Wednesday, November 19, 2014

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

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