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A Not-So-Common Guide to Zeus

July 30, 2013 by XcALibuR
Comments: 17    |    Views: 59021    |   


Build 1
Build 2

Not-The-Pubber Zeus Build

DotA2 Hero: Zeus


Purchase Order

Order of Purchase

Starting Items

Early Game

Core Items

Core Extensions

Luxury Items

Situational

For More Fun



Hero Skills

Arc Lightning

1 12 13 14

Lightning Bolt

3 4 5 7

Static Field

2 8 9 10

Thundergod's Wrath

6 11 16

Talents

15 17 18

Foreword

Hello guys, welcome to my second guide to Zeus, the Thunder God. Zeus is one of the burst nuker out there who has decent tankiness, very VERY high magic damage, but also scales well late-game. He is fairly easy to use, but he requires very good positioning to be played well.

Pros and Cons

Pros:
+Burst magic damage during early-game
+Decently tanky
+Scales well late-game
+True sight
+Spells has low Cooldowns
+Global-range (and probably the most annoying) ultimate
+Solid ganker


Cons:
-Not mana-friendly
-Lacks escape mechanism
-No stuns nor slow
-Well-known for being a KS-er
-Might be focused on due to his high level of annoyance
-Low base movement speed

Zeus's Skillset

Ah, Zeus's bread-and-butter. Now let's take a look down this list:

Arc Lightning


Type:

Targets:


Active

Enemy

Units
Hurls a bolt of lightning that leaps through nearby enemy units.

Level

1


2


3


4

Mana

65


70


75


80

Cooldown

1.75


1.75


1.75


1.75

Cast Range

700


700


700


700

Bounce Range

500


500


500


500

Damage

85


100


115


145


Notes:
  • The damage dealt is not reduced per bounce.

Lightning Bolt


Type:

Targets:


Active

Enemy

Units
Summons a bolt of lightning to strike an enemy unit, causing damage and a mini-stun.

Level

1


2


3


4

Mana

75


95


115


135

Cooldown

6


6


6


6

Damage

100


175


275


350


Notes:
  • The mini-stun dealt can be used to interrupt channeling items and spells, and casting and attacking animation.

  • True sight is provided around the target in a radius of 900.

  • The true sight provided can't be purged

Static Field


Type:

Targets:


Passive

N/A
Zeus shocks all nearby enemy units whenever he casts a spell, causing damage proportional to their current health.

Level

1


2


3


4

Radius

1000


1000


1000


1000

Percentage of HP as Damage

5%


7%


9%


11%


Notes:
  • The damage from Static Field is dealt before the damage from the used spell.

  • Units don't have to be visible to be damaged

Thundergod's Wrath


Type:

Targets:


Active

No Target
Strikes all enemy heroes with a massive bolt of heavenly lightning, no matter where they may be. Thundergod's Wrath also provides True Sight around each hero struck. If an enemy hero is invisible, it takes no damage, but the True Sight is still created at that hero's location.

Level

1


2


3

Mana

225


325


450

Cooldown

90


90


90

Radius

Global


Global


Global

Damage

225 (440*)


350 (540*)


475 (640*)


Notes:
  • True sight is provided around the target in a radius of 900, while vision is provided in a radius of 1000

  • Numbers in (*) are upgraded by Aghanim's Scepter.

  • True sight provided goes through Black King Bar, while the damage isn't.

Skill Explanation and Usage

Arc Lightning



Arc Lightning has a lot of usages. This skill is used to harass your lane opponent during early game. Although it pushes the lane a bit, use it to your advantage by checking the rune spots.

Don't forget to use it to last-hit either, but remember not to rely too much on Arc Lightning to last-hit since it pushes the lane, and also, use it ONLY if you can damage your lane opponent as well. For last-hitting, use your long front swing animation to your advantage and out-lasthit your opponent.

Other usages are to deal lots of damage in team fights, either by the spell damage itself or to activate Static Field. Don't underestimate the damage in can deal at level 4 (145), it can deal much more damage than you think.

One last thing to remember is always use this AFTER you use Lightning Bolt for a reason, Lightning Bolt provides sight to your target's surroundings, which means even if the enemy is about to juke, you still have vision over him to follow up with Arc Lightning.

You should max this last, but always take this skill at level 1. If you compare the mana cost and damage with Lightning Bolt, this is much more worth it to take.

Lightning Bolt



This is Zeus's bread-and-butter skill, and a reason why he is so feared in the game. This skill makes him a very dangerous ganker. Max this out at level 7, but don't take it before level 3. Level 1 Arc Lightning and level 1 Static Field combined deals more damage than Lightning Bolt level 1. After you leveled this up at level 3, don't bother using it. Wasting more mana for damage nearly the same as level 1 Arc Lightning is not worth it. Consider scaring the enemy after level 4 using this skill.

At level 5, you can attempt on killing the lane opponent. Lightning Bolt level 3 with Arc Lightning and Static Field level 1 can deal approximately 250 damage. If he weren't too careful with his HP, then it's an opportunity for you to bag a kill.

This thing has a lot of uses. You can use the true sight to your advantage. If you think that a hidden enemy is trying to gank you, use Lightning Bolt to a creep to foil his ambush, and scare him off. Be warned to only use this after you have Thundergod's Wrath to further damage your opponent. Usually, the enemy will still attempt to attack you because you have no other damaging spells other than Arc Lightning.

And you must remember, this skill has a mini-stun. If you see someone is channeling a dangerous spell (i.e Epicenter, Dismember, Black Hole) use it! It can save your teammate, or even your whole team. Plus, this skill has no projectile speed, unlike Shuriken Toss.

Static Field



This skill is what makes you scale late-game. 11% of the enemies' HP is nothing to laugh about, it's HUGE. This is the reason why it's maxed second, prior to Arc Lightning. Team fights are scarier with this passive spell of yours, in addition with Thundergod's Wrath it's even scarier than ever.

Thundergod's Wrath



This skill annoys the hell outta the opposing team, so don't use it to kill-steal. It is a common mistake to be made by new Zeus users, and I'm telling you DON'T DO IT. It has much more uses than you think.

It can be used as an opening towards team-fights. Before using it after an initiation (i.e, Echo Slam, Ravage, Reverse Polarity, Black Hole, etc.), watch your positioning accordingly, and unleash hell to those who oppose you. Use all the skills in your arsenal, and give your team an advantage.

As I mentioned, don't use it to kill-steal, only use it IF an enemy, with an HP low enough for your Thundergod's Wrath to kill, is unreachable by all your teammates on the spot. If not, just use it to assist your teammate in a gank.

Finally, use this if you think the opposing team is suspicious enough. Use Thundergod's Wrath if all the opposing team is gone from the map. It can even foil their pushing attempt, and finally forcing them to retreat.

A Few Useful Tips to Play Zeus

There are a few things you need to pay attention when using Zeus:

  • When using your skills (especially during early-game), always calculate your mana. Don't just use all your spells, but then the enemy still lives and you shout out "F*ck he escaped!", or in situations like "Oh f*ck, I'm dead." Zeus is not mana-friendly, and thus you need to pay attention towards your mana all the time.

  • Positioning is everything to Zeus. Your spells has a minimum range of 700, the maximum is global. Use that to your advantage by staying out of the clash and deal damage from afar. Use the fog of war to your advantage. Hide in trees, and Bolt-arc before the enemy realize where you are at.

  • I might have said this before, use Thundergod's Wrath wisely. You are already (in)famous for your reputation as a KS-er, don't make it worse.

Laning Phase Guide

I shall put down what you need to know when you play Zeus during laning phase. He is squishy, and very not mana-friendly. Mainly, I would discuss about mid-lane, since it is the most challenging and difficult.

Creep-blocking is important. By keeping yourself uphill, you have an advantage over your opponent. Last-hit and harass accordingly, but always remember to play safe. Call out "Missing Mid" if they are gone, push the lane a bit if you want to grab some runes.
If the runes that you got are:
Haste, go gank to the lane near to the rune spot.
Invisibility, same thing to do, just wait for your teammate to start the gank.
Double Damage, just use it to get to mid lane and harass.
Illusion, use the illusions to scout around, or even block an escaping heroes if you have good microing skills.
Regeneration, you might want to stay back so that the effect is not dispelled, but you also want to harass the enemy at the same time.

Relying on Arc Lightning too much to last-hit is not good. Your mana will be depleted very fast, and you won't be able to maintain the lane equilibrium. Instead, try using your long front-swing animation to your advantage by time your attack animation and projectile speed.

Lightning Bolt has a mini-stun, which means you can use it to interrupt your opponent's animation, and prevent them from getting last-hit. It might seem nothing, but one last-hit can make a huge difference. If all those missed last-hits are combined, your opponent could have lost LOTS of gold already.

Item Build Breakdown

The items that I put in the shopping list are all mediocre-priced. Reason? You don't need so much farm to be effective, so just leave the farming to your carry.

The shopping list has 2 Null Talismans, Arcane Boots, a Bottle and Force Staff for a reason, to solve your mana problems. As mentioned, you are not a mana-friendly guy, and thus you need items to resupply it fast.

Other than that, Force Staff can be used to get good positioning for yourself and an escape mechanism, two things that Zeus desperately needs. Position yourself well, out of the fray. Remember, although you are somewhat tanky, you are still a glass cannon, and can be destroyed with a few "touches".

You can replace Force Staff with a Blink Dagger if you'd like, but I don't really recommend it. It provides no stats, and you are not an initiator that requires better positioning. The advantage of Force Staff is that you can also help your teammates out of sticky situations.

And finally, Veil of Discord is the item to go. At first, I thought it was a ridiculous item, but after using it in a few games, it is too good to be missed (good job, Valve for considering this item to be put in Zeus's shopping list). With this item, all hell breaks loose. ALL magic damage from all sources shall be amplified, and that means you won't be as reliant on Thundergod's Wrath as when you use the common pub build ( Aghanim's Scepter and Refresher Orb).

More Details on Items

Starting Items



Basic starting items, but it gives you 254 gold left in your pocket to rush up your Bottle. +3 to all stats is just enough. Claritys are needed since you might spam Arc Lightning more than you think.

Early-game Items



These are the items you should get during early-game. It provides you decent mana regeneration, and much more ganking potential. Magic Wand should not be forgotten here. Although it seems measly, it provides burst healing and mana restoration. Especially in team-fights, this item will save your *** a thousand times.

Core Items (Mid-Late Game)



Force Staff is the most crucial thing to get. It provides excellent positioning, an escape mechanism, and it can also be used to save your teammates. Veil of Discord is gotten next. It amplifies damage done to all enemies in a very HUGE area. In addition, it provides some stats and HP regeneration.
Finally, a seemingly measly Town Portal Scroll. Usually people don't take this item, since they consider it as money-wasting and only filling their item slot. This is totally WRONG. It can be used to do many things. You can use it to defend a tower far away in such a short time, or even join an offensive and turn the tides.

Core Extensions


Basically core extensions aren't set to stone. Just get accordingly with the situation. Here are the list of possible choices of items you can try out.

Given enough mana regeneration from your all other items, this thing is worth to buy. Refresher Orb and Veil of Discord deals nearly the same damage as Aghanim's Scepter and Refresher Orb.


If your team seems like winning, and no one needs to be disabled, then get this item. With this, Refresher Orb and Veil of Discord, you are truly the definition of a glass cannon.


This item is useful in certain situations. With this, you can at least delay a gank and wait for your other teammates to come and help. Or, in team-fights, you can use it to disable their most dangerous hero in order to increase their handicap.


This might be kinda weird. It's basically an item to go against your own kind, so I would not really get this (in fact, I have never used this item on Zeus before), since I would be standing pretty far away from the fray, but if you find yourself being stun-locked most of the time, put this in your shopping list.


This item can be a decent addition. It at least provide you a slow, which Zeus lacks, and also more health and INT.


A replacement for Town Portal Scroll. If you are very fed and already stacked up with items, OR you find yourself teleporting here and there all the time, get this thing. Has shorter cooldown, and much more long-term cost-efficient.


Too many hard carries on the other side? Then this thing is what you need. But beware, all casters will aim you if you do so because the effect amplifies magic damage by 40%. This is a very nice item to get in conjunction with Black King Bar, which gives you invulnerability if activated both at the same time.


The good ol' favorite, Scythe of Vyse. Works as a disarm, silence and slow, all in one. You might need to get it if one hero on the other side is too threatening for your team.


More mana regen? Check. More HP regen? Check. A suicidal item? Check. Just what Zeus needs to support himself!


This thing is to be gotten if the opposing carry hits so hard. The armor is very decent to support you, plus the slow makes your enemies more vulnerable.

Another Build

I've just thought about this recently. This build has excellent mana regeneration, HP regeneration, and more movement speed. You can try this build if you find yourself out of mana frequently using the build above.

Starting Items


Recipe


The starting items are similar to what are listed on the first build, but we use the spare money to get a Soul Ring recipe, which will lead to Soul Ring, your main mana source.

Early-Game Items



These are the items you should have by early game. Soul Ring provides extra 50% mana regeneration. Since the bonus is provided in a form of percentage, you need to get Null Talisman in order to amplify it greatly.

Core Items



The core items aren't that expensive. Urn of Shadows and Soul Ring provides very much regeneration. It really helps, especially if a teammate is dying after a clash. Null Talisman is immediately replaced once you have gotten your Force Staff. It provides more INT, which leads to more mana regeneration. Plus, it also provides health regeneration as well.

Core Extension


The core extensions has not many changes, if compared to the first build. Just get what you need accordingly to fill a gap in your team, and you should do just fine.

Friend And Foe

Friends


Zeus have many friends. Here are some of them:

These guys have a same thing in common other than being good-excellent initiators. Their skills group up your enemies into one spot. Why is this an advantage to Zeus? Because of Static Field and Arc Lightning. If the enemies gather up in a spot, it would be easier for you to position yourself in a safe, but has the most damaging potential spot.


Next will be:

Their skills might not be as useful as the one on top, but they help you to buy some time to wreak havoc. By the time the enemies have awakened from their beauty sleep, they have been zapped HARD.


Initiators aren't only Zeus's friends.

Yup, mana batteries are your pals. Zeus always love these guys.



Magic amplifiers. They help Zeus to deal more damage.

There are many more friends that compliments well with Zeus, but I'm not gonna list them all. Let's now discuss about...

Foes


Although he has partners, he also has lots of haters.

They are all magic resistors (especially Anti-Mage, he totally hates magic). These type of heroes reduce your damage potential.

Doom Bringer
SHHH....!!! And that's it, you are no more than a tanky creep. Especially Doom Bringer, you won't be able to do ANYTHING at ALL.



They are basically Zeus's weakness exploiter. They are mana-burners. Zeus really needs to watch an eye on his mana, but these guys are just making it worse. The first three has it in their skill build. The rest are common Diffusal Blade carriers, which is the why they are included.



Stunners are your worst enemies. You got locked down in a stun, not able to do anything other than watching your HP bar go lower and lower.



Aw come on! Zeus is already a loser when it comes to sprinting, don't make it any worse!

End of The Guide

Well, finally the guide is over. I'd like to say thanks to:
Peppo o' Pacio for making me realise that this old man's build is not set to stone,
Merlini, for being my idol, and the one who encourages me to play Zeus, not to forget your wonderful guide in PlayDotA,
And finally, to all of you people for reading this guide. Be free to leave your comments below, that will surely help me to improve this guide! :D

A word for beginners who would like to play Zeus, Never give up! It might start off not as good as you expect, always remember that Practice makes perfect :)

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