|5.||Skills: Poison Touch|
|6.||Skills: Shallow Grave|
|7.||Skills: Shadow Wave|
|11.||Dazzle in Competitive Play|
|12.||Roles: Semi-Carry Dazzle|
|13.||Hyper Aggression Theory|
|14.||Early Game - Laning|
|15.||Mid Game - Ganking and Pushing|
|16.||Late Game - Teamfights and Carry Protection|
|18.||Appendix A: Weave Numbers|
|19.||Appendix B: When Shallow Grave is OP|
|20.||Appendix C: Dazzle's Best Friends|
|21.||Appendix D: Dazzle's Worst Enemies|
|22.||Appendix E: Who Dazzle Counters|
|23.||Appendix F: Homework|
Patch 6.79 came out recently and here I'll discuss the changes a bit, in regards to Dazzle. The patch is way too new to perform any accurate analysis but here is what I think from a month's play...
New Poison Touch - NERF!
IceFrog changed Poison Touch so it's better at level 1 but worse at level 3. Now, compared to Shallow Grave and Shadow Wave it's even less useful... as you won't be stunning until level 7 at the earliest, and that includes sacrificing Wave and Grave power.
If you're in a game against someone with a big channeling spell ( Black Hole or Death Ward), or expect someone to TP back to fountain mid-gank, then it's worth getting 1 point in Poison Touch.
If you desperately need a slow, I'd recommend getting 2 points in Poison Touch by level 4 so you can instigate aggression against the opposing lane. Drop Shallow Grave levels to prioritize this.
New Weave - BUFF!
Weave experienced a buff in the later levels, but a nerf in the early-game. A flat 20 second duration at all levels is great, as is the 1.25 Armor increase/decrease speed at Level 3... but the Level 1 Weave is notably worse. It takes even longer to have an effect, so it's now completely pointless to pick it up at Level 6. Late game it's much better though, changing armor quicker is great.
The Aghanim's Scepter duration increase is removed, so I'm not sure how useful that pickup is. Dazzle loves long, drawn-out fights and the Armor rate increase means it's more powerful quicker... but past 20 seconds then it's a direct nerf!
New Axe - UBER NERF!
Culling Blade now has no cooldown if you get a kill on a Hero. So every time you Shallow Grave, he can kill the guy. Against a decent Axe, there's hardly any point in skilling Grave at all.
New Phase Boots - NERF!
Phase Boots have been reduced in non-phase speed, so you're slower than before. The new Tranquil Boots could be useful on Dazzle... but seeing as you can't attack with them on, and your damage is through auto-attacks, I can't see them being better than Phase.
New Eul's Scepter of Divinity - BUFF!
Cooldown of Cyclone is reduced by 5 seconds and movement speed bonus is increased by 5. This counteracts some of the Phase Boots nerf and makes Eul's Scepter overall a nicer pickup.
Welcome to my guide to Dazzle.
Dazzle is a support Hero that has never really been in the competitive metagame due to his level dependence and early game defensive nature. Nonetheless, he is a very powerful Hero and does great outside of professional play. This guide is here to help you maximize your potential with Dazzle.
In-Game Guide Link
UPDATE: I have completely reworked the guide. Since the last update, I've upped my games with Dazzle to around 200 and I've learnt a lot as a player. So, I thought it best to completely overhaul the guide! Most of the content is similar, but there are changes here-and-there, mainly to my builds and the viability of certain playstyles.
A little about me, I'm just a pub player. I play in China (since I work here) and have 200 games as Dazzle. Here is a DotaBuff of my last 100 games (61% win rate), with my last 60 games at 71% wins (as of 4th October 2013).
If you guys like Axe and Jakiro, then check out my other two guides...
Early Skill Build
Depending on if you are in the support (5 position) or offlaner role, you will skill a little differently. If you're facing aggression, get an early level in Shallow Grave and possibly ignore Poison Touch. If you're feeling safe, go for 3 in Poison Touch ASAP.
Added a disclaimer for 6.79 changes. I'll update the rest of the guide when I get some time.
Complete Revamp! I've pretty much updated and changed everything. I've removed a lot of redundant builds (moved them into an 'Alternative Build' section) and updated items to reflect what I realistically use in 90% of my games.
Updated for 6.78. Changes aren't too wild but there are some new considerations now. I still need to update Appendix A: Weave Numbers.
Removed the 'What did 6.75 do for Dazzle?' section because it's out of date now. Put in the Poison Touch Level 4 notes into the Poison Touch section. Did some general clear up because some of the tangents were a bit distracting :)
Also considering trying out Armlet. It's been popular recently on a few Reddit threads and Dendi used it once, so maybe it's worth checking out. Stay tuned for updates.
Added Soul Booster as an extension for those games where you just have no idea what to build and can't accrue enough gold for a Mystic Staff. Returned Eul's Scepter of Divinity to the Luxury items because I'm finding myself building it more and more after my core + Void Stone.
Plus there was a 6.77 change to Shallow Grave
Added Build 4, the Utility Build. Recently I've been skipping Weave in order to have a maxed Shallow Grave and Shadow Wave sooner. It's been very effective and it's definitely worth thinking about.
Added a little chapter for 6.75. No huge amount of changes but Poison Touch is now worth taking to Level 4 (although not early) in case you were skilling stats at 14. I'll update all the numbers for skills and stuff later, still at work ;)
Added the Mouz vs DK International 2 Qualifiers game to the Homework section. This is the only game where Dazzle was picked. Also threw in a game of my own from tonight.
I'm going to come up with a bit more theory on early game Dazzle and an alternative build which relies on heavy teamwork to focus on ludicrous tower dives coupled with Shallow Grave. His main weakness in competitive play is his need for experience (which gimps him compared to the Venomancer, Vengeful Spirit and Crystal Maiden style supports). The only thing he has is death immunity... so which Heroes can take most advantage of that?
Updated the Best Friends and Worst Enemies sections with the introduction of Undying, Naga Siren and Keeper of the Light.
OK so I finally caved in. Well it wasn't really caving in but after about 80+ games as Dazzle I found myself getting Shallow Grave before level 9 on most occasions.
I think that a Dazzle player should ALWAYS assess the situation before investing that crucial point. I still think that Shadow Wave is better in many situations and if you're playing with a teammate on Skype/Mumble/Ventrillo then you could have a much better time in lane without Shallow Grave. However, if the opposing lane is playing extremely aggressive you can completely turn the tables on any hyper aggression with Shallow Grave. See the laning phase in the 'Shallow Grave Replays' section of the skill to see an excellent example of when Shallow Grave wins lanes.
Probably the biggest round of changes yet. Mainly streamlining the item builds and separating Semi-Carry Dazzle from the default Aggressive Laning build. Removed a few Rare/Situational items that I found myself never ever building.
Made a LOT of changes to my recommended items and added a lot more analysis on Dazzle's place as a support and some more advanced tactics. To help break things up, I've added mini-guide style Summaries to the top of each Skill section.
Added a Match ID replay of a situation when I max Shadow Wave over Poison Touch and skip Shallow Grave. Works very well in the laning phase and for early pushing with my Phantom Lancer lane partner.
Disclaimer: I'm not actually a great player, I know the theory better than I practice it... so don't be too cruel!
Added the new Heroes; Lycanthrope and Brewmaster to Dazzle's Best Friends list.
Added a Ward ***** build. If you're buying wards, babysitting and roaming around... you're not going to get much farm at all. Screw the Phase Boots, you will be underleveled and missed your early game time to shine.
I don't recommend Dazzle as a Ward *****, but if Vengeful Spirit and Crystal Maiden get banned... then I guess you might somehow be stuck with doing it.
Added the Best Friends section which has some cool synergies between Dazzle and whoever your allies might pick.
Also noticed that I made it onto the front page, thanks for all your votes and comments! I intended this to be the best Dazzle guide around, now I'm dedicated to it!
Added a herp derp Build 2 for morons who feel they have to downvote an entire guide without reading it because they disagree with my choice of Shallow Grave skilling.
Also added some 'Worst Enemies' and a section for enemies that Dazzle counters well.
Figured out some formatting too, so it should be easier to read long lists!
Added items justification.
Guide is released! V1.0
Skill Build A - Poison Touch Focus
Skill Build A is the traditional Dazzle build for pub games. It relies on the fact that you need to make your own action with 4 strangers and you need Poison Touch to do that. Get it to Level 3 as soon as possible and then try to get kills.
3x Iron Branch - Cheap stats, ensures a GG and all that. Great for your Magic Wand
1x Tango - Cheap healing that doesn't cost mana
1x Sentry Wards - I find myself picking up Sentry Wards in every game now. Players are getting smarter and you don't want your pull camp blocked. Even if they don't block, a Sentry is always useful later on.
1x Animal Courier - Even if you're not supporting, you don't really need much in the first 2 minutes.
Boots of Speed
Sage's Mask - Get the Sage's Mask after your boots, it helps sustain your mana.
Phase Boots - Take Phase Boots for awesome harassment. Phase Boots are the best boots on Dazzle in my opinion. Dazzle has great early game physical damage and the speed boost helps you duck and weave in and out of range for Shallow Grave and Shadow Wave.
Medallion of Courage - It delays your Mekansm but it's worth it in most cases. You need the mana regen from the Sage's Mask, the Chainmail gives you better survivability and the active is great for killing Roshan and securing early game kills. -6 Armor is HUGE.
Magic Wand - Finish up your Magic Wand whenever you feel like it. The 3x Iron Branch are probably taking up too much space anyway, so you could even get it before your Sage's Mask
Mekansm - I used to never really get Mek on Dazzle, but since I've got better at farming and making money, I've been getting it in every single game. Start with the Buckler. The +2 Armor buff is amazing for pushing in combination with Shadow Wave, it also negates the -6 Armor of Medallion of Courage. In general, Armor rocks on Dazzle.
As a support with huge Intelligence growth and low mana abilities, you are a perfect Mek carrier. You can also pull off pretty crazy stunts with Shallow Grave and this will save your *** countless times in mid-late game skirmishes.
Observer Ward - In an ideal situation you should be warding after you get your boots and Sage's Mask in lane. You should probably buy a second batch after Phase Boots and before Medallion of Courage. Then you should also get a third batch before your Mekansm (I complete the Buckler and Headdress first).
In the end though, read the game and decide. In pub games you can often get away with being light on warding, in high skilled games you should probably be a bit of a ward *****. A 30 minute Mekansm isn't a complete failure if you've been warding well.
With Dazzle's high intelligence and gain, Void Stone provides extremely effective mana regen. If you feel you need extra mana, and have a free slot... pick it up! I get one in every game now... it's just so important to have mana as Dazzle and it builds into a Eul's Scepter of Divinity which is a superb pickup.
Eul's Scepter of Divinity - I pretty much get this in 90% of games where I complete my Mekansm. The regen is only beaten by Scythe of Vyse or Bloodstone (which you'll never afford as Dazzle) and the active can save your *** on numerous occasions... especially after Grave. The speed boost is super useful, as it increases the boost of your Phase Boots giving you even more range flexibility on your spells. Finally the active is like a Shallow Grave on yourself so you can often save your *** with Eul's and not waste your grave. AND it's a great chasing tool! You might be building a Void Stone as an extension anyway... so why not finish it?
People hate on Bloodstone but a plain ol' Soul Booster is a surprisingly effective item. You get a free +100% mana regen when it's complete, it comes in very small parts which all give instant effectiveness to Dazzle and anything that makes you tankier is a blessing. When you find yourself between minds when selecting your post-core item (and don't have the cash to go for a luxury), Soul Booster is a great choice that gives you much needed survivability, mana and mana regen. Everything Dazzle needs.
Pipe of Insight - Pipe rocks. It can swing battles and when coupled with your healing and damage reduction your team can blitz team fights. However, never get Pipe and Mekansm on the same Hero!! You're already public enemy #1 with Shallow Grave! The reason I always tend to take Mek over Pipe is because of the Armor on Mek and the fact that Dazzle doesn't really need health regeneration at all.
Orchid Malevolence - This grants some pretty powerful stats but no survivability. Unlike Desolator (another offensive item), this isn't completely useless if you want to transition back to support Dazzle (mana regen and silence is very handy). If you're stomping but unsure if you can finish the game early, pick this. If you have too many supports and need to be a Damage Dazzle, pick this. If Anti-Mage is crushing early game, sometimes you should just aim for this... it really helps ganking.
Arcane Boots - 99% of the time I'll get Phase Boots, they fit my playstyle more and the speed boost is great for lifesaving Shallow Graves and for chasing with Poison Touch. When you're having an awful early game or if you are on Ward ***** duty, then you will miss your time to deal heavy supporting physical damage. When this happens, you might as well get Arcane Boots for the team mana boost.
Heaven's Halberd - After Medallion of Courage, Mekansm and Eul's Scepter of Divinity, Halberd is a great pickup. The evasion is nice, Sange tanks you up and the active is a great anti-carry ability.
Aghanim's Scepter - Survivability will be your only concern if you ever manage to get this far down the shopping list. Sell your Medallion or Magic Wand and then get Scepter. Health and mana on top of your massive Armor, heals and Shallow Grave is all you'll need at this point. The Weave improvement is just icing on the cake.
Shiva's Guard - The only time I would get this is if I had bought the Plate Mail for Assault Cuirass before realizing it was a bad idea and going back to caster Dazzle. Shiva could work fine on Dazzle, but often you will not get the farm for a Mystic Staff
Scythe of Vyse - It's the best item in the game, if you somehow manage to farm up a Mystic Staff then you might as well get it. Can't say anything bad about this item.
Force Staff - I've actually never bought this on Dazzle, but it does seem like a strong item. It grants a nice escape. It used to provide extra damage and some attack speed but now it gives ****py regen. It's Force Staff, it works on everyone... but it's a little less cool than it used to be (when it provided Attack Speed and Damage)
Core Items - Same as regular Dazzle. Your Medal, Phase Boots and Wand are all essential.
Desolator - Early game, semi-carry Dazzle can cause some major pain with Deso. It grants -6 Armor on top of your -6 Armor from Medallion of Courage on top of your Phase Boots and naturally high attack damage... on top of Weave and with the incredible chasing ability of Poison Touch. Early game the power is incredible... but it grants no survivability which is Dazzle's biggest weakness.
Assault Cuirass - More survivability + damage combined with slight support. You'll be an Armor Reducing machine which will allow your allies to carry better too.
Soul Ring - Soul Ring SUCKS on Dazzle. Stop buying it. It gives a pitiful amount of mana, which gives you a 'free' heal on an ally every 30 seconds. Your heal also pushes the lane and static mana sucks on Dazzle. Medallion grants more survivability, the same regen and has a ridiculously strong active. Save some money and get a Void Stone instead, it's way better.
Dazzle is never picked in competitive play. He may show up in some random strats but he's no-where near a regular or even rare occurrence in the pro circuit.
Why is this?
What first prompted me to write a Dazzle guide was the idea of semi-carry Dazzle. A bunch of threads on PlayDota were saying how Dazzle was being misused as a supporter. After playing a bunch of games (on around my 40th in Dota 2 right now), I'm of the impression that semi-carry Dazzle is pretty effective if you can get an early Desolator (like 20mins in). If you can't, you'll end up being too squishy to carry anything, even with Shallow Grave.
Just a warning for ya!
An offensive, semi-carry Dazzle is going to require a solo lane. Dazzle's ability to heal himself and cause massive damage to enemy melee last-hitters, make him an absolute nightmare for typical melee mids like Pudge and Tiny.
Every time they go to last hit with a packed creep wave, hit them with Shadow Wave. Early on, this skill can take off 50% of their health in one cast. One hit of this ability is enough to start the snowball rolling as you scare them out of range and force them back to their tower.
He's pretty awful against a ranged Hero though.
At this point, you can start ganking other lanes with your Level 3 Poison Touch. Dazzle isn't a crazy good ganker very early on, unless enemies are standing in a bunch of allied creeps. But once he gets his Phase Boots and Medallion of Courage he can easily shred a target before they know what's happening. Unfortunately, it will be around the 10-12 minute mark by the time you get those items, so your solo ganks from mid will be over by then.
Unfortunately there are a lot of Heroes in Dota 2 that will have higher priority than you. 99% of the time, you'll be in a side lane.
Dazzle doesn't see much competitive play. The reasons are quite simple...
Thanks for reading this far. I hope that this guide has helped you and that you're ready to make your enemies pale when they see the face of Dazzle!
If you remember anything from this guide, remember this...
Early game, Dazzle supports through harassment and amplifying damage for your carry. Early farm is worth it and your carry will thank you later as you get the levels and supporting damage you need to be the ultimate side-kick. Late game, Dazzle becomes a gamebreaking support. Stay alive and make sure key targets are protected from damage and death!
Any feedback is much appreciated, please leave a comment and vote!
Just in case you're interested, here is a list of amplified damage numbers at every enemy armor value.
Because of diminishing returns, the increases in damage are much higher at the start of Weave. Waiting those extra couple of seconds to cast Shadow Wave or Poison Touch can mean the difference between a kill and those occasions when the target escapes with a sliver of health.
In my opinion, after 10 seconds it's not worth delaying an ability to milk the damage amplification. The 1 extra second after those first 10 isn't worth risking an enemy getting away... so the most important choices you make with your skills are in those first 10 seconds of Weave. Remember that using Medallion of Courage turns those first 10 seconds into 4 seconds. Medallion is so strong because it jump starts all your abilities instantly.
Skill levels are based on my skill order above
Apologies, but I'm a bit too lazy to upgrade the Shadow Wave numbers for level 2 after the 6.78 patch
/ Poison Touch level 3 24.24 per second, 169.68 total
/ Shadow Wave level 2 106 per unit, 318 max
/ Shadow Wave level 4 148.4 per unit, 742 max
/ Poison Touch level 3 26.64 per second, 186.48 total
/ Shadow Wave level 2 111 per unit, 333 max
/ Shadow Wave level 4 155.4 per unit, 777 max
/ Poison Touch level 3 28.08 per second, 196.56 total
/ Shadow Wave level 2 117 per unit, 351 max
/ Shadow Wave level 4 163.8 per unit, 819 max
/ Poison Touch level 3 29.04 per second, 203.28 total
/ Shadow Wave level 2 121 per unit, 363 max
/ Shadow Wave level 4 169.4 per unit, 847 max
/ Poison Touch level 3 30.384 per second, 212.69 total
/ Shadow Wave level 2 126.6 per unit, 380 max
/ Shadow Wave level 4 177.24 per unit, 886.2 max
/ Poison Touch level 3 31.44 per second, 220.08 total
/ Shadow Wave level 2 131 per unit, 393 max
/ Shadow Wave level 4 183.4 per unit, 917 max
/ Poison Touch level 3 32.4 per second, 226.8 total
/ Shadow Wave level 2 135 per unit, 405 max
/ Shadow Wave level 4 189 per unit, 945 max
/ Poison Touch level 3 33.36 per second, 233.52 total
/ Shadow Wave level 2 139 per unit, 417 max
/ Shadow Wave level 4 194.6 per unit, 973 max
/ Poison Touch level 3 34.25 per second, 239.73 total
/ Shadow Wave level 2 142.7 per unit, 428 max
/ Shadow Wave level 4 199.78 per unit, 998.9 max
/ Poison Touch level 3 35.04 per second, 245.28 total
/ Shadow Wave level 2 146 per unit, 438 max
/ Shadow Wave level 4 204.4 per unit, 1022 max
/ Poison Touch level 3 35.76 per second, 250.32 total
/ Shadow Wave level 2 149 per unit, 447 max
/ Shadow Wave level 4 208.6 per unit, 1043 max
/ Poison Touch level 3 36.48 per second, 255.36 total
/ Shadow Wave level 2 152 per unit, 456 max
/ Shadow Wave level 4 212.8 per unit, 1064 max
/ Poison Touch level 3 37.2 per second, 260.4 total
/ Shadow Wave level 4 217 per unit, 1085 max
/ Poison Touch level 3 37.92 per second, 265.44 total
/ Shadow Wave level 4 221.2 per unit, 1106 max
/ Poison Touch level 3 38.4 per second, 268.8 total
/ Shadow Wave level 4 224 per unit, 1120 max
/ Poison Touch level 3 39.12 per second, 273.84 total
/ Shadow Wave level 4 228.2 per unit, 1141 max
/ Poison Touch level 3 39.6 per second, 277.2 total
/ Shadow Wave level 4 231 per unit, 1155 max
/ Poison Touch level 4 53.44 per second, 374.08 total
/ Shadow Wave level 4 233.8 per unit, 1169 max
/ Poison Touch level 4 54.08 per second, 378.56 total
/ Shadow Wave level 4 236.6 per unit, 1183 max
/ Poison Touch level 4 54.72 per second, 383.04 total
/ Shadow Wave level 4 239.4 per unit, 1197 max
Shallow Grave is an epic ability but early game it's mainly used on yourself. The range is too low for you to use it on others effectively (they'll die anyway), but there are some cases where you should aggressively use Shallow Grave in the early game.
Dazzle is best friends with a LOT of Heroes. He's every carry's best friend (no-one makes them more effective... except perhaps an Invoker with an Alacrity build), but I'll list some good synergies so you can think about your lane composition.
Berserker's Blood + Shallow Grave. He deals crazy physical damage and is constantly on the brink of death. It's a shame all his audio lines are about Rivalry, because Dazzle and Huskar are like BFFs on the battlefield.
Double stun lane with ******** ridiculous physical damage when he has God's Strength. An AoE physical damage reduction strat with Warcry + Weave. Sven, like Kunkka is a Hero that really needs a long slow on his targets. You are that slow and you boost his insane damage by up to 71%.
Along the same lines as Sven & Kunkka, your Poison Touch will seal his target's fate. Ursa is also like Huskar in that he can pull off amazing comebacks from the brink of death if he's not slain. Shallow Grave gives him enough time to regen crazy life while stacking Fury Swipes.
Undying is a superb teammate for Dazzle. First, you both have ridiculous damage amplification ( Weave and Medallion of Courage making Flesh Golem even more powerful). Secondly, Tombstone is great for pushing and counter-pushing in conjunction with Shadow Wave. Third, Undying likes to stand in a massive bunch of enemies and gets focused... so you Grave him and enemies have even more damage amplification that they can't do anything about for 5 seconds. During that time, he's healing from every dead creep and Hero... and he has massive Armor. Truly Undying.
Naga Siren is custom built to work with Dazzle. Ensnare gives you 5 seconds to crush people with physical attacks and it cannot be escaped... if 5 seconds isn't enough, you've got Poison Touch. Mirror Image is Shadow Wave's ultimate ally, granting ludicrous pushing power as well as nuke damage on enemies surrounded by 4 Sirens. Rip Tide synergizes perfectly with your Armor Reduction strategy, add Medallion of Courage in there and 4 angry Sirens are dealing crazy damage to a rooted and slowed target. Song of the Siren allows Weave to set in (giving you 7 seconds of free Weave). Finally, Shallow Grave owns for carries... we all know that. But Song of the Siren is another guaranteed lifeline... so the enemy has to basically kill her 3 times to win the fight.
For a nice Armor Reduction strat, his Acid Spray will add 3/4/5/6 instant Armor Reduction to your targets. You're a great babysitter and an Alchemist left to farm can quickly become incredibly rich. Late-game, you'll be slowing his targets and making them squishy.
Broodmother is the reason I want to find a partner to login to Skype and lane with me. The possibilities with Spawn Spiderlings and Shadow Wave are endless. You help them survive pushes and tank more tower hits, you also can use them for INSANE Shadow Wave nukes on enemy Heroes and creep waves. Broodmother is already an amazing tower pusher, you make her better. If she goes for a Carry build, your Armor Reduction will help her lifesteal more, and she's one of those lifestealing carries who can go from 1 HP with Shallow Grave and regen right back up to full. In lane you're an absolute menace as well. Invisible Shadow Wave bombs, constant harass, constant healing... it's a match made in heaven and I wish more people played Broodmother!
Another summoner who, with coordination, can really destroy lanes with his Jungle ganks + Shadow Wave. On top of that, a great Black Hole will give ample time for your Weave to set in (5 free seconds to increase your armor and decrease theirs).
2 extra instances of Shadow Wave damage with those wolves of his. He doesn't really NEED a slow but it always helps and he deals purely physical damage so Weave is great for him. Howl is also quite nice for your early game aggressive harassment and it's global so you don't even need to be near him. Another advantage is that you or him will buy Medallion of Courage, so you can either get it yourself and save him the money... or he gets it and you go straight for Mekansm (don't forget the casual Sage's Mask though)
Double slow in your lane with Thunder Clap. His tankiness from Drunken Brawler makes the effective HP of Shadow Wave much higher. Poison Touch is very nice for his Primal Split (more time for them to wail on a guy) and surrounding a target then synergizes with Shadow Wave. Shallow Grave pretty much guarantees that he can initiate and cast his ult without any fear of death. These guys are pretty much a perfect team.
Weave and Tidebringer is a very powerful combo, giving him insane AoE attacks every 4 seconds. Your Poison Touch stun gives him a very easy Torrent cast too. Kunkka is one of those melee Heroes who could really do with a slow, so Poison Touch and X Marks the Spot will make escaping impossible.
Like Broodmother, his summons give you crazy nuking potential and he is undoubtedly one of the strongest pushers in the game. You supplement his powerful pushing and Grave + Teleportation can infuriate the calmest of enemies.
The original Armor Reduction strategy. You turn Slardar into an unkillable beast while your enemies have the combined Armor Reduction of Amplify Damage + Weave. Your Poison Touch + Slithereen Crush combo in lane is very powerful and save him having to use Sprint to get into range.
Double armor reduction, double stun, extra physical damage bonus and you can Shallow Grave her when she swaps. You guys are a support dream team, if your team can support two supports. I would love to tri-lane with this girl.
So this is a case where the synergy between DK and Dazzle's skills isn't blatantly obvious for Wombo Combos, but Dazzle's power with a fat Elder Dragon Form DK is very strong in a real game scenario. You probably won't lane with him, but late game you are an excellent pair in team fights. His AoE physical splash damage is ridiculous with your AoE damage amplification. His natural tankiness gives Shadow Wave and Mekansm surprisingly effective late-game HP regeneration. On top of that, you've got Shallow Grave which makes this already tanky Hero even harder to bring down.
Apart from Axe, not many Heroes can counter Dazzle or his abilities.
Bad Team Composition
This is applicable to most supports but Dazzle more than most.
Any executing Hero, except Axe
Shallow Grave for the lulz.
The 6.78 changes turned Huskar into an overpowered piece of ****, but Dazzle is probably his best counter. Now he receives Magic Resistance with Berserker's Blood, he's almost impossible to kill when he's low. Thankfully you deal physical damage with all your abilities. Huskar loves to jump into a big crowd of your allies, so wait until he's around 30% health (WAITING IS IMPORTANT!) and then kill him in one big Shadow Wave.
He's melee so Poison Touch helps kite him. He often runs into masses of allies for Slithereen Crush... so Shadow Wave him. Weave reduces the effects of Amplify Damage and increases the damage Slardar takes during Sprint. Basically, you wreck Slardar.
The low armor crew; Doom Bringer and Tiny in particular
With high physical attack, 2 physical damage abilities and massive armor reduction, Dazzle tears low Armor Heroes to pieces.
While he counters your Shallow Grave, you counter his playstyle. He loses his Armor advantage with Berserker's Call and his early game strategy is to surround himself with your allied creeps to trigger Counter Helix. As long as you can stay out of his range (which is easy with Poison Touch), he'll be food for your Shadow Wave.
If he jumps you, you're dead... but that's what he's designed to do. If he doesn't jump you, you reduce his ability to catch anyone with Poison Touch from far outside his Smoke Screen. On top of this, he's often a sitting duck when he tries to kill someone who you've graved. Riki is extremely squishy, so slap Medallion of Courage on him and he'll drop in about 2 seconds of focus fire. Killing him through invisibility with Shadow Wave is always hilarious too.
Here is some material for you to go over if you want to rest from playing and see some of the situations in this guide played out.
Dazzle is not picked up much in pro games. But recently DK picked him up in a game against Mousesports in The International 2012 Qualifiers.
Match ID: 36036525
Admittedly, it's an awful game by Dazzle. DK.ZippO just plays badly, simple as. In fact, this game really highlights what is wrong with Dazzle as a support in competitive games. DK run him as a pure support, wards, dust and smokes a-plenty. But anyone can do that... Crystal Maiden can do that.
He contributes a couple of good Shallow Graves but he really brings nothing to the table all game. They do not play him to his strengths and it just baffles me how bad his positioning is on a number of occasions.
This game has really made me think about the viability of Dazzle compared to other supports. The one thing he can bring to this super aggressive metagame is hyper aggression through use of Shallow Grave for ridiculous tower dives. Unless you do that, what are you really doing that a Shadow Demon, Crystal Maiden or Vengeful Spirit can't do?
High Skill Games
Purge Plays Dazzle
(Skip to 6 mins)
Watch Purge completely and utterly destroy an Anti-Mage in a 1v1 solo lane. Showcases the ridiculous power of early Shadow Wave and a Phase Boots + Medallion of Courage Dazzle early game.
Check out Purge's channel too, it's a great place for all kinds of awesome Dota information and videos.
PS: I'm super jealous of Purge... This guy is so much better at last hitting than me...
So I'm not that good of a player (I know the theory better than the practice) but here are some games which I think I played pretty well and that showcase some of the things in this guide.
NEW: Match ID: 322134762 - 25th September 2013
Well, here you go... Carry Dazzle. In a way.
Ogre Magi and myself started in the suicide lane and I found myself possessed by the god of Last Hitting. Probably my best lane performance ever on Dazzle, from a CS point of view.
OM then leaves and I get the solo lane. The Naga was our carry but wasn't capable or built for it, so I decided I had to go for some sort of carry build... but I'd started as a Mekansm building support. So, while I got my Orchid Malevolence I was no-where near able to carry with right clicks. A game we threw, after some great early pushing and excellent team fights. A mix of lag spikes (the 1v1 vs Drow Ranger which I would have won) and terrible teammate decision making ( Ancient Apparition buying a 2nd Mek... 15 minutes after I finished and was spamming the first one) caused us to lose the game.
It goes to show... Carry Dazzle just isn't viable. He's a early-mid game 'carry' if he snowballs hard (we stomped all their towers and mid rax with our sustain and -armor strat), but he just doesn't cut it in the late game.