Atropos the Bane Elemental is a disabler, whose role in team is centralized on ganking and supporting. Although being a powerful hero, he is unfortunately not very popular in neither public, nor competitive games. I'm not a competitive player myself, but I think there are three main reasons why Bane is seldom picked on tournaments: Firstly, bane sucks terrebly at pushing. No AOE skill, no physical damage output - nothing that will help clear a creepwave. Secondly, Radiance, a very popular item in competitive play, doesn't combine well with Nightmare. Finally, Atropos isn't very usefull in teamfights as all of his spells are single-target and ult tends to get interrupted fast when there are a lot of enemies around...
Anyway, Bane is really a very poferfull hero and in the right hands can do a lot of damage and contribute greatly to the team's success.
Atropos is an elemental force personifying the nightmares and fear of this world. He manifests where there is promise of inflicting horror and feeding off dread. Sapping his foes' psyche heals him. Manifesting his enemies' fears, he greatly enfeebles their
ability to fight. He revels in disabling foes by sending them into dread slumber. When need be he can rip his soul and force it into his foes,
effectively immobilizing them with despair and pain. Atropos is, in one word, Fear.
+ A great support hero that all the teammates love
+ A great disabler hero that all the opponents hate
+ Strong early and mid game, (especially early-mid game)
+ A strong ganker from level 6 on (and probably the best ganking partner in game)
+ Not item-dependable
+ Good Strength grow and starting Strength (for an Intelligence hero)
+ Has a pure-damage nuke, which is a heal at the same time
+ Cool backstory
- Like most intelligence heroes, not that powerful in late game
- No AOE spells, thus sucks at pushing and at clearing creepwaves
- Relatively weak in large teamfights
- Mana problems early game
- Silencers are a pain in the ***
Description: This is a rather powerful skill. It has a long range of 1000, which is very nice, and it's duration (20) is longer than it's cooldown (12), so two enemies can Enfeebled at a time. If cast at a right time, it renders one of the enemy heroes absolutely useless. However, it doesn't scale too well into lategame, so don't overestimate it: a lvl 25 Drow Ranger with MKB, Buriza, Butterfly and some other nice items will still rape your team, even if Enfeebled.
Description: I dare to say, this is one of the best (if not the best) non-ultimate spells in the game.. but only at early levels. It simply works wonders: it heals you, it damages enemies. This spell often turns 'you die, enemy survives' situation into 'you survive, enemy dies' situation. You know Sunder? Terrorblade's ultimate? This is our mini-Sunder. It's simply priceless.
The damage type is pure, so no matter how much magic resistance the enemy has, 300 hp (at lvl 4) will be removed from him.
There are two problems with this spell though: first, it's high mana cost which is, coupled with Atropos' low INT gain, the main cause of our mana problems in early game. Second, it doesn't scale into late game, coz when both you and your opponent have 2500 hp, you will hardly notice a difference after casting Brain Sap.
Use this spell to lasthit an enemy hero, to heal yourself (feel free to cast it on a creep if your hp are low and no enemy heroes are in range) or just as a nuke. I wouldn't advice to use it during early game to harass, because it will eat your mana very fast.
The cooldown is relatively long (14), so keep an eye out on it!
Description: Another very useful spell. Simply put, it completely disables an enemy hero for 4-7 seconds. Don't be deceived by it's damage - it's symbolic (unless the hero level is very low).
The Nightmared hero generally shouldn't be attacked, because if he takes damage, he wakes up. This actually can be a problem, coz if you teammates are morons, they will often wake up a Nightmared enemy hero. Here I just wish you luck with your teammates.
About denying with Nightmare. It's very hard (as it requires perfect timing) and you have to be very lucky. Still it's worth a try, especially at early levels. Try to cast Nightmare on yourself(ally) when you(he) has below 20 hp. Otherwise it gives opponents time to react and to finish you(ally) off (and they will no doubt do so, unless they are complete idiots). Lasthitting with Nightmare is similar, but a bit easier. If there are no better options, cast Nightmare on a dying enemy hero. If possible, reposition so that if he wakes up alive you can finish him off with your basic attack
Description: Ah, the lovley Fiend's Grip, Bane Elemental's signature skill. This it what makes him such a wonderful disabler. Nobody likes to be standing still for 5 (6 with Aghanim's Scepter) seconds, being raped by the spell itself and Atropos' teammates. And as if that is not enough - it also drains mana! Wonderful spell.
But then again, it has two drawbacks: first, the manacost is rather high, but that is compensated to some extent thanks to the mana drain. And the biggest, the most annoying drawback: Fiend's Grip is a chanelling spell. That means that you can do nothing while Fiend's Gripping, but the worst part is actually the fact that it can be interrupted via stuns and ministuns (and other stuff that interrupts channeling spells like silences and some spells like Vengeful Spirit's Nether Swap).
Before casting Fiend's Grip, if possible, try to make sure no one's gonna interrupt it. Because if you don't - well, have fun seeing how you held someone in Fiends Grip for one or two seconds. That means Fiend's Grip isn't as useful in teamfights as in ganks and other situations where you don't have to deal with an entire enemy team.
The cooldown is, I would say, not too long and not too short: 100 seconds. Don't be afraid to use the spell, but keep an eye out on the cooldown!
Boots of Speed
Boots are an obvious choice, no comments.
Null Talisman can be crafted from Circlets/Mantels that we got earlier. Null Talisman gives us some viable stats and is a good cheap all-round item.
Bane Elemental is THE best Necronomicon carrier in the game. It's like it was created specially for him. Those two little dudes can pwn so much **** out of enemies, they are just so bad-***. Use it before Fiendsgripping someone, and let the dudes help you take the target down. So I'd say 9 times out of 10 the Necrobook should be your first big item (the only exepton is when you're playing 100% support).
Does someone survive your ulti? Feel like you will benefit from an extra second of Fiend's Grip? Want to drain even more mana? Then Aghnim's Scepter is for you! The stats bonus is nice as well. Great item to get, especially if there are tough *****es in enemy team whom you want to make sure are dead after Fiend's Grip.
Guinsoo's Scythe of Vyse
I am yet to see an Intelligence hero who wouldn't benefit a lot from Guinsoo. It's like Butterfly for agility heroes or HoT for Strength. The only drawback is of course it's high cost, but hey, it's worth it's money as the ability of turning enemy heroes into sheeps can't be overestimated. The mana regen and stats bonus are nice as well.
Eul's Scepter of Divinity
Much like Guinsoo, it's a very nice item to have and it is a lot cheaper. Sure, being invulnerable and disabled for 2.5 seconds isn't as annoying for your enemies as being disabled and vulnerable for 3.5, but Eul is an acceptable alternative to Guinsoo. In fact, if you buy both those items, you can actually get the entire enemy team! Cyclone on one, Hex on the other, Enfeeble the dps'er, Nightmare someone, Fiend's Grip and tah-dah! All five disabled.
Black King Bar
Tiered of your ult being interrupted? This thingy will help. Activate it prior to Fiend's Gripping and don't worry about you ult being interrupted (well, actually do worry because there are some skills that go trough magic immunity). +10 STR is nice, the damage from Mithril Hammer is kinda wasted, overall a good item.
A good survivability booster, a nice item for any mage to have. It's active (Arctic Blast) can be used during a Fiend's Grip without interrupting it. Also it compensates our lack of AOE skills (clearing creepwaves with Shivas? Drastic times call for drastic measures!). Anyway, get it if there are a lot of physical dps'ers in enemy team.
Boots of Travel
The best boots out there. Expensive as ****, but invaluable, especially in late game, when mobility is very important. It might be sensible to rush BoT straight after your core items if you fell that mobility is needed and it suits your playstyle.
Heart of Tarrasque
Pure healthpoints, a luxury item for any hero. No comments.
A nice item against heroes like Lina or Doombringer. Stats and regen are good too. Basically another survivability booster. Good but situational.
I'm not sure about this item, but if you like killstealing - go for it! Besides, an extra nuke in the team would never go amiss. But sereously, I don't recommend it much unless your playing '5x5 apemso noobz only' and owning so hard that you don't know what to spend you money on. Needless to mention that if you decide to get it - keep it at level 1. +100 damage isn't worth 1300 gold...
Bane is a strong laner, thanks to his Brain Sap and Nightmare. Whatever happens, you can quickly put your opponent to sleep or heal yourself by brainsapping someone. Bane can go solo or dual lane. If you go dual, remember, that Atropos is a support hero, and thus you should focus on denying rather then lasthitting creeps, as your lane partner is likely to need gold more than you do. Try to harass enemy heroes, though Atropos' attack range is only 400, he still can do that if there are melee heroes laning against him.
Manage your mana carefully. Your starting INT and INT growth are rather low, while your spells cost a lot of mp to cast.
Bane is a very strong ganker from level 6 thanks to Fiend's Grip, but he often requires a partner. Baisically, 2vs1 or 2vs2 you should always get a kill.
If you are ganking one person, simply cast Fiend's Grip on him and watch him go down while your ult and your partner eat his health. And I strongly recommend you taking someone with you, because Fiend's Grip+Brain Sap combination of course does deal a lot of damage, but most heroes can withstand that.
Ganking 2on2 is similar, only you have to Nightmare someone first. Then you can take down the Fiend's Gripped one, and after that, if you still have the ability, deal with the one that woke up after Nightmare.
Bane sucks sooo hard at pushing, I cant even begin to tell you. Seriously, that's just not his thing. If you need to push really badly - summon the Necronomicon dudes to help. And, of course, contribute with your basic attack.
Unfortunately, large teamfights isn't Bane's strong side either. Not until he collected all the right items. Small teamfights (like 3 on 3) is another pair of shoes though, but I'm not sure that it's correct to actually call a '3on3 fight' a 'teamfight'.
Anyway, prior to using your devastating ult in a teamfight, you should use all your items and abilities. Usually you would start by Enfeebling someone, as this spell has the longest range. Then you should put somebody to sleep (someone who can potentially interrupt your ult), use items like Eul's and Guinsoo, then, just before casting your ult, summon Necro-dudes and activate BKB (or activate Lotar right after casting FG).
This is the case when things go well, Bane has most of the items he needs, he doesn't get focused and taken down quickly and has the time to do all his stuff. In reality, Bane is a big target in teamfight's and often gets raped pretty fast. Even if you survive to do your stuff and start casting your ult, you are very likely to get interrupted, coz when Bane starts Fiend's Gripping, then he is target number one. And everyone in the opponent team will try to end your ult as fast as they can.
Anyway, even if you got raped, you are likely to have contributed to you team because you Enfeebled someone, disabled via Nightmare somebody else and tanked the damage! You are a support hero, not a carry, your goal is to ensure that they do well, get all the kills and the gold, not you. Believe me, on Atropos it's better to have 1-10-15 stats than 13-10-3 or something, you get the point.
As I've mentioned before, Atropos has got mana problems in early game. If someone helps him to deal with it - it's very nice.
Even more disables=even less problem to deal with for the rest of your team! And it also reduces the chances of your Fiend's Grip being interrupted by some **********in stunner.
Who doesn't love them?.. Omniknight is especially usefull as he provides us with free BKB. But generally these heroes should focus on babysitting the carries, not Bane.
Silenced Bane=usless Bane. Without your spells you are just a wierd looking creep. So anyone who might silence you poses a threat. Rikimaru is especially annoying as he tends to rape you real fast under his damn smoke screen. Nortom also deserves a special mention as his Curse of the Silent is just horrible (swap lines ASAP if your laning against him), and so is the Last Word (waiting 3 secs between casting your spells is very gay) not to mention the Global Silence.
How to deal with: Try to get them before they get you, that's really it. Another option is a BKB of course.
Your ultimate deals magic damage, so it's not nice when it's reduced, let alone completely discarded by magic immunity. Rubick is particularly annoying as not only he has the resistance, but so do his allies around him. Watch out for Linken's Sphere! You don't want to waste your ult on it...
How to deal with: Be very careful when casting your ult on Naix, Yurunero and BKB holders: it might be better to wait till their magic immunity wares off just to make sure that they don't activate it a moment before you cast FG on them. Don't hope to take guys with Magic Resistance 1 on 1: when you gank them, bring someone with you to ensure a kill.
You're gonna hate you ult being interrupted. And of course most heroes have some stuns/ministuns/aoe stuns etc to do it, the ones mentioned above are especially annoying: their stuns have a long range. It's really disturbing when your ult gets interrupted by someone from the other end of the screen, you know...
How to deal with: BKB, Lotar. And please, do remember to cast Nightmare on a stunner if you can.
Err.. no comments.
How to deal with: Offer an opponent player who is playing as Doombringer money/possessions/******* so he stops casting Doom on you. Or get a Linken's Sphere and pray that he is stupid enough not to notice it.