Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Drafting Practice: Day Eight

Draft #1
I'm the Dire player.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Advantage Dire.

Draft #2:

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

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

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

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

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

Draft #3

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Draft #4:

I'm the Dire player, again.

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

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

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

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

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

Advantage Radiant.

Spotlight on Bane: The Tough Support

Intro to Bane

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

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

Support Bane

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

Mid-Late Game Blues

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


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


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


Typical Support Bane (defensive tri)

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

Support Bane (aggro tri)

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

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

Bane Mid (ganker & semi-carry)

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

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

Thursday, November 13, 2014

More Drafting Analysis

Draft #1:
Me as Radiant

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Conclusion:  Dire wins this draft.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

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

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

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

Conclusion:  Draft okay, lane choices poor.

Draft #2

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Draft #4
 Me as Radiant.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Advantage Radiant.

Draft #6

Me as Dire.

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

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

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Supports that Work Mid

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

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

Monday, November 10, 2014

List of Heroes with More Than One Disable

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

Heroes with Two Disables, NOT including Ultimate:

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

Heroes with Two Disables Including Ultimate:

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

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

Honourable Mention:

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

Maximizing the use of multiple disables:

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

The following heroes benefit more from having extra stunners:

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

Team Ideas:

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

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

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

More Team Ideas with heavy disablers.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

List of Damage Amplifiers

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

Indirect Damage Amplification:

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

Items with damage amplification:

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

Damage Amplification Formula:

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

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

Interpreting the Formula - What does it mean?

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

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

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

Team Ideas: All healers & lifestealers

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

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

Team ideas:  Dual Lanes

Omni Mid
Necrophos + Treant
Abaddon + Dazzle

Huskar Mid
Doom + Bane
Chen + Undying

Team Ideas:  Tri-lane

Necrophos Mid
Alchemist + Dazzle
LC Jungle
Undying Offlane solo

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

Team Ideas:  Dual Mid

Mid:  LC + Io
Safe:  Wraith King, Wyvern

Offlane: Doom

Similar Heroes for When you Get Banned

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Spotlight on Legion Commander

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

Laning LC (farmer)

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

Jungler LC

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

Typical Jungling Build:

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

Support LC Item Build:

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

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

Support LC Skill Build:

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

Good Teammates:

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