Dota Best Guides


Demnok Lannik, the Warlock, Wheat Beer Guide by Beast_Pete

Written by admin on October 3rd, 2008

This guide was created by Beast_Pete, good job!

Discuss this post in forums here.

I wrote this guide for promoting the new way of writing guides that I found out last summer. I see more and more people adapting to this style which makes me glad, but there are still so many people stuck with long guides with too many frivilous information, that I thought we have to change something and fast!

As I’m staying in the Netherlands now at my clanmate’s house, I’m not gonna create my common banners yet. Also I’m not able to post my replays either, so gonna link in some from my tournament, the East European DotA Championship, if I find something good. (back from the Netherlands, so you have a replay of me too)

The problem with the past guides have always been, not being able to write shortly yet keeping all the necessary information. Most of the guides were too long, boring to read and could not catch the reader’s attention except for the nice screenshots. However a hero guide should not be about pretty pics, but more about teaching the basics of the hero and how to play him/her in different gameplay circumstances it being public, inhouse, clanwar or more INT, more lategamers, more gankers etc.

What I’m trying to achieve is showing that writing a short guide does not mean you can’t teach others how to play a hero properly. I am presenting a new sample, which everyone and anyone may copy freely, because that’s what I want others to do. I hope I’ll succeed and Strategy can finally raise its level even higher.

Demnok Lannik, the Warlock

1: Hero Description

For detailed information about the hero’s stats and story, please refer to this link.

I have always liked using this hero being imbalanced from the start and still being one of the powerhouses no matter the level of play. He can become the carry of publics and supporter of clanwars. His attack animation is so nice that you can easily outdeny and outfarm anyone in 1v1. His Shadow Word allows him to harass a weaker soloer or give hope against a strong dual lane. Not to mention his “little” baby, which so many people love… to see dead. These are the main reasons why I decided to write a guide on him, he is easy to use, but in a more experienced player’s hands he can be godly even in higher levels.

2: Skills Descriptions, Builds & Usage

2.1 Skill Descriptions

Fatal Bonds

120 mana cost, 30 seconds cooldown, 25 seconds duration, casting range of 600. The distance between each bounce may not be over 600. Bonded units share 3.75/7.50/11.25/15.00 percentage of damage taken.
The damage is triggered HP removal which is not reduced by anything, blocked by spell immunity and not evaded by pseudo-evasion.
Usage: one of the reasons why you are so scary, this skill allows you to dominate in team fights and to surprise your enemies by amplifying your team’s AoE potential. You can as well use it for clearing up waves faster, but that’s rarer as you should be keeping it for the heroes. In teamfights, try to aim on a hero, to assure that it bounces to other heroes too instead of onto creeps.
Shadow Word

90/110/130/150 mana cost, 24 seconds cooldown, 8 seconds duration, casting range of 500. Heals or damages target for 10/20/30/40 per second.
Deals Magical damage which is reduced by the target’s Spell Resistance and is blocked by Spell Immunity.
Usage: your number one laning ability. With this you can stay alive even against the nastiest couples or can send back soloers inferior to your hero or your skill level. If you are in a really bad situation you may eat a tango next to using this skill and heal an insane amount of health points in a matter of just 8 seconds. Good for finishing off fleeing heroes or boosting your Infernal’s survivalability.

100/110/120/130 mana cost, 20 seconds cooldown, duration unknown, channel time 10 seconds, casting range of 700 and 650 AoE. Slows by 7/14/21/28 percentage per second up till 84%.
Does not slow units with Spell Immunity.
Usage: a skill that still so many people don’t know how to use properly… not even the pros and not even me I have to admit. I have seen only two players so far in my life to use it to great ownage, but noone else before or ever after. I think it has great potentials, that people have to find out and I’m sure we will see it being used in the futured (that’s also another reason why I’m posting this guide in the main strateg instead of the scourge guides section, so that wer can discuss upheavel usage). What I saw before is infernal being dropped down, someone disabling the target or an AoE disable being used and meanwhile the Warlock casting Upheavel. This can be deadly, 80% of slow is already too much for the most not to mention the slower heroes like Rhasta or Techies.
Rain of Chaos

Mechanics: (additional information)
Gold bounty 100/150/200, Experience Gain 98. The Infernal has 33% Spell Resistance and since the Infernal has 33% Spell Resistance and 25% Spell Resistance from its Hero-type armor, it has a total of: 49.75%.
Usage: your lil’ flaming baby. This little monster will cause fear and havoc amongst the rows of your enemies. As I’m already going to focus a lot on this fire golem a lot below I am not writing anything else here.

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Flaming Fists
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Permanent Immolation
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Resistant Skin
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2.2 Skill Build

Dota Skill build warlock

I don’t really think that the skill build generally needs an explanation, Shadow Word and Rain of Chaos are rather obvious choices at their respective levels. But I am sad to see that several people are still stuck with the old Warlock builds getting Attribute Bonuses at the early levels… which is not bad if you are soloing and lack the power to dominate. But in a dual a lane and if you buy some circlets, Fatal Bonds will need to be leveled earlier, as you need it for team fights even in smaller ones.

Now comes Upheavel. Why even get it, noone uses it? And you are right, noone uses it, or barely anyone. But this is something WE have to change. I have seen some people use it properly and it was devastating. I could even see it being leveled instead of Bonds in early game for a gank-oriented Warlock, but I’m not sure if that works too well (it is definitely surprising though). So I’m not justifying this skill, but am challenging everyone else to justifiy it for all the DotA players.

3: Item Builds, Alternatives and How to Use Them

3.1 Core Item Build

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[Boots of Speed][Ring of Basilius]
3.2 Item Choices Afterwards

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[Guinsoo's Scythe of Vyse][Boots of Speed]
(most versatile build fitting any level of game)

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[Necronomicon][Boots of Travel]
(clanwars, mid-high level IH games | ward/fighter, anti-invis)

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[Desolator][Power Treads][Assault Cuirass]
(public games | carry build)

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[Refresher Orb][The Eye of Skadi/Shiva's Guard]
(public games | owning with infernals)

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[Mekansm][Boots of Travel][lots of Wards]
(clanwars | supporter, ward bitch)
3.3 Details & Justifications

Warlock doesn’t need much items to be useful for his team, that’s why the Basilius+Mekansm build is getting so popular. And that’s why the core build is RoB+BoS. A Sobi Mask will cover all your mana needs in early game you can even start with the sobi plus some tangos and branches if you like, but the hero generally isn’t that mana dependent, just try to play wisely not spamming Shadow Word. The armor aura from RoB is quite useful at pushes and boosts your Infernal’s EHP even further. Of course some circlets or even Bracers can do well, but you can decide it on how well you can survive.

The oldest build existing is the dual/infernal spitting machine build aka Refresher Orb. In that build having (additional) slow is always useful, that’s why I advocate building your Shiva’s Guard or Eye of Skadi afterwards. The slow allows your infernal to hit more, while the immolation can burn the souls of your target for greater good. Use it in pubs preferably or when your opponents “mass” diffusal blades against you… though other builds would still be prefered in such games.

Guinsoo’s Scythe of Vyse is one of the strongest INT items in the game giving you a powerful disable namely Hex. It gives you decent DPS as well and allows you to spam your spells. It’s no doubt that the Sheep Stick is the best possible choice you can get, only some game circumstances may force you to switch to another build.

Necronomicon should be none-brainer. If you have to take the lead in ward-fight, this book will help you greatly along with massing wards yourself, allowing all your other heroes spend their gold on their needed items. The Mekansm build’s justication could go here as well, it’s also about being the ward/bitch but not much need for clearing wards, more like healing your allies all the time and pushing early to mid game. It’s for the faster games.

As Demnok Lannik has a high base damage, nice animation and an ability to bond heroes together, damage amplification could work out pretty well for him. If you are too tired, have a high delay in the game or just simply drank too much beer then this build can work really well. You don’t need much micro, just hit and run. That’s why the Deso+Cuirass build works so well for carrying public your games. For Power Treads, always set it to STR, as you need the HP much more than mana or AGI.
3.4 Alternative/Situational Items

Shiva’s Guard – best used in AoE based teams. It is a pretty good item for countering your opposing carry heroes and increasing the AoE damage potential of your team and slowing fleeing heroes.

Orchid Malovalence – pretty obvious choice for INT carries. Nice amplification of damage and silence along with high attack speed… get it as second or third DPS item if you are farmed.

Black King Bar – obviously when you are being a carry hero who needs to stay close but needs to counter the massive amount of nukes and disables. Could work out even when you are not carry, but then you should be trying to stay behind more.

4: Hero Specific Strategies and Techniques


Shadow Harass – use your Shadow Word offensively whenever you take advantage in denying and in physical harass. What’s very important is always knowing when to use it offensively and when defensively. Typically pub gamers will not harass you too much, so against them use it most of the times.

Unkillable Word – this is the defensive usage of your second skill. And actually the hardcore one, when you are being ganked and need high regen. Eat a tree with a tango and cast Shadow Word on yourself. You will have a sick HP regen and if you are at least level 6 then you might as well throw your little baby to give some further more surprise.

Weather Control Device – rain of chaos, your firey potion. It is extremely important to learn when to cast your Infernal and when to rather keep it. It decides the outcome of a team fight or a flee/killing of a ganked hero several times during a game. Try to wait for your teammates to ALL of your teammates to come at least 1000 or 1500 range of you (dagger users are in advance) before you initiate. It happens many times that you drop your baby, but your allies are not around to continue the disabling you started and to pull out as much nukes and physical attacks as possible. If you screw up, then you will simply warn your opponents to back up…

Proper Bonding – …also note, that Fatal Bonds should be cast only after Rain of Chaos, and immediately after it. Most of the times you won’t be able to bond your opponents without getting disabled yourself, so you need that 1 second. But if you fail to link them together immediately, then most of your allies’ spells’ damage won’t be increased. And as I stated before, always click on a hero to ensure that the next target’s priority will be a hero as well.

Soloing – this is recommended, when your team has two strong dual lanes or no better solos than you. Solo Warlock used to be a popular strategy but now it’s just as common if not less than dual lane. If you are up against a weaker solo, try to harass the shit out of him while getting as much denies in as possible. This will ensure that you can take the lead and concentrate on farming more later on. If you are up against a similarly strong soloer like Shadow Fiend or Viper, then try to slowly find out what the playstyle of the player is and if he is too defensive, then go offensive, if he is agressive, then use Word mainly on yourself harassing with physical attacks only. In that case you need to wait until he becomes too confident and makes a mistake. You might need to eat a tango or even casting your Infernal, just make sure, you make a balance between the Word heal and the Tango heal, so you keep enough mana for Rain of Chaos.

Laning – currently babysitting is quite popular for Warlock similarly to the Shadow Priest’s role. Void, Spectre, Rikimaru, Mortred… any hero who needs a little help at the beginning might become your partner in the lane. Concentrate on harassing and denying all the time. Don’t forget that the key is getting your carry hero farmed up as early as possible and for that you need to let all the creeps for him. Buy several tangos (no basilius at start) so that you can eat tress for your own health and keep all the Shadow Words to heal your partner. When you are paired up with a strong laner, then you should be on the offensive, being as agressive as possible. Your key to victory is dominance, so try to dominate your lane and get some levels of advantage.

Getting ganked – as described before, eating a tree with a tango and casting Word on yourself will help you a lot (similar effects to Enchantress’ healing). If you face a Viper in lane then holding a tp scroll all the time is necessary. Casting Infernal might turn the tides, if they run up to you under the tower. Also, start pinging on the map immediately, if you are not close enough to the tower, but not far either. Call an ally or two, so you can countergank immediately.

Ganking – when your allies call for a gank, make sure you come with enough mana to cover a word+infernal or even a word+infernal+bond combo (if there are creeps or more enemy heroes around). They of your success is when to drop down your little baby as I mentioned before. It doesn’t need practise at all, it demands calmness and coldness. So be patient and cast Rain of Chaos when you are sure your allies can catch up and disable at least one of the targets. Also try to either heal your tanking ally or damage a fleeing target with Shadow Word. Always drop the Infernal behind your enemies, so they either get hit more times and blocked a bit or get hit by your own allies if they go the other way.

Agressive playstyle – is about pushnig and ganking a lot. Preferable if you have allies such as Keeper of the Light, Pugna, Earthshaker, Leshrac, Lina, Chen, Broodmother, Soul Keeper or Visage. Try to decide the game in mid game already by taking out all the outer towers and then pushing down one of the inner towers and later the raxes. In this case you will need AoE powers for clearing waves fast and to kill all or most heroes in a team collision. You will also need a Mekansm an Arcane Ring and a Necronomicon for even better results (that’s when the Necro Build or the Support Build comes in).

Defensive situations – this is when you have to be even more cautious. When you are on the defense, then you are forced to play a style that you were not expected to play as a team that wants to win always considers a game to be theirs. But of course you cannot always win, and that’s when you have to be creative. This is a bit difficult for you as you don’t really have any spells to clear creep waves, so you have to wait for your nuking allies to do this job. However you shouldn’t be sleeping because you need to wait for the time your opponents are initiating. Try to predict wether it’s a false or real initiation as the wiser teams will try to get you cast the Infernal before the real attack. If it’s clearly a real attack, then drop down your baby immediately, cast bonds and scream sparta then hit everyone and anyone you can. These are the times when massing Bracers and buying Power Treads instead of a Boots of Travel might be a better choice. this is of course up to your descration.

5: Replays and Videos

EEDC Polish Semi-Finals: D-Link PGS vs Add1cted Pe0ple

[ D-Link PGS - Sentinel ]
lich.gif th_pl.png PGS|SantoS TOP
omag.gif th_pl.png PGS|Marian TOP
warl.gif th_pl.png PGS|..CupTastic MID
chen.gif th_pl.png PGS|Mandigal JUN
kotl.gif th_pl.png PGS|DarKy BOT

[ Add1cted Pe0ple - Scourge ]
tsou.gif th_pl.png Sinus TOP
skin.gif th_pl.png xxxadik TOP
necr.gif th_pl.png -MasterT- MID
lina.gif th_pl.png elderraptor BOT
obli.gif th_pl.png karas1989 BOT

Description: pushing strategy. Guinsoo build.

Battle for the Throne Round2 – FFS th_hu.png vs th_us.png l2p

How to watch 1.21 replays
[ FaPFesztySuperiority - Sentinel ]
sand.gif th_hu.png ghjkl_ TOP
lina.gif th_hu.png Honyi TOP
neth.gif th_hu.png rr.angel MID
merc.gif th_hu.png FaP.Pedobear BOT
warl.gif th_hu.png Beast_Pete BOT

[ Learn to Play - Scourge ]
tsou.gif th_us.png arsenal777 TOP
sven.gif th_us.png MatrixDK TOP
sfie.gif th_us.png Guld(Dk)Hjort MID
enig.gif th_us.png auekat BOT
magn.gif th_us.png Wicked[Death BOT

Description: babysitter. Ganking strategy. Necronomicon build.

6: Summa Summarum

Sponsored by: Franziskaner Hefe Weissbier
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I would like to thank everybody who is reading this guide and is giving his/her feedback. Also I hope that those who were in need of Warlock lessons could learn something from my guide, even if just a little. I would suggest watching big tournaments’ replays as most of the time Warlock is picked when not banned, so you can easily find quality replays.

I hope that other guide-writers will also start writing shorter guides focusing more on the most important aspects of a hero rather than all the little things that can be learnt from other non-hero related guides as well and especially just by playing the game.

  • Franziskaner Brewery for the tastiest wheat beer I have ever tasted.
  • Ali Radicali for the possibility of staying at his house while I was writing this guide at him in the Netherlands. And the Shiva/Skadi gif.
  • The Strategy Staff for all the little tips they gave to me during the process of writing.

4 Comments so far ↓

  1. Oct

    nice guide dude.. i’m from the Philippines.. :D support player.. :D

  2. Jun

    dude nice guide…..i recently started playing him and he is awesome….invite me to a game sometime im in US east and make it duplicate mode :)

  3. Aug
    Ash Sena21

    Nice guide mr fuck…but i will crash all the opponents in a simple way i am..

  4. Jun

    Hey, pretty good guide ^^ I’ve recently started playing warlock and I think you describe him about the way I play but… one thing I miss. Where’s the Upeaval use in the guide?
    I play like this in a 5v5 team battle:
    Word on me, link enemys, drop infernal, then channel upheaval slightly behind them. This will make upheaval reach maximum effekt before any enemy can leave the area, your infernal and treammates will gain several seconds more to hit the enemys and the link (wich I used 1st) will deal damage from the infernal drop too. (If the enemys go for me I pop BKB)

    I’m just a beginner but I think that works extremely good, any comment on my tact?

    Anyway, thanks for making this it confirmed my style of playing him ^^

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