm and levels, which is bad.  I can't gank with Invoker, and Dark Seer is unlikely to kill OD, and may even get Astral Imprisoned one too many times and lose the ability to Ion Shell for some farm.

Lesson learned here:  while Faceless Void is a great character, he's not really a great first-pick, tri-lane carry.  You need to get creative in how you lane him so that you can take other characters with better midgame.

Drafting Practice: Day Three, Part One: Defeats

Well, I think I got heavily stomped in today's drafting.  Don't know who the guy was, but he was able to pre-ban my preferred picks, and generally pick the few heroes that I overlooked that would cause me the most pain.

Draft #1:  Me as Radiant - "Wombo combo blues".

Okay, so I ran out of time here / my phone lagged, so my Magnus pick (which was redundant) could have been OD.  It still wasn't a horrible choice, but a bit over the top for the already-strong wombo combo.

I didn't lose this one so badly, as many of my heroes had some anti-push (Jakiro, Magnus), and I think I could have held off his aggro-tri, and Lycan (or his wolves) would have had issues either getting constant farm, or pushing against Dark Seer.

Then again, he didn't have much to counter my big combo, other than DP's ult taking pieces out of people during the Chrono (until I killed her in a Chrono or something).  DSeer's Wall of Replica would be VERY effective against both Viper and Lycan, and a Vaccum + Chrono + Macropyre + Empowered right-clicks would do very well against largely ranged team.

However, I didn't have anything to counter his midgame split push, and DP's and Skywrath's Silences would mess my combos up pretty bad.

I still think his synergy was better, with heavy physical damage, Skywrath to help in the laning phase, and then split push + decent post-teamfight push.  Defensively, he could use Silences and Nether Swap to defeat / reduce my big combos.

Last, his lineup could easily do Rosh, and as Dire, he'd be in a better position to take advantage of it.

Draft #2:  Me as Dire

This was a weird draft for me.  I decide to go PL after him granting me KotL, to counter his heavy push from the Prophets (Death and Nature's).   And yes, I decided to abandon the bottom lane, because it's unlikely that he could push it in too early (without Serpent Wards, and Skywrath sucks at pushing).  He's actually gimping himself by putting Skywrath/Brew/SShaman in a tri-lane, because all of them need levels as well as only a bit of farm.  However, abandoning the lane gives Brewmaster free-farm, and then lets the other 2 supports jungle-pull, and/or roam.

I feel that my top tri-lane would drive NP out of the lane, or kill him repeatedly.  Illuminate would take care of any treants and keep him away or damage him.  Chakra + PL, as we all know, is near-unlimited harass.  Nyx would be free to roam after driving away NP, and then either hunt NP in the Radiant jungle, or make a nuisance of himself mid, hopefully killing DP and preventing her from becoming the big level 11 threat.

Skywrath is heavily countered by Pugna, who could outlevel Skywrath with a good laning phase in mid.  However, Pugna isn't the greatest matchup against DP, and neither hero has an escape, so it would likely come down to how well each team's supports could roam.  Unfortunately, Sky and SS roam really well together, and Pugna would likely get killed repeatedly, unless babysat by Nyx, who would also have his hands full trying to keep the roaming supports from killing Doom in his own jungle, and ganking NP in the Radiant jungle so he didn't get too fat, even after abandoning top lane.

Depending on who got the jump on whom, Brew is heavily shut down by Doom, as are Skywrath and Shadow Shaman - but Doom has to pick only one.  PL's split push is somewhat countered by NP, and until PL comes online, the whole lineup is reliant on Pugna's and KotL's abilities to hold back pushes and delay/prevent full-blown teamfights until the Dire carries get up and running.

I think the two drafts would come down heavily to execution, although the midgame definitely favours my opponent.  There's a glimmer of hope in my lineup, but it's at the end of a long, dark tunnel...

Draft #3:  Me as Dire

I went too greedy towards the end of this line-up.  I started out well, but his final Weaver pick reduced my aggro tri-lane to uselessness.   All of my supports, and Lone Druid, would all be easily ganked by Tiny+Wisp, and even though Silencer MIGHT do well mid, I don't have any good roaming to shut down Doom's jungling, nor drive Tide out of lane.  LD would get good farm until the Tiny/Wisp combo came online, but then that would be it.

My thought process was that LD was a good carry who didn't care about Doom, and would punish greedy lane choices.  Yet, he needs babysitters, and I didn't provide him with any (although the Rubick could rotate to that lane and maybe sacrifice himself to save LD if gankers came), nor did I pick pushers that would force a defensive posture from the opponent, leaving LD to farm in peace.

While Silencer could occasionally shut down ganks from Tiny+Wisp with a global silence, he probably couldn't do it often enough, and then would not have it available for subsequent teamfights against Doom + Ravage.

Started out well, but failed horribly.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Drafting Practice: Day Two

Love this tool:
... too bad not more people use it.  Would be a great addition to the Dota 2 client!

Draft #1 Analysis:  Me as Radiant

His lanes are strong, although I don't think the aggro trilane would have worked - Dazzle is too much of a defensive support, and WK only has about 1-2 Hellfire blasts before he's out of mana.  A well-placed Cask or Hex (or both) would pretty much ruin his kill attempt.  Finally, Void could simply Time Walk away, and some spells / attacks on him would simply fail due to Backtrack.

Midgame, if Silence was cast, I could simply fall back, and then use Stampede to re-engage. Serpent Wards don't care about Silence if they are already cast, similar to Chronosphere.

Simply put, without a dominant early game, which my opponent isn't really set up for, he has nothing to counter Tinker's split push, nor Shadow Shaman's Serpent Ward's pushing power.  I suppose you could argue that Dazzle does well with Shadow Wave against pushes, Razor has his AOE, and TA can "cleave" waves, but none of those kill towers.

The only combo that would work well would be to wait until Death Ward is down from WD, cast Silence during the Chrono so that only Void could do appreciable damage, and then hopefully Hellfire Blast and kill Void with right-clicks.  He has lots of carry, but no AOE lockdown, and no reliable initiation (unless he tried the Wraith King sucker punch?).

Draft #2 Analysis:  Me as Dire

My aggro tri-lane would have a difficult time, here.  Disruptor MIGHT be the only saving grace, as it would be easier to arrange a "cage match" in the Kinetic Field, or maybe to Glimpse someone back into a Burrowstrike + Open Wounds/Rage.

I've tried a "support Slardar" myself, and I find he makes a very poor tri-lane hero.  He can roam decently, but in this case he's not going to do well trying to gank Batrider, who can simply fly over a cliff or use a cocktail to bounce him back out of range.

Beastmaster vs. NP is probably a wash, although range vs. melee favours NP slightly.  NP can also join other skirmishes at will, unlike Beastmaster.  NP Sprout and Beastmaster Roar both shut down melee carries quite effectively, magic resist or no.

If the game went long, his superior (many) carries would probably overwhelm my team, but counter-pushing against NP would be difficult for him, with only Beastmaster having any AOE ability.

There's very little he could do against a Batrider initiation against Brewmaster.

I think it would actually be a decent game, and a great deal influenced by the respective skills of the players.

Draft #3 Analysis:  Me as Radiant

I actually loved my last-pick Huskar on this one.  The nice thing about the Razor-Huskar matchup (for me) is that Burning Spears does magical damage, so it's no reduced even if Razor Static Links a lot of Huskar's damage away.  I think it would be an interesting lane matchup.  Late game, Huskar would fall off a lot, unless he could maintain a level and item advantage from an early-game snowball.

The tri-lanes are both nasty.  With melee carries, the stuns and slows would really impede them from doing damage, although an earlier Mirror Image on Naga would really make single-target stuns inconvenient, as they tried to choose the right target.  CM and SS would be good defensive supports, and would make it very difficult for WK to successfully reach and right-click any single target.

The solo lanes are a wash - no one would get an advantage there, and both would be able to farm their Blink Daggers relatively fast.  Neither would be likely to kill the other after Level 6, either.  However, both are powerful teamfight heroes.

I believe neither team has the advantage late-game, even though Static Link isn't very effective against an illusion hero, but Razor's ultimate would be very good at not only determining the right target for Link, but also to rapidly reduce the illusions.  Huskar would remain a threat to the supports throughout the game, and could be a decent initiator against that lineup, though he'd have to stack some armor to prevent getting right-clicked down, especially facing Vengeance Aura and Wave of Terror.

Very late game, or if Naga got ahead in farm with a proper Radiance, I believe Dire would have issues against the split-push of the illusions.  However, Venge would scale better than CM or SS, and AA's ult would remain effective throughout the game (and would also help vs. the split push).

Team Ideas: Physical Spell Combos


Note that these teams are nearly impossible to draft - they use high-ban/pick heroes, and most of the time the opponent is going to see what you're doing and ban an appropriate hero.

However, in pubs, feel free to lolz.

Team Combos:  Physical damage “spells”:

Team #1:  

Medusa Stone Gaze + WD Death Ward + Death Prophet Exorcism + Dazzle Weave + Faceless Void Chrono

Medusa + WD + Dazzle
DP mid
Faceless solo offlane

Team #2:
Troll + Dazzle + Shadow Shaman (or someone else with lockdown)
SFiend mid
Elder Titan solo offlane

Team #3:
Troll mid
Medusa safe solo
Aggro tri:  Juggernaut, Treant, Witch Doctor

Team #4:
DP mid
Magnus solo offlane
Ember + Dazzle + Shadow Shaman/Veno

Team #5:
DP mid
Medusa + WD + Venge
Undying solo offlane

Team #6:
Alchemist + Elder Titan + Dazzle
Magnus offlane (for setup RP + Empower)

Ember Spirit (or Death Prophet) mid

Team Idea: The Wraith King Sucker Punch

Dec 5, 2014 - Author's Note:  This post has gotten a lot of traffic, so I've added a few details recently.

Wraith King can be horribly abused for his ult, just as a means to slow the whole team and make them use abilities on him.

So... here's an idea (untested):

Using a support WK, push WK in by himself – rest of team waits nearby.  Opponents kill WK and are slowed when he resurrects.

Normally, it's tough to get opponents to focus WK in a fight, because they know that he'll just come right back.

Followup with a Blink-initiator (Dark Seer, Sand King, Earthshaker, Magnus, Enigma, etc), plus some followup area-damage (Invoker, Gyro, Kunkka, Disruptor, etc).

One of the keys to this concept is to use heroes whose ults are usually harder to land, due to delays, such as Gyro's Calldown, Disruptor's Static Field, etc.  Not only do these ults inflict big damage, but they also further debuff (slow/silence) your enemies.

Alternately, use Batrider/Venge to jump one of the heroes, and let WK delay the enemy team.  If they DO kill him, they will be slower to respond or counter-initiate (slowed).  You must, of course, kill your target and go rescue WK before they kill him again!

You will see some teams give Wraith King the Aegis of the Immortal, simply because it's very difficult for anyone to hold back from using at least SOME abilities/cooldowns on Wraith King, when he's hitting your teammates in the face.  The more damage he can soak and still keep coming back, the more annoying he can be.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Drafting Practice Day One - Analysis

I did a bunch of drafting practice today on the dota2draft site.  Below is an analysis of the drafts.

Prelude:  the current meta seems to favour Tide and Shadow Shaman as supports, and Doom and Faceless Void as carries.  Lyncan is, as always, a high-winrate hero, and is frequently picked or banned for his pushing ability and midgame power.

Last Draft (me as Dire):

I felt that this was the most interesting draft, with the most interesting lineups.  Happened with the 4th draft in a row against the same person.

Anyone know how a Lone Druid vs. Nature's Prophet mid matchup would go?  I have no idea...

I think both tri-lanes were strong - too strong for vs. solo laner.  Centaur would probably do better than Razor, but both would be likely to get zoned out. 

In all, I think it got to the point where both my opponent and I were trying to out-think each other too much, and this draft is the result.
3rd Draft (me as Radiant):

I got Lycan here, and wanted to exploit yet protect him, but the Ursa pick caught me off-guard.  My later picks reflected my need to shut down Ursa (with Razor as anti-carry), and also take a kiter/split-pusher/escaper in Weaver.  However, I ended up without a good place for Weaver to lane.  He MIGHT have been able to survive and soak up XP against the tri-lane, but it would have been a crappy lane for him.  Might have been better to jungle Lycan and have Weaver + Bane safe lane...

2nd Draft (me as Dire):

I think I broke even here - this might even be an even game.  I'm unsure how good his aggro trilane would have been, with only a Disruption as lockdown, and some slows - a Cask from WD would probably be enough to disrupt their initiation.   OD would get free-farm on his lane, but wouldn't be able to zone out DS, either.  Nyx would likely do well against Warlock, and would probably be able to kill him at level 6 quite easily.

1st Draft (me as Radiant):

As our first draft against each other, I think my opponent wasn't expecting a tri-lane at all.  I think I won this draft pretty hard, as Invoker would decimate Doom mid, and probably drive him right out of lane.  Batrider would be in no danger offlane, and might even be able to kill AA with a level advantage.  If AA left the lane, Void wouldn't be able to lane against Bat without a ton of regen, Backtrack nonwithstanding.  He has no good offlaner against my tri-lane; with the dual lane, Abaddon would have a bad day, though Windranger could probably stay in the lane and get some farm with Power Shot.  However, with three stuns in my tri-lane, she'd have to be really careful not to get caught out.


I found that as I went along, my lanes became less predictable.  It's a lot easier to mess up your opponent's lanes if he has very little flexibility in how he lanes his heroes.  I don't feel at any time that my draft was hard-countered, although I did worse for sure on the 3rd draft.

Monday, August 4, 2014

More Wombo Combos

Team: Luna, Sand King, Kunkka, Jakiro, + Necrolyte/Omni/Dazzle/Witch Doctor

Combo:  Epi --> Burrowstrike into Ice Path into Ghost Ship/Torrent into Eclipse.  By the time the combo is over, Ice Path and/or Burrowstrike may even be off cooldown for a repeat!

Laning:  Very flexible.  Computer tends to send Jakiro mid, but I'd probably pick Kunkka or the +1.

Team:  Sand King, Kunkka, Jakiro, Dark Seer

+ carry with AOE:   Shadowfiend/Medusa/Luna/Gyro/WK/(solo DK w/roamers?)/Alchemist/Terrorblade

Laning:  Kunkka mid, (carry) + Jak + SK safe (& roam), DS solo offlane

The Combo:  Burrowstrike or Vaccum into Ice Path+Wall+Macropyre+Epi+Requiem

Team:  Magnus, Gyro, Kunkka, Jakiro, Shadow Shaman/Lion?

Lanes:  Magnus solo safe, SS + Jak + Gyro agro tri, Kunkka mid
Items: Veil, Mek, Arcanes.
Bans:  Centaur, Naga, Silencer, Pugna

Team:  Warlock, Tidehunter, Sand King, Leshrac, Luna/Sven/Gyro/Kunkka/OD/Ember

Lanes:  Warlock mid, Luna + SandKing + Lesh, Tide offlane
Items: Blink on SK & Tide; Veil on Warlock, Arcanes on Lesh, Mek on carry?
Ban:  Silencer/Rubick/Naga/Pugna

Void solo offlane
Warlock mid
Gyro, Witchdoctor, Crystal Maiden safelane

Timbersaw offlane
Void, WD, Jakiro safelane
Leshrac mid

More Ideas, based on this link:

#1: Puck, Gyro + AA,  Disruptor + Sven (AA & Gyro can anti-push from cross-map (Gyro w/Aghs).

#2:  Faceless + WD + SShaman, Phoenix solo, Magnus mid (RP into Chrono + WD ult + Wards/Shock + Supernova)

#3:  Faceless + Jakiro + Lich, Darkseer solo offlane, Tinker mid (Tinker for splitpush while teamfight powers allow 4v5 wins)

#4:  Medusa + Dazzle + SShaman, DSeer solo offlane, DP mid

#5:  Faceless + Warlock + CM/Lich/Jakiro, Gyro mid, DS/Mag/Elder solo offlane

#6:  Kunkka + Tide + Disruptor, Magnus mid,

#7:  Siren + Tide + Veno, Warlock mid, Dark Seer solo offlane

#8:  Faceless Void + Warlock + Skywrath/CM, Zeus mid, Phoenix solo offlane (Zeus Veil, Phoenix Mek)

#9:  Warlock, Dark Seer, Sven, Disruptor, Sniper/QoP mid
(Vacuum into Bonds + Upheaval + Wall + Static Storm, Sven Storm Hammer + Cleave, Sniper right-click or QoP Sonic/Scream).