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May 31st, 2008

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Sven, the Rogue Knight Guide By Hero_Frenzy

Saturday, May 31st, 2008

Author of this guide is Hero_Frenzy

What’s so good about Sven?

Sven is an awesome ganker in Dota Allstars. His Storm Bolt has an 8 second cooldown, so he is a great chaser, which helps during ganks. He also has a huge amount of HP, which allows him to tower dive with ease making him a very good ganker. Not only that, but with rune control and a Bottle he is one of the most feared heroes early game. Not to mention his huge base damage, a storm bolt which is very good to set up Lina or Leshrac which makes him one of the best laners in the game. Also, late game he can be a huge DPS hero with just a few items. He is an all around great hero, from pubs to the highest level of games.

Sven’s Skills

I am just going to comment on each of the skills. Here is a list of Sven’s skills: http://www.dota-allstars.com/hero/1703/index.html

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Storm Bolt – This spell is awesome like said before. It helps in ganks, it helps in chasing, it helps in laning, and it has a really short cooldown which allows you to do so much with it.

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Great Cleave – It’s not as good early game because you don’t have enough damage to make this spell worthwhile, but late game it can be a huge use in team fights, especially if you have a Mag/Enigma on your team.

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Toughness Aura – The boost to armor is pretty good for neutraling, helping you survive ganks, and increasing your survivability in team fights, and is by no means a bad skill. It’s best suited for mid-late game when people start doing physical damage.

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God’s Strength – This skill is the defining skill for Sven. It turns ganks around, it wins battles, and it’s very good for neutraling, ganking, and it makes Sven the huge DPS monster that he is.

Skill Setup

Level 1: Storm Bolt
Level 2: Stats
Level 3: Storm Bolt
Level 4: Stats
Level 5: Storm Bolt
Level 6: God’s Strength
Level 7: Storm Bolt
Level 8-10: Stats
Level 11: God’s Strength
Level 12-15: Toughness Aura
Level 16: God’s Strength
Level 17-20: Great Cleave
Level 21-25: Stats

Storm Bolt is maxed early for good lane control/ganks. It’s such an imba skill because of low cooldown, and it gives damage and a disable in one spell. Stats are good until level 10 because it gives you more HP to tank and mana to spam Storm Bolt. God’s Strength maxed first is normal stuff. It allows you to do tons of damage, and helps you gank, damage during team fights, siege towers, and neutral.

Now here’s the dilemma, Toughness or Cleave? The reason I chose Toughness is because until you become a DPS monster, cleave doesn’t really do much damage overall. Yes, it helps a little when farming, but it doesn’t make a big enough difference to get it. And anyway, it couldn’t hurt to get some armor. Just get Cleave levels 17-20 when you start becoming a huge DPS monster. And the obviously finish up with stats.

Pretty cookie cutter build. Nothing special.

Item Build

2x Tango + Circlet + 2x Branches + Clarity

Empty Bottle

Boots of Speed

2x Bracers

Power Treads

Black King Bar

Mask of Madness

TP Scrolls (all throughout)

Before I say anything more, here is the item descriptions if you need them: http://www.dota-allstars.com/items

This is just a flexible build which applies to most situations. I’ll discuss the different item choices below.

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Bottle – This item is awesome for Sven. It allows him to keep mana for early spamming of Storm Bolt. It allows you to get complete rune control, and it allows you to heal 200 HP and 100 mana over 3 seconds. It’s currently one of the best items in the game right now, and is a perfect choice for Sven.

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Bracers – This item gives him HP to tank, mana for Storm Bolt, and a bit of attack speed. It’s a no brainer item on him. Get it to tank towers and spam more Storm Bolts.

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Power Treads – Treads give you the attack speed you need when you turn on God’s Strength to deal huge amounts of damage. It also helps you when you are neutraling because it gives you more damage.

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Blink King Bar – Yeah, it’s kind of situational, but more often than not, there will be good disables on the other team, stopping you from doing full damage with God’s Strength. BKB nullifies those disables and allows you to deal full damage.

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Mask of Madness – This item allows you to deal a HUGE amount of damage with God’s Strength. The extra damage is pretty much nullified by BKB + the lifesteal when you have God’s Strength on, making this a very good item on Sven.

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TP Scrolls – Besides the first trip, you should never leave base without this item. It’s a pretty no brainer item on all heroes. It allows you to help gank, escape with really low HP, protect towers and raxes during pushes, and sometimes chase if the enemies are running to a tower.

Other Items to Consider

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Boots of Travel – Get this item instead of Treads if you find yourself with a lot of money early game from ganks, and you are going to be the primary carry in your team. It allows you to be in team fights, as well as farm which is a great thing to do if you are Sven.

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Blink Dagger – Some people always get this item on Sven, but I don’t really find it as useful on him. Usually other heroes will have it, allowing you to Stun, instead of you initiating. If you initiate, you get focused and die. Rather, I like to get this item against Blinkers, because it allows you to chase them and kill them, where they would have just Blinked away.

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Satanic – Some people like to go Heart in stead of Satanic on Sven, but I prefer to go Satanic, because when you turn on God’s Strength, you will have tons of damage, add that with the extra lifesteal from Satanic, and you are damn near impossible to kill. Get this item when you aren’t going BKB or MoM

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Assault Cuirass – This item gives you what you need. Attack speed, a -armor aura so your attacks deal more damage, extra armor for added tanking, and attack speed and armor aura for your allies which helps out the team.

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Heart of Tarrasque – Get this item after MoM in the BKB MoM build because you can’t go Satanic, as the Lifesteal doesn’t stack. It gives you extra damage and HP for tanking and doing damage.

Gameplay Walkthrough

First off is choosing a lane. You can solo, but you would rather not because you will simply get raped by the usual solo heroes (SF, Viper, Zeus, etc.), so pick a dual lane. Because you are melee, it’s good to lane with a ranged hero so they can harass, allowing you to go for the kill. The best heroes to lane with Sven are Lina or Leshrac, because their Stun, Stun, Nuke combo along with their harassing ability owns a lane. However, other heroes that lane well with Sven are Zeus, Viper, QoP, PotM, and THD. He also works well in any lane.

Early game you just want to last hit, to get your Bottle ASAP. Try to avoid as much harassment as possible. Just last hit and let your ally harass. If there is a good opportunity to kill someone, take it, but make sure you don’t waste your mana, because you have so little of it, and a double stun combination is huge with Sven.

Once you get your Bottle, start checking runes at every 2 minutes and ganking a lot. To do this, just check for rune, and regardless of whether or not you get the rune, try and gank the other lanes. Rune control is very important because it allows you to get the extra surprise or damage with him, and it allows you to heal, as well as denying the mid solo the ability to restore his HP and mana. Continue this process until mid game.

Once it’s mid game, just farm. You need to farm mid game or you will be useless late game. I have made the error of not farming enough mid game before, and it’s screwed me over many times, because I am not farmed enough lategame to abuse Sven’s imba DPS power. Yes, participate in pushes, and defending, but no more. Your allies should be able to handle it especially because you ganked every lane and got most of the runes. Remember to pay attention to the map to avoid ganks. Ganks will completely screw you over.

During lategame, go around with your team. Take part in ganks, team fights, defending towers, and team pushes. You should have enough farm by this time to be a huge threat to the enemy team. Remember to abuse your items to their full potential, and use your stuns effectively.

Yeah, I know this walkthrough is short, but Sven is such a simple hero. There’s only special techniques with him you need to know, and you can find this in the next section.

Techniques to a Better Sven

Stun with Backup – This technique isn’t hard to do, but there aren’t going to be many situations when you can do this, unless your opponent has no idea what he is doing. Basically what it is is when creeps are attacking your opponent between waves, stun them. The creeps will then damage him, along with yourself and your stun damage. If your ally has a stun as well, this can result in a quick first blood.

Backstabbing – A simple technique used with Storm Bolt. Basically, you run behind your opponent with the use of trees, allowing you to be right in front of him when you stun, allowing you to stun twice, and get in around 5 hits if not more. And it allows you to combo much easier with your lane partner.

Running and Stunning (Or Not) – You always want to be up as close to the enemy as possible, so usually you want to run up, then stun so you can get the most hits as possible. You usually want to do this, because if you don’t, you usually won’t get the kill anyway. Remember, you can run up, and not stun, to keep the enemy away from creeps, but only do that if you are against a solo, because if it’s a dual lane, they will just combo you to death.

Stun Block – Sometimes when you are chasing, if you are already really close to the enemy, you can stun, then block their pathing when they run, which allows you to get extra hits in, and slows the enemy so your ally can maybe land an AoE stun. This is a pretty difficult trick to master, but it’s devastating, especially when paired with God’s Strength.

God’s Strength Farming – Remember, you can use God’s Strength to farm neutrals. It allows you to neutral much quicker, especially when facing Golems, high level Saytrs, high level Furbolgs, and most importantly, Ancients. Just make sure you won’t need it by the cooldown time, because you always want to be able to have God’s Strength when you need it.

God’s Strength Blink – Remember you can use God’s Strength, then blink into the fight if you have it. It allows you to use more of the amount of time you have for God’s Strength, because every second of God’s Strength is important, because every hit that you do with God’s Strength does so much damage, and you should make full use of it.

Blink Stun – Basically, if you have Blink Dagger, and someone is going to get away, use Blink and Stun to catch them, and kill them. Not a tricky task, but can get you lots of kills, and stop people from getting away. Also helps when intiating ganks because they will not see you coming. Can also help stop TP’s and channeling spells.

Strategies to Make the Best of Your Hero

Laning – Laning with Sven is pretty simple. Just try to farm without getting harassed, and try to get your ally to harass. If you can kill the enemy, stun him, and allow your ally to combo with you, getting you the kill. Use some of the tactics stated above to make the most out of your lane. If the lane gets really tough, and you can’t farm in it, try and creep pull. If you are on sentinel bottom, pull that camp at X:15/45, where you attack it once, then rune down to your lane. It will bring your creeps over to the neutral camp, allowing you to farm it without taking any damage. If you have a tango, you can even pull the second camp for more money and experience without taking much damage. If you are on scourge middle, just attack the creeps at X:11/41 and your creeps will come to help you fight the gnolls. Immediately run up to the camp next to the one you are at and pull that to your creeps, getting you a good amount of gold in around 20 seconds.

Ganking – Basically, you want to get every time there’s a rune coming up. Leave your lane at around :50 if you have Bottle, and get try to get the rune. Regardless of whether you do or not, try and gank. When you gank, you always want to use the Backstabbing tactic if possible, because it allows you to have a higher chance of catching the enemy, and a higher chance of you getting the kill. Basically, the ideal gank is to come in with shadows from behind to stun the enemy, and have your ally run up and cast his spells, you stun again, and you both hit to finish him off. Don’t be afraid to gank from behind as well, because the element of surprise can prevent him from making a quick reaction.

Farming – If you are in a lane that’s back, you want to keep it back, so the enemy can’t farm, yet farm the lane. To do this, you should deny your creeps when they are at half health, and just last hit the enemy creeps. Also, when you neutral, be sure to make full use of the time. Remember, you can use God’s Strength to help you neutral. Also, one main thing to notice when you are neutraling is the time. If it’s X:53, then pull the camp away from the original location. This allows you to farm two times the amount of creeps you could have in the same amount of time.

Team Fights – Basically in team fights you are the DPS hero. You want to focus the low HP spellcaster. If you have BKB turn it on, and turn on God’s Strength and destroy their heroes. Try to use your items to your advantage. For example, use Blink to stop people from running, and use MoM to completely destroy your enemies once you have BKB. Never focus the tank. I know this is common knowledge, but people still tend to do this anyway. Go for the casters first, then the DPS hero, then the tank last. Team fights with Sven are pretty simple, but you just have to focus the right people.

Credits

PieMonger: His guide to shortening guides helped me a lot for guidewriting
Beast_Pete and disrup3: For making their layout which helped me make mine
Super_Chode: For his layout to his Sylla guide

Crixalis, The Sand King Guide By DamnNoHtml

Saturday, May 31st, 2008

This guide provided by DamnNoHtml

Table of Contents
a.)Skills / Abilities
b.)Items
c.)Gameplay
-Early Game
-Mid Game
-Late Game
d.)Burrowstriking Perfectly
e.)Enemy Heroes
f.)Other Notes

The Sand King’s Abilities

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Burrowstrike
The Sand King burrows into the ground, tunnels forward impaling everything above him, then surfaces.
Level 1 – 100 damage, 400 maximum range.
Level 2 – 160 damage, 500 maximum range.
Level 3 – 220 damage, 600 maximum range.
Level 4 – 280 damage, 700 maximum range.

Notes :: One of my favorite spells. Allows you to not only stun and deal decent damage to a fairly wide area of effect, but allows you to jump into a combat situation or teleport up a hill for an escape / kill. I will get into using Burrowstrike perfectly later.

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Sand Storm
The Sand King creates a fearsome Sand Storm. The storm blinds his enemies and he becomes invisible to them. The storm also causes his opponents to take damage.

Level 1 – 20 damage per second, lasts 20 seconds, 0.3 second delay before visible.
Level 2 – 40 damage per second, lasts 40 seconds, 0.6 second delay before visible.
Level 3 – 60 damage per second, lasts 60 seconds, 0.9 second delay before visible.
Level 4 – 80 damage per second, lasts 80 seconds, 1.2 second delay before visible.

Notes :: Great for farming if you do this build, great for escaping death. I don’t use this ability too much.

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Caustic Finale
Each of the Sand King’s attack injects a deadly venom that causes the target to explode violently on death, dealing damage in an area.

Level 1 – 90 damage.
Level 2 – 130 damage.
Level 3 – 170 damage.
Level 4 – 220 damage.

Notes :: One of the best farming skills in the game. Nuff’ said.

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Epicenter
Sends a disturbance into the earth, causing it to shudder violently. All caught within range will take damage and slowed. The closer to the epicenter, the more damage taken.

Level 1 – 2.0 second casting time, 6 pulses of 110 damage.
Level 2 – 2.0 second casting time, 8 pulses of 110 damage.
Level 3 – 2.0 second casting time, 10 pulses of 110 damage.

Notes :: One of the key spells in any mass push / defense in any CAL game, or hell, any game of any kind for that matter. Good for solo kills, good for double kills, good to ward away, good to stop pushes, good for everything.

[Skill Build]

  1. Burrowstrike ——————-> ? : Stun Level 1 Always good
  2. Attribute Bonus / *Caustic Finale —————-> ? : Mana to Spam, Health to stay
  3. Burrowstrike
  4. Attribute Bonus / *Sand Storm
  5. Burrowstrike
  6. Epicenter
  7. Burrowstrike
  8. Attribute Bonus
  9. Attribute Bonus
  10. Attribute Bonus
  11. Epicenter
  12. Attribute Bonus / *Caustic Finale
  13. Attribute Bonus / *Caustic Finale
  14. Sand Storm ——————-> ? : 1 Point to Avoid Death in many circumstances
  15. Caustic Finale —————–> ? : Eventually get this to easen farming even more.
  16. Epicenter
  17. Caustic Finale
  18. Caustic Finale
  19. Caustic Finale
  20. Attribute Bonus
  21. Attribute Bonus
  22. Attribute Bonus
  23. Sand Storm
  24. Sand Storm
  25. Sand Storm

Note: Sometimes if you are alone with a melee enemy hero, getting Caustic instead of stats earlier can be more effective.

*: Sometimes it is better to get the ability proceeding the “*” first as they could better your situation.
EX: If you have a Level 6 Lycan in Wolf Form, you’re gonna most likley want a Sand Storm to make his ultimate useless. Or, if you are versing a melee hero alone in a lane, 90 damage per every creep is alot of harassment with Caustic.

It depends what you want – I have tried both methods, they work equally as effective in the right situation.

Item Build :
[Starting Items]

  • Gauntlets of Strength ——————————– Early HP Boost
  • Circlet of Nobility ————————————- Early HP + MP Boost
  • Flask of Sapphire Water —————————– Saves a trip to the Well
  • Clarity Potion —————————————– Saves a trip to the Well
  • Ironwood Branch
    [First Trip To Well - Should have at least 1000]
  • Bracer Scroll ——————————– Complete the earlier two
  • Circlet of Nobility ————————————- Early HP + MP Boost
  • Gauntlets of Strength —————————– Early HP Boost
  • Bracer Scroll —————————————– Complete the earlier two
  • Boots of Speed —————————————– (Duh)
  • Flask of Sapphire Water —————————————– In case you don’t have your first one.
    [Second Trip To Well]
  • Kelen’s Dagger of Escape —————————————– Completely vital
  • Filler Bracers —————————————– Always nice to have + stats.[Later Game] Defense Build
  • Aegis of the Immortal (Plate Mail + Stout Shield + Planeswalkers Cloak + Recipe)
  • Heart of Tarrasque
  • Heart of Tarrasque[Later Game] Offense Build
  • Monkey King Bar (Demon Edge + Quarterstaff + Recipe)
  • Heart of Tarrasque
  • Heart of Tarrasque

Why?:

Heart : I actually underestimated this item when I first posted my SK guide. Heart is a very good item on SK, both defensive and offensive. It adds roughly 1000 HP and 35 damage, not to mention 11 HP / Sec regen. Combined with Aegis and perhaps another heart, it would take the Fire Well 11 seconds to kill you. Pretty damn nice Tank. It allows you to run in with Epicenter and STILL be targetted but live.

What about BKB? : Yeah, BKB makes sense right? Burrowstrike in, channel Epicenter, turn on BKB, and they can’t stop the channeling of the spell. Frankly I don’t like BKB too much. My reasons for this are that I get enough HP later with Heart, and if you have a Blink Dagger Epicenter will already be going off so there is no need to stop it. Plus, with BKB, if you Burrowstrike in and Epicenter, people will scatter and you will have less of an effect. With just Blink Dagger, they could be all together and not have time to react.

Only list a few items? : Yeah, late game you really can go whatever you want, there really is no bad item for the Sand King, with a few obvious exceptions (Scepter, Orb Effects). I only listed what I usually go, but I change alot so don’t go by it like its a bible.
Gameplay

Early Game

Start off by going to the lane of your choice. The good thing about Sand King is he is an excellent solo hero, yet an excellent dual-lane assistant as well. So, it doesn’t matter if you solo or not. Start off in the lane being very, very passive. Hold ALT and walk around with Crixalis until you see a creep with a small fraction of health remaining. As you see the creep start to lose all of its health, immidiately right click it, and go back to your walking around quickly. (To prevent auto attacking on creeps). This is a very common farming method and works amazingly well in the long run – though hard to master.

Sometimes at early levels you can bait yourself by rambo right-clicking the enemy hero (Don’t do this if you know it will be dumb AKA into Crystal Maiden and CK.) Get him to about 50% health (You should be probably around 25% health). Make him think he can kill you, and then use the power of your creeps to kill him instead. (View Image)

Dota Allstars Creeps
Dota Allstars Screenshot of the game

Once you hit Level 3 you can begin doing some damage, but don’t look for any kills yet. (Unless there is an allied stunner in your lane.) If you notice an enemy hero being attacked by at least 2 creeps, Burrowstrike him and attack him 2 times. The combination of your stun, your 2 attacks, and the 2 creeps attacking him add up to around 280-340 health taken away. Continue farming and being passive (Unless a stun opportunity occurs.

Level 5 is a pretty big level because Burrowstrike is now quite manueverable. You can start to strike up hills, down cliffs etc and the range is pretty long. Burrowstrike has more AoE than the actual spike effect shown.*
*As of 6.27b

Level 6 – Yay. Now you can easily, easily get double kills. There is an art to Burrowstrike – Epicenter..ing. You need to think what the person you burrowstriked is going to do when they see the green glow come from your tail.

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Try and think what your enemies will think.

Level 7-10 – Just farm, get a kill if you can. Work on that Blink Dagger money until you get it. Boring, yes. If an ambush comes, be prepared.

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…Seconds Later…

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And finally…

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Level 11-14 – Hopefully you have a Blink Dagger by now, and if you do, then now you must learn the art of Blink Strike + Epicenter. Look at these images and then I will explain further.

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After the blink with Epicenter “on” :

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There isn’t really an “art” of Burrowstrike + Epicenter, as it isn’t rocket science. Yet, it is one of the most effective “moves” in DotA. It usually never fails. First, find a spot that is in the fog of war or out of sight of enemy heroes. Be at most 900 units away from the enemies. Begin channeling Epicenter, and after the green light goes away and you start pulsing (You may miss 1 or 2 pulses if you are a begginner, it’s ok) immediately blink into the center of the enemy Heroes. After your pulses are up, Burrowstrike the remainders (if there are any) to sweep easy double kills.

A common misconception is when you Blink in with Epicenter “on” you should immediately Burrowstrike the enemies – This is false. If you do this, the time the enemy heroes spend in the air for Burrowstrike, they enemies are invulnerable, which means, no Epicenter damage. Wait untl all pulses are clear OR you can get a kill with a Burrowstrike.

Some people like to Channel Epicenter and then Shift-click Blink dagger so they wont miss a pulse – I do not like this as the target you want to blink to 2 seconds ago may change in the 2 seconds of channeling.

Later Levels – There is not much more that is new to the Sand King after Level 14. Sand Storm should be used for dire situations and you need to stall for allied heroes to rescue. There is a specific way you should farm with Caustic Finale. When you see a full creep wave, Burrowstrike every single unit. Immediately attack the necromancer of the wave, and then attack 1-2 ghouls. If you did this correctly, with Level 4 Caustic Finale, you should have killed the whole creep wave in a matter of seconds.

The Sand King is great for pushes – Do the Blink + Epicenter combo and it will totally screw up a team. Other than that, everything else just comes from practice. That is of course, once you can master the art of…

Mastering Burrowstrike

Burrowstrike is an incredibly versatile skill as you can transport to whatever location you want. It is especially useful for escaping by Burrowstriking up a hill.

Basics :There are times when you should and should not click a unit to Burrowstrike it. An example of when it is actually OK to click a unit is when you are both farming in the same lane. The good thing about clicking the unit is it will detect if he is in range, and if he leaves the range you won’t burrowstrike, which can be useful. DO NOT EVER click a unit if you are CHASING it, as you will always Burrowstrike behind the unit. You need to aim a bit ahead in the direction of the runner.

Let the Blue Ball represent the Sand King and the Red Ball Represent an enemy Hero who is fleeing. In this situation, you have to click ahead of the unit, at the green X, or you will Burrowstrike not far enough. This spell is NOT like Impale, where you can target it and it (usually) can’t miss.
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Burrowstriking up a hill : To Successfully strike up a hill, you must be relatively close to the edge of the cliff you want to go up / come down. Click as close as possible away from you, but enough to be on the other side. If you click too far, the Sand King will try to run around the hard way and not strike up the cliff, which, will make you screwed very often.

BAD:
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GOOD:
Dota Allstars Crixalis the Sand King guide

Timing : Timing is essential with Burrowstrike since it is NOT a targetted spell like Impale. Estimate the speed of your target and their direction and time accordingly. This comes with practice. But once you master it, come on, how badass is it Burrowstriking down a cliff for a kill?

Burrowstrike / Epicenter :
This is the most famous combo of the Sand King. Burrowstrike a unit (or more than one) and then immidiately channel Epicenter, so that when the enemy is unstunned, they will be caught in the Epicenter. There are many ways you can totally screw up B/E combo. Here are some tips to prevent that from happening.

————- Disablers :
Disablers suck when it comes to Burrowstrike / Epicenter. If you Burrowstrike, say, Crystal Maiden, there is enough time for her as she is unstunned to Frostbite you and kill the Epicenter. Not only that, she might use Freezing Field and kill you. Unless their main disable is on cooldown, do not attempt to Burrowstrike Epicenter caster / disablers.

————- Late Game Strength Heroes :
Obviously if a Hero has 2400 HP, Epicenters roughly 1,000 damage at Level 16 wont do jack shit. Never try to just kill a Lone Centaur with it. Save it for a push when it will at least do some damage. Don’t get me wrong though, an early game 1000 HP centaur can be killed pretty easily provided you avoid his stun.

————- Blinkers / Heroes with Blink Dagger :
If you ever Burrowstrike and attempt to Epicenter an Antimage, I hate you. He will just blink away easily and you will look pretty dumb :-p. Exceptions are if you TOO have a Blink Dagger – You can see where they Blink and just blink right with them, always a funny situation. Also if the hero can blink w/o a dagger, having a teammate disable or silence him works.

————- “Hot Spots” :
I like to call certain areas of the map “Hot Spots.” Why? Because the Sand King can use Burrowstrike to go to this area and be completely safe from harm for as long as he would like. If you go to a Hot Spot, it is an area that the enemy cannot have a line of sight to, and that only Burrowstrike can be casted to. You can transport ANYWHERE within the range with Burrowstrike.
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Other Notes

-None : This is my first Guide and the First version of this one.

Good luck.

Q&A

- Can you channel Epicenter and then Burrowstrike to an area, taking the Epicenter with you?

Though slightly less effective, yes, this does work, and is a good substitue if it is needed.