Radiant Strength

Radiant Agility

Radiant Intelligence

Dire Strength

Dire Agility

Dire Intelligence

How to Use

Choose your guide using the search bar or by clicking on the hero taverns. You can use arrow keys to navigate and enter to select the options given by the search bar.

To pick another hero use the "Go to top" link or use the back button of your browser.

For faster access to the guides from within the game, we recommend using the Steam web browser. It is available from inside Dota2 via the Shift-Tab shortcut and avoids the usual delay from alt-tabbing.

You can replace the ingame recommended items lists with ours. Click here to download the files.

The skill and item builds in this guide are typically "standard" or "dependable" builds, since we have little time to explain things and since we err on the side of making builds that can also help beginning and intermediate players. Do not assume that these builds are the only way to play the heroes and always adapt them to your game!

I particular, feel free to pick up some extra early game items, such as TP scrolls or bracers, even if they aren't explicitly listed in the guides.

Skills are color coded:

The following symbols are used in these guides:

Pick either item to the immediate left or right of a slash, but typically don't get both.
Prioritize items to the left of an arrow before getting the items on the right.
Items in brackets are situational and are up to player judgement. For example, only buy a bottle if you are mid or no one else has one.

Notes

Last updated: July 20, 2013. Added Abaddon, Skywrath Mage, Elder Titan, Bristleback, and added Tusk description. Updated hero icons for Centaur Warrunner and Sniper. Updated guide for Treant.

Suggestions, typos, bugs? Contact me at deathcalibur@dota2alttab.com

Submitting a guide? Send to guides@dota2alttab.com

Acknowledgements

Hero Guides

Earthshaker is a support hero with a very long range stun and great initiation ability once he farms a Blink Dagger.
Early game, Earthshaker can either support or roam, using Fissure to block terrain to secure kills or save allies. Either way, stay hidden in the trees to get the best Fissure angles (and to leech XP).
Later in the game, try to farm a Blink Dagger. Echo Slam deals devastating damage against clumped enemies and you can keep them stunned for a long time by chaining your skills correctly.

Skills

1Fissure7Fissure13Enchant Totem
2Aftershock8Aftershock14Enchant Totem
3Fissure9Aftershock15Attribute Bonus
4Enchant Totem10Aftershock16Echo Slam
5Fissure11Echo Slam17Attribute Bonus
6Echo Slam12Enchant Totem18Attribute Bonus

Items

Starting
Core
Extension
Fallback

Tips

Unit-targeting Fissure is a sure hit, but ground-targeting allows for longer range and finer positioning.
Enchant Totem is only really good for triggering Aftershock; Don't get too excited about the damage.
Sven is a versatile hero and can be played as either a support/roamer or as a semi-carry. Either way, his strong AoE stun and God's Strength give him great early game potential and relative item independence.
Sven's reliable AoE stun is a great combo with delayed effect spells. He and Lina or Leshrac used to be very popular lane combinations.

Skills

1Storm Hammer7Storm Hammer13Warcry
2Warcry8Great Cleave14Warcry
3Storm Hammer9Great Cleave15Attribute Bonus
4Great Cleave10Great Cleave16God's Strength
5Storm Hammer11God's Strength17Attribute Bonus
6God's Strength12Warcry18Attribute Bonus

Items

Starting
Core
Extension

Tips

An early Drum of Endurance is an all-around great item for a hero like Sven who needs mana and movespeed.
The Avalanche + Toss combination is one of the most damaging combos in the game, making Tiny one of the scariest early game gankers. However, Tiny is still able to transition to a powerful initiator (with a Blink Dagger) or a carry/pusher (with Aghanim's Scepter and IAS items).

Skills

1Avalanche7Toss13Craggy Exterior
2Toss8Toss14Craggy Exterior
3Avalanche9Avalanche15Attribute Bonus
4Toss10Craggy Exterior16Grow
5Avalanche11Grow17Attribute Bonus
6Grow12Craggy Exterior18Attribute Bonus

Carry Items

Ganker Items

Starting
Core
Extension

Tips

Build Variations

Toss casting mechanics

AvaToss combo: for max damage, cast Avalanche first and immediately follow up with Toss. Avalanche deals double damage to units being tossed.
Tiny has instant cast time; Always animation cancel.
Toss can throw an initiator (Earthshaker, Tidehunter) into the other team.
Don't stack Avalanche and Toss when you want to maximize disable time (you deal less damage though).
Kunkka is an initiator (with his Torrent + Ghostship combo) and splash damage dealer (with Tidebringer).
Despite being melee, Tidebringer gives reasonable laning potential and Kunkka has good early damage potential, especially if an ally can set up Torrent for you.

Skills

1Torrent7Tidebringer13X Marks the Spot
2Tidebringer8Torrent14X Marks the Spot
3Tidebringer9Torrent15Attribute Bonus
4Torrent10X Marks the Spot16Ghostship
5Tidebringer11Ghostship17Attribute Bonus
6Ghostship12X Marks the Spot18Attribute Bonus

Items

Starting
Survivability Core
Damage Core
Extension

Tips

Build Variations

The Shadow Blade backstab damage gets splashed by Tidebringer. Use this offensively.
Levels 2+ of X Marks the Spot allow for guaranteed Torrent hits, if timed right.
Ghostship always crashes a fixed 1000 units in the direction you cast it. The cursor is used only to select the direction.
Beastmaster is a ganker and utility hero. Early on he is a decent laner (with help from his pig and axes) and later on he is a strong ganker/initiator (with his ultimate) and provides a powerful attack speed aura to his team.

Skills

1Wild Axes7Call of the Wild13Inner Beast
2Call of the Wild8Wild Axes14Inner Beast
3Call of the Wild9Wild Axes15Attribute Bonus
4Wild Axes10Inner Beast16Primal Roar
5Call of the Wild11Primal Roar17Attribute Bonus
6Primal Roar12Inner Beast18Attribute Bonus

Items

Starting
Core
Extension

Tips

You can use Call of the Wild summons and a Gem of True Sight to destroy wards.
At higher levels of play, Beastmaster is often played as a hard-lane solo by stacking the ancients with his Wild Axes. Start with sentry wards if you can to prevent blocks on the ancients.
Boots of Travel can be used to teleport to your pets. This is especially great if you have a Tinker on the team.
Dragon Knight is a strength carry that is greatly defined by his ultimate. The level 1 form (green dragon) is a strong tower razer and the level 3 form (blue dragon) deals devastating slowing damage in an AoE.

Skills

1Dragon Tail7Breathe Fire13Dragon Tail
2Dragon Blood8Dragon Blood14Dragon Tail
3Breathe Fire9Dragon Blood15Attribute Bonus
4Breathe Fire10Dragon Blood16Elder Dragon Form
5Breathe Fire11Elder Dragon Form17Attribute Bonus
6Elder Dragon Form12Dragon Tail18Attribute Bonus

Items

Starting
Core
Extension

Tips

If you get a Helm of the Dominator, use a creep to stack ancients;.
Clockwerk is an initiator. He can use his Hookshot to jump in and his Battery Assault and Power Cogs to lock down a priority enemy before the fight starts.

Skills

1Rocket Flare7Rocket Flare13Power Cogs
2Power Cogs8Rocket Flare14Power Cogs
3Rocket Flare9Battery Assault15Attribute Bonus
4Battery Assault10Battery Assault16Hookshot
5Battery Assault11Hookshot17Attribute Bonus
6Hookshot12Power Cogs18Attribute Bonus

Items

Starting
Core
Defensive Items
Aggressive Items

Tips

Rocket Flare

Build Variations

The main needs from items are survivability (health and armor) and mana. Clockwerk has some of the worst stats in the game.
Battery Assault ministuns can effectively silence heroes with long cast animations, such as Shadow Fiend or Earthshaker. Be extra agressive against them.
Omniknight is a tanky support hero and chaser. His signature skills are Purification, a strong heal/nuke and Repel, a free BKB for your carry. Degen Aura also gives him an useful role in ganks and his ultimate makes his entire team safe from physical damage for a while.

Skills

1Purification7Purification13Repel
2Repel8Degen Aura14Repel
3Purification9Degen Aura15Attribute Bonus
4Degen Aura10Degen Aura16Guardian Angel
5Purification11Guardian Angel17Attribute Bonus
6Guardian Angel12Repel18Attribute Bonus

Items

Starting
Core
Extension

Tips

Guardian Angel should be used in the heat of a battle (instead of when initiating or escaping). Note that it only prevents physical damage but not magic damage.
Huskar is a rambo initiator and anti-tank DPS hero. He is also a great aggressive laner, since he can use Burning Spear to orbwalk and harass. In a teamfight Huskar will deal massive damage if left unchecked at low life, but he is very vulnerable to non-magic burst damage.

Skills

1Burning Spear7Burning Spear13Inner Vitality
2Berserker's Blood8Berserker's Blood14Inner Vitality
3Burning Spear9Berserker's Blood15Attribute Bonus
4Inner Vitality10Berserker's Blood16Life Break
5Burning Spear11Life Break17Attribute Bonus
6Life Break12Inner Vitality18Attribute Bonus

Items

Starting
Core
Damage
Survivability

Tips

Berserker's Blood gives almost 100% magic resistanceat low HP levels. This means that Ghost Scepter makes you essentially immune to everything (except pure damage nukes: Pudge hook, Bane Nightmare, etc).
You can still orbwalk (manually cast Burning Spear) while under the effect of Ghost Scepter. However, you cannot right-click attack or use Burning Spear on autocast.
The lifesteal from Helm of the Dominator does not stack with Burning Spear since both are orb effects. You do not get the lifesteal effect when you cast Burning Spear (either normally or via autocast). You should prioritize lifesteal most of the time though, since it helps DPSing.
Alchemist is a versatile hero. The most popular way to play him is as a tanky carry but its also possible to play as an early-game oriented ganker due to his very powerful stun.

Ganker Skills

Farmer Skills

1Unstable Concoction7Unstable Concoction13Greevil's Greed
2Acid Spray8Acid Spray14Greevil's Greed
3Unstable Concoction9Acid Spray15Attribute Bonus
4Acid Spray10Greevil's Greed16Chemical Rage
5Unstable Concoction11Chemical Rage17Attribute Bonus
6Chemical Rage12Greevil's Greed18Attribute Bonus

Ganker Items

Farmer Items

Starting
Core
Extension

Tips

Unstable Concoction reaches maximum power with 2 seconds left on the countdown.
Use Shadow Blade offensively: start charging Unstable Concoction in fog and then run in invisible.
Chemical Rage gives lots of health and mana regen and has a small cooldown. It can be OK to use it when farming if you don have full health.
The skill build is very flexible: Early Acid Spray is best for counterpushing, Unstable Concoction is best for fighting and Greevil's Greed is ideal if you are freefarming a safe lane.
Get some armor items to compensate for your low base armor.
Brewmaster is an initiator and anti-carry. His playstyle revolves around using Thunder Clap to gank and initiate (with a Dagger), Drunken Haze for crippling an enemy right-click carry (with the miss chance) and Primal Split for wreaking havoc without fear of dying.

Skills

1Thunder Clap7Thunder Clap13Drunken Brawler
2Attribute Bonus8Drunken Brawler14Drunken Haze
3Thunder Clap9Drunken Haze15Drunken Haze
4Attribute Bonus10Drunken Brawler16Primal Split
5Thunder Clap11Primal Split17Drunken Haze
6Primal Split12Drunken Brawler18Attribute Bonus

Items

Starting
Core
Extension

Tips

Primal Split pandas require micro: Send the Fire Panda to attack a squishy, stun something with the Earth Panda and tell the Storm Panda to cyclone someone else.
Most extension items are auras because they also work during Primal Split.
The levels in Attribute Bonus are to help with the manapool. Getting an early level in Drunken Brawler is also fine though.
At the end of Primal Split, Brewmaster will reappear at Earth's place. If it is dead he'll take Storm's or Fire's place, in that order.
Treant Protector is a support hero with good defensive laning skills. Leech Seed is great for diving and counter-diving and Nature's Guise can save allies from ganks. Finally, Living Armor can be used to help allies win any lane and Overgrowth is a decent team-fight spell.

Skills

1Living Armor7Living Armor13Nature's Guise
2Leech Seed8Leech Seed14Nature's Guise
3Living Armor9Leech Seed15Attribute Bonus
4Leech Seed10Nature's Guise16Overgrowth
5Living Armor11Overgrowth17Attribute Bonus
6Overgrowth12Nature's Guise18Attribute Bonus

Items

Starting
Core
Extension

Tips

Treant Protector can cast spells under Nature's Guise without breaking invis. (But allies can't).
Feel free to get a level in Nature's Guise at 4 if you are in a solo hard lane.
Nature's Guise is not only for escaping. Use it as a Smoke of Deceit to set up ganks.
Living Armor is really powerful early game, and can be used to heal towers, preventing early pushes.
Overgrowth will entangle opponents that used BKB before you cast it, but if they cast BKB after they get entangled they will break free.
Wisp is a very different kind of support hero. While he doesn't have any direct disable and is very fragile, he can turn any allied hero into a powerful global ganking (and backdooring) machine.

Skills

1Tether7Tether13Overcharge
2Spirits8Spirits14Overcharge
3Tether9Spirits15Attribute Bonus
4Spirits10Overcharge16Relocate
5Tether11Relocate17Attribute Bonus
6Relocate12Overcharge18Attribute Bonus

Items

Starting
Core
Extension

Tips

Tether transfers regeneration: tether an ally when you pop a consumable or are waiting in the fountain. (The regen doesn't work if you have full health or mana though).
Relocate works if you aren't tethered. It is possible to go alone and come back with a friend (or vice versa).
Centaur Warunner is very versatile in that he can be played as an initiator/ganker or in a carry-ish role. In any case, his highlights are his blink + Hoof Stomp combo and his solid early game damage with Double Edge.

Skills

1Hoof Stomp7Double Edge13Return
2Return8Hoof Stomp14Return
3Double Edge9Hoof Stomp15Attribute Bonus
4Double Edge10Hoof Stomp16Stampede
5Double Edge11Stampede17Attribute Bonus
6Stampede12Return18Attribute Bonus

Items

Starting
Core
Extension

Tips

Getting a Blink Dagger is crucial, since everything you do is melee ranged.
Best combo order: Hoof Stomp, auto-attack, Double Edge (while the attack cooling), another attack. Don't forget to animation cancel!
Timbersaw is a tanky ganker/nuker with an arsenal of high damage, low cooldown spells. He is fairly mobile as his Timber Chain is a pseudo-blink skill, and his Reactive Armor helps him survive through fights. Chakram's long range and powerful slow can help him keep up with weakened enemies that are trying to flee. As long as he has the mana regeneration to sustain him in combat, he is a force that needs to be reckoned with.

Skills

1Timber Chain7Timber Chain13Reactive Armor
2Reactive Armor8Whirling Death14Reactive Armor
3Whirling Death9Whirling Death15Attribute Bonus
4Timber Chain10Whirling Death16Chakram
5Timber Chain11Chakram17Attribute Bonus
6Chakram12Reactive Armor18Attribute Bonus

Items

Starting
Core
Extension
You can disassemble Arcane Boots to get back the Energy Booster for the Bloodstone.

Tips

Whirling Death deals pure damage if you use it near trees. It is also extra strong against STR heroes due to the main stat reduction.
Keeping Chakram in place is better against low HP enemies, due to the slow. Recalling Chakram just after its cast is useful for quickly dealing blade travel damage.
Bristleback is an unique kind of carry hero, depending on long drawn out fights to let Quill Spray and radiance damage rack up. As such, healers and Dazzle (for his ult) go very well with him. He can also be a very useful chaser with his Viscous Nasal Goo.

Skills

1Viscous Nasal Goo7Quill Spray13Bristleback
2Quill Spray8Viscous Nasal Goo14Bristleback
3Quill Spray9Viscous Nasal Goo15Attribute Bonus
4Viscous Nasal Goo10Bristleback16Warpath
5Quill Spray11Warpath17Attribute Bonus
6Warpath12Bristleback18Attribute Bonus

Items

Starting
Core
Extension

Tips

Don't worry too much about mana. The mana problems quickly go away due to your very high INT gain. The Medallion of Courage can be picked up to offset your early mana issues. Quill Spray is great for ganking and for getting hero kills, but get levels in Bristleback if you want to survive and push towers.
Tusk is an item independent ganker who has great single target initiation with Snowball and Walrus PUNCH! If placed in a strong dual lane, Tusk can 'snowball' out of control.

Skills

1Ice Shards7Ice Shards13Snowball
2Snowball8Frozen Sigil14Snowball
3Ice Shards9Frozen Sigil15Attribute Bonus
4Snowball10Frozen Sigil16Walrus PUNCH!
5Ice Shards11Walrus PUNCH!17Attribute Bonus
6Walrus PUNCH!12Frozen Sigil18Attribute Bonus

Items

Starting
Core
Extension

Tips

Try not to trap your own teammates with your Ice Shards!
Be careful not to feed enemies the summon from your Frozen Sigil. The bounty gold is fairly substantial.
Don't be afraid to use Walrus PUNCH! on enemy's who have more than 50% HP. The slow and damage are always great.
Walrus PUNCH!'s damage and disable go through magic immunity, but not the slow.
Elder Titan is an item-independent part initiator, part damage buffer, part DPS-er. Astral Spirit + Echo Stomp can allow a lot of set-up time (useful for his ult or allied spells). His aura, while melee ranged, is devastating and his damage buff from ancestral spirit can make him a temporary DPS-er.

Skills

1Astral Spirit7Astral Spirit13Natural Order
2Echo Stomp8Echo Stomp14Natural Order
3Astral Spirit9Echo Stomp15Attribute Bonus
4Echo Stomp10Natural Order16Earth Splitter
5Astral Spirit11Earth Splitter17Attribute Bonus
6Earth Splitter12Natural Order18Attribute Bonus

Items

Starting
Core
Extension

Tips

Hero damage wakes up stomped enemies. Coordinate well and be patient.
Anti-Mage is a carry hero that also has some early damage potential in the form of Mana Break. However, his greatest asset is definitely the incredible versatility of Blink: jump in for a gank, jump out from a gank, quickly farm jungle camps...

Skills

1Blink7Mana Break13Spell Shield
2Mana Break8Blink14Spell Shield
3Spell Shield9Blink15Attribute Bonus
4Mana Break10Blink16Mana Void
5Mana Break11Mana Void17Attribute Bonus
6Mana Void12Spell Shield18Attribute Bonus

Items

Starting
Core
Extension

Tips

Build Variations

For the items, the Vanguard is for when you are in trouble or want to fight early. Battle Fury is for farming (you clear the jungle very fast with it).
Mana Void does a ministun. Use it to cancel channelling spells and TPs.
The "Anti-Mage" title is misleading; Mana Break is actually better against low-mana STR and AGI heroes and Spell Shield only makes you tanky if you also get HP items (lategame). His ultimate still works best against intelligence heroes with large amounts of mana missing though.
Drow Ranger is a ranged agi carry. Her niche lies in her great midgame damage, due to her Marksmanship and Precision Aura allowing her to shine earlier than other carries.

Skills

1Frost Arrows7Frost Arrows13Silence
2Silence8Precision Aura14Silence
3Frost Arrows9Precision Aura15Attribute Bonus
4Precision Aura10Precision Aura16Marksmanship
5Frost Arrows11Marksmanship17Attribute Bonus
6Marksmanship12Silence18Attribute Bonus

Items

Starting
Core
Extension

Tips

Build Variations

Orbwalking

Abuse your range and orbwalking during laning.
In clashes, don't charge in; DPS from behind and use Silence at opportune times.
The lifesteal from Helm of the Dominator does not stack with Frost Arrows since both are orb effects. You do not get the lifesteal effect when you cast Frost Arrows (either normally or via autocast). You should prioritize lifesteal most of the time though, since it helps DPSing.

Skills

1Blade Fury7Blade Fury13Healing Ward
2Attribute Bonus8Blade Dance14Healing Ward
3Blade Fury9Blade Dance15Healing Ward
4Healing Ward10Blade Dance16Omnislash
5Blade Fury11Omnislash17Attribute Bonus
6Omnislash12Blade Dance18Attribute Bonus

Items

Starting
Core
Extension

Tips

Your tiny early game mana pool can't cast a full combo. Conserve your mana and get Attribute Bonus to help.
The Blade Fury + Town Protal Scroll combo is a good way to escape.
Omnislash does a ministun. Use it to cancel channelling spells and TPs.
Healing Ward is a great for pushing. One possibility is to max it early with a Soul Ring.
If have lifesteal, you leach lots of life with Omnislash.
Mirana is a classical semi-carry with strong ganking abilities. Her high burst damage, coupled with her stun and her ability to catch up with her prey makes her among the best semi-carry gankers in the game. Later in the game she can transition to a solid dps role but will be outperformed by true dps carries unless she can take advantage of an early level or item lead.

Skills

1Sacred Arrow7Starstorm13Leap
2Leap8Sacred Arrow14Leap
3Starstorm9Sacred Arrow15Attribute Bonus
4Starstorm10Sacred Arrow16Moonlight Shadow
5Starstorm11Moonlight Shadow17Attribute Bonus
6Moonlight Shadow12Leap18Attribute Bonus

Items

Starting
Core
Extension
Orb Effects

Tips

Your Moonlight Shadow is basically a global smoke of deceit for your team that doesn't break when you get near enemies.
Morphling is a carry with tremendous single-target damage potential, in both sustained DPS and magical burst.
Morph can give you an effective 5 AGI growth per level and the Ethereal Blade + Adaptive Strike combo can deal massive damage. Meanwhile, Waveform and Replicate allow Morphling to safely farm all game long while still being able to show up at important fights.

Skills

1Waveform7Waveform13Adaptive Strike
2Morph8Morph14Adaptive Strike
3Waveform9Morph15Attribute Bonus
4Morph10Adaptive Strike16Replicate
5Waveform11Replicate17Attribute Bonus
6Replicate12Adaptive Strike18Attribute Bonus

Items

Starting
Core
Extension

Tips

When in a tough spot, Morph into STR for a strong pseudo-heal. This works even while stunned.
Boots of Travel give you insane mobility for farming, but only get them if you are going really well.
Manta Style and Linken's Sphere are nice survivability options.
Phantom Lancer is an illusion-based hard carry. Late game, he can can create large armies of expendable illusions that can be used for DPS or for mass split-pushing.

Standard Skills

Alternate Skills

1Spirit Lance7Spirit Lance13Juxtapose
2Doppelwalk8Doppelwalk14Juxtapose
3Spirit Lance9Phantom Edge15Attribute Bonus
4Doppelwalk10Juxtapose16Phantom Edge
5Spirit Lance11Phantom Edge17Attribute Bonus
6Doppelwalk12Juxtapose18Attribute Bonus

Standard Items

Alternate Items

Starting
Core
Extension

Tips

Build Variations

Illusion Mechanics

A quick Radiance is great if you can farm it early; Use it to farm multiple locations at once and to harass with Spirit Lance.
Focus on farming early game. Use Spirit Lance to harass enemies away (especially if you have extra mana from, for example, Keeper of the Light.
Even though she is an agility hero with good stats, Vengeful Spirit is traditionally played as a support or roamer (and has always been one of the top heros in that role, if I may say). The reason why the support build works is that not only is Magic Missile a great stun but both Vengeance Aura and Wave of Terror actually work for her allies too. Also, her attack range is not that good and using Nether Swap can sometimes be too risky if your team is depending on you to carry them.

Skills

1Magic Missile7Magic Missile13Vengeance Aura
2Wave of Terror8Wave of Terror14Vengeance Aura
3Magic Missile9Wave of Terror15Attribute Bonus
4Vengeance Aura10Wave of Terror16Nether Swap
5Magic Missile11Nether Swap17Attribute Bonus
6Nether Swap12Vengeance Aura18Attribute Bonus

Items

Starting
Core
Extension

Tips

Nether Swap can cancel TPs and channelling spells, even through BKB. (Enigma's Black Hole is a shining example).
You can level up Vengeance Aura later if you want; Just make sure you have at least one point when fights start happening.
Riki is a carry with great burst damage from Backstab a superb AoE silence in the form of Smoke Screen. As a bonus, he also gets permanent invisibility starting at level 6...
Smoke Screen is also good against other melee carries, since they also get affected by the miss chance.

Skills

1Blink Strike7Blink Strike13Smoke Screen
2Smoke Screen8Backstab14Smoke Screen
3Backstab9Backstab15Attribute Bonus
4Blink Strike10Backstab16Permanent Invisibility
5Blink Strike11Permanent Invisibility17Attribute Bonus
6Permanent Invisibility12Smoke Screen18Attribute Bonus

Items

Starting
Core
Extension

Tips

Early game, just try to farm without dying. Go ganking after you get your core items.
Diffusal Blade is great: it gives great damage with Backstab and the purge keeps targets inside the Smoke Screen for longer.
You can purge yourself to remove the Dust of Appearance buff. (Dota 2 only).
Sniper is a stereotypical ranged AGI carry. He deals outstanding DPS late game if he farms some items, but he is weak early game and does not have any escape or survivability skills. That said, he is a good turtler: his spammable AoE helps defend chokepoints and his range lets him stay far back in a safer position.

Skills

1Headshot7Shrapnel13Headshot
2Take Aim8Take Aim14Headshot
3Shrapnel9Take Aim15Attribute Bonus
4Shrapnel10Take Aim16Assassinate
5Shrapnel11Assassinate17Attribute Bonus
6Assassinate12Headshot18Attribute Bonus

Items

Starting
Core
Extension

Tips

Shrapnel deals residual damage to towers (Good for pushing and harassing).
Some players like to skip putting levels into Shrapnel, instead getting his other skills sooner.
Templar Assassin is a bursty physical damage "nuker" and is usually played as a solo mid ganker and semi-carry.

Skills

1Refraction7Refraction13Psi Blades
2Psi Blades8Meld14Psi Blades
3Refraction9Meld15Attribute Bonus
4Meld10Meld16Psionic Trap
5Refraction11Psionic Trap17Attribute Bonus
6Psionic Trap12Psi Blades18Attribute Bonus

Standard Items

Alternate Items

Starting
Core
Extension

Tips

Think of Meld as an damage skill first and as an invisibility spell second!
To avoid whiffing Meld, position you cursor on top of your target first and immediately right-click after melding.
Refraction's damage prevention lets you be very aggressive.
Having low levels of Psi Blades is hard, but you need to max your other skills first.
Luna is a carry hero with solid nuking potential early game and good AoE damage potential late game. What she lacks in survivability and attack range, she makes up for with maneuverability. She is a very strong tri-lane hero.

Skills

1Lunar Blessing7Lucent Beam13Moon Glaive
2Lucent Beam8Lunar Blessing14Moon Glaive
3Lucent Beam9Lunar Blessing15Attribute Bonus
4Lunar Blessing10Moon Glaive16Eclipse
5Lucent Beam11Eclipse17Attribute Bonus
6Eclipse12Moon Glaive18Attribute Bonus

Items

Starting
Core
Extension

Tips

Don't get Moon Glaive too early. It needs items to be effective and pushing may be undesirable.
Use the Helm of the Dominator neutral creep to stack ancients. You farm them very fast with your AoE. (Pull creeps at the 52 second mark to stack).
Bounty Hunter is a ganker and semi-carry. His signature skill is Track a skill that can give a great gold advantage to his whole team, but he is also known for his flexible laning possibilities.

Hard lane

Safe lane

1Shadow Walk7Shuriken Toss13Shadow Walk
2Jinada8Shuriken Toss14Shadow Walk
3Shadow Walk9Jinada15Attribute Bonus
4Shuriken Toss10Jinada16Track
5Shuriken Toss11Track17Attribute Bonus
6Track12Jinada18Attribute Bonus

Hard Lane Items

Safe Lane Items

Starting
Core
Extension

Tips

Build Justification

If you are on a safe lane, harass with Shadow Walk + Jinada and try to dominate your opponent. If on a hard lane, use Shadow Walk to safely leech XP and lasthits. If on solo mid, get two levels of Shuriken Toss at 4 and 5 for maximum ganking potential.
Don't be selfish about Track - it gives MS to all your team and it doesn't matter who gets the lasthit.
Shuriken Toss does a ministun. Use it to cancel channelling spells and TPs.
If Ursa can connect his combo he can almost instantly kill any single hero, provided he doesn't get disabled and they don't have a Ghost Scepter. Fury Swipes's damage grows quadratically and not even the tankiest enemy can be safe.
Ursa is also arguably the best Roshan killer in the game, and can easily solo him as soon as he has Vladimir's Offering and maxed Fury Swipes.

Skills

1Overpower7Fury Swipes13Earthshock
2Fury Swipes8Fury Swipes14Earthshock
3Overpower9Overpower15Attribute Bonus
4Fury Swipes10Earthshock16Enrage
5Overpower11Enrage17Attribute Bonus
6Enrage12Earthshock18Attribute Bonus

Items

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Disassemble the Tranquil Boots to build the Vladimir's Offering.

Tips

Overpower lasts longer than its cooldown. You can cast it, wait a bit and then have 2 full overpowers when you engage (This trick is great for Roshan too).
Don't be fooled by having AGI as a main stat; Since you have great attack speed and damage already, get mobility and HP instead.
An initiation item (Blink Dagger or Shadow Blade) is crucial - everything you do is melee ranged.
Gyrocopter is a semi-carry with some nuking and ganking potential early game and some carry and AoE potential lategame. Early on, get some cheap health and mana regen and try to pull of some ganks. If you are successful you can carry your advantage into the lategame and transition into more traditional agi DPS items.

Flak Build

Alternate Skills

1Rocket Barrage7Flak Cannon13Homing Missile
2Homing Missile8Rocket Barrage14Homing Missile
3Flak Cannon9Rocket Barrage15Attribute Bonus
4Flak Cannon10Rocket Barrage16Call Down
5Flak Cannon11Call Down17Attribute Bonus
6Call Down12Homing Missile18Attribute Bonus

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Tips

Flak Cannon hits farther then your attack range; You don't always need to target your intended target.
Depending on the game, it might be a good to keep only 1 level in each Homing Missile and Rocket Barrage for Attribute Bonus instead.
Lone Druid is a carry. Unusually, however, he has solid pushing abilities in mid-game due to his bear's siege damage and great tanking ability.

Skills

1Summon Spirit Bear7Summon Spirit Bear13Rabid
2Synergy8Synergy14Rabid
3Summon Spirit Bear9Synergy15Attribute Bonus
4Synergy10Rabid16True Form
5Summon Spirit Bear11True Form17Attribute Bonus
6True Form12Rabid18Attribute Bonus

Items

Hero Starting
Bear Starting
Hero Core
Bear Core
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Tips

Bear Mechanics

Lone Druid is a great laner. Use the Spirit Bear to harass (if on a safe lane) or to lasthit (if on a hard lane).
It is OK to jungle instead if you have bad micro. You get slower farm though.
Early game, put most items go on the Spirit Bear and stay in ranged form; Late game, move the items to the druid and spend the majority of your time in Bear form.
The usual item build is going for a Radiance rush on the bear, since it is so tanky. From that point you continue to get even more survivability and aura items. The bear also benefits a lot from attack speed, in order to take down towers and proc Entangle more often.
Naga Siren is an illusion carry hero. Early on she has good nuking and pushing power, and later in the game she can transition to a Radiance based farmer or do great DPS with Diffusal Blade.
Song of the Siren is a great teamfight positioning skill and gives time for heroes like Enigma or Tidehunter to set up ridiculous ultimates.

Skills

1Ensnare7Rip Tide13Ensnare
2Rip Tide8Mirror Image14Ensnare
3Rip Tide9Mirror Image15Attribute Bonus
4Ensnare10Mirror Image16Song of the Siren
5Rip Tide11Song of the Siren17Attribute Bonus
6Song of the Siren12Mirror Image18Attribute Bonus

Standard Items

Alternate Items

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Tips

Illusion Mechanics

You are great against BKBs: Ensnare goes through magic imunity and Song of the Siren does not put immune units to sleep, meaning they can suddenly find themselves in a 1v5 situation.
Don't get Vladimir's Offering on illusion heroes (see the mechanics tab).
Troll Warlord is a melee carry (yes, he is also ranged but he is more effective in melee form). While he has good right click damage and can single out enemies with his bash, he also has a low-cooldown global team damage boosting and pushing skill to help his team. If you stop to think about it, its actually very similar to Lycanthrope and many of the same principles apply.

Skills

1Berserker Rage7Whirling Axes13Berserker Rage
2Whirling Axes8Fervor14Berserker Rage
3Whirling Axes9Fervor15Attribute Bonus
4Fervor10Fervor16Battle Trance
5Whirling Axes11Battle Trance17Attribute Bonus
6Battle Trance12Berserker Rage18Attribute Bonus

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Tips

You have lots of innate attack speed. Get damage items instead of evem more IAS.
Spend most of your time in melee form. The ranged form has less bonuses so use it only for laning, for casting the slowing version of Whirling Axes and for when you need that one last hit when chasing.
You farm neutrals really fast with Fervor and some lifesteal.
With a Helm of the Dominator and maxed fervor you can solo Roshan.
Don't forget to use your Helm of the Dominator domination ability.
Crystal Maiden's two nukes/disables make her a very powerful supporter and roamer in the early stages of the game. Her aura can also greatly help mana-starved heroes, allowing them to spam spells when they normally couldn't.

Skills

1Crystal Nova7Crystal Nova13Freezing Field
2Frostbite8Frostbite14Freezing Field
3Arcane Aura9Frostbite15Attribute Bonus
4Arcane Aura10Frostbite16Freezing Field
5Crystal Nova11Arcane Aura17Attribute Bonus
6Crystal Nova12Arcane Aura18Attribute Bonus

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Tips

Skill Build Variations

Always cancel your long casting animation backswing.
Frostbite lasts 10 seconds on creeps; Farm the jungle if there is nothing else to do.
You have very low movespeed and health - be extra careful.
Puck is an initiator by design - blink into the enemy lines, cause chaos with your silence and trap them with your ultimate to set up for an allied attack.

Skills

1Illusory Orb7Illusory Orb13Phase Shift
2Phase Shift8Waning Rift14Phase Shift
3Illusory Orb9Waning Rift15Attribute Bonus
4Waning Rift10Waning Rift16Dream Coil
5Illusory Orb11Dream Coil17Attribute Bonus
6Dream Coil12Phase Shift18Attribute Bonus

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Tips

Use Phase Shift to avoid harass damage during the laning phase.
Level 4 of Phase Shift lasts long enough to re-enable a disabled Blink Dagger. This makes you hard to kill.
Initiating with Blink Dagger is faster, and lets you use Illusory Orb to escape.
Storm Spirit's Ball Lightning is one of the best mobility skills in the game. Smart use of it allows Storm Spirit to initiate, escape and chase very well.

Overload Build

Remnant Build

1Static Remnant7Overload13Static Remnant
2Overload8Overload14Static Remnant
3Eletric Vortex9Overload15Attribute Bonus
4Eletric Vortex10Eletric Vortex16Ball Lightning
5Eletric Vortex11Ball Lightning17Attribute Bonus
6Ball Lightning12Static Remnant18Attribute Bonus

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Tips

Build Variations

Don't waste Overload! Always attack between spell casts.
Small Ball Lightning jumps can give extra Overload procs.
Use your mobility to pick of enemies that are weak or of position.
Your spells are the strongest at levels 11-14. Use this window to gank as much as possible.
You are fragile. Don't initiate without BKB unless you know what you are doing.
Windrunner is arguably the most versatile hero in DotA. Because of this, she will often pick up utility items and try to fill whatever role her team is missing the most (disabler, initiator, DPS, ...).

Skills

1Windrun7Powershot13Windrun
2Powershot8Shackleshot14Windrun
3Powershot9Shackleshot15Attribute Bonus
4Shackleshot10Focus Fire16Focus Fire
5Powershot11Focus Fire17Attribute Bonus
6Shackleshot12Windrun18Attribute Bonus

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Tips

The 3.75 seconds Shackleshot stun can be game-changing. Practice and try to get multiple heroes in it.
Powershot loses some damage after going through creeps.
Focus Fire is not channeling! You can move, cast spells and use items as long as you don't try to attack anyone else.
Zeus is a glass cannon nuker. He can deal great damage from a distance with his spammable spells but is squishy and demands careful positioning in battles.

Skills

1Arc Lightning7Lightning Bolt13Arc Lightning
2Static Field8Static Field14Arc Lightning
3Lightning Bolt9Static Field15Attribute Bonus
4Lightning Bolt10Static Field16Thundergod's Wrath
5Lightning Bolt11Thundergod's Wrath17Attribute Bonus
6Thundergod's Wrath12Arc Lightning18Attribute Bonus

Items

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Tips

More Guides

Cast Lightning Bolt first. It gives truesight vision around its target.
Use fog, trees, hills, to cast safely from afar.
Prioritize raw HP and Mana items over regeneration.
Lightning Bolt does a ministun. Use it to cancel channelling spells and TPs.
Lina is a nuker that can also have reasonable physical damage later in the game with Fiery Soul.

Skills

1Light Strike Array7Dragon Slave13Fiery Soul
2Dragon Slave8Light Strike Array14Fiery Soul
3Dragon Slave9Light Strike Array15Attribute Bonus
4Fiery Soul10Light Strike Array16Laguna Blade
5Dragon Slave11Laguna Blade17Attribute Bonus
6Laguna Blade12Fiery Soul18Attribute Bonus

Items

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Tips

Try to lane with a stunner that can set up Light Strike Array for you.
Lategame, space you casts in regular intervals to keep Fiery Soul up, instead of casting in quick succession.
Don't waste Laguna Blade just to get kills on dying enemies. However, don't be afraid to use it to speed up a gank if enemies are missing.
Shadow Shaman is a very strong pusher and disabler. He usually lanes solo mid (since he is very level dependent) but he also works fine with allies to abuse Shackles's long disable duration.

Skills

Easy Build

1Shackles7Ether Shock13Shackles
2Ether Shock8Hex14Shackles
3Ether Shock9Hex15Attribute Bonus
4Hex10Hex16Mass Serpent Wards
5Ether Shock11Mass Serpent Wards17Attribute Bonus
6Mass Serpent Wards12Shackles18Attribute Bonus

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Tips

Build Variations

Use Mass Serpent Wards to take down towers quickly; Make sure you creeps to tank for them though.
Select and manually control the Mass Serpent Wards wards. (Especially in fights and if you are dead).
Hex has a big mana cost. If its too hard to manage your mana, get Shackles instead.
You can trap people inside the Mass Serpent Wards. Two easy cases to pull of are melee heroes attacking you or shift-queing after a close-range Shackles. Eul's Scepter of Divinity also works but I find that overkill.

Ganking Skills

Farming/Pushing Skills

1Laser7Laser13March of the Machines
2Heat-Seeking Missile8Heat-Seeking Missile14Rearm
3Laser9Rearm15Attribute Bonus
4Heat-Seeking Missile10March of the Machines16Rearm
5Laser11March of the Machines17Attribute Bonus
6Heat-Seeking Missile12March of the Machines18Attribute Bonus
Get the first level of Rearm when you get your Boots of Travel. The second and third level increase the manacost so get them when you acquire more mana items.

Items

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Boots of Travel are mandatory. If you get another upgrade instead, Icefrog kills a kitten.

Tips

Rearm Mechanics

Rearm also works with items: Use your Boots of Travel to go to the fountain and come back to any lane with full health and mana. Awesome!
Early game, use your nukes to gank and farm the BoT. After that, use your global presence to maintain map control, push and gank.
Soul Ring plus Heat-Seeking Missile is great for pushing an enemy farmer away from their lane.
Nature's Prophet is characterized by his global presence with Teleportation. Early game he can farm and gain levels while still being able to aid in any gank and late game he can keep lanes pushed for map control, while still being able to go back for any teamfight.

Jungling Skills

Laning Skills

1Nature's Call7Nature's Call13Sprout
2Teleportation8Teleportation14Sprout
3Nature's Call9Teleportation15Attribute Bonus
4Sprout10Teleportation16Wrath of Nature
5Nature's Call11Wrath of Nature17Attribute Bonus
6Wrath of Nature12Sprout18Attribute Bonus

Jungle Items

Lane Items

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Tips

Wrath of Nature only bounces to visible units. Wait until enemy creepwaves are at low life to cast it.
You can freely cancel the Teleportation animation to confuse your enemies.
Don't mindlessly spam Wrath of Nature. Pushing the lanes can make it harder for your team to farm.
Enchantress is an aggressive jungler who can gank and push early on with neutral creeps. She can be surprisingly tanky in the right situations and can deal lots of damage mid and lategame with Impetus.

Skills

1Enchant7Enchant13Untouchable
2Nature's Attendants8Nature's Attendants14Untouchable
3Enchant9Nature's Attendants15Attribute Bonus
4Nature's Attendants10Untouchable16Impetus
5Enchant11Impetus17Attribute Bonus
6Impetus12Untouchable18Attribute Bonus

Items

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Tips

Neutral Creeps

Be aggressive with your first 2 or 3 creeps; Few enemies can deal with them in the first minutes.
Untouchable are Enchant great against sustained damage but you will need HP items against burst damage (and to compensate for your low STR gain.
Untouchable makes you a surprisingly good Roshan tank.
Jakiro is an item independent support hero with good stats gain and great pushing power with Liquid Fire (it damages and slows towers!). However he has to deal with his low attack range and with his long cast animations.

Skills

Pusher Skills

1Ice Path7Ice Path13Liquid Fire
2Dual Breath8Dual Breath14Liquid Fire
3Ice Path9Liquid Fire15Attribute Bonus
4Dual Breath10Macropyre16Macropyre
5Ice Path11Macropyre17Attribute Bonus
6Dual Breath12Liquid Fire18Attribute Bonus

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Tips

Jakiro is a pretty amazing hero in 6.75, and highly recommended for beginners.
Your main needs from items are armor and mana regen.
Chen is a natural jungler, with tremendous early game power from his converted creeps. Early game, use them to gank and push towers and lategame use them to provide powerful auras and disables to your team.

Skills

1Holy Persuasion7Holy Persuasion13Penitence
2Test of Faith8Test of Faith14Penitence
3Test of Faith9Test of Faith15Attribute Bonus
4Holy Persuasion10Penitence16Hand of God
5Holy Persuasion11Hand of God17Attribute Bonus
6Hand of God12Penitence18Attribute Bonus

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Tips

Neutral Creeps

Get Penitence instead of Test of Faith if you have bad micro; It deals less damage, but provides an easy to use disable.
Holy Persuasion can save allies from sticky situations, by sending them back to base!
Whenever someone lanes Chen instead of jungling, Icefrog kills a kitten.
Silencer's stats and his Glaives of Wisdom point him at a semi-carry role, while his passive and ultimate have a more utility role as a, combo-breaker against heroes such as Tiny or Storm Spirit. All in all, a good Silencer player will adapt towards the end of the spectrum that most helps his team.

Skills

1Glaives of Wisdom7Last Word13Glaives of Wisdom
2Last Word8Curse of the Silent14Glaives of Wisdom
3Last Word9Curse of the Silent15Attribute Bonus
4Curse of the Silent10Curse of the Silent16Global Silence
5Last Word11Global Silence17Attribute Bonus
6Global Silence12Glaives of Wisdom18Attribute Bonus

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Tips

Get more utility and dps items if going for a carry role; Prioritize survivability if you supporting with Last Word is more important.
Curse of the Silent is a situational laning skill. It is great against heroes without ways to dispell it or trilanes, but it gets almost useless lategame.
Ogre Magi is a support that transitions well into the lategame. His skills are all very strong when you can spam them (and when you get levels of Multicast) . His large STR gain also makes him much less vulnerable than other supports. However, early game he has to deal with his melee range and low mana pool.

Skills

1Fireblast7Fireblast13Bloodlust
2Ignite8Multicast14Bloodlust
3Fireblast9Ignite15Attribute Bonus
4Ignite10Bloodlust16Multicast
5Fireblast11Multicast17Attribute Bonus
6Ignite12Bloodlust18Attribute Bonus

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Tips

Your stats gain are like those of a STR hero; Get early INT items for mana.
Its OK to get Multicast at 6, but that will increase the Fireblast manacost.
Rubick is a flexible caster, turning his foes' spells against them with his ultimate, Spell Steal. With good positioning it's even possible to get 2+ huge ultimates off in a fight.

Skills

1Telekinesis7Fade Bolt13Null Field
2Fade Bolt8Telekinesis14Null Field
3Fade Bolt9Telekinesis15Attribute Bonus
4Telekinesis10Null Field16Spell Steal
5Fade Bolt11Spell Steal17Attribute Bonus
6Spell Steal12Null Field18Attribute Bonus

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Fallback
You can disassemble Arcane Boots to get back the Energy Booster for the Bloodstone.

Tips

Spell Steal Mechanics

If you are underleveled, get Null Field over Telekinesis since the resistance helps all your team in teamfights.
Strong ultimates are especially desireable, but don't limit yourself to those, since Spell Steal has a very low cooldown and a great cast range.
You can choose a landing spot for Telekinesis targets.
Feel free to spam Fade Bolt when laning and in team fights, if you have the mana.
You can use Telekinesis to set up stolen skill shots (such as Mirana's arrow).
Telekinesis can trap enemies on top of cliffs. (only in Dota2).
Disruptor is a nuker that can be played as a decent mid hero. While he lacks any direct disables, he has lots of positioning skills and can cause lots of AoE confusion if he gets his combo off.

Support

Mid Solo

1Kinetic Field7Glimpse13Kinetic Field
2Thunder Strike8Thunder Strike14Kinetic Field
3Glimpse9Thunder Strike15Attribute Bonus
4Glimpse10Thunder Strike16Static Storm
5Glimpse11Static Storm17Attribute Bonus
6Static Storm12Kinetic Field18Attribute Bonus

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Tips

Build Variations

Glimpse is very versatile; Interesting uses are sending TP-ing enemies back to base and winning rune races.
Keeper of the Light is an item independent support hero. He excells at pushing and counter-pushing with Illuminate and in using Chakra Magic to turn any allied hero with a low CD spell into a powerful caster.

Skills

1Illuminate7Chakra Magic13Mana Leak
2Chakra Magic8Illuminate14Mana Leak
3Chakra Magic9Spirit Form15Attribute Bonus
4Illuminate10Mana Leak16Spirit Form
5Chakra Magic11Spirit Form17Attribute Bonus
6Illuminate12Mana Leak18Attribute Bonus

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Tips

Don't be selfish! Prioritize your teamates with Chakra Magic and don't steal farm or overpush with Illuminate.
You are very item-independent; Prefer utility and aura items.
Skywrath Mage is a squishy nuker with very high range spells.

Skills

1Concusive Shot7Arcane Bolt13Concusive Shot
2Arcane Bolt8Ancient Seal14Concusive Shot
3Arcane Bolt9Ancient Seal15Attribute Bonus
4Ancient Seal10Ancient Seal16Mystic Flare
5Arcane Bolt11Mystic Flare17Attribute Bonus
6Mystic Flare12Concusive Shot18Attribute Bonus

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Tips

Use your high movespeed to stay just out of range during fights, while still dealing lots of damage with your spammable spells.
For the item build, the greatest needs are mana regen, mana pool and survivability.
Axe is an initiator and DotA's only true tank (since he can force enemies to attack him). He is also a beastly caster and ganker early game, being able to deal very high damage with Battle Hunger and Counter Helix making it very dangerous for any enemies that get too close him.

Skills

1Counter Helix7Battle Hunger13Berserker's Call
2Battle Hunger8Counter Helix14Berserker's Call
3Battle Hunger9Counter Helix15Attribute Bonus
4Berserker's Call10Counter Helix16Culling Blade
5Battle Hunger11Culling Blade17Attribute Bonus
6Culling Blade12Berserker's Call18Attribute Bonus

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Tips

Issuing an attack order on an enemy hero draws creep aggro (this useful for Counter Helix).
Counter Helix means that its better to jungle multiple stacked creeps at once. Pull creeps around the 51 second mark to stack the camps.
If an enemy tries to spam Stop or run away during Berserker's Call it will only make Counter Helix proc more often.
You might find some older guides telling to skipping Battle Hunger entirely, getting it at levels 22-25). Back then it was a really bad skill but it has since been buffed and is quite strong.
Pudge is a ganker. He tries to fish off enemy heroes with his Meat Hook (after which he can finish them off with his combo) and later in the game the extra strength from Flesh Heap allows him to mantain a presence through sheer tankyness.

Skills

1Rot7Meat Hook13Flesh Heap
2Meat Hook8Rot14Flesh Heap
3Meat Hook9Rot15Attribute Bonus
4Rot10Flesh Heap16Dismember
5Meat Hook11Dismember17Attribute Bonus
6Dismember12Flesh Heap18Attribute Bonus

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Tips

Make sure that Rot is hitting the enemy before you use Dismember (Dismember has a longer range).
Rot's self-damage is magic, and can be reduced with hood or pipe.
You can kill your self with Rot. You still lose gold, but enemies won't get gold or XP.
You can toggle Rot chanelling Dismember, without interrupting it. You can also cast Rot while the Meat Hook is returning to you (but not when it is flying out).
Sand King has decent ganking abilities, an amazing ult (especially coupled with a blink dagger), great disabling and mobility (Burrowstrike + dagger) and even good lane clearing power with Caustic Finale.

Skills

1Burrowstrike7Burrowstrike13Caustic Finale
2Sand Storm8Sand Storm14Caustic Finale
3Burrowstrike9Sand Storm15Attribute Bonus
4Sand Storm10Caustic Finale16Epicenter
5Burrowstrike11Epicenter17Attribute Bonus
6Epicenter12Caustic Finale18Attribute Bonus

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Tips

Get Caustic Finale if you are laning against melee heroes (particularly Broodmother).
Blink-Epi: channel Epicenter from a safe distance and order a blink while pressing shift so that it goes the instant the epicenter starts.
Don't be too picky about Epicenter; Its fine if you only hit 2 or 3 heroes.
You can be very hard to kill: Burrowstrike, Sand Storm and Blink Dagger dodge projectiles (such as Magic Missile); Sand Storm can be used as a 3 second Wind Walk, due to the fade time.
Slardar is a strength semi-carry, with good chasing and early damage potential. He is also a good initiator, especially after he gets items, blink and BKB.

Skills

1Slithereen Crush7Slithereen Crush13Bash
2Sprint8Sprint14Bash
3Slithereen Crush9Sprint15Attribute Bonus
4Sprint10Bash16Amplify Damage
5Slithereen Crush11Amplify Damage17Attribute Bonus
6Amplify Damage12Bash18Attribute Bonus

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Tips

Get survivability items. Sprint and your melee range make you squishier than you would think.
Amplify Damage gives vision over its target, even if it tries to go invisible. It also makes taking down Roshan much quicker because of the armor debuff.
Tidehunter is defined by his extremely powerful ultimate: He can go for a more supporting build, getting few items but still being able to use Ravage in team fights or he can go for a more tanky build, farming some survivability items and leading the charge during a push, daring the enemy team to come into range of a Ravage...
Additionally, Kraken Shell removing debuffs and stuns makes it very hard for the enemy team to prevent you from casting your ultimate.

Skills

1Gush7Anchor Smash13Kraken Shell
2Anchor Smash8Gush14Kraken Shell
3Anchor Smash9Gush15Attribute Bonus
4Kraken Shell10Gush16Ravage
5Anchor Smash11Ravage17Attribute Bonus
6Ravage12Kraken Shell18Attribute Bonus

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Tips

Blink Dagger is not always required, since Ravage has a very long range already. It is never bad though.
Skeleton King is a DPS carry. Move around the battlefield, casting stuns and stabbing enemies in their face without fear.

Skills

1Helllfire Blast7Helllfire Blast13Critical Strike
2Attribute Bonus8Vampiric Aura14Vampiric Aura
3Helllfire Blast9Critical Strike15Vampiric Aura
4Attribute Bonus10Critical Strike16Reincarnation
5Helllfire Blast11Reincarnation17Vampiric Aura
6Reincarnation12Critical Strike18Attribute Bonus

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Tips

Managing mana and positioning are key; Don't waste your Helllfire Blast.
Magic Wand and Soul Ring are nice ways to guarantee mana for Reincarnation (especially if you are against mana burners).
Don't be afraid of getting Armlet of Mordiggian; You only have only one active skill anyway...
Lifestealer is a carry. Rage's magic immunity gives him a window of time to deal damage unimpeded and Feast adds significant damage to his attacks (especially against low armour and high HP heroes).

Jungle Skills

Laning Skills

1Feast7Feast13Open Wounds
2Open Wounds8Rage14Open Wounds
3Feast9Rage15Attribute Bonus
4Rage10Rage16Infest
5Feast11Infest17Attribute Bonus
6Infest12Open Wounds18Attribute Bonus

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Tips

Feast deals physical damage, and armour reduction helps a lot.
Blink Dagger is a nice way to negate your melee range and quickly take down squishies.
Get Rage at level 1 if you are afraid of ganks.
While Lifestealer is a great jungler (check out the guide on choke-point jungling), at early levels its better to farm (and gank) in lane.
Infest can be used on enemy creeps (to heal yourself) or on allied heroes (for positioning). Avoid infesting allied creeps, since that doesn't heal.
Night Stalker is a natural ganker, and can rack up lots of kills and map control after night falls. Play aggressively and try to get as many kills as possible in your first night to get the ball rolling.

Skills

1Void7Void13Crippling Fear
2Crippling Fear8Darkness14Crippling Fear
3Void9Hunter in the Night15Attribute Bonus
4Hunter in the Night10Hunter in the Night16Darkness
5Void11Darkness17Attribute Bonus
6Hunter in the Night12Crippling Fear18Attribute Bonus

Items

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Optional

Tips

Since Crippling Fear and Hunter in the Night are not useful during the day, leave their skillpoints unused until the first night comes.
Get an early level of Crippling Fear if you need the silence to gank someone with a big disable or escape mechanism.
Darkness stops the day-night clock during its duration. Spam it during night time, since it just makes the whole night longer then.
Void does a ministun. Use it to cancel channelling spells and TPs.
Doom is a mix of caster and carry. He can use his Doom to nullify an enemy for a whole teamfight and his Lvl? Death is the strongest single-target nuke in the game if you hit the level damage bonus. Finally, the bonus gold from Devour allows him to farm items in order to shore up his weaknesses or to help him carry a bit.

Standard Skills

Jungle Skills

1Devour7Devour13Scorched Earth
2Scorched Earth8Lvl? Death14Scorched Earth
3Devour9Lvl? Death15Attribute Bonus
4Lvl? Death10Lvl? Death16Doom
5Devour11Doom17Attribute Bonus
6Doom12Scorched Earth18Attribute Bonus

Standard Items

Jungle Items

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Tips

Jungling Tips

The rule of thumb for Devour creeps is to go for strong passives; Kobold (speed aura), Alpha Wolf (crit and damage) and Centaur (IAS aura) are some good choices. The Ogre Magi gives much-needed armor.
Doom's silence is devastating against enemy casters and heroes that relly on passives or items (lifesteal, evasion, etc).
Sometimes it is best to leave unspent skill points in order to get the Lvl? Death multipliee.
Your have very low natural armour. Be careful when laning and get items to compensate.
Spirit Breaker is, at heart, a 1v1 hero that provides strong anti-carry potential with Greater Bash. He can gank fantastically (Charge of Darkness no longer creates a status debuff) and has the only bash in DotA that has the potential to be a literal perma-bash.

Skills

1Charge of Darkness7Greater Bash13Empowering Haste
2Greater Bash8Charge of Darkness14Empowering Haste
3Empowering Haste9Charge of Darkness15Attribute Bonus
4Greater Bash10Charge of Darkness16Nether Strike
5Greater Bash11Nether Strike17Attribute Bonus
6Nether Strike12Empowering Haste18Attribute Bonus

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The Mask of Madness build has good killing potential early, but get less effective later and forces you to get a BKB and/or survivability items. Go for Mjollnir or Assaut Cuirass if you want more survivability.
Charge of Darkness gives vision, even on invisible heroes (although it doesn't reveal, it still shows where they are). Use this to help ganks.
Greater Bash scales with levels now so can't really pass it up and Empowering Haste doesn't provide as much benefit in the early game as it used to.
Lycanthrope is a carry who used to be a strong jungler, but got nerfed heavily in 6.75. He is still a strong hero, but not quite the pub-stomper he once was. He excells at ganking lone heroes and taking down undefended towers with his summons.

Skills

1Summon Wolves7Summon Wolves13Howl
2Feral Impulse8Feral Impulse14Howl
3Summon Wolves9Feral Impulse15Attribute Bonus
4Feral Impulse10Howl16Shapeshift
5Summon Wolves11Shapeshift17Attribute Bonus
6Shapeshift12Howl18Attribute Bonus

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It is still possible to solo Roshan with wolves, maxed Feral Impulse and Vladimir's Offering; however, you need an additional item such as a Medallion of Courage.
Howl is global and very cheap so don't forget to use it.
Chaos Knight is a ganker, chaser and a strong teamfight brawler. He is bulky and fast and his low-cooldown skills let him shut down single targets very effectively.

Skills

1Chaos Bolt7Chaos Bolt13Critical Strike
2Reality Rift8Reality Rift14Critical Strike
3Chaos Bolt9Phantasm15Attribute Bonus
4Reality Rift10Critical Strike16Phantasm
5Chaos Bolt11Phantasm17Attribute Bonus
6Reality Rift12Critical Strike18Attribute Bonus

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Tips

Illusion Mechanics

You have big mana costs but low INT. Conserve your skills and get some items to help compensate.
When comboing, use Reality Rift before Chaos Bolt. It has a bigger range and it also lets you hit the enemy more times.
Phantasm has a relatively long cooldown, but the images are very bulky. Think of it as more of a damage boost, a-la Sven, and less of an image skill a-la Naga or PL.
If you get Armlet of Mordiggian, always activate it juts before casting Phantasm.
Undying's job is to cause mayhem in team fights. Most of his skills do (or amplify) AoE damage, he has 3 skills that help him stay alive and Soul Rip can be one of the strongest nukes or heals in the games if you are in a crowded location.

Skills

1Soul Rip7Tombstone13Soul Rip
2Decay8Soul Rip14Soul Rip
3Tombstone9Decay15Attribute Bonus
4Tombstone10Decay16Flesh Golem
5Tombstone11Flesh Golem17Attribute Bonus
6Flesh Golem12Decay18Attribute Bonus

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Tips

Justification

Get survivability items first and mana regen items later (the mana costs increase a lot in levels 12-14).
Stay in close, to spam Decay and amplify damage with Flesh Golem. You are very hard to take down if you can continuously hit good Decay s.
Soul Rip can heal your Tombstone.
You can disassemble Arcane Boots to get back the Energy Booster for the Bloodstone.
Magnus is an initiator and DPSer. Early on, he can get good lane control with judicious use of Shockwave and bottle (be sure to get those runes!). Later on, he is all about blink-ulting and then taking powerful, empowered, swings that will cleave onto many helplessly stunned heroes.

Skills

1Skewer7Shockwave13Empower
2Shockwave8Skewer14Empower
3Shockwave9Skewer15Attribute Bonus
4Skewer10Empower16Reverse Polarity
5Shockwave11Reverse Polarity17Attribute Bonus
6Reverse Polarity12Empower18Attribute Bonus

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Switch Power Treads to AGI when drinking from the Bottle. This maximizes the regen.
Unit-targeting Shockwave makes it easier to hit but ground-targeting allows you to better control the AoE gives a bit more range.
In a tough off-lane situation, maxing Skewer first can make staying alive much easier.
Abaddon straddles a fine line between straight support and dps-er (but when in doubt, err on the side of support). While he lacks straight disables or range, he compensates by having multiple spells that protect his teamates in battle.

Skills

1Aphotic Shield7Mist Coil13Curse of Avernus
2Mist Coil8Aphotic Shield14Curse of Avernus
3Aphotic Shield9Aphotic Shield15Attribute Bonus
4Mist Coil10Curse of Avernus16Borrowed Time
5Mist Coil11Borrowed Time17Attribute Bonus
6Borrowed Time12Curse of Avernus18Attribute Bonus

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Aphotic Shield removes debuffs and stuns!
Borrowed Time can be manually casted. Use it when you are getting focused (instead of letting it trigger on its own).
Mist Coil will not deal self damage if you are under Aphotic Shield (and will actually heal you if Borrowed Time is active).
Bloodseeker is ganker and dpser. Early on he can lane relatively safely due to the heal from Blood Bath and afterwards he can gank spellcasters using his long duration silence and Rupture.

Skills

1Blood Bath7Thirst13Bloodrage
2Bloodrage8Thirst14Bloodrage
3Blood Bath9Blood Bath15Attribute Bonus
4Thirst10Blood Bath16Rupture
5Thirst11Rupture17Attribute Bonus
6Rupture12Bloodrage18Attribute Bonus

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Blood Bath lets you last hit very aggressively. Be sure to get the denies too!
If you are having a hard time in lane, get more levels of Bloodbath. If you are having a great time, consider leaving it at just level 1.
The idea behind the Radiance build is that you can passively gain life from creeps that die around you. It also complements your chasing potential and is an attempt at helping you carry the game a bit.
Shadow Fiend is a glass-cannon semi-carry. He can do amazing damage with his ultimate, his 3 cheap AoE nukes and his high attack damage. He is also a strong mid lane hero, but he is vulnerable to ganks.

Skills

1Necromastery7Shadowraze13Presence of the Dark Lord
2Shadowraze8Necromastery14Presence of the Dark Lord
3Shadowraze9Requiem of Souls15Attribute Bonus
4Necromastery10Presence of the Dark Lord16Requiem of Souls
5Shadowraze11Requiem of Souls17Attribute Bonus
6Necromastery12Presence of the Dark Lord18Attribute Bonus

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Bottle rush: leaving the base with just 4 branches and 2 salves leaves enough money to get a bottle by the 2 min mark.
Mobility items synergize with your spells; Survivability and damage items are for a traditional right-click DPS role.
Canceling the Shadowraze backswing animation speeds your combo by a lot.
Razor is a DPSer, chaser and an anti-carry. While he has less inherent right-clicking potential then average, he has a good early-game presence due to his spells and Static Link can give a great boost in damage (while crippling an enemy hero at the same time).

Skills

1Plasma Field7Plasma Field13Unstable Current
2Static Link8Static Link14Unstable Current
3Plasma Field9Static Link15Attribute Bonus
4Unstable Current10Static Link16Eye of the Storm
5Plasma Field11Eye of the Storm17Attribute Bonus
6Eye of the Storm12Unstable Current18Attribute Bonus

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Most of your damage comes from your (close-ranged) spells. Prioritize tankability and the mobility items early game and leave the traditional carry items for later.
Although Venomancer is an agility hero with decent stats, his skills allow him to be played as a very item independent support. Venomous Gale is one of the most powerful slows in the game at level 1 and is also cheap, mana-wise. Plague Ward are very strong for pushing and counter-pushing and Poison Nova is a strong "fire and forget" ultimate.

Skills

1Venomous Gale7Plague Ward13Poison Sting
2Poison Sting8Venomous Gale14Poison Sting
3Plague Ward9Venomous Gale15Attribute Bonus
4Plague Ward10Venomous Gale16Poison Nova
5Plague Ward11Poison Nova17Attribute Bonus
6Poison Nova12Poison Sting18Attribute Bonus

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Tips

Plague Ward is cheap and spammable. Use them to scout in front whenever you enter the fog of war.
A big Plague Ward stack is also great for defending pushes.
You are very item independant; Just get some mana and then go for survivability and wards, dust, etc.
Poison Nova leaves enemies at 1 HP, without killing them. Tag them with Venomous Gale or Poison Sting to ensure your kills.
Faceless Void is a hard-carry. When farmed, he can reliably get rid of one or two heroes during the Chonosphere duration and supports become food to Time Walk coupled with some bashes.

Skills

1Time Walk7Backtrack13Time Walk
2Backtrack8Time Lock14Time Walk
3Backtrack9Time Lock15Attribute Bonus
4Time Lock10Time Lock16Chonosphere
5Backtrack11Chonosphere17Attribute Bonus
6Chonosphere12Time Walk18Attribute Bonus

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If you are focused on the lategame, Battle Fury and Hand of Midas are good farming items; If you want to be useful sooner, Mask of Madness or Necronomicon give you great Chonosphere damage early on.
If you are having a hard time, Backtrack with a Vanguard can make you very hard to kill.
Phantom Assassin is a carry with great chasing ability and the strongest critical strike in the game. Once she gets a BKB and some damage items, she can almost instantly kill a hero she jumps on.

Skills

1Stifling Dagger7Stifling Dagger13Blur
2Phantom Strike8Phantom Strike14Blur
3Blur9Phantom Strike15Attribute Bonus
4Stifling Dagger10Phantom Strike16Coup de Grace
5Stifling Dagger11Coup de Grace17Attribute Bonus
6Coup de Grace12Blur18Attribute Bonus

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When laning, use Stifling Dagger to lasthit; It deals little damage to heroes so don't bother harassing with it.
Do not buy evasion (Butterfly or Heaven's Halberd) or critical strike (Daedalus). They don't stack with your skills.
Viper is a tanky mid game DPS hero and ganker. He is also a very strong laner, due to his powerful orb-attacks.

Skills

1Poison Attack7Nethertoxin13Corrosive Skin
2Nethertoxin8Nethertoxin14Poison Attack
3Poison Attack9Corrosive Skin15Attribute Bonus
4Nethertoxin10Corrosive Skin16Viper Strike
5Poison Attack11Viper Strike17Attribute Bonus
6Viper Strike12Corrosive Skin18Attribute Bonus

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Orbwalking

You already deal good early game damage with your skills; Focus on getting items that let you get in and fight in the first place.
Gank frequently when you ave your ultimate, but always bring a friend to stop enemies from TP-ing away.
Viper Strike goes through BKB and is a a good debuff against enemy carries in fights.
Clinkz is a ganker and a building razer. He can use his Skeleton Walk to sneak on his target and his other 3 skills do do great burst damage.

Skills

1Skeleton Walk7Searing Arrows13Skeleton Walk
2Searing Arrows8Strafe14Skeleton Walk
3Searing Arrows9Strafe15Attribute Bonus
4Skeleton Walk10Strafe16Death Pact
5Searing Arrows11Death Pact17Attribute Bonus
6Death Pact12Strafe18Attribute Bonus

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Orbwalking

Death Pact gives more bonuses if you eat a larger jungle creep.
Orchid Malevolance or Scythe of Vise are suggested because you really need the mana and the disables (you already have good damage otherwise).
For luxury items, prioritize damage, since you already have great attack speed with Strafe.
Broodmother is quite possibly the best solo pusher in the game. Push a lane while the rest of your team pushes another and the enemy will be in a tough position.

Skills

1Spin Web7Spawn Spiderlings13Incapacitating Bite
2Spawn Spiderlings8Spin Web14Incapacitating Bite
3Spawn Spiderlings9Insatiable Hunger15Attribute Bonus
4Spin Web10Incapacitating Bite16Insatiable Hunger
5Spawn Spiderlings11Insatiable Hunger17Attribute Bonus
6Spin Web12Incapacitating Bite18Attribute Bonus

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Tips

The regeneration from your webs coupled with a Soul Ring allows for nonstop Spawn Spiderlings spam (start doing this after level 5).
If your lane is clear, take down the tower. If it isn't, nuke your opponent out of the lane or create spiders and send them to farm the jungle.
Do not feed the spiderlings! They give tons of gold and XP.
Spin Web destroys trees. Use this to keep a safe line of sight to the jungle when laning.
Weaver can be very elusive and hard to kill hero, due to his great mobility with Shukuchi and ability to ignore burst damage with Time Lapse. Because of this, he is often played as a Radiance carry, although a midgame-focused, tower diving build with minus armour is also fine.

Skills

1Shukuchi7Shukuchi13Geminate Attack
2Geminate Attack8The Swarm14Geminate Attack
3Shukuchi9The Swarm15Attribute Bonus
4The Swarm10The Swarm16Time Lapse
5Shukuchi11Time Lapse17Attribute Bonus
6Time Lapse12Geminate Attack18Attribute Bonus

Radiance Rush

Non-Radiance Build

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The item build should balance defensive and damage items. You need some HP pool for Time Lapse but without damage you risk being ignored.
Be careful about prolonging your game too much and farming excessively. Weaver can get out-carried if the game goes extremely late.
Spectre is an interesting carry because you build her for beefiness as opposed to raw damage output. The key is understanding Dispersion: at max level, it rejects 22% of all damage that is dealt to Spectre and reflects it in an AoE around her. Making Spectre last as long as possible maximizes this damage.
Another important facet of Spectre is how she is always able to find farm, since she can solo push lanes but still jump to fights with Haunt.

Skills

1Spectral Dagger7Spectral Dagger13Dispersion
2Dispersion8Desolate14Dispersion
3Spectral Dagger9Desolate15Attribute Bonus
4Desolate10Desolate16Haunt
5Spectral Dagger11Haunt17Attribute Bonus
6Haunt12Dispersion18Attribute Bonus

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While the Radiance build is usually optimal, if you farm slowly it might be best to go for a ganking build with a Diffusal Blade.
Cast Haunt at the start of teamfights. This gives important vision and maximizes damage.
Meepo is a mid-game carry (this is not the same as a semi-carry!). He depends on getting a significant level advantage early on and then using his multiple clones to roll face between levels 11 and 16. Once his clones reach a hero they can keep him permantly slowed or netted and casting all poofs in quick succession deals massive magical damage.

Skills

1Earthbind7Poof13Geostrike
2Poof8Earthbind14Geostrike
3Poof9Earthbind15Attribute Bonus
4Geostrike10Earthbind16Divided we Stand
5Poof11Divided we Stand17Attribute Bonus
6Divided we Stand12Geostrike18Attribute Bonus

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Divided We Stand Mechanics

Focus on speed-leveling early game to gain a quick numbers advantage. (See tab for XP mechanics).
Poof combo: move next to a netted enemy, and tell all Meepos to Poof on top of each other.
Use the TAB key to cycle across the Meepos. This makes it very easy to do Earthbind or Poof combos.
Nyx is a burst-damage ganker who uses invisibility to sneak up on unsuspecting enemies.

Skills

1Impale7Impale13Mana Burn
2Mana Burn8Spiked Carapace14Mana Burn
3Impale9Spiked Carapace15Attribute Bonus
4Spiked Carapace10Spiked Carapace16Vendetta
5Impale11Vendetta17Attribute Bonus
6Vendetta12Mana Burn18Attribute Bonus

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A quick Dagon will allow you to insta-gib most heroes in the mid-game; Try to make enemies always fear your presence.
Late game, focus on scouting with Vendetta to spot initiation oportunities and spam Mana Burn on high INT heroes.
Always animation cancel Spiked Carapace.
Slark is a weird kind of ganker and carry - Essence Shift can, over a fight, turn Slark into a fearsome beast and Shadow Dance allows him to quickly appear anywhere in the map, with full HP. However, he is very fragile and has to deal with a pitiful STR gain.

Skills

1Pounce7Dark Pact13Essence Shift
2Essence Shift8Pounce14Essence Shift
3Dark Pact9Pounce15Attribute Bonus
4Dark Pact10Pounce16Shadow Dance
5Dark Pact11Shadow Dance17Attribute Bonus
6Shadow Dance12Essence Shift18Attribute Bonus

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Get lots of survivability items early. You need the HP for, Dark Pact and you already deal good damage anyway.
Dark Pact dispells buffs! Timing it right can remove stuns and Dust of Appearance.
Shadow Dance gets deactivated by enemy wards. This lets you detect when one is present.
Medusa is one of the hardest hard carries in the game. If she gets farm and the game goes late she deals significant damage in an AoE, while being very tanky and hard to kill due to Mana Shield and Linken's Sphere. Early game she lacks ganking potential, but Mystic Snake gives some decent lane control and Stone Gaze can act as a "get out of a gank free" card.

Skills

1Mystic Snake7Mystic Snake13Split Shot
2Attribute Bonus8Mana Shield14Split Shot
3Mystic Snake9Mana Shield15Split Shot
4Attribute Bonus10Mana Shield16Stone Gaze
5Mystic Snake11Stone Gaze17Split Shot
6Stone Gaze12Mana Shield18Attribute Bonus

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Cast Mystic Snake so that the last bounce hits an enemy hero. Also try to get some last hits with it.
Activating Manta Style will turn off the Mana Shield. Remember to turn it back on afterwards.
Focus on farming safely early on - you need lots of items to be effective.
Bane is a hero with many single-target disables. He can use them to be a strong ganker and to dominate some lanes.

Skills

1Nightmare7Brain Sap13Nightmare
2Brain Sap8Enfeeble14Nightmare
3Brain Sap9Enfeeble15Attribute Bonus
4Enfeeble10Enfeeble16Fiend's Grip
5Brain Sap11Fiend's Grip17Attribute Bonus
6Fiend's Grip12Nightmare18Attribute Bonus

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Soul Ring + Brain Sap is a powerful laning combo.
Nightmare is good for setting up skillshots like Sacred Arrow or Torrent.
Necronomicon minions can deal significant damage to enemies under Fiend's Grip. (And its not hard to micro when channelling).
Lich's main strength is his ability to use Sacrifice to deny large amounts of gold and experience from the enemy team in the laning phase and his strong harassing potential only adds up to that. Finally, Chain Frost is a very strong ultimate, often capable of turning ganks and teamfights around just by itself.
Lich is considered by many a great hero for beginners new to the game. His spells are easy to cast, his ultimate is "fire-and-forget" and he can still help his team even when he is underleveled or underfarmed.

Skills

1Sacrifice7Frost Blast13Ice Armor
2Frost Blast8Ice Armor14Ice Armor
3Frost Blast9Sacrifice15Attribute Bonus
4Sacrifice10Sacrifice16Chain Frost
5Frost Blast11Chain Frost17Attribute Bonus
6Chain Frost12Ice Armor18Attribute Bonus

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Spam Ice Armor when it is off cooldown; It is very cheap.
Chain Frost is best when there are just 2-4 enemy units clustered together but don't be too picky waiting for the "perfect moment".
If you get Sacrifice at level 1, eat a creep as soon as the first creepwave spawns in base.
Lion is a strong burst nuker and ganker and is also a good initiator and lategame support, due to his many disables.

Skills

1Earth Spike7Earth Spike13Attribute Bonus
2Hex8Hex14Attribute Bonus
3Earth Spike9Hex15Attribute Bonus
4Hex10Mana Drain16Finger of Death
5Earth Spike11Finger of Death17Attribute Bonus
6Finger of Death12Attribute Bonus18Attribute Bonus

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Tips

Build Variations

Use Blink Dagger to initiate with Earth Spike and Hex.
Don't waste Finger of Death just to steal kills on dying enemies. However, don't be afraid to use it to speed up a gank if enemies are missing.
Hex and Mana Drain can both be used to instantly kill illusions.
There are two main styles of playing Witch Doctor. In the defensive style, you use his cheap heal to protect his fellow laners and his long-range stun to aid in skirmishes from a safe distance. In the offensive style, you get levels in Maledict to greatly amplify the damage dealt to the targets of his ganks.

Skills

1Paralyzing Cask7Paralyzing Cask13Voodoo Restoration
2Voodoo Restoration8Maledict14Voodoo Restoration
3Paralyzing Cask9Maledict15Attribute Bonus
4Maledict10Maledict16Death Ward
5Paralyzing Cask11Death Ward17Attribute Bonus
6Death Ward12Voodoo Restoration18Attribute Bonus

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After casting Death Ward the ward gets selected and you can choose targets for it. To cancel the spell early, reselect the doctor and tell him to move away.
Higher levels of Voodoo Restoration greatly aid in pushing but have a very large mana cost.
Shadow Blade can be used without breaking the Death Ward chanelling. BKB is often a more reliable choice though.
Enigma teamfight hero, characterized by his game-changing Black Hole ultimate. His Demonic Conversion also makes him a very strong strong jungler and solo laner and he can use this to give his team an early gold and XP advantage.

Skills

1Demonic Conversion7Malefice13Midnight Pulse
2Malefice8Malefice14Midnight Pulse
3Demonic Conversion9Demonic Conversion15Attribute Bonus
4Malefice10Midnight Pulse16Black Hole
5Demonic Conversion11Black Hole17Attribute Bonus
6Black Hole12Midnight Pulse18Attribute Bonus

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When jungling, micro the weak Eidolons back before they die.
A full army of 6 Eidolons is great for ganking with Black Hole.
Soul Ring is the best way to spam Demonic Conversion early game. Don't worry about the health - it regenerates back just fine.
Try to catch long ranged stunners inside the Black Hole to protect the chanelling. Pay extra attention to heroes such as Vengeful Spirit or Beastmaster that can stun even through BKB.
Necrolyte loves a long fight. Death Pulse and Heartstopper Aura deal constant DPS to the enemy team, while Death Pulse turns him into a walking fountain for his team.

Skills

1Death Pulse7Death Pulse13Heartstopper Aura
2Heartstopper Aura8Sadist14Heartstopper Aura
3Death Pulse9Sadist15Attribute Bonus
4Sadist10Sadist16Reaper's Scythe
5Death Pulse11Reaper's Scythe17Attribute Bonus
6Reaper's Scythe12Heartstopper Aura18Attribute Bonus

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Survivability
Mana and damage

Tips

Build Variations

Your mana is tight early game. Conserve Magic Wand charges and be a good last-hitter.
Reaper's Scythe kill thresholds: 23% / 31% / 40% of max HP.
Reaper's Scythe's damage is calculated after the stun ends. Its OK to cast it a bit early.
Prioritize survivability items first and mana second.
Necrolyte needs lots of gold and levels. You are not a pure support!
Warlock's high base damage, good attack animation, and heal make him a decent babysitter. He is also a decent solo laner and Fatal Bonds, Upheaval and Chaotic Offering are all great teamfight spells.

Skills

1Shadow Word7Fatal Bonds13Upheaval
2Fatal Bonds8Shadow Word14Upheaval
3Fatal Bonds9Shadow Word15Attribute Bonus
4Shadow Word10Upheaval16Chaotic Offering
5Fatal Bonds11Chaotic Offering17Attribute Bonus
6Chaotic Offering12Upheaval18Attribute Bonus

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In lane, use Fatal Bonds to harass; In teamfights, it is a strong AoE damage amplifier.
All your spells are fairly weak on their own but become very strong if you can combo with more AoE damage and disables from your team.
Always micro the summoned Chaotic Offering Infernal - it deals good damage and is also a great tower pusher.
Queen of Pain is a fragile caster and her nukes aren't the strongest in the game. However, the mobility from Blink more than compensates, allowing her to quickly close in to any escaping or out of position enemy hero.

Strong Lane Skills

Strong Gank Skills

1Blink7Scream of Pain13Shadow Strike
2Shadow Strike8Sonic Wave14Shadow Strike
3Shadow Strike9Blink15Attribute Bonus
4Scream of Pain10Blink16Sonic Wave
5Scream of Pain11Sonic Wave17Attribute Bonus
6Scream of Pain12Blink18Attribute Bonus

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Build Variations

Wait until you reach the lane to spend your first skill point.
Shadow Strike is a spammable lane-control spell against enemy solo heroes.
Don't rambo - wait for an ally to initiate before blinking into a group of enemies.
It is OK to use the Aghanim's Scepter upgraded Sonic Wave to clear some large creepwaves; It has a short cooldown.
Death Prophet is a midgame carry. Just by standing in the middle of a fight, she can deal large amounts of damage with Exorcism and Crypt Swarm. Exorcism is also a great skill for taking down towers.

Skills

1Crypt Swarm7Crypt Swarm13Silence
2Witchcraft8Witchcraft14Silence
3Crypt Swarm9Witchcraft15Attribute Bonus
4Silence10Witchcraft16Exorcism
5Crypt Swarm11Exorcism17Attribute Bonus
6Exorcism12Silence18Attribute Bonus

Tanky Caster

MS/Positioning Build

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You can disassemble Arcane Boots to get back the Energy Booster for the Bloodstone.

Tips

Build Variations

Crypt Swarm has a very long range, especially if you target ground.
Exorcism ghosts move between you and their target and will tend to focus whoever you attack. For best results, stand close to your intended target and be attacking it before you cast the Exorcism.
Silence can be used for confusion. A silenced enemy will have to stop to think what to do next.
Pugna is a great pusher and can play a reasonable semi-carry role but his greatest asset is surely his Nether Ward, as it turns fights into living hell for enemy spellcasters. Pugna is the real Anti Mage.

Skills

1Nether Blast7Nether Blast13Decrepify
2Decrepify8Nether Ward14Decrepify
3Nether Blast9Nether Ward15Attribute Bonus
4Nether Ward10Nether Ward16Life Drain
5Nether Blast11Life Drain17Attribute Bonus
6Life Drain12Decrepify18Attribute Bonus

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Nether Blast also damages towers.
Use early levels of Life Drain to heal from creeps; Use the higher levels in fights to "push" heroes away from you.
You can Decrepify your own Nether Ward to protect it from attacks.
Get HP items to compensate your very low STR gain. On the other hand, just a few percentage mana regen items should cover your mana needs (you have the highest INT gain in the game).
Dazzle is usually played as a support, but his stats also allow him to make good use of gold and levels if those come by.
Early game, he can use his good base damage to control the lane. Later on, he has 3 skills that keep your team alive while his ultimate turns the enemy into fragile targets over time.

Skills

1Shadow Wave7Shadow Wave13Shallow Grave
2Shallow Grave8Shadow Wave14Shallow Grave
3Poison Touch9Weave15Attribute Bonus
4Poison Touch10Poison Touch16Weave
5Poison Touch11Weave17Attribute Bonus
6Shadow Wave12Shallow Grave18Attribute Bonus

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Tips

Build Variations

Shadow Wave deals damage in an AoE around each bounce. For maximum damage, heal a group of units clustered together around an enemy.
All your skills deal physical damage and combo well with armor reduction.
Weave has a low cooldown. Don't be picky about casting it.
Leshrac is an AoE damage monster and an insane tower destroyer with Diabolic Edict. However, he desperately needs health, mana pool and mana regeneration from items in order to be fully effective.
In addition to the a carry role, Leshrac can also play as more of a support: Split Earth is still a stun and you you don't need items to kill towers like you need to survive in teamfights.

Easy Skills

Early Push

Counterpush

1Split Earth7Split Earth13Pulse Nova
2Lightning Storm8Lightning Storm14Pulse Nova
3Split Earth9Diabolic Edict15Attribute Bonus
4Lightning Storm10Diabolic Edict16Pulse Nova
5Split Earth11Diabolic Edict17Attribute Bonus
6Lightning Storm12Diabolic Edict18Attribute Bonus

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You can disassemble Arcane Boots to get back the Energy Booster for the Bloodstone.

Tips

Build Variations

The item and skill build is very flexible! (Check out the other tab for details).
Level 4 of Diabolic Edict can take up to ~75% of a tower's HP!
Dark Seer is one of the premier utility heroes in Dota. While not initially apparent, all his skills are very flexible and are great for setting up combos in teamfights.
Dark Seer is also a very good laner. In particular, he is great at soloing the hard, having an escape skill in Surge and a way to farm from afar in Ion Shell.

Skills

1Ion Shell7Ion Shell13Surge
2Surge8Vacuum14Surge
3Ion Shell9Vacuum15Attribute Bonus
4Surge10Wall of Replica16Wall of Replica
5Ion Shell11Wall of Replica17Attribute Bonus
6Vacuum12Vacuum18Attribute Bonus

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Tips

Use Vacuum to set up all kinds of combos. Using Vacuum to push enemies inside Wall of Replica is devastating.
Building survivability items lets you always be in position to cast spells and lets you cast them multiple times over a fight.
If there is a melee carry or initiatior in your team, cast Ion Shell on him.
Multiple instances of Ion Shell on the same unit do not stack.
You can use Ion Shell to intercept creeps behind the tower, just like Axe.
Batrider is a great initiator with Flaming Lasso: with a Blink Dagger he can almost aways pick off one enemy hero before teamfights.
Batrider is also a very strong laner with Sticky Napalm: if an enemy is ever foolish to let too many stacks acumulate, walking over them with Firefly is an almost guaranteed kill.

Skills

1Sticky Napalm7Sticky Napalm13Flamebreak
2Firefly8Firefly14Flamebreak
3Sticky Napalm9Firefly15Attribute Bonus
4Flamebreak10Firefly16Flaming Lasso
5Sticky Napalm11Flaming Lasso17Attribute Bonus
6Flaming Lasso12Flamebreak18Attribute Bonus

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Tips

Go for the kill if you get 4 or 5 Sticky Napalm stacks on an enemy solo hero.
Use Flamebreak to scout before clashes, stop channeling and disable blink daggers.
You can be use Firefly to farm multiple (stacked) neutral camps very effectively. (if there is nothing else going on).
Ancient Apparition's strongest point is his ultimate. Not only is it a great counter to healing based strategies, its global range makes it great for ganking and counterpushing. He is also a reasonable solo mid hero with Cold Feet.

Skills

1Cold Feet7Cold Feet13Ice Vortex
2Chilling Touch8Chilling Touch14Ice Vortex
3Cold Feet9Chilling Touch15Attribute Bonus
4Chilling Touch10Ice Vortex16Ice Blast
5Cold Feet11Ice Blast17Attribute Bonus
6Ice Blast12Ice Vortex18Attribute Bonus

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Tips

You can use Ice Vortex to scout fogged areas before entering them.
Level 3 Ice Blast can kill a big creepwave by itself. This can be useful for counterpushing across the map.
Ice Blast casting mechanics: You start by sending an invisible marker in the target direction. When the marker is where you want it to be, cast the skill again and the real projectile will travel, exploding in the marked spot. The actual projectile spreads the chill buff and the explosion also deals damage.
Invoker is an incredibly flexible Intelligence hero. His wide variety of spells allow him to fill many different roles on the team, and later in the game, his access to all of them gives him great utility on the battlefield.
Because of his dependence on levels, Invoker is almost always played as a solo mid hero.

QW Disabler

EQ Carry/Pusher

1Quas7Invoke13Wex
2Invoke8Wex14Exort
3Wex9Wex15Quas
4Wex10Quas16Quas
5Wex11Wex17Invoke
6Quas12Invoke18Quas
Key Abilities: Tornado, EMP, Cold Snap, Ghost Walk.

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Tips

Spell Guide

The regen from Quas helps you survive in lane. (Good against agressive heroes such as Tinker).
The MS from Wex helps reach runes and be present in the other lanes.
The damage from Exort helps you out CS and harass your opponents. (Good against melee heroes such as Tiny and Bloodseeker).
You should probably read something more in-depth then this guide :)
Outworld Devourer is a glass cannon DPS hero. If he gets good items, his orb adds a pure damage nuke to each attack and his ultimate deals tons of AoE damage.

Skills

1Astral Imprisonment7Essence Aura13Arcane Orb
2Essence Aura8Sanity's Eclipse14Astral Imprisonment
3Astral Imprisonment9Astral Imprisonment15Attribute Bonus
4Essence Aura10Arcane Orb16Sanity's Eclipse
5Arcane Orb11Sanity's Eclipse17Attribute Bonus
6Essence Aura12Arcane Orb18Attribute Bonus

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Tips

Build Variations

Orbwalking

Spamming Astral Imprisonment helps you dominate in lane against other solo heroes. They get reduced mana to cast spells while you get lots of extra attack damage.
Level 4 of Essence Aura recovers 10% of your mana pool per cast, on average. 1000 total mana is the magic mark for Arcane Orb.
Sanity's Eclipse is also devastating against heros with high INT, since it drains mana from them.
Sanity's Eclipse also hits units hidden by Astral Imprisonment; They are protected from other spells though.
Shadow Demon is a very good harasser, often seen as a support or solo mid hero. His Disruption + Soul Catcher combo great for setting up skill shots such as Leshrac's stun and Invoker's Sunstrike.

Support Skills

Solo Mid skills

1Disruption7Soul Catcher13Disruption
2Soul Catcher8Shadow Poison14Disruption
3Soul Catcher9Shadow Poison15Attribute Bonus
4Shadow Poison10Shadow Poison16Demonic Purge
5Soul Catcher11Demonic Purge17Attribute Bonus
6Demonic Purge12Disruption18Attribute Bonus

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Tips

Soul Catcher and Shadow Poison also hit disrupted units. Use this for some easy combos.
On teamfights, prioritize Demonic Purge on BKB carries, enemies with haste or double damage runes, with big dispellable buffs (like Broodmother's ultimate) and channelers.
You can manually control disruption illusions. This is great for targeting supports if you disrupt a carry.
MS and mobility items help you stay at a safe distance while still dishing out spells.
Visage loves hanging around in the middle of a teamfight, spamming Soul Assumption for 300+ damage. He is one of the scariest trilane heroes, although he can also make do with fast familiars from solo-mid XP.

Skills

1Soul Assumption7Soul Assumption13Grave Chill
2Grave Chill8Gravekeeper's Cloak14Grave Chill
3Soul Assumption9Gravekeeper's Cloak15Attribute Bonus
4Gravekeeper's Cloak10Gravekeeper's Cloak16Summon Familiars
5Soul Assumption11Summon Familiars17Attribute Bonus
6Summon Familiars12Grave Chill18Attribute Bonus

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Tips

Grave Chill also steals attack speed, so target the enemy carry during clashes.
Get the most use of your familiars: scout the runes, and use their stun.
Don't feed the familiars. They have a 100 gold bounty!