Disruptor is a support hero with a great range of harassment, utility and team fight spells. He's a well rounded hero, with a good basic attack and fast movement speed.
He is not at all farm dependent, able to utilise all his abilities effectively with a fairly minimal core set of items, allowing you to buy utility equipment for the team. His spells do require skill and precision to use well however.
He's very effective as a counter to "hard lane solo" heroes, who rely on their escape abilities to survive the lane.
+ Excellent team fight abilities
+ Good attack range and animation
+ Strong harasser
+ Great against most heroes with escapes
+ Item independent
+ Fast casting animation
- Quite squishy
- No true disable
- Lacks damage
- Limited farming/pushing ability
- Skills can be tricky to use
Thunder Strike is your main nuke and pushing spell. It delivers 4 bolts with a small AOE around the unit you cast it on - the area will move with the unit, and will also mark (not reveal) invisible units for it's duration. It has good effectiveness even at early levels, and the mana cost doesn't rise as you upgrade the spell. It's total damage of 400 at level 4 is very cost effective for 130 mana.
Part of the problem with Thunder Strike though is the long duration to actually inflict all of it's damage - this gives people time to use Magic Wand and other abilities that may be enough to keep them alive. This also makes it tricky to use for last hitting a wave of creeps.
Like most nukes, you ideally want to max it ASAP - although with Disruptor you sometimes want to consider alternative builds. It stacks nicely with the rest of your abilities if you can trap multiple enemy heroes inside a Kinetic Field.
Glimpse is a unique spell that returns an enemy hero to the position they were in 4 seconds ago. This can be very powerful, or have no effect at all - depending on where the enemy hero was and the situation.
The most obvious use of Glimpse is to return a fleeing hero to a gank or team fight to get the kill. However, this is only one of many potential uses:
- You can undo enemy teleports, yes Glimpse can send them all the way back to the fountain or half away across the map - wherever they were 4 seconds ago. And their Town Portal Scroll will be on cooldown.
- If you misjudge or the enemy Blink's out of Kinetic Field, you can send them back into it.
- You can use it to escape by sending enemy heroes back away from you.
- Glimpse instantly kills any illusion it is used on.
Good Glimpse use depends on figuring out quickly whether the 4 second backtrack will be useful or not, and using it at the right time. It has an incredibly long range once maxed, and can be used as long as you have some kind of vision of the unit. Levelling it also reduces the mana cost.
Kinetic Field is not exactly a disable, but more of a way of trapping enemies. It's the skill that binds together all his other abilities, and it's essential to learn to use it well if you want to play Disruptor.
When cast, it has a long delay before forming an impassable ring (you can Blink or Teleport out of it, but not escape using Force Staff or other similar methods). The enemy can see the ring forming, so good placement is essential - disables or slows are very helpful.
It has quite a long duration though, and is very cheap to cast.
Be aware that Kinetic Field can also be a useful way of escaping or helping team mates - enemies cannot pass through the ring from the outside either, so either have to walk around or potentially be blocked by other impassable terrain.
Static Storm is your ultimate - combining an AOE silence with a fair bit of damage potential. It has a cheap mana cost, and a fairly average cooldown time - meaning it's use is not resticted solely to team fights.
Storm instantly silences any heroes who are in it's AOE, and they will remain silenced as long as they stay in that area while it's active. The damage on the other hand starts slowly, and grows towards the end of it's duration, although even then it's somewhat limited as the game progresses.
In some ways the silence is actually the best thing about Static Storm - if you combine it correctly with Kinetic Field then you have a group of enemies trapped, silenced and getting damaged.
Disruptor is a great team fight hero, but relies on you deploying his combo effectively:
- Start with Static Storm over the largest concentration of enemy heroes
- Immediately follow up with Kinetic Field to try to trap them in the same area
- Glimpse any heroes who escape the area back in to it
- Use Thunder Strike on a trapped hero, ideally one close to the others
However, you may need to wait a moment or two to try and get a decent grouping of enemy heroes - don't waste your abilities and let them escape the area easily.
You can combine well with many of the good team fight heroes - even a few seconds of slow or disable can be enough to let you get your combo off perfectly. Don't be afraid to let them initiate if they can do it better, or help set you up.
Disruptor is very flexible in that he provides silence, entrapment and some damage. As a general rule, allow heroes with mass disable or slow to initiate first, but do it yourself if they have a lot of AOE damage.
Example 1 - You're partnered with Faceless Void - let him initiate, and you will then have several seconds to place the perfect combo while the enemy is disabled.
Example 2 - You're partnered with Sand King - it's probably better for you to initiate, as you can trap enemies and prevent them from escaping his ultimate.
Example 3 - You're partnered with Enigma - usually you'll let him initiate with Black Hole, then immediately follow up with Thunder Strike and Static Storm. Start up Kinetic Field a second or so before Black Hole will run out.
I found it a little tricky to nail down exactly what skill builds to list for this guide - as always you have to be flexible in your choices, and adapt to the situation in front of you. Your lack of escalating mana costs and the utility of your spells means there are few truly bad choices.
Personally I always like to start with Kinetic Field as it's the closest thing you have to a stun, and can save you or your allies even at level 1.
Maxing Thunder Strike first is the most obvious route to take, and is great if you want to harass the enemy and let your carry farm. Early game it's pretty effective, if a little mana intensive.
The alternative is to go for a Kinetic Field/ Glimpse combo, and go for kills. This can be especially effective against solo heroes who rely on their escape - like Dark Seer or Windrunner. You need a strong (and reasonably alert) lane partner to make this work.
Your ultimate is so cheap that you want to level it at every chance you get, there's really no reason not to.
Disruptor has simple needs when it comes to items and doesn't benefit greatly from having a lot of excess money or equipment.
Your two main issues are mana recovery, and being squishy. Once you get some levels together, Arcane Boots are usually enough to keep you up and running. A Magic Wand is always useful and will help keep you alive - the Bracer is necessary to bulk you up a bit and ensure you stay alive long enough to get your combo off.
As a support hero, you will usually want to get at least some of these items after completing your core (sometimes you might want to skip the Bracer to get something like a Mekansm earlier), depending on what other heroes on your team are buying.
Usually Mekansm is your top priority for a utility item. Pipe of Insight doesn't especially suit your low health pool, but you might still need to be the person to get it.
If you did buy a Bracer, then it can be well worth building it up into a Drum of Endurance to maximise your inventory slots. Another item well worth considering is Ghost Scepter as it can work very effectively in the late game to keep you alive against enemy carries.
Force Staff is worth a mention too, as it gives you an escape, and helps your positional play for long range Glimpses and the like.
As Aghanim's Scepter doesn't work for you at all, it's debatable whether you should really put any luxury items on Disruptor - he doesn't really need to do his job effectively. The cooldown on your spells is too long for you to need a lot of mana for spamming, and your right click is nothing really worth developing late game.
These are only for situations where you have plenty of utility items, and still have a ton of money left over - pretty unlikely in most games!
Disruptor is a good lane support for carry heroes, and due to his decent movement speed can work in both safe and long lanes.
Although his combination will help any team, he works best with other team fight heroes, especially:
- Naga Siren. Her ultimate is the perfect setup for your combo, giving you all the time you need to get everything up and running.
- Dark Seer. Vacuum and Wall of Illusion combine extremely well with your combo, enemies are drawn together, trapped, silenced and attacked by their own illusions.
- Jakiro. Both of you rely on locking down enemy heroes, and keeping them trapped in a confined area. Your combination benefits both of you in landing your powers effectively.
- Leshrac. If you can keep enemies trapped and silenced in a small area, it allows Leshrac to fully utilise his close range magical damage.
Disruptor is squishy, and therefore vulnerable to burst damage from the likes of Tiny or Lina.
Until he gets Glimpse levelled, he's unable to avoid mobile heroes such as Anti-Mage and Queen of Pain, and he needs Static Storm to be able to contain them.
Being so squishy you're vulnerable to all the usual gankers, such as Pudge, Night Stalker, and invisible heroes such as Bounty Hunter, Riki and especially Nyx Assassin.
As you're so reliant on your casting abilities, Silences will always be a problem.