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DotA Hero Tactics

Contents
New: Damage Types for all Skills! See the Legend.

Click on a Hero to visit his or her section:



SENTINEL HEROES


Coming Soon:



SCOURGE HEROES

Forward
This page is not meant to be a guide for any specific hero -- nor is it a page where you can find good item/skill builds for heroes. For those things, use dotaportal.com (check my index page for login/pass info). Instead, this page is just a place where I can write short articles about important tactics with any given hero. Some of them are very important (the Sand King queue-blink tactic, for instance) and some of them are just dumb exploitable tricks (melee bash percentages on Syllabear, or Ursa Warrior's Enrage-cancel trick, for insance).

Disclaimer: The item suggestions expressed herein are only my general good item "feelings". I play very aggressively in terms of an item build (but conservatively in play style, heh), so I favor cost-effective DPS-increase items. This is why you see so many "Stygian Desolator" recommendations. Players may wish to choose items more suited to countering the team they are facing, which is always a good idea.


Damage Type Legend
Each hero has his or her four skills listed under their title. For damage-dealing spells, a color and font are included, as follows:

COLORS
Physical skills deal Hero-type Physical damage, which is reduced by Armor and can be blocked by shield-effects (Stout Shield, Vanguard, Kraken Shell). These skills are good early game and bad late game.
Magic skills deal Hero-type Spells damage, which is reduced by Spell Resistance. These skills are decent all game.
Mixed skills deal a combination of attack/damage that results in reduction from both Armor AND Spell Resistance. These skills suck.
Precise skills deal exactly their listed amount of damage. These skills rule.

FONTS
Plaintext skills do not work against Avatar/Magic Immunity.
Italic skills are partially effective against Avatar/Magic Immunity (effect works without dealing any damage).
Bold skills are completely effective against Avatar/Magic Immunity.





Luna Moonfang, the Moon Rider
Lucent Beam, Moon Glaive, Lunar Blessing, Eclipse
Item(s): Battlefury
Skills to ignore: Lunar Blessing (until later in the game)

Tactics:
-Don't use Eclipse until you've maxed out Lucent Beam (level 7).
-Lucent Beam is a ministun.
-Harrass with a level in Moon Glaives early on to extend your effective range.
-Don't be afraid to use Eclipse if the enemy hero is accompanied by only one creep -- the creep will only absorb one or two Lucent Beams.
-To properly fight a Scepter Luna, obtain Spell Reduction or BKB.


Kardel Sharpeye, the Sniper
Scattershot, Headshot, Take Aim, Assassinate
Item(s): Butterfly. Don't get MKB -- it interferes with Headshot.
Skills to ignore: Range (until later in the game)
Tactics:
-Headshot is a ministun.
-Depending on your matchup, you may want to use Assassinate as a starter rather than a finisher to soften up your opponent -- the cooldown is low.
-Scattershot does very little damage to heroes, but it can be good for securing a tower kill.


Jah'rakal, the Troll Warlord
Berserker Rage (bash damage), Blind, Fervor, Rampage
Item(s): Stygian Desolator, Cranium Basher.
Skills to ignore: High levels of Blind (until later in the game, and depending on matchup).
Tactics:
-Level 4 of your Melee ability grants you a significant movespeed boost and drops your Base Attack Time from 1.8 to 1.6 -- a large percentage DPS increase.
-If you purchase a Cranium Basher when in Melee mode and switch to Range mode, you will have a 15% chance to bash with your ranged attacks.
-To properly fight a permabashing hero, obtain Evasion or your own stun/disable ability.


Rhasta, the Shadow Shaman
Forked Lightning, Voodoo, Shackles, Mass Serpent Ward
Item(s): Aghanim's Scepter, Refresher Orb
Skills to ignore: Voodoo (maybe 1 level if you have trouble with the ward trick)
Tactics:
-
Serpent Wards output enormous amounts of damage. When using them to break a perimeter tower, place them behind the tower so they will be able to attack the crypt/ancient of war after the tower is dead.
-When engaging multiple opponents, the proper strategy is to encase one of them in a mess of Serpent Wards and Shackle the second one. Tell your Serpant Wards to attack the Shackled opponent first. If you have trouble making someone unable to move by putting Serpent Wards over them, cast Voodoo on them first so their hero model becomes tiny.
-You can only group and command serpent wards if no other units are in their group (double click on one ward to select all serpent wards into a group).
-To properly fight a Ward-Trap Rhasta, remember that you can attack the wards to create a path out of them. Buy a Vanguard to seriously neutralize the damage done from Mass Serpant Ward.


Rigwarl, the Bristleback
Viscous Nasal Goo, Quill Spray, Bristleback (Bonus Quill Sprays), Warpath
Item(s): Bottle, Battlefury, Stygian Desolator
Skills to ignore: Nasal Goo (though you need 1 level)
Tactics:
-
Bristleback can perform a "level 1 rush" with Bottle. Take a level in Quill Spray and be prepared to dive behind enemy creeps on the first clash. Spam your Quill Spray as you walk along, chasing the enemy hero. Do NOT attack the enemy hero (aggroing creeps early game is suicidal); just walk beside them casting quill spray until they're out of range of the creep clash. Use Bottle if your enemy is not fighting back to keep your mana levels high, or if you get hurt. Using Bottle mid-combat in this way forces your opponents into a very difficult situation: stand and fight and remove your regen, thus taking much more damage from your continuous Quill Spray; or keep running and allow you to regen your mana, thus taking more damage from your continuous Quill Spray.
-To properly fight a Quill Spraying Bristleback, stand far away from the creep clash entirely so the quills do not touch you and only duck in when an enemy creep is about to die (so you still get experience). Quickly retreat again. Quill Spraying Bristlebacks rely on hitting you many times with Quill Spray in any given 10 second interval -- so the damage stacks. Force the Bristleback to waste his mana, and never let him tag you more than once per 10 seconds.


Mangix, the Pandaren Battlemaster
Thunder Clap, Drunken Haze, Drunken Brawler, Primal Split: Storm (Windwalk), Earth (Hurl Boulder), and Fire (Immolation)
Item(s): Null Talisman, Battlefury, Dagger of Escape
Skills to ignore: Attribute Bonus or high levels of War Stomp.
Tactics:
-
Blink into the fray and stomp to start your assault, casting Drunken Haze on any physical DPS heroes present.
-Remember to use the abilites of the individual pandas in Primal Split!! One has Cyclone and a backstab Wind Walk(!), one has a ranged damage/stun (!), and one has high melee damage and immolation. If all three pandas in Primal Split die, you kill yourself (the opponents do not get gold or experience). When Primal Split ends, you will return to the Panda carrying the totem -- the Earth panda, to start. If Earth dies, you will return to one of the other pandas.
-To properly fight a Split Mangix, chase the Earth panda until Primal Split ends. Then defeat the real panda.


Bradwarden, the Centaur Warchief
Hoof Stomp, Double Edge, Return, Great Fortitude
Item(s): Dagger of Escape
Skills to ignore: Attribute Bonus or Return, depending on your style.
Tactics:
-
Blink into the fray and War Stomp. If you can otherwise surprise the enemy, save your Blink for a follow-up stomp when they retreat (the stomp cooldown is only 15s).
-You can NOT kill yourself with Double Edge, but it is a nice way to ensure the Neutral Creeps (or Roshan) get the kill on you instead of the enemy. Double Edge drops you to 1 HP at minimum.


Gondar, the Bounty Hunter
Shuriken Toss, Jinada, Wind Walk (backstab damage), Track
Item(s): Diffusal Blade
Skills to ignore: Attribute Bonus
Tactics:
-
Your Wind Walk bonus damage is huge -- if you have the mana, use it as you would Blink Strike. Wind Walk, then wait until your Wind Walk is nearly ready to be cast again, and strike. Then disappear again.
-Shuriken Toss has a ministun.
-Whenever you're facing an enemy that might use invisibility, throw Track on that unit immediately. Track reveals invisible units for your team. If an invisibility hero has images up (like Phantom Lancer), you can right click to Auto-Cast Track to target the correct one.


Knight Davion, the Dragon Knight
Breathe Fire, Dragon Tail, Dragon Blood, Elder Dragon Form
Item(s): Dagger of Escape
Skills to ignore: Flame Breath
Tactics:
-Tail Slap, Blink to chase, and Tail Slap again. Your 3.25 second stun (!) has a 9 second cooldown (!!).


Magina, the Anti-Mage
Mana Break, Blink, Spell Shield, Mana Void
Item(s): Butterfly, Vanguard
Skills to ignore: High levels of Blink, high levels of Spell Shield (depending on matchup)
Tactics:
-
Until late game, you should not need more than one level in Blink. Emphasize Mana Break.
-Mana Void has a ministun.
-Mana Break does not work like Feedback (Diffusal, Manta); it works like Necronomicon Mana Break: you only get +0.6 damage per 1 point of Mana "broken". That means Mana Break adds 10/19/29/38 damage to every attack you make on a target with sufficient Mana.
-Remember: if you want to take a Spell Reduction item on Antimage, you must get it *before* you put points into Spell Shield for it to stack.
-Magina has the potential to become an insane tank -- as an Agility hero, he has plenty of Armor; add on to that Spell Shield and Evasion (from Butterfly), and he can stand up to almost any DPS hero.
-Use Blink to harrass the mana away from your opponents early game. Don't worry about damaging their HP. Most opponents early game depend greatly on mana -- keep them below the necessary level to cast their spells (for instance, if you're facing Knight Davion, keep him below 100 mana so he cannot use Tail Slap).
-Blink can cancel a ton of projectile spells. Blink before the projectile hits you (blinking through the projectile works just fine). For example, if Viper throws a Viper Strike at you, you can Blink towards Viper, cancel the Viper Strike, and position yourself in a good place for pummelling him.
-You can use Mana Void to damage Roshan immensely. Antimage can fight Roshan at an early level if you purchase the right defensive items. Remember you need to get rid of Roshan's "linken's sphere" effect -- cast another spell on him before you use Mana Void.
-Magina has the lowest natural Base Attack Time in the game, which equates to a straight DPS multiplier. After you have secured your survivability, build Magina for DPS.


Traxex, the Drow Ranger
Frost Arrows, Silence, Trueshot Aura, Marksmanship
Item(s): Lifesteal items (Mask of Madness)
Skills to ignore: High levels of Silence (depending on matchup)
Tactics:
-
Marksmanship has a (useless) ministun.
-Drow Ranger's ultimate combines with lifesteal to make creeps into packets of HP waiting to be blicked. Don't be afraid to get Lifesteal on Drow even though she has an orb effect ability -- just toggle the Frost Arrows on when you need to fight heroes. Being able to heal from instant-killing creep is an amazing benefit.


Purist Thunderwrath, the Omniknight
Purification, Repel, Degen Aura, Guardian Angel
Item(s): Arcane Ring
Skills to ignore: Repel (depending on matchup)
Tactics:
-Spam your heal with Arcane ring. Remember to heal your allies too.
-Guardian Angel gives a nice hp/s regeneration bonus to all those affected. Use it for a small AoE heal as well as invulnerability.
-The damage from your Purification is low -- it is reduced by both Armor and Spell Reduction. Don't count on it doing a lot of damage (expect about half the listed value or less), but do use it if a melee hero goes toe-to-toe with you and you're hurt.


Shandelzare Silkwood, the Vengeful Spirit
Magic Missile, Terror, Command Aura, Nether Swap
Item(s): Stygian Desolator
Skills to ignore: Howl (until enemies have Armor >10), High levels of Command Aura (until late game)
Tactics:
-
Vengeful is an excellent hero in that she has two skills that guarantee a few extra physical hits in any fight. Build Vengeful for strong attacks, use Swap to put your opponent into a difficult area, then attack as he retreats to his original position. Once he arrives there, and not before, use Magic Missile. You should be able to peel off 6-8 attacks doing this properly. Remember to lead your opponent if you have low Improved Attack Speed -- as he's running by you, attack, run with him for a second, then attack again.


Zeus, the Lord of Olympia
Arc Lightning, Lightning Bolt, Static Field, Thundergod's Wrath
Item(s): Aghanim's Scepter
Skills to ignore: Levels 2-4 of Arc Lightning, Attribute Bonus
Tactics:
-
Level 1 Static Field increases your spell damage by about 25, on average, at very low levels, for free. It only gets better. Do not neglect Static Field.
-Static Field damage occurs before any primary spell damage, so if you cast Lightning Bolt on a Hero, the Hero will first lose HP from Static Field (reduced by Spell Reduction) and then take damage from Lightning Bolt (reduced by Spell Reduction).
-Get one level of Arc Lightning (65 mana cost) to proc your Static Field as often as possible. Getting more levels in Arc Lightning is a waste in terms of mana per damage.
-Lightning Bolt has a ministun. It also reveals nearby invisible units.
-Thundergod's Wrath reveals all enemy heroes on the map for a few seconds. It does not damage invisible units.


Aiushtha, the Enchantress
Impetus, Enchant, Nature's Attendants, Untouchable
Item(s): Eul's Scepter of Divinity, Assault Cuirass
Skills to ignore: Enchant (until later in the game), Attribute Bonus
Tactics:
-
When you throw Impetus, step back immediately after you loose the projectile. The bonus damage is calculated at the moment of impact by checking the distance between you and your target. Stepping back add a few points of damage.
-Use your Nature's Attendants often. High Armor will make your HP "worth more", so Aiushtha's massive regeneration is pronounced.
-Step back away from injured allied creeps when you use your Nature's Attendants; you don't want to waste the healing on non-hero units.
-Remember to use Enchant to grab a strong Neutral creep if you're in the woods anyway. This is helpful for neutral-farming or getting a quick stun or two (Centaur Khan or Polar Furbolg). Even grabbing a small Satyr is an excellent choice -- they have an uber Purge that's much better than level 1 Enchant's slow.
-With Untouchable, you can fight Roshan at a very low level.
-To properly fight an Aiushtha, pretend she's a Skeleton King -- you need to attack her Mana before you attack her HP so she cannot use her insane abilities. Get a Diffusal Blade, Manta Style, or Necronomicon. If you have a Magical Arrow spell (Poison Attack, Searing Arrows, Soul Assumption, even Frost Arrows will do), manually cast the spell in rapid succession -- you will not trigger Aiushtha's Untouchable and suffer no reduced attack speed.


Morphling, the Morphling
Waveform, Adaptive Strike, Morph, Replicate
Item(s): Wraith Bands, Diffusal Blade
Skills to ignore: High levels of Replicate, High levels of Morph (depending on your style)
Tactics:
-
Activate Morph[Agi->Str] when fleeing. The bonus Strength gives you a straight HP bonus that will allow you to survive some impossible situations.
-Morphling is one of the only heroes who benefits well from Wraith Bands. For 460 gold, you can have +10 to Agi or Str, however you choose, and +3 Int to boot. Switching all the Str into Agi on two Wraith Bands gives you +18 Damage +18% IAS +2.6 Armor +3 Int for 920 gold, amounting to the largest Effective Damage per Gold in the game (though it is expensive in terms of inventory slots).


Rylai Crestfall, the Crystal Maiden
Frost Nova, Frostbite, Brilliance Aura, Freezing Field
Item(s): Aghanim's Scepter, Black King Bar
Skills to ignore: Attribute Bonus
Tactics:
-Space out your nukes. If the enemy is within attacking distance, Frostbite and attack as many times as you can. Right before Frostbite ends, throw your Frost Nova to slow the opponent down. This gives you the maximum amount of physical attacks to accompany your nukes.
-Cancel your animations. Rylai is one of the notorious heroes for having a very long after-casting animation. Upon throwing up her Frostbite or Frost Nova, she waves her icy wand around like an idiot for 2 seconds, doing absolutely no good. Directly after casting your spell, direct Rylai to attack the opponent so you do not waste the after-casting animation time.
-To properly fight Rylai Crestfall, take a Black King Bar -- it stops her spells cold (ha ha).


Sven, the Rogueknight
Storm Bolt, Great Cleave, Toughness Aura, God's Strength
Item(s): Bracers, Dagger of Escape (optional: Diffusal Blade)
Skills to ignore: Great Cleave (until later in the game), levels 2-4 of Storm Bolt (use it for the stun only)
Tactics:
-The bonus damage from God Strength only comes from stat-based damage (Base and Strength-based damage).
-Throw your Storm Bolt then immediately advance towards your opponent and strike him as many times as possible. If he begins to escape once the stun has worn off, Blink ahead, strike him a few more times, and throw another Storm Bolt. The short cooldown of your stun works well with Dagger of Escape. Alternatively, stun your enemy and attack him, then immediately purge him with Diffusal Blade. This allows you to get in many more attacks, and your Storm Bolt will be cool once your enemy is back to normal speed.
-Great Cleave's damage is precise and based on your attack damage -- nothing else. If you attack for 300 damage with level 4 Great Cleave, you will deal precisely 120 damage to targets in the vicinity (even if you're hitting someone with a huge Armor and only dealing 1 damage to the primary target!).
-With God Strength, Sven is one of the least item-intensive peak DPS heroes. Play him like a deadly short-term skirmisher, taking down targets of opportunity (towers, heroes, Roshan) while your ultimate runs its 30 second course. Remember, people are afraid of you (and rightly so) when you use God's Strength -- use the ability to intimidate your opponents into letting you take down a tower or other goal while they cower for half a minute until you simmer down. In other words, sometimes it's good to blatantly show that you're using God's Strength, because more often than not intelligent players will back off (and if they don't back off, just kill them).
-God's Strength does not stack with a Double Damage rune.
-To properly fight Sven, use Eul's Scepter of Divinity or another disable to put him out of the battle whenever you see him activate God's Strength (he roars and a red mist surrounds him). If you don't have a disable available, just back off -- God's Strength lasts 30 seconds, which is a long time, but you can wait it out (do you engage people who have Double Damage runes?).


Slithice, the Naga Siren
Mirror Image, Ensnare, Critical Strike, Song of the Siren
Item(s): Diffusal Blade
Skills to ignore: Levels 2 and 3 of Song of the Siren
Tactics:
-
Keep your ultimate level low -- with the smaller AoE, you can arrange your sleep so that you catch a majority of the enemy units while leaving a few awake and susceptible to attack (ideally, you want to sleep 4 of the enemy heroes and leave 1 awake and helpless against your team's onslaught).
-Stagger the uses of Net and Purge to keep your enemy pinned down for a long time. Start with Net, move your hero (and images) in for some strikes, then Purge immediately as Net wears off.
-As an image-based hero, remember that Agility counts for Naga Siren a lot more than it does for other heroes. Each point of Agility also benefits your images' damage, attack speed, and Armor. With Level 4 Mirror Image images all attacking alongside your hero, you deal 2.35 times your normal base damage DPS -- this is stronger than Sven's God Strength, so be sure to build your items appropriately.
-To properly fight a Naga Siren, take Area of Effect items that will rid her images or a Manta Style of your own to escape her Net (simply activate the Manta Style to break the net).


Raigor Stonehoof, the Earthshaker
Fissure, Enchant Totem, Aftershock, Echo Slam (echo damage)
Item(s): Arcane Ring or Battlefury, Dagger of Escape
Skills to ignore: High levels of Enchant Totem (you need one level to proc Aftershock)
Tactics:
-
Raigor's ultimate also counts nearby corpses as units. Use Echo Slam when a large group of creeps has died recently and a new wave is coming in.
-Echo Slam will deal primary damage to magic immune enemies, but magic immune enemies will not take echo damage (they will, however, count as present units for dealing echo damage to other targets).
-Use Fissure intelligently: it is not simply a nuke; rather, it is a battlefield control spell. Block off your opponents' escape. Lock your opponents in next to your DPS-built allies. Surprise an opponent by trapping them near your tower.
-Don't waste your Aftershock stun time. Oftentimes a Tauren player will blink in and immediately cast Echo Slam, Enchant Totem, and Fissure without any delay between these spells. While this does a good amount of damage, remember that your Aftershock stun time allows you to get one physical hit in before your opponent has a chance to react. A proper surprise attack would be: Blink in, Enchant Totem, Attack, Echo Slam, Attack, Fissure, Attack. Start with Enchant Totem as its cooldown is the shortest (8s), so if the fight drags out, you will have more stuns available after your initial barrage.
-To properly fight a Tauren Warchief, simply acquire a Black King Bar -- his spells will not damage you. A Dagger of Escape can negate the difficulties posed by Fissure.



Rikimaru, the Stealth Assassin
Smoke Screen, Blink Strike, Backstab, Permanent Invisibility
Item(s): Diffusal Blade
Skills to ignore: Backstab at first, then Attribute Bonus
Tactics:
-Stealth Assassin is an excellent example of where many players fail at Winning the Game -- I'm talking about last-hitting creeps all game long. Just because you're invisible does not mean you should stand around and do nothing. Harrass, and most importantly, keep gaining gold.
-Use Blink Strike and Smoke Screen. Smoke Screen puts enemy heroes into a terrible situation: they MUST move out of the smoke. The smoke also slows by 25%, so use this time to slice your enemy as many times as possible. Once they are clear from the smoke, head in the opposite direction that they fled, let your invisibility fade kick in, and prepare to repeat. Even knowing this is going to happen repeatedly is not enough to stop its power: Smoke Screen will win you countless battles.
-Use Purge, then follow with Smoke Screen. The enemy will be slowed immensely, silenced, and will be suffering an enormous miss chance... furthermore, they have to escape the smoke before they can fight back at all, and it will be very difficult to do so (since they're slowed).
-To properly fight a Smoke Screen Rikimaru, be quick with your fingers and move to escape the mist the very second you see it appear. Move in a direction that puts Rikimaru more at risk (towards your tower, towards your allies). Try to face Rikimaru head-on so that his Backstab damage does not come into play.


Lina Inverse, the Slayer
Dragon Slave, Light Strike Array, Ultimate, Laguna Blade
Item(s): Stygian Desolator, Guinsoo's Scythe of Vyse
Skills to ignore: Attribute Bonus
Tactics:
-
Lina has a "frenzy" spell -- Ultimate -- that comes with no drawback. Its cooldown is sufficiently short to keep it on all the time. She also has an insane Intelligence gain (3.2/lvl). This means that Lina is perfectly suited to be a killer just as much as any other high IAS hero. Learn to aim your Light Strike Array and you'll be able to squeeze off a ton of high damage physical attacks.
-Remember that your Laguna Blade does not do the damage it advertises (it's Spell Damage), so don't get cocky thinking it will finish an enemy. Laguna Blade deals 450/675/950 damage, which amounts to only 337/506/712 precise damage to an unaugmented Hero (one with normal Spell Reduction).
-To properly fight against a standard Lina Inverse, take Black King Bar -- her spells will not harm you. It is much more difficult to face a Physical DPS Lina as described above, but the standard measures apply (Evasion, Armor, HP).


Syllabear, the Lone Druid
Summon Spirit Bear (Entangle) (Self-damage taken on Spirit Bear death), Rabid, Synergy, True Form
Item(s): Power Treads (for your bear), Cranium Basher (for Syllabear), Necronomicon
Skills to ignore: Attribute Bonus
Tactics:
-
The Spirit Bear is an insanely powerful unit with a Base Attack Time of 145 at level 4 and a 16% chance to Entangle -- that's better than a Cranium Basher. Concentrate on keeping your bear attacking your enemies even when you are fleeing. A 16% chance to Entangle happens more often than you'd think, especially if the Spirit Bear has both the Rabid buff and a set of Power Treads. Please note that Entangle lasts *3 seconds* and deals 40 damage per second. Neglecting the Spirit Bear to do a "solo Druid build" is missing out on an extremely important facet of this hero.
-Use True Form. Your Base Attack Time drops to 160, which is like a straight DPS multiplier bonus. The bonus HP from Synergy means that you can have one of the highest max HP values in the game at level 6 with no items.
-You can refresh your True Form's spells (One and Battle Cry) by switching back to Ranged mode and then quickly switching back into Melee mode. This costs 50 Mana total, and lets you keep up Battle Cry constantly while in important battles (+20 Damage +2 Armor is not insignificant).
-Battle Cry and One affect not only Syllabear and his Spirit Bear, but also all your controlled units. Going Necronomicon 1 is a great way to spread around the damage you would normally take in team battles (just cast One on one of your necronomicon pets and run it away). Furthermore, granting +20 Damage to each controlled unit via Battle Cry means that your Necronomicon Pet DPS increases significantly.
-If your Spirit Bear spell is cool, don't be afraid to have your Spirit Bear tank all the damage in a major team battle. The spell description states that you will lose 100/200/300/400 HP if the Spirit Bear dies, but in reality, this damage is reduced by both Armor and Spell Reduction -- so you end up taking perhaps half the listed value, assuming you have a decent Armor (you will).
-If you purchase a Cranium Basher when in Melee mode and switch to Ranged mode, you will have a 15% chance to bash with your ranged attacks.
-To properly fight against a Spirit Bear using Syllabear, remember duration spells last twice as long on creeps as they do on heroes -- using Eul's Cyclone or Guinsoo's Polymorph on the Spirit Bear removes it from the battle for at least 6 seconds. Purge, slows, and other negative buffs also last longer. It is possible to harrass the bear, but Syllabear can easily just cast a new bear and suffers little from the bear's death -- it is better to concentrate your firepower on the hero himself.


Yurnero, the Juggernaut
Blade Fury, Healing Ward, Blade Dance, Omnislash (IAS Additional Strikes)
Item(s): Butterfly, Power Treads, Hand of Midas, etc (IAS items)
Skills to ignore: Healing Ward (until late game), Blade Dance (until later in the game)
Tactics:
-
By choosing Boots of Speed, Yurnero can perform a "level 1 rush". Simply use Blade Fury to deal enormous Spell damage to your opponent by walking alongside him as you spin. Remember to carry some recovery items, as intelligent players will fight back.
-Yurnero's Omnislash is Spell Damage, but you can deal physical damage strikes in between your spell damage blinks by increasing your IAS. With IAS (add up your Agility and IAS items), you can deal an extra hit in between every blink strike.
-Omnislash receives extra strikes based on the following, dependent on the rank of Omnislash:
Rank 1 Omni
       
1 base bonus strike. 1 additional bonus strike at 144% IAS, and one more every 204% IAS after that.
                0% IAS: 1 hit.    144% IAS: 2 hit.    348% IAS: 3 hit.
Rank 2 Omni
       
1 base bonus strike. 1 additional bonus strike at 42% IAS, and one more every 102% IAS after that.
                0% IAS: 1 hit.    042% IAS: 2 hit.    144% IAS: 3 hit.    246% IAS: 4 hit.    348% IAS: 5 hit.
Rank 3 Omni
       
2 base bonus strike. 1 additional bonus strike at 56% IAS, and one more every 58% IAS after that.
                0% IAS: 2 hit.    056% IAS: 3 hit.    114% IAS: 4 hit.    172% IAS: 5 hit.    230% IAS: 6 hit.    288% IAS: 7 hit.    346% IAS:    8 hit.
-Not only does Blade Fury make you spell-immune, it also cancels some negative buffs and situations. Use Blade Fury to escape pins.
-Use Omnislash when an enemy hero is alone with at most one creep; try to time your Omnislash so you don't accidentally start hitting the next wave of creeps (remember, a new wave comes every 30 seconds, so keep an eye on your clock and time it well).
-To properly fight a Blade Fury Juggernaut, take a moment to gauge whether or not Juggernaut is faster than you. If he is not, juke him and escape his Blade Fury damage (which can be up to 700 spell damage!). If he is faster than you, you might as well attack him while he furies you -- Juggernaut has low HP and can be defeated rather easily if you just dish out enough damage.


Nortrom, the Silencer
Curse of the Silent, Glaives of Wisdom, Last Word, Global Silence
Item(s): Dagon, Eul's Scepter of Divinity, IAS items
Skills to ignore: Last Word
Tactics:
-Use your Magical Arrows (Glaives of Wisdom) to harrass enemies without aggroing nearby units.
-Drop Curse of the Silent immediately after (not before!) someone casts a spell. Curse of the Silent is an excellent early game harrassment tool.
-Remember Intelligence counts a ton more for you than other Intelligence heroes -- it ups your damage by up to 1.6 damage per point with Glaives of Wisdom. This bonus damage is precise
damage, so it really helps.
-Kill Steal as much as possible. You gain a lot from taking the kill (a +1/-1 Intelligence swing). Explain to your teammates that this is important.



Rooftrellen, the Treant Protector
Nature's Guise, Eyes in the Forest, Living Armor, Overgrowth
Item(s): Mask of Madness
Skills to ignore: Nature's Guise (except for level 1)
Tactics:
-Plant Eyes in the Forest all over the map. Try to place them a few trees "deep" so that they are safer and hidden from view. Remember to plant Eyes at the ward spots and Roshan's territory.
-Use Mask of Madness's Frenzy to get in a few extra hits during Overgrowth. Your base damage is high -- make use of it. Use Frenzy when you come out of invisibility next to an opponent for a good surprise that will deal a lot of damage.
-To properly counter a Treant Protector, activate your Manta Style or Black King Bar to evade Overgrowth's effects. Remember whenever you play with Treant Protector, just like whenever you play with Furion, carry extra Ancient Tangos of Essification -- you want to be able to eliminate any trees with Eyes in the Forest on them that you see.



Darchrow, the Enigma
Malefice, Conversion, Midnight Pulse, Black Hole
Item(s): Necronomicon
Skills to ignore: Midnight Pulse (until very late game)
Tactics:
-
Prepare for a Black Hole by casting Conversion (perhaps twice if you have the mana). Summon your necronomicon pets right before casting Black Hole; your summons will deal great damage while you channel the pin. Remember to use the Necro Pet Mana Burn.
-Stagger your disables. Wait until after Black Hole or Malefice ends before casting the other spell.
-Malefice is a series of short duration stuns. Remember to chase your opponent while your attack him (treat your attack like a spell with a short cooldown), otherwise he will escape even with the repeated stuns.
-To properly fight against Darchrow, remember that Black Hole deals more damage the closer you are to it -- fight its lure. You can't do anything while being dragged into the hole anyway (except perhaps cast item spells, in which case a Guinsoo's Scythe of Vyse on the Enigma would cancel his channel!). Malefice will stun you a lot, but you can usually manage to attack in between those stuns if you choose to stand your ground -- you can keep damaging Enigma while he disables you.
 

Ezalor, the Keeper of Light
Illuminate, Mana Leak, Chakra Magic, Ignis Fatuus
Item(s): Mekansm, Dagon
Skills to ignore: Mana Leak (until later in the game), 4th Rank of Illuminate, Attribute Bonus
Tactics:
-
Max out Chakra Magic quickly. Do not put 4 levels into Illuminate -- you will rarely have a chance to channel for 5 seconds.
-Use Chakra Magic to increase your base damage before engaging enemies.
-To use Illuminate properly, target the ground slightly ahead of you, pointing in the direction you want your cone to extend. Do not click too far in front of you (you might reveal yourself if you're positioned well). Channel Illuminate on top of a hill or in front of fog of war. You want to surprise your enemies with the blast. The blast is cone-shaped (although it is animated as a line). Just like timing Pudge's Meat Hook or Priestess's Elune's Arrow, time your Illuminate so that it hits moving targets (lead them). Cast Illuminate through the woods before you gank an enemy.
-Use Ignis Fatuus to push down towers. The Liberated Souls deal decent damage. Remember to focus fire on heroes. Liberated Souls give very little bounty but the Ignis Fatuus itself is a prime target -- remember to keep a little mana in the Ignis Fatuus so that it can Will'O to a different lane.
-Totally use your Illuminate to farm Neutral Creeps *through* the woods. You do not need to see your targets to kill them and get EXP/gold. Use Ignis Fatuus and Will'O it to help your teammates push a different lane while you fight Neutral Creep.



Ulfsaar, the Ursa Warrior
Earthshock, Overpower, Fury Swipes, Enrage
Item(s): Bracers, Dagger of Escape
Skills to ignore: Attribute Bonus
Tactics:
-
Ursa Warrior is a ranged hero, for balance purposes. This means you are weak against Denying, strong against Melee Return, and have a few oddities (Basher is only 10% chance for you).
-Concentrate on adding Strength/HP and straight bonus Damage to Ursa in your item build.
-Use Enrage as much as possible. It has a short cooldown and no mana cost -- there is no reason not to activate it.
-Overpower sends your Attack Speed to the *maximum* in DotA at Rank 4. Buying Agility items or IAS items on Ursa Warrior is usually a waste.
-To properly execute a good attack, activate Overpower. Wait a few seconds (until Overpower is nearly cool again), then Blink in and deliver your Stomp and attacks. Once your Overpower is gone, activate Overpower again. You can strike 10 times in perhaps only 3 seconds using this method. Be patient.
-Enrage gives Ursa Warrior a melee attack (he is normally Ranged with a very short Range). Here's the super important exploit. Your melee attack (the Enrage damage) comes before your normal attack -- and it has no animation. Use "S" to stop-cancel your attack and you will hit with your Enrage attack ridiculously quickly. This is only good in low levels as it will not proc Fury Swipes, but it's a great way to fight Neutral Creeps at level 6. Practice this method and you'll see how strong it is. One drawback is that you always will attack the closest unit to Ursa, so this is rather useless for fighting enemy Heroes unless you catch them alone (even then, it might be better to hit them and proc Fury Swipes).
-Ursa Warrior can fight Roshan very early in the game. Do not use Enrage when Roshan has obtained his Melee Return ability. Fury Swipes will make short work of Roshan. If Roshan stuns you, make sure that you let Ursa attack him at least once more before doing anything else, otherwise you might lose your Fury Swipe "streak". Cast Overpower as much as possible, but never let your Fury Swipe "streak" end by doing so.
-To properly counter Ulfsaar, try to break up his Fury Swipe streak by juking him during battle (put creeps between yourself and Ursa), Blinking away, or otherwise causing him to start over with his combo. If you have the option, don't engage Ursa when he has Enrage activated -- attack him immediately after it fades.


Aggron Stonebreaker, the Ogre Magi
Fireblast, Ignite, Bloodlust, Multi Cast
Item(s): Aghanim's Scepter
Skills to ignore: Attribute Bonus
Tactics:
-Spam Fireblast in hopes of procing Multicast. At level 3 Multicast, your Fireblast cooldown is only 6 seconds. Chase with Ignite's slow and keep Fireblasting.
-Remember to Bloodlust your high-damage allies -- Bloodlust gives a good bonus to DPS.
-To properly fight an Ogre Magi, first stop complaining about "lucky Multicasts". Now that you're my friend again, take Black King Bar.


Bousch, the Tinker
Laser, Heat Seeking Missile, March of the Machines, Rearm
Item(s): Bottle, Boots of Travel, Manta Style
Skills to ignore: Missile (depending on matchup, and only early game), high levels of Rearm (the mana cost becomes prohibitive).
Tactics:
-
Lesson of the day: Tinker's skills all deal Physical damage except Laser (which is precise damage, and one of the best abilities in the game).
-Tinker is the Ubiquitous. Once you have Rearm, you should always have Boots of Travel ready to let you escape. As soon as you defeat a creep wave, you have about 10-20 seconds to get back to your lane -- this time could be spent as follows:
1) TP to your Fountain.
2) Drink bottle once, activate Rearm. Wait 3 seconds. (Do not activate Bottle while rearming -- it's bugged).
3) Drink bottle, continue to regen. Fill Bottle.
4) TP back to (any) lane.
Performing this maneuver lets you remain fresh and ready to throw all your nukes at once at any time.
-Once you have Manta Style, make sure you travel with your images activated. Rearm allows you to continually use Manta Style. When enemies have to gamble which image is real, you effectively have a 2/3rds independent evasion chance -- that's huge.
-March of the Machines has an incorrect tooltip. The actual damage per goblin is 12/24/32/40.
-To properly fight against Tinker, get HP. You can't stop his Laser damage, and pure Spell Resistance is inefficient (unless the Tinker goes Dagon or something), so just buy hitpoints.


Furion, the Prophet
Sprout, Teleportation, Force of Nature, Wrath of Nature
Item(s): Stygian Desolator, Ring of Basilius, Netherezim Buckler, Aghanim's Scepter
Skills to ignore: Teleport (one level will do for a long time), Sprout in early game (again, one level is sufficient)
Tactics:
-
Scout the map before the game starts (before you hear the war horn). You need to have places to teleport to, especially Roshan, Secret Shops, and the Sentinel Woods.
-Furion's ultimate is misunderstood. There's an urge to cast it directly on an injured target, but this is inefficient. Wrath of Nature is a backwards Chain Lightning -- you want your primary target to (ideally) be the last one hit. Trust your spell; you don't need to throw it directly on an injured fleeing hero. Since Wrath of Nature bounces around to proximate units first, just throw it on a nearby creep that's the furthest away from the hero you're targetting. The primary target will take much more damage.
-Teleportation makes Furion perfect for surprises. If your teammates have got an enemy hero on the ropes, you can teleport in, Sprout, and pummel him to finish the kill. Be aware of the entire map when playing Furion. Similarly, if you send a hero off to heal, predict his or her route back to the fountain and teleport in to intercept. If you do this a lot, it's a good idea to carry TP scrolls in case you get into a sticky situation while your Teleportation is in cooldown (of course, it's a good idea to carry TP scrolls for almost any hero).
-You can use "S" to cancel your Teleportation once issued. Your Teleporatation still performs its animation, so it's good for psyching out intelligent players (good players almost always run when they see that purple swirly).
-Force of Nature is meant for pushing and blocking heroes. The damage from the treants is not great. Neutralling with the treants is an option, but you're probably better off just knocking down a tower with your extra low-bounty forces rather than generating some bonus gold. Cast Force of Nature behind an enemy hero and maneuver them to "creep block" the enemy hero while you advance. If you plan on pushing a lane to the end, remember that your Force of Nature treants last a whole 60 seconds -- enough time to cast the spell twice while you advance. Make sure to choose patches of trees that are large enough to get all the treants your spell can provide.
-Getting Scepter on Furion means that every time you cast your Wrath of Nature, you are going to be rolling in money. With a 60 second cooldown, Wrath of Nature is definitely spammable, pushes all lanes simultaneously, and sometimes deals massive unexpected damage to enemy heroes. This is the best "farming" tool in the game.
-To properly fight against Furion, take Ancient Tangos of Essification wherever you go. When you are sprouted, don't panic -- you can still cast spells, and you can still Eat Tree your way out. Use your Tangos (two if necessary) to escape the 5 seconds of punishment.



Azwraith, the Phantom Lancer
Spirit Lance, Doppelwalk, Juxtapose, Phantom Edge
Item(s): Diffusal Blade, Bracers or Heart of Tarrasque, Crystalys
Skills to ignore: High levels of Dopplewalk until late game.
Tactics:
-
Juxtapose procs *before* your normal attack lands. That means you can stop-cancel your own attack to very rapidly generate a lot of images. Press "S" before Azwraith lands his attack with his spear. Each time he barely starts his attack animation, you have a chance to generate an image. This means that you can spawn a ton of images on just one enemy unit. Don't try this until you have at least a decent level of Juxtapose (even when stop-cancelling, with low percentages of occurrence, it takes a lot of effort to generate your full 7 images).
-Don't overuse Dopplewalk. Every other hero survives just fine without windwalking all the time. Dopplewalk costs you a ton of mana for very little gain until later in the game. Do use Dopplewalk to cancel spells (like Storm Bolt) or evade ganks.
-When you Dopplewalk, make it look natural. Don't use Dopplewalk to cancel your animation or come to a dead-stop in your run. You want to bewilder the enemy, not make it obvious that you've just generated an illusion. Also, if you want to bait your enemy's spells, treat your illusion as you would your hero -- try to land last hits (always a good idea anyway), evade attacks, and skirmish.
-Stagger Spirit Lance and the Purge from Diffusal Blade to slow enemies to a crawl.
-Late game, remember to always use Dopplewalk when fighting an enemy toe-to-toe. At worst, it adds 25% damage, which is certainly significant. At best, you'll generate a ton of extra images, burn away all the foe's mana, and totally rulez him.
-On the other hand, when you already have a mess of illusions in play, don't use Dopplewalk -- if your opponents have wards, you've just given them a way to pick you out from the crowd (you're invisible, your illusions are not). Make them gamble. Force your opponents to become frustrated by having to choose which of the 9 Phantom Lancers is real.
-Crystalys is a good choice against super observant players who can always tell the real Phantom Lancer by his critical hit animation (which occurs when you strike out of Dopplewalk). Your images can critical just fine, and this confuses the matter greatly. Be careful, though, as that same super observant player might pick out your higher-damage critical out of the crowd (images will do significantly less shown critical damage). In any case, don't bother building Buriza-do Kyanon.
-To properly fight against Azwraith, you need good Area of Effect damage. Tauren Warchief is the perfect counter -- too bad he's on Sentinel too. Radiance, Battlefury, Maelstrom, and Mjollnir all help. If you want to know when Phantom Lancer uses Dopplewalk, click on the one you know to be real; when he Dopplewalks, the invisible Phantom Lancer will drag the circular base unit cursor away for about half a second -- this should be enough to let you know not to waste your mana on the illusion! You'll need wards to find the real Phantom Lancer, oftentimes, but a good late game Phantom Lancer will expect this and fail to reveal himself by going invisible (funny, huh?).


Tiny, the Stone Giant
Avalanche, Toss, Craggy Exterior, Grow!
Item(s): Battlefury, Treads, Mask of Madness (or Hyperstone/Assault Cuirass)
Skills to ignore: Craggy Exterior (heavily matchup dependent), Grow! (until level 10 or so)
Tactics:
-Toss an enemy towards your allies or your tower. Toss an intimidating ally (such as Panda or Centaur Warchief) into your enemies. To properly use Tiny's Toss, you need to stand next to the unit you wish to throw and target the circle on the landing point.
-When using Avalanche, twirl around like a balarina to make sure plenty of the stone piles hit your opponent.
-Get your ultimate (Grow!) at levels 10, 11, and 16. Many people think the IAS decrease means the ultimate is not worth getting. Let's check out the DPS difference and find out for ourselves:
Tiny Level 6 with Gloves of Haste (w/ Attribute Bonus 1): 31.4% IAS, 85 Damage, 64.7 DPS. (and +38 HP, +28 Mana, and some paltry stuff)
Tiny Level 6 with Gloves of Haste (w/ Grow! Rank 1): 9.4% IAS, 103 Damage, 66.3 DPS. (and +5 MS)
Tiny Level 16 with Treads (w/ Attribute Bonus 3): 64.4% IAS, 143 Damage, 138.29 DPS. (and +114 HP, +78 Mana, +1 Armor)
Tiny Level 16 with Treads (w/ Grow! Rank 3): 8.4% IAS, 257 Damage, 163.87 DPS. (and +15 MS)
Clearly, early on you should favor other abilities over Grow!, and get Grow! later on.
One important benefit of Grow! is that oftentimes you will be chasing down your prey anyway, so having a long cooldown on your attack is not a hindrance (you want to walk alongside the enemy as they flee, only stopping to attack when able; this gives you time to let your Avalanche cool).
-You can use Toss to throw people into unpathable areas, like pits or cliffs, or even the corners of ramps. This is so cheap that you should use it all the time. [I'm so funny, on the relevant part of that webpage there's even the quote "
Performing a throw on someone often called cheap."] If your opponents are silly, a move like this can instantly win a game, and it definitely cripples many ill-prepared intelligent opponents. (Get a Blinker/Leaper to set up the Toss).


Squee and Spleen, the Goblin Techies
Land Mines, Stasis Trap, Suicide Squad, Attack!, Remote Mines
Item(s): Bloodstone, Boots of Travel, Tons of Int and Mana Regen
Skills to ignore: High levels of Suicide Squad, Attack! (unless you like to play crazy)
Tactics:
-Don't Get Underlevelled. Failing to keep up with the rest of the players in a game condemns your team and drags out games that would otherwise be quickly decided. Very good players might be able to spend all game using Suicide to lock down enemies, but this is a debatable strategy on its own. You want to level up, gain gold, and keep up with your allies and opponents.
-Good heavens, just look at the time! KILL YOURSELF. Never let an enemy land the last hit on you.
-Abandon your early game hopes of Last-hitting with Techies' horrible base damage and just hope to get creep kills by using Land Mines.
-Land Mines deal damage even if they're destroyed. Plant Land Mines near towers to deal enormous damage to the structure.
-Later in the game, learn to do a Land Mine / Remote Mine combo to destroy an entire creep wave. Before the wave arrives, place a Remote Mine in the middle of the lane. Now take a few steps away from the oncoming creep. Put down a Land Mine. When the first ghoul triggers the Land Mine, blow up the *single* Remote Mine (don't detonate all your mines!) simultaneously. You should get every creep kill. This costs a lot of mana to do consistently.
-If you want to defend your towers using Remote Mines, place them a little out from the tower (not directly next to it) so they will hit Ranged heroes. The AoE is large enough that the creeps should die, too.
-Divide Roshan's HP by 600 (this is usually 15, 20, or 25). That's how many level 3 Remote Mines you need to plant to blick Roshan. In other words: don't waste your time.
-Play with your opponents' expectations. Set up a large group of Remote Mines somewhere, then blow two of them (only!) to clear out the creep wave. The animations overlap a lot, so the opponents will likely assume that the area is clear of mines and press onward when the next wave arrives. Now, detonate the rest of your mines.
-If you are low level, it's worthwhile to take any suicide opportunity you see, presuming your opponents are saving money. You each lose experience, but you gain net gold and they lose gold.
-To properly counter a Goblin Techies, buy some wards. You're done. Techies cries.


Chen, the Holy Knight
Penitence, Test of Faith, Holy Persuasion, Hand of God
Item(s): Mekansm, Ring of Basilius, Necronomicon
Skills to ignore: Attribute Bonus
Tactics:
-
If I see a low level Chen without a few accompanying Neutral creeps, I cry. Every time. Don't ignore Holy Persuasion. Don't tell me you're going "Battle Caster Chen". Use your freaking ability -- it's insanely strong. Good creeps to grab, in order of awesome:
Centaur Khan (level 5): Strong melee attack, War Stomp (2 second stun, can cast 2 times per mana bank), Endurance Aura. GET IT.
Satyr Hellcaller (level 6): Strong melee attack, 100 damage Shockwave (can cast 3 times per mana bank), +2 HP/s Aura. GET IT.
Polar Furbolg (level 5): Strong melee attack, War Stomp (2 second stun, can cast 2 times per mana bank). GET IT.
Ogre Mage (level 3): Decent melee attack, Frost Armor (Lich's LEVEL FOUR Frost Armor). GET IT.
Satyr Soulstealer (level 4): Weak melee attack, Mana Burn (100 Mana, can cast 8 times per mana bank). Get it vs. Skeleton King, Enchantress, etc.
Satyr Trickster (level 2): Purge (slows movespeed by a factor of 5, deals 400 damage to summons). Get it vs. Summoners, Syllabear, etc.
Forest Troll High Priest (level 2): Heal (15 HP every 2 seconds or so), Abolish (damage to summons, removes buffs). Get it vs. Sven, Syllabear, or whenever you're pushing or neutralling and need a good heal.
Kobold Taskmaster (level 2): 12% movespeed aura.
Having a few 100 damage line-nukes or a few stuns helps Chen immensely. Get the neutral creep. If all else fails and your army is nonexistant, snag some Necromancers -- you might as well increase your overall DPS (though you do deny yourself some EXP/gold). Pretend they're free Claws of Attack.
-If your opponents get Hand of Midas to counter you, only dominate Satyrs (they cannot be transmuted).
-Lane on the Top Lane. This is imperative. There's a high-level creep camp just inside the woods after the creek on the north side -- you can get Satyrs, Ogre Magi, and Polar Furbolgs here, all of which are excellent early game units.
-Test of Faith deals Precise damage.
-The bonus damage from Penitence is Physical.
-To properly fight against a Chen, purchase a Hand of Midas immediately. Chen will end up giving you a large amount of money if he faces you with all his strength, but beware the player that only dominates Satyrs, which cannot be transmuted. Hand of Midas is usually a good item for almost any hero anyway, so you'll end up gaining a lot (benefiting yourself, hindering your opponent, and getting more gold than you'd normally expect).




Rexxar, the Beastmaster
Wild Axes, Call of the Wild, Beast Rage, Primal Roar (side damage)
Item(s): Necronomicon, Ring of Basilius
Skills to ignore: Beast Rage
Tactics:
-
Use your Wild Axes even at level 1. Each individual axe deals the listed damage (though reduced by both Armor and Spell Reduction) -- which means if you aim properly (do not click on a hero; click beyond them on the ground), you can be dealing 180 Physical/Spell damage with a level 1 spell. This is a good amount of damage if you're facing an opponent with low Armor. The Wild Axes have an enormous range (1300) so you can expect to hit even fleeing targets. The axes form an oval arc and intersect at the endpoint so that they return to the opposite hand from which Rexxar threw them. Try to throw the axes so that each axe hits your primary target once. Throw your axes as far away as possible -- axes stay in flight for 1 second no matter how much distance they cover (if you click directly in front of Rexxar, they hover in front of him for 1 second! it looks weird!), so if you click far away, the axes will really book it. They'll fly so fast that your opponents will have a hard time evading them.
-Your Scout Hawk is a free mobile observer ward. Hover it over trees to keep an eye on your enemies (watch for chickens early game -- you can take them out with Wild Axes, which is a huge distraction), patrol it over rune areas, check on Roshan, and watch for ganks. Do not let your opponents kill the Scout Hawk, though, as its bounty is rather high.
-Quillbeast Poison slows MS/IAS by 20% for 3 seconds. Greater Quillbeast Poison slows MS/IAS by 30% for 3 seconds. You definitely want the Quillbeast to pepper your opponents as you fight them.
-Roar has an insanely short cooldown for what it is (a *4* second stun followed by a *4* second slow and 300 damage to boot at Rank 3). Use it as often as possible. You know how you love to use Necronomicon with Bane Elemental and Enigma? Well, this stun is just as long, so have at it.
-To properly fight against Rexxar, grab a Hand of Midas for his Quillbeast and try to strafe out of the path of Wild Axes.


Jakiro, the Twin Head Dragon
Dual Breath, Ice Path, Auto Fire, Macropyre
Item(s): Oblivion Staff, Eul's Scepter of Divinity, Ring of Basilius
Skills to ignore: Auto-Fire
Tactics:
-
Jakiro has a great Strength gain, so pick up some Armor (at least Ring of Basilius) to complement your high HP.
-
Level up Ice Path and spam it. It's an AoE stun with a short cooldown; you can get a lot of free hits from it. Don't click directly on your opponent when casting Ice Path -- lead your opponent slightly so they run into it. Click on the ground, not on the unit.
-Note that Macropyre is weird -- its cooldown goes UP with level (along with increasing dramatically in mana cost).
-To properly fight against Jakiro, try to sidestep Ice Path, Dual Breath, and Macropyre. You need to do a lot of strafing. Surrounding Jakiro on different sides with your allies forces him to only damage one of you -- all his abilities are frontal and linear (except Breath, which is frontal/conical).



Razzil Darkbrew, the Alchemist
Acid Spray, Unstable Concoction, Goblin's Greed, Chemical Rage
Item(s): Radiance, Cranium Basher, Mask of Madness, Mana items.
Skills to ignore: (6.43) Acid Spray, Unstable Concoction
Tactics:
-
Alchemist sucks now. Poor Alchemist. 1.8 Str/lvl is only 0.4 better than N'aix. And why is an Alchemist so stupid to have 1.0 Int/lvl?
-Try going Goblin Greed / Attribute Bonus to make up for Alchemist's insane nerfing. You won't have the mana to use Acid Spray reliably until you have a few good items.
-Spam your Chemical Rage -- it pays for itself in terms of mana cost (it increases your Mana/s) and it gives 10/30/60 HP/s heal. Furthermore, lowering your Base Attack Time is like getting a straight multiplier to your DPS.
-Mask of Madness stacks with Chemical Rage to make you into a psycho killer half the time.
-Unstable Concoction reveals invisible units while Razzil is channeling it.
-To properly fight against a Razzil Darkbrew, make fun of his low stat growth and tell him he's not a "man" because he can't fight without his "toys".



Mirana Nightshade, the Priestess of the Moon
Starfall, Elune's Arrow, Leap, Moonlight Shadow
Item(s): Perserverence, Stygian Desolator
Skills to ignore: High levels of Leap, Attribute Bonus
Tactics:
-
Aiming Elune's Arrow takes a lot of practice. Play the Practice Your Pudge map to get a feel for Arrow (Hook works just like Arrow in terms of timing, except it does not hit your allied units).
-Try to be aware of your allies at all times, even if they're not pinging. You can use Moonlight Shadow to save their rears when they get into sticky situations. When Moonlight Shadow does take effect while you're fleeing, count a few seconds to allow for fade time (you become invisible slowly) then immediately juke in an unexpected direction to escape.
-To properly fight against a Mirana, back off when she rushes towards you (she's about to cast Starfall) and strafe when she stands still (she's aiming up an Arrow shot). Strafe a lot when you're retreating from Mirana, but make sure you do an unexpected strafe pattern (zig zag zig zig zag) to avoid her Elune's Arrow. You can Patrol in a direction orthogonal to Mirana in order to accomplish a low-concentration defense against Elune's Arrow. Whenever Mirana disappears from your lane for no good reason, expect that she's setting up an arrow from within the fog of war. Dance around (you should be dancing around a lot anyway, no matter what hero you might be facing) to ensure that she does not peg you. Finally, keep your allied creep in between Mirana's line of attack and yourself so that arrows will hit your creeps instead of your hero.









**Scourge Heroes under construction!**


Medusa, the Gorgon
Split Shot, Chain Lightning, Mana Shield, Purge
Item(s): Wraith Bands, Crystalys, Arcane Ring or Perserverence, and *danger see text* Stygian Desolator
Skills to ignore: Split Shot (until late in the game)
Tactics:
-
Some items do funky things with Split Shot. If you ever plan on using Split Shot, do not get Stygian Desolator, Diffusal Blade, or Manta Style. Ignoring Split Shot forever and taking Stygian Desolator is a fine idea (since you have a wicked slow with Purge, you can issue a ton of very damaging attacks with this style). Split Shot is nice, however, for dealing a lot of damage in huge hero battles (most of the time, though, you want to focus all your teams' fire on exactly one enemy hero, and even a 25% difference on one attacker matters).
-Use Purge to slow your enemies and take pot-shots. It's one of the cheapest ways to score a few extra hits, and with a 12 second cooldown, you can tick your opponents off all day. Whenever they do something risky (like tower dive even slightly, or aggro your creeps), Purge them.
-Use Purge to dispel your enemies' positive buffs (even Sven's God's Strength). Use Purge to negate negative buffs (you can even remove Cyclone, and I hear you can even remove Cyclone from yourself). Use Purge to destroy Treant's Eyes in the Forest.
-Diffusal Blade's Purge does not remove Purge, nor does Purge remove Diffusal Blade's Purge.
-To properly fight against Medusa, pick up Mana Burn items (like Diffusal Blade or Manta Style) and attack her mana pool. Mana Shield blocks 50% of the incoming damage, so you want to get rid of it before fighting her for real.


Balanar, the Night Stalker
Void, Crippling Fear, Hunter in the Night, Darkness
Item(s): Mask of Madness, Bottle, Crystalys
Skills to ignore: Attribute Bonus
Tactics:
-
Try to play defensively during the daytime and very aggressively during the nighttime. Last-hit and deny during the day, start hunting heroes during the night, especially at low levels.
-Use Darkness even at night to extend the duration of night.
-Always throw Crippling Fear on the high-DPS or Disabler enemy hero, especially before you engage someone with Frenzy.
-Don't bother buying Power Treads with Night Stalker; Mask of Madness and Hunter in the Night more than suffice.
-Bottle is a great idea with Night Stalker, as you can use it on the run, and with your insane movespeed, you can afford to check rune spots to fill your Bottle in the night time.
-Nobody fears the Night Stalker in the day.
-To properly fight against Balanar in the night, close your eyes and pray for dawn. Failing that, try to travel with allies during the night time -- Balanar may have an insane damage output (and a silence, a slow, and miss chance...) but he still can be killed if you fight back.



King Leoric, the Skeleton King
Storm Bolt, Vampiric Aura, Critical Strike, Reincarnation
Item(s): Arcane Ring
Skills to ignore: Attribute Bonus or Vampiric Aura, depending on matchup
Tactics:
-
Save some mana for Reincarnation. If you are out of mana or Silenced when you die, Reincarnation will not trigger. Remember that you can take more risks than usual with Skeleton King (if you can kill a hero at the cost of your Reincarnate cooldown, it's almost always worth it), but do not put yourself in situations where you can be killed twice in rapid succession (don't try to fight a ton of heroes alone).
-To properly fight against Skeleton King, you want to ensure he does not Reincarnate. Take mana-damaging items like Diffusal Blade or Necronomicon to prevent his Reincarnation from triggering. Remember, the mana costs for Reincarnation are 100/150/200.


Lucifer, the Doomguard
Devour, Scorched Earth, LVL? Death (Bonus Damage), Doom
Item(s): Arcane Ring
Skills to ignore: Attribute Bonus
Tactics:
-
Use Devour all the time and level it as your primary skill. Make sure that you do not Devour creeps with too large of HP -- Devour has a 15 second cooldown, so you want the creep to be dead before those 15 seconds are up so you can Devour a new creep. Feel free to Devour any lane creep of 50% HP or less.
-Remember Devour grants sight to your enemies if you Devour one of their allied units (such as a treant).
-Lead yourself to your target with Scorched Earth. You want to do all of your fighting on the flaming ground (your IAS goes up). If you're fleeing, remember to cast Scorched Earth ahead of yourself, so that you gain the movespeed bonus for as long as possible.
-Lvl?Death is a Spell Damage attack, but its bonus damage is mixed (reduced by Armor and Spell Resistance). It has a ministun.
-To properly fight against Lucifer, try to travel with a means of avoiding death by Doom -- this usually means fighting with a teammate or obtaining a Linken's Sphere (which stops Doom). Make sure you fight on your own terms -- do not engage Lucifer on Scorched Earth, as he gains a large IAS bonus on the flaming ground.



Anub'arak, the Nerubian Assassin
Impale, Mana Burn, Spiked Carapace, Vendetta (backstab damage)
Item(s): Diffusal Blade, Bottle
Skills to ignore: High levels of Spiked Carapace (matchup dependent)
Tactics:
-
Anub'arak is all about doing a crapload of damage (to both HP and Mana) in a very short amount of time. It takes a lot of mana to execute Anub'arak's 3-nuke combo. Getting Bottle helps mitigate this, as you will be switching lanes a lot and able to check rune spots to refill your Bottle.
-Attack out of Vendetta (don't waste the bonus damage by casting a spell while invisible), hit the hero at least once more, then start nuking. Throw Impale if they begin running away, and follow the stun with a Diffusal Blade Purge. Try to Mana Burn between your physical attacks to waste no time.
-At level 3, Vendetta lasts 50 seconds with a 60 second cooldown, so use it a lot -- the bonus damage is excellent. Whenever you heal at the fountain, activate Vendetta and wait a few seconds for your mana to return. This lets you lead off with Vendetta and have it ready to use again soon.
-Impale temporarily removes units from combat, meaning you can accidentally make an enemy immune to one of your friends' attacks. Make sure to coordinate with your teammates.
-To properly fight against Anub'arak, remember he is extremely mana-dependent; if you can survive his initial barrage, fight back, as he likely does not have enough mana to repeat the process. Damaging Anub'arak's mana via Diffusal Blade or Necronomicon is also a good idea.

 

Slardar, the Slithereen Guard
Sprint, Slithereen Crush, Bash, Amplify Damage
Item(s): Hand of Midas, Black King Bar, Stygian Desolator. (alternatively: Assault Cuirass, Black King Bar)
Skills to ignore: Attribute Bonus
Tactics:
-
Amplify Damage reveals invisible units. Whenever you see a windwalking hero, cast Amplify Damage on them immediately.
-Usually by late game, you want to have Stygian Desolator, since your opponents will have enough Armor to make it an excellent pick even with Amplify Damage. Even if an enemy late game has low Armor (say 10), the Stygian Desolator's Armor Reduction is not insignificant; with just Amplify Damage Level 3, you're getting a flat DPS multiplier of 2.016, and with Stygian on top of that, your multiplier is 2.390. With high damage values, that 0.376 multiplier difference can help a ton. Amplify Damage works as a "focus fire" beacon to your teammates as well, so further reducing the Armor of the primary target will benefit your entire team greatly.
-To properly fight against Slardar, exercise the better side of caution -- when you're Amplify Damage'd, it's time to book it home, or at least hide. Don't let the enemy capatalize on your weakened state.



Akasha, the Queen of Pain
Shadow Strike, Blink, Scream of Pain, Sonic Wave
Item(s): Power Treads, Stygian Desolator, Crystalys, Mekansm
Skills to ignore: High levels of Blink (until later in the game), high levels of Shadow Strike
Tactics:
-
You are kind of like Antimage with a ranged attack -- played skillfully, Akasha can be extremely powerful just by harrassing and finishing with a position spell (Blink) and an awesome slow (Shadow Strike).
Use Shadow Strike as a slow, and focus your physical attack as a main damaging technique. You have Blink and a Slow -- you will be able to get off a ton of good hits, just like Vengeful Spirit. I don't recommend using Shadow Strike as a serious damaging spell, as it has an enormous cooldown (22 seconds). Just keep slamming your enemy with physical attacks. Different strokes, though -- you might find the extra damage from Shadow Strike more important than the alternative (Attribute Bonus, for me), since you're going to be casting it anyway no matter what.
-Scream of Pain is a good "farming tool", sure -- but if you're not lazy, you can get all those creep kills anyway. It's nice to Scream of Pain in big team battles, but it involves putting yourself in the middle of a mess of heroes. Use Sonic Wave for your AoE control.
-Don't overuse Blink early game. Every other hero can get along just fine without Blink -- use it skillfully rather than just to move yourself around when you could walk instead.
Blink can cancel a ton of projectile spells. Blink before the projectile hits you (blinking through the projectile works just fine). For example, if Viper throws a Viper Strike at you, you can Blink towards Viper, cancel the Viper Strike, and position yourself in a good place for pummelling him.
-To properly fight against Akasha, take a Dagger of Escape to keep up with her and a Black King Bar to shut her down. If she's battle-mage style (as described here), Armor helps.



Bone Clinkz, the Bone Fletcher
Strafe, Searing Arrows, Wind Walk, Death Pact
Item(s): Crystalys, Black King Bar
Skills to ignore: Strafe (until mid levels), high levels of Windwalk (until later in the game), high levels of Death Pact (unless you get mana items)
Tactics:
-
Bone Clinkz is one of the best examples of heroes who benefit from "animation cancelling" -- with his Searing Arrows, you can manually cast his attack spell which issues a regular physical attack, and then cut his animation short so you can continue to chase your opponent. It takes some dexterity, but manually casting the arrows is extremely beneficial, since you can keep moving while you fire with extra damage. You also avoid certain effects such as Aiushtha's Untouchable or Viper's Corrosive Skin. Furthermore, you don't aggro creeps while manually casting.
-When surprising an enemy late game with Windwalk, remember to be patient! Wait until your Windwalk is nearly cool before coming out of invisibility. That way, if things go poorly, you can always just Windwalk again to escape.
-If the game drags on severely and your team lacks slows, an Eye of Skadi stacks with your Searing Arrows orb.
-To properly fight against Bone Clinkz, buy wards and pick up some Armor. Clinkz depends on surprises and high amounts of Physical damage.



Darkterror, the Faceless Void
Time Walk, Backtrack, Bash, Chronosphere
Item(s): Butterfly, Power Treads, Mask of Madness
Skills to ignore: Attribute Bonus
Tactics:
-
Use Time Walk to totally surprise your opponents every chance you can get. Set yourself up behind a tree line and dive in. You bestow -40% movespeed and -40% IAS at rank 4 for 3 seconds, allowing you to get a few hits in (hopefully triggering a bash) without risk of high damage.
-Time Walk can be used just like Blink to evade spells.
Blink before the spell projectile hits you (blinking through the projectile works just fine). For example, if Viper throws a Viper Strike at you, you can Blink towards Viper, cancel the Viper Strike, and position yourself in a good place for pummelling him.
-Use Chronosphere to block the escape of the enemy team. Try to catch the enemy heroes right on the edge of the Chronosphere so your ranged (and even melee, if you're hot stuff) allies can help out. Don't Chronosphere your teammates. Use Chronosphere to save your dying Crypt!
-Butterfly Evasion stacks with Backtrack to make you a beast in terms of tanking Physical damage.
-Darkterror has a great starting damage, so last-hitting should be no problem for you -- take levels in Backtrack early instead of Bash if you're facing ranged harrassers.
-A common misconception for Darkterror is to get a lot of Cranium Bashers. Getting a Cranium Basher is an okay choice, but not great -- think about efficiency. A Cranium Basher only increases the chance you will score any bash by 11.25% -- do you usually buy Cranium Bashers on Ranged heroes? The other bad part is your natural bash does 70 bonus damage on a hit, whereas Cranium Basher only adds 30 damage. Choosing IAS over more Cranium Bashers allows you to emphasize the large natural proc damage of Darkterror.
-To properly fight against Darkterror, you need to work with your teammates -- he's a natural permabasher (goes through Avatar) with a natural evasion (has a chance to even stop your Laguna Blade) and can cause some serious problems one on one. Getting Armor mitigates Darkterror's damage -- he's all Physical.




Viper, the Netherdrake
Frenzy, Poison Attack, Corrosive Skin, Viper Strike
Item(s):
Skills to ignore: Corrosive Skin (until midgame), Frenzy (until later in the game)
Tactics:


Razor, the Lightning Revenant
Frenzy, Chain Lightning, Unholy Fervor, Storm Seeker
Item(s): Stygian Desolator
Skills to ignore:
Tactics:


N'aix, the Lifestealer
Feast, Poison Sting, Anabolic Frenzy, Rage
Item(s): Gauntlets of Strength early game, Crystalys, Sange & Yasha or Satanic, Power Treads or Boots of Travel
Skills to ignore: Attribute Bonus
Tactics:


Terrorblade, the Soul Keeper
Soul Steal, Conjure Image, Metamorphosis, Sunder
Item(s): Diffusal Blade
Skills to ignore: High levels of Soul Steal
Tactics:
-
Remember Feedback doesn't work on Ranged images, so if you want to use your Diffusal Blade to harrass an enemy's Mana, make sure you conjure some melee images.
-Don't use your Soul Steal against heroes early game; they'll just walk by and cancel it. Instead, heal by targetting the melee creep.


Leshrac the Malicious, the Tormented Soul
Split Earth, Diabolic Edict, Lightning Storm, Pulse Nova
Item(s): Aghanim's Scepter
Skills to ignore: Attribute Bonus, Pulse Nova (until later in the game, say level 10)
Tactics:

-
Diabolic Edict creates explosions that randomly damage enemy units within 500 AoE, dealing 12.5 damage for every rank of the spell. The damage is reduced by both Spell Resistance and Armor, but Magic Immunity does not stop it. An explosion occurs every 0.25 seconds, for a total of 32 explosions. At Rank 4, Edict does 200 damage per second for 8 seconds if you can catch a single unit with it -- early game, this is excellent (a Hero with 20% damage reduction takes 120 precise damage per second).


Kel'Thuzad, the Lich
Frost Nova, Frost Armor, Dark Ritual, Chain Frost
Item(s): Mekansm, Aghanim's Scepter
Skills to ignore: Attribute Bonus (sadly)
Tactics:


Krobelus, the Death Prophet
Carrion Swarm, Silence, Witchcraft, Exorcism
Item(s): Bloodstone, Eul's Scepter of Divinity
Skills to ignore: High levels of Silence (matchup dependent)
Tactics:
-
To properly counter Krobelus, get a Vanguard. The extra HP will help against her rapid spell attacks, and the shield-block ability will seriously mitigate the damage from Exorcism ghosts.


Lion, the Demon Witch
Impale, Voodoo, Mana Drain, Finger of Death
Item(s): Aghanim's Scepter
Skills to ignore: Voodoo (until later in the game)
Tactics:


Lesale Deathbringer, the Venomancer
Shadow Strike, Poison Sting, Plague Ward, Poison Nova
Item(s): Butterfly
Skills to ignore: High levels of Shadowstrike (unless you like to have more security on your kills with Poison Nova)
Tactics:


Magnus, the Magnataur
Shockwave, Empower, Mighty Swing, Reverse Polarity
Item(s): Arcane Ring, Sange or Heart of Tarrasque
Skills to ignore: Mighty Swing (until later in the game)
Tactics:
-
Mighty Swing's damage is precise and based on your attack damage -- nothing else. If you attack for 300 damage with level 4 Mighty Swing, you will deal precisely 150 damage to targets in the vicinity (even if you're hitting someone with a huge Armor and only dealing 1 damage to the primary target!).


Visage, the Necro'lic
Grave Chill, Soul Assumption, Gravekeeper's Cloak, Raise Revenants
Item(s): Ring of Basilius, Necronomicon, or Assault Cuirass
Skills to ignore: Attribute Bonus
Tactics:


Nessaj, the Chaos Knight
Chaos Bolt, Blink Strike, Critical Strike, Phantasm
Item(s): Diffusal Blade (later: Manta Style), Bracers, Ring of Basilius
Skills to ignore: High levels of Critical Strike or Attribute Bonus
Tactics:


Banehollow, the Lycanthrope
Summon Wolves, Howl, Feral Heart, Shapeshift
Item(s):
Skills to ignore: Attribute Bonus
Tactics:


Black Arachnia, the Broodmother
Spawn Spiderlings, Spin Web, Incapacitating Bite, Insatiable Hunger
Item(s): Crystalys, Butterfly
Skills to ignore: High levels of Spin Web (until later in the game)
Tactics:


Mortred, the Phantom Assassin
Shadow Strike, Blink Strike, Blur, Coup de Grace
Item(s): Battlefury, Stygian Desolator
Skills to ignore: High levels of Shadow Strike (1 rank is enough)
Tactics:

 

Pugna, the Oblivion
Nether Blast, Decrepify, Nether Ward, Life Drain
Item(s): Dagon, Aghanim's Scepter
Skills to ignore: Attribute Bonus or Nether Ward, depending on your playstyle
Tactics:

Leviathan, the Tidehunter
Gush, Kraken Shell, Anchor Smash, Ravage
Item(s):
Skills to ignore:
Tactics:
-
Kraken Shell is a damage-block effect just like Stout Shield or Vanguard; it just has a 100% chance of occurrence. For this reason, getting other damage-block effects on Leviathan is inefficient (only one shield effect can occur at a time).

Atropos, the Bane Elemental
Enfeeble, Brain Sap, Nightmare, Fiend's Grip
Item(s): Necronomicon, Eul's Scepter of Divinity
Skills to ignore: High levels of Nightmare
Tactics:

Rotund'jere, the Necrolyte
Death Pulse, Diffusion Aura, Sadist, Reaper's Scythe
Item(s):
Skills to ignore: Diffusion Aura (unless you're fighting a lot of melee enemies)
Tactics:
-
Note that Death Pulse deals negative spell damage to your allies (healing them). The healing is reduced by Spell Resistance.

Pudge, the Butcher
Meat Hook, Rot, Flesh Heap, Dismember
Item(s): Bottle
Skills to ignore: Flesh Heap (until later in the game, *especially* if you plan on taking Hood of Defiance)
Tactics:
-

Barathrum, the Spiritbreaker
Charge of Darkness, Empowering Haste, Greater Bash, Nether Strike (Bonus Greater Bash)
Item(s): Power Treads or Boots of Travel, Sange & Yasha
Skills to ignore: High levels of Greater Bash (until later in the game)
Tactics:
-
Call your Charges. Whenever you use Charge of Darkness from far away, inform your teammates so they know who will be stunned when you arrive. You can all focus fire on that stunned enemy for a safe kill.

Anub'seran, the Nerubian Weaver
Watcher, Shukuchi, Geminate Attack, Time Lapse
Item(s): Crystalys
Skills to ignore: High levels of Watcher (one level is great though), high levels of Shukuchi (until later in the game).
Tactics:

Nevermore, the Shadow Fiend
Shadowraze, Necromastery, Presence of the Dark Lord, Requiem of Souls
Item(s): Stygian Desolator, Bloodstone, Lothar's Edge
Skills to ignore: Presence of the Dark Lord (until later levels)
Tactics:
-
Learn to use Shadowraze properly. Its AoE is forgiving -- as long as you can point it in the general vicinity, you should hit your target. The "Z" cast targets an area approximately 100 range away from Nevermore, so use it in melee range; the "X" cast targets an area away from Nevermore equal to the range of his normal attack; finally, the "C" cast targets an area even further away. Shadowraze is a 75 mana nuke that deals 300 damage at rank 4 -- which means you can do 900 spell damage very rapidly while spending only 225 mana... at level 7.
-Requiem of Souls is complicated and excellent. Take the number of souls you have from Necromastery and divide by 2 (so, take your Necromastery bonus damage and divide by 4, as each soul gives +2 damage). This is how many Requiem Spirits you will summon when you cast your ultimate. The Requiem Spirits fly radially outward from Nevermore in all directions. You need to be very close to an opponent for Requiem to deal a lot of damage to that particular opponent (you want as many Requiem Spirits to hit them as possible). This is where Lothar's Edge comes in. Since Requiem of Souls is a cast-time spell and not a channeling spell, you will not be revealed from invisiblity until it finishes. And since you have no collision size while windwalked, you can position yourself directly on top of an enemy. This means that a huge number of Requiem Spirits will connect with that opponent.
-You gain Necromastery bonuses from denying. Also, don't be afraid to use your mana to increase your Necromastery bonus damage via Shadowraze after you die. Who else can spend 150 mana, kill an entire creep wave, and gain +8 damage permanently?
-To properly counter Nevermore, you need to be suited for all-around combat. His Armor reduction means you need a lot of Armor to stand up to his attacks; his huge spell damage means you need good resistance to survive his Shadowraze and Requiem of Souls; finally, if he uses a Lothar's Edge, you need truesight to combat his surprises. Nevermore is extremely strong for this reason -- he's insanely offensive and you need to cover all your bases to win in a standup fight. So, obviously, don't get in a standup fight with Nevermore! Try to surprise him and "alpha strike", throwing everything you have at him before he has a chance to issue his enormous damage. Until he is established, Nevermore is very fragile, and this is the prime scenario where a good offense is the best defense. Furthermore, Nevermore suffers a small additional penalty from dying (he loses Necromastery bonuses), so don't be afraid to use all your resources to take him down quickly.



Crixalis, the Sand King
Burrowstrike, Sand Storm, Caustic Finale, Epicenter
Item(s): Dagger of Escape
Skills to ignore: High levels of Sandstorm (one rank is great for escaping damage / countering spells)
Tactics:

Mogul Khan, the Axe
Berserker's Call, Battle Hunger, Counter Helix, Culling Blade (lethal) (non-lethal)
Item(s): Vanguard
Skills to ignore:
Tactics:

Strygwyr, the Bloodseeker
Bloodrage (HP loss), Blood Bath, Strygwyr's Thirst, Rupture
Item(s): Radiance
Skills to ignore: High levels of Bloodrage (depending on your playstyle, and until later in the game)
Tactics:

Abbadon, the Lord of Avernus
Death Coil (Self-Damage), Aphotic Shield, Frostmourne, Borrowed Time
Item(s): Battlefury
Skills to ignore: Attribute Bonus
Tactics:

Mercurial, the Spectre
Spectral Dagger, Desolate, Dispersion, Haunt
Item(s): Diffusal Blade
Skills to ignore: Desolate (until later in the game; at least wait until you have Haunt)
Tactics:

Vol'Jin, the Witch Doctor
Paralyzing Cask, Voodoo Restoration, Maledict, Death Ward
Item(s): Dagon
Skills to ignore: High levels of Voodoo Healing (until later in the game)
Tactics:

Harbinger, the Obsidian Destroyer
Arcane Orb, Astral Imprisonment, Essence Aura, Sanity's Eclipse
Item(s): Aghanim's Scepter, Eul's Scepter of Divinity
Skills to ignore: Attribute Bonus
Tactics:
-
Arcane Orb still does precise damage. The change to Arcane Orb was done to alleviate a bug (it was switched from Divine damage type to Magic damage type; Hero attack, Magic damage still ignores both Armor and Spell Reduction!), not balance its damage bonus; however, now Arcane Orb is ineffective against magic-immune units.

Demnok Lannik, the Warlock
Fatal Bonds, Shadow Word, Upheaval, Rain of Chaos (Infernal's Immolation)
Item(s): Stygian Desolator
Skills to ignore: Upheaval (until late game -- don't ignore this completely, as it's an excellent slow)
Tactics:

Meepo, the Geomancer
Earthbind, Poof, Geostrike, Divided We Stand
Item(s):
Mekansm, Vladimir's Offering, Power Treads
Skills to ignore: Poof (except maybe one level)
Tactics:
-Go heavy Attribute Bonus. Once you have four clones, a level in Attribute Bonus gives you +8 (!!!!) damage.
-Vladimir's Offering gives you +48 (!!!!) damage once you have four clones.
-Meepo is sick, and in my opinion, one of the only crazily broken heroes. Yeah, you heard me. I have a replay where I go 9-5 as Meepo. Not impressive... until I add on the fact that I *never bought any items all game long*. Nothing! Not even Boots of Speed! Play him a lot and you'll see -- Meepo is insane.
-You can deny yourself as Meepo. If one of your clones (or your hero) is affected with Shadow Strike or Doom, you can attack yourself and suicide.
-To properly fight against Meepo, remember Net does not prevent you from casting magic. When you're netted, you're probably doomed to die anyway, so you might as well go out with a bang and cast all your crap on one of the clones. Stupid Meepo.


Dazzle, the Shadow Priest
Poison Touch, Weave, Shadow Wave, Shallow Grave
Item(s):
Stygian Desolator
Skills to ignore: High levels of Weave (depends on your playstyle, though)
Tactics: