This guide is about changing your hero's stats to make better use of heals, consumables and regen, and also to make the best use of your available mana and hp. While that may sound very difficult and complex, it's pretty simple, and most easily explained with an example:
That's basically what this guide is about: using your stats to decrease hp/mana loss and to increase hp and mana gain. In DotA, nearly all stat-changes result in a relative shift in current hp and mana. What this means is that how much actual hp or mana you gain from a change in base hp/mana depends on the percentage of hp/mana you have. If you're at 50% hp and you pick up a point Booster, you'll still be at 50% hp, but the amount of actual hit points will be higher.
The guide is divided into two parts: The first part explains how stat manipulation works, the second part discusses specific items and skills that lend themselves to this type of manipulation.
1. Before taking Damage, make sure your hp is at it's highest. This very obvious point is required for abuse further down the line, so before you enter battle, make sure you are carrying all your HP gear, set your Treads to STR and activate any shape-shifting skills which give more hp.
Besides the obvious fact that more hp equals a bigger chance to survive, by increasing your hp you're decreasing the amount of damage you receive relative to your total hp.
2. After taking damage, lower your hp before applying heals/regen.
Just as you can decrease the potency of damage by increasing your hp, you can increase the potency of fixed heals by decreasing your hp. The starting example clearly illustrates how you can exploit healing items to give you more hp. The same also counts for "regular" regen: Tangoes, Ring of regen, Helm of Iron Will, etc. all give fixed hp, so lowering your hp will increase their efficiency. An example:
Lowering your hp can be done by dropping anything that gives STR or HP, switching your Treads away from STR and even by waiting for certain shapeshifting skills to end.
1. Before using mana, increase your maximum manapool. For all spells except Ball Lightning, this will decrease the relative manacost of your spell. The only feasible way to increase your manapool (besides obviously carrying all your INT items) is to switch Power Treads to INT, so I'll mostly be referring to INT Treads here.
2. Before using fixed mana regen/heals, lower your manapool. Drop any INT and mana items on the ground and switch PT away from INT. While this works best for fast mana heals like Chakra, Bottle and Arcane, it also works for slower stuff like Brilliance Aura and Clarity Potion.
3. If you have percentage-based mana regen, keep your INT gear, but drop fixed-mana increasers on the ground (basically boosters). Dropping INT doesn't help because %-based regen works with your INT.
How does all this apply to actual DotA? In this part I'll point out some uses of the theories explained above for specific items. Of course, dropping all your items is not always possible, in fact, it's not even always desirable. Each of these tricks takes a bit of time, time which can often better be spent farming, moving about, ganking, whatever. Before tossing out your Branches to get a couple of extra points of heal from your bottle, you should ask yourself if the extra hp/mana is worth the time lost. Time is money after all.
You'll find that as the game progresses, these tricks become less and less effective because the importance of small heals diminishes and because the amount of manipulable stats relative to your total hp/mana diminishes. Nevertheless, especially during the earlier stages of the game, knowing these tricks (and remembering to use them) can help you land that extra shot, toss that extra stun, and tank that tower just a bit longer. Every point of hp and mana that you can squeeze out of your items gives you an edge over your opponents.
In closing, I hope everyone can in some way benefit from this guide. If you were already aware of stat-manipulation, I hope this guide still contained a trick you didn't know about. If this was all new to you, don't waste your heals any more!
If you have anything to add, feel free to post your additions.
Wednesday, 27 April 2011
Sunday, 24 April 2011
Note that this guide is about playing support silencer, not "carry" silencer. Silencer is sometimes played as a semi-carry, although my friendly argument below sheds light on why this may not be a good idea:
Thus, this guide will be devoted to the "support silencer" perspective.
Additionally, basic knowledge about picks/bans is assumed, although I will go over this more later on in the guide.
-Decimates certain trilanes with ease
-Neutralizes certain heroes completely during team fights
-Global Silence goes through BKB
-Extremely fragile, easy to gank
-Requires decent map awareness to use to full potential (to save allies, especially)
-Unlike most support heroes, cannot function as a "ganker"
Support Skill Build:
Level 1 - Curse of the Silent
Level 2 - Last Word
Level 3 - Curse of the Silent
Level 4 - Last Word
Level 5 - Curse of the Silent
Level 6 - Global Silence
Level 7 - Curse of the Silent
Level 8 - Last Word
Level 9 - Last Word
Level 10 - Stats/Glaive
Level 11 - Global Silence
Level 12 - Stats/Glaive
Level 13 - Stats/Glaive
Level 14 - Stats/Glaive
Level 15 - Stats/Glaive
Level 16 - Global Silence
Level 17 - 25 - Stats
Explanation: Curse of the Silent and Last Word are all you really need during the laning phase. The extra damage from "glaives" isn't worth the trade off in additional damage per second from CotS, nor is it a superior choice to additional seconds of silence to prevent follow up combos (like PoTM -> Arrow, Leap, Starfall, etc.)
Most heroes have low starting armor, so the "effective extra damage" gained from pure damage is small early on (as opposed to, say, pure damage versus a Visage with > 20 armor 30 minutes in).
I've seen certain replays where silencer skips glaives completely until the late-game. Exercise your own judgment.
Since most competitive games are played in the 3-1-1 or 1-1-3 format, you'll plan your lanes with silencer accordingly. For 90% of cases, silencer will be in the trilane.
For the rest of the game:
(As many as you need, make sure to have at least one at all times
(Optional, your other support/ganker might already have bought one) ->
If you get "rich:" (Unlikely)
Now the question is: When should I (or the captain) pick silencer?
If you answer "yes" to any of the questions below, picking Silencer may NOT be a good idea:
Are you doing a push strategy? (Silencer is not good at pushing)
Are "low mana cost" heroes like Lich, Venomancer, Vengeful Spirit likely to be on the opposing trilane? (By "low mana cost" I mean that they have an ability costing less than 50 mana that gets rid of CotS)
Are your opponents reliant mostly on physical DPS? (Silencer won't save you from heroes like Slardar and Broodmother)
In some instances, however, picking Silencer will prove extremely useful.
1) "High mana cost" heroes such as Kunkka, Necrolyte, Tidehunter, Phantom Lancer, Medusa, Witch Doctor, and Sniper will be devastated by CotS. These heroes, not limited to the examples I provided, are not uncommon picks in trilanes, and have only abilities that expend large amounts of mana.
2) Blinkers like Storm Spirit and QoP are much more easily killed (Global Silence penetrates BKB and Linkens).
3) Heroes that spam their spells in succession like Invoker, Obsidian Destroyer, Zeus, etc. will be less useful during team fights.
4) 2 specific hero mentions: Enigma's "black hole" is canceled by Global Silence (although Earthshaker is probably a better, less situational option to deal with Enigma unless Enigma has BKB). Shadow Fiend's Requiem of Souls is also canceled, but the cooldown doesn't begin until Shadow Fiend officially casts it. Nevertheless, this will give your team enough time to reposition to minimize damage dealt by Requiem of Souls. This is the same reasoning that Vengeful Spirit should swap SF when he activates BKB and channels Requiem.
One weakness of Silencer is his lack of a stun and slow. Because of this, your other lanes should have gankers who will have stuns/slows to compensate for this.
Basic rules for playing "support" with Silencer:
1) Your carry should be able to control the creep wave on his own. Thus, more effort should be spent on harassing as opposed to denying your own creeps.
2) Be sure to hit all 3 heroes in the trilane whenever you use CotS.
3) If you're going for the kill, use CotS after the opponent has used his "ability."
Example: You (Silencer), Drow Ranger, and Crystal Maiden are ganking Windrunner. Windrunner will obviously attempt a shackle (Let's say it fails) and then use "Windrunner" to escape. Often, I see less experienced Silencer players cast CotS at the wrong time, which would be before Windrunner activates her "windrunner" ability - please wait until the hero has exhausted his/her abilities already!
4) Please check the mini-map every few seconds. Silencer is highly "map awareness" intensive, and lack of it may cost your team.
5) Babysitting [a hard carry like Medusa], harassing, and timing are what makes Silencer important parts of a team. You won't be blamed for chicking, warding, and afking in lane as Silencer because you have no ganking power.
Heroes who have disables lasting more than 3 seconds. CotS deals damage by the second, so longer disable = longer damage.
Additionally, many of these heroes will "initiate" team fights for you, and following up with Global Silence ensures that they cannot retaliate with spells. Be sure to get the timing right!
As I mentioned, Lich, Vengeful Spirit, and Veno are painful rival supports to deal with because they have low mana cost spells to get rid of CotS. Lich and Veno can also easily wear down Silencer with their Novas/Gales, and Vengeful Spirit has the honorable mention of "swap" that spells almost instant death. If you are silenced before getting your Ultimate off during a team fight, your team will be at a considerable disadvantage.
Doomed = no silence, and chances are, you will be the target of Doom (unless you have an intelligence carry hero like Necrolyte, Pugna, OD, or Zeus on your team)
Thankfully Doom has been declining in popularity as a "top pick."
A pretty common, and for you, ugly pick. Expect to be targeted by her during team fights. Ghost Scepter, Force Staff, or an ally Dark Seer are pretty much required if you want to survive, and there will be cases when you have none.
(Actually you can just TP out, assuming you have enough HP to last 3-4 hits.)
Replays: Since the newest version patch upgrade (thanks Blizzard!) you're going to need a version switcher to watch these.
GosuGamers DotA | Replay: GGnet vs MYM
GosuGamers DotA | Replay: LGD.sGty vs Nirvana.cn