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May 16th, 2008

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Strygwyr, The Bloodseeker Guide

Friday, May 16th, 2008

This excellent guide provided by DreaM-

IPB Image

An unusual hybrid of Demon and Orc, Strygwyr is an outcast amongst all mortal creatures. By thriving on and bathing himself with the blood of those he slays, Strygwyr can heal his wounds – even those that could prove fatal. Beware the fool who dares venturing alone, for Strygwyr can sense his blood miles away and gain vison through his helpless prey’s eyes. Having ruptured the enemy with mighty blows in his bloodthirsty frenzies, Strygwyr corners his foe into making the impossible decision – bleed to death by trying to outrun the hasty demon, or be ripped to shreds in its awesome fury.
Foreword
Writing a guide on what used to be my favourite hero Bloodseeker! I want to share the way I play Bloodseeker to everyone. He’s the best pub bashing hero in my opinion, and if played well can be a decent hero in an IH game when paired up with certain heroes. This is a very in-depth guide, which I express the full power of the one they call Strygwyr, the Bloodseeker. This is an extremely long guide, you have been warned. Although long, if you read the whole thing you will learn a huge amount of information, strategy and tips on Bloodseeker. Enjoy.
Here’s what inDe_eD has to say about the difficulty and effectiveness of Strygwyr
Quotes from his Hero Difficulty and Effectiveness Guide.

Difficulty:

QUOTE
Intermediate -

Bloodseeker – Early game for him is levelling up to 6 and then running around the map using Rupture, which is about as easy as it gets. Blood is great for staying in a lane, but requires decent last hit timing. He must have decent items to remain viable later.

Agreed! Don’t forget his spells need practice if you don’t want them backfiring.

Effectiveness:

QUOTE
Weak -

Bloodseeker – Rupture is nearly useless in team battles, since an enemy can just hold position and cast spells/attack from there. Either that, or buy a Diffusal Blade of GG.

A harsh but somewhat true statement. Getting Diffusal Blade means one slot wasted and an Orb Effect wasted just to counter Bloodseeker. Purge doesn’t even remove Rupture.

Should I Play Bloodseeker?

Of course! If you…

  • …are very good at denying and last hitting
  • …have decent knowledge of every hero in DotA
  • …are a team player
  • …read this guide!

However, if you ……. consider using an easier hero, like Skeleton King

  • …are not familiar with most heroes in DotA
  • …are not quite up to scratch with your last hitting and denying skills
  • …are new to DotA

Starting Stats (without item bonuses)


Strength – 18 + 2.0 — Health – 492
Agility – 24 + 2.6 — Armor – 5.4 (24%)
Intelligence – 18 + 1.7 — Mana – 234
Mana Regen — 0.73
Health Regen — 0.79
Movespeed — 305
Damage — 53-59
Attack Speed — 1 attack every 1.37 seconds
Sight Range: 1800 Day/800 Night
Spell Animation — Bloodseeker has a casting time of 0.6 and a cast backswing of 1.4.
Attack Animation — Bloodseeker has damage point of 0.43 and a backswing of 0.74.

Ending Stats (without item bonuses)


Strength – 66.0 + 20 — Health – 1784
Agility – 86.4 + 20 — Armor – 12 + 2.8 (47%)
Intelligence – 58.8 + 20— Mana — 1014
Mana Regen — 2.63
Health Regen — 2.23
Movespeed — 305
Damage — 115 – 121 + 20
Attack Speed — 1 attack every 0.91 seconds


Stats Overview


With the above information, we come to the conclusion that Bloodseeker’s base stats are very high. This helps in a lot of ways. Out of all the heroes, Bloodseeker comes 4th with the highest base stats (Twin Headed Dragon is 1st, Spectre 2nd, and Lord of Avernus tied 2nd with Spectre. However, Bloodseeker’s stat gain is only above average, he earns 6.3 stat points per level. (not counting the extra Stats ’spell’ you can get)
This is stated in Reset’s Guide to Hero Stats.
Pros

  • Versatile hero.
  • Great ganking hero, if not the best.
  • Slips in and out of battle if Strygwyr’s Thirst is on.
  • Has ferocious damage with Bloodrage on.
  • A hero that can stay in its lane for prolonged periods.

Cons

  • Low hp.
  • Spells can backfire if not used properly and without thought.
  • No real escape mechanism.
  • Spells require precise timing.
  • Has de-synergies with Rupture and allies that stop/slow enemies.

Skills

Authors Notes are in

Red.


Useful Facts are in

Teal

QUOTE

IPB ImageBloodrage (Active)
Drives a unit into a bloodthirsty rage. That unit is unable to cast spells, has its attack damage increased, and loses a small amount of hit points every second. 600 range at all levels.

Level 1 – 20% damage increase, loses 2 HP per second. Lasts 6 seconds. Cooldown of 20 seconds. 80 mana cost.
Level 2 – 40% damage increase, loses 4 HP per second. Lasts 9 seconds. Cooldown of 20 seconds. 100 mana cost.
Level 3 – 60% damage increase, loses 6 HP per second. Lasts 12 seconds. Cooldown of 20 seconds. 120 mana cost.
Level 4 – 80% damage increase, loses 8 HP per second. Lasts 15 seconds. Cooldown of 20 seconds. 140 mana cost.

This is what spellcasters fear about Bloodseeker, and what tanks fear about him too. This is a spell that will be used to silence enemy heroes, or to make your damage IMBA. Cast it on enemy spellcasters to silence them while you hack into them, or to make you a massively high damage hero to take down those really tough opponents. You should use this spell on any spell-reliant hero, like Pudge or Lina, and even AM early game.
Bloodrage priorities should be:

  • Hero with the most damaging spell combo, such as Lina or CM
  • During the Channelling spell of heroes like Sand-King or Bane
  • Heroes that rely on spells, like Pudge
  • Heroes that are weak, but have an escape mechanism, like a low health Anti-Mage or Bounty Hunter, silence them to stop them from escaping
  • Yourself or an ally that wishes to be Bloodraged

Also, don’t use this as your initial spell to start off a fight, as you need your other spell to effectively kill enemies. The typical spell combo is Rupture > Bloodrage > Thirst triggers > Chase.
You can use this on allies too, just make sure to tell them if you’re going to do it in case they want to use their spells. This spell can be a great help to a Razor or any high speed/high damage hero. You must know when and how to use this spell to prevent yourself from getting killed due to a backfire.

  • Using this on Stealth Assassin reveals him.
  • Bloodrage is based off the Firelord’s ladder spell, Soul Burn.
  • Bloodrage only increases Base + Agility damage not pure damage items like MKB/Buriza.
  • The damage is negligible. Don’t assume this spell can kill someone, at level 4 it only does 120 damage over time total.
  • Bloodrage doesn’t silence enemy spells from items, so you can’t use this to stop an enemy from using Dagon for example.


QUOTE

IPB ImageBlood Bath (Passive)
Whenever Strygwyr kills a unit, he bathes himself in the blood, regenerating his life source.

Level 1 – 10% of the Hero’s max hp. 5% for creeps.
Level 2 – 20% of the Hero’s max hp. 10% for creeps.
Level 3 – 30% of the Hero’s max hp. 15% for creeps.
Level 4 – 40% of the Hero’s max hp. 20% for creeps.

This is a signature skill for Strygwyr. Simple, elegant, and very useful. The higher hp the hero or creep is the more health you get once you kill it. You ONLY get the health if YOU deliver the killing blow. You even get the blood from denied creeps and heroes, units killed by items, and also images, but only 20%. (yes, images. Eat your heart out, Phantom Lancer)
This is a very powerful spell early game, this also makes trips to fountain less frequent, effectively you get a slight level bonus since you are out farming more than healing at the fountain.
This passive spell basically grants you more regeneration than any opponent in the game early. What does this mean? You can harass when this spell is at higher levels and out-regenerate your enemy that’s in your lane. This spell also gives you somewhat harassing immunity, since you gain health back so fast if your enemy allows you to get at least 2 creep kills per creep wave.
Your images also gain Blood Bath, meaning they don’t go down as fast as long as they kill some creeps.

QUOTE

IPB ImageStrygwyr’s Thirst (Passive)
Enables Strygwyr to sense the bleeding of any enemy hero below 40% hp. If it finds one, Strygwyr gains vision of that unit and increases move speed.

Level 1 – 11% movement increase. Small AoE, 1500 Range.
Level 2 – 22% movement increase. Medium AoE, 3000 Range.
Level 3 – 33% movement increase. Large AoE, 4500 Range.
Level 4 – 44% movement increase. Huge AoE, 6000 Range.

Alright, another very useful spell, your free map “control” (can’t say m-a-p-h-a-c-k cuz stupid DA doesn’t “support it”). Makes Bloodseeker one of the best chasers (if he’s not already). This spell when active, gives max movespeed with Boots of Travel.
Ok, this has many, many useful features. For one, stealth heroes below half hp will be ’seen’ (refer to Advanced Strategy Section). Another is that if multiple heroes are below 40% hp, you will gain sight of them all. However, when there is no enemy heroes below half hp you don’t get any buffs.
As long as you stay in range of the enemy hero if this triggers, you will keep the bonuses, however, if the hero regenerates/gains health in any way to a point above half hp, you lose the bonuses.
If this spell triggers, health changes to the heroes you gain vision of WILL affect the bonuses you get. Example, a low hp Omniknight is around and Strygwyr’s Thirst activates. You gain the sight of Omniknight as you would, then he heals himself. He is above 40% hp so you lose vision and your movespeed bonus.
This spell still triggers even if you’re Bloodraged, so you can Rupture the enemy, immediately Bloodrage then chase!

  • With Boots of Travel and Thirst active, it would take Bloodseeker approximately 11.49 seconds to reach any given point on the periphery of his 6000 aoe. Calculated using (Distance/speed) = time, assuming that you move approximately in a straight line
  • Strygwyr’s Thirst is based off the Shaman’s ladder spell, Bloodlust
  • If you have Thirst triggered, and an Ogre Magi casts Bloodlust on you, you will see the animation of Bloodlust being casted on you multiple times.
QUOTE

IPB ImageRupture (Active)
Deals a mighty blow to the enemy causing any movement to result in bleeding and loss of life. 1000 cast range.

Level 1 – 150 damage, 20% of distance moved in damage. Lasts 5 seconds. 100 second cooldown. 150 mana.
Level 2 – 250 damage, 40% of distance moved in damage. Lasts 7 seconds. 100 second cooldown. 200 mana.
Level 3 – 350 damage, 60% of distance moved in damage. Lasts 9 seconds. 100 second cooldown. 250 mana.

This is what makes Bloodseeker so cool. This is what pubs go crazy over when they don’t know what’s happening. Simply put, this spell deals initial damage, and if your target moves they receive damage on how much they move. I will show you how to use this skill to perfection later in the guide.
Obviously this spell is used to prevent your prey from escaping. They can choose to fight and succumb to your superior damage or run and be killed by Rupture.
The casting range is 1000, use it wisely. You can ninja kill with Rupture if an enemy hero is farming with relatively low hp. Rupture him, and if that didn’t kill him, Thirst and proceed with the kill.
The damage type of this spell is Magical, meaning it will go through armour.
This spell can be used defensively and to single out targets (much like Bane Elemental’s Nightmare spell). Example. You see a Clinkz pop out of nowhere and starting to pummel you with arrows, Rupture him then run away. He can choose to chase you but to a certain point you can then Thirst and chase him down. Either that or he chooses to do the smart thing and stay put, unable to kill you.
The faster the enemy runs, the more damage they get. So, you see an enemy with a Haste powerup, you Rupture and he continues running. This is immense damage to the hero you Ruptured.
On a technical note, Rupture does damage every quarter of a second. There is a cap to the damage (200 per quarter of a second), so that teleporting doesn’t instantly kill the teleporter if he/she is Ruptured, but if the enemy hero Blinks or is Nether Swapped within the max damage, they will take the normal Rupture movement damage.

  • Purge does not remove Rupture since it is triggered and not a buff/debuff. The buff/debuff is from an aura that is on a dummy unit which is spawned when Rupture is cast. It gets a bit strange when you cast it on creeps btw. This is because of how the dummy unit works with the aura. If you cast it on a neutral creep, the aura can’t be seen in the status bar. If you cast it on a creep controlled by a player or image, the hero appears to have been Ruptured, but isn’t
  • If you Rupture a hero with Linkins Sphere, they still get the buff (Rupture), does the initial damage and will trigger Linkin’s cooldown
  • If you Rupture an enemy and the hero you Ruptured gains magical immunity, he will not get the movement damage, but you will still see the animation.

To elaborate on how Rupture works, here’s a quote from Malle:

QUOTE
The heroes’ Blink abilities have 1000/1075/1150/1150 range.

The cap is enforced so that if the damage that is about to be dealt is larger than 200 before reductions, it will be set to 0.

Without going in on the math behind it, if a unit travels more than 1000/500/333.33 (Rupture level 1/2/3) distance that will negate the damage from Rupture for the 0.25 seconds interval it happens in. Any movement that is less than that will make you take damage.


Also, if you Rupture a image hero before they split, Rupture will still be in effect on the REAL HERO, so you can see which one’s real by watching the blood piss out of them. In other words, Mirror Image doesn’t remove/dispel Rupture, the real hero will still take damage when they move after they split. Take a look at these screenshots to see what I mean:

1: I am about to kill a Naga Siren. I Rupture her as my opening move.
2: She casts Mirror Image, hoping to dispel Rupture and save her life.
3: Notice the blood still coming out of one of the Naga’s? That’s the real one, and I attack it. She doesn’t know that she still takes damage from Rupture, so she’s moving her real one too with the images.
4: I then attack. By the time she realises her fault, it’s too late.

1: IPB Image 2: IPB Image

3: IPB Image 4: IPB Image
Skill Build

1.

Blood Bath

2.

Bloodrage


3.

Blood Bath


4.

Strygwyr’s Thirst

5.

Strygwyr’s Thirst


6.

Rupture


7.

Blood Bath

8.

Blood Bath


9.

Strygwyr’s Thirst


10.

Strygwyr’s Thirst

11.

Rupture


12.

Bloodrage


13.

Bloodrage


14.

Bloodrage

15.

Stats


16.

Rupture


17-25.

Stats

Skill Build Summary

The typical Bloodseeker skill build, except for the point in Bloodrage at the start. This is used as a silence to escape some nasty spamming early kills like Zues or Lion and to silence and kill them. It shouldn’t be used as a damage boost at level 1 though, it’s just not worth it. Blood Bath is a no-brainer, you need this to stay in your lane almost forever. You don’t have much damage at early levels so Bloodrage is maxed out after Thirst. At level 6 it becomes possible for a kill.

Well, Blood Bath and Strygwyr’s Thirst can be taken wherever you feel under different circumstances. Sometimes I get Strygwyr’s Thirst maxed earlier over Blood Bath because I am last hitting and denying well, going for some kills and on high health. I might get Blood Bath maxed earlier because I need the precious health to stay in my lane. There is no ’set skill build’ at level 3 and over, just mix it up and do what you think is necessary.

Item Build

Core Items

Boots, 3 Bracers/Wraiths, Radiance. These are the items you must get first before any luxuries.
QUOTE

Item Path


Early Game
1. 1 or 2 Sets of Tangoes, and 2 Circlets.
2. Get 3 Bracers or 3 Wraiths, depending on the situation. If you’re against a lot of nukers (which you probably will be), go for the Bracers. If you are the team ganker and running around everywhere without the fear of getting owned in 2 spells, I would suggest getting 3 Wraiths anyway. Note if you get Wraiths instead of Bracers, you’ll get Relic a little faster.
3. Sacred Relic

Mid Game
4. Make Radiance
5. Make BKB (RECOMMENDED) or Butterfly

Late Game
6. Make Boots of Travel – (Boots 500 + Recipe 2200 = 2700)

Your end inital items should be:

IPB ImageIPB Image
IPB ImageIPB Image
IPB ImageIPB Image

Boots of Travel, 3 Bracers (or Wraiths), Radiance, Butterfly/BKB

Grand Total
15905 Gold
(not including Branches, and any consumable items | Note that the grand total cost will be lower if you went BKB instead of Butterfly)
Items Afterwards
If the game is not over when you complete your item build, consider the one of the following damage items, selling your Bracers/Wraiths to make room for them and the survival/pushing items if the game continues to persist. I highly suggest getting one of each, not 2 Damage items, and vice versa. You need a balance.
Highest recommended to lowest / top to bottom in the respective categories.

Damage


QUOTE
IPB Image
Monkey King Bar | 5400
Demon Edge + Quarterstaff + Recipe
2600 + 1150 + 1650

This is the Anti-Teleport item you might need later. This gives a ministun that interrupts the Teleportation of an enemy hero. As you should know, to counter Rupture and Bloodrage is BoT or Scroll Teleportations, since they aren’t silenced by Bloodrage and Bloodseeker doesn’t have a natural stun to counter the TP. Buy this if you’re against opponents who make it their pleasure of buying TP scrolls JUST to counter you, or just have BoT in their inventory and use it when you Rupture them. I suggest not getting this if your team has more than 3 stunning/bashing heroes. Just tell them to try to hold their stun back until the enemy teleports.


QUOTE
IPB Image
Buriza-do Kyanon | 6200
Demon Edge + Crystalis (Broadsword + Blades of Attack) + Recipe
2600 + 2350 + 1250

Bloodrage, your high AS, along with crits makes you a feirce damage hero, probably your team’s primary damage hero in fact. If you choose to get Buriza-do Kyanon, I suggest getting a health item, like Satanic, to increase survivability. What’s massive damage when you get killed in the first 5 seconds of a fight?


Survival/Pushing


QUOTE
IPB Image
Satanic | 6150
Helm of Dominator (Helm of Iron Will + Mask of Death) and Messerschmidt’s Reaver + Recipe
950 + 900 + 3200 + 1100

Gives you a good health boost. With Bloodrage making the life stolen very high, Blood Bath, Lifesteal and the spell is really good with Bloodrage (0 mana cost, 50 sec. cool down, gives your hero and additional 15% lifesteal and +30 to damage. Lasts 20 sec.)


QUOTE
IPB Image
Black King Bar | 3800
Broadsword + Ogre Axe + Recipe
1200 + 1000 + 1600

Ok, you’ll need this almost every high level game. I recommend getting it straight after Radiance. In situations when you’re alone attacking an enemy or enemies, there is no need to Bloodrage to silence, so you have it to yourself to use later. Thirst still remains active when you are Avatared. You don’t have to worry about getting stunned, nuked, etc when chasing heroes. Remember, you don’t gain Bloodrage’s effects when you are Avatared, so keep it until your Avatar has finished to use it.


QUOTE
IPB Image
Battlefury | 4785
Perseverance (Ring of Health + Void Stone) + Claymore + Mithril Hammer
1775 + 1400 + 1610

Pushing power. Late game, Radience’s 35 damage aura just doesn’t cut it, so Battlefury is taken to maximise your pushing and creep killing power since you have high damage which makes Cleave worth it. This should be obtained if your team is in desperate need of another pusher hero, or is defending against massive waves of creeps made by opponent pushing heroes, e.g Furion/Keeper of the Light.

Explanation on Item Build

You start with Tangoes and Circlets. Even with Blood Bath, Bloodseeker needs a regeneration item. For example, laning up with a Zues or Viper without any regeneration it would be very hard.
Midas is not taken anymore because it just isn’t worth it. Besides, Bloodseeker should be ganking a lot.
Radiance is your farming item, providing you with a nice aura that triggers Blood Bath whenever it kills a creep. It also provides you with decent damage to last-hit creeps easier. Radiance also aids in neutral creep farming by drawing them.
You gain max movespeed with Boots of Travel and Thirst. Boots of Travel gives you various features, such as teleporting. Having that spell enhances your ganking ability and map control, and since Thirst won’t always be active, the extra movespeed is nice to move around from one lane to another to farm or to gank.
3 Bracers gives you much needed health, mana and agility, these should not be skipped until you need the room for your Item Afterwards.
3 Wraiths are for some good stat boosting early game, where you’ll be ganking around the map a lot, much like a Venomancer or VS.

Game Walkthrough


Early Game

Ok once you’ve got your starting items head out top lane Sentinel or bottom lane Scourge. Reason for this is you don’t really want solo, you have low hp with no escape mechanism and you’re much better used in team fights, ganking enemies with your Rupture and Bloodrage.

Your prime goal is to farm very well to shorten the length of time before you can get your Radiance. Last hits over denies. Even if you are getting harassed you must last hit, thus getting some replenishing and much needed nourishment. Deny only if there isn’t a last hit lurking around and you need some health. Its better not to do anything risky (like going for early kills) at this stage as you need the gold desperately. Last hitting and denying is very crucial to your survival.
If you’re in a higher level game, then you should beg, beg to hell, threaten to rage quit if you don’t get a good lane controller with you. He’s melee agility with pissweak health, so he needs someone like Lich or Viper holding his hand early game.
I highly recommend reading inDe_eD’s Micro Guide. You need above-average last hitting and denying skills to survive the onslaught of enemy heroes harassing spells and nukes. Blood Bath is a great early game spell that must be exploited.

I cannot stress enough how important your early game is to you. You MUST NOT THINK YOU ARE OKAY GETTING A KILL BUT DYING!!! Killing then dying is NOT acceptable, unless it’s first blood. Farming and ganking whenever Rupture is up is of utmost importance here.

Side-Note: A lot of people say Bloodrage is good for farming. I think spamming Bloodrage to farm is quite a waste of mana. If you haven’t noticed, Bloodseeker has a decent base damage, and can last hit creeps with ease. The only time you should use Bloodrage is to take down towers, or when you’re going back to base once you “finish off these creeps”, and kill/silence heroes.

If an enemy nuker comes to attack, Blood Rage him/her and run away. You don’t have the health for nasty spell combos, and you really want to avoid dying (like most heroes do).

Early-mid game, Observer Wards are crucial in IH games or games where high level players are in. Bloodseeker is a very ‘gankable’ hero with low hp and no real escape mechanism. They are only 300 gold, last a decent amount of time, and notify you of everything in their sight. You’re also the ganker, and that is another reason to get Obervers. If you’re not sure on where to place these valuable tools, check out this Miniguide to Warding.

Mid Game

Alright, now you have your Rupture it is possible for some kills. Get your ally to harass the enemy hero just until he’s about half or 3/4 hp. This is where Bloodrage comes in. If the enemy you are wishing to kill is an int hero, Bloodrage him followed by Rupture and attack. Strygwyr’s Thirst will activate once the enemy reaches below half hp. If the enemy hero is a hero like Razor, Rupture him and cast Bloodrage on yourself, then proceed to the chase. Your best fortune hits when the enemy hero sees the blood and panics, runs around then finally dies. Of course not all players are this stupid and will not go down without a fight. Nevertheless, they will still die due to the facts here:

  • Cannot run (you have insane movespeed)
  • You have a damage boost/They can’t use spells
  • You should also have an ally to attack him too

Ok, if no kills are possible don’t worry, keep to your last hitting and you will soon find yourself being an extraordinary hero killer and an awesome farming machine. If some of the enemy heroes are missing and you have no observer wards put up, farm the nearby creep camps to keep you gank-free.
Note: The initial damage of Rupture along with some bonus damage if they run will put almost any hero below half health, letting you activate Thirst almost instantly.
Farm time is over, mid game is your prime-time. This is where you spring from the little hero over there farming, to a monster of unnimaginable power, a beast that leaves none alive when he hunts. Go around, bouncing lane-to-lane, hunting enemy heroes. Always run around helping allied heroes kill the enemy heroes. You are a GANKER. Rupture’s cooldown is short, and you only have 2 active spells so your mana won’t be strained too much (maybe grab a clarity whenever you can if you need). Go for heroes that your team is having trouble keeping under control. As important as Night Stalker’s first night is, Pudge’s level 5-16, mid game is just as important to Bloodseeker. You should try to hunt during mid-game as much as possible.

Mid game is where you grab a couple of “leftovers” to supplement your farming after team fights if you’re not doing anything else important. You job is to make sure NO-ONE escapes. Kill the enemy hero that didn’t die in the team fight or unsuccessful gank. Example: Team fight just began, you are still farming in another lane, you see an enemy getting hurt pretty bad, most likely his health will go below 50%, go to the scene. Strygwyr’s Thirst will activate as soon as you get in range. Do not do this if the fight is on the other side of the map, as you will not make it in time for Strygwyr’s Thirst to get in range. Rupture any hero that has been “left over” by your team and grab yourself a nice easy kill. If your team is the one in need of help, feel free to Rupture the biggest threat and silence any heroes needed with Bloodrage.

Neutral farming should be done when you get your Sacred Relic and don’t have an opportunity to go hunting or no pushing opportunities are available. Neutral farming shouldn’t be much of a problem since almost all of he damage the creeps inflict will be replenished with Blood Bath.

At mid game you should be on a rampage slaughtering every hero you can find. Find an enemy hero in a lane solo, Rupture him behind the trees, using Rupture’s 1000 range. The enemy player should be startled and run for a bit before he realises he’s been Ruptured. Bloodrage accordingly and attack. You can bring an ally if you want, but bring the ally that is having a hardest time/lowest level/poorest. Your Boots of Travel should ensure you gank like crazy. This is basically what you do for almost all of late-early game to late-mid game.

Late Game

You should be nearing your item build completion. Hunting down heroes is your goal now. Tell your allies that you’re about to attack, and co-ordinate the attack. Rupture is no use if your allies stun/disable the hero Ruptured. The format for the attack should be: Allies use stuns > Rupture > Bloodrage yourself or the enemy depending on the hero and then proceed with the chase. Remember if you Bloodrage yourself you will be silenced from using Rupture, so remember not to Bloodrage before using Rupture.

Keep hunting those solo heroes, farming up Radiance should be hell easy. Look in the Advanced Strategy Section on your role in team fights.

Use Observer Wards at their creep camps, and gank them whenever they start farming there. Control the map, don’t let them have one minute peace.

You should be feared by now, the enemies will know that if you start the attack there’s almost no way to escape. Bounce around the lanes, if there is an allied hero and an enemy hero ask for permission to gank. If there are no heroes in the lane just push it a little then continue to bounce. If this doesn’t seem to work for you, stick in a lane with your teammates. You are a very useful asset to your team, almost ensures at least one kill in team fights. If you don’t farm well, don’t fret, Rupture and Bloodrage are invaluable tools to the team. If you’re so weak and they target you every fight, just use your spells and stay back, then finish off any heroes that are left.

You are also a decent pusher hero with Bloodrage in your arsenal. Simply Bloodrage yourself and you will find yourself bringing down towers in one go. Keep putting up Observer Wards around so you don’t find yourself in a sticky situation where you have Bloodraged yourself, and you are being ganked. You lost your silence, and your damage spell, also, you can’t use Rupture until it ends, and if the enemy doesn’t delay your doom, you won’t have a chance to cast Rupture.

In big pushes with both teams nuking each other and being defencive/aggresive you’re most likely to get pretty hurt, even with Satanic’s effect and health. With most hero’s, they would have to go heal at their respective fountain. With Bloodseeker, you can just go neutral creep farming to regain health AND get extra cash. Radiance helps a lot in this, since it draws the creeps to you when they get hit by Immolation. After replenishing your health, you’re ready to push again and help your team to victory.

Advanced Strategy Section


Using Your Spells/Role in Team Fights

If you have read this guide thoroughly, you would have some decent knowledge on how to utilise your spells already. Here’s some more tips to using them:

In team fights: Silence over Damage. In big team brawls silence any enemy int hero with Bloodrage rather than giving yourself the damage boost. This is a much better use and helps your team a lot.

You should be your teams main damage hero, and if you play well then you are a great asset to your team, since you always ensure no-one escapes with Thirst and Rupture.

Always Rupture the most threatening enemy, and if there is no real threat difference then Rupturing melee enemies should be your next priority.

Notes about Strygwyr’s Thirst

If there is an invisible hero like SA, BH, Clinkz, etc below half hp, you will track their movements like any other hero. However, if they are invisible or turn invisible when you have Thirst on, they will not be seen, but you gain THEIR vision so you can still track them. To counter this (bug?) problem, right click on them, and just leave it as it is (don’t cast any spells or issue any more commands, unless its important). This will make you attack them when they turn invisible (if Strygwr’s Thirst triggers). Don’t fret when you see Strygwyr attack the air, it’s really him attacking the enemy hero. If the hero is already invisible, this can get tricky, but move near the coloured spot on your minimap and Attack Move anywhere, this should make Bloodseeker attack the hero, and you can confirm this by seeing whether he’s attacking air or not.
Look at these screenshots for example:

1: Stealth Assassin loses a whole lot of health due to Gush harassment previously. Ursa hits him a couple of times, which leaves him about 1/3 health. Thirst triggers, but I miss the right click on him.
2: I follow the spot on my mini-map, and attack move near the terrain of the spot. Strygwyr auto-attacks SA! A few moments later…
3: …I score a nice kill!

1: Strygwyr Dota Allstars Screenshot

2: Strygwyr Dota Allstars Screenshot

3: Strygwyr Dota Allstars Screenshot

Also, with most heroes, when you’re chasing an enemy hero up a ramp you have to spam click Move command so your hero doesn’t cancel his command of attacking due to the fog of war. With Strygwyr, his Thirst makes chasing heroes up ramps a breeze! You have vision of them as long as they are below half health, so you don’t have to waste valuable time and attacks just to get your hero up the bloody ramp.

At level 4, Strygwyr’s Thirst has a huge AoE range around you of 6000. ANY heroes in that area below half hp will score you the bonuses. If you see you get the red animation above your head, look at your minimap and run towards the enemy that triggered Thirst. Strygwyr’s Thirst is active, giving you a nice movespeed bonus as well as vision of the enemy. Rupture the enemy, Bloodrage accordingly and score a nice free kill! You can also do this with the aid of Observer Wards, helping you locate enemies more efficiently, but I’d rather use them to prevent ganks on you.

Here’s an example, of the max length you should attempt to chase down targets and leftovers.

IPB Image

The

Teal

circle is where I am. The

Red

circles are where a below half health enemy is. The distance of me and my enemy plus a little more, is about the length you should try to get leftovers.

You should try to get leftovers only if the enemy you’re chasing is 2 tower lengths away from his/her base. (Base Tower, and the last Lane Tower, which are located by the Blue

circles) Any longer than that and your chances of catching up are pretty slim, unless you are really close to them of course. The length of Strygwyr’s Thirst is 6000 in an AoE around you, that’s about a little less than half the DotA map. (a little is cut off because of trees on the edges)

Here’s a picture to show you what route you are to take while chasing an enemy.

IPB Image
This is an example. The

Teal

circle is where I am. The

Yellow

circle is the area my enemy is in, below half health of course. The

Red

line shows what path you should take to chase the enemy unless they go an awkward alternative route. What I’m getting at here is, don’t just click on the enemy hero, work your way and intercept the enemy. If the hero you’re chasing is a bit slow, just wait there and pounce at the right time.

Defencive Tactic using Bloodrage and Rupture

Enemies are attacking you/your teammate. Bloodrage any int heroes, if not don’t bother. Rupture the one which could do the most harm (stunners like Sven or SK, or Blinkers like AM and PA). It is recommended that you wait until they are in tower range to Rupture, but if the situation is dire then don’t hesitate. The problem now is whether to kill the hero that you Ruptured. It entirely depends on the heroes you’re going to run into. If they have no stuns then proceed and score yourself a kill along with a nice healing. Just be careful you don’t be too aggressive and get yourself killed.
Note: If it is a single enemy hero, Bloodrage him if he has a stun or slow, like Viper or Sven. It doesn’t matter if they have increased damage, as long as they can’t catch up to your ally or yourself.
Look at these screenshots, as they show you how easily Rupture can turn the tide of battle into your favour:

Using Summoned Units and Illusions

If you have a hero that can summon units, like Furion, Enigma, etc, you can use their summoned units to heal yourself. Tell them to send back any heavily injured summoned units they have to you. Kill the unit, and get some precious health back. This works for illusion spawning heroes too. Any hero with a Mirror Image spell, or something different but still gets the desired effect (e.g. Terrorblade’s Conjure Image) you can use to get health back the same way as you would summoned units. Tell your ally to conjure some images, get them to harass any enemies until they are below half health, and then send them to you for some health replenishment. Remember you only get 20% of max health of the images from killing images.

Burning Enemies With Radiance

When you have Radiance in your inventory, that’s the time when you should start hunting enemy heroes. However, to chase well you need Strywgry’s Thirst active, and to do that you need the enemy below 40% hp. This is where ‘burning’ comes handy. With Radience’s effect of Immolation, if the enemy hero you’re chasing is almost below 40% health, just run alongside him even if you can’t attack him. Immolation will burn his health away, and as soon he hits below half health, Thirst will trigger. This is a handy tool if you don’t want to waste Rupture, or it is on cooldown.

Isolating Enemy Heroes

Rupture is a great isolation spell, much like Nether Swap. What I mean is, when you see an enemy out of place, Rupture the hero to isolate him. What do I mean by isolate? I mean put the enemy team off balance, into a situation they didn’t want. To isolate an enemy hero, use Rupture’s 1000 range to your advantage, and cast it on the enemy hero when the enemy creeps are dead or the enemy team is backing off for some particular reason. This works well in big pushes, where the enemy team knows they can’t push the tower so they back off. If you are fast, Rupture any enemy hero that is ‘trailing behind’. Your creeps will push forward, and the enemy team is against you and your creeps. (and your allies if they are there, which they should be) Bloodrage as neccesary, and destroy the isolated hero and even another enemy hero or two.
This same strategy can be applied when an over-aggresive enemy is attacking near your tower. This really only works in non-em games where towers really hurt, but can still be useful in -apem games (DONT PLAY -em!! Think of this as a motivation to not play -em). To do this, simply Rupture the enemy hero immediately when the tower attacks him/her. The tower should keep attacking the enemy hero you Ruptured if executed correctly, along with you wailing upon the enemy.

Bad Enemies

IPB Image IPB Image Blink Heroes, AM, QoP, etc
These guys blink away without being damaged (unless they blink within the damage max) by Rupture.

IPB Image Gorgon of GG
Medusa, has two spells that are completely GG to you. First, even though Purge doesn’t remove Rupture, it does remove your Bloodrage, so she’s now stronger than you in terms of damage. Also, Mana Shield does not count towards the health you get if you slay her. There is a strategy to counter the counter. Wait for her to Purge you, before you Bloodrage yourself, so you don’t lose your damage advantage. You can also tell when she has no mana, when her Mana Shield gets destroyed, it means no mana for Purge.

IPB Image IPB Image IPB Image Heavy Nukers like Zues, Lich, Tinker, etc
Although these guys become food later, early game and early mid game these guys are hard to farm well against. Along with your low hp you are a prime target for a nuker.

ALL other heroes can pose a threat, but the ones listed above are the heroes that you may have the most trouble with.

Good Allies

IPB Image IPB Image IPB ImageIPB Image Pudge, Vengeful Spirit, Spiritbreaker, Tiny
Beautiful synergy with Rupture. If the enemy doesn’t move when you Rupture him/her, Hook/Swap/Greater Bash/Toss will MAKE them move.

IPB Image Bane Elemental
Silencing with Bloodrage causes the targeted unit to get an insane increase to its damage. Enfeeble takes away the downfall of Bloodrage. Fiends Grip along with Rupture almost ensures a single enemy hero can’t move, or a good pincer pin down on two enemy heroes.

ANY ally that needs a good ‘pin-down’ on a single enemy hero to wail on is great with Bloodseeker, seen in the following section.

Teamplay Section

This section has a glance of how Strygwyr is to be coupled with ally heroes, which heroes, and some examples. Gives an overview of what heroes to have in your team, if you were to have Bloodseeker in it. Many people think having a stun and/or slow on the same team as Bloodseeker reduces his effectiveness, this is true to an extent, but he has unique spells that are great ganking abilities.
Note: Take top lane Sentinel or bottom lane Scourge with the following heroes. If you can’t, do these strategies as ways of ganking or in team fights.

IPB Image Pudge
This requires some good co-ordination. Get Pudge to hide in the forests without being seen. Rupture the enemy when he’s in an open spot, ping the location and let Pudge hook. Sure kill if executed properly.

IPB Image Witch Doctor
Ping the enemy hero you wish to kill. Rupture the enemy, then get Witch Doctor to Maledict the pinned hero followed by Death Ward. You might have to silence any stunners in your lane before Doctor casts his Death Ward. Maledict is a hard spell to land, but Rupture removes that, since the enemy shouldn’t be moving for the duration of the spell. This combo is like a ‘GG UR DEAD’ sign above the enemy head.

IPB Image Crystal Maiden
This is a great combo, and almost ensures a kill or two every time. Get CM to Frostbite the hero you ARE NOT aiming for, Bloodrage any enemy that can stun, then Rupture the hero YOU ARE aiming for. Get CM to run in and cast Freezing Field.

IPB Image Tormented Soul
He is the AoE king. Just like the combo with CM and Witch Doctor. Let TS unleash his spells among the Rupture hero. Very deadly, and helpful since Split Earth is one of the hardest spells to pull off.

IPB Image Slithice
Rupture and Ensnare, when casted in proper timing, gives a 14 second pin-down on a single hero. Along with her Mirror Image, this is like signing the enemy’s death certificate for him.

IPB Image Magnus
This is the kind of OMFG IMBA combo. Empower + Bloodrage, an Ulti that moves the hero, max movespeed and vision of the enemy is pure ownage!

How to Counter Bloodseeker


How to counter this beast? Here’s a list:

  • Teleportation Furion’s teleport works when you get damage, but early Bloodseeker will just silence you and kill you. Other than that, carry a Scroll of Teleportation with you at all times, remember that Bloodrage doesn’t silence item spells.
  • If you’re a hero that relies on spells, try not to, by increasing your attack speed and DPS. That way, if Bloodseeker Bloodrages you, you have a much better chance of overpowering him. If he learns not to Bloodrage you, then you can use your spells to kill him.
  • The hotkey known as ‘H’ Hold position when you see Bloodseeker cast his signature move, Rupture. Don’t go down without a fight, you can’t run, so you might as well give him hell before you die. You might even overpower him, who knows?
  • Flasks/Tangoes and Healing Spells Thirst requires you to be below half health in order for Strygwyr to gain his insane movespeed. Countering this is easy, just heal yourself! Carry a Flask of Sapphire Water or two, and heal yourself whenever your health drops below 50%. If you have an Omniknight, Warlock, or other ally that can heal, tell him to always keep your team’s heroes above 50% health.
  • Call For Help When you’re below 50% health, chances are a Seeker is hunting you. So give a shout for an ally (one with a disable preferably) to guard you.
  • Magic Immunity Well, at least you can run now. Avatar lasts for 10 seconds, Rupture lasts for 9. Just your luck. You’re free to move now. Also, if you’re silenced by Bloodrage, activate Avatar so you can use your spells again!
  • If Blink Dagger is a half-decent item for your hero, then you should aim for it earlier so you can blink when you’re Ruptured.

F.A.Q. – Frequently Asked Questions Section


Note: Please refer to these before you post the same question.

QUOTE
Why get RoR?


What do you do if you’re up against a nuker/harasser like Zues or Viper? Without RoR, you’re going to have to go back to the fountain, which leaves you at a disadvantage. Just because Bloodseeker has Blood Bath, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t get regeneration items.

QUOTE
I still don’t like Radience. Give me more reasons


Basically, to maximise the use of Blood Bath you need an AoE damage. Strygwyr has no AoE nukes, so his only way is through items. Lets look at Battlefury then. It gives you health and mana regeneration which you don’t need. It doesn’t give as much damage as Radience does. Radience has a damaging AoE and high damage that Bloodseeker can use well. It also allows you to ‘burn’ enemies which are just above half health, to trigger Strygwyr’s Thirst.

QUOTE
If you don’t like Battlefury then why put it as a possible item onwards?


Sure it’s useless to me early-mid. However, this spell is invaluable late game where you will be defending huge waves of creeps, or pushing the enemy lanes with BoT. This gives you a ‘bulldozer’ effect along with Radience, and if you want, Bloodrage. You pulverise through the enemy creeps, and with the newfound mana regeneration this late, you can spam Bloodrage when you can to crush enemy creep waves in mere milliseconds. 35 damage isn’t much to creeps later since they gain much more health, so Cleave with your high damage is much more effective at clearing creeps.

QUOTE
Why get BoT when Treads gives you max movespeed AND IAS?


Good question. I thought this too, until a nice guy by the name of Negi pointed a few things out. Think of the game as a whole, not just things that help you in battle. 35% IAS isn’t much for Strygwyr because he has IAS from Hand of Midas and The Butterfly, as well as the IAS he gains from the agility. The added movespeed and TP increases your ganking ability, farming ability, juking, and since Thirst won’t be on all the time it adds to your retreating ability. Treads was good earlier when Thirst had an insane set-duration on it. Now since Thirst is passive, the movespeed bonus goes away in about 2 seconds if there isn’t any more heroes under 50% health, so there’s nothing to boost your speed when you kill your enemy. With Thirst and Boots of Speed, you have 511 movespeed. Tell me, is that enough movespeed to chase down heroes? Of course it is.

QUOTE
Why not get Dagon? It prevents allies Ksing you from getting health doesn’t it?


10 Int gain is useless. 6+ damage is hardly anything. You pay loads of gold just to buy a stupid, worthless item like Dagon that only has a 400 damage single target nuke that strains your mana pool. BAD item.

QUOTE
Why no Battlefury earlier? It synergises with Blood Bath!


The mana regeneration, same as the explanation above. If you really want mana regeneration, get a RoB. As for the health regeneration, its overkill. Blood Bath and a ring of regeneration is sufficient. The cleave effect, well, I know it synergises with Blood Bath, but it does nothing when you’re against an enemy hero. Also, Radience gives the relative same effect. The damage is nice, but there are better items for that. Even after the buff, Battlefury isn’t that great, until you need pushing power, for Bloodseeker at least.

QUOTE
Bloodseeker doesn’t have an escape mechanism, how come you don’t get Lothars or something like that?


Truth is, Bloodseeker has 3 escape mechanism. Rupture pins a hero down, Bloodrage silences, and if you get Thirst to trigger you have max movespeed. Also, I say to use Observer Wards, and Lothars is countered easily. Also, Radience gives away your position when you’re invisible. Blink Dagger is also waste of money on Bloodseeker.

QUOTE
Why Satanic instead of Heart of Tarrasque?


11 hp regeneration does almost nothing in a fight. Lifesteal, along with your high damage output does. Heart doesn’t synergise with Bloodseeker, since his role is not to tank, and he gets life back from Blood Bath. Satanic does synergise, since you have high damage that leeches life by quite a lot, and just lets you stay in team fights much longer.

QUOTE
Sange and Yasha is a good item on Bloodseeker. Why don’t you have it in your item build?


Lets break it down, and see what we come up with.
First of all, it gives you agility and strength, which is great. However, if you want those stats, get a Bracer or Wraiths, Heart or Butterfly.
Second of all, is the maim. It slows the enemy down, is that what you really want? Rupture already pins them down, and if they choose to move they will die. You also have max movespeed if Thirst is on, so there’s no real point of slowing the enemy down when they already can’t escape. The maim de-synergises with Rupture.
Third of all, is the movespeed and attack speed bonuses. You have max movespeed with Thirst, you don’t need anymore. You DO use the attack speed, however, but you get Midas/Butterfly/MKB to increase that anyway.
Overall, you’re paying quite a lot, and giving up a precious item slot, for an item that you’re only half-using. Its like buying an ice-cream when what you really want is a meat pie.

QUOTE
Why no mana items?


Bloodseeker only has 2 active spells, which don’t cost a lot of mana. Also they should be used when you really need them. Midas doesn’t strain your mana pool at all.

Replays

Replay 1 is an older version, when Strywgry’s Thirst had to be casted. However, I think it is still useful to watch. Shows how Bloodrage is to be used, how well Radience is on Bloodseeker, and how Desolator just rips up enemy heroes.
These replays aren’t here to show off my ‘l337 $k!llz’. They are here to give you a general overview on how Strygwyr is to be played. Refrain from posting things like ‘omfg I’m a better bloodseeker than you’.

Bloodseeker Replay 1

- Attached File Bloodseeker_Replay_1.w3g ( 655.08k )
Pub game. Version 6.34


QUOTE
Sentinel
Pudge, Bloodseeker, Sand King, Tiny, Slarder
QUOTE
Scourge
Crystal Maiden, Razor, Lycan, Venomancer, Techies

The enemy were decent. Sand King and Venomancer both left during the fairly early in the game. Razor and CM snagged a handful of kills, Razor got Godlike. Notice how I used Bloodrage to cancel CM’s Freezing Field and spells during the game, and also ninja Ruptured for sneaky kills. This was when I was known as D.D.T-Lurker, and when I was a little bit cocky ;) . This was a pub, but a decent one (4v4) and shows good strategies. This is my recommendation to watch.

——————————————————————————————————————————————————–
Bloodseeker Replay 2

- Attached File Bloodseeker_2.w3g ( 649.69k )
Pub Game. Version 6.36b


QUOTE
Sentinel
Bloodseeker, Brood Mother, Juggernaut, Slarder, Naga Siren
QUOTE
Scourge
Nerubian Assassin, Stealth Assassin, Warlock, Necrolyte, Dragon Knight

Sure it’s a pubby, but it shows how Bloodrage is used only when I have the mana to spam it or don’t need mana at the particular time. Also shows how Rupture fully counters Linkins Sphere on the Nerubian Assassin. There was a Slarder on my team, and Amplify Damage and Corruption from my Desolator almost enabled me to utterly slaughter an enemy Necrolyte in just 3 attacks, if only I didn’t miss…

——————————————————————————————————————————————————–
Bloodseeker Replay 3

- Attached File Bloodseeker_4__IHL_.w3g ( 1.95mb )
IH Game. Version 6.37


QUOTE
Mirror Match
Tormented Soul, Bloodseeker, Silencer, Faceless Void, Queen of Pain

Played by 2 players, and it was a mirror-match game, so there were 2 Bloodseekers. It was a IH game, so the level of play was better than my pub replays. They use similiar builds to me too. Bloodseeker and Tormented Soul were in the same lane, so this replay shows how good they are together. Level 6 upwards the action starts.

——————————————————————————————————————————————————–
Bloodseeker Replay 4

- Attached File Bloodseeker_5__DonExodus_.w3g ( 619.38k )

IH Game. Version 6.37

QUOTE
Sentinel
Lina, Bloodseeker, Shadow Fiend, Enigma
QUOTE
Scourge
Nerubian Weaver, Pudge, Witch Doctor, Terrorblade, Night Stalker

Played by DonExodus. IH game. He uses a similiar build to me. He goes around killing stuff like you should. This replay shows how you should generally play Bloodseeker – hunt like crazy.

——————————————————————————————————————————————————–

Bloodseeker Replay 5 Attached File Bloodseeker_IH_Pl0x.w3g ( 705.3k )

IH Game. Version 6.37

QUOTE
Sentinel
Chaos Knight, Omniknight, Tiny, Necrolyte, Troll Warlord
QUOTE
Scourge
Bloodseeker, Twin Headed Dragon, Soul Keeper, Furion, Demon Witch

Played by me, in a rather dominating IH. We utterly crushed them. It’s hard to tell, but I silence Tiny and Omniknight, rendering them totally useless. It’s not WOW OMG, but it’s a IH replay, so meh. Our teamwork was much better than there’s, which is probably why we won so easily.

——————————————————————————————————————————————————–

Some are replays, in which I use my other item build/s (the ones played by me. They are ‘decent’ to watch in terms of learning how to use your spells. In the pubs I didn’t use Observer Wards either, or creep blocking. Meh, I’m lazy. Also, those replays are for older versions of Warcraft, but can be viewed using a program which is downloadable from this link.

Credits
  • To the Mechanics Forum Team, especially gradenko_2000 and Virot2 for the help they gave me during the making of this guide.
  • inDe_eD for writing the many enjoyable guides, especially his Micro Guide and Hero Effectiveness/Difficulty guides, as well as providing me with a IH Bloodseeker replay.
  • To everyone who helped make DotA.
  • June for being god.
  • Special Thanks to Beast_Pete for his everlasting and encouraging help and advice and much more.
  • You, for reading this guide.
  • The people that gave comments in the HGC.
  • Special Thanks to gradenko_2000 for his unlimited support and help.
  • Everyone else that has contributed to this guide.
Conclusion

I hope you have enjoyed reading this guide, and learned a lot about Bloodseeker. Get out there and play Strygwyr, he’s a hella fun hero to play!! You can wizz around the map with full movespeed and vision of enemy hero’s, you have spells that spurts blood everywhere, and you dish out insanely high damage. Get out there, own, feel it, love it.
Well, there you have it, my noob-friendly guide to Bloodseeker, I hope I made everything crystal clear. Please, post a comment and share your thoughts about this guide. If you’re a fellow Bloodseeker player, please feel free to add the following userbar into your signature. Thank you.

Pudge, the Butcher Guide

Friday, May 16th, 2008

This guide was created by Bengal_Tiger. Thank you!

IPB Image

By Bengal_Tigger Version 6.37 — 6.49

I believe nothing major has changed in 6.50…few tweaks to Bottle I think…please notify me if anything is significant…will be checking myself…

———————————————————————————————-

Why Pudge?

I’ll give you some more great reasons in a second. But right now, you should take a look at these videos and maybe you will start to understand the excitement of this fabulous Hero.

First Pudge Video Second Pudge Video Third Pudge Video Summary of the First Three Most Recent Pudge Video

Can’t believe your eyes? Can’t wait to start doing that yourself? Great! This Guide can help you a lot, so let’s get started.

———————————————————————————————-

Contents

1. Description
2. Overview of Abilities
3. Skill build
4. Item build
5. Overall Strategy
6. Specific Strategy
7. Screenshots
8. Placing Observer Wards
9. Best Allies, Weakest Enemies and Toughest Enemies
10. Replays and the Practice Your Pudge map

1. Description

He’s back, and he’s as ugly and fat as ever.
Strength: 25 + 3.2


Agility: 14 + 1.5
Intelligence: 14 + 1.5

625 hp
182 mana
52-58 damage
1 armor

285 movespeed
1.46 base attack time
Attack range of 128 (melee)
Pros

1. Fabulous hero-killing combination of abilities
2. High strength, and able to gain more with Flesh Heap
3. Abilities are useful in team situations
4. Simultaneously a tank and an assassin

Cons

1. Unimpressive agility and intelligence
2. Low armor
3. Low movement speed and attack rate
4. Melee hero
5. Can become weaker towards the late game

With more cons than pros, why would you play this Hero? Because, frankly, the pros are damn good if you know what you’re doing.

2. Abilities

IPB Image

Meat Hook

[T]

Launches a bloody hook at a unit or location. The hook will snag the first target encounters, dealing damage then dragging the victim back to the Butcher.

Level 1 – 400 range, 100 damage.
Level 2 – 600 range, 200 damage.
Level 3 – 800 range, 300 damage.
Level 4 – 1000 range, 400 damage.
Meat Hook was stealth nerfed in 6.46 and now deals physical damage. This means it is reduced by armor, and will deal considerably less damage in the later stages of the game.

IPB Image

Rot

[R]

Pudge releases the disease and filth inside of him, dealing intense damage to and slowing surrounding enemies while hurting Pudge as well.

Level 1 – 25 damage/second.
Level 2 – 50 damage/second.
Level 3 – 75 damage/second.
Level 4 – 100 damage/second.

IPB Image

Flesh Heap

[F]

Pudge is made of innumerable rotting corpses, giving him extra protection against spells as well as the chance to add more to his bulk. Adds 10 times as much “bulk” if the kill is a Hero kill.

Level 1 – 4% magic reduction, .03 Str bonus per kill.
Level 2 – 8% magic reduction, .06 Str bonus per kill.
Level 3 – 12% magic reduction, .09 Str bonus per kill.
Level 4 – 16% magic reduction, .12 Str bonus per kill.

IPB Image

Dismember

[D]

Chows down on a target, causing excruciating pain.
Lasts 3 seconds (on heroes) at all levels.
Channeling.

Level 1 – 75 damage/second.
Level 2 – 125 damage/second.
Level 3 – 175 damage/second.

3. Skill Build

1. Rot
2. Meat Hook
3. Meat Hook
4. Rot
5. Meat Hook
6. Dismember
7. Meat Hook
8. Rot
9. Rot
10. Stats
11. Dismember
12. Flesh Heap
13. Flesh Heap
14. Flesh Heap
15. Flesh Heap
16. Dismember
17. Stats
18. Stats
19. Stats
20. Stats
21. Stats
22. Stats
23. Stats
24. Stats
25. Stats

Meat Hook

This is quite possibly Pudge’s best ability, and by far the most fun to use. It’s what makes the Hero. You want this maxed early so that you can kill heroes with your amazing combination of Hook + Rot + Dismember. I’ll explain how to use it later, but you can get a kill with Hook at level 5 and start owning with the combo at level 7.

Rot

This skill serves several purposes. For one thing, you can chase a hero with Rot early and net a potential First Blood kill, and for another you need it to effectively kill heroes at all stages of the game. Definitely get Rot early, though, because the damage is most significant then and you won’t be getting kills without it.

I took Rot at level 1 because level 1 Hook is a piece of crap, but level 1 Rot provides the full 20% slow. A very small issue in any case, but level 1 Rot is more likely to be useful for getting first blood on a stupid enemy.

Note: Some people say to use Rot for last-hitting creeps. One word: DON’T! At least not early on. You don’t have hit points to spare. Rot drains your health very quickly, and it’s easy enough to get last hits with a little timing. I would only start to use Rot on creeps when you have a Heart or something and the creeps start coming in waves of 10 or so.

Flesh Heap

You don’t need this early, because the benefits are minimal. You won’t be farming fast enough early on for the Strength bonus to really come into play, and the spell resistance isn’t as good as it sounds. A 300 damage nuke will normally reduce your hit points by 225 due to Hero spell resistance. With level 4 Flesh Heap, it will reduce your hit points by about 191, a difference of only 34 hit points. More importantly, you need Hook and Rot early to get your kills. That said, Flesh Heap is definitely worth getting later on, as the Strength you can add with it is terrific. It is Flesh Heap that makes Pudge strong late game as well as early.

Why didn’t I start getting this at level 10?

You aren’t doing serious farming at this point, so the unit kill bonus isn’t helpful. 4% magic resistance does almost nothing for you. The only thing you would get is the 0.3 Strength bonus per Hero kill that comes with the extra point in Flesh Heap. There simply aren’t enough Hero kills happening for it to make a difference of more than a point or two to Strength. +2 to all stats is much more useful at that stage of the game, especially for the bonus it provides to your mana pool, which is still quite low. You do want to start on Flesh Heap at level 12, though, because you want it maxed by late game as you will be doing lots of farming then.

Dismember

This is a great ability. The stats on it are pretty poor – a 3 second channeling disable that deals only 225/375/525 damage, but it’s actually terrific on Pudge. You can Dismember a hero and turn on Rot immediately after, forcing the hero to take a large amount of additional damage. And you don’t even have to turn Rot on beforehand – it can be done while Dismember is channeling. Dismember is essential in the Hook + Rot + Dismember combination and works great to disrupt annoying channel spells like Life Drain and Freezing Field. It’s also very good in ganks, and has a very short cooldown. In short, a multipurpose ability that is essential to Pudge’s combo. Like most Ultimates, you should get this whenever you can.

There is more information regarding the use of these abilities in Specific Strategy, section 6.

4. Item Build

Basic start

IPB Image Ancient Tango of Essifation
IPB Image Circlet of Nobility
IPB Image Chicken

Pudge is not a bad Hero to get a Chicken on. If your allies don’t get a Chicken, you can get one for the team, along with a set of Tangos (you’ll bring more with the Chicken if you need them) and a Circlet, which you’ll turn into a Bracer later. You could instead get 2 Branches and 2 sets of Tangos if you’d like. Not a huge deal in any case; basically saves you a little gold now but costs you a little later. (If an ally gets a team Chicken, then get 2 Circlets and 2 Tangos.) The Tangos provide enough regeneration (hopefully) to get you through the early game until level 7 when you can get your Bottle and start ganking. If they don’t, you can always ferry some more with the Chicken as I already said.

Core Items

IPB Image Empty Bottle
IPB Image Boots of Speed
IPB ImageIPB Image Bracer x2
IPB Image Boots of Travel
IPB Image Observer Wards (get a bunch)

  • Empty Bottle is the first and possibly most important item here. Get this as soon as you can! It’s basically unlimited flasks/clarities, and is easily refilled with Boots of Travel. Bottle lets you kill multiple heroes without much damage to your hit points or mana.
  • Bracers – I have replaced Vitality Booster with Bracers because they provide better bonuses for roughly the same price and can be built with small pieces. It is unlikely that you will complete your Heart in a game, and in any event the Bracers will serve you well for a large part of the game, hence Vita Booster isn’t really worth going for until much later.
  • Boots of Travel is key – good chasing with RoT – no one gets away. You don’t need Boots of Travel to successfully chase with Rot, but if your enemy is smarter than, say, a turnip, he will juke you and he may escape the radius of Rot. Pudge is slow, remember? A little bonus movement speed goes a long way towards making sure enemies don’t escape. The teleport is also extremely useful for getting around the map.

    Note: If you are farming well, you can buy the Boots of Travel before the Bracers. Bracers will usually fit nicely after Bottle/Boots of Speed, but keep in mind that you are not obligated to get them before the BoT.

  • Observer Wards are extremely useful because they can spot unsuspecting heroes for your hooks and Runes for your Bottle. They can also see ganks on you or allies, and are just generally very useful items. You always see them in league games, and there’s a reason for it. Knowing the enemy’s location and the location of Runes are two very powerful things. Make sure to Ward the Runes so you can keep refilling your Bottle. Use Sentries if the enemy has Wards that you’d like to take out.

    Also note that I sometimes get an early set of Observer Wards, right after my Bottle/Boots or sometimes after a Bracer or two but in any case before the rest of the core. This is often worth doing because you are already ganking and you will enjoy the surveillance on the runes. I recommend putting one Ward in the lane of your choice (often mid lane, on the enemy’s hill) and the other on a Rune, or put both on the Runes.

  • You can also add Clarities to your build in addition to the Bottle to get some extra mana regeneration. This is in addition to the Bottle, not instead of the Bottle! The Bottle is your main source of regeneration. I don’t find that I need Clarities much, so they are not part of the official build.

After the Core

IPB Image Platemail
SITUATIONAL: IPB Image Hood of Defiance

Platemail – Pudge has very low armor, so the Platemail will give your Effective Hit Points (EHP) a huge boost against physical attacks. If you are against a team that is going to be hitting you with physical attacks, go for the Platemail as your next item. If they have more spellcasters, you can delay your Platemail until later, but you will eventually want one. I’d say to usually get it right away and go for Assault Cuirass to draw fire, but it’s situational. More on that later.

Hood – Against spellcaster teams, you may want to buy Hood as soon as you can after the Core is complete. ONLY DO THIS IF YOU ARE ALREADY DRAWING FIRE (or if the enemy has an insane amount of AoE, I suppose). This item is very situational. AoE aside, enemy spells will generally be targeted on lower-hit-point, higher-DPS heroes – especially if you’re busy buying all this spell resistance. Please, before you buy this, think about the enemy team and the way the game is going. Are you likely to get hit by spells, or not so much? Against smart enemy teams, Pudge won’t draw much fire.

Hood can now be bought after points have been placed in Flesh Heap, so you don’t need to make such an immediate decision any more.

Note on Shiva – I was considering adding this item in as a tentative option, but if an enemy hero gets near you later on, you still have Rot and Dismember to keep them there. The aura on Shiva is good, but the intellect is wasted – I’d go with an Assault Cuirass instead. Accordingly, scroll on down to the late-game items.

Late-game items

IPB Image Assault Cuirass
IPB Image Heart of Tarrasque

If the game runs long, we can really turn Pudge into a tank. Pudge can get a lot of Strength late game by farming with Flesh Heap. If you already have Platemail/Hood/whatever, Heart is the best tanking item to buy.

But first, I would go for an Assault Cuirass. Buy a Platemail if you didn’t before, and complete this item (assuming no one else on your team already has one). I admit that the attack speed bonus isn’t great for Pudge, but it synergizes decently well with the bonus damage from Flesh Heap and will help your DPS a lot more than buying damage would. Obviously you get armor (from the Platemail) on your Cuirass, and that’s really good for you. Here’s the best part. You’re this huge tank that doesn’t really do much for your team besides initiate fights. Well, guess what – now you’re a big threat! The auras are incredible – a Chainmail for your entire team, a negative Chainmail for theirs, plus attack speed for your team? NICE! So now the enemy team is going to want you out of the picture, and you may end up drawing some fire, which is great because it takes the heat off of your carry Hero and lets him own.

Then buy your Heart.

Honestly, it’s unlikely that you will get either of these items. Pudge spends most of his time ganking and does not wind up with much gold because he hasn’t farmed. That’s okay. If you do a good job assassinating heroes early-mid and keeping the enemy team down, you can easily support your team later on by using Hook to initiate, even if you don’t have good tanking gear.

Accordingly, the item build stops here. In the rare case that a game runs long, just improvise. Butterfly could be good, I don’t know.

Note for 6.42 Aegis – If your team kills Roshan, please let your carry hero have the Aegis. Don’t take it.

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Why Bottle as opposed to just sapphire waters, tangos and clarities?

IPB Image

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VS.

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IPB ImageIPB ImageIPB Image

1) Bottle is unlimited. You can and will use it late into the game. Using all three charges gives 600 hit points and 285 mana, or the equivalent of about 1.5 waters and almost 3 clarities, which cost over 250 gold. Using those numbers, Bottle pays for itself after only three refills. And that’s only looking at the amount refilled.

2) Bottle’s regeneration is over 3 seconds. This is huge. It’s very quick, which means you can use it immediately if you notice a vulnerable Hero but lack the mana to turn a combo on him and snag a kill where you would have missed one trying to use a Clarity potion. Furthermore, if you are low on hit points and an enemy has just nuked you, he could chase you until his nuke cools down and finish you with the nuke. But with Bottle, you can regenerate a quick 225 hit points before it’s up and survive.

3) Bottle can also capture runes. I mention that you should get Observer Wards. Put a Ward or two over the runes, and you can use Bottle to grab them. A stored rune can provide a key combat advantage that the enemy will not see coming. Using a Rune also returns 2/3 of Bottle.
What about Gem of True Sight?

IPB Image

You have to make this decision on your own. It’s very difficult to give black-and-white information about when a gem should be bought, and by whom, and who should carry it.
Spell resistance on items and Flesh Heap

It USED TO BE THE CASE that if you buy spell resistance items, you must do so before getting ANY points in Flesh Heap if you want the spell resistance to stack. However, this is no longer the case. This means that if you decide, much later, that you want Hood because the enemy team’s nuking combo is still powerful even late-game, that you can go ahead and buy.

In case you were wondering, the math works out like this:

Resistance with Planeswalker’s Cloak – 36.25%
Resistance with Flesh Heap – 37%
Resistance with Cloak and Flesh Heap – 46.4%
Resistance with only Hood – 47.25%
Resistance with Hood and Flesh Heap – 55.9%

5. Walkthrough Strategy:

Pudge’s role is that of the assassin-support-tank, a rather unique role. He is a predator for a large part of the game, then becomes an initiator support Hero that uses Hook to take out dangerous enemy Heroes before the team fights actually start. He can also help tank in a long game. If he is played well, he will destroy the enemy team early game and practically guarantee a huge late-game edge regardless.
Early game – Levels 1-7

At first, you basically sit in your lane getting last hits. If you’re soloing, it’s probably a pub/TDA game but try to tower hug anyway (or just kill your noob enemies, tee hee). If you’re laning with an ally, use Hook in combination with an ally’s spell to kill enemy Heroes in the lane and chase with Rot for the finish. Very intuitive stuff.

Once you get your Bottle, the lane dynamic changes. Unless you’re laning with an excellent ally, you will likely have been harassed a whole bunch and basically been dominated in the lane. Last hits weren’t easy, but you got enough for your Bottle. Now it’s your lane. You’re low on hit points? Use the Bottle once to pick some up, and a Tango if you have any left. If it’s a solo lane, you’re probably about level 5. Enemies aren’t expecting you to Hook yet. Throw one while the enemy is farming. If you’re solid on hit points and the enemy can’t do much to you, chase aggressively with Rot and try to kill him. If you’re semi-solid, turn on Rot and hit him once, then turn off Rot and back away. If you’re low on hit points, just immediately back up after the Hook unless you want to try to bluff by turning on Rot and hitting him once – which can work great but is risky if the enemy can disable. In any case, the enemy takes some damage and you can begin to control the lane. Another drink from Bottle puts your hit points and mana near full and you can be more aggressive with the last hitting, making it easy to get your Boots. You see, the enemy Hero will have to play defensively now because you can kill him with another Hook and appropriate follow-up. If you can do this, great. Then free-farm the lane until he gets back, and you’ll probably get level 7 and Boots with no trouble. If you can’t kill him, you should still be able to farm your lane pretty effectively.

Soloing: A solo lane is very effective on Pudge. If he hits level 7 when other heroes are still only level 5, his combination will be that much more devastating. If you know you will be able to control your lane, or at least survive until Bottle, try as hard as you can to get a solo side lane.

Usually you can put up a pretty convincing argument for solo. Explain that if you can get experience quickly you’ll be able to get your combo ready that much faster, and you’ll let someone else solo at level 7 or 8. You will, too. At level 7 or a little after you’ll start roaming and an ally can have the lane. People usually mind a lot less if you offer to give them a turn in the solo lane after a certain time.

Not Soloing: Soloing is really for easy games only. Pudge is a melee hero and is fairly awful at lane control, so in a serious game you will be destroyed if you try to solo. In fact, in a high-level game you should always lane with an ally, preferably a disabler or slower because combinations involving Hook will be devastating and preferably ranged because two melee heroes together in a lane is always a bad idea. With a good ally hero, you can definitely start using Hook at level 3 of the ability, or possibly even level 2 of the ability depending on how good your ally is at nuking/disabling/slowing. One small thing: You don’t want to hit level 7 too late, so in a mid-level game you can try to solo and call an ally if you need help later, or start off laning with an ally and have him go gank another lane at level 5 while you get some quick XP to get you to level 7.

Mid game – Levels 7-14

I usually leave my side lane at about level 8 – that is, somewhere between 7 and 9. Depends largely on how well I’m doing in my lane and how big a threat the rest of the heroes in the game can become if I let them farm longer. Anyway, ask your allies if you can have middle lane at this point, and hopefully they will agree. You don’t even need an ally mid to get kills. Basically just camp the cliffs on either side of your first mid tower and hook heroes from the river up to those cliffs, where you can Rot + Dismember for an easy kill. See Specific Strategy section for more about how you go about doing this. The idea is that you are roaming around the map pouncing on low-hit-point heroes. For example, after successfully killing a hero mid, you can leave mid lane briefly, take a drink from your Bottle to refill the health and mana you lost doing your combo (health lost only from Rot, they will usually be dying before they can hurt you) and run off to another lane to gank or backstab a hero. Then return mid for more hooking on the cliffs. I never sit in a lane again until level 16 or so, if I can help it. It’s always running around looking for kills. Also, make sure to repeatedly kill a late-game hero that quietly farms. It’s often easy to overlook these heroes and you’ll pay later on for ignoring them.

What if they have wards?

Well, I’ll get to this in the last section of the guide (counters to Pudge), but basically you have two options. The first is starting Flesh Heap at 10 instead of 12 and spending time farming up Strength instead of going after heroes. This is, of course, boring. So, a better solution is to buy counter-Wards (Sentries, or possibly a Gem that you mostly keep in base when not killing Wards with it) and keep assassinating heroes. Because that’s why you’re playing Pudge. You love killing heroes.

Abuse the runes

This is a good time to reiterate that you should be taking full advantage of your Bottle. In between ganks, travel via the rivers and pick up ALL runes you see with your Bottle (unless a nearby ally could put it to better use, in which case notify him of it). Be sure you use those Wards on the runes to constantly be aware of which runes are where. With runes returning a full Bottle after being used, you may not need to fountain trip for quite a while. (And if you do fountain trip, refill your Bottle, then use it immediately and refill it a second time. That heals you faster and cuts down your fountain trip time.)

One more thing. You may realize at some point that your combo is starting to lose its effectiveness and that you really need your Boots of Travel. Stop ganking and go farm a lane for a bit. If you delay the Boots of Travel and try to do more ganking and supporting your team, you’ll often have trouble getting them at all if things don’t go perfectly.
Late game – Levels 14-18

Support your allies. Use Hook + Dismember to instantly take out the most dangerous enemy before a team fight starts (it’s hard to expect your combo alone to kill them at this point in the game, but your allies can pound the enemy hero during the 3 second Dismember), giving you a quick advantage. It’s important to know who that is. It can often be someone with an AoE ulti or AoE disable, like Enigma or CM. Or, it could be the enemy team’s carry hero – the Clinkz/Viper/whoever that spent all game farming and deals 500 damage per hit. He’s a terrific choice because, like the name suggests, he’s supposed to be carrying his team. If he’s dead right off the bat, the enemy team will lose. Another way to think about it is to imagine all possible groups of 4 enemy heroes and leave the least dangerous foursome alone. Sometimes you will only have an opportunity to Hook one Hero who is NOT the carry or anything, but do it anyway. 5v4 is really good. Anyway, after you do this Hook and quick kill, the enemy team will often not sit back and defend at a tower, but charge in to try to save their ally. It will frequently be too late and your team will win the 5v4 and be able to mount a serious push that you would not have been able to do if the enemy had defended properly at a tower. So, initiate the fights.

Incidentally, you often won’t level past 18. Hence the 14-18. If you level more, then good for you.

In a very long game, you may be able to tank for your team. Tanking is really easy because you don’t have to do any work, so I won’t talk about it. Use Rot if you can, but it has a small radius so don’t get in too far trying to get yourself in melee range of enemies.

Moving on.

6. Specific Strategy:

This is where you find out exactly how to kill a hero, as well as use your skills more effectively.

Rot IPB Image


Chasing

- As mentioned in the Early Game section, Rot can be used to chase a running hero while causing damage. There is an excellent tactic you can use when doing this. Rot slows by 20%, so you can quickly run next to or slightly ahead of the running hero and attack them once. During this time they will push back in front, but will still be under the effects of Rot. Do not attack a second time, but instead continue chasing until you are level with them again and can attack again. This is an easy way of increasing overall chase damage dealt.
Ganking

- Rot is also very good for ganking enemies. You can continually slow the target hero while your allies pound him. Just remember not to attack unless you’ve drawn up alongside the enemy hero (or unless you have Boots of Travel), or else he might get out of range.
Farming

- Rot should never be used to farm. Repeat: DON’T FARM WITH ROT. In the early-mid game it will drain too many hit points to be worth using – and you are not farming in the early-mid game, you are assassinating. Later on, it will only push your creeps farther into enemy territory, which makes you vulnerable if you keep farming the lane. If you’re killing enemy creeps quickly to protect a tower, that’s different. But for farming, don’t use Rot.
Suiciding

- Rot can also be used to Suicide. If you’re in trouble and think you’re going to die, try turning on Rot, timing it just right so that Rot kills you instead of the enemy. This denies them gold and experience and also frustrates them. Plus, it maintains any kill streak you had. And you get a bonus to Strength if you have Flesh Heap because technically you killed a Hero!
Caution

- Doom and Silence prevent you from turning off Rot. If you are caught with Rot on when one of these skills is cast upon you, it can mean taking a LOT of extra damage and dying in a situation in which you would otherwise have easily lived. I recommend not using Rot at all when fighting a Doombringer with his ulti cooled, unless you are sure he is going to be silenced or disabled and unable to Doom you.

Flesh Heap IPB Image


Denying

- Allied units used to add strength when killed. This is no longer the case. You only receive strength from enemy units killed.

Dismember IPB Image


Combination

- Dismember is a basic element in your bread-and-butter combo of Meat Hook + Rot + Dismember. While chasing with Rot, you can Dismember for bonus damage, making your kill easier and, if used to finish them off, can deny the chance to stun you or Sunder you or something awful. Dismember is also terrific in team situations, providing 3 full seconds for your allies to beat up on the unfortunate hero.
Avatar

- Dismember goes through Avatar. It doesn’t deal damage, but it does hold the hero for 3 seconds. Extremely useful in team situations when an enemy has magic immunity.
Casting Range

- Dismember’s casting range isn’t actually melee. It’s slightly longer. Why is this important? Well, it means you can Dismember a hero that isn’t RIGHT next to you. This can be useful if you’re trying to land Dismember for allies or something, but it can also be very bad if you are trying to hurt them with Rot because they will be out of range. If you do Dismember them out of Rot range, please notice that they aren’t being hurt by Rot and turn Rot off to save yourself some hit points. But it would be better if you didn’t Dismember them out of Rot range in the first place. So, make sure you chase a little extra with Rot before Dismembering so they will definitely be in proper range. Also, if you Hook an enemy (and they don’t have Blink or a disable of some kind) give an order to chase for a second with Rot just to make sure you stay close to them while you are hitting the hotkey for Dismember.
Caution

- Don’t Dismember Roshan. It does practically nothing to him. And “Mmm…Fresh Meat…” can actually be a tip-off to the other team and they will be there before your allies even get a chance to yell at you for being so foolish. That really happened to me once. It was unpleasant.

Meat Hook IPB Image

I will break down this section into subsections for easy reference.

Hooking Stationary Enemies

This is relatively easy to do. The enemy isn’t moving! They need to be unsuspecting for this to happen, so usually you need to sneak up on them through the forest when they’re in a lane to get one of these, although it can also work if they are distracted by, say, an ally of yours that they are fighting.

The Long Range Meat Hook – This is the Hook that you’ll be using for this. It often takes full advantage of the 1000 range. This is best set up by hiding behind trees in a side lane or atop the cliffs near the first middle tower and hooking an unsuspecting hero. Just target the ground near the hero while the hero is busy attacking creeps. You need fast fingers to pull off your combination. Now, while the Hook is coming back to you, turn on Rot. This is important. Turn on Rot before Hook is done. After the enemy Hero is reeled in, chase him for a second with Rot on to make sure he’ll be in Rot’s range for the whole Dismember (assuming he won’t blink away or anything). Then, Dismember the (probably disoriented) hero. If it doesn’t kill him, you can chase with Rot for the finish. If the enemy has a disable and a decent amount of hit points and is likely to survive Dismember, stun you and escape, bring an ally along or be prepared to Hook a second time.

Hooking Moving Enemies

This is why Pudge is especially fun to play. Hooking moving enemies requires you to THINK, and I love thinking.

The Point Blank Meat Hook – Okay, so this is the way to Hook a moving hero for someone who doesn’t want to think. Not that that’s necessarily bad, because if you miscalculate a long Hook you’ll miss. This is often done while you are chasing with Rot and need an extra punch. Meat Hook is almost guaranteed to hit and makes for a nice finisher. This can be worth trying if you are having trouble landing longer-range Meat Hooks for whatever reason, but I find it to be a worse tactic overall. You don’t get the surprise element and the enemy is likely to be near a creep wave, so he could certainly turn the tables on you. Worse, if he runs before you get close to him you have relinquished all advantage and must either give up on the kill or risk missing with Hook. He will be on the lookout and try to dodge, and if you miss then he may be able to really pound you.

Long Range, Moving Hero – Fun, but not always easy. Try to anticipate the enemy Hero’s path and put the Hook where the enemy hero is going to be. You will get better at this the more you play and use Pudge, but the next point provides additional information to help you out with Hooking moving heroes.

Manipulating the Terrain – If you are worried about an enemy juking you, or simply that you will miss because there are several possible paths a Hero could take, wait to Hook until the enemy is at a point where he really only has one option for where to go. The narrow ramps all along the river are perfect. It becomes a lot easier to predict the enemy’s exact path. However, it is not always possible to get a Hook at one of these locations. When it isn’t possible, I recommend waiting until the last possible second to launch your Hook, unless you think you will have time to launch another after it cools down. Enemies often feel safe once they approach an allied tower and they do not think to juke. Furthermore, once they are in a sort of set path back to base along a lane, it is reasonable to assume that they will be running straight towards the base and have no reason to stop. This is even more true if there is an ally chasing them. Letting the enemy hero fall into a sort of “easy escape path” will allow you to land a Hook on them much more easily.

Also, position yourself to try to get the best angle possible when Hooking a moving Hero, especially if the enemy knows you are there and trying to Hook them. If an enemy Hero is running away and you are directly behind them, don’t Hook straight in front of you. Small terrain deformations and kinks in the enemy Hero’s path actually give your Hook a decent chance of missing. Step slightly to the side so you aren’t running directly behind them but rather off to the side a little. Then you can Hook at a small angle. Even 15 degrees is enough to make a difference, and it really does increase the chance that you will connect.

Miscellaneous and USEFUL Advice about Hooking

The Ally-Saving Meat Hook – The good Pudge player is always prepared to rescue his ally from a dangerous situation. If there’s only one enemy, pull the hero attacking your ally to you with a Meat Hook and turn your combo for a kill and a save. However, there may be multiple heroes attacking your ally, in which case your best bet is to hook your ally himself. He won’t take any damage. While he’s running, if you aren’t scared of the ganking heroes, you can try to slow them down with Rot/Dismember and you may even score a kill. If you think they might kill you, though, you’d better do the same as your ally and run.

The Blind Hook – Meat Hook can hit a hero that you can’t see due to invisibility or line of sight. It will still deal damage and bring the Hero to you. Trace the Hero’s projected path in your head. It’s the same sort of anticipation you would use to Hook any moving Hero, but taken to the next level because you can’t actually see them. Aim Hook ahead of the Hero in his imagined path, so it will collide with him as he keeps moving and go for it. There are some screenshots demonstrating this in the Screenshots section. Being able to judge a Hero’s path is something that you will simply get better at as you play more DotA and more Pudge.

Click on the ground, not the heroDon’t click on the hero, especially when trying to hit a moving target. This will result in a miss VERY often. ALMOST ALL THE TIME. Click on the ground near the hero, or if they are moving click on the ground in front of them. If they are very devious, they may try to run in zig-zags or other tricky patterns. There are several ways to deal with this. One, try to figure out where it looks like they’re going to move, and then decide where they will deke to. Basically you are just staying one step ahead of them mentally. However, you can also run directly at them and turn on Rot as soon as you get close. Zig zags and fancy jukes take longer than a straight line, so often you can catch up to them and use Rot to chase for your kill. Plus you can then Hook at point blank range anyway if you need an extra punch.

Click a little short of where you want the Hook to hit – Another thing you should be careful of is clicking ~1000 range away. The Hook stretches that far, yes, but don’t gamble. If you misjudge by a tiny bit and click 1100 units away, Pudge will have to move before throwing the Hook and it will ruin your angle, timing, etc. I usually click about 700 units away from Pudge on a maximum range Hook, or 300 units short of the place at which I want the Hook to connect. Don’t worry if you don’t know how much 300 units is (it’s half of Pugna’s attack range, if that helps). The specific amount isn’t that important, though. Just do it a little short of where you want the Hook to hit and you should be fine. Not only does it prevent Pudge from having to move to make the Hook, it’s also much easier to visualize the angles involved by giving your eye a point in space to use in mental calculations.

What doesn’t Hook hit? – Hook will go across cliffs and through trees. You can’t hook buildings, siege units, Roshan, Syllabear’s Spirit Bear or Chickens. Use this to your advantage! The enemy may feel safe behind his tower, or “protected” by a siege unit.

7. Screenshots

Contents of Screenshots Section

1. Hook Mechanics – Moving Heroes
2. Lane Positions – Mid lane
3. Lane Positions – Bottom lane
4. Lane Positions – Top lane
5. Hook Information – What is the Maximum Range? How much is 1000 units?
6. Hook Information – Small AoE on Hook
7. Hook Mechanics – Blind Hooks
8. Hook Utility – Saving Allies

1. Moving Heroes

I’m going to start the Screenshot section with a perfect segue from my discussion of Meat Hook. I have assembled a few screenshots related to a particular Hook I made on a particular Spectre who was chasing a particularly Lich-like ally of mine. I did a little work in Paint and I think the results will be pleasant.

Spectre is chasing my allied Lich into the tower. Lich is moving slowly and Spectre is moving quickly because she has used Spectral Dagger, and another hit or two will finish off the Lich.

I am in position to Hook, and I have some options. Here is what some people would do:

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Notice that I have drawn Spectre’s movement arrow. She is moving. This potential Hook is aimed at her current location, but by the time it gets there she will be farther along and it will miss.

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This is a better guess.

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It looks good, but it’s still not far enough ahead of the Hero. Don’t forget that Spectre is moving especially quickly because of her Dagger, so this Hook will definitely miss.

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This is the correct place to aim Hook:

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And here is the actual Hook, for comparison.

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Here’s another example of this.

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Notice how I aimed my hook at the red circle ahead of the Dragon Knight.

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2. Mid Lane Positions

Here are a few spots I like to hook from in the mid lane.

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This one is probably the most common Sentinel hooking spot ever. Notice the easy hook on Spirit Breaker in the middle lane. It’s a great spot, but people will probably expect it – so you should move around to different angles in the middle lane. However, if you’re on Scourge, people will expect it less. I recommend using it more often when playing as Scourge.

If you need other spots, though, you could go from the cliffs on the left side instead of the right side. Or you could go from the little alcove area around the Gnolls. (This one is tricky because you don’t have sight on the heroes in the lane. You’ll want to put an Observer Ward in the lane to remedy that.) You don’t need screenshots to show you which spots I’m talking about.

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Here’s another good spot in mid lane. This one is while I was playing as Scourge, but it works just as easily as Sentinel. The enemy heroes will simply be facing the other way. It’s a little harder as Sentinel just because the enemy hero’s allies could pin you in because you’re on the wrong side of the river and you’ll have trouble escaping back to base. Not a huge worry for the most part, though.

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3. Bottom Lane Positions

Here are a few spots I like to hook from in the bottom lane.

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This is a great side lane spot. Notice how my ally chases NA, distracting him from the thought of a possible hook and making him run in a straight line. A little timing, and an easy kill.

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Here’s another from the same general area. Notice the view from my point of view, and notice the view from Sniper’s point of view. He actually can’t see me, so that Hook is a total surprise. Look carefully at my location. I’m sort of behind a tree. Take full advantage of that tree when you’re in bottom lane.

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4. Top Lane Positions

Here are a few spots I like to hook from in the top lane.

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The above is a good way to kill someone tower-hugging on Scourge. Or someone near the tower at all. They do not necessarily have to be hugging the tower. This hook is a good one to use because the enemy feels more secure by their tower and is less likely to expect a hook.

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And here’s how to kill someone tower-hugging or near the tower on the Sentinel side. Go to the Sentinel shop. There isn’t actually a hero shown in this one, but you can see how the Hook is aimed at the exact spot someone would be if they were tower-hugging. The Hook shown is at MAXIMUM RANGE. Look closely. That’s 1000 range. It’s important to know the maximum range of Hook.

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5. Maximum Range of Hook – 1000 range

Here’s another shot showing a Hook at maximum range. I missed Sniper, but you can still get an idea of how far Hook stretches.

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6. Small AoE on Hook

Hook has a little AoE to it. About 100 units. The next Screenshot shows this.

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I aimed my hook at the red dot, but it still hit Spirit Breaker. However, do not get in the habit of relying on this AoE to make your Hooks connect. Always assume that your Hook will miss if it is not spot on. This will improve your accuracy.

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7. Blind Hooks

Hook can hit even if you can’t see your enemy. Just figure out where they’re going to be and time it. In this shot, Sniper is running up the hill. My hook connects, even though I can’t see him, and I get a kill.

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In the next series, I get a kill on Axe. Watch as he starts to run:

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Now a Hook shoots out. Here’s my view:

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That’s right. I can’t see him. I’m guessing where he’s going to be by timing it in my head.

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And here’s his view of the same shot:

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Delicious.

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8. Saving Allies

Ursa is in trouble. He’s been Purged by Siren and has 4 images hot on his tail. Here comes my Hook to save him. It looks like it’s going to miss, but it just barely gets him. In the lower half, he is shown on the other side of the trees, out of danger.

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One more ally saving Hook for good measure; same heroes in the same game, but so what?

Ursa is netted by the Siren, but a rescue Hook is on the way and he is pulled out of trouble.

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8. Observer Ward Placement

You’re going to want to place one Ward on the hill by the enemy’s first middle tower. Often ranged heroes will sit on the hill and attack creeps in the middle lane’s river. You’ll want to see them so you can Hook them from places like the Gnolls area. Put another one behind the first middle tower if it hasn’t fallen yet. Between the first two middle towers, that is. That lets you sneak through the woods and time a Hook to catch a fleeing hero who thinks he’s safe. Do the same thing to side towers if you are spending a lot of time in side lanes. I kind of prefer middle myself, but it all works. Also put Wards by the Runes, and in key areas in the woods where fighting is likely to happen. The neutrals are also a good place to put Wards, because you can catch VERY unsuspecting heroes farming neutrals. They’re afraid to be in a lane because of YOU, most likely, so by paying some attention to the neutrals you can cut down almost any attempt they might make at farming.

Also put wards in their base towards the end of the game – outside of the sight radius of the towers. That will let you Hook up into their base and kill a camping defender.

Let me reiterate, with the release of 6.38, the importance of placing Wards on the Runes. Bottle is now refilled completely after a Rune is used, so find and use those Runes.

I had some screenies demonstrating where to place the Observer wards, but some people said they weren’t that useful. They took up a lot of visual space, so they’re no longer in the Guide. However, I have provided a few thumbnails as links to some of the pictures. I did not put links to screenies showing how to ward the Runes, because that is fairly straightforward and frequently done.

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9. Best Allies and so forth

Best Allies

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Goblin Techies

– Hook an enemy through a minefield. Plus, Dismember gives the Techies plenty of time to get an accurate Suicide.

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Blood Seeker

– Rupture and Hook work together really well. Have the Blood Seeker Rupture an enemy. The enemy is now basically prevented from moving or else they will take large amounts of damage. This makes it easier to get an accurate Hook, and once you connect you will drag them 1000 units to your location, causing them to take damage from Rupture as if they had run across that area. Ouch!

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Omniknight

– Repel stops you from taking damage from Rot, so you can keep Rot on for up to 20 seconds without receiving any damage yourself. 100 x 20 = 2000 potential AoE damage you could deal in that time.

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Treant Protector

– Invisibility allows you to sneak up behind heroes easily and get hooks from any angle you choose. This is really nice. Eyes can help you see enemy heroes so you don’t have to guess with a blind Hook, and Eyes can also see enemy Observer Wards, which are a common counter to Pudge as I will mention in a second.

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Nerubian Weaver and Beastmaster

- Watchers give sight on heroes to set up a Hook, and scout for Runes that you can load into your Bottle. Beastmaster’s Hawk is good for the same reason.

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Disablers, nukers and slowers.

Especially Disablers. In a serious game, you are going to want to start the game laning with an ally and if your ally has a disable it will pay big dividends. A disable can set up an easy Hook, and any kind of early-game power can provide an effortless kill with Pudge’s insane Hook + Rot damage. I put pictures of VS and CM because they are notoriously good at what I’m talking about. Also note that you want your ally to be ranged. Two melee in a lane is always a bad idea.

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Late-Game Carry Heroes

- Pudge can own it up early to mid, but you need a carry hero to win you the game later on. If you’re playing a game with one friend, encourage him to get a carry hero over almost anything else (preferably a carry hero that is also a disabler/nuker/slower early if you are planning to lane with him). Pudge has a lot of trouble finishing the game even if he becomes a good tank, so you need someone to dish out the damage late-game and carry your team. I put in pictures of Viper and Syllabear because they are fairly traditional carry heroes; others include Clinkz (not in -lm league play but in -rd leagues and anything below) and QoP.

Weakest Enemies – any Agility or Intelligence hero, preferably ranged, should fall easily to Pudge’s powerful combo, but Strength heroes will also fall if you chase with Rot. My personal favorites? Lich and Sniper. Lots of fun to kill, and relatively helpless once Hooked.

Worst Enemies
Tanks.

Centaur/Rooftrellen/Leviathan. There are more, but I don’t want to bore you with tons of pictures and explanations because the principle is the same. These guys have so many hit points that your combo will be fairly ineffective, and they all have powerful spells of their own (Stomp, Overgrowth, Gush/Ravage) so they can often defeat you in a fight. Against Rooftrellen, you can Dismember him when he uses Overgrowth to basically negate it (provided he’s alone) but he can cast Invisibility on himself when you attempt to chase with Rot, so it’s unlikely you’ll do much to him, either.
Blinkers.

There are very few things more annoying than Hooking a hero only to have them Blink away quickly.
Agility heroes that you don’t properly deal with early on.

If an agility hero farms, you’re probably toast. Pudge can be strong late game, but he just doesn’t compare to heroes that were meant to win late game fights. Make sure you keep the enemy’s threat heroes from farming. I didn’t put pictures, but you can figure out who is likely to be a problem late-game.
Silence.

If you are Silenced with Rot on, you can’t turn Rot off. That will hurt a LOT. Heroes that are likely to silence you include Doombringer, Drow Ranger, Death Prophet, Silencer and Bloodseeker, although in the last case you’ll be dishing out some serious damage with Bloodrage. Doombringer is the most dangerous – his Silence is targeted right on the Hero, so you can’t dodge it, and it lasts the longest. Plus Doom does additional damage to you. Be very careful against Doombringer; I would avoid Rotting if you know his Ulti is up and he won’t be permadisabled.
Observer Wards.

Not a hero, but a common counter to Pudge. The wards let the enemy see you coming in advance and they will run before you can pick them off.

Combating the problem heroes


Silence

- Don’t get caught with Rot on. Figure out when they’re going to Silence you, and turn Rot off. Against Doombringer, don’t use it at all unless he’s disabled or his ulti isn’t up.

Also, with Silencer, his Last Word can interrupt your combination, so I recommend turning on Rot beforehand, then Hooking and chasing until Last Word wears off, at which point you can Dismember.
Blinkers

- Two options. One, Hook them when they aren’t expecting it and Dismember them before they figure out what’s going on. Or, start the fight by chasing with Rot and Hook them back after they Blink.
Agility heroes

you didn’t deal with early on – Self-explanatory. You didn’t shut them down early. Figure out which heroes are going to be late-game threats and hunt them down to make sure they can’t farm up good gear.
Tanks

- Out-tank them. Do some extra farming with Flesh Heap to build up your Strength. Or, get an ally to help you gank them to make sure they go down. Or, take out their damage-dealing allies. A defensive tank isn’t so fearsome if his Clinkz and Drow allies were shut down and can’t dish out any damage.
Observer Wards

- Buy Sentry Wards and kill the Observer Wards. My build has a pretty inexpensive early game (once you have Boots and Bottle you can kind of rock and roll) so you should be able to afford some. One kill that you otherwise wouldn’t have gotten almost pays for it right there, once you factor in the enemy losing gold and so forth. Plus, you needed Observer Wards anyway, right? Yes, you did. I said to get them. So you aren’t spending THAT much more by upgrading to Sentry Wards anyway.